Filed under: family fun | Tags: adventure, explore, family, family adventures, family fun, family hikes, Geocaching, geochaching, get outside, GPS coordinates, hidden treasures, ideas, kids, nature walks
As a family, we often get out and explore nature: family hikes, biking the trails, beach-combing, or, my personal favourite, our vacation pyjama walks.
Now we can add geocaching to our list of family adventures.
Yesterday, we set off for the first time and found several hidden treasures close to home. The boys were keen – even in the rain. Normally if we walk to the park and there aren’t any friends around to play with or it starts to rain, they would complain! Or if I say, “lets go for a walk” they ask “where?” But not this time.
What is Geocaching?
According to Geocaching.com “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.”
How to get started?
This is the best part. All you need is your GPS-enabled cell phone* and a free membership plus the free app! Start with the map, follow the GPS plus any clues and search until you find the hidden item. We found 4 that were within a 5 block radius of our house!
What will you find?
This is the fun part! With a little effort, you should find a hidden or camouflaged, waterproof container known as the “cache.” Inside you will find a “log” or notepad/piece of paper and (hopefully) a pen or pencil to record your name and the date.
Sometimes, you’ll come across little treasures; you can trade these, so be sure to pack a few small items with you that you can leave behind for the next person to discover (good etiquette suggests they be of equal or greater value). Some great ideas for the kids are mini erasers, small toys, glowsticks, bouncy balls etc. (Avoid non-perishables that might get slimy or rotten if they get wet.)
- wear comfortable shoes
- bring a pen, just in case
- pack a snack & water
- take a camera
If you’re super keen, you could also pack a plastic bag and some tongs to clean up any litter you find en route!
Have a look at the map and see what’s nearby. My boys and I were thrilled to see lots in our immediate area, but even more excited to see that they are EVERYWHERE! Any time we go camping, skiing, hiking or even just visiting friends and family, we now have another reason to get out and explore.