Do you have kids who love to see new places and hunt for secret treasures? One of our favorite, free outdoor activities is Geocaching. If you have never heard of it, let me tell you why it’s a great way to add some excitement to your summer days!
I bet you have passed hundreds, if not thousands, of geocaches in your lifetime and never even knew it. You see, a geocache is a secret capsule hidden in plain sight. It can be as big as a Tupperware container or as small as a soda bottle cap. Each cache contains a paper log where you can write your name and the date that you found it. A cache may also contain treasures like coins, “bugs,” and trackables: more on that later.
Geocaches are hidden by people in your community in interesting places like parks, historical landmarks, or even just a parking lot. Download the app or checkout http://www.geocaching.com to find caches near you. The app directs you to the approximate location of the cache using GPS. Have the kids help you track the coordinates and search for the cache. Read the reasoning behind the cache’s location and explore the area around it. The cache itself could be up in a tree, hidden behind a rock, or magnetically stuck to a bridge rail. Keep your eyes open. The kids LOVE to be the finders.
The best part is that you can do this on vacation, at a highway rest stop, pretty much anywhere in the world. There are millions of caches to be found.
Some caches are big enough to contain treasures inside. Sometimes there are items with a specific purpose – Trackables like coins and “bugs” are added by people who want the item to travel around the country/world. If you take a trackable, the owner wants you to move it to another cache. So, if you are vacationing somewhere and find a trackable, take it home with you and place it in a cache near you – – or anywhere on the way home.
The app itself is free. There is a paid version where you get access to more caches, but the free app is a good start to see if you and the kids enjoy it.
The app tracks how many caches you have found and can write stories to the cache hider about how you came about finding their cache.
My daughter and I are proud Geocache owners in a local park. Our hides are exactly 1/10th of a mile apart. If you are in the area, check out Mother/Daughter Fun – Mommy’s Hide and Mother/Daughter Fun – Daughter’s Hide. We have had 30 visitors to our caches since placing them in October. I get an email notification every time someone finds it and logs their visit – so find it and write us a note 🙂
It’s a great way to extend the *free* fun.
Have you ever been geocaching? Would you give it a try?
Check your app store or http://www.geocaching.com
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