Last week I was listening to the outdoor podcast and I came across an episode about Geocaching. It sounded interesting and seemed like something I could easily do with my daughters. I went to the geocaching.com website and did a quick search by inputting my zipcode, and what to you know… a cache was supposed to be within walking distance from my house.
This past Saturday, shortly after my girls awoke, I got them dressed to go on “a treasure hunt”. The night before I downloaded a free app for my phone called “GPS Essentials” and input the coordinates. We headed in the direction of the cache’s location and stopped along the way at the grocery store for a power breakfast of donuts and Orange Juice. We ate as we continued onward. After about a 10 minute walk, we neared the coordinates. My oldest daughter was in charge of the phone, and we watched as it counted down from 38 yards. When our phone got to under 5 yards, The girls took off looking in and around some trees.
After a little bit of searching, we weren’t sure if it still existed since it hadn’t been logged in the last 2 months. There are varying difficulty levels referring to the difficulty of finding and the size of the container and there are numerous reports of caches being found and removed or destroyed. As first timers, I thought this was going to be an easy find, but having never done this before and having no idea what we were looking for, it proved to be more of a challenge than I though. Just about the time we thought the cache probably no longer existed and we were going to give up…
Emma found it! We looked at the contents and placed in the things we had brought along, and Emma selected a shiny State of Hawaii Quarter as her memento. I will be sure to carry a pen or pencil next time to sign the cache log book.
This was a great activity that I was able to do with my kids. It was a lot of fun, we got to walk, hold hands, eat donuts and drink orange juice, enjoy a little bit of early morning sunshine, practice being stealthy so the “muggles” wouldn’t see us, and most of all try something new and exciting.
If your looking for an outdoor activity that doesn’t take a lot of money, planning or preparation, I highly recommend giving geocaching a try. We learned there are so many hidden caches not far from us and when we searched to see if there were any hidden around the girls grandparents houses there were quite a few, so this is an activity they can participate in as well.
With nearly 2 million caches located in 100+ countries, it’s almost guaranteed that there is one not far from you, so whether young or old, kids or not, load the coordinates into your smart phone and go have yourself a mini adventure.