We didn’t go anywhere for Spring Break this year. I decided we should focus on exploring new things that are nearby during break. Since we just moved back to the area where my husband and I both grew up, everything is familiar to me, but new to my children. I have been waiting for the right time to try out Geocaching and thought our week of exploration was the perfect opportunity.
Don’t have the faintest idea what Geocaching is? Here is the definition I took directly off of Geocaching.com – “Geocaching is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online.”
I was really surprised to find a lot of geocaches within 2 miles of our house. With 4 young children that is the perfect little outing for us. It was a simple and fun outdoor activity for our family and we will definitely be doing it again soon!
Geocaching is also a great learning tool for teaching your children about technology, maps, latitude and longitude and how to explore outdoors. The Geocaching.com site also offers great information in the forums for how to integrate geocaching into lesson plans for the classroom or for youth groups and clubs. You can find the forum HERE. If you want to try Geocaching read my steps below for what to do.
- Smartphone or GPS
- Appropriate outdoor clothing and footwear
- Visit www.geocaching.com and start out by finding if there are any geocaches in your area. On the website home page you can enter your postal code or country and click on the spy glass to start your search. A list of geocaches will come up with the distance from your location.
- If you are interested in finding a geocache you will want to become a member of Geocaching.com by clicking on the sign up link in the upper right area of the home page.
- To find out more about geocaching you can also watch two short videos about it that can be found under the Learn tab along the top of the Geocaching.com home page. I watched these videos because I had no idea what to expect.
- You will want to either have a GPS device or download the full Geocaching.com app to your smartphone, which is what I did.
- Once you have the app downloaded to your device open the app and log in. Next press the “Find Nearby Geocaches” and a list of geocaches will appear.
- Select the cache you want to find and click “Navigate to Geocache”. That will start the GPS part and show your location on a map and the location of the geocache in relation to where you are.
- Before or during your search you may want to read the information listed under the Description, Recent Logs or Hint buttons. We were stuck on where to actually find the container and the Recent Logs helped us out.
- Know that the GPS will bring you close to the hidden geocache, but you may have to do some searching around. The geocache will be hidden out of plain sight so a general passerby won’t see it. You can see what the geocache container we found looked like in the picture at the top of the post. Sometimes the container is larger and contains a small treasure and you are welcome to take a treasure and leave a treasure.
- Don’t forget to write in the log for that geocache after returning home!