ge·o·cach·ing — ˈjēōˌkaSHiNG
It occurred to us one day while speaking with someone that there are still many people who don’t know what this incredibly fun activity is.
What is Geocaching? “Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices (or phone – though I have confirmed the phone is not as accurate and can make this harder). Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.” There are millions of geocaches hidden around the world—there are probably some near you right now. You probably walk right by them every day. Which is the object of this! They are hidden and unless you know they are there, they are not seen. Sometimes under a rock, inside a tree, under a bush, inside a bird feeder, or under a bridge. The possibilities are endless.
We started Geocaching when our youngest daughter was about 5 (she is 20 now). Our girls didn’t spend much time in front of the TV and video games were pretty expensive. Stacy was a stay at home mom for 12 years and funds were limited so we learned about Geocaching. A free world wide scavenger hunt. Who doesn’t like a scavenger hunt? It gets you outside exploring new and different areas. With the technology the way it is today, it’s gotten much easier for families to join, and yet so many of our friends look at us funny when we say we went Geocaching for the afternoon.
There is a lot of information out there about this fun activity but basically you sign up on their website. It’s free but they do have a $30 a year premium membership you can purchase. Which gets you even more cashe’s in your area. You can download their free app on all phone’s and enter your current location and search. Try it … just for fun, to see how many cache’s are in your area! Chose any geocache from the list and to get information on that cache. If you want to search for it, you would enter into your GPS device the location coordinates and your handheld GPS (or phone) will lead you to the cache. Our family likes the medium, large or extra large caches. These are typically Tupperware containers or ammo boxes full of “stuff” If you take something, the rule is to put something inside. There is always a log book to sign and date, andmake sure you “log our find” so the owner of the cache knows who was there. You physically sign the book, but you then log your find electronically on line.
What are trackables? aka: “Travel Bugs” A trackable is a sort of physical geocaching “game piece.” You will often find them in geocaches. Each Trackable is etched with a unique code that can be used to log its movements on Geocaching.com as it travels in the real world. Some of these items have traveled hundreds of thousands of miles thanks to geocachers who move them from cache to cache! They can be coins, dog tag types or connected to a certain item like a keychain, or small stuffed animal, etc. These are our favorites. Because we traveled so much in the military we loved to take them from one state and move them to another.
I could go on and on about Geocaching, but there is much more information online for you. Go to www.geocaching.com to find out more. Get your kids involved! My kids are 29 and 20 and we still involve them in this fun outside activity.
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