Do you and your children love the outdoors, exploring new places, and looking for interesting things?
Then you should try geocaching! It's a treasure hunt right in your own neighborhood.
My kids and I have been going geocaching since my 12-year-old was just a baby. By the time she was 3, she was starting to help look for the caches herself and had her very first find that summer.
How can your family get started with geocaching?
All you need to get started is a cellphone (or another GPS-enabled device) along with coordinates for a geocache, and a sense of adventure.
There are geocaches hidden all over the world including urban and rural areas. The containers range from very tiny (micro-caches), to small keychain pill holders, to large containers that hold special objects like toys and other trinkets.
When you find a cache, open it up, sign the log, and then put it back exactly as you found it for the next geocacher who comes along.
It's so simple and so much fun!
ra-photos via Canva
- Be discreet so you don't alert someone who isn't a geocacher to the location.
- Always be sure to put the cache back properly so it isn't easy for a passer-by to spot, but is right where it's supposed to be when the next treasure hunter comes along.
- If you take something from the cache, leave something of equal or greater value.
- Always sign the log in the cache and log your visit on www.geocaching.com or in the app.
You don't need much equipment!
The only equipment you really need is a cellphone or another GPS-enabled device, but there are a few other things that are good to bring along just in case:
- Exchange items - little trinkets you can swap in bigger caches (think kids meal toys and other small objects).
- Pencil - in case the cache's pencil is missing or it's too small to hold one.
- Gloves - sometimes you need to dig or move brush... it's easier to convince yourself to do it with gloves!
- Snacks and water - because we all know kids are always hungry.
- Notebook or a note-taking app - to keep track of the caches for the day in case you can't get online where you go searching.
ra-photos via Canva
To get started, download the official Geocaching® app or visit www.geocaching.com to sign up for a free account. I also recommend reading this article from Geocaching.com for some tips and other helpful info. Then search by your ZIP code to see how many caches are waiting to be found right in your town! Spoiler Alert: There are over 300 caches in Roanoke!