Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Geocaching with Kids

A few years ago a friend of mine mentioned something about this thing called geocaching that she had been doing. It sounded like fun, but with a house full of wild little boys I never had the time to research it beyond what she had told me. Fast forward a few years, and my boys are older {and still wild} and we are now a camping family looking for fun things to do while we are traveling all over in our Airstream. We ride bikes and make s'mores and go on hikes, but surprisingly geocaching has become on of our favorite camping activities...and the most exciting part is anybody can go geocaching almost anywhere!
What is geocaching?
It's sort of like an outdoor scavenger hunt that uses GPS {most smart phone are perfect for this} to locate hidden treasures. I did a little research online, then I downloaded the free geocaching intro app to my phone to see if we liked it as much as I thought we would....we did! So I bought the full app {it cost around $10 & it's totally worth it} and we got started! This is the app that we use {Geocaching by Groundspeak Inc.} There are quite a few different ones to chose from, but this one has worked great for us so far and I love that it is connected to geocaching.com so you can plan out your adventures at home before you hit the road {or trail}! 
We've had quite a few geocaching adventures over the past few weeks and most of them have been on our bikes at a couple different local state parks. We start by picking a cache to look for then we head out on our adventure. Once we get close according the app, the boys park their bikes and start looking. For the most part, the first to find the cache gets to open it up, but sometimes we save the easier ones for Eli:)
We spent one afternoon on our last beach trip geocaching, and we found this really fun coconut cache near the beach! The boys had fun with this one because it wasn't the typical box or bottle that we had been finding:) 



Here's a picture of what the log looks like. For some caches you have to bring your own pen to sign the log because they are too small to hold a pen {which was the case with this coconut}. When we find a cache, we sign the log, and check out the log to see when the most recent find was! It is fun to know that other people have been out looking for the same thing you are! We even saw a guy grabbing this one the day after we found it...which was really neat because we knew exactly what he was doing:)
We went on quite an adventure this past weekend too {and introduced my aunt to the world of geocaching}! After a really close encounter with a really big poisonous snake, we found this cache hidden in the woods buried under a pile of pine straw. 



This is what a typical geocaching adventure looks like for us: 

We really have been having a blast on all our geocaching adventures, and I would recommend it to anyone! If you are looking for a fun way to get your kiddos outside to burn off some calories, geocaching is a great way to it! 

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13 comments:

Lexie Loo, Lily Boo, and Dylan Too! said...

I've never tried that, but I'm sure my son would love it!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Fun (except for the snake part)! I have a local friend with 4 boys, and they love to do geocache "trips." The coconut is too cool!

Holy Craft said...

Love this! Our family has been geocaching for nearly 8 years and we really love it! It's a great way to explore new places, especially on vacation, and gives the kids a fun treasure hunt.

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

It sounds like so much fun! I've heard about it, but that's the extent. I've never researched it. But my girls LOVE a good scavenger/treasure hunt, so I'm sure they'd love this!

Fiona said...

We are HUGE geocaching fans in our house. The girls love it, and I agree about it being a fun adventure for the whole family. We are lucky, because where we live there is a 'team' of cachers who specialize in creative hides for kids. We have seen some amazing cache containers over the years.

Liz {Learning To Juggle} said...

We love geocaching! Haven't been in a while since hubby has been in school, but I think we will pick it up again now that the gorgeous fall weather is here!

Kmama said...

I bet the boys absolutely love that!

We aren't really the adventurous type (we don't go many places), but if we were, I think it's something I would introduce.

Angie said...

I have been so curious about this. One of my friends asked us to do it with her and her family. I'm glad you explained it a bit. It does seem pretty fun!

Heather at Dragonfly Designs said...

Ammo container!!! Great find! And that coconut is too cool! We are HUGE geocachers {I'm lucky enough to host geocaching events for our local municipality} :D Thanks for sharing and spreading the word!
xo
Heather

Miller Racing Family said...

Our neighbors do the same thing. They have built an outhouse full of fun trinkets for everyone. We love to watch all the people trying to find their treasure.
Have a fabulous day!

Carrie said...

That is really cool! I haven't really read much about what that was, but now I want to try that! What a fun thing to look forward to when traveling! I love the coconut too! So clever! You're making some fun memories with the boys, love this idea!

Nichol said...

We have never tried but I have heard of it and it sound so fun. I told hubby when we hit the cabins next spring we are going to do it. Looks like you all have been having a great time PS: Snakes freak me out especially down south ones

Dee said...

I had a friend who was doing this and I want to try it soon!

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