If you have kids that enjoy exploring and hunting for hidden treasure, you need to consider getting them into geocaching!
Geocaching is a gps based treasure hunt. My friend Jamie has been telling me about this for years and recommend I get the kids into it. I didn’t really understand what she meant until she came for a girls’ weekend and did some with me. So much fun!!
You can geocache for free and have a blast doing it. The caches can be located worldwide which is why I am so very sad that we didn’t get into this when we lived in Alaska and Germany! You get a really cool state badge when you log a cache in a new state. We are having a blast collecting from all the states we visit! There are also fun ‘travel bugs’ that you can help move around the world. Watching them move is one of the best parts of geocaching!
This is the app I use for our adventures. This geocache app is very easy to use and has several easy navigation option for you to find the hidden treasures. It’s pretty cool to log in and see just how many caches surround you. Sometimes we have to limit ourselves in our adventures because the options are just too numerous. The app allows you to choose your preferred driving app to get close to each geocache and then they provide a walking navigation option to help you get very close. Part of the fun is hunting for the cache once you get close. The hiding spots can be very creative! Some hiding spots definitely needed a couple sets of eyes to find them. It’s easy to log a cache and add a message to the person who placed the cache. One location cache had been removed and I had to let the person know it had been removed. We were able to return and log a solid find.
In the images below are from the geocache app. The green circles are caches. The gray circles are premium caches and are only loggable if you pay for the upgrade account. The smiley faces are caches we have logged as a team.
I do have some recommendations when geocaching:
- Keep a geocache pouch with a pen inside. Every cache has a paper log for you to initial and date.
- Some caches have goodies in them for you to take and for you to drop your own goodie into.
- Be careful when you hunt down some of them. The stop sign caches can be pretty small and at busy intersections.
- Some of the geocaching in the city can be in rough or sketchy locations. I chose to drive by a few caches because I just didn’t feel it was safe for my young group.
- Some of the fun caches have been off road and in wooded areas, so geocache in close toed shoes (which can be a challenge in Texas summer flip flops)
- There are fun adventure style caches at National Parks, which we love because we are NPS junkies!
- Do not geocache alone. It can take a team to get the caches out or down or out from under.
- Clean up the cache area! Nobody like to adventure in trashed out areas. Clean up after yourself and others so the journey remains enjoyable for everyone.
- If you do take a travel bug from a cache, keep it moving around. Don’t just take it home and keep it, that’s detracts from the fun of watching it move around.