Looking for a free activity to do with your littles? Want to get the family outside and off their electronics? Geocaching is so much fun and you don’t have to take a long trip to find one. Time for adventures in geocaching.
Although you won’t be on an iPad, you will still need some kind of electronic device to help guide you to GPS coordinates. We use an app on our phone, simply called Geocaching. But, you can also purchase a handheld navigator which would take you a more “old school” approach. The app is great because it has the ability to find your current location and also locate nearby caches. You can also search for a location you will be going to later.
In the app, there will be a description, GPS coordinates, the size and sometimes a clue. Whoever has found it before will also log it and might leave some words of wisdom to help you locate it. Wikipedia does a great job explaining the in’s and out’s.
You never know what kind of geocache you are going to find. Some are big, some are tiny. All of them will contain a log to sign and some include a treasure to exchange. Make sure to bring a pen and something unique to share. It is welcome to be something you already have a home like dice, a marble, a small toy, a Canadian coin… Anything that might spark the interest of a fellow geocacher. Geocachers refer to these items as “swag.” If you really feel the need to, you can even find cool “swag” items on Amazon! Finders Keepers!
Stash your own cache
My mom introduced us to this fun little hobby last summer and for Christmas, she got my kids their own cache to hide themselves. We had the pleasure of hiding them at the lake near our home where we spend a lot of time as a family. The kids got to pick their own spots as long as they were at least a tenth of a mile from the nearest cache (that’s the rule!). We all came up with a little rhyme to help treasure hunters find them and named them based on what they looked like.
Getting your own cache recognized, however, was not free since we chose to do it at a State Park. (Other locations may be free of charge.) It was $25 for each one but was totally worth it once people started logging that they had found them and they were a hit! The kids and Grandma were thrilled!
Our family favorites
On our adventures, we get to experience the creativity of others and that is what makes geocaching so fun. Some people go above and beyond to make their geocache unique and memorable to others. There were two in our town that has become our family favorites. There was one stored in a tactical box similar to this one that was hidden in the woods. It was tied up in the trees by a rope and pulley system. It was very impressive! Another was based on one of our favorite TV shows, The Big Bang Theory. It was even called, “Bazinga!”.
If you have gone through all the ones you have nearby or could use a change of scenery, don’t forget to see what is around when you are on vacation! Finding one at the beach or mountains could be extra exciting! We were really stumped with one when we were in Cape May, NJ! Spoiler: Image ahead!
Our town has its own geo trail and there’s a good chance there is one near you too. You might have to check with your Chamber of Commerce and feel free to get outside, live a little!
*This post contains affiliate links. Although I would earn a small commission from items purchased, I would never recommend something I would not use myself!