Unlock the Secret World of Geocaching with Your Kids!

Unlock the Secret World of Geocaching with Your Kids!

Posted by Jason P on 21st Apr 2023

Every kid that has watched and read pirate stories has always wanted to find buried treasure. Following a secret map, with clues and landmarks leading to a secret location and hidden goodies was just about the coolest thing that could exist! In reality, pirates never used maps with Red Xs leading to their buried treasure, but there are modern communities looking to capture that same sense of adventure and created geocaching! Take your kids out for a treasure hunting adventure through the Great Outdoors or hidden within your local community once you learn about what makes geocaching so cool.

Geocaches are, as the name implies, caches hidden throughout the world. Generally, a geocache will be placed by a normal community member near a landmark that meant something to them, like hidden in the garden of a park or near a lookout with a beautiful view, Then hints on the listing will give you an idea of where it might be like “I can see my house from here” might mean it’s placed up high, or “shine the way” might mean it’s hidden near some lighting. Hints are often up to the cache-er to come up with, and some are set to be very difficult, like a camo-duct-taped capsule hidden deep in a bush, or as easy as a black film canister taped under a bench.

To get started, all you need is a GPS or GPS-enabled device like a smartphone, and an account on a geocaching website. There are hundreds of different websites and apps with different built-in tools that you can try to find one that you like. Once you have the coordinates of the cache, drive, walk, and hike your way towards it. It can be difficult or easy to discover, so be sure to look high and low for any sign of where it might be. Other users can post their own hints than you can progressively expose, so you can get some clearer hints of its location, right up to a photo of its exact location in most cases.

During your search is a great time to involve your kids. Make a list of locations ahead of time, either along a hiking trail that you can closely follow as a group or through parks and shopping centers that are easy to plan a route through, and pick difficulty levels your children are skilled enough to accomplish. The more you search, the better everyone will get!

When you finally uncover the geocache, take a peek inside and discover what treasures lie within. Inside a geocache, you'll usually find a logbook to sign (sometimes as small as a lined piece of paper or as big as a full journal), as well as small knick-knacks, toys, and goodies that can be traded for items of comparable or greater value. It's a major tenet of geocaching that you must leave something behind in order to take something, so be sure you have a bag of different-sized goodies at the ready to trade in. The point is to make it interesting to find, so don’t just leave cash or junk, leave something exciting, handmade, or from the heart.

Geocaching is an excellent way to teach your kids about exploration, teamwork, and problem-solving. It also helps them develop their navigation abilities and learn how to read maps and follow directions. One of the biggest draws for geocaching is exposing unwitting locals what’s just in their backyard or all around them at any time, without a clue at the hidden wonders. Some geocaches will bring you to a gorgeous temple and garden in your town you didn’t know existed, or just to a neat fixture in a community center; the possibilities are endless!

Geocaching is a captivating and exhilarating activity that your family can appreciate without having to venture far or spend money to get started. It's a great way to spend time together while exploring the world around you, big and small. Geocaching can help your kids develop skills without even realizing it, from map-based navigation, attention-to-detail, and teamwork. What are you waiting for? Dive into the enigmatic world of geocaching with your kids today!

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