The following is a post from contributing writer Melissa Corkum.
Who doesn’t love a good treasure hunt? Geocaching is basically a worldwide treasure hunt waiting to be discovered…by you! It’s a great way to explore new places in your community, teach basic orienteering, perseverance, and, sometimes, get in a good hike. Our family loves it as a frugal activity because it’s free no matter how large your family is.
What do we need?
Other than a sense of adventure, you will need a GPS device or GPS-enabled phone and a free account at geogaching.com. Good walking shoes and long pants are also a good idea if you are going geocaching in the woods.
What is a geocache?
For this purpose, a cache is the target of your search–a container with a finder log. Caches can be micro (smaller than a pill box) or a little larger (small tupperware container). Larger caches sometimes hold tradable items (small toys and trinkets) or trackables (an object with a unique code used for tracking how it travels from one cache to another).
Where do I find caches?
The fun thing about geocaching is that they can be anywhere. We love hiking so we tend toward woodsy locations, but we’ve also done some fun urban geocaching. All caches are logged at geogaching.com. You use the website or mobile app to search for a cache near you or in a specific area. Caches are rated for size and difficulty. Each cache also has description, date it was last found, log of comments, and sometimes a hint associated with its listing.
I found a cache. Now what?
Congrats! Isn’t that rewarding? Record your geocaching user name and date in the log book or paper found in the cache. Trade out any trinkets, if applicable. Return the cache so it can be found by other participants. Now set your target on a new goal! If you’re using a mobile phone, record log your find and a comment online. Otherwise, be sure to check in online when you get home.
For more detailed information on geocaching, explore geogaching.com. If you’re already a seasoned professional, what are your best tips for beginners?
Melissa is a geocaching, photography-dabbling, primal-eating, housework-hating, triathlon-trying, homeschooling, black belt-seeking, grace-needing mom to 6 kids ages 6 to 15. Passionate about orphan and widow care, her family co-founded The Grafted. She blogs about adoption, homeschooling, and life at The Cork Board. You can keep up with Melissa on Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr and Twitter.
Join 20,000+ Other Awesome People
Subscribe to the Real Life at Home weekly newsletter to get our latest content, exclusive free printables, learning activities, and ideas for celebrating with your kids all year