Thursday, July 30, 2015

6 Things to Love About Geocaching

6 Things to Love About Geocaching
I started geocaching a couple weeks ago with the fam and have found it to be such a fun activity for not just the kiddos but for me as well. There are so many cool reasons to geocache and these are some of the things that I have found that I love about geocaching.

6 Things to love about geocaching:

1) It's a fun adventure - For those that don't know what geocaching is, in short it is a scavenger hunt. You are given GPS coordinates and you plug them in to your GPS device (smart phone works well) and then navigate to those coordinates where you will find a hidden container, a geocache (that has a log book and sometimes trinkets to trade). Who doesn't enjoy the thrill of finding something that could be in a nearby park, by the grocery store, or just down the street? One of our first geocaches was found right outside of Trader Joe's. :) It is great that they are everywhere and you just don't know it until you look on the map. 
What I also enjoy is that geocaches come in all sizes. It is so exciting to see what the next geocache will actually look like. Here are some of the ones we've found so far:
Different types of geocaches
2) Anyone can do it as long as you have the app or a gps where you can plug in coordinates. Most everyone has a smart phone nowadays so as long as you have that you are good to go. You can also use a GPS device. It was nice to break out ours after it being in the closet for so long. 
Garmin GPS Unit
We used to use it for hiking when we were back in WA but we haven't had to use it since we had the kiddos (and now we have smart phones). Now I have my 6 year old use it to navigate and he has gotten to be really good at navigating to the correct spot. 

To use your cell phone you can download the Geocaching app. I have the free version on my phone. The free version lets you see only basic caches and you can upgrade to the full version for $9.99. I felt that $9.99 was a bit pricey for an app, so what I do is go to the website where you can view all but the premium caches and just get the waypoints or coordinates on there. Then I would copy and paste them to google maps where I save the coordinates and navigate using Google Maps on my phone. 
To get more precise measurements I have my 6 year old use the GPS device. The phone will still get you very close to the cache.

3) Gain problem solving skills once you get to the coordinates it is not always just right there at ground zero (what people call the exact coordinates). The GPS is also not exactly accurate so you have to look in the general area and think to yourself if you were to hide something, where is a good place to hide it? Sometimes there are hints, but other times not, so you need to look carefully and all around. I like to look and see if there is something that looks off in the area or just what would seem to be a good hiding spot. 
4) Takes you to new places - I love that geocaching takes me to new places that I had never been before. I have found some new parks and arboretums I never new existed until we went geocaching. 

5) Great for families - It is a great activity for families to bond. Everyone can participate whether it be navigating, helping find the cache, or choosing something out of the geocache and what to trade it for. 
6) Way to get out of the house - I love that it promotes physical activity and gets you outside. It's a great way to get your kids away from video games, the Ipad or the tv. Geocaches are everywhere, you just need to check out the map on Many parks have caches and some more than one, so after you find one cache, you can walk/hike to the next one. Some caches may have you hike a ways to get to, while others can be a park and grab, and either way, it takes you out of the house and keeps you on your feet. 
There you have it, the reasons why I love geocaching. For more info on what geocaching is and how to get started, you can check out

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