One of our fun family activities that is FREE is Geocaching. It’s an activity where we can work together and have an adventure!
What is Geocaching and what exactly is a Geocache? Simply put, it’s like a treasure hunt. You are given coordinates and maybe even some clues to find it. Geocaching is great for anytime whether you are staying at home or on a road trip. We use the app whenever we have some downtime and always seem to find caches close to where we are! When you find the Geocache, there is always at the very least a log inside. Log the date and your name or “team” name and put the cache back exactly where you find it. The fun caches include little trinkets for kids to trade. When Geocaching you also may find a “travel bug” which is a trackable tag that you take from one cache and place it in another so it can “travel”.
Learn more about Geocaching at Geocaching.com.
Planning to Geocache while on a road trip is always fun. You can map them out before hand or look at your app as you go. On our recent road trip to California, we looked for Geocaches every time we stopped. It makes bathroom breaks that much more exciting! You can also do it from home, in our neighborhood alone there are at least 6!
Here’s a big bike trail we ride, look how many there are!
What you need for Geocaching with Kids:
Here’s the how to get Started Geocaching With Kids:
- Open the app to find Geocaches near you.
- Change your view on the map to “satellite”, this will give you a more accurate view of where to look for it.
- Click on the closest location and see the description.
- This is where you will see what it is and any description of what to look for.
- Look high, low and maybe even buried under some rocks! The Geocaches are meant to be hidden so it may take you a few minutes to find it.
- Log if you found it or not! Use a printable log (like the one below) and the app to track if you found the Geocache or not.
Want to start a Geocache? Check out these Geocache items on Amazon.com
We found this one in Quartzsite along the I-10, if you go it’s an easy find! Well, notice the camouflage doesn’t make it immediately noticeable but that’s part of the adventure!
- It’s a FUN family activity
- It’s FREE! (unless you opt to pay the premium fee)
- It allows kids to learn navigation skills
Geocaches can be anything from a small container (about the size of a bottle cap) to a large box to a fake looking log.
The picture below shares an Easter Egg that we found inside a light post!
We keep a Geocache kit in the car with a pen and trinkets to trade. The trinkets are small enough to be traded in the smaller Geocaches as well as the bigger ones.
You can buy these types of toys at the dollar store or on sites like OrientalTrading.com.
Going on a road trip? Print this sheet out and Geocache along the way!
Get the printable Geocache Journal here: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B_4LRatnb7Umd3c3czdRVDZTYjA/edit
Before you get started, what you should know:
- Geocaching.com and the app are free. There is a premium fee for the app along with a premium membership fee.
- The app on the phone works perfectly unless you may be out of “cell range”. Try the premium app to save an offline list.
- If you are struggling to find a Geocache, check the hints in the app as well as the activity to see if there are any clues to help! There are also photos that can help you as well if other Geocachers have uploaded any.
- Beware of Muggles ~ people who are not familiar with the Geocaching world who may see you and get concerned or remove the Geocache.
- The app is great however because your location is determined off of cell towers, you could be within 30 feet of the GPS location. I think the app is a great way to get started but as you continue, you may want to invest in an actual GPS system so you can start tracking off of coordinates directly. There are GPS systems that you can purchase on Amazon for less than $100!
Looking for more fun things to do this Summer? Check out the Summer Survival Series hosted by The Joys of Boys!
Learn more about Geocaching by checking out some of these books on Amazon!