I had heard of Geocaching years ago.
It’s one of those things that I think sounds so cool, I vow to put on my bucket list (I even put it on my Free Out of the Box Date Night Ideas post!), and then I just don’t actually do anything about it. Those are just the kinds of things, though, that I rely on to keep my family active and interested.
Over Thanksgiving break, I knew I had to think of something cool for us to do as a family. That’s when Geocaching popped into my head again. I could take the kids! It’s would be like treasure hunting. And who doesn’t like treasure hunting? That has to be fun and earn me a couple cool points!
I downloaded the Geocaching app a few days ahead of time. I’m glad I did. It gave me time to log in (apparently I had registered my e-mail address yearsssssss ago) and see what caches are nearby. So the deal is that the free version of the app only gives you access to the information for the easy finds. That was just fine for us since we are just beginning.
The first one was a little confusing at first. (Plus we brought the dog along which didn’t make it any easier!) We finally turned our treasure hunting brains on and the kids quickly found it! It was so exciting. We signed the log, rehid it, marked it as found on the app, and decided to look for a second.
I knew there was a second not too far away but I put the kids in charge and had them figure it out. The app is really cool. There is a map with dots to signify the caches and the location-bubble-thing to represent you. There is also a compass with a line to signify the direction of the cache in relation to you. (That was a fun lesson to teach my son. “The line says that way, but we can’t go that way. Do you think if we go this way around the big building and then turn we could still end up going the way the line is showing?” It’s cool how there are so many opportunities to learn during the day!) There is also a counter tracking the distance between you and your chosen cache.
They got us to the right spot where we looked and looked and looked for the second cache. But we never found it. It was pretty frustrating and we finally decided we would come back another day to look for it.
The third cache we attempted to look for that day, we couldn’t find either. That’s when I noticed the comments sections of the app. The top 4 or 5 comments declared that the cache must have been muggled. So it wasn’t even there anymore! We had been looking and looking for nothing. Oh well. We decided to play at the playground for a while since that is where this cache took us.
But before we left for the night, we wanted to make one more find. We couldn’t really go out with a 1 in 3 record! So we chose our 4th cache of the day. I checked the comments and people were saying it was really easy. Phew.
We found it! So glad we got to end the night on a win.
Geocaching is definitely going to be a fun new hobby for us. I think that we will definitely continue as long as the weather holds out and maybe even after. So glad we tried and I definitely recommend it as a way to get the family outside, having good old fashioned fun.
What is one of your favorite free family hobbies? Let’s Share and Give Others Ideas!