During the dog days of summer, it's often hard to find something for the entire family to do. I'd like to introduce you to one of our family's favorite pastimes.... Geocaching. Geocaching is a type of "Treasure Hunting", if you will, using a GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) unit or in some cases, merely a compass and a map to locate the Coordinates of the "treasure". The Treasure that you seek is called a cache (pronounced "cash"). If you're thinking you've got to go buy some equipment, think again! If you have a smartphone, you have a GPS!
You're probably wondering, "What can I find Geocaching?"
To be honest, a few things we've found.... amazing scenery, breathtaking photo spots that were just a few miles from our own home (and we didn't even know it!) Close-up encounters with wildlife- less than 10 feet away from a gorgeous majestic Bald Eagle, as well as witnessing baby snapping turtles emerging from their eggs. Great fishing spots like the one where my 6 year son caught a whopping 16lb catfish
However, most people want to know what's in the cache itself. We've found a variety of things, depending on the state we've cached in (and the location). In some areas Business cards, interesting coins, toys, collectors cards (yu-gi-oh, pokeman, baseball, etc), travel bugs, compasses, camping items, handwarmers, disposable cameras, etc.
In every cache you'll find a small log book and pencil to note your adventures . There are different types of caches located all over the World for you to find.
- a cache in which the destination Co-ordinates are the true treasure; such as an amazing scenic point (the grand canyon for instance), geological formation, etc
- often more difficult because they are much smaller than regular caches & often hidden in clever containers. They generally contain a log book and pencil.
- usually a small tupperware size container, containing a log book, pencil, as well as numerous cache treasures
- These are often cleverly disguised as other items, for example- a five gallon pail disguised as a stump. Exciting to find!
The caches are rated by difficult and terrain using a system of stars. If you're handicapped or have young children along, these ratings will help you determine which caches to hunt for that particular day.
How do you get started geocaching?
It's very simple, visit Geocaching.com
, create a log name, enter your zip code on the search page & view all the fun that is waiting for you in your own home town!
When you open your cache, be sure to sign the log, if you take something, leave something (TSLS) of equal or higher value. (Remember to Trade Up). You'll need some sunscreen, bugspray, a GPS or compass & map, and a little patience.
If you have a smart phone you can download free Geocaching Apps and use your phone as a GPS, or you can use your cars GPS unit as well (Garmin, TomTom, etc).
If you see our sticker, you've just visited one of our latest conquests!
Liss Burnell – Creator & Designer of Budget101.com, “Digging yourself out of debt when all you have is a spoon” ©2004