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!
Seeking the Cache
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, pokemon, baseball, etc), travel bugs, compasses, camping items, hand warmers, 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.
Types of Caches You’re Likely to Find
*Virtual Cache– 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
*Micro-Cache– often more difficult because they are much smaller than regular caches & often hidden in clever containers. They generally contain a log book and pencil.
*Regular Cache– usually a small Tupperware size container, containing a logbook, pencil, as well as numerous cache treasures
*Large Cache– 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 difficulty 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 hometown!
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, bug spray, a GPS or compass & map, and a little patience.
If you have a smartphone you can download free Geocaching Apps and use your phone as a GPS, or you can use your car’s GPS unit as well (Garmin, TomTom, etc).
If you see our sticker, you’ve just visited one of our latest conquests!
12 thoughts on “Geocaching- Frugal Family Fun!”
thanks so much for this, i am going to get the kids involved in this, there seems to be a lot of these in our area, near biloxi ms.:springsmile:
thanks!!! this will be great times for my family.
a man in our area hid a small item by drilling a hole in a tree, putting the item in a capsule to protect it and carefully replacing the bark over the hole. someone came along and found the item in about 14 days. Crazy, right?
loved doing this! we have a few that our family has found around our area. my daughter put a memento and a note in one of the boxes closest to us.
one of my goals after all the upheaval in my life is to try something new a week.. this is right up my ally!
i’ve been wanting to try this with my son for awhile. it sounds like so much fun 🙂
i have been wanting to try this for a long time. i know my grandkids would love doing this too. i’ve found there are lots of geo-cache treasures right in my area of town by lookig on google….and all the state parks are into geo-caching.
just need to get my butt in gear and get started!!! :party1:
my family loves geocaching. we’ve been doing it for about 5 years. Our local park district even apps ones a family cache challenge where there are at least 10 well maintained caches hidden in our local parks.
Such a great way to spend half an hour to an entire weekend!
omg i feel so bad now!!! my kids found a little capsule (looked like a film canister) in the park last year in a tree. there was a paper inside it but it was damaged by water so we couldnt really read it.
i do however remember seeing the word *cache* on it. we took it as litter and disposed of it. i hope no one was out trying to find it later on!!!
i had no idea what this was all about. but now that i know that it is right here in my neighborhood i think my kids and i will deffinitly be participating come spring
thanks for the info!!!
i’m gonna ask my daughters if they want to get in on this. a friend of mine did it with his kids. seems like harmless fun.
another great pasttime similar to geocaching is letterboxing. same concept as geocaching, only you have a logbook and make a signature rubber hand stamp and when you find the letterbox, you will find a rubber stamp instead of a trinket. you stamp their rubber stamp in your logbook and then stamp the logbook that stays in the letterbox with your personal signature stamp.
to find out more, go to atlasquest.com. some letterboxes also double as geocaches. happy hunting!!!
this sounds like a lot of fun and it seems there are several places in my area. looks like i’ll be taking the kids out this weekend!