Geocaching – Family Outdoor Fun

Thar’s gold in them thar parks!  Well, not actually gold, but hidden treasures can be found through the outdoor activity called geocaching.  All you need is a handheld GPS, access to a website like geocaching.com, a small notebook, and a few of your own “treasures” which you don’t mind giving up.

What is geocaching?

Normally a small, waterproof container, a cache houses an assortment of items.  Usually the contents are trinkets or toys, not typically something valuable. The ones I’ve found were inconspicuously placed in wooded areas–mainly parks–and sometimes around structures or buildings.  They come in all shapes, sizes and disguises.  Some are easy to find, and some can be well hidden.  One finds a cache by using clues and gps coordinates associated with it, and these coordinates can be found on websites, such as geocaching.com.

Once you’ve located the hiding place, trade out the contents with a “treasure” you have, and then log it on your notebook or the log found in the cache.  The geocaching.com website also allows you to record your finds and experiences so others might read about important clues

This is an incredible family activity, and smaller children get very engaged.  The only expense is the gps, but you only need a basic one.  If you have an iPhone, the gps feature may be built in.  I personally use a Garmin eTrex.  Plug in the coordinates, and the arrow tells you which way to go–couldn’t be easier.  Below is a great video put together by Georgia State Parks.  Enjoy, and get out there!

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