It’s been a nice long summer at home with Little Geek which means we’ve had to discover new ways to keep busy. We’ve done arts and crafts, podcasting and bike riding. We’ve been on lots of runs and have made great use of our pool.
As the summer comes to a close, we’ve started getting antsy for new things to keep us active so we did a little search for suggestions and came across geocaching.
Using the web site or the app for your phone, you can create an account. Using that account you search near you for hidden treasures in the form of caches. Caches can be any size from micro (super small) or larger sized bins/containers.
The containers all have a log where seekers can add their name to a list of others who have found that particular hidden gem. Other containers might have swag, or items left for seekers to take. Now the general rule of thumb is that you make a swap for anything you take from a cache. You don’t have to take anything but it’s a fun part of the hunt to take a little goodie and to leave a little goodie.
As a mom to an active boy, I find this activity to be great for both of us during the day. Together we sit down and pour over the map, planning out a route and which caches to hit. Then we pack a bag full of our gear which includes other goodies to swap for swag along with TOTT (tools of the trade). Then we head out and aim to hit as many as we can.
It’s even great as a whole family! When Mr. Geek is home on the weekend, we all go out together and seek out the caches. As a family we haven’t had any luck but we weren’t prepared at the time. Now that we have a day of seeking under our belts with 4 out of 5 finds, we know what we’re doing and what to look for.
For parents of young adventurers, Geocaching is a great way to spend time together. It’s also a wonderful way to teach kids how to a read a (digital) map and a compass. While these are skills that are quickly being downsized due to our cell phones doing most of the work for us, it is nice to hand Little Geek my phone and to ask him how far we have to go or in which direction and then watch him work through and find the answer. Most of the time I hand him the phone and he guides us to the spot on the map.
It’s free to start and anyone can do it. Lace up your walking or hiking shoes, pack some goodies to trade and a pencil, and you are ready to go geocaching. They do offer a premium membership but for now we are planning to use our free account and decide later is we want to spend money on a membership.
OH! And this is cool. You can build and hide your own caches! We haven’t made on yet but as a family we’ve all agreed that it is something we want to do. The discussion of where to hide it and what to put in it is something we’ll work on as a family.