Looking for a great way to get the family outside and away from the television? Geocaching provides a modern-day treasure hunt that will inspire enthusiasm and get everyone in nature!
Whether it’s going to the beach or getting out for a bike ride, there are plenty of fun family activities. But sometimes it can be hard to get the kids excited for the same-old-same-old outdoor activity. These days, the self-quarantine from COVID-19 also has many families looking for fun things to do while practicing healthy social distancing.
Luckily, most children love a treasure hunt and Geocaching is just the activity any time of the year! The next time you can’t decide what the family should do, head out for a unique outdoor adventure.
What is Geocaching?
It might be hard to come up with a Geocaching definition that sums up all the fun it encompasses. This popular activity is a good way to try out a modern take on treasure hunting! Plus, Geocaching is a fun family outdoor activity.
The goal is to use technology to find a series of gifts or treasures known as caches located throughout public land. While a Geocaching GPS device or Wayfinder can work, most people use their smartphones. There are a variety of free apps that will enable you to play for free. But, you’ll need to make sure you sign up on Geocaching.com, as this is the only way to participate! Like orienteering and Pokemon Go, it’s a great way to learn some basic navigation skills that go beyond Google Maps!
Why is Geocaching Good for All Ages?
There may be different variations on this activity, but it can be pretty easy for beginners to learn. It also happens to be a free outdoor sport that won’t break the bank! While there may be areas of difficult terrain that are hard to explore, there are plenty of routes the family can do together. Your kids will love getting outside and finding the geolocation of a cache so they can write in the logbook. They may even want to post a picture on Geocaching.com to share the experience! If you do decide to make a family cache, it’s important to know the rules. This activity takes respect for the environment seriously, caches should not be placed on private property.
To include everybody in this family adventure, take a close look at the attributes of the Geocache listing. There you’ll find hints who will enjoy hunting this treasure. Some have easy access and even work for wheelchair users or parents with strollers. Those also have low rating numbers in the categories Terrain and Difficulty. Others are harder to reach and will be more of a challenge for daring teenagers or climbing enthusiasts. Look out for Geocaches with a rating of 4 or 5 in Difficulty or Terrain.
What Are The Different Types Of Caches?
Part of the fun of this activity is coming up with your own Geocaching gifts to leave behind. However, there are many different kinds of caches that can be left for others to discover! You may even want to share tips on how to make own Geocache on FamilyApp.
- Multi-caches– These caches are connected to other caches. This means that when you find one cache, it will provide information for the next one.
- Letterboxing Hybrid – This form of the game doesn’t require GPS as you’ll be led to the spot by a series of clues. However, coordinates are still accessible through a Geocache site.
- Virtual – This type of cache doesn’t require any container. Instead, you’ll be led to a certain spot. They may have to answer a question to confirm they were really there.
What Do You Need For Geocaching?
This fun activity might involve a lot of time in nature. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few things you’ll need to bring along for the adventure. You may even want to use a Geocaching app for Android or iOS that will help!
- GPS receiver or device– This is a requirement for playing the game, if you don’t want or can’t use a smartphone.
- Topographic Map – It can help you to be aware of your surroundings and things to watch out for. A Geocaching map may also be a good idea!
- Compass – If you don’t have one on your phone, this will ensure you know what direction you’re heading in.
- Flashlight– When playing by night or in dark locations like caves, a flashlight is necessary to ensure your personal safety.
- Water Bottle– Whether it’s hot or not, being out in nature will require you to bring your own water. And lots of it too!
- Smartphone– No matter who you’re going with, it’s always a good idea to bring your phone in case of emergency.
- First-Aid Kit– A few bandages and even some gauze might provide assistance in the event of injury.
- Sunscreen– Much like water, you can’t leave home without sun protector.
- Extra Clothing– If you’re playing in the dark, it can help to have a jacket or pants for cooler temperatures
- A Notebook and Pen – You’ll want to log all of your caches so you can record each waypoint and remember the area.
From hiking to backpacking, there are plenty of outdoor activities that will get your family in nature. But Geocaching can be a great, modern way to fuse physical activity with a treasure hunt! Whether you use a Geocaching toolbox or the best Geocaching app, there are many ways to improve your odds.
Do you have any stories you’d like to share? Let us know in our comments! Whether you’re a beginner or keep a family cache of your own, you’ll never run of out of exploration points.