I got hooked on geocaching with my husband and our daughters earlier this year. Our girls love the mystery and excitement of treasure hunts and mysteries and I love that it’s an outdoor activity that we can all enjoy. Geocaching is a GPS-navigated buried treasure game. The beauty of geocaching, though, is that it is a worldwide activity, making it perfect for road trips, too.
How does it work? A geocacher hides a geocache, typically a waterproof plastic container filled with trinkets and a pen and log
notebook, pinpoints its location using GPS technology, and then shares the geocache’s location online. Anyone with a GPS device, or a smartphone with a geocaching app that is used like a compass, can then try to locate the geocache. We use my iPhone for our geocache expeditions. Geocaching ranges in difficulty from beginners to experts, which makes it perfect for kids of all ages, even teens.
Five reasons geocaching is a great activity for families:
1. Know the area
Geocaching helps kids become familiar with their local terrain. We’ve had to take literal walks off the beaten path in our community parks and neighborhoods in order to locate a geocache. Sometimes they’re buried near creekbeds and sometimes they’re tucked away in tree trunks.
2. A Family Affair
The entire family can get involved in geocaching. My daughters are 8 and 5 but depending on the difficulty level of the geocache you are seeking, kids ages 18 and 15 could easily be entertained by the search if it involves a more challenging hike in rugged terrain.
3. Kids Love It
Geocaching is like a treasure hunt, making it fun for kids.
4. Expand on and Learn Skills
Geocaching reinforces teamwork and helps kids learn about geography and following directions on a map, as well as basic compass skills.
5. Another Reason to Get Outside
It’s too easy today to get distracted by a screen indoors; geocaching gets you and your family outside and appreciating nature. The only screen you look at is on the geocaching device.
Does geocaching sound like something you and your family would be interested in? You can learn more about all the basic rules of geocaching at www.geocaching.com.
If you have tried geocaching before, let use know why you think it is a great activity for the whole family!