Need a Little Adventure? One Word: GEOCACHING.
If you’ve never heard of it, read on, my friend… read on. If you’re already a pro, leave a story or tip for the newbies in the comments!
Our story goes a little like this…
A couple of years ago, a family friend casually mentioned the word “geocaching” as if it were a common household term, like golf or bowling. When I raised an eyebrow in question, she couldn’t believe I’d never heard of it. She gushed about it, telling us we simply had to give it a go. So we did—right then and there! Feeling both excited and a tad confused, we hopped into her jeep, opened the app, and were off on our first geocaching trip within minutes. It really is that easy.
One geocache was all it took. We. Were. Hooked.
So, what is geocaching? It’s a world-wide treasure hunt, that’s what! Seriously. There are geocaches hidden all over the world—probably right in your own neighborhood! All you need is a smartphone or GPS and you can get hunting for those lost treasures. And hunting for hidden treasure makes my inner Jack Sparrow frolic with glee.
What’s the treasure? I’m glad you asked. All geocaches are different. Some are simple, while others are complicated. Some are big and impossible to miss, while others are teensy weensy and kind of feel impossible to find. But the challenge is all part of the fun! Just to give you an idea, the last geocache we went to was an old ammo box hidden in a bush. Inside the box was a dozen trinkets—random things like beaded jewelry and toy dinosaurs. The one thing that’s almost always the same is the log. There’s generally a notepad to sign your name—a way to plant the customary “I was here” flag. Once you sign your name, simply swap one of your items for one of the trinkets and off you go—on to the next geocache. But the real treasure—the pure gold of geocaching—is the experience. New experiences are the spice of life!
It may sound like a simple activity, but geocaching is an absolute blast as a family. Our kids go nuts over it. I guarantee yours will, too. In the past, treasure hunts were always great fun for kids, but parents were the ones plotting and planting the treasure (which is fun in its own right, don’t get me wrong). But with geocaching, it’s exciting for everyone because no one in the group knows where the “booty” lurks and everyone is searching. Plus, hello! It’s OUTSIDE! That’s a big pull for us. It’s a way to disconnect from the video games and computers, and reconnect with nature. But don’t let that fool you—many geocaches can be found right in the hustle and bustle of big cities. You’d be surprised how many park benches and light posts are secret geocache hideouts. That means it’s an activity anyone can enjoy—whether you live in a remote Amazonian village or a major metropolis.
One of my absolute favorite parts is relinquishing control to the younger members of the family. My eldest child loves being in charge of the map—giving directions is his forte. Following them? Well, that’s another story…
Once you’ve tried your hand at it, you may even get inspired to make your own geocache. This is something our family has been yearning to do and I think it’s a fantastic activity to add to our Summer Bucket list. I’m thinking it may even involve a secret fire pit and some hidden Rolla Roasters. Maybe a bring-your-own-s’mores geocache? How epic would that be?!? Stay tuned…
Oh, by the way, it’s never not a good time for geocaching. We’ve even geocached on our way to Thanksgiving dinner! True story.
I hope you give geocaching a try this summer! If you do, we’d love to hear all about it.