Just because summer is almost over doesn’t mean family fun has to end. Now is the perfect time to pick up a new hobby, Geocaching! Here is my beginner’s guide to help you get started.
What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is a worldwide scavenger hunt, which started in May of 2000, where you use GPS coordinates to find hidden geocaches. Geocaches come in all shapes and sizes and are located all over the world. – There are over 3 million caches located in over 190 countries.
Where to begin?
Head on over to the Geocaching website and create a basic account (its free!). You’ll then download the app, login, pick a cache nearby, and start your adventure! (The smiley faces are the caches my family has found.)
What are the rules?
- Always sign the paper log in the cache and then log your find in the app or online.
- If you take something from the cache replace it with something of equal or greater value. Please, no consumables.
- Make sure to put the cache back in the exact same place. If you feel the cache is in the wrong place, contact the cache owner.
- Try to not be spotted by the muggles. If there are too many people around the area you’re looking come back later.
- Leave the area better than you found it.
- GPS (I use my phone, but some participants prefer GPS devices such as Garmin)
- Pen (to sign the log with)
Other things that are useful but not necessary:
- Baby wipes (sometimes you put your hands in some questionable places)
- Bug spray (because we live in Louisiana)
- Hand sanitizer (because it takes the sting out when the bugs bite)
- Spare logs (to replace any wet or damaged logs – you can find these for free with a google search)
- Walking stick (your adventure might lead you into some wooded areas)
- A multi-tool with tweezers (micro caches can be difficult to remove)
- Flashlights (again for those wooded areas)
- Water and snacks
- Swag to exchange
- Bag to carry all your things
Why should you Geocache?
It’s a free family-friendly adventure that is fun and gets you outside enjoying the fresh air. It is something you can do no matter the season and is guaranteed to help you increase your step count. You can go on a secret mission by yourself or with your family to your neighborhood park or go on a grand adventure to explore another city, state, or even country to discover hidden treasures.