This outdoor sleuthing activity comes from my dear walking/hiking friend Julie. Her family loves all things outdoors and we can’t wait to try this!
Are you looking for a free, fun activity to get your family outside and active? Geocaching is a fun and simple way to involve the whole family. You might be surprised at how many geocaches are located in your local neighborhood. I looked and there are hundreds of geocaches within a 10-mile radius of my home. And with geocaching apps available for your GPS-enabled mobile phone, it doesn’t have to cost money.
So do it practically in your own backyard or when you’re out and about, traveling for the summer. For Spring Break our family went to Goblin Valley, Utah. Here is the geocache we found there:
Geocaching appeals to a broad range of ages – even young children love to search for hidden caches. A cache is just any kind of container of any size. And you never know what you’ll find inside! I have heard of families whose children are all grown who geocache Easter eggs all around town, some of them with money inside. You can imagine how competitive that gets.
What Is Geocaching?
“Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.” (https://www.geocaching.com/guide/)
How Do I Begin?
- Create a free account on www.geocaching.com
- Click on “Play” and then “Find a Geocache”
- Use a GPS or geocache app on your smartphone to find the coordinates
- Search for the container, see what’s inside and sign the log
- If you take something from the geocache, leave something of equal or greater value
What are “Travel Bugs”?
Each year our family gets a Christmas tree permit from the U.S. Forest Service so we can cut our own tree. Last year we were visiting family in Montana for Thanksgiving and decided it would be fun to cut our tree up there. As we were hiking around looking for the perfect Christmas tree, our daughter noticed a geocache at the base of one of the trees. This was a particularly fun geocache because it contained a “Travel Bug” named Lucy’s Horse. A “Travel Bug” is a geocache item that includes “Travel Bug” tags which has a trackable number.
Lucy’s Horse started in California in 2006 and has traveled from geocache to geocache in Nevada, Washington, Wyoming, Montana and we brought it home to Utah and placed it in local geocache here. The goal is to have this “Travel Bug” reach all 50 states.
For more information about “Travel Bugs” and how they work and what to do if you find one, click here.