Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Geocaching - a fun hobby for the entire family!

WARNING: The following post contains information that can cause an adventure addiction. Proceed with caution.

Have you heard about Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing)?

Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment. [source]

I had heard about this from friends but assumed it was another hobby that involved lots of time and money. Also, my idea of adventure is digging through the sales rack at TJ Maxx and finding a Calvin Klein dress for $15.00.

I recently got an iPhone and have been downloading all kinds of applications when I came across a free Geocache app. Since the boys were off from school yesterday, we decided to try this adventure which turned out to be loads of fun and something we will do together often. You do need a GPS of some sort - whether it be on your phone or a separate unit.

First, you find a Geocache located near you. I had no idea that many could be found near us - literally in our town! Even if you are on vacation, you can find them anywhere in the world. There is supposedly one in a pyramid in Egypt. Now, that's an adventure I'd like to take!

Anyway, back to our hunt...

From my iPhone, I found one located in a park less than 1 mile from our home. E and I drove to the park and began our search. This particular cache was hidden by 9, 10 yr olds during a birthday party.

We began our search using the app. compass on my iPhone. The compass' N always points in the direction of the cache and gives you the distance in relation to your search. We followed the compass through the woods, a field and into another wooded area.

The compass eventually took us into an area off trail. Within 20 feet of the Geocache location, things got a bit more difficult. We knew we were w/in reach but couldn't find it. After walking in circles for a bit, we stopped within 3' of it and looked around. We eventually found it in the hollow of a tree, strategically "buried." This was so exhilarating. We opened it and found a log, in which we signed our name and the date , as well as other goodies. The rule is you can take a trinket from the cache but you must replace it with something. The log had pages of others who had found this before us. The last person was the day before...so cool!

The whole experience took us about 1 hour including our time trying to find our way out of the woods. Note: if you go off trail, pay attention to your location. We kinda got lost which made E a bit nervous. Luckily this wasn't the Appalachian trail.

Here is an introduction to Geocaching from a movie called Splinterheads coming out in November 2009.

Update: We (E, myself and C - 12 year old had 12 year old things to do) found 2 out of 3 more Geocaches this afternoon. The 2nd was "muggled" so we couldn't find it. The 3rd led us through a cemetary which was creepy and fun! Here are some pics.

Geocache #2

Geocache #4 was among very old graves.
This one is Sally Kelly's who died in 1804 at the age of 25.


  1. Great post Linda! Certainly sounds like fun! I hope I can get that app for my Blackberry!

  2. I bet you can get the app for the Blackberry! You'd enjoy it!!

  3. you can also do the lower tech version called letterboxing. my boys and i were big into this until we kept striking out at places where the boxes had obviously been taken. when you do find one, it is very fun. visit letterboxing.org

    our little backpack is still packed with stamps and pads in case we resume ...



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