Geocaching- An Adventurous Family Hobby
Not having a lot of money we searched for hobby for our family to participate in that had minimal cost- that’s when we were introduced into the world of geocaching! And what an adventure it has been!! What in the WORLD is geocaching? That’s what I asked the first time I heard it – I was rather skeptical when I heard about it. It’s basically a worldwide “treasure hunt” in which you use a GPS to find containers, or ‘geocaches‘ that other people have hidden! Yes- it is on ALL 7 continents- even Antarctica! And it is absolutely intriguing and addicting! Chances are there are geocache containers hidden within 1 mile of your house and you didn’t even know it! It is a little more difficult with small children, but we’ve taken our newborns and up with us on our adventures. In the picture below my oldest son was 2 years old at the time and our baby was only a few months old. The kids call it “treasure hunting”.
Basically anyone anywhere can hide a container (needs to be weatherproof like a plastic coffee can or an recycled jar), record the longitude/latitude coordinates using their GPS, and post is online at the geocaching website! Then other people like you or me who want to go geocaching put these coordinates into our GPS and go looking for it! So what’s inside? ANYTHING! (well, no food- it would bring ants!) We have found anything from books, CD’s, kids toys, little trinkets like bracelets, pencils, amusement park tickets, money, notepads, balls, and other toys. You can put just about anything non-hazardous into a geocaching container! We actually have a small duffel bag that we collect little toys & trinkets to put into geocaching containers when we go out.
Geocaching really can be a great family hobby where you can learn to work as a team to find containers, and spend great quality time together! There are almost 15,000 hidden geocaches within 100 miles from our house! In fact, the first time we looked online (you can search by your zip code!) to see if there was any close to us, there were 3 in the little kids park 1/2 mile down the road! I couldn’t believe how many times we had been to that park, and never knew that there were secret containers hidden there!! It was amazing!
We have been on so many incredible adventures geocaching. We have visited numerous nature parks, found places downtown that we never knew existed, and my hubby & I actually took our 2nd honeymoon this past summer to Niagara Falls, Canada so we could spending the week geocaching! It has led us into false bottom floors, haunted manors, abandoned mine shafts, up trees, under bridges, in fake bee boxes, and deep into the brush.
Check out a few of these places that our geocaching adventures took us! The picture on the left is us in front of the American Rapids in Niagara Falls, NY. The right is us on the US side of the Falls with Canada in the background.
This geocache below was in Canada- and this was a very unique and difficult hide. We took a one hour hike up a steep “mountain”- it was absolutely incredible (and hard!). It took us along an old abandoned mine path where there was still old equipment and tools laying around! Then we came to the entrance of this cave, and had to go spelunking through frigid water back into the pitch black cave to find our hide. My husband refused to go in and I was petrified but I did it!! It was an amazing and unforgettable adventure that I will probably never have the guts to do again!! It was really scary!
Here are a few shots of us geocaching in Florida. We have come across snakes, armadillos, wild boars, deer tracks, swamp land, and gotten totally lost in the middle of a forest at dark so always use caution! Check out that old cow skull we found! There were a TON of old skeletons and bones laying around- the name of that geocache was “Eating Good in the Neighborhood”!
The containers for geocaching come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s an old plastic coffee can, sometimes it’s an old ammo box, a tupperware container, a tiny little keychain hanging in a tree- they can get REALLY tricky! You can buy geocache containers or make your own! Here is one that my husband actually built and is considered one of the hardest ones to find. We have many many people searching for this over an hour, and turn away empty handed out in the middle of the swamp! It’s a cross section of an old tree. He drilled a section out of the middle, put a small log book inside, then put the bark back over the hole. It’s hidden underneath pine needles under a fallen pine tree about 5 miles out from the parking lot in a nature trail! Imagine finding this thing out in the middle of nowhere!! TRICKY!
I hope this has showed you a new world of fun!! It’s one of our hobbies and it provides great bonding time for the family! (although is much easier and quick with just 2 of us!)