Geocaching- An Adventurous Family Hobby

This post may contain affiliate links, view our disclosure policy for details.

Geocaching- An Adventurous Family Hobby

Not having a lot of money, we searched for a hobby that our family could participate in with minimal cost. That’s when we were introduced into the world of geocaching! What an adventure it has been!

What in the WORLD is geocaching?!

That’s what I asked the first time that I heart it. I was rather skeptical when I heard that it is basically a world-wide “treasure hunt”! You use a GPS to find containers, or “geocaches” that other people have hidden! YES! You can geocache on ALL seven continents – even Antarctica which is pretty mind-blowing! It is absolutely intriguing and addicting!

Chances are there are geocache containers hidden within one mile of your house and you didn’t even know it! It’s a fantastic way to not only spend some quality time with your family off of screens, but a great way to get some exercise and fresh air while hiking!

geocaching as a family adventure hobby

It is a little more difficult with very small children, but we’ve taken our newborns and toddlers with us on our adventures! In the picture above, my oldest son was two years old at the time and our baby was only a few months old. The kids called it “treasure hunting” when they were younger! Now they are teenagers and look back fondly of our time geocaching.

Basically anyone anywhere can hide a containers (although it needs to be weatherproof like a plastic coffee can or a recycled jar with lid), record the longitude and latitude coordinates using your GPS, and then post those coordinates online on the free geocaching website.

geocaching as a family adventure hobby

Then other people, like you or me who want to go geocaching, just add your zip code or location in the website to search for geocaches near you! You can take the coordinates listed and put them in your GPS, then begin your hunt!

So what’s inside? ANYTHING! (well, no food – that would bring ants!) We have found everything from books, CD’s, kids toys, little trinkets like bracelets, pencils, amusement park tickets, money, notepads, balls, and other small items. You can put just about anything non-hazardous into a geocaching container!

For many years we actually had a small duffel bag that we kept in the van to collect and swap trinkets with! The general rule is that if you take a trinket, you should leave a trinket!

geocaching as a family adventure hobby

Geocaching really can be a great family hobby! You’ll work together as a team to find containers – it’s a great way to spend quality time together!

There are over 15,000 hidden geocaches within 100 miles from our house! Let me tell you that will take us YEARS to find them all!

In fact, the first time we looked online and searched by our zip code to see if there were any geocaches near us, there were 3 just in the park down the road! I couldn’t believe how many times we had been to that park and never knew about the secret hidden containers 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 have even planned entire road trips around geocaching! In fact we took an anniversary trip once to Niagara Falls, Canada just so that we could spend the week geocaching! It has led us to false bottom floors, haunted manors, abandoned mine shafts, up trees, under bridges, in fake bee boxes and deep into the brush!

geocaching in niagara falls

Check out a few of the places that our geocaching adventures have taken us! The photo above is in front of the American Rapids in Niagara Falls, New York. Below you can see us on the USA side of the Falls with Canada in the background.

geocaching in niagara falls

While we got to sight see on both sides of Niagara Falls and enjoy Cave of the Winds, the real adventurous treat was discovering a very unique and difficult hide on the Canadian side. We took a one hour hike up a steep “mountain” – it was incredibly difficult because of it’s steepness but a million percent worth the trip!

The path took us along an old abandoned mine path where there was still old equipment and tools laying around! We had no idea that we would discover this!

geocaching in niagara falls cave mine

Eventually we came to the entrance of a cave – which was an abandoned mining cave! Looking back on it I’d probably never do it again but we braved it and decided to go spelunking through frigid water into the pitch black cave to find our hide! My husband refused to go inside and I was petrified but I did it! (although never again!)

geocaching in niagara falls cave mine

It was an amazing and unforgettable adventure that I still can’t believe I had the guts to do! It was really scary! (and probably stupid!)

geocaching as a family adventure hobby

Here are a few shots of us geocaching in Florida. Being out on the trails made us learn a lot more about wildlife as we’ve come across snakes, armadillos, wild boar, deer tracks, swamp land, and of course have gotten totally lost in the middle of a forest – so please use caution and always let someone know where you are at!

geocaching as a family adventure hobby

Check out this old cow skull we found! There were a TON of old skeletons and bones laying around. The name of this geocache nearby was “Eating Good in the Neighborhood”! HAH!

The containers for geocaching can come in all shapes and sizes – literally! Sometimes the container (AKA a micro) is as small as your pinky nail, and sometimes they are huge storage totes! We’ve seen old ammo boxes, coffee cans, tupperware containers, tiny keychains hanging from trees – they can get REALLY tricky! You can buy geocache containers or make your own!

hidden geocache in wooden stump log

Here is a geocache container that my husband actually built and is considered one of the hardest ones to find. We have had many people searching for this – sometimes for more than an hour – and turned away empty handed out in the middle of the swamp! It’s just a cross section of an old tree stump.

He drilled a section out of the middle and placed a small log book inside (inside a bag), and then covered back up with the piece of bark. We then hid it underneath pine noodles under a fallen pine tree about 5 miles out from the parking lot on a nature trail. Imagine finding this thing out in the middle of nowhere! TRICKY!

Share with your friends!

Similar Posts