Saturday, November 19, 2011

Geocaching Is The Bomb Diggety!

   Our family was in the dark about Geocaching. We have recently been shown the light.  We like it much better in the light.  Our family has instantly dubbed geocaching as our new favorite past time. This is why.... 

First of all.......its cheap.  Cheap is good. 
Second of can incorporate hiking into geocaching.  Hiking is good.
Third of learn stuff.  Learning is good.
Fourth of get to keep some neat treasures.  Treasures are good.
Fifth of can burn lots and lots of calories, if you choose the right geocache.  Burning calories is good.
Sixth of get to see stuff like this........

What is Geocaching?
   Here's the gist of it......

People from all over the world have hidden little containers called "caches".  These "caches" are literally everywhere.  I seriously mean it.  They are everywhere.  Even in our teensy town with only one red light and where pizza delivery isn't even available.  The caches are all over the place.  You would never know it and you've probably walked past thousands of them and didn't notice them.

The "caches" are hidden by other "geocachers".  It's kind of like a hide and seek game that is played worldwide with over five million people. 

Each little hidden cache is different.  Some are considered "micro" caches because the container is only big enough for a little piece of paper, called a "log".  When you find it, you sign your name on it and hide it back exactly as you found it so that other cachers can find it.

(Look closely in my hand and you can see the tiny little red container.)

Most of the caches are a little bigger, but still only contain the log to sign.  So far, in the last 2 days, we have found 21 caches.  I would say maybe 12-14 of the 21 were pill bottle sized containers and only contained the log to sign.  They are almost always very cleverly hidden.

The other kind of cache has some sort of "stuff" in it. These containers are bigger and have stuff inside them free for the taking.  The rule with taking something, though, is that you leave something in its place of equal value.  You make a trade.

We have taken out several small trinkets, such as some really old stamps, a pin, a platic toy dog, and a Wii game.  We have left various toys and a gold dollar.  Trading "stuff" is optional, but the boys like it.

Our favorite find inside a cache was a "Travel Bug".  A Travel Bug is a trackable dog tag.  It has a unique number on it.  Once you pick it up, you log in the number online and then drop it off in another cache somewhere different.  Then someone else finds it and does the same.  You then get to watch the trackable online forever.  The one we picked up today has been traveling around the country since 2007.

In the past two days of geocaching, we have probably hiked 10 to 15 miles.  The boys can't get enough.  They are not only exercising their bodies, but also their brains.  Seems like the perfect combination to me.

You can choose to find caches that are more challenging and require more energy to retrieve, or you can pick simple caches, many of which are right next to the road or even in business parking lots.

Geocaching sound fun to you?

The only thing you need to get started is some sort of GPS.  Most cell phones have them already on them, or you can use the one from your car to find the ones in towns.  We started with our car one, and quickly decided that we would want a handheld one so that we could do the hiking ones.  You can get a handheld one for about $75.

And you will need to go to ...
to register.  It's totally free and totally awesome!

Get out there and go caching!


Cherleen @ yesiamcheap said...

Geocaching looks like a fun activity for the entire family. I would like to try this out when the kids grow a bit older. Thanks for the information!

GDiBiase said...

I love it. We live in Maine and have 3 kids I agree geocashing is great entertainment. Our kids love it and we can enjoy it as a family. Besides what child doesn't love pretending they are a sleuth.

Help Yourself Feeding Solutions said...

Great to do camping in the mountains of New Mexico. Call ahead and ask when is good time to go and any precautions needed for safety with age appropriate children. Be sure to bring something to add to the geocaching container. Take something, leave something.