Our son’s cub scout pack introduced us to geocaching, which has been a fun way to explore new areas in our county and get in some hiking miles.
What is geocaching? Well, it’s a bit like a treasure hunt while hiking. You’re looking for a cache box typically slightly off a hiking trail. These boxes range in size to shoebox-sized plastic containers to pillboxes. Once you find the cache, you open it to discover the treasure (typically small trinkets) and write your name in a log noting that you found the cache.
If you want to try it, check out http://www.geocaching.com where you can create a free account and explore the geocaches near you. (There’s over 6,500 near me!)
Once you pick a cache to try, find the GPS coordinates and look for the clue on the page that will help you find the treasure. We’ve had several clues with ciphers that point us to where the treasure can be found, like “Under several tree roots” or “By a fallen tree.”
Things to know before you go:
1) Make sure you have access to GPS. (A cell phone map app work fine.)
2) Either solve the clue before you go or have a pen and paper to solve it on the trail.
3) Be dressed to go off trail to find the treasure.
4) Bring a pencil/pen to log your find.
5) Bring a trinket to exchange in case this geocache offers a toy swap. (Toy swaps are usually reserved for the larger sized boxes.)
6) Place the cache back in the same spot hidden in the same way. Don’t let anyone else see you opening it (that’s called getting muggled).
In the process of writing this post, I realized there are a few caches on the trails in our neighborhood and along the parkway. I guess I know what we’ll be doing this weekend!