Modern Family Fun: Geocaching

Now, obviously I’m not in the know or up to speed on all things modern. Are you in doubt? Evidence: in 1999, I thought the Internet was a passing fad and possibly of the devil. Okay, I might have been partially right on the second one.

And we just started our first trial of Netflix.

Point made.

But, why am I just learning about  Geocaching??

Oh my goodness, our family was created for this frugal treasure-hunting-through-the-thicket adventures! (In case your as behind-the-times as I am, here’s a brief definition:  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. Search for a geocache below or learn more about getting started.

And it’s fun!

We had a GPS, Delilah was her name. She was a bossy gal until she was stolen from our car during church. (May the lost thief find their way. Amen). But you don’t have to have one to play this great family game! You can download an app off iTunes (the free trial lets you choose three hunts) for $9.99. There are also cool Geocaching devices for kids. I think my son wants to ask Santa for a child’s version. Anyway, there are many ways to play.

The iPhone app allows you to plan your road trips and it marks all the Geocaching spots. There are thousands and thousands, many that allow you to take a treasure/leave a treasure (just a small object).

This week we’ve been Geocaching in our recreational vehicle. We are official nerds.

Here’s our first Geocaching adventure:

The treasure:

There was a little trinket for us to take and we left one in it’s place. There are usually logs to where you can write a note, your name and date.

Have y’all gone geocaching before? Or even heard of it for that matter?

(P.S. There are hundreds of hidden treasures in the State Park we’re visiting!)

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    We have just recently caught the bug, signed up and are getting ready to begin. Great timing! Thanks so much for sharing your family’s adventure! :)

  2. 3

    says

    My husband loves geocaching! I’ve never done it with him but I think it’s cool. We plan to do it as a family soon :) The fun part is logging in and finding out all the places your trinket has traveled!

  3. 4

    says

    LOVE Geocaching! Hubbie just so happened to have a GPS sitting around collecting dust that I figured out and off we went! Have not gone in a month or so due to time constraints but it’s tons of fun. (OH… yah… Hubbie’s schedule is MESSED up and I’m horrible at spotting the cashes too. HEHHE)

    Have you signed up with Geocaching.com yet? You can keep track of the caches you find and stuff there too. Of course, I don’t have an IPhone so your app might already do that. :)

    Take care!
    Dee

  4. 5

    says

    We love Geocaching. I use a free app for my I Phone. It works for a great distraction on long trips or just family time together on a Saturday morning. Blessings, Suzie E.

  5. 6

    Courtney says

    I have never heard this! But, it sounds like SO MUCH FUN!! Will definitely be looking into it. Also, we just started using Netflix- we cancelled satellite to save money and are using Netflix instead! Also, I don’t even text message- that’s how ‘behind the times’ I am!!

  6. 7

    Jennifer says

    Geocaching is so much fun! Letterboxing is fun too. Instead of leaving a trinket, you leave your stamp in the letterbox log and print the stamp that is in the box in your log. Such a fun way to get little ones hiking on the trails. Just keep your eye out for poison oak!

  7. 8

    says

    Get out, Kristen!!!

    Just today, at our neighborhood playground, my six-year old stumbled upon a geocache. Once we figured out what it was, I resolved to find them (alright, ME) some more of those suckers. But I would never need a GPS except for geocache-ing. SOOO, your post is timely. Sign me up!

    As for being savvy about new stuff, you are way ahead of Spellcheck which keeps red-lining “geocache.” Go girl.

    Happy vacation,
    Karen

  8. 9

    says

    I just love frugal fun! Took the cub scouts geocaching once. Have you heard of Letterboxing? It’s a lot like geocaching, just without the GPS. We had lots of fun with that one summer.
    Enjoy your adventure!
    Renee

  9. 10

    says

    First of all- never heard of it. Second- SO GLAD YOU TOLD US! Third- My husband HAD heard of it and NEVER told me! Arg! This is something out family would have so much fun doing! I am going to hop on over and find out more now! Thanks for sharing!

  10. 14

    says

    Yay! I just heard about this neat idea about a month ago. It really sounds like fun, scavenger hunt style! I hope to figure out a way to get started with it in my family. =)

  11. 15

    Lyndsi says

    Three and a half years ago my boyfriend and I went geocaching. This was a multi-cache and it led us to three of our favorite spots in Austin. Inside the final cache was a love letter and a proposal. He pulled out the ring from his pocket and I cried. He was so creative and it was just perfect for us! We’ve been happily married for three years.

  12. 16

    says

    I love Geocaching! We have not gone in a little while but I am wanting to start back up, I think my four year old would love finding the “treasure”

  13. 17

    says

    Our friends took us with them when we were camping a few months ago. After that trip I wanted to get a handheld gps (no iphone here) and ended up getting a free one from my husband’s grandparents that they no longer needed!
    My son (Age 4) likes to go but only likes finding the ones that have stuff inside. There are LOTS around our house that we’ve been working on finding and we also go hunting everytime we go camping. The state parks often have many in them. It is a fun time for everybody and gets us out and moving! We are addicted for sure!

  14. 18

    Holli T. says

    Oh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had no idea what it was, either! We HAVE to try that this weekend! Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!

  15. 19

    says

    For lack of a GPS we havn’t jumped in – but it looks like we may have one here soon. We have been working through all of the letterboxes in our area and travels. AtlasQuest.com has a really great interactive site to find out where they are. We’ve found almost all there is to find, the only remaining ones are on a closed trail and a place that sells 7 dollar hot dogs, the letterbox is behind the counter. Not Playing Fair. :) We have found 3 geo’s with friends and they are alot of fun!

  16. 20

    Jessi says

    It’s the best!!! I’m so glad your family discovered it. It’s awesome to the max.

    And I echo what some others have said up there. Letterboxing is almost as fun. :)

  17. 21

    says

    We live in central PA and there are tons of goecaches around us of all levels. A good friend of ours maintains an extremely hard one. I’ve never done it, but I love the idea. Hubs and I do something similar, tho…I don’t remember what it is called, but you are given the coordinates for survey markers left in the ground and you find those. I take pictures of all of the markers we find.

  18. 22

    says

    We just got my daughter the Geomate Jr (a great, inexpensive grab and go made especially for kids) for her birthday and started geocaching this week. I must say it’s very, very addictive. We have several caches in our neighborhood so it give us a good excuse to get out and get some exercise. Every evening she’s been asking if we can find another treasure. I’ll have to look up letterboxing.

  19. 24

    marky says

    We have been GeoCaching for many years.. It is great fun! We have an OLD hand held GPS kind of like a walkie talkie and it is quite challenging. A great family adventure.

  20. 25

    says

    We are buying a handheld GPS (probably used) for my son’s 14th birthday to get him started on Geocaching (for the entire family!!)… So glad you posted about this!

  21. 26

    says

    You guys are not dressed for geocaching at all. I hope you had on plenty of bug spray because the mosquitoes are nothing compared to ticks! My husband had over 10 ticks on him one night. Ick. And I won’t go into the poison ivy… (literally or figuratively here.) OK, so I’m not the geocaching one in my family, but my hubby is PatrickInChicago and my kids are the C-Kret Angels. They all have a good time and I sit in the van with a good book anf wait. I’m glad you have discovered this hobby and enjoy it!

  22. 27

    Beth says

    I was also going to mention letterboxing… so fun, the kids love it!!
    Glad you found something the entire family enjoys – together! LOL

  23. 28

    says

    We’ve been caching for a couple years now. I was completely hooked from day one! Hubby and I love it. The kids are so-so about it. Mostly because they just like the big caches that have stuff in them to trade. We just got new (fancy-schmancy) cell phones and I have a caching app now. Makes it SO much easier!

    Would love to “friend” you on the site – just because we can! We are MillerHQ

  24. 29

    J R says

    Read about it in ‘Wondertime’ magazine a few years ago and have been wanting to try it ever since!! We don’t have a gps, though, or a phone that can use ‘apps’….we’re pretty behind on our technology. Ex. We still own no i-devices and the only mp3 players we own were purchased for the children for Christmas and are cheap knock-offs from ebay that barely function (and about made ‘Santa’ pull her hair out trying to figure out how to put music on them!).

  25. 31

    says

    No kids, but a relative newlywed and my husband and I LOVE to geocache together (crossing fingers for good weather this weekend!). In fact, our wedding gift to one another was a handheld Garmin GPS to take on our adventures. Our auto GPS’s voice is named “Jack” by the manufactures, so we decided to name the handheld “Diane.” And yes, we take both Jack and Diane with us on trips! I navigate and the hubs drives–we have so much fun doing this! We’ve also started collecting trackables and geocoins–it’s a whole new level of caching!

  26. 34

    Wildcat says

    I’ve heard of geocaching before – found it on the web somewhere last week! We have no GPS, nor do I plan on getting one [(my mom still, to this day, cannot read a road map. Therefore, I do not have a GPS.) Umm, I’m also too cheap to buy one. FRUGAL! Too frugal to buy one.)] Anyways, I was thinking about geocaching with the kids using ‘proper’ maps (geological survey maps, I think they’re called) and a compass. It would be a great learning exercise. My friends say I’m too nerdy ~ as if that’s a bad thing! The only hold-back is that I have to learn how to use a compass and find coordinates on a map! Let the learning begin.

  27. 36

    says

    Here’s a fun tagline/bumper sticker/t-shirt slogan: “Geocaching: I use multimillion dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods. What’s your hobby?”

  28. 37

    says

    I have never gone geocaching but I go letterboxing all the time! It is kinda like geocaching but you leave a stamp in their book and you stamp their book from the stamp in the letterbox. You do not need a gps and the clues can be found online just like geocahing. It is just as much fun I am sure and it is free!!

  29. 40

    says

    Have not geocached because we have no GPS, but we letterbox all the time. I blogged about it too at http://rodriguezrockstars.blogspot.com/2009/09/did-you-find-treasure.html I agree that the best site for finding clues is letterboxing.org I actually had my 4th grade class (Apache) do research and we made our own letterbox. You can read about it at http://rodriguezrockstars.blogspot.com/2010/05/letterbox-field-trip.html There is a link there to the clues. To any teachers out there, letterboxing is a great activity (free) with your students!
    I’m glad you blogged about geocaching. Maybe more families will start to do it. And I love that tagline.

  30. 41

    Molly says

    Totally unrelated, but I tried that Metromint water – the chocolate version – and your daugher’s right. :-) It does taste like a peppermint patty.

  31. 43

    says

    We love geocaching! We started before gps was available when it was known as letterboxing. Our most exciting ones were on Disney property in Orlando and at Williamsburg in VA. Just be careful of potentially poisonous plants (poison ivy) and wild critters living in the same hole as your find. We made some awesome memories! Have fun!!!
    ~Susan

  32. 44

    says

    My sis-in-law does this with her kids and they have so much fun with it! I love the idea. Kind of like flashmobs – I just love seeing strangers come together JUST FOR FUN. I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to do it.

  33. 46

    says

    Okay, this does look like fun, and it definitely looks like your kids enjoyed it! We will definitely be working this activity into one of our upcoming family weekends!

  34. 47

    says

    No but that sounds like so much fun! I’m sorry for your loss of Delilah, our current GPS navigator is named “Susan.” She’d do great on these adventures!

  35. 48

    says

    Yup, I’ve done it…been a casual geocacher for around 5 years now. Haven’t done any in a long time though this post did inspire me to look for one nearby urban cache…was a DNF for me. I think I just need someone a little taller then my 5 ft 1 inch stature…lol Glad you’ve found the hobby and are enjoying it. :)

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