Did you know there is an entire world of treasure just waiting to be discovered? Right now, as you’re sitting reading this post sipping on your favorite Friday beverage, hundreds of thousands of geocaches lie in hidden places hoping that you will search for them and collect the secret “booty.” Shiver me timbers…..this Fabulous Friday Find is all about geocaching!
Some of you may have heard of this before and some may be thinking this is not the find you were hoping to read today but I promise this experience is one worth trying. Geocaching is a FREE real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. GPS devices? Yes, you read that right and this means that you can use your smartphone, handheld GPS, or car Garmin (or any other brand). Other than having a device, the only other piece of information you need to begin your treasure hunt is a FREE account with Geocaching.com. With this free account you can search for cache coordinates in your area and set out on your adventure.
So, what is a cache? Caches have two or three parts: a waterproof container, a logbook to list the people who visit the cache, and sometimes a low-cost trinket or geocoin that you get to collect should you find it! Although caches can be hidden (as false rocks or behind real ones), they are not buried. Latitude and longitude provide the caches location. Geocachers also give clues online. For example, a cache may be hidden on one side of a tree, or may only be visible from a certain angle. Because geocachers want the hobby to remain safe for people of all ages, caches are located 150 feet from roads or railroad tracks.You’ll probably be surprised with just how many are hiding right in your own local town. A lot of us also take vacations during the summer months and if you are one that likes to map out where you’re going…you can keep your kids from asking that doomed, “Are we there yet.” question a thousand times by mixing in a few treasure hunts along your route.
Geocaching has an official app for smartphone users that can be downloaded here.
For those who are familiar with finding geocaches, you should consider making your own this summer! Let your kids come up with the clues (umm, writing skills) and also let them work out the coordinates and hide the cache (map skills, math skills, learning about the environment…the list could go on). Posting your own cache on Geocaching.com is also free and a fun way to track who has visited it! Don’t forget to put a label, like this one, on your container so visitors know that it is an official cache.
For a complete video detailing the process from beginning to end…check out this one below.
So, get out there and start finding treasure….savvy?
If you have any experience using geocaching in your classroom, please post below. Also, if you find any caches this summer…please share them with us! We love pictures 🙂