Ask your kids if they want to go outdoors for a trek or nature walk and you are met with moans of protest. Introduce them to the fantastic activity of ‘Geocaching’ and you’ll never have a problem pulling them away from the television again!
What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is basically a modern-day treasure hunt, that uses a Global Positioning System (GPS) to guide you to the treasure. People all over the world have hidden trinkets and objects at various locations, which you and your child(ren) can go out and find.
There’s a good chance that there is a geocache hidden somewhere that you pass-by everyday !! When you find the treasure (cache), you trade items in it – swap an object of your own that has similar or higher value, before returning the cache to its original hiding place. And so the game continues for the next person.
Why Geocache With Kids
- It’s FREE !! All you need is a hand held GPS and many smartphones have this built in. This an ideal ‘recession-busting’ activity.
- Geocaching introduces your children to the outdoors, regardless of the weather.
- You can teach basic map reading skills. Teach them about latitude, longitude, and geography. While placing items out for others to find, do research on local history.
Because there are millions of people around the world playing this game, Geocaching has a global community and your child will begin to feel a sense of comradeship as he finds that others are interested in playing the same game, all around the world.
How to Get Started Geocaching
#1. Go to geocaching.com.
#2. Register for free Basic Membership.
#3. Visit the ‘Hide and Seek a Cache‘ page.
#4. Enter your Address (ignoring the rest) and click ‘Go’.
#5. Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name.
#6. Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device.
#7. Use your GPS device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache.
#8. Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location.
#9. Share your geocaching stories and photos online.
Try zooming in/out on the map to see if there is one near you! – I bet you didn’t realise there were so many!!
Useful Websites: www.geocachingireland.com
Have you ever been Geocaching? What cool places or treasures have you found?