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Geocaching: FREE Real-World Outdoor Treasure Hunt (Fun Activity for the Entire Family)

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Geocaching

One of my favorite Spring-time family activities is to pack a picnic and head for the park – it’s FREE and usually lots of fun to enjoy beautiful nature with those you love! 🙂 If you also like the outdoors and want to embark on a unique and FREE family activity, you may want to consider geocaching.

Geocache

What is geocaching you ask?! Geocaching is a FREE real-world outdoor treasure hunt where players (young and old!) try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online.

Geocache


In recent years, my kids, hubby, and I had the opportunity to go geocaching and it was lots of fun! We found a geocache that was hidden about 25 miles from our home so we all piled into the car with our GPS system in hand and headed that direction. Once we were within walking distance of our “hidden treasure”, the kids jumped out of the car and used the GPS device to find the geocache. It took about 30 minutes of avid searching to finally discover the geocache cleverly placed underneath a pile of rocks.

The kids were so excited to open the geocache and fill out the logbook (i.e. a tiny notebook) with their names, ages, and date that they located the geocache (it was really cool to look back in the logbook and see that this same geocache had existed for the past 5+ years). They then were able to choose a special “treasure” from inside the geocache (i.e. a small plastic dinosaur) and they also left a “treasure” of their own (a plastic spider) for the next person. All in all, we had a great day on our geocaching trip and spent nothing out of pocket other than the gas… it was well worth it! 🙂


Check out this neat video below which explains even more about geocaching…

Do you want to go geocaching? Here’s what you need to do…
* Head over here to register for a FREE Basic Membership.
* Visit the “Hide & Seek a Cache” page.
* Enter your zip code and click “search.”
* Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name.
* Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device or smartphone app.
* Use your GPS device or smartphone to assist you in finding the hidden geocache.
* Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location.
* Share your geocaching stories and photos online.

Have you been geocaching? If so, did you enjoy the experience? Let us know!

Join The Discussion

Comments 34

  1. Julia L.

    Thank you for posting this! I have wanted us to do this for so long but it confused me too much when researching the topic. And to be honest, I’m terrible with geography, maps etc. lol. I’m going to follow the links you posted and hopefully we will be able to partake this weekend. Thanks. 🌺

  2. Michelle

    My cousin came and took me and my kids and they loved it it’s just like modern day treasure hunting

  3. jkdurham

    Our family loves to go Geocaching! It is so much fun!

  4. nancyr

    My kids absolutely love this. They’ve been doing it for years now. Sometimes they put things in and then take one out but other times they only sign and see what’s in it. They’ve found some really neat things and believe it or not, my daughter is 18 and my son is 16, so my daughter will drive them along with a few friends to find others not in our immediate walking area. My daughter works at a local CVS and there were a bunch around there so they’ve loved it and it really is a good bonding time for them too. They were the ones that taught me about it.

  5. nancyrsavesalot

    Along the same lines of something to do with kids especially when they’re home on a day off from school or it’s too cold to go outside, and you’re actually sneaking in education as well – I don’t know who may or may not be aware of this but in Decorah, Iowa there is a bald eagle’s nest and there is a camera on it all year long. However, mom and dad are really prepping now because mom is about to lay eggs again, which she’s been doing for years. If you go to the site it’ll explain everything you need to know. I’ve actually been able to witness her laying an egg, and yep, she was panting while in labor. She usually has three. They “marry” for life and it’s the same mom and dad for years now we’ve been watching. Here’s the link: http://www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles

    In addition: The Washington DC Zoo, which is a conservation / biological zoo has cameras that you can watch the panda bears, and the mom had a cub about six months ago and he (Bei Bei) is so great to watch, especially with mom. There is also an elephant cam and a lion cam. Very educational and very cool to watch. Besides Hip2Save, these are things I’m totally addicted to on the computer. My husband even shows all his buddies at work all the time on his phone because he’s addicted too. Anyway, here’s the link to that site. There are two panda cams so if you open each one in a separate window, you can switch back and forth and see mom or mom and baby or dad, depending what they are focusing on. http://nationalzoo.si.edu/animals/webcams/giant-panda.cfm You can look around the site and find the elephants, etc. Very interesting and very educational as well. Hope you have fun!

    • Dee

      Thank you so much for posting! What a cool thing to watch those bald eagles. Can’t wait to show my daughter. She loves bird watching.

  6. Cindy

    We try to geocache on every vacation we take the kids on. It’s fun at home but there is something very special for the kids to do it some place different!! And it’s free-how much more hip could that be?? 😀😀

    • nancyrsavesalot

      That’s a great idea Cindy! Thanks for posting because I’m sure my two would definitely want to do it when we’re away.

  7. maria

    We love to geocache when we camp. They are everywhere. So much fun!!!

  8. Colleen

    My family loves Geocaching. We have found thousands of caches and it brings us to the most amazing places we never would have known about.

  9. Beth

    Our family goes geocaching and we love it! We have travel bugs in 2 different countries and it is fun to see where all the go to! Our family thinks everyone should give geocaching a try!😊

  10. Heather C.

    Omg… I live in the middle of nowhere and there are 76 within 15 miles of me! So gonna try this woth the kiddos! Thanks!

    • Amber

      Me too! Lol. I just got so excited. I have to drive 30 minutes to get to a grocery store, but I could literally walk to a few of these sites.

      • Heather C.

        Yes! Same with me… Nearest grocery store is 25 minutes away!

  11. Linda

    Geocaching is sooooooo much fun! It’s not just a fun hobby for kids …. Many, many teens and adults love it, too! My kiddos and I geocached from 2008-2011 with my sister and brother-in-law. Had a blast! We live near Houston, so there are tons and tons in the Houston and surrounding area. We were very surprised to find geocaches in the parking lot of our favorite Mexican restaurant (what??? How many times we walked right past the geocaches and had absolutely no clue they were hiding there!) Found one on the porch of a Cracker Barrel! Give geocaching a try (all ages)! You will have a blast! Geocaches are all over the U.S. We found them in state parks in Arkansas. In fact, there are over one million geocaches around the WORLD! I emailed my friends in Germany … And they were stunned when I told them how many geocaches were actually in THEIR cities! 😎

    • Linda

      P.S. We loved to leave McDonald’s Happy Meal toys in the geocaches! We’ve left dice and Monopoly money and pieces from games we no longer played. Think outside the box!

      • Heather C.

        Thanks for the tips! We’re gonna be new to this stuff!

  12. Cara

    I went with my husband and foster kiddos and we had an absolute blast! We let the kids do the hunting-it was great!

  13. Kathleen

    My local public library has an event coming up in a couple weeks to introduce geocaching to families, we’re excited to learn more about it, especially with summer coming up!

  14. Rebecca S

    We love to geocache! A lot of the ones we have found were in cemeteries and now whenever we past a cemetery little one will ask if there’s a geocache for us to find. Momma’s favorite part of geocaching is finding things nearby that never knew was there such as a pond and Indian mound.

  15. Sara Negron

    If you like geocaching you can look up Letterboxing which is similar but with written clues instead of coordinates and with artistic rubber stamp images instead of toys to collect. Atlasquest.com is a great place to get started.

  16. Jill Gines

    We love geocacheing. It’s one of my families favorite things to do. We love taking the cub scouts every year and showing them.

  17. Happymama

    My kids always used to leave McDonald’s free ice cream coupons in the boxes. I would just go into McDonald’s and buy a coupon pack. $5 for 10 coupons.

  18. angela

    We live in the San Francisco Bay Area. Right near a busy beautiful marina. So there are literally dozens within a mile of our home along walking trails and through the neighborhood. There is one that took us forever to find. It is on our walk to school hidden around a busy 4 way intersection. It was tricky looking but trying not to let anyone notice us. Finally after a few weeks my son found it disguised as a bolt in a wood pole for the electric wires. Great hiding spot.

    Only negative is our neighborhood gets horrible reception. Which is why it took us so long to find that one. We knew a general location but GPS doesn’t work here so makes everything extra challenging.

  19. Sarah

    I totally encourage everyone to try geocaching. It is such a fun activity and FREE!! We go anytime we are out and about, or on vacation. Geocaching makes us slow down, enjoy each other, and see a new place or read an interesting fact… I have been to so many awesome locations I would have never known about. So get out and try geocaching!!

  20. Holly

    Im going to be honest, Ive never heard of this. It looks like fun! I have a 7yr old who would love this. Thanks so much

  21. Sandi McCarthy

    My son and daughter- in-law do this with the kids. It’s a great activity .

  22. Diana

    My husband and I started geocaching about 8 years ago and we love it! It makes hiking so much fun because we always have the added goal of “finding treasure!” Now that my son is old enough to join us, we look forward to taking him with us on our trips. We love looking back at our logbook to see where we’ve been and what caches we’ve found. Whenever we plan a trip somewhere, my first stop is the geocaching.com website to find the caches along the way to our destination. We especially love multi-caches that offer a series of related caches in the same area, and we also love to visit state/local parks where multiple caches can be found. Highly recommend as an outdoor activity with kids, and the mobile app makes it so easy to use your phone to play!

  23. stacy

    My hubby and I have been doing this for years. We even had the chance to geocache on our Hawaiian cruise honeymoon! We left a bride and groom travel bug in a cache in Maui and we are still tracking it as it continues to travel around the world! It’s the never ending honeymoon for them. Since then we’ve taken my niece who has found money in the caches and our son who loves to swap trinkets. We also do Letterboxing with the stamps. I love collecting the various designs in our logbook and leaving our mark as well.

  24. Lynn J

    I’ve been Geocaching since July of 2013. The best thing is the great community and the outstanding events. We have plans this year to attend 2 mega events that run 4 days each several weekend events and day events. This is in addition to weekday meet and eat events. We will be at a minimum of 1 multiday event each month from April through October this year. We are in our 50’s and we love Geocaching. We have friends that range in age from young families to senior citizens.

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