Geocaching The Modern Treasure Hunt

Geocaching for Kids is a family-friendly activity where you get to experience the thrills of a treasure hunt. Specifically suited for children who are glued to screens, geocaching provides an opportunity to explore the outdoors in a fun and adventurous way.

How Is It Done?

  • While geocaching, you use hand-held GPS units or switch on the GPS on your phones, to help you navigate towards hidden caches.
  • Caches are containers mysteriously planted in different areas in your neighborhood. These are the ‘treasures’ you are searching for. Caches are seen in different shapes and sizes and are usually camouflaged rather than buried. So you need not prepare yourself for heavy-duty digging activities.
  • Caches contain a log book and some collectibles that appeal to kids. These could be trinkets like stickers, balls or small toys.
  • Once you find a cache, you are required to enter your name and comments in the log book for the records. You may also take one trinket from the box. As per geocache etiquettes, when you take a trinket you are supposed to leave behind one of same or more value.
  • Once you are done with a cache, you can go find the next one, and so forth.
  • While you are at your treasure site, it is best to do some cleaning up if you see waste in the vicinity.
  • You can also register to the Geocaching website and record your experiences there. The site is a discussion forum for all who embark on geocaching, worldwide. The site also lists more than 2 million caches around the world, and can guide you to the ones near you.

Creating Your Own Geocache

Children would really enjoy creating their own geocache. Guidelines on how to plant your own little treasure chest are available at the website for Geocaching. Some points to consider when doing so are given below.

  • Ensure that the geocache is in a place where it doesn’t stand out. For example, if you place it next to a busy road, chances of someone stumbling upon it are high. Make sure that it would take time and a little bit of effort from the explorer to reach the cache.
  • The cache cannot be placed on private properties without permission.
  • It should not be planted at dangerous terrains. Caches at such places are prone to be washed away by natural calamities.
  • The nearest existing cache should be at least 530 feet away from yours.

Things to Carry On Your Geocaching Trip

Carry a backpack with the following items, when you go geocaching with kids.

  • A fully charged GPS unit is mandatory. This is the primary equipment that guides you to your treasure; the second one being your innate pirate instincts!
  • Lots of snacks and drinks for the little ones. Hiking in unexplored terrains will keep them hungry all the time.
  • A set of trinkets of varying costs, that you will exchange with the ones in your geocache.
  • A pen to jot down your identity and comments in the geocache logbook.
  • A trekking pole and a flashlight will come in handy when you are poking around in dark bushy places for the treasure.

Difficulty Level

The geocache reference website has listed the cache locations based on the degree of difficulty. When going treasure hunting with kids, it is always wise to choose areas with the lowest difficulty level.

It is also imperative to understand your GPS system before you embark on your journey. Hold it in your hand, so that the signal reception is good. The compass view on the device is the most useful one, as it points you in the direction of the geocache.

When you are lesser than 20 feet away from your cache, it is best to stop looking at the compass and start searching. Keep a close watch on your surroundings to avoid dangers.

Advantages of Geocaching

  • The most pronounced benefit of Geocaching is the fun-filled family time that you get.
  • This is an ideal avenue to get your kids engaged in physical activities. The fun element would keep them wanting more.
  • Geocaching for Kids instills in them, the knowledge of GPS systems and finding their way using a compass.
  • They also understand the importance of preserving nature when they clean up areas around the geocache.
  • A deep understanding of the natural history of your region is another perk from this activity.