Spring is in the air; trees are budding, flowers are blooming. Days are longer, blessing us with more active waking hours to spend outdoors with family and friends. Now the question becomes not ‘where’ to spend your free time, but ‘how’. If hiking and biking have become commonplace and stale in your household, maybe it’s time you consider partaking in an outdoor adventure everyone in the family can participate in regardless of age or fitness level. There are few activities that fit this description as well as geocaching. While you may not be familiar with the term geocaching, once you learn the basics, it’s hard to resist.
As outlined on one of the major websites on the subject, geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played all over 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. To check out geocaches located within your area, visit www.geocaching.com, enter your zip code and read about the caches hidden right in your own backyard. If your treasure hunting options are limited, you may consider being the one to hide a cache for others to find. This is a fun project for kids to get involved in; they can help choose the items that will go in the cache, set up the logbook to accompany it, and look forward to tracking it via any of the online sites or going back later in the season to read the logbook and see how often it was found.
What sort of equipment do you need to enjoy geocaching? The great thing about this pastime is that it requires a minimal amount of equipment; a basic GPS will serve the purpose and can be picked up on eBay or Amazon at a marginal cost. If you’re just starting out, buy an affordably priced used model until you become comfortable with using it and decide whether or not geocaching will become a hobby. Other than the GPS to hone in on the coordinates during your hike, you need not be outfitted with anything more than comfortable shoes, appropriate clothing, a day pack to hold your water, a snack, first aid kit and camera (don’t forget the camera!).
So if you’re looking for a new way to get out and enjoy the outdoors, check out geocaching at
www.geocaching.com for more on the subject as well as supplies used to initiate your own treasure hunt.