The kids and I headed to my hometown in Wyoming over our Fall Break. My sister and her kids came with us.
And we caught a bug.
I am not talking about an insect nor am I talking about the major cough and cold that 2 of my kids came down with as if on cue that we were on vacation.
Rather I am talking about geocaching.
We caught the geocaching bug and fell in love.
‘Geo’ means “earth” and ‘cache’ means “a collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place”. Geocaching is basically looking for random “treasures” that random people have hidden. It is NOT finding geodes.
So here is how geocaching works:
Geocaches are different containers of all different sizes. They can range from a tiny mint tin to a large suitcase. People put little toys and trinkets inside and usually a log register of some kind. Then they hide them all over. The hiders log in the treasures’ coordinates on a website and you follow the coordinates to find the treasure.
Here is Croft and her cousin finding one of the geocaches.
Geocaches are hidden all over the world, generally on public land. We found one in a tree, one by a power box, one in a fake plant and one in a camouflaged coffee can. Some had goodies inside and some didn’t. All had a register of some sort to sign.
The basic idea is when you find the geocache, you get to log in on the register inside and if you take a treasure out of the box, you have to leave something.
To know where the geocaches are located, I downloaded this app to my phone. First, you have to set up an account to get started. We registered as “RaisingLemons” so we are super official. The app gave us a map and compass coordinates to where the geocaches were hidden near our present location. It also offers clues, hints, photos, notes, etc. if you need help finding the geocache.
You get to click “Found It” when you find the geocache and it stores all your finds for you. You can also add comments, pictures, and tips.
There are over 2 million geocaches world wide! They are everywhere. Although we only discovered 4, there were over 30 geocaches to find in my little town in Wyoming.
We loved geocaching because it was free, but more because it got us out and exploring and discovering.
Plus we go to use a map and a compass.
We had to reason and think and navigate and problem solve.
We got muddy and messy. Crew even fell in a river.
We walked and hiked.
We hugged and high fived and screamed when we would find the treasure.
It was just fun! And we have dirty shoes to prove it.
On the way home from Lander, I asked my kids what their favorite part of our trip was and they said geocaching.
I would have to agree.
We caught the bug and plan to keep looking for geocaches wherever we go. There are even a few right by our house.
If you want to learn more about geocaching, this website is a good place to start. Hope you catch the geocaching bug too!