Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Geocaching

Today, to spend some time together as a family, we decided to go Geocaching. I first read about this idea on a recent Triad Smarty Pants blog and thought it sounded like it would be fun.

What is Geocaching you ask? Well, geocaching (pronounced geocashing) is essentially a GPS guided "treasure hunt." Here's how the official geocaching website describes it:

"Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout 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. "

All I did was to sign up for free on the official site, type in our zip code, and hundreds of geocache sites popped up. We just had to find one that looked easy enough for kids. Luckily, one cache was located in a near-by park.

So, off we went.
Daddy and Claire following the GPS coordinates.

Ben, huffing and puffing to keep up. He was not at all down with walking on the gravel path. The bits of gravel kept getting in his CROCS and that was NOT COOL with him.

WE FOUND IT!! It took a bit, but after Shawn figured out how to follow the coordinates, it led us straight to the base of this huge pine tree and underneath was the cache.

Another cool aspect of geocaching is that many of the caches are big enough to include little toys or trinkets left by others. The idea is to take something you want and leave something behind for the next seekers.

Here I am attempting to convince Claire that the beads were a MUCH nicer option than the dirty plastic Little Pony she wanted to take.
Me = 0 ; Plastic Pony = 1.

She left behind a plastic ring, and Ben left behind a miniature car in exchange for this:

Oh mommy, I always wanted a softball!
Huh, that's the first I've heard of this.

We re-hid the cache for the next seekers, and spent the rest of the morning together, walking the trails, and spying on some wildlife.

And since it was in a park, Shawn and the kids played on the playground while I got a few miles in on the running path.
We will definitely be trying this again in the future!

1 comment:

The Fab 4 said...

sounds super fun! This is one of the tracks at our church's xplay week, but only for 3rd grade and up. I'll have to check it out around here.