Over the years, Sundays have become by far my favorite day of the week. It might sound a little backwards to some people, but to me Sunday is the last day of the weekend, and we always try to squeeze every last drop of fun that we can from the day. I make a point of sleeping in if I can, and doing something fun and out of the house so when the work week starts back up on Monday, my last memories of the weekend will be fun ones! We have been addicted to our new fun, free, family oriented, outside hobby…
Geocaching! If you’re not familiar, it’s kind of like an outdoor treasure hunt.
Geocaching is an outdoor recreational activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers called “geocaches” or “caches” anywhere in the world.
A typical cache is a small waterproof container containing a logbook where the geocacher enters the date they found it and signs it with their established code name. After signing the log, the cache must be placed back exactly where the person found it. Larger containers such as plastic storage containers (tupperware or similar) or ammunition boxes can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little financial value, although sometimes they are sentimental.
– Wikipedia (I have always wanted to quote Wiki in something that I wrote. College professors, here’s to you!)
It’s a really fun outdoor activity and I love that we can get some exercise as a family, bring the dog, and have fun outside while searching for our little cache. Even if you’ve never heard of it, people do this activity in nearly every community, large and small. It’s pretty popular and the geocaching community is quite large. If you’re curious about it, check out geocaching.com
and type in your zipcode. I bet there are a lot of caches near where you live!
You can search wherever you feel like. In a nearby community to us, you can rent scuba gear and go underwater to find the caches. That’s a little too intense for me, but I enjoy finding some in the woods nearby town. They are often found in state parks, on hiking trails, and even in residential neighborhoods. I’ve even heard of one person putting their canister on their deck, and in the clues, they said “don’t be afraid to go right up to the house!” I definitely wouldn’t recommend that, but to each their own.
We haven’t planted a geocache anywhere yet, but it’s been really fun to go out and look for the containers that other people have put down. The container is almost always under a rock, and well hidden. We always look for rocks that are large, and sitting on top of the dirt rather than buried part way. In the picture below, you can see that we found a cache under a rock. It was in an old pill bottle covered in camouflage tape.
In the next picture, we found another cache. This one was in a tupperware. There were some trinkets inside including a leather bracelet, and a couple random things in the bottom. There was a pencil and roll of paper inside as well where you could write a note. I wrote that it was a beautiful fall day, the date, and my first name. You can also see the GPS device we have. It told us about how far away we were from our destination, a compass telling us what direction to go, etc. I know I said this was free…you can use a GPS device or you can download an iPhone app. My husband has been geocaching since before the time of iPhone apps so we own our own GPS device.
The place we went today was by a dog park and it was on a bike trail. We found two geocaches, but the third one we couldn’t quite find. I would love to plant a geocache one of these days. It would be so fun to put my own tupperware out in the woods somewhere for people to find, and check back in 5 years to see if people have discovered it. We have a “travel bug” from another geocaching adventure that we took home and need to put back out in another location next time we go out.
It was so much fun to be outside in these last nice, sunny Fall days before it’s too chilly outside. Do you have any ideas for family friendly, free, hobbies? I’d love to hear about them!