Let’s go Treasure Hunting!

Every child loves the idea of finding lost treasure.

Treasure MapOur family likes packing a lunch to go on our day trips to go treasure hunting – better known as Geocaching. We own two handheld GPS units – one for the younger ones to use, and one for the older two to use.

This is a great and simple way of going out and exploring the outdoors. What kid doesn’t like that? You are on a mission to find as many hidden treasures as you can. The looks on your children’s faces when they have discovered the “treasure”, is priceless. No matter how many you find, they are all different and the excitement never goes away. One of our favorite trips was when we found this site that looked like a pterodactyl nest had been raided and knocked over. It truly was unique and amazing how the owners of that treasure made it look like it was part of  the surroundings.

We have so much fun letting the kids navigate our path. Occasionally, they have taken us off course, but that’s all part of the fun. Some caches have clues that you have to figure out in order to get the coordinates. This is awesome for the kids – they all start brainstorming to solve the clues. It’s teamwork with lots of laughs.

Geocaching, for those that don’t know, involve using a GPS unit to find hidden treasures called caches. When you find the cache, you write your profile name on the log book. Later, you will log your find under your account at the web site. Most caches have small trinkets in them, and sometimes you will get lucky and find a trackable object. Trackables are items that travel – you take it, log this action on it’s web page, and then place it in another cache, logging that as well. You can also see a map of where this item has been, along with the logs of each time it has been picked up and dropped off by someone.  You must remember that if you take something, you need to leave something in return. One more important rule is that you want to make sure that you leave the cache just like you found it! After your day is over, you head home and enter your finds on the site.

It is a very cheap and simple hobby to get into. My family would highly recommend it to anyone and everyone.

For those that haven’t heard of Geocaching before, you should definitely check out: http://www.geocaching.com

They have a free basic membership, where all you need is your email address. They also have the paid annual subscription (which is not required) that is actually very cheap – $30.00 / year, which is $2.50 a month. The premium membership gives you a few extras that might be nice for you, if and when (you will), you get more experienced and decide you really like it.

All of the caches are hidden by members, and found by members. You never have to worry about never having enough to find. These caches are hidden everywhere across the world, with new ones added all of the time. The only thing you will find upsetting is that there never is enough time.

Our family has a designated “treasure hunting backpack” that is packed with all kinds of goodies. A few of these items are:

  • Two – GPS handheld units
  • first-aid kit
  • medicines: Benadryl – adult and child, Tylenol – adult and child
  • flashlight
  • bug repellent
  • batteries
  • pen/paper
  • granola bars
  • water bottles
  • little trinkets
  • mini shovel

This is such an amazing hobby. You will find that your family will be anxiously planning your next trip. A few of the great things that you will get out of Geocaching with your family includes:

  • treasure hunting
  • quality family time
  • learning (and teaching your kids) navigation skills and how to use a GPS unit
  • exploring the great outdoors
  • exercise

Please check it out and Happy Treasure Hunting!