Geocaching with Your Family

Have you heard of Geocache [GEE-oh-cash]?   Geocaching is a great way to get your whole family out of the house… exploring the nature and having fun!! 

The word geocache comes from two words. The first is the prefix geo, meaning “Earth”. The second is cache which is a safe place for hiding or storing something.

So a geocache is something that is hidden somewhere on Earth! It is a new word created for the hobby geocaching. People gather up a few little odds and ends and put them in a watertight container. Then they hide it outdoors somewhere, record the coordinates using their GPS receiver, and post the coordinates on the Web.

Before You Go

•Find a geocache that will meet your immediate goals. Are you looking for a difficult hike or an easy adventure?
•If you’re headed out on the trail, pack any needed supplies such as water, food and extra clothing. Bring both a map and a compass. Check geocache terrain and difficulty ratings.
•For safety, let someone know where you are going.

•Do not forget your GPS and extra batteries.

Get Out and Play

•Mark your car as a waypoint to ensure your safe return.
•Be mindful of the environment, practice Cache In Trash Out.
•Bring friends and family with you; sharing the experience can be very rewarding. Pets are usually welcome, too!
•Remember that distances can be deceiving. A geocache can take longer to find depending on trails, rivers and other obstacles.
Share Your Experience

•If you take something from the geocache, leave something of equal or greater value.

•Write about your experience in the geocache logbook.
•Place your geocaching stories and photos online.

A geocache can have all sorts of things in it. Generally, there are small items of little value. When you go geocaching, you take items to trade with the geocache. For example, you might find a geocache that has a CD, a toy car, trading cards, and other stuff. You might choose to take the car and leave a kazoo. The general rule is, if you take an item, you leave an item. Most geocaches also have a log book where you record the date and your name (or code name–most geocachers have a code name just for fun). Some geocaches even have a camera so that you can snap a picture of yourself. Never take the camera.

Which geocache should I pick?

You’ll probably want to start with a geocache that is close to your home (or school if you are with a school or scout group). The other consideration is difficulty and terrain. Both are rated from one to five, with five being most challenging. Difficulty refers to how hard it is to find the geocache. Terrain refers to how challenging the terrain is: fairly level ground is a one. Most kids and families should start with geocaches with a 1/1 to 2/2 rating. These are still challenging!

Below is a list of different websites to go to for all ages.  They will provide you with instructions on how to get started on your FAMILY ADVENTURE FULL OF MEMORIES!!!
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