Wednesday, January 9, 2019

On our first hike of the year we talked about some ways to get us out of the house more often. I proposed that perhaps we should take up geocaching. We went geocaching once with friends when Smarty was about 7 years old and she did not even remember that activity. When we came home, she immediately jumped on the official geocaching website and started reading up on geocaching.

We are kind of glad now that we waited with geocaching until Smarty had her own phone, so now she could take full ownership of preparation activities. She made an account on geocaching site, researched geocaching apps and downloaded two different apps on her phone. It proved handy to have both apps, because, as it turned out, the free official app only shows caches on easy terrain, and our hike included a steep climb that was clearly not coded as "easy terrain". Smarty's other app c:geo showed all caches that were not premium (those require a paid geocaching app) and was almost as good in navigating interface as the other app.
Speaking of navigating, I think geocaching might teach Smarty a thing or two about real life - like how to read a topological map, how to use a compass, and how to use GPS in general. On the first try we wandered in the opposite direction from the cache, because Smarty could not understand what the app is telling her. Eventually, my husband took over and explained her how to use it properly, and she was able to find the next cache entirely on her own.
The good thing is that geocaching is quite popular where we live. The park where we hiked had literally dozens of caches of different sizes hidden along the trail that we took. We attempted to find four of them and succeeded every time even though one cache was quite hard to spot. Bigger caches contained little trinkets, and Smarty brought some of her own for exchange. Each cache has a log where we left our signature and date, and Smarty also logged her finds via an app. Overall, finding geocaches was a very fun experience that added some extra spice (and good 30 minutes) to our hike. Now Smarty can't wait to go again - unfortunately, we expect a lot of rain over the next week, so the next geocaching adventure might have to wait.

Your Turn

Have you tried geocaching?


An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

I've wanted to try that for years, but never gotten around to it. I'm not a big fan of bears or snakes though - so I'd need "in town" finds...which would probably reduce the hiking aspect a little :)

Ticia said...

I haven't, but it always looks fun to me.

KLC said...

We tried it when K was younger but we should try it again since she’s older.