Ask your kids if they want to go outside for a hike and they will probably moan and go back to your screens . Invite them on a high-tech stash treasure hunt and they’ll ask you questions as they put on their shoes and head for the door.

What is geocaching?

Geocaching combines mobile technology with exciting scavenger hunts. This refers to an event in which participants use their phones or portable devices Global Positioning System (GPS) to search for «caches» containing log books, trinkets, tradable goods, or even money.

Caches are usually hidden and listed by other geocachers. There are over 3 million registered caches in over 190 countries. Even in Antarctica caches are registered. Extended versions of the game include multi-step puzzles and trackable moving objects such as geocoins and bugs.

Beginners are usually surprised at how many hiding places are near their own homes. There are many new challenges to keep kids interested in future outings.

Geocaching with kids combines learning and fun

Geocaching with kids can range from simple searches in an easily accessible cache to multi-step lessons in GPS technology, geography and map reading. Many caches are educational in nature and are closely related to regional history or geological features. Some hiding places are hidden by children for other children, which makes these finds especially attractive. Geocaching is a great Scouting activity as it includes orientation and other outdoor skills

How to get started with geocaching

To get started, you’ll need a portable GPS receiver or a smartphone with GPS capabilities. Once you have received your GPS device, geocaching is completely free. Visit geocaching.com, to register a free account. You can start your search by setting various location options, including zip code and keywords.

Cache descriptions contain a significant amount of information, including exact location coordinates, cache description, and cache type. (Most consist of a waterproof container filled with items.) You’ll also find terrain difficulty and rating, hints, tips, and comments from others who have found the stash.

Children can participate in any part of the process. You can select caches with easy difficulty and low terrain rating for younger children. Advance to more advanced rankings as you and the kids gain experience

Hiding places often contain small gifts or toys that are of interest to children. Cache etiquette requires you to put something in the cache if you delete something, so plan to bring a few small items with you to put in the cache, at least one for each child. Caches often contain logs so kids can enter and leave comments.

Advanced geocaching

Traveling Tracked Objects such as geocoins and travel errors, add an interesting dimension to geocaching. These items have unique ID numbers and you can look them up at geocaching.com to find out where they were. The cache may include a travel error that originated in Australia and traveled through Hawaii and Quebec to your state. This information can be turned into a geography lesson as children view the traveler’s adventures on a map. An extended geocache can include multi-step instructions with hints leading to the cache.

Some tips for geocaching with kids

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