Sunday, April 11, 2010

Geocaching: Our new family hobby

I first heard of Geocaching* (defined below) a few years ago (I think it was my HP friend Melanie!), but I didn't have a GPS (global positioning system). I got a GPS unit last month, so I decided to check it out. I found The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site. I figured that, since I live in a relatively small city (about 50,000) about 3 hours from anywhere, there would be few "caches" in Roswell. Boy was I surprised! There are 385 caches within 25 miles of my front door. (Half of them are within 5 miles!)

Our first day out (last Saturday) we found 4 caches. We also didn't find 4 others. Some are easy finds; others require some serious digging. If you are in Roswell, I recommend you start with Space Mail. It was our first search, and when we pulled up, we had no doubts we were in the right place.

Chewie (the 12 year old) is really enjoying it! He has helped me enter the coordinates in the GPS (when I couldn't get the computer to connect); he carries the GPSr (that is the receiver); and he has found 2 of the 5 caches we have logged.

Crunchy (6) and Munchie (4) enjoy the idea of a treasure hunt, but they get bored easily.

The reason I was so interested in beginning geocaching is I wanted to find something we could do as a family, that would get us outside and moving, and that would be something new for all of us. Geocaching fits the bill completely!

*What is geocaching?
According to Geocaching.com:
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment.
According to Wikipeida:

Geocaching is an outdoor activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers (called "geocaches" or "caches") anywhere in the world. A typical cache is a small waterproof container (usually atupperware or ammo box) containing a logbook. Larger containers can also contain items for trading, usually toys or trinkets of little value. Geocaching is most often described as a "game of high-tech hide and seek", sharing many aspects with orienteering, treasure-hunting, andwaymarking.

Geocaches are currently placed in over 100 countries around the world and on all seven continents, including Antarctica. As of April 10, 2010, there are over 1,031,429 active geocaches over the world.


1 comment:

Elizabeth @ TexasEbeth said...

Found you from Jenna's Geocaching post on MomCentral.com. We just started Geocaching & I'm addicted. Don't have a GPSr yet; just the iPhone. Hubby was amazed how many caches within 20 miles of our house too.