Friday, June 8, 2012

Treasure Hunting

What is Geocaching?  It's very much like a treasure hunt.  That is what Aaron calls it anyway!  It's where you use GPS coordinates to find "caches" that usually contain a log book and little trinkets in them.  The idea is you take something and leave something for the next person to find.  The log book contains the dates and names, or nick names, of the people that have been to that particular cache.  Our family's nick name is JAKE.  (John, Aaron, Kristin, Ethan)

John and I took up this fun hobby several years back and really enjoyed finding caches all over the metro and surrounding areas.  You can find out more about it here.  It's very wide spread and there are several in Gardner alone.  There are plenty of them to find to keep you busy and the only thing it costs is gas.  (Which unfortunately can get costly over time.)  There are also things called Geocoins and travel bugs.  These are special trinkets that are tracked online by going to the website and entering the code found on the coin or bug.  It's very neat to see how far they travel.  When we cruised with my family in 2007 we left a Geocoin in a cache on a beach in Jamaica.  Some caches have "rules" about what can be left in them or certain themes.  Some are very small and only contain a log.  These are called micro caches.  It is a very fun game and all it requires is a GPS (or smartphone) and time. 

For whatever reason, we stopped geocaching and finally decided it was time to introduce our kids to the concept.  They were thrilled!  Admittedly, part of it was the Jeep ride with the top off but still the idea of going on a hunt for treasure and getting to choose something to keep from the "treasure box" is enough to make any toddler excited to go looking.  One of the cool things about it is that you get to explore places you might never have thought of exploring and it usually involves walking and hiking.  A lot of the caches are placed in park-like areas.  There is also the thrill of trying to be stealthy so as not to be seen by "muggles." Yes.  It is a term stolen from Harry Potter but it means non-cachers.


 Uh-oh - this cache is all wet! 
 Happy hunting!

 I found it!  This is a micro cache with just the log in it  He brings them to mommy to sign.
 Searching at Gardner Lake.
 

We have taken the boys out 2 or 3 times now and found a couple of pretty good ones.  We've even acquired some new Geocoins that we are going to take to Colorado with us to plant in a Geocache there.  Ethan is still a little young but he loves getting out and walking around. We're going to Clinton lake tomorrow with my family so maybe we'll look for one there!


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