So what is Geocaching?
You may have herd of geocaching before or maybe this is your first time. It is an integration of technology and your time in nature. You hunt for geocaches or treasure out in the world with the help of technology and an app on your phone, you use their navigation to lead you to the secret spot. I have enjoyed geocaching over the years and so have the kids. It is a great outdoor activity for any age. If you enjoy hiking or are looking for a way to get the whole family outside, geocaching might be worth a try!
How to get started?
Get started by downloading the official geocaching app. on your phone or mobile device. Once you launch the app. you will find there are two versions, a free one and a paid subscription. The free version allows you access to find some of the geocaches but not all of them. I suggest trying out the free version before you decide if you want to invest in the paid version. If your looking for more of a challenge, you can also choose to find the geocaches by their coordinates outside of the app. using the longitude and latitude given within the geocaches description.
Examples of geocaches
Get outside and find some treasure!
The app. will direct you to the geocaches location using the in app. navigation. You just follow the arrow. When you get close it will let you know with a beep, from there you have to really investigate. There are several different types of geocaches. There are traditional, multi, trackable, puzzle and earth caches. (There are actually several more!) Those are the most common, although in my experience I have seen more (micro/small) traditional geocaches than any other type. They come in different sizes! From nano to large. There is such variety when it comes to geocaches! You never know what you are looking for or going to find inside! Within the app. you can read a description about each geocache which reveal the size, type and difficulty of each one. If you get stuck you can also get hints or check in the comments for more information on finding the specific cache.
Once you find the geocache open it up and see what's inside. Most will have some type of log book inside you will be able to sign and date. You can also log your finds within the app. (Our crew signs as team river rat!) Some are full of trinkets and other surprises too. The rule is; if you take something, you must leave something. This is hit or miss, the kids would get excited over the trinkets inside when they were younger but prefer to leave something neat behind for the next treasure hunter, like a mini bobber now that they are older.
Geocaches we have found in the past
As always, your adventure should start with a plan.
Decide where you will be going geocaching. I suggest starting somewhere like the Northwest Lancaster County River Trail. I know from experience there are many geocaches to be found along this 14 mile stretch of trail. (Both in the free and paid version of the app.) There are many places to geocache and some can be found in random locations outside of parks and trails. (There are some on the river islands, just don't forget your boat!)
Consider what you will need. Whenever you are outdoors you should always wear sun screen and bug spray. Don't forget your phone, a pen (for the log book) and some small trinkets. Depending on how long you anticipate being out, bring some water!
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