Geocaching With Kids
To continue on with our outdoor adventure from this weekend at Blendon Woods, here’s another fun and free activity for the whole family – treasure hunting!! If you’re not familiar with geocaching, it’s basically finding a “cache” of something in a “geographical” location – Geocache. Anyone can hide a cache and post the coordinates on a geocache website for others to find. There’s usually a log book for you to write in and document your find, plus depending on the size of the cache, there might be trinkets for you to trade or take. Check out geocaching.com for great information about this activity and how to download an app!
The first geocache adventure I ever went on was August 15, 2011 when Sam proposed to me ~ however, that was the only diamond I’ve ever found in a cache 🙂 He texted me during work that day to see if I wanted to go Geocaching at Highbanks Park and get dinner at Frisch’s Big Boy. I said sure (secretly hoping he was going to propose). After work, I went to Sam’s apartment so we could ride together and he was like “look at the website I found for geocaching at Highbanks.” Immediately I thought “whelp, there goes my proposal – it really is an actual geocache at Highbanks.” He wrote down the clues from the website, but I forgot to bring that paper with us. Luckily, Sam said he had memorized them and was confident he could find the cache anyways 🙂 We get to the coordinates where it should be hidden and Sam said he thought it was off the path a little. I told him I didn’t want to get poison ivy, so he could go ahead and find it and write our names in the log book. Looking back I feel so bad for Sam – first I forget the clues and then I told him to find the cache by himself! Ha! Anyways, he is off the path a bit behind some trees and says, “I found it and there’s no poison ivy! Come look!” So, I go over to the cache and since a proposal is completely out of my mind, I don’t even realize it’s a picnic blanket in a bag, and instead I’m mad the person who left the cache didn’t include a log book to write in. The next thing I know, Sam takes my hands in his, says a bunch of sweet things, and gets down on one knee to propose. Ahhhh!!!! I say yes, of course, and he spreads out the picnic blanket and pulls out a picnic dinner from his camera bag – ham sandwiches, chips, and Izzy drinks. Oh, and the Metro Parks website he showed me for the geocache?? A FAKE one he actually spent all day making just to throw me off 🙂
Since then, we’ve included friends and family on our hunts, and now we are getting back into it with the kiddos, who think it’s the best thing ever to go on a real treasure hunt!
There are different size caches and that information will be listed wherever you get the coordinates from. If it’s adults hunting, a small micro-cache is challenging and fun, but because of the tiny size of the container, there’s not enough room for “treasures”, so I wouldn’t suggest that with kids. Stick to “regular” or “normal” size caches that allow for people to put trinkets in like real treasure.
So, back to our Blendon Woods geocaching. We found 2 caches – the first one was hidden off the Overlook trail under a rock. It had little gems, erasers, stickers, a nickel, and a log book. The kids couldn’t believe it! Cam chose a gemstone, Eli chose the nickel, and Ava wanted a Halloween eraser. We hiked a good mile or more looking for this one, but after finding the treasure, the kids were antsy to look for another.
We hit the Sugarbush trail next and hiked another mile to find the cache camouflaged up in a tree. Funny thing is I looked around the base of this tree initially but never looked up. Would have found it 10 minutes sooner if I had done that! As we continued to look for it (and the kids were fading fast), Sam read a comment online that someone had left a few days before us saying, “Good luck and keep your chin up.” That’s when we started looking up in the trees and eventually found this one. It too had some gems, a little notebook, and trinkets. All in all a successful geocaching afternoon!