How to Go Geocaching With Your Kids

Last year families were hitting the trail with their GPS units to Geocache. This summer they are downloading apps on their phones.

Using a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver your children can teach them about geography and explore new areas. Geocaching is an inexpensive, interactive outdoor game. Players use GPS to find and hide containers called caches, it is a treasure hunt for the whole family.

First you will need a GPS unit or a GPS-Enabled mobile phone. Go geocaching using your smartphone and a Geocaching Live-enabled application. You can find GPS units at electronic, camping and boat supply stores or online.

Three great sites are:

After you have your unit, sign up for free at www.geocaching.com. Enter your zip code and how many miles you would like to hunt for your treasure. Press Go and you'll be surprised by the listing of caches. 

Caches are containers that have been hidden by geocachers. The person who initially hides the cache posts its GPS coordinates on geocaching.com. There are 1,093,269 active caches on this site alone and growing each day. When I put in my zip code I was shocked to find 284 pages listing 5678 cashes.

You will find coordinates, clues and most listings will give hints like landmarks and difficulty ratings. Start your family of with an easy cache, near home.

Enter the coordinates, found online, on your GPS. Once you've located the cache, be sure to sign the logbook and put the cache back exactly where you found it.

For a wonderful writing connection help your child share their experience by writing about it on geocaching.com site.

Finally, it's your children's turn to hide their cache. Post the coordinates online, then check in and see how many people have found their containers.

Geocaching Tools

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Parenting & Education Examiner Rhonda Cratty is a Denver-area mom, teacher and writer.

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