Road Trip: Geocaching

We're always looking for fun things to do on a budget - this time we found something that is actually FREE! Geocaching!

Geocaching is a treasure hunt that is happening right now all over the world - and you can jump in and participate right now! 

The easiest way to Geocache is using your smart phone - they have an official app which to me is the easiest to use. There are paid versions but I just downloaded the free one and it's fine.

When the app is open it will ding when you're close by. Then you can pop it open and start searching. The hint is usually very helpful as well as knowing the size. A tiny little magnet can be hidden in far different places than a big metal box!  

We finally found our first cache - these suckers can be TINY! This one admittedly has really blatant directions - but after being so frustrated after the first three - we took the victory and ran with it!

 This one screwed open and was a tight scroll of paper. I had a pen with me to sign it and leave my mark. It's kind of fun knowing it's there - I might just go back this summer and see who has signed it since me!

Geocaches come in all sizes - so they can be tiny like this or a box. In the cases of the box - you can take/leave a trinket in the box. We were hoping for one of those - but it wasn't our day. Some are buried but I think a lot of them are magnetic.

The best thing about the app is that if you pull it up - wherever you are - you'll probably have a cache nearby!

Here are a few tips for first time Geocachers:

* Go on a pleasant day - if you get frustrated easily, don't let weather be one of the frustrations
* Take a pen as well as a couple of trinkets
* Check out places you're familiar with the landscape if possible (work?)
* If you're embarrassed by people pointing at you when they drive by - go out in the country
* Choose an EASY one first (ala Washington Park) - it will help you get the hang of it
* Look in every place you wouldn't think something could be hidden
* If you can't find it - leave a note on the app. I got an email the next day that gave me more clues about a couple of the ones I couldn't find!
* Bring the kids! They are going to have a different eye level view and think of far more hiding spots than I could!

Best of luck and happy hunting!

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