|Geocaching and Summer Fun|
We are about a month into our summer vacation and we have been enjoying family, the beach and travel. Last year we took up a new diversion that has entertained all of us for many hours. We have been Geocaching and if you have never tried it, you should!
Geocaching is a treasure hunt that is played with a GPS. There are thousands of Geocaches hid all over the world and you find them by going to Geocaching.com, becoming a member, sending the coordinates of the Geocache to your smart phone or your GPS, and then going to where the cache is supposed to be and hunting it down until you find it.
Geocaches can be as big as a bread box and can contain all sorts of trinkets, toys and even money or they can be tinier than the tip of you finger and contain nothing but a tiny strip of paper on which you put the date and your initials indicating that you have found it. They can be easy to find and they can be impossible to find. They can involve mystery, puzzles, riddles, multiple stages, brute force, lithe fingers, eagle eyes and endurance but the most important thing to have when looking for these is perseverance.
Both my sons can be pretty dogged when looking for caches and I tend to not want to give up while looking either. All of us have different skills that we bring to the game and we specialize in finding different kinds of caches. My youngest son find the caches that everyone else has all but given up looking for, my eldest son finds the caches that are very high, very low or in tight spaces and the caches that are cleverly hidden. The adults tend to find the caches where the description or hint gives a clue to where it might be.
It is nice to find a game that takes us outside, often to beautiful locations that we never knew existed, that gets us out of the house and walking, that we all can do together and that involves both 21st century technology and 17th century common sense.
There is nothing more fun than to find a big box of goodies hidden away in the woods, cleverly hung from a tree limb or placed under a board walk. Whenever you take something from the box of goodies in Geocaching, you should replace it with something of equal or greater value. We always carry a bag of what is known in the game as 'SWAG'. SWAG stands for 'Stuff we all get'. This can be anything from the measuring tapes (to measure the size of an insect bite, laceration or burn), pen lights, or scissors that the pharmaceutical drug representatives give me at work to bouncy balls that I buy at the dollar store.
Sometimes the caches have 'travel bugs'. These are items with serial numbers that are tracked by the person who put them in the first cache and they generally have a goal or a destination. One Travel bug we found was a GI Joe Ken doll with a serial dog tag travel bug attached. Its goal was to travel to caches near army, navy or air force bases. When we found it, it had been half way around the country (you can go online to see where it has been). We placed it near my sister's beach house in a cache that was just outside of Tyndall Air Force base. We have relocated travel bugs from Germany, Japan and Australia and the kids love finding these in Geocaches.
Go to Geocaching.com and check out this game. You will have fun. I promise it.