This post was originally posted on the Children's Museum of Indianapolis blog.
After visiting the Pirates and Princesses exhibit at the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, we found the hidden treasure left by a peg-legged Pirate. By following his prints, we were led straight to the loot. I began thinking about how fun it would be to do a little treasure hunting on our own. Having heard about geocaching before, I thought this would fit the bill perfectly.
If you haven’t heard of geocaching, it is essentially an outdoor treasure hunting game. Geocaching is based on using GPS devices. Using the GPS coordinates, you navigate to a spot and try to find the geocache which is a hidden container. Inside, you should find a log book to sign and the treasure – small items left by others who also found the cache. You take something, leave something and put the cache back for the next treasure hunters to find.
We’re just beginners at geocaching but we’re hooked. We love getting outside and searching for treasures all over the place. Here are a few tips to help you start geocaching with your family:
- I downloaded the Geocaching app on my phone which acts as my GPS device. With the free version, you can only find certain geocaches while “advanced” geocaches require a paid upgrade. There are plenty of traditional geocaches to keep you busy so I recommend sticking with the free version when you first start out.
- Our first find was too small and what we had brought with us didn’t fit. We also didn’t have a pen to write our names on the log. We had to return later with a smaller treasure to exchange. After that, we put a pen and a variety of treasures in a bag to bring with us every time. Plus, we can keep it in our car for spontaneous geocaching while we’re out and about.
- Remember that geocaches come in all different shapes and sizes which is part of the fun. We even found one hidden inside our local library!
- Keep in mind that the GPS coordinates get you close but not always exactly to the spot. Your kids will be great helpers to search high and low. Some geocaches will have a hint to help you. It may take a while to discover and sometimes you might not find it but there’s always another geocache to find.