Monday, May 03, 2010

geocaching fun.

April and early May usually brings a lot of cold and rain to Wisconsin (and iffy trails), but this year we have had a remarkably dry spring. For us, this means we have been able to hit our favorite trails and parks several times a week for hiking, bird watching, and plant identifying.

With the warm dry weather we have also been able to spend time with our GPS and compass. Geocaching is something we have found that combines a lot of our favorite things--hiking, nature walks, orienteering, navigating, and especially for my guys, gadgets and technology. :)

With the popularity of geocaching, we can usually find a cache (or several) to hunt in pretty much any one of our favorite parks, towns, or trails. We find a good family cache, enter the coordinates into our GPS device, and we are off! The boys check direction and trail maps, determine the best path(s) to take (confirm we are heading in the right direction with their compass), and guide us to the coordinates by following the GPS. By solving a clue we usually can get the final hint to lead us to the cache.

We have had the perfect weather to get out this spring and go geocaching...last weekend we tracked three! It was nice to get outside, visit a few state parks, wander and explore, and swap some treasure.

You can search for geocaches in your area at

Lots of fun!


Gwynneth Beasley said...

Ooooh I have been wondering whether I should try one of these with my kids, I know there are some caches in our area, but my kids haven't shown much interest in the compass. I love more details on what your boys use because my kids are similarish age!

denise said...

Gwynneth-We spent the past year or so mostly using the GPS to mark our car location, and then having the boys navigate back to it from trails we were hiking on. We always take both our GPS device and a compass (my husband also has an iPhone w/GPS so we use that when he is with us too - which is nice, so both boys have their own), so we can go back and forth, confirm direction, and see how trail maps relate to what is in our hand. It was a fun way to start!

With spring we have started geocaching tracked caches, and the boys are definitely having fun doing it. We do go through the cache lists and pick easy terrain/trails for our outings so that they don't get frustrated. They have also had a lot of fun just collecting items to go into our swap bag (goodies to trade for other little treasures in each cache).

Dawn said...

This sounds like so much fun. I want to try it sometime. All I need is a compass.

Anonymous said...

Sounds awesome! My hubby and I used to Geo-cach all the time but I haven't thought about it in awhile. And I never thought about kids liking it but of corse! It's so much fun part hiking part treasure hunt. I think we will have to go out soon again and take the little girl:)

Gwynneth Beasley said...

Thanks Denise. Good tip on navigating back to the car as a starting activity. My husband got us lost in the car recently despite having a car and phone gps in use so I don't know if good navigation skills are in our family. Worth a try though!

shayndel said...

Beautiful garden.
I love the smell of lilacs, and the delicate photos you showed as they blossom.
Happy gardening adventures to you.

Anonymous said...

My son (10 year old)and I love geocaching (jeepnclev on The one problem is he prefers large with treasures and I enjoy a good hunt (large to micro). I have an android phone and he has (got recently) a Geomate jr.