Monday, November 11, 2013

Finding treasure, losing our minds

Our family spent Saturday afternoon doing something fun that we've never tried before.

Geo caching.

Have you heard of it?  It is basically a world-wide treasure hunt.  It was really fun, if not a bit of a crazy maker.

I downloaded the app several months ago, but we had never gotten around to taking an afternoon to try it out.  The idea is that you type in where you are and the app will give you coordinates to a *hidden treasure.*  People have hidden containers (literally) all over the world.  Now with smart phones it is very easy to do with kids, the app will give you where to go to find the treasure.

There are hard to find ones, easy to find ones, some in the city, lots hidden in metro parks etc.  We stuck to easy ones (although we only found 2 of the 4 we were looking for) and ones in the city.  In fact we found one 3 blocks from our house and one at the end of O's friend L's house.  Sometimes in the cache you will find trinkets.  There is usually a paper log where you are suppose to sign in and leave your name and the date of the find.  If there is a treasure in the container, you may take it, as long as you replace it with something at least the worth of the treasure you find.

My kids were in LOVE with this.  In fact they loved it so much they kept wanting to do "just one more."  Which would have been good, except we had already walked about 5 miles hunting around the city for the other four. We took O's good friend from school and it was a really fun activity for all of us to do.  It was extra fun because it was a beautiful day and got us out of the house and walking around our city. 

I have to say, the kids were pretty bummed that we couldn't find the other two.   Sometimes people don't put them back where they are suppose to be, others may find them not knowing they are cache or an animal may move it from where it is suppose to be.  So, my disclaimer is that you may lose your mind with this outing. Sometimes they are just plain hard to find.  (In fact, we are about to go back and try and find one of the two unfound treasures because I'm pretty sure we just over looked it.) 

Something else really fun about Geo caching, you can do it wherever you go.  If you are out of town, you just check in with the app and it will tell you where the nearest find is.  What is crazy is, all of a sudden there is this hidden world that is opened up to us that we never knew existed.  It's kind of fun to drive past the hidden cache in our neighborhood and feel like I'm an insider to a secret.

So, if you are looking for something fun to do on a date night, with your kids or in a new town that you're visiting, I would suggest downloading this fun activity; just be prepared to leave a little part of your mind with each hunt.

1 comment:

Colleen said...

I have some friends who just did this for the first time, too, and they loved it! I like the idea of getting out and walking around. I think one of them was at a state park not far from us where we like to go walking already. I'll ave to download that app!