Friday, August 15, 2014

If you're not geocaching, you're missing the boat.

If you have kids you've probably heard of other families out geocaching. You're thinking, "what the hell is geocaching"?  Geocaching is a world wide treasure hunt. A good place to start is the geocache website like I did. With a GPS (either handheld or an Iphone app.) you locate various "caches".

Depending upon if you have the free version or not..this is what the app on your phone looks like. It will show you surrounding caches. Click on any cache to be given coordinates, hints and read about other people's "activity" in searching for the cache. Once you find a cache, you mark that you "found it" or "did not find" and then have the opportunity to leave a comment.  Sometimes the comments left by others are more helpful than the hints left by the person who originally hid the cache.

Our first cache was about .2 miles away from us. Both girls had an Iphone with the app on it and were guiding us with a compass. Between the hints and reading other's activity we were off in the right direction.

Off to find our first cache

After a bit of searching, we found it! Our first cache was hidden under a bush.  Emma is holding the cache. It was an old film canister wrapped in camouflage tape. Most caches have a scroll in them for you to sign your name. 

Every cache is different size, these sizes are indicated on the Iphone app.

Write your name on the scroll, mark "found it" on your Iphone app and move on to the next!

Here's a different cache.  Bigger than a film canister and filled with little things. Kids are encouraged to take a little thing in the cache so long as they replace it with something else. Before heading out, maybe grab coins, stickers, or little "doo-doo's".  
"Doo-doo's" is a Nanceterm for little trinkets, usually the stuff you find for 25cents in a machine.

Warning: geocaching is addictive! It only took two finds and we were hooked.  Before I knew it, the day was slipping by and I still had errands to run. With all of us in the car, we'd run an errand, geocache, run another errand, find another cache. Before I knew it,  I had an 11 year old riding shotgun screaming out
"turn left"
"slow down"!
"you missed it"
"go back"
"park over there"
"turn right" 

Jess found one in the bushes.

With the help of reading other people's "activity" we knew that in order to find our next cache we would have to go under a rope that was surrounding the Tunaman Memorial.  I wasn't particularly fond of having to crawl on a memorial, but hey it's for the love of the game.

Not ready to stop geocaching we took a picnic dinner to Balboa Park and began searching there too.  Geocaching is really hard to explain (you couldn't agree more after reading this) and the best way is to hand someone the phone and show them the app. The girls were happy to show Phil what we had been doing most of the day. After his first find, he was ready for more.

Geocaching at Balboa Park is a must! Like the park isn't beautiful enough, geocaching takes you to some of the most gorgeous parts within the park.

Did I mention how awesome it is to geocache in one of the most beautiful places?

Emma finds another one! It seemed like because of her height Emma found more than the rest of us. 
No exaggeration we spent 8 solid hours of geocaching. Geocaching is a great way to discover more of a place you already live or to get more acquainted with a new area.  Geocaching would be awesome on a long road trip to help break it up...or maybe even cruising. 

The next time you see a family rummaging through the bushes, looking lost you don't need to feel sorry for them thinking they're looking for food, wondering if you should buy them cheeseburgers, they're probably just geocaching.  


  1. OK, so you know we geocache (fanaticall for about 6 years now) and I want to point you to "Pathtags". They are personal trade items (doo dads) and you leave them like your calling card. ( They are NOT travellers like geocoins where they are logged that you pick them up and then move them towards their goal through placing in another geocache), but you get to keep the pathtag. You design your own pathtag, and it could be your boat, or a picture of your kids, etc, and its the size of a quarter and on the backside is a number that the person who decides to trade for it, logs that they found it. It's really awesome. If you go to the pathtags website you can see some of ours, and if you PM (on facebook) me your mailing address, I'll send you some of our personal ones!

  2. GPS route frameworks are route and exact situating gadgets. Made by the Department of Defense in the mid 1970s, GPS was basically made to help officers and military vehicles, ships and planes in absolutely setting up their positions anyplace on the planet.