Geocaching - An outdoor recreational activity in which participants use mobile devices or other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers at specific locations. Simply put, the worlds biggest game of hide and seek! The size of container, terrain, and difficulty are different on each cache which makes exploring for them all the more FUN. Here is an example of a micro-cache.
When these caches are hidden their creator gives the specific latitude and longitude coordinates along with a written clue. Sometimes the clue is in the name. Other times it is part of the description. There is also an option for hints if the person who made the cache decided to leave you a hint. You can also look at the activity for the cache to see how long ago it was found and sometimes there are tips for finding it too. There is a lot of creativity put into hiding and finding these.
Geocaching is literally an activity that can be done anywhere in the world. It is enjoyed by all ages, a great family activity, and a super sneaky way of getting the kids off the video games,outside and breathing some fresh air.
Geocaching generally works in two ways. One, you will find a small box or container that houses paper and pencil and you simply sign your name when you find it. You must put it back in the same exact spot you found it so those after you can also locate it. Two, you find the small box or container and inside will be a small trinket, something like a marble, match box car or die. You take the treasure and replace it with a new one for the next person to find. Again, return the box to the exact spot you found it. Here is the first HurdsFamilyFarm find. TGIF FFF It is located real close to our family home apple farm in Clintondale, NY.
You will be amazed how many caches are near you! As you can see there are a lot of caches hidden along the Ulster and Dutchess County rail trails.
To see visit Geocaching.com, make a free account and type in your zip code. If you have an android device, you can use that same login for the app called Geocaching by Groundspeak Inc. Look for the symbol below. The Apple version of this is called Geocaching App & Widget, with a symbol that looks like an arrow/C. Their basic version with easy caches is free. You can pay for a premium membership which has more challenging caches. You must download a geocaching app onto your phone so you can use it to find the treasure on your hunt. There are many choices of both paid and unpaid versions, so start with the unpaid and see how that works for you.
Okay, so you have your mobile device with the app and are ready to go! A map and directions will tell you how to get to the closest treasure. We love that the kids have to follow directions, read a map, learn from wrong turns and ultimately work together to find the hidden treasure. Choose a cache, you might need to drive to get a bit closer, and then use your mobile device to lead you to the precise location.
You might want to prepare a couple of things before you head out. 1st most, you may have to go in the woods. Consider appropriate clothing to avoid poison ivy or prickers. It's also a good idea to plan your caches. Read the description and activity log to get some ideas of what you are looking for. Remember to bring a writing utensil and a few small trinkets with you just in case.
Below we posted some pictures of what the boxes or containers might look like. Some are easy to locate and recognize and some are so well camouflaged you will have to look twice to make sure you haven't missed it.
This one is hiding in the tree trunk.
Before and after the rock was placed to hide the container.
Look closely, this one is camouflaged with the tree.
The more caches you find, the easier it will get to recognize others. It is very possible that you might not find the first few you look for. Don't give up on geocaching until you have found at least one of these little treasures. It is exciting, rewarding, and so worth the effort you put in.
For a great article on beginners guide to geocaching click this link