We're Going on a (Very Geeky) Treasure Hunt
By JennaHatfield on March 24, 2010
Last year I gently poked fun at my friend and her family as they picked up the hobby of geocaching. The other day we became just as geeky. For those not familiar with geocaching, here's the definition from the site geocaching.com:
Geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking treasure. A geocacher can place a geocache in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology and then share the geocache's existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS device can then try to locate the geocache.
After researching all winter and getting another day of sun the other day, my husband and I decided to brave it outside. I downloaded the free version of the geocaching.com iPhone app and we picked one that we wanted to look for in our local park.
And then we TALKED. IT. UP!
We called the boys into the living room and said that we were going on a TREASURE HUNT! And it would be FUN! And our oldest son ran to retrieve his pirate hat (obviously), a map he had drawn on a piece of paper just that day and a (non-functioning) calculator which was, of course, HIS GPS. Our youngest son was mad that we didn't have another pirate hat (fail) but was excited to look for treasure as well. Then we set out! To look for treasure!
Once at the park, we got out of our vehicle and began our walk. It was a lovely day to boot. Our older son asked 958409678 times to see the map on my phone. We were indicated by a blue flashing dot. The TREASURE! was indicated by a green flag type symbol. He was SO excited that I almost died of cute overload. Once we found the general area, he wanted to dig in the dirt. I figured that was fine because, hey, kids need to dig in dirt while they're growing up.
Sadly, we didn't find the geocache in question because it had been muggled (the geocaching term for stolen which also made me think of muggles which made me feel even dorkier). I thought, at the very least, our older son would be upset that we didn't find it. WRONG! He had a BLAST. He's still talking about our treasure hunt, days later.
And so our family has a new hobby. Apparently we're dorky even when we're outside.
Which begs the quesiton of this forum: are there any other geocachers here? Do you do it alone, as a couple or as a family? If you have a non-phone GPS, which one did you buy? My husband wants to buy one for when he goes off on his own (and he doesn't want an iPhone) so he's looking for suggestions. Do your kids enjoy it or do they think you're just uber-dorky?
I gotta say, I'm loving this meshing of two of my favorite things: nature and technology.
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