I started geocaching with my kids when they were really young. We love learning how to find hidden treasures in our own city! It isn’t hard to get started, but knowing the basics for geocaching are important. The best part? It’s FREE!
Not sure what geocaching is? Check out this video.
How to start geocaching
Download an App
We like C:Geo but I know there are a few different options. We’ve never paid for an app, but I know the paid versions can be beneficial for serious geo-cachers. This app will allow you to search your area by difficulty and location. Are you in an area with a few minutes to waste? Use your app to search for geocaches nearby.
Our favorite geocaches are ones geared for kids. Often times, they include small little trinkets like pencils, fun erasers, foreign coins, etc. The rule is take something, leave something. My kids love seeing what is in the geocache and choosing something to leave behind.
- Carry a pencil so you can write in the logbook that is included with each geocache.
- Plan to wear shoes that you can go “off-roading” with since most geocaches aren’t on a paved surface. (Tip: If you need a paved surface for a wheelchair, stroller, etc., just look for wheelchair accessible geocaches when you are in the app.)
Find a geocache from the app to hunt for. I typically search for easy difficulty and kid-friendly from the hunt. We’ve done some harder ones, but my boys are older. We started with lots of easy ones. Open up the map and follow the compass that will direct you where to go. Allow plenty of time to get acclimated to the app and learn how to follow the compass. Once you are in the area, start looking everywhere! Under logs, in trees, behind rocks, etc.
Log Your Find
Congrats! You found your first geocache! Make sure you write in the logbook and also record your find in the app. This helps other people know the geocache is still there and in good condition. If there are treasures, be sure you take one and leave something you brought. Make sure you return the geocache to the exact location you found it!
Finally, Don’t Be a Muggle!
The key to keeping the geocaching community safe and sustainable is the secrecy behind this fun activity. Try not to let others (muggles) know what you’re doing or when you find the cache.