23 September 2010

Living! (On the Cheap)--Geocaching

     I would like to make an announcement. I am a giant nerd….  I love all things digital. I love gadgets.  I love technology. I want doors that whoosh open when I walk up to them. I want Scotty to beam me up! I also love the fact that I will never have to figure out how to fold a map again. So when my husband first suggested geocaching my only reservation was the age of our children. In fact, I was more than willing to sweep that concern under the rug for the chance to buy myself a GPS.** It’s an investment in my children’s future entertainment, really. 
     So after a couple of hours at home spent playing our least favorite game, Whadya Want To Do? I Don’t Know, Whadya Want To Do? over the weekend. My husband and I made an executive decision! We bought ourselves a Garmin and tried geocaching with the kids. (Geocaching is a worldwide treasure hunt using a GPS devise and coordinates as a treasure map and the cache itself acting as the treasure.)After a brief learning curve i.e. figuring out the Garmin, we loaded a cooler with snacks and drinks into the Jeep, got the kids saddled up and headed north, and then west, and then north again, and west…. Our first set of coordinates brought us to a very old, country graveyard.  Spooky. And after a few minutes weaving between tombstones and chasing my kids off statuaries we were rewarded with a camo covered film canister containing a log sheet. Frankly the kids weren’t that impressed with the “treasure” but really enjoyed running around the graveyard, the train that ran nearby, and the really loud cows on the other side of the graveyard fence. My husband and I, on the other hand, were hooked! Our next cache (BTW cache is pronounced cash) was on a crooked, low water bridge and was a pill bottle that contained another log sheet. Our last cache of the day brought us to an old church and after an hour of searching we left without finding the treasure. 
     We ended our adventure with dinner at the train themed diner and with our VERY grubby children talking about treasure maps that fit in the palm of your hand and impersonating pirates by covering their eyes with cucumber slice eye patches. Rrrrr! 
The kids all looking for treasure at the Old Stone Church, Osawatomie, KS. 
The short list concerning geocaching….  
  • You have to have a handheld GPS.       
  • Carry a pencil and paper to sign the logs and to write down coordinates, in case the cache you find is just a clue leading you to a bigger treasure.     
  • Wear solid boots and appropriate outdoor clothing.  Tromping through brush and wading through creeks is part of the fun!       
  • Bring trinkets to place in the caches you find.  Some caches contain real treasure and the general rule  is that you trade items of equal or greater value for the items you remove from the cache.  We carry lots of items to trade, ranging from arrow heads to plastic bugs.  
  •  Check out the official website for coordinates http://www.geocaching.com and how to’s.      
  •  Bring your sense of adventure!  
  •  Log your finds at the website above.        
  •  Consider hiding a cache of your own!
     Geocaching is one of those kinda things that it can be as involved or simple as you want it to be. There are several different ways to play this game, and it can be played all over the world. I've kept to the basics, because that's the level my family is at right now. But so you know, my family had a GREAT time and I don’t think we will have another Whadya Want To Do conversation for a long time!

Although I do my best to ensure that the information I report is current and correct, I suggest you always follow up for yourself. If you would like more information about geocaching please check out this website http://www.geocaching.com/.
**I was in no way compensated for this review this is just a tip I like to pass on to my readers and friends.

Check out my other Living! (On the Cheap) segments here!
Dagg Park                                                              
Powell Gardens
The Kansas City Northern Railroad
Fort Scott, Kansas
Two Websites Every Parent Should Know About
Emporia Kansas Zoo
Powell Pumpkin Patch
Portable North Pole
Deanna Rose Farmstead Pin It
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