Do you have trouble getting your kid away from the iPad? Nature has a hard time competing with technology but there’s a surefire way to combine the two and enjoy family-friendly fun while you’re at it: get ready to grab the keys and take a kid-friendly geocaching RV trip.
Kids don’t know they’re learning when geocaching!
Geocaching Is for Everybody
Millions of players have enjoyed geocaching adventures. Part orienteering, part treasure-hunt, this fun outdoor activity started in the year 2000, when the U.S. government allowed mere mortals like us to utilize GPS technology for everything from fun and games to daily navigation.
According to GPS.com, immediately after this landmark action all it took was one GPS enthusiast to hide a container in the woods, post the item’s GPS coordinates in an Internet GPS users group and challenge other techie geeks to scour the earth and find it. Geocaching was born and a fun new treasure hunt hobby began.
Today it’s not strictly for computer geeks; anybody with a smart phone GPS app or other GPS-enabled device can join the fun. Recent numbers say that over 6 million geocachers are looking for over 2,747,964 active geocaches worldwide!
Plan a kid-friendly geocaching RV trip to a state park.
Geocaches are hidden containers of little, family-friendly trinkets that enthusiasts stash in the great outdoors, which can range from your neighborhood park to Yosemite National Park.
Sometimes they’ll hide them in a film canister, or they might get more elaborate by stashing them in an ammunition box. Geocache owners leave their treasures inside the container and go to a site like Geocaching.com where they publicly post the item’s coordinates, leave fun clues and invite players to take something and leave something of equal or greater value. Inside every cache there’s also a logbook for you to celebrate each player’s discovery.
Geocaching hunts are designed in about a dozen different themes and range from traditional containers with a simple log book or small treasures like key fobs or bric-a-brac, to an “EarthCache,” which is a geology-themed treasure hunt that educates finders about how the surrounding terrain was formed and how to preserve it.
Many public parks around the world are embracing geocaching’s ability to get kids into the great outdoors. They’re holding geocaching parties, clubs and treasure hunts of their own and inviting kids to earn prizes and recognition by participating in geocaching treasure hunts in Texas State Parks, Georgia State Parks and even at individually-owned private campgrounds like KOAs. Many of these themed geocaches will educate participants about the local area.
Geocaching kits for beginners are a great idea.
Geocaching is great for kids because it:
- Helps teach orienteering methods
- Combines technology and old-school map reading skills
- Informs about an area’s history, geology, nature or events
How to Start Your Kid-Friendly Geocaching RV Trip
- Ensure your smart phone has a GPS app or get a handheld GPS unit.
- Go to Geocaching.com and create a free account.
- Read about the basics of geocaching, like etiquette and the different types of games you can play.
- Find a geocache near you. Study the geocache’s terrain and difficulty to ensure it will be appropriate for your family. For your first adventure, Geocache.com recommends a super-easy treasure hunt to keep things interesting. You might also want to do an Internet search to learn if a specific park you want to visit has a geocaching treasure hunt.
- Consider purchasing a Beginner’s Geocaching Kit to enhance your adventures.
- Have fun!