Geocaching, treasure hunting for the whole family
What the heck is Geocaching?
In a nutshell, Geocaching is treasure hunting. You can geocache anywhere you live. All you need is a GPS- capable phone, or device, a pen or pencil, and few trinkets from home. With these items you are on your way to hours of geocaching family fun! Just type in Geocaching and your device will walk you through what to do next. There are a number of Apps of various prices and a few free ones that are specifically for Geocaching.
Geocaching in Charleston SC
Caches are small treasures that are hidden throughout different areas. The coordinates to find them are in your GPS device. There are many great Geocaches hidden throughout the many places in lowcountry and all of the South Carolina State Parks have at least one.
One of my family’s favorite places to Geocache is Barnwell State Park. There are a lot of really cool caches in creative hiding spots there.
Each official cache will have a log book and a pencil, as well as various trinkets or treasures. The rule is for every one item that is taken out of a cache, you must leave an item for the next treasure hunter to find. Each cache will tell how easy or difficult the terrain is so that you will even be able to determine if it is feasible to tackle with young children. Different people create the hunt so difficulty and clue information will vary. Do be cautious of your surroundings as far a wildlife, steep terrain etc.
Turn it into an adventure
The first time I went Geocaching with my boys we lived in San Diego. I wanted to make it a really fun adventure for them so we dressed up in costumes . My son CJ, age seven at the time, wanted to be Indiana Jones. Landon age five transformed himself into a pirate. The boys and their friends Colin and Tyler were ready for adventure.
We has such a great time climbing over rocks, hiking hills and taking in all the nature around us. Our first cache was hidden VERY well. When we found it all of our hard work was worth it. Though the treasure was anything from extraordinary, the boys felt like heroes that day. The exclaimed things like “we did it” and “I’m a real explorer”. They were so proud as they carefully selected their treasure from the box and placed the ones they had brought for the next adventurers. They also loved writing their names and date in the log book .
Geocaching is a great way to build confidence while teaching problem solving and critical thinking. It also teaches them how to use a compass.
Since our explorers had worked so hard, I wanted to reward them with some buried treasure cupcakes. We kicked back and watched the Goonies (if your kids are younger – something like Jake and the Neverland pirates might be a better fit.) A fantastic time was had by all and I highly recommend this fun and free family activity!