(in the activity or pastime of geocaching) an item, typically a container holding a number of other items, that has been hidden at a location whose coordinates have been posted on the Internet.
-- Definition credit: Google AKA The know-it-all uncle the whole world has in common.
Earth day is the perfect time to highlight geocaching -- my family’s latest obsession. It's super easy, think treasure hunting but instead of gold and diamonds you find a hidden geaocache box, take a small item and leave one in it's place.
Find an online community with geocaches in your area. Then pack a compass (okay, a smartphone), pull on a pair of hiking boots and a smile. It's super easy, think treasure hunting but instead of gold and diamonds you'll find a hidden geaocache box, take a small item and leave one in it's place.
The key is to start small. For our first foray into geocaching my family hopped online to search “easy [local] geocache for kids.” (Insert your hometown name). We quickly learned that several simple targets were located off a walking trail along a nearby bog.
We wore long pants and sleeves to keep the mosquitos at bay, comfortable shoes, sunglasses and hats. A backpack filled with small gifts to leave in the cache boxes, snacks (never leave home without them), water bottles, a small notepad and a couple of fine-point permanent markers rounded out our gear.
It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in sight. We found the first cache pretty quickly as it came with rather detailed instructions. Nestled inside a plastic shoebox bin we found a few shells and tiny miscellaneous items. We wrote our names and the date in our notepad, pulled off the page, and tucked it inside.
With that victory our confidence grew, so we set out to find the second geocache using only longitude and latitude coordinates.
We happened upon a beaver colony along the way. For the better part of an hour we ate our snacks and watched the kits playing in the water while mom and dad beaver nervously kept watch.
Then we were off to complete our mission.
Finally the big prize: a rusty geocache box hidden in a hollow tree. The kids left a key chain and miniature magnifying glass. They choose a plastic bracelet and shark tooth as their prize.
We added our names to the list of discoverers in the notepad kept inside the geocache box. The dates went back as far as 2006.
My kids were able to connect with people from years ago and years hence, all in an easy Sunday afternoon of geocaching.
Earth Day is about remembering our first mother, the planet upon which we live. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend Earth Day than walking her paths, new and old, and remembering with the scent of each flower and the sight of every soaring bird how very good we have it. How blessed we are to call Earth home.