What is it about the idea of treasure hunting that interests us? Countless books have been written about pirates searching for an elusive treasure. Thanks to their maps, the phrase“X marks the spot” has become synonymous with an advantageous find. Modern-day treasure hunters often use high-tech equipment like metal detectors and sonar to aid them in their quest, but the aim is the same as the pirates of yore. Gold, right? Money, jewels, and long-lost coins top the list of things people are hunting for. Have you ever noticed, though, that even when these treasure hunters find what they’re looking for, they aren’t satisfied? No matter how big or impressive the treasure, the hunters are right back out there trying to find the next big haul.
I think it’s safe to say that while the treasure is great, it’s the HUNT itself that is the best part. Just a couple of weeks ago I read a Huffington Post article about a man in Oregon who found a rare gold coin with his metal detector. When asked about his find, the man responded, “Finding it is better than keeping it.”
If you’re a modern-day treasure hunter and haven’t yet tried out geocaching, it’s time you get your family outside to try out a new hobby. Simply put, geocaching is an international treasure hunt using GPS coordinates to locate geocaches, hidden containers or points of interest. Once you find a geocache, you log your success on a written log within the container and/or on the website geocaching.com (you can create an account on the site for free and even download a free app so you can find your first cache today).
No, you won’t find gold, jewels, or money in these geocaches, but you’ll have the fun of the find.
How to Begin Your Geocaching “X Marks the Spot” Adventure
- Geocaching.com – Geocaching 101
- Geocaching Junkie – So You Want to Be a Geocacher?
- Madcacher – Geocaching Tips for Beginners
- Factsfacts – What the Heck is Geocaching? A Beginner’s Guide
- eXtension.org – A Beginner’s Step by Step Guide to Geocaching
Now get outside and get hunting!
Geocaching is great fun, just have to watch out for ticks and poison ivy in my neck of the woods, treasures I DON’T enjoy finding!
We love getting out this time of year because there are fewer problems with those sorts of things–and, as a bonus, the trees don’t have leaves yet so we can see caches more easily. It’s the snakes that spook me (although we don’t have any nasty ones here in Michigan).
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My daughters L O V E geocaching! We don’t go often enough, but try to find a cache whenever we travel.
The best cache we ever found was a puzzle cache linked to the theme of a nearby sculpture. First you had to figure out how to get the lid off, then you had to figure out how to get the loot container out of the cache. (Hint: float it out with water, as per the theme.)
Wow, there are some very creative cache makers out there! We saw one last week that was a carved squirrel in a tree. It still amazes me that all of these caches are right out there just beyond where people would see them. It’s such a fun hobby!