Challenge Wednesday #23: Its time for an adventure

So, there was a selfish reason for my question for Tracey at Control the Chaos this week.  I want to see as much of Scotland as we can while we are here...and I think her family's hobby could become one of my family's hobby AND help us see parts of the country that we wouldn't have thought of.  Hopefully you all can benefit from it too!

Oh, and you'll want stick around til the end.  Because there MIGHT be a link to a give-away.  Just sayin'. 

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I know I'm a geek. I'm married to a geek, and we have geek children. If you can identify with me and my geekiness, then you will understand why I am so excited to guest post today on Jen's blog.

Every Wednesday, Jen and I take turns trading blog homes. Last week, Jen asked me to come over and write about my family's favorite hobby: geocaching.

In her own words: "So Tracey, would you please tell me about your favorite geocaching experience and about any key things that we need to know if when we start doing it?  "

Woo Hoo! I think a little background information is in order. Like, for instance, what the heck is geocaching? And how in the world did you start?

Well, I'd be happy to answer those questions for you. Plus probably some that you didn't ask. 

Geocaching is, simply put, a high tech treasure hunt. Actual boxes, or caches, are hidden all over the world. In fact, odds are you've walked past or over or under several and not known it. You find a geocache using GPS coordinates, clues, and a little bit of "geosense."

We first started geocaching when we were living in Japan and were looking for a way to keep the kids engaged while we were out sightseeing. We registered for free at www.geocaching.com and immediately had access to hundreds of thousands of caches (that number is currently well over one million). You can search for caches in your area or by difficulty level, terrain, etc. 

a nose flute found in a cache
(don't worry, it was in a sealed bag!)
re-hiding the cache
Ok. Now on to Jen's questions. My favorite ever geocaching experience was probably when we took a trip to Luxembourg and spent the entire weekend geocaching. We decided to go at the last minute - we just needed to get away. So since we really had no agenda, we planned the trip around geocaching. We stayed in a beautiful area known for it's rock climbing and trails, and we created a list of caches close to our apartment. We packed a picnic lunch and spent two whole days out in nature, hiking and scrambling from cache to cache. We saw huge forests that went on forever, dark caves, and narrow paths between large rock formations. It was a perfect way to explore an area we probably would never have seen. And this is what keeps us caching - finding hidden beauty all over the world, having a destination off the beaten path, and working towards a common goal. It is truly a hobby that has something for the whole family. I enjoy seeing new things, my husband likes the puzzles, and my kids like the treasure hunt (many caches contain small toys for trading. You are welcome to take something from the cache as long as you replace it with a trinket of your own).

As far as key things to know, I do have a couple. The first day we tried geocaching we had a difficult time because we just didn't know what we were looking for. It's hard to picture until you see it for yourself. With that in mind, here are a few tips:

  • Start small. Remember when I said you can search by difficulty? Finding a couple easy ones will help you learn what you are looking for.
  • Keep trying! It takes a little learning to get the right mindset. Don't get discouraged too quickly.
  • If you have a smartphone, I highly recommend the geocaching app. You might not want to spring for the $10 app right away, but if you enjoy geocaching and want to stick with it, the app makes a huge difference. Wherever you go, you can just hit a button and search for geocaches in the area. Makes for fun spontaneous caching sprees.
  • Have fun and enjoy the new things you get to see along the way.

Well, I think I've rambled long enough. The only thing left is for you to get out and try it! And, you don't even have to be a geek like me to enjoy a fun and frugal family activity.

Ok, Jen. Here's your question for next week: What did you want to be when you grew up, did you follow your dream, and how are you making your dreams a reality in your current situation?

Can't wait to hear your response.

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Thanks for the post Tracey; I am so excited to try this.  Oh!  And guess what?  Tracey has a giveaway happening right now....make sure you head on over there to check it out!


Tracey @ ControltheChaos said...

Don't forget to tell your faithful readers about my giveaway!

Jen@ADropintheBucket said...

OOOH Yes! Good idea, I added that to the end of the post! :-)

Lori said...

Geocaching is really fun. Jason and I started taking the kids last summer around the cabin. The adults even did one that was specifically for night time. It was a blast.

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