Geocaching: Bonding with family through treasure hunts

Teenagers of the world have been united for a cause, and that cause is called geocaching. Not peculiar with the term? Don’t worry, neither are so many other parents who think their teens are too lazy to commit to physical activities. Recent surveys show that five percent of geocachers are 18-year-olds or younger. Fathers are quickly adopting the trend as it provides them with the perfect opportunity to bond with their children through this modern version of treasure hunt games for kids. Here’s how you can teach your teen the finer points of geocaching.

Geocaching is…

An outdoor activity that relies on the Global Positioning System (GPS) device to find waterproof containers (referred to as cache) or hide caches around the world. This sport can be considered as a modern form of treasure hunting, waymarking, orienteering, and benchmarking. It also provides good camping with family options.

Geo means earth and cache means “hidden” in French, thus the word “geocaching”.

Geocaching began in May 2000, when Dave Ulmer hid the first stash near Beaver Creek, Oregon. The coordinates for the stash were later shared on an online group called GPS Stash Hunt and the geocaching missions were a go.

To be or not to be a muggle

‘Not to be a muggle’ is a wise option. Similar to the muggles of the Harry Potter book series, who had no magical powers and were frowned upon, the geo-muggles are people who have absolutely no idea what geocaching is all about. It is a good chance for all muggle parents to do research on this sport that would enable them to join the ranks of wizards.

Getting your teen started

Whether it is your kid’s birthday party, transition into adulthood party or any other occasion that calls for celebrations, it is always preferable to engage the teen in something as exciting as geocaching. Some proposals are as follows:

  • Choose the final point of the expedition wisely and make it count. A favorite family restaurant, your kid’s favorite hangout spot, or simply somewhere at your home.
  • Designate your teen as the leader of the GPS unit expedition and let him/her get creative in the field. By doing so you’ll be helping your teen realize the importance of responsibilities associated with a leadership position.
  • Locating caches from geocaching websites is far easier than packing your own stash, hiding it somewhere, and then setting the coordinates for the location.
  • Setting up an account for your teen on geacaching websites will provide him with the opportunity to live an active lifestyle. Blessed be you, if your teen develops a passion for the sport because now you can help him/her create their own cache and post its coordinates on his online account.
Benefits of the great wild outdoors

The best part about this sport is that it hones the skills of teenagers with respect to essential outdoor knowledge. The game revolves more around “looking” for the hidden treasure rather than “searching/finding” it. The main idea of the entire activity is the level of intimacy it provides to the groups searching for over 410,000 geocaches hidden in over 222 countries around the globe. Fun is not fun when you have none. So, get going before someone finds a hidden geocache before you do!

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