Geocaching is basically real life treasure hunting. Using a handheld GPS unit, you enter in coordinates to try and navigate to the location. Other geocachers will hide caches (treasure boxes) in various locations all over the world. The ones my family have found so far are usually in wooded areas, parks, just off of hiking trails, in fields, in parking lots, etc. Inside these caches are always a logbook for you to record that you’ve been there, and often times also includes other little items you are free to take. If you take something, it’s nice to leave something else behind. My kids love finding these treasures and getting a little token toy like a plastic lizard or tiny puzzle or bouncy ball. Sometimes there are trackable items that you can take. The point of those items is to take it, record it online and then leave it in another cache somewhere else. It’s fun to look online and see where your trackable coin or token has traveled!
Geocaching is one of my family’s favorite activities in the warm months. It gets us all outside together, doing something as a family and without the distraction of electronics. We always have so much fun exploring new areas and finding places practically in our own backyard that we never even knew existed before!
Since geocaching can take you well off the beaten path, here are some simple tips to help you get started and to help you stay safe while geocaching:
1. Wear comfortable shoes. Sure that little device in your hand says it’s only a mile to the cache, but that might be only if you walk in a straight line. Your path might be windy, hilly and involve climbing things! Take my advice, wear comfortable shoes.
2. Geocache with a friend. First, it’s more fun to have someone to chat with while you search. Secondly, it’s just safer not to venture out into the woods or any other unknown territory on your own.
3. Don’t geocache and Drive! Having a friend or geocaching buddy with you is very helpful when you’re initially driving to your location. We always start out in the car then have to navigate via roads to get as close as we can to the area where the cache is hidden. You do NOT want to try and look at your GPS unit while driving! That would be way dangerous and we want geocaching to be fun not life threatening!
4. Bring a charged cell phone! You do not want to get lost on trails and not be able to call for help if you get hurt or need someone to come and find you.
5. Be prepared. Always carry a little food, water, and first aid essentials with you. It just makes good sense to go out prepared. And don’t forget about your doggy companions! Our furry geocaching friends also need water along the trail if you’re going to be out a long time. And I don’t know about you, but I’d rather my dog didn’t drink out of a stagnant pond when it’s just as easy to bring a tiny leak-proof tupperware container of water with me.
6. Carry a real compass. What if you GPS unit malfunctions and your cell phone dies because you didn’t listen to rule 4? Bring that old fashioned compass with you and hopefully you know how to use and which direction you parked your car in!
7. Bring a camera! Some of the sights we’ve happened by during our quest to find a cache have been so beautiful! And we never knew they were there! Make sure you bring a camera to record all the awesome new places you discover in your travels.
8. Bring a pen or pencil. Most caches include a writing instrument of some kind, but if it’s a tiny one, there may not be room for anything other than a logbook. After working hard to find the cache, you want to make sure you can log your visit.
9. Check each cache rating. If you’re geocaching with children, make sure you check the rating on the cache to make sure the hide and the terrain are not too difficult for the ages/abilities you’re searching with. The smaller the children, the easier caches you should attempt. And if you get out there and the terrain gets too tough, be smart and mark it as a Did Not Find for now. You can always try again another time. SAFETY FIRST!
10. Tell someone you’re going geocaching. You should always let a friend or family member know if you’re headed out somewhere new. It just makes good sense for geocaching, hiking, or any other activities that take you out of your normal routine.
Ready to get started geocaching? Head over to Geocaching.com and have a look around!
My newest book (releasing on Monday Feb 11th!!!) STUCK ON YOU was inspired by both my love for reality TV and geocaching. In the book, contestants compete on a new reality TV show sort of like the Amazing Race but navigating their way through the game via geocaching! It’s really unique and fun and it’s totally a show I would sign up for! I hope you’ll check it out!
Here’s a little geocaching excerpt to wet your appetite for more!
For the next quarter mile, they walked in silence following the arrow of the GPS. A few more minutes and they should reach the cache. Paige leaned in closer to the unit, watching the distance on the screen decreasing. Ten more feet.
The ground fell away beneath her and she was suddenly on her back, sliding down a very bumpy surface. After a short slide, she came to a stop, staring up at the canopy of trees.
Footsteps pounded down the slope after her then Miles was down on his knees in the dirt beside her.
Well hello there, Mr. Muscles. Let’s get dirty together.
The image of getting dirty in the forest with Miles was a little more sex kitten than her usual train of thought. Did I hit my head on the way down?
Or maybe it was the influence of the super hot, super built man hovering over her with concern in his eyes that caused the shift in her mental state.
“Are you okay?” Miles asked, touching the side of her face and turning her head first one direction and then the other. Her eyes never left his.
“I’m fine. Just dirty—muddy,” she clarified. Not that he could read her mind, but still. “I’ll get up now.”
“Let me help you,” he said, standing over her and wrapping his large hands around her upper arms, pulling her up to stand in front of him. His hands dropped to her waist and she found hers groping his chest again. Seemed she couldn’t keep her hands off of him. Not that the rest of her complained in the least.
“Thanks,” she whispered, looking up to meet his gaze. The mix of concern and… something else made her breath hitch in her throat. Damn.
Her feet went out from under her again, but this time she didn’t slide down the slope. Possibly because she’d managed to drag Miles down to the ground with her. Perhaps his body weight pressing her into the soft dirt was enough to stop her from going anywhere. Definitely every inch of his tall, muscular body against hers was enough to cause the lightheadedness she now felt.
Or possibly the lightheadedness could be from his leg pressing against the junction of her thighs. He’d managed to anchor them both to the ground as she straddled his leg. Yes, that could cause lightheadedness to hit full force.
As could the length of something else currently pressing into her.
Either he suddenly had less blood traveling to his brain or he’d managed to shove a tree branch in his pocket on the way down the hill. A very large tree branch.
Ready to read more? You can pre-order your copy today!