Geocaching is a treasure hunting experience, that helps you explore new places and spend time outdoors. This can be a fun hobby for kids, as long as they are supervised. So let’s go over geocaching for kids and some best practices.
Geocaching is a GPS treasure hunt game, that is safe for kids that are being supervised by adults. The game promotes spending time outdoors, getting exercise, and helps sharpen skills, like using a compass and learning about the environment.
I’ve been geocaching for many years. It provides me with many benefits, such as exercise, a community, and learning about new places and locations. I have a ton of fun, as an adult, but this can be a fun learning experience for kids as well.
Not too long ago, I was out caching, and came across a family of fellow geocachers! I let them know upon walking closer to their spot, that I was not a muggle. They were traveling from out of state and the kids seemed to enjoy the hunt as well as the cache.
What Age is Geocaching For?
Geocaching has no official age requirement. In many of the geocaching communities, you will find a wide range of different ages. Just like with any activity, there is a need for supervision for children and some young people. For young adults, I would suggest using the buddy system.
The adults who chaperon will be able to better identify dangerous plants, sharp objects, and will be able to assist kids with this super fun hobby. The best part of geocaching is that it’s fun for all ages!
Nature is a tool to get children to experience not just the wider world, but themselves.Stephen Moss
Geocaching With Kids Best Practices
Kids can have just as much fun as adults with this treasure hunt. Many geocaches are located at parks, national parks, and other places that are suitable for a family adventure! Because this is an out in the public hobby, some best practices need to be observed, when kids are involved.
Geocaching for kids best practices:
Adults should accompany children. Geocaching uses technology and has some complicated parts. It’s best to have adults looking after children, to keep them safe, and to help play the game.
Bring a first aid kit. Anything can happen when you are out and about. Some geocache locations are in wooded areas, so always be on alert and keep some type of first aid with you.
Use the buddy system. This can be true for adults as well. Using a buddy system when in public has always been a best practice. In some cases, a young adult may even chaperon kids when geocaching.
Leave no trace. When going into nature, there is a saying, “leave no trace.” Damaging plants or harming wildlife should never be tolerated. You can find out more about these types of initiatives here.
Combine these best practices with common sense, and geocaching can be fun for kids, adults, and families.
If you are new here, and are wondering what geocaching is all about, or are interested in geocaching for kids, then this is for you. Here are a few of the rules and some of the basics for geocaching.
What is geocaching?
Geocaching is a treasure hunt, that uses GPS coordinates. You use a GPS device, or smartphone, to locate the area where the cache is located. Then, you look for the hidden cache. The cache is a container, that holds a logbook, and sometimes, SWAG (stuff we all get) also known as trinkets.
- If you take a trinket from the cache, leave something of equal value.
- Log your find in the logbook, and return the cache to its original position.
- Log about your fun experience, at geocaching.com
You start by downloading the official app, onto your phone. There are a few things you will want to bring with you when you find your first cache. Stuff like a pen, trinkets, or SWAG to replace. To find out more, read our Beginners Guide to Geocaching.
Geocaching is not just a game, but a community. It’s maintained more by the users, than the website. People get together, and go on journeys, to log a cache in every state, or get every county in a state. Some geocaches are interactive, like mystery caches, multi-caches, and adventure labs.
There are meetups, events, and more. You can start your own group, your own community, and even set your own goals. How cool is that? This is perfect for parents who want to do activities outdoors with their kids.
Geocaching Prizes for Kids (SWAG)
The SWAG, or trinkets, that sometimes come in geocaches can be looked at as a prize for kids. There’s just one catch, you have to replace what you take with something of equal value. I like to keep a container of fun trinkets for all ages.
Geocaching SWAG examples:
- Toy cars
- Plastic dinosaurs
Most caches have items like these, that fit into small containers. Some caches are very large and may even have a plethora of SWAG, collected over a long time. I love to leave multiple items when I can if the container is large.
Not all treasure‘s silver and gold, mate.Jack Sparrow
What Does Geocaching Teach?
Geocaching teaches a few skills, that can be priceless. Kids can get real-world experience, with plants, nature, technology, compasses, maps, and more. Source.
You learn how to use GPS. With technology growing so fast, knowing how to use something like GPS, can be valuable, especially, in a situation where you are lost. Most phones have GPS, so they are usually within reach.
You learn about nature. When you are out finding caches, you will need to know what plants are dangerous, and what to avoid. You may also learn about other plants and wildlife.
The best part is the community. I’ve met a ton of awesome people while geocaching and one of my favorite parts of the game is the community. Geocaching communities are tight-knit and full of like-minded people who enjoy the adventure.
How Do I Start Geocaching?
To start geocaching, you will need to download the official geocaching app onto your phone. You may also use a GPS device, however, that method is more complicated. There are other apps available, but I suggest using the official app. I’ve used it for years and never had any problems.
You may want to know more about the dangers. You can read more about geocaching safety here.
Now that you know what you need, and how to start, get out there with your kids and start finding caches! Caches can be found all over the world, in most towns, cities, states, countries, and more.