Have you been wondering how to add more adventure to your next outdoor outing? Try your hand at Geocaching. Part hike, part treasure hunt, your family will love sharpening their navigation skills while searching for treasure!
Maybe you’ve never heard of Geocaching or taken the time to understand what it is. No worries, that was me for a long time. I’d always hear the term, but the name alone didn’t jump out as “interesting,” so I never paid it much attention until now.
I’m so glad I did because we had a fantastic time!
Geocaching is the world’s largest treasure hunt. With the help of apps, GPS, and your handy sense of direction, you and your family navigate to real treasure hidden all around town. Besides finding the goods, I think the best part is that Geocaching can be done anywhere. While many treasure boxes (caches) are hiding on or near trails, many are hiding in your local park. You may even be surprised to learn there’s one hiding right behind your home (personal story here: There’s a treasure hiding right behind our house)! As long as you have internet access and a Geocaching app, you can find a place to search nearby.
What to expect
As with anything new, you should expect to run into some hiccups. Geocaching is no different. If you aren’t used to using coordinates, maps, and having to self navigate, you can end up wandering in the wrong direction, far from any treasure. Even if you find yourself headed in the right direction, the chances of not locating the cache are high.
If the caches aren’t maintained, you can end up on a never-ending search for something that may not even exist anymore. The location of the cache can be so discreet that you completely miss it. Don’t let these deter you from trying it again. Keep in mind that half the fun is the journey!
How to prepare
Preparation for this adventure is similar to going out for a day hike.
- Choose the cache your hunting ahead of time
- Make a note of the level of difficulty and choose accordingly
- Pack light snacks and water (it may take a while)
- Flashlights are handy to look in crevices, caves, etc
- Make sure to have a pen for signing the log
- Fully charged phone or GPS with an extra battery
- SWAG, which geocaching.com defines as Stuff We All Get. One of the essential rules of Geocaching is to have items you can leave behind for the next people. If you take something, be sure to leave something. No one wants to locate a treasure only to find it’s empty!
- Have fun!!
Ready to give it a try? Check out these resources.
If you’re interested in hiding your first Geocache, here’s a great guide to help you start. Happy Hunting!
Check out other Huntsville adventures right here!
Zenovia is a two time graduate of Alabama A&M University where she earned a B.S. and M.S. in Biology. A former Regulatory Affairs Specialist in the Pharmaceutical Industry, She currently works from home as a Regional Project Coordinator and is the mom to 3 extraordinary boys.
Originally from Chicago, IL, Zenovia and her husband have been residing in Huntsville, AL since 2008. They love exploring AL with their boys as well as finding creative ways to be adventurous at home!
Zenovia serves as a board member for CES PTA and the SE YMCA where she has been involved with various volunteer efforts. In her free time she enjoys reading, working on her photography skills and drinking a good cup of coffee or glass of wine.
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