Geocaching and the not-so-valuable treasure

I’ve been wanting to go geocaching (pronounced geo-cashing) for quite a few years. Don’t know what it is? Let me explain. It’s a game of high-tech hide and seek. There are treasures all around us that you’d never know about unless you were looking for them.

First, I signed up on  for a geocaching account on (I went with the free one that gives you plenty of access to caches all over the place.) They even have a cute little video that sums up what it’s all about. Then, type in a zip code, address, state or country and up will pop a list of locations for you to scout. It’s all done by GPS so if you have a GPS device or even a smart phone, you’re ready to go. Follow your GPS to the “spot” and then start searching. What you’re looking for is a small container filled with a log and a cache – items to trade. Think: trinkets or something of little value. Remember this for later. Sign the log, leave a trinket and take a trinket. It’s really that simple.

On our first trip out, we went looking for three different caches. I wasn’t sure how hard it would be, so I brought three just in case. We drove close to our destination, parked our car and went walking. The weather here has been wonderful so being outside was great. We got to our spot and started hunting. The GPS coordinates brought us right on the other side of a tennis court. While Ken & I started looking for the cache, the boys started counting tennis balls they were collecting from the bushes. We spent about 20 minutes looking for the container with no luck. The boys were not disappointed; they found more tennis balls than they could carry!

Our next hunt was on the way back to the car. It was just off the main street in a little park. Ken spotted the cache first but let the boys find it (with a little bit of coaching). Jackson was the first to spot it. It was one of those M&M’s containers shaped like a pill bottle. I was so excited to see what was inside. The first thing inside was the log for us to sign. Then there was the “treasure”: a bottle cap and a marble. I thought it was pretty neat. Something left by perfect strangers for us to find. Ethan, however, didn’t find it quite as impressive. “A bottle cap and a marble?I tried to explain that it’s about the hunt & not the treasure, to which he said, “Yes it is.” In the end, though, he was happy with the experience. We left the trinkets from our home and went on our way.

We had one more hunt on our list. I won’t bore you with the details but I will say that next time, we’ll choose a location that isn’t close to homeless/drug addicts. And their paraphernalia.

Ethan has since asked me several times if we can go again. I’m always up for doing something different. I hate doing the same things over and over again. This was the perfect fit for our family. I suggest you try it. Maybe you, too, will find something as valuable as a bottle cap and a marble!

Here’s our “treasure”. Notice the tennis ball in the background?

Spoiler alert…This is the spot where we found our cache:


15 thoughts on “Geocaching and the not-so-valuable treasure

  1. Delightful. Our first attempt reveled why someone had given us their GPS for free. We couldn’t figure out how to read it! So we shall try again. There are TONS in the Black Hills and what a great place to search.

  2. Pingback: A year in review « Freckles and Fences

  3. Pingback: Treasure hunting in Michigan « Freckles and Fences

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