Geo – WHAT??

First, I think I should be upfront with you.  I am an addict.  I cannot stop.  I don’t know why – but I love it!

I would say that I am not very competitive, except in some cases, well, Geocaching seems to be one of those cases, and I cannot put my finger on the exact reason why.

Ok, got that all off my chest – now onto the fun!

My family has been geocaching for about 3 years (give or take a year).  We were introduced by friends, then, another friend came and talked to our homeschool group about it.  He explained that Geocaching started about 2007 in Oregon.  The intent was to offer a family friendly activity that was virtually free.

So what is it?  Well, it is a bit of a treasure hunt, a bit of land navigation, and lots of outdoors fun!!

There is an APP {Geocaching} that if you down load you will be nearly set!  Once you have the app, you need a pen, some SWAG (to be explained in a minute) and some time.  Login to your APP, if you do not have an account click HERE and I get some kind of credit for referring you (really it means nothing, but remember what I told you in the first line, umm, yeah.).

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 Then you can click Find Nearby Caches – and it will pull up a list or map (you decide) of the caches that are near you. IMG_0466This is not actually near me, I’m not sure I want to give everyone the exact location of my house (I know you can find it, but you will have to look!)

  SO then you can click any of those pins (blue = virtual, green = cache, orange = multi cache)

Once you click one, you can open it up and see details, the size of the cache (nano = TINY, up to Large = lots of swag)

You can also read the recent logs to see if it has been found lately, if it needs service, or other notes some people include.  Then off you go.

Back to SWAG.  Not certain what it stands for I have read : 

  1. Souvenirs, Wearables, And Gifts    {or}
  2. Stuff We All Get

Anyway, this is the fun stuff if you are a kid, because most SWAG seems to be in the McDonald’s toy category.  We have tried to make some fun things to put into caches, but not everyone takes the time to do that.  We have made those flat back marble magnets, paracord men, found things around the house like pocket flash lights, or other cool things.  Either way : no money, nothing illegal, family friendly, nothing edible, and you are supposed to trade equal or up.  I.E. don’t take something cool and leave a stick!

So that APP that you downloaded (it does cost $9.99 – best 10 bucks we spent) tracks everything you do in the geocache world, your finds, your Do Not Finds, and keeps a running total.  Because after you find (or give up) you log in on the APP and in the log in the cache – this proves you were there!

Anyway, I find myself driving down any road and thinking, “that would be a great place to hide a cache” – remember I am addicted!!  But the fun thing is, if you have your phone and 5 minutes, you can geocache!  The other day we were in “town” for a Dr appt for me at 8:30 and had dental appts for kids at 11am.  20 minutes to town, and back, from my house.  So we finished one and geocached until the other.  The kids love having a few minutes of free time!

Today, we trekked up to Kaufman for some free goats (crazy I know) and the GPS took us home some weird way, but we found 5 caches along the way and learned a bit!  It was great fun!

Now for the disclaimer.  I am not responsible if you try it and get addicted.  I am not responsible if you get lost while geocaching.  I am not responsible if you get poison ivy, bit by a snake, or in trouble with your family for showing up late because you were geocaching!

But, if you decide to try it out – let us know!!  We really love it!  We are going to try to geocache all the way up to Maine – hoping to get one for every state we go through!!

Here are some pics of our latest finds (and I am not one who loves to photography myself, but in these cases I did it for the geocache!!)

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