Adventures in Geocaching

October 7, 2012

20121007-175102.jpgJonas is a kid who doesn’t have a lot of hobbies. When he finds something that he’d like to try to do, Jason and I try to encourage it.

Yesterday, Jonas discovered Geocaching. In a flurry of information and activity, he determined that he needed to figure out how to geocache, where to geocache and when Jason or I would take him geocaching RIGHT NOW.

He commandeered my laptop and found geocaching.com

According to the site:

GEOCACHING is a free real-world outdoor treasure hunt. Players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and can then share their experiences online.

He discovered that there are hundreds of geocaches hidden in our zip code.

He found one located about a quarter of a mile from our house and decided he wanted to explore it.

20121007-175136.jpgDid you see in the description of the activity where  it says that players use a smartphone to find the caches? Of the three people who live in our house, guess who owns the only smartphone?

If you said Becky, lover of all things gadgety and techy, you’re right. If you deduced that this means that Becky gets to go on every geocaching adventure, you’re right again.

So Jonas and I downloaded the starter app (read: FREE) from geocaching.com. And we pinpointed the destination. And we started walking. We figured out pretty quickly where the geocache was supposed to be (there are clues in addition to the gps location). We searched and searched for it at the corner of a busy intersection near our neighborhood. We searched so long I received a phone call from a friend wondering if we were okay and did we need a ride somewhere? But we did not find the cache. We walked around the neighborhood for a bit, just talking and getting some exercise and then headed back home.

Jonas hopped back on the computer and began searching. He found another cache withing a mile of our house and asked if we could go find it. Jason agreed to take him, but guess what? I still own the smartphone. And it was actually beginning to be kind of fun to think about actually finding one of these things, so I went along.

20121007-175142.jpgBut first, we downloaded the full version of the app (Read: $$$) and read a little bit about the location. We determined the cache was located on the grounds of a local church. We loaded up in the truck and drove over to the church and followed the map to as close to the locations as we could get and parked. We then spent about 15 minutes looking, attempting to find the exact gps coordinates. We found it but couldn’t see the cache. Until Jason had a bright idea and located a single, magnetized contact lens case. Jonas unscrewed the lid and found the small log inside and recorded his name and date before carefully replacing the magnet in its hiding place.

At that moment, he was hooked.

Every other question was a request for us to take him somewhere to look for a geocache. Every other conversation was about geocaching. When he thanked God for his food at dinner, he also thanked God for geocaching.

20121007-175208.jpgToday, he met me at the church for youth group and then he and Molly (a 7th grader in our group) and I looked for seven caches. We found 4 of them, including one that we discovered had been hidden by our friend, Nibby, and his nephew, River. That one was fun to find because we had already unsuccessfully looked for two caches downtown, we went to find that one Jonas and Molly found it right away. And it was full of fun things to look at.

Then we were on a roll and found a few more (and failed to find one of them. We just couldn’t figure that one out.).

It’s seriously fun! And it was a great hobby for him to adopt during Fall Break, when we have some time to play with the app and spend some time together.

Do any of my dear readers geocache?