I know I've mentioned geocaching several times here over the past month or two. If you'd like to learn more about it you should check out this website dedicated to it. I'd heard about it randomly in the past year or so and at some point Ethan started researching it and got completely hooked. It has become his main hobby! Which is nice because it's a very inexpensive hobby (we always seem to choose the most expensive hobbies... beer brewing anyone? doll collecting? photography? remote control cars? can you guess which ones are mine? ; )
The exciting part about geocaching is that it's truly an activity that every single person in our family LOVES. That is rare my friends. Especially me being the Mama surrounded by boys. And it's something you can literally do anywhere! There's probably a geocache right around the corner from you. We knew we wanted to find some on our trip to St. George so we hopped on our bikes, road around the island and went treasure hunting! It feels like this great adventure. : )
(now you know where Campbell gets his ear-holding-habit. I caught Ethan in the act above.)
So, here's my very first geocache! It turns out that I have quite the eye for finding them! Ethan was totally impressed. I think it's because of all the practice I've had from shopping at thrift stores and junk shops - I'm able to spot gems instantly (I know you treasure hunters know "the eye"). This one was super small, inside a film cannister tucked inside the bark of a palm tree.
Each geocache always has a log where you sign in. So cute. This is what geek dreams are made of. This little one was rolled up inside the cannister.
There are usually little treasures left behind inside for the kiddos (and for the big kiddos). The rule is that if you take something, you have to leave something! So we have a little stash of fun things we keep on us when we're geocaching. There are always things for girls and boys which reassures me that girls like to do it, too!
The log books are the most fun to look through. Some go back many years! Some people have stickers they use as their "sign in" or even stamps like the one below. Ethan started telling me about all of these cool customized things that serious geochachers have made to leave behind and I'm totally geeked out to make some that represent our family! We have an anniversary coming up and I told Ethan I'm theming out his gifts all about geocache. I'm totally doing a custom stamp.
And some have custom business cards. Love it.
This one behind the sign was pretty cool. They had decorated the plastic container with shells. Um, cute.
This one was a special geocache because it had a "travel bug" inside...
It's a little plastic whale toy with the travel bug attached to it. If you take it, you're supposed to take it to another geocache location, so we brought it to Atlanta! I'm really excited to do one of these when we go to the Netherlands and Belgium this summer. I'd love to take one over there. You enter the code in so that the person that put it out into the world can see where it is! You can set a goal for your travel bug by stating where you want it to end up.. how great is that? We want to create a travel bug and see if it can make it across the world.
This one was under a boardwalk.
Check out this guitar pick with a geocaching logo on it that we found inside.
One can always use a Lord of the Rings bookmark.
Another one under a boardwalk.
Here's the little gadget we use to find them. It was a little steep on price, but that is the most expensive item we've bought for this. You technically don't even need one, you can use google maps, etc. But it definitely makes it easier! I love this girl's business card tagline.
I saved the best for last, this one was amazing! Cooper and I drove over to Apalachicola by ourselves so we had a Mommy-Son adventure, just the two of us. Ethan was totally jealous because he stayed back at the house with cranky-pants Campbell and missed out on the best geocache of our entire trip.
Cooper and I must have walked a few miles to find this one. We walked and walked and walked! It would've been a better idea to drive at some point, but we were both determined to find it. That really is the funnest part of the whole thing, the hunt! We first stumbled onto this...
It was a replica of a Vietnam memorial that is in D.C. Cooper actually recognized it from the trip he took with Ethan last year. It was really amazing. The cool thing about lots of geocaches is that they often have a history lesson to go along with them, or something new to learn.
We thought it must be hidden near the memorial, but the GPS took us over to the historical home right beside it.
This one had a dollar bill inside. Which was pretty dang cool in the eyes of an 8 yr. old. : ) I feel like I'm already storing away all of these great memories that I'm creating with my boys. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend it for a great quality family experience.
I'll be posting again about a little survival-geocaching-kit we're putting together and I'll keep you posted on those customized items I'm going to design. We're trying to think of a family "symbol" we can use. Ethan visited an Army surplus store today and came home with some ammo boxes that we're going to turn into our own geocaches to put out there. To say we're excited is an understatement.
Do you geocache? With your family or alone maybe? Tell me about your experiences! Any tips?