Thursday, April 7, 2011

Urban Geocaching

Today I had to pick up my son from school, but had several hours before I had to go into work.  I decided that since it would just be the two of us, we might as well do some geocaching.  Geocaching with kids can be a lot of fun, to them it is like a treasure hunt.  My son loved the idea of looking for some caches after school.  We ran home and cooked up a pizza to fuel our hunting.  Once it was done, we set off with eight geocaches loaded into the GPSr to find.  If you want any tips on geocaching with kids, check out my previous blog post here.

Since we didn't have a lot of time, all of the caches we were looking for would be located around the city.  Some where in nearby parks, several of them were right in parking lots.  The picture below depicts a fairly common parking lot type cache. 
A typical "skirt lift" geocache.

Several of the days caches were on or near light posts, as this one was.  But, with plenty of parks located around where we live, there were also a couple caches hidden in or around trees.  These can be challenging, there are a surprising number of ways that a cache can be hidden around or in a tree.  It all depends on the size of the cache and how hard the person wanted to hide it.  This was one that took us a few minutes, but wasn't too difficult, can you find the cache in the picture below?
Can you spot this geocache?

A Geocoin displaying the "Earth Cache" symbol.
One of my favorite parts about geocaching, is find the trackable items.  These are often referred to as Travel Bugs, or Geocoins.  They have a unique code on them that corresponds to a web page on the http://www.geocaching.com/ website.  The code and the web page allow you to log where you found the coin and what geocache you put the coin in later.  I had a Geocoin from before and while we were out we found this earth Geocoin, pictured to the right.  We left the Geocoin we had and picked this one up to take to a new cache.  Ideally you take the new coin as far as possible before placing it.  Always check the web page for the coin to see if it has any specific directions or locations that the owner wants it to visit.  If the want it to go from New York to California, you should probably try to move west, rather than east. 

Overall we both had a lot of fun, one of the geocaches eluded us, so we will be coming back for that one later.  But any day that I can spend outside with my son is a good day.

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