Geocaching is a fun way to get outside and explore new areas. It supports Developing Child Principle #9, which emphasizes the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s also a great way to practice problem solving and critical thinking skills.

It’s pretty simple to get started. First, make an account on Next, search for an app that’s compatible with your device. My favorite app is c:geo, but it’s only available on Android devices.

I suggest starting with regular size caches or larger. You may take items out of a cache, but you must replace each item with something new. Micro caches are tiny and can be hard to find. Over time, my kids have become better at finding micros, but they were very frustrating to look for at first.

One of my favorite places to geocache is Estes Park, Colorado. I’ve never seen so many geocaches in one town! Last year we visited so many geocaches that we ran out of goodies to trade with. We solved that problem by picking up some colorful gemstones at a tourist shop.

One of our favorite caches was hidden in a fake log. It was hidden at a pretty resort with a river running through it. Another one was hidden right by a bridge.

One cache was located up a hill, and we had to wade through bushes and trees to get to it. It’s always a good idea to wear good shoes when you’re geocaching because you never know where you might end up!

I don’t usually take anything out, but I picked this little animal from the cache. It looks like it was hand-whittled. Maybe someday I’ll trade it in at another geocache, so another user can find it.Geocaching 3

At first I thought it was a trackable, but it didn’t show up in the database. Trackables are fun because you can look up where they’ve traveled. If you take a trackable, you need to put it in a different geocache, so it can travel the world.

We also enjoy geocaching when we take road trips. We look for caches right off the highway at tourist stops, gas stations, or rest stops.

Copyright © 2017 Sharon J. Miller