Geocaching in Louisville

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My family loves exploring the outdoors year-round, and geocaching, or what we like to call ‘treasure hunting,’ is a family favorite. It often dictates the location of our next expedition.

PhotobucketGeocaching is quite simple and you probably already have everything you need: internet and a gps device. The website, www.geocaching.com, has everything you could possibly ever want to know about geocaching – even a two minute video of it.

PhotobucketFrom the geocaching.com website, you can sign-up for a free account or upgrade to premium. I just have the free account and have plenty of caches aka treasures to find. On the homepage of the website you can search by address, name, or coordinates. Once the page uploads your location, click on ‘Map this Location’ on the right to get a better idea of where the treasures are located. By clicking on the ammobox looking icons, you can read the description of the cache – difficulty, terrain, size of it, get the coordinates – even get a hint to decode if needed. There are also comments which can be helpful to know when it was last found or if you have trouble finding one you can post to get some hints. There is a lot more you can do and learn on the website such as keep track of your finds, send coordinates to your phone, learn about trackables, or even make your own cache..

So here’s our typical outing: We pack lunches, a pen to write in the logbooks, pick our destination to explore, and have the boys find trinkets they want to trade. We usually just pick the macro caches to find, since they have the treasures versus the micro caches where you just sign a log. My husband sends the geocaches to his phone and I typically type them in my GPS that I use for my car since there is a walking mode on it. We get to our destination and start hiking towards our first treasure. The coordinates get you fairly close, but you still got to do some seeking in and under things. If my husband or I spot one before the kids we play hot or cold or ask our kids, “would this be a good place to hide one?” The boys get so excited when they find one, pick out a trinket, and leave one of theirs there. We sign the logbook, return the cache the way we found it, and then hike some more to find the next treasure. While geocaching you want to make sure you do not get caught by the ‘muggles’ or non-geocachers which is fun in itself as well to do with the kids.

PhotobucketThere are so many things about geocaching that are great! You get to explore the outdoors with your family and friends while getting some exercise anywhere you live or go on vacation. It is fun for all ages. My kids 5 and 2 love it and our 4 month old loves being carried so it works out beautifully. As they grow, we can do more difficult caches and multi-caches where you find one or more caches with a hint at the middle ones. It is great in all seasons – even a little easier in winter if you catch a warm day since there is less growth to trample through.

So what are you waiting for? Go see if you can find the treasure!

By guest contributor: Jeanette

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