When I was my son’s age, my family got involved in Orienteering. I ended up competing for a number of years and having a lot of fun with it. It was a great thing to do as a family, as it involves everyone (problem solving, map reading, exploring).
Geocaching is in some ways the modern version of orienteering (not exactly, but there are enough similarities I’ll go with it). It involved a treasure hunt, tracking, and modern technology, all outdoors. For a 14 year old, who isn’t so easily convinced to go for a family walk (gone are the days when the enticement of finding a perfect stick would suffice), geocaching is a great draw.
Last weekend we headed out on foot and bike to some local trails, which start just a 10 minute walk from our house.
A trail map would have helped on this day, but we got it figured out. The GPS was very accurate, which was a relief. Once you get to the spot though, there is the searching for the cache. That can take a while.
We did four caches, and were successful in finding each one. Even better, we all found at least one each.
The dog likes to come along as well, and keeps himself happily entertained when we reach a cache site and are all pre-occupied searching. Perhaps we should pay a little more attention to what he’s doing…
A great family day, and hopefully one which will be repeated a number of times. If you haven’t tried geocaching, you no longer need a GPS unit for it even – apparently there is now a geocaching app for smart phones. Caches are downloaded from the http://www.geocaching.com website. They say there are over 2 million caches world-wide! I highly recommend geocaching for anyone, as there are caches hidden right in city centres, in suburbs and in parks and wilderness areas – making it suitable for everyone.