Many of the activities that I have shared on this site have been geared toward younger grandchildren. What about older grandchildren? Especially grandsons? you say. Well, here’s an idea of an activity that you could do with teen-aged grandchildren. One that will provide challenge, intrigue, and a fun time in the out-of-doors. It’s geocaching!
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. (You can use GPS apps on your smart phone, too.)
The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, that are hidden in various outdoor locations. Seekers log on to Geocaching.com (after creating a free membership), type in the zip code (for those in the U.S.) or the name of a country, and a list of caches come up. (For my zip code, there are 5,678!!)
Click on a cache that interests you and you will get its longitude and latitude. Write that down or send it to your GPS unit. Make sure you note the type of terrain. A rating of a 1 is ‘easy’ meaning it is an easy hike or drive. A 5 rating is the most difficult.
There will also be driving directions to help you get started so be sure to print those off. Now comes the fun! With the coordinates in one hand and your GPS in the other, jump into your vehicle. Start driving. Use your GPS unit to guide your search for the cache.
Once you’ve found the cache, sign the log. Some of the caches have little ‘prizes’ that you can take. If you take something, it is courtesy to leave something small in its place. You also might want to take a digital camera and take pictures of you at the site. Then, you can log back on to www.geocaching.com and share those photos and your experiences.
This could be a fun event for a group of your grandchildren to do together. You would only need one GPS for the group. Pack a picnic lunch, wear good hiking shoes, take plenty of water, and off you go.
What if your grandson doesn’t have a GPS? Christmas is coming up and that could be a fun gift to get for him. Or you could give it as a birthday present. Or, you could give one to grandpa (your husband) and then invite grandpa to join in your geocaching activities.
After you have gone on a geocaching adventure, try creating one! It would be fun to get the container and prizes, create the log book, and hide the cache. Before you do this, be sure to read the guidelines. The guidelines also explain different types of caches (multi caches, mystery or puzzle caches, letterbox or wherigo caches, etc.).
Fall is a great time of year to be out of doors — especially doing this type of activity! Watch out, though. This activity just might make your husband think he needs to buy a Jeep!