Do you want to take part in a real-life treasure hunt? Geocaching is a great way to get your family excited about being outside, while keeping them focused and entertained. Whether you are new explorers or well travelled adventurers, geocaching can add an extra layer of fun to your outdoor activities!
Geocaches are hidden everywhere, with skill levels and terrain difficulties for every family. Check out our geocaching tips below to get started! Whether it’s your first hunt, or you’re already a pro cacher, you can pick the option that best suits your interest, comfort level, budget and situation.
What You Will Need:
- GPS or smartphone
- Hinterland Who’s Who “The Wild Gang” app
- Free geocaching account
- Drinks and snacks (enough for the length of your caching experience)
- Sunscreen and bug spray
- Pencil or pen
- Tradeable items - small toys, stationary or useful objects (optional)
Share Your Experience to Earn a Geocaching Badge!
All you need to do is log into, or sign up for, your own WILD Family Nature Club account! Snap a picture of your family’s next geocaching adventure and upload it to the Gallery, or share your own tips with others on the Discussions page to earn a digital Geocaching Badge.
Geocaching is essentially a world-wide scavenger hunt. To work your way up to a full geocache hunt, why not try a scavenger hunt in your own home? You can design your own or download the Hinterland Who’s Who “The Wild Gang” app on Android or Apple devices to hunt for nature inspired items around your home.
- If you’re doing your own scavenger hunt inside, try to find objects that are connected to nature. Whether they are paintings, posters, stuffed animals, toys, books or decorative items - the possibilities are endless!
- Step up your scavenger hunt game with The Wild Gang app. There are seven scavenger hunt locations to choose from, including river, ocean, park, forest, urban, winter and your house.
- Don’t worry if you can’t find something! If you get stumped, you can always refresh the items on your scavenger hunt.
- Make it a competition! If you have access to multiple devices, you can start the hunt at the same time and try and collect the photos first.
Not sure where to find a geocache? Go on the geocaching website or app and see what caches are near you! If you enter your home coordinates, it will pull up a list of caches sorted by the distance from your location.
If you are planning a hiking or camping trip, or even an outing in your hometown, check to see if there are any caches you can visit on your journey!
- Check the weather in advance and dress appropriately.
- Learn about geocaching etiquette.
- Have kids help pick which caches they want to try to find. Caches often have themes that might interest your kids and make them even more excited to explore.
- Check the difficulty, distance and terrain for the cache you hope to visit in advance and make sure it matches your family’s abilities.
- Let kids take the lead. Let them take a turn holding the GPS or smartphone and give them plenty of time to explore!
- Don't be the one to find every geocache first. Give younger kids a nudge in the right direction so they can enjoy the fun of finding the geocache.
- Large caches often contain tradeable treasures. Encourage kids to bring small items along to trade. You can stop at the dollar store before heading out to geocache, or they can raid their toy bins at home.
- If you have time, plan to visit several caches in one expedition. Caches are often quite close to each other and it makes for a fun outing.
- Learn the lingo! Geocachers tend to use a lot of slang, so practice the terms with your family.
Create Your Own Cache
For those expert cachers, consider creating and hiding your own family geocache! This is a wonderful way to introduce others to one of your favourite places, whether in a wild space or an interesting urban setting.
There is a level of ongoing responsibility to hiding a cache, including overseeing its physical and online maintenance. Be prepared to monitor the state of the cache and answer any questions or concerns submitted online.
- Take the geocache hiding quiz to see if you are ready to hide your own.
- Don’t stop at making a good geocache, check out these tips to make it a great cache!
- Check out the hiding guidelines on the geocaching website and in this video to learn where you can hide your cache.
- Make sure to get permission before hiding your geocache.
- Get kids involved in selecting a theme for your geocache. Inspiration could come from local history, or even by your kids’ favourite TV show. The possibilities are endless!
- Consider picking a non-traditional cache type. Micro caches can be hidden almost anywhere, multi-caches can involves stops at multiple interesting places or mystery caches can involve puzzles or other challenges.
- Be creative when you’re thinking up your hint. Add a poem, input the answer backwards or come up with another creative way to add a little extra information to your online listing.
Continue to Become a Birder »