Family Fun

Posted by Jon in HB | 8:50 PM | 2 comments »

We went geocaching today after church. We hadn't gone in a long time and it was so much fun. First of all, if you don't have clue what I'm taking about here's the deal. It's basically a GPS treasure hunt with maps online. People all over the country, make that the world, hide these "treasures", usually in a park.
First they get some kind of container, like a coffee can, tupperware, or ammo box and camouflage it.

After that they put in some junkie swag like little army men, plastic necklace, bouncy balls, poker chips, or whatever and a pen and small note pad.

Once you've got a spot and your treasure, mark the waypoints in your handheld GPS and log it on the web site with a brief description and any hints you might want to leave. Once the webmasters have checked out your spot (they make sure it's not on private property or too close to another one) they post it and everyone can go look for it.

So what we do is look for ones close to the house and enter in the coordinates in the GPS. Then we go look for it. The GPS can get you within about 5-15 feet of the exact location. So once we get the general idea of where it is we all start looking, riffling through bushes and lifting up rocks. But beware of muggles (non-geocachers that might find the treasure)! After we find it we open up the container to see what's inside and swap trinkets. The kids wear fanny packs full of junk and they each pick an item to take and something to replace it with. We then log that we where there on the note pad and when we get home we can log the find on the website and leave a comment if we wish. It is so much fun and you would not believe how many parks and beaches have caches hidden in them. It has taken us to some parks in the middle of neighborhoods and in other cities that we would never have seen if it wasn't for geocaching.

We've yet to hide a treasure of our own. That's what the kids really want to do. We tried once but the spot was filled with homeless guys that slept in the bushes and any other spot we think of is taken.

Today it took us to Talbert Nature Preserve. It was a gorgeous day. We loaded the bikes up in the van and headed out. We found two of the three we were looking for (there are actually several more in that park alone). It's a really cool park, bordered by Estancia High School and the Santa Ana River. There are lots of hills and different terrains. A big area where radio controlled planes fly, soccer fields, big mounds of dirt that kids ride dirt bikes all over. This was Dylan's favorite part. He was all over the hills. All in all it was a good day. The Michells' highly recommend you give geocaching a try!


  1. Heidi // March 10, 2008 at 8:15 AM  

    That sounds like a lot of fun - I've never heard of it. I think the Goble family may have to take the Michell family's advice and give it a try. Jack is already contantly looking for treasure - it would be nice to shift his focus from digging in the dirty laundry pile or my make-up bag to digging in the ground...

  2. Don // March 11, 2008 at 5:16 PM  

    That has to be one of the coolest things I've ever heard about. I think I saw something about it on TV once, but never I'd be in the company of a real geocacher! It all sounds so bourgeoise!