Frugal Fraser Valley Fun: Geocaching

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

We first discovered geocaching a few years back, but only really became interesting/involved in this fun family activity last year. In the time of too many TV shows, video games and computers keeping us indoors, we love this activity that gets the family out of the house, enjoying the fresh air and exercising your inner explorer.

Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game played worldwide. Using GPS-enabled devices (handheld or even a smartphone with GPS capabilities), users track small containers called geocaches. The GPS leads you to the area of the geocache and that’s when the fun begins! The containers are usually the size of an old film container, up to maybe a large tupperware lunchbox. The caches are hidden in their surroundings – in a tree trunk, under a bench – and players must use their hunting skills to uncover the hidden treasures.

Geocaching with my Arduino GPS Receiver
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License by sean_carney

Several things may happen once you find a geocache. The smaller ones may simply have a log book where one signs their geocaching name & date (this can also be done online using the geocaching app or at your computer). Some of the larger geocache containers have small gifts that players exchange: erasers, pins, stickers, plastic rings, fun small things like that. You take one, you leave one. The dollar store is a fun place for the kids to choose their signature geocaching gift to place in the caches. We now have quite a collection of fun pieces we’ve picked up along the way! Our recommendation is to bring along a backpack with a pen, your gifts, water (sometimes you’ll end up hiking for much longer than anticipated!), snacks, a small camera and appropriate clothing for the weather.

There are hundreds, maybe thousands, of geocaches sprinkled throughout the Fraser Valley. From the main strip in Fort Langley to the top of Teapot Hill in Chilliwack, they are everywhere! Some are hidden deep in the forest, others are in the parking lot of the store you frequent each week. They are hidden in so many creative places!

Once you sign up, you will see how many are in your own neighbourhood and wonder why you didn’t join in this exciting secret treasure hunt ages ago. Geocaching is a great way to explore areas of the valley that you’ve not been to before, and of course a great excuse for a road trip. There are caches all over the world!

Anton Geocaching
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License by lindztrom

If you’ve never been before, grab your smartphone or handheld GPS, pack up the family and remember… watch out for muggles! The moment you find your first cache is SO exciting!!!

We would love to hear about your family’s geocaching adventures! Where has been your favourite find? Have you hidden your own cache?

This is just a very brief introduction to this exciting family activity. For more information and to create your geocaching account, visit www.geocaching.com.



Contributor: Kristi Ferguson

Kristi Ferguson is the Founder & Editor of The Pulse. Her company, Double You, offers online communications consulting, project management and event planning. Kristi is a proud mama who loves to explore, shop, laugh & create. She is passionate about promoting all things local. Twitter: @pulseblogonline @MrsKFergie



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