Is Geocaching Safe for Kids & Adults?

Geocaching can be a safe family activity

I discovered Geocaching about a year and a half ago and it’s a fun safe activity that my family and I have had a ton of fun doing. It’s like a giant scavenger hunt that takes you to cool and interesting places that you may never have gone on your own. That is one of my favorite things about geocaching. It’s a great combination of exercise and discovery, be careful though as it’s very addicting!

If you aren’t real familiar with how geocaching works, let me give you a crash course. Essentially you are using billion dollar satellites to locate a $5 piece of tupperware somebody has hidden.  Ok so maybe that was a little bit vague, but in essence it’s true.

Is Geocaching Safe?Using a hanheld GPS receiver you punch in the coordinates that you acquired from the geocaching website, then you use your receiver to locate the cache.  The cache can be as big as a car or as small as a pen cap. Inside each cache will be at least a log book for you to record your geocaching name and date that you found the cache. These findings are logged on the website and you can track your progress and see what you’ve found so far. Many caches contain trinkets, toys, and other items for people who find the cache. You are expected to leave something in return, it’s more like a trade. This is the part the kids LOVE!!

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So is Geocaching REALLY safe?

You bet it is! Like I had eluded to before though, there are some precautions to take to be sure you and your family have a fun and safe geocaching adventure.   The first thing you need to be introduced to is the term muggle.  This is a word borrowed from the Harry Potter series and is used to describe a person that is not a geocacher.  Muggles come in all shapes, sizes, and curiosity levels.  If you are searching for a geocache and encounter a muggle they are likely to react in one of two ways.  They will either be curious or suspicious.  The danger is if they are suspicious they might call the cops.  There have been instances of this happening especially with urban and suburban geocaching.  So try to wait til the area is clear of muggles before digging around, it might look suspicious to those who aren’t familiar with geocaching.  If you do encounter a police officer always be truthful with them, tell them what you are doing.  Many of them are already familiar with geocaching and those who aren’t are usually happy to listen to you explain it to them.

 When you’re out geocaching you’ll want to follow other basic safety guidelines.  First of all, before you head out be sure to check the description of the geocache to see if there are any special notes.  The person placing the cache will usually let you know if there are any dangers such as excessive ticks, deep water, and more.  When it’s time to head out for the hunt be sure to dress appropriately.  If you’ll be hiking through the woods you probably don’t want to wear your flip flops, wear sneakers or hiking boots.   Geocaching is really no more dangerous than a hike through the woods and with a little preperation it’s a fun and safe family activity.

Get Started Today!

The first step is to visit  geocaching.com and sign up for a FREE membership.  If you don’t already have a GPS receiver then you have two options. You can purchase one (the best option) or you can use your smartphone.  You’ll need to download the geocaching app available from the geocaching.com website for best results if using a smartphone.  I highly recommend a GPS receiver as they are more accurate and using your smartphone can be frustrating, especially as a beginner.

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