Hunting for Buried Treasure - Geocaching Style

Over winter break the kids and I started a new hobby, Geocaching. Geocaching is a real-life outdoor treasure hunting game. The goal is to find hidden containers, called geocaches, based on their GPS coordinates.

There are millions of caches all over the world and nifty apps that run on a phone to help you find them. While there are a number of competing websites with cache location databases, seems to have the most caches, so I've been using their website and iPhone app.

I figured this would be a fun activity, but it's surpassed my best expectations in every way.

The Kids Love It!
The geocaches we've been hunting for have small toys that you can trade for your own toys of equal or greater value. As far as the kids are concerned this is the greatest thing in the world! They are actually hunting for treasure. And they're willing to do some serious hiking to get to the nearest cache.

The Russell Kids

I have a whole new respect for my niece Emily. She is one tough girl. Unless there's a dog. If there's a dog she's going to use you as a human shield, but otherwise she's very tough.

Emily and Allison catching up to the pack

Our Neighborhood Rocks in a Whole New Way!
We've discovered a lot of really pretty forests right in our neighborhood. I used to think of our town in terms of roads and buildings, but that's all changed. Now whenever I go somewhere I'm looking for the space where there aren't roads.  It turns out there are lots of these areas, they all seem to have geocaches, and the scenery is beautiful.

We took the long way around this river. It was awesome. 

This isn't a special lens. The Earth just falls away on either side of this path.

And Sometimes You Find a Swing!

We stumbled across a rope swing last weekend. It was just hanging from a tree on our way to a cache. So we took turns swinging and it was a blast!

Sam rockin the rope swing

John attempting to look as cool as Sam on the rope swing.

I took the kids out today in sub freezing weather and after we found the first cache, Allison (4) asked if we could look for another one because she was having fun. So it looks like geocaching is going to be an ongoing hobby. As we have new adventures I'll post more pictures to our 'Hunting for Buried Treasure  - Geocaching Style' flickr set and there's a list of our successful treasure hunts on our profile.