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Tiny Treasures: Geocaching With A Kid

The Loot
Need a little adventure in your life? Try Geocaching. It's an old-fashioned treasure hunt made modern by GPS and a global network of players. Just download an app, sign up and go hunting. With millions of caches across the globe, chances are you'll find something. 

A typical cache is a small container, within which is a log of players who have found it. Also likely to be included is any number of small keepsakes, the treasure of the hunt. The photo above is of some of the loot found on a recent outing with my wife and son. 

Speaking of which, if you want a lot of adventure, go geocaching with a kid. Even a grizzled old veteran of the game like myself is made youthful when a kid plays, because the expression of wonder and joy on the face of a child who finds a small box hidden away by persons unknown is truly a sight to behold. There's something magical about the act, and the taking of a keepsake (and leaving a replacement of your own) only makes it better. 

Some hints for geocaching with a youngster:

  • Keep it local. While one can hunt geocaches across the globe, your young companion will appreciate the game more if familiar with the locale. My son was amazed to learn a geocache is hidden in front of a church we drive past regularly.
  • Keep it simple. The app has a description of difficulty for each cache, ranging from 1 (easy) to 5 (difficult). Yes, the feeling of accomplishment that comes with a difficult challenge is great, but you're at risk of losing the attention of your young teammate. Stick to the 1s and 2s. 
  • Let the kid find the cache. Especially if it's at their height. Watching an adult find a cache is a poor substitute for finding it themselves. 
I've left out the usual advice of taking water, a small first aid kit for scrapes, etc. for brevity. Now get out there and find some treasure!

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