Families can spend free time treasure hunting
Friday, May 17, 2013 03:53 pm
When youíre walking through the park this summer, donít be surprised if you see a family suddenly dashing off the path and into a stand of trees. They just might be looking for treasure.
Todayís treasure hunters arenít being led by maps marked with an X. Instead, theyíre tracking down treasures, a.k.a geocaches, using an inexpensive smart phone app from geocaching.com
Using the app, you can search for nearby caches and set off on your adventure. While the app will send you in the general vicinity of the cache, itís up to you to keep your eye peeled Ė some caches are camouflaged exceptionally well and prove nearly impossible to find.
Caches come in all shapes and sizes of containers and might include just a simple log book, or a larger container full of trinkets (these caches operate on the take one, leave one principle).
Making your own cache is simple. Youíll need a small, waterproof container (clean food containers work), a log (you can print them at geocaching.com), a small pencil, and a few trinkets. You can wrap your container in camouflaged hockey tape to make it more difficult to find. Donít include a pen (they freeze) or food (it attracts animals). Once youíve hidden your cache, record the coordinates to load into the website for others to find. Donít forget to return a cache to the same spot you found it.
Airdrie resident Todd Kusler has been geocaching for more than a decade with his eldest daughter, now 16, and recently introduced his youngest two, Claire, 8, and Will, 5, to geocaching.
When he first began geocaching he used a GPS device, but recently downloaded the app on his phone.
ďMy GPS is much more accurate for the coordinates, but I had to write them down from the website, enter them, and then if we were struggling to find the cache there were no hints or tips to rely on,Ē explains Kusler.
ďThe app isnít as accurate for distance and we end up within a few feet of the cache instead of inches, but it has advice from others who have found the cache, and we can log our find instantly and thank the person who hid it.Ē
With more than 150 caches hidden in our city, real-life treasure hunting lies just outside your doorstep.