Last year I learned about the game (sport?) of Geocaching. This is a game that requires one to get out in the Great Outdoors yet is intimately connected to modern technology. You require an Internet connection and a portable GPS device. Online are lists of caches – hidden treasure boxes – located all around the globe. I was amazed to see how many were within a few kilometres of our house. Anyways, caches contain notebooks where guests leave their name and comments, and there are little treasures; the rule is “take something, leave something”. There are even tagged treasures whose ID codes can be entered online so that one can track the movements of these items from cache to cache around the globe. To find a cache you enter the GPS coordinates into your portable GPS device and then try to find the hidden treasure box.
When I first read about it I thought it sounded wonderful but wanted the kids to be a bit older before trying my hand at it. We’ve been doing a lot of Nature Hikes lately and the kids’ stamina has built up impressively. I think they’re ready. So I am trying to get my hands on The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Geocaching (not a library or bookstore in town carries it!). I may get a portable GPS or, for the same money, I could get a Blackberry and write it off as a business expense…we’ll see. Point is, I think this just may turn out to be a wonderful family pastime and a great experience for the kids (as far as learning goes it involves ecology, fitness, geography, mapping, technology, just to name a few topics).
I’m hoping to get started before the end of the month.