• July 25, 2014

Learn to geocache

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Posted: Saturday, November 10, 2012 4:30 am | Updated: 10:16 am, Sun Jul 14, 2013.

Fall weather is here and it feels wonderful.

It’s one of my favorite seasons for going outside and enjoying nature, especially the many parks our state has.

One of the activities offered is geocaching, which is a family-friendly trend growing in popularity.

It’s a treasure hunt in nature and is perfect for getting parents and grandparents out with their children for some family time, to learn a new skill, have an adventure and enjoy the fresh air and beautiful scenery.

Geocache is fairly simple, and there are very few resources or expenses needed to participate.

For starters, go to www.texasstateparks.org/geocache or geocaching.com and find an area that is right for you. You will need either a GPS unit or a geocaching app programmed into your smart phone.

Once you decide on the location, choose the level of difficulty and pack up a few items so you and your family can enjoy time outdoors as you venture among nature during your treasure hunt.

Looking for cache items will improve with practice and learning to move in nature in a safe and non-invasive manner is imperative to accomplish a fun and fulfilling experience. So many skills and teachable moments are included in geocache activities, from being observant, learning outdoor safety, respecting nature, learning how to follow GPS latitude and longitude clues, strengthening team-building skills, building endurance, improving common sense, patience and appreciation for organized activities.

It’s always important to familiarize yourselves with geocaching rules, which include leaving the caches as you find them. It’s also fun to add small items to the caches for others to appreciate.

You can keep a log in a journal to track your experiences and adventures as well as the caches you find.

You can also accumulate points and win small prizes for finding certain caches. Different geocaching websites have calendars that post geocache events and schedules.

Fair warning — it is addicting. It’s a great outdoor activity and fall is the perfect time of year to discover a wholesome pastime for the whole family to enjoy.

For those who decide to look into geocaching, happy hunting.

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