Saturday, January 16, 2010

Geocaching is like a high tech scavenger hunt

Friday, January 15, 2010

Geocaching is a fun hobby

I recently discovered geocaching in Louisiana as a new hobby and really fun thing to do with my kids. It's been a good while since I had something to add to this website but I'm really happy to be able to tell you about this new interest of mine. Now I had heard of geocaching before but was unsure about it and thought that perhaps it was too complicated or too expensive to undertake as a hobby. This is not the case at all and here I'll give you an idea about geocaching in Louisiana as a fast growing recreational hobby and perhaps you'll decide it's something that you would like to do also.

I had looked at geocaching in Louisiana as a hobby after I recently purchased a GPS for my wife for Christmas. It had some information about it in her literature and on the company website when I was updating her maps. I read up on it and the main reason I didn't try it was that I was concerned about the cost of a hand held GPS unit. After all I reasoned, we had just spent a bunch of money for all the Christmas presents. I read up on the iphone apps available for geocaching and I wasn't convinced that they would work good enough. A few weeks later I saw that one of my Facebook friends was geocaching with his sons. I immediately contacted him to ask him more about it.As it turned out, he had seen some people that were looking for something one day and asked them about it. These were local geocache hunters and they explained what it was to my friend. He decided to download the iphone application by Groundspeak that cost at this time $9.95. He decided to give geocaching in Louisiana a try with his three sons. That is what he did and then he told me that is worked okay and what to expect.

I decided that I would go ahead and pay the money for this app instead of paying a couple of hundred bucks more for an new hand held GPS. It was also let me try it out and see if I liked it. I decided to give it all a try on the recent Martin Luther King holiday that I had off along with my children. It was a really pretty day and I wanted to get out of the house to have an adventure with the kids. I entered my local zip code into the app and it showed me a list of local hidden caches in my area. You do have to go to geocaching.com to register for free first in order for this app to work. Anyway, we hopped in the SUV and were off to hunt for "treausres" as I told my kids. This was our first day of geocaching in Louisiana.

We went to the local car wash just around the corner from my house to try and find out first cache. It was hidden with a magnet on the side of a power box on the side of the building. I'm not certain that we would have found this had the maintenance man not seen us and showed us where it was. We signed the log with my user name from the website and also wrote the date. I then logged back onto my iphone and recorded my find and made a comment. This was not really that great because the man told us where it was. We decided to head out for another one and a new adventure.

We made our way about 3 miles down the road to the local park. There were two hidden there and we first decided to look for one hidden by the baseball fields. This was fun as we realized it must have been hidden in a group of trees that were in the corner of a grassy open area. Sure enough the camouflaged box was hidden in the middle of these tress. There was a lot of trinkets in this box and we had brought some things along with us. Geocaching protocol states that if you take something then you should leave something of equal or better value in return. We took a ladybug eraser for my daughter since she loves ladybugs and let a little plastic slinky in return. This was fun to find this and really I consider it to be more our first find since the man helped on the first one.

We had problems finding our third one for the day and it led me to believe that the iphone app was not ideal to use for this. It'll work if it's all you have but if you really want to get into this hobby of geocaching in Louisiana, then the purchase of a device better suited for it would help you be able to find these hidden caches better. It is obviously not nearly as fun to try to find a cache and come up empty on the hunt. If this sounds like something then I really recommend that you give it a try. If you're an iphone owner like so many people are, then the purchase of that app would be the easiest way to give it a try to see if you like it. I'm excited to try it some more in the future and have had a few others successful cache finds since that first day. I'm certain that there are many more adventures that await us with this exciting new hobby.