geocaching, cheap fun or waste of gas?

>> Thursday, August 6, 2009

I recently had my first taste of a geocaching adventure. We looked up coordinates on the Internet, piled into the car and got down to "treasure hunting".

After 30 minutes and three turnarounds, we found the area in which the coordinates and the treasure were hiding. We walked around for a few minutes and one of the kids found it!

The "treasure" was a tin full of coins and small trinkets. There was also a ledger. We selected a small bead and added our name and the date to the ledger. We also left behind a quarter as our contribution.

Then, it was off to find a restroom. After that we headed home for lunch. We headed back out in the afternoon, in the opposite direction, with a different set of coordinates, which were more difficult to find.

Finally, after about 45 minutes in the car and 5 turnarounds, we pulled over and found the treasure right away: a plastic bin with photos of people in it, among other things. Since we had read ahead of time to bring a pic to this one, we added one of our neighbor's dog, then took a picture of ourselves, holding the bin.

By then the bugs were beginning to come out and rain was threatening, so we headed back.

All in all it wasn't a bad time, but I couldn't help but think of the gas we used on our little adventure. On the other hand, the kids LOVED it and kept talking about the treasure hunt the rest of the day.

However, I am not one to just do things because the kids love it. There needs to be something else in it that's beneficial, like physical exercise, good nutrition, cooperative skill building or education.

As well, we spent a few hours in the car, unable to make too much eye contact, is that really family bonding?

I don't know--I'm leaning toward this not being something we do in a car. Maybe if I hid a treasure at the local park, then let the kids find it, it would be better, and serve another purpose?

Where do you stand on geocaching? Family treasure hunting fun or another example of indifference to the oil crisis?

PLEASE give me your $.02 on this one! I need to figure out if we'll do this again.


Karen Marzo August 8, 2009 at 10:22 AM  

I haven't done this yet but a friend of mine has receintly started with the craze... What she loves is the excitement or finding something (treasure of whatever kind), the learning to use her GPS and/or maps to find locations, and the laughter it brings to her and her family, especially as they decide what to share with the world (trinket of somekind). They are making bracelets as a family to leave in the boxes.

Maggie Madison August 8, 2009 at 5:02 PM  

@karen You make it sound like such a fun, bonding experience! Maybe I need to give it another try...