Our family had vacation the last week of July. Actually, it was a “stay-cation,” with us taking day trips here and there all week. But it was our first time off together from work and school that we’ve had in a long time. And we had a great time!

Staying true to our Summer 2011 Hiking/Geocaching commitment, we found ourselves at one time or another not only in our beautiful home state of New Hampshire, but also Vermont, Rhode Island and Massachusetts – attempting all along the way to put more notches in our collection of accomplishments.

“Accomplishments?” you ask. Well, yes. Geocaching accomplishments. Or “finds” really. We certainly enjoy a good hike or walk in the woods. But it’s oh so much more fun when you’re playing an exciting treasure hunt game while you’re there!

“Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.” (www.geocaching.com) It all started back in May 2000 when GPS enthusiast Dave Ulmer wanted to test GPS accuracy by hiding something (a container of knick knacks) in the woods for someone to find. His one rule was simple – if you want something from the stash, you must leave something of equal or greater value in its place. The container was found, and Geocaching was born!
Our family has been geocaching for about 2 1/2 years now, with my husband as our committed and enthusiastic leader. Actually, he’s the “real” geocacher in our family, currently on a mission to find a geocache everyday, representing his longest dry spell in his geocaching history.
During our vacation, I’m proud to say we found 30 geocaches, with 15 of those found all in one day during a trip up to Quichee, VT!

Geocaching can, and usually does, involve some time in the woods, on terrain ranging from easy to difficult. Sometime you can just go for a quick “Park & Grab” with easy access to your car, and sometimes you’re off on hikes or walks that are 1, 2, 3 or more miles long. During our vacation, we did it all! Sometimes, for the more difficult treks, I’d stay back in the car, waiting for Hubby and our daughter to return with stories of their great find (hopefully!) And sometimes I’d be right out there with them. I even found my very first cache all on my own during our vacation! (whenever we go together, it’s always been Hubby or Sweetie who actually finds the cache – but not this time!). It was pretty exhilarating, I admit, to find this little hidden treasure in the woods!

Geocaching only requires a handheld GPSer and a good pair of walking/hiking footwear. It’s a great activity for all ages (our daughter has loved it since kindergarten, and my father-in-law is always asking Hubby about his latest finds and where his next hunt may take him – can anyone say closet geocacher?!) It’s definitely a fun way to get yourself outside with your friends and family, exercising not only your body, but your mind as well.
For more information, and to register yourself/team as new geocachers, visit www.geocaching.com.