My daughter came home from school one day ALL charged up about geocaching. Her technology teacher took her and her classmates out along a trail for an adventure she will never forget, and an adventure that, gratefully, she wanted to share with me. One sleepy Saturday, she was determined to get me to take her geocaching. I was intent on watching some football, but she had other plans, and I was so glad that I bit. I downloaded the app on my phone (that she, of course, knew ALL about), and we set out for a daddy / daughter adventure that had us journeying through the woods, finding clues, discovering some interesting plants, swatting some mosquitos, and just having a great time together. Geocaching helped us connect our smartphones, that are seemingly always in front of our faces, with some much needed family time.

Geocaching is an exciting game that people of all ages can do where you search for outdoor treasures (hidden by other geocachers) using a GPS-enabled device like your smartphone. Sounds amazing, right? What’s even better is that everyone from children to adults can have fun together doing this. So pack your bag, grab a GPS-enabled device, like your smartphone, and head on over to Florida’s Space Coast for your geocaching adventure.

My daughter and I have found Brevard County to be one of Florida’s best geocaching hotspots, and whether you are a local or a tourist, you can explore this area in search of treasure. But let’s make something clear: you won’t be in search of gold on this adventure; it it can be something simple like a matchbox car, an antique coin, or small trinkets that help you better remember the experience. Here is how this works:

  • The first thing you need to do is register for a Free Basic Membership at GeoCaching.com. This is the way that you can search for local geocaching trails in your area.
  • Once you receive the coordinate of the geocache, plug it into your GPS-enabled device, like your smartphone.
  • Now, it’s time get rolling. Use the GPS-enabled device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache. Don’t forget your camera; you never know what or who you will run into during one of your adventures!
  • You may have to search for a while for the treasure, or you may find it in a relatively short amount of time. Whatever the case, be sure not to open it right away. Take the time to see how and where it was placed so you can put it back as you found it.
  • Inside the canister, there is a logbook to sign. It is a fun thing to see who previously found the geocache and when the last time it was found. After signing, be sure to put everything back as you found it for the next geocacher.
  • If you take something from the geocache, be sure to leave something of equal or greater value. If you do leave something of higher value, this is called “trading up”, and it really does help to add to the geocaching experience for everyone.
  • Take pictures so that you can share your geocaching finds online.

There are several types of geocaches and levels of difficulty, so once you have a couple of geocaching finds under your belt, come back and search for geocaches that offer a higher level of difficulty. The great thing about these scavenger hunts is that it allows you explore parts of your area that might be unknown to you.

If you are looking to start a geocaching adventure with your family on Florida’s Space Coast, I recommend visiting the Space Coast GeoCaching Store in Merritt Island. They offer resources, materials, and expert advice. If you are looking for even more adventure on Florida’s Space Coast, be sure to check here for more events.

- Seth, Florida’s Space Coast Adventurer

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