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Total newbie with family question


ATL_Scott
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Hello folks-

 

I've read through the FAQ and most of the site.

 

I love the whole idea of Geocaching and would love to participate, but I'd like to involve the family, including a very curious and intelligent 3-year-old.

 

I live in the Atlanta area and am essentially wondering if there are enough "family friendly" Geocaching sites nearby that would make this something we could do on a regular basis. I've entered my zip code into the site but didn't see many active sites in my area (let alone ones that would be reasonable for a family such as mine). It's quite possible that I am missing something, however.

 

I have also read through the equipment requirements and would like to purchase the necessary items and get started, but I guess my primary question is whether this makes sense for a family like mine or if I should take up this endeavor on my own.

 

Thanks in advance for any helpful replies.

 

sb

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I know of several cachers who bring young kids with them.

 

Just pick medium or large caches in parks. short walks and let your 3 year old "find" the caches.

 

Won't be long before she/he is wanting to go out looking for treasure.

 

It is a great chance to teach about giving back to humankind as a whole. Don't forget trade up or trade even.

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I know of several cachers who bring young kids with them.

 

Just pick medium or large caches in parks. short walks and let your 3 year old "find" the caches.

 

Won't be long before she/he is wanting to go out looking for treasure.

 

It is a great chance to teach about giving back to humankind as a whole. Don't forget trade up or trade even.

 

Thanks Webscouter- I think that trading up is the way to go and would provide a great lesson to my daughter. I'm just hoping that there are enough accessible caches around me to make this a weekly (or perhaps monthly) experience.

 

Thanks-

 

sb

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I assume by "family like mine" you mean 2 adults and a 3-year-old?

 

Also, I don't know what you did, but there are gobs and gobs of caches around Atlanta... the problem is that a 3-year-old will have zero interest in finding urban micros.

 

My 3-year-old loves going geocaching, as long as they're regular sized and have toys he can paw through, preferably toy cars. His first caches were just before he turned 2. This probably isn't the best picture to post here because he's crying (he's upset because daddy is at the bottom of the hill and he's way up at the top), but it's the first picture I have of him at a cache site:

10bcf8be-e043-4291-845a-b5029d76234f.jpg

 

He's been on multi-mile hikes (carried on my shoulders for lots of that) and even a few 5-star terrain caches (boat access). Just remember that when you have a toddler along that HE controls the pace and the turn-around point. When he's tired, it's time to head to the car.

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I assume by "family like mine" you mean 2 adults and a 3-year-old?

 

Also, I don't know what you did, but there are gobs and gobs of caches around Atlanta... the problem is that a 3-year-old will have zero interest in finding urban micros.

 

My 3-year-old loves going geocaching, as long as they're regular sized and have toys he can paw through, preferably toy cars. His first caches were just before he turned 2. This probably isn't the best picture to post here because he's crying (he's upset because daddy is at the bottom of the hill and he's way up at the top), but it's the first picture I have of him at a cache site:

10bcf8be-e043-4291-845a-b5029d76234f.jpg

 

He's been on multi-mile hikes (carried on my shoulders for lots of that) and even a few 5-star terrain caches (boat access). Just remember that when you have a toddler along that HE controls the pace and the turn-around point. When he's tired, it's time to head to the car.

 

J-Way-

 

Based on your comments I am certain that I didn't search for the cache sites correctly on this site. Yes, we are talking about my wife and me plus my daughter.

 

Love the picture - makes me feel very positive about getting the whole family involved. Your advice about making sure that Sophie (daughter) controls the pace is very much appreciated, although I'm certain that she'd make her preferences known (she's never been shy about it).

 

I really appreciate you sharing your experience.

 

Thanks so much for your input-

 

sb

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When my youngest was very young I would scope out the caches before taking him. That way I'd know what the location was like, how much of a walk it was, and we didn't have to waste too much time looking.

 

If you're near a playground you don't want them getting bored with searching, otherwise you'll lose them to the swings and slides. :laughing:

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When my youngest was very young I would scope out the caches before taking him. That way I'd know what the location was like, how much of a walk it was, and we didn't have to waste too much time looking.

 

If you're near a playground you don't want them getting bored with searching, otherwise you'll lose them to the swings and slides. :laughing:

 

Excellent advice - hadn't thought of scoping it out beforehand. Much appreciated.

 

Thanks-

sb

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My family (Hubby, myself, and almost 7yr old son) has been caching for just over 1 yr now, and at first we only did caches that would have some "treasures" for our son. Micros were done when our son was in school. We would then tell him about the micro finds my husband & I had, and our son would be sad that he was not along for the adventure untill we told him that there were no "treasures" inside. Soon he became interested in the adventure of a challenging find (micro or not). Our son had even found several 3 1/2 & 4 star difficulty micro caches while mommy & daddy were doing the 'dancing bee' walk. Some times adults are not smarter that a 1st grader :laughing:

 

I've even gotten on the auction web site (the most well know one; e-b@#) and looked up geocache containers and showed them to our son,as to how some of the caches can be challenging to evil. That helped in boosting his interest in the challenging hides

 

Welcome to the adventure!

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My family (Hubby, myself, and almost 7yr old son) has been caching for just over 1 yr now, and at first we only did caches that would have some "treasures" for our son. Micros were done when our son was in school. We would then tell him about the micro finds my husband & I had, and our son would be sad that he was not along for the adventure untill we told him that there were no "treasures" inside. Soon he became interested in the adventure of a challenging find (micro or not). Our son had even found several 3 1/2 & 4 star difficulty micro caches while mommy & daddy were doing the 'dancing bee' walk. Some times adults are not smarter that a 1st grader :laughing:

 

I've even gotten on the auction web site (the most well know one; e-b@#) and looked up geocache containers and showed them to our son,as to how some of the caches can be challenging to evil. That helped in boosting his interest in the challenging hides

 

Welcome to the adventure!

 

Thanks, Team-O

 

This may be very premature for a newbie like me, but it seems that it would be fun to create a Geocache! Obviously I want to find many of them first and make sure I understand the etiquette, but the idea of putting one in place and checking it out once in a while with my family is also appealing.

 

Do most Geocachers (if that's the term) also have their own geocaches? Is the question itself bad form? If so, my sincere apologies.

 

sb

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I take my 5 year old daughter whenever she asks to go. She of course likes the caches that are a little larger and have a chance to see toys and kid trade items. As to the cache hides, all geocachers are welcome to hide caches. The more the merrier I think. My little girl likes to make her own caches now and we will be taking her first one out as soon as the weather is nicer and the snow is gone. With her the best thing is to let her decide when she wants to go. Hope it helps a little.

 

kayn_os

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I am actually the hider of my team and my wife likes to find. She will even test mine by going out to find them herself before I place them.. I love seeing my email box fill up with nice comments from cachers about my hides. I do a series of Cache's called the Warcrack series and I love to see people who have played warcraft before look at the places and remember their exploits in Azeroth I am planning on covering Colorado with my Warcrack caches because there are so many places in this world that I am sure inspired the creators of Warcraft.

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This may be very premature for a newbie like me, but it seems that it would be fun to create a Geocache! Obviously I want to find many of them first and make sure I understand the etiquette, but the idea of putting one in place and checking it out once in a while with my family is also appealing.

 

Do most Geocachers (if that's the term) also have their own geocaches? Is the question itself bad form? If so, my sincere apologies.

 

sb

 

I don't know if most geocachers have their own hides, but many do, some one or two, some dozens, some 100's and one has 2,000. There is no requirement to hide caches if you find caches, so don't feel like you have to hide.

 

Some hide a cache after the first find or two. But it might be a good idea to find a variety of caches to get a flavor of what type of hides people come up with and what you enjoy finding. But by all means, if you want to hide one, go ahead. The one piece of advice I would give you is to read the guidelines and understand them. Pay particular attention to the cache saturation guideline. Reviewers hold to the 528 foot rule pretty close with very few exceptions. Also pay attention to the concept of not having an agenda on the cache hide. (political, religious, a particular social group, etc).

 

The question was not bad form. What is bad form is asking for help on a puzzle cache or divulging how a particular cache is hidden.

 

Have fun!

 

Jim

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I live in the Atlanta area and am essentially wondering if there are enough "family friendly" Geocaching sites nearby that would make this something we could do on a regular basis.

 

I know many families with young kids who geocache. One of the things that got me into cache hiding was a log I received from a parent who wrote "Thanks for this bonding experience with my daughters". I though at the time that if the simple act of hiding a box in the woods could have such a positive affect, it was something that I could really get into.

 

What "family friendly" consists of is your call. Potentially most caches are family friendly. I've seen parents who think nothing of taking their kids on a 6 mile hike over challenging terrain.

 

Young kids generally enjoy the "treasure hunt" aspect of the game, so stick with regular sized caches. Most children don't get the film canister with a piece of paper in so I can get a "smiley" thing.

 

Also be sure to open the container yourself before giving it to your child. I've never heard of anything truly harmful in caches, but they do sometimes contain decorative pins, broken Christmas ornaments, fishing lures and the like and you just want to make sure it's totally safe before letting your child paw through the contents.

 

Do most Geocachers (if that's the term) also have their own geocaches?

 

I don't know the actual statistics, but it seems that most regular geocachers seem to have a few hides. Some people love to hide, some just like to find and some do both. Never hide a cache because you think you sholuld. Only because you really want to.

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I have 6 children with 1 more on the way. I definatly have at least one caching kid. She was actually the one that always cried EVERYTIME we went caching when I first started. I made a cool DVD that gets placed in regular sized caches. The DVD has me and some of my kids doing about 7 or 8 caches. The movie is about 15 minutes long and has some pretty funny moments and when they happen to you, you will ROTFLYAO.

 

I don't force any kids to go along, if they want to spend the day with Dad then they get in the Jeep. I of course spoil whoever comes along cause KIDS ARE THE BEST GEOTOOLS AROUND. When you have to get a LPS cache you will be glad they came along. You can lift the LPS and let the kid make a quick grab without being noticed. Sometimes you have to throw them over the fence to get a cache that has been unceremoniously knocked from its hidey hole. Oh and you can get away with crazy things when you are with a kid. When there is a nano hidden under a picnic table its much less suspicious when you are with a child.

 

So all around kids and caching go hand in hand. I would much rather go with a kid than anyone else.

 

*LPS = Lamp Post Skirt

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My whole reason for getting into this hobby was to spend more time with my son, who just recently turned 10. He and I have always had a bit of a tumultuous relationship, and I was desperately looking for something that we both could do that would keep his interest. I tried fishing years ago, but he just didn't have the patience. But he would always be out in the yard or at the park and finding "treasures": interesting looking rocks, a stick with a peculiar shape to it, etc. It dawned on me that he liked "treasure hunting" so I started Googling ideas and came across caching.

 

I asked him if he'd like to try something like that, and he was all for it. So we attended a "Geocaching 101" class last year and learned how to go about it. Right after the class, we headed to the local Cabela's store and loaded up on gear: a new GPS, back pack, walking sticks, first aid kit, compass, etc., and dove into it hardcore.

 

We've been out several times, although we've been taking the winter off. We haven't hidden our first cache yet, because I wanted to find a few and learn before I felt that I "knew" what I was doing. Last Fall we scoped out a location near our home, and I ordered some lock-n-lock containers from www.geocaching.com. Once the Spring thaw is sufficient, we will set about making our first "hide".

 

When you're setting out with your little one, just be sure to focus on caches that are marked as "kid friendly" and are no smaller than "small" in size. "Regular" is even better. Those are usually tupperware containers, coffee cans, or ammo boxes loaded with kids toys. Letting her "find" the cache is also an excellent idea. There's nothing more frustrating for a kid than to have an older sibling or parent getting all the credit, so if you spot it first, encourage them to "look over there", pointing to where you know the cache is.

 

My son is even coming around to finding micros. He loves whipping out his own multi-tool pliers to retrieve the log sheet from the container, so I always let him...anything to help him keep his interest.

 

You've discovered a great family fun activity which not only brings families closer together, but also gets them out and being active, instead of sitting inside playing video games and putting on weight. They can also gain alot from seeing parts of their surroundings from different angles and discovering places they never knew were there. As far as I'm concerened, there is NOTHING negative that can come from family caching. Keep doing what you're doing and happy hunting to you!!

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We started caching when Caitlyn was just about a year old. I started with her in a sling carrier, but I've got a bad shoulder and that didn't last too long, so we bought a Patapum carrier that she still uses today, she's almost 3. In this pic she was 13 1/2 months old...pappa, as usual, was lost :)

 

d01fab80-37fb-4bcd-83e1-a96187eccd15.jpg

 

We've done all kinds of caches with both my kids, Hanna, who is 9 now, and Cait, who turns 3 May 23rd. We don't live in the US, and we don't live in a city, either, we're out in the boondocks, so most of our caches are out in the forest or non-urban settings. We've had some that are decent hikes and some that are right off the road. We've had the chance to experience so many things together, and summertimes for us are filled with caching trips since the winter we're under a few feet of snow. We almost always take some sort of picnic with us and spend an entire day doing it, the kids rest in the car and we carry Cait if she gets too tired or put her in the Patapum. This cache was in an old military bunker.

 

26450e95-79be-4ddf-9675-92d3913d284f.jpg

 

Not all the caches we hit are in the middle of a forest. Some are in town or at historical places like this one. Notice who is eagerly scoping out the contents of the cache :o ?

 

82417b32-f0bc-458b-839a-4441eda72b3c.jpg

 

A couple of days ago Cait was in bed with me one morning. She had her baby doll with her and she took her and lifted her pillow and showed her doll under the pillow and said "look baby, is there a cache there?" Hehehe, too cute! I think that caching has been great for our family. It gets us out of the house and doing something as a family. It challenges us mentally and physically, and we see places and things we've never thought we'd see.

 

Big difference between us and you is that Cait has been doing this as long as she remembers, so she doesn't really dictate much to us when we quit for the day, she accepts it and has fun and we also adapt with the carrier and snacks to her a bit, so we are able to spend an entire day doing this. I imagine it's different for everyone!

 

Oh, and one last thing, dollar stores are your friend for cheap and fun swag, be prepared for a lot of crap in caches, and have fun!

 

Naomi :D

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it is never bad form to ask a question.

 

there are a few questions for which it would be bad form to give the answer, such as the solutions to puzzles, but it you're green enough that you don't know, you should ask. if you touch on one of these hot button questions, though, don't take it personally when people jump on you a little.

 

your three-year old might even enjoy urban micros; i know at least one young child who does. it's mostly in how you manage the outing.

 

one added benefit to caching with your kids is that if you cache with other adults, your kids develop relationships with those adults. it's really good for kids to have adult friends who are not related to them. caching also gives children an opportunity to play a game with adults on the same playing field.

 

geocaching, while purposely friendly in general to being played with children, is not a children's game. it therefore provides excellent opportunities for children to play a grown-up game with grown-ups.

 

in my area there is a very active youngster who goes out with his mom to just about every kind of cache there is. we know that he's partial to matchboxes, so we tend to leave a lot of those out for him to find. more importantly, though, he's part of our community.

 

that can be really important to a kid.

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Hello folks-

 

I've read through the FAQ and most of the site.

 

I love the whole idea of Geocaching and would love to participate, but I'd like to involve the family, including a very curious and intelligent 3-year-old.

sb

 

After reading your post and some of the response the first thing I thought of was a geocaching familiy Woodland Clan) that used to live nearby and is now in Kansas City. I cached with them a couple of times with and without their young child. On the occasiosn when the child was along there was another woman with her two kids, one that was 2-3 years old being carried in a pack. The all really seemed to be enjoying the hunt. It was on a night cache in the woods.

 

I know that the Woodland Clan takes their son (Buglet) on most of their hunts and they have over 2000 finds. Here's an example log from one of them:

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I have a 3 year old son and he has really taken to caching, though not as much as daddy. I also have nephews and a niece who have gone with us who really enjoy it. Cole, our 3 year old, has turned some of his toys into toy GPSs that he sometimes takes and follows around. That is quite funny to watch actually. One thing that I really like about the caching is it teaches him to not hog all of the toys for himself. He has gotten used to the whole "take something leave something" rule and he does not get heart-broken (usually) if there is nothing to grab.

Edited by CLV3
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... didn't see many active sites in my area (let alone ones that would be reasonable for a family such as mine). ...

 

That depends on what you consider family friendly. Caches are hidden all over the place. At worst you drive up to the area and say "ok, that one doesn't look like fun, how about we check out the next one?"

 

As for the activity itself. "there is a container hidden here, lets look" is about as complex as it needs to be.

 

Just about any cheap GPS you can buy will work, and if you can read maps (like google earth) you can get close enough to not need the GPS.

 

Lastly kids like looking through the trade items. Focus on larger containers, regular if you can.

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Just because we love to GeoCache..we have Geo Events for Cachers..FREE..when people stay in our guest home. I can tell you that even the most peer pressured teen LOVES getting involved! Hasn't failed yet!

 

Last year..we even had 13-14 y-o boys in sandals! If you know the western high desert...you know sandals are no..no! Well..they were having thier mom buy'um hiking shoes before long!

 

They're coming back the whole month of July! Luckily ..there are plenty of Geocaching.com caches locally to keep um occupied! Dan

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I know of several cachers who bring young kids with them.

 

Just pick medium or large caches in parks. short walks and let your 3 year old "find" the caches.

 

Won't be long before she/he is wanting to go out looking for treasure.

 

It is a great chance to teach about giving back to humankind as a whole. Don't forget trade up or trade even.

 

Thanks Webscouter- I think that trading up is the way to go and would provide a great lesson to my daughter. I'm just hoping that there are enough accessible caches around me to make this a weekly (or perhaps monthly) experience.

 

Thanks-

 

sb

 

I just did a search on Atlanta and there are over 200 Caches that come up. There must be a least 50 that would be kid friendly.

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Personally I think taking family members is a great way to spend the day. Young or older (my daughter is going on 13 now) they will have a blast. The only thing to remember is to teach them the rules of the woods.

 

Just like you would teach your little ones to look both ways before crossing the street you would teach them about looking for snakes and spiders. Poking an area with a stick. Looking around a log instead of just stepping over it. That sort of thing.

 

06-14-08_1336_edited.jpg

 

Once they understand the rules you are going to have a blast.

 

-HHH :)

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Thanks so much to all of you.

 

My daughter and I (my wife is 7 months pregnant and can't yet participate) will be having our first geocaching adventure one week from tomorrow. I'm planning to scope it out beforehand and to work with my daughter after the "find" to figure out which items we should "trade up".

 

I really appreciate the replies, most especially the ones that reinforced my notion that this could be a great family activity and also the ones that recommended looking for "medium" sized caches rather than micro caches in the beginning.

 

This is a great forum. Thanks again-

sb

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