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Hunting With Kids


Halden
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My 2 year old son, Baby Jeeper, accompanies me on about every cache... as long as it is safe. He loves bumpin' around in the back of the Jeep out on the trail and seems to love the outdoors (& I'm trying my best to keep him interested in the outdoors/sports). Last weekend, in fact, he walked over a mile to get to a cache with me and he loved to see the hawks, deer and wild turkeys! He definitely makes caching more fun... even if I have to tone down the difficulty level sometimes!

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I cache with both my kids, I've only done 2 by myself, the kids are 6&7. They can usually handle 1-2 a day depending on length. After that they get bored. They were really excited about going out at first. Now it seems I have to work it into a deal, such as we only go to a site that has a playground. I'm saving all multi's and such to when I can go solo, which isn't very often... hey school starts soon thou- :blink:

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Our kids are 3 years (barely) and 20 months. Our first cache find was 17 months ago, and both we had both kids with us. In fact, unless I (Boo) go and find one by myself, which is only about 15% of the time, the kids are there with us.

 

I use a backpack carrier quite a bit, and Kitty has a variety of slings that she uses depending on the time of year. Works out pretty well as terrain limitations have not yet been a factor. (Haven't looked into any hydro or climbing caches yet, however.)

 

Every now and then we find ourselves doing something incredibly ludicrous, however. For example, we once tried to push a double stroller along a mountain bike trail.

 

The kids like going through the SWAG and particularly gravitate to those McToys everyone else complains about. Yes, we do end up leaving McToys sometimes, but I try to keep such trades at a 3 for 1 ratio. Figure if I can't improve the quality, at least I'll add quantity.

 

Needless to say, the kids have no interest in micros or virtuals, so we've avoided those. The exception generally being drive-bys, that I just go and log while the rest of the family waits in the car.

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I've been taking my 5 yr old granddaughter mostly on walks. Started out on short walks. ( I needed to work myself into it as well). 15 min in, 15 min back out. She complained more then I did at first, but once we were able to make it to the top of the trail, I introduced her to the Geocaching.

Her first was yesterday. I told her we were going to find a hidden treasure, so while we were walking towards it, her imagination was running wild with what kind of treasures would be in it. I was afraid she would be dissappointed that there weren't any diamonds and gold in a big treasure box.

When we got to the location, she was not happy with being in the thick of things. I was afraid her whining would call some attention to us, but once we found it and she opened it up, she was thrilled to death with the treasure, even tho it was a micro, she picked out a flag pin and as this was my first micro, wasn't prepared for the trade. I did find 4 fresh batteries that fit in the micro.

She was so thrilled with the find that I was going for a second find but got called home before we got close enough.

She did get bit up by something and I've had to put her on clariton and anti itch cream. NO SHORTS IN THE WOODS!!

But the great thing is that she's hooked and hopefully will be my new partner. ( Along with my 2 labs) <_<

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My two younger sons are older than most of the kids mentioned here, 16 and 10. The 16 y.o. is great for reaching caches that are beyond my short arms' reach. He's a Boy Scout and likes the outdoors, so hiking is second nature to him. The youngest is good at sneaking his smaller hands in where larger hands can't go. He is also getting very good at handing off micros for me to sign without any muggles spying what we are doing. :) He's a Cub Scout (for six more months, then on to Boy Scouts) and is walking in his older brother's footsteps. I will miss caching with them while they are back in school.

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I have a 4 year old and a 7 year old that will jump at the chance to go geocaching, and will even endure the longer-and-longer car rides to get there. Not only that but I now have 4 neighbors' and friends' kids that get their parents to call and see if I'll take them as well.

 

If I take many more kids, I'm sure I'll have to get some sort of a license!

 

Truly, though, their excitement makes it all worthwhile. I wish that "kid-friendly" were a formal property of any given cache we could set and query when searching for caches.

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I've taken both my sons along geocaching. They are experienced in the brush and I'm trying to 'street smart' them up for the city. My oldest, thought it would be a laugh to move the first cache he found a couple hundred feet away. I put the brakes on that idea. They are both over eighteen and have better things to do with their time. Or so they think. :huh:

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Last year I attempted to take my then 3 and 5 year old boys geocaching (my husband didn't seem to be interested in it at the time). I had my husband enter coordinates for me, and I was going to a place I knew - or so I thought. So, I ignored the 'park at theses coordinates....' notation. Mind you this was a first for my boys and myself! After 7 relentless, dehydrating, blood boiling hours (walking quite leisurely as to not pass out in the heat) I finally found employees on a golf cart and literally BEGGED for a ride to my van (only about another 500 feet).

Needless to say I wouldn't go back without my husband - so, 1 year later I made him promise to go geocaching with us since HE was the one who pleaded to cancel our only camping excursion this year. He did enjoy it and we'll be going again. (Kids enjoyed it a lot better this time!)

 

However, on our 7 hour hike (at end of trail I decided to create a short cut along the beach - in the middle of nowhere - I'm not good at directions and such - even with a GPS that I really didn't know how to use), my boys remained in good spirits and walked on their own. I remember very little complaining. They were so sweet but, disappointed because we didn't find the treasure so I promised them an ice cream.

Talk about a bad day - after I got in the van I laid the seat back to rest for a moment. When I decided to take off for the ice cream - my seat back wouldn't come up. LOL!

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I am new to geocaching, and have taken all seven of my kids on all my hunts. They are 12yo, 11yo, 8yo, 7yo, 5yo, 3yo and 3mo. There tends to be some fighting and some whining, but nothing excessive and they love finding a cache and the associated 'treasures'. They don't love it when I manage to lose ourselves in the woods and we end up bushwhacking for way too long. They didn't like it either when we had to hike back to the car in the pitch dark yesterday :-)

 

Found seven caches so far, and almost ready to hide our first!

 

Karen

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A friend of mine and I usually cache together. We take her 2 year old grandson and my 8 year old granddaughter a lot of the time. The 2 year old doesn't really care about the caches. He just likes to be out doors. My 8 year old loves to do things outdoors and with grandma. I am enjoying taking her so much - we have lots of bonding time and I am getting to do all of the outdoor things that I enjoy with her. When my kids were little, they didn't care to do most of the things that I liked to do. Still don't have them hooked, but the 8 year old certainly is.

 

I asked her what she wanted for Christmas the other day and she told me a GPS. She actually takes mine part of the time and uses it. I told her that if she got a GPS she probably wouldn't get much else from Grandpa and Grandma. She told me she would have to think about that. A little later she said she had decided she wanted the GPS, so guess that is probably what she will get.

 

I have another friend who doesn't have the patience to take the kids. We babysat our gd for the first 6 years of her life, so she has grown up in our home. Maybe that is the difference. I would much rather see her be outside and getting some exercise than sitting in front of the TV. Kuddos to anyone who does take them out. What a great time for all! We have also gotten some great pictures of the kids climbing on every log, rock etc while in the woods - but isn't that the fun of it? We have taken them on some pretty long and hilly caches, but they don't complain too much. Once back in the truck, they either crash or the 8 year old can't stop talking about how much fun it was. - :blink::blink:

Edited by boasark
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My 5 year old was with me for my first find. Don't know who was more excited. My 12 year old goes too and the threesome is great . My threshold is 3 caches or 3 hours. These guys are troupers, but as brothers do, bickering sets in. My 12 year old has been a big help, he thinks with the mind of a 12 yr old, doesn't have the restrictions we adults develop, talking about "outside the box". I use a Rino 120 and we have a radio for my son too. Gives him a sense of independence.

 

It's a good way to teach kids too. Being methodical and not bashing about, attention to detail, being considerate of nature and keeping things intact, plus following directions and safety, sometimes history, outdoor skills.. The list goes on. I was a loner for many years and still yearn for solitude. I get that too caching. There are times I go alone or take my pup Ike with me. :unsure:

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