Geocaching! Outside!

When I was little, our neighbors across the street invited us to play almost every day. My brother and I, of course, loved going over to play because they had all the best toys, like a Nintendo, every G.I. Joe figure and vehicle, and all kids of stuff. Of course we wanted to play inside every day we were there, because we didn’t have such fun, expensive toys (which certainly benefited us in other ways). However, my friend’s mom also made sure that we played outside every once in a while. This was only bearable because they had plenty of expensive outdoor toys, too, like a slip ‘n slide, a playhouse, and tons of sports equipment.

Since that lesson of playing outside, I’ve since moved to Los Alamos and been through all of Boy Scouting. I really do enjoy the outdoors, but it’s something that I haven’t done much since I was much younger. My friend Aaron and I used to go all over the canyons, and he and I even hiked across the canyon on our last day of Middle School, which took us about four or five hours to travel less than half a mile on a map, but it was a lot of fun.

So why all this talk about getting outside, especially since it’s obviously written on a computer, indoors?

I went outside again!

Some of our friends invited us to go Geocaching a couple of weeks ago, and we’re hooked. Part of the motivation is that we want to get out and walk around more to shed off some extra weight of being indoors practically since Emmy was born, and part of it is that we’re just ready to get back outside. I’m really exaggerating, though, because we definitely get outside, just not as much as we would like to. Geocaching helps us do that because it makes it fun to go outside. Basically, you look on for a cache that’s in a place you’d like to visit, whether it’s in the middle of town or in the middle of nowhere. Then you punch in the coordinates to your GPS receiver (that’s all the equipment you need, really) and follow the little pointy arrow to the cache on your GPSr. It’s not always that easy, but that’s the fun of it. You get to go treasure hunting, see some places you haven’t been before, and share it with the geocaching community.

For us, geocaching has been a lot of fun and an entertaining way to see new places. We’ve only done a few caches so far, but we’re very excited to take our friends and relatives with us this summer. It’s great because the only thing we had to buy was a GPS receiver, which you can get for less than $100. It’s definitely something that’s fun for us gadget geeks, but it’s also great for families or just about anyone else.

2 thoughts on “Geocaching! Outside!

  1. Beth

    I didn’t know you got a GPS receiver, nor did I know that they were just $100 (I thought they were twice that or more). This isn’t the same thing you can put in your car to give you directions, is it?

    How do you take Emmy? Do you carry her in a Bjorn or something? I am hoping to get something like that for this next baby (because I have a feeling Logan will want to be in the stroller if he sees the baby in one, and I don’t really feel like buying a bulky double).

    It sounds fun! Are there a lot of things cached in your area??

  2. Alex

    Well, you can get a 100 dollar receiver, but mine was 175 because I wanted a few more features with it. These are handheld GPSrs, so most don’t do autorouting, which is the in-car directions. Mine can do that, but I would have to buy more maps separately so that it knows the roads and where to go. urrently, it only knows the major highways.

    There are about 12 caches within a mile as the crow flies from our place. Places like Albuquerque have tons more, so there are always new ones to find and things. Los Alamos County has more than 50, I think.

    Emmy gets to ride along in her front pack thing, which she likes okay, or if it’s a cache near the road we just hold her because some don’t involve much hiking around and are just in town.

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