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Let’s Go GEOCACHING!

By Dayle Hayes, MS, RD

Created in 2000, geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunt - perfect for kids of all ages. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates, trying to find a tiny “treasure” (such as fishing lures, small candles, colorful Band-Aids, miniature compasses, etc.) hidden there by another geocacher. While basic info is free online (www.geocaching.com), a premium geocaching membership with maps, ratings, statistics, support, and custom searches is only $30 per year.

PLAN

  • Purchase a GPS device: The only essential piece of hide-and-seek equipment for geocaching is something that can track GPS coordinates; an inexpensive one is just fine.
  • Download a phone App: Probably the cheapest way to geocache, Groundspeak Geocaching App uses GPS, Wi-Fi, and cell towers to connect you to Geocaching.com.
  • Sign up on Geocaching.com: The basic free membership allows you to access geocache locations and share your experiences. Upgraded memberships provide more.

PLAY

Geocaching is perfect for families - it’s a hi-tech, ongoing scavenger hunt that you can do geocaching anywhere! Here are 10 tips to make it fun for everyone.

  1. Get kids involved: Put them in charge of GPS, caches, and even lunch!
  2. Take one, leave one: Always leave something of equal or greater value.
  3. Leave a signature cache: Make your mark with an object that impresses.
  4. Use creative containers: Cover a waterproof box in camo tape, moss, or bark.
  5. Add in adventure: Choose cache locations that involve a hike or swim.
  6. Create friendly competition: Have teams race to find caches first.
  7. Double the challenge: Put a cache inside a maze in a cornfield or park.
  8. Make it a hike: Choose to seek a cache in a park that you want to explore.
  9. Bring a camera: Post your successes on a family blog or Facebook page.
  10. Hide-and-seek safely: Bring water, sunscreen, hats, and healthy snacks.

ENJOY

Make technology active! Technology often gets a bad rap for creating couch potatoes. Reverse the trend and have fun using technology to get the activity your body needs.

For more fun, easy tips on healthy living, go to www.eatrightmontana.org/eatrighthealthyfamilies.htm



Dayle HayesDayle Hayes, MS, RD
Author, Speaker, and Nutrition Therapist

Dayle Hayes is a registered dietitian committed to innovative, delicious nutrition solutions for busy families. As a consultant to Billings Clinic, she specializes in positive nutrition tips, eating disorders, and sports nutrition. Dayle graduated from U. Mass-Boston and received a Masters of Science in Community Health Education from U. Mass-Amherst.
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