Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Father's Day Fun!

Hidden Fun on Father's Day!

Are there any father’s out there who don’t enjoy cool gadgets and the rush of an adventure?

This Father’s Day discover Geocaching! A worldwide, high-tech treasure hunting game played by curious individuals armed with a handheld GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver. After logging onto (The Official Global GPS Cache Hunt Site), you can look for geocache coordinates in the area that you are interested hunting in. A typical cache is a waterproof container containing a logbook and maybe even “treasure”, usually small items of little value. The cache’s are listed according to difficulty, family friendly locations, terrain, etc. You enter the coordinates (longitude and latitude) of the hidden cache into your GPS and then go searching for it. The website contains all the information required to begin, including geocaching “etiquette”.

What do you do when you find a cache? Well, high fives all around that is for sure…..great job! The rule is that you never take anything out unless you replace it with something else. There generally is a small guest logbook in the container that you can record comments in.

There are many different types of GPS receiver’s on the market right now with various price points. When you are at the store, discuss what your needs are with the sales person and they should be able to steer you in the right direction. Explain that you are going to use it for geocaching. The Apple iphone can also be used….like they say, “there is an App for that” .

Here are some tips for planning your very own Father’s Day “Geocache Adventure”

· Pick an easy location to start - This is your first trip out, so pick a location that is easily accessible with a low difficulty rating. You want this to be a positive learning experience for everyone.

· Be sneaky about it! – this is a surprise, so you will have to be a little discreet when learning all there is to know about geocaching on the website.

· Get the kids involved! – Kids love a treasure hunt and will be as excited as you are.

· Make sure that you have looked after all of the safety stuff such as making sure that your cell phone is charged, plenty of gas in your vehicle, extra batteries for GPS, let someone know where you are going, pack an emergency kit, spare tire, etc.

· Prepare a picnic – Treasure Hunters get hungry, so prepare a picnic lunch with some of Dad’s favourite items. Be Green….pack your picnic in reusable containers and bring “finger” food which doesn’t require plates or cutlery.

· Bring a bag to pick up any trash you come across. “Cache in, Trash Out” is the motto

· Don’t Idle – Turn off your vehicle when parked

· Record your mileage – Knowing your mileage for the day gives you the option of purchasing carbon offsets to assist you in reducing the carbon footprint of your Father’s Day adventure.

· A trail of Breadcrumbs - If you need to walk any distance, mark your vehicle as a waypoint on your GPS so that you do not get lost!

· Be Patient & Persistent – Oftentimes the cache is not going to be in plain site so you are going to have to look around for it. Technically, it should be within 3-5 metres of the coordinates (A big thank you to Cathy for this tip).

· Say Cheese! – Make sure that you bring a camera or digital video camera to document the trip. The website encourages you to upload pictures from your adventures!

· Have fun…lots of fun – This is quality family time folks…enjoy it and enjoy the great outdoors!

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