Looking for a fun activity to keep yourself occupied on a nice day without spending a ton of money? Try geocaching—a super outdoorsy summer activity that involves finding a hidden item (aka hidden treasure, as far as the kids are concerned).
 

How It Works

What’s the purpose of geocaching? To find something called a cache, which is a disguised container that can be found by using the GPS coordinates on your phone. Items could be a fake log or animal or even a bird house. Sort of like a treasure hunt, the items are not always easily found so searching is always required.

 

Getting Started

To start your adventure, simply download the official app, Geocaching, and create a free profile or sign in with Facebook. Once you’re registered, it shows you all the active geocache locations in your area. From there, you choose the location of the geocache you want to find and the app will open a map that will help lead you to it. Keep in mind that the map will lead you to the area, but the geocache might not always be directly in front of you. The app gives slight clues to help you out along your search. However, many items are carefully hidden and often blend into their surroundings, so make sure to read the hint that has been given for that geocache!

For each location, the app gives you a difficulty level, terrain level and geocache size range for the spot. Remember that the geocaches always vary—as each one has a different size, shape and difficulty. Once found, the geocache should contain a list of people that have found that specific geocache before you and the date on which they found it. Sign and date the logbook and re-hide the geocache exactly where you found it.

 

The Rules

Geocaching also involves a few simple rules. Make sure if you trade for items found inside the geocache it is for something that is of equal or greater value. Also, do not take the geocache or move it to a different spot and if you take a trinket, always leave a trinket in return.

 

Tips for Newbies

Never tried geocaching before? Here’s what to know before you embark on your first mission.

  • Start out with a low level difficulty geocache and a low level difficulty terrain.

  • Check the recent logs of the geocache locations to see if the “treasure” is still there.

  • Bring a pen! You’ll want to sign and date a logbook in each geocache.

  • Once you’ve found the item make sure it’s not noticeable to passersby, as they might move or take the cache.

  • Don’t forget: Never expose the hiding spot to others. Searching for it is half the fun!

  • Go online and log your geocache experience for each location to keep others updated!

 

NJ Locations

Ding Fries Are Done- Mercer County, Washington Crossing State Park (Titusville). This cache is an ammo can. Regular size cache. Hint: Look down low. The park is open daily from 6 am to 7 pm.

Needful Things IV- Morris County, Tourne Park. Tourne Park is one of New Jersey's gems, currently embracing 546.9 acres, including a wildflower trail with nearly 250 species of native plants. Regular size cache. Hint: New cache is 40 feet away from the old location. Remember it is very "Rocky." The Tourne County Park is open sunrise to sunset daily throughout the year.

Assembly Plant Blues Part II- Union County, Linden, NJ.  This cache is located on a street that runs along the GM Assembly Plant in Linden, NJ. Small size cache.

New Jersey State Tree II- Middlesex County. The cache is a micro camoed soda bottle caps  Hint: Reach.

Hans and Franz are here to “Pump You Up”- Bergen County. Micro size cache. Hint: A pumped up oddity among the masses.

There are over 2 million caches in the world. How many will you find?

 

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