Geocaching With Kids Resource Guide

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Geocaching is a great outdoor activity for kids of all ages. This treasure hunting game is an opportunity to learn about nature, to problem-solve puzzles, and to respectfully take part in a community with proper etiquette.  Best of all, geocaching is fun, cheap and easy to learn.

If you’ve never gone geocaching before, don’t worry! This resource guide will help you learn everything you need to know, particularly how to include the kids.

Getting Started 

A Beginner’s Guide to Geocaching: This PDF from the University off Connecticut lays out step-by-step instructions using a account.

What You’ll Need

 10 Things to Bring on Every Hike: You can certainly stick to your own neighborhood and skip these items, but any time you plan to be outside for a while, you’ll want these extra things.

9 Geocaching Tools: While not totally necessary, these inexpensive tools can help make geocaching easier, from finding metal containers to retractable mirrors and log rollers. 

Choosing a GPS

Guide to Buying a GPS Device: From the biggest geocaching website, this article helps you decide between using a standalone GPS device and a mobile phone with built in GPS.

Geocaching Apps 

Geocaching for Android and iPhone: The largest geocaching app by Groundspeak offers a list of easy caches for free, which is great for the kids. Harder ones now cost $30 a year to access.

Creating Your Own Geocache 

5 Tips for a World Class Cache: These tips will help you make a fun and protected cache for many others to enjoy.

Making it Educational 

Geocaching with Kids: This article gives tips and ideas on how to incorporate geography, history, science and environmental learning into your geocaching adventures.

Including kids in geocaching doesn’t require many accommodations. Simply stay focused on safety and take the opportunity to teach your kids about geocaching etiquette.

Staying Safe

Always make sure to bring extra water, food and appropriate clothing and shoes. Remember to wear long sleeves and bug repellent in heavily wooded areas to avoid ticks. Sunscreen and sunglasses are also a must for kids.

It’s important to make sure you have a fully charged phone, too, so bring a back up if you’re using your phone as a GPS device. You may even want to get a portable power back as a backup battery charger.

Don’t be afraid to call off the hunt if the cache seems to be in an unsafe area, whether it be too high or across a dangerous path. Always check for snakes and other critters before sticking your hands in or under anything. Using a stick and a retractable mirror to poke around first is a good idea.

Geocaching Etiquette 

Geocachers  live by a simple code of conduct. If you take any “tokens” from a cache, be sure to have replace them with something of equal or greater value. Always leave the cache how and where you found it, and make sure to sign the log. If the cache looks broken or possibly exposed to the elements, place it in a secure, zip-close bag and let the owner of the cache know it needs attention.

Many geocachers are also big on taking care of the environment while they’re on the hunt. Help your kids learn to treat nature with care by bringing a plastic bag and gloves or a “grabber” to pick up garbage on your way.

Keeping it Affordable 

While you want to make sure you have appropriate gear, you don’t need to spring for expensive hiking boots or a world class GPS system right away. Start small by using your smartphone as a GPS to find easier caches. Avoid geocaching during inclement or overly hot weather to negate the need for extra gear.

Geocaching For Kids Tutorial


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