Healthy Active Living with St. Joseph Healthcare

Take the Family on a Real Treasure Hunt!

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Ever heard of geocaching? It’s a modern day treasure hunt using GPS – either handheld units or your smartphone. Treasures of all shapes and sizes are hidden all over the world – and hundreds are hidden right here in the greater Bangor area! Some are in locations you pass every day; others take you off the beaten path. Using specific coordinates, geocachers hike to various locations to find the “caches” – watertight containers that include a log book and a variety of small “treasures.” The idea is to take a treasure and leave another behind for the next adventurer – usually small trinkets like a key chain or jewelry.

How to Geocache in Maine:

  1. There are lots of geocaching sites and apps out there. We found www.geocaching.com easy to use. Simply register for free and the site will provide coordinates to hundreds of caches in your area. There are more than 250 listed in the Bangor area alone!
  2. If you’re using your smart phone, download a geocaching app. We found “C:Geo” – a free app that coordinated well with the geocaching.com site. Using your phone’s GPS, the app will provide a list of nearby caches.
  3. If you’re using a different GPS device, simply enter the coordinates of the geocache.
  4. Choose a cache and off you go! It’s a great way to learn how coordinates work, teach kids to use a compass (the app has one built in) and enjoy some time exploring outdoors!
  5. Once you find the treasure, be sure to sign the logbook and exchange caches (take one, leave one), then return the geocache to its original location.
  6. Share your geocaching stories and photos online!

The geocache app provides details like nearby restrooms, if dogs are allowed in the area and if it’s a good spot for picnicking. Geocaching is a great way to get the family outside and doing something fun together. You can even make it a learning experience for your kids, teach them about the plant life and geography surrounding the geocache!

Have your own geocaching tips? Share with us via the comments section!

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