We are always trying to get our kids out of the house to do stuff with us. On Labor Day, Loren and I wanted to go on an adventure… the kids wanted to play video games. The response to our suggestion of Antelope Island was met with groaning about how hiking is the worst. One sly kid proposed a counteroffer of Ice Skating. Since it wouldn’t be “Forced Family Fun” if we did what they wanted to do, we decided to kick it up a notch and try geocaching on Antelope Island.
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Geocaching- A worldwide treasure hunt
We had our first experience with geocaching when our oldest son was about six months old. The moment I first realized that there were literally millions of these things hidden all over the world, it blew my mind! You guys… it’s like being part of a secret society that hunts for treasure. We were always careful to be as inconspicuous as possible in order not to give away what we are doing. Even as adults, this is fun for us.
To participate, you need to sign up at geocaching.com. Thirteen years ago, we used our Garmin GPS, but now we usually use our cell phones. The GPS allows us to go places where our phones don’t, so if you are a serious geocacher, or tend to get lost in the woods, I’d go with the GPS. You can get a basic or premium account. We only have the basic, but the premium gives you a ton more caches to find.
Antelope Island has SO MANY geocaches!
Even though my kids whined and complained, we grabbed some craft sodas and were on our way! Upon arrival on the island, we saw how many geocaches there were. Loren’s first thought was, “We could do 100 geocaches in a day”. He’s an overachiever! Our children prefer to be underachievers on things that require them to be out in the heat, so we just decided we would hunt for caches until we didn’t want to anymore.
My favorite part of geocaching on Antelope Island
Our first hunt took us down a dirt road that I have never noticed before. I love that people hide caches in areas that you wouldn’t think to go. We have been to Antelope Island 7 times and have never been to most of these places. People purposely hide them in an area with something fun to see. It turns a visit to somewhere familiar into a whole new experience.
The caches come in many sizes. The small ones usually only have a log to sign, but as they get bigger, people will leave little treasures to trade. In this one, we found a coin. We bring a “swag bag” with us filled with trinkets. The rule is that if you take something, you leave something. Finding loot is the best.
There are different kinds of trackable items called geocoins and travel bugs. They have a tracking code so you can follow them on their journey. If you are lucky enough to find one, take it with you and move it to another cache at a different destination. Basically, it hitches a ride with you. We found one and thought we’d take it on a trip we are going on. Apparently, we held it hostage in our basement for several years, because Loren found it in his office last week. This is WHAT NOT TO DO!
I need to apologize to the owner of BVQHET… unless it is us
I am a rule follower, and even the thought of this makes me sick a little bit sick to my stomach. I imagine a family excitedly watching as their travel bug made it to Utah… and was never seen again! Luckily, it does say that it is the “copy tag,” which is the extra one given as a souvenir. I’m hoping that this was the copy tag of a travel bug that we started years ago and put away and not an eight-year-old kid’s travel bug that we kept locked in solitary confinement in our basement! I don’t want to be “those people”!
Climbing to high places
While we searched for geocaches, we got to climb on rocks and experience some beautiful scenery. The boys made a point to try and get to the highest point and do a T pose. I finally asked them what this was. I learned it is a Fortnite thing (Surprise Surprise). When you are at the highest point in the video game Fortnite, your character can use a T-pose emote to assert their dominance. I’m not sure if the “asserting their dominance” thing is real, or the thirteen-year-old being hilarious, but my kids did this every time there was a high place to climb. As a person who is excellent at figuring out every worst-case scenario, this was terrifying to me, but the boys had a blast.
It’s essential to sign the logbook and record it on the app each time you find a cache. We are team “Pankratzi,” so if you ever see our name on there, you’ll know that we got there first and probably did a T pose at the highest point! Finding 100 caches in a day is still on our to-do list. Antelope Island will probably be our starting place.
Wonders of the World Challenge
As we were logging our caches on the app, Loren noticed that we were getting digital “Seven Wonders of the Modern World” stamps. When we looked into it, we realized that caches have a different Wonder tied to each one. When you collect all of the Modern Wonders, it unlocks the Ancient Wonders. If you collect all of the Ancient Wonders, you fill your passport and become the World Explorer. This new quest began on August 12th of this year. I wanted to be a World Explorer! The kids wanted ice cream instead!
And the verdict is…
The boys had a blast! It was the first time we have ever gone geocaching and were able to find every single one we looked for. When you look for several only to come up with nothing, it gets discouraging. The more we found, the more they got into the hunt… until they were too hot. That was when we decided to get ice cream!
If there is a geocaching gold mine like Antelope Island near you, let us know in the comments. We are always looking for new adventures.