Geocaching 101 {a beginner’s how-to}

geocaching 101 everything you need to know to get started

We just recently started taking our kids geocaching and let me tell you, it is SO much fun!! Our friends the Emerics and the Gustins have been telling us about it forever and we finally decided to get out there and find some caches! We’ve gone a couple of times and found several caches, some with little goodies and some with only log books.

So, what exactly is geocaching?! According to Wikipedia, it’s an outdoor recreational activity in which the participants use a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called “geocaches” or “caches”, anywhere in the world. In short, it’s a treasure hunt using your GPS or iPhone!

Here’s what you need to know before you start geocaching:
1. There are several different levels of difficulty. Start off with an easy one. They can be very tricky to find, so set yourself up for success!
2. Not all geocaches contain treasure. Some caches just have a logbook. Make sure you check and set your kids up with proper expectations.
3. You never know what you’ll get when you find a geocache. The ones with treasure usually have little trinkets or toys. If you have several kids, it’s possible that there won’t be enough for everyone to get something. Prepare your kids for this ahead of time!

Apps you should download for your smart phone before you head out:
1. Geocaching (for iPhone or Android)
2. Geocaching Toolkit (for iPhone or Android)
3. GPS Kit (for iPhone) note: this will help you when you get to the tricky geocaches, so you might not need it right away!

Things to take with you geocaching:
1. a pen or pencil to sign the logbook
2. trinkets and treasures to swap (if you take a treasure from a cache, you’re supposed to leave a treasure in its place)
3. your smartphone (of course!)

To get started hunting down your first geocache, you need an account on  You’ll use your login info with your Geocaching app. Launch the app and hit the ‘Find Nearby Geocaches’ button. Choose one from the list and head out on your adventure! If you document your geocaching adventure on Instagram, use hashtag #happyfamilymovement and tag @HappyFamMvmt so we can share in your fun!

Here are some Instagram shots from our recent geocaching adventures! Follow us on Instagram to see all our adventures!

kids going geocaching outdoor treasure hunt

Jenny (290 Posts)

Jenny Solar is the co-founder of The Happy Family Movement and Phone Monsters, Inc. She's a wife to Josh and mama to three kiddos: Max, Ava, and Lia. She's passionate about creating memorable experiences for her family and inspiring others to do the same.


This was very helpful thanks! We are off to our first geocatching adventure!!!


Totally pinning this! It will come in handy when we do it for our bucket list :)


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