My son went to summer camp in North Georgia for a week recently and one of his classes was Geocaching. He came back with a passion for the outdoor hobby which I had never heard of. He talked and talked about geocaching for a couple of days when I finally thought it sounded pretty fun. I was happy to learn that geocaching doesn’t have to be an expensive hobby, like some hobbies my kids have enjoyed.. for a few weeks at least. You can spend as much or as little on geocaching as you’d like. The most costly part of geocaching when you first start the hobby, is the gas it takes to travel to and from geocaches and investing in a membership on geocaching.com which is $10 for 3 months and/or purchasing the geocaching.com app for your smartphone which is about $10. Other things that you can spend money on are trackables and geocoins. Geocachers put ‘trackables’ in a cache they find and can then see where their trackable has travelled. The hope is that your trackable travels to other states and possibly even other countries. Trackables can cost anywhere from $5 and up and can be bought on Amazon.com or Geocaching.com.
We started geocaching about 8 days ago and have focused mostly on finding geocaches within a 5 mile radius of our home and have found 38 caches so far. That includes the 10+ we found at Callaway Gardens. Yes, Callaway Gardens has Geocaches! Seeing as how Callaway Gardens is one of our favorite Georgia vacation destinations, I was thrilled to learn that Callaway Gardens is considered a geocaching resort! Who’d have known? I feel like I’m part of a secret club when in reality there are hundreds of thousands of Geocachers in the United States.
As newbie geocachers, we stuck to searching for geocaches in our area until we went to Callaway Gardens. We rented a golf cart from the Callaway Gardens Golf Shop to use during our adventure. Renting a golf cart is a must for any family staying at Callaway Gardens! It was nice to be able to jump in our golf cart, enjoy driving on the roads getting hit with the warm breeze while enjoying the beautiful scenery and fresh air, all while geocaching! Besides enjoying Robin Lake Beach, the bike trails, walking trails, and the gardens at Callaway Gardens, now we look forward to finding the dozens of secret treasures (Geocaches) on the property. You can look for a geocache over and over again. You never know what someone will leave in a geocache so it’s always worth checking again on another visit.
Below is a map of the geocaches in and near Callaway Gardens. The smiley faces are the geocaches that we found during our most recent stay at Callaway Gardens. My son hasn’t logged all of the geocaches we found so some of the green boxes should be smiley faces but you get the point. You’ll be amazed when you search for geocaches in your area. There are so many.. everywhere!
I thought we had experienced everything Callaway Gardens has to offer as far as outdoor activities are concerned but when I learned about geocaching and that Callaway Gardens is home to over 40 well-hidden, creative, fun geocaches I knew we had to go back asap to go on a TeamGeo4 (that’s our geocaching profile name) geocaching adventure!
We didn’t run into other geocachers during our visit to Callaway Gardens but we did see that other geocachers had logged some of the caches we found the same day we found them. According to the logs on geocaching.com, geocaching is very popular at Callaway Gardens!
What is Geocaching?
Geocaching is fun for all ages. I’ve seen photographs of geocaching families with toddlers in tow, having a blast! Geocaching can be an urban or ‘wilderness’ adventure and can take you away from home for anywhere from 15 minutes to hours. Many cities have geocaches on streets you drive on everyday or outside or behind local stores you shop at every week.
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices including the GPS capability on your phone. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Participants can also create and hide a geocache of their own for other geocachers to find. This is a pretty official process so be sure to look into the process of hiding your own geocache before putting some stuff in a box and hiding it in the woods.
Geocaching Tips for Parents and Kids
- Wear long pants and long sleeve shirts to avoid bug bites and sunburn and exposure to poison ivy and oak.
- Apply sunscreen and bug spray before heading out to geocache and take it with you to reapply during your adventure.
- Parents: Bring benadryl and ibuprofen with you. Just like when enjoying any outdoor activity there’s always a risk of getting stung by a bee or bit by ants. Having these items on hand will allow you to act promptly in case something happens.
- Bring and drink a lot of water! I can’t stress how important it is to stay hydrated when enjoying any outdoor activity. When my kids started geocaching at Callaway Gardens, they didn’t want to stop for anything including going back to our cottage to eat and drink. I quickly learned that we HAD to take water and snacks (fruit) with us on our geocaching adventures.
- Wear comfortable and protective shoes. I can’t believe some of the journey’s we’ve gone on while geocaching. One that we went on in Marietta, included going down a cliff of boulders in what looked like a jungle. Shoes with good tread are important when geocaching.
- Wear a backpack or other comfortable bag and put the following items inside:
- Pen or pencil for signing geocaching logs
- Drinks and snacks for everyone
- New log paper for caches – in case it’s needed for a cache you find
- Backup phone battery and usb cable – GPS apps use a lot of phone battery. Always have backup!
- Bug spray, sunscreen, benadryl, ibuprofen
- A notepad to jot notes down about the caches you find
- Goodies to put in the caches you find – The rule is to put something in a cache that’s worth more than what you take out of a cache. For example, my daughter exchanges two Rainbow Loom bracelets she made for a sticker she finds.
Enjoy your Geocaching adventure at Callaway Gardens or anywhere for that matter! We look forward to finding the Geocaches we didn’t find at Callaway Gardens this time, next time! Geocaching has been a great activity for my family to enjoy together during summer break. I hope you’ll try it too! I think you’re family will love it!
Find out more about Geocaching at Callaway Gardens! Callaway Gardens is just a little over an hour drive from Atlanta. You can spend just a day enjoying Callaway Gardens or spend the night in Callaway Gardens’ Mountain Creek Inn or Southern Pine Cottages – our favorite!
Let us know what your Geocaching.com user name is and what geocaches you’ve found or hidden lately. You can see what we’ve been up to by clicking on the badge below. We plan on hiding a couple of Geocaches soon so we’ll see how that goes!