5 Tips for Geocaching with Kids in South Carolina's State Parks

By:Kerry Egan


The South Carolina State Parks Geocache Challenge offers individuals and families the chance to explore each of the state's 47 state parks in search of treasure (well, at least trinkets!). But, as is true with so much family travel, the key to a happy and successful outing is preparation. Try these five tips to ensure happy hunting.

1. Practice by yourself before you take the kids out in the woods.
If you've never gone geocaching before, it's well worth your time to spend an afternoon finding a geocache in your own neighborhood. (There are geocaches everywhere, and you'll probably be able to find one close to you.) Read up on geocaching at some of the many websites that can guide you step by step through the process, and try it out. You don't want to be tromping through the woods with your kids, cell phone in hand, swatting at mosquitos while trying to figure out what you're supposed to be doing, how to use the phone app you downloaded last night or where to plug in the coordinates.

2. Download a few apps to figure out which you like best.
You can use a GPS unit to go geocaching, but many people prefer to use their smartphone. If you use your phone, you'll need to have a geocaching app. Download a few of the many apps available, and try them out. See which one makes the most sense to you and is easiest to use. Again, you'll want to figure that out while sitting comfortably on your couch.

3. Pick a cache that's easy to find.
Caches, or the treasure troves you'll be searching for, are hidden. Some are much harder to find than others. On the official geocaching website, each cache is rated for difficulty. Make sure you choose an easy one to find first, so there are no disappointed and discouraged little treasure hunters out there.

4. Pick a day with great weather.
The fun of the Geocache Challenge is spending the day outside in some of the most beautiful places in South Carolina. Pick a day with good weather — not too hot, not too cold. Just right.

5. Bring some trinkets to put in the cache.
When you find your hidden treasure, you'll find some prizes inside. If you're lucky, you might find some from the park service for things like free boat rentals or campsites. Most of the prizes will be little trinkets. Geocaching tradition holds that you have to place a prize in the cache for each one you remove. Bring a replacement trinket for each child, so everyone can choose a prize. After all, every treasure hunter deserves some treasure!

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