Urban Geocaching..Our first hunt

What is Geocaching I hear you ask?

Well it’s a bit like a treasure hunt using GPS co-ordinates to find the location of the cache (container). Only there is no real treasure at the end to find, but instead a container and inside you will find a log which you place your name and date you found it on and place it back in exactly the same place that you found it.

I had seen plenty of pictures on instagram and twitter of other people on their geocaching outings to the middle of nowhere, stunning locations or pretty little picnics areas but as we live on the outskirts of London, I thought I would have a look online and see if there was any little hides near where we live. I was expecting to travel a few miles out, further into Essex but was shocked to find that there are hundreds of geocaches hidden in and around London.

I signed up with Geocaching online and put in my postcode, up popped a few pages of cache locations, with one particularly on out doorstep!

I asked the boys if they wanted to go out on a treasure hunt, they were quickly running to the front door with shoes in hand. We got our bikes and with phone in hand, a pen and a few little snacks off we went on our first Geocache hunt.

The first one that was just a few hundred metres away from us, we couldn’t find! We searched and searched, we decoded the special hint that was given and even cheated by looking at some of the pictures that others had uploaded but still no luck. It was hidden on some green in the middle of a road, so it wasn’t very safe. I didn’t want the boys to run off and search as I was a bit worried that the youngest one would wonder into the road, so we gave up.

We went on to the next one on our list. I was using the Geocaching app on my phone and it shows all the local caches on a map, so easy to follow.

The next one was a disappointment too! Sadly after searching on quiet green area for 20 minutes we couldn’t find the homemade cache that was hidden there. The only thing we came away with was wet feet! The grass was over grown and it was obviously a local dog walkers paradise as it was full of mess. The children were having fun running around and searching for it, I sat down on the bench for a short while whilst the boys ran around on the pavement. I got out my phone and searched for the next cache.

Searching around
Searching around

The next one was in a park, so off we went….would this one be a disappointment too?

The park was quite big and from the clue that was given it said it was on a bench, as we entered the park and looked around we saw lots of benches…eeek! We followed the GPS to the coordinates given and was soon ontop of a metal bench, lucky for us no one was having a rest on it ūüôā We knew that it was a metallic micro containing only a logsheet so we got searching. It wasn’t long before Joseph was shouting out that he had found something that was stuck underneath the bench, he pulled it off and we all sat down to open it.

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The Cahche
The Cahche

The boys were so excited as wrote our name on the log sheet

“Is that all!???” Joseph said

“Yes! That’s what¬†we have been searching for”

“Great! Can we look for more please?”

I was so glad that the disappointment of not finding the first two hadn’t put them off.

It was getting late and we had to get home for tea so I said that there was one more that we could search for on the way home, but not before having a little play first

The last cache was hidden by our local church, as soon as we arrived the boys beagan searching the church grounds. The clue was ‘It must be a sign’ so they looked around all the signs but didn’t find anything.

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The grounds had just been cut down and the hedges trimmed so it was easy to look around but it was looking like it may well be disappointment again, but as we was closing the gate to leave we noticed one more sign to look on. The road sign. Sure enough there it was hidden, crammed behind the sign up against the railing. This was bigger box than the last one so we left a little gift inside it.

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I think we had rather a successful day of geocaching and we are looking forward to finding more caches, maybe the next time we get the map out and look for some further out in the countryside.
Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall
 

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How old is old enough?

At what age would you let your child outside on their own?

My eldest is now 10 years old and has started to talk about going outside on his own, not to play in the street but for a jog or a cycle ride round the block. There are many a times that we have seen his friends out and about at the park or at the shops on their own without any adult supervision and i look at him and feel slightly sorry for him, for trying to hold onto those dear youthful innocent years and not allowing him to grow up and have that little bit of independence.

Jak¬†is a very grown up boy who is an intelligent confident individual and i¬†sometimes have to remind myself that he is only 10 years old, you can have an adult conversation with him and he is very trustworthy and i’m¬†sure he has a good head on his shoulders, he knows whats right and whats wrong and can make his own decisions on subjects but that doesn’t stop me from worrying about him coming to danger when i’m¬†not around. We live in a busy area of Greater London and although i¬†have taught him the green cross code since he could walk, i¬†fear that he would forget to use when he is on his own and not cross the roads safely and then there’s the thought of him getting bullied by older the children who hang around on our streets.

I have known for the past few months since he turned 10 that i would have to give in to the pressure and allow him some independence, not only that it will show him that i do trust him too.

Yesterday was the first time i allowed him to go to the shop for me, which is on the next street just behind our house, it was mid afternoon, there is one road to cross which can get very busy with parked cars and the odd idiot driver zooming up the road using it as a cut through to skip out the traffic lights!

I told him-

  • not to cross behind or in front of parked cars but to find a big enough space where he could see clearly up and down the road
  • not to talk to anyone he doesn’t know
  • to run their and back
  • to stick to the pavement and not to walk the kerb side
  • to watch out for where there is a pavement cut as that means it is used as a driveway and to keep an eye out for cars coming in and off the drives
  • to keep his head up and be aware of who is around him

I gave him a pound coin to buy me a paper, i¬†have never seen him put his shoes on as quick as he did, he was like flash lightening, i¬†suppose he thought that the quicker he gets his shoes on and leaves the house I won’t be able to change my mind, bless him! He was gone for the matter of minutes which seemed like hours for me, i¬†couldn’t concentrate on the other anything else whilst he was out, my heart was beating fast and i¬†felt sick! Worry and fear was taking over and lots of thoughts were running through my mind, i¬†was imaging where he would be at the stage of his journey at what time and when he knocked on the door shouting ‘it’s me mum’ i suddenly felt all relaxed, he was home safe and sound!

I asked jak how he felt doing the job for me and he said that he felt all grown up and responsible!

Have i lost my youthful little child? No i havent! I have gained a little man!

What age did your children go out for their first time?

Thank you for reading my post:-)

 

 

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