Sunday, June 7, 2015

Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

On this trip, Spencer introduced Nana and I to geocaching. He uses an app on his mother's phone that uses the GPS function to locate the cache and then allows him to log the find.

This one was a few miles from where we were camping at Ninilchik. They come in all shapes and sizes. This one was a "medium." In theory, the larger caches should be easier to find.

Caches are intended to be waterproof, and always contain a log for the finder to sign (in addition to logging them with the app or online at Many of them also contain "swag" or small trade items - you can take something and leave something else.

Spencer is getting pretty good at spotting likely hiding places. I'm still trying to figure out how to get closer to the location...

The nano-caches are super small. Once I figured out that they are generally magnetic, it was easier to find these 1/2" x 3/4" containers. This one was stuck to the steel strap in the corner under the top railing.

Turns out, his mom's IPhone has a much better GPS than my Android. Mine would be bouncing 30 feet one direction, then another. Hers would smoothly decrement until you were within a foot of the target. Even then, they were hard to find!

In the very first cache that I found by myself, there was a traveler. These have serial numbers on them. The intention is that the finder will take this from this cache and move it to somewhere else, logging the move online. This one started in Antigua, then went to Michigan, and then Alaska. Who knows where it will go next. Maybe Arizona or Colorado.

I really enjoyed the hunt, but I'm going to have to get a GPS that works better than the one on my phone!


  1. We've geocached off and on for years. Even have one in one of our state parks. A great way to find out about other parts of the country. I'm enjoying your time in Alaska.

    1. Alaska is always fun, even when it's just for a couple weeks! I'm looking forward to doing more geocaching. My trainer arrives the end of the month for 10 days - I'm sure I'll get lots of practice!