Geocaching With Kids

Today we took the kids out for our first real geocaching adventure.  We picked a cache that claimed to be easy and family-friendly.  We arrived at Autrey Mill Nature Preserve  in the North Atlanta suburbs and oriented ourselves while we hosed down with sunblock and bug spray.

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve

Autrey Mill Nature Preserve

The compass functionality on the iPhone geocaching app worked pretty well.  I knew from the description that it would be past a tepee, and sure enough when we followed the app’s heading we came across a very large tepee.


The Tepee at Autrey Mill Nature Preserve.

We went inside and talked about tents.  Also I needed an excuse to post this photo of my adorable offspring.  I promise there are nail pictures coming.

Tepee Interior

Tepee interior at the Autrey Mill Nature Preserve.

We headed back out and soon came upon an unexplained circle of stone monkeys.

Monkey Circle


We searched all over but didn’t see any sign of a hidden cache.  I was convinced it would be near the path, simply because I figured a nature preserve wouldn’t want people trampling through the woods.  One of the previous find logs said the monkeys pointed the way, but they were pointing every direction.

That’s when I realized there was a drawback to the iPhone app.  It uses a combination of GPS and cell tower triangulation to locate you. As I stood there and turned to orient, my pin kept jumping all over the place.  I couldn’t be sure whether we were close, or what direction we really needed to look.  I was ready to give up.

Fortunately J wasn’t deterred so easily.  I chalk it up to his affinity for video games.  He’s used to the idea that you just have to keep hunting until you find the answer.  I’ve never been like that.  In fact, when playing video games I’m far more likely to say, “I don’t think you’re supposed to do that” than try everything to succeed.  He kept searching and going further off of the path until finally he called, “GOT IT!”

The boys were ecstatic.  They knew we were treasure hunting.  Daddy had found the treasure.


The boys unpack the cache.

It was filled with small toys and trinkets.  We let them each pick out one item, as long as they were willing to put something back.  As is evident from this blog, they value Hot Wheels cars.  We took a plastic snake and a Boy Scouts pen, and we put in a couple of sweet Hot Wheels.


Good luck and godspeed, cars.

We signed the log book and I logged our find in the online database.  We packed it up and hid it where we found it.  And that was our first treasure hunt, done.

Since we were already out there we decided to head off into the woods for a bit of a hike.  The boys enjoyed getting out into nature and we were able to find lots of teachable moments out there.  All in all a pretty awesome family activity.  Highly recommended.


Into the wild.






OH YEAH here’s my geocaching mani.  This is my first Fingerpaints polish.  Very nice formula.  I’ll be trying this brand again, for sure.

Amethyst Atelier

Fingerpaints’ Amethyst Atelier, with Milani’s Sail Away on the middle nail. Out the Door topcoat on all.  Sunblock and bugspray residue wrecked the finish on my thumbnail.

Amethyst Atelier and Sail Away

Fingerpaints’ Amethyst Atelier and Milani’s Sail Away.


About Smapte

I crochet. I crochet a lot. My speciality is amigurumi dolls based on pop culture entertainment, such as LOST, Star Trek, Mad Men and Firefly. I also crochet beanie hats with food items on them such as pancakes, sushi, burgers, spaghetti, or whatever sounds hat-worthy. Visit me at or

Posted on May 26, 2012, in Misc and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The polish is lovely, but the Geocaching sounds epic! What a great idea – we have nothing like that here!

    • I think you’d be surprised by how active the geocaching community is. There probably are caches in your area and you never realized it. Go to and do a search by address or zip code and see if there are any near you.

  2. Geocaching with the kids is absolutely awesome fun. Really going to do more of this year as well as maybe setting up our on family cache.

    Thanks for sharing.

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