So your kids are showing some interest in Geocahing and you would love to buy them some kid friendly GPS for Geocaching but don’t know where to begin.
In my experience, my little cousins approached me and asked me to get them some of these devices but I don’t know if it’s something they would find interesting. After our fifth outdoor trip, they love Geocaching already!
In their words “This is like Ultimate treasure hunt” and plus, it’s a free family activity.
What is Geocaching?
The word Geocache is derived form 2 words. The first is the prefix geo meaning “Earth” and the second cache which is a safe place for hiding or storing something. It is like a global game of hide-n-seek!
The treasures are discovered using a handheld GPS device or even your smartphone and come in all sizes, shapes, and difficulty levels. At times, containers are even camouflaged to look like their surroundings! Locations for caches differ by area/country that you pass every single day to adventures off the beaten path. With more than 2 million caches worldwide there is bound to be some near you!
Look inside the cache, you will see a log book to sign. The larger caches are often filled with smaller treasures to trade such as bouncy balls, stickers, happy meal toys, and other fun trinkets.
This is such a fun way to explore town and have some family time together. Apart from locating cache treasures, you just might have discovered all that you need from new biking and hiking trails to playgrounds on our Geocaching adventures.
Best Kid Friendly GPS for Geocaching
- The #1 recommended kid friendly GPS for Geocaching is the Garmin etrex 10.
I think the eTrex 10 is ideal. Small, rugged, inexpensive and easy to use. No fancy bells and whistles, but it does the job.
I have lost count of the number of time I have had this device fall off my hands but it just keeps on going. For beginners, I would proudly recommend any devices from the etrex series. Pretty much everything you’d ever want and need for geocaching packed into one rugged, affordable unit.
Rugger E-trex Series compared
|Garmin Etrex GPS||
|Unit dimensions, WxHxD:
|2.1″ x 4.0″ x 1.3″ (5.4 x 10.3 x 3.3 cm)||2.1″ x 4.0″ x 1.3″ (5.4 x 10.3 x 3.3 cm)||2.1″ x 4.0″ x 1.3″ (5.4 x 10.3 x 3.3 cm)|
|Display size, WxH:
|1.4″ x 1.7″ (3.6 x 4.3 cm); 2.2″ diag (5.6 cm)||1.4″ x 1.7″ (3.5 x 4.4 cm); 2.2″ diag (5.6 cm)||1.4″ x 1.7″ (3.5 x 4.4 cm); 2.2″ diag (5.6 cm)|
Display resolution, WxH:
|128 x 160 pixels||176 x 220 pixels||176 x 220 pixels|
|Display type:||transflective, monochrome||transflective, 65-K color TFT||transflective, 65-K color TFT|
|Weight:||5 oz (141.7 g) with batteries||5 oz (141.7 g) with batteries||5 oz (141.7 g) with batteries|
|Battery:||2 AA batteries (not included); NiMH or Lithium recommended||2 AA batteries (not included); NiMH or Lithium recommended||2 AA batteries (not included); NiMH or Lithium recommended|
|Battery life:||25 hours||25 hours||25 hours|
|Waterproof:||yes (IPX7)||yes (IPX7)||yes (IPX7)|
|Ability to add maps:||No||Yes||Yes|
|Built-in memory:||No||1.7 GB||1.7 GB|
|Accepts data cards:||No||microSD™ card (not included)||microSD™ card (not included)|
|Track log:||10,000 points, 100 saved tracks||10,000 points, 200 saved tracks||10,000 points, 200 saved tracks|
|Automatic routing (turn by turn routing on roads):||No||yes (with optional mapping for detailed roads)||yes (with optional mapping for detailed roads)|
|Electronic compass:||No||No||yes (tilt-compensated, 3-axis)|
|Photo navigation (navigate to geotagged photos):||No||Yes||Yes|
|Custom maps compatible:||No||Yes||Yes|
|Geocaching-friendly:||yes (paperless)||yes (paperless)||yes (paperless)|
|Outdoor GPS games:||No||No||No|
|Sun and moon information:||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Custom POIs (ability to add additional points of interest):||
|Unit-to-unit transfer (shares data wirelessly with similar units):||
|Garmin Connect™ compatible (online community where you analyze, categorize and share data):||
Brand 44 Geomate.Jr 2.0 Geocache GPS and Update Kit Combo
Wonderful, kid-friendly geocaching GPS unit and Update Kit. 250,000 preloaded caches covering all 50 U.S. states, Europe, and more
What Do I Need to Start Geocaching?
If you own a mobile phone you have just about everything you need! Just download the free geocache app and go! I would highly suggest putting a Lifeproof Case on your phone if you plan on letting little kids use it to geocache. This protects the device from fall and water. If you lack a smartphone you will need to use a Handheld GPS Device.
To open an account and discover local caches, go to Geocaching.com and register for a free account. If you want access to more premium geocaches the premium membership is $30 annually. Just to give you an idea, we currently live in a small town and are using the free membership. Not counting the premium caches we currently have 115 caches available for us to find — that is more than enough for a small family
You may also need to bring a backpack with some small items to trade, water bottles, and a pen or two, The rule of geocaching is that if you cart away with something from a cache you need to replace it with something of equal or greater value, this way that cache continues to be fun for all!
Some caches are simple to locate while some may need you to go on long hikes. Ensure you check the terrain and difficulty ratings on Geocaching.com before you go.
Plus, if your kids already love the treasure hunting aspect of geocaching, make sure to stick to the larger caches and avoid the microcaches.
What Are the Educational Benefits of Geocaching?
Math and Maping Skills: Geocaching is a fun hands-on way to explore latitude and longitude. As kids seek out their treasures they will be learning how to use a compass, a GPS, follow directions, and map out the locations of their cache.
Nature Studies: A lot of caches have clues that tie directly into the environment that they are situated in. Because of this, as kids are treasure hunting they are observing their environment and talking about the differences in multiple local habitats.
Technology: Finding, Seeking out, and logging caches all require the use of a GPS or smartphone which makes this a great STEM activity.
Art: My little cousins enjoy creating little trinkets and pieces of artwork to leave in exchange for their treasures found. A friendship bracelet or homemade magnet is so much more fun to leave and find than a McDonalds toy!
History: Plenty caches provide tell story/details about the local history. This is such a fun way to learn about your local community!
Safety: Some caches can be situated in some fairly dangerous areas. Getting off the beaten path and exploring as a family is a fantastic way to teach your kids basic outdoor safety skills — from water safety to road safety, geocaching definitely requires these skills to be taught and talked about.
Problem Solving: Coming across some caches that have been puzzles to solve will help your kids think. From figuring out the coordinates of the cache to how to open it, geocaching is a great activity for creative problem solving.
We hope you enjoyed this list of best kid friendly GPS for geocaching. Kindly share if found helpful.