Geocaching in Burlington and Hamilton: A Guide For Newbies

Geocaching in Burlington and Hamilton is a great way to spend time outdoors with your kids. It brings together walking in the fresh air, investigative skills and a scavenger hunt! Let’s go! 

What is geocaching?

Geocaching is an outdoor activity where participants use an app or GPS coordinates to search for “caches”, hidden by other geocachers. Geocachers can also use the same apps to hide their own caches for others to find. 

We use an app called Geocaching by Groundspeak Inc. It’s free and has available paid perks, and it’s available for Android and iOS. We’ve used this app for years without issue. I like it because the GPS is easy enough for my kids to follow on their own, which makes them more invested in the activity and more independent. 

how do I start geocaching?

Geocaching near Burlington has quickly become one of our favourite ways to welcome spring temperatures. It’s so easy to get started. We took inspiration from our friends at Brightside Photography. Brian and his son had posted a few pics of themselves geocaching and I was intrigued! Here’s how to get the ball rolling:

  1. Download the geocaching app
  2. Create an account
  3. Decide what neighbourhood or city you want to geocache in

When you open the app, you’ll be blown away by how many geocaches appear if you’re in the city. Hundreds and hundreds! All hidden in plain sight, It’s crazy! And Hamilton has way more caches than Burlington. 

geocaching in burlington

how do I find a geocache Near Me?

Once you’ve decided what cache you’re going to hunt for, read and re-read the clues and info on the cache. It will let you know the degree of difficulty to expect, what kind of terrain (some are in trees!), and other tips on how to find it. You can even see if others have asked a question about the cache in the past, and read their answers. 

When you find it, don’t broadcast it to the world. “Official” cachers call us newbies “Muggles” and hate when we do that. This is supposed to be a secret hunt, so make sure to treat the caches with respect. Caches will most likely have a logbook, so add your name and date, and see if you know anyone else who’s logged in. Some caches have a trinket or treasure in them. We like to take one and leave one in this case. Log your find in your app, place it back carefully, and you’re off to the next one! 

geocaching in hamilton

geocaching: the good, the bad and the ugly

The Good

Do It Anywhere: With over 3.1 million geocaches hidden worldwide, you can practically hunt anywhere. We’ve geocached near home in Burlington, around Hamilton, near Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house, at the cottage, and we’ve even hopped in the truck and driven to an area specifically because it has a generous amount of hidden caches.

Open 24/7: It’s a fun way to hike, explore, and be outside together. Some days my kids need an activity to encourage them to get outside, and this is perfect.

Best Deal In Town: It’s free! There are free apps and no real supplies are required, aside from pen or pencil.

Dad Approved: If you’ve got a parent who loves gadgets and technology, this will likely be the activity for them. 

The Bad

Not Cool Beans: Twice so far (out of 15 caches found) we haven’t been able to locate a cache, and that can be disappointing for the kids. The caches are there, I’m just new at this hobby so there is a learning curve. Always read the details and comments to see if there are any clues about the cache and its level of difficulty. When in doubt, look for easy ones. And be prepared to try, try again!

The Ugly – Is Geocaching Safe?

As with everything, you need to be in control of your safety. Watch for uneven ground, poorly maintained city spaces, and of course, critters. We’ve been lucky while finding a cache, nothing exciting has happened to us yet.

frequently asked questions about geocaching in Hamilton and Burlington

Q: Does geocaching cost money?

A: Nope, it is as free as a jaybird. You can spend money on a paid subscription to an app, and maybe a few bucks on trinkets if you choose, but no money is required. A separate GPS unit is not required, your phone is enough.

Q: What’s the point of geocaching?

A: It’s a fun way to get outside, and roam off the beaten path, all with a secret mission in mind. 

Q: Is geocaching dangerous?

A: I always remind people to be careful, and really go by what the cache details tell you. Watch your surroundings, and when all else fails, move on to the next cache instead of venturing to uncharted territories.

Overall, our family highly recommends geocaching as a great way to get outside with a fun purpose. Our girls love seeing the treasures, following the live map to the spot, and rooting around for a hidden container. Mom and Dad love how tired the fresh air makes the kids! The overall rating is a solid ‘A’. Be sure to let us know what you think, and if you can suggest a geocache to seek out next time.

Find more adventures here

We’ve got plenty of ways to spend your days. Everything from the best parks and playgrounds around to day trips for families, and of course free and cheap things to do locally. 

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