When geocaching on a road trip, or even around in your own neighborhood, you can use the activity to learn about the geography, history, culture, and plants and animals of an area.
Caches are sometimes placed near historical markers, and you can take the opportunity to read up on events of the past while you're looking.
There are also nature caches that ask finders to identify trees, leaves, or rocks in an area, or answer questions about a particular landform, like a mountain.
And sometimes, locating caches requires you to venture down trails, some of which have markers that tell you about the local flora and fauna.
Smartphones have made it very easy to geocache, (get the free app). Here are some other free apps that can be used in tandem with geocaching, or by themselves to help make geography more interesting:
- New Google Earth: While you're out geocaching, use the new Knowledge Cards feature of Google Earth to learn about the history, culture, natural wonders, and wildlife in your area.
- Waymarking: This free site helps you pull up all kinds of unique and interesting places in your surrounding area. Put in an address, or search by one of hundreds of categories that range from the ordinary to the bizarre, and everything in between. Some of the entries we pulled up around Santa Fe included wagon roads and trails, labyrinths, urban legends and superstions, and weird natural formations. There was even a category showing locations for and information on penny smashers, (one of my daughter's interests).
Additional Geography Resoures:
- National Geographic's MyWonderfulWorld has a variety of geography-related games and activities.
Cultures and Geography, by traykay