Geocaching: Family Fun in Nature

Did you know there's “treasure” hidden all around you? Next time you're looking for a fun, family outdoor activity, consider geocaching! So, what are the basics of geocaching? How do you start your own family adventure? Plus, what do you need to know about geocaching etiquette to ensure the hunt is just as much fun for others in the future?

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Episode Transcript

Parent Savers
Geocaching: Family Fun in Nature

Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
[Theme Music]

SONNY PORTACIO: It’s safe to say that within us all our inner child was never really grown up who hasn’t wanted to be daring, adventure traveling to exotic places in search of buries treasure.

SANDY PORTACIO: Or the arm chair explorer who stumbles upon a secret map detailing the whereabouts of some unknown object right in your own hometown.

SONNY PORTACIO: Oh hello I’m Sonny.


SONNY PORTACIO: And today on Parent Savers we’re talking about Geocaching: Family Fun in Nature.

[Theme Music/Intro]

JOHNER RIEHL: Welcome everybody to Parent Savers broadcasting from the birth education center of San Diego. Parent Savers is your weekly online on the go support group for parents from the newborn years through kindergarten. I’m your host Johner Riehl. Thanks again to all our loyal listeners who join us week in and week out and thanks also to those of you who are listening for the first time.

As you may know you can join our Parent Savers club and received access to special bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts from time to time. And if you haven’t already please make sure to download the free Parent Savers app available in the Android and ITunes market place and for Windows phone so you can automatically have access to the great parenting advice and conversation we have on Parent Savers every week.

Let’s start today’s conversation about family fun in nature “Geocaching” by meeting everyone who’s joining us in the room today. I’ll start with myself. My name is Johner we have 3 boys, 7 year old, a 5 year old, and a just turn 3 year old and we have definitely geocache before and it’s something that our family is very has done and we've done since our kids were younger. So I’m definitely excited to talk about today’s topic.

ERIN ESTEVES: Hi I’m Erin Esteves also known as OG Mamasita and I have one boy. He’s 2 and half going on forty. We have yet to geocache with him. We’re totally excited about it though and before I go to anything further…

JOHNER RIEHL: Wait what’s your son’s name? Wait for it.




JOHNER RIEHL: Cash. Her son’s name is Cash.

SONNY PORTACIO: Really okay.

ERIN ESTEVES: So I wanted to remind everybody of our virtual panelist program if you would like to make a comment or a question and you can’t be in the studio because you’re not in the area or you’re otherwise occupied. You can shoot us a text a message via Twitter or on our Facebook by hash tagging “vpparentsavers”.

JOHNER RIEHL: Everyone send Erin texts.

ERIN ESTEVES: I know send me a text…

JOHNER RIEHL: No hit us up on social media alright and then also Sandy and Sonny will join us. Tell us about yourself guys.

SONNY PORTACIO: Hey guys we are Sunny and Sandy and we’re parents of a currently 6 year old.

SANDY PORTACIO: He just graduated from kindergarten.



SONNY PORTACIO: Just graduated from kindergarten and we’ve been geocaching for a long time in fact many years ago we’ve decided that we love our hobby, this sport, this activity, whatever you want to call it so much that we would start a podcast and start talking about it on the air as well just like what you’re doing here.



JOHNER RIEHL: And what’s that name of the podcast?

SONNY PORTACIO: The name is PodCacher so it looks like P O D C A C H E R, PodCacher .



JOHNER RIEHL: Right. Alright thanks for joining us.

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Before we start today’s show let’s talk about a news headline. This is where we look at the topic that’s been in the news recently and discuss it and think that hopefully we can offer some interesting perspective or at least bring an issue to your attention as our listeners. Erin what do we got today?

ERIN ESTEVES: Well right now we have an appearance that Mila Kunis made on the Jimmy Kimmel show where she took the opportunity to chastise men for saying we’re pregnant. So she says “Oh you both are having a baby?” she ask “You and your wife are pregnant?” No she ask future dads to that they should drop the “we” before “are pregnant” because “You are not squeezing a watermelon size person out of your lady hole” so this has taken a life of its own on the internet and people are just going crazy about it.


ERIN ESTEVES: What do you guys think? Did you say “We’re pregnant”?

JOHNER RIEHL: I think there are times where I did and there are times where I didn’t but it definitely you know felt like I mean I can kind of sympathize with that thought because the other day I’m like yeah I’m not the one who has to get that out of there. So I can understand that for sure but I also think that you know with a lot of things with marriage the team and it’s always a big factor for me that Christina we’re a team and we’re working together but at the end of the day she was the one that was carrying the baby and delivering.

ERIN ESTEVES: What about you guys?

SONNY PORTACIO: Oh you know it’s interesting, Sandy and I adopted so we’ve never went to the phase of being we’re pregnant or she’s pregnant. So it’s an interesting but you know I’ve heard that term use several times and I think I’m of similar thought. It’s a team effort you know but there’s the physicality obviously, physiology.

JOHNER RIEHL: Alright. So there’s the dude’s perspective.


JOHNER RIEHL: So do you guys.

ERIN ESTEVES: Well for me we always… I always said we’re expecting.



ERIN ESTEVES: Because you know that…

SANDY PORTACIO: So both of you are expecting. Right?

ERIN ESTEVES: Yeah we’re expecting but I’m the one who happens to be pregnant.



ERIN ESTEVES: You know that doesn’t diminish his role in any way but it doesn’t detract from mine either.

JOHNER RIEHL: So choose your words carefully. Don’t say we’re pregnant but 0that we are expecting to be parents. That’s a good little new ones.

SANDY PORTACIO: Yeah. We’re going to have a baby.


JOHNER RIEHL: We’re going to have a baby and perhaps Mila Kunis wouldn’t have a problem with you saying that.

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Todays’ topic is kid’s Geocaching: Family Fun in Nature. Today we’re talking with Sandy and Sonny who are not only experience geocachers but also podcasters. So thanks for joining us. So let’s start with the basic about what are we talking about when we’re talking about geocaching.

SONNY PORTACIO: Okay so essentially it’s a treasure hunt. You’re looking for a container that’s hidden out there somewhere and the way you find it is by using a GPS receiver device. Typical there’s going to be little trinkets in the container you’re not going to actually find treasure but when you open it up there’s going to be a log book that you sign and then if you want you can trade out some of the little trinkets. Typically it’s not anything of huge value or worth. Mostly like happy meal toys.



JOHNER RIEHL: The treasure a lot of the treasure is the hunt.


SANDY PORTACIO: That’s right.

JOHNER RIEHL: The treasure is the fun.

SANDY PORTACIO: The treasure is the experience.

JOHNER RIEHL: And so if you’re not familiar with geocaching I think that everyone would be amaze to see how widespread this are and that they’re almost everywhere.


SANDY PORTACIO: They’re all over the world. Yeah.

ERIN ESTEVES: Geo takes it right there it does cover the world.

SONNY PORTACIO: Yeah actually if you take a look at the map right now I believe they’ve gone over 2 million geocachers in around the world and one thing you can do is go to the parent website .


SONNY PORTACIO: Just put in your zip code and then a map will pop up and you will see how many around your area your home.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah and so yeah if you want to get started geocaching and learning more that’s the first stop right and it’s is it a non-profit organization or is it a profit. Do you know…

SONNY PORTACIO: Well the way it works is that there’s a way to pay.


SANDY PORTACIO: Oh it is for profit. You can sign up for free.


SANDY PORTACIO: And then if you want some of the more advance features you can pay like 30 bucks a year.


SANDY PORTACIO: So it’s not too expensive.


SANDY PORTACIO: But they are a company they’re the main listing site. There are other places [inaudible 00:07:26]


SANDY PORTACIO: list geocaching but that’s the main one.



JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah and I know that there’s an app too and I think that it there’s their official app and this is one of those that I recommend to all my friends that have kids and it’s 10 dollars 9.99 for this app. And at first because you’re so use to the app economy of like I want it free or I want it for 99 cents or it’s a rip off but then say look take a step back and think about all the fun that you’re going to have in nature looking for things and it’s an easily a great 10 bucks to spend and so have talk to a lot of my friends and have them buy it too and they’ve totally thank me for getting it.

SANDY PORTACIO: It used to be that you have to buy a GPS unit you know.


SANDY PORTACIO: A hundred and more dollars and now with the smart phone that almost everybody has…


SANDY PORTACIO: 10 bucks for the app and you’re there.


SANDY PORTACIO: You’re done.

JOHNER RIEHL: We all have a GPS in our pocket.


SONNY PORTACIO: And let me clarify the 30 dollar for premium membership get you a lot of goodies but you can play the game for free.


JOHNER RIEHL: Exactly so yeah so we just talk a lot about money stuff so sorry to scare you off…


SANDY PORTACIO: Yeah. But it’s great.

JOHNER RIEHL: But it’s all for free.


JOHNER RIEHL: And that’s what really cool about it…

SONNY PORTACIO: Pretty much yeah.

JOHNER RIEHL: It’s all free in nature. You can find you can go to that site and find geocaches…


JOHNER RIEHL: Right from the website.


SANDY PORTACIO: You put in your zip code and you’ll be amaze. Right around the corner of your local park you know right around your house. Everywhere you go and you’re going to find them there.


JOHNER RIEHL: And so maybe describe like just the basic experience that someone might have finding a geocacher if like a family who’s going for the first time. What they might experience?

SANDY PORTACIO: Well there’s a lot of variety of geocaches but if you just stick with the kind of traditional ones where there’s a container hidden. There’s a lot that you can get of the website. You can look for difficulty and terrain rating.


SANDY PORTACIO: See if you can look for easier experience. You’re not going to be hiking up a mountain with a bunch of little kids and you can find the something that’s in your local area that’s of a larger size so that you know…


SANDY PORTACIO: That you’re going to have some toys in it not a little tiny…


SANDY PORTACIO: Tiny container.

JOHNER RIEHL: And so each cache then is rated with the how easy it is to find.


SONNY PORTACIO: How easy it is to find?

JOHNER RIEHL: How easy it is to find?

SONNY PORTACIO: And also the terrain.

JOHNER RIEHL: How easy it is the terrain?

SANDY PORTACIO: To get there.

JOHNER RIEHL: How easy it is to access?



JOHNER RIEHL: To get there as well as the size…


JOHNER RIEHL: Of the cache. Right!


JOHNER RIEHL: So there’s kind of 3 factors.


JOHNER RIEHL: And those are all I think kind of rated and vented out like people who have also have found it found those before you.



JOHNER RIEHL: And so you go out and then you might find one on your phone. It might be a local park right and say hey geocaching like I heard about it on the Parent Savers podcast. You pull up and you say there’s one close by so then what do you do?

SANDY PORTACIO: Well you start walking and following you know the arrow and it will show you which direction to go and kind of count down the distance and then once you get close twenty thirty feet then you start having to hunt because it’s not accurate you know to the centimetre.

SONNY PORTACIO: Our biggest tip for newbies just starting off right away is to once you get close just put away…


SONNY PORTACIO: The cellphone or the GPS receiver and start doing the Easter egg hunting. Look under bushes. Turn over rocks because some of them are very cleverly hidden.

JOHNER RIEHL: Well but and so within each page there’s also some hints?


JOHNER RIEHL: Like sometimes they kind of help you find it. Like the crazy green bush. Like look around there or something.


SONNY PORTACIO: Well that’s going to be dependent upon the hider. You see geocaching is really both hiding and seeking and most people start of obviously by…


SONNY PORTACIO: By seekers and they’re looking for geocaches that other people have hidden but after some experience had been build up a lot of times they say oh we want to hide one ourselves which is a lot of fun for families to do. And it’s really dependent upon on that hider to disclose how much they want to put into the hand on things like that. So they can really be cryptic about it or they can be just like okay it’s over underneath this rock next to this tree. Go find it.

JOHNER RIEHL: I know for us as a family especially when we do it with young kids there are two things we already kind of touch on that have been one is the kids get so excited about tracking on the phone or the device that you end up kind of needing to remind them hey guys let’s look up and look around and remember the hints.

SANDY PORTACIO: Right. Enjoy yourself.

JOHNER RIEHL: But they just they like seeing where the arrow is moving around. But two you know I think the difficulty is also a big factor because different families you know especially many people have older kids are they try to be harder and sometimes you might find it with your young kids and then you get so frustrated because you can’t find this little tiny geocache that’s hidden somewhere on a tree.

SONNY PORTACIO: Oh absolutely and that happens to veterans all the time. And I think one of the most frustrating things is that you read the online logs that other people post and because what happens is there’s a paper log that you sign in which is fun but then you can go back online and sign the online log and what frustrating especially for veterans for people who’ve been doing it for a little while is you ready other people who said found it easy no problem. We cannot find this thing. Where is it?

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah and especially when you have young kids around there’s been a couple of times where we’ve been like oh man but overall we’ve had super positive experience on geocaching.

SANDY PORTACIO: A lot of times with Sean was very young if we found it first we kind of guide him…


SANDY PORTACIO: So that he could find it.

SONNY PORTACIO: Right. Why don’t you look over there Sean?

SANDY PORTACIO: He really get so excited now he really does find it first.


JOHNER RIEHL: That’s great.

SANDY PORTACIO: We don’t have to help him anymore.

JOHNER RIEHL: Well and so there is a treasure aspect to it. We talk about the treasure being the hunt. But there’re some caches especially the bigger ones I think you touch on it actually have treasures.

SANDY PORTACIO: Yeah they have trinkets often little toys you know that we talk like happy meal toys and dollar store toys.


SANDY PORTACIO: Sometimes little stuffed animals or little tiny toy cars bouncy balls you know so. We found a lot of different things.

JOHNER RIEHL: The idea though is that you don’t just take it.


JOHNER RIEHL: You would leave something if you want to take something.


SONNY PORTACIO: Yeah that’s one of the things you want to instil on your kids is to understand and for us we tell Sean don’t just trade but trade up. Because there’s always this sort of trend for people to put in more and more junkier things as times goes along. So a cache let’s say like a week old has some decent trade item but then after it’s been there for 3 or 4 years you know you find like bottle caps and a penny and things like that and so that’s one of the things that we work with Sean is like okay what are we going to trade and what is going to be a fair trade for trading up.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah and really start thinking about and I think as kids get older too they can appreciate it more you know what’s going to give other people other people happiness and pleasure…


JOHNER RIEHL: In finding it and thinking about the other people that are going. Alright we just jump into that Erin are you intimidated or excited.

ERIN ESTEVES: I was just sitting here going. . . .

JOHNER RIEHL: So I don’t want to make do we make it sound too hard because…



ERIN ESTEVES: It sounds good. I’m just still trying to grasp the whole thing. I’m really excited about it.

SONNY PORTACIO: It’s a whole new world isn’t?

ERIN ESTEVES: Yeah it’s amazing.

SONNY PORTACIO: And it’s out there underneath your nose. You didn’t even know it’s out there yeah all the hidden things.

JOHNER RIEHL: And well that is one of the things too is where we at Coronado which is out here in San Diego it’s they like some parks in it yeah it’s a peninsula and we look up one and there was one that is hidden like across the street from the hotel. And you end up in the circumstances where you’re kind of looking on this fence and there’s all these people going about their daily life and you feel like you’re in a secret game that they don’t know about and they might even kind of a lookie like what exactly is going on. But I know that they try to protect against that too when you hide the caches. They don’t want the people to think you’re doing suspicious activity.

SANDY PORTACIO: Right. They don’t like them hidden by schools and you know obvious things like that.

SONNY PORTACIO: Airports, Hospitals.

SANDY PORTACIO: That certainly not dangerous things like…


SANDY PORTACIO: Railroad tracks.

SONNY PORTACIO: It’s funny how you brought the term up with other people who don’t know about the game because it within the game itself we call non-geocachers muggles.



JOHNER RIEHL: Nice. Yeah it’s like that they’re not it it’s like they’re not…

SONNY PORTACIO: They’re not in.

JOHNER RIEHL: They’re not yeah.

ERIN ESTEVES: They’re not in the world.



JOHNER RIEHL: They’re not in the world.

SONNY PORTACIO: But see now that you’re listening you no longer muggle you know that this is existing so…

ERIN ESTEVES: Woohoo! Do I get a wand?


JOHNER RIEHL: You could.

ERIN ESTEVES: Well I know somebody and also mentioned this to me and I don’t know if I’m jumping ahead but they said that you could track or you could buy.


ERIN ESTEVES: I don’t understand how that works.

SONNY PORTACIO: Yeah that’s a different…one thing that most people start to realize after they go geocaching is the complexity the multiple layers of it is at first what we’ve just talked about is what’s called a traditional cache. So there’s a container it’s very straight forward you’re using coordinates maybe some clues you open up the container and blah blah blah. But there are so many other variants and layers of geocaching. There’s puzzle caches. There’s caches that involve geology that’s called earth caches.


SONNY PORTACIO: There’re thing that called virtual caches where there is no actual container but it might take you on historical walk. So yeah the different variants of geocaching are with there and there’s this other things called travel bug.

SANDY PORTACIO: Yeah I think what you are referring to is a travel bug which is a trackable number it’s very unique and so you can log in on the website and then track to see where it goes. So people take a little travel bug tag and attach it to a toy or some little item and then they drop it on the cache and then what supposed to happen is people will pick it up and move it from cache to cache and then you can see on the website you can look on the map to where it’s gone. You can give it a goal like I want to visit you know Europe or go to all the Disneyland around the world and then you can see what happens and sometimes people take picture of it and it’s a really cool thing to do.

SONNY PORTACIO: You know something that some school kids have done is as a classroom they’ll send out a travel bug with a goal. Let’s say you know that visit all the Disney lands and they’ll track it so they can see who picks it up because everybody who picks it up logs it you know type in the code number and then so you can see how it moves across and sometimes other countries and things like that. It’s kind of fascinating [inaudible] travel with that bug.

ERIN ESTEVES: That’s how I heard about geocaching was a neighbour was really excited because they have found one of these bugs at our library just a few blocks away from us and he pulled up on the website it had gone from like Minnesota to Denmark to Texas and then to San Diego. So I was like what in the world!


JOHNER RIEHL: Alright well that’s a great introduction and I think we even gotten to some advance stuff but let’s take a quick break on we talked about let’s talk about how maybe family like Erin could get started in geocaching and what that would look like. We’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: Welcome back everybody to Parent Savers we’re talking about geocaching with kids with Sandy and Sonny from . Thanks again for joining us. So let’s say we have this is something well how do you guys get started and so I want to look at it because you mention you started before you had kids.

SONNY PORTACIO: Well I started pretty much when geocaching started as well.


SONNY PORTACIO: It was something that I read about in the magazine and I’m a self-profess geek and love all things gadgetry and also I love the outdoors. I love traveling and so this was a perfect mix. So I read about it started doing it and have a lot of fun doing it on my own.

JOHNER RIEHL: I’m not trying to say that you’re old or anything but it was a lot harder then right?

SONNY PORTACIO: We have to use constellations. Yeah.

SANDY PORTACIO: It only started in the year 2000 for guys that don’t know.

JOHNER RIEHL: But it was still hard. I remember doing it with the GPS like even before we got them…


JOHNER RIEHL: On our phones and that was even a little more difficult than it is now.

SONNY PORTACIO: Well the interface of the GPS was just like unreasonable.


SONNY PORTACIO: You know it was and it was a highest threshold for people to be able to get in the game. Now it’s so easy especially with smart phones.


SONNY PORTACIO: And the kinds of GPS units that they have out there are a lot more…

JOHNER RIEHL: And the accuracy too.


SONNY PORTACIO: The accuracy has been improved significantly. But so I was doing it for several years and then I was introduce to Sandy so this was before we’re married then I was introduce to Sandy.

JOHNER RIEHL: You found her on a geocache.


SANDY PORTACIO: No. But my brother his family set us up on a blind date.


SANDY PORTACIO: We went geocaching on the first date.

JOHNER RIEHL: Oh that’s awesome.

SANDY PORTACIO: With their whole family, 3 little kids and the 2 of them and the two of us are on our first date.

SONNY PORTACIO: And one of the reasons we choose that because I thought it would be a fun thing to do. I didn’t know Sandy…


SONNY PORTACIO: I didn’t know if it will be awkward to just go at a dinner and I thought hey let’s go do this thing called geocaching. So it’s sort of like hiking and you get to chat with somebody I thought I get to know her and if it didn’t work out I can always kind of you know walk in the other direction.

JOHNER RIEHL: You had your phone call already set that it was a…

ERIN ESTEVES: Go find a tree…

SONNY PORTACIO: Yeah. But things work out and it actually so that was our first date…

JOHNER RIEHL: Oh that’s awesome.

SONNY PORTACIO: Was geocaching and it actually translated to when I it evolved to eventually when I proposed to her I chose geocaching as part of my proposal scheme.



SANDY PORTACIO: He made a fake geocache and put my ring in it yeah the whole deal.

SONNY PORTACIO: It was very involves like Ocean’s Eleven, mission impossible I had [00:19:37] or not there were binoculars and radio involved as well as the telescopic lenses.

SANDY PORTACIO: Somebody guarding the cache and everything.

SONNY PORTACIO: Yeah and it’s all documented. Yeah.

ERIN ESTEVES: Very cool.

SANDY PORTACIO: So yeah we geocache for year you know everywhere we went we travelled we went to Europe we geocache there and then when Sean is born in 2008 we probably took him out to find his first cache when he was two weeks old in this little baby carrier.


SANDY PORTACIO: I mean of course he’s not looking for geocache but we just took him along you know when we went.

SONNY PORTACIO: So it’s something that we’ve always been doing. Yeah.

JOHNER RIEHL: Well it’s I mean it’s I know for a family that would like to go out in nature or do hikes it’s sort of you know it’s hiking with a purpose a little bit to. It can introduce you to some new areas and then also kind of always make sure that something is a little bit different there too.

SONNY PORTACIO: I think one of the aspects that we really enjoy about is the connection to people. You know whether you’re taking friends of your own age and other parents out geocaching and whatnot or when it’s with younger kids there’s that connection aspect because you don’t find the cache right away especially if you go out to you know geocachers are found in urban settings their found in out in the woods or things like that especially if you get a chance to go walking what generally happens is people start to connect talk to each other and then it’s interrupted while you go find the geocache and then you get walking and talking as you go find the next one. So that’s I think the thing that appeals to us a lot.

JOHNER RIEHL: We actually use geocaching you know as a family activity. You know for like an occasion because you know sometimes like it when we are recording this it’s about to be father’s day so it was like oh you want to do something together as a family. But you don’t want to spend like a hundred buck to just to like go somewhere. But so geocaching really doesn’t really cost anything.


JOHNER RIEHL: Besides maybe some low-low entry cost for like the first time you do it. If you want to get the app or if you want to go get [inaudible] from the site but even then you don’t’ have to do it. But then you get all these great family experiences by being able to do it.

SONNY PORTACIO: Tell them about the post-thanksgiving all our family…

SANDY PORTACIO: Yeah our larger family you know we use to kind of have a tradition of after thanksgiving or Christmas dinner we’d all go out on a hike and geocache and we’d find some place near where we were gathered at that time and you know all from the grownups from grandparents all the way down to the kids we’d all go out and some of them were more into it just for the hike or the walk.

SONNY PORTACIO: Yeah the talking.

SANDY PORTACIO: You know walk up the turkey.


SANDY PORTACIO: And the kids would be more the ones really trying to find the container and stuff but it was a great bonding experience.


JOHNER RIEHL: Really cool. And so I think that in how old I know you said your son went out in 2 weeks but obviously he’s not really remembering it…


JOHNER RIEHL: Or getting anything out of it but I mean two three years old can you see like families going out and kids really enjoying themselves?

SANDY PORTACIO: Yeah definitely. I mean we took him you know he graduated to a baby bjorn and then to a backpack on Sonny’s back but then when he got to the point where he could actually walk and you know do it decent short little hike then he was right there on the ground and you know ready to hunt for the cache at yeah 2 or 3 and not totally understanding it but once we got there and said hey we’re looking for a box help us find it.


SANDY PORTACIO: He was totally into it especially then the trinket consider inside.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah and so you have to make sure as the parents to have something for the new exchange.



SANDY PORTACIO: When they’re that young now we say you have to pick some from your toys.

JOHNER RIEHL: Exactly that they will know that young…


JOHNER RIEHL: To make sure that their ready so because they’re going to see the box and going to want something from it.


JOHNER RIEHL: So make sure you are replacing it for something else.


SONNY PORTACIO: And one of the things about geocaching is its scales. We’ve talk about on our show because we had a parent that calls in and then talk to us as well is you know what’s appropriate for what age? So you know depending upon the age you might want to consider you know how long the hike is going to be. Are they going to be crabby after a hot day and make sure you bring along snacks and water and things like that. So you really got to take in into consideration and your geocaching style sort of evolves depending on who’s going out with you that day. Yeah.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah. What kind of settings have you guys geocache in like what are some of the maybe more exotic experiences or you know what are some more kind of family experiences that you’ve had that has been great with geocaching.

SANDY PORTACIO: Well the exotic ones where probably our overseas travels but that was before Sean was born.

SONNY PORTACIO: Yeah and we’ve geocache in other countries.

SANDY PORTACIO: France and Spain and the Amsterdam.


SANDY PORTACIO: Amazing I mean no matter where you go there is geocachers there you know so if you’re on a family vacation.


SANDY PORTACIO: You know even if it’s just to you know a local state park or national park you know there’s going to be caches there.

JOHNER RIEHL: And what we’ve like sometimes I feel like it’s one of those things where you don’t have to be out saying oh we’re going geocaching you can be out like oh yeah we’re to state park .


JOHNER RIEHL: You guys might be beyond this but at least for us then it’s like oh yeah there are geocaches around.

SONNY PORTACIO: Well that’s a good point and that’s one of the greatest advantages of the smart phone app is the spontaneity of it because it used to be before back in the old days you have to really plan out where are you going to go hunting and you use to print out the papers…


SONNY PORTACIO: And have to put the coordinates by hand. Now you can just carry along your smart phone and then exactly you serendipitously say oh you know hey let’s see what’s around nearby and you find some cool stuff. Sometimes it leads you to places that you never expected to visit. Sandy and I went on to a cruise one time and that’s exactly what we did. We got off and instead of paying for one of those expensive excursions that they push on you we said hey let’s say what geocaches around here.

JOHNER RIEHL: That’s a good idea.

SONNY PORTACIO: And it took us to some amazing places at our cruise location and what ended up happening was some of this other people who paid for excursions ended up going to the same place…

JOHNER RIEHL: To the same box.

SONNY PORTACIO: I’m like oh we got here for free and we have a great time.


JOHNER RIEHL: Oh I think that goes to a little bit than in I think you guys have had some experience planting caches and…


JOHNER RIEHL: You know in the mind of the people that people that planting it so does people you know a lot of times when you’re encourage to go through the process to be a hider instead of a seeker you’re encourage to you know why are you pulling people to this location. There is something noteworthy and you know encourage to to draw people to things that maybe you enjoy and open up to their experiences.

SONNY PORTACIO: Yeah. And one of those things we highly suggest is you know find a decent amount of caches you know whether that number is 20 or 50 or hundred caches before you actually hide. It’s just something that you want to do so to get a little bit of experience. But it’s one thing that you can really pull together a family because then with kids you can say hey where should we hide this cache?

Get some of their input, you know what maybe a theme because I’ve heard of like wizard’s theme or pirate themes and they hide the cache with you know buried treasures as part of it and it’s a neat way to you know once you evolve to that stage of like let’s go hide something that’s a neat thing to do as a family.

JOHNER RIEHL: So what kind of stuff do you guys talk about on your podcast?

SONNY PORTACIO: Oh gosh. Like you want the tagline?

ERIN ESTEVES: Well yeah.

JOHNER RIEHL: Yeah. What’s the tagline?

SONNY PORTACIO: Podcacher talks about news tips and fix tools of the trade interviews caching events and stories from around the world. So that’s everything we’re sort of a variety show. And you know geocachers come from all walks of life. We tell them out there though that the geocachers that listen to the Podcacher are some of the most intelligent, creative and good looking listeners that are out there but it’s a variety show essentially and we cover everything from geocaching and GPS news.

Lots of our listeners either call in or writing stories that are fascinating or we give tips and tricks and the tools of the trade gadget and stuff like that.


SANDY PORTACIO: Yeah because we have an international audience it’s great to hear stories of how people cache in other countries. We’ve interviewed a lot of different geocachers who somebody who found you know now an actual container but an earth cache on top of Mt. Everest when she climbed up there.


SANDY PORTACIO: Someone who’s gone caching by hot air balloon…

SONNY PORTACIO: Hot air balloon.

SANDY PORTACIO: Just really unique…

SONNY PORTACIO: Sword swallowing.



SANDY PORTACIO: Then just other you know normal cachers…


SANDY PORTACIO: You know who just either like to go out to really unusual places or the cachers who like to find a thousand or you know in a day or a weekend you know there’s so many different ways to play the game and talk about.

JOHNER RIEHL: It really is this whole world that’s out there.


JOHNER RIEHL: And that maybe that the muggles don’t realize.


SONNY PORTACIO: Oh and geocachers their both is strange because they’re both independent they like to go hunting by themselves sometimes. Sometimes they like to go on groups and some are very-very socially put together these huge events you know it’s just like any hobby or sport that you’d have the get together they have a picnics and you know fried chicken and they get together and have all these you know geocaching tips and so their geocaching events is well to pop up everywhere.

JOHNER RIEHL: But I think that the trick is not just you know it’s a secret world but everybody is invited.


JOHNER RIEHL: It’s not trying to be exclusive and it’s not trying to have other people to be exclusive. Everyone is invited so you can join in. So what it like?

ERIN ESTEVES: I’m super excited.


ERIN ESTEVES: I’m totally stoked. Yeah I just see so many applications. I can’t wait to start you know because for example if you’re out somewhere and you’re having to do something adult but you have your child with you and your child is starting to get temperamental and fuzzy then you can be like oh hey well while dad is doing that let’s see what’s around…


ERIN ESTEVES: And you can kill time with geocaching or…

JOHNER RIEHL: And if you’re any sort of like park or outdoor setting chances are there is going to be a geocache around.

ERIN ESTEVES: Yeah or like if you’re traveling and really how many cathedrals can you drag?

SANDY PORTACIO: Your right, it’s true.



JOHNER RIEHL: Slash husband.

ERIN ESTEVES: Yeah well he’s our historian so….


JOHNER RIEHL: Okay slash wife.

ERIN ESTEVES: I was being drag but so in this way you can have kind of like a multilayer trips so to speak you know…


ERIN ESTEVES: Because the kids are doing one thing you know being able to do the geocaching while you’re you get to see that famous trip tip that everyone was gushing about and…


SANDY PORTACIO: Yeah we talk about the fact that you’re right most many, many parks have geocaches and especially if you have young kids you know you can go find a cache or two and then let them play on the playground and take a break you know. You don’t want to just overwhelm them with complete caching all day. But you can have a variety in your day.

SONNY PORTACIO: And the nice thing is that it can evolve overtime you know. One of the things that people do is they hide geocaches. Geocaching actually evolve from an older much older sport called letter boxing and essentially letter boxing is sort of what you would consider the typical pirate treasure map. You know turn left at the parrot and turn right at the oak tree and here’s where the treasure box is. Well you can do something like that and combine it with geocaching and make a real interesting experience and again if you do that with your child and kind of use imagination to bring in something creative that’s always fun to do as well.


ERIN ESTEVES: I think it’s a great tool for home schooling too…


ERIN ESTEVES: You can incorporate so many subjects and I’m just I’m so excited.

SONNY PORTACIO: There are educators out there who had actually written books on curriculum on how to use geocaching.


SONNY PORTACIO: I mean because it’s so engaging…


SONNY PORTACIO: It’s so interactive.

SANDY PORTACIO: Because you can use it to keep so many things not just you know the GPS type of technology.


SANDY PORTACIO: But you can use it in any subject because you can do puzzle caches…


SANDY PORTACIO: You know with math or you know just learning about the world.

ERIN ESTEVES: It’s just awesome.

JOHNER RIEHL: Such a great world and hopefully you guys can enter the geocache world as well as listeners. Anything you guys want to add as we wrap this up and make sure we cover of on?

SONNY PORTACIO: Well if you want to learn more about geocaching one place to go of course is our podcast we talked it’s every week and so there’s always new things to learn and share. I mean we get comments from our listeners all the time that whether you’re a veteran or a newbie and that’s what we call them right.


SONNY PORTACIO: A newbie that there’s something to hear about at PodCacher so check out our website.

JOHNER RIEHL: Right and we will definitely link to that on our website as well but you guys can also go directly to . Thank you so much Sandy and Sonny for joining us today. For information go to, I was going to talk out what the URL is but I think that is pretty clear. You can also join our Parent Savers club and we’ll actually continue the conversation after the show with our bonus content so make sure to stay tune for that.

[Theme Music]

SUNNY GAULT: Hey Parent Savers this is Sunny, I’m one of the producers on the show. We have a comment from one of our listeners. This comes from Jason Brooks and Jason writes Windows phone users listen to, I listen to all your podcast through your app on my Window’s phone and every entry you mentioned that the app can be downloaded for iPhone and Android but I figured since you pay the money to develop a Windows phone app I’m sure there are others like me who want to listen to the Windows phone and you should also promote the fact that you have one on the air please and then he even provided us the link where we can download it.

And Jason thank you so much for this. You’re absolutely right. There’s a bunch of people out there that listen to the show through the Windows phone and we have a special app for that and we’re going to start promoting that we have an app on the Windows phone in addition to one for IOS which covers the iPhone and iPad, Android even and Google Play. So thank you, thank you for pointing this out Jason we really appreciate you listening to our shows and for the taking the time to send is this comment.

[Theme Music]

JOHNER RIEHL: That wraps up today’s episode of Parent Savers thanks so much for joining us.
Don’t forget to check out our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• The Boob Group for moms who breastfeed and
• Twin Talks for parents of multiple kids.

This is Parent Savers empowering new parents.

This has been a New Mommy Media production. Information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.

SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series or if you’re a business or organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit .

[End of Audio]

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