Monday, 10 December 2012

Real Life Treasure Hunting

Hunch:  
I have a hunch that squirrels find their hidden nuts through their memory. 

The Spark:
While following a spark from one of our previous quest on Living With Wildlife: Squirrels,  Jacob sent us a hunch that he had and we turned the answer into another amazing quest.  This quest will take you on a real life treasure hunt!

Firstly, squirrels do find their nut through a method called triangulation.  It's kind of like a geo-tracking system that helps them find the stashed nuts by remembering geographical markers like trees.

 Let's take a look:



We can also track our geo-location through a technical device called a GPS, a global positioning system.  It works through a satellite system and gives us our geographical coordinates on Earth.  As we move, it moves until we reach our destination.  We can use it to find our way home or to tell the directions we need to get to where we are going.  There is one other exciting use for a GPS and that is in geocaching.   Geocaching is a combination of outdoor hiking and treasure hunting.    

If you haven't heard of geocaching, take a look:



Interested?
Are you interested in going on a real life treasure hunt?  Then your quest begins here.  Start your quest to find out more about how we use a tracking system called a GPS to find hidden treasures (just like squirrels do.)  Your quest begins with the question WHY?

Start Your Quest:
Why:  To learn how to locate a cache (a.k.a. a treasure) through finding it's geographical co-ordinates and tracking your co-ordinates to that cache.
What:  With your parents approval and the should also join in on this quest, go to www.geocaching.com.  Sign up and it is recommended to start off on a very low terrain and difficulty rating.  
When:  As soon as you can get yourself organized
Where:  As close to home as possible.  There is no need to travel great distances if you have a beginner level cache nearby.
Who:  You and your parents
How:  Find out below.  It's a S.N.CH.!  Or is it??

Take Action:

Before you head out treasure hunting don't forget to draw out a treasure map showing the location of the cache and your home.  How will you make your way to the treasure?



One of the golden rules of geocaching is: Take from the cache, give to the cache.  So, here is a lovely river rock fun craft idea that you can add to all of your treasure finds.  People will soon be able to identify you were there by these pirate rocks that you will leave behind after a cache find.  

Very Cool Painted Pirate River Rocks!


Another golden rule of geocaching is:  Leave everything the way you found it : Seal the cache tightly (it needs to be waterproof), return it to it's place, replace everything concealing it.  Also,  remember to be very mindful of how you tread along and how your passage through the forest affects everything around you.  

And Remember:  No Chewing Gum!  Watch this video.  LOL!



BTW:  Never let a muggle (non-geocacher) see you find- or hide- a cache.

Don't Stop Here: 
Keep on researching and discovering ways of tracking, mapping, and finding your way to treasures.  Geography, treasure hunting, and hiking a great fun.  Who knows, it may become one of your great passions in life.  Don't forget to keep sending us your hunches.  We are very eager to get you interested in nature and keep the learning going.

Quest Check:
Keep checking back with us on a regular basis to see if your interests match our quests.







  

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