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#168320 - 03/01/09 08:36 PM Anybody here into geocaching?
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2742
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Anybody here into the geocaching thing?

One of my older nephews, a fine young fellow, has started expressing interest in hiking, backpacking, survival, and ... geocaching.

Seems to me a number of these things could be combined (on purpose that is). Positive time with family, and an excuse to tramp around the woods practicing useful skills. Seems like a winning situation to me.

Tips? Ideas? Preferred equipment? Pitfalls? Good links?

Just for kicks, I might just do it "old school" with map and compass. I need to scrape the rust off my navigation skills anyway. Maybe a competition, new tech vs. old geezer?

I'm a newbie, lay it on me.




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#168323 - 03/01/09 09:09 PM Re: Anybody here into geocaching? [Re: dougwalkabout]
Montanero Online   content
Veteran

Registered: 10/14/08
Posts: 1473
Loc: North Carolina
It is a great way to teach children (or anyone else) the art of navigation. It is fun and they learn more about the world as well. I have my kids do research on the places they hear about from other geocachers.

My favorite GPS is the Garmin GPSMap 60csx. It has a SIRFSTAR III GPS chip which is very sensitive, and you can load the topo maps into it.

I like to have hard copy maps and a compass for my kids. I will help them plot coordinates and I let them navigate to a final attack point, then I make them use a compass and azimuth.

http://www.geocaching.com/

This site has all of the info you will need to get started. Get a few finds under your belt and then place one.

Geocaching can be done in any terrain, urban or rural environments and all over the world. It is fun and educational; and it is not a video game!

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#168324 - 03/01/09 09:11 PM Re: Anybody here into geocaching? [Re: dougwalkabout]
2005RedTJ Offline
Addict

Registered: 01/07/09
Posts: 475
Loc: Birmingham, Alabama
I've found a few since I started doing it. My Tom-Tom One is not really very well suited for it, but it's the only GPS I own. I'm pretty decent at the ammo can-sized caches, but I gave up on looking for micros.

We found one in my area that had been destroyed by a bunch of a-holes and fixed it back up. Another member of the Geocaching site ended up getting permission to move it a little ways to keep it out of harms way (it was maybe 6' from the side of an old railroad bed originally), since it had been abandoned by the original cacher.

I find it to be a lot of fun and want to get more involved in it when time permits. I can see me finding quite a few of them this summer while offroading/camping.

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#168335 - 03/01/09 11:20 PM Re: Anybody here into geocaching? [Re: 2005RedTJ]
oldsoldier Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/25/06
Posts: 742
Loc: MA
I am quite active with it during the warmer seasons. I enjoy getting out for a day and exploring. I usually clean up anything within 5 miles of me, then just sort of pick an area, and head there for the day.
I usually carry my 3-day pack with me, or, at the very least, keep it in my jeep. I have enough in there for an overnighter, should I feel inclined. Plus, I usually have my psk on me.
I also use a garmin 60cx (similar model, just no compass), and love it. I am so used to it, I wouldnt trade it for any other model. When/if this one dies, I will likely pick up the same model, even though there are newer models out there.
My experience, at least where I live, is that most caches are no more than a couple miles from a parking lot. This would preclude most folks from carrying anything more than a daypack; I sometimes downsize my gear to fit in my MULE. It really depends on my mood, and the weather.
As for doing it with a map & compass; I have only known a few folks that have done that to any extent...and my hat goes off to them. That is a great way to brush up on your land nav skills. Me, I'll stick with my GPS...I get too frustrated as it is sometimes, just searching the RIGHT area....
_________________________
my adventures

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#168336 - 03/02/09 12:25 AM Re: Anybody here into geocaching? [Re: oldsoldier]
Roarmeister Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 09/12/01
Posts: 904
Loc: Saskatchewan, Canada
"Sticking hand in the air", yep me too with 60CSx and caching.

A great excuse to keep active, I prefer the bushwacking caches and getting out into the countryside to the city caches.

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#168340 - 03/02/09 12:45 AM Re: Anybody here into geocaching? [Re: Roarmeister]
sotto Offline
Addict

Registered: 06/04/03
Posts: 450
I have a Garmin Venture HCX. It's very economical, and has a built-in geocache feature. When they first came out, I spotted one for half price (less than $100) on the West Marine site. I thought the price was odd, but took a chance and ordered it. Sure enough, they sent the previous version without the high-sensitivity chip. I called them on it, and they sent me the new version at the old price. Nice. Anyway, geocaching was made with families in mind. It's about the most fun you can have when you're spending some time with kids, nieces, nephews, grandchildren. My wife's an artist and uses a lot of the "treasures" she finds and swaps for in the caches for her art projects. Do yourself a favor and fix yourself up with a small emergency kit, including a hiking staff/stick, and some water when you head out. Oh, don't forget spare batteries for your GPS. If you're venturing into the woods, you're probably not gonna get lost, but you will most likely slip and fall at some stage, get a splinter or cut looking through various debris for caches, and you definitely don't wanna go poking your hands in hidey holes in any place (like around here) where there are poisonous snakes. Use the hiking stick for that.


Edited by sotto (03/02/09 03:09 AM)

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#168395 - 03/02/09 02:05 PM Re: Anybody here into geocaching? [Re: sotto]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2742
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Thanks for the info and stories, guys. I think I'm getting the geocaching bug. Does it start with a slight fever and quickening pulse?

I still like the idea of pace and compass, map in hand, because I've half-forgotten so much of it. I hope it'll be like riding a bicycle.

But pre-trip, is there any effective way to make use of Google Earth or some other land nav imagery/maps online? A little cyber recon might give me an edge over 'team high tech.' (It's not cheating, it's 'doing my homework.' PPPPPP.)

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#168400 - 03/02/09 03:00 PM Re: Anybody here into geocaching? [Re: dougwalkabout]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2186
Loc: Bluegrass
The problem with Google earth is the resolution. No way it'll let you see down past about 20' or so. You can probably make out a car if you scroll all the way in, and it's an area that's been well photographed.

Besides, all you're likely to see is tree tops, right?

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#168413 - 03/02/09 03:51 PM Re: Anybody here into geocaching? [Re: dougwalkabout]
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 1042
Loc: Germany
The geocaching bug starts with a slight attack of curiosity. After a short incubation time the fever and a quickening pulse indicate that you are beyond cure. Sorry but there is little hope for you.
GC.com offers links to Google maps. Sometimes they help, sometimes they donīt, but trying never hurts. Occasionally they help to avoid some pitfalls.Itīs not always fun to find out that you are on the wrong side of a long fence or a river. The satellite images often give hints on the actual vegetation. With experience you may find the cache even without GPS.
Cyber recon wonīt give you an edge over `team high techī. They do it too. And they will also read the last few logs right before the trip starts. That may help to avoid not finding a caches thatīs no longer there.
_________________________
If it isnīt broken, it doesnīt have enough features yet.

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#168445 - 03/02/09 07:51 PM Re: Anybody here into geocaching? [Re: M_a_x]
KenK Offline
"Be Prepared"
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 2027
Loc: NE Illinois
It seems that in the geocaching world the Garmin 60CSx is percieved to the best best current unit. How did I get so lucky as to have purchased one??? I really do like mine. So far I haven't seen much in the new models that is worth the extra $$$.

The Delorme units' ability to obtain 24K topo maps seems nice. Not sure I'm sold on their reliability yet.

I still like paper maps best, though I use electronic maps to do lots of pre-planning - usually using Geobuddy software. That is almost as much fun as the trip itself.

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