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Geocaching

Discussion in 'The Breakroom' started by Crocodilo, Jan 13, 2009.

?

Are you a Geocacher?

  1. Never heard of

    5 vote(s)
    4.8%
  2. Tried but did not follow up

    7 vote(s)
    6.7%
  3. Occasional cacher

    41 vote(s)
    39.4%
  4. Devoted fanatic

    12 vote(s)
    11.5%
  5. Have heard of it, but haven't tried it

    39 vote(s)
    37.5%
  1. Crocodilo

    Crocodilo Loaded Pockets

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    Wonder if this has been subjected to a poll before...

    If so, post your current results and experiences.

    (For those who ticked the first option, do yourselves a favour and stroll to www.geocaching.com )

    I've been at it on and off for the last four years, and have logged finds in Portugal, UK, Netherlands and Italy. Around 170, by now. Wherever I go, my GPS and print-outs come with me. Started out with OziExplorer on the PC, later on came Google Earth and GSAK, switched GPS models a couple of times. Quite a gadgetry outdoors adventure for the whole family.
     
  2. Corporal Punishment

    Corporal Punishment Empty Pockets

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    Perhaps it's the soldier in me, but I need a "mission" when I go out in the boonies... LOL. Nah, it's just another fun activity to do while hiking and enjoying the great outdoors. I discovered the hobby about 5 years ago and I am hooked. It's like a high-tech treasure hunt. Where else can you use multi-billion dollar government satellites to find little tubs of Tupperware in the woods? :p

    I wish geo-caching was around when I was Scouting.
     
  3. IllicitDreams

    IllicitDreams Loaded Pockets

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    There for a while I was out caching everytime I had a chance. Now not nearly as much as I should. I have a TB floating around out there somewhere out there.
     
  4. DB

    DB Kilted Moderator

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    Yep, cacher here too....but I've been inactive for about a year now because of my job. I still follow the cache activity in my area to see what people are doing.
     
  5. fishwolf

    fishwolf Loaded Pockets

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    I put never heard of, but I do know what it is , I just haven't tried it yet. lol
     
  6. Mr. kydex

    Mr. kydex Loaded Pockets

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    Same here.
     
  7. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

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    I've wanted to try it for some time, but I still don't have a GPS, so it's on my someday list. Sounds like fun!
     
  8. Grizhicks

    Grizhicks Loaded Pockets

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    Went once with my daughter and really enjoyed it. With my search & rescue, I really need to get better at using the GPS, but just can't seem to find the time. -- Greg
     
  9. scríbhneoir
    • Administrator

    scríbhneoir Uber Prepared
    Staff Member

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    It is a blast. Love leaving little goodies. There is one in the park a block from our house that we cannot find--even clues didn't help! :laugh:
     
  10. scríbhneoir
    • Administrator

    scríbhneoir Uber Prepared
    Staff Member

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    Added as an option to the poll. :)
     
  11. DSC

    DSC Banned

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    I used to but I got sick of my caches getting stolen and people trading down (or just taking and not leaving anything at all), people putting caches in stupid, pointless places, and people HAVING to be the first to find. I got sick of all of that.

    Most of the people in my area don't even put what they took or left in the log online and that's annoying too.
     
  12. Crocodilo

    Crocodilo Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks, Scríbhneoir!
     
  13. Guarddog
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Guarddog EDC Junkie !!!!!

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    This is a good idea for a poll. Though, like Fishwolf stated, I too am aware of it but have never tried it and don't really know how to break into the sport. The concept does sound fun and interesteing.

    GuardDog
     
  14. browtine

    browtine Empty Pockets

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    We tried it once as a family. Our first find was fun and well hidden in a local Wildlife Mgmt area. We then tried two more in the same general area, but they were both hidden in the ditch off gravel roads. I didn't see much fun in those. I think we'd definitely try it again, the kids had fun.
     
  15. pu1869

    pu1869 Empty Pockets

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    It has been about a year since I last cached. I got my brother and my wife interested and was doing it for a while and then priorities changed.

    My brother finished school and now works full time and my wife and I had ( after much effort) our first child. I hope to get back into it soon as it was a great family activity.
     
  16. lamepro

    lamepro Loaded Pockets

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    i was thinking about trying this sometime. but i went to look and signed up. but when i clicked on a cache that was near me i couldnt find any cords. anyone explain exactly how this works?
     
  17. Corporal Punishment

    Corporal Punishment Empty Pockets

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    Sure, I'd be happy to. I love this "hobby" and it has led me some great unforgetable vistas and interesting side adventures. I loved the outdoors anyway, but geo-caching really gave me a purpose (an objective) for all my sneaking around through the woods, in caves, in the ruins of old towns, on rocky mountain tops, and going over, under, and around bridges of every type from fallen logs to giant suspension bridges.

    Basically, you start by purchasing or borrowing a decent GPS unit. Any GPS will work (I've seen cheapies for as little as $50), but you will learn that your frustration level will be reduced greatly if you just invest in a decent one to start with. What do I recommend? IMO, at the MINIMUM, you should ask a reputable dealer if the GPS has the "SiRF II chip set". You can get a very nice GPS with a SiRF II (like the Garmin eTrex Vista HCx) for under $200, if you shop around. Online is always cheaper. So that is what I consider the minimum "buy in" level for this hobby... about $200. All I'm saying is, it is no fun if you can't lock any satellites or if you keep losing signal (as soon as you stand next to a building or.... duh.... enter a forest with tall trees). With a SiRF II chip, you will be able to lock satellites immediately without much problem in most terrain. You might have trouble only if you are at the bottom of a deep well.

    Secondly, after powering up the GPS, familiarizing yourself with the various gizmos on the unit, and loading up the software onto your computer (optional), you need to find and register with one of the worldwide geocaching sites on the WWW. Registration is free and simple. It allows you access to the database of geocaches around the world. When I am travelling through an area (like the Pacific Northwest), or am specifically planning an expedition to a destination (Big Sur wilderness area), I go the website and search for geocaches in that area. Usually, on this helpful map they will list the dozens if not hundreds of hidden caches in that area. Some people print them out, but lately, it has become more popular to go "paperless". If your GPS is sophisticated enough (and has sufficient memory), you can upload the data directly to the GPS. I generally store the files on my cell phone. The data that you require is the "Title", "Coordinates", "Description" and "Clues". So a cache will have a name, usually something humourous or appropriate, like "Temple of Doom", then it will list GPS coordinates (converting minutes and seconds of arc into decimals), then it will have a description like "A large underground cavern with boiling lava used by Thugee cultists for human sacrifice", and usually there will be a clue or two to help you zero in on a specific place "Look under the Shankara stone in the stone skull".

    Now, use your GPS to home in on the "geocache" and find it. The geocache itself can be anything from a tiny, tiny button sized micro-capsule with a magnet attached to a big honkin' .50 calibre Ammo Can. Every geocache will have a "log" regardless, that's how your prove that you were there. Sign the log with your "handle" (nickname), date it, and write any comments that you feel compelled to write "those Thugees were sure the nicest people!" It is not necessary, but some people really like the custom of "trading" small chochki-type items at the geo-caches... things like keychains, small toys, and souvenirs (symbolizing where you from). If you take something, it is customary to leave something of approximately equal value. Also, you might make a note of that on the "log", "took a small smiley pin, left a plastic whistle".

    Finally, and this is important!! Put the geo-cache back where you found it and make sure it is concealed. Look around for "muggles", people that are not geo-cachers that may out of curiosity come find and ruin or steal a geo-cache. Also, as a general courtesy, you might want to "report" to the cache owner if you think the cache needs maintenance (like water leaked into it, the log is almost out of paper, needs new Ziploc bag, if it appears "muggled", etc, etc.). When you get back home, you can log your visit online and leave comments on it, but please, try not to spoil any surprises about the cache. "LOL... found it eventually after a 30 min search. You'd never guess where it was. Very well hidden. TNLN. TFTC!"

    Also, as a general rule... geo-cachers respect private property. You should not ever need to trespass to get to a cache.

    Some lingo of geo-caching:
    TNLN - took nothing, left nothing
    TFTC - thanks for the cache
    muggle - non-geo-cacher, usually just a curious kid or greedy adult
    TB (or travel bug) - is a token of some kind that gets transported from cache to cache by geo-cachers. Sometimes it is given a destination or a direction of travel (like... "travels South in winter" or "headed for the Antarctica"). People can "track" the progress of their travel bug online, sort of like the "roaming gnome" idea. Sometimes it takes many years to reach a destination. Moving a travel bug is voluntary.
     
  18. Guarddog
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Guarddog EDC Junkie !!!!!

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    Wow CP thanks for the explanation. That helps me understand the process a lot. Can you suggest a few GPS's in the $200 - $300 range or at least a good site to start looking?
     
  19. Arkansas_Ranger

    Arkansas_Ranger Empty Pockets

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    I voted "fanatic," but I'm still rather new at it. I got a Garmin for Christmas and have been geocaching since when I get time. I've only got 30 finds so far, but then I've only poured about seven hours (I'm estimating) into geocaching. I like it though and found nine good ones yesterday.

    Fun stuff! :roof:
     
  20. bigfoot

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

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    Geocaching is a LOT of fun! If you go on the web site and plug in your location just about everyone should have some caches nearby. It's really amazing how much it has taken off in the last few years. There literally is a cache for everyone. If you want something hidden in a parking lot or on some remote trail in the woods, there's plenty to choose from.

    Just be prepared... it's addicting! :idiot2:

    Anything Garmin is going to be a good GPS. I just got a Vista HCx for Christmas and the prices on them and the related units, the Venture HC and Legend HCx have been pretty reasonable lately. Look for something that has a "high sensitivity" chipset so you can still get a satellite lock in forests and canyons.