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Help me Geocache.

Discussion in 'General EDC Discussion' started by cubegleamer, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. cubegleamer

    cubegleamer Loaded Pockets

    Mar 21, 2011
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    My wife and I want to take our 3.5 year old son geocaching. I don't own a gps. Are any of the iPhone apps worth getting? What other gear should I bring with us?
  2. Blitzwing
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Blitzwing Loaded Pockets

    Apr 2, 2011
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    The open caching one is a nice starter.. you can record your own there and see what else is around you.. you can also log your find rather easily.

    Sent from my DROID2 GLOBAL using Tapatalk
  3. np3ba

    np3ba Loaded Pockets

    Dec 3, 2008
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  4. bigfoot

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

    Apr 4, 2006
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    You definitely want to look at the Geocaching website (Groundspeak), as well as the previously-mentioned Open Caching website (Garmin). The Geocaching site has been around for nearly a decade and is more established, while the Open Caching site is Garmin's foray into the "caching" realm. They are two different approaches, but the same general idea: Find the cache, sign the log, trade items if you'd like, and re-hide. Then hope online and log your visit. There are a few other apps for the iPhone, but those are two big ones.

    Eventually, to get the most from the Geocaching site, you'd want to sign up to become a premium member. Then you can get .GPX files ("pocket queries") loaded with hundreds of cache locations and transfer them to your compatible GPS. But first you probably want to try out caching and see if you like it. If you do, I'd recommend getting a standalone GPS so you aren't subjecting your iPhone to the weather and burning through its battery life.

    As far as other gear, definitely bring a few pens. We always manage to lose one along the way. If you're going into the woods, the usual hiking stuff: first-aid kit, snacks, water, map & compass, bug spray, etc. Oh, and any trade items your son wants to part with. Don't need much else -- enjoy the caching!
  5. mvyrmnd

    mvyrmnd Loaded Pockets

    Jul 27, 2010
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    There's not much I can add to that!

    In Australia, the best option for me was the groundspeak app, as there might be 3 opencaching caches in the entire country.

    There's a free trial of the groundspeak app that'll give you a taste of the action.

    I found my first 200 caches with only my iPhone. It's plenty good for easier caches.

    Go, cache and enjoy!
  6. ATF

    ATF Loaded Pockets

    Apr 27, 2011
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    Get the official app by Groundspeak. I've found probably 90% of all the caches with that app on my iPhone (that'd be about 400 caches).
  7. CatherineM
    • In Omnia Paratus

    CatherineM Loaded Pockets

    Jun 24, 2011
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    I prefer using a Garmin gps because we are often in heavy tree cover where an iphone can have reception issues.
  8. RonReagan

    RonReagan Loaded Pockets

    Sep 29, 2011
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    I prefer using my Garmin Oregon 450 since using GPS on a phone (mine at least) eats up battery. Pocket queries are worth it because one file can hold up to 1000 cache locations and their notes etc.

    I would try using a phone first and see how you like it. I have cgeo app in case I need to check information or post finds. As long as you aren't in heavy cover or places without data coverage it should work fine.

    Oh yeah, you should both have a pair of gloves because some caches are covered and dirty. I have the garden type ones with the rubber covered palms. Forgot them once and I grabbed a branch covering a cache with a fatty slug on the back side, not too fun. I use a space pen since the ink writes on everything as some logs may be damp. You will learn what things you need as you go from location to location.
  9. xxForceTenxx

    xxForceTenxx Loaded Pockets

    Oct 7, 2010
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    Thanks for the thread. Was thinking something along these lines as my wife and I are interested in doing it as well.
  10. cubegleamer

    cubegleamer Loaded Pockets

    Mar 21, 2011
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    Thanks for the info. I'm looking forward to getting out there with my boy.
  11. Reid

    Reid Loaded Pockets

    Feb 4, 2008
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    We geocache or "treasure hunt" with our 3.5 year old daughter often. We only use an iPhone and have a blast. I don't even have an account with Groundspeak, so I don't log our visits

    The fun for us is mostly stomping around with our daughter, not keeping score at this point. But that may change as she gets older.

    Have fun with it!
  12. Soappeddler

    Soappeddler Loaded Pockets

    Feb 10, 2011
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    It's not necessary to buy a "real" GPS to find geocaches effectively. I found 1000 caches in my first 13 months of caching using my BlackBerry and a geocaching app. GPS whether a dedicated GPS or a phone do not reliably put you right on top of the cache. Get an app for your iPhone download some descriptions and coords and head out. It won't take you long to develop your "cache sense". Many times, when caching with a group, I would start looking for the cache while the others in the group waited for their GPS's to take them to an exact spot. More often than not I would find the cache first.

    When you get a feel for where the cache might be just by being in the area, you have your cache sense working. It does not take long to develop your cache sense.

    I did finally break down a buy a used Garmin. After using it for awhile, I went back to my BlackBerry and used the Garmin to take coordinates for caches that I hid. Getting good coords for your hides is very important.
  13. Cheeser
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Cheeser Hey Bub!

    Sep 18, 2006
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    Iphone runs a program geosphere that will hold all caches in your area once you download them, will allow you to correct corrdinates for puzzles and multis, and even log your finds in the field. Its easy to use and cheaper than the groundspeak app
  14. bnoland

    bnoland Loaded Pockets

    Jan 22, 2012
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    I use a Garmin dakota 20. I really havent tried it with my iPhone since I have the GPS already. I have "Geo Bucket" that I use to browse caches in my area and if they arent in my GPS already I just plug in the corrdinates.
  15. oneeyesquare

    oneeyesquare Loaded Pockets

    Jun 11, 2011
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    I've been caching since 2001. Things have changed a little...
    We use an iPhone for every cache. It's very rare that it doesn't bring us in close enough to find the cache. The best part? Zero prep on my part. Gone are the days of pocket queries needing to be updated , parsed with GSAK and then loaded into the GPS.
    Also, absolutely no micros or puzzles anymore. Why? 4 yr old and 5 yr old boys! They are crestfallen if there are no trade items. Both boys carry bags (a Thermite and a Thermite knock off) with trade items.
    Still have a lot of fun traipsing around. Large containers are getting sparse in a 10 mile radius though!
  16. Anzacron

    Anzacron Loaded Pockets

    Jun 13, 2009
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    We use both a GPS and smartphone. And here's our gear. My 3 kids are 5 and under!

  17. mikeclay

    mikeclay Empty Pockets

    Jan 9, 2012
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    My wife is back in school, and the 1 day a week we don't have someone that can watch the 4yr old is on tuesdays.. SO Tuesday's have tuned into Daddy / Son Day... and what do we do... GEOCACHE... or as the 4yr old calls it .. "TREASURE HUNT YEAH!!!" or when on the phone "Nana I can't come to your house tomorrow cause Daddy and me are going treasure hunting, but it's ok cause there are no pirates near these treasures"

    We make a day of it if the weather is good..
    Tomorrow I have 7 caches loaded up and ready (we will probably only hit 2.. he is just 4)

    A Great book about kids and the outdoors "Hikes with Tikes" I have it on my kindle..

    and all that I am getting ready to say REALLY is dependable on the kid..
    1. let it be there pace.. it's good for them to explore and hunt and learn at their pace.. and those of us WITH kids know they work on a TOTALLY different schedule
    2. MAKE IT FUN... the treasure hunt is important to us, but it's more about father son bonding.. we sing.. we tell each other jokes.. we dream big on what the treasure holds..
    3. They need something to do.. let them lead.. my son carries the GPS with the arrow pointing the way.. (I carry my phone with the groundspeak app running so I can double check and help when needed)
    4. Let them help put together a SWAP bag, (my geocaching EDC list is below)
    5. Pay attention to the terrain.. if its to hard they get impatient and it loses the fun factor FAST

    GEOCACHING EDC (I'll learn how to post pics soon, and take some as I have EDC's based off of what I am doing) In a Backpack Diaper Bag (doesnt look like a diaper bag but MAN is it kewl)
    1. trade bag (I put in paracord bracelet kits, buckle, 12' cord, instructions)
    - 5 paracord bracelet kits various colors
    - handful of mcdonalds happy meal toys
    - 2 challenge coins (to swap with RARE items)
    - led glowstick
    2. Kid Kit
    - Boo Boo first aid kit
    - 2 Juice box
    - snack (changes often)
    - granola bar
    - dry socks
    - change of clothes for kid
    3. Geocache Repair Kit
    - 2 Glad food storage containers (other items are packed inside them) to replace a damaged box if needed)
    - Roll of Gorilla Tape (Black)
    - 3, 1 gallon Zip Lock Bags
    - Replacement log book (in case the other one is wet or ruined)
    - Pencil and Pen
    4. Camera to record the trip..
    5. water bottle
    6. penny stove kit (sometimes we cook while outside and have a picnik on the trail, little MAN LOVES this, its a huge adventure)
    - coke can penny stove (I made it)
    - 2 oz bottle of fuel
    - Canteen w/ water
    - canteen cup to cook in
    - canteen cup stove
    - something that can be cooked for the two of us in the cup (doesn't have to be a full meal, it's more for him to have fun)
    7. My normal carry
    - gerber multi tool
    - gerber artifact
    - pocket knife w/ paracord turtle lanyard
    - pen
    - wallet
    - phone

    Little guy carries
    - neck paracord lanyard (with a breakaway section so it can't choke), with compass, magnifying glass, led light

    thats about it (or all I could think of off the top of my head without getting it out of the car)