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Any geocachers here?


Zathras
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  • 3 years later...

Necromancy!

 

After much deliberation the wife and I decided to give this a shot since it's a seemingly great outdoor activity that our almost-5-year-old might enjoy. Understatement. Now she's constantly saying "I can't wait until we go look for more treasure!" Honestly, I can't either :).

 

EDIT: Just realized which subforum this is in. If a mod desires to relocate, so much the better :).

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Always been interested in it. Tell me more about it. Give me a link?

 

Here's the starting point. Here's the basics:

 

1) Get a GPS receiver. Walmart has one for about $100 that'll get the job done.

2) Go to the site above and find some caches in your area. They are rated for difficulty in both hiding effectiveness and terrain, as well as the type of cache be it micro or regular or even jumbo.

3) Enter the coordinates into your receiver.

4) Go find it!

5) Open it, sign the log book, perhaps trade trinkets.

6) Go to step 2.

 

Actually it's really well-done. You go to the link, give it your zip code and it'll show you a list of caches in your area. You can select to "Search for caches with Google Maps" and you'll see all of them that surround your location. It's interesting to see how many you might pass every day without knowing anything's even there. I was stunned to discover that, just in a radius of about 7 miles around my house, there were more than 600 caches. The first one my daughter and I found this weekend was 30 feet off a trail we walk on almost daily during the summer, and if you know where to look you can typically see it from the trail.

 

There are variations on the standard recipe too. So-called "multicaches" which are sort of mini treasure hunts where each cache leads you to another cache. Then there's the tricky hidden ones (e.g. one's that look exactly like bolt heads but are really tiny, magnetically attached caches or even friggin' hollowed-out pinecones). There are the puzzle ones where they don't give you the real coordinates but instead a puzzle to calculate them.

 

There are even special items you can find in the caches like travel bugs. These are items that are meant to travel from cache to cache to try to reach certain areas or traverse a certain distance. So, for instance, if you're planning a trip any time soon you can search for travel bugs in your area and plan to hit a cache that has one in it so you can plant it in a cache during your trip.

 

It's good, clean fun for all ages. My daughter is ecstatic and can't wait until our next "treasure hunt".

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I must be missing the fun part of this whole geocaching hobby. Do I have this right?

 

  • Grab some coordinates from the Internet
  • Key the coordinates into your handheld GPS unit
  • Use your GPS to guide you directly to the right spot
  • Scour the general area for some semi-hidden tupperware
  • Open said tupperware and marvel at the collection of random stuff
  • Seal the container back up and leave stuff for the next guy.

 

How is that:

a) A challenge?

B) fun?

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Camp, I think it is a sense of community. An exclusive club. It's like a secret santa for the few people in the world that will ever go to this spot, 5 miles off some New Hampshire highway, in a strange way it reminds me of an MMO. In WoW as I was walking through some part of some land I would say "As long as I'm here I might as well do this fetch quest down the road there."

 

Haven't you ever been somewhere and wondered who else has been there. Who are "Steve and Sarah" who carved their name on that tree. Who left behind that campfire ash. Whose coke can is that. This is a way for people to interact with each other who share the same space but not at the same time.

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For us it's a good excuse to get out and go places we might not otherwise have been and it's like any other collecting hobby, in essence. It's like chasing down the orbs in Crackdown only for real. I don't find card/stamp/coin collecting appealing at all, but collecting "finds" is pretty addictive.

 

Here's a fun one called "Mirror, Mirror" that the whole family and a 9-year-old we were babysitting did last night on a whim. It was within walking distance of our house and in a parking lot. I had been there before and gone away empty-handed, but figured some extra eyes might help. The wife and daughter navigated us over there, then we spent about 15 minutes hunting. The coordinates will get you within about 30 feet, true, but sometimes it's tricky finding the cache. We were losing light and we had to get the other kid back relatively soon and running out of options. Finally my wife said "alright, 'Mirror, Mirror'... well, this is kind of like a mirror" as she pointed to a couple of reflecting stickers that were along the sides of two doors on a dumpster building so people don't run into them at night. She touched one of them and pulled it off. It was magnetic and on the back is the cache log! It was well done as the two on the left hand side of the dumpster building were magnetic and had the log, the other side were actual stickers but identical in every other way.

 

If it doesn't sound appealing or challenging to you then it probably won't be appealing or challenging. To each their own. So far we've had a really good time with it.

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  • 7 months later...

Finally tried Geocaching this weekend with my sisters and some friends. I bought the Geocache iPhone App to help out, and it's awesome. You can search for caches right on the phone and load them into Google Maps. There's also a compass like feature that works fairly well.

 

We found two. One of the first ones we attempted was a at a Chick-fil-a of all places. Using the coordinates, I knew I was right at it, but we couldnt find it. We left to look for another one, came back, and figured out that what looked convincingly like a working part of the light pole was the cache, held to the pole with magnets. It's pretty cool it's just right there in the open public and no one notices it unless they are looking for it. I was fooled all the way until I actually touched it and it started sliding off ;) It looks like light pole hides are fairly common.

 

Pretty fun, and we're looking forward to finding more this week!

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