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What Is The Best Way To Find Caches While On A Trip


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Hey guys, I have recently gotten into Geocaching and I am hooked! I have been taking the family out on little adventures and have found several caches as a family. My boys are 19 months, and 4 months... :P

 

Anyways, we are planning a trip to North Carolina very soon and I was wondering the best way to locate caches along the way. From what I figure, there just isn't a very good system unless you know the zip code of every county that you go through, even if you knew that, how would you know if it was close to the highway that you were traveling?

 

I appreciate any feedback to this from anyone because I am clearly stumped! :anibad:

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Find out which counties you'll be passing through, then find the zipcodes(easily done with google). Then type that bad boy into search and click "map it" in the results to see how close it they are to the highway. If you can view it in google maps, it's a lot easier to just follow the highway and caches will pop up as you do so. That's the only way that I know of, I'm sure there are others. Good luck and have a wonderful trip!

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I find the google earth plugin pretty useful for getting a quick overview of caches in an area. Info about it is here..

 

http://www.geocaching.com/about/google.aspx

 

and this is the sort of thing you get with it...

 

http://stevemurfin.com/junk/googlecache.jpg

 

If you click on the caches you get the bubble as shown here, if you then click 'view cache details' it opens up the relevant webpage within google earth.

 

You can also use google earth to get the lat/long of any place you want, then use the advanced search on geocaching.com to find nearest caches to it. I find this is a better way than messing about with zip codes.

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We just did a mulit-state road trip, and I used the Google Earth feature.

 

I was able to pan along my routes of travel and see all of the caches along the way. You can get a quick idea of which ones you want to go for just on the screen. For example, if you aren't into puzzle caches, just ignore them.

 

For the ones you want, you have two options. Either bookmark them, or download them into a directory on your computer. Since I was going so far, I had 3 different directories I downloaded into, to make sure I had enough options.

 

Once I was done, I used GSAK to import them separately, and made a file for my gps, and one for Cachemate. Then, while I was on the trip, I could easily load the different files up when I got to those areas.

 

I hope that helps.

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To serch along a route.....

 

Download a number of pocket queries based on zip codes along your route. You can find the zip codes here: usps.com. Get 300 or so caches for each zip code - don't worry about the fact that they overlap. Save all the pocket queries in one folder. Open GSAK and open the entire folder of caches. Just drag the folder onto the GSAK icon and then when it starts up check the box to load a folder of queries. The caches will all load into a single database and the overlapping caches will not be duplicated. Now you will end up with a ton of caches in your database. Don't worry.

 

Open Mapsource and create your route and save it somewhere that you can find it easily. Then use File, Export and export it as a .mps file. Go back to GSAK and Click on Search and then on Filter. Click on the Arc/Poly tab. Tick the spot for filter type to make it arc/line and then set the distance to something like .5 or 1.5 miles. Select Load From File and point it to the .mps file you exported (your mapsource route). Apply the filter and it will select ONLY the caches that are within your set distance from the road you will be traveling.

Edited by Thrak
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Find out which counties you'll be passing through, then find the zipcodes(easily done with google). Then type that bad boy into search and click "map it" in the results to see how close it they are to the highway. If you can view it in google maps, it's a lot easier to just follow the highway and caches will pop up as you do so. That's the only way that I know of, I'm sure there are others. Good luck and have a wonderful trip!

 

Do counties have zipcodes? :P:blink::ph34r:

Edited by Team Cotati
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If you are not a premium member, you may use this trick:

 

I find a zip code for a city (www.usps.gov) I will be driving past and then search based on that zip code. I then just select the waypoints in the directions the road travels and save them as a *.loc file. In other words, I-80 runs east west so I find a city on I-80 and only download waypoints that are listed as being east and west.

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To serch along a route.....

 

Download a number of pocket queries based on zip codes along your route. You can find the zip codes here: usps.com. Get 300 or so caches for each zip code - don't worry about the fact that they overlap. Save all the pocket queries in one folder. Open GSAK and open the entire folder of caches. Just drag the folder onto the GSAK icon and then when it starts up check the box to load a folder of queries. The caches will all load into a single database and the overlapping caches will not be duplicated. Now you will end up with a ton of caches in your database. Don't worry.

 

Open Mapsource and create your route and save it somewhere that you can find it easily. Then use File, Export and export it as a .mps file. Go back to GSAK and Click on Search and then on Filter. Click on the Arc/Poly tab. Tick the spot for filter type to make it arc/line and then set the distance to something like .5 or 1.5 miles. Select Load From File and point it to the .mps file you exported (your mapsource route). Apply the filter and it will select ONLY the caches that are within your set distance from the road you will be traveling.

 

This is absolutely my favorite method on a road trip. Great explanation! When I run my pocket queries I also like to filter cache types that I don't want to include. On a road trip I usually avoid the virtuals and puzzle caches because I don't always have all of the info I need to find them. Once I've exported the filtered caches into a .GPX file and load them into my GPS I also load that same file into my PDA. Or just bring my laptop along which has GSAK.

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I just did a daytrip to Washington State for a geocaching holiday!

 

To prepare, I used GoogleEarth with the Geocaching KML file. I then scanned the roads I would probably use to find any nearby caches. I started with 11 possible, and found 7 in the day (plus 1 benchmark).

 

Although a bit time consuming to do the research, I was able to plan my daytrip and the order of caches using GoogleEarth.

Edited by Fuzzywhip
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The bigger problem I have is when I am travelling and do not have either a computer with me or internet access where I am staying. I have tried using public computers (like at a library) or begging use from someone.

 

What is a good way to get legal internet access to geocaching while travelling?

 

(No, I do not have a web-enable cellphone or a crackberry :-)

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The bigger problem I have is when I am travelling and do not have either a computer with me or internet access where I am staying. I have tried using public computers (like at a library) or begging use from someone.

 

What is a good way to get legal internet access to geocaching while travelling?

 

(No, I do not have a web-enable cellphone or a crackberry :-)

 

Kinkos or a public library would be my choices. :(:D:)

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You can often use Google to find free wireless in an area. I did that for a Las Vegas trip and came up with several near the hotel and also several near where I would be caching. I have also stayed in hotels that may not offer all the bells and whistles, but use free wireless to help make up the difference between them and the big boys. ...or you can war drive.

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You can often use Google to find free wireless in an area. I did that for a Las Vegas trip and came up with several near the hotel and also several near where I would be caching. I have also stayed in hotels that may not offer all the bells and whistles, but use free wireless to help make up the difference between them and the big boys. ...or you can war drive.

 

:drama::ninja::ninja:

Edited by Team Cotati
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... What is a good way to get legal internet access to geocaching while travelling?
Kinkos or a public library would be my choices. :unsure:B):huh:
Starbucks (and other coffee shops) and restaurants such as Bread & Company and Krystal also often have free hotspots.

 

Of course, I've started to require free internet from hotels that I use. If they don't offer it, I stay elsewhere.

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