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Don't Own a GPS anyother way to be a part of this?


bsatroop57
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While it's possible to find many geocaches without a GPS, (using the hints, and aerial images), expect to find a lot less than if you were using a GPS. Fine for adults, but not so much fun for kids. You might want to see if there are any letterbox hides in your area. They only require following clues, but there aren't as many of them as there are geocaches (in the US, at least).

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Also, the ones that can be found easiest without a receiver are the ones in urban areas with good arial images. Specifically, if you can see the lamp post in the satelite image, then finding the cache is a snap.

 

The problem with this is that (in my experience) kids prefer the regular-sized caches with toys (my son always dumps the contents to search for race cars, but what do you expect from a 3-year-old). These are usually hidden in areas with more tree cover. It doesn't matter how good the image resolution is if all you can see are tree tops with no trails or roads.

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GPS's came into use with the militatry about the time of the first Gulf War. Befor that it was only a grid map, compass and protactor that got us to where we were going. I still can get within about a meter of anywhere in the world that way. It just takes more practice. I get all my grid maps from www.usgs.gov (a grid map is a fancier version of a topo map that is used for navigation) If you look around the sight they will also have referances to how to use them, and what the terms and symbals are. If you want to look at it this way, what came befor the computor? Pencil paper and slide rule. What did we have 20 years ago befor the gps? map and compass. If you want to play in your area for $20 or less give that a try.

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Is there a sporting goods store near you that will let you rent a GPS? Is there a college that might let you borrow a unit? Is there an experienced cacher near you who'd be willing to show you the ropes using his or her GPS?

 

You can get a decent basic GPS for about $90 U.S. If even that is too much, you can try checking pawn shops or buy a used model online.

 

Or you could practice your skills with map and compass.

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I see your profile name is bsatroop57. Where are you located? I ask because we have a Troop 57 here in Garland Tx. If you are in Garland I can set you up.

 

If not, there is still hope. You can get a Garmin eTrex H as a reward this year for Popcorn Sales. You do need to sell a couple grand of popcorn to be able to claim one.

 

Or,

 

If there is an REI near you, you can rent one for a trial run.

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I introduced my daughter to geocaching in July when she was home for a visit from college. She doesn't have the funds to buy a GPS so I showed her how to use Google Earth (just put in the coords). She has since found 18 and a couple were *** 3 difficulty. Too busy with school for her to be doing much search now but she's definitely found a new hobby....albeit, when she has time.

 

You can get just as close with GE as with a GPS. btw her GPS is on her Xmas list!!!

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Hey everyone I am new to this and really want to get into it. However I do not have a GPS device of any kind. Is there any way to do this without one? I have 4 kids and i am trying to find a fun outside activity for them. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

 

Go to this link. It's a homeschooler's thread in the "GPS and Education" forum. See post 45 by "Man on the Moon". Homeschoolers often have limited budgets and have to be creative sometimes. Shoot, you and your children can also learn map-n-compass land navigation .....a great skill to know anyway.

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=29627

 

(Make sure to read "No Beard and the Pi Rats" post on that thread. It's doesn't offer thrifty advise. It's just funny.)

 

Also, check out Ebay.com. I've seen basic Magellan Explorist 100/200 models sell for less than $40. Not expandable, but good, sensitive units that you can hand enter coordinates and hunt caches.

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All you need to do is find ground zero, plus or minus 20 feet or so. That's the main thing a GPS receiver will do for you anyway.

 

Most of my finds have been without a GPSr. I've used the satellite/aerial photos from Google Maps. You just need to be able to spot something in the photo that you can use as a reference in the field. Obviously, it's easier in suburban parks where you can tell that GZ is the third picnic table from the left (or whatever), but you can also use natural landmarks, bends in the trail, etc. When there's no good landmark at GZ, you can measure distances from good landmarks.

 

You won't be able to find every geocache this way. I did eventually buy a GPSr myself. But I still find a lot of local caches without it.

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Hey everyone I am new to this and really want to get into it. However I do not have a GPS device of any kind. Is there any way to do this without one? I have 4 kids and i am trying to find a fun outside activity for them. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

 

Get Cachemagnet. (Google search it) The Birds Eye View is very clear. It shows EXACTLY where the cache is. I did 2 caches yesterday and did not even take the GPS out into the rain. As i have a GPS I do not think I'll do this again. For me it took the fun out of it. At least this would let you get a feel for it and decide when and if you will get a GPS and get into it.

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Hey everyone I am new to this and really want to get into it. However I do not have a GPS device of any kind. Is there any way to do this without one? I have 4 kids and i am trying to find a fun outside activity for them. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Does your cell phone have GPS? I know you said you don't have a GPS device of any kind, but most of us overlook cell phones when discussing GPS. Compared to handheld GPS units, they're hard to use, clunky, unreliable, have spotty reception, and usually require a monthly charge of about $10 from your cell phone provider. But there is an app called Geocache Navigator(?) for cells that might get you started if buying a handheld isn't in your plans for the near future. Just a thought.
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We recently got into this sport as well, luckily we used our spare coin jar to buy one. Know it doesn't help you right now, but if you start throwing loose change in a jar it adds up quickly. Our local city actually has a loan out program so we were able to get try it before we bought one and were hooked.

 

Also some places pay you for recycling HP toner cartridges, $2-3 a cartridge.

 

Check out Letterbox.org to find a intro to get you started until you are able to figure the GPS unit out. Good luck, its a great family activity.

 

Karen

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We have found quite a few caches without the GPS by looking at the maps online. Of course we have also searched for a few without finding them when using the same method. We could say the same thing about using our GPS but we have certainly found more with the GPS than without. Different experiences but both methods are fun.

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Even a basic small handhelp GPS can be had brand new for less than $90 and will be more than suffcient to find any Geocache out there. Most features are just bells and whistles. Used ones can be had for much less. Take care of it and it will be around for many years to come. Small price to pay for all the hours of fun that Geocaching can be.

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BSAtroop 57,

Are you a scout or a troop leader?

You might search for a Geocaching group or club in your state or city.

Some of the clubs meet monthly, no dues, lots of friends and most attendees have an old unit they have upgraded from. See if an "Old Timer" like myself might not want to help a "Tadpole" get started.

I've given away my original eagle explorer, Etrex Legend, Legend Cx and perhaps a Legend HCx if I can talk my wife out of her Colorado 400T when she get the itch for the Oregon?

Everyone need a new unit every couple of years don't they?

Good Luck and Cache On!

Edited by Pat in Louisiana
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Hey everyone I am new to this and really want to get into it. However I do not have a GPS device of any kind. Is there any way to do this without one? I have 4 kids and i am trying to find a fun outside activity for them. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

 

Welcome BSATroop57 from BSA Troop 507!!!!! Geocaching, when you reduce it to it's nuts and bolts, is simply orienteering with electronics. Get a map with longitude/latitude coords and plot the location of the cache on the map, then orienteer your way to the hiding spot. You should be able to get to within 100' of the container (or less depending on your map).

 

That being said, I'm sure there's a Scouter in your Council who caches and could assist you in a hunt.

 

Word of caution, if you choose the orienteering approach, choose a cache that is fairly large and very simple!

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Roland I live in AZ. Thanks for all the advise I will have to see what I can do. My dad is retired military and had mentioned the map and slide rule so i might have him teach me that.

 

They still make slide rules? Wow, I remember my feeble attempts to figure one of those out way back in high school in the 60's. More power to you if you can learn to use one of those! :D

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You might want to see if there are any letterbox hides in your area. They only require following clues, but there aren't as many of them as there are geocaches (in the US, at least).

 

First time poster :D

I am a letterboxer who is looking to expand my horizons into the world of caches. I'm going to try some of the things suggested here (google earth, cachemagnet) before I invest the money for a handheld.

To bsa, Prime Suspect is right. You can achieve the same type of hiking/mystery adventure without coords by letterboxing. There are 273 in the state of Arizona on atlasquest.com. You can also check letterboxing.org

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bsatroop57, have you checked out the Orienteering merit badge book yet? You might also check out the Army IET 600-4 training manual, which has a section on navigation, map reading, and protractor use:

 

http://usmilitary.about.com/library/pdf/armyietguide.pdf

 

A few detailed maps would be a great start, but in the long run, a GPSr will go along way and even 1:100,000 TOPO map software will be more versatile and less expensive (considering coverage/cost of numerous USGS maps).

Edited by Melack
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