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trevorh7000

Routeable Coords

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Today I was frustrated by not one but 2 caches in Stellenbosch which I believe should have been fairly quick drive-bys.

 

They were both with 4km of where I had lunch.

 

Fired up the GPS and then clicked on GO. I use my Nuvi to get me to where I needed to be and both of these caches I take it are on wine farms on this wine route. No mention of the name of the farm in the cache descriptions was obvious to me. Garmins maps are lacking the farm roads and so the Nuvi tells me to turn left in the middle of nowhere!

 

Had I been by myself I could have backtracked and worked out which farm turn off was likely to have been correct, but I was with The Thirds and their 14 month old son and we had no time for ifs, buts and maybes, so I reluctantly cancelled plans to search for either cache. Disappointing,as I was expecting to complete my great day out with these two finds.

 

What do others out there think about this? I guess many people only have hand geld GPSrs and would not know if their final hiding placed could be sensibly routed to. It is frustrating for cachers like me relying on a street navigator not to be able to navigate at least to a turn off or side road!

 

So to all of those of you placing caches without the benefit of a street nav unit please consider taking a waypoint or two at the turn off or entrance and including this in your cache description.

Edited by trevorh7000

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I suppose it depends on how to view the challenge of a find! :(

 

For me, if the auto-routing doesn't take me all the way, then I see it as a challenge to figure out how to get there. Of course, if you were expecting the cache to be a quick roadside cache, or if you are pressed for time, then you might not be in the mood for a challenge!

 

When I do my planning for the day's caching, I often check the auto-routing on Mapsource to see if any such challenges - if there are, then I view the area in Google Earth which often reveals the route to get to the cache. I mark the coordinates of the relevant turnoffs and send them as waypoints to my Nuvi.

 

Of course, if it is a spontaneous attempt, I switch off the auto-routing and use a bit of common sense together with keeping an eye on the Nuvi map.

 

A good example of a cache in which auto-routing did not work was Twin Falls (GCRT2M) - however, I found it to be a great adventure trying to find the way to the cache, without trespassing in private property!

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Garmins maps are lacking the farm roads and so the Nuvi tells me to turn left in the middle of nowhere!

My experience is different. I do a lot of back road driving and with the new maps from Garmin it is a breeze. It is an exception to find dirt roads not on the GPS. Here in MP even some of the plantation roads in the middle of nowhere are still drivable with auto routing. Even private farm roads are on the garmin.

 

If I find a strange cache with no access road I will keep driving around it and normally I will find the entry road. But I agree with the following. If the access road is difficult and there is a risk that cachers can not find the entry road or that private property can be used to gain access than a responsible cacher should publish a waypoint. But this is not a rule. A good example is one if the caches of FishEagle called green stones. Here the challenge is not to find the cache but to find the access road. But the cache is placed well and no private property will be invaded. Gerhard

Edited by gerhardoosMPsa

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Garmins maps are lacking the farm roads and so the Nuvi tells me to turn left in the middle of nowhere!

My experience is different. I do a lot of back road driving and with the new maps from Garmin it is a breeze. It is an exception to find dirt roads not on the GPS. Here in MP even some of the plantation roads in the middle of nowhere are still drivable with auto routing. Even private farm roads are on the garmin.

 

 

If finding the way into the cache is part of the challenge I am up for it. But since one has to drive great distances (and the final locations is known!!!) it would be nice to know how to get to where you can park!

 

Hopefully the situation of these farm roads will be addresses in a future Garmin map update. Apparently for the 2009 update released a couple of months ago, there was no update for the Western Cape at all as the data was not ready

 

trev

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Come on Trev - I use a yellow e-trex and this doesn't even have maps in it, never mind routing - let's me think of the guys saying - well in my day......... - you should see us when we are chasing some of the urban caches and all we have is a big arrow to follow!

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Hopefully the situation of these farm roads will be addresses in a future Garmin map update. Apparently for the 2009 update released a couple of months ago, there was no update for the Western Cape at all as the data was not ready

 

Have you got the Streetmaps version or the Topo & Rec version? In the Topo & Rec version there are often additional roads indicated - even though they are not routable, they are still very helpful.

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We started geocaching in 2006, on a iMate SP5, using the Smartphone version of GPS Tuner.

It either had a blank background, and the geocache icons, with an arrow of where we were, or the compass view with distance. Quite often the kids would hold the phone in the back of the car and direct Dad.

 

We were very prone to drive through suburbs, turn around / go around at road closures. This is how we explored the far east rand.

 

With the PPC version of GPS Tuner, it became a lot easier, as I was able to download OpenSteetMap maps for the phone, and the navigation to the cache became a lot easier.

 

Now with the garmin, it's on road navigation to the cache, and then off road for the final non-road navigation.

But somehow I miss doing it the "old" way. Geocaching seemed much more of an adventure then it does now. (although I wouldn't go back to it).

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I must have been looking for the same cache a Trev this week end! Was also auto routed to the middle of nowhere in the winelands (looking for "Fine Wine 4 - Four Fine Wines"). Luckily the goose chase led me close to two other caches. I didn't feel it was a train smash and had a quick look at Google maps on my phone and saw my error. I think the question is: If the waypoint was provided, would you use it? You would have the option not to use it. Unless getting there is part of the challenge, it is nice to have a routable waypoint.

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We have just added encrypted clues to our Fine Wine caches. Hopefully this will help cachers find the area they should be in. We do feel though, that it takes some of the fun out of finding these caches.

All of the roads to these caches are public tarred roads. For some reason they are not shown on Map Source.

We often with our Quest get taken to the road nearest to the cache, which in some instances is kilometers from the entrance or path we need to be on.

When we haven't done our homework by checking on Map Source or Google Earth, we either resort to using 'off road' on the Quest or use our basic Etrex to lead us there.

Edited by cownchicken

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We have just added encrypted clues to our Fine Wine caches. Hopefully this will help cachers find the area they should be in.

 

Well there you have it - keep it difficult for the ones that want it bit easier for ones that don't.

 

Cownchickens caches were in fact the caches I was referring too. I just mentioned it cause of the fact we had a small kid and could not afford the time and hassle of any guess work. I normally do check out caches in GE but not that carefully. I guess I have been spoilt by the street nav!

 

I guess it is a matter of style too. I have only hidden two caches - both of which a street nav would end up pretty close too, but I mentioned safe parking coords too.

 

Safe parking is another issue too as often one can stop close by the cache but its not really safe to so so.

 

My original post has stimulated some healthy debate which is great.

 

I guess in the end though a GPSr yellow etrex or street nav is only a navigation tool which if followed blindly can get you into serious trouble if you do not also use your head!

 

Happy caching all

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We learnt our lesson with the Quest several years ago. We spent the night at Piet Retief and were headed for the Hluhluwe/Umfolozi cache.

Routed our GPS on shortest distance and off we went.

280km's later we ended up in the middle of nowhere with a huge mining fence between us and the cache, which was only 3km's away. We then had to use 'off road' on the Quest to find the easiest and shortest way out from where we were. The road became tracks and then paths.

We battled along trying to find out from locals which track would be best. But, nobody spoke English.

Fortunately we managed to find the road between Nongoma and Mtubatuba - and extra 100km's+ and many hours later!

By that stage we weren't 'lus' to do this cache any more and carried on to St. Lucia instead.

So, till today we still have not found that cache! :D

We are also very wary of following the Quest blindly as we also have ended up in crowded taxi ranks at lunchtime on Saturdays - no space for a mouse to move, plus lots of hooting, arm waving and cursing! :laughing:

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We didn't do our homework on that one Doc!!! Missed the reference point to the entrance - and so coming from the Tokai side on the M3 (Blue Route) we were 100metres from the cache on the freeway. We had to resort to finding the first exit from the freeway and then using 'off road' and our Etrex to find the waypoint - about 6 k's later we were at the cache.

We put this all down to:

1: Not reading the cache page properly.

2: Blindly just loading the cache co-ordinates from the cache page onto the GPS.

3: Not reading previous logs.

And that we have nobody but ourselves to blame - we should have done our homework.

One would think that we would know better than going out unprepared, yet we still do it regularly - end up at caches where there is a river between us and the cache, not take a torch when the listing says to take one and many other woes that could be avoided.

Edited by cownchicken

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We didn't do our homework on that one Doc!!! Missed the reference point to the entrance

Don't beat yourselves up too much guys! I only added the reference point today in response to Trev"s recent comments (he did give me a bit of a lambasting after his Nuvi led him around on a goose chase and he missed FTF, :laughing: LOL!)

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Don't beat yourselves up too much guys! I only added the reference point today in response to Trev"s recent comments (he did give me a bit of a lambasting after his Nuvi led him around on a goose chase and he missed FTF, :laughing: LOL!)

 

A friendly Lambasting that was folks! Thanks Cape Doc - I am sure you will have a whole bunch of happy cachers finding your cache stress free now!

 

@Cownchicken - Next time I am in Stellenbosch those Fine Wine caches will be mine!

 

Trev

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Ha - both Fine Wine 4 and those Nice Smelling Ladies had me off course, auto routing GPS or not. To make matters more complicated the GPS screen is small and the zoom-in button is close to non-functional, so a lot of blundering about is involved. At closer zooms you see the streets but not where you are going and at further zooms you see where you are going but no streets. With Fine Wine 4 you end up on a road that looks very close to the cache, but you just cannot get there. You have to go via a route that is just not apparent on the GPS. With The Ladies I hummed and harred at the Trovato Link, decided on the next off-ramp and ended up working myself back to the first-mentioned via a most curcuitous route. Fortunately I am not normally in a hurry when geocaching, so these details are not of major concern. It's all about the journey they say!

 

PS: Only just noticed that my signature line is quite apt in this case.

Edited by the pooks

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