Jump to content

No GPS - is it still possible to geocache


Strumistopher
Followers 1

Recommended Posts

I have a friend who wants to geocache without buying a GPS. Is it possible to do it with just a compass and a map? Is is too difficult to still be enjoyable?

 

Sure. I started out with just a map and no compass (in the days before google satellite images and earth views were available) and it was a challenge in areas that I did not know very well. I had to pick and choose carefully. Nowdays, I think it would be easier.

 

There was a young cacher in our area who did 75 caches without a gpsr before someone gave him a unit. He told me that the longest he spent looking was 90 minutes. Other people in the forums have talked about people who only cache with a map and compass. As to whether its enjoyable, that is a subjective matter. Some caches are not enjoyable even with a gpsr. Some caches I have found without turning my gpsr on and were very enjoyable because of the location.

Link to comment

I have a friend who wants to geocache without buying a GPS. Is it possible to do it with just a compass and a map? Is is too difficult to still be enjoyable?

 

Anything's possible.

 

However accurate your GPS, you always have to do some searching at the end of it. You could always look up the co-ords on Google Earth and print out a map from that. It won't be accurate, but it might be just as accurate as a GPS with poor reception. Of course if the cache you are looking for is in open countryside with few features identifiable from the air then the Google Earth method won't work, but there must be plenty of caches that can be found by this method.

 

Using a map and compass would also work as long as you are a confident map-reader.

 

lefthanded99

in Cardiff, Wales, UK

Link to comment

Since others mention this, I'll agree. Use the Google Earth's Coord feature and view point to choose a parking location. Then use the cache coords to figure out where the container is in relation to where you parked. Use the map and compass and go from there.

 

I don't think I would try a cache 100% without a GPSr, unless I was close to another cache that I have already found with the GPSr. But... I'm a relative newbie myself and my skills can certainly be said to being a bit lacking.

 

Having said that though, I promise you this. I have found a few caches that I never got loaded into my GPS unit. So I know it can be done.

 

Anymore, if I get within a 30-50 foot radius of GZ with the GPSr, I just put the thing in my pocket and do a ground search from there. Also, had I done the Google Earth's satellite Map Image on my last trip beforehand, I would have saved a long trip through some rather thick bushwhacking. There was a hiking path 1/8th of a mile North of our route that saved us a lot of pain back to the truck after having found the caches we were after.

Link to comment

I have a friend who wants to geocache without buying a GPS. Is it possible to do it with just a compass and a map? Is is too difficult to still be enjoyable?

 

Sure you can, as far as enjoyable well that depends on the person wouldn't be for me, but hey "TO EACH HIS OWN"

 

Whatever floats your boat

 

ScubaSonic

Link to comment

I have found more than 100 caches without using my GPS. The most recent was a puzzle cache. When I looked at the cache page and the map on the cache page I knew where the cache would be simply because I had long considered placing a cache in that very spot! A week later there has still only been one other finder. I did go back and solve the puzzle after I found the cache.

 

For me the key is knowing the area when I am going sans GPS. Like others I frequently do not pay much attention to the GPS once I get to the vicinity of GZ. I found one today where I didn't look at the GPS once I was about 100' away. The area where I felt the cache needed to be was so obvious I didn't think to look at the GPS. It wasn't a bad hide. It was simply in the spot I would have chosen if I was placing the cache.

Link to comment

My son and I used Google Earth only for our first three finds. We were waiting on our GPSr to arrive in the mail and we were too excited to start to wait any longer. :signalviolin: We knew the areas that the caches were in simply because they were only a few blocks or so away. so the sat. maps from Google earth pretty much put us right on the money. A little searching after getting to the spot and we had success! :laughing:

 

I still use the google earth to see where I can park and that sort of thing when doing a recon on a cache.

Link to comment

 

For me the key is knowing the area when I am going sans GPS. Like others I frequently do not pay much attention to the GPS once I get to the vicinity of GZ. I found one today where I didn't look at the GPS once I was about 100' away. The area where I felt the cache needed to be was so obvious I didn't think to look at the GPS. It wasn't a bad hide. It was simply in the spot I would have chosen if I was placing the cache.

 

I'm learning that this is actually the better strategy after the GPSr gets you close to GZ.

 

Put the unit in your pocket, and just do a ground search. At this point, think like the Hider. If you have found some caches in the past that were hidden by the same cacher who hid the one your looking for, remember his hiding style and techniques he's used before. Putting yourself in the hider's shoes just might get you to that next cache Find.

 

Remember though, the hider can Evolve in technique as he hides more and more caches. It's up to us hunters to evolve along side the hider to keep up with him.

Link to comment

 

I still use the google earth to see where I can park and that sort of thing when doing a recon on a cache.

 

After our last Bushwhacking debacle, I will Definitely use the Google Earth mapping during recon missions for caches from now on!

 

Where we hiked through the rough for an 1/8th of a mile, we could have biked a 1/4 mile a whole lot faster and definitely saved ourselves a lot of pain. Add another 1/4 mile bike ride (total 1/2 mile) and the truck could have been left in the parking lot nearby instead of on the side of the road somewhere.

 

Our debacle of a hunt turned out good in the end (don't get me wrong here....) but a little bit of common sense and proper preparation beforehand would have turned that good trip into a great one.

-------------------------

As I said, I'm still living and learning myself. :signalviolin:

Link to comment

I have a friend who wants to geocache without buying a GPS. Is it possible to do it with just a compass and a map? Is is too difficult to still be enjoyable?

 

Assuming the "map" you use is a satellite image and you can interpret the data on it, and that you live in an area where good images are available, GPS-less caching can be just as easy as using a GPS. The difficulty of caches you can find will only be limited by your persistence, and the more you do the easier it becomes. It also helps to be observant. Look for signs of human traffic and unnatural groupings or arrangements of potential cache covering materials. Many cache locations can be seen from far away if you just stand in one spot and look for the unnatural.

Link to comment

Thank you all for your advise. I will certainly let me friend know that it is possible and can even be enjoyable.

 

I use my GARMIN 255WT from the car and change the settings to "off road" and "Pedestrian" when i find a parking area. This unit gets me within about 4ft if i'm having trouble with the location.

 

Have fun!

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 1
×
×
  • Create New...