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Determining Distance between Caches in the Field?


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Anybody know a good way to determine distance between caches in the field?

 

There's a local park w/ a loop trail through the woods that I'd like to place a couple caches along. Looking at the map, it looks like it's going to be pretty close on whether or not the caches will be .1 miles apart as the crow flies.

 

Of course, I could use my GPSr to determine distance between the caches on the trail, but I'm pretty sure the guidelines refer to distance as the crow flies.

 

I'd hate to put the caches out and then get back to my computer only to find out they're too close together. Any thoughts on a good way to figure out that out in the field (fwiw, I've got a PN-30).

 

Thanks!

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Someone may have an easier way to do this. But it's as the crow flies for distance.

 

So what I would do in this situation is make a waypoint at where you want one cache and wander over to where you want the other cache (and I would way point here too. Then just simply look at distance to the first waypoint.

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Hi cr4zybilly,

 

Sometimes I use the ruler in Google Earth to play with possible spots for caches. Then when I am in the park, I know that I have to be at least over the hill but before the stream to find a good hiding spot. You will also get a sense of how many you can fit into that area.

 

You might also want to contact your local Reviewer to see if that park is really open ie puzzles, multis. It is disappointing to place caches only to find out that they are too close to a final.

 

Enjoy your Geocaching Adventures!

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Someone may have an easier way to do this. But it's as the crow flies for distance.

 

So what I would do in this situation is make a waypoint at where you want one cache and wander over to where you want the other cache (and I would way point here too. Then just simply look at distance to the first waypoint.

+1

 

That's how I always do it.

Edited by hydnsek
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simple: you start off on the trail, looking for hiding spots (assuming there's no existing caches close by yet). once you found one, you do your thing to get a good coord reading (averaging or whatever) and mark a waypoint. this waypoint is what you're going to use to create the cache listing. ideally you'd have the cache with you so you can place it right away.

 

then you continue on the trail, but tell your GPS to show you the distance to the waypoint you just created (have it navigate to it, set it as active or however it works for your unit, basically the same thing you'd use to find an existing geocache). keep walking until the GPS shows a distance >161 meters, at which point you can start looking for another hiding spot for the next cache. BUT also keep an eye on the map screen (which should show you all waypoints you've marked so far) if you didn't get too close to some other spot again, which is quite possible if the trail makes a lot of turns.

Edited by dfx
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Of course, I could use my GPSr to determine distance between the caches on the trail, but I'm pretty sure the guidelines refer to distance as the crow flies.

As the crow flies IS the distance that your GPS will give you. Just load up the local caches, go to where you want to hide your cache, and check how far the next nearest cache is.
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...As the crow flies IS the distance that your GPS will give you. Just load up the local caches, go to where you want to hide your cache, and check how far the next nearest cache is.

Yup - no big science needed. Just load up all the local caches. Find a good location for a hide and then look down at your GPS to see if another cache is within .1 miles of the current position.

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...As the crow flies IS the distance that your GPS will give you. Just load up the local caches, go to where you want to hide your cache, and check how far the next nearest cache is.

Yup - no big science needed. Just load up all the local caches. Find a good location for a hide and then look down at your GPS to see if another cache is within .1 miles of the current position.

 

+1

 

Well, +2 I guess...

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Ha...I just assumed it would track distance traveled (which I assume it does with tracks and all that). I didn't even think about using 'navigate to'.

 

Duh!

 

I'll give it a go, maybe this weekend. I really don't know how the trail runs as far as distance goes--it's a long thin oval with one cache already at the front of the trail head. I know one at the far end would be fine and that was my original plan, but I got to thinking that if one ammo can in the woods (albeit in the middle of town) is good, wouldn't two be better!

 

So the question is whether I can a) squeeze two in or :) find good hiding spots where they ought to go.

 

Looks like I need to hit the trail and find out!

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With the new update to my Triton 400, and VP, it now has measurement tools to calculate many things. Although I just simply select the closest cache to where I want to hide one, and go to, and it lists the footage.
You needed an update to do that?!? My very first Garmin, years ago, did that. I had no idea there exists a GPS (handheld, at least) that didn't have that ability.
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Easier still... when you make the waypoint for your first spot, enter a proximity of 0.10 miles. The GPS will draw a tenth-mile circle around the cache on the map screen. Walk until you cross that circle. Look for your next hide.

 

Also, if you take all your local caches (in a GPX file) and load them in MapSource, you can select all and set the proximity for every cache to 0.10 mile. Load them to your Garmin and you'll have a saturation circle around every cache on the map. Makes it very easy to rule out areas without even visiting them.

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Why not just load all the local caches in your unit and when you find a spot, check for the next closest to see if you are .1 mile away.

 

Before you submit it, double check by clicking on the nearest caches button on the cache page to make sure your GPS wasn't lying to you.

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In the field, I want to see .12 from any other cache.

 

I might try .11 if the spot were perfect, but I'd understand that those coords might not read as a full tenth of a mile once I loaded them into hide and seek a cache. There's some error in the gps reading which can make a field measurement of .1 into a "real" measurement of 487 feet.

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In the field, I want to see .12 from any other cache.

 

I might try .11 if the spot were perfect, but I'd understand that those coords might not read as a full tenth of a mile once I loaded them into hide and seek a cache. There's some error in the gps reading which can make a field measurement of .1 into a "real" measurement of 487 feet.

you're talking about number rounding, right?

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Once you have determined the general area where you'd like to place a geocache, you could run a PQ for all cache types centered on that general area and with a radius of oh let's say one mile.

 

You could then load the results of that PQ into your GPS device.

 

Then as you scout around the general area for a nice hidey spot, your GPS device will show you if there are other geocaches located within .1 mile of where you are standing in the general area.

 

While not 100% fool proof, it does seem to work well in most instances. I've heard that other geocachers rely upon this technique on a frequent basis. I have no direct proof of that however.

 

Good luck.

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In the field, I want to see .12 from any other cache.

 

I might try .11 if the spot were perfect, but I'd understand that those coords might not read as a full tenth of a mile once I loaded them into hide and seek a cache. There's some error in the gps reading which can make a field measurement of .1 into a "real" measurement of 487 feet.

you're talking about number rounding, right?

 

+1000 to IK's post. Just because your $300 gadget tells you it is .1 to the nearest cache, doesn't make it exactly so. It would really suck to get back home and click that 'show all nearest caches' link to discover you are off by 20-50' and cannot get your cache published.

 

I don't know what dfx is referring to by 'number rounding' but what I am supporting in IK's post is to give yourself a cushion out in the field. 528' shouldn't be a target separation, it is the minimum distance per the guidelines. It is much smarter to have a target separation of 581' (which will show as .11 on most GPS units) or even 634' (.12). And she is really smart.

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Well, I got out last night and used the suggestions--it worked out great, I made sure I kept the cache at least .11 or .12 miles from the existing.

 

Unfortunately, I'm an idiot--one of the caches I put out is too close to a SECOND cache. I didn't even think to keep track of it b/c it's at least a .5 hike from that cache to the only bridge across the creek, and then back to where I hid the (rejected) cache.

 

Doh!

 

The good news is that I've got an eye on another spot--I'm debating going out on my lunch hour to move it. Probably a really bad idea--I don't think anybody wants me to come back to work all itchy from a bit of bushwacking.

 

Figures :ph34r:

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get a crow... put an odometer on him - one that is fairly accurate. point him in the direction he needs to go and release.

 

when he gets to the other cache spot, pick him up and see what the odometer reads. :ph34r:

 

 

problem solved.

Crows don't always fly in a straight line, so the odometer wouldn't work. Tie a 160m string to his tail feathers and when he finally lands at the end of the string, hide past the landing area.

 

What could be simpler?

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Crows don't always fly in a straight line, so the odometer wouldn't work.

that's not a problem. the minimum required distance is .1 miles "as the crow flies", so if you happen to get a crow which flies in a circle and after doing .1 miles comes back to the same spot that it started from, you can put a second cache there. you just need to provide proof of identification of the crow used to the reviewer, as well as a reliable reading from that odometer.

 

:ph34r:

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just an alternate suggestion... if you want to place a bunch of caches, and are worried your own caches may be too close together, you could consider making it a multi. The stages of a multi do not need to be .1 mile apart, but they do need to be .1 mile apart form seperate caches. There is no rule for the distance between multi stages.

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