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Geocaching without a GPS


Fermentum
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Hello all,

 

I am new to Geocaching and went out for the first time yesterday (with no luck I might add). I have started locally and I know the area where the cache is hidden but I can't find it!

 

Anyway I think I am going to go back later for a second attempt!

 

The main reason I am posting is to ask the question "Do you have to use a GPS?"

 

At the moment I am not that keen to spend hundreds of pounds on one, mainly because I haven't got that amount of money! Could I just use Google maps to find the position and use the clues as well or would this be cheating?

 

Also is there a good cheap GPS available for purchase? There is software available for my phone £4.00 but the reviews said it was rubbish. Is there any that anyone would recommend?

 

Thanks in advance

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You certainly can find caches without a GPS unit. Many people have found hundreds of caches that way. (Although the guidelines require that a GPS unit be used to place a cache.)

 

Some tips would be ....

 

1. Stick with difficulty 1 and 1.5 to start with.

2. Stick with Regular and Large size Traditional caches.

3. Use Google Maps to look at the area before you go out.

4. Read the previous finders logs for hints.

5. Once you get to the cache site, look for hiding places and things that are out of place. Think like a "hider".

 

As to the inexpensive GPS units, you can look at the Garmin eTrex H series. Sometimes you can find them used in your local area and in the Garage Sale section on these forums.

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Yes, you can geocache without a GPSr. I've done a couple myself, and there are others out there who have done hundreds or more.

 

How did you attempt your first cache? With an automotive unit?

 

Seldom does a GPSr take you directly to the cache. A GPSr simply places you in close vicinity to the cache, perhaps within a 30 foot radius (although 50 or 100 feet is not uncommon). Once there, it is up to you to search for the most likely place ... under a fallen tree, up in the tree, or hidden in plain sight. You'll be amazed at how often you keep walking right past the cache!

 

The Google Geocaching maps can easily get you within that 30 foot radius, provided that you can identify where you are once there. I doubt that this would be of much help in the middle of a forest; but if there is anything recognizable on the satellite image, you're on your way.

 

Of course, this wouldn't work very well for multi-stage caches. Although you could find stage 1, input the coordinates for stage 2 in Google Maps, and head out again. THAT, I've never tried.

 

There are cheap GPSr units on Ebay for under $100. You really want a handheld, not an automotive unit.

 

I own a Garmin 60cs as well as a Geomate Jr.

 

A handheld GPSr has many advantages over the Geomate Jr. However, one big advantage of the Geomate Jr. is that you can load virtually all of the traditional (single stage) geocaches into it and take it with you wherever you go. I have the entire U.S. loaded into mine and find it handy while on vacation. It is now possible to do multi-stage caches with it, if you don't mind going home and loading each stage from your computer. There is no way to enter coordinates in the field although you can look at the Lat/Lon display and hunt for secondary stages that way. (I did it, once).

 

Happy Geocaching!

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Also, what phone do you have? If you have a smartphone (Blackberry, Android, iPhone, WinMo) there are apps you can download that will use the phones GPSr to let you hunt caches. Not as accurate in dense trees or buildings but better than nothing. Also the GPSr will drain the battery quickly.

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I cached for six months without a GPS. It's a great way to start out before you invest any money in a GPS. One of the greatest benefits of Geocaching is discovering new, interesting places you never would have gone if it weren't for seeking a cache. I enjoyed that part whether I located the cache or not!

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Hello all,

 

I am new to Geocaching and went out for the first time yesterday (with no luck I might add). I have started locally and I know the area where the cache is hidden but I can't find it!

 

Anyway I think I am going to go back later for a second attempt!

 

The main reason I am posting is to ask the question "Do you have to use a GPS?"

 

At the moment I am not that keen to spend hundreds of pounds on one, mainly because I haven't got that amount of money! Could I just use Google maps to find the position and use the clues as well or would this be cheating?

 

Also is there a good cheap GPS available for purchase? There is software available for my phone £4.00 but the reviews said it was rubbish. Is there any that anyone would recommend?

 

Thanks in advance

 

No you don't. As you are in the UK then the geocaching website will give you UK National Grid coordinates. This will tally with any OS map although you'll need 1:50,000 (pink landranger) or better for caching. You can then find the coordinates on the map, this will be somewhat less accurate than a proper GPSr and buying the maps of the whole of the UK will cost you considerably more than even the top of the range GPS receiver but if you're just wanting to cache in a local area covered by one sheet it should be fine.

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You certainly can find caches without a GPS unit. Many people have found hundreds of caches that way. (Although the guidelines require that a GPS unit be used to place a cache.)

 

Some tips would be ....

 

1. Stick with difficulty 1 and 1.5 to start with.

2. Stick with Regular and Large size Traditional caches.

3. Use Google Maps to look at the area before you go out.

4. Read the previous finders logs for hints.

5. Once you get to the cache site, look for hiding places and things that are out of place. Think like a "hider".

 

As to the inexpensive GPS units, you can look at the Garmin eTrex H series. Sometimes you can find them used in your local area and in the Garage Sale section on these forums.

 

Is the garmin etrex any good? would you recommend to a beginner?

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Yeah you can do that.

 

How about sharing your experiences with that when you have it nailed down? I have seen several people inquire about this but never see their experience.

 

Thanks.

 

My first caching experience was with an Ordnance Survey map. It got me pretty close to the cache locations but only within around 100 metres i.e. nowhere near as close as my GPS would take me.

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You can fly without an airplane but most people find a plane much easier!

 

300px-Wingsuit-01.jpg

 

Unless you just like doing it old school you can find used GPS receivers online or at local pawn shops for very little money... it's worth it!

 

Look at it this way - how much money would you burn in petrol each day going geocaching for 3 days? Stay home for those 3 days and put the money saved into buying a GPS and enjoy caching more for years to come!

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