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Geocaching without GPS?

Team Straight Cache
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I'm curious if there are any geocachers who don't use a GPS? Is there a way to search for such caches on this site?


I guess I'm thinking that the directions would be more detailed. Something along the lines of, 'Find the picnic table that is in the NW corner of the park. Walk around 10 paces south and you'll be close....'

Edited by TeamStraightCache
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Hi, welcome...


I think quite a few people find their first few geocaching caches without using a GPS. They use the co-ordinates, look at the Google Map links and read the hint and go searching. I know some cachers have found well over a hundred caches using these methods but I think most decide to get some sort of GPS device once they realise they're getting hooked. :)


What you describe as following clues to find hidden containers sounds rather more like letterboxing than geocaching.


MrsB :)

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Some of these letterboxes are also listed at geocaching.com, and they are known as "hybrid" geocache/letterbox.

it should be noted that not all of those letterbox hybrid listings on gc.com actually include letterboxing style instructions for finding them. some of them are just sitting at the coords, just like a traditional geocache.


with some moderate skill and patience it's also possible to find geocaches with just a topo map and a compass.

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We started without a GPS. We started with letterboxing (which I'd always been curious about) and attempted a geocache trail for Earth Day at a local nature preserve. The geocache trail was a disaster (badly planned, poorly laid out, and no instruction for newbies, which was supposed to be the point of that event) but I was still interested. So along with letterbox hunts, we took more obvious-sounding caches and really really enlarged Google Maps, and began to find a few. Someone in our area also did some gorgeous trail maps with latitude and longitude on them, for most of the local parks .. those are great for gauging how long the hike might be, at least (spared us more than one long journey unexpectedly!).


You have to be determined, creative, and patient ... but some of them can be done. But for more than the easiest, you really will need some sort of GPS, or good math and compass skills plus a topo map (like a previous poster said). If my skills were better, I'd love to do it that way ... no battery worries! :laughing:


We still letterbox too ... wish there were more in our area that didn't require long hikes. We've got some great stamp carvers around here.

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