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Urban Geocaching


Veelarage07
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Hello! I'm a complete newbie, starting completely from scratch (I don't currently own a GPS unit and I've never been out searching before), and I'm just wondering about Urban Geocaching. I'm not a particularly outdoorsy type and I have no intention of ever going out into the woods and hiking to a river and then taking a canoe through rapids to get to a mountain to find a cache in a cave with a tunnel system leading me to an underground cavern full of mole people who will hand over the cache if you can beat them at thumb wrestling, etc. I'm mostly just interested in getting to know my city a little better. I love exploring new areas, and I think it would be neat to actually have a sort of "destination" when I go out poking around new urban neighborhoods.

 

...but is that the point? Is this "urban geocaching" still in the spirit of geocaching, or will I be mocked by those of you who like to frolic through the forests of the world actually exploring? I also don't own a car.

 

Furthermore, would this sort of geocaching require the same sort of equipment as the more rugged outdoorsy variety? Does it need to be as "intense"? I'm a poor college student and I'm more or less genuinely technologically impaired in most aspects, so, if my endeavor is even a worthwhile one, I don't want to accidentally buy a unit that is going to taunt me and make me cry. And did I mention I'm poor? Because I'm poor.

 

All advice and assistance would be appreciated! Thanks!

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I'm mostly just interested in getting to know my city a little better. I love exploring new areas, and I think it would be neat to actually have a sort of "destination" when I go out poking around new urban neighborhoods.

 

...but is that the point?

 

For a lot of us that exactly the point. For some it's finding the cache and nothing else matters, for some the cache is the excuse and the journey is the reward.

based on your description of yourself and your goals I would suggest trying to borrow a GPS or or go with someone else a few times to see how you like it before spending a bunch of money. Or if you have a smart phone there apps for those that work fairly well in most urban situations. In urban areas you shouldn't need much equipment. For the most part some sort of GPS, a pencil and a bit of cash to buy some water with or maybe a bus token should be enough to get by. It can as "intense" or as relaxed as you want it. The whole point is to have fun. Yesterday my grandson and I spent four hours on two geocaches. That was broken up into about thirty minutes finding the things and three and a half hours exploring the area we found them in. I doubt anyone will "Mock" for doing strictly urban caches and if they do, so what? Those would probably the type of people that you really wouldn't want their good opinion anyway. I'm sure there are a lot of people that do only urban caches or there probably wouldn't be so many of them. Not really my cup of tea but I see nothing wrong with it at all.

 

I have no intention of ever going out into the woods and hiking to a river and then taking a canoe through rapids to get to a mountain to find a cache in a cave with a tunnel system leading me to an underground cavern full of mole people who will hand over the cache if you can beat them at thumb wrestling

I want to know where THAT cache is :lol:

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Do you have a smartphone like an iPhone or Droid? Because some people use them for geocaching. My iPhone is all I use and I do fine, I don't even own a GPS.

 

I really can't speak for real "urban" caching because where I live is about as far away from urban as you can get. But not all caches are super intense, Indiana Jones style adventures. In fact, most aren't.

 

In the urban or suburban environment, caches will be a lot easier to get to (but not necessarily easier to find!) That doesn't make them any less fun to go after. Well thought-out caches will bring you to landmarks and locations of interest in your city that you may not have known existed. That's the real attraction of Geocaching, either backwoods or urban...going to new places and the challenge of the hunt. If you like hiking for miles or kayaking or getting lost in the woods, there are caches to suit your taste. If you don't go for that kind of stuff, there are caches to suit your taste too!

 

Start out by searching the Geocaching site for caches in your area. Every cache listing has a detailed description and a difficulty/terrain rating on a scale of 1 to 5. Difficulty tells you how hard it is to find it, terrain tells you how hard it is to get to the location. Most urban caches will have a pretty easy terrain rating, and the difficulty rating could be either very easy or very difficult.

 

Give it a try, you'll find that urban caching is fun too!

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I've found hundreds of caches, and most of them were suburban caches within easy cycling distance of home, work, church, etc. I don't have much to add to what the others have said, other than to suggest that you get to know the other local geocachers. If you're interested in finding more "outdoorsy" caches on occasion, then you may be invited to tag along on a group trip sometime. On our group hikes, people who don't drive (or who don't drive at night, or who don't own a car, or...) often catch a ride from someone else.

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Well I like going after urban caches in my city. I usually set out by picking out an area of around 4 blocks or so (defined by the major streets) with a good concentration of caches and then load my bicycle up in my truck and drive there. I park at one end of the concentration and then do a circuit hitting up caches on my bike so I still get good exercise and don't have to deal with the frustration of finding a parking space next to every cache. For me, I enjoy visiting areas of the city I've never had any occasion to visit. Yet, for others, those places stood out for them in some way and I try to see and appreciate the beauty of those special places.

 

Though, most urban caches are micro/small sized (at least in the Phoenix, AZ area) so they can be hard to find if you have no idea of what to look for so I suggest researching cache containers and hide styles on these forums(or reading over the logs carefully of caches you consider going for). That also means there's little in the way of trade items/'swag' and trackables to be had if that was something you're interested in. Lastly, the hides can sometimes be in rather visible areas to other people or passing cars so you have to overcome self-consciousness and sometimes look like a dork walking across the landscape peering into bushes or overturning rocks, which sometimes attracts attention (I've had to explain myself to the police before so probably a good idea to rehearse a coherent explanation of the game and/or print out materials like the geocaching brochure.)

 

For equipment, you basically just need your GPS and a pen or pencil to sign the logs with. Having blank paper is nice if you want to write down trackable numbers or if the log book is full. You may also want to carry tweezers since I've found several micro caches that have the log packed in and are too small to use your fingers to remove it.

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Unfortunately, I have pretty much the farthest thing from a smartphone as you can get. I might even go as far as to call my phone a dumbphone – it's the free one you get when you renew your plan. I think its most thrilling feature may be the fact that it's purple. As I mentioned in my OP, I'm pretty much technologically impaired... but from what I understand, the iPod touch is essentially the same thing as an iPhone, only without the ability to make calls. Is that the case? My ipod is currently six years old, so I may be in the market for a new one anyway – could an iPod Touch substitute for a GPS on an urban geocaching adventure? Right now my life savings consists of $140, so I'm not quite there yet. Is that something I should be saving up for, or should I try for a basic used GPS unit from ebay or a forum member? I'm definitely going to need guidance in the technology area either way, knowing my history with things with buttons.

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If you don't have a smartphone or want to own one, the GeoMate Jr. which is preloaded with many caches is a resonably priced option.

ON Christmas day I logged one of the few ammocan caches in Las Vegas. I walked up to the drive up wedding window and asked for the geocache. I also found rusty, wet Altoids can in Vegas which was not so nice.

You should plan on attending a local event to meet the local geocachers. If you can go out with a cacher who has more than 100 finds, you will get a good start.

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could an iPod Touch substitute for a GPS on an urban geocaching adventure

 

No. the Ipod touch will only give you your current position when you're connected to a wifi network so that's not going to work.

 

A no-cost way to start would be to use the maps on the cache pages. In the U.S, for most areas, Google maps and satellite images can show the location pretty well if you zoom in all the way. Lots of people geocache without a GPSr at all to start. It will be frustrating in some situations but it would give you an idea whether you want to continue playing the game.

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Veelarage07

 

I don't have anything to add to what the others above me have said but I just wanted to post to say I love your style of posting humour! I don't know whereabouts you are but if you were near us I'd really want to take you out to try geocaching :lol:

 

I hope you get to do some urban caching and stick around... These forums need people who can post and make the reader chuckle!

 

Good luck

 

MrsB

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I was actually looking at the GeoMate Jr, but from what I could find it seemed to be geared toward twelve year olds. Considering my level of technological expertise that might actually be appropriate! I work with kids, so most of the time I end up with the “kids version” of everything either by choice or by necessity, so it probably wouldn't bother me. It would be an extra special bonus if the instructions happen to be written as though addressing someone with an IQ of about 30, because that's what I need in these situations. If it's intended for geocaching, it's basic and it's in my price range, it sounds like it fits my needs. Does anyone have a reason why I should NOT go with the GeoMate Jr, or would most people advise it given my situation?

 

But before I do that, how does a person like myself find someone in their area who would be willing to take me out hunting with them? I tried to make sense of the events feature on this site, but it was a little overwhelming so I didn't look too hard or for too long. Are people generally willing to let a newbie tag along?

 

And MrsB, I'm glad I'm keeping someone entertained besides myself! Unfortunately, I don't think I'm even remotely local. I'm located in Boston, MA. I definitely hope to stick around the forum, though! If people are always as helpful as they have been in this thread so far, then I'll definitely be back with every dumb question I come up with!

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For the Geomate junior, that is a good choice for some. If you have about $20 more, however, you can get an eTrex Venture HC. Although it's better, if you want something simple, want to do it with kids, or don't want to spend as much time caching, go with the Geomate Junior. My recommendation is to get a cheap one, and if you want something better, sell it for 75% of its price and buy a better one.

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...But before I do that, how does a person like myself find someone in their area who would be willing to take me out hunting with them? I tried to make sense of the events feature on this site, but it was a little overwhelming so I didn't look too hard or for too long. Are people generally willing to let a newbie tag along?

 

 

You can search for event caches (the geocaching equivalent of a social get-together) using this page: Advanced search page.

 

From the drop-downs select > All event type caches > By Country/State > US > MA

 

That'll show you if there's anything happening near you.

 

I had a quick look and suggest that

"Birds of a Feather 2011" might be a good place for you to meet local geocachers and start picking their brains. Most geocachers are only too happy to take a very newbie under their wing to try out geocaching.

 

MrsB

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Check out eBay. FInd something cheap...super cheap. For right now I would say just find something you can enter coordinates into and that is it. You could probably pick up an old (origional version) eTrex Legend for about $40. It will allow you to easily input coordinates and find your goal. Later along if you want to keep at it and you have the cash you can upgrade to more flashy units.

 

Brian

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I'm glad to hear so many people have had such positive experiences geocaching in an urban environment! I'm actually pretty lucky in that the section of Boston I live in is surrounded by a good deal of green space and, just from a little snooping on the site, it seems like a bunch of more “traditional” caches might be in very close walking distance to where I live – so maybe I'll meet some mole people after all. Who knew?

 

Thanks for your help with the event caches, MrsB! From snooping I'm pretty sure I know the location of that event is, even without a unit! If it works out that I'm available that day, I think I'll try to check it out. Does it make sense to contact the “host” first, or is there some other protocol I should follow? As fun and serendipitous “just showing up” can be, I wouldn't mind letting someone know I plan to be there just in case I ever need an alibi or something.

 

Brian – I wasn't able to find an eTrex Legend in that price range on ebay, but I'll keep looking! I'm just worried about, well, getting what I pay for. $40 sounds cheap even to a cheapo like me! I'm definitely poor and I definitely can't afford anything super classy (no built in disco ball, I guess) but I don't want to TOTALLY cheap out and regret it.

 

...but with that said, if anyone else has some suggestions of specific units to look for on ebay that you know will work for my purposes and that won't put me in the poorhouse, I'd really appreciate suggestions!

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Brian – I wasn't able to find an eTrex Legend in that price range on ebay, but I'll keep looking! I'm just worried about, well, getting what I pay for. $40 sounds cheap even to a cheapo like me! I'm definitely poor and I definitely can't afford anything super classy (no built in disco ball, I guess) but I don't want to TOTALLY cheap out and regret it.

 

 

Don't worry, the older eTrex Legends are fine units. I have one and the ONLY reason I bought a new GPS was because I use a laptop and Vista, and since the Legend used a serial port I had to buy a converter cable. But just about everyone who uses Vista and a laptop has reported problems. I can still enter coordinates by hand which is absolutely fine for geocaching, but I also use my GPS for hiking in the Whit Mountains and I NEEDED the ability to put multiple waypoints and tracks to and from the unit.

 

As for eBay, they have an odd setup. If you type "eTrex Legend" and click on the first link you find they combine all sales, both new and used, and you have to click on the "used" tab. Currently I see three auctions for an eTrex legend, one has 1 bid at $35, and a couple that are at $.99 (they are just starting, that is why the bids are so low right now....but one of them has a $25 shipping fee so I would ignore it.) Also on the page you can see a star review system, and the eTrex Legend gets 4 1/2 out of 5 stars. It really is a decent unit for the money. No not a fancy mapping unit, but for caching you really don't NEED that. here is some links for the lower priced auctions:

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/Garmin-eTrex-Legend-GPS-Receiver-/160524300748?pt=GPS_Devices&hash=item255ffe71cc

http://cgi.ebay.com/Garmin-eTrex-Legend-GPS-Receiver-/130469519334?pt=GPS_Devices&hash=item1e6096dfe6

http://cgi.ebay.com/Garmin-eTrex-Legend-/150541459562?pt=GPS_Devices&hash=item230cf8606a

 

Just double check the shipping before placing a bid. Like the $.99 one from Canada with $25 shipping you would need to figure that in before making a bid. On something like that I would not bid more than about $15 or $20, which with shipping would make it in the $40-$45 range. But thankfully the auctions I just linked APPEAR to have more reasonable shipping prices.

 

Brian

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I should probably clarify one thing too that I noticed. I say this is not a mapping unit....actually technically it is. You will need to buy add on software (or use a free program available from GPSfiledepot.com in combination with Mapsource), but even still the maps, on the small and non color screen, are going to be pretty basic. But since you don't need mapping ability for geocaching, especially urban, I would not be concerned about that point at all. As long as you can enter coordinates and have it show you where you need to go then you are going to be good to go.

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Hello! I'm a complete newbie, starting completely from scratch (I don't currently own a GPS unit and I've never been out searching before), and I'm just wondering about Urban Geocaching. I'm not a particularly outdoorsy type and I have no intention of ever going out into the woods and hiking to a river and then taking a canoe through rapids to get to a mountain to find a cache in a cave with a tunnel system leading me to an underground cavern full of mole people who will hand over the cache if you can beat them at thumb wrestling, etc. I'm mostly just interested in getting to know my city a little better. I love exploring new areas, and I think it would be neat to actually have a sort of "destination" when I go out poking around new urban neighborhoods.

 

...but is that the point? Is this "urban geocaching" still in the spirit of geocaching, or will I be mocked by those of you who like to frolic through the forests of the world actually exploring? I also don't own a car.

 

I don't live in a place that remotely resembles and urban area so urban caching to means I'm traveling to and discovering a new city and geocaching is a good way to do that. There are probably some urban areas where I would not enjoy geocaching so much but I had a wonderful day on a rented bicycle exploring Barcelona and finding a few geocaches. I'd probably enjoy spending a day exploring/geocaching Boston as well but I prefer being out in the woods. It's that suburban sprawl middle ground that hold less of an attraction for geocaching than other areas.

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Does it make sense to contact the “host” first, or is there some other protocol I should follow?
If I'm pretty sure I'll attend, then I'll post a "Will Attend" log. After I attend an event, I post an "Attended" log. Unless the event organizer has made a special request (e.g., one workshop I attended where the first 20 people to sign up got a place at the work table, and the rest got a seat where they could watch the others), that's about all the protocol there is.
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You guys all ROCK. Seriously. Not only have I gotten answers to my initial questions, I've gotten extensive answers to questions I didn't even realize I had! I guess that's the benefit of having a real world hobby that is literally based online – a million people coming online anyway who happen to care a whole lot about what they're doing!

 

Right now I'm actually staying in a suburb in New York for the holidays and, on a whim, I looked up some caches in the neighborhood. I think there might be a few that I can attempt to go after while I'm here, before I even purchase any technology. I'm getting excited – is this why people say it's so addicting? I haven't even started and I can't think about anything else!

 

Brian – I think I'm going to make a serious effort to go after the eTrex Legend. I think it probably makes more sense in the long run than the GeoMate Jr (and in the short run, really). Would you be willing to be a resource for me if I do end up with one and find myself completely flabbergasted? I promise not to be too incredibly annoying.

 

Darin – That makes a lot of sense! Thanks for the info! This is the kind of stuff I need to learn BEFORE I go out into the world and make a fool out of myself.

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Welcome to the world of Geocaching. I do both urban and non-urban geocaching and like them both. I have learned a lot of the history of my city (Fort Worth, TX) and have found incredibly neat areas I would never have found otherwise. And you would be surprised at the seemingly urban caches that require a high degree of bushwhacking. For instance there is a wilderness area in the Bronx (yes, New York City).

Some places to look for folks to meet is either Yahoo, or Google groups, search geocaching and your area, there are lots of local gorups. Also check here on the forums, there are listings for many of the local groups. Another site that has all sorts of interesting things to do is Meetup.com, they list groups in just about any interest you can think of, including geocaching.

One thing you can try before you purchase your GPSr is using Google Earth, you can put the coordinates in and then zoom fairly close, at least enough to get a good idea of where you need to look. I have found a few this way, usually when I forgot my GPSr and needed a "fix" on my way home from work. (Yes, geocaching IS addictive).

Anyway, again, welcome and I hope you have fun...Steve (SLarm1)

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Hey, if I can help I would be gald to do what I can. Thankfully entering waypoints is pretty simple, and if you have a desktop computer that will take the serial (RS232) cord then I think I should be able to describe how to download waypoints to caches directly from this website (I say "should" only because I have never done it with my Legend...again it comes down to having a cord that my laptop won't recognize...but do it all the time with my Garmin 60Cx). If you can download the waypoints from this site directly to your unit then it becomes yet even easier. Just pick your cache waypoint from the menue and hit "go to".

 

Brian

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Everyone else seems to have touched on pretty much everything, but I'll jump in just to say hello and expand a bit on the social aspect of the hobby. I'm always willing to help a new cacher in any way I can, from emailing answers to questions, to going on a hunt. Doesn't happen often at all around here, but I help when I can. Attend an event. Everyone (well, almost everyone) I've met is beyond friendly and won't have any issues with somebody they don't know that has no experience showing up to talk turkey. You might even find a person/group you can go caching with on a recurrent basis, who knows?

 

I'd shy away from the geomate junior. It's preloaded with caches, and unless you want to keep shelling out money, you can't put any new caches into the unit. Once you've found the caches that are loaded into it, you're out of luck for the new ones that have been placed since you got your unit.

 

Welcome to the addiction, beware leaving the "getting started" forums as the level of niceness can tend to drop in a drastic way. Sometimes.

 

I'm across the country from you, but feel free to put me on the list of people you ask questions of.

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I'd shy away from the geomate junior. It's preloaded with caches, and unless you want to keep shelling out money, you can't put any new caches into the unit. Once you've found the caches that are loaded into it, you're out of luck for the new ones that have been placed since you got your unit.

 

The only money you need to "shell out" is to buy the "upgrade" kit for about $25. It is a ONE TIME charge; then, you can keep the unit up-to-date for free. If you ever find the extra cash to become a premium member on geocaching.com, you'll be able to download Pocket Queries as well.

 

However, I think that in an urban environment, you'll be able to find plenty of geocaches simply by using the Google Maps Satellite View. A GPSr only gets you to the VICINITY of the cache, which is what Google Maps will do for you. Give it a try first.

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I'd shy away from the geomate junior. It's preloaded with caches, and unless you want to keep shelling out money, you can't put any new caches into the unit. Once you've found the caches that are loaded into it, you're out of luck for the new ones that have been placed since you got your unit.

 

The only money you need to "shell out" is to buy the "upgrade" kit for about $25. It is a ONE TIME charge; then, you can keep the unit up-to-date for free. If you ever find the extra cash to become a premium member on geocaching.com, you'll be able to download Pocket Queries as well.

 

However, I think that in an urban environment, you'll be able to find plenty of geocaches simply by using the Google Maps Satellite View. A GPSr only gets you to the VICINITY of the cache, which is what Google Maps will do for you. Give it a try first.

I second the above.

 

The Geomate is being/has been 'updated' to accept Pocket Queries, so you can load your own selection of caches...

 

Pocket Queries (PQ's) available to premium members.

Knowledge Book PQ info

Markwell Guide to PQ's

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Bear in mind that there are two entirely diferent meanings to 'urban geocaching'. To many people this means lamp post hidea, and guard rails, and similar cache and dashes. That's usually strip malls and such, and I'd call it 'suburban geocaching'. I've done a lot of caching on Manhattan Island, and I've found that most of them have taken me to very interesting places. I've found some in other urban areas: Philadephia, Charleston, Charleston, Savannah, Atlantic City &c. And I've enjoyed the vast majority of them. Boston sounds like a fun place to cache! Have fun.

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However, I think that in an urban environment, you'll be able to find plenty of geocaches simply by using the Google Maps Satellite View. A GPSr only gets you to the VICINITY of the cache, which is what Google Maps will do for you. Give it a try first.

 

We have a local cacher around here that has over 550 finds without a GPS. He actually prefers the challenge. Still plans on finding caches without, even though I gave him my old Magellan Meridian Color, as it was just collecting dust. He'll use it to place caches now, and for hiking/camping.

 

He also swears by Bing Maps because of better quality, and directionality(Satellite Views). Take the coords from the cache page and try them. Same cacher actually FTF'd a cache of mine, way back in the woods, in the dark, without a flashlight, before there was snow on the ground to follow footprints! :o

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I'd shy away from the geomate junior. It's preloaded with caches, and unless you want to keep shelling out money, you can't put any new caches into the unit. Once you've found the caches that are loaded into it, you're out of luck for the new ones that have been placed since you got your unit.

 

The only money you need to "shell out" is to buy the "upgrade" kit for about $25. It is a ONE TIME charge; then, you can keep the unit up-to-date for free. If you ever find the extra cash to become a premium member on geocaching.com, you'll be able to download Pocket Queries as well.

 

However, I think that in an urban environment, you'll be able to find plenty of geocaches simply by using the Google Maps Satellite View. A GPSr only gets you to the VICINITY of the cache, which is what Google Maps will do for you. Give it a try first.

 

My mistake. I was of the impression that the upgrade kit needed to be purchased each time it was used. I stand corrected.

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I'm not a fan of urban caching for a different reason. i.e. A cache right in front of a Taco Bell where 15 people would have front row seats watching you go through the bushes. I don't even consider attempting these type. That's not to say all urban caches are bad. Too often they are just very poorly thought out.

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Bear in mind that there are two entirely diferent meanings to 'urban geocaching'. To many people this means lamp post hidea, and guard rails, and similar cache and dashes. That's usually strip malls and such, and I'd call it 'suburban geocaching'. I've done a lot of caching on Manhattan Island, and I've found that most of them have taken me to very interesting places. I've found some in other urban areas: Philadephia, Charleston, Charleston, Savannah, Atlantic City &c. And I've enjoyed the vast majority of them. Boston sounds like a fun place to cache! Have fun.

 

Urban and suburban caching can be great. Urban or suburban doesn't have to mean "strip mall", "newspaper vending machine" or "back of stop sign". There are many fascinating places in cities and suburbs. I haven't found a lot of caches in Manhattan, but the ones I found I enjoyed a lot. For example, on NYC cache brought me to a huge chunk of the former Berlin Wall which I never would have seen if it wasn't for geocaching.

 

My one problem with these caches is that it is a lot harder to separate the chaff with urban and suburban caches because the best of them are usually micros with low terrain ratings, which is often the profile of the LPCs, strip mall caches and similar ones that don't interest me.

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I'd shy away from the geomate junior. It's preloaded with caches, and unless you want to keep shelling out money, you can't put any new caches into the unit. Once you've found the caches that are loaded into it, you're out of luck for the new ones that have been placed since you got your unit.

 

The only money you need to "shell out" is to buy the "upgrade" kit for about $25. It is a ONE TIME charge; then, you can keep the unit up-to-date for free. If you ever find the extra cash to become a premium member on geocaching.com, you'll be able to download Pocket Queries as well.

 

However, I think that in an urban environment, you'll be able to find plenty of geocaches simply by using the Google Maps Satellite View. A GPSr only gets you to the VICINITY of the cache, which is what Google Maps will do for you. Give it a try first.

 

My mistake. I was of the impression that the upgrade kit needed to be purchased each time it was used. I stand corrected.

 

You only need to buy it once, but once you've shelled out the extra money for the upgrade kit you could buy yourself a regular GPS.

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One of the things that really surprised us when we started caching was the HUGE number of little parks tucked in and about the city we live in...places we didn't even realize existed until we started chasing our GPSr around. Urban caching is a lot of fun and as has already been pointed out, a lot of it can be done with Google maps. There are spots in the city you walk by everyday and never see. BTW, Boston is a great place to cache! Have fun and let us know how it goes.

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Your scenario sounds exactly like a friend of mine. He wasn't sure whether he even wanted to get into the hobby at all. I took him on a few easy finds around our neighborhood, or more specifically I drove him to an area, handed him the GPS and told him to lead the way. He liked the exercise and pretty soon he was hooked. Once he got into the swing he decided he did want to try one that had a bit of a hike. I took him on a short one, about a mile round trip in the hills behind the homes around here. He loved it even when he initially said he didn't want to go all "Indiana Jones." I think he thought the natural caches were all rough and tumble, but he found that a lot of times, they are hikes on nice equestrian or hiking trails that offer great views or interesting features. We have now gone on hikes and found caches at a bat cave, the foundations of an old cabin, natural springs and arches, and entrances to old mines (we don't go in them, but theres a lot of old neat stuff scattered about them usually). A few weeks later he had saved up some cash and found a great deal on a Garmin Etrex H GPS on Ebay for just under $50. Now more often than not, when I go out a find a cache, I see his name on the log a few days or even weeks before I get there.

 

The moral of the story is JUST TRY IT ALREADY!

Edited by MadScientist918
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Furthermore, would this sort of geocaching require the same sort of equipment as the more rugged outdoorsy variety?

 

You're going to want a little different set of tools for urban caching - nothing spectacular or expensive, just different.

 

#1) Cheapest ever, but you need one! A safety pin. When you meet the dreaded blinkie, safety pins are the quickest way to get hose infernally small logs out.

 

#2) Space pen (or any other brand that can write on wet paper). Urban containers get way more traffic and people often don't close them properly, and/or the containers themselves are poor choices (altoids tins, prescription bottles, specimen vials) and are not water resistant.

 

#3) A hardhat and safety vest. Look at garage sales, usually a couple bucks each. And a clipboard. Best camo ever for muggly cache sites.

 

#4) Smartphone app.

 

#5) Ramen. Because, you're a starving student, right?

 

Have fun!

 

Tony

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Thanks for all of the advice! I'm getting really pumped for this! I've been looking up caches within walking distance of where I'm staying for break and, amazingly, I think there's two or three a few FEET from the house. Who the heck knew? Plus, there is at least one more that I think I might be able to go search for while I'm there, and it's only about a mile away... and another one or two that might require a car, but that I'm sure I could locate given some time in the spot. All of the rest of the caches in this area are the more traditional sort of 'over the river and through the woods, greet the mole people etc' caches, so I'm definitely going to hold off on those until I have a gps unit in my possession. Google maps has given me a fantastic tour of the trees in the neighborhood nature preserve, but that's not going to help too much. I'm currently on a trip, but now I can't wait to get back and go hunting! Hopefully the snow is melting!

 

I think urban geocaching might make the google maps approach a tad more straightforward than this crazy pan-suburban wilderness adventure! I've never wanted winter break to END so desperately!

 

isjustus - I'm going to try Bing maps and see how they compare to google - thanks for the suggestion!

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I would just like to announce that I have officially gone after and FOUND my first cache without a GPS unit (and it was a MICRO, at that!) I'm quite pleased with myself and I just thought it was worth announcing! Your encouragement definitely lead to something... and I'm hoping that your encouragement, coupled with my little adrenaline rush, will lead to more finds (and adventures!) in the future! So much fun!

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I would just like to announce that I have officially gone after and FOUND my first cache without a GPS unit (and it was a MICRO, at that!) I'm quite pleased with myself and I just thought it was worth announcing! Your encouragement definitely lead to something... and I'm hoping that your encouragement, coupled with my little adrenaline rush, will lead to more finds (and adventures!) in the future! So much fun!

 

socool.gif

 

We had faith in you. ;)

 

MrsB

Edited by The Blorenges
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We have been caching a while now, and we mix and match - in the cooler months big walks through the bush trying to find those elusive mole people!

 

In the summer we focus on more urban areas as this is when the wildlife is awake and hungry! On Monday we did ten caches mainly nanos in urban parks. After the last cache in a park by the river we returned to the car to see a snake in a tree about 2 metres away http://img.geocaching.com/cache/log/f00bb24e-47ca-428c-be64-3dcdc668f2b0.jpg . We think it is a Dugite (which is venamous), Glad we didn't see it before we found the cache or it would have been straight back into the car without looking!

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My wife and I love hiking and camping and try to get out and hike at least once a week, but I find urban caches very fulfilling.

Usually, in a state park or something you just end up arriving at the coordinates and moving some rocks. That's fine if the area is nice and the walk was nice, but I also get a kick out of finding a cache disguised as a peephole or some of the other crazy hides I've seen.

 

If you live in a cool city with a lot of neat spots tucked away around town you can definitely find great locations in urban areas. One cache took me to a mural someone made on the side of a small bridge in a neighborhood. Another took me to a building and gave me the history of the land it was built on. Other ones will take you to awesome resaurantes. My wife and I like to live like tourists in our own town and geocaching helps with that.

 

Also, there is a special thrill you can get finding a cache you know you've walked past hundreds of times. In these cases, even the most boring parking lot hide can hold some value.

 

EDIT: And congrats!

Edited by d+n.s
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I pretty much only urban geocache. I work odd hours and don't have a vehicle. When i do travel its from city to city. I know several cachers who go out hiking and to events. One of the things we discussed was how urban geocaching can be challenging in a different way, requiring more stealth skills with a greater chance of getting caught. I just figured that was part of the fun.

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We have been caching a while now, and we mix and match - in the cooler months big walks through the bush trying to find those elusive mole people!

 

In the summer we focus on more urban areas as this is when the wildlife is awake and hungry! On Monday we did ten caches mainly nanos in urban parks. After the last cache in a park by the river we returned to the car to see a snake in a tree about 2 metres away http://img.geocaching.com/cache/log/f00bb24e-47ca-428c-be64-3dcdc668f2b0.jpg . We think it is a Dugite (which is venamous), Glad we didn't see it before we found the cache or it would have been straight back into the car without looking!

It does look a bit like the picture I found..

http://www.derwenttraders.com.au/contents/en-us/d161.html

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Hello! I'm a complete newbie, starting completely from scratch (I don't currently own a GPS unit and I've never been out searching before), and I'm just wondering about Urban Geocaching. I'm not a particularly outdoorsy type and I have no intention of ever going out into the woods and hiking to a river and then taking a canoe through rapids to get to a mountain to find a cache in a cave with a tunnel system leading me to an underground cavern full of mole people who will hand over the cache if you can beat them at thumb wrestling, etc. I'm mostly just interested in getting to know my city a little better. I love exploring new areas, and I think it would be neat to actually have a sort of "destination" when I go out poking around new urban neighborhoods.

 

...but is that the point? Is this "urban geocaching" still in the spirit of geocaching, or will I be mocked by those of you who like to frolic through the forests of the world actually exploring? I also don't own a car.

 

Furthermore, would this sort of geocaching require the same sort of equipment as the more rugged outdoorsy variety? Does it need to be as "intense"? I'm a poor college student and I'm more or less genuinely technologically impaired in most aspects, so, if my endeavor is even a worthwhile one, I don't want to accidentally buy a unit that is going to taunt me and make me cry. And did I mention I'm poor? Because I'm poor.

 

All advice and assistance would be appreciated! Thanks!

I enjoy the urban geocaches, it makes a change from me having to hunt in and around trees. Since this past weekend I have taken two splinters out of my fingers lol that i got geocaching in the woods, no one told me Geocaching was this dangerous ! splinters! ;-)

Both types of caches have taken us to places we hadn't been to before in our home town, so we are learning about our home town.

Enjoy whichever ones you do.

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However, I think that in an urban environment, you'll be able to find plenty of geocaches simply by using the Google Maps Satellite View. A GPSr only gets you to the VICINITY of the cache, which is what Google Maps will do for you. Give it a try first.

 

We have a local cacher around here that has over 550 finds without a GPS. He actually prefers the challenge. Still plans on finding caches without, even though I gave him my old Magellan Meridian Color, as it was just collecting dust. He'll use it to place caches now, and for hiking/camping.

 

He also swears by Bing Maps because of better quality, and directionality(Satellite Views). Take the coords from the cache page and try them. Same cacher actually FTF'd a cache of mine, way back in the woods, in the dark, without a flashlight, before there was snow on the ground to follow footprints! :o

 

Yes a GPS is an unnecessary luxury if you can read an aerial photograph.

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