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GPSless caching?


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Anyone ever resort to doing this?

 

Normally I head out with a GPS owning friend to go geocaching, which is all well and good. At the same time I still wanted to head out for an adventure to fill in some time and give me an excuse to be out and about, so thought I would try some GPSless caching based off urban caches I have local knowledge of, and the satellite maps and clues given on the cache pages.

 

So far I have found five out of the six I have tried for, with the last being more of a scouting expedition I can hopefully pick up next time I am out.

 

While it may not be quite so convenient compared to normal GPS caching (especially in the woods) anyone else given it a shot before?

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Yep, I did... I think I went out to find three or four caches before I bought my own GPS unit, but all of those were at places I knew, so with that knowledge and the help of Google maps it wasn't too difficult finding them.

 

Haven't done it this way anymore since I got my GPS though.

 

~*SisqoKid*~

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I think a lot of people start out like that. Most of them will end up getting some kind of GPS-enabled device at some point, as it's the only way to go for those more rural/remote caches without significant troubles. Or they'll stop caching before they get that far. However, some - ahem - freaks (hi, edscott :D) insinst on doing everything without GPS. Those are a rare exception though.

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If you count stumbling upon 3-4 randomly while out hiking or otherwise, then sure. Haha.

Is that how you got into caching? :rolleyes:

Haha, actually yes.

But I was a good little muggle. Looked in the boxes, figured out what they were. Signed the logs(no online) and then put them back.

 

But I imagine it could be fun to try some without gps. :)

Edited by frogcooke
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I cache without a gps here and there, since I don't own one. My husband has one, which he has with him most of the time, so if I want to cache on my own I have to go without (or steal his when I can which is rare). I use satellite imagery, hints/description, logs, etc. I tend to dnf more that way, so it can be a tad frustrating (I'm not a good finder even with a gps), but it's better than nothing.

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Did it today. Oldest daughter had a friend sleep over last night. Took her home today around noon and while leaving her development noticed a side street. I remembered seeing a cache there on the map and went after it. Didn't find it, but didn't log it as a DNF as I may have been in the wrong area. That reminds me, I need to look where it is so I can grab it next time I am that way without the gps. lol It would probably be easier if I just bring the gps with me.

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I did my first 25 cache without a GPS. I wanted to try to do my first one hundred without one, but I found a great deal on a Garmin 60csx that I just couldn't pass up. I found that it can be done, but only to certain degrees. For me, I found that the caches has to be urban and be in an obvious place (ie. newpaper boxes. old telphone stands, light poles, virtuals, if the cordinates were actually spot on perfect, etc...), but if you try and find caches that are off the beaten trail and into open fields/ hard terrain places, I had A LOT of trouble doing it and usually was not too sucessful. Although I've read that many have found mountain/ forrest caches without a GPS.

 

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE using my GPS because of the pocket querries and being able to cache on the go, but.... I found that caching without one made the find that more 'rewarding' and the search was far more intense, but more satisfying, and the actual hunt made me have to just simply BELIVE.

 

Yes, cahcing without a GPS can be done, but only to a certain degree.

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One thing I have done is not logged any GPSless DNF's - The cache I tried last night for example I think I was looking in the slightly wrong area, so to DNF leaves a black mark on the cache page when it is entirely my fault and it is probably perfectly findable had I had a GPS to put me in the right starting area. DNF's I see as more a way to log a warning that it may not be there or that it is a tricky cache, not the finder being ill prepared.

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One thing I have done is not logged any GPSless DNF's - The cache I tried last night for example I think I was looking in the slightly wrong area, so to DNF leaves a black mark on the cache page when it is entirely my fault and it is probably perfectly findable had I had a GPS to put me in the right starting area. DNF's I see as more a way to log a warning that it may not be there or that it is a tricky cache, not the finder being ill prepared.

 

Never considered not logging DNFs, and it is likely I'll log my 500th DNF this week. [:)] Biggest problems I have in this area is seeing a fencerow or small wood lot cache in the photo and arrive to see a new shopping center. The woods doesn't change that much over the years.

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... DNF leaves a black mark on the cache page when it is entirely my fault and it is probably perfectly findable...DNF's I see as more a way to log a warning that it may not be there or that it is a tricky cache....

 

I see this misconception a lot from newer cachers. DNF means you Did Not Find that cache at that time. Nothing more. It is not a "black mark" on you or the cache, and a DNF from someone with only a handful of finds is not going to make anyone think the cache is tricky. Don't get in the habit of not logging DNFs or rationalizing not logging DNFs Would you have logged the cache as found if you had found it? Then log it as not found if you didn't. Simple as that.

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... DNF leaves a black mark on the cache page when it is entirely my fault and it is probably perfectly findable...DNF's I see as more a way to log a warning that it may not be there or that it is a tricky cache....

 

I see this misconception a lot from newer cachers. DNF means you Did Not Find that cache at that time. Nothing more. It is not a "black mark" on you or the cache, and a DNF from someone with only a handful of finds is not going to make anyone think the cache is tricky. Don't get in the habit of not logging DNFs or rationalizing not logging DNFs Would you have logged the cache as found if you had found it? Then log it as not found if you didn't. Simple as that.

 

In my eyes at least it depends on the effort I put into it whether it is worth logging DNF or not...

 

For example this cache I read the cache page online, checked out the satellite view and went for a look and completely failed to find it as when I got there I couldn't place what I found in real life with the map not having studied it enough to figure out scale and relevant features that would have placed me. A DNF entirely because of my lack of planning - had I taken a GPS I would have been able to place myself quickly in the area.

I had another look at the map, placed a few features I remembered that may not have been so obvious without having been there, printed a copy to double check when I get there and had the cache within minutes.

 

I guess I may be wrongly using 'could not find' with 'did not find', but when it comes down to an obvious lack of planning on my part a DNF just doesn't seem appropriate.

 

Incidentally that makes it 8/8 of the local caches I have tried for now :)

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For example this cache I read the cache page online, checked out the satellite view and went for a look and completely failed to find it as when I got there I couldn't place what I found in real life with the map not having studied it enough to figure out scale and relevant features that would have placed me. A DNF entirely because of my lack of planning - had I taken a GPS I would have been able to place myself quickly in the area.
FWIW, I wouldn't log a DNF in that case either. If I get to GZ and search, then I log either a Find or a DNF. But if I don't get to GZ (regardless of the reason), then at most I'll log a DNS (Did Not Search, posted as a Note explaining why I did not search for the cache).
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Yeah, we did GPSless caching before we got a GPS. However i personally found it a bit of a nightmare beacause we found it a bit difficult to find the caches themselves. After getting the GPS we discovered that we were looking in the wrong areas and they tended to be at the oppisite side of the road. :lostsignal:

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I've done a few caches sans-GPS, mainly because I've known the area. Other times, I'll use the car GPS to get me in as close as possible, then hike off on the trail, knowing where to look. I think I've logged 5 urban & semi-urban caches, and 2 in-woods this way. It's possible, just a little impractical if you're trying to find a cache that is well off the path. Remember, most of our GPSr's are accurate within 8-30 feet, so even the google-maps pointed will be off by that much, since the location was logged with a handheld. And, sometimes, even the encrypted hints will have nothing to do with the location. :blink::huh:

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... DNF leaves a black mark on the cache page when it is entirely my fault and it is probably perfectly findable...DNF's I see as more a way to log a warning that it may not be there or that it is a tricky cache....

 

I see this misconception a lot from newer cachers. DNF means you Did Not Find that cache at that time. Nothing more. It is not a "black mark" on you or the cache, and a DNF from someone with only a handful of finds is not going to make anyone think the cache is tricky. Don't get in the habit of not logging DNFs or rationalizing not logging DNFs Would you have logged the cache as found if you had found it? Then log it as not found if you didn't. Simple as that.

 

Truer words have never been spoken.

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it's easy if it urban but don't think about it if you mean forest caches
Well, I wouldn't go that far. Finding caches sans GPSr is certainly more challenging in wooded areas (or wetland areas, or anywhere else without easily recognized man-made landmarks). But it isn't impossible.
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I didn't start out doing Geocaches without a GPS, because using a GPS (which had just been bought by a family member) was what reminded me of Geocaching. (I forget how I originally found out about it, but I knew about it years ago. I never did anything about it as I didn't have a GPS.)

 

Since starting Geocaching, there are caches where I didn't need to use the GPS much if at all. There was one recent cache, an ammo can in woods, where I was using my smartphone to head towards GZ. Because of bugs, I'd put the phone in my pocket and started moving quite a bit quicker. About the time I started to get the phone out to check how close I was to GZ, I saw what I figured had to be the cache container's hiding spot. And it was. Most of the other occasions are LPCs where I'm pointing out the suspected hiding spot before even getting out of the car.

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I am approaching 900 finds and, with the exception of a few done with friends, nearly all have been found just using Google maps aerial view.

OK maybe with a GPS I would have found more and maybe I will celebrate 1000 by buying one, but probably not as I like doing things the hard way lol.

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it's easy if it urban but don't think about it if you mean forest caches
Well, I wouldn't go that far. Finding caches sans GPSr is certainly more challenging in wooded areas (or wetland areas, or anywhere else without easily recognized man-made landmarks). But it isn't impossible.

 

Nobody has mentioned this so far but trying to a cache without using a GPS can be good practice for finding caches when you *do* have a GPS. Without a GPS, you have to rely on using geosense to find the cache. There are probably quite a few cases where looking a satellite maps might make it easier than navigating with a GPS but for many it might be a good way to develop "finding skills".

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it's easy if it urban but don't think about it if you mean forest caches
Well, I wouldn't go that far. Finding caches sans GPSr is certainly more challenging in wooded areas (or wetland areas, or anywhere else without easily recognized man-made landmarks). But it isn't impossible.

 

Nobody has mentioned this so far but trying to a cache without using a GPS can be good practice for finding caches when you *do* have a GPS. Without a GPS, you have to rely on using geosense to find the cache. There are probably quite a few cases where looking a satellite maps might make it easier than navigating with a GPS but for many it might be a good way to develop "finding skills".

 

Exactly.. the key to GPS-less caching.. after learning to read ALL the data on a satellite image... is to read the land. Often a deep woods cache is easier than a near the trail cache because the signs left by previous cachers have not been obscured or confused by non caching hikers.

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