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Geocaching without GPS-Device?


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First, I've to admit, that I'm an absolute beginner. So sorry, if I do something wrong.

 

Since my son (10) brought me to that site, I really enjoy hunting for caches with him, as this fun forces my son out of the house and into the nature.

 

I'm aware, that one idea behind GeoCaching is promoting and helping to sell GPS-devices ;-).

 

As we don't possess such a device, I'd like to suggest two further disciplines. First the "old-fashioned" unplugged version, using only maps and compass to find the site of the cache. The second one is the type we practice. We're locating the coordinates by Google Maps which should be accurate enough, at least in our humble experience for easy to find caches.

 

What do you think about that practice? Is it beyond the idea of GC?

 

Thx

ZZ

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We're locating the coordinates by Google Maps which should be accurate enough, at least in our humble experience for easy to find caches.

That works great, particularly in spots with defined landmarks, if the area hasn't changed a lot since the satellite photo was taken. Even with a GPSr, you might still have to refer to the sat view from time to time.

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First, I've to admit, that I'm an absolute beginner. So sorry, if I do something wrong.

 

Since my son (10) brought me to that site, I really enjoy hunting for caches with him, as this fun forces my son out of the house and into the nature.

 

I'm aware, that one idea behind GeoCaching is promoting and helping to sell GPS-devices ;-).

 

As we don't possess such a device, I'd like to suggest two further disciplines. First the "old-fashioned" unplugged version, using only maps and compass to find the site of the cache. The second one is the type we practice. We're locating the coordinates by Google Maps which should be accurate enough, at least in our humble experience for easy to find caches.

 

What do you think about that practice? Is it beyond the idea of GC?

 

Thx

ZZ

 

I've only found 250 or so, so far but I don't use one of those fang-dangled gps thingies. Those are for people that can't navigate by map and compass. Not that there is anything wrong with that....

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Orienteering seems to be a bit of a lost art, many Boy scouts these days don't really know how to use a map and compass. I think it's kind of sad to see, because when all else fails, North is always going to be north and so on. I have found a few caches freestyle, but I have never taken the time to grab a map and compass for my finds. Every once in a while, I think its fun to go to the area that I've seen on the cache listing and then get out and start looking around. No gps or maps in hand. I love the hunt. I have heard of people placing caches by using google maps, and one such is a great friend of mine. He placed the cache and realized he left the gps at home so he called a friend and gave him the coords to go see how close it was. Come to find out, the gps said only about 7 feet off. when i went to find the cache my gps said only about 5 feet off. I know it must differ in different areas, but found it amusing.

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No, I think that's logical and self-evident.

Granted, this makes sense.

But do understand that there are those out there that have no sense.

 

Orienteering is work/fun, Google maps are, well... imperfect at best.

 

Now, who said they don't use new-fangled devices... somebody posting on a forum using a computer, or a smart-phone? Somebody using Google maps even?

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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I'm aware, that one idea behind GeoCaching is promoting and helping to sell GPS-devices ;-).

Really? :blink:

 

What do you think about that practice? Is it beyond the idea of GC?

Quite frankly, yes it is. The "geo" in "geocaching" comes from the fact that GPS usage, or more precisely geo-coordinates usage, is integral part of the whole game. Take that part away and it's not geocaching any more.

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As we don't possess such a device, I'd like to suggest two further disciplines. First the "old-fashioned" unplugged version, using only maps and compass to find the site of the cache.

 

That's called letterboxing and it's been around a LOT longer than geocaching.

 

There's also a guy, Edscott, that finds all his geocaches using nothing but compass and map.

 

The second one is the type we practice. We're locating the coordinates by Google Maps which should be accurate enough, at least in our humble experience for easy to find caches.

 

What do you think about that practice? Is it beyond the idea of GC?

 

Thx

ZZ

 

Nothing wrong with that at all. There are lots of people who find easy caches using that method. Just please don't attempt to HIDE any geocaches using coords from Google maps. :blink:

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No, I think that's logical and self-evident.

Granted, this makes sense.

But do understand that there are those out there that have no sense.

 

Orienteering is work/fun, Google maps are, well... imperfect at best.

 

Now, who said they don't use new-fangled devices... somebody posting on a forum using a computer, or a smart-phone? Somebody using Google maps even?

Computers are quite old. Let me tell you about the tank simulator (early/mid eighties) that took up two semi trailers that I used to run that had less memory then my current model computer.

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I'm aware, that one idea behind GeoCaching is promoting and helping to sell GPS-devices ;-).

Really? :blink:

 

What do you think about that practice? Is it beyond the idea of GC?

Quite frankly, yes it is. The "geo" in "geocaching" comes from the fact that GPS usage, or more precisely geo-coordinates usage, is integral part of the whole game. Take that part away and it's not geocaching any more.

 

or perhaps Geography... as in map reading..

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First, I've to admit, that I'm an absolute beginner. So sorry, if I do something wrong.

 

Since my son (10) brought me to that site, I really enjoy hunting for caches with him, as this fun forces my son out of the house and into the nature.

 

I'm aware, that one idea behind GeoCaching is promoting and helping to sell GPS-devices ;-).

 

As we don't possess such a device, I'd like to suggest two further disciplines. First the "old-fashioned" unplugged version, using only maps and compass to find the site of the cache. The second one is the type we practice. We're locating the coordinates by Google Maps which should be accurate enough, at least in our humble experience for easy to find caches.

 

What do you think about that practice? Is it beyond the idea of GC?

 

Thx

ZZ

The idea behind geocaching is a simple one, and it's stated under "Play", "Guide" on the homepage. Here's the quote describing geocaching, "Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location". As in any game, I guess one can add their own twist on how to play it. You choose not to use a GPSr so good for you. I'm not belittling the importance of basic compass usage or map reading, but geocaching was meant to be played using a GPS-enabled device.

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The idea behind geocaching is a simple one, and it's stated under "Play", "Guide" on the homepage. Here's the quote describing geocaching, "Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location". As in any game, I guess one can add their own twist on how to play it. You choose not to use a GPSr so good for you. I'm not belittling the importance of basic compass usage or map reading, but geocaching was meant to be played using a GPS-enabled device.

Caching has pre-existed anyone alive today. It is actually older than written history. The fact that somebody altered its' usage and added "geo" simply turned it into a game of leisure.

 

If one wishes to use (real) topo maps and a compass, ruler, spanner and the like... they should have at it. It is a good thing to be able to know how to do it, and it throws a different perspective into the foray.

 

The real difference is that the guidelines call for the use of a GPSr device to obtain or establish the coordinates for hiding a geocache.

 

Orienteering (as it is called) is not a new "twist". It is a very old one.

 

Try it, you may like or even prefer it. Much more challenging and gratifying.

 

...and no, I do not geocache that way. But I have used the "old" methods many, many times close to a lifetime ago.

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The idea behind geocaching is a simple one, and it's stated under "Play", "Guide" on the homepage. Here's the quote describing geocaching, "Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location". As in any game, I guess one can add their own twist on how to play it. You choose not to use a GPSr so good for you. I'm not belittling the importance of basic compass usage or map reading, but geocaching was meant to be played using a GPS-enabled device.

Caching has pre-existed anyone alive today. It is actually older than written history. The fact that somebody altered its' usage and added "geo" simply turned it into a game of leisure.

 

If one wishes to use (real) topo maps and a compass, ruler, spanner and the like... they should have at it. It is a good thing to be able to know how to do it, and it throws a different perspective into the foray.

 

The real difference is that the guidelines call for the use of a GPSr device to obtain or establish the coordinates for hiding a geocache.

 

Orienteering (as it is called) is not a new "twist". It is a very old one.

 

Try it, you may like or even prefer it. Much more challenging and gratifying.

 

...and no, I do not geocache that way. But I have used the "old" methods many, many times close to a lifetime ago.

I'm of the impression that the OP's comments were specifically related to geocaching as in geocaching.com, this "game of leisure", and not of caching in general. I agree that hiding something and having someone else find it using clues, etc. has been around for eons but in this game, the use of a GPSr was intended. However, I too have used other non-GPSr aids such as Google Earth to locate caches, especially urban ones.

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Just a little note, but it has been said that in some areas Google Maps may be off by quite a bit. (I believe I recall someone saying that it was 100 feet off in one particular area.)

 

I always have a GPS/smartphone when Geocaching, but don't always need to use it. And on one occasion I DNFed a cache where the GPS was not really useful, and I found GZ based on info from the cache page. (Had I not been quite as new as I was at the time, I might have managed to find that cache. Now I'm more experienced and have a much better idea what to look for there, if I ever get back there.)

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