# "Chaining" Caches into shortest route

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There maybe several ways to accomplish what I am asking, but surely with the sage knowledge of seasoned cachers here, we can find the ideal way.

Let's say I am going to a new town and want to check caches while I am there. I usually log on to Geocaching.com, put in the name of the town and ask for caches within 10 miles. I go down the list and choose caches that sound interesting. Here is my question. Once I have a list of caches I would like to visit, what is the best way to "chain" them into the shortest route. I have an Android phone with the Groundspeak app. Right now I use the "Caches Nearest me" feature, however that sometimes causes a lot of backtracking. (I also have a Magellan Triton 400) Tell me how you go about this task.

Thanks

That is actually far more difficult a task than you might think. Google "Travelling Salesman Problem". Or see this wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Travelling_salesman_problem

Microsoft Streets and Trips does it but little else. Too many variable's (no road nearby, multiple parking areas, willingness to hike etc))

In addition to Streets and Trips there is also a macro that uses an algorithm on Google. It is limited to 25 caches. There is nothing I am aware of that runs on a phone to solve the TSP. I find caching by pressing the next button to be totally and completely frustrating and inefficient. Why manufacturers think this is a good thing is beyond me.

Another item to consider in the Traveling Salesman Problem is the actual traveling distance:

GC25C7W is 641 meters from GC25CBC.

GC25C7W is 664 meters from GC30TYK.

If you rely PURELY on the math, you'd say the first is the best option in the TSP, but the reality is that the walking distance between GC25C7W and GC25CBC is much shorter.

I would use the Streets and Trips (which approximates a good result), and then review the path and temper it with reality.

There maybe several ways to accomplish what I am asking, but surely with the sage knowledge of seasoned cachers here, we can find the ideal way.

Let's say I am going to a new town and want to check caches while I am there. I usually log on to Geocaching.com, put in the name of the town and ask for caches within 10 miles. I go down the list and choose caches that sound interesting. Here is my question. Once I have a list of caches I would like to visit, what is the best way to "chain" them into the shortest route. I have an Android phone with the Groundspeak app. Right now I use the "Caches Nearest me" feature, however that sometimes causes a lot of backtracking. (I also have a Magellan Triton 400) Tell me how you go about this task.

Thanks

Ok, the way I do this is: After I have reviewed the list of caches and picked the ones I wish to visit, I load those caches into my GPS then download them into Map Source. I then plot my route and then load the route back into my GPS. This might be a lot of work if you are a numbers person and want 100s of finds but I,m not and it works for me.

Ok, the way I do this is...
I think you missed a crucial point:

Once I have a list of caches I would like to visit, what is the best way to "chain" them into the shortest route.

I'm technologically retarded, so in that instance I would just look at the maps and tentatively plan my route thst way.

I'm technologically retarded, so in that instance I would just look at the maps and tentatively plan my route thst way.

You are using a far more powerful processing algorithm than anything available on any current computing device ... intuition.

If you use S&T be careful there have been times it has led me to the wrong street as the cache has been in the back side of a park, or open space.

I do use S&T but I carefully check cache location

There maybe several ways to accomplish what I am asking, but surely with the sage knowledge of seasoned cachers here, we can find the ideal way.

Let's say I am going to a new town and want to check caches while I am there. I usually log on to Geocaching.com, put in the name of the town and ask for caches within 10 miles. I go down the list and choose caches that sound interesting. Here is my question. Once I have a list of caches I would like to visit, what is the best way to "chain" them into the shortest route. I have an Android phone with the Groundspeak app. Right now I use the "Caches Nearest me" feature, however that sometimes causes a lot of backtracking. (I also have a Magellan Triton 400) Tell me how you go about this task.

Thanks

Can't you just run a PQ? Isn't that what you are talking about? Do like a route from the city your in, to a close by city, and fill in all the parameters your looking for, and that way it chains them into a route.

You can load it under "PQ's" on the main page, and add it to your saved list.

-Waffle

If you have GSAK then you can use this (click) macro to do exactly what you want. Because of the complexity (as StarBrand alluded to), it does have a limit of something like 20 caches though.

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