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Canal Caching


colleda
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G'day from Oz.

We have enjoyed a couple of narrowboat holidays in UK before we started this game. We will plan another for perhaps later next year or spring 2015 and would like to combine narrowboating with geocaching next time there.

Are there canals that have specific canal cache series?

Is there a way to plan a canal route as one would plan a road route?

Can someone recommend a canal/s which would combine the two activities?

We usually spend 2 weeks on the canals.

We have done the 4 Counties Ring + Llangollen as well as the Manchester ring.

Any advice or tips would be appreciated.

We cache using Garmin Etrex 10 & 20, not smartphones (due to data cost).

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We did the Avon ring a few years ago and got quite a few caches on the way, there were 5 adults and one 10 yr old and it took us a week, but we did get a move on. It would have been more relaxing as a fortnight and we could have stopped off at more places. If you want any more details on where we stopped please email me through my profile :)

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We did the Avon ring a few years ago and got quite a few caches on the way, there were 5 adults and one 10 yr old and it took us a week, but we did get a move on. It would have been more relaxing as a fortnight and we could have stopped off at more places. If you want any more details on where we stopped please email me through my profile :)

 

Thanks for that CnJnA. The Avon ring has been on our radar for a future trip. I have heard it gets pretty congested in summer. When do summer holidays finish there? We usually cruise early spring.

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A couple of years ago, we spent a week on the Grand Union Canal, cruising from Gayton (south of Northampton) down to Berkhamstead and back and collected quite a few caches en route. There appears to be a series along the route that has specifically been done for canal cachers. The route is very pleasant, even going round Milton Keynes !

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Thank you to all who have responded. We have noted your comments and will start having a closer look at maps.

We envisage casual caching in interesting places as we enjoy being on the boat and relaxing rather than chasing numbers.

Llangollen in summer hols? No thanks. BTW is there such a thing a 'canal rage'. Sorry, off topic.

Yep, we won the Ashes but when do we get to have them, or has that been changed?

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You could try the Llangollen Canal trail - 153 caches over approx 23 navigable miles with what looks like some extras on route and plenty of others nearby.

 

Search on the front page of GC.com for 'Chirk' and then on the map zoom out a couple of clicks.

 

I've not done the trail, so can't comment on the canal or the caching at all, however judging by the write up on the cache page I've linked to above there are some interesting things to see on and around the canal.

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Consider the south oxford canal and the thames, you could take in both the river and the canal, also a great number of superb caches.

 

[Ed] I used to work for a narrowboat holiday company just outside oxford.

 

I can vouch for the very interesting and varied series along the Oxford Canal's southern end. The canal is very pretty with the possible exception of the stretch where it's right by the motorway - but you get that with the Grand Union too. Unusual locks and bridges.

 

I own a couple of caches near the Thames Path - the one I called Floodproof hopefully is (it's up a tree...) but the other one will be one of many waterside caches not to survive the current floods (should've moved it in November, gutted I didn't bother as it was a nice one, using a hollow branch). I might do a bookmark list for the Thames... one day...

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Would like to thank everyone for their suggestions. It's been a while since last post. Mrs C had a hip replacement in Feb which set our plans back until she had made a full recovery. Luckily all went terrifically well and she is now fit to go. We will be in UK in two weeks having booked all our travel last week.

We decided that we would cruise the Four Counties and Cheshire Rings. We have enjoyed cruising these two rings before but that was before we started in this game.

We noticed the series along the Macclesfield, that is on out list, as long as it doesn't get too boring as previously noted by Mallah. Not sure at this stage if we will have time to make it as far as Llangollen. It is indeed probably the nicest canal we have been on. Also noticed that the Trent Mersey had a breach but looks fixed now. We'll be starting from Stoke-on-Trent using a Black Prince boat. We've used them before and could not fault them. Would like to pick up a few TBs to bring back with us and we have a few to bring over.

Cheers.

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OK. I'm trying to work out the best way to load up my GPS for the trip.

I don't suppose GC has a follow a route PQ that would apply to canals so I'm thinking along these lines.

BEFORE leaving, create PQs for the areas we will be in and load them into GSAK on a notebook, then download to GPS using filters to limit caches to a local radius as required.

 

Black Prince are now offering free WIFI on their boats. I'm hoping we can log our finds as we go.

We usually log our finds when we get home but depending on the number, but I may have to work on how to do this using GSAK just in case.

 

Any comments on the above or is there a simpler way?

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OK. I'm trying to work out the best way to load up my GPS for the trip.

I don't suppose GC has a follow a route PQ that would apply to canals so I'm thinking along these lines.

BEFORE leaving, create PQs for the areas we will be in and load them into GSAK on a notebook, then download to GPS using filters to limit caches to a local radius as required.

 

Any comments on the above or is there a simpler way?

 

Cache along a Route does allow you to make your own route, and then add it to the CAaR map PQ...

(Not tried it, so don't know how/or how well, it works.)

 

http://www.geocaching.com/my/userroutes.aspx

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OK. I'm trying to work out the best way to load up my GPS for the trip.

I don't suppose GC has a follow a route PQ that would apply to canals so I'm thinking along these lines.

BEFORE leaving, create PQs for the areas we will be in and load them into GSAK on a notebook, then download to GPS using filters to limit caches to a local radius as required.

 

Any comments on the above or is there a simpler way?

 

Cache along a Route does allow you to make your own route, and then add it to the CAaR map PQ...

(Not tried it, so don't know how/or how well, it works.)

 

http://www.geocaching.com/my/userroutes.aspx

 

Creating a route, and then generating a PQ based on it works well and is fairly straightforward, but unfortunately the Google maps route planner forces you to go by road, so I don't think you'd be able to plot a route following the canal, the best you could do is create a route on the roads which run close to the canal.

 

 

Edit to add:

I think you might be able to create routes along the canal using the Google Earth method, as others appear to have done it, have a look here http://www.geocaching.com/my/userroutes.aspx and use the "Keywords" tab to search for "canal", there are quite a few public routes along canals, and user "Free Timers" seems to have created a few in the North West area.

Edited by MartyBartfast
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Edit to add:

I think you might be able to create routes along the canal using the Google Earth method, as others appear to have done it, have a look here http://www.geocaching.com/my/userroutes.aspx and use the "Keywords" tab to search for "canal", there are quite a few public routes along canals, and user "Free Timers" seems to have created a few in the North West area.

 

I have just noticed this thread and MartyBartfast is spot on with what he says (quoted above). I have had a look at the publically available canal routes. The Four Counties Ring with side trips, if required, for the Llangollen and Caldon Canal are already available. Most of the Cheshire Ring is also available as far as Marple (travelling anti-clockwise). There is a gap between Marple and the Bridgewater in Manchester City Centre, but quite frankly this section of canal is not a place to be stopping geocaching as you are travelling through the housing estates of East Manchester (apologies to anyone who lives/comes from there, but all the boating advice is to make an early start and keep going until you reach Manchester).

 

So it is merely a question of down loading the PQs for each element of the canal route required (the creators are Nediam and Free Timers), specifying what distance from each side of the canal you are interested in and press the button.

 

This is the way we cache when we take off for the summer on the canals. It is a simple download (provided a canal route has already been created, and most have been). PM me if you want more details on the precise route and enjoy your cruise. Hope you get the weather.

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Thanks Martybartfast and Free Timers.

I've not used this type of PQ before. I've had a look at those that came up after searching "canal" and I think that what I can see there pretty well covers what we need.

I have a question re the distance from route and number of caches either side. The distance generally seems to be 5klm and the number 500 caches. I am a little puzzled as to how these to parameters relate to each other. Would appreciate a little clarification. Thanks.

 

We quite enjoyed our cruise through Manchester in 2011. It seems that a lot of the old areas are becoming gentrified. We cruised from Leigh to get into Manchester early when the canal was open for traffic. We had an excellent run through although in the city we were given a commentary from a wino as well as his life story (he was harmless enough). Also picked up a free bottle of wine from a company that were doing a wine promotion from a boat moored in the city. Not sure if we'll make it that far this time. Just need to strike a balance between enjoying the cruise and picking up caches. We usually cruise 7-8 hrs a day.

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[quote name='colleda' timestamp='1400136269' post='5381211']

Thanks Martybartfast and Free Timers.

I've not used this type of PQ before. I've had a look at those that came up after searching "canal" and I think that what I can see there pretty well covers what we need.

I have a question re the distance from route and number of caches either side. The distance generally seems to be 5klm and the number 500 caches. I am a little puzzled as to how these to parameters relate to each other. Would appreciate a little clarification. Thanks.

 

The 5klm is one of the parameters you can change on the "slide tool" When you generate the PQ this option will kick in along with other preferences (types of caches, ignore previously found, disabled etc.). 5klm either side of the canal is actually quite a wide area. I usually reduce this to about half a mile (sorry, I still think in old money). The 500 caches is the maximum number of caches allowed in the PQ. If you have reduced the distance from say 5klm to 1klm, then it is unlikely that this 500 limit will kick in.

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[quote name='colleda' timestamp='1400136269' post='5381211']

Thanks Martybartfast and Free Timers.

I've not used this type of PQ before. I've had a look at those that came up after searching "canal" and I think that what I can see there pretty well covers what we need.

I have a question re the distance from route and number of caches either side. The distance generally seems to be 5klm and the number 500 caches. I am a little puzzled as to how these to parameters relate to each other. Would appreciate a little clarification. Thanks.

 

The 5klm is one of the parameters you can change on the "slide tool" When you generate the PQ this option will kick in along with other preferences (types of caches, ignore previously found, disabled etc.). 5klm either side of the canal is actually quite a wide area. I usually reduce this to about half a mile (sorry, I still think in old money). The 500 caches is the maximum number of caches allowed in the PQ. If you have reduced the distance from say 5klm to 1klm, then it is unlikely that this 500 limit will kick in.

Thanks again Free Timers. I've been having a bit of a play with it and can now see how it works, just as you said. Really appreciate your help and the work you put into those PQs.

Next job will be to get UK Garmin maps into our Nuvi 2360 for the land content of our holiday.

For our Etrex 20 we'll go to OSM.

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Next job will be to get UK Garmin maps into our Nuvi 2360 for the land content of our holiday.

For our Etrex 20 we'll go to OSM.

 

Talkytoaster maps... http://talkytoaster.co.uk/

 

Not having any luck with talkytoaster or OSM download. Still working on it.

Managed to get a GMAPSUPP onto micro SD but Nuvi doesn't recognise it.

A little off original topic.

 

Take note of the Bolded part!

 

I'm not aware that TT's maps work on a Nuvi. :blink:

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Next job will be to get UK Garmin maps into our Nuvi 2360 for the land content of our holiday.

For our Etrex 20 we'll go to OSM.

 

Talkytoaster maps... http://talkytoaster.co.uk/

 

Not having any luck with talkytoaster or OSM download. Still working on it.

Managed to get a GMAPSUPP onto micro SD but Nuvi doesn't recognise it.

A little off original topic.

 

Take note of the Bolded part!

 

I'm not aware that TT's maps work on a Nuvi. :blink:

 

According to TT's compatibility chart here the NUVI is compatible with his standard mapset (but not the OS look 'n' feel version) with the following caveat:

 

[1] I have had a report that this works fine on a Nuvi 200 complete with voice guidance, so other listed Nuvi models may also work. I have also supplied pre-loaded cards for some Nuvi models and they seem to work fine. However, contour data might not show on all models.
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Next job will be to get UK Garmin maps into our Nuvi 2360 for the land content of our holiday.

For our Etrex 20 we'll go to OSM.

 

Talkytoaster maps... http://talkytoaster.co.uk/

 

Not having any luck with talkytoaster or OSM download. Still working on it.

Managed to get a GMAPSUPP onto micro SD but Nuvi doesn't recognise it.

A little off original topic.

 

 

Take note of the Bolded part!

 

I'm not aware that TT's maps work on a Nuvi. :blink:

 

According to TT's compatibility chart here the NUVI is compatible with his standard mapset (but not the OS look 'n' feel version) with the following caveat:

 

[1] I have had a report that this works fine on a Nuvi 200 complete with voice guidance, so other listed Nuvi models may also work. I have also supplied pre-loaded cards for some Nuvi models and they seem to work fine. However, contour data might not show on all models.

 

I've had some success. It's working on the Etrex 20 but not the Nuvi 2360 which is no big deal. Thanks for the help. Have been downloading PQs to GSAK. GSAK is a bit of a learning curve but I'm gradually coming to grips with a little of what it can do.

With free wifi on the boat I'm hoping we can keep our logs up to date where previously we've waited 'till we got home and my memory, not being what it used to be, was hard pushed to remember detail of finds.

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Enjoy, if you do make it onto the Llangollen canal I should give you a heads up that my caches numbered 96-153 may be relocated by a few 100 metres . But I see that you have Wi-Fi on the boat so I'll email you the updated coordinates soon as I have them.

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A quick update due to patchy internet connection. One week into our canal holiday. WE HATE IVY! and NETTLES and MUD. But otherwise all ok. Left Stoke on Trent Saturday morning, now waiting for weather to clear. Abandoned run to Chester due to a boat festival we didn't want to get caught up in. So will head back south to barbridge junction then to middlewich

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A quick update due to patchy internet connection. One week into our canal holiday. WE HATE IVY! and NETTLES and MUD. But otherwise all ok. Left Stoke on Trent Saturday morning, now waiting for weather to clear. Abandoned run to Chester due to a boat festival we didn't want to get caught up in. So will head back south to barbridge junction then to middlewich

 

You soon learn to see VIL before you decrypt the hint!

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We are home and are only just getting over the 24hrs it takes to fly from London to Sydney.

We had a great time on the canals, as usual. With geocaching thrown in it was even better. I really should have made notes as we went but canal cruising is so laid back it just never happend. So here are a few things I can recall to pass on.

Canal caching is no fun in the wet. eg long wet grass, slippery slopes, mud and lots of it, hawthorn, ivy and nettles of which I copped a few stings especially when wearing shorts on the warmer days.

There are generally few muggles to worry about. It helps if the towpath is on the right as boats are supposed to keep to the right when passing, but not too great a problem. We did part of the PT on the Macclsfield as far as time allowed us and we often stopped under bridges when grabbing caches several hunfred metres either side. This works well if there's very little boat traffic which was the case for us. This was in preference to trying to pull up alongside the tow path and finding it to be too shallow or to much overgrowth of vegetation, which seems to be the case with the Macclesfield at the moment.

The free Wifi supplied with our boat from Black Prince was very handy for logging our caches each day and setting up pocket queries and downloading them to GSAK when needed. The wifes' Etyrex 20 was great as it could hold all the caches from the PQ we did, about 2000+. My Etrex 10 is limited to about 500/600 so some would slip out of range but it was easy enough to update each night.

Most caches we found suffered from moisture ingress yet there seemed little attempt by many COs to protect the log with a container of its own, like a plastic baggie, but instead relied on the waterproof ability of the container. We did a lot of container drying out and evicting of slugs - how do they get in?

Another trend, if one can call it that, is a seeming reluctance of cachers to post NMs when a cache obviosly needs help and has been in poor condition for some time. Yes, quite a few mention it in their logs but some COs don't bother reading them.

One was so bad for so long I logged an NA on it.

Another point was the lack of TBs, they seemd to be non existent. We logged almost 120 finds but no TBs, this applied to all caches we found not just canal caches. A classic examople was in a park in Southampton (Queen Victoria I think) where at least 2 of the caches we found were supposed to have 3 TBs each, we found none. BTW this was a lovely spot for caching, plenty of variety there.

All in all, as I said before, we enjoyed ouselves immensely, even though we picked up a bad cold each in London before we started. We still have sore throats. We'll be back again in a year or two to continue.

Thanks to all above offered their help and suggestions to make things a little easier for us.

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Are there canals that have specific canal cache series?

Yep, the Grand Western Canal in Devon has lots of caches along the towpath, some are part of a series but there are various others. If you look at 'Halberton UK' on the geocaching map then you will see them if you trace the canal. Have a look atGCXNDF as an example, as this is at the basin.

Can someone recommend a canal/s which would combine the two activities?

Yep, the Grand Western Canal fits the bill

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Are there canals that have specific canal cache series?

Yep, the Grand Western Canal in Devon has lots of caches along the towpath, some are part of a series but there are various others. If you look at 'Halberton UK' on the geocaching map then you will see them if you trace the canal. Have a look atGCXNDF as an example, as this is at the basin.

Can someone recommend a canal/s which would combine the two activities?

Yep, the Grand Western Canal fits the bill

 

Thanks. Will keep it in mind for next time.

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Just a quick additional tip if not mentioned already.......

 

Dont forget to look at the windows of boats too. There are at least a few of us on the Grand Union whos boats are discoverable (trackables) and I'm sure there are others around too.

 

It never occured to me. I'll remember that for next time. Thanks

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Just a quick additional tip if not mentioned already.......

 

Dont forget to look at the windows of boats too. There are at least a few of us on the Grand Union whos boats are discoverable (trackables) and I'm sure there are others around too.

 

It never occured to me. I'll remember that for next time. Thanks

It's that time again when we are again looking at doing more canal caching about May/June.

We've been seeing all the flooding on the news and were wondering how it is affecting the canals. Is there a site we can access to get information on canal condition? We had in mind doing the Warickshire ring.

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Just a quick additional tip if not mentioned already.......

 

Dont forget to look at the windows of boats too. There are at least a few of us on the Grand Union whos boats are discoverable (trackables) and I'm sure there are others around too.

 

It never occured to me. I'll remember that for next time. Thanks

It's that time again when we are again looking at doing more canal caching about May/June.

We've been seeing all the flooding on the news and were wondering how it is affecting the canals. Is there a site we can access to get information on canal condition? We had in mind doing the Warickshire ring.

 

I think THIS could be the best place for you to try.......

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Just a quick additional tip if not mentioned already.......

 

Dont forget to look at the windows of boats too. There are at least a few of us on the Grand Union whos boats are discoverable (trackables) and I'm sure there are others around too.

 

It never occured to me. I'll remember that for next time. Thanks

It's that time again when we are again looking at doing more canal caching about May/June.

We've been seeing all the flooding on the news and were wondering how it is affecting the canals. Is there a site we can access to get information on canal condition? We had in mind doing the Warickshire ring.

 

I think THIS could be the best place for you to try.......

Thanks dodgydaved that's what I was looking for.

We feel for those poor people who have been flooded out of their homes. Looks really bad on the TV news over here where its getting a lot of coverage.

Possibly a lot of NMs being logged in the future.

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Whoo-hoo. We're coming back for some more canal (and other) caches. This time it will be in September (this year) so hoping the weather holds good. Intending to visit Birmingham area from Stoke on Trent.

What kind of weather can we expect about that time of year? Seems to be all over the shop the last few years.

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On 11/05/2017 at 10:47 PM, colleda said:

What kind of weather can we expect about that time of year? Seems to be all over the shop the last few years.

Four days to go then we'll be back on the canals for two weeks. Cheshire and Four Counties rings again. Heaps more caches than there were last time. Forecasts are looking a bit cool, windy and damp.

Then we'll have a week in London.

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On 08/09/2017 at 2:26 PM, colleda said:

Four days to go then we'll be back on the canals for two weeks. Cheshire and Four Counties rings again. Heaps more caches than there were last time. Forecasts are looking a bit cool, windy and damp.

Then we'll have a week in London.

We just got home from our UK canal jaunt last night. As for the weather on the canals, the boffins were right. We didn't get as much caching done as last time due mainly to the weather and time. The plan was to go up the Maccelsfield but news of a collapsed bank and canal closure somewhere near Marple meant we ended up doing the Four Counties ring clockwise, south from Stoke-on-Trent. So much for my prepared PQs. WiFi on the boat was abysmal so, for the first time ever, I was more reliant on my Android phone (over our Garmins) when reception allowed. I found the phone to be fairly accurate when it did work (reception was dodgy in many places along the canals) so that was a plus, and the fact that I bought an EE sim on arrival at Heathrow which had 500MB of data use. For 25 quid it was worth it along with the other call benefits including international. The phone, using maps, was also very helpful navigating around London during the week we spent there using the tube and buses (we bought Oyster cards).

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