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For what non-geocaching purposes did you use geocaching?


TheVoytekBear
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I decided to start this thread when I reminded myself a story of my firend (whom I introduced to geocaching). He was on a job of installing radio line Internet connection at a customer's house. When they were testing the equipment it appeared that the signal is to weak and would require a different (presumably more expensive) antenna. He called his boss and the conversation sounded more or less like this:

[F]riend: We need the X antenna.

oss: Why?

[F]: Because the we are 1800m from the tower.

: You can't know that!

[F]: Do you know what geocaching is?

: Yes, I play that.

[F]: There is a cache under the tower and I have 1800m to it right now.

: Come get the antenna.

 

I myself often use pariking waypoints from the cache listings when I want to drive to an area I don't know well.

 

And what do you (apart from geocaching) use geocaching?

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Finding the cool spots that aren't in guidebooks.

 

Did you know Hong Kong has hidden waterfalls and deserted mile-long beaches? Neither did I, but local cachers like to share their secrets.

 

Well... for me this is part of geocaching TBH. One of the key elements.

Of course most of the places are described *somewhere*, but since I stared the game I've even been rediscovering the area of my hometown...

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I have to get my clearance updated every 5 years. There is a long form to fill out in which you must give the countries you have visited and the dates you were there for every trip outside the US. My geocaching logs make it easy.

Same here. On the plus side, geocaching took me to a lot of great places! On the down side, it doubled the size of my last EPSQ.

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I myself often use pariking waypoints from the cache listings when I want to drive to an area I don't know well.

I've used parking coordinates, but more often it's just the cache in the parking lot or at the trailhead. I've even planted a couple of those myself so I could find the spot again next time. I also put a cache outside my office so whenever I'm out for a walk, I can answer the question, "How long will it take me to get back from here?"

 

When we're driving long distance, I'll dial up a cache at the next "port of call" to monitor how close we're getting. And speaking of ports of call, I've also dialed up a cache in the next literal port of call to keep tabs of our cruise ship's progress. Although that's close to just geocaching, since although the cache might be 200 miles away, I'm actively going to find it.

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..... And speaking of ports of call, I've also dialed up a cache in the next literal port of call to keep tabs of our cruise ship's progress. Although that's close to just geocaching, since although the cache might be 200 miles away, I'm actively going to find it.

 

I couldn't do that on our cruise, as the Garmin will only show caches in a 100km (?100mi) radius.....

 

 

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..... And speaking of ports of call, I've also dialed up a cache in the next literal port of call to keep tabs of our cruise ship's progress. Although that's close to just geocaching, since although the cache might be 200 miles away, I'm actively going to find it.

I couldn't do that on our cruise, as the Garmin will only show caches in a 100km (?100mi) radius.....

That's just in the list. If you pan the map to the relevant location, you should be able to see the caches.

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I've used caches as reference points when describing locations. For example, "it's just across from the park where [insert cache name here] is". This only works if the person you're talking to knows where that cache is, though.

 

I've referred back to cache listings in the past to look up a piece of information about something if that was the theme of the cache, like the history of an area or the name of a particular type of plant.

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..... And speaking of ports of call, I've also dialed up a cache in the next literal port of call to keep tabs of our cruise ship's progress. Although that's close to just geocaching, since although the cache might be 200 miles away, I'm actively going to find it.

I couldn't do that on our cruise, as the Garmin will only show caches in a 100km (?100mi) radius.....

That's just in the list. If you pan the map to the relevant location, you should be able to see the caches.

 

Yes, but panning out across the ocean to New Zealand was a hassle! Especially with the Oregon screen....

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Finding the cool spots that aren't in guidebooks.

 

That's the main use I make of geocaching. I like to take photos, and I often go out of my way to find caches that might lead me somewhere I want to go but know nothing about.

 

Another way I've used it - my son-in-law got an urgent message from a friend. The friend had lost his $5000 drone, and he could not afford the time to search for it. He gave us estimated co-ordinates. We checked the sat map, got on the ground at the site, bushwhacked for ten minutes, grabbed the drone, and split the $200 reward.

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I have to get my clearance updated every 5 years. There is a long form to fill out in which you must give the countries you have visited and the dates you were there for every trip outside the US. My geocaching logs make it easy.

 

Susancycle is in the same boat. She finds but doesn't log much so she just uses my stats to double check travel since she rarely goes on foreign travel without me since we started caching.

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Sometimes I use geocaching tools for things that have nothing to do with this game. In particular, the caching app I use lets me add new "caches" to the list I keep when preparing for a trip. On our most recent trip I identified various petroglyphs and ruins that I wanted to visit, marked them as "megacaches" within the app, and copied basic information as the "cache description." It helped us to plan out particular days. The caching app links directly to Navigon for voice routing, which made it easy to find our way to the trailheads.

 

For areas that we visit that have caches, the gallery and logs sometimes helps me remember where I took particular photos.

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I've used caches as reference points when describing locations. For example, "it's just across from the park where [insert cache name here] is". This only works if the person you're talking to knows where that cache is, though.

 

I've used a cache as a reference point to meet with a couple of geocachers in Zurich. "Let's meet at the beer hall just across from GC33VBX"

 

 

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..... And speaking of ports of call, I've also dialed up a cache in the next literal port of call to keep tabs of our cruise ship's progress. Although that's close to just geocaching, since although the cache might be 200 miles away, I'm actively going to find it.

I couldn't do that on our cruise, as the Garmin will only show caches in a 100km (?100mi) radius.....

That's just in the list. If you pan the map to the relevant location, you should be able to see the caches.

 

Yes, but panning out across the ocean to New Zealand was a hassle! Especially with the Oregon screen....

 

You also can use the search feature and part of the cache name.

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I've used a cache as a reference point to meet with a couple of geocachers in Zurich. "Let's meet at the beer hall just across from GC33VBX"

In a similar vein...

 

On our local forum, someone asked about locations for free firewood. A week or three later, I realized that the forum thread became the second result when you googled for "free firewood edmonton". Uh-oh, now everybody will know.

 

So I posted my favourite wood piles as projections from a nearby PMO cache's GC code. icon_smile_evil.gif Meaningless to muggles.

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Yes, caching brings me to interesting places, etc. The example in the OP is more about useful, unintended "side effects" of caching; things we learn.

 

One example I have along those lines: A few months ago, an unexploded World War II bomb was discovered near where I live. It had been buried and undiscovered until digging to put in foundations for a new building. My wife heard it on the news in the morning. The police created a 300 meter exclusion zone; everyone within that was asked to move out of their homes in the night. We were left undisturbed.

 

Because of caching, I have a good feel for distances; I also know the distance to the nearest cache to the bomb site from my home. I told my wife, "we must be just about 300 meters from the bomb".

 

I then checked on Google Earth - we were 305 meters from it!

 

I also know the names and locations of pretty much every town and village near me, no matter how small. My wife often asks me where various villages are, as she knows I'll know as I've been caching there (most likely).

 

Oh the bomb was defused and moved to a safe place where a controlled explosion took place.

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As we travel the back roads in search of geocaches, I keep an eye out for good photography locations. A scenic view, a perfect red barn against a hillside, and so forth. I note the nearest cache and brief directions, and later move that info to a list on the laptop. Navigating to the cache in the future is easy (as long as the cache stays active), then I go from there. When planning a route for a return visit, I start with the geocaching app.

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When I find a recent log about seeing a snake, I make plans to visit the site, regardless of whether I've already found the cache. One log on a state park cache mentioned that someone said the place is where she had seen the biggest rattlesnake she had ever seen. I've never seen a rattlesnake in the wild, so I check that area when I can.

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Beside finding nice or surprising interesting spots through geocaching, I use it more and more as a supporting information source in other parts of my life:

 

• Deciding which optional holiday site or even hotel of multiple choices we choose: that with the most or best caches near.

 

• Last vacation we made a day visit to Slovakia, where street names are a pain to spell. So I simply entered the coordinates of the cache at that castle and was lead to a hidden and very cheap parking spot as well. Perfect! Plus we've got the nice cache.

 

• At a boat trip on a large lake we simply used the cache coordinates at a lighthouse to navigate back there.

 

• I work in EMS and finding emergency sites in the woods around here became a lot easier since I know a lot of hidden trails through my geocaching trips. Once I even was "local consultant" at a search for a lost accident victim and used my detailed terrain knowledge from placing a cache in that area. I almost suspected that some of the mutual search crews where geocachers and might log a find on my cache but obviously they were professional enough to focus on the SAR mission. Or the mysterie was too hard. :D (BTW, we didn't find the man in the woods that night, instead police caught him with minor injuries later at home where he fled to - as we learned later, he had several arrest warrants outstanding, so he tried to get away but was identified by the other accident victim).

 

• My offline map in my geocaching smartphone app provides house numbers, our navigation system in the ambulance doesn't (just navigates to them but doesn't show 'em on the map once there - which can be tricky, when entrance location isn't clear enough). Plus, far more details on side roads and little trails not only in the woods but in parks and backyards as well. So I used the app already to have a more detailed view of the area, helping me find the best way to the patient.

 

• I'm obviously not the only one in that field: coincidentally, yesterday there was a report on TV where a geocaching firefighter could help substantially in searching for a geocacher with a medical emergency at a geocaching site: naturally, he knew the spot within the deep forest and the best way to it. :)

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As others have noted, we've discovered many nice spots that we wouldn't have known about if not for a cache being placed there.

 

One of my own anecdotes related to the OP is this:

-- On a kayaking trip, we met up with friends to shuttle to the entry point a few miles up the road. We arrived early and I noticed there was a cache only 100 ft away, so I went to find it. Then the other car arrived and we all headed to the entry point. While on the river, we realized that we didn't know which cross-street we parked at, so we wouldn't know where to exit the river. I was able to find the 'found' treasure chest on my GPSr and track where we were relative to our car, since our car was close to that 'found' cache.

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I've used geocaching to get me to exercise. For example we have a long pathway near where I live that has more than a hundred caches. When I go for a run I know I'm going to run to a certain cache x miles away find it and come back! Much more fun that way. I also got my job at a park because I knew the park so well from geocaching and figured I'd submit a resume. Now whenever they need to go on the trails for maintenance they bring me along since I know where everything is 😄

Edited by candlestick
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Found someone's glasses at a cache.

 

Stashed them, recording coords.

 

Sent out a note about finding glasses to the past several logged players.

 

Responded with coords to the claimant.

 

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

 

Somehow that was the most fun of the day - a real stash to hand off something.

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When I find a recent log about seeing a snake, I make plans to visit the site, regardless of whether I've already found the cache. One log on a state park cache mentioned that someone said the place is where she had seen the biggest rattlesnake she had ever seen. I've never seen a rattlesnake in the wild, so I check that area when I can.

 

Come visit us, we'll rustle up a rattlesnake for you. I can't count how many rattlesnakes I've seen. Most of them in my backyard (a few on hikes). One time when we were caching while our kids were younger, we were up in the hills in a rocky area. So the kids decided they'd find a rattlesnake. It only took them a couple minutes of looking inside rocks before they found one.

 

3f7116d3-eced-4cfd-bab5-30019a87ecae.jpg

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Found someone's glasses at a cache.

 

Stashed them, recording coords.

 

Sent out a note about finding glasses to the past several logged players.

 

Responded with coords to the claimant.

 

-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-+

 

Somehow that was the most fun of the day - a real stash to hand off something.

 

I found a phone at a cache last year. It was in a highly touristy spot, so I didn't think it was another cacher's. I brought the dead phone to where I was staying, and the concierge had extra chargers in his desk so he was able to plug it in and call the contact number on the phone. The girl who owned the phone was just leaving town, and boy, was she happy to get her phone back.

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Related story...

 

I was riding my bike down the side of a highway, coming back from a bit of caching, and in passing I noticed what looked like a cell-phone battery beside the curb. A moment later, a piece of plastic that might've been the back cover of a cell phone. Then an antenna (cell phones had external antennas back then), then the body of the cellphone, and one extra piece, can't remember what. I hit the brakes and backtracked, picking up all the pieces.

 

Five easy pieces.

 

Back at home, I reassembled it all back into one complete cellphone and turned it on. It worked! The owner had already deactivated it, but I was able to look up the Home number and call him from my own phone.

 

He was quite happy to get it back, a little scuffed up but still working. And I got a wee reward. cool.gif

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