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Visiting cache-dense areas can be overwhelming...


Mineral2
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It looks like next month I'll be visiting Denver for a few days while visiting friends. We'll be all over the city and the mountains exploring the sights. Denver is a very cache-dense city. A search within a 10-mile radius of the city center turns up almost 3000 caches, and a 30 mile radius, which would cover the entire metro area including some of the mountain areas we'd likely be in, turns up just under 10,000 caches (these searches omit puzzle caches, which I include separately as I solve them).

 

I've always been a critic of those who "have to have them all." And while I could set up 9 PQs to capture all of the caches in a 30 mile radius, that seems overkill. But at the same time, I'm a bit overwhelmed as to how to go about narrowing down the caches that I do include in my PQs. So I'm looking for some advice. When you travel to new areas that are very cache dense, how do you decide which caches to include and which to omit on your GPS? Or do you just "bring them all?"

And yes, I recognize that I could load a subset of caches on the GPS and then supplement with my phone. Maybe I'm overthinking this?

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29 minutes ago, Mineral2 said:

It looks like next month I'll be visiting Denver for a few days while visiting friends. We'll be all over the city and the mountains exploring the sights. Denver is a very cache-dense city. A search within a 10-mile radius of the city center turns up almost 3000 caches, and a 30 mile radius, which would cover the entire metro area including some of the mountain areas we'd likely be in, turns up just under 10,000 caches (these searches omit puzzle caches, which I include separately as I solve them).

 

I've always been a critic of those who "have to have them all." And while I could set up 9 PQs to capture all of the caches in a 30 mile radius, that seems overkill. But at the same time, I'm a bit overwhelmed as to how to go about narrowing down the caches that I do include in my PQs. So I'm looking for some advice. When you travel to new areas that are very cache dense, how do you decide which caches to include and which to omit on your GPS? Or do you just "bring them all?"

And yes, I recognize that I could load a subset of caches on the GPS and then supplement with my phone. Maybe I'm overthinking this?

Do you use the "filters" feature at all? If you go to the home page to do a search, you can use the filters to find certain types of caches within a certain distance from the center of an area such as Denver. You can set it to be all caches less than Difficulty 3 and less than Terrain 3 since Difficulties and Terrains more will take more time to look for/find. Then you will get the list of caches that fit that criteria and you can "add" them to a bookmark list you can also add based on caches near a certain cache itself using a GC code. 

 

Also, if you need to fill in grids Project-GC may be able to help you find cache candidates and you can do all the caches in that area.  I know this sounds difficult but I hope you try this, it seems to work for me anyways. 

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I sort by favorites and add the ones that look interesting to a list/bookmark. I used to just run PQ's and add it all but once I was in the city/area I was visiting, finding the ones I REALLY wanted to look for became impossible. There were just too many caches to scroll through. Just having the ones from my list loaded means those are the only ones that will come up on my GPS. For any caching on the fly, I can use my phone. 

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I only PQ for T3+.

That's to support a personal terrain-average-raising project, but you know what?  Going T3+ still gives me plenty to find, and I don't feel like I'm really missing much.  I find it an effective chaff/wheat filter.  Crude, but effective.

Even when I travel, say to Hong Kong or British Columbia (caching nirvanas both), I'm intentionally unaware of any/all T2.5-.

Keeps me out of the cities.  :)

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1 hour ago, Crow-T-Robot said:

I sort by favorites and add the ones that look interesting to a list/bookmark. I used to just run PQ's and add it all but once I was in the city/area I was visiting, finding the ones I REALLY wanted to look for became impossible. There were just too many caches to scroll through. Just having the ones from my list loaded means those are the only ones that will come up on my GPS. For any caching on the fly, I can use my phone. 

Yeah, I did a search filtering finds to those with 10 favorite points or more. It brought the count down to around 630 something. That might be one of the routes I take. But if we're out at a certain park, it's still nice to be able to search for as many caches in that area as I can - which with the whole family will likely be 2 or 3 anyway.

1 hour ago, Viajero Perdido said:

I only PQ for T3+.

That's to support a personal terrain-average-raising project, but you know what?  Going T3+ still gives me plenty to find, and I don't feel like I'm really missing much.  I find it an effective chaff/wheat filter.  Crude, but effective.

Even when I travel, say to Hong Kong or British Columbia (caching nirvanas both), I'm intentionally unaware of any/all T2.5-.

Keeps me out of the cities.  :)

I'm travelling with my daughter (3 yo) and pregnant wife who won't be able to go after those T3's with me. I may be able to get a few on this trip, but I think most will be relegated to easier areas. 

I guess the goal is to collect as many caches in the places we'll be while not making geocaching the main point of being out, which is the rationale behind "have them all." Caching without going out of the way to find some.

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What I usually do is spend some time choosing the caches I most want to do and plan how to integrate those with my companions sightseeing plans. Then I look at where else we are going and try to find a couple of quick and easy caches I can look for without interfering with the main purpose of the stop.

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I always start with virtuals and earthcaches--pick ones I want.  Then I look for oldies in the area--any earlier than 2004?  Then I go to favorite points.  Also--look for larges and regular ones.  Then I pick up whatever is close to what I want.  Any charter members in the Denver area?  Look for caches by the oldtimers.  Those are my starting points, then I take any P&Gs I want along the way.

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I would create three PQs splitted by date:
D3/T3, Radius=200 km, Size: Large/Regular, NO Mysteries
Result is appr. 2800 caches
One additional PQ
D3/T3, Radius=200 km, Size:: Micro, Small and Other and Favorites >=10
Result: is appr. 970 caches

Personally I would go this way plus an additional use of GSAK which gives me an easy way using the Api.

Hans

Edited by HHL
Typo
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I like to have all caches in the areas we will go on the GPS. I'm with kids, so a lot of T4+ won't happen, but filtering them doesn't save much. I just work out the radius we'll be in, and do as many as it takes to incorporate them all. You never know where you might stop, and there will be a quick P&G! I guess there is always the iPhone for the missed ones....

I find the PQ's easy, the hard bit is working out which ones to go for. We've just spent the weekend at my childhood home, and we have never cached here, so it was a bit daunting - we just chose a particular target for a trip, and then grabbed some other bystander caches..... That is often how our trips go down. There is an area near here with 4 EarthCaches in close proximity, so this morning they were our main objective, and we grabbed a few trads in between.

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14 minutes ago, Joshism said:

 

Favorite Points

Which can be useless. A cache with 500 found logs and 20 favo's is probably less interesting than one with 15 founds and 10 favorites. Software like GSAK will calculate the % of favorites vs. founds (macro needed) and can get GCvote ratings too (another macro)

Making a good selection is very time consuming if done right. After filtering caches for what "might" be of interest, reading logs will allow for more (de-)selecting.

 

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I'm the wide net type, I put them all into my GPS for caching on the fly.  Especially since the companions with me are not into geocaching, so sometimes the best I can do is a quick grab at a stop, and I don't know where that stop will be.

 

While caching on the fly always my fallback, I also choose a few that are targets.  If I choose wisely, I take the companions somewhere interesting to them, and I get the cache while we are there.  I mostly pick them by looking at the types, titles, and listings for them.   It is easier to see them all in GSAK.

 

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Trip planning.  At one point, this site helped me discover unique places, but in an era where every parking lot is a potential cache site and repetitive trails fill the map, it it is better to identify caches I might want to find rather than to transfer them all to my device.  

 

Favorite points have never been useful to me.   I download a pocket query with virtuals and earthcaches and then work from there.   If there are caches near places where we plan to visit I'll add them to the list on the app I use.  If there are no caches, I'll list particular sites - such as petroglyphs or ruins - as "mega events" on the app so I can plan and route within a single device. 

 

I may do keyword or attribute searches to try to identity caches with particular themes or look at other types of caches, such as letterbox hybrids or wherigos.   
 

It is easy to export the list to other devices or my GPSr so I don't feel a need to have everything available at once. 

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Dame Deco said:

I always start with virtuals and earthcaches--pick ones I want.  Then I look for oldies in the area--any earlier than 2004?  Then I go to favorite points.  Also--look for larges and regular ones.  Then I pick up whatever is close to what I want.  Any charter members in the Denver area?  Look for caches by the oldtimers.  Those are my starting points, then I take any P&Gs I want along the way.

This -- plus, ones with multiple travel bugs.  (Realizing of course that this either indicates there are lots of TBs inside or that the CO isn't maintaining the inventory -- I take a look at those individually and decide whether or not to include them in the bookmark list.)

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13 hours ago, lee737 said:

I like to have all caches in the areas we will go on the GPS. I'm with kids, so a lot of T4+ won't happen, but filtering them doesn't save much. I just work out the radius we'll be in, and do as many as it takes to incorporate them all. You never know where you might stop, and there will be a quick P&G! I guess there is always the iPhone for the missed ones....

I find the PQ's easy, the hard bit is working out which ones to go for. We've just spent the weekend at my childhood home, and we have never cached here, so it was a bit daunting - we just chose a particular target for a trip, and then grabbed some other bystander caches..... That is often how our trips go down. There is an area near here with 4 EarthCaches in close proximity, so this morning they were our main objective, and we grabbed a few trads in between.

 

All T4+ caches are T3+ and in my response to the OP I mentioned that I wouldn't include T3+ but looks like others would. Interesting... I agree PQs can be easy to do but I really like using the filters. I think the method you use is productive however.

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For me - as my GPS (Oregon 600) can hold loads of caches, I would load them all.   When I go to New England every summer I load all of Maine, NH, and Mass at least.  That way I'm prepared wherever I find myself.

Then, I look for specific caches I want to target.   That is a manual process.     It includes favorite points and percentage, but also, where possible, asking local cachers for advice.     Then there are maps.. I look for caches in areas which look like a nice hike - woods, elevation gain (but not more than I can handle!), etc.

 

 

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On ‎7‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 8:12 PM, Mineral2 said:

It looks like next month I'll be visiting Denver for a few days while visiting friends. We'll be all over the city and the mountains exploring the sights. Denver is a very cache-dense city. A search within a 10-mile radius of the city center turns up almost 3000 caches, and a 30 mile radius, which would cover the entire metro area including some of the mountain areas we'd likely be in, turns up just under 10,000 caches (these searches omit puzzle caches, which I include separately as I solve them).

...

 

I never saw the sense in loading a ton of caches I wouldn't do.  We have no issue walking right by them.  :D

The other 2/3rds used to do routes, but using phones too, we can easily spot caches along the way.

 - Odd that rest areas see so many favorite points...

Once in the city, we'd attempt any virtuals, museums, etc., but  would spend most of our time in those mountains you mention.

We'd have all those caches picked out already before we've left, simply starting with green areas on the map. 

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Roughly in this order:

1. Caches closest to where I am staying...preferably within walking distance or close to some place I might need to visit such as a store or shopping center.  Those are my "get my state souvenir" or "get my caching fix" caches.

2. Caches within an area I'm likely to visit.  Even if I don't know precisely where in a particular area I might be, it's good to have a selection of nearby caches to choose from.  

3. Caches that are grouped in parks or tourist attractions that I don't really have a plan to visit, but are a possibility during my stay.

4. Caches along a most-likely route between destinations...highways, restaurants, parks...mostly PNGs...whatever I can reasonably get away with expecting my family to endulge me during our travels.

 

Example:  My wife and I flew to London during the New Year's Eve weekend.  I knew we'd be staying at a particular hotel in the Kensington area...so of course my first choices were those just a few blocks from the hotel.   Then I saved a bunch that appeared to be located between the hotel and the Thames, grouped around tourist destinations.  Then I expanded out and saved a number of caches along probable walking routes, through parks and along roadways where we might find ourselves.  I even tried solving a few puzzles in the event some were actually hidden close to these spots.  In the end, I had about 40 or 50 saved, but I think I only got two caches that trip.

 

I tend to avoid virtuals and earthcaches because I don't find them fun or interesting...but in a pinch I'll go for them.  There were several in New Orleans that were at least at mildly interesting spots.

Edited by J Grouchy
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