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Rules for a No Park n' Grab (NP&G) Strategy for Urban Caching


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I've been Geocaching for exercise since April 2019 and it has been a lot of fun. It seems clear that a certain strategy is required for this activity to qualify as exercise in an urban setting, where parking is normally so close to where the caches are. So, rather than driving up close to every hide, I walk/run/jog to every cache site from either another cache, a "Spawnpoint", or a "Waypoint".  NP&G is what I'm calling the meta-game I've created around this, though I doubt it is entirely original.

So far I've found it to be pretty rewarding, and full of discoveries-- not so great if you're mainly in it "for the numbers", but to each their own.

 

Here are my guidelines and definitions in case you want to try something similar.  If you do, I would be interested to know. :)

 

  • A Spawnpoint is a place you can start caching from without ever having to walk from anywhere else.  This is limited to--
    • Any cache that would award you a Souvenir for finding, starting with finding that cache. This includes your very first find and a first find in other states and countries.
    • Any place where you have stayed overnight.
    • Any Challenge Cache when you meet all the requirements, starting with finding that cache. A reward for qualifying is a free victory ride up to the Challenge cache.
    • Also see special cases below.
  • A Waypoint is a parking area, preferably a public parking lot where you can legally park, that you have previously walked to from either--
    • a physical cache you had previously found,
    • a Spawnpoint,
    • or another Waypoint.
  • Walking from a previously found cache means starting from anywhere within 150ft of the POSTED LOCATION of a previously found physical cache according to your GPS.
  • Alternatively, you are allowed to find a cache first, and then walk to a previously found cache, a Waypoint, or a Spawnpoint afterwards to make up for it. This is especially useful if you doubt you will be able to find the cache. If you are unable to find the cache, this extra effort isn't necessary (try somewhere else).
  • Special cases and clarifications--
    • Non-physical caches, such as Virtual caches and Earth caches, can be found whenever you have visited the area in question, without having to walk to the area from anywhere else. However, they do not qualify as starting points themselves for future finds. If finding one of these cache types awards you a Souvenir, you are then allowed to create one new Spawnpoint at any other physical cache any time later, starting with finding that physical cache. In effect, you have banked a Spawnpoint.
    • If the Ground Zero(GZ) of the physical cache is different from the Posted Location, such as a coordinate puzzle cache or a physical multicache, only the posted location qualifies as a starting point for future finds. You still need to walk to the GZ from any qualifying starting point. This can quickly get you into new areas if the posted location is distant from the GZ and the GZ is readily accessible from where you've already cached.
    • DNFs, disabled caches, and archived caches do not qualify as starting points.
Edited by hugesinker
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I'm only allowed to use a car if

 

a) we're going to another city by car for some other activity.

b) a car seems like the only reasonable way to try for a FTF.

 

Otherwise I ride to the cache on a bicycle. I've exhausted almost all caches within 1 hour range, but still have quite a few in  the 1-2 hour range. Of course I try to go farther than that whenever I have the time so as to preserve what nearby caches I have. Can't keep this up forever obviously, so I like that your rules are set up to last.

 

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7 hours ago, hugesinker said:

I've been Geocaching for exercise since April 2019 and it has been a lot of fun.

It seems clear that a certain strategy is required for this activity to qualify as exercise in an urban setting, where parking is normally so close to where the caches are.   

 

Cool.. Works for you, right ?    :)

Why not just skip the caches where parking is close to caches ?   I've done that since starting.  

If you're driving anyway. there aren't areas outside the urban setting to walk a bit ?

This is the general forums, so it's sorta okay, but "recreating" words used in this hobby incorrectly could confuse new members elsewhere.

For us, a "spawnpoint" is a pebbled bed in a river where we're hooking into salmon.  :D

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I've done something similar at times (not so many rules about where to start - that's somewhat confusing to me).  I've headed to a town and parked and walked (5-10 miles) collecting caches.  I did a 9 mile walk from home collecting caches.  I did a 8.7 mile walk in a park in Eastern Washington, mapping the trails and getting 21 of 22 caches in the park (I guess this doesn't really count as 'urban').  It's a great way to get exercise.

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9 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Cool.. Works for you, right ?    :)

Why not just skip the caches where parking is close to caches ?   I've done that since starting.  

If you're driving anyway. there aren't areas outside the urban setting to walk a bit ?

This is the general forums, so it's sorta okay, but "recreating" words used in this hobby incorrectly could confuse new members elsewhere.

For us, a "spawnpoint" is a pebbled bed in a river where we're hooking into salmon.  :D

 

.. and I was thinking Pokemon Go when I read "spawnpoint".

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Cool! I don't have a car thus I walk or cycle, and combine it with public transport. I just went to a small town some 70min away from home and from there did a bit of sighseeing and then walked some 5km to an EarthCache over a windy dike and back. At the moment I like municipality bagging, and I try to combine it with some sightseeing or a nice hike wherever possible. If not it's just getting off the bus, to next cache, and then on again. But that's rare.

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6 hours ago, terratin said:

Cool! I don't have a car thus I walk or cycle, and combine it with public transport. I just went to a small town some 70min away from home and from there did a bit of sighseeing and then walked some 5km to an EarthCache over a windy dike and back. At the moment I like municipality bagging, and I try to combine it with some sightseeing or a nice hike wherever possible. If not it's just getting off the bus, to next cache, and then on again. But that's rare.

Would using public transport be a bit risky now where you are?

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I've done almost all my geocaching with (mostly) two rules:

 

1.  Don't drive between individual caches.

2.  Look for at least three caches during a cache run, either walking or bicycling between the individual caches.

 

It's fun, great exercise, and it works for me.  I hope to add kayaking to the list of modes of transport between individual caches.

 

My major problem when doing this is which cache to 'favorite' when I've had a great walk or ride between ho-hum caches that were only interesting because of the walk or ride. If the caches didn't exist, I probably wouldn't have had the experience, so I'd like to express my gratefulness somehow.  It's especially perplexing during a series of caches.

Edited by keystonelonestar
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22 hours ago, keystonelonestar said:

<...>

 

My major problem when doing this is which cache to 'favorite' when I've had a great walk or ride between ho-hum caches that were only interesting because of the walk or ride. If the caches didn't exist, I probably wouldn't have had the experience, so I'd like to express my gratefulness somehow.  It's especially perplexing during a series of caches.

 

You express your gratitude for an excellent cache by writing an excellent log.

If you have to struggle to decide on a 'Favorite Point' to award when it isn't the ho-hum caches that make the experience enjoyable, then don't!

Instead, just write about how much you got out of the walk or ride to the cache.

You don't HAVE to award the CO a FP for a ho-hum cache. Just thank him or her for the experience and specifically why.

--

I know somebody will come in and tell me that the walk or ride is part of the 'cache experience' and therefore should get the FP, but I disagree. Yes, the WHOLE experience including the travel should be counted, but the primary target of one of MY FP awards goes to the cache itself. 

 

In order to have a great trip overshadow a ho-hum cache, there'd better be something truly special about it.

 

Like, a waiting rickshaw. Or cookies & milk halfway there.
 

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This is sort of what I do when caching with other people. Park in the general vicinity of a few caches and make the rounds, and move on to the next area. Otherwise it just seems like I'm going for a Sunday drive type of thing if I drive from cache to cache (unless in the case of long power trails).

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On 12/19/2020 at 11:18 PM, colleda said:

Would using public transport be a bit risky now where you are?

 

Depends. Being super flexible helps. At the moment there are usually two other people on a bus, thus that's fine. If a bus turns out to be too full then I walk or wait for the next half an hour later. Trains are a little bit fuller, but also generally one person per two rows of seats. Thus also lots of distance.

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My own "rules" vary dramatically. I love the idea of caching for exercise. Hiking for caches and kayak caches are always my favorite.

I don't mind spending all day on a small handful of caches, or just one or two, if it is a great experience (and some good exercise).

 

However, my caching can vary.

Today we switched to just "drive-ups" when it started to rain and started to get dark. There were a whole lot on my list for today I didn't hit, so we had to "go for it". (still didn't get many)

There have been a few times when I've been injured (twice injured my back) where I've been so thankful for the drive-ups so I could still go caching. But yes, I do also prefer getting the exercise and getting outside and exploring.

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