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Which Came First, Your Gps Or Geocaching?

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My entrance to geocaching was nothing but luck. Last November, while trying to locate a waffle iron that makes waffles in the shape of hearts (for a Christmas present), I was perusing my gold box on Amazon.com and noticed a GPSr for about $140. I commented on this to my mother, saying something like, "Hey, did you know you can get one of those GPS gadget thingies for under two hundred bucks?" Mom, being an internet junkie and message board reader unparalleled, told me about geocaching. I signed up on the site and ordered my gps on the same night. The rest is history. :unsure:

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Hi All,

The GPSr came first by quite a few years. My wife gave me a Garmin II+ as a gift a number of years ago. Used it for hiking, cycling, and general road trip navigation. She is a member of VATF-1 (Virginia Urban Search & Rescue) and that taskforce uses GPSr's when deployed...one member of her team is a geocacher and told her about it, she told me...and the rest is history -- well, not really history, it's still going on! In fact I am just about to head out on a new cache hunt.


Still have the GPS II+ (it's a real workhorse), but also have a basic eTrex (for cycling), and we have two RINO's (we're pretty stubborn so it's nice to have radio comms in the woods when we are looking for a cache :unsure:


No real plans to upgrade...I'd like a new GPSMAP 60CS, not only for caching but also for road trips...but I'll wait awhile until that unit is proven by other buyers/users.




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I need you guys down here. :unsure:

I am an avid orienteer and well the maps hmmmmm.

If you ever get my way lets go play in the woods outback I will let you take your maps and GPS too..

I am not saying I need a map and a GPS but it helps to take the stress out of it.

If needed I do not need anything to orient to.

Except,maybe the North Star in this Hemisphere.And other Celestial bodies elsewhere.

It is something I was taught from youth to always be aware of the Directions.

What to do,and look for if dis-oriented. Which to date I have not been,maybe turned around but never dis-oriented. :)


I am having some fun with u uns.

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If needed I do not need anything to orient to.

Except,maybe the North Star in this Hemisphere.And other Celestial bodies elsewhere.

I did one without a map or GPS, but quite by accident. I transposed numbers when downloading the map and noticed only when I was driving around trying to find the spot. I used the little area locator map on the site to find the park and the cache mostly by instinct and luck.

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On vacation last summer, we got turned around on some roads that were not well marked while looking for a campground. On the Recreational Vehicle Forum it is known that you can not be lost if you have your kitchen sink with you, but that is a different subject in a different forum. While researching what GPS to get, I ran accross GC.com. It sounded like fun. I even got a Sport Trac Pro at Flying J from a link in Groundspeak. Now we put the laptop on the doghouse in the camper and have live update of our position. Enter waypoints of caches in the area where we are going and have a good time caching and camping.

Short answer, GPS came first, but geocaching was extra incentive to purchase.

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First I was only in the GPS mode, just interested to know where I actually had my feets on earth. But before I got the chance to buy one, my eyes was opened for geocaching. So for me, at the time for buying, I already had my cache plan ready.


Some of my finds I´ve done whitout GPS :) .


Why make it easy, when you can do it hard :unsure:



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I had known about GPS for quite some time, but never had any incentive to purchase one. Then one day I bought a laptop on eBay. The particular one I purchased came with one of those cheap PCMCIA GPSrs and some mapping software. Being a techie, I thought "Oh, that's a cool gadget, though I'll probably not use it much!" Anyway, after getting the computer I began to play around with the GPSr. I was wondering if there was any other software around that I could use with it, so I did a Google search for GPS Software. That is when I stumbled into Buxley's site, and from there Geocaching.com. I showed my wife, and we both agreed it would be fun to try. I briefly considered the option of lugging a notebook around in the woods, but thought better of it. Thus, we bought our first handheld shortly thereafter, a Magellan Map 330. We found our first cache the very evening that it arrived.


Since then we managed to break our 330 while on vacation. At the time we wanted to upgrade to a MeriPlat or MeriGold, but we couldn't find one _anywhere_ within 100 miles of where we were vacationing. We settled for a ST Pro instead.


Thus, GPS came first for us.

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I owned a Garmin 45 for several years before hearing of geocaching. I used it to try to find my first cache, but that was a miserable failure. Got hooked on geocaching in the process, though, so hit the forums, then hit eBay, and bought a Garmin 76. Did many caches with that before getting my Garmin Rino 120 which I use now.


So the GPS preceded geocaching. But geocaching preceded a GOOD GPS!

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I got my GPSr (G12XL) for Christmas 2001 before I had ever heard of Geocaching. I like the outdoors and am very knowledgeable with a map and compass. My wife thought I would get a lot of enjoyment out of it. My son pointed me to the Geocaching.com site and I was hooked. In those days there were only 13 caches in Manitoba but we are getting more now.

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I had my GPS about 3 years before I discovered Geocaching. I used it for driving mostly. It was really just another toy to have. I never grew tired of it (Garmin GPS II+) but it just stopped acquiring satellites. This first happened about a year before I discovered Geocaching. I dug it out, as soon as I discovered this site, and ordered an amplified antenna for it. From then it worked ok for a few more months, but it would still have times where it would refuse to acquire satellites. I had ordered a Magellan Meridian Green for my brother for Christmas a couple years ago, and ended up canceling the order and getting the GPS for him elsewhere. The first place eventually fulfilled my order anyhow....so I decided to keep it, and sold the II+ on E-bay.

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I first used a GPS at work about 3 years ago while doing a noise survey for a power plant siting. The GPS provided data on the distance and bearing from the survey point to the proposed power plant site. From that experience I saw the potential for using it while hiking, fishing, and traveling. Soon after I bought my own GPSr. Then I saw an article in the newspaper about geocaching. I checked out the website and went on from there.

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GPS came first. My wife bought a Garmin III+ for me for Christmas 2000. Some info on geocaching was included, but I didn't grab me. The following October, I was mountain biking in a state park when I saw these two guys running around looking for something. I asked them what they were doing, they explained it to me, and I was hooked.

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Not a tough question here.  I never have owned or used a GPS.

You must be one of those map reading lunatics (I say that with affection). :rolleyes: Although I own and use a GPSr for geocaching, I could sit and read a map all day. I love it!

Me too,

I have spent SO many evenings reading the maps that my wife keeps collecting those into any safe place out of my reach. It is SO EXCITING to plan eg a fishing trip with a good map, sometimes almost as good as the trip is !!


I got my GPS as birthday present about a year and a half before ever heard about GeoCaching, which btw is still very new thing to me and was hit accidentaly when wondering in the net.

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GPSr was first. I used one back in the early 90's while working for the US Forest Service. Back then we had to check the window of satelite availability, put the information into some software and check if the birds would even be over the horizon at the work site. Sometimes we'd only have an hour per day of useful time (I seldom complain about reception any more, thank goodness).


Jump ahead ten years or so to the summer of '01 a co-worker bought a GPSr and told me how great it was. My interest in GPS was once again aroused, but I couldn't justify the expense to my wife. A month later, quite by accident I ran across a geocaching subject in the wheres george forums. As they would say the rest is history, a new geocacher was set free on the world in August of 2001.

Edited by Laserman
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GPS first.My boys bought me one for my birthday.My wife and I used it for hiking.While hiking in Texas one day another hiker seen mine and asked if I was geocaching?I didn't know what he meant and he explained it to me and gave me coordinates to cache he just found.That started us off on a new hobby.I had a Garmin 72 and when I learned about the ones with base maps I had to up grade to a 60C.Down loaded City Select and love it.

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For me, the GPS came first, in the form of an ICOM GP-22, followed by a DeLorme EarthMate and ThinkPad 760 (still have both; may sell the TripMate). Then came the Vista, and then a DeLorme EarthMate.


My first uses for the GPS were hiking/distance measurement and as needed to use in EMS/Rescue operations. The old ICOM would be started up at the scene of a crash (or anywhere a helicopter was needed to land) and the lat/long coordinates would be relayed to the dispatcher, who would then notify the bird. Some of the command officers at various scenes would be hesitant, then became amazed, when I would press the start button, hand them the GP-22, and then head for the patient(s).... a great way to keep the chiefs busy, much like going to a childbirth call and having the nervous family member go and boil some water :unsure: . That ICOM took about 45 seconds to get a reading, and the chief would relay the numbers.


With the Vista (which I always carry in my Jeep), I just read the location (if needed) to dispatch as I arrive at the scene. This takes about ten seconds and that part of the job is done.

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I stumbled onto geocaching first, when surfing the net to answer my daughter's request to do "real treasure hunting" because she was studying pirates in school. Before she had heard of geocaching, she packed all her happy meal toys into a box, gave it to me, and asked me to hide it in the back yard. Then we played "warmer, colder" until she found the treasure. She wanted more, which led us to this site. I explained GPS to her as "an electronic version of warmer colder."


Only problem was, we didn't have a GPS. We found our first cache .2 miles from home in the nature center across the street from our townhouses, without using a GPS. We had NEVER BEEN TO THE NATURE CENTER, 1000 feet from our doorstep! Our Garmin V arrived the following week and the rest is history, we have seen lots of other places near and far that we otherwise would never have visited.

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I read an article about caching in the paper and then asked for a GPS for my birthday or Christmas or May Day or Columbus Day or Arbor Day or some other important gift receiving holday. Mom got me one and I started caching. She started caching as well. :unsure:

Edited by carleenp
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Stumbled onto geocaching site from the Bookcrossing site - punched in my zip and found that there were 8 caches in my town! Did my first 8 caches without a GPS -mostly because I have a bad habit of buying expensive toys (*cough*$600 mt. bike*cough*) and not using them. But, after my first cache, I KNEW I had found the hobby of my dreams! Bought a Garmin yellow, which os just fine for me because I HATE using the GPS while driving, so I don't really need the mapping stuff.


Lately, GPS signals have been flaky here, so using a lot of instinct. I ocassionally look at orthos while caching with my ortho-using friends.

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For me it was the GPS. I've had a number of GPS's over the years (big yellow Delorme model for old Palm Pilot, some low number Garmin, 12, 12XL, III) and now have an older III+ which I keep in my car, and a Legend which I've been carrying backpacking and now geocaching.

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My GPS came first. I got the GPS (Sport trak Map) for hiking

and keeping track of good locations for Photos. Found this geocaching

site while looking for programs to store and orginize waypoints for the GPS.

Of course, got hooked on geocaching and got a few friends hooked as well.

I don't plan on upgrading any time soon. Just maybe some topo software.

Thanks to geocaching I have found many Photo locations that I have driven by

hundreds of times.


Happy GeoCaching.

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It was pretty much of a tie. I read the article in Scientific American about Geocaching, logged onto Geocaching.com, got a fiscal news years bonus, ordered the GPS with next day delivery. The day after I receiced it I found my first virtual on the way to work. At work I discovered a "seasoned" veteran of geocaching. This all happened in a matter of a couple of days. I got really, really hooked on finding my first traditional cache. That all happened this month.



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When GPS unit hit the market, I couldn't figure out why anyone would really want one, except sportmen and long distance travellers. And about a year ago or so I want reading posts at a retired racing greyhound message board (another obsession of mine!) Someone briefly mentioned geocaching as their latest hobby. I'd always been really interested in orienteering, but wasn't ready to learn to read a compass. So the word got locked into my brain and I went on with life. Then in January I actually went to geocaching.com to see what it was all about. I was hooked. The next day I went to Radio Shack and picked up a Geko 101. I found my first cache the next day.


I upgraded to the SporTrak Map on March 6, about 2 months after I started geocaching. I was planning to wait til about June to do that, but I already had lost my Geko.

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1997 while Northern California we found this poor Garmin 175 (yeah it's big and it's a dinosaur) laying in the road. Feeling sorry for it Ironman114 picked it up and it has been with us off and on ever since.

Then one night I came home from work and Ironman114 said he found a use for the GPS. He was at Geocaching.com. The rest is history. Now I can't say that this GPS is just sitting around doing nothing.

Many have asked us when are we getting a new one? All I can say is this,"It works for us." Plus I know the minute Ironman114 buys a new one this one is mine. It's just the way it is in our family. :lol:

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