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Desire But Only A Brain

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Buy some topographical maps of cache areas you are interested in, grab the coordinates off of gc.com, convert them to whatever map coordinate system your maps have, plot the cache on the map - and hunt em (if you can manage the terrain rating).


WaldenRun pretty much exclusively geocaches without a GPS. it could be a fun mental excercise as well.

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I am new to this. I do not have any equipt. I am on crutches for a while & am looking to keep my mind busy. How can I get involved without a GPS guide?


If you happen to find a cache without a gps, you could get hooked for life. That is what happened to Upinyachit. Our first couple of caches we found by just using the little orange dot.



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If you happen to find a cache without a gps, you could get hooked for life.  That is what happened to Upinyachit.  Our first couple of caches we found by just using the little orange dot.



I hear ya...I heard about GeoCaching when I was listening to 97.1 (Detroit, MI) over Memorial day...and heard a woman caller describe it...I though it sounded kinda corny...but when I checked out the site I was hooked!...I have not yet been able to purchase a GPS unit (laid off and still searching for work), so I found my first 2 caches just using the mapquest map and some intuition (Mr. Cellophane & Shasties First Cache). Once I get a few more 1-2 stars under my belt hopefully I will have found work and can then purchase a GPS and start laying down some caches of my own. :)



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Those crutches are going to handicap you tho...

Keep in mind that this does not slow down some people. I have cached and CITO'd with a gentleman on crutches. He has found over 500 caches now in a short time on the site. He is not just doing 1 or 1.5 caches either. He does them all!

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I'd go for 25,000 scale topographic maps - you get more detail, which can be useful. Don't forget other tools, like overhead photography (you can get some at topozone.com, along with topographic maps that might do for what you need). You might even find some trail maps on the web, depending on the place the cache is in.

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In most cases you don't actually need a GPSr to do geocaching as many have noted.


Type "orienteering" in google and learn how to use a traditional map and compass to navigate. It is confusing at first until you learn the terminology and figure out how to use a sighting compass, but you said you were looking for something for your brain to do and this would be it.


USGS topo maps are available to order (for a fee) and you can get paper versions or you can get them for free at various web sites and print them for yourself. You can also find compilations of these maps available as something similar to atlases. Some have already been mentioned. lostoutdoors.com is really nice in that you can enter the coordinates from geocaching.com and it puts a red dot on the map. Of course with a paper map that has coordinate grids printed on it you could do this yourself as well.


Print it out and after you have learned basic orienteering for free from the web you can use terrain association (looking at the natural environment around you for identifiable features like bodies of water, hills, valleys, intersections etc.) to navigate (doesn't even require a compass) or you could use a compass with the map to plot a precise heading.


To avoid frustration I would suggest that your first few hunts are for either precisely surveyed markers in your area or caches that others have logged finds for indicating it was easy to find. Some caches may have spot on coordinates, but the hider was so clever in hiding it that you could be standing on it and not realize it is the cache.


If you look at the maps of caches on geocaching.com that are in areas you are already very familiar with you will likely find at least one where when you look at the map you say "Oh, I know exactly where that is!". then you can just go there without a map, compass or GPSR and look about the area.


Whatever you choose to do is up to you, but there is absolutely no reason to let the lack of a GPSR stop you from geocaching. Always remember that pirates would hide and find hidden treasure well before the days of not only GPS, but even compasses.

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