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Can it be done without a GPS?


MyBoys&Me
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We found our first cache today, and plan to hunt more tomorrow. But we have no GPS. Using topo and road maps from online sources. GPS units run $80-to-sky in our area. Just bought Gameboys for the kids, so dropping another 3x$00 is not an option. Can these sites be found without GPS and if so, how?

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It depends on how good your land navigation skills are. If you have the right scales to place on your maps to determine where your points are on the maps using the given coordinates, and then utilizing your map reading skills, you can get to within 50 feet of the caches. So far, it sounds like you've been fairly successful without a GPS. Happy cachin'!!! 15T

 

www.1800goguard.com

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Absolutely, but plan on getting skunked at least occasionally. I lent my GPS to my brothers so they could try geocaching and for about 4 months I used topo maps and a compass. The idea is to use the coordinates to pinpoint the location on the topo and then to use orienteering to locate the spot. I highly recommend the book "Be expert with Map and Compass" by Bjorn Kjellstrom. What you and your boys will gain from learning orienteering will be invaluable. They will thank you for it. Don't use the Trails Illustrated maps, they are not detailed enough for the precision you need. Use the USGS quadrangles available at outdoor stores or by contacting the U.S. Geological Survey. Good luck and have fun!

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Hmm, I guess I've never thought of caching without a GPS. Certainly makes you have to rely more on your own skills. Sounds very interesting. I'd basically recomend using Topo maps and a compass just like you have done, and others have recomended, but you might find aerial maps helpful as well. I like going to this lostoutdoors.com site athttp://www.lostoutdoors.com/newmap.html. You just put in your coordinates for the cache site, and it gives you an aerial view of the area. Some things on the map may have changed, however, since some pictures can be up to 10 years old. But, it's still a good idea to check out.

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Consumer model GPS units are no more accurate than skilfull orienteering. The air photos that are available are the most usefull way of finding any location providing they have been registered correctly. The USGS Topo maps topographic information in usually pretty accurate but the road layers are very often woefully out of date. A good compass will have one edge calibrated in 1/20th inch increments. You can use this to scale your maps no matter what the scale with a little simple math. The typical 7.5 minute quad is 1:24000 scale or one inch equals 24000 inches. Photo copy or print the maps at 200% to get a 1:12000 scale or one inch equals 1000 feet. Photos are usually oriented North up in 1:12000 scale or 1:15840 scale (4 inches to the mile).

 

I have set hundreds of forest inventory plots without GPS. My accuracy has to be within 33 feet, usually I'm within 10 feet. With pratice you can get the same. In difficult GPS conditions you will find this way is much faster.

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Yeah, you definetly can. Use the mapquest map to get an idea how to get there as of driving, then use topographic maps to find the more exact area, by using the hills in the area. Arial maps can also help too, as long as the area hasn't changed too much, because those can be outdated.

 

jhwf4

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This is one of our first logs caching without a GPS. We have done some other logs that we didn't have a gps for when we found them, but we still think this one is one of our favorites; it's an amazing story!!!

 

quote:

30 Mar 2002 Night Stalker Part 1 of 2 Difficulty: 3 Terrain: 1.5

 

Well, well, well. I am not sure where to start my report; either in part one or part two; since we found part two first by mistake looking for an entirely different cache!!!! We were looking for the Genesee River Cache in the beginning and went the wrong way. You see, we are a large family with no GPS!!!! So, I will tell my tale in part two!!!

 

30 Mar 2002 Night Stalker Part 2 of 2 Difficulty: 3 Terrain: 1.5

 

So, here we are, looking for an entirely different cache, when all of a sudden, just as we were losing hope, one of the children in our pack found the second part of this cache. Which meant what? It meant back to the computer we go, since we weren't looking for this cache in the first place to get part one. Went back home to get it, in the mean time, half of our nine stayed behind waiting with the box of part two. During the time we were gone, the other half managed to find the one we were originally looking for, so that gave us ample opportunity to focus on part one. We raced back excitedly and headed to the you know where, looking for you know who, to open the you know what!!!! Took an hour to get through the part one, remember we have no GPS and we are all on foot; just workin' with the map at lostoutdoors.com!!! This is so great!!!! You people don't even have a clue as to how excited our group was this day!!!!

 

We took some items of equal value to the items we left, such as the glow stick, two key chains, and the screw driver. A jar full of stuff was added. We also took a group picture with our dog, Chi. We also got the george from it to circulate, and left a replacement.

 

We discovered this site two days ago, and we as a group are very much hooked! We have found 3 caches and are very proud of them!!!!

 

Keep up the exciting work, and we will be waiting for more!!!!

 

The Hughes Family


 

Wow, reading that brought back some memories on how exciting it was to geocache for the first time. Now you know why we are hooked so bad after only 5 months. icon_eek.gif

 

So the answer is YES you can find them without gps, but most likely you will end up getting one anyways! LOL icon_biggrin.gif

 

Still hooked,

 

The Hughes Family

Upinyachit

icon_smile.gif

 

Our feet go where the caches are! feet.gif

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This is one of our first logs caching without a GPS. We have done some other logs that we didn't have a gps for when we found them, but we still think this one is one of our favorites; it's an amazing story!!!

 

quote:

30 Mar 2002 Night Stalker Part 1 of 2 Difficulty: 3 Terrain: 1.5

 

Well, well, well. I am not sure where to start my report; either in part one or part two; since we found part two first by mistake looking for an entirely different cache!!!! We were looking for the Genesee River Cache in the beginning and went the wrong way. You see, we are a large family with no GPS!!!! So, I will tell my tale in part two!!!

 

30 Mar 2002 Night Stalker Part 2 of 2 Difficulty: 3 Terrain: 1.5

 

So, here we are, looking for an entirely different cache, when all of a sudden, just as we were losing hope, one of the children in our pack found the second part of this cache. Which meant what? It meant back to the computer we go, since we weren't looking for this cache in the first place to get part one. Went back home to get it, in the mean time, half of our nine stayed behind waiting with the box of part two. During the time we were gone, the other half managed to find the one we were originally looking for, so that gave us ample opportunity to focus on part one. We raced back excitedly and headed to the you know where, looking for you know who, to open the you know what!!!! Took an hour to get through the part one, remember we have no GPS and we are all on foot; just workin' with the map at lostoutdoors.com!!! This is so great!!!! You people don't even have a clue as to how excited our group was this day!!!!

 

We took some items of equal value to the items we left, such as the glow stick, two key chains, and the screw driver. A jar full of stuff was added. We also took a group picture with our dog, Chi. We also got the george from it to circulate, and left a replacement.

 

We discovered this site two days ago, and we as a group are very much hooked! We have found 3 caches and are very proud of them!!!!

 

Keep up the exciting work, and we will be waiting for more!!!!

 

The Hughes Family


 

Wow, reading that brought back some memories on how exciting it was to geocache for the first time. Now you know why we are hooked so bad after only 5 months. icon_eek.gif

 

So the answer is YES you can find them without gps, but most likely you will end up getting one anyways! LOL icon_biggrin.gif

 

Still hooked,

 

The Hughes Family

Upinyachit

icon_smile.gif

 

Our feet go where the caches are! feet.gif

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Seems to be its time for the big kid in the family to have his own toy. That was my justification. That and the fact that even though it is possible to find these without a GPS is sure is going to be a lot harder, especially with the ones that are well hidden. The folks in my neck of the woods pride themselves on being sneaky, so I need all the help I can get.

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Just buy one GPSr. You will save money teaching thrift. They will learn sharing, and also paitence, brotherhood, teamwork.

 

Then they will start to learn that the one with the GPSr is usually not the one to find the cache, so they will start fighting to be the one that doesn't carry it! Learning boxing skills?

 

Anyhow, many of life's lessons to be learned by Geocaching.

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I *ALWAYS* go geocaching without GPS. It is extremely nice to hear that someone else is doing it that way too.

 

So far I have had excellent luck. I have only not been able to find two. I don't even plot the coordinates. (although that is a wonderful idea) I just look at the mapquest map and go from there.

 

Prices here for GPS units are sky high... well above the average anyway. Plus I have to drive an hour to get it (at the local super-walmart). No way, I will just wait till the price comes down... then I will tackle the hard ones.

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Prices here for GPS units are sky high... well above the average anyway. Plus I have to drive an hour to get it (at the local super-walmart). No way, I will just wait till the price comes down... then I will tackle the hard ones

 

They can be ordered online, y'know.. often more cheaply than local stores. You can get a yellow etrex from Amazon.com for $99, free shipping, no tax.

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I tried this on our first time out, since we didn't have the GPS yet. The kids and I were in the correct spot but unable to find the box. We didn't look under all the rocks. We did find $1. Went back with GPS and went right to the spot.

 

Then when looking for another box, we had the GPS but the box was moved to a new location( about 100 ft from orginial coords.). I feel that if we had a general idea where this box was located and we didn't use the GPS we would have found the box sooner than we did.

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I think it's great that you can find caches w/o a GPS. I'd probably admire someone who could ski without skis too icon_smile.gif

 

However, please don't hide a cache w/o a GPS - that wouldn't be fair (and possibly unsafe) for those hunting the cache. If you have to hide something that way call it a letterbox and post it on that site.

 

~erik~

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I think it's great that you can find caches w/o a GPS. I'd probably admire someone who could ski without skis too icon_smile.gif

 

However, please don't hide a cache w/o a GPS - that wouldn't be fair (and possibly unsafe) for those hunting the cache. If you have to hide something that way call it a letterbox and post it on that site.

 

~erik~

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If you could convert the GPS Cache location to a 10 digit grid coordinate for a 1:250,000 Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Map

you could get to with in 1 meter of the cache!

 

I have never used a GPS before and I imagine with a little research you could find a way to convert the GPS coordinate to a 10 digit grid coordinate for a 1:250,000 UTM Map.

 

Did it all the time in the military went to Germany in the mountains which I never been. All they gave us was a map of the area and were told to find some flags for Land Navigation Courses.

 

The flags were no taller than a 1ft and buried in grass, so you would have to be right on top of them, to see them. (I will admit we still had to search the area to find them, because we are eye ballin this). But the land did help alot because it was very hilly and lots of terrain features.

 

There are a lot more map reading skills required to find yourself at such a small scale on the map (we are talking with in 3 ft here!)

 

I.E., knowing the differences between Magnetic North, True North, and Grid North, then converting the north declination as well.

 

Or, shooting 2 azimuths with a compass at known terrain features (that are on the map as well) and using their back azimuths to draw intersecting lines on the map to pinpoint where you're located on the map.

 

I could go on, but it would probalby bore ya! icon_rolleyes.gif LOL!

 

The only hard part would be looking at the pinpoint (where you think your at) on the map, and deciding if you're in the correct spot on actual land. Searching for a ammo can with a GPS would be a whole lot easier, but if you had to call in some fire (artillary) with the 10 digit coordinate, 20 dollars those gun bunnies would drop that round right on your head.

 

Like ~Erik~ said I would not suggest to hide one unless you knew what you were doing. (without the GPS)

 

[This message was edited by DesertTrekkers on August 01, 2002 at 12:22 PM.]

 

[This message was edited by DesertTrekkers on August 01, 2002 at 12:24 PM.]

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If you could convert the GPS Cache location to a 10 digit grid coordinate for a 1:250,000 Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Map

you could get to with in 1 meter of the cache!

 

I have never used a GPS before and I imagine with a little research you could find a way to convert the GPS coordinate to a 10 digit grid coordinate for a 1:250,000 UTM Map.

 

Did it all the time in the military went to Germany in the mountains which I never been. All they gave us was a map of the area and were told to find some flags for Land Navigation Courses.

 

The flags were no taller than a 1ft and buried in grass, so you would have to be right on top of them, to see them. (I will admit we still had to search the area to find them, because we are eye ballin this). But the land did help alot because it was very hilly and lots of terrain features.

 

There are a lot more map reading skills required to find yourself at such a small scale on the map (we are talking with in 3 ft here!)

 

I.E., knowing the differences between Magnetic North, True North, and Grid North, then converting the north declination as well.

 

Or, shooting 2 azimuths with a compass at known terrain features (that are on the map as well) and using their back azimuths to draw intersecting lines on the map to pinpoint where you're located on the map.

 

I could go on, but it would probalby bore ya! icon_rolleyes.gif LOL!

 

The only hard part would be looking at the pinpoint (where you think your at) on the map, and deciding if you're in the correct spot on actual land. Searching for a ammo can with a GPS would be a whole lot easier, but if you had to call in some fire (artillary) with the 10 digit coordinate, 20 dollars those gun bunnies would drop that round right on your head.

 

Like ~Erik~ said I would not suggest to hide one unless you knew what you were doing. (without the GPS)

 

[This message was edited by DesertTrekkers on August 01, 2002 at 12:22 PM.]

 

[This message was edited by DesertTrekkers on August 01, 2002 at 12:24 PM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by ~erik~:

However, please don't hide a cache w/o a GPS - that wouldn't be fair (and possibly unsafe) for those hunting the cache. If you have to hide something that way call it a letterbox and post it on that site.

~erik~


 

That is why you have someone take the reading for you!!!!! ;-)

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I think borrowing a GPS or having someone take a reading for you would indeed be a great compromise. If it's apparent in the cache description that it was done that way I'm sure there would be no hesitation in posting the cache - unless it was near a railroad track or something like that!

 

'cache on!

 

~erik~

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quote:
Originally posted by The Wolfpack:

There is a guy in our area (Dallas) called Webling that has 300 finds as of Sunday. I believe that he has done 90% of his with only a compass and topo map. So, to answer your question, YES, it can be done!


 

Well, not 90%. More like 60%. I did my first 33 caches before I bought a GPSr. I would probably still be GPSr-less if I hadn't wanted to start placing caches. I've also been a competitive orienteer for about 10 years, so my map-reading skills are a bit above average.

 

Typically, I just use Mapquest of Mapblast maps to get in the right neighborhood, then Lostoutdoors.com aerials and topos to find the cache. I'll usually break out the GPSr if I can't get a good aerial, if my kids are getting impatient, or if I just plain get stuck and can't find the cache. I almost always use the GPSr on multi-caches, and most locationless caches require a photo of the GPSr. I've also done 56 benchmarks, and only used the GPSr for one of them.

 

Hunting GPSr-less makes those 1/1 to 2/2 caches a LOT more interesting.

 

By the way, my six-year-old daughter Miss Pumpkin found her first GPSr-less cache by herself over the weekend.

 

25021_1200.gif

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I found 2 caches a couple days ago without a GPS. It was interesting that it was so easy, but they were both right off a street. It is quite different way out in the woods, without a visual reference in sight, that is on the map. A cache that is a couple hundered yards into a dense forest, would require very good map and compass skills, as well as very good hunting skills.

 

For a cache that is a half mile into dense woods, well hidden box, and no visual references:

This may require a couple people with good map, compass, and

searching skills, and alot of time and patience.

 

5_Rubik.gifMy home page about GPS units and information

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We've found 2 so far (lame, I know, but we only started a few weeks ago and we're 2 for 3 searches). Planning on hiding a series of caches that we'll need help on from local folks with GPS units so we have coordinates for all of you to find them! Maybe my birthday in October will yield a new toy ... maybe, maybe not.

 

Orienteering links were most helpful. That's the way we've gone, and found other interesting things to do (& hunt!). Either way, CACHE on! This is a great activity, and we've told everyone we know who's the least interested about it.

 

Check out my latest post about crazy idea in the General section.

 

- MyBoys&Me

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quote:
Originally posted by The Pootyheads:

Absolutely, but plan on getting skunked at least occasionally. I lent my GPS to my brothers so they could try geocaching and for about 4 months I used topo maps and a compass. The idea is to use the coordinates to pinpoint the location on the topo and then to use orienteering to locate the spot. I highly recommend the book "Be expert with Map and Compass" by Bjorn Kjellstrom. What you and your boys will gain from learning orienteering will be invaluable. They will thank you for it. Don't use the Trails Illustrated maps, they are not detailed enough for the precision you need. Use the USGS quadrangles available at outdoor stores or by contacting the U.S. Geological Survey. Good luck and have fun!


 

I took your advice and ordered it. It's a great source of information, and who better to learn from than one of the inventers of the Silva Compass! Thanks for the info! icon_smile.gif

 

~Honest Value Never Fails~

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quote:
Originally posted by The Pootyheads:

Absolutely, but plan on getting skunked at least occasionally. I lent my GPS to my brothers so they could try geocaching and for about 4 months I used topo maps and a compass. The idea is to use the coordinates to pinpoint the location on the topo and then to use orienteering to locate the spot. I highly recommend the book "Be expert with Map and Compass" by Bjorn Kjellstrom. What you and your boys will gain from learning orienteering will be invaluable. They will thank you for it. Don't use the Trails Illustrated maps, they are not detailed enough for the precision you need. Use the USGS quadrangles available at outdoor stores or by contacting the U.S. Geological Survey. Good luck and have fun!


 

I took your advice and ordered it. It's a great source of information, and who better to learn from than one of the inventers of the Silva Compass! Thanks for the info! icon_smile.gif

 

~Honest Value Never Fails~

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