PDA

View Full Version : Geocaching



jimtanker
2006-02-27, 22:43
Geocaching
How many out there do it and lets hear some of your stories.

If you dont geocache, whats your excuse?

jimtanker
2006-02-27, 22:51
I guess I should start off with my best Geocaching story.

I am in the middle of a military move from Washington to North Carolina and I decided to pick up a Travel Bug to take on my way with me. For those who dont know, a Travel Bug is a little dog tag that is a serial numbered item that is in a cache that has goals or can just move about. The goal of Misty, my travel bug, is to make it to all of the 50 states. I picked up my travel bug in a cache in Tacoma washington. Durring my PCS I have been to 12 states so far and have hit a geocache in each state along the drive. Those that cache know that there are enough caches out there that you can just take a 15 minute detour most of the time and get one during your day. I am going to hit 3 or 4 more states/geocaches on my trip before the end. Ive hit geocaches in Las Vegas; Roswell, NM; Fort Knox, Ky; and now I'm down in Florida hanging out on the beach and hit one here. Kind of a nice way to see some sites you wouldnt otherwise see.

I also got my mom interested in geocaching while I visited her in Az and we even put a cache in her front yard. We put the cache out at about 10PM the night before I left and at 9AM the next day, litteraly while I was pulling out headed East on my trip, someone was pulling in to check the cache. Since then 15 people have logged that cache. Pretty cool deal.

Those are my stories. And now for yours......

Just Jeff
2006-02-28, 01:09
We got a GPS just so my wife could geocache. She typed in our address and there are like 4 w/in .5mi of our house...so we went on a little hike and found a trail right across the street that we never knew existed, in the park we go to several times a week! Like you said...pretty cool way to see the sights, even in your own neighborhood.

My favorite so far is on a small rocky peak overlooking a valley and the ocean...on the back side we found a small grassy patch just big enough for us to camp. No hammock trees, but other than that it's a great site.

dropkick
2006-02-28, 02:43
Geocaching
How many out there do it and lets hear some of your stories.

If you dont geocache, whats your excuse?
This is the first time I've ever heard of it.
Also I don't have a GPS.
Is it like orienteering?

Just Jeff
2006-02-28, 03:06
More like letterboxing. Someone hides a cache and gives clues for you to find it. It's usually some small trinkets with a log book for you to sign. The kids like the trinkets...I just like getting them outside walking in new areas.

Geocaching is the same thing, but they add coordinates. You usually still need the clues to find the cache, though.

There is lots of letterbox and geocache info on the internet...look up some in your area if you're interested.

dougmeredith
2006-02-28, 08:52
This is the first time I've ever heard of it.
Also I don't have a GPS.
Is it like orienteering?

Check out www.geocaching.com

Doug

jimtanker
2006-02-28, 21:28
What Doug said. Sorry guys, I guess that I should have started off with that huh?

When you get to the Geocaching.com website look in the upper left margin and you can select to "hide and seek caches" or you can just put your zip code in on the upper right. If you have your home coords you can put them in and the site will tell you how far away and what direction. Real easy to search for what caches interrest you. Go for the biggest caches first then work your way up to micros and multis.

Micro caches are the size of a 35mm film canister or those magnetic key holders you can buy. Just big enough for a piece of paper and maybe a pencil for a log. There is one cache that I know of where someone took and pried the bark away from a tree, drilled a hole in it, inserted the 35mm film canister and put the bark back on. That would be a hard one.

There are even caches in places like Iraq (Rock, you pick any up yet?) and there was even one in Iran. Not sure if its gone yet.

Seeker
2006-02-28, 22:42
There are even caches in places like Iraq (Rock, you pick any up yet?) and there was even one in Iran. Not sure if its gone yet.

not sure Rock wants to find any caches in iraq... they hide some pretty nasty stuff in them there... and that saddam hussein dude had a good cache going there for awhile... but they found it... guess they had a good gps! :biggrin:

pretty funny about the drilled out tree... that would be a tough one...

incognito
2006-02-28, 23:33
I us a gps unit to log in locations of rare plants that I locate while hiking off trail.
I'll start using it soon to start cacheing. Had the idea to use Tritium powered markers that I made using recycled exit signs. Have you heard of anyone creating caches to be located at night? Maybe this will be a new way to extend the search hours :biggrin:

jimtanker
2006-03-01, 10:38
There are caches that are designated as night only. Ive never done any but would be interresting.
Here are some of the nighttime caches. (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/nearest.aspx?key=night)

incognito
2006-03-01, 11:47
Yes!!! It looks as if it would be more interesting than doing a day search. I think I'll investigate creating one.

Thanks for the link. :elefant:

jimtanker
2006-03-01, 19:24
Multi caches are really cool too.

Get the coords of the first point, then you have no idea where the other points are. I went on one one time and the first point was an altoids mint tin in a park. Got to make sure that the muggles dont see you finding stuff. Muggles are people who have no idea about geocaching. That altoids tin had directions to the next one. Then you had to get dates off of a grave stone and put in and decipher a riddle. Fun stuff.

Ive seen caches on top of mountains and on the side of a cliff. Heard of caches in a 5 gallon bucket suspended under a bridge 500 feet in the air. Fun stuff.

Iceman
2006-03-02, 02:48
The only problem I am aware of with this type of activity, is when some knucklehead posts a new geocache location to a favorite (previously isolated and really cool) spot. Say goodbye to your pristine getaway!

Sometimes less said is more!

deadeye
2006-03-02, 08:56
[QUOTE=Iceman]The only problem I am aware of with this type of activity, is when some knucklehead posts a new geocache location to a favorite (previously isolated and really cool) spot. Say goodbye to your pristine getaway!

The corollary to that is why use your GPS to go where a bunch of folks have already been? Use your GPS to go places where few - or none - have been for years.

Iceman
2006-03-02, 11:07
I generally do not like to rely on my GPS to know anything about where I am at on the map. Out here in the cascade range, GPS units (like cell phones) continually lose their satelite signals, due to the steep nature of our mountains, and the canopy of dense forest. Unless I am on the very top of some ridge, or peak, the unit is useless. I have found better to have a good map, with a calibrated altimeter and compass. This has saved my butt more than once, when exploring new territory.

I would never travel with a GPS as my sole navigation tool.

I chuckle when I have seen folks looking at their GPS, tapping the screen, and wondering what happened. The unit worked fine at the REI parking lot...

Just Jeff
2006-03-02, 13:13
It's tough to find some of these places without a map anyway. For the ones I do in the wilderness, I plot the coordinates then look at the map for the best way to get there. That way I always know where I am on the map, anyway.

The ones in the city usually have better clues so you don't need a map.

Seeker
2006-03-02, 15:25
I would never travel with a GPS as my sole navigation tool.

I chuckle when I have seen folks looking at their GPS, tapping the screen, and wondering what happened. The unit worked fine at the REI parking lot...


we get some of that here too... not too many of us 'old timers' remember a world without GPS, when a 1:50k scale map and one of those horrible army lensatic compasses were all we had to go on... (none of this sissy 7.5 or 15 minute 1:24K or 1:12.5k crap either). funny to see soldiers wandering around lost because they can no longer read a paper map... sad too... but our soldiers are awesome when their stuff does work... night vision eqp't is leaps and bounds ahead of the '85-'95 time frame too. bad time to be the enemy...

i used to have to be able to lay in a mortar platoon with just a map and compass, and could fire accurately out to about 6km with the old M16 plotting board... for you non-military types, or who don't remember, it was a big round dry erase board with a grid on it, but you used a grease pencil... had to look up the range in a book, and then found the resulting elevation and firing charge... crude, but effective... now it's all done with gps and computers... no thought needed at all. WAY faster... i think the standard to lay in and fire was 6 minutes... now it can be done in under a minute... WOW!

jimtanker
2006-03-02, 15:58
I agree all. Nothing beats being able to read a map. And being a master at map reading myself, I love seing Lts lost in the woods and asking me for help. Makes me feel all warm inside. Or maybe it was that shot of Tequilla. JK.

Seeker - The unit that I just left ha PVS-5s. Can you belileve that? Still in use by the active army.

Iceman - Much easier out East here to use a GPS for stuff. No real tall mountians and no trees either. They have these rolling hills that they call the Smokies and the Appalacians though. And there are alot of bushes too. Havent seen any real trees yet.

Iceman
2006-03-03, 00:16
Speaking of real trees, check out this attachment.

Not sure if you folks back east have any of these laying around anymore, but here is a picture of a real tree stump. This tree was logged the old fashioned way maybe 150 years ago. Our forests are covered with these babies. Check out the spring board slots cut into the bark to allow the tree falling crew to bucksaw this tree down by hand. They would usually cut a bunch of smaller trees down prior to dropping the big ones. They would fall these mammoth trees into a pile of the smaller ones, to reduce the risk of exploding the big one. Real men lived in these times. My kids can be seen standing on another stump, maybe a fifty year old tree recently harvested. Can you imagine how puny and insignificant a logger would feel today, as he dropped this tiny tree next to the sizeable stump behind him.

dropkick
2006-03-03, 01:31
we get some of that here too... not too many of us 'old timers' remember a world without GPS, when a 1:50k scale map and one of those horrible army lensatic compasses were all we had to go on... (none of this sissy 7.5 or 15 minute 1:24K or 1:12.5k crap either). funny to see soldiers wandering around lost because they can no longer read a paper map... sad too... but our soldiers are awesome when their stuff does work... night vision eqp't is leaps and bounds ahead of the '85-'95 time frame too. bad time to be the enemy...

Just curious, but don't they teach orienteering in basic anymore?
I know they've dropped a lot of the old training, no bayonet training anymore, little hand to hand.
The Signal Corp probably doesn't get any training in morse code, and they wouldn't even recognize a teletype. They still use rat rigs?
I probably wouldn't recognize one tenth of the equipment they use now.
Heck, most of the commo equipment I was trained to repair and operate was 30 years out of date even back then. I'm sure it's been replaced by now.

Seeker
2006-03-03, 10:27
Just curious, but don't they teach orienteering in basic anymore?
I know they've dropped a lot of the old training, no bayonet training anymore, little hand to hand.
The Signal Corp probably doesn't get any training in morse code, and they wouldn't even recognize a teletype. They still use rat rigs?
I probably wouldn't recognize one tenth of the equipment they use now.
Heck, most of the commo equipment I was trained to repair and operate was 30 years out of date even back then. I'm sure it's been replaced by now.

just for the record, i'm a civilian, and only see what i see. i have little or nothing to do with training individual soldiers... i help train units.

i'm pretty sure they still teach the basics of orienteering at basic training, and i occassionally see soldiers doing map reading on post. the problem is that they never use it in the field, with the access they have to gps.

bayonet training is still in the curriculum, as far as i know... and they've apparantly brought 'combatives' back (which the USMC never did drop).

no more morse code for the signalers... i think the mi sigint geeks who do the morse intercept stuff get morse training... (can you imagine being a mandarin chinese morse intercepter? they're weird.) no more AM comms anymore either... rat rigs went out in the late 80s... EVERYTHING data-sending is digital now, just like cell phones and high-speed internet. secure FM comms are the norm, and the linkages between various hq are all digital. it's incredible the amount of situational awareness that's created as a result... the problem then becomes data overload... it's really cool though.

jimtanker
2006-03-03, 12:20
Alright, Ive had it!!!!

This thread has been hijacked long enough. Lets start talking about geocaching. You pukes have had a few days to go out and hit a cache. Lets hear about them.


I went out yesterday and went to a cache that is near a powerplant here in Ft Pierce, Fl. At the outlet of the powerplant Manatees gather in the winter time to enjoy the warm water. Cool deal. There were some Gar and some other wierd fish too. Talapia maybe. Not sure.

Seeker
2006-03-03, 14:41
yeah, you're right... i'm sorry....

my wife mentioned geocaching to me back in october... shocked the heck out of me that she was interested... so i got her a book about it for christmas, the 'idiot's guide' one... i'll wait for her to figure out we need to get a GPS... then it will be easy to justify buying one. but that's as far as i've gone with it... if it's her idea, it's easier to 'sell'...

Salvelinus
2006-03-06, 21:00
Hi, Jim--great topic.

I got a GPS for Christmas for the purpose of geocaching. The kids love it, and like someone here said, I love getting them outside and exercising. It's a pretty cool pasttime--like hunting for buried treasure. We've also seen some great hiking trails that we never knew existed, even though they are close to home.

We've done some micro caches and multi-caches, moved a travel bug (The Incredible Hulk (http://www.geocaching.com/track/details.aspx?id=140730)--check out the photos to see where I work), and exchanged quite a few trinkets. No really cool stories, though--yet. Just seeing my kids enjoying nature and the look of joy on their faces when we find the treasure . . . :)

jimtanker
2006-03-07, 10:52
No really cool stories, though--yet. Just seeing my kids enjoying nature and the look of joy on their faces when we find the treasure . . .

Sounds like a really cool story to me.

Salvelinus
2006-03-07, 22:07
Yeah. That's really the best part.

BTW, I forgot the link to the travel bug above--I put it in tonight. I go by bonsaihiker on Geocaching.com.

incognito
2006-03-11, 14:46
My first attempt a it was total fun.

Did'nt find the cache, but found alot of other stuff.

Great area to put a cache, in the Kisshwaukee Gorge. 2 miles from home.

Beautiful morning to be out hikin.

These photos show the immediate area where the cache is located, the one shows some treasure that I found. :)

I hauled some of it out of the area. I'll come back later and post the cache location and info.

Tankerjim, great topic :)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v228/obijiwa/geocache004.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v228/obijiwa/geocache005.jpg

jimtanker
2006-03-11, 16:48
Nice find. Keep looking. Sometimes what I have to do is get to the closest that my GPS will get me then shut it off. Just have a nice look around. As you have already found. Just getting out to interresting spots is most of the fun.

Cache in/trash out!!!!

Take-a-knee
2006-03-12, 00:11
To those who may want to buy a GPS, I heartily reccomend the little Garmin Etrex, I just saw it on sale somewhere for $84.99. I use my GPS find a point(like a deerstand in the dark) in an area where I know my surroundings, and as a substitute for resection to keep my bearings. If you use it for more than that you'll need a rucksack full of AA batts. There is an excellent article under essays at the Kifaru website on GPS and navigation. I personally never had a problem with a GI lensatic compass unless it was thrashed for 15yr before I was issued it. I don't remember ANY land nav training in basic in 77. My wife went through in 82 and she was taught the five terrain features and they did a little buddy compass course(the stakes, not land nav). It is taught in every stage of the NCO education ladder, but not very well. I taught myself land nav from Bjorn Kellstrom's "HOW TO USE A MAP AND COMPASS" as an infantry private in AK. Learning terrain association is easy when you are surrounded by HUGE mountains. When I got to the Q course at Bragg in 82 I recieved some world class land nav training. As for morse code, not even SF radio operators learn it any more. That means when the Chinese use the technology the Bill Clinton allowed Loral Corporation to sell them to shoot down our commo birds in orbit we aren't going to have anything to fall back on. Seeker, what ever happened to PACE (primary, alternate, contingency & emergency). The senior field grade O's can't follow a directive as well as the average E-4.

Just Jeff
2006-03-12, 11:50
...Garmin Etrex, I just saw it on sale somewhere for $84.99...

Target has them.