Geocaching, Anyone? Explore the world and find hidden treasures with Garmin GPS it is free from www.Garmin.com/WhatsNew/
When going to:
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I went to the second link provided, it works.
It took me to the log on page, then right to the Geocatching info.
It's a whole new hobby this geocatching. I've got a lot to learn. Garmin provided me with a list, I clicked on one and it took me to
http://www.geocaching.com/ and I'm sure there are many more like it.
More info to read and learn about!
The link is: http://www8.garmin.com/whatsNew/
Geocaching started in May of 2000 when "selective availability" was removed from satellite system. SA was an accuracy error intentionally programmed into the satellite system so us hobbyists wouldn't have the same accuracy the military had. Over time, new military technology made that a moot point, so SA was removed by Bill Clinton in May of 2000. All of a sudden, anybody with a GPS could have accuracy in the 9-25 foot range, instead of 60 yards. Somebody in Oregon hid a Tupperware box of useless stuff up in the woods, posted the coordinates, and the sport was born. It's a blast.
The main site (and truthfully the only one that counts) is http://www.geocaching.com, the site CherylMASS mentioned above. There are a few others out there that are offshoots, but geocaching.com is the real 'home', and is where Garmin gets their information. It's free to "join". If you really get into it, there is a 'premium' membership for $30 a year - but we've been doing this since late 2000, and just finally popped for the premium membership two weeks ago.
Best thing about geocaching is it's a nice walk in the woods (or somewhere), costs nothing once you have the GPS, and the WORST that happens is you don't find the $&^*%$ cache. I do have to admit that not finding the cache is far more irritating thatn it should be. The downside is that the automotive-type navigation systems, like my Nuvi, are of limited use for geocaching, since they try and keep you on roads - and there aren't many caches hidden on the roads. My little eTrex Vista Cx, however is great!
There is little of value in a geocache, unless you take your kids with you - all the trinkets look like gold to them. The whole joy is in finding the caches themselves. The GPS will get you into the area, but after that, you're on your own - could be in a stump, a lamppost, stuck between some fallen logs, you name it. We've found ammo cans and coffee cans full of stuff in the woods. We've found "micros" or "nanos", usually small cylindrical containers containing only a roll of paper on which to log your name. These are often stuck to the backs of lampposts, park benches, you name it. The trick is finding it, signing the log, and putting it back without anybody else seeing what you're up to (since you don't want somebody to come mess with it, ruining it for the next geocacher).
Some caches will contain 'trackable' items with unique numbers that many people buy and put in the caches. They get moved around the country from cache to cache, and the finders/movers log their progress on the geocaching site. We found one 'travel item' a few weeks ago that is supposed to retrace the routes of the ancestors of its owner. To date it's traveled 2850 miles. It started out in New York; it's been all over Pennsylvania, Virginia, Indiana, Ohio, and is currently in southeast Michigan where we saw. It's supposed to go to Kalamazoo next, and we plan to go back to the park and get it, take it with us in a month or two, move it along its way.
If you're looking for a nice way to spend a day outside, possibly meet some folks, it's fabulous. Wifey and I are headed out the door in about an hour, plan to be gone all day, and hope to find 10 or 12 of them before we get home tonight.
I tried geocaching with my Nuvi 350. Although not meant for geocaching, I was able to find the little treasures. I'm thinking/planning of getting a gps for outdoor/geocaching use. I'm leaning towards the Garmin 60CSx, unless someone else out there can recommend a better unit. =)
I can't tell you it's a better receiver, but the recently-released eTrex VistaHCx has been getting a lot of great talk in the other forums as a worthy competitor. The new "H" series of eTrex receivers are high-sensitivity - so they're supposed to be in the same ballpark as the 60CSx. They're said to be a quantum leap forward from the Vista Cx, which of course I bought about five weeks before HCx came out. Story of my life ....
I've geocached for years as well as have one called the "glove cache" at zip code 02052. I have the Garmin Legend. I wish my Garmin C550 would work for geocaching as it works great even indoors. I highly recommend a GPS that has an electronic compass. If it does, you can stand still at a clearing where you get a good fix and the gps shows you the direction to travel. If no compass, you have to keep moving to see the right direction.
I'll second what striper says; one of the things I like best about the eTrex Vista series is the compass. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just stand still and let the GPS settle down, and with the compass, it will always orient the bearing needle to the correct coordinates. Without the compass, you are screwed if you don't keep moving - which sometimes is counterproductive. Don't ask how I know
I've gone geochaching a couple times now and it's a blast. It is like you said though. You have to give the gps a few seconds to catch up with your position. I'm using a c330 around Chicago. I've found it's accurate within just a few feet when I'm on the lake and then about 20-40 feet when I'm in the city. It makes sense. The buildings must make it difficult for triangulation.
I posted this in another forum but since it the same question I'll post it here too!
For those who are new to Geo caching, let me give you a brief synopsis of the sport. First of all, everything you need to know is at http://www.geocaching.com/about/ and to find caches see http://www.geocaching.com/seek/. See also http://www.geocacher-u.com/
Basically someone hides a container that may have objects for trade or just a paper log to prove you were actually there. Some objects are meant to be taken from one cache to another (travel). Some objects are even in a race. The GPS unit will generally get you to within 10-30 feet of the hiding spot. Then it up to you to look around and find it. Once you found a dozen or so, you will develop an intuition about hiding spots based upon your experiences. Each Cache must be registered at the above site and there is a web page for each cache that contains instructions, coordinates, parking location, logs of other people’s visit, an inventory of travel objects, difficulty rating of cache, size rating of the container, terrain rating, and sometimes hints if you need them. You log your visit on the cache web page and even down load a PDF file of the web page which I recommend you take on the hunt. There are traditional caches, puzzle caches which you solve to get coordinates based on information found on site, multi caches that more than one stage to find, and other types of caches you can read about.
A few basic rules is that you don’t want anyone not involved in the game (muggle) to see you find the cache least they might steal or disturb it. You generally are expected to trade even or lower (not trade up).
There is a lot you can do to automate this sport. For example, the site offers pocket queries which is a file of all of the information on caches you book mark. You can import this file into various programs that automate the process a lot. I recommend: http://www.gsak.net/. This software will let you build POI or favorites that contain most of the stats about a cache and display this information in the favorites or POI name. If can also help you add specific information to the POI address / phone fields. See the GSAK forums for details. You can also use a PDA to store information and go paperless if you wish. Also, you can download KML files and import to Google earth use it to see an aerial view of the cache site.
Before you do anything else read and print the lingo that is used for Geo caching which you can find at: http://geolex.locusprime.net/.
Now as far as using the Nuvi Goes for Geo Caching, saying the Nuvi should not be used for Geo caching is as stupid as telling someone to go out and buy one specifically for Geo caching. If Geo Caching is all you are going to do, you can get an inexpensive model with only the features you need for much less. But if you have decided to buy a Nuvi for an Auto navigation GPSr, then there is no reason not to use it if you already own it. Just be careful with it out in the woods and don’t drop it. If will do everything you need to do if you follow my instructions below.
First of all you need to realize that an auto GPS unit will track you on a road until you are far enough away from the road. But that is ok. Maps only take you so far then you need to switch to coordinate mode. On the Nuvi, look on the main screen for the satellite indicator. Press it to bring up the satellite screen where you will find the actual coordinates of your position. In the setup of the Nuvi, I set the coordinate format to match the format used on the Geo Caching site which is degrees and Decimal minutes (i.e.: N32 59.086)
You need to learn how to read these coordinates but the best way to get here. Look at the sun and move towards the west. Watch what happens when you do to the numbers. Do they get bigger or smaller? Move north and see what happens. Once you realize how to read the numbers and use the coordinates as a compass you have everything on the Nuvi you need to find caches. You don’t need a compass on the Nuvi although there is one on another screen.
So the general procedure is to drive close to the coordinates using the map. Once you get into a parking lot or off road, switch to coordinate mode. Take out the web page you downloaded with the coordinates and find the coordinates. Look at the coordinates on the GPS and see which way you need to go north or south and then east or west. Head in the direction until you get at the posted coordinates from the Web page. At this point the cache will be close but remember each 1/1000 decimal minutes is a little over six feet and the GPS accuracy will be about what is shown at the top of the satellite page where you are viewing the coordinates. So you will need to look around. In general, if it seems hard to find the cache, most likely you are making it too hard. Once you have find some you will realize the common ways cache are hidden, the common places, and the common types on containers which will help you develop intuition. Pick an easy traditional cache of regular size or larger located in easy rated terrain to start with!
Well this is the first time that I've heard of GeoCashing. So yesterday, I gave it a try. I am officially 0 for 5.
There are some good recommendations on GeoCashing.com for the newbie. Read and head.
In Florida, August, BRING water....
If your playing in the boonies, mark your auto location with a way point.
When I got back from my trek, I was dehydrated and almost got lost the woods, 3 miles from my home.
Oh, why is Mrs. Summermug not happy? I'm trying to convince her that I need is a eTrex Vista® Cx to be a effective GeoCasher. (I'm a toys kind of guy.)
To those that recommended the sport, thanks.
1st place winner in the 1975 ARC Treasure Hunt.
I do a geocache or two most every camping trip. I research likely caches at geocaching.com and on a quiet day go off and search.
Once I get close, within a 100 feet or so. I get the bearing to the cache from the GPS and then use a hand compass and pace off the distance to zero in. Unless your unit has a built in fluxgate compass, the compass page will jerk around too much to be of much use. Hand compasses such as the different model Silva compasses are cheap.
I am new to geocaching, 1 month, I did find 5 out of 10. Nice game, did it with my wife.
I havent cached in a while but it is a highly enjoyable and healthy sport. I kinda stalled out at 118 finds, own five and maintain two others, nothing compared to most in the hobby. Outside of the obvious (finding it) one thing is to always bring something decent to trade or leave, travel bugs are fun too! Good luck to those starting out, you'll enjoy it. You may also enjoy benchmarking, looking for those little USGS survey disks.
My favorite was..
Afew sites of interest.
If you want to step it up a notch, try this.
Not geocaching but Gps related that some also enjoy.
Most geocaches on the east coast are hidden in parks. The basic issue is therefore signal reception blockage by trees. Blockage is less of a problem in the late fall and winter when the leaves are down.
In a nutshell, within say 30 feet of a cache, your GPSr will be in its "zone of confusion" meaning the cache is somewhere within the accuracy radius reported by the GPSr. Note that the accuracy radius can change a lot depending on trees and terrain.
From that point, geocache-finding involves using your brain to figure out the most likely hiding places. Often in or under logs or piles of sticks.
Recently I found a cache in my home county where our Garmin eTrex GPSr insisted the cache was zero feet away when the GPSr was in the middle of a paved driveway into a parking lot. The cache was about 15 feet east, yes under some trees. I think my accuracy radius was roughly 33 feet at the time.
Also, read the logs posted by prior cache-finders. Sometimes they provide better coordinates, if the original coordinates were significantly wrong.
I am looking to buy a etrex venture cx for geocaching, is this a good product?
Yes, that's a very good product. If you frequently caching under tree cover, you might want to look at the Legend HCx which has a high sensitivity receiver which will give you better reception under tree cover.
I have about 50 finds. I use a Garmin eTrex Legend and the kids always have a ball doing it. A great family activity.
I have been caching for a few months now and have been hooked. It's fun and gets you out. That's all I have to say about that.
I think I had a good price for my GPS, $199 plus taxes, including a micro sd card 512 mb at La Source.
I downloaded some selected caches to my device but I am not sure exactly how to use it. I see the icons on the map but how do you tell the unit to navigate to one of the downloaded locations? It doesn't show up in the POI database.
How does one remove the geocache icons from the map after they have been loaded using the Garmin Browser Plugin?
I have geocached on and off for a few years. My tomtom is great for find the parking coordinates, for the caches that list them. I use a Magellan Meridian Gold to find the actual cache. The tomtom does work if you install the off road option.
I've enjoyed geocaching almost since it's inception. As someone mentioned above, it really helps to have a handheld geared more towards outdoor use. Having an electronic compass built in also helps a lot when you are at the spot and having trouble zeroing in. Keeps you from having to walk away and re-approach. Just stand where you are and rotate until you are pointing at the cache. I had this on my Etrec Vista and switched to a 60C and really missed it, so I recently upgraded to a 60CSx to get it back.
If you're looking for more GPS fun you might look at GeoDashing. No "prize" at the end, just the satisfaction of having found the point. The site owner places new randon points in a worldwide grid each month. The object is to get within 100 meters of one or more of the points each month. Some months you could find a point in the middle of the street in front of your house. Other months the close ones may all be in the middle of mountain ranges and require long hikes. Some points are just plain impossible because the fall in restricted areas. A couple of years ago a friend and I did a 2 day geodashing trek to see how many we could get. It was a very interesting trip and took us to a lot of places we had never seen before. It was interesting trying to find a line to convince a guard in a gated community to let us in to find one (we never got in, but were close) Also picked up a few geocaches along the way. Anyway, you can check it out here:
Because the object is just to get within 100 meters this can be done much easier with a unit like a Nuvi than geocaching can.
After using the Garmin Plugin 2.00.4 for Geocaching I was able to download a cache and view it on my nuvi 750 map.
You can navigate to a cache by touching the cache icon on the screen. If you use the max zoom it makes it easier to touch the icon. Once the arrow highlights the cache icon name touch go. Your Nuvi will take you to the cache.
I have yet been able to remove a cache from my nuvi. I also am unable to find a file for the downloaded caches.
I have e-mailed Garmin tech support and waiting for an answer.
Does anyone else have any answers?
I believe this is the same plug-in I used to download caches directly to my 60cSX. Haven't tried it on the 750, but I would imagine that you would find the caches in your Favoites and be able to access and remove them from there.
Just loaded a couple of caches from the Garmin site (for some reason the plug-in isn't working for me on the Geocaching site) and confirmed that they are loaded into your Favorites where you can search, edit, and delete them as needed. On other units (like possibly your 76CS and Legend) they will be loaded into the Geocache folder.
(BTW, the newest plug-in version is 126.96.36.199)
Thanks quackinup. I don't know why I didn't find it in Favorites before, maybe looking too hard. It's there and you can delet files from there.
I have been involved in geocaching for several years using my GPSmap 76CS. A great sport!
Thanks for the help!
If you don't mind paying the fee on geocaching.com you can get what they call Pocket Query searches showing all geocaches matching certain criteria that you set. It gets loaded into your unit like a POI file and they have all the extra description and hint data on my 750. If you are really into doing it, it's much nicer. There are various tutorials on how to do the transfer using a program called GSAK.
Of particular use is the following thread:
That's exactly the combination that I use, except that I use my 60CSx for caching. I'll have to see what the description/hint looks like on the 750 though. The space is very limited on the 60CSx so I usually drop the description info onto a PDA that I carry also.
I am having problem connecting my GPS when downloading geocache.....
How do I fix this problem?
You need to download the Garmin Communicator plugin and install it with your GPS unit connected to your computer.
Love to Geocache. I use a Garmin eTrex Legend
Thank you for your help
I've heard a lot of folks say you can't geocache effectively with a Nüvi, I beg to differ. I've found it to be an outstanding GPSr for that purpose.
With the right software to feed it, Pocket Queries become tour guides. This link offers a lot of info: http://pilotsnipes.googlepages.com/index.html
123 finds (including 3 first to finds) in 21 days, with a Nüvi 200W. It CAN be done
So what's stopping YOU from joining the fun?
Geocaching is how we came to buy our first GPSr, a Magellan Sportrak a few years ago. We still try to do a little caching when we are on roadtrips. It's a great hobby and has taken us to many places that we otherwise would never have thought to visit.
We use the Nuvi 660 for navigation (to get us close) then use the Garmin eTrex Legend to get the actual cache. Nuvi has saved us lots of gas $$ previously spent driving around.
It sure looks like fun....would have to break out my old SPIII with the batteries I guess.
I use a Nuvi 350 to geocache and found it to be very good at it. I go about it a different way than mentioned above. I load the coordinates from Geocaching.com and off I go. I let the unit get to a parking spot around the area. I then go into setup/navigation and change to off road and pedestrian mode. This will get me looking at my target like "as the crows fly". I can always get within 5 feet depending on coverage.
Anybody tried the Garmin Oregon ?
Have heard the word Geocaching for a while but never knew what it was till I read this post. Sounds like a lot of fun!!
My son is into this and I've been out with him a couple of times. He opted for an eTrex primarily for price. I brought along my 750 to see how well it would work for geocaching in pedestrian mode.
It works, but the hand held models are really better suited to this. They zoom in closer, many are more rugged and are better suited to being hand carried, and some models are WAAS enabled that further refines the accuracy. One caveat, the cache coordinates are only as good as what the cache owner used when he created the cache.
I expect either the Colorado and Oregon models are several notches above the eTrex, especially if topo maps are used to find some of the less accessible caches.
I know a couple people who use the Oregon, some are still on the Colorado, and I'm using a 60csx. All three are very good for geocaching. The chipset in these units is pretty darn good for caching especially when under tree cover.
The Colorado and Oregon also have the capability to play WhereIGo (www.whereigo.com) modules.
I have had a chance to use a Colorado for a little while. The wheel interface is different enough from my 60csx that it was cumbersome but I'm sure I would have gotten used to it given more time.
I haven't played with the Oregon (or the newer Dakota) with the touch screen yet so don't know how the user interface stacks up.
I don't intentionally Geo cache. But in the course of riding ATVs I have stumbled upon several Geocaches.
I have never bothered to look in them, because the view from where they were was absolutely astounding.
I did a few geocache first used my C330, after my nuvi 250w and now my etrex venture cx, the last one is the best until now, this summer I already did 38 cache, my wife is not in to geocaching but I like it.
Hey everyone. I'm an avid geocacher and recently discovered a way to do paperless geocaching with my garmin nuvi 205w. Paperless geocaching is going out without any papers you printed out. Its all in the nuvi...the coordinates, logs, descriptions, everything. The way you can do this is become a premium member at geocaching.com so you can have access to the gpx files that contain all the necessary information. I found this site:
which has a macro for the utility GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) that converts the gpx files into files you can read on the nuvi. Its awesome and I'm super excited about it because I have a garmin etrex vista that doesn't allow you to do this. I hope anyone else who is interested checks it out too!
I haven't actually tried geocaching with the Nuvi, but the transfer of the gpx info to the unit works well. It's been too snowy here in Cleveland to do much more than that. but that being said I don't think I'd use the Nuvi to actually find a geocache. Too many times you go over rough / wet terrain and I've dropped my GPS. Don't want to take that chance with the Nuvi. It would work very well for getting you to the area and providing the information, but for actually going out on the trail I'd use a handheld.
I decided to search for a thread on geocaching, rather than create a new thread about it.
If you do it, what GPS (or combination) do you use? Myself, I use a Nuvi 200 or 360 for driving capabilities and then a Garmin Oregon 400t in the field. I have 383 finds and also named Shelbrain on geocaching.com
Recently, as it has been mentioned elsewhere on this site, Garmin has entered the game with www.opencaching.com.
Some other sites to check out include:
...If you do it, what GPS (or combination) do you use? Myself, I use a Nuvi 200 or 360 for driving capabilities and then a Garmin Oregon 400t in the field...
My son is into geocaching and uses a nuvi for travels, but uses a GPSMAP60CSx for geocaching and this works very well for him. The battery life is excellent and there are certain features on the handheld unit that make it a more useful GPSr outside of the vehicle. Two of note are a rugged design and a screen that is visible in direct sunlight. He also has topo maps installed on the handheld which further enhances its use in the bush.
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