General chatter - Geocaching!




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kaplods
04-01-2010, 05:07 PM
Hubby and I bought a second-hand handheld gps for geocaching. For $29, we bought a Lowrance iFinder GO GPS (it's bright yellow). Nothing fancy, but more than enough to do the job.

I've been wanting a gps unit for geocaching for a long time (a couple years, I think) but other priority expenses kept coming up.

I'm so excited I feel like a kid with a new toy (a bright, shiny yellow new toy).


NiteNicole
04-01-2010, 05:21 PM
Cool! Two years ago I wanted to try so I got a Garmin. It was so confusing I sent it back and never tried again. It looks like so much fun!

kaplods
04-02-2010, 12:28 AM
You might like some of the newer gps's - they come with coordinates preloaded.

The Apishpere Geomate Jr looks like it's the simplest to use. If I had to buy new, I think it's the one I would have gotten. It comes with 250,000 caches preloaded (USA caches), and you can buy an optional updating kit (to connect to your computer and download the newest cache updates).

From the information I found on amazon.com, it sounds like absolutely no tech experience or aptitude is needed at all, for example the copy on amazon describes the unit like this:


Simply go outside, turn it on and follow the arrow and distance to your closest geocache. Hit the "Next" button and the Geomate.jr will take you to the next closest geocache.


The one we bought today is NOT that user-friendly, but hubby was able to figure it out enough to program in three cache locations, and he'll do more if he has time this weekend. We've got a really busy weekend with friends visiting and a large birthday party for hubby's 40th, and one of his friend's 30th.

Tentatively, we've set a geocaching date for Wednesday of next week.


HotWings
04-02-2010, 01:13 AM
Hey this is a great outdoor hobby!! My husband took our kids geocaching quite a bit for a couple spring/summers. They had a great time - and it really is all about the journey and not the caches. It's great fun - good for you!

I assume you have been to geocaching.com ? All the latest caches can be found there. :yes:

kaplods
04-02-2010, 01:44 AM
Yep, there are a couple other websites with caches for Wisconsin (maybe more by now, I haven't checked in more than a year), but the geocaching.com website is the only geocaching resource we use.

I love that you get information on the terrain, and difficulty of the cache. It helps us because we both have balance and mobility issues. We both sometimes have to use a cane (more often in winter), so rock climbing is generally out...

GeoKasher
04-02-2010, 08:22 AM
I was happy to see this post! :D We are actually getting ready right now to head out on our 2nd geocaching trip of the season.

We are doing a series of caches right now that involve 10 counties in our state. You have to find 6 geocaches in each county that have a special ink stamp in them. You stamp your passport book and when you have all the stamps for each county you receive a special medallion for each county. We have 3 counties left to do.

When we finish this we're doing another series that takes you to 16 towns in one county and you have to collect passwords from each cache. Then you get wooden nickels for each town.

We started geocaching last year and have had a great time. We're up to 104 caches right now.

AnnieDrews
04-02-2010, 12:54 PM
Oh, how fun!!:carrot: I have really been interested in giving this a try. Been unable to work a GPS into the budget, but good idea on looking for a used one. That might be doable!! Can't wait to hear a report on your first outing.

kaplods
04-02-2010, 04:37 PM
Our very first geocaching experience was several years ago. My husband's dad and stepmom regifted us a gps that a friend had given FIL several years before (to mark the location of good fishing spots). We used it for geocaching almost every weekend that summer and fall. The following spring, we couldn't find it (we suspect, but aren't sure that it might be in a van we sold to a friend).


At the time, hubby was in much better shape than I was (now that's somewhat reversed. Even with his cane, he can walk much faster than I can, but he wears out sooner).

What I love about the geocaching.com site, is that each cache is rated for difficulty and terrain. Several of the caches that we started with, could have been accessed even in a wheelchair.

Most of the caches are tupperware and other weather-proof containers with a log book to sign and little trinkets to take as trophies. You don't have to take a trophy, but you're expected to leave one, if you take one. We went to the dollar store and bought a package of small, brightly colored plastic frogs (hubby collects frog stuff. I collect wolves). Most people sign just their first name or an alias, we chose an alias and signed the logs "frogman and wolfgirl."

One day, we visited several caches, and we found that we were about 30 minutes behind another couple... from Finland. Wausau has a kayak course running right through downtown that is opened for competition. It draws people from around the world.


I HATE walking for exercise. Even beautiful scenery isn't enough to keep me motivated, when I start to get tired. What was so fun about geocaching, is that I was really willing to push myself to my limit to get to the cache. Seeing and selecting from all the little doodads, and reading the log books was so much fun that I didn't realize how much effort I was putting in.

And it's the perfect kind of exercise for my fibromyalgia (I'm able to take it at my own pace and can rest if I start getting tired). Endurance exercise works better for me than effort exercise. Slow pace, gentle exercise for a longer time, works better than intense workouts for a short time.


The funniest cache was on the front lawn of the county courthouse, on a Saturday afternoon. We felt very conspicuous rummaging around in the bushes. Even though the cache listing said that the cache was approved by the authorities, we were sure that it looked like we were up to no good, and hoped that the police were aware of the cache.

A couple in a car did stop their car and were staring at us. We laughed so hard, I'm surprised I didn't pee my pants.

Whenever we went to visit friends or relatives in other cities, we'd log onto the geocaching website and find caches near them or on the way.

Some of the caches had coordinates, clues or riddles leading to other caches.

We also learned that some people give lousy clues. We spent almost an hour trying to find a cache in a stump (the location was a wooded area that was being harvested for timber - there were dozens of stumps and only one fallen log (the cache was in the log). Hubby and I were justifiably miffed, after all doesn't everyone know that a stump still has it's roots in the ground and sits vertically, while a log has no roots and lies horizontally.

And a few times we couldn't find the cache at all. Once we found the tin can described in the cache, but it had been emptied by muggles ( a geocaching term stolen from the Harry Potter books).

and defined here

http://www.geocachingonline.com/2007/10/31/what-is-a-muggle/


The cache was in a park and near a school, so it's likely that a child found the "hidden treasure." At least I hope it was a child (there are actually people who will destroy caches just for spite or twisted fun).

Smart cachers put a note on or in the container explaining geocaching, and asking anyone stumbling upon the cache to replace it, and explains geocaching.

It was by way of just such a "muggle" that hubby and I ended up with the gifted gps and learned of geocaching. When FIL and his wife gave us the gps, they gave it to us after learning about geocaching. Friends or family of theirs had stumbled upon geocachers while hiking. They asked the people what they were doing.

When they told the story to FIL and his wife, they instantly thought of us (we're "weird enough" to enjoy something like that), so it inspired them to give us the gps and tell us about geocaching.

NiteNicole
04-03-2010, 12:44 AM
You know, I remember reading that there was going to be a GPS for kids made specifically for Geocaching. I should see if that's out yet. I am certain my daughter would love this and I've been wanting to try it for years. You make it sound fun!

kaplods
04-03-2010, 03:30 AM
You know, I remember reading that there was going to be a GPS for kids made specifically for Geocaching. I should see if that's out yet. I am certain my daughter would love this and I've been wanting to try it for years. You make it sound fun!

Yes it is. It's the Geomate Jr by Apishpere that I described in my second post in this thread. It's also bright yellow (I don't know if it comes in other colors. I've only seen it in the yellow). The retail price is around $70 and the update kit is another $25 (it allows you to download updates whenever you want to by connecting your gps to your computer).

There's also a geocaching book for kids called Let's Go Geocaching (on Amazon it's $3.99 new, or used, starting at $1.28).

GeoKasher
04-03-2010, 08:06 AM
Oh, how fun!!:carrot: I have really been interested in giving this a try. Been unable to work a GPS into the budget, but good idea on looking for a used one. That might be doable!! Can't wait to hear a report on your first outing.

That's how we got into geocaching. It was actually my Weight Watcher leader that got me interested. She'd talk about it in her meetings. Her daughter decided to sell her GPS unit to get a nicer one and my leader wondered if I was interested. DH's birthday was coming up, so I bought it and we've been geocaching ever since!

Yesterday was a fun, but exhausting day. We managed to get the 6 caches for one more county. 2 more counties to go. I think next time we're going to drive out to one of the counties, get that one done, spend the night at a hotel or B&B and then do the last one on the way back. They're just too far away to do in 1 day. By the time we get to where we're going, it's late in the morning and we have lost a lot of valuable time so we're rushing to get the caches done and can't really enjoy it like we'd like to.

NiteNicole
04-03-2010, 01:09 PM
Yes it is. It's the Geomate Jr by Apishpere that I described in my second post in this thread. It's also bright yellow (I don't know if it comes in other colors. I've only seen it in the yellow). The retail price is around $70 and the update kit is another $25 (it allows you to download updates whenever you want to by connecting your gps to your computer).

There's also a geocaching book for kids called Let's Go Geocaching (on Amazon it's $3.99 new, or used, starting at $1.28).

How did I miss that whole post? Yep, that's the one!

kaplods
04-11-2010, 04:30 PM
Well, our geocaching experience a few days ago was a disaster. Turns out the gps, is a piece of crap. I don't know if it was defective from the factory, or whether the previous owner damaged it in some way. It's accurace is almost a half mile off. It directed us to the inside of a factory (suspicious), but we assumed that the cache creator had entered inaccurate coordinates. Then at our second cache, while my husband stood still, the gps was reading "moving" numbers 10 feet away, 30 feet away, 5 feet away - all while standing still. And when David checked the location on the map when we got home, we were looking in an area half a mile from the cache's location for both caches.

$30 down the drain (pawn shop, no returns). Guess we'll be buying new, when we can afford it. Poop, poop, poop.

angelskeep
04-11-2010, 05:11 PM
Hey, y'all. I think the only time I ever heard about this was on an episode of Law & Order. But reading your posts intrigued me, so I went to the geocaching website, and discovered there are multiple caches in my zip code. I am sure Robert would love doing this, so I'm gonna ask if he's heared of it and if he'd like to get a gps when we can afford it and give this a try. I am getting a *little*more fit each week as I try to lose these extra pounds from quitting smoking, so it might be a possibility. Thanks for the inspiration!

Kaplods...I'm sorry your gps didn't work right. Is it something that can be repaired cheaper than buying a new one? We have a Sierra Trading Post outlet store here in town...I should see if htey have any of them cheap.

Barb

kaplods
04-11-2010, 05:51 PM
I'll probably contact the company, but electronic gadgets are almost always cheaper to replace than repair (if they can even be repaired), especially one that isn't under any warrantee.

The pawn shop has an "as is" policy, and we were allowed to test it in the store (but all we could see was that it "appeared" to be in working order, there was no way to test it's accuracy in the store).

angelskeep
04-11-2010, 05:58 PM
That really sucks. Is there any chance they would let you trade up? Do you do bsiness at that particular pawn shop often? Sometimes if they know you, then they are willing to help out if nobody loses money and they can keep customers.

I was just telling Robert about the geocaching thing. He is out back "building" a walkway/deck thingy of sorts. One of our friends had a nice boardwalk walkway at her b&b and didn't like it, so she had it torn up and we got it for free. Robertt was NOT a happy camper to get it. But it saved him from having to build a foundation for a storage shed. It became a mini porch for our woodworking shed yesterday,. and now is getting use from another chunk. LOL! It has definitely come in handy, with parts of it for 3 projects and still some left for more. Anyhow, He wants us to look at gps's and I'll probably get him one as a Father's Day not-surprise, so we can give it a try. He loves to be outdoors, me, not so much. I'll keep my eye out for sales and such.

Right now, REI has a coupon for their members, 20% off any one item. They have that one you were talking about, the bright yellow one for $70-ish and then 20% off would be a pretty good deal. I'll see if I can drag Robert over to Sierra later today and see what they have there and let you know.

Barb

LandonsBaby
04-11-2010, 06:07 PM
We started geocaching last summer and my husband is OBSESSED. He eats, sleeps and breaths geocaching. He's into the really difficult finds now where he has to climb 60 feet in a tree, go down tunnels, use a boat, etc. He also does a lot of puzzle caches. There is one now that has like, 42 levels? It's insane. He also hides most micros (which I think are EVIL as they are the size of a thimble or smaller), puzzles or in trees/tunnels. This weekend he was going to hit 1500. That's in one year. Today he went out with his dad two hours away to do a tree climb. I myself have probably only found 100 or so. I started my own account to keep track a couple months ago but I haven't found much. I wouldn't go out in the winter like he does. I have cached in 10 states so far. I don't climb trees. Or go in tunnels.

kaplods
04-11-2010, 08:21 PM
That really sucks. Is there any chance they would let you trade up? Do you do bsiness at that particular pawn shop often? Sometimes if they know you, then they are willing to help out if nobody loses money and they can keep customers.


I suggested it to hubby, but he didn't keep the receipt (I had warned him against that when we bought it. He said "it doesn't matter they don't take returns").

I suggested it again after we had problems, he's still dead-set against it (even if the guy remembers us and wants to make us happy), because he say's he'd feel responsible if they put it back in the case, some other poor sucker buys it, and gets lost in the woods because of it.

He also says he doesn't want to take a chance on a more expensive model (which was at least three times the price) and then have take it back for a $100 credit at the pawn shop instead of $30.

We are going to talk to the owner next time we're in, but more as a "heads up" (and maybe he will give us some kind of credit) that they need to be cautious with gps units. I'm sure the owner was under the same assumption we were - that if it "appeared to be working" then it was.

Looking on reviews, it looks like this particular model has some very negative customer reviews on its accuracy, so it may actually be a manufacturer's defect. But unless there was a recall, (and even sometimes if there was) the manufacturer may not honor it for a unit with no proof of purchase.


Still, it's worth contacting the pawn shop and the manufacturer, so I'll do both, just not holding my breath that we'll see any refund on it.

MikoMarcia
04-11-2010, 08:54 PM
My hubby and I just did this today. Searched for 3, found 2. It's awesome. And it got us out of the house hiking.