Geocaching, hiking, camping, any outdoorsy people here?


#1

DH and I bought a GPS not too long ago and have been getting a kick out of going geocaching. We’ve found hiking trails in our area that we never knew existed.

Anybody else into geocaching or hiking? We’re also looking into going camping, but haven’t started that yet. It’s been a blast! It rained like mad here yesterday, so the trail we went on today was all wet. One of the caches we found was right in the middle of a creek bed. It was on dry land, but it was surrounded by water. We went wading through the creek like a couple of little kids. It was soooo fun. :smiley:

One thing we need that will make our experience better is a much better backpack. We’ve been using a satchel DH got from work. Everything piles in the bottom, making it heavy and awkward. Any recommendations??

Happy hunting and exploring!


#2

I used to be an avid hiker and backpacker, until my knee went bad.

Here in Oregon, where I live,m there are more than 1,000 miles of trails within a one hour drive of my home.

I have used GPS units before, but only in aircraft (I am a private pilot.) Personally, I am a bit dubious about navigating at the mercy of a couple of AA batteries. I do not think I would use one as my primary or sole navigation method when hiking. I am pretty good at map reading and orienteering and there is something quite important about being able to read and map and landmarks. While there is always a first time, I have yet to be lost. On the other hand, a GPS can be very handy if something were to go bad and I needed to get out quickly.

Hopefully, after my next knee surgery in a couple of weeks, I will be able to resume hiking and backpacking again.

By the way, I have never heard the term “geocaching”. What is it?


#3

Me! Me! Me!

Been geocaching since Dec. '03 and it’s the one sport that will get me out walking and climbing to places where I’d never go otherwise. At the end of July DH and I, along with another couple, are heading for the Mega in Québec City.

Do you go for long hikes that require a lot of gear? It’s worth the money to splurge on a well-fitted backback with padded straps. DH is a Scout leader so backpacks are plentiful in our house. Unfortunately all of them are too big for me so I let him carry the stuff (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it) :smiley: I wear my fishing vest which has ample pockets to carry my calling cards, geocoins, GPSr, pen, trading goodies, mp3 player, telephone, etc.

When it comes to caching I have a competitive streak a mile wide. We’re one of the few couples around here who cache individually, most of the others cache as couples or as families. All’s fair when searching for a ‘First to Find’ and I’m known for getting up at 4-5a.m. to check the website for new one. Then I’m on the go without waking DH. He’s the same if one pops up while I’m busy at something. I get off work at 2 p.m. so I have the drop on our biggest rival who teaches and only gets out at 4. A few weeks ago I headed straight from work to a cache in the middle of the woods dressed in skirt, hose and pumps. Scored a FTF on that one.:smiley: OTOH, when we’re going for a previously found cache, we make a point of not telling the other one where we’ve found it, calling instead “Found it - it’s rectangular and dark green” and allowing the other to also find the container.

Another trait that others have noticed in me is my uncanny ability to bushwhack my way to a cache only to discover on the way back that there is a perfectly easy way to get to it. My most notorious adventure was the day I spent over an hour fighting my way to the shore through brush that would have been best dealt with by machete, only to realize that I was on the wrong side of the inlet. Another 35 minutes back to the car only to find that there was a trail about 50 feet away and I was only a 4 minute walk to the cache site. :o


#4

Geocaching is using billion dollar satellites to find Tupperware in the woods. :smiley:

People hide ‘caches’, post the coordinates on the internet and we fanatics go look for them. Caches can be size of the first the first joint of your baby finger to a large Rubbermaid bin and everything in between.

www.geocaching.com

will give you all the information you need to get started on this addictive hobby.


#5

My wife and I just got back from the Smokies where we, true to form, turned a 4 mile hike (with 670 ft elevation change) into a 51/2 mile trek. Missed a trail marker…

It was a family reunion so we only did one hike in the week, and pulled as many people with us as we could. I think we had about seven - the rest decided to be bumps-on-logs back at the cabin.

The deer and her fawn we saw on the trail were pretty cool, but the black bear we saw was a little disturbing, but still cool, especially when he belly flopped onto the leaves and slid down the mountain paws first!


#6

Okay. This geocaching sounds like a lot of fun!

After I recover rom my knee surgery, perhaps I will look into this! This gives me a good excuse to get out go hiking!

And there are so many places in Oregon to do that!

Any suggestions on a GPS unit? The portable one I have is intended as an aid to navigating an airplane, not for hiking.


#7

will be doing this all through July with DD and grandkids, most of their outdoor fun unless it is organized sports involves GeoC to some extent, popular sites are on or near the great metropark trails in Cleveland and Akron, and we will be at a whole-family campout in Mohican country for 10 days, and they are already mapping out their GC strategy.


#8

I take it you checked out the website and checked out how many caches there are within a specific radius from your postal code?

Most of the geocachers I know use Garmin products. I started with an eTrex Legend and have moved up to the eTrex Legend HCx which has more storage for maps & routes.

DH uses a GPSMAPS 60CSx but that’s only because he REEEELY REEEELY likes toys. The eTrex Legend or Vista is really all you need for caching.


#9

This is the one we have. We decided to buy one and DH was convinced we had to have this one. :wink: I like it; we definitely haven’t figured out all the features yet, but it’s been really accurate so far.

We did something similar last weekend, Paul. We went on a puzzle cache. Turns out the first puzzle piece was missing so our coordinates were off. We went down the wrong trail and ended up not finding the cache. Came back the next week with a map and found it.


#10

The more I read about geocaching, the more fun it sounds. I hope I heal quickly!


#11

Phemie, do you look for microcaches? DH and I went out Sunday to a couple of state parks to look for some. We had the worst luck! We didn’t find a single one. Got home and read through the hints; we’re ready to go back. It was really frustrating, though. I think we need more practice.

We’re going out of town tomorrow to visit family and we’re already planning our geocaching route!:smiley:


#12

Regular, micro, nano, we do 'em all.

Truth be told, I hate micros and nanos but I won’t avoid looking for a new cache just because it’s tiny. There is one nano here that I’ve already spent 4 hours looking for and can’t find. I’ve held it in my hand because another cacher found it while I was also looking but I won’t cheat so I told him to put it back where he found it and I kept looking. It’s about as big as the tip of your baby finger.

One of the most frustrating caches I did was called “The Biggie”. It WAS big, a big Rubbermaid bin. Inside, 300 35mm film canisters. You had to keep opening each one until you found the log book. A few had trade items in them. I looked for it one early April morning when the snow was still hard and deep where the cache was. By the time I found the log book the snow had melted under my bum and my jeans were soaked. When I stopped by the local coffee shop on my way home I looked like I’d missed toilet training 101.:smiley:


#13

Just got back from a Colorado vacation with friends who are big time geocachers. Got us hooked! DH spent way too much time on the computer yesterday trying to find us a GPS at the “best” price. He took the kids (DD 19 and DS 16) to a local park to look for a cache using DS’s Tom Tom (not the greatest GPS for geocaching they decided) and decided the cache had probably been “tree trimmed” away - they found a lid. Both kids are real excited to get started with us. Wish we had found this hobby when they were younger!

Kris


#14

I only started when I was 50 so do not despair. :smiley:

We just spent the weekend at a Mega event in Quebec City. Only found a few caches there but we had geocached our way from home to the city, finding interesting tourists sites as a bonus.

DH just completed 10 years of employment with his company and as a reward you are invited to order anything you want from a ‘gift’ catalog. He picked a Magellan GPS, designed more for driving navigation than geocaching. Now we own 3 Garmins for geocaching and the Magellan for navigation.


#15

I just got back from a week of hiking and camping in the Colorado Rockies. Nothing beats it.

Kathy


#16

tromped all over Mohican country in mid-Ohio with DD and family geocaching, among canoing and other pursuits, last week. boy am I glad to be back at work, they wore me out. I could not decipher any of the clues or find any of the hiding places, but the grandkids were on them in a flash. Grandson kindly led me to the spot so I could have the fun of finding at least one. He subscribes to the “no grandma left behind” policy.


#17

Some more outdoorsy people that haven’t been mentioned yet:

Pope John Paul II
Bl. Pierre Giorgio Frassati

Both were avid hikers.


#18

Well, I have about 2-1/2 to 3 weeks before I can get off the crutches. (Knee surgery last month.) As soon as I am better, I am certainly going to try my hand at this geocaching thing. I can hardly wait.

I bought a book, Geocaching for the Complete Idiot. I am also checking out www.geocaching.com.

I need to get a GPS, however. I have never used a hand held or automobile GPS. The only GPS units I have used have been been for aviation, and they are pretty sophisticated. In looking at the hand held units, I find some of them allow you to actually download data directly from www.geocaching.com into the unit. That sounds pretty cool, and eliminates the need for printing stuff out.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a decent GPS. (Oregon has some pretty rugged terrain and heavy forests in many places.) Price is not really an issue for me. Also, I have noticed that some people have multiple GPS units. Why? As a cross-check?


#19

We have the Garmin 60CSx. We really like it. We paid about $300 for it from Amazon. We priced them at Bass Pro and Cabela’s and they’re significantly cheaper from Amazon.

I hope your recovery is going well, rpp!

We went to St. Louis a couple of weeks ago and hit just about every geocache right off of I-44 and quite a few in St. Louis. It was such fun! One was in an old, abandoned cemetary that directly overlooks the interstate. Two of the graves were still standing. It was amazing.

I can’t wait till the weather cools down and we can get out some more. There’s a conservation area about an hour from here with a shooting range that we love. There are tons of caches there too. We went shooting last week, but skipped the caching.


#20

Even a Garmin Legend, a fairly cheap model, allows you to download from geocaching.com directly to the GPSr. I would stick to a Garmin product, but I’m rather biased having 3 different ones.

We bought the 60CSx because hubby and I don’t like sharing a unit because we don’t cache as a team (too competitive for that :smiley: ). Then as a gift he upgraded me to the Legend Color and stuffed the old Legend in his search and rescue team bag. He got the Magellan as a gift and it talks to us to tell us where to go, practical when you’re in a strange city.


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