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Geocaching Adventures

I have been wanting to try geocaching for ages now, but I lacked a GPS device. Until earlier this month, when I received one as a birthday gift, hooray!

geocaching

I have been trying it out here and there when I get a bit of free time (summers are always very busy out here in the woods).

geocaching

Geocaching is sort of like a high-tech game of hide-and-seek. One person leaves a container (of various sizes, but usually smallish) tucked away in a hidden spot. They publish the GPS coordinates of the cache (the biggest site is Geocaching.com, I’m RSKnitting there if you want to friend me).

geocaching

Then you load those coordinates into your hand-held GPS device and head out to try and find it.

geocaching

The tricky part is, you often find yourself pulled over on the side of the road, walking back and forth, or wandering in circles through a parking lot.

geocaching

How, then, to avoid seeming suspicious?

geocaching

My personal solution is to act like I am taking photographs.

geocaching

I hold my camera out at arm’s length and fuss with the display and all.

geocaching

In a tourist area like Skagit County, people do dumb-ass things like pull over onto the shoulder of the road to take photos all the time.

geocaching

This results in me bringing home – in addition to the silly trinkets you find in the caches – a lot of photographs of weeds and trees and ditches.

geocaching

I realize I don’t have to actually take the pictures. The pantomime certainly doesn’t require that level of detail.

geocaching

But I find that once you start looking around…

geocaching

You realize that the world is a pretty interesting-looking place.

geocaching

9 comments to Geocaching Adventures

  • Debi

    Beautiful pic’s, even of weeds and ditches

  • Franz

    What a fun post!

  • I love this post. Thanks for all the lovely unnecessary photos. They are the best kind.

  • Otter

    Nice pix, and an agreement that geocaching is fun. Unfortunately I killed our GPS, we have yet to try the driving one for cache hunting.

  • Meg Mcg

    I try to geocache with my iPhone and haven’t found anything yet. 32 ft of error pretty much sucks.

    What kind of device do you have? How many have you found? What’s the accuracy of your device like? CAN I ASK MORE QUESTIONS?!

  • Keep up the pantomime, the photos are GREAT!

  • Erika

    Geocaching turns out to be a lot trickier than I thought it would be. So far my success rate is less than 50%. I have only found 3 out of the 6 caches I have gone looking for. And if you look at the actual attempts, it’s more like 3 successful out of a total of 10 attempts!

    I have a Garmin Etrex 10 which only has resolution to 20ft. I feel your pain. Basically my strategy is to get as close as I can, and then walk back and forth to triangulate (by watching the path flip around). I’m still working out how to get the best use out of the GPS, sometimes it really baffles me.

    My personal advice would be to try more caches. Some of them are a lot harder than others, and the person who hid it (i.e. who wrote the description) isn’t always the best judge of the difficulty. Also, sometimes the caches are just gone! And always check the log notes first, sometimes you can get valuable clues – or you can see when a lot of people are having a lot of trouble, and give that one a pass.

    The best advice I have gotten is to just sort of look over the area and think about where YOU would hide the cache. This is where the specific cache comes into play. On a busy city street where there are tons of nooks and crannies it’s hard to search 10 feet. But on a beach or in a parking lot it becomes a lot easier.

    As an example, one of the caches I found was at the edge of a parking lot. Once I had triangulated it down to within 10 feet it was pretty obvious – because the only thing in that area was weeds, pavement, and – aha – a light post.

  • Sara Byron

    Glad you tried geocaching! Personally, I like letterboxing better. But it adds the element of needing to learn to CARVE your own rubber stamps in order to log in to the letterboxes that you find. THey are often co-located with geocache’s – usually inadvertently. As a knitter, you will appreciate the creativity that carving stamps adds to the activity – but as a knitter, you may not want another craft to eat into your knitting time! To find out more about it you can go to atlasquest.com. Hope you look into ti!

  • Meredith MC

    I love the lichen photo. Thanks for sharing your adventures!