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Plan B - Geocaching
  • Topic created by LarryG on Sun May 17, 2020 at 9:22 pm
    Larry Geist (LarryG)
    LarryG
    Num Posts: 60
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 1998
    I have been dabbling with Geocaching (found the link under Club Info - O links) for years, as a supplement to Orienteering, but never got seriously into it.  Was never very good at finding the small hidden objects (vs. nice big, bright O control flags).  But this O-less season, it's been our primary way to get out on the trails (if not off-trail) and get some excercise and some natural scenery again.  Or just to get out of the house!  I've got a long way to go to catch up to Ed Scott, but up to 33 finds now.  Favorite was in the Swizzle Inn in Bermuda (pre-COVID). Tongue out
  • Reply by kathyu on Thu May 21, 2020 at 9:23 am
    Kathy Urban (kathyu)
    kathyu
    Num Posts: 574
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 2004
    Good idea, Larry.  I've been exploring odd corners of old DVOA maps.  Most recent interesting find is the fish farm area of Norristown Farm Park.  Yesterday it was The Willows.  I've explored Ft Wash and Evansburg multiple times.  So anyway, I bet there are caches I have passed many times without knowing.  So here is my question -- do you need a lot of patience or persistence to find geocaches?  Any tips for beginners?

  • Reply by LarryG on Fri May 22, 2020 at 2:11 pm
    Larry Geist (LarryG)
    LarryG
    Num Posts: 60
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 1998
    I still rely on map skills as much as the GPS to find the relative location of the cache.  When I first stumbled upon a 3 leg geococache in Valley Forge Park, I did the excercise with our O map and compass instead of GPS.  It involved some math to convert bearings, not recommended.  You can use a free smart phone app or standalone GPS to navigate (you can download the caches you are going to look for).  I didn't have the patience for the hide and seek part at first, but watched a couple of You Tubes that really helped.  One tip is that the GPS only gets you close, within 20 ft.  Once there, then you put the GPS away and search the area for the object.  You have some idea of the size and maybe some hints from the app.  Could be micro size, film cannister or a large box.  They can be disguised as fake rocks or even fake dog doo (make sure it's fake!).  And the results are posted online, so you can comment and compare, just like orienteering.  

    I've found caches in FW State park and Evansburg.  I see that there are a couple in Norristown Farm park, have to check those out.  One is an Earth Cache which includes a lesson in local Geology.  Requires a compass to answer some questions.  At least we know how to use a compass.
  • Reply by edscott on Fri May 22, 2020 at 10:05 pm
    Ed Scott (edscott)
    edscott
    Num Posts: 694
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map: Hickory Run 1:15000
    First O: 1983
    I started by doing caches that were on DVOA maps, or in obvious places, or in woods that I knew well. The geocaching website shows where they are on an aerial photo which I'd sometimes print and use as a map to get to the spot.  Later I got a GPS and now use it most of the time, but still often draw a rough map showing the best route from car to cache.  It is somethig to get me out of the house and in the woods whenever I have the urge to be in the woods.  There are caches on almost all our Orienteering maps so checking the aereial photo then marking the spot on a map should get you started.  Read the text on the cache page to get any other data that is given to help.  Here is a good place to start.

     https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC2E7F_warwick-park?guid=ab37540b-7709-415e-891d-bd81f8219117 
  • Reply by Petr on Sun May 24, 2020 at 11:16 pm
    Petr  Hartman (Petr)
    Petr
    Num Posts: 34
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 0
    Larry,

    you shouldn't have problem with fake v. real dog doo.
    You walk with a very long stick.

  • Reply by LarryG on Sat May 30, 2020 at 10:00 pm
    Larry Geist (LarryG)
    LarryG
    Num Posts: 60
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 1998
    Well, I normally don't need my trusty hiking stick for Geocaching, but today's Norristown Farm Park cache recommended one, and I'm glad I brought it.  Had my compass, map and stick, and NFP provided the mud, slippery rocks, and poison ivy for a pseudo-O experience.  At least the ticks were social distancing today.  And excellent weather, too bad no real O this weekend.  
  • Reply by KathleenG on Sat May 30, 2020 at 11:15 pm
    Kathleen Geist (KathleenG)
    KathleenG
    Num Posts: 94
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map: Elk Neck
    First O: 1998
    It took me a while to like geocaching, but now I find I can apply O skills.  Rather than using a GPS (the screen just shows your location and the cache location but no map features) I use the geocache app on my phone, which shows park trails, parking lots, and streams - so some map & distance skills can be used.  Also, I find myself now thinking like a course setter - where would I hide the control/geocache?  Sometimes the "owner" of a cache will post hints, so it is a bit more like having a control feature to look for.

  • Reply by LarryG on Fri Jun 19, 2020 at 10:57 pm
    Larry Geist (LarryG)
    LarryG
    Num Posts: 60
    Primary Club: DVOA
    Fav map:
    First O: 1998
    I'll be back on Plan A O-ing tomorrow, but I see that there are 5 geocaches in McKaig.  Might have to come back for those sometime.
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