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Thread: Brand new geocaching here goes

  1. #1

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    Oct 2004
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    I am 38 years old guy and have two son's 10 and 6 and while surfing the other day I stumbled onto geocaching.
    What a brilliant idea, so here is what I intend on doing follow my postings and find out which gps I buy and the fun we have on finding our first geocache.
    I also have quite an extensive knowledge of Hainault forest, Bedford Park, some of Epping Forest also (basically south east Essex)
    Firstly my decision is to buy two etrex the yellow ones from eBay but a UK models not US import as the maps might be wrong.
    Then I will buy an etrex vista c for myself
    We are going in search for some geocaches on sat 23rd October 2004 and we will let you know how we get on

  2. #2

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    Hi Siloans welcome to the addiction . A couple of things, the Yellow Etrex does not have maps on it, but is great for starting out with, I've had mine for 2 years and had no problems with it. Secondly your lads will really love going out caching, and will be pestering you to go out every day . Let us know how you go on, you will find most of the chat on the UK forums of Geocaching.com, that will be the best place if you have any querys.

    Dave
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  3. #3
    paul.blitz Guest

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    I too still have a yellow eTrex... excellent GPSr!

    You need to add a few things to the purchase list (although you may well have some already). Mainly coz winter is coming:

    - welly boots for everyone
    - waterproofs
    - gloves
    - unbreakable flasks for a reviving cup of tea or coffee (I just take water and use instant tea&#33
    - small rucksacks to put stuff into
    - a compass (a cheap one is fine)
    - bottles of water
    - a dog

    (btw: If you have a PDA, then there are programs available (both palm & pocketpc) that let you carry cache details with you.)

    Have fun: I'm sure your kids will have GREAT fun!


    Paul

  4. #4

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    Okay so I have bought off EBay my first GPS £65.00 for a etrex base model and I have ordered 8 bug tags and have registered with ecocaching.com
    Loged onto and found our nearest sites 2 miles away
    What I want to know now is what make’s the best caches boxes (being in the building trade I come across lots of plastic boxes all the time any advice please)
    Going out Sunday 24th October to find our first few wish us luck……….. [QUOTE]Only dead fish go with the flow?

  5. #5

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    siloans wrote:
    What I want to know now is what make’s the best caches
    The best plastic boxes are the ones which have a seal to make them completely watertight. Lock and lock boxes (spelt in various ways) are perhaps the best of all - they have clip-down tags around the top to hold the top firmly on.

    Some people prefer metal ammo boxes, which you can get at army surplus stores or at a number of places online.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  6. #6
    Teasel Guest

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    When looking for a plastic box, make sure both box and lid are very flexible or they might crack. Ice cream tubs are notorious for cracking and lids falling off. We tend to go for Addis Seal Tight boxes for our caches. The lids seal well, even when the box has been over-stuffed with McDonalds toys, and they seem reasonably resistant to cracking. Wouldn't recommend them for places which might flood though (you really want a screw top container for that - BDH cylinders are great).

    Another good choice, if you can find a local source, are old ammo boxes. Rugged and waterproof, the only problem is that muggles sometimes think they're bombs, and some landowners only want plastic boxes. Make sure you paint over all traces of their past life and include a large "harmless contents" label on the outside clearly showing your phone number. If someone does report it, better the local bobby calls you than the bomb squad!

    Good luck at the weekend! B)

    [Edit: is there an echo in here? I need to learn to type quicker&#33

  7. #7

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    :huh: I have an idea how about if I use 4.5 inch grey waste pipe seal one end with a proper solvent end cap and at the other end have a screw inspection cap with its o ring seal
    And this would be about 40 cm long
    Then place it upright with about 10 cm in the ground this would look like a natural water system pipe coming out of the ground and mugles would not give it a second look
    also what do the symbals mean on the search for caches near me on www.caching.com thanks
    ps half term next week so I will be out all next week with the kids just as well I got rechargable batterys.....

  8. #8

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    I believe pipes like that have been used successfully as containers. I've not heard of them being openly visible, though. It would be interesting to see if it did prove invisible to muggles! A possible problem with that idea is that caches are not supposed to be buried - I don't know how the approvers would interpret part of the cache being in the ground.

    The symbols (some may be obvious but I'll list them all anyway):
    The little red arrows in the first column give the direction from the start point of your search.
    If you've found or placed a cache, there will be a red tick or arrow respectively in the second column.
    The third column is for the cache type. A single box for a traditional cache, two boxes for a multi, a ghost for a virtual, and so on.
    If there's a travel bug in a cache there will be a TB tag in the next column (a sort of upright oval).
    Then there's the column with the difficulty and terrain ratings (3/2.5 etc.), and beneath those a rectangular box with sections for the size of container. The red mark indicates which. From left to right, micro, small, regular, large, and virtual (no container).
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  9. #9

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    Hi before I hide my first cache is it normal to place it in a bag or not and how many times do you check that you have the best lat and long ??? <_<
    and how the i put photo&#39;s of the sit e onto the main listing page

  10. #10
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Originally posted by siloans@Oct 22 2004, 10:43 AM
    Hi before I hide my first cache is it normal to place it in a bag or not and how many times do you check that you have the best lat and long ??? <_<
    and how the i put photo&#39;s of the sit e onto the main listing page
    The best advice I can give you about hiding a cache yourself is to go out and find a few first. That way you&#39;ll understand how & where they are hidden, what you&#39;ll find in caches etc.

    The caches that are often deemed "good" and that tend to survive are hidden in such a way that a cacher will have a very good chance of spotting it, whilst a casual passer-by wouldn&#39;t even bat an eyelid. Until you&#39;ve found a few, you may find this difficult to appeciate.

    The best example I can give was a small cache hidden between two adjacent tree-trunks (we&#39;re talking about a 3 to 4 inch spacing) under a pile of pine tree needles. Like that, it would be quite difficult even for a cacher to find, but when you place two small sticks from a deciduous tree on top, it stands out to a cacher&#33; Anyone else wouldn&#39;t even think about it (heck, I bet a few cachers might fail to spot that too&#33

    As for the lat / long... first make sure you have it set to WGS84 datum&#33; If you use OSGB, you&#39;ll be 300 metres away&#33;&#33;&#33; (Another good reason to find some caches first&#33;&#33;&#33. I normally take 3 or 4, over as long a period as sensible (30 mins maybe?) if possible, go there on 2 or 3 different days.

    Then, walk away say 50 yards, and follow the arrow to your cache, and see if it takes you there&#33;


    As for bags... NO NO NO... please take a moment to read the GAGB guidelines: they are pretty well all just "common sense", and whilst (like the bag one) they may seem odd, there are good reasond for them all. The reason for no bags is 2 fold... a damp bag attracts all sorts of nasty creatures, and tends to get slimy and smelly. Yuk&#33; In addition, bags can cause problems to various animals.


    Now, talking about "caches hidden in pine needles", Paul and I have a cache to find tomorrow, down near the new forest....

    Paul

  11. #11
    birders Guest

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    <<I have an idea how about if I use 4.5 inch grey waste pipe seal one end with a proper solvent end cap and at the other end have a screw inspection cap with its o ring seal >>

    We did a cache 2-3 weeks ago which used precisely that system as a container - a most excellent and weather proof method. As long as you can find a good hidey hole it should prove very reliable.

    Good luck..

  12. #12

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    well i am hooked i have so far found 35 caches and created 5 of my own yellow gps are working fine
    the next thing I want to know is what is the best software for finding out rough locations re lat and long i have route master 2005 but its coordinates are a bit out ???

  13. #13

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    siloans wrote:
    the next thing I want to know is what is the best software for finding out rough locations
    You can do it online from GeocacheUK&#39;s Stats pages. Do a search from there, and the link in the &#39;Grid Ref&#39; column for each cache goes to a Streetmap map showing the location of the co-ords at the top of the cache page.

    The link in the &#39;Name&#39; column goes to a parsed version of the cache page which converts co-ords on the page to OS grid refs and shows them as links to Streetmap (provided they&#39;ve been entered in a recognisable form). That can be very useful for parking places and intermediate stages of some multis.

    It&#39;s not spot-on because of the conversions, but it&#39;s pretty close.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  14. #14
    roberts-tribe Guest

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    Originally posted by Bill D (wwh)@Nov 7 2004, 06:34 PM
    siloans wrote:
    the next thing I want to know is what is the best software for finding out rough locations
    You can do it online from GeocacheUK&#39;s Stats pages. Do a search from there, and the link in the &#39;Grid Ref&#39; column for each cache goes to a Streetmap map showing the location of the co-ords at the top of the cache page.

    The link in the &#39;Name&#39; column goes to a parsed version of the cache page which converts co-ords on the page to OS grid refs and shows them as links to Streetmap (provided they&#39;ve been entered in a recognisable form). That can be very useful for parking places and intermediate stages of some multis.

    It&#39;s not spot-on because of the conversions, but it&#39;s pretty close.
    For converting between OSGB & lat Lon, I use Grid InQuest. It&#39;s free ( you do have to register though ) from here http://www.qgsl.com/software/gridiq.php

    Excellent program.

    Only works on PCs though. I have contacted them to ask about a PocketPC port but didn&#39;t get a reply.

  15. #15

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    roberts-tribe wrote:
    For converting between OSGB & lat Lon, I use Grid InQuest.
    ...
    Only works on PCs though. I have contacted them to ask about a PocketPC port but didn&#39;t get a reply.
    There doesn&#39;t seem to be anything like that for handhelds at all. I use a Palm, and can&#39;t find anything for that which converts to OSGB.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  16. #16
    60north Guest

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    Can Palms convert MS Excel spreadsheets? I got a conversion spreadsheet by googling.

  17. #17

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    60north wrote:
    Can Palms convert MS Excel spreadsheets? I got a conversion spreadsheet by googling.
    There are a few spreadsheets for Palm which claim to be compatible with Excel, but I haven&#39;t tried them. They&#39;re not free, I&#39;m afraid.

    Quicksheet

    Addition4Palm

    Tinysheet

    The last two sites both seem to be extremely slow at the moment, so the links are to the home pages.

    Is the conversion spreadsheet Waypoint Workbench, by the way?
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  18. #18

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    :P just a quick update i am upto 85 found so far as of 29/11/2004 not bad for a newbe thanks for the advice simon

  19. #19
    60north Guest

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    Originally posted by Bill D (wwh)@Nov 8 2004, 08:21 PM
    60north wrote:
    Can Palms convert MS Excel spreadsheets? I got a conversion spreadsheet by googling.
    There are a few spreadsheets for Palm which claim to be compatible with Excel, but I haven&#39;t tried them. They&#39;re not free, I&#39;m afraid.

    Quicksheet

    Addition4Palm

    Tinysheet

    The last two sites both seem to be extremely slow at the moment, so the links are to the home pages.

    Is the conversion spreadsheet Waypoint Workbench, by the way?
    Sorry for the delay in responding. The file was just called osgb.xls

    Let me know if you want me to send it.

    Andy

  20. #20

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    60north wrote:
    Sorry for the delay in responding. The file was just called osgb.xls

    Let me know if you want me to send it.
    Thanks, but no, I was just curious.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  21. #21
    60north Guest

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    I have just found waypoint workbench again and it looks much nicer graphically than what I have

    Andy

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