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Thread: Wot no GPS!

  1. #1
    Pigling Guest

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    Hello everyone!

    I'm new to geocaching, but very impressed with the whole idea and the responsible way it is organised.

    I was introduced to geocaching by my rich son who has a super-duper GPS with all the bells and whistles. However, with many varied other hobbies and living on a pension, I cannot justify the outlay required for a GPS.

    Now approaching double figures for finds, I am enjoying the challenge of geocaching without the aid of a GPS. I use the description and the clue, I read logs for hints, I look at uploaded images and I copy and paste all this information together with a few tiles downloaded from the Streetmap link. Streetmap is brilliant and always, so far, very accurate. Somehow using a GPS seems like cheating!!

    How many other geocachers are there out there resarching carefully before setting off and enjoying the challenge of solving the problem without electronic help?

    Are there enough for organisers to add to their description of this great game the a GPS is not essential? It would open up this activity to a significant extra number of participants. I concede that I will not find every geocache without a GPS but what sort of proportion will be impossible?

    Finally, would hiders consider indicating [as they already do for difficulty and terrain], whether or not they consider that a cache is is suitable for searchers without a GPS?

    Just a thought!

    Pigling

  2. #2
    nobbynobbs Guest

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    well done for the finds. you cn get a geko 201 for only 40 or so off ebay and so on. so it doesn't have to be too costly.

    as regards findability. if you map reading skills are sufficient then there's no reason you couldn't find any cache. that's the problem with owners making that comment. if you can't read a map then it doesn't matter how easy a find the cache is!

    happy hunting

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Wiltshire
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    5,520

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    I found my first six caches using more or less the methods that you describe, without a gps. By then, though, I knew I was going to continue caching, and would sooner or later want to hide caches myself. For that, a gps is essential in order to be able to post co-ordinates for it.

    I don't think there are many if any other cachers who never use a gps, but certainly there are some who rarely use one. For example, there's a cacher in the States whose number of finds is in four figures, and I believe he prefers to cache without a gps and only uses one where he feels it's essential.

    I think you'll find it will become rather difficult when you try multicaches. I don't know whether you've looked at any yet (though I see from your profile that you haven't found any so far). With some multis you're given co-ords for all the stages except the last one on the cache page, and you may not have trouble with those (until perhaps the last stage&#33. But others only give you the co-ords for the first stage on the cache page. When you're out there at stage one of a multi and you've just picked up the co-ords for stage two, it's not that easy to locate the precise position on an OS map from co-ords of lat and long.

    But I don't mean to put you off! I know from my own experience that it's extremely rewarding to find a cache that is supposed to need a gps, with only map, compass and hint!

    Good luck with your gps-less hunting!
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  4. #4
    Pigling Guest

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    Thanks for your considered and helpful replies. I don't actually want to use a GPS [and 40 is still a considerable outlay], and I wanted to know how far I could get without one and how many others feel this way.

    More importantly I wished to suggest that the present introduction to GAGB "What do you need to play the game? A sense of fun and adventure, a GPS receiver and some method of transport", may be stopping hundreds of potential cachers from taking up this great activity. As Bill D said, he realise that he could test drive the game without a GPS and I feel that this ought to be made clearer to people who might happen upon geocaching by accident. I think that a GPS should be described as very desirable but not essential.

    I take your points about the multicaches and I had realised this disadvantage. I have found a couple of the sort which require six finds to get the coordinates of the seventh. I also realised that I will need to have a GPS to hide caches. That's not a problem. I see my son several times a month, as he only lives 35 miles away, and when I need to hide a cache I will do all the preparation work and wait for his next visit so that he can accompany me and give me the coordinates. I dare say that other non-GPS cachers could make a similar arrangement or take up the offer of being put in touch with a nearby cacher who, I'm sure, would help in this way.

    Just a few thoughts of a rambling old man!

    Good caching to all who see this posting and thanks to Nobbynobs and Bill D for taking the trouble to help and advise me.

    Pigling

  5. #5
    John & Hazel Guest

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    You might find this mapping aid useful MAGIC
    It's a bit slow but will give you good detail

  6. #6
    nobbynobbs Guest

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    happy hunting, will await the log entries...

    get a good map and a lot of patience! :lol:

  7. #7
    Pigling Guest

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    Originally posted by John & Hazel@Oct 8 2005, 11:31 PM
    You might find this mapping aid useful MAGIC
    It's a bit slow but will give you good detail

    Great site, John & Hazel, thanks for this!

    Pigling

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Scotland
    Posts
    2

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    Drop a hint to rich son about getting a gps for your birthday
    When you wear a green tuxedo you dance where they tell you to.

    Col. Sherman Potter
    M*A*S*H 4077

  9. #9
    Pigling Guest

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    Originally posted by Scotsbob@Oct 26 2005, 03:20 PM
    Drop a hint to rich son about getting a gps for your birthday
    The point is...I'm not sure that I want to have a GPS! Somehow it seems to be more challenging and rewarding to use maps and clues to find a cache. Using a GPS to take me to within a few feet seems to be very tame; almost cheating!

    Pigling

  10. #10
    Tarry & Tammy Guest

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    Hi, I found geocaching by mistake but had been given a GPS by my son which I was too much of a Luddite to work correctly. Found several cahces by local knowledge and common sense but have today found first one using technology thanks to timely Christmas visit from said son! Was very impressed by the accuracy of said technology - just as well as it was freezing cold and not the weather to bumble around in the undergrowth, besides T & T do not approve of being dragged through the undergrowth! Think that will continue to use local K. and common S. as basic and the GPS for the finer points!
    Happy hunting
    Tarry and Tammy

  11. #11

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    North Brizzle
    Posts
    156

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    Hi Everyone!

    Like many people I started geocaching without a GPS unit and I managed to find a few caches with no more than a map and a bit of common sense. I have to say though, in my mind the whole point of geocaching is using a GPS unit so now I would never go without!

    Also, I would say I don't think using GPS nessessarily makes playing this game any easier. A GPS will only point you in a straight line to the cache location so you still need your map reading skills to get get you over and around any obstacles (like rivers etc) between you and the cache. Also if there are poor weather conditions or if the cache is located under trees, you'll still going to have to use a bit of intuition to find a cache site.

    Having cached with and without a GPS I would now never go without my Garmin. I get more of a challenge trying to find caches with just the GPS and by not using the clues given on the site. It's not always that easy to find a cache even with a GPS unit so I would never consider using one as cheating! Also the sport was created for GPS users, so caching without a GPS, well to me it seems to go against the whole point of the hobby!!!!

    I guess the important thing is that we all enjoy ourselves. But don't knock caching with a GPS unit till you try it!!!!!

  12. #12
    paul.blitz Guest

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    Originally posted by *mouse*@Jan 6 2006, 09:14 AM
    Hi Everyone!

    Like many people I started geocaching without a GPS unit and I managed to find a few caches with no more than a map and a bit of common sense. I have to say though, in my mind the whole point of geocaching is using a GPS unit so now I would never go without!

    Also, I would say I don't think using GPS nessessarily makes playing this game any easier. A GPS will only point you in a straight line to the cache location so you still need your map reading skills to get get you over and around any obstacles (like rivers etc) between you and the cache. Also if there are poor weather conditions or if the cache is located under trees, you'll still going to have to use a bit of intuition to find a cache site.

    Having cached with and without a GPS I would now never go without my Garmin. I get more of a challenge trying to find caches with just the GPS and by not using the clues given on the site. It's not always that easy to find a cache even with a GPS unit so I would never consider using one as cheating! Also the sport was created for GPS users, so caching without a GPS, well to me it seems to go against the whole point of the hobby!!!!

    I guess the important thing is that we all enjoy ourselves. But don't knock caching with a GPS unit till you try it!!!!!
    There have been plenty of caches that I've had trouble finding WITH a GPSr, map, compass etc.... to have tried those without a GPSr would have made it 100% impossible.

    Certainly, one of mine (a multi-cache) would be, I suspect, impossible without a GPSr, simply because a map would not have enough detail to get you to the right place.

    But, as you have shown, there are plenty of others which are quite findable with just the map.



    Paul

  13. #13
    Tarry & Tammy Guest

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    Hi, Well, however we manage to catch our geos - small furry things with about 8 green legs I suspect - we have a lot of fun doing it. The GPS when one knows how to work the thing makes it more positive and especially for multi caches essential. Good fun anyway, but four footed friends are less enthusiastic about being dragged through bramble patches after the elusive geo! Prefer to chase around the bramble patch after rabbits.
    Tarry and Tammy

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