I want to start geocaching, but what all do I need?

Discussion in 'Geocaching' started by Woodman: the adventurer, Sep 15, 2013.

  1. Woodman: the adventurer

    Woodman: the adventurer Tracker

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    I wanted to start geocaching when I was a lot younger, but I was to young to drive myself and didn't have money to buy supplies. Now I can do both those things and am ready to start. Now I obviously know that I need to get a GPS but what else is needed. And also any recommendations on a good but affordable GPS model?
    Thanks,
    Woodman the wonderous
     
  2. MANIMAL

    MANIMAL Guide

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  3. woodsmith

    woodsmith Guide

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    A smartphone is all you really need. From there decide what sort of caches you like - rural hike-out-and-find, urban micro-caches, or some other type.

    If/when you decide you need a dedicated GPS check the forums on geocaching.com and see what people are using right now. I have a Dakota 20 that I've had for a few yeears and it works great, but doesn't have the bells and whistles of some of the newest models.
     
  4. Woodman: the adventurer

    Woodman: the adventurer Tracker

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    Alright thanks guys. I actually just downloaded the Geocaching app. there are a bunch around my house, most of them have to do with the land run.
     
  5. Crazysanman

    Crazysanman Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass II

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    I have over 650 finds and I'd say I've used a smartphone only for 90% of them.
     
  6. gunner65

    gunner65 Scout

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    c:geo is my favorite app for this.
     
  7. strike3cya

    strike3cya Tracker

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    If I'm doing in city caching I don't even mess with GPS. I just put in the coordinated in Google satellite maps and zoom in all the way. Worked for me so far. For Hike and find caches it would be little more difficult unless you know the area really well.
     
  8. perdidochas

    perdidochas Scout

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    All you need is a GPS and whatever you need to exist outdoors for the time you plan to geocache. Take garbage bags. Most of the better smartphones have built-in GPS receivers that are ok for geocaching. I geocache some with my Iphone 4.
     
  9. Shnick

    Shnick Bushwhacker Bushclass II

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    Ditto. And its free as well.
     
  10. L.V

    L.V Guide Bushclass I

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    Topo map and compass and notebook. Internet map resources are handy. Smartphone with gps and geo software is the easies and cheapest electonic solution if you have phone already. Even those made in china mini gps devices work but need a coordinate conversion which can be found in cache details. In field you need basic maths to get good enough results.
     
  11. EbbFlow

    EbbFlow Tracker

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    Can you expand on that? What are you doing? I thought most people just walked around with their GPS until the coordinates were right and then just searched the area.
     
  12. APRock

    APRock Scout

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    +1. Good app, and FREE!
     
  13. L.V

    L.V Guide Bushclass I

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    Oh I didn't put it out correctly.. I meant you need basic math in field with those cheap chinese gps devices as they aren't all using the geocaching standard coordinates (someting-84 format). This in ie. multicaches and maybe in field mysteries.
     
  14. McGirlver

    McGirlver Tracker

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    And what about when you can't charge your phone/GPS, or can't get signals? I'm new to this, but it seems to me that the technology limits the opportunity to learn how to navigate naturally outdoors. Then again, maybe that's not the point.
     
  15. gunner65

    gunner65 Scout

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    The whole reason behind geo cacheing is a scavenger hunt utilizing GPS devices and getting people out to places and areas they normally may never see. Yes you can get coordinates and use maps and compass but that is not the intended spirit of geo caching. There is not right or wrong way to go GC. Some people just go by written clues and search areas for the cache, again not wrong.

    As far as battery life goes most handheld GPS devices when fully charged will probably give a user at least 6-8 hours phones when used as GPS tend to die faster. I guess the answer to that question is: when your device dies if you have no backup your day of hunting has ended.
     
  16. ratherbecampin

    ratherbecampin Scout

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    a day pack with a small first aid kit to include sting supplies. I find wasps a lot.
     
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  17. sneefy

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    Yes. c:geo is the best app out there for geocaching. Way better than the official app.
     
  18. perdidochas

    perdidochas Scout

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    There are different coordinate systems used by GPSs. Geocaching.com uses one coordinate system (not sure which, but you can look it up there). My guess is the cheap chinese GPSs use a different coordinate system. They can be converted by either a program or basic math.
     
  19. perdidochas

    perdidochas Scout

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    Geocaching is an outdoor pastime. It's not preparation for anything, it's just fun.

    I'm sure that woodsmen at one time said the same about compasses--that they are fragile, and the technology gets in the way of navigating naturally.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  20. Shnick

    Shnick Bushwhacker Bushclass II

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    Oh one more thing. The Garmin Etrex10,20 And 30 do not read geocaching.com .GPX files.

    The older Garmin Etrex Vista, Legend and Summit do.
    They're a better product anyway.
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Thunderwood

    Thunderwood Supporter Supporter

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    A pen. Like someone also said a FAK. I grabbed a European Hornet while looking for a cache on an old army tank! He let me know he was there! A pair of gloves would help there. A mirror on a retractable rod like mechanics use for looking behind things before you grab. A decoder coin for clues (google geocache decoder.)

    A camera to take pictures with to remember the fun ones and to post for the CO to see online.
     
  22. Tomclay98

    Tomclay98 Tinder Gatherer

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    We have the etrex with the geocaching apps on it. Plug it into the computer download a bunch of caches and go. Mark the ones we find on the gps. Phone works pretty good gps usually not as accurate for rural or out of the way caches. We have a caching bag that has trinkets, pens, pencils, and a few AA batteries
     
  23. BCBowtech

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    My wife and I have been geocaching since 2008 with about 1500 finds all over the world... I have the app on my phone but honestly using a Garmin GPS is much better... Yes you can get a free account with geocaching but I highly reccomend you join and pay the yearly fee as it gets you some much better finds.
     
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  24. gila_dog

    gila_dog BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    Around here it's handy to have good road maps and US Forest Service maps to get you into the area where your geocache is located. You may have to drive 10 miles down various dirt roads to get close. My Etrex 20 gps works fine, and I can download the coordinates from geocaching.com. But the display is so small that it's only useful when I'm pretty close to what I'm looking for.
    Also, if you ever want to place a geocache somewhere it's handy to have a good container, a logbook, and a pencil. I've found that metal boxes, like candy boxes you can find at thrift stores, work pretty well. I avoid plastic containers because mice will chew it up.
     
  25. BCBowtech

    BCBowtech Tracker

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    Ammo Cans are also very popular for cache containers..
     

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