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 Post subject: Geocaching
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:54 am
Posts: 194
Location: Coon Rapids
Another Twitter-born gathering idea.

There are a few of us who have gone geocaching and a few more interested in checking it
out.

Who's interested?
What's your experience level?
Do you own a GPS? Not all street navigation units are usable for 'caching.
Some cell phones can be used with an appropriate application installed.

I have been geocaching for several years, on and off.
I have only found a little over 100 caches. (Some people do that in a week)


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 Post subject: Re: Geocaching
PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 9:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:50 pm
Posts: 324
Location: Stillwater
I've got 4 finds, at 3 caches

one was a refind minus the gps

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 Post subject: Re: Geocaching
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:50 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:06 am
Posts: 1219
Location: NE Minneapolis
personally, i don't get geocaching.

i'm really happy that it's getting geeks in the woods, but it's getting folks out w/o basic navigation skill, (bad) leaving crap in the wild (very bad) and getting a LOT of people off trail(very very bad).

there's all sorts of great geeky stuff you can do in the woods with a gps that *doesn't* involve violating basic LNT ethic in several manners. bring out an astrolabe and see how precise you can get. 4d map your trip (on the trail). learn orienteering, and don't be hosed when your batteries die.

i'll get off my soap box now, but can someone explain how/why it's not a bad idea? i'm serious, as best i can tell it seems like high tech littering, but a lot of pretty clever green folks seem to do it. why?


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 Post subject: Re: Geocaching
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 2:59 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 8:26 am
Posts: 378
Within constraints it's not bad.

For example, can one really be expected to leave no trace in a completely artificial (sub)urban park? Or a neighborhood? Or even a state campground that has 100,000 visitors a year tramping through the same woods where the caches are hidden looking for firewood?

AIUI, the vast majority of geocaching goes on in developed areas where LNT ethics are pointless. It's like worrying about throwing your candybar wrapper on the ground whilst tramping across an open-pit landfill.

EDIT: I think a large part of the appeal comes from "finding" something hidden in an accessible area, practically within plain sight of others, who just don't know how or where to look, and from passing notes and information to people you don't know and never will.

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 Post subject: Re: Geocaching
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:06 am
Posts: 1219
Location: NE Minneapolis
ok, see that part i get, and am kind of ok with, but the major parks that get huge numbers of visitors it's even more important to *not* go off path. oh it's just me.... and everyone who can google where you dropped the sandwich bag and wants to tramp 5 feet off trail and leave a weird little spur which screws with drainage. i've seen several park signs at cache spots warning that it's been removed due to erosion, and further use will be considered littering and result in you being trespassed.

city park? sure. if it's not gonna make a caretaker think it's a bomb (in boston everything is apparently) hidden in a bus stop bench? why not. passing along info, lots of fun. kinda like playing spy with dead drops as a kid.

but why gps? why not the 3rd green bench on the south side of x park?

it seems like gps tagging would be more interesting, you could compare path with everyone who say hiked a particular trail, and see rates, where they stopped for a few minutes, etc. but that's just me.


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 Post subject: Re: Geocaching
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:57 am
Posts: 385
Location: Minneapolis, MN
I've only gone caching a few times. I thought it was pretty fun.

A side note : in a radio ad, Minnesota state parks advertises geocahing as one of the many activities you can do in some of the parks around the state

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 Post subject: Re: Geocaching
PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:29 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:54 am
Posts: 194
Location: Coon Rapids
Geocaching is done with a gps because that's how you go geocaching.

If you wanna hunt for hidden boxes without a gps, then it's called letterboxing.
http://www.letterboxing.org/

Many geocachers practice Cache-In-Trash-Out. In other words, when going in to
search for a cache, carry a plastic bag and pick up other people's trash and take it
out with you. I've personally taken out many times more stuff than I've left in the woods.


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 Post subject: Re: Geocaching
PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 1:41 pm
Posts: 533
Location: Northwest Burbs
Hola, and my own soapbox.

In this day and age, anything that gets folks out and doing something remotely social is worth any impact to our environment. If you really want to make a difference, get the giant scale offenders to change, rather than the few ignorant individuals. I know the early stages of GeoCaching for me started in scouts with basic orientation drills and a marker at the end of some complex runs.

I have done it a few times in a couple parks in the eastern Subs, and once up in Plymouth near my own home. It is great to get outside and just take in the environment. Now it is not for everybody, my first and only attempt to take a date on a find, did not go well. (Though she liked hiking, it was the off the path, thorns, and hills, that turned it into a bad choice).

But as far as hobbies go, if you are respectful of the environment it is something you will do again. If not, I am guessing you would not do it more than a couple times for a bottlecap, or arcade token..


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