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12/17/2004 09:55:27 AM · #1
I was inspired to start this thread after reading this thread (see cghubbell's comments about his inspiration for the photo being discussed).

I've encountered a couple other folks on DPC who are also avid geocachers... I thought it might be fun to start a thread to see who else is involved with this sport, and perhaps post a couple pictures or share some experiences.

In short, Geocaching involves using a GPS receiver to find hidden "treasures" that anyone can place, and there are thousands of them all over the world (most likely there's one within just a mile or two of wherever you are right now).

This sport has given me opportunities to find some very photographically inspiring places, although I don't always take the camera along on these adventures. Here's one spot I never would have found had it not been for geocaching:

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/3102/thumb/128778.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_portfolio/3102/thumb/128778.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
12/17/2004 09:59:15 AM · #2
I'd love to become a Geocacher but in a different concept. Let´s ditch the GPS and use a camera instead. We'll show the "hidden treasures" found through our pictures. ;-)
12/17/2004 10:14:57 AM · #3
Originally posted by rgarciah55:

I'd love to become a Geocacher but in a different concept. Let´s ditch the GPS and use a camera instead. We'll show the "hidden treasures" found through our pictures. ;-)


No matter how long I fumbled with the user's manual, I can't seem to figure out how to bring up the coordinate screen on my D70, otherwise it's a fine idea.

There's some pretty amazing photography on the GC.com site. Not so much in an artistic sense, but in the sense of realizing how much you miss that's right next to you. Geocaching is a way for people to share places and things with others which they otherwise would be unlikely to find. Even someone who's outdoors a lot, for their whole life, and adventurous. You really wouldn't believe what's out there until you start hunting caches.
12/17/2004 10:19:06 AM · #4
I never heard of this. But after going to that site, I am definitely interested. I actually put my city in the search engine, and I was surpised to see there are some things to find right in my neighborhood.

LOL.

Anyways... thanx for the link. Now all I need is a GPS receiver.

Vinny.
12/17/2004 10:22:45 AM · #5
I do Orienteering (cross country running with map & compass), also referred to as Cunning Running. Now that I have my Rebel I might start taking my Oly with me. I didn't dare do that before, because more often than not I end up going ass over tea kettle down a hill or through a thicket.

I have seen a lot of sights I wished I'd taken a picture of, but then you're running against the clock, and trying to stay focused on the azimuth to the next marker.

Message edited by author 2004-12-17 10:24:07.
12/17/2004 10:30:54 AM · #6
Originally posted by cghubbell:

No matter how long I fumbled with the user's manual, I can't seem to figure out how to bring up the coordinate screen on my D70, otherwise it's a fine idea.



That'd be something!! :-D

I'm sure it is a great activity. I'm going to start looking in my country to see if there's such a group.
12/17/2004 10:52:30 AM · #7
I use to do it several years ago back before I had a camera. It was a lot of fun but sometimes the caches were in 'bad' spots and it quickly became frustrating. Then I traded it in for something similar but involving books at Bookcrossing. You dont need a GPS, you just go to the location where someone 'freed' a book, get it, read it, and leave it somewhere else. I believe there was a similar idea with a disposable camera.
12/17/2004 11:00:37 AM · #8
My husband (nards656) and I have often thought about getting into this. There are alot of geocaches in Western North Carolina. It was really popular a year or so ago, but then we kinda got off the "scene" and I'm not sure how big it is now, though I understand it has grown even more.
12/17/2004 11:24:44 AM · #9
I have been geocaching since the "early days" way back in 2001, though I haven't been as active lately.

I had my 15 minutes of fame (or rather infamy, as it turned out) on this little adventure with a reporter and photographer from USAToday.

Originally posted by rgarciah55:

I'd love to become a Geocacher but in a different concept. Let´s ditch the GPS and use a camera instead. We'll show the "hidden treasures" found through our pictures. ;-)


One fun thing that some cachers do is leave a disposable camera in the cache container. Finders take photos of themselves and then the owner will post the pics online after they have all been shot.

Dave
12/17/2004 11:37:16 AM · #10
Originally posted by dsa157:

I had my 15 minutes of fame (or rather infamy, as it turned out) on this little adventure with a reporter and photographer from USAToday.


Oh, man, that's something! I have certainly done similar things in the past, but never with a USA Today reporter in tow!
12/17/2004 12:45:11 PM · #11
I am a recent cacher, started this past September or so. My wife (and I) got a Jeep Wrangler this past summer and Jeep Corp did a promo distributing 4000 die cast jeeps with travel bugs and you can win a new Jeep if you find the 'right one'. I always wanted an excuse to get a GPS!

When visiting relatives for thanksgiving in Baltimore we did some caching there and I should have brought my camera along on the hike. I never knew bamboo grew wild in the US. Amazing place, amazing plant.

My GPS was $169, has all the major roads in the US and info of every hiway exit (like gas, restauraunts, shopping, hotels and more). Great for traveling, and by doing some caches at our destination we did more than sit in a hotel or visit the local mall.


12/17/2004 12:59:57 PM · #12
I haven't been here in forever, and when I do return what do I find on the front page... mention of my second favourite addiction. I geocache too and just because it was mentioned I also bookcross. Been doing both of them for "years" now. =)

Just as a side note: I also record my location using my GPS for a lot of my nature photos...just in case I ever want to stand in that exact spot again, or just in case the person I gave the photo to does.

Message edited by author 2004-12-17 13:02:21.
12/17/2004 04:28:26 PM · #13
I hate to put a negative post in a positive thread but I just wanted to get this out there. There are a lot of people out there that are anti-geocaching.
<soapbox>
I agree it's a great way to get out and explore the outdoors, and would probably be quite fun and interesting. However, people tend to create caches without regard to laws and common sense.
Laws - Geocaches are not allowed in national parks land or wilderness areas.
Common sense - if you know of a great little place that most people do not know about, i.e. a secluded swimming hole, a hot spring, a natural arch, an intact ghost town or indian ruin... do not publish GPS coordinates to it on the internet and encourage others to go there. This brings people in on horseback, atv, jeep, creating new roads... and it tends to lead to the destruction of these great little areas (this is why the national forest service is considering banning them too).

So my $.02... be sure it is allowed where you are doing it and be sure not to ruin any of the hidden little treasures we have left.
</soapbox>

Disclaimer: I understand most geocachers are responsible and the problems I mentioned are probably created by the minority of geocachers.
12/17/2004 05:04:02 PM · #14
Originally posted by louddog:

I hate to put a negative post in a positive thread but I just wanted to get this out there. There are a lot of people out there that are anti-geocaching.
<soapbox>
I agree it's a great way to get out and explore the outdoors, and would probably be quite fun and interesting. However, people tend to create caches without regard to laws and common sense.
Laws - Geocaches are not allowed in national parks land or wilderness areas.
Common sense - if you know of a great little place that most people do not know about, i.e. a secluded swimming hole, a hot spring, a natural arch, an intact ghost town or indian ruin... do not publish GPS coordinates to it on the internet and encourage others to go there. This brings people in on horseback, atv, jeep, creating new roads... and it tends to lead to the destruction of these great little areas (this is why the national forest service is considering banning them too).

So my $.02... be sure it is allowed where you are doing it and be sure not to ruin any of the hidden little treasures we have left.
</soapbox>

Disclaimer: I understand most geocachers are responsible and the problems I mentioned are probably created by the minority of geocachers.


You can put geocahces on federal land, you need a permit though.
Don't tell folks where the ghost town/hot spring, etc is? Are you mad? First, check out the geochache site - it lists visits to each geocahce - you are lucky if one gets a visit a week, most much less than that, and if it requires a day long trek on atv/horseback/et al then you can bet teh visitation will be nil. If you are against folks visitations ruining places, close yellowstone, take down teh signs to old faithful, move the white house, cover the statue of liberty, fence off the redwoods and all the beaches...c'mon, get real.

This is the same anti-everything logic that is spreading these days. No photos of a subway, of PPG plaza in Pittsburgh, don't use a tripod in a public place...the geocache 'fear' is that the coords to a mall might help a terrorist find it...ummm, check ANY map or search the net - the location of all these 'targets' is reaily available without a GPS.

Geocaching is a fun family oriented activity that is harmless. Please do not disparage an activity and spread falsehoods about which you know nothing, but can quote some off the wall website or newsarticle.
12/17/2004 05:07:50 PM · #15
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

Geocaching is a fun family oriented activity that is harmless. Please do not disparage an activity and spread falsehoods about which you know nothing, but can quote some off the wall website or newsarticle.


I'll add a big ole ditto to that sentiment.
12/17/2004 07:39:22 PM · #16
I didn't quote any web site???? For the record I'm an avid hiker, often hiking 20+ miles in a day, I climb mountains, I hike places where there are no trails, I've been places most people would never think about going, I've been on a search and rescue team for years. Don't make assumptions about me.

My post was written on what I know and what I've seen.

There are several ruins, ghost towns, plane crash sites and simply magical places here in AZ that I know of. THey are this way because they are untouched for the most part. Some are hard to get to, some are a 5 minute walk from the freeway. Some I have found on my own, some I have traded the location for with friends and fellow hikers. A few have been trashed in the last few years, or artifacts have gone missing. These places stood perfect for 100s of years without being messed with. Weeks after being posted on a geocaching site they were trashed or artifacts were removed.
I've also talked to forest service rangers that have removed caches because of the problems I've mentioned. It happens, it's true. They even pulled caches out of the Grand Canyon! I'm not making this up just to keep you from enjoying your hobby and I'm not going off something I read on some "off the wall" web site.

Now, please re-read my post, I said I realize it's probably the minority that do this. I also said nothing bad about geocaching other then requesting that those that chose to do so follow the laws and respect areas that have remained untouched. If you enjoy it, or want to start doing it, go nuts. Please just obey the laws and obey what most of the respectable geocache sites say.

Now, as for these places I don't want people to know about. Hell no will I disclose the locations. They are the way they are only because no one knows they are there. If it gets posted on a web site they will build a road to it, put a yogi bear camp ground next to it with a water slide and charge admission to get in.
12/17/2004 07:45:09 PM · #17
Originally posted by Prof_Fate:

This is the same anti-everything logic that is spreading these days. No photos of a subway, of PPG plaza in Pittsburgh, don't use a tripod in a public place...the geocache 'fear' is that the coords to a mall might help a terrorist find it...ummm, check ANY map or search the net - the location of all these 'targets' is reaily available without a GPS.


I'm anti nothing. I just asked that people respect the laws and not drive traffic to untouched places????

As for terrorist findind my secret places??? I don't think so. You won't find them on a map or the net. I think you are getting off topic.
12/18/2004 01:22:10 AM · #18
Originally posted by louddog:

My post was written on what I know and what I've seen.

There are several ruins, ghost towns, plane crash sites and simply magical places here in AZ that I know of. THey are this way because they are untouched for the most part. Some are hard to get to, some are a 5 minute walk from the freeway. Some I have found on my own, some I have traded the location for with friends and fellow hikers. A few have been trashed in the last few years, or artifacts have gone missing. These places stood perfect for 100s of years without being messed with. Weeks after being posted on a geocaching site they were trashed or artifacts were removed.



I'm sorry, but your logic is a bit weak for me. You could have as easily said, "Weeks after I saw some purple people go into the areas, they were trashed or artifacts were removed." Therefore: The purple people are guilty.

Sure, there are probably a few "bad" geocachers - there are some bad apples in almost any cross-section of humans. I personally believe they [the geocachers] are way better for the environment than the ATV groups, or the 4wd off-road groups.

There is a strong initiative on the official Geocache site [www.geocaching.com] that encourages CITO - Cache In Trash Out. The geocashing community is taking upon themselves to clean up messes made by others.

The rest of the post makes good sense, we should all respect these very special spots. Once they are trashed by geocachers, hikers, or even photographers - they may be gone forever.

I'd also suggest that those folks who feel strongly that the geocache community is helping destroy these special places go to the forums there and post your concerns. I'd bet that a well-worded non-threatening post would result in many of them from refraining from caching close to those spots.

-Tom-

/e spell

Message edited by author 2004-12-18 01:23:02.
12/18/2004 09:37:11 AM · #19
I'm sorry you feel my argument is week. Having seen it first hand and having talked to rangers that deal with it constantly, I feel it's a pretty strong argument. It may not be a problem where you live, but in Arizona it has been a problem.
I have friends that have removed caches from a wilderness area (where caches are not allowed) and contacted the site that hosted them. The site was very understanding and removed it from their site. All of the caching sites I've seen and heard about are very respectable and encourage people to do the right thing. It is a few bad apples that don't follow the rules that cause the problems.
The intention of my post was only to remind people to follow the rules. I apologize if I came off as as preachy or if I came off as anti-geocacher. If geocaching gets people off the couch and out in nature, spending time with their kids, that's great and I say keep doing it.

12/18/2004 11:54:58 AM · #20
Originally posted by louddog:


The intention of my post was only to remind people to follow the rules. I apologize if I came off as as preachy or if I came off as anti-geocacher. If geocaching gets people off the couch and out in nature, spending time with their kids, that's great and I say keep doing it.


No probs. I have seen almost your exact post in other places, hence my reference to a webiste or article.

Glad you are not encouraging the world to visit rare and beutiful places. By allmeans, keep them secret so only you can enjoy them (yeah, that has a sarcastic tone, but it is the flip side of your argument).

As you visit thes places repeatedly, are you not degrading them in some form or fashion, wearing a path, etc? You show a guy, he shows 2 guys who show 3 more guys...and before you know how it happended, ther's a motel 6 being built there. (again, a bit farfetcehd, but it's the same logic as you're using)

Sorry if that comes offs too harsh or sarcastic. I just got done responding to a PM from a comment i left...I am trying to be nice. Trying real hard...
12/18/2004 12:10:03 PM · #21
Originally posted by louddog:

I'm sorry you feel my argument is week. Having seen it first hand and having talked to rangers that deal with it constantly, I feel it's a pretty strong argument. It may not be a problem where you live, but in Arizona it has been a problem.
I have friends that have removed caches from a wilderness area (where caches are not allowed) and contacted the site that hosted them. The site was very understanding and removed it from their site. All of the caching sites I've seen and heard about are very respectable and encourage people to do the right thing. It is a few bad apples that don't follow the rules that cause the problems.
The intention of my post was only to remind people to follow the rules. I apologize if I came off as as preachy or if I came off as anti-geocacher. If geocaching gets people off the couch and out in nature, spending time with their kids, that's great and I say keep doing it.


Amen. Thank for your very civil and understanding attitude. And for those that are interested, the main Geocaching site is in the final stages of devoping a comprehensive code of ethics. It's a long thread - and has some contention (just like DPC!) - but a good read:

//forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=84803
12/18/2004 12:41:48 PM · #22
Apparently, there's also something called "letterboxing," or something to that effect. One time I was down at Scioto Park (where Leatherlips is) and I stumbled across one of these boxes.
12/18/2004 01:02:29 PM · #23
Originally posted by xtabintun:

Apparently, there's also something called "letterboxing," or something to that effect. One time I was down at Scioto Park (where Leatherlips is) and I stumbled across one of these boxes.


From the glossary at geocaching: //www.geocaching.com/about/glossary.aspx

letterbox(ing)

Letterboxing is similar to Geocaching, but you use a series of clues to find a container. Once you find the container (or letterbox), you take a carved stamp from the box and stamp your personal logbook. You then take your carved stamp and stamp the letterbox's log book. See Letterboxing North America ( //www.letterboxing.org/ )for more info.

12/30/2004 02:24:53 AM · #24
I got a GPS for christmas, and just recently read about geocaching. It sounded like fun, so I went out that day for a hunt. Sadly my first attempt came up empty. I would have looked longer but I was cold, wet and hungry. Next time when it's raining I will dress more approprately. I am going to give it another try this weekend.
12/30/2004 07:58:10 AM · #25
Originally posted by Fiver:

I got a GPS for christmas, and just recently read about geocaching. It sounded like fun, so I went out that day for a hunt. Sadly my first attempt came up empty. I would have looked longer but I was cold, wet and hungry. Next time when it's raining I will dress more approprately. I am going to give it another try this weekend.


you will get hooked. there is something remarkable about finding a geocache at some *exact* random point on the face of the earth! It's lots of fun.

Dave

Message edited by author 2004-12-30 07:58:18.
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