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Thread: Geocaching!

  1. #1
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Geocaching!

    Why is there no thread on the entire ODD forum about Geocaching? There are thousands of Geocaches hidden all over this state. Except on Federal lands, you can hardly find a trail that doesn't have a cache hidden out there somewhere.

    So, geocachers sound off... what are some of the best caches you've found out there? Any recommendations for great areas to do some short hike and day trips that include geocaching?

    For those in the dark about geocaching, visit http://www.geocaching.com/ to find out more info and to sign up for a free user account so you can search for geocaches yourself. Basically, someone hides a container and publishes the GPS coordinates for it with some descriptive info. You go out and try to find the hidden container. When (if) you find it, you sign a logbook in the container and rehide it for the next guy. Larger containers also contain "trade items". You carry some of your own little trade items and if you take something from the container, you leave something of your own. It's a great bit of fun.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  2. #2
    Member Stogey's Avatar
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    Default AK GeoCache

    GeoCache in Alaska, including a forum.

    http://geocachealaska.org/

    Rob - aka "Broccili"

    Garmin - Colorado 400, Rino 130, & 120

    Vehicle TB212QR "Powerstroke"

  3. #3

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    I really like geocaching. It's also a great form of exercise.

  4. #4
    Member 1stimestar's Avatar
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    I was one of the first geocachers here in Fairbanks. I own Talkeetna Treasure and am co owner of Mush You Huskies. I had a few others but archived them during a busy part of my life a couple years ago.
    Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North
    http://cloud9doula.wordpress.com/

    Does this shotgun make my butt look big?

  5. #5
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    On geocaching.com, my user profile is under "SSO JOAT". I've got 20 caches placed and am developing many more. Only 15 of my placements are currently published, but the other 5 will be coming out shortly. All but 1 are in the Soldotna area, but I've also got plans started for some highway caches along the Glenn and Richardson between Chickaloon and Thompson Pass as this section of road is fairly open as far as existing placements.

    And for the winter folks (snowmachine, dog sled, etc.) who use the Caribou Hills area, I'm planning a number of winter access caches for that area.
    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  6. #6
    Member Stogey's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Alaska GeoCachers

    For those that are unaware, there is a group of folks attempting to organize and ensure that GeoCaching in Alaska is well represented.

    They are having an election - Electronic Vote; polls close this Friday, 5 Dec 08.

    They are also having an electronic poll for your choice of Alaskan GeoCaching Holiday Coin.

    If you're a GeoCacher swing by, take a minute to read through the following posts:
    Incorporating GeoCacheAlaska - Input Wanted
    The above thread will get you up to speed on the hard work of many to organize the Alaska GeoCacher's
    Regarding the Coin...
    2008 Alaska GeoCoin Projects
    2008 Coinamint Icon Poll

    And other good info.

    http://geocachealaska.proboards81.com/

  7. #7
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    My son came to visit from Pennsylvania last year and in the two weeks he was here his main goal was to take back as many Travel Bugs as he could. What a great time he had in the Palmer area Goecaching. He has found over 1000 in Pa and was having to drive farther and farther to find them. What was nice was he could see the beautiful country around here as well as Geocache as they go hand in hand. I got my son a GPS years ago to get started in GC and now he is I can pretty much say OBSESSED. He now takes his son and daughter with him and has a ball. The gps was the best gift I ever bought him.

  8. #8
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Geocaching is great fun!

    We've been Geocaching for a few years now, and it is a blast! We did a 2000 mile geocache trip around the state last spring. I'm always amazed at how many really neat places that you find while looking for caches! I found city parks that I didn't know existed just a few miles from my house! Our 5 year old has been doing it for a couple of years, and he is very good at using the GPS and finding the caches.

    All the area's are great to geocache, and the fun part is when you travel outside and find caches. It makes your vacations that much better, as these things are hidden all over the world. I have a travel bug that I was sending to Delaware and it ended up over in Korea, and I get emails every few days saying it has been moved around all over Korea. Some of the travel bugs have been roaming around for years. It tracks the exact miles it has on it, and many people will take pictures of your travel bug near something scenic or historic.

    My two favorite area's are Homer geocaches, and the Denali Highway series that someone put up a couple of years ago.

    My user name on the geocache site is wolf1111. Put me on your friends list if you get in there. Some of my caches are the Voclano View Point in Ninilchik: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache...3-cf20a1ba12a6
    Of course, I have the Alpine Creek Cache on the Denali Highway: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache...8-868f810dd343
    And the Beach Grass Cache in Kenai: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache...d-9ed9bfe8563d

    I get around, as you can tell! We also put together Geocache tours from our lodge, which are a blast!

    If you like the outdoors, and treasure hunting, this is for you! Some caches are you will have to hike miles to find, and some are at the top of mountains!

    Good Luck out there, and be safe!!

    Claude & Jennifer.
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  9. #9
    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    Default Geocaches on Google Earth

    For you Google Earth fans, all the geocaches in the world are also on Google Earth. You just click the 'show geocache' option on google earth site, and it will show you all of them. I have looked and there are caches in Antarctica, Siberia, and all over.

    I challenge any one of you reading this to check it out, and I bet you'll find one within a few hundred feet, or just a mile from your house.

    Good Luck!
    Experience Real Alaska! www.alpinecreeklodge.com

  10. #10

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    Geocaching is a hoot! My friends and I cache stuff for each other to find in the b/c. "Your truck keys are in N62.222259 W147.165228...."


    I worked a big hydrology job in the arctic a few years back, and my colleges and I had goodies stashed for each other from the Colville to the Canning.
    I found a beautiful caribou skull/rack, and cached it in the fieldbook as a bearing object and wired it to a rebar pin drove into the tundra... Two years later, I sent a crew to pick it up with a Tucker. It still hangs in a certain warehouse at KIC.

    Stay Safe!





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    Killin' it!




  11. #11
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    Arrow What is geocaching?

    I thought I'd throw together a quick primmer on the game for those who may snoop about and not want to try and decipher what the geocaching.com website has buried in FAQ's and various other pages.

    There are several spin-off games, but the root of geocaching is a treasure hunt by GPS. A container is hidden by a player, the coordinates are published on a 'cache listing' at geocaching.com and other players get the coords and go find it. If they find it, they sign the log book in the cache container and also make an electronic log entry at the cache listing page on the website. Statistics about how many finds you have accumulated are automatically tracked. Many containers will have trade items (called SWAG) and the concept is that if you leave an item of your own, you may take an item from the cache in trade. There is no requirement to trade and many people will carry a 'signature' item that they drop in all caches they find and just sign the logbook.

    If one searches for, but fails to locate a cache, there is an online log that can be entered called a "Did Not Find" (DNF). This allows one to log the attempt. The statistics for DNF logs are not kept or viewable so as not to be mistaken for a negative thing. Not being able to locate a cache and logging a DNF might let the cache owner know that they need to check on it (especially when there are several DNF logs by different players) to be sure it wasn't stolen (which, surprisingly, is a big problem with the sport).

    The containers used vary widely. One of the most common is surplus military ammo cans as they are very cheap, weather, and critter resistant containers. Many of the plastic food storage containers are also used frequently. Custom built and purpose built commercial containers can be found as well. The cache container may be camouflaged to blend into the environment, but sometimes they are plain as day (I once found an ammo can painted bright red hanging by a bungee cord from a tree in the woods).

    Caches are categorized into sizes. The official sizes include "micro", "small", "regular", and "large". A micro typically only has a logbook (or log sheet) and could be anything from a 35mm film canister to an Altoids tin or smaller container. There is an unofficial sub-category called "nano" that encompasses miniature containers down to the size of a finger tip (but they are still officially labeled as micros). A small container is typically about the size of a fist and has room to hold small trade items. A regular container includes the ammo cans and containers of similar size. They have plenty of room for trade items and are the most popular size. A large container would be a 5-gallon bucket or similar volume.

    There are three primary categories for the type of hide. A "traditional" hide is the most common and means that the actual and exact coordinates for the container are posted on the cache listing. You copy or download the coordinates to your GPS (the geocaching.com website is setup so that you can directly load individual cache waypoints to your Garmin GPS with the click of a button on the cache listing) and go to that location to find the cache. Using maps to figure out how to get to that location is all part of the game. Once at the location, the difficultly of the hide can vary widely. Some caches are well hidden and take considerable skill (or luck) to locate. This is especially true for caches hidden in the urban environment.

    Another type of hide is called a "Multi-Cache" or offset cache. On this one, you go to the published waypoint and you will either find a container or other clues that will tell you how to get to the actual cache. Some of these types of hides can be rather elaborate and may encompass a lengthy hike with several waypoints along the route. Each "stage" will tell you how to get to the next one until you finally arrive at the cache location.

    The other primary hide is called the puzzle or mystery cache. These hides typically involve solving some kind of puzzle on the cache listing in order to figure out the hidden coordinates that will take you to the cache. These can range from very simple to extremely complex. The possibilities are endless with this category. Many times the cache for a puzzle is going to be a micro container with a log sheet. Finding the cache and logging it is nothing more that proof of your ability to solve the puzzle, so the cache itself may be very easy to find since the puzzle was the real challenge.

    I'm going to wrap this post here. Later, I'll drop another post about "trackables", which is another major aspect of the game.

    Happy caching!

    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  12. #12
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Hmmm. My new gps came with a special geocaching feature. Sounds fun, Ill have to give it a try!
    Let me know when you guys geocache a 60+ moose!

  13. #13
    Member 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Here are some of my geocaching pictures.

    I didn't want to stick my hand in that hole without knowing there wasn't something alive in it first.


    This is where I placed my very first one, Monkeyzuncle.


    Caching in Valdez.


    A cache for kids.
    Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North
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    Does this shotgun make my butt look big?

  14. #14
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    Question A forum?

    I also have had quite a bit of fun with Geocaching. It occurred to me that it might be good to have a forum here for that, but it didn't seem so useful, given www.geocaching.com

    What do you geocachers think? Should we have a forum for that on OD? Is there enough Alaska-specific discussion need? Would it build up the sport?

    David

  15. #15
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for bringing this sport to my attention. I just got a new GPS for christmas and noticed a geocaching feature on it. Ive been reading about it all day. Sounds fun and a good way to explore around. Ill be doing this for sure once it warms up.

  16. #16
    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    As for a special forum, I don't really see the need. There are forums on the geocache alaska site and the posting activity is fairly low with only a few posts daily. Then the main site (geocaching.com) has international forums.

    Geocaching is such a great family outdoor activity. I'd read about it a bit but didn't start actually doing it until last summer. My GPS was pretty much only brought out for boating, snowmobiling, etc. When I finally signed up and saw that there are over 300 geocaches on the Kenai Peninsula, I was basically hooked from my first find. I coerced my wife out and we hunted a few together and she really enjoyed it. So, I call up my best buddy and ask him if he wanted to go and the next day he brought his wife and all of us spent the entire day wandering around in the woods just outside of town. It was such a blast that the day after the 4 of us loaded up and went on a road trip all the way to Homer, hunting every cache we could along the way.

    I've found trails and parks that I never knew about because there is a cache hidden out there. Just the other day I strapped on snowshoes early in the morning and took off into the woods to find a cache. I never would have gone out there had it not been for geocaching. No need to wait for warmer weather, it is truly a year round activity.

    Every cache hide is like a high-tech orienteering course. You have to use all your outdoors skills from map reading to running your GPS. You could just go for a hike or ski or ride for the sake of getting out and moving, but geocaching adds a purpose to those activities that we should be out doing anyway.

    Winter is Coming...

    Go GeocacheAlaska!

  17. #17

    Thumbs up Great Posts JOAT

    Good stuff here. A great primer for the quest.

    I've worked a lot in the bush on some really boring jobs, like seismic and gravity surveys. It's great to have an ulterior motive sometimes!
    I've incorporated lots of geocaching on a "Hush Hush Wink Wink" basis across company lines.
    I once sent a geologist to check out "Something interesting that would definitely require his attention" while he was driving by on a completely different mission. He got out and dutifully hoofed it through the buggy woods for about a mile until he finally got to the GPS numbers, where he found "The Shaft". About 100 beer cans taped together and guyed up vertical with paracord, and a note explaining how he had just got "Shafted".

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    Killin' it!




  18. #18
    Member 1stimestar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ishmael View Post
    Good stuff here. A great primer for the quest.

    I've worked a lot in the bush on some really boring jobs, like seismic and gravity surveys. It's great to have an ulterior motive sometimes!
    I've incorporated lots of geocaching on a "Hush Hush Wink Wink" basis across company lines.
    I once sent a geologist to check out "Something interesting that would definitely require his attention" while he was driving by on a completely different mission. He got out and dutifully hoofed it through the buggy woods for about a mile until he finally got to the GPS numbers, where he found "The Shaft". About 100 beer cans taped together and guyed up vertical with paracord, and a note explaining how he had just got "Shafted".



    That's funny. What did he say about it? Hope you didn't leave it as geotrash.
    Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North
    http://cloud9doula.wordpress.com/

    Does this shotgun make my butt look big?

  19. #19
    Member Stogey's Avatar
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    Default GeoCaching

    Quote Originally Posted by Webmaster View Post
    I also have had quite a bit of fun with Geocaching. It occurred to me that it might be good to have a forum here for that, but it didn't seem so useful, given www.geocaching.com

    What do you geocachers think? Should we have a forum for that on OD? Is there enough Alaska-specific discussion need? Would it build up the sport?

    David
    Since GeoCaching can be attributed to outdoor hobbies (Hiking, Biking, Climbing, ATV, probably even Flying, ad nauseum) - I'd say keep the threads alive, steer would be GeoCachers in the other groups. But as Joat stated, there's not a lot of action in the Alaska GeoCache forum.

    If this thread stays alive longer though....

  20. #20
    Member Stogey's Avatar
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    Default Easy Cache

    Quote Originally Posted by rimfirematt View Post
    Thanks guys for bringing this sport to my attention. I just got a new GPS for christmas and noticed a geocaching feature on it. Ive been reading about it all day. Sounds fun and a good way to explore around. Ill be doing this for sure once it warms up.
    With the weather trying to warm up, grab an easy to find cache for your first attempt...

    GCP5ZD - Phonecall; EASY to find, you might want snow shoes for the short treck from your truck to the cache. Use your GPS to get you close, this is a winter friendly cache... read the hint in you get frustrated.

    GC16EX2 - Blair Witch Night Cache; This one is GREAT fun. Bring the family. Wait for it to get dark (you know like 5 or 6 pm, hehe). You will leave the trail a couple of times, so snowshoes or at least tall winter boots. When you arrive at the initial coords, turn on your flash lights and look for the little reflectors in the trees - they will lead you to your final coords, and the ammo can full of geo-goodies.
    Anyway, that'll get you started.
    Point is, get some caches loaded from around you're normal stomping grounds, or around home. Go look. There are literally thousands in Anchorage alone.
    #btnLocDL { border-right: #c0c0c0 1px outset; border-top: #c0c0c0 1px outset; font-size: 8pt; padding-bottom: 2px; border-left: #c0c0c0 1px outset; padding-top: 2px; border-bottom: #c0c0c0 1px outset; font-family: verdana; } #btnGPXDL { border-right: #c0c0c0 1px outset; border-top: #c0c0c0 1px outset; font-size: 8pt; padding-bottom: 2px; border-left: #c0c0c0 1px outset; padding-top: 2px; border-bottom: #c0c0c0 1px outset; font-family: verdana; } #btnSendToGPS { border-right: #c0c0c0 1px outset; border-top: #c0c0c0 1px outset; font-size: 8pt; padding-bottom: 2px; border-left: #c0c0c0 1px outset; padding-top: 2px; border-bottom: #c0c0c0 1px outset; font-family: verdana; } #btnSendToPhone { border-right: #c0c0c0 1px outset; border-top: #c0c0c0 1px outset; font-size: 8pt; padding-bottom: 2px; border-left: #c0c0c0 1px outset; padding-top: 2px; border-bottom: #c0c0c0 1px outset; font-family: verdana; } #otherSearchOptions LI { list-style-image: none; list-style-position: outside; list-style-type: none; } .ff { font-family: "Andale Mono" , "Courier New" , Courier; } .fr { float: right; } .fl { float: left; } .b { font-weight: bold; } .small { font-size: 90%; } .clsCell { border: 1px solid #C0CEE3; font-size: 80%; } .clsCell { background: #ffffff; } .clsResultTitle, .clsResultTitleNoBold { color: #0000de; } .clsResultDescription { color: #333333; } .clsURL { color: #999999; } a.title:link { color: #000000; text-decoration: underline; } a.title:visited { color: #000000; text-decoration: underline; } a.title:hover { color: #000000; text-decoration: underline; } a.title:active { color: #000000; text-decoration: underline; } a.title { text-align: right; font-size: 10px; font-family: arial,sans-serif; padding: 0 1px 0 0; } #mapSizePager UL { width: 100%; margin: 0px; padding: 0px 0px 0px 0px; list-style: none; } #mapSizePager LI { float: left; list-style: none; } #mapSizePager LI A { font-family: Verdana, Sans-Serif; font-size: x-small; display: block; margin: 0px 2px 0px 0px; padding: 4px 4px 4px 4px; text-decoration: none; border: solid 1px #c0c0c0; height: 10px; min-width: 10px; cursor: pointer; } #mapSizePager a:hover { font-weight: bold; }
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