Geocaching and boating
How many boaters here Geocache?
Iím sure many who read this thread have no clue what Geocaching is. Most of you have probable heard of it but few really know what this obscure activity is.
In PWS there is meager to nonexistent Geocaching activity.
OK what the heck is Geocaching and why am I writing this.
Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online. Geocaching is enjoyed by people from all age groups, with a strong sense of community and support for the environment. (From Geocaching.com)
http://www.geocaching.com/ Its free!
In PWS there are a few geocaches scattered around, but few. My son and I placed one last year in Hobo bay; a rocks throw from a favorite anchorage, and no one has claimed First-to-find. The cache has a travel bug we pulled from another PWS cache. Often the person who is first to find a newly placed geocache is rewarded a prize, sometimes money, a geocoin, etc. But often just claiming the First-to-find (FTF) is enough of a reward. We also put one on Crafton Island, still no takers. We were the first to find on caches in Copper and Drier Bays, and they sat undiscovered for over a year.
Ammo cans are a favorite Geocaching container, or anything thatís waterproof and can hold a log sheet.
The reason Iím writing this thread is to introduce an activity, I believe, is a great family activity you can incorporate with boating. PWS is wide open to this activity; you will see this after looking at the geocache map of the area online. It will blow you away when you check on how many geocaches are in Anchorage, you walk and drive past them every day and never know it. Sometimes they are as small as a finger tip magnetized to the underside of a steal object in a busy pedestrian area, or an ammo box full of prizes hidden in a park.
Most of us have hand held GPSs, thatís all you need. Some phones work great for this activity and even have aps for Geocaching.
Easy Steps to Geocaching (from Geocaching.com)
This is a great additional activity that fits in with fishing, shrimping, hiking, camping, beach combing, etc. But itís no fun if there are no participants; so get a few geocaches under your belt here in town and take the adventure out on the sound or up the river next year.
- Register for a free Basic Membership.
- Click "Hide & Seek a Cache."
- Enter your postal code and click "search."
- Choose any geocache from the list and click on its name.
- Enter the coordinates of the geocache into your GPS Device.
- Use your GPS device to assist you in finding the hidden geocache.
- Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location.
- Share your Geocaching stories and photos online.
Geocache me some favorite fishing spots...I''l let you know what I catch.
I actually found 2 geo-caches when I went deer hunting. The 1st one I found was on Crafton Island. I saw it hanging fronm a tree on the south end on the highest knob. I'm going what the heck is that? it looked like some little white milk bottle. I shook it and there was something rattling around inside. I was paranoid so I opened it w/ my arms stretched out and my head turned, all that was in it was a golf scoring pencil and a piece of paper saying it was a Geo-cache. I didn't know what it meant I thought it was like some scientific thing. I left it the way I found it regardless. Hey breausaw thanks for the information. Do you use a handheld or do you zero in on the area w/ your boat GPS and hike to the general area and hunt for the container?
Wow, someone actually found the cache we set on Crafton. It just blows me away you actually found the dang thing by happen-chance, glad to hear it is still intact. So now just go sign up for a free membership and take credit for being the first to find our Crafton Island Geocache.
We were going to check on it this summer but never got around to it. We did check on the ammo box in Hobo bay, itís dry as a bone inside after a year.
We use a handheld GPS; you need the accuracy. Most modern hand held GPSs have the capability to download the chords, cache description, past logs, and additional information from Geocaching.com.
Did you put one in Sleepy Bay on Latouche? I saw a small orange juice bottle hanging from tree there but I was on the move and didn't go check it out
There are no Geocaches on Latouche Island, the closest one is over on Bainbridge in Hogg bay. Itís been a while since I looked over the sound, spotted a couple new ones placed in the last year. In town when a new cache is published itís usually found in less than an hour, if that long; in PWS you are lucky to just have it found.
I've been wanting to get out into PWS for some caching, but my plans for taking that trip last summer were ruined by work. Maybe next year.
The thing about geocachers is that most are into hiking, biking, kayaking, etc. Very few are ocean going powerboaters or even the type that are into powersports. I'm amazing at how few snowmachine accessible caches get any activity during the winter when there are hundreds of snowmachiners driving by all the time.
There's an unfound cache on an island in the lower Kenai river. Been there all summer. Apparently there are no Kenai river anglers who are into caching either.
Are you a member of Geocache Alaska?
I'm not a member of Geocache Alaska, it does appear to be a great organization we just have too much going on.
Agree, the vast majority of boaters in PWS are there for fishing and the ones who explore the shores and hike around have never heard of geocaching. Itís my hope that some members will explore the sport during the off season and take it on the water next year.
Like the cache on lower Kenai there are a number of undiscovered caches out in the sound. Perhaps there will be an early season stampede for anxious FTF geocachers this spring. Crew Triple J scored two FTF caches last year that sat for over a year, we hope to pick off a few next year and add a couple of our own.
Funny, I was messing around with my handheld GPS when I saw this thread. I got onto the Geocache site and there must be a hundred within ten miles of the house. There is one a few hundred yards from my house on Auke Lake trail, so I joined up and I am going to try to find in little while. It looks like there are none between Juneau and the Gulf. Maybe a project for next summer.
As soon as I buy a boat I will make it a priority to not only find your caches, I will place some more. Shopping now and should be caching via boat next summer.
Note... when shopping for a dual purpose GPSr to serve both boating and geocaching, take a very close look at the new Garmin 78 series. It has all the geocaching amenities of the Oregon series tucked into the body of the marine handhelds. I've put that one on my Christmas list to replace my 76CSx, simply because of the added geocaching features.
The other Garmin geocaching specific models are the 62 series, Oregon series, and Dakota 20.
You want to grab a long-standing FTF cache... have a gander at this one http://coord.info/GCXTE7
Hey breausaw I was at Costco today and they had the Garmin Rhino which is a good looking unit. They are a handheld 2-way radio/GPS and you get a set for 399.00. Its definitely going to the top of my Christmas list.
Originally Posted by fullbush
Do you know if they show where the other radio is on the GPS? Just wondering. It would be cool if it did.
Yes, the rino series allows you to send your position to any other rino in range. They get your current position as a waypoint and can navigate to your location or just look at your position on the map. Unless you run with other rino users, there's no point in having one. It would be the last handheld GPSr that I'd want to have in a boat. Nothing about it is geared toward boating.
I have the Colorado 400c, discontinued last year in favor of the touch screen modals. It came preloaded with US blue charts and all the Geocaching features. If I were to buy one today it would most likely be the new Garmin GPSMAP 78sc. Not only is it waterproof, it floats! A real plus since I seem to always be losing stuff over the side.
My current primary handheld is the 76CSx and it is a great GPSr. However, as soon as funds allow, I will be adding the 78 to my toy box. That is an awesome unit for both boating and geocaching.