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Newbies Guide To Geo Caching
 

Newbies Guide To Geo Caching

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My presentation given at BarCampSheffieldII, 29th November 2008.

My presentation given at BarCampSheffieldII, 29th November 2008.

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    Newbies Guide To Geo Caching Newbies Guide To Geo Caching Presentation Transcript

    • Newbies’ Guide To Geo-Caching Caz Mockett BarCampSheffield2 November 2008
    • What is Geo-Caching?
      • Geocaching is a sport which started in 2000
      • It’s basically high-tech treasure hunting
      • Users log in to www.geocaching.com to find the location of hidden caches around the world
      • Once they know the co-ordinates, they must go out and find the box
      • Once found, you sign the logbook in the box
      • And log your find on geocaching.com
    • Geocaching.com
      • You must have an account on geocaching.com in order to find out information about the caches
      • It’s free for basic membership
      • Premium membership costs $30/year which gives you extra features
      • Each cache has a reference Waypoint such as GC1H6HY
    • Seek A Cache
      • To find a cache, enter your location/post code:
    • Seek A Cache
      • Search Results come up as a list:
    • Seek A Cache
      • Or you can view them on a map:
      Click on the Cache Name for more details
    • Seek A Cache
      • If you aren’t logged in, you get:
    • Seek A Cache
      • If you are logged in, you get:
    • Types of Cache
      • There are quite a few different cache types:
    • Common Types of Cache
      • The most common is a Traditional Cache
        • Full co-ordinates are supplied
        • It’s one box to find and log
      • Multi-caches
        • These specify the co-ordinates for the first cache
        • Find the first, and co-ordinates for the next cache can be found in the box, and so on
      • Mystery Caches
        • Solve a riddle or look for specific clues
        • These give you the cache co-ordinates
    • Common Types of Cache
      • Event Cache
    • Cache Sizes
      • There are five sizes of cache. The most common is Regular (eg Ammo can):
    • Cache Sizes
      • Good sized sandwich/lock & lock boxes are also classed as Regular :
    • Cache Sizes
      • Smaller sized sandwich/lock & lock boxes are classed as Small :
    • Cache Sizes
      • There are also a lot of Micros about (eg 35mm film pot):
    • Cache Sizes
      • And then there’s the evil little Nano – usually magnetic – and very well hidden:
    • Cache Sizes
      • Here’s a Nano from the wild, showing its log book wound in the lid:
    • Hiding Places
      • Caches can be hidden in many places, but some of the most common are:
      • In bushes
    • Hiding Places
      • In trees – can you spot this one?:
    • Hiding Places
      • Under bridges – watch out for Trolls:
    • Cache Location Hints
      • You often get an extra clue to help
      • Could this be the crock of gold at the rainbows end?
    • Cache Location Hints
      • Dave may be down the drain, but the cache isn't!
    • Logging Your Find
      • So you’ve found a cache – what next?
      • Sign the logbook you find inside the cache
      • Make a note of the cache Waypoint
      • Log your visit online at geocaching.com
    • Understanding The Logs
      • Each log entry has a little icon next to it
      • Found The Cache
      • Did Not Find (DNF)
      • Note – eg dropping off a Geocoin
      • Needs maintenance – if the log is full, etc
      • There are other acronyms which you will see:
        • TNLN = Took Nothing, Left Nothing
        • SL = Signed Log
        • TFTC = Thanks For The Cache
        • FTF = First To Find
    • Trackable Items
      • As well as regular swap items, you may also find special trackable items in a cache
      • If you find one, you can remove it – but they are not for keeps – you must put it in another cache as soon as you can
      • There are several types of trackable items that you can log on geocaching.com
        • Geocoins (GCs)
        • Travel Bugs (TBs)
        • Trackabulldog – a kind of hybrid between the two
    • Trackables - Geocoins
      • Geocoins (GCs) each have their own unique tracking number engraved on one side
      • They are often issued to commemorate an event
      • The owner can give the coin a specific “mission” – ie visit caches near rivers
    • Trackables – Travel Bugs
      • Travel Bugs (TBs) are tags which can be attached to another item
      • They still have a unique tracking number
      • The owner can give the TB a “mission” too
    • Trackables – Trackabulldog
      • Trackabulldogs are geocoins which think they are Travel Bugs!
      • It’s still the same principle with them having a unique number on the back
      • It’s just a different name – just to add to the confusion!
    • Trackables – Logging
      • Just like logging your visit to a cache, it’s important to record when you move a coin from one cache to another
      • Geocaching.com lets you remove, place or discover a geocoin
        • Log a Remove when you take a coin out of a cache
        • It will then appear in your inventory
        • Log a Place when you put the coin in a new cache
        • If you don’t take a coin, you can log it as Discovered if you record the tracking number
    • Trackables – Logging
      • Your Trackables page will look like this:
    • Equipment - iPhone
      • You can get started with geocaching if you have an iPhone or other GPS-enabled mobile
      • Groundspeak have made a Geocaching App for the iPhone. It costs £5.99 from the App Store
      • You can just use the Maps application, but its much more long-winded
    • Equipment - iPhone
      • The latest version of the App lets you log in to Geocaching.com so you can find extra caches if you are a Premium Member
      • Future versions will let you log your finds directly from your phone
      • For the moment, it’s just an easy way for you to find caches close to your location
    • Equipment - iPhone
      • If you have switched on Location Services in settings, you will get a list of caches close by [not indoors!]
      • Selecting the cache name will display more info about the cache
      • You get the location, hint & description, plus a button show you a rudimentary compass
    • Equipment - iPhone
      • You can also use the Trackables tab to look for a specific Geocoin or Travel Bug
    • Equipment - iPhone
      • Once you have selected a cache to find from the list, pressing the Map button will place a red map pin where the box is located
      • Your job is to get your blue “I am here” blob to coincide and then you are at the cache location
      • Now all you have to do is rummage about and find it!
    • Equipment - iPhone
      • If you don’t have the Geocaching App, you can still find a cache by manually inputting its co-ordinates into the Mapping application
      • Geocaching.com provides them in a different format to decimal, which is the easiest to type in
      • You may find the Waypoint Conversion page helpful
    • Equipment - GPSr
      • If you have £150+ to spend, you might consider getting a handeld GPSr such as this Garmin eTrex Vista HCx
    • Equipment – eTrex Vista HCx
      • Once your GPSr is warmed up, it will indicate how many satellites it has a fix from, and show you your current co-ordinates
      • You can walk about until the co-ordinates shown match the published of the cache
      • Or you can use some of the built-in caching features to help you out
    • Equipment – eTrex Vista HCx
      • Select the Find > Geocache menu
      • It then displays a list of the nearest geocaches which you have previously saved to the unit
      • Selecting the Waypoint number provides more details:
    • Equipment – eTrex Vista HCx
      • Pressing the Go To button will display a Compass for you to follow
      • Or if you select the Map option instead, you are given an arrow and path to the current cache
      • By default, the eTrex only ships with very basic maps
      • More detailed topgraphy can be bought on MicroSD
    • So Why Bother Geocaching?
      • It gets you out and about – often visiting really interesting places you might not otherwise go to
    • So Why Bother Geocaching?
      • It’s a lot of fun to do with friends, family etc – and can be combined with the daily dog walk too!
    • But Be Prepared
      • For mud, nettles, brambles and creepy-crawlies!
    • But Be Prepared
      • To get lost, frustrated and confused! Take a map!
    • But Most of All
      • Have fun
      • Enjoy the outdoors, but respect the countryside code
      • Caches are usually placed on public land, but occasionally you may find one on private land (placed with the owner’s permission) – so respect their property too
      • Get the bug – it’s addictive 
    • So What’s Hidden Locally?
      • There are one or two hidden in the city centre
      • Why not join us for a cache hunt later?