October 24, 2004

Geocaching - Starry Night

geocache_box.jpgIt was a beautiful day in Cincinnati but I did not have an airplane reserved so I needed to find another way to enjoy the day. I recently purchased a Garmin Venture GPS device so I decided to use it and take a crack at a "sport" called Geocaching.

According to Geocaching.com, "Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for GPS users. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. "

I did a search on Geocaching.com for caches near me and found an intriguing one called Starry-Starry Cache. My wife and I walked to the first waypoint which was provided on the website. From there we followed some directions to find a hidden case that provided the coordinates of the prize. We entered the coordinates into the GPS and went off searching, which took longer than I expected, as it was hidden well. But, it was a ton of fun tracking our progress on the GPS and finally locating the box after about thirty minutes of searching.

102404.jpgI believe the fun of Geocaching is the hunt but it is custom that when the cache is found it is usually a waterproof container that holds a prize. The person that discovers the cache usually takes something from the cache but also deposits something new in its place. We had several items to select from. We selected to pick up a Travel Bug called IGeoJoe. A travel bug is an action hero with a dog tag attached. By visiting the Geocaching website and entering the code from the dog tag you can see the many locations the bug has traveled to. This bug started its journey in Illinois but has visited Missouri, Indiana and Ohio. I will leave him in the next cache I visit. Before we put the cache back we left a Backpacker magazine Adventure Log as our donation to the cache.

All in all this was a fun way to spend a beatiful day. I did some searching on the various aviation boards including studentpilot.com to see if there were many pilots who Geocache and was surprised to see only a few references. I think it will be fun when flying cross-country flights to search for geocaches near the airports I am visiting.

Posted by at October 24, 2004 9:33 PM
Comments

Hi Todd,

Very cool -- that looks pretty fun. Are there any near Houston Woods?

Does your GPS device act as a navigational aid at all when you're flying?

If you were 50 feet off -- perhaps using one of these:
http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/10/14/atomic.clock/
will help your accuracy :)

Thanks,
Doug

Posted by: Similate at October 25, 2004 10:21 AM

Yeah there are a ton in Hueston Woods in fact the Travel Bug I picked up was last stashed in a cache in Hueston Woods.

My GPS is meant for outdoor use but could be used in a plane just not accurately. Unfortunately, the aviation GPS devices are very pricey although very helpful.

Thanks for the link.

Posted by: Todd at October 25, 2004 12:25 PM
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