The GeoCarnival is a weekly roundup and review of blogs and podcasts that have posted or podcasted about GPS Games.
This is great for me as I was not aware that so many GPS games existed.
Go and check out eCache now for more info.
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A successfull morning of geocaching yesterday (for a change). We found GCJWPY.
We set off at about 10am and were hoping to do a couple of geocaches as I thought this one may be quick since it was only 1.8km from our house and we were familiar with the bushwalks in the reserve. However, we missed the path on our first try and came out to go further down the road and bach into the bush by a different route. We ended up about 20 metres from the cache on the wrong side of the creek, but since it was Jamie (3 yrs), Ethan (1 yr) in a stroller and just myself, we had to admit defeat.
So we went back into the bush and walked a more familiar route to the waterfall and bridges. Which was very enjoyable as Jamie loves this bushwalk.
On the way back, we decided to have another go at the cache since we were certain it was on this side of the creek. We ended up at the original spot where we turned back and noticed that the path veered right up the hill and that we had not even seen this the first time we went in.
We followed the path. We had never been down here before so it was pleasant to see this part of the bush. After negotiating some tricky sets of stairs with the stroller, we came to ground zero (which was about 30m off, but bigfatrob had warned of this at geocaching.com).
After about 5-10 minutes, Jamie found the cache in a well hidden spot. After clearing the cobwebs, we reached in and retired to the manhole cover to inspect the treasure. At this point a muggle came jogging along with his dog. I had to quickly ‘stash the cache’ in the top of the stroller and then try to re-arrange ourselves so that the muggle (and his dog) could get around our encampment.
Jamie decided to take the golf ball and magnifying glass, and we left a number 5 birthday candle.
Progress out of the bush was pretty slow, as Jamie want to look at everything through his new magnifying glass!
On the way back we found a bridge that went accross the creek into the paddock behind the houses on Eskdale Road. This was pretty handy as we then did not have to negotiate the tricky stairs.
We were down in Tauranga last week. Tauranga is a large city by New Zealand standards and we were there to visit my in-laws. Their house is withing walking distance of several geocaches, so we decided to drag them out for a spot of geocaching to see how they liked it.
We went off to find a multicache, Parkvale Walkabout (Bay of Plenty), as the first cache was only 350 metres from their house. We found the first location without any trouble. We though the cache would be easy to find since the clue was quite obvious. However with five of us looking for it and myself nearly up to my knees in water, we had to give up.
Luckily, due to our knowledge of the area, we guessed where the second cache might be, and managed to find it without too much trouble.
The in-laws had heard about geocaching at the same time that we did – on the Close Up TV program that screens here nightly during the week. Grandalf was explaining all about geocaching and I thought ‘that looks cool’, the inlaws thought ‘who would want to do that?’. But after keying in the co-ords for the 3rd cache, my father-in-law took the GPS and took off at great pace to find the third cache.
When we caught up with him he was busy foraging in the undergrowth at the next location. It looked like the weeds had grown quite a bit recently and this was hampering our search. We were also pestered by muggles who wanted to help us look. I told them we were looking for a film cannister that we had dropped (which was almost the truth).
Admitting defeat we then went off to where we were pretty sure the fourth cache would be – again because the clue was quite descriptive. We bumped into some family friends on the way and still failed to find the cache after nearly an hour with seven of us searching.
Never mind. There’s always next time.
The funny thing is that the in-laws went for a walk a couple of days ago after we came back to Auckland. They passed by the spot of the fourth cache and my father-in-law had to go an have another search just to be sure
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Well, we ticked another geocache off the list yesterday. The cache was Suburban Surprise, and is located in another piece of spectacular bush reserve on Aucklands North Shore.
We never knew that this bush reserve even existed – and trying to find the way in probably constituted to that fact! After a few minutes driving around we found the cul-de-sac with a discreet path between to gardens that led to the ‘lost world’. Well not quite, but if you imagined hard enough it might have been.
I have never seen so many kauri trees growing so close together in one place and can only imagine what this place will look like in a couple of hundred years when they get to be huge (as long as they are not all chopped down by property developers).
We had already tried to find this one last weekend, but paid way to much attention to the clue and were looking in completely the wrong area. I managed to repeat my annoying habit of not paying attention to the geocaches listing and somehow got it into my head that it was called ‘Twin Towers’ – which resulted in us poking around in every hole and cutting ourselves to shreds on the cutty grass around a pair of large kauris that stradle the path near the ‘wrong clue’.
However, this geocache is close to where we do our grocery shopping, so we decided to try and knock it off before getting our weekly supply of food.
We went of further than we did last time, over a bridge that spans a small creek that has spent the last few thousand years cutting a deep and very narrow groove into the bedrock. My son then bounded up a flight of steep steps and yelled from the top that he had ‘found another clue’. After about 5-10 minutes of foraging we found the geocache and sat down to examine the contents.
This geocache is a hybrid geocache/letterbox. We didn’t know what letterboxing was, but are now keen to get into it.
After signing the log, we left a ‘Welsh National Anthem’ fridge magnet and took a flashing light wristband.
The Appleton Post Crescent (Wisconsin, USA) has publised a Geocaching related story titled Geocaching opens participants up to all sorts of discoveries.
It contains information on geocaching in general including how to get started and to visit www.geocaching.com.
However, the main content is about a beginners geocaching course that is being held at Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve, located just north of Appleton. At this course, Gordon says that participants will gain hands on knowledge of how to use a GPS as well as finding different kinds of geocaches that will be hidden in the park.
The course is aimed at 5-6 year olds up to ‘grandparents’.
Click here to read the full story.
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We went and found the Moscow on the Harbor geocache today. This geocache is interesting because it is an ‘International Cache’ coming from the USA to New Zealand and packed full of USA goodies. The idea is that finders trade items that are from where they are from with the USA items. Unfortunately, we forgot our item, but since this geocache is only a 10 minute walk from where I work, we will probably visit it one lunchtime this week.
One thing I have found that I really enjoy about geocaching is that it gets you to areas you never knew existed. Moscow on the Harbor is no exception. It is set in a reserve where a path of about 1KM starts on a winding descending bush walk and along a pleasant flat path along the edge of a tidal estuary consisting mostly of mangrove. I drive past it every day to get to work but never considered visiting it.
When we return this week, I shall probably take a Welsh fridge magnet that we have (since I am originally from Wales). There is a picnic table closeby that we shall probably take advantage of.
And I must remember to start taking my camera with me to get some photos of these scenic spots.
The Woodstock Independant has a story about the growth of Geocaching as a hobby. They cover areas like hiding and finding a cache, travel bugs, and cache destruction – i.e. when a cache is accidentally discovered by a muggle.
Geocaching is becoming more and more popular. New members are always being added, and the Web site is struggling to keep up. Caches are being hid at an astonishing rate, and they are being found even faster. As of Jan. 22, the record for the most caches found is 13,104.
Click here for the full story.
We chose the Garmin eTrex GPS primarily because of it’s price and deciding that Garmin appeared to be a reputable GPS manufacturer after a while of online research on the geocaching.com forums.
Other reasons include:
- Waterproof – at least down to 1 metre as long as you fish it out reasonably quickly!
- Bright colour – easy to find when I drop it.
- Compact – Pretty much the same size as my cell phone – and just a little thicker.
Anyway, it has not dissapointed so far and has successfuly guided us to our first geocache.
And another cool thing. When you fire it up, there is an animation that shows the GPS locking on to the satellites – Allthough it looks more like it’s communicating with orbiting TIE Fighters… And who’s to say it isn’t
Find more Garmin GPS units here.
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Well we found our first geocache yesterday – and it was very exciting. The geocache was Cling-on-Cafe and is located on Aucklands North Shore in New Zealand. The location is Kauri Park, a native bush reserve that has the most large Kauri trees I ever remember seeing in one place.
We first went to find it on Saturday, but after searching the cache site for about 30 minutes we had to go back to the car as our 1 year old was getting crabby in the backpack after being poked by branches as I foraged in the undergrowth.
So it was back to the cache site, this time just myself and my 3.5 year old son. Again after getting to the cache site we had to search for about 20 minutes. We were about to call it a day again when I noticed something from the clue so decided to check it out. On closer investigation, sure enough, there was the cached half hidden in the grass.
The geocache has got a fridge magnet theme so in went a plunket magnet and out came a chocolate magnet.
We then signed the book and got out of there. Looking forward to the next geocaches.
Hello and welcome to Geocaching Zone.
This website is to document my adventures into the world of Geocaching and GPS.
Look out for articles about my Geocaching exploits, reviews about GPS Units and Geocaching Books, and other related Geocaching News.
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