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Questions from a semi newb....


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#1 Ecto1

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 09:37 AM

OK about a year ago my family and I were introduced to this hobby through an event at Jesse Jones. My son had just joined Cub Scouts and it was the first thing we went to. In the past year it has been something we did together when we had a chance. I don't know what clicked but about a month ago the kids caught the bug again and this time I jumped in with them full speed ahead. I must admit it has kind of taken me by storm as well. I must look at the map everyday and think about ones that I could be finding. We have since hit the 50 mark on caches found and it will be only a matter of time that we get into the hundreds. I know this is small potatoes but they taste great to us. We even set out and placed a small series ourselves this weekend. We have always been outdoor people so I don't know why we did not catch the bug sooner but we really have had fun this past month. I have a few questions and I know I will get a multitude of information from people. First is I am now really leaning toward the premium membership but am not clear on what the real advantage is besides the extra caches. Second is we currently cache with both an Iphone and an Android phone and t has worked very well but am considering downloading Geosphere. Is Geosphere better than the geocaching app? Third I want to get a gps units that the kids can use (and that maybe more reliable in tree cover) but need a little advice on models and reliability. What is proper manners when you think a cache is no longer there? Should you contact the cache owner? I have many more questions and just don't know where to start.

#2 Eagles1181

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:17 AM

I can answer a few of these...
Advantages of premium membership-ability to sort cache types, and download GPX files. Say after a while your kids are getting tired of finding film canisters and soda tubes, but really like the larger containers. You can run a pocket query for just the regular and large size containers in your area. You can then take the GPX file and import it into your phone so when you are out in the sticks and the data coverage is limited, you still have all the needed information.

Cannot speak to geosphere. I have an android and use C:geo. Awesome App.

I also cannot advise on GPS units, I only use my phone.

A cache that is no longer there has been muggled.

I would recommend posting a "needs maintenance" log explaining that you think the cache is missing and why (found tether string, but no cache, ect...)

Hope this helps...

Oh and welcome to the addiction.

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#3 Baytown Bert

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 10:50 AM

On the higher end of GPSr units are the Oregon series - very popular and I use one. Also on the high end are the GPSMAP 62 series and many people use one of these models or an earlier variation. Both are very accurate in heavy tree cover, or as good as it can get.

On the caches needing maintenance, you can try to write the Cache Owner (CO) with mixed results. It's standard to request the CO take a look by posting note instead of a needs maintenance attribute. Take a look at who placed the cache and if they haven't signed in in 6 months, you probably won't get an answer, sad to say.

The most important thing to me is cache maintenance on my own caches. I feel that the day I am no longer interested in maintaining them is the day I need to adopt them out or archive them. This may sound harsh, but if I am an acive cacher who won't investigate my own caches DNF's or caches needing maintenance I am more a part of the problem than a boon to the game.

Bravo on putting out a series, but heed what I say on the maintence of them and folks will continue to come looking.

On the premium membership, it is great for doing pocket queries and getting notifications of newly placed caches, etc. Most of us use a program called GSAK to manage our geocaches and load them to our devices. it is money well spent if you have a dedicated GPSr device.
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#4 Ecto1

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 11:39 AM

OK I went ahead and got the membership and the maps now have so much more info. I have installed c:geo on my android now to find a better app for the iphone.

#5 TXDinoTrax

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 12:36 PM

I wasn't sure about a premium membership either, but what I like most about it is the ability to get notifications of newly published caches.

I don't know anything about Geosphere, but I think c:geo is handy when I'm out and about and want to see if there are any caches nearby.

I second the Oregon series by Garmin for a GPS. I had been using a 10-year-old Magellan Sport Track. It worked great and was spot on, but then the screen started to darken and it's very difficult to read. It's to the point where I can't see numbers/letters to manually enter caches (and I have to manually enter with that unit because it doesn't communicate with my computer). I bought an Oregon 450t, and now I'm spoiled. :smitten: I'm thinking about buying a Garmin Etrex 20 for my kids to use, also, though I don't have any experience with this model.

#6 HoustonControl

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:57 PM

I have geosphere as well as the GC app on my iphone. I just got geoshpere a couple of months ago and used it a bit on vacation. It seems really cool, but I honestly haven't used it enough to get over the learning curve. I seldom cache with the phone anyway since I have a dedicated GPSr. I liked the idea of being able to load (almost) an unlimited number of caches onto the phone and having it ready no matter where I was on my trip... and whether I had phone/internet service or not. Great Birds uses the geosphere app and swears by it.
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#7 TexasWriter

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 07:39 PM

The most important thing to me is cache maintenance on my own caches. I feel that the day I am no longer interested in maintaining them is the day I need to adopt them out or archive them. This may sound harsh, but if I am an acive cacher who won't investigate my own caches DNF's or caches needing maintenance I am more a part of the problem than a boon to the game.


I agree with every bit of BB's comments on maintenance....

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#8 heftydude

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:01 AM

For android try CacheSense. It was my preferred Android app. But I'm on iPhone now and swear by Geosphere. Get over that learning curve and its awesome. Great for carrying around thousands of caches and sorting them for just what you want. It's a main reason I abandoned the GS3 and went back to the iPhone.

I use a Garmin 62s as my primary GPS. But I must say that it was jumping Around in the woods last night and the iPhone was more steadily pointing the right way. Not always the case, but I love having a second opinion.

Welcome to the hobby.

Hit up some events and meet and greet to swap stories and opinions and occasionally get live demonstrations of any of the above recs.
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#9 jhuoni

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 01:44 AM

Here's my $0.02 worth... Welcome to the madness -

Premium Membership is worth the investment. I think others covered that one.
I have a used a Garmin Nuvi 205W, Blackberry with DarkStar App, Garmin Etrex HC, and an Android with GC.com app.
The Nuvi is my car gps, makes it easy to get there. I don't enjoy having to dl .gpx and load them back to the garmin.
The BB software was good, but I don't have that phone anymore.
Etrex Legend - again it is a pain to have to download and then send them to the GPS. Plus, my GPS can not display all the needed info.
The Android (what I currently using) with GC app works great for what it can do. The biggest advantage is that no matter where I am in the states, I can get local caches with out having to use a computer.

Manners when dealing with a Cache Owner? Good Luck! I've made my share of friends and a few people that I choose not to visit their caches.

Post your questions here. These folks are pretty seasoned and will not steer you wrong.
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