January 28, 2012

And In Other News...

Lots of odds and ends this week in Geocaching, including:

Geomate .jr's are no longer in production
In fact, the company that made them, Apisphere, has apparently gone out of business. You may be able to get the devices cheap on eBay now, but beware, since support will be non-existent.

National Geographic's TOPO! is Migrating to AllTrails
The TOPO! program was one of my favorite mapping and GPS track display tools. But I received an email from NG this week informing me that production and support is going away, and instead, NG is forming a partnership with AllTrails to handle my trail finding and uploading needs. While I've been using a similar online tool, EveryTrail, for years, I might have to give AllTrails a whirl and see how they compare. There's even an app for that.

Leap Day Souvenir
If you're like me, you've had February 29th, 2011 circled on your calendar for a long time now, as most people do not have an 02/29 cache find; seeing as there have only been two of them since geocaching began. Well, in case you need any further incentive to find a cache on leap day, Groundspeak is offering a souvenir badge for those who do.

Cahce On!

January 21, 2012


While 8.5 years is a blink of an eye in the grand scheme of things, I've noticed some distinct and evolving patterns in the way I geocache, between when I started in 2003, and today. Like a lot of people, I started caching with my kids, who were "tweens" at the time, as geocaching was a great way to get them, and me, off the couch and exploring the outdoors. Plus, my kids loved it, and I loved spending time with them.

As they got older, they became, as most teenagers do, less interested in doing stuff with their dad. As my oldest daughter likes to say, "No thanks, dad. Geocaching is for nerds." For those of you lucky enough to be caching with your young children, all I can say is enjoy it while it lasts.

This mini-evolution didn't cause me to stop geocaching, however. In fact, I found I was able to go caching in more remote areas requiring longer hikes or bike rides than would have been feasible with my kids. This has allowed me to see and explore areas within my home region that I'd never been to before in my life. Another of my favorite aspects of this hobby of ours.

In the more recent past, I've become friends (again, through geocaching) with a couple of local cachers. The three of us have taken several road trips over the past couple of years in an effort to satisfy the requirements of different challenge caches, including various California DeLorme challenges, County challenges, and Quad challenges.

Having lived in California my entire life, I am amazed at how much of this beautiful state I have never seen before, until now; all thanks to geocaching.

While everyone's reasons and motivations for geocaching are different, if you are just starting out caching with your kids now, don't be surprised if your "cachevolution" follows a similar pattern as that described here.

Cache On!

January 14, 2012

Video Gaming Meets Geocaching

Much discussion, but little details, this week on the interwebz with regard to the teaming up of Tomb Raider and Geocaching. The press releases from both sources are similarly vague:

Geocaching.com's Explanation

The Tomb Raider's Blog Take

And then there's this humorous take on the whole concept from NotAboutTheNumbers.

The only glint of detailed information can be found in this one sentence from the press releases: "To develop these adventures, Crystal Dynamics will be tapping into both the traditional Geocaching.com treasure hunting format and Geocaching.com’s latest photo-based adventure project Geocaching Challenges."

I'm guessing this is another attempt to attract new geocachers to the hobby/sport/activity. As for me, I'm happy just geocaching for the sake of geocaching. I've never really bought in to the promotional events that come along every so often (Jeep challenges, Geico TB's, etc.). Nor have I veered away from geocaching to try Waymarking, or the new Geocaching Challenges. And not being much of a video gamer, I'm not waiting with bated breath for more details about these two entities hooking up.

While I suspect most long-time cachers may feel the same way, I can't fault Groundspeak for continually trying attract new members. So I'll just keep on cachin' the way I always do, and if I happen to run across Lara Croft out on the trails, then that's just value added (as long as she doesn't destroy me over an FTF).

Cache On!

January 7, 2012

One Thousand Waypoints in About a Minute

Still not sure you're ready to upgrade to version 8.0 of GSAK? Maybe this will convince you:

No more going to geocaching.com, downloading pocket queries, then uploading them into GSAK. Now you can do it all in one step, right from GSAK.

Note that the process is much quicker than what is shown here. I'm using a 10-year old PC, and the screen capture program slowed things down significantly. My computer does not know the meaning of the phrase, "multi-tasking".

Cache On!