Thursday, October 15, 2009
Hand held electronic devises that can pinpoint your location anywhere on the globe with the aid of billion dollar government satellites?...sounds pretty high tech to me. Well, that is very true, but, on the other hand, how high tech is too high tech?
Recently, I have been tossing around the idea of updating my geocaching tactics and the gadgets I use to find Tupperware hidden in the woods. I have contemplated getting a fancy new gps. I have contemplated installing GSAK on my computer to help load up my new gps. I have contemplated getting mapping software for my gps...I have thought about it all. The more I thought about all of this I realized that I was worrying more about the technology involved with high tech caching, than the sport itself. The more I thought, the more I realized that my very first caching excursion brought me to a whole new place, a place I would have never visited before. While doing the cache called Rush Lake View (under original name of Stobber) I never once thought about why my gps was not more accurate or how I could make caching easier or faster...all I thought about was, where next?? I loved the fact that I could hike around these cool places and look for the geocache at the same time. I remember writing down the coordinates that morning and making sure I knew were to park, and making sure my geo-pack was all full of things I thought I might need( I did not need half of what was packed).
Still to this day I use sheets that I made myself on word to write down the cache details for each cache. I also get out my trusty gazetter and draw an arrow on the page as to where each cache of the day is going to be, I number them in order so we can make the drive easier. When the cache is found we write comments down on that same sheet of paper so we know what to write down later when we log our finds.
To me, this is still a huge part of the fun. I relate it personally to hunting. Doing the set up work is part of the experience. When I deer hunt I like to do a little scouting and make sure my stands are in the right spot. To me mapping out my day, and handwriting down cache details is part of the caching fun. I am usually not in a huge hurry to get to the next cache, so why download 500 caches to my gps? I am usually spending most of my time enjoying the area that caching has brought me to, and not worrying about how many I can find in a day. I usually map out 3 or 4 real quality caches that I want to do in a day, and hit all of the others in-between along the way. The great thing about that is...what looks like a boring cache on paper sometimes turns out to be a great cache.
Basically to sum it all up, the other day when I was trying to figure out GSAK, and trying to find the best place to get a map chip for my Lowrance gps, it dawned on me. Why do I need all of these gadgets? I usually only find a few caches each time I go out. My gps works perfectly. I just got so frustrated trying to make everything work, why go through this just to save a few minutes? I like my old school tactics, I think I am going to stick with them!
I do realize that my opinions are definitely not shared by everybody, but that is the beauty of the whole situation...everybody caches the way they enjoy! Someday I may even change my mind, I cannot say that I wont, but for right now its low tech, if there is such a thing in geocaching.
Here is a picture of what I am talking about, the sheet that I used sitting on the gazetter map. These are from the trip that we took to the U.P. You can see the small numbers circled on the map. The battle plan, all layed out!!