jump to navigation

Map This Trail April 25, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Events, Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere, Recreation.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

If you load up Geocaching.com this morning you’ll see their new project with the Rails to Trails Conservancy.  If you missed the Groundspeak blurb on it, you can see it, here.

If you read up a little bit, you will see Groundspeak and Rails to Trails are seeking volunteers with a GPS to help map these trails.  I support this little “cause”  for a multitude of reasons, not least of which is that the process involves you, a GPS, and walking around.  That’s three simple things I can almost understand together. 😉

Seriously, though, the volunteer work is as simple as turning on the breadcrumbs feature for your GPS to record a track, then walk around on the trail and hit the “Mark” button when you see something interesting like a bathroom.  What’s more, there is a trail in San Diego County that needs help.  It is the San Diego Sea to Sea trail, stretching 140 miles from the coast to the Salton Sea.  But don’t let me monopolize the airwaves; from their site:

Our first area of focus is San Diego.  This branch is called the San Diego Trans County Trail.  It is also known as the San Diego Sea To Sea Trail.  The latter name is largely coincidental.  The two seas it connects are the Pacific Ocean in Del Mar, California and The Salton Sea, 140 miles inland.  This Trail crosses the Pacific Crest Trail, which extends from Mexico to Canada.

 

Our Current Focus:  Crossing San Diego County on the San Diego Sea To Sea Trail

This San Diego trail will pass gorgeous scenery that includes beach, coastal wetlands, mountains, lakes, streams, desert and an inland sea.  Such diversity within 140 miles makes it an exceptionally beautiful part of the national trail network.

Go to the site, take a look at the existing trail map, then note it still needs some handy folks with a GPS out there to map it for the rest of the world to use.  The cool bit here is the next phase, once the San Diego Sea to Sea Trail is done:

After completing the Sea To Sea Trail (Trans County Trail), the goal of the Sea To Sea Trail Foundation will be to create a network of interconnected trails crisscrossing the lower 48 states of the United States.  A person will be able to ride a bicycle, ride a horse or walk to every large or medium size town in the country.

Now I love my frequent flyer miles and freeway machines just as much as the next guy (ok, probably a lot more than the next guy) but this is just plain cool.  Hiking and biking trails to every densely populated town in the country?  I am freakin’ in!  Talk about a killer road trip, on foot!

If you’re planning a mapping or Geocaching hike on the San Diego Sea to Sea Trail, let me know. 

Advertisements

New Geocaching.Com GPS Reviews Feature March 29, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Hardware, Reviews.
Tags: ,
1 comment so far

Have you noticed the “GPS” profile data feature on Geocaching.com lately?  This is a bit of a sneaky back door for a feature I have been clamoring about for ages:

Proper GPS reviews by the people who use them

I don’t know why they’re hiding the feature; it is not terribly well advertised, but you can access the main GPS review pages, here.

You can select the manufacturer and model, then see what other folks have to say.  Since these are ALL Geocachers I think you will find a more appropriate set of commentary than in the general intert00b space.

If you are daring enough to add your own review, just view your profile and check for this on the right hand side:

From your GC.com Profile Page

From your GC.com Profile Page

There have been some questions in the forums on this lately, but nobody’s looking at the hundreds of reviews for every device already on Geocaching.com.

Enjoy, and Happy Caching!

Planning for a “Crush” Event – Part 3 March 27, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Events, Geocaching, Software, Strategy and Tactics, Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

Part 3: All About the Pocket Query

In Part 0 we established the Crush event as something you should not treat lightly.  In Part 1 you have established your basic organization and planning structure, while in Part 2 you made official decisions on “Da Rules”.  Now it is time to get cooking on a Pocket Query and mapping out the actual waypoints you will seek.

This is where the fun really gets going, if you’re a geek like me.

Run a Pocket Query

You’ve already decided what types of hides you are going to seek in Part 2.  With that, go run yourself a Pocket Query on Geocaching.com.  Some thoughts, though, on building effective PQs are are in order:

  1. Make sure the details from Part 2 (terrain, difficulty, types, etc) are all plugged in (DUH)
  2. Consider running a separate query for each cache type and merging the GPX files later, this will make it easy for you to slice off the Mystery caches
  3. Always choose “not ignored” as a filter criteria.  This will become important in a second.
  4. Choose an appropriate waypoint to center the search on and fiddle with the search radius until the “preview” results come back with just under 500 results (475-499 is good).  This insures you have ALL of the caches in a given radius listed.
  5. Use Watcher to further filter your results when the PQ GPX file comes over.

(more…)

How’d You Do That: Printed Routes Episode March 6, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, For the Newbies, Geocaching, Mobile Caching, Software, Strategy and Tactics, Uncategorized.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
2 comments
I received a few questions during the recent 100-Cache Dash about the preplanned route I provided to all the participants. So if you would like to plan a turn by turn route for your next Geocaching adventure, this post will get you started. If you weren’t there the first leg of the route looked like this…
Click to Embiggen

Palm Springs Route, Leg 1, From Mapsource: Click to Embiggen

Now I did provide it on regular paper and it was nicely carved up into “phases” for the day, but you get the idea.  If anyone got lost they could catch up real quick.  How 6 people with multiple GPSr units PER PERSON could possibly get lost is beyond me, and beside the point (but it is why we left Calipers at home).

Want to create something like this for your next hunt?  All that, and more, below the fold.

(more…)

Sharing the Love With GSAK January 14, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Geocaching, Mobile Caching, Software.
Tags: , , , , ,
3 comments

I’m not a big GSAK user (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife).  That probably makes me a GSAK bigot, but I am here to change all that.

Many people who use GSAK are familiar with its ability to rapidly review cache lists, assign nicknames to cache entries and it is not a bad filtering tool, either.  In another post I mentioned a key feature of “Watcher”, its ability to rapidly and automatically filter out undesirable (or desirable) cache entries from your GPX Pocket Query.  Now it’s time to take a look at one feature from GSAK that makes it second to none among utilities: its file export capabilities.

GSAK offers excellent file sharing tools for the Geocacher.  In the latest version of GSAK (7.2.3.35), the number of file formats supported is staggering.  What possible use could this be?  If you and your cache mates don’t use the same GPS or have differing preferences/needs for map view or printouts, the best way to make sure you are operating from the same cache list is to start from the same GPX and use a software tool like GSAK to “translate” for you.

(more…)

Great Moments in History: Manpack GPS January 7, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, Hardware, Science.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

When I reflect on the ~$400 it cost me for my GPSr a couple years ago, I find it helpful to take a peek back in time (to 1980) to put it all in perspective.  Try one of these on for size, the Manpack Global Positioning System Receiver.  At $45,000 and 17 lbs apiece I think Geocaching would have struggled to take off were it introduced in 1980.  My $400 doesn’t seem so steep in perspective and the fact that it has to lock one satellite at a time is another matter entirely.

Sheesh, and I complain when I can only “see” 7 or 8 satellites.