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Monday, February 25, 2008

Using the GeoCache Navigator (free)

well, first off you need this software: GeoCache Navigator

i found this link from IntoMobile, here
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LJ and i went geocaching for our first time this past weekend, and though it was on our list of things we'd like to do (yeah, we really have a list - i know, we're dorks) i doubt we'd have done it without the added motivation that comes from being fully and freely equipped for the venture.

i was a boy scout. i used to walk around in the woods all the time - it was more commonplace to me than doing my homework when i was growing up. but that was a long time ago. these days it's hard to motivate myself to actually interact with nature.

enter the GeoCache: now i've got a huge, ever growing list of easily attainable goals, complete with online guidance, logs of other peoples' conquests, and, well this time of year even snow and a reason to don my boots.

our first cache was covered by too much snow, and we didnt bring shovels or even water proof gloves. we tried, but failed. that was a long hike through the woods - fun like i remember from childhood: finding ways to cross a stream without being TOO safe, or getting wet; hiking up and down steep icy slopes with the aid of an ad-hoc walking stick from an old rotted tree; stopping for granola bars on the return trip just because we happen to have them with us.

i was tired after that hike though, and we hadn't found the cache, so i whipped out the geocache software again, this time while sitting at a coffee shop, and it told me there was a cache along the river, walking distance from where i sat slurping my caffeinated warmth in a mug. so off we went, with a shovel and rake (Tike Toys or some such child beach toy type shovel: nice and light and able to move vast amounts of snow before being recycled into milk jugs).

lo-and-behold, LJ found it. it was great fun. we even went for another after that - an even easier one that didn't require any digging in the snow at all. wonderful.

top the day off with a beer-battered, deep fried burger at Packards in Northampton, and i was completely satiated. i slept like a baby last night.

so, if you have a gps enabled nokia, and you have any fond recollections of tramping through the woods or digging around for a scavenger hunt (or you wish you had these memories to fondly recollect) dont wait another minute! download the software, fire it up, and click "Quick Cache" for a list of the closest cache's to you. i'd be surprised if there isn't one walking distance from wherever you happen to be reading this post. its free, its fun, and it gets you outside and moving again. i can't claim to have ever heard of a better invention than this: a quick, free, easy motivator to have fun outside like you did when you were a teenager.

(i'm only 29: not as young as i used to be, but no old fart either. i think i'm at that age where my choices in life start to immediately affect how long i will live happily -- should i be concerned about my deep-fried burger? maybe, just maybe...)

1 comment:

bitflung said...

that i'm using a nokia n95? i think the software runs on any s60 3rd edition phone, but without a gps it'd be pretty useless. the software even gives you topo maps, aerial photos, and street maps around the cache you're hunting for!