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Friday, July 20, 2012

Planning a Geocaching Camping Trip

It's summertime in the US of A and that means it is time for heading out on the road and enjoying all the wonders this land has to offer. Now that I think of it I shouldn't be so localized in my thinking. We have readers all around the world so let's change it for everyone in the Northern Hemisphere - better? No matter where you are on this planet there will be a time you are going to want to go camping and I have a few thoughts that might be helpful for you as you plan your geocaching adventure.

First off it is very important to know all the destinations you are going to want to visit on your trip. Places like historical, scenic, hiking, biking, boating, etc. There will also be the actual camping areas and also all the side trips as well. Make a list of where they are and how far around those areas you are going to want to venture. Then check out your favorite geocaching listing site and generate the needed .gpx files for each of those areas. For those who don't know a .gpx file is a collection of GPS data that can be incorporated into different devices like GPSr units, computers and smartphones showing where individual geocaches are hidden. Here are a few listing sites you might want to check out.

Geocaching Listing Sites:
     - Geocaching.com - Pocket Queries
     - Opencaching.com - .gpx files
     - Opencaching.us - gpx files - multiple formats

Now that you have your geocache ducks in a row for areas you are going to visit during your trip you might also want to figure out where some geocaching finds are while on the road getting to your camping destination. To do that you need to plan some routes.

How this works is pretty simple. You have the route, which is the road you are travelling on. You can set the route to find geocaches that are close to the road, say half a mile for example. A .gpx file is created with all those geocaches that then can also be loaded into GPSr units, computers and smart-phones as well. That way while you are going from point A to point B you can pick up geocaches along the way. Below are some ways you can plan geocaching routes.

Plan Routes
     - Geocaching.com
     - GSAK  (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) -  http://www.gsak.net/   
     - GPS Mapping Software

Plus don't forget that with many of the modern, fancy-dancy technology out there you can do real-time geocaching. Simply by using your smart phones and tablets with cellular capabilities you can be anywhere that has a signal and go geocaching.

Some favorite spots during a trip could include:

Geocaching on the Spot (Unplanned Geocaching)
     - Rest Areas
     - Places of Interest
     - Getting supplies in a nearby town

So no matter if your travels takes you to private campgrounds, RV parks, State Parks of just out on the open road. Geocaches are bound to be close by for your geocaching pleasure.

Be safe out there and see you out on the trails.


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