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Caching route methods

 
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celticwulf
Geocacher


Joined: 24 Oct 2005

Posts: 685

PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:41 pm    Post subject: Caching route methods Reply with quote

OK, I know I'm slow, but now that I've finally broken down and upgraded to a unit with autorouting (76c based on discussions with many here Wink ), I'm wondering what people have come up with for figuring out routes for days/weekends/weeks of caching. From past history, including this weekend with autorouting, I've realized I'm mostly using the "nearest" caches method and it really doesn't work as efficently as I would hope.

Basically, I'm wondering what peoples caching methods are. Do you:

1) just go out for the day and go "nearest"? (my standard choice)
2) plan out routes using the GC.com routing feature?
3) plan out routes with mapsource?
4) use other software (such as MS Streets and Trips) to plan routes?
5) don't plan routes at all and just cache when the feeling takes you?
6) other, describe as needed

Really, what I'm trying to find out is what have people come up with for efficient methods of caching, either for just a day of fun, or a "numbers" run, or whatever else you do. I'm curious to see if there are better methods than I use (OK, I'm almost certain there are) and would also like to get the details out here so others can use the same techniques if they like to go caching.

Celticwulf
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5704

PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 9:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Caching route methods Reply with quote

celticwulf wrote:
OK, I know I'm slow, but now that I've finally broken down and upgraded to a unit with autorouting


Sorry to hear that.

Quote:
Basically, I'm wondering what peoples caching methods are. Do you:

1) just go out for the day and go "nearest"? (my standard choice)
2) plan out routes using the GC.com routing feature?
3) plan out routes with mapsource?
4) use other software (such as MS Streets and Trips) to plan routes?
5) don't plan routes at all and just cache when the feeling takes you?
6) other, describe as needed



I normally try and get the largest concentration of caches for the least miles, although there's often more planning involved too. For example, if I'm caching near home or in a place out of town that I frequent (Oklahoma City for example), I plan the route so that I will be able to make future trips that make sense too. I am basically clearing areas out.

I export my unfound caches from GSAK into Street Atlas and then manually determine my route from there.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4051

PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just try to integrate caching into my day to day errands. I keep all caches downloaded into my GPSr within a certain area I know I'll be in. Then I keep a 24 page cache summary report in my back pocket that lists ratings, last found, hints, container size and cache style. I'll plot a round about route in my mind based on what I see on the screen and just make a long trip out of an errand.

Today, I had to make a return at CompUSA in Edina. Made my return then headed up France Ave, to Lake Street, to 35W and then back to Rosemount. Picked up about 15 caches in a couple of hours. Of course, the more I cache, the further from home my errands have to be (that's the hardest part).

The cache summary report has become invaluable. It comes from a .NET application I wrote last year just to learn the layout of GPX files. Now, I can't live without the report. Best of both worlds. I've got "most" of the data I need printed and no expensive PDA to lose on a trail.
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pfalstad
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Feb 2006

Posts: 1013

PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2006 10:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Caching route methods Reply with quote

For everyday caching, I usually don't do "nearest" because I almost always have a specific set of caches I want to do (puzzles, acros, caches that sound especially good, etc.). So I just go get as many of those as I have time for, and then I'm done.

I went on a caching trip with FSU*Noles to Indiana, with nothing but a map of all the caches we wanted to get, and no timetable or anything.. Just tried to get as many of them as we could. I decided that wasn't good enough..

So now, for trips, I make a list of caches we want to do (puzzles + a few extras), and then estimate the amount of time each one will take and put it on an excel spreadsheet. I use google earth to estimate the driving time between each, find parking, and measure the walking distance and estimate the walking and finding time. So I have the whole day scheduled. We first used that on our trip to Duluth, and it worked great. We really needed it because there were a lot of long time-consuming hikes. There were a few caches that we absolutely needed to do, and a few that we could skip if we were low on time. There were some that were great night caches, and some that were day only. So it was great to have a plan to use our time most effectively. We loaded all the nearby caches too so if we were ahead of schedule, we could grab a few more...
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Dances With Beehives
Geocacher


Joined: 12 Sep 2003

Posts: 671

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 5:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes Iíll plan a route with mapsource, but mostly Iíll just go for the Ďnearestí. And it works pretty good, but often leads you to the cache instead of the park, where there may or may not be trail access. What Iíll do when I get close is check for a parking, or trail head waypoint (thanks to everyone who include them), or watch the map for which way to access the park. Not always easy to do when your driving alone.
Talk about being slow...I spent almost my whole 1st year chasing the needle...all the way to the cache, not even knowing about how to find ground zero!
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CamoCacher
Geocacher


Joined: 05 Dec 2005

Posts: 1391

PostPosted: Mon Dec 18, 2006 8:33 am    Post subject: Re: Caching route methods Reply with quote

celticwulf wrote:


I:

1) just go out for the day and go "nearest"?
2) plan out routes using the GC.com routing feature?
3) use other software (such as MS Streets and Trips) to plan routes?




Depends on what I am focusing on.

#1 is mainly Wed Pre cahcing and around town

#2 and #3 used when doing the county runs or a bit trip somewhere and want to hit caches along the way.
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