Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16

Thread: How close is close enough?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    150

    Default How close is close enough?

    Okay here is a question for all you vets out there. How close can I expect my gpsr to get me to a cache. Or how far away from the co-ords would be reasonable to be looking for a cache or clue if not specified by the person who hid it?

    20 ft radius, 30? 50?

    Just trying to give myself an idea on how to hunt on some of these. Most are right there pretty close but others have been off from the co-ords by quite a bit. Sometimes I even back track to a clearing to restart incase it was too much coverage or something. So far though I have always been led back to the same spot almost step on step. When I have found a couple of these I would say they were up to 50 ft away being the farthest from the co-ords.

    Thanks,

    LWA11

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Caribou, Maine
    Posts
    639

    Default

    When I had my Magellan Sport Trak, I would say 20 - 25 ft radius was close enough. Now with my CS, I am saying 5-10 feet is close enough.

    Depends on satellites primarily, I have been in the boat when it won't get any closer then 20 feet no matter which direction I would move. I was in a case were It would say 4 feet then I take a step to the left and it says 45 feet. Which means, "your in the area"!

    Then I look and look until I find it. Caches I found like that, almost without a GPS really, if someone had taken them... I would still be out there looking! I hate given up. I was at a cache actually circling for an hour and a half once, fusterated, yes, but I found it. Left a note inside and emailed the person who placed it, but thats beside the point! I hate calling quits; giving up. Once I start in for a cache, I don't plan on returning until its found!
    Sorry, you can not add yourself to your own ignore list.

  3. #3
    dí76 Guest

    Default

    Remember that the coords are only as accurate as the gps that placed it. It could have been a bad day, or placed when there was less canopy, such as in the spring when the leaves havent came out yet. It also could have been place through shear inexperiance. I was forunate enough to have the groups that found mine say that the coords where good. That made me feel better because you never know until that first find or dnf how good your coords where.

    I would say that if your getting within 30 feet on a regular basis your doing well

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Maine
    Posts
    535

    Default

    I'll share a couple of things that might help you. As you get near the cache sight most GPS'r will put you within 20 feet. The exceptions are if there is heavy overhead evergreens or heavy leaf cover. Gorges and steep stuff cut down on accuracy as well.

    The problem is not what your GPS'r is reading, but what the hiders was reading. It is something that is just not going to change even with the newer x chip models. The coordinates you have are only as good as the persons coords that they entered for the cache hide.

    As I get to the area of the cache I start using my eyes rather than the gps. You will actually degrade your gps performance by walking around with it in your hand. If your moving, the gps is always trying to figure out where you are and where your going. If I do not find the cache right away I find a nice level spot and sit the gps on the ground and let it bake the sats. You will find that most of the time (unless you have conditions like in paragraph one) the gps will settle down and give you a direction and a distance. This may not work all of the time, but more often than not it works very well.

    With a little practice you will get good at finding things without the gps in your hand.
    I'd really rather not cache, but I am helpless in the grip of my compulsion!

  5. #5

    Default

    I think the error can be anywhere from zero to the sum of the errors of the hider's GPSr and yours. In other words, if the hider's GPSr could be off 20 feet, and yours is also off by the same amount, then you could potentially be off by 40 feet. On top of that you can add errors due to the weather, tree cover, terrain, gorges, rocks, etc as the others have stated.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Portland, Maine
    Posts
    200

    Default

    I learned to cache with an older Garmin unit which only displayed distance to 0.01 miles. The closest I usually could expect to get was about 50 so I learned to put away the GPS and start looking when I got that close. I also used my compass a lot. I would actually walk away from the area to a spot with good reception and then follow the bearing with my compass. Even with a new more precise unit I still will use my compass occasionally in those areas with tough reception, it usually leads me to the cache pretty quickly.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Solon, Maine
    Posts
    5,940

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gob-ler
    As I get to the area of the cache I start using my eyes rather than the gps. You will actually degrade your gps performance by walking around with it in your hand. If your moving, the gps is always trying to figure out where you are and where your going. If I do not find the cache right away I find a nice level spot and sit the gps on the ground and let it bake the sats. You will find that most of the time (unless you have conditions like in paragraph one) the gps will settle down and give you a direction and a distance. This may not work all of the time, but more often than not it works very well.
    We usually stop when we're within 100 feet of the cache to let the GPSr settle down. Too often we experience the "slingshot effect" if we try and go right to the cache.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Bangor, ME
    Posts
    3,961

    Default

    As I start nearing the cache within 100ft I start walking slower, the GPS needs to be moving to figure out where it is. If it is sitting still it will be jumping all over the place trying to figure out where it is, (keep in mind it is only guessing where you are from the radio signals it is picking up) Unless you have a really nice GPS like a Trimble (probably more than $4000 and takes about 30minutes to get a precise reading) you need to be moving. If I'm having trouble, I start walking a pattern, 50ft north 100ft south, 50ft back to center, 50ft east 100ft west and 50ft back to center, and that usually gives me the best Idea of the location to the cache and then I put it away and start looking.
    Once the game is over, the king and the pawn go back in the same box.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Unity, Maine
    Posts
    3,866

    Default

    Well I wouldn't consider myself a vet, but in answer to your questions . . .

    It depends. As others have said, just how close you can get to the cache depends on the coords of the cacher who placed the cache, satellite coverage, etc. I've had caches that I've zeroed in on with no problems and other caches that were off quite a bit . . . either due to my GPSr or to the cacher's coords. In general it seems as though I will be anywheres from 5-20 feet in general.

    I think the best advice for locating a cache is to do what others have said . . . when you get to the last 100 feet or so start looking with your eyes at the terrain instead of looking at the GPSr. Look for things that may be out of the ordinary. If you've read the clue look around to see if that helps.

    I will say that when I'm hiding my cache I try to go out on two to preferably three different times to get cords which I then average out myself -- along with the GPSr averaging them. I jot down the numbers when I first arrive and then jot down a few readings in the next few minutes with the unit at a standstill. I've done this before and in one instance the coords I had on one date were quite a bit off from the other two days . . .

    When hiding my cache I also try to provide a hint . . . I figure if people want to use it they will and if they want the extra challenge they will not use it . . . besides I want people to find my caches.

    Quote Originally Posted by lwa11
    Okay here is a question for all you vets out there. How close can I expect my gpsr to get me to a cache. Or how far away from the co-ords would be reasonable to be looking for a cache or clue if not specified by the person who hid it?

    20 ft radius, 30? 50?

    Just trying to give myself an idea on how to hunt on some of these. Most are right there pretty close but others have been off from the co-ords by quite a bit. Sometimes I even back track to a clearing to restart incase it was too much coverage or something. So far though I have always been led back to the same spot almost step on step. When I have found a couple of these I would say they were up to 50 ft away being the farthest from the co-ords.

    Thanks,

    LWA11
    "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the realization that there is something more important than fear."

    "Death is only one of many ways to die."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    South Lagrange, Maine
    Posts
    57

    Default

    As has been said before, when you get close slow down and let the GPSr begin averaging. When you get get consistent readings put it away and look for things out of the ordinary.

    On a side topic...since everyone is in agreement that the coords of the placing cacher are important I'll offer a greedy, capitalist suggestion. As long as my boss doesn't mind, I'll bring a survey grade GPS unit out when the cache is being placed and give you a coordinate within a couple centimeters. This will benefit everyone by providing a highly precise position (of course your GPSr won't give you any better position) of the cache...I'll obviously have to charge for the service (remember...greedy capitalist)...and I'll have the record for FTFs in no time.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •