Thursday, September 20, 2007

New hobby: Geocaching!

About two weeks ago, Sophie told me about some friends of her, who were enjoying their new hobby.
"They walked with a GPS in search of some treasure".

My first thoughts were: "WTF and WTF".

After she told me the GPS wasn't actually very sofisticated, but was just giving coordinates and directions, my second thoughts were: "WTF, and who spends money on such things?"

After rethinking it, and doing some google, and finding some other friends who were also enjoying their hobby (WTF). My state of mind started changing slowly.

I got interested in geocaching (as it's called), and we found our first geocache, without a GPS :) (It was actually located about 750metres from our appartment).

For those who want a decent definition:
Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for gps users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a gps unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something they should try to leave something for the cache.

So my interest began to grow, and I started looking for an affordable GPS. I started looking for a GPS which I could use for geocaching and for car navigation. This seemed a bad idea since they are completely different. Car navigators are not accurate enough, and have difficulties for getting GPS signals in woods e.g. GPSes which can do both, cost easily up to 600 euros (maps included)...
So I started looking for a cheap handheld GPS, excellent for Geocaching. I finally ordered the Garmin Etrex H, where the H stands for High Sensitivity receiver. Which should get us within 3 metres of every cache we would like to find.

Since saturday, I'm waiting on the Garmin delivery at the local dealer. I'm hoping we will receive it before monday noon, since we are leaving for Disneyland at that time.
We would love to take the GPS with us, since there are some geocaches in paris which we would love to add to our "caches found" list. At the end of our 5-day trip to Paris, we are going to the seaside to spend the weekend (since they have geocaches everywhere, they also exist in Knokke... There are about 450.000 geocaches worldwide).

That should be enough to find new energy to start working again on monday!

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