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1 Geocaching Merit Badge 2014 Mountain Dominion District COLD RUSH.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Geocaching Merit Badge 2014 Mountain Dominion District COLD RUSH."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Geocaching Merit Badge 2014 Mountain Dominion District COLD RUSH

2 The Plan for Today What is Geocaching? Safety How to Find a Geocache Mapping: GPS, UTM, Compass How to Hide a Geocache Geocaching Terms CITO Leave no Trace Geocaching Game 2

3 What is Geocaching? Geocaching is a sport where you use a multi billion dollar satellite system to locate a rubbermaid containers in middle of the woods. ~~ Anonymous 3

4 What is Geocaching? Nature meets Technology –GPS (Global Positioning Device) –Maps –Hidden Containers –Latitude/Longitude –Friends and Family Time – –Adventures –FUN with your Troop 4

5 History of Geocaching GPS was developed by the US Dept of Defense May 1 st, 2000 the Government made these GPS signals available to the public –Removing Selective Availability On May 3 rd, Dave Ulmer hid a 5 gallon pail out in woods in Oregon –Called The Great American Stash Hunt The first finder, Jeremy Irish, created to document geocaches Today over 1 Million are hidden around the world 5

6 Global Positioning System (GPS) What does a GPS Do? –Tells you where to go –Tracks where you have been –Stores maps: topo, trails, street –Stores coordinates (waypoints, points of interest) –Communicates with Satellites out in space 6

7 How does it work? Three Segments –Space 24-30 satellites orbit around the earth at an altitude of about 12,550 miles Transmits position, orbit and location, and altitude –Control Satellites are tracked by US Air Force Monitoring Stations scattered throughout the US. Ground stations will send navigation updates to the satellites –User GPS Uses data from satellites to calculate users position, altitude and other data 7

8 How does it work? To sum it all up: –The GPS uses the time it receives the signal from the satellites to determine location and altitude –The GPS only needs to receive data from 4 satellites to determine location. The more received, the better the accuracy 8

9 Interference and Accuracy Interference: Factors that prevent GPS from receiving information from satellites –Weather –Buildings –Trees –Canyons Takes longer for GPS to receive satellite signal No GPS is 100% Accurate Most GPS units will get you within 20 feet of a Geocache –Use Geosense when hunting for a cache 9

10 How to use a GPS Get to know your GPS before you head out –Where is the Enter button, move up or down, zoom in or out, find the menu, turn on backlight How to switch between the map and the compass Check battery levels Mark a Waypoint –A waypoint is a location entered in your GPS Find a waypoint (location) or point of interest Edit/Change coordinates The Compass –The arrow will not move until you begin to move 10

11 GPSr Demonstration 11

12 GPS Safety How to NOT get lost or run into barriers: GPS where to crow flies –Always look at a map of area first to determine your best route –Obstacles: rivers, streams, swamps, cliffs Always carry extra batteries Mark your car or trailhead Have map and compass 12

13 Map and Compass Why should you bring a Map and Compass with you? –GPS batteries go dead –Satellite signal is not good –Accidently enter in the wrong coordinates TIME FOR QUESTIONS…. 13

14 How to Determine Coordinates The globe is comprised of vertical and horizontal lines called: Latitude and Longitude Latitude (parallels) –Horizontal lines around the globe –North to South position between the poles –North Pole is 90 degrees north –South Pole is 90 degrees south Longitude (meridians) –Vertical lines around the globe –East to West –0 degrees = Prime Meridian and goes through Greenwich England. 14

15 Latitude and Longitude 15

16 Latitude and Longitude Each degree is divided into 60 minutes Each minute of latitude and longitude = 60 seconds Format used for Coordinates: –Degrees, Minutes, Seconds –Coordinates at Baldy Mountain at Philmont are N 36 0 37 45 W 105 0 12 48 and most GPS uses different format: Degrees and Decimal Minutes –Coordinates above would read: N 36 37.750 W 105 12.800 16

17 Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) Rectangular grid-based map overlay Divides Earth into 60 zones –Each zone = 6 degrees of latitude 20 Latitude bands, each 8 degrees high –Each band is lettered from C to X (no I or O) –Ends at 84 o N Latitude Easting – measured from central meridian Northing – measured from the equator Always read coordinates East and then North 17

18 UTM 18

19 UTM 19

20 UTM Excercise 20 Questions or Break…..

21 Types of Geocaches Traditional Multi-Cache Puzzle Virtual Earthcache Event Letterbox Wherigo Webcam Benchmarking Waymarking 21

22 Geocache Sizes Micro –Nano, film containers, magnetic key holder –Typically only a logbook Small –Sandwich size lock-n-lock, decon containers, small peanut butter container –Can fit logbook, pencil and small trade items Regular –Ammo can, large lock-n-lock, think shoebox size Large –5 gallon pail, big wooden box 22

23 Terrain and Difficulty Terrain Rating: 1-5 stars –Steep terrain, water, cliffs –Paved trail –1 star would be wheelchair accessible –5 star may require special equipment Difficulty Rating: 1-5 stars –Nano up in a pine tree (5) –50 gallon garbage can (1) –1 star would be super easy, 5 star is evil 23

24 Attributes What to expect at cache location Is parking available? Can you bring your dog? Do you need special equipment (boat, scuba gear) How long will it take? Is cache available at night? Kid Friendly? Stealth Required? Do I need to watch out for ticks or poisonous plants? 24

25 Internet Safety Obtain parent permission and follow the rules Never give out your email, phone number or other personal information Never open e-mail or files if you dont know who sent it Tell a parent if you see or receive anything that makes you feel uncomfortable Never agree to meet with anybody you meet online Dont share passwords Dont believe everything you read online Obey the laws 25

26 Getting Started Step 1: Research Step 2: Safety Step 3: The Hunt Step 4: The Actual Find 26

27 Step 1: Research Sign up for free account on Click Hide and Seek a Cache, enter a zip code Select the Geocache you want to find –Pay attention to distance, difficulty, terrain, type and size Enter coordinates in your GPS device Look at map of area to determine your best approach –In the city, use a city map –In rural areas, use a topographic map 27

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30 Preparing to Geocache What to take with you –GPS –Extra batteries –Cache page –Water –A buddy –Trinkets to trade with –Pen/Pencil –Bug Spray –CITO bag –Sense of Adventure 30

31 Step 2: Safety Bring a buddy Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back Carry a compass, whistle and first aid kit Dress for weather and terrain Be aware of your surroundings If its hunting season, wear blaze orange 31

32 Step 3: The Hunt Mark your car and/or trailhead Stay on the trail Watch your Footing Use your GPS compass to lead you towards the cache Slow down when you get to about 300 feet Once you get to about 30 feet, start your search –Sometimes it helps to just put the GPS away and use your geosense 32

33 Step 4: The Actual Find Once you find it, write about it in logbook –Use your geocaching name (handle) and date Take something, Leave something Only take a trackable if you intend on moving it –Trackables are Geocoins, Travel Bugs and tracked on Put Geocache back, better than how you found it –Many times, geocaches move or camo disappears –Make sure lid is on tight Log it on and share your experience. 33

34 Hazards Poisonous plants Sunburn Heatstroke Hypothermia Woodticks Mosquitoes Holes in the ground Uneven terrain Disorientation 34

35 Hiding a Geocache Read the guidelines on Many parks and cities have special rules Same steps as finding: –Step 1: Research –Step 2: Safety –Step 3: The Hunt –Step 4: The Actual Find 35

36 Step 1: Research Where would be a good place to hide a Geocache? –Geocaches must be.10 miles (528 feet) away from others. –Think Where would I like to FIND a Geocache? Hide Geocache where there will be minimal risk to the environment 36

37 Step 2: Safety Geocaches must be safe to get to If on private property, obtain permission Geocaches are not allowed near railroads, bridges, school property or military bases 37

38 Step 3: The Hunt Make sure coordinates are accurate Supply a hint Write Geocache on outside of container You want to be sure Geocachers can find your hide 38

39 Step 4: The Actual Find Be sure to use a watertight container –Lock N Locks –Ammo Cans –Decon containers –Do not use: gladware, they do not hold up to Minnesota winters Put a Cache Note in the geocache –This can be printed off Put logbook in a plastic baggie –Leave the pencil out, they tend to poke holes in the baggie Load the cache up with swag –Do not put in food, fireworks, or other dangerous materials 39

40 Submitting your Geocache Go to On Hide and Seek page, click on the Online Form Complete all information on the form and Submit Add Attributes Volunteer reviewers will review your listing –If there are questions, they will email you –If no questions and all guidelines were followed, they will publish your new Geocache on Wait for that first Geocacher to log the FTF (First to Find) 40

41 Maintain it! When you hide a Geocache, you are obligated to maintain it Read the logs that geocachers will send you –They will let you know if your Geocache is wet or the logbook is full –If you get a few DNF logs (Did Not Find), you may want to check to see if the geocache has been Muggled (a non- geocacher may have found it and removed it) When you visit the area, make sure environment around isnt being damaged in anyway If you can no longer maintain, you need to archive and remove the geocache 41

42 Leave No Trace Follow 7 Leave No Trace Principles 1. Plan Ahead and Prepare Check weather, be safe, follow land policies, know how to use GPS 2. Travel and Cache on durable surfaces Stay on the trail, avoid creating new geotrails, avoid sensitive areas 3. Dispose of Waste Properly Cache in, Trash Out 4. Leave What you Find see it as it is, leave it as it was 42

43 Leave No Trace 5. Minimize Campfire Impacts Typically doesnt apply with Geocaching, but know area regulations 6. Respect Wildlife Never leave food in a geocache Dogs on a leash Observe wildlife from a distance 7. Be Considerate of other Visitors Yield to those on a trail Avoid loud noises Do not trespass 43

44 CITO Cache In Trash Out –Always carry a bag with you to pick up trash on your way out –CITO Event: Group of geocachers getting together to clean up a park or other geocaching friendly area DIPO –Dog in Poop Out: make sure you clean up after the dogs 44

45 Make CITO Containers 45

46 Geocaching Game!! 46

47 Geocachers Creed When placing or seeking geocaches, I will: Not endanger myself or others Observe all laws & rules of the area Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm Minimize my and others' impact on the environment Be considerate of others Protect the integrity of the game pieces 47

48 Resources References: –Geocaching Merit Badge Handbook – – – – 48

49 49 Contact Information Ed Evans, Assistant Scoutmaster Princeton Troop 1 304-673-2969

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