For a long time, I have been fascinated with Geocaching. It’s the practice of finding caches hidden in the wild or in cities, using a GPS receiver and some coordinates. Some of the caches are simple, some of them demand that you solve a riddle, and yet some are huge day-long treks across military training grounds.
The ones I’ve liked the most thus far are the simple ones. Punch in the coordinates, park somewhere in the area, and go and try to find the cache. Usually, there’s a nice view, interesting architecture or a nice outdoorsy atmosphere along the way.
I didn’t have a GPS receiver for a long time, so I hadn’t ever really started on this hobby. Then I went to visit Sune and Helle, and we went with a couple of friends to log my first few caches. Shortly thereafter, I bought myself the Nokia N95, as referenced earlier, owing mainly to three things:
- GPS receiver
- Wireless networking
- Calendar/PDA functionality
Oh, and it’s a phone and camera as well, which aren’t bad things. But GPS receiver was really what I wanted, to get started on the geocaching.
So for the first few caches, I picked some rather easy ones, in areas I knew to some extent, and caches that were referenced by some landmark close by. This meant I could at the very least find the general area, and if all else failed, I would go by sheer luck and try to find them 😉 I didn’t have any problems, though, and today I went and did yet another cache, in Selling, an area I have only driven through once or twice.
The main problem was me. I started out walking down the wrong path, which didn’t really help – but once I got down the right path instead, I had no problems at all with the GPS. It reported an accuracy varying between 50 and 125 meters, most of the time around 50 – and in the end, it brought me to within 5 meter of the cache. I am really satisfied with the result, and I would expect nothing more of a low-price commercial GPS receiver.
All in all, using the Nokia N95 for geocaching: I approve.