November 28, 2006

The Outdoor Adventure: an Old Favourite Which Will Never Truly Get Old

There's nothing quite like an outdoor adventure; after all, nature offers it all - fun, relaxation and the opportunity to engage in various exciting activities. What's more, a nature getaway is ideal whether you plan to travel alone, with your family or with a group of friends. So whether you're interested in taking a week-long retreat, or you're simply looking for a great way to spend a weekend, start planning your outdoor adventure today.


There are various locales which would be perfect for your outdoor excursion. While many people immediately consider mountains to be an ideal setting for an outdoor adventure, the beach, the countryside or even the desert are great places for physical activities, or to simply relax and take in the serenity of nature. What's more, your activities will vary widely depending on the setting, so it's a good idea to consider all your options before you set off on your adventure, and ensure all transport and hotel accommodation is arranged in advance.


There are loads of activities to take part in which will increase the participant’s enjoyment of the great outdoors, and hiking is undoubtedly one of the most popular. Hiking is a terrific activity for individuals and families alike, and it's a great way to experience diverse surroundings on a single excursion; experience the gorgeous scenery atop lush mountains, or go hiking amidst stunning desert terrain. Children can also learn a great deal whilst hiking, as they'll encounter a number of different plants, insects and small animals. With a little bit of research on the trails at any given park or campsite before you even get there to the area, you can plan a route that matches up with fitness levels and interests, as it is important to know how long the trails are, as well as what level of hiking experience they require, before embarking on a potentially unsuitable trek.
Andrew Regan

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November 18, 2006

Geocaching Goes Mobile with Geocache Navigator

Are you a first time geocacher looking to purchase a GPS unit? Or have you ever forgotten your GPS unit but still wanted to go geocaching? Use your mobile phone instead The Trimble� Geocache NavigatorTM is the first fully featured geocaching application for the mobile phone. The software combines the GPS that is built into your phone with your phone's wireless data network to allow you to:

  • Search for caches near your current location with a single click.
  • Search for caches anywhere by entering an address, intersection, coordinates or a cache code.
  • Navigate to the geocache by following the direction in which the arrow on the built-in compass points.
  • View your location, and the location of the geocache, on an aerial, topographic or street map that you can pan and zoom.
  • Mark a cache as 'found' on Geocaching.com so you can return home and share your experience with other geocachers.
  • If you have a GPS enabled mobile phone on Sprint, Nextel, Boost or Southern Linc networks you can get started caching today!

How it works
Geocache Navigator is linked directly to Geocaching.com's geocache listings and provides you with real-time access to caches near your location. Your GPS enabled cell phone becomes both your browser for accessing listings of caches and your GPS unit for navigating to them. Once you have found a cache you can use your phone to post a log of your find.

Logging Your Finds
Once you find a cache you can log your find using the new 'phone log' option in Geocache Navigator. This will document all of your finds online while out on a cache hunt. When you return home you can post a more descriptive log for the cache page. The 'my phone logs' link is always available from your 'my account' page and is a helpful way to keep track your finds.

Interface On the main menu you can do a quick query of caches in your area or customize your search for listings that fit your interests. Navigation Options Navigation is available in the traditional compass style or an alternative radar interface. interface. Mapping Arial, topographic and street map data is available to help you research the cache location before you start hunting. Geocache Navigator works on the following networks and GPS-enabled phones: Sprint LG 550, 535 Motorola RAZR, KRZR Samsung A800, A880, A940, A920 Sanyo 6600, 7400, 5600, 8300, 9000, 7500, 8400, 6600 (Katana) Nextel Motorola i265, i275, i325, i355, i560, i580, i605, i615, i670, i710, i760, i830, i836, i850, i860, i870, i880, i920, and i930 Boost Nextel 80s, i205, i305, i30sx, i315, i325, i35s, i50sx, i530, i55sr, i58sr Gray, i58sr Yellow, i60c, i710, i830 Black, i830 Silver, i85s, i88s, i90c, i90c Swiss, i95cl and i99cl Southern Linc Motorola i265, i275, i325, i355, i560, i580, i605, i615, i670, i710, i760, i830, i836, i850, i860, i870, i880, i920 and i930 Ready to get started? Visit GeocacheNavigator.com to learn more about this application and how to get it for your phone. Copyright � 2000-2006 Groundspeak Inc. All Rights Reserved

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November 14, 2006

Geocaching: A Great Reason To Get Outdoors Again

Geocaching is a treasure hunt game using a hand-held GPS (Global Positioning System) unit. Hiders hide a geocache (small waterproof containers) anywhere in the world, make a note of the GPS coordinates, and list the geocache on a website for hunters to seek. Once the site has been listed, hunters can use a hand-held GPS unit to direct them to the cache. They will usually get close, then they might have to be clever to find a well-hidden cache. A typical cache can be just about any size, from really small to large, and it will probably be camouflaged to make the hunt more challenging. The cache usually contains a notebook, for logging the find, and some small trade items (usually of little monetary value).
Gecaching had its start in May 2000 after the US government decided to make an improved GPS signal available to the public. This made the public use of GPS systems far more accurate and much more useful than it had been to that point.
Soon after this government announcement David Ulmer of Oregon placed his first geocache. His concept of the game, then called The Great GPS Stash Hunt, was very simple: the hider would hide a container and note the GPS coordinates. The seeker would use those coordinates to locate the container, make a note in the log, and trade items.
It didn't take long for that cache to be found, and a new outdoor sport was formed.
The game has grown dramatically in the last few years. There are now more than � million geocaches hidden around the world. There is probably a cache somewhere close to you. The first cache I found was less than � mile from my back door. We go geocaching as a family and we have found many since then and even hidden a few.
It's really not too hard:
1. We use Geocaching.com or Terracaching.com to pull up a list of caches where we want to go hunting.
2. We can either print out the pages or load them up into my Palm PDA.
3. We load up the coordinates into our GPS unit.
4. We pack up our trading trinkets and some cold drinks (don't want to get dehydrated).
5. We use the GPS unit to help us navigate to the geocache site and start hunting. The listings usually give a good indication of what we should be looking for.
6. Once we find the cache we make a note in the logbook and trade items (usually small toys for us since we hunt with a 3-year old).
7. When we're done, we make sure to go back to the listing website to log the find.
8. I usually like to write a blog entry on my geocaching blog at Caching Adventures. This is a good place to tell the stories that don't quite fit into the log entry.
Geocaching has taken us to several local parks that we knew about but had never explored. Our family usually takes in 3 to 5 caches in a single outing. Others will take on many more.
One positive thing that geocaching has done for us is that it has gotten us out of the house and back out into the great outdoors again.

Kevin Harris



Kevin Harris owns Caching Adventures which is a free community for geocachers. Each user has their own blog and can submit articles and participate in forums.

 

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