With winter approaching I decided to come up with a cache that can be located from home but requires lots of effort to log a find. This cache allows you to stay warm & dry while meeting Geocachers around the world! It will also result in a find for both cachers involved as each Geocacher will find one coord. of the two required.
In order to locate this cache you will have to make contact with another Geocacher. It just happens that about 90% of the time that Geocacher will be located in a foreign country! He/she may not even speak your language! Intrigued?
The way this cache works, you will first have to generate a coord whose value is based on your geocaching Username. Then you need to locate this point somewhere on the globe, contact a Geocacher in that area and have him snap a picture of his GPS at those coordinates. He'll email you the picture which you will both log as a find.
Sound simple? Still intrigued? Then dig in!
Now to the logistics:
Doesn't sound so easy now, does it?
- Convert your Geocaching handle to a coordinate.
Using a telephone keypad & the first five or six letters of your Username, convert your Username into numbers such that:
A, B or C='2'
D, E or F='3'; etc.
You must use a minimum of 5 letters. If your name is 5 letters or shorter, you must use the entire name & can fill in the remaining values as desired or leave them "open" for your buddy to have some leeway. You must use your regular Username, no creating new ones just for this cache!
This process will generate one coord.
IE: my Username 'Crusso' converts to 27°87.76'. However, "87" is larger than "60" minutes which is a problem. If this happens, as it will with some names, just add "1 (one)" to the degrees and subtract 60 from the minutes. This gives me 28°27.76'. (recent formula correction by Gavia) Geocaching uses the DD°MM.mmmmm' format, which is degrees, minutes.decimal minutes. No conversion is needed on the decimal portion.
My result is 28°27.76' as one coord. I can add 0-9 to the end to space it out to 7 places or leave it "open" (to allow for some variance at the cache site). That coord. can be either N/S/E or W depending on how it converts. As an alternate, you can convert your username directly to decimal format then convert to Deg Mins as well.
- Locate your appropriate Lat or Long line on a map or globe.
My coord. (28°27.76'), when taken as 28 deg N goes through N. Africa & Mexico; 28 deg S goes through S. Africa, S. America & Australia; 28 deg E goes through Central Africa & Some of Europe; 28 deg W is mostly water. This gives you THOUSANDS of square miles of area to work with.
(Cities by Lat/Long)
for an idea of where your line of lat. or long. lies. Now comes the tricky part!
- Locate an area for your second coord.
At this point you may want to visit the Geocaching forums & see what areas intersect with your line of lat. or long. & have active cachers.
- Now that you have an idea of an area where a possible second coord. is, attempt to make contact with a Geocacher in any area along the coord. that you created above.
You can use whatever means necessary for contact. Geocaching forums, phone, email, personal contacts, etc.
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to persuade another Geocacher to get out there and take a photo of his GPS (with the coords clearly visible) at ANY coord. (choice is his/hers) that intersects with the coord. you created from your username above. A photo of the surrounding area would be nice as well!
A point located IN a foreign city would make a better photo then somewhere in the woods! Let's see who has the most imagination & comes up with an interesting place.
I must be able to translate your username & clearly see that that coord. is accurately represented in the photo.
- Once that photo is taken, you need to get it into your grubby little hands.
Your buddy can upload it for you to the site. He can mail it for you to post, etc. Then you need to post the log for the find with the picture & tell us where the point is located.
- In order for both of you to get credit for the cache, your buddy must email me stating that he took the picture & reference your Username (or put this info into his log if he posts the picture directly for you).
This way you can both log a cache. If he doesn't log, or if you have someone other than a Geocacher do this for you, you will get solo credit providing you have the photo with your log.
Well, dig out those globes, brush off your language dictionaries, and warm up your skills of persuasion.
Email me if you need help w/the conversions!