Tag Archives: GPS

Geocaching and Letter-Boxing

On May 3 2000, Dave Ulmer, a computer consultant, wanted to test the accuracy by hiding a navigational target in the woods. He called the idea the “Great American GPS Stash Hunt” and posted it in an internet GPS users’ group. The idea was simple: Hide a container out in the woods and note the coordinates with a GPS unit.

The finder would then have to locate the container with only the use of his or her GPS receiver. The rules for the finder were simple:

“Take some stuff, leave some stuff.”

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices.

Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

*A great summer activity.* Some helpful websites:

Geocaches can be found all over the world. It is common for geocachers to hide caches in locations that are important to them, reflecting a special interest or skill of the cache owner. These locations can be quite diverse. They may be at your local park, at the end of a long hike, underwater or on the side of a city street.

Maybe Geocaching is a little like Pokémon Go, but it has been going for a long time… even before GPS, when compasses were used for scavenger hunts. It is a fun way to explore and learn more about the local area that you live in!

Moffett Field: Past, Present and Future

FREE EVENT: Monday, October 22  7 p.m.
Sunnyvale Public Library located at 665 W. Olive St Sunnyvale. There are many free events, sign up for their mailing list and look up events on their web site: www.sunnyvalelibrary.org

moffett field hangar

Are you Curious about Moffett Field and its gigantic hangars on US 101? John Mascali of the Moffett Field Historic Society will address this question with a visual presentation and discussion. Everyone is welcome to this free event.

Moffett Field has a curious and interesting history. It was charged with the mission to keep our coastline protected and safe. The mapping and observation of the entire USA west coast was accomplished with many strategies, Zeppelins were only the beginning.

If you have missed this event, or wish to learn more, the Historic Society is located on Moffett Field, anyone can enter the base with a picture id and the guard will help you find the museum with a map and directions.

The museum is $7, open Wednesday- Saturday 10-2pm and it is full of memorabilia, photos, uniforms, books, and so many amazing and interesting things. It is a treasure trove of things to see. There are great docents that will answer your questions and guide you if you call ahead — (650) 964-4024.

NEWS! Battle between Nasa Ames and Nasa HQ over Hangar One


The Wiki on Moffett Field

Geo-Caching- What’s That?

A short definition first and then you can discover MORE!

GEO-CACHING: The recreational activity of hunting for and finding a hidden object by means of GPS coordinates posted on a website. It’s fun, it’s international, it is like a treasure hunt, and you have the thrill of finding the cache. You can enjoy this by yourself, with friends or with families and kids. It is a fun way to learn how to navigate. You can decide when/where and how long you want to take. You can be low-tech or load up on gadgets.

REI has geo-caching classes and a 4 min online video on using your GPS.

Sports Basement in Sunnyvale has a Free Climbing clinic on September 19.

g4kidsThere are many resources for climbing, geo-caching and learning more about the places in CA that climbers love. Castle Rock is one of these amazing places where there are many climbers and the climbing community is strong and committed to caring for this magical place.

And related to these sports are the ever-popular MUDDER RUNS….. SB has a clinic coming up.

Rock ‘n’ Mud Bash

Tuesday, September 11, 2012  /  6:00pm – 8:00pm
Sunnyvale Store

Come one, come all, to celebrate fitness, fun and friends at the 2012 Rock ?n’ Roll San Jose Half Marathon and Columbia Muddy Buddy San Jose kick-off party!

GPS, my best friend!

I try not to have inanimate objects as best friends, but… my GPS helps me out of binds, gets me where I am going and tells me when I’ll arrive. It makes my life better. Now there are more functions, there is an ECO mode – helping you find the most gas saving route (Garmin) and there are GPS that will help you with a walking route. This is a great plus in a new city, for bike riders, and hike leaders and more.

I love to go hiking, and often head towards new parks, and used to get lost all the time. My GPS routes me there easily, using the actual address, intersection or GPS coordinates (thanks Google Maps for this technology.)
What does it cost? Costco has dropped the price significantly on GPS devices and is offering rebates as well: Magellan 1440 costs 109.99 and has a $30 instant rebate, GARMIN 265WT is now $149 with a $20 rebate.. it was $249 in March ’09, and even at the higher price it has been worth every penny. Costco also backs the products they sell, which is a major PLUS when using a GPS or any techy gadget.

Having the “Go Home” feature is also an important safety feature, if you don’t know where you are, but need to get moving now(maybe you’re in a spooky parking lot, have accidentally driven into “gangland” , on a dangerous part of highway, or boxed in by construction and stuck – I have done all these!) you can always press Go Home.  The GPS will route you quickly towards your home, and soon enough things will start to look familar because if you are close, you’ll be headed toward an area you know and if you are far away from home, you’ll be routed onto a major road. All good, and a great way to move to a safer locale.
You can even play games with your GPS…. encounter traffic, turn off the set route and let it figure out where you are and how to get home, or switch the language to French or Spanish for a brain workout.

A little hint: this technology is spectacular, but a paper map is an important back-up, because some areas (notably Grass Valley, San Carlos hills and more) do not have signals or service and you’ll be “dropped off”.  Even then, you can use the GPS compass and street map to figure out where to go or what direction to head.

Hats off to GPS… every bit as important as the toaster, cordless phone, microwave, radial tires, thumb drives and social media.