Geocache Page

Home GPS Download Business Partners Contact Family AVL Links History AsOnTV

for geocaches planted by June and Robin see gpss.co.uk/geocache

for "the big picture" on Geocaching, please visit www.gpshobby.info

Robin and June's old geocaching page

Updated 1000 Wednesday 5th December 2001

Robin Hi ! Only a few months ago I did not know what "Geocaching" was: but when I found out I was quickly converted. George Chung, near San Diego in USA, registered GPSS, and said he was going to use it for Geocaching - so I asked what it was. I rapidly became enthusiastic about geocaching because it has enormous scope to popularise GPS to a much wider audience: this indirectly helps my GPS Software business. It is also great fun :-) I've spoken by 'phone to the most prominent players, and planted 32 caches in the south of UK. This has provided invaluable feedback from everyone currently involved in the hobby - most importantly from those who run the geocaching web sites and those who actually visit the caches. I've teamed up with Tony Wale to promote Geocaching in the UK and Worldwide, and we have a new web site on www.gpshobby.info This site provides the introduction to Geocaching originally on this page. It also suggests guidelines to those running Geocaching web sites that may help them cope with the number of geocachers rising a hundred-fold in the next year or two. It provides an objective and non-commercial "big picture" of geocaching - which you may not find on the excellent but competing geocaching sites. This frees up this page, and others linked to it, to concentrate on where Geocaching overlaps with GPSS or products used for geocaching like software, hand-held GPS, and mobile 'phones with geocaching support. More news on these topics soon.

Robin Lovelock, Sunninghill in UK, December 2001.

Make sure you pay a regular visit to www.gpshobby.info
For information on GPSS-Geocaching visit the GPSS Geocaching Software Page.
Press Release from Robin : www.gpss.co.uk/news.htm

Geocaching Personalities

I am enthusiastic about geocaching because it has enormous scope to popularise GPS to a much wider audience: this helps my GPS Software business. It is also great fun :-)

I'm a great believer in meeting people face-to-face, or at least speaking directly on the 'phone. It's often the quickest and most direct way to find out what's really going on behind the facade of a web site - not all are as "up front" about their owners as mine :-)

My most recent 'phone conversations were with Dave Ulmer, who started it all when he planted the first geocache in May 2000. He has some interesting ideas, including that sometimes the "place" is much more important than "what's in the box".

In September there were 'phone calls between myself Robin, Jeremy Irish and Bryan Roth who own and maintain the geocaching.com web site (Grounded Inc). Contact was also been made with Dan Foster, founder of TopoGrafix, the software company behind EasyGPS, ExpertGPS, and PanTerra. More recently there have been 'phone conversations with the owners of two other Geocaching web sites: Quinn Stone of navicache.com and Jeremy Hurst of geocachingworldwide.com

I understand that all these enterprises are even smaller in size and resources than even my own small GPS Software business. However this may change rapidly if geocaching takes off worldwide, and the numbers of participants rise into the hundreds of thousands, or even millions. These pioneers are to be congratulated on what they have already achieved with skill, hard work and a significant part of their own spare time.

The software described on the GPSS Geocaching Software Page enables EasyGPS downloads from geocaching.com to be converted into the simpler format used within GPSS. In the long term it is possible that changes made to geocaching web sites and/or GPSS will provide more elegant and "neater" solutions.

My priority now is to obtain user feedback from those Geocachers who use GPSS.

UK Geocaches hidden by Robin and June

Geocaches map In the few months since we found out about Geocaching, we planted 32 caches and the details onto all three geocaching sites: navicache.com, geocaching.com and geocachingworldwide.com. Those on geocaching.com are "archived" (hidden) but still available. You can access these cache pages via our Lovelock Geocache page, which also explains why they are hidden on geocaching.com.

Old "Robin & June Geocaching" Material

The information below is now superceded by www.gpshobby.info but captures our first experiences of the hobby.

Choosing a Geocache

Note: our nearest geocache are now the ones that we hid ourselves - see above :-)

A quick visit to geocaching.com shows that you need to know your lat/lon in WGS84 degrees, rather than in degrees and minutes. Our home in Sunninghill,UK is at 51 23.82 N 0 39.60 W (GPSS format 512382N0003960W), so dividing the 23.82 and 39.60 minutes by 60 I get 51.397, -0.66. I put this into the form provided, and the site comes back with the list of closest Geocache sites.

We didn't fancy wandering around a graveyard south of us near Woking in Surrey, but the church and pub west of us, along the Nine Mile Ride caught my eye :-) I lived near here until I was about 5, and think I can remember visiting that church as a toddler.

The information in the list, for this site included "The Queens Oak" by Richard and Beth". Clicking on DETAILS gave more information, including pictures, and the all-important lat/lon:
N 51 22.096 W 000 51.698 (WGS-84)

So this went straight into GPSS on the Laptop as 512210N0005170W.
GPSS would guide us there, down to the last yard, by entering
`512210N0005170W
d

However, to be safe, I also multiplied the 0.096 and 0.698 by 60, to convert to minutes, so my THURAYA GPS/GSM/Satellite 'phone could also be used (without the Laptop). This GPS only reads out location in degrees, minutes and seconds.

So we were all ready for the hunt.

Maybe next time I will put a list of sites into GPSS.LOC or a special GPSS GTX file.

NOTE: this capability to support Geocaching is now in v5.2 of GPSS on the GPSS Download Page. Please also see GPSS Geocaching Software Page.

Finding the Geocache

Robin & June Robin & June Being guided to the location, at 512382N0003960W, between pub and church was no problem at all - see "Choosing a Geocache" above. We parked in the pub car park - where we both had a nice drink afterwards, and cheeseburgers cooked up on a barbecue outside. There's June and myself on the left, within a few yards of the Geocache. There's that very nice pub on the right. We will probably come back again, since there are a few public footpaths we have not yet trodden. I walked close to the Geocache spot carrying Laptop and GPS, feeling pretty silly, since there were crowds of others at a wedding :-) I will not tell you the exact location, but it was pretty obvious and easy to find, in a tupperware box.

The big surprise was when we opened the box and read the log book at 1300. The previous couple (from Winchester?) had been there only 30 minutes before, at 1230. The couple before (from Holland?) were there at 1200 ! I could not believe how frequently visited these sites must be. We left a couple of the latest GPSS "FREE" CD but did not take anything - this time :-) We used the little camera in the box to take a picture of both of us. I also took these pictures with my camcorder.

Did you hear the story about "the dutch cakes" ? The Dutch couple left some cakes in the "Queens Oak" cache, and wrote that they would try and find "The Molebowl" next. The Winchester couple took the cakes, found the Molebowl cache first, put in the cakes, then hid in the bushes - to watch the faces of a very surprised Dutch couple :-)

Hiding a Geocache

On the Monday Bank Holiday, June and I hid our first Geocache. The "Virginia Water" Geocache is at N5124.585' W00037.187' (WGS-84), or, in degrees, minutes and seconds, N5124'35.1"W00037'11.22", or in GPSS 15 character format: 512459N0003719W. The black plastic toolbox* is hidden under a large fallen tree, a few yards inside Virginia Water Royal Lake Park, from inside Blacknest Carpark. The map below can be downloaded from the UKDOWN page, used with GPSS, or just printed.

Geocache This Blacknest Carpark cost 1.50 in English coins to enter. However, a few minutes walk west is the free car park of "The Robin" Pub. I'm sure the landlord will not mind you using his carpark, if you call in for a drink or a meal afterwards ;-)

If you walk the few minutes from "The Robin" to Blacknest carpark, you will also pass "Moss Cottage" where June lived as a girl - until Robin came along :-)

Virginia Water has a large lake, perhaps two miles across, but many more miles around it - if you choose to take a stroll: Allow two or three hours for all the lake. Alternatively, go north through the woods until the lake, then east as far as "The Wheatsheaf". After "refreshments" there, make your way back for more at "The Robin" :-) On the way to the Wheatsheaf you will pass landmarks such as the "Ruins" and then the "Cascade" (waterfall). The Totem Pole is north, past The Wheatsheaf. Five Arch Bridge is in the west - not far from Blacknest Gate - just north of The Robin Pub.

Robin & June Robin & June Here we are on the left, near the location, and on the right, near "The Robin" Public House. The box* was filled with logbook, Christmas cracker "goodies", and GPSS "Free" CDs - and a camera (with flash) for finders to take their picture - destined for this page perhaps ?

We started with a tupperware box, but on 3rd September we put in a larger black plastic toolbox, after one of the "finders" reported there was no room to add "goodies" :-)

On Sunday 2nd Sep. June and I hid the "Sunninghill Victory Field" geocache at N 51 24.267 W 000 39.507 (WGS-84) - see www.geocaching.com Front 22 22 Map for details. This is at the opposite end of Sunninghill village from 22 Armitage Court, where the corner of our front drive is at N 51 23.819 W 000 39.593. The Sunninghill village area is accurately mapped within the GPSS Baseline

See "Geocaches hidden by Robin and June" above for all our hidden gecaches.