Geocaching

24 Nov 2015 13:00 #65896 by Coeta
Geocaching was created by Coeta
While not strictly speaking a mountaineering or thru-hiking activity exclusively, this pastime might be relevant, even fun!, for this forum's audience.
Seeing as most multi day hikes would require you to have a GPS of some sort, geocaching would be a great add on to the casual multiday hike!

Firstly, for those not knowing what geocaching is, the wiki can explain it better than me, so go read this .

So are there any geocaching treasures on the Berg?
Any other followers of this hobby?

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24 Nov 2015 13:09 #65897 by ghaznavid
Replied by ghaznavid on topic Geocaching
Having spent a good 30 minutes looking for the geocache on top of Sterkhorn, and only finding the remains on a rusted can, I can safely say that geocaching is not for me :laugh:

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24 Nov 2015 13:27 #65900 by Coeta
Replied by Coeta on topic Geocaching
AH but ghaz, you are missing an important part of geocaching...
That is to create your own little treasure and hiding it up top of some khulu (taking ecological considerations into account of course).
Stowing a weather proof box away at such a remote location, and then visiting it again years later to find messages from others, or other treasures from visitors is most rewarding!

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24 Nov 2015 14:06 #65904 by Pyro
Replied by Pyro on topic Geocaching
I've been geocaching for a while. I'm keen to make a hike based on geocache locations. Possibly even set up a few real challenges for people to find.

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24 Nov 2015 20:54 - 25 Nov 2015 08:23 #65916 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Geocaching
From what I gather the Berg definitely has a share of geocaches. I accidentally discovered one in the Berg once which was poorly hidden.

I have nothing against the concept or sport of it, nor do I object to them being in the Berg. However I do have several concerns with them which I will mention here since the topic came up. Firstly, I am not aware of any policy or agreement in place which allows for this kind of thing to be done within the UDP-WHS. There are park rules and there are even stricter laws protecting the wilderness areas within the park, and unless an agreement is in place, placing a geocache would contravene these. If anyone knows of any such agreement or policy please share it as I would like to read it.

In the absence of such an agreement I call on the advocators of geocaching in the Berg to establish one with the authorities. At the very least, permission should be obtained from the OIC/Conservation Manager of the applicable area before placing one, but even so I think it is tricky to grant such ad-hoc permission without a proper policy in place to regulate it. As an example, this was done by the KZN MCSA for bolting and piton placement for climbing routes and we now have a proper policy in place to regulate this which is the way to go.

The policy should ensure that geocaches are kept to a minimum so that things don't get out of control with too many placements. It should also address where the geocache may be placed. I think it should be away from obvious places where they cannot be found unless you are going out of your way to find them, so as not to violate someone else's enjoyment of wilderness. It may also be that the authorities will only grant permission for them to be placed outside of the wilderness areas. There should also be rules about what may be placed inside the cache. The one I found had batteries in it among other things, which is irresponsible.

A note about summit log books in case it comes up: these may be seen to be a geocache of sorts, but the practice has long-established historical origins worldwide, and there is a tolerance for this kind of historical precedent in the Berg. Also, these are only on the summits of the popular or classic free-standers, and if I were to hazard a guess there are maybe about 20 of them (with the possibility of some additional old, "lost" ones buried in summit cairns) and comparatively few people ever see them. Fewer are being maintained in the current day than in the past. Even the iconic Devil's Tooth had a gap of several years where the logbook was missing.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.
Last edit: 25 Nov 2015 08:23 by intrepid. Reason: t
The following user(s) said Thank You: Bigsnake, tonymarshall, Viking

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26 Nov 2015 06:20 #65938 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Geocaching
Please don't let the above post put a damper on further discussion on geocaching guys. It's a concern I have because these kinds of things can backfire if the proper channels are not followed. Geocaching can most certainly be discussed on this forum as it does tie into hiking.

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

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26 Nov 2015 10:49 #65948 by Coeta
Replied by Coeta on topic Geocaching
In line with Mr Admin's concerns, here is the official Geocaching Guidelines.

Mapped references of registered 'Berg Geocaching trackables here.

An idea for the berg hiking\climbing community would be to relocate a trackable between Khulus?

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