Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Chirp! Chirp! Chirp!

A friend reached out to the community looking for a Chirp-enabled GPSr.  He will be in Traverse City this weekend, and he wants to try his first Chirp cache.
Garmin Chirps are little black units (smaller than a pager) that emit a short-range signal.  In this area, you will most likely find them as part of a multi-cache.  If you walk within range of the Chirp with a Chirp-enabled GPSr, a window appears on your screen stating there is a Chirp nearby and asking if you’d like to read the message.  The message will include further instructions or coordinates to the next stage/final. 

So far I’ve only completed 3 Chirp caches – my favorite being My Little Birdie Told Me…. Chirp, Chirp GC2THHW located in Bicentennial Park in Farmington, MI.

You might see one or more of these
Geocaching Attributes on the cache page

The Chirp costs about $24 and has a replaceable battery that lasts, on average, a year or so.  I don’t think they’re popular due to the expense of the unit (sucks if it gets muggled) and that most Cachers use smartphones now (there’s no app for that!).  However, they are a hoot to do! 

SPOILER ALERT! Clatmandu wears a Chirp on his lanyard.  The message says to find Clat and do the chicken dance for him!  Dancers earn his path tag!  Yes, during our first Midwest Geobash, my family fell prey to the lure of “the shiny” and earned our tag in front of hundreds of other Cachers outside the scavenger hunt arena!

I also have one.  It’s attached to the Team Free Range Lobsters banner, telling all and asunder to stop by to visit our banner as it’s trackable!

I’m intrigued with the use of new technology as part of the geocaching game.  We have some pretty creative minds in the area.  In addition to the Chirps and Wherigos, we also have:

NFC POC GC4MF1Y – Uses the Droid NFC technology in a multi-cache on campus

Agent K vs League of Villainous Evildoers GC2XCP0 – Uses a webpage accessed via your smartphone for a super spy game of hot-and-cold.

Can You Follow My Lead GC4XTAC – Uses an iPhone app called Klikaklu.  In the mall, you are given images and you have to find where in the mall the pictures were taken from.  Once you snap a picture, matching the original image, the app cycles to the next image.  Eventually, you are led to ground zero of the final container.

On a serious note, I have heard other Caches complain that this use of technology is unfair to those that don’t own Garmins or smart phones or the right smart phone.  Bullshit.  It’s a community game.  Make a friend and go caching with them.  I don’t own a Droid so we gathered a group of friends and followed Ben & Amanda of theGrundalows around the OCC campus to try out the NFC technology – so cool!  One of my favorite geocaching memories!

I have spoken… Chirp! Chirp! Chirp!

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