Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sight N' Go Cemetery Caching

Monday night, a group of fabulous geo-friends (myself, TaGeez, SRStuart, AFishOutOfWater, Team Gates, MAW, and Frito Bandito plus new friends 8_is_Enough) enjoyed a fabulous new cache called Dem Bones GC59WJ3 by TheGrundalows. 


Fish, SRStuart, Gates, TaGeez, Frito and scrapcat

It was an 11-stage cemetery multi that took you from one location to another by bearing only.  Unlike a projection, you have the bearing but no distance

Using a compass or a GPS, you had to walk in a direct line from one sight until you spotted the next stage.   (This was SO much fun and we saw so many interesting things you’d normally miss on a park-and-grab!)

In the parking lot waiting for my group to arrive, June17 (who completed the cache ahead of us) pointed out a really cool feature on my Garmin 450T. The Garmin Sight-n-Go is a compass feature on most Garmin units that allows you to navigate from one spot to another based on bearing only. 

Consult your owner’s manual, but, basically, these were the steps he showed me to setup my GPS for bearing.  I thought it would be handy to document this in case you or I ever need to use this function again.

1. Click the Sign ‘N Go button (as I have rearranged my Garmin screen, yours may appear on a different screen than mine).

2. When the screen opens, click the white box in the lower right corner to open the menu.  From the menu, you want to select Small Data Fields.

3. The large compass appears.  Holding your unit horizontally, move your unit (or yourself) around until you are facing the correct bearing.  Once the correct bearing appears, click Lock Direction.

4. Warning: Sometimes when you click Lock Direction, it locks on a degree or two off!  Double check your bearing.  If incorrect, revert back to compass.  If correct, click Set Course.

5. Start walking, aligning your arrows.

Now, the really nifty part is the Off Course feature (set to “feet”).  In the image above, I’m off 3 feet.  This means I may be walking in the correct bearing (direction), but I’m walking within 3 feet of my bearing line (essentially, parallel to my desired path).  I could miss my target completely if I’m not careful!

Our group (joined at stage 3 by four member of 8_is_Enough plus one of the cache owners) walked a line from stage to stage using smartphones, actual compasses, and my GPSr.  We figured that spreadout in that fashion we would not miss our target.  This theory worked some of the time… we had some of the tweens and teens and seniors wondering off in random directions when other bright & shiny things crossed our paths.  We missed one stage completely and had to backtrack (I made the fascinating find at this stage). All in all, this Garmin feature was handy keeping us all on track as we did our own thing.

It took us an hour of walking, laughing, snapping pictures, wandering after other caches, talking about bees nest in a tree and a bowling ball planted in the ground... but victory was ours!  It was a fabulous journey!

Favorite point!  With this one under my belt, I can't wait to go to Adrian and try Necropolis Ruins!

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