Tuesday 13 May 2014

Geocaching with pen and paper round Gartmorn Dam

I have been trying to find ways to do this hobby without going over my phone data limit. Not easy as if you are just going out and searching live it gets quite data intensive. But I have come to learn that you can save them to you phone to view off line and then just depend on your GPS to find them, The phone GPS is not overly accurate, but if in a town or open area it will get you close enough, say within ten or fifteen feet, and you can use your eyes and pop your thinking cap on and find most with a bit of hunting.

We were going to a new area today and there were approx thirty caches to load, a bit tedious if doing them one at a time by popping in the cache reference number. It is a good way of working offline as it saves all the information that is on the website so gives you all the information, details, hints and pictures to look at.

But it can be done by downloading another app onto your phone through their website that works much easier.

Trimble Outdoors Software:

Trimble Outdoors is a complete outdoor trip planning and off-road GPS navigation application that works with GPS-enabled cell phones. You can send this cache to your phone as a Trimble Outdoors GPS trip:
so I set about loading them all onto my phone through this app. 

Our destination was Gartmorn Dam

Clackmannanshire has a rich mining history and many signs of this heritage are still visible. None are so impressive as Gartmorn Dam, lying at the heart of the local 370 acre Country Park and Nature Reserve.
The 170 acre reservoir was engineered by Sir John Erskine, the 6th Earl of Mar, to power the pumps which drained his Sauchie mines. The water power his project provided was the catalyst for Alloa's industrial development.
Today Gartmorn is a peaceful retreat for people walking, cycling, horse riding or picnicing. An orienteering course is also available 
We arrived at Gartmorn Dam and were ready to set off on our adventure. The website mentions a visitor centre with toilets and there is a bird hide as well with keys available from the visitor centere, but on the two occasions we have been the centre has been shut.  We had chosen the three mile route with caches available all the way round. But sadly my GPS would not pick up, and I could not get my data to log on either, to many trees around us and surrounded by hills. 
Luckily I had foreseen this and had written down the names of the caches in order and the hint, hoping that would help if need be, so we resorted to the paper copy. 

From the names of the actual caches we were able to find seven of the nine on the route. 

pump it up - was at the old pump house

under the bricks

the old train station

this was under a hut, got a bit muddy gong for it. 

 Some of them were off the pathway, but this one was well sign posted as it was at a viewing point. Wasn't sure little and large what, but we found it.

little and large

the view from little and large

Some were down slopes and in trickier places, like this one under the trout bridge.

nice solid bridge slats to hold onto. 

We also saw some wildlife

a nesting swan

and some interesting items 

a strange totem pole
and we gave up on this one, will need coordinates to get some idea of where to start.

clue for this stretch - the base of a tree

We had an enjoyable evening, the weather was lovely, the walk very peaceful, and it proves it can be done with pen and paper. We walked the three miles in approx 2 hours, but we will have covered more then three miles time we walked and looked and walked back again, off the trail and back on. 

fun as a gran

I am also linking this up as a contribution to the Thinking Slimmer 838 challenge 
ON your marks, get set…GO! The Slimpod 838 Challenge is off and running (or walking, cycling or swimming actually). The idea is that during the month of May Slimpodders complete a virtual John O'Groats to Land’s End relay.
It’s called the 838 Challenge because that’s the number of miles between the most northerly tip of the UK and the most southerly point.
This is how easy it is to take part in our fun challenge: We’re going to set up an 838 Challenge thread on our main Facebook page. Click here to go to the page >>
If you do any kind of distance exercise (walking, running, cycling, swimming) then post your distance covered on the Challenge thread each time you do it. If you count steps then we’ll use 2,000 steps = 1 mile.

I did two miles yesterday, and three, maybe more, with this walk, so thought I may as well add them on.

1 comment:

Nice to see you stopping by. Thank you for your comment and I hope you stop by again.