Sunday, May 11, 2014

On Preparing For A Geocaching Trip: Lego Minifig Edition

Long time readers of this blog will realize that I've never said that a little bit of preparation is the key to a successful geocaching adventure.

This doesn't make it not true.

The trick, of course, is to figure out exactly what level of preparation one needs for a given adventure - too much and it can suck the spontaneity out of things, too little and you can become, quite literally, ground into the carpet by a gigantic shaved ape.

(It may be a good point to mention that this post is written by, and for, Lego minifig geocachers.)

Therefore it is quite vital that even the most plucky of adventurers gets himself a crew.  Team work is essential.

The most critical aspect of preparation is ensuring that your GPS device is loaded with all of the geocache information you may need when out in the field, so lets concentrate on loading your GPS device.

It should likely go without saying (but we will anyway because that's how good oratory works), that the first step is moving the GPS device into your work area.
Once the GPS is properly situated in your work area, your crew can set about the task of accessing the inside. This is a process that could be called "popping the hood" if one were so inclined (fortunately we are such inclined folk, so pop that hood!)
Proper power maintenance is vital to a successful geocaching adventure. Without power you may find yourself up the business end of a certain excrement filled creek without a paddle... worse yet, you may not be able to locate this creek in the first place! (and who wants that?)  You can insure proper power maintenance by removing the old pair of power modules.
Once the batteries are removed you have easy access to the GPS memory module.  The Laws of Efficiency says that you should take this opportunity to remove the memory module and fill it with geocache data.

The best way to do this is to pull the caches from your internet enabled computational device using what is known as a PQ.

Fun Fact:  While it is commonly understood that PQ stands for Pocket Query, its roots come from the old latin Pial Quach, which translates to Pile Of Caches.

Once you have your Pile of Caches pulled from your computational device, you can feel free to use USB (Unified Stormtrooper Brigade) to move the caches to the memory module.

Pro Tip:  Get your strongest crew member to pound the data into the memory module to ensure the data will not leak out.  There is nothing worse than having data leak out of your GPS, getting binary all over your geo-bag, and ruining your delicious snacks. (second fun fact: binary tastes like vegemite).
Once your memory module is loaded with properly secured cache data, it is time to install it back into the GPS. It is vital that the memory module itself is securely fastened into the device, so it is recommended that you hire a professional for this step.
Once the memory module is properly attached, and a sufficient cooling period has lapsed, your crew can set about installing new power modules into your GPS.
Double check that everything is properly installed, then close the hood.  Now you can turn on the device and confirm that your memory module contains the data you need.  If all looks well, put the GPS device back into your pack so it is ready for you when you go on your next adventure.

At this stage it is appropriate, but not required, to pose for a group photo.
Congratulations!  You are ready to have a grand geocaching adventure.  So, to quote a famous doctor, "Your mountain is waiting, so... get on your way!"