If you want some variety in your GPS quests, give geodashing a try.
Geodashing is sponsored by GPS Games and is a competition of sorts that starts over every month. We’re permanently signed up as the Cachemanian Devils.
Every month, a computer randomly generates coordinates from all over the planet, gives them an alpha-numeric designator and plots them on a map. These are called “dash points”. You then go the web site, search a target area, find a dash point and go for it. The dash point in effect becomes a “stash” or hide. Points are awarded for getting to the dash point and submitting a detailed report on it describing the hunt and the location. We always submit photos too. The rule says you have to get within 100 meters of the point to claim credit. The team with the most points at the end of the month gets bragging rights and a mention on the GPS Games website.
The catch is some of the points simply can’t be approached that closely or gotten to at all. They may be in the middle of a lake or on private property or otherwise inaccessible. For instance, one of the dash points in a recent game was on the runway at Minneapolis Airport.
Some of them you can drive right up to. Some require some hiking or bushwhacking. You can be as laid back or ambitious as you want to be. Geodashing is great for bad weather, impromptu outings or back country quests. You can literally end up in the middle of nowhere only to find out you can’t get to it. That’s why recons with maps, Gazetteers and Google Maps / Earth are essential. It helps to know what you’re looking for and how to get there before you set out.
Dash points are great for exploring or just getting out of the house for a while. Whenever we go somewhere, I check out the geodash situation for possibilities. It changes every month so you never know what will show up.
We picked up a quick dash point this weekend. The weather was lousy but we wanted to get out. The point turned out to be in the front yard of a house about 12 miles from our place. We navigated there with our trusty TomTom, got to within 59 feet of the coordinates, took the picture and headed home.
They’re not all that simple and even the simple ones have got surprises. You can do all the background work you want but you never know what you’ll find until you get there.
Dash away … The Dashmanian Devils