If you don't have a premium account on https://geocaching.com for any reason, have you ever wondered if you could do something that only premium members have access to? Well, there is! Regrettably, there isn't much that comes close to premium like project-GC's tools, but there is a way to find premium cache locations and log them online! Using the methods I have adopted, I have found 4 premium caches so far without a premium member present.
The first frustration that anyone without a premium account could agree on is you don't get the exact coordinates. The workaround? The search list! This is what shows when you look up a coordinate:
Notice how it says Here when you've found a cache location. I don't have a gps, so I just use the app, browser, and maps on my phone to search cache coords. Premium caches are included in this list as well. So, change the coords until it says Here:
The next frustrating thing is you only get the name of the cache; no hints, no reading older logs, and no cache page info! Out of the four finds I have, the craziest experience I had was a cache that had a 10 digit 3 dial lock! So I walked up to it with no information or puzzle to solve to get the combo. Now, the number of combinations of that lock is 1000, we know because it's 000 to 999. At this point, I wasn't feeling very well about the odds. Odds also said it wouldn't start with 0, so I skipped trying 000 through 099. That kills 100 possibilities. Big woof. Well, throwing odds out the window from then on, I knew this was a lock that could be guessed by a brute force attack if there was enough time. Thankfully the place wasn't too busy, so I set to work. At the 10 minute mark, it opened!
You have now found the cache, and signed the log. "But wait!" you say, "I can't access the premium cache page to log it." "Oh well" I say, "guess you need to note the names down till you pay for a premium account." No! There's a site for that! It is http://www.geocachingadmin.com. There you'll just punch in the cache code and click log. Volia! Non-paying cachers can log a find on premium caches too!
What are your tricks of the trade?
Over the summer I went for a geocache to find a trackable that was listed inside it. Not only did I help that TB out, but also found one that's been missing in action for 5 years! It had been lost in a cache in ID, and I found it in Sandy, UT. I knew I could help its mission to go back to TX, so held on to it. Vacation plans changed, and we were able to go all the way to Cypress, TX to drop it there. Within a week, the owner found the cache it was in and snagged their TB! A word from the owner: "Thanks to everyone who kept this TB moving and took the time to log the activity for the TB."
Never lose hope over something that's lost!
Having a sandbox environment to program geocaching puzzles gives possibilities as endless as imagination itself.