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Everything posted by CharlieP

  1. I don't know about Maine waters, but I lived in south Florida in the 70's and there were a couple of cases of corpses found in shot-up boats that were probably related to lobster trap theft. I would suggest using a small float that is difficult to see, maybe camoflaged, in a place where there are no trap floats and a boat is unlikely to go over it. If there is any possibility of searchers pulling a trap float by mistake, I would make it clear in the posting that trap floats should be avoided. FWIW, a few years ago I came across such a small camoed float in a Florida bay and it was attached to an illegal fish trap ... I dropped it and moved my boat out of the area pronto.
  2. I use Spinner/Plucker to load gpx files to my pda and have recently been having a problem with Plucker locking up on certain files. It locks as it is loading the files, and locks in the same place depending on the file, e.g. file 145 of 1157. I suspect it has something to do with a link in a particular cache page, but am not sure. Anyone know what is wrong?
  3. Especially in the winter, a book of matches in a waterproof container could be a lifesaver.
  4. I especially enjoy caches with a historical theme, and I think that some geocaches can involve cemetery visits and not be an issue at all. Making more people aware of the importance of preserving old cemeteries is a good thing. Some examples of geocaches that took me to cemeteries and are IMHO above reproach: Minutemen in Tucker The Master Van Dorn I think a number of factors determine the appropriateness of these caches: 1) the tone of the cache page and the context of the cemetery visit in the cache hunt, 2) To what extent is the cemetery "public"? That question has some finer points, not just "who owns the real estate?" and "does the public have legal access?". 3) Is there a historical theme, or a theme of paying respect to a particular individual or group? FWIW, CharlieP
  5. For normal daytime geocaching I carry in my pack a cheap (and very light) Eveready I found in one of my first geocaches. It uses 2 AA batteries and those batteries are my backup batteries for the GPS. If I do a night geocache, I carry my 8-AA Princeton Tec Surge dive light ... serious lumens in a small package, but heavy.
  6. I can confirm that. I was in a cemetery on Hilton Head and a tour bus loaded with tourists pulled up and a guide gave them all a tour. I don't really have a problem with that ... the folks in the tour learned about the history of the people and the area ... as I learned by doing the geocache. Disrespect for the dead is to forget them. But another old cemetery on Hilton Head has a condo built almost on top of it. I do have a problem with that ... but apparently the SC statehouse does not. I have seen similar construction near cemeteries here in Georgia. I am aware of this because of geocaching. FWIW, CharlieP
  7. Recently, my son became a resident of SC and will soon be a voter there When I was following this issue a few months ago, there were some SC pols who seemed to be willing to consider our position, and others who seemed to be politically grandstanding and inflexible. Could someone who was involved in the process list our friends and enemies in the SC statehouse? I would assume that Ms. Ceips is at the top of the enemies list?
  8. Palm Zire 31 with a 256MB card, Spinner & Plucker software. The 256MB card allows me to store a lot of files, including maps.
  9. That would imply that all cachers in a given area would tend to have a similar cache found difficulty ratio. I would be very surprised if that were true.
  10. Going back to the original question about whether there is an inverse relationship between number of finds and average difficulty found, just scanning the posted stats it looks like this may be true. But then, this is not a valid sample, and there are a few cachers with both high finds and high difficulty ratios, e.g., tozainamboku with 1712/24%. If these type of stats were incorporated into the geocaching.com reporting system, it might help improve the average rating of cache placements. But then, it would also probably result in "rating creep" ... if you define a game, people will play. FWIW, CharlieP
  11. Another fun geo-software gadget from FizzyMagic. Here are my results, but I don't remember doing a cache in Texas. 746 unique caches found. Avg. Difficulty = 1.94 Avg. Terrain = 1.82 Avg. Challenge = 2.20 203 hard caches (27%) 2 countries 15 US states 196 (26.3%) archived Oldest cache: #32 (GC20) Newest cache: #315254 (GCRBVD) Difficulty: 1.0: 201 (26.9%) 1.5: 153 (20.5%) 2.0: 182 (24.4%) 2.5: 79 (10.6%) 3.0: 67 ( 9.0%) 3.5: 28 ( 3.8%) 4.0: 19 ( 2.5%) 4.5: 7 ( 0.9%) 5.0: 10 ( 1.3%) Terrain: 1.0: 244 (32.7%) 1.5: 185 (24.8%) 2.0: 140 (18.8%) 2.5: 62 ( 8.3%) 3.0: 55 ( 7.4%) 3.5: 27 ( 3.6%) 4.0: 20 ( 2.7%) 4.5: 2 ( 0.3%) 5.0: 11 ( 1.5%) Cache types: 2 ( 0.3%) Cache In Trash Out Event 1 ( 0.1%) Earthcache 28 ( 3.8%) Event Cache 3 ( 0.4%) Letterbox Hybrid 94 (12.6%) Multi-cache 1 ( 0.1%) Project APE Cache 509 (68.2%) Traditional Cache 60 ( 8.0%) Unknown Cache 47 ( 6.3%) Virtual Cache 1 ( 0.1%) Webcam Cache Containers: 5 ( 0.7%) Large 177 (23.7%) Micro 62 ( 8.3%) Not chosen 36 ( 4.8%) Other 412 (55.2%) Regular 15 ( 2.0%) Small 39 ( 5.2%) Virtual Countries: 3 in Cayman Islands 743 in United States US States: 21 in Alabama 4 in California 41 in Florida 606 in Georgia 1 in Indiana 13 in Kentucky 8 in Louisiana 6 in Mississippi 4 in Nebraska 1 in North Carolina 18 in South Carolina 16 in Tennessee 1 in Texas 2 in Virginia 1 in West Virginia
  12. Over a number of years I have been able to teach my spouse a basic truth: All husbands have a hobby ... its just that many wives don't know what it is. After we got married, some of her friends had husbands who seemed perfect, and I often heard about what great guys they were. As time passed, one by one her friends discovered what perfect hubbies hobby was ... and it was not fishing ... more like skin diving. At the time of each divorce, I would take the opportunity to politely point out that: All husbands have a hobby ... its just that many wives don't know what it is. After about the tenth divorce, it sunk in. My lovely bride of 35 years knows what my hobbies are, and is generally happy about that. FWIW,CharlieP
  13. Although I use NiMH batteries, I will not agree that alkaline batteries cost 10 times as much. That depends on rate of use. In order for OttoLund's math to be valid you must use the NiMH for 500 cycles. If you used the GPS once a week and recycled the batteries, it would take almost 10 years to go through 500 cycles. The shelf life of the NiMH batteries may only be 4 years or so. The economics of NiMH vs. alkaline batteries depends on how much you use your GPS. If you are a "heavy user", the NiMH will be cost effective, otherwise not.
  14. I think that has always been the #1 rule of using a pistol for self-defense. To go a step farther, I was taught that if you shoot in self-defense at close range, put three rounds into your target before pausing to decide the next action. That was in the days when the .38 spl. was the standard ... might not be necessary with a .40 or .45. A person who is unsure of their ability to pull the trigger should not carry a pistol for self-defense. Seems like a simple concept, but studies have shown that many folks can't do it, even with training. I don't carry a pistol geocaching. I agree with the logic others have stated in this thread ... that if I think I need a pistol to go into an area ... don't go there. Having said that, in 4+ years of geocaching, I have been in a couple of situations in surburban parks where I wished I had one. Turned out to be false alarms, but ... If I had to contend with the mountain lions out west, I might change my policy. FWIW, CharlieP
  15. I have not had that dream for about 10 years now ... and I have been out of school for 35 years. I hope this does not start it again.
  16. If I think the coords are off enough to make finding the cache a problem, I will often post my own coords. If a cache is really well hidden and my coords are off only 20 feet, I still may post them. On the other hand, if the cache is easy to find, even if my coords are 60 feet off, I usually don't post them. I like to check back and see if others find my posted coords useful, and compare to others who post coords. What I have learned is that a GPSR may give very different positions at different times, especially under tree cover in the vicinity of rocky hills.
  17. IMHO, it is better to hide a few quality caches. As the number of geocachers and geocaches increases, the idea that each cacher should hide a certain ratio of caches found becomes unreasonable. Consider a geographic area, say the metro area of a city. If there are 100 geocachers in the city, and each hides one cache, then after a while searchers will find all one hundred caches. So maybe a 10/1 found/hide ratio would be better. That gives you 1000 caches when each cacher has found a hundred, but when each cacher finds 1000 it will produce 10,000 caches. If in the meantime the number of cachers has increased to 800, you may have 80,000 geocaches in the city, and will have run out of lamp posts. If a cacher feels he MUST hide and maintain 100 caches, they are not likely to be high quality. Hide a few and make them good ones.
  18. I always carry an old Boy Scout baseplate style compass (made by Silva I think). In addition to the comments above, I have found the compass to be extremely useful in situations where GPS reception is minimal or nil in the vicinity of the cache. I can move to a nearby spot with better reception, read the bearing and distance to the cache off the GPSR, then shoot the bearing with the compass and pace off the distance to the cache location.
  19. I think there is some question about whether the disclaimer applies to cache hiders/owners. The wording is this: "In no way shall Groundspeak Inc. nor any agent, officer, employee or volunteer administrator of Groundspeak Inc., be liable for any direct, indirect, punitive, or consequential damages arising out of, or in any way connected with the use of this website or use of the information contained within. Cache seekers assume all risks involved in seeking a cache." It does not specifically include cache owners in the list of those not liable. If I hid a cache which presented unusual conditions or hazards, I would not only list those conditions, but include my own disclaimer in the cache posting. If I were a wealthy person, I would not post such a cache ... period. FWIW, CharlieP (not a lawyer)
  20. On wilderness hikes I usually wear my high-top boots, but sometimes on shorter hunts in suburban parks I wear sneakers, esp. in the summer. I have noticed that I have more falls and ankle injuries in the sneakers. The boots have better tread for gripping uneven surfaces and also provide better ankle support. A walking stick can also help prevent falls and injuries. FWIW, CharlieP
  21. No test. No rules. A few suggestions. 1) If the coords of a cache are off by an amount that makes finding it a problem, post your own coords in your log ... without any SA put-down comments. 2) If a geocacher consistently hides caches with bad coords, for whatever reason, and that bothers you ... don't do those caches. 3) Promote the idea of using averaging and/or projections in determining cache coords. But the fact is that some cache hiders will never understand what EPE means or ever look at that figure on the GPS. Not a big problem.
  22. I often go alone, and I enjoy the solitude, especially on hikes in undeveloped areas. But going alone has some safety issues. I have taken a few tumbles in the deep woods which could have resulted in an an injury which would have left me stranded. Cell phones often don't work in the boonies, especially in deep valleys. Its a good idea to let someone know where you are going. And I have been followed in a wooded suburban park for rather long distances by an individual with questionable motives ... somewhat un-nerving.
  23. That's great news. I wonder if there is any chance the Boy Scouts organization would consider a geocaching merit badge?
  24. Also, some sunscreen products will melt certain types of rubber. I try to wash my hands thoroughly after applying sunscreen or insect repellant to avoid damaging plastic and rubber I might touch, but this is not always possible. For this reason, I did not put a plastic or rubber grip on my wooden hiking stick.
  25. I have a nice telescoping stick but usually use one I made of a heavy wooden broom stick, with a hole drilled near the top end for a cord loop, and the bottom end sharpened a bit. The wooden stick is stronger than the aluminum and if I lose it or break it ... so what. The chief advantages of the telescoping stick are lightness and the ability to adjust the length to the situation, and for transport. But for some applications, like crossing rocky steams, the strength and durability of the wooden stick really pay off.
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