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Posts posted by WalruZ

  1. It can be useful in situations where you have limited sat visibility. Suppose the cache was hidden under tree cover and you can only see sats in a small clearing 100 feet away. The compass will set things up such that you are pointing towards the cache area. Without the compass your GPS does not know your orientation unless you can give it a series of reliable differences - in other words, you have to walk some distance and get a series of readings before your GPS will 'know' you are pointed in a particular direction. Thus, without the compass your GPS will get reception in the clearing but not know what way to point - and it usually just gives it it's best guess.


    I've found difficult caches because my compass pointed me towards the search area even when I couldn't get reception at the hide site. Not everyone is a fan, but I am.

  2. Look on your GPS for some option to add a "waypoint". The GPS should display the coordinates you're at as the coordinates for the waypoint and stop to allow you to press "ok". At that point you should be able to scroll to the coordinates in some way and edit them. change them to the coordinates of the cache. Then select the waypoint from some menu in the gps and choose the "goto" option provided. There should be an arrow display available that tells you how far the waypoint is from you and in what direction. follow the arrow, slavishly, over hill and dale without regard to trails or natural obstacles until you get to the cache site. Then perform the following standard checks....


    check the bridge.

    check the hollow tree.

    check the picnic table (under)

    check the bench (under)

    check the log ends

    check the lightpost

    check the mailbox

    check the low branches for a hanger


    then start looking for the cache.


    don't forget to take pictures!

  3. The OP has a very valid point, but it's a subtle one.


    I have an electrical outlet hide. In a very busy (and nice) public plaza, it's an outdoor outlet cover (not the outlet itself) held to a metal surface with rare earth magnets. The cover is a little spring-loaded door that lifts up, and if you lift it up you'll see the geocaching log. Not a danger, nor should it incite others to behave dangerously. If you open such a little cover and see an electric outlet, you should assume it's an electric outlet and look elsewhere.


    Hiding the log *behind* an electric outlet or *in* a transformer box is just plain stupid. If I were caching and I ran across a cache hidden IN electrical equipment, or AS electrical equipment such that the equipment had to be DISASSEMBLED in order to retrieve the log, it would get an SBA from me (and other locals) right away. It probably wouldn't last the first wave of FTF maniacs. The most experienced cachers around here (norcal) serve as a sort of informal "second review board". They know the reviewers and if there are issues with a new cache they get dealt with pronto.


    If that's not how it works in your area, then you have a problem with your local community. I've seen new geocachers pop up, hide something stupid, get smacked down by their more experienced peers and depart the sport, flaming the local reviewer on their way out. They are not missed. We want to search for quality hides, not stupid ones. I recommend you cultivate your local reviewers and ensure the same for yourselves.


    Simply put, a geocache should be both responsibly hidden and reasonably findable.



    And also, I'm not much of a fan of transformer hides. Even though they're usually harmless keyholders under a lip, they're not very scenic or interesting. What posseses people?

  4. They're trying to keep fraud down. In a world where people don't know each other, what happens is that some people set up as sellers of mechandise without actually having any inventory. They'll advertise, say, a TV and then when it sells, they collect the money and then rush out to actually purchase it and then ship it. There are lots of ways that sort of thing can go wrong and the people who do it are generally a problem for paypal (and ebay), compared to "in stock" sellers.

  5. As I have stated elsewhere, ammo cans should *not* be used for urban or suburban hides. Their appearance is very threatening. Earlier this year I was caching in Modesto and found an ammo can stuck in some landscaping next to a power substation. THAT was smart. I emailed the owner and he reworked the cache. They had just had an incident where the police were called out because of cammo'd tupperware next to a school, and he didn't want to go down that same road.


    Also, as i have stated in my local forums, some of the oldest caches I've ever found have been plain white-capped rubbermaid. Indeed, the oldest surviving geocache (GC8) is rubbermaid. Don't knock it.

  6. fwiw, you can also use "multiple choice" at a stage, eg..


    stage 1: N37 47.576 W123 45.678


    Look west from this spot. If you see


    two railroad lamps - then A = 4


    a small railroad switch shack - then A = 2


    an abandoned tunnel - then A = 9


    godzilla - then A = 5


    repeat enough times to get the numbers you need. typically you'll phrase your final coordinates as (eg in my area) 37 45.ABC 121 59.DEF, or something similar.


    Here is another example. We locals are not allowed to hide physical caches in this area - the physical cache is elsewhere on city parkland.

  7. Really, if your intent is to get people to go look at specific things or areas, you can't go wrong with the good old offset multi. Since the initial stages are virtual you can put them anywhere that doesn't involve tresspass, and since specific objects must be viewed in order to get the final coordinates you achive your goal of showing people what you want them to see. The only difficulty is finding a place nearby for a cache, and since it can be almost anywhere legal in the area you can usually find a more muggle-resistant spot than you could with a straight hide.


    I used to have a cache at the San Carlos (CA) airport in the public outdoor seating area of a Burger King. (There's an old helicopter there as play equiptment.) The airport asked that it be removed for proximity reasons, which I thought was just a little much, but whatever. I've recently replaced it with this cache which starts at the same spot but whose physical cache is well removed from the airport property.


    They aren't hard to hide. Find a nearby spot. Hide a traditional. Take the coordinates. Go to your intermediate spots, determine what items need to be counted or taken note of (words in a sign, letters in a particular word, number painted on something, number of some item, whatever - make sure you choose permanent unambiguous items for your questions), take the coordinates of the intermediate spots and write it all up, choosing one of the intermediate spots for your initial coordinates. Be sure to test it at least once - when these are done wrong they are very annoying.


    Oh, and be sure to tell the reviewer where the physical cache is and the nature of it's hiding spot using a reviewer note. It also doesn't hurt to describe the intermediate spots as well to put their minds at ease.


    I have a number of caches whose initial coordinates are in "off limits" areas, yet they are allowed because the final physical caches are elsewhere. I use this technique to accomplish that. It works.


    Edited to add: by "off limits" I mean NPS land, not "no tresspassing" land. You can't get around "no tresspassing", nor would I recommend trying to.

  8. assuming you use and carry rechargable batteries, your best bet is a small flashlight that takes the same batteries you use in everything else. I use AAA batteries in everything (geko for a GPS) and I have a mag solitare in my small gps bag that goes everywhere with me. If I am stuck without light, i can slide one of the rechardables in that.


    However, I wanted to post something contrarian.


    Isn't it kinda hard to sneak around in the dark w/ a billion candle-power-watt-ever flashlight torching the leaves off the trees?


    -- exactly. for most urban caching activity you don't really want the "best" flashlight you can buy. whacking around in some pocket park with a zillion-luman flashlight is a good way to get the neighbors to call the cops. a small LED is actually "better" in those situations. Use the right tool for the job.

  9. Curse you fizzy! I ran the newest version of findstats on my finds and got this...


    Multiple Finds:

    2 finds claimed on GCD378 - locationless, 1 find per county. (I found 2)

    2 finds claimed on GCH77A - cache that was rehidden far away, 2nd find allowed.

    2 finds claimed on GCHD2R - unintentional re-find

    2 finds claimed on GCJC20 - event cache which included a 'human cache'


    I liked the locationless and have no qualms about 2 finds on it - unfound bells were difficult to find.


    the re-hide was a different container in a completely different park, hidden differently. My mind is at peace there. - edited: or not... I can't find the refind permission anywhere, so my second log becomes a find.


    The "human cache" was a neat idea. At the event, we mingled around asking each other if they were the human cache. or something like that. It was an attempt at getting event attendees to mix.



    the re-find is probably because of bad record keeping. I've gone back and changed one of the logs to a note. Now, because of you, my find count actually went *down* today. Thanks alot!

  10. hide counts of the people who are most strongly on the side of logging all DNFs and you'll generally see they are people who have a good number of hides.


    and finds as well. All of the 'number' cachers I know log DNFs as a matter of course. Most hiders I know will wait for multiple DNFs, or a particularly specific DNF (I looked under the mailbox and there was nothing there...) before trotting out to deal with something. I know a 4K cacher whose rule is, if he pulls up to the cache site it counts as a search, and he either logs a F or a DNF.


    I myself have logged a DNF like "didn't get out of the car, too many kids hanging out in the park." It's information, for whatever it's worth.


    SBA's are for people who don't maintain their caches and don't answer their emails.

  11. Ammo cans do have a drawback - they are scarey looking. There are lots of urban and semi-urban places where an ammo can will fit but shouldn't be used. Rubbermaid is cost-competitive, seals well and is much less threatening. You should really only use ammo cans in places where you are certain that your cache won't be stumbled upon by accident.

  12. If you stop and think about it, driving is not something that people start caching in order to do. Hiking, walking, looking, seeing something historical or just plain cool - that's why they cache. Thus, a multi that makes you drive around isn't going to hit the sweet spot for most people.


    The criteria for the stages of a multi should be the same for a traditional - is there something worthwhile there? if there is, then use it as a stage. if there isn't, then what are you doing there? The main reason for doing a multi rather than a traditional is so that you can guide someone to some cool spot that you might otherwise not be able to hide a cache at.


    In addition, most people really want their multis to be closely geographically bounded. A multi in a park is ok. A multi in 3 parks, not so much. I *have* done historic homes multis, but the homes were all within a few blocks of each other.


    Example - in Holland there's a neat old museum, the Cappon House, right downtown. Go hide a cache in a park nearby, take coordinates, and then use the house as the multi start. At the start, present questions that need to be answered to get the actual cache coordinates - either fill in the blank or multiple choice, and either inside the museum or outside. It's a nice, simple, self-contained multi-cache that can be done in a half hour or less, possibly without any driving at all.


    Drive all over? visit a bunch of parks? That's multiple traditional caches.

  13. Your find count is the total number of caches you've found.


    If you visit your profile page and click on the tab that says "user statistics", you'll see that your smiley cooresponds to an type of entry in a "list of items found". There's nothing in there for "dressed up funny for extra credit."


    That would probably be Waymarking.com. :rolleyes:

  14. How does someone posting 2 for 1 hurt YOU?


    It doesn't hurt me.


    But let's suppose, for the sake of argument, there is someone with 600 finds, of which 100 are double-posted over another 100. This person has only found 500 caches. When asked, "what's your find count?", what do they say? 600? If they do, they're lying. They haven't found 600 caches. They've only found 500. Do they refuse to answer the find count question? Do they fudge? "500, but my profile says 600 because I like to have fun!" , or "the website says 600 but that's not accurate." - or what?


    Your find count is the total number of caches you've found. if you pad it and then present the number in public as genuine, then you're a faker and a liar. What's so hard to understand about that?

  15. I'll do a multi if it's in my 'clean' area and I have time.


    One thing about multis is that they are more difficult to do well. put another way, there are only so many ways you can screw up a traditional, but there are almost infinite ways you can screw up a multi. Not just screw it up, but if you don't pay attention to the experience you're trying to deliver it's real easy to create a multi that just doesn't work well, start to finish.


    I suggest you state upfront how many stages there are and the total transit time for the entire multi. You're hardly spoiling it that way and as a previous poster implied, doing so makes it easier for someone considering the cache to determine if it fits in with their schedule and available time. I try to do this and it makes a big difference.

  16. I would like to extend an invitation to cachers from the Northwest to visit the Es Effo Travel Bug Hotel if they are visiting the San Francisco Area anytime soon. There are a number of Washington-bound travel bugs lingering there right now. For that matter, it's an active depot for outgoing bugs and should be on your list if you ever travel down this way. The small park it is in is just a single exit south of the airport, and the hide itself is about 50 feet from the roadway, meaning you can ask your taxi to idle while you run in and swap bugs.


    Happy holidays!

  17. fwiw, I have been having good luck with a more expensive palm (tungsten) and Mapopolis. I move my PQ through GSAK into Cachemate on the palm and then export it into the palm address book where Mapopolis can pick it up and display it. It's most of the functionality of a mapping GPS without alot of the cost and with (imo) a better user interface.

  18. Rule 1. You can't log the event as a find unless you sign the event logbook, and you can't do that without producing a few bags of CITO'd trash.


    In our area we're working on having permanent CITO container caches placed in some parks at the headquarters. It's key then that if someone visits the cache that they actually DO some CITO, so a requirement will be to supply a picture of your CITO with your log.

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