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Posts posted by PapaMinion

  1. I've done 2 major power trails for a combined total of 425 finds. The first trail was just myself and my brother, while the second trail was the two of us and two other cachers in our area. Both runs, only one person physically got out of the car to grab the cache and sign the log. Each time we used a group name for the caches we logged (with the blessing of the trails' creators each time). For our group of 4, each of us was assigned a task. My brother drove, I was the navigator (and sometime jumper), and, depending on the side of the road, the two in back were the jumpers. Caches were logged as found when the container and log was shown to the group. Yes, we all didn't get out of the car, but considering the hide types (film canisters and preforms either attached to sign posts or utility poles in plain sight), it would have been found before anyone else would have gotten out of the car. A lot of times you could see it from the road but we still jumped out and signed our team name all the same. I never once questioned whether what I was doing was wrong or unethical (in the spirit of the game). And prior to actual involvement with these power trails, I initially thought there was nothing wrong with a team splitting up in the manner suggested in the OP. But I've since had my eyes opened. The difference between what we do and what the OP would have done is I actually saw the caches. I was actually at the GZ for each one of the caches (the furthest GZ being maybe 10 feet from the road). I could say what container was at each GZ. I could personally verify that the cache was physically touched, log was signed, and cache was rehid. The scenario in the OP wouldn't be able to say that. They would only be able to testify to the caches they were physically at, and then have to take the word of the others. That, to me, is wrong. But since there aren't any rules and no way to win this game, I won't begrudge anyone who does this or think of them any differently. Would I participate in this manner of play? No. But that is my choice.

  2. I hope this is the right subforum, I couldn't decide between this and technology but I figured it was probably a beginner's question. I have an LG android phone. Which app should I use? Should I use the official one? I've seen a lot of other apps mentioned, and this is why I'm asking. I'd prefer something that is reasonably light but which lets me download content for offline use, as I don't have a data plan at the moment. I've been through some of the older threads with similar questions, but most of them just confused me a little. I already have two map apps installed (NavDroyd and another one) so could I just use those? I guess not but I'm not sure.


    Thanks! :)


    I've used a slew of apps on Android and have settled on CacheSense, if for nothing else than the ability to offline cache using Mapsforge maps. It has made treks in data-lacking areas possible on my Nexus7, and it's not a bad paperless-caching app for my HTC One X either. Definitely get the trial and see if you like it first. But jump on the price before it rises if you can.

  3. I know exactly how frustrated you are and totally empathize with your frustration. Just 3 years ago I was in the same boat, angry that this game that people kept saying was so much fun had turned out to be a total bust, coming up with zero finds in five attempts on something that was called an LPC in the Hint that I decided to read once the 10 minutes of circling the same spot in a parking lot proved fruitless. It wasn't until the cache owner (after, in defeat, I emailed them to ask what their hint meant) informed me that LPC stood for Lamp Post Cache and that the little box surrounding the bottom of the lamp post could be moved that I was able to make the find. Reading an article (or in your case, watching a TV show) about Geocaching doesn't really give you all the tools you need to get out there and start finding them since they never seem to cover EVERY cache or container type. In that first cache, I was expecting to find ammo cans or Tupperware®, but the container turned out to be a rusted Altoids tin that wouldn't close properly and the log was the consistency of oatmeal. Luckily I had a notepad that I could improvise a new log with. Still, had it not been for the help of that CO, I would have quit before I even started. We, too, tried with the Geocaching Intro app first because we weren't going to spend money on something we might not even like, and we, too, found it maddeningly difficult to use as a newbie as our geosenses didn't exist yet (the "look where you would hide something" mentality you mentioned).


    I will admit that I know where you're coming from, in regards to feeling like an outcast on here. Admittedly I only lurk these forums just because conversations can get extremely heated in a hurry. It's hard enough for accomplished authors to convey intent and inflection in written word, and doubly so when it's some Joe Schmoe behind a keyboard trying to be conversational. I had to re-read Chief301's post several times before I saw the inflection you were taking. I guess you have to be frustrated already to feel like someone is being condescending or hurtful because I saw it as extremely helpful, but that's neither here nor there. This forum can be extremely helpful, so long as you remain calm, cool, and collected, and offer as much information as possible when seeking assistance. Unless someone is coming right out and saying "Get a clue n00b" their intent is most likely that they are trying to help you. Some have been playing so long that they might not remember what it was like to be new and, worse yet, when they began playing there wasn't a huge community to help out. If you cut some slack, the favor is always returned.


    The best advice I can give you is to read through the description first, then read through the last 10 logs or so, making note of the dates they were found. If you see a lot of blue frown faces on a relatively low-difficulty cache (or the last found date was 6+ months ago), there's a good chance this cache you are not finding is indeed missing. Sometimes the cache will go missing and another cacher will get permission from the CO to hide another container in its place to keep the cache going, but sometimes the container will no longer match the description. This can lead to confusion as the new container may just be a pill container or a 35mm film canister and look like trash. As you start getting more finds under your belt, your geosenses will start to improve, and before you know it, you'll be finding caches before you even properly begin the search.


    I promise you, once you get the hang of this, Geocaching will be some of the most fun you've had outdoors. And when you think you're ready, start looking at some nearby event caches. If it wasn't for the community, I would have quit ages ago. Met some amazing people playing this game and they are now life-long friends.

  4. My wife has two Girl Scout troops who each are working on their Geocaching patch and both have basic memberships and, using the official paid iPhone app, have no restrictions on the number of caches they can do in 24 hours. In fact, they found 5 on Thursday and not once did they have an issue. So while I know the non-official apps using the 3rd party API are restricted, it doesn't affect the official iPhone app, at least for now.

  5. But why is it only affecting Window Phone users? How is that fair if the other phone apps get to stay the same.


    You are looking at this all wrong. Mango is a much more streamlined version of the Windows Phone 7 OS that incorporates new technologies and features. Groundspeak has decided that instead of bringing their current app over to the new OS, they are building an entirely new app to take advantage of the new API features as well as Mango's. The best part is that they're making it free. It'll be as functional as the iPhone/Android versions, with some nice little flourishes that Mango brings to the table. Your old app will work until NEXT March, so you'll get another year of that app if you want, but in all seriousness, why would you if the new app ends up being the better product? You're making a big deal out of nothing, to be honest. I'd be perfectly happy if they replaced my iOS app with a free, more functional version, as this one is a little long in the tooth and not as nice as some of the competing apps out there (Geosphere comes to mind).

  6. I'm rather new at this but I've found enough ammo boxes under trees. Micros pose more of a challenge.





    I'm kind of along the same lines on this. I do like an ammo can deep in a wooded area, but sometimes a bison tube in a tree in a green space can give me that much needed frustration factor to keep the game riveting. And while I do come across a 35mm canister every once in a while, most of the micros I find are either magnetic keyholders, bison tubes, or waterproof matchstick holders....none of which I would ever categorize as free. I think the idea of the dollar amount indicating the level of laziness is a bit misguided. To me, dropping an ammo can in a hollowed-out log/hole at the base of a tree/behind a rock and covering it with a pile of sticks is a lot lazier than camouflaging a bison tube/purchasing one already in camo and hiding it cleverly on a branch that blends in with the surroundings, but to each their own. I get your frustration, but isn't it supposed to be the thrill of the hunt that drives us?

  7. I know you could change your username as far back as July 2010 because that is when I changed my original name from Pdj79 to Howard_Family and then in August we changed it again to Geo Minions as my daughters thought just our name was boring compared to everyone else's "cool" names. It was easy and painless so I assumed it was always the case...apparently not.

  8. There's another app to use for that called Perfect Mark. it'll take coords and average them, etc.


    I wouldn't recommend hiding a cache with the phone but if you do .... Make sure to request a friend (with a handheld) test your coords to make sure they are good before you publish the cache.


    I still haven't hid my first cache yet because of my lack of a real GPSr (not to mention I want my first to be perfect and have since rethought the hide and the container). I tried to use Perfect Mark and had it average out of 84 separate points with the automatic averaging feature and it continuously placed the averaged coordinates about 50 feet away from the actual spot (kept placing the coordinates either in a neighbor's yard or in the middle of a busy street). I have an iPhone 4 and tried both with WIFI on and off (the cache WAS going to be located on my property) and still I received inconsistent results when I checked against both Google Earth and my neighbor's GPSr. So while it may get you ballpark, the accuracy is spotty if the GPS isn't accurate to begin with.

  9. Hi everyone!


    I am interested in why you started geocaching. I find the whole concept extremely interesting but whenever I tell others about it, they always ask, "Why would anyone want to geocache?" What would you say to this geocaching skeptics?


    I've only run across one person who was that close-minded about geocaching that he actually said that it sounded like a complete waste of time. Of course my retort to him was that I thought his countless hours spent playing games like WoW was a complete waste of time as there isn't any PHYSICAL reward for all that "labor" and my relationship with my family is stronger for it, but I've come to realize that people set in their ways can't be swayed.


    As for why I geocache...it's simple. I love the outdoors. I love camping and hiking. And I love a good adventure. So, to me, to have a game that takes those interests and melds it with my love for technology, why would I NOT play? The thrill of the hunt, the agony of the DNF, and the elation of the find, all mix together to give me a "high" that is even better than watching my favorite team when the Super Bowl or seeing my favorite band in concert. You can set out to find as little or as much as possible. Unlike other games, you're not confined to a time restriction or designated area. You control your part of the game. Want to find all easy caches? So be it. Want to go on a 10-mile hike through some treacherous terrain to sign a piece of paper in a tupperware container? Enjoy yourself. You don't have to be athletic, or tall, or even young to play. It's that kind of freedom that keeps bringing me back. Sure, my numbers are pretty dismal relative to the veterans....but that's not what it's about. Again, because I am not restricted to a time frame, I can go out and hunt WHENEVER and WHEREVER I want. How many other games out there can you say the same thing about?



  10. My wife and I use our iPhone 4s exclusively to cache at the moment. We have yet to purchase a legit GPSr as we have other items on our list of wants that are above it. We stated with 3Gs and dealt with the very inaccurate GPS chip and managed to find over 150 with that before upgrading to the 4, which has a much more accurate chip, but still less accurate than a GPSr. We're becoming more enticed with the harder terrain difficulties and I am finding myself getting nervous about using my $600 (replacement cost) lifeline as a means to cache. In the end we just might have to bump up the GPSr on the list. I've been eyeballing the DeLorme Earthmate PN-60.



    1/4 of Geo Minions

  11. Wow. I'm glad my parents talked to me about safe sex! I don't have kids now thanks to them! Lol. I can't imagine what parents find obscene about birth control...


    The condom itself and explaining what it is used for is not the obscene part...it's explaining what "ribbed for her pleasure" means that I find offense in. Since my daughter, who I will remind is 9 years old and in 3rd grade and has yet to attend any Sexual Education classes and really doesn't need to know anything outside of "sex is for procreation" at this point, doesn't need to have a crash course lesson in sexual promiscuity of teenagers and adults. You can call that sheltering my child from reality....I call it waiting until I FEEL my child is mature enough to have this discussion. Considering she still thinks mommy's chest bits are "gross and yucky" and she "never wants to have them"....I have a feeling she's not ready for that talk yet, so I will dismiss your veiled judgment as being misguided...especially since you admittedly wouldn't know anything about raising a child.




    PS - Reading this back it sounds a bit hostile...that is not my intention, merely I am explaining why I see a condom as being inappropriate for my child to happen upon in a cache. Considering her age and lack of knowledge of this sort of thing, she could have assumed it was a balloon and put it in her mouth before I knew what she had. As I had no clue she even found it until we got back to the car, any number of things could have happened at this point. I feel that if it's not some trinket, a signature item, extra pens or pencils, FTF prizes/money, or trackables, it really doesn't have a place in a cache. My opinion which I'm sure others will disagree with, but a cache is not a first aid kit or mobile pharmacy.

  12. I found a Lifestyles condom in one this past winter. Actually....let me start over. My 9 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER found a Lifestyles condom in one this past winter. It was very hard to ward off her questions about what it means for something to cause "Maximum Sensitivity and Pleasure". Ugh! I'm sure the person who left it's heart was in the right place as there appeared to be a discarded mattress about 20 paces away in the woods and maybe thought it'd come in handy...but seriously, not something I want kids coming across.

    It would have a been a great way to have an important talk about your family's values regarding that sort of thing. Spending time with your children and talking with them is the best way to help them make choices that are informed and in line with your family values.


    Akward? Of course! What conversation with your kids that involves condoms isn't akward? I'm an adult and I'd feel akward if my parents talked to me about condoms now.


    My child knows the basics of procreation at this point. What she does NOT need to know is the best methods to have sex without getting pregnant OR an STD. She's in 3rd grade, for crying out loud!!! They don't even teach this in school until 5th grade. She knows enough right now for her maturity level.



  13. Okay, I've solved it. However, I'm still a little miffed. I thought the description was supposed to have everything there to solve it. Otherwise, what's to stop people from making puzzle caches that require extensive research? I thought you had to make it solvable right there and then, not something that requires research. Not being a chemist, No, I don't know the elements. So, for my next cache, I can use puzzle questions make the search party go home and look up the answers then come back to find the cache? Again, I thought this was not allowed.


    I did one a few months back that required me to look up the statistics for the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers. Even a baseball nut would have had a tough time coming up with some of this stuff. Point is, if it wasn't for Google and about 30 minutes worth of searching, I would have never solved it. Now if they could just replace the muggled cache I could finally log the find.



  14. ***trimmed all the other replies...it's getting unwieldy****

    Go home and follow up with your idea. Puzzle caches do not have to be solved "in the field". The place you are at is meaningless. It has nothing to do with finding the cache.


    They make a valid point. Unless the cache description itself states something to the effect of "Go to the posted coordinates and look for Whosiwhatsit and make note of the numbers listed near it's Flooglederb..." the posted coordinates are usually bogus and have absolutely nothing to do with the puzzle cache. There's one in my parking lot at work that has nothing at all to do with the puzzle or the final coordinates, which are almost 2 miles away.



  15. I do take a bit of offense to that. I am an iPhone Geocacher and I know better than to leave food or trash as a swap. Just because we didn't invest in a $400 GPSr doesn't mean we aren't devoted to the quality of the game.


    I blame the smartphones.:ph34r:

    I think you need to take your sarcasm detector in for repairs.


    Considering how many times I hear this type of comment about us "smartphoners", it's kind of hard to pick out the sarcasm from the misguided hate. I apologize for flying off the handle this time.



  16. I totally empathize with you. I have been here many times. I've come across probably 20 of these puzzles in my searches. The ratings always make it seem like it's the easiest thing to do and yet there I am, wracking my brain trying to figure out the cipher. In the end I just ignore the caches. I'm sure once I get one solved it'll help with all the others, but it's just not that deep for me. I'd rather have to solve a riddle, find clues in a puzzle, or use an established cipher in the puzzle instead of spend the time to figure out one of these. I hope the CO steers you in the right path.




    Seriously? Figured this one out in under 5 minutes. Its not that hard. If you really can't get it, do as others have suggested and contact the CO. Good luck!


    I'm sure it's not that hard if you've done a few puzzle caches before. If I say, in order to find the cache, solve the puzzle. The puzzle is SDFOLWNMEOFIWNACOIANMWDEOI and you don't tell me what kind of cypher that is and there is no other hint in the description, how is that any help? I'm sure once I get the solution, all the other puzzle caches will look very similar and I'll have a better idea of how to solve. I'm really surprised I haven't started swearing or foaming at the mouth yet. This is seriously aggravating!

  17. I found a Lifestyles condom in one this past winter. Actually....let me start over. My 9 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER found a Lifestyles condom in one this past winter. It was very hard to ward off her questions about what it means for something to cause "Maximum Sensitivity and Pleasure". Ugh! I'm sure the person who left it's heart was in the right place as there appeared to be a discarded mattress about 20 paces away in the woods and maybe thought it'd come in handy...but seriously, not something I want kids coming across.

  18. I finally got to test the app at the Midwest GeoBash. We did the one on the grounds and, aside from the satellite bouncing us around a couple times and having to go back to the previous zone before moving ahead it worked flawless. I hope with Groundspeak purchasing this app that means that future updates will integrate website functionality so that you can download cartridges directly from the app instead of having to use the website and downloading the file using the "Pocket PC"option. It just feels too bootleg at this point.

  19. Well this is very interesting. I checked for app updates a few minutes ago and the PiGo app, which at this point is the only Wherigo app for the iPhone, has an update. I clicked on the app to get information about the update and it states the following on the update page:


    What's New in Version 1.3

    Name changed from PiGo to Wherigo; now the official Groundspeak, Inc. app! Also, game is auto-saved on quitting for uploading your unlock file. Plus minor improvements to better support more cartridges.



    I am shocked that I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere. I hope this means Wherigo is getting the push it needs finally. The app is still free (for now) so get it if you haven't already.



  20. My blog is called Tales From the GZ and is basically pretty new. Eventually I want it to be a chronicle of all the adventures my family goes on while geocaching. So far only I have made any posts (my wife is shy like that) and, as you'll notice, I get pretty long-winded when I talk about something that excites me. I am going to be posting pictures and videos (but no worries, I will never post anything that would give away where the cache is at) in the future and hope that those who stop by will either subscribe to our blog or at least drop a comment or two.

  21. Our longest slump was 38 days, from July 15, 2010 to August 22, 2010. I don't really have much of an excuse. We had been caching for a little over a week and then, all of a sudden, we just stopped. This is in the middle of summer, so it wasn't like the weather wasn't cooperating or that we were too busy. I remember spending a large amount of time during lunch breaks at work trolling gc.com, looking for caches to try. I even planned out several cache runs that never materialized. In the end, we just didn't bother with it until we went on our end-of-summer trip to a regional theme park and we did some caches on our way back....9 to be exact. I keep telling myself we won't let that happen again, but looking at our statistics, we had several pretty substantial slumps during the winter (one stretch lasted 17 days, another at 14 days, and the last slump at 13). Ironically, our best month thus far was December 2010 at 80 finds. We've only found 73 since then, which was 4 and a half months ago.

  22. We have only had a run-in with the police once in the 9 months we've been doing this. It was actually on our 2nd day of caching. The cache was located in a tree on the property line between an old abandoned (and since demolished) house and a corn field. The road is a dead end so we parked off the road at the barrier and I went for the cache while my wife and kids stayed by the car since it looked a little rough in this area for them. After about 5 minutes of searching I get a phone call from my wife saying that a cop had pulled up behind and was asking what we were doing. I had just found the cache at this point but forgot to grab a pen so I decided to just take it back with me to explain what was happening. After a brief introduction to geocaching and information on the website itself, he wished us luck and left. He did mention that he thinks the cache might be in violation of the terms because the property has been abandoned and is now considered city property and is pretty sure no one asked the town for permission to hide, but he didn't make too much of a ruckus. I had suggested that the department should monitor the site so they can become familiar with the vast amount of geocaches in our town so that if they see someone who looks to be up to no good, they'd be better informed of what's happening. I think that as long as you can explain what it is you're doing and show that you're not being destructive or a nuisance that you shouldn't have too much trouble with the police. The biggest issue is definitely with muggles who think everyone is a terrorist and the last thing we need is a bunch of LPCs being detonated by bomb squads.

  23. Unfortunately I don't think there's a way to figure out who released it if they haven't activated it. It's pretty much untrackable at this point. Now, having said that, I'd wait a week or so and see if perhaps the owner just hasn't gotten a chance to activate it yet. Perhaps they are new at this and didn't know they were supposed to activate it. Eventually they'll check to see if anyone's grabbed it and notice it's not activated. I'd hold onto it for now and check periodically.

  24. As for my thoughts on the term "muggle", I actually like it and don't think of it as being elitist by any stretch of the imagination. I am a huge HP nerd to begin with so any way I can incorporate ideas from that universe is OK by me. I like the idea of cachers being a "hidden society" and everyone who doesn't do it are termed as "muggles". It just makes the game that much more fun to me. Besides, who wants to go around frantically muttering "People" to others in their group when a muggle comes by? Muggle just sounds more fun.

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