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Everything posted by crockett3663

  1. Tell me about it!! There is a cache hidden in a park just two blocks away from my house that I've looked for three times without success, and I know it's there because I keep checking the log for it and others have found it. The first time I went to look (which was my first day ever caching) I was way off the mark along a muddy river bank. As soon as I stepped on the mud, my feet slipped out from under me, and down I went. But I didn't just go down...oh no...I had to try to regain my balance and break my fall, and that just made it worse. My son, who was standing about three feet behind me, said my arms and legs were going every which way. When I hit the ground, I was covered in pasty mud on my back from my shoulders, all the way down onto my legs, and my son was laughing so hard I thought he was going to wet himself. I was forced to walk out from the tree covered river bank past a crowd of people watching a baseball game, all covered in mud. With as much dignity as I could muster, I went back to my SUV, found some old newspaper to sit on so I didn't soil my interior, and drove the two blocks back home so I could change before heading out again. Thank goodness I was that close to home. If not, I'd have been forced to either suffer with muddy clothes the rest of the day, or give up the ghost and try again another day. I've been back two more times, and STILL haven't found it. Next time I head out, where do you think I'm headed first?? That's right: the cache from Hell!!
  2. Wow!! JennM, I know it's nothing official, but I'm going to nominate this post as the most honest and uplifting post of the new year...possibly ever!! A script writer in Hollywood could not have created a better response. You 've inspired ME...and I've been doing this for a little while!! Congrats on everything you've accomplished due to your passion for cachin'!! And again...congrats also to the newly crowned "AB3"!! See? 2 finds and you've already got a forum nickname!! You're gonna get hooked, I just know it!!
  3. I voted, and I'm proud to say that I'm normal...that is, I'm a member of the most poulated group on the board
  4. That sounds like an excellent idea. Start out with the (supposedly) easier hides, and when you get the proper equipment and a few more finds under your belt, venture out a bit further. I'm just glad that you've stuck to your guns and decided to give it another try. Now you're off and running!! Good Luck and happy hunting!!
  5. The host reminded me of Robbie Knievel with the do-rag on his head. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing...just making an observance. I agree with the profanity thing. It has no place in a TV show aimed at demonstrating a family activity. It should be edited out or the host needs to be corrected or replaced. The show would be so much better if it were more educational and less dramatic. There is a TV show produced here in Wisconsin called "Discover Wisconsin", which is produced by the Depatrment of Tourism as a means to promote and educate people on diferent areas of the state to visit and to try new activities. That's what I'd prefer this show becomes. Have a host who is more interested in educating and hopefully sparking the interest of non-cachers by showing how it's properly done and show some interesting scenic views. Instead of handling snakes (which to an untrained person could prove VERY disasterous) and panning for gold, head into a state park or national forest and show some of the scenery which makes caching in those areas the reason for going there in the first place. Show and explain the difference between the different types of caches and things like "what is a travel bug" or a geo coin. What is the proper way to move them from one cache to another? Things like this will go much farther to promote this hobby than anything that was shown in this program. Also, don't show what an idiot the guy was for heading into thick foliage with insufficient batteries. Instead, educate the viewer as to why it's important to make sure you have fresh batteries and replacements before heading out. I understand that this incident supposedly made the show more dramatic. But TV doesn't have to be all about drama. It can and should also be used to educate. With some tweaking I could be convinced to watch this show on a regular basis...but not in it's present form.
  6. Check out this thread and my reply to it: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=213455
  7. Yours is a bit of an open ended question, meaning that there are some factors that only you know the answers to, and they are answers that the rest of us could use to help you narrow your buying choices. For instance, I don't travel enough to necessarily need a GPS that is "auto" friendly. I really only use mine for caching. Mine is the very popular Garmin 60CSx, which is widely regarded as the GPS of choice for your average cacher. I bought mine at the Cabela's store in Wisconsin last year for $350. I know there is software available for the 60CSx which will make it useful for road navigation, and I believe the software retails for around $50-60 dollars. Sometimes you'll find promotions where the road software is included for free or at a greatly reduced price. Now, if you don't want to spend that much, you can opt for the Garmin Etrex Legend, which I believe retails for around 100-150 dollars and will suit most beginning cachers just fine. However, I don't know if the Legend has available software which makes it useful for travel. Perhaps someone on here can fill you in further. In my own personal opinion, you should stick to the Garmin brand. Magellan is another brand of handheld GPS, but it does not adapt as easily for downloading coordinates. The Garmin brand has software available that allows you to connect directly to your PC to do so. To me, it was well worth the extra money. Once you have the software and drivers installed on your PC, downloading co-ords can be done literally within seconds with the simple click of your mouse. For road use, TomTom is widely regarded as a more cost friendly alternative however, past reading on here tells me that the TomTom brand does not lend itself as well to off road or caching activities. My best advice is to head to your local sporting goods store and tell the sales person just exactly you're wanting your GPS to do and how much you're willing to spend. From there, he/she should be able to offer you at least two or three units from which to choose. I'll close by saying "Welcome to the obsession and good luck hunting!!"
  8. WatchDog beat me to it. I was going to suggest the exact same thing. Especially if you're going to be taking your kids along. If you concentrate on larger caches (ammo boxes, coffee cans, etc.) you're more likely to find kid friendly caches with lots of swag. My experience has taught me that my son gets frustrated and bored too quickly if all we're finding are micros. Also, be sure to take your camera along. There's no better smile than that of a caching kid who just scored some cool swag. Good Luck and Happy Hunting!!
  9. I'll go along with those who've suggested that your current equipment might not be the best available for caching. I don't know what your financial situation is, or if you even have enough interest in this hobby to want to purchase a more caching-friendly model, but if you do, the previously mentioned Garmin Etrex Legend will do just fine for caching. They're relatively affordable too. If I remember correctly, they were selling for $100 to 150 US dollars at the Cabela's store here in Wisconsin last summer. When I bought my new Garmin there last summer, the Legend was the model that the salesmen first suggested when I told him that I was mainly buying one for caching purposes. I was a little more picky...I wanted a color screen and I wanted a unit that was adaptable to both driving and caching use, so I opted for the very popular Garmin 60CSx, which (by comparison) retails for about $350 US dollars. Whatever you decide, I urge you to not give up on this hobby so soon. If you are unable to purchase any of the units I listed above, keep working with your TomTom and just keep in mind that you may have to be a little more liberal with your coordinates and how close they get you to the actual cache location. Also, being that you're still relatively new to caching, look on www.geocaching.com for any "Geocaching 101" type events which should help you learn more about what to look for when you do venture out on your next hunt. Also, if you know any more experienced cachers, ask if you can tag along with them. There's nothing better than learning from someone with more experience. Keep trying and Good Luck!!
  10. I've never done any night caching. Heck...I never knew such an activity existed until I saw this thread. I started out reading the thread but I was surprised at the number of responses it received, so I didn't read the whol thing. However, it is obviously a hot topic with some people. I did catch the part suggesting a "flashlight" for an icon. However, I find that I use my flashlight quite often even during the day when I'm hunting, so instead of using a flashlight for an icon, how about something more appropriate? My first thought was a crescent moon. The only drawback to that is that some folks might assume that there's an outhouse or porta-potty nearby...LOL!!
  11. I'm a fellow Wisconsinite and know full well the frustrations of trying to use frozen ink pens. Heck, when I pull up to the drive thru window at the bank the one they give you is quite often useless!! I have never really cached in winter time (I'm a hibernator), but even when I cache in summer time I always make sure to have several pens and pencils in my caching bag. That way I'm always prepared, and if I run across a non-working pen in a cache, I always take it and discard it and leave a working pen AND a pencil for the next hunter that comes along. There's nothing more frustrating than walking a half a mile or more to a cache, only to discover that the pen doesn't work, and you've got at least three good ones WAAAAYYY back at the car. Cache owners who are thinking on their feet will provide at least one of each, provided that the container is big enough to hold a writing utensil. Heck, I even ran across one that had a sharpener in it that was marked so as not to be mistaken for swag. I thought that was REALLY thinking ahead!!
  12. I beg to differ...this isn't the work of a troll. Look at her membership date. It's September 22, 2008. That means she's been at least moderately interested in this hobby since that time. Do you really think she'd sign up for a website and then wait 4 1/2 months to start trolling?? There are people who've been into this sport for years who have less than 10 posts on these forums. Does that make them trolls? Of course not. I also think it's rude of you to respond in such a fashion. If you think she's a troll and got a good laugh about it, fine...but please keep it to yourself. I (along with the others on here) prefer to be helpful and offer sound advice and opinions without being judgemental. I think it took a lot of pride swallowing to come on here and admit her failure. Most folks would have just said "screw this" and disappeared. But she at least is making an attempt to find out why she might have had a bad first experience, so let's ALL just go with that and try to help. IMO, it's guys like YOU that give hobbies like this a bad name. "Ooh...let's make fun of the noob!!" Lots of maturity and guidance on display there... I, for one, hopes she reads through this entire thread and comes away with a new sense of encouragement. I love reading posts from new cachers. I like trying to help those who have questions, and I REALLY love to read the ones who come on here all excited when they tell the story of their first find and how exhilerating it was. So again, if you want to be helpful...great. If not, just sit back and quietly get your kicks out of the thread and move on. No one here appreciates your attitude.
  13. Someone stated earlier that when a log is unavailable, they photograph themselves and post that as proof of their find, and I echoed that that was an excellent idea. However, if you're the type of cacher who doesn't normally carry a camera along, then I think it is vital to do all that is possible to leave some sort of evidence of your find if you'd like to receive proper credit for it. If you're unprepared to provide a replacement log, then sign any scrap piece of paper you might have on hand and put it in the container. Wimseyguy also had a good idea to leave a business card behind, and I have actually encountered that before in a cache I had found. I know it sounds as though I'm kinda anal about this, but I'm a bit of a purist. It's sort of like punching the timeclock at work: if you want to get paid for being there, then you better punch in.
  14. this is an excellent idea that I would not have thought of. I'll make sure to ALWAYS carry my digital camera with me from now on when caching, just in case.
  15. First off, I would be hesitant to repair certain parts of a cache container on my own. Some cache owners can be somewhat anal about people trying to reapair them without approval. However, if you can reasonably insure that the cache will look the same once you've made the repair, then go ahead. For instance, if the lid of the coffee can is covered in cammo tape, make sure that the lid you replace it with is also. I would not replace the entire container on my own. Your container might not fit exactly as well as the old one did, and if so, it would compromise the original hide. A better course of action would be to include a "maintainance needed" note when you log the find. You can also click on the owner's name on the cache page, which will give you an option of leaving the owner a PM, where you can inform them of the problem. You never know...the owner may have since moved further away from the hide and might appreciate some more localized assistance.
  16. I don't remember from your original post if you mentioned where you heard of this hobby. Perhaps it was online somewhere, or maybe a newspaper or magazine article. However, if you learned of geocaching from talking to a friend who does it, I'd suggest tagging along with them and to learn by observing. If you go to www.geocaching.com in the list of newest caches in your area you will see a list of "event caches". Quite often some of those events are "Geocaching 101" types of classes, where experienced cachers will teach you everything you need to know to get started. The one I went to last year started out in a park building where we were shown how to program co-ordinates into our GPS units, and then sent out into the park to find various temporary caches. As we were out hunting, there were several experienced cachers posted near each hide to assist us if we made a mistake. We ended up learning a lot and came away feeling happy that we had someone with experience to guide us. I will strongly suggest finding one of those types of classes. A good place to check for them might be with your local recreation and parks department, or your nearest DNR location. Also, I agree with others who say that (at least until you're more experienced) only hunt for caches that keep you within your comfort zone. Eventhough I have gained lost of experience in the year that I've been doing this, I still refuse to hunt for caches where I don't feel comfortable with my surroundings. Most times I'm out with my young son, and (not wanting to put him in harm's way) I will let him make the final decision as to whether or not we venture into an area to search. Keep in mind that if you do head out into a wooded area, you WILL eventually encounter wildlife. Squirrels, rabbits, deer, SKUNKS, snakes, and bees do inhabit wilderness areas, and you need to be prepared to handle those situations. For instance, I always make sure we have a first aid kit in our cache bag, and one of the items in that FAK is what I need to combat bee stings. As far as I know, no one in my family is allergic to them, but when you're miles away from a hospital out in the middle of the woods is NOT the time to find this out without being prepared. I know I've ventured off topic a little bit, but it seems as though you're more "city folk" types, and until you're experienced enough to want to attempt wilderness caches, stick with those which can be found within an urban setting. Remember: you're not out to impress anyone with your feats of "daring do", you're out to have a good time, so do it where you feel comfortable.
  17. You can pay $10.00 for three months. it is on the page for premium membership PM page Oops!! Pardon me for my inncorrect information. That should cure me from offering up info based on the memory contained in my clouded old brain. Note to self: if you're not 100% sure on your answer, verify it before answering incorrectly!!
  18. I don't believe so. I'm pretty sure that premium memberships run at a minimum of one year intervals. You might me able to select a longer term, but it's been almost a year since I signed up, so I don't remember.
  19. Briansnat is right...in order to download groups of caches from a particular region in quick fashion, you must be a premium member, and I highly recommend it. I know that there are other cachers out there who get out in the field much more often than I do, but I still don't like to waste time in front of my PC pursuing this hobby, so I became a premium member immediately. I think the cost is only $25 and when you consider the time used to download a large number of caches individually, it is WELL worth it.
  20. I've only had an officer stop me one time, and it was very informal. In fact, he didn't even bother to get out of his cruiser. It was a Saturday morning and my son and I were searching in a city park not far from our home. His suspicions were aroused because in order to locate the cache we were looking for, we needed a ladder to climb up into a tree. He spotted us with the ladder and slowly pulled up. He politely asked "What are you fellas up to today?" I told him we were geocaching and asked if he had ever heard of it. He said that he had, but wasn't quite sure what was involved. I showed him my GPS, and luckily I had the cache printout from GC.com to offer up more proof. He told us to be careful and not fall off the ladder, wished us luck, and then went on his way. I haven't been stopped since, but I think if it were ever to happen again, I'd handle it exactly the same way. Just don't make any sudden moves, and if you need to reach into your pocket or bag to retrieve something to offer up as proof, ASK first, or better yet, let the officer take your bag and search it himself. This is supposed to be a fun hobby...no sense getting youself shot over some dime store swag.
  21. I am a proud member fo the Wisconsin Geocachers Association, and our widely accepted form of group notification is to quietly move away from the cache and then calll out "Hootie!!" Usually as the others continue to search, I'll give them a little help by doing the old "hot/cold" thing.
  22. Visit this site: http://www.crazycaches.com/mean-devious-caches-c-23.html They've got all kinds of interesting cache containers that you can purchase.
  23. I started caching as a means of getting closer to my son. He's 10 years old, and like most typical 10 yr old boys, he's big into going "treasure hunting", so I thought caching would be perfect for him and I to do as a father/son thing. He particularly enjoys finding the ammo cans, because they usually have the best swag for a boy his age. In addition to spending time with him, it gets me out being active; and that's important to me since I had major heart surgery just over two years ago. There's nothing I enjoy more than going hiking in the woods on a nice, comfortable summer or fall day.
  24. I do have a cache that is driving me nuts...not only because it's supposed to be relatively easy, but also because it's the closest one to our home. It really should have been the very first one we ever went after, but thank God we found several others before we tried to tackle this cache, which has become my own personal albatross. It's called "Creekie Cache". It's a 2/2, but still should have been relatively easy to track down. GCQ8ZZ
  25. Not to put a damper on the Thompson's good fortunes, but I surely wouldn't feel too safe having to traverse Iowa's snow and ice covered highways in a little Mini Cooper!!
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