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Posts posted by oakenwood

  1. A few more occurred to me today.


    Build your stamina. When you're tired, you don't search as well and quit sooner.


    Be well-fed and well-hydrated, for the same reasons as above. Bring a snack and water.


    Look for signs that something is hidden. Often it's a pile of sticks and bark.

  2. Read the cache page's comments for hints.


    When you get to the location, give your GPS a minute to settle down, and you can get a more accurate reading.


    Remember the size of the cache. It'll help you guess locations to look. (Too small for there, too big for there...)


    Carry a stick to poke and tap things. A hollow "clunk" is often the sound of a cache.


    I like to search in an expanding clockwise spiral from the center. If I don't find it when I get to about 20 meters out, I go back to the center (usually I leave my backpack there) and do another spiral in a counter-clockwise direction. Then I walk back and forth like I'm plowing a field.

  3. The time factor creates an added element of excitement. Then when you do find the cache, you wonder "Am I the first? Will I see a clean log?"


    Once I got my first FTF (and a bad case of poison ivy in my hasty search) it wasn't such a big deal.


    There was also the time I about killed myself racing through a five-part multi only to find the coordinates for the final were way off. Very frustrating.


    I decided I liked the relaxed, no-hurry approach better.

  4. You clean out your junk drawer and use the stuff for swag.


    The cashier says "paper or plastic?" and you say "plastic" because you can use the bags for CITO.


    Your kids' toys start to look more and more like swag every day.


    You have dreams about caching and nightmares about DNF's.


    You're fishing on a charter boat and wonder about placing a cache under water.


    You're waiting for a new park to be opened so you can put a cache there.


    You can't find something in a store and start walking in circles.


    You see a phone number and think it looks like GPS coordinates.


    You lose your Garmin and wonder what you'll do with all the free time.


    You know all the poison ivy remedies and ways to remove ticks.


    You chose your last pair of shoes with caching in mind.


    You make waypoints for hollow trees just in case you might put a cache there some day.

  5. Those pictures above make me want to give up caching altogether. But I won't. I'm addicted.


    Disease is my biggest fear about caching. Skeeters around here can carry West Nile virus. Ticks have Lyme disease. When I'm in the woods, I'm usually drenched in Off. When I get home, I strip and shower.


    I handle the webs by carrying a long twig that I wave in front of me.


    I bring leather gloves for reaching into logs and other places that can hide snakes and wasps.


    I've gotten bad poison ivy, so I'm extra careful about it now. I've had DNF's because of poison ivy, and once because of a wasp nest-- with a wasp on it. That one was a lamp post micro. I lifted up the cover and HELLO! GOODBYE!

  6. The parks around here can be pretty trashy. Even before I was a cacher, I'd sometimes carry out bits of plastic. One of the things I really like about caching is the chance to do some cleanup.


    When I post about a find, I'll sometimes mention CITO, and sometimes post a photo of the trash I took out, just to raise awareness. Sometimes the more you remind people, the more likely they are to remember it.

  7. I was out caching and it got away from me in the woods. Fell out of my backpack, I think. When I looked, I couldn't find it.


    I wanted to put up a sign in the location I thought I'd lost it, but the park police wouldn't allow it. I thought it was gone forever. :P


    After a couple of weeks, I got an email from someone who'd found it. :)




    I had put my name, phone number, and email address on the splash screen. (The screen that displays just after you start it up.)


    If you haven't done it with your own GPS, do it now. It could save you hundreds of dollars.

  8. Happy Venture HC owner here. It's a real nice unit for the price. As others mentioned, you're stuck with 24 MB of memory.


    However, it's accurate and gets great reception.


    Some places to get free maps:


    http://gpsmapsearch.com/ (probably your best place to look)



    http://home.wtal.de/noegs/freemaps.htm (mostly non-USA maps here)


    Then you need a program to load them onto your GPS, like Mapwel or IMG2GPS.

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