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Everything posted by debaere

  1. Wouldn't that be against the Terms of Agreement, to provide premium features to non-premium cachers, or to provide such information to non-cachers? EDIT: Outside of the above, I think it is a GREAT idea! I hadn't considered that. Could they perhaps preload the GPSr with non-premium level caches? I would think the sticky point would be providing premium caches to non-premium members, not running a PQ on their behalf (really they would be completely agnostic as to how the caches are loaded - they would just be there). You could also require a basic membership to geocaching.com (sign em up right in store when they rent), to cover the "don't provide info to non-cachers" bit. I would highly reccomend discussing all of this with your reviewer to see if its OK or not before proceeding.
  2. As far as which gear, you'd want something on the cheaper side, but rugged. Renters are not easy on things they rent so the likely hood of damage is high. I'd probably see if I could find some used Garmin 60CSx's on ebay and rent those. You could sweeten the deal by pre-loading the GPSs with the caches in the area (say by running a PQ with the 100 closest caches), and loading up detailed maps into it. You can also start small and only get one or two GPSs and see if you get takers. This will keep your costs down initially. Personally I would buy the GPS I would want to use and rent that. This gives you the advantage that if the geocaching side of your business doesn't work out, you still have devices that you would use yourself. Think of it as a free upgrade
  3. As far as which gear, you'd want something on the cheaper side, but rugged. Renters are not easy on things they rent so the likely hood of damage is high. I'd probably see if I could find some used Garmin 60CSx's on ebay and rent those. You could sweeten the deal by pre-loading the GPSs with the caches in the area (say by running a PQ with the 100 closest caches), and loading up detailed maps into it. You can also start small and only get one or two GPSs and see if you get takers. This will keep your costs down initially. Personally I would buy the GPS I would want to use and rent that. This gives you the advantage that if the geocaching side of your business doesn't work out, you still have devices that you would use yourself. Think of it as a free upgrade
  4. You may want to try something like this idea from a town in Oregon: http://thedalleschamber.com/blog/the-dalle...ocaching-sites/. The basic idea is "Complete our 12 caches and get a geocoin from the Chamber Of Commerce. I recently had a chance to do the Dalles Dash and I now own a unique souvenier as a result, and I had a great time. You could do the same in your area by either placing new caches, or working with existing cache owners to give a tour of interesting places in your area, and offering a free coin if they come into your store with proof that they found all of them. Note: I am not sure, being a store, if it would violate the "no commericial" rules. You should be able to do the free geocoin for completing a number of caches bit, but I don't know if you could mention "we rent GPSs if you don't have one" part. I personally don't see any issues with it as long as folks can use their own equipment to do the caches and get the prize for free, but I'd check with my reviewer before putting a lot of work into it. However if you could get it set up you would definitely increase exposure to your store, and make a cool series of caches for your area.
  5. My first cache was about 10kms away from the hotel I was staying at. The second one was 30kms and in a different country. As you can tell I was travelling at the time. It took me until find 10 to grab the close ones to my house
  6. when you stop feeling like a noob then you are no longer a noob No magic formula.
  7. I am sure that there are others that have found caches in many other countries than I but I'm up to 10 different countries, in Europe and Africa. First of all, my approach is that my only real goal is to try and find one cache in a new country I'm visiting so that I can color in that country on the map. Beyond that, If I've got some free time to spend in a foreign country, even if I don't find any other caches...I'm spending free time in a foreign country. Since pretty much all my foreign travel is business related the biggest challenge is often just trying to have enough free time to get to spots where I can find a cache. For some of the countries that I have visited where there are very few caches in the country that can been very difficult. While in Ethiopia and Zambia I was unable to find any caches at all. Even though there were a couple of close caches to where I was staying in those countries just getting to those spots in the limited time I had (and without a personal vehicle) proved to be impossible. I was lucky to have found a cache in Tanzania, only because I scheduled in an extra day and was able to get a driver that took me to a National Game park where a cache was located. In four days in Tanzania I was never closer than 60 miles to any other cache. Even in countries which did have more available caches to find, I primarily focus on a few caches and spent some time prior to leaving looking over cache listings to see which ones I might be able to find. In Paris, that meant solving a few difficult puzzles before I left home. Although many of the caches I've found in Europe had english versions of the descriptions there were many that did not so during my preparation I used google translate to translate descriptions and hints prior to leaving and made some notes about the ones that I wanted to get if necessary. I have an iPhone with the Groundspeak app which allows me to create a PQ at home then "save" the listings for those caches on my phone. I don't have to turn on data roaming when in foreign countries to see cache listings. Some sort of smart phone or PDA which allows you to go "paperless" can be a big help when caching in foreign countries. Next time I travel I'm going to see if I can find a good translation app that I can load on my phone while in the field. The new Google Goggles app sounds like it would work well for this but it's not available on an iPhone. Basically, when traveling abroad I forget about trying to find a lot of caches (not that I do any power caching while at home) and focus on just exploring the country and picking up a few caches that happen to be in places I'm seeing anyway. I agree with NYPaddleCacher on this one. When I go to a new area I try to grab A cache to colour in my map, and spend the rest of the time just enjoying the area (may be caching, may not be, but after the first one, I don't sweat the "missed" caching opportunities). I have never heard of phoning in caches - that sounds annoying and assumes some sort of phone coverage - I probably would have avoided those
  8. I always assume the terrain ratings are from the starting point (i.e. from the point where I have to leave my car and walk). So #2 should have a terrain level commensurate with the starting point. I would probably mark it a 3 as well, maybe a 3.5.
  9. Bah. I doubt its the most fuel using sport (got any numbers to back that up?) How much fuel do you think is used at a single NASCAR event (both for the race, and to fill up the stands with fans). Like others have said, I've done more hiking & biking since I started caching than I ever did before. Besides I doubt I've used more than two tanks of gas for my 131 finds (I have cached in 3 countries and 10 states, but I don't count the long distance as gas spent geocaching because I was going to those places anyway - I just count the diversions from my normal route to caches). If I wasn't caching, I'd have spent my time watching TV (who's electricity has its own carbon footprint), or driving to other locations. Either way, me being healthier and more entertained by caching far far outweighs the negative effects of any minor increase in carbon footprints it may have caused. Worry not good sir, and thanks for the good times. I love this hobby.
  10. I would say you should place high quality caches open to the public at large. This was hopefully others in your area will get exposed to caches that meet your standards and will place higher quality ones on their own. By limiting the caches to members only, you vastly restrict your audience. Personally the only time I would make a cache of mine members only would be in a high muggle area, and even then I would probably either not place the cache, or take my chances. As others have stated, you want the membership for the PQ's, not the extra caches.
  11. Ech. Moose are dangerous creatures to hit. If you hit a deer odds are you'll get away with some minor damage to your car. Hit a moose and you're screwed. They are so tall and heavy that they often crash through windshields. Even if they don't hit your car, keep clear of them in the wild. An angry moose will mess you up. I had an ecounter with a Moose when I was a kid (8 years old). I believe it was in Maine (somewhere north east US, don't think it was in Nova Scotia). We turned the corner of this windy country road and saw a moose standing in the middle of the road. We had plenty of time to stop safely, and were about 20ft from her. We watched it for a bit. It looked at us, and started walking along the road away from us. We followed it for about a half a mile, keeping our 20ft distance. It apparently didn't develop a great opinion of us during our bonding session as it suddenly stopped, looked back at us, uriniated, and trotted off into a field. We eventually lost it when it entered the woods on the far side of the field.
  12. This happened to me once as well. Driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway in foggy conditions. went around a corner and saw a deer start to leap. Cleared my PT Cruiser. Really quite an impressive feat of athleticism on the part of the deer
  13. The worst consistent accuracy I saw on my 60CSx was 500ft, but I was in an airplane going almost 500mph at the time In normal conditions (i.e. standing still on the ground in relatively open conditions), my best is 9ft, and my average is 14ft.
  14. You may have more luck getting an older smart phone and simply not getting a plan for it. Check ebay. Another idea is (possibly) an iPod Touch? My understanding is that it is essentially an iPhone without the ability to make phone calls. You'd have to research this to be sure. Also, consider a Nokia Internet Tablet like the N800. Essentially a pocket sized computer with WIFI. I have one and tho I have never used it for this purpose it should work wonders as a wireless caching device. Note as a caveat I do use an Android based phone for caching, so my experience with the above is based on assumptions and extrapolations. YMMV.
  15. This link may help: http://www.geocaching.com/about/glossary.aspx
  16. Personally I never do PQ's with 500 caches so its never bothered me. I do find the 500 cache limit on the Google Maps interface a tad annoying (tho thats a discussion for another area of the forums. I do have an issue with your arguments that GroundSpeaks capacity for larger PQs should increase with Moores Law. If the number of users and caches was static then I could buy it, however there are many other factors that affect the resources of their server farm. First the number of users has increased dramatically since 2003. Second, they use Windows as an OS, which also sucks up more resources with each release. Third, you are making the grand assumption that they are buying new hardware, and have the same number (or more) machines than they had in 2003. Fourth, Groundspeak runs multiple services now (geocaching.com, Wherigo, Waymarking) so their resources are being split between them. All of these factors make it possible that the resources/user have not changed nearly at the rate of Moores Law I would be surprised if the ratio hasn't increased tho (and the announcement that the PQ limit will be raised to 1000 seems to point to this) however the lag I see on their servers from time to time seems to indicate its not at the rate of Moores Law. Not to mention that Moores Law doesn't state that computer resources double, but the number of transistors in a chip can double every 18 months. CPUs have not been getting faster at the exponential rate of Moores Law. They have been using those extra transitors to add multiple CPUs in the same chip - this means that the chip can do more processing in parallel. However this assumes that the software running on those CPUs can efficiently handle the extra processors in a machine. If it doesn't, then much of a computers resources will not being utilized. Anyhoo, I don't know if anyone will read this, but I appreciate the mental exercise of explaining it. I didn't proof read it, so YMMV.
  17. I personally do the "best attempt" approach to signing logs to claim a cache. Assuming I can actually get the container in my hands, but the log is unsignable (I had one that was literally a block of ice when I got to it), I still claim it online as a find, with a note stating why I didn't actually sign it. Most of the time if I can't sign the log its a "needs maintenance" log as well.
  18. Mechanics gloves are great. I have a pair I use for caching, and a pair I use for general yard work.
  19. As I understand it, coordinates are always listed North/South first. then East/West. North and East are positive, South and West are negative, So 40.xxxxx is north, and -74.xxxx is west.
  20. I typically just sign my caching name and date on the physical logs, and (normally) put a longer log online. It always seemed logical to put the information online since it will (theoretically) persist for a lot longer, is searchable, and gets emailed directly to the CO. I am also a geek at heart and putting info down on paper has become a rare occurrence for me. Data is meant to be in the cloud The one exception to the written logs is if my wife and 5 month old son are with me. They do not have caching names, so I normally sign the logs "[date] debaere with wife and kid"
  21. I frequently cache with my dogs. I have two dogs (a cocker spaniel puppy and a 2 year old Brittany Spaniel). The Brittany goes a lot of places with me, including caching and the office. The puppy hasn't matured enough to take to the office, but has come with me on a couple caching trips so far. Walking through the woods always seemed like the perfect activity to bring my dogs.
  22. I have a GPS mounted to my bike. I use it for all sorts of things (except caching - most caches around here are too far for me to bike). I have a Garmin GPSMap 60CSx. Take my advice and don't get the Garmin bike mount - its flimsy. I have one of these: http://www.amazon.com/RAM-Mounting-Systems...2351&sr=8-1 (RAM mount - got it at amazon.com). Its very sturdy, and my GPS has always remained solidly attached to it. Its a bit more money, but well worth the extra cash for a much better and more secure mount. My bike is a hybrid bike (think mountain bike with tires more appropriate for roads). I am not particularly gentle with my bike. I wouldn't trust my GPSr with anything less.
  23. I leave a DNF for every time I've actually searched for the cache, or if I was thwarted in my attempts to reach the GZ. Times I have left DNFs: - I searched for a while,. didn't come up with the goods - A lot of muggles in the area - an area looked sketchy and I didn't feel comfortable doing a search - Couldn't get to the area due to obstructions (in on case it was a really icy trail I didn't feel comfortable walking on) Times I did not leave a DNF: - I didn't reach GZ for reasons aside from being physically able too. I've been on my way to a GZ and walked away before reaching the GZ because I ran out of time (had places I needed to be), had a diaper emergency (caching with 5 month olds adds a new dimension to the game) or I simply ran out of steam. Rule of thumb: if my DNF log can provide useful information to others, I log it. If its just trivia, then I don't.
  24. I have met a couple, one prematurely. My first cacher encounter was at the overlook at Niagara Falls ON. I was going into the pavilion to get some fresh batteries for my GPSr, passed a couple heading out. As he passed he said "Any luck?" "yep" "don't forget the virtual up the hill". The second was in Charleston SC. I was looking under a wooden walkway for the cache. A person who was in the area (who I thought was a muggle) walked by and said "dude, you are so close to it!". Turns out he is friends with the CO. The "premature" one was when we were talking to some folks after our Sunday School let out. We happened to mention that they were planning on caching that afternoon. Their face lit up, and they mentioned that they always wanted to try it. Two hours later, after acquiring lunch, they had their first find They've since gone on to have >30 now and 1 hide, which is pretty good considering their first find was a month ago.
  25. I think it is within the rules, however I would be annoyed to have to go rent, or otherwise acquire, these movies in order to get the clues. How about using publicly available material that everyone already has access to like YouTube videos (as an example)?
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