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Mike & Jess

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Posts posted by Mike & Jess

  1. GC1H7AZ, Eau Claire Hobo Camps (check out the entire gallery!)



    That is a very nice looking camp. It is actually nicer then most of my backpack camping sites.

    Someone put a lot of work into it.


    Yes... it is a permanent camp, though. It is abandoned fall thru spring. One of the joys of finding it is seeing all the bits of folk art scattered about. The gallery, unfortunately, doesn't really show much of that.


    I have a funny story about my trip to it. I had used my Nuvi to get me to the general area, where I parked the car. I unplugged the Nuvi and stuck it in my back pocket and used my handheld to take me to the cache. It was springtime, but fairly late in the season, so I was apprehensive about the possiblilty of surprising some of the residents, so I walked very slowly and quietly, stepping toe-first (a trick I learned as a boy... supposedly the Indians snuck through the woods that way) to avoid snapping twigs. I kept my eyes peel for any movement. So far, so good... a little further, still good... I spot the first of the structures ahead of me through the brush... still not seeing anybody, but not taking any chances...


    ... then, suddenly...




    That's when I realized that I had I forgotten to power down the Nuvi.

    That's actually worse then having a cell phone ring on you.

    Definitely funny considering it read out the name.

  2. Yes thats the one. The CO has emailed me just now saying he leaves them in place for a couple of weeks in case folk have got the co ords already in their gps. As this was the first time i have found an archived cache i was confused, which is easy to do lol.

    Many thanks

    Kind of nice of them to leave them like that for a bit in case this happened.


    You got love the co's log. "Archiving Cache"

    Geez, say your moving, say you got old, say someone asked for it to be removed. 170 plus finds with only 3 dnf's, never any problems noticeable and what appears to be some really awesome scenery.

    Yeah, I hate when COs do that. A CO near here just archived 21 caches (not all of their active caches, but most of them), with all the archive logs saying "Removed". Some of the caches are only a month or two old, and almost all of the ones that have been out longer have favourite points in the double-digits. Would it be too much to ask for a brief explanation of why they're being archived? Just a simple "Can no longer maintain", "Family situation is preventing me from maintaining this", "I'm bored of owning caches", etc.

    We've done a few adoptions because of this in our area. I put up a number of mine for adoption because I had relocated 50 miles outside of town and wanted to drop a few caches so I could populate some virgin grounds.

    Unfortunately, the guy that adopted some of mine archived them and collected the containers so he could use them for his own caches.

  3. Does this draft page (space reservation) apply to events?


    What exactly would you be reserving? There are no proximity guidelines for events as far as other caches go. What they don't allow is "event stacking", which is usually done by the same individual or organization. In other words, you can't hold an hour long event, each hour for five hours at the same location, or in very close proximity to each other, and call it five events. They want you to make that a single event.


    There was a complaint a year or so ago that a reviewer would not publish an event because there was already an event being held on the other side of town. They were by different people and were not related in any way. I don't remember how that shook out in the end, but it's not something that typically comes up.

    I was just wondering about it as I have a couple draft pages for events that will be going for review shortly. One in particular I started (cords and date) and now it looks like another cacher will host this event instead. If it does act like a normal cache draft, I'll have to kill mine. If not, I'll leave it and modify the date and time for another M&G event later on.

  4. Thought you could simply click on the (x) watching this cache to get a list if you owned it.


    Is there a way to see who's watching a cache if you are the CO?




    The only thing close to that is an audit log on PMO caches:



    A common suggestion is to post a note on the cache page asking for the watchers to identify themselves to you.


    Here's a recent thread asking for the ability to know who the watchers are:



    As history shows, this is not going to happen.





    Thanks for the note.

    I always thought I could. The cache in question isn't a PMO cache, so that might not work. If I owned a PMO cache, I might be able to dig and look to see if a backdoor existed.

  5. There have probably been a dozen different threads started recently or old bumped threads that discuss the "No Buried Caches" (or more accurate, "Caches are never buried") guideline.

    That should probably read "Caches are usually not buried".

    Or, perhaps "Caches are never buried, unless you name them Mingo". :P:lol::ph34r:<_<


    In that case, there's always the fourth paragraph on the Geocache Listing Requirements/Guidelines page:


    "Please be advised that there is no precedent for placing geocaches. This means that the past publication of a similar geocache in and of itself is not a valid justification for the publication of a new geocache. If a geocache has been published and violates any guidelines listed below, you are encouraged to report it. However, if the geocache was placed prior to the date when a guideline was issued or updated, the geocache is likely to be grandfathered and allowed to stand as is."


    The use of the term "never" and the concept of "grandfathering" is bound to cause confusion.

    Very true. The catch all rule can be good and bad at the same time. Luckly we have some great reviewers. A couple new ones in the area, but I think we've broken them in for the most part.

  6. I would have thought it was a really elaborate hunt stand, until I saw the map. Gosh, hope no one is hunting there!


    Then my next thought was that it was a kids' tree house. Perhaps adults are using it for other purposes, because that seems like a really lousy place to live. Too exposed to the elements and to bypassers.




    Ya, no hunting stand. It's a patch of bush surrounded by houses. The items in the "shack" where typical of squatters (empty food cans, etc).

    It's fairly common for squatters here to remove their tarp and take it with them.


    I'll see if I can dig up the photos of the other sites I have found. I think I've got photos of 5 or 6 camps total (seen a few more, but don't always have a camera biking).

  7. I had a kind of odd conversation this afternoon with a squatter (not in the woods either), and it got me thinking about the number of squatter camps I have come across geocaching and or mtn biking. I actually had to archive my first cache because GZ was where they built their camp. I'm actually kind of proud that it was the most elaborate camp I have seen, at my cache (Close to Home).


    Of all the camps I have come across, I've been lucky enough to never actually meet the owner or owners.


    Has anyone else run into these camps?

    Ever met the tenants?


    Here is a shot of the camp at our first cache.


  8. I wasn't really sure how to title this one.


    With all the local issues going on (we have a few trouble makers in the caching community), I'm looking to make sure there is zero issues with any of my new cache containers I plan to put out.


    For containers that are half in the ground or more (fake sprinkler head for example), would this be considered burried or not?


    I am not planning on using this paricular container exampled. It was just the first container that came to mind that would be a good example of what I was asking.

  9. They have a 'civilian' version of a steady cam mount available, somewhere. But that would still be a bulky thing for a backpack trip.

    Pole adapters are fine, so are camera bag/box mounts etc. I was mostly talking about improvising them with what you find available.

    I still say eliminating jerky shooting will go a long way to good video. Regardless of what you are shooting.


    Doug 7rxc


    I don't know if you have seen them, but some of the trek poles out there (something you would normally have anyway), now come with the camera mount at the top, so you get a monopod and a trek pole.


    Definately interested in that steady cam mount. I suspect however I'll have to fab something as buying one might set me back a fair bit.

    Will look into them regardless.

  10. Lots of great ideas. One of these days I'm going to try the drier lint idea. But I pride myself on natural tinders, and my all-time favorite is birch bark. No need to strip it from a living tree... birch bark is incredibly waterproof, and even the bark from a soggy, rotten tree lying on the ground will burn like gasoline at the least bit of provocation, and it will burn hot enough to get wet kindling dry enough to burn. I've never failed to start a fire when I can find some birch bark.


    I've used lots of birch bark for starting things up in the past, and will mention that the wood itself is great for kindling when split up finely in progressive sizes. Small pieces make good feathersticks. I must say that there is a gray area between what I consider 'tinder' and what is 'kindling', not much argument about what fuel is. In a general sense I guess the material used for initial ignition is 'tinder', but, I've always used a measure of what can be ignited by a flint/steel combo for 'tinder'. I must admit I've not tried that with shredded BB, not too common out here. The drier lint thing is easy to flash, but burns really quick which is why a little petroleum jelly worked in to a surrounding lay helps get the fire going.


    I've been thinking about making fire starters of they various types discussed with 'progessive' stages built in to them so one doesn't have to be choosy about how to get them burning in the first place. Just 'hit' the middle section with whatever you want to try and the starter will do the rest of it, stacking fuels is up to you.


    Doug 7rxc

    I always considered tinder to anything the size (thickness) of grass or pine needles. Much thicker then that is kindling (branches, etc). At least that is my definition of tinder and kindling.


    As for your testing... Would be very interested in the results.

    I've been wanting to try the different DIY firestarters under wet, nasty conditions (the type of weather a good starter would be needed) and see how each one faired out. It would also give me more practice, which honestly, tough fire starting practice is something I need. We have camp fires all the time at home (life in the country), but easy start materials are way too available at home, and there is no pressures of being cold or hungry interfering.

    Unfortunately life as been getting in the way of this fun test.

  11. Thanks for posting the TB page.

    RES2100's event was a kick in the butt for me. Found out about it the morning of the event. Really wanted to go, but couldn't get up there in time to make the event (quads where at my parent's place, west of Lively).

    The other info pages I think I've grabbed and posted in the Northern Ontario Geocachers's thread listed above (will double check).


    As a side note, http://coord.info/GC3XCHD can be added once it gets published (too far out to be published at this time). I have the draft page together and am hoping to have a little something special together for this event (no promises I'll be successful).

  12. Remember the Fire Tower on the ridge is the largest Travel Bug, just look around for the tag.



    I did not know that.

    Was there twice and didn't see a tag (wasn't looking).

    Do you know the GC number for it's page?

  13. Lots of great ideas. One of these days I'm going to try the drier lint idea. But I pride myself on natural tinders, and my all-time favorite is birch bark. No need to strip it from a living tree... birch bark is incredibly waterproof, and even the bark from a soggy, rotten tree lying on the ground will burn like gasoline at the least bit of provocation, and it will burn hot enough to get wet kindling dry enough to burn. I've never failed to start a fire when I can find some birch bark.

    Definitely agree that birch bark works great. We do have a lack of them in some areas since a lot of them where killed off a number of years ago with a bug that came through. There are still reasonably easy to find in most areas, but some just don't have any left.

  14. Here is a neat attachment for those tough shots. Turn any trek pole into a monopod.



    Used this a few times. Got a couple self pics with both my boys while caching (one in the backpack, the other strapped to my chest). I don't like self pics, so I won't post that picture here.

    I use to shoot semi-pro still photography (not pro, as my day job paid much better then photography).


    Shooting video is something that will be totally new to me. The rigging I have in the pic above should work good for some video work. With it attached to the trek pole, it would be easy to glide into some areas and what not.

    Definately playing with speeds will make things more interesting.


    Backpacking while shooting video should be interesting.

  15. Posting up on forums like this is the first thing.


    I could suggest putting together a nice little (non-advertising style) write up about the route, accommidations, etc, and share it with a few different forums.

    Be prepared to field a log of questions from the various forums if you do this.


    I'm a big backpacker but a bit far north.



    Lose the black background on the site. Black background on a website doesn't sell as well as a light background.

  16. Our first couple events, we where able to reuse the cards as we didn't seal the envelops. After a bit of cheating by one team, I've had to seal the cards or look for alternative means of distributing the cards.

    When someone does some blatant, clever cheating and it's allowed, I'm embarrassed to have come. I've taken a hiatus from events, due mainly to the fact that “prizes” seem to bring out the worst in people and then I feel like an accomplice.


    Typically, everyone pitches in for an event. But consider excluding the event coordinator's family from at least the bigger prizes.

    I can't stand how prizes have become the focus for some. I'm all about the bragging rights. The prizes... if I can't pass off my winning ticket to someone near by, I'll either ask that the prize be given to someone else, or add it to my collection to give away at my next event (or donnate to an event).

    It's unfortunate that we had to seal the envelops for our poker runs. We had been able to use the same cards and containers for 4 events without having to replace them.


    I won't say cheating is common, but there tends to be at least one cacher or group in every area that will stir trouble.

  17. I'm kicking the idea of dragging a camera or two on one or more of my up and coming backpacking trips next year and am looking for tips, tricks and gear suggestions.

    Currently I'm always traveling with my Pentax WG-1 (rugged P&S) and have pulled some good shots. For mounting gear, I've got two different suction cup mounts, one velcro strap mount (good for handle bars, etc), a couple mini tripods and various monopods and tripods.


    Video will be a new thing for me. I've shot some video before, but nothing at or remotely close to a pro level. Any suggestions on gear, mounting points (perspectives) and/or inexpensive or free editing software to put this all together?

    Also shot ideas would be great. The trips will range from bike/hike trips, kayaking/bushwhacking, train rides (bud cars in the bush) and off roading.


    To get an idea as to what I'll be looking to film, this was the trip report from my last (easier) trip. Tons of photos didn't make the public post. http://forum.northernontariogeocachers.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=487&p=3303#p3303

  18. Are poker runs the in thing now? I've seen a few of them popping up here and there.


    They have been "in" for the several decades I have played them. And with alcohol they are even better.


    The first time I had heard about poker runs was back in the early 80's. Attended two, one via snow mobile and the other via motorcycles (as a passenger for both, was a kid then).

    Was basically the same ideas as the geocaching events, where you traveled via map to various check points to obtain your cards. Wasn't much alcohol consumed at the ending event, but there was still some.


    Poker runs for events are easy to setup and cheap for the host. 5+ containers, 5+ packs of playing cards (dollar store), and business card envelops (office supply store).

    Put the playing cards in the envelop and number the envelop so you can later identify which cache each card was from (helps prevent someone getting all their cards at one cache). Toss a deck of envelopped cards into each container, hide and go.


    Our first couple events, we where able to reuse the cards as we didn't seal the envelops. After a bit of cheating by one team, I've had to seal the cards or look for alternative means of distributing the cards.

  19. I like geocacher bingo as an ice-breaker. The last event I attended used the completed geocacher bingo cards as raffle tickets, which worked nicely.


    I've never seen a poker run as part of a geocaching event, but I have seen them as part of gimmick car rallyes. One rallye used Pinochle decks for the poker run, which had the interesting effect of producing a lot of very good poker hands.


    One event had a pin swap. Each attendee received a lanyard with a number of identical pins on it. The goal was to mingle with others who had received pins with different designs, and to swap pins so everyone ended up with an assortment of pins with no duplicates. That was an excellent ice breaker and door prize all in one.


    Another "drop in" game that I've heard of is to display a dozen or so trade items, and to have people rank them from least expensive to most expensive. At the end of the event, the closest to the official ranking wins a prize (which could simply be the trade items used for the game).


    You could challenge people to write a geocaching limerick (perhaps specifying several words that must appear in the limerick). This too could act as a "drop in" game. At the end of the event, read the best ones aloud.


    Raffles with too many prizes get boring. It's better to have a few raffle prizes, or to give everyone a door prize when they arrive. A raffle with so many prizes that most people receive something (and some receive multiple prizes) will take too long and get boring.


    White elephant exchanges are okay, but can suffer the same problem as raffles with too many prizes. Plus, half the white elephant gifts will be variations on the same thing.


    Most importantly, leave time for people to mingle and visit. If you build plenty of extra time into the schedule, then it will be easier to stay on schedule, and people will have time to visit with each other.


    This is a very important piece I forgot to include in my OP.

    I try to make sure there is plenty of time before everyone heads out to the games and plenty afterwards for chatting.

    The plenty of time at the end before the closing is also good in case there are some slower cachers. Gives them a chance to get back and still meet other cachers.

  20. Sorry if it's a dumb question, but what's a "poker run?"


    I have done geocaching "races". When it was over the organizer announced it really wasn't a race.


    Being clear on things at the beginning of an event is really important.


    At the geocaching events I've been at that have done this, playing cards are put into envelops and placed in the event caches. Cachers pick an envelop from each cache and when they return to the event area, the person who obtains the best poker hand gets the prizes, in order of highest and to lowest (or however the host decides to play it).

    Basically its picking cards from each cache and discovering your hand at the event closing.


    Alternatively, I have seen where a piece of paper was retrieved from each cache, and exchanged at the event close for envelops with cards in them. This helps resolve cheaping (exchanging cards, etc) in the field.

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