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Posts posted by Steve&GeoCarolyn


    if you've ever seen the aftermath of a beaver attack, you might think twice before calling them cute.



    Cute is not a synonym for harmless. If it were my beloved couldn't opine that Siberian tigers are cute.


    I assume that people who name their caches after beavers are not intending the name to be a warning in the same way as, say, Vinnie's Psycho Urban Caches is meant as a cautionary admonishment. However, I will gladly add "Courageously Hunting Beaver-Named Caches" to my self-description. It is even more amusing as a tagline than as a personal goal. :D


    Thanks to everyone for all the beaver cache suggestions! I see that I will have to explore each corner of this great country (and perhaps visit the UK as well) to capture all those naughty beaver caches.



  2. Well, gee ... I'm not sure how to follow that act. I certainly don't have a beaver fetish!


    If anything, my objective will be to clear an entire area of anything but ;) faces. That means setting aside time for the nasty 4.0 and above difficulty caches, setting aside time to get to locations that require a sizable hike or a tough drive or ... and includes getting those puzzle caches converted to B) faces, too. I feel good when there are no "blemishes" on my map. It's not the same as trying to make "numbers", but the net effect is certainly the same. For me, it's a "map thing".


    It's not precisely a fetish. They're just big silly mammals that are very cute. Also, one finds beavers in really pretty areas so you know that any cache with the word "Beaver" in the title has to be beautiful. Finally, beavers are more common than otters (who are hands-down the cutest mammals).


    How does this clearing an area work for you? I'm just the opposite. When I see a lot of smilies replacing treasure chests on the map, I get sad. It's like when I go back to my bag of chocolate chip cookies and find I've eaten almost all of them and soon I'll be left with an empty bag with only the fragrance of chocolate chip cookies. :)



  3. Do you formulate your own quirky personal challenges when caching? In other words, do you create challenges for yourself rather than join in on established challenges or challenge caches?


    For example, my beloved would like to find the oldest caches in each state. I would like to collect cache finds that use the word 'Beaver' in the title. (Because the idea of having a collection of Beaver caches makes me laugh uncontrollably.) My beloved also wants to keep our difficulty/terrain average up (for reasons of personal honor).


    So, what's your quirky (or not) personal challenge? Is it hiding-focused or finding-focused?



  4. When we book people into our jail, we give them an information sheet to fill out.

    Name, DOB, Address, Height, Weight, etc.

    I was once tasked with developing a Spanish language version of this form. An odd choice, since I don't speak Spanish.

    What I discovered, upon presenting the completed form to the intended arrestees, is that about 75% of them were illiterate.

    Having been born in Spanish speaking countries, they could speak the language fluently, (obviously), but they couldn't read it.

    I'm wondering how effective a Spanish language geocaching sticker would be?

    Maybe some sort of visual aid would be more effective? :anibad:


    So you're saying that 75% of hispanics are illiterate without any demographic proof? Now THAT'S racist. B)


    I thought Clan Riffster's point was very good.


    I used to teach English as a Second Language (ESL) and one of the issues we had to deal with was that many people who come to the US to make a better life for themselves or to escape persecution in their home country are illiterate in both English and their native language, so we couldn't simply give them written translations. We had to be creative when we made our lesson plans.


    It is not a sin to be illiterate. It is just the way life is in some parts of the world. Even literacy means something different in many places. In some places literacy is defined as being able to sign your name on a contract and that's it. In others, you are counted as literate if you have very rudimentary reading skills. The problem for people who come here from cultures that are less focused on written language is that we are a highly literate culture that we learned to navigate as small children. If you don't have the advantage of learning reading (in any language) when you're young, it is much harder to learn any kind of written language as an adult. Contrariwise, if you learned any written language when young, you can easily pick up a new language.


    People who were literate in their own language didn't come to our classes. They had other options. Similarly, jobs that require no reading skills attract a higher number of non-readers than other jobs (for reasons that should be obvious). My guess is that groundskeepers who are in the US and originate from other countries are less literate than the population at large. It is not racist to say this.


    The good thing is that most groups of non-readers have a few readers they rely upon. So a simply-worded sign in Spanish may be a great deal of help. My recommendation is that it be very simple, very clear, and not too wordy. You want it to be recognizable as a symbol once the reader in the group translates it. Or you want to incorporate a symbol as part of the presentation. The idea is to make this easy on everyone.



  5. I'm fairy new...but so far, I've found every cache that I've gone after but one. It's literally driving me crazy! I've gone to the place 4 times trying to find it. What do you do in these circumstances? Is it wrong to ask the owner for a clue? I want to cross it off my list...most importantly I just want to know where the bugger is! Advice?




    Perhaps you are going back too soon? I put my DNFs on a list. Every now and then I pull out the list and think about them again. I read my DNF description. I look at the photos I uploaded to my DNF log. Then I go after other caches. Eventually I will find something in another cache that will give me a new strategy to try in one of the DNFs. Then I rush back to the DNF with my new idea and try that.


    I'm not just spinning my mental wheels. I'm approaching this tactically. I don't have to win every battle today. I will eventually wear my DNFs down until they surrender to me. It's a battle of attrition. My knowledge base of hiding techniques continues to grow and I become better. Meanwhile, that cache can never get more difficult. I shall prevail, but it takes a while with some of them.



  6. That being said, I love caches in creepy places, although I must confess some caches in "creepy spots" didn't even strike me as unusual, since I was too busy focused on finding the cache. I suppose "spooky" is subjective.


    There is a tiny park near us that I think of as excessively sweet and quaint (too cute). The cache (GC1FE) is easy to find and the area is very safe and well-maintained. In May and June the entire area is awash in flowers. The cache itself has good stuff in it. So I think of this cache as an excellent beginner's cache and it's on my list of favorites. I've recommended it to people new to geocaching. Recently someone found it and noted in their log that it was spooky and reminiscent of chainsaw murderers. It is amazing how subjective these things are. :anitongue:



  7. I have no problem with the idea of allowing your DNF count to show. Long as it is a choice. I can see you and AZCachemeister competing to see who has the highest DNF count.


    The idea is not to hide the find logs but to stop tallying them up. I want the numbers to go away if I tick a box in my profile options.


    The count issue doesn't mean anything to me one way or the other. What I badly want is for my DNF logs to show up on my public profile in the same way my Found logs show so that my friends can see and read them. Right now they can only read my found logs unless I send an email saying, "Go to this cache page to see my DNF log." Since some of my most glorious (and silly fun) adventures are connected with our failures, it is very disappointing.


    If people truly want DNFs to be logged and truly want people to write good logs, the system should not punish people who write good DNF logs by hiding them.



  8. HOWEVER, if others are allowed to hide their find counts, I want the option to SHOW my DNF count! :D


    Oh, yes!! Please, please, please! I badly want my DNFs to show in my public profile. What is the point of writing them up nicely and illustrating them with photos if no one gets to see them?




    P.S. I don't care either way about the ability to hide finds, but it seems to me that if people want privacy of any sort, it should be accommodated. (I wouldn't use it because I want my friends to read about my glorious adventures and if they are not visible from my public profile it's pretty hard for them to do so.)

  9. Because he kinda looks like a movie star, I won't post the pic I have of Knowschad at an event in Minnesota a few years ago.


    :D shhhhhhh!!! They all think I look like a dog that wears glasses!


    Well yes, that is what I thought. Now I find out that you look like a movie star and are merely hiding behind the cute dog image. Which movie star do you look like?



  10. Anyhow, I like logs to be more informative.


    When you say "informative" what do you mean by that?


    My own logs are written as letters to a friend and so I try to make them evocative and entertaining. Sometimes there are facts I discover while searching for the cache that I think my friends will enjoy hearing about (the presence of alligators not too far from where I live, for example). But generally there isn't much I can say that is informative. I've been toying with researching the plants, insects, and animals I photograph and writing better captions for the photos, but so far I haven't had enough time to do that.


    I include an informative sentence for the cache owner as well, but it is usually stuff like: "The log is dry" or "The log is wet" or "The cache is in good/bad/fair condition" or "My coordinates differed by X amount compared to the published coordinates". (Actually I only include the coordinate difference if my beloved is very insistent about it.) Is this what you mean by informative?



  11. Well, I love this thread and am glad it was bumped back into life. :)


    Here's our recipe for good caching days:


    We are committed to getting the most out of each cache since we will only search for a maximum of 5 (and more normally 2-3) and we want our caching to last most of the day. So we spend a lot of time analyzing caches to determine our next adventure. This is part of the fun for us. (We also do puzzle caches because we're suckers for puzzle caches.)


    Once we've found a cache we love, we note the hider and begin studying their caches. We look for the following in future caches:

    • Enticing photos in the logs
    • Proximity to Earthcaches or known scenic areas
    • Good logs
    • Parking waypoints (if someone cares enough to provide parking waypoints, they probably care about the cache placement as well)
    • Recently placed caches (likely to still be fresh, dry, & clean)
    • Old caches (if it's lasted a long time, it's probably good)
    • Caches with a terrain rating 2 or higher (though we will look for lower rated terrains if they are interesting in other ways)

    We keep lists of caches that we want to visit someday. My beloved prints them off and keeps them in a notebook. When we are ready to go caching, he tells me how far he's willing to travel, I figure things out on the map with a pocket query, and he produces a printoff for the area I suggest. Then I add one or two more cache possibilities to the plan.



  12. While doing one cache in Colorado we had to crawl under a lot of vegetation. My hand came down hard on an exposed root which went deep into my hand. There was a lot of blood but it healed very quickly. (And it justified packing the little first aid kit we pack.)


    Currently I am nursing plantar fascitis which was mostly brought on by running but our crazed desire to geocache each weekend is certainly not allowing it to heal. I'm sure that there is an "Are you an Addict?" quiz for geocaching and I'm failing the question that says, "Do you geocache even when you know it will aggravate a previous geocaching injury?" I suppose that someone will have to do an intervention at some point. :P



  13. Given Geocaching.com's restrictions on alcoholic beverages in caches, I don't think that any of these things can be the spirit of geocaching.

    But you misunderstand. The spirit is not supposed to be in the cache, but in the cacher. It should suffuse us and fill our being.


    I see.


    This is the problem with being a newbie geocacher: we are not given proper instructions on how to suffuse ourselves with geocaching spirit. I really think that there should be mentoring opportunities with plenty of spirit available, as well as demonstrations on how to fill our being with geocaching spirit. The last two events I went to (a local celebration for a geocacher who'd reached 1000 finds and GW7) did not offer this at all. Clearly unbeknownst to us, the experienced geocachers had already suffused their beings with geocaching spirit leaving none for the newbies.


    It's a scandal! Groundspeak should do something about it.



  14. I dont know how to log a find so it shows on my profile. Help?!?!? :D




    Welcome to geocaching and congratulations on finding a cache. Here's how to log it:


    1. Go to the cache page.


    2. In the upper right you'll see a little box. The first item in that box is "Log your visit". Click that.


    3. You end up in the Post a New Log page. Select the type of log (Found it, in your case). Select the date you found it. Write a nice message in the box. Cache owners prefer at least a sentence and seem to love it when you write more.


    4. Click the Submit Log Entry button at the bottom.


    Viola! That is all there is to it.



  15. 100 posts here and I am still waiting on someone to define "the spirit of geocaching". :D

    I nominate vodka. Personally I think beer would be more appropriate, but I don't think beer is a spirit.


    Edit : I can just see the ad. "Absolut Geocaching"


    As for the spirit of geocaching, I'm leaning toward Bacardi Limon.


    Given Geocaching.com's restrictions on alcoholic beverages in caches, I don't think that any of these things can be the spirit of geocaching.


    The spirit of geocaching may be something supernatural. Don't we keep hearing about occult hands? (Notice that it is only the severed occult hands we hear about, never the feet or head or other parts of the occult torso. That must have some sort of deeper meaning.)



  16. You've misunderstood me Carolyn. I don't believe the majority of puzzle owners add a puzzle element with the intention of reducing the number of people to their cache. By adding a puzzle, they have intentionally made the cache more difficult to find, with the resulting effect of less people visiting it.


    Thank you for the clarification. You are right, I misunderstood you. I suppose that is true that puzzles make caches less likely to be found.


    For me, it is nice to have a bit of difficulty, whether it comes from difficult terrain, puzzling surroundings, or a puzzle prior to the cache. Having to work for the cache wakes up my brain. And the one great thing about the difficulties puzzles present is that one wrong answer does not condemn one to be Gator Chow. I get to live to try again! :D


    You have got my second quote wrong completely. It is exactly as I have stated. I don't believe difficult terrain caches are ever created with the intention of reducing the amount of traffic. They can either be created for the physical challenge involved (in which case you want as many people as possible to push their normal comfort zone and challenge themselves physically) or they are hidden in outstanding locations which more often than not just happen to be difficult places to get to (in which case you want as many people as possible to go there to appreciate the places that they may otherwise never see). Due to the terrain rating, you can't expect many people to visit, but it would be nice if they did! ;)


    Now here I think I was unclear. I wasn't quoting you to say that you set caches to limit visitors. Rather, my implication was that other people on this forum have said that one advantage for them in creating high terrain caches is that it discourages visitors. (This comes up in the threads where cache owners complain that too many power cachers find their caches and produce dull logs.) So therefore, even though you do not think that way, other people do. My point is that some cache owners seek to limit visitors and they can do it either with a difficult terrain or a puzzle or a challenging camoulflage.


    Reading over my previous paragraph, it doesn't seem much clearer and it's overly wordy. But I can't figure out how to make it better. So my apologies for that. I hope a little light reaches through my muddy prose.



  17. Here's ours. At the time I thought one should conserve words. I had the strange idea that longer logs were for more experienced cachers and that you had to earn the right to write long logs and that beginners who barged in and wrote too much would be snubbed or worse. Little did I know! Fortunately, the forums disabused me of this notion.


    Lovely bamboo forest. This was the first real cache we found! Took nothing. Left a large bellydance costume coin. TFTC!


    I posted four photos but later had a crisis of conscience and worried that the photos might make the cache owner mad since they showed the park the cache was located in and the actual cache. This feeling of being bad by posting photos just grew and grew after each cache I logged until I finally posted a question in the forum about it, which was my first question.



  18. Hi!


    Great question! We cache in Memphis, which is hot but wetter than your area. Here are our geocaching duds:



    • Goretex-lined trail shoes
    • Socks that cover my ankles
    • Jeans
    • Long loose t-shirt
    • Super light shirt with sleeves for caching among thorns (I keep this in my pack)
    • Bug dope. (I cover my hair with it with the hope that my long hair will provide a cloud of tick and mosquito prevention around me)


    • Goretex-lined trail shoes
    • Athletic socks
    • Jeans
    • Long-sleeved shirt with strategic buttons that allow him to roll them up and keep them that way
    • Bug dope (He uses it more sparingly than I do)
    • Tilley Hat to keep off the sun and the insects

    We also carry work gloves for those times we need to push through thorns.



  19. I'm trying to call a image to my mind of a spiritually challenging cache, but nothing is entering.

    For me, facing your fears is entering spiritual territory. One of my night caches puts you nipple deep in an alligator & venomous snake infested swamp. This kind of environment is right up my alley, and even I was nervous building it and escorting others through it. In my opinion, that is a fairly spiritual journey.


    I've been giving this some thought. I am not a very spiritual person so realize that my understanding is limited by that fact. However, facing fears is not something that I previously thought of as spiritual. Quite the opposite, in fact. From what I can tell people cling to the spiritual when they are in distress and their spiritual beliefs give them comfort, a safe haven to go to in their minds. Or they enter the spiritual (churches, meditation, prayer) to find peace when the rest of the world is jangling and stressful.


    However, I think that what you are describing does have literary antecedents. So are you thinking of this in the Joseph Campbell kind of way in which the hero purposely goes down into darkness and evil to plumb the depths and returns the land of light substantially changed?



  20. A puzzle simply makes what would normally be a (usually) easily found cache, more difficult to find. It therefore makes what could normally be a well visited cache, much less visited. This is done intentionally by the owner. The main focus of this sort of cache is in the puzzle itself - the container and position usually play a much less important part.


    I don't know that it is reasonable to universalize Snoogan's statement of his reasons for hiding puzzle caches while completely ignoring MrBort's. People hide puzzle caches for a variety of reasons. It is not always to reduce the number of visitors. In fact, given the quickness with which most puzzle cache owners provide hints it seems to me that most puzzle cache owners want visitors to their caches.


    I am working on three caches, one of which will be the first cache I publish. The cache that draws me most is the puzzle cache. I keep putting it away and scolding myself because I know it means fewer people will find it. Not that this works because I wake up excited with another good idea for it. So this cache is developing despite myself. The second is a Wherigo, which will get even fewer people. (Another cache I keep working on despite a strong sense of futility.) For the third I've written Traditional Cache in big letters in my journal to try to bend my mind away from caches I enjoy to creating a cache that people will actually visit. I would like to place caches that I enjoy and I would like people to visit the cache I set. But, the caches that draw a lot of people (urban micros, gas station caches, highway rest stop caches, etc.) are not appealing to me. So I am in a dilemma. Whether it is generally true, as you claim, that puzzle cache owners' intentions are to ensure that their caches will not be often found, that doesn't apply to me.


    Most of the people on this forum who state unambiguously that they want to limit visitors to their caches (presumably to the most worthy cachers who will write good logs) are those who hide their caches in difficult terrain or require a long hike, a boat, or a technical rock climb. So your statement below is obviously incorrect:


    A high terrain cache however is not expected to get many visits due to the difficulty of access. The intention of the owner is to encourage people to the cache, and the often outstanding locations in which they are hidden.


    One intention of the cache owner who hides in difficult terrain may be to bring people to an outstanding location, but another motive is clearly to reduce traffic to the cache.



  21. Hiking boots are on my shopping list for this weekend. My wife knew I wanted a pair so she stopped in the local outdoor adventure shop and told the clerk that I wanted hiking boots for Geocaching. The clerk claimed to be a cacher and told her that I did not need boots because hiking shoes would be more comfortable and Geocaching does not require any difficult hiking.


    Now I do have my share of 1.5/1.5 caches in my found list but I also have some that required significant bushwacking and walks across marshy areas. I think boots are the better choice.


    I wonder what kind of caches the young clerk from the outdoor adventure store seeks.


    We received the same advice, but in our case the clerks had never heard of geocaching. We ended up with North Face Hedgehog GTX XCR and we love them. They're goretex lined so our feet stay dry and they grip the ground quite well.



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