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Everything posted by Gonzo-YT

  1. Icefield discovery is older than that, June 9 2001 to be exact. Out in the middle of Kluane National Park, this one requires a 10-14 day hike or use of an aircraft. The description and coords sound pretty dodgy too -- I'd be worried about not finding this one if I did make the trip. This one isn't that surprising, especially since we don't have a lot of caching going on up here. Only 2 out of 7 caches placed this year have a FTF. It is not uncommon for a cache to go a year before being found or between finds. For instance, Scout Lake Road is the oldest cache in the Yukon and also one of the easier ones to get to. It has been found exactly twice in over three years, and one of those was me a few weeks ago.
  2. As I said earlier, the way you mitigate having the event become media-focused is you designate someone to work with the media. That person's job is to help the reporters get their story while keeping them from affecting the event. I assume that you're breaking out into small groups to do cache hunts -- why not have a volunteer with a couple of extra GPS units take the reporters out on their own hunt? It sounds corny, but you could even have one of the "prizes" in the cache be a media backgrounder on geocaching. If you're worried about media attention causing a backlash against the sport, why not be proactive and start your own campaign to inform politicians and officials. Urge them to develop a policy that supports responsible caching as a legitimate and environmentally friendly outdoor activity. Emphasize the benefits to them -- geo-tourism, healthier populations (it gets all the geeks out of their chairs )... Show them examples of other jurisdictions that have supportive policies. It's better they hear it from you first than in the media. You might find out a decision has already been made and you weren't even at the table. At any rate, I'm not trying to tell you what to do, I'm just making some suggestions. I'm interested to hear how it works out. I'd really appreciate it if people in this forum could keep this thread updated with what happens tonight, and also link to any relevant media stories that come out of it. Regards, Anthony
  3. - Mapping trails and old roads for hiking, skiing and skijoring. I also determine distances and elevation plots for routes that my girlfriend trains on when she is running. - Hunting and fishing, marking locations and such. I'm currently creating a special map for my Garmin for hunting that will show game management zones, native land selections and park boundaries. - Plotting driving distances when travelling by road
  4. I think that Should we promote geocaching? is not the right question. The question is, how do we want newcomers to learn about geocaching? The best advice I can give you is if you don't want the bad cachers, then make sure that people who are finding out about the sport find out the right information. Being protectionist won't help this issue. Instead, be advocates and leaders for the sport and make sure that newcomers learn to cache responsibly. The other question I have is more an ethical issue. What makes it right to try to keep other people out of a sport that all of us enjoy, particularly since we're making use of public spaces and resources? If the sport continues to grow, I believe that people need to start thinking about how to ensure that geocaching is sustainable, rather than trying to keep newcomers out of it. A key issue of keeping the sport viable will be maintaining public goodwill to use public lands and resources. Being open goes a long way towards that goal. Regards, Anthony
  5. Thanks Gorak, for the background. For my $.02, here is how I would advise the BCGA. First off, whether the members support it or not, if the media are interested in geocaching they will cover it. That point isn't optional. What the BCGA need to decide is if that story gets written with or without their input. By refusing to speak to the media, they run the risk that the reporter will write a story using less informed sources. Instead of quoting experienced cachers and representatives of the BCGA, they may quote the guy in the newsroom's buddy who has done three caches, or the newbie they collared in the parking lot since you wouldn't let them attend the event. Maybe this is the headline of the story: High-tech treasure hunt: Geocachers use GPS technology to grab booty Worse still, let us imagine that the reporter finds an anti-caching source. In the absence of the other viewpoint, that becomes the lead on the story. Possible headline number two: High-tech trespassers are ruining BC wilderness, official says On the other hand, here you have an opportunity to promote your key messages -- things like geocaching responsibly, respecting the land, treating caches properly. Forget about stopping people from finding out about geocaching -- it's too late. Instead, worry about WHAT they are going to find out, and make sure that it's the right information. Hopefully, you'll end up with a headline more like this: Eco-friendly gamers follow their GPS to outdoor adventure Reporters appreciate all the help they can get. If you provide them with solid background material and some good quotes from your spokesperson, you'll increase the chances that the messages that you consider to be important will make it into the story. You also have the opportunity to establish the BCGA as a credible media source for information on the sport. Next time someone does a story on geocaching, you want them to call you, and not someone else. Regarding the event specifically, it is pretty hard to uninvite the media, especially since the event is open to the public. However, reporters are people too and they'll work to accomodate you. If you don't want them running around with mikes and cameras everywhere, then make arrangements. Identify a person to be the media spokesperson. Have them help reporters get the stuff they need, they'll respect that and work with that person. They'll want to talk to some of the new cachers, but you can screen people beforehand to find out who is comfortable. Find out why the volunteers are uncomfortable: If it because they don't want to speak to the media or be seen on cameras, that is manageable, since you've designated a media liaison. If they are upset over the whole issue, you've got to work to resolve that internally. Regards, Anthony
  6. For those of us who aren't in the know about this issue, maybe you can provide some background. I'm in public relations, I might be able to give you some free advice.
  7. Mobipocket eBook format is different from the Palm eReader format. My PDA doesn't recognize the Mobi files. It's a shame, because both eReader and CSpotRun (will also read this format) are free viewers. Mobi is a proprietary one and the software sucks and I beleive costs money. Of course, both of these in turn are totally different from the Adobe format and the Microsoft format... Biggest downside of eBook publishing, right now. Turris Babel, as it were.
  8. Howdy, I have both Fugawi + ETopo and MapSource + TopoCanada on the desktop. I load the MapSource onto my Garmin GPS, the Etopo onto my Palm Pilot (with Bluetooth GPS). IMHO Mapsource data is WAY better than any scanned maps. Why? It is vector-based. Among other things, this means: - Files are 10% of the size - Maps are infinitely scalable - The maps aren't just pictures, they carry information -- names of roads, features, values for elevation lines.... The Garmin map data is WAY more powerful to use in the field. If I could only have one set of maps, it would definitely be the Topo Canada maps. Also, the Topo Canada data is much more accurate. I find that the Etopo maps are usually off by anywhere between 5-20 metres, depending on where I am on the map sheet. However, having both types of maps is pretty great. The scanned maps are much nicer for making "picture" type maps that you want to print out, put on the web or e-mail to someone. Fugawi is nice software. However, I bought Fugawi initially because of its Palm software, and then found out that the palm software is totally useless. If I had known that, I might have chosen OziExplorer just because it is what most non-GIS people in the Yukon use. (Actually, I really wish someone would just give me a copy of some ESRI GIS software. I sure can't afford the $1500!!!) Regards, Anthony
  9. I use eReader on my palm, and I'm not going to switch because I already have a bunch of eBooks. That said, it sure leaves me out to dry when it comes to downloading caches. Right now I just save the web pages as RepliGo files and view them that way. It works but it's a pain in the butt. Something on my to-do list is to write some code to convert GPX files into the eReader format. If I manage to get around to it, I'll share it. Regards, Anthony
  10. I use my Palm Tungsten T2 PDA in the office and for business travel, and then I take it out into the bush using an Otterbox. This makes it totally waterproof, crush resistant, and still usable in the case. I can't see using something like that in a business meeting. www.otterbox.com
  11. Gonzo-YT


    Paper topo maps are very expensive... $15 per map. Selected GPS/outdoor stores or bookstores are often authorized dealers. They are the best option in terms of print quality, but also a pain to carry around. If you have one or two areas where you are spending a lot of time, probably worth it, but don't try to buy your entire area, you'll go broke. You can get free maps at www.toporama.ca. These maps are based on the same areas as the standard paper topo maps numbering system. They have both 1:250,000 and 1:50,000. The quality of these maps is lower, but hey, they are free! You can print them out, view them on your computer, and if you want to get some mapping software you can work with them right on your computer or even a PDA. If you're serious about digital maps, there are a number of companies that will sell you scans of the entire paper map set for your province. It's usually $100-300, and the maps are higher quality than toporama. You get the equivalent of about $10,000 worth of the paper maps. Check out this page for a good comparison of various digital map products for Canada. http://members.shaw.ca/davepatton/mapcompare.html Finally, if you're willing to spend the bucks consider a mapping GPS. If you buy a Garmin, you can get their Topo Canada maps for about $150 covering the whole country. These are excellent vector maps that you load right into your GPS. Vector maps scale much better and can also hold information like place names, elevations, and so forth. The catch is, you need a suitable GPS in the $300-$500 range. Regards, Anthony
  12. I ordered Garmin Topo Canada with my unit and it just installed itself. I have the entire country covered and didn't have to unlock anything. Do you pay by the area for other map products, or why do you have to unlock them?
  13. I'll add my experience that using the Vista C in the sunlight has been great. Typically, I never have the backlight on at all. When I do, in the evening or whatever, I have set it as high as 50%, but never higher and usually lower. This is great for battery life.
  14. Well, the travel bug does want to travel around "picking up stories," as the tag says. If someone grabs it and logs it, that is part of the story. I think it is silly to just log it back in to the same cache though. I am sure everyone could drop it off at another cache on the way home. Still, I don't see the harm in it, especially if they take some time to write a decent log or take a picture.
  15. Hi Brian, I just bought the Vista C and I'm thrilled with it in every way. After using a Palm/Bluetooth GPS combination with bitmapped maps, I found it incredible to be able to use accurate vector maps. The speed and features in this unit are amazing. I really don't feel like I wasted my money. I considered both units, and probably would have been very happy with the 60CS as well. Agreed, the memory was the biggest knock against the Vista. However, with the vector-based maps you can still get a lot of them into that memory -- more 1:50,000 topo data than I could get onto a 256 MB card in my Palm using bitmaps. I might need to swap maps out more often, but I can't imagine a time when I'll need more maps in the unit than I can hold unless I am covering some serious ground. Also, the Vista screen is smaller in size but the same (actually slightly higher) in terms of pixel resolution. 160 x 240 pixels on the 60CS vs. 176 x 220 for the Vista C. Key decision points for me were the fact that the Vista is $100 cheaper (in Canada), has a smaller form factor, good one-hand controls and a nice rugged design. I wanted the compass so that ruled out the 60C. I have no plans to use this with an antenna, as I have the Bluetooth GPS semi-permanently installed in the car now. Besides, you can't get lost on roads up here, there just aren't very many of them. Not sure what you mean by underfeatured. It does everything a normal mapping GPS does -- map navigation, compass/bearing navigation, routes, tracks, waypoints, trip computer. Unlike the previous Vista models this one will also do autorouting and elevation profiling, like the 60CS. It also has a whole pile of features that I don't even use -- calculator, calendar, GPS games, moon phases, fishing and hunting times, stopwatch, and alarm to wake you up in the morning. What is missing? To give you an idea of what I bought it for: - geocaching - mapping trails and routes for hiking, running, skijoring, and cross-country skiing - keeping track of places where I catch fish - hunting -- I am in the process of creating a custom map for hunting that will show game management zones, native land selections, park boundaries and other vital information. Best Regards, Anthony
  16. Today's muggle, tomorrow's cacher? I do agree though. ANYONE who finds the cache, I don't care how they did it, is a cacher as long as they respect the basic rules of trading items and replacing the cache as you found it. I changed the wording of the standard GC stash note to say "congratulations, you've just found your first geocache!" -- seems more friendly and also an attempt to encourage them to take it up as an activity. Muggle logs are really cool actually... Usually a lot more interesting than mine. Regards, Anthony
  17. Do you need to have both? What is in the City Select? I only ask because I was pleasantly surprised to have my Vista C give me street routing directions while walking home from work the other day, and I only have the Topo maps. Regards, Anthony
  18. I just made the exact same decision and went with the Vista C. I can't compare to the other, but I can tell you that the Vista C is amazing -- see my earlier forum post to hear me raving about it. If, as others have said, the software is pretty much the same, I don't think you can go wrong with either one. I was totally blown away by how great the garmin software is, both in the unit and on the desktop, and the map data (I use the Topo Canada) is extremely accurate. The Vista C antenna works great. I was getting 8 sats no problem, and that was using it inside a carrying case and in trees. I think the biggest upside is the smaller, lighter unit at a lower cost. Also, the 60CS looks like it would be harder to use one-handed -- just guessing here. I found the Vista really easy to use in one hand with the wrist strap. Probably the biggest downside is the memory, but since the garmins use vector-based maps you can get a ton of map data into that 24 MB. Also, for your trip, don't forget that the built-in base map is reasonably detailed and includes routing capabilities, including (for the US) interstate exits and things like that. So, you wouldn't need to have every inch of your route in detail maps -- just get the maps for areas you plan to spend some time. Let us know what you choose! Regards, Anthony
  19. Try checking to make sure that both MapSource and your Etrex are set up for WGS84 grid. If they are different it would put your coordinates off.
  20. First off, where I live there are about 20 caches in 483,000 square kilometers of land. When I go out to find a cache, it is usually anywhere from a half-day to more than a day to find ONE. I guess what I'm trying to say here is, I probably have a different perspective on the sport than someone who lives in an urban or cache-laden area. That being said, from what I understand, there are tons of caches hidden in some dense areas. If your area is saturated, you probably aren't helping by placing more of them. Personally, I'd rather spend all day finding a cache than to go out and find twenty. Otherwise, it becomes like heroin -- you keep needing more, but the buzz is less each time. So, I agree with what some others have posted -- quality is more important than quantity. Also, if you have like 100 hides, how can you keep them all maintained? I would much rather have someone not hide a cache at all, than to hide one and let it go bad, especially if I've just mashed my way through 10 km of backcountry. One thing I must vehemently disagree with is the idea that people who only find caches are not giving back to the sport. Everyone who participates, as long as they do it right, is helping keep the sport going. If you cache responsibly, treat caches with care and avoid doing stupid things that anger non-cachers, you are giving a LOT back to the sport. Why hide a cache if no one is going to find it? In fact, I can go so far as to say someone who hides a lot of caches, but does a bad job, is DAMAGING the sport. What could be more frustrating for a new cacher to go look for a cache that isn't there or has been ruined? Do you think they'll keep caching? Everyone who participates, in any way, is helping the sport as long as they are doing it RIGHT. Once again, this is only my view. For me, I really enjoy getting out on the land, and learning about navigating and mapping. The find is kind of secondary. I know there are others who do it for different reasons, and I don't want to disparage them in any way. That's why it's a neat sport, it has lots of different appeal for different people. Regards, Anthony
  21. How about this from the "Logs We'd Like To See" department: Well thought out cache August 9, 2004 by: The Anti-Cacher (2 found) Took me almost an hour to find the cache, what a great hiding spot! Others won't have the same problem, because I forgot where I found it so I left it somewhere else in plain sight. I think it's within 50m or so of the original coordinates. You should be able to find it, just look for all the garbage left from my lunch. Didn't bother to put the lid back on, so the next cacher should probably bring a new logbook for this one. Come to think of it, bring a new cache as well since it will certainly get stolen. There was lots of cool stuff in this one! I couldn't decide, so I took the compass, binoculars and the pocket radio. Left half a granola bar that I couldn't finish eating. I also grabbed that cute little travel bug. My daughter is going to love it! Thanks alot! TFTC! Man, this is a great sport! I'm glad some people are willing to put in the effort so that I can enjoy myself! -- I should note that this isn't based on personal experience. This doesn't happen in my neck of the woods. There are very few caches (and cachers). Still, I empathize...
  22. On the off chance that they are there in late September, I can pick them up and take them to the Yukon by way of British Columbia. However, I imagine you want to get them moving quicker than that.
  23. I just got my Garmin Etrex Vista C this weekend. All I can say is, WOW! This thing is massively, jaw-droppingly good. I was astounded that any piece of technology can be designed so well and work so smoothly. Everything about this GPS is right. It's totally intuitive to use -- it takes less than an hour of playing with it to be totally comfortably with the user interface. The screen is great under any conditions. This thing is rugged -- no worries about dragging it around in the bush. I always get 8 satellites, and the compass and altimiter work well. Everything is fast -- no delays or lags at all. The Garmin Canada Topo maps are great, and way more useful than scanned map products. Vector-based maps are the way to go, way more acurate than bitmapped information and infintely more powerful and zoomable. With 24 MB in this thing, I can hold more map data than a 256 MB card in my Palm. It can even do street routing from the top maps. I could go on and on. I constantly discover things that are just amazingly well-designed and useful. After experiencing so may annoyances and dissapointments with gadgets, it is so great to see one that just does what you want it to do, and even things that you didn't know that you wanted it to do, and does them well. I took it out and did a difficult 19km summit route, with a lot of tough bushwhacking and dense cover. The GPS didn't even break a sweat (although I sure did). It handled everything I threw at it -- map navigation, calculating distances, recording tracks. I had previously been using my Palm Tungsten T-2 with a Bluetooth GPS. I'll leave the BT GPS in the car from now on. The palm can still come in the field. I use it for a lot of other things like storing cache pages, fishing and hunting information, etc.
  24. For sure, it all depends on what you call a "creek." In my area, we basically call them rivers or creeks -- maybe the creeks I'm talking about would be "streams" to others. We have a lot of creeks that are full of fish. In particular, arctic grayling and certain species of salmon spawn in small creeks, many of which are quite small -- you could easily walk through them. Salmon fry will come out of the creeks into the larger drainages and eventually reach the ocean, until they are large enough to come back and spawn. Spawning areas are usually shallow gravel areas with minimal current -- ideal for walking, except you could be stepping on thousands of fish eggs. (Several species of trout are also commonly found in small creeks, although IIRC they breed in the lakes). That said, it sounds like people were talking about things like runoff creeks coming down a mountain. We've got lots of those too, and in the absence of trails they make really good routes for finding your way up a mountain. Depending on the time of year and the rate the snow/ice is melting, these creeks can range from bone-dry to quite full. As long as you're sure you're not putting people into a sensitive area, I agree it would be fun to tromp up a creek looking for a cache.
  25. I just went to take a look at the BCGA website. Now, first off, I mean no personal offense to anyone here who is a member or maintainer of the site. That said, I'm not going to register for a site -- and then be counted as one of the members of the organization -- that won't even let me view their "About the BCGA" page. Why would anyone restrict basic information like this? It sure isn't going to help people get interested in who the BCGA is or what they do.
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