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Everything posted by medoug

  1. Perhaps a better question to be asking is what is your average percent favorites. This would better address the issue of population density and how many times a cache is actually visited. For this, cachers would need to add all their percentage favorites (a bit more difficult to retrieve) on all their caches together and divide by the total number of caches they have hidden. I find that unless a cache only has a very small number of premium member finds (like 1, 2, or 3 finds which can drastically be affected by 1 or 2 favorite points), the percentage favorites is a much better indicator of actual cache appeal. I actually discuss this further in the following post in this alternate forum topic...Percentage favorites measuring cache appeal
  2. I agree with mushroom finder's above quote to a large degree, especially the line I highlighted in bold. I think there are a lot of premium member cachers who don't bother to ever award favorite points to any caches they find. In light of this, a polite reminder that if they particularly enjoyed a cache that they can award one of their favorite points does not seem out of line. Note the bolded text. This makes it an unforced option. If the cache really had no special apeal to the cacher, a favorite point is not requested or expected. Another thing that I'd like to point out is that often I am less concerned with the number of favorites than the percentage of favorites. That is because sometimes I cache in a high population area where caches have more chance to have a high number of favorites despite a low percentage favorites due to high number of time it has been found. If, however, I am caching in a less densely populated area or looking at a new cache where the cache had less favorite points because it had been found a relatively few number of times, I find the percentage of favorites a much better measure of the cache quality. Here's something to think about for those premium members who never assign favorite points to caches they find.... If someone places a cache with 8 favorite points out of the 10 premium member finds, this cache has a favorites percentage of 80% (8/10). Now, if the next 3 people finding the cache all award it favorite points, the percentage changes to 81.8% (9/11), 83.3% (10/12) and 84.6% (11/13) with increases of +1.8%, +1.5%, and +1.3%, respectively. This is a total increase of only +4.6% for the addition of 3 favorite point finds. Now, if instead the next 3 people finding the cache all do not award it favorite points, the percentage changes to 72.7% (8/11), 66.6% (8/12), and 61.5% (8/13) with decreases of -7.3%, -6.1%, and -5.1%, respectively. This is a total decrease of -28.5% due to 3 finds not assigning favorite points. This example shows that not granting a favorite point to a cache that deserves one has a MUCH greater reduction in percentage favorites than the increase in percentage favorites by granting a favorite point. So please, premium members, use your favorite points when a cache deserves them. It makes determining high quality caches that I'm likely to enjoy more reliable.
  3. Here's a good example in our area: Hide it and they will come It's kind of a sarcastic spin on bad geocaches. This one is hidden behind the local Walmart which had also bordered with a "gentleman's club" which help it meet the "family-friendly" criteria. I find that reading both the description and the logs on this one is also quite fun.
  4. I haven't seen much religious agenda content in caches, but I often see printed business cards promoting competing geocaching sites.
  5. My caches have an agenda ...... to make other geocachers smile.
  6. I also live in a flat, uninteresting landscape, but an interesting location doesn't necessarily mean a breathtaking scenic view. An interesting location can be a historic site, or a local landmark, or an old abandoned structure...if the cache description gives a history of the place or the story behind the location then those types of hides can be quite interesting. If it brings me to a unique place or thing I didn't know about, and I learn something about its history, I like it. Historic sites often get a Favorite point from me. Of course, that's just what I like, YMMV. +1 I was going to post a similar reply, but you beat me to it.
  7. Are the "robes" for early morning FTF attempts when you don't want to take the time to get dressed?
  8. I'm not so sure about this "secret" caching/urbex society. I'm a member of an urbex community and I've never heard about any related caching being done. I know there's a few other geocaching sites which don't always play by the "rules" and don't have designated reviewers which could result in some caches placed in restricted areas; but, as far as I know, they are not specifically geared toward urban exploration. If such a society did exist, I'm pretty sure the caches would be widely scattered thoughout the US or only be concentrated in a smaller pockets with several active members. To really make caches work, you need to have people hiding caches and people looking for caches in the same general area. I don't think there's enough interest in combining these 2 activities to support such a site.
  9. Also interesting that the paint seems to match pretty good on the sides, but stands out like a sore thumb on the bottom surface.
  10. Hi SchmooO, You're not totally off base here with your request. There are some caches placed in abandoned structures. See here: Forum post on geocaching at abandoned structures Also, we even have an abandoned stucture attribute that can be assigned to a cache. If you're a premium member, you can even search for caches with this attribute. And, under the right conditions, you can even have caches hidden in underground in caves and drains if they're done correctly. See here for one example that I recently found in a series in a city drain. Beginning cache of "The Gauntlet" series medoug.
  11. It's been done, sort of. Try using a wireless doorbell. It'll be a lot easier to install and won't violate any geocaching rules. The only drawback is that you will need to change the batteries once in a while. Still a lot cheaper than 200 feet of PVC piping and rope.
  12. You need to climb 40 feet up the lamp post to access the cache. Much cooler than hiding it under the skirt.
  13. I don't know if we should be trusting the USDA distribution maps too much on these plants. I think they are just plain wrong, not just out-of-date. I say this because I reviewed the map for "cow parsnips" which I have positively identified in at least 2 eastern Iowa counties for many years, yet the Iowa map only shows it located in a few western counties.
  14. Let me take you back to around 2006 in Winnebago county, Illinois. Because the county felt that their parks were becoming oversaturated with geocaches, they hired someone to find all the hidden containers, then sent a note to only a small handful of cachers active in the community stating what was done. This was their "clean start" for geocaching. (No, no means of obtaining the confiscated containers was allowed.) They then set up a geocaching permit system. If I remember correctly, a cacher could purchase just 1 permit to place caches which cost $15 per year. With that permit, you were allowed to hide no more the 2 caches in the Winnebago county parks. No park was allowed any more than 3 total caches maximum. There were also strict guidelines on what the container must be and how it was to be maintained. The most disturbing thing about this was no one was given any warning. It just happened overnight. There was no warning to the caching community that it needed to change or there was to be a enforce policy enacted. I know of one park (wooded area of several acres) which had 8 caches in it. That was their definition of oversaturation. Obviously, I didn't agree with what had happened or any reasons why, but this is just an example of what could happen by at least a local government if geocaching becomes a high-traffic, high-visibility activity.
  15. 161 meters on either side of the trail is private farmland. Power trails are most often on rails-to-trails which constitutes a narrow strip of trail and treeline which was earlier owned by the railroads.
  16. GOF and Bacall, it is interesting that your link shows that wild parsnips has white flowers near the top of the page, but later shows it to have yellow flowers at the bottom of the page. Seems like a bit of contradiction there. I believe what we have in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin area where I cache is actually the wild parsnips due to its smaller size. What we have definitely has white, not yellow, flower heads though. It sounds like the giant hogweed is both larger and more toxic than the wild parsnips, but keep in mind that the wild parsnips still has poisonous sap. So either should be avoided. Also, the term "noxious" when used in this context does not necessarily mean poisonous. Noxious weeds are anything classified as highly invasive and undesireable. Canadian thistles, for example, are consider noxious weeds, but they are not toxic at all.
  17. Apparently you did not spend much time looking at the caches on the holy grail of power trails. Just about every cache on the ET highway has several favorites. Some have as many as a dozen. If you look at the runner up, Route 66, you will see most of the caches on that power trail have at least a couple per cache. So they do gather favorites. The major flaw in the favorite system is the points are assigned by what the person assigning the points thinks is a favorite cache, not what you think is a favorite cache. Look at the percentage on the favorites on those powertrails. It is very low. 3 favorites out of 500+ visits (<1%) isn't very many. I haven't attempted the ET highway, but I've seen youtube videos of people finding them and although there was some excitement in the speed attempted to hop out of the vehicle, find the cache, open it and stamp the log, then replace and hop back into the vehicle to find a large number of caches for the day, the cache itself appeared very ordinary.
  18. Yes, I believe that's what it is. Around here we call it "wild parsnips". It's not real easy to get contact. You have to actually get some of the sap on your skin from crushing or breaking the leaves or stems. This is unlike poison ivy where all you need to do is brush lightly against it, but stomping your way to a cache through it could be enough of a disturbance to release its sap.
  19. I would strongly suggest not being the FTF on the cache. This would look suspicious reguardless of how little you aided in the hide. Some people get pretty competitive about the FTF thing. I recently claimed a "found it" on one of my brother's caches that I helped him hide about 5 years ago. I had kept it on my watchlist. Someone posted that they returned home from finding the cache and discovered that they had accidentally put the logbook in there backpack and would not be returning to the cache area any time soon. I did the maintenance by putting a replacment logbook in the cache. I had to find the cache at night using a flashlight. I knew the general area of the cache, but things had changed over that time. It wasn't meant to be a tricky hide so I really didn't have any advantage over other seekers. I actually had a disadvantage since I was searching for it at night. Since so much of the hide was new to me, I logged it as a "found". As others have mentioned, it's up to the individual if logging such a cache feels right. In this case, it felt right and I don't think anyone would complain.
  20. OK. My topic, so I'll start. Four years ago, I moved to a new area with lots of geocaches which were new to me, but I did not bother seeking very many because the vast majority of them were so "ordinary" and boring to me. Since the advent of the "favorites" system, I can now use that as a guide to take me to better "quality" caches Because I have a full time job and several other hobbies, I don't have the time to find ALL the caches in my surrounding area. Maybe if I was retired, or had less competing hobbies, I would go out and find ALL caches, ordinary or interesting, in my area. But I don't, so I have been using the "favorites" point system to allow me to be selective and visit primarily the caches others have enjoyed. (I find my preference for caches, in general, matches well with that of the general caching community.) It has worked out well. As I mentioned in my first post, there are very few "favorites" points assigned to caches on power trails. As a result, I don't seek many power trail caches. I'd rather find 1 interesting cache than 10 ordinary cache. So as long as my time is a limited resource, I plan to seek primarily interesting (highly favorited) caches. Hi, I'm Doug. I'm a geocacher. I'm not about the numbers.
  21. It seems like a new power trail pops up in my caching range almost weekly. I wish we could get back to quality*, not quantity, caches. *Note, when I mention "quality", I'm not neccessarily indicating just water-tight, maintenance-free containers, but rather caches that are interesting (scenic, clever, humorous, historic, educational, etc.), ie., the type that usually receives a lot of "favorites" points. I'd LOVE to find a power trail that is made entirely of such interesting caches, but unfortunately I've yet to find one that isn't more than a points booster with very oridinary hides taking me to very ordinary places. I guess I have the thinking that just because you "can" place caches 0.1 miles apart, does not mean that you "should". I know everyone likes to play the game differently, but honestly, I see very few favorite points assigned to power trail caches. This seems to indicate that although cachers will seek power trail caches, they usually aren't their preferred type of hide. Anyone care to comment?.......
  22. I've always enjoyed hiking. I would drive my car to parks to hike. Then I got my motorcycle so I would take that to the parks to hike. Then I discovered geocaching. Now I ride my motorcycle to parks to go on a hike and find some geocaches along the way. It seems that I have more hobbies than I have free time for, so it's great to be able to combine 3 of them.
  23. Unless there's something else in the area that isn't shown in the photo, I would not hide a cache in the area. I need to ask "What's special about the area that you brought me here?" Places other cachers might hide a cache are: lamp post skirt - lame guardrail - lame electrical equipment - not recommended, safety concern chain link fence - permission required if modifying post cap stop sign - lame micro pushed into lawn - evil (what's the point?) What's the building in the background? If that's a school, it's a no go.
  24. That is a good suggestion, BUT cachers often don't read the cache description or load the additional waypoints when caching. I can't count the number of times that I have given coordinates for parking or the trail head and they have been ignored. I would suggest doing the multicache approach instead if you want to be certain that they start at and follow your intended route. If there is nothing steel to attach a magnet with coordinates in the area, you can also make a tag (metal, plastic, wood, etc.) with a hole in it and hang it from a low hanging tree branch with a loose loop of string or fishing line. medoug.
  25. You could also write the coordinates on a magnet and attach it to something steel in the parking area. If you do this, make sure to let cachers know what they are looking for at this stage in the description.
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