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Everything posted by Copepod

  1. Vast majority of my finds were by bike or on foot near home or in an area I was visiting for work or leisure anyway. Hoping to get a couple more this weekend, while volunteer marshal on an adventure race in North York Moors, although partner will have GPS somewhere on Three Peaks Yacht Race, so will have to be very selective about which to try.
  2. That's a dimension we hadn't thought of, and those are the sort of caches we're looking at. Thanks for the replies Looks like a canoe is best then. Now to find a bargain Try your local canoe club (most canoe clubs incorporate all disciplines eg touring, white water, slalom, racing etc in all types of boats, including kayaks and Canadian canoes) for a sedond hand boat. Many members advertise boats on their club websites, or on cards in clubhouse. Fibreglass kayaks are cheapest and are much lighter weight than same sized plastic kayaks / sit-on-tops, so anyone can get a fibreglass onto their car roof, while some might struggle to get a plastic boat up. They're a bit more delicate, but tougher than most people think. My photo linked in post above shows the fibreglass kayak I built in 1983, and has covered many miles since.
  3. See here: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LUID=9ae685c1-ea09-475a-a9cc-0ba6be721271 - reached this earthcache recently in a kayak I built myself at sixth form college in winter 1983/4 - I think the materials (fibreglass & resin) cost about £30. Cache owner said I was the first person (she knew of) to log cache after a visit by kayak. Actually, a double kayak or canoe might be better, as then one person can hold onto bank, paddles etc while other reaches cache. Plenty of playboats will fit inside a car, if you're determined not to use roof rack.
  4. With regards to the map and compass you forgot 'and know how to use them' - we've met far too many people on the fells with no idea. We've also witnessed a couple of inexperienced people taking the direct route from Scafell to Mickledore via Broad Stand. They made it alright but one of the rucksacks they'd chucked down first narrowly missed us as we made our way up to the col after using the Foxes Tarn route. It was a bit scary as we initially thought it was a boulder hurtling down towards us. Yes, I admit to missing out the statement "and know how to use them" - I guess I am assuming that common sense dictates that it's not worth carrying things you can't use. I was support driver for a pair who completed Old County Tops fell race a couple of weeks ago - perfect example of how skill, experience & speed with very lightweight kit can be safe, despite very wet & windy conditions.
  5. Actually, although most of London is W 000, some co-ordinates in London are East of Greenwich meridian, so will be E 000. Greenwich is definitely worth a visit for the Observatory, Maritime Museum etc. All co-ordinates in Italy are E...
  6. Anyone planning an ascent of Scafell Pike needs to take a paper map and compass - no batteries to run out, and even in the dark, you'll still be able to read a bit. Be sure you understand the difference between Scafell Pike (978m) and Scafell (964m) - the two tops are linked by a col called Mickledore. Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team volunteers have to guide / rescue far too many inexperienced / ill-equipped people off England's highest peak.
  7. Thanks to Team Sieni and Big Wolf - will include first in Wales and Scotland, too. Will report back any reactions to my poster, from Wildlife Trust people or anyone else.
  8. I've found nearly all my caches in England and Scotland on foot or by bike - sometimes doing long stretches by train / bus / car, but always last bits without motor power. Local caches, within 10 miles of home, I've always found by bike. I'm pleased to see that my cache sites at Coton, just outside Cambridge, England, are often found by people who walk or cycle long several miles from home, instead of just driving. I have found a couple of caches when I've had to drive to a series of work location, carrying such large amounts of kit that it would be difficult to take on public transport, stay overnight, leaving me a bit of spare time to fill - with caching. I've only been to Switzerland twice, when my parents took a group of teenagers by ferry & train in around 1969 & 1970, and naturally took my sister (then aged about 2 and 3 years) and I (then aged about 4 and 5) and I still have the memories. Must return again, with the advantages of Channel Tunnel and GPS!
  9. My Dad is now over 75, and I've taken him to find a few geocaches, and my nieces / his granddaughters ask occasionally to try again. However, he was very keen to tell me about a local U3A (University of the Third Age) that he helped to set up in West Midlands. One of their first planned activities mentioned at the launch meeting was a rambling / geocaching trip. I've sent him the link to pass on to U3A group, as he doesn't read Saga Magazine, and I only see it when we visit my partner's Dad.
  10. Many thanks Mad H@ter - just what I needed to know. I'm not expecting to change opinions with my poster, but a bit of awareness raising might help - we're in the land of WT for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire & Peterborough. Several Wildlife Trusts do allow placements of caches on their land, with consultation (list obtained from http://www.gagb.co.uk/gagb/glad/index.php) • Essex Wildlife Trust • Hampshire & Isle of Wight WT • Kent Wildlife Trust • Shropshire Wildlife Trust • Staffordshire Wildlife Trust As a country park / countryside reserve ranger, I completely understand that caches in some reserves may be totally unsuitable, while in other reserves ,there may be areas where caches could be placed found without damage to natural world.
  11. I'm preparing a poster about geocaching and natural history for a natural history society conversazione - in a county covered by a Wildlife Trust which does not permit any caches on its land. I work as a ranger for a local organisation which owns 2 large areas, a park and a reserve, with a total of 10 caches (1 of which is archived) in or near our land, all placed in consultation with rangers. So, I am attempting to show that, with care and consideration, caching can be compatible with nature history conservation, as well as being a useful way to attract people to certain areas and to log visits. I've included a very short section on history of geocaching, and would like to include a statement about when / where the first cache was placed in UK (or England, but as a Briton with English, Scottish & Welsh grandparents, and I've lived in Northern Ireland, I prefer to keep things on a UK basis). As UK has less than the essential 3 letters for many internet searches, I am having problems finding the answer to my question, so I wondered if anyone here could help? Many thanks.
  12. Many Birmingham residents (I was for many years) will point out that Oldbury is in Sandwell, part of the Black County, not Birmingham. All great places, but distinct in character of place and people, with accents distinguisable if you listen carefully. Lenny Henry, born 1958 in Dudley, is the most widely known speaker with Black Country accent - stand up comedian, writer, actor, Comic Relief supporter etc. Warwick Castle is a bit over-commercialised and expensive, to put it mildly. Personally, I far prefer the far cheaper to enter Kenilworth Castle, with newly re-established Elizabethan Gardens and special events some weekends, but not on 5th July. Admittedly I haven't been to either castle since I was a teenager over 30 years ago, but my parents, sister, brother in law & 2 nieces all still live in the area, and that's their advice to any visitors. Although there's the word "Park" in the address of "Express by Holiday Inn Oldbury", it's actually just off junction 2 of M5 motorway, so I hope it's got double or triple glazing - bring ear plugs just in case! Surrounded by industrial estates and works (factories). However, I'd try exploring Titford Canal that ends in Titford Pool (balancing pool to store water for canal locks) south of hotel - should be a towpath to walk under M5. I stayed at Bangor University in summer 2009, as a marshal on an adventure race. Ffriddoedd is an accommodation site, not a single building. There are 3 entrances, 2 from Ffriddoedd Road & 1 from Victoria Drive. So, make sure you know where to park coach, as it can't get close to all buildings. We stayed in ensuite rooms in Llanddwyn Building and ate in Bar Uno in a nearby building.
  13. Problem here recently - http://coord.info/GCABED where cacher on 6 May 2011 admitted climbing over several fences. As I'm a ranger at park, on duty that weekend, I went to checkfence locations and discovered he could have reached trig point by passing just one strand of electric fence wire. Photos are not spoilers, as it's impossible to read plaque numbers. Cache owner had previously added my tips to cachers.
  14. Yesterday bought reduced price Union Jack flags from supermarket (£1 each) to use at international adventure races, which usually also give opportunity for a geocache or two.
  15. No, I neither work in, nor own, any shop, nor enjoy shopping. One of my 3 jobs is only on normal working days (apart from preparing papers before), other is only on weekends or occasionally after school during terms or anytime of week during school holidays (in 2 parks, with total of 4 traditional caches, 2 multis & 1 virtual, so cacher watcher adds to the interest!), other is care work mornings & bedtimes when a disabled woman's husband is away from home. So, yes, I made use of large shops being shut meaning fewer shoppers around, but there were still tourists to contend with, who seem surprised that there are bikes in Cambridge and that people in UK drive / walk / cycle on the left, except where otherwise directed - different colours indicate footpaths & cyclepaths. A case of selecting the right day for the right cache - as Pendragon points out, New Years Day (and 2nd Jan, too) in Scotland are good for shopping area caches.
  16. I'm still using a cheapish Garmin Etrex Summit GPS, in combination with local maps - Ordnance Survey carry a lot of useful data eg grid lines, footpaths, which are vital to keep to public rights of way; in towns, cycle or pedestrian or tourist maps are good for identifying points of interest, street names, short cuts etc; in some places, maps produced for visitors to country parks etc can be useful, again to find easiest routes without climbing fences / walls, crossing flowerbeds etc, which tends to annoy the owners. As our computer printer isn't too good, printing maps off internet doesn't work very well.
  17. I've just made use of the law that prevents large shops from opening in England on Easter Day to get 2 nanos in Cambridge that would be more difficult on most Sundays. Still had disorientated tourists , of course Orientated map and sent 2 North American tourists in right direction from GC1XTTC towards Kings College.
  18. I am an assistant ranger at a small charity in Cambridgeshire, England, UK, which owns a country park, a countryside reserve, a water mill, a wind mill and a leper chapel. The country park is the longest established and most visited attraction. When a geochacher placed a series of three caches in consultation with head ranger, it prompted me to set a similar series of three at the countryside reserve, which could easily accommodate many more visitors than it currently attracts (free entry to both park & reserve, by the way, so no commercial interest). The head ranger and I chose the basic areas, then I got approval and hid caches, which have since had a find a week. I mentioned this to an orienteering friend who is a county rights of way officer, who said that he nad his colleagues had been thinking about placing caches, but only talked and thought about it. So, they would be open to suggestions for sites or willing to discuss locations with potential cache owners.
  19. I recently (21 March 11) found a cache box that was already cracked, not surprisingly as it was a take away food box, so I mentioned that in my post. Possibly, it had been cracked by a previous finder who had replaced it and hidden with stones / bricks, as before, thus cracking it without realising. Still, using a flimsy box in a rocky location seemed even more unwise than when hidden in a tree or under sticks, for example. http://coord.info/GC2KKAT No evidence of any action by cache owner yet, although cracked bottom hasn't been mentioned by subsequent finders.
  20. Thank you a practical solution at last keep them coming...... #22 is a practical suggestion, too.
  21. Stick walking pole in the ground before handing cache - more likely to notice it than if you stand it against a tree an dless likley to trip over it than if you lay it on the ground. In case of night caching, and also for improved visibility when walking along roads etc, wrap a piece of reflective tape (available from cycling shops) round pole.
  22. Something to which I give a considerable amount of thought - having type 1 diabetes gives me the perfect opportunity to injest high carbohydrate snacks when hiking / cycling / adventure racing etc, although I try to reduce insulin as well to avoid needing too much. I tend to favour foods that can tolerate being kept in rucksack or trouser or jacket pocket for days / weeks / months. Eg cheap jelly babies or midget gems repacked in ziplock bags, Scottish tablet bars, muesli bars, homemade flapjack, squeezy pouches of fruit pulp / dairy / jelly etc. Chocolate, especially any with caramel fillings are best eaten at home, straight from fridge, not melted or tooth-breakingly hard out in the field. Sports gel pouches are far too sweet and big for me, although I do carry them if given free at a race. Also, really enjoy pub food, sandwiches, sausage rolls, peanuts, bananas, apples etc.
  23. Also, http://coord.info/GCABED Polar Bear's Folly - I can see my house from here. A virtual which requires finders to get to a trig point, easy in winter when no Highland cattle or sheep in field, but not so easy when electric fences and large furry mammals, some with big horns, are present.
  24. My Dad, who has come with me for a couple of finds very local to his house, recently went to the first meeting of Castle Bromwich U3A (University of the Thrid Age) and told me that their first planned activity meeting was walking with geocaching. I appreciate this is only relevent to over 55s or whatever age range they use.
  25. Or ask a Czech friend / colleague to translate for you? Perhaps wise to include both Czech and English versions in the cache text.
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