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Everything posted by Lasagna

  1. I log them, but only after I feel that I've given the cache area a good going over ... I'll often invest a few trips and a few hours looking before I'll log. Basically, if I feel I've absolutely checked everything but still couldn't find it, then I'll log it. Sometimes, I'll go to a cache area but not have a lot of time to search or there will be other circumstances (such as muggles) that will prevent me from searching everything I deem as a possible hiding location. In such cases, I won't log a DNF until I've had time to return and check it out. As a hider, I use a DNF as an indication from the seeker that they may be in need of a more explicit hint on a given cache. I'll usually offer a hint if they would like one after I see a DNF come in that indicates they really gave the search a good effort. About the only time I won't do this is if there is an FTF at stake or if there is something special about the cache that requires some thought to solve. By all means, DNF's should remain with the log of the cache unless they give away some of the "secret" as to how it's hidden -or- if they communicate something misleading or incorrect (such as a posting of updated coordinates which are in fact, incorrect). Some people don't like them because they fear others may not seek their cache because it will be deemed too hard or potentially missing. I see the former as a challenge to make me want to go seek the cache and I see the latter simply remedied by a "Found" after the DNF's. So, in short, log a DNF is you truly feel you've searched everything and everywhere and have spent a good deal of time doing so. Log a note if you've been there, but couldn't find it due to lack of time or other circumstances.
  2. Lasagna


    For some of the more difficult caches, a DNF is not uncommon. However, you'll likely find that many of the more experienced cachers won't log a DNF on their first time out. Most have an arbitrary amount of time or number of visits to the location that they will invest before claiming a serious DNF. You didn't indicate what caches you were looking for (GC number), but it is possible that being new you took on too diffiult of a hide for your first attempt. Some of the cache containers (particularly micros) can be quite small and quite cleverly hidden such that unless you've seen them before you may just miss them (I remember the first time I saw a "Mr Magneto" container and couldn't believe my eyes that it was the cache). To get a couple finds under your belt, I would suggest the following: 1. Look for some caches in your area that have a 1.5 or less difficulty rating and likely a less than 2 terrain rating. These should be reaonably easy to find. 2. Look for a cache that has a container listed as "Regular" or larger in size. A "Small" might be doable as well, but avoid anything listed as "Micro" initially. 3. Make sure the cache is listed as a "Traditional" cache. Avoid a multi, puzzle, or other type of cache for your first attempt (unless it's an event). A traditional cache will list coordinates that specify the location the cache is hidden. 3. Try for a non-urban cache (go for a walk in the woods or at a park) as these can be usually found more easily since the container doesn't necessisarily need to be hidden as well. 4. Check the logs for the cache and find one that's been found recently and which doesn't have a lot of DNF's. Caches do occasionally go missing, but if it's been found a lot and recently, there's much less of a chance it will be missing and you should be able to locate it with reasonable effort. 5. Be prepared to invest some time searching. There are some caches which have taken me three visits to a site and over 3 hours of searching before I finally came up with it (granted, on an easier cache this is almost never the case). If you're still having trouble, contact the owner and explain that you're a noob. They may just be willing to give you a hint to help you get started.
  3. It's the top topic on the main discussion forum about the site. Yes. See Here ...
  4. Ooo... that would be handy. Since we set our home coords in our profile, it is a bit of a pain to have to then manually copy those exact same coords into each PQ (since a majority of PQ's are usually centered around your home area unless you're planning a trip). Being able to choose as a "coordinate" option either specifying them or radio button clicking "my home coordinates" as the center point would be nice (plus if you move, your center point for all queries moves with a simple profile update).
  5. I had one made by rubberstampchamp.com -- quick and cheap and self-inking to boot.
  6. Wow ... go away and do some work for a day and a post can take on an entire life of it's own! In the spirit of the discussion, I offered my suggestions as a way to improve the service and make it more usable (i.e. encourage more paying members or retaining those that do pay). My assumption is that GC is genuinely interested in how people are using the service and enhancing that experience -- and Jeremy on the other hand is just being honest on what is currently in the works (i.e. while our comments may not be ignored, one shouldn't expect anything to popping out of the oven any time soon to address it). I'd much rather have insight into what I can expect to see and not see in the coming months than be told "we'll add it to our list for consideration" and never hear anything again.
  7. I had a TB that passed through my hands one time that was a miniature school mascot. It's goal was to visit other schools and have it's picture taken with the mascot at that school. Another goal might be to have it's picture taken in front of the school name sign of any school containing for example the same "grade" as the students who release it. If the school is a common name (like maybe "Lincoln Elementary" or "Washington Jr High"), a goal could be to visit other schools with the same namesake. Same idea as above ... but visit anything named after the same namesake (Lincoln Center, etc.) Another goal might be to have a "key ring" style TB where it visits other schools and they add a keyring item with the schools name. Maybe to visit schools with the same school colors as this school? I also passed along a TB whose mission was to visit items relating to "Freedom" (Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, etc.). I took it on a walk on the Freedom Trail in Boston and hit it photo'd in front of the USS Constitution. You could also go with a non-school theme ... perhaps seeking to visit specific "famous" locations (like all the state capitals) or have it's picture take in front of a clock, etc., etc. The possibilities are endless ...
  8. Certainly a slimmed down GC access to the data real time will be helpful (and I already do this with my PPC phone in the field for caches where I need more info than I can get loaded from my GSAK download such as the additional logs), but there are a few concerns that I see: 1. Search speed and cache location (GC is not the best at organizing how caches in my area are found). When searching by name (as is often the case), there is no way of limiting the search area so that I only see stuff that's a potential match NEARBY my home location. If I search for some cache with the name "white" for example in the title, I'll get things from all over the country. GSAK at least lets me download only local data (or filter it). So, I would see that as a feature that would be needed for the mobile aspect. The problem is finding an exact match for a cache name can often be difficult (particularly remember exact spelling or punctuation). 2. Coverage. Quite a number of caches are deep in the woods or along trails where Cell Signals don't reach. Some way of caching the data locally on the device will always be needed so you don't find yourself at the cache GZ with no way to pull the writeup because you don't have any bars on your GPRS connection. 3. Download speed. Looking stuff up today is quite painful compared to the "double click" and read it of the offline browser tools. This will likely be your biggest challenge. I'm thinking some combination of an online/offline toolset that lets you get a query set locally loaded onto your phone (for quick and offline access) with the ability to quickly find stuff you don't have offline via GC and the ability to log from the field, etc. would be interesting indeed. Some kind of "Cachemate" like tool thats a local PPC application that interfaces with the backend GC database to extract (and cache locally as accessed or "pretagged") to the unit and then renders on demand would be really really cool.
  9. I was thinking that might be the case ... I use a Cingular 8125 as well nowadays. A bit slow on some things from a processor perspective (like importing very large GPX files), but otherwise a nice combo unit.
  10. Export the records from Cachemate to a GPX file (the icon to the left of the import one you used to get the records into Cachemate in the first place), transfer the GPX to your PC and then read it into GSAK (making sure NOT to overwrite/erase the database before importing). The updated logs will now be in GSAK. I don't know if you can go from GSAK to GC, but a quick question to their Tech Support or a search of their FAQ's might yield that answer.
  11. Hmmm ... you've joined Tuesday and have only 4 finds. My best suggestion would be that you wait before attempting to place your first cache. There's no rush and if you start placing poor caches, those in your area will soon learn to avoid them. Additionally, listing caches on GC are meant for permanent listings, if you start posting temporary caches, your local approver may well deny them and would be right to do so. Once you have about 50 or more finds under your belt, you will have a good idea of the types and styles of hides which are out there. You'll know what makes a "good" hide and what makes for a "bad" one. You'll know where the coordinates are supposed to point and you'll know how to take them. Take your time, learn the sport first as a "finder" and then take on the challenge of becoming a "hider". Hiding a cache is often not an easy task and can take many days and much thought before you find just the right spot and right reason for placing it. I've got over 500 finds, but have only placed 6 caches and two of those are really hides that were put out to help local cachers with another task. My first hide didn't come until I had over 70 finds and was sure I understood how and what I should do.
  12. Actually ... I usually cache with one or two others. I'm the Garmin and they are the Magellan. I like that combination as between the two of us, one of us usually narrows down the search area pretty quickly. The Garmin, while it seems to lose lock more easily and thus get you crappy accuracy in tree cover -- nails the coords dead on and quickly points to GZ when it's got a good lock. Magellan seems to do the "overshoot the mark" thing consistently and always seems to "debate" about GZ for a while but keeps the lock better in tree cover, etc. Get good coverage and set them down for a bit and walk away (like we usually do while we search the first area our respective units seemed to like) and they'll eventually both agree on the general location of the cache.
  13. The hint that it's WGS84 can actually still be seen at the type in the link under to coordinates which says "convert to NAD27" (basically implying what's shown is not NAD27). []
  14. Try opening a "cmd" window, changing directories into where you installed spinner (and copy a GPX file to that directory as well) and then run it from the command line. Shouldn't be necessary, but it might disclose some more information about what the problem might be.
  15. Check into Cachemate ... I think it might run on that version (but don't know for sure as I use the newer Windows Mobile based stuff). If it doesn't another option might be to use GSAK and export to HTML. Load the exported directory onto your PPC and use a web browser to view the caches.
  16. No pictures ... but how about a Vista Cx? All the features and size of a Legend, but adds in the electronic compass and some other nice features from the 60Cx, Watch as you move up however since the new units require new Mapsource for auto-routing (City Select or City Navigator).
  17. Actually ... how about this idea: 1. Maximum of 5 (or some reasonable number) PQ's per day. 2. All PQ's must be limited by one of two alternative restrictions of either a maximum number of caches returned (i.e. 500) -OR- a maximum search radius (i.e. 50 miles). Perhaps the latter has some reasonable upper limit much greater than the first option on the number returned (like maybe 5000) just so the XML from the PQ doesn't get too big to be delivered by email. This would allow those in cache dense areas to get everything within a reasonable distance of their target caching areas by using the mileage limitation and would allows those in cache light areas to get a fixed number of caches even though some may be quite distant. I know if I had the mileage option, it would allow me to reduce my number of PQ's since I wouldn't have to have seperate ones for "found" vs "not found" caches (plus having over 500 finds myself, I now have two queries for that to divide up that query by type). In general, when I'm going somewhere, I want everything within a certain radius of where I'm going.
  18. A very interesting article ... but it makes the case even more so that this misinformed hunter needs to be found and his actions corrected. This is basically one state agency complaining to the legislature about the funding it is receiving being insufficient to remain solvent. In other words, the amount of MY TAX DOLLARS that they are receiving -- which is what gives me a right to be on the land just as much as a hunter. It would seem the PCG recognizes the multi-use nature of the land, is fine with it, and in fact encourages it. They are careful however to point out that there are appropriate times and places for activities ... and this gets back to my earlier comment about disabling SGL caches during hunting season. There's already a strong encouragement that any SGL cache should include links and dates regarding rules and hunting seasons, but that's not often easy for people to understand AND more importantly those operation without the cache description may not know what they are in for. Perhaps an enhancement request to GC to allow for "scheduled" disable/enable windows so a cache owner could specify timeframes when he didn't want the cache active and have it automatically pulled and then reactivated at the appropriate times?
  19. I would suggest checking to see if there is a local Geocaching group in your area (for example, GOTCHA in the area where I'm from near Harrisburg, PA). Many of these have discussion groups and forums (and websites) on places like Yahoo, etc. It's a quick way to reach all the cachers in your area. I recently did a geocaching event for a troop on one of their camping trips (put out 15 caches in the camp durng the morning and had them hunt them in the afternoon -- put a different word -- from the Scout Law, Motto, etc. -- in each cache and to claim credit they had to record what word they found in which cache). I sent out a note to the local cachers in the area and they responded loaning me no fewer than 5 GPSr's 10 ammo cans, 4 decons, and a variety of "odd" containers which I then used to demonstrate just how creative some containers can be. I even had one cacher volunteer his time to help me place the caches and take the coordinate readings.
  20. That's how these guys make the money ... each has their own propriatary map formats. They depend on you either buying a new GPSr or upgrading your software every few years to give them a constant revenue stream.
  21. Hands down ... the quickest and easiest way in my opinion would be to use Google Earth and download and install the Google Earth Plug-in (right hand side of the GC "My Account" page). Find your route, zoom in close enough and the cache symbols along the route will popup for you to see.
  22. Here's a couple ideas ... 1. Make the caches "members only". This will keep misinformed self-righteous "vigilante" individuals from getting to the information without at least supporting GC in the first place. In addition it will force them to supply indisputable information to GC in order to make payment in the event such information would be needed (See below). 2. Report the account GC.com. They are obviously using the services of GC.com in violation of the intended spirit of the game. The account should be deleted and perhaps GC can persue the threats. It's one thing if you are being contacted by PCG regarding the caches or an individual in an official capacity regarding the land use, it's another if you are being threatened by a self-righteous hunter who thinks he owns the place. 3. If the messages contain any personal threats of injury or harm, report them to law enforcement immediately. File a complaint. 4. Perhaps organize a CITO event on a SUNDAY (like maybe the one right before a hunting season starts) and CITO out everything in the area that God didn't put there in the first place (if that happens to include a few trail markers, deer stands, and other litter ... oops). You can remove and disable your caches at the same time and wait for the hunting season to end before putting them back. OK, so maybe you shouldn't really do this ... but cooperation goes both ways and your new found hunting I think will get the message. Act civil and respect each other's right to be there. Don't get me wrong, most hunters are very responsible and have no issues with co-existing with geocachers or anyone else who is using State Game Lands property ... it's public land for public use. They are rightly concerned with people who don't follow PCG rules (particularly with those who don't wear the requisite gear during active hunting seasons) and with those who go screaming and hollering into the woods during an active hunt (one, this is foolish as the end of gun tends to follow noise a hunter hears and second, you are in technical violation of the game land rules at that point since you are interfering with a legal hunt -- at which point you're acting like one of those activists who show up any time a hunter goes into the woods trying to prevent a legal pasttime). There has been more than one occasion when I've chastised a geocacher who I've run into during hunting season on SGL who wasn't wearing orange blaze. I carrry mine in my cachers backpack and I avoid the opening day of hunting season and other "high traffic" days out of concern for my own safety. Like I said, while most hunters are very responsible, there are a few that are barely above the level of intelligence necessary to get their pants on in the morning let alone figure out how to walk and chew gum at the same time. Hunting accidents happen all the time ... the game just isn't worth that risk. I think at the end of the day, the right answer for Game Lands caches may be to simply disable them during hunting seasons so that people don't hunt for them. Even your radical hunter friend there shouldn't have a problem with people on the land when he's not around. Oh ... and if by chance this individual actually used his real name to send you the threat, perhaps you might want to drop a dime (ok, a quarter ... or maybe 50 cents) on him to the PCG. I'm pretty sure the game warden would love to remind him that enforcement of SGL policies and practices are not the responsibility of members of the public and that making threats to individuals might impair his own ability to own a gun and obtain the necessary permits for hunting within Pennsylvania. At the end of the day ... while they may disagree with the caches being there ... they should be reporting them to the PCG, not threatening the owners.
  23. I think you might run into some issues with spreading the multi out so far ... it certainly will mean that you will likely have few finders since many people won't be able to invest the time in travel to do the whole series. I would instead suggest a "series" cache ... we have one locally based on the solar system (it uses relative distance to demonstrate how far the planets are from the Sun). Each of those caches is an individual cache in it's own right -- loggable independently -- but also contains a piece of information in addition to the log that you need to solve a final puzzle (in the case of the solar system cache, it's a number). Once you've visited all the caches in the series, you have enough information to complete a "offset" puzzle cache somehow using all the of the numbers you learned during your journey. This puzzle cache can have it's bogus coords listed "approximately" near where the true hide is (as is suggested in the GC guidelines). This solves your issue of caches from "here" to "there" problem as well since now they have reason to stop at them all ... and for those not willing to invest the time to do the whole series, they can just knock off and log the individual pieces as time permits. Here's the series ... GCR3WK You could use just about anything for you theme as long as there is some connection to tie them together (in other words, to get people to wonder what the "other" caches in the series might be like. In the case of the Solar System one above, by the time you've travelled to Pluto, you're 2 hours and 100 miles away from where you started! Other ideas that I've seen locally ... The Three Little Pigs (with the final of, you guessed it "The Big Bad Wolf"). And one kind of similar to the idea your thinking about (a multi, not a series) ... GCRCNM (check out the other hides by this cache's owner -- he's got some of the most unique and fun caches around)
  24. For a CITO, in particular, if you were there and participated in the event, then I see no problem with logging it as "attended". While you can post a "Found it" for an evert/CITO, everyone generally posts their log as "Attended". I think this is a symantic difference, but helps resolve the exact dilemma you referenced ... namely everybody who attends can log an "attended". There's no "find" involved in these.
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