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Everything posted by Lasagna

  1. I'll address #3 as we've had quite a bit of experience up here with cache placements on the AT. Simply put ... caches on or within the NPS corridor for the AT are not permitted -- these are considered NPS managed lands (with right of way granted by the land owners) and are subject to NPS rules. As stated elsewhere -- NPS managed lands are off-limits. Where it gets hairy is the fact that you need to understand the nature of the ownership of the land over which the AT runs in a given area. The NPS has purchased numerous parcels of land (I believe from my last conversation with the AT HQ that there are only a handful if any spots left where the AT runs across privately held land -- the rest being public lands, owned by a state or state agency or held by the NPS itself). Where the land is owned by the NPS, no caches can be placed anywhere on the land they own -- which may extend well beyond the corridor for the AT. I've seen the land maps at the AT office and each and every section of the trail is marked for how the rights of way have been obtain and who owns the lands (and how much) around the corridor. You might be surprised how much of it is NPS owned beyond the corridor. Where the land is owned by another agency, no cache can be placed within the corridor (typically a few hundred feet -- although it varies -- and if you know where to look, you can find the boundary markers for the corridor. Outside of that, the NPS has no jurisdiction and you are technically subject to the rules of the land manager at that point. However, be aware that if the principle access path to the cache is via the AT and it causes an a side-trail to form -- there is a chance the AT folks will contact the land owner requesting removal or usually, they report it to GC as infringing and rather than argue with them, it's been my experience that the reviewer will archive it and leave it to the cache owner to prove they otherwise have approval for the placement. With that said -- that's our experience here in PA -- where unfortunately it seems we garner extra scrutiny because the person who is chasing after such infringements happens to be located and seems to have a personal vendetta out for cachers (because -- you know -- we like cause so many problems with a cache that maybe two or three people visit per year unlike the many partying teenagers who sometimes visit these trails and leave behind piles of trash and beer cans that they should be focusing on dealing with -- ok, putting my soapbox away). Simply put, it's unfortunate that the NPS folks in this area are misguided in prioritizing their efforts at policy enforcement and equally unfortunate that the NPS itself has failed to embrace geocaching as a compatible and worthwhile use for "my" (yes they're my taxes, so it's my park NPS -- you hear me?) parks and trails. Your mileage may vary. My advice to others has been -- insure you're not on NPS owned/managed land (i.e. clearly in a state park or forest), make sure there is an approach that either doesn't involve the AT or which uses a marked side-trail until you are outside the trail corridor, and be sure to reference the corridor boundary relative to your placement and instruct cachers to use the approved side-trail rather than bushwhack. Further if you have owner permission specifically (or better still, a permit such as the PA DCNR issues for placements in our state parks here in PA) make sure you state that. Jurisdiction is everything.
  2. The 60Csx is indeed waterproof according the the Garmin site. I've also seen a YouTube video or two where someone posted a video of their tests showing the unit being dunked in water and surviving unscathed. More important however is that fact that the 60Csx is does NOT float. So, if you drop it in the water, good luck finding it. Caribiner it to you or your boat. I believe the 76Csx which is functiionally equivalent to the 60Csx except for the different layout of buttons DOES float.
  3. Here's one of my favorite pirate themed caches ... doesn't involve an island, but it does involve finding the coordinates to three separate hides from which you obtain three portions of a map which conveniently doesn't tell you exactly what area it's from or the exact coordinates of the final hide (although each piece of the map has some reference points that when put together allow you to figure out where you need to go) -- from there a little satellite recon combined with so good old one-the-ground comparison of the clues to what you see yields the final. This one took a good bit of work to complete. The Legend of the Wretched Cursed Treasure of Gold (GCRCNM)
  4. Lasagna

    WAP and iPhone

    Actually, I would encourage the powers that be to create a mobile device friendly version of the website in general. They already can tell if you're coming from a Windows Mobile, Blackberry, or Iphone ... I think it would be a simple leap to present an alternate site view that would be mobile friendly (bigger buttons/links, less heavy on the images, etc.). Would love to see that as it's a royal pain to try to navigate the full site from a browser in the field on a mobile device presently.
  5. For the latter case of a cache with many DNF's and an owner who appears to be no longer active, I usually drop a note to my local friendly reviewer.. They will then usually disable (not archive) the cache and post a reviewer note asking the owner to check on his cache or respond to respond to them with some form of acknowledgement that all is OK and place the cache on a watchlist. If the owner doesn't respond in about 4-5 weeks, the reviewer will then usually archive the cache to keep an missing and abandon cache from continuing to block future placements, etc.
  6. Yah ... that puzzle is pretty easy. A slight twist on a common method -- actually the opposite almost. Really, it's a matter of being able to think outside the box, look for subtle clues in the writeup and/or title of the cache, and then trying a few ideas -- knowing you goal is usually to come up with something resembling coordinates.
  7. You can't post non-standard font sets into an HTML page and get consistent results. The easiest way to do this, as mentioned above, is to post the symbol sequence as an image file in the writeup. One way: Use your favorite method for capturing a bitmap of your screen (shift print screen on xp) and then paste that into the paint program. You can trim down the image from there.
  8. That was there and they recently removed it.
  9. I just tried posting a back-dated "found it" and it worked just fine.
  10. I like cookie cutters -- for cookies! Not so much for caches. The other issue I see with a "group" logging is I don't want someone else to be able to "log" a found-it note on my behalf. Only I can determine which caches I want to log as found or not found. When I cache with a partner or in a group, we frequently play off one another's logs. If one of us tells all that's to be told, then maybe the other person will log a "yeah ... what he said" log, but usually there's always something to add. When on a cache run, I use split log technique -- the first paragraph of my log is a "cookie cutter" cut/paste (... on a cache run with so and so, #x of y, etc.) and then followed by a second unique paragraph citing what I found interesting about this particular cache or hunt (unless of course it was a lame LPC or something in which case you might just get a TFTC).
  11. I have an iPhone 3G and I don't see me putting away my 60Csx when I go caching and using just the phone. With that said however, I also have a Blackberry Curve 8310 (w/GPS) and have found the GeoNavigator software from Trimble quite useful -- this uses the location information from the GPS to allow me to quickly pull up caches in my immediate vicinity direct from GC. I can read the writeup in a nice handheld friendly format, see map and topo pulls, read logs, and can even use the Blackberry as a GPSr device if I happen to be on an unplanned cache stop and for some reason (that I can't imagine at the moment) don't have my 60Csx with me. I can also log when I've found a cache -- which is handy for keeping the order of the finds -- so that appear automtically in the right order when I get to logging them online on GC. The only thing it doesn't do is allow for doing the same thing using an offline GPX file. While many times I'm within cell data range, there are times -- particularly when hiking -- that I can't get a signal and thus can't use the application to pull up a writeup (say to read the hint). If it added this feature, you'd have the best of both worlds and it would be a killer caching app. Yes, it's a subscription service above and beyond GC's premium member fees -- a little steep -- but a really nice to have feature. I could see allowing perhaps offline GPX use for free (or perhaps for the cost of a one year subscription after which you can keep the app for offline use only for free) and then having the subscription for the online mode. We need this app or one similar for the iPhone as well. Barring that, a nice offline GPX reader (I hear Mobipocket will be available before the end of the year which will let me at least use the mobi.gsk macro in GSAK to gen a usable offline database) that perhaps used the GPS locator service to suggest/index which caches you might want to see would be nice. I looked a geopher -- can't say it hits the mark for what I'm looking for in a good caching app. For now, I'm sticking with my Blackberry when caching and my iphone when I'm not and just have to deal with flipping the sim card (actually haven't check to see if that will work yet). Eventually hopefully the two functions will merge and I can carry just the iphone.
  12. Hmm... I'm going to say the idea has some merit, but not for the reasons you stated and not usually automatic. 1. The ability to allow the cache owner to set an expiration date (at their choosing) would be handy. This would be readily available on the writeup page for all to see. We have a number of locations where the land owner has allowed placement, but has stipulated that the placement may only last until a certain date (these are largely in State Parks where they are concerned about environmental impact and want to force a review of the placement every three years to determine if it should be removed or relocated). 2. An expiration timer if someone posts a "Needs maintenance" where the cache owner must perform that maintenance and reset the flag or somehow say it shouldn't expire else it automatically goes into the SBA bucket (perhaps first going into an automatically disabled state). We have loads of caches that get placed by people who then disappear from the game leaving an unmaintained cached. The process today is to throw the "needs maintenance" flag and eventually it might get noticed by a reviewer if it lingers in that state for a few months who will then post a note to the cache owner to fix the issue or have it archived. Why not make this automatic ... throw the flag and start a clock ticking. If the cache owner doesn't fix the issue or reset the timer within say one month it gets archived automatically. Same for disabled caches. Now I know there are reasons things sometimes take longer than a month to be resolved -- that's why the cache owner can always ding the timer for another 30 day extension. The idea here is simply to get unmaintained or disabled caches automatically out of the game. Maintained caches by active players can essentially stay around forever as far as I'm concerned if that's what they choose.
  13. What's the TB number -- not the code from TB tag, the TB identifier?
  14. Lasagna


    But of course, since most of us can't see "archived" caches when we do a "find nearest" ... Actually, my usual approach if I don't hear back from my primary reviewer (who, I might add, is always quite prompt and does an outstanding job for our area) is to drop a note to one of the reviewers who usually covers for him when he's away -- that is of course provided you happen to know who those individuals are.
  15. Oh ... it's much more fun to come up and say "watcha doin?" and then listen to see if you fess up to geocaching or attempt to weave a creative story before being let off the hook. I've heard some quite interesting "excuses" for what they were really doing that way ...
  16. Lasagna


    If that doesn't work ... since the listing is archived, it's technically no longer a pending cache placement ... you could simply create an entirely new listing with all the same information and resubmit it for approval providing the placement still meets all current guidelines and cache seperation requirements.
  17. The only caches of my own that I've found are the handful of caches that I adopted from others (I had found them previously when owned by the other individual and liked them so much that when they were no longer able to care for them, I offered to adopt them). So, I think the answer generally is "no, it's bad form".
  18. Hmmm ... you're using Firefox, right? I just noticed that as well. Try IE ... switching the coordinates format fires a javascript action which changes the number of input fields. Update: It also appears that if, after changing coordinate formats, you hit "refresh" in your Firefox browser, the input form will show the correct number of boxes.
  19. The first sounds like an interesting feature ... also the ability to use information about a friend in a PQ would be nice as well (such as the ability to build a query which excludes caches found by you and a list of other cachers). This could be limited to "friends" only in order to get around any information disclosure concerns people might have ... if you don't want to give out this info, don't accept a friend request. As for the second, try making a private bookmark list and place the cache on it. This will show up for you, but because it's private (do not make it a published list or a shared one) only you can see it and it's contents. The bookmark list contains a comment a field where you can note information about the cache. I don't do this personally as I maintain that information in GSAK, but have heard of others doing this.
  20. 1. You can take as many as you feel you can help in their stated mission in a reasonable period of time. I usually will only take one or two from a cache and then not take any more from caches until I move the two that I have in my possession. I will also take all travel bugs and coins I find from any cache which has doesn't get frequent visits (either due to remote location or a puzzle cache) -- so as to rescue them from an inactive location. 2. Travels bugs and coins are NOT swag and you most certainly you should not keep or collect them. They belong to the original owner who set them into the wild. As a cacher, your mission is to expeditiously find them, determine if you can help them in their stated goal, and them move them quickly to another cache which is closer to that goal. IF you can't do this in an timely manner, you can "discover" them instead and then leave them in the current cache for the next individual to find and move.
  21. How about this .... Geocaching Symbols on a Garmin GPSr
  22. Keep in mind that there are some older caches which may possess an inaccurate type -- because they predated the specific cache type. Reviewers are hesitant to changes the types of these caches because of the significant numbers of individuals who already found it.
  23. I value having the electronic compass -- when calibrated, it can help point the way to a cache -- when I'm having a tough time zeroing in, I will often lay the unit down and turn the compass on and let things settle in. More often than not, it will point me in the right direction. With that said however, I do keep the compass off most of the time -- particularly while moving at slower speeds. Could I live without it? -- yes, most definitely. Is it nice to have? yes, it is. Haven't checked the prices lately, but if it's not a lot more, I'd say go for it. If it's a significant delta in cost however -- say the cost of topo or City Nav maps -- I'd say your money would be better spent on those.
  24. Since it's not an "official" designation, just kind of bragging rights, I'm not sure it really matters. However, I frequently cache with a co-worker and we have a rule when there's an FTF at stake. Namely ... first hands on the container are the FTF. If you see it, but can't reach it ... it doesn't count as an FTF ... you must physically be holding the container. Everyone else was along to witness the FTF and can claim it as a find, but not the FTF.
  25. I don't check "date last found" as criteria for exactly the reasons mentioned. Some of the best caches require a bit of a commitment from a time/distance perspective or have a tricky puzzle associated with them and as such don't get found as often. The answer however is still GSAK ... I use the "last four logs" field (even download it to my GPSr as part of the notes field for the waypoint). At a glance I can see what the last four logs on the cache were -- and if they were all DNF's (or the most recent two or there are), then I consider bypassing it until I see a note posted saying it was maintained or confirming the cache's presence or I check the cache writeup to see if maybe there's a reason for the DNF's (newbies or a difficult hide, etc.)
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