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Everything posted by mysterion604

  1. This is odd. I always thought it was just part of France. Off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, true, but France would be dismayed to discover it was not theirs anymore.
  2. I just get mine from finished vitamin bottles*, those sometimes shipped with electronics, and also those found in those rapid COVID test kits (you know they are sterile coming out of the box at least). (*never use vitamin C or B for this or the containers - strong smelling and will attract animals.)
  3. Wish I had seen this before Geowoodstock. I shall have to revisit this post.
  4. Same problem as the first poster, different Samsung phone. Never heard of this app. Sounds interesting. Anything more you can tell us?
  5. Well, it was quite an old cache too, so I'm not surprised that it was either not attended to, or the owner just gave up rather than rework the concept around different locations.
  6. I like jigsaw caches, and there are quite a large number of them in the region to where I am. Some creators even do nested jigsaws, where one solves multiple jigsaws to achieve different stages of the solution. You can even make the jigsaw puzzle just a stage of a larger mystery cache which is based on other things. (That's what I did: GC9QA6T .) I guess my only advice would be to choose the image wisely, and try out a few different puzzle sizes, before finalizing what size you want and linking it to the actual cache page. You can solve jigidi puzzles without logging in, so you can do that unlogged solving as a testing method for your own puzzle. Getting the link to work properly on your cache page can be a bit tricky, but the cache creation page allows one to toggle between showing codes or not, so that might prove useful. Always check that it works before submitting for final approval and make sure your reviewer knows what info the puzzle completion message will contain.
  7. Geocacher lifecycle factor: I'm sure some academic could do a long term study on factors like geocachers dropping out of the hobby after and average of X number of years, resulting in a correlation in Z percentage of caches falling into disrepeair and getting archived after and average of Y amount of time since last known maintenance. But basically, if you're looking at more geocaching retirements than committed new memberships, you will (with some lag time) get more caches shutting down than popping up. Rules complexity factor: the rules regarding caches are over time becoming more complex & stringent. Older caches may rely on "grandfathered" permission to remain active under conditions which are not allowed anymore. As those caches gradually disappear, the new caches must meet new & tougher requirements, increasing development time and decreasing the total number of approved caches. Territorial exclusion factor: Simply put, all the prime areas for caches are already claimed. A scarcity of good places to hide a cache means a lack of new caches being created. This is very significant for creating a series of caches or power trails. Reviewer interpretational strictness factor: Reviewers considering all of the above might have also recently gotten more serious about how strict they are in approvals or on the other end, how quickly they pounce on those "needs maintenance" / "needs archived" notices. Could be a seasonal thing, could also be that after events and forums amongst themselves, that there is a general push towards more conformity in application of the rules & timely action being taken against caches that have fallen into disrepeair/disuse.
  8. I did not care much about challenges in my first year or more, but this year I have gotten more into going after them, so I have made an effort to go after some caches that will qualify me for challenges. Still, it is not an all-consuming goal for me.
  9. This complaint is more like me feeling sorry for myself. There was a multi cache near here called "Pier Pressure". Well, I went to all the locations along the harbour (piers), and gathered clues - including one that was in what is now a dangerous homeless/squatter camp. After all that, I never got to the final before it was archived. Alas, it makes sense, as one clue waypoint is now basically a no-go zone, but it still irks me that I went through the risk and shall never have the reward.
  10. There are lots of 2 stage multis that I hardly consider "multi" at all. Quick ones are nice sometimes, but I do not see a need to segregate between true multis (3+ stages or at least a significant distance to the final) and mini-multis (one stage and not far away). I tend to mentally tie-in the number of stages to the difficulty rating when it comes to multis; one key factor in assessing how much work (mental and phsyical) it takes to solve & find a multi cache. People can just read the cache description, and the number of stages should be in the description / listing - unless the idea is to make it more difficult by deliberately keeping the number of waypoints a secret. CO's should use the attributes too. "Field puzzle" seems like an oddball of a thing to put on a multi (kind of redundant?). But all the rest about distance, time, etc. are useful and it is courteous & helpful to put those things in the cache listing. At the very least, it helps cachers sort out whether they have the time & energy to go after that multi cache. Some multis can be solved & found faster than it takes to put on your boots; others turn into months-long projects to gather clues for, figure out, and then go get. People need to know that before they decide to make the attempt.
  11. 2023 GOALS: I doubt I will be able to cache at the pace that I did this year. (Geowoodstock 2022 was held in my home province so that was an intense onslaught of caching which I will likely never replicate.) Much of immediate area near my home is played out so caching more and more involves travel. (And time & money which I won't have in abundance.) 1) Get my own unpublished caches completed. One series in the works perhaps before end of this year, and one bigger / weirder one next year. I also have an idea for a puzzle cache that might actually challenge my friend the puzzle solving fiend. 2) Travel a little bit, and cache while traveling. Another community fairly near is a treasure trove of #EC's, virtuals, and achievable challenges, but I never seem to have enough time when I go there. So I hope to go back. 2B) Wait did you (above) say Mega event in New Brunswick ? (Starts scheming for a cross-Canada trip.) 3) Having never filled out my grid even once, I would like to maybe try some more challenging terrain caches, but on the other hand, I'm no mountaineer and not even much of a camper. Living around here, there is an abundance of cache-rich places to climb up (and fall off of). 4) Maybe break the 100 earthcache barrier. That's definitely possible. I'm no geo-scientist, but maybe creating one earthcache "hide" would be a badge of honour.
  12. My 2 cents' worth: Your responsibility is to keep the cache details current & accurate. The T and D ratings are subjective (with guidelines) & not policed by reviewers, but if your cache description becomes grossly inaccurate, a cacher might decide to throw a "needs maintenance" or "needs archived" posting on your cache, and then you'll be forced to go fix / re-assess it anyway. So really, just worry about the accuracy of your listing, not the effect on someone else's stats grid. Change the T and D ratings as needed to reflect the current conditions - and don't forget to edit the description, and any coordinate checkers and so on that are associated with it. As others have said, caches do change over time. There's many reasons why terrain (or access to it) can change, or why difficulty might be forced to change due to underlying clues, container type & location. Keeping your description accurate is just part of cache maintenance; future finders take priority over past ones. If you make changes, it may be a good idea to add something in the description (not just the maintenance log) that changes were made, and on what date, so that cachers do not rely on outdated information. There's of course a point at which small changes might turn into something that radically changes the cache, to the degree that it throws the cache's existence into doubt. Adaptation is necessary, but only you can decide if your cache is still worth keeping under new conditions & new ratings, or whether it would be better to archive it and maybe make a whole new cache. That's probably going to depend on its concept, more than its stats.
  13. Yeah, I hate "throw-downs". (I also hate the band Throwdown, but that's another story...) Generally I do not carry spare containers unless I have an idea to place a cache somewhere and I take a few in my bag to get the right size for the hide. I will carry spare scraps of paper in case of soaked or full log sheets which prevent signing, and some small plastic baggies, but that's about it. Even if I do that, it goes in my log that I have done so. I can only see replacing a straight-up broken container, but with the BIG caveat that you have to notify the CO this is a temporary fix AND that it must go to the same exact spot to replace a broken but found container. No making up the spot where you think it should go, and calling that throw-down a repair! I am much more comfortable just putting a needs maintenance notice on it. Still, there's one cache locally where back in 2020 I hiked the trail and found the cache was missing its lid. I put a "needs maintenance" notice up, and nothing happened; 1.5 years later, lid still missing (yet it still gets signed and logged). I could put another NM on it, maybe get the reviewers' attention - could even be in my self-interest if it got archived - but I am also considering just replacing the container because it's a nice cache other than this one problem.
  14. It's a bit of a weird process (in my opinion), since you can post reviewer notes, but then when you hit "submit" after the application/editing process, it asks if you want to post a reviewer note again. As far as I know, The reviewers can see all the reviewer notes during the process, but from what I read somewhere, the reviewer notes disappear at publication or are permanently hidden from public view. Sounds like you have your needs covered. Of course, that depends on what kind of cache it is. The more clear info you give the reviewers, the faster the turnaround. Uploaded photos of the hide area good to include, for clarity. Making sure you mention that you have all your hide coordinates measured & averaged, etc. One thing I've noticed that reviewers do not do is check your page for spelling errors and other typos, so make sure to go over your page carefully. In any case, you can edit errors in a cache write-up after publication happens, as long as it doesn't amount to a major change to the cache or location.
  15. I used to work at a manufacturer that used magnetic material a lot. One can get rolls of magnetic tape, of varying thickness. Some of it was no thicker than card stock, so it's quite easy to put something laminated / plastic upon one side of it (we usually used Lexan). It can be cut easily and accurately with a box-cutter knife and ruler. The trick is finding the magnetic material; not like suppliers of it sell small amounts, and retail indivisual amounts can be pricey. Any craft or hardware store will have (rather expensive) rolls of the thicker stuff too. Maybe try this: If you know any retailer (like a pizza shop or something) that makes thin promotional fridge magnets (where the magnetic material is all across it), you can ask what printer made those magnets for them. It may be possible to contact that company and have them custom make something for you. We always worked in bulk, so I have no idea what kind of expense would be involved, but if they have sufficiently-sized off-cuts of material they otherwise discard, maybe that will do the trick much more cheaply.
  16. That's going to happen sometimes. The issue is not only the accuracy of Google map coordinates (pretty good but not perfect), but also your GPS device has a constantly changing estimation of what it's location is, based on what satellites and other signal sources are influencing it. That's why sometimes on a map it seems like it's moving around while you're actually standing still. Not only can this change during the day, but over months. I use my phone, not a Garmin GPS, but what I do is take GPS readings from a caching app I have which displays your current coordinates, PLUS the readings from a trail hiking app I use, PLUS a simple compass app I also have. Each of these tend to say a different thing at the same time. Make sure to take the reading after letting your GPS settle by standing still at least a minute; it may display a margin of error and once that drops under 5m, that is pretty good. Things like trees and buildings can interfere, so even if it never gets that clear, settling it down is a good idea, and multiple readings essential. Google is decent for extra intel on urban caches with clear overhead views and landmarks one can use as references, but if there's woods / tree cover over your cache, it's tough to use Google for that, maybe even impossible. Do not rely on Google alone (so my cache reviewers always warn me). What you need to do is take multiple readings on multiple days, preferably with multiple apps, record them, and calculate the average readings. In the field, I only make quick notes of these raw readings. Later at home, I add up and average the readings from each app, then I average the averages, so to speak, to get a final average of GPS readings. I'll also go onto the computer and input what I calculate into Google Maps and see if it checks out. If I can see my cache spot on Google maps, I compare what Google says that spot's coordinates are. That may show a discrepancy, so just consider that Google can be another "source". Mix it into your averaging however much you wish. Whatever gives you confidence that the searchers will be able to go where you want them to go, and see what you want them to see, should be what you submit to the reviewers. Anyways, that's what I've been doing, and so far no complaints about accuracy.
  17. For me the size is of concern with regard to finding it, not so much in terms of what it holds. For me, a micro sized bison tube glued into a fake birdhouse that's like 20x20x30cm = I'd call it "regular" because of the birdhouse, though I would expect at least a "no swag / BYOP" in the cache description. Of course, people can be fiends and just call it "other" sized.
  18. I only use a phone for Geocaching, but what I do is: I measure a spot using multiple different apps which show GPS coordinates (my off-brand geocaching app + a trail / hiking app + a simple compass app), and then I average those. Often I find I'm taking multiple readings using all these, at different times, and then average all of those readings too. "Measure thrice, hide once". If Google Maps shows your spot clearly from above, you can additionally use that to estimate the coordinates, by typing in what you think the coords are and then seeing where the map pin falls and adjusting it. My reviewers always warn me not to rely on Google accuracy exclusively; so really what I'm doing is just using it for confirmation that my GPS-measured coordinates are not out of whack, by aligning it with visible landmarks and so on. (Of course, if the cache location is in the woods, forget about it - this is really just for urban / open locations).
  19. When I find candy in cashes, I extract it and throw it away. I did once find a used lollipop (no wrapper, obviously had been licked) stuck to the inside of the container - yuck. What gets into people ?
  20. For me, one weird size-straddling case is preform tubes. When it comes to finding, the tube itself is the size of a small, but what it holds inside is really only equivalent to micro. (A log sheet and a small pencil, at most.)
  21. Considering the kind of debris on most shoulders, they'll probably get a flat tire and cause another jam too.
  22. I feel for ya. I feel on a slope while coming back from a cache last year and broke my wrist. Injuries suck, and though I was wearing boots, they were work boots and not hikers, so I upgraded. Still, I am not sure the fall was 100% avoidable, since the issue was loose gravel rolling as I stepped. I see these trail runners running by on the steep terrain sometimes, and I wonder how they manage not to trip / slip and break their necks.
  23. Och! I've done that. I was helping a friend demolish an old rotten treehouse on his property, stepped on a rusty nail, and it went right through my shoe like the sole was made of warm butter. One of many tenanus shots I've had in life.
  24. Point is: Distance is not an absolute; context is important.
  25. With the flooding events that have taken place recently (and the fire before that), I thought I would ask if those who have caches placed in areas that may have been overrun by disasters are planning to disable them as unreachable or otherwise maintain or archive them? I have no agenda here, but I am curious if there's some official procedure that people follow, like "cachers should consider these disabled/gone until the owners check them / CO's should disable caches that may be in danger areas to discourage risky attempts to find them".
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