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Everything posted by KristenSh

  1. That is so awesome! Makes me want to rethink our signature item plans... If you do label them so folks know it's a handmade item and not just generic swag, those will go in a heartbeat. They'd probably go fast even if they're not marked as signature items. And I'd defintely add it to the keyring where I keep things like that (we have beads on a string from a geocache trail from an event last year, so it wouldn't be the only dangly in our collection). Very clever. Awesome. Two thumbs up.
  2. What you will see is Last Visit /First Visit /User /#Times 05/12/2011 /12:14 09/28/2009 /Bear and Ragged /37 of those who have visited. Thanks!
  3. I did go look it up ... looks like there are extra activities along the trail for the kids to discover in each cache. I'd love to plant a set if I can get a local group to help front the cost ... so I'll be looking into that. I know a couple places where it could work and where I might know the right contact people. I too preferred the old magazines, but I still think the caches might be a great source of family-friendly and beginner caches for those of us who want to teach more kids/scouts/relatives to cache! Now to go look up this Dinosaur Train thing that's been mentioned...
  4. It could be someone's signature item, a coin they had that's just for trade and not tracking. And there are cool ones like the compass rose geocoin (I've got some minis of that) which are just cool swag and not trackable. So basically, you probably got lucky with cool swag.
  5. Also curious to know if more remain ... my kids and I are fascinated with all the caching collectibles and hardly know where to start.
  6. I have loved dandelions since childhood. As a totally newbie, where might I find out about ordering those once you finish designing them? (As for mutant dandelions ... I recently discovered what I thought were overgrown giant dandelions were actually something else entirely. Very depressing, and bad for my allergies too. Bummer.)
  7. What are Ranger Rick trails? Anything to do with the magazine? I grew up reading those!
  8. I've been noticing some map discrepancies myself, and wondered what was up. Was looking for an obvious location (couldn't miss the place, the difficulty was in the retrieval) and Google map tracking my path was WAY off. Would've hated to have that happen on a hike cache! So I'm being a little more careful about their reliability ... and up to recently the same program would show me driving into the precise parking spot in a parking lot that I was actually using. So something on their end has changed ... because my software, GPS apparatus, and physical location certainly haven't. (FWIW, I use a Galaxy tablet computer for the urban stuff, in combo with my Garmin handheld, and the other way around for the off-road caches. So I do have backup.)
  9. FWIW, I'm noticing the use of maps in this thread ... most of the caches we attempt, we've usually checked out on Google maps first (and we aren't even doing hard ones yet). In our area, the crossover between urban lamppost caches and deep-woods ammo tins can be that mere 500ft minimum distance (though technically you still have to take the trail to the woods ones, because you'd be an idiot to park on those roads!). We're lucky to have a good variety in our city, with lots of greenspace. I've even seen a few listed as accessible only by boat. So a good zoomed-in map, and perhaps a comparison with local trail maps for altitude, etc, would give us some clues ... there can be caves, tree hides, etc. I do agree that some warning should be in the description, though, just to keep folks safe ... there's one I want to try that even marks a waypoint for a sneaky cave that you could fall in without spotting it first. Details like that save lives!
  10. Ooh, I didn't know about the log ... how would I access that?
  11. Actually, in the trickier caches, it can also mean that the cache itself is made of something magnetic ... I read about one of those. Just worth pointing out ... check the rating! But yeah, it usually means it involves a magnet attaching the cache to something else.
  12. Is that your container around the mark, or is that how it's actually found? I'm not sure if you're allowed to deliberately obscure or cover up a benchmark (though so many of them are covered up anyway) ... wonder if that might violate some law somewhere? Otherwise I think it would be nifty, and benchmarks don't cound toward a find total, so it doesn't mess with the numbers for those who might see it as cheating.
  13. If price is an issue... I find tons of backpacks at local thrift stores. I'm always keeping an eye out for good ones, because I work with scouts and because I can't resist anything with lots of pockets. Some are in great shape, others not, but it's worth checking out.
  14. That's a bit rough; caches that aren't there are just as frustrating to newbies as to veterans. Maybe more so, since we're still learning what to look for. (Speaking as a newbie who has had a lot of DNFs that actually turned out to be muggled, misplaced, disabled right after we looked, etc ... and yes, I have verified those. I tend to have my kids in tow when I cache, so that slows my find rate a LOT and it's very frustrating when it turns out the cache is gone.) I agree that it's not a bad idea to wait and get experience before the first plant, but no harm in planning while you go! Why risk losing a good idea?
  15. For me (and I suppose I'm still a newbie, only a year into the game and under 100 finds), I look at it as whether it's an issue with the cache or with me. If *I* can't get to the cache, because it's just higher than I can reach and I didn't bring a tool, or whatever, then it doesn't count. On the other hand, to use a local example, if a bison tube was placed in a tree's knothole, and the tree grew around it and swallowed the tube, and I retrieved the log which was a soggy unsignable spitwad, and I couldn't get the cap back on because the tree had warped it ... that's a find (and a Needs Maintenance log). LOL. Still have that log ... I had hopes of spreading it out to dry and returning it to the owner, but it was a total loss ... just a weird souvenir for me now. But that's just how I try to play the game. Everyone has a slightly different style, and everyone has different abilities. I lead a Cub Scout den and a Girl Scout troop, and I do have kids who would never be able to individually access certain caches on their own, but who can work with us as a team to find things. Mostly folks seem to accept team searches and logs (though I guess teams usually have each member sign?) so to me it seems the rules can be flexible. It's about the fun of it and the spirit of it. I do have one find where I couldn't access the log at all... I didn't realize the error was mine, I truly thought the log was unreachable, and posted the appropriate notes. I daresay I generated some chuckles from veterans in the know, and I have since learned that invisible fishing line is apparently a geo-resource... The CO has been kind enough to let my log stand, though. I'm okay with it for me, and had a good laugh about the way it was hidden and accessed once I learned, and someday when it won't annoy my kids, I'll make another run and get my name on the dotted line.
  16. Thank you! I feel much better about it now! And I can't wait to make some of our own and pass them along too.
  17. Some people think that geocaching is actually about moving the CACHE ... met one of those recently, and did my best to set her straight without showing too much horror and scaring her off the sport. Fortunately she's not a cacher, just someone who'd heard of it. And one of our personal favorite caches got muggled recently ... either deliberate theft or an unknowing kid, hard to tell with playground hides. But that one had squirrels after it, too, so it was bound to happen eventually ... still, we're pretty disappointed and it's not even our cache ... just one close by that we liked to keep an eye on. And newbies make mistakes. One local newbie took a micro with him before an upcoming event, so that it would be protected from muggles during said event ... not thinking that cachers might be at the event too, looking for it! He responded to initial emails and intended to return the cache later, but never did, and now the owner has finally had to archive the listing. Guess the guy never really got into the hobby after that, or lost the micro or something. Maybe he was embarrassed about the mistake, let too much time go by, and decided to just disappear. Which is a pity, since we'd all rather have more players and cachers back, and forgive mistakes, than to lose players and caches. The idea about making a replacement is a good one. If you've got a picture of the original, you could do a laminated card type thing, and put the code on it, so it still kinda looks like what it used to be. At least then the contest can continue.
  18. For your purpose, you might look up something like the Flat Stanley Project (based on a kids' book) and find swap partners who happen to be geocachers. Then your Flat Stanley (or toy or whatever) can travel, return to you with photos and souvenirs, and be sent out again to someone else. Likewise, you'd be taking someone else's item, giving it a tour, and returning it. (My kids are doing Flat Stanley swaps right now, actually.) Another option might be to look into hybrid letterbox caches ... there's some flexibility on letterbox travelers. But really, as people said, just about anything can be attached to a Travel Bug tag ... may be tricky to find caches that can accomodate larger items, but not impossible ... we hosted the cutest little stuffed critter from Germany for a long time till we could find a decent-sized cache for it. (Found it in a totally waterlogged cache, so it took time to get the mustiness out anyway ... and then lo and behold it ended up BACK on the same mountain, but in a better place, a few runs later. Go figure. It's moved on now.) As soon as we can all agree on something cute enough to travel that we can bear to part with, my kids and I will be releasing a TB or two of our own. At the moment we just keep a teddy bear (mine, small, from a camp) with a scouting/caching anniversary coin so he can be Discovered when we go to events. Almost as much fun.
  19. That is totally wild! Good luck with your project! We haven't got anything worth parting with, or we'd probably consider sending something. Maybe it'll wander down south and we can see it sometime.
  20. Got a few of those driving me nuts ... everyone else can find them ... sigh. On the other hand, we may possible carry a Geo-Jinx because our (logged) DNFs are about 50% truly not there ... muggled, damaged, etc. Seriously, with owner verification later and everything. I guess we keep just missing the find ... but it makes all the other finds that much more rewarding, and it's always nice to find the elusive DNF at some point and see that there's one or two we didn't jinx. Gives us some truly funny stories, at least. Anything that shows a ton of DNFs we don't even try for, yet, because so few folks actually post when they can't find something that I take it pretty seriously to see a string of them. We're not good enough to find something that 50 other people missed. Though I did find one, once, that was almost presumed missing ... had found enough by that CO to sort of get a feel for his hides, and then just plain got lucky when I got to ground zero. At dark, too.
  21. I cache with kids ... inconspicuous we are not. If someone asks, we tell them we're geocaching, and explain it as a sort of treasure hunt or scavenger hunt. Either they are satisfied and move on, or they are interested and you've got new friends. Or, bonus, they're cachers too and give you a hand! I've ended up in some ludicrous spots, but only twice has it been iffy ... once when I parked the car on what I *thought* was a dead end gravel road off a main road, so I could check out a nearby benchmark ... left my two kids in the car because it was chilly and they were tired. Turns out it was a driveway and I blocked the guy leaving ... and he was about to call the cops about two abandoned kids! He didn't see me because I'd just stooped down to check for the benchmark and was out of his line of view. I walked back in a hurry (never did find that darn benchmark) and explained, and he was really nice about it. I thanked him, of course, for being so concerned about the kids, because he did exactly the right things as a strange man who sees two kids alone. And I drove home quite shaken up! The other iffy one was recently, when I dragged the whole family back to one spot I've checked a zillion times and can't find the micro. What with the power still being out (I'm in the tornado-stricken region), everyone's pretty much outside, and of course there was someone on a porch watching us that I didn't see at first. She was very concerned about what we were up to. I ended up giving her a pretty good explanation, as a courtesy to any cachers who come after me, because the neighbors certainly have a right to know what's up in their area! She thought we'd dropped something or lost a pet down the nearby ditch. So at least any other cachers will have an easier time in that spot. And I hope they find the thing, we sure can't. My funniest was the time I tried to sit and read (was on my own) while waiting for a group to clear out of the area of the park where GZ should've been. Turned out to be a prayer meeting and they decided to do some evangelizing on their way out. Multilingual group too ... I'd love to know how 'geocaching' got translated. And even the prayers didn't help me find it that day ... took another try later. LOL. But they were nice folks, if a bit puzzled.
  22. And then there's the cache placed on a wheelchair-accessible trail ... and even that one has me scratching my head. (FWIW, the cache owner never claimed the cache was accessible ... just an example I'm picturing.) I wanted to take my scouts on this one, because I've got a girl who will require that sort of hike ... it's paved and all ... but it's remarkably uphill (or down, I guess, depending where you start) and of course there are branches and other nature debris all over the place ... how on earth is a wheelchair-bound person supposed to deal with that? I think my troop would enjoy adding another cache to the trail, though, and that area is our best opportunity to be completely inclusive and still out in the woods. Fortunately my young scout in question uses a walker rather than a chair, but it's still gonna be a difficult walk for her ... and with a recent camping trip with a wheelchair-bound scout leader, I'm beginning to wonder exactly what DOES constitute accessible. It's been eye-opening for me, to say the least.
  23. May I ask a question about signature items? Are they intended strictly for the cache owner as a thank-you, or can any later cacher claim them? (I recently collected a little button pin from a cache that was a signature item, those aren't too terribly expensive on CafePress, btw, and now wonder if perhaps I wasn't supposed to. It was getting rusty though so it probably needed removing ... but I'd love to know the proper etiquette!) Love all the suggestions! I bet my kids (and my Scouts) would love to make some of those. And they sure look safer than carving stamps for letterboxes ... I am so NOT good at that yet.
  24. It drove me nuts, trying to 'find' the first earth cache we went for. I still haven't logged that one, because I need to update the photo we took and recalculate whatever the questions were. At least I eventually got an explanation from someone!
  25. If it turns out the cache has been abandoned ... no finds, no owner activity for a really long time, etc, then a reviewer can archive it and the location becomes available for someone else to use (you know, that 500 feet rule). Depending on your area's saturation, that may matter to you or not. I know there are a couple spots that just opened up in my area that I'm working on trying to adopt ... an owner had to archive a cache that was taken and that he can't maintain, and I'm trying to recreate the cache and get it listed in the same spot before someone else does. But I'm working with the former cache owner on that one. It's odd that it wouldn't have any information on it at all. It could be a leftover from an old event ... I held a geocache/letterbox workshop for some Girl Scouts recently and very nearly left my cache at the camp when we were all done ... I am sure that would've baffled a lot of folks later on. LOL. Kind of like finding old Easter eggs, but less smelly.
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