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Everything posted by HazelS

  1. Nobby.Nobbs and I live within half a mile of the beautiful New Forest. It's a stunning place, and thanks to the New Forest Agreement, affords great caching. It's quite usual for the immediate half mile or so around the forest boundary to be less dense. So, we were sat at home one evening in September when Nobby pointed out that there was a new series of caches right in the village where we live. We looked at the locations and thought...."really???" and left them. This weekend we found ourselves with some free time, and so decided to have a look at them again. We got to the first cache, and met the cache owner who was already there. He said how he thought there was a gap in the caches in this residential area, so thought he'd "chuck some out." The cache owner had done 29 caches. The first cache was next to a lovely valley area, trees, ornamental ponds and a wealth of history associated with it. Did he place it there? did he heck... he placed it under the end of some railings in view of around 15 houses, on a residential street. Did he say anything about the history, the lovely locations nearby? no he did not.... Did the cache pot smell of dog wee? Probably, I'm not getting my nose that close. He asked for some feedback, and so those of you that know Nobby will know he was only too happy to give it. His response? I'll consider moving it, but not sure. For us, caching is about the right container for the hide, a good walk, something interesting - why have you brought us here? what are you showing me? In the "olden days" we used to say that caching somewhere new was like being shown around by a local. These days in most areas it just seems to be about making sure there's yet another damp, smelly 35ml film pot every 528ft. Is it any wonder many of the camping events stalwarts who seriously cached 5 years ago no longer do so, yet we're all still friends and will still camp together? It's not a coincidnce.... the demise of cache standards has meant that when newbies do a soggy 35ml film pot cache, they think that's what caching is about.... Rant over....
  2. Depending how my big move goes the day before, we are thinking about this one....
  3. No, there are some great caches in Cheshire - some fabulous circular walks, and certainly some lovely locations. Sadly they are overshadowed by the poorly thought out nanos and manky 35ml cannisters shoved on street corners because "I can." The New Forest Agreement is certainly still in place.... Only 150 in the forest, and I've probably done around 25 or 30 in the last year.... The agreement is what keeps caches there great!! I simply don't cache the way I used to.... we cache when and if we fancy a decent walk, with a bit of good quality tupperware involved. I certainly don't cache every time I go down there, and if we DO cache, I like to do earth caches, virtuals and those caches that are somewhere I really want to go, or are a bit interesting!!!
  4. That's one of the reasons I'm glad to be moving to The New Forest - they're all boxes, nothing smaller than a small and a decent radius - none of this 528ft malarky!!
  5. I for one, won't miss them... I do not enjoy going into cramped, urine stenched, spider infested locations just to sigm a scrap of paper....... Bring back decent sized caches on lovely circular walks, placed to take me somewhere interesting.... oh the good old days!!!
  6. Blimey.... I must need shooting then.... very often I don't log caches or TB's I've taken until at least a week after visiting... Sometimes real life takes over, or I simply forget. Chill..... I know many a cacher who are playing catch up with their logs from months ago... or like my other half, does it when he can be bothered....
  7. Although I'm not the worlds greatest fan of hills these days, I have climbed Snowdon in the past, and indeed, spent many a happy summer on Pen Lleyn. One thing strikes me - you say you're going to Hafan Y Mor.... I hate to break it to you, but that is NOT Snowdonia. You're talking a good 40 mins to an hour to get to that area from there. If it's hills you're after while in the area, why not have a go at Yr Eifl (known locally as The Rivals) Clicky linky thingy Yes, they're only baby hills, but as this article points out, why scramble for parking, (almost) form a queue to get to the summit etc when these are stunning, very quiet, and believe me, on a sunny day at sunrise, beat the hell out of any big mountain!! There's an amazingly rich history to the hills too, an old fort and really can be deserted - a real get away from the tourist trail! If you want a relatively flat walk, try the Lleyn Coastal Path on the north of the peninsula? Stunning stunning scenery. Another clicky linky thingy
  8. Hi Philip Has to be said.... I've not done a bad cache in the forest yet!!! I LOVE caching there, and those of you that know me well will know that I VERY rarely cache at home now, they're uninspiring, mainly micros in trashy places and NOT in locations I would want to go for a walk. And yeah - it's all down to a bloke that I'm moving down there..... LOL
  9. Around three years ago, I cleared Wirral. No mean feat, I can tell you... But then, I was cured. I now really only cache when we fancy a stroll, if we're going somewhere new and there's a decent cache there, if it's a new county for me or if we're at a camping event. However.... I'll leave Wirral to move to the New Forest at some point soon (we hope) and the standard of caches there is second to none, a real example of where monitoring density, size and standard, really have worked. It's now my intention to clear The Forest... There might only be 150 caches, but they have a further radius than the rest of the country, and definitely NO power trails!! I also love that there's no cache smaller than a small, and are all in exceptionally beautiful countryside!! Matt doesn't really cache much now, so it may even get him out again!
  10. Oh dear - I'm confused. I know it doesn't take much, but I thought I should ask for clarification. I host a regular pub event, and if events are going to be more stringently reviewed to ensure they're inclusive and all welcome, does this mean that pub events will no longer be allowed? I only ask because I know of several groups in society that wouldn't go into a pub on religious reasons, and I do not wish to go to the trouble of organising and listing an event if it's to be knocked back, even though we've been meeting in the same pub for the last 5 years..... I am well aware of the Equalities Act and the "strands" and I wouldn't want to fall foul of the rules - I just want a group of bonkers people to be able to get together and eat, drink and have fun. This country isn't exactly blessed with the ideal weather to hold year round outdoor events, and pubs are ideal... as long as they don't fall foul of the rules.
  11. It's not.... It's not about any particular camping event, it's about camping events in general... It's something we chat about a LOT on Facebook, and it's rearing it's head now as we're all planning our camping events for the summer... They take a lot of planning, and it really does have to start now!!
  12. Andy.... I think you missed the point.... (well, my point anyway!) It's more about getting those who tip up for 5 mins, to think again about attending as a camper... Camping events are SO much fun, it's about ENCOURAGING more people to come and camp - NOT about excluding people!! The turning up and just going caching is not in the spirit of camping events, they're about spending time with those you'd not normally spend time with, caching with people you'd never usually cache with due to geography, about the cameraderie, the laughs, the daft antics, it's not about simply turning up just to get a smiley! I'd love to see those who usually turn up to get a smiley, turn up and camp!!! More specifically, and most importantly it's about the logistics.... It REALLY is very difficult to find a site that will allow day visitors. Add that to the usual things you have to think about when you're choosing a camp site: Facilities Cleanliness Electric hookup Price Rally field (sometimes number attending preclude us from just going on the main site) and, more importantly, closeness to a good number of decent quality caches. Why should we choose our campsites to suit those who are simply going to turn up for a short period of time? If we didn't have to have the campsite open to all, we would be able to go to the best possible site for those who are camping!
  13. I've been holding camping events for 5 years now, and I really enjoy hosting them as much as I enjoy attending those set by others. However.... There will be no Let's Go Camping in Cheshire this year... Why? Quite simply the campsite I would like to hold the event on doesn't allow day visitors. "So have it somewhere else..." I hear you say.... Why the hell should I??? This is the site I would like to camp at, not one that suits the reviewers, who don't even go to camping events!!! I don't want to go to a site somewhere else, I chose the site because it's close to a lovely ring of caches, with great facilities, and even better, electric hook up and beautiful surroundings! So - why should I go somewhere else to suit people who will just turn up for an hour or so? Why should the site be chosen for them, not for those that are actually staying on the site...? If the reviewers in the USA are allowing camping only events, then surely it should be allowed here. I don't do big hills, so I choose not to go hunting caches on the top of big mountains. If I didn't have camping gear, I'd choose not to go to a camping only event. It's quite simple. What I would like to see is that there be "camping only" events, and I'd gladly hold 2 events that weekend, a camping only one, and then maybe another in a local pub one evening. The main thing about camping events is the amazing atmosphere at night... stories being told, brews (alcoholic an otherwise!!) being drunk, and fun being had.... It'd maybe encourage those who currently choose not to camp to do so - there's nothing more I'd like to see than more geo - campers... I'm CERTAINLY not trying to prevent people from attending, in fact, I'd like more to come along and camp! It really isn't rocket science!
  14. In the almost 7 years I've been caching, I've been asked several times what I'm doing... Sometimes I tell the truth - I'm on a "kind of" treasure hunt, sometimes I like to just make something up - well.... it passes the time, and gives me a giggle. If I'm in Chester, I say I'm a Channel 4 location scout for Hollyoaks, anywhere else in Cheshire I carry my Council ID Badge (I work for the Council) and I tell them I'm doing some survey work. That's worked nicely. I was approached by the Police at a particularly dodgy part of the Wirral, and asked what I was doing. Of course, I told them the truth, the GPS with the cache details on, and they took my details and said they would investigate said cache. It was archived shortly after following the Police interviewing the cache owner! However, the best was at a camping event in Oxfordshire, I was caching along a canal with Pengy and Tigger, and anyone who knows them, knows they have a wicked sense of humour... We were approached by several kids, and asked what we were doing. Becky piped up that we were carrying out a survey of rare tree snails, and that several had been spotted in trees along this stretch of the canal. She went on to tell the wide eyed kids that every Sunday we had to go along the canal and count them, then report the numbers and locations back to the Council. We were certain the cache wasn't around the tree we were currently searching, and so Becky told the kids they could see if they could find any in and around that tree... It kept them occupied, and allowed us to go "count" at the next tree.... Of course, we found the cache, but sadly no rare tree snails!!
  15. This is going to sound really vague.... It's been a good few months since I used the icrap to cache with, but I remember you "write a message" (log it) and then have to remember to separately send it...... I know I stuffed up a few times. I'd not bother while you're out in the field, people get funny about very short "TFTC" or non existent logs, so just take a note book, jot down a few notes, then write a good quality log when you get home!
  16. Interesting to see this thread resurrected.... Just checked out my parents' stats and they're now up to 22 countries after spending a confusing day caching in Estonia last week LOL
  17. As a regular visitor to the New Forest I've been really impressed with the caches there.... The caches I've done so far have been well thought out, of a decent size, good quality lock and lock boxes, well maintained, and more importantly, show off the countryside to it's best. There ARE a few easy drive by caches, but most are on great walks and I believe this high standard IS due to the agreement in place. Yes, you have to really plan your caching trips out because there aren't caches chucked out every 528ft, but The Forest is hardly the kind of place you moan about having a decent walk in... It's hardly suprising that when Matt comes up to Wirral he's loathe to cache here, the caches (nor the countryside) are a patch on The New Forest! :ph34r:
  18. I don't like dogs, particularly... Having been bitten by a dog as a child, I've been wary scared silly of bigger dogs. It REALLY angers me when I'm out for a walk and a dog comes running up from nowhere, not on a lead, owners nowhere to be seen, and jumps all over me, trying to lick me, and won't leave me alone.... This has happened on more than one occasion, and I too, have had the "he's only being friendly, he won't hurt you!" and my immediate thought is... yeah, ok, how do you know he won't hurt me? Do you think for your dog? There's never any apology for the muddy (or even worse) foot prints all over my jacket, for scaring me rigid or for germ ridden slobber all over me. When will dog owners realise that as a responsible dog owner, they are the ones that have to put and keep their dog on a lead.... Only today in The New Forest, we were out caching and a boxer type dog came belting towards me... as usual, I froze, while Matt tried to put himself between me and the dog, knowing how scared I am of dogs. This was out in the middle of the forest, where there are wild deer, ponies, cows etc all roaming freely, and who the dog could attack, scare, maim or even kill should he decide to on a whim. Was the dog on a lead? was he heck as like. Sadly, most dog owners think it's their "right" to have their dog off a lead... and say things like - Oh he needs a good run to be exercised properly... I'm sorry, but where there are members of the public, children, livestock and wild animals, dogs need to be on a lead and controlled. Rant over.... I make no apology for any of the above... if anyone would like to show me the clause in the Countryside Code that states that it's perfectly fine for your dog to run around uncontrolled, scare people, livestock and wildlife, then I'll gladly retract my comments.
  19. I've done one, but only because I was passing. I don't intend to do others unless I'm physically there anyway, I'm not going to make any special journeys.
  20. There's no reason why it shouldn't be allowed... I'm thinking Skeg to Ness here - All of which were easy peesy to find and were a great couple of days out for a group of us. OK - they weren't 528ft apart, more like a mile or so, but there ARE loops that are literally 528 ft apart........ Good luck.....
  21. And while I was the first to voice my concerns on these forums, there has been considerable chatter on Facebook amongst cachers, many of whom are actually now wondering just how "family friendly" the event will be if you feel the need to use porn stars to advertise it. Another cacher stated that they followed your Twitter feed on the geolympix and heard some gruesome tales of your "work" through it. And yes, whilst I am from the north west, that's merely geography, I have nothing to do with the mega event or the committee!!
  22. My I politely suggest that nobody (especially kids) google the "actress" above..... Hers is certainly not the image geocaching would want advertising an event that they're connected with, I'm sure of that.
  23. After all the angst on here over this, my usual "Let's Go Camping in Cheshire" event probably won't be a listed event. A group of us went camping in early September, and everything was as it would be if we were geo-camping, except the need headache of a separate event... There was no smiley for turning up to camp, did it put people off coming? Did it heck... we turned up, had a great time, cached lots and went home again.... no hassle.
  24. Well Said, Nobby.Nobbs.... I also would like to add that I don't think I've ever heard of people coming to a camping event and not feeling welcommed, in fact, I'd say it was the opposite. There have been so many new campers on the scene this year and I know most regular campers have gone out of their way to make them welcome, and to give them a hand errecting tents and the like. In fact, I know of several day visitors to campsites who, when they've expressed an interest in camping, I've gone home and emailed them a list of items they would need for camping!!! I'm not sure that can be misconstrued as making people unwelcome!! I'd just like to see day visitors be that - DAY visitors - come along for longer than 5 minutes, stay a while, enjoy the camping scene..... I know I've met some of my very best friends through the geo-camping scene... AND we're certainly not cliquey, nor do we exclude people!!
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