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Everything posted by nittanycopa

  1. Many people don't understand, "extreme caching". You aren't the only one, I have a huge one in my "area", "linuxxpert" I will never do them, but I understand why they do them. The point isn't about not having people finding them, it's about giving a huge challenge, and adrenaline rush to those that WANT to do extreme caches. Challenge and planning. They're a lot of fun, but take up a day of time to find and a fair amount of prep work and equipment planning. Without proper gear and knowledge of said gear they're extremely risky. I don't advise trying to find them without proper training or accompanying a group of more experienced extreme cachers. Many involve climbing 75+ feet up trees and other structures using an ascension / descension system. There are a few ways to rig this, but again, you need to know what you're doing. PA, NJ, and MD are all pretty rich with extreme caches. To the OP: may I suggest you checking out extreme-caching.com ? I see someone else posted it here. I'm a regular over there and we generally plan outings to various extreme caches on the forums.
  2. I'll actually put in the log "planning to go to X destination at X time." If I find a trackable that has a far off goal and I know I'll be there in the next 6 months, I log it as such. Sometimes that might be 4-6 months. Had one destined for Russia that I held onto for 4 months and deposited in Denmark. Better waiting in my hands than sitting in a seldom-found cache in Allentown, IMO!
  3. http://www.extreme-caching.com/ Go to the forums there and find discussions regarding equipment and techniques. Many of the extreme geocaches listed in the Mid-Atlantic may actually require slightly different equipment from your garden variety rock climbing excursion. In many cases you need to set a line from the base of the obstacle - so you'll need a line launcher (examples: Big Shot slingshot, CO2 gun, fishing pole, crossbow). You'll also need some specialty gear for rope climbing - common system used on the E-C forums is RADS. If you're not familiar, it's a system that utilizes a harness, ascender, etrier, and self belay device (GriGri). You use a system of sitting and standing up to move up the rope. Another system utilizes a chest strap and ascenders on the feet - ropewalking. Boils down to preference, really. I do encourage you to check out the forums over there if you're interested. We plan caching adventures here and there and some of the forumites are also rock climbers and enjoy climbing at Seneca Rocks.
  4. I had a similar DNF log on a 5/5 cache on an island over a month ago. The journey down and along the river in a kayak turned out to be memorable regardless of the cache actually BEING there. Turns out the cache had been swept off in flood waters along with a few others we DNF-ed the same day.
  5. #500 was just over the weekend @ Psycho Urban Cache #13. A climb up the sheer face of a pillar in the middle of the Potomac River alongside my boyfriend on another rope, he's a cacher also. When I first started geocaching I had no idea I'd do anything this insane. Now I love climbing, never thought I would!
  6. www.extreme-caching.com There you go. Certified TOUGH caches.
  7. We've completed Venango and Crawford so far and enjoyed those two counties. 11 caches in one day, saved one for the day after. We did notice, though, the terrain rating was pretty exaggerated on many of the caches and some were located on private property "with permission" - kinda meh on the private property thing, to be honest. For reference, we're located in the Allentown/Bethlehem area, so completing the remainder of the AGT caches is probably going to have to happen soon on open weekends. Too bad the cost of gas absolutely sucks right now...
  8. But what's wrong with logging with them? Other than the fact that smartphone users take the heat for short or blank logs, but that's not the phone's fault, it's the cacher's. In defense of smartphone logs, my logs would be the same whether I did it from my phone or computer. And I'll have to respectfully disagree with you about the "iPhone sucks" comment. I use the iPhone 4. That's all I have to cache with. It's accuracy is much MUCH better than 200-300 feet, so maybe it's just the older iPhone that's at fault. Most of the time it can get me within 10 feet or less, 20 on a bad day and maybe a little more in heavily wooded areas. Know what, it's people in the forums that have a proverbial stick up their you know what about iPhones. Cache with it, enjoy it, hide with it - you'll get feedback if your coordinates aren't correct. I guess it's the same as finding caches with an iPhone, if it's so terrible, how can one rack up several hundred finds with one? Oh, the horror. Ah, but wait I also have an eTrex HC (that I use infrequently), so that makes me okay. Anyway... I'm a new cacher but will say I've tried to learn etiquette and have caught on quickly that just because an area is cache-less doesn't mean it needs to have a quick cache placed. I have one cache placed in a calm office park overlooking a pond (usually filled with ducks, nice lunch time walk), one placed on an outdoor handball wall in a park that sees very few visits, and another on a bridge that was simply thrown down in the middle of a field that doesn't lead anywhere. I like peculiar things like that that make you say - hmm, wonder what the purpose was? My first hides were pretty simple, but as I grow in the hobby, I am coming up with considerably more creative or difficult ideas. I think the whole hobby is a learning curve. There are new cachers that stay with the hobby, grow, and learn (like myself) and there's others that just fizzle out. As for an influx of new people - my boyfriend and I have taken a handful of our non-caching friends caching and none of them have caught onto the hobby. I think one of our friends thought it was boring and the others were indifferent. So I'm not sure about that "influx" thing. I have noticed a lot of new cachers in my area are family teams - many found it as a means of something to do as a family. Me, personally, I think that's pretty awesome.
  9. One small note of warning on putting QR codes in multi-stage caches (and maybe these are obvious, but anyway): 1. Make sure your container is watertight 2. LAMINATE OR PROTECT THE QR CODE! Spent 3 hours this weekend rigging a line into a tree only to eventually climb the tree (70 feet) to find the QR code at the top was on basic copy paper, was wet, and unreadable by our devices. Luckily we know the CO and were able to send him a quick photo of the soggy QR code to get the next stage's coords. Kinda makes ya grumpy, though, regardless. Especially when you're up a tree and find out.
  10. I use an iPhone 4 and love its "grab and go" functionality. I also have an eTrex but don't use it very often and usually use it as a backup to the phone. Sure, a $400 GPS would be nice, but I can think of about $1000 worth of sporting gear that would be incredibly more useful in finding caches. And the phone has been accurate and sturdy through 400+ finds and a couple hides, so I have no complaints. Some people seem to have a hobby of scoffing at smartphone users. Scoff away. I like mine.
  11. It's been extremely rainy this spring in the Northeast, so yes, I've definitely done some rainy day caching. Has made me think more seriously about using "Rite in the rain" logs, though.
  12. If a specific cache is part of a challenge cache, check to see if there are any bookmark lists listed on the cache page referring to that challenge. That may present you with the challenge listing or a listing of all the other caches.
  13. You know... one way to get into good physical shape is to go out and grab some extreme caches! I disagree. Going after the extremes should only be done if you are already in good physical shape. It might help keep you in top shape but you need to be in pretty good shape already. You're certainly entitled to your opinion. But caches in extreme locations and requiring ropes, harnesses, ice axes, jet packs, crampons, time traveling DeLoreans, and other such fun tools are how I got back into shape. The important part, in my opinion, is the knowledge of how to do these things. The ability and endurance part comes back as you do them. Depending on which climbing method you're using, some require significantly less upper body strength than others.
  14. Finding a video on YouTube about PUC 13 got a few of us all started on finding extreme caches. The new video featured on the website about extreme multi-caching featuring "An Extreme Tour of Centralia" gives a good idea of what the multitude of 5/5 multi-caches are like in Eastern PA / Maryland. The only downside is there are so many of them and not enough weekends in the summer to complete them all! I'm hoping to go after "Centralia" soon. My boyfriend was in the 2TF group, and I'm not sure he wants to go on the 10+ mile hike again only to post a note
  15. Instead of the flimsy film containers, try diabetic test strip containers with the snap-top lid. They have to seal tight to protect the test strips. Downside - may crack in the heat or over a long span of time. Generally, though, they're a decent option for a smaller container.
  16. That's basically a Wordpress platform website. I think you went from some valid suggestions in your first post to completely losing credibility with this one.
  17. I agree the message system - contacting and adding other users as friends - is very clunky. The messages are pretty vital, IMO, regardless of whether this is perceived as a social activity or no. Messages help us to keep in contact with cache owners, report problems, etc. The Facebook thing...best way to go about this is to add it as an optional dimension in the profile. It shouldn't be integrated with geocaching.com in any manner. Users should be able to add social "contact" options, though, as they can on any other similar profile. And I'm sure that'll still rile up the 'ole anti-Facebook crowd here. You don't use Facebook? Good for you, would you like a cookie for defying the social norm?
  18. Depends on the size and difficulty of the cache. Might also depend on the CO - if you're familiar with their style of hiding you may have a good idea of how long it may take to find the cache, where it may be, perceived difficulty vs. actual, etc. It may also depend on how populated your area is. It's not uncommon for caches to go missing in my area - there's a high population density here. The only time I'll assume a cache may have been muggled and contact the CO directly is if it meets the following criteria: 1. Specific (obvious) hint 2. Low difficulty 3. Larger container 4. Phoned a previous finder to verify its location 5. Scoured the area around GZ thoroughly Still doesn't GUARANTEE it's gone missing. Had one that met all of those criteria and as it turns out, it got swept away in flood water and found it 35 feet from its original hiding place buried in flood debris. Marked as found, returned to its original hiding place (as verified by a previous finder AND the CO). I will contact the CO with concerns if the cache meets the above criteria. Had this happen a couple months ago with a unique ammo can in the woods. There was an obvious hiding place - under a log, bunch of sticks and bark built up along the side. There was an obvious hint. There was also a photo of the cache on the cache page. A colorful, unique ammo can. I could not find it. I looked elsewhere, no luck. I contacted the CO after posting a DNF with "really hope this unique hide has not gone missing" and a couple weeks later another DNF was posted, cache was disabled, listed as muggled. There are a lot of caches in this area that have few finds spread out over a long span of time. I've heard some stories of locals getting upset and requesting NA or insisting to the owner they're not there. Don't assume that it's gone because it hasn't been found in some time - even if it's an "easy" terrain or difficulty. It may just be an extremely good hide and you may just be blind to it
  19. Not to be a stickler but: 1. Ok i get that but if you wanted to you could get an extended battery 2. Ok smartphones have a ton of free offline maps. Try Locus on android for every map you could ever think of 3. I dont really see what your saying here. Yes phones use agps, thats an advantage...and I don't have that chipset. 3a. DFX's test shown a 3 foot difference...is that a lot in consumer grade GPS? hmmm 4. Also disagree, Dunno what to say 5. Otterbox Are you using only apple products? If that's the case maybe thats your problem? 1) Even an extended battery can't compare to just swapping AAs 2) Nearly every offline mapping app I've seen for smartphones used saved raster maps - horrifically space-inefficient 3) I'm saying that cell phones have such poor GPS receivers that they NEED AGPS to come close to the performance of even a not-so-hot dedicated chipset like the Cartesio. Without AGPS, they have lock times and performance on par with decade-old standalones like my old Garmin eMap. This holds true for older Qualcomm MSM7200, and newer Snapdragons - I've tried both. Not an Apple product user - I hate their walled-garden approach and the fact that they clearly choose visual form factor over performance and functionality - I would expect Apples to have substandard GPS performance too considering how incompetent their RF engineers are. Anyone who places a transmit antenna element where it is easy for human skin to come into direct contact with it is an idiot. Even worse to place it where human skin will be routinely in contact with it. 3a) Was that in the clear? - in the clear, everyone does pretty well these days. What's important is how far downhill things go when you're in a canyon or in tree coverage. Last time I went hiking in Watkins Glen State Park, the cell phone GPS lost coverage shortly after entering the gorge, my standalone GPS went downhill in accuracy but was still usable and maintained lock. 4) Don't know what to say - my experience with an Android tablet, for example, is that it routinely had the compass pointing the wrong way and there was no way to calibrate it. 5) Um, you can't use the phone when it's in an Otterbox. News to me http://www.otterbox.com/iPhone-4-Defender-Series-Case/APL2-I4XXX,default,pd.html I routinely carry my phone caching and at work in a dirty, dusty industry. I've been through 3 iPhones, using them in similar conditions, all with protective cases. None of these, even being dropped several times, showed damage. I'm going to disagree on the GPS performance of the iPhone 4 / Droid 2 or X / etc. also, but it's obviously a losing argument here in the forums.
  20. Pretty spendy for what they have. That's why we call it "Really Expensive Items." I quit shopping there for climbing and camping gear. I'm a shareholder and my dividend never seems to accurately reflect my purchases for the given year. I'm always told a line about "well, see, that item was technically on sale"... So, Amazon.com it is for my caching, climbing and outdoors needs. Lowest price (usually) and delivered to my door for free in 2 days with my prime membership. And Best Buy...ugh, don't get me started on them. I quit shopping there a few years ago. I highly doubt them carrying GPS units will do much of anything negative to the hobby of geocaching.
  21. Interesting. I was in an area with only slight "edge" signal over the weekend with my iPhone (AT&T) and was still able to get faster page loads than my boyfriend who had slight 3G signal through Verizon on his Droid. I turned off 3G and data roaming when I wasn't actively using the phone to navigate to caches and still had over 50% battery life at the end of a long day of caching. The two of us only had issues on 2 caches which were in areas completely devoid of service. Solution - we had saved all cache data for the series of caches we were seeking to the Droid - took the coords and plugged them into our eTrex. The phones, even in remote areas, are still preference number one with the eTrex as a convenient back-up.
  22. Depends on the climate, but metal containers such as Altoids containers are pretty horrible in the Northeast. Rain + cheap-o tin = rusty mucky cache disaster.
  23. I know we all have bad days, but wow, this person's logs for their other finds aren't even nice.
  24. Considering the usage I've gotten out of that $10 app, I'd gladly pay $20 or more for it. Guess it's all in the value you perceive from something you use.
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