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theosus

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Everything posted by theosus

  1. Crappy or cryptic hints. Imagine this: You've walked a half a mile, seen the waterfall or creek or whatever, and are trying to find the cache, which of course is a film canister or key box. The hint says "under the rhododedron". GZ is in the middle of a thicket of rhodos... Or even better, wandering around a pine barrens, and the hint says "at the base of the pine tree". Why even bother giving a hint? Hints lead me to think that after a nice search I may receive some help where needed, not that the hint is completely useless. Hints like "under the oak tree with the hugs gall on the side the size of a watermelon", or "At the bast of the pine tree with the weird crooked spiral trunk" would at least be useful.
  2. My favorites... the bison tube in a thick stand of pines, with the following hint: "near the base of a pice tree". And of the you are right about the lamp skirt micro... i.e. "let's appear to be up to no good, and at the same time let's reach around and try to find the cache before the black window" I do miss a good box in the woods. I found a cache in a decent spot today, a bison tube hanging from a tree. It could easily been a small lock and lock or a small jar instead... but they went for the micro.
  3. A german pilot, flying for lufthansa, was flying into Berlin airport and was having a little trouble talking to the tower in English. He kept lapsing into German at points. Finally, frustrated, he said "I'm a German pilot, flying for a German airline, landing at a German airport. Why do I have to speak English?" An American pilot replied, "Because you lost the war". English is the standard language for pilots around the world. When your country invents the plane, I guess you get to pick the language. Personally, if someone geocaching in their country wants to post in their language, I'm fine with it. It's their country... I just wonder, in these other countries, how are they able to read the geocaching site, if they can't post in english?
  4. Imagine a virtual cache at every lamppost in every parking lot in the world. That's what would have happened had virtuals still been allowed today. Virtuals were meant to be somewhere significant that you couldn't place a traditional cache, say at the base of the washington monument looking towards the lincoln memorial, or somewhere on private property where you couldn't place a cache. The virtual was logged usually by the cache finder answering a question or sending in a picture. Check walt disney world - there are five virtuals there because placing a cache on disney property would be an awful thing to keep up with and Disney wouldn't want people being seen hiding things in brush, etc. But, much like lamp skirt caches, virtuals got overly prolific and took away from container caches. the EarthCache sort of replaced virtuals, requiring someone to answer questions about what they saw. I miss the ability to have virtuals, but at the same time, seeing some of the carpetbombing road caches (again, check florida, some roads are just lines of hundreds of caches with no purpose other than boosting numbers) maybe preventing virtual carpet bombing isnt a bad thing. Imagine Disney World with a virtual cache at every ride entrance...
  5. I took mine in 2003. The handhelds were still sort of new to most people, and phones didn't have them. It was fun, showing us we were at 37,000 feet and going 500 miles/hour. I am glad they are coming back after the knee-jerk banning, because of course anyone with a GPS is a terrorist. Check your phone in "plane mode". Mine disables the GPS when plane mode is on, along with wi-fi. Pretty much renders it a music/games/movie player with no outside transmission.
  6. You can buy the best, most accurate GPS in the world. It might get you six inches from the hider's coordinates. Unfortunately, if he is using some cheap-o GPS or some toy like an Android* phone to hide his cache in a thickly forested area on a cloudy day, you're still only going to be six inches from his inaccurate coordinates (which might be 30 feet from where he put the cache, and a circle 30 feet in diameter is a big search area when you are looking for a film canister hidden in the woods (usually with a "hint" that says something like 'base of tree' - yeah, thanks genius for your generous help, I would've never thought to look at the base of one of these four hundred trees). *Had to dig at Android, the fanboys get so upset when you pick at them. Carry on...
  7. I used a magellan sportrak from 2002 until last year. It worked fine when I retired it. I retired it because it's maps were pretty out of date (duh), I wanted something with better topo scale for hiking, and the case had a few splits (particularly around the battery compartment) rendering it no longer waterproof. In addition, it used an old type serial port interface (not usb), and computers don't come with those any more (my usb-serial cable still works, but the drivers were causing communications problems across the USB ports). So - GPS units last a good long while, but like a lot of electronics, you'll want "bigger better faster more" long before it poops out on you. You can geocache with a smart phone, but the first time you dunk your smart phone in the creek, drop it in the road, or forget the charger and kill the battery in a few hours, you'll be wanting that GPS. I spent two days hiking and caching in the woods in steady rain. My delorme pn60 (and me - lousy raincoat) stayed wet the whole time, took everything I threw at it like a champ, and used a single set of AA lithiums. Try that with a cell phone.
  8. I like the phone app for urban caches where the car is in view, and for when I know I'm going to have a charger. For going in the backwoods I prefer a dedicated GPS. People talk about accuracy a lot but your most accurate coordinate is only as accurate as the unit used to PLACE the cache. So if your iphone is within ten feet, but the hider used a GPS that was off by 30 feet, then you can still be forty feet off, which is a big circle. GPS batteries last so long compared to phone batteries, and GPS units are usually a bit more rugged and waterproof. To protect your iphone from a little rain you might have to buy a hundred dollar "life proof" case. a hundred bucks is half of a GOOD gps unit. I hiked for two days in the rain, my delorme GPS happily in my pocket, wet the whole time.
  9. Are you using an iPad? Apple might have changed this, but I read the USB port provided by the camera connection kit lets you use the port to connect to a camera, USB microphone/headset, some keyboards, and nothing else. I don't think an app exists that would let you transfer caches from the iPad to your GPS. You might want to get one of those laptop-tablet hybrids, which run Windows (and GSAK) and look and act like a laptop, but lets you rotate the screen 180 degrees and fold it flat over the keyboard. Apple is still pretty restrictive with the USB connection on phones and tablets. I like their stuff for a lot of things, but you really can't "replace" a laptop with an ipad, if that's going to be your only computer in the house.
  10. If you're used to the iPhone, you'll probably fair better with a touch screen. I bought my first gps before there WERE iphones. I had a magellan sportrak and now a delorme pn-60. I use my iphone for urban caches, light poles, ammo boxes in at rest stops, easy stuff like that. But for backwoods caching as it should be, the GPS is much better suited (plus it gets me back to the car the next day). Check the geocaching site. They have a handy "send directly to GPS" function that makes it a breeze to load individual caches. The pocket query thing is nice, no matter how you parse it, especially if you want to load a whole area at once. The thing I like about the on-60 is Topo-USA has an interesting way of doing "projects". Everything is on your GPS but you can manage files and projects individually, say, an AT section hike in georgia can be one project, and a geocaching trip around Orlando FL can be another one, everything isnt just dumped into one place. But - it has a bit of a learning curve, I hated it at first, until I learned to use it.
  11. My iphone 4 works about as well as my magellan sportrak map gps did. That is to say, it will get you within around 20 feet. Then you put it away and let your eyes and feet do the finding. You have to remember that you can only be as accurate as the hider's GPS. If they weren't using a GPS capable of getting you within a foot of accuracy, your best bet is however accurate THEY were. Which is why hints like "micro hanging from the pine tree" - in the middle of the pine forest make me want to post a find such as, "found on ground, re-hid per the hint".
  12. Why would he be in the station house? I've spent 18 years as a cop. If someone is just "acting suspicious" in my state you can question them (they aren't required by law to show ID, or even carry it), but they don't have to respond to your questions. You certainly can't take them to the station and grill them, and you can't detain them without charging them with something. I like the brochure idea myself, better than a card. SC requires GPS coordinates on accident reports, and a few years ago gave a GPS to every trooper, and a lot of smaller departments. I know several cops that geocache, or used to. It's becoming more mainstream now, a lot more than it was in 2002 when I started. Odds are someone around here knows something about it, so I'm not worried.
  13. theosus

    Tapatalk

    Consider this a vote AGAINST tapatalk. Why do I need another app to do what I already do? Then there's the stupid nag popup. "This board is compatable with tapatalk! Would you like to download it?" No, I can browse the internet without assistance, thank you very much.
  14. I just use REI poles with the twist locks. Poking around in holes and under logs is a lot safer with a pole than my hand.
  15. I did a five terrain before, involving crouch walking through drain lines in icky water under Asheville. I don't know if it was rated correct or not, but it felt like a 5 to me.
  16. I stopped for a while. Had a kid... It was tough to go caching. I always knew I would get back into it, though. The proliferation of park and grabs and the phone app were a big help.
  17. There was a problem in my area with people stealing ammo cans from cache sites. I know people who list their caches as "ammo can sized" for that reason. A thief might not walk into the woods for Tupperware...
  18. theosus

    teams

    The only bad thing I can see, is if someone moves away they suddenly "lose" the team... Or if one member goes on vacation and finds caches in Florida, they are logging caches there that you all didnt have a chance to see. Not that it's a problem, but what if you wanted to search for the same one later, and it's already logged. If you want to be a team that's good, but I would suggest individual members have their own accounts. You can log stuff as a team, and if you find one solo, you can log it solo. My daughter, who cached with me for years, decided she wants her own account now, and wants me to go back and log all her old ones for her so her numbers are right. Of course, she's only 10.
  19. Exactly... I use my iphone for spur-of-the-moment urban caching. But just using it as a GPS kills the battery in a few hours. My pn-60 on the other hand is a lot less expensive if I lose or break it, goes all day on a set of lithiums (and has the USB car adapter thing so I can save my batteries), is sunlight readable, can store hundreds of caches in different files, and never has to connect to the internet. Plus - I use it when I'm hiking. Being somewhere with no cell phone signal for a few days? Awesome! Unless you are trying to geocache with a dying cell phone... People that don't understand cameras, give much the same argument with cameras. "My iphone 5 has a ten megapixel camera, your 6 megapixel dSLR isn't as good!" Yeah, keep thinking that, buddy...
  20. I used my magellan sportrak GPS for years (it was made in 2002). When I got my iphone there was no geocaching app for it (blackberry only), but eventually the app came out. It was very limited and slow, but it worked. The app works a lot better on the iphone 4 (and the ability to do field logs on the phone is awesome). It all depends on the kind of caching you do, but for ME a real standalone GPS cant be beat. My old GPS finally bit the dust, and I upgraded to a delorme pn-60. Now - I'm not just using it for geocaching, I go hiking too, and the pn-60 is an excellent hiker's GPS, with some good geocaching features. I even went back to being a premium member. Advantages of a standalone GPS: Battery life. Try caching all day with your phone only. Good luck. Okay, maybe you can plug it into the car adapter as you drive place to place, but say you are doing some urban caches where you walk for a while and dont have car access. My magellan could run eight hours or more on a set. The delorme seems to be even better with it's auto sleep mode. Sensitivity. Newer GPS units with the high sensitivity chips are more sensitive than phones. Of course, if the cache hider placed the cache with an old gps or a phone... then your accuracy is only as good as his. But try caching under tree cover or away from somewhere with a celluar signal at all, and suddenly the newer models are much better than your phone. Information. Sure - you can download stuff to the app ahead of time, make a saved list and all that. I think you can do pocket queries with them too, but I never tried. Then there are the maps. On your phone you need the internet to update google maps and show your location. If you have a signal, and you are using up data along the way... My delorme has 1:24,000 topo and road maps for the whole southeast on it's card. No worries about data or connections or information. The topo maps 10 software interfaces with geocaching. I can run a pocket query, wait a few minutes, and hit "update" on the software, and let it load the query and all the area caches, hints, and descriptions, right to my GPS. In the field, I can log my finds in the GPS, and they will be uploaded when I get home. Sure, I could do this on the phone, but again, I need the internet. I'm planning a hike in the spring, there are twenty caches along the route. There is also no cellular service at ALL for the whole trip... So if you are doing easier in-town caches where your phone works fine, use your phone. My GPS cost me $220, and that was WITH all the maps. If I drop my phone in the water or on a rock or lose it, I have a while before a free upgrade, so it could easily run me $300 and up to replace it. Plus, the GPS is just fun...
  21. I've never heard of using google maps for "correcting" cache placement coords. Since youre placing the cache, take the reading there!
  22. Just got the pn-60 with topo NA 10. Great little gps and a big improvement Over my Magellan from 2002. The included set of topo maps made it worthwhile. I put in an 8gb memory card and loaded 3gb worth of southeast maps the first day. The topo NA software was tough to get used to but I'm getting better at it. I haven't tried to upload many caches directly from the web site, but the few I did did not give me problems. I mainly do pocket queries which topo NA will grab for me. Pretty nice upgrade.
  23. The PN-60 comes with a full set of US 1:24K topo maps (six DVDs I think), and Topo North America 10 is in the box now. Its pretty good software, and does a LOT. I love the battery life on mine. It has a sleep mode that will keep tracking you even though the screen is off. I just upgraded from an older model. The new one was a bit of a learning curve but I'm starting to get it now.
  24. Okay I've had my GPS for two weeks now... What software are you using with it? DeLorme's Topo NA 10 will log onto geocaching for you and grab the pocket queries. You don't have to download anything to your PC from geocaching.com. Generate the PQ's on the site, the start Topo NA, and click "geocaching" at the bottom. It's pretty nice, I signed up for premium again just for that.
  25. Could you just tell her you're setting up a new one and want her to give it a "test run" before it goes live? Then she is almost guaranteed to get it. Post it later with the story on the site.
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