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Everything posted by Joe_L

  1. I have a cache that was originally located between the roots of a tree on a hillside about 20 feet above a trail. After many years, the tree uprooted and fell over parallel to the slope of the hill, but luckily the cache was on the side away from the fall. So I rehid the cache next to the rootstock with conventional geoflage. Several years later, there was a DNF, and when I arrived at the GZ, I found the tree had rotted further. The cache was gone, but I saw that the rootstock had rotted off the main trunk and rolled down the hill, below the trail. I went down to the rootstock, searched around and found that the cache had tumbled down the hill with the rootstock. I went back up and replaced the cache and secured the hiding spot a little better with several large rocks.
  2. I have an Etrex 20. When I first used it I was frustrated by the slow (nearly non-existent) response of the pointer. But that screen with the pointer (compass) does give a distance and bearing, so I use a regular compass to take a bearing to point myself in the right direction. I usually only use the Etrex when I am very close to the cache. I plan ahead with a map and/or Googelearth view to get me close (using trails or other land features). Then when I'm close (and "close" can be anywhere from 10 yards to 100 yards), I start using the Etrex plus the compass, if needed. I hope that helps. Joe
  3. I found a cache in which the container was a movie film cannister, and the log sheet was a long strip of paper wound around the reel inside the cannister.
  4. Another vote for 2-part epoxy cement. I used a glob of it to attach two magnets to a plastic match stick case. Ugly color, but functional. The cache resides on a steel beam on the underside of a bridge, so it's out of rain and snow (but not flood waters, but that's a different story). It is subject to freeze-thaw and the full range of temperatures in western PA. Joe
  5. Consider using something large to attach the RFID chip (like a short length of 1x3). After finding the final cache, a cacher might slip the RFID into their pocket, or even place it on the ground while signing the log, and then forgetting about it. A group of cachers might even be more susceptible to forgetting to return the RFID. It's not about being too lazy to return the RFID, it's just forgetting to; an unusual task. Also, if someone drops it, a large "keychain" will make it easier to find in the weeds, snow, leaves, etc. (I once walked few hundred yards away after signing the logbook for a difficult cache, when it occurred to me that I didn't re-hide the container. I returned and rehid it.) Hiding place? I'd suggest out in the woods, but that's just a personal preference. Might want to make sure it's open woods to minimize the creation of a geo-trail off of a main trail through the weeds and undergrowth.
  6. Per a couple other posts, consider changing the cache name. Although unintentional, the name and the accident are a bit jarring. There is a similar situation near me, although the events were in the opposite order. In 1993, there was a fatal accident on Route 19 that was the result of school bus breakdown. In 2014, a CO who had not lived in the area very long placed a cache few hundred feet away with a Rolling Stones tribute name of 19th Nervous Breakdown. Since I'm a long-time resident, I was initially disturbed by the name until I determined that the name was just an unfortunate coincidence. Only one other finder noticed the name, but then, there were 20 years. The roadside memorial, well up the road from the cache, is still there an maintained after all these years.
  7. An uncommon view of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Looking down the Allegheny River toward the city from the heights at Etna. The skyline is just visible through the clouds. This shot was from an approach to a cache hidden on a terraced cliff about 20 to 30 feet lower.
  8. I've made fake headstones for Halloween decorations using 2-inch thick rigid polystyrene insulation. Easy to cut into any shape. Not sure how well letters can be engraved into it (I've only painted words on.). Paint grey when finished.
  9. I deleted a DNF on one of my caches once. It was posted on a D1 hide by a multi-1,000 finder from out-of-state. The post was snarky to a point just short of abusive. I had never encountered a post like it. I was certain that the cache had been muggled (after all it was a multi-1,000 finder), but upon visiting the GZ, I discovered that cache was right where it should have been. I really hated seeing the log (not the DNF) every time I looked at my own cache page, and, at the time, I thought I had few choices: (1) Just post an “It’s still there” Note; (2) post an “It’s still there, you blowhard” Note, or (3) delete it so I wouldn’t have to read it again, and post an “It’s still there” note. (I didn’t know about encrypting at the time.) Regretfully, I chose (3). I received a couple obnoxious emails from the cacher, which I ignored. Never encountered someone like that before. Hope I never do. I don’t think he’s been in the area again; I never saw any posts by him since, but it’s not like I searching for them. In hindsight, I should have used (1) and simply moved on. Choice (2) would have been a little more satisfying, too. I doubt that the cacher was ever returned to the area. Live and learn. Joe
  10. I posted to the earlier thread. And in the year or so since, still no problems with ticks. They may land on my treated pants, but I just brush them off. I usually check after passing through tick-prone areas like grassy areas and fields or if I've slid through leaf litter. On the other hand, I've found ticks on me after passing through very light overgrowth, so one has to check themselves routinely. Last year was random - I passed through a lot of vegetation that I sure would be prime questing territory, but found no ticks. They either dropped off or just weren't there. It's kind of like trying to prove a negative. I use Sawyer's, but that's only because it's the brand I find at Dick's. Joe
  11. If there is a fence and locked gate, then is appears that the property owner doesn’t want anyone coming in from that side. Maybe there is an open gate or access somewhere else. Check the cache pages including the logs to see if the property owner is mentioned. If it is government-owned land, it might not be a park, but it could be a wildlife refuge or some other “greenspace” with few or no amenities of a park. Check other maps and see what the property is. The fence may be there to prevent adjacent landowners form using the land. There is a possibility that the “No Trespassing” signs are just for a portion of the area that is further fenced off internally. The property might have been formerly operated by another agency (DoD, for example) and a smaller area is fenced and signed because previous site activities have made for unacceptable use conditions.
  12. Never mind the police. This seems to brush up against Colorado Professional Land Surveyor rules and regulations.
  13. This one is in Pittsburgh (PA) : GC4FW0C
  14. If you don’t have a converter handy, you can do the math. There are 60 seconds (“) in a minute (‘), so pull the seconds out of the latitude and longitude: 52.509"/60 = 0.875 4.54005"/60 = 0.076 (Three places to the right of the decimal are all that is needed.) Those values are then added to the minutes that are already there: N 51°34.875' W002°57.076'
  15. I agree. The definitions are based on coordinates. Taking the definitions from the Help Center literally: 2.3. Mystery Caches Puzzle caches The posted coordinates are usually bogus coordinates. Geocachers must solve a puzzle on the cache page to get the coordinates for the first stage or the final container. 2.19. Bonus caches A bonus cache is a Mystery Cache for which you have to find clues in other caches. Sometimes the coordinates for the bonus cache are in one other cache. Caches 1 through 6 would all have coordinates listed on their respective cache pages. Cache 7 is a bonus cache found from the other caches.
  16. Yes to this. Learn basic map reading skills and how to use a compass. Always take a map, rudimentary or detailed, when walking or hiking in undeveloped areas. Maps and compasses don't need batteries, either.
  17. I found a cache on a wetlands walkway that had a “toeboard” rather than a handrail. The walkway construction with 2x4s. The toeboard was made of 8-foot 2x4s laying flat and supported from the walkway deck at the ends by short (4 to 6 inch long) 2x4 pieces. The cache was placed in a partly hollowed out short 2x4 piece placed under the toeboard, between supports. It was “out of place” compared to the other short pieces, but only if you were really looking.
  18. This might not be in the same category as your original question which I truncated, but: Have something based on a physical measurement of the battery, like the distance between the terminals. (Or some other battery dimension, if you can determine if all 9V batteries [that is, regular; alkaline; rechargeable] have identical dimensions.) You’ll probably need to attach a ruler or scale to the stage since I suspect that many cachers do not carry a ruler with them.
  19. And just to note the USA law - from the US Department of the Treasury Resource Center FAQ webpage: Is it illegal to damage or deface coins? Section 331 of Title 18 of the United States code provides criminal penalties for anyone who “fraudulently alters, defaces, mutilates impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or lightens any of the coins coined at the Mints of the United States.” This statute means that you may be violating the law if you change the appearance of the coin and fraudulently represent it to be other than the altered coin that it is. As a matter of policy, the U.S. Mint does not promote coloring, plating or altering U.S. coinage: however, there are no sanctions against such activity absent fraudulent intent. The key word is "fraudulently". The full text (such that it is) can be found in US Code Title 18 Section 331.
  20. Pennsylvania started something like this through East Stroudsburg University. https://www.ticklab.org/
  21. The state did a fast-track bridge replacement over a creek, which included demolishing the bridge and the guide rails on the approaches. There was 9 year old magnetic key holder cache on the guide rail…..
  22. Thanks for that. I think that piece of information gets lost in many discussions. The deer, on the other hand, do a great job of distributing the ticks.
  23. Permethrin-treated clothing is the way to go. Light colors so you can see them. Have one set of pants (at least) and a shirt treated and use those for bushwacking/geocaching. Wash them sparingly - the Permethrin is only good for a few washings. Many people stuff their pants cuffs into their socks. When I've worn my treated pants, I've never had a tick get to my skin. On two or three occasions when I wore regular jeans, I've had an embedded tick, which I discovered within 12 hours each time. Tweezers to pull it off. Visit the Centers for Disease Control website for good information about tick and tick-borne diseases. The University of Rhode Island has excellent information about ticks. After I've been out, I shower and do a tick check with a mirror. Ticks quest (which means the tick waits for a host to happen by and grab on) from the tops of grass and small plants. They climb and crawl. They don't jump and they don't fall from trees. They wait for something to brush by and try to grab on, but will crawl back down the stalk to re-hydrate, then crawl back up again if nothing comes by. They also nest (for lack of a better word) in the damp leaf litter, so one can get a tick when kneeling or sitting on the ground. Ticks don't live too long without moisture to rehydrate, so toss your clothes in a dryer for a cycle to kill them. But they don't do well indoors because they dry out. If you track one into the house, it will probably dry and die before it finds a host. I try to avoid tick prone areas, like tall grass. But one can't always to do that. Also, a good hard rain will knock the questing ticks off the grass. Joe
  24. PVC threaded fittings are tapered, so after several rotations, the fitting is “tight” and can’t get much tighter. One cannot keep turning it snug like nut and bolt. As stated by others, it is difficult to keep these connections dry. I would try the thick o-ring around the threaded part approach. Maybe a flexible rubber pipe coupling trimmed to length? If the proposed location is under a bridge, it may not be exposed to any rain or snow and will stay very dry. I don’t recommend putting PVC in the dishwasher since the heat may affect the PVC; it could deform a bit. (For real PVC piping uses, 140 degrees F is the maximum.) I have a cache held by a magnet under a bridge. I used a blob of two-part epoxy glue to hold the magnet to the irregularly shaped container (match case). Joe
  25. The "3D Buildings" function in GoogleEarth affects the elevation. (In Pittsburgh, it throws the elevation off by 4 to 6 feet.) Joe
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