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Everything posted by Joe_L

  1. This is a darker story. In 1993, a local school bus driver was struck and killed by a car while tending to his broken-down school bus along a major road on my commuting route. (I had passed the bus 10 to 15 minutes before the accident.) In 2014, a cacher who was unaware of the story placed one of a series of caches named after Rolling Stones songs a few hundred feet from the location of the accident. That cache: 19th Nervous Breakdown. I found the coincidence a little disturbing.
  2. To the original question: I use the permethrin spray on a single light color pair of pants that I use exclusively for geocaching in the woods and orienteering (Western Pennsylvania). (I also wear a light color shirt.) I've been using the spray for about 3-4 years. I apply the spray twice a year, but I don't necessarily wash them after each time I wear them. If I remember, I'll apply DEET to my calfs. I have had good results and have not had a tick attach since I started using permethrin. But when I bushwack or walk a grassy trail, I'll regularly check my clothes for the blood-sucking food-chain dead-ends. On the other hand, twice in the last year I found a tick attached, but I had been wearing untreated jeans and used no DEET (both times were while caching, once in a park and once in a cemetery). So, I would say the spray works well, but diligence is still needed minimize exposure to ticks. I think this website from the University of Rhode Island is one of the most comprehensive sources of tick information: http://www.tickencounter.org/ Joe
  3. Are nettles even in leaf this time of year? There is very little green around here (Western Pennsylvania.) Joe
  4. Regardless of the app, make sure your instructions are clear about whether the bearings are relative to true north or magnetic north. Joe
  5. You can also crunch the answer in the field with a calculator and pencil and paper provided you know how many feet are in each minute of latitude and longitude in your area. From the distance and bearing, you can calculate the north-south distance and the east-west distance relative to your starting point using trig functions. Then convert those to minutes and add/subtract accordingly from your starting point. If you have a map of the area, you can plot the general location to find a good route. And, yes, I did this once.
  6. If you are caching alone, be sure that you have left a note or information behind so that people know where you are if you don't return on time. Along those lines, I'd include a whistle. Joe
  7. Open the page of a recent cache near you. Scroll to the bottom of the logs. The local Reviewer should be the first one. Joe
  8. From King Lear, Act I, Scene v FOOL Thy asses are gone about 'em. The reason why the seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty reason. KING LEAR Because they are not eight? FOOL Yes, indeed: thou wouldst make a good fool.
  9. I regularly take part in both geocaching and orienteering. As noted before, other than finding something in the woods, they are different activities. Some other considerations: If you are giving the cachers the same maps as the orienteers, then the cachers might as well be orienteering. (In your post, it sounds like the map is a USGS quad. Not as much detail as compared to a typical 1:10,000 or 1:15,000 orienteering map. ) Consider the planning that one must do for a 3-hour or 6-hour course. The time for entering the coordinates into the GPSr devices will cut into the cachers planning time. Not to mention the potential for error. The geocachers may not even have an appreciation for the planning that is needed for the event. In particular, the distance that they can cover in the allotted time. Climb can be overlooked by a novice, but maybe the terrain is so flat that it’s not an issue. The geocachers may not be able to read maps. Will they be given any instruction? Can you spare a volunteer to do that? You should require the cachers to carry an extra set of batteries and a compass. The only benefit I see is that you may get some cachers interested in orienteering. They will be learning it to some degree as they use the GPSr with the map. Joe
  10. Also see the International Orienteering Federation (IOF) website. Joe
  11. I had a similar problem a few years ago at a cache I was looking for. When I arrived at GZ, I saw this. And there are numerous small outcrops and rock piles in the area. I made a search, but the large rock in the center seemed too big to move as a hiding place, and the rock fall looked fresh. I didn't make the find, but sent this photo to the CO, asking for hint. His response was that the cache was buried under the rock fall. Joe
  12. I think the next reward should be an opportunity to view the Geocache Health Score algorithm.
  13. Even though the Health Score algorithm has not been published, there are a couple important sentences in the description in the Help Center article: “A low Health Score provides an indication that the cache may need attention from the owner.” “If the Health Score of a cache drops below a certain point, an automatic email is sent to the cache owner.” Both of these statements make it clear the score is only compared to a threshold. If a score is above that, nothing happens. It is the low scores below the threshold that matter. An A+ has the same significance as a D-. A miss is as good as a mile. Any effort to marginally improve the score will make little difference as long as the cache is in decent shape such that its score is above the threshold. A DNF here and there (around 10% seems typical, based on other posts on the subject) is not a going to be a problem, it’s a long consecutive string of them that suggest a problem. It’s a non-response to NA or NM that indicates a problem. The intent is to thin the herd.
  14. I think the text of the Mystery Cache Stages page in the Hide A Geocache “form” used to explicitly state that both the listed coordinates and cache coordinates had to have the approval of the land managers (or something along those lines.) I hid my first mystery cache in April, so I was carefully reading through the instructions. I had considered placing the listed coordinates on a sewage plant, and I didn’t expect to be able to get permission to do that so I selected another location. The new text on the Mystery Cache Stages is no longer explicit and only says “All geocache and stage locations will be reviewed before they are published.”
  15. If you do use a compass to aid in geocaching, just remember to account for declination. Joe
  16. I've come across a few caches that used 60-ml VOA glass vials. These are bottles made for liquid environmental samples, and they have a thick polymer seal inside the cap. This seal keeps water from leaking out and air from leaking in. Effective, but there are cheaper alternatives. And I think they are only available by the case. Joe
  17. Here's one example: GC4N4C5 She Said Yes And it had a happy ending. Good Luck Joe
  18. Joe_L


    Find a cache page that has an emoticon in the description, then View the Source code. This Cache has an emoticon: GC59T4Y I looked at the code, and the CO added the emoticon as an gif. Check it out. Joe
  19. How about proposing to change the hours of operation to close at, say, 11:00 PM or midnight? I am assuming that the ordinance is a set of rules created by the Preserve Board. Even with a permit, the approach in the original post puts more burden on the local police. They have to have the knowledge of the existence and availability of the permit, which is a communication issue. Another consideration is the cacher's vehicle - what is a local police officer to make of a car parked on the grounds of the preserve when there are clearly signs that say "preserve closed at sunset"? Is their procedure to get out and inspect it, then call in a license plate check or even a tow? There is a potential for a lot of wasted time here. Joe
  20. How about the possibility of a throw-down? Could the container that you found and logged have been a throw-down of the ammo can? Did you check with the CO of the cache that you logged - it appears to be a regular size. Joe
  21. I suggest contacting your local reviewer. I have stumbled on two caches that were identified as Groundspeak caches. One had no signatures in the log and the other had one. I couldn't find either on the website. So I contacted the local reviewer and provided the coordinates to him. In both case, the caches were never activated because one was too close to another cache and the other did not meet the land management notification requirements. And in both cases, the CO took no action. (One sat unfound for nearly 4 years.) Joe
  22. Is pencil and paper still considered a tool? Count the quantity of each character group. If it's English, then the frequency order will probably be E-T-A-O-I-N-S-R. (Google letter frequency.) You should have a good idea of the degrees longitude and latitude, so look for those words; and a "Y" will follow a "T", as in "thirty", "forty", "fifty". "North" and "west" may be there. The coder may have spelled out the word "point" - twice. And the coordinates will most likely be at the end of the message, so concentrate there. Good luck. Joe
  23. Another event to include: the hammer throwdown.
  24. Another suggestion: If you want an excellent map, then consider map and compass navigation commonly called orienteering. The national organization in France is La Fédération Française de Course d’Orientation (FFCO). (I can't read French, but somewhere on their website should be a list of local clubs and links to their websites and schedules.) Joe
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