Jump to content

Kite and Hawkeye

+Premium Members
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Kite and Hawkeye

  1. You can expect variation of up to 30' or so in normal use without a ton of tree cover. If you have a WAAS-capable GPS and are receiving signals from the WAAS satellite, it may claim better accuracy, but the accuracy situation can change moment to moment depending on what satellites you're receiving, where they are in relation to one another, etc. Plus, of course, the person who hid the cache also had a certain margin of error, so don't be surprised to find caches that appear to be 30-40 feet off where your GPSr claims they are. Once you're within fifty feet or so, if you slow down and just follow the GPSr around you'll end up doing a bee dance. At that point it's time to stop watching the needle and start looking around and thinking like a geocache. (Sometimes there are freak incidents where your coordinates will suddenly leap 100' away -- those are rare, but do glance back at the GPSr occasionally. Just don't follow it slavishly.)


    Your bog-standard ammo box in the woods is typically on the ground, covered in sticks/rocks/leaves, or tucked under a branch, but not all of them are. (Memorably, one was dangling over our heads, tied to a tree branch. It never hurts to look up.) Read logs and look for hints of how large or what kind of container the cache is. Micro caches are often hidden in more subtle ways -- magnetized to the bottom of a bench is extremely common. You'll soon develop a sense of where to look -- don't be reluctant to pick easy caches that have been found recently and have lots of spoilery hints while you're new.


    I don't know what to tell you about your missing bench, though! Did the spot otherwise look right, or might you have transposed a digit in entering the coordinates? How was the GPSr's claimed accuracy at the time? Have people had trouble finding the cache recently?

  2. If I did an all-day geocache, I'd want to get something I could keep as a souvenir at the end of it, not a travel bug :) . Also, if it's that difficult, it would tend to become a TB trap, since fewer people will visit it. We did a really long multi not long ago, and found a TB that had been stuck in there for four months. If that cache had half a dozen bugs, they'd still be there this time next year.

  3. If you're holding a visible GPSr, I don't see why the other cachers wouldn't greet you. We've gotten some blank looks by saying, "Are you looking for the cache?" to people who weren't, but the little yellow eTrex is a dead giveaway.


    Once, after a geocaching picnic, we were on the trail to a nearby cache, and some people were sitting on the bench where our GPSr was pointing. We walked by, glancing covertly at them -- one of them appeared to be talking on a little silver device. An eTrex Vista, to be exact. Yes, she was doing the my-GPSr-is-a-cell-phone fakeout on other geocachers :ph34r:.

  4. Staffs that have anti-shock springs in them make a clicky sound at every step. Couldn't stand it when I tried them in the store. Trying stuff out at REI answered a lot of questions very quickly, and we ended up buying our favorites of the varieties we tried, which were Leki titanium poles with foam grips. They're great. They're so lightweight that it's never any bother to bring them, and they really help going up and down hills and poking in bushes and crossing creeks and such. I don't expect it to be as strong as a solid wooden staff, but for every practical purpose I've encountered it's done just fine. A non-collapsible pole wouldn't come along on vacation, and a heavier pole would sometimes stay in the car (to my inevitable regret -- every time you decide you won't need a stick, you end up needing a stick).

  5. I don't see anything wrong with logging online before the FTF. Mention that someone else beat you to the cache if you want to make it clear you aren't claiming to have been the first. If anything, I'd say it's polite to go ahead and log, so that other people checking for new caches don't get their hopes up about potentially being FTF themselves. (I know somebody who once said that when they were FTF they'd deliberately not log for a day or two, because they thought more people would visit the cache that way, and they thought the cache owner would appreciate the extra traffic. I'd be kind of peeved if a FTF on one of our caches did that.)

  6. It means that the cache is in a public and possibly crowded place, and you should try not to draw attention to yourself. A lot of people do this by kneeling and tying their shoes while looking for the cache, or talking on their GPSr like it's a cell phone, taking touristy photos in the area, or even carrying around a clipboard and trying to look official. I've generally found that the more you act like you aren't doing anything unusual, the less likely you are to draw any attention at all. If you're creeping around glancing over your shoulder, people wonder what you're doing. If you walk up, snag the cache and walk off without any hesitation, nobody looks twice.

  7. Not long ago, we encountered a cache that was quite difficult to find, completely covered in natural debris in a manner that made it blend into its surroundings. We nearly gave up before finally finding it with a last-ditch effort. Before leaving the area, I was very careful to cover the cache again completely -- I thought, "We worked for this one. I don't want the next person to have it any easier!"


    The next log? "Found the cache somewhat exposed, but we hid it better." I have no doubt at all that this was true -- but it would be wrong to jump to the conclusion that we left it that way. Things can and do happen between finds, from trash being left to the container being moved or uncovered. Knowing for sure that we'd rehidden this particular cache well, I'll be less inclined to blame the previous finder for anything currently wrong with a cache.

  8. I hope I didn't mess up. The condition said "new", I'm assuming that means factory in the box new. .

    If the condition was listed, then that would mean you bought from a third party through Amazon.com, not from Amazon.com itself. When you click the "(number) Used and New from (dollar amount)" button, that's where you end up. Some of the sellers are other companies, others are just Amazon users selling their stuff through the site. If the seller claims it's new, it has to be new in the box with the original warranty, so it should be fine, though it always pays to read the fine print in the offers. I've sold some used things that way myself.

  9. how close of a waypoint do you usually get in an open area with bluebird skys? on average


    10 to 15 feet? or closer?

    With the yellow, I've consistently seen 14-foot accuracy under a clear sky with a lot of satellites. In normal use walking along a trail, anywhere from 14-21 is common. Occasional blips of worse accuracy under trees, but rarely for any length of time. The yellow does not have WAAS (I've heard conflicting things about recently-manufactured yellows, but our 2002 edition definitely doesn't have it) so you won't see accuracy down to less than 14 feet estimated error. But that's plenty accurate; we've never had trouble that could be blamed on a lack of GPSr accuracy.

  10. Sea to Sea #3 Commuter Cache is now missing...the container that is. Came across all of the contents and a wet log book, it appears the thief wanted the nice container and nothing else. :lol:


    The original container on that one actually disappeared a long time ago -- that had a strange way of happening to Sea to Sea caches! What are people thinking? The container isn't a trade item... especially if you aren't trading up!


    We were the second-to-find on #3, back when they were released. It was quite a memorable cache, after midnight in the drizzle, hunting around Ground Zero with the Adams Family Circus for like half an hour, looking for a black box in the dark...


    Since the nice Sea to Sea people don't seem interested in maintenance, I wonder if anyone will adopt and restore this one (again)?

  11. Ok we are new to geocaching so try not to laugh at my question.... If you take only a TB from a cache do you still leave a trade item? I mean you are not really trading anything, right? I just didn't know what was proper geo-etiquette in this case. :D

    You don't have to, but it's nice to. I think the other side of the coin is more important, though -- if you leave a TB in a cache, it's really not quite right to take an item in exchange for it. Unfortunately, many people do this, and then if the next person takes the TB without leaving anything for it, the cache has less swag in it than it did before. Because of that, I prefer to leave stuff in exchange for TBs, to make sure the cache isn't suffering from poor TB-related trades.


    However, if you don't have any swag or something, and you see a TB that you can move, I say move it and don't worry about a trade. Nobody wants their TB sitting around twiddling its figurative thumbs longer than necessary.

  12. You might want to post in your local/regional forum and describe what you found and where; someone who found it in the past might recognize it. If the log book in the cache had a name on it, or if people in their written logs mention the hider's name that would be very helpful -- you can look up geocaching.com users by name and when you look at their list of hidden caches even archived ones will be there. I think you may also be able to see archived caches on the geocaching.com maps, but I'm not sure which features of the maps require a premium membership. But it's also possible that what you found might be a cache listed on a different caching site, or a letterbox.

  13. One activity I enjoyed was when the event organizers placed a bunch of tags (that looked like fake leaves) on bushes in the park where the event was held. There were at least a couple dozen of them. At the start of the event, everyone formed teams, and each team was given a sheet with coordinates to all the tags. You had half an hour (or whatever) to find as many as possible -- there was a code word on each to verify your find. Each tag also had a 'first finder' sticker on it. At the end, your team got a point for each find, and an extra point for each FTF. The top three teams won prizes for all their members (geocaching lanyards, mugs, etc).


    There was also an activity using compasses and bearings (travel x feet at y bearing, etc) and then taking coords where you end up at the end of a long string of such directions. Closest to the 'right' coords wins. Sure, there's GPSr error to consider, but it's all in fun. At the event I attended, directions were given in 'paces' rather than feet but I thought that was rather unfair, since I was significantly shorter than the person who paced out the 'reference' course. We ended up winning a bunch of lanyards in the various contests, though. And I walked into a tree, blindly following a compass bearing. A memorable event indeed.

  14. I think some people tend not to really believe the difficulty rating. Hiders often seem to just make it the same as the terrain rating -- at least, I've seen a lot of cases like that. The cache will be rated 3/3, and it'll be a bit of a hike, but then the cache will be under an obvious pile of geo-camouflage and easy to find. Difficult-terrain hikes often take you to out-of-the-way places unlikely to attract muggles, so at the end of a long hike you often get an easy find... but the hiders have a tendency to match the d/t numbers for symmetry rather than admit it's a 1/3.

  15. You're right -- you don't need a satellite lock to mark a waypoint. The eTrex will just guess it's at the last location where you actually had it outside. And you can edit the name and coords right there on the Mark a Waypoint screen; just use the up/down buttons to highlight the fields you want to change. No need to mark and then go back and edit later.

  16. There's a website called resellerratings.com, where there are reviews of purchasing from various websites. (Bizrate tends to be overwhelmingly positive -- resellerratings seems more honest.) Since I hadn't heard of Comp-u-plus, I looked them up there. Their rating is fair, things seem to go okay as long as you don't need customer service assistance. Just thought I'd mention the review site, since you often have to be careful who you purchase electronics from online.

  17. If you only accept PayPal payments that are funded from a bank account or existing PayPal balance, you won't be charged anything. You can also SEND payments funded by anything you please without incurring any charges yourself. You cannot, however, accept credit-card-funded payments without upgrading to a business account, which does charge a fee to accept the credit card payments. You can send a cc payment to a regular account, but the message the person receives on the other end tells them they must upgrade to accept it. (Business account, in this context, doesn't mean it has to be an account for a business, or in a business name -- it just means that the individual with that account pays a transaction fee and can take credit cards.)

  18. I seem to have a knack for finding caches by giving up on finding them (but not leaving the area quite yet). A couple of weeks ago, I gave up, sat down, thought sarcastically that maybe the cache would just come to me... glanced over my shoulder 30 seconds later and saw it. Black paint really vanishes in the shadows sometimes.


    Last weekend, we'd pretty much given up on a "base of bush, covered by leaves" cache in an area that was nothing but bushes. Decided to give it one last halfhearted token try before moving on... and walked right up to it. Having a stick helped a lot there -- it was indeed completely covered by leaves. Definitely bring a stick if you're searching in the woods -- sometimes you'll find the cache by sound rather than by sight.


    Other than that: take a break, re-read every old log you have access to, and just relax and consider the general area. Use the force. If the cache has a high difficulty level or people keep saying how clever it is, consider any unusual choices of words in the description or log that might indicate that the cache is a weird container, camouflaged in an unusual way, suspended ten feet overhead, or whatever. (We once did an "unknown" cache where the owner bent over backwards to avoid mentioning a container. Turns out it was a cleverly concealed log sheet.)

  19. Sounds like you were ripped off. Feedback under 98% is generally considered a warning not to buy on eBay. Especially if the person has hundreds or thousands of ratings -- one bad feedback could ruin your percentage if you're new, but being at 97.4 with 1000+ ratings means a lot of people have had experiences bad enough to overcome the general pressure not to say anything bad in feedback (fear of getting bad feedback yourself in retaliation, etc). This seller also has a lot of swaggering "all sales final" nonsense in his terms of service. If he refuses to refund of his own volition, I would send the item back to him with delivery confirmation and file with PayPal for "item not as described." He did, after all, say it was in working condition. When/if they deny the claim -- which they in all likelihood will, since he doesn't offer buyer protection -- you can then reverse the credit card charge. But don't reverse a charge without disputing it with PayPal first -- even if they're going to automatically deny it, they get really touchy about people not going to them first, and may lock your account for it. Reversing a charge after they've said no, however, is totally kosher. Don't ask ME why. (But do go to the eBay "trust and safety" board if you need help dealing with the seller -- they've generally got good advice there about how to approach him, and what to do if he isn't being helpful.)

  20. The documentation is correct, you don't need to remove the batteries to use the power cord. You didn't do anything that would cause it to break, so it must have been had a defect already. It may have been pure bad luck, or your seller may have known it was flaky -- but in either case, it may be difficult to get a refund. You might want to consult the eBay bulletin boards for advice, but if the seller didn't claim the GPSr was brand new or offer any kind of warranty, they may be reluctant to give all your money back in return for a device they can't re-sell -- if they're honest, and it was just a used GPSr, from their perspective you either managed to break it in an hour or just had terribly bad luck, but it isn't their fault. And if they're dishonest, they'll probably say the same thing more loudly B) .

  • Create New...