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Kite and Hawkeye

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Posts posted by Kite and Hawkeye

  1. I know that commercial caches are banned, but there's some debate over where the line is. There are many caches in places requiring an entrance fee (some parks even require entrance fees), and at least a handful in places such as cafes or coffee shops. Are all of these caches 'grandfathered' from before the rules went into effect?


    The case in question (I'm probably not going to even try this, but it struck me as an idea). I want to place a themed cache, involving a particular historic road. I've got several locations in mind for multicache points, but I'm stumped on the final cache location. Something that jumped out at me is that there's a cafe located on the old road, that's been restored to its historic (1950's) appearance, and is full of memorabilia related to the road. I don't know the people who own it, so I have no idea if they'd even be interested in hosting a cache, but since they're so focused on the historic aspect of it, I'm sure they have no problem with people coming in not to eat, but to see the memorabilia. Is that too commercial? (What if I paid off the owner to give geocachers free milkshakes?)

  2. Originally posted by EScout:

    The rebate applies when you buy the GPSr and a software program.


    This doesn't apply to the green, but there is a $50 rebate, without software purchase necessary, available on some models (Meridian Platinum, Meridian Gold, Meridian Marine, Meridian Color, SporTrak Color, SporTrak Pro, SporTrak Map or SporTrak Pro Marine). You get an extra $25 if you buy software as well.

  3. I'd pick a 1/1 cache that previous finders have called 'easy,' read all the old find logs (and make sure it's been found recently -- if there's a string of not-founds, forget it), decrypt the clue and verify that it's something USEFUL (like, say, a description of where the cache is hidden), and verify all the settings on your GPS -- datum WGS84, coordinate format degree-minute-decimal minute. When you're out in the field, look at your estimated accuracy and be sure it's reasonable (if it's 50 foot, you're going to have more trouble than necessary). Don't get too hung up on the point the GPS designates as 'zero,' since it can and will drift around. When you're thirty or forty feet off, walking at a reasonable pace, see which way the GPS says the cache is and go there to start the search.


    Really, though, I'd say if you've made eleven attempts and no finds, something's wrong in the coordinate format or datum. Finding a cache isn't THAT hard. If you've been looking for micros, either pick ones where the clue is a dead giveaway, or look for traditional caches first. My first micro had me completely stumped, because I didn't realize how they're typically hidden around here. An ordinary cache is a little harder to make invisible, though the one dangling twenty feet over our heads on a rope was a good try. (That wasn't a difficulty 1, however!)

  4. quote:

    Is it ok to leave this as a Traditioinal Cache or should it be a multi or some other type since they have to arrive at the location and then go a short distance to find the cache?


    I believe that's what's called an offset cache.... but I don't know if those are usually called multis or not. Would making it a multi reduce the risk of people going to the first waypoint and searching under every blade of grass because they didn't know they were supposed to do something else there? I mean, if someone has the printout and doesn't bother to read it, that's their problem, but what if someone downloads a bunch of coordinates, hasn't read the page, and happens to be driving along when they see your coordinates pop up as the nearest to them? Do people usually put a special icon in their GPS when they download multis, which lets them know not to go to the downloaded coordinates and expect to find a cache?


    I think that calling it a multi, so it at least has the multi icon on the cache page, would probably be useful. If the cache isn't at the coordinates posted, I wouldn't call it a traditional cache. But hey, I could be wrong.

  5. We did http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=57132 a few weeks back. The cache was simply a plaque with the coordinates and a phrase inscribed on it. And the thing still disappeared shortly thereafter! What, did someone think it would look nice in their garden? Frankly, it wasn't the best of locations -- lots of bushwhacking, and some rusty barbed wire in the area. But that's kind of what happens when you have to allow the cache location to be dicated by the numbers on the GPS, rather than the spots suggested by the general area itself.


    This may be an interesting way to find potential cache locations, but you'd definitely need to do a scouting trip before putting too much work into assembling the cache... as others have said, the coords can turn out to be on private property, inaccessible, in impossible terrain, or there may simply not be a hiding spot for a large ammo can, or an altoids tin, or whatever you brought along.

  6. If the cache container is no longer an Altoids tin, the cache name won't make sense... amphitheatric ex-altoid? You'd need to either secure the owner's cooperation to change that, or adopt the cache yourself. Since the owner does still log onto the site, I don't think the cache can be considered abandoned, though it is pretty poor 'maintenance' to ignore "this cache is soaking wet" logs for six months... especially when they began almost the moment the cache was placed. Ultimately, though, it's his cache, and maybe if he doesn't enjoy maintenance he'll happily agree to let you fix it up.

  7. A couple of things: it's probably good to know what snakes you might encounter in the area you're caching. Here, if it's not a rattlesnake, it's not poisonous.


    Also, I've read that the first 'defensive' bite, at least from a rattlesnake, is unlikely to contain much venom. Of course you still want to get medical attention, but maybe repeating that soothing mantra will slow your pulse a little, which is probably good in these situations.


    We've been rattled at once -- startling, but at least the buggers try to warn you off. We gave it a wide berth.

  8. quote:
    Originally posted by Last Lap Gang:

    We lost two this past week and will probably send them to the TB Graveyard cache. It is so hard to let go. One TB was placed in a cache and the cache was destoryed before it moved. Another TB was put in one of ours and someone took it and never logged it.


    Don't graveyard the un-logged one quite yet. Someone with no geocaching.com login took our bug from a cache, and left a note in the cache saying he'd 'kidnapped' it. I waited a while, finally despaired, and then suddenly the person logged the bug (though he/she/it never did log any caches, including the one the bug was removed from)! By then I'd already graveyarded it, so it took some messing around to undo my own damage to the mileage, etc. (But of courrse, you CAN un-do graveyarding, it's not irrevocable, so either way you go, if the bug turns up again things will be fine.)


    But if it's only been a week, I'd give it more time before acting. It may turn up in another cache somewhere, or the person may grow a conscience. I'd say give it a month or so, unless you think people are visiting the cache it used to be in for the sole purpose of snagging the bug, and being disappointed.

  9. quote:
    Originally posted by dave and jaime:

    Originally posted by Dread Pirate Roberts':

    I won't retrieve a cache if there are questionable folks around. It's not worth either having to come back later to replace the cache or having the cache looted. We might hang around awhile and hope they leave but usually we just scoot on over to the next cache on our list icon_wink.gif


    so then, not to bring up the found/not found debate again, but what would you have logged http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=45925 as the log says i could see the cache on my first attempt, but wouldnt retrieve it because of the pedestrian traffic


    I would log a note. To me, a not-found means that you searched at the zero point and didn't find anything. Obviously, that's not the case. OTOH, a find, to me, means you laid hands on the cache and, in all but the most unusual cases, signed the logbook. Otherwise, if there's a cache in the top of a tree, or underwater, or suspended on a rope fifty feet overhead, and you can't/don't puzzle out how to retrieve it, does that mean you get to log it as a find anyway? I don't think so. Retrieving a cache unseen takes some skill, and if the cache is hidden in a public place, I think that's part of the challenge of the 'find.'


    I don't, though, want to encourage people to make un-safe retrievals just because they're upset at the notion of not logging a find. I'd rather give someone a freebie than have the cache plundered due to carelessness. Logging a find in that way, though, would bug me until I managed to return and actually get the cache.


    The only potential exception I can think of offhand is if you retrieve a PVC pipe and can't get the dadgum thing open, and it's not called the He-Man cache. In that case, I'd discuss the matter with the cache owner and see if s/he thought logging a find was legit. Not to go on ANOTHER tangent, but man, I hate PVC caches.

  10. I've been forgetting what I swapped lately. It's very embarrassing. I'm trying to remember to take notes on the printed cache page, but sometimes I forget that as well. Heck, I forgot to leave a cache card in the first three we did yesterday. I'm lucky I remember what the heck we're doing in the middle of the woods sometimes.


    Really, though. I definitely log what I take and leave in the physical cache book, and if I took or left anything of unusual value, a travel bug, etc, I can remember *that* long enough to log it online. I'm just not always sure, by the time I get home, which cache the little plastic lizard came from. I do write fairly detailed logs about the cache hunt/experience, but lately I've started omitting the "Um, I forgot what I took" line. I'll try to do better in the future icon_smile.gif.

  11. quote:
    Originally posted by MacDaddy:

    Update on the micro-ballons:

    I tried it last night, and it didn't work. No reflective capabilities whatsoever. Process was as I described, so I believe the glass bead blasting media would still work.

    I'll get soime and try as well. icon_biggrin.gif


    I'm looking forward to the results of the next experiment icon_smile.gif. However, I thought I read online about someone attempting to use a material like you describe, and the verdict was that the particles weren't regular enough in shape, and so they reflected in all directions but weren't very bright head-on. Still, if you find anything that works, I'd love to hear about it.

  12. quote:
    Originally posted by Top Secret:

    I'm intrigued by the reflective idea but paint is very visible and permanent


    Just to clarify, I'm not suggesting putting paint on trees or rocks or other objects native to the area -- I was just interested in adding reflectivity to the cache container itself. I've got another idea for the path leading cachers to the spot icon_smile.gif.


    After reading up on reflective paint, yep, it contains little glass micro-beads... but where would one get beads of the proper (almost invisible) size? I finally found a can of reflective spraypaint for $30, a bit more than I'd want. I think I'm going to go the reflective tape route. Supposedly, black reflective tape can be found, which would be hard to see in daylight, but show up at night with a flashlight.

  13. Has anyone who's placed a night cache found a source of reflective ink/paint? I thought it'd be cool to put something that will show up in the dark on the actual cache itself... and I suppose tape would work, but I find the idea of paint appealing. Searching online, though, I find out that it's only sold in enormous barrels to the people who paint highway markers. (Glow ink is readily available, but it would sort of defeat the purpose if one visitor's flashlight left the cache glowingly visible to all who might pass by.)

  14. quote:
    Originally posted by bit64:

    The first person to enter the correct series of numbers for each of these site, would win a copy of MS MapPoint, with no prizes for the runners up. I would like to do this each month (perhaps on the first of the month?) and offer a prize for each hunt.


    Well, temporary caches aren't being approved, so will this continue to be available for people to log as a find in future months, regardless of whether you give the first finder anything special? If so, there's probably a way to work it in as a multi-virtual or something...

  15. quote:
    Originally posted by gazetteer:

    It seems like every one considers the addition of a travel bug a trade up.


    Interesting.. I don't consider a travel bug a trade item at all! It's fine if you TNLN(except bug), but since no future finder can *keep* the bug, I don't think leaving a bug gives a cacher the right to keep anything in exchange for it. By the same token, I don't think removing a travel bug from a cache means you need to leave something in exchange, but we've already covered the idea that it's nice to leave something anyway.

  16. quote:
    Originally posted by beatnik:
    I know a cacher who puts little pewter frogs in caches as her signature item.


    Ooh! Who? I want one.


    (We leave frogs as well, but they're of the small, rubbery variety. Still, you can try to collect all twelve!)

  17. I like writing detailed online logs. They're fun. However, for the last couple of weekends we've been doing some very quick 1/1 urban caches, ten or twelve a day, and by the end of the day I've forgotten all but the highlights. I should probably take notes about which widget I exchanged for which mini-frog, but since I do note my exchanges in each physical cache log, I figure that reiterating it at home isn't completely necessary (provided I didn't take anything so thrilling a cacher might hunt that cache specifically to snag it).


    I will go on at some length about a cache I truly enjoyed (or, at times, really hated), or a hunt on which something interesting happened. Some of these micros were getting a bit mundane, though, so I had very little to say about them. I did feel guilty about leaving some one-liner logs yesterday -- I think of logs as payback for the cache placer, and possibly something interesting or useful for those who follow us to read. I know when we finally place a cache, we'll be looking for the logs with interest.


    I like reading other people's cache logs at home, so "TNLN, thanks!" is boring for me as well, but there's another extreme where the cacher needs to tack on several notes to complete the story. Unless they met Bigfoot, got bitten by a rattlesnake, and were rescued from the site by helicopter, there's hardly a cache hunt in the world that deserves a log that long. Excessively long and chatty logs get a bit dull too... though at the end of the day, I'd rather err on the side of verbosity. Obviously.

  18. We had a rather strange experience the other weekend. Clear, wide-open sky, 15-foot accuracy, and the GPS pointed about twenty feet off the trail. It didn't look like a likely spot -- there was a steep bank and some dense vegetation, in a park that prohibits bushwhacking, on a cache whose description states that you don't have to leave the trail. I walked past, turned, walked past again, and it still indicated the same spot. Very dubious, we started looking for a side trail that would perhaps take us around the other side of the cache spot.


    And then, abruptly, the GPS arrow flip-flopped and the unit said that the coordinates were actually 60 feet in the opposite direction -- which turned out to be right on. We had a lock on every satellite in sight for the whole time, never worse than 15-foot accuracy. I've never seen an abrupt 80-foot leap like that, much less in those conditions. I have seen coordinates that seemed to drift slowly around a forty-foot circle under heavy tree cover, but this was just weird. I'm glad we didn't blindly follow it for the first five minutes at the cache area.

  19. quote:
    Originally posted by $kimmer:

    A group of us from East County are trying to solve this, we're stuck on the Munchkins' location. We haven't a clue where to look. Any help out there?


    Well, I'm not going to vote for Ramona icon_smile.gif.


    I think this is by far the hardest puzzle in the group, because it requires a certain cultural referent that some people simply don't have. Hawkeye and I didn't grow up in southern california, and we both knew about munchkins, but we were debating whether a San Diego native would. An informal survey of co-workers indicated that if you ask enough people, you'll get the right answer. But since we've done the cache already, saying more would feel like cheating!

  20. quote:
    Originally posted by Cache-Hunter:

    Originally posted by Night Hunter:

    Originally posted by Cache-Hunter:

    I'm coming out to San Diego (from South Dakota) from March 7th-12th


    What Part of San Diego are you going to be staying in?


    Night Hunter


    I'm staying at the Sheraton on Harbor Island Drive. MapQuest shows it to be just south of the Airport. (and TopoZone gives approximate coord's at N 32.7261 W 117.1957)


    You'll have a cache or two in your backyard, then. Alas, caches on the island itself tend to get plundered (I am truly amazed that "oops, I did it again" has survived as long as it has!).

  21. quote:
    Originally posted by Renegade Knight:

    I've got an MIA TB. Unfortunatly it's not mine and I've lost it in a move. It will turn up and I will get it placed. But...Not today. That reminds me I need to email the owner and tell them. This task would be easier if I had any idea how to look up a TB without it's number.


    If you've logged the bug as taken, it will be linked from the list of travel bugs you see when you go to "my cache page."

  22. quote:
    Originally posted by Moun10Bike:

    Originally posted by Frolickin:


    Do I understand that no traditional cache will be approved unless a logbook is present?


    That's what we've been enforcing, but we're not mindless automatons. If the community as a whole is against that measure, we'll certainly remove it.


    By "traditional" cache, do you mean "not virtual or locationless"? Because I'm really grooving on the idea of clear-tube caches, which is new to me. I am getting the impression that they've become problematic in other areas, hence the concern, but it seems to me like perhaps a cache of this sort would fit under the "unknown/mystery" "?" icon.


    I can certainly see that if there junky contents, no notebook, no indication it's a cache... it's falling on the far side of the somewhat thin line between cache and trash. What if it's labeled "Geocache" and has contact info visible? I don't really know what could be done to guarantee quality -- in any cache -- but this sort of cache design seems to have at least the potential for some really neat and creative things, and I'd hate to see it stifled for the purely selfish reason that I really want to find one after reading about them.


    I do see the need, frankly, for more detailed rules, and more of them, both to assure some sort of standardization to the approval process (the more approvers have to go by, the more consistent approval or denial will probably be) and because there are now a whole heck of a lot of caches out there, and quality *is* becoming more and more of an issue, from what I've seen out there. If the cache remains sealed, at least the things inside can't be traded for dirty golf balls, y'know? icon_smile.gif. Nobody seems to like the "I know it when I see it" definition of a decent cache, though I think at some level, we can't do much better without introducing a lot of rules that will inevitably either require exceptions, or stifle creativity.


    There's always going to be some element of judgment and subjectivity to a process like this, because our approvers are blessed with real live brains. I would hope that a well-written justification and detailed description of a cache, even a non-standard one, would have at least some persuasive potential, rather than a rubber-stamping YES/NO based on a flowchart of criteria. From reading a cache owner's description, I can have some clue of the quality of the cache, but it's purely subjective. That doesn't mean it's totally meaningless, though it is not necessarily reliable. Some cachers are people of few words (and misspelled ones), but put out good and thoughtful caches. But I've never seen a really well-written cache description that led to a piece of junk. People who care that much about their caches generally place them intelligently and care for them, too. If you try to estimate a cache's quality by how well-crafted the description is, you'll have some false-negatives from the more taciturn cachers, but a false positive would be rare.


    On a completely different note, I once found a "virtual" cache that consisted of a magnetic business card (placed by cachers). Unusual use of "virtual," obviously. But I think there may be a place in the world for take-nothing-leave-nothing-no-logbook-alternative-verification caches. They certainly *could* be done at least as well as most of the ammo box caches I've seen, and they'd add some welcome variety to our hunting regimen. Do I know a way to quantify all of this? Nope. I don't know art, I just know what I like.

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