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Kite and Hawkeye

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Posts posted by Kite and Hawkeye

  1. quote:
    Originally posted by max2extreme:

    You know what, i could really care less if I have to sign a logbook, send an email, sign in red pen, call the owner, whatever. Im doin it to find the cache. If I read the details and it says "you must sign in red pen", Ill bring a red pen.


    I've seen a number of small caches lately that ask that you do a certain thing in your online log; begin the third word with the same letter as the day of the week, or include a word that rhymes with "orange," or whatnot. Sometimes it's in addition to the logbook, sometimes it's instead of it. A lot of people seem to forget or not notice such instructions, though. Doesn't really matter to me, though sometimes it makes the log sound a bit stilted icon_smile.gif.


    The idea of a cache being a clear tube with certain items inside which you have to describe to log the find sounds kind of nifty to me, actually. This is probably because I've never seen one before, so this kind of cache isn't exactly overrunning my area. A little of this sort of variety in the local caches wouldn't hurt a thing... at least, not in my area, and not if done thoughtfully... but it does technically violate the 'sign the log' rule. It reminds me of that series of picture books where there are various items on the page you have to try to find... I forget what they're called. Not where's waldo, the one that's done with photos... I'm just blanking on the series name. At any rate, I can see how it could be done well and with thought, and I'm so tired of seeing dirty golfballs and mctoys that I'd really be quite pleased with finding a sealed tube of things that are presumably interesting to look at. (Obviously, if there's random junk or trash, it's not going to be so interesting.)


    I am suddenly filled with the desire to go hunt one of these things.. and there aren't any around here! Bah. icon_smile.gif

  2. After seven or eight months of caching, I finally read the confirmation screen that comes up when you enter a log. To quote:

    "You can now visit the cache page and review your log. There will be several options for you if you decide to edit your log, encrypt it, or upload images to it. You can also permanently archive your log."


    Um, you can't archive a log. You can delete it, which has different implications from 'archive' (you lose your credit, if it was a find, there's no way to read it again, as there is with an 'archived' cache, etc.) Is this not correct?


    I was wondering why someone in another forum asked recently how to 'archive' his log, and got a bunch of responses saying, "you can't, but you can delete it." Is this language left over from an earlier incarnation of the site? Does it mean something I don't understand?

  3. quote:
    Originally posted by Parsa:

    Originally posted by Kite & Hawkeye:


    We started thinking of hiding a cache after we had perhaps 60 or 70 finds, but we still haven't gotten around to it. Finding a place in San Diego that is acceptably far from other caches, but is also interesting, and ALSO offers a decent hiding spot, is harder than it sounds! We really want to do a hide, but we don't want it to be a poor one.


    In what area do you live? I might be able to give some suggestions as I've thought a lot about various neglected areas.




    We're in University City, near UCSD. There's a small arm of Rose Canyon that's somehow remained cache-less, and we're looking at that, but otherwise it seems like practically every inch of green space has already got one. Someone's even put one in a local business park!

  4. quote:
    Originally posted by Parsa:

    I was attacked by the bees at the Buffalo Gal's cache in Mission Trails. A lot of people have already been attacked by these bees.


    The cache was also moved by a park ranger who didn't *want* people going off-trail on those rocks, but I don't think the main coordinates were ever updated to reflect this. I heard that it's now close to the trail, and perhaps farther from the bees, but unless you read way back in the logs, how would anyone know this? It then leaves hunters in the position of spending way more time than necessary clambering around the original coordinates, since there's nothing there to find.


    We hunted the cache in its original position, and met the bees but were not attacked, thankfully. (I've never been stung by a bee before in my life and I'm a bit afraid of the unknown!) From the location of the team's other caches, they aren't local, and any team with that hide/find ratio seems a little... odd. Six caches in a year? We did six caches Saturday.


    We started thinking of hiding a cache after we had perhaps 60 or 70 finds, but we still haven't gotten around to it. Finding a place in San Diego that is acceptably far from other caches, but is also interesting, and ALSO offers a decent hiding spot, is harder than it sounds! We really want to do a hide, but we don't want it to be a poor one.

  5. quote:
    Originally posted by 3Bees:

    We are just thinking of getting started and want to go about it right. I've been reading lots of posts about trashy caches but not what to leave or put in a new one. Maybe I missed it......can you help? Any other advice for this family in Michigan?


    I leave things I'd like to find. Anytime I run into in the $1-$1.50 range that I find appealing myself, I get half a dozen and toss them in my cache goodie box. I'm sure there are some people who won't like some of the items, but they are brand new non-dirty things that I would genuinely be happy to find myself, and I think that's the best we can do.


    I've got (new, bagged, not crappy) teenie beanie babies, slinky jr's, frog keychains that stick out their tongue when you squeeze them, a wide assortment of polished rocks (useful for micro-caches), more rubber frogs than you can shake a stick at (these are generally our signature item, and left as freebies, not things we use as trade fodder; I've got a few dozen different ones, so they shouldn't be too boring for the locals to find), strange or interesting keychains, glitter pencils, interesting pens (and some non-interesting pens, just in case a cache pen needs replacement), little rubber duckies, etc. I tend to like 'fun' things rather than functional ones, though leaving things like tools also seems reasonable to me.


    Do not leave dirty, broken things from the bottom of your junk drawer, or used dirty golfballs you found along the trail, and you'll be fine.

  6. quote:
    Originally posted by upinyachit:

    I found a few in Colorado, Florida, and here in New York. LOL


    Haven't yet gotten anyone else into the sport, but we've met eight or nine other cachers/teams while on the trail in a scant six months. Once, at a recently-placed cache, we came up and saw someone signing the logbook, and as we waited, another team came up behind *us*, so we had a queue forming!

  7. quote:
    Originally posted by MINDEN TWO:

    I have logged my find and when returning to the cache page I find 3 choices to:EDIT, DELETE , or PERMANENTLY ENCRYPT. I don't want to do any of these. I want to permanently archive my log. How do I do this?.


    I don't understand what you mean by wanting to archive your log. It will remain permanently on the cache page, unless you remove it (by deleting it). If you delete it, you will lose credit for it if it was a find, and it'll be gone forever. Define "archive" in this context -- you want the log to not appear on the page, or ??

  8. quote:
    Originally posted by yrium:


    I got a message from the geocache administrators that my http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=5566 cache had been disposed of by a ranger out of the Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve - City of San Diego Park and Recreation Department. I couldn't get too upset about it though since the cache was disguised as two tennis shoes hanging on a wire.


    I kept a record of how everybody retrieved the shoes from the line if anyone is interested.


    --- yrium ---


    I'd be interested. We were the first ones to note it was missing, alas, and it took us forever to figure out what it must have been.

  9. Thought I should note for our intrepid Mission Trails Regional Park cachers that park rangers have apparently moved a few caches in that area recently (Buffalo Gals MTRP cache, and View With A Vroom, possibly others). Sounds like all they object to is going off-trail; they haven't confiscated the caches, they haven't asked for their removal, they've just moved them closer to the trail. Sounds pretty reasonable to me, though honestly I think you'd have had to go to a lot of effort to trample anything on the way to Vroom, which was in a pretty wide open area.


    There are a lot of caches in MTRP already, but if you're thinking of planting a new one, perhaps contacting the rangers would be in order. They seem to be aware of the sport and not opposed to it occurring in the park, and it sounds like they would be willing to work with you and approve a spot. By the same token, it'd be a bad idea to place a cache far off-trail in the area, because the rangers *are* paying attention, they do notice people off-trail, they're pretty strict about it even in areas that don't explicitly seem to forbid it (did any of you see a sign around Buffalo Gals? I didn't...), and if the rangers continually notice us off-trail it might cool their attitude toward us.


    The big problem with moving caches, of course, is if the coordinates online don't get updated, people are going to go to the old ones, not find the cache, expand their search area, and do more damage than they would've if the thing had just been there.


    I haven't heard of any other specific encounters with the park powers that be in SD.. has anyone else? Has anyone gotten explicit approval for a cache? Been denied same? I've gotten the general impression that it's don't-ask-don't-tell around here, but I could be wrong.

  10. I usually am only carrying an extra pen and a baggie or two, not a cache container or even a logbook. Once we found a soaked, disgusting cache (full of toothbrushes!) but couldn't dry it out because of its location (it was permaently mounted and immobile). Notified the owner but it doesn't sound like it's gotten any maintenance. If I knew in advance that a cache was in bad shape and that the owner was inactive or non-local, I might bring more stuff to fix it up a bit.


    The other weekend we ran into a wet cache placed by a team we'd met once. We had some paper towels along and spent some time drying the contents and trying to air out the damp logbook. It wasn't a total loss, and we didn't have a replacement, so I just sealed the still-damp stuff in a ziploc of its own. If it hadn't been getting dark, we'd have stayed a while to try to dry the paper stuff in the sun. I think it's a neighborly thing to do, fixing it up a bit if it's been damaged. I'd be leery of taking the logbook unless it's so extremely soaked as to be a sodden mass of paper, and I'd feel a bit like I was overstepping my bounds if I replaced the whole container (unless I happened to have something almost identical and knew the owner was unlikely to show up for their own maintenance). It just feels like the container is such an integral part of the cache that I'm horning in on someone else's turf if I unilaterally decide to replace it without permission. If it's a cheese container and I have one just like it, no biggie, but a different container might substantially change the cache in a lot of cases.

  11. quote:
    Originally posted by Rubbertoe:

    Having said that - the only problem I have with the "rules" for placing a cache is that they aren't all listed. I'm not talking about subjective situations... I'm talking about rules that ALL of the approvers agree on. I guess one of those rules is that no cache will be approved if within .1 of a mile of another cache. That is the standard they use - yet AFAIK that little bit of information isn't in the guidelines for placing a cache.


    Is this a hard and fast rule? It would be nice to know for sure. We hunted a set of six caches in one city park in Wisconsin back in October, and often had only 300 feet to go to reach the next one.. but perhaps those were set before some rule came into effect. In general, I think that caches on top of one another aren't a great idea, and there's rarely a reason why you can't spread out a bit...


    But as it happens I have a nifty spot where I really want to place a cache. It's a unique place in the area, and has some local history I've been investigating. But as the crow flies, I think it's only 300 feet from another cache. On one hand, that's pretty dadgum close. On the other, the caches wouldn't be accessible from one another unless one can fly, and they're in quite different terrain. From Cache A, you'd have no idea that the spot I want to use exists. I wish it were farther from the other cache, but I think there may be some justification for it... is the 0.1 mile rule non-negotiable? Is it hopeless to write up a proposal for it, or is anything worth a try?

  12. quote:
    Originally posted by Jeremy (Admin):

    Originally posted by Mopar:


    Everythig else sounds great, but time/distance is just too variable to be of any use.


    Granted. I'm thinking, however, there can be a difference noted between a drive-by and one that involves a 3 day trip on the Nile...


    So like...


    Expedition (or Camping involved?)


    I think we should already be able to tell that from the difficulty and terrain ratings. It's the shades of gray in between that are harder to distinguish, but I don't see how these fields would clear up those sorts of judgment calls.

  13. quote:
    Originally posted by cachew nut:

    Originally posted by Jamie Z:

    Originally posted by cachew nut:

    ...perhaps they should be in a hint instead of displayed, for when you really need them.

    Parking coordinates in the hint will land you in the "Useless Hint" thread. Tell me how parking coordinates are gonna help me when I'm stumbling around in the woods looking for a little box.


    I _do_ understand what you mean... but I think putting them in the hint (spelled out?) isn't going to help much, since no one will know they're there... And personally, I'd be aggrevated if I couldn't find the cache and the dern hint tells me where to park.




    I guess I should have been clearer, I sorta meant another field on the page like the hint field that required decryption or a mouse click to reveal, instead of always displayed. That way if you want to see them you have the option instead of it being forced upon you. Or maybe displayed only on printer friendly pages, or anything but always displayed.


    What I don't understand is how simply seeing parking coordinates on a page can spoil things. If you don't see them mapped, or put actual brain power into interpreting how they differ from the cache coordinates, what is spoiled? If you can glance at a set of coordinates and instantly know where it is.. you've been Geocaching too long icon_smile.gif


    At any rate, parking coordinates, if they exist, are currently located at some random point in the cache description, generally in the clear (let's not get started on people who put them in the hint). What a new field would do is make it easier to glance at a cache and see whether parking coordinates have been supplied. I don't care much about the ease of downloading, or lack thereof, because there's no software that will work on my computer to do that; hiding parking coordinates in some GPX file or whatnot doesn't help me, and I am sad that that's Jeremy's proposed solution. It won't kill me to keep scanning cache descriptions and highlighting the parking coordinates if they're given, but I think it would be nice to standardize their location on the page for ease of use.

  14. quote:
    Originally posted by BASSETSLAVE:

    I attempted another site today. I found the site but was confused on how to follow the directional arrow. I now have that straight and I belive that I am going tomorrow at lunch and see if I can find this second icon_confused.gif cache. Like everything else in life there is a learning curve.


    My legend seem to be working perfectly it is the user at present that has the problem. I to am confused on the footage accuracy.


    I always *try* to reach the point where the gps says zero feet, as a starting point for the hunt, though there isn't always such a point. If you're within twenty feet or so, the arrow gets pretty useless, unless you have built-in compass. What we do is stop when the arrow gets jumpy, look to see what the bearing is and use a regular compass to walk along that bearing. It is easier than trying to follow the arrow, which keeps changing if you're moving slowly and close to the zero point.


    I'm surprised that the original poster was only getting 35 foot accuracy. I do recall that the very first time I turned on my etrex (we just have a yellow etrex, and we've found almost a hundred caches just fine -- cost and accuracy don't really have a linear relationship) it took a long time to settle down, figure out the satellites and get a decent reading. Our normal accuracy is 18-21 feet, and finding a cache gets significantly more difficult if we drop below that, though I don't know if we've ever had a cache hunt where we couldn't get down to 25 feet or so of error. Perhaps there just wasn't good satellite geometry at that particular time. If your GPS was putting you significantly away from the spot you knew it had to be, I'd strongly suspect a format or datum problem. Failing that, turn the device off and back on and see if it changes its mind; sometimes when it loses and re-acquires signal it seems to wake up.


    The first time one finds a cleverly hidden cache, one might think that nobody could ever find it without the hint, but trust me, those instincts get honed and pretty soon you're looking up, looking under, looking everywhere. We were foxed once by a cache dangling over our heads -- never again icon_smile.gif. It's harder to find a cache hidden under a random bush among dozens than it is to find a cleverly hidden one, really.

  15. I like difficult finds, if it's difficult because the hide is sneaky (hanging caches, disguised-as-a-rock caches, etc) and not because it's a needle-in-a-haystack search like an Altoids tin in the rain forest.


    Most of all, I like caches that are memorable, whether because of a truly interesting location, a lot of thought going into the cache (it's pretty obvious when that is the case), a very clever hide, an interesting gimmick (glow-in-the-dark caches or puzzle caches stay with me long after I've forgotten the ammo box in the tree stump), or what have you. I really like it when people don't just chuck the cache under any old bush, but place it with care. I don't want overly easy finds (aha, I bet it's under that giant, out-of-place pile of sticks), but I don't get a great deal of satisfaction out of finding something under the ten thousandth identical rock I've turned over either. I think even the cleverest hide shouldn't require an hour of searching, though; that kind of time implies that the brute-force ten-thousand-rock method is necessary, and I don't think that's what makes a good hide.


    As far as terrain goes, we are limited by being out of shape; one of us also has a bad back, the other chronic Achilles tendinitis. We'll hop creeks and scramble up and down the inevitable Southern California canyons with our trusty trekking poles, but I can't traverse terrain over a certain level of steepness and multi-mile hikes in the desert just aren't going to happen. A terrain 3 cache is questionable (depends if it's 'really' a 3 or not), and I doubt we could do anything above that at all. Obviously, those caches are great for those who are into more physical challenges, but I think a harder difficulty cache will be tried by a wider variety of people than a harder terrain cache. Go ahead and place 'em on mountaintops, but it may be a while before anybody visits.


    I don't think a 1 or 1.5 terrain cache needs to be easy or boring, though. When reminiscing about really good caches, I always remember how they were hidden, not "Man, was I out of breath when I reached that cache." Mileage may vary, though icon_smile.gif

  16. quote:
    Originally posted by MarcB:

    Looks like another travel bug has gone AWOL...


    Seems like someone has took it in between me and the last person (who dropped it off).

    What do you think the chances are of it reappearing? There were no logs in the book of it being taken, but everything else in the cache (including another travel bug) was in perfect condition.



    It's far from impossible. Someone without a login took my bug from a cache at the end of October... a month later, they finally got an account and logged the bug. They still haven't logged any caches, not even the one they took the bug from, but I'm crossing my fingers that they'll drop it in another cache someday... even if they don't log it properly, at least it will get back in circulation.


    So, if it's only been a couple of weeks.. well, I'd be discouraged that they didn't write in the logbook, but miracles do happen. Wouldn't hold my breath, but wouldn't graveyard the bug yet either.

  17. quote:
    Originally posted by Big Red One:

    Originally posted by Kite & Hawkeye:


    On the other hand, I think there's a special circle of, uh, heck, waiting for people who leave golf balls in caches. Do they expect somebody, anybody, ever, to say, "ooh, a golf ball! never mind the dirt, I can wash it!" and take it home?


    Gee, I hope not, icon_frown.gif having left my share of golf balls.


    There's a huge difference between leaving a golf ball you found on the ground as you walked to the cache, and leaving a brand new one or a package. I know that the real problem isn't a particular sort of item.. it's trashy items of any description. I just tend to generalize about golf balls because I've seen caches near driving ranges that were FULL of obviously used balls, to the point of being silly. But I have no problem at all with people who have golfballs in decent shape for trade items. Wouldn't want one, but it's not junk (same as a McToy that isn't broken or dirty, extra points if the package isn't opened).

  18. quote:
    Originally posted by Zentreri:

    2. I have an idea for another cache that requires that freeware software (not shareware, not adware, there are no ads on the site, this is free stuff baby!) be downloaded to help in decrypting a puzzle that leads to the cache....Only drawback I can see is it may limit the cache to windows users (of which we are the majority, but you Mac and linux guys have Windows friends right?), but there is no other ports of this program.


    Probably not a reason to disapprove, but no, I don't have any Windows friends. I (Kite) am a lone Mac lunatic, and everyone else I know uses Linux exclusively. We could not do your cache. It would make us sad, if it appeared on our nearest list and stayed there forever. Okay, it'd also make us sad if a boat-only cache or a 5/5 appeared on our closest page, but we'd get over it. We'd get over this, too, but it'd be nice if it were a cache that an even greater percentage of people could do.


    I don't know how integral this particular piece of software is to your cache idea, but there are many ways to make a puzzle that wouldn't be platform-specific. Unless the software is just so cool you can't bear not to use it, I'd wistfully ask you to reconsider.

  19. quote:
    Originally posted by BrianSnat:

    Since most people claim to "trade up" or "trade even", there must be cache fairys out there putting the junk in caches. Actually, I think the real reason is that many geocachers consider leaving several junk items in exchange for one nice one an even trade (e.g. Took new Swiss Army knife, left polished stone, McDonalds toy, spiderman stickers, used golf ball and a plastic comb I found on the way).


    I suspect people who put broken, dirty McToys in caches don't frequent the forums. A polished stone, though? I like polished stones, but I've never found one in a cache! Darnit. Not that I think they're fair trade for a Swiss Army knife, but I sometimes leave a tiny polished rock in a microcache. I like a number of items that some cachers consider junky (I have an ever-growing collection of rubber insects and reptiles). Some people probably like stickers, though whenever I find them they're dirty and peeling off their backing. And yeah, I know your point was that no number of these kinds of things would constitute a fair trade for one truly nice item, but in a more general context there is some variability in what a random cacher will consider junk or interesting trade items. I leave things I would like to find, which I think is as good a rule of thumb as any when it comes to the question "is this something I should put in a cache or throw away?"


    On the other hand, I think there's a special circle of, uh, heck, waiting for people who leave golf balls in caches. Do they expect somebody, anybody, ever, to say, "ooh, a golf ball! never mind the dirt, I can wash it!" and take it home?



  20. quote:
    Originally posted by CCrew:

    Couple of "newbie" questions here.


    1) When logging a cache, is it sufficient to just log it here on the site and in the cache or should the owner also be emailed? ...


    2) Is it normal to see a cache, especially an older one be filled with mostly junk that normal people would chuck in the trash? ...


    1) No need to mail the owner unless there's something you want to say privately to them. I believe you automatically get email when one of the caches you own is logged anyway.


    2) Unfortunately, it's rarer for me to see something I want to trade for than to see junk, and while I'm not a kid I'm always eager to see what's in a cache. I always leave a little frog, even if I take nothing, and try to make sure my own trades are at least fair if not an upgrade. I've been carrying some objects for a long time because I've never found anything to trade them for. Sometimes I'll leave something for nothing, but I do want to still have good trade items to actually use should I run across something cool.


    Usually, the harder a cache is to find and the fewer visitors it's had, the more interesting (and less dirty) the contents. It's unfortunate but often true. I found it helpful to cultivate an interest in little rubber lizards.. caches make me much happier now. I think it's too bad that junky caches can and quite possibly will be a bit discouraging to kids, though. Getting excited about being altruistic and improving caches is nice enough, but if I were a kid I'd start getting a little suspicious of an activity that required me to give neat toys away in exchange for broken pencils. It'd be nice if people could leave the dirty junk at home and put something in that they'd like to find.

  21. quote:
    Originally posted by BrownMule:
    Originally posted by Kite & Hawkeye:


    Really, though, must they dis the yellow eTrex?


    Remember that the article was about hiking not Geocaching. Maps are very important when hiking in unknown locations. I use topo maps in my GPS v and Legend.


    Man, I didn't realize they had TOPO maps. I was just thinking of street maps. Now I want one!


    Just kidding. Sort of.

  22. quote:
    Originally posted by Plank:

    Good article for newbies: choosing a hiking GPS



    Really, though, must they dis the yellow eTrex? When I was shopping around before I began geocaching, I didn't see anything substantially better that was "just slightly more expensive" than $99, and it finds us geocaches just as well as any other model. The differences aren't in accuracy, but bells and whistles, the lack of which has never caused us difficulty or rendered us unable to locate a cache.


    If I could've afforded something with maps right off the bat, that might have been nice, but I'm still a bit baffled about what a $350 GPSr *does* exactly. The merits of WAAS are debatable, we've never had much trouble keeping a lock in varied terrain, and I didn't want it to cook dinner anyway. A fancy model is probably nice, but as far as I can tell the extra features are largely luxuries and I think a lot of newbies are being turned off from a simple, basic model because they're getting the impression that it won't do the job adequately. It's not just a cute, non-"competitive" toy. Personally, I think the higher-end eTrexes are prettier, with those sexy translucent cases, but the yellow eTrex is a regular little workhorse.

  23. quote:
    Originally posted by Ramness570:

    Do some people not understand that GPS is not exact?


    Anyone else get logs on their caches from people saying the cords were off by X number of feet


    I know of a couple of caches in my area that really are almost exactly 30 feet off the posted coordinates; while I wouldn't ordinarily mention it, because I'd figure it was within our margin of error, these were cases where a number of finders ahead of me commented on the same error, all in the same direction. I'll sometimes mention it in my own log if we find that those before us were indeed correct (and their minor correction allowed us to walk right up to the cache, which it has in the past). It's certainly not the norm, though. I'm more surprised if we go to a cache and the GPS believes it's right on target.


    Once recently we found a cache after a rather difficult search ("it's under a rock? there's nothing BUT rocks here!") and were careful to re-hide it just as we'd found it. The next hunters, with two finds, said, "GPS was reading 20 feet off, so we moved the cache back where it belonged." Argh. I just hope they left it under a bloody rock.

  24. quote:
    Originally posted by trippy1976:

    When the ATM's first came out, at least where I was, it stood for "Any Time Money" machine.


    Automated Teller Machine came along a while later.


    In Wisconsin, we called them "TYME machines" because they're all on the TYME network and somehow they achieved brand-name recognizability. When out-of-state, I once asked where the TYME machine was and got a very strange look. I thought TYME stood for "Take Your Money Everywhere," but that could have been my brother pulling my leg.

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