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Everything posted by swissgreys

  1. I just wanted to add that I never have Internet access when out caching, so if we pick up a TB (without a tag) I can only check what the goals are later. On a couple of occasions where a TB had very specific goals that I knew we couldn't really help with, I dropped it locally asap, to give it a chance to be picked up by someone else. I think if you have specific goals this is more interesting to those who pick up your TB's, but you have more chance of at least one succeeding if you send out a few. We set 4 TB's off on a race from England to Switzerland in Summer 2012. One made it to within 10kms of our home in a little over a year. The second was dropped 50 kms away today. The third was a little over 200kms away, and was suddenly picked up and dropped way off track in Norway. The fourth is still wandering across Germany. It is kind of fun to watch (says the one who picked up her returning TB today), but we always kept our expectations realistic too.
  2. I also wanted to add, don't loose hope. One of my daughter's trackables was picked up by an experienced player. They were caching and logging regular finds, yet never dropped the trackable off. After 6 months I sent them a polite e-mail asking them to drop it off somewhere, or even just post it directly to me. I never heard back, and assumed it was lost, and they didn't want to say anything. Yet suddenly, almost a year after they picked it up, it appeared again, and has been traveling ever since. Sometimes they do come back.
  3. In July 2012 my family all released TB's in Kent, Southern England. The goal was for all four TB's to race back to Switzerland, ideally close to where we live. But naturally we were also realistic - we explained to the kids (aged 5 and 7 at the time) that once they were out in the 'wild' it was highly probable that the TB's might get 'lost'. Or they might travel around, but never make it home. Tonight I got a message that some wonderful person has placed my 8 year old daughter's TB in a cache less than 20kms from our home!!! Not to mention the other 100+ cachers who helped it get this far. Tomorrow morning I am off to try and collect our TB - the first to make it home. Of the 4 TB's we released 3 are still traveling, and one is in the possession of a regular cacher who has had it for over a year. I am still hopeful about that one. Fingers crossed that tomorrow we can bring home our travel bug. After over 4000kms I think it probably deserves a rest
  4. I also wanted to add that what we do with our kids is allow them to choose an item from the cache, but if there isn't anything there that interests them, they get to choose something from our 'treasure bag'. That way they don't feel compelled to take something they don't want, and I am not worried when we open an empty container! I also emphasis always putting something back that you would like to find. So maybe take along the extra treasure, and then give the girls the choice when they see what is inside the cache?
  5. Thanks for all the replies. I visited the site today, and the cache is definitely gone. It has been replaced however, with a pile of empty beer cans and an old car battery So I have disabled the listing, and will pop back this week with a replacement. I am hoping that the beer cans are a sign that someone had a bit of a party there, stumbled across the cache, and wandered off with it (we hunted all around the original spot, and there were no signs of it). The good news is that it is now getting a bit cold to hang around in the woods drinking beer, so hopefully the replacement will stay put. If not I think I will change the cords slightly, and make the next cache smaller. Thanks again for all the advice. Swissgreys
  6. Great idea. I have a ton of those vials around, but can't get my hand on a film canister without paying for it! Swissgreys
  7. Thanks for the replies. It is(was?) a snack box, under a pile of logs, in a small wood, by a lake.
  8. Umm, 7. And I thought that was really good until I read this thread......
  9. It's a tricky one, and whilst I think it is a good idea, it could backfire. My kids used to love the 'treasure' aspect of caching, but these days they just like the finds (and the odd small prize). I think starting them off well though will undoubtedly spark their interest, and in time they will learn that it isn't just about prizes..
  10. I live in a country where I don't speak the main language fluently. This naturally limits my response repertoire. I never try to hide what I am doing, and actually find most people either don't notice, or frankly could not care less. Almost every time someone has asked me what I am doing it is becasue they think I have lost something, and are offering to help find it (the Swiss are pretty community spirited like that). I am always pretty up front. I tell them I am playing a game with friends. One of them hides a magnet and I am trying to find it. In return I hide something for them. At this point most people just walk away. If they ask more questions I usually pull out leaflet, and tell them to look it up online. With my recent success rate, the chances are I am not leading them to anything anyway....
  11. I hid my first 4 caches 2 months ago, and they are all doing just fine. However today one of them logged 2 DNF. It isn't a particularly hard cache, and the cachers in question are experienced. Because of this I assuming it has gone missing. I will head out to check on it tomorrow, but if I don't find it, what do I do? It had 30+ finds and one favorite point, and people generally comment positively on the location. What do others do when one of their caches goes AWOL. I am happy to replace the missing cache, but as it is highly likely a muggle has found it once, should I assume they will find it again? Do I place another cache close by and just amend the coordinates? Advice is most welcome. Thanks, Swissgreys
  12. I recently got back from Japan and all the caches I found over there had no "Cache Degradation" also the owners over there took such good care of their caches it was unbelievable. I am also finding that it varies from country to country. In Switzerland the sway is usually decent. I cache with the kids (ages 4 and 6), so swag does count. In Portugal it was non existent (but then we only did 2 caches, so maybe that is unfair). In England it varied a LOT. We found cool stuff, and also caches filled with junk. I try to only hunt for caches in interesting places, so even when the swag is rubbish, the trip itself is not a waste of time. I also explained to the kids that it is important that we leave behind something we would like to find. We always trade up (or not at all), and make sure our very few hides are regularly maintained. But if you step back it shouldn't be about the trade, but taking people to places that are worth visiting.
  13. Actually not that much. I cache on Friday mornings with my youngest, so I do plan those trips a bit. But we just got back from a 2 week holiday to Portugal, and I planned to visit a couple of caches whilst there. I downloaded the details of 4 great looking caches before we left (no Internet whilst on holiday), and we did 2 of the 4. And I was pretty happy with that. I love Geocahcing (so do the kids) but I can also step back, and don't want to spend my holiday scrabbling round road side services and under lamp post skirts. I enjoy it for what it is meant to be - a chance to visit new and amazing places. Not a chance to make my stats look better.
  14. Mine still get found fairly often, but then: - they are in a cache 'poor' area (aka no competition) - they are easy (low terrain and difficulty rating) - they are new I am guessing they will be found leas often as time passes. I like reading the logs, and the kids love it. Placing caches was their idea and they chose the spots, so I am glad they have been popular so far.
  15. Small, agile, fearless children, for sending into small holes and boosting up trees.
  16. Love some of the brochures and cards suggested so far. To add my own thoughts on this... I have been stopped a couple of times by older people who seemed to find my initial explanation of the whole 'internet based hide and seek game' a bit overwhelming. Based on who is asking I either offer a brochure with a basic explanation, or just tell them a friend and I play a game. He hides a box for me to find, and then I hide one for him. Because I am often explaining this concept in a language that is not my mother tongue, sometimes a simple explanation works best.
  17. Check the co-ordinates (I know someone else said this, but I think it is worth mentioning again). And then go back and check them again (with a warmed up GPS, in reasonable weather conditions). I haven't been caching long, have made 4 hides, and one was a disaster! The coordinates (taken multiple times, but on a GPS that had just been switched on and in less than perfect weather) were 10 meters out, and within 12 hours of the cache being listed I had a few DNF's, and one rather angry response demanding 'immediate owner comment'. I have learnt my lesson. I would also say make sure you will be around for at least a week (or two) after the cache goes 'live'. This can happen up to 3 days after you submit the listing for review (but in my own personal experience is much faster). You need to be close by, so if it does go wrong and you have a herd of furious geocachers baying for your blood, then you can pop back quickly to the scenic location you carefully handpicked (hoping not to bump into any of the aforementioned cachers) and sort the problem out. But hiding is fun, and in fact my kids love hiding as much as finding. If only I could cope with the pressure.....
  18. I almost always go caching with my kids (ages 4 and 6), and they often ride whilst I walk. This means they can go further with less effort, I get the benefit of a brisk walk, and we cover more ground. Because I cache with the kids we don't really go for big numbers, but it certainly increases the distances we cover.
  19. Thanks SO much. I guessed it would be something simple, but didn't want to screw up with my first hide. Off to create a listing now.
  20. OK, I have searched the Forums (I did try - really) and can't find an answer to my question. Please be kind if it is out there, but I missed it - you are Geocachers too, so you know what it's like when you can't find something... I am getting ready to hide my first cache. I have the container, contents, and location all sorted. Tonight I started filling in the online form to register the cache, and came across a problem. I can fill it all in and submit the cache for review, but I don't have a 'cache number' to put on the container. I don't want to submit the cache for review until it is actually physically in place, but I don't want to put it in place without a cache number on it either. So how do I get a cache number in advance? And if I can't do that, how do others go about placing a cache before they have a number? Do you just go back and add the number once you have one? Thanks in advance for your help. Swissgreys
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