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Everything posted by Talzhemir

  1. A travel-bug is a little counter to the usual customs of Geocaching in that you aren't meant to keep it. To give a Travelbug its best chance at travelling, new cachers should be informed up-front what the deal is. So I've created the travelbug "passport": Passport It helps to put travelbug and passport in their own little ziplock. For a hitchhiker that hasn't got an official Groundspeak Travelbug dogtag, you might try THIS passport instead: Passport for Tagless Travelers Enjoy! --Talzhemir of furcadia.com
  2. * I like letting the kids do the GPS work. The one carrying the GPS is "Navigator". I might be better at pathfinding but they wouldn't learn as much just walking behind following. "Navigator" carries the little notebook for recording GPS coordinates of cool places such as a roadside stand that sold corn-on-the-cob and beef jerky. They also record where we parked the car. Another of the kids gets appointed "Water Officer". The Water Officer has two jobs. First, they put ice-cubes into a water bottle that gets carried with a shoulderstrap. Second, the Water Officer makes sure everybody has gone to the bathroom before we hit the road. On a camping trip, the Water Officer also carries a flat packet of Wet Ones in case somebody has to go to the bathroom while on a hike. Even if you go before you leave, if your body overheats you'll get rid of heat through diarrhea. It can happen to anybody-- especially somebody who didn't drink enough because (ironically enough) they didn't want to "go" while they were out on the trail. Sometimes we bring a digital camera. The one in charge of carrying it is Science Officer. The custom is that if you take a picture, you also have to find out what it is and write a little about it. Different kids can be Science Officer. We try to decide if a picture is something we already have in our collection of pictures, or something new. Flowers, trees, mushrooms and animals are a few of the things you can photograph. You can also photograph car insignias (Ford; Mazda; Jaguar, etc.). There can be more than one Science Officer. They also carry field guides of plants and animals. (We used to bring binoculars but there didn't seem to be enough time for birding with a bigger group.) A grownup is usually "Communications Officer". They make the log entry at the site. The littlest one is our "Scout". She can't understand the GPS unit but I give her my compass. That's fun because when we get very near, and when a Navigator can't walk fast enough because of trees/brush to get a vector heading, we switch to coordinates program that requires compass directions. "Scout" knows how to line the red arrows up to find north. "Which way is north?" She smiles a little smile and points. "Scout" has one other duty. When we come to a place that doesn't seem to have any trails, Scout finds a way through that breaks the least branches and squishes the least plants. For once, being the shortest is an advantage! We always have a "Medical Officer". They carry the first-aid kit. It has blue sunblock and purple sunblock that go on colored but then dry clear. Medical Officer watches for missed spots. The medical kit includes a box of orange Tic-Tacs. It's there in case somebody gets low blood sugar. Sometimes you can tell; they'll be grouchy or start zoning out or even start looking a little gray/pale. You might not know if they're dehydrated, overheated, diabetic, or all three. Rest, and give them both water and three Tic-Tacs. The Medical Officer also carries a six-sided dice. It's our custom that the one to spot the cache gets first-pick. Then we all pick over the spoils. If different people want the same thing, we "dice off" for it. Also in the kit is the Zanfel. It was $40 for an ounce, but calamine doesn't work, and hydrocortisone is dangerous, especially to kids. (And besides, all that does is lessen the itch.) Zanfel gets the stuff off your body better than Fels Naphtha. Poison ivy fuses to the keratin in your skin. Hint: if you're sensitive to poison ivy, don't take a bath for at least 24 hours before you go out. I do try to make sure they wear sneakers. If somebody goes tromping through poison ivy, all the clothes get washed with Fels Naphtha, including the footgear. A box of trashbags with drawstrings can be a boon. They can go on car seats or over the legs to protect the car from mud or poison ivy. For first-graders and up, if you slit the bottom, the drawstrings can surround the face and you get disposable rain-gear. One last thing: please bring a cellular phone, even if you have to borrow it from a friend. Heaven forbid anything serious should befall you, but if it did, you can at least call for help. And everybody should know how to use the GPS who possibly can. That way, if you call 911, and they ask, "Where are you?" you can give your coordinates, of course. May you discover greater treasures than you ever hoped to find! Yours sincerely, --Talzhemir
  3. * I found a Travelbug. It didn't occur to me to log the Find. I figured I'd do it after I'd actually placed him. A few days later, I travelled an hour northwards, and cached him again. I even gave him a Passport. After I got home, I logged my visit to the new cache. It was only after I went to the website for the Travelbug, to log placing him, that I realized I didn't know his number! Doh! Without the number, you can't log the find. I've just emailed the previous Finder asking if she knows the Travelbug's number. If that doesn't work, I'll have to email the Sponsor. I'm sure it'll be alright but it's more hassle than it should have been. So anyways, friends, maybe you'll learn from my stuuuuupid mistake. Remember to log the Finding of the Travelbug. And then take down the tag number for when you log the Recaching. Wishing you many excellent journeys, Talzhemir
  4. I think it's wise to give your Travelbug its own Passport because the information on the tag is vague and limited. #1. All too often, the Finder doesn't realize there's an obligation incurred by picking up Travelbug. The Passport addresses this right away by saying right away, "Put me back in a cache soon. If you don't want this responsibility, please leave me for someone else to take. I love to explore and travel as much as you do!" #2. The Finder may not realize that a Travelbug tag (and the web page that goes with it) costs somebody some amount of real-world moolah. The Passport reads, "I love my Travelbug tag! Isn't it cool? It cost my Sponsor $6.50." The Travelbug tag is a GORGEOUS little symmetrical aluminum cartouche, especially if you happen to have an inordinate fondness for beetles. #3. Without putting too fine a point on it, the immediate list of "hosts" indirectly says that it took many people to get a travelbug that far, and it would be a shame if their charming efforts ended with you. --------- Dear Dekaner: I mistyped; it's fixed now. Thanks! Here is the original document in .AI format; that's what I use to construct a .PDF. Travelbug Passport in Adobe Illustrator (.AI) format --------- Dear Mzee: Passport paper? good idea! ---------
  5. To DxChallenged: I can't wait to see the quilt. (btw, is that a Pom?) Instructions for printing buh'flies is located here: http://www.bga.com/~pixel/butterfly/tags.htm Tagging Page
  6. To DxChallenged: I can't wait to see the quilt. (btw, is that a Pom?) Instructions for printing buh'flies is located here: http://www.bga.com/~pixel/butterfly/tags.htm Tagging Page
  7. * In an effort to help your Travel Bug stay in circulation, here's a .PDF file "Passport" (printable from this web browser and your computer's printer on standard paper). The one who sends out a Travel Bug isn't really an "owner" anymore, so I've dubbed you the "Sponsor". Fold the page over twice to make a little card or booklet. (You can fold it once more if you need to.) You can also add to the Passport's durability by putting a little bit of tape on each of its four corners before you fold it. One piece of tape in the very center where the folds cross is also helpful. Trimming the corners with a scissors or a corner-clipper (for scrapbooking) will both make it look more like a passport and prevent the corners from getting dogeared. After it's folded, one corner is clear of rinting so you can reinforce it with transparent tape, then make a hole for a foot-long chain of rubber bands. Attach this tether to your Travel Bug so it won't lose its new Passport. Travel Bug Passport (for a Bug that HAS a Travelbug Tag & Number) ---------- Here's another version of the Passport, for a Travel Bug who doesn't have an official Travel Bug tag. It makes reference to a web page, which you fill in. It also makes reference to an email address. (You should set up an email account for free at someplace like hotmail.com if you don't want to give out your personal address.) Travel Bug Passport (for a Bug WITHOUT a Tag) Brightest blessings to you, Talzhemir P.S.: I suspect that a Travel Bug fares better if it's something relatively homely, and not the cutest thing you ever saw
  8. Dear Dekaner, You asked which way they would go; I leave that up to you. From New York, sending them to Mexico seems more exciting to me, but maybe yours would rather go to Niagara Falls. Dear DxChallenged, You asked if they can be laminated. Laminating them first works just fine.
  9. * Howdy from sunny Austin, TX! My name is Talz and I'm an artist by trade. I've started a project to simulate the miraculous migration of the monarch through geocaching. This project involves crafting paper butterflies, tagging and "releasing". RAINY DAY ART PROJECT My site gives both a colored version and a black-and-white version. There are two versions of the information on the back, one for going to Mexico and other for going to Canada. They can be colored creatively or realistically. OUTDOOR SCIENCE PROJECT Each monarch is tagged as if it were real, then placed in a cache. Serial numbers and butterfly names are recorded in a release log. An email account can be set up for the purpose of tracking "sightings". A butterfly-themed cache can be hidden. The Geocache Monarchs Site If you need to reach me, just email pixel@bga.com
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