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Posts posted by Bluejaytoo

  1. Back in November we decided to camp in the National Forest and do the Blood Campers Cache. On the second and final day of our hunt, we found ourselves on top of the mountain in the midst of a thunderstorm and an incoming cold front. We refused to give up, which paid off, since we did finally get the final stage; although by the time we got there our team had gone from 6 people and two dogs down to 2 people and 2 dogs. On the long hike back to basecamp from the final stage, the wind was really starting to pick up. I noted how it was blowing so hard the treetops were banging against each other. Hermeaness corrected me, saying, "They're not just banging against each other, they're falling down!" Indeed they were, and when we got back to camp it was a fast-paced packing job, as we found ourselves dodging widowmakers left and right. As we attempted to leave the National Forest, we found the roads blocked by downed trees everywhere. We had to stop 4 times to clear the roads enough to get our vehicles through. We likely would never had made it out if we hadn't had all the manpower to move them.

  2. I've found difficult caches because my compass pointed me towards the search area even when I couldn't get reception at the hide site. Not everyone is a fan, but I am.

    Count me as another big compass fan. I'd rather have a compass than mapping ability, which is why I bought the eTrex Summit. Herky-jerky at ground zero, but nowhere else.

  3. I guess it depends on your definition of inexpensive, but I've been singing the praises of the Pentax Optio 43WR ever since I got mine. It's out of production now, but they are always on eBay. It has 4 megapixels, a 2.8x optical zoom, optical viewfinder, and it's waterPROOF. (In spite of the "water resistant" graphics on the front, it is water proof; it has a JIS Class 7 rating.) It has rubber corners to absorb impact. It is more likely to survive being dropped in a creek than about any other camera out there. I wear mine around my neck when I'm kayaking.



  4. In response to Mule Ears' question, it's pretty much a kit to cover whomever may need it, including anyone I happen upon along the way. As a first responder, I've often thought I should be a little better prepared. (Sorry to say, I don't even have a first aid kit at the moment.) I haven't decided, but depending on the size, it'll either be with me in my pack, or kept in the Jeep with all my other survival goodies. Good point, Brian, on the drugs, I'll add them to my list. I do normally have some aspirin in the Jeep, not everyone sees it as the cure-all that I do. :laughing: And I think a SAM Splint would be good to have in the Jeep as well.

  5. I think coins (geocoins or otherwise) make great FTF prizes. They have a high perceived (and sometimes real) value. I hid a cache that marks a historic event which took place in 1881, so the FTF prize was an 1881 Morgan dollar. I also included a #1 ribbon I picked up at a dollar store. I'll be placing some more caches in the spring, and at least one of them will have an unactivated '06 PA geocoin.

  6. I know the whole "What's in your pack?" subject has been covered ad nauseum, but I haven't found any threads specific to what's in the first aid kit. I'm never satisfied with those prepackaged kits; so do any of you have a custom one you've put together, and what's in it? I haven't put one together yet, but so far my partial list is:


    Band Aids


    Alcohol Swabs

    Ace Bandage




    Tweezers/forceps (for ticks, splinters)

    CalaGel or Tecnu (for poison plants)

    After Bite (for insect stings)

    Ace Bandage

    Space Blanket

    Latex gloves

  7. I recently did a multi/puzzle-cache with a padlock on a 50 cal. at the end, 20 feet up a tree. It only sees activity a few times a year, and being up in a tree, it's certainly exposed to the elements. It's been out there for a couple years now, and the padlock is not the weather-resistant variety, so I had some serious doubts that it would work. I had to fiddle with it quite a bit, but I did eventually get it to open. A locksmith friend of mine turned me on to Tri-Flow, a Teflon-based spray lube that works great on locks. I'd recommend using that on it everytime you do cache maintenance.

  8. You may need to switch to a Garmin.


    Ha! Nah, navigating by GPS is still not an exact science; there's a little finesse to it. My Garmin eTrex Summit can bounce around on me at times, especially if there's a lot of tree cover. You need to spend some time with it to learn its nuances. Many times I'll walk into ground zero, walk on past, then come in from another direction. Eventually I'll find a common location, and I'll have better confidence. Of course, once it reads within 50 feet, it's time to put it away and start looking. My caching partner uses a Magellan SporTrack, and we often race to find the cache. I think we each have about a 50% find rate between us. Keep in mind, your Magellan doesn't have a magnetic compass, so you need to be on the move for it to triangulate.

  9. Besides, can you really compare the cacher with a bazillion urban micro finds to the cacher with the bazillion miles hiked for 100 finds?  My favorite slogan here is "It's not about the numbers". 

    Why couldn't it also be about the types of finds, as the OP mentioned? I'd be more interested in seeing who has the most 5/5 finds, or even the most widely-scattered finds. I've been doing this since '02, and my number is still two digits; so it certainly isn't about the numbers for me! When we head out, we purposely look for the cache that is most likely to take our entire day.

  10. For a caching camera, how can you go wrong with one that fits in an Altoids tin??


    Pentex Optio S-series

    I like the Optio WR line; but the gripe I have with the new Optio WR is that it doesn't have an optical viewfinder. Right now this 43WR model is my favorite caching camera, whenever I don't feel like lugging my Digital Rebel along. I even use it for some of my 3-D stuff. This thing is indestructible; it's submersible, it has a non-protruding 2.8x optical zoom, it has shock-resistant rubber corners, and it uses AA batteries and a SD card. I can't understand why they discontinued it. But there are still new ones floating around on eBay.



  11. OK.. how do you take a 3D picture?


    With a 3-D camera!


    Actually, I don't own a 3-D camera, so I use normal ones. Most of the time when I'm caching, I just have my little Pentax P&S digital. I frame the shot while keeping all my weight on my left foot, take one picture, shift my weight to my right foot, then take another picture. Of course, this only works on calm days, and when there aren't lots of people moving around. Then I take the resulting left/right pair and layer them in Photoshop to create the anaglyph image, to be viewed with the glasses. A detailed tutorial on just how that is done is on my website. When I'm more ambitious, I'll drag along my twin rig: a matched set of Pentax ME Super SLRs that are synchronized electronically. Or I'll use my Digital Rebel mounted on a slidebar on a tripod. There are a zillion ways to do it.


    Say, that virtual lighthouse tour of yours would look way cool in 3-D... :blink:

  12. If I really, really enjoy the cache I will also paint a watercolor sketch of it and add it to the log. I am a firm believer in "value added caching." :blink: No alphabet logs for me!

    Now that's cool. Aside from my often wordy log entries, if conditions permit, I will take 3-D pictures of the cache area and upload them to the log. I leave 3-D anaglyph glasses in all the caches I find, and they can be used to view the pictures I post.

  13. I placed two PA coins last February. One of them has traveled 217.8 miles, but stopped moving in July. The other one apparently never left the hands of the first finder. I guess he thought it was part of the FTF prize. I don't really mind that they keep them, since I know that once I release them into the wild, I relinquish my control of them. But I have some '06 PA coins coming, and I think when I release those, I'll include more documentation with them as others here have suggested. Obviously not everyone understands the etiquette for coins intended to travel.

  14. I got one too, only it was an eBay user who claimed he never received a shipment from me, and he was going to report me if I didn't follow up by clicking a link. Supposedly, just clicking the link can install a keystroke logger on your PC in some cases.

  15. It was something like 15 below when we did this one a couple winters ago. We went in at night because, well, it was going to be dark anyway. It's an abandoned railroad tunnel. Those ice columns are 20 feet high. The cache container was stuffed into a cubby hole inside the tunnel, but was frozen solid in the ice and could not be removed. They've since re-lined the tunnel, and the container had to be moved outside. We went back and revisited it this past Sunday.




    Here's my partner, hermeanness, heading down the rail-trail toward the cache. So far it's been a good season for winter caching.



  16. Nice to hear the favorable replies. To me it sounds like a win-win proposition. The area where they want more exposure is fairly rugged, and well off the beaten path. But these guys have some pretty good swag to offer, so I can see us putting together some nice hides. It is indeed a shame more people don't get to experience this area; it is beautiful, and really a geocaching heaven (and hunting, and fishing, and mountain biking, and kayaking...).

  17. I've been approached by a local tourism promotion group about placing some caches in areas where they'd like to see more activity. We haven't discussed any details, but I'd bet they are willing even to cover costs of containers, swag, etc. I don't believe these could be viewed as commercial caches, because these folks are a non-profit agency, and their main goal is to simply promote recreational activity in an area that is under-utilized. The idea of someone totally funding me going out and placing new, quality caches for the sake of encouraging others to have fun seems to me like a dream come true. I've done quite a bit of volunteer work with them in the past, so we have a great working relationship.


    Is anyone currently doing this sort of thing? Can anyone see any problems with it?

  18. The GMRS/FRS license is a joke. I'm a single guy, and I cache with my girlfriend and various other friends. Do they all need to buy an $80 license, just because they aren't related to me? Sure, a ham license is a better deal (another reason the GMRS license is a joke), but no way am I going to convince all my friends they need to get a ham license and buy ham radios. My sig line pretty much expresses my thoughts on this one.

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