Posts posted by Alvater
It says 'The photo is no longer available'. Thus I cannot see what a ringneck is but I'll try to google it.
I cache with a dog. She has two purposes. First, she makes an excellent camouflage. I can observe the location while others see a dog owner waiting for her pet to stop sniffing that bush. Second, I have taught her to find caches and alert me discreetly when she spots it. Well, to be honest, I usually see the most likely spot long before the dog but dogs like to find things so I let her search too. And she is less like a sore thumb sticking out when she uses her nose than I am peeking and poking around.
My logs are rather boring. They usually start by mentioning how I was again walking my dog and decided to take her to a cache. I might mention how the weather is or what else I have done during the day or if I plan to visit other caches. If the cache box is interesting I might say something like 'nice and clever hide' or 'I liked the box and camo' but I try to be ambiguous not to spoil it.
My favourite of my logs is one I made to look like a short story by adding some knights and dragons into it. It was so long I had to shorten it to make it fit. I do not know if others liked it though. I have another I wrote into a "funny" story when I found some potatoes near the cache.
And once I wrote a poem. Not a good one, I guess.
I try to write a log longer than 'I found it, tftc' but honestly, if it is 13 in a dozen hide it is difficult to say anything and then if it is an excellent cache I do not want to spoil it being too spesific in my compliments.
I usually cache while walking my dog so my longest walks have been at least 8 km because some of my finds are about 4 km away from my home and that is probably the aerial route, not by the road. Because I have found all caches inside the 4-5 circle my walks seem to get longer...
One cache I have logged while biking and that is 10 km from here.
I thought also the financial side (I did not know about the saw safety issue mentioned above). Where I live, caches could be in a forest which is later harvested. I do not know their processes or machines very well but a nail stuck in the wrong place - broken saw? Ruined quality? I read that sawmills have magnetic metal detectors but if the nail is not magnetic... And the log with metal would still need special treatment to avoid breaking the saw all A quality logs go to.
My latest mystery find was tricky. My phone did not settle and I blamed the trees. The dog suggested it was in a pine but I did not find any fake branches or small holes.
I went home to check my coordinates and cache details again. I took a second look at the map. I returned to the cache site. The cache details suggested it was a small so no hole nor a fake branch should be it if it was not mislabeled. The terrain rate puzzled me. At my first visit I arrived by a route that made me climb uphill but at the second time I approached from another, easier direction. I was not sure if there was enough stars to incline tree-climbing.
Then I thought GPS inaccuracy. The cache was near a path so I sent the dog to its other side. There was a promising tree stump in a steep descend. Not there. The dog started to circle a spruce ehm... 6 (?) meters to my left. I checked it believing my dog has it wrong. The cache actually was 3 m up there yet I think the dog just guessed it and did not sniff.
I usually start by looking at the map with terrain curves and aerial pictures. Then I walk to the coordinates and take a look around. Any places I would hide a box this big? Any erosion, worn spots or alike? What does the dog say?
Often my device is spots on but not always. Trees seem to confuse it. I have used phone GPS for less than 30 caches, my first 100 finds made using map and notes only.
I never printed anything. I do not have a printer. I put a paper on my computer screen and drew the roads, paths, houses, water, contours, and other things through it (there is a map for me to use with these details but that is only in my country) and marked the X where the cache was. I might also check the satellite view to get information about vegetation and such. I often have scrap paper lying around so that is free or cheap. Earlier I tried to hurry and left out details I thought unimportant. Usually I was proven wrong and had to fill in my map notes and return later to the cache site. Then I went to the general area, compared my map to the terrain and looked for the correct paths and other landmarks. Sometimes I counted my steps to estimate how far I was. Areas with little landmarks were tough though and areas where I had to guess which shapes around me were large enough to be written on maps.
I did ask myself often why I am here without GPS... But I usually returned to that my notes were not good enough and I needed to learn more about the area before I went searching.
Planning to go in urban areas, I could use Google street view and take notice of possible hiding places.
I have only cached for three years and smartphones have been around all the time but I did not have one until last summer. So I was left with computer and notes.
I started without any mobile device. Now I have a smartphone. And I am not sure that finding caches is easier with an electric device than with a map. But I am also lucky because my country has published free online maps containing information about terrain and cache descriptions have straight links to that map.
Sometimes the map has been even more accurate than my phone. And sometimes it has lured me 10 meter too north and sometimes it is difficult to compare the terrain to the map. I learned to make good notes what I saw on the map when I had been like hundreds of meters in the wrong direction after reading my bad map notes in the wrong way. But many times I have also walked to the X on my map and found myself standing right at the cache. Especially in urban areas.
So when I started caching with the phone I noticed that it is not that easy. I miss details in my environment and follow the dot on the screen instead of my common sense. The dot makes me go in circles and frustrates me and I switch to map on the phone ditching the caching app. When I use map I have to read the terrain and I learn of my environment. When I follow the dot I am blind.
One thing to remember is that I go find one or two caches every now and then. Someone who wants to make 100 finds in a month instead of two years would probably not be happy using my earlier slow look at the map - make notes - go find method.
33 posts before this and currently I have found and logged 125 caches. So 0.26 posts per found cache or 3.8 caches per post.
I have a dog and I picked up geocaching to make our walks more interesting. I've also tried to teach my dog to find caches but I did not make it right so she is not very good at it.
I have seen a couple of mysteries where coordinates were scattered inside a game you can play in the internet browser. I really liked them, unfortunately both were quite difficult and I got stuck. The other is so far I'll never officially log it but I liked to play the game.
I specify, these games did not require me to download anything that was not already on my computer, or to register anywhere.
I've only searched and found traditionals, multis, mysteries and small events.
I like good traditionals and nice mysteries although I am omnivorous.
Positive traits in any cache...
- has lured me into an interesting place I had no idea that it existed. Interesting place can be interesting, because of its history or there is something to see.
- a well-maintained sturdy cache in a decent hide while walking my dog (happens often enough) or stopping by on a trip (hasn't though happened yet).
- has a theme
- has original hide/camo (hunting tubes hanging in a tree or lunch boxes under the rocks is OK for me but those are like bread, very ordinary. I like to see variation.)
- lets me think but is not too difficult or otherwise frustrating.
- can require walking into the woods or exercise me otherwise, but I do not like caches in high up in trees because I do not climb.
- I prefer woods, parks and other places where it is easy to blend in as a plain dog walker. Urban caches are very difficult for me. One urban cache was though cool because it had a good hint and it could be picked up pretending to be a silly tourist.
I am not sure what I should think about difficulty though. Too easy caches are a little boring, but too difficult hides may be camouflaged so that I fear disturbing its environment while searching for it and still not find it (I've dropped a search for this reason a couple of times). I'd like to find a cache in an area with plenty of good hiding places and send my dog to find it to challenge her nose instead of letting her check the first three holes she sees.
I'd like to see my area with high concentration of nice traditionals (since there are few historically interesting places near me, they have to be good in some other field like camo or theme) and a handful of mysteries and multis. This has brought up the idea of setting my own hide but I cannot decide what kind of box and where to hide one.
Trackables? I like the idea. I have a dog with a code so people can discover her but I do not hunt for trackables. I think that if I still do caching when her time has ran out I'll release a traditional travel bug carrying her code to wander from cache to cache.
Swag does not interest me. And there isn't much. Most caches I've found are rather small and our climate is not the easiest to keep the inside of the box clean and dry.
A field puzzle would be nice to find! I haven't ran into one yet. I guess they are not easy to maintain.
I've heard that sometimes birds might spread used poop bags when they seek food among the rubbish. But I do not know for sure and if there is no bin near it does not sound a good explanation.
I might intepret 'not a night cache' as a) may be not easy to find in the dark access to the cache location may be restricted during night hours or c) in this case muggles may get suspicious. In case c) I would think that visiting the place when most people are preparing for bed or sleeping solid should be avoided because it could look dodgy but maybe not always when it is literally dark. I live in a country there the light time of the day lasts only few hours now, when they are at their shortests and in the longest days in the summer it is light around the clock. Would make pretty interesting caching if some caches should be retrieved only in daylight in the winter and your work is during the daytime.
Ie. I could be walking my dog at 7 pm when it is dark. No one would see me suspicious or a threat. If the cache is an easy find even in the dark I guess I could log it without raising attention. But say I browse through various items at ground zero at 0.30 am without any obvious and safe explanations the situation is different.
I forgot to mention that Alva is supposed to indicate found caches by lying down or sitting down if the cache is above knee-level. I discourage her to dig, scratch or grab the cache to avoid erosion and damage but these behaviors still occur occasionally. She remembers to lie down better every time we make a new find.
I cache with my rough collie Alva. When I visit a cache with her I draw her face next to my signature in the log book. Some cachers purchase TB accounts for their dogs and dip them in caches.
In fact, I started caching partially for Alva. I wanted to do agility and such but her hips are not good so I had to quit. I still needed a hobby. I like puzzles and treasure hunting and had heard about geocaching. Alva's issue was perfect excuse to start. Finding caches has led us to new walking paths and offered us some change in our routines. I have discovered places and tidbits of history I would never have known without caching.
I do not cache often so I might do this even if Alva was healthy. It just might have taken more time to trigger me to start.
I have tried to teach Alva to find caches. Unfortunately I pressed her too hard too early with a difficult search and she lost motivation. She just checks the closest rocks and holes. But she does check them more eagerly every time and I learn to interpret her behavior (no cache, fake alert, not interested, there is something, cache near, cache here). Usually I have already spotted the most promising hiding place when she remembers that she has to look around.
Alva has been my best camo ever. Everybody thinks I am just a dog walker and cachers fall for that too. If I want to look around I just let her sniff the ground while I study my surroundings. Or she sniffs around looking for a cache but people could think she has found squirrel's tracks.
I do not know how often I have failed being stealthy but at least once. I had tried to find a cache but could not and eventually dropped the act hoping that the drivers would be so concentrated in their driving they would not notice me. The next day a friend asked what on earth I was doing there.
My standard disguise is dog-walker. Then I pretend my dog is sniffing something and I look around in a bored way. Once I picked up a cache pretending I was scoping poop. But well, I am not a good actress. My other role is 'the weird girl from the yellow house'. I walk around the place looking like a fool.
Caches on busy spots are my nightmare. Especially if they are not 'walk'n grab'. One cache had a guide how to log it undiscovered and thus I was able to find it. I had tried similar disguise at the cache in the first paragraph but it did not work in a less-attractive environment and I could not find it. I usually look at street view where I am going and plan how I can check the most obvious hiding places. I have only few muggle frequent area finds and most of them are done when normal people sleep and the one with that user guide in broad daylight.
I walked to a local museum. It is some sort of "outdoor" museum, consisting of several small buildings, each presenting farming or crafts in the past. The area is not fenced so I could just walk in the yard although it is closed now. I was though a little worried that someone would think I am there to break something.
This was also a trip to my past because I used to live nearby. I actually walked down the street like I still lived there. If there was a cache then, I do not know but there used to be one when I finally registered. That one was archived before I had time for searching it. Unfortunate for me.
I do not have a car so I only visit nearby caches and definitely not for numbers. I am very happy that this summer some cachers have put up new ones. I should make one too but I have not decided how to hide it.
I have broken two caches during these two years and 112 found its. The first one was up in a tree and I could barely reach the hole it was hidden in. I was a stupid newbie then (I'm probably still a newbie...) and poked the hole with a stick to probe if the cache is there. What I did not know was that I hit the handle of the cache and it got loose. I posted NM but the hider archived it. If I now see holes I cannot see in I aim my mobile phone camera into it and shoot a pic.
The second time was a cleverly camoed cache. I thought it was trash so I assumed my dog wanted to play with it when she sniffed at it. Well, it wasn't trash and it broke when my foot hit it. I felt so guilty and wondered if I had anything I could use to fix it. But a few hours later the CO had it back in order.
Last year I went three times to a cache. I could not find it at first... The cacher had posted a long hint and some spoiler photos. I eventually found it and it was an empty butter box. It was cracked and definitely not suitable for a cache. It had migrated so the hint was off and finders had stampeded the area.
I posted a NM, I think, but I would be surprised if there was any response. The cacher has not been online for years and their other cache has been disabled who knows how long. I should visit both caches to see if they are still there.
I could find all the numbers. The 1st was tough and I stared it for a while. Then I moved on and decided the colors in the 4th look promising. I found the number quickly and thereafter the rest of the pictures caused no difficulty.
Oh, they were already edited? My phone throws me almost straight to the last post so I read the first sentences of the first post and then the last sentences of the last post. So I missed that information.
If I travelled I would log in English or if I speak the language then in that. I would never use a translator because I do not trust them, but a translator can be used for reading: then it will give a general idea what the writing is about.
I don't own caches but I don't mind logs in other languages.
I googled geocaching pictures and saw many with containers and some seemed to be in their hiding spot. Quite many were pics from web articles, but it could be how google sorts the results, and some blog posts.
I photographed a cache today but only afterwards I thought if I can publish it or not in my instagram account. The photo shows a cache and its name above its hiding place but not in its place. It is a small traditional cache, easy to find and hidden like many others.
I do not want to break any unwritten rule or spoil anyone's caching experience.
On these forums, almost all the time, I guess. It is difficult to know how one wants to pronounce their name. But Finnish cachers in Finland with Finnish usernames are easy, we pronounce as we spell.
I used the handle Belgiter on some English-speaking forum. It was derived from a dog breed Belgian Tervueren. On a livestream I was called 'beldz' and then I realised I had never thought my username said aloud.
Caching with Pets
in General geocaching topics
Yeah, now I can see your pictures and learned that Henry is a bird (English is not my first language so I did not recognize the name of the species). He is a handsome guy You do not see parrots on a walk often so he must draw a lot of attention.
And didn't I read somewhere a hint that someone caches with a cat? Unfortunately I do not remember where that was.