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The VanDucks

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  1. Since we are called the VanDucks and put rubber duckies in caches as our "sig" swag, I just had to order a set of the Deadly Duckies! However, since ALL of our previous geocoins and TBs over the past eight years have gone missing (many the very first time we dropped them in a cache) I will not be sending our Deadly Duckies out to be taken by someone who just doesn't care about the rules (do I sound a little bitter?) Fuzziebear3, I wanted to ask you where are you getting the matching rubber duckies? We usually order our ducks from Oriental Trading, but I think it would be hard to find matches for all the "sins." And good luck to you in the race! I hope all your ducks travel far and make it back home to you! We have to be a fan of anyone who wants to cover the world with ducks!
  2. I'm sorry your efforts to help out new geocachers have been disappointing! I've noticed, in many areas of life, that people are quick to criticize or complain but often hesitant to praise and thank. I do have a suggestion: Since you want to encourage others to take up this great activity, see if any local parks in your area have summer geocaching camps for kids. Four or five years ago, our county parks (Fairfax County, VA) started offering kids' geocaching camps as part of their summer program listings, and they have been extremely popular. Since many families may have to struggle to provide their children with a GPS and other caching equipment, you might consider making a donation to such a camp program.
  3. We have so many micros and bison tubes in our area and very few caches that can hold swag, so we have to vote for the series of five or six larger cache containers, perhaps with a clue in each to lead to a really special final cache!
  4. I'm just replying to one of your original questions, about replacing a wet log with a dry piece of paper. I was surprised to see so many answers saying to not replace a log and instead to post a NM log. As cache owners of about 32 caches, there are times when we just can't get around within two weeks or so to a cache to replace a wet log; sometimes it's because of travel, bad weather, illness, or family responsibilities. I am always grateful to those thoughtful cachers who will replace a log in one of our caches and let me know they did so in their log. (I carry spare paper with me and often replace logs and let the CO know I did; no one has EVER complained about this!) I hope that posting a NM log would be reserved for a more serious problem with a cache, such as a cracked or broken container, or some condition at the GZ causing problems. It's sort of sad to see that so many cachers don't feel they have a responsibility to help fellow cachers. That's a real change from the way the game was played when we started geocaching in 2006. I think if you (the original poster) are kind enough to want to replace wet logs you should do so!
  5. There are a lot of micro and nano caches around here, and of course the logs get filled up quickly, and sometimes they get wet if the rubber gasket has fallen off. I usually look at the previous logs online before we go out to find a cache. If I see several logs complaining about a wet log, or a log in a micro that has no more room to sign it, I bring along a replacement to put in the cache. Of course, you can't leave the old wet log inside a bison tube or a smaller nano, so I bring it home and add a note in our "Found" log asking the owner to let me know if they want the old log back. (No one has ever asked for an old log back, in the 9 years we've been caching.) As a cache owner, I am always grateful when someone has replaced a log in one of our caches! I especially love it when someone takes the time to dry out a wet larger size box and rebag the logbook, and I do the same for other cachers when appropriate. Sometimes we just don't have a chance to go out on a maintenance run for a while, and it's great that cachers will help each other out. When you've spent the time and effort to set up a cache, you don't want to diappoint finders who may not be able to sign the wet log. We are not possessive about our log books or strips, and we don't doublecheck all the entries; although I've heard some cache owners will do that. I do read all the log entries for our caches as recorded on the website, and I think most people leave their better logs there rather than in the logbook in the cache.
  6. Helweh - You absolutely did the right thing! All cachers should remove anything in a cache container that might be harmful: matches, lighters, pocketknives, bullet casings - we've seen and removed them all over the years. We've also taken out lots of tiny bottles of bubble soap and candy or gum. Nothing that smells like food or can leak liquid in the container should be left in a cache. We also make it a policy to remove rocks, leaves, dirt, used golf balls,and wet stickers. (We hate it when we find such debris in our own caches!) It sounds like a muggle may have left the joint, or someone trying to impress his caching buddies - not impressive at all! Thank you for being a responsible cacher.
  7. We have placed several puzzle caches that are very easy - since we hardly ever figure out the hard puzzles in our area, we wanted to give other puzzle-challenged cachers a break! But even our easy ones can be tricky, so we're happy to give a hint. However, I have to say that I can usually tell from the email sent by a cacher that they have tried to figure it out before they contacted us. Be sure your email asking for help does include some details about what you've tried to do. You might not get a reply if the owner just thinks you want the answer without any effort on your part.
  8. What cache owner doesn't love a log like this one recently posted for one of our caches: "We found this one earlier today, but I'm just posting now because my boyfriend used your geocache to propose to me!!! His brother secretly went to the cache before we did to hide the ring box in it! And when I looked inside I found the best swag ever! Remember: "couples who geocache together, stay together!" Or something to that effect! TFTC and for being part of our love story!"
  9. Had to reply to this thread because of our cache we archived about a month ago - GC1317J - "Puzzle Cache for the Puzzle Challenged." Link here: http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC1317J_puzzle-cache-for-the-puzzle-challenged?guid=d3b0b5ec-58ad-4d94-946a-7b999af8a923 We had placed this cache in May 2007 along a very out-of-the-way paved path between some townhouses and a road. Years later, a school was built on the road, but our cache was still far away from the school, with a high concrete wall, a fence and woods between the cache and the school property. It was a bit more than a tenth of a mile from the school and not visible at all from the school grounds. To our surprise, in August 2014, a local geocacher who found the cache let us know that there was a recent note from the county police in the logbook, asking us to "move the box of toys because some people get nervous having something like this near a school." We archived the cache, and I emailed the policeman who had left his card in the container, letting him know we were happy to remove the cache, since we are parents and grandparents and do not want to worry anyone in the school community about the cache. Bottom line: It is imperative for all geocachers to be cooperative and work with the local authorities, as well as the geocaching.com reviewers. If you have to remove a cache because its location gives an impression of danger to public safety, please remember we do NOT have any rights to place our private property - i.e. our cache containers - wherever we choose. This game/hobby only works because most geocachers are respectful of private and public property. If we disregard the concerns of police or school officials we endanger the future of geocaching.
  10. Our first cache placement was in September, 2006: GCYE1P - "Good Morning." We had found our first 100 before we put out any of our own. We had a really nicely camo-painted large size bison tube, which we hung in an evergreen tree at the edge of the parking lot near a popular local bagel shop. We thought this was very original - guess we hadn't found anything quite like it before. What we didn't think of was that the owners of the shop would wonder about all the people peering into their landscaping! Luckily they didn't mind it being there, but it gave seekers fits because of the heavy muggle traffic into the shop, and also because the evergreen tree gave lots of people allergy itching problems! (Obviously, the reviewers were not as concerned about owner permission back then as they are now. Many people had never heard of geocaching in 2006.) The cache remained in place until January of 2009, when new landscaping removed the tree it was hidden in, so we archived it. (We put a new cache, named "Good Morning Again," in a location nearby.) If I had it to do over, I wouldn't torture people by making them look in an evergreen tree; now I hate those sorts of caches myself! And I would be more mindful of placing the cache a bit away from the heaviest muggle traffic! We placed our second cache, GCYFYD, "Caching 101 in Herndon," (not a very original name, I realize now!) in October 2006. It would have been our first one but we were waiting for permission from the park authority so "Good Morning" went out first. That second cache is still in business, almost 8 years later.
  11. I can't say how often I've gone out to perform maintenance on one of our caches in the local parks and found the container right out in the open where anyone passing by can see it and take it. I've sometimes contacted the most recent finder to ask how they found it and been told, "It wasn't covered up so I just left it out the way I found it." Please, if you're new to geocaching, use your common sense (sometimes referred to as "geosense" in these forums!) No cache owner is going to hide a box with goodies in it in a park, playground or along a path and leave it visible and uncovered where every passer-by can see it. If you can see it from 20 feet away when you approach it, hide it after you open it and log it. Find some ground cover, leaves, sticks, small rocks, or hide it in a thicket or hollow log as close to where you found it as you can, where it will be covered up from view. If you think you've had to re-hide it too far from the original location, drop an email to the owner to ask him to check on it. A few (very few) caches are hidden IPV (in plain view) and they are almost always micros. Examples might be a magnetic nano stuck on a bench or fence. We actually have one like that ourselves. It will be obvious when you find such a cache because it will look like part of its surroundings. You don't need to hide that one better if a muggle would never notice it. But if you found a lock and lock, or an ammo can, or any container which contains a log book and swag, it should be concealed from sight when you leave it. If you enjoy finding caches, you have a responsibility to leave the cache in good shape for the next finder to enjoy too.
  12. Have a great geocaching year 2014! And thanks for buying the premium membership; we hope more people will do this so the website keeps going and going for, oh at least 100 more years so we, and our grandkids, can keep enjoying this game!
  13. If I figured this out correctly (I entered my home address as the start location and searched for caches within 10 miles, right?), we have 867 within the ten mile radius. Actually, I thought it would be more! This suburban area is pretty cache-saturated. However, a fair amount of the area is either US Government property, including an airport, or covered by paved roads, so maybe 867 is correct. A lot of them (too many)are micros!
  14. I noticed the OP is planning to have the finders of the multi-cache go to a local museum to "gather information." As I remember the rules, you can't require cachers to pay for admission to anything in order get the necessary data to find the cache. If the museum charges admission, that may be a problem for this cache. Also, even if the museum is free, the cache owner needs to post the hours of operation on the cache description page, or he's going to have a lot of angry DNF posts!
  15. We own a few caches that require a walk of a mile or more, but they are within parks and we do say on the description page what distance the walk will be. If your cache is in a busy urban or suburban area, I think you should give some sort of parking location, and if it's a half mile away or whatever, say so. Then the geocacher can decide if it's worth it. I feel strongly that parking coordinates are needed in congested areas because we've had some geocaching expeditions ruined by sitting in heavy traffic after going down the wrong road, or worrying that we have to park illegally in a "permit only" parking lot to find a cache.
  16. My favorite geocaching "extra" ; really nice hiking poles (one for each of us). We had been using cheap ones from Walmart which would never stay in adjustment. The new "LEKI Sierra Antishock" ones, which we ordered online, were about $70 each at the time; they are now about $90 each, but well worth every penny. We use them not only for scrambling up and down hills, but also for poking into logs, raking away leaves, or dipping into streams; they are lightweight, very adjustable (I'm 5'4" and my husband is 6') and always stay tightly adjusted with the spring tension mechanisms inside.
  17. If it's going to be miles from the original location, you should archive it and submit a new cache request online for the new location. If you're concerned about the name, give the new cache a similar name. For instance, we owned a cache named "The Leprechaun's Pot of Gold," which we had to move because too much poison ivy grew up next to it. Since the new location was about 1/4 of a mile away, we called the replacement cache "The NEW Leprechaun's Pot of Gold." The cachers who had found the first cache were then able to find the new one as a new "smilie." Of course, when you enable the new cache, it will have a different GC number from the first one.
  18. Congratulations to your wife, and to you, for getting through this ordeal. I'm so happy to hear that geocaching has brought your wife enjoyment and hope for the future. Having such a wonderful and supportive husband must surely have played a big role in her recovery, too! Wishing you both many, many more happy geocaching days and smilie faces.....
  19. How nice you are to post a thank you message! Having fun in this game does mean we "rely on the kindness of strangers!" I'm amazed at how well geocaching works, most of the time. In my experience, 99% of cachers are good people, having fun and sharing their creativity with others. So many of us are quick to post complaints or rants when we don't approve of something or someone. It's rare that anyone takes the time to thank another person, especially if it's someone you don't even know. Thank you for encouraging us all to practice gratefulness.
  20. We just got back from a trip to a rural area where there were some caches that needed new logs or had problems with containers. (Before the trip, I added them to a "bookmark" list where I could write notes for each cache, this info not shared publicly, of course.) I did replace logs in two, and put a new container into one cache, where the original container had succumbed to the elements. In each case, I sent an email to the cache owner, as well as noting in my online log what I had replaced. When I replace a log, if there's not room to leave the old one, I always keep the old log for a while and email the owner to say I will mail it to them if they want it. (No one has ever asked for the old log, though!) If a container is just cracked or leaky, I put the contents and log into a new zip-loc baggie; I carry a supply of different sizes in my caching bag. This trip was the first time I had ever replaced the whole container, but the cache was such a good one that I couldn't resist making it findable again. The cache owner posted such a nice note, and also emailed me, to say how great it is for cachers to help each other. When you've played the game for many years, as we have (since 2006) you do feel that doing kind deeds for other cachers is the right way to play. We've benefited from other cachers doing the same for us!
  21. I wish "wmpastor" had NOT sent a note to the owner of the other cache. That was rude and totally uncalled for! We have always had very frendly interactions with the other cachers in our area. We are almost all members of our local geocaching club. I would NEVER have confronted the other cacher in this way. As I said in my original post, he has a perfect right to hide any type of cache he desires. You do not have a right to cause bad feeling between us and this other cacher. Next time, mind your own business! Now I need to send him a note of apology for your rudeness!
  22. Guess he's feeling the heat! Once again, the world can see whose cache was created years earlier!
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