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The VanDucks

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Everything posted by The VanDucks

  1. I suggest you think of another way for cachers to get the information at the library! What will you do if that particular book is missing? Or checked out? Or discarded by the library staff whenever they get in new books? You may be better off to suggest a web page where the cacher can find the information, but sometimes web pages disappear too. I don't think it's fair to make up a puzzle cache unless cachers have a reasonable chance of finding the information, or there is enough information on the cache description page to enable them to solve it. There are many, many challenging puzzle caches where we live, in northern Virginia. Those who are able to solve them (not us!) are often experienced with mathematical solutions or cryptology analysis. We came out with our own series of "puzzle caches for the puzzle challenged" so there would be some that everyone else can solve!
  2. (I noticed by clicking on your profile that you own more caches than we do, so me giving you advice may be silly!) I don't know how many stages would be too many, but I have noticed that multistages that have more than 2 or 3 stages aren't visited as often as shorter ones. If you want to have lots of locations within a park, why not put out a series of caches, each with just a few stages? Then cachers can choose to spend the whole day doing the series, or they can do one or two and come back another time. I agree that you need to give a geocacher some idea of the distance involved if the cache is longer than a quarter mile or so, since a longer walking distance might not be possible for those with physical limitations or caching with small children. We own a four-stage multicache within a park, but the total walk from beginning to end is only about a mile and a quarter, and the stages are much closer to each other than a tenth of a mile. Each stage has a card with the coordinates to the next stage inside it. I just had to be careful that my beginning coordinate, and my final (as shown on the card in the next to last stage) were not too close to two other caches in the park.
  3. Hurray for Planojoe! I love your explanation of geocaching! Our only regret is that the hobby came along after our three kids were grown and gone from home; however, we have gotten our daughter and her husband hooked on it, and our grandchildren (from our other daughter ) also love to go caching with us when we visit them. Nothing is more important than that time spent with your family enjoying life together!
  4. We were in Baltimore, Maryland, with our daughter and her husband, who cache as TheTenaciousTwo. Together, we found a very clever cache hidden at a lighthouse exhibit. When we were replacing the container, we sat down to slide it back into place without being seen by the other visitors in the area. Here's my daughter's log and the reply she received a few weeks later: "September 19 by TheTenaciousTwo (632 found) We found this with The VanDucks while on a day trip to see Baltimore and the aquarium. It took us a while to determine where the cache was and then a little while longer to determine how to hide it again without being obvious. We devised a typical scheme of using a map and sitting near the cache pretending to talk about how to get to our next location. Lo and behold, a woman decided to come sit right next to us despite there being tons of benches and other more typical seating locations! We put it away and went to look in the lighthouse, but she was still sitting there. Lot of laughs about that one, TFTC!" Mom, this was in response to my post for "7 foot knoll" gcxxmg that we found in the lighthouse in Baltimore. I thought she must have been a geocacher! Love, Cathy ---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Geocaching <noreply@geocaching.com> Date: Oct 5, 2009 7:15pm > ha! great description. I was the women. We were there for like an hr trying to find it. finally after sitting down next to you and you guys left i fell off and looked and saw the cache. How silly! wasn't it a great day in Baltimore? good luck on your future caches. >
  5. I hope there are no geocache widows (although I suspect there are some!) It's such a great hobby for both men and women, and each one can get different types of enjoyment from it. In our husband/wife team, HE likes the technical aspects, buys the various electronic devices, and does all the loading up of caches on the GPS and Blackberry; SHE reads up on the caches and decides which ones to attempt. HE reaches up for the high ones, or for the ones hidden in Poison Ivy or scary holes; SHE writes up all the logs and chooses the swag and trade items to leave behind. BOTH love the outdoors, the adventure and fun of travelling to new places, the time spent together and memories WE share!
  6. Thanks for that information! We went on a geocaching trip last spring to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park area, near Gatlinburg, Tennesse. When I researched the logs for caches in or near the park (the ones in the park were all virtuals, of course) I was scared to read so many cachers's stories of sighting black bears along the paths. Apparently a tourist had been attacked and killed by a bear in the park a few years before. We didn't see any bears during the week we were there, but whenever we found ourselves walking alone along a path, we kept on "chattering" in hopes we would scare off any bears nearby!
  7. About all you can do is make sure whatever caches you place yourself are good quality, with suitable containers and well-thought-out placement. Usually placing a long lasting container means spending some dollars to buy a lock'n'lock, a bison tube, or a ammo can, rather than using recyclables from the trash. Good placement means thinking about the cachers who will seek your cache, and being sure that you're sending them to a safe place, without lots of trash or hazards, or if there is something unsavory about the location, having a warning about that on the description page. Have you ever noticed that if you go to a new geographical area to cache, you tend to see a lot of the same types of hides, as though every geocaching community sort of sets their own rules? So if you establish a good pattern in your own hides, you may find that the other local cachers will tend to improve their caches too!
  8. We enjoy finding road side caches when we're on car trips, but the ones we like to do are usually off the main highway, perhaps on a abandoned roadbed or a cul-de-sac. One of our favorites was just off Rt. 29 in southern Virginia, and when you exited the highway the coodinates brought you to a turn-around next to a miniature goat farm! I think you should look for a safe parking area near the cache site and include it on your cache description page, and perhaps tell what exit to take to get off the main highway. If you keep the cache within the public right of way, I doubt you need to worry about permission. (Of course, don't hide a cache near a military installation or anything like that; and remember that National Parks are off limit to caches.) Most travellers trying to grab a few caches to break up the monotony of a long car trip are going to go for the caches that are close to the main road and don't require too much time to find; we've seen some amazingly inventive hides and containers at this type of cache!
  9. We just placed a new cache; it's next to a paved sidewalk in a shopping center, but a cacher confined to a wheelchair would probably have trouble reaching it. The local reviewer sent us a note saying that a 1/1 rating means it can be done by someone in a wheelchair. I thought the Attributes were what to use if a cache is wheelchair accessible. If we rate our cache as a 1 1/2, that seems to imply it's not on level ground, which would be incorrect. Suggestions or comments?
  10. A more interesting question to me would be which sex FINDS the most caches - male or female? Personally, I think that female cachers are more observant and better at actually seeing the cache - but maybe that's just the way our team of one male, one female works!
  11. I wonder, if you used a real nest, if wasps would move into it? Maybe a wasp expert could say. If you use a container which could be mistaken for something possibly dangerous, a hint on the cache page would be a good idea. That said, I do like to see "natural" cache containers, and adding something a bit "unnatural," such as a spot of color on it, would help cachers find it and not just skip over it because they didn't want to disturb a real wasp nest.
  12. We had been using a car GPS which my husband bought when one of our daughters was going off to college two states away and we wanted to be able to find our way along the back roads back and forth from her college. A few years later, I read an article in the newspaper about geocaching. I showed it to my husband, thinking it might be fun to try. (We soon realized that we needed to buy a hand held unit to actually be able to find caches, of course.) This coincided with our youngest child going off to college. Faced with a bit of "empty-nest syndrome", we found that geocaching kept us busy and active on the weekends, and with the added bonus of being able to cache when we traveled. We are both in our early sixties, still fully employed, and caching a few weekends every month. Geocaching is such a great way to be active, mentally and physically, at any age! We also have placed a number of our own caches, and we enjoy the challenge of coming up with creative hides in our local area, which is very cache-saturated!
  13. That is disappointing - to have your geocache trip ruined by the poor containers! I've noticed that geocaches in a particular area often tend to be similar types of hides; I guess people hide what they've found in their locality. Not much you can do other than hope someone will start hiding better caches there! Whenever we plan a caching trip a distance away from home, I usually read through (and print) the descriptions and logs of at least 10 or so caches to be sure there will be some worth finding! I pick out some that are in ammo cans,etc. because too many micros in one day make me grumpy!
  14. The same thing happens to all our caches too; when I go to check on them the good stuff is usually long gone and the trash remains; but we place them for the enjoyment of reading the logs, not for trading expensive swag. When we go out caching, we leave small duckies, bought online from Oriental Trading for 50 cents each or so, and I often order small geocaching pins with the logo of our local club to leave in caches, especially when we travel out of our own area. I don't care about taking something of equal value, but I hope any children finding our swag will enjoy finding a little something to keep.
  15. regular traditional earth group find it virtual letterbox Garmin social-yes not FTF'r not Podcast litener in state laid back urban
  16. I'm sorry your cache didn't work out! A similar problem happened to us when we wanted to place a cache highlighting the historical area of our town. We had received partial permission from the town, but they would not let me place the final where I wanted it to be. I was able to rewrite the cache description and place the final a short distance away. Maybe you can think about whether you can redo your cache to have the geocachers find some information along the planned route and then use some numbers or words to go to a farther away location to find the final stage. You can look at our cache, "Town History in Herndon" to see how we set ours up - there is actually an older geocache that was already along the route the cachers travel to get to our final stage. Good luck, and don't let a disappointment stop you from placing caches! We always need new ones to find and it sounds like you have some valuable ideas!
  17. I think the most fun we had employing "stealth tactics" was on a local multicache, where each stage contained a clue to the final stage, so you had to get all of them to log the final. The next to last stage was right outside a very busy skating rink, with kids and parents swarming in and out the doors. My husband got his geocaching bag (a big, black soft sided duffel filled with all sorts of stuff) and placed it on the ground right next to the cache, which was hidden at the base of a sign. I bent down and rummaged through the bag, while he grabbed the cache. So many skaters were going by with their big equipment bags that we blended right in! (And we did make it all the way to the final stage!)
  18. We recently released a number of new geocoins and TB's in some of our own caches, because a lot of our earlier trackables had disappeared into the great unknown, as so often happens! Since we enjoy finding and moving trackables, we wanted to give other cachers the same experience. We placed most of our new ones in two of our multicaches, which each take an hour or so to complete, so they might be less likely to be muggled. Both caches are popular with families, and we thought children would be happy to find these particular travellers. It really surprised us when the cachers who next found those caches took ALL the trackables at once. We thought geocaching "etiquette" would expect you to take one or two trackables but not clean out the entire supply from one cache! (Neither of them is a TB motel.) We're disappointed that the entire inventory then is in one cacher's hands, rather than heading out in lots of different directions. None of the cachers who took our coins and travel bugs left any sort of trackable item in return. What do YOU do when you find several travelling items in a cache? Doesn't it seem that leaving something behind for the next cacher to find would be courteous?
  19. I'm also having trouble printing the cache description pages; while I can print out the "Short Description - No logs "- page, I usually prefer to print out the regular cache page for puzzle or multicaches. When I try to do that, the left hand side is cut off, and, as others have reported, it will not print any differently in landscape format or when I try to resize it to a percentage less than 100%. Very frustrating - I hope this can be fixed!
  20. We found a moving cache in our area a while back; we wouldn't have known about it, but a geocaching friend of ours sent us an e-mail to say it was close by. It's GCD079, and moves within a 25 mile radius of Washington, D.C. It was fun! See: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...db-4f0c4c2b4e8f
  21. I'm curious about whether most cachers hiding a cache first find a good location and then plan the type of cache, or do you come up with the idea for the cache and then look for a suitable location? We've placed a number of caches, and sometimes we've found the location first, but more often we think of how we want to do the hide and then scout out possible locations. Most of our caches are in a rather congested suburban area, so it's not always easy to find a good place that hasn't already been used for a cache. I can't resist buying containers that look like they'd be interesting to hide, but I doubt we'll ever get around to using all of them!
  22. We've ordered a lot of geocaching supplies, stickers, log books, TB tags, etc. from GPSCity.com, and been pleased with the fast delivery and good prices. We buy swag from Oriental Trading Company's web site; but we make most of our cache containers, or paint lock 'n' lock boxes that I buy at our Harris Teeter grocery store.
  23. Just voted once although there are two on our team - and yes, we're in the "older but better" bracket - maybe there aren't more of us listed because we fall asleep too early to log onto the forums - but we sure get up early to go find those caches!
  24. Wow - those hand-carved sticks sound amazing! But if you just want something quick and cheap, try your friendly local WalMart. We just bought a couple of hiking sticks for about $10 each; we found them in the hunting/fishing section of the store. They adjust for different heights, and also can be folded down a little shorter for packing. Another local geocacher uses them and recommended them as a much cheaper alternative to the very pricy hiking poles sold by the outdoor adventure stores. We like using them for climbing up and down slippery slopes where a little extra traction is nice, and they're also good for poking into hollow tree trunks.
  25. I think it is a great idea to repair a cache or replace a broken container if you have the right supplies with you. I've often replaced leaking zip-loc bags, since I always carry a supply with me. However, if you replace the actual cache container - a tupperware box, or lock'n'lock or whatever - you should send a message to the cache owner, via the link on the owner's profile page. The reason is that the cache description page may have some specific information about the container, such as size or color, and someone else seeking the cache will have a hard time finding it if the description isn't updated by the owner. ( If you have exactly the same sort of replacement container,this wouldn't be necessary, but that may be unlikely! )
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