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The VanDucks

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Everything posted by The VanDucks

  1. Yep, we've had the same problem; I make a list of caches that sound interesting, and when we get around to looking for them a few weeks later, they may have been disabled or archived! Now before we head out for a caching day, I do a quick check to be sure the caches we want to find are still there. If a cache has lots of recent DNF's, we avoid it! There are lots of reasons why caches go off the map, but sometimes it's because the cache owner just didn't want to bother with maintenance, or dropped out of the sport and didn't archive his caches. If you have a geocaching app on a smart phone, it really helps to be able to look up caches while you're in the car and see if they are active before you go to the trouble of looking for them!
  2. I looked at your profile, and I think you are a teenager and a Boy Scout? It's great that you want to add to the enjoyment of your fellow cachers in your town by placing new caches. The best way to get good ideas is just to find a lot of caches, and you've already found over 100 and placed a few of your own. If you are able to travel to other locations a hundred miles or more from your home town, you may be able to get some good ideas for caches to copy in your town. It's wonderful to see how inventive other cachers are, and you can use their ideas for your own caches if you're not too close by! It's also very important to maintain your caches, and when you use unusual containers or interesting hiding methods, that can add to the maintenance required. Just be sure that when you place your new caches, you'll be able to get back to check on them or make any needed adjustments if finders report problems with the cache. If you will be leaving home soon for college, you many want to join a local geocaching club and meet other cachers who can "adopt" your cache if you do move away from home.
  3. We've e-mailed our local reviewer (it's not always the same person around here) a few times with similar questions, and he or she has always been very helpful. However, you should give the reviewer as much information as possible; not only entering the cache in to the system to get the GC number (without enabling it) as mentioned above, but also give the reviewer a description of where the cache is hidden and what kind of container it will be. You should check to be sure you don't need permission of a land manager or owner, whether hidden in a public park or on private land. Our local reviewers have gotten very strict about providing permission and contact information for any caches in local parks. I'm sure you've also thought to just stand at your proposed GZ and check on your GPS to see that other nearby caches are at least the minimum .10 mile from yours. A problem can occur if there is a puzzle cache that might have its final too close to your new cache, but the reviewer can let you know if that's the case. Good luck!
  4. This is fascinating... If you have a local geocaching club, that could be a very cool event cache! (Maybe set it to lead a flash mob to a restaurant for a meal together?) I'm amazed that anyone could figure out how to build this device!
  5. Not to sound superior to all those athletic types above, but we proudly combine eating out with geocaching, and sometimes even achieve a Starbucks plus a cache!
  6. This cache location is reserved for those new cachers who complain that "all the good spots are taken!"
  7. When we find the "remains" of a cache that has obviously been muggled (which has happened to us a few times), I send a e-mail to the owner and post a note on the cache page saying what we saw and that we've notified the owner. In the absence of a log, I don't think you should log the cache as found. Also, the muggle may have taken the cache a distance away from the correct location (we saw one once where all the contents had been thrown into a creek nearby) so the cache can't be considered even to be in the correct location. If you log finding a bunch of debris on the ground as a "found it," then you must really be into running up your numbers, which we are not!
  8. I found several sizes of O rings at our local Home Depot, in the plumbing department. Take one of the correct size from your bison tube to hold up against the package so you can buy the correct replacement size.
  9. Can you explain this concept a little more? The box is a pretty piece of artistic work, but I don't know what a reverse geocache is! Are there actual coordinates posted on geocaching.com?
  10. As another cacher mentioned, indicating the total distance on the cache description page would let geocachers know if they had time to do it all in one day, and also how much gas they need in the car. If posible, give parking coordinates, since a cache requiring this much time would be totally frustrating if you couldn't figure out where to park for each stage. And, as also mentioned before, make the trip worthwhile with a nice big box at the final. Maybe even think of having some special swag for finders such as plastic good luck coins (cheap from outlets such as Oriental Trading Company.) We'd enjoy such a multicache, espcially if the drive was through a pretty area or in a park.
  11. We had a cache that was a bison tube attached to a very realistic rubber spider, hanging in a tree next to a parking lot. The cache disappeared several times before we changed the container slightly and moved it to a more secluded location. At the time, I blamed the landscapers, but maybe it was a more "natural" predator?
  12. Yes - I confess, I like to look at the caches we've found recently for the next week or so, partly to see if anyone takes the swag we left, but also to see if they had any difficulties, if we had a hard time with that cache. And if we posted a DNF, then I keep looking to see if we were just dumb, or if the cache really isn't there!
  13. Sometimes - not always - the cache may show up on your GPS map as beng near a major road, but it's actually in a location near the road with access from another, safer place. We have tried to suggest before on the forums that cache owners always give parking coordinates for their caches, since the geocacher seeking that cache may have no idea of the local parking restrictions. We have a cache in a nice wooded area with access from a paved trail, but on the geocaching map it looks as though you could almost grab the cache from the busy four lane parkway nearby, with no parking along the roadside. We give a parking coordinate on the cache page and have to hope that finders will use their common sense and not stop along the road. (I know some cachers think coming up with a place to park is part of the challenge, but how sensible is that with today's gas prices?)
  14. Where we live, multicaches are caches with several stages to find before you can find the final. (Puzzle caches, which are especially abundant around here, usually involve a LOT of math ability, or knowledge of advanced cryptography!) Some multis require mathematical calculations, and for those, it's a good idea to bring a pocket calculator or have a calculator app on your cell phone. Some multicaches have the coordinates for the next stage in each stage as you find it, so you need to enter new coordinates as you go along. (It's a good idea to have a pencil and piece of paper to note down the new sets of coordinates as you find them, in case you make a mistake along the way.) A few require you to be able to "project a waypoint," which not all GPS units can do. The best plan is to read through the cache description before you go, and even print out a copy to take with you. Reading the logs of those who have found it gives you an idea of how difficult it may be. Pay attention to the terrain and difficulty ratings - they can tell you whether the cache is down in the deep gully or just right at the top near the path, which would be a 1 or 2 terrain rather than a 5. Our favorite caches over the years have almost all been multicaches! They are usually placed by experienced geocachers who have worked out the cache plan very carefully, and the amount of time to find such a cache often indicates how much satisfaction you'll get from finding it!
  15. A complicated multi-cache that has only a micro to find at the final in a large wooded area which could accomodate a big box! We've done a few, because the hunt itself was fun and/or challenging, but I wish the CO had thought to provide a nice big container at the end with room to trade or leave TB's!
  16. I think it would be funny to use a fake sprinkler head in a location where there would not possibly be a sprinkler system, like maybe in the woods near the roots of a tree. A fake rock can be hidden among real rocks, but be kind to fellow cachers and use a fake rock that's a different color or texture from the surrounding ones! To avoid wet logs in either of these containers, you can put in a small bison tube with the log inside. I'm not a fan of micro caches in wooded areas, but if there are already larger caches nearby, it can be a nice change of pace to grab a micro, as long as it doesn't take hours of hard work to locate.
  17. I agree with you, omelli, that it does imply a quick find without mess, mud, or sweat! But since the attributes are determined by the cache owner, he or she may consider something very easy that would be a challenge for others. (Especially if the cache happens to be missing the day you go to look for it!) We've been to some of the cache and dashes where heavy muggle presence prevented us from grabbing the cache, or we had to wait out someone parked in a bench or sitting in a nearby car. So you never really know if that quick cache will be quick for you! The only thing that may help is experience; those who have found plenty of caches will at least approach the new one with some ideas in mind.
  18. What a neat idea - we've never seen this before. Just a word of caution though - be sure to use a watertight and airtight container, such as a lock and lock - because you may have seeds spilled into the cache container, and animals can smell them and will possibly chew on your container!
  19. I can see the cache icons on the map but I don't see any way to show the cache name or GS number without clicking on each one. I like to print out a map showing caches in an area to help in driving more efficiently from cache to cache. Does anyone understand how to make the new map work correctly? (on a regular computer, not a mobile device.) I can't see how to print a useful caching map now unless I write all the caches in by hand, and that seems silly!
  20. We don't often take swag from caches, but we like to leave things that kids would like to find, since we know how much our grandkids love to find "prizes" in caches. We often order inexpensive toys, etc. from Oriental Trading's website. I've also found lots of tiny swag items in our local Michael's: litle rubber farm animals, pretty beads and buttons, small wooden pieces painted to look like animals or butterflies, etc. I sometimes order magnetic bookmarks from an on-line store; these are flat and can be put into a tiny zip-loc bag to protect them from moisture, and they fit into small caches. Our "signature" swag things are rubber duckies, in many different styles; we like to leave these in larger caches, and local cachers tell me they collect them!
  21. I don't know - I think geocaching, as long as you do find the caches, can make anyone feel better! If you're going after a hard to find cache, just be sure there are a few easy ones to do along the way, so if you DNF the hard one, you'll still feel good afterwards!
  22. We've had to temporarily disable a few of our caches for a week or so until we had a chance to go by and fix the problem. We have a very alert local reviewer who will send the CO a note exactly 30 days after you disable your cache to say it needs to be fixed or it will be archived. Now, that is helpful, and it hasn't really been a problem for us, since all our caches are close to home. But I can imagine if the CO is on some extended trip out of the area, he or she would have a problem. I think that may be why the CO's you mention just post a note but don't disable their cache. As a matter of pride, we try to keep all our 32 caches up and running 99% of the time, but I know a lot of CO's are careless about maintenance (a whole 'nother topic!)
  23. We are former Cub Scout leaders, so we were happy to see that the Boy Scouts now have a merit badge for geocaching. Apparently the placement of a cache is part of the requirement for the badge. But we are wondering who oversees the caches? We posted a DNF on a BSA cache in late December; this cache had been found easily for several months, but then had 2 DNFs for the last two months. I've checked from time to time to see if it's been archived, but there have been no CO visits or logs. I noticed on another BSA cache in our area that the owners have not visited or replaced the log after months of cachers posting that the log was wet. Maybe someone active in Boy Scouts can comment on this? It seems to me that requiring the scouts to take care of their cache would be a good lesson in responsibility. If the boys involved, or their adult leaders, have left the organization, they should at least make sure someone will maintain the cache.
  24. I'm puzzled by your complaints because it seems as if most of them could be answered by reading the information on the website and looking at "Geocaching 101" listed under the "Learn" pulldown on the home page. My guess is that you are remembering how it used to be when you were active back in 2002. We've been geocaching since 2006, and boy, have things changed! There are many many more cachers now, and so the space available for caches, especially in urban areas, has been shrinking. The VOLUNTEER reviewers (I emphasize that they are Volunteers, not staff of the geocaching.com website) do a great job, for the most part. Like everyone else wanting to place a cache, you have to know and observe the rules for submitting your cache. If you don't understand how to do it, or have a problem with getting permission, you should contact your local reviewer. Just find a cache in your locale that was published not too long ago; go down to the very first log, showing that the cache was approved. Click on the reviewer name and send him or her an e-mail asking for guidelines for the local area. Most parks and recreation areas have had to implement geocaching policies to protect their land from overuse. Geocachers have worked hard to convince land managers that geocaching is a positive activity to bring people into nature, but that has caused the need for more regulation, since some cachers are not as careful as they should be about leaving the environment undisturbed. As far as going to seek a cache and then learning that it's missing or has been archived, just go on the website and pull up the caches you want to visit to make sure they have been found recently, or check the cache description page before you go. It is too bad that not all cachers maintain their hides, but that's just a fact of life. You'll find out that some of your local cachers are more careful about cache maintenance than others, and you'll want to find their caches rather than waste time on caches placed and forgotten by someone who didn't stay active in the hobby. I'm not qualified to address your problems with using the search functions of the website, but I'm sure someone will give you that information. I will just say that improving how geocaching works is the responsibility of everyone who plays the game. Most of us enjoy it a great deal and feel that the geocaching website is a great value for the small fee charged to be a premium member. For less per year than my husband and I spent eating breakfast out this morning, we get 12 months of enjoyment!
  25. No ink pads, no bubble soap, no old golf balls (they are not funny),no over-large things stuffed in small containers! We found a really nice ammo can cache once but someone had left a little red ink pad inside and it had leaked all over EVERYTHING in the can. I dried off and cleaned it as well as I could. After that, I always take out ink pads, unless the cache is a letterbox, of course! I also remove bubble soap, as someone else mentioned above, since it would be so messy if it leaked. If we find a cache stuffed so full of swag that the lid won't close, I take out whatever large item seems to be causing the problem and leave something small in return. I don't think anyone likes to find old dirty golf balls so I remove them too. I do wonder why cachers leave very large things in caches when they can see they don't fit.
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