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The VanDucks

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  1. Oooh - that's too bad, ...take a deep breath now and count to ten... It has happened to us before, also. It's too bad but nice swag does disappear awfully fast, with dirty golf balls, waterlogged stickers, or dollar store bubble soap being traded "down"! As another poster mentioned above, it may be that the FTF'r did return to add some good swag back into your cache. I have to say, you're really generous; the most expensive FTF prize we ever left was a $15 gift certificate to a local restaurant, and that was for a multicache that took an hour or so to complete. We do often leave FTF $5 cards, for Starbucks, Panera Bread, or a local bookstore. I think in geocaching, as in so much of life, you just do your very best, be proud of your caches, and hopefully somebody else will learn from your example how a first-class cache should be designed!
  2. Ooops! My mistake; I see that link I just gave you is actually for OUR cache near the center of our town. But I did first just put in our town name, Herndon, VA, and it gave me the coordinates for the town itself as N 38 58.173, W 077 23.166; that seems about right since our cache is near the crossroads at the center of the town. Try putting in the name of the town you're searching for and see if that works for you.
  3. When I got home from work, I checked to see what answers you had received. I tried putting in our town as the location on the Seek a Geocache page, with distance only one mile; that gave me the coordinates for the center of town at the top of the page. I can also pull it up on a Google map (not the geocaching google map, the other one), and it shows me the center of town. See this link: http://maps.google.com/maps?q=N+38%c2%b0+5...3.159+(GCYE86)+ Good luck!
  4. I saw some Ground Zero caches listed in Massachusetts; is that where you are? Try information from this Forum post from 2007: Prime Suspect Aug 11 2007, 06:06 AM Post #3 QUOTE(tarbal @ Aug 11 2007, 07:05 AM) I have had several caches that call for baseline coordinates for towns from geocaching.com. How do I obtain this information? Thank you for your help tarbaL Mapmakers have to decide on a single set of coordinates to represent a town or city. They usually choose the center of the downtown business district (for big cities), or a courthouse, post office, or town square. If you go to the Search by State box on the main geocaching page, you can select a state to search. From that page, you can select a city. Once the caches for the city are displayed, you'll see the coordinates it's using as the city center at the top of the page.
  5. We've been geocaching for about 5 years now, but I've never heard of "ground zero" caches. Are they puzzle caches (marked with a question mark on the description page)? Can you list one or two GC numbers for some you're looking at so another cacher on line can look at them? The only reference I know of for ground zero, or GZ, would be the final coordinates, i.e. the actual location of the cache container.
  6. Unless you own the statue yourselves, I would suggest hiding the cache somewhere close by but not on the statue itself. Not all cachers are careful or "light-fingered" enough to search without damaging the artwork, and what seems obvious to you may not be to others. If the statue has some sort of plaque or sign near it, you can use a number or letter found on the sign to have the cacher determine the final coordinates for the hide; in that case, you would list your cache as a multistage. Then you may be able to hide the cache container in a less "manicured" location near the statue, or in the park (if this is a park we're talking about).
  7. If where you live is like where we live, the bigger containers seem to have been mostly placed three or four years ago, in wooded areas or parkland where ammo cans or large plastic containers can be concealed. As geocaching has become MUCH more popular, the newer hides tend to be small sizes because they are being hidden in somewhat more "marginal" locations where there isn't enough camouflage for a large container. I think cost is also a factor; to hide a large cache used to require an ammo can, some nice swag items, and a special prize for the FTF. A lot of the new cachers in our area are hiding tiny cheap containers such as film cans, altoid tins, or pill bottles, with only a log. One relatively new cacher around here has hidden quite a few micros in a wooded park with many trails, where some earlier, larger caches have been archived. Sigh! It's not worth the trouble to us to crash through heavy undergrowth to look for a micro in the woods!
  8. I'm about a month late in replying to this topic, but just wanted to mention a clever series of caches here in northern Virginia, designed to give more cachers a fair chance at being a FTF. The series is titled YOGOFTF, that is "You only get one First to Find". The first in his series is GC1K29P. See it here: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...32-cfdf7b54f534 (I just saw there is another similarly named series in West Virginia as well.) The CO has it set up so you can only claim a FTF on one of the caches in his series. I think it works well and he's placed quite a few of them; most are easy cache and dash type hides.
  9. Hi Scallywag Grammies! Yes, we loved your magnet that we picked up on our caching trip to PA. When I realized we had found four different "stones" in caches, I knew I wanted to learn how to make them. Thanks to all who have posted replies; so many great ideas! Geocachers have to be some of the most creative people! It's really marvelous to find something handmade in a cache. I'm going to make a run over to Michaels this weekend and get some supplies.
  10. I'm kind of proud of our "Puzzle Cache for the Puzzle Challenged." It's a puzzle cache, but very, very simple to solve. Many local cachers have used the phrase "puzzle challenged" in logs about other caches in our area.
  11. Thanks, Touchstone and Chrysalides! I looked at the links and saved them in my favorites list. The geocaching magnet pictures seem to be tiny logos for the caching team, so I'll have to get one designed for our team. We use a picture of two ducks on our cards (which we took ourselves), so I'll see if we can downsize it. I think having a supply of these little magnets for swag will work well for us, because most of the caches where we live are small sized.
  12. We've found several small (one inch diameter) glass or acrylic "stones" that are made by some cachers to leave as signature swag in caches. They are made with a rounded clear stone on top, and a small picture glued underneath, sometimes with a magnet glued to the bottom as well. I have a terrible track record with glue, (well, using it to make craft items, no jokes please!) so I'm wondering if anyone who has made these items could share your assembly technique? Where do you buy the stones?
  13. We were on a caching road trip and wanted to find a particular cache just to get our numbers up. Several previous finders had reported a lot of trash, including a dirty diaper near GZ. Yep, saw the dirty diaper (it had been there for at least three months!) and lots of other trash; was just about to give up and log a DNF, when I just happened to kick a bag aside and it clanked. THAT was the cache, a plastic bottle inside a grocery plastic bag, in a pile of trash near a grocery store. I logged a very diplomatic Found note that the CO might just want to stop by and see it the cache still appeared the way they had planned it to look!
  14. I also printed out the notes from Geocaching U, but I decided to edit them so I would have different sizes to fit in different cache containers. For a series that we placed, with permission, in local parks, I also added a line "placed with permission of the local park authority" so any park personnel finding the cache would know it was approved. I can fit 10 or so of different sizes on a page, and sometimes I print it on green paper so it will be less noticeable inside a clear container. I laminate the page (using an inexpensive home type electric laminator) and cut them out. I usually tape them inside the container lid, or just place it in the container.
  15. As we celebrated 10-10-10 this morning, by clinking our special Geocaching.com logo coffee mugs together in a toast to Geocaching, at exactly 10 am EST, we realized we were just lacking a song to sing to recognize this important anniversary! Give us your song suggestions for the "official" geocaching song! Something along the lines of "The Caissons Go Rolling Along", rewritten as "The Cachers go Rolling Along?" I'm sure your creative minds can come up with even better ideas!
  16. We've sometimes had cachers log a find on our caches and say they did it a few weeks ago, or longer, and are just now logging the find. We have no problem with that; it's not like we're standing around the cache watching the people who actually find it. Nor are we compulsive enough to retrieve a log and match the signatures on the paper with the log entries on line for the cache. (But there may be some cache owners who would do that, LOL!) This game operates on the honor system, so you do what you consider honest, and if that means logging a forgotten find a few months after it happened, that's what you do. As someone said above, the cache owner can delete the log if he has a problem with it, but I think most CO's will understand.
  17. We are 2 adults caching by ourselves most of the time, so while we usually leave swag in any container large enough for it (there are mostly micro caches where we live), we don't take items out very often. As many others do, we like to leave something of interest for children to find, although I'm not a find of the fast food toys, since they are usually too big and bulky to fit in most cache containers. I like to leave small plastic animals or insects or tiny finger puppets, which you can buy cheaply from some of the on-line party supply stores. What I really do like to find are pins, to put on my geocaching bag, and cachers' signature items. I would love to see it become the norm for most cachers to leave their own signature pieces as swag. Those are often very creative, and especially when left by a cacher whose name you've seen before, it makes you feel a real connection to your fellow cachers.
  18. We buy small magnetic bookmarks and geocaching pins to leave as swag, and I buy tiny zip-loc baggies at the local craft store to put them in, since I've seen so many wet and rusty swag pieces in geocaches. We also leave little rubber duckies, which are waterproof, so I don't bother to wrap them. Log books should certainly be in baggies, but leave the pen or pencil OUT of the bag - it will punch a hole in the bag to let any water in the cache soak the logbook! My pet peeve is finding wet wipes, bottles of bubble solution, or any sort of food or drink item in a cache (who would want to use an old package of drink mix powder that's been there who knows how long?) Anything with liquid can and will leak, especially in climates where freezing occurs over the winter, and the smell of candles, potpourri, etc. can attract wild animals to chew open the cache if it's a plastic container.
  19. Thanks for all the useful information! I'll try some of those suggestions!
  20. I have a few lock 'n' lock boxes placed as geocache containers, and I used Gorilla Glue to fasten some small plastic animals to the lids. I'm not sure how long the glue will hold; I've already had to make a few repairs. Has anyone had success in gluing plastic and wood to Lock 'n' Locks? The label on the boxes doesn't specify what type of plastic they are made of. We have both very hot humid weather, and some snow and icy conditions here in Virginia at different seasons, so I'm looking for a glue that can hold up in all sorts of weather.
  21. That looked like a great cache, and I can see why you are so disappointed to lose it! My first thought when I read your post was that it might have been taken by a homeless person living in the woods. If there are pawn shops in the nearby town, someone may have grabbed the container just to get some money for it. We have a lot of homeless "camps" in wooded areas where we live in suburban Virginia. I can't tell you how many times we've gone into little wooded parks to see if we can put a cache there and found a "campsite" with lots of trash, old underwear, beer bottles, soggy sleeping bags, etc. I feel sorry for these men who have come here from their home countries to try and make a living and send money back to their families, but at the same time I hate how our open spaces have become trash dumps. As a woman, I no longer feel safe being in some of the local parks by myself, and we have to evaluate whether it's even safe to send cachers to some of these locations. The local authorities can't keep up with the destruction and trash caused by these men living out in the "rough." And, as some of the posters noted above, it's hard to find unspoiled areas even when you go way back into the wilderness!
  22. We have found some marvelous micro caches; and what made them marvelous was the location they brought us to see. There are many scenic or historical sites/sights that cannot support a cache larger than a micro. What helps me the most in deciding whether or not to go after a micro is to simply read the cache description page; if it gives me an idea that there is something special about the cache, then we go for it. If you don't bother to do a bit of research before you go out caching you will have some disappointments!
  23. There are mostly nanos hidden in our suburban area, but I like best to find medium to large containers that hold TB's or geocoins and allow us enough space to drop off one of our signature rubber duckies! Whenever we take our grandchildren caching, they definitely want to look through a container with little toys in it. What I don't like is finding a micro or nano hidden in a wooded area that could hold something larger - that's just a waste of good geocaching space!
  24. Just have to compliment you on your original, handmade cache idea! We love to find unique hides like the one you describe. So many new cachers place the standard film can in a lamp post skirt, or nano on a sign. One of the things that makes geocaching so much fun is the creativity displayed by many cachers, and it looks like you will be one of that elite group!
  25. We have met many great people through geocaching! Our local geocaching organization holds quite a few events, and we've been to some. We are introverts, but we always have a great time; it's so easy to talk with other people who enjoy the activity that you enjoy too! Whenever we see another geocacher at a cache, I introduce ourselves, and we usually end up standing around talking for a while. Definitely, geocachers are interesting and active people from all ages and walks of life!
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