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The VanDucks

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Everything posted by The VanDucks

  1. Unless you think cachers wouldn't see the Wendy's, I'd just say "parking available nearby" and let the cachers figure it out. I don't think you'd have much luck asking the Wendy's manager for parking permission for non-customers. We have several caches located in commercial areas, and we don't give specific parking coordinates for them since the logical parking spot is pretty obvious when you get to GZ.
  2. We actually have a similar cache in mind; we found a new park, not quite open yet to the public, which is a small nature preserve. I e-mailed a query to the park authority, and they seem willing to consider our cache idea. We are just proposing a magnetic keycase hidden on a bench in a paved area next to the parking lot. It won't be a challenge to any cacher, but just a way to bring people to see a really unusual park. I had not thought of it as a way to protect the preserve from other non-approved caches which might involve walking on the fragile areas, but I guess it would serve that function. Where we live, some cachers do place caches without permission in areas which require permission; they seem to get by the reviewer somehow.
  3. Thanks, Lil Devil! I finally got it to work after many, many tries! Maybe it's just my computer, but I had a lot of trouble getting the "buttons" to work correctly. I never had any problems with the earlier design. The TBs are now located correctly.
  4. Today I tried to drop 2 TB's into our two newly published caches, so the geocachers who found them could pick them up. I couldn't drop them off when I submitted the caches for review, so I waited until the caches were published and then tried again. Nothing worked! The two TB's are shown as being in our inventory, but when I go to the TB home page to try to drop them, I don't see that even listed as an option anymore. When I post a note on the cache page, I try to click on the options to drop off the TB's, but it just takes me to the TB home page. Help! This is going to totally mess up the mileage, and I wonder if the people who took the TB's will be able to even pick them up, since they aren't shown as ever being in the caches. The TB's I'm trying to drop off are Ref. #TB3BBJY, to put into GC2AX92; and Ref. # TB31BXM, to put into GC2AX6E
  5. We're not people who like group tours or even being involved in any activity with a lot of people, but I do think your idea will be attractive to those who like going on tours. It might especially appeal to older cachers who have some mobility issues. But you should consider the impact on the geocaches from having a large group of cachers all descend at once on the cache. If the cache is in an urban area, that sort of group activity will attract attention. If the cache is in a rural spot, there could be environmental impact such as geotrails being worn down by heavy foot traffic, etc. If your plan is to have all the tours visit the same list of caches, it would be courteous to notify the cache owners, because they might have to replace the log books and replenish the swag more often. You do need to be mindful of geocaching.com's policy of commercial usage; you would not be able to advertise the tour on the website, and you could not establish any new caches as part of a money-making enterprise. But it is a very interesting idea, and I'd love to hear more about it if you decide to go ahead with your plan!
  6. Thanks for the comments above. We didn't see the logs about leaving stuff outside the container until after dark last night, and the park is only open during daylight hours. We will go by the cache today and pick up whatever is left outside. As far as the suggestion by a poster above, to email the two cachers; it's not my policy to scold other cachers. The one who left the swag outside the first time is new to the sport, and from looking at their account, they may be just visiting in our area. Maybe from where they come, leaving swag lying outside caches is ok; I don't know. We are fortunate to have a very tight-knit group of local cachers, who normally look out for each other very well, but this area has a large numbers of tourists, year round, visiting Washington, D.C., so maybe they play by slightly different rules. My point in the OP was to mention this "geo-littering around a cache" as a possible new problem, which I have never seen before, and to find out if other cache owners have had to deal with this. It would not be a problem if the cache is hidden deep in the woods, but for urban park hides, where the possible hiding locations and cache container possibilities are determined by the park authority, it is a problem.
  7. Let me add to the list of No-No's: Ink Pads. I know they are often part of a letter box hide, and probably the people into letter-boxing are using high quality stamp pads. The ones I want to ban are the cheap McDonalds toy type ink pad sets, or dollar store ones, which can leak in hot weather all over the contents of the cache. We once found a very nice ammo box hidden beside a scenic river, and when we opened it, everything inside was coated in red ink from a child's ink pad someone had left in it. Even though we cleaned the box out as well as we could, the contents were fit only for the trash can.
  8. We recently placed two new caches in a local park. They are only about 650 feet apart. One is a small lock'n'lock box, and the other is a larger box. We clearly state on each cache description page the size of each container, and that the smaller one has room only for a few small trade items. The other cache has room for quite a bit more. Over the past few days, a fairly new cacher put his trade item in the small box, and noted in his log that, so he could fit his TB in, he left another toy outside the box but that it's just plastic! The next finder, a more experienced cacher, logged that there are several items now overflowing the container! But of course he just left them lying there, because they are weather resistant! How on earth could any cacher think it's OK to just leave stuff lying around on the ground outside the cache? The small cache is very close to a dirt road in the park; the park rules are that caches have to be hidden in clear plastic containers, no more than 25 feet from a path or road. We placed these two caches to be used for a county geocaching camp to be held in the park in a few weeks. Now I'm worried that cachers will be compromising the safety of our cache by leaving swag lying on the ground nearby, which may very well attract curious muggles. I can go by and pick up the stuff, but it's not very close to our house, and I can't go by there everyday. I have posted a note on the cache page suggesting that cachers can go to two other nearby caches which can hold larger swag. What else can I do to protect our cache? I'm used to worrying about muggles - now I have to worry about cachers!
  9. I have found some interesting and inexpensive swag items in craft/sewing stores, such as pretty stones, fancy pins, small wooden animals, and large beads. On-line stores such as www.orientaltrading.com and www.cafepress.com sell small pins, party favors, etc. that make good swag. If a lot of foreign visitors geocache in your part of Austria, maybe you can find local magnets and pins that they would love to take back home as souvenirs of their visit! Bookmarks are also a good swag to leave because they fit in small caches. You could even make your own decorative cards with your caching name on them and laminate them so they will be more durable; that would be really a nice item to find!
  10. Very inspirational, Shirconn! I'm 62, my husband is 64, and we also love geocaching. We have only found a few over 700, but I hope when we retire in a few years we'll have a lot more time to spend caching! I work for a doctor, and I've noticed that while some people are old and feeble in their '50's, many much older people are still bright and active into their '80's and '90's, and the most important factor seems to be staying interested in life, optimistic and willing to try out new ideas and activities. Thanks for sharing your viewpoint with us, and Happy Caching to you and your husband!
  11. Maybe because I've always loved books, I love reading cache description pages and I love reading well-written log entries. To me, the amazing attraction of geocaching is that someone, usually totally unknown to me, has provided a window into his or her mind by placing a geocache and making it possible for me to find it, while it remains unknown to everyone else passing nearby. Whether it's a long historical description of the significance of this particular location, or a short funny write up full of puns, the cache description page, to me at least, is an absolutely essential part of the experience of geocaching. Finding caches without paying any attention to the write-up by the cache owner is like opening a birthday present and ignoring the giver. Yes, it's more efficient that way, but what a lot of fun you miss!
  12. Good luck, Finty! I'm kind of old (62) and not computer literate either; luckily my husband does like geocaching and does the technical stuff for our team. (I know I should learn it myself some day!) There are some good posts above which I'm sure you'll use. If there is a local geocaching organization near where you geocache, perhaps someone would be willing to help you out? I would take a look to see if certain cachers find a lot of the local finds, and then email one or two to ask for help. We've found our local cachers are very willing to help each other. It's great that you are trying to keep up with the hobby - I wish much good luck for you! - Anne
  13. Since we own 19 caches, and I'm very fond of all of them, I'd hate to lose them if there were rules like this! However, I do sympathize with the OP; there are a lot of urban areas around where we live (in northern Virginia, USA), that are approaching cache saturation. I read that in some of the state parks in Pennsylvania, USA, there is a rule that caches approved by the state to be placed will be automatically archived in 3 years. This would seem to be a fair way of opening up areas for new caches and would not make any value judgments about which cache is more worthy than another. It would be a very controversial rule for Groundspeak to make; but perhaps there will have to be some sort of regulation about cache longevity, or eventually no new cachers will have any chance of placing their own caches, and that would be a shame!
  14. This really sounds like fun - will it be in NJ? My kids loved the original series of "Choose Your Own Adventure" books when they came out in the late '70's and '80's - guess that is your inspiration? I would also vote for Multicache, just because many people filter out puzzle caches, since so many are very, very time consuming. You'll have more people looking for your cache if it's called a multicache. It might be a good idea to give the approximate mileage to be covered between all the parks, just so people can plan to spend a whole day working on this one (if that's about how long it would take.) We would definitely want to do one like this where we live, in Virginia!
  15. I have seen large plastic paint buckets with screw on lids at our local Home Depot; some painters use them, but I don't know how long they will hold up outdoors. We've found a few big caches that used heavy-duty rubbermaid storage containers, but you just have to hope the finders will replace the lid correctly. Ammo cans and big size lock 'n' locks are probably better choices. To be honest, most of the large containers we've found have only been about a third or less full, so I'm not sure a big container actually provides more enjoyment or better swag than a smaller one. If you have a themed cache such as a book exchange, the large size container would be best, of course.
  16. We had a similar situation with one of our caches. It was the first cache we ever placed, and it was very popular. The tree it was hidden in was cut down, and the only possible spot to replace it was about 500 feet away, at the other end of the same shopping center. I sent a note to our local reviewer telling him that we wanted to publish our new cache and archive the previous one; he very kindly published the new one as soon as I submitted it and then he archived the old one for us.
  17. My disguise as a rather plump, harmless-looking sixty-two year old grandmother works every time - oh, wait, it's not a disguise!
  18. I'm all in favor of unique cache description pages; that's what makes me want to look for a cache! I especially enjoy funny names for caches, especially when you find the cache and then say "oh, so that's what the name means!" Just a plea, though, for conciseness. An explanation or a bit of background are fine in your cache description, but edit for brevity! Too many cache pages run on and on, until most cachers will probably stop reading. (Even though you may feel that your short story is extremely clever, I will probably not enjoy reading it as much as you do.) If the description is some multi-paragraph history text you cut and pasted out of Widipedia, delete the unnecessary parts. Think of your cache description as an advertisement: You have a "product", your cache, to "sell" to a "consumer", the geocacher, who has limited time and many other caches to choose from. What can you put on your description page that makes me want to rush right out and look for YOUR cache?
  19. How wonderful that you have that special memory of spending time with your friend! Once those we loved are gone, our memories are what bring us comfort.
  20. Hey Zurfco! We're practically neighbors; we cache in Fairfax and Loudoun! This is a great area for geocaching; there are more caches, and more new ones being placed, than any of us can ever catch up to! You're going to love this hobby! Congratulations and Happy Caching! Take a look at www.NoVAGO.org for the local geocaching society; membership is free and the club holds many events for geocachers in the local area.
  21. Here are some other useful terms and abbreviations: CO: Cache owner, the person or team who placed and maintains the cache. Muggles: non-geocachers; the people standing around in your way when you go geocaching in urban areas; you don't want the muggles to see you finding or replacing the cache! GZ: Ground Zero, the exact location where the cache is hidden. LPC, or LPS: Light (or Lamp) Post Cache, or Light Post Skirt, a popular hiding location for many easy caches but disliked by many experienced cachers! (But the FIRST time we found one, we were amazed!) FTF: First To Find: the first cacher to find a new cache gets to log FTF; this can get pretty competitive! 2TF; the second to find, is also sometimes seen. CITO: Cache In, Trash out: the location of the cache may be one that contains old trash and the owner is asking cachers to bring a bag and take some trash out to throw away; cachers try to do this to help keep our playing field clean! It's also good to know the names of various cache containers so you have an idea of what you're looking for: Nano: a very small metal container, holding only a log; often magnetic. Bison: a metal container a bit larger than the nano, usually with a ring attached, with more possible hiding methods; contains only a log. Decon box: a plastic box with a snap-on lid and a hook to hang it by. Lock and lock: a plastic box with a snap-on lid; watertight and very durable; can be painted to match the surroundings. Ammo box: the premium large cache container; durable metal, usually watertight, but we have found some that leaked; can be purchased at hunting supply stores. As with most popular hobbies, you'll soon come to have a wide volcabulary of geocaching terms!
  22. I like both your ideas and think it's great that you want to hide some caches. But I see from your profile that you've found only one cache yourself (unless you've been out caching with others and just not logged the finds.) Do you have family members or friends who are active geocachers? You will learn a lot about placing caches by finding more of them first. One important thing we've learned is that the container must be water and animal proof! That means using an ammo can, a decon container, a lock and lock box, (or a bison tube for tiny caches.) Common household storage containers, disposable plastic food containers with lids, or metal boxes don't hold up for long. Anything out in the woods may be chewed upon by wild animals, especially if there's any lingering odor of food on the container, or anything in the cache that might produce a smell. It's important to hide the cache so that it can be found by geocachers, but not by casual passers-by. For instance, covering it with leaves will last only until the next heavy rainstorm, or a windy day. Caches must be placed in a location where people can find safe parking and where they will not trespass on private property. You also need to learn how to find and save accurate coordinates on your "coming-soon" GPS; this may take a bit of practice. If you are hiding the cache under thick tree cover, or near large rocks or a building, that affects the accuracy of your GPS readings. By being thoughtful about the placement and the coordinates of your cache, you provide an enjoyable experience for your fellow cachers. And lastly, you want to be sure you can take care of any problems that may happen, such as replacing a wet log book, or adjusting the coordinates if you get a lot of DNF's posted. It's a good idea to place your first few caches close enough to home that you can get out to them if they do need maintenance, or check on them if they seem to go missing. I hope you'll have a lot of fun designing and placing your own caches and that you'll get many finders! Good luck!
  23. We just found a cache today in Virginia, GCYN4Q - "A Child Not Forgotten." GCYN4Q It's a memorial to a young girl who was murdered and whose body was found along the highway; the state placed a commemorative marker for her at this spot along a side road. The cache was put here so people would stop by to see the marker and learn her story, since it is not where most people would happen across it on their own. I think this is more appropriate than placing your own cache, because some might consider that you are using this tragedy just so you can place a new cache. I don't mean to insult you, but that would be my reaction. I think Geocaching.com does not allow placement of caches to further an agenda or promote a cause, even if it is one most people might agree with.
  24. Yes, it's fine to take signature items (unless there's a specific note in the cache to leave something there - we did come across a cache once where the rubber duckie inside was actually part of the cache!) You don't have to leave a sig item of your own, although it's courteous to leave some piece of swag if you remove something from the cache. A lot of us collect sig items; it's fun to come across one from a name you've seen in other logs!
  25. We've had a couple of caches on our "watchlist" for quite a while that we DNF'd after lengthy searches, with many additional DNF's logged after ours. I don't understand why the cache owners don't bother to check on them. Even if the CO is somehow prevented from physically checking on his cache, it's easy to just sit at the computer and temporarily disable a cache with a log notation that you are going to visit it soon. I suspect that in many cases a geocacher has placed more caches than he can reasonably maintain. It seems to me that placing caches does imply a responsibility to keep them running and to replace logs, check on the placement after a couple of DNF's, make sure the surrounding conditions haven't changed since the placement was made, maybe add some new swag occasionally, etc. What's your opinion, and if you choose NOT to maintain your caches, why is that?
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