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The VanDucks

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  1. I looked at some of the logs on these caches and saw that the finders were having a great time with this. It's not the type of caching that appeals to me, but I can't see the harm of having something like this in an area so barren and uninhabited. (It sure wouldn't work here in the Virginia suburbs, where we are already approaching cache saturation!)
  2. Just a suggestion: We found a couple of interesting caches in or near cemetaries in Tennessee last year; they were part of a series placed by a local cacher. If you have found one cemetary cache, click on the CO's name and see if he or she has placed other similar hides.
  3. If you hide a cache (with yourself as the owner) with the help of another cacher, do you have the other cacher put the cache on a watch list so they can keep track of when it's been found? I ask because I'm thinking of placing a cache near our daughter's house, which is about 125 miles away from our home, and having her do any simple maintenance on it. (We do visit her often, but I can't easily drive by to replace a log!)
  4. We had found about 100 when we decided to place our first hide. It turned out to be a much harder find than we had expected it to be. (It's since been archived because it was hidden in an evergreen tree that was removed by the business owner.) It was right in front of a very busy bagel shop. I had posted a hint to look for it after 3 pm, when the store closed for the day. I didn't realize that cachers are so eager to find a cache that they often ignore cache descriptions! Now that we are more experienced cachers, we consider placement more carefully than we did for our first few hides! We have learned by finding many different types of hides. However, I have seen some excellent caches placed by cachers with only a few finds under their belts. They are often very creative hides, not just LPC's or guardrail micros. I think the question of how many you must find before placing your own depends on how much time and effort you are willing to spend to place a hide that others will really enjoy finding. Don't just place a cache to say you have done it; place it because you can contribute something new and different to the game.
  5. I just logged a DNF on a cache we did spend about 20 minutes looking for; but we decided that it was just too risky to continue on to GZ because we had our two young grandchildren along, and the cache was on the other side of a steep, muddy ravine. I logged the DNF so others with young children might have help in deciding whether to attempt the cache. It was listed a a 3 star terrain, but it's hard to know exactly what's involved until you take a look, and earlier logs had not reported any problems getting to GZ.
  6. Sorry there wasn't any swag for him to see in the cache! It often happens that a cache starts out with a good assortment of "treasure" but cachers who find the cache don't always leave something in place of what they take. Responsible cachers just sign the log book and take nothing if they have nothing to leave; that's what the log "SL,TN,LN" means. I think the most fun things to find in caches are travel items, such as TB's and geocoins. These usually have a goal of some sort (which you can see when you log into the page online for the TB). When you find a TB, it's important to log it correctly and move it along as soon as you can. Unfortunately, many TB's and geocoins are taken from caches and never heard from again. Most of us have learned to leave inexpensive treasure in caches, such as little trinkets from a dollar store or a craft store. I like to find small animal figurines, so sometimes I buy the little rubber animals at a Michael's store and leave them in caches where children may enjoy finding them. Our team leaves small rubber duckies as our signature item. I order little geocaching pins, and magnetic bookmarks, from online stores to leave in small caches where our duckies won't fit! Many cachers make their own "swag" to leave behind; I'm sure you can find some examples of this in the Forums here. If you have access to foreign coins, those make a good treasure to leave in caches and will fit in most of them. You may increase your sightings of "treasure" by looking for larger caches, such as ammo cans, which are more likely to contain an assortment of swag. You can also see on the cache description page whether there are any TB's or geocoins in a cache, although they may not still be in the cache if they were not logged out correctly. Good luck! Have fun!
  7. But wouldn't we all miss that panicky feeling of trying to roll up the tiny little log and squeeeeeeze it back into the bison before the muggles notice what you're doing?
  8. We live in an area with a lot of caches, and a lot of geocachers, so most logs are pretty active. But I've noticed when researching caches in other areas (that we may want to look for when travelling) that some parts of the country either have severe weather, preventing cachers from going out very often, or have fewer cachers; so local caches may not be logged for a while just because all the local cachers have already found them! I will sometimes e-mail a CO, if I really want to seek that cache, to ask if it's still active, if there have been no log entries for a long time. The cache may be perfectly fine in that case. I agree that seeing a string of DNF's in a cache log, over several months, would tell me that particular cache is not worth looking for. As a cache owner, I am very interested in reading any DNF logs on our caches, because that may clue me in to a problem that needs to be fixed. The only log that ever made me mad was when a brand new cacher, with a total of three finds or so, tried to find a rather difficult hide of ours, and posted a "Needs Archived" when he couldn't find it! (Of course, when I went to check on it, the cache was right where it should be!)
  9. We highly encourage new cachers to attend a local event. Because our sport is usually done with just a fellow cacher, or perhaps by yourself, you will not often encounter other cachers unless you try going to an event. Our local geocaching club, NoVAGO (Northern Virginia Geocaching Organization) has quite a few events each year. We've been to some and really enjoyed ourselves! Typically, there is a spring and fall potluck lunch, usually in a local park, with new caches set up to find before or after lunch, and there are usually games and prizes. Last summer we had a silent auction. to raise money for future events. Also, during the year, individual cachers may set up smaller events, such as getting together for supper in a local restaurant. When these are set up on the geocaching website, attending one can give you a new smilie! Our club does not charge for membership, and does not charge to attend an event (although for those events meeting in a restaurant, each family would pay for their own meal). Getting involved, even if only occasionally, will give you a way to connect with others who share your love for this activity. It's a lot of fun to actually see a cacher whose name you may have seen on many logbooks; and it's fun to talk with other more experienced cachers who can give you advice and suggest good caches in your locality. We hope you will try one of your local events and have fun!
  10. I think our team is somewhere in between sort of casual, and OCD! I have to confess, I do like to print out at least some of the cache pages,(the short version without logs) especially if the cache has a lot of description on the page about how and what to look for; my excuse is that I'm old, and old fashioned - so there! I begin by looking at the google geocaching map for the area we want to go to, and I refine it to show about 15-20 caches. (Most of the time I delete puzzle caches, since we rarely do them.) I know from experience that we will rarely do more than 10 caches in a day, since we also like to stop for lunch and Starbucks breaks! I print out the map and highlight the caches we want to find; then I see what logical order we should seek them in. Since we cache in a congested suburban area, it's important that we know where to park, and I often choose the caches that have a parking coordinate included. By looking at the map, we can try to do several caches within the same neighborhood, or in the same park. It can be a big waste of time to look for a cache that you haven't checked out beforehand. Some caches may not have been found in months, and haven't been archived, but a read of the past logs may tell you not to bother going to that one. I also try to be sure we have a few easy ones on our list for the day, so we won't get depressed by too many DNF's!
  11. I also think the coins would not last long; unfortunately not everyone plays fair. We once placed five geocoins in our new cache, thinking they would be taken by five different cachers; one finder took all of them. Most of them were never seen again. You can set up your cache as a coin exchange, or TB hotel, but don't spend too much of your own money buying new coins. I think it might be a better idea to have a few new, unactivated coins as prizes for the FTF, 2ndTF, and 3rdTF. We have found inexpensive geocoins on www.geoswag.com, and, for a little more, on www.geocoinstore.com.
  12. We've found a few hidden in fence post caps. The fences were old, and maybe that's why the tops were so loose. In each case, the cache was attached by a thin wire, so you just had to pull up the wire to get the cache out of the post. If you place this type of cache, be kind to your fellow cachers and choose a location along the fence that's not too visible to muggles driving by, just in case a policeman notices someone taking the fence apart!
  13. After seeing the forum reply from Lornix (above), perhaps you should use a different name, but why not just go with "Hide 'n' Seek?" That way at least some of the finders would notice where they were and enjoy the pun!
  14. I see lots of good suggestions above - good luck; this sounds like a great idea! One consideration might be that lots of geocachers may show up the first day the caches are published, rushing to be the FTF's! Better be sure your library staff know what's going on!
  15. It's very disappointing to plan out a cache and have it be turned down because there's another cache too close by; it's happened to us a few times, also. Once it was the final of a puzzle cache which we were not able to solve, so we had no idea it was where we tried to place our cache. But placing a cache means being creative, and there's usually another way to set up your cache, especially if it's a multi. Rather than taking it personally, realize it happens to all of us, and just work out your cache plans a bit differently. Your cache is a gift to your fellow cachers. This game will only work if we all cooperate and work together within the guidelines, which are necessary for any endeavor involving thousands of participants all around the world!
  16. There are a lot of very hard puzzle caches where we live, and we are totally inept at solving them; that doesn't bother me; there are lots more caches we can do! We own a few easy puzzle caches that we created so cachers like us could get some puzzle finds. If a cacher asks me for a hint on one of our puzzles, I would ask if he has come up with a partial solution; that has happened on our "Odyssey in the Shopping Centers" cache where someone has misinterpreted the directions. I do want people to find our caches and am glad to help them if they have at least done some of the work themselves. (sort of like my 4th grade math teacher would say!)
  17. The first time I got a bad case of Poison Ivy from geocaching (in the early spring, before the "leaves of 3" were even out ) I foolishly tried to treat it with OTC remedies for a week before it got so bad that I finally went to the doctor. She told me if it happened again and did not improve within 3 days to get medical help. If the rash gets infected, it's much harder to treat. When I was a kid, just a little calamine lotion was enough, but maybe the effects get worse as you get older. I've never had shingles but hear they are bad; my doctor mentioned there is a shot you can get to help prevent, or at least limit, getting shingles, although I haven't gotten that shot yet.
  18. That bag looks really nice, and so well organized! Whenever I get my geobag all nice and neat, it seems to get filled full of miscellaneous junk within a short time!
  19. Ooooh - I am so jealous! We have had record breaking snow fall here in northern Virginia. Geocaching is going to be really tricky once all the snow melts and the mud appears! Your happy dog picture brightened my day!
  20. I agree with "Trucker Lee" above, and he must know what he's talking about: caches that are hidden near busy streets or highways, without a clue as to where to safely park. Although we usually cache with other adults, we do sometimes take our young grandchildren along, and I get nervous if the cache requires the searcher to look right along the curb where cars are going by a few feet away. There are so many distracted drivers around, and of course when in the "geocaching state of mind" we cachers may just be focused on the search and not on our safety. If the cache is hidden a safe distance from traffic, seems like the CO might add a note in the description such as "not within three feet of street" or similar wording.
  21. If a non-geocacher found it by accident and was scared by the noise or lights, they might contact the local police, and we don't need any more stories of bomb squads defusing geocaches! Even it it is found by a cacher, the light/alarm would certainly attract the attention of any near-by muggles. When you go to all the trouble of planning and setting up a cache, you don't want to have it go missing or be archived if you can avoid it! If you want to have the cache follow a certain theme, maybe plan instead to have a special container, or special swag, or even an unusual log book inside.
  22. We own many urban caches, and quite a few are "hidden" in plain sight. Experienced cachers will usually find them quickly; new cachers have a bit more trouble. The more finds you have, the easier it is to find new caches; just a matter of experience and coming across many types of containers. To hide a cache in plain sight, you must find a location where people have a reason to be standing around (and where they won't be in danger of being picked up by the police for loitering)! Metal newspaper boxes, signs, public benches, landscaping structures or railings outside public buildings, etc - all are plausible places where the geocacher can hang around making a cell phone call, tying his shoes, reading a paper, etc. Most of these hides are going to be very small containers, of course, such as nanos, bison tubes, and magnetic keycases, and must be painted or camoflaged to match the surrounding area. It's a thoughtful hide if the cache owner has been able to place the cache where it may be off to the side away from windows or somewhat screened from view of the general public. The experienced geocacher will probably spot the cache first, and then do some sort of action such as reaching down to tie his shoes, dropping something and scrabbling around to pick it up; anything to make the casual passer-by think nothing much is going on. Most muggles are very non-observant of anything not directly concerning themselves (with the exception of police or security guards, of course!). We do love to find caches way out in parks and woodlands, but where we live we would not be able to find many caches if we ignored the urban ones!
  23. Yes, the GPSr might not work in a large building; the caches we found in libraries were 2nd stages of multicaches and the first stage gave a hint, such as the category of books near the final, so we had a chance of finding it without the use of coordinates. The real challenge is finding a library cache is outwitting muggles!
  24. I agree with most of the above posts - that it's fun to see and take sig items! One of my favorite items is a magnet left by a geocache owner whose caches were very challenging - when we found it in another cache, we took it to remind us of the fun we had finding her caches! One caution - so many caches collect water, even those which are supposed to be waterproof. So you might want to be sure your sig items can withstand moisture, or put them in little zip-loc baggies you can buy in bulk at craft stores.
  25. I don't know if there's any rule about doing that, but as a cache owner I would have no problem with someone doing that at our caches, as long as they had actually found the cache. You may be able to edit each original log to drop the coin in and out.
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