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Everything posted by M&Ms

  1. When geocaching started on the Peninsula our reviewer simply didn’t understand the environment. So many decisions went against the cache setters it looked as if the activity was bound to fail. Then along came Eric who was prepared to listen, argue his position and explain his decisions and the activity took off. Since then he has been proactive, on the ball, attentive, and not put a foot wrong. I have dealt with many reviewers and there are some real horrors out there. I understand the argument that a local reviewer brings benefits but whoever was selected, and the choice does not involve local players, is unlikely to be as good as Eric. Not only has Eric earned the right to continue for as long as he wishes we would be very lucky indeed to be served by someone as dedicated and competent as he. Let us be thankful we have Eric and not propose an action we may later regret.
  2. It is incredible the amount of unselfish effort that me-N-u put into maintaining caches in Saudi Arabia. Without doubt, the result of their sterling effort is to greatly improve the fun of Geocaching within the Kingdom. We owe them a great debt of gratitude. M and M of M&Ms.
  3. This appears to be straightforward. You have in all likelihood the 'lock to road' feature activated. The aim of this setting is to ensure that you are shown as on a road when you are travelling along one but the actual GPS fix is a little distance off it. When you travel to a great distance off road then the Quest will revert to the actual GPS position. If the cache is located close to a road on the Quest's map then the lock to road feature will position you on the road. It is very simple to switch this feature on or off.
  4. Is it an issue now? In principle we would agree with your sentiment and believe administrators should have an intimate knowledge of the local ground and environment. When we first embarked on expanding Geocaching in the area, we so much wanted to grab our administrators by the neck and drag them through the fiber optic so they could see how inappropriate some of their decisions were. But they moved on and we have been a long time served by our current volunteers who, quite frankly, are hard to beat. Much worse serve other areas. Perhaps we would be better off maintaining the status quo until we really feel that we are being poorly served. M of M&Ms.
  5. You are absolutely correct. If you do not have a few DNFs then you either are aiming for only easy ones or you are not chasing down micros. Recorded DNFs are so important for the owner because it gives them the ability to gauge whether the aim of the cache is being met and perhaps more importantly whether maintenance may be required.
  6. A colloquialism imported from elsewhere in the Globe. Feel free to use it if your wish. Another is CEGA (pronounced seegar) – Collateral Evidence of Geocaching Activity, which is the visible disturbance of a site by previous baggers that provides a clue that you are near the cache.
  7. Have you tried using a storage card? That will enable you to store many more.
  8. That's a bit disappointing. Do you mean "nothing can be done" because there are micros near to these historic points of interest, but they make no mention of them in their cache description? Are they too close to these sites that you are unable to put another cache of your own there? If so, I wonder whether the micro owner would be up for a bit of "caching co-operation"? Perhaps they'd consider adding a bit of extra information to the cache page, to high-light the nearby features? Maybe... just maybe... they might even replace one of the micros with a small box... with a bit of tactful persuasion? MrsB Of course, I exaggerate. Something is being done. Perchance I befriended the landowner of one of the sites in the local pub who is upset about a cache on his site causing baggers to poke about inside antiques. (I am deliberately avoiding causing embarrassment to the cache owners by identifying the caches.) He is however more than happy for a permanent cache close to the antiques. (This type of cooperation is not unusual when you seek permission). Similarly, the farmer who owns the land on which is located one of the caches has put a bull in the field containing the cache. Though he would rather not have a cache on his land he is prepared to agree to one provided he is involved in deciding its location. However, before approaching the caches’ owner and I would like to see whether it is possible to relocate the caches so that the owner can place one in at least one of the villages …and just to maintain the thread of this discussion; this demonstrates the importance of planning before deciding on a cache site including the strategic perspective. I also intend to set a cache to convince Happy Humphrey that a well planned and prepared normal sized cache will provide greater pleasure than the best micro. To do so I must combine a great location with the need to use intelligently a GPS, to follow the guidance in the description carefully and rounded off with a superbly conceived hide. The difference between the normal and micro cache is solely in the final location and I intend to exploit the inherent advantage of the normal sized cache site by avoiding the possibility of a protracted search after the bagger has successfully navigated to the final location. I will meet the criteria that whoever embarks on bagging any of my caches will leave thinking they have had fun regardless of the outcome. M of M&Ms
  9. To be clear. We enjoy micro caches where the situation is appropriate but we believe there are a disproportionately high number of them particularly when a normal sized cache could be set. A large number of micros are in hiding places that could just as easily accommodate a normal sized container. We believe that too often people set a micro to avoid the phaff of a normal sized cache. Other than when the intent is to make the bagger scramble through ivy, check under every stone then a micro cache site should be fairly obvious. The enjoyment in Geocaching should be using the GPS and not primarily in a protracted final hunt. It is easy to set a cache where the using a GPS intelligently provides the challenge and in the UK such caches are rare. In the villages to which we refer, the walk is grand and well laid out but both villages have interesting historical sites not covered by the caches and there is nothing that can be done to bring them to the baggers attention. M of M&Ms
  10. A little thought is all it takes to set a great cache. We believe that every cache should have a reason for being set and that needs to be carefully brought out in the description. Is the site a great place to visit, is it a place for a picnic, is it an athletic challenge, a puzzle and so on. The cache must also be consistent and sympathetic to the site. If it is a great place to visit then a hard to find micro is not appropriate. Those set to attract baggers to a location should not be so difficult that families spend all their time hunting the impossible leading to the frustrations that a DNF creates and causing baggers to miss the enjoyment that the site offers. There are plenty of none descript location for this type of cache. Moreover hard to find caches should not be set where muggles will create difficulties for the bagger, such as public monuments. One cache I visited recently was set across the road from a pub garden, over a grass verge and behind a hydrant on a wall. It was totally impossible to bag discreetly during opening times and the write up did not make this clear. Also think strategically. Does your area have a spread of all the cache types? If not set one to plug the gap. Variety and choice adds interest. Generally, there is a shortage of caches with a total of seven points and in the same way that everyone rejoices when they reach a thousand finds so every serious Geocacher should feel incomplete without having bagged a five for difficulty. However, avoid caches of over seven points. A five for difficulty will normally involve a bagger in several DNFs before achieving the bag and baggers should not need to make elaborate preparations to cross challenging terrain for a probable DNF. Setting a five for difficulty takes a lot of planning. It has to be a challenge not a chore. A nano in a haystack is a poor five. Of the ones we set my favourite challenge involves a full size cache along a set bearing of a given short distance (just over a hundred yards) from the coordinates and getting from the coordinates to the cache is a straight forward walk. The cache’s hiding place is obvious from about two yards away and only needs a misplaced stone to be moved for the container to be easily retrieved. Why then has it not yet been bagged? This one, I argue, is a challenge and not a chore. If you are considering setting a micro, think and then think again, why? The current number of Micros mars Geocaching and they should only be set for a specific reason. It is extremely rare that without a bit of imagination a proper cache cannot be set. Let us justify why we believe micros are to the detriment of Geocaching. They are not a suitable repository for TBs and the like (we are disappointed how difficult it can be in some areas to find a cache in which to deposit a TB) and they take the challenge away from using a GPS to hunt down a cache to one where the emphasis is on the hunt after you have arrived at the site and the GPS phase is over. Remember that micros carry equal value to proper caches and may prevent a proper cache being set in a place that justifies one. For example around and about someone has done commendable work in providing a walk around two villages following caches but they have used only micros. Practically all of the caches could have been proper ones and the situation has arisen that these villages cannot now receive TBs and we cannot mark sites in the two villages with caches because of the minimum separation rule. If you are setting a cache for beginners or as an introduction to Geocaching then a micro is inappropriate. And remember that when you set a micro, a lot of the surrounding area will be disturbed with baggers trying to find it. How many walls in Britain are suffering unnaturally high rates of decay because of well-hidden, poorly-considered micros. Seek permission where viable. You will be surprised at how many people will allow a cache and permission allows you be to be much more creative in your set. Think about all the seasons. It is surprising how many caches set in the winter end up covered in undergrowth in the summer. Similarly, I have bagged a cache without a GPS or description simply by stumbling on that characteristic, illogical trail of downtrodden grass. Check your co-ordinates and written description carefully. How you thought you set a cache may not be how it is perceived to a bagger. A DNF because of incorrect co-ordinates or poor description is a severe black mark against the setter. If you do not set your cache as a challenge, then look into every DNF in some detail and make sure that the problem is not of your making or through lack of maintenance. Note that for each recorded DNF many more will have gone unlogged. Think about your Hint. If you intend to your cache to be found easily then ensure that the Hint prevents a DNF. If set as a puzzle then the Hint should be such to knock down the difficulty rating by one or two points. Finally reread your description. Are you certain that the bagger, when they set out to bag your cache, knows exactly what to expect? Noone, and families in particular, should have to abandon a hunt because they ran into a situation they were not expecting. It does not take a great deal of thought to set a great cache and always remember that when you plan one, the quality of the sport is in your hands. M of M&Ms
  11. Some have been set certainly. Whether they are still there I am not sure. We wouldn’t recommend bagging a cache in Iraq just yet for two reasons: the first is that using a GPS to look for a cache may attract the attention of security forces, the second is the risk associated with removing an unattended cache.
  12. It would be nice to also send a copy to "mhfares". He is very interested in this sort of thing. M of M&Ms.
  13. However you must take into account that a 2* in Saudi is far more demanding than a 2* elsewhere though the ratings within Saudi are largely consistent with one another. A reason for this is, I believe, is that caching is more challenging in Saudi because we do benefit from greater freedom to move without being troubled by private land (though less so now than before). Also if we increased the ratings there would be a danger of squashing the spread at the top end and this would be ill advised when particular care must be taken when bagging the more difficult caches in the desert. It would be interesting to compare 2*s in Saudi and UAE. M of M&Ms
  14. Welcome to geocaching. You are in for a lot of fun. Trackable items come in several forms the most common being tags and geocoins. Tags are light aluminum disc which you attach to an object. The tag carries the tracking number. Geocoins are coins which you do not attach to an object. They have a tracking number inscribed on them. Yes, you do have to buy them and no they aren't available locally and you can't make them because you do need a controlled tracking number. Each type are available from several sources. You can either Google them or find adverts at geocaching.com. If you buy the tags choose you object carefully. It must fit in a cache, be weather resistant and not be so valuable as to tempt theft. Also bear in mind that someone needs to carry it from cache to cache. A little imagination means you can choose an object which will provide a lot of fun to others baggers. Geocoins are more convenient but they are attractive and there are many collectors. They tend to have a short life span before leaving the environment to take up permanent residence with some selfish so and so. M of M&Ms
  15. In Saudi, we have seen a slight increase in the number of caches being trashed but not to the extent as to make us exceptional or cause concern. One of the problems we do face is that when a cache is found, the finder searches through the contents and then discards the cache without returning it. Of the things stolen from our caches, more often than not it is the container!
  16. ... and hopefully some will come out!
  17. So flydad is a Virginian well I'll be! This post raises some interesting discussion points. Saudi has remained largely free of drive through caches where the aim is to bag cache as quickly as possible with scant regard of the location or what it offers. The challenge of the bag is the soul of geocaching and that does not include being able to claim over a hundred in a day. Saudi has not suffered the affliction of the Emirates where robbing caches remains prevalent. A legitimate DNF is part of geocaching but not when the cache has been removed! M of M&MS.
  18. So the first nano has made an appearance. We sincerely hope that the Kingdom does not follow the rest of the World where we consider nanos and micros overused and deprive cache setters of placing proper caches in places that deserve them. M of M&Ms.
  19. Well done MHFares do I feel you getting ready for another set of statistics?
  20. How great to see some new caches and such a healthy numbers of baggers. Clealry a sign of a turn around from the decline that accompanied the increased terrorist activity.
  21. We have agreed to archive Sabatean Writing after being asked to consider doing so. The grounds for the request is that a cacher was questioned somewhat aggressively by police about his presence there and told it was a forbidden area. Satellite photos do show a photo a fence close by though you don't cross it to reach the cache nor do you pass any of the usual signs informing you that you are approaching a Restricted zone . Interestingly we had a similar experience setting a cache in Wadi Niswah, clearly you don't have to be even aware that you may be approaching a Restricted area to be guilty . We did however hesitate before coming to our decision because the sabatean writings just across the track, after which the cache is named, is included in guide books!
  22. Ooer this would appear to be just a little bit like cheating.
  23. The very generous prize successfully retreived from a super cache. Thank you very much Mohammed M of M&Ms
  24. The council sat in debate. Opinion was split. There were those that thought that bagging the Chameleon had increased the importance of Saber6 and his fellows as Kingdom baggers while others thought that, though the bag was important, these people had yet to show their worth further from home. However that they chose the Chameleon at all was a point to ponder, that they had done so, so quickly after it had been set and that they had actually enjoyed the experience made these very singular people indeed. The implications for a future cache that must remain safe from all baggers took a lot of talk and time. What all the council did agree that whatever the prowess of these noble squires, The Scorpion’s Sting still remained safe and would force a DNF from them.
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