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Everything posted by M&Ms

  1. Perhaps it is opportune to give a reminder of our local guidelines as to gradings: Terrain difficulty: 1*- Tarmac; 2* - Track passable to 2WD; 3* - 4WD required; 4* - Challenging 4WD; 5* - Expedition desert driving. Overall difficulty: 1* - Open for all to see; 2* - Covered from view but obvious to a geocacher; 3* - Requires a bit of looking. 4* - Requires a lot of looking or out of the box thinking, 5* - A wee stonker. Please note when writing up a cache to consider the summer-bagger and if a person might be expected to be away from their vehicle for more than 15 minutes then you should consider a warning as to the need to carry water particularly if geoathleteing is required. This local interpretation avoids a considerable number of our caches have a total difficulty rating of 8* or more using the more conventional grading systems. Experience has shown that such high-and-tight gradings offer less than useful guidance to the baggers as to what they are in for. M of M&Ms
  2. We have long felt that some sort of regional watchdog might be useful who understands the area and knows the regular cachers on the patch. One of their responsibilities would be to alert locals that old caches need clearing out or to alert locals when a cache needs clearing that can no longer be maintained by the owner. Other duties would be to monitor gradings, those blatantly not playing by the rules and to assist newbies. Our current approver is awesome but before him we had afew that could be quite tiresome by the comments they made on some caches which we put down to a lack of appreciation of the geography and environment of our particular turf. There is an awful lot of local good will out there from cachers who are prepared to undertake tasks to maintain the reputation of the activity all they need is a little direction. M of M&Ms
  3. Ho ho. Garry Owen or Garryowen? Fare thee well on thy quest for yee will find, out there, a lot of stones yet to turn! And remember the foretelling of the Old Widow Hag From Kingdom "A saber will turn the stone that marks the M&Ms grave"
  4. Deep in the bowels of Arizona in the Covered Wagon chat wandered to the new boys on the patch - From the predecessor to the Reliant Scimitar I shouldn't think so. Saber 6 may have been a make of car but I don't believe it was the origin of this name...
  5. Thank you very much indeed. We are greatly honoured to have won this competition particularly given the quality of entries. Indeed we are very surprised that this particular entry attracted such a large following. It demonstrates the importance of artistic content. We were also surprised by the number of people who voted. Clearly some people outside the Kingdom participated probably because of the discussion surrounding the competition in the main forums. This must be to our benefit. Mohammed it was very generous of you to organise this competition. It moves Geocaching in the Kingdom on a further step to our mutual advantage. We look forward to see what you use you make of the photographs now. We hope we may continue to add to them. M of M&Ms
  6. Thanks for the comments. Yes they are of the same place. Taking scenery in Saudi is difficult, the magic just does not seem to transfer well to pixels. The problem with the magic hour is to be out of the desert and on blacktop before dark. The picture with the geocacher was taken as a diversion to take the opportunity of visibility being the best we had seen it in three years. It is a marvellous place for scenery.
  7. Great idea and thank you for the site. M of M&Ms
  8. Great stats... once again. Thank you very much. As you might guess, we are pleased to the see totals dropping a little to provide broader appeal though we have yet to encourage more families to set off in pursuit. Interestingly Quadrant 3 looks a little sparse probably because setters think that diffcult travel should be rewarded by a bit of a hunt. We are standing here with our faces screwed up wondering whether we will see combination stats for indivdual setters! M of M&Ms
  9. Aren't Attributes great. Regretably they don't sit neatly with what we have to offer in Saudi and so M&Ms will use liberal intrepretations. For example: Off road vehicles we use to mean that the site requires 4WD. Signifcant Hike we use to mean that you will be away from your vehilces for at least twenty minutes and therefore water, as a minimum, must be carried. M of M&Ms
  10. We have also considered a separate site mainly to get around the problem of the lack of maps on which to show where the caches are. We only rejected the idea because of the fall off of support following the security situation. The lack of a polling procedure certainly hinders what you aim to do but does not stop it. You could call for proposals, make a short list and ask for opinions and then sit in judgement yourself. Not as elegant as you would like but the aim is acheived. It is a shame, we did have a very active national cacher both on the ground and in these forums and he was a master with the camera. He would be just the person to assist in this but he appears to have stopped contributing. M of M&Ms.
  11. The maps are available but well guarded. An agent will load them on to your GPS but will not sell the software. You need to refill the GPS each time you change map set.
  12. Can't comment. It is all Arabic to us!
  13. We had a cache ready but security made it impossible to set, it was the day before the incident! We tried again a second time by the beach but didn't really a suitable site, we resist setting one for the setting sake. We still have the cache!
  14. Yes indeed all part of progress but it has taken a little bit of the fun out of what was an easy off-raod drive.
  15. I was intrigued by a cache setter wondering why we didn't grade our off-road caches 5*. It is true that under the Clayjar system they would be however in the absence of upto date mhfares statistical analysis I would say that the majority of our caches are off-road. We do need to differentiate between the degrees of difficulty especially to guide those that wish to avoid geoatheleticing. Anyway we have a much high percentage of 4WD owners than you might expect to find elsewhere and I am only aware of one active local member that uses a saloon vehicle. To state again the defacto local gradings: 1* for blacktop, 2* for track passable to saloon vehicles, 3* for easy 4WD driving, 4* for challenging 4WD driving and 5* when convoys and full recovery gear is required. The difficulty for finding a cache is the norm that you would normally expect elsewhere.
  16. We are hoping for a better year next year. The security situation on the Arabian Peninsula has really knocked the number of active geocachers hereabouts and those that do practise have set some specialised caches which don't really appeal to newbies. There is not much fun setting out on the chase to DNF because you can't get the family near the cache site, the route being a tad adventurous. Let's hope normality sets in soon because this place is a geocachers' heaven.
  17. HADIDAH'S METEORITE (GCAA76) is two days drive across sand desert: no roads, no gas stations and no stores. The find once you arrive is not diffcult.
  18. I disagree I think the setter does owe the seeker a good cache. For me geocaching is a fun activity to which I will invite people to join me for a fun day out and if that aim is not achieved then the setter has let me down. It can be very disappointing to seek a cache that has been poorly set, poorly maintained or set for no apparent purpose. In this latter category I include those set just because the setter has been somewhere or those where someone has looked for a site and not finding a suitable one sets a cache anyway. There are however caches that appeal to very different people. A cache suitable for the geoathlete is not suitable for those looking for a family amble and therefore the write-up is all important. All too often I find the geocaching experience is not what I anticipate at the outset. I have reached the stage when finding the cache is not the be all and end all and if a declared difficult cache is not found so what the heck provided it is not poor setting or a poor write up that is the cause of the did-not-find. The same is not true for beginners and occasional seekers where making a find is an important part of the fun. There are many different types of seekers and provided the cache it is set with a purpose, that purpose is achieved and clearly described in the write up you probably have a good cache that will please that group of seekers who want to enjoy the experience for the purpose for which the cache is set.
  19. .... and we hope you bag some of ours before you return. But where are you? Qatar or Iraq seems the best bet.
  20. I understand they are pushing a road from Madain Saleh to Tarbuk along the course of the Hijaz Railway. Can anyone provide an update as to progress and whether it has impacted on the fortifications?
  21. A stalwart gone and without a farewell cache... the security situation has a lot to answer for. Fare thee well good sire and as you bag the simple ones back home remember the diverse caches of Saudi Arabia M of M&Ms
  22. M&Ms

    Tbs Out

    The security situation combined with the heat means that some TBs have been hanging around longer than their owners might wish. We will over the next few months make a concerted effort to clear them out and move them on out of the Kingdom. Please feel free to assist in this campaign. The Lawrence (GCG2TR) may provide a suitable pick up point for those TBs on "Exit Only" Some caches present quite a challenge and TBs residing in those we will leave for the cache owners next maintenance check.
  23. Hi, Yes there are baggers in Iraq mainly visiting service men. You just need to be tad careful that the cache does not hold an unpleasant surprise!
  24. From casual baggers arise the geo-maniacs and casual baggers need caches. I believe that a few easy caches by popular sites gives people an opportunity to do a little extra on their visits and so generate interest. What comes the first the bagger or the cache? But well done for Bahrain.
  25. Oops. Someone thought that Scarinian related to a true character and when they learned the truth suggested a book of Scarinian adventures based around the caches. I think that would be a little hard for some Saudi-baggers to swallow. Perhaps your idea would be best incorporated into our own web site and take it from there. Certainly our caches are being used by more deserteers looking for site coordinates and that can't be bad and at least two groups have become casual players as a result. Shame this will only last until the new releases of guide books which now include co-ordinates.
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