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Everything posted by MMaru

  1. MMaru

    A Rant

    I found my first TB just a couple months after I started geocaching. I did not scrutinize every help file available so I didn't know what I had; however, the fact that it had blatant instructions on the tag as to what to do with it made it pretty simple. I went home, followed the instructions on the tag, and was tickled to discover that the TB I was holding had come all the way from Belgium and had been travelling for seven years already. That first experience got me hooked! I will almost always take a TB to move it along now, and have started photographing each one so I can make a TB page for my scrapbook. Unfortunately, given how often they disappear, I don't even bother to look at the inventory when I'm picking out caches, but I do try to check when I'm logging later so that if I came across a cache and there were no coins or TBs, I can make a note of that in my log. I think there are a number of issues that contribute to this, not just the app ordeal. A lot of TBs are attached to something really cute or interesting, and it's possible that kids who are caching with their parents and don't know any better grab it up as swag, and parents don't think to check and see if that stuffed Snoopy's collar is actually a TB tag. I have at least one TB that was taken by a couple who got really into geocaching... for about two months. They have not logged a find since March, and have not answered the polite email I sent regarding my TB. So my take on it: I still release TBs into the world for fun, and when I find one, I'm delighted, but I don't maintain any expectations for them!
  2. Hello! I was just curious about how people decide which caches they'll go for on any given day. Personally, I generally have one "main" cache - whether it's a potential FTF that I'm going after, another cemetery hide to add to my list, or one that just sounds really interesting - then I use the map on the cache page to see what caches are nearby and/or along my route that I'd like to stop for. What's your method?
  3. I love finding trackables of any sort - TBs, geocoins, those other coin-like objects that shall not be named. I love TBs especially - I love seeing where they started out, all the hands that helped them along their journey, how many miles they've travelled. Like Mr.jonsey and Geogal, I like to trade out items and keep the swag in my 'cache stash.' Someday I'm going to place a regular sized cache and fill it up with all the stuff I've traded for.
  4. This is a shame - the work and effort that went into creating this geo-art was clearly monumental! Personally, I like the idea of geo-art. I like it because it gives me an extra goal to work towards. I like seeing how people use the natural geography of the area to make a picture. I like geocaching when it meets a specific goal rather than just for numbers. Whether you do it straight through or little by little, it's fun to watch your smilies turn into a shape or design. But ultimately, when it comes to people feeling safe or protective versus us cachers having fun doing what we do, we do have to bend to the peace of mind of others. I'm also curious about how the good relations with locals was originally determined, and what happened to sour that. There is a lot of farm area where I live and I'll admit, when I see that a cache is right alongside the road beside a field, it makes me a little uneasy and I'm less likely to go after the cache after hearing stories like these. One CO who encountered problems with an angry landowner just moved the cache to the other side of the road - that is really not helping the situation in the least. I don't think that banning power trails and geo-art is the answer, though admittedly, I don't have a better idea. Power trails get a bad name, too, but they don't always deserve it - there is a hiking trail near me that has caches just about every 528' of its 12+ miles. It's a trail that is meant for walking, as opposed to a lonely road somewhere. Maybe if we stuck with keeping power trails on actual trails like that, they wouldn't be as much of an issue.
  5. Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but it sounds like the only indication that the OP had that the replacement log was not the intended log was prior familiarity with the CO's hides. If the person who left the replacement and the dozen others after didn't know to look for a special logbook, I can completely understand why they would do exactly what was done. Personally, I rarely check to see who the CO is on a cache, so it wouldn't occur to me to look for a pattern. Possibly the non-OP finders had no idea to look for a special logbook. Overall, just sounds like a big misunderstanding. In Judge MMaru's opinion, the OP was right and not at fault, the previous finders were not wrong, and the CO sounds awesome for rigging such a cache and making special logbooks, but maybe ought to include something on the cache page (if it's not already there, that is!) to indicate that there is a specific logbook to hunt for.
  6. I found a MJ bud in a cache once. When I looked at previous logs, I saw that a somewhat new cacher shortly before I found it had posted a note that made it pretty obvious they were the ones that did it. I sent a polite email pointing them to the guidelines. I removed it from the cache and got rid of it - didn't want anyone else stumbling across it, especially since the cache was behind a restaurant where a family might've easily gone after it together after a nice meal.
  7. Always depends on circumstances for me, too. I think the longest I've ever spent actively searching for a cache was about an hour. I tend to cache after work, so I'm kinda tired and often just want to get my cache and go, so when I come across one that shouldn't be that difficult and it takes me more than fifteen minutes, I'll usually call it quits and DNF it, and come back another day. On the other hand, I definitely spent more time than usual looking for a cache whose coords were about 25 feet off - not that big of a deal, but that put it on the other side of a creek, so we weren't looking near it for a good while. I was there for about twenty minutes and probably would've given it up except that it was a FTFer, and a fellow local cacher who is an awesome FTF master came around as I was hunting. We searched together, and rather than bail out while he was there, I stuck it out a bit longer till we made the find. I will also put more time into a hide that has taken more effort to get to GZ, either due to distance or terrain difficulty.
  8. I'm not a CO, but I don't think you're out of line at all. What I'd suggest, if this is an option for you, is to attend an event. If the COs are there, great! Touch base with them. If not, that's fine, too! In my experience, cachers love to share, and no doubt someone who has found the cache previously will be more than happy to help you out. Then you get to solve the cache and make a future contact point.
  9. I've been meaning to pick those books up! Good thing I have a birthday coming up and people asking what I want...
  10. I had actually forgotten what I wrote in my bio, so I went back to check! Apparently I just put in when I started geocaching and what my geocaching goals are. When I look at other people's bios, I like to see a paragraph or two about geocaching: what got them into it, what sort of caches are their favorites, what they like best about it, etc. And I'm always interested to learn what else they're into outside of geocaching, too. I'd suggest looking at other people's bios to get a feel for what's out there and then write whatever you'd like to share. Stats are cool but there is a special part of everyone's profile specifically for them - your bio can be about YOU.
  11. Maybe a log was full and they were trying to log the find by writing their name on the samples? That's my best guess!
  12. Thanks for all the responses! I have to admit that I have never written more than my geocaching handle and date, except for maybe once or twice when I added "whoohoo!" on a FTF and once when I wrote "darn you, (FTFer)!" when a local FTF hound beat me by literally four minutes A cache that I came across recently had a ton of pages of detailed logs in the physical logbook, and it was really cool to read - but it was also a very remote log in the middle of the woods where you had to do an epic battle with walls of thorns to get to it, so it was definitely deserving of some extra time in logging! Trotter17, that's a really cool idea! Thanks for sharing! The cache that inspired my query (which, incidentally, is the same one that also had all those neat hand-written logs) also had a bunch of very short online logs that did nothing more than complained about the thorns, which the CO posted about on the GC page so it's not like you don't know what you're getting into. I left a long online log about how much I enjoyed it, favorite it, and then also sent the CO a private thank you message, cause I know he puts a lot of thought and effort into creating fun and educational caches. As for the camera, I'm a realist - I figure if I put one out there, it has a 50/50 chance of making it, if that It was one of the things I was looking forward to when I first was learning about geocaching, and I thought it would be fun for others, especially since I would like to build some very family-friendly caches in the future.
  13. Personally, I have only ever seen one cache that was wrapped in a plastic bag, and that was a guardrail cache. The other plastic baggie caches I have seen, I've heard called 'slimjims.' Generally these are plastic baggies that are then wrapped in duct tape. I really dislike these, personally, but have only seen two, both of which were in urban areas. I'm not sure how much you (OP) have looked into geocaching, but one thing that I don't think anyone has pointed out yet is that the geocaching community has a pretty good self-policing system in place. So if, for example, I were to go out and I found a plastic container that is starting to break apart, thus being more trash than cache, I can report that to the CO so that they can remove the trash and either replace it with a proper cache, or archive the cache. I will generally check and see whether the CO is still active or if they are one of the aforementioned type who get really into caching for a short period of time, the latter case in which you can generally assume they are not going to go take care of their cache, and you have the option to request archival. A lot of cachers will replace busted containers along the way, not to mention cleaning up trash in an area as they are hunting, helping keep garbage to a minimum. So I respect and appreciate your concerns for the environment, but I'm not sure they're as founded as you might think. I'm pretty sure the majority of us who geocache really love the environment and being out there to enjoy it is part of the appeal, so we try not to negatively impact it!
  14. Every now and then I come across a logbook where previous finders have written notes about their experience in the logbook itself. I love finding those and reading the real-time comments. One older cache I just found had quite a few of these entries, and the cachers who wrote these detailed notes on the physical log paper actually didn't write much at all on the on-line log. I never seem to see this in more recent finds. What changed? Why do you think people used to do that, but don't seem to do it anymore? Another question - is there any way to help boost a cache's popularity other than giving it a good log and a favorite point? Specifically there is one that I found recently that was all-around just so much fun to do! It was a multi, a nice, easy one to solve, but the cache itself had not been found in just under two years. I'd like to encourage other people to try for this cache. Is there anything that can help with that? And finally, I remember when I first started geocaching, I read that a lot of caches had disposable cameras in them so you could take your picture when you found it. I've yet to see a camera in a cache, but as someone who scrapbooks and generally just really likes taking and seeing pictures, I was thinking about throwing one into my cache when I hide one. Any particular pros or cons? Would you, as a cache seeker, enjoy taking a snapshot of yourself or your group like this? Thanks in advance for your responses!
  15. My suggestion: if there are any caches that you're having a hard time with, bring them up there. In my experience, geocachers LOVE to help one another out, and more than likely someone will be willing to give you hints if you want them. Otherwise, as previously mentioned, unless the cache page says otherwise, all you really need to bring is yourself. I like to bring any trackables I might have for others to discover, and a pen and paper to write numbers down for any trackables that others bring. Have fun!
  16. One of my favorite swag items I found recently was a little rock painted to look like a ladybug. Simple, cheap, and creative!
  17. I've only ever once had an issue where I physically could not sign the log. It was completely soaked and a pulpy mess. I took a picture of it in my hand and noted the situation when I logged it, including offering to send the pic if the CO needed it.
  18. A ketchup packet. Despite my reputation for putting ketchup on almost anything, I ended up taking that one out of the cache. Which incidentally, also contained a single almond that, it seemed, once had some kind of coating that had then melted onto the log. A tiny little firecracker. And the worst one so far... a marijuana bud! It's not legal in my state and even if it was, I'm pretty sure that's not appropriate swag for a family-friendly game. I removed it and e-mailed the previous finder who had left a note in their log making it pretty obvious that they were the one who left it - never got a response, but hopefully it was just out of ignorance and not trying to cause trouble. I'm pretty sheltered and never knew why it's sometimes referred to as "skunk" till I opened that cache.
  19. I haven't quit yet, but I have taken breaks in the past, even though I've only been into geocaching for less than two years. My reasons: -The weather - I'm not so committed that I'm going to bring a snow shovel so I can find a cache. When I was living in PA, and snow was on the ground for 4+ months out of the year, it was hard to get back into geocaching after being on hiatus for a long time. -It turned into a job - I tried to start a streak recently in order to meet a 100-day streak challenge. I did not even make it two weeks before I was feeling like I HAD to go get a cache that day to keep the streak going, turning it from something fun into an obligation. That took the enjoyment out of it for me temporarily. -Solitary caching - my fiancé has come with me a handful of times, but it's really not his thing. My friends and family all know that I cache, but they're not really interested in getting involved, so it's something that I try to make the time to do when I don't have other commitments and just have "me" time. That does not always happen as much as I'd like! I like caching solo because I get to take all the time I want to look around (recently killed half an hour looking for a killdeer nest near one cache, for example) but occasionally it just gets lonely, and not so fun knowing that I'm not sharing these experiences with anyone.
  20. We have a few FTF hounds in my parts, but as far as I know, there's none of this sneakiness and drama - in fact, I've known some of our most avid FTF'ers to take newbies out to share the FTF with them. I have a little under 350 finds and six or seven FTFs. I enjoy the thrill of being the first one to find a cache, especially because I know it's a race here. BUT what I really enjoy about it is the comraderie - the only time I've ever run into other cachers (except for once at a gas station) was on the FTF hunt, including my first where a FTF veteran shared the FTF with me. I also picked up a FTF not too long ago that had been published and left unfound for a full day already, even though a lot of our FTF'ers go after a cache as soon as they hear the published cache ping on their phones. I went out after this cache a day or two after it published and was excited to get a FTF! Later, one of the big FTF'ers noted in his log that he and another FTF master found it just an hour after me, but they had deliberately let it sit unfound for a day or two in order to give other people a shot at FTF. So even though we do have a few cachers who really get into the FTF part of the game, they've all been really classy, friendly, and more than willing to share the excitement of a FTF with others.
  21. I'm playing around with the new search, and while I was one of those who sort of bucked at it initially, the more I tinker around, the more I'm getting comfortable with it. But I am having an issue where, when searching for a specific cache series, the search results are randomly interspersing a huge chunk of a previous search result in the middle of the list. Specifically, I am trying to find SpiritQuest caches. In the added filters, I've been using SQ (the abbreviation commonly used in the titles of this series) and then going by the state. A long way down my list, though, it suddenly is changing from SQ caches, which are all 500+ miles away from me, to cemetery caches that are between thirty to one hundred miles away from me, and are not part of the SQ series. These seem to be the results of a previous search I'd done. If I scroll down through them, my SQ list continues on. I'd be more than happy to just ignore the nearby caches, but every time I click on an SQ cache, bookmark it, and then back up to the search results, it throws me right back onto the nearby caches. Am I doing something wrong? There are supposed to be over five hundred SQ caches, so scrolling through a big chunk of my search results over and over is a dizzying thought!
  22. When I make the drive between Pennsylvania and Missouri, which is roughly 800 miles each way, I tend to check out my route on MapQuest and pick cities that I'll be passing through, then look for some of the most favorite or interesting-sounding caches in each city. I have a binder that I usually use for notes on multi's and puzzle caches, but for this sort of trip, I organize my caches according to which ones I'll come across along the way. Because Earth Caches and Virtuals are a little harder to come by than traditional caches, I specifically seek those out - not only will they help plump nontraditional finds on my stats, but more importantly, they will take you to some of the most interesting places! I also try to pay special attention to any specific caching goals I'm working towards - for example, I really like cemetery hides and I am working towards a 100 Cemetery Caches challenge, so I'll go a little more out of my way for cemeteries along my route. I have never used the pocket query option - back when I first started caching, the consensus amongst the group that I talked to at events was that PQs were more of a pain than they were worth. Now that I'm hearing so many others suggesting them, I might have to give it a try!
  23. I definitely would have appreciated seeing something like this on cache pages when I was new to geocaching. It's well-written, polite, and educational without being aggressive or rude. I don't have any hides of my own, but I'd consider putting something like this on my cache page when I finally take that step, and assuming (because I don't expect to do otherwise) that what I hide is worth more than four letters. It's great if you're able to educate new cachers in the field, but in my year and a half of geocaching solo, I have only run into other cachers twice that I can think of, so having something like this on the page itself is nice.
  24. Typically when I get to GZ and see electrical boxes, I rarely look for the cache. It's probably just inexperience and not knowing exactly what to look for, but I'm not comfortable poking, prodding, and pulling at anything electrical - too concerned about messing with someone's power and doing damage that I absolutely can NOT afford to fix! Even though I'm not comfortable with them, though, I don't necessarily think they should be banned. One of the only ones I ever found was a small metal plate magnetically attached to the electrical box - wasn't hurting a thing, and you didn't have to open the box to find it, as it was attached outside.
  25. Haha - that's awesome! Looks like everyone took the whole thing pretty well - it's cool that the news writer put a link to geocaching.com in the article and will hopefully interest new cachers!
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