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Everything posted by bunkerdave

  1. Not long after I started caching, a cacher went out to a little utility box and put his GPS unit on it. This was before anyone ever heard of SIRF or iPhone or even "mobile web"..the name of the cache was "Who's Right" and it was a virtual cache. I think it's still posted, as I can't see any reason it wouldn't be. The idea was to go there and put your GPS in the exact spot, which was easy to do, since if you didn't, it would usually eventually slide off the utility box. So over the years, and as GPS technology increased and progressed, there got to be a LOT Of readings. I even went there with a few different units as I replaced my old ones, and posted new coordinates. The cool thing was that over time, the CO would take all the readings that were posted and plot them on a graph, and rank those who had posted coordinates according to the averaged (mathematical average, not GPS average) coordinates based on ALL those posted. In this way, it was believed that it could be determined who had the "right" coordinates for that specific location. Another point of validity of this experiment is that all the readings were taken on different days, in different conditions, by unrelated parties (other than their affinity for geocaching.) Quite interesting, to me at least. The cache is in Utah, if anyone wants to look it up. If I ever find myself up there again with a few minutes to kill, I shall stop by and do a test with my iPhone 4 and my 60CSx, and my Oregon 550T. I'd like to see which one gets closest to the "right" coordinates. That said, I use all three. The iPhone is an invaluable tool if only for knowing I have the current cache data. In years past I spent far too much time (any is too much) searching for caches that had several DNFs already posted on them, or were even disabled/archived. That doesn't happen anymore, and that's all thanks to the iPhone app. The 60CSx and the Oregon do seem to be more accurate, but really, once I get within about 20 feet of a cache the GPS device goes in a pocket and the eyeballs become the guidance system. Maybe it's just my bias, but if I need to check the coordinates and see where Ground Zero "actually" is, I still use the CSx. When I'm in the backcountry, I load the coordinates into the CSx and use it. I will save the cache page to the memory in the iPhone in case I need any information tho. ANYHOW..I could go on much longer, but in my opinion, the iPhone is the hands down best for cache information access. (OR whatever smartphone you prefer). It does that best, so I use it for what it does best. The "real" GPS units do navigation best...so I use them for that. That said, my CSx and Oregon do NOT have satellite photos on them, which is almost essential for finding caches in the city, what with buildings and high walls and such hindering the "as the crow flies" approach we cachers are so fond of when in the outback. It's nice to be able to see where the cache is and determine the best way to get to the best parking location without all the trial and error I used to go through. Saves a lot of gas, as well. I also like having the CSx set on the arrow screen, navigating, and having the iPhone available for getting any informaton that might be helpful, without all the screen switching I'd have to do if i were limited to only using ONE unit. Final point: It really doesn't matter which one you think is best. Use them all. Figure out which device does which operations the best, and use them for that.
  2. dadgum. Went looking for UTAG today in a fit of boredom and here I am. Someone let me know when the shooting stops. bd
  3. I was just in here looking for discussions about the "orange sticker bandit" (I just "found" another cache that has been replaced by a sticker) and found this thread. Thanks very, very much for the warm welcome. I've happened upon a few cachers already, just out about - caching - needless to say. I have really been enjoying caching here in AZ. I am very concerned about these stickers, but I hope my concern can be alleviated by more information. Has the AZ government decided that caches are litter? Are we really "breaking the law" by placing and maintaining caches? I looked up the statute ARS 13-1620, and while it certainly COULD be applied to geocaches, I have never heard of this being done, except way back in the day in Boulder, CO. Can anyone who knows anything e-mail me at jeepnski@gmail.com? I'd like to get involved in any efforts to remedy this. Truly saddened by this. bd
  4. Congrats on making yet another formerly fun challenge irrelevant and meaningless. Not sure who gets the bigger bronx cheer - those who chase these things or those who place them. I'll take the 234 legit, unique, diverse, HIDDEN caches we found over 1000+ of whatever these were every day of the week. Ugh.
  5. At about 7pm I logged into the GC app on my iPhone and it popped up a "souvenir" for 10-10-10...then I remembered I needed to find a cache...so after we were done with dinner, I went to the nearest cache (which happened to be right across the street from where we were) and found that it had a few DNFs...not wanting to waste any time, we went to the next closest cache, and were able to make a quick find there. So..two hunts, one find, and another cool date memorialized. fun.
  6. One of my very first caches in 2001 was a cache that was actually hidden in the fence around my backyard, which was adjacent to a tricky little neighborhood park that was surrounded on all sides by backyards - most of which had very nervous and noisy dogs in them. There is a narrow, well hidden driveway that allows public access to the park, but it's easy to overlook, and there is no way to get in without alerting the canine sentries. I have since sold the home and moved away, but the cache is still in the park. I had a great time when I lived there because once the dogs started barking, my own dog would join in and I could sneak out into my backyard with my camera and take pictures of folks as they found my cache. I met a lot of people that way, and got some fun photos. I have never done the research, but considering that was Utah's 100th geocache, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the first cache set up for that purpose. Either way, it's certainly been part of a trend.
  7. I've been having fun since April 26, 2001. That means I win.
  8. It sounds like you are planning on creating a "structure" of some sort below ground, large enough for a person to enter completely...right? If so, then this would not technically be a "buried" cache. Of course, I can't imagine any land manager of any public land being ok with this idea. On the other hand, if it were done on private property, then pretty much anything goes, as long as you have permission. I would be very mindful of the potential liability you could face in the event of a cave-in or something...and knowing cachers as I do, that is a very good likelihood. We frown on burying caches. I see buckets and ammo cans buried up to their lids all the time, however, and have never heard of anyone having any problem getting these approved. What you seem to be suggesting sounds very cool...but I don't think I would recommend it., due to the hazards involved.
  9. Since you use GSAK, download the POI macro for your unit, and then load all the unfound caches in your GSAK database into your GPS, using POIloader from Garmin's website. Best use of memory I've seen. I'm still dumbfounded when I see CSx owners who don't do this, but maybe they like running back to their computers all the time.
  10. Not sure if you are a GC.com subscriber or not (I am astounded how many "serious"cachers are still too cheap to support the site and spring for it) but since you are using the iPhone, I will assume you are. You can still use your iPhone even when you are offline, by creating a pocket query and downloading it to your iPhone app. You will have 1000 caches along your route (assuming you know what it is) and I am pretty sure the GPS in your iPhone works with or without cell service. As far as GPS...I have loaded caches as custom POIs in my Nuvi, and it's....just ok. You can do it, and it works, but I sure wouldn't want a Nuvi as my only GPS for geocaching. Since you already use the iPhone primarily, tho, you would probably be just fine with it. It does give spoken directions (most do NOT speak the NAME of the street, however, just FYI, which is pretty disorienting when you get into some larger cities. You just have to pay closer attention. Hope that helps a bit. I love the downloaded PQs in my iPhone...it even sorts by distance. The only downside is there is no map, so you won't know the difference between which cache is actually closest, and which is the shortest trip away.
  11. Just for that, we're not sharing our satellites Hey, things are not so bad now. We're only a few months behind Europe and Asia now, instead of 2 years, for new phones (excluding phones by US companies). We're always behind because companies here are not interested in bringing any new products/services to market until they are sure they've squeezed every last penny out of the last ones. When market share drops, they release new products. There's no mystery to that.
  12. You might find this virtual cache to be of interest: GC3997
  13. Sounds like a good way to wean myself OFF caching. Tho I have little interest in "power trails" I did go out and hit one for about an hour a couple weeks ago just to see what kind of pace was possible. With someone else doing the driving, on a trail that had caches roughly every .1 mile, I got 55 in an hour. And wasn't really even breathing hard. Granted, my driver knew where most of them were, having been to them before, and the jeep had no doors, and there was no traffic, but it can be done. Doing the math, if it were possible to do that for 24 hours, that would be over 1200 caches in a day. Not my cup of tea, to be sure (I was quite bored after just an hour) but it's a little interesting to speculate. Also kind of makes all those much ballyhooed "world records" a little less impressive, to be honest, since pretty much ALL of those these days are being done with power trails.
  14. Wow...THIRTY unfound caches? Where is that? I feel a roadtrip coming on. Most of my FTFs have been due to having alerts sent to my cell phone. If you have a lot of FTF hounds (whores?) in your area like I do, you won't have a chance if they have a head start on you. Know how far you can really go and still have a realistic shot at FTF. For me, if it's more than about 3 miles as the crow flies from my home, I'm probably not going to get it. Learn to use the textmarks. You can get all the information you need about a cache by using text messaging on your cell phone. Coordinates, hints, etc. You can log the find, too, and spare others the misery of chasing an FTF that has alreay been claimed...then again, I sometimes like to lurk around after an FTF to see others come along later. If you are in the market, or havent' done so, consider a smartphone, or one that can run one of the geocaching apps. I use the iPhone, and this makes a HUGE difference in caching in general, but particularly with FTFs. I can actually see the cache site on many caches with Google maps before I even get there. Finding the cache is practically a formality at that point. I can't emphasize enough the importance of a good headlamp. Black Diamond makes one with a 3 watt main beam. It's pricey, but unbeatable for night caching (which is when most FTFs are claimed). You'll go blind in a hurry looking for caches with anything less. Back into your driveway. (like cops and firemen do) Leave boots and jacket in your car, so you don't have to waste precious seconds getting them on. I usually just wear sandals on sudden runs anyway..I like Keens best for caching. Bring a co-pilot (if you are lucky enough to have one who will come with you) They can look things up and start searching while you park the car, or better yet, they can drive and park while YOU start looking. Plus, it's just more fun with a friend. The thing that makes the biggest difference to me is being able to load the coordinates into my GPS while I am en route. Best to have a co-pilot for this, but who hasn't entered a waypoint while driving? The text alert you get will have a general bearing and distance to the cache, so you can head that direction, and get the coordinates from the text messages. With a smartphone, you just click the link in the text/email and it shows you the cache page, and with the iphone, you can just look it up on the Geocaching Application and you don't even have to put it in your GPS, since the iPhone is a GPS itself. I usually put it in my GPS anyway, but that's just me. Anyway, there's a few pointers. Have fun. To each their own, but getting the "bat signal" and taking off at odd hours to get a quick FTF is some of the most fun I've had caching...even those STFs and TTFs are fun too...just not quite as satisfying.
  15. I ran into NVtriker at one of his caches NE of Las Vegas last Friday as he was on his way down to claim what he could of the "Trail of the Gods." We talked for a little while about it, and I was pleased to hear Groundspeak was stepping up and doing something about it. What I really don't get is why it was even published in the first place. We can all sit around and gnash teeth and split hairs over whether a "record" is legtimate or not, but I doubt there will ever be a consensus as to what is the "right" way to geocache. I do think, however, that we all know instinctively what caching is and what it is NOT. Everyone else is welcome to do as they wish...having done a couple hundred caches in a day once myself, I know that it can be a lot of fun to plan a HUNT and work it to the best of your ability. That said, if you know where the caches are before you even get to the site, it's NOT a hunt. I am not going to say that it's not "fun". And to each their own. On the other hand, I think that these "power trails" are bad PR for the sport, ESPECIALLY when they are placed on hundreds of powerline towers which really are to be avoided. We should be doing things to encourage a favorable image of our sport, not doing things like this that only make us look like a bunch of weirdos who think the world belongs only to us and we can do whatever the heck we want in it. All that is going to get us is more closed areas and restrictions, and fewer places to enjoy our sport.
  16. Zactly... Will people please stop saying anything is a world record just because you do something? Honestly.. there is no "world record" for power caching. it's neat that you do it but really.. that's all it is... Neat They found more caches in a 24 hour period than anyone else in the world. That's a record...a world record. Not quite sure why some insist it's not? 566 is cool but until people start paying referees to follow them around and verify the effort, there are no records. Add to that the fact that the so-called "record" and it's legitimacy is impacted greatly by the terrain and other logistical factors, it is not likely to be something that will become "official" anytime soon. And if it's not official, it's not a record. Rules are pesky like that.
  17. I hope you put them all back where you found them, as you found them.
  18. When I got my first Oregon, I quickly realized that I was going to need the backlight ALL the time for the unit to be usable. So i went for the NiMhs and that is all I use in my GPSRs anymore. I still use Energizers in my headlamps, but I rarely have to change the batteries in those, since I don't turn them on unless I actually need it to find a cache. I can usually get about 8 hours from a charge on the Energizer NiMhs, and then I just swap them out with the two other sets that are always charging in my car. I can't understand why anyone would use anything but rechargeables in a GPS, but maybe some folks have way too much money. In any case, Being able to just leave the backlight on without worrying about how much batteries cost is so worth it, and it's good for the environment, as well as infinitely more convenient. If I can ever find a rechargeable that gives good brightness to my headlamp, I'll use them there, too, but so far, they just don't cut it.
  19. On some screens you will see a bulls-eye looking button at the bottom...you can use that to set a location you wish to search near, including coordinates, caches, or just a spot you pick from a map. I do believe it tells you the distance from the point you chose, not the distance from your current location. No need to go into demo mode or alter your location.
  20. As a very frequent night cacher - often ALL night - I have invented numerous responses to the "what are you looking for" inquiry: "Bodies...you seen any?" "A warm place to sleep" "My Keys" "My contact lens" "Your momma" "Ancient Scripture" (I live in Utah) "Golf balls" (nearest golf course was miles away) "Whatever I happen to find" "Cans to trade in to get a hot meal" "The bag of pot I ditched here earlier" "My wife's diamond ring" (This one is especially good as a practical joke, since after determining the cache is MIA, lots of laughs can be had watching them start looking after I leave.) The main thing is, under no circumstances will I ever tell them what I am really doing. The only time I give a straight answer is if it's a cop asking the question. Once, I was looking for a ceche a ways off from my car, and could see my car from where I was searching. I saw a cop pull up behind my car, and since it was night, and I had my very bright headlamp on, I am sure he saw me, as well. Not really wanting to deal with another bored cop, I simply kept searching, and he stayed put. After a while, I gave up, and instead of going back to my car, where I would certainkly have had to deal wtih him, I walked about a quarter mile to the nearest cache, found it, and returned back to my car. I think he must have gotten a call, since I saw him drive off as I was walking back toward him. So my rule is, if you act like you are doing something you shouldn't, then people will treat you like you are. On the other hand, if you act like you have all the right and reason to be there in the world, or even like THEY are the ones encroaching on YOU, then they will leave you alone. Most of the time, if I am at a cache long enough for someone to wonder what I am up to, it's highly unlikely that they are going to spot it passing by, so revealing the cache's whereabouts is rarely a real risk.
  21. It would be interesting to have someone with a few thousand finds test the difference between "actual miles" and the distance computed using the macro from INATN's engine. Mine is over 100k, and I would not be surprised if that was pretty close. I think that would mean that over the last 8.5 years, I have traveled an average of 32 miles per cache, which seems high. I have travelled a bit to get a few, but going to FL, NY, NH, CA, and a trip to the Caribbean would not have skewed it that much. Ther are some programs that can plot an optimized route for several waypoints, but I have yet to see one that could handle hundreds of points, let alone thousands. Personally, I think I am better off not knowing how many miles I've gone for caching...although it might help solve the mystery of where all my money went.
  22. I got two this week that I am pretty sure no one else has even logged yet. That kind of takes some of the fun out of it....albeit after the fact. I like to hang around for a bit after an FTF to see if any others show up...seems to have slowed down a bit with the cold weather.
  23. it does seem a little pricey for a cache container.
  24. It comes and goes for me, but right now, it's definitely ON. If a cache is within a few miles of me, and it is not in an area where I happen to know one of the other crazy zealots lives, then I will join the race. As for why...well, it's a competition that is fun, and doesn't really take a lot of time. Having the most finds used to be fun, but then it just got out of hand. There used to be some good stuff in caches, and often there was something extra special for the FTF, so I guess that got me kind of hooked. Now i just like feeling like I am better than everyone else.
  25. I am probably guilty of being a "FTF hound", so here is my take on this. A "gifted ftf" sucks. I see them from time to time here, and I have actually gone after a few of them, and "stolen" the ftf from the intended. This was an oversight on my part, since my new cache notifications on my cell phone come to me via text, and all I have is the distance from my home and the GC ID, which I then use to get coordinates via textmarks. I never even see the cache description (usually) until I get done finding the cache. SOooo...I have "stolen" a few ftfs from people who specifically asked that it be "reserved" for a specific cacher. Oh well. My bad. He shoulda stayed up later (or whatever). I guess I still yearn for the old days when we pretty much just did whatever we wanted. Ok...i STILL do "whatever I want" but that's just me, an ornery guy with a bad attitude and authority issues. It's always easier to get forgiveness than permission. If the cache is out there...and you like being FTF, go get it. Rules are for sissies.
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