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  1. I wouldn't consider travelling anywhere at present, unless it was for an important reason, such as medical. Europe is having a surge in Covid. Fine to talk about future trips in years to come, but to talk about a trip this year appears to be living in an alternative universe, where there is no Covid. As for myself, I don't know when I will be able to travel overseas next (our borders are closed); maybe not even next year, unless the few remaining Covid caches in Australia (I think about 15 new cases today) can be eradicated and we can make a bubble with NZ and perhaps some Pacific Islands. Even some state borders are closed to cross border visits. My last new country was PNG in February.
  2. That seems to be more for inappropriate placements, though I don't know what happens after I enter my email address and select Other as the problem - whether it then gives me a text field I can explain the problem. However unlike normal caches where you can see there are a few other DNFs (so it isn't just me suffering cache blindness on the day) you don't know if you are just being stupid or if there is really a problem, unless of course you talk to others in the local community who may have run up against the same problem (as was the case with this one with the missing sign). Side note - in this case the CO has provided the answer in the question temporarily until he can get there next weekend and pick another sign, so it's not a problem here. But as ALs get abandoned by owners who lose interest I can see it could be.
  3. Don't spoil it, but after reading a bunch of articles, and looking at various pictures, I still don't know what to look for when it's time to look for it. Will it be a readable, identifiable tracking number (as a typical 6-digit/letter Tracking Code), or is it a puzzle to first "decode" which then reveals an official Tracking Code? How do I know what to look for when "the image" is published? Or is that also a secret? This may have been answered, but I scrolled through 4 pages of this thread, and read the TB page, and didn't see an explanation. External news articles that talk about all the "Easter eggs" say the image on the target (and I think they are more confused than I am) is "a Geocache" or "geocaching", if the article mentions it at all. EDIT: Nevermind. I tried an obvious thing, and it looks like it will be tough to be more specific without spoiling the surprise. But it sure brings up some questions, so I'll be back later.
  4. Ah, merci bien pour l'information! But can we talk English now, please? How did you do that - quote my English spoken post in French? :-) This one looks difficult if many leaves (or snow) are covering the ground. This might explain the many DNFs. I don't know why you have used the snow attribute here ("availabe in winter" doesn't match the picture too perfectly - with the snow flake it should be "available with snow"). I don't think you have good chances to find the cache if it is covored in snow. Keystone has given you the right information - the mail was sent before your log - but I still think you could use the (wrongly sent?) mail to rethink the cache. Or do you want a found it quote lower than 50 percent? If not there are several ways to help the cachers finding it, give a hint for example? That's a nice spot in the forest and I hope it doesn't get destroyed by the non-finders searching this hide. Micro without hint in the forest....
  5. I assumed Tahoe Skier5000 was worried about what happens when the battery's lifetime is up, not what happens when the fixed source of power runs out and needs to be recharged. He says the battery is not replaceable, but you say you can carry spare AAs. How does that work? The specs on garmin.com don't talk about AA batteries. My 66st would have been a brick if I couldn't replace the lithium batteries when the first set faded out after a year. Well, I suppose I could use it with a wire running to an external battery in my pocket, but I think I might have given up geocaching if that was my only option.
  6. Hey, I found a thread you can talk about quantity & quality I am pretty sure the discussion would fit better in it Thanks
  7. Can we just remember that there are people who love "quality geocaches" as well as people who love "quality time". Some won't prioritize a "quality geocache container" but a "quality location" or a "quality time with friends". Flip the table and you may have people criticizing someone who puts a long multi around a trail system when there could be multiple geocaches. Who should have higher priority? Neither. Because both are enjoyed and both are allowable. Find a place that works for the kind of cache you like, while also realizing that if you place a cache for an experience you like you may well be removing the option for a cache experience someone else likes that you don't. (and I'm not arguing for numbers - I have one of those single-cache-that-takes-up-a-trail-system caches; only arguing for remembering that people like different things (as we all know) but how we talk about people who like different things really sets a tone for the community.
  8. Hi all, A couple of geocaching video creators from New Zealand recently shared an interesting talk about the events leading up to Selective Availability being disabled. I thought it was really interesting and wanted to share it here. From the video description: "This Cache Walk is a talk by Jason Kim from the National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing, Washington, D.C. He talks about turning off the Selected Availability (SA) feature in 2000 which increased the GPS accuracy to the public allowing the game of geocaching to begin." I hope you enjoy this.
  9. Absolutely. The puzzle could be connecting to the wifi then visiting a URL by ip address which serves a website. (or who knows what other experiences could be provided by that sandboxed wifi) 100% feasible! I'm the developer of a couple of web based applications that use a web server and browser but are intended to be used without (or very limited) internet access. One of them has been installed in hundreds of research locations around the world, exclusively in developing countries. Another similar project is something called SolarSpell (https://solarspell.org/) that basically a solar powered digital library that can be built (instructions are on the web site) by a local institution in a developing country. I've met with the the developer of the project several times to talk about some potential collaboration.
  10. Why would they need to hide geocaches to battleship the finals? They could just use the saturation checker without actually submitting any caches for review. This is not the first time this topic has come up. Here is one of Keystone's replies to one of the earlier threads: So, suppose I tell you that your proposed location is 110m northwest of the final coordinates for "Cacher Conundrum," a five-star puzzle cache that only four people have ever solved and logged in the past three years. Armed with that intelligence, you track down the container and sign the log at the same time when you move your cache to a spot that's 162m away. What do I get for being helpful? A flaming email from the CO of "Cacher Conundrum," who also posts to three Facebook groups, and files a complaint with Geocaching HQ that I gave away secret information and ruined the puzzle cache. Having had that happen to us enough times, reviewers nowadays are constrained to be less forthcoming with details. Depending on your reviewer, you may get a hint, like "you are less than 161m from "Cacher Conundrum," GCABCDE, or you may get a hint that you should strongly consider moving to the southeast, or you may not get any guidance at all. So, that's how come. In a world where people hack lab caches and share the final coordinates of puzzle caches in Facebook groups, the inevitable outcome of such a feature would be to spoil every puzzle cache, multicache and Wherigo cache, plus a fair percentage of letterbox hybrid caches. There are people who like placing and finding these cache types. Geocaching.com has chosen not to alienate them by ruining the ability to keep the actual locations a secret. "But all I need is a distance and direction," you might say. So, the cheater simply enters enough coordinates into the planner tool to permit them to hone in on the actual location through triangulation. Think that can't happen? Talk to the travel bug stalkers who watch for drops of trackables in unpublished caches so they can figure out the locations and log a pre-publication "FTF." Talk to the group of cachers who hid traditionals in every conceivable spot within two miles of a 5-star puzzle, knowing they'd eventually "battleship" their way to a hit, and then they could do a scorched earth hunt within that area. I foiled them by publishing their cache even though it was 200 feet away from the puzzle final. Reviewers are smart humans*, you see, and that is better than an automated system. *Many reviewers are dogs.
  11. For the same reason you do not stick to logging one type only? Would you be happy if you eat the same meal every day? Sorry to say, but it almost sounds like you are against a level playing field? As was mentioned, some prefer one type over another, and that right there should be enough! To be honest, I feel a remark like that can only come from someone who sits neck deep in geocaching luxury and is spoiled for choice with no reason to complain about anything. Your remark about quality also suggests we do not have quality caches, somewhat arrogant and not appreciated! According to your profile, you are located in Germany (beautiful country btw), more specifically Karlsruhe, I could not help but notice that you have about as many caches in a radius of 8km as we have in entire Malaysia, an area of 330.800 km². I do not know how many active players Germany has, be we have about a dozen only, half of them expats (read: temps), please refer to the geocaching map for detail. Before you say, "place more caches" , another thing I have noticed is that I have created twice the amount caches than you have. In any case, you definitely get more out of the game as a seeker! Before the virtual rewards we had only 1 virtual, nothing else. When Virtual Rewards 1.0 came out, exactly 2 were dropped in Asia. Only 0.1% had landed outside North America and Europe! We had to remind HQ that the world is larger than that! They tried to correct the situation with Virtual Rewards 2.0, but yeah, you can't distribute caches when there are no players to distribute them to, right? If you want to check "geographic spread", feel free to check the distribution maps for virtuals and adventures! But the list goes on, no webcams, no mega/giga events, no reviewers or lackeys visiting with their pockets full of goodies, none of that. We do not run out for FTFs, we save the caches we have for the souvenir runs, and the demands for those are not always friendly to cachers in remote regions! You tackle me when I talk about cache diversity, and suggest to go for quality instead. About quality, we have spent years cleaning up the scene of zombie caches, and have brought up the quality of our game significantly! The number of caches has increased significantly too! We have also successfully lobbied for our country souvenir, we had articles published in newspapers, started social media, we handed out caches, promoted however and whenever possible! But... we're only a dozen strong, and we can only do so much! Any player has a limited reach, and can only realistically maintain a certain amount of caches. So why should we not ask HQ to look our way and ask for extra support? We are few, and virtual caches allow us to expand the game beyond our reach and personal limits. I doubt they will unlock the game to allow geocaching to grow unrestricted, but supplying virtual types to the few players who keep the game going outside North America and Europe, the same ones that allow HQ to keep touting the game as "global", that comes at no extra cost for HQ and should be a no-brainer. Mind you, because there are few cachers in Malaysia, most of the geocaching traffic, say 99%, comes from tourism, so we are not so much placing caches for ourselves, but for the many tourists (many Germans btw) that visit. Right now we suffer lockdown and restrictions, but while the game is going strong in Germany and is actually promoted as an outdoor activity, the game is flat on its behind in Malaysia since March 2020 and unfortunately it will be for some time to come. So excuse me if I suggest that HQ should invest more in the few players that currently keep the game going against all odds. As I so often say, we too are part of the game, and deserve more than the odd bone thrown, a bone for which we actually have to remind them (beg?) every so often. As NLBokkie mentioned a few posts ago, personal preferences are subjective, and of course quality caches are a must, but it would be good to be aware that not all countries bathe in geocaching luxury the way Germany does. And it is not because Germany has been served, and you have a distinct preference, that we have to settle for the standard cache types! If you look at the geocaching maps, any of them, it is clear that HQ should invest more virtuals in the countries that could use a leg up. As said, it cost them nothing, but it would make a huge difference on the map! If you know that there are cities with more virtuals and adventures than some continents, you really have to question "geographic distribution" as it is today. They love to refer to their own rules when it comes to "requests", but they seem to forget they also make the rules. In an effort to allow left behind countries a fair chance to catch up, why not handpick a few prominent cachers and supply them with 10-20 virtuals and a handful of adventures? More caches on the ground (virtuals tend to be reliable and have a longer lifespan), more chances to attract new players, ... do it right and everyone benefits! Cost for HQ to drop credits based on reviewer feedback is minimal, and requires good will more than anything else. Apologies for the long post, only because I care. Cheers!
  12. I found out about this because you popped in on Geocache Talk one night and talked about it. I have a feeling that led to an increase of participants this year.
  13. We've been talking about L5 here in the forum for a while, and are looking forward to GPSIII satellites in the future as well. L5 should help to resolve some of the issues that degrade positioning performance. GPSIII will mean that we no longer need to depend upon ground based references like WAAS and EGNOS, which will be nice as well. And more birds in the sky has already improved ephemeris issues and the occasional lousy HDOP that we used to encounter for a couple of hours on particular days when the constellation was a bit whacked relative to our ground position. But there will still be challenges to getting the level of precision described in that talk in anything but ideal conditions. Multipath issues, which I think will likely be improved by L5, will always remain a bugaboo that has to be dealt with in software to some lesser or greater benefit. Quickly sorting whether a signal is direct or reflected is certainly something that continues to perplex some GPSr manufacturers now. S/N ratios will remain an ongoing technical challenge as well. Again, not an issue under ideal open sky conditions, but we don't always cache in an ideal environment. Heck, I don't even know if Garmin's clocks (or any others in consumer goods) are tight enough to resolve the levels that this guy is talking about (0.63m?) Would be interesting to know whether the GPSr chip manufacturers are going to have to improve their own specs to take advantage of this, and how difficult or costly it might be. They may be there now, or it could pose a hurdle. No way to know from where most of us sit. As an aside: Good on them for finally preparing to dump NAD83 in favor of a more realistic model. Long overdue.
  14. I will be on Geocache talk podcast show #222 discussing creating Adventure Labs that go beyond the "magical history tour" model that is so common. You don't have to have anything interesting to make an AL that can amuse. I just published one that tells a story but uses nothing from the environment. It could be transplanted to Iowa and play the same. It uses simple puzzles and riddles for the player to solve in the field. A very simple way to do something in an area with nothing of interest, is an I Spy game - particularly good for kids. Listen in Live or watch it later. November 1, 6 pm Pacific.
  15. That seems like the best answer to me. GerandKat's rules of thumb only talk about the specific physical location. I find that often the least significant part of a cache.
  16. i have a problem and not sure how to fix it . i have a old lap top on vista and runs an old version of chrome and my gps does communicate ok with it. but my windows7 based pc used to comunicate to the gps then chrome and firefox and others change things to make the it safer to use the web .i belive since then i plug the gps in and the computer does not even know its there, i have down loaded the plugin from garmin still no go its getting to a point i belive its the windows7 based pc and chrome that have caused the connection problem , but how do i sort it please help in easy to understand computer garble. cheers steve
  17. Who do I contact and talk to if I have a problem with a reviewer? I am trying to hide and publish my first geocache but the volunteer reviewing my geocache asserts that it is in Indian Reservation Land despite the fact I have a vast amount of evidence to prove it is not. Please help.
  18. There has been talk of a system that would fulfill this requirement.
  19. Hi all, I was asked to do a "Nerd Nite" talk- a ~30min talk on a nerdy topic, usually to an audience of 20-30 somethings, at a bar over beers on a Friday night- about geocaching. This isn't for two months, so I have time to prepare! But I was wondering, has anyone given such a talk before for the general public about geocaching, and if so are there any resources for writing one? Obviously, the first part I know has to be a general explanation about how geocaching works, and I have a mess of pictures from my adventures in exotic destinations where I found geocaches (like Tibet and Argentina), so was thinking one or two anecdotes from there. I was also thinking of highlighting one or two local caches that I think are cool, but don't want to pick ones that are too easy to find if you just want to vandalize them... luckily here in Amsterdam we have one or two "by boat" geocaches under bridges, so one of those might be cool to show. But hey, these are just some ideas I'm tossing around, and I'm happy to hear any others folks might have. Thanks all!
  20. Some odd reason, once in a while I forget that I went into the woods with a hiking stick. I always have a hiking stick. We don't usually buy cheap, so then I have to lug my can wherever I left it last. Talk about a spoiler ! "Yoo-hoo ! The cache is right here...!" The last time was only eight miles, but it was almost dark. I was second-to-find, so left a note if someone would grab it for me. - And they did. But I never forget a writing instrument.
  21. Avast! Got me event on the calendar and the port authorities notified to expect a band of hardies to drop anchor on the 19th of September. Anything going elsewhere?
  22. Everyone, Say what you need to say! Its 2:00!!
  23. Here's an unpopular point of view. "One and Done", "Weekend Cachers"; whatever you call them. People who download the app and go out without knowing or caring what they're doing. We talk about them here in the fora all the time. This doesn't make them necessarily bad, just uninformed or uncaring. People tend to see what's in front of them as "it". The App can say "Go to the Website" on every screen, but the average person;e tendency is to say "Well, I'm here in the app, playing the game," so they won't. ---------- If you have to balance the 'business needs' of GS as a money-making entity against our needs of protecting the hobby against people on a joy ride through random things to do, I'll pick protectionism every time. This ISN'T Angry Birds or Candy Crush as someone alluded to above. At it's core this is a manually constructed, human effort hobby that exists in the physical world. It doesn't matter how many people have access to the top level of Angry Birds (if there is such a thing) because NOTHING is at stake except profit from app-sales. In Geocaching, what's at stake is the physical effort, time, expense and materiel that goes into the creation and maintenance of the playing pieces in the REAL WORLD, otherwise known as geocaches. Yes, you can play for free forever. You can even HIDE caches for free! That's a wonderful, respectable operating foundation of the company. But, it's SOOOOOO easy to ruin a geocache, even if you have no malice. Even if you have respect. Take stuff home, leave it exposed, log spoilers, relocate to make it easier, throwdowns.... We get all that from PAYING players who presumably should have a higher chance of knowing better! To allow access to all but the most elementary game pieces for players with NO skin in the game is irresponsible and abusive to cache owners. I WISH there was a way to give cachers more perspective and education. I WISH human nature didn't tend toward ONLY self-fulfillment. I WISH that there was a way to immediately get across the concept that the COMPANY didn't hide this stuff; your fellow PLAYERS did, and maybe people wouldn't treat caches like they do public facilities. So, no, the unlockable features of the app should be a reward for actually joining; investing in the hobby. Basic membering which involves using the website may not be the most efficient way to play, but think of it as a toll road. You can take the smaller roads for free, or you can 'join' and get a smoother, faster ride. With reststops and bathrooms. But, it's said, how can people really tell if they want to join unless they can play? Well, I think caching is something that will grab you if you're the right type. Want to try 'higher' stuff? Get yourself a one-month inexpensive membership (or whatever it is). Put SOMETHING personal into the game to be granted access to the shared property of cache owners. Otherwise, there are LOTS of "Angry Birds" games to play. The unpopular part of this? I suppose I'm all for a 'smaller', well-played game. "After all, Bill," my Dad would say. "If everybody does it, then EVERYBODY would do it."
  24. Re: cerberus1 wrote: "You're saying the Geocaching Regional Policies Wiki isn't good enough ?" Yes. I am saying that. The Wiki is fine as far as it goes, but it doesn't go very far nor cover a very large percentage of current cache placements. Let me define the issue as narrowly as possible. The goal is to have good caches placed in interesting area with the permission of the landowner. The guidelines require that anyone placing a geocache get landowner permission. Let's assume for the sake of argument that this is actually a requirement that The Reviewer follows. Let's say I want to place a geocache where one has never been before. I need to get permission. It's up to me. I accept that. I figure out who to call, get permission, place the cache. No problem. It's something I've done many times in several different states. In my expirience permission, is either flatly denied without explanation, or granted after some process is followed. Now lets say I want to place a cache where one or more caches have previously been placed. Supposedly whoever placed thse caches, got permission, and passed that information on to the Reviewer. It's a very simple matter for The Reviewer to look up that information and supply it upon request. In the discussion above it was stated that if a landowner objected The Reviewer would relay the information to the landowner about who gave permission, so why not relay the same information upon request to a cacher who requests it? It is still up to the cacher to make the call, get permission, or if the "things have changed" figure out who to contact. Not a big deal to supply some possibly helpful information upon request, is it? For caches placed "where caches have been before" there are really only two reasons for The Reviewer not to answer "Who have other people contacted to get permission?": 1, The Reviewer has the information but chooses not to share it. 2, The Reviewer does not have the information because it was not previously provided. This is an instance where the person enforcing the Rules could be helpful to the person attempting to follow the rules. Why not be helpful? If someone asked me "who did you talk to toget permission" I would be happy to pass it on. Why aren't Reviewers willing to do so upon request?
  25. That's fair enough, but some people talk as though it's the only way, and the website is redundant. Personally when I started geocaching, I found my first 180 caches without a GPS or a phone, and I could only see some caches, and had no idea other caches even existed. I LOVED that, as when I finally became a member all these other caches appeared near where I lived. Rather than get upset I couldn't see them, I was thrilled I hadn't been able to see them, as now I had a whole lot more local caches to find. It was like a birthday present for me. Also, not having a GPS or phone for my first 180 caches, taught me to look for other clues when searching, such as moved pebbles, broken twigs and bent grass.
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