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-CJ-

Geocaching in Russia

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If you have any geocaching-related questions please feel free to contact me directly by email cj -at- neocaching.ru or in this forum.

Edited by -CJ-
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Hi! I am from Finland and i am quite new in this hobby. Can you tell, where could i ask geocatching company in St.Peterburg 30.3.13 for a few hours. Best Regards, Tanya2

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I'm from Moscow, not SPb. However I believe you may contact Lis_Its, he is a SPb local and has been quite active in this sport and responsible to questions. Try to drop him a personal message through his profile.

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Don't miss this announcement about site downtime next week so the Geocaching.com website can be improved. Hopefully, support for Russian language will be a big help to the Russian geocaching community!

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Thank you. I translated this announcement and posted it to our local resource so that more Russian geocachers could enjoy the news.

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I'm from Moscow, not SPb. However I believe you may contact Lis_Its, he is a SPb local and has been quite active in this sport and responsible to questions. Try to drop him a personal message through his profile.

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I'm slow getting hang of the posting procedure. Somehow never saws the box to post a query but found I'd "posted" twice with not message. Ah, me.

 

I'll be taking a river crusie from Moscow to St. Petersburg in the fall and would appreciate any tips or information that might be useful there.

 

I've done some caching in the Middle East without problems. But in Amsterdam we were warned not to let the police see us extracting small containers from hiding places. A German couple said that it was not a good idea to say the word "cache". I hadn't enough experience there to know if this was realistic or fun at our expense. Still, I'll err on the side of caution and appreciate anything of help when we're in Russia.

 

Thank you.

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It's not advisable to take photos of such objects as bridges and railway stations, and I would suggest you avoid approaching military units at all (but you will hardly run into them without specific intention in Moscow). Also it would be not a good idea to approach any governmental buildings with the purpose of hiding or searching for a container. This relates to all objects guarded by police, e.g. embassies. Use your stealth abilities or just move to some other geocache if it looks too risky and/or you feel being watched by strangers, guards/CCTV in particular. As far as I know, most geocaches in Moscow are located in places that allow some thoughts/search without immediate police alert. We've had no cases of bomb squad calls here so far. I know about one case in Moscow when the group of inexperienced geocachers was questioned by police after they produced much noise and worried the neighbourhood. There was also a case when the cache was hidden in the wall of the building belonging to a cultural centre of one of foreign countries; the staff was anxious and called police, so they arrived, took the cache away and sent an email message to our local geocaching website telling that we can come and take the container if we like. So, there have been nothing special about local police comparing to other countries except maybe that they most likely don't speak languages other than Russian and know nothing about geocaching. Getting out of their bloody hands may be a bit of time and luck :) You can use GPS devices with no problems, many people have GPSrs embedded in their smartphones and are never asked for any permission or anything of this kind. I've never heard about the word "cache" as a threat and consider this to be a joke, especially in Germany with its enormous number of caches :) If you're worried about your safety I believe I could suggest some geocaches within Moscow where you will almost 100% not be questioned by anyone including the police. We mostly have micros here (within the bounds of the city) though there are few standard/small containers in parks. Not as many as in European capitals as Amsterdam I think but there's something to choose from. Please feel free to ask any other questions if you have and let me wish you a good journey and a nice river cruise.

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To all those who are going to visit geocaches in Moscow. It's quite often that I read in logs about missing caches.

 

We follow and value all reports. Caches disappear mostly because they are stolen by vandals. Unfortunately this issue became common in last 1.5 years. The Moscow-based geocaching community is rather small and it does its best to maintain geocaches in the capital. However it's not so easy especially when visitors leave no DNFs when they fail to find anything.

 

As a CO I'll be happy to answer all PMs about current situation with my geocaches in the city. Please don't hesitate asking questions before going for a hunt. A small event/meeting could also be a good option.

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I recently had an issue with a travelbug in Moscow left beside a magnetic micro. Both have fallen from their hiding place and were on the ground when I visited the cache for regular maintenance. I was lucky to find them before they were taken away by kids. (The cache was located in the yard of a living house with many muggles passing by every day).

 

Pray don't leave any trackables in (or near, as it was in this case) caches in the downtown Moscow. There are several TB hotels at the airports, all far from the city centre, and they are better places for that purpose. The reason is not only that most geocaches in the heart of our city are micros/nanos but that the caches have been often muggled. Not many people know about the game. Not many people at the local geocaching website know about trackables. We do our best to improve this situation but it takes time. If you like to bring a trackable item to Moscow you're welcome indeed but I suggest you contact me in advance so we could meet and exchange trackables. We could arrange a meeting or probably an event and I will drop your trackables in geocaches in different, safer location or (better under such circumstances) let them visit some interesting places with me and pass them to other cachers who will travel to foreign countries so TBs may continue their ways whatever they are.

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I noticed that people coming to Russia sometimes organize a meet-and-greet events in different cities/towns and are pretty much disappointed that no one pays attention.

 

In most cases it's not about your event being ignored - it's just the lack of geocachers around the country. Even in many large cities of Russia there are no cachers at all. This is exactly why there are so few geocaches in many regions of the country.

 

However in Moscow (and I think most tourists coming to Russia visit the capital) there are people whom you can meet so feel free to announce a meet-and-greet event in the city. If you don't want to publish your intentions but just have an idea of passing a couple of trackables or whatever else, please contact me in advance so this could be organized for you.

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This week I've been caching in Russia (Kaluga & Moscow). Kaluga was almost a "desert". I was very glad to find one of the only two active caches in the city (both in VERY weird places). Anyway, in Moscow I had a bit of everything, magic places (Red Square, Christ the Saviour,Kiss on the Bridge), a couple of "normal" caches, and a few disappointments (DNF's, ugly places)..

Just two comments/questions:

- First of all it seems that several CO's aren't doing their work properly when it comes to reviewing logs. Several "founds" of the style "I didn't find anything but this is my only cache in Russia, so I hope it's ok" stayed as valid

- And the actual reason why I'm writing this post. On one of the logs, I found something about the "russian geocaching" website, so looking around I found a very strange geocaching.ru website. This site is completely different to the .com site but it seems to contain some caches, different or not from the official one.

As most of the info was in Russian I couldn't really understand what was written there.

Any idea what that one is about?

 

Thanks

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First of all it seems that several CO's aren't doing their work properly when it comes to reviewing logs. Several "founds" of the style "I didn't find anything but this is my only cache in Russia, so I hope it's ok" stayed as valid

 

Please give some specific examples of geocaches.

 

I found something about the "russian geocaching" website, so looking around I found a very strange geocaching.ru website. This site is completely different to the .com site but it seems to contain some caches, different or not from the official one.

As most of the info was in Russian I couldn't really understand what was written there.

Any idea what that one is about?

 

Geocaching.ru (or .su, makes no difference) is a website that was launched in 2002 as a geocaching resource in Russian language. (English is not spoken widely around here and many people still cannot read/write this language; and geocaching.com lacked Russian translation that time). While the original idea of the game was still the same, the Russian "variant" had some specific differencies. After a decade this game has worked out its own style. It's more focused on tourism and places of interest then on treasure hunting. It's in Russian only and there's a requirement that one must use Russian language on the website and forums. It's community is highly conservative and isolated from the geocaching world. The database is different from one of geocaching.com.

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First of all it seems that several CO's aren't doing their work properly when it comes to reviewing logs. Several "founds" of the style "I didn't find anything but this is my only cache in Russia, so I hope it's ok" stayed as valid

 

Please give some specific examples of geocaches.

 

 

Domodedovo GC1DKH6. Certainly 2 of the last 3 founds are DNF, and probably the other one as well

GC2WGVA. The cache is gone since Oct 2013 and people (including myself "as a test", I know) keep logging as Found when there's just a hook. The CO marked "Owner Maintenance" when he obviously did not)

And there was another one (I can't find it now) where the visitor said literally "I found it but I had no pen and couldn't take a picture" so I guess is a question of "faith"

 

Regards from "back home"

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Thanks for clarification.

 

You've probably noticed that the Russian geocaching community is pretty young and small. Before it started to grow most caches in the country had been placed by foreigners who probably have less time to check and restore their caches. In some cases such caches have been archived, and sometimes locals take care of them.

 

http://coord.info/GC1DKH6 - the cache near the airport placed long ago, in 2008 by a guy from Hungary. Frankly, I haven't visited this cache myself. Since it's a TB hotel we might think about contacting the CO - it appears that he's still active. Did you drop him a message?

 

http://coord.info/GC2WGVA - this cache is known to me. It was placed in 2011 by a guy from Czech Republic along with two other caches nearby. I've been in contact with the CO regarding one of three hides, not this one but Krutitsky Metochion. Since then I randomly visit that location and take care of the cache. As for GC2WGVA, the role of an unofficial maintainer was played once by another local geocacher but it happens that the hiding place is too much exposed and therefore often muggled. I would wait until the same resque cacher arrives for assistance (or the CO himself).

 

Cannot say anything regarding your last example without knowing the name of the cache. Perhaps it's also one of few caches that were placed by Moscow visitors long ago. However, sometimes COs tolerate such logs simply because the game is so young here. Novice local cachers sometimes have difficulties with understanding the sport. The website's interface was localized into Russian not long ago and many educative materials are still untranslated. Again, the local "geocaching" game played on the Russian website differs from this one so people sometimes feel that visiting the place is enough to mark the cache as found. We're doing our best to improve this situation but it takes time, you know.

 

Anyway, I wish you good staying in Russia (if you're still here) and hope that your geocaching experience is full of more positive stories. If you have any troubles on any of caches that I own or you have any questions while preparing your geocaching plans please feel free to contact me here or by PM.

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Thanks for clarification.

 

You've probably noticed that the Russian geocaching community is pretty young and small. Before it started to grow most caches in the country had been placed by foreigners who probably have less time to check and restore their caches. In some cases such caches have been archived, and sometimes locals take care of them.

 

http://coord.info/GC1DKH6 - the cache near the airport placed long ago, in 2008 by a guy from Hungary. Frankly, I haven't visited this cache myself. Since it's a TB hotel we might think about contacting the CO - it appears that he's still active. Did you drop him a message?

 

No, I did not. Actually I just looked at that cache before going to Russia, and reading through the logs, I realized that wasn't worth trying

 

http://coord.info/GC2WGVA - this cache is known to me. It was placed in 2011 by a guy from Czech Republic along with two other caches nearby. I've been in contact with the CO regarding one of three hides, not this one but Krutitsky Metochion. Since then I randomly visit that location and take care of the cache. As for GC2WGVA, the role of an unofficial maintainer was played once by another local geocacher but it happens that the hiding place is too much exposed and therefore often muggled. I would wait until the same resque cacher arrives for assistance (or the CO himself).

 

Yes, I read as well the Metochion as well, but didn't have much time to try the puzzle thing behind it so I just focused on tradi's this way.

I still have problems to understand why some people would place a cache on a place hundreds, if not thousands of km's away from where he lives. I understand that this way there are more caches in the area, but there will always be an issue with maintenance. I own 15 caches and none of them is more than 20 km away from my front door

 

Cannot say anything regarding your last example without knowing the name of the cache. Perhaps it's also one of few caches that were placed by Moscow visitors long ago. However, sometimes COs tolerate such logs simply because the game is so young here. Novice local cachers sometimes have difficulties with understanding the sport. The website's interface was localized into Russian not long ago and many educative materials are still untranslated. Again, the local "geocaching" game played on the Russian website differs from this one so people sometimes feel that visiting the place is enough to mark the cache as found. We're doing our best to improve this situation but it takes time, you know.

 

 

First of all I appreciate somebody is taking care of geocaching in Moscow. As I think having mentioned before, the "House of Music" & "Kiss on the brige" are fantastic places I wouldn't have visited without GC, plus the caches themselves were very good (funny the container of Kiss on the bridge is quite popular here in Belgium as well)

 

There are a couple of DNF's I had that I wonder whether they are "correct", the "Beslan tragedy" one is (or better, is supposed to be) on a very strange alley, kind of back street (almost private street) with nothing around.

The Plevna Heroes one is almost disrespectful. I tried to find it, but I felt guilty afterwards, you aren't supposed to put your hands around the iron wreaths celebrating some heroes, at least that's my opinion

 

Anyway, I wish you good staying in Russia (if you're still here) and hope that your geocaching experience is full of more positive stories. If you have any troubles on any of caches that I own or you have any questions while preparing your geocaching plans please feel free to contact me here or by PM.

 

I'm already back home, and I don't think to be back in Russia any time soon (though my trips are business related, so you never can tell), but be sure that in Moscow I had a great geocaching time, quite a long walk, fantastic weather, and I enjoyed the monumental magic of your city !!

 

Regards from Belgium

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I still have problems to understand why some people would place a cache on a place hundreds, if not thousands of km's away from where he lives. I understand that this way there are more caches in the area, but there will always be an issue with maintenance. I own 15 caches and none of them is more than 20 km away from my front door

 

You live in a country with pretty long geocaching history, great number of geocaches and geocaching community that has been active for years. I suppose that large percentage of people in your country know English language and so have easy access to publications about geocaching. In these wonderful conditions you placed your 15 caches about 1/2 years ago. Now imagine that you have a time machine and go back in time to Russia, year 2008 (when the Domodedovo airport cache appeared). No geocaches, no community, no educational materials, huge distances, poor dissemination of GPS technologies.

 

You visited Kaluga and called it "almost a desert". There are many "deserted" cities and regions in the country. People that go there to place a geocache or two are often treated as possible violators of the "maintenance" rule that works so nicely in regions with totally different geocaching situation. These people are pioneers that bring the game to remote regions. Without them there would hardly be any geocaching in the area soon. They played this role for Moscow in 2008-2011. Nowadays you can see that most geocaches in our city are owned by locals and quickly maintained.

"Beslan tragedy" one is (or better, is supposed to be) on a very strange alley, kind of back street (almost private street) with nothing around

 

I DNFed this cache this year once. Yes, it had been placed by its CO in a place that you just described. Not many alternatives there, I think. I know the CO and will talk to him about the cache as soon as we meet.

 

The Plevna Heroes one is almost disrespectful

 

There's nothing I can do regarding this CO and his caches.

 

I enjoyed the monumental magic of your city

 

So sad that most visitors are (I suppose) too shy or too busy to announce an event - you could also enjoy the local community and perhaps even get a free geocaching city tour with one of us :)

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So sad that most visitors are (I suppose) too shy or too busy to announce an event - you could also enjoy the local community and perhaps even get a free geocaching city tour with one of us :)

 

I not yet had the opportunity to geocache in Russia but while researching travel options when I have business in Europe, a layover in Moscow comes up often, and is often one of the least expensive air fares. One of these days I probably will have an itinerary with a long layover in Moscow, and if I do, I'll be sure let you know. I can't predict how long my layover might be but if it's overnight I would consider announcing an event and may ask for suggestions for a venue.

 

 

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I still have problems to understand why some people would place a cache on a place hundreds, if not thousands of km's away from where he lives. I understand that this way there are more caches in the area, but there will always be an issue with maintenance. I own 15 caches and none of them is more than 20 km away from my front door

You live in a country with pretty long geocaching history, great number of geocaches and geocaching community that has been active for years. I suppose that large percentage of people in your country know English language and so have easy access to publications about geocaching. In these wonderful conditions you placed your 15 caches about 1/2 years ago. Now imagine that you have a time machine and go back in time to Russia, year 2008 (when the Domodedovo airport cache appeared). No geocaches, no community, no educational materials, huge distances, poor dissemination of GPS technologies.

 

Please don't get me wrong. The point I'm trying to make is that I personally wouldn't feel too good about placing a cache e.g. where I was born (1600 km from where I live)and hoping that somehow "my" cache would be maintained by somebody. Having said that I fully understand that this approach may be the only way to "start" the game in black spots of the map.

 

"Beslan tragedy" one is (or better, is supposed to be) on a very strange alley, kind of back street (almost private street) with nothing around

 

I DNFed this cache this year once. Yes, it had been placed by its CO in a place that you just described. Not many alternatives there, I think. I know the CO and will talk to him about the cache as soon as we meet.

Thanks !!

 

So sad that most visitors are (I suppose) too shy or too busy to announce an event - you could also enjoy the local community and perhaps even get a free geocaching city tour with one of us :)

 

To be honest I never thought about checking this forum before my trip to Russia, and I'm really sorry for that. This is, honestly the major lesson I've learnt of this story. Doesn't matter how "remote" a country/site may look like it's certainly worth to look in the forums if there's anybody (like in your case) that keeps "the fire burning" THANKS !! :)

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To be honest I never thought about checking this forum before my trip to Russia, and I'm really sorry for that. This is, honestly the major lesson I've learnt of this story. Doesn't matter how "remote" a country/site may look like it's certainly worth to look in the forums if there's anybody (like in your case) that keeps "the fire burning" THANKS !! :)

 

I'd also recommend contacting the cache owners of caches you might want to find in "remote" areas. If there is a puzzle cache in the area you can solve it and drop a PM on the cache indicating that you solved it and plan on finding it when you get to the country. I worked on a difficult puzzle cache in South Africa and ended up asking the CO for a hint. We had several email exchanges and offered to meet to show me some local caches when I got there (unfortunately, I was only in the country over night on that visit).

 

When I was planning a trip to Malaysia, I posted a note on a cache that appeared to be missing asking if it would be replaced before my visit. Another local cache was "watching" all (there were only about a dozen) caches in the area and let me know that the cache probably was gone (and about a couple of others that definitely were missing). He also let me know that he was planning on placing a new cache shortly before my arrival. It was published the day before I left, but I still managed to get FTF on it when I got there two days later. I also looked for the cache I had posted a note on, and found it (it wasn't missing after all).

 

For a trip to Ethiopia I had an overnight layover in Zurich. There was an event that evening that looked fun (I also did a WWFM event that day) and I posted a note asking if anyone would be speaking English as I don't speak any German. Several people responded including a very nice couple that met me before the flash mob, showed me around a bit on a few local caches, then accompanied me to the event in the evening.

 

No matter how remote, I've found geocachers like to meet other geocachers, especially geocachers from other places. All you have to do is reach out and there are several ways to do so.

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I not yet had the opportunity to geocache in Russia but while researching travel options when I have business in Europe, a layover in Moscow comes up often, and is often one of the least expensive air fares. One of these days I probably will have an itinerary with a long layover in Moscow, and if I do, I'll be sure let you know. I can't predict how long my layover might be but if it's overnight I would consider announcing an event and may ask for suggestions for a venue.

 

Sounds great! An early announcement might result in more people attending the event. In August many of us are away for vacations.

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I'd also recommend contacting the cache owners of caches you might want to find in "remote" areas

 

Very good recommendation, indeed. I certainly cannot speak on behalf of all geocachers in the world (even in "remote" areas :) ) but as for Moscow a traveler can (at least) get some useful information about geocaching around here. Another good reason is to exchange trackables. After all, it's useful to have a phone number at hand - if you need a hint or feel that some cache is muggled.

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Happy geocachers from Brasil, Germany, Slovakia, UK and (of course) Russia near the Bolshoi Theatre and the monument to Karl Marxs in the downtown Moscow (one of our recent events).

 

896389e6-f12e-4398-bb27-69c3cb1ef472.jpg

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I have taught in Lithuania during a summer school program there and am contemplating do so again. While there or after, I was thinking about traveling and caching in Russia. However, it appears I need to jump through some hoops to technically be in Russia as a United States citizen. It is my goal to acquire proper documentation and visit Moscow either next year, or the year after. We shall see. Anyway, I am simply touching base and attempting to make a contact or two if my trip does develop to fruition. Time will tell. Good stuff. Get some!

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zach.ruesch, I wish you get through all that paper/political buzz and visit our country sometimes. Will be glad to meet you in Moscow.

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zach.ruesch, I wish you get through all that paper/political buzz and visit our country sometimes. Will be glad to meet you in Moscow.

 

I'll be sure to contact you if I am able to make the proper arrangements!

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Hey! I'm going to St.Petersburg in two weeks, and would like to know if there's more caches in that area other then the ones listed on geocaching.com?

Would like to load the caches to my gps but since I can't read the language and don't have an account in geocaching.ru, it's a bit difficult..

 

Also, is there anything I should know when geocaching in st.petersburg? About taking pictures, etc.. Thanks!

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As for the caches and geocaching in/around the city I suggest you contact lis_its from SPb. You've probably seen his account already since he's the owner of many caches around there. Try dropping him a message.

 

I don't think there are any special requirements in SPb that would differ from other Russian regions. I suggest you don't take photos of military objects and mind CCTV cameras. Mind that police doesn't know about geocaching in this country so don't rely on your readiness to explain your strange actions with "I'm just searching for a cache", it doesn't work here. Anyway, you won't be in trouble until you look for it.

 

Won't help with the .ru website, sorry. It's probably not worth spending time on this since (as you said) you don't read Russian.

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In 2013 my wife and I took a river cruise from St Petersburg to Moscow. We found caches along the way and thouroughly enjoyed the cruise and the geocaching experience. Tho only place I felt nervous was looking for a cache in the Red Square right in front of the changing of the guards. I felt that I was being watched closely...LOL.

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:) There might be places in every big city where you will feel nervous while searching for a cache :) The big advantage of the Red Square is that you definitely know you should avoid muggles' attention since the area is heavily watched by police. On the other hand, you can find places in the city when it could be far more risky to hunt a cache. The Red Square is a popular tourist attraction so walking visitors taking photos of the Mausoleum are common. In quiet neighbourhoods where tourists are uncommon it might me more difficult to pretend that you "just went sightseeing" :)

 

As I said: folks, don't hesitate contacting me if you have any questions about geocaching in Moscow and surroundings, need any contacts in other cities or wish to pass any trackables - or just meet and greet. If I'm not away from the city I'll be glad to help.

Edited by -CJ-
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Summer is not that far so I'm reminding those who come to visit Russia, particularly Moscow: you can use your chance to meet local cachers, exchange trackables, know more about hides and interesting places in Moscow. Drop me a message and we will think of something special for you.

 

If you wish to act on your own, please consider the following advices.

 

- Get a good map. Few people speak English here so don't rely on your communication skills.

- Use metro to get to the caches. It's reliable and cheap. Midweek is poor time to go to the downtown Moscow by car.

- If you prefer driving, do it on Sunday. Not so many cars and free parking everywhere.

- Most parks are open at night but not all of them. Pay attention to this when choosing your next cache.

- Don't try to explain strangers that you're playing geocaching. The sport is generally unknown and your explanations may lead to further misunderstanding only.

- Avoid police officers.

- Don't drop trackables into containers. If you like to exchange trackables, it's better to contact some local geocacher.

- Have some paper with you - you might want to replace a wet or full logsheet.

- PLEASE be careful in popular locations with many muggles around. Don't attract attention.

- Writing something more than "TFTC" would be nice.

- If you wish to organize a meet-and-greet event the best time would be midweek at about 7pm. Choose some central location for your event.

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Let me say this in bold: if you wish more people to come then don't organize meet-and-greet events on the Red Square in the morning on weekends in Moscow.

 

- The Red Square is closed for various ceremonies from time to time.

 

- It's located in the very heart of the city so the majority of cafes at walking distance are rather expensive. If you think that your participants may prefer going somewhere if it's too cold or raining than be prepared to pay for the whole company ;)

 

- This location is the most central one so it takes much time to go there from districts where local geocachers actually live. Moscow is a big city. If an event is scheduled for 10am it means that people will have to get up at 7:30 - 8:30 am on Saturday/Sunday. Have mercy.

 

- If it's late spring or summer or early autumn it's common for Muscovites to leave their homes in the city and drive to villages on weekends.

 

So, I suggest you choose other variants for your events while in Moscow if you wish more people to come. The best time to hold a short event is 7pm midweek since people can come after work.

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I wrote this because three events in a row were published in Moscow on the Red Square in the morning on weekends.

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Just got back from Russia, flew home on May 9th, so missed the special events. Did get to go to Sochi and Rosa Khutor to find the only caches in this part of the country. Formula 1 time trials taking place as I logged the find for Sochi Autodrom, great experience!! Found a few in Moscow, brought back a TB and dropped it at the Original Geocache in Oregon. Great times, hope to get back to Russia before my visa expires. Will try to make contact with cachers if I have the opportunity travel back to Russia.

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Just let me know next time in advance so we could organize something.

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Folks, there are some news about problems that we have here in Moscow and I think you should be aware of them before you switch your GPSr on. If you try to use a GPS device near Kremlin you will most likely be surprised seeing your location in Vnukovo airport or in some other remote location.

 

This problem appeared in 2016. Many people have been already involved - including those who were charged big money for travelling to/from airports after they actually used taxi for a short 10-min drive in the centre of the city. Some journalists even mapped the problem and concluded it was signal spoofing. The word means that some pretty powerful source, supposedly within the Kremlin walls, imitates "true" GPS signals deceiving the devices and making them think they are in some other place. When the evil machine is turned off or you just leave the central area your device works fine.

 

There's no secret in what I'm saying. The trouble has been so obvious that it has been noticed and confirmed by numerous tourists, runners, drivers and people who work in the area or pass it by. We geocachers also noticed it. The signal may exist once you're there but no guaranties at all. The problem zone covers a couple of dozens of caches in the very heart of Moscow.

 

To circumvent this I suggest not relying on GPS only but using extra information such as maps, hints and photo spoilers where available.

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The good news are that we here now have our souvenir, yet another reason to visit this strange country. Thanks Groundspeak for the souvenir!

 

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I have an opportunity to travel to Crimea later this year if things work out for the best. Have read some unfriendly notes left on the geocache info pages. Is it safe for Americans to travel to Yalta or other southern areas of Crimea? I thought the citizens chose to be Russia through a democratic vote, is this not true?

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I thought the citizens chose to be Russia through a democratic vote, is this not true?

 

"Following a Crimean referendum, held on 16 March 2014, in which separation was favored by a large majority of voters, the UN resolution also "underscores that the referendum having no validity, cannot form the basis for any alteration of the status of [Crimea]." The resolution calls upon all States and international organizations not to recognize or to imply the recognition of Russia's annexation. In 2016, UN General Assembly reaffirmed non-recognition of the annexation and condemned "the temporary occupation of part of the territory of Ukraine—the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol""

 

UN Resolution

Edited by RuideAlmeida
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Thanks for the information, we'll pass on this trip.

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Crimea is the territory that the Russian government believes to belong to Russia and the Ukrainian govermnent sees it as a temporarily occupied part of Ukraine. I cannot say anything about safety in this specific area without going deeper into political issues and I don't want to do this. Please mind however that if you travel to Crimea from the territory of Russia (say, direct flight from Moscow) you may have troubles later if you decide to visit Ukraine.

Edited by -CJ-
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Winter time

Unlike many other countries, it's snowy in the vast majority of Russian regions in winter. Some notes for a foreigner coming to Russia in winter:

  • It may be quite cold, especially in Siberia, where temperatures can fall below -40c. If you take risk of getting frozen, please choose clothing according to actual weather conditions and consult locals when necessary.
  • If you host an outdoor event better do some walking. Standing still for half an hour doesn't make you much good.
  • Caches marked with the snowflake attribute: no guarantee you will find them easily in winter. They may be under the snow carpet. Caches lacking this attribute may be unreachable. Better check description/map/logs before going for a cache.
  • On the contrary, some caches are better be visited in winter: those located on isles where wading/boat is required normally. Most lakes, ponds, rivers get frozen in winter here and their surface is walkable. However, my strong advice is that you consult locals before stepping on ice.
  • Geocachers usually leave distinct traces on snow so it's common that hiding places become traceable after such visits. Sometimes cachers from warm countries where no such troubles exist at all forget about traces on snow. If you see no way of a cache being grabbed without sharing its location with muggles please better avoid taking it at all. There are other caches waiting for you.
  • If a container gets frozen in its hiding place please don't use brute force and sharp instruments to get it out of there. Most probably you will damage the container. Leave it as is. There are other caches waiting for you.
  • Russians don't drink vodka to avoid getting frozen all the time. It's a hoax. Well, partially a hoax.
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Have you ever thought about hosting a meet-and-greet event in Moscow? Here are some ideas you may find useful.

  • Be ready for not so many cachers to come. Simply because there are not many of them in Moscow. 5-6 people make a big company here.
  • Choose central location. Moscow streets are organized in circles, and you can see four of them on the map: Bul'varnoye Koltso (Boulevard Circle), Sadovoe Koltso (Garden Circle), Tretye Transportnoye Koltso (Third Transport Circle) and MKAD (Moscow circle highway, the largest one). Better choose location in the downtown, within the Garden Circle or slightly outside of the Garden Circle area.
  • Don't choose the Red Square for your event. (See above why).
  • Better avoid places close to governmental structures such as courts and police stations. Russian governmental regulations are rather strict towards the organizers of any public events, and a small crowd of geocachers may seem suspicious. Check your supposed location at Google map (or any other map) before submitting your event.
  • If you like your event to happen anywhere near Kremlin remember that GPS spoofing mode is sometimes on. This means your guests will find themselves in Vnukovo airport when they turn their GPS devices on. So, either move your place further from these red walls or provide additional hints helping attendees.
  • Walking is a good alternative to standing in one point (if weather is nice indeed).
  • Moscow is an expensive city according to Russian standards and Russians mostly earn not so much money to go to restaurants, especially nowadays. If you schedule your event in a restaurant, cafe or pub where customers are expected to pay 10 EUR or more for a meal be prepared that some people just won't come. If you gonna stay indoors and have a pint or two better choose something cheaper.
  • Don't host your events at the entrance of your hotel or in the lobby. This would look like if you lack time.
  • Best time would be midweek about 7pm. In this case people can attend your event after work. If you prefer weekends better avoid scheduling your events in the morning. Sunday is better than Saturday because parking is free in Moscow on Sundays.
  • Few Russian cachers speak fluent English but most cachers know English enough to understand what you'll be saying and respond so you could understand them. Just be ready for more time to be spent on communications.
  • If you like getting assistance with your event (choosing place, translating your page into Russian, etc.) please contact me in advance.

Now some suggestions about particular nice places for meet-and-greet geocaching events.

  • Hermitage Garden (close to GC6VQB3) is a small but nice park with benches and a couple of cafes where one can buy a cup of coffee. May be overcrowded on holidays.
  • Tsvetnoy Boulevard (close to GC3AAF5) is also nice if weather is good. Or, if you like less noise you can host an event in a tiny park close to one of the finest Moscow street art caches (GC590FB).
  • The whole Boulevard Circle is walkable and centrally located and nice.
  • Muzeon park is really nice when it's sunny. Many interesting sculptures and cool views from the embankment (GC61CAN).
  • Something really close to a metro station: GC6ZR5V. Nice park close by metro "Sukharevskaya" and few cafes at walkable distance.
  • Do you mind a short walking tour? Try these three simple field puzzle caches on Povarskaya St.: GC4JXW8GC4JVM1GC4JXM8.
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