Life as a Geocacher

Caching and Reviewing

This is made up of stories from my caching and my reviewing.  It is a collection of those along with comments and thoughts.  Photos, and maps of some adventures and lists of some of the oldest caches.

Filtering by Tag: Caching

A Geocaching Photo Day.

Far too often we never look at the photos that people place on your caches.  You really never see them, you are not notified of them, and often they are kind of dumb.  I have a ton of Earthcaches with dozens upon dozens of photos of someone holding their GPS.  I don't ask them to take a photo of their GPS, or their forhead, or whatever, but I get them.  

Once and a while you get some cool photos.  Something that says.  "thanks for bringing me here"  Today I thought I would share some.  I was going through them today.  I wish there was a quick and nice button to hunt for photos on my caches alone.  I tried to stick to no more than one per cache. 

GC1CNE6 by Scipio43This is a little bit away from the cache, but a cool pictures

GC1CNE6 by Scipio43This is a little bit away from the cache, but a cool pictures

GC1CNEA by billdevCows out eating in the marsh

GC1CNEA by billdevCows out eating in the marsh

GC1EF22 by snownomiI loved this stamp he used.  He passed away a year or more ago.  I miss his smiling gace and logs.

GC1EF22 by snownomiI loved this stamp he used.  He passed away a year or more ago.  I miss his smiling gace and logs.

GC1FQ25 by fam2goa picture from one of my Wherigo tours.

GC1FQ25 by fam2goa picture from one of my Wherigo tours.

GC1TKKNSilverheelsA shot from an Earthcache. at Castle rock campground.  I will be honest, I edited the photos rotation a bit.

GC1TKKNSilverheelsA shot from an Earthcache. at Castle rock campground.  I will be honest, I edited the photos rotation a bit.

GC1XPWP drgw3128Another shot from a Wherigo, of one of my Pirate containers for a geocachie.  He was crazy enough to go hunt in the snow for it.

GC1XPWP drgw3128Another shot from a Wherigo, of one of my Pirate containers for a geocachie.  He was crazy enough to go hunt in the snow for it.

GC1XPYD Sierrawildflower & GeoHikerAnother ending to a Wherigo.  You have to have treasure at the end of a pirates treasure hunt.

GC1XPYD Sierrawildflower & GeoHikerAnother ending to a Wherigo.  You have to have treasure at the end of a pirates treasure hunt.

GC1XWTR zacknmomI placed a cache at a simple walk to overlook.  It was when I took DK Titan out for a caching run.  You walk over the hill top, some 30 yards from the road, and this is what you see.

GC1XWTR zacknmomI placed a cache at a simple walk to overlook.  It was when I took DK Titan out for a caching run.  You walk over the hill top, some 30 yards from the road, and this is what you see.

GC2BV56 toja7A nice wade to get to the other side.  They did not want to walk around.

GC2BV56 toja7A nice wade to get to the other side.  They did not want to walk around.

GC2CPRQ cold1He always complains that I am out to kill him by placing caches.  This was possibly the closest I came to doing it.  Maybe next time.

GC2CPRQ cold1He always complains that I am out to kill him by placing caches.  This was possibly the closest I came to doing it.  Maybe next time.

GC2DG6M JacobBarlowAnother small hike.  I think it was only a few hundred yards.  See that point way over there.  I place a cache on that point as well.

GC2DG6M JacobBarlowAnother small hike.  I think it was only a few hundred yards.  See that point way over there.  I place a cache on that point as well.

Hope you enjoyed them.  I have another two groups of 10 with my favorite caching photos, on my caches to come.

Highlight - Germany

Population 81 Million people, 138,000 square miles, Nearing 200,000 geocaches

Comparison to California

Population 37 Million people, 160,000 square miles, Nearing 100,000 geocaches.

 

It is amazing to me to see a country where caching has taken off like Germany.  So much so that groundspeak is doing a series of videos highlighting caching there.

 

The thought I had was a country the size of Montana or New Mexico.  With 81 million people in it.  (That is a lot of people) and not a lot of country and mountains has nearly 200,000 geocaches.  Making it the biggest group of cachers outside the United States. 

There is a large group of reviewers for Germany.  There are about 35 reviewers in Germany, and they review a vast number of different kinds of caches.  On a day to day basis 15-20 come across my queue in Utah.  Sometimes far more, and in the winter maybe 5-15.  I think about 15% are puzzle caches, and 2-3% multi caches, it is rare that I see anything else.

However Germany is full of creative puzzles and multi caches.  The sheer number make people take the time and look at what they are doing. Make something that people can talk about and stand in awe of.

I notice the difference when I look at the map.  In Utah and many of the other states in the US you see a sea of green tiles with some blue tossed in.  here you see the yellow of the multicaches as well.

That creates a huge challenge for the cache placer and the reviewers.  there are far many more caches where you may not know where the physical stages or the finals are.  You have to be much more careful and expect to be told that there is a problem.

In any case I recommend that a cache page be created with the approximate coords then email the reviewer asking if there are issues.  Nothing is more depressing than someone traveling 50 miles up into an area and finding out that there is a cache located nearby.

Well.  That is it for today.  See you soon on the trail.

Downtime, phones, and thoughts

Downtime

Just a reminder for everyone that geocaching.com will be going down tomorrow for a few hours.  Actually four to six hours.  It is supposed to happen 10 am Mountain time (GMT -6) and up to 4 pm.  So it looks like all reviewing during breaks, and surfing maps will be halted.  Hopefully you will be able to get in what you need.

Take care of everything now.  For those of you in timezones that may be in Europe.  It will be down during the evening, so I would jump on things now so you don't have any problems.  I am guessing that also means that all apps will also be down.  So run your GPX files now and get them loaded into your phones and GPS units so you will not have any issues in the field.

Phones

For those who follow the Latitude 47 threads and use cell phones, you are aware that updates to the android and iphone apps are coming soon.  Having seen one of them, it is really nice.  It was posted that they will be ready for release soon.  So stay tuned.

Thoughts

Locally I wish to say farewell to Goblincamper2004.  They have been a staple in our area for some time.  They moved to the southern part of the state.  Caching here will never be the same.  Their smiles and their excitement for the game of geocaching was always apparent.   They were at all the events and threw a large number.  They loved the chance to get together.

It was a chance for a FTF nearly three years ago where I headed to a cache a few blocks from my work when I first met them.  Because of the speed at which many responded she had waited to greet the ftf people.  Since that time I have seen them often at many different events.

Farewell and I wish you luck in the south. 

The most damaging thing to geocaching is...

I have moderated in the forums, followed local threads, listened to endless conversations at events and in other get togethers.   Everyone has their idea of the most damaging thing is to geocaching.

Some of the options I have heard:

  • Nano's
  • Micros
  • Swagless Caches
  • Caches in cities
  • Power Trails
  • Caches in Wilderness Areas
  • Permission issues
  • Cacher X (Some cachers in particular are named)
  • New Hiders
  • Cell Phone Hiders or Finders
  • Groundspeak
  • Other caching websites
  • Ethics
  • Poor Containers
  • Incorrect hides
  • Saturation
  • Sharing finals coordinates to caches
  • Cache theft
  • Reviewers

Thos are just a few I thought of off the top of my head.  Some of the things I have read.   Many have been discussed ad nauseum.

Now its my turn...and because I am writing this I get to choose. The most damaging thing to geocaching is... Geocaching elitism.

What is that?  Arguing that you are right and everyone else is wrong.  Does that mean that you cannot have a strong opinion?   No it does not.  Does it mean you should stop trying to get a change made?  No.  In fact a healthy community should try and get changes made.

There are people our there that believe so strongly that a particular way of doing things is right that everyone else is wrong, and there is no point in listening to them.  In fact the other is the enemy, the other cache is the enemy.

Taking an explanation is like opening a can of worms but here goes.  I have heard a few discuss the horror of the city hide, the hide in the park, or drive by.  When I started caching I was contacted by a person that was handicapped, and they asked me to encourage people to place 1 terrain-1difficulty hides so that they would be able to get them.  The hides that were much more difficult were impossible to do and they enjoyed the hunt.  a 1.5-1.5 by themselves seemed like a 4/4 to many others.

Geocaching has gone beyond one person.  If you feel you are right and everyone else is wrong perhaps it is time to look at yourself.   A few years ago a person placed a powertrail in Utah.  I heard a number of people grumble, and in the process it was apparent that they were stolen.  People quickly replaced the caches. While others were making trips from Arizona, New Mexico, and across the US just to do the series.  It may not be about the numbers to some, but it is for others.

Another example is a cacher in the NW that conveniently takes any cache that is in an area they feel are enviormentally sensitive.  Even if the forest service has oked the cache.

Those are my best examples.  We can disagree, we can ask that changes be made, but stone throwing, purposefully taking cache from others, only ruins it for others.   We can work harder to understand others, and other ways of caching.  I may never do a certain style of caches, but some seem to love them.

I am off my soapbox, and I hope to do better posting.  Sorry for taking a week off, I am opening an online store designing two coins, reviewing, scouts and family, and those are taking my time.  Thanks, and feel free to comment.  What are your opinions.

 

Sourthern Utah Day One

We left Richfield around 10am Friday morning. We started the route south and had decided to make this a Virtual and Earthcache trip.  Wandered through Clear Creek Canyon in southern Utah and left the main road.  I actually found a nice place for another Earthcache in the area. So I was happy to take the route.

 

Cove FortWe stopped for just a moment, but the just a moment never seems to work out right.  We ended up taking the tour, and seeing a lot of the fort.  It was really interesting, the last time I had visted it was a mess.  That would be back in the early 80's and much of the place had fallen apart. 

We headed south and grabbed our first Earthcache of the day on the other side of the freeway from Cove Fort.

We then headed south taking a lot of back roads and seeing a lot of interesting locations.

 

Central/Southern Utah

The country was really cool, as we entered the red rock areas of Southern Utah.  It was really impressive and cool.  For the most part there are a lot of Virtuals in the area.  Panguich, Cedar City, and more. 

As we past cedar I think I had grabbed 10-12 virtuals and a couple Earthcaches.  But when we took the turnoff at the North side of Zion's Park where things got really interesting.   There was a lot of snow at the high altitude.

Zions - Kolob Canyons Zions - Kolob Canyons

It was really beautiful.  There were very few people that were actually there. I think we past three other vehicles.  During the summer I am sure it would be crowded.  There was enough snow that you could do much hiking, though one couple was heading off down a snow covered trail.  There were a few other Earthcaches in the area that we grabbed though we could not get some because the trails are snowy.

Zions - Kolob Canyons

We then hopped off and headed on southward.  We seemed to stop about every 10 miles.  Our Two-three hour trip ended up taking about 6-7 hours, but it was very enjoyable.  We saw much of the countryside, found many benchmarks, and virtuals and Earthcaches before we arrived at St. George for teh night and decided to stay the night.  In the end we found 10 Virtuals, 5 Earthcaches, and an uncounted number of Benchmarks this day.  So there is yet to be Saturday, the bigger day of the journey, and much more interesting.

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