Saturday, March 22, 2014

How to Deal With Geocaching Muggles

Geocaching is a popular "treasure-hunting" activity using a smart phone or a GPS devices to locate a "geo-cache"; a small container containing different trinkets. There are those out there that are not familiar with Geocaching.  Those people are referred to as  "muggles". Our job as a Geocacher  is to not let the  muggles discover the cache along with you!

Here are some steps you can take to deal with the muggles along the way.

1 Identify the “muggles”. There are three basic types of muggles, and some pose more of a threat than others. They are as follows.
The Oblivious Muggle: Muggles that are just going about their daily life and will pay you and the Geocache no attention.
The Lingerer: This muggle is going about their daily life and doesn't care about Geocaching, but they will linger in the spot right near the Geocache for long periods of time.
The Semi-Curious Muggle: Muggles whose curiosity is aroused when they see you Geocaching. Be prepared for them to come over and ask you what you're doing.
The Whistle Blower: These are the most dangerous type of muggles, as they will come over and pester you about what you're doing or call the police on you because of your 'suspicious' actions. They may also come over and attempt to find the Geocache after you've left.

2 Try not to draw attention to yourself. Avoid suspicious actions, such as constantly looking over your shoulder, or huddling over your GPS in heavily populated areas. These actions will draw attention to yourself, and a muggle is bound to either call the police or ask you what you're doing.

3 Come back later. If there are too many people around, or there are a few "lingerers" in the area, leave and come back later. Go get a coffee or go home for a couple hours, and then come back at a time where the area would be less populated so you can search for the Geocache then.

4 Make Geocaching look as natural as possible. If you need to dig around in the dirt, drop something and dig through the dirt to pick it up. If a muggle is approaching, put your GPS to your ear and pretend that it's a cell phone.

5 Be prepared to answer their questions. If a muggle comes over and asks you what you're doing, just admit that you're Geocaching. If they're interested, explain to them what Geocaching is, and tell them to look up the  website online.

Let us strive to keep Geocaching fun  for everyone.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Geocaching Responsibly

1. Be sure to get permission before placing a cache on private property.
2. Make sure to observe safe hiking practices when geocaching.
Be mindful of your hiking experience and limits.
3. Hide geocaches in areas that may be safely accessed by fellow geocachers.

The most important thing to do is get outside and safely have fun!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Geocaching Responsibly

A great rule of thumb is to leave any caching location in better condition than when you arrived. 

1. Observe posted signs. 
2. Stay on designated trails.  
3. Do not trespass onto private property. 
4. Pick up any litter you find along the way.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Geocaching Quiz: What Type of Geocacher are You?

I found this "What Type of Geocacher are You?" Quiz on "The Geo Caching Blog" and thought it would be a fun thing to share.

Do you love the woods or are you more of a city geocacher? Do you live for meeting new people at geocaching events or do you prefer a quiet evening deciphering a puzzle? Take this quiz to determine your geocacher type, then get personalized tips and tricks for your ultimate geocaching experience. Caution: This quiz involves some math.

1. What is your favorite geocaching snack?

A. Energy bars    B. Sampling the local cuisine    C. [Root] Beer    D. Wheaties – the breakfast of champions    E. Brain food

2. What inspires your geocaching happy dance?

A.  A day out in the wilderness    B. Visiting new and exotic locales    C. Meeting other geocachers    D. FTF!    E. Solving a D5 puzzle geocache

3. Which photo is most likely to be found in your gallery?

A. Scenic views from a mountain peak    B. The Pyramids of Giza     C. You, surrounded by all your geocaching friends    D. You grabbing the FTF    E. A particularly tricky geocaching container

4. What geocaching tools can you not live without?
A. Pocket Queries and Offline Lists    B.  Caches Along a Route    C. The Geocaching Event Calendar    D. Your Statistics    E. GeoChecker

5. If you were a fictional character, who would you be?
A. The Lorax     B. Captain Kirk     C. Iron Man    D.  Hermione Granger    E. Miss Marple

Now add up your answers for points: A=1, B=2, C=3, D=4, E=5

To learn more each type l below: of geocacher, click your point total.

 5 – 8 – The Nature Lover

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Trackable Questions

When I found my first Trackable I had many question.  I hope these help answer some of yours.

Is it OK to start my Trackable in my own cache?
Yes, any cache at all.

Is it Okay to revisit a cache for a Trackable?
Yes, as long as you can help it move, or towards its goal, go ahead, just post a note to the cache page and not another find.

How does a License plate TB work?
Just like any other Trackable, but you only get discoveries, unless you're willing to hand over your car to be moved to another cacher. Don't be surprised if you don't get a lot of logs on it.

How long can I hold onto a TB?
Two weeks is the suggested maximum, but not everyone can go out and play that often, so if you have it longer, it is common courtesy to email the owner and update them on the status.

How long should I wait before contacting someone holding my Trackable?
If they've logged it, wait at least three weeks, and always be friendly. Nothing gets a trackable thrown out faster than a nasty email. If it wasn't logged, do some research on logs from the last time it was seen.

What do you do when someone steals your Trackable?
Cry, stomp your feet, and THEN do some research by searching cache logs and make sure it is really stolen. Most often, it was merely taken by someone who didn't know how to log it. There are thieves out there, and if your Trackable is truly gone, be it thief, muggled cache, fire, flood, death of a cacher, tornado, whatever, so if it's gone for good, you can send out the copy (in the case of a TB, it comes with two tags) or you can make a replica (in the case of a geocoin) but do not delete any previous logs, or you take credit away from anyone who helped move it along. This upsets people when their logs are deleted.

Do I have to trade when I take a Trackable?
No. Travel bugs and trackable geocoins, that have been set out to travel, are not trade items, you do not have to put something in the cache to take a Trackable item, and you should not take something from a cache in trade for a Trackable item. If you should take something from a cache, you should make a trade, and you can place/take the Trackable item.

Why does it say my tracking number doesn't match?
You most likely typed in the number wrong. Check the number closely, don't mistake 1 for I, 0 for O, 5 for S, 8 for B, etc....

How do I mark my Trackable missing?
Log in, go to the trackable page, and in the drop down menu in the top right corner clcik on "Mark as Missing". Trackable owners can do this for their own items, and cache owners can do it if the item is missing from their cache, but shows as being there. Getting it back into circulation is just a matter of "Grabbing it" back.

What kinds of caches can I log a Trackable through?
Traditional (any size, just don't ever leave a Trackable in a cache if the lid won't close tight with it in there), Virtual, Multi, Letterbox Hyrbrid, Puzzle, Event, CITO, APE, and GPS Maze Exhibit. You can't log them through webcam caches, or Earthcaches.

My Trackable met its goal, now what?
You can give it a new goal, but do not delete any previous logs

Do I have to attach the "dog tag" to an item to make it a trackable? Can I engrave, write, or otherwise brand an object with the tracking code?
No, you don't have to, but then you run the risk of people, especially newbies, not recognizing it as a Trackable item, and leaving it in the cache, or worse, keeping it as swag. Make sure it is easily identifiable as a travel item.

What should I do if I see somebody passing around the tracking codes of coins/TBs?
Explain to them that is virtual logging and those trackables will be at risk of being locked. They should especially not be doing this with other peoples tracking numbers. Also, say "No thank you, I do not virtual log, it's abuse of the system, and it's wrong!

Should coins/TBs be placed in remote or seldom visited caches?
Any cache is a good cache for a TB as long as it fits, but are you helping the TB towards its goal? If it is in a race, NO, if it wants to visit remote locations, YES. Are you prepared to be asked to go back and get it, when it ends up stuck?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Travelbugs and Geocoins

Travelbugs and Geocoins

 When you come across them in a cache, you can :
A .....Admire them,
B .....Discover them, or
C.....Retrieve them to move to another cache.

A- Admire them, check them out, then put them back.

B-To discover them, write down the unique ID number that is on the object and use that number to find the item's page on On that page you can post a "discover' note and you will get an addition to the number found and/or a special icon added to your onsite profile.

C- For Retrieval, you do the same as B - except you will have the item with you at home. The next time you are out cacheing, 'Drop' the item in another cache and, in your online log, click on the specific item in the menu at the bottom of the log page - before you hit the final 'Log' button.

Special Notes:
1 Take care in transcribing the ID number. Sometimes O and 0, 5 and S, and other combinarions are a little difficult to distinguish. If you are trying to Retrieve the item and you are certain you have the ID correct but there is no page for that item, then it is yours to keep or pass on as you wish.

2  Some of these items have a "mission." This is a plan for the travels of the item, established by the owner. Do your best to aid this item in the mission when you place it in another cache.

3  Please, never reveal the unique ID number in text or a photo.

4  Enjoy and have fun.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Tip if You Don’t Have a pen.

At times, geocaching can be "on the fly" or at unexpected times. With that, a person may not have a writing instrument with them. If you find a geocache and want to log it, it's always appropriate to take a picture of the cache in its specific finding spot. Offer to email the cache's owner with the picture and be very specific of ground zero. If it's on an iron fence, explain which rod or corner it's in. Multiple benches in the area? Tell them which is the correct one and under which bench leg. Log your findings online and state that you have emailed the owner with your find.