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Friday, February 28, 2014

Some Geocaching Log Etiquette

There are many rewards for geocaching - the puzzles, going into a new environment, and the finding of the cache. With everything going on, you may be motivated to share your experiences with others. At the same time, it takes creativity to sum everything up. Here is how to have geocaching log etiquette.

Online Cache Log

1.Don't only use geocaching abbreviation and "lingo.  
After writing a meaningful sentence or two, you could end your log with one of the common acronyms but don't make it the only thing in your log.:
TFTC = Thanks For The Cache
TFTH = Thanks For The Hike
TNLN = Took Nothing, Left Nothing
SL = Signed Log.

2.Be precise about geocoins and track ables. Always note down in both the trackable and cache log if anything is missing. This way, the trackable owner will be notified where it went missing and who the last person to hold it was - as well as notifying anyone who searches for the cache. Write down any track ables that you take or leave, despite it appearing/disappearing in the trackable list. A lot of trackables have travel missions, so it's always interesting to read if something goes to another country or overseas.

3.Treat the cache as your own and log down any conditions.
Whether the log is damp/wet, almost filled with signatures, or missing, notify the owner immediately. In such an emergency, you can use a notification icon pertaining to the situation. If you can, take a photo of the cache's condition to post with your 'needs maintenance' log. Don't wait for a cache logbook (log sheet) to be completely full before reporting it. Note the almost full log in your online log.

4.Take the time out to write any experiences on your journey. Every cache is placed in a different environment. Any muggle obstacles? Wildlife? Hiking experiences? How easy or hard was it to complete the puzzle? Did you take anyone with you?

5.Avoid leaving any clues.The entire concept of geocaching is like "finding the treasure at the end of a rainbow". Don't spoil it for other people by describing the immediate area (or "ground zero"). If you have the need to, always cipher (encode) that section of your log.

6.Take pictures around the area, never of the actual cache position.
Autumn foliage, snow cover, animals nearby, historical statues, and other interesting sights can enhance your online log for others to enjoy.

Physical Cache Log

1.Acknowledge the size of the cache. The smaller the cache, the smaller your log must be.

2.Know the limitations of a nano/micro cache: The date and your nickname are plentiful. Always leave room for other people! Be sure to double check on the owner's requests on the online log if a nickname or initials is sufficient. Securely and tightly roll the paper log back up. Always be sure to place it in the lid or cap of the cache before twisting the cache closed upside down. When it's placed in the body of the container, it unravels and expands back out. This makes it harder to close the proper way, as well making it harder to open for the next person.

3.Leave a thankful note and small summary on a larger notepad.
Tell what you saw or who you brought along for the trip.

4.Use geocaching abbreviations and "lingo" for quick appreciation.

Some cache owners love to keep old logs as souvenirs, so show your appreciation on paper as well!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Newest Cahce hidden.

Traditional Cache

Heed The Bark

A cache by RandB Eagle
Hidden : 02/23/2014
Difficulty: 2 out of 5
Terrain: 1.5 out of 5
Size: Size: other (other)
N 28° 39.901 W 081° 28.946
UTM: 17R E 452860 N 3170968

Geocache Description:

This cache was placed with the home owner’s permission. As you search you there is a good chance you will hear the greeting of the laid back Husky and the playful Dalmatian. Certain times of the day there will be  muggles scurrying up the road as they head to school or back home. Parking is available right at QZ.

Enjoy the search and be sure to make sure the container is put back exactly as you found it to prevent a water soaked log. Please no pictures that will spoil the fun for the next Geocacher.

 If you are in Central Florida come and find this creative cache.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

GPS and my Hobby

There’s hidden treasure throughout the county and elsewhere. All you need is a GPS device to find it.
With that handheld Global Positioning System device you can find “treasures” It’s usually just a trinket or a small toy, but on occasion searchers might even find a small gift certificate for coffee. But one thing for sure when you find it you always get a “Smile”

Some questions that I have been asked.

1. What is your hobby?
My hobby is geocaching. This is hunting for treasure all over the world. It is a hobby that mixes technology with activity, critical thinking skills and nature. The treasure or cache (pronounced cash) is found by using a handheld GPS.
Hidden caches are the size of your small fingernail to the size of an Ammo Can. These containers are located everywhere in the city, county and the world. The object is to find the creatively made containers and log your find on the Internet and leave the container for the next cacher to find.

2. Why do you like it?
I like it because it helps me to keep walking as I try to strengthen my back and lose weight.  It keeps me busy and active finding caches in parks, public places, trails and even bike trails.  It gains more appeal when I get my family to join in the adventure.

3. How much time do you spend on it?
I can spend as much or little time as I want; no pressure with this hobby. I try to go a few times a week. Most of the time I go by myself but once in a while my wife or son will join me. 

4. What’s the most challenging thing about it?
It is finding a uniquely hidden cache that is placed in such a way that it blends in with nature and makes it very hard to find. All caches are rated with a terrain/difficulty rating from a one star, which is easy, to a five star, which is very difficult to find. The one terrain difficulty would be from a level area or path, which would be wheelchair accessible to a five star, which could be a tree climb or a need for special equipment like a boat or kayak.

5. How can others start?
You can get started by logging into the geocaching website at www.geocaching.com. It is free. I started with the app on my smart phone and then branched out and got a Garmin 450.

Why not give Geocaching a try today after all who doesn't like a treasure hunt?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Where all the Fun Began N 45 17.460 W 122 24.800

The First Geocache was hidden on May 3rd of 2000 in Oregon, United States by Dave Ulmer. Dave placed a 5 gallon bucket that contained Delorme Topo USA software, videos, books, food, money, and a slingshot! The geocache is not there anymore but Groundspeak has put a Plaque in honor of the orginal geocache. The GC code for the plaque is GCGV0P. However the Orginal Cache placed by Dave Ulmer is still on the website. The GC code for the orginal "stash cache' is GCF. Can you Believe that just one letter in the GC Code. Below is the orginal email Dave Ulmer sent out on his internet group.

Well, I did it, created the first stash hunt stash and here are the coordinates:

N 45 17.460
W122 24.800

Lots of goodies for the finders. Look for a black plastic bucket
buried most of the way in the ground. Take some stuff, leave
some stuff! Record it all in the log book. Have Fun!

Stash contians: Delorme Topo USA software, videos, books, food,

money, and a slingshot!

Maybe its time to plan a road trip to where all the fun began?

Friday, February 14, 2014

I Love Geocaching Lab Cache is easy to create.

At the beginning of February, the I <3 Geocaching Lab Cache experiment launched. During the month of February, Geocaching Premium members have the chance to create a temporary, personalized Lab Cache for one special person. This new test is different than normal geocaching and is open to all sorts of creative interpretations. If you’re a Geocaching Premium member and you haven’t created your Lab Cache yet, be sure to check it out.

I used the lab cache to create a special Valentines gift for my wife. She is an avid reader so I thought that the best cache for her would be a book. . After watching different YouTube videos on creating a hollow book the work began. So off to Goodwill to find a perfect book that I thought would work for my creation. After the hollow book was complete it was time to make the cover for the book. Once complete the book was placed on the entry way table with some other books, there it sat in plain sight.  It was time to create the cache in the I <3 Geocaching Lab. Once complete I was given a link that leads to my cache, it was then placed in the special Valentine’s Day email I sent to my wife. After searching the house using the hints given My wife found her first smile, hopefully the first of many.

Be sure to check out the  I <3 Geocaching Lab Cache page and create your own before time runs out.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Happy Valentines Day

Geocaching the Environmental Way

 In order to preserve nature and ensure that activities such as geocaching can be enjoyed by generations to come, it pays to take care of the environment while you are out there. Here is a list of things we each can do to insure that we take care of nature for generations to come.

•       Carry a trash bag on your vehicle and pick up litter left by others.
•       Pack out what you pack in.
•       Practice minimum-impact camping by using established sites and camping 200 feet from water resources and trails.
•       Observe proper sanitary waste disposal or pack your waste out.
•       Take a small bag and pack out your pet’s waste especially in front country areas or if it is left on or near trails or trailhead areas.
•       Before and after a trip, wash your gear and support vehicle to reduce the spread of invasive species.
•       Build a trail community. Get to know other types of recreationists that share your favorite trail.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Guidelines For Caching

When caching use appropriate behavior, leaving the area better than you found it, properly disposing of waste, minimizing the use of fire, avoiding the spread of invasive species and restoring degraded areas. Here is a brief list of guidelines to get you thinking in the right direction.

Cache Placers
·         Build a relationship with local land owners or land management agencies, to ensure minimal impact of cache placement.
·         Avoid burying a cache in the ground.
·         It is the cache owner’s responsibility to maintain the cache and the surrounding area. If a cache’s area is impacted, confer with the land manager on how you will mitigate the impacts and seek their advice as to whether to relocate the cache.
·         Never place food items in a cache.
·         Don’t modify the environment for any reason, even when hiding a cache.

Cache Seekers
·         Use maps to find a route that will minimize impacts. Note waypoints during your journey to assist you on your return trip.
·         If you notice a path has started to wear in the vicinity of a cache, notify the cache owner via email.
·         Practice the “lift, look, replace” technique if you lift a rock to look under it. Replace it exactly as you found it.

·         After you’ve finished searching for a cache, the area should look as though you were never there or better than when you arrived.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Welcome to The Life and Times of Geocaching.

Welcome to my blog!

I have started this blog to share and document my adventures in Geocaching.  I have been Geocaching since Oct 1, 2012. My goal is to pass along things I have learned and will learn along the way to help encourage others to enjoy the fun of Geocaching.

I also would like to share pictures and notes from my adventures but I will never divulge the location of a cache.  I may show the sights on the way, or the cache container (if it doesn't impact the clue), but I will never show you a cache in its hiding place.  You will find this stated in the rules right from Geocaching.com.  The fun of caching is finding the cache, I will not use this blog as a spoiler.

If you are new to Geocaching and would like to learn more, here is a great place to check out, Geocaching guide.  If you are familiar with caching it is still a great place to check out Geoacaching guide.

I hope that you find this blog interesting and informative!

Please feel free to leave comments or share some of your geocaching adventures or pictures with me to share in The Life and Times of Geocaching blog at Geocachingfinds.com.