CacheCrazy.Com

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Really Great Caches ~ Sticks and stones may break my bones.......

But names will never hurt me. 


Remember that? 
I do and I can assure you that if FamilyTeamB heard some of the names I called them on that Thursday afternoon when Dodger, DctrSpot, Boltzmann (the geodog) and I met to do FamilyTeamB's new cache, I may have made them cry. 


Join me as we look at this geocache from a first hand expanded log of sorts complete with pictures, an awesome interview with the cache owners complete with pictures, and a reflection on an afternoon that I wont soon forget. If that sounds like fun to you then let's get started.

Up Down & All Around (sticks and stones), GC2VAPV 

on geocaching.com by: FamilyTeamB

FamilyTeamB

Paul, Nichole, Matt and Abby look like the all American family but don't let them fool you. They are evil schemers of wicked caches that have you looking for things you may have never seen before. Somewhere in Paul's garage is a secret laboratory of torturous contraptions that he and his family bring to the field and pass themselves off as a nice family of Geocachers, yeah, right! I'm on to them. They lure us out there in the middle of nowhere, dragging us through thickets and scrub oak, scraping skin on rocks, twisting ankles and climbing things that even as a child you probably wouldn't do! And you know what? 
                                                       We loved it!


DctrSpott and Dodger 

GC2VAPB, Up Down & All Around (sticks and stones) showed up on GC.com on 5/1/2011. The FTF (first to find) diehards were in pursuit but were met with some adverse conditions and stages that were not typical in terms of the “garden variety” geocache. The FTF was claimed by Cerberus1 on 5/6/2011 and with that said, the first favorite was awarded. I know Cerb and he's a pro! He doesn’t hand out those favorites easily. You have to earn them with thought, effort and a location that's cool. Since that time there have been six logged finds and 3 favorite cache awards! That's a great start for a geocache that has been hidden by a relatively new cache team, FamilyTeamB.

I had the good fortune to catch up to the CO's and asked them a few questions for our readers at CacheCrazy.Com.

Bloodhounded: Congratulations, either you guys have incredible skill or beginners luck (or a bit of both) you certainly have one hell of a cache out there!  It’s received nearly as many favorite points as it has finds! Can you tell us a little bit about your caching team and what your team goals or likes are?

FamilyTeamB: Maybe it’s a bit of both, but thanks!  Being new, we didn’t want people to think that we were going to put out a typical cache, we wanted people to complete our cache and say, hey I really enjoyed that!  We want them to know that we are going to try to use some form of originality in our caches.  Going into our first cache we didn’t expect to receive favorites points so quickly and then to receive them from such experienced cachers is an honor.  We really appreciate that.  Our team consists of myself (Nichole), my husband Paul, and our two children, Matt and Abby and occasionally my brother Josh tags along, and props to him for helping us place our first multi.   What we enjoy about caching is that we can spend family time together doing all of the good things like, seeing and learning about new places, exercising body and mind, and what’s better than finding a treasure at the end.  We love it!

Bloodhounded: What were your original thoughts when you placed this cache and why did you select the location?

Matt and Abby taunting you to find it, great kids!
FamilyTeamB:  When we planned to do this cache, we knew that originality was going to be our main goal.    We wanted to include the whole family and put some hard work into it.   We chose the location because we loved our time spent searching for Windmill Hunting in the Barrens by Dctr Spott and we thought, ya know, there are some unique hiding spots in the area not to mention, the place is beautiful and some of the views are amazing.

In order to get a view like this, you have to first climb the mountain but let me tell you, it's worth it!


Bloodhounded: What kind of reactions are you getting from the logs?

FamilyTeamB:  The reactions are great!  People seem to be having fun and that was our goal coming into this . We decided early on that we wanted people not to feel frustrated with a DNF after their search, but to come home and log a satisfying smiley.

Bloodhounded: So now that you own this awesome cache, what can we look forward to in the future? Any plans for another hide?

FamilyTeamB:  We have a small multi called, A Walk in the Park.  This one is really cute and kind of aimed toward the kids.  Our next cache will be more difficult than Up Down & All Around.  We already have a few ideas planned out but we want to take our time with it so that it will be a good quality cache.

The good doctor and I discussing infinity and beyond 
Bloodhounded:  As a relatively new player in our sport, what are your first impressions of the game and your thoughts on the future of quality geocaching?

FamilyTeamB: What I love about this game is that really anyone can play.  For the kids it’s like a treasure hunt, for adults it’s a gratifying   journey.  For us it is mainly time well spent together as a family.  My hope is that people keep putting out hides that bring some adventure and uniqueness to the game.  We will contribute to these qualities as long as we are playing the game and we have confidence that others will do the same for many years to come.

Nice folks don't you think? Now, let me tell you the story they are not telling you.

I can tell you from firsthand experience that the cache is tough and tricky at times. The terrain is rough and you had better leave the shorts, flip-flops and t-shirt at home or you’re in for a bad time (don't let the pictures of Matt and Abby fool you, they want you to wear shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops, evil, evil I tell you). Also, be prepared to use your geosenses and think outside the box. I can’t tell too much for the fear of being a spoiler but I will say that I have seen some stage cache sets here that I have not ever seen before. The hike isn't bad, the cache flows nicely and some of the views are awesome!

Don't let this nice path fool you
The area where the cache is placed is now a plethora of quality caches. You could easily spend a day here and hike around grabbing caches along the way.

Boltzmann, DctrSpott's geodog
If you are able to get all five caches in one day that would be quite an accomplishment indeed. We were so into the cache that we didn't even talk about the blog much. It showed me that we still have our priorities in order, lol!


Hey, why not grab your gear, some friends and/or family (don’t forget your furry best friend) and make sure you have a lot of time and prepare yourself for a caching adventure of a lifetime!

Cache safe! 

  Bloodhounded

Thursday, August 28, 2014

LIONS, AND GATORS, AND DEBAERS OH MY!




















Big Al and his gator buddy. I would have held a bigger gator, but he was finishing his last cacher and was unavailable.

Hey folks, Big Al here coming at you from Lakeland, Florida the official event site for Geowoodstock XI. Last week I shared some stories about people I met and some of the fun we had while there. This week I'll introduce you to a lion, some gators (and other animals), and DeBaer.

Since this event took place in Florida what better things for the kids to see than snakes, dragons, a lion, gators, and DeBaer.

We started off by visiting a show run by a husband and wife team. They have been in the reptile business for about 15 years. They have rescued approximately 150 different reptiles and they do about 250 presentations per year. That is a lot of talking and squirming. Let me introduce to you Bob and Liz from LB Reptile Experience.

                           Bob Shumaker

                           Liz Shumaker

"Our adventures with reptiles started about 12 years ago when my son James wanted a snake for Christmas. We really did not know that much about reptiles and thought he looked lonely all by himself so we got another one. Then we started going to reptile shows and fell in love with all the reptiles. We started breeding boa constrictors and were very successful in that area. We joined the Jacksonville Herpetological Society and became Board Members and took over the Reptile Rescue. We then started the LB Reptile Experience to start doing educational shows to fund the Reptile Rescue. We use a lot of the rescued reptiles in the shows that we do."

After a short introduction Bob and Liz began bringing out the reptiles for us to see, feel, and hold. The kids went wild with excitement... and so did a few of the adults. Not that I was one of them; okay, so I really like reptiles and couldn't wait to hold some of them.

                         I'm the guy in the blue that the camera decided to cut in half.

This is a Yellow Boa Constrictor. He was very heavy and long. I think Kyo-Kat and Craftimom were enjoying holding him.




                        Cacheking and his little cousin in the green shirt taking their turn holding the boa.
                     

This little guy was having fun as a reptile pirate. It's just that it was not a parrot sitting on his shoulder instead it is a Bearded Dragon.





This next picture shows you a close up of Bob. Can you guess why they call him a Reptile Man? I'll give you three guesses and the first two don't count.

                         That's just creepy



    The picture below is a Black Dragon named Kahn. Wouldn't you like to have him running around your yard?

             
Our last reptile in this show is Raji, an Asian Water Monitor. He was so cool looking... And BIG.



We learned lots about these reptiles and how that many people will purchase them and think they will stop growing. Well it's obvious that they stop growing once they die, but they start out little and just keep growing. If you're going to get your kids a pet get them a pet rock. They don't eat very much and you never have to change their litter box.


We then learned about alligators, they call them gators in Florida. This team of reptile folks from Jungle Adventures Nature Park had come to do presentations on snakes, gators, and lions (Florida Panther).


Most of these reptile folks don't wrestle gators anymore. They just take them around to schools and events to teach people about them who may have never seen them before in the wild.

I did find a couple of people who wrestled one and then stuck their heads in his mouth. Their real winners in my circle.




Here's a picture of what the longest gator would have measured at when alive. Notice the small gator being held by the assistant.

The longest gator was measured at about 19 feet, 2 inches. That's a BIG gator. Look out Swamp People he'll eat you for dinner.

They did bring along a Florida Panther (also known as a Mountain Lion), but the Government does not allow them to bring him out of his cage. This was the closest we could get to him. Doesn't he just look all fuzzy and cuddly?



We left the reptiles, gators, and lion and headed off to meet Da Bear.

                        No, not da bear...

                        I met this DeBaer

Cachecrazy's own Dave DeBaeremaeker was at the event and we finally were able to meet each other. Dave was there with Head HardHat and it was nice being able to catch up to him and get our picture taken. Dave, maybe sometime we'll get together when we travel through North Carolina and do some caching.

We then were introduced to some of the Reviewers who review our caches before publishing them.


Cachers were able to ask the reviewers questions and then they would give their responses. A guy in front of me told his wife to take a deep breath and not loose her temper over an answer given and that's when we decided it was time to go visit the vendors. We're out of here.

Until next week this is Big Al at Cachecrazy.com signing off.









Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Why Not Wednesday ~ Take A Kid Geocaching


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

So That's What a Cache Container Looks Like!

By Kim@SnugHarborBay


Some of my readers have been asking me what cache containers look like.  Well, there are many different kinds, shapes and sizes.

These are basic ammo cans...




A large, cammo'd tube...  These are often hung from a tree branch or a fence.



Yes, a plastic pickle jar.  This was hidden in a tree stump.



A film container.....



A plastic, cammo'd tupperware container.  This is why we say we are searching for
 "Tupperware in the woods!"

A little wooden treasure chest.....



A preform container.  This looks like a test tube with electrical tape wrapped around it.


I loved this next one - it was a custom made container, out of plastic PVC pipe and wrapped in cammo tape.  This was hidden in a fallen tree in the forest.




This next one was a little container that looked like a cat....  
It was hidden outside a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant.


One cache owner had several of these containers custom made with these logo's on them....



This was another good one - it was a custom made plastic light bulb, attached with a magnet (with permission) to the rear of an office building, about 6 ft. high.  Really clever!


And this one is a cammo'd lock and lock container - which is just like a fancy tupperware container.



So there you have it - a nice selection of different cache containers, but they are certainly not limited to what you see here.  The more you cache, the more different kinds you will find.

Please visit the official geocaching site and read thru this page:
http://www.geocaching.com/about/finding.aspx

It gives you lots of great information on getting started.   I suggest you start with something close to home, with a terrain and dificulty rating of 1/1.  Maybe something in a park or near a restaurant.  These are easier to do at first and can be done without a GPS unit.  Just remember to use stealth, and come back and let me know what you found!  Happy caching!



Thanks Kim for another great re-posted article! If you would like to see this article on Kim's Blog Snug Harbor Bay click here.... 

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Zip Lock Conundrum


  1. It does not take new cachers long to realize that the zip lock bag is a standard tool used by hiders.  The zip lock is often employed to protect logbooks and other contents from any moisture that may seep into a container.  In rare cases it is actually used as the container.


I have frequently used these bags as well to protect my own log books, but over time I have lost faith in the trusty old zip lock bag.

I am here to give the argument that putting your faith in zip lock bags in caches is a bad idea for most purposes, especially if you are using them for moisture protection -  even if it is the second line of defense.

The problem with zip lock bags is that they are not designed for the punishment and abuse that they will take from cachers (even the most well intentioned ones).  A zip lock bag is designed to be opened just a few times before it starts to wear out, but a typical cache will get dozens to hundreds of visitors, which vastly exceeds the capabilities of the bag.  The seals wear out, and the plastic develops holes much faster than the maintenance cycle of all but the most frequently maintained caches.  They quickly loses any waterproof ability it has.  This is just as true of the most expensive versions as it is of the cheap dollar store variety (tho you will get a little more mileage out of the more expensive ones).

All of this means that that zip lock baggie you used to protect that precious log book in your hide is likely failing you right now.  Your well planned multi line defense system is now dependent solely on the container (kinda regretting that pill bottle now eh?).

Yesterday I went caching and found 11 caches.  Most of these caches used a zip lock bag to store the log book in.  All of  these bags were comprimised in one way or another and no longer are useful for waterproof protection.

The following are some of the damage I found, so you can see exactly how ineffective these baggies are at waterproofing.  Starting with a closeup of the baggie from the first picture in this post:

As you can see this bag is ripped.  The reason is that pen.  If you put a pen in a zip lock baggie, you are essentially putting a giant pokey device into the most sensitive part of your defensive network.  That pen is almost guaranteed to puncture that baggie, and render it useless for water defense.  This is doubly true if your container is too small for the baggie, like this:

As you can see that baggie is scrunched in there pretty good.  The problems with this are two fold.  First that bag has been folded over the seal, which as crimped it and as a result comprimised its water proofing abilities.  Second by being so tight in the tube, a cacher has to pull harder on the baggie to extract the log.  This pulling puts extra stress on the plastic and wears it out much faster.

The last example I have is when a hider uses a zip lock bag as the only line of defense.  The following pictures are of a tin can (never waterproof!) and a huge zip lock baggie containing the entire contents of the cache:


As you can see the container is starting to rust, is not water proof, and its sole moisture defense plan is a torn zip lock baggie.  This cache is destined for some serious maintenance issues - it is just a matter of time.

So you may ask yourself, how do I protect the log book if I can't use a baggie?  My suggested solution is a layered defense of containers.  I suggest using a smaller waterproof container to keep the log in, like a micro film can, bison tube, or a small tupperware container if the cache is large enough.  Put that container inside the larger outer container that is your cache, which should also be rugged and waterproof, and you will have a well protected log book that will not wear out nearly as fast as that unreliable zip lock baggie.

You may be saying to yourself that this adds to the expense of the cache hide as now you need two quality containers.  My response would be: Yes.  However you can get good cache containers very cheaply - film cans and bison tubes are only a dollar or two each (even cheaper in bulk) and you can often find sales on Lok'n'Lok containers for less than a dollar per container.

It is much better to put out one quality cache that will last for a long time, than two or three cheap caches that are destined to quickly become geo-trash, don't you agree?

So I hope you will consider these words the next time you think of using that zip lock bag in your cache hide for any other purpose than organizing the contents.

If this article has done its job, this last picture should give you shivers down your spine:

Happy caching!

This article was written by Dave DeBaeremaeker. If you liked this post please feel free to check out some of his adventures and hi-jinks on his personal blog: Only Googlebot Reads This Blog.

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