CacheCrazy.Com: September 2013

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Mad Geocaching Pensioner - Why and How



Many people ask me why and how did  I take up geocaching, "Come on,  your'e a pensioner you know, put your feet up and take up knitting" , well lets try and answer these questions, and what benefits it can give us all, whether young or old.

Early days, a 100 yards was an effort !!
My job as a Quality Manager in the Oil & Gas exploration industry took me to various places in Europe, America and Canada. Yes I know, your all thinking what a lovely life jetting around the world, well perhaps on the odd occasion when I did manage to get time to myself, but usually it just involved airports, hotels, factories and then even more airports, it certainly took it's toll on my health and I was more than pleased to retire from the rat-race in 2007.

Well this is when my problems started. Being home all the time I'm sure my fridge turned into a very clever machine because everytime I got within a few feet of it, the door would automatically opened and shout out "EAT ME", well that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I began to balloon in size so much so that I was almost the same height lying down as stand up, I knew I had to do something after I tried swimming in the sea and someone tried to harpoon me. (wink). Joking apart my doctor warned me my heart was in danger and I had to do something urgently.

I desperately needed exercise and my Niece had spotted geocaching but still hadn't tried it yet. I did all the reading about it on the website and registered straight away thinking I would be able to use my car TomTom satnav.


GC1R4QE - Church Micro St. Georges, King's Stanley.  I rushed out for my first find which was at my local parish church, (should have read all the rules of the cache hides) as I spent an hour falling all over the overgrowth in the rear churchyard, hitting my legs on old gravestones and scratching myself with the brambles. My TomTom kept wanting me to go back to the roads, because that's what it was designed for and not geocaching away from roads.

My faith in this sport was knocked back as I returned home rethink this geocaching whilst sticking several plasters on my arms and legs. (Let me say straight away I didn't know the rules not allowing hides inside church grounds or ancient monuments).

GCVWD4 - Motorway Mayhem M5 Junction 13 - I few days later I decided to try a cache and dash on a roadside not far from home and up near a motorway. Fortunately I didn't need the GPS which was just as well as I still only had my car TomTom. After a little search I discovered a film canister, found under a stone, my first ever find and the euphoric feeling was fantastic, I was hooked straight away and haven't looked back ever since. (May 2009)

Slimmer, Fitter and The Prized Hat
Within days I had purchased my first hand-held GPS, an Etrex Venture HC, and I was on my way. I made sure I had learnt all the rules of finding and placing a cache and I returned to the church to find that first attempt, this time without all the pain and trouble.

As those who have read my "Perils of a Geocaching Pensioner" blogs I have had several mishaps and injuries, but these have all been caused by myself and being unfit, yes I admit it. As for the benefits, I have had a wonderful retirement finding fantastic places that I have never seen before. I have made many new friends in the Caching world and, the most important thing of all, my weight has dropped a total of 6 1/2 stone, that's 91 lbs or as I like to say 45 bags of sugar. As for that clever fridge, it can open it's door all it likes, I'm not there but in the countryside lapping in all this wonderful world and wildlife that my previous jobs kept me from. If you haven't tried it you don't know what your missing.

Oh - and that Lady-Magpie's hat, given to me by my Sister stays, it has become my trademark and when meeting other cachers they all recognise me without having to ask.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

So That's What A Geocache Container Looks Like



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, September 23, 2013

A Geocache Owners Ultimate Reward

by: Bloodhounded
Notes from the author: I consider myself a geocache hider who also likes to seek. I know that might seem a little strange however, that's my thing. Making a cool container, hiding the geocache, making an awesome cache page and watching to see who comes to find it is a thrill to me. But, it's  not all rainbows and lolly pops having 27 hides in the field. There are many let downs that are inherited to keeping them maintained. One great log and it's all worth it.

I was doing some yard work when my phone lit up with an email from a cacher who informed me that my final was missing from a popular cache of mine. I sent him back the exact location and he confirmed it was searched and not there. That evening another email, much like the first but, this time it was the flood waters that took their toll. I temporarily archived both caches and suddenly a GC notification came in with the cacher claiming the find but, the log was wet and needed to be replaced! Man, WTF! Out of my frustration I thought to myself, I'm done with hiding, I'm adopting them all out, I don't have time for this $hit, WTF, no more caches, that's it! I logged off, called it a night and stomped off to bed like a five year old who's Lego empire just collapsed.

That night I had dreams of smashed caches, wet logs and cache maintenance that I couldn't possibly complete myself! They all would have to go, they all would have to go, they all would have to go, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
I woke up and decided that I would get them back in shape one cache at a time. Relax.....

Feeling kinda lousy about the whole thing it was ironic that a picture was tagged to our facebook page that day. It appeared that my friend Steve (aka ebjazzz) was in the field and sent a picture of one of the wooden coin stages to GC32W2E, The Salty Dog, my newest caches. He went on to say that he wanted to do the stages and get the coords to the final. It was his daughters 10th birthday and all she wanted to do was go geocaching (now that's a kid after my own heart) and since it was hunting season, he would print out the treasure map from the cache page link and do the final from the map. I just smiled because when I made the map, I always imagined some kids using it to find real treasure. Sure enough my dream came true.

Yesterday, the log on Geocaching.com came up and reviled Morgan's birthday geocache treasure hunt with many smiles and some quality Daughter/Daddy time. I made that happen, I thought. My cache brought these guys together to enjoy a day afield and made a memory that will last forever in their hearts. Seeing the light in their eyes, the smiles on their faces and the time and detail put into the log (not to mention another favorite point) made my heart feel good too and I smiled.

THIS IS WHY I HIDE GEOCACHES

Morgan and Bradley show the treasure map


Captain Dad helps decode the word lock



Bradley and Morgan explore the BOOTY


ARRRRRR, nice log book


Signing the log

Captain Ebjazzz shows the documents

Locking up the "DOG"


And she's ready for hiding for another treasure hunter on another day


Somehow, someway, this single log rekindled the geocache hider inside me and made all the bad feelings go away.




Found it Found it
11/19/2011
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD - DON'T READ IF YOU DON'T WANT EM!

Best. Final. Ever! I was saving this for a special occasion - was gonna make it my 200th but I got carried away and nearly hit that without noticing. Instead I opted to make it the finale on a day of caching for my daughters 10th birthday (its all she wanted to do). After your recommendation to avoid this place on Saturdays, I had to figure out a way to get her here. I figured I'd do the first four stages on my own during the week and then find the final with them,(HERE COMES THE SPOILER - I WARN YOU - STOP READING!) which would bypass us having to enter the sanctuary. I printed a copy of your map with an "X" marking the final and out we headed. This was the 9th find (out of 10 tries with one DNF) of the day which included a FTF as well as some visits back to a couple I had already logged but she hadn't seen. She found it fairly quickly when we arrived aT GZ and she was even able to decode the lock after I threw her a few clues (I wasn't just going to give her the combination). Needless to say her and Bradley (My Best Friends son who was along for the day) were wide eyed when they opened her up - BOOTY GALORE! She took a dream catcher, he grabbed some "jewels" (5 year olds are amazed by shiny smooth rocks), and I took a micro container I will use in a future cache. We dropped a "mario" mustache, a dollhouse pillow, a dog tag keychajn, and a voojo pirates computer game. An awesome cache worthy of a favorite point - and a real shame the winter is going to lay her to rest. TFT AWESOME C!

Happy Birthday Morgan! I hope you enjoyed your adventure.....

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Up on the Rock

By Big Al

Note to readers: The Cachecrazy crew finally got together for some introductions and we even got out for a few caches together. Well three of us did.








WELCOME TO THIRSTY THURSDAY!!!
Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, and get UP ON THE ROCK!

Last Thursday three of the team members from Cachecrazy.com got together for a few caches. Bloodhounded had a meeting to attend, so it was Dodger (from Dodger Lizard Crew), DctrSpott (and his Geodog Boltzman), and me. The guys told me to meet them at the Francis E. Walter Dam and we would hit some caches that are located there. I had just gotten home from work so I made a quick change of clothes and headed out the door. This was going to be the first time that I had met any of the guys in person. I was really looking forward to this meeting.



I arrived at the F. E. W. Dam and drove over to Dodger's house and met him, his wife, and their kids.  Shortly thereafter DctrSpott arrived with his Geodog Boltzman. Hey, these are a great bunch of people and I'm glad they are on our team. After some more introductions the three of us, with Boltzman, headed over to the dam. I have never been across the dam before and all I can say is WOW!! This is one spectacular dam. The view from here is unbelievable.

We continued on to a parking area and after parking we all got ready to hit the trails. Dodger had decided that the first cache we needed to complete was GC13X3C , Up on the Rock. This cache is owned by bottlecap. We started up the road and as we were walking Dodger said we needed to duck into the woods. He said he knew this because the arrow was still pointing the way. When I asked what arrow he was talking about he pointed to the ground and said it was on the cache page. Here is how it's listed on the CP: "After you arrive at the parking coords, and check out the falls, walk UP along the guardrail on the same side of the road, and look for an arrow of rocks on the ground. That is the best way in. If you don't find the arrow, it's no "biggey", but I wish you luck."


We then headed into the woods and crossed the creek. From there it was a short climb up some rocks to the area where we were to begin our search. Search you say? Yes, we needed to search for a strange object. On the cache page you're given a set of coordinates that take you to where the strange object is located. We arrived at ground zero and began searching. We searched high and low, in and out, up and under, but we were just not finding the strange object. After searching for quite some time we decided to leave with out it and go on to the main cache. We weren't sure if we would regret it later on, but it was worth trying anyways. 


We had to climb up some more big rocks to get to the next ground zero and we did eventually make it. I started looking around and then I heard DctrSpott say he had located it.


                DctrSpott deciding maybe he should not try to climb down there


I went over and could not believe where it was. As soon as I saw where it was located I realized why we needed the strange object. As we continued looking we then noticed the reason we could not find the strange object. It was already there, but let's just say it was not going to be useful to us right now. We decided to try a rope that Dodger had and I thought I could lasso the cache. Well that did not work. Then Dodger had an idea of using a multi-tool so I got mine out and tied it to the rope and used it to get the cache. 


                                                     Gerber retrieval tool


So now we had the cache out and we all signed the log and checked out the swag. Then came the fun part of trying to do some extreme cache maintenance. With the rope we had I was able to lasso the strange object and retrieve it with Dodger's help. Then we used it to put the cache back in place. Now it's totally ready for the next cacher to find it. While we were closing things up Bloodhounded called and said he was on his way to meet us at the parking area. Cool, I finally get to meet the guy who started this whole CacheCrazy idea.  We then went back to the first listed cords and put the strange object back in its place. You know there is nothing like helping out a fellow cacher when you're right there. So with cache maintenance completed we headed back out to the road. 


When we got out to the road Dodger told us all to straighten up because the Big Boss (Bloodhounded) was here. I looked down the road and saw a nicely dressed man getting out of an SUV. We approached each other and introduced ourselves. He then said to me "my, you are a big guy." I guess that's why they call me Big Al.  After talking for a bit we all gathered together for a photo. 


                                Dodger, DctrSpott, Bloodhounded and Big Al


It was really nice being able to meet the whole crew. I just wish we could have all gone out for the other caches, but Bloodhounded had some other things to take care of so he had to leave. As we stood there talking the dark clouds began to roll in. We decided to go for the other caches even though it might rain. So we headed off to the next one. We were able to do two more caches before calling it quits for the night. As we were leaving Bloodhonded called again and told us a nasty storm was heading our way. We informed him we had already called it a day and were heading home. When we got to Dodger's house it began to rain. As I was leaving it really began to rain a lot harder and the wind really picked up. I thought several times the wind might blow some trees over into the road, but that never happened and I did make it home safely. 


I want to say thanks to the guys for allowing me to join them as part of the CacheCrazy team, and for a really nice time out doing what we all love; Geocaching. If you've never been to the F.E.W. Dam then I suggest you set aside some time and go visit it. I know I'll be taking my family back there for some caches and for some fun hikes. Enjoy your time afield this week. 

Metal Detectors Make Geocaching Fun for Families

"I'm always interested in different applications of "tools" used in geocaching. So, when Michael presented me with this contribution, I thought, why not, it fits here at CacheCrazy.Com. This is high tech stuff here guys, making that micro that still hasn't had an FTF yet (2 years later) a possibility OR finding buried treasure Hmmmmm.....sounds like fun to me. BH"

Metal Detectors Make Geocaching Fun for Families

by Daniel  Bernzweig

Geocaching is a hobby with a wide range of benefits.  You’re not only able to get up and outside for some exercise, geocaching is possible worldwide, and it’s fun for anyone of any age.  In fact, many families get involved in geocaching for this reason in particular; kids and adults can have a great time geocaching.

Kids really enjoy the thrill of the hunt for the geocache.  Even though the specific GPS coordinates of the geocache are used, you never  know exactly where you’ll find the geocache or what it may contain once it’s opened.  Each geocache will have a log book, but sometimes, others also have trinkets or treasures inside.  The rule is, unless otherwise specified, you can take what’s inside the geocache as long as you leave something of equal or greater value.  And, not only is seeing what’s inside the geocache exciting, choosing what to leave another geocacher can be just as fun.

That said, sometimes, searching for a geocache can be a bit more than a child has patience for.  That’s where metal detectors can come in handy.  Geocaches are often hidden in metal containers, or other types of containers with metal on them, or even in them.  Admittedly metal detectors won’t find all geocaches, but they’ll help find the majority of them, and fast.  Using a metal detector will also help keep kids engaged during the geocache even more, and, they’ll often find other treasures in addition to the geocache; yet another reason for them to get excited!
All you’ve got to do to find a metal detector to use with your child geocaching is be sure to get a machine that features an adjustable handle so you can both use it, as well as one that’s lightweight.  Be sure to read the article entitled “Metal Detectors are Useful in Geocaching” for tips on equipment selection. Also, be sure to review the rules of geocaching with your child before heading out so they can be respectful of the land and all those that will find the geocache after them  Then, you can go geocaching with the whole family and find all the caches you’re looking for easily while being sure to preserve this special hobby for many years to come. 


Biography

About the author: Daniel Bernzweig manages MetalDetector.com in Southborough, MA. He has written on the subject of treasure hunting and metal detecting since the mid 1980’s. He enjoys traveling with his metal detector and helping to educate others in the correct use of metal detectors in their explorations.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Nobody's Going to Vandalize THAT Mailbox


"I came across this post the other day and just had to schedule it back in. What a freaking blast this was! So spontaneous, a little cachecrazyness and a lot of guts. Some of Dodger's very best work! Enjoy as we gear up for a wild weekend. BH"  



How to spend a Sunday morning before going to church... hmm... 

Make some coffee and read the paper...

Watch TV...

Throw some wood on the fire...

Log on to CacheCrazy.com...

Sleep...

How about meet up with some new geocachers to carry a ladder into the woods to log another smiley? 

NOW we're talkin'!

(Truth be told, I timed it even better than that.  By the time I met up with these guys, they had already hauled the ladder and had it all set up...)

This past Sunday, we decided it was "high" time to knock the newest neighborhood cache off of the list - CJ and Cerberus1's Airmail (GC35JZH).  Now this isn't your ordinary hide.  In fact, the challenge isn't in the hide at all.  It's getting there.  Like others, I had checked it out prior, but lacked the necessary gear to actually make it to the logbook.  You may have figured it out by now being as how it's named Airmail...

 
Yep, you guessed it...

So you see this mailbox of a cache is some 30 feet off the ground, strapped to a mighty oak tree, and it's not exactly a traditional climbing tree with branches along the way.  The ideal way to get there is with some rope gear, but I don't have any of that stuff (yet... just what I need - another hobby... oh well...).  Turns out some other folks were in the same boat, and it took a posted note on the cache page from our new friend frmrgeorg to get this - so to speak - "off the ground".  Kevin jumped all over that and organized the Sunday morning outing.  Steve (ebjazz) and friends, Curtis (frmrgeorg), Kevin (our own Bloodhounded), and I were part of the team. 

I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it and ended up appearing sort of at the last minute.  By the time I rolled in, the rest of the gang already carried the ladder to GZ and had it all set up and ready to go.  I was there just in time for the old "well who's going to climb the ladder" game. 

Now this wasn't exactly cut-and-dry - the ladder was a good ten feet short of the prize. 

The ladder, a good 10 feet short of the prize

So while everybody's looking at each other, I'm thinking that I probably better volunteer for this since I rolled in late.  Much to my and the rest of the gang's surprise, though, Curtis apparently had enough of the BS and just took off.  I mean this guy didn't even think about it.  He shot up that ladder like that French guy that scales all the world's tall buildings.  Then he got to where the ladder ended, crawled his way up into the branches, and opened the mailbox!  It was excellent!

Curtis:  "The logbook is right at the end of the mailbox so it won't be hard for you to get."

(The rest of us exchange stares.)

(A long pause.)

The rest of us:  "Hey, Curtis, here's a better idea.  Just throw that logbook down to us."

Curtis at Airmail

After all that, I felt a little dirty about the whole thing.  Kevin brought the ladder, Steve was there to help carry and set it up, Curtis climbed, and me... well... I showed up late and signed the logbook.  So I grabbed the ladder and carried it out of the woods so I at least can somewhat claim that I helped with the whole affair! 



Great work, Airmail Team!  Lookin' foward to hitting the trails with you guys again soon! 

TFTC, CJ and Cerb!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

GEOGUESSER

Do you like to play games? Of course you do otherwise you wouldn't be a Geocacher.

I came across this little Geography Guessing game and thought you might like to give it a try.

I scored very well my first time playing it. Let's see how well you can do. You need to be a good guesser, or have a good knowledge of Geography.



Here's what you have to do. Click on the link, GEOGUESSER, I have provided and it will take you to the start page. You will see a picture taken somewhere in the world. You need to study the picture and try to figure out where it was taken. You may move the little hand around, which will move the map just like you do on Google Earth. You can also zoom in or out.

As you look at the picture you will notice on the right hand side of the page is a map. You can move the map around to where you think the picture was taken. When you have gotten it just put your mouse over the area and click. It will pop up a red "B" of where you think it was taken. You can then zoom in and move it if you think it needs to be moved somewhere else. Just click and drag it to where you want to drop it.

Then when you are ready just click the button that says "Make Guess". It will then show you where the picture was actually taken and it will tell you how far off your guess was and it will assign you some points. So go ahead and give it a try. If you want you can post your score in the comments so we can all see how good your are.

Have fun.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Why Not Wednesday ~ Lessons Learnt

It’s a rare Geocaching outing where we tailor our targeted finds to the kids.  They're all pretty adept Geocachers now, so there is no real need to.

However, last weekend, we thought it would be nice to get out and have a leisurely walk and grab some quick and easy finds.  Have a picnic whilst out and let the kids do some swag swaps.

Looking at the map, one series met our needs perfectly.  The aptly named Kidz series set by Team GB, over near Rolleston on Dove.




The series is made up of seven caches.  Unfortunately, number seven had suffered from recent weather conditions.

Before we got to the area we had to relearn some important lessons.  Firstly was planning the journey to the caches.  I used to be meticulous about this, who wants to spend more time in the car than necessary?  But lately we've kept close to home when caching and knew the routes, so I guess we (I) got a bit lazy on this front.

So, after a couple of journeys up and down the A38, we finally found our way to the head of the trail.
Once we were out of the car and on the trail, we found a series of well stocked caches.  As you'd expect with such a series title, these are GREAT caches for kids.  I'd recommend them for anyone with smaller children, as most are nice easy finds.  

Although there are no picnic spots along the trail, there are several benches, so the kids were quite happy to have a seat and grab a bite to eat.

This trail is also perfect to teach kids some of the skills of caching.  Things like stealth.  Its a popular dog walking area, from our experience, so stealth at times is vital.
  
The second skill is that geosense.  Stand back and just say to the kids where looks a good place to hide a cache.  These hides lend themselves to that.

Overall a good day out and a great series.  Wish there was a series local to me when we started caching with the kids.



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Antique Archaeology and a Geocache

Have you ever seen the TV show American Pickers?  Louie and I are addicted to that show.  The home base for the pickers is their store Antique Archaeology in LeClaire, Iowa.  If you look closely at the photo below you will see me sneaking around behind the sign to find a geocache. 


My mom and dad had actually visited the store a couple of years ago and got to meet owner and picker, Mike Wolfe.  Mom said he was a really nice guy.



A couple of weeks ago I got a bug in my butt and decided that I wanted to drive out to LeClaire and see the store.  You know what a road trip means don't you?  Geocaching!!  We tossed the old ball and chain  my mom and dad, in the back of the car and off we drove with our sights set on LeClaire, Iowa.  Of course I picked a couple of geocaches to do along the way.  The first one we did was in Rapids City.


It was early in the morning when we got out of the car to search for the cache.  Just then another car pulled up, a couple got out carrying a GPS, and wouldn't you know it - 2 geocachers from out of town.  It's always fun to meet other cachers on the trail.


We did another couple of geocaches and pulled across the Mississippi river into Iowa.  A quick mile or two down the road and we were in front of the Antique Archaeology store.  It looks exactly like it does on the TV show, but it's a lot smaller in real life than what you think it is.  Even though the store had just opened for the day, there was already a large crowd milling around.





 We saw a lot of items at the store that we had seen Mike and Frank picking on TV. 







The store is just packed with lots of cool things to see.



This Triumph sign was one of my favorite items!



Of course there's a geocache hidden someplace outside the store and of course we found it.  We had to be super stealthy because of all the people, but we did manage to find and sign the cache.  I'm not telling where it was hidden, but I will tell you that the cache location is shown in one of the photos I posted.  Hee hee.....



It was really fun to see the actual Antique Archaeology store and since I wrote Archaeology so many times in the post, I now know how to spell it.  LOL!  Afterwards we headed over to the Buffalo Bill Cody Museum, but I'll save that for another post.

written by Bugleann from Snug Harbor Bay

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