CacheCrazy.Com: November 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Library Of Gallifrey





































I have unleashed a new geocache unto the world.

About a year ago I started watching the British sci-fi show Doctor Who, and since then I have become a fan (or Whovian, if you will).

Fans of the show will (hopefully) instantly recognize the blue box. Those that are not fans may wish to know that it is a TARDIS, which is the time machine the Doctor uses to travel to various places in space and time. It is based on a British police box.

Being the shape it is always made me think that it had a great deal of potential as a geocache container.  So with the help from my father (who owned the tools, and has actual wood working skills) we designed and built a TARDIS replica to use as a geocache.

The TARDIS is famous for being "bigger on the inside".  I tried to figure out a way to make this true for my cache, but lacking the ability to bend the rules of space-time, I couldn't make it work properly.


I compromised by making the cache an in-field puzzle. Finding the cache is just the first step. The finder then needs to figure out how to open it.



I paired the cache with a similar themed ammo can(which is bigger than the TARDIS on the inside, if you see where I am going with this...) that is locked.

The method to unlock the ammo can can be determined once the TARDIS is found, and its mysteries solved.

Just to give it a little more interest I made the cache a book exchange. Inside the ammo can are several paperback novels that finders can trade for.

This cache is now deployed and waiting for finders.  If you find yourself in western North Carolina, perhaps you will stop by and check out the Library Of Gallifrey.

Allons-y!

______________________________________________________
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.





Friday, November 29, 2013

MY GEOBAG II

WELCOME TO THIRSTY THURSDAY!!

Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, sit back and check out what's inside of my Geobag.



If you did not read last weeks post My Geobag then you probably should go back and check it out.

Okay, so I’m wondering what this last item is? Here, let me clear the dust off of it first. There, I think I can open it now. S Q U E A K ….. Come on, I’ve almost got it open. Come on; just a little more. Okay!  Wow! This is so cool. Now let me see, where is the button to turn it on? Oh, it doesn’t have a button. So then where do the batteries go? What do you mean it doesn’t take batteries? Oh, duh, it’s always on.  I think I know what it is, but I’d better Google it first just to be sure. Here's a picture of my last item. 


For those of you who guessed last week that it was a compass, well you're right. 

Here is the Wiki-pedia definition of the last thing in my Geobag.

COMPASS:  A compass is a navigational instrument that measures directions in a frame of reference that is stationary relative to the surface of the earth. The frame of reference defines the four cardinal directions (or points) – north, south, east, and west. Intermediate directions are also defined. Usually, a diagram called a compass rose, which shows the directions (with their names usually abbreviated to initials), is marked on the compass. When the compass is in use, the rose is aligned with the real directions in the frame of reference, so, for example, the "N" mark on the rose really points to the north. Frequently, in addition to the rose or sometimes instead of it, angle markings in degrees are shown on the compass. North corresponds to zero degrees, and the angles increase clockwise, so east is 90 degrees, south is 180, and west is 270. These numbers allow the compass to show azimuths or bearings, which are commonly stated in this notation.

You are probably wondering why you would need one of these little non electronic devices since you have your GPSr , and, or a smartphone. Well let me tell you that cell phones sometimes don’t get reception, and sometimes batteries die. Yes, that’s right they can die.  And the spare ones you bought could actually be bad ones. Here’s a true story.

I had bought a brand new pack of Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA batteries and I had them in my geobag. Well eventually my GPSr batteries died so I replaced them. Guess what? Not even 10 minutes later those NEW batteries died. What? How could they die? They were brand new in the pack and I just bought them. Well guess what? They did die. I was out there. Luckily I was in an area I knew well and I did not have to worry about it. When I got home I contacted the manufacturer and they sent me a new pack at no charge. Those did work. This led me to always carry my trusty compass because I know it always works.

A good compass relies on the earth’s magnetic field and will always point to either Magnetic North (MN), or True North (TN), sometimes referred to as  Geographic North. It depends on how you have it set. Magnetic North changes over time, therefore maps are set for Geographic North, which does not change.  My compass is set for True North with a declination of about 12 degrees west for our area.

Below is an example of what could happen if you followed Magnetic North without changing the declination.



True North is the line running straight up and down from the star on the left, and Magnetic North is the one on the right. Notice you have only walked 1.25 miles, but you are already 1700 feet off course. The further you walk along MN the further away you get from TN. This could cause great problems if you are traveling a long distance. Just imagine if you walked five miles searching for a cache. You'd end up WAY off course. So if you do carry a real compass make sure you set the declination for it.

Now you're probably wondering why should you carry such an outdated instrument? Well as I mentioned before your GPS batteries could die, or worse yet you drop it and it crashes. A good compass can see you through in an emergency and sometimes you need them to complete certain multi-caches.

Have you completed a cache where you need to use a compass? I have.  Cozy Squirrel Lookout This cache was in the woods and when you got to GZ you had to find the real coordinates and use the compass to find the actual cache. I know some of you have the compass on your GPSr, or your cell phone, but most of those only work while you're walking. A real compass will point you in the right direction whether you're moving or not. Searching for the cache I mentioned  was lots of fun and I hope to find more that want you to use a compass.  

Another incident that happened to me was while I was night caching with my kids. We got turned around and after finding the cache we tried heading out only to find out I did not have a waypoint set for where the car was. If I would have been carrying my compass then I could have used it to help us find our way out since my GPSr was jumping all over the place. (BTW, We did find our way back out.)

Well how about you? Have you had to use a real compass while out caching, and do you even carry one with you? Maybe sometime we should get together for an Orienteering class using topo maps and REAL compasses. 



Thursday, November 28, 2013

MY GEOBAG

WELCOME TO THIRSTY THURSDAY!!

Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, sit back and let's look into my Geobag.




The story you are about to read is fictitious. The names have not been changed because it really doesn’t matter if I change the names or not. Besides, there may not be any names in the story anyway. Also, no animals or fish were harmed during the writing of this article. Well except for that fish sandwich I had; sorry Charlie.

The year is sometime in the future, like twenty thousand twelve. Hmm, for some reason that sounds familiar. Anyway, I decided to go through my geobag and make sure I have what I need in there. You know, in case I get abducted by aliens or something (get lost).



Okay, inside of the geobag I have: rope; check, extra baggies; check, lighter; check, matches; check (you can never be too sure), TBs and Geocoins; check, paper towels; check, signature items; check, SWAG; check, GPSr; check, extra batteries; check, camera; check, knife; check, CITO bags; check, tweezers; check, bug spray; check, first aid kit; check, flashlight; check, extra pen; check, extra log book; check, water bottle; check, more baggies; check, kitchen sink… you get what I mean. 

                          Geocoin gift from a friend

                        GPSr, flashlight, Sig items, SWAG

                          More SWAG, extra pen

                       Rope, baggies, CITO bags

                        My Signature item, TB, First aid kit
                                    Emergency bag, Log book

Hey, what are these last two items I have here? One is round and the other is sort of round and they both have either letters, and or numbers on them. Hmm, I’d better think on this one.

Oh, right, I remember now. The one is my Dragon Spinner Geocoin for decoding hints in the field. (You do decode hints in the field don’t you, or do you cheat and hit the decode button on the cache page?) (Don’t make me say shame on you!)  I love this little gadget. It is so cool. Have you ever used one? Here is a picture of it.


                 Dragon Spinner Geocoin Decoder

When you put a letter in the top notch you then read the bottom notch, which then gives you the letter you’re looking for. No more carrying around a printed off card. Besides, it is just a cool looking Trackable Geocoin anyway.  

Okay, so I’m wondering what this last item is? Here, let me clear the dust off of it first. There, I think I can open it now. S Q U E A K ….. Come on, I’ve almost got it open. Come on; just a little more. Okay!  Wow! This is so cool. Now let me see, where is the button to turn it on? Oh, it doesn’t have a button. So then where do the batteries go? What do you mean it doesn’t take batteries? Oh, duh, it’s always on.  I think I know what it is, but I’d better Google it first just to be sure. Oh, darn. I can’t get Google to work. Please tune in next week after I get Google working and I'll finish the story.  

Happy Thanksgiving

Normally BigAl would have the Thanksgiving Day post because he writes every Thursday  and he has pleasured us with his work for the last few years. But, this year he sent me an email and asked if I would like to take the Thanksgiving Day post? Would I? Wow, I could thank all the readers and the authors and the guest bloggers and our supporters and family and go on and on about how much I really appreciate all of them but, when I sat down, this is what came out so, what you see is what you get for our CacheCrazy.Com Thanksgiving Day post. I wrote about life, read on and see what I mean.

Thanksgiving to me is the TRUE meaning of the holidays. Family and friends get together and break bread, enjoy each others company, watch a little football and, even a nap is an acceptable practice! I love it! And you had just better go for seconds or the chef will be offended, so eat up, and stay on your in-laws good side if you know what’s good for ya. How about these folks that do two and even three Thanksgiving dinners in succession just to hit all the families, talk about man VS food! The next thing you know you’re waking up in the fourth quarter with a killer tryptophan hangover and at the end of the day, life is good.

The general consensus is, everyone loves Thanksgiving and it’s very high on the list of memorable family moments.
So I ask you, why hasn't it been tarnished with marketing ploys, greetings cards and the need of having to buy gifts to show your Thanksgiving Day spirit like Christmas, Easter and Halloween? In this high tech world that is changing by the second, good old Thanksgiving has stood strong and is pretty much unchanged, from the very beginning when the pilgrims and Indians sat down together, til today.
To me, that’s what makes Thanksgiving special and an almost “protected” holiday. Even when the retail pressure built up, we pushed it off until the next day!

It’s an exciting day for me as a cook, to prepare the Thanksgiving dinner! I love to watch my family enjoy a meal I’ve prepared with care. I start bright and early and cook and clean in the kitchen all damn day and you know what? I actually would not have it any other way! To me Thanksgiving is special maybe to you, not so much but I think we'll all agree that the food rocks!


HAVE YOU HAD YOUR REALITY CHECK UP LATELY?

 I am blessed with a well family. Everyone I love right now is alive, well and growing older with me every day. I am extremely thankful for that first and foremost because without your health, you have little. So when people start to complain about petty things, it kind of annoys me. Let me share a quick story with you. In the packed grocery store this past weekend this lady in front of me was bitching at the cashier (who was just a teenager) why she didn’t get her 25 cent discount on a sweet tea she bought. In a panic, he hit his “need assistance” light and I noticed several more were blinking it was a busy day, lots of problems I guess. This lady was getting down right abusive and he wasn’t getting help so I stepped in. I reached in my pocket and just happened to have a quarter. I laid it down in front of her and said very politely, “excuse me, here is your 25 cent discount and have a happy Thanksgiving” I looked at the boy and we talked about how busy the store was and she just walked off. He thanked me and I told him no problem brother. I thought to myself if your biggest issue is a freaking quarter savings, get down on your knees woman and praise the Lord! Some folks really need to do a reality check.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there, celebrate life with your family and friends  and have a blessed
holiday season!

Bloodhounded

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Why Not Wednesday ~Tools Of The Geocacher

The Boy Scout motto is: Be Prepared.  I was never a boyscout, but as a system administrator and geocacher I take that motto to heart.  In my experience one is well served to put this to practice when one is on the hunt for a geocache.  You never know what situation you find yourself in, so it really does help to Be Prepared.

So as a service to any geocachers out there who may not find themselves entirely prepared, this post will outline the things I do to be prepared for any situation I may find myself in while out on the hunt for tupperware in the woods.



== On My Person ==

I carry the following things wherever I go: hiking, walking, work, church, sitting on the couch watching TV...
  • Leatherman Wave multi-tool - I have built entire datacenters with little else than this tool.  If you don't have one, stop reading and go get one now.
  • cell phone
  • pen
  • car keys
  • wallet
  • doggie bags (never know when the hound is gonna squat!)
  • Outback hat by Tilley Endurables

== My Geobag == 

 I have a green canvas messenger bag that I carry with me whenever I go geocaching.  It contains pretty much everything I need on a hunt in either the woods or urban settings:
My geobag with badges from my various travels.
  • Mechanix gloves - you never know what you are going to touch - these protect without being bulky
  • tweezers - for getting those pesky logs out of nano containers
  • compass with safety whistle built in
  • two flashlights for this pesky night hides, or when looking in dark crevices
  • notepad - for writing down notes during puzzle caches
  • camera with extra batteries & memory cards
  • GPS
  • Box of extra AA and AAA batteries (normally 8 of each)
  • sun block
  • bug spray
  • extra pair of socks
  • first aid kit
  • USB cables to connect all my electronics to a computer
  • a bunch of pens of all types, including pencils and sharpies
  • A bag of ziploc bags - for replacing those ripped ones in cache containers that protect the logs.



         A multitude of pens.  I never have the excuse of
"I didn't sign the log because I forgot a pen"

== On The Trail ==

  When I am going on a longer hike I also carry the following:
  • Water bottles
  • snacks
  • hiking stick
== Geo Car ==

These items travel with me in my car:
  • Water bottles
  • car GPS
  • Hiking sticks
  • flashlights
  • wipes - for cleaning off stuff (also because I have a toddler who isn't toilet trained yet :)

So that is how I stay prepared.  Did I leave anything out that you would carry on a geocaching hunt?  Leave your suggestions in the comment section below.

As an aside my geobag is also trackable on geocaching.com.  If you are so inclined, feel free to log 'debaere's geobag' at geocaching.com.
By: Dave DeBaeremaeker







Cheers, and happy hunting!




See this post on Dave's Blog - Only Googlebot Reads This Blog click here

Monday, November 25, 2013

What's in your Geo-pack?


By: Bloodhounded
Author's Notes: Go light but go smart


Its "What's In YOUR Geo-Pack week! Comments welcome.....



Geocaching is an inexpensive way to connect with nature and have a purpose to climb over, wade through and crawl under obstacles that might get in your way to the treasure. In order to be most effective, you’ll need to bring just a few things along for the adventure. I use two different “geopacks” for different applications. Let’s look at each of them and how their content applies to the sport of geocaching.


My favorite is my hip geopack. This is a light weight little number that has several different pockets and pouches to store all my goodies. It has a quick release clip and is sized just right for me with an adjustable strap. The pack is also waterproof to some degree. I wouldn’t wade with it on but it has kept the contents dry during some pretty wet days in the field. Like the cache itself, most of the items are also separated and kept in zip lock bags. It’s just another measure of keeping the weather out and the bags come in handy to replace old, leaking ones in caches. So what else do I keep in this pack?

• Tweezers

• Flashlight

• Compass

• Small first aid kit with Benadryl (critical for allergenic reactions to bug bites and such)

• Small cache container (to replace a broken one)

• Extra logs (to replace full or ruined ones)

• SWAG

• Lighter

• Multi tool

• Water proof pens

• Extra batteries

I have at one time or another used every item in this pack. It’s small and just right for that short hike, C&D or route caches when I’m never really far from the car.

Then there is my backpack. I really don’t use it as much as the hip pack but it does have it’s applications. When I hike more than three miles, an afternoon of geocaching requires the backpack and when I am traveling I bring it along as well. It stays in my truck all summer to replenish or supply as needed. It can also conceal a pretty large, pipe bomb looking cache container without anyone calling the cops. So, I use it more for hiding than seeking, lol! I leave the outer pouch open and it just fits my hip pack perfectly. This way I’m not fumbling around with it as I know my hip pack well. These are Items that I might need to bring along.


• Poncho

• Room for waters

• Lunch and snacks

• Expanded first aid kit

• Extra T-shit and socks

• Fire starting items

You get the picture. Sometimes you have to travel a little heavier to add the comforts of food, drink, fire and being dry. It really isn’t a designer pack by any means but your's needs to be sturdy, comfortable and big enough to do the job but light enough to carry for four or five hours. If you’re into extreme caching, well that’s a whole different story. You'll needs all kinds of special equipment! I leave that up to DctrSpott to post on sometime.

Key things to remember are:

• Always carry Benadryl! It could quite literally save yours or someone else’s life.

• Have a plan. Know your route and what you’ll face to better understand your needs to carry. At times I’ll add a calculator, note pad and my thinking cap. Other times, I’ll leave all that thinking behind and bring binoculars and/or a good camera. It all depends of the adventure at hand.

• Bring water

• Have a pen or pencil to sign the log book at the absolute very lest

• Having a few dollars with you and a cell phone is a good idea.

Oh, and don't forget your GPSr, lol!

I will tell you that you will enjoy the adventure so much more if you disconnect yourself from your cell and your ipod for a few hours (don’t worry, it will be ok for a few hours). Do tell someone where your going and better yet, take a friend along for the fun. Oh, and don’t forget your hairy best friend.

Have fun and cache safe and you’ll truly enjoy the sport more if you are prepared and confident.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why Not Wednesday ~ Creative Geocache Containers III ~ By Dave DeBaeremaeker



This is the third installment of my series on creative cache containers.  All of these containers I have found in the wild at some point or another.

The first is a bit of footwear that proves that Bigfoot exists, and is breeding in the wild woods.



This is very simple camo, but it was highly effective.  It was basically out in the open, but it took me 10 minutes to locate.


This owl decoy is repurposed as cache camouflage.


This cache is based on the story of King Arther, and drawing a sword from a stone.  The sword and stone are made from PVC pipe, and to retrieve the cache one has to first remove the "sword".


This is basically a lawn ornament turned into a cache.  It was extra special since I arrived on GZ via mountain bike.


The treasure chest at the end of a 4 stage multi cache.


This cache is one of the largest I have ever seen.  Finding it required solving a tricky puzzle.


Click here to see the previous installments of my Creative Cache Containers series:  [ 12 ]
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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.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

What's On Your GEOCAHING Bucket List? Kim's FIRST POST At CacheCrazy.Com

I am about to share one of my best kept secrets with you. Now don't go telling everyone but, one of the very best blogs on the internet right now is owned and opperated by today's guest blogger, Kim. Check it out for yourself. Her blog is called "Snug Harbor Bayand it's totally awesome. Kim, her friends and family are so active with all kinds of fun things and yes, Geocaching is high on their list. In addition to being an accomplished geocaher and a Bronze Earthcache Master, she enjoys a fun filled lifestyle and is a great writer. I have been bugging her for months to guest blog and finally, I present to you, my friend, Kim. 
(note* This was published on 7/16/11 and was Kim's very first post at CacheCrazy.Com. Today she is an admin author and a huge part of our blog! Thanks Kim!)


What’s on YOUR geocaching Bucket List?

I was recently asked to do a guest blog by Kevin over at CacheCrazy.Com. So far I haven’t found a whole lot of blogs about geocaching and the guys over at CacheCrazy are doing a nice job. If you are interested in geocaching, you have to check out their information filled blog.

I am a chronic list maker, especially when it comes to geocaching. Some caches make a list because they are near an interesting or maybe a historical location. Some caches are hidden in a quirky way. Or maybe there is an interesting way of having to find them.

Or they have a unique container. Or I have to swim, kayak, dive or climb to get them.
If you’re a Premium Member at Geocaching.com , one of the benefits is the ability to make up to 40 different bookmark lists. FYI - 40 is not nearly enough. I currently have 38 bookmarked lists, leaving 2 lists open at all times for a quick, last minute list of something special. I am beginning to think that I may need an intervention. Or maybe I need to join “Geocachers Anonymous.”

How do I find all these caches for my lists? It’s really quite easy. Other cachers are my biggest source for must-do caches. Any time you get a group of cachers together, they will talk about the latest and best caches they did. Many cachers put together their own lists of favorite caches and will post them on the geocaching.com site. (Apparently I am not the only one with a list making obsession) I will often click on these lists and peruse them, read through the cache pages and then add THOSE caches to MY own lists. I know, it’s an evil cycle.

Geocachers from around the country write in with their favorite caches. I look them up and then add them to my own “Out of State” list.

Another great source of interesting caches around the country is through FTF magazine.

What other kinds of lists do I have? I’m glad you asked. Let’s see…..

1 list for the town I live in, lists for several different area suburbs, a Kentucky Lake list, a list for Wisconsin, a list for Sanibel Island, a list for nights when we have an hour and just want to grab a few quick caches, lists of “series” caches, a challenge list, upcoming events, lists by county or Forest Preserve, 1 list of caches we HAVE to do soon and 1 list of out-of-state caches. Phew!!!

Right now I have personally found over 1450 caches. I’ve compiled a list of my favorites, and while it’s hard to pick my absolute favorite 10, I’ll give it my best shot!

GCGWN2 Aesop’s Villa by the Sea was the final cache in a 5 cache series. Loved the location, the story and the different caches. We did this with a great group of friends. I liked it so much that I went back and did it again with my family.






GC1XNNM Midnight Mellody is a night cache. You have to do it with flashlights and it takes you down trails in the woods. We took my parents along with us and they loved it.


GC232EV Out of Sight is a 10 stage cache series. We took on this challenge with another great group of friends. It took us 6.5 hours of continuous hiking through the woods, a marsh and over (and thru) a creek. Each stage had a different and unique puzzle to solve before we could continue on. Amazing series!




GC1294F Falcor and Bonobos is hidden in a tunnel underneath a silo. Had to crawl in and then back out.




GC28 Beverly is one of the oldest caches in the country and I believe it’s the oldest one east of the Mississippi. Not hard to do and it’s a nice hike for such an esteemed cache.






GC3798 Covert Cache is hidden in a restaurant in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can only access the restaurant through a secret panel that you have to locate and then you have to find the cache once you’re inside.




GC11CRG Fish Hook. We just did this one a few weeks ago in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Awesome climb over break water rocks out into Lake Michigan.




GC1YNB8 Illinois Spirit Quest is a multi step cache that takes you through a Chicago mausoleum where hundreds of Chicago notables have been laid to rest. Sounds kind of morbid but it’s really fascinating. Cache placed with permission. The first stage brought us to the final resting place of one of my former employers. Talk about getting chills! No pictures were allowed for this cache.

GC217PN The Lonesome Bridge. We went back to this cache 3 times in the dead of winter before we found it.


GC23WDH Selenite Crystals brought us to an actual crystal field in Iowa where we got to look for crystals.




Ok, so that’s my top 10. I have many, many more that I could name, but I narrowed it down to these. If you have a chance to get to the Chicago area, most of them are within a 50 mile radius of the city.

MY BUCKET LIST

Well of course I have a Bucket List of caches too. Most of them are out-of-state for me, so this is really a dream list to combine with a couple of trips. How can you beat that combination?

GCGV0P The Original Stash Tribute Plaque
in Oregon - The cache that started the whole craze!!
GCK25B Groundspeak Headquarters in Washington. Need I say more???
GC29FFF Davey Jones’ Lockah in Hawaii. You have to swim and dive to get to this one
GC2B034 Necropolis of Britannia Manor III An interesting puzzle/multi in Texas with over 150 Favorite votes to date.
GC1CHYK The DaVinci Cache in Colorado. A mutli with some awesome steps.
GC8EA3 16,000,000 Bricks at Ft. Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas near Key West
GC39 The Spot I’ve been told this cache in New York is the 2nd oldest cache east of the Mississippi and it has over 125 favorite votes.
GCXVT9 The Stinton Family Lighthouse Cache in New Jersey is near a lighthouse and on a beach with shells and sea glass. It’s just a great combination of stuff for me!
GC1KRCT The World’s Only Inland Cape
is in Missouri and the name says it all
GC1CJMY Vertical Limit This is the one closest to home and you have to do some serious tree climbing to get it!

So that is my dream “Wish List!” Totally doable at some point in the near future. The biggest problem/advantage to a wish list is that it keeps prodding me on and gives me new goals of things to do, places to see, new accomplishments to achieve. That’s the beauty of geocaching. It’s not just about finding a piece of Tupperware in the woods. It’s about making and achieving personal goals and broadening your horizons. “Hike, Climb, Explore” is my personal mantra. What’s yours?






I’d like to throw out a big THANK YOU to the folks over at CacheCrazy.Com for asking me to supply a guest post. Don’t forget to check them out - Happy caching!


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