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Don’t Do This! #1,325,988: “WTF Were You Thinking?!” January 30, 2010

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, For the Newbies, Forums, Geocaching, Geocaching.com.
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Epic Geocaching fail here.  I stumbled upon this thread in the forums regarding a highway hide in MO.  Then somebody helpfully posted a link to the cache in question, GC237WQ: The River #2.  Here we pause so you can get caught up on the story.

Finished yet?  Good!

Three things popped out at me reading this thread and the cache logs: (more…)

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Geocaching Manners and Good Taste: Get Some! January 27, 2010

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Education, Geocaching, Philosophy.
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2 comments

Folks, there has been a disturbing trend in North San Diego County Geocaches of late: the repeated leave-behinds of inappropriate swag.  It isn’t genocide or anything but it’s still a big problem.  The reasons are several.

  1. If new Geocachers run across this kind of swag and assume it is just an accepted part of the game it may turn them off to playing entirely.
  2. Experienced Geocachers and reviewers are likely to complain and flag the caches for archival as a rules violation.  This is already a risk to some of our most treasured local hides.  Caches with hundreds of finds and on every “must do” bookmark list in the county are starting to see tasteless swag, advertising, vandalized log books and religious tracts deposited.
  3. Cache owners may reconsider the amount of work it takes to maintain a decent hide.  To the hours invested creating a good puzzle or creative hide, additional hours in replacement and checkups, now we add additional hours of “rules policing”.

In all of these cases the number and quality of Geocachers and hides are likely to decline.  We as a community then become marked as just another (well organized) group of professional litterers.  (more…)

Follow-Up to the Toughest LPC Ever January 26, 2010

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Cache Spotlight, Geocaching, Geocaching.com.
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My LPC hide does it again (4.5/1.5 – GC1HV6R).  This is why you should hide caches- for the chuckles…

January 25 by bushclimber (39 found)
Look for this, but thank it my have been removed. Will go back again, when the parking lot and business are not being used.
January 12 by Road2Ruin (3571 found)Second strike. Grr….

What we have here is the duality of nature.  On the first hand, the angry n00b who has no idea what he is looking for but assumes if his master sleuthing can’t suss it out in 5 minutes the cache “my have been removed”.  That will mean something to me after 300-400 more finds, and liberal applications of liquor.  Be persistent, new guy.  It WILL pay off.

On the other hand, the grizzled veteran (ok, I don’t know about grizzled but I assume after 3,000 finds you have a little road-wear on your hikers) who THINKS she knows what she is looking for but has been hopelessly duped as I zigged where they expected me to zag.

The difference is, the veteran is now calling and writing anyone with a find and a clue.  She will be aimed back at this one in a few days or weeks and post a glorious log announcing the defeat of this unholy testament to cache hiding evil.  The other one, not so much, I expect.

I did give everyone an instruction manual on how to find it, you just have to do the homework.

Dave “drat19” Has Good Ideas, Too January 18, 2010

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Cache Spotlight, Cool Caches, Education, Geocaching, Philosophy.
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If you know me well you know I value the opion of the folks on the ground, out there doing as opposed to postulating.  To that end some thoughts from a fellow cacher with experience almost always carries more weight than a few notes from Groundspeak.  There is a surprising volume of cachers with good ideas online.

drat19 is one of them.

I like his open letter and basic philosophy on placing hides.  They have access to a whole lot more offroad forest than we do here in the north county, but the problems are the same.  As we come into a period of wet and wooly January weather I wonder how many recent hides are going to last the week, let alone the month.  Pay heed and do the area a favor…

Before you hide, do your homework and plan out something that will last.  A crappy hide is neat for about 10 minutes, or until it is destroyed/muggled/caught up in a bomb scare.  A good one keeps on giving for years, and we need more like that.

As I hop on a plane today I leave you with this fine example: Hill Of The Skull, GC1D5.  328 finds and counting, with only 6 DNFs!

Found GC1HV6R “DDT#7 You Down With LPC?”? No? Read on… December 5, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Cool Caches, Education, Geocaching, Strategy and Tactics.
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I’ve hidden a series of caches called “Don’t Do This!”, highlighting some of the foibles we’ve all seen and are guilty of while Geocaching.  Included are a front yard cache, a rock in a pile of rocks, etc.  You get the gist.  The idea is to have safe and kid friendly caches out there showing off how hides can be both annoying and a lot of fun at the same time.  In addition, I provide links to some really neat area caches that deserve a little showing off for their uniqueness, challenge or just the view.

I’m a sarcastic jerk about it, but who can turn down the Frown-O-Meter(tm)?

The Least Painful of the Frowns

The most important bit is where you are supposed to actually FIND these caches.  One of them hasn’t been so easy to track down.

GC1HV6R is called “Don’t Do This! #7, You Down With LPC?” Take a guess what’s being lambasted with this one.  Where your average LPC is a 15 second find, this one hasn’t logged a hit since June 15, 2009, when I replaced it after its hiding place was removed.  Now I really tried hard to make this camouflage impenetrable but I think the letters L-P-C are throwing some folks off.  In case you came here for a hint…

…It’s in the palm.  3 feet up.  Look with your hands, not your eyes and stay in the quadrant closest to the lamp post that gives this cache its name.  It will take you a minute or two, but when you find it you will understand why it has generated so many DNFs.

And when you log the smiley ask yourself when was the last time you logged a 4.5 star LPC.  Never.

Most Aggressive Cache Evar August 21, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching, My Finds.
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Ok, most aggressive cache in my limited experience playing this game.  That little counter on the right doesn’t read 6,000 or anything, but when it does I’ll revise this post to remove that clarification.  But I digress…

Our local Geocaching Godfather, Kawikaturn, is generally known for a few things here in North San Diego County:

  1. Coordinates that actually get you to GZ
  2. Caches with a nice off-road flavor, usually with a not too strenuous walk from parking, but a walk nonetheless
  3. Recurring themes of eBay (oh, man do I know all about that), motocross and family friendliness in the placement
  4. Et Cetera, Et Cetera.

Kawikaturn’s just a generally nice guy and he’s got more ammo cans spread over the hiking trails of Carlsbad than I can count.  This is why an urban, aggressive hide is so out of character for him.

An urban hide with no cover to search and sign.  At a Wal-Mart.  Right in front of the darned entrance.  This particular Wal-Mart is right next to the pizza joint where we normally have our local gatherings.  I think it means this is an initiation; perhaps you can’t come in unless you’ve signed that log?  This is just a new side of Kawikaturn I haven’t seen before.  The man knows how to get down, that’s for sure.

Enter: GC1WGE2 – Not on the wal CA, here in Oceanside, CA only if you think you’ve got the guts for it.  At the time of this post there have only been 9 finds.  I say make it 90 by the end of the summer!

Tip ‘o the hat to Calipers for reminding me to hunt this one down.

They Get Better With Age, Folks June 16, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Philosophy, Snark.
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I thought I had already heard, seen and done all the craziest numbers running Geocaching stunts in the world.  And then I read this Geocaching Forum thread:

Do you archive your older caches that have slowed down just so you can place a new one in the area?
That’s not the craziest, however, as several readers have hinted they do just that.  They call it “refreshing the game”.  Once a Geocache has been found by the 8-10 people the owner cares about, out comes another.  With all these caches being built to archive I am certain the quality of the hide and swag must be incredible.  Awesome, even.
The first response is dead on the freakin’ money, folks:
No, If I own a real old cache it has historical value and I wanted people to see what I brought them there for. I don’t hide caches so people can increase their number.

If I archive a cache in the area I don’t place a new one there because one of two things has happened.
1. What I wanted to show off no longer exist or is significantly different to where I don’t think it is interesting any more
2. I am too far away to maintain the cache

-webscouter
Listen to that one.  He knows of what he speaks.  Around these parts we have honor attached to the oldest caches.  I have a PQ specifically for the oldest hides and I have two caches on my bucket list of note: Groundspeak HQ and Geocache #1.
That’s it for me, I’m on my way to the Mile High City for a few days of work and they’re closing the door to the plane.  Maybe I’ll get off my rear and drop you all another quickie in the AM.

All Systems Go June 7, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching, Geocaching.com.
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And all my caches back in working order.  If you’re missing a piece to the 52 Pick Up series from the eights, fret no more.  Oh, and that “Don’t Do This! #7: You Down With LPC?” cache is back, too.  Now with more camouflage goodness, so enjoy!

How To Guide on HTML for Cache Pages May 5, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching, Resources, Software.
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I stumbled across Nozen’s Geocaching HTML cheatsheet and it looks pretty good.  Cleaning up the HTML seems to be the most difficult part in writing up a new cache hide.  This should help!

More Templates Added May 3, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching, Recreation, Resources.
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On the Resources tab, above, I have added a few more templates to help your Caching and Stashing.  Enjoy.

Note: WordPress will not let me upload MS Excel documents, so many of the templates are MS Word documents with MS Excel files embedded within them for your use.  I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

Follow-Up to a Questionable Hide April 27, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Education, For the Newbies, Geocaching, Philosophy.
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About a month or two ago a new hide popped up in the area.  It was in a clearly marked “off limits” area but because other caches had been placed in the vicinity I believe the owner was under the impression a new placement would be just fine.  This is unfortunate as in my area we have seen “no trespassing” signs sprout up all around Geocaches.  No matter how off road a cache looks, development tends to encroach.  Such is life in Southern California.

A few folks piped up about this problem location and I was one of them, receiving a memo of irritation from the owner.  I responded rather verbosely and I thought the note important enough to share with you here.  I don’t plan on sharing the original memo from the hider unless that becomes necessary.  Let’s just say the owner was mildly upset with my position, which was “archive this cache”, and he/she was inclined to stop playing.  I respect his/her anger but don’t want the hider to give up on things.

My response, in 4 parts, was intended to help future hides and was a direct response to a comment by the owner concerning the  “I am your worst nightmare” section of my Geocaching profile.  All that, below the fold.  If you find it useful, please copy and use it in your own “counseling sessions”: (more…)

Geocache Placement Update March 28, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching, Philosophy.
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I finally figured out how to place a cache in somebody’s front yard safely and creatively.  I’ve also done my homework on a different missing cache in my “Don’t Do This!” series, the annoying mystery cache.

Oh man this is good stuff, since I have been percolating on these two for about 4 months.  The mystery cache was just waiting for me to actually complete some puzzle hides so I knew a little about what I spoke.  (I am notoriously bad at those hides)  I completed negotiations with the property owner yesterday on the front yard hide and you kids are going to dig what I have on offer.  I have one final call to make to work out the details (it could still fall through) but I am confident we’re just talking about some description details.

You probably think I’m worse than a nutcase for fixating on this, publishing it even, but it is a serious problem.  People shouldn’t put caches on private property; front yards in particular.  Now there are a bevy of exceptions to that rule but nobody ever seems to find the exception, they just break the rule and the discussion around this is legend.  Because the challenge is so great the chances of me pulling off a good hide have been slim to none.

This time, I have the property owner cooking it up with me and loving every minute of it.  It’s got safe and close parking, it’s not visible from the owner’s house, it clearly IS the front yard, the neighbors can’t see, container will be pretty decent sized, super kid friendly, if the owner sees you he will throw you hints…and so forth.  Brilliant.

Problem is, it will be a D-4/T-1.5, maybe even a D-4.5 with the wicked camouflage me and the owner have cooked up.

Sucks to be you.

Site Re-Organization March 20, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching.
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I moved the Resources and Tools page up in the stack so it’s easier to find those Stash Note and Log template files.  Just click on the Resources and Tools tab at the top now to be taken right there.  I will continue to clean and prep my templates for you as I have time.  I have zillions.  You don’t think I spend hours on those slick ammo can insides, do you?  Templates are teh bomb.  😉

Oh, and if you have any of your own you’d like me to freshen up and post for the gang, send em over.  I think my email links are finally working.

How can this be fun if you’ve seen it all before? March 7, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching, Recreation, Uncategorized.
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A colleague asked me this not too long ago.  I went into a long dissertation on the game, why I play and blah blah blah…  Then I saw this log from GC13KPZ (sorry, too lazy to link to the thing right now) and wished I could point to it at the time:

December 29, 2008 by stantastic (5443 found)
Down in San Diego visiting friends, my wife stayed at their place while they taught each other Photoshop skills and I went out for a day of caching by myself. I had just met the cache owner at his “No Fires here” cache up the road, and I told him I was looking for the easier urban hides versus those requiring long hikes in parks to reach, so he suggested I go find this one. With my find count and the number of years I’ve been doing this, this was a simple find since I’ve seen it multiple times before. Still, always fun to come up against a good hide with good placement. SLTNLN — thanks for the fun, Jaegermann…

It’s the simple things, like a good hide with good placement.  I’ve seen 50 “pine cones that really aren’t” but I still love them because they’re always in the right spot, are devilishly hard to spot and they take some time to craft if you do it right.  Like I said, I appreciate all the angles of this game.

I just wish I could have some more time to enjoy it.

Wherein I Learn A Lesson About Geocaching February 2, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Education, For the Newbies, Geocaching, Snark.
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I love reading the logs.  One out of 100 logs is just a side splitter.  Today I found one.

I called Calipers to ask him about one of my caches and the moment he answers I know he’s already read the log.  The bastard reads my logs before I read them.  Dammit, I’m never FTF any damned thing in the Geocaching world!  🙂

This one was a doozy:

“January 31 by ANONYMOUS (16 found)
After a diligent search, no cache. And if you are going to give a hint, then give a hint. Do not give a hint telling there is no hint. That is just rude and annoying.”

Now anonymous has a name but I’m just snarky and not a complete ass; close, though.  The irony is that this is one of a series of good examples caches, perfect for newbies like this one.  It was a 1/1.5 ammo can under a bush.  Easy pie, good view, super kid friendly.  My hint was essentially garbage since this is really a 1.  Really.  I just started laughing when I saw he had 16 finds.

Who makes a comment like that after 16 finds?  My reaction, below the fold.

(more…)

Geo-Trash January 19, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Education, For the Newbies, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Recreation.
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I’ve had some junk clogging up my computer over the past few days, preventing me from doing any writing at all.  I lost a complete post in all the muck yesterday, which was very nearly the same experience I had while Geocaching.

I was roughly 35′ from GZ when I spotted a plastic baggie with an obvious log, pencil and cheap scrunchy ball someone got from their doctor’s office inside.  This was definitely NOT the ammo can I was promised.  Then again, some folks think a sandwich bag IS pretty big, so who am I to complain over a good bike ride and a smiley?  Never.  But something wasn’t quite right.

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Don’t Do This: Crappy Cache Containers January 9, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching, Snark.
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I’m collecting for a gallery and write-up of the worst cache containers ever come across, in line with my “Don’t Do This” Geocache series.  If you want to make sure that Dixie Cup is included, drop me a line or a note in the comments here.  Pics are always good (um, pics are actually awesome); and I’ll link to your profile as an added bonus unless you wish to remain anonymous.  I’m just trying to have a little fun, so no posting Waypoints or hider names, just the container description/picture.

I’m also looking to catalogue a list of good caches for the beginning Geocacher, particularly in and around San Diego County.  I know about a few, but I like to add more background when I publish these things.  Depending on the response a North American collection might be worth a shot.  A positive cache or two from various metro areas is always helpful for the newbies.

We need to show them what the good ones look like before they start finding all of my LPCs.  😉

Happy Caching!

More Templates Added January 9, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching.
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You can find a few more stash note and cache log templates I have uploaded.  As always, my templates can be found below the Resources tab, on the Templates Page.

Cache on.

Make Your Own Logs January 8, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Cache Construction, Geocaching.
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DIY Alert!For those of you who would rather use eBay- rock on.  This article’s not for you.

There’s only one kind of cache hide that requires little or no customization for your swag, stash notes or logs and that’s the good old ammo can.  Heck, you can just toss half a ream of paper in there and call it good.  At the worst you might have to hit the nearest office supply aisle for spiral note pads and just drop ‘er in for the win.

But not every cache is an ammo can and let’s be honest, those regular spiral bound notepads are terrible log books.  One drop of water and those things disintegrate faster than, well, fast.  They fall apart even when dry, so why not spend a few extra minutes beforehand to craft something purpose built that will last?  I thought so.  Carry on then…

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