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Follow-Up and Welcome December 31, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Events, For the Newbies, Geocaching.
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The North County Cachers had one of our “regular” events last night, if you can call “whenever the hell we feel like it” regular.  As usual, the pizza was edible, the beer cold and the company outstanding.  Thanks everyone for coming.  Waterlassie did a great job working everyone up into a lather with the white elephant gift exchange and the predictions contest was a big hit.  I do have one vote for a best prediction that I feel got short shrift:

This is a paraphrase as I don’t have the paper in hand:

“I resolve to improve my emerging clairvoyant FTF abilities to the point where I am actually at GZ while caches are being hidden by the owner”

-dougandsuzy

I think it didn’t win because it is more of a resolution, but doesn’t he already do this?

To the folks coming here for help with PQs, software, how-tos and resources like log templates for the first time: welcome!   Shoot me a note if you have questions and I will write them up if I can.

Happy Caching!

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Poll: Geocaching Education Topics for Meet and Greet July 3, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Events, Geocaching.
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Let’s assume you are inclined to come to our infrequent Geocaching meet and greet events in North San Diego County.  What kind of educational topics might you be interested in seeing presented?

Weigh in, you might obligate one of us to do some homework!

North County Cachers Summer Meet-N-Greet July 3, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Events, For the Newbies, Geocaching, Recreation.
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There’s been a little conversation brewing for a while on the NCC Yahoo! group regarding a summer meet and greet at our usual hangout.  You can read all about it, here.

The call for a proper “breakout” session or two around route planning, hiding techniques and so forth is out there.  Depending on interest level, I’d be willing to step up and deliver a talk or two.  Why don’t you head on over to the Yahoo! group and register your interest so Peg can give me a shout out to prepare for a nice presentation?

I will toss up a poll and see if I can’t get some real interest going.  We’d love to have a whack of people up for a midweek gathering.  C’mon, you know you wanna!

Quick and Dirty Update June 6, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Events, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Reviews, Snark, Software.
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  • I’ve hit over 85,000 Geocaching miles.  Suck it, Lotrat.
  • Calipers pointed out I need to review GeoBuddy and compare it to GSAK.  Stay tuned.
  • Somebody was musing about a North SD County meet and greet.  Let’s get it on, folks.
  • I’m still looking for more interesting spoofs to target for my “Don’t Do This!” series.  Take a look at my profile and send me your ideas if you want to have them immortalized with the “Frown-O-Meter”.  (See my GC profile and caches for more details)

Valley of the Fountains June 5, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Events, Geocaching, Mobile Caching, Strategy and Tactics.
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WARNING – SPOILERS BELOW THE FOLD!

Fountain Valley Cache and Dash, Dawn To Dusk on May 30, 2009.

Check this out (Click to embiggen):

Valley of the Fountains Caches Logged (124)

Valley of the Fountains Caches Logged (124)

Dougandsuzy and Calipers hung around after a meet and greet for one more round a few months back and suggested we should throw down another little crush event with the three of us.  Doug suggested Fountain Valley, Calipers thought he meant Death Valley and asked if this was “Survivor: Geocache”.  Needless to say we almost left him at home.

After prepping in the usual way (see my extensive instruction manual on this topic) we ended up bagging 124 during daylight hours.  Not too shabby.  I figured I would throw in some of the highlights of the day and share some things we learned about one another on the road.  No, we didn’t have a Brokeback Caching moment or anything, but I did almost break Dougandsuzy’s back.  Oh, and my apologies for the crappy logs I left most of the owners.  Let’s be honest; after 45 LPCs what more do you need to write than “TFTC”?

After meeting at 5am, we packed the supplies and TOTTs in the trunk:

  • Implements, magnets, rubber gloves and handi wipes (uh, remember what I said about that brokeback thing?)
  • A case of Dr. Pepper

Who needs more?  You do.  And it’s all below the fold…

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Map This Trail April 25, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Events, Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere, Recreation.
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If you load up Geocaching.com this morning you’ll see their new project with the Rails to Trails Conservancy.  If you missed the Groundspeak blurb on it, you can see it, here.

If you read up a little bit, you will see Groundspeak and Rails to Trails are seeking volunteers with a GPS to help map these trails.  I support this little “cause”  for a multitude of reasons, not least of which is that the process involves you, a GPS, and walking around.  That’s three simple things I can almost understand together. 😉

Seriously, though, the volunteer work is as simple as turning on the breadcrumbs feature for your GPS to record a track, then walk around on the trail and hit the “Mark” button when you see something interesting like a bathroom.  What’s more, there is a trail in San Diego County that needs help.  It is the San Diego Sea to Sea trail, stretching 140 miles from the coast to the Salton Sea.  But don’t let me monopolize the airwaves; from their site:

Our first area of focus is San Diego.  This branch is called the San Diego Trans County Trail.  It is also known as the San Diego Sea To Sea Trail.  The latter name is largely coincidental.  The two seas it connects are the Pacific Ocean in Del Mar, California and The Salton Sea, 140 miles inland.  This Trail crosses the Pacific Crest Trail, which extends from Mexico to Canada.

 

Our Current Focus:  Crossing San Diego County on the San Diego Sea To Sea Trail

This San Diego trail will pass gorgeous scenery that includes beach, coastal wetlands, mountains, lakes, streams, desert and an inland sea.  Such diversity within 140 miles makes it an exceptionally beautiful part of the national trail network.

Go to the site, take a look at the existing trail map, then note it still needs some handy folks with a GPS out there to map it for the rest of the world to use.  The cool bit here is the next phase, once the San Diego Sea to Sea Trail is done:

After completing the Sea To Sea Trail (Trans County Trail), the goal of the Sea To Sea Trail Foundation will be to create a network of interconnected trails crisscrossing the lower 48 states of the United States.  A person will be able to ride a bicycle, ride a horse or walk to every large or medium size town in the country.

Now I love my frequent flyer miles and freeway machines just as much as the next guy (ok, probably a lot more than the next guy) but this is just plain cool.  Hiking and biking trails to every densely populated town in the country?  I am freakin’ in!  Talk about a killer road trip, on foot!

If you’re planning a mapping or Geocaching hike on the San Diego Sea to Sea Trail, let me know. 

Planning for a “Crush” Event – Part 3 March 27, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Events, Geocaching, Software, Strategy and Tactics, Uncategorized.
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Part 3: All About the Pocket Query

In Part 0 we established the Crush event as something you should not treat lightly.  In Part 1 you have established your basic organization and planning structure, while in Part 2 you made official decisions on “Da Rules”.  Now it is time to get cooking on a Pocket Query and mapping out the actual waypoints you will seek.

This is where the fun really gets going, if you’re a geek like me.

Run a Pocket Query

You’ve already decided what types of hides you are going to seek in Part 2.  With that, go run yourself a Pocket Query on Geocaching.com.  Some thoughts, though, on building effective PQs are are in order:

  1. Make sure the details from Part 2 (terrain, difficulty, types, etc) are all plugged in (DUH)
  2. Consider running a separate query for each cache type and merging the GPX files later, this will make it easy for you to slice off the Mystery caches
  3. Always choose “not ignored” as a filter criteria.  This will become important in a second.
  4. Choose an appropriate waypoint to center the search on and fiddle with the search radius until the “preview” results come back with just under 500 results (475-499 is good).  This insures you have ALL of the caches in a given radius listed.
  5. Use Watcher to further filter your results when the PQ GPX file comes over.

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Planning for a “Crush” Event – Part 2 January 19, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Events, For the Newbies, Geocaching, Strategy and Tactics.
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Part 2: T-Minus 3 Months, What Are We Looking For?

So you’ve been Geocaching for a while and you think you are just insane enough to try for “100 caches in 24 hours!”, “As many as we can get before we pass out” or “300 finds or abandoning my car mates in a ditch, whichever comes first”. Caching can be stressful. So can a crush event, where you and your (optional) team race to collect as many smilies as possible.

In Part 0 we established the Crush event as something you should not treat lightly.  In Part 1 you have established your:

  1. Estimated Attendance
  2. Final Location
  3. “Leader” of the Pack (uh, that’s you)
  4. Happy Place, where you will calm down and relax (you’ll be visiting that place shortly)

Now let’s get to the meat and potatoes of the day.  We might as well dive right in since Part 2 is where you get to decide “Da Rules”, as one of my favorite cartoons calls them

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Planning for a “Crush” Event – Part 1 January 8, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Events, Geocaching.
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Part 1: T-Minus 6 Months

So you’ve been Geocaching for a while and you think you are just insane enough to try for “100 caches in 24 hours!”, “As many as we can get before we pass out” or “300 finds or abandoning my car mates in a ditch, whichever comes first”. Caching can be stressful. So can a crush event, where you and your (optional) team race to collect as many smilies as possible.

In Part 0 we established the Crush event as something you should not treat lightly, as a neophyte or an inveterate couch potato rising for the first time in decades to meet with perfect strangers.  You’re too stupid to be sold on common sense.  Good.  Now let’s get to the planning of this thing (beer and pizza parties are going to start coming fast and furious now)… (more…)

Planning For A “Crush” Event – Part 0 January 7, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Events, Geocaching, Strategy and Tactics.
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Part 0: Full disclosure

So you’ve been caching for a while and you think you are just insane enough to try for “100 caches in 24 hours!”, “As many as we can get before we pass out” or “300 finds or abandoning my car mates in a ditch, whichever comes first”. Caching can be stressful. So can a crush event, where you and your (optional) team race to collect as many smilies as possible.

I dub them “Crush” events but they might as well be cram, pack, jam, rush, push or sprint events because to join a massive, day-long caching adventure is to do all of the above. Because of that fact there are some caveats of which you should be aware, before we start into the planning: (more…)