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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.

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Another Frustrated Newcomer August 20, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, For the Newbies, Forums, Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Strategy and Tactics.
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Newcomer?  New player?  I can’t say N00b because they sorta-kinda stopped playing and then started again.  But on the forums I ran across this thread, which I would direct the newer cachers to view and take home some good advice from the commentators.  The player and a muggle audience went 0-for-6 on a hunt and the experience is just turning him/her off to the game.  Here’s some of the good highlights in the comments (Advice for the new player):

  • Pick easy ones at first, nothing more than 1-2 stars of difficulty
  • Read the last 5 logs to see if it has been found recently or if others have had trouble finding it
  • If you’re using the iPhone, TomTom or Garmin Roadmate (a “car-focused” GPS) to cache, do some reading and make sure your GPS is “talking the same language” as Groundspeak.  A note in the forums asking for a quick FAQ link or spot of advice will do nicely.
  • Remember, the GPS doesn’t get you right to the cache.  It gets you pretty darned close, which could be 30′ away.
  • Employ patience.  You have no idea what you’re looking for yet.  After you find a few it will be easier.
  • Enjoy yourself.  If an outing with the family isn’t enough fun and the smiley is the only reason you’re playing, do a rethink.
  • Read that last one again.
  • Corollary to enjoying yourself: Log the DNF!  Truly, this is your best source of a.) information to make the find and b.) finding a friend who can help (and who you might help)

It’s a good thread.  I love lurking in the forums.

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…

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Some Good Background for the Newbies March 24, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Blogroll, Education, For the Newbies, Geocaching, In the News/Blogosphere, Philosophy, Somebody Else's Stuff, Strategy and Tactics.
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And the oldies, too.  Drat19 has some handy thoughts on cache hiding, some of which are just plain good advice no matter how long you’ve been at it.  Try these two for some good reading:

I’m here for you… 😉

How’d You Do That: Printed Routes Episode March 6, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, For the Newbies, Geocaching, Mobile Caching, Software, Strategy and Tactics, Uncategorized.
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I received a few questions during the recent 100-Cache Dash about the preplanned route I provided to all the participants. So if you would like to plan a turn by turn route for your next Geocaching adventure, this post will get you started. If you weren’t there the first leg of the route looked like this…
Click to Embiggen

Palm Springs Route, Leg 1, From Mapsource: Click to Embiggen

Now I did provide it on regular paper and it was nicely carved up into “phases” for the day, but you get the idea.  If anyone got lost they could catch up real quick.  How 6 people with multiple GPSr units PER PERSON could possibly get lost is beyond me, and beside the point (but it is why we left Calipers at home).

Want to create something like this for your next hunt?  All that, and more, below the fold.

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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 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…)

Using “Watcher” to Filter Your GPX Pocket Queries January 6, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, Geocaching.com, Software, Strategy and Tactics.
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Once you’ve used the advanced features available from Geocaching.com to create a Pocket Query it is frequently useful to filter those GPX results further. Doing so allows you to run reports, review specific favorite hide types quickly or act on recent log activity. The possibilities are endless, limited only to either your own patience or the capabilities of the software you use.  I’m not patient, so I use software.  One of my first steps after receiving a PQ is to filter it through “Watcher” by Clayjar to minimize my DNF probability.  More on using Watcher, below the fold. (more…)