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17 Down – 33 to Go! May 2, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Geocaching, My Finds, Statistics.
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3 comments

I know, this is probably obsessive-compulsive, but I had a whopping half hour to myself on business in Maryland and just had to check that Geocaching box…

State Map as of May 1, 09

State Map as of May 1, 09

I have a personal goal of caching every US state in the next few years.  This map marks my progress nicely.  I do like the cool color coded state maps you can get from Itsnotaboutthenumbers, but this one will do in a pinch.  I generated this one using LogicWeave’s Cache Stats.  INATN (short form) actually has my favorite statistic right there on the front page when you upload your PQ:

Approximate cache-to-cache distance: 67623.42 miles (108829.34 kilometres)

That’s just over 54 miles travelled per Geocache logged.  I knew I got around for work a bit but these numbers just blew me away!  I love looking at maps like these.  If you have a blog or profile with your map posted, drop a link to it in the comments for all to see, especially if you have a map looking better (more complete) than mine.  And if you have a nearly complete county map for your home state, drop a link to that, too!

I’m happy to live vicariously through the caching exploits of others.  😉

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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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1 comment so far

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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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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1 comment so far

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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Sharing the Love With GSAK January 14, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Geocaching, Mobile Caching, Software.
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3 comments

I’m not a big GSAK user (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife).  That probably makes me a GSAK bigot, but I am here to change all that.

Many people who use GSAK are familiar with its ability to rapidly review cache lists, assign nicknames to cache entries and it is not a bad filtering tool, either.  In another post I mentioned a key feature of “Watcher”, its ability to rapidly and automatically filter out undesirable (or desirable) cache entries from your GPX Pocket Query.  Now it’s time to take a look at one feature from GSAK that makes it second to none among utilities: its file export capabilities.

GSAK offers excellent file sharing tools for the Geocacher.  In the latest version of GSAK (7.2.3.35), the number of file formats supported is staggering.  What possible use could this be?  If you and your cache mates don’t use the same GPS or have differing preferences/needs for map view or printouts, the best way to make sure you are operating from the same cache list is to start from the same GPX and use a software tool like GSAK to “translate” for you.

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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…)