Sunday, July 15, 2007

Geocaching going mainstream

As geocaching gains in popularity, communities are beginning to embrace it.
The increasingly popular hobby of geocaching hasn't come without problems.

In the pastime's seven-year life, followers have faced flak from people who don't understand the hobby or who have encountered inconsiderate cachers.

As a result, serious enthusiasts take pains to polish their image.

Problems have included noncachers -- known as "muggles" in the caching community, after the term used in the "Harry Potter" book series for nonwizards -- mistaking cachers for terrorists or perverts.

One cacher tried placing an innocent cache under an Idaho bridge in 2005, alerting the local bomb squad.

Many cachers make a point of picking up trash while on caching journeys.

Some groups even adopt public parks, where they host regular trash cleanup days, say serious cachers.

"One guy I know has been known to put caches in a real messy area, just so people will take trash out when they cache there," said Maiden geocaching enthusiast Anne "Mrs. Parrothead" Willis, who helped start a Hickory-based caching group that conducts park cleanups and adopted Hickory and Catawba County government parks for that purpose. Both park systems allow caching on their properties.

Despite some negative publicity, a growing list of communities and states across the country are embracing the hobby, Busch said, even using it as a tourism marketing tool.

An annual GeoWoodstock event, held in Raleigh over Memorial Day weekend, drew 2,000 cachers.

And Rock Hill's parks system, which allows caching on its properties, recently taught a geocaching class to educate people on the joys of the sport and the system's caching rules.

"We want geocaching in our parks, but we just want it done by the guidelines," said outdoor program manager Tom Bell. "We're out for the advancement of it."
Progress. Link

Monday, January 22, 2007

When driving directions go wrong...


Sometimes even the Google gets confused. Let's just hope they weren't going to a geocache...

Update: The Google fixed their directions. Here's a bigger screen grab for posterity.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Doh!

After a few logs like these on one of our caches:

January 14 by CCCooperAgency (18517 found)
Was able to jot down "CCCA" and "V+S" but the log is more like a wet sponge at this point and there was mud in the cache. Maybe utilize one of those little plastic containers like seen around town INSIDE of the MHK?


January 14 by Vinny & Sue Team (1277 found)
Nice little spot. Log soaked AND muddy though. Container needs to be waterproof in this spot! I think CCCA made some indents on the log but it couldn't be signed properly. Thanks!


January 14 by F'burg Don (115 found)
Found it this afternoon. The container was wet as was the log sheet. There were no plastic bags.
F'burg Don and crew


We realized we had left the old cache in place when we put a new one in. So we went out and retrieved the old, soggy cache container:

January 16 by 2diggers (207 found)
Note to self: It would help to remove the old container when replacing it with a new one.

Removed old container which everyone is finding. New container still in place and dry.


Oops.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

At least they didn't blow it up

Actually they do have some good advice in the article.

Treasure Hunt in Park Causes Bomb Scare

Jan 8, 2007 08:21 AM

A treasure hunting game in a North Fond du Lac park caused some tense moments Sunday morning.

Police called in the Brown/Outagamie County Bomb Squad when someone reported seeing a man put a suspicious object on the ground at Yellowstone Trail Park. Police found it was a PVC pipe and a small plastic container.

They eventually learned from others in the area that it was part of geocaching, a hide-and-seek game using different navigational techniques.

All the container had inside was paper and a pencil, so the bomb squad was called off.

Officers suggest that geocachers clearly mark their caches, and be ready to show that they are harmless.

At least one Brown County sheriff's deputy says he recalls this kind of incident happening before. He recommends calling your local parks department before geocaching to get permission and find out what the local regulations are.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Don't forget your pen!


So today we were caching and went to grab a micro by the girls and I. We found it with no problem, but where did we put the pen? Not here, not there, so what to do? Camera phone! Take a picture!

Number 200

Our goal for 2006 was to hit 200 finds before the end of the year. We made it with over 11 1/2 hours to spare. And what else but a Bozo cache would it be?

Slackers

Wow. It's been a year since we last posted here. Ummm... We've been busy?

Actually, no excuse. Just slack. But we have news to post so get ready for it.

Incoming!

Friday, January 13, 2006

Let's be REALLY careful out there

These items are becoming more frequent:

BOISE, Idaho – Scot Tintsman says he never had any troubles with the law until his girlfriend introduced him to what became his all-consuming passion: the satellite-navigated treasure hunt called geocaching.

"She got me hooked," said the 33-year-old Idaho man, who faces criminal charges for hanging a green bucket beneath a concrete bridge on a major state highway last September.

His "cache" was placed for other players to find using handheld Global Positioning System units. But before he could even finish adding the requisite trinkets and log books to the cache and posting its GPS coordinates on the Internet, it was indeed discovered – by a state bridge inspection crew.

That triggered a seven-hour road closure and emergency response from officials who feared a bomb had been rigged to the bridge.

Unaware of the alarm, Tintsman was returning to finish rigging his cache when he rounded a corner on his motorcycle and was confronted by a barricade of police cars and a bomb squad. He struggled to explain that it was all a misunderstanding.

"I got off my bike and three officers approached me very cautiously, hands on their holsters," he said. "I was trying to turn off my MP3 player and I think they were worried I was going for a detonator."

Follow the link for the full story.

Oh, and in case the attitude of the officers as the geocacher approached seems familiar, it is.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Police Blow Up Geocache

A geocache in Ohio was blown up by police. This isn't the first time it's happened, but this was micro cache with a geocaching label on it.

Let's be careful out there
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