What Type of Geocacher are You?

LAGEEK shared a quiz from The Geocaching Blog. I scored 12. Coincidentally, I am also “The Traveler”. Although, I have only logged 5 finds thus far, so this may change one day.

You are…The Traveler!

You are your own Travel Bug. Your Profile page is plastered with photos of you exploring the 7 Wonders of the World. Who needs a guidebook when you have geocaching to show you all the locals’ favorite spots?

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The quiz was fun and also educational. I didn’t know about “Caches Along a Route” or “GeoTours”. And now I do. Maybe I’ll use them some day soon 🙂

What type of Geocacher are you?

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Categories: Geocaching | Tags: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Trade Items to Avoid and Even to Purge from Caches

A good list for what trade items to avoid.

Adventures in Poison-Oak

I was going to write something introductory here, but what the hey, the title says it all.

Other than G-rated items.
Do I really need to explain this? Children geocache, too.
Food, including candy, no matter how well sealed.
They attract a variety of undesirable elements that can detect the attribute of edibility a mile away, such as insects, scavengers, bears, and your obese uncle.
Liquids and chemicals, including the popular bubble solution, no matter how well sealed.
You’d be surprised how quickly and easily these items become unsealed in a cache.
Broken anything, including non-functional electronics.
If you’re not willing to fix them, then just throw those things in the trash, not in a cache.
Anything easily breakable, such as thin glass or thin ceramics.
No light bulbs in the cache, please.
Personalized items, and items that commemorate an event of esoteric interest.
Honestly, no one wants these items…

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My First Micro

Found my first micro yesterday before dinner with a friend.

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I was actually sitting in the parking lot and saw someone walking around a tree. Now that I know about geocaching I’m always curious when I see someone walking around if they are geocaching. I opened my app and saw there was a cache there. I don’t really know the etiquette for meeting another cacher on an urban hunt but I waited for him to get back in his car and drive away before I went to look for the cache. With all the muggles about I didn’t want to draw extra attention to the cache location. SL as DreamCacheWriter
This was a nice park-and-grab cache but I do think I prefer the small to large caches. It’s fun to look at what others have left in the cache and add my own treasures to it.
Hunter was with Grandma and Grandpa for this find but he still gets to pick a sticker for the field journal/log book. I’m hoping to take him on another hunt before the end of the month.

What do you think is good etiquette when running into another cacher in the field?

Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Hunting,
DreamCacheWriter

Cache Info:
Famous IGO (IGO Series)
A cache by CQB-M4
N 38° 13.585 W 077° 30.304
UTM: 18S E 280723 N 4233904
http://coord.info/GC4GMEC

Categories: Found it!, Geocaching | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Signature Coin: Success!

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With a second attempt at ShrinkyDink Signature Geocoins I found success. The parchment paper made all the difference. I’m very pleased with how my coins have turned out. I now have ten hand made signature coins to drop in my future cache finds. I hope to run across someone else’s coin someday. I’d love to start a collection of signature geocoins. (If you want to collect geocoins, make sure you’re not keeping trackable ones. Those are meant to travel from cache to cache like travel bugs.)

Want to make your own ShrinkyDink Signature Geocoins? Here is how I did it in 10 steps.

1. Sketch your design to get the idea on paper.

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2. Once you have your idea, draw a circle three times the size of the coin you want on a separate piece of paper. Incorporate your design within this circle. This will become your template. Tip: draw the template with the permanent marker you will use on your coin. This way the tip size is the same.

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3. Place a piece of shrink plastic on top of your template. Trace the design with permanent marker (I used black for this part). You can tape it down to prevent it from moving while you draw.

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4. Flip the shrink plastic over and add color to your coin with color permanent markers. It’s okay to go overtop of the design because it won’t be seen from the front.

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Tip: For a watercolor look, put a little rubbing alcohol on a q-tip and dab or swirl on the desired section. I used this on my blue sections.

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5. Cut out your coin along the edge of your outer circle.

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6. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees (or whatever the directions say on your ShrinkyDink plastic)

7. Place parchment on cookie sheet. Make sure the paper is flat and not over lapping the sides or your coins may shrink curved.

8. Place your cut outs color-side up on the parchment paper.

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9. When the oven is ready, put the cookie sheet inside the oven. Make sure you turn the oven light on and watch through the glass. Sometimes the plastic can roll onto itself and you will need to open it back up to prevent it from sticking to itself or another coin. Spread them out to prevent this as well. It should take 1 – 3 minutes for your coins to shrink.

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10. Pull the pan out of the oven when the coins are laying flat and shrunk. Lift the parchment paper up off the pan and move it to a cool surface. Quickly (you have ten seconds) flatten any coins that are not already flat. Careful, they may be hot for a moment.

Before and After shrinking:

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Once they cool, go find a cache drop your signature coin in, make a blog post about it, and share your awesome new coin with cachers everywhere!

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section.

Happy Hunting!
~ DreamCacheWriter

Categories: DIY: Do It Yourself, Geocaching, Signature Items, Tools of the Trade, Trade Items | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Signature Coin: Attempt 1

“A geocoin is a metal or wooden coin minted in similar fashion to a medallion, token coin, military challenge coin or wooden nickel, for use in geocaching. Most geocoins are trackable on the internet using a serial number and website address engraved on the coin.” – Wikipedia
Not all geocoins are trackable. Some are for events, celebrations, or even signature items.
I’ve been wanting to make my own signature coin to drop in caches. Spending money on a company to make the coins for me is out of my budget range and I don’t want to have to learn how to use a wood burning tool (and buy one) to make my own wooden coins. After thinking on this I finally came up with a solution… ShrinkyDinks!

Attempt Number One:

1. First I sketched my design to get my idea on paper.

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2. Then I drew it in in coin form with a marker 3x the size I wanted it to be.

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3. After, I traced it onto the shrink plastic with a sharpie. Then I flipped it over and added colors with permanent markers to the back.

4. And finally, I cut it out and put it in the oven.

Result:

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Needless to say it didn’t work out the way I hoped. I didn’t have a brown paper bag or parchment paper but I thought the non-stick pan would be fine. Then I realized I couldn’t pull it off flat because the plastic was too hot for me to hold onto.

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So I’m going to try again after I buy some parchment paper.
Wish me luck!
~ DreamCacheWriter

Categories: Geocaching, Signature Items, Tools of the Trade, Trade Items | 2 Comments

Flood Recovery CITO – GC4NKJF

2013 Flood Recovery CITO

a family in search of adventure

flood pic

Haven’t posted much since the flood but wanted to get this up. We will be there this weekend. Hope to see some of you there. This is a great chance for us to pull together and help others.

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Found it! DNF & Letterboxing

Found It!
After getting some new books at the library yesterday, my son and I went by one of the local middle schools to find this cache.

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This was a really fun and easy to find cache for my son and I. Hunter traded a toy yellow car for a yoyo and I added pedometer since the cache seemed a little low on items. The cache was in good condition and I was able to SL as DreamCacheWriter and son.

DNF
Hunter wanted to go get something to eat and go shopping.
When we were all done at the store we stopped by ChuckECheese because there is supposed to be a cache there. I thought it was a parking lot cache… But it wasn’t. My GPS just kept taking us to a tree in a hidden ditch by a fence and I didn’t see anything that matched the cache description. Hunter was ready to go home so I decided to log it as DNF. It wasn’t toddler friendly like I’d hopped. Idk if I’ll go back for this one or not. Maybe after we get more cache find experience.

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Letterboxing
Walktx suggested I try letterboxing with Hunter. Letterboxing is similar to geocaching. It is a mix of treasure hunting, navigation, and exploring interesting, scenic and sometimes remote places with the fun art of stamping. When you find a letterbox, you sign it by inking your personal signature stamp in the log book then stamp the letterbox’s stamp into your personal log book. It sounds like fun but it doesn’t use a GPS. Instead you find clues online to find it. I’m terrible with directions. I use a GPS or very detailed map. Although…I do love riddles.

If you are a letterboxer:
How difficult is it to find a letterbox? What tips do you have for a beginner? Which letterboxing site do you use? Are there any letterboxing apps to use on the go?
Please share any ideas on letterboxing in the comments. Thank you.

Happy Hunting!
~ DreamCacheWriter

Categories: DNF (Did Not Find), Found it!, Geocaching | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Grandpa’s Favorite Book

Yesterday morning I checked out some books at the library with my son. After, we walked around back and down the hill. My geocaching phone app was jumping all over the place so I switched to my camera and took pictures of Hunter picking some pinecones and pine needles.

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We ran up, down, and around the hill. It was good exercise to say the least. As we were running around I looked into the trees we ran by until I spotted the cache, Grandpa’s Favorite Book. Hunter loved walking into the “forest” and searching for the treasure. It was a fun search although the actual find was scattered and in need of maintenance.

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I opened the newer green cache container and signed the log inside of it. It was very small and I could barely fit DreamCacheWriter on one line but I managed.

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I closed up both containers as best I could and put the separate bag (I think it had pennies in it. Hard to tell with all the dried mud) inside the original cache container. TNLN. SL as DreamCacheWriter.

Later that evening my son and I went to a meetup that was for local Geocachers. The organizer wasn’t able to make it and had a very good reason. But it was a little disappointing not to meet any local cachers because apparently no one could make it this month. I don’t know if we will drive out there next month to try again or not. As much as I’d love to go caching in a group and get some advice from experienced cachers, the 45 min drive there and back isn’t worth it if no one shows up, especially having a two-year-old tagging along.

Anyway, Hunter and I now have 3 cache finds! I’m looking forward to finding our next one. The hard part is finding the ones that are toddler friendly so I’ve been researching the caches around the area as much as I can and making a list of ones to check out. Most of the caches around here though seem to be micros or high terrain/long hike. So far I have 9 possible caches to take him along on.

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Have any tips for caching with kids? Any ideas for some creative trade items?

Thanks for coming by,
Happy Hunting!

~ DreamCacheWriter

Cache Info:
“Grandpa’s Favorite Book”
A cache by JordanDad, ScottHorvath Hidden: Sep/05/2010
Size: Small
N 38° 18.819 W 077° 46.723
UTM: 18S E 257056 N 4244269

http://coord.info/GC2EMVW

Categories: Found it!, Geocaching | Tags: , , , | 11 Comments

Library Card

Made a trip to a couple libraries today to donate some bookmarks for a charity anthology. We got a library card at the one closest to our house and Hunter got his first library book there.

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The last library we went to today was extra fun because of the geocache. Hunter was with me and he loved finding the treasure inside. This is officially our second cache find!

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He took a miniature basketball out and didn’t want to put it back. I didn’t bring our trade items today, didn’t think I’d need our geocaching backpack for the libraries. So I left a $5 bill instead.

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I’ll be sure to bring our bag next time. In fact, I think I’m just going to keep our bag in the car so we always have it when we need it. And maybe I should keep some small trade items in my purse from now on. After all, you never know when a cache is nearby.
Signed log as DreamCacheWriter & Son.
Now my son is taking a nap… I think I might too 😉

Happy Hunting!
~ DreamCacheWriter

Geocache Info:
Salem Church Library
A cache by Michelle Pursel
Hidden : Sep/11/2009
Size: small

http://coord.info/GC1YHA1

Categories: Found it!, Geocaching, Trade Items | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Field Journal

Along with this blog I thought it would be nice to start a field journal with my finds so that I can have my progress all in one place. It is also great for writing down notes or clue solving. As a writer I like to always have a way to write with me. So, while stopping by our new Dollar General with Hunter, I got a pack of mini composition books and made one of them my new field journal and personal log book.

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My son also helped me pick out some trade items and a backpack. It was fun browsing the store. He found some stickers for our field journal. For every cache we find he can add a sticker next to the notes.

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With our new bag and field journal, I finally got to pack that geocaching essentials bag. We don’t have everything in it yet and I’m sure we will add more as we have more time and experience in the field.

My Geocaching Backpack Contents:

• Field Journal & Pen
• Map
• Trade Items
• First Aid basic kit (will upgrade this soon)
• Small sewing kit
• Change of clothes for Hunter & I
• Trash Bag and Rubber Gloves for CITO
• Work gloves for climbing, moving thorn vegetation, etcetera
• mini log book, empty pill container, & ziplock bags for small cache maintenance
• Sun block & Insect repellant
• Baby wipes & pull-ups
• Tissues
• 2 Waters
• Snacks

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As you can see, I have added some things I didn’t list on my Top Ten Geocaching Essentials post.

I’d still like to add:

• Flashlight plus batteries
• Upgrade the first aid kit
• Whistle
• Paracord
• Leatherman Juice Cs4 Multitool
• Motrin & Cortisone Cream

We took our bag out for the first time this past Saturday to one of the battlefields. My friend came along with Hunter and I. There is a multi-cache at this one I thought we’d check out. Of course, I didn’t realize it would be over 6 miles worth of walking to get through the way points before even finding the cache. So naturally we didn’t get to the cache. Hunter did enjoy the trail and picking wild flowers.

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After about an hour of walking we stopped for a picnic lunch and called it a day for geocaching. We still had a great time and I plan to go back for the cache on a day Hunter is with Grandma and Grandpa.

Do you keep a field journal? If so what do you like to put in it?

What’s in your geocaching backpack? What trade items do you carry?

What is your favorite type of cache? Traditional, virtual, multi-cache, macro, large, camouflaged, urban, nature…?

Categories: Geocaching, Tools of the Trade, Trade Items | Tags: , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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