Geocaching Souvenir’s

Ontario Geocaching Souvenir
Ontario Geocaching Souvenir

I just received an email that I have a new souvenir. And there it is. My Ontario souvenir for all to see! One of many new souvenirs coming out.

Souvenirs or Badges as I like to call them are ways to show off some of your accomplishments.

I recently received an email stating that a souvenir I voted for is coming to light soon. 100 trackable logs.

I think it is kind of cool that Ground Speak has decided to create all of these souvenirs as a reflection of your accomplishments. It seems that just about every social website includes some sort of token to show your accomplishments.

The full sized image of the Ontario Souvenir.
The full sized image of the Ontario Souvenir.

Watch for lots of new souvenirs coming soon!

About Souvenirs.

Vote for Souvenirs and more info about souvenirs at Customer Feedback for

Also posted on TAG

Earthcache rules changed!

Earth Cache
Earthcache rules changed!

I just stumbled upon a tweet about a change in earth cache listings.

I know in the last year that I tried to get an EarthCache published but with no luck. We won’t go into details about that. We will continue on with the subject at hand.

In particular a BIG change will be number 7 of the rules listed at GSA EarthCache Guidelines.

7. Requests for photographs must be optional. Exceptions to this guideline will only be considered if the requested photograph is related to an Earth Science logging activity such as recording a phenomenon. This particular guidelines was updated on 1 January 2011. All EarthCaches must conform to this guideline as photo requests are considered “additional logging requirements” (ALRs) and follow the guidelines set forth by
Existing EarthCaches that do not meet this guideline must be updated to comply.
Cache owners may not delete the cacher’s log based solely on optional tasks.

The way I read this is that if previously you required a photo in order to log the EarthCache, you may no longer delete a log if the finder does not supply an image. I knew they had changed the policy for including yourself in a picture for privacy concerns. I was quickly notified of that guideline while setting up mine.

So what does this mean? Does it mean that if you require a picture to be taken at your EarthCache that they will delete your listing? I doubt that will be the case. But they won’t allow you to delete a log if the finder did not supply an image as requested to log. If the finder’s log is deleted, I imagine a quick email to GSA or GC will get your log back.

I imagine this is going to cause some headaches for the reviewers if the information isn’t delivered to all EarthCache owners in some manner. Possibly if you find an EarthCache that requires you to post an image in order to log that you show due diligence and post the “Number 7” rule with your log.
Will this affect any of your EarthCaches?
What do you think of this ruling?

Badly Placed Geocaches

Playground Geocache
Not a great place for a geocache. Too many muggles during the day and too many police at night.

Badly placed caches have been a bug in my side lately. I have seen more then my fair share as of late.

We all understand the concept of “Placing a Geocache” don’t we? Or do we?

Lately I have been finding caches just a little too easy. Caches that are placed in front of homes on rural roads, a cache in a playground set, one in a stop sign in an urban setting and even a few in a playground area right near the houses bordering it.

When we place caches, we should look around us to see what others might see. If it is near a playground, think of what it would be look like if a 55 year old man, dressed in his finest caching clothes, holding a gps and wandering around would look like. If you had kids at that playground, would you think something fishy was going on watching this person fish around a pine tree?

I think I would.

Pulling up across the road from a home in a rural setting. Looking around a tree or stump. Not a normal thing to see on a normally abandoned road. And yet as I drove in, I see 10 other stumps that AREN’T in front of a home. Why would you choose the one directly in front of their home where they can see me pull up while they are watching TV. Now difference here is that if the owner knows about the cache, then say so in your cache description. Tell me that the occupants know what is there. I really don’t need to feel like any minute now the police are going to drive up with sirens blaring.

I have also seen caches on the side of the road of main thoroughfares in the country. The other night I stopped for one of these and believe it or not, as I was coming out of the ditch, an officer stopped to ask if everything was ok. Now I am ok with explaining geocaching to each and every officer that has asked, but I don’t see why I should have to worry about it. I have now been asked by half a dozen officers about what I was doing. They have been pretty good with my explanation of geocaching, but I am waiting for the day that one of them doesn’t grasp the concept and into the back of the cruiser I go. Good thing I am pretty clean cut!

I have also encountered caches that just seem to be out in the open. Sometimes I wonder how they don’t get muggled. Just plain luck? I know that sometimes caches get moved around after the hide. But it seems that some are just plain out in the open and there wasn’t anywhere to hide them originally. A small sized cache sitting in the crotch of a tree in a playground is going to come up missing more than once!

So let’s just think about our surroundings when we place caches. Look around. Don’t just jump out of the vehicle, hide it, take the coords and run.

I would love to hear about some of your pet peeve hides! Post your comments below!

Winter Geocaching

Geocaching in the winter
Geocaching in the winter can be fun!

It’s that time of year again when the wind blows cold, the wet stuff turns to white stuff and people start using that 4 letter swear word again. Yes it’s SNOW!

Just when you start to think that the season has turned to a point where you are going to just stay inside, you load up your gps with geocaches, suit up in the warm clothes and decide to head out just to see what it is like. You may find it amazingly beautiful at this time. There are no bugs, there are less weeds (although the wild raspberry bushes seem to still be sharp) and the poison ivy is non-existent.

I know that some geocachers like to stay close to their vehicles as it is one of those warm shelters when the wind is blowing. I will admit, that if the wind is whipping the old white stuff around I generally do the same. Drive by’s are usually on the order. But even then, just when you think you have a drive by, you end up wandering 100 to 200 meters away from the vehicle and it can get mighty cold in a short time.

bad winter geocaching outfit
Don’t dress like I did here. Not great attire for winter caching! Brendah was better suited!

I do prefer trail caching in the winter time as the bugs aren’t bugging you (as they do best on a hot humid day), it is so much easier to take off a few layers to cool down then it is to try and cool down on a 30C day. I like to try to choose days that aren’t as windy also, but I find that once you wander down
the first 100 meters or so of a well treed trail, the temperature change is noticeable and the cold wind doesn’t whip through you like a banshee. The week before New Year’s I took my son on a newly opened trail near here to place 6 caches. I was afraid at first that the trail ran west to east and we had a strong westerly wind, that my son wouldn’t go. But after placing the first cache near the road (I like that on a trail for those who may just want a quick drive by) and walking in about 50 meters, we were surprised that that it was very comfortable and the wind just didn’t reach us.

Last year I did a lot of winter caching with groups. We had lots of new caches on the trails in Brantford and it made for great fun. With all the laughing and carrying on, it was a great time. Plus the fact that we all took turns signing everyone’s name at each cache made it so your finger weren’t cold all the time. Bouncing from one cache to another and making fun of each other was the greatest. A group of us even spent some time caching a wooded area near Thorold.

So remember, just because there is snow a flying doesn’t mean that you can’t get out to enjoy grabbing a few caches or a lot of them.

Some things to remember to take when winter caching:

  • Take more then the usual extra batteries – Batteries don’t last as long in the cold, take more then you would take in the summer time. You may end up pulling out what you thought were good batteries only to see them die a few minutes after putting them in.
  • Dress warm – wear more clothes then normal. You can take clothing off but you can’t put more on if you don’t have them.
  • This wasn't the geocache, but was easily spotted without weeds.
    This wasn’t the geocache, but was easily spotted without weeds. It is actually an old rail road lantern.

    Take extra socks and pants – wet feet hurt after a while. Believe me!

  • Good footwear – this year I purchased water proof hikers. I wear them all year round. They have better traction then normal boots, they stay fairly dry and they breathe.
  • water/drinks – even though it’s winter, you still burn off a lot of fluids while hiking and you will still need to drink
  • I always carry my back pack while hiking – I purchased ice traction clip on’s for my boots at the dollar store. A backpack is also great if you need to put a coat in instead of carrying it over your arm.
  • Take out your bug spray – if your bug spray freezes, it may not work right next year.
  • Take out anything that may freeze – except your drinks of course. Sun screen may split the container if you are out long enough and we all know what an awful mess that leaves in a back pack.

All in all, winter caching can be just as fun as summer caching. You may even be able to get to those places that would be quite a bit more difficult in the summer time. Just remember to don’t always trust ice and make sure you test it well if you do walk out on ice.

Happy winter caching!

Can you cache in the Swamp?