Sunday, March 16, 2008

There's a balance out there

I have some down time over the next couple of weeks, so I’m thinking about hiding a couple of caches. With surgery scheduled tomorrow morning (outpatient – nothing too major, just something that needs to get fixed), I won’t be doing much of anything for a couple of days, but I figure once I’m walking again, I can start working on some containers and camo. That would definitely necessitate a trip to the local big box hardware store to get some paint. I have a couple of cans of primer and texture, but I need a couple more colors to work on the camo.

I actually went to our local surplus store today to check on the prices of ammo cans. $5.97 to $7.97 isn’t bad. Now that I think about it, why didn’t I buy a couple while I was there? Oh yes, by not buying them, it means I have to go back there again and look around more. I guess there’s some method to my madness.

Once I get the camo done on the containers, it will be just a short trip out to one site anyway, a quick hike in, place and take the coordinates and then I’m out. But I will have to work on the page because this one’s going to be a mystery/puzzle cache. I have one other mystery hide, the Cobol Canyon Trail, which is a math substitution puzzle. This new one is going to be a little bit more of the “think outside of the box” type of puzzle. It’s not going to be anything elaborate, just something similar to what I’ve already seen on-line. It’ll be interesting to see how it turns out once I’m done with it.

In the past, I’ve been accused of being wordy on my cache pages. Who me? Wordy? Yeah, well, I guess I am wordy, but in my opinion, cache pages that don’t tell a little story about the cache are pretty boring. Usually that means that it’s probably a lamp post or newspaper rack hide. Yep. Those are a dime a dozen, and so I’ve vowed not to hide any like that. I’m trying to take the tack, that if you can’t at least hide a geocoin in it, it’s not going to be hidden by me.

I also like to have my caches be a little bit of a walk from the parking area, so mine are not “park and grabs.” There are a lot of those out there, and I feel they don’t take a whole lot of thought or effort to place them. Slap a slip of paper in an Altoids tin and plop it under a lamp post. I heard one person in the forum call this “microspew” and I tend to agree with him. There’s very little cost involved, so there doesn’t seem to be as much ownership of the cache, because if it gets muggled, the person can always slap another one out there.

That’s one of the reasons why I don’t have as many hides as other people do. My basic strategy has been to hide one for every 100 that I find. That’s a 1% hide to find ratio, which is very low compared to others who have been caching as long as I have, and it’s also lower than many who have been caching less than I have, but that’s the ratio that I’ve decided to maintain. I can’t imagine having 100 hides. I think all I would be doing would be maintaining caches with no time to find any. Thanks but no thanks. With the ratio I’ve chosen, I get a nice balance. With 1861 hides, I have 19 finds, so I’m slightly above my average and if I hide this next one, I’ll really be above it.

With most of my cache hides, I usually post some pictures as well, so obviously, these pictures are all from my cache hides. I would say that all the pictures on the cache page help tell the story of the cache. I’ll post more about my next hide after I’ve recuperated a little and after I've hidden it.

Pictures and graphics are from the following caches:
Hotel Devore
The Cats Made Me Do It
Today, I Saw a Lizard
7 Miles Away and a Half Mile Hike

Profile for Webfoot


Hick@Heart said...

Good luck on the repairs. You should have them put a robotic TOTT cache removal device in there while they're in there. I'll be looking forward to seeing the puzzle cache. P.s. I like the counties cached in map a lot! Maybe someday when I've cached in more than two counties, I'll get one.

Geocaching With Team Hick@Heart

chaosmanor said...

Balance... yeah, we could use more of that in our caching lives. Funny, though; as two of those with over 100 Hides (133, to be exact), we can certainly relate to some of your comments about maintenance. We've archived 44 of our Hides, including our first one. Of the 89 remaining, 14 we adopted from a cacher who moved out of the state. That leaves 75 caches that we need to keep up on. It seems that one or two are *always* down for repairs :-( Four of them are disabled right now, and one should be, but it's on a trail that's closed, and three of the others four are in areas that burned last year; two of them are still off-limits. Of the rest, we'll certainly own up to a few urban micros. One of them was a yellow tube with a white top, hidden near a movie theatre; did you guess that we named it "Hot Buttered Popcorn"? ;-) And we have a few bison tubes out there, a couple in urban settings and a couple in more rural. And we have an Altoids tin or two in guard rails; one's a puzzle, though, so that only semi-doesn't count ;-) But most of our caches are full-bodied, or at least compact car-sized ;-) They are on trails, some as much as five or six miles from the nearest TH, and/or a few hundred (or more) feet in elevation from the starting point; heck, you were with us on a couple of walk-in hides. We almost own one trail in Point Mugu SP; we hid the first two caches on it, and own seven of the ten directly along it: three miles and 1,900 feet of gain; love the Ray Miller Trail :-D Our highest cache is nearly 5,000 feet up and you have to walk nearly three miles for it; it's almost always unavailable in winter, and it had a whopping three finds last year :-)

Yeah, it's a lot of work keeping tabs on all of these, but my time is a little freer than yours, and I really do enjoy putting out caches. Someone has to! I'll freely admit that we have some microspew out there, although I like to think that each of those has a little story to tell (like the one in the medical office parking lot that one of us hid while the other was having a "nasty" procedure done to them; we called that one "Cleaning Out the System", and it's gotten some really funny comments), or something interesting to see, or (at the least) is the answer to a puzzle that was fun to solve. But the majority of our hides are on good trails, or on interesting drives, and we hide small tupperware-type or larger when we can. Wish decon containers were easier to find. It's possible to own 50 or 100 caches and have most of them be bigger than an Altoids tin. We do, but we might need to hide more micros, if we *really* want more balance in our caching ;-)

Jim, half of chaosmanor