Sunday, November 22, 2015

How to raise the size and quality of your hides.

How to raise the size and quality of your hides.
By Bert Marshall (BaytownBert)
Southeast Texas Representative Texas Geocaching Association

I live in Baytown, Texas; a bustling blue-collar city on the Texas Gulf Coast.  It is fairly saturated with geocaches thanks to me and a number of accomplished cachers.  We usually get out and pick off new ones as they are published as well as logging down everything out to about 20 miles.

What this means is for many of us, we have to drive 30 to 60 minutes to get somewhere that there are enough unfound caches to make it worth the trip – or do not geocache at all.  You see?  We’ve found everything near our homes.  I have over 300 caches that I maintain and I think I’ve come upon the solution to this dilemma.

I will archive my common geocaches and start over and yes, I realize it will be a lot of work.  I’m thinking the best way to do this is one by one disable one listing, retrieve the old container (or box as the Brits are known to call it), repair or refurbish it, move it, rename it, and grab new cords.

Each replaced hide will give me a chance to enhance it, making it better, or harder, or cooler.  In the process I’ll get a better feel for what has worked and what hasn’t and make corrections.  Sure, it will take time, but time is something I have, as I am in this game for the long run.

I’ll take the opportunity to up-size every container I can, attempting to turn back the surge of micro-sized containers that are now common place even in the densest section of woods.  This has gotten so out of hand, that I’ve resorted to leaving travel bugs under LPC skirts or tie-wrapping them on a limb in the woods.

I will refrain from using a lamp post cover to hide anything and bite my lips real hard if I think a magnetic nano or a DNA tube is “really cool choice”.  I will recycle a pill bottle in lieu of purchasing a matchstick holder.  In fact, I will recycle any screw lid type substantial plastic container and insert a freezer bag inside over buying a new container online.

Seeing how I am and know other gym rats, I’ll ask them to save me their large protein containers to use as large and regular-size containers (read boxes).  A freezer bag makes the contents water-proof.  Wrap some duct tape around them and a little spray paint and they are good for about 3 years.

I’ve used 30# monofilament as a tether for a long time and eventually it fails due to exposure to the sun.  I can buy this wire-type fishing line that I think will last from here to yon and is almost invisible.  We pretty much have to tether our caches here because raccoons run off with them otherwise.  We also get a lot of rain and cachers grab the container, run to their car, do their duty, but can’t remember where they got it.  It can migrate considerably after one of these trips.

By the buy, did you know that if you are caching all day and stop and eat a juicy hamburger, you leave that scent on the next 10 caches you find?  Yup, you just baited it for raccoons.

In closing, I think I will do this and if the idea spreads, there should be a whole new set of geocaches appear.  Of course my favorited caches and those with high D/T ratings will remain and those that have a long history.  I’m proud of them.  The others are just caches.

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