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April 2018

Geocaching adventures in New Mexico

27. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

Geocaching in New MexicoThis blog post was written by geocaching superwoman and Geocaching HQ employee, Annie Love. One might think of a band playing gigs in different cities when they hear the term “Lackeys on Tour.” But those of us who work at Geocaching Headquarters, lovingly known as “Lackeys,” it simply means geocaching in an interesting new location. Previous Lackey adventures had taken us to Alaska and Las Vegas, but after a year off, the road called to us once again. Jon Stanley (Moun10bike) suggested New Mexico as it was a state he hadn't cached in yet. To be honest, when you come from dreary Seattle it's pretty refreshing to spend a day in the warm, sunny desert geocaching. The group was quickly on board and before we knew it, ten of us Lackeys had booked flights, hotels and two minivans to the Land of Enchantment. Two minivans in the Land of EnchantmentWe arrived in Albuquerque late on a Friday night. But just because it was late didn't mean we couldn't start caching. Luckily, the nearest cache was only about 50 feet from our hotel. The priority the first day of our trip was power caching. They say “It's not about the numbers” but we don't always agree with what “they” say. Power caching may not be for everyone but it's important for Geocaching HQ employees to understand the different caching methods that the community enjoys. Ready for a power trail?Power caching in the desertAt Geocaching HQ, we pride ourselves in testing our products live in the field. The day we left, our mobile team released a new beta app for the staff to test. Finding 200+ geocaches over a weekend provided a great experience to test the beta and discover any issues that may need attention before release. In the middle of our power caching, a Virtual Cache brought us to the Abo Ruins (GCB95A), a Spanish mission dating back to the 1600s. Discovering places like this is what makes geocaching so special. Virtual Cache Abo RuinsAfter waking up the next morning in Santa Fe, New Mexico, we ventured to an EarthCache with a lot of Favorite points, the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks (GC1TVB6). Years of volcanic eruptions and subsequent erosion created a slot canyon with cone-shaped tent rocks that are now an amazing national monument. We hiked the three-mile round-trip trail to the top to take in amazing 360° views of the entire region. EarthCache Kasha-Katuwe Tent RocksAfter an hour and a half drive, we finished our day back in Albuquerque with cold beer, tasty BBQ, and good conversations with geocaching locals. We spent a couple hours sharing caching stories and lots of laughs with about 25 attendees at our event (GC7JVQP). It never ceases to amaze me how warm and welcoming geocachers are no matter where you travel. One has to feel pretty lucky to work at a company where you'd spend your own money to go on vacation with your coworkers. I still pinch myself that I get to work at Geocaching HQ and have amazing experiences like our Lackeys on Tour trip to New Mexico. Even though we may not be a band, we can still look good on our album cover. We could almost be a cool band [...]

B-24J “Liberator” — Geocache of the Week

26. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

Traditional GCG0DN by MiketheFiddler Difficulty: 5 Terrain: 5 Location: Marshall Islands N 07° 11.957 E 171° 03.138 B-24J “Liberator” — Geocache of the WeekThe D5/T5 ratings for this Geocache of the Week Virtual Cache are spot on, and could probably be even higher (T6 rating, anyone…?). In the fifteen years since publication, only six geocachers have logged this cache due to the extraordinarily remote location and methods of traveling there. This World War II plane wreck is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean about 500 miles (800 km) west of the International Date Line near the Majuro atoll as part of the Marshall Islands. A kidney-shaped reef 25 miles (40 km) long with a population of around 20,000 people, Majuro is is a tropical paradise boasting beaches, reefs, a wealth of stunning sea life, and even more local history. This World War II plane wreck is located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean about 500 miles (800 km) west of the International Date Line near the Majuro atoll as part of the Marshall Islands.The usual route begins in Honolulu, Hawaii when one boards a five-hour flight to the atoll, which is scheduled on a weekly-ish basis. Then drive about 20 miles to the opposite end of the atoll to lovely Laura Beach. You can hire local dive operators to take you out to the wreck on a boat.You then have the following options: wade out to the site at low tide, swim, or hire one of the local dive operators to take you out on a boat. If you are a strong swimmer and have snorkel gear, the swim out from Laura Beach is quite pleasant and allows ample opportunities to view colorful corals, clams, and fish. In any event, you will need a mask, snorkel, and underwater camera to log this cache. In any event, you will need a mask, snorkel, and underwater camera to log this cache.On December 28, 1943, this particular bomber sustained significant damage due to intense fighter opposition over its target area of Taroa. It limped back toward its base in Tarawa on 2 engines, making it back as far as Majuro, where the pilot crash-landed on the reef. The crew was taken into custody by the Japanese, who then controlled Majuro. Their fate is not known conclusively. Post an underwater photo of yourself in front of one of the remaining propellers.To log this cache, you must Find the single word cast in metal on the remaining machine gun, just above the perforated and air-cooled section of the barrel. Post an underwater photo of yourself in front of one of the remaining propellers. Take a moment to reflect on the many brave people who died on all sides of World War II in the Pacific Theater and what life must have been like in those say, navigating the endless blue Pacific without a GPS. At low tide, the propellers can be seen above the waterline.Depending on the tides, the plane may or may not be visible above the water. At low tide, the propellers can be seen above the waterline, and one can walk along the top of the mostly intact wing of the aircraft with their head well above water. Most of the fuselage has disappeared, probably due to wave and tidal action over the years. Several other fragments of the plane are nearby including a Sperry ball turret, the belly machine gun unit with one barrel still visible. Time to get back to the boat. How did it end up way over there?!Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form. [...]

Ten tips to help maintain your geocaching streak

25. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

Ten tips to help you maintain your geocaching streak Let's talk about geocaching streaks. A streak is when you log a geocache or attend an Event Cache every day for an extended period of time. Some geocachers have maintained them for a month, a year, or even longer — several streak freaks have even maintained them for YEARS. You can track your streak on your profile statistics. But what if the weather is terrible? What about that thing called “your life?” What if you just want to binge watch movies from your couch with your four cats and a pint of ice cream? These ten tips will help you plan ahead, stay motivated, and become a streak freak!* 1. Know when to hold 'em Reserve low difficulty/terrain caches located close to your home or work for busy and/or extreme weather days.2. Know when to fold 'em Do not zoom around at 60 miles an hour to grab a cache by 11:59 PM, endangering others and yourself. It's a hobby, folks.3. Have reservations When meeting with friends, suggest restaurants or places near caches you need to find. They'll never know.4. Midnight Madness Find a cache at 11:30 PM and then find another one at 12:00 AM the next day. Clever!5. Elementary, my dear Watson! Pre-solve coordinates for Mystery/Puzzle caches.6. Hostess with the mostest Consider hosting a monthly Event Cache or CITO. (Keep in mind that creating daily events just to bulk your statistics is frowned upon.)7. Get physical Incorporate geocaching into your fitness plan and bike, jog, or walk to caches. As your streak continues, your distance will increase and your waistline will (hopefully) decrease.8. Au-tumn is au-some Start a 365-Day Challenge in the fall to get the worst weather out of the way while you're still “fresh”. The flip side? You'll end your streak in the most glorious of weather! And don't forget about the existence of Leap Day — the next one is February 29th, 2020.9. Ice ice baby In the winter, make sure caches have the “Available during winter” attribute.10. First is the worst Leave the First to Find (FTF) bragging rights to others during your streak. You gotta stay focused!One last thing… If your streak unexpectedly ends for any reason (one of our employees gave birth to her third child just two days before completing her 365 streak), chin up. You can always swap out a streak for a 365 grid. Plus, now you're set up for a new personal benchmark to beat! *No no no, not the fad from the ‘70s, we're talking about geocache streaking, [...]

Wetter-Trend: So kühl geht es wirklich weiter!

24. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

Die Kaltfront ist durch, die Abkühlung ist da! In vielen Medien wird von kühlem und wechselhaftem Wetter gesprochen. So sieht es wirklich aus:...Mehr dazu: [...]

Unwetterartige Gewitter am Sonntag und Montag

21. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

Die Lage ist ziemlich sicher: Am Sonntag, 22. April, und am Montag, 23. April, steht eine Unwetterlage in Form von Gewittern an!Mehr dazu: [...]

Geocache Icon Run: find the most cache types in one day

20. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

A geocaching crew goes for 13 different icons in one dayThis blog post was written by geocaching superwoman and Geocaching HQ employee, Annie Love. If you are an obsessed geocacher, then you probably like to build your Geocaching profile stats such as “Most caches found in a single day”, “Highest altitude geocache”, or “Farthest away from home”. One statistic that can be trickier is an “Icon Run”, which is logging as many different cache types in one day as possible. But most geocachers, with a just little guidance and a full tank of gas, can bulk up their icon stats. Here's how! Find geocaching icons for your account* You can find the icons you've already earned by going to your profile page and selecting the Geocache tab. Along the left side you'll see the icons you've earned, and along the right side you'll see the geocaches you've hidden. Here's an example of a prolific geocacher's profile with several icons accumulated: Geocaching icons on a prolific geocacher's profileStarting with easily accessible icons It may be easy to find eight icons in one day depending on geocache saturation in your area. Since the common cache types can be placed by any geocacher, the likelihood of finding them in your area may be higher. You may have to be creative about the date and then factor in an Event Cache. Geocaching icons that are easily accessible Traditional Cache Cache In Trash Out® (CITO Multi-Cache Mystery or Puzzle Cache Letterbox Hybrid EarthCache Event Cache Wherigo How to add even more icons in one day But wait, there's more! It is possible to get more than eight icons in one day, however, this is where things start to get tricky. For this, you need to cache in a specific location or have a temporary cache type available near you. For example, if you visit us at Geocaching HQ in Seattle, WA, you may be lucky enough to get the eight icons above plus Virtual, Lab, Webcam, Geocaching HQ (GCK25B), and a Project APE (GC1169) icons. That's a whopping 13 icons! Though rare, you may even find yourself with the chance to earn a Mega- or Giga-Event icon if one is conveniently located in the area during your visit. Additionally, if you plan your icon run in Europe at the right time, you may end up with the chance to earn the GPS Adventure Exhibit icon since it occasionally travels to European Mega/Giga-Events. This summer the GPS Maze will make its way to Austria (GC7C99M) at the Summer, Sun & Fun 2018 Mega-Event (GC6V0JF). Geocaching icons not easily accessible Virtual Cache Project APE Cache Mega-Event Cache Webcam Cache Giga-Event Cache GPS Adventures Maze Exhibit Geocaching HQ Lab Cache Geocaching icons that are no longer available There are a few icons that have been retired thus impossible for newer geocachers to ever obtain. If you have one of these, consider yourself lucky! Lost and Found Event Cache Groundspeak Lost and Found Celebration Groundspeak Block Party Locationless (Reverse) Cache Set yourself up for Icon Run success Road trip! Drive time — some rare cache types may be spread pretty far. Can you feasibly drive to all the cache locations in one day while obeying all traffic laws? Map out the best route that keeps the event times in mind. Ensure you have plenty of fuel in your car and be aware of where you may need to fuel up during the day. If caching with your smartphone, charge your phone in the car whenever you're driving. Pack lots of water and snacks — you'll need your energy! If your group is larger and has multiple cars, bring two-way radios (walkie-talkies) to communicate with each other in areas that may not have cell coverage. Up-level with Event Caches To maximize potential icons, look for a Mega/Giga-Event with a high saturation of the other cache types in the area. Mega/Giga-Events typically have Lab Caches associated with them, providing an easy additional icon. For any events you attend, plan your day so that you spend the time to enjoy them. Don't just show up at a CITO, sign the log, and leave — you're there to help clean up where we cache. So take some time to give back on behalf of the game we all love. Consider hosting your own event to help with your icon run. But make sure you meet all event requirements and truly focus on the event. Extras If you're a Premium member, download an offline List on the Geocaching® app. If possible, choose locations with a Webcam and/or Virtual close by. Search for Multi-Caches with only two stages. Have backup caches in your list in case you have a change of plans or log a DNF. For example, solve additional Mystery Caches in advance. As tempting as it may be, try not to stop for that extra ‘Traditional that's just 0.1 miles away!' Time will get away from you! How many icons have you found in a day? Tell us your story. Icon Run smiley cookies* is transitioning the styles of our icons — we've featured the newer styles in most of this blog.The older versions are still visible on your profile page. The newer versions are visible on the map. [...]

New cache details in the Geocaching® app

20. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

The days are getting longer and the sun a little brighter in the northern hemisphere — spring is in the air! We've been working hard this winter on a fresh new look for spring and are excited to show it off! Here's what's new and improved: A snazzy new look for cache details. We've simplified the design and eliminated lots of scrolling to make it easier to access the information you're looking for. Buttons to message a cache owner and view the hint have been moved up to front and center. The cache description is now in the new menu, and now you're only one tap away from getting all the details. With a quick glance you can now easily see the latest activity on a geocache. Excited to have a look? We're sharing before/after screenshots below. Better yet, see for yourself in the Geocaching® app! We've been working hard to making geocaching easier for everyone. We know there's nothing like the feeling of making the Find whether it's your first, your 50th, or your 5,000th. That's why we (with the help of months of player interviews and research!) felt that improving cache details was an important step to take. Keep your eyes on the app this spring and summer too, because there's much more to come! [...]

520 Bellevue TB hotel – Geocache of the Week

19. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

Traditional GC6ZR1H by Bounce,bounce Difficulty: 2.5 Terrain: 1.5 Location: Bellevue, WA N 47° 37.734′ W 122° 08.874′ There are two things that are beloved by many geocachers: gadget caches and trackable hotels. So what's even better? A gadget cache that's also a trackable hotel! If you are a connoisseur of well-designed caches then our Geocache of the Week is a great fit for you. Located next to a strip mall in Bellevue, Washington, 520 Bellevue TB hotel shows how urban geocaches can be a lot more than lamp post caches and guardrail nanos. The cache owner Bounce,bounce is known in the local community for his creative trackable hotels. The cache is located in an unused loading bay. When you approach the cache you might hesitate for a second since it looks much like an electronic installment that's part of the dock. But when you point your gaze upwards a warning sign reassures you that you're in the right location. The cache page tells you that you need one of Bellevue's zip codes (which are five digits) to open the cache, but the lock that stands between you and the logbook only has 4 digits. So your first mission is to identify where to use the code and then find the right one. Once you open the cache you might get sidetracked by the lights and switches. It's fine to play with them but the cache owner requests that you leave everything the way you found it before you leave. Opening the second door gets you to the logbook and well organized trackable hotel. If you're in the area and need a place for your travel-weary trackables, check them into this hotel for some well-deserved rest before the next geocacher takes them to their next destination. Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form. [...]

Calling all filmmakers! Submit your film to GIFF 2018

18. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

The Geocaching International Film Festival is returning for another year of epic geocaching moments captured on camera. If you're a filmmaker, a geocacher, or something in between, GIFF 2018 is your chance to have your geocaching film viewed by thousands of people on movie screens all over the world. Submissions are now open! How the festival works Films are submitted to Geocaching HQ by August 1, 2018. Throughout August, the films will go through various rounds of viewing by a panel of judges from Geocaching HQ. In September the finalist films will be announced. The filmmakers will be notified, and the film titles made public. Geocachers who are hosting GIFF events will receive a single film reel compilation of all the finalists. From November 8-12, 2018, the GIFF film reel will be shown at GIFF events hosted by geocachers all over the world. In 2017, there were 601 Events hosted in 55 countries, and 16,497 geocachers attended. HOW TO SUBMIT A FILM Read the rules. Seriously, read them! Read the tips for filming. Upload your geocaching film to Vimeo. Fill out the submission form and submit by August 1, 2018. Learn more about submitting to GIFF 2018 Submissions due August 1, 2018 [...]

Nach der Hitze: Ausgewachsene Unwetterlage möglich

18. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

Der Sommer ist da! …und das nach einem doch eher zu kurz geratenen Frühling. Bis Sonntag bleibt er wohl auf jeden Fall; danach ist eine Unwetterlage mit heftigen Gewittern möglich!Mehr dazu: [...]

Heute vor einem Jahr: So extrem sind die Temperatur-Unterschiede!

16. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

In Deutschland liegen die Höchstwerte derzeit verbreitet um oder über 20 Grad. In der neuen Woche wird es noch wärmer, sodass im Tiefland bis zu 30 Grad möglich sind. Aufgrund der lang andauernden Wärme vergisst man fast, wie extrem doch diese Abweichungen sind…Mehr dazu: [...]

Bis 30 Grad: Der Sommer ist da!

14. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

Nach Starkregen und kräftigen Gewittern am Freitag, dem 13., geht es ab jetzt Tag für Tag bergauf. Ab Mittwoch, 18. April, sind in tiefen Lagen lokal bis zu 30 °C möglich!Mehr dazu: [...]

Paddle your way to a T5 geocache

13. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

Rock Chalk (Chris) and fellow Geocaching HQ staffer LukeK geocaching with kayaksAfter attending the MOGA 2014 Mega-Event in Ohio, my wife and I were driving through Kentucky on our way home. I opened the Geocaching® app to search for caches along our route when I caught sight of a ton of T5 caches. I mean a boatload of them (pun intended because they were the kind that required a boat to find). They were on creeks, rivers, and lakes. So many of them! I'd never seen anything like it. Alas, I had no boat. No kayak. No canoe. No watercraft of any kind. I pondered the boat idea upon returning home. Impulsive as I may be when it comes to geocaching, I know enough not to immediately drop hundreds or thousands of dollars on a watercraft. So, I dipped my toe into water caching by tagging along on a lake outing with a friend who owns an extra hardshell kayak. I loved it. Still, I wasn't quite ready to make a huge investment. Instead, I purchased an inflatable kayak for around $75. Grabbing a remote geocache in a kayakThere was a lake not too far from home with both an EarthCache and a Traditional cache that each required paddling. Before long, I was on the water in my new kayak. It was so much fun. As I zipped around the lake gathering EarthCache information, I wondered why it had taken me so long to discover the joys of kayaking. I then set sail for the island with the Traditional cache and was just 500 feet from it when I heard a hissing sound. Part of me hoped a snake had hitched a ride on my vessel because the alternative was a leak in my brand new kayak. Alas, it was a leak. It wasn't the smartest decision I ever made, but I continued on course for the island. (C'mon, I was only 500 feet away!) I made it safely, found the cache, applied a crude patch to the tiny hole in the inflatable, and returned to the dock. All's well that ends well. Despite the minor issues with my maiden voyage, I was hooked on paddle caching and bought a hardshell kayak a few weeks later. I've since found a few hundred caches on water. I'd like to share a few things I learned about paddling as it relates to geocaching. Perhaps my experiences will help you if you're intrigued by water caching. This cache is soooo easy (with a kayak)1. Inflatable or hardshell? The internet is full of articles detailing the pros and cons. For me, it boils down to inflatables being far cheaper and more portable (when deflated, an inflatable kayak easily fits in your car), whereas hardshells are easier to maneuver and significantly more sturdy. I often suggest people start with an inflatable, see how they like paddling, and then perhaps upgrade to a hardshell. I'm mostly skipping past the question of whether to consider a motorized or non-motorized watercraft. For geocaching purposes, non-motorized is usually the way to go. With a kayak or something similar, it's easier to navigate into tight places. Plus, you can portage through shallow water. Equipment: you need more than just a kayak and a paddle2. Other equipment There's a lot more to it than just a kayak and a paddle. If you buy a hardshell, you'll need to carry it on your vehicle. I've got two kayak cradles attached to a roof rack. The kayak rests in the cradles. I then secure it with two load straps, two locking cargo straps, as well as tie-down ropes on the bow and stern. (Of course, the required equipment will vary depending on your vehicle.) If you're traveling a long distance, stop every so often to check the ropes and straps. Also, when you return home and pull into your garage, don't forget there's a kayak on top of the vehicle. I forgot once. You'll need a personal flotation device (PFD). I hope that's obvious. Bonus points if you can attach a writing device to your PFD. You'll want a dry sack to carry your stuff. You may decide you need gloves. I like to wear gloves because my hands fatigue more quickly without them. I repurposed some old biking gloves, but there are fancier options. Lastly, I wear water shoes, which come in handy if I need to step out of the kayak or portage through a shallow area. Have fun but stay safe3. Safety Again, the internet is full of water safety tips. I can't cover everything here, but please do your research. The biggest no-brainer is to wear a PFD. Besides the usual safety tips, there are additional factors to consider when geocaching on water. Target a lake for your first water cache. Don't get me wrong, caching on a river can be a blast. But lakes are generally much calmer. You can take your time getting familiar with paddling and with finding/retrieving caches. Later, you can consider rivers and streams. But let's save the ocean for a different blog. Make sure your GPS or phone is attached to something. You know how you freak out when you drop your device on the ground? You're gonna freak out a lot harder when you drop it in a lake. Skip the freaking with an attachment. Don't be a hero. I've come across caches that were very difficult to reach from my kayak. It could be the CO was taller than me, or they placed the cache while in a taller vessel, or the water level was higher at the time of placement. I've overreached and fallen out of the kayak. I've capsized on a river when I misjudged how fast I was approaching debris. Don't be foolish like me. Know your limits and cache accordingly. Night caching is fun on land, but it's dangerous on water. I've never set out to paddle cache in the dark, but I've misjudged time and found myself too far from shore when the sun set. That was dumb (and scary). Paddle cache with a buddy, or at least tell someone where you're going and check in regularly. I've done it both ways and it's just so much safer to have someone with you. You better believe I would've liked to have had a friend along on those times when I capsized! How does a geocacher find “water caches”?4. Where to find water caches? They don't have their own cache type, so searching for water caches is an inexact science. I usually start with filtering for T5 caches, map the results, and look for what's on water. Occasionally, a water cache is rated T4 or T 4.5, but that's not common. You can also run a Pocket query for caches with the “Boat required” attribute. Once you've decided on a cache to find, it's a good idea to locate an ideal boat launch. My favorite COs include this as an additional waypoint on the cache page. Otherwise, check to see if previous finders mention a boat launch in their logs. Many waterways are managed by a government entity, so you may find they have a website with boating information. If you have any favorite water caches, I'd love to hear about them in the comments section! Where will you find your next geocache? [...]

Kräftige Schauer und Gewitter am Freitag, den 13.

13. April 2018 // 0 Kommentare

Am Freitag muss im Osten und in Teilen des Nordens mit kräftigen Schauern und Gewittern gerechnet werden; am Wochenende dagegen bundesweit deutlich ruhiger.Mehr dazu: [...]
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