vehicle travel bug trackableThere is no better way to easily show your geocaching pride than by putting a Travel Bug on your geo-mobile!

We saw the potential for this back in the summer of 2007: while camping at the WSGA Summer Campout another cacher had one on his rig that was handmade. What a fun way to identify your car as a caching car! Instantly intrigued, we did some R&D (research and development) and soon we were licensed by Groundspeak to officially standardize, make and sell decal-style Travel Bugs for any vehicle.

Since 2007 Cache Advance has been the source for Vehicle Travel Bugs! We started with only a 7" (17cm) white decal for the outside of a vehicle window. Back then we had to order TB tags, transcribe the codes, make the decals, then match them back up with their tags –kind of like a giant game of concentration. This was quite the process when you're dealing with thousands at a time!

Soon we had requests for different colors, sizes and types, such as static clings and even magnets, so we added to our line. A few years later, partnering with Groundspeak, we developed a tag-less method that streamlined the process to make these.

So now, 10 years later, we’ve added a few more vehicle travel bug sizes to our line!

These new sizes complement our existing three inch and the original seven inch TBs, all found here.

We also make replacements of any existing decals, static clings and magnets! Click Here for Details!

Vehicle TB Pro Tips:

General: Vehicle TBs are just like any other Travel Bug in how they work and activate. However, they are meant to only be discovered, not grabbed, if you see one.

Static Clings:

  • Can be moved from window to window.
  • These even work on plastic windows like on some soft top Jeeps.
  • Static Clings do not show well through tinted windows of any sort (only perfect if you want to make it really incognito or hard to discover).

Decals:

  • Our decals are adhesive backed to go permanently on the outside of the vehicle, window or wherever it is placed.
  • Apply to a clean, warm surface. The decals like it warm and can even be applied over window defrosters.
  • Once applied, these should last many years.
  • If you want to move it to another location, you will need to have a duplicate one made.
  • If you need a duplicate (new car or it was damaged somehow) we’re happy to make another one for you with the same code!

Magnets:

  • Made to go on the body of the vehicle.
  • These are perfect if you don’t want anything permanent on your car.
  • Also perfect to take on trips for your rental –instant geo-mobile!
  • Remove the magnet before going through a car wash, unless you want us to make you a duplicate…!

How many of your cars have a Vehicle TB on them?  Tell us in the comments!

Save

Save

Save

This month’s #GeoChallenge with the Geocaching Vlogger is to hide a geocache (https://youtu.be/6oeQ_DHYBeQ)!

Here are a few hiding tips to consider when hiding a geocache:

  • Cache placement: Hide a new cache where you want to bring visitors to see or experience something cool. This could be a great view, a nice area to explore, or simply a clever hide just for the find.
  • Remember to put a log book inside!
  • Keep in mind the changing of the seasons. That snowy white camo might look great in winter, but stick out in the spring and summer.
    • Will the leaves turn and fall later, exposing your cache? Or grow back and mess up your camo?
    • How will deep snow affect finding your cache? You might want to hide it above the expected snow level.
    • Near water? Will the water rise and wash it away, or recede and expose your cache?
  • Use appropriate attributes for your cache. You may even need to change these with the changing of the seasons.
  • Be sure to leave pencils, not pens, in the cache.
  • Use a water tight container.
  • Take multiple coordinates, or average the coordinates for your new hide.
  • Leave an FTF prize for the first finder. This can even be just a nice note!
  • We recommend marking the outside of your container clearly as an official geocache. You can simply write on it, or use a sticker like these small ones or larger ones.
  • Be sure that you have permission from the land manager to hide the cache.

Here are some more great resources for hiding a new geocache:

Geocache Listing Requirements / Guidelines
Regional Geocaching Policies Wiki
Geocache Ownership: A Long-Term Relationship

Do you have more?  Please share them in the comments below!

From classic ammo cans with a twist (can you say purple?), Jumbo Micros (really not an oxymoron), to tricky urban hides, we’ve got it all.

Here are a few Featured items - Small and Regular sizes:

Hefty

 

Hefty Clip Lock Containers, available in 2.1 and .9 cup sizes. Perfect for small to regular sized cache placements!

  • This item contains no BPA
  • Ergonomic 4-hinge locking sides to seal out the elements
  • Scratch resistant easy open handles
  • Airtight container with silicon seal to lock out the elements
  • Freezer, Microwave, Dishwasher and Mostly Muggle Safe
  • Premium Product at Competitive Pricing
  • Second to none in engineered durability and clarity

Jumbo Micro Cache Capsule- Camo:

This capsule is made from anodized aluminum and features a waterproof O-ring seal, and a swivel key ring and hook to give you plenty of hiding options.

The capsule has an inside diameter of about 1.3125 inches, so can fit most micro and nano coins (including the official FTF geocoin) and a bit of SWAG. The capsule itself measures about 2.75 inches long, 3 inches including the key ring holder.

30 Cal Ammo Cans (Green & Purple!): 

 

This 30 cal. can is intended to replicate the shape of an actual 30 cal. army surplus ammunition can. It offers the same capacity as a traditional 30 caliber military ammo can. Perfect for geocaching, and comes in purple, too...!

Tricky caches:

Utility Plates:

 

This Magnetic Faceplate cover is a GREAT cache to hide! On the back there is enough room for the included log inside a zip lock bag, and two very strong magnets. The log bag has a small magnet inside to help keep it attached to the plate.

 

 

Bolts (Silver & Rusty): 

We've redesigned the Fake Bolt Cache!  The new bolts are wholly machined with a solid screw-on top. The magnet is nestled safely inside the top 'nut' which also protects it from the elements along with the o-ring.   Inside is still the same super secret compartment with a Rite in the Rain logbook and metal toggle for logbook retrieval. The new bolts still come in the ever popular Silver and Rust.

 

Do you have Geocache Hiding Tips?  Share them below!

Save

Save

Save

One of the things that we love most about Geocaching around the world is meeting all the different people who enjoy this hobby too. It's amazing how so many people, from very different walks of life, can share an interest like this. As we have been traveling, living, and working around the world -- we have especially enjoyed meeting cachers from different countries. And during our time in China, we also made some wonderful connections with geocachers who call the other side of the world home.

Frustrated in Guangzhou

As some of you may know, we spent some time last year as English Teachers in Guangzhou, China. We were ecstatic to be living in a new country and looking forward to exploring the area, while finding some Geocaches of course. Unfortunately, we were quickly disappointed because there were hardly any caches to go for. And the ones that we tried to find all turned out to be DNF's!

In a city of more than 14 million people...we never thought we would be starving for Geocaches to find!

Canton Tower in Guangzhou
Canton Tower in Guangzhou

Experiencing Hong Kong's AMAZING Caching Community

Luckily, Hong Kong was just a short 2 hour bus ride from Guangzhou. We love Hong Kong enjoyed making frequent trips there during our time living in Guangzhou. But even better was that they seemed to have a great Geocaching community. In fact, from what I had seen on the Hong Kong Geocacher Facebook Group, they seemed to be a tight-knit group who put on some really AWESOME events!

Views of Hong Kong at night from the top of The Peak lookout.
Views of Hong Kong at night from the top of The Peak lookout.

For example, they would have meet ups at KTV (a type of karaoke / club that is all the rage in Asia), arcades, zorbing arenas, and many other really fun places. They even do some quite non-traditional events such as hiking on some of the other islands (yes, there is hiking and outdoor fun in Hong Kong), and they also have some geocaching puzzle events. Even though we had visited Hong Kong many times, we never got a chance to attend one of their events until the Hong Kong Leap Day event 2016.

We arrived at the event, which was being held at a German-themed bar / restaurant in a hopping neighborhood, and we could immediately spot the lively group of cachers. They were all so welcoming and friendly, we seemed to hit it off immediately. So we had a few drinks, ate some gigantic pretzels, and continued to mingle with cachers from Hong Kong...and all over the world! In fact, that's what struck us most.

Since Hong Kong is such an international city (and travel destination), there were cachers at this event from all over the world -- 12 different countries we counted!

Some of them were in town on vacation, others were just making a quick stopover, while some were actually expats living in Hong Kong. It made for such a dynamic and fun atmosphere!

img_7420

After the meet and greet event, some of the locals offered to take us visitors on a stroll of the city to find some of the most popular (and unique) Hong Kong geocaches. And they didn't disappoint! We actually had a large group set out together, finding cache after cache...after cache. After hours of caching, we had to head back to the hotel for an early morning. But it seemed like the rest of them were going to continue hunting until the wee hours of the morning! Perhaps they did...

We really appreciated the enthusiasm of the geocaching community in Hong Kong - and really loved their friendly and warm welcome to all the visitors to their city.

leap-day-event-in-hong-kong

An FTF in China & Some New Friends

Just a week before we left China, we spotted an FTF opportunity nearby our home in Guangzhou. We couldn't believe it. We had only recently gotten our first FTF - in Macau, of all places. And we had gotten another FTF in Hong Kong...so we were on a bit of a roll. But since we were actually living in Guangzhou, we knew we had to have an FTF here to remember this place by.

guangzhou-ftf-park

It was a perfect day outside for geocaching when we set out for a local park near our home in Guangzhou. We first enjoyed ourselves on the way to the cache, taking a walk through the massive park (in China you don't have to fight for FTF's because there are so few people caching!). Eventually, we made our way to ground zero and sure enough, we got our FTF in mainland China added our to books!

Geocaching in China

We did the FTF dance, signed the log, and gave a shout out to the hiders, Guangzhou Goonies, for such an awesome find! They quickly responded and seemed super happy (if not more) to hear that we had found their cache.

Meeting the Guangzhou Goonies

It didn't take long of more chatting online before it felt like the Guangzhou Goonies were friends. It was a perfect match. They were fairly new to geocaching, but they were interested most in the creative-hiding aspect...which we love to find!

img_7730
Another really creative cache hidden by Guangzhou Goonies in Guangzhou, China

We also learned that they lived fairly close to us (well, relatively close given the size of this city!) so they set up an event to get together. We met the Guangzhou Goonies, a husband / wife / two kids team as well as a few other expat cachers who joined the event. We had a blast chatting over authentic Chinese BBQ, then we set out to find an awesome cache that they had placed near one of their favorite Chinese dessert restaurants -- a great idea for dessert!

img_7567
This is another cache hidden by Guangzhou Goonies - My Home (Batteries Required - GC6C1P3)

This cache, Shuang Pi Nai (Shuang Pi Nai - GC69G9C), is named after the famous local dessert found at the restaurant. After a bit of searching, we were able to make the find -- a truly great cache! Then we sat down to sample this tasty dish - which the two of us still crave to this day!

We were all having so much fun together, that we then headed back to their apartment to find an awesome gadget-type that he created outside his apartment...now THIS was absolutely one of the coolest caches we have found. Worth the trip to Panyu, Guangzhou for sure!

guangzhou-goonies
The Guangzhou Goonies geocaching crew

Making Memories and Friends Through Geocaching Around the World

We have cherished these memories meeting up with other cachers around the world. It has been wonderful to bond with them over our shared hobby, and it's such a cool way to learn about other cultures too. It's been a blast and we look forward to meeting other great geocachers as we continue to explore and go #travelcaching all over the world!


cache advance geocaching bloggers, peanuts or pretzels, travel caching, adventure caching

Josh and Liz
Caching Name: Peanuts or Pretzels

We're Josh & Liz, expert travelers who love a good Geocaching adventure. Visit our website Peanuts or Pretzels to find out how we can help make your trip planning easier and more fun...as well as incorporating Geocaching into your next vacation!

Discover the Fun Now!

 

Join the adventure and follow us on Social Media!

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagrampinterestgoogle-plus

GQotDPinterestHey Cachers! This is Lookout Lisa from Cache Advance, and I’m your host for the Geocaching Question of the Day.

Cache Advance is your geocaching hub for all of your caching needs, including the Cache Crate, a monthly subscription box of geocaching and outdoor gear.

Now you can hear the recap on the Podcacher Podcast with the Geocaching Question of the Day weekly!  Tune in Sunday night for this week's question recap.

Monday through Thursdays, we ask our followers on Facebook, Twitter and Google+  a question about geocaching.

We recently asked: Any tips for teaching geocaching to beginners?

We received lots of great tips and suggestions.

Here are just a few:

  • Tom on G+ shared: Make sure you can cover the most basic items in the first 2 minutes. If it takes longer than that, you've lost them already..
  • Jo adds: Leave a lot of times for questions and think of many different ways to explain the same thing.
  • Dave recommends that you: Take them to quality caches you've previously found and and determined are still in good shape.
  • Kari shared: Make sure each person has their own GPSr to use. It's more fun than looking over someone's shoulder.
  • Dawn on FB likes a quick hands-on approach. She shared: Show while you go. Give a basic run down then get moving! Having 2 people and splitting up a large group might help.
  • My favorite tip for teaching is using the ‘see and walk away’ method for finding. Before they start looking for the cache, you designate a spot near GZ for them to go once they have seen the cache container. This gives everyone in the group the opportunity to find each cache.

As always, we really enjoyed hearing about teaching geocaching, and you can too, if you-

-Follow us, Cache Advance, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for the Geocaching Question of the Day.

Thanks, and Happy Caching!

“Congratulations - you are no longer muggles!” I announce this to all of my students when I wrap up the Geocaching 101 classes that I teach. They smile, laugh and give each other high-fives because now they are in on the secret game of geocaching, and they know no one can call them a muggle ever again!

What is a muggle you ask? In ‘Geo-Speak’, a muggle is a person that does not geocache, and most likely has never heard of geocaching. Where did this term come from? Remember Harry Potter? According to Wikipedia, a Muggle is the word used in the Harry Potter series of books by J. K. Rowling to refer to a person who lacks any sort of magical ability and was not born into the magical world.

The Wizarding world of Harry Potter exists alongside that of the real world and contains magical elements similar to things in the non-magical world. Many of its institutions and locations are in places which are recognizable in the real world, such as London. It comprises a fragmented collection of hidden streets, overlooked and ancient pubs, lonely country manors and secluded castles that remain invisible to the non-magical population of Muggles. Hmm, sound familiar? Just like geocaching!

Many geocachers tend to think of a Muggle as a person who lacks any sort of geo-magic and is not in or aware of the geocaching game or community. To me, as a geocacher, I believe I see the world a little differently than my non-caching counterparts see the world. Kind of like when Harry visits Diagon Alley or Platform 9 3/4: these are places and things that muggles don’t see, but we geocachers know how to find these places (we have the coordinates!) and we know how to come up with the cache once we are there.

So for this month's #GeoChallenge, we challenge you to take a Muggle geocaching!  Watch the video:

Here are some tips to help meet this month's #GeoChallenge :

Check the basics:  Make sure you have a GPS unit you know well and plenty of extra batteries.  If you are using your phone with an app, make sure that you are fully charged before leaving!  You don’t want your GPS or phone to die in the middle of the search.  Also be sure to do a weather check and bring plenty of water with you while geocaching in the summer heat.

Consider the activity/energy level of your muggle friend:
Although you may be an experienced cacher, the muggle with you is new to the game. Think ahead and plan a cache route that will be appropriate for them. Also keep in mind that if you have an older friend along they may not have the mobility or stamina that you’re used to.

Have a newbie in your group? Dr. B's Newbie Kit can help!
Have a newbie in your group? Dr. B's Newbie Kit can help!

When caching with Muggles we recommend avoiding Micro and Small caches:
Caches with larger containers are easier to find and usually have fun trade items. Also try to steer clear of caches with high terrain and difficulty levels.

Have a clear idea of the route you want to take - and bonus points for routes that include cool landmarks or points of interest.  Don’t plan a full-day, start small! You might want to plan to go out to eat afterwards to wrap up the adventure.

Remember, this is your opportunity to show your Muggle friends some of your favorite local spots and also share your love of the game. With a well-planned, thoughtful route, a fully charged familiar GPS/Smartphone, and the right supplies, you and your Muggle friend will be headed for a fun-filled geocaching adventure.

What are your tips for introducing a Muggle to Geocaching?  Share in the comments!

Save

Save

Guest Post by Josh and Liz from Peanuts or Pretzels

It's no secret that Liz and I love spending our days outside exploring the world. From big cities, to National parks, museums loaded with history, to hiking on back trails. In fact, one of the reasons we love Geocaching is that it goes along perfectly with our travels. So it's important to be prepared for your Geocaching adventures at all times, and that includes having the right equipment in your Geocaching bag.

What is geocaching, geocaching, geocaching app, best geocaching app, geocache, geocaches, geocaching for kids, geocaching gps, geocaching supplies, geocaching free, geocaching definition, geocache definition, road trip ideas, road trip games, road trip essentials, road trip tips, road trip planner, planning a road trip

A Good "Geocaching Bag" is Essential

Since we enjoy combining all of these things into our trips, it's essential to have a good geocaching bag that meets our variety of needs. It's important that the bag not be too small, or too big. And for us, it needs to fit everything we need to be prepared for a day hike, or traveling and exploring a new city. Luckily for us, we've found the perfect bag for our geocaching adventures. In fact, we enjoy it so much that we refer to it as our "adventure bag!"

Our "adventure bag" is always stocked and ready to go at a moments notice.

Geocaching 101, Geocaching, What do I need to go Caching?, cache, geocache, Peanuts or Pretzels, trackables, GPS, Garmin
Must Haves in Your Geocaching Bag

Must Have's In Your Geocaching Bag

SmartPhone or a GPS & Spare Batteries

One of the first essential items for your Geocaching Bag is, of course, some kind of GPS unit. You may opt for a handheld unit, or you might be happy with the good ol' smartphone and Geocaching App. We started out using the Smartphone, but realized that it limited us when we wanted to get out into the wilderness. It also because a problem when we traveled abroad, those data roaming fees will get you!

No matter which item you prefer to use, you should always make sure it is fully charged - or that you have spare batteries on hand too!

What is geocaching, geocaching, geocaching app, best geocaching app, geocache, geocaches, geocaching for kids, geocaching gps, geocaching supplies, geocaching free, geocaching definition, geocache definition, road trip ideas, road trip games, road trip essentials, road trip tips, road trip planner, planning a road trip
Hitting the GA Geo-Trail with our Adventure Bag

Sun & Bug Sprays

Being an outdoor activity, you should always carry some kind of protective sprays. Whether it is for the sun or for bugs, you never know when you might need it. And it could make for a miserable experience (maybe more miserable AFTERWARDS) if you don't have it on hand. But it's not just the wilderness, you will also need these even if you are in the city! I can't tell you how many times we've gotten caught up while wandering around town, sightseeing and Geocaching. Only later did we realize that our faces were super sunburned!

Luckily, most stores sell small travel versions of bug spray and sunscreen. So it's easy to pop a couple of them into your Geocaching bag, that way you will always have them.

What is geocaching, geocaching, geocaching app, best geocaching app, geocache, geocaches, geocaching for kids, geocaching gps, geocaching supplies, geocaching free, geocaching definition, geocache definition, road trip ideas, road trip games, road trip essentials, road trip tips, road trip planner, planning a road trip
Navigating the halls of Angkor Wat in Cambodia

Don't Forget the Water!

It is critical to stay good and hydrated anytime you are outdoors, but it's especially important when you are out geocaching. As travelers, we make it a habit to bring a bottle of water wherever we go -- from sightseeing around town, to boat rides, beach trips, or a hike. It's a good habit to have.

And when you are geocaching in the wilderness, it's even more important to have water with you. So be sure to look for a Geocaching Bag that has space for you to carry a water bottle. Don't forget it!

What is geocaching, geocaching, geocaching app, best geocaching app, geocache, geocaches, geocaching for kids, geocaching gps, geocaching supplies, geocaching free, geocaching definition, geocache definition, road trip ideas, road trip games, road trip essentials, road trip tips, road trip planner, planning a road trip
You never know what you might run across while out Geocaching - Grand Cayman Island

Bring a Notebook and ALWAYS Have Extra Pens!

All cachers can relate to the "pen problem" at some point or another. So we make it a point to put many pens in our Geocaching bag, you don't want to be caught without...or without one that works! Also, you should consider bringing a small notebook too. Sometimes you need to take notes for multi-caches, or have another situation where you need to write something down or make calculations. So the notebook will definitely come in handy.

What is geocaching, geocaching, geocaching app, best geocaching app, geocache, geocaches, geocaching for kids, geocaching gps, geocaching supplies, geocaching free, geocaching definition, geocache definition, road trip ideas, road trip games, road trip essentials, road trip tips, road trip planner, planning a road trip
Located the Geocache!

Nice-to-Haves in Your Geocaching Bag

For us, there are some other "nice-to-haves" that we include in our Geocaching Bag too. These aren't critical items, and some people might not are to bring them along. But for us, these items seem to be quite useful or enhance the experience. For example, we like to bring a small flashlight in case it gets dark or if we are looking inside a dark place. We also prefer to bring a small first aid kit as well as some snacks to munch on. We also like to bring an iPod and mini-boombox, which we turn on at a low volume when we are hiking. The sound helps to warn off wildlife, and makes for a peaceful walk in the woods for the two of us.

Lastly, we have a bag of trackables that always stays in the Geocaching Bag as well as some swag items - just in case we stumble across something we want to trade for inside a cache. If you take something out, you have to put something in. Always be good to your fellow Cachers.

Oh, and we also like to bring the camera along. You never know when you will come across an amazing site!

 

 

What is geocaching, geocaching, geocaching app, best geocaching app, geocache, geocaches, geocaching for kids, geocaching gps, geocaching supplies, geocaching free, geocaching definition, geocache definition, road trip ideas, road trip games, road trip essentials, road trip tips, road trip planner, planning a road trip
Turning back after finding the geocache to enjoy the beautiful view of the Petronas Towers! -- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tell Us What's in Your Geocaching Bag!

While this is our list of "must haves," we know that everyone has their own unique list from their experiences. So please, tell us what is in your Geocaching bag in the comments below. Cheers and happy caching!

 

cache advance geocaching bloggers, peanuts or pretzels, travel caching, adventure caching
Josh and Liz
Caching Name: Peanuts or Pretzels

We're Josh & Liz, expert travelers who love a good Geocaching adventure. Visit our website Peanuts or Pretzels to find out how we can help make your trip planning easier and more fun...as well as incorporating Geocaching into your next vacation!

Discover the Fun Now!

Join the adventure and follow us on Social Media!

facebooktwitteryoutubeinstagrampinterestgoogle-plus

1

"Water is the driving force of all nature"  -Leonardo da Vinci

Ask any Platypus. They’ll tell you that staying hydrated can mean the difference between an average day and an unforgettable day. That’s why we included the original collapsible, taste- and BPA-free hydration system in your April Cache Crate—for people living life to its fullest.

Nothing’s cleaner, greener*, or more versatile than a Platypus SoftBottle flexible bottle. Whether you’re out geocaching, working, running, catching a flight, or hitting the gym after work, the SoftBottle flexible bottle is your source for easy hydration.

Your body depends on water to survive. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water to work correctly. For example, your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste, and lubricate joints. Water is needed for good health.

Symptoms of dehydration include the following:

  • Little or no urine, or urine that is darker than usual
  • Dry mouth
  • Sleepiness or fatigue
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness or lightheaded feeling
  • No tears when crying

Don’t wait until you notice symptoms of dehydration to take action. Actively prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.

Tips for staying hydrated

  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. Purchasing bottled water is expensive and creates plastic bottle waste. Carry a reusable water bottle and fill it from the tap instead.
  • If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
  • Be sure to drink water before, during, and after a workout.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. Drinking water may also contribute to a healthy weight-loss plan. Some research suggests that drinking water can help you feel full.
  • If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink water when you wake up; at breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and when you go to bed. Or drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour.
  • Drink water when you go to a restaurant. It will keep you hydrated, and it’s free!

Partially adapted from: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/prevention-wellness/food-nutrition/nutrients/hydration-why-its-so-important.html

1

This month Cache Advance has joined up with the Geocaching Vlogger for the April #GeoChallenge!  This month's challenge is all about Geocaching Maintenance.  (Watch the video below for more details if you haven't already)  We thought we would offer you some helpful maintenance tips to help you with the #GeoChallenge of the Month.

No one likes to DNF a cache, or find only moldy mush in a broken cache container! Things can happen to any cache out in the wild: damaged container, moisture problems, full logs or they just go missing, aka getting “muggled”!  Here are some maintenance tips to keep those caches looking great!

Maintenance Tips for Geocaching Heros Image for Pinterest

For Geocache Cache Seekers – Be a Geocaching Hero with our Maintenance Tips:

The Geocacher’s Creed states “Make minor repairs if you can, it will save the owner a trip”. While you are our caching we recommend keeping a few supplies on hand to make repairs and do maintenance on the caches that you find, along with your own caches!  The very basics are replacement logs, baggies to keep the contents dry, and perhaps a spare pencil.

Maintenance Tips - Take Dr. B's Cache Repair Kit with you! Click Here to purchase.
Maintenance Tips: Take Dr. B's Cache Repair Kit with you!

Our Dr. B’s Cache Repair Kits are perfect for making many field repairs while you are on the go. You can add more items to it, such as swag, as well. When you do any maintenance on a cache that doesn’t belong to you, be sure to let the owner know so you do save them a trip, and that they can also remove the “Needs Maintenance” icon from their cache listing.

If the entire cache is ‘missing’, we do not recommend that you replace it without the owner’s permission. Perhaps you really DNFed a perfectly good cache that is just hidden well. Or perhaps the owner intends to archive the cache instead, and now they’ll have to go and retrieve  the throwdown that you left.

You are a geocaching hero when you do maintenance on any cache – the next cacher finder will thank you, and we all win!

Maintenance Tips For Geocache Owners:

The cache owner will assume all responsibility of their cache listings. Yes that is right; once you have placed a geocache it is your responsibility to maintain it, both physically and online too!

You should make occasional visits to your cache to ensure it is in proper working order, especially when someone reports a problem with the cache (missing, damaged, wet, etc.), or posts a Needs Maintenance log. Temporarily disable your cache to let others know not to search for it until you have addressed the problem. You are permitted a reasonable amount of time – generally up to 4 weeks – in which to check on your cache. If a cache is not being maintained, or has been temporarily disabled for an unreasonable length of time, it may be archived a reviewer.

These are your options if you receive a notification that your cache needs some attention:

  • Maintenance: Visit your geocache, make any needed repairs, and post an “Owner Maintenance” log so the community knows it’s available to find. If your cache was fine, please indicate so with the "Owner Maintenance" as well. The "Owner Maintenance" log cancels out any existing "Needs Maintenance" attributes on the cache page.
  • Disable: If you cannot check on your geocache within a reasonable amount of time, please disable your geocache listing. Once you perform maintenance, you can enable it and post an “Owner Maintenance” log.
  • Archive: If you decide it is time for your geocache to be permanently retired, please archive the listing and retrieve all physical stages. It is sad to see a cache go, but sometimes either a hide just becomes too ‘high maintenance’ or it has outlived its time since most cachers in the community have already found it. Perhaps opening up the territory will help another cacher to hide a new cache nearby.

To log any of these actions, visit your geocache page listing and select "Log your visit." The options to post Owner Maintenance, Temporarily Disable or Archive are all options from the next page.

The "Needs Maintenance" icon will show on your geocache listing if it has been reported by the community as needing maintenance. Geocachers see this icon as a sign that your geocache may not be in good condition and they may skip trying to find it.

Once you have made repairs, post an "Owner Maintenance" log on your geocache page. This log removes the Needs Maintenance icon.

Maintenance Tips for Geocache Repair - Image of Post a New Log on Geocaching.com

Additional reminders for geocache owners:

  • Replace the container if the current one is in bad condition
  • Make sure that that your container is watertight
  • If any of the contents are wet, dry them off or replace them
  • Check that there is enough space left in your logbook
  • If your geocache is not accessible due to weather or another issue, note this on the geocache page
  • Mark Trackables as "missing" if they are listed in the inventory but no longer are in the cache

The responsibility of your listing includes quality control of posts to the cache page too. We recommend that you delete any logs that appear to be bogus, counterfeit, off topic, or otherwise inappropriate.

Have fun out there while you are caching, and if we all pitch in a little on everyone’s caches, we all win!

Do you have any additional cache maintenance tips that you could share with us?  Please do so in the comments!

February 2016’s Cache Crate is all about use, care and maintenance of your device. Taking good care of your phone and/or GPS will keep you and your devices happy and finding (and hiding) geocaches out in the field for a long time!

phone-bag

1. Your GPS or phone is NOT waterproof!

It may be water-resistant but most devices are not waterproof. Over time water resistance is reduced, the rubber on the GPS body and the flap that protects the USB port degrade and loosen, water and dust may begin to enter these areas after time.

When I once was geocaching via boat I jumped in the water to get to shore, my Garmin Colorado went under water, I didn't think too much about it, shortly after it was not operating. Bring a ziplock bag with you for those rainy days or if you might take a swim with your GPS.

2. The mini-USB or power port needs to be closed all time when you’re in the field!

This mini-USB or power port is very important! You can’t transfer or connect your GPS device with your computer if this port has trouble, or power your phone. Make sure this port is protected especially during usage in the field to avoid dust and water particle to prevent corrosion. Do not open the port unless you are loading caches or powering up.

3. Do not mix partially used batteries with new batteries, this can disturb electricity current that will affect your GPS device.

4. Do NOT mix the types of batteries.

There are several kind of batteries on the market:

a. Carbon, cheap and easy to get.
b. Alkaline, a bit expensive. This is the standard battery for GPS
c. Rechargeable battery (NiMH or Li-Ion), more expensive but you can save the environment.

Never mix them! For example, you put a carbon battery then an alkaline battery for your GPS. The chemical reaction is different and it can cause leaking on the batteries that can damage your device.

5. Remove the batteries when the GPS is not used.

This will prevent any chemical leaking from the batteries especially when the device won’t be used for long time. Remember:  Any kind of electronic device will be damaged if exposed by chemical ingredients from the battery.

6. Store your GPS or phone in dry place!

Humidity is the main enemy for every electronic device including your GPS and phone. Humidity can make the corrosion process faster in your device. Using a dry box to store your GPS is recommended.

7. Use cases for your devices to keep them protected from drops, water spills, scratches and dirt.

I buy mine from the camera department or sporting goods store. I just got one that can be looped thru a belt or backpack hip belt.

8. Screen guards.

These are great to help protect your screens from scratches and drops. They are made to fit your device or can be cut to fit with a scissors.

9. Your GPS transfer or phone power wire.

Be careful with this. Keep it from kinking and being tossed about, laying on the floor, etc. I like to get a couple additional transfer and power cables and keep one in my vehicle, one in my geo bag, etc. I've had to do "Pocket queries' 'On the go" several times, sometimes in my vehicle with my laptop, other times at a public library or computer store.

Use care when plugging in your transfer cable to your GPS. This includes cell phone charging cables, keep things "In line" and don't force connectors into your devices. I have several vehicle GPS Nuvi's that don't work anymore because the power cable connector to the device has loosened and won't provide constant power, There are fix remedies to be found online but I haven't tried them yet.

10. Keep battery contact surfaces and battery compartment contacts clean by rubbing them with a clean pencil eraser or a rough cloth each time you replace batteries.

11. Take your GPS devices with you.

Thieves love these so it is best not to keep an automobile GPS on the mount when you are not in the car, boat or bike. Take them with you or put them in a trunk. Just don't leave it in plain view or you may get it stolen. Most insurance companies will not cover a GPS if stolen as they are portable and not part of the original car built-in components. You will need to make a claim on your renter’s or home owner’s policy.

12. Hot & cold.

In cold temperatures it is very important to not let any GPS or phone sit in cold weather below 32 degrees. That insulated camera bag will help keep it from cold dipping temperatures when it is not in use. Most GPS units and phones do not like heat if they can't breathe.

When you stop to have a lunch break in summer, your car temp can soar as there is no air flow.  So once again keep devices in an insulated camera bag out of direct sunlight and protect them from the heat. When in use in extreme hot weather make sure you have your air conditioning on or a few windows rolled down for air circulation. Wait to use the unit when the car has cooled a bit.

13. Keep your devices clean.

Keep your GPS and phone screen clean with a microfiber cleaning cloth, like the one included in February’s Cache Crate.

If your touch screen does not work properly then break out your owner’s manual and recalibrate it.  Most GPS units and phones are set up for this and will get you running again. It is very simple to do.

When your device arrives make sure you keep your receipt, the original box and all paperwork contents in case you ever have a problem with your unit and need warranty repair. This is a good way to send it back, just like it arrived!

Contact the Manufacture immediately if you have any problems with setup or you're not getting the response you expected to troubleshoot before contacting your dealer you purchased from.  Most problems are just a setting that can be fixed with the MFR tech support.

Your GPS with an Internal antenna will only work when mounted near your windshield or if it has a clear view of the open sky so it can read the satellites.

Keep learning about your GPS, experiment with the button features, read the manual and check online for tips and help.

Update your devices from time to time online.

GPS

Battery care & information 

Power Saving Tips for Phones:

  • Black wallpaper
  • Turn down your backlight –don’t use adaptive/auto brightness
  • Turn off your GPS (location service) when not actively using it
  • Use a shorter screen timeout setting
  • Switch off vibrate
  • Use Plane Mode if you don’t need to be connected
  • Keep your apps updated
  • Explore your phone’s basic battery saving mode

Bonus material:

What is battery memory effect?

Battery memory effect is about batteries remembering remaining charge if you didn’t let them go all the way to zero too often. So a battery frequently charged from 20% to 80% might ‘forget’ about the 40% that’s left uncharged (0-20% and 80-100%). Sounds crazy but that’s sort of true – but only for older nickel-based (NiMH and NiCd) batteries, not the lithium-ion batteries in your phone.

Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries don’t suffer the memory effect so you almost need to do the opposite – charge them often but not all the way throughout the day, and don’t let them drop to zero.

The rule with Li-ion batteries is to keep them 50% or more most of the time. When it drops below 50% top it up a little if you can. A little a few times a day seems to be the optimum to aim for.

But don’t charge it all the way to 100%. It won’t be fatal to your battery if you do a full recharge – most of us are forced to do this every now and again in emergencies. But constantly doing a full recharge will shorten the battery’s lifespan.

So a good range to aim for when charging a Li-ion battery is from about 40% to 80% in one go. Try not to let the battery drop below 20%.

Remove batteries from a device when it is not expected to be in use for several months.

Remove batteries from equipment while it is being powered by household (AC) current.

Make sure that you insert batteries into your device properly, with the + (plus) and – (minus) terminals aligned correctly. CAUTION:

Some equipment using more than three batteries may appear to work properly even if one battery is inserted incorrectly.]

Store batteries in a dry place at normal room temperature.

Do not refrigerate batteries; this will not make them last longer. Extreme temperatures reduce battery performance. Avoid putting battery-powered devices in very warm places.

Do not attempt to recharge a battery unless the battery specifically is marked “rechargeable.”Some dead batteries and batteries that are exposed to extremely high temperatures may leak. A crystalline structure may begin to form on the outside of the battery.

phone

DISPOSING OF GENERAL-PURPOSE & ALKALINE BATTERIES

You should recycle rechargeable, lithium, lithium-ion, and zinc air batteries. In addition to “traditional” rechargeable batteries like AAs or AAAs, rechargeable batteries like the ones found in everyday household items such as cameras, cell phones, laptops, and power tools should also be recycled. Look for the battery recycling seals on rechargeable batteries.

Some retailers often collect batteries and electronics. Some communities offer recycling or collection of alkaline batteries—contact your local government for disposal practices in your area.

To find a rechargeable battery recycling location near you, visit Earth911 at www.earth911.com, Call2Recycle® at www.call2recycle.org or recyclinghttp://www.energizer.com/about-batteries/battery-care.

If recycling is not an option, alkaline batteries can be safely disposed of with normal household waste. Never dispose of batteries in fire because they could explode.

Due to concerns about mercury in the municipal solid waste stream, some manufacturers like Duracell have voluntarily eliminated all of the added mercury from their alkaline batteries since 1993. Those alkaline batteries are composed primarily of common metals—steel, zinc, and manganese—and do not pose a health or environmental risk during normal use or disposal. It is important not to dispose of large numbers of alkaline batteries in a group. Used batteries are often not completely dead. Grouping used batteries together can bring these live batteries into contact with one another, creating safety risks.

Do keep batteries, especially small and coin lithium batteries and the devices that use them, out of reach of children. If swallowed, coin lithium batteries can cause serious injury in less than two hours.

Contact the National Battery Ingestion Hotline for more information:www.poison.org/battery or 202-625-3333

DON’T dispose of batteries in a fire — they may leak or rupture.

DON’T disassemble, crush, puncture, or otherwise damage batteries. This can result in leakage or rupture.

DON’T carry loose batteries in a pocket or purse with metal objects like coins, paper clips, etc. This can short-circuit the battery, leading to high heat or leakage.

 

Resources used for this post:

http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/how-to/mobile-phone/how-charge-phones-battery-36…

https://www.duracell.com/en-us/battery-care-and-disposal

http://www.energizer.com/about-batteries/battery-care

http://www.ebay.com/gds/GPS-TIPS-and-Care-guide-for-the-new-GPS-owner-/1000…

http://allthingsnav.navigation.com/article/give-your-gps-some-tlc

http://openstreetmap.id/en/tips-merawat-perangkat-gps/

https://www.androidpit.com/how-to-save-battery-life

 

With winter well under way here in the Northern Hemisphere, we’d like to share some cold weather geocaching tips with you.

Cold Weather Geocaching Tips!

Safety and What to Pack:

The first thing to think about is safety and what to pack. Before heading out, here’s a quick checklist:

  • Be sure to tell someone where you are going: you can leave a note at home, email a friend, update your Facebook or Twitter with your intended caching target or area.
  • Pack extra batteries as the cold will drain the ones you have even faster.
  • Always carry water and food with you. That ’short hike’ (or drive) to the cache may turn out to be a lot longer than you planned. We often don’t drink enough fluids when out in the cold.
  • Don’t forget extra water for your kids & canine caching companions.
  • Check the forecast and watch the weather -it can change fast when you are geocaching! We like Wunderground.
  • Know when the sun will set -it gets dark early in the northern latitudes.
  • Pack a headlamp or flashlight. Better yet, pack two. And check the batteries.

winter-night-caching-group

Finding Caches in Cold Weather:

OK, so you’re all set: gear is packed, GPS is fired up and you’re at the trail head … Now, off to finding caches!

  • Mark your car’s coordinates.
  • Know your limits, and those of your caching companions. That 10 minute hike can take over an hour in some winter conditions. It’s OK to DNF a cache and make it home alright.
  • Do your best to ensure that all seals on the cache are tight and closed properly to avoid moisture from getting in.
  • Be careful not to damage frozen containers as you may find some caches frozen shut. Don’t ruin the cache by hitting it against something hard in an attempt to open it. You could break the seal and ruin the fun for everyone.
  • Don’t bring anything liquid to trade -it can freeze, burst and ruin the cache contents.

winter-hike-with-Eve

Cold Weather Cache Hiding Tips:

So you want to hide a cache in winter? Here are some tips.

  • Keep in mind the changing of the seasons. That snowy white camo might look great in winter, but stick out in the spring and summer.
  • Will the leaves turn and fall later, exposing your cache? Or grow back and mess up your camo?
  • Don’t leave anything liquid in the cache.
  • Use a water tight container.
  • Be sure to leave pencils, not pens, in the cache.
  • How will deep snow affect finding your cache? You might want to hide it above the expected snow level.
  • Use appropriate attributes for your cache. You may even need to change these with the changing of the seasons.

This is by no means an exhaustive list for cold weather caching. What tips do you have to add?