Pyrocachers Rambles

The ramblings of Dave-Mancunian Pyrocacher, Husband & carer, Father of 2, and a addicted Geocacher. Ramblings about Life- caching-and everything!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Current Project

Well I got to thinking, the only "physical" cache type I'd yet to create was a Wherigo Cache. So the old brain jumped into gear. So I started doing some research, now I already knew the Official Builder, is like humping a sack of bricks up 20 stories.

So more research, lead me Wherigo\\kit a nice and simple Wherigo Cartridge Creation web site, which just uses picking a location on a map, and writing a few words of description. And best of all, you don't have to do them in order, as you can rearrange the order to suit yourself.

Now luckily I know the terrain where the Wherigo cache will be set, so having created the Stages, and moving the order to suit. Being able to see them on a map, certainly helps.

So the basics locked down, just the location of the container to sort out, and permission of course. It was time to create the Wherigo Cache page on GC.

So during the process, you have to rate the D/T, ok I thought, I'll use GC's rating system. Oh did I mention that I'd measured the rough route of travel on Google Earth.

So using that information and knowledge of the terrain faced, I completed the form.

Surprisingly it came out as a D2/T4

Now came the hard bit. I've just upgraded to a S5, on which I have WhereYouGo App, however a recent update, means that the App will no longer directly download cartridges, the App whe you try tells you to to put the cartridge in a specific folder. Comments on the Net also mentioned this.

Now not having a clue, I'd got a Wherigo Cartridge, I could not test.

So I sat down last night, and decided to see if I could find the Folder. No luck on the phone its self. So I connected the phone to the Lap Top, opened up the Phone on the Lap Top and found the WhereYouGo App file, which on opening was empty. So I had a brain wave, what if I drag the cartridge from the Lap Top, into the folder. So that's what I did.

So time to check to see if it worked, so disconnected the phone from the Lap Top. Open the WhereYouGo App, and eureka there was the cartridge.

Now why couldn't people have just said that.

So now the next stage is to test it out, so fingers crossed it will work ok.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Many changes happened

Well first of all, as of  Midnight (GMT) 13th of June, I ceased to be a Volunteer Reviewer, so ending 8 years of my life.

The reasons why, I'll maybe go into at a future date.

So I attended GC53TDZ Bring & Buy - it could be lucky for you? as the Last Event as a Reviewer, Because I'd arranged for a Luck person to Push the Button for GC4VJ50 Harvey's Punctuation Pen Pal. The Button was pushed by Helen - Spotty Zebra.

At the Event, I got grabbed by the scruff of the neck, and  screaming and kicking was persuaded to become a minion for the North Wales Mega 2016 Committee oh and though I did not know it a the time, the Committee Roadie.

Now the NWM2016 Committee had been Working on a couple of Trackable tags







So despite being married for 28 years, and having been told for 30 years, I could not have another Tattoo, I decided to ask as a joke, to ask if I could have a Travel Ddraig Tattoo on my back.

Only to be given a maybe, so being a Typical Male, Maybe means yes. So I moved forward with plans.

On discussing things with the committee, it was agreed I'd unveil my Tattoo at the Ayrshire Mega Event, to launch the Travel Ddraig Trackable Tags

Come the Day of the Mega, and I lost count, after taking my shirt off over 60 times, so people could log





Someone asked me if it was real, or a Henna Tattoo, well yes it's real ad about A4 size and took one hour Forty Minutes under the Needle. I'd only gone in for a A5 sized tattoo

The NWM2016 committee are also selling Trackable Travel Ddraig Car Decals in Red or Black


The date of the North Wales 2016 Mega Event, was revealed at the Ayrshire Mega Event as the 6th August 2016, however the Location will be revealed at GC58Y6W Ddraig Chat

I've also after discussions with people, organised a plain vanilla Event at the Spiritual Home of the North West/North Wales/West Mids boarders cachers, The Cheshire Cat

So GC57PXM The Ddraigs minions visits the Smilling Feline will not have any Disco this time, nor will I be placing a cache out for the Event. It will just be a chance to Socialise.

Monday, July 08, 2013

So 7 months ago, a 3/4 mile walk, would take me a fair few days to recover from.
Move forward 7 months, and last weekend. I survived Marzi's event in Llanberis, up and down the Slate Trail.

On Saturday I coped with both walks at the Westies Party in the Park. Yesterday I was the Geocaching Walk Leader, for the Conway Walking Festival, Introduction to Geocaching. The main Walk Leader being Alun a Conway County Council Countryside Service Ranger, and aided by Martin-justthejob.

So  having arranged to meet Martin and Alun at 16:45, I arrived just before 14:00. The plan being to visit

http://coord.info/GCT7TK,
http://coord.info/GCT7RK ,
http://coord.info/GC2EVY4 ,
http://coord.info/GC2XPWM

 And check all 4 caches, to make sure they were ok, before the walking group found them.

The first cache at the bottom of the hill behind the Fairy Glen pub, the middle two a stiff climb up a very steep hill. Before dropping virtually all the way back to the road for the last one.

So cache one was quickly found, then the climb started to the second one, I power walked up the hill. That in it's self a major achievement. Part way up, I happened to notice a barely visible path heading straight up the hill to the second cache. As I was pressed for time, and did not know, how much would be added on by following the path. I powered directly up the hill, nearly taking a couple of dives, where the foliage hid that the path dropped away.

On arriving at the cache site, I was horrified to find it in the remains of a Dry Stone Wall, so Having put a new log book in, I posted a Reviewer Note in the log book, stating that I would be Disabling the cache, and requiring the owner to move it out of the Dry Stone Wall.

So on to number 3, which was the highest point of the walk. I happened to spot a Sheep Trail heading in the right direction, which short cutted the main path. I followed this into and out of a dip, and meet up with the main path, with a further up hill walk to the cache location.

Now having read the hint, which did not make sense, I approached the cache location, and a big wet fish gave me a smack across the chops. And a eureka moment, and I could understand the hint. Cache in hand log signed and a New Log book put in. Off to number 4

That was just 245m away, but down a virtually straight drop.

At this point the main path split, going up towards the Jubilee tower, or The North Wales Path heading down hill. As this looked to be going in the correct direction, I took that. Only to suddenly discover that I was over 600m away from the cache. I decided to proceed downwards and when a path heading down to the houses and road appeared, I took that, this put me on a path heading back towards the cache, running at the back of the houses. the cache at that point about 1km away.

I followed this path, at one point a couple sat on their back door step, pointed out the upwardly going path I need to take, to head towards the cache, and the Fairy Glen pub, which I had told them I was heading for.
So after a bit of a scramble, I made my way on to the path where the cache was, only for my GPSr to be pointing 22m up a steep slope, the Hint mentioning the roots of a tree.

So dumping my Bergen on the path, I scrambled up, and searched a number of trees. Running out of time. I called it a day. And ended up coming down the slope backwards, on my hands and feet, sliding all the way down.

Back to the car, and Martin was sat waiting for me, Alun soon turned up. The whole route took me around 2 hours.

I found out at this point, Martin had walked the route Saturday, and had also made the same mistake over routing I had, and also DNF'd the fourth cache. Alun and Peter from Edge of Wales, who set the route, had also DNF'd it, when they walked the route to do the Risk Assessment. [now remember the 4 of us DNF'd it]

Peter had supplied the loan units for the walk, 2 etrex's [which I've used before] 3 geckos [which I've never used before] and 2 Etrex 10's, which I'd never even seen before.

We headed up to the Fairy Glen pub to meet the attendee's, where Alun logged everyone attending in, a total of 16 people, including a family with a 4 year old, and a family with a 4 month old.

I arranged for everyone to go to the First cache, as there was a large grassed area there, where I could give the talk about Geocaching, about how to safely use a GPSr, and about staying together as a group.
I had all the GPSr's powered up, and individually talked people through using them. And watched as they found the first cache.

 We all then headed of up the hill to the second cache. Where once found, the group made their way to the third cache. Which was quickly found

 On to cache number four, and we took a shorter route, which involved a Sheep Trail. For those who took the long route on the first Celestrial Bar Event, will remember th point along the track with the steep drop. Which threw me for a six. Well this track was narrower, had a longer steeper drop, and I coped with it well.
At the cache location [now at this point, remember I suggested you  remember something?] there was a Master Class in finding a cache, by a Four Year Old.

Log Book signed, so both Martin and I could claim the find, and we all made our way back to the road. At which we said Good Bye to everyone, who had had a great time. Collected the GPSr's. and headed back to our cars.

Time back at the car was around 21:00. I stopped at McD's Abergele for a Sweet Chilli Chicken Snack wrap, an a free latte, with a voucher.

Before driving to Rhudlian Nature Reserve Car Park to eat it. Once refreshed, I decided to go and find the cache Mike had just relocated. But horrors, I'd somehow deleted all the caches in the area off Maggie Magellan. So plan B, break out the phone. The cache was spotted as I walked in. Log signed and about to put it back, when a loud and very boisterous group of Teenagers, walked past on the other side of the foliage. So I had to wait until they had gone past and crossed the road before replacing it and heading home.
So 7 months of support has made a huge difference, and the results are evident. 7 months ago I'd have struggled to do all 4 caches, never mind Power Walking up to them, then repeating the route. I would not have had the legs to get out the car and go and find Mike's cache afterwards.

It is amazing what 7 months can change, I set myself a goal of One cache a week, that not to include Events. The cache of the week, had to be one I'd walked to, no hopping out of the car, sign the log and hop back into the car. I've been doing Hi Intensity Training, 3-4 ties a week. This means 2 minutes of warm up, then 30 seconds of Burpee's at a all out pace, I minute of rest, 30 seconds all out, I minute rest, 30 seconds all out. The emphasis being on the 30 seconds all out period, you have to push yourself to the maximum of your ability.

With the weekly Geocaching walk, the regular HIT, and above all, the support of my friends, I have dropped the Insulin down from 55 units, to 35 units. And I have lost over a Stone. And have gained in stamina and strength. 




Sunday, June 16, 2013

Current Procedure for Contacting Groundspeak, for General Contact or Geocache Appeals

New way to contact Groundspeak

 Previously there was an email address to contact Groundspeak about any caching/account related matter or if you wanted to appeal against a reviewers decision.

 There is now a contact page in the Help Center that should be used for all reasons to contact them. Please bookmark it - http://support.groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=request

There is a Drop Down List, to select the Nature of your contact [there are 14 options to chose from]

Please supply the following information for all contacts 

1. Your Geocaching Username;
2. Your cache's GC Code: {GC Code};
3. Your cache's Name/Title;
4. Your cache Location: Region-UK
 5. Your reviewer’s name, 
6. The nature of your Contact or Appeal

The more information initially supplied to Groundspeak, the quicker a response will e able to be made.

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

So the following is posted on Groundspeak's Forum, but is a copy of a Post made to Garmin's Listing Site Forum, and also to other posting locations. The employer of the poster is believed to be Garmin.

  Posted 28 April 2013 - 05:22 AM
The following was posted on the OC.com forums on 4/26/13 but was quickly deleted just a few minutes later.


The truth behind Opencaching.com


Garmin had always had a good relationship with Groundspeak.

After all, I'm willing to argue that most geocachers used

Garmin units. In fact, most cachers probably still do use a

Garmin unit if they aren't using their smartphone. Garmin

always had this grand idea of pre-loading units with

geocaches - similar to the Geomate Jr. But, keep in mind,

that this was well before the Geomate had even been invented.

They had plans for kid friendly units (think neon colored

Etrex) that would have several hundred thousand caches loaded

up and even "adult" versions - the more expensive units -

that would also be pre-loaded with tons of caches.

The powers at Garmin approached the powers at Groundspeak and

they started talking about this idea of pre-loading units.

Groundspeak wanted nothing to do with it and said that they

would never ever open their database to developers or GPS

manufacturers. Just a couple months later, what happened?

Geomate Jr. came along and wanted access to the cache

database so that they could throw some on a small and kid

friendly unit. What did Groundspeak say? "SURE!" (and a few

months after that, the Groundspeak API was introduced).

Naturally, this only made Garmin's people very mad and they

decided to go their own way. Enter Opencaching.com.

Opencaching.com has been billed as a community driven

geocache listing site that is "as free and open as the

outdoors." They want cachers to believe that Garmin is just

trying to improve the activity of geocaching and that

Opencaching.com is driving that change. It's true that

Opencaching has caused Groundspeak to change some aspects of

geocaching.com for the better - but as geocaching.com keeps

getting better Opencaching.com gets further and further

behind. Instead of asking cachers to honestly create caches

on Opencaching.com, the Garmin teams bribes cachers with

units and pathtags. We're about due for another bribing

contest and I can only imagine the unit up for grabs is a new

Oregon.

The whole purpose of Opencaching.com isn't to make

"geocaching free and open to all." It's not to be community

driven or even friendly to use. Ever wonder why the

Opencaching team don't care there are so many cross-listed

caches on the site? It's simply because Garmin wants as many

caches as they can get on Opencaching.com so that they can

throw them on Garmin units when they go out the door. It

doesn't matter if the caches are exclusive to Opencaching.com

or brought over from any other listing site (not just

geocaching.com). Quality also doesn't matter. If you want to

crap in a coffee can, list it as a cache on opencaching.com,

the site, and the muggles that run it, will happily accept it

as a cache - simply because it's one more listing. In fact,

"TrailTech" published several caches for the original

CacheBash that happened last Spring - these caches quickly

became decrepit because they were hidden by folks who had

never been caching: Garmin sales managers, engineers, IT

people. I can't even begin to count how many of these caches

I went after only to find coffee cans filled with rotting and

moldy paper, urine, rusty toys, and trash. I marked many of

them as needing owner maintenance only to be ignored. It was

only when I went back, grabbed these "caches," and emailed

the OC team that these are being thrown away did anyone

actually disable or achive the listings.

Last spring, Garmin held interviews for the Opencaching

Community Coordinator. People who worked at Garmin expected

them to hire from within. After all, there are several

geocachers that work there and would do a great job in the

position. These people were already loyal Garmin users,

understood the Garmin culture, and thoroughly enjoy

geocaching and introducing people to the game. Many Garmin

employees were infuriated when they found out StealthRT was

hired for the job. Sure, he had a couple thousand finds, held

events all the time, and was well-known in the Kansas City

geocaching community. But, he wasn't a Garmin user. He's long

been a Magellan user and had never used a Garmin unit before

getting hired. He only wanted the job because it was a

challenge (and probably so he can get paid to travel to

Groundspeak events).

According to some folks at Garmin, Stealth has said that he

never uses Opencaching.com and will never use the site. Why

not? Because it has nothing to offer him. You see, Stealth is

a numbers hound - which is fine - but Opencaching.com isn't a

place for numbers hounds to up their numbers. Not when so

many other number hounds only count geocaching.com finds in

their statistics. You may be asking yourself why StealthRT

was hired if A) He's not a Garmin user B) has no interest in

using Opencaching.com and C) Doesn't actually do anything

with the community. The truth is, Garmin hired him because

they felt he could get people to cross-list their caches from

Geocaching.com. Remember, Garmin isn't after exclusive cache

listings - they just want volume. This volume can come from

anywhere, just as long as it shows up on Opencaching.com.

Garmin came up with a laughable title of "Opencaching

Ambassador" for the folks who actually care about the site

and want people to create OC exclusive caches - but,

remember, they don't care if the caches are exclusive and

they don't really care about these ambassadors.

We all know that Garmin bribe people with units and pathtags

to lure them into cross-listing caches. But, what about the

people with powertrails? These people don't just hide one or

two or ten caches, they hide thousands. I once contacted the

owners of the ET powertrail about creating a Garmin Adventure

that highlights their trail. This adventure would include

places to eat, get gas, and hotels to stay at. The owners

told me that they would never be interested in listing their

caches anywhere else but Geocaching.com and that all the info

needed for cachers to plan their attack would be on the cache

pages. In other words, they didn't even want me to do

anything with their powertrail as a Garmin Adventure. This

told me that they wanted nothing to do with Garmin. I also

asked them if they would make it easier for people to load

the caches in one shot - as opposed to creating a PQ for the

series. I mentioned that Opencaching.com would make this easy

with the one click downloading of a series. Again, they said

they were already talking about placing a GPX file on their

website that included all the caches of the ET series. A few

months later, the series shows up on Opencaching.com. But,

how? I can only speculate that Stealth either paid them in

units or cash. After all, it had to be a pretty substantial

payment to get the two owners, who were adamantly against

anything but Geocaching.com, to list their caches.

Again, Garmin doesn't care about the community or the quality

of the caches. All they want are caches that they can throw

on units when they're sold. All you people complaining about

the cross-listing of caches, this is EXACTLY what Garmin

wants so don't expect anything to be done about it. All you

who are complaining about StealthRT not doing anything with

the site, that's exactly what Garmin wants. His title is the

Opencaching Community Coordinator but his real title should

be "Garmin's Cross-listing beggar." He gets paid a nice

salary (he drives a Benz convertible, after all) to travel to

Groundspeak hosted events and beg people to put their caches

on Opencaching.com. If you think you're helping the

Geocaching community by placing your caches on

Opencaching.com - think again. You're only helping Garmin

"stick it" to Groundspeak by allowing Garmin to use your

caches on their units. That's the whole "opensource" aspect -

anyone can access their cache database and do what they want

with the data: put it on GPS units, create personal apps,

etc. I wonder what Garmin will say if Magellan or DeLorme

want access to the database. Nah, both of those companies are

too smart to alienate a large percentage of their users.

Instead of everyone complaining about what's not getting

taken care of over here, realize how much better it is

elsewhere. Sure, all sites have their problems, but at least

Geocaching.com doesn't run on unethical principles that hurt

their customers.

I do know that the author has missed out a couple of things, done by Garmin, so making things look one sided. But that is another story. 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Email sent to Countryside Council for Wales, in regards to the GO Outdoors "Geocaching" Promotion.

At the request of UK Geocaching Community Members, I have sent the following email to CCW

Dear Sir or Madam.
                            I am Dave Palmer, Deceangi Volunteer UK Reviewer for Geocaching.com since 2006, but have been a Geocacher since 2002. And in 2004 was the first Wales base Geocacher to make contact with CCW (Mold Office).
I have been asked by members of the UK Geocaching community, to contact you, in regards to a Promotion by GO Outdoors, which describes the promotion as "Geocaching"  http://blog.gooutdoors.co.uk/competitions/.
After having several experiences of Commercial Companies using Geocaching as a Promotion tool, or as a Tourist Promotion Tool, using Commercial PR companies. The results to say the least having been very poor or utterly disastrous. Members of the UK Geocaching Community and I personally. Are now extremely worried about the huge potential negative impact this promotion will have, as the Promotion states

"On the morning of Saturday the 6th of April (Subject to weather) 2013, GO Outdoors will be publishing the rough location of a geocache hidden in Snowdonia."
This given that the Pize for finding the container first, is a High End Garmin GPS receiver, with a value of several hundred pounds. Will lead to a large area being utterly trashed, by those searching for the container. This comes from a collective Geocaching experience of the community as a whole, of hundreds of years equivalent experience (as stated originally, I personally have 11 years experiance as a Geocacher, and 7 years experience as a Volunteer Reviewer, during which I have had a large amount of experience working with both Landowners and the Police, in conection with Geocaching in the whole of the UK). Given the amount of experience, we have no wish to see our concerns come true.
I have posted the following to the Go Outdoors Blog, conected to the Geocache Promotion. At the time of sending, it is still waiting Moderation by them. But I have raised the following concerns with them through it.

"Dave says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.
The Geocaching community in Wales have worked hard building up a relationship with CCW, in regards to Geocaches placed in sensitive locations. This relationship goes back to 2004.
Your Blog states “On the morning of Saturday the 6th of April (Subject to weather) 2013, GO Outdoors will be publishing the rough location of a geocache hidden in Snowdonia.” sorry but
a: This is not Geocaching, which at its core, is a container hidden at a set of coordinates, supplied by the Owner
b: you are crating a situation where a unknown number of people, are literally going to tear apart the location, where they believe you have hidden the container, in the hopes of being first to find it. So creating a totally negative situation with the Landowner
c: Do you have Landowner Permission to do this? Have you made the Landowner aware of your plans, and what the potential risk to not only the actual location, but other nearby locations. If your location is within a Designated Nature Reserve, or a Site of Special Scientific Interest, you as well as those Trashing the area, risk a Prosecution under the relevant laws covering such areas.
I have been Geocaching since 2002, and a Volunteer UK Geocache Reviewer since 2006. So have accumulated a huge amount of experience of Geocaching. I have seen several failures of Geocaching Promotions, by very large International Companies, who have either failed to recruit experienced Geocachers, or when they have, have failed to actually follow the advice given by those experienced Geocachers. This creates not only a negative impact within the Geocaching community, towards those companies. The impact can also be negative towards the Geocaching Community, by those outside of the hobby, due to the issues, these companies have created, so increasing the negative impact for the Geocaching community."

On behalf of the UK Geocaching Community, this promotion has nothing to do with the UK Geocaching Community, nor is it a Geocache Promotion. But rather a Company jumping on the Geocaching Theme, but presenting a low tech Pirate Treasure Hunt.

Yours Sincerely

Dave Palmer
Mancunian Pyrocacher (Geocaching.com Member Account since 2002)
Deceangi Volunteer UK Reviewer Geocaching.com (2006-current and on-going)
On behalf of the UK Geocaching Community

I full appreciate that some within the community will disagree with the above email. But given that a large part of Snowdonia, is a Designated SSSI, the fact that GO Outdoors, is calling their Promotion a "Geocache" and Linking to Geocaching.com. Will on their being any issues, create a image, that Geocachers are responsible.

Having been the first person in Wales, to make contact with CCW in regards to Geocaching, way back in 2004. And having to fully explain the whole hobby, and partake in a Site Inspection with one of their Officers. I have seen the working relationship between the Geocaching Community and CCW, build over the years. To a point where they are highly supportive of Geocaching (in fact I am aware of them only ever refusing permission for one cache on Snowdon, due to a rare and protected plant growing at the location), any negative impact caused by this promotion, will affect the UK Geocaching Community, more than Go Outdoors!

Dave

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Wishes for 2012

As my Secretary and General Factotum, and the person who is not only my Boss but the Love of my Life. Has been, and still is so unwell, I have not sent out any Christmas Cards to Friends this year. So instead, I am writing this Christmas Wish to everyone.

I became a Geocacher in 2002, making my First Find St Stephens Day (Boxing Day) 2002, in 2006, I was asked to become a Volunteer UK Reviewer.

Over the Last 10 years, the Special  Friends and Colleagues who are all Special Friends, I have gained, the confidence I have gained, can not be expressed in words, Because it would take the ability of Shakespeare to do justice.

So here is my Christmas Wish to all the Special people I have known, know now, or will know in the future.

May you have a Perfect Christmas, spending it with those you Love. May 2013 bring you all Love,Wealth, Happiness, Good Health. And above all the luck of a Leprechaun in everything you do.

May the God of Plastic Containers, gift you with the ability to find them within seconds.

May you make more special friends

But above all to All, Thank You for being Special Friends!

Dave
Mancunian Pyrocacher
Deceangi Volunteer UK Reviewer