My first Earthcache (“The Leper Stone”)

Our earthcache The Leper Stone (Newport Sarsen Stone) has just been published! :D

After reading sumajman’s blog post about hiding his first earthcache I was suitably inspired to get off my of bum and sort out the listing for the one I had been planning to do for months.

I had initially delayed doing it as I had read on forums that people had real difficulty getting earthcaches approved as they were very strict on permission. But in sumajman’s blog post it seemed like he hadn’t had a problem. Right, time to get this idea in motion! I carefully did a write up and thoroughly researched it. On Saturday we were passing the spot on our way to London so armed with the GPSr and the DSLR for the day I was able to grab some coords and some good piccies and submitted the cache on Sunday.

I received an email from the reviewer a day later as there was a problem. My questions seemed a bit too easy and the reviewer thought you could get away with not visiting it to answer all questions. Also, my wording of taking a photo of the stone was slightly bad as it implied that I required the person’s face in the photo. I amended this so it’s a photo of the person with the stone, or a photo of the GPSr with the stone. No requirement for a face! :D I also changed one of the questions.

So let me educate you all a little bit about what our earthcache is.

The view facing Newport

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Rowney Wood Ramble now active!

Hooray! Tonight our ‘Rowney Wood Ramble‘ trail has just been published. This one had been in the planning for quite a while as we had to wait a week for permission to be granted from the Forestry Commission. I’d agreed with the Forestry Commission that to prevent any damage to the woodland the caches wouldn’t be hidden more than a few feet from the path. It’s therefore not the most exciting trail, but it is very easy. The thing that is quite exciting about it is the animals, plants, and mushrooms that are in the woodland, so I’m hoping that cachers will be able to see a few exciting things out on the trail. I spent quite a while working on the descriptions and uploading photos. It’s crazy how long submitting trails can take and once you start hiding big ones of your own you start appreciating the big trails others hide even more! [...]

A map of the trail

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Asking for permission

Last Thursday we scouted out a new trail for our next set of hides. It was in a Forestry Commission owned woodland and therefore requires special permission from them for caches to be placed there. The same thing applies for SSSI’s and National Trust owned land. I think a lot of people are put off of placing caches in these sorts of areas, however just because they are owned by these organisations it doesn’t mean you can’t place caches there, in fact I think it’s a darn sight easier to get permissions to place caches there as you can easily get contact details from their web sites. You just need to ask [...]

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The first maintenance run

Right, now all the dust is settled, everyone is happy, everything is sorted, let the blogging commence…

Last night we went on our first maintenance run along our Walden Wander cache trail. Teddy needed a nice long walk and one of the finders mentioned one of the caches had blown off into the open from it’s hiding place. It’s been pretty windy in the area recently, so I’m not surprised. The cache itself was a film cannister hanging on a very short nail head on the back of a fence. It was hanging on a piece of string. So we quickly knocked up a replacement micro with a piece of strong wire attached and took that with us along with a hook ready for replacement.

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First hide and first TB (Finally!)

Tonight I finally got around to submitting my hides for publication! Woohoo! I was a bit of a perfectionist and took time preparing the containers and making everything look good. We took 3 coord readings and a final check of the coords today to drop off some TB’s. I think the containers have been there over 3 weeks now and they seem quite comfortable in their surroundings.

It was quite nerve-racking submitting my first ever cache. I kept checking, and checking, and checking that I’d enterred the correct coords into the website! I think I got it right in the end. Just time to play the waiting game now. I wonder who will be first to find! :)

I also activated our first TB today. It’s Dave the Duck! He’s in the 3rd cache on the trail of 10. So hopefully he can go for a bit of a journey around caches!

My first hide

Hooray! Today we spent a fair bit of time getting our boxes loaded up ready for hiding and we even had enough time to lay them all down this afternoon.

We’d already found good locations on Friday afternoon and taken some coords. Today we grabbed a second set of coords whilst laying and they were pretty close so it’s all good news. We will grab a third, and final set of coords and then hopefully submit it in a week or so. Hopefully it won’t get muggled before then! Watch this space!

My first hide – Keeping my promise

So on a previous recent post I promised to get my a*se in gear and get hiding! Well, you won’t be disappointed! Last night I applied Xylene to all boxes to remove the shiny coating and help the paint stick better, and today we spray painted all the boxes black. We printed off a load of labels and made up some covers for the log books.

I've blanked out the name and location

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GeoCass’ Top 10 Tips for rating your caches

1. Do your research using the 3 sites I mentioned
When you are deciding the difficulty and terrain rating for your hide, it’s a good idea to do a bit of research. Refer to the Groundspeak ratings documentation, The ClayJar Geocache Rating System and the TechBlazer Rating System to give you an idea. You can then perhaps take an average.

My fave cache rating site

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Rating Difficulty/Terrain for a hide

When you submit a cache, you need to carefully consider the difficulty and terrain rating that you give it. This gives an indication to finders of what may be involved in finding the cache without them having to dig too deep into the description. Additional details can then be provided in the description and attributes if there are any notable hazards, if any special equipment is required, if there is a difficult puzzle to solve first, etc…

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Drippy cache

We went back to our rock under the stepping stone last night. As we expected there was water in the film cannister. There was only a little, but if someone didn’t seal the bag properly the log would get soaked :( It seems some pond life was fooled by the rock as well as there were little sluggy things living in there! Hehe! Also, the stone we put on the opposite end was starting to crack the base of the plastic rock.

We’ve brought the cache back home. I plan to glue a small weight to the side of the cache to help it sink, and also replace the cannister with a Red Bull energy shot cannister that has a screw top. I will wrap it in Gorilla tape to thicken the sides. This one won’t get water in it, as I have refilled one and taken it running with me in my pocket for a quick shot of water. I didn’t get a wet pocket so all should be fine!

I’ve also used the xylene on 2 tupperware boxes. Its very nasty stuff, so anyone trying it themselves should be extra careful and don’t breathe it in! I wore two pairs of Nitrile gloves and put the chemical on the boxes using a rag. I then left them to dry overnight (In the garden) and in the morning the shiny coating on the boxes had magically disappeared. Now just got to get some spray paint to coat them! Happy days! :)


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