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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Geocaching Where The Bison Roam Free

This has to be the largest bison tube I have found to date. Lunchtime geocache near work. Just loving it!
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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Geocaching With A Mirror

You know how I love my geocaching thing-a-ma-bobs. Those handy must haves to help you while geocaching. Today's find would have been a real pain had it not been for my trusty mirror. Above you see the cache nestled in the corner of some 2x4s. Would have taken me forever by feeling my way around this structure. Be prepared really comes true when geocaching.

As an added note a mirror is also very important if you ever want search and rescue people to find your lost and wondering self. Shining the sun in the direction of a helicopter or rescue party can sometimes mean the difference of being found or not. Just a friendly FYI.
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Happy Holidays To You And Yours

Greetings all and Happy Holidays to you!


Well the holiday season is wrapping up and we have enjoyed our time with friends and family this year but I have to tell you that I personally can't wait to get back into the geocaching swing of things.

So if you are wondering why my posts have been pretty pithy lately or if I stopped making GeoSnippits it's because of all the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

Fear not because 2010 is going to be a great year for GeoSnippits, Michigan Magazine TV and me personally. We have so many HUGE announcements, contests and geocaching goodness coming your way so stay tuned.

So sit back relax and enjoy the last of grandma's fruitcake and that glass of eggnog. Cuz real soon we are going to be going full bore into the geocaching world and taking you with us.

See ya then!

-HHH

GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com/

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lunchtime Geocaching in the Research Triangle (RTP)

Very cold windy but sunshine filled day in the RTP. Found this bison tube in the hole of a log near my work. Now for some lunch.
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Monday, December 28, 2009

A Fun 3.5 Difficulty Lunchtime Find

Had the tool and the talent to retrieve this bison tube from it's perch. Do I not state to be prepared whilest geocaching? Here is a prime example. Would have been a shame to have to hike back empty yet having it just beyond your grasp. Another smiley for me.
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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Two in Delaware, One in Maryland and Virginia

It was wet and miserable but I was add two more states to my list. Now I have to put on my dry hiking boots and take off these soaked tennies. Don't ask.
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Always Time For Geocaching

Not much time for caching this trip but couldn't resist.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My First Lunchtime Geocache At My New Job

Ah the joys of clearing out a new geocaching area. I now work in the RTP which is the IT hot spot of the state so there are plenty of geocaches to keep me busy.
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

My Life Flashed Before My Eyes A Couple Dozen Times

I tend to think that I can handle all sorts of situations. The first night I was ever in Los Angeles there was a 7.1 earthquake at 3:30am and I was riding my bed on the 25th floor of a downtown hotel - no sweat. Then there was the time I was rock hunting in the upper peninsula of Michigan and came within 20ft of a full grown cougar in the wild, piece of cake. Venomous snakes in North Carolina? Pllllease. Yesterday though I truly felt I was in some real do-do.

The whole point was to grant a Christmas wish for my daughter Miss Geoness. She really wanted to spend the holidays with her family in Michigan. It's all she really wanted and I was dead set to getting her there. Until I saw on Thursday about the blizzard that was going to go through directly along out path. The only possible solution was to leave REALLY early on Friday instead of Saturday and try to beat the storm. If I couldn't make it back to Raleigh until Sunday then no big deal but at least Amanda could make it to Michigan.

The plan was pretty straight forward. I would leave 4:00am and drive straight through to Marietta, Ohio and meet up with the Grand Parents. That was a little more than half way and they could take her back to their house. Then I would book it back to North Carolina and try to beat out the storm. Ah the greatest plans of mice and men. The first part went very smoothly and we were out the door and travelling as expected. I was listening to the weather reports telling me how western North Carolina, Virginia and southern West Virginia were expecting anywhere from 12 to 28 inches of snow later in the day. This was not giving me that warm fuzzy feeling by any means. Yet I felt good when I made it to Marietta in just around 6.5 hours and it was only 10:30am. I said my greetings and gave my daughter the biggest hug before watching them drive north. Now it was my turn to drive into the belly of the beast.

Heading south I listened to each and every weather report I could in West Virginia. It sounded like the storm wouldn't be hitting Charleston until around 7pm so I was pretty confident that I wouldn't get stuck in a snowbank anywhere in West Virginia. It sprinkled slightly every once in a while in the mountains but no major concerns, onward I drove. Then came Virginia. Like someone flipping a light switch the heavy snowflakes came down and visibility dropped to about 100 feet or so. I knew this was the area that was going to get it the worst and I had to just buck it up and get through it.
"I can do this", I said to myself. Then I hit my first 5% truck grade. In all my driving experience I have never physically soiled myself but if there was ever a time that this unfortunate condition was going to transpire, this was it. Looking down the very long slope which just happened to end in sharp left turn with nothing but a guardrail and the promise of eternal sleep waiting at the bottom. I put my car in Low Gear #1, slightly applied the brakes and prayed. Much to my delight the car stayed where it was supposed to and did not slide as I expected.
Phew that was hill number one of many. I wasn't worried so much about my driving but all the
other idiots around me and there were whole
ditches filled with them. I seriously lost count after the first 50 or so. Everything from those little half tennis shoe looking cars to full sized tractor trailers laid waste before me as I puttered along.

Long story short I made it home between 8:30pm and 9pm in an exhausted heap. Which means it took me 10 hours to make it back. Thank the Big Guy upstairs all in one piece. I quite frankly never want to be in that situation again. I will fly to Michigan again before I take another adventure in the Virginian hills during a blizzard.


GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter Geocaching: Be Safe Out There

It's winter time out and that means cold weather for many of us. Depending on the climate you may find a great many challenges when geocaching during this time of year. So before you head out into the frozen tundra you might want to consider a few safety measures to keep your adventures fun for both you and your family.

Urban Geocaching - Watch them roads
Now depending on how you geocache in general presents certain challenges during the winter months. For example, if you are urban geocaching and you want to get a fair number of finds in a trip you will be driving from one geocache to the next relatively quickly. Not speeding per say but a lot of starts and stops. If the roads are slippery or snow covered you are going to want to make sure your car tires and breaks are in good working order. Be aware that there are usually a lot of muggles out there and you need that extra distance to stop in time. Also just getting in and out of the geocache-mobile can be a possible hazard so watch your step. Always be mindful of what could happen if your transportation suddenly runs down. Do you have blankets for everyone just in case?

Geocaching on the Open Roads
As much as we geocachers take for granted our vehicles while geocaching some real consideration and planning needs to be done if you are going into areas where there are not that many people around. Some areas are prone to snow drifts and can cause you to get trapped miles from the nearest help. Let's face it, a lot of us don't even think twice going into extreme conditions when the weather is nice. When you are playing with the dangers of winter it is a whole other ball game. So please be sure you have all the necessary items in your car to keep you and your family dry, warm and nourished if something unexpected happens. Remember that all too handy cell phone may not have signal as you go further away from cities and towns. Get stuck and you may be looking at a long walk back. Did you remember your boots?

Winter in the Woods
So the roads are pretty good today and you decide to do some geocaching in the woods. The scenery is amazing and you plan on spending quality time outdoors all day. Sounds great and quite frankly I wish I was there with you but did you consider what to do if something unfortunate happens? A simple 2-3 mile hike in the summer may be no big deal but in the harshness of winter an injury or getting lost could be tragic. Unexpected storms could happen with you miles from the car or a twisted ankle at the wrong time can become life threatening so go with the number one rule of geocaching, "be prepared". Okay I know it's the Boy Scout motto but it is a dang good one and needs to be followed...

Here is a few suggestions that are pretty much common sense but it is always good to prepare for the worst.

  • When geocaching in more secluded areas you should:
  • Try not to geocache alone.
  • Allow time to get back before bad weather or darkness is upon you.
  • Let someone know where you went geocaching in case you don't report back.
  • Dress for winter. Just because it is sunny and nice out now doesn't mean it will change.
  • Carry an emergency day pack including:
Dry clothes (especially socks)
Water
Matches
Flashlight
Map and Compass (GPS batteries can go weak in cold weather)
Energy Bars
Day Shell - If you are really on a hike and get snowed in.

Geocaching is a fun and exciting game, sport, obsession for the whole family. It is up to us to take that few extra moments to make sure that we and our loved ones are safe while out there. The last thing we want is to get frostbite or worse while looking for our treasures. Being prepared for what might happen will help us most when it does happen.

Be safe out there.


GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Thursday, December 10, 2009

GeoSnippits on Michigan Magazine Television (RFDTV Network)

GeoSnippits Geocaching Videos has been on Michigan Magazine TV since the fall season of this year and we have been getting some down right amazing feedback. Just in case you didn't know Michigan Magazine TV is seen on the RFDTV Network twice a week in all 50 states and GeoSnippits is a segment shown on each and every episode. The GeoSnippits shown on MMTV are exclusive for the show and not currently shown with the very popular YouTube series. So if you want to see these golden nuggets of information you need to watch Michigan Magazine.

Here is a list of some of the episodes that have already or is about to air this year:
  • The GeoSnippits Pilot Introduction
  • Intro Geocaching 101
  • How to Use A GPS
  • In Search of Small Geocaches
  • Taking The Family Geocaching
  • Travelers an Introduction to Geocoins and Travel Bugs
  • Camaflage Your Own Geocache
  • What's in Your Geocaching Pack?
  • Finding Nanos In West Branch, Michigan
  • Finding an FTF as it Happened
  • Finding a Geocache Using Triangulation
  • Geocaching in Algonac, Michigan
  • Urban Geocaches - coming soon
  • Geocaching With A Friend - coming soon
  • What Will Cause A Geocache To Fail - coming soon
  • Regular Sized Geocaches - coming soon
  • Fire Hydrant Geocache - coming soon
There are tons more episodes coming to MMTV and to a television screen near you!

Michigan Magazine hosted by Barry Stutesman is dedicated to finding the "real" Michigan one will see down the side roads of the state and placing it in the "spotlight". Berry has been traveling Michigan's highways and bi-ways on Michigan Magazine over a decade and has garnered a loyal legion of viewers who, through the program, are themselves discovering adventures in their own backyard!




GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
-------------------------------------------------------
Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

I Blog Therefore I am...

I was asked in a recent interview why I enjoy blogging so much and the answer is simple. If I didn't have blogging as a creative outlet for self expression I would simply explode like a New Years Eve party favor. It is a great way to express my thoughts for those who enjoy reading them. The very cool thing is that there are a whole lot of you out there.. Thanks for being there by the way!

I blog, therefore I am. It is a mission statement for me, a goal that serves a purpose not only for myself but to the benefit of others as well. My passion is Geocaching and there is so much to blog about it. I have been blogging about geocaching for over two years now and there is no end in sight. Not only do I tell all the visual experiences of my adventures but I relay what I have learned and pass it on so others can learn from my successes and failures. Many times with rather comical consequences, ah well, all part of the fun.

So why do I Blog?
As stated above I need a creative outlet and blogging allows me to be me without fear of judgement. Don't like what I write or how I write it? Go someplace else. Don't go away mad, just go away. I write for me and if others find entertaining information or tid-bits from it all the better. I seem to connect with a rather wide range of folks which is great with me. I am not what you would call an eloquent speaker. I tell what is on my mind and in my heart. One reader who I met face to face actually stated "Wow, you really do talk that way". I smiled and said, "Yep, that's me".

What is my target audience?
This took the longest time to figure out because I didn't know what type of reader my craziness would attract. The answer is I am a family style writer. I realized quite quickly that not only did the adult geocaching readers visit my sites but the kids love it too. Once I realized how many younger readers there were I made a pact with myself that this and all my sites were family orientated only. Sure I will slip in a PG-13 photo or comment every once in a while but kids viewing is always a number one importance to me.

How Has GeoSnippits Influenced My Blogging?
My GeoSnippits Videos are yet another creative outlet for me. We now have over forty tutorial videos for the world of geocaching. Those videos are seen literally all around the world. Not only that but I also make exclusive GeoSnippits segments for television. The show it is seen on is Michigan Magazine (RFDTV Network) and is shown in all 50 states twice a week. As far as I am aware right now GeoSnippits is the only regularly shown geocaching show on television. I guess that makes me sort of a pioneer getting the word out about our game, sport, obsession.

My blog is filled with GeoSnippits information. Many times I use my blog to back fill what you see in the GeoSnippits videos. Things that I do not have time to include or to flesh out key points. Even though we do not yet have a blooper reel for GeoSnippits many times you can read about all the behind the scenes things that happen. Always a good read.

So there you have it a bit of background as to why I do what I do when it comes to blogging. It is a fun and needed way for me to express myself through the passing of knowledge. Add in a sprinkling of humor and you end up with something people around the world want to read. Go figure.

See you out on the trails... -HHH



GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
-------------------------------------------------------
Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Sunday, December 6, 2009

GeoSnippits How To Find A Geocache Using Triangulation

It happens to all geocachers no matter how experienced you are. There you are in a fairly heavy wooded area and you are once again playing the "watch the bouncing arrow" game with your GPS unit. That's when you are searching for a geocache and the arrow that shows where you are starts giving really irregular information how far and which direction your geocache actually is. This makes it extremely difficult to find ground zero or the actual true spot where the geocache is supposed to be.

One second it is slightly to the left and 40 feet away then it is slightly to the right and 20 feet away then it is back to the left and 60 feet away.... Aaaaaaahhhhh! Very frustrating.

So how can you possibly narrow down where the geocache actually is? The answer is to use a technique known as Triangulation. The way geocachers use it is by taking two different paths at right angles towards ground zero. The idea is if you attack ground zero from multiple points it will give you a better average to where ground zero resides. Let's go now to the video to help explain it further.

HHH Note: During the video I sometimes refer to a triangularization experiment and others I refer to triangulation. In this I am referring to the same thing. I hope it does not promote any confusion.



If you cannot see the viewer above click here to see the video itself:

So the next time you find yourself playing follow the bouncing arrow and are having
trouble finding that geocache be sure to try out triangulation. You will be glad you did.

GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
-------------------------------------------------------
Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Thursday, December 3, 2009

GeoSnippits Honored By Geocacher Night-Ranger

I was just recently informed about a particular geocache that just published. What was so special about it? The very cool thing about this geocache was that it was based off of a GeoSnippits video.

Yeppers, geocacher Night-Ranger put a really cool cache out and mentioned GeoSnippits right in the description. The geocache is GC21G4G also known as Geosnipe and here is it's description:

"This cache idea is from my new friend Headhardhat! He has a series called geosnippits that is actually very informational about geocaching related activities. One of these snippits showed how to make a very creative cache container that drove cachers crazy! Here is my adaptation of his cache idea. Hope you like it!"

Judging from the logs already there it looks to be a definite favorite for the area. Way to go Night-Ranger and thanks so much for putting out your version of one of our geocache ideas. It is geocachers like you that help make our game, sport, obsession new and interesting.

-HHH

GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Results of the What GPS Brand Do You Want In 2009 Poll

Back around the first of November I put out a poll asking "What GPS Brand Do You Want in 2009?" and after a month is the results that were accumulated.

I find it interesting that the need for GPS units does not seem to be as strong as last year. This may be due to the increase of geocaching applications found on smart phones like the IPhone and the BlackBerry. Even with that I requested in this poll those very apps with minimal request for them. See for yourself.

GPS Brand Wanted 2009
DeLorme 19%

Garmin 63%

Magellan 5%

App for BlackBerry 1%
App for IPhone 12%


If you wish to see what geocachers want for this year's holiday season Click Here.

GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Friday, November 27, 2009

Geocacher Holiday Wishlist 2009



















Well it's that time of year again where all the good little geocachers wait patiently for their latest geocaching goodies to appear on holiday's morn. So this year we asked the geocachers who frequent Geocaching.com's forums what they wanted. I must say the results were surprising and we will show you not only this year's top ten but how it compared to last year. Let's begin.

#10 - Netbook computers. Paperless geocaching is the most popular subject on this blog and netbooks are finally coming into their own. Not only can you have instant access to the Internet your geocaching notes are easily stored. This is the first year netbooks made the top ten.

#9 - Friends to go geocaching with. Not everything on our Holiday Wishlist comes from the store. This year many geocachers asked for friends to come along with them while geocaching.

#8 - Premium Memberships to Geocaching.com. This is another new request this year. What more could a geocacher who is just starting out want than access to Pocket Queries and other services provided with a premium membership.

#7 - A Job. It is sad and unfortunately a sign of the times where a request for a job makes the top ten. I can say from personal experience that this also is a wish I would like to see come true by the end of the year.

#6 (#10 - 2009) - PDA. The need to do paperless geocaching is on the rise and PDAs moved up the list this year. Using applications like Cachemate can really enhance the geocaching experience with the help of a Personal Digital Assistant. Think of all the trees you will save right off the bat.

#5 - Smart Phones. The top two smart phones are IPhones and BlackBerrys. Both have access to multitudes of applications that can be used for on the spot geocaching. Throw in Internet access, real time geocaching information and oh yeah they are really good for making a phone call too makes this wish list item a real keeper.

#4 (#4 - 2009) - GPS Units. Now you would think the number one item that a geocacher would want would be the latest and greatest GPS unit. Once again GPS units remain at the #4 spot with the following points of special interest.
Garmin Oregon's were the most popular pick this year.
Delorme PN-20 and PN-40 came in second

#3 (#7 - 2009) - Cameras. Photography is a huge part of the geocaching experience. We love to show where we have been, what we have found and of course shots of the Travel Bugs we have discovered in our adventures. So it is no real surprise that cameras moved up the list this year. The most popular camera this year has been the Nikon D90. The biggest concern when it comes to the camera of choice is that it is a bit more durable and can take being outside with the possibility of moisture while geocaching.

#2 (#8 - 2009) - Geocache Mobiles. Moving way up in the top ten is the request for better wheels while geocaching. Of course is the request for unlimited gas but it just goes to show that when geocachers wish for something they wish big.

#1 (#1 - 2009) - Time to go Geocaching. For a second year in a row the top spot goes to Time. Funny how these surveys and polls turn out some times. It wasn't the flashiest gizmo or the most expensive thing-a-ma-bob that almost all geocachers asked for. Nope it was to have more time doing geocaching. We live in this always connected, hyper fast, must do more with less society and what we all crave is that blissful few moments of quiet. Sitting next to an ammo box or Lock and Lock box for a quick moment of bliss. Signing a log and rummaging through trade items, travel bugs and the rare geocoin. Noticing the wind as it gently raises the leaves or parts the clouds to expose that valley below. No it's not all the cool toys we love to play with, but the extra time to go out and do what we enjoy the most.

Honorable Mentions go to the following:
Fire Tacks, The Lottery, Geocaching Sticker for Car, A Plastic Detector, Olive Picker, Crystal Ball, Stain Remover for Pants, Mountain Bike.

GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Greatest Form of Flattery...
















I was pleased as punch when my friend geocacher TripCyclone asked if he could post some modifications of my most evil creation HeadHardHat's Evil Ant Hill Geocache. When I create a new geocache for GeoSnippits my intent is to create discussion and for others to take the basic concept and run with it.

The moment I published the GeoSnippits video for Ant Hill Trip was the first to say how cool of a geocache it was and by the way how cool would it be if we did this.... So I am not surprised when he asked to put a post or two on his blog Creative Caches and Containers.

So be sure to click the link below to read all the creative ideas to modify my favorite geocache to fit even better for your style. Enjoy.

Ant Hill Cache



GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Happy Thanksgiving To All
















Wanted to take a few moments and wish all my American readers a Happy Thanksgiving. It is always a bit awkward when talking about holidays because this blog is read all around the world. So for those of you that do not have a reason to celebrate we wish you the best anyway.

For those of us who are eating way too much turkey, potatoes and pumpkin pie. Take a moment to give thanks for our blessings. Especially when times are tough, it is even more important to reflect that of which is important to us.

I want to thank the Big Guy Upstairs who has watched over my family and me. He has always watched my back through the good times and bad. Do not even want to think of a world without him. Thank You Lord!

GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Monday, November 23, 2009

GeoSnippits: Behind The Scenes - Where Did GeoSnippits Come From?















We recently did an interview and was asked: Where did the geosnippits idea come from?

Here was my response:
Back in September of 2008 I was looking at YouTube for some information on Geocaching and quite frankly was not impressed with the quality of the videos themselves. I have a background in Internal Training and thought I could make a simple tutorial about Geocaching. After the first two videos I was flooded with thank yous and a list for future episodes. I had found my niche. As for the name I know I wanted the term "Geo" in the title and YouTube videos are only 10 minutes at most which is not very long. So instead of a complete video I guess it would just be a "Snippet" of one. So it became GeoSnippits. I changed the e to an i in Snippet because I liked how the word looked with SNIPPITS.

Now GeoSnippits are THE most requested geocaching tutorial videos on YouTube. Want to see for yourself put "geocaching tutorial" in the search for You Tube.


GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
-------------------------------------------------------
Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Funny! HeadHardHat Discusses Water In Geocaches

Need a laugh? Will a giggle make your day?

Check out a quick clip from an upcoming GeoSnippits segment for Michigan Magazine TV.

The episode is describing how geocaches can fail. Enjoy.

video

GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
-------------------------------------------------------
Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at

Saturday, November 14, 2009

GeoCaching with Animals - How Do You Do It?

If you have ever seen my GeoPuppy Emily in either my GeoSnippits Videos or on the blogs you know that she loves to walk the trails while I geocache. She is not too keen when I actually stop and start searching for said geocache but loves to walk.

I have found that when I take my geopooch geocaching it changes the experience quite a bit. I have to pay way more attention to her as we drive from geocache to geocache making sure that she doesn't jump out of the car before she is supposed to. I make sure that she frequently has water, food and potty breaks which takes time. Depending on the geocache situation there are other factors such as can she be hurt somehow or run into a critter or other nasty. All in all I feel that I cannot relax as much in my geocaching adventures when my canine best bud is with me and I wondered if other geocachers had the same issues. So of course I asked them on the Geocaching.com forums.

Within a week I received many really nice replies from the forum and below is a summary. I hope you find it helpful.

DOGS

Ticks - When it comes to our canine cachers it is extremely important to make sure they are current on their flea and tick meds. If you geocache in an area where you have to do regular tick checks for yourself then your pooch is more than doubly so. The most common places to look is their paws, groin, leg pits, neck, ears, eyes and nose. Many suggest using repellent instead of the spot-on pesticides. Just watch those vital areas.

Burrs - Same as for ticks. They can be extremely painful and also can transfer into your house after you get home.

Critters - If your geopooch is off the leash be sure to make sure you keep an eye out for snakes and other animals that could hurt your best friend. Skunks, porcupines, snakes, spiders and other pests are out there and you need to be aware of them.

One geocacher wrote in telling about how their dog ran into a porcupine recently. It was off leash and scampering through the woods when it had the encounter. $450.00 dollars later at the vet...

Hunting Vests - Lets face it, when hunting season rolls around wearing an orange vest, hat and possibly hand flares is not a bad idea when geocaching. Same goes for your dog. There are orange vests you can get for your dog to help the Elmer Fudds out there from taking a pot shot at your pooch. Be extra careful geocaching during hunting season.

Doggie Boots - Not the greatest fashion statement but it can make the difference to and a lot less pain for our dogs. You can get shoes or socks for dogs feet. Check your local Pet supply store and save some paws.

Water and Cheeseburgers - For sure water is an absolute must when taking your geodoggie out on the hunt. They get thirsty just like us and keeping a bottle of water and that portable bowl is always a good thing. As far as the cheeseburgers go, my Emily demands them before we head out and I read several other posts saying the same thing ;)

Horses

While investigating animals while geocaching I was pleasantly surprised about the number of geocachers who go out via horseback. The more I thought about it the more I really liked the idea. From what was stated many of the horses love to just go up to the cache area and graze while we are off looking for the geocache. It gives them needed rest breaks and a place to munch.
I can imagine you can have a complete backpack setup to carry more equipment if needed as well.

Snakes or other Dangerous Places -
Just like dogs you also have to be careful of the critters out there when on horseback. Snakes are always a threat on the trails and also are areas where your horse may fall.

CATS

Okay No, I didn't actually receive any posts of people taking their felines geocaching but I did receive several really cool photos of their kitties helping them at home with their geocaching stuff. So honorable mention for the puddy cats.

Summary - Using common sense when taking an animal with you while geocaching is always a good thing. Keeping our pets safe should be our number one concern when out on the trails.

Well I hope some of these suggestions prove useful to you and help your pet have a long and fun time out geocaching.

Oh and if you want to see the actual forum posts which include more photos. You can go here: http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=235372


GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Unusual Signs Found While Geocaching

Back in February of this year I put a posting in the Geocaching.com forums in regards to the image seen above.
The idea was simple, what strange and or bizzarre road signs have you come across while geocaching.

Since then it has received over
22,700 views and just shy of 400 posts.

As you go through the thread itself you get such a smörgåsbord of
different signs that just going from one to the next will make you smile from ear to ear by the time you are
done. Below are some of my faves but if you want to see the thread itself you can go here:

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Winner of the next Darwin Award




















Looks Like One Of My Geocaching Days

















On Second Thought....














GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Saturday, November 7, 2009

You're Welcome Harris Lake County Park

In my humble opinion geocachers are an amazing group of people. It is a community of fellowship that goes way beyond just finding Tupperware in the woods. Geocachers care about the game, sport, obsession which also includes the environment. In other words, the world is our game board and we like ours clean.

Each year we attend CITO events. That's Cache In Trash Out which as a general rule means a geocacher picks up trash while out geocaching. A CITO event brings sometimes hundreds of geocachers and volunteers out to parks and other areas that are in need of cleaning up then we do just that. We take out the trash by the truckloads.

This year I attended several CITO events including one for Harris Lake County Park in North Carolina. We had a great time and when completed I was happy with being able to participate in such a worth while
cause and that would be that. Yet they were not yet finished with us and I was so very pleased to be invited back to attend their 2009 VIP Picnic.

It was so much fun and the food was amazing. There was southern BBQ, Chicken, plus yummy sides and all the fixins'. Then top it off with a heap'n helping of banana pudding for desert. Nummy-nummy.

It was really kinda cool because not only were the geocachers there but many other volunteers that have helped doing events and activities in the park as well. So it was quite nice to mingle with everyone else as well.

There were even prizes given away while everyone was too stuffed to move. It was quite the event and I had a ball attending it. Thanks so much to the Harris Lake County Park Staff for this wonderful time.


GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Sunday, November 1, 2009

When The Weather Sucks, Paint Some Ammo Cans



















The weather in North Carolina has been extremely rainy. This is a far contrast from the 500 year drought we had a couple of years ago. So it appears that mother nature is replenishing the moisture content for the region in spades.

When it is as moist and gloomy as it has been it really shuts down my options. I can't really film any GeoSnippits and catching pneumonia just does not thrill me at the moment. What to do, what to do? Well if you are fortunate enough to have your own garage or very ventilated work space. Why not paint up some geocaches? In fact why not cammi up some ammo cans?

The photo above is the finished product of a very large ammo can I painted earlier this week. It has a primer base, green and brown flat paint over the primer and some textured paint highlights to top it off. This would be perfect for that wooded spot somewhere near you and since this is super sized you can really stock it up. Have you ever considered a large geocache theme like say books, music or DVDs? This particular size can hold a ton of swag and a themed geocache gives the swag an extra purpose.

Here is a link to my GeoSnippits Video: How To Paint Ammo Boxes.




So if you are bored and can't think of something to do. Why not go and get your next fantastic geocaching hides prepped for when the sun comes out and you're ready to get on the trails.


GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Winterizing Your Geocache: The Cold Weather Is Upon Us




















I opened up a rather interesting topic recently in the Geocaching.com forums. Fall has finally come to North Carolina and even though many other states are way past peak autumn colors. It is just now becoming bright and wondrous. Also with the leaf show comes the cooler temps and even though we are mostly in the low 70s right now the nights are crisp. After having to close my bedroom window the cold breeze made me start to wonder about the upcoming winter geocaching. So with the thought of all the Northern States I asked the question about how to winterize a geocache and is it necessary at all.

The responses I received were well rounded which is exactly what I was looking for and after reading the advice given I was able to come to some hopefully helpful conclusions.

To keep a level playing field here lets assume we are talking about geocaching areas where you receive extended periods of snow and below freezing temps. The states like North Carolina (not including the mountains) we normally get a day of snowfall on the ground before it melts. The small ponds MAY get a slushy layer of ice in the coldest week of our winter but that is about it.

Things to consider
If you have ever watched my GeoSnippits geocaching video: What NOT to Hide as a Geocache you will see that cold can be a definite factor when hiding a geocache. One of the key points that was brought up in the discussion is that you have to plan the worst weather conditions for your geocaching hide. In other words it might be sunny and 80 degrees out right now but does your geocaching site get 144 inches of snow in the winter? Is your hide on the ground and potentially can be trapped and/or crushed in ice? In the more spring temps can it be floating in water or washed away in flood? These are very important things to consider when placing your hide.

Cold can do strange things to plastic. I lived most of my life in Michigan so I know all about harsh cold. One of the things my brothers and I did during winter was to take plastic army men and place them in a battle scene on a make shift snow mountain. Then we would take our BB guns and shoot from a distance. In the summer you could shoot the plastic warriors a bunch of times with minimal damage. In the winter they would shatter as if made from glass. Why? The cold made the plastic hard and brittle. Now imagine what happens with your plastic geocache when somebody jabs it with their walking pole. Yep, the lid shatters as if it was shot by a bullet.

So my suggestion for people who live in the colder climates. Forget about using cheap plastic containers for one. They are not waterproof to begin with and the winters will leave you a pile of busted goo by spring time. The more heavy duty and waterproof the geocache the better. I would also suggest putting your geocaches up higher if possible. People are less likely to stick them with a walking pole or to get crushed by the ice.

Final Thoughts
Some things that you may want to consider about your geocaches during winter. Several geocachers mentioned that they change out pens during the winter months to pencils. Why? Apparently the ink can actually freeze breaking the pen. When spring comes you have a nice inky mess in your geocache when it finally melts.

If you hide your geocache during spring and summer months, remember the foliage that so nicely hid your geocache may now be completely gone leaving your hide wide open. You may want to check your geocaches around this time of the year for not only this scenario but for regular maintenance as well.

So depending on your geocaching hide conditions you may want to now consider doing a quick fly by to check on them. Making sure that they survive a winter full of geocaching goodness can save you a bunch of grief and other geocachers finding a cache full of waterlogged goo.

GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Update To TB Wolfgang Von PitterPat

Was just checking on my daughter's Travel Bug 'Wolfgang Von PitterPat" and found out he has some new tags added and some great new pics as it had travelled with the Leave No Trace Travelling Trainers.

I first found Wolfgang with the Leave No Trace crew completely by chance as I was wondering the Internet one day. You can read that article here: Geocaching 101…We Need Your Help

Now there is a Part Deux which furthers the adventures of Wolfgang as he says good-bye and is placed in a new cache within the southwest. Find out what and where with all the information and photos here: Geocaching 101: Part Deux.

I want to thank the Leave No Trace crew for taking such great care of Wolfgang it was greatly appreciated by both myself and my daughter.


GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Sunday, October 25, 2009

NCGO Halloween Bash Howls With Fun

On Friday, 10-22-2009, the eve before the big NCGO Fall Fling. There was a very fun Halloween Bash event.

It had everything a geocacher could want, great food,
fantastic company and some down right creative costumes. Yeah, sure there were earth caches nearby and if you were in town the traditional caches were a plenty to be found. Yet we geocachers love to get together almost as much as we love finding geocaches and boy did we have a blast at Morrow Mountain State Park that night.

The air was crisp like autumn should be and the skies opened up to a fine moon. In the center of everything was a good sized campfire which helped to keep any chills at bay. The sun slowly fell behind the wooded peaks that surrounded us
and the darkened atmosphere of a Halloween Bash was here.

Little goblins danced around as the strange and unusual became the norm. Ketchup bottles chased hot dogs, playing cards were enjoying frosted cupcakes andwe even had a visit from death himself though he was only there for the dinner buffet. A very good time was had by all.

So the next time you are in the woods around Halloween time and the night air is suddenly filled with laughter and the smells of amazing treats. You didn't stumble upon an ancient witches gathering. Chances are you are among friends and the extended family of fellow geocachers having one heck of a time at a geocaching event. Come join us won't you?



GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

HeadHardHat and Daughter Geoness Hit Milestones

It was another really beautiful fall day in North Carolina. The sun was shining and the temps in the upper 70s. Miss Geoness and I wanted to see how many geocaches we could get during today's bright afternoon hours. So off we drove off into geocaching goodness.

Our streak of finds was spot on and we quickly wrote off 22 finds before heading back home. As I added the smileys into our profiles I realized that we both hit milestones today. For Miss Geoness who now has reached 500+ geocaches. As for me I am now over 900 and working on my goal of one thousand. I really wanted to hit it before our Fall Fling event but it just is not to be. At the very least I should get my mark before the end of the year...

See you out on the trails,

HeadHardHat

GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Small World For Wolfgang Von PitterPat

Oh this is just way too cool. A few days ago I was paroozing around the Internet looking at geocaching articles within blogs. I just happened to run across The Travelling Trainers - Leave No Trace Blog and what instantly caught my eye was the photo of a travel bug. It was of a penguin that looked exactly like my daughter Miss Geoness's Wolfgang Von PitterPat.

So I end up writing to the authors and asked if this was indeed Wolfgang. I just received the following email from them:

"Hey HeadHardHat! Yes, the TB in our picture and until this morning in our Subaru is none other than Wolfgang Von PitterPat! Very exciting, tell your daughter that he is doing great and check back soon for more pictures and another blog about Von Pitterpat's adventure with the Subaru/Leave No Trace traveling trainers! "

What a small world.

Now the shot itself is gorgeous and you will have to go to the link below to see their article:
it is well worth the read and you may even help decide where Wolfgang goes next. Check it out!

GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Serendipitous Geocaching Meetup with Wimseyguy
















Have you ever considered how serendipitous life can be sometimes? I mean really, the odds one must face when doing things in life at just the right time or the right place. It boggles the mind how you can just randomly meet.

For example, I took my daughter Miss GeoNess with me today as we went geocaching. That in itself is no big deal but this time I actually planned to go to the Durant Nature Park in northeast Raleigh, NC. There was about twelve geocaches in the area and I really wanted to get them off our list. The weather was definitely on the cool fall side and it looked like it was actually going to rain but we drove out anyways. Just after we found a nice parking spot inside the park I hear those fabled words.

"Daddy, I have to go to the bathroom", my daughter states with a wince.

"We couldn't have mentioned it the past three fast food places we just passed?", I asked with a slight frown.

I knew there was no arguing about the situation. The park didn't have any facilities we could see so I packed everything back up and found a place she could do what she needed to do.

Admittedly I was a little miffed for the time we lost but what are you gunna do? So we went back to the trail head and started hitting the trails in search of geocaches. We found the first ammo box without a hitch and was doing some bushwhacking to the next one to save some time and as we approached I heard in the distance.

"You can put away your GPS its orange", came the voice up ahead. I couldn't make out exactly who it was because of the thickness of the woods we were in at the time but I figured it was a fellow geocacher.

Again I hear, "Lessee, GPS, funny hat, daughter who's carrying film equipment and is on a syndicated TV show. Who could that be"?

I knew we had been made.

As we came closer I recognized my fellow geocaching friend Wimseyguy. The geocaching experience was about to get a bunch more fun. It always is when you meet up with other geocachers and decide to tackle the area together. Long story short we had a great afternoon finding micros in bridges, ammo boxes in large rocks and even Miss Geoness did a balancing act across a huge log to find a Lock 'n Lock box nestled above a creek bed. Real geocaching goodness in my book.

My point to all of this? If Miss Geoness had not caused us to delay our plans we may never have met up with Wimseyguy at all. Funny how those things work out. Just another great example of serendipity in action. Love it.


GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
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Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Official First GeoSnippits DVD Has Been Made

It is almost overwhelming to me sometimes how fast our GeoSnippits video show has grown in just a little over a year. Now in season two we have 40 some odd videos on YouTube seen literally all around the world. Beyond that we also have made weekly exclusive episodes for Michigan Magazine TV (RFD-TV Network). We are featured on websites for corporate products and the geocaching based film FIND ME. In fact, GeoSnippits will be featured on the up coming Special Edition DVD for FIND ME coming soon.

Over the past year I have been asked multiple times if I was going to make GeoSnippits DVDs. I have been so busy with everything else I really haven't had time to even consider what I would make for the first DVD let alone make it. A opportunity came up that changed my mind of making one. Our NCGO (North Carolina Geocaching Organization) is having our largest yearly event known as the Fall Fling coming up this Saturday, October 24th. I was asked by our NCGO president if I could make a GeoSnippits DVD to donate to the silent auction. How could I refuse?

Above is the end result, our first official GeoSnippits DVD - How To Make Your Own Geocaches. It contains eight videos encompassing geocaches from the normal to the evil. All sorts of geocaching goodness.

Here is a list of the videos on the DVD.

GeoSnippits Make Your Own PVC Pipe GeoCache Part One

GeoSnippits Make Your Own PVC Pipe GeoCache Part Two

GeoSnippits Painting Geocaching Ammo Boxes

GeoSnippits Make Your Own Geocache 35mm Container - Tutorial

GeoSnippits Making Your Own Geocache Size Small

GeoSnippits Make Your Own PVC Hydrant Geocache

GeoSnippits HowTo Make Your Own PVC Water Main Geocache

GeoSnippits Howto Make Your Own Evil Ant Hill Geocache


I will be interested to see the reaction from the geocachers at the Fall Fling. Will let you know what I find out.

What are your thoughts about who would best want to purchase GeoSnippits DVDs and why?

GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
http://headhardhat-geocache.blogspot.com/
-------------------------------------------------------
Please don't forget to visit our GeoSnippits Geocaching Tutorial Videos Website at http://www.geosnippits.com