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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!


GeoCache: I'm NOT Obsessed... Right?
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?
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)
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.


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