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Here's a frequently updated collection of bookmarks of interesting resources on how to make the most of geocaching.Or you can view it as a slide show.

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Tip of the Day 1/6:Choosing a GPSr —tides

In this post on Choosing a GPSr (GPS receiver),we’d like to explain why you may or may not want tides.

You’ll probably never need this information unless you geocache at shorelines where water level is a factor. You don’t want to use a handheld unit designed for land navigation when you’re out at sea. In that case,invest in a specialized system.

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Do you use the tides function? Comment on this post to share!

Tip of the Day 12/30:Choosing a GPSr —interface

In this post on Choosing a GPSr (GPS receiver),we’d like to explain what to look for in an interface when shopping for a GPSr.

There are lots of options here and your choice is a matter of personal preference. We prefer scroll wheels or touch screens. However,the most popular GPSr with avid cachers —the Garmin 60CSx —has neither. It uses a system of buttons and up/down arrows to control the cursor.

Scroll wheels are ideal for one-handed operation,although they’re not very good for entering text. Touch screens are fast and intuitive to use,but they can be a liability when unintended contact with clothing and other object changes the display. The touch screen electronics also tend to make the units more fragile. For text entry,a small keyboard on a touchscreen unit can’t be beat.

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What do you like about the interface on your GPSr? Comment on this post to share!

Tip of the Day 12/23:Choosing a GPSr —screen

In this post on Choosing a GPSr (GPS receiver),we’d like to explain what to look for in a screen when shopping for a GPSr.

Look for a unit with a bright screen that is large enough to deliver detail without making the receiver bulky. Auto navigation units generally excel in this area,but most aren’t waterproof and the screens are easily broken. A resolution of 320×320 pixels is standard on handheld units and should serve most geocaching needs pretty well.

Screen brightness varies widely. You’ll want a GPSr that can be easily read in bright sunlight,so ask retailers to let you take a few units outdoors and test them. As a rule,you’ll want to run battery-powered units at the lowest possible level of brightness in order to conserve battery power,but you need to be able to jack up those lumens when the situation demands it.

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What do you like about the screen on your GPSr? Comment on this post to share!

Tip of the Day 12/20:Swag

In this week’s post for Geo-Jargon Monday,we’ll discuss swag.

Swag is…

Not exclusive to geocaching. Contrary to popular thought,swag is not an acronym,nor is it a recently invented term. The word has been around for several centuries. It has a number of meanings,but the one utilized in geocaching stems from “swag”as referring to stolen or plundered loot. In more modern times,it’s come to mean free promotional items,like those you might get at a trade fair or an expo. Because of this,in a bit of creative reverse-etymology,people have come to say that it’s an acronym for “Stuff We All Get,”which is clever,but wrong. In geocaching,“swag”just means the trade items found in a cache or things that could be used as trade items.

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Thanks to Prime Suspect and his GeoLex,the Lexicon for Geocaching,for the use of these fantastic definitions of all things geocaching!

Got your own tip? Comment on this post to share!

Tip of the Day 12/17:Puzzle caches —ask for help

Find It Friday is taking a turn for the puzzling the next few weeks. We’ve heard from a lot of cachers that they don’t even try puzzle caches because they just don’t know where to start. We’re here to help,as always! We found a great resource on the Geocaching NSW site and Darren Osborne has agreed to let us share it with you.

When all else fails,email the cache owner (or a previous finder) and ask for a hint. Many are keen to see find logs appear in their email inbox,so they are willing to give you a clue or two.

Like with brute force,if you ask a previous finder for help,it is best not to make mention of this in your log as it may upset the hider. Keep it as your “little secret.”

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Thanks so much to Darren Osborne of Geocaching NSW for these helpful hints about puzzle caches!

If you’ve got a tip on how you start to solve puzzle caches,please share it by commenting on this post.

For more info on making your own puzzle cache and links for learning more about puzzle caches,visit Geocaching NSW.

Tip of the Day 12/16:Choosing a GPSr —sun/moon

In this post on Choosing a GPSr (GPS receiver),we’d like to explain why or why not you may consider using sun/moon information.

Standard fare in outdoor units,this features tells you the time of sunset,which is useful information when you’re out in the wild trying to squeeze in one more find.

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How do you use your sun/moon info? Comment on this post to share!

Tip of the Day 12/2:Choosing a GPSr –

Tip of the Day 12/15:Cliff Walking Tips

We’re not proud…sometimes we see a tip on another site that we repost here. Today’s tip is one of those and we’d like to thank the Australian Geocaching Wiki for this list of safety tips when walking and caching along a cliff edge:

Caches placed on or near cliffs can be an exhilarating find! However,caching in these areas can result in serious injury or even death. Here are some guidelines on moving around cliff areas,so that we can avoid this sort of thing happening again:

  1. Always stay at least 2 body-lengths from any cliff edge. This gives you space to fall and slip a bit without going over the edge.
  2. Remember not all cliffs are created equal. Stay even further away from cliffs with overhangs,loose rocks,or lots of vegetation.
  3. NEVER climb a cliff or near-cliff without proper climbing equipment AND training in its use. It’s just too easy to slip or have a piece of rock/plant/soil give way.
  4. When on steep terrain always maintain 3 points of contact (2 feet and a hand or visa versa) with the ground. This helps to keep you stable. Caches hidden where this is mandatory should get a 4 terrain minimum.
  5. Always face the slope when climbing up or down steep ground. You’ve got a lot more control this way.
  6. Always remember:It’s a lot easier to climb up than down. Think about whether you can get down safely before you go up.
  7. If you feel yourself start to slip hug the rock/ground/slope. This gives you more control,a chance to grab something,and helps ensure you don’t land on your head.
  8. There’s often a lot of loose material at the top of cliffs. Be particularly careful when in this situation and maintain even more distance from the cliff edge.
  9. If you do accidentally kick something over the edge of a cliff yell “BELOW!”at the top of your voice. If you’re at the bottom of a cliff and you hear “BELOW!”DON’T LOOK UP! Step in toward the cliff (objects tend the bounce away from the cliff) and cover your head.
  10. There are often scree slopes or rough ground at the base of cliffs. These can be just as nasty to fall from as cliffs,and the material moves a lot more easily. They’re also great places to turn an ankle or knee.
  11. If you’re thinking you might like to get some gear to make things safer when near cliffs PLEASE don’t rock up at the local outdoor store,grab some gear,and start using it. Rock climbing equipment is highly specialised and requires specialised training to be used safely. Contact a professional company for specialist training courses.
  12. GPS:The top of a cliff is no place to be looking at a handheld unit and moving around. Do one or the other,never both. Sit safe and still,work out where north is,wait a minute to get a better signal and then look at where you need to move to. Then,stop looking at the GPS unit and move there safely. When safe,then and only then,look back at the GPS.
  13. GPS:Remember that if you are near a cliff area the reception may be poorer than usual. In these areas refrain from following the arrow,sit,look and think where it might be. Repeat:Don’t look whilst moving.
  14. ROCKS:Unless the cache is in a regular climbing area,it is highly likely the cliff is rarely if ever climbed. In this situation it is MUCH more likely for there to be loose rocks or boulders. Some handholds have turned into massive falling boulders rolling down the hillside and taking out trees. As such,be aware of where fellow geocachers are and don’t stay below them. Also test all handholds whilst allowing (i.e.,other secure tested handholds) for a failure so if it gives away you don’t go down with it.
  15. ROCK TYPE:Around some hills there are sections of crappy loose shale-type rock usually colored grey in nice places for caches. Learn to recognise it and be extremely careful when on it,especially if on a sloping surface. When standing on it it can just slide apart. Examples abound on coasts near the cliff tops as well. For some reason the cuts from this rock seem to infected easily,too.
  16. GROUPS:Please attempt 4+ star terrain caches in groups. If something goes wrong there is someone to directly help and maybe someone to get help and guide help in.
  17. TERRAIN RATING:Please don’t be conservative. Also be consistent compared to other similar caches. Get familiar with caches that have high ratings before putting your own out. Zytheran uses a rating scale based on outcomes if something goes wrong,heaven forbid. In summary,4 star is serious injury,self-rescue possible,4.5 is serious injury,others will rescue you,5 is potential death in recovering the cache (not just being near it).
  18. WARNINGS:Note that not all applications record and display the attributes so always check the original cache page on GC.com if a terrain is a high rating. If there is bush around then the hazards may not be obvious. If the terrain rating is 4+,always read the full information and recent logs.

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Have your own safety tips? Comment on this tip to share!

Tip of the Day 12/13:Lock and Lock

In this week’s post for Geo-Jargon Monday,we’ll discuss the Lock &Lock.

A Lock &Lock is…

A food-storage system that features a recessed,soft-rubber gasket in the lid and a hinged latching mechanism on each edge of the lid,which snaps into the container’s sides. An excellent choice for a geocache container,it comes in a variety of sizes,can be opened and closed more easily than an ammo box,and remains waterproof over time. Its downside is that its plastic surface can be difficult to paint if it requires camouflage. The name “Lock &Lock”is often applied to similar-looking storage products,such as Snapware.

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Thanks to Prime Suspect and his GeoLex,the Lexicon for Geocaching,for the use of these fantastic definitions of all things geocaching!

Got your own tip? Comment on this post to share!

Tip of the Day 12/10:Puzzle caches —brute force

Find It Friday is taking a turn for the puzzling the next few weeks. We’ve heard from a lot of cachers that they don’t even try puzzle caches because they just don’t know where to start. We’re here to help,as always! We found a great resource on the Geocaching NSW site and Darren Osborne has agreed to let us share it with you.

The final method is to search for the geocache without solving the puzzle –known as brute force. Look at a map of the area to identify any logical hiding places within a reasonable distance of the starting coordinates. Read through the logs and closely examine any photos.

Try searching the internet for the GC code and title for clues. If the description includes what looks like phrases or poetry,search for it on the web –it may provide clues to the author or some other pieces of information.

Whatever technique you use,if you find the cache through this method DO NOT mention it in your log. Some puzzle cache owners may feel cheated and decide to delete your log. It may also encourage other future hiders to follow the same path. Remember,the purpose of the puzzle is for people to solve it,not cheat.

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Thanks so much to Darren Osborne of Geocaching NSW for these helpful hints about puzzle caches!

If you’ve got a tip on how you start to solve puzzle caches,please share it by commenting on this post.

Tip of the Day 12/9:Choosing a GPSr —routes

In this post on Choosing a GPSr (GPS receiver),we’d like to explain why or why not you may consider using routes.

This is a very useful option that a lot of GPSr owners don’t use. Some receivers let you specify a sequence of waypoints to visit in the order that you choose. Since this can be arduous to program on a handheld device,you’ll probably want to create these paths on a desktop computer and then download the route to your receiver. This can make your caching trip more efficient,which is a plus if you’re going for a large number of caches.

When they were planning their record-setting 312-cache,24-hour run,the team at GeoWoodstock IV used Microsoft Streets &Trips to optimize their route and then loaded the plan into their GPSr. The record run wouldn’t have been possible without route optimization.

Routes take up memory and some GPSr devices limit their length and detail. Check the capacity of any unit you plan to buy to be sure it can accommodate several miles of programmed routes.

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How do you use your routes? Comment on this post to share!