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RudeRat
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 Jul 2008

Posts: 792

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EPMinnesota wrote:
If I remember correctly when we get the new website overhaul there will be a section addressing caching specific to MN. Has there been any progress on the new website?
A lot of content has been created (including a FAQ section), but we are lacking the technical knowledge to get the new site created. We'd love to have a PHP, CSS and Drupal guru volunteer to help us finish it.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5692

PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EPMinnesota wrote:
If I remember correctly when we get the new website overhaul there will be a section addressing caching specific to MN. Has there been any progress on the new website?


So far we've been unable to find someone that has the time and necessary skills to complete the project. We've found people with time, and people with skills, but no people with time and skills.

edit: I see Ruderat already answered this question. Smile
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schmittfamily
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Sep 2012

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had some tonight so I took a swing at a first draft.
My thought is I would post it here so worse case it ends up in the forum search archives.
I don't pretend that I know all the answers so please speak up if something looks incorrect.


Q - I have a general Geocaching question
A - The intention of this FAQ is more specific to MN. General questions should refer to: http://www.geocaching.com/guide/


Q - Are there places in MN I can try geocaching?
A - Hyland Park does have GPSs available on a check out basis for the geocaches in their park: http://www.threeriversparks.org/parks/hyland-lake-park/hyland-visitor-center.aspx


Q - What are the land use conflicts with geocaching?
A - The placer of the geocache is responsible to obtain permission to place a geocache from the land owner. The geocache reviewers do NOT check the placement.

Outdoor activities in Minnesota geocachers should be aware of:

1. Hunting - Hunting is possible in MN from September to February. You should check the DNR website for specific information (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/regulations/hunting/index.html). If there is a metro hunt scheduled you should treat that as a reservation and geocache somewhere else. If a cache is on private hunting land - read the description carefully. Open hunting land is available for hiking during hunting season but wear bright orange and be very respectful of hunters. It is against the law to interfer with a hunter.
2. Cross Country Skiing - Groomed trails are reserved for cross country skiers by law. Do NOT walk on, across, or within 6 feet of a groomed cross country ski trail.
3. ATV Trails and Snowmobile Trails - It is not advisable to hike on these unless specifically stated it is legal
4. Horseback trails - Designated Horseback trails are reserved for horseback riding by law. Do NOT hike on these unless hiking is allowed by signage.
5. Biking Trails - Most biking trails allow hiking


Q - Are there plants in MN geocachers should be aware of?

A - Avoid these plants:

1. Poison Ivy - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxicodendron_radicans
2. Wild Parsnip - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsnip
3. Nettles - http://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/stinging-nettle


Q - Are there animals to avoid in MN geocachers should be aware of?

A - These are the most notable:

1. Mosquitos
2. Ticks
3. Geese - Canadian Geese can be aggressive near their offspring
4. Bears
5. Wolves
6. Rattle snakes - typically bluff regions only


Q - MN specific activities geocachers enjoy?

A - Some to be aware of:

WNC (Week Night Caching) - these are announced on the MNGCA forum and are open. If you are new to geocaching this is a good way to meet people.
MNGCA events - These are typically announced on the forum and published as an event cache. They are open events.
Event Caches - These are published event caches on geocaching.cpm and are open.


Q - How dog friendly is MN?

A - Leashed dogs are allowed in MN State Parks. Cities do vary but most do allow dogs in their parks. If you want a specific city's policies you should check the city's webpage.


Q - Special SWAG considerations in MN geocaches?

A - General SWAG guidelines can be found on geocaching.com. MN will experience freezing temperatures so SWAG items that can freeze should be avoided. The most notable here is pens.


Q - Any logging etiquette geocachers should be aware of?

A - If a cache needs the attention of the reviewers a "Needs Archive" log must be used. This should be used if there is reasonable reason to believe the cache is not in an approved location.
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BobboTeam
Geocacher


Joined: 11 Jun 2006

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

schmittfamily wrote:
Q - Any logging etiquette geocachers should be aware of?

A - If a cache needs the attention of the reviewers a "Needs Archive" log must be used. This should be used if there is reasonable reason to believe the cache is not in an approved location.


First of all, I thank the schmittfamily for taking time to write something out, and also for inviting feedback. The only thing worthy of mention from my perspective is the final piece of your first draft, i.e., logging etiquette.

I can think of several things to say here. First off, perhaps this is an appropriate place to very briefly encourage all geocache logs to be more than just "Found! TFTC!" Contributing a sentence to a log should be encouraged in this context, I think. Everyone loves reading about deer sightings, or any amusing anecdotes on the hunt. Take a few moments to share your experience with others.

Secondly, perhaps this is an appropriate place also to describe the levels of concern for not finding a cache or finding something amiss. Didn't find it, but felt like you didn't give your best? Log a note. Gave it your best and didn't find it? Log a DNF. Gave it your best and found evidence that something was amiss? Or, looked just about everywhere and discover there were four DNFs in a row? Then log a "Needs Maintenance", which brings it to the attention of the cache owner. Cache is missing, known to be destroyed, or the cache owner is known to no longer attend to the cache? Log a "Needs Archive" which brings attention to a reviewer, who will then request more information from the cache owner and/or others before taking additional action.

Thirdly, I think log etiquette suggests that logs should be encouraging to the cache owner as well as other players, and never overly critical. Constructive critique, as well as genuine concerns should be addressed via a private message—unless you are intending to warn other cache hunters of an immediate concern in the cache area, i.e., insects, construction, dangerous conditions (flooding, mudslides, sinkholes, and the like), etc.

Lastly, try not to spoil the fun for others. Don't post photos of, or log details about, a unique cache container or any specifics of the actual hide location. Logs often contain vague and useful hints, but be cautious of making comments that give the hide away too readily. (Example: Say "I needed to improvise a tool of the trade (TOTT) and was able to make the grab" do NOT say "I found a long stick with a forked end which enabled me to lift it down off of that limb")

I'd be delighted it you accept some, all, or none of this for the final FAQ document. Feel free to cut, paste, edit, re-write, excerpt, or ignore any or all of the above. And again, thanks for taking the time.
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PackaDad
Geocacher


Joined: 24 Nov 2011

Posts: 47

PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BobboTeam wrote:



I can think of several things to say here. .....


Very nicely put; IMHO a great summary of log etiquette.
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EPMinnesota
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 13 Apr 2006

Posts: 1944

PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now if we just had someone to do the programming to get it on board... Sad
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5692

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EPMinnesota wrote:
Now if we just had someone to do the programming to get it on board... Sad


We can get the current version on board. We can't get a new site launched at this point, but we can certainly add content to the existing site.

I'm waiting a little bit on this topic to see if others are going to make suggestions to the content or not before I add it to the current site.

At some point schmittfamily will probably want to PM me to let me know that they think it's ready to be posted (ie. not the first draft).
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schmittfamily
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Sep 2012

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was also waiting to see if anyone had any additions/corrections/retractions.
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KRedEP
Geocacher


Joined: 03 Aug 2007

Posts: 784

PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My thoughts:
Great start and I like the thoughts posted by BoboTeam.

The FAQ listing wildlife - maybe some links to helpful info. For example in the past this website has posted info on Ticks: how to dress, chemical options, the value of tick checks, etc

SWAG - no food or otherwise enticing to animals or insects

Logging etiquette - something to the effect of: the CO took the time to give you a nice cache to find. It could be kind to thank the CO for that effort and tell a little about your visit.

When can I hide a cache? It is wise to wait until you have found a wide variety of caches before hiding one yourself so you are comfortable with the many nuances of hiding a cache.

It is understandable that there are many points of view on caching, so I give the above with that in mind.
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BobboTeam
Geocacher


Joined: 11 Jun 2006

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KRedEP wrote:
SWAG - no food or otherwise enticing to animals or insects

Can that be included in bold italics at the top of every page? It boggles my mind when I hike a mile into a park and find an unopened packet of two oreos in the cache. Seriously, who is going to eat a cookie that has been lying in the woods for who knows how long? If the zombie apocalypse arrives, I might consider it. I always wind up CITOing that crap.

KRedEP: I like your comment about recommending some experience finding caches before hiding them. I don't have a specific suggestion, but I think that could be worded more gracefully in a final draft. It is definitely worth including something along those lines. (And also thanks for the kind words.)
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AustinMN
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Mar 2012

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BobboTeam wrote:
KRedEP wrote:
SWAG - no food or otherwise enticing to animals or insects

Can that be included in bold italics at the top of every page? It boggles my mind when I hike a mile into a park and find an unopened packet of two oreos in the cache. Seriously, who is going to eat a cookie that has been lying in the woods for who knows how long? If the zombie apocalypse arrives, I might consider it. I always wind up CITOing that crap.


I found a P&G this weekend with an unopened bottle of water on the ground under it. Based on the comments of the previous finder, it had been there several weeks. Apparently, there are people that need to be told. Rolling Eyes

Austin
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4033

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BobboTeam wrote:
KRedEP wrote:
SWAG - no food or otherwise enticing to animals or insects

Can that be included in bold italics at the top of every page? It boggles my mind when I hike a mile into a park and find an unopened packet of two oreos in the cache. Seriously, who is going to eat a cookie that has been lying in the woods for who knows how long? If the zombie apocalypse arrives, I might consider it. I always wind up CITOing that crap.

KRedEP: I like your comment about recommending some experience finding caches before hiding them. I don't have a specific suggestion, but I think that could be worded more gracefully in a final draft. It is definitely worth including something along those lines. (And also thanks for the kind words.)


I've been caching for eight years and logged approximately 8000 finds and honestly, I've only found food in caches three times that I can remember. I am not saying it's not an important reminder. I am suggesting that it just hasn't been problem, as far as I can tell.
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pfalstad
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Feb 2006

Posts: 1011

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 9:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AustinMN wrote:
BobboTeam wrote:
KRedEP wrote:
SWAG - no food or otherwise enticing to animals or insects

Can that be included in bold italics at the top of every page? It boggles my mind when I hike a mile into a park and find an unopened packet of two oreos in the cache. Seriously, who is going to eat a cookie that has been lying in the woods for who knows how long? If the zombie apocalypse arrives, I might consider it. I always wind up CITOing that crap.


I found a P&G this weekend with an unopened bottle of water on the ground under it. Based on the comments of the previous finder, it had been there several weeks. Apparently, there are people that need to be told. Rolling Eyes

That was probably left there by accident.
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BobboTeam
Geocacher


Joined: 11 Jun 2006

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
BobboTeam wrote:
KRedEP wrote:
SWAG - no food or otherwise enticing to animals or insects

Can that be included in bold italics at the top of every page? It boggles my mind when I hike a mile into a park and find an unopened packet of two oreos in the cache. Seriously, who is going to eat a cookie that has been lying in the woods for who knows how long? If the zombie apocalypse arrives, I might consider it. I always wind up CITOing that crap.

KRedEP: I like your comment about recommending some experience finding caches before hiding them. I don't have a specific suggestion, but I think that could be worded more gracefully in a final draft. It is definitely worth including something along those lines. (And also thanks for the kind words.)


I've been caching for eight years and logged approximately 8000 finds and honestly, I've only found food in caches three times that I can remember. I am not saying it's not an important reminder. I am suggesting that it just hasn't been problem, as far as I can tell.


In the past two months, I have found: one orange dum-dum sucker, one fun pack of two oreos, one jolly rancher (flavor unknown), a tear pack of dry powerade powder, a ricola cough drop, as well as having opened cache containers that clearly and strongly smell of the original contents (vitamins, peanut butter). In the past two months I have logged approximately 300 caches. That is one animal/insect lure in every 60 caches. At least two of those were crawling with ants; and one of those had so many ants on it, I would not be surprised to learn that they had collectively carried it away after I left.

In every case, I have removed the item in question, dropped in into one of the ziplock bags I carry, and then dumped it into the trash receptacle near the trail head.

I agree that the bottle of water was likely an accident. But even so, leaving water on concrete nearby in a parking lot or roadside P&G cache, but not inside is a different thing. My own presumption having come upon such a thing would be to assume that a geocacher had just been there and dashed off to take a phone call or find a portapotty, and I may even have left it there, depending on other circumstances.
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schmittfamily
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Sep 2012

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would estimate we find food in caches at about a 1 out of 50 rate.

We did find one large cache full of scented candles - the lid for that cache had been significantly chewed on.

Last weekend we found a mouth guard in a cache. It was new and still in the wrapper so I guess it is good - but we weren't going to swap for it.
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