Category Archives: GeoCaching

TBH: Final stage of Preparations

The Big Hike (TBH), taking me from Vienna to Mariazell and on to Graz, will start on September 4th, 2012.

Two rooms have been preordered already. The rest will be arranged on the go.

Things to do:

  • charge the phone
  • charge the camera
  • download information for Geocaches along the route (oh wait, the GPS is still in the US … this will have to wait)
  • make sure the plans and route descriptions will be in my backpack
  • start packing.

I’m getting VERY excited now 🙂

One GeoCache intended – two found.

So after picking up our car, we had a rendezvous in Providence: Eric, who had surfed my couch in Summer 2012, after hearing that I was coming to Boston, had suggested Pizza and Geocaching. The pizza was really good (awesome decoration, too), the first geocache was discovered quickly, and as a reward we had frozen yogurt afterwards.

Another hour driving (and some more detours after taking a wrong exit in NYC already) took us to Dorchester, Boston. We stayed with Jason, who is 23 and is working on his PhD in Nuclear Sciences at the MIT. We had planned to go to the Pub around the corner, but ended up having drinks at home.

The next day in the morning, our first stop was Boston Common, to find the Visitor Information Center. On the way, we walked by the Soldiers and Sailors Monument – and found an unexpected geocache: Josef saw the hideout, said “I bet there’s a cache!”, reached in, and got it out. Awesome!

Winter: 1 – Me: 0

There is a GeoCache not too far from my parents’ place back in Tyrol (cache on GC.com). It is located at Frauensee, a lake some way up a mountain. Hiking there takes about 1 hour in Summer. I hiked up there with my parents at least three times in 2011, but never brought a GPS with me (once, because I was being childish and stupidly sulking).

Finally, when I was back home during Christmas Holidays, I managed to take the GPS with me up to the lake, and even had the coordinates saved onto it.

Still, I did not manage to find the cache. Look at the pictures to see why…

If I had looked at the spoiler picture at the end of the cache description, it would have been clear which tree is the right one. But still, I was standing in snow, half frozen on top and powedery below, up to my hip. I guess I’m just a whiny little good-weather city geocacher, then …

Walking and Caching

It did not really go according to plan on Wednesday. Georg couldn’t join us, and wihtout him I did not want to try and go for the multi caches. Still, I could show the people who came along a simple traditional cache. I knew exactly where to find it, so no problem there 🙂

Thursday was a public holiday in Austria, so I decided to spend the afternoon in Baden, a town not far from Vienna. Again, some couchsurfers came along, and one of them is a fellow geocacher, so we decided to also head for some caches. We ended up looking for 3, and finding 2 of them. The third we could not find because we could not get near the coordinates, as there were christmas trees stored on the spot and there was a fence all around.

Walk, talk, and try to find a Geocache!

As my university schedule offers a whole day mostly off on Wednesdays (only Maths from 9 to 10 am), I decided to go for a walk every Wednesday. In order to be more motivated, I told others about it. About a thousand others, as I posted my plans to the Vienna Group.

Now every Wednesday I meet up with some others to have a walk for about one hour, and we change location every time. Like this, I have visited Schönbrunn, Wienerberg and Augarten in the last three weeks. This week, I am planning to go to Prater, and I want to add something else to the Walk and Talk-Meeting: Finding a multi stage geocache. I have already tried once to find it, together with Georg, but we started out too late and it went dark before we were finished. This time, we will start at noon already, so it should be light long enough for us to solve all the riddles.

If anybody wants to join, there is more information available on the CS Meeting Page. I’d love to see you there! If you can’t sign up because you’re not registered on Couchsurfing, just leave a comment.

Owner’s duties

If you’re the “owner” of a geocache, it means you have to take care of it. That’s the reason why usually if you want to publish a geocache far away from your set home location you will receive a message saying “Thanks for the idea, but we prefer non-holiday caches”.

Taking care means to check regularly, or at least after receiving several “Did not find”-logs, if your cache is still situated where it should be, if nothing is broken, if nothing unappropriate was put into the container, or if the logbook is full. Usually things like this will be reported in logs, anyways. Still it is good to check by yourself 😉

Of course, in case the container gets “muggled” (thrown away by non-cachers) or is too destroyed to be simply fixed, you’ll have to replace it. This already happened to several of my caches. Fortunately, my brother is always in the area, so the caches can stay online and active even when I’m not around (as most of the time).

Once this summer, when I was back home, I had a look at one of my caches, situated in the “Industrial Area” of Pflach. It’s a pretty busy cache, so the logbook was full within less then a year. That’s a long time for other areas, but for Reutte, it’s still good 😉

And here are the scans of the logbook:

There are also two funny stories about this cache: The Berlin Craftsman and The Confused Geocachers.

Great Hideouts

In the short time since I started geocaching, I’ve already seen some awesome hiding places and ways of disguising cache containers. Unfortunately, I’ve rarely taken pictures, so you will have to to read my descriptions and try to picture the spots and camouflages yourself 😉

Category: “Why should I hide it?”
There are two geocaches of this category I especially like.
One is called “I love you”, and can be found at the Danube channel. There is no container, but a big graffiti of a
parchment scroll on one of the designated graffiti-walls. Your task: get your name and today’s date onto that scroll.

The other is a cache for premium members only, so no name and no place information … it’s in the Inner City at a bus stop, and also not hidden at all. There’s just this box that looks a bit like a control box, and the log book and trading items are in there. Have fun getting that box from it’s place, because every second about 20 muggels will see you.

Category: “Why should anybody find it without searching for an hour?”
This is great stuff. For example, go to some small street in the old parts of Stockholm, where GPS reception is basically zero, go to a certain house and look for a nano cache (about the size of your pinky’s nail). The hint is: “hinge”. Or, search for a cache of unknown size at dam. The hint: steel beam. There are 7 of them, each about 10 meters long, and reception is bad as hell. In the end, the container turns out to be the casing of a pen, hidden in a hose you had in your hands for 3 times at least.

I think will post some more of these … but at the moment I’m really busy with University. Sorry for that.

The Confused Geocachers

Again, a short story about the Cache at the “Industrial Area” where my mum and brother work. It’s not one single story, but something that happens time and time again and can also be seen in the cache logs on Geocaching.com.

The cache is hidden on the private property of the company my brother and mum are working at. Usually, caches are hidden in public locations, so no trespassing issues can occur. But as the best hiding place in my opinion was right where the cache is hidden, I had to hide it on the private property. And as requested in the rules for hiding geocaches, I do point out in the description that the property can and must be entered.

Still, my mum keeps telling me that people stop in front of the fence, look at their devices and then look up, startled and confused. They search the fence for some minutes, and then some give up, and some overcome their inhibitions and go to the other side of the fence. That’s the ones who will be successful, of course 😉

A recommendation for newbie-cachers: If you don’t bring the full description, you should at least print a list of the caches you want to do, including hints and parts of the description, like “private property can and must be entered”.

The Berlin Craftsman

The geocache owned by me (and my brother), situated at the “Industrial Area” of Pflach, is located right in front of the window to my mom’s office. My brother is working there, too, so I have people around to take care of this cache.

One day, the following log was posted to the cache:

First I did not really want to enter the private property, especially as there were two workers around. One of them, from Berlin judging by his accent, said “I won’t tell you where it’s hidden” – but I still found it. ‘Twas funny!

Logs like this are not rare for this cache, my mom seems to be have nice chats with cachers, too 🙂

Short visit

My brother came to visit a friend in Vienna on Saturday and Sunday. As his friend had lame plans for Saturday (shopping and going to a museum – with the great weather we had!), he agreed on going to Lainzer Tiergarten with me and some couchsurfers.

The plan – which I had not told him fully – was to hike through half of the park, and then have lunch at Hirschgstemm restaurant. This would have taken about 5 hours, but Chris did not want to hike for that long, so we decided to cut it short and took a left back to the entrance where the others took a right. This way, we only walked for about 2.5 hours, but still had the chance to go for 2 geocaches I already knew.

Back at Georg’s place, who did not join because he had hurt his foot the night before, we changed and then went for lunch all together. Afterwards, Georg went home again and we continued to search for some geocaches. As I already found pretty every traditional geocache around Mariahilfer Strasse, we did not have much need of Chris’ new GPS.

Within another 2 hours, we had followed Mariahilfer Strasse until MQ, went on to Heldenplatz, from there to Rathaus and, following the Ring southwards, back to Museumsquartier. Besides of showing him all the geocaches I know in that area, I also had the chance of giving Chris a short sight seeing tour which he very much liked (at least he told me so). For Saturday evening he already had plans with his friends, so we parted in late afternoon.

Hopefully he will have lots of time to visit again during Winter, so we can do some more walks like this and also visit some museums together 🙂