Thursday, February 12, 2015

Winter Tip: Thank you, Mr. SmartyPants!

Still winter streaking – less than 3 weeks away from my 3-year anniversary of cache-a-days (CaDs).  I had mentioned previously that if I’m desperate for a winter-friendly cache I will check out the recent finds of other streakers to see what they’ve grabbed.  Their logs are pretty informative. The problem with that is if they’ve streaked for awhile, they’re hunting further and further afield so their finds might not be in my area.

GeoDog Gucci was dressed for the weather
SE MiGO Event 02/11/14

One way to overcome the “winter struggles” is to attend events.  First, for the smiley.  And, secondly, for a slap to the side of the head.  You experience the latter when someone makes a common-sense suggestion, and you realize you should’ve thought of that.  But sometimes old dogs get set in their ways……

I was sitting across from Ben of TheGrundalows (note the capitol T – see?  I can learn a new trick!)  We were talking about our recent escapades of caching in Michigan’s winter.  On the plus side, recently-visited caches will have footprints leading you right to the find.  On the down side, the footprints are normally in several feet of snow.

He said one of the tools he uses in planning for his grid-filler is by running a pocket query.  Ok, this made me curious – I run them all the time.  However, when you do something over and over, using the same defaults, you sometimes forget your options.

Ben will run a query of caches found within the last 7 days – our last major snowstorm was 12 days ago.  AHA! Lightbulb!

Section of the Pocket Query form

No need to stalk other streakers – I can let the system do the filtering.  And let’s not forget the handy terrain, type and distance filters.  Wow.  It’s all right there.  Maybe that’s an advantage to the recent changes to the website – I have to re-learn it each time.

This handy right now – today’s “feel like” is -7° with wind gusts up to 20-30 mph with chance of snow.  Time to earn my geocaching hat again.

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