Archived Caches in Gatineau Park

Well, it seems to have started happening.  Caches being archived, in the name of conservation.

The initiative to archive Geocaches in Gatineau Park due the the National Capital Commission’s (NCC) Gatineau Park Ecosystem Conservation plan has finally happened.

 

In the past couple of  weeks, I have seen many caches being archived by their owners, so that we may preserve Gatineau Park’s more ecologically sensitive areas.

Which is a really good idea.  However, for the geocaching world this is quite the loss.

Gatineau Park is a wedge of land that is administered by that National Capital Commission.  The land area covers 363 km² (89 699.3 acres), just west of the the Gatineau River, east of the Ottawa river.

It remains the only Federal park outside of the Rocky Mountains that is not recognized as a National Park.

Over 300 caches are to be archived in all of the Gatineau Park area.

But it’s not as bad as it seems:

“The National Capital Commission (NCC) wishes to control Geocaching in the Gatineau Park.  Therefore, it is currently setting a procedure for caches within its territory, and is asking geocachers to archive all caches in the park.  They are requesting the cooperation of concerned geocachers to pick up all the containers.”

They wish to control Geocaching within Gatineau Park through an approval process, of which has not yet been discussed with local reviewers or Groundspeak (The head corporation that runs geocaching.com)  They claim that they will be following Parks Canada Guidelines as to the placement of geocaches in the park.

While it is important to preserve the natural heritage of this park, in my humble opinion and a few others, it is not necessary to have all of them archived, but they should be reviewed and choose which are the more sensitive areas to have caches archived.

This does  remind of an area in Aiken, SC that has curbed geocaching within it’s boundaries.  The area, while extremely beautiful, the Hitchcock Woods Foundation has asked the local reviewer that only 3 caches at a time (including earthcaches) are to be placed in all 20 acres of Hitchcock Woods.

Read more at GeoNarcissa’s blog, Gordon Dewis’s blog and the National Capital Commission webpage.

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Geocoins/Travelbugs

And good day to you folks that are reading my blog page.

I am currently sitting here on my computer, going through all my travellers (geocoins, travelbugs, etc.) on geocaching.com (when I should be sleeping :-)).

What is a Geocoin?

Well, basically, it’s a coin, that’s either made of metal or wood (mostly metal), that is minted like a medallion, military challenge coin, etc., for the use of geocaching.  These coins will have tracking number on it.

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What is a Travelbug?

Similar to a Geocoin, it’s an item that had what’s called a Travelbug Dog Tag attached to it.  This dog tag has a tracking number on it as well.

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What do I do when I find one?

Well, you go to geocaching.com and you can do one of several things with it; Retrieve it “from its’ current location”; Grab it from elsewhere (if its’ currently location wasn’t posted properly), Discover it (if you don’t plan on taking it or if someone else wants to take it), or Write a Note about it (this is used alot if the coin isn’t in the current cache and the last finder of the cache suggests to mark it as lost).

Where do I get one?

Oh gosh, there’s plenty of places to get one.  Local geocachers are good about selling/giving you one, you can go to Landsharkz website, my friend Derek Wong aka Ozymandiasism (be aware, that his inventory has not been update as he is moving his webhost) has a website as well for selling geocoins, there’s even a forum on groundspeak.com that cachers announce new geocoins, do a google search on GEOCOINS and you’ll find some somewhere.

image Mudlark teaching My Pal Signal, travelbug, how to read a GPS.

Once in a while, I’ll go through all my travellers and look at there progress.

Currently, my Beta Frog – Signal Geocoin – May 06 has the most mileage on it (25,130 km, 15,615.058 061 miles).

Followed by, Friends, North and South (CSRA) (17,020 km; 10,575 miles), 2006 Canadian Geocoin (16,521 km; 10,265 miles), and World Flower II – Bauhinia (15,782 km; 9,806 miles).

I also go and double check who’s been holding onto my travellers for a bit too long and send them a friendly message to place it at their earliest convenience.

I usually will give them a couple of months before I send them a message.  It’s not uncommon for someone to hold onto a traveller for a bit.  Especially if they are on holidays and haven’t had a chance to log the retrieval or placement.

However, on this note, there are several people that have held onto my travellers for a couple of years.  These people probably wasn’t certain what a traveller is, took it as a trade item and never thought twice about it.  Or the probably got busy with life and never got back into geocaching.

The sad side on this, is that there is reports of coin thieves out there.  The constantly monitor some caches and when they see a valuable geocoin (at least to them), they will go out and steal the coin, then either keep them for their private collection or sell them on Ebay.

While this is annoying, unfortunately, it is the risks we take when we send these precious beautiful coins out into the world.

To date, I have had to mark 19 of my 39 travellers as “Stolen” or “Missing in Action”.  One actually surprised me and came back into action a while back.

I’m not going to get into how to make a geocoin, since I have never made on, but I know it’s a long process, especially when you’re trying to design one that’ll please everyone (especially for a group of cachers).

That’s it for now… keep on cachin’!

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