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Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06
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dutch53
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PostPosted: Jan 15, 2006 9:56 pm    Post subject: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

To the Board Members of MBGA and all that participated in the article - Thanks!  It was good to get this morning and read about our great sport/hobby or ours.  The article was well written and in my opinion explained geocaching to the those who would not know about geocaching.  It has already gotten people out to try it.  My Red Oak Micro cache was visited and logged this morning by a reader and his/her daughter and they were out again looking for the next.  Once again "Thanks!"



 



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TurdleEggs



Joined: 31 Jul 2005
Posts: 687
Location: Ste Genevieve

PostPosted: Jan 16, 2006 3:08 pm    Post subject: RE: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

That was a great article in the Free Press! I think it paints a pretty accurate picture of what GeoCaching is all about. Iím sure plenty of people will be intrigued. Great work MI, Dani, 1Q4J and any other contributors.

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MHz



Joined: 20 Apr 2005
Posts: 287
Location: Morris

PostPosted: Jan 16, 2006 3:28 pm    Post subject: RE: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

Great article! Thanks to all who contributed to it! I'm sure there will be many who will start into the hobby now as there was with the last article that Great Dane contributed to. MHz

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polarbeardiggers



Joined: 22 Mar 2005
Posts: 52
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Jan 16, 2006 5:48 pm    Post subject: RE: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

The idea of the free press doing a article about geocaching is great,it brings out new cachers to the sport,and teaches people to enjoy the outdoors in a more light hearted way with alittle educational twist,i thought the article was good in general but seemed to miss a few points of interest,sure it named a few cachers,mine as well,which is great having your psuedonym named mentioned, but what about our own manitoba's highest finder being peter @gloria ,,sure mentioning a once resident of manitoba and her high numbers,but being a mbga committee member and highest current finds surely deserved a bit of recognition, that being said my two pet peeves, i quote " Geocachers have several various ways to distract people's attention.for example,if male geocachers are caught searching around in a bush, they will pretend to be urinating." dam i found that offensive,,surely they could of come up with better idea's,i'm afraid to ask what a female would do, this is what we want john q public to think of cachers that we pretend to pee in parks and play grounds if were spied upon while searching,who gave him that stupid idea, pointing at something of interest,like birds,pretending to have lost something,or seeing a pretty rabbit,would of sounded better,but pretending to pee in public grounds,mbga could of done better than that,no mention that we cache and trash out that we support clean enviroments,low impact on forest,without destroying public land like sungold seekers, my second pet peeve is why would anyone advertise your real name telling all freepress readers that you have on your person a underground banned from canada ,and the title of that particular book,,. all in all advertisement does help the sport but a positive spin could of helped alot better,i saw nothing other than it promotes family unity,thats my two cents.

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dani_carriere



Joined: 04 Feb 2005
Posts: 504
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Jan 16, 2006 6:22 pm    Post subject: RE: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

Hi guys!   As of 10AM this morning, we have had 29 more member applications as the result of this article, and a handful more inquiries about purchasing GPS units.



Being one of the interviewees, I did notice a couple discrepancies between what I said, and what I was quoted, but nothing too much.  I don't know where the peeing quote came from.   My only concern was the quoting of the co-ordinates of a geocache.  Was it a fictional cache, or a real one.



I have had several people in my office stop by to say they read the article and were surprised with it's size and the number of people interested in the hobby.



Aside from the occasional offhanded statement, I think this was a very well researched and well thoughtout article and will go a long way to get geocaching out there.



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1Queenand4Jokers



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 270
Location: Manitoba

PostPosted: Jan 16, 2006 11:10 pm    Post subject: RE: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

The peeing quote was definitely not from us...we never use that - always photographing something or each other or talking on the cell-phone. Ah well - it certainly made it all sound exciting with the arrests and all! Good stories but perhaps focusing on the very extreme adventures (which we all like to do!) The biggest challenge my kid's got in school was that geocaching is NOT a sport . (though the critics have never hiked for a cache ever) We told the boys to be amused about it. In my mind and defense it does qualify as a recreational sport just as does rock-climbing, mountain biking, golf, table tennis, hiking etc.

I know in my interview I strictly focused on caching as a family activity and as far as I know I didn't mention any names or caches in particular just as a caution. Our article was a fair representation of our interview. I just can't believe that geocaching made the front page. I hope people investigate further with our websites etc. That is the second best way other than being introduced to it by other cachers. This article was better than the Sun's in that it was more vague as to cache locations. It was more graphic in regards to the adventures of MI which are intriguing! I liked the way it began too. Very captivating.

Was MI actually arrested or was he just questioned? Perhaps a little additional clarification would be nice in a letter to the editor. There is a difference between the two. Also the emphasis that we only hide on publc properties or with express permission on private lands would have been nice. But they can read that if they do the research which we've all had to do! We do like the intelligent people to be drawn to this game. Caching is as much of a sport or an adventure as you make it! Cache ON!!!!

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lizardo



Joined: 02 Sep 2005
Posts: 497
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Jan 17, 2006 3:29 am    Post subject: RE: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

This is really great!  I have had no run-ins with the law personally, but way to go Gumpy!  And if it were Gump that used the "urinating as a diversion" tactic, I can't say I'm surprised that he has been arrested. 



I think that the mention of the cachers pseudonyms was to illustrate the anonymity of the sport, not recognition of acheivement.  It would have been nice to make mention of the most prolific cachers in the Province, I agree.  P&G have been helpful to me as a new cacher and I am sure they will continue to do so for other new players. 



Thanks to all of the contributors. And to 1Q&4J,  as a caching family ourselves, we could relate to your story. 



I'm looking forward to meeting some new cachers.  Even if they are peeing on a bush.



Lizardo



  



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Master Instigator



Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 20
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Jan 17, 2006 2:44 pm    Post subject: RE: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

Man Oh Man!!  All I have to say is that when I read the paper in the future I will now be a little more skeptical about what is written.  There is a lot of stuff that I said but not in that context.  First about Untouchable he asked if I used a machete, I said no, but it's in the article.  Second I said I got pulled over and questioned in the states about geocaching and in the article I got arrested?  We did Peters cache in birds hill close to the ski trail and it was a very busy day so I said as a joke "if anyone comes around I can always pretend that I am taking a pee" and he wrote it down and I said "don't put that in there" because I have never done it myself and he said "Ok I won'tĒ But he did.  There was a lot of good stuff that he didn't focus on in the article and stuff that was exaggerated in it.  But over all the article is bringing a lot of attention to geocaching and will hopefully bring some new blood and new adventures to our caching future. 

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MHz



Joined: 20 Apr 2005
Posts: 287
Location: Morris

PostPosted: Jan 17, 2006 3:14 pm    Post subject: RE: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

I've taken the Public Information course from EMO (Emergency Measures) and there was one thing they emphasized over and over again. "When talking to reporters, Think about what your going to say, stick to the topic and never say anything you don't want quoted! "



Ever since I took that course, I've picked out errors in all sorts of news reports. I'm not at all surprised it happened in this article too.



All in all I think the good from the article way over rules the minor problems with it.



Good job! MHz

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TurdleEggs



Joined: 31 Jul 2005
Posts: 687
Location: Ste Genevieve

PostPosted: Jan 17, 2006 3:45 pm    Post subject: RE: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

I enjoyed the article - It made GeoCaching sound like adventures for normal people. I thought the Free Press did a great job portraying it as a fun recreational activity. I think newspapers are more about entertainment than facts, and Bill Redekop knows his readership. Iím sure he recognizes that readers enjoy entertaining tales, funny pseudonyms and the exotic allure of a Manitoba Geocacher in to New York. The milestones and personal achievements that we as individuals have made are appreciated and recognized by our peers, but probably not as much interest to the general reader. Iíve no doubt that the article will attract more interest to the recreational activity of GeoCaching in Manitoba and thatís good for all of us! As a bonus, I can now prepare properly for The Untouchable



It looks like at least one new cacher has already gone out and found the Bur Oak cache whose coordinates were listed in the article. That was a good choice to send a first time cacher to.



The peeing in the bush diversion is a classic! But it doesnít work so well in the city



If weíre plugging web sites, thereís also an excellent GPS web store right here in Minnedosa called Prairie Geomatics at http://www.prairie.mb.ca/. Theyíve probably got some of the best deals around and offer good support too.



-- Edited by TurdleEggs at 09:50, 2006-01-17

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polarbeardiggers



Joined: 22 Mar 2005
Posts: 52
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Jan 17, 2006 4:38 pm    Post subject: RE: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

As caching goes, we the PolarBearDiggers don't carry any weapons,other than

our ferocious claws,( weapons of choice) as for marking our territory, I hope cachers

do not think we pee in bushes, or leave droppings around like Polish Warrior has accused

us in the past. Fear us yes.,but don't hate us, we are cute and furry, and we are loud,

but our bite is soft. We will attack any ex-con weapon carrying-bush peeing cacher-with

a gimp,.

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1Queenand4Jokers



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 270
Location: Manitoba

PostPosted: Jan 18, 2006 5:30 pm    Post subject: RE: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

I ran into some people at a restaurant out caching yesterday that saw the GPS I was carrying and they referred to the Free Press article and were enthused about trying it now so obviously this guy does know his readership!! Page 1 was actually excellent writing to capture people. And as for writing a factual article without some spin it is almost impossible. I do a lot of interviewing of others and what I hear (what interests me) and what they say are often quite different. Spin is hard to avoid. We've had good response in our local community to it from a lot of middle aged (no kids at home) couples looking for adventure! I guess us Canadians look tame but deep within us beats the heart of the wild and free! (Or sneaky) I have to admit those who told me they were interested caught me off guard - they look like such tame folks but don't we all.



Have you noticed the clickable link on the geocaching website leads you to an off limits Free Press? Come on lets have the complete text published here for those who missed it. Can we do that? A scan or something? You can leave out the pics...

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1Queenand4Jokers



Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 270
Location: Manitoba

PostPosted: Jan 18, 2006 5:34 pm    Post subject: FREE PRESS ARTICLE Reply with quote

Hide and seek



Geocaching fans take to the streets and wilds to hunt hidden 'treasure'



Sunday, January 15th, 2006



BILL REDEKOP





N50/W096 -- The Master Instigator drove an all-terrain vehicle to the end of the trail, then kayaked a creek until he grounded on an esker.

He ditched the kayak, used a machete to traverse dense bush, then waded through several deep, mosquito-infested swamps ("It kills your quad muscles," he said), until he reached an uninhabited lake on the Manitoba-Ontario border.



He stripped down and swam 300 metres to an island (using a life-jacket). There he hid what he boasted on the Internet was "The Untouchable," a geocache no one would ever find.



Three weeks later, the Stuntman e-mailed back. Ha-Ha. Found it! Nyah Nyah.





IT'S called geocaching, and the people who play it, more than 400 Manitobans already, are bonafide crazy. They are ripping around the province either looking for geocache treasures or stashing them and posting clues on the Internet.



Geocaches are everywhere. They are hidden at Portage and Main, on the Legislative Building grounds, at Fort Whyte Centre, La Barriere Park, Pembina Hills, Brandon Hills, the Yellowhead Highway, provincial parks, on islands, in forests, and on nature trails like the Mantario Trail. There are geocaches across Canada, and in 217 countries in total.



Not bad for a pastime that started just five years ago.



The co-ordinates in the place name above are for a relatively easy geocache found in Birds Hill Provincial Park. The full co-ordinates are North 50.00.590 degrees latitude, and West 96.55.555 degrees longitude.



Anyone can play, provided you have a GPS (global positioning system) receiver. In recent years, GPS receivers have gone way down in price, and way up in accuracy. A family of five, who go by the name One Queen and Four Jokers (geocachers use pseudonyms to conceal their identity), use a relatively cheap $150 GPS.



"We've used that $150 GPS to find our first 400 geocaches. We're at 452 now. We're headed for 500," the Queen said in an interview.



It's one way to spot a geocacher: people wandering the streets, or backroads, or nature trails, or forests, looking down at a little hand-held gizmo.



You can't tell a geocacher otherwise. They are young people, retirees, families, professional people, trades people, farmers, office workers, self-described hippies, computer techs, etc.



The sport was originally a military exercise.



The Americans put up the satellites that send the signals that GPS receivers use, and their main function was military. The signals were scrambled for civilian GPS use, limiting accuracy to within 100 metres.



In 2000, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed a bill to unscramble the signals.



Within days, someone in Portland, Oregon, had the bright idea to hide a water-tight container full of trinkets and a log book, and post its co-ordinates on the Internet. Someone found it within two days. Geocaching was born.



In 2002, there were 40 geocaches in Manitoba. Today, there are 421, and counting. About half are in the city, but a growing number are in the countryside.



Geocaches are hidden in cemeteries, birdhouses, under park benches, inside lamp posts, taped to the back of billboards, under bridges, wedged between public signs, in tree hollows and stumps and fallen trees, up trees, and under rocks. Some people use magnets to attach caches. One ingenious geocache is inside the casing of a gutted outdoor plug.



People often use camouflage tape to hide their geocaches on the ground.



"It's a rite of passage to buy your first roll of duck tape. It's not duct tape, it's duck tape," said Dani Carriere, vice-president of the Manitoba Geocachers Association (MBGA), and a software developer by day.



All geocaches must be approved by the association. One criteria is that a geocache must be where the person who hid it can maintain it.



Each geocache contains the same type of "treasures" as that first cache in Oregon: some dollar store toys and trinkets, and a logbook for finders to sign. Finders bring with them tradeable items to leave behind so the geocache is always replenished. Some items found in geocaches in Birds Hill Provincial Park (it has about 20 geocaches) included Q-tip-like cosmetic swabs, playing cards, key chains, toy cars, a rubber insect, a Canadian flag, etc.



The insides of geocaches have to stay dry so they are usually in Tupperware containers, old tobacco tins, or new lock-style containers with locking clips on four sides.



Daniel Kananowicz is president of the Manitoba Geocaching Association (MBGA). Its website is www.mbgeocaching.ca



Kananowicz's alias is the Master Instigator. He is also Gumpy. He used two names to throw off other geocachers but was eventually found out.



Geocachers use pseudonyms because most people don't want their names posted on the Internet. Some local handles are The Old Bat, TLC (Totally Lost and Confused), Capt. Kirk, BMWer, Winnipeg5, Megahertz, polarbeardiggers, and 1Q4J.



Then there's Jungle Hair, a living legend among geocachers -- a Manitoba woman living in New York who has found over 1,400 geocaches.



It's only when geocachers hold an association meeting that they actually get to meet each other -- and maybe learn real names. "It's a very casual association," said Carriere.



Kananowicz has been arrested twice for geocaching, both times in Atlanta, Georgia, on the same business trip. The first night, he was hunting for a geocache in a cemetery and landed in the back of a police cruiser facing two very skeptical officers. "They'd never heard of geocaching," he said.



Undeterred, he set out to look for a geocache the next night, albeit in a less conspicuous neighbourhood. Again, he was picked up by police.



"The only time I've had anything like that happen was in Georgia," he said.



Kananowicz has found 250 geocaches. Someone recently gave him an underground book, not found on the Internet, to feed his geocaching obsession called How to Hide Illegal Things.



For a period in his life, he would turn on his computer every day around suppertime, when most people get home from work and are most likely to enter new geocaches. As soon as a new geocache popped up on the geocaching website, he'd be out the door.



It's a great race. The first person to a new geocache gets the First-to-Find Certificate inside. Kananowicz has nabbed 48 certificates, often with the aid of a flashlight. "I used to do a lot of geocaching in the dark," he said.



Now, many geocachers get new geocaches e-mailed directly to their cellphones or their Blackberries.



"The experiences you have... it's about taking you to places you wouldn't normally know about," said the Master Instigator.



On a trip to Flin Flon, Kananowicz kayaked 40 kilometres on Kississing Lake on a rainy day, looking for two geocaches on two islands. He never found them.



That's a problem for geocachers. People who don't know about the sport will sometimes take away a geocache, not knowing what it is, or discard it, or leave it out in the open. One family has gone to about a dozen sites only to find the geocache missing, a major disappointment after a lot of time and effort.



So the Manitoba Geocaching Association urges geocachers to not let other people see them make a discovery. Be circumspect, and don't show emotion when finding a geocache, when other people are near.



Geocachers have several various ways to distract peoples' attention. For example, if male geocachers are caught searching around in the bush, they will pretend to be urinating.



Geocaches are rated according to difficulty, with a 1 being easiest, and 5.5 the hardest, and give some indication if they are suitable for winter geocaching.



Winter-friendly geocaches posted at geocaching.com, under Hide and Seek a Cache, have a snowflake icon.



People hike, snowshoe and cross-country ski to find caches. Only a few geocaches require all-terrain vehicles.



bill.redekop@freepress.mb.ca



GPS Info

Global positioning system receivers have come down in price, and gone up in accuracy. Here is some information on GPS receivers for geocaching:



GPS is a navigation system made up of 24 satellites put in orbit by the U.S. Department of Defence.

GPS receivers can be purchased at outfitter stores like SIR, Army Navy Surplus, and Mountain Equipment Co-op, as well as Canadian Tire and even Wal-Mart. Outfitters tend to have knowledgeable staff.

There are no subscription fees.

There are two main makers of GPS: Garmin and Magellan. "People either use one or the other, and don't like the other one," said Dani Carriere, Manitoba Geocaching Association vice-president.

A $100 GPS can get you within five metres of a geocache. A $300 GPS can put you within two to three metres, said Carriere.

A waterproof GPS is recommended if you like canoeing or boating.

If your GPS receiver cannot receive clear, strong signals from the GPS satellites, many things can block or distort the signals including dense bush, tall buildings and metal structures.

Low-priced GPS receivers that run on triple A batteries can go through a lot of batteries in a hurry. Geocachers recommend receivers that use double A batteries.

information is available on the website gpscentral.ca





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FACTS ABOUT GEOCACHING







There are about 400 geocachers in Manitoba, and their numbers are quickly rising. About 70 people registered in December alone.

There are many books available on geocaching, including The Complete Idiot's Guide to Geocaching and Geocaching For Dummies.

Most caches may be a few hundred feet from a road, others require hiking. The longest hike for Manitoba geocaches, except for extreme geocaches, is three kilometres.

To find geocache co-ordinates, see geocaching.com; the local association is at mbgeocaching.ca

Geocaches are not allowed in Riding Mountain National Park. The national park system's motto is leave only your footprints behind, and that rules out stashing geocaches. However, one is designed so geocachers must go around the park to collect a geocache located just outside.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


© 2006 Winnipeg Free Press. All Rights Reserved.

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ThreeTs



Joined: 29 Sep 2005
Posts: 192
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Jan 18, 2006 7:58 pm    Post subject: RE: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

I see this time gc.com has put us up in lights on their media page.  There's a link to the article from there as well.  If memory serves me as correct, the last time geocaching was in the news here in our neck of the woods, they didn't put it up.  Kudos to everyone involved in the article!

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TheStuntman
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PostPosted: Jan 19, 2006 1:30 am    Post subject: RE: Free Press Article Jan 15 - 06 Reply with quote

Hey M.I. great article. I also want to say thanks for the Honorable mention. I think what I said was "I got my wet hands all over your Untouchable cache."



WOW, this sure has drawn some attention from other wanna-be treasure hunters. You may want to consider coming out of your hiatus. I can see the number of caches reaching close to a thousand by this time next year.



Did anyone else feel that the article was cut short, or was a bit vague?



Again way to go MBGA.



The-Stuntman



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