Monday, August 2, 2010

Pack 401 Geocaching Event

On Sunday, August 1 Pack 401 held a "Introduction to Geocaching" event at our Chartered Organization, First United Methodist Church in Houma, Louisiana.

Over 40 attendees used GPS units to find 11 caches hidden throughout the area surrounding the search. Geocachers Bamboozle, 4aclan and Owlman4a were in attendance and shared their love of the game and years of knowledge.

If you're in the Houma area, be on the lookout for an upcoming Event Cache featuring the Scouts.

Photos of the event

Monday, June 14, 2010

Our first two hides are up and running!

Our first two hides are officially up and running. The first is called "Gah-Zee-Beaux" (for you non-Cajuns, that's pronounced Gazebo). This one gave us a bit of a problem since i published the WRONG coordinates (blame my dyscalculia), but we are in the process of updating the coordinates. Even with the problem, two finds were made yesterday based on the name and the players' knowledge of the area. It's a small container, large enough to trade small items.

The second is called "Queen Anne's Lace" and it went off without a hitch. This one we placed after visiting a nice little Butterfly garden here in town.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Etiquette of finding, logging and hiding Geocaches

As a n00b (or newbie, or novice, or greenhorn) to Geocaching, i spent a lot of time in the forums on both and trying to find out what makes these Geocachers "tick" and what sort of behaviors to avoid.

If you are a new Geocacher, reading the following tips may help you avoid any Geocaching mistakes. On the Louisiana Geocaching forums, this turned into a project to collect the list of suggestions into what we've come to call:


  1. If your coordinates are telling you that the geocache is in a place that seems dangerous (like having to scale a fence or down a sheer cliff) you should abort! Either there is another way to get to the geocache, or the coordinates are bad.
  2. This is a family friendly game so keep your trade items and logs clean.  If it isn't PG don't write it or leave it!  Don't leave things like live ammo, knives, condoms, lighters or cigarettes in a cache!  Think before you leave a trade item or write something in/on a log!
  3. Please don't cache in rain storms. We all get caught in light sprinkles here and there, but when it is storming put your macho-man attitude aside out of the respect for the cache owners. Caching in the rain causes logs to get wet! A conscientious cache hider always strives to have a waterproof container. If you get the log wet in such a container it will NEVER dry. It will get moldy and be ruined.
  4. Carry spare logs and Ziploc bags with you when you cache. If you come across one that is too wet to sign, replace it! Logs don't take up much room and can easily fit in your pocket. By changing out wet logs and broken Ziploc bags you are helping out the geocommunity and keeping the game going. The owner will be very grateful for your actions.
  5. Please don't take the Ziploc bag that the log is in unless you are replacing it. The Ziploc bag is there to protect the log in the event that the container gets wet.
  6. If a cache breaks in your hands or you lose a piece of it, please notify the owner immediately or fix it if you can. It happens to the best of us. Let's face it, things out in the elements are going to break down eventually. Most of us carry cache repair kits so we can replace or fix things out in the field.
  7. When changing out logs, Ziploc bags or cache parts, please don't throw the old ones on the ground! Always remember Cache In, Trash Out! (C.I.T.O.)
  8. If you feel the need to write cut and paste logs, at least add something slightly different on each log. Most of us enjoy reading what you write and your cut and paste logs suck the fun out of it.
  9. Acronyms and emoticons are meant to be compliments to your log, but not act as a log alone. By doing this you are almost guaranteeing that your log will be deleted or at the very least annoying the person who went through the trouble to put out a cache for you to find. Show some respect and write something worthwhile!
  10. When your logs often have something negative to say about a hide, maybe you should find a new hobby.
  11. If you find a micro in a place where you think there should have been an ammo can, please don't whine to the cache owner about this. This falls under logging nothing but negative comments. Instead, go out and hide an ammo can in a place where you feel like one should be hidden!
  12. Please don't include hints in your log, large or subtle! Let the next cacher enjoy the challenge. Not all of us find a challenge annoying.
  13. Pictures are great, as long as they don't point out what the cache looks like or where it is hidden!  Don't include pictures in your logs of the cache or ground zero.
  14. Don't log a cache as Needs Maintenance if the log is only full on one side. Paper has two sides and both sides should be used before you say it is full.
  15. Don't log a cache as Needs Maintenance or Needs Archiving just because you can't find it! Not all caches are meant to be easy. Some require research, a lot of thought and even several trips to the location before they can be found.


  1. Please use a dedicated handheld GPSR device to hide a cache. iPhones, Nuvi's and TomToms and other GPS enabled devices are lacking the precision that is needed for placing geocaches. These devices end up with coordinates that are 30' to 50' off, which could put geocachers on private property or in other sensitive areas!
  2. Put a little bit of effort into your cache name and description. A lot of cachers really enjoy reading what you have to write about the area, the history, your cache or just some creative story that you come up with.
  3. Don't place caches in sensitive areas like at a post office, police station or a bank. We look suspicious enough without having the added suspicion of being a terrorist or a thief.
  4. Scope out the place you are thinking about hiding a cache. Put some thought into it! Is it a high muggle area? Will there be a ton of people watching when someone goes to grab your cache? If so, this might not be the best choice in the long run. A well placed cache will have a longer life span than one that is put in an area that is constantly watched by muggles.
  5. Don't place caches in bad neighborhoods or in areas that will put geocachers in dangerous situations. Safety first!
  6. Take a number of readings for your coordinates. Let your GPS average the coordinates for at least a minute. Cloudy days can really screw with your satellite signal. Take your coordinates and return using them at another time or another day and see if the coordinates are accurate.
  7. Choose your cache container wisely! Give it a test run. Submerge it in water and see how it holds up. If it ends up wet on the inside you might want to reconsider. You will be surprised to find out just how many things seem watertight, but aren't.
  8. Use a Ziploc bag is to protect the log sheet in 35mm film canisters and larger caches. If trade items are being placed in the container and they need to be in a Ziploc, they should be in their own bag.
  9. If you later find out that the coordinates you submitted to are wrong, change them! Don't just mention it in a note that will end up being buried 30 logs down on the page.


Special thanks to LostPecans!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

New Geocaching Avatar

Was playing around with ideas for a new avatar last night. Decided to "modernize" the crest from the OHMER coat of arms and add my Geocaching Compass design. Comments?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Caching in New Orleans

Special thanks to Bamboozle for a great cache, View Carre'. The kids were AMAZED. Dennis was a gracious and VERY knowledgeable host.

We then made our way to City Park and made a few finds there.

Our 10 year-old son, Sagan, got stung by a big, UGLY caterpillar.

i, however, was able to get rid of the giant arachnid on my shoulder.

The kids got to sit and contemplate in the sculpture garden.
Finds for the day are:

Duelling Oaks

welcome to city paRk

The lions sleep tonight

Shady Oak

Grand Entrance


Caution! Be Brave!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Another great weekend of geocaching

Sunday the wife and the three youngest OhmerFam members went out for a day of geocaching south of our hometown of Houma. Some memorable finds include The Art of Kenny Hill, By George, and What's That Smell?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lost Myrtle Grove Cemetery

Here's 1/2 of the ohmerfam crew posing for a quick photo before we placed Lost Myrtle Grove Cemetery (GC18XTZ) back in its hiding spot.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fishing Trip

We enjoyed a day of fishing with my brother Huey, his son Heath - it was a boy's day out as Parrish, Sagan, Gable and Me (Joel) caught 17 fish and a nice sunburn.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Contemplating our first hide - Part II

My wife decided that she'd like to get out of the house for Mother's Day and do some (surprise) Geocaching. Today's finds included GCKR59, GC18YPZ, GC22WT5, GC1BFZQ, GCQ1GH, GC24B4V and GC19N6N.

We also returned to the spot of our first planned hide. We can't wait.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Contemplating our first hide

We went for a ride yesterday, since we were both off work, and we found the perfect spot to place our first hide! Now, we're awaiting permission.

An ammo can full of goodies would do NICELY here, eh?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Custom Swag - Geocaching "Compass"

My post from May 4th shows me picking up some compass party favors from a local dollar store. These "compasses" are non-functioning, but 6 geocaching-related party favors for $1 certainly piqued my interest. i bought all five bags and took them home, my head already spinning on how to utilize them.

Now, these compasses would be welcome in any ammo box right out of the package. But, HEY! i'm a graphic artist. i have to add some FLAIR. So, my thoughts immediately fell to the compass design i utilized on the Geocaching Licenses i created (special thanks to Renzo), so i made some modifications and voila!

The first step was removing the clear plastic lens that enclosed the "compass." A #11 X-Acto blade worked nicely. The needle, which is plastic and non-magnetic and held in place by the lens was easily removable at this point.

The image for the inside was created in Adobe Illustrator, and i ganged 6 onto a 4-inch by 6-inch document. i then uploaded the file to the Walgreens website, and in an hour they printed a photo which cost only 19¢. Then i cut the circle out and inserted it into the compass case.

The only remaining step was to re-affix the "needle" and lens, then we're done! A custom swag item at bargain basement prices.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

They're HERE!

Our new custom Swag "Geocache License" cards just arrived and i couldn't be happier with the quality of the image. The tiny hands for the "sign language" decoder on the back are even legible. Bella, our beagle, was excited to see them, too!

To my Louisiana geocaching friends, be on the lookout for these in 'cache near you!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Testing out the Blackberry

I am testing my Blackberry's ability to post to this blog while shopping for swag.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

Amazing "Reverse Cache"

i've always loved MAKE Magazine,  and this morning i stumbled across THIS.

Mikal Hart's original "reverse geocache" puzzle ended up making a big splash when we first posted about it last October. Now Russ Weeks has produced his own version using an Arduino, an HD44780 display, a servo, and an EM406 GPS. Like Mikal's version, Russ's puzzle will only open in one particular location on the surface of the Earth. If it's elsewhere, pushing the button just gives a readout of the linear distance to the location it wants.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our first post

We just wrapped up a weekend of caching in Baton Rouge, and we hit our 50th cache at the USS KIDD. We now stand at 58 finds, and one event cache (Thibodaux's 10 year "Lost and Found" event).

We use a Garmin eTrex Summit HC, coupled with my Blackberry running Geocache Navigator and our newly purchased TomTom XL 330 with custom cache POIs. The TomTom was invaluable in navigating Baton Rouge's MANY one way streets, making it MUCH easier to find our way to the geocaches within the city.

Good night all!