Sunday, 29 May 2011

Meet The Nightcachers

It all started as one of those stupid ideas and it ended in a really good event. I left home early Saturday morning because I wanted to place another cache. Unfortunately that took me a bit longer so I turned up late at the event which means I didn't meet quite a lot of cachers. Before I To sum it up:
  • Planking and trail-cameras go along very well
  • Sorrento Fish'n Chips is still the best
  • Allen is a quiet fellow
  • Liam is only 13
  • Rigger truly had a go at the evil tree
  • Next time bring a cup
  • ... and where the hell did all the fog come from?
What a night!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Yes We are Open

You already might have seen it: I added a little shirt-shop to the nightcaching page. After testing an Australian service provider I decided to go overseas (pistolclothing is crap - I placed an order 3 weeks ago and they don't react to emails). Anyway. Since I am a good guy I decided that all profit goes to charity which will be Big Brothers Big Sisters. I am actually helping them as one of many volunteers next weekend on a fundraising event so I know what they are doing really makes a difference.
Hoodie Men - Glow in the dark

In order to be honest it is not one but two shops - depending on where you are located the pricing and shipping is different. At the moment I am limited to two design - the nightcaching-guy and höpshöps the roo - so I just put some variation of these into the stores.

If you miss any colours or want to have special text, just let me know >> I'll add it for you.

Enjoy and happy retail therapy

Shop OZ / US
Shop Europe

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

We come in Peace

Another Aussie cache made it onto the blog of geocaching.com as the cache of the week. And on top of that: GC1DA0H is nightcache! Can it get even better? Well it can. The little devil which toured with me through Tasmania is on the blog as well :o)



Well done Snuva! It was a brilliant night out in Hobart.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Nifty Nocturnals Eventcache

Covert made it: GC2VREP is online :o) Ok ... I admit the event has been published a few days ago so sorry for the delay posting it here (but you probably know about it anyway)


Friday, 6 May 2011

GeoPro - the green tracker

Here's another gadget :o) Don't we just love them?

Some time ago I was blogging about the Spot 2 messenger which is basically a one-way satellite tracker. GeoPro on the other hand is a two-way satellite tracker. That means you can send and receive messages: You can write and send a 160 character message as you go. GeoPro uses the Iridium network which has global coverage and is not restricted.  That sound like a nice deal if there wouldn't be a price tag: It's 699.99 USD ... and I guess you'll need some kind of subscription on top of that. So far I couldn't find any information on that.



So how does the GeoPro compare to a Spot2? Let's have a look. I also added the McMurdo  FastFind210 to the list in order to compare both of the trackers with a PLB:

Device: GeoPro Spot2 FastFind 210
Check-in Function: yes yes no
Check-in reminder: yes no no
Tracking Interval: 2 min to 1 day
(adjustable)
10 min no
Custom Message: 160 characters 1 pre-programmable message + programmable help button no
Satellite Network: Iridium Globalstar Cospas Sarsat
Coverage: Worldwide restricted to most land masses excluding Africa and SE Asia Worldwide
Position Finding: GPS GPS GPS + doppler processing
SOS Button: yes yes yes
Waterproof: IP66 (splash and dust resistant) IPX8 (Immersion beyond 1 m) Temporary immersion to 10m for 5 mins. (IP 58, IPX7)
Battery Type: Lithium-ion 3 AAA Lithium Lithium
Battery Life: Up to 1,000 message reports (which would be around 7 days at 10 min tracking) Power on: Approximately three months; SOS/HELP/SPOT Assist: 3–6 days; Check-in/Custom Messages: Approximately 350–700 messages 5 years storage, then 24 hours operating
Weight: 380 g 147 g 150 g
Dimensions: W 6.35 cm x H 12.7 cm x D 3.8 cm W 6.6 cm x H 9.4 cm x D 2.5 cm W 4.6 cm x H 10.0 cm x D 3.4 cm
Price: 699.99 USD 149.99 USD 249.99 USD
1 Year Subscription: unknown 99.99 USD + 49 USD tracking none
Colour: green orange or silver yellow

As you can see there is no real winner of this comparison. (Of course I'd go for the green one but I already spent over 300 AUD for the Spot). Again it really depends on your needs and how much you are willing to pay. If you live in Europe such a device is completely pointless since the GSM network coverage is excessive. If you really think about spending that much money for the GeoPro, you might want to consider to add another 400 USD which gets you e.g. a Thuraya XT satphone including SIM-card.

The Spot is still the cheapest satellite tracker and if I would look for a 2-way device I'd expect it to be cheaper than the GeoPro or I would spend the few hundred bucks extra and go for a full scale satphone.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Getting Started

Sometimes I hear that cachers don't "dare" to try nightcaching. "It's so much different", "I don't know where to start", "That's just out of my world" are just some sentences I've heard. Well it's not that hard. In fact it is not much different from normal caching if you keep a few things in mind:

  • Know how to call for help if you need it. If you are going on your own, have some way of communication and let someone know where you are going.You should actually do the same thing with every cache.
  • Like with every Multi read the description and get an idea what to expect and which equipment you might need.
  • Have a back-up torch. If you loose one or it breaks you can still find your way back to civilisation.
  • Wear good shoes. You don't want to twist your ankle just because you wore only thongs* and stumbled over the root you couldn't see in the dark.
  • Don't be afraid of spiders ... ok I admit this one is difficult to follow but most spiders are nocturnal. Be aware that you might face some nasty encounters. If you are afraid of spiders, keep a headlamp on at all times - this should prevent you from running into webs in the dark
  • Don't worry about that sound. Yes there are animals around you and they make noise. Possums, deer, boar, tassie devils, ducks, cats or whatever animals live in your country. Most of them are quite shy so you won't even see them. The is no boogie man behind the next tree.
That's about it. The rest is just pretty straight forward like Geocaching. Of course there are a lot more tips, trick and hints around nightcaching but you don't need all of that to try it. Just pick an easy nightcache and go for it :o)

* aussie slang for flip-flops

Sunday, 1 May 2011

The Royal Event

Last Friday the Melbournian paddlers did meet on Herring Island. As I already wrote in the log:

I thought that not too many people would show up but as a pleasant surprise this truly royal and noble event was actually quite crowded The barbie worked perfectly and as far as I can tell nobody fell into the water. It was fun catching up and coming up with new ideas (Milk! Tritium! Fish'n Chips!). We already have set some wheels in motion So it was a good mixture of cachers and location which leaves only one conclusion: We'll do it again in a not so distant future

Yep. There are more events to come ... or at least I am planning on setting them up (God knows if it is really going to happen):
  • The next one will be a nightcaching event down at Point Nepean.
  • There will most definitely another event on Herring Island. The location is just way too good.
  • And I am thinking about another camping-event. Any ideas are more than welcome.
Cheers
Philipp