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Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Feb 14, 2010 9:12am
Board
Now that we have snowcover I'm forced to switch to geocaching until it melts. There's a nice snowflake icon at geocaching.com that tells me if a geocache is available in the snow. Neither AQ or LbNA have this feature, and perhaps the majority of letterboxes in this area will be impossible to find under the snow, so I'm not even going to try. That "seasonal" icon is useless. Could we not get a snowflake icon for snow friendly boxes? Then I could run a search with the filter on for that and get a list of snow friendly letterboxes rather than looking for geocaches.
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490952 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 14, 2010 9:24am
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I second the motion! I have letterboxed in all weather and conditions but this would help me go for "available" boxes.
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490952 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 14, 2010 9:31am
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I do wish people would use the seasonal icon if the box is in a location on the ground that is likely to be snow-covered or icebound...or at least mention the possibility in the clues. There are plenty of boxes under rock ledges or tree holes that are free of snow, but just as many I've found frozen solid.
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490952 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 14, 2010 9:32am
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get a list of snow friendly letterboxes

We box in the snow here in Alaska. To find the boxes is easy, as we hang them in the trees. You don't even have to change the clues according to the season. Placing the "box" close to the trunk and about 5' off the ground seems to work well. You can hang LnL's with a little creativity with tape and hangers. Or use those waterproof match holders, pelican boxes etc.

deniserows
the frozen tundra
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490952 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 14, 2010 9:43am
Board
Now that we have snowcover I'm forced to switch to geocaching until it melts. There's a nice snowflake icon at geocaching.com that tells me if a geocache is available in the snow.

Being this is my first winter as a letterboxer I just decided to switch to studying animal tracks, this winter and learing more about carving.
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490959 by veganf and the Dolphins
Feb 14, 2010 9:46am
Board
I do wish people would use the seasonal icon if the box is in a location on the ground that is likely to be snow-covered or icebound...or at least mention the possibility in the clues.

In Connecticut, the vast majority of boxes are unavailable in snow cover, so this is the 'default' condition. All boxes are assumed to be 'seasonal' so it makes no sense to check seasonal. I don't even bother with my boxes and I don't know of anyone else who does either. (The only box I have the "seasonal" icon selected is one on an island that you must take a seasonal ferry to). Many Connecticut boxers have a planting style that is almost a hole in the ground, next to a tree trunk. Even if you find them in the snow, you might damage the box trying to chip it out of the ice.

The danger with the seasonal icon is that at AQ apparently all boxes are assumed to be accessible in the snow unless marked 'seasonal', whereas in the real world it is just the opposite. Do a search of CT boxes - do you see any with the seasonal icon? And yet they are mostly inaccessible. Newer boxers might not realize this, although they'll figure it out pretty fast when they try to find the boxes. And there is no way CT boxers are going back to add the seasonal icon to all their existing boxes. Much easier to add the snow icon to the FEW boxes that the icon would apply to.

There ARE a few that are in walls or other places that would be accessible on a day like today. Those boxes could be marked with a snow icon, since they are the exception, not the rule. And then in Connecticut we could letterbox in the snow instead of just sighing and waiting for the big melt.
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490952 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 14, 2010 9:53am
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That "seasonal" icon is useless.

In our area the seasonal icon is used to tell that a park is closed off season. It is then further defined in the clue. I just planted an extreme that needs to be found at high tide. Icon? Ga. had floods in the fall. Icon?
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490952 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 14, 2010 10:27am
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I agree that the seasonal icon isn't much use at a glance. You have to read the clues to figure out what's seasonal about it.

We just had OPAL (http://www.atlasquest.com/showinfo.html?gEventId=1499). I'm maintaining the list of winter-friendly boxes in Ontario, and we've posted it on the yahoo group, too. It wasn't hard to compile the list; I just asked members to submit their own winter-friendly plants. It certainly isn't a complete list, but it's one solution to the winter problem.
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490982 by Green Tortuga
Feb 14, 2010 10:43am
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You've never lived in Southern California, have you?

Ryan that reminds me....

Can we get a Smog alert button for the SoCal boxes? That way we will know to check to see if it is okay to go hiking on those smoggy days. :o)

Don
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490963 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 14, 2010 11:13am
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The danger with the seasonal icon is that at AQ apparently all boxes are assumed to be accessible in the snow unless marked 'seasonal', whereas in the real world it is just the opposite.

I doubt that people who live in Arizona, and Florida, and Southern California would appreciate you calling them out as not living in the "real world." Just because someone doesn't live in Connecticut doesn't mean they don't live in the "real world." ;o)

Much easier to add the snow icon to the FEW boxes that the icon would apply to.

Effective immediately: There is no longer a "seasonal" attribute. The icon now represents "year-round" boxes--boxes that can be found in both the sun and the snow. =)

Whew, that was an easy fix. *wiping brow*

-- Ryan
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490992 by Green Tortuga
Feb 14, 2010 11:25am
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I doubt that people who live in Arizona, and Florida, and Southern California would appreciate you calling them out as not living in the "real world."

The past week or so being a huge exception, though. Reported multiple times, 49 states had measurable snow on the ground!

Just because someone doesn't live in Connecticut doesn't mean they don't live in the "real world." ;o)

Thanks, Ryan. I was wanting to comment on this. It's one thing to make comments like that on the state, regional, and Yahoo! boards, but quite another to a (inter) national audience.

pre
"seasonal" in CO can depend on the hour, day, or elevation
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490992 by Green Tortuga
Feb 14, 2010 11:54am
Board
So it's the same icon, but it means something different now?

I used the seasonal icon after planting a box that was off a seasonal road back in July. The road is never plowed in the winter. So I wanted everyone finding boxes in the winter to avoid it. Actually the box is in the snow belt here in Michigan, so hopefully people would avoid it in winter to begin with.
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490952 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 14, 2010 12:21pm
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I use the seasonal icon if the place I've planted in is actually closed for part of the year, with no access to it. I've found boxes in the winter and early spring that I couldn't blast out of the ice, but I left them and came back in the late spring for them. I understand planting in trees in Alaska. I imagine you have a small window to get the boxes if they're on the ground. My son lived in Alaska a couple of years in a cute little cabin that he couldn't at first figure out why it was so high up on stilts. In the winter the cabin was at ground level, due to all the snow. He moved to California after that. LOL.
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490952 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 14, 2010 12:43pm
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Wimp!
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490992 by Green Tortuga
Feb 14, 2010 12:47pm
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I doubt that people who live in Arizona, and Florida, and Southern California would appreciate you calling them out as not living in the "real world."

Since when is Southern California a part of the real world?
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490952 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 14, 2010 4:05pm
Board
Hummm I just hiked a mile in the 12" of snow we had the other day in order to get one box.... I box in every kind of weather - I was exhausted and covered with sweat when I got back to my car so maybe it was not a great idea... I should add snow shoes to my Christmas list! Anyhow when a box is frozen to the ground you can often just remove the lid and leave the box in the ground. I find prying the box up to be both bad for the box and likely to make me go flying back about 10 feet onto my arse.

lbm
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490963 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 14, 2010 5:23pm
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at AQ apparently all boxes are assumed to be accessible in the snow unless marked 'seasonal', whereas in the real world it is just the opposite.

Why would someone assume that? Even at AQ common sense would seem to dictate that if a box is covered with several inches of snow, you might not be able to get to it.

Sheba
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490983 by Don and Gwen
Feb 14, 2010 5:26pm
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I would just automatically be careful around USC; whenever we had a track meet there (I ran 800M for SDSU), my throat would burn for hours from the smog, just from running hard for a little more than 2 minutes! Every year, I brought a pack of chocolate donettes to eat afterward to coat my throat (tasted much better than cough lozenges!). Might be a must have in the letterboxing pack!
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490992 by Green Tortuga
Feb 14, 2010 6:24pm
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Effective immediately: There is no longer a "seasonal" attribute. The icon now represents "year-round" boxes--boxes that can be found in both the sun and the snow. =)

I've got a box that is available in the winter, in high snow conditions. It's actually a nice walk in the winter months, but I advise, in my description, that it's not a good place to go to during the summer months --- there are clouds of mosquitos from June to late August. I would not use the "year-round" icon for this box. A snowflake (available in the snow) icon would be more appropriate/accurate.
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #491073 by Sheba
Feb 14, 2010 9:18pm
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I totally agree Sheba. "even" at AQ. lol

I would also add that the only way anyone *can* know for sure if a box can be gotten after snow accumulation would be to physically check on each one. That would mean in order to use the snow icon, each of us would have to slog out to the trail after each snow fall and check on each box. The variables for snow making each little niche, hole, log, tree, rock, etc, etc, etc acessible or not are as endless as the locations themselves.

Common sense tells us that this is impossible. Common sense also tells us that after snow we should assume the box may very well not be available and if we decide to try it's on us.

MM
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490952 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 15, 2010 3:49am
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Yes young Jedi
Embrace the dark side
Use the force (GPS) YEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS

I still geocache more than letterbox. Which isn't saying much if you look at my stats. I find many LB clues to be lacking accuracy, not to mention proper English (Punctuation MATTERS!). You need multiple sets of eyes to scan for obscure clue items and I don't go out of my way to generate a group hunt.

On GC.com most people log there attempts as well as there finds. You can go out in the winter and find boxes that others are finding. At least before the next snowfall hits. If I don't see a find or attempt on a LB in the winter I just keep scanning for a box that has one.

(Stepping on Soap Box)
I've always felt that hiders should be checking their boxes every year. Especially if no one has found it in a year. Every Spring would be a great time to check on your boxes. Clean them out. Replace the log book. Let people know its ready to be found. Am I CrAzY?
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #491164 by CraigInCT
Feb 15, 2010 5:54am
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Am I CrAzY?

yup! and I had a hard time reading that last word with the weird mix of caps and lowercase - took me a bit but I figured it out.
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490960 by deniserows
Feb 15, 2010 6:43am
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There once was a gal based in Kodiak
Who boxed in the snow like a maniac
She hung them in trees
Avoiding the freeze
By sipping Jack Dan from her fanny pack.

Grumpy
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #491200 by Grumpy Grinch
Feb 15, 2010 8:08am
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You may be on the verge of starting a whole new theme in letteboxing,, limericker letterboxers
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #491164 by CraigInCT
Feb 15, 2010 8:40am
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most people log there attempts as well as there finds.

"Their," not "there."

Using the right word MATTERS!
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #491200 by Grumpy Grinch
Feb 15, 2010 8:44am
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Grumpy you are too funny. Love the poems. thanx.

deniserows
in pentameter
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #491213 by wassamatta u
Feb 15, 2010 12:29pm
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I am happy that that was the only thing you disagreed with - Thank you for in essence agreeing with EVERYTHING else I said.
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #491164 by CraigInCT
Feb 15, 2010 1:10pm
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If I don't see a find or attempt on a LB in the winter I just keep scanning for a box that has one.

So you are only in it for the numbers???
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #491281 by Janila
Feb 15, 2010 1:20pm
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So you are only in it for the numbers???

You say that like it's a bad thing. =) It's apparent to me that he's in it for the "find." He doesn't want to spend time looking for boxes that likely are not there.

And for those who are in it for the numbers, so what? Let's not flog anyone for being in it "for the numbers." Some people are in it for the stamps. Some people are in it for the hike. Some people are in it for the thrill of the hunt. Some people are in it for the numbers. Some people are in it to lose weight. Some people are in it to spend more time with their family. And whatever one's reason for being in it, it doesn't really matter. They're here, and Atlas Quest is for everyone. =)

-- Ryan, P237 F1409 X632
Re: Must switch to Geocaching
Board: Atlas Quest Announcements
Reply to: #490952 by Trailhead Tessie
Feb 15, 2010 1:34pm
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That "seasonal" icon is useless. Could we not get a snowflake icon for snow friendly boxes?

You make a good point about that 'seasonal' icon. Seeing as only about 1.5% of the boxes on Atlas Quest use that icon, it's clear that few people are using it. And for those who want to find year-round boxes, the way the search is set up on AQ, you can only search for icons that exist rather than ones that aren't on a box. So it's not even possible to search for those "year-round" boxes. (I alluded to that before, though.)

So I went ahead and changed it into a 'snow friendly' icon. Which is rather a squishy concept to begin with since a box that's perfectly findable with an inch or two of snow on the ground may not be findable with a foot or two of snow on the ground, and some people might consider a cross-country trip using snow shoes a 'snow friendly' box while others may think that is NOT at all 'friendly.' So I'm not at all convinced that the icon will be particularly useful, but have at it. For official definition purposes, I'm saying a box is snow friendly under two conditions: One, any important landmarks in the clue do not become obscured in snow, and two, the box would not require digging through layers of snow to acquire.

For those who don't live in snow-bound states such as Florida, go ahead and keep using it as a 'seasonal' icon. May as well get some use out of the attribute. =) Probably because wherever it's located closes for part of the year, or maybe it's a Christmas themed box that is only available in Christmas, FL, during the month of December. I'm sure you'll find uses for it on occasion. =)

-- Ryan