CITO 14th August 2021

This CITO (Cache in Trash Out) was our first post-covid lockdown official geocaching event since 14 March 2020 and a chance to restore some normality. The weather forecast was iffy so kudos to all who defied the Met Office forecasts and turned out, as on the day, we had only the occasional light shower to contend with. This location was selected because: we have picked here before and know the location, it is fairly child friendly, and above all there was some litter to be picked. It was great to catch up with friends some of whom came from as far as Macklesfield and Oldham. It was also great to see some new faces and junior cachers who made a great contribution. In all 23 assisted with the litter pick including Diapason16 who happened to be in the area looking for a cache, he rolled up his sleeves and mucked in, unlike his daughter, who like a stereotypical teenager rolled her eyes and sat on the wall with her mobile phone :-). We cleared from Penygroes to Groeslon and collected about 12 bags of rubbish from the cycle path. The litter was sorted and taken to Rhwngddwyryd, Garndolbenmaen Recycling Center for disposal.

Many thanks to Inigo Jones Slate Works for letting us use their car park as a base for the CITO

New Caches

Just two new caches this week……..

GC9DYMV Millys place by bobwedge Traditional D1.5/T1.5
GC9E517 Lovely view of amlwch and Irish sea by paulfelix92 Traditional D2/T1.5

New Events

We are pleased to announce the return of Geocaching events to Wales, but there are still some restrictions, so at present only outside geocaching events are allowed. The CITO will be the first 9US official event since the 14th March 2020, hopefully it will be the first of many and the end of online events!

GC9DYQ6 CITO Season 1 by 9 Usual Suspects CITO Event (Litter pick) D1/T2
by attending this event your efforts will be rewarded with CITO Season 1 2021 souvenir.

GC8QABW Let’s Celebrate International Geocaching Day! by 9 Usual Suspects Community Celebration Event D1/T1

This cache type was originally known as the Lost and Found Event Cache. It was created for events that were hosted by geocachers from April 30, 2010 to May 3, 2010 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of geocaching. Just 362 Lost and Found Events were held, so a very limited number of cachers earned the icon. By attending this event you will earn both the Community Celebration icon and a souvenir.


Balsam Bash

Here is the coordinates for the beginning of the lane N 52° 59.202 W 004° 05.247, it is right on the nasty bend. We will meet up by the cattle grid at the beginning of the lane at 10.30am, please bring gloves, drinks etc. The forecast is OK, maybe a shower but it will be a lot cooler than it has been. For more information contact us.

Geocaching – 5 things you need to know

Geocaching HQ, Seattle

Geocaching is both a game and a business
 Groundspeak who manage Geocaching are a business. Groundspeak shows adverts on their website if you are not a premium member but this is minimal and restricted to a couple of small ones in your sidebar. They don’t get into big contracts to promote other people’s wares, so the money has to come from somewhere! Premium membership is their primary source for funds and about 7p a day, it isn’t a bad deal for Website in 26 languages, iPhone and Android Geocaching App, Adventure labs & Wherigo. Hours of fun for a few pence a day!

The orginal design of a Geocache

Play Fair
Don’t be a Geocaching tyrant, it’s a game played by many people most of whom you will never meet or know anything about. When Caching, it’s helpful to remember that the cache belongs to the owner, and if they say no photos of logs, signatures required, they are perfectly within their rights to delete your log if it doesn’t live up to the requirements set out in the geocaching page. If you don’t like this, then avoid that users caches, there are millions more out there. While there are rules, people’s interpretation of them may differ from your own. Rules like leaving a throw down when the cache is obviously there goes without saying, but deleting someone’s log for not signing because it’s too wet isn’t fair play IMHO.If you are a cache owner, please try to be understanding. People from all walks of life and all abilities cache, not everyone is as perfect as you might like. When submitting a new cache remember that reviewers are people, volunteers, and fit Geocaching in around their lives. Reviewers try to be objective and ensure everyone follows the same rules, but they are Cachers, like you and I, work with them to get your caches published. Check what is required before you submit a cache and make sure all the required information is on your submission, missing information is the largest cause of rejected caches. It’s not the reviewers job to do the leg work for you when you submit your new entry, if a reviewer rejects a cache and you don’t understand why, ask them.

Damp conditions at Cwmorthin

Go equipped
Having the right equipment makes for a great day of geocaching running out of battery or getting soaked is not. The primary item of course is a pen or pencil, and maybe a spare or two, there must be thousands of ‘lost’ writing implements left by Caches each week. Spare batteries or a power bank is essential for a day’s intensive caching, constantly using the GPS on your device is a heavy drain on batteries, and there’s nothing more infuriating than coming towards the end of lengthy series, only to have your phone die on you.
If you are heading up to the moors or into the mountains, appropriate footwear and waterproofs are the absolute minimum, snacks, water and a whistle should be carried as well. There are many articles on what to carry in your day bag online that can help you better than I can. Check the weather before you set out, because in the UK, it’s not unusual to have 3 seasons in one day. If venturing up a mountain or moors, it is worth noting as you gain altitude, the temperature drops surprisingly fast, around 1°C for every 100m, cold, wet and miserable isn’t a great day and possibly the quickest way to put someone off caching. If you are going into the wild and off the paths for a day hike, tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back, it might just save your life, and don’t forget to let them know you are back at the end of the day.
Carry extra logbooks and pencils. We all know that it’s the Cache Owners’ responsibility to keep caches maintained, but sometimes life gets in the way, if you discover a cache with a full or wet log, please be kind and drop a new log in for them, don’t forget to message the cache owner and let them know what you have done. Please don’t slap a “Needs Archiving” on straight away, a simple message to the cache owner or a “Needs Maintenance” log is sufficient.

Ready for any weather

Get Social and meet other Cachers
Geocaching can be a lonely game, it is usually played in secret, and that’s half the fun. There are lots of events where Cachers gather and share stories of their adventures and great finds. There’s all sorts of social events from Cache In Trash Out which could be a litter pick or working with an environmental group to remove an invasive species from an area to a get together for a chat. It’s a great way to make new friends and catch up with old ones.

SWAG
People who cache with kids love SWAG (Stuff we all get), it makes the day more exciting searching for treasure and primes the next generation of Cachers. The golden rule about SWAG: if you take something, leave something of equal or higher value. Kids and some adults love to find treasure, and it’s so much better if they can take a new toy away and leave something behind for others. If we want to keep the sport alive and growing, it’s our responsibility to pass our enthusiasm to the next generation.
Ideas for what to put in: Small toys, Key Rings, souvenirs like woodies or path tags, Trading cards (in a waterproof seal easy bag), foreign coins, rain ponchos
Do not put in: Perishables, e.g. sweets that go horrible quickly and mess up a cache, non family friendly items, fireworks, lighters, drugs, alcohol and any illegal materials should also not be placed in a cache, although if someone is considering placing any of the above items they really need to have a word with themselves.

A well stocked Cache

Lastly it’s a game have fun and help each other, it’s not that difficult 🙂

Reminder for ‘CITO’ 22nd May

A reminder that we will be ‘litter picking’ Saturday 22nd May commencing at 2pm, meet at usual spot on the bridge above Afon Seiont (N53 07.825 W004 16.125). This is an unofficial event as Geocaching UK won’t allow any meets currently. We look forward to seeing you all on the day, it has been a long time since we all got together. We will be complying with current Covid regulations as they stand on the day. Also might even sneak a crafty beverage in a pub afterwards :-).

Himalayan Balsam – Impatiens glandulifera

As the name suggests Himalayan Balsam comes originally from the Kashmir and Uttarakhand areas of the Himalayas. It was first introduced into Kew Gardens in 1839 as an annual greenhouse plant. Being easy to grow and having attractive pink/white trumpet shaped flowers it became a very popular plant with gardeners. Within 10 years it had escaped from the confines of gardens and begun to spread along the river systems of England.

Himalayan Balsam grows very quickly and once established in an area, forms dense thickets of up to 2 meters high. Each plant can produce up to 800 seeds, the seed pods once ripe, explode shooting the seeds up to 7m away from the parent plant. If the seeds land in a waterway they float down stream before settling in soft mud banks and germinating. The seeds can remain viable for up to 2 years.

Himalayan Balsam image Wikipedia

Why do we need to control Himalayan Balsam?

It smothers native vegetation by crowding and shading out light, in the winter it dies back leaving bare earth which is then subject to erosion. This can cause major problems along river banks. The dead plant debris can block waterways causing flooding and more damage to local habitats. Being very rich in nectar its flowers attract a wide array of pollinating insects. Studies are taking place on how this effects the pollination of our native plants. Initial finding suggest that it does have a detrimental effect as reduced numbers of insects are visiting other flowering plants. 

Controlling Himalayan Balsam

Being a non-native plant it has no natural enemies to keep it under control. There are two traditional ways of removing Himalayan Balsam from a site hand pulling or spraying of chemicals. The best time of year for tackling the plant is May-July, before the seeds have set. Not all sites are suitable for either of these methods and trials of introducing a rust fungus from India are currently taking place in England and Wales.

Volunteers Wanted

Why am I writing about Himalayan Balsam? We have an escalating local problem, nearly all our local waterways have some Himalayan Balsam contamination. We are looking for volunteers to form a ‘Balsam Bashing” party to tackle an area at Aberglaslyn. This site can only be controlled by hand pulling due to the closeness of the Afon Glaslyn. We will be working along side Snowdonia National Park and other volunteers at the end May/June. 

Are you interested in helping? Please let us know in the comments.

Time for an Event?

Now postponed to 22nd May

Although official Geocaching Events are not available just yet, Socially distanced gatherings of up to 30 persons will be permitted from the 26th of April under the latest guidance from the Senedd. As we haven’t met up as a group for quite a while, a CITO is the perfect socially distanced event. A suggestion is that we could combine an unofficial CITO and the “Let’s improve the outdoors – Locationless Cache GC8NEAT” which adds both an Icon and Souvineer to your profile. So with all that in mind how about meeting on 2nd May Saturday Afternoon Near Tescos Caernarfon and hitting some of the hot spots in the vicinity. Please let us know if you are interested, the number will of course be limited to 30.

Behind Tescos