Thursday, August 14, 2014

Keep Hydrated When Hiking/Geocaching

A little over a week before I was one of many friends worried about a fellow geocacher on a good length hike (8.1 miles).   Just eight days later it was me, Papa SNAP!!!, that ran into trouble on a geocaching hike through a local park here in Hampton Roads Virginia.

Although this park had been on our “to do” list for quite some time, I had not planned out the day as I usually do.  We gathered up the supplies and off to the park we went.  I did some quick calculations in the parking lot and decided that two 16 ounce bottles of water should be more than enough to keep me going.  I knew the hike would be somewhere around the 6 – 6.5 mile length and really didn’t want to carry the backpack.  I easily fit 2 bottles of water into the waist bag and off we went.

 Almost 4 hours later I hit a wall.  I really don’t know who placed that wall there but there was no getting over it.  The last half mile had been a task.  Walk a short ways, rest a bit, walk a little more, rest.  Then the wall appeared and I knew I would not make it.  I still had a sip of water left but I had rationed it as far as I could.  Nana was a real trooper as I told her to leave me there and to go get help.  I was actually beginning to feel a little better when the Park Ranger pulled up to check me out but he insisted on calling the EMTs before he gave me a lift back to the parking lot.  The EMTs ended up being my saving grace because as they hooked me up to the monitoring equipment things were not good.  Long story short, I ended up in a hospital for two days recovering from my kidneys shutting down from severe dehydration and my heart had experienced a bad interaction between my blood pressure medication and the dehydration I was experiencing.

Now that I am back at home recovering and getting my strength back, I “googled” “How much water should you take on a hike?”  Most of the websites I looked at said 64 ounces of water for a day-long hike.  Granted, everyone is different, and I for one sweat more than anyone else I know sho I would guess I should take more.   One site I looked at said a half litter (~16 ounces) of water for every mile you hike.  Guess I was off by quite a few bottles.  The hike I had planned was supposed to be about 6 miles but my fit-bit said I walked over 10 miles that day.  Guess I spent more time looking for caches than I had planned!

Yes, I am home now and Yes, I am OK (or at least as OK as I used to be).  Bottom line is pre-planning and, of course, drinking plenty of water.  Please do not go through what I just did - - take plenty of water on your hikes!!!

Special Thanks goes out to my lovely wife (Suffolk Nana or the "SN" of SNAP!!!) of 35 plus years (36 is coming up really fast).  I know it was really hard for her to leave me sitting there and go get help but I do not honestly know where I would be today if she had not left me there to go get help!

Please – Stay Safe (drink plenty of da water) and Keep Caching!!!

SNAP!!! – Suffolk Nana & Papa

Friday, August 8, 2014

Some more... Best Caches of GCHR

Are you coming to the 12th Annual Geocaching Hampton Roads Picnic ?
Do you plan on staying more than one day to do some caching in the area?
If so, then this list might help.

Here are the top 5 caches in every South-side city in the GCHR area
(based on percentage of favorite points to finds).

Virginia Beach

1.  GC4TABG - The Nose Knows - hidden by steve-n-kim - 81% (Multi)
2.  GC4JXYB - Signals  - hidden by drakeotemy - 78% (Puzzle)
3. GC389YR - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star - hidden by southtexas - 74% (night cache)
4. GC4TTGR - The KEY to Happiness - hidden by steve-n-kim - 72% (puzzle)
5. GC4R264 - B.Y.O.B. #2 Connect Two - hidden by CachinCousinz - 71%


1. GC190EK - EVIL - hidden by Frogman83 - 68%
2. GC37AQ2 - The Dark Side  - hidden by southtexas - 67%
3. GC4R8BR - Frankencache - hidden by The Mad Scientist - 66%
4. GC2C7GF - A Cryptex Trading Cache - hidden by ARONK76 - 62% (Puzzle)
5. GC4XVBD - OGL 1.5 Mile Run - hidden by Prytz+1 - 59% (Wherigo)


1. GC51KMT - Forest Lawn: Meet the Residents - hidden by cameramoose - 74% (Wherigo)
2. GC44DXW - NFWC  - hidden by drakeotemy - 72% (Puzzle)
3. GC4Z6KA - Escape from Norfolk - hidden by Prytz+1 - 68% (Wherigo)
4. GC4XD7M - The Hermitage Gardens: A Walking Tour - hidden by Prytz+1 - 60% (Wherigo)
5. GC360WK - In Plain Sight: 15 to 51 for Litech - hidden by Willcoje and Xckarebear - 57%


1. GC36J27 - Revenge for 302 - hidden by HuffinPuff - 52% (Premium)
2. GC36JHM - Are you kidding?  - hidden by ny311fan - 43% (Premium)
3. GC2Z3RY - The Meatless Steak - hidden by Carole & Tucky - 31%
4. GC8880 - Cradock Cache - hidden by Seth! - 15% (Multi)
5. GCH83K - Cannon of the Presbyterian Church - hidden by ATLas Carva - 9% (Virtual)


1. GC44PNY - I Can't Find My Finger - hidden by southtexas - 70% (Puzzle)
2. GC4FR3R - SNAP 108 - $m@rt Phone Video Cache  - hidden by SNAP!!! - 70%
3. GC44PQW - Something to Chew On - hidden by steve-n-kim - 59% (Puzzle)
4. GC302K3 - Usta B #13 - No Dumping Allowed - hidden by kan1stv- 54% (Multi & Premium)
5. GC3611F - Log It! - hidden by toystory2 - 50%

Isle of Wight

1. GC3PTB0 - Smithfield's Porcine Parade - hidden by chihuahuak94me - 72% (Puzzle)
2. GC47DE8 - Head To The Point - hidden by Ioannes Cornu, Muskrat1337 & Holliehp  - 39%
3. GC3ETZ9 - Historic Fort Huger - hidden by GreatScott - 35%  (Multi)
4. GC1WQAD - Bronze Statues Hold The Key - hidden by chihuahuak94me - 33% (Puzzle)

5. GC2NYVE - Off The Beaten Path - hidden by muskrat 1337 - 28%

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Best Geocaches near the upcoming picnic

With the 12th Annual GCHR Picnic fast approaching I know plenty of people will be heading this way to not only participate in yet another great MEGA-event put on by GCHR (Geocaching Hampton Roads), but also to grab some great caches that we have here in the area.

So in an effort to make things easy on ya'll - here is a list of some of the best caches in the area:

Favorite Caches on the Peninsula
Based on percentage of favorite points
(Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, York County, Williamsburg and Gloucester)

96% - GC55KEH – Don’t Let This Birdhouse Send You to the Nut House – A fairly new cache with an amazing 96% favorite rating.  A short drive south of the park will put you in the vicinity of this amazing cache.
90% - GC44NEP – The Colonial Treasure – a tour of local history awaits you at this cache.  An amazing 90% favorite point rating.  The start of this puzzle/multi-cache is in the heart of colonial Williamsburg but the tour provided by this cache will take you to various historic places around the peninsula.  Be prepared to spend at least half a day (minimum) completing this cache.
82% - GC4Z16X – Hanging Out in the Woods – this unique cache is a short drive from Newport News Park.  Can be completed in less than an hour.
81% - GC1YBHP – The Rune Stones of Harwood’s Mill – a complex puzzle cache that more than likely will take you more than a day to complete.  Located very close to Newport News Park.
68% - GC4GN2M – Limberakis Gerakaris– This tough puzzle cache features and amazingly scenic walk to get to the final.  The start of this puzzle/multi-cache almost an hour drive south of Newport News Park but is still on the peninsula.
68% - GC42D4J – Saga of Thorvald Erikson – A well thought our puzzle/multi-cache that will take you on a tour of the grounds around the Mariner’s Museum (Noland Park).  This cache can be completed in a few hours.
67% - GC34RA8 – Raiders of the Lost Ark – one of four Indiana Jones themed caches located near Newport News Park.  This cache can easily be completed in an hour or two.
59% - GC3A5X2 – The Last Crusade – Another of the four Indiana Jones themed caches located in or near the park.  This multi-cache starts very close to the mega-event. 
54% - GC52EER – VTCC#21: Final– this cache is the final of the Virginia Tech geo-art located just south of Newport News Park.  If you have done your homework and prepared, the entire geo-art can be completed easily in less than a few hours.
48% - GC3TQ28 – Larry’s Handiwork – a rather unique cache located just off the hiking/biking trail in Newport News Park.  This cache can easily be completed in an hour or two.
45% - GC44HME – The Signs of U.S. Route 17 South, Grafton, VA – a unique puzzle cache located a short drive away from Newport News Park.  This simple puzzle cache can easily be completed in less than one hour.
45% - GC29RNC - Camp Patrick Henry – A nice puzzle cache located just south of Newport News Park.  This could be a fast find if you know what you are doing!
43% - GC42B9M – Hysterical – a rather unique cache located at the back of a local business.  This cache is along route 17 across a toll bridge in Gloucester County.
43% - GC3VJRV – Huntington Heights – A unique cache that should be a park n grab.  This cache is located south of Newport News Park.
40% - GC51B0N – Sometimes you feel like a nut – a unique cache that shouldn’t take too long to find.  This cache is just a short drive from Newport News Park.
40% - GC1RH2Z – MiNd GaMeS – A very good puzzle cache located a short distance from the park.