Posts Tagged ‘101’

Find Your Geocache

10 Mistakes New Cachers Make & How To Avoid Them

1. Thinking GPS units are 100% accurate

They’re not! A GPS will get you close, but you’ll never stand right on top of a cache. And different units will be off by different amounts.

Tip: Expand your search area

Magnetic Cache Container

This was the first magnetic cache container we'd ever found. For people used to finding ammo cans in the woods, it took some time to readjust our thinking.

2. Hides are always on the ground.

Nope! People use string or wire to put caches on a branch and magnets to hide it under benches.

Tip: Look high AND low.

3. The cache will stand out in some way.

A lot of caches do. Especially larger caches in the forest. But not all caches do stand out. Some are so well hidden they’re used as a TOOL by cachers to flip over rocks and sticks.

Tip: Expand your thoughts about what a cache can and cannot look like.

4. Not reading the cache page carefully.

The cache page is there to help you with hints. Even the most careful (and evil) cache owner leaves digital hints in the cache description.

Tip: Read the entire cache page, including the hint, carefully.

5. Digging.

It’s against the rules to require digging to find a cache. You’re not mining for gold so leave the shovel at home!

Tip: But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t underground! I’ve found two that required me lifting something (a lid, a rock, and a cleverly disguised root) to find the cache below ground level.

6. Not double checking the coordinates of the cache.

Especially when you are manually entering the coordinates into your GPS! I’ve made the mistake of entering the coordinates of the PARKING area as the cache and then having to return to the truck to look up the real coordinates.

Tip: Enter the coordinates into the GPS and then check it for accuracy.

7. Not noticing the NAME of the cache.

Sometimes the name of the cache is more helpful than the hint.

Little Job cache

The name of the cache was "Little Job" but I kept looking under rocks in the stream!

Tip: A lot of times, you can see evidence that the name is important by reading the logs of the cache.

8. Paying too much attention to what other cachers have said in their logs!

Go off what the cache owner says FIRST since various cachers will approach a cache from different directions.

Tip: Look for clues, but don’t take logs as gospel. Some cachers will be misleading in their logs on purpose!

9. Making the terrain harder than it should be.

A terrain of 1.5 and you’re fighting your way through a bush? Climbing a rock? Climbing down a cliff?

Tip: If the terrain seems a lot more difficult than listed, try approaching from a different direction. A lot of times, you’ll find a clearly marked path!

10. Not having the right tools.

As we gain more experience as geocachers, we all develop our go-to geocaching tool kit.

Tip: Read the article Geocaching Supplies Checklist for hints.

Readers Weigh In:

  • What are some mistakes you made when you were new to geocaching?
  • What advice can you offer newbies about the game?

Set Your Hook

Fish Cleaning 101

The Easy Way To Clean Fish: ESP Boss’ 4 Step Process

Have you ever done a Google search for cleaning fish? You’ll come up with a million and one ways to clean a fish! Holy cow!

Some fish really do have a specific way that you have to clean them, like catfish. But for your garden variety, run-of-the-mill trout, I wanted to share with you ESP Boss’ 4 Step Process.

Before you begin, make sure the fish is clean of mud, bait, and other nasties. You’ll need a sharp knife and a cutting board. Running water is a help, but not required.

If any fish still have the hook in them, set them aside for last!

Here’s how we take care of a fish that has swallowed the hook and we can’t get it out: put TWO of the metal stringer hooks through it. That way, we can tell it apart from the others!

I prefer metal stringers to rope!

Step 1

Insert the tip of your knife at the anal fins. Cut the fish’s stomach area all the way until you reach the gill cover. You want to cut completely through the skin, but not into the spine.

You want a sharp knife and a stable surface.

Step 2

With your fingers, remove the insides of the fish. It’s best if you reach in toward the head, firmly grasp the entrails and pull them out working towards the anal fins. Run your finger firmly along the inside of the backbone to clean out the vein that runs along the bone.

Step 3

Rinse the cavity of the fish. If you have running water, great! If not, rinse out the cavity in a pan of clean, cool water.

ESP Boss rinsing a trout in camp. Don't dump that dirty water in camp or it'll attract all manner of beasties and bugs!

Step 4

With the fish laying on a firm surface (so you can see one eye), slide your knife up and under the gills. Firmly cut through the backbone so the gills stay attached to the head.

The gills stay attached to the head.

Discard guts and head. Or, save the head to use to catch crayfish!

And that’s it! Because trout don’t have extreme scales, there’s no need to remove the scales or skin. We typically cook them using the Fish Basket BBQ recipe.

Readers Weigh In:

  • How do you clean trout?
  • Any tips or tricks that I could share with newbies?

Set Your Hook

Fish Anatomy 101

This week, I wanted to go over the anatomy of a fresh-water game fish. You’ll need a basic knowledge of a fish’s body for next week’s article: Fish Cleaning 101.

Body shape

Obviously, not all fish are shaped exactly the same! Each species is adapted to a specific habitat. Surface dwelling fish have an upturned mouth, a flattened back.

Bottom-dwelling fish have flattened bellies and inferior mouths. Some bottom-dwellers have altered swim bladders so they “hop” along the substrate instead of swimming. By examining the shape of the body, especially the mouth, will give an indication of where the fish feeds.

And if you know WHERE it feeds, you can usually figure out WHAT it feeds on. Then, you just need to provide the appropriate bait to catch them!


Fish have 3 general mouth locations:

Surface feeding fish usually have an undershot, upturned (superior) mouth for feeding on insects.

Fish that feed in the middle of the water column have a terminal mouth, which is usually considered the “normal” fish mouth. Predatory fish usually have a wide mouth, while omnivorous fish have smaller mouths.

Bottom feeding fish generally have an underslung or inferior mouth. Often, bottom feeding species are also equipped with barbels (“whiskers”), which are tactile and taste organs used for locating food in dark or muddy waters.


Fins are used for movement, stability, nest-building, spawning, and as tactile organs. Fins can be single or paired.


Most fish are covered with scales, which protect the body. Scales in most bony fishes are either ctenoid or cycloid. Ctenoid scales have jagged edges and cycloid have smooth rounded edges.Catfish have no scales at all.


The gills exchange gases between the fish and the surrounding water. Through the gills, fish are able to absorb carbon oxygen and give off carbon dioxide. Like the lungs, the gills have a large area for gas exchange.

Lateral Line

The lateral line organ is a series of fluid-filled ducts located just under the scales. One of the fish’s primary sense organs; detects underwater vibrations and is capable of determining the direction of their source.

Special thanks to my model: Tony The Trout!

Swim Bladder

A swim bladder is a hollow, gas-filled balance organ that allows a fish to conserve energy by maintaining neutral buoyancy (suspending) in water. It is what allows fish to sleep in mid-water.

Now you’re ready for next week’s article: Fishing Cleaning 101!

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