Monthly Archives: April 2013

Moving TBs Along

IMG_6312If you are new to geocaching and not sure what a Travel Bug or TB is, then check out one of our past videos discussing this activity in geocaching.

I enjoy placing TBs out there and watching to see who discovers them and where they go. It adds excitement to the hobby, and I can even become a mother hen when I see they are stalled and missing.

I got started in using TBs partly as a way to give back to the hobby. I enjoy finding them, looking up the logs to see where they have been, looking up their specific mission, and then moving them along. I enjoy being able to take them overseas with me, especially if they have been stalled for a period of time. I relate it to amateur radio operators who like to look over their contact sheets or divers who reminisce over dive logs.

There has been some scuttle in the hobby lately that I’m not quite sure why. Some hobbyist are becoming agitated that “thank you” notes are not added to the log from the TB owner. I know I try to add one from time to time, or at least say something kind to the person who discovers it. Perhaps I will have to re-evaluate my own TB courtesies.

An area I do find troubling though is the TB collector. This is a person who discovers the TB and keeps it. There are two types of hoarders. Those who simply keep a TB and you never see it again. It becomes an MIA in the geocaching world. For whatever reason, lack of knowledge about the etiquette, not knowing how to post, or simple greed keeps the TB from ever surfacing again. The other is the person who holds the TB and travels from site to site with it and instead of “dropping” the TB they “visit” a cache. Both of these are options when logging the TB. I currently have a TB in the hands of someone local for the past 6 months and is never dropped into a cache.

I admit to holding a TB, but in all of these circumstances, I notify the TB owner of my intentions and give them the option of me dropping in the next available cache or if I hold it for an upcoming trip. This often means that a land-locked TB in Utah or Idaho gets a free ride to Korea, Japan, or China. All of these are gateways to other international travelers who will then take the TB to another country- or in some cases another continent. Most TB owners love seeing a TB get some frequent flier mileage and don’t mind the few weeks of waiting.

On all my TBs I ask for photos of the various places the TB goes to and enjoy when someone picking it up follows through. Regardless, TBs I find I try to do the same. It just makes the hobby a bit more interesting.

If you find a TB, make sure you log it properly. If you own one, at least leave a kind note for someone moving your TB along. This is an activity that can become more about the technology than the people. Let’s keep it about the geocacher and not electronics.

Here is the original forum that inspired this story:

We would appreciate feedback on your geo-adventures on our site:

Survival- You’re Doing it Right


I love seeing stories where someone does it right. Story below about a teen who built a snow cave when he became lost skiing on Sugar Loaf.

Having knowledge and skills are paramount for all outdoor enthusiast. You never know when you will need to use these skills. We have to keep in mind that when in the outdoors, we are not truly in our element and need to be ready for when those skills have to be leveraged.

Keep a kit for the type of activity you participate in. Even though we ski our “little” mountain resort here in Boise, I still keep a small survival kit with me. Imagine the lights going out on a night run or a blizzard coming through and wondering outside the boundaries of the ski areas and placed in a position where you need to spend the night. Having a basic kit with you can not only mean the difference in life or death, but also comfort or misery as you either wait out the situation to improve or wait for rescue.

Here is the original story of someone doing it right

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Tough Love-Babes in the Woods


Lighting a fire in wet conditions, and not rescuing from the failures is tough…
















(This goes along with our podcast- you can find it at http://www.Adventure

I have never been a fan of the notion everybody wins. When coaching youth roller hockey in San Antonio, I had one of the few, and eventually the only program that still kept score in the YMCA portfolio of sports programs.

I believe that you need to give kids a realistic view of their performance, but done so in a way that you leverage their strengths in whatever evaluation you are doing. I don’t believe in sugar coating the feedback, or playing with soft gloves. I also don’t believe in being harsh on them either.

In all my workshops, coaching endeavors, or training I do with kids, military leaders, new adults to the woods, etc is the same… I define the conditions and expectations, allow them to perform, allow them to self evaluate, and then provide guidance and feedback.

The other aspect is tough. I don’t rescue. I allow failure as long as safety is not compromised. Nothing is learned if I am constantly helping a participant to a point I am completing the task them.

Let’s discuss two situations where I have to guide a participant differently.

The first is a fire building scenario. The participant has a good grasp of the concept, understands how to use flint and steel, knows the type of tinder and has been highly successful in starting fires in the past. But this has all been in controlled conditions when it has been fair weather and dry materials.

Survival fires though are most often needed when conditions are wet and clammy. To really test skills, I have to put the participant into real conditions so they not only have the ability to start fires and get warm when most needed, but to have the confidence to do so.

Most fail in getting the fire started in these conditions. Many times, I fail. It is a difficult test to complete. But the real learning is through the debrief with the participant and allowing them to do it again.

Watching a participant unnecessarily expending energy to grab materials, using the wrong materials, standing by and watching the fire not start can be irritating and the desire to jump in can be powerful. But I have to let them fail. This is because the participant has acquired a level of mastery in controlled conditions that can lead to over-confidence which is just as dangerous as not having the skills at all. Here you have to have the tough love and not jump in, allow them to identify their own mistakes, and then provide guidance.

In the other situation, a participant who is new to GPS navigation. In this scenario, the participant is just learning, and allowing them to fail outright as they work to program coordinates, follow the gps to a target, and try to find the best path to get to the target can be overwhelming. In this case I will work closely with the participant and provide constant coaching and working them to success. I still use the same debrief techniques of “what, so what, now what” that I have discussed in the blog and podcast in the past.

Building a solid toolbox of skills is an on-going exercise. As a team, constantly work on our skills to either keep them sharp or learn new techniques. It is also what helps us in communicating with each other and building our team and our families to a tighter cohesive group.

I am not a fan of the everybody wins philosophy. In the back-country people die. There is no second place with mother nature, just a body bag.

Original article:

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Scooters Prep

Its that time of year we checkout as we prep for Scooter’s Youth Hunting Camp. While our days still have us working the 9-5 (well 6-6), we have been spending each evening and weekend getting ready for the camp. In the mean time, we are still rock’n our podcast, building videos, and doing all the other activities that support Adventure IQ.

On the heals of that we will be taking a journey to Arizona to attend workshops at Overland Expo to get our crew ready for new adventures.

We also have our own kids day camp we are doing this year in August. We have built a dynamic team of instructors who will train 10-15 year-olds outdoor skills such as fire building, water purification, shelter, and wilderness first aid.

Stay tuned….

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