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Where To Look?


studio3d
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One of my big problems is with GPS accuracy... one minute it says it should be right here, another NO, it's over there! And what is the general range? Isn't it about a 12 foot radius? I never know quite what to do when there's a lot of woods, a tiny cache to find and no clues!

 

???

thanks

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That's a common problem, that's why we use the FORCE. Under trees, if you get within 50 feet of the cache, it's time to put the GPSr away and use the optics you were born with. Look for likely spots. After a while, you will be able to detect all but the craftiest hides. May take some searching, but you can do it.

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In most cases you will get about feet 20 in accuracy. As Bigdog999 tree cover can be a problem. Also large buildings like you will find in some cities can also be a problem. While most manufactures will claim up to 3 meters in accuracy, this would be out in the open with a clear view of the sky.

 

BTW, what GPS are you using?

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When you are getting good readings make a good note of distance and bearing. Stay the distance ..... stay the course ..... don't wander around like a druken duck!

 

When in doubt, back away and try again from a different direction. Once you think you are close, put down the unit and start using your other sences to find the cache. Read the past logs and hint if needed ..... here is where paperless (having a PDA) really helps. :) ImpalaBob

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:) As a profiler would say " you have to get inside the head of the one who hid it . "

It gets easier with practice.

I started out with benchmarks. :)

I have only used my gps to find one benchmark, tho.

most times, the co-ordinates for those are so far off, it's a farce to even think you can do it that way.

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Isn't it about a 12 foot radius?

 

Its more like a 50 ft radius. Remember your GPS has a level of inaccuracy and so did the GPS of the hider.

 

When you get within 50 feet first check out the obvious. Hollow tree trunks and stumps, crevices in rocks, alongside down trees , etc... Next look for something out of place. If you see unnatural piles of sticks, stones or bark are likely concealing the cache.

 

If you're still coming up empty, its time to step back and think. Also check your GPS again.

 

If its a micro, many are magnetic. Look for some metal that it may be attached to. You may have to feel around. Also look in knotholes in trees and similar spots.

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:( As a profiler would say " you have to get inside the head of the one who hid it . "

It gets easier with practice.

I started out with benchmarks. :)

I have only used my gps to find one benchmark, tho.

most times, the co-ordinates for those are so far off, it's a farce to even think you can do it that way.

:)

I thought we were dicussing ways to find a cache after the location was found with a GPSr.

Looking for a benchmark based on physical location is good practice. :)

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don't wander around like a druken duck!

Aw, why not? That's half the fun of it!

 

When searching for a cache, use the force. Look under piles of sticks, you should. Peek into knotholes, you must. :Yoda smilie:

 

You will get the hang of it and learn to recognize likely spots. As my brilliant husband says, "Remember the cache WANTS to be found".

 

Have fun. :)

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With my unit when I get too close the needle often starts pointing elsewhere. I might get within 10 - 15 feet and suddenly the needle swings a different direction and drops to 1 or 2 feet. Riiiiiiight. So I back up a bit until the needle again points in the direction it has been pointing for most of my walk. Then I note the distance and direction and visually scope out that area. It is "usually" somewhere pretty close to where my gpsr is pointing.

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GPS accuracy varies constantly. My Garmin map76cs shows the accuracy level in feet and is always changing.

I can usually use it to walk within 10 to 15 feet of an object if the co-ords are good.

 

If you are out in the open with no mountains or trees and are communicating with satellites on the horizon 360 degrees, you will have a better accuracy than down in a valley surrounded by mountains using only overhead satellites.

 

The GPS triangulates your position from several sat's and the wider on the horizon they are, the better accuracy.

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I really struggled with that same problem on my first 10 caches or so; then I finally began doing what the others have written - use your instincts/skills to find likely places.

 

Another aid that I can offer is setting the GPSr down and letting in settle down (5-10 min) in the area. Sometimes I find a rock, stump, log, etc to set in on and then, while leaving it in place, follow the direction and distance to the cache (I hope you can follow my instructions ;) ).

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My best success under heavy tree cover is to get out from under the cover (if possible), walk back & forth to take bearing & distance readings where I have my best signal/reception. I do this from more than a single point.

 

Then I walk in counting my paces (3' steps) for the distance to the bearing determined . . . when there, I look for obvious hide targets & consider the logs, if needed.

 

I have done this multople times and been placed at more than a single point but always within a few feet of earlier points. This gives me a reasonable search area while allowing me to disregard tree cover as a problem.

 

It has only failed where a micro is very cleverly hidden, camoed & others have also failed to find it . . . so far! Sometimes, I think the hider's coords may be part of the problem, it has seemed that way.

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The solution to heavy tree cover and poor GPS signals .... is "sometimes" coming back in the fall after the leaves have fallen off the trees! Finding cahes in virgin snow is a bigger challenge than tree cover!

 

Obstacles are what makes it more fun for experienced cachers .... but more frustrating for newbies. :rolleyes: ImpalaBob

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One of my big problems is with GPS accuracy... one minute it says it should be right here, another NO, it's over there! And what is the general range? Isn't it about a 12 foot radius? I never know quite what to do when there's a lot of woods, a tiny cache to find and no clues!

 

???

thanks

Read the disclaimer on the box a GPSr, all but survey quality, are only good to 10 meters or maybe 3 meters, with WAAS. You can stand there but the satallites over head are moving around so your GPSr will be caclulating a new position about every second. Some times it is spot on some times well ......

But there is no gurantees to accuracy.

cheers

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I'll frequently use the distance & direction method...when I get within about 50-100 ft of a cache, I'll look at the pointer on my GPSr and hold that direction, while pacing off the distance shown. When pacing, I stride 2.5' per step, or every time my left foot hits the ground, I go 5'. Easier counting. If I am unable to find the cache using this, I'll back off 40-50 feet and walk parallel to the route I took in, and make a mental note of when the cache is exactly 90° to my current direction of travel. I'll then go another 40-50 feet past, turn 90° towards the cache and walk a perpendicular line, making another mental note of where the cache is again perpendicular to my direction of travel. Once I have these two points established, I can go back to the general area of the cache and find where those two points are exactly 90° from each other relative to my position--basically intersect those perpendicular lines. This gives me my zero point for the coordinates, again I mentally mark that point and begin my search from there.

 

Another option would be to walk randomly around the area, and when you pass easily identifiable features--large trees, fence corner posts, boulders, note the distance from each to the cache, and then triangulate yourself to the cache using those.

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I think some GPSr are better than others in this respect. A built in electronic compass can help a lot but even with that there comes a point when you have to put down the tools and step into the mind of the person who did the hiding.

 

When Sue and I go hunting we take one GPSr (don't ask me how we're still married) so inevitably one of us becomes the radio person and the other becomes the poker when we get close to GZ. We're both looking but one has the radio and one does not. I haven't been keeping track but off hand I'd say it's close to 50/50 for being the person with and without the radio in hand when the hides are located. There have been hides that we've found where the person with the radio walked more or less right to it. But there are many where the person with the radio was following the needle 30 feet away when the other said 'I spy with my little eye a good place to hide a cache.'

 

Keep swinging. You'll be amazed at how quickly your 'cacher eye' will develop.

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Look where others have looked. If it is a deep woods cache there is usually plenty of data on the ground. If there is not a real path, look for bark scraped off fallen logs by people stepping over them, ruffled leaves, bent grass, broken fungi... We seldom walk in the woods without leaving a trace of our passing. When you get close there is the obligatory "where everyone sits to sign in" spot. Usually there is a patch of bare packed dirt anywhere from two to 6+ feet in diameter.

 

Hiders usually like to put their caches around objects that THEY can find quickly. The biggest stump.. log... boulder... etc. in the area will often house the cache, or be a key in finding it.

 

And of course the rock in the hollow log.... the pile of parallel sticks... the piece of wood that "fell" into the hollow tree... Look for all the unnatural things.

Edited by edscott
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