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Geocaching Top Tips


Simply Paul
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When failing to get a signal on my etrex, I find popping it on my head for a minute always gets me a strong lock. I have no idea if it's because my skull acts as a booser or if it's just the extra height, but it never fails. A photo taken today, without my knowlege, below:

 

arialboy.jpg

 

Another Top Tip:

 

No PDA? Just take a photo or two of the cache page on your PC screen with your digital camera before leaving home. In the field you can zoom in to the image and read all the logs, decrypted clue, etc. as you would on a hand-held. You can do the same with Streetmap maps. Simple!

 

Does anyone else have a handy hint or top tip to aid other cachers?

 

SP :cry:

Edited by Simply Paul
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Haggis Hunter wrote:

Can't find the cache, decided to leave and log your DNF, just before walking off, turn around and have one last glance, this has worked on more than one occassion for me.

I had one near-DNF where I gave up after searching for an hour and a quarter in fairly dense woodland with a not-very-helpful hint. I turned away and set off to walk back to the car, and then spotted the cache, not entirely out in the open, but partially visible! And I hadn't seen it in all that time...

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When doing several caches...

 

When you've set the waypoint into the GPS and are following the arrow, make sure the other person is reading the same cache page information, and not one of the others you are planning to do!. <_<

Yep, been there done that. Took us ages to find the simple cache, due to the fact I was reading the wrong clue, found immediately once we realised my mistake. <_<

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When failing to get a signal on my etrex, I find popping it on my head for a minute always gets me a strong lock. I have no idea if [...] it's just the extra height, but it never fails.

but seriously, SP's method works for a good scientific reason.

 

When you hold a GPSr just on front of your chest, you are blocking the signal from about 90° of its antenna's horizon and you are therefore not only losing at least 25% of the available satellites but are also distorting the fix by unbalancing it. It's the satellites closest to the horizon which geometrically give you the most useful infomation for a Lat/Long fix.

 

The inevitable errors from one satellite in one direction are usually cancelled out by satellites in the opposite direction.

 

By holding the GPSr at about 30° above the horizontal in an outstretched arm (or putting it on the shiny and reflective groundplane of a tall slaphead!) you are giving it 'sight' of more satellites. It will give you a much more stable and more accurate fix.

 

Cheers, The Forester

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Remember where you left your other half, waypoint their position and then when you call the rescue team or police you can direcrt them in the opposite direction. Resulting in peace and quite for a day or so.

Oh! I am shocked <_< , Globetrotter!

Speaking as an "Other Half", I'm sure Mr B would agree that we have our uses when out geocaching... after all, I got to call out the Rescue Helicopter when he slipped on a 18" bank on Exmoor and broke his ankle...hence our avatar! Mrs B.

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Before setting off to the top of a mountain and engaging in a half hour rummage through the undergrowth ensure the cache instructions don't say:

 

"ABOVE CO-ORDINATES ARE NOT THE LOCATION OF THE CACHE"

 

Top tip... read the instructions and note the big print! Long walk back but worthwhile if you like the scenery!

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Before setting off to the top of a mountain and engaging in a half hour rummage through the undergrowth ensure the cache instructions don't say:

 

"ABOVE CO-ORDINATES ARE NOT THE LOCATION OF THE CACHE"

 

Top tip... read the instructions and note the big print! Long walk back but worthwhile if you like the scenery!

Oh how many times have we done that??

 

We are paperless, and Phill just marches along with the ipaq, and I rarely get to see the cache page, so I just go along with it....

 

NOT ANY MORE!!!

 

I have learned to thoroughly read the cache page!!

 

My top tip??

 

Carry water (what seems like it's a 0.4 walk can often turn out to be a 1.4)

take spare trousers (esp in winter when you are likely to to mud surfing like I always do!!)

take Tom Tom - the best invention ever!

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Before you leave a cache site to trek back to your car, check for GPS, car keys, mobile phone, etc to make sure you have not dropped them or put them in the cache. If you have loaned your expensive pen to your companion, make sure he has not left it in the cache!!

 

Don't go 'off piste' following the arrow until you are a lot closer to the cache. How many times have you climbed up banks, through gorse bushes and virulent nettles to arrive at the cache, only to discover the perfectly obvious footpath 5 feet from the cache, which you could have taken. Dur!!

 

When caching with a man with a banana, oops Etrex on his head, ensure that you are far away from your local area and nobody you know will see you! <_<

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I'm a newbie cacher with less than 10 finds to my name but I've picked up a few things from "learning on the job".

 

1) Take a pencil with you. Check you have it when leaving the car! walking 2 miles up a 1:4 gradient to find you left it in the car and the cache doesn't have one.. argh.

 

2) Staple the printed pages off in order so when it comes to deciphering the clue, you dont read the one from a cache you did earlier on (which you found without needing it) and get really confused and spend ages looking in the wrong place.

 

3) Don't go caching in the sort of shoes you wear to weddings, even if its a city cache with terrain 1.

 

4) If at all possible, park the car near a pub for post-caching refreshments!

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1)  Take a pencil with you.

In the 1960s NASA spent more than $12,000,000 researching and developing a pen that would work upside-down and in zeroG conditions.

 

The Russians used a pencil.

I've got one.

 

It's my geocaching pen 'cos it really does work in all conditions and it's shorter than normal to fit in your pocket.

 

Present form the In-Laws, didn't know they were that expensive. <_<

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In the 1960s NASA spent more than $12,000,000 researching and developing a pen that would work upside-down and in zeroG conditions.

 

The Russians used a pencil.

I've got one of those pens! It's very good, and even writes well on very soggy paper / logbooks. Apparently, it writes underwater aswell, but I can't say I've had the opportunity!

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When caching 790m up the side of a mountain and continuing to the 1174m summit trig I think one is quite entitled to a rest on return to the nearst track at 350m prior to returning to the car parked next to the road at 160m. However, don't leave your specs on the rock at 350m it's a long walk back from the car to collect them!

 

Top tip... secure spectacles with retainer hangcord or invest in contact lenses - recommended! One couldn't even admire the view as it was the middle of the night and without one's specs what could one see anyway!

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Thought it was just us that did that...! It really does work and its probably good for the posture :ph34r: We have both mastered the art of walking with a TomTom balanced on the head, while reading the PDA screen at the same time.

Oh thank gourd it's not just me! I'd been hoping someone else would own up to GPSr balancing. :lol:

 

Another Top Tip: A 50p lanyard from a mobile phone shop's bargain bin works just as well as a fancy official one, and is a worthwhile investment as it leaves both hands free to fend off happy-to-meet-you dogs, very tall nettles, hold a map (can be used as a hand fan or emergency umbrella in a hail storm) or to pull you up an unexpected cliff/bank/tree.

 

SP

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1)  Take a pencil with you.

In the 1960s NASA spent more than $12,000,000 researching and developing a pen that would work upside-down and in zeroG conditions.

 

The Russians used a pencil.

That's the fella! Very annoying when your highly expensive, NASA designed, special birthday gift from your father, pen gets left in a cache by your dopey companion. I had to revist the spooky graveyard by myself a few days later (having searched high and low round the house for the pen) in the dark and recover the thing. :ph34r:

 

The story about NASA spending all the money on the all singing all dancing pen and then the Russians simply issuing their cosmonauts with a pencil makes me laugh every time! I still like my pen though.

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In the 1960s NASA spent more than $12,000,000 researching and developing a pen that would work upside-down and in zeroG conditions.

 

The Russians used a pencil.

Apparently, it writes underwater aswell

Hmmm... wonder about the cost of developing paper that works under water

 

Another camera-related tip: when doing several caches in one day I take a quick photo of my entry in each log book. That makes it easier to remember what to put in the log when logging the find on PC back at home.

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After my Wife, the most important cache tool costs less than $1 - Peanut M&Ms. Here are a few reason I always carry the small yellow bag candies

 

Quick Protein

Quick Sugar

Bribe for anyone who challanges your navigational prowess

Diversion for small furry critters who pose a hazard to health or life (you have to carefully suck the chocolate off for this one)

Emergency Ammunition (thrown or slingshot)

Temporary trail markers (color coding system is up to you)

Ear plugs (temporary, not advised unless dire emergency)

 

Wrapper can be used as:

Emergency writting material (logs, coords, etc)

Extreme Emergency TP substitute

Trail marking if tied to bush or tree branch

Signaling for aircraft (if held up above head in clearing during daylight)

Edited by Frodo13
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