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Newbie With Questions


RocketCouch
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I purchased a Garmin GPS V from a friend less than a week ago. Well I was searching the net and found this site and thought this would be a great idea to take my son on the hunts. Well, we searched the caches closest to us and found several. We spent 30 mins trying to find the first one. According to the coordinates, we were right on top of it, but never found it! So we went to the second cache loaction. Well, about 1/4 of a mile away, the dirt road turned into a mud hole. It was not passable in a vehicle and not walkable because of the deep mud and brush. We went home very disappointed. What do the containers look like? What could we have done better? Any suggestions for a newbie?

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Patience my geocaching freind! Your first outing may have been a disappointment, but it will only get better. Now to answer your questions....

 

The containers will vary. Some will not be containers at all, but maybe a decoy to hold a log sheet. You can find some ideas of various (albeit evil and mean) hides on this page. At any rate, you need to "think outside the box" a lot of the time. Think "If I wanted to hide something yay big, I'd put it......" Getting to the coordinates is only half the battle in some cases, in fact, consider the coordinates as a means of getting you to the general area. You can easily be off 30' or so, so looking around for likely hiding spots is more important than eyeballing your GPS most times. Knowing approximately what size you are looking for can help a lot, and that is listed on most cache pages. Some of these things are fairly well hidden, and some are not. You can also read the clues on the cache pages, and many times, you can find inadvertant clues in other cacher's logs. A lot of caches are found by simply reading, thinking, and observing

 

As far as what you can do better, you may try looking for some with a difficulty of 1 or so. Can't help with the mud problem, but there are links to the Google maps on each cache page, so you can plan ahead where you are going. This might help you avoid troubles in the future. Another possibility is going for a cache in a more remote area where you can spend some time looking. Caches like these are not as likely (see the difficulty level first though) to be as difficult. Often, a strange pile of rocks or twigs are the give away to a cache.

 

Hang in there! This is a great hobby in that you can go as hard or as easy as you want to. If you just go to enjoy the ride/drive/hike, finding the cache is a bonus. B)

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Here is the one we made it to and spent 30 mins looking. http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...80-362da504660a

 

Here is the one we couldn't get to.

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_detai...a4-922d8a0c5256

 

I'm going to hunt tomorrow on my lunch break. I have alot more closer to work than home. I hope I have better results. I'm not discouraged, I'm going to keep hunting!

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General advice: stand back and look around - there is often more than 1 way to approach a cache location. Carry maps and learn to think about thigs a bit differently.

 

Look for slightly unnatural - natural items. For example, a stack of branches all parrallel. A pile of rocks where thare are no other piles. Trampled grass. disturbed bark around a downed tree - that sort of thing.

 

Also remember to think vertical - not all caches are at or below knee level.

 

Welcome - and Good Luck.

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We spent 30 mins trying to find the first one. According to the coordinates, we were right on top of it, but never found it!

 

This is a mistake that novices typically make. Your GPS is only accurate from 15-30 feet even under the best conditions, less so under difficult conditions. The GPS of the hider had similar accuracy, so the cache could be 50 or more feet from where your GPS is telling you it is.

 

Once you get to the general area you need to rely more on your eyes and instinct than the GPS.

Edited by briansnat
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