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When Is A Cacher Not A Newbie Anymore?


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Too many variables for me to give much of an answer.


Some combination of:

  • comfort level with caching
  • comfort level with the GPSr
  • number/types of caches found
  • number/types of caches hid
  • time since started caching
  • good/bad cache experiences
  • number of caches hunted (DNFs = experience)
  • Events attended
  • how regularly do they cache
  • contributions (swag, CITO, etc)
  • Other???

I know one when I see one. But hard to describe. No all purpose definition to me. Some after 2 or 3 - some after 40 or 50.

Edited by StarBrand
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Funny Answer: The day that you don't find the easier trail out than in - and I haven't reached that day yet.


Practical Answer: The day you are bored because you've seen it all. I'm glad I'm I still feel like a Newbie.


Metaphysical Answer: I had a cache that I found last year, where I looked at the map ahead of time, and said hey - I can do this. So I put the GPS on the seat of my car and locked the door behind me. I walked the trail knowing about what it was going to do, and where I would need to venture off trail. I found the cache and signed the log. The experience was liberating - I was able to enjoy the sounds and the smells of the cache hunt without being weighed down by worrying about the numbers. I can't do all caches like that, but I knew when I did that one, I reached a personal milestone.

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When you can spout off the geocaching guidelines verbatim, have 453 posts in the forums (237 must be useful), at least 293 finds (187 traditional, 67 multi, 23 puzzle, 5 events, 6 virtual and 5 benchmarks). At least 12 hides (9 traditional (6 regular, 1 small and 2 micros), 2 multi caches and 1 mystery cache.

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100 found. Totally arbitrary...but that's the measure I picked, I'm completely comfortable with it, and I'm sticking to it. I hate gray areas.


I'm a real cacher now! :anicute::anicute: I knew that golden micro was good for something!


The moment they feel that they no longer are.


That would have put me at around 50 found.


I say your no longer a newbie after 100 finds, 10 hides, and 1,000 forum posts. It is all about the numbers you know. :yikes::anibad:

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After you spend a whole afternoon of slowly creeping around, only to find out that the GPS

has to be kept moving in order to be effective!


When you can leave the hints and decyphered messages in your vehicle or better yet, at home!


When you learn to "look up" after swearing that the cache must have been stolen!!!


When a bunch of spring break 5th grade muggles hang around asking...."whatch doin, huh?" and you

yawn and stretch and hem and haw and next thing you know....they are gone!!


Chuck :)

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Dont you guys think hiding a cache or a couple of caches, not just finding them, would be important in passing from newbie status??

49 finds

No hides


But then what do you do about cachers who have 500+ or 1000+ finds (or more), with no hides? I've learned that some people will love hiding caches as much or more than finding them - they'll have a relatively high hide to find ratio. Others love finding, but honestly simply have no interest in ever hiding one. I think there's a point at which you aren't a newbie, even if you've never hidden a cache.


I have 300+ finds and 18 hides, and I'd still call myself a newbie most of the time. I think it's easy to tell at the extreme ends who's what -- if you have 0-1 finds, you are a newbie, no matter how many hides you have. If you have 10,000+ finds I'd say you are not a newbie - again, no matter how many hides you have. In between - I'd lean toward the option above of "whenever you no longer feel like a newbie".


hmm, or should the criteria be when you no longer think a 35 mm in a lamppost is cool and novel? :)

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I think you stop being a newbie when you give back to the hobby and/or sport that has given you so much enjoyment. Maybe you've hidden for others to find, or helped get permission to hide in a local park or city or county. Whatever it is you have given back, that's when you stop being a newbie.

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Newbie is a realtive term.


I found my last cache using a topo map and a compass. I didn't even have the GPS turned on. I had it in my pocket, which means I wasn't leaving the woods without my cache visit but I did it the old fashioned way. If you haven't tried this I highly recommend it.




p.s. My tale fell off years ago. B)

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I'm a newbie and proud of it! I've got the whole family hooked after one two months of doing it myself.


Rather than the number of caches, I think the number of people you've introduced to caching is the measure of an old hand. Of these the vast majority are still caching after, say one year, and all are responsible cachers.


I know this is another nebulous answer, but it does help perpetutate the sport / game.

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When you can spout off the geocaching guidelines verbatim, have 453 posts in the forums (237 must be useful), at least 293 finds (187 traditional, 67 multi, 23 puzzle, 5 events, 6 virtual and 5 benchmarks). At least 12 hides (9 traditional (6 regular, 1 small and 2 micros), 2 multi caches and 1 mystery cache.

I like this answer. :wub: Now I have something to aim for! :unsure::wub::(:(:(

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Your a newbie when its convienent to be a newbie, and a professional when its ok to be. Example:


Person with 200ish finds

Cop:"do you really think its a good idea to be sneeking around at night, at a cemetery, so close to the property line?"

Cacher: "Oh, i'm so sorry, i didnt realize i was near private property, Im really new at this"

-Cop Leaves, you get a warning-

5 minutes later

Cacher:"YES FTF @ 11:58, #200, YESYESYES, i'm really good at this whole thing"

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You are no longer a newbie when you realize that lampost hides are no longer clever.


When you despise bush hides.


You have more altoids tins that one could ever possibly hide in ones lifetime.


When you realize that you hate altoids tins.


Your GPS points you to a wall of ivy and you say "crap".


Have I mentioned about hating bush hides!


You are on a first name basis with the dollar store cashier.


You buy a chainsaw to cut down every bush with a 20 mile radius of your house.


You stalk the owner of that last bush hide.


Anybody else want to help me out????

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50 posts? lol. i just got my 50th today. Joined on February 22, 2006. Today is March 12, 2006. 18 days for 50 posts. Woohoo! :(:(


Cary in S.D


Congrats - I thought I was doing so good with 23 after joining in January. I can't wait for this snow to go - and I am out hunting again. Ohh - - - your no longer a newbie after you've locked your keys in the car on the last find on a cold day, just at sunset. It happened on my forth. My 5 year old grandson was with and he still thought it was a great adventure. To add to the disappointment the terrain was to tough for these old legs so we returned to the car only to find the keys locked inside. :(

Even so I'm still a newbie and I expect to be one until the sport gets boring.


Oliver1869 in S.D.

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I definately consider myself a newbie still :mad: I started near the end of Feb. So far, I have found 38 of about 42 searches, went caravaning with a local couple that geocaches, they gave me a good tour of things to expect, along the way, we bumped into a geocaching family and started grabbing even more caches, with thier help, I found many different types of cache containers, so I know now what to look for even more. and, there are some really evil cache containers. I can't think of the name of it, but its tiny enough to fit on the end of a bolt magnetically, that was an evil hide! Found a total of 2 ammo cans, 1 big tupperware container, and tons of film canisters and other similarlly sized items.


It is a very fun obsess...erm hobby, and I am having a blast, course, I did the classic newbie mistake of going after hard hides because they were near my house, bumped into some cachers there and they helped me with my first find which was great.

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