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Looking For Advice On Micro Hunting


J6
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I went out this morning and attempted to find 3 micros very close to my location. Unfortunately I was unable to come up with 2 of the three after frustrating and long searches in what I am sure was the correct area.

 

That kind of result lead me to want to get some new info...as I'm still new to geocaching at all much less urban caching.

 

Do any of the veterans have some advice for new micro-cache hunters? Any photos or basic rules of thumb to pass on? Anything at all would be helpful!

 

Here are the two caches I missed out on this morning:

 

Nautical Mile - Beach Clip

 

and

 

Nautical Mile - North End

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I'm not a fan of micros and rarely hunt them, so I'm not an expert by any means but here goes:

 

Micros are often magnetic. Look for anything metal nearby. Some common hiding spots are guardrails and under the skirts of parking lot lamp posts. Use more than your eyes. Run your hand under things and feel around spots you can't see.

 

Look inside knotholes in trees, inside drain pipes and under newspaper machines and pay phones. One method I've seen that is becoming a bit more common is taping the container to the branch of a bush, so peer inside bushes and see if you notice anything inside.

 

If you're still stumped check for things like fake rocks (look for a rock that appears to be different from the surrounding ones), fake bolts in fences, fake pine cones and even fake litter.

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Contact the cache owner and either ask for some better direction/hint or ask if they would meet you at the cache. It adds another level of "fun" when you have the pressure of the cache owner standing nearby snickering at you.

 

Dear Owner of the ' Trust me this is Fun' Cache, my name is Joe Lipschitz and I recently attempted to find your cache but dnf'd on it. Would you mind meeting me at the location tomorrrow morning @ 0900 so that you can monitor my search efforts? This would be tons of Fun I think. :):):laughing: Oh yeah. :)

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I like micros a lot. My husband prefers ammo cans in the woods, and I like them also--but nothing is more satidfying to me than discovering a new way to hide a cache almost in plain sight. Sometimes in an urban area, the micro will be almost in plain sight.

I have seen very flat magnetic things camouflaged to look like part of something metallic and unusual-shaped magnetic items attached in such a way that they look like they are supposed to be there.

 

One fairly common kind of non-magnetic micro hide that I have found are small containers (like breathmint strips, nitro pill bottles, pill bottles, film cannisters, etc) tucked in cracks and crevices. Less often, these things have been attached to something so that I had to pull a string to retrieve them, or reach somewhere I couldn't see into to fell for them.

 

My hints for micro hunting.

 

1) Sit quietly for a minute and really look around. At first it seems that there may be 1000 good hiding places for something small, but by eliminating places where they would be seen, bumped, flooded out, kicked, or otherwise destroyed you can eliminate 950 of the 1000. Think where you might hide something about the size of a film cannister and look there first.

 

2) Be willing to squat down low to reach into somewhere dark or to tiptoe and stretch up to reach something high. There have been times when I had to lay on the ground to reach the cache. I bet that 80% of the micros I have found have been lower than knee level, and 10% above my head.

 

3) Carry a small mirror (one of those dental kind are great) and a flashlight for peeping around corners and gloves for reaching into places that might have spiders, furry things, or sharp glass. A magnet attached to something like an antenna can come in handy also (just make sure it isn't so powerful that you get it caught on things all the time--you just want to to "feel" for metal things inside dark places.

 

4) If you get frustrated, stop a minute, walk away, and walk back from another direction. Often that gives you just the new perspective you need to "see" where the cache has to be.

 

5) If there is an interesting feature at the spot, consider whether the cache owner wanted you to admire that thing--a fountain, an intricate gatepost, an old stepping block, a sign etc. Is the cache on it, or on a thing just by it?

 

6) Things are hidden on the "back side" more often than they are hidden on the "front side". That said though, one of the hardest micros to find for me was a bison tube, about the size of my thumb, that was just wired to the top edge of a fence. I couldn't find it because I was too busy looking for something on one of the uprights or the gate and it was exactly the same color as the fence.

 

It gets easier after you have found more of these kinds of caches. At first, micros were challenging to me, and I visited some of them three or four times before I found them, even though other people were saying things like "Thanks for the easy one!" (which didn't help my pride, I can tell you!). Hope these ideas help a bit and that you find that you like micro-hunting also.

Edited by Team Neos
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It gets easier after you have found more of these kinds of caches. At first, micros were challenging to me, and I visited some of them three or four times before I found them, even though other people were saying things like "Thanks for the easy one!" (which didn't help my pride, I can tell you!). Hope these ideas help a bit and that you find that you like micro-hunting also.

 

Good lands I can't wait for that day! I'm reading the log posts of the 'veterans' ahead of me and each of them are about how easy it was or how they saw it as they drove up or thanks for the boost to the numbers. Meanwhile I'm spending 30 minutes NOT finding it and NOT finding the next one and NOT finding...well you see where I'm going.

 

Also, what's a bison tube? Secret cache knowledge? Do I have to wait till I find one? Thanks already and thanks in advance!

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I'm no great fan of them either, but they do get easier as you go along and see more hides. Remember that they go missing more often than ammo cans in the woods, because they're often urban. Sometimes very urban. It helps to know the size and nature of the container. And feel up under things. That's where I usually find them -- up under a rail or something. I use my hands a lot micro hunting.

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Also, what's a bison tube? Secret cache knowledge? Do I have to wait till I find one? Thanks already and thanks in advance!

 

Here is a link to to a Bison tube...

 

Bison Tube

 

There are several similar containers out there too, just made by a different manufacturer. Around here, lots of people hide them by attaching a magnet to them or hiding them on a limb of a tree/bush. The best advice I can give on finding a micro is once you get to an area, step back and just think where you could hide something that non-cachers wouldnt see it, but with a little searching a cacher would.

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I visited some of them three or four times before I found them, even though other people were saying things like "Thanks for the easy one!"

 

I dnf'd one of these today lol

 

i guess i gotta go a few more times! thanks for the tips Team Neos

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Here's another approach: Here in Phoenix the area is littered with micros. Mostly pointless and lame, with a few nice ones. If I'm going to be in a certain part of town, I will load up a few of the micros around that area. If I don't find one within five minutes, I erase it from my gps and pda and never think about it again. I just wish I could get them off of Google Earth maps!

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Micros are actually fun. Personally, I see the larger containers as overkill since you just need room for a pencil and a log.

 

They can be frustrationg, however the majority fall into two classes;

 

1. Film cannister

2. Magnetic key holder.

 

The latter is a favorite of the urban type hides, however is used in some more rural hides as well.

 

Keep in mind both need either a place to rest or a means of "attachment" (Velcro, fishing line, magnet, etc.). This alone may help you find it more quickly.

 

Bushes tend to be the toughest for me, however a well placed shake or two will usually reveal something out of the ordinary without damage to the bush. I have also found a small flashlight can be helpful since these will reflect a little different.

 

Besides that, just look for nooks and crannies. While frustrating, the ones that require multiple trips can also prove to be the most rewarding. Some get much more creative than the above containers as well. Experience here will be your biggest tool, they do become much easier as time goes on.

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As my limited experience grows I am seeing these tips as quite on the money. I'm in the Detroit area for recreation right now and doing my first urban/micro caches ever.

 

As I grow more comfortable with them I find myself guessing at their location while I walk up. I'm even beginning to remember the name of the hider so as to check their 'tricks'.

 

Things I definitely plan to add to my arsenal: Gloves (a discrete but protective pair), a golf pencil for discrete logging, an item to drop so as to give a reason for stooping (something visible to others around and yet small enough to pocket after the decoy), a dentist's mirror or similarly small reflective device, a minimag flashlight.

 

Thanks for the help all...I can only hope these things help others.

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Nanos are usually magnetic .... so look on steel items first. When looking for micros, don't think film canister size .... think smaller. If it happens to be bigger .... GREAT!

 

USE A FLASHLIGHT and be thorough with your search. Approach the area from a different angle if you are having problems.

 

Take a good look at the degree of difficulty rating, and read all the past logs for hints.

 

If you DNF, contact the cache owner for a hint or a true description of the actual container.

 

:laughing: ImpalaBob

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A bison tube is a small metal (aluminum) cylinder that happens to be waterproof. I have no idea how it got the name but it's very popular in my area.

 

Duh! It's because the first cachers used to put bison in them out on the plains!!! :huh:

 

Umm:

I believe it's 'cause they were first manufactured by BisonDesigns. I've had one for years on my dog's collar.

 

[edited to add: http://www.bisondesigns.com/ and http://www.bisondesigns.com/aluminum/keycaddies/capsule.htm direct link...

Edited by Adrenalynn
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Dear Owner of the ' Trust me this is Fun' Cache, my name is Joe Lipschitz and I recently attempted to find your cache but dnf'd on it. Would you mind meeting me at the location tomorrrow morning @ 0900 so that you can monitor my search efforts? This would be tons of Fun I think. :)^_^:lol: Oh yeah. :)

Oh yeah, and never mind that big buldge in my jacket pocket - its my GPSr, yeah, thats the ticket - a GPSr I tell ya! :)

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It gets easier after you have found more of these kinds of caches. At first, micros were challenging to me, and I visited some of them three or four times before I found them, even though other people were saying things like "Thanks for the easy one!" (which didn't help my pride, I can tell you!). Hope these ideas help a bit and that you find that you like micro-hunting also.

 

Good lands I can't wait for that day! I'm reading the log posts of the 'veterans' ahead of me and each of them are about how easy it was or how they saw it as they drove up or thanks for the boost to the numbers. Meanwhile I'm spending 30 minutes NOT finding it and NOT finding the next one and NOT finding...well you see where I'm going.

 

Also, what's a bison tube? Secret cache knowledge? Do I have to wait till I find one? Thanks already and thanks in advance!

 

We were really frustrated the first half dozen caches we tried to find and thought we were just awful at finding. But friends of ours from out of town are more experienced and we have cached with them several times. Boy, does that make a difference. We have learned so much and aren't getting skunked so often anymore.

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I go with the theory to "touch everything". I have found film cannisters superglued with bark and put onto a tree. Fake electrical outlets. Fake numbering on walls. And of course, the itty bitty pill container under the park bench. And don't forget the fake leaves in the tree. Sound frustrating? Sometimes, but the AHA factor makes it all worthwhile. And sending a note to the owner of a cache and asking for help makes the owner feel great, and may begin a beautiful friendship/rivalry! :)

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I'm surprised no one has suggested that J6 go look at the Cool Cache Containers Thread, just to really give something to think about . . . :)

 

I've stolen, er, uh, liberated, er, borrowed some ideas from that. Funny thing is, I was sure that the idea I came up with for a nano on one stage of a multi was original. Had somebody e-mail, "yeah, I've seen one like that before . . ."

 

JohnTee

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I have plans to start placing my caches soon have spent winter months finding area and devising caches....

 

Some of my first placements will be a variety of disabled access locatations and caches. My real hard ones are already prepared, but last on my priorities for the moment. I have prepared 5 camo thimble caches(smaller than bison) only one has a magnetic holder on it....

 

Micro hunters will have to wait till end of summer for these to appear....

 

my braille cache will come out in august.

 

So my adivice is expect the unexpected when it comes to micros

 

Chech out the unuasual cache forumn page

Edited by Team_Talisman
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