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Can't Find or Missing


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So I am very new (got my first cache last night). I went looking for 2 different caches today on my lunch hour and got stummped on both. Give me some advice when to think a cache is gone vs just not looking hard enough. One seemed simple enough and I found where I thought it was hidden, I found a pen but no cache.

 

One other thing. IF it is a microcache (which I gather means smaller then usual, like a 35mm canister) should that usually be in the hints.

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So I am very new (got my first cache last night). I went looking for 2 different caches today on my lunch hour and got stummped on both. Give me some advice when to think a cache is gone vs just not looking hard enough. One seemed simple enough and I found where I thought it was hidden, I found a pen but no cache.

 

One other thing. IF it is a microcache (which I gather means smaller then usual, like a 35mm canister) should that usually be in the hints.

I generally assume that I just can't find the durned thing, rather than it's missing.

 

The size is noted on the cache page, on the right hand side, just above where travel bugs are listed.

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So I am very new (got my first cache last night). I went looking for 2 different caches today on my lunch hour and got stummped on both. Give me some advice when to think a cache is gone vs just not looking hard enough. One seemed simple enough and I found where I thought it was hidden, I found a pen but no cache.

 

One other thing. IF it is a microcache (which I gather means smaller then usual, like a 35mm canister) should that usually be in the hints.

 

First of all, you will need to find a lot more caches before you can comfortably suggest the hide has gone missing. Not being a wise guy here, just being truthfull. I've found 240 something and still get stumped plenty. Here's how I rate it for myself at my point in my cachereer:

 

MAYBE it's missing if...

 

1. I've been to the site twice for 2 hours a shot and still DNF.

2. I've been to the site with a group of cachers for 2 hours and DNF.

3. Previous cachers before me posted DNF's on the website (that's a real important one).

4. The obvious. New construction / site improvements etc.

5. About a hundred other things as you will find.

 

As for the cache size or type, look on the right side of the webpage above the attributes. There it will tell you if the cache is regular, multi, micro.......etc.

 

Did you look real close at that pen?? It's not uncommon at all to have your hands on the hide while your looking for it. That's the actual goal of a lot of hiders out there. :santa:

 

So to sum it up, your own experience will answer your questions over time.

Good luck and happy hunting!

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So I am very new (got my first cache last night). I went looking for 2 different caches today on my lunch hour and got stummped on both. Give me some advice when to think a cache is gone vs just not looking hard enough. One seemed simple enough and I found where I thought it was hidden, I found a pen but no cache.

 

One other thing. IF it is a microcache (which I gather means smaller then usual, like a 35mm canister) should that usually be in the hints.

 

I am quite new at this too.

 

I almost gave up on my first two caches but then found them. Its not always on the ground is what ive found.

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So I am very new (got my first cache last night). I went looking for 2 different caches today on my lunch hour and got stummped on both. Give me some advice when to think a cache is gone vs just not looking hard enough. One seemed simple enough and I found where I thought it was hidden, I found a pen but no cache.

 

One other thing. IF it is a microcache (which I gather means smaller then usual, like a 35mm canister) should that usually be in the hints.

 

We looked for one cache 4 times, and on the 5th time we FOUND it!

 

It was right under our noses, but we were not looking in the exact spot!

 

Problem with most new cachers is that they think that the GPSr is going to lead them to the exact spot, and then they just bend down and magically the cache slides from its hiding spot into their hand........

 

I was one of "them" cachers until we found a few extremely well hidden ones!

 

Enjoy!

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As a super rookey I went out again looking and could not locate either one.

On the unit do you set it up for wgs 72 or? do you use utm or?

trying to figure out where I am going wrong. currently using etrex vista

Thanks

I will continue searching as I suspect what I am asking for is here somewhere.

Edited by rambrush
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One other thing. If it is a microcache (which I gather means smaller then usual, like a 35mm canister) should that usually be in the hints.

 

If its a micro it will usually tell you on the cache page. The cache size is in the upper right hand corner between the navigation box and the attribute box.

 

Give me some advice when to think a cache is gone vs just not looking hard enough

 

If it has a difficulty of one or two stars and you can't find it after about 45 minutes of looking, there is a good chance its missing.

 

Sometimes there will be some fairly obvious signs that its missing. A pile of sticks with the shape of the container in the middle or a pile of rocks laid open. Or if the clue is very specific and you don't see it, there is a good chance its gone.

 

But never assume that because you can't find it, it must be missing. If I had a dollar for every DNF on one of my caches where the searcher swore it was missing and it wasn't, I could take the wife out for a nice dinner.

Edited by briansnat
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If you can't find it, try again some other time, later in the day, later some other day, later some other season, whatever. Post that you didn't find it. Then keep checking back to see if anyone else has found it. Posting that you didn't find something is more for record keeping, not as a negative score against you. If yo find out that other people who have found LOTS of caches are not finding this one, then it may be gone. If you see that someone else found it after you didn't find it, then someone else HAS been to the cache and you can go back out and look again. Experience helps. If you can't find it, go find lots of other ones and come back to it some other day. You DO get better at searching. After you find it, log it as a find and leave the previous DNF alone. That shows that you didn't find it one day and did find it some other day...because that's what happened. If you find it, you get to claim another find. If you don't find it, let people know. Some day you will find yourself going after some geocaches simply because others couldn't find it and you think that now you are good enough that maybe you can find it when they couldn't. I have done some of those...and I have also posted DNFs that ended up being found a few days later by someone else. That just means that it really is out there, so there's another challenge.

 

Go find some more.

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If you think its gone, try looking around near the coordinates and don't just look where you think it is. By that I mean look both high and low. Also, look for a possible reason its missing. Is it disabled? Have there been heavy rains near a cache by water? Also, Muggles could have stollen it. Now I am pretty new to this 2.(I only have found 26 caches and placed 6 or 7.)

Edited by sacred6
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I will admit I may seem like a relative noob according to my find amount (19) but dont let that fool you. I just live in an area with very few caches.

 

And I have some advice to determine if missing or is a DNF:

 

1)Check Cache's page first. Read it thoroughly, it may contain inadvertent or blatant hints.

 

2)Become involved in Forums, there are posts such as "what was your hardest find" or "most unusual find" those may give you some insight into other places to look.

 

3)Always check within your accuracy range first, then if no find, search within about a 35 foot "radius" because cache hiders coordinates may have been off without their knowing.

 

4)If there is still no find then check back to the caches page and check the caches log and see how many people ahead of you posted DNF's if there has been a couple or more then I feel it is okay to post a needs maintenance. If there are DNF's sporadically posted then it may be a hard cache to find, and I will post a DNF.

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Twice in our now almost year-and-a-half caching career we assumed that a DNF was missing (with good reason, such as the area of the hint not having the find or something irregular about the spot compared to before) only to eventually find out we just didn't find it (and in both those cases we eventually did, in the first case only on the 3rd try with the cache owner being nice enough to give some more hints that were very good but still not revealing enough to make it a small challenge)

 

Consequently, we hid a recent micro that is a tough find, and we had some "seasoned veterans" insist to us it must be missing, and of it wasn't (and I must say only one of the 3 or 4 people who did this had the guts to admit the DNF log, the others just emailed us).

 

The best thing to do is just report the DNF in your online log and if you honestly think it might be missing, don't note it there but email the cache owner, that's what we do. If a lot of people report DNF's, a good cache owner will go check out the cache. But honestly, unless someone who has thousands of finds and seems to do several of these every weekend reports a DNF, I would only assume it's "50-50" that it's really gone until I see a few of these logs at once.

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Tho' I've broken 100 finds recently, I still feel I am rather green. The hardest thing for me to do at first was post DNFs. I figured I was just missing the cache (which more times than not, I was). Now that I have hidden a few caches, I receive both the find logs and DNF via email. I am surprised how many cachers assume the cache is gone/missing when they DNF. I went and checked the caches within 24 hrs of the DNF (the caches are near my home/work) and were still in their correct location. I'm learning that caches are a bit more durable than I thought!

 

GPS coordinates are based on the hiders GPS and conditions of the area. Most GPS are accurate to 20', but caches hidden under trees (blocking line of sight), caches hidden in urban areas with electrical interference all around or tall buildings, or caches that were not put back in the correct location by the previous cacher or moved by muggles can all occur. Use both your GPSr and you "Spidey" sense ("Cachey" sense?) to think about possible locations for the cache.

 

Personally, before I look for a cache, I check the previous logs. If there is a spate of DNFs, I may not go looking UNLESS the cache owner has posted a log saying the cache is there-just keep looking! I have also (after at least 2-4 searches - my personal rule) emailed for a hint. Most cache owners are very kind in this respect.

 

Read and re-read the cache listing. Many times there are hints in the name of the cache and the accompanying text. Don't be afraid to use the Hint. Use the Difficulty scale as a guide, but there are many an experienced cacher who will tell of a 1/1 that stumped them for weeks!

 

When you find your fist cache, take a picture! You will treasure this little victory for years to come. Remember to have fun. The thrill of Geocaching is about matching wits and solving puzzles; not racking up numbers.

 

Take care,

Outspoken1

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Here are a few of the trickier hiding spots that I have come across:

 

...Inside a key carrier that looks like a rock...

...Inside a corner post, under the cap...

...Inside a plastic barrel cactus...

...Inside a rubber black widow spider...

 

Many are buried under rocks, tree branches, who knows what! In time, you may, as I have, come to hate micro caches. The sad part is, you will still hunt them. You just won't log your DNF's as much.

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Many are buried under rocks, tree branches, who knows what! In time, you may, as I have, come to hate micro caches. The sad part is, you will still hunt them. You just won't log your DNF's as much.

 

Whilst we are also relatively newcomers we will ALWAYS log a cache according to what happened at the time, otherwise we would just be lying to ourselves and that is not something that we want to live with!

 

Because if you lie to yourself then you will lie to others!

 

Our belief is that if you didnt find it and dont log it as "dnf" then you are:

1. falsifying the cache's actual stats

2. lying

3. pretending that something that happened (a dnf) is not happening to you

4. making it hard for the owner to see if something bad has happened to their cache

5. making it harder for others if they cant see previous logs that state DNF

6. did I mention LYING to yourself?

 

Also re: micro's; Whilst we havent found a great deal as yet, they are still a part of the game, you just have to think smarter, and look harder!

 

The way that caching suddenly became so much clearer to us was when we started thinking about where we would hide things at that location!

 

We have even found some caches recently without even taking the GPSr with us, just printed the map out, and off we went!

 

Its not really THAT hard!

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In your original message you mentioned finding a pen but no cache. Did you take the pen apart to see if the log is inside the pen tube? I have found a few that the pen tube is the actual cache container. Also do not let DNFs get you down. I routinely am the first to DNF caches (at least online) some easy caches but can seem to find harder ones with much less rate or DNF.

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Your question made me look back through my caches to see what kind of ratio I had of "caches that were really missing" vs "caches I just couldn't find"

 

I won't bore you with the details of how I figured it out, but if I take everything at face value and trust that everyone concerned has been 100% honest, it turns out that of all the caches I've looked for, roughly 2.5% are really missing and I just can't manage to find about 7.5% of the caches I look for that are really still there.

 

That means I probably would do well to look a few minutes longer for elusive caches before I decide they aren't there and move on to the next one. I probably won't though unless it's an out-of-town cache; I'd rather come back again another day than get frustrated with a cache that I can come back to another day.

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That means I probably would do well to look a few minutes longer for elusive caches before I decide they aren't there and move on to the next one. I probably won't though unless it's an out-of-town cache; I'd rather come back again another day than get frustrated with a cache that I can come back to another day.

 

There is no need to get frustrated, you simply have to think smarter!!

 

Search high and low but remain calm, dont let it get to you, just think as if you were hiding a cache in that location and most often you will find it within seconds!

 

We searched (with either 6 or 8 of us) for one cache 3 times On the rocks that we believed was missing in action!

 

The final time, we didnt even use the GPS, we just used it to get us back to the general location where it showed on the screen as being right under us, then we turned the GPSr off and looked and looked, we looked in a location where we didint the previous 2 times, and guess what..............

That was when we FOUND it!

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That means I probably would do well to look a few minutes longer for elusive caches before I decide they aren't there and move on to the next one. I probably won't though unless it's an out-of-town cache; I'd rather come back again another day than get frustrated with a cache that I can come back to another day.

There is no need to get frustrated, you simply have to think smarter!!

Ummm, Thanks for the encouragement, but did you happen to look at my find count?

 

I cache with my husband and we usually find a cache within two or three minutes of getting to the cache location. Every now and then a cache takes us four of five minutes to find it.

 

What we usually do is this...Look a few minutes with just cords, then look at the hint. Look another few minutes, then re-read the entire cache page and the last few logs on the PDA for other clues we may have missed.

 

We have a un-official 15 minute limit. If we don't find a cache in about 15 minutes, we are usually discussing whether we think it might really be missing. There are usually only so many places you can look for a cache in one location--and in our experience, most caches in this area are pretty darn close to the posted coords (certain hiders excepted).

 

After you've looked in all the places that do fit the description, all you can do is

1) give up for now and come back another day

2) look in places that don't fit the description or

3) look in the same places again

 

Personally, after I've looked in all the places I can think of, it does me much more good to go away to the next cache and come back again another day. Usually my subconscious takes over worrying about where that cache was while I'm off having fun with the next cache, and at some point I have a sudden ephiphany about where the cache I couldn't find must be. Sometimes that happens a cache or two later, and sometimes it happens later that night.

 

On the other hand, I've learned from experience that if I get stubborn about a cache and stay there determined to find it no matter what, then what usually happens is that I keep looking in the same places from the same angles and not "seeing" anything new. I get frustrated, tired, and regret all the other fun I didn't have at the next cache or seeing the next pretty view.

 

So moral of the story is that even people with some experience don't always find the cache, and caching is supposed to be fun. Know your style, and your limits, and be willing to walk away while you are still having fun. There is no shame in logging a DNF...and it's a lot of fun to go back and find the ones that got away the first time!

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I am only at 17 caches found, but I thought you might find this interesting:

I had 15 minutes of day light left the other day and went to find the last cache to close out a region. With two kids in my arms, I ran into the woods with only a small pen light. I searched under everything within a 30 foot perimeter but found nothing. Out of frustration, I took one last look around each standing tree – reaching as high up as I could reach. On the last tree I found a Micro cache on a branch 6 feet off the ground! The tip is this: I had read all the posts the night before and after a day of successful caches, I had forgotten this one was a micro – I had been looking for a covered ammo-can or Tupperware container. All the other senior members above have hit the nail on the head when they talk about reading the hints and other information on the post pages. I now make it a rule to print off the page and keep it with me during the hunt. Just remember to hit the “Decrypt” button before you print! Cheers,

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Problem with most new cachers is that they think that the GPSr is going to lead them to the exact spot, and then they just bend down and magically the cache slides from its hiding spot into their hand........

 

 

that's not always right, on time I walked up to the spot my GPSr said was the cache and loked down and there it was

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A newb here...but one thing I've found to be helpful is to just stand STILL in one place and do a sweep with my eyes looking for anything that looks "unnatural" whether it be on the ground or inside a hole, etc. I have found 3 caches this way. So sometimes its not the beating of the bushes but a still body and sharp eyeball that does the trick.

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I've only been at this for 5 months, but I've learned to step back and look at the bigger picture. We found one cache last week which contained a TB which I took to move along. When I logged the find I read the past logs and found that DNFs had been recorded for the cache regularly for past year, reporting the ammo box empty even between when the TB was left in the cache and when I found it. The cache I found was not in an ammo box. I connected the "dots" and found an abandoned ammo box leftover from a cache archived 3 and a half years ago but still chained to a tree within 25 feet of the active cache. Sometimes CITO requires a hacksaw.

 

Remember to have fun.

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