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Newbie in search of first catch


nittek
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:anitongue: I am a newbie to geocaching. Became very interested a month or so ago. Got an early model etrex off ebay (with no WAAS) for small investment just to see if this is something I would want to stay with. Even bought Geocaching For Dummies ...I just checked in with myself and find that I still like this pastime an awful lot even though I find myself cacheless after two attempts. The first cache I searched for a good 45 minutes until I lost daylight. Came back the next morning to the same cache sight and spent over an hour searching with no results. I then went to another cache which what I thought should have been a piece of cake only to strike out again and come up with yet another DNF. These are 1/1 caches. I am feeling rather stupid that I have yet to come up with my first find.

Has anyone else had the same difficulty till they found their first cache?

I read these logs on the geocahcing website and I get a little intimidated with all the success stories.

I might add that I did enjoy getting some excersize in searching for the the caches which is one of the things that attracted me to geocaching.

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We are relatively new as well and have had a few DNFs so far. It's frustrating but we just enjoy being outdoors and the hunt itself. Look at the logs for the caches...are these ones that have recently been found? If not, it's possible that they could be missing. Don't get down about not finding them....just keep trying, and the first one you do find will be that much sweeter! Good luck!

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:D I am a newbie to geocaching. Became very interested a month or so ago. Got an early model etrex off ebay (with no WAAS) for small investment just to see if this is something I would want to stay with. Even bought Geocaching For Dummies ...I just checked in with myself and find that I still like this pastime an awful lot even though I find myself cacheless after two attempts. The first cache I searched for a good 45 minutes until I lost daylight. Came back the next morning to the same cache sight and spent over an hour searching with no results. I then went to another cache which what I thought should have been a piece of cake only to strike out again and come up with yet another DNF. These are 1/1 caches. I am feeling rather stupid that I have yet to come up with my first find.

Has anyone else had the same difficulty till they found their first cache?

I read these logs on the geocahcing website and I get a little intimidated with all the success stories.

I might add that I did enjoy getting some excersize in searching for the the caches which is one of the things that attracted me to geocaching.

 

I got an eTrex for Christmas, specifically with geocaching in mind. How thoughtful of a gift is that? Well, my girlfriend and I are doing this together, and so far we've had no luck. We've searched for three caches, and found none. The first has been muggled, so at least we were in the correct place. It's going to be replaced, and I'll go find it then.

Both of the other two caches seem to be challenging for others as well, so we'll be heading back out, and have more time to spend at both of them.

Don't give up!

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I didnt really have much trouble finding my first few caches, but I hand picked them carefully... I was doing this with my 5 year old daughter and wanted to make sure that found them. Just keep trying and read the logs and hints... you will find them!

 

Have fun

 

Dan

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Has anyone else had the same difficulty till they found their first cache?

We still have trouble occasionally with 1/1 caches, but our first few were the hardest because our GPSr was set for the wrong map datum. Once we switched it to WGS84 cacheing was a lot less frustrating. So just in case, check to make sure you're on the right map datum.

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I couldn't find my first cache, and just about gave up on my second when suddenly I spotted something inside a hollow tree trunk.

 

First of all, your GPS only gets you to within about 30 feet of the cache, despite what the accuracy states. Sometimes you are right on ... It's just luck. Go back in 15 minutes and your GPS might take you 30 feet from where it took you before. This is normal.

 

So, once in the area, put the GPS away and HUNT for the cache. It's not going to be sitting out in the open. Most likely it will be hidden by a pile of branches, leaves, or bark. It may be in a tree trunk, in a gap under a fallen log, or against a rock ledge. And you'd be amazed at how many I've found suspended underneath wooden foot bridges.

 

The cache container could be camoflagued with tape or paint. Some people even put wet glue on their cache then smear it with dirt, leaves, etc.

 

And often, it is in (or near) a unique feature. Think of where YOU might want to hide it. You wouldn't just drop it in a random spot, would you? The biggest tree, a pile of logs, large stumps (maybe even fake ones!)

 

Pretend that this is really hidden treasure that you're not supposed to find. Get it?

 

My first 10 caches were the most difficult. I felt that 10 was a milestone!

 

It will all sink in as you gain experience.

 

Good luck, and happy geocaching.

Edited by michigansnorkeler
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Our problem when we were "new" was that we expected the GPSr to lead us to the EXACT spot!

 

Once we realised and started to acept that our GPSr would lead us to the general area,

with a potential error on the distance shown:

we learnt how to search an area,

and to look around with our eyes (Usually for things that were out of place, a neat pile of sticks or rocks etc),

and to think like it was US who were hiding the cache we were looking for,

 

that was the point at which things became so much easier!

 

As newbies we searched for a local cache 4 times without a find, and were about to give up if we didnt find it the 5th time......... then we found it on our 5th visit!!!! It was in a totally different area, we had a much better reading, and it was like we just looked in hte right spot, where we hadnt looked before.

 

We were about 1 meters SOUTH of the actual cache, and we were searching "that" area only.

 

Now we look around, sometimes upto 20mtrs or more if accuracy is low or we havent found it at the given co'ords because the hider may have had a low signal the day they logged it! We have actually found that 3 times now!

 

Remember, if the hider had 15 mtrs (50ft) accuracy, and the day you go you have 15mtrs too, then that has the potential to be 30mtrs (100ft) error.

 

Hope this helps!

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I saw the comment about using the book "Geocaching for Dummies." I have that book and it is VERY imformative. You can find a lot of good helpful tips in there that will help you along.

 

At the same time, no book can describe your personal experience as a Geocacher. Caches are hidden differently in all places of the world. All you have to do is learn different peoples cache hide techniques and it will be a little easier.

 

For starters, go for the caches that have difficulty/terrain ratings equal or less than 2 stars. I realize that those caches will still be challanging for starters because you have never been out to find anything. Once you have found a couple of them, you will start to get the idea and they will come to you a lot faster. Read the description completely before you head out so that you can get an idea of the area that you will be going to get this cache. Figure out the additional hints so that you will have an easier time finding it. Some people use acronyms for their additional hints such as LP. For someone who has done geocaching for a long time LP means LightPole, but for someone who doesn't know that you are more than welcome to start a thread on the getting started forum here and bring out the cache in question and ask what LP means and you will get a response in a matter of minutes.

 

Check previous logs for a cache before you go out their and hunt. If you see multiple DNF (Did not find) logs in a row, then chances are you may not be able to find it...if you are a newbie, just plain skip over those. For someone who is more experienced, they can go to a location and confirm it is missing due to hiding techniques for a difficulty 1 cache.

 

Just stick with it when it comes to those easy caches. Likely you are not missing something by not coming up with the 1/1 cache because it could be muggled or hidden oddly. Some cache hiders are newbies themselves and may not know how to correctly rate caches. In those cases email the cache owner if you found the cache and feel that it needs to be rated higher/lower and they will evaluate and see what they feel is best in the situation.

 

Don't be glued to your GPSr when you get to a cache site. The point of that arrow is to get you in the general area, but it will not get you to standing over top of it. When I get to 30 feet or so I start to look for possible hiding spots. I stop looking at the GPS and start looking at my surroundings and going to different good hiding places in the area. If you go to an easy cache, a lot of times it will be a film canister under the light post trays in parking lots....or if you are in the woods, it will be an ammo box or rubbermaid along a fallen tree, or up against a standing tree with sticks around the container to camo. The techniques for hiding a cache is endless, but those are some of the easier types.

 

Another bit of wisdom that I will spill all over the people here who are having problems locating caches is find a friend to go caching with. The more eyes the better on a cache hunt. Go to a local Geocaching event that may be happening in your area and ask someone there for help on locating caches and they will likely be more than happy to help.

 

Just stick with it.....when you get the hang of it, it is a WONDERFUL hobby.

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I saw the comment about using the book "Geocaching for Dummies." I have that book and it is VERY imformative. You can find a lot of good helpful tips in there that will help you along.

 

At the same time, no book can describe your personal experience as a Geocacher. Caches are hidden differently in all places of the world. All you have to do is learn different peoples cache hide techniques and it will be a little easier.

 

For starters, go for the caches that have difficulty/terrain ratings equal or less than 2 stars. I realize that those caches will still be challanging for starters because you have never been out to find anything. Once you have found a couple of them, you will start to get the idea and they will come to you a lot faster. Read the description completely before you head out so that you can get an idea of the area that you will be going to get this cache. Figure out the additional hints so that you will have an easier time finding it. Some people use acronyms for their additional hints such as LP. For someone who has done geocaching for a long time LP means LightPole, but for someone who doesn't know that you are more than welcome to start a thread on the getting started forum here and bring out the cache in question and ask what LP means and you will get a response in a matter of minutes.

 

Check previous logs for a cache before you go out their and hunt. If you see multiple DNF (Did not find) logs in a row, then chances are you may not be able to find it...if you are a newbie, just plain skip over those. For someone who is more experienced, they can go to a location and confirm it is missing due to hiding techniques for a difficulty 1 cache.

 

Just stick with it when it comes to those easy caches. Likely you are not missing something by not coming up with the 1/1 cache because it could be muggled or hidden oddly. Some cache hiders are newbies themselves and may not know how to correctly rate caches. In those cases email the cache owner if you found the cache and feel that it needs to be rated higher/lower and they will evaluate and see what they feel is best in the situation.

 

Don't be glued to your GPSr when you get to a cache site. The point of that arrow is to get you in the general area, but it will not get you to standing over top of it. When I get to 30 feet or so I start to look for possible hiding spots. I stop looking at the GPS and start looking at my surroundings and going to different good hiding places in the area. If you go to an easy cache, a lot of times it will be a film canister under the light post trays in parking lots....or if you are in the woods, it will be an ammo box or rubbermaid along a fallen tree, or up against a standing tree with sticks around the container to camo. The techniques for hiding a cache is endless, but those are some of the easier types.

 

Another bit of wisdom that I will spill all over the people here who are having problems locating caches is find a friend to go caching with. The more eyes the better on a cache hunt. Go to a local Geocaching event that may be happening in your area and ask someone there for help on locating caches and they will likely be more than happy to help.

 

Just stick with it.....when you get the hang of it, it is a WONDERFUL hobby.

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I have the same GPS unit and have been successful even though I am a newbie as well. Here is what I do, hope it helps:

Keeping in mind that our older and basic GPS units will not give an accurate compass reading (or direction to travel indication of any kind) if we are not moving – so I use either a standard compass or a tree or a person up ahead of me (as a reference point) to keep me on a straight course as I approach my find. My unit will count down as I get close and it usually goes like this: 10, 8, 4, 30 (feet). At the 4-foot mark, I drop my back pack and keep on walking. Once about 30 visual feet away, I turn around and walk a straight line back to my bag. My GPS will take a couple feet to figure out that I turned around, but the location indicator will start to indicate that I am getting closer even if the arrow is telling me to go a different direction. When it reaches the 4-foot mark, I always find myself at a different location than that of my back pack. I move my back pack to a location halfway between where it was and this now spot (kind of averaging out the points). I then take a 90 degree turn and simply walk another 30 visual feet away. As I return on this third approach, I usually find a third location and again move my bag halfway between the two points. If you need to, you can do this one more time creating an “x”, but I have not found that to be necessary: in fact I have usually located the cache while performing this quick field average (using the techniques already discribed by Super_Nate). On the tougher finds though, like the micro’s, having my bag marking an average location is the key to my search: I simply check every possible location close by and slowly fan out.

I hope this is helpful! Happy caching to you!

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I'm still a newb but its getting better! I had one micro cache I tried for 4 times. I was determined to find the bugger! Fifth time was the charm. VERY clever hide and it definitely taught me to look for little tiny details sometimes. A very educational hide. :(

 

This weekend I tried for the third time for an ammo can in a park. I looked for close to 45 minutes under logs, in logs, in holes, in trees, up in trees. Nada. I finally left because the sun was setting and there were two other caches I wanted to look for. I feel like a real dummie not be able to find an AMMO can. Micros...sometimes you have an excuse there. :unsure: I will keep trying. It just makes the find all that more sweet! Other caches I've had no problems at all. Easy or hard, I'm thrilled with every find.

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Similar experiences myself. Don't rely just on the GPS. When you get the general area, start looking around. Remember that sometimes hints can be meaningless. Take a look at the last time someone else found the cache. Has the weather changed? Has the season changed? Leaves and trees do fall and hide caches. Floods do happen and wash caches away. Groundskeepers do throw containers away. Do not forget that civilian model GPS devices can sometime have large errors. Old chip sets, more errors. When I go out to an old grave yard and I see deep leaves I know there's a good chance no cache will be found. I'm not taking a leaf rake and a metal detector or a dip net to find a cache. You can be TOO clever and hide the cache so well that no one will find it. Don't hesitate to report an unfound cache. It may not be there anymore. Geocaching can be a pleasant excuse for exercise and to play with your toy, but when it get frustrating, it's time to search for something else.

 

 

 

:unsure: I am a newbie to geocaching. Became very interested a month or so ago. Got an early model etrex off ebay (with no WAAS) for small investment just to see if this is something I would want to stay with. Even bought Geocaching For Dummies ...I just checked in with myself and find that I still like this pastime an awful lot even though I find myself cacheless after two attempts. The first cache I searched for a good 45 minutes until I lost daylight. Came back the next morning to the same cache sight and spent over an hour searching with no results. I then went to another cache which what I thought should have been a piece of cake only to strike out again and come up with yet another DNF. These are 1/1 caches. I am feeling rather stupid that I have yet to come up with my first find.

Has anyone else had the same difficulty till they found their first cache?

I read these logs on the geocahcing website and I get a little intimidated with all the success stories.

I might add that I did enjoy getting some excersize in searching for the the caches which is one of the things that attracted me to geocaching.

Link to comment

As I teach my daughters to Geocache, I let them use their "spidey senses." What I mean by this is that I have them LOOK for clues that previous cachers have left once we get to the GZ. Whether it's a trail, a rock or something that doesn't belong (think of Where's Waldo). What doesn't look right: Big pile of dead brush/leaves where there is no tree, a geo-rock pile, etc. I've found many a cache because of the "CLUES" left by previous cachers.

 

Another BIG help is to read ALL the logs for the cache you are going after...I'll bet there's a clue or two left in the logs. Also, make sure you know what size of cache you are looking for...is it a Large AMMO can or a Micro...is it under something or is it hanging.

 

If you are really having a hard time, email the cache owner and see if they will give you a clue or hint.

 

Like the other posts here say, KEEP trying and it WILL get easier.

 

Happy Caching!

ea6bflyr :D

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This weekend I tried for the third time for an ammo can in a park. I looked for close to 45 minutes under logs, in logs, in holes, in trees, up in trees. Nada. I finally left because the sun was setting

 

Well I found that cache this weekend. This was after discovering that I...uh...err.....had the wrong coordinates in my GPSr. :( DUUUUUH. I was totally in the wrong place! Newbie rule no. 1: make sure coordinates are correct in GPSr before going to look for cache. ;) Turned out to be a pretty quick find.

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I just got a Magellan Explorist 300 for Christmas this year. My wife got it for me because I do a lot of coon hunting and sometimes end up in woods that I am not familiar with. Then I end up walking around those woods for a while looking for land marks. Or I end up using my compass to get me to the road and then walking to where ever I parked my truck.

 

I decided that geocaching may be something fun for the whole family to get involved with.

 

I went solo on my first cache hunt yesterday. I didn't find the cache, but I did meet some nice people when I locked my keys in my truck. In the ignition. In the ON position. I had to wait until today to get the keys, and of course the battery was dead. yada yada yada.

 

Never one to get discouraged from one bad experience, I took my kids out with me today, and we found our first cache very quickly. My daughter(4 years old) also found a fake cache that was nearby. She liked it a lot. Said it was like being in the "Backyardigans"(please don't ask).

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My first finds were with my brother who introduced me to the sport/hobby. I don't think I would have found them without him. The first one was in an unusual container that I wouldn't have thought to pay attention to. The second one was literally buried -covered with leaves and debris. Of course once I saw the way things worked it became easier to know what to look for. I follow the GPS compass to within one feet and do it a couple of times. Usually this involves walking around in circles numerous times. Once I find a spot that I keep coming back to that is my ground zero and the search spreads out from there. I'll check in any nearby hidy holes first that look like they might be a good place for a cache. Of course you have to be careful of any dangerous snakes or other angry wildlife.

I was lucky to have hiders who could do right on coordinates.

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It's funny . . .

It seems that all us newbs have basically the same experiences. My first find was on 12/30/06; I had never even heard of geocaching before then. The night before I was planning my weekly hike and playing with my Christmas present - a Garmin VentureCX. After getting to the Garmin website it linked me to geocaching.com and I was intrigued/hooked right into it - I stayed up until 3am planning. It just so happened there was a cache right in the area where we would be hiking the following day. It was such a quick find and it was really cool because the GPS was right on the money as to the location of the cache. I figured caching would be this easy all the time and would just add another dimension to hiking and more of a reason to continue. How cool. Until this weekend . . . my sister and I went out for a hike and a cache - it was 70 degrees in northern NJ on January 6th so why not. Barbara was psyched to see what geocaching was all about. Well we looked for 45 minutes and after getting our legs and arms all cut up in the sticker bushes and the dogs running off we decided to bag it. She wasn't very enchanted, however, I'm hooked. I'll be going to the same location again this weekend to see if I can find it (I've actually added the waypoints for 3 caches in the nearby vicinity. Also, someone found this cache as recent as 12/29 so it's got to be there. Ugh! <_<

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