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sweetpersimmon
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I'd like to know how accurate the coordinates are. My husband and I have just started geochaching and we have been out 4 times and haven't found anything yet. We get close to the coordinates, but then the ones we have been looking for are in the woods and the GPS doesn't seem to update there. When we get to a clearing it seems like we've overshot, or if we estimate where we think the coordinates are there are large chainlink fences or streams with no bridges or dense, dense underbrush and blackberries. We have been looking for caches with one or two stars. My husband is very, very frustrated because we can't seem to get to the exact coordinates listed for the cache. He's ready to return the GPS and quit. Help!

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OK i have same prolem ..... which star are cache is .... if you newbie recoomed to one star for while till u understand and also ... it not excly .... it should been up to 30 ft cirlce ... all gps is not exclty .... so it hapen to me so please try again and it will be better !

Edited by deafhunt
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OK i have same prolem ..... which star are cache is .... if you newbie recoomed to one star for while till u understand and also ... it not excly .... it should been up to 30 ft cirlce ... all gps is not exclty .... so it hapen to me so please try again and it will be better !
I agree. Start with easy caches (low difficulty) with regular sized containers. When you get close to the right area (within 10-15 feet) put away your GPS and look in psots where you would hide a cache! Good luck! :unsure:
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First off welcome to geocaching! Please remember that most GPSrs have an error of up to 40 feet. When your GPS says you are close put the GPS away and just start looking. Always look at the size of the container listed on the page. That way when you're looking for a micro you're not thinking it's going to be regular. Good places to look for 1 star difficulties are under rock piles, under piles of sticks, inside holes of trees, hanging from tree branches and under bushes. Don't quit just yet. Try a nice urban micro.

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SOmeone be with gps because my brother keep eye on wood when i it close and my brothe saw it and tap my should and ran to cache so when u close keep eye on it can be ground or on midde of wood and when it say mirco i mean it very small or sixe of mint metal ... so please keep your eye on website chace .. it will help you the best !

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My husband thinks that the GPS should have pin point accuracy and a 40 ft radius is too large an area to search. We tried 4 caches in the last week and spent about 3 hours at each site looking all over. I think that some of them were no longer there because we found a hiding place on two but nothing in them. The last cache today we spent 4.5 hours looking for it. Clues said it was just off the paved trail and you didn't need to leave the path to find it. We were on our hands and knees and searched a grid pattern 4 separate ways in a radius of about 150 ft and found nothing. If I can I'll try to get him to do one that is not in the woods.

 

Thanks,

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The gps will get close. Then you just start looking for a good hidding place.Just last week my gps put me in the middle of the cemetery.Looked around didn't find it.Got pda out read about it again and the past logs. Went back gps put in the same place then i lost sats.So i just started looking around the outside of the cemetery then i found it.

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My husband thinks that the GPS should have pin point accuracy and a 40 ft radius is too large an area to search. We tried 4 caches in the last week and spent about 3 hours at each site looking all over. I think that some of them were no longer there because we found a hiding place on two but nothing in them. The last cache today we spent 4.5 hours looking for it. Clues said it was just off the paved trail and you didn't need to leave the path to find it. We were on our hands and knees and searched a grid pattern 4 separate ways in a radius of about 150 ft and found nothing. If I can I'll try to get him to do one that is not in the woods.

 

Thanks,

Wow! You are sure persistent. :unsure: I stop having fun after about 30 minutes of looking . . . depending on the location. :unsure:

 

Which GPS unit do you have? Are you certain it is set to the correct Datum? Make sure that the Datum is set to WGS84. If it is set to NAD27 or some other one, the location may be tens to a couple of hundred feet off, depending upon where you are in the US.

 

For your first caches, I recommend you look for Regular or Large size containers with a Difficulty of '2' or less. If you are looking for a cache with a high Difficulty rating, it could be extremely well-cammoed.

 

Also, make sure the Terrain rating matches where you are. If the cache seems to be near a trail, but the Terrain rating is '4', the cache could be 40' up in a tree . . . :unsure:

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OK, maybe you two are just not very observant? Not trying to be mean but come on, 4 hours looking for a cache? You have to actually open your eyes and look around. It's a game of observation and discovery.

 

I'm apparently having the same "I'm an idiot" problem they are. I went for a 2-star cache, and spent a couple of hours systematically spiralling outward and turning over every rock in sight with no luck. While the idea sounded like fun initially, I'm starting to have my doubts. Looking for a hidden gatorade container turned what should have been a gorgeous desert hike into a frustrating lizard census.

 

I'll back up and go for a one-star cache, but I don't think I realized how much of this "game" was just hiding the box. I expected that the difficulty rating had more to do with how hard the hike/climb/swim was, rather than how deeply somebody can bury a box. I'm not sure it's more fun to spend hours staring at the ground when I could be staring at the scenery.

 

I'm not quitting yet, but I'm definitely a little disheartened with how the game is actually played.

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OK, maybe you two are just not very observant? Not trying to be mean but come on, 4 hours looking for a cache? You have to actually open your eyes and look around. It's a game of observation and discovery.

 

I'm apparently having the same "I'm an idiot" problem they are. I went for a 2-star cache, and spent a couple of hours systematically spiralling outward and turning over every rock in sight with no luck. While the idea sounded like fun initially, I'm starting to have my doubts. Looking for a hidden gatorade container turned what should have been a gorgeous desert hike into a frustrating lizard census.

 

I'll back up and go for a one-star cache, but I don't think I realized how much of this "game" was just hiding the box. I expected that the difficulty rating had more to do with how hard the hike/climb/swim was, rather than how deeply somebody can bury a box. I'm not sure it's more fun to spend hours staring at the ground when I could be staring at the scenery.

 

I'm not quitting yet, but I'm definitely a little disheartened with how the game is actually played.

 

The key is always to remember that you are looking for something that the non-cacher should not be able to see. Observation is key. Look for terrain that is out of place. This is what makes this game fun.

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All of the caches we tried were less than two stars for both difficulty and terrain. Two said no bushwacking and one clue today said at the base of a tree. We are looking for medium and large caches (ammo cans and tupperware boxes). We looked at the base of every tree for that one in the area looking farther and farther away from the coordinates. Today the one we looked for on our hands and knees said it was just off the trail. It was a one star for both terrain anddifficulty. How hard can it be to find an ammo can just off the trail at the base of a tree? We did find a hollow at the base of a tree that would have been ideal as a hiding place, and we did find a stump that would have been a good hiding place and we did find a ditch with sticks and leaves that would have been a good hiding place, and we did find two cinder blocks with a board between them that would have been a good hiding place, but no cache :-(

 

Yes we looked at the clues, yes we tried to find easy ones, yes we were looking for large containers, and yes we got close with the GPS. So yes, maybe we are not very observant but are usually good puzzle solvers.

 

Thanks for all your help. Maybe we should try one that is not in the woods.

Edited by sweetpersimmon
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The key is always to remember that you are looking for something that the non-cacher should not be able to see. Observation is key. Look for terrain that is out of place. This is what makes this game fun.

 

I think I completely misunderstood what the game was about. I'm not really interested in looking for small artificial variances to the terrain-- I thought the caches would be relatively obvious endpoints to non-obvious hikes and trails, and that maybe I'd discover some cool new places by way of other people's experiences.

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The key is always to remember that you are looking for something that the non-cacher should not be able to see. Observation is key. Look for terrain that is out of place. This is what makes this game fun.

 

I think I completely misunderstood what the game was about. I'm not really interested in looking for small artificial variances to the terrain-- I thought the caches would be relatively obvious endpoints to non-obvious hikes and trails, and that maybe I'd discover some cool new places by way of other people's experiences.

There are many caches like that! Look for higher terrain rating (>2) and lower difficulty (<2). Finally look for caches that have regular sized containers. :unsure:
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here are many caches like that! Look for higher terrain rating (>2) and lower difficulty (<2). Finally look for caches that have regular sized containers. :unsure:

 

Today's hike was a terrain difficulty of about 2.5, but it was a definite "walk in the park," even in 110 degree heat with an extra four miles tacked on. What can I expect from a 5? Does it really ramp up, or is it just a hardy hike?

 

It was supposed to be in an orange gatorade container-- I take it that regular sized containers are something more obvious, like a big rubbermaid tub?

 

Also, how do I search for this stuff? I'm not sure how to filter the results by difficulty, terrain, or container size.

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here are many caches like that! Look for higher terrain rating (>2) and lower difficulty (<2). Finally look for caches that have regular sized containers. :unsure:

 

Today's hike was a terrain difficulty of about 2.5, but it was a definite "walk in the park," even in 110 degree heat with an extra four miles tacked on. What can I expect from a 5? Does it really ramp up, or is it just a hardy hike?

 

It was supposed to be in an orange gatorade container-- I take it that regular sized containers are something more obvious, like a big rubbermaid tub?

 

Also, how do I search for this stuff? I'm not sure how to filter the results by difficulty, terrain, or container size.

 

Some local cachers just did Mount Whitney, which is a 22 mile hike at high elevation with a 6000'+ vertical gain. That cache was a 4.5 terrain. :unsure:

 

Most regular containers you find hiking out here are ammo cans.

 

If you become a Premium member for 3 bucks a month you can download up to 500 caches at once and set the conditions to get only the ones you want! :unsure:

Edited by TrailGators
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Some local cachers just did Mount Whitney, which is a 22 mile hike at high elevation with a 6000'+ vertical gain. That cache was a 4.5 terrain. :unsure:

 

Most regular containers you find hiking out here are ammo cans.

 

If you become a Premium member for 3 bucks a month you can download up to 500 caches at once and set the conditions to get only the ones you want! :unsure:

 

Whitney is a beautiful hike, although I've only done the mountaineers' route, not the 99-switchbacks up the other side. But it gets a 4.5? You don't even need a rope-- it's just hiking. There was a 9-year-old kid at the summit when I was last there, and at least one guy dayhiking the summit.

 

This is the sort of cache I should be looking for, though. Trivial to find, but at least a moderate effort to get to it. I wish I'd thought to load one up before we did Mt. Langley last weekend, but this GPSr was brand new and I just barely had time to get tracks and waypoints for the trip loaded. This weekend is some tromping around Flagstaff with my wife-- I'll see what I can find.

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Some local cachers just did Mount Whitney, which is a 22 mile hike at high elevation with a 6000'+ vertical gain. That cache was a 4.5 terrain. :unsure:

 

Most regular containers you find hiking out here are ammo cans.

 

If you become a Premium member for 3 bucks a month you can download up to 500 caches at once and set the conditions to get only the ones you want! :unsure:

 

Whitney is a beautiful hike, although I've only done the mountaineers' route, not the 99-switchbacks up the other side. But it gets a 4.5? You don't even need a rope-- it's just hiking. There was a 9-year-old kid at the summit when I was last there, and at least one guy dayhiking the summit.

 

This is the sort of cache I should be looking for, though. Trivial to find, but at least a moderate effort to get to it. I wish I'd thought to load one up before we did Mt. Langley last weekend, but this GPSr was brand new and I just barely had time to get tracks and waypoints for the trip loaded. This weekend is some tromping around Flagstaff with my wife-- I'll see what I can find.

 

I've never done it. I did do San Jacinto and that was a cool hike. BY the way. only terrains of 5 require special equipment like a rope. A cache that needs a boat will be rated a 5, so 4.5 is really the toughest rating that a cache will get.
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Is it cheating to look at the previous logs of people who found the cache?

 

More info you can gather the better by any means possible. Especially when your just starting out and need to get the feel for how the locals hide caches in your area. I had lots of DNFs for the first 100 caches or so. Then things started clicking and it got easier.

 

Hints, logs, and if possible, find a local local you can phone for nudges. Don't be afraid to ask around your local community, cachers are generally glad to help, or can point you to someone else who does. Someone who has lots of hides and finds obviously is preferable to approach, since they will have more reliable info more often.

 

Good luck and have fun!

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Aha, it would make sense if the caches we are looking for are easy to find that perhaps others who are not geocachers would find it. After looking at the logs, two of the caches we were looking for someone else, probably kids, found it and trashed it. Another one found the cache contents scattered all over and the ammo can taken. He put the salvaged contents in a plastic bag and moved the cache to another location. One other cache we were looking for has had 4 people in a row who did not find it.

 

I do not feel like such an idiot. Perhaps we'll try again.

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Is it cheating to look at the previous logs of people who found the cache?

Definitely not. I'll try to remember to look at the most recent Past Log in my Palm before starting my search just to make sure the last finder actually found the cache. If the most recent Past Log is a DNF, and other Past Logs state "Easy find," then if I am having trouble finding the cache, I can choose to end my search sooner than I normally would if all the Past Logs said "Found it."

 

In GSAK (Geocaching Swiss Army Knife) there is a default filter that will bring up the caches with "Last 2 DNFs." I usually delete those caches from my database because if others had trouble finding the cache, and I am caching by myself, I probably have no hope and shouldn't even bother going to the location . . :)

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I automatically delete all caches with the two most recent logs being dnf's from my downloaded gsak database prior to loading them into the gpsr. If only the most recent log is a dnf, then i might actually review the log info and depending upon what I find, i might leave it.

 

This way I avoid having what I consider 'junk' caches loaded into the gizmo and i have no cache pages for them either. Saves a bunch of time and frustration in the field, especially since I also filter out micros as a matter of course.

 

As for looking at the recent logs? I have always assumed that GC.com would not provide for downloading them and/or printing them if doing so represented some form of "cheating". By the way, it also is not "cheating" to decode the hint, that is why it exists. You know, you don't HAVE to do either of these things, though no one will report you if you choose to do so.

Edited by Team Cotati
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I'd like to know how accurate the coordinates are. My husband and I have just started geochaching and we have been out 4 times and haven't found anything yet. We get close to the coordinates, but then the ones we have been looking for are in the woods and the GPS doesn't seem to update there. When we get to a clearing it seems like we've overshot, or if we estimate where we think the coordinates are there are large chainlink fences or streams with no bridges or dense, dense underbrush and blackberries. We have been looking for caches with one or two stars. My husband is very, very frustrated because we can't seem to get to the exact coordinates listed for the cache. He's ready to return the GPS and quit. Help!

 

First off, reduce your maximum search time to 30 minutes....or less. This ought to lower the frustration level. Then if possible find an area that has several < diff/terr 2.0 ratings i.e. 1.5 and 1.0. Then do not hunt for micros. If possible ask an experienced cacher in the area to go with you. Then if you don't find a cache within the next 3 or so searches then something other than experience, diff or terr are at play. If your experienced cacher bud also assists you by verifying your gpsr's accuracy against his and you still can't find caches......re-evaluste this activity as one being a good fit for you.

 

I don't skydive either.

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Sweetpersimmon, PLEASE don't give up. I was just like you. A friend told me about this sport/hobby, but had no time to take me out and demonstrate it. I was anxious to get started, so I went out and bought the GPSr, printed out pages and off I went. I really had NO idea what I was looking for. I actually thought the caches would look like little treasure chests in the woods!

 

It took a lot of trial and error before I knew what I was doing. Every other poster is right, you'd really benefit from the experience of someone who has been caching a bit.

 

If you don't have an experienced geobuddy, and you don't mind me suggesting, go over to the appropriate forum for your area. There should be one for the Northwest area. Post in the forum and look for someone who has some experience under their belt. I'm sure that there are quite a few people quite near to you who would be thrilled to go around to a few caches with you and kind of show you what to look for.

 

Caches do get muggled and it's unfortunate that the ones you were looking for are probably gone. Again, that would be something that a seasoned geocacher would probably have picked up on. It's by no means your fault, it's just part of the learning curve!

 

Heck, I'm still learning!!!!

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As another new Goecacher, I have found micros to be much, much more difficult than larger containers.

 

So far I'm 1 for 5 for micros (though one of those I'm pretty sure got muggled) and 1 for 1 on regular containers.

 

I know that the three of the four I couldn't find were right in front of me, so I figured I'd goo look for some others and come back to them in a month or two with a fresh outlook on them.

 

So far I'm nor frustrated, while I couldn't find four of the six I looked for I'm very proud of the two I did find. Especially the first one since it was an incredibley well camo'd micro.

 

Don't get discouraged, if you don't find one go onto the next one and repeat until you find your first.

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Or maybe you could hook up with another experienced cacher in the Portland OR area. I'm sure there is someone that would be willing to help you in learning the tricks of this sport

 

 

This is some of the best advise I have seen yet. When I first heard of Geocaching form my brother my interest was peaked. Then when I actually got a chance to talkwith him about some of his finds, the different types of containers and the different ways they are hidden that I got a better idea of how to go about finding caches.

 

If you search for the state of Oregon initially you get a page of events - a great place to get out and meet people and hear about thier experiences. I see that there is a great looking event Near Portland ===2nd Annual Lemonade Social ===coming up this sunday the 26 starting at noon. If possible this may be a great way for you and your husband to meet other cachers in your area and learn from them first hand.

 

Dont give up as once you "get the hang of it" I am sure you will have a lot more fun.

Edited by Lutehawk
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Just a thought-is your GPSr set to the correct Datum? I believe Garmin's use WGS84 by default, but if the GPSr is not using the same datum as Geocaching, you will be off. I'm trying to find a cache that deliberately uses a different datum (GC11J44) and you have to puzzle out the correct datum to find the cache!

 

As previously mentioned, tree cover, electrical lines or boxes, metal or metal bearing rock can all tweak off the accuracy of your GPSr.

 

Take care and have fun,

Outspoken1

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Just a thought-is your GPSr set to the correct Datum? I believe Garmin's use WGS84 by default, but if the GPSr is not using the same datum as Geocaching, you will be off. I'm trying to find a cache that deliberately uses a different datum (GC11J44) and you have to puzzle out the correct datum to find the cache!

 

As previously mentioned, tree cover, electrical lines or boxes, metal or metal bearing rock can all tweak off the accuracy of your GPSr.

 

Take care and have fun,

Outspoken1

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All of the caches we tried were less than two stars for both difficulty and terrain. Two said no bushwacking and one clue today said at the base of a tree. We are looking for medium and large caches (ammo cans and tupperware boxes). We looked at the base of every tree for that one in the area looking farther and farther away from the coordinates. Today the one we looked for on our hands and knees said it was just off the trail. It was a one star for both terrain anddifficulty. How hard can it be to find an ammo can just off the trail at the base of a tree? We did find a hollow at the base of a tree that would have been ideal as a hiding place, and we did find a stump that would have been a good hiding place and we did find a ditch with sticks and leaves that would have been a good hiding place, and we did find two cinder blocks with a board between them that would have been a good hiding place, but no cache :-(

 

Yes we looked at the clues, yes we tried to find easy ones, yes we were looking for large containers, and yes we got close with the GPS. So yes, maybe we are not very observant but are usually good puzzle solvers.

 

Thanks for all your help. Maybe we should try one that is not in the woods.

 

First off all the caches I've found were not painted international orange. I've found caches at the stump of a tree, of course I had to lift up the moss and leaves that was covering it and made it look like it was there for years. I've been to forest hides and found them in the stumps with the hole covered with old rotting wood that was covered with moss and it looked like it was there for years. I've found caches in a pile of rocks and one rock looked a bit different so I turned it over. Yep it was the cache. I've never crawled around on my hands and knees (not respectible at my age :anitongue: ). As for a pile of sticks and leaves in a ditch, never. First good rain and the cache would be under water. One thing I found that helps is to get up close and personal with the compass page. If you don't have an electronic compass, turn off the speed filter. Then walk arond a circle at the suspected place and use the compass to point to a llikely spot to give more attention. If your having problems with reception, leave the GPS settle for a minute or two. I've found several that were in the hollow holes on the top of posts, you had to get on tippy toes to see them. I've found nano's inside a vertical pipe on a gate. Mostly it is locating the likely spot and then THINKING about where would you hide a cache.

 

Jim

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Is it cheating to look at the previous logs of people who found the cache?

 

Oh, dear don't tell me that!. If I get stumped I go home and comb the logs for clues. I've also asked the owners for a bit more of a clue.

 

Jim

It's not cheating at all. If the owner didn't want something in the logs, he would have asked that person to change their log to remove it.
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