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Newbie Help: 2 strikes so far :-(

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Ok, so I've just found out about geocaching for the first time and really want have my first successful find, however my first two attempts met with miserable failure (and the caches I went for were easy ones too :blink:


Judging by the clues and the descriptions and spoilers, I'm wondering if my GPS is sending me in slightly the wrong areas because I'm not programming it with the correct information?


I have a Magellan Roadmate 3000T, and I've been using the RoadMate Tools software to input the locations of the caches in my area. I've been using the conversion to "Normal GPS Coordinates (WGS84 Datum)", and I'm wondering if that's the right one to use. (and also does anyone else have experience geocaching with this model? It's been great for driving).


I understand GPS's can be 50ft off and I'd like to attempt the two caches again, but I want to make sure I've got the right information first.


If anyone happens to be in Orange County, NY "The Stone of Shannen" is one of the caches I'm trying (GC14HVM).



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WGS84 is good. Make sure your coordinate format is set to DDD MM.MMM if you key in information from this site (which is in that format) when the GPS is set to another one, it can send you to the wrong spot.


For caches start with the ones that have regular sized containers. They tend to be simpler to find (less needle and haystack type caches). Sounds like you already read the ratings.


Don't forget, we all get skunked. Some people thin this is easy, but after 1000 finds I still can't find about 10% of the caches I look for on the first try.

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Don't get discouraged. At first, you'll have a herd time finding them. The longer you're at it, the better you'll get. When you get to the area where the cache is, set the GPSr down on a rock or log. Let it rest a few minutes, while you look around. Look over the area, and ask yourself "where would I hide it?", and check out those places. If you still haven't found it, go back to the GPSr and check the heading and distance to the cache. By now, the GPSr should have 'settled', and is giving you a more accurate location. Now, take your compass, (You do have a good compass, don't you?) and go to the new search area. Remember, there are several reasons why you may not be able to find it. It may have been muggled, washed away, hidden in a 'better' spot by a well-meaning cacher, or even taken by landowners or police. Sometimes a cache is just camouflaged too well to find, but I don't think that's the case with your example. If you can, get someone local to hepl with the learning process. Even a spouse or friend can help. Four eyes are better than two! If all else fails, come back to that one another day. Good Luck!

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:huh: Dont give up m8...ive had my gps 6 days..has loadsa finds and three ftfs...ide say your gps is dodgy..mine takes me straight onto them..ive found if mine says 9ft..im right on it!!!..keep trying..have you got a freind with a handheld?...both input the same co-ords and see where it takes you!!..regards Hattster :blink:
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While I am not familiar with your model of GPSr, also check the manual on how to turn on WAAS. You do want WAAS enabled and I know that by default WAAS is not enabled on Garmins. Magellans may be different.


While I've only been caching for a year, I probably don't find 10-20% of the caches I look for the first time. I kinda remember when I first started it took me 3-4 tries to find my first cache. I was astounded at the cleverness of the hide--until I later found out this was a very common technique (flat cache - who knew!?!?). I also contacted the cache owner of a cache that I was stumped on, explained I was a newbie, and asked if he/she knew if the cache was there. He replied that he knew it was and offered to meet me and help me learn. Well, I was able to find the cache without him, but it was nice having that offer in my back pocket.


As the previous cacher mentioned, look for cachers that were found in the last couple of days. While a rating of "1" refers to an easier hide, I have been stumped (and still get stumped) sometimes. The rating system is a guide--each cache is a little puzzle (that is what I love about geocaching) that needs to be explored and solved. Hang in there; ask for local help; relax and have fun! Welcome!!


Take care,


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Yours sounds like a car unit. We cache with a pair of Magellan hand helds.

Very consistently, the unit will send us at least 30' past ground zero before turning around and sending us back. (wonder how many calories I've burned from this fun little thing)


As hubby keeps telling me.... "why are you burying your face in that? You know it isn't (this is where he finds the cache while I'm looking at my toy) going to take you right to the cache."


Regardless of the brand of GPSr used to place the cache, we almost always find the cache at about 9' out.


Just remember that the caches, even the easy ones, are not meant to be spotted without knowing something special lurks nearby....

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I'm fairly new too, but this is what I've had luck with...

I turn the GPSr on in the car and set it on the dashboard while driving to the location, so it can spend time picking up sattelites. (I have a Magellan, which has WAAS averaging, so maybe this gives it time to average? I'm not sure.) As I walk toward the location, when I get withing 30 feet or so, I start walking back and forth a few times to see where it guides me to each time. This gives me a good search area. Then I PUT IT DOWN and start looking anyplace that seems like a good hiding place. If I don't find it after a while, I pick the GPSr back up to see if it has changed it's mind. (Sometimes it has.) I then start looking again. Often, I still don't find it, and I leave feeling like I've had some fun anyway, and determined to find it next time. I'll go back again another time, maybe with a friend. If I'm really having trouble, I may beg the cache owner for a hint ;-) If after 2-3 times, I still can't find it, I log it as a Did Not Find, but I still don't give up on it. Sometimes Did Not Find logs can have some funny stories :o

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