Jump to content

Newbie, feeling very dumb


fulinn
Followers 2

Recommended Posts

Ok, I know that I'm new at this so I'm trying to go slowly and learn how to do it right.

 

So I have my Tilt GPS and BeeLineGPS software, I've downloaded a bunch of waypoints and picked out a few easy ones near my home. My definition of easy is 1/1 on the difficulty and terrain. I've read all the logs that say great find, easy find and all have been located fairly recently.

 

Maybe not challenging but I figure its a great way to start out.

 

Now I've gone out twice looking, to two different caches one in a parking lot and one in the woods.

 

My GPS has brought me to within 30 feet of the co-ordinates both times. I've searched as much as I could but couldn't find the caches. One is a traditional ammo box (woods) and a micro/mini (parking lot).

 

Are the caches hidden inside something ? Just camouflaged or in the open ? I know I've been very close both times, but can't seem to understand what I should be looking for. When selecting easy to find caches should they not be fairly obvious to the hunter?

 

Any advise would be appreciated, I'm kinda discouraged at this point.

 

Bonnie

Exeter NH

Link to comment

Bonnie,

Parking lot micros can sometimes be tricky. The most common hiding place is putting a magnetic keyholder under a lamp post skirt. An ammo can in the woods should be fairly easy. It could be that the cache has been muggled (stolen.).

 

Caches are almost always camouflaged. Just look for something that dosen't quite seem right. You might also want to go to a local get together and team up with someone with experience.

El Diablo

Edited by El Diablo
Link to comment

Don't give up! When we first started a couple of years ago in Hawaii, we couldn't find the "one" we went to look for either. We gave up and decided that something must be wrong with the GPSr that we had gotten as a present. We didn't cache again until we had moved back to the mainland. Turns out, the cache has been archived and lots of people had trouble finding it and hated it. I could kick myself for not trying more before we threw in the towel as it would have been something fun we could do in Hawaii (our kids were scared to death of the ocean and the big waves......makes life miserable when living on an island).

 

Try at least 10 more. Go to ones that are as hard as a 2.5 on both ratings, but try to find ones that are in different areas (not all in parking lots, or all in the woods) and try in varying sizes (but avoid nanos for now). I'm sure you'll find one. Once you do that, your confidence will improve. Good luck!

Edited by elmuyloco5
Link to comment

Don't despair! This is perfectly normal.

 

1) If you're not sure you're using the GPSr correctly, change gears and look for a VIRTUAL cache. This will usually be a statue, or a sign or something big and obvious out in the open. If you can't find that, then something is wrong somewhere.

 

2) Realize that the GPSr, despite manufacturers claims, only gets you in the VICINITY of the cache. You might actually be 4 feet away or 44 feet away. Usually, you will be within 25 feet of the cache. Once there, put away your GPSr and START SEARCHING. This is a hunt, and some of these caches are hidden ridiculously diabolically. That's why you should start with a difficulty 1, regular or large container.

 

3) Look in logs, under logs, inside stumps, under piles of sticks, on the ground, at eye level. Look for anything out of place: Rocks or sticks piled up against a tree, or in the hollow of the tree.

 

4) Although it is winter, see if there are any events in your area. New caches are often placed during events, and there are always people who will be willing to show you the ropes as they search.

 

5) If all fails, post a note in your STATE forum. I'm sure someone will respond with an offer to take you along on one of their searches.

 

I couldn't find my first geocache, and I almost gave up on my second. I missed about half of the first ten I looked for. Now, 461 caches later, it is rare for me not to find a cache unless I'm getting daring and looking for a high difficulty one on purpose.

 

Good luck and happy geocaching!

Link to comment

Ok, I know that I'm new at this so I'm trying to go slowly and learn how to do it right.

 

So I have my Tilt GPS and BeeLineGPS software, I've downloaded a bunch of waypoints and picked out a few easy ones near my home. My definition of easy is 1/1 on the difficulty and terrain. I've read all the logs that say great find, easy find and all have been located fairly recently.

 

Maybe not challenging but I figure its a great way to start out.

 

Now I've gone out twice looking, to two different caches one in a parking lot and one in the woods.

 

My GPS has brought me to within 30 feet of the co-ordinates both times. I've searched as much as I could but couldn't find the caches. One is a traditional ammo box (woods) and a micro/mini (parking lot).

 

Are the caches hidden inside something ? Just camouflaged or in the open ? I know I've been very close both times, but can't seem to understand what I should be looking for. When selecting easy to find caches should they not be fairly obvious to the hunter?

 

Any advise would be appreciated, I'm kinda discouraged at this point.

 

Bonnie

Exeter NH

 

If all else fails ask the owner. The very first cache I looked for I could not find to save my soul so I e-mail ed the owner and asked if they could give me another hint: I didn't want to be given the exact location. The owner kindly supplied a couple of hints and I got it the very next time I went out. Good luck!

Edited by Seasoned Warrior
Link to comment

We struggled to find our first cache as we had our GPS set up wrong (incorrect datum format i think it was) so it was taking us close but not quite there. What would have helped us realise that we were in the wrong vivinity was; making sure we were in the right place by looking at cache location on map on largest scale; paying attention to the hint to confirm if we were in a possible area or not; reading previous logs to confirm it had been found recently, how hard (or not) others found it to find and to see if there were additional pointers as to whereabouts.

 

We are heading for 600 caches now and have got a reasonably well calibrated 'cachers eye' but we can still be a bit 'GPS on = common sense of' sometimes!

 

i hope you stick with it!

Link to comment

Learn to look for things that are a bit out of place. An unusual pile of sticks, or grass, or rocks, or pine needles. Look for openings, hollows. Look for signs that somebody spent some time standing there. Think vertical, not all caches are on the ground, it may be above your head or tied to a branch in front of you. Look everywhere you can within 30 - 40 feet of where your GPS says it should be. Micro caches are often magnetic, look for metal surfaces or velcro. Look in, behind, around and above everything you can reach. Look for colors or textures that are not quite right. Look for unusual things, pine cones under leafy trees, red rocks among grey ones. Look for bolts that are too shiny and new, hinges that do not belong, pieces of string or rope, shapes and shadows that are too perfect.

 

Be persistent. Have fun with it. If you can't find it, log a Did Not Find Log and move on to another one. Have fun there.

Link to comment

Thank you to everyone who took the time to re-assure me that its not unusual to miss your first few tries.

 

A fairly local cacher has offered to take me out for an afternoon of hunting. I know if I can get the hang of locating the cache I'll be good to go!

 

I will go out and visit the two I missed, keeping in mind all of your suggestions to see if I can find them on this new go round.

 

thanks again,

 

Bonnie

Link to comment

Don't give up! When we first started a couple of years ago in Hawaii, we couldn't find the "one" we went to look for either. We gave up and decided that something must be wrong with the GPSr that we had gotten as a present. We didn't cache again until we had moved back to the mainland. Turns out, the cache has been archived and lots of people had trouble finding it and hated it. I could kick myself for not trying more before we threw in the towel as it would have been something fun we could do in Hawaii (our kids were scared to death of the ocean and the big waves......makes life miserable when living on an island).

 

Try at least 10 more. Go to ones that are as hard as a 2.5 on both ratings, but try to find ones that are in different areas (not all in parking lots, or all in the woods) and try in varying sizes (but avoid nanos for now). I'm sure you'll find one. Once you do that, your confidence will improve. Good luck!

 

Why not do threes or fours?

Link to comment

 

Why not do threes or fours?

 

Nothing against 3s, 4s, or 5s. People just usually tell newbs to search for 1/1 caches. I was just saying that they might want to try going up to 2.5 at first as I think there's very little difference in those other than the higher numbers aren't wheelchair accessible. The terrain should still be easy for them and anything that it is seen as "hard" wouldn't be that low. Personally, I say, the harder, the better! But, if they're having a hard time finding caches, maybe that's not the best motto for them yet.

Link to comment

We're new as well, and we completely empathize with you. Our first two finds came quickly. Then, we sought out a cache that was muggled. Spent a lot of time looking for something that didn't exist.

However, now that we have over ten DNFs under our belt, they don't bother us as much anymore. We just try to find something else cool or unique in the area.

Our last DNF resulted in us acquiring a frozen salamander, who is chomping a cricket as we speak in his new vivarium next to our other exotic pets.

And if you can't find anything, you can always just take pictures.

We've also found the pictures helpful, you can email the picture of the "cache area" to the owner, and ask if you are searching the right area. We've done this before, only to find, we had transposed two coordinates and were searching the wrong place. LOL

Link to comment

I think your problem is the AT&T Tilt GPS you are using. It's basically a PDA/cell phone/GPS all in one unit. If the map can't zoom down to 20 feet, or if it don't have a compass page, you'll need to use the satellite page to navigate by looking at the coord #s. The Tilt does have this page. See the review in GPS Passion. It did conclude you're better off with a handheld GPS for caching.

Link to comment

For now, stay away from micros and higher rated caches.

 

Look for regular caches that have a near-perfect find rate.

 

Are there any events coming up in your area?

 

Post a note in your local forum and ask for a local cacher to accompany you to show the ropes.

 

Don't give up.

Link to comment

Well, dear,

 

I think I'd be asking Jeremy about that money-back guarantee......

 

 

or

 

 

You might visit the forums for your area and make a friend on-line and get someone who would love to go cachin' with you. I've done that a few times, and it works well.

 

good luck.

 

 

 

Oh, you know what? There AREN'T any caches in NH. :)

Edited by Robespierre
Link to comment
5) If all fails, post a note in your STATE forum. I'm sure someone will respond with an offer to take you along on one of their searches.

This is your best bet, Out a few times with a Geovet and your Geosense will kick in before you know it

 

Thank you for this advise, I have been able to connect with two other geovets in my area, both have offered to take me out for an afternoon of fun and learning.

 

Bonnie

Link to comment

Garmin GPSmap 76CS

Goto Main Menu, Setup, Calibration, choose to calibrate the Compass, follow on-screen instructions to turn in a circle 2 times.

I've discovered the need to calibrate my GPS unit (GPSr) anytime it is turned off or loses GPS coverage. It's been up to 50 feet off without calibrating. Good luck and welcome to geocaching.

...and just how do you go about calibrating it?? What brand and model do you have??

Link to comment

I've discovered the need to calibrate my GPS unit (GPSr) anytime it is turned off or loses GPS coverage. It's been up to 50 feet off without calibrating. Good luck and welcome to geocaching.

Ditto on this. I also do this, per unit instructions, any time I've gone through any of the changes it mentions; temperature, distance, altitude. Helps sooo much.

 

We also found some cachers in downtown, their gps was acting up, and it was the same model as ours 76CSx.

I showed him the calibration tip, and they were back in business, and much happier.

ps. if you don't want to turn in a circle, you can just grasp the lanyard in your hand, and using your fist as a pivot point, slowly turn the unity manually. this keeps you from looking silly doing the "calibration dance" as my wife calls it. lol Any time I need to calibrate she says, "Yay, calibration dance time!" :(

Link to comment

1000 caches later I still get skunked about 10% of the time. An ammo cans in the woods suffers from your GPS being 'bouncy'. That ammo can is within 50-100' of ground zero. They are not as easy to find as you might think. A micro is hard because the small size makes for more potential hiding spots.

 

To start I'd stick with regular sized caches rated 1 for difficulty. It takes time to get a feel for hiding spots, and the nuances of your GPS that can impact your search.

Link to comment

Garmin GPSmap 76CS

Goto Main Menu, Setup, Calibration, choose to calibrate the Compass, follow on-screen instructions to turn in a circle 2 times.

I've discovered the need to calibrate my GPS unit (GPSr) anytime it is turned off or loses GPS coverage. It's been up to 50 feet off without calibrating. Good luck and welcome to geocaching.

...and just how do you go about calibrating it?? What brand and model do you have??

While that calibrates the compass - it has nothing to do with the accuracy of the satelite reading.

Link to comment

We also use a 76CS (no x) and have noticed the compass goes wonky from time to time, but haven't bothered to recalibrate it recently. Will need to do that little dance soon. Over the years we have found that we use our geosense more as we approach GZ so it doesn't really matter which way the little arrow is pointing. If it says north and we know we are heading north we don't worry that the arrow is pointed down since the distance to GZ keeps getting smaller. If you aren't really sure about your heading you might want to use a screen that displays your coordinates to assist you. We used that option a lot when we were new to the game and still do from time to time.

Link to comment

Although somewhat of a newbe myself (under 200 finds) I’ve learned a lot about using a GPSr and finding caches.

My rule #1. I geocache with somebody else. When my wife and I go out, I run the GPSr, she runs the Palm with all the descriptions. Two people will double your chances of success. When you find the cache, you both claim the find.

 

Rule #2. SLOW DOWN. When you get within 100 feet of a cache, stop. Don’t turn left. Don’t turn right. Most units have a bit of lag time to them, and if you walk right down to GZ without slowing down, you’ve already walked 30 past the cache. Stop and give it a minute to adjust. As long as you didn’t turn left or right, the pointer arrow should alter slightly and point very near the cache. And the distance indicator should be relatively accurate. Very often, you will see the hiding spot from where you are standing.

 

Rule #3. When at GZ don’t carry the GPSr around with you. It will only confuse you. Set it upright on a rock or log or hang it from a tree branch, and let it get an accurate reading while you look around. If you failed to locate the cache at that point, go back to the GPRs and adjust your position according to the lat/lon – not the arrow. Moving very slowly, it should put you within a few feet of the cache, if not right on top of it.

 

Rule #4. Know what you are looking for. Read the cache description and past logs carefully. You know that a large ammo can takes a large hiding place. Look for it. Micros are just the opposite. When stumped, don’t give up! Sit down. Listen to the woods, river, wind, whatever is around. When your mind is clear and refreshed (and the satellites have a better fix on you) look around again.

 

Welcome to the addiction!

Link to comment

Like the others have said, don't give up. I don't know if you have tried this, but while on a cache page, click on the actual map and it will change to a close up and give you an option for satellite view. Zoom all the way in and you will usually get a close view of where you need to go (unless it is all woods). Always check a cache listing prior to going out in the event it has been taken off line since the time you down loaded it. I have down loaded caches in advance and then not attempt them for a while only to find out it has been archived.I have also gone out with friends to sites they have been to before only to have them say it is missing, but to find out later it has been moved nearby, they had the old coordinates and I had the new. Before you know it you will always be thinking geo-caching. My folks just moved into a new house yesterday and couldn't find a few key boxes. Today, after helping them look through boxes in the garage, I was getting ready to leave and looked up at their car. I asked my dad for his keys to his trunk, and there they were. It's kind of that way once you have been doing it for a while. If you go out with someone, when you get close to ground zero, let your eyes do the work not the gps, or the other person will probably find it first. The key thing is to have fun. More times than not, the cache site is only a small part of the actual award. Enjoy the surroundings, the views, the plant and tree life, and or the structure of the guardrail, lamp post.... DaddyA :)

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 2
×
×
  • Create New...