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Are most caches hid close to the road or parking area?


Wabash-Riverrat
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When I first heard about Geocaching I was told what good exercise it was & how it was such a good way to spend time outdoors with my kids. Now that we have started look for places to hunt around our area it seams that most all of them are within a few feet of the road. I am a person that believes any time spent with you kids is time well spent but we was hoping to find this more of a physical challenge rather that a ride in the truck. After reading several other peoples profile if looks to me that most of you find the larger # of caches found in a day the better.

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The more rural caches will tend to take you on longer walks. But Geocaching is what you make it to be. You can park 20 feet from a park-n-grab or 4 blocks away. It is up to you.

 

Look for caches with terrain ratings of 2.5 or higher for longer walks. Also stick to areas where a walk is more likely. But always keep in mind you can walk at anytime. My wife and I sometimes just park the car and grab 8-9 caches in a city setting before returning to the car. Takes a few hours sometimes. We do it for the exercidse all knowing we could just car hop between them as well.

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I'm very new to this hobby, but in my two short weeks I've learned there is something there for everyone. If you are looking for a day long hike, just pay attention to where the cache is and look at google earth. If the cache is next to a parking lot, avoid it, if that is your wish. Its pretty easy pick and chose which caches you want to visit. Most caches also accurately rate their terrain and time to retrieve which will give you an idea of the walk/hike required as well.

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most cache descriptions will say if it is in a park. We look for those first so we can get to do some walking and may stop for grab and goes after if there is time. Also, check the cache locations using Google Earth and look for more rural cache locations. This can also help you locate clusters of caches that may be in a park or wildlife area.

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In the early days of geocaching the majority of caches involved a hike. Over the years the numbers game came into play and these roadside and shopping mall lot caches started breeding like oversexed rabbits.

 

You can no longer load your GPS with waypoints and head off the way you could 6 years ago however the great hiking caches are still out there. It's just a lot harder to see them through the chaff.

 

You now need to do a little research before heading out. Check out the maps that are linked to on each cache page. If you see a cache with no roads nearby, its a good bet it requires a hike. Look at the terrain rating.

If it's 1 or 1.5 stars you can be pretty sure it's next to a road or parking lot. If you are a premium member you can use Pocket Queries to filter out the lower terrain caches.

 

Finally, get to know your local cache hiders. You will soon know who the micro dumpers are and who places well thought out caches.

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Wabash-riverrat? Hmm, Indiana or Illinois? Most of the urban caches will be park and look. Do you have riverfront parks? Look for caches there, that may involve walking. Look for caches more out of town, especially caches in the larger county or state parks. Long hikes? probably not a lot of caches, most of these will be in really rural areas. For a bit of walking around look for cemetery caches. I like the caches that take me on walks in the wooded areas around here, but I do both town and hike type caches. Look for multi's in parks. Some work figuring out the final and then the quest for the final, and at times a bit of thinking to find the stages. Probably not many that will give you a couple mile hike but some that are fun to figure out. Also try mystery caches (the ones with a ?). Many involve finding out information to figure out where the final is. Not much walking, but time you can spend with your kids. Locally we have a series called Fahrenheit 451. Many of them you have to do internet research on some subject to figure out the reference number of a book in the library in order to find the cache. Others you have to find landmarks to get the info needed to get the final. Not sure quite where you live, but being somewhat familiar with the part of the country I mentioned, I suspect most of the caches will be close to roads. What about forest preserves? Never looked at that when I lived back in Illinois but that might be a help. As for days with big numbers, I figure a 8-10 cache day is a good day.

 

Jim

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While I'm a newbie and don't have much to add. I wish there was a particular rating for "family freindly". I came across one today that was just inches off of a high speed high traffic area. When I finally let the kids get out on the passenger side, I had to keep the younger one within hand reach because of the busy road, plus the area being overwhelmed with broken glass and downed barbwire which was at face level for a child. Of course all geocachers aren't thinking like a mom does, but I do wish there was a special Icon that could be placed for child freindly caches. (If there is and I just dont' know yet, please let me know).

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While I'm a newbie and don't have much to add. I wish there was a particular rating for "family freindly". I came across one today that was just inches off of a high speed high traffic area. When I finally let the kids get out on the passenger side, I had to keep the younger one within hand reach because of the busy road, plus the area being overwhelmed with broken glass and downed barbwire which was at face level for a child. Of course all geocachers aren't thinking like a mom does, but I do wish there was a special Icon that could be placed for child freindly caches. (If there is and I just dont' know yet, please let me know).

 

The owner of the cache has that option under "attributes". They can add them at any time by updating there cache. Also, you May want to e-mail the owner and explain your concerns. I actually would have put it in my log as it would have been a DNF for me. I'm not too proud to log a DNF B)

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When I first heard about Geocaching I was told what good exercise it was & how it was such a good way to spend time outdoors with my kids. Now that we have started look for places to hunt around our area it seams that most all of them are within a few feet of the road. I am a person that believes any time spent with you kids is time well spent but we was hoping to find this more of a physical challenge rather that a ride in the truck. After reading several other peoples profile if looks to me that most of you find the larger # of caches found in a day the better.

I did a quick search around your area, and WOW you are in a bad area... if you want to hike that is. I did find GC8624 in Harmonie State Park... which has three other caches near by... you could go for a walk and score all four, but it does look as though your going to have to drive a ways out to find some hiking caches.

 

Don't despair though, caches have been placed at all conceivable locations. You can get as adventurous as you can imagine, from atop mountains to way out in the country... you'll find one eventually that fits your style I'm sure. The trouble I have in my area is just the opposite, we don't have many easy ones, most all ours are only accessible by 4X4's or 4 wheelers. If you tried to hike from one cache to another up on our mountains (around 9,000 feet in elevation), you would need to be in great shape and it would take most of a day just to find two. :rolleyes:

 

So hang in there, if you know good places to hike and there are no caches in that area, place some of your own for others who might be wanting to go hiking too.

 

Good luck!

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Thanks for all of the good input. I have every intention of sticking with it for the long haul.

 

"Wabash-riverrat? Hmm, Indiana or Illinois?"

 

I am in IL. & every thing around me is a rural area. That is sort of part of the problem I think. As for parking & walking to more that one hide at a time that would take a couple of days because they are several miles apart & if you were to be seen walking around town with a GPS in your hand people would think your had lost your mind. Most would not know what it was & the others would think you were crazy because you can literally see from one side of town to the other around here.

 

"So hang in there, if you know good places to hike and there are no caches in that area, place some of your own for others who might be wanting to go hiking too."

 

One of the greatest places to hike in the Mid West is the Shawnee National Forest. It covers several thousand acres in S. IL. As I first started looking for caches on the web I could not figure out why no one was utilizing this great area. So planed to make a few of my own & as I started to tell my Son about where we were going to put them he said Dad you can’t do that because it is USFS property. It is a good thing that he is paying attention.

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While I'm a newbie and don't have much to add. I wish there was a particular rating for "family freindly". I came across one today that was just inches off of a high speed high traffic area. When I finally let the kids get out on the passenger side, I had to keep the younger one within hand reach because of the busy road, plus the area being overwhelmed with broken glass and downed barbwire which was at face level for a child. Of course all geocachers aren't thinking like a mom does, but I do wish there was a special Icon that could be placed for child freindly caches. (If there is and I just dont' know yet, please let me know).

 

Actually there is a kid friendly attribute that can be searched on. By the way, there is nothing that says you must search for a cache like this one. If it's not appropriate for the kids, simply move on to the next one.

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One of the greatest places to hike in the Mid West is the Shawnee National Forest. It covers several thousand acres in S. IL. As I first started looking for caches on the web I could not figure out why no one was utilizing this great area. So planed to make a few of my own & as I started to tell my Son about where we were going to put them he said Dad you can’t do that because it is USFS property. It is a good thing that he is paying attention.

 

There is no ban on caches on USFS property. In fact the USFS has been fairly geocaching friendly. There are specific national forests that might have specific regulations, or one of the local administrators may not be geocaching friendly, but overall, it's OK to place geocaches in national forests.

 

That there are no caches in Shawnee NF might mean that either the local administration doesn't allow them, or that the locals just never thought to place a cache there. Check with your local reviewer regarding the status of Shawnee with regards to geocaching. You may just have found a great area that is cache free.

 

National Parks and NPS lands are a different story. The NPS has had a long standing ban, but lately the stance seems to be softening. How that pans out remains to be seen.

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When I first heard about Geocaching I was told what good exercise it was & how it was such a good way to spend time outdoors with my kids...

Both true. So is your observation about urban hides and most folks doing the park and grabs.

 

However there are more than enough caches to keep you busy in the style you would like. You just need to do a bit of advance planning. Look at a map see where the caches are and go find the ones that are off the beaten path.

 

Also, while you can park right next to most urban caches, there is no rule that says you can't park down the block.

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When I first heard about Geocaching I was told what good exercise it was & how it was such a good way to spend time outdoors with my kids...

Both true. So is your observation about urban hides and most folks doing the park and grabs.

 

However there are more than enough caches to keep you busy in the style you would like. You just need to do a bit of advance planning. Look at a map see where the caches are and go find the ones that are off the beaten path.

 

Also, while you can park right next to most urban caches, there is no rule that says you can't park down the block.

I agree with this. Recently I visited a different community. I parked my car in a little shopping center parking lot and walked to four nearby caches. That was a fun diversion, and I walked well over a mile getting to caches I could have almost driven up to, had I driven to them individually.

 

Another thing you could do is look for the oldest caches in your area. This is easy to do with Pocket Queries and GSAK. I placed a cache to honor those pioneering cachers and the caches they placed many years ago. Most of them involve a long hike to a great location. :rolleyes:

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There is no ban on caches on USFS property. In fact the USFS has been fairly geocaching friendly. There are specific national forests that might have specific regulations, or one of the local administrators may not be geocaching friendly, but overall, it's OK to place geocaches in national forests.

 

That there are no caches in Shawnee NF might mean that either the local administration doesn't allow them, or that the locals just never thought to place a cache there. Check with your local reviewer regarding the status of Shawnee with regards to geocaching. You may just have found a great area that is cache free.

 

National Parks and NPS lands are a different story. The NPS has had a long standing ban, but lately the stance seems to be softening. How that pans out remains to be seen.

 

Well I will go back & reread the rules. After he told me that I read them & my interruption was USFS property of all kinds were off limits.

 

How do I contact local reviewer?

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....

 

Well I will go back & reread the rules. After he told me that I read them & my interruption was USFS property of all kinds were off limits.

 

How do I contact local reviewer?

NPS (National Park Service Lands) are generally off limits but USFS is not - totally seperate entities. Unless you read that somewhere else??? Got a lonk?

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Looks like cachers in Illinois need to increase the cache density! I'm not sure where in IL you are located but it does look like the CD is kind of sparse. I wish that I could help but there's that question of cache maintenance that I would have to wrestle with. Hang in there and Keep on cachin!

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I am not interested in density or #s. I just want a few quality hunts.

 

Things change - people change. I used to be all about long hunts, long walks, and multi-caches. Now I prefer short walks and park and grabs. Something to do with a five year old thatIf it's a multicache I'm probably not even going to do it, unless the hider tells me how many stages and total distance.

However the overwhelming number of "film-canister" caches is getting me down. Whatever happed to the big box in the woods?

 

With that being said, its up to the "hider" to tell you the distance. I once went on a multi around a state park in north carolina that was a good 90 minute adventure, with probably a mile and a half walk, stopping to solve puzzles.

 

Look around and hopefully youll find something you like. Someone else mentioned meetings. they are good to attend. How about hiding your own cache involving a long walk, maybe where cachers take pictures of themselves on a disposable camera? Going out to check it every so often may give you the exercise you want.

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I am not interested in density or #s. I just want a few quality hunts.

 

Things change - people change. I used to be all about long hunts, long walks, and multi-caches. Now I prefer short walks and park and grabs. Something to do with a five year old thatIf it's a multicache I'm probably not even going to do it, unless the hider tells me how many stages and total distance.

However the overwhelming number of "film-canister" caches is getting me down. Whatever happed to the big box in the woods?

 

With that being said, its up to the "hider" to tell you the distance. I once went on a multi around a state park in north carolina that was a good 90 minute adventure, with probably a mile and a half walk, stopping to solve puzzles.

 

Look around and hopefully youll find something you like. Someone else mentioned meetings. they are good to attend. How about hiding your own cache involving a long walk, maybe where cachers take pictures of themselves on a disposable camera? Going out to check it every so often may give you the exercise you want.

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When I first heard about Geocaching I was told what good exercise it was & how it was such a good way to spend time outdoors with my kids. Now that we have started look for places to hunt around our area it seams that most all of them are within a few feet of the road.....

Oh boy do I ever remember my first Cache! We went out with a friend, a seasoned Geocahcer. He had a little placard that he would mount inside his front window when he parked anouncing to the world that his vehicle was engaged in "Geocaching Activity". Wow. He picked a good one too. We hiked out into the woods and we had to dial in the GPSes and follow the trails and then, ultimately find the cache itself. Freebird! Wow. I was tired and excited. SO much so that I dragged another friend out to do it the next day. A Muggle!

 

He and I were both prior military men and if we knew nothing about Geocaching we knew about Land Nav. We gathered a list of local caches that were in a nature park and off we set. We got out of the car, set our azimuth, picked out our land mark and off we went. Over hill and dale, through thicket and swamp, we stayed on track and zoomed in on out target. We did this several times over that day and only after tearing our pants and filling our shoes with mud and a small fish or two did we realize that there was a trail passing very close to each and every cache that we found. We were doing it the hard way.

 

I guess my point is that you really do get out of this what you put into it. Any of those finds would have been a pleasant hike in the conservation area but we made each one a conquest. Those hikes are out there. Those conquests are out there. And the easy ones designed to run up your numbers are out there too. Let's not disparage all of those road-side caches though. While you or I might find them to be less than challenging and not particularly interesting, there are lots of folks who aren't willing or able to get into the woods and bushwack and hike. Those silly little parking lot finds allow those folks the chance to get out of the house, spend time with their families or friends and have a sense of victory in finding a tinny little magnet with a scrap of paper in it to record their glory.

 

Personally, I like the hiking kind but we went out and did a bunch of roadside ones last week end and it was actually more fun than I thought. Getting out of the house, away from the computer and spending time with friends is never a bad thing!

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Actually, the area around you does have some great caches and a really good caching groups started, so things are improving near you.

 

You may want to join ECO (Evansville area Caching Organization--they have a yahoo group for discussion of upcoming events and area concerns). They hold area events fairly frequently. ttending those is a great way to learn about good local caches (and to meet nice cachers in your area). In fact, we like those Evansville cachers so much, we attend their events once in a great while and we live near Louisville!

 

Get in touch with Beffums or japtkd and they can give you more info.

Edited by Neos2
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A quick test to help find the caches that will take you on the hikes you want is to click the google map link on the cache page, especially if the satellite view in your area has good clarity. You can see how far from the roads you will get on your hike, or if you are just in a parking lot.

 

To contact your local reviewer scroll to the bottom of the cache listing that is closest to home. At the bottom will be their 'published' log. Click on the link to their profile, and then you can contact them directly with your questions.

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We live in a small rural town in Indiana and there was only one cache hidden here when we got started. We have to drive 25 miles or more to find caches that offer more hiking pleasure. I am in the process of hiding more in our town parks, with permission of course. The ones I have hidden so far( only two) do not require a long hike, but a short walk in the park. Eventually I will encourage people to park their car at one park and walk from cache to cache, which could total a good five mile hike or better. My wife and I also enjoy caches that are hidden in cemeteries. These may not involve a long hike, but we like to walk around and look at the Headstones. The history in these cemeteries is often quite rich. When our friends from Michigan come to visit we look for a route that offers caches with some hiking and go on a road trip for the day. Have fun.

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The more rural caches will tend to take you on longer walks. But Geocaching is what you make it to be. You can park 20 feet from a park-n-grab or 4 blocks away. It is up to you.

 

Look for caches with terrain ratings of 2.5 or higher for longer walks. Also stick to areas where a walk is more likely. But always keep in mind you can walk at anytime. My wife and I sometimes just park the car and grab 8-9 caches in a city setting before returning to the car. Takes a few hours sometimes. We do it for the exercidse all knowing we could just car hop between them as well.

As the driver of a Big Truck, I often use this method too. One ecpecially nice day, I parked the truck next to my delivery location, then spent 5 hours hiking about 6 miles, and was never more than 3/4 mile from my truck! I think I had about 10 Caches on my list. You can have a ball exploring some new city as much as a new park. Welcome to the game.

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One thing I might add to the others comments.

When you look at a local cache in your area to find your local reviewers name, click on the name and look at their profile page.

Once you are ready to hide one of your own, our local reviewers have a listing of all the areas they review on their profile pages with details of which areas are off limits, which areas require permission (with contact information to the person who can give it), and which areas do not currently require explicit permission.

Very helpful!!

Looking at the listing of areas may also give you some ideas of where to go that you had not considered.

 

If your reviewer doesn't have this on their page, just shoot them an email and ask. I have found that they are very happy to answer questions, and have great respect for folks who ask first and place caches later.

 

There are plenty of caches out there that you will eventually find that will meet your needs. You may have to make a little drive to them, but that's just more time spent with the family to anticipate the fun on the way there, and discuss the adventure on the way back.

 

A couple of months ago we took some muggle friends and their kids out caching with us. Took them to a forest area only about 10 miles from where they lived and took the kids on about a 3 mile hike. They were full of energy at the start but worn out by the time they went home. I'm sure the kids slept good that night! I have spoken with them a couple of times since then and they still speak eagerly of the experience and say that they are shopping for a GPS now so they can start geocaching on their own.

Edited by Stargazer22
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