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At what point do you decrypt the hint?


swaninwa
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I'm curious to know how quickly people decrypt their cache hints. We always use the hint if we need it, and certain conditions will contribute to us decrypting it sooner than others (like if it's pouring rain) -- BUT we ALWAYS take a stab at the cache first, and see if we can find it without a hint. Unfortunately, it seems like everyone we meet decrypts their hints ahead of time. We've found that if we cache with someone else and we don't decrypt too, we don't get to make the grab on very many caches. Because of this we find ourselves decrypting clues when we don't really want to.

 

I realize that everyone caches differently and I'm not saying one way is right and the other is wrong. I'm just wondering if anyone else saves the hint like we do, or are we the minority? How do you handle it with other people? Thanks for your comments...

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Being that I am not paperless (as much as I'd love to be lol) I do print out my sheets. I always decrypt before printing but that is mostly because I don't want to do it out on the trail. I also cache with my 2 small kids and in order for them to find it, I have the hint ready for them and read it to them along with the other stuff. I figure in a year I'll be ready not to have the hint but let one of the kids decrypt it if they want. Good mind work for them ;)

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Generally, I wait until I need the hint before decrypting (Cachemate is nice in that you can decrypt only part of the hint if you want). If I'm on limited time - for whatever reason - I'll look sooner.

This is how I do it. I put as much of the decrypted hint as I can fit into the notes field of my 60CS. So when I need it all I have to do is click over to see those note.
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Well, we seem to be kind of the weird ones amongst the cachers that we know.

 

We actually read the whole cache page - taking into consideration the terrain, difficulty and attributes - and a read good number of logs AND decrypt the hint for most - but not all- caches before we attempt them.

 

The reason we do this is so that we can minimise our environmental impact. We see no sense in picking up 20 rocks, branches, leaves etc .......... and disturbing the critters living under them, if by reading the hint we only need to pick up one rock, branch, leaf etc ....... and can find the cache sooner with less impact.

 

We have seen (and had) cache sites wrecked, where by actually reading the page or the hints there would have been no need for such destruction.

 

However - that's just us, and may would not agree with our way of playing.

 

Annie

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It depends on the mission.

 

If I am out by myself I will give it a good try, then look at the hint (using Cachemate on a Palm PDA).

 

If I am with a group and we don't find it in a few minutes I look at the hint, try to locate the cache visually without giving away its location, then stand back and laugh at those who can't find it! ;)

 

If we're on a cache run and want to find them quickly, we'll read them on the way to the cache.

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I always decrypt the hint before beginning the search. Around here most hints aren't going to give it away, like today's cache "The Rock" - the hint? It's not under The Rock. Perhaps it might save one some time, but the coords were 21 feet from The Rock, so i'd not look there anyway.

 

I find about half the hints don't help much anyway, be that intentional on the owner's part or i'm just too stupid to get them ;)

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I am so hint-dependent and I have a GPS that only gets me within 10-15 feet of the cache...so, a good hint is really necessary to eliminate me stomping all over the place. I also take into consideration difficulty, terrain, size of the cache, review all the past logs for any additional hints...and, oh, look at all the pictures BEFORE I decide that the hunt is really worth it.

 

I know there are some paperless cachers...more power to you (I really admire you) and there are some experienced that just look at an area and immediately find the cache (don't you really HATE those people?), but for me, the more detailed the hint...the better the hunt. ;)

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If I'm working on a FTF (or think I might be) I tend to hunt a while without using the hint. Otherwise it's quite variable. I might read the hint with the description, I might not read the description or hint and just chase coords. I rarely do urban stuff anymore, but if I do I've probably skimmed the description and read the hint.

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When we were new, we used to decrypt the hint before the hunt and read all the details.

Like a prevoius poster noted, it helped to keep down our impact on the area.

 

Now that we are a little more seasoned, we try to find the cache first without using the hint.

We go paperless, so we take it in stages. If we can't find it, first we read the cache page again (always read them at least once before leaving home first). If that doesn't help, we look at the past logs, and the size and type of container if known. Then look a little more. If we still can't find it, then we look at the hint.

 

Personally, I prefer a hint that indicates a specific area enough for me to know I'm looking in the right spot, without actually coming right out and giving it away completely. For instance, I would prefer something like "Look low" or "Look high", or "Big tree", instead of "It's under the pine tree lying on it's side, just under the knothole".

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I only decyrpt the hint if I can't find it within 20 to 30 minutes. Usually I can find the cache within 15 minutes max. Part of the challenge of Geocaching is to find the cache, decrpyting the cheat beofre I have even looked for the cache takes the challenge out of finding it.

 

Ususally if I reread the cache page when I get stuck the hide will make more sense once I get to the location without having to use the cheat.

Edited by magellan315
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I normally decrypt right away. I'm new though and only have 20 finds.

 

If its a puzzle I'll try to work on the puzzle for a while before checking the hint. There are a few puzzles that I have solved and have the coords for but haven't gone to hunt them yet.

 

If its a cache that someone posts on here in the forums and its 15 states away and I know I'll probably never go to that cache then I absolutely decrypt it right away.

 

A few weeks ago, I had planned on going to 3 caches. I decrypted the hints but didn't read them and printed them all out. So I had them with me if I needed them. I think I did end up using 2 of them. I found all 3 caches that I went after!

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Too many people write things like "Too easy for hints" or give you driving directions in the hint field. I read the hint along with the cache page just to make sure they didn't do something stupid like that. Unfortunately, that sometimes means that I read an actual hint before I need it. For many traditionals I don't bother reading the page at all until it's time to log it at home.

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I'd be willing to bet that a large percentage of those that said that they don't read the hint before being stumped are full of beans.

 

I don't see decrypting the hint early as being an issue of pride. Everyone I've ever met caching has hints decrypted before going out into the field.

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I'd be willing to bet that a large percentage of those that said that they don't read the hint before being stumped are full of beans.

 

I don't see decrypting the hint early as being an issue of pride. Everyone I've ever met caching has hints decrypted before going out into the field.

 

I think that people who are reluctant to admit they do look at the hint immediately are along the same lines as people who feel DNFs are shameful and either don't report them or try to make it a note or something else. Each person takes away from the game what they want. Some people value numbers and some people like to be "die hard".

 

I wouldn't say that every person who said they don't read it are full of beans. Maybe they are the ones that do wait.... but I'm sure there are a host of people out there who do think its shameful to look and would rather say they don't when, in fact, they do.

 

Me, I'm a hint-looking-DNF-loggin fool :) :) :D

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It depends on the mission.

 

If I am out by myself I will give it a good try, then look at the hint (using Cachemate on a Palm PDA).

 

If I am with a group and we don't find it in a few minutes I look at the hint, try to locate the cache visually without giving away its location, then stand back and laugh at those who can't find it! :)

 

If we're on a cache run and want to find them quickly, we'll read them on the way to the cache.

 

I'm with TAR on this issue...

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Before I went paperless, I'd look at the length of the hint and, if it was too long to be conveniently decrypted in the field, I'd print out the decryption to take along. (I got to where I could recognize common useless hints like "AB UVAG ARRQRQ" at a glance.)

 

Now I give the area a decent look-see before I pull out my phone and read the hint. Since most of the caches I hunt are in the hard-to-get-to/easy-to-find category, I don't usually need a hint.

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I am so hint-dependent and I have a GPS that only gets me within 10-15 feet of the cache...so, a good hint is really necessary to eliminate me stomping all over the place. I also take into consideration difficulty, terrain, size of the cache, review all the past logs for any additional hints...and, oh, look at all the pictures BEFORE I decide that the hunt is really worth it.

 

I know there are some paperless cachers...more power to you (I really admire you) and there are some experienced that just look at an area and immediately find the cache (don't you really HATE those people?), but for me, the more detailed the hint...the better the hunt. ;)

 

You do realize that in civilian GPS terms 10-15 feet is dead center, right? and amazingly accurate for math being done on the timing of signals that are below the noise thresh-hold from satellites 163,000 miles above the earth...

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I'd be willing to bet that a large percentage of those that said that they don't read the hint before being stumped are full of beans.

 

I don't see decrypting the hint early as being an issue of pride. Everyone I've ever met caching has hints decrypted before going out into the field.

 

Clearly you have never met my brother Birdhunter1, and seen him kneeling in the mud and gunk, with his pencil in hand, using all kinds of interesting words while he works out the cypher...

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I decrypt before I leave the house. That's mostly because I am tired of nonsense hints like "e-mail me for hint" or "No hint needed", etc.

 

Geocaching should get rid of the hint window when listing a cache and only leave it as a n option. The window only leads people to put something even if they don't want to add a hint.

 

If you don't have a hint, please leave it blank.

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