Jump to content

Tips for finding?

Lady Loki

Recommended Posts

My husband and I went out finding for the first time today. We tried five different caches, all rated 1.5 or 2, but only found one. I know we were in the right area, but I'm not sure what the clues are that we're close, or even if there are clues in the location.


Does anyone have any tips, suggestions on what to look for, bricks upside the head to make things work? :wub: What we did find was tons of fun, but I think a 20% success rate is kind of low. :rolleyes:

Link to comment

Also, try to stay in the 1 difficulty until you get a few under your belt and get a feel for what different hides look like, then you will start looking at things differently and can go for the more difficult ones. Most important is keep having fun!

Link to comment

It takes time. If you get the oportunity, see if there are experienced cachers in your neighborhood and talk to them. Better yet, see if they are willing to go out on a cache hunt or two with you. They're a wealth of knowledge and I know I picked up some good tips that have helped me start to hone my own geocaching senses.

Link to comment

My wife has suggested a brick to the side of my head a couple times..... oh, wait..... that was about working around the house, not caching :)


Follow the earlier suggestions, especially the 'stick with it'. Micros can be difficult sometimes but once you get some under your belt you will be able to 'see' them from a distance.

Link to comment

I apologize in advance if I go too basic here but a couple questions.


1. What kind of GPS are you using and "how" do you use it. Proper use of the GPS can make a huge difference for a beginner.


2. Caches, even very easy ones are hidden well. It's not like you get to within 20' of caches and say "oh, there it is" in most cases even containers the size of lunch pails will be unoticable to almost all people when they are standing within a couple feet of them. Again, I apologize if you already know this but some new comers might not realize just how well hidden most caches are.


3. Pick and choose your caches carefully before you go. Print out the sheets and take them with you. Look for caches that have a low level of difficultly, large containers and hints that say stuff like "Under a pile of rocks on the south side of the big oak". This will help quickly build your geosense. You'll become familar with hiding techniques and typical containers.


4. Make caching your own game. Some cachers, cache to make caching as challenging as possible. They don't ask for hints, they don't read the hints, they purposely seek difficult finds, etc. However, others cache just to make finds. And of course others cache for every reason in between those two extremes.


But be aware of this one thing. The HUGE majority of caches are placed by hiders who WANT you to find that cache. So never be afraid to drop them an email and say "Hey, I couldn't find your cache, could you give me a nudge in the right direction." Almost always they are more than willing to help because they know some people just like to visit cool spots, and getting to sign their name saying "Hey, I was here!" is a cool little bonus.


And of course, you don't ever have to do this if you choose. I just want you to be aware most hiders WANT you to have an experience that fits your definition of fun.

Link to comment

One more thing. Don't rely too much on your GPS. Between the inaccuracy of your unit and the unit of the person who hid the cache, it could actually be 30, 40, 50 or more feet from where your GPS says it is.


Many novices concentrate their hunt in the small area that the GPS says is ground zero. Disregard what your GPS says and look around and think about if you had something to hide, where would you hide it.

Link to comment

Usually there is an obvious spot near where the gps is pointing. For instance, if the gps is pointing to a bare area on the ground and there is a tree or clump of bushes nearby it's probably not on the ground.


Then look for somethign out of place. I was looking for a cache today that was like I descibed above, it pointed to a bare area, there was a tree nearby though, a large oak covered with vines.


So then I looked all around the bottom of the tree for a buried container, nothing. Looked at the branches that was hanging down for something attached to the overhanging branch, nothing.


then I walked around the tree just trying to see something out of place. The tree was covered in a tangle of vines and sticks. One stick was covered with vines but it did not look like a vine, it looked like a thick stick. So I asked myself how a stick got wedged behind the vines. I poked at it and it moved, and I got a glimpse of the little jar and pencil that was embedded in the branch!!!





Edited by gitarmac
Link to comment

We actually don't have a GPS yet. I was using Google maps on my laptop to get us to the area.


Right now I'm going for all the hints I can find; this is challenging enough without making it harder yet! When we get better at it, I'll try it without the hints. :)


Thanks for the tips! I'll definitely keep them in mind. I also marked a bunch of easier/larger caches on my Google map, so we definitely aren't giving up. :)

Link to comment

Oh my . . . I have a hard enough time finding caches with a GPS unit. :) You are very brave to start this activity without a GPS yet . . . and you must have more patience than I would have. :)


Until you get a GPS unit, look for Regular Size or Larger caches that show up on Google Earth as being near something very identifiable, such as the third tree on the left hand side of the park.


Edit for typo . . .

Edited by Miragee
Link to comment

My geosense kind of told me that others might be putting the cart before the horse. That is why I asked "What kind of GPS do you have and how are you using it?"


Sorry, I can't be of any help, I started geocaching with a GPS and have no experience on caching without one. However, back to your original post. I would say a 20% find rate for a newbie without a GPS is pretty darn good. Will it get better? I just don't know, but I would suspect not much unless you get a GPS.

Link to comment

As others have said, definitely let us know what kind of GPS you are using. Also, are you talking about urban caches or woodsy caches?


I don't do many urban ones, I am more of a hiking type. What I do when I get flustered is just sit down and look. "Where would I hide one?" "What looks out of place and not natural?"


Definitely stay away from micros for the time being. You may want to start with urban level 1s, and that will give you a positive introduction to the sport.

Link to comment

We found another one yesterday, and I came to the conclusion that for the first one we tried, we were on the right track, just didn't look hard enough.


We're looking into getting a GPS, it's just a matter of having money that's not otherwise spoken for. XD But I'm definitely addicted; I dreamed about finding last night!

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.

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.

  • Create New...