Jump to content

Not a good first time


AmasingGrammy
Followers 1

Recommended Posts

Well my first time out with my three grandsons did not go so well. The first place the clue was "first base". Someone actually dug out the first base and left an empty gaping hole! My 7 year old grandson Haydn was almost in tears because this is where he plays baseball. He tried to fill up the hole but it was a mess. The other diamonds also looked a bit messed up.

 

Our second place we looked, we found nothing. I have the Garmin 680. We down loaded the coordinates which got us to a local park, but the area was so broad we did not even begin to know where to look. I think we may have found a cache. There was a white 5 gallon bucket by a fence filled with rocks. But aside from some rain water, that was all that was there.

 

So on to another location. We found nothing, again my garmin just got us to a park but did not narrow down our search. By this time the boys were so disappointed. I told them I'd learn what we were doing wrong and we could try again soon.

 

So, if anyone has any words of encouragement for my "team" or some tips to make this easier (at least to start), we'd really appreciate it.

 

Grammaw

Haydn

Brandon

Liam

Link to comment

Well my first time out with my three grandsons did not go so well. The first place the clue was "first base". Someone actually dug out the first base and left an empty gaping hole! My 7 year old grandson Haydn was almost in tears because this is where he plays baseball. He tried to fill up the hole but it was a mess. The other diamonds also looked a bit messed up.

 

Our second place we looked, we found nothing. I have the Garmin 680. We down loaded the coordinates which got us to a local park, but the area was so broad we did not even begin to know where to look. I think we may have found a cache. There was a white 5 gallon bucket by a fence filled with rocks. But aside from some rain water, that was all that was there.

 

So on to another location. We found nothing, again my garmin just got us to a park but did not narrow down our search. By this time the boys were so disappointed. I told them I'd learn what we were doing wrong and we could try again soon.

 

So, if anyone has any words of encouragement for my "team" or some tips to make this easier (at least to start), we'd really appreciate it.

 

Grammaw

Haydn

Brandon

Liam

Link to comment

OOPS....

 

First of all, let me encourage you to hang in there. Most of us did not have good experiences the first time unless we were with a "seasoned" cacher. Believe me, when you do find that first one, the excitement will be worth all the trouble you've had.

 

Second, I'm not familiar with the GPS you are using, but it sounds like you made need one that gets you closer to the cache. Is your GPS more for road navigation?

 

Do you know a cacher who could go with you? Also, you might like to go find a few without your grandchildren so that they do not get frustrated with the game. Then you could take them back and let them find them.

 

Welcome to the game. In a year, you'll look back at your first experiences and laugh at yourself!!!

Link to comment

Well my first time out with my three grandsons did not go so well. The first place the clue was "first base". Someone actually dug out the first base and left an empty gaping hole! My 7 year old grandson Haydn was almost in tears because this is where he plays baseball. He tried to fill up the hole but it was a mess. The other diamonds also looked a bit messed up.

 

Our second place we looked, we found nothing. I have the Garmin 680. We down loaded the coordinates which got us to a local park, but the area was so broad we did not even begin to know where to look. I think we may have found a cache. There was a white 5 gallon bucket by a fence filled with rocks. But aside from some rain water, that was all that was there.

 

So on to another location. We found nothing, again my garmin just got us to a park but did not narrow down our search. By this time the boys were so disappointed. I told them I'd learn what we were doing wrong and we could try again soon.

 

So, if anyone has any words of encouragement for my "team" or some tips to make this easier (at least to start), we'd really appreciate it.

 

Grammaw

Haydn

Brandon

Liam

 

Well first of all do not get discouraged, the first finds can be hard before you get a hang of it. One problem you have is with the GPS. The 680 is GPS designed for in-car navigation and is not the best choice for Geocaching. Can it be done with a 680? You bet, only not as accurately as when using a handheld trail-GPS’.

 

The one thing you want to do is to modify the way your 680 finds locations. By default it is set for a Car/Motorcycle. This setting works well when you are trying to find a place along roadway, not so much for Tupperware out in the woods. So, on the Menu page hit Navigation and under change it from Car/Motorcycle to walking or pedestrian (I can't remember exactly what it says). Just remember to change it again once you are back in the car or you may get interesting route suggestions when driving to the next cache!

 

Try this approach and let us know how it works for you!

 

Good luck!

Edited by lrosell
Link to comment

Its highly unlikely that the "dug out first base" was actually the cache. Caches are not allowed to be buried, and a cache at, in, or under a base of a baseball diamond would not last through one game. I'd like to see the cache page for that one.

 

The second was was surely NOT the white bucket full of rocks.

 

As others have implied already, the Nuvi line is not really the best tool for geocaching, however it is being done (there are a couple of threads in the GPS and Technology forum about it. For starters, try this one).

Link to comment

1) Each geocache has a difficulty rating. Since you are off to a rough start make sure you pick only difficulty 1-2. Difficulties 3-5 can be tough even for experienced cachers.

 

2) Each geocache lists a size. Start by looking for some that are regular or large sized. I would recommend to avoid micro size until after you have a few finds under your belt. Beside the kids likely will enjoy the bigger ones better.

 

3) You need your GPS to get you closer than "the park". Geocaches are WELL HIDDEN. Even easy ones are well hidden. Searching a whole park is too big of an area. A Garmin nuvi should be able to get you within 20' of the cache. Without more details on why it couldn't get you closer I don't know what to say. As mentioned above are you in pedistrian mode? off-road mode? North UP map display? Zoomed all the way in? I have never used the nuvi 680, but I have used a nuvi 200. I would be surprised if the nuvi 680 was not capable of getting you to within 20 feet. I suspect you just are not familar with the different modes needed for geocaching.

Link to comment

Grammaw,

 

The Garmin can be used as indicated. You just have to practice using it as you go along. Once you put in the coords and get to the general area, you do need to change to the pedestrian mode. To do this you go to settings on the first screen on the right. Then you press "Navigation". This will take you to a screen with a list of prefernces including "Vehicle" on the left. Press car/motorcycle to the right and the screen will change to multiple choice fill in the bubbles. Press "pedestrian" bubble and press okay. Then press the back button and go back to the orginal "where to" screen and press the down arrow until you see coordinates again. This will show your current coordinates.

 

As you know as you move around your physical coordinates change. So every time you change directions, touch the back button and touch coordinates again. This will update your location. Move north, south, east and west to see which direction your coordinates change.

 

I like to printout the cache discription and clues and take them with me. This will allow you to match the correct coordinates and give you some hints as to where to look.

 

We have just started this experience and we are 7 for 7 caching with the Garmin. We plan to upgrade soon. But this still works.

 

Good luck.

 

Whimppeys

Link to comment

You can also try copying the coordinates from the cache page and pasting them into Google maps, then click on 'satellite view' then zoom in as far as you can. This is really good for large parks that don't have an overabundance of tree cover as it will show you pretty plainly just what area to search. You just have to make notes of visible landmarks:'near the third tree from the start of the walking trail' etc.

Link to comment

You can also try copying the coordinates from the cache page and pasting them into Google maps, then click on 'satellite view' then zoom in as far as you can. This is really good for large parks that don't have an overabundance of tree cover as it will show you pretty plainly just what area to search. You just have to make notes of visible landmarks:'near the third tree from the start of the walking trail' etc.

 

Excellent idea! thank you!

Link to comment

You can also try copying the coordinates from the cache page and pasting them into Google maps, then click on 'satellite view' then zoom in as far as you can. This is really good for large parks that don't have an overabundance of tree cover as it will show you pretty plainly just what area to search. You just have to make notes of visible landmarks:'near the third tree from the start of the walking trail' etc.

 

Excellent idea! thank you!

 

Why cut and paste? Just scroll down below the hints and click on the google maps link.

 

Jim

Link to comment

If you could list which caches you tried to find maybe we could give you some pointers. Make sure the caches aren't micro's, nano's, or puzzle caches...those can be prety tough to start out with!

They were: Harmon's Playground by Team_Hankey (GC1DQ59)NW

 

"Aqualung" by Table 4 6 (GC18GR7)

 

It's Hard To Be Humble by Table 4 6 (GC15T37)

 

Basically they were the first three that showed up when I did a search. I did what someone else suggested and plotted the coordinates on google and I could see we were so far off in Harmon's playground. I think I will go back and see if I can find it. The same thing for It's hard to be humble. We got thrown off by the base being dug out. The cache was probably 10 feet away! The Aqualung one is in the woods so I couldnt tell on that one.

Link to comment

You can also try copying the coordinates from the cache page and pasting them into Google maps, then click on 'satellite view' then zoom in as far as you can. This is really good for large parks that don't have an overabundance of tree cover as it will show you pretty plainly just what area to search. You just have to make notes of visible landmarks:'near the third tree from the start of the walking trail' etc.

 

Excellent idea! thank you!

 

Why cut and paste? Just scroll down below the hints and click on the google maps link.

 

Jim

 

Even better!

Link to comment

OOPS....

 

Also, you might like to go find a few without your grandchildren so that they do not get frustrated with the game. Then you could take them back and let them find them.

 

Welcome to the game. In a year, you'll look back at your first experiences and laugh at yourself!!!

 

I think that is a good idea to go out by myself before I give it another try with the boys. Even with the not so great experience the first time out, I can see how this could become addicting!

Link to comment

Well my first time out with my three grandsons did not go so well. The first place the clue was "first base". Someone actually dug out the first base and left an empty gaping hole! My 7 year old grandson Haydn was almost in tears because this is where he plays baseball. He tried to fill up the hole but it was a mess. The other diamonds also looked a bit messed up.

 

Our second place we looked, we found nothing. I have the Garmin 680. We down loaded the coordinates which got us to a local park, but the area was so broad we did not even begin to know where to look. I think we may have found a cache. There was a white 5 gallon bucket by a fence filled with rocks. But aside from some rain water, that was all that was there.

 

So on to another location. We found nothing, again my garmin just got us to a park but did not narrow down our search. By this time the boys were so disappointed. I told them I'd learn what we were doing wrong and we could try again soon.

 

So, if anyone has any words of encouragement for my "team" or some tips to make this easier (at least to start), we'd really appreciate it.

 

Grammaw

Haydn

Brandon

Liam

 

Well first of all do not get discouraged, the first finds can be hard before you get a hang of it. One problem you have is with the GPS. The 680 is GPS designed for in-car navigation and is not the best choice for Geocaching. Can it be done with a 680? You bet, only not as accurately as when using a handheld trail-GPS’.

 

The one thing you want to do is to modify the way your 680 finds locations. By default it is set for a Car/Motorcycle. This setting works well when you are trying to find a place along roadway, not so much for Tupperware out in the woods. So, on the Menu page hit Navigation and under change it from Car/Motorcycle to walking or pedestrian (I can't remember exactly what it says). Just remember to change it again once you are back in the car or you may get interesting route suggestions when driving to the next cache!

 

Try this approach and let us know how it works for you!

 

Good luck!

 

Thank you for the idea and the encouragement!

Link to comment

Grammaw,

 

The Garmin can be used as indicated. You just have to practice using it as you go along. Once you put in the coords and get to the general area, you do need to change to the pedestrian mode. To do this you go to settings on the first screen on the right. Then you press "Navigation". This will take you to a screen with a list of prefernces including "Vehicle" on the left. Press car/motorcycle to the right and the screen will change to multiple choice fill in the bubbles. Press "pedestrian" bubble and press okay. Then press the back button and go back to the orginal "where to" screen and press the down arrow until you see coordinates again. This will show your current coordinates.

 

As you know as you move around your physical coordinates change. So every time you change directions, touch the back button and touch coordinates again. This will update your location. Move north, south, east and west to see which direction your coordinates change.

 

I like to printout the cache discription and clues and take them with me. This will allow you to match the correct coordinates and give you some hints as to where to look.

 

We have just started this experience and we are 7 for 7 caching with the Garmin. We plan to upgrade soon. But this still works.

 

Good luck.

 

Whimppeys

Great! I will give that a try. It sounds like by doing this, it will get you closer to the cache.

Link to comment

If you could list which caches you tried to find maybe we could give you some pointers. Make sure the caches aren't micro's, nano's, or puzzle caches...those can be prety tough to start out with!

They were: Harmon's Playground by Team_Hankey (GC1DQ59)NW

 

A three star micro, not a good choice for first cache.

 

"Aqualung" by Table 4 6 (GC18GR7)

 

A one star micro, better, but still can be challenging.

 

It's Hard To Be Humble by Table 4 6 (GC15T37)

 

A 2.5 star unknown container. Can be a challenge.

 

Basically they were the first three that showed up when I did a search. I did what someone else suggested and plotted the coordinates on google and I could see we were so far off in Harmon's playground. I think I will go back and see if I can find it. The same thing for It's hard to be humble. We got thrown off by the base being dug out. The cache was probably 10 feet away! The Aqualung one is in the woods so I couldnt tell on that one.

 

For your first ones chose at least a small if not a regular, a 1 or 1.5 star. Save these ones for later once you have a few under your belt. Try these ...

 

GC13ZNW

GC159CH

Actually the Hanging Tree series by TomK might be worth looking at.

GC17Y6R

GCXH6W

 

Those should provide more smiles than the ones you first attempted.

 

Jim

Link to comment

You've gotten some great answers but I just wanted to add - I have a Garmin nuvi 650 and although it's made for the car I have found with a few menu options it works great. I haven't had a problem yet, although the first time I drop it into water or off a cliff I might rethink that. Also, the batteries only last a couple hours but I find that we're back to the car after a few at most and I just plug it back in as we go to the next park. You can also set the screen to dim after a minute (or less) when not plugged in to conserve battery power. We'll probably get a handheld someday but for now it's been great.

 

As mentioned above you'll want to change the navigation from Car/Motorcycle to Pedestrian but you'll also want to change from Fastest Route or Shortest Route to "Offroad". The nuvi will "recalculate" and draw a straight line from where you stand to the cache. Remember, the trail is not often a straight line so if you're in a park with hiking trails, try to walk a little further and look around before you go bushwacking through the woods. Also with the nuvi remember to zoom in. Hit that plus sign as many times as you can as you get close. I've also discovered on my model how to find the accuracy, which helps, as if you have say a 14 ft accuracy you should be looking 14 feet in all directions and as with every cache, once you get close, try to look at the GPS a little less and your surroundings a little more.

Link to comment

If you could list which caches you tried to find maybe we could give you some pointers. Make sure the caches aren't micro's, nano's, or puzzle caches...those can be prety tough to start out with!

They were: Harmon's Playground by Team_Hankey (GC1DQ59)NW

 

A three star micro, not a good choice for first cache.

 

"Aqualung" by Table 4 6 (GC18GR7)

 

A one star micro, better, but still can be challenging.

 

It's Hard To Be Humble by Table 4 6 (GC15T37)

 

A 2.5 star unknown container. Can be a challenge.

 

Basically they were the first three that showed up when I did a search. I did what someone else suggested and plotted the coordinates on google and I could see we were so far off in Harmon's playground. I think I will go back and see if I can find it. The same thing for It's hard to be humble. We got thrown off by the base being dug out. The cache was probably 10 feet away! The Aqualung one is in the woods so I couldnt tell on that one.

 

For your first ones chose at least a small if not a regular, a 1 or 1.5 star. Save these ones for later once you have a few under your belt. Try these ...

 

GC13ZNW

GC159CH

Actually the Hanging Tree series by TomK might be worth looking at.

GC17Y6R

GCXH6W

 

Those should provide more smiles than the ones you first attempted.

 

Jim

 

Great! Thanks a bunch. I can't wait to get back out there!

Link to comment

It is great that you are doing this with the grandkids. Definitely do not give up, and teach the kids not to give up, too.

 

Definitely stick with "regular" caches at first. Stay away from micros.

You will have fun once you get the hang of it.

 

Did you log your DNF's Did Not Find)?

Link to comment

I had to smile when I read your post: I think that a disappointing first outing is pretty much par for the course, and people's comments here support that. I'll add my voice to those saying: hang in there! There's a lot of delight to be found in this hobby.

 

Start by purchasing a handheld GPS receiver, not the sort that you use in your car. They're different in myriad ways that I won't bother listing: just take my word for it. There will be a bit of a learning curve, but you'll find the results far superior.

 

It's disturbing to find destruction such as you did at the baseball diamond. Whether the cache itself was poorly designed or that had nothing to do with geocachers, it was clearly a negative experience. You might offer to fix it -- as a community-spirited gesture -- and remember that anything destructive is NOT sanctioned by the hobby or by Groundspeak. Digging for/burying caches, placing them in stone walls or any other place that could be harmed by the activity is clearly prohibited. So do not except to see that as the norm.

 

Do try to go out with someone who's already been around the geocaching block, and look for caches that are rated as easy ones to begin with. Good luck!

 

Jeannette (angevine)

Link to comment

Hi. I'm just starting out too.. I've found 3 out of 11 attempts... when I get too frustrated, I shelf it for a bit, then get inspired again and go at it. Once you get the hang of your GPS and finding a few, it'll get better. And prob best too, as others suggested, find a few yourself so you know what you're doing, then bring the boys, and look for bigger caches... not the micros and smaller; that's what i'm doing until i get on a good roll :-)

Good luck and have fun... gcrosie

Link to comment

Was the baseball field cache a micro? A hint "first base" does not mean it was hidden under the first base, could have been attached to the fence near the first base.

 

A cacher might look under the base, but I can't imagine a cacher actually digging a hole in a baseball field. Could very well be a co-incidence.

Link to comment

I want to add that we were also disappointed our first several times out. :lol: We had no idea what we were looking for or how it would be hidden. Our GPS will get us to within 3 feet or 45 feet, depending on the cache. Most of the time, the GPS puts us within 15 feet or so. We have learned to look behind logs or under bark/rocks. The bark should be loose and easy to remove, obviously, you shouldn't have to tear a tree or stump apart. I didn't look to see where you are located, but here in the NW, we have a lot of stumps and they are good hiding places. A cache can be placed inside and covered with pieces of bark. Bases of trees are also good hiding places as long as there is ivy or ferns or something to hide the cache. Also, look for sticks/small logs piled too neatly for mother nature to have done it. Basically, look for anything that doesn't look natural and makes you ask yourself "why is that bark there?" or some signs that someone has walked off the path may lead you to the cache. Rocks may cover the cache and sometimes they are not rocks at all - they are hollow and the cache is beneath.

 

Micros & nanos are a bit different. These can have magnets and be stuck to anything metal. Try to view some of websites of the advertisers' on geocaching.com to get an idea of what the micros & nanos look like. Once I saw a picture of a buffalo tube I at least knew what we were looking for. (although a good camoflage job can make them almost invisible). Small & micros can hang in trees, either on a branch or against the trunk.

 

We have also learned that if you are viewing a cache listing, you can click on the map above the logs and it will show all the caches nearby. This has been immensely helpful to us in finding a group of caches in the same area. Once you log a find, it will display as a happy face. :D

 

Oh yea, read all of the logs from people who've been there before. They may be helpful. Read the clues and everything you can before you go out to your first few caches. We take a printout of the listing so we have the clues with us in case we need them.

 

Good luck

Link to comment

 

As mentioned above you'll want to change the navigation from Car/Motorcycle to Pedestrian but you'll also want to change from Fastest Route or Shortest Route to "Offroad". The nuvi will "recalculate" and draw a straight line from where you stand to the cache. Remember, the trail is not often a straight line so if you're in a park with hiking trails, try to walk a little further and look around before you go bushwacking through the woods. Also with the nuvi remember to zoom in. Hit that plus sign as many times as you can as you get close. I've also discovered on my model how to find the accuracy, which helps, as if you have say a 14 ft accuracy you should be looking 14 feet in all directions and as with every cache, once you get close, try to look at the GPS a little less and your surroundings a little more.

 

I have a Nuvi 750 and found 100 caches so far. I leave it on auto but just change from "Fastest Route" to "Offroad." Of course I get back to the car and forget to change it, so that's always amusing...

 

Have a good time!

wickedann

Link to comment
The same thing for It's hard to be humble. We got thrown off by the base being dug out.
It's easy to get distracted by things like that. One of my recent DNFs was a cache located about 5 feet from a nice hole that was "obviously" the former location of a muggled cache. It just looked like a location where something had been hidden, but that something was no longer there. I looked around anyway, but I was convinced that the cache wasn't there, and I found nothing.

 

When I went back later, after the owner confirmed that the cache was still there and after others had logged finds, I found it almost immediately. It's still surprising to me that I didn't find it the first time.

 

And this was a regular cache. The one you were looking for is a micro...

Link to comment

It is great that you are doing this with the grandkids. Definitely do not give up, and teach the kids not to give up, too.

 

Definitely stick with "regular" caches at first. Stay away from micros.

You will have fun once you get the hang of it.

 

Did you log your DNF's Did Not Find)?

 

No, I think I may try to go back again now that I have some new advice to finding things.

Link to comment

I had a very difficult time with my first half-dozen caches--I hadn't developed "geo-sense". I think my experience was pretty typical. I'd suggest hooking up with a local geocaching group to do your first few, then take out the grandkids. In fact, for your first few that you plan to do with the grandkids, find them first, before you take the grandkids out, then let them 'find' the caches.

 

 

Hope that helps!

Link to comment

:) I'm a newbie, too - but now up to a whole 15.... My first caches I couldn't do, so I went to an event. At the event, we asked a more experienced cacher to go out with us, and we found our first two caches. After that we went out a few more times, and found that only if we added more sets of eyes, did we do better. Since then, I only look for:

 

Difficulty 2 or less

Terrain 3 or less

 

and caches that are small, regular, or large. Today we finally went out alone, just myself and the little one. We found the two we were looking for.

 

With your grandchildren, I would do 1.5 / 1.5 and make sure that the description says under an hour / good for kids, until all of you get better. I use both the compass part, and tracking/trail part, and pay particular attention to make sure the distance is growing smaller.

 

Hang in there....it's worth it.

Link to comment

Again I want to thank everyone for all the great responses. I have been out one more time but still did not find anything. Well, I did find "Jack in the tree" which was very rewarding in itself, but not the cache. I never realized that trees can have real faces buried in their bark!

 

Mostly I have been working, but plan on compiling all this great advice onto one page to print out and follow like guidelines. Then I'm going to take my son's hand held gps (he just bought one and finds all the caches with it) and give it all another try. I'll post her how it goes!

 

Thanks Everyone,

Grandmaw

Link to comment

Its highly unlikely that the "dug out first base" was actually the cache. Caches are not allowed to be buried, and a cache at, in, or under a base of a baseball diamond would not last through one game. I'd like to see the cache page for that one.

 

The second was was surely NOT the white bucket full of rocks.

 

Unless one of the rocks isn't really a rock.

 

As others have implied already, the Nuvi line is not really the best tool for geocaching, however it is being done (there are a couple of threads in the GPS and Technology forum about it. For starters, try this one).

 

As often as the question comes up about the use of automobile navigation GPS receivers for geocaching it seems like adding a section to the FAQ pinned in this forum would be helpful. There is an indirect reference about automobile navigation GPS units in the "What GPS Should I Buy?" post but it doesn't talk about using one for geocaching.

 

Of course, a lot of the questions posed here are answered in the FAQ so including information their may not help much.

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 1
×
×
  • Create New...