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Nano Caches hidden in the Mountains


LUCKYSTRIKE1
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I do a lot of wilderness geocaching in the mountains of New Mexico and have noticed more and more Micro and Nano caches being placed instead of "Small" or "Regular" size caches. Do you notice the same thing happening in your area, and what are your thoughts??

 

I was out geocaching in the Sandia Mountains just outside of Albuquerque NM today and all the caches I went after were Nano Caches hidden in stumps or hanging in tree's. If I didn't have the hints on me I probably would've never found them, but the cache owner was kind enough to add plenty of hints and pictures to help me find them, which made my day hiking and finding geocaches in the mountains a lot more enjoyable. Don't get me wrong though, I bad day of caching is still better than a good day at work!! :laughing:

 

 

Where's the Nano?? lol

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Kind of mixed feelings on this. Since you know in advance what type of cache it is you can decide whether or not to pursue it. I like the challenge but yet prefer to paw through the swag in an ammo box or similar container. I guess it depends on how I feel that day as to what I will try to find, but I still have fun.

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Around here all the caches in the woods are regulars (or smaller regulars); I would hate to search for a micro/nano in remote areas (also I don't enjoy finding them in urban areas -- they're just OK).

 

I dunno, the occasional one is OK- if done correctly. :laughing:

After reading the cache page, I wouldn't even try to find that one. It looks too much like a needle in the haystack...

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I don't care for them because they are harder to find and can be hidden in more places. That that means a longer and wider cache hunt and an increased potential for damage to the area.

 

I guess if the location is obvious and there are enough hints to make it easy it's OK, but in general that isn't the case with these tiny containers in the woods and mountains.

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Around here all the caches in the woods are regulars (or smaller regulars); I would hate to search for a micro/nano in remote areas (also I don't enjoy finding them in urban areas -- they're just OK).

 

I dunno, the occasional one is OK- if done correctly. :laughing:

After reading the cache page, I wouldn't even try to find that one. It looks too much like a needle in the haystack...

 

Although I would probably still try to find it if it was in my area[1], I'm not sure how you could classify a cache as done correctly when it contains a statement in the list like " The cache is within 50' of the posted coordinates."

 

A traditional cache "done correctly" shouldn't use soft coordinates.

 

1. I have this thing about trying to find every cache with a growing proximity of my home location. I just get tired of seeing the same caches at the top of the "Filter Out Finds" page. My closest not yet found caches is currently at 14.1 miles. I've got that and two others to find before the closest is one that has only been found 5 times since it was placed a little over a year ago.

Edited by NYPaddleCacher
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Perhaps it's a regional thing. Most of the micros in the woods in my area are incredibly easy finds. You're liable to have more of a hunt on an ammo can [it's "in the palmettos" ;-) ].

 

Micros are generally bison tubes, stuck in the old hinge mount holes on old rotting fence posts, or other suitable holes. Or matchsafes/film cans (blech) in the crotch of the big grandfather oak.

 

Here the small trading cache is king - decons or lock and locks suspended in the vegetation. On the ground they'll either move with water, burn up, or the hogs will shift them. Although each new generation of cachers seems to need to learn that the hard way..... on the other hand, people see suspended caches, so they tend to hide suspended caches.

 

I favor hunting ammo cans, oddly, because there's probably going to be a modest hunt involved. Enough to be some fun at the "got it'! moment, without getting tedious. And because I can still identify that I've found a cache, even if it's burned, flooded or 75 feet off the coords.

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Am I right in thinking that there was aguideline somewhere saying a cache should be as large as possible for the location?

 

I don't mind finding micros in the mountains, it's still a cache after all, but I'd prefer to be rewarded with a decent sized cache if I've been walking in difficult terrain.

 

Brian has a point about possible damage to the area too.

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Am I right in thinking that there was aguideline somewhere saying a cache should be as large as possible for the location?

 

I don't think so and it would be subjective requiring the reviewer to evaluate something with no clear guidline. Besides when he/she sees a micro as a forest cache during the review they must know.

 

I review my cache trips in GSAK first and micro/forest together go right to the ignore list.

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Way back I thought I read where you should put a micro only if you could not hide a regular in the given area. A virtual could be used if there was no way to hide a micro. I believe these were guidelines , not rules.

Those days are gone but we've found hundreds of micros ( bisons and 35mm) in jungle type areas but very few nano's. Usually there're camo'ed and hanging and can be fun and challanging to find but I think the "micro in the wilderness" thing is beginning to be overdone a little. It's just easier and cheaper to hide micro's.

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Am I right in thinking that there was aguideline somewhere saying a cache should be as large as possible for the location?

To my knowledge there was never such a guideline. Several individuals have espoused this view but it is just a personal preference.

 

I don't mind finding micros in the mountains, it's still a cache after all, but I'd prefer to be rewarded with a decent sized cache if I've been walking in difficult terrain.

I know several people who have the same opinion. For some reason some people find a bigger cache more rewarding. Perhaps its the opportunity to trade. I rarely trade and often feel a bigger sense of accomplishment finding a micro than an ammo can. But it just a matter of personal preference.

 

Brian has a point about possible damage to the area too.

I think Brian's experience may have something to do with the way caches are hidden in the woods in the northeast. A larger container can only be in so many places - a rotted out log, a pile of sticks. A micro could be hidden in a lot more places. So he assumes that it generally will take longer to find a micro and that in the course of searching you may do more damage. In other areas one could argue the opposite, as Isonzo Karst did for central Florida. So. California is similar. Micros are generally hidden in old fence posts and gates, on a trail sign, behind some rocks at the base of a bolder, or in the crotch of an oak. Ammo cans are under a bush and the area is covered by bushes. The ammo cans are often off trail (and on the steep mountainside going off trail often leads to erosion) while the micros can be reached from the trail. I've not found that many caches in the northeast, but my experience is a bit different than Brian's. I've wandered around missing the pile of sticks hiding an ammo can, just because I'm not used to finding the unnatural pile where the forest floor is littered with fallen trees and twigs or because I'm not use to caching in the snow. On the other hand the micros I've found were hidden in old fence posts or crotches of trees just like elsewhere and were quickly found. I doubt that a properly hidden micro in the woods causes more damage than a regular cache. Of course if the hider wants to make a needle in the haystack micro hide that could be another story. Edited by tozainamboku
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...he assumes that it generally will take longer to find a micro and that in the course of searching you may do more damage. In other areas one could argue the opposite, as Isonzo Karst did for central Florida. So. California is similar. Micros are generally hidden in old fence posts and gates, on a trail sign, behind some rocks at the base of a bolder, or in the crotch of an oak.

 

I'm talking about micros in the woods/mountains where you generally don't see fences, gates, signs and big grandfather oaks.

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If it was the only cache in the area, I'd hate it. Why make someone walk through a beautiful aera to find something like that. If there was a series of several caches through the area, I'd be okay with a nano thrown in but definitely not if it's the only one.

 

Generally, the the harder and longer the hike, the easier and bigger I like the containers to be. If you're going to put out a devious hide, don' make someone walk 3 miles to find it. Give them a big old fashioned 50 cal ammo can stocked full of goodies.

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I think Brian's experience may have something to do with the way caches are hidden in the woods in the northeast. A larger container can only be in so many places - a rotted out log, a pile of sticks. A micro could be hidden in a lot more places. So he assumes that it generally will take longer to find a micro and that in the course of searching you may do more damage. In other areas one could argue the opposite, as Isonzo Karst did for central Florida. So. California is similar.

Generally, unless there are leaves on the ground, there aren't a whole lot of ways to hide a larger container around here, but in Florida. Wow. That's a different story. We were a few feet from an ammo can once and didn't see it for the longest time.

 

I was talking with a FL friend once, and said something about bushwhacking. They laughed and said that you don't bushwhack in FL unless you don't mind coming out all bloody. I know what he meant after finding the above cache.

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I am (in general) againist such caches placed in rural outdoorsy places. Larger caches could be hidden easily. I have never been into caches for the frustration of looking for a needle in a haystack type hide. I like being led to a place and spending a bit of time finding the hide without tearing up the area and then moving on to enjoy the day and location.

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Way back I thought I read where you should put a micro only if you could not hide a regular in the given area. A virtual could be used if there was no way to hide a micro. I believe these were guidelines , not rules.

Those days are gone but we've found hundreds of micros ( bisons and 35mm) in jungle type areas but very few nano's. Usually there're camo'ed and hanging and can be fun and challanging to find but I think the "micro in the wilderness" thing is beginning to be overdone a little. It's just easier and cheaper to hide micro's.

Ditto.

 

I checked my logged stats and 1397 or 54.3 % of my finds are micros.

 

I only log a small percentage of my finds anymore but I think the percentage of micros is actually increasing among the finds I have not logged as well.

 

That's mostly indicative of my love for group cache runs and of my disability; I've pretty much quit doing any hike over a half-mile, but still... micros appear to be slowly taking over the mostly urban and suburban areas I tend to cache in.

 

That does not surprise or alarm me.

 

What does is the increasing percentage of micros I find in the woods.

 

In rural and especially woodland areas I remain a believer that the cache should be the largest appropriate for the site.

 

I love finding caches, all of them, but I gotta say that there is nothing TO ME as interesting and exciting as a nicely-stocked well-hidden ammo can in an interesting location.

 

If it's easier and cheaper to hide a micro, if you don't want to do the extra maintenance a large cache requires, or if you simply prefer micros, please consider hiding them in the urban and suburban sites and hiding larger caches in the woods.

 

Off on a rant:

Groundspeak defined a geocache as a container with a log in it. I wish they'd go a step further. A cache, to my mind, should also contain STUFF! That has throughout history been what a cache is. I'm all about micros, obviously, but I have come to believe that they should be a seperate cache type... so that by definition a geocache contains stuff, a microcache contains only a log.

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I don't like looking for a needle in a haystack unless the only place to hide a cache is in the haystack and anything bigger than a needle will be muggled.

 

I enjoy clever hides. I like the micro in the end of an old log ... so long as the old log is not too hard to find, i.e. it is not among dozens of similar old logs. I like switchplate covers that are out in the open and look like they belong where they are. Micros lend themselves to clever hides.

 

One advantage of micros, even in the wilderness, is that it is not too much trouble to carry and hide a dozen micros along a trail. Carrying a couple of ammo cans could be quite a chore.

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Micros are generally hidden in old fence posts and gates, on a trail sign, behind some rocks at the base of a bolder, or in the crotch of an oak.
Huh.. :)

 

"Round here, if you're really in the woods, you won't see fence posts, gates or trail signs (well, sometimes trail signs..) and there's enough glacial till & crotched trees to give you plenty of places to trample down the vegetation looking at possible hiding places for a micro... ;)

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Micros are generally hidden in old fence posts and gates, on a trail sign, behind some rocks at the base of a bolder, or in the crotch of an oak.
Huh.. :)

 

"Round here, if you're really in the woods, you won't see fence posts, gates or trail signs (well, sometimes trail signs..) and there's enough glacial till & crotched trees to give you plenty of places to trample down the vegetation looking at possible hiding places for a micro... ;)

That's why I love to cache in different areas, you get to see so many different things.

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Micros are generally hidden in old fence posts and gates, on a trail sign, behind some rocks at the base of a bolder, or in the crotch of an oak.
Huh.. :)

 

"Round here, if you're really in the woods, you won't see fence posts, gates or trail signs (well, sometimes trail signs..) and there's enough glacial till & crotched trees to give you plenty of places to trample down the vegetation looking at possible hiding places for a micro... ;)

What we see a lot of in the west, are lands that were once used as cattle and sheep ranches. Right in the middle of the state park or forest will be the remains of barbed wire fences. Trails that follow the old ranch roads will have gates (or least the old gate posts) where the road crossed an old property line. Further up in the mountains, there may be old mining or logging roads and remains of those operations. Lots of metal for those magnetic micros :D . In the coastal mountains there is not much tree cover. Its basically scrub brush with a few oaks. So if you zero out near an oak tree you know the micro is in that tree.

 

From what I see on the Google map photos from Too Tall John's area, the tree cover is much heavier. I can see that you might not get good enough readings to single out a specific tree. Looks like there are many old logging roads and many appear to be used as trails. I suspect that that there are features along these roads where a micro hide would be appropriate. There are at least some trail signs. Clearly going off trail into the woods, the chances of finding an object - even a specific tree or bush - on which to hide a micro becomes more and more of the needle in the haystack hide that many don't like and that can lead to some damage just from moving a bunch of rocks or digging under vegetation. I can agree that these sorts of micro hides are not very well thought out by the hider. I still put most of the responsibility on the finder. When searching for a micro in the woods, there is no reason for a scorched earth search. Think about where you would hide a micro. Remember that the hider will have to find it to do maintenance. If you don't find it, accept the DNF graciously. I can always thank the hider for the nice hike in the woods even though I didn't find the cache.

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Love 'em or hate 'em?

It depends on whether we find it or not :unsure:. Whenever we find one we complain that it wasn't an ammo can, but still we're pretty pleased with ourselves for finding it. Three of our most memorable finds have been micro caches in the mountains, with poor signal, lots of trees, rocks and cliffs everywhere, and devious hides. But we knew they were micros before we headed up the trail, and finding those really tough ones makes it even sweeter. With that in mind, we recently purchased a few bison tubes, even though we swore we'd never, ever hide a micro in the forest.

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I really dislike them, with a bit of an involved reason.

 

I don't like to hike alone. So I tend to take anyone I can grab along with me when I'm hiking out for a remote cache. If they're a first-timer, they are going to be disappointed when, at the end of some two-hour walk up a mountain, it's a bison-tube in a tree instead of the small treasure chest their imagination has been building since I told them about geocaching. Sure, they'll come away with nice memories of the hike, but that's the hike, not the sport.

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I dunno, the occasional one is OK- if done correctly. :unsure:

 

In general I dislike any kind of needle in a haystack search. However I reserve the right to enjoy the exceptions as COD has pointed out.

 

Thanks RK. :D

 

For everyones info: the cache is listed and rated correctly- all info on the cache page should be taken into consideration. I did it as an exercise in perception, and as a counterpoint, to a series in my area. :D

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I've never done a nano in the woods, but through the process of adoption I am now guilty of owning a micro on a mountain.

 

I'm never a fan of any "needle in a haystack" type hides, so as long as the location is relatively obvious I don't really care about the size since I rarely trade anything. I'd still rather find an ammo can simply because a larger size normally means a greater chance of success.

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Anything other than a small, regular or large more than 50 mile from home: ignored.

 

Needle-in-a-haystack hide: ignored.

 

Pointless placement of a micro: ignored.

 

Then recommended caches are removed from the ignore list.

 

IMHO, a cache smaller than necessary simply to increase the difficulty is little different than posting soft coords. I'm always more impressed with a well hidden larger cache because, in general, it takes much more effort and creativity to hide them really well.

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