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We had a horrible time..will probably never do this again


Andbabymakesthree
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My husband has had a Garmin Nuvi GPS for his car for awhile now and I"d heard wonderful stories about geocaching so this weekend we decided to go out and find a cache.

 

We had a HORRIBLE time. Partially my fault, I think, for being a stupid n00b and commiting stupid n00b mistakes. And partially because I think the Garmin couldn't find the coordinates. :D

 

Being a n00b, I didn't fully read the description for the cache I'd written down, only the coordinates and the hint that was listed. I didn't pay attention to the difficulty rating or what the cache was attached to. I only copied down the coordinates and the description of what the cache was.

 

My husband and I had such a horrible experience getting to where the cache might have possibly MAYBE been. We never found it and the Garmin kept jumping around. One minute, it would say we were five feet from the target then as soon as we went the five feet, it would say we were fifteen or twenty feet away.

 

I am probably never doing this again. It wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be.

 

Babythree

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There are a few issues that I'd like to address that I noted from your post. First, your choice of GPS. While it can do geocaching just fine (with or without some tweaks, or so I've read), you should remember that it was designed primarily for road navigation. Second, reading the description and hint (if you wish) is important so you know what you're looking for (if it even says) and any information that might help you get to the right area (such as a parking waypoint, or a particular road to take, etc.). You said you read the description to find out what the cache was, but not what it was attached to. Not all descriptions will tell you what caches are attached to. Third, note that GPS receivers are only accurate to a certain point. The GPS receiver is meant to get you to an area but not to the exact spot of the cache, they just aren't that accurate. In my experience, if the GPS receiver keeps changing directions on me when I'm that close, it's probably because I really am that close and it can't pinpoint the location any closer than what it is. It could also be interference from anything in the area, such as maybe trees, buildings, etc.

 

Don't let one time discourage you from trying again. Next time you go out, plan a little bit more ahead of time. I usually look to see what size the cache is (so I have a better idea if I'm looking for a magnetic key holder or an ammo can), out of the recent logs were any did not finds (that tells me if the cache is there or was it perhaps removed by people or other factors) and any other pertinent information on the cache description such as what I mentioned before (any special instructions, where I should or should not go, etc.).

 

I would suggest that you go out and try to find the cache again (or perhaps a different one) and see what happens. If after that attempt you decide you still don't like it, then you can walk away and it won't be a big deal. You admitted yourself that you're new to this and perhaps made some mistakes. Good luck. :D

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The thing that I guess kind of bothered me most, after I got home and looked up the coordinates again is that A) I didn't pay attention to the difficulty rating and :D that there is NO way to sort the caches according to distance from original location and/or difficulty rating. I think that would've helped IMMENSLY since I am a n00b at this.

 

Some of the car gps receivers aren't really meant to be used off-road. If your gps has the ability to switch to off-road use then it's probably ok.

Also, there is a certain amount of error in all gps receivers. They rarely get you dead on top of the cache so 5 feet one look and 15 feet the next isn't uncommon.

Most will use the gps to get in the general area of the cache and then just start hunting.

 

Sorting caches is usually done by a 3rd party program such as EasyGPS, ExpertGPS, and GSAK. Those will let you sort by several different options before sending the caches to the GPS.

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There is an easy way to do all that. First, become a paying "premium" member so that you can download pocket queries. This lets you get batches of caches in an area instead of one at time. Next, download "GSAK" which lets you sort the caches by any attribute you want; container size, terrain, difficulty, distance from your home coordinates, etc.

 

Frankly, I'm surprised that you would abandon what many consider a great family outdoor hobby becuase of mistakes YOU made. The game didn't cause you to those things, you did.

 

To clarify one thing for you though, the GPS will ALWAYS jump around the ground zero area. Once you get yo within the last 20 or so feet it's time to put away the GPS and start hunting for what's out of the ordinary.

 

Also, You might want to make your first hunts for regular and small size caches. Micros and nanos might be a very discouraging start for you.

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Hang in there!

 

It seems you've already learned from your mistakes. Having this knowledge, and knowing how to prepare will definitely improve your experience.

 

We just got a Garmin Nuvi, in large part to replace our old PDA. It holds all the cache page info. Here is a link which will provide a lot of good info, such as how to get all this stuff actually loaded onto your Nuvi.

Nuvi

 

Nuvi models vary. Some will be able to lead you right to the cache, others will get you in the general proximity of the cache, but a regular gps will be needed to better pinpoint the actual cache location. Our Garmin 255w does a great job!

 

I can say, without a doubt, that Geocaching has improved our quality of life. We have discovered so many beautiful and interesting areas that we would never had known about otherwise. The exercise is great. The dog gets to have new experiences. The trickier hides provide great mental stimulation. We have also met many nice people at various Geocaching events.

 

If you can get past one day's frustration, you just may be rewarded with a lifetime of wonderful experiences! :D

Edited by team moxiepup
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Some of the car gps receivers aren't really meant to be used off-road. If your gps has the ability to switch to off-road use then it's probably ok.

Also, there is a certain amount of error in all gps receivers. They rarely get you dead on top of the cache so 5 feet one look and 15 feet the next isn't uncommon.

Most will use the gps to get in the general area of the cache and then just start hunting.

 

Sorting caches is usually done by a 3rd party program such as EasyGPS, ExpertGPS, and GSAK. Those will let you sort by several different options before sending the caches to the GPS.

 

I don't know if it has the ability to switch to off-road..I've not really played with it that much since it's usually in my hubby's car.

We assumed (stupidly) that the GPS would lead us right to where the cache was. I did write down the description of what it was (a camoed pillbox..how big is that anyway?) and the hint but we didn't find a thing. And we were in the middle of the woods..how do you find something that is camoflauged in the middle of the woods anyway? :D

 

We were just so let down by the experience..we thought "Oh this will be SO easy!" and it wasn't. We got hot and scratched (from some branches) and muddy and it just wasn't any fun for us at all. We thought finding the item would be a snap because we've both heard a bunch of stories of how people found their caches hanging in plain sight from trees, etc.

 

Even with all the advice everyone has given us here, I don't think I could convince my husband to go out and try this again because he was so mad about it. He ended up leaving myself and our son in a clearing while he tried to pinpont where the cache was and got entirely lost to the point that he freaked out. He started calling for us and eventually, by yelling back and forth to each other, he found his way back.

 

We are city folk. We didn't realize that this was going to take us to the middle of the woods in the middle of NOWHERE. After we found some shotgun shells on the ground, we both got really freaked and practically ran back to the car.

 

Babythree

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We are city folk. We didn't realize that this was going to take us to the middle of the woods in the middle of NOWHERE.

 

Very simple fix: don't hunt wilderness caches since they are not going to be your cup of tea. Make sure you put your home coordinates into your account. Use the website to find caches close to your home coordinates. Look at the map view and pick caches around the city. Forget about anything that is in the woods. Pick some that are regular or small sized with difficulty and terrain ratings of 2 or less. Stick only with those types and you'll have plenty of fun with your family while staying around town.

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We got hot and scratched (from some branches) and muddy

 

Isn't that the fun part? :D:D

 

My favorite caches are in the woods. Nothing I love better than thrashing around through the woods and seeing all kinds of amazing things and taking photographs of the things I see.

 

However...those kinds of caches aren't for everyone. I have five caches down in a wooded park and I note in the description they are woodland hikes and mention some of the pitfalls (literally) so no one is surprised. Perhaps you'd like urban caches?

 

A camo'ed micro in the woods isn't a great one to start off with. So don't be discouraged. Your disappointment on this cache will make your first find all the sweeter! ;)

 

The first time I went caching I didn't even know how to use my GPSr and I didn't grasp the fact that I was hunting for a micro with numerous DNFs. I was wandering all over a ball field nowhere close to the cache. I tried a second time (still not really knowing what I was doing) and couldn't find it. Finally the third time I went I was using my GPSr correctly and found the cache. It was a VERY cleverly hidden micro and remains today one of my favorite caches. I will never forget the lightbulb moment when I spied something and thought..."Hmmmmmmmm." :D Man, that success was sweet!

 

Don't give up on geocaching from this one experience. Choose another cache that with an easier rating...maybe in a city setting.

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You mentioned hearing stories about how finding caches was easy. Might I suggest you get one of these people telling you these stories to take you on a cache hunt? It might make it easier and less frustrating to have someone along who can give you some tips and pointers.

 

You really just need to do a bit of research into the caches you think you might look for before heading out the door. Read the description. Read the past few logs. Look at the cache from Google Maps, they provide a link right on the cache page to do it! It'll tell you what kind of area you'll be looking in. If you don't like caches in the woods, don't go after the caches surrounded by green in the satellite view.

 

By the way, even "city folk" can enjoy geocaching, since there are geocaches in... cities!

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I don't know if it has the ability to switch to off-road..I've not really played with it that much since it's usually in my hubby's car.

We assumed (stupidly) that the GPS would lead us right to where the cache was. I did write down the description of what it was (a camoed pillbox..how big is that anyway?) and the hint but we didn't find a thing. And we were in the middle of the woods..how do you find something that is camoflauged in the middle of the woods anyway? :huh:

 

We were just so let down by the experience..we thought "Oh this will be SO easy!" and it wasn't. We got hot and scratched (from some branches) and muddy and it just wasn't any fun for us at all. We thought finding the item would be a snap because we've both heard a bunch of stories of how people found their caches hanging in plain sight from trees, etc.

 

Even with all the advice everyone has given us here, I don't think I could convince my husband to go out and try this again because he was so mad about it. He ended up leaving myself and our son in a clearing while he tried to pinpont where the cache was and got entirely lost to the point that he freaked out. He started calling for us and eventually, by yelling back and forth to each other, he found his way back.

 

We are city folk. We didn't realize that this was going to take us to the middle of the woods in the middle of NOWHERE. After we found some shotgun shells on the ground, we both got really freaked and practically ran back to the car.

 

Babythree

 

Without sounding discouraging, pay closer attention to the terrain and difficulty and terrain rating, and read descriptions better. Their are thousands of "city folk" caches where you can drive from parking lot to parking lot, and lift lamp post skirts to your heart's content. No need to worry about nature, or getting lost. :laughing:

 

If you aren't having fun geocaching, you only have yourself to blame.

Edited by Kit Fox
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Another possibility would be to try and find people living nearby and ask them if you can join them on a trip. That way you have experienced people with you who can show you around a little bit.

 

Experience does mean a lot, as you learned from your attempts in the woods.

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Another possibility would be to try and find people living nearby and ask them if you can join them on a trip. That way you have experienced people with you who can show you around a little bit.

 

Experience does mean a lot, as you learned from your attempts in the woods.

 

I couldn't agree more with the above statement. I don't know where you live, but if it's in Cornwall, drop me a line and I would be more than willing to show how I go about caching. We have only been caching for a month and I wish that we had found it years ago we love it, Mrs M loves the walk and I like the hunt. I am disabled and cannot walk to far, the cache that I placed yesterday was found within 4 hours of me placing it and the person that found it said that it was nice to find, yet it took me a long time to climb that hill having to stop lots of time. Please do not give up this wonderful persuit. It sounds like you are both suffering with stress, if this is the case then you do need an outlet, please don't give up.

 

Good hunting

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Let me start by welcoming you to what might very well be your next big addiction! :laughing:

I think it's way kewl that you were able to come here with your frustrations, rather than simply slinking away, never to be heard from again. :huh:

Those folks who told you how fun this game is were right. Done right, it's a blast. Heck, even done wrong, it's a hoot.

You've gotten some pretty good advice regarding what you can try next time, if there is a next time. (I hope there is!)

To reiterate:

  1. Read the FAQs here.
  2. Read the tips to finding your first cache here
  3. Read about container types here
  4. Make sure you format your Nuvi properly. Should be WGS84 and Hdd* MM.MMM (I think) If these are set wrong, you could be hunting a long way away from where the cache is.
  5. Print out the cache page. Read it. Read it again.
  6. Pay attention to the difficulty & terrain rating
  7. Check past logs to see if anyone else had problems.
  8. Don't enter an environment that exceeds your comfort level.
  9. When your fun meter reaches zero, it's time to go do something else.
  10. Lastly, and most importantly, enjoy yourself!

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My husband and I had such a horrible experience getting to where the cache might have possibly MAYBE been.

You've gotten lots of positive reinforcement replies, but that one sentence from your post tells me that geocaching is likely not for you!

 

That's okay, different strokes and all that... but, all other issues aside, if getting there isn't the fun part I don't think you'll ever be happy in this game.

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We were just so let down by the experience..we thought "Oh this will be SO easy!" and it wasn't. We got hot and scratched (from some branches) and muddy and it just wasn't any fun for us at all. We thought finding the item would be a snap because we've both heard a bunch of stories of how people found their caches hanging in plain sight from trees, etc.

 

Interesting how different people view things. Getting hot, scratched and muddy is what many of us love about geocaching. And for a lot of us geocaching would get old real fast if it was SO easy that every cache was hanging in plain sight from trees and the GPS brought us directly to the cache every time.

 

As TheAlabamaRambler mentioned, geocaching isn't for everybody. If you don't enjoy being taken out of your comfort zone then it's not likely to be much fun for you.

Edited by briansnat
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If all caches were easy to find even in the woods they wouldn't last very long. Of course they are going to be hidden and yes you will have to find them.Plus, if it was really so easy anybody could do it. Being a geocacher is special...take your time, learn the ropes, make some friends and join the ranks of the few, the proud, the geocachers :huh::laughing:

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We were just so let down by the experience..we thought "Oh this will be SO easy!" and it wasn't. We got hot and scratched (from some branches) and muddy and it just wasn't any fun for us at all. We thought finding the item would be a snap because we've both heard a bunch of stories of how people found their caches hanging in plain sight from trees, etc.

 

Interesting how different people view things. Getting hot, scratched and muddy is what many of us love about geocaching. And for a lot of us geocaching would get old real fast if it was SO easy that every cache was hanging in plain sight from trees and the GPS brought us directly to the cache every time.

 

As TheAlabamaRambler mentioned, geocaching isn't for everybody. If you don't enjoy being taken out of your comfort zone then it's not likely to be much fun for you.

 

I don't like getting hot, scratched or muddy; but it is part of the fun! :laughing:

 

I would suggest doing what someone else here said, see if you can find someone to take you out to do it. And then if you don't like it, you'll know for sure. My wife and I wanted to do it at first, but had to clue on how to do it. I bought a GPS and ran out to find the first one....hours and hours of searching for an ammo can that basically was sitting under a rotting log that was less than 5 feet from where I was standing the whole time. I was really discouraged, but we had met a couple who took us out and showed us the ropes, letting us find some caches that they had done before and giving us some clues on how to use the GPS, later that night I went back out to the one that I couldn't find before and found it within 2 minutes.

 

It made all the difference. On another note, we went caching with a couple who had done it a few times before and they used a Garmin Nuvi. I had my handheld Garmin. As we took them to one in our area, we watched them walk up and down trails we knew was wrong. All the while, my GPS was pointing right to it. They realized after about an hour that they hadn't put it in off road mode. After they did, they still had alot of trouble with it. I know you CAN cache with those, but they probably not the best thing. My handheld Garmin was about $120 and I am amazed at how much more it can do in the woods than my own Garmin Nuvi I have for the car. Each tool for what you need. I tried to use my handheld for driving once. ONCE. And I know it can be done, but isn't idealy suited for that use.

 

Good luck and I hope you give it another try!

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Hi!

 

Even after 45+ caches I'm still getting lost/muddy/scratched and looooost. It does take some time to get used to the mind of geocachers/cache hiders and realise that pile of bark piled infront of that tree is hiding a cache box! Took me about 20 caches before I cotton'd on and today I couldn't find one because 'it's in a tree' is a horrible description when you're in a thick wood!

 

The majority of mine are ones I know will avoid trees in wooded areas, lovely as they are to walk through; my GPs can not lock in woodland so unless I fancy spending all day going through EVERY tree I don't bother. You can find many more interesting ones in town areas!

 

These forums will be a good place to start for tips! I also found looking at geocaching webshops taught me the difference of nano/35mm/small/camo bag/decontamination container(!) etc.

 

Google maps has been a FANTASTIC help me for as well. I find the co-ordinates on google maps then I check the terrain/route etc so I have some general idea before I set out.

 

Also some cachers put photos of the actually cache on the page, I usually check photos before I leave to get more of a general idea of the area.

Hope these might help!

 

Don't give up! The more you do the easier it gets and the more interesting! :laughing:

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I don't remember from your original post if you mentioned where you heard of this hobby. Perhaps it was online somewhere, or maybe a newspaper or magazine article. However, if you learned of geocaching from talking to a friend who does it, I'd suggest tagging along with them and to learn by observing.

 

If you go to www.geocaching.com in the list of newest caches in your area you will see a list of "event caches". Quite often some of those events are "Geocaching 101" types of classes, where experienced cachers will teach you everything you need to know to get started. The one I went to last year started out in a park building where we were shown how to program co-ordinates into our GPS units, and then sent out into the park to find various temporary caches. As we were out hunting, there were several experienced cachers posted near each hide to assist us if we made a mistake. We ended up learning a lot and came away feeling happy that we had someone with experience to guide us. I will strongly suggest finding one of those types of classes. A good place to check for them might be with your local recreation and parks department, or your nearest DNR location.

 

Also, I agree with others who say that (at least until you're more experienced) only hunt for caches that keep you within your comfort zone. Eventhough I have gained lost of experience in the year that I've been doing this, I still refuse to hunt for caches where I don't feel comfortable with my surroundings. Most times I'm out with my young son, and (not wanting to put him in harm's way) I will let him make the final decision as to whether or not we venture into an area to search. Keep in mind that if you do head out into a wooded area, you WILL eventually encounter wildlife. Squirrels, rabbits, deer, SKUNKS, snakes, and bees do inhabit wilderness areas, and you need to be prepared to handle those situations. For instance, I always make sure we have a first aid kit in our cache bag, and one of the items in that FAK is what I need to combat bee stings. As far as I know, no one in my family is allergic to them, but when you're miles away from a hospital out in the middle of the woods is NOT the time to find this out without being prepared.

 

I know I've ventured off topic a little bit, but it seems as though you're more "city folk" types, and until you're experienced enough to want to attempt wilderness caches, stick with those which can be found within an urban setting. Remember: you're not out to impress anyone with your feats of "daring do", you're out to have a good time, so do it where you feel comfortable.

Edited by crockett3663
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Thank you everyone, for being so nice and offering so much advice. I doubt that we will try this again as it really just..wasn't much to our liking.

 

Where did we hear of geocaching? I've seen several threads on a forum I frequent that are title "Geocaching!" or something to that effect and after reading a few posts I thought it sounded a bit like fun. The posts I read made it seem very, very easy. I also was intrigued after recieving a Geocache coin as part of a local pirate festival a few months ago.

 

When I looked at the map overview of where the cache was, I thought it was going to be on our side of the lake instead of the opposite shore (which while accesible, is not close). I didn't know it was going to be in a woody area, but that's entirely my fault.

 

While it sounds really exciting and fun at first, I just don't think that it was right for us. And I know that is entirely my fault for having too high of expectations and also not being prepared enough. We didn't even take a cellphone with us when we left so if we'd gotten REALLY lost we'd have been up a creek. :laughing:

 

Geocaching is serious business and if you're not prepared to take it seriously (we weren't!) then you shouldn't bother playing..that's the lesson I learned from all of this.

 

Thank you.

 

Babythree

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I don't like getting hot, scratched or muddy; but it is part of the fun! :laughing:

 

 

I didn't get hot, scratched, or muddy yesterday, but I ended up hiking about two miles on and off snow covered trails, a few times in snow up to me kneees. I searched for three caches and ironically the one that was 30' from the road was the only one I didn't find. The other two were buried in a foot of snow. I had searched for one of them the day that it was placed (last summer) and didn't find it (I would have been FTF on it otherwise). It was in a really pretty spot along a stream about a half a mile from the nearest road. Although I got a bit cold (temps were between 15-20) and a little wet but I really enjoyed being out in the woods.

 

As others have said, if you don't enjoy being out in the woods that geocaching just might not be for you.

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Sounds like geocaching might not be for you. I like geocaching because I like tromping around in the woods. Once I'm in the woods I'm very reluctant to leave. I've been to waterfalls, lofty heights with great views, caves, etc. There are also caches for those who prefer more urban caches such as those in local parks, downtown locations, museums, stores, etc.. Geocaching is great for those people who like adventure and snooping around and checking out areas where they might not otherwise go to see what , if any, surprises lie in store.

For that reason you need to be aware of possible dangers.

 

Is the cache in that hole? Maybe, but are you going to reach in there? There could be a snake in there. I've found 140 caches and never found a snake in a hole, but that doesn't mean next time there won't be. I check out each hole very carefully.

 

Is the cache hidden under that log? Do you see the one I mean? It's over there by what appears to be a campsite belonging to a homeless person. I have been to places where it appeared vagrants had been living. Don't want to go near places where it looks like vagrants are currently camping out. I'll approach each cache location very carefully and if at any time it makes me feel uncomfortable I'll turn around and leave and cross off that cache from my to do list.

 

You really need to use some savvy in assessing and searching for each cache. What's the best way to approach it to avoid traffic? Is it in a bad neighbourhood? What kind of animals might I encounter? Even if you didn't geocache you'd still have to use this common sense if you go to a park, walk around in strange neighbourhoods, go to a mall, etc.. There are some risks, but with planning and a little common sense you can hopefully avoid those risks. Still you're liable to trip and fall, get bitten by bugs, etc.. That just comes with the game.

 

I would suggest to maybe try looking for one more (without hubby who did not sound at all interested). Not everyone finds their first one. This time do your research and look for one for beginners with an easy rating and a larger container. Since you don't sound like the woodsy type look for one in an urban setting, kid friendly or a "park and grab"- which is usually hidden just off the side of the road. You can always send a note to the owner and ask them if the cache is a good one for beginners /kids or if there is anything you need to be concerned about in the area. Make sure you printout the cache information and take it with you. I have hiked about a mile to a cache only to get there and not find it. At this point I'll usually check the hint, but wouldn't you know, I left the printout with the hint back in the car a mile away.

 

It would be better still if you could get one of your geocaching friends to take you geocaching. I went with my brother to a local community park first time and he was able to show me how to use the gps and gave me tips on where and how to look.

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First - please forgive us, but my wife and I have laughed and and laughed at your descriptions of your mis-adventures while Geocaching. We live in a small town of 1200 that is about 35 miles from a bigger town. Within 50 miles of here there are less than 40,000 people total. Rural.

 

We find shotgun shells, bullet casings, brass etc on a very regular basis. My caches get several snake sightings each and every summer. It is not uncommon to run across coyotes, fox and any number of other wildlife.

 

Stickers, thorns, weeds, rocks, sand, gravel, thick underbrush, prickly trees, cactus - all part of finding any cache out of town around here.

 

I've cut my hands, bruised my ribs, got a deep cut on my forehead (at a highway rest stop of all places), twisted my ankle, hiked 14 miles roundtrip and more while Geocaching.

 

I have cached in 113 degree desert heat in Nevada, -20 degree snow storms in Wyoming, rain and lightning, sleet and more.

 

I have returned muddy and bloddy, with torn clothes, sunburned to work after a 90 minute lunch caching adventure. (Boss was not thrilled with me - but laughed in the end.)

 

I loved it all. Fun to me is the journey, the unexpected, the adventure of it all.

 

I have also cached in a superstore parkinglot, a quiet neighborhood park, Just off a paved pathway, Near a historical pullout on the highway and in a small town neiborhood (birdhouse on front lawn).

 

Wait a few days - laugh it off. Do a bit more planning. Go try it again. Make it more about the journey and together time. Share your stories. That makes it the fun activity.

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So it sounds like this hobby may not be for you. The things you said weren't fun is actually what makes this really fun. First the coords should get you in a close range, but from there you have to think. A camoed pill bottle (which could be a small aspirin bottle to a large vitamin bottle) in the woods is great. It's difficult to find, in a beautiful setting (esp on the side of a lake), and you don't have to worry about people watching you.

 

My first try (actually first 2) wasn't successful, but it just made me try harder. I had mixed up a couple descriptions and thought I was searching for an ammo can by a stream under a pine tree, but was really looking for a pill bottle (a large one) that was camoed and hung in a tree. My coords led me to the right area, but I had to stop think about the title. I started look at eye level and not on the ground. After 5 minutes or so I spotted it. After that I went paperless so everything I need (description, size, difficulty, the hint, and logs) is on my nuvi.

 

I'd say give it another chance, if you don't like the woods find the nearest city and it will be full of lamppost hides, and magnetic hide-a-keys on guardrails. Look at the ratings, read the FAQ's, and how to seek a cache.

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Your not the only one that has had a bad geocaching experience on the first outing. Some never do it again, while others give it another try. I told a coworker of mine about geocaching and how much fun it was and she decided decided to give it a try. Her boyfriend already had an Etrex Legend so they loaded up the coords and set out for there adventure. The following Monday my coworker was steamed and told me it was a complete waste of time and said how boring it was. To top it off, they never found the cache after hours of searching. They vowed never to cache again and that was about 9 months ago. Geocaching is not for everybody, but I think if you were better prepared you would like it. Just my opinion, but I will say that not all cache placements are great, so pick a good one for your first. My first caching experience was awesome and it got me hooked. I'm an avid hiker anyways so it is basically hiking with a destination. :laughing:

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....we thought "Oh this will be SO easy!" and it wasn't. We got hot and scratched (from some branches) and muddy ...We are city folk. ...

 

A lot of folks thing "Ok, I plug in the coordinates, go there, look down and there's the cache? Why would thta be fun? And if it really were that way they would be right.

 

Caches vary from easy to hard to find once you are there. They vary from easy to hard when it comes to figuring out how to get to the cache to even look to begin with.

 

The terrain will scratch you, there will be bugs, onlookers, fresh cut lawns leaving green stains on your clothes, sun burn, mud, rocks, sticks, thorns and such.

 

If don't like camping you probably wouldn't like the outdoor part of the experience. There may be caches you would like but you would also need to be the one that read the descriptions to find the ones best suited for the kind of people who refer to themselves as city folks. Or you can rise to the challenge that has presented itself.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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Just out of curiosity why did you start this thread? If you had such a horrible time that you will never do it again what were you looking for here? I'm not trying to be rude but rather just wish to understand.

 

Wondered this myself...again, not trying to be rude, just seems like if you don't even want to do it ever again, then why? If this had been on another forum I visit I would have at first thought a troll, but really I think you are searching for a reason why it went bad. And if that is the case, then you have some answers. If you truly thought it sounded cool at first, then try one with some experience cachers and give yourself a fair shot at either liking it or not. Seems to me that you might be cutting yourself a little short in throwing in the towel now.

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Just out of curiosity why did you start this thread? If you had such a horrible time that you will never do it again what were you looking for here? I'm not trying to be rude but rather just wish to understand.

I wondered this myself. We get lots of threads by newbies about how excited they are about geocaching and how after finding one cache they are already addicted to this activity. And we have seen a few thread where people went out and failed to find a cache and ask for help "What am I doing wrong?" But I've never seen before where someone tried geocaching and then took the time to report on these forums that they didn't enjoy themselves and they would probably never do it again. My guess it that there are many people who hear about geocaching and have an experience like the OP, but they never say anything about it. It seems that human nature being what it is, people are reluctant to share any kind of "failure" even if it really isn't a failure but a learning experience. One can see this by the number of threads that get posted about why people don't report their DNFs. I want to thank the OP for coming here. It was not just a learning experience for her but for us as geocachers as well.

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On a slightly different angle: If you should ever again feel the allure of ammo cans drawing you out the door, and your hubby resists the call, leave his butt on the couch. I know of lots of cachers whose significant others think this is the kookiest game they ever heard of. Also, if you'll tell us what part of the country you're in, we might be able to guide you to a local geocaching group where you can get some 1 on 1 assistance.

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Like Clan Riffster said, if your husband isn't interested, you could always go with out him. Also, as others have said, try to go with someone else. Almost any cacher would be happy to show a newbie what/how to do it. Attend an event and get to know other cachers. Another thing that's been mentioned is your choice of GPS for caching. A handheld unit would be best. Some good but less expensive units like a Garmin Ledgend is very user friendly. Of course a good mid range unit like a Garmin 60CSx is great for caching.

It can be great fun and you'll go to places you didn't know about. Please give it another try.

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My husband and I just started for a couple of weeks ago and I have to say we've had a wonderful time outdoors. If we didn't discover geocaching, we'd be couch potatoes on a beautiful day. I want to add my encouragement to the wonderful wisdom given here. Having a good GPS makes ALL the difference in the world. Also, we have learned that the GPS is only going to get us close to the cache. When we get within 10 feet, we start looking for the cache. Today, we went back to a cache for the third time. :laughing: It was only an inch long and hiding on velcro on the inside of something. You should have seen us, lifting up things, peering into holes, practically standing on our heads to find it. :) Can you imagine the JOY when we discovered it! Wow. So, that is what it is all about. Someone who is VERY clever found a spot to hide a cache that eluded us for days. We are hooked and hope that you give this another try. Go for the easy caches! :)

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Some of the car gps receivers aren't really meant to be used off-road. If your gps has the ability to switch to off-road use then it's probably ok.

Also, there is a certain amount of error in all gps receivers. They rarely get you dead on top of the cache so 5 feet one look and 15 feet the next isn't uncommon.

Most will use the gps to get in the general area of the cache and then just start hunting.

 

Sorting caches is usually done by a 3rd party program such as EasyGPS, ExpertGPS, and GSAK. Those will let you sort by several different options before sending the caches to the GPS.

 

I don't know if it has the ability to switch to off-road..I've not really played with it that much since it's usually in my hubby's car.

We assumed (stupidly) that the GPS would lead us right to where the cache was. I did write down the description of what it was (a camoed pillbox..how big is that anyway?) and the hint but we didn't find a thing. And we were in the middle of the woods..how do you find something that is camoflauged in the middle of the woods anyway? :)

 

We were just so let down by the experience..we thought "Oh this will be SO easy!" and it wasn't. We got hot and scratched (from some branches) and muddy and it just wasn't any fun for us at all. We thought finding the item would be a snap because we've both heard a bunch of stories of how people found their caches hanging in plain sight from trees, etc.

 

Even with all the advice everyone has given us here, I don't think I could convince my husband to go out and try this again because he was so mad about it. He ended up leaving myself and our son in a clearing while he tried to pinpont where the cache was and got entirely lost to the point that he freaked out. He started calling for us and eventually, by yelling back and forth to each other, he found his way back.

 

We are city folk. We didn't realize that this was going to take us to the middle of the woods in the middle of NOWHERE. After we found some shotgun shells on the ground, we both got really freaked and practically ran back to the car.

 

Babythree

Well, since you asked for my opinion...

 

You know... as is true of all outdoor adventure sports, geocaching is not for everyone. After reading your original post (OP) and your two subsequent posts, I would like to offer the following pieces of advice:

  • yes, as you stated the problems you encountered were indeed due to a number of mistakes which you made, including failure to perform due diligence and failure to learn more about your GPS receiver and about the sport prior to having set out on your first hunt.
  • while it is not at all unusual to make some mistakes when embarking on a new activity, I find your response to the whole matter to be rather unusual and a little alarming.
  • based upon your initial behaviors and upon your response to the matter and upon the content of your three posts so far in this thread, I would like to firmly and strongly suggest to you and your husband that at this stage in your lives, geocaching is not an ideal sport for you, and I would like to strongly and firmly suggest that you abandon the sport before you get injured.

Hope this helps!

 

.

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I am probably never doing this again. It wasn't as much fun as I thought it would be.

 

If it isn't fun don't do it. I have friends who I go hiking with on a fairly regular basis, who ask are we hiking or geocaching. I know that is the signal to leave the geocaching out of the mix. My brother in law tolerates it when we chase a cache, but I know it is not his thing at all, so I don't abuse. Don't worry about it a lot of people don't get into it and actually don't like it. No big deal if it is not to your liking. Try something else.

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Just out of curiosity why did you start this thread? If you had such a horrible time that you will never do it again what were you looking for here? I'm not trying to be rude but rather just wish to understand.

I was thinking the same thing.

Why post on a site of cache lovers that you find the experience "horrible"?

And why would anyone want to perform in an easy sport? Where's the challenge in that?

You have had a lot of people give you encouragement, if you don't want to follow through with their suggestions, I suggest you utilize your GPSr for car navigation.

Good luck in all of your future endeavors

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You are geting some great advice. Try to make some events and talk to experienced cachers. We have a saying that if you find three caches you are hooked. Start with easy caches untill you are more experienced. I recently won a 2 day stay in a five star hotel, made all those bumps, cuts and dnf's worth the effort. Hope you stay with it.

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Tons of great advice here. My wife and I are in our 2nd weekend of Geocaching, and we've fallen in love with it.

 

I'm a city person, as well. Grew up in NJ/NYC, Live in Houston now. Never lived in 'the country'. That, however, makes Geocaching a good hobby for me, because it gives me an excuse to go out into the outdoors, and explore my area (and areas we visit). Usually, I'm strapped to a computer 70+ hours a week.

 

We almost BOMBED our first cache find...it was adjacent to a church, and we (silly us) decided to go on Sunday to grab it...BAD IDEA, we found out...when all of the local church-goers are looking at us rooting around in the bushes next to their parking lot :) We decided prudence was the way to go, and left. Hopefully, we didn't cause the cache to get muggled. So, I feel your pain in a botched first attempt.

 

As for going out to the middle of nowhere...that can be the point of geocaching at times. Honing your search and navigation skills (with some hi-tech help, of course), and then quenching your thirst for adventure by finding something that has been hidden. Ammo cans that have been camoflaged may not be the easiest things to find, but as a veteran I can tell you this; its a heck of alot easier to find that then a landmine, and 100x more fun hehe.

 

If it is not for you, that's fine. If it is something you think you'd really like to try again, get with a group. Every state has one, and if a group meetup is close to you, even better. The meetups give you a chance to ask the 'pros' for advice, and maybe make a geo-buddy to go find some caches with.

 

To be honest, if my GPS pointed RIGHT AT the can every single time, this game wouldn't be fun for me...it would take the adventure out of it. I like the feeling I get scouring an area for 5-10 minutes, and then BINGO! I see that 'out of place shape' in the natural surroundings that is obviously man-made.

 

Either way, best of luck to you :)

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We got hot and scratched (from some branches) and muddy and it just wasn't any fun for us at all.

 

We are city folk. We didn't realize that this was going to take us to the middle of the woods in the middle of NOWHERE. After we found some shotgun shells on the ground, we both got really freaked and practically ran back to the car.

 

Babythree

 

Oh dear, hot, muddy and scratched. tisk, tisk.

 

And my goodness, shotgun shells on the ground, Oh, Dear! Where there any 45's or 9's on the ground too? That is really scary. But what is really, really scary and will absolutely make you run screaming back to the car is shear terror is if you happen to see some bear scat on the ground. Oh, your city folks so I guess you wouldn't know what bear scat is.

 

No, I suggest you stay inside where the A/C keeps things nice an cool and enjoy your xbox activities. This is not a sport for you

 

Jim

 

P.S. Nice troll.

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One minute, it would say we were five feet from the target then as soon as we went the five feet, it would say we were fifteen or twenty feet away.

 

One very important thing to look at here is this statement.. if your GPS says you're 5' away, it is time to drop the GPS and start hunting for cache with your eyes AWAY from the electronics. If you're head is down while you attempt to get your GPSr to say Distance to Location: 0' then you'll never find the cache. There comes a point when you just have to start hunting for a cache once near GZ. Once you conquer that obstacle, you'll do just fine.

 

My brother drives me nuts when he caches. He does the same thing. He can't understand why it's so difficult to find a cache when trying to determine GZ. I on the other hand, as soon as I get within 50' of the percieved GZ, I let instinct take over and I find the cache OVER 95% of the time when caching with him.

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Geocaching is serious business and if you're not prepared to take it seriously (we weren't!) then you shouldn't bother playing..that's the lesson I learned from all of this.

 

Thank you.

 

Babythree

 

Howdy! I'm not sure I agree with this statement because I sure don't take geocaching very seriously (though I do enjoy it). That is, I am not a dedicated go-out-and-find-caches person. But I've managed to have some fun -- and even my family (husband and toddler) have had fun, though often they end up hanging out in the van waiting for me to find the cache.

 

The key word really is "preparation". If you put your home coordinates in your profile, there is a "look for caches based on home coordinates" option that will list all of the nearby caches in order of their closeness to your home coordinates. You can pull those coordinates off of your GPS (or just use Google Maps or Google Earth, if you know where your house is there).

 

Then, look at the cache pages. Look for caches whose descriptions are interesting to you. The beauty of geocaching is that there are all kinds of caches: city caches, country caches -- there are puzzle caches that base their puzzles on museum tours, stereograms, cryptography, sudoku, all kinds of stuff. There are caches that will take you on a "tour" of a city's interesting architecture, or public art, or on "ghost tours", or on all kinds of different "tours". There are caches that will introduce you to metro parks you may never have been in before (or even known were there). If you don't like slogging through nature, though, you might want to stay away from caches in city parks -- at least at first.

 

Read through them all and decide whether they're interesting enough to pursue. Make sure to check the rating and start with easy stuff first (you can work your way up to the challenging caches later).

 

But the really important things are to be prepared, and to know what interests you -- and pursue that. Since you live in a city, you're going to have a wider variety of caches available to you, so you can pick and choose what you want to do - based on what's interesting (and, of course, what's not too far away).

 

Hope you try a few more caches before deciding to give up on it for good!

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P.S. Nice troll.

 

Exactly!!!!!!!! Your all getting your legs pulled here people............. :)

 

I beg to differ...this isn't the work of a troll. Look at her membership date. It's September 22, 2008. That means she's been at least moderately interested in this hobby since that time. Do you really think she'd sign up for a website and then wait 4 1/2 months to start trolling?? There are people who've been into this sport for years who have less than 10 posts on these forums. Does that make them trolls? Of course not.

 

I also think it's rude of you to respond in such a fashion. If you think she's a troll and got a good laugh about it, fine...but please keep it to yourself. I (along with the others on here) prefer to be helpful and offer sound advice and opinions without being judgemental. I think it took a lot of pride swallowing to come on here and admit her failure. Most folks would have just said "screw this" and disappeared. But she at least is making an attempt to find out why she might have had a bad first experience, so let's ALL just go with that and try to help.

 

IMO, it's guys like YOU that give hobbies like this a bad name. "Ooh...let's make fun of the noob!!" Lots of maturity and guidance on display there...

 

I, for one, hopes she reads through this entire thread and comes away with a new sense of encouragement. I love reading posts from new cachers. I like trying to help those who have questions, and I REALLY love to read the ones who come on here all excited when they tell the story of their first find and how exhilerating it was.

 

So again, if you want to be helpful...great. If not, just sit back and quietly get your kicks out of the thread and move on. No one here appreciates your attitude.

Edited by crockett3663
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