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First attempt at a find with my Geko


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I looked up some local caches and picked one that was about a 2/2 or so three miles or so from my house. I decided that since the day was nice and it wasn't THAT far, I'd just walk. I walked through several neighborhoods and got odd looks from fellow joggers/walkers when I pulled out my little Geko to check my heading. :laughing:

 

I finally got to where the cache was supposed to be, poked around for fifteen minutes or so and couldn't find it. Oh well..maybe next time right?

 

I had already dropped a waypoint at my house, so I could find my way back because I get lost rather easily. It had taken me close to an hour to walk to where the cache was supposed to be and it took me nearly an hour to get back through a bit of uncertain territory. The way it directed me back was NOT the way I'd come so I had to walk along side a major road, through a bit of brush (yuck!) and over a..I'm not even sure what to call it. It was kind of like a little concrete dam across a very small stream, but the water was running over the top and there were large, white stones on either side of the bank. Crossed that, even though the water STANK to high heaven. Phew! Bleh. I was so afraid I was going to slip in the water and break my ankle or a wrist or god only knows what. But eventually I did get home safe and sound. My legs are KILLING ME. I've never walked so far in one shot (unless you count Disneyworld).

 

So I didn't find the cache..oh well. Maybe next time I'll have better luck.

 

AB3

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Yeah, DNF's are a part of the game, I've had more than my fair share of them! And the Geko can't really "route" you anywhere, it just points you in the direction of your destination, kind of an "as the crow flies" thing. Maybe next time, bring a paper map with you and plan the route out on that, and then no need to break out the Geko until you are in the general area. It's all a learning curve, but at least you get some fun and excersize while you're doing it! Happy caching!

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Sounds like a cool mini-adventure, and some great exercise as well! Don't worry too much about not finding the cache... that will come with practice.

 

Yeah I wasn't too worried about not finding it..esp when the Geko pointed in the direction of a fence marked "Private Property". I logged it as a DNF and somebody dropped me an email saying it wasn't behind the fence.

 

One day, when I'm feeling the need for a long hike, I'll try it again. My legs are SO effing sore..I didn't know they could be this sore.

 

AB3

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Wow...a three mile hike BEFORE you got to the cache site, eh?? Good for you!! I know I NEVER would have opted to do that. I'll go along with the others and say that the walk probably did you some good, though. Most cachers will tell you that half the fun of caching is the walk involved in getting there, although like I said 3 miles seems a bit long to me. Keep plugging away though!!

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Another day, another DNF. :)

 

Looked up a cache about a half mile from my house and decided that even though it was kind of chilly out this morning (mid-upper 30s), I'd go ahead and see if I could find this particular cache anyway. I followed part of the same route I used to get home yesterday and the cache was actually supposed to be in a wooded area between a bank and a pond. Once my GPS started hopping about 5 ft..10 ft..2 ft..I knew I was in the right general area. The clue said someething about a fallen tree, so I backed up to look at the place better. I chose the most likely candidate and grabbed a stick, which I used to poke around in various places on/in/under the log. After 20 min or so (and a cop driving by, which scared the heck out of me) I figured I wasn't going to find it and went to walk back.

 

It was a nice walk and even if I didn't find anything (AGAIN!) at least I got some exercise out of it.

 

AB3

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Sounds like you might concentrating your search where the GPS says the cache is. Remember that your GPS is only accurate to 10-30 feet and so was the GPS of the hider. Potentially the cache can be 60 or more feet from where your GPS says it is. I find most caches with my GPS reading between 10 and 40 feet away.

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In my opinion, you could use some cachin' tutelage. Checked your finds, noted the area....found this for you:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...p;#entry3743926

 

I'd advise getting in touch with that group (the provided link), & posting that you'd like to go on a 'run' with others to gain some experience. e.g., we have a state organization with its own forum. There's an ongoing thread, "Let's go Geocaching" where people post notices of outings they're going on, & invite others to join in. With the population you're near, I'd find it hard to believe you couldn't find something similar....and even moreso that you'll find a bevy of good cachin' folks who'll jump in to help you!

 

At this point, some experience in knowing what to look for, & the kinda places cachers hide them (aka 'The Force' in cache-jargon) would go a lo-o-o-o-ong way towards increasing your enjoyment of the game.

 

~*

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I've gone ahead and signed up with the official TX Geocaching site and hopefully, I'll be able to find a geocaching guru to help me out. Like a Yoda to my Luke Skywalker. :)

 

AB3

 

Yeah, if you can find somebody to go out with you a few times and give you some pointers, it should help you a lot. The friend who introduced me to geocaching took me out on my first few finds and gave me some pointers, and even later, we were able to talk about caching, and that helps too, as you discuss new hides you found, keeps you sharp. Eventually, your geosenses will start working better, and you'll be able to look at an area and just know right about where the cache is, but that takes time and finds to get it tuned, and going back to find previous DNFs is something that just feels really good! And don't let DNFs discourage you; when you do go back, you already know some places where the cache ISN'T!

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for a minute, i thought she went out with her pet.

 

what the heck is a Geko?

 

https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=144&pID=220

 

It's just a very basic Garmin handheld GPSr. Nothing spectacular, but it can get you to a cache, and that's all you really need to play!

 

I didn't realize they still sold the Gecko 201 and 301. It looks like only the 101 has been discontinued (and rightly so). The 201 does have WAAS, and can download coordinates. No mapping of course. It's really not a bad little unit. And I do mean little, that thing is tiny!

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You mentioned that you get lost easily - so does everybody else. Experieced Hunters still have trouble. Now that you understand that - try becoming an expert on NOT getting lost and enjoy the fun of learning it. The whole GPS TOPO map deal is totally fun and feeling comfortable about your position in unfamiliar woods will put you in a comfort zone that is really cool.

 

Try this:

Always mark your car - Always Mark your car. Always mark your car!

 

Always Carry a compass - I like a wrist compass

Constantly be aware of North. When on a trail try not looking at the GPS and guess when you have gone

1/2 mile.

Always carry: extra batteries, and a headlight Headlight

Study maps - learn where you are going and what is around you - stay oriented. Print the map and take them with you. I like Delorme - but many free ones are online - USGS maps are old but really do a great job of showing the terrain.

 

Be constantly aware of how much terrain your particular body can handle and don't push your heart off the scale.

 

You must be prepared to save yourself if the GPS simply stops working. You could fall and break it or just drop it on a big rock, it could just fail, not receive a signal, batteries run out, dogs sometimes eat them.

Alot of GPS crashed when the WAAS signal was altered. Surprize it doesn't work at all now. What ya gonna do when they DON"T come for you!

 

The great thing is that learning this is just so much fun and extremely interesting and very impressive.

www.maptools.com is full of good learning.

 

Learn everything your GPS will do and learn its limitations as well.

IF you don't have signal - now what! Go to where you do have one.

 

I recommend bushwacking as often as possible and start out easy, get better at it. The really fun caches are way off trail but still not that bad if you know what is around you. WMA's have lots of intersecting trails, none of which are marked and all are unmapped - no way to tell which one goes to your car. Pointing to your car is not always enough. Now you got to think a little and use some good sense.

 

Where is North Where is North Where is North.

 

Also learn all you can about water in the woods - Do not drink it unless you know what you are doing. Take your own water - specially when it is hot!

 

Don't eat the yellow snow!

 

Respect everyone, every place, every bug, every animal, every hazzard, be careful, every where you go - as if it were a religion!

 

Good luck!

 

Cache On! and don't get lost!

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All of the points you made are good.

Mostly because they remind me why I'll probably steer clear of bushwhacking and forest/woodsy caches or anything that's really 'in the wild'.

 

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a nature girl. I am a city girl. I like buildings. I concrete and cars and traffic and people. I like nature in VERY small doses. :laughing: I like the fact that if I'm citycaching and I get lost, it probably won't take me that long to find out where I am or at the very least, be able to ask somebody "Hey how do you get to....?".

 

;)

 

AB3

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At this point, some experience in knowing what to look for, & the kinda places cachers hide them (aka 'The Force' in cache-jargon) would go a lo-o-o-o-ong way towards increasing your enjoyment of the game.

 

~*

 

You mentioned that you get lost easily - so does everybody else. Experieced Hunters still have trouble. Now that you understand that - try becoming an expert on NOT getting lost and enjoy the fun of learning it. The whole GPS TOPO map deal is totally fun and feeling comfortable about your position in unfamiliar woods will put you in a comfort zone that is really cool.

 

Try this:

Always mark your car - Always Mark your car. Always mark your car!

 

Always Carry a compass - I like a wrist compass

Constantly be aware of North. When on a trail try not looking at the GPS and guess when you have gone

1/2 mile.

Always carry: extra batteries, and a headlight Headlight

Study maps - learn where you are going and what is around you - stay oriented. Print the map and take them with you. I like Delorme - but many free ones are online - USGS maps are old but really do a great job of showing the terrain.

 

Be constantly aware of how much terrain your particular body can handle and don't push your heart off the scale.

 

You must be prepared to save yourself if the GPS simply stops working. You could fall and break it or just drop it on a big rock, it could just fail, not receive a signal, batteries run out, dogs sometimes eat them.

Alot of GPS crashed when the WAAS signal was altered. Surprize it doesn't work at all now. What ya gonna do when they DON"T come for you!

 

The great thing is that learning this is just so much fun and extremely interesting and very impressive.

www.maptools.com is full of good learning.

 

Learn everything your GPS will do and learn its limitations as well.

IF you don't have signal - now what! Go to where you do have one.

 

I recommend bushwacking as often as possible and start out easy, get better at it. The really fun caches are way off trail but still not that bad if you know what is around you. WMA's have lots of intersecting trails, none of which are marked and all are unmapped - no way to tell which one goes to your car. Pointing to your car is not always enough. Now you got to think a little and use some good sense.

 

Where is North Where is North Where is North.

 

Also learn all you can about water in the woods - Do not drink it unless you know what you are doing. Take your own water - specially when it is hot!

 

Don't eat the yellow snow!

 

Respect everyone, every place, every bug, every animal, every hazzard, be careful, every where you go - as if it were a religion!

 

Good luck!

 

Cache On! and don't get lost!

 

These are really helpful to a new geocacher ...I've printed them off to show the Pony.

 

He loves the GPS. Our second find was in a walking park and the cache page said "stay on the trail". It's winter the trails are maintained - simple enought. Except the Pony keeps wanting to head over the hill because the arrow points left. I'm whining about staying on the trail. He heads over the hill following a set of foot and paw prints as I continue marching. I didn't have co-ordinates, I didn't have clues but I had read the cache page and the description of the landmarks where the cache was located. I stopped on the trail as soon as I saw the big rock and birch trees. It was a beautiful spot ...anyone would have stopped and taken a pause. The Pony was rooting for the cache on the other side of this 10 foot rock. Two approaches same ending. The Pony is a city boy so the concept of don't leave your wing man eluded him.

 

I think the first cache we found got him hooked on the GPS as the cache co-ordinates were dead on. We didn't have to do much except move a little snow.

 

The last cache we found I used the"force". I had been reading about this in posts and used that concept when the GPS signal showing 8 feet. And it worked .. woo hoo

 

We have only picked straightforward stuff so far. This summer the Pony will be off and running with friends to more off trail hikes and higher degrees of terrain. So I'll have a few months to go over the tips. I might have learn how to use the GPS ... that could be a challenge. I seem to be the only person I know over the age of 12 without a cell phone. Gadgets ... grrr.

 

:laughing:

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You're not the only one, Mystic. I don't have a cellphone either.

 

On my second DNF, there was a likely spot and when I got about 100 ft away from where the GPS said the coordinates were, I thought "Oh THIS is the spot." but it kept pointing me off to the left, off the path. So I thought, "Well it says it's over here, so that MUST be right."

 

Maybe sometime next week, if it's nice out, I'll go back and check where my first instinct led me.

AB3

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