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tips on what to look for when searching micro caches


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My daughters and I have just started geocaching and we have the bug! However, we have tried looking for two micro caches but have been unsuccessful even though one of them had a difficulty level of only 1. Anyway, we wondered if some more experienced geocachers could give us some tips on "thinking like a geocacher" when it comes to looking for those micro caches. We're determined to keep trying. Thanks!

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My daughters and I have just started geocaching and we have the bug! However, we have tried looking for two micro caches but have been unsuccessful even though one of them had a difficulty level of only 1. Anyway, we wondered if some more experienced geocachers could give us some tips on "thinking like a geocacher" when it comes to looking for those micro caches. We're determined to keep trying. Thanks!

You're looking for.... something small :)

 

Seriously, they're usually (but not always) magnetic. Occasionally hanging from shrubbery (I have a hard time with those), sometimes tossed inside a plant (know when to quit if you're not having fun) and sometimes deviously hidden in plain sight (false panel, false rock, etc).

 

Two common hiding spots are lamp posts and guard rails. I'd tell you more, but a recent thread warned against "spoiling the only pleasure you'll ever get from such hides" so I won't say more. If you don't mind it being spoiled for you, go ahead and search the forums <_<

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WARNING! SPOILER! DON'T READ!

 

 

 

With a micro you can be searching for just about anything. I found a bug once that was a micro.

The people who hide micros can be the most devious and evil people in the world.

Can be an electrical box cover plate, wad of gum, bolt, slug, dead rat, walnut, pinecone, mushroom, rock, snake, small thing hiding in a bush, or just a small container placed in a hole.

A micro can be camo'd as almost anything!

Edited by bittsen
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WARNING! SPOILER! DON'T READ!

 

 

 

With a micro you can be searching for just about anything. I found a bug once that was a micro.

The people who hide micros can be the most devious and evil people in the world.

Can be an electrical box cover plate, wad of gum, bolt, slug, dead rat, walnut, pinecone, mushroom, rock, snake, small thing hiding in a bush, or just a small container placed in a hole.

A micro can be camo'd as almost anything!

 

I read it.................................with difficulty, even with reading glasses :)

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WARNING! SPOILER! DON'T READ!

 

 

 

With a micro you can be searching for just about anything. I found a bug once that was a micro.

The people who hide micros can be the most devious and evil people in the world.

Can be an electrical box cover plate, wad of gum, bolt, slug, dead rat, walnut, pinecone, mushroom, rock, snake, small thing hiding in a bush, or just a small container placed in a hole.

A micro can be camo'd as almost anything!

 

I read it.................................with difficulty, even with reading glasses :)

 

Next time just highlight it. It's perfectly readable when you do.

All you need to do is hold down the ctrl key and press A

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Next time just highlight it. It's perfectly readable when you do.

Or copy and paste into a "dumb" text editor like notepad. Firefox 3.5, for some reason, decided to partially overlap two of the lines on my system.

Or use your mouse and click and drag to highlight the text. Worked for me on IE8.

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Next time just highlight it. It's perfectly readable when you do.

Or copy and paste into a "dumb" text editor like notepad. Firefox 3.5, for some reason, decided to partially overlap two of the lines on my system.

Or use your mouse and click and drag to highlight the text. Worked for me on IE8.

It works on every platform that I know of but some people might not know (believe it or not) how to click and drag to highlight text.

When repairing computers, it amazes me at what some people can't yet grasp. Fir that reason, sometimes I dumb down computer related questions. And, I can get pretty dumb.

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Next time just highlight it. It's perfectly readable when you do.

Or copy and paste into a "dumb" text editor like notepad. Firefox 3.5, for some reason, decided to partially overlap two of the lines on my system.

Or use your mouse and click and drag to highlight the text. Worked for me on IE8.

It works on every platform that I know of but some people might not know (believe it or not) how to click and drag to highlight text.

When repairing computers, it amazes me at what some people can't yet grasp. Fir that reason, sometimes I dumb down computer related questions. And, I can get pretty dumb.

It really helps to get inside the mind of your customer enemy. The things they do and say are far beyond the stuff we see out on the web. I try to think of it as the full employment for me concept. :)

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Next time just highlight it. It's perfectly readable when you do.

All you need to do is hold down the ctrl key and press A

Highlighting the text just made it harder for me to read. Maybe my default colors are different from yours. Or maybe my browser, OS, or display is different from yours.

 

Back on topic... As others have said, micros can be smaller than most novice geocachers can imagine, and can be camouflaged as almost anything. Look at the various cache containers available online to get an idea of what you might be looking for. Many are magnetic, so check metal structures. But check other places too.

 

In addition to the advice others have offered, sometimes it helps to consider the "phone a friend" rule. That is, imagine that you're the cache owner, and you want to be able to tell your buddies where to look when they call on their cell phones. You're going to pick somewhere that is easy to describe to someone over the phone. Or imagine you're a cache owner who wants to be able to find the cache again months later, after you've hidden a dozen others, and after you've found a few hundred more. You're going to pick somewhere that is easy to remember.

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In addition to the advice others have offered, sometimes it helps to consider the "phone a friend" rule. That is, imagine that you're the cache owner, and you want to be able to tell your buddies where to look when they call on their cell phones. You're going to pick somewhere that is easy to describe to someone over the phone. Or imagine you're a cache owner who wants to be able to find the cache again months later, after you've hidden a dozen others, and after you've found a few hundred more. You're going to pick somewhere that is easy to remember.

 

Awesome bit of advice!! It doesn't always work (and it is not just for micros!) but there is a lot of truth to what you say.

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Along the lines to what Arrow42 said...

 

When I just started geocaching (about three weeks ago), I had found a couple of micros that were the size of film canisters. One evening I went looking for yet another micro. I assumed that the cache would be the size of a film canister and so I looked for places where a film canister would fit. Must have looked for an hour over two attempts without finding the thing. And this was a 1.5 difficulty cache that no one had yet failed to find! It was driving me nuts!

 

As soon as I learned that the cache was actually much smaller than a film canister, I went back and found the thing in less than five minutes.

 

To make it simple: Micros can be really tiny, so look in tiny places.

Edited by Sharknose Bunnies
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Just a FYI: In Safari, the text didn't change color when highlighted...but I squinted and read it anyway. :)

 

Back to the OP's question...in addition to the thread that was linked above, try doing a search for "geocache" on ebay. I couldn't believe how tricky people get with their caches! I've only found two caches that have been disguised along those lines, though, so far. One was pretty obvious, but the other I'm not sure I would have found if I hadn't done that ebay search and gotten an idea of what I *could* be looking for.

 

Also, I'd advise against looking for micros and nanos in the dark. They're small and usually camouflaged, so give yourself a break.

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Just a FYI: In Safari, the text didn't change color when highlighted...but I squinted and read it anyway. :)

 

Back to the OP's question...in addition to the thread that was linked above, try doing a search for "geocache" on ebay. I couldn't believe how tricky people get with their caches! I've only found two caches that have been disguised along those lines, though, so far. One was pretty obvious, but the other I'm not sure I would have found if I hadn't done that ebay search and gotten an idea of what I *could* be looking for.

 

Also, I'd advise against looking for micros and nanos in the dark. They're small and usually camouflaged, so give yourself a break.

 

I agree with your last statement. When doing midnight caching, I will ignore micros. I was skunked on at least 50% of micros in the dark with 2 people looking for them. The micros I did find at night were pretty easy.

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... However, we have tried looking for two micro caches but have been unsuccessful even though one of them had a difficulty level of only 1. ...!

 

Micro's have a needle in a haystack factor going for them that even small containers don't have. Looking out my front window I can hide a micro anywerhe in the acre of grass and it would be hard to find. Even a small container would stand out.

 

Also keep in mind. Most peole (me included) really have no idea how hard it is to find a cache we hid. We can only guess. We know where we hid it after all. Most folks who rate a cache a 1 aren't thinking about the hide. A true 1 means it's in the first place 99% of all cachers would look. A true 1 would never, ever have a single DNF unless the cacher died on the scene. A true 1 is on a par with a flouresence orage container sitting in the middle of a freshly painted black parking lot.

 

The best advice I can give for finding these nasty little things is this. Ask yourself "Where would I hide it?" Often it's on one of the spots you would have chosen had you hid the cache yourself.

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....In addition to the advice others have offered, sometimes it helps to consider the "phone a friend" rule. That is, imagine that you're the cache owner, and you want to be able to tell your buddies where to look when they call on their cell phones. You're going to pick somewhere that is easy to describe to someone over the phone. Or imagine you're a cache owner who wants to be able to find the cache again months later, after you've hidden a dozen others, and after you've found a few hundred more. You're going to pick somewhere that is easy to remember.

 

Looks like niraD said it far better than I just did.

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Also, I'd advise against looking for micros and nanos in the dark. They're small and usually camouflaged, so give yourself a break.

 

Not always true. I hate pine tree and bush/shrub type micros. For me, when I stumble on a particular one giving me problems, they are easier to find in the dark. With all but the very rare exception, the have a different texture and....wait for it....reflective properties from the surrounding object. Scanning with a flashlight can often make these pop out.

 

However, in response to the OP, this is a trick for a later time when you have a few under your belt.

Edited by baloo&bd
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A true 1 would never, ever have a single DNF unless the cacher died on the scene.

 

A geocaching etiquette question: are we still supposed to log that DNF?

A Real Geocacher would. As someone suggested in the forums here (I don't remember who, sorry) "Took : last breath, Left : this world"

 

I suppose you could always leave the instructions in your will if you don't think your personal Afterlife will include Internet access.

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nan, think of it this way: imagine the site is dark, and that you're wearing a headlamp. Everywhere you turn your head, the light falls. Now, in real life you're not caching in the dark, but those areas where the imaginary light fell are the places you can see while you search. Concentrate on the areas that were dark -- those are locations out of your line of sight, and perfect places to hide something small and magnetic.

 

Micros and nanos will be on the back side or underside of things, or will be taking the place of something that appears in a group (like one bolt head in a long line of railing handles or on a bridge), or will be stuck against something of the same color.

 

I started out caching in a downtown area, and looking for nanos made me crazy until I went out to the country and found a good sized container in the woods. :7)

 

- Will

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Check the previous logs, too. Sometimes there is a hint buried in a log even though the writer didn't mean to give one. :-) For example, if someone writes "What a great camo job!" or "I'd never have thought of hiding it there!", it might lead you to look in a more unexpected area instead of the obvious, or for a cool camo container instead of just a key container or film canister. Doing that has helped me quite a few times when I was stumped.

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I discovered a new technique a few days ago. After several previous Ran Out Of Time (ROOT :unsure:) visits (to embarrassed to number) I decided to try something different. I crouched down as low as I could go and stared at ground zero (according to my GPSr). I ignored how odd I would look to passing motorists and concentrated on staring. After staring for a few minutes something out of the ordinary appeared in my line of vision and I found the little blighter.

Edited by Tavisman
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