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Mistakes commonly made by a newbie.


Coldgears
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I had a hard time with my first couple of caches, and soon after I found some similarities that help me find most caches.

 

1. Expand your search area, GPS's are not 100% accurate, you will never stand right on top of it, it'll get you within a few feet. Which depending on the hide, (for example inside or outside a bush) can make a huge difference. (I couldn't even find my first few caches because of this.)

 

2. Hides are not always on the ground... Seriously, people can use string to put caches on a branch, or the cache may be magnetic in an urban setting. (I can't begin to tell you how hard my first cache in a pine tree was.)

 

3. Caches can, and will be made to blend right in. Even if it seems like it belongs it sometimes doesn't. (This is the single reason I couldn't find most urban caches, I still make this mistake every so often.)

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1. Expand your search area, GPS's are not 100% accurate, you will never stand right on top of it, it'll get you within a few feet. Which depending on the hide, (for example inside or outside a bush) can make a huge difference. (I couldn't even find my first few caches because of this.)

Except that time you set your GPS on the very well camo'd cache. :grin: I"ve done it twice now.

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Except that time you set your GPS on the very well camo'd cache. :grin: I"ve done it twice now.
A teammate brought me to a cache he'd DNF'd before, and said the Cache Owner had helped him narrow down the spot. "It's between HERE, and HERE", he said, squaring out a 4x4-foot area with outstretched arms. In a completely vacant spot in the woods. A minute later, he announced, "Wait, you just now found it!" Sure enough. And it was an ammo can. So, yes, once in a while, these things are basically invisible. Edited by kunarion
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Except that time you set your GPS on the very well camo'd cache.
Or when you pick up the camouflaged cache and use it as a tool to search for the cache...

hahaha. :grin:

 

The opposite of always looking on the ground is true too. I was lead to a sculpture and DNF. I was obsessed with looking way up high for about 10 minutes. Later I read the the hint and it implied it was on the ground.

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I had a hard time with my first couple of caches, and soon after I found some similarities that help me find most caches.

 

1. Expand your search area, GPS's are not 100% accurate, you will never stand right on top of it, it'll get you within a few feet. Which depending on the hide, (for example inside or outside a bush) can make a huge difference. (I couldn't even find my first few caches because of this.)

 

 

Also, they are not accurate when you input the wrong coordinates (transpose the numbers). I did this one time. The bad thing was that the narrative for the hide stated that even though there were "No Trespassing" signs, permission had been granted to enter the property to find the cache. I saw "no Trespassing" signs, climbed through the barbed wire fence and started my trek to the hide. Looked for about 30 minutes to no avail. Fortunately no one came and challenged me as this was not the property that permission had been granted to enter. After finding out the error of my ways, I found the cache on another property a short distance from where I had first looked (with the wrong coords) If manually entering coords, always double check them for accuracy. It might save you from getting shot in some places. Ha!

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We went out for the first time today. Husband was frustrated as we only found 2 out of 6. Later at home, he checked one of the DNF caches and read down at the bottom of the page that the last person 'warned' everyone to not try this cache as it is not there anymore. Lesson learned!

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We went out for the first time today. Husband was frustrated as we only found 2 out of 6. Later at home, he checked one of the DNF caches and read down at the bottom of the page that the last person 'warned' everyone to not try this cache as it is not there anymore. Lesson learned!

 

Tell your husband that we ALL still DNF caches, sometimes more than we find. DNFs are not a mark of shame, log them and be ready to get your next one :grin:

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I am a newbie and my first two trys were DNF's. Don't get discouraged. The next time i went out, I found all three I was looking for. The best advice I got was think like a hider. I was surprised at how much easier it became. Now I kind of survey the area around the coordinates and think where would "I" hide this. In a few cases I have walked right to it.

 

Don't get discouraged! Remember, you are out there for fun! Enjoy the area you are looking in.

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When doing puzzle caches or multis I suppose make sure to enter those coordinates accurately. I spent a long time working on a puzzle and was so excited to hunt the cache only to find I entered one number wrong and it put me in vastly the wrong area for 2 hours. Second trip out I found it.

 

Bring a poking stick as well. My mom uses her cane. I use my hiking stick. Caches can and are hid under leaves and pine needles.

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On more than one occasion, we've bushwhacked through brush and briar following the GPSr to the cache only to find the nice clear trail that went by GZ from a different round-about direction. At least it gave an easy way back out.

 

Also, keep a mind when putting your hands in dark recesses that look like they could hide a cache. They sometimes hide other things too.

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Also ...

 

Don't assume you know what you're looking for, because then you will be blinded. For instance, if you keep looking at the ground, it may be in the tree.

 

Look the area over from different angles. One of those nondescript trees might have a large empty knothole that can only seen from the other side. Been there, done that.

 

Read the cache page as well as the cache title. Sometimes an odd title can be the biggest clue of all. Google can be your friend.

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With 127 finds, I still consider myself a newbie--and here are the mistakes I have made, and continue to make:

 

1) Failing to read the NAME of the cache--it can be so helpful sometimes, even more helpful than the hint!

 

2) Listening too much to what other cachers have said in their logs. For example, I was searching for a 3-star difficulty micro last month, and because the logs said 4-6 times that the cache was south of GZ, I searched south of GZ (and AT GZ of course). Turns out the cache was about 20 feet north of GZ. I shouldn't have listened to those logs too closely.

 

3) Making the terrain harder than it should be. If the terrain is a 1.5 and I'm bushwhacking through a forest, something isn't right, or perhaps I should approach from another direction.

 

4) Failing to have something small and pointy with me (i.e. a paper clip, tweezers, etc) to remove logs from nanos.

 

There are plenty more, but those are the first ones I thought of.

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:rolleyes:

Thanks, I was getting discouraged until I just read these! Im am a brand newbie and I decided this might be fun to take the kids around to differnt parks in our city. We have tried for 2 and DNF. The first wasa mystery cache and I didnt realize that. SO the second time out today Idecided to do a level 1 thinking this will get the kids excited when we find it, no luck. The coordinates seemed to be across a busy road at a school but the descript said it was in the park. Oh well we will try again!

Thanks!

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My husband, son, and i are not quite to 100 finds yet. But all of our 88 finds (other than a few we have done with some friends of ours that have a gps) have been done without a gps just b/c until income tax time we have no way to get one that will work good in the area we are in b/c we have lots and lots of trees so u need a really good one. We make lots of mistakes such as last night my hubby tried to get an ftf on a micro that is supposedly in the woods but we also know that the cacher that placed it isn't so good at getting his coordinates right b/c of the way he gets them. we are gonna go back up during the day to try and find it with the help of my son (whose 4 and can find them pretty good especially the micros since almost all of the ones we've done have been micros) unlike most cachers that don't have a gps we tend to look for micros over the larger caches b/c for some weird reason we have issues finding ammo cans but we can zero in on a micro like its nothing.

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Today was my first day geocaching and I found 3/4! I will be going back to search a little more for the fourth one; it got too dark to continue looking. The biggest thing I learned today was to not stop right on the coordinates, but find the coordinates and look in that general area. Also, don't always assume it is on the ground or in a tree! My 3rd find today, "ninja", was actually in a cement telephone pole. It looked like the pole had a reflector on it and when I touched the reflector, it pulled out and was a bottle with a log in it. So neat!

 

So think out of the box when looking for some caches!

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just want to share my wife and I's first hunting experience last saturday. We went out to retrieve the 6 closest caches near our house, one is 1 mile away, it was a parking lot cache, needless to say we didn't find it. it had 90 logs entered, all finds. I went there 3 times!! The 3rd time we found it only because i emailed the CO, it was in a light pole micro LOL, come to learn on these forums, thats a pretty common place to hide them, lol

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Not yet got my century of finds but maybe before the end of the year.

 

My most common mistakes - forgetting a writing implement.

 

Forgetting a writing implement long enough to poke into cobwebby nooks and crannies

 

Forgetting plentiful supply of jellybabies to fuel up the geokids

 

Using a brick which actually contained the cache inside it, to poke about in the undergrowth looking for the cache :D

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With 127 finds, I still consider myself a newbie--and here are the mistakes I have made, and continue to make:

 

1) Failing to read the NAME of the cache--it can be so helpful sometimes, even more helpful than the hint!

 

2) Listening too much to what other cachers have said in their logs. For example, I was searching for a 3-star difficulty micro last month, and because the logs said 4-6 times that the cache was south of GZ, I searched south of GZ (and AT GZ of course). Turns out the cache was about 20 feet north of GZ. I shouldn't have listened to those logs too closely.

 

3) Making the terrain harder than it should be. If the terrain is a 1.5 and I'm bushwhacking through a forest, something isn't right, or perhaps I should approach from another direction.4) Failing to have something small and pointy with me (i.e. a paper clip, tweezers, etc) to remove logs from nanos.

 

There are plenty more, but those are the first ones I thought of.

We do that all the time. We're just now getting better at saying, "You know, lets stay on this path a bit longer.

.100 miles seems short when you are on a trail but its really far when bushwhacking with a crummy GPS under trees.

We got 2 today that we would have bushwhacked for about a month ago. We even stopped ourselves. Both times the cache was less than 20 feet off trail.

 

I'm considering making a rule for myself that I won't pursue a cache more than 20' off trail, because its not fun and really not that great for the locations themselves.

 

We also usually forget gloves (always bring gloves in scorpion country, I try to remind myself) and misjudge how much light we have left... and forget flashlights.

 

I also always forget to mark trailheads and the car on my GPS., which I think could save our lives one day.

Edited by d+n.shults
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On more than one occasion, we've bushwhacked through brush and briar following the GPSr to the cache only to find the nice clear trail that went by GZ from a different round-about direction. At least it gave an easy way back out.

 

Also, keep a mind when putting your hands in dark recesses that look like they could hide a cache. They sometimes hide other things too.

 

We just started, 11 finds so far! Yesterday, this happened to us twice! the first time our GPS told us the cache was just off the road so we pulled over and trekked into the bush. We ended up having to cross a stream and then realized there was a nice paved path, and the cache was directly off the path (like not even 10 inches off the path!). Then we had to bushwhack our way alllllll the way back to the car!

 

The second one we parked and hiked up a hill that was quite steep (quite a calf workout too!). The cache was at the top, as well as a nice little mowed path. not sure where the path came out but we found it funny that we always take the hard way around!

 

I say if it looks incredibly hard, survey the area to make sure there isn't a different easier way to get to where you are going! :sad:

 

-s684

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On more than one occasion, we've bushwhacked through brush and briar following the GPSr to the cache only to find the nice clear trail that went by GZ from a different round-about direction. At least it gave an easy way back out.

 

Also, keep a mind when putting your hands in dark recesses that look like they could hide a cache. They sometimes hide other things too.

 

We just started, 11 finds so far! Yesterday, this happened to us twice! the first time our GPS told us the cache was just off the road so we pulled over and trekked into the bush. We ended up having to cross a stream and then realized there was a nice paved path, and the cache was directly off the path (like not even 10 inches off the path!). Then we had to bushwhack our way alllllll the way back to the car!

 

The second one we parked and hiked up a hill that was quite steep (quite a calf workout too!). The cache was at the top, as well as a nice little mowed path. not sure where the path came out but we found it funny that we always take the hard way around!

 

I say if it looks incredibly hard, survey the area to make sure there isn't a different easier way to get to where you are going! :sad:

 

-s684

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On more than one occasion, we've bushwhacked through brush and briar following the GPSr to the cache only to find the nice clear trail that went by GZ from a different round-about direction. At least it gave an easy way back out.

 

Also, keep a mind when putting your hands in dark recesses that look like they could hide a cache. They sometimes hide other things too.

 

If there is a difficult or and easy way to do something you can guarantee I will do it the hard way, yesterday I scrambled up an embankment only for my husband to say "Come back down this way" where he was standing at a different area to where I had climed! ........yep is was a much easier route, but I found the cache :sad:

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My husband, son, and i are not quite to 100 finds yet. But all of our 88 finds (other than a few we have done with some friends of ours that have a gps) have been done without a gps just b/c until income tax time we have no way to get one that will work good in the area we are in b/c we have lots and lots of trees so u need a really good one. We make lots of mistakes such as last night my hubby tried to get an ftf on a micro that is supposedly in the woods but we also know that the cacher that placed it isn't so good at getting his coordinates right b/c of the way he gets them. we are gonna go back up during the day to try and find it with the help of my son (whose 4 and can find them pretty good especially the micros since almost all of the ones we've done have been micros) unlike most cachers that don't have a gps we tend to look for micros over the larger caches b/c for some weird reason we have issues finding ammo cans but we can zero in on a micro like its nothing.

You guys have almost a hundred finds and DON'T HAVE A GOS!!!! You should be giving a seminar about what you are doing RIGHT!!!!!
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My husband, son, and i are not quite to 100 finds yet. But all of our 88 finds (other than a few we have done with some friends of ours that have a gps) have been done without a gps just b/c until income tax time we have no way to get one that will work good in the area we are in b/c we have lots and lots of trees so u need a really good one. We make lots of mistakes such as last night my hubby tried to get an ftf on a micro that is supposedly in the woods but we also know that the cacher that placed it isn't so good at getting his coordinates right b/c of the way he gets them. we are gonna go back up during the day to try and find it with the help of my son (whose 4 and can find them pretty good especially the micros since almost all of the ones we've done have been micros) unlike most cachers that don't have a gps we tend to look for micros over the larger caches b/c for some weird reason we have issues finding ammo cans but we can zero in on a micro like its nothing.

You guys have almost a hundred finds and DON'T HAVE A GOS!!!! You should be giving a seminar about what you are doing RIGHT!!!!!

Here's proof we should all have belief in our geosenses! We could have done with hunnygirl363's 4 year old at a couple of caches we struck out on yesterday....

We still do the "hard way in, easy way out" like others have mentioned. After a major windstorm here a few years back, we clambered up a steep embankment, under some logs and branches, over others. Almost at the top of Metchosin Mountain we came across a trail.....and took the easy way for the last 20 feet. The view was fantastic, but the cache elusive. Coming back down was a breeze on the trail though.

The worst thing is striding along, and not slowing down as the GPSr says we're approaching GZ. I hang back so I don't have to backtrack and I am usually fairly close to the cache.

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The worst thing is striding along, and not slowing down as the GPSr says we're approaching GZ. I hang back so I don't have to backtrack and I am usually fairly close to the cache.

 

Magellan eh? :sad:

That was the first one we had - maybe that's where the bad habit came from? We now have a Garmin....I should be allowed to hold it more often!

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As a Newb here we made sure and started with easy to find and easy terrain to build our confidence. It worked as our first day 2 weeks ago we found 3 of 4. The fourth one took us three trips back and ended up being the most "unhidden" of them all. We laughed at ourselves for a good while.

 

Also until we get more experienced we're staying away from the micros and nano's. We have enough regular size stuff in our area to keep us busy for awhile.

 

Bob

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Except that time you set your GPS on the very well camo'd cache. :rolleyes: I"ve done it twice now.

 

Or when you pick up the camouflaged cache and use it as a tool to search for the cache...

 

On more than one occasion, we've bushwhacked through brush and briar following the GPSr to the cache only to find the nice clear trail that went by GZ from a different round-about direction.

 

Well, if others can own up to these, I can too. Each of them more than once, but I lost count after two so don't ask, OK. (LOL) Folks, let us remember that this is a game, a way to have fun. If you are not having a good time out caching, best to try again another day.

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