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mom21
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Hello all,

 

Recently in a local newspaper I read about caching and how it was an activity that paired the outdoors with treasure hunting. To be honest, I'm not a huge outdoors fan b/c I reside in an area where there are red ants of which I am deathly allergeric to. That being said I set my heart on my husband and I "suiting up" to take on our new hobby of Geocaching. We purchased our wonderful Magellan, down loaded a few sites and set out for all the finds we would make. Unfortunately, we made none. Did we come close? Absolutely! Twice we found the exact spot but we were in such a public area we really didn't know what we were supposed to do. Should we root through the plants/bushes sitting in front of both locations on bustling roadways? The third time we would have definately found the cache but the location was in a wooded area that we thought could be housing more than caches. So, any thoughts? Is our GPS bound for ebay or are these just the perils of a newbie couple?

Edited by mom21
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Hello all,

 

Recently in a local newspaper I read about caching and how it was an activity that paired the outdoors with treasure hunting. To be honest, I'm not a huge outdoors fan b/c I reside in an area where there are red ants of which I am deathly allergeric to. That being said I set my heart on my husband and I "suiting up" to take on our new hobby of Geocaching. We purchased our wonderful Magellan, down loaded a few sites and set out for all the finds we would make. Unfortunately, we made none. Did we come close? Absolutely! Twice we found the exact spot but we were in such a public area we really didn't know what we were supposed to do. Should we root through the plants/bushes sitting in front of both locations on bustling roadways? The third time we would have definately found the cache but the location was in a wooded area that we thought could be housing more than caches. So, any thoughts? Is our GPS bound for ebay or are these just the perils of a newbie couple?

 

I'd say your experience is quite common. We could not find the first six caches we looked for, until we went back later with a better understanding of how they are commonly hidden. We've since been able to locate several that we were able to retrieve without leaving the car! With experience, you'll get a sense of what to do when you make it to "ground zero" (GZ).

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In public areas i think one should be confident and just go for it. But do what you can to keep the location of the cache from being seen by muggles (other). That way the cache won't be muggled (stolen).

 

Some of the best and larger caches are hidden in wooded areas. What about the wooded area where you concere3d about? Was it critters, or foliage? This time of year most critters are dormant and those that aren't are ones that will run off at your presence. Most you have to worry about is getting scratched up by the underbrush. So if your going bushwhacking in the woods dress accordingly. Geans, and hiking or any heavy boot is preferred.

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You may be expecting a bit too much from the unit. It will generally not get you to the exact spot but rather close to it.

 

All of our handheld units have a general accuracy of around 15 to 25 feet. Once you are inside that area - put the GPS away and start looking for likely hiding spots.

 

When there is just too much "public" around a cache area - I tend to walk away as I do not enjoy those finds. But, generally speaking, yes - you start looking around in bushes, trees, around rocks, attached to things - wherever. Just do not damage anything.

 

Here are some general hints:

 

Look for caches with a difficulty of 2 or less for your fist few caches. Stick with regular sized caches for your first few. Micros can be quite hard to find sometimes. Stick to areas you are familiar with. Look for anything out of place or unusual. Look for unusual piles of sticks, grass, leaves, rocks, sand, etc. Feel where you cannot look. Think vertical, not all caches are on the ground. Look up or at eye level. Look for traces of previous searches to zero in on the spot. Think like the hider - where would you put a container in this location? Look for things too new, too old, too perfect, not like the others, too many, too few. Change your perspective - a shift in lighting can sometimes reveal a cache. Keep in mind that many micros are magnetic or attached to something (via string, wire etc). Slowly expand your search area to about 40 feet from where your GPS says ground zero is. Bring garden gloves and a flashlight - they help! Be prepared to not find the cache more often then you think.

 

Most of all - have fun!!

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A common recommendation for beginners is to stick with small small.gif size, regular regular.gif size, and large large.gif size caches. Until you're more experienced, avoid micro micro.gif size caches, some of which are smaller than most beginners can imagine (sometimes called "nanos"). Save those for later, after you have some experience.

 

Also, stick with caches that have a difficulty rating of no more than 2 stars stars2.gif. Save the more difficult ones for later. You may also want to choose caches with easy terrain ratings. (The difficulty rating tells you how hard it is to find the cache once you get there. The terrain rating tells you how hard it is to get there.)

 

Under ideal conditions, a consumer GPSr will be accurate to about 3m (10'). That applies both to your GPSr, and to the GPSr of the cache owner, so you may find the container 15-20' from ground zero under ideal conditions. Under less than ideal conditions, both GPSr readings can be much less accurate.

 

It might help to look at some of the cache containers available online. For example, check out the cache containers sold by Groundspeak. Also, take a look at the Pictures - Cool Cache Containers (CCC's) thread in the forums.

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In public areas i think one should be confident and just go for it. But do what you can to keep the location of the cache from being seen by muggles (other). That way the cache won't be muggled (stolen).

 

Some of the best and larger caches are hidden in wooded areas. What about the wooded area where you concere3d about? Was it critters, or foliage? This time of year most critters are dormant and those that aren't are ones that will run off at your presence. Most you have to worry about is getting scratched up by the underbrush. So if your going bushwhacking in the woods dress accordingly. Geans, and hiking or any heavy boot is preferred.

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