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Help! I can't find the "easy" cashes!


bucklesfamily
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I know I will really enjoy geocashing but I cannot seem to find even the easy cashes. I have a new Garmin Nuvi...any help out there...I really want my kids to enjoy this with me but I am not sure how many more times I will be able to talk them into coming if we don't find the cashes!

Sally

 

I feel your pain. I have looked for several and the only two I found, one they gave a huge spoiler in the logs, and the other, muggles had looted it and it way laying on the ground un front of an empty hole. I have watched on youtube and some people hide these things so cleverly I don't think Shelock Holmes could find it.

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I know I will really enjoy geocashing but I cannot seem to find even the easy cashes. I have a new Garmin Nuvi...any help out there...I really want my kids to enjoy this with me but I am not sure how many more times I will be able to talk them into coming if we don't find the cashes!

Sally

 

It's hard to say how to help w/o knowing the caches you're trying to find. My only advise is that over time, you'll get to know some of the more common hiding techniques and develope your own "geosense". A GPS will only help so much - it'll get you near but by no means standing right on top of the cache. And even in the cases where you do happen to land very VERY close to the cache, part of the art of placing a cache is camo. You might be staring straight at the cache and not even realize. Is that stick really just a stick? Is that rock actually hollow on the inside? Is there an altoids tin magnetically attached underneath the bench? etc.

 

You'll get the hang of it...

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I have 4 working gps units, and the Nuvi is the LEAST helpful in getting me to Ground Zero.

It is great for vehicle navigation, though.

 

Are you looking for caches with small or larger cache size, and difficult level no higher than 1 1/2? Starting with the easier caches with these ratings might bring you more success.

 

Have you checked the last few logs on the cache pages, to see if the recent searchers logged a DNF? Have you looked at the hint on the cache page (if there is one)? Feel free to contact the cache owner and ask for help. Most of us are very happy to help!

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Your GPS is probably bringing you to the right spot, but it's not going to find it for you. Once your GPS tells you you're at the site, stop staring at it and put it in your pocket, and start searching. Look for things that look out of place, or too unlike the things around them. Feel under, on top of, and behind things where you cannot see. Read the cache description carefully, have some idea what you're looking for....know what size container it is. Micros can be incredibly small, like a pencil eraser in some cases, though usually more like a 35mm film canister or similar. Look around and think where you would hide something like that.

 

Stick to larger size caches at first (small or regular size)...they will often (but not always) be easier to find, just because there are less nooks and crannies where you can hide something like that.

 

Don't be afraid to use the hint if one is provided.

 

Also (and this is just me nitpicking), it's "CACHE", not "CASH" (pronounced the same though) :)

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An automotive unit is not the best choice for geocaching, but any unit will only get you in the area. The cache could be 30, 40 or more feet from where your GPS says it is depending on reception conditions in the area.

 

So focus less on where your GPS is telling you to look and more on where your head tells you to look. Also stay away from micros in the beginning. They can be frustrating for veteran geocachers. Stick with regular sized caches and those with a difficulty of 2 and under.

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I tell you i had a similar start the family had just about given up hope but I can tell you what there is some great advice given in this thread. I too was using a nuvi at first. A good GPS will help you get there but once there it is time to use the eyes. Oh and someone else has said this already but read the recent logs, check and see if the cache is even still there!

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I did my first 450 or so with a nuvi.

 

Tip 1 once you park the car set the Nuvi to off road and then walk to make the numbers go down. Once you get within 100 feet start using your eyes. For me once the nuvi got me within 50 I started a full out search. It got to where the nuvi could get me within 20 sometimes. I notice now that I have a better GPS I am still able to find caches quicker than others because I am so used to just searching with bad coords all over the place.

 

Tip 2: Think like a cacher. Where would you hide something? Look for cool trees, a stump, a pile of rocks or sticks, anything out of place.

 

Tip 3: Start with small and above (regulars and larges are even better) with a difficulty below 2. Cachers can make some great camo and are very clever, but anything below a 2 should be pretty straightforward. Once you get some different sizes and hides under your belt you'll start to learn likely spots.

 

And just so you know even experienced Geocachers DNF a good bit (or have to result in calling a friend for help).

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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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Hello Sally and all,

 

Sally, Thank you for helping me not feel so stupid!

 

I went out looking for my very first two caches, Great Blue Heron (GC1WFKE) and Double Crested Cormorant (GC2B6F3), and I couldn't find either of them. I'm using my new HTC Evo. There is a 12ish foot white survey marker(panal point) painted on the street where I live. When I stand in the middle of it my phone shows that I'm only about 3 footish off of ground 0.

 

Being the noob I am...can someone tell me what a "muggle" is, please? I assume it's anyone who would stumble on a cache and raid it and if so them there are a lot of homeless people in the area that I was looking. (SW Corner of Washington St. and 70th Ave right next to the Clear Creek river Adams County Colorado)

 

Are there any events in Metro Denver where seasond and noobs get together and go caching?

 

Mike

N. Denver

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We are beginners, and we have much better luck with caches that are in a more open area than in the woods. Hollow trees and tree hangers are popular here. Guard rails are really easy. Urban caches are tiny and well hidden.

 

When we go out we make a list of three or four geocaches where we are going so we will find at least one. Always note the hint, the last found date and the cache size. Sometimes the cache name is a big hint. If the cache hasn't been found recently, it may have been destroyed or relocated (or too hard for me.)

 

A nano cache is about the size of a bullet. These are often magnetically attached to things. A micro is a film cannister. A small is about like a notecard box.

 

Just my learnings over the last 6 months. Good luck!

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...

Being the noob I am...can someone tell me what a "muggle" is, please? I assume it's anyone who would stumble on a cache and raid it and if so them there are a lot of homeless people in the area that I was looking. (SW Corner of Washington St. and 70th Ave right next to the Clear Creek river Adams County Colorado)

...

 

Muggle comes from Harry Potter - meaning a non magical person. In a Geocaching sense, it means anybody that is un-aware of Geocaching. Unaware of the "magic" we know as Geocaching - if you will.

 

Not just those that destroy caches - really anybody unaware of Geocaching - we were all once muggles.

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I just started this on Monday night using my Motorola Atrix phone with the "C:geo" app. It is a free app with full GPS, maps, radar, and full listings from geocaching.com. We found 8 caches the second night out, but none the first night. It helps to think outside the box. The microcaches we found were tiny magnetic containers the sizer of a fingernail. We found three of those. One on the bottom of a lightpost powerbox, one under where a lightpost connects to it's concrete base, and one attached to the bottom of a business' signage. The large caches have been easier... one wrapped in trash bags and one hidden inside a bush. One was actually a tiny matchbox size nascar tin INSIDE an unscrewed base to a lightpole. It was hidden very well. Don't get discouraged... this is so much fun!

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I just started this on Monday night using my Motorola Atrix phone with the "C:geo" app. It is a free app with full GPS, maps, radar, and full listings from geocaching.com. We found 8 caches the second night out, but none the first night. It helps to think outside the box. The microcaches we found were tiny magnetic containers the sizer of a fingernail. We found three of those. One on the bottom of a lightpost powerbox, one under where a lightpost connects to it's concrete base, and one attached to the bottom of a business' signage. The large caches have been easier... one wrapped in trash bags and one hidden inside a bush. One was actually a tiny matchbox size nascar tin INSIDE an unscrewed base to a lightpole. It was hidden very well. Don't get discouraged... this is so much fun!

 

Using C:geo also violates the terms of use of this website.

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I can't even imagine trying to start out with a NUVI. I wouldn't even use one now to try to find a cache. Good luck though.

 

I bought a Nuvi 500. The 500 series is the only one in Garmin's Nuvi line that is designed with geocaching and outdoor use in mind. I found it to be OK, but not as accurate as my hand held units. It's also uncomfortable to hold in the hand, kind of like walking around holding a picture frame.

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Trust me even a nuvi 200 can work. You may have to be more determined and search a much larger radius. When I got my Delomre I went to update the coordinates on my placed caches. None of them moved more than 15 feet. So it can be very accurate (even in the woods) just a little slow.

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...

Being the noob I am...can someone tell me what a "muggle" is, please? I assume it's anyone who would stumble on a cache and raid it and if so them there are a lot of homeless people in the area that I was looking. (SW Corner of Washington St. and 70th Ave right next to the Clear Creek river Adams County Colorado)

...

 

Muggle comes from Harry Potter - meaning a non magical person. In a Geocaching sense, it means anybody that is un-aware of Geocaching. Unaware of the "magic" we know as Geocaching - if you will.

 

Not just those that destroy caches - really anybody unaware of Geocaching - we were all once muggles.

 

Star,

 

Thanks for the info! I figured it was from Harry Potter but didn't make the connection of majic/no majic. I'm glad I asked. Once I get better (broncitius) I'm gonna head out and try to find my first again. In the mean time, I'm going back to bed.

 

Mike

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I just started this on Monday night using my Motorola Atrix phone with the "C:geo" app. It is a free app with full GPS, maps, radar, and full listings from geocaching.com. We found 8 caches the second night out, but none the first night. It helps to think outside the box. The microcaches we found were tiny magnetic containers the sizer of a fingernail. We found three of those. One on the bottom of a lightpost powerbox, one under where a lightpost connects to it's concrete base, and one attached to the bottom of a business' signage. The large caches have been easier... one wrapped in trash bags and one hidden inside a bush. One was actually a tiny matchbox size nascar tin INSIDE an unscrewed base to a lightpole. It was hidden very well. Don't get discouraged... this is so much fun!

 

Using C:geo also violates the terms of use of this website.

 

hmmmm

Edited by chaselepard
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I just started this on Monday night using my Motorola Atrix phone with the "C:geo" app. It is a free app with full GPS, maps, radar, and full listings from geocaching.com. <snip>

 

Using C:geo also violates the terms of use of this website.

 

Specifically: Which term of use? I'm not familiar with the app (as my phone doesn't use apps), so I'm honestly curious when, where, how... Is it that the app gives Premium features without paying for Premium Membership?

 

OT: I've tried using my wife's NUVI 7xx to find caches and, even with it set to 'Pedestrian', it tries to route me to the nearest road. One thing I have done is to tap the car icon, which brings up the 'My Location' page. On the top left are the coordinates to where you are. Using that, I walk until they start to go in the direction I need to go. It is pretty accurate, but not designed for what we do.

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Specifically: Which term of use? I'm not familiar with the app (as my phone doesn't use apps), so I'm honestly curious when, where, how... Is it that the app gives Premium features without paying for Premium Membership?

 

No, it's the "screen scraping" part. If you want to use an application which gets live cache data off the net, you have two choices: the official Groundspeak application, or none.

 

Re the nuvi: Pedestrian mode isn't enough, you also need to set it to off-road mode.

Edited by dfx
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From my experience with a Nuvi 1300LM, you set it to Pedestrian mode first then put it on Off Road in settings. Then (as long as you don't change the off road setting back) every time you put it in Pedestrian mode it should also be Off Road. (I assume the same is true of car/bike modes, in that each mode has it's own "Off Road" setting.)

 

One thing I've noticed about the 1300 is that if you wait a bit, without turning the GPS off, it may be able to increase it's positional accuracy. On one particular cache my starting GZ was apparently a bit off, and it wasn't until later that I re-checked the GZ and found it was actually in a slightly different spot then I had thought. After re-checking the GZ I was able to make the find. And it might help if you try and triangulate where the cache is. For example, walk West or East of the cache a bit (far enough that you can see both icons separately) then walk North/South and try to pin down exactly where the center of your icon is in line with the center of the cache's icon. Then do the same thing to narrow down the East/West direction.

 

While I'm not sure about all Geocaches, the ones I've found have been pretty much right at the GPS coordinates, so you shouldn't need to go too far away from ground zero. If doing urban caches, keep in mind they may be hidden in places that regular people would not normally mess with, and I'm not talking about bushes or rocks. Look behind, under, over, and inside things. (Most of the urban caches I've found were not hidden in bushes or rocks.)

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