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Help! So frustrated! Been to so many locations--not 1 success


JJBD

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Hi,

 

I need some help! Live in the Fraser Valley, BC, Canada and have many cachs in the area to look for. Was so excited and heard so many great things about Geo-caching. I have been taking the whole family and the kids are getting sad leaving without success. We turn over rocks, look for good spots, just no luck. Using an iphone with the Geo-caching.com app on it. Not sure what we're doing wrong? Any ideas or suggestions would be great! Finally found an activity to help us all be adventurous as a family, but can't figure out how to do it.

 

Thanks so much!

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Hi,

 

I need some help! Live in the Fraser Valley, BC, Canada and have many cachs in the area to look for. Was so excited and heard so many great things about Geo-caching. I have been taking the whole family and the kids are getting sad leaving without success. We turn over rocks, look for good spots, just no luck. Using an iphone with the Geo-caching.com app on it. Not sure what we're doing wrong? Any ideas or suggestions would be great! Finally found an activity to help us all be adventurous as a family, but can't figure out how to do it.

 

Thanks so much!

First off, don't expect the APP or any GPS unit to put you right on top of the cache. Usually you will be within 20 feet or less put do be prepared to widen the search area.

 

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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Another suggestion... see if you can find some local cachers to help walk you through a few finds.

I tagged along with an expert cacher for a week (we met at a work training event out of state) and learned quite quickly how to find them on my own.

 

It really helps to learn from someone who knows what they're doing ;)

 

Don't give up--it's well worth the learning curve!

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I would suggest that perhaps you should go out searching on your own first, without the kids. Follow Starbrand's advice, and gain some experience / success first. It might be a little less stressful that way.

 

Also, don't build the kidlets' expectations up too much about the "treasure hunting" thing. Once you've found some caches, and see what swag there is, you might want to emphasize the "adventure of finding" or the outdoors aspect over the swag aspect.

 

Come over to the Canada forum and maybe you will be able to hook up with some local cachers.

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showforum=28

 

Maybe check out the British Columbia Geocaching Association:

 

http://www.bcgeocaching.com/

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Wow thanks everyone, such quick and valuable feedback! Those are great tips and will definately try all of those.

 

I won't give up. From what I've learned so far, geocaching just seems like such a great activity. Practice makes better...right?!

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Greetings from another part of BC - near Victoria. I definitely think tagging along with another geocacher is a good idea. I don't know how old your kids are, but remember they don't have such a long attention span - and will let you know it! Great idea to find a few by yourself, then you can do the warmer/colder hints when you take the kids along. Stick to 1/1, no more than 2/2 to begin with. Good Luck!

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So excited to report that we found 3 today! Only because of the help from here. I used the suggestion to find the bigger ones, with the low terrain ratings, I think that was what helped. Feeling better too because we're getting an idea of what to look for now. Kids are 6 and 11. 11yr old is very patient (moreso then me!) but the 6 yr old definately loses interest fast. However, he was the one who first spotted 2 of the 3 today all on his own. So that pumped him up quite a bit. Perhaps being a closer to the ground helps a bit too. ;)

 

I LOVE the hot/cold hints idea!

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Read everything you can find. Search the Internet for help and information. Look up youtube videos. Read (borrow from the library?) the "Idiots Guide to Geocaching". All of these will give you help in what to look for when you go out. On the caches read the logs where people have found the caches. Don't be afraid to look at the hint to help you get started.

 

I've used the warmer/colder hints with a 9 y.o. that I cache with and it helps, but he really likes finding the caches on his own! :)

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I just started this activity recently. I scout an area and locate a cache. No gps used. If I find it, I bring the kids back on the weekend and they look for it. Once they catch on and learn the ropes, we'll try looking together. While they are learning, I can observe them and offer suggestions to improve their searching techniques. They are now telling me which ones they want to try next by searching the map near us or their school area.

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Kudos to the OP's 11 year old for showing such patience, and "allowing" the 6 y.o. sibling to find the caches! I'm glad you found some caches - always the way when you ask for a hand. We still have difficulty, usually when we over think the issue. I bet your kids will have some neat ideas for hides of their own a bit further down the line....

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I got pretty frustrated at first because the first 3 caches all said something to the effect that the given coordinates we wrong and that I had to figure out some complex puzzle to determine the correct coordinates. Thank goodness that I persevered because found others that gave coordinates and we found those.

 

I have spent weeks trying to figure out those first three puzzles without success. A senior citizen's brain doesn't function like those younger ones.

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We tried or about 15 minutes to find a cache up-island yesterday, and were about to leave in disgust. Up drives another cacher and his 5 year old. We team up and go back at it. Within a few minutes the smallest and youngest cried "I see it, I see it!!!" We said how proud Daddy (and we) were, got the spotter of the cache to sign the log first, and press the button on Popoki Nui's GPS to mark the cache found.

Might not have been the size to hold "Treasure" but the little one was happy.

Puzzles - hmmm. I have just started on them. If after 20 mins I cannot crack it - I move onto another. My brain isn't so young any more!

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Speaking as another relatively new cacher... I spent a time during the week (when I couldn't get out to geocache) watching YouTube videos. There are a lot of really helpful videos out there, particularly those ones that are part of a series. Watching them helped me get a much better idea about different types of hides, what to bring with you, and how to deal with muggles. Of course, reading through these forums has helped a lot, too. :)

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Think outside the box, but don't damage anything. I tried to use hints and photos at the first few. Stick to traditional caches with a difficulty of 1 if you can. It is a lot of fun, once you find one you will start to get what you are looking for. Read descriptions, small containers are often hard to find.

Nothing puts you right in the spot. Kids are awesome at this, but they have to get used to looking.

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