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Who to blame? True DNF vs GPS

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Hi all,


We are new to Geocatching and are excited to have begun. We are brand new and have logged two finds, but have two that we were not able to find. The first granted, was a micro, but I am pretty positive that I was in the correct spot. I logged a DNF.


Today I'm out investigating another. I have my Verizon Blackberry with the trial version of Geocache Navigator on it and the geocaching.com intro app on my iPad. I was not able to locate a cache today using either. Can anyone suggest a better, more reliable app? I also have a Garmin Nuvi that is for the car that maybe could work? I scoured the logs for this site and got some good tips but was not able to locate it even when I put the GPS down and tried to think like the CO. I didn't want to log a DNF because I'm not even sure I got to the right place.


I apologize for being horribly newbie at this but I appreciate any advice.


Thank you!!



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Go ahead and log it. After all you looked and Did Not Find. it isn't a demerit or anything.


No matter what piece of equipment you use for this - never expect the device to get you any close than 5 to 25 foot away. Some of these can be quite hard. After 9 years and over 1100 find - I still log one DNF for every 7 or so that I find. It happens.


Also - they go missing from time to time.

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Can anyone suggest a better, more reliable app? I also have a Garmin Nuvi that is for the car that maybe could work?

If your Nuvi can show coordinates directly, you can just walk til the numbers match that cache page. I wouldn't highly recommend doing it that way, since it's kind of tedious. You could still be 30 feet (or more) off from GZ, due to normal expected inaccuracies. To check your various devices, you could visit Waymarking.com, find a nearby statue or other outdoor object in a clearing, and see just how close your GPS gets you. It's never pinpoint accuracy, but may help you decide which GPSr you could rely on.


And take a look at the cache map, zoomed all the way in, in "Satellite" view. It helps if you can see where the icon is in relation to other objects. Compare that to your GPSr readings when you arrive, for a better idea of the limitations of your apps. Good luck!

Edited by kunarion
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No harm in logging a DNF if you gave it a fair hunt ... just also note that you're a newbie and you weren't sure if the problem was you or your equipment or the cache ... that's what I do when I can tell my GPS is wacky. I use a Galaxy Tablet and a secondhand Garmin (Colorado, I think), depending on what terrain I'll be hunting, and lately the Google maps don't seem to line up really well. Have a funny story about a recent one that I posted elsewhere ... I marked it DNF, later found out my map and coordinates were way off, but then got an email from the cache owner who'd gone to check after my listing and found out it really WAS gone! So I got to go back to the correct location, this time, and find it. If I hadn't logged, neither of us would've known. :)


Micros can be pretty devious ... it's better to start with something larger while you get used to the quirks of your particular equipment. But there are some 'usual suspects' that you'll pick up as you read through the forums and start to get some ideas of where folks look.


It's also okay to email the cache owner for a hint ... they don't have to give one, but there's nothing wrong with asking politely. You might also email some previous finders to see if they'd be willing to help you out ... you don't have to ask where it is, just say "I was standing by the giant rockpile; was I in the right area?" or something like that. Or get a more experienced friend to scan through the logs of the caches to glean clues ... people will drop hints sometimes, even just things like "That was easier than I expected" or "That was certainly a different hiding place" can tell you if it's a more devious than usual hide.

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I apologize for being horribly newbie at this but I appreciate any advice.


Thank you!!



What's the apology for? Do something wrong? Ya gotta start sometime, and you are always new at something, right?

OK... done pickin' on the nØØb.


With all of your experience, are you sure that your device or the app is not quite right?

Don't worry so much about not finding a cache, it will happen A LOT up through and beyond 500 - 1,000 and more finds. It's part of the game. Without the possibility of not finding a cache, just what fun would this be?

That said, perhaps you haven't considered that your coords/location are correct, and the hide's info is just a wee off. It is common, and a fact of life -- again, part of the game. So, once you are at Ground Zero (GZ) forget about the device -- use your eyes and head during the search. By the way, GZ is generally considered to be a radii of 8 m, sometimes more.


EDIT: radii distance

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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