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First time out 0 for 2


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Hey Everyone,

New to geocaching, I use my Iphone4. I downloaded this sites app and found a few close to my home. Talked my two teenage boys into going along, I packed a few silver coins to add to the cache, took a pen to sign the log book and as my man George Thorogood says: "Out the door I went."

I guess you just still can't leave anything laying around here in NYC because we hit 2 supposed locations but there was nothing to be found. Not a good start.

Is this a common occurrence?

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For beginners its common to go out and find nothing. It doesn't mean the cache is missing just that you missed the cache. In the beginning we all had trouble finding caches. But as time goes on and you start getting some finds under your belt they become easier to find. You start to get a feel for the "typical" means of hiding a cache. You'll also get an idea of how individual COs like to do there hides.


For now go for hides that are Small or larger. Also keep the Terrain and difficulty levels no higher then 1.5. Gives you a better chance of finding them. Look for things that don't belong.

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You may (or may not) have a hard time finding caches other than micros in NYC, but the larger than micros are the ones that you should shoot for as a beginner, just for "getting to know the ropes". Just because you didn't find it doesn't mean it's not there. This is primarily because your unit (be it a phone or a GPSr) isn't going to put you atop the cache (usually). It will only put you in a 20 ft circle of the cache (on a good day) regardless of what accuracy it says it has, you still have to hunt. If within 20 ft, you are still looking at your electronic device, you is lookin' at the wrong thing -- look for the cache, or its' hiding spot.

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We had a cache we looked for twice and couldn't find it anywhere. Same as you, we figured it wasn't there until we saw it had been logged after we looked. I went back today, with a little more experience than the first two times and there it was, right in front of my face. You will find that some cache owners have really evil senses of humor....

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Most advice people give on this is to go for higher caches. I have to disagree.


The BEST advice I could give you, is to find a cache with either a spoiler photo of the hiding spot, or a hint that gives it away. My first cache, I had absolutely no idea AT ALL of what to look for. Luckily my first cache had a spoiler hint (In the hole of the rock cliff next to so and so graffiti.) This holds true for everything. Just because you got good at finding big ammo boxes, and lock and locks in the woods, doesn't mean you're good at finding nano's hidden on benches. Which is why you should use spoiler hints/pictures for all different types of caches at first. Get a feel for a variety of hides.

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Read the cache discription, read the 'recent logs', and check if it has a hint.


If there are multiple DNF's on a log - then chances are, it's gone.


I would start doing some research online. Use www.google.com and type in 'Creative Geocache hides' (for example) and you'll see some amazing things that might give you a better idea of what could be out there waiting for you.


Micros & Nano's in urban settings can be difficult!!

Edited by Lieblweb
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Also, it seems wierd, but logging your "did not finds" online not only helps everyone out, but increases the chances that someone will send you a friendly hint. People generally WANT their caches found.


A few other things (some of which have already been said):

-look for a small or regular if you can (our fist find was a micro though. It took us 20 minutes, but it felt good)

-go for an easy cache

-don't take the coordinates too seriously. Really, when you are within 30 feet of the cache start looking. There is a good chance (especially around lots of trees, power lines or tall buildings) that the cache is 60 feet away from where it thinks it is. It's just the nature of the tech. Yours might be a little off, theirs might have been a little off, someone might have moved it a few feet last time it was found...

-read the past logs and the caches title for a few extra hints and context clues

-think about where YOU might hide something

-extra eyes help

-spend a decent amount of time before giving up

-when in doubt, shoot the cache owner an e-mail and politely ask for a nudge. Most of them are glad to help a new cacher out.


I like the advice about finding caches with lots of photos, but I would NOT look at the photoss until you've completely given up. Our first find was a pretty special moment, and we all (it was a group "why not?" moment when we tried caching on a whim) remember how freaked out we were when my wife found the little thing. It would be a bit of a shame to spoil that without giving it the old college try...

That said, don't let frustration stop you from finding caches. Spoilers might be necessary. I imagine urban hides in NY to be much tougher than the ones around here simply due to the traffic of people, tall buildings and security scare potential. So, if you DO need to spoil the first few finds, definitely do it.

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