Jump to content

Any Tips For A Newbie?


BasenjiLuv
Followers 2

Recommended Posts

So, I'm new at Geocaching, and I have only found one cache so far. Does anyone have tips on how to find a cache? My science teacher goes geocaching almost every other weekend, and says that she searches, thinking about "Where might I hide a cache?" I know that's a good idea, but are there any other ideas you might have to share with me? I like Geocaching a lot, and I hope for it to stay a life long hobby. Also, would you reccomend to take an older dog caching? I have a puppy, and thought it might be nice to take him with me when he's older.

Link to comment

My doggie loves geocaching with me! Also, having a dog helps me look for a cache. Caching solo, I might look strange just hanging around a certain spot for too long, but the dog provides a great excuse.

 

As far as tips...only look for caches with a low difficulty rating until you get your bearings. Also, try to find larger caches. Don't try to tackle a nano on the busy street corner in your town (those suck anyway)

Link to comment

My doggie loves geocaching with me! Also, having a dog helps me look for a cache. Caching solo, I might look strange just hanging around a certain spot for too long, but the dog provides a great excuse.

 

As far as tips...only look for caches with a low difficulty rating until you get your bearings. Also, try to find larger caches. Don't try to tackle a nano on the busy street corner in your town (those suck anyway)

 

Thanks for the tip! Do you think my puppy would be okay with geocaching? The only thing I'm afraid of is that he'll eat something in the woods and get sick...

Link to comment

When you get to the area of the cache look for anything that is "not quite right", especially when searching in less urban areas i.e. parks and so forth. Sometimes it will be fairly obvious, a pile of sticks that are all lined up the same way, rocks leaning against each other, etc. Sometimes it is more difficult to say exactly what isn't right, just something "over there" doesn't seem right.

Link to comment

I agree to look for easy ones first. This might be a spoiler for you, but it it looks like it is in a light pole, the "skirt" around the bottom lifts up and it is probably hidden in there. Maybe you already knew that, but I didn't!

 

That's a cool way to find a cache! I never knew that the bottom part could be lifted up.

Link to comment

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.) And it is often best to start with traditional 2.gif caches, which will be at the published coordinates. Multi-caches 3.gif or mystery/puzzle caches 8.gif or other cache types can require more work just to figure out where the container is located.

 

Under ideal conditions, a consumer GPSr will be accurate to about 3m (10'). That applies both to your device, and to the cache owner’s device, 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. Once you get within that distance of ground zero, put your device away and look around for places where a container could be hidden.

 

Go ahead and read the cache's additional hints (if provided), and read the past logs and look at any photos in the cache's image gallery. They may help you understand what you're looking for, and how/where it may be hidden. It may also 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.

Link to comment

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.) And it is often best to start with traditional 2.gif caches, which will be at the published coordinates. Multi-caches 3.gif or mystery/puzzle caches 8.gif or other cache types can require more work just to figure out where the container is located.

 

Under ideal conditions, a consumer GPSr will be accurate to about 3m (10'). That applies both to your device, and to the cache owner’s device, 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. Once you get within that distance of ground zero, put your device away and look around for places where a container could be hidden.

 

Go ahead and read the cache's additional hints (if provided), and read the past logs and look at any photos in the cache's image gallery. They may help you understand what you're looking for, and how/where it may be hidden. It may also 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.

 

Thanks for the tips!

Link to comment

I agree to look for easy ones first. This might be a spoiler for you, but it it looks like it is in a light pole, the "skirt" around the bottom lifts up and it is probably hidden in there. Maybe you already knew that, but I didn't!

 

That's a cool way to find a cache! I never knew that the bottom part could be lifted up.

 

The first person to hide one of those was a genius. The first few you find you'll giggle a little because you're "in on the secret". Then there'll come a day when your GPS leads you into another WalMart parking lot and you'll think, "Oh, another one of these"....:)

 

Nothing wrong with them, it's a legitimate hiding spot, virtually muggle proof, but there's just soooooooo many of them. Every once in a while someone gets creative with one (I recently found one in Baton Rouge that received numerous Favorite points), but some folks just skip 'em entirely.

Link to comment

I just started out, and I am looking for a cool GPS that won't break the bank. I'm probably going to do a lot of caching in the woods, and I also need something that has a good basemap and is under $99. Any suggestions?

 

I got the eTrex 10 about a week ago. It was $120, but the earlier models of the eTrez are probably cheaper. My teacher has the original eTrex and now its for sale for a lot less than what she paid for it...

Link to comment

My doggie loves geocaching with me! Also, having a dog helps me look for a cache. Caching solo, I might look strange just hanging around a certain spot for too long, but the dog provides a great excuse.

 

As far as tips...only look for caches with a low difficulty rating until you get your bearings. Also, try to find larger caches. Don't try to tackle a nano on the busy street corner in your town (those suck anyway)

 

Thanks for the tip! Do you think my puppy would be okay with geocaching? The only thing I'm afraid of is that he'll eat something in the woods and get sick...

Keep an eye on him... If he eats anything and everything, he's going to do it anyway if your caching or doing something else.

There's nothing specifically 'Bad' around a cache, that isn't around anywhere else.

Link to comment

My doggie loves geocaching with me! Also, having a dog helps me look for a cache. Caching solo, I might look strange just hanging around a certain spot for too long, but the dog provides a great excuse.

 

As far as tips...only look for caches with a low difficulty rating until you get your bearings. Also, try to find larger caches. Don't try to tackle a nano on the busy street corner in your town (those suck anyway)

 

Thanks for the tip! Do you think my puppy would be okay with geocaching? The only thing I'm afraid of is that he'll eat something in the woods and get sick...

Keep an eye on him... If he eats anything and everything, he's going to do it anyway if your caching or doing something else.

There's nothing specifically 'Bad' around a cache, that isn't around anywhere else.

 

He usually doesn't eat what's outside unless it's leaves... So I guess he'd be fine! I'll wait to bring him until Spring, because he's a short haird dog.

 

This is kinda off-topic, but I made a website! Would anyone like to join?

http://funwithgeo.proboards.com/

Link to comment

Geocaching with a dog is awesome!

 

I thought I'd have issues with my dog because he's a French Bulldog and they're not so good with temperature extremes and alot of excercise without rest (it's their punched in faces :rolleyes: ) but he's been great!

I'm not a fan of caching in temperature extremes and I don't run, so we're all good.

The one time I took him, my 6 year old niece and her dog (a Border Collie Lab Mix) for a 4km hike and they loved it! That night the dogs and 6 year old were KOed nice and early!

 

The only thing I hate with Jack is bushwacking on the leash... I swear he wraps his leash around trees on purpose! Grrr! And since he lacks "positive inter-canine skills", I don't like him off-leash.

 

As for tips, I'm fairly new too... skip the nanos! I was at one last night that had me close to tears because I was so frustrated and because my "helpers" were doing the opposite. :blink:

 

Be gentle when you're searching... leave an area just a nice or nicer than when you found it.

 

Take your garbage with you, including bags of dog poo. It grosses me out when I see poo bags on the side of a trail... double bag it and take it with you!

 

If you're getting into the swag, don't be cheap! It's disrespectful to other cachers. Trade even, trade up, or don't trade at all. Another pet peeve of mine. Even if you don't think you'll see anything cool, bring something just in case. I snagged a cool keychain, a Green Day pin, a magnet and a lanyard that I wanted for myself. I have kids too, so I always have stuff to trade with me which I call my swagbag. It has stuff for all ages.

Some of the stuff I either have, have left or have seen are bagged hair elastics, little dinosaurs, bagged stickers, measuring tape, cool magnets, big coins from other countries, ducks, glowsticks, rings, mini flashlights, DVDs, CDs, keychains, puzzles, NEW McToys, Unassembled and still in the plastic egg Kinder Toys, bandaids, jewelry, gift cards, buttons (not the kind that close shirts), tools, hair clips, decorative spoons, NEW balls, bouncy balls, shot glasses, rain ponchos, sewing kit and other stuff. I try to leave caches better than how I find them.

 

As for what to leave and not leave... don't leave food or anything that will rot... I've seen caches completely GROSS from melted candies. Plus animals are REALLY good at breaking into a cache that has food inside.

Make sure your swag can withstand the temperatures of where you leave it.

Don't leave bubbles, the containers leak. I'm guilty of this before it was pointed out to me. I usually try to snag the bubbles out of other people's caches.

 

Have fun!

Link to comment

Geocaching with a dog is awesome!

 

I thought I'd have issues with my dog because he's a French Bulldog and they're not so good with temperature extremes and alot of excercise without rest (it's their punched in faces :rolleyes: ) but he's been great!

I'm not a fan of caching in temperature extremes and I don't run, so we're all good.

The one time I took him, my 6 year old niece and her dog (a Border Collie Lab Mix) for a 4km hike and they loved it! That night the dogs and 6 year old were KOed nice and early!

 

The only thing I hate with Jack is bushwacking on the leash... I swear he wraps his leash around trees on purpose! Grrr! And since he lacks "positive inter-canine skills", I don't like him off-leash.

 

As for tips, I'm fairly new too... skip the nanos! I was at one last night that had me close to tears because I was so frustrated and because my "helpers" were doing the opposite. :blink:

 

Be gentle when you're searching... leave an area just a nice or nicer than when you found it.

 

Take your garbage with you, including bags of dog poo. It grosses me out when I see poo bags on the side of a trail... double bag it and take it with you!

 

If you're getting into the swag, don't be cheap! It's disrespectful to other cachers. Trade even, trade up, or don't trade at all. Another pet peeve of mine. Even if you don't think you'll see anything cool, bring something just in case. I snagged a cool keychain, a Green Day pin, a magnet and a lanyard that I wanted for myself. I have kids too, so I always have stuff to trade with me which I call my swagbag. It has stuff for all ages.

Some of the stuff I either have, have left or have seen are bagged hair elastics, little dinosaurs, bagged stickers, measuring tape, cool magnets, big coins from other countries, ducks, glowsticks, rings, mini flashlights, DVDs, CDs, keychains, puzzles, NEW McToys, Unassembled and still in the plastic egg Kinder Toys, bandaids, jewelry, gift cards, buttons (not the kind that close shirts), tools, hair clips, decorative spoons, NEW balls, bouncy balls, shot glasses, rain ponchos, sewing kit and other stuff. I try to leave caches better than how I find them.

 

As for what to leave and not leave... don't leave food or anything that will rot... I've seen caches completely GROSS from melted candies. Plus animals are REALLY good at breaking into a cache that has food inside.

Make sure your swag can withstand the temperatures of where you leave it.

Don't leave bubbles, the containers leak. I'm guilty of this before it was pointed out to me. I usually try to snag the bubbles out of other people's caches.

 

Have fun!

 

Thanks for all the help! Your dog's name is Jack, and that's funny because so is mine!

Link to comment

Well, I've got great news. I received one of those GPS Keychains that Ecco makes for Christmas, and I absolutely LOVE it :grin: ! It's pretty accurate (I tried a trick I read about in a book one time), and it's really small so it fits in your pocket. Now, if it will only stop snowing so I can go on a metropark caching trip and finish what I started :ph34r: . Happy caching!

Edited by geoguy14
Link to comment

Go for easy caches first. You can have the "beginner" caches highlighted, but I don't know what makes one 1/1 cache a beginner cache and another 1/1 regular cache not.

 

Search for regular sized or large sized caches first. You can probably get away with easy level small containers if you want to try those. Don't rush out trying to find micros! If you're dying to find one, do an easy one.

 

Easy ones are suggested so that you can learn. Very few people (if any) learn to drive by going balls out in a Formula One car. Start small and work up :) If you do something too hard and you fail, you'll be more likely to give up when really you don't suck. You're just new :)

 

The more caches you start finding the more you can branch out and become more familar with different types, greater difficulties, and hiding styles.

 

When you log, people (especially cache owners) like to read about your experience finding the cache. They don't like short little "TFTC SL" kind of logs. Don't make it long and boring, but embellish more than "Yeah, I found it. Nice." A lot of cache owners like to know how the cache is doing. Does it need a new log? Is the log wet? Is the container holding up? As a cacher, I like to know about things like that too :) Just because it can help in deciding if it's worth finding (container with real spiders living in it isn't high on my list of priorities).

 

If you really, really looked for a cache and just couldn't find the silly thing, log a DNF. As a cacher, DNF alert to me the possibility that the cache is missing or is more difficult to find than originally thought (especially if an owner checks in and says it's still there). I think a string of DNFs help owners figure out if they need to check up on the cache.

 

For your poochie, just keep an eye on him or have him on a leash. Anything he's going to eat while geocaching is something he could eat while hiking or whatever. There are some scary things, but if you watch him he should do okay. Make sure he's really good with commands like "come" and "drop it" or "no".

 

And, not to be a fun-sucker or over bearing, but if he were to eat something and you were worried about it, please don't be afraid to ask your veterinary clinic. It's better to have an appointment and have your fears relieved than to deal with something for a week, call a clinic before they close, and pay way more because your dog is sicker now than he initially was :( If any of the staff makes you feel uncomfortable with your concerns, then they're not being very professional. If you're concerned, then they're concerned. Much better to pay an office call and have a healthy pet then let it go and pay a lot more :)

 

Have lots of fun geocaching!

Link to comment
Go for easy caches first. You can have the "beginner" caches highlighted, but I don't know what makes one 1/1 cache a beginner cache and another 1/1 regular cache not.
If you scroll down to the bottom of a cache list, to the "Highlight beginner caches" checkbox, there is a "?" icon. If you click it, the following "help" popup appears:
Some geocache characteristics make it more likely that a new geocacher will be successful when they are first getting started. Beginner caches incorporate these characteristics:
  • Traditional type
  • Low difficulty
  • Recently found by others
  • No micro sized caches
  • No problems reported

Link to comment
Go for easy caches first. You can have the "beginner" caches highlighted, but I don't know what makes one 1/1 cache a beginner cache and another 1/1 regular cache not.
If you scroll down to the bottom of a cache list, to the "Highlight beginner caches" checkbox, there is a "?" icon. If you click it, the following "help" popup appears:
Some geocache characteristics make it more likely that a new geocacher will be successful when they are first getting started. Beginner caches incorporate these characteristics:
  • Traditional type
  • Low difficulty
  • Recently found by others
  • No micro sized caches
  • No problems reported

Yay! I've never noticed the '?' over there :unsure: So... if it hasn't been found recently does it get taken off the list? Not an important question to answer... but just something that came through my head.

 

Thank you! :)

Link to comment
Some geocache characteristics make it more likely that a new geocacher will be successful when they are first getting started. Beginner caches incorporate these characteristics:
  • Traditional type
  • Low difficulty
  • Recently found by others
  • No micro sized caches
  • No problems reported

Yay! I've never noticed the '?' over there :unsure: So... if it hasn't been found recently does it get taken off the list? Not an important question to answer... but just something that came through my head.
Yes, if it hasn't been found recently, then it will get taken off the list of "beginner caches". Also, if there are problems reported, then it will get taken off the list of "beginner caches". And although this is less likely, if its size is changed to micro or if its difficulty is increased enough, then it will also get taken off the list of "beginner caches".
Link to comment
Some geocache characteristics make it more likely that a new geocacher will be successful when they are first getting started. Beginner caches incorporate these characteristics:
  • Traditional type
  • Low difficulty
  • Recently found by others
  • No micro sized caches
  • No problems reported

Yay! I've never noticed the '?' over there :unsure: So... if it hasn't been found recently does it get taken off the list? Not an important question to answer... but just something that came through my head.
Yes, if it hasn't been found recently, then it will get taken off the list of "beginner caches". Also, if there are problems reported, then it will get taken off the list of "beginner caches". And although this is less likely, if its size is changed to micro or if its difficulty is increased enough, then it will also get taken off the list of "beginner caches".

Aha! Thank you very much! :) Very, very helpful :) Thank you!

Link to comment

I take a rucksack with me. If there are lots of non-geocachers about, a person with a rucksack rummaging through a Tupperware box isn't suspicious. I've also got something in my hand that I can "drop" and pretend to look for if I'm spotted crawling about somewhere odd.

Link to comment

I have a backpack with all my geocaching stuff in. Torch, batteries, box of swag... If I'm going on a long walk it'll have water and food in too. Oh and clothes, like hat, gloves, spare layer if it gets cold, flip flops for when I cripple myself with blisters! and don't forget emergency log books, wipes and plastic bags for a bit of cache maintenance!

Link to comment

Lol I'm so new to the website... And no I don't show my dog or anything else. He's just a pet. I wish I could show him, though. And he's a fast little bugger, wish I could race him! I don't think they race basenjis though...

I had an Afghan who would never have been a show dog - not her thing - but she loved racing. A local group used a greyhound training track. The Affies would chase the "rabbit" but would cheat, cutting across the infield, and maybe playing there.

I would say keep your dog on a leash at all times - we came across a dog that had got away from its owners and ran out of the woods onto the road. Luckily all ended well, we got the dog.......but no thanks from the owner who blamed the bystanders for the dog getting loose. Weird. I know she was in panic mode, but the poor dog was scared.....

Link to comment

I am brand new to Geocaching and just had my first find today but it wasnt a great experience. I have been looking for something to do with my wife and kids and this seemed very interesting. When I first told my wife about it, she said to me that people are going to wonder what I am doing wandering around, and it looks very suspicious. I laughed at her comments, and chose a first cache that was rated easy and was within a mile of where I live on a public trail, at the trailhead. (GC2DNH0) I wasn't even at the trailhead for 10 seconds when a paranoid nosey neighbor noticed me and started screaming at me as to what I was doing there, and threatening to call the police. I tried to explain to this women, and then her irate husband what I was doing, but they didnt want to hear it. I wasnt too concerned since I was on a public site. Needless to say though, it made for a very uncomfortable first cache with my young son. These people were peering over their fence the entire time, yelling at me to leave while I was trying to have fun with my son and find the cache. I was ready to give up and leave, when we finally found it. Even my son felt the uneasiness and kept saying to me "Dad, this must be illegal, lets go!". My wife had a nice laugh and "I told you so" moment. All I can say is I still had fun, and will keep geocaching. My advice to other newbies like myself is to chose caches that are well along a trail, and not near any residences. In this day and age, people get very uneasy when they see strangers looking into hand held instruments near their homes. Even though this was a public trail, it is set in between to large properties with large homes. Living in the neighborhood myself, I can somewhat understand their reaction, although they were unreasonable. Has anybody had similar experiences??? thanks

Link to comment

Sorry you had that experience. If people start screaming, I wouldn't bother trying to reason with them - you won't get anywhere. You could stand up to them, but in the end you won't win, even if you are right. Just move on and warn the next cacher's in the log book. You could call your local police station to ask their advice.

 

I thought you shouldn't find a cache with "muggles" around? If the screamers saw where you put it, you can probably kiss that container goodbye.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 2
×
×
  • Create New...