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How many finds did you have...

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The advice in the "Things Newbies Should Know" thread got me curious. Specifically this part:


4. MINIMUM 25 FINDS - before you even think about hiding your own cache. When you do hide one, make sure the location means something to you and that you will be able to take care of the container.


It got me thinking -- after all, Dave Ulmer had zero finds when he hid his first cache. Of course, as we all should know, that one only had a handful of finds and got destroyed by a road crew -- so maybe Dave should have found some more before hiding one after all. :anibad:


So, veterans and newbies alike, tell us about your first hide. How long had you been caching, how many finds did you have, and how did that cache do?


I'll start. We hid our first cache on April 28, 2007, two months after we started geocaching. We had 128 finds at that point and figured it was time to start giving back. Apparently even that wasn't enough, because it was a terrible cache. It was under concrete steps that were right on a busy city street, the coordinates were horrible because of signal bounce, there was an accululation of leaves and litter under the steps, and at least one finder privately reported finding a hypodermic needle. It got ten finds*, none of which were complimentary, before we emailed one of the finders and got the full report. And then we immediately archived it.


Our next three caches went up at the same time and were greatly improved based on the feedback we got. They all lasted two years and got over 500 finds among them, if we hadn't moved they'd still be up.


*Yes, I know our first cache actually has eleven finds. All I can say is, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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I hid my first cache on June 27th, 2005. I had been caching for two months and found 51 caches in that time. My first hide is still active. It is a multi and I think is generally liked these days. But when I hid it the second stage was a micro in the woods that was rather evil. It's since been revised to be a little more friendly.

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Just under 200.


I also placed it with the guidance of someone who had been caching a lot longer than I had.


It's boring, but still going strong.


My second cache I placed after finding about 500. It's gotten a whole lot of favorite points.


I thought I would hide one for every 100 I find, but it hasn't worked out that way. I'd like do do some more, but I want to make them really good ones. Really special that get a whole lot of favorite points.


I'm working on it.


In the meantime, we have no shortage around here. It's hard to find a good spot for one. I don't want to place any more boring ones.

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So, veterans and newbies alike, tell us about your first hide. How long had you been caching, how many finds did you have, and how did that cache do?

I had been told by a local cacher that once I got to about 75 finds or so, I'd probably feel like putting a cache out. Turned out to be about right; I think I had 71 or 72 finds when we decided to place one.


Cache is still in place, close to 4000 finds now I think.

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So, veterans and newbies alike, tell us about your first hide. How long had you been caching, how many finds did you have, and how did that cache do?


I had a little less than 400 finds and had been in the game for about a year and a half.

Cache is still there. Like the other two I have placed it gets visited occassionally (maybe once/month) as it is a multi (like the other two.)

Those that visit do say nice things, though, and that's a good thing!

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I think I may have had 5 finds. I must have done okay. That cache is about to turn 9 years old.



So This isn't your first cache?


Nope. That was like the second cache ever placed in Houston. The owners abandoned it and I was asked by an approver (they were approvers back then) to adopt it to save the 3 digit listing from being archived. I agreed and then, years later, the owners came crying about their listing. I archived it and pulled MY ammo can and they never returned to rehide a cache there. I waited quite a few months and then returned to hide my own cache there.

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5 months and 163 finds. We have a really good caching community, and it was recommended to me early on to be patient and wait a bit before hiding anything. I waited until I had found a good variety of caches, and seen what possible maintenance issues could arise. The cache is still in perfect shape and I get good comments on it.

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I started planning my first hide after about 25 finds (about a month). I started working on it in earnest after about 50 finds (a couple weeks later). I finished it after about 75 finds (a couple weeks after that), and it was published a little more than a week later (on the date I requested).

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I started April 24, of 2002. I didn't hide one until December 1, 2002. There were about 400 caches in my 100 mile radius, then. I had 44 finds, all traditional, before hiding it. Shortly after, I started looking for multis, and virtuals. I know have 25 active caches. That original cache is still alive, has been written about in a book, called Local Treasures: Geocaching across America, by Margot Anne Kelley (and lots of other caches too) and it's been visited by Jeremy, and Shauna from Groundspeak. And if you ever watch the worst movie in the world, a Wes Craven Movie, called Last House on the Left, the view from the cache is shown several times in the film, along with the road to it, and the road past another cache I own. The movie is from the 1970's. It's bad. Really bad! But supposed to be based on a true story. Just horrible acting, directing, continuity, awful! But the tree with the old rope swing is in it!!! I loved that tree.

It has a great gallery, and has been given favorite points and everyone seems to like it.

I hid that cache so well, that it took ME 45 minutes to find it when someone reported that the camouflage had fallen off. Needless to say, I did not replace the camoulfage! :laughing:


Cathedral In the Pines




The rock in the background in this picture was used in the movie, as were the falls and the river and little pond area.




There are now 25545 (UGH!!!! :blink::blink::blink: That's frightening!!!) in my 100 miles radius, and I would probably not search for 75% of them. I like to find caches similar to the ones I place. Nice spot, good container, a little adventure and something that takes time to enjoy and get some exercise. I'd rather one really beautiful cache, than 100 roadside grabs.

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It was almost two months after my first find. I had 60 finds. But they were briansnat caches, and Scully & Muldur et al, and Lake Lady... Lots of hiking, and nice views. In five states, including the Presi Traverse...

It's about a mile hike in to a great overlook. It's had 45 finds in 7.5 years. And it's still going strong!

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Just over 100 before we placed our first one (we had already adopted eight in order to keep two of them alive). However, shortly after we found our first mystery cache I got an idea for a place and puzzle that we hid about two months after our first with the only thing changed from the original idea being the container (figured out how to hide a LARGE in the area I wanted). It seems to be the most popular based on favorites points (80%). It must be a harder puzzle than I thought though, it sure hasn't been found a bunch even with us throwing hints to everyone that has asked.

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I had ~20 finds. I still don't have very many finds, but I also don't log most of them. It gets annoying when you take a TB but don't remember which cache you put it in... I know, I know, bad practice. But anyways, my first cache has been going for 1 or 2 years, and the container has only been replaced once, but not due to it breaking. I just wanted to switch things up a little.

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48, however I started in 2003 and there were not that many in my area at the time to find. I may have hidden sooner, but was still at the kid raising stage.


Yeah, is it really that applicable to old-timers? Things were a lot different then. Apparently I had only found 5. The first one lasted about 6 months. That includes being taken, investigated, and put back by a few weeks later by Americorp workers. :lol: Then it was muggled for real the 2nd time. I learned a little, I suppose, the 2nd one (placed 7 days later) lasted about 7 years.


To illustrate how things have changed, I could (but won't) point you to a cache about 3 miles from my home coords that was ironically enough (I just checked) hidden by someone with 5 parking lot micro finds. It was in a "hole" in a Pizzeria's sign on a commercial strip, with horrible coordinates. After about 2 weeks, the Pizzeria's owners taped up the hole with duct tape, and it was archived for lack of cache owner response to the situation. :blink:

Edited by Mr.Yuck
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I don't remember how many but my first hides were actually ones I adopted. I wanted to own some that were already placed so I could get to know how to maintain the caches. Practice getting better coords and making better and lasting containers. (not saying all mine are)

My first one I actually hid was across the street from my work. Nice park with art, hence the name Park of Art. It was also easy to maintain being close by. It has moved when the original location was removed. Now the location is a little more difficult due to buildings and trees. I placed it two months after I started. But I am almost sure I had over 100 finds by then.

Edited by jellis
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15. It was a plastic altoids type container in a beam under a picnic table behind the club house in my neighborhood where there is a small play area, with a pair of magnets securing it. I replaced it three times, in different containers and spots, with the final version being a bison in a pipe. I got tired of replacing it, and it was not up to my current standards of quality.

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I had just 7 finds (first 3 found without a GPS). My first hide was hidden just 30 days after my first find and it is still going 3 1/2 years later. My second hide, hidden just three weeks later was a 5/5 that still gets incredible logs and pictures.


It's been said before and I'll agree, there is no prerequisite amount of finds that makes anyone more qualified to make a good hide. Some people are ready to do quality hides from the get-go, and others seem incapable of a decent hide even after thousands of finds.

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I hid my first cache in May of 2002, just 2 months after I started caching. Back then, the highest find counts in the world were in the hundreds range, so hiding one after I had found 60 seemed like a good idea.


And it was. The cache is still there, with the original container, in great shape. It will celebrate its tenth anniversary this May.

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I had 1 find before placing my first cache. It's still there and 1,000+ cache hunts and 300+ hides later I can't think of anything I'd change about it. Well I did swap out the original container for an ammo box after about a year, but other than that I can't think of anything I learned since placing it that would improve it.


Actually probably the only thing that I've subsequently learned was that I really didn't need to put so much thought into the container, location and contents.

Edited by briansnat
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As has been mentioned, us old(er) timers skew the results a bit. :P


Our first hide was in June of 2002, after we had found 12 caches in a month and a half. At the time, there were only a couple handfuls of caches within an hour of us. Here's the cache page: Pinball


It really is my husband's cache, but I helped him with it. He wanted a white water rafting cache, because he's a whit water rafting guide. He chose an island that is popular with the commercial sites as a mid day break and lunch site. The first container was a plastic ice cream tub, that lasted a few years before we replaced it with an ammo can. After maybe 5 years, the ammo can was stolen (rafters sometimes like to use them as a waterproof container to hold items in while rafting, not sure if this was why it was stolen, though). My husband replaced it with a lock n lock. I think that the cache does well for being on such a small, busy (in the summer) island.


The cache can only be found while white water rafting, or wading in the low water months, so it hasn't been found very much. Most of the finders on the cache got there with his help, because we have hosted three rafting events down the river. I think the logs are interesting to read, and there are a lot of fun pictures that have been posted.







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We read that we should have 20 finds so that's what we did. Then we placed our two caches in quick succession. They are simple lock n locks but the first is a nice serene walking trail, kid friendly, and the second is in a neat little hidey-hole that seekers seem to enjoy.


Both caches are located within a five minute walk of our house so we keep them in good shape.


We have plans for a third - have an amazing location picked out - and are in the process of building a very cool cache container.

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So, veterans and newbies alike, tell us about your first hide. How long had you been caching, how many finds did you have, and how did that cache do?


I had 20 finds when hiding my first cache at the end of February 2003 (12 of them abroad in Germany in four different provinces and the remaining 8 at home in Austria). My first cache has been a multi cache (until then I had found 2 multi caches) and it still exists. My first cache find dates back to September 2002, but I just accompanied a friend and did not consider myself to be a geocacher at that time. My first independent find dates to November 2002. I hid seven further caches before reaching my 100-th find in October 2003 and have hidden an eight one together with a friend (the first night cache in the area without ever having found a night cache myself before) in the same period.


Of course times were different back then. Lots of interesting locations were available and one did not need to take care of proximity issues which is one of the major reasons nowadays that in some areas on needs a lot of experience.



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I started on 4/20/02 had three finds when I hid my first one on 5/26/02. Two of the finds are still there and my first hide is still there. Back in those days you had to travel a bit to find a cache so that first find is about 15 miles from home the second about 250 miles and the first hide about 400 miles from home.


Interesting that my first hunt was a DNF on 4/20/02 and my first find was on 4/26/02. How many started with a DNF? :blink:

Edited by captnemo
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Interesting that my first hunt was a DNF on 4/20/02 and my first find was on 4/26/02. How many started with a DNF? :blink:


We did. Ironically, given the failure of our first hide, we couldn't find it because the coordinates were on the wrong side of the street -- signal bounce when the owner hid the cache. We ended up finding it a couple months later based on hints we found in people's logs.

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When I started caching I read the forums a lot. The "generally accepted wisdom" or at least a commonly stated theory, was that one should have 100 finds or so in order to have a good idea as to what constituted a good hide. I didn't really have a problem with that. I started off finding 50 caches per month and saw a fairly decent variety of hides. Some were great. Some were not so great. Of course, when one is new to geocaching, that first lamp skirt lifter is way cool. I think I only found one of those in my first 100 hides. As you can likely deduce, even though I had found 100 caches, I still didn't really know what made a good cache. :)


The first time I ever heard the word "geocaching" was July 30, 2005 and my first find was August 8, 2005. I placed my first hide - Upper Park Climb - on 10/16/2005. It's still active.


I called it Upper Park Climb because I had an idea where I wanted to place an ammo can. I climbed up the side of the hill to where I had planned to place the cache and discovered that my ammo can didn't really fit all that well in the place I had planned to put it. I kept on climbing (and climbing) until I found a good spot. I later realized it was within a very short distance of a trail that runs along the top of the hill. D'Oh!


I have a friend who geocached briefly. He had very few finds since he couldn't find caches even if they were to have a giant neon arrow pointing to it and the voice of God giving him directions. However, he placed some excellent caches. Very devious hides with perfect coordinates.

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