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jk3700

Starting Geocaching

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Went out on a find today. Spent a considerable amount of time looking for the cache. Turned out, we never did find the thing. When I logged in to log out the find, I noticed that the last three finders did not find the cache also.

 

Question: I used my ipad with a downloaded app, geocache. This is a pretty nice app. Wondered out close a person coould come to the cache to find it. I also had my Nuvi Garmin GPS using the 'where am I' feature. Still no luck.

 

Any suggestions anyone can give would certainly be appreciated.

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Is that the only cache you've looked for so far? If the last three people didn't find it, there's a good chance it's missing...it happens occasionally. There may even be more folks who didn't find it either but didn't post their DNF's. Unless it has a very high Difficulty rating (like 4 or 5).

 

Start out looking for caches with fairly low Difficulty ratings (1 or 2) and size Small or above. Micros can sometimes be very tricky for beginners (and experienced cachers too!)

 

Whatever device you're using, don't expect it to put you pinpoint on top of the cache. Any device is only going to get you within a few feet even under the best conditions...sometimes 20 or 30 feet is the best you'll get. That's the time to put the device away and start thinking where a container that size might be hidden.

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Actually, todays episode was our third time out. First time, we found the cache. Second time, it was a DNF. Third time out we found two more. So, it has had it's ups and downs. I guess we'll get better at finding them.

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Actually, todays episode was our third time out. First time, we found the cache. Second time, it was a DNF. Third time out we found two more. So, it has had it's ups and downs. I guess we'll get better at finding them.

Bingo! Practice makes perfect... well, maybe not perfect....

 

You need to work on your "geosense". Once you have established it, you can just walk right up to (some of) the caches.

 

One little hint: never forget to look UP ↑

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Went out on a find today. Spent a considerable amount of time looking for the cache. Turned out, we never did find the thing. When I logged in to log out the find, I noticed that the last three finders did not find the cache also.

 

Question: I used my ipad with a downloaded app, geocache. This is a pretty nice app. Wondered out close a person coould come to the cache to find it. I also had my Nuvi Garmin GPS using the 'where am I' feature. Still no luck.

 

Any suggestions anyone can give would certainly be appreciated.

 

I can't remember how the "where am I" deal functions on a nüvi. I have actually used my nüvi 760 a couple of times to find caches when I was somewhere without my 78S and wanted to search. I held my finger down over the signal strength indicator (upper left on my unit) and it switched to the satellite page. Then I had to wander around and watch the coordinates change until they matched the cache coordinates. It was cumbersome but it worked.

 

For the most part I tend to cache while on vacation anymore rather than locally. When I travel I send my pocket query to the 78S for full paperless caching but I also run a freebie macro in GSAK that formats the info nicely and then send it to my nüvi. That gives me the full cache info on the 760 in various colors for description, hint, logs, etc. We tend to use the nüvi for cache info and then use the 78S to actually locate the cache. In a pinch though, as I said above, I have used the nüvi itself to find caches. It's just not nearly as easy as following the arrow. :rolleyes:

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Stay away from micros at first. Concentrate on small and up. Most important, don't rely too much on your GPS. Between your unit's inaccuracy and that of the hider, the cache can be 30,40 or 50+ feet from where your GPS says it is.

Use the spot your GPS indicates as a starting point, but expand your search area if you come up empty at ground zero.Think more about where you would hide something in that general vicinity than what your GPS says.

 

Look for things that don't look quite right, an unnatural looking pile of sticks, bark or rocks. Check out hollow trees or stumps, alongside down trees and rock crevices. If there is metal nearby (guardrails, signs, benches, etc.), consider that it might be attached to the metal object with a magnet. Look inside, under and around these objects.

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Actually, todays episode was our third time out. First time, we found the cache. Second time, it was a DNF. Third time out we found two more. So, it has had it's ups and downs. I guess we'll get better at finding them.

Sounds to me like you're about average for a new cacher. What I hope you learned from your experiences so far is to check the cache page and past logs before you hunt for it. Most times I don't bother going for it if I see 3 DNFs on an easy rated cache.

As has been said, start on the larger, easier rated caches and develop your "geosense" wile finding them. You'll find that very soon, on many caches, you'll start guessing "correctly" where the cache is hidden as you walk up to GZ.

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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 (bent grass, footsteps,etc) 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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I really appreciate the responses. Albeit, I was hoping for more precise approaches. Ie. guaranteed success. Actually, it has been getting easier because each success brings to light another strategy that might produce a find next time. What's nice here is you guys are giving strategies to use that are gems.

 

Thanks, one and all for the info.

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I really appreciate the responses. Albeit, I was hoping for more precise approaches. Ie. guaranteed success. Actually, it has been getting easier because each success brings to light another strategy that might produce a find next time. What's nice here is you guys are giving strategies to use that are gems.

 

Thanks, one and all for the info.

 

What fun would the game be if you were "guaranteed success" every time? It wouldn't be much of a hunt, would it? Over time, you'll get better at it...your finds will far outnumber your DNF's. But even folks with thousands of finds still have DNF's from time to time, either because the cache got muggled, or it's just really a tricky hide, or just because their caching mojo wasn't working that day.

 

Accept that DNF's are part of the game....after you've done this for awhile and seen different types of tricky hides you'll be able to go back to some you've missed and find them with ease

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