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Geocaching huge dissapointment!

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Well I must say we got very excited about the whole geocaching concept, bought all the kit and a gps. We spent the past 2 days searching invain for two caches that I believe are not in-place anymore. @Thunder Dragon we spent just more then a hour unpacking a stone Kern to find nothing, then @Royal Sport we found the old gate and the rocks that look like Stone Henge and again nothing. We are fine with it but the 3 little ones, very disappointed. Is there not some sort of rule that if a cache is not maintained or logged for say 6 months then it is taken off the map? We are now in two minds if we are going to be wasting our time spending the summer trying to find the ones in and around Sabie. <_<

Edited by SaxonMP

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This is a learning experience for you.

 

You should pick lower difficulty caches that have recent finds. You should also read through the description, hints, and logs to determine before hitting the spot where the cache is most likely to be found. You will get better at finding these.

 

Lastly, you shouldn't need to spend that sort of time finding the larger caches. Micros and Nanos maybe... but you should not start off trying to find those, IMO.

 

Try not to be too disruptive to the area you are searching. Imagine what the area would look like if 100 people moved stones for an hour. It would look like an excavation site! :)

 

Remember to have fun, and try to pick the easier large caches first.

 

Shaun

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Interesting... you say they are gone.

 

What makes you so sure that they are "gone"? You did not find it, therefore you do not know it is "gone"... that my friend, is a DNF.

 

'Tis the beast in the game. You don't know where it is and as such, you cannot (rather, should not) assume that it is gone, regardless of how hard you looked. Only a previous finder or the owner (CO) can positively ascertain that a cache is missing.

 

Logging a DNF is the thing to do, not a Needs Maintenance. It is NOT up to you to replace a cache (Thunder Dragon), you can only confuse the situation by placing one while the other really is still there. Pretty much, only the CO can determine whether it is truly missing.

Thunder Dragon was found 9 days before you say it is missing, Royal Sport was found a month prior -- but that is not unexpected to go that long without somebody actually looking for it.

 

It takes some time to develop "geosense" (knowing where to look/what to look for), so bear with it. If it is the little ones you are concerned about... why not find a few without them first? It helps in avoiding their disappointment, and it gives you a "feel" for finding the next.

 

That said... the caches may well be missing. But you are not the person to make that determination. Log a DNF and 'suggest' that you think it is missing.

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This is a learning experience for you.

 

You should pick lower difficulty caches that have recent finds. You should also read through the description, hints, and logs to determine before hitting the spot where the cache is most likely to be found. You will get better at finding these.

 

Lastly, you shouldn't need to spend that sort of time finding the larger caches. Micros and Nanos maybe... but you should not start off trying to find those, IMO.

 

Try not to be too disruptive to the area you are searching. Imagine what the area would look like if 100 people moved stones for an hour. It would look like an excavation site! :)

 

Remember to have fun, and try to pick the easier large caches first.

 

Shaun

@ Shaun,how can you take it for granted that we are being disruptive at a site, we repacked every single stone! I live and farm not more then 5km away from these two sites and have been in the nature conservation industry for over twenty years.

 

@Gitchee-Gummee thanks point taken, if you know the area it is flat grass land with very few stones so to find something that looks like stone henge is not very difficult. A wild fire has passed through the area and the cache was left in a 1lt plastic yoghurt container, I assumed it was burnt. I will now know in future to just log a no find.

O and a last point, I did not replace the cache, I have mailed the owner asking if he would like me to do so as I saw he lives more then a 3 hour drive from the site and says in his bio he only get to our area once a year.

Edited by SaxonMP

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SaxonMP: Good.... just remember, it is not the "find" that is all-important, it is the family experience and doing something together -- whether it is full of success or not.

 

Just go out and do something.... together!

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@Gitchee-Gummee thanks point taken, if you know the area it is flat grass land with very few stones so to find something that looks like stone henge is not very difficult. A wild fire has passed through the area and the cache was left in a 1lt plastic yoghurt container, I assumed it was burnt. I will now know in future to just log a no find.

 

Container appears to have changed based on logs... (so no longer plastic)

The picture dated 29/07/2012 appears to be post fire. (and shows the container)

Have another go ;) (I'd recommend trying a few more before making up your mind)

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Saxon - don't give up yet. It took me quite a while to get my eye in for geocaches. I continue to suffer quite a few DNFs from my own inability. I try to always make the assumption that I'm failing somehow, and not assume the cache is gone. I then log a DNF. This is helpful to a cache owner, and helpful to other cachers. If I see a DNF (or two or three) on a cache of mine, I'll go check up on it and see if it is still there. That allows me to do the needed maintenance. If no one tells me, I can't know it is missing. Similarly, when I plan to go out caching, the first thing I do is check the recent logs. if there are two or three DNFs logged last I will assume that I'll be looking for a while, and will likely not find anything. I consider that if I have a non-cacher with me who will be waiting around for me getting bored and annoyed.

 

There is an option in the lists of caches to highlight "beginner" caches. I've not used it, but that might be a good place to start. Also, checking out favourite points, a find with lots of favorites is more likely to be well maintained. Regular, and Large caches in a non-urban environment are usually easier to find. But not always. Dificulty ratings can be deceptive as the 'rules' about setting them are subjective. I did a difficulty 4 cache this morning that was very easy (for me), but others had trouble finding it. I've logged plenty of DNFs on caches after searching for ages only to have the next day some one log - 'quick find, thanks!'.

 

Personally I enjoy getting out and exploring and if I get a smiley too that is a bonus. With small kids however, I see your disappointment.

 

When I'm at the cache site and stuck, I'll read the logs more carefully, check the clue again (often it makes no sense until you are standing there), check the photo gallery to see if there is a helpful photo, and if all else fails I pull out my phone and call another cacher who I know has found the cache. We call this Phone a Friend (PAF) and while kind of cheating, is useful. Despite what might have felt like negative comments here, we are a very friendly and helpful community in my experience. If there is an event listed in your area I'd recommend going. It is a great way to get to know other cachers face to face.

 

Happy hunting, and I hope it gets easier!

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Hi Saxon MP - keep at it. Some caches are very difficult to find, and until you get "caching eyes" it can be difficult. Just as a trip to the Kruger for city slickers can recult in onyl Impalas being "seen" :)

 

It is part of the fun. If you perservere, you'll soon be a seasoned cacher. We all had our fair share of dissappointments starting - and having kids along for the hunt can be particularly frustrating. A tip - perhaps have one or two nice toys you can "slip in" as you find the cache - because some, once foun d can be very dissappointing for little ones too. Some are amazing! It just takes a bit of luck.

 

If possible, try go along with a more seasoned cacher once or twice too.

 

Hang in there - I can only say the good far out weighe the bad.

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Hi SaxonMP.....don't give up!

 

How old are your kiddies? We started geocaching when our daughter was 2 years old. Our son was born the same year. So now they are 6 and almost 4. They enjoy going out geocaching with us, and particularly with me (because I did a 6 month daily challenge). They have learnt so much with geocaching - it has been the best hobby/sport/pasttime we have chosen as a family. My kids get "OUT" of the house and get exposed to new sights, sounds, textures and smells. This is so important for children, especially in my case as I live in the city. I guess that your kids are exposed to the outdoors, living on a farm - they are very lucky indeed.

 

When we started caching, we struggled a few times but that was due to inexperience, as well as a GPS that did not give a very accurate reading. It was also before the advent of smart phones. We struggled with our first 30 caches, and then decided to get another GPS (handheld/hiking type one) before we went to Cape Town. Thank goodness we did that because the caches in Cape Town are so well hidden with so many different options at GZ! But there are times that a cache's co-ords could be way out!

 

Even though we have cached around South Africa, around the World and have more than 1000 Finds, we STILL struggle to find caches. Just the other day I could not find a cache and when I spoke to the CO he laughed at me and said "Read the Hint!!". I felt very stupid. I still need to find a gap to go out and find that one.

 

But back to our kids .... they don't mind finding nanos, micros or large caches. They seem to enjoy the whole experience and not just the container. They prefer to climb the trees, climb the rocks, investigate the termite mounds, etc. around GZ than what the end container is like. They do love looking though and get rather annoyed when one of us adults find it before they do. Sometimes they can moan though "Oh no, not another geocache"...but then before we have even got close to GZ they are having so much fun and then complain when we need to leave again. I sometimes battle to figure out why they complain or why they can't be pleased, yet at the next moment they are as happy as can be and loving the caching. Weird, these little people.

 

For me personally, it is about the journey and the experience on the way to and at the cache, that makes it so worthwhile. Even a seemingly insignificant hide, can mean so much to me because I experienced something special or unforgettable along the way or at the hide. This was particularly so overseas. An example at one of the local ones, was one of the caches I did on the West Rand with the kids. It was at a MacDonald's drive through, and a nano. It was hectic with so many muggles and a strange place to hide a cache. While I was retrieving the cache, my kids looked up into the sky and saw a Kulula airplane flying quite low. They got so excited - they love planes. They also learnt in which direction the planes come in to Lanseria Airport. That was in February 2011 - more than a year ago - yet they still talk about it today!

 

Perhaps you need to explain things to your kids more and involve them more too - perhaps they have made to "expect" something specific and then get disappointed when their expectations have not been met? I don't know for sure - just guessing - you know best as their parents.

 

I would give as many caches a go as possible - whether found or not. Remember, to look for something that is "out of place"....reading previous logs helps to get some clues too. And the best thing is to PAF (Phone A Friend), so email some cachers if you see their logs showing up frequently and ask if you can exchange contact numbers. Email CO (Cache Owners) too - ask them if you can call them for help. Your are welcome to give either of us a call - if you see that GEO936 has found it B);) . Once you get more into it, you will become more and more familiar with the way people hide their caches and the way caches are hidden in general.

 

Good luck!

 

Warm regards

Silvia of GEO936

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