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Rosie_Posie

Hide my first cache

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Hello all! First time posting in the forums, although I have been reading discussions basically since I started geocaching! I have just reached my 50th find! Woot! And it has me thinking that I would like to contribute to this game/sport that I have come to love! I would like to hide my first geocache! But I want to make sure I do things right! I have read all of the guidelines posted on the website. I tried searching for a similar topic, but did not find one right away... So here is my question:

 

Before I just run out in the woods and hide a cache (following all of the Geocaching guidelines of course), I wanted any suggestions/advice from the cachers that have been around a while. What do you look for in a great cache? What makes it great? What are some common "rookie" mistakes that first-time hiders make? I am especially looking for suggestions regarding how to judge the difficulty of a cache, how to determine how much of a "hint" I should give for a cache.... And any other general advice.

 

My plan right now is to hide a cache somewhere on one of the trails at a local park. I have looked online and there is only one other cache in the entire park and it hasn't been found in over a year. (I am actually thinking that it should be archived soon, but that's besides the point.) Once I get a better idea of what I want to do and how I want to do it, I will be going to the park manager to ask permission before I do anything else.

 

Thanks for the advice!

Edited by Rosie_Posie

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It is a great time to hide a cache for you. What I look for in a cache is a nice big container and the location is nice and friendly or teaches you somthing. The difficulty rating is mostly a stab in the dark. Just give it your best guess. Have more questions? Feel free to PM or email me.

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The difficulty rating is mostly a stab in the dark. Just give it your best guess. Have more questions? Feel free to PM or email me.

 

Um, no. This is one of the things that aggravate people: inaccurately rated caches.

 

One would be well-advised to read the submission form's guide for ratings.

 

Help Center → Hiding a Geocache → Review Process: Hiding a Geocache

1.10. Ratings for Difficulty and Terrain

 

http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=82

 

Geocache Rating System

 

http://www.geocaching.com/hide/rate.aspx

 

One common "rookie" mistake is to not actually place the cache before submission of the listing. People think they will have time to physically place the cache before it's published and they got caught out when the review process takes only nano-seconds. Then the herd of seekers go charging out to find it, only to be denied a find.

 

Another common "rookie" mistake is bad coordinates.

 

These mistakes get you a reputation among your local cachers.

 

 

 

B.

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On the cache creation page, when you get to the part where you give the difficulty and terrain, there will be a link to a guide which will help you by answering some simple yes/no questions. You don't HAVE to use the results if you think the real D/T rating is different for some reason, but it's a good place to start.

 

Just make sure you use a durable, waterproof container that will not leak. Standard Tupperware, Gladware, etc. is not waterproof. Ammo cans and Lock & Locks work well. In general, use the largest container that can be securely hidden at the location....nobody wants to hunt for a nano in the woods.

 

Also, make sure you get the most accurate coordinates you can. Visit the site on at least 3-4 different occasions and average out your readings for best accuracy.

 

One final aesthetic point....select a location that people would want to visit even if there wasn't a cache there. A nice scenic spot, a little park hardly anyone knows about, a historic location or something like that. The dumpster behind Walgreen's is no one's idea of a cool spot.

 

If you take time and care getting coordinates, use an appropriate container, select a cool location, and commit to ongoing maintenance and respond to problems promptly, you should have a successful cache that people will enjoy hunting. Good luck!

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What do you look for in a great cache? What makes it great? What are some common "rookie" mistakes that first-time hiders make? I am especially looking for suggestions regarding how to judge the difficulty of a cache, how to determine how much of a "hint" I should give for a cache.... And any other general advice.

 

For me, first thing that makes a great cache would be a pleasant location. Some pleasant locations that I like include: forests, a pleasant spot near a body of water (pond, lake, stream, etc.), natural area in a park away from people.

Second thing, a swag size water-tight quality container big enough for a logbook (not logsheet), pencil and a few small pieces of geoswag.

 

It's great that you're asking about difficulty ratings. Groundspeak has a help page with a link to the Ratings calculator. There's a link to the Ratings calculator on the online submission form as well.

For me the Terrain rating matters a lot and I really appreciate an accurate rating. For instance a rating 2 means I can expect that there will be no steep hills anywhere along the way or at ground zero and I won't need to climb to get to the cache (both feet can stay on the ground). Also I appreciate the use of attributes. Lots don't use them, but there are some of us who do and rely on them when we set PQs.

 

Regarding hints. It's nice when hiders provide a hint that helps find the cache. If there's no need for a hint (the description provides enough information) do not put anything in the hint field.

 

I'm sure you'll enjoy cache ownership since you're putting so much thought into creating a good experience.

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Thanks for the replies! Glad to hear that there are some guidelines when I start filling out the forms about the terrain and difficulty ratings! I will probably spend the next week scoping out a spot and putting my cache together. So it won't be until next week that I actually place the cache and fill out the forms. If anyone has any other thoughts or advice for my first cache hide, feel free to post! Love lots of advice!

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If you want to write the cache's GC number on the container or the log (not required but always a good idea), you can start making a cache page at any time (just use rough coordinates for now). As soon as you start a listing a GC code will be assigned. However, your listing will not go to the reviewer for publication until you check the Enable box. So you can take your time refining your coordinates, polishing up the cache page, etc., then only submit it when you have everything ready and the cache in place ready to be found.

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If you want to write the cache's GC number on the container or the log (not required but always a good idea), you can start making a cache page at any time (just use rough coordinates for now). As soon as you start a listing a GC code will be assigned. However, your listing will not go to the reviewer for publication until you check the Enable box. So you can take your time refining your coordinates, polishing up the cache page, etc., then only submit it when you have everything ready and the cache in place ready to be found.

 

I am SOOO glad you told me this!!!!! This is great! I was just thinking about how I wish I could start working on it, but was worried about it being published before it was ready! You are awesome! You read my mind! :-)

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If the other cache in the park hasn't been found for one year than you could contact the owner and ask if he wants to keep this cache. If not, he can archive this one. That's really important, because (i think you know it because you read the guidelines) you need 0,1 miles (160 meters) distance from your cache to any other cache. Maybe you can find a cool place in the park and write a little story about it (sth. like a bridge or a statue). Lots of cachers like stories around the cache and may give you a favorite point. Also, it is important to find a save hide for the cache, so that muggles can't access the box. But you know the guidelines of Groundspeak, that's really important to hide a cache, so you must be prepared enough to go out an hide it. Have Fun! Greetings from Germany!

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Consider the impact your cache placement might have on the location and surrounding environment.

 

For example, place the cache where there's tall grass = a cacher's trail right to it develops as the grass gets trampled down - makes it easier to find - by both cachers and muggles.

 

Place a cache up a steep bank of soft earth can lead to considerable erosion as people scramble around to get to it - especially in/after wet weather.

 

Caches placed close to houses or other overlooked locations can make for uncomfortable searching and also concerned observers who wonder what's going on with all these new people suddenly prowling around their neighbourhood.

 

Consider how people are going to re-hide your cache - ideally you should make it easy for them to re-hide it well by ensuring there's plenty of camouflage / cover to hand that makes it easy to re-hide quickly. Expect someone to remove many items of camouflage to get to your cache and you can probably bank on them not spending the time to put every piece back again - especially if it's in an area where they are likely to be muggled.

 

Try to make the hide blend with the surroundings - a cache covered by a carefully arranged pile of perpendicular sticks - sticks out like a sore thumb.

 

Try to balance the Difficulty of your hide sympathetically with the environment. A very difficult hide in a location where intense searching could cause damage is probably highly undesirable - such a location would be better suited to a more easily found cache. Try to save more difficult hides for areas where intense searching wouldn't negatively impact on the surroundings.

Edited by Team Microdot

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Looking at making our first hide in the next week or so. I see a lot of people making the FTF. Is it traditional to always place a FTF coin in the cache? What do you do if you are hiding a nano vs. a larger cache to take note of those FTFinders?

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Looking at making our first hide in the next week or so. I see a lot of people making the FTF. Is it traditional to always place a FTF coin in the cache? What do you do if you are hiding a nano vs. a larger cache to take note of those FTFinders?

 

It's not necessary to include a "prize" for the FTF. Some hiders do and if you want to that's great, but it doesn't have to be a coin or any other particular item. It could be just a nicer bit of swag than the rest of the trade items in your cache. A coin would be great, an unactivated TB tag would be cool too.

 

As far as nanos go, no one really expects to get a prize for being the first to find a nano. There's no expectation of any reward or prize on micros, apart from bragging rights. But again, if you want to offer a FTF prize to the finder, that's up to you. You could just mention that in the cache page and make other arrangements to get the prize to the successful finder.

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Looking at making our first hide in the next week or so. I see a lot of people making the FTF. Is it traditional to always place a FTF coin in the cache? What do you do if you are hiding a nano vs. a larger cache to take note of those FTFinders?

FTF is a seperate game played by some, not by others. I like to put a FTF prize but there is nothing that says you must or even should. I feel that the FTF Hounds want that First Find Claim and really don't care about a prize. :blink:

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Looking at making our first hide in the next week or so. I see a lot of people making the FTF. Is it traditional to always place a FTF coin in the cache? What do you do if you are hiding a nano vs. a larger cache to take note of those FTFinders?

 

It's not necessary to include a "prize" for the FTF. Some hiders do and if you want to that's great, but it doesn't have to be a coin or any other particular item. It could be just a nicer bit of swag than the rest of the trade items in your cache. A coin would be great, an unactivated TB tag would be cool too.

 

As far as nanos go, no one really expects to get a prize for being the first to find a nano. There's no expectation of any reward or prize on micros, apart from bragging rights. But again, if you want to offer a FTF prize to the finder, that's up to you. You could just mention that in the cache page and make other arrangements to get the prize to the successful finder.

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Thank you for the reply still trying to learn everything! This helped a lot :D

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Looking at making our first hide in the next week or so. I see a lot of people making the FTF. Is it traditional to always place a FTF coin in the cache? What do you do if you are hiding a nano vs. a larger cache to take note of those FTFinders?

 

It's not necessary to include a "prize" for the FTF. Some hiders do and if you want to that's great, but it doesn't have to be a coin or any other particular item. It could be just a nicer bit of swag than the rest of the trade items in your cache. A coin would be great, an unactivated TB tag would be cool too.

 

 

What do you think would be nice swag for the first to find? I want to set up my first cache with good stuff for people. And I was thinking I wanted a good mix of children's things and more adult things as well. But for the FTF what are some examples of cool things for whoever gets there first?

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What do you think would be nice swag for the first to find? I want to set up my first cache with good stuff for people. And I was thinking I wanted a good mix of children's things and more adult things as well. But for the FTF what are some examples of cool things for whoever gets there first?

Not SWAG or a "gift"... but a virgin log book/sheet would be dandy. Isn't the FTF good enough, itself?

I don't see the object of bribing somebody to be the first to find a cache.

 

SWAG is just that -- Stuff We All Get.

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What do you think would be nice swag for the first to find? I want to set up my first cache with good stuff for people. And I was thinking I wanted a good mix of children's things and more adult things as well. But for the FTF what are some examples of cool things for whoever gets there first?

Not SWAG or a "gift"... but a virgin log book/sheet would be dandy. Isn't the FTF good enough, itself?

I don't see the object of bribing somebody to be the first to find a cache.

 

SWAG is just that -- Stuff We All Get.

 

Oh ok, I see. I've never been a FTF and never really tried to be since I only recently started. So I just wasn't sure what the "norm" was when setting up a cache.

 

Ok so let me rephrase the question. :) Generally speaking, for any cacher who finds the chache, what are some good items to start the cache with for trading? You have to start it with something right? In order for people to be able to trade items...

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If I'm starting a Regular sized cache I'll probably go to the local dollar store and pick up a few inexpensive items. For kids (let's face it, the "treasure" aspect appeals more to the kids than to adults), temp tattoos, silly bandz, Hot Wheels cars, just about any little thing you can find in the toy aisle. For adults, carabiners are handy....a small flashlight, compass, first aid kit, micro cache container like a Bison tube or match container...anything that someone out afield (such as a Geocacher) might find useful.

 

I've found things like insect repellant wipes and lotions, hand sanitizer, etc. also. Very handy but it's not always a good ideation put liquids in a cache. They can break open and spill, and anything with a scent (not just food.....NEVER put food items, candy, etc. in a cache) can attract animals. The caches I've found with such items have usually been OK but if they have are of the "scented" variety they could present a problem, depending on the location.

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Bubbles are a very, very BAD thing to put in caches.

 

Candles, especially scented ones, are also bad.

 

Here are two recent threads about what type of swag people put in caches:

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=311481

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=312113

 

And Geocaching 101 has some do's and don'ts of swag:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/guide/default.aspx

 

 

 

B.

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