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Useless Hints

Jamie Z

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I think this one qualifies not because it's completely useless, but it's a friggin' novel. This hint, in its entirety is encrypted on the cache page. I sure wouldn't want to have to decode this one by hand:


"You can follow the route to the cache that the U.S. Geological Survey folks followed in 1973 (and probably later as well), the same route that my sister and I followed. From Interstante 15, exit at the Littlefield Beaver Dam exit. Go north along highway 91 for only a few hundred feet on the north side of the freeway. Immediately turn left, going southwest on the paved frontate road for about 0.8 miles. Where the paved road makes a sharp bend towards the north, turn left onto a dirt road and go west. Continue on that same main dirt road westward or northwestward for about 4.25 miles. At the four-way intersection, turn right and go north (most traffic does this, so it makes it almost look like the road makes a near-90 degree turn north). Keep following this main road north and west for about 11.7 miles. Be aware that for about 3.5 miles along the road northward, it curves west (as a small, less traveled road keeps going north - ignore it and keep on the most trafficed road), so follow the main traveled road as it curves and heads generally west for about 3.8 miles, then once again curves north 4.4 miles (again, ignoring less traveled offshooting roads). By this time, you should reach a fence that crosses the road, running diagonally from the northwest to the southeast. Follow the road that follows the fence on the south side of the fence, follow it southeast as far as you can until either you cannot go any farther, or your GPS points to the north or northeast where you're at. Park, and hike the last bit. We were able to get within 750-800 feet of the corner. Next to the survey marker are other fence lines. You may find a road to get you even closer. I don't know. We didn't take time to explore alternative routes. The routes we took are visible on the USGS quad maps, as is the diagonal fence line, although the maps do NOT show a road along the south side of the fence."





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icon_biggrin.gif My favorite from a cache near Sedona Arizona. 'Under the nearest Rock'.

Have you been to Sedona? It's all rocks.

On the lighter side, I was leading a discussion for a group of Boy Scouts on Geocching, and one of the Troop Leaders asked if it was possible to have a cache that you didn't necessarily need a GPS for, I told him that there were several people who regularly find them without GPSr's.

So I put one together that can be found with or without a GPS. The hint isn't too easy, but the decrypted code nails it.

It's called Cetacean Station, which nails the location for my area, we have only one "Whale Park', it's a viewing area where humpbacks regulary cruise through on their way to a nearby fjord-like body of water to feed.


"There's no need to be afraid of strange noises in the night. Anything that intends you harm will stalk you silently."

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Originally posted by Criminal:

"The fallen log points the way"


ARGGGGG!! There are at least 12 fallen logs pointing 24 different ways! icon_mad.gif




That's funny, I hunted that same cache (left a Rockwell pencil) I had pretty bad sat signal. It was the 3rd log that led the way for me. I slipped and dadgum near broke my butt (still has a crack in it) walking down the slimey first log I thought 'led the way'. Then to top it off, there was a SLUG on the zipper of the log bag INSIDE the cache container, yech.


The least helpful clue I've seen is :


'If you view the mountain from the bench on the trail, you are with in a few step from the cache'. (typo's where in the hint) (turned out to be 15' away on the other side of the trail).


I mentioned in the log that the clue was no help, and the hider changed it, to an exact description of where the cache was, although when I was hunting for it, it had already been plundered, and I had looked all over where it was hidden. Even saw search-sign.



If trees could scream, would we still cut them down?

Well, maybe if they screamed all the time, for no reason.

Click here for my Geocaching pictures


[This message was edited by martmann on April 26, 2003 at 02:24 AM.]

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In the 35 caches I've found so far, I have seen many bad clues. The worst so far was this weekend, which stated that the cache is at the base of a tree. However, there were HUNDREDS of trees in that location. Making things worse was that it came at the end of a long multi-stage cache that took a few hours, and I came away empty handed.

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Here is one I decrypted recently:


Additional Hints (Encrypt)


Don't try to park at the park unless you are a Stamford resident. Go past park and stop near tennis court.



How would you like to decrypt this AFTER you payed your ticket and got your car back from the impound?


[This message was edited by juliamark on May 14, 2003 at 09:22 PM.]

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I went on caching with friends recently and we decrypted the following clue:


Located in a group of evergreen trees in the Tree Plantation part of the park.


There were literally hundreds of groups of evergreen trees. Sheesh, thanks a lot! Someone even commented after finding it: "I mean really, under a tree in a tree plantation?" icon_razz.gif



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tried to get a FTF on a cache the other week that had a riddle in the cache description- something like 'what runs but never walks' etc. The anser was in the hint (a river). The cache location was about .3 miles from a river...the riddle was just for our amusement and it and the hint had nothing to do with the cache...It really threw us off and we never found the cache. The hider has since removed the riddle from the cache page. Geesh.


Happy Halloween

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Originally posted by laogai:

I was just wondering, each cache has to be approved before it’s posted at CG.com. So why don’t the approver check the hints?


Greetings, Christof

-Please do excuse my bad English, my Chinese is slightly better!-


Since hints are not required this probably isn't a priority.



Wherever you go there you are.

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Originally posted by Renegade Knight:

Originally posted by laogai:

I was just wondering, each cache has to be approved before it’s posted at CG.com. So why don’t the approver check the hints?


Since hints are not required this probably isn't a priority.

You are partly right. Hints are checked by the approvers. Many of us will move or remove the obviously lame hints, but it's not always easy to know what lame is. In the middle of a grove of trees, at the base of a tree is lame. In the middle of a field, at the base of a tree is a dead give away to where the cache is.

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At the base of a pine tree could be useful even if there are several pines around among other trees. At least it cuts down some possibilities.


I have used Under a big fir, in a crevice. as a hint, although there must be more than one spots filling those requirements in the vicinity. However, I suppose people who come searching for that cache carry a GPSr with them, which probably points somewhere close to that certain fir, if not straight to it. I mean, I don't want to write dead giveaway hints (although I'm afraid I've done that too). There must be some challenge, even after decoding the hint.


My favourite useless hint?


It's very hot and humid on Phuket island.


Gee, like I didn't notice that, sweating on the printout.icon_cool.gif I mean, man, I had stayed in Thailand for couple of days already (like probably the most people coming to search that cache), I didn't need an encrypted hint to tell me that.icon_rolleyes.gif The cache appeared to be stolen and was later archived.


- I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory. -

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I've used riddles before. Didn't have any complaints. I don't use riddles anymore. I like the way Kodaks4 uses a section of the hint for nudges and another for spoilers. You can read only part of the hint or all of it as a spoiler.


This was mine. "Second cache is a film canister cradled between twins. The third cache is in one that looks like nine."

The film canister was between a pair or conjoined saplings. The third was in a tree that starts as one and turns into nine trees. Well it looked like nine different trees from a distance.

I thought the hint would be self evident when you approached the location.


I did a cache recently that I complained about the riddle hint. I logged a didn't find. The cache was in a park above a monastery/school. There was a fence at the edge of a retaining wall that lowered down to the school yard.

The hint was "If you're up, go down, if you're down, look up."

The cache may have been down in the retaining wall near some stairs about 65 feet from the coordinates. I didn't feel good about going down into the school yard so I wrote this one off.



Pepper playing nice!


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my complaint about the riddle was that it didn't have anything to do with the cache placement or location. It was just there for fun but it looked like it was meant as a hint for the seeker. Otherwise, I don't have a problem with the hint being a riddle, as long as it is about something relevant to seeking the cache.


Happy Halloween

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Originally posted by Woof!:

my complaint about the riddle was that it didn't have anything to do with the cache placement or location. It was just there for fun but it looked like it was meant as a hint for the seeker. Otherwise, I don't have a problem with the hint being a riddle, as long as it is about something relevant to seeking the cache.


Happy Halloween


Hey Woof! As the FTF on our first hidden cache, I'd like to know if you used the hint. I was gonna just write something like "has magnets. overlooks highway." But Willow wouldn't allow it and made up a little poem/riddle to make it sound better. If you used it, I hope it made sense! icon_smile.gif



Team Kender - "The Sun is coming up!" "No, the horizon is going down."

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i didn't use the hint to find it because the coords were right on, but I looked at it when I was logging the find and remember reflecting to myself that it was a good hint icon_wink.gif Gets you close if your totaly lost, but doesn't hold your hand. I appreciated the work that went into making the cache too, the watermark on the log pages was cool.


Happy Halloween

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Originally posted by Commander X:

I like the hint riddles. Two that come to mind, from the same cache hider. "What do Ruffles have" and "Alex Haley"


Adds a little something extra.


Holy cow! X gives drat19 some props!! Thankyouthankyouverymuch.


-Dave R. in Biloxi

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as previously posted by Bassoonpilot:

My hints were pretty short and to the point, and my reaction to all the whining and complaining was exactly the opposite of yours: I went to all of my cache pages and immediately removed all hints.


Since then I have archived all of my caches, but I plan on placing new caches soon in many of the same general areas. And except for any expressly "family" or "kids" caches, all be of the good old "here are the coordinates, go find it" variety with no extraneous information or hints, and I'll probably only provide coordinates to two decimal places.


I'm really sick and tired of all the whining and complaining.


Wow...Looks like I won't be hunting down anymore of your caches icon_frown.gif This is sad to say, the first cache we ever found was one of yours planted for your daughter up in Rifle Camp Pk.


I have noticed your MOC cache which just so happens to be around the corner from my house, it is listed with a two digit coordinate. I been there, I looked over the bridge to see the location and in all honesty, it's not for me. Then again, it looks as though its not for anyone else either...last finder was in January.


Oh well...theres still over 1700 caches within 100 miles of my home base so it's not like I will be running out any time soon.



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Some really usless hints around and I am guilty of it too. here is a sample of my useless hints...


From Cache GCB9A2


Swampgecko is into recycling so this cache page has been recycled from a rejected cache............


From Cache GCG0P2


One of the NSW cachers now works on "Camp MacKay"... Guess who.......


From Cache GCEA21


Clues? Well if you insist............second thoughts...no... NO CLUES for you!!!!


Well looks like I'll be redoing some clues now... like for every cache I have out.

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I don't know what all the fuss is about. Any cacher worth their salt can read ROT-13 as if it were their native language. icon_wink.gif


But seriously, one hint I recall was on my 2nd ever cache find. After decoding several lines of useful information in the blistering heat, it ended with:

"Remember to wave to your fellow cachers if you see them!"

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I paste this verbatim from the description of a cache in our area. At least you're warned in advance that it won't be of any use in the field:


(Link to photos of the cache and maps, etcicon_smile.gif uggc://jjj.qhfglwnpxrg.pbz/pnpurf/p01_bvtw/vaqrk.ugzy


As an example of the other end of the spectrum, see the hint for GC2C14. (I'd paste the hint here, but it's another one of those novels.) I've been on The Mall in DC only twice and have never hunted this cache, but I can tell you to the building where it's located. Even if I couldn't, this particular building is large enough that if you're using a GPSr, you're not going to miss it. (No, it's not that building. And that one's not actually on The Mall, And those two are technically monuments, not buildings. Stop guessing. :-) Why the cache owners felt compelled to encrypt five paragraphs of history and trivia about this particular building is beyond me.


All this being said, I'm going to have to go back and look at the clues we've used on *our* caches....

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Im on Blodgett Peak looking for The Chinese Connection Cache as I'm standing three feet up on two rocks I begin to look for my next step and see three feet of Diamonback Rattler in a loop below me in the sagebrush. This thing was four inches aroun in size, so I go back up onto the trail and throw a rock at it and six feet of snake comes out in a loop and goes back into the rock, Man I'm glad I moved. And after I posted on the cache site I get a review not to hurt the wildlife, like I'm supposed to let it hug my leg and bite me, I don;t think so!!!!!!! icon_mad.gif


I'll be watching for you from within the trees, or a cave, or under a rock, or on top of a Butte, Mesa, or a Bluff. And car lockouts are high priced and merciful on the trailhead if I have my tools, lol.

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As much as I enjoy the outdoors, I don't understand why people get so riled at shooing away a rattlesnake? All you did was throw bunch of rocks at it to coax it away. It's not as if you took an axe and chopped it's head off.


You did the right thing. If anyone tells you different, tell them to go pet/snuggle up next to a rattlesnake and then tell me how cute it was!

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I now save the unencripted version of long clues on the laptop so my wife can go back to the jeep and tell me the clue via frs. I find that the description etc take up enough of the page that I can save witout seeing it before hand. I take encripted copies of the one or 2 line clues with me.


As to being able to read rot13 lol ya I can now read some words "the" "rock" etc ;o)


My 3 hides,

bad, "X marks the spot to go shopping."

it was at the base of 2 trees that crossed if you stood so that looking through the x you could see the shoping mall the cache was allmost plain sight.


good <I hope>

just south of the ladder.

it was just south of a Fish Ladder. ;o)


and. mine


using both should put you on top of it. And I checked around to make sure it was the only stump in 30' if you unecript with a comp your loss in the field you get the coice of how much help you want. I wish others would 2 part the clues with the second being a hand holder. I sometimes use the clue to reduce the damage to plants.


Pat Patterson

Garmin 12XL

82CJ7 & 79F250

Herd of Turtles 4x4 club

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I know everyone is different about the sport. I personally hate stupid hints that don't have any true purpose. I think that if some places a cache that has a below 2.5 overall difficulty that it should at least contain decent hints. Those are the caches that people go with their families to find more often than not.


Personally in the caches I have hide, I give a lot of detail in the hint section. Even past that I usually place more details, or at least semi spoiler photos on my web site. Now if I place one that I want to be harder than a 2.5 then I might skip a little on the detail as to make it harder.


I think another issue past the hints is the fact that on some of the hunts I have been the placer would rate the cache as a 1.5, and my crew would comb the area and not find it. And then get that infamous "too easy for a hint" hint. We would leave with a not found, and then come back at a later time and comb the area again only to eventually find the cache hidden under brush way out of sight. I think a lot of people rate caches on too much of a varying scale. I for one would like to see standards listed for rating cache overall difficulty.



Pardon me Sir, but there is a Wild GeoCache in this area.


www.neurocache.com - NeuroNomad & Sublonde's Page

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For me, the hint that made me go OMG was this:

Located just a few feet off of the trail. Beside a bush in plain view
If I threw a handful of pennies into the air, they'd most likely hit a bush on the way down. And which trail? We saw at least 4 trails criss crossing the area. Ignoring that, this was probably one of my favorite caches. It's a great park and I was glad for a chance to get there again.
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For me, the hint that made me go OMG was this:

Located just a few feet off of the trail. Beside a bush in plain view
If I threw a handful of pennies into the air, they'd most likely hit a bush on the way down. And which trail? We saw at least 4 trails criss crossing the area. Ignoring that, this was probably one of my favorite caches. It's a great park and I was glad for a chance to get there again.


Who needs the gym when you geocache?

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After hiking to a cache and spending half an hour searching the side of a steeply graded hill without any luck,...I decryped the following hint:


"It's where you would find a cache"


I was so mad I screamed! Hundreds of trees, rocks, and logs all around, and this was my clue?!?!?


Was a no-find, to say the least!


Ed (of Ed & Julie)

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My personal favorite (has appeared on at least two different caches in my area now): "under broom plant". Those of you that have been 'caching on the southern end of Vancouver Island will recognize this as just about as useful as a tanker-truck load of sailboat fuel. Roughly equivalent to going onto an army base and saying "I want to talk to Joe, he has short hair and wears a uniform". icon_rolleyes.gif

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Well you should have seen my first cache placement. I had just found my first cache and decided to place one. And me still being a newb, I gave a DETAILED hint. So detailed, I believe it was like 4 or 5 sentences long telling you EXACTLY where the cache was! Haha. I realized my "newbish" mistake after a while and chopped it down to a helpful but somewhat cryptic clue.

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not really useless.... just crryptic

I stand tall, one of the tallest in my line, and definatly the last, my grave has already been dug and I have two feet in it. My job is to protect and stand tall against those who will try to cross me. To find the cache you will have to get me to take off my cap. only then will the cache spew forth.


this cache requires you to bring water, about 7.3 kilos


icon_wink.gif Now where did I set my GPS??? icon_wink.gifplanetrobert.net

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I'm glad I decrypted this one ahead of time:


When you get to N40 58.999 W073 54.723 ..look for a dead tree on the right side of the trail,Its kmow more then 20 feet tall.ITs still standing but its top is cutoff. The cache is in the tree.Please cover it up well when you find it,From the tree,you can see a yellow exit sign oN the parkway......MORE INFO...sinse I put this cache out,,,things have changed,,,here is a note from TRIXIEGRIME...WHO FOUND THIS CACHE,,,Hey Bill, Your PIP cache was found by me and another cacher today. But in a fallen 20 foot tree. You might want to amend the description a bit. We placed it back in the stump that is left of the same tree. Had to poke around for a while to find it. Was quite funny, cuz we knew our GPS's were guiding us to that spot but there was no standing 20 dead tree. ...ok SEEMS MY TREE CAME DOWN...TY TRIXIEGRIME


"You can't make a man by standing a sheep on his hind legs. But by standing a flock of sheep in that position, you can make a crowd of men" - Max Beerbohm

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Took both barrels in the chest on this one on a brutal Texas Summer day:


Hints, eh? Okay, it is inside the Park boundaries. It is relatively close to one of the Park boundaries. It is in between two sections of the trail, where it makes one of its multitude of loops around. It is not in a open/grassy area. The closest parking area coordinates are: N33 15.649 W096 39.006 and the lot is approximately 40-50 feet higher ground than the cache location. Becareful, and a compass is a good idea if you follow the trail around to the nearby area of the cache, for the trail does a lot of switching around and unless you really understand the coordinate system to determine directions for traveling to the waypoint/cache, the compass might be a big help. It is in the base of a with many branches at ground level. From the cache location, if you look closely, you can see one of the tall grass open areas that the trail passes through, to your west. That's all the hints!!



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