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Just starting out....questions


Landry B
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I've skimmed through the forums multiple times and read many posts. There are still a few things I can't quite wrap my brain around, so I'm putting it out there for you more seasoned geocachers.

 

1. What sort of signature items can you make from home, or get at the store that might be unique? The little wooden nickels, business cards, all sound cool enough, but quite honestly I'm getting out there now and I don't want to wait 2 weeks before something comes in the mail, thereby missing the opportunity of leaving a sig item in a lot of places early on. Any ideas?

 

2. Trackables - It seems to be pretty divided amongst people whether to use these or not, as I hear lots of stories of them getting lost, etc so I can't see spending too much on these. But if you wanted to have a few out there, could you just go down to Petsmart/Petco and get a few custom/trackable dog tags and then attach them to something (action figure, etc)? Surely someone has done this?

 

3. On peoples profiles I see a "Souvenirs" tab....are these the equivalent to badges on Foursquare?

 

4. Is there a special forum dedicated to members introducing, and telling the community about themselves?

 

5. How many of you record (via photos or video) each cache you find?

 

Thanks in advance for your feedback...

Edited by Landry B
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1. What small items would you like to make? Clay or paracord or hand-lettered wooden nickels for example? But don't miss an opportunity, go ahead and place an item whenever you like, in a previously found cache.

 

2. It's not unusual for items placed in caches to be lost. You can make your own item and request that it “travel”, but in that case you'll need to design your own tracking method. Maybe request an email when someone finds/places it. I won't advise you to use a pet store engraved tag, since they cost more than a Travel Bug dogtag, and you'd still need to buy the tracking number. Plus their machine automatically engraves a "Petco" logo :surprise:! I've placed items similar to what you describe (they're individually numbered signature items), and rarely see any mention of people finding them, but when they do write, they're confused. :anicute:

 

3. I don't know what the badges are on Foursquare. Here's some Help Center info.

 

4. There are regional forums here (listed further down in here), regional online forums run independently, and social media sites.

 

5. I take pictures of particularly memorable caches or places.

Edited by kunarion
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1. Signature items can be anything you want them to be...some artsy crafty types like to create their own, some get them custom made, some just buy a whole lot of something from the dime store and put them in caches (marbles, silly bandz, stuff like that) Personal coins and Pathtags are also popular signature items, but pricey. Depends how "personal" you want it to be, and how much you want to spend. Maybe make it relevant to some other hobby or activity you are into, something that says something about you.

 

2. Trackables do often go missing, so spending a lot of money on one is taking a risk. Mostly they go missing because some newer players don't know what a trackable is and take them as trade items. Or sometimes they log the retrieve as they should but then it goes in the bottom of their caching bag for months till they forget they have it. In short, don't put anything out there you're not willing to lose :ph34r:

 

You can hang any Petco dog tag on any item, but you do have to be issued a tracking code from Groundspeak for it to be trackable on Geocaching.com. The easiest way to do this is just to purchase how ever many Travel Bug dog tags you need from Groundspeak. You can just bulk purchase the numbers without the tags, I think, and mark those numbers on any item you wish to make it trackable. But the number has to be obtained (read "purchased") from Groundspeak for it to be trackable here.

 

3. I'm not familiar with Foursquare. However, Souvenirs are just "badges", as you described, that you receive for certain accomplishments....Every time you log a cache in a new state, for example, you get a Souvenir for that state. They also issue them for, say, finding a cache on a particular date or attending a particular event. There are a lot of different things that Souvenirs are issued for.

 

4. I think there is a "Meet and Greet" thread in the Getting Started forum

 

5. Lots of people take and post pictures of the caches they find. I don't know about every single cache (some of them will be pretty boring, be prepared for that), but the cool and interesting ones, sure, I often take pictures at the cache site. Just be VERY careful not to post any pictures that give away the location of the cache, or pictures of the container if it has some very unique camouflage...in short, don't post anything that would be a spoiler and ruin the hunt for others. Cache owners have the right to delete spoiler pictures and posts on their cache pages. Also, DON'T post any pictures of Travel Bugs where the tracking number is visible in the picture! This would allow someone who sees the picture to post logs pertaining to that trackable, including grabbing it from the current holder or dropping/retrieving it in caches. The tracking number is meant to ensure that only someone who has physically had the traveler in their possession is able to log it.

 

Welcome to the obsession! I'm sure you will have other questions as you get out there and get started. I'm glad that you are asking some of these questions first and going out there with some knowledge of what to do (particularly about Trackable etiquette)...so many newbies don't study up first and just head out there not really knowing what they're doing...Most times they do no harm but sometimes the uninformed can unwittingly mess things up and not even know they did it :blink: Good luck!

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Trackables.... you either love 'em or you hate 'em.

Yes, count on them being lost... later if not sooner. But the good part is... just one that does a lot of traveling is really fun.

 

You can do (nearly) anything that you want with a trackable. You do need the assigned tracking code. This is (usually) done by ordering the tags... those are the Travel Bug, your attachment is a "traveler".

But, you needn't stop there... a fair number of folks make themselves into a trackable (via means of a tattoo, T-shirt, cap, backpack or their vehicle itself). The assigned tracking code is the key. You cannot simply conjure up a code of your own, it is assigned when you purchase the tags (or geocoin).

 

Imagination is your only limiting factor.

 

And... don't rush! If two weeks is too long to wait for something you really would like to do/try... maybe this isn't for you. I don't think many here consider this to be a "game" of instant gratification. If you do... think again.

 

You've been a member one day... you've yet got a lot to learn. Reading about it is important... but there is a lot to it that you simply cannot learn just by reading. You need experience to truly learn.

 

Welcome and good luck!

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I've skimmed through the forums multiple times and read many posts. There are still a few things I can't quite wrap my brain around, so I'm putting it out there for you more seasoned geocachers.

 

1. What sort of signature items can you make from home, or get at the store that might be unique? The little wooden nickels, business cards, all sound cool enough, but quite honestly I'm getting out there now and I don't want to wait 2 weeks before something comes in the mail, thereby missing the opportunity of leaving a sig item in a lot of places early on. Any ideas?

 

There's various threads where people discuss making their own sig items. Doing an advanced search of the forums should turn them up.

 

I recall someone who makes friendship bracelets from paracord.

 

It is really up to you and your imagination and skills.

 

2. Trackables - It seems to be pretty divided amongst people whether to use these or not, as I hear lots of stories of them getting lost, etc so I can't see spending too much on these. But if you wanted to have a few out there, could you just go down to Petsmart/Petco and get a few custom/trackable dog tags and then attach them to something (action figure, etc)? Surely someone has done this?

 

If you want the items to be trackable through Groundspeak, you need to purchase the tags from them.

 

There are 2 separate subforums for trackable items, with helpful pinned threads:

 

The Travel Bug

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showforum=9

 

Geocoin Discussions:

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showforum=44

 

3. On peoples profiles I see a "Souvenirs" tab....are these the equivalent to badges on Foursquare?

 

I don't know anything about foursquare.

 

Groundspeak souvenirs are for finding caches or attending events in geographical regions, on special dates, etc.

 

4. Is there a special forum dedicated to members introducing, and telling the community about themselves?

 

There is no special forum, but there is this pinned thread in the Geocaching Topics forum:

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=59735

 

5. How many of you record (via photos or video) each cache you find?

 

I know of a couple of cachers who take photos of themselves with the cache container for every single cache they find.

 

I try to remember to take photos that might be interesting to post the cache or trackable page, but have failed miserably. Maybe that should be our New Year's resolution.

 

A wealth of information can be found in the Help Center:

 

http://support.Groundspeak.com/index.php

 

 

B.

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I try to remember to take photos that might be interesting to post the cache or trackable page, but have failed miserably. Maybe that should be our New Year's resolution.

 

Yeah, I have the same problem....when I'm "in the zone", moving from one cache to the next, I often don't think to stop and take a pic. It's usually not till later, sometimes when I'm back home logging, that I think, hey, that cache was pretty neat, should have taken a pic. I need to try to do a little better at that, slow down a bit.

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I'd suggest play the game for a while and see how it works in the field before worrying too much about personal signature items and trackables. This allows you to see what others use and see what does and doesn't work. It also lets you develop what you could call a "caching personality" letting you choose an item that truly fits the way you cache rather than the first thing you find at the Two Dollar shop.

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I'm sorta' new too but the issue of taking pictures of the cache container, I don't agree with. Most times it'll be a clear plastic container but if you put a lot of time and energy into creating a clever hide and then someone takes a picture and posts it, then all that time was wasted. I've found containers that if the picture was posted, then it would of been found a lot quicker but not as much fun. Take pictures of the area or nice things that you see from the area or the items you find or the log.

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I've skimmed through the forums multiple times and read many posts. There are still a few things I can't quite wrap my brain around, so I'm putting it out there for you more seasoned geocachers.

 

1. What sort of signature items can you make from home, or get at the store that might be unique? The little wooden nickels, business cards, all sound cool enough, but quite honestly I'm getting out there now and I don't want to wait 2 weeks before something comes in the mail, thereby missing the opportunity of leaving a sig item in a lot of places early on. Any ideas?

 

2. Trackables - It seems to be pretty divided amongst people whether to use these or not, as I hear lots of stories of them getting lost, etc so I can't see spending too much on these. But if you wanted to have a few out there, could you just go down to Petsmart/Petco and get a few custom/trackable dog tags and then attach them to something (action figure, etc)? Surely someone has done this?

 

3. On peoples profiles I see a "Souvenirs" tab....are these the equivalent to badges on Foursquare?

 

4. Is there a special forum dedicated to members introducing, and telling the community about themselves?

 

5. How many of you record (via photos or video) each cache you find?

 

Thanks in advance for your feedback...

 

1. Anything or everything that can fit in the caches you find that isnt lethal, trash or innapropriate if say young kids find the cache.

 

2. No. Petco doesnt sell Geocaching dog tags... The geocaching shop or other licensed vendors do...

 

3. What's 4^2?

 

4. Yes. The one you posted this question on.

 

5. I don't. My caching partners I sometimes cache with are OCPD about it...

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I would like to know if it is possible to send a TB off on a mission, for example "visit as many different countries as you can over the next year and return to me" I would like to send an item of sentimental value attached to a TB, off on such a mission but I cannot think of a simple way of finally recovering it.

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I would like to know if it is possible to send a TB off on a mission, for example "visit as many different countries as you can over the next year and return to me" I would like to send an item of sentimental value attached to a TB, off on such a mission but I cannot think of a simple way of finally recovering it.

 

"An item of sentimental value" WILL go missing.

 

Are you really, really sure you want to loose it?

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I would like to know if it is possible to send a TB off on a mission, for example "visit as many different countries as you can over the next year and return to me" I would like to send an item of sentimental value attached to a TB, off on such a mission but I cannot think of a simple way of finally recovering it.
As Bear and Ragged indicated, you shouldn't expect to see a trackable ever again once you release it. I do not recommend using items of sentimental value for a TB.

 

With that said, I've seen TBs successfully return to their owners. Generally, the owner specifies a cache that is the TB's goal, and then picks up the TB once someone drops it in that cache.

 

Here are my recommendations for objects to attach to TBs:

  • nothing of sentimental or monetary value
  • nothing too big (or it won't fit in many caches)
  • nothing too small (so people can photograph it)
  • nothing too cute (so kids won't want to keep it)
  • something you don't see every day (so it's interesting)

And be sure to attach a tag or passport or something that explains its goal, and that explains that it is not a trade item.

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I would like to know if it is possible to send a TB off on a mission, for example "visit as many different countries as you can over the next year and return to me" I would like to send an item of sentimental value attached to a TB, off on such a mission but I cannot think of a simple way of finally recovering it.

 

With the caveat that the TB probably won't actually make it, the simplest way of recovering it would be to have it returned to a cache near you, preferably one that you own.

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For all those confused on Foursquare, it's an app where you Check In to places (similar to FB check in, only better). Some businesses give you discounts for your 1st, 10th, 100th check in at their venue, it also helps you find things to do/restaurants/gas stations/etc in your area/wherever you are.

 

It's free to use https://foursquare.com/

 

And to the OP:

 

1) I leave handmade miniature clay food charms :)

 

2) You can find a supplier in your area and buy some Traveling Bugs. I wanted to buy a Geocoin and release it, but haven't accepted the fact someone might take it as a collectable so I'm prob going to release a TB instead in the meantime.

 

3) yes, I stand to be corrected but as far as I can tell, the 'Souvenirs' are like the Foursquare 'Badges' :)

 

4) I haven't found it yet lol

 

5) I like to Instagram my finds. I accidently IG a photo of a TB with the number exposed and suddenly had a bunch of people "discovering" it on the tracking page so I quickly removed the pic (and felt terrible about being such a n00b!). It was my 2nd cache find so I had no idea, but it makes sense now to keep the tracking number a secret!

Obviously I don't show the exact location, but I photograph the container and I dont mention which cache it's for.

 

Happy caching!

Edited by Rat_Tails
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My apologies in advance I wasn't sure where to post this but I didn't to make a new thread. Could someone please tell me what SL stands for? Is it signed log or swag left? Thanks

 

Glossary of Terms < link!

 

TNLNSL / TNSL

Took Nothing. Left Nothing. Signed Logbook / Took Nothing. Signed Logbook.

 

*These days it's more "Signed Log" rather than Logbook!

Edited by Bear and Ragged
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