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jpjeffery

This is hard...

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(Ooer!)

 

I've searched for about nine caches, and certainly found only two. One, an EarthCache, I knew before I'd even left the house, but we went anyway. The other was a replacement cap on a road name sign post.

 

Of the fails...

  1. One was like a geography lesson/test, so although I was at the right place, I didn't have the energy to answer the questions! (shame on me, I know!)
  2. Two had too many muggles around and I didn't want to get arrested!
  3. One we couldn't begin to work out the first question of the multi-cache, and it was dark
  4. Four others we're absolutely sure we were in the right place but couldn't find anything.

I can accept my lack of intellectual vigour, and my discretion in the face of many strangers, but it's the 'can't find anything' incidents that bother me.

 

Example: The starting point was a ruined church in the city. The clues lead to various numbers which could then be used to complete a set of coordinates. The clues were pretty simple so I'm sure the numbers I had were correct, but upon find the new coordinates with the GPS I could find nowt there. At least, not without stomping in to a flower bed of a maintained, quasi-formal, gardens, and I doubt the CO would be that irresponsible to hide a cache in a place like that. Checking the written coordinates later, with Google Earth, I know I was looking in the right place.

 

I know this question is impossible to answer, but, indulge me...what am I doing wrong?!

:-)

 

JPJ

Edited by jpjeffery

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Leave the speciality caches (and higher difficulty) for now and find more traditional caches... your experience and finding techniques will grow as you learn to recognise standard containers, hides, and techniques.

 

Note: Be aware that google maps/earth is not infallible and often the imagery is offset from reality...so be cautious with "Google Earth, I know I was looking in the right place"

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Narrow your searches down to D2/T2 or less, small to regular in size, all the usual "start simple" recommendations.

 

What I don't understand is why you want something to be easy. If it's easy, you'll be bored and moving on in no time. It's the difficulty and the adventure that has kept me going for 11 years.

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Agree with MKFmly, stick with 1.5/1.5 (or less) traditional caches for now, until you get an idea on what to do, as well of getting the hang of finding 'em. :)

 

If all you did was send a pic for the earthcache, you didn't complete any requirements (pics are optional) and shouldn't be counted as a find.

 

On another, "Well, I THINK I found it.", sorta shows others you didn't.

If you didn't sign the log, it shouldn't be counted as a find.

 

Enclosed links to Geocaching 101, and the Help Center, which may give a few pointers on not only finding caches, but how this game/hobby's played. :)

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Example: The starting point was a ruined church in the city. The clues lead to various numbers which could then be used to complete a set of coordinates. The clues were pretty simple so I'm sure the numbers I had were correct, but upon find the new coordinates with the GPS I could find nowt there. At least, not without stomping in to a flower bed of a maintained, quasi-formal, gardens, and I doubt the CO would be that irresponsible to hide a cache in a place like that. Checking the written coordinates later, with Google Earth, I know I was looking in the right place.

 

 

Check the photo gallery. The phots may give you hints that you may be at the correct spot. Check the logs, do some of them mention the garden. Is there a hint for the final location? Does it seem to match with your final location? Email the owner with your final coords and ask if they are correct. Hopefully you can re-visit and try again. If they are correct let the owner know about your concerns for the garden, maybe it's in a spot that is accessible without walking through the garden. Hopefully s/he really didn't put it too close to a garden where damage could happen from searching cachers.

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One was like a geography lesson/test, so although I was at the right place, I didn't have the energy to answer the questions! (shame on me, I know!)

 

Can't blame you. Virtuals and Earthcaches are, in my own opinion, the least interesting caches and I rarely enjoy them.

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I agree with all the other replies. Do a few (dozen) easier ones, then move to the tougher ones. There *is* a learning curve in this game.

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A common recommendation for beginners is to stick with small small.gif size, regular regular.gif size, and large large.gif size caches. Until you're more experienced, avoid micro micro.gif size caches, some of which are smaller than most beginners can imagine (sometimes called "nanos"). Save those for later, after you have some experience.

 

Also, stick with caches that have a difficulty rating of no more than 2 stars stars2.gif. Save the more difficult ones for later. You may also want to choose caches with easy terrain ratings. (The difficulty rating tells you how hard it is to find the cache once you get there. The terrain rating tells you how hard it is to get there.) And it is often best to start with traditional 2.gif caches, which will be at the published coordinates. Multi-caches 3.gif or mystery/puzzle caches 8.gif or other cache types can require more work just to figure out where the container is located.

 

Under ideal conditions, a consumer GPSr will be accurate to about 3m (10ft). That applies both to your device, and to the cache owner’s device, so you may find the container 5-6m (16-20ft) from ground zero under ideal conditions. Under less than ideal conditions, both GPSr readings can be much less accurate. Once you get within that distance of ground zero, put your device away and look around for places where a container could be hidden.

 

Where would you hide something? Do you notice anything unusual? Is anything too new, too old, too organized (e.g., UPS: an Unnatural Pile of Sticks/Stones), too symmetrical, not quite the right color or shape, etc.? Don’t look only on the ground; the cache may be knee-level, waist-level, eye-level, or overhead. How might the container be secured in place? With magnets? With a hook? With string? With fishing line? With something else? Does anything move when you touch it? (Be careful when touching things though.)

 

Go ahead and read the cache's additional hints (if provided), and read the past logs and look at any photos in the cache's image gallery. They may help you understand what you're looking for, and how/where it may be hidden. It may also help to look at some of the cache containers available online. For example, check out the cache containers sold by Groundspeak. Also, take a look at the Pictures - Cool Cache Containers (CCC's) thread in the forums, and check out some geocaching videos on YouTube.

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Thanks, all.

 

I'll reply in a bit more detail later (when I've got a new printer in New York working from my office in London!)

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Note: Be aware that google maps/earth is not infallible and often the imagery is offset from reality...so be cautious with "Google Earth, I know I was looking in the right place"

Thanks

 

Fair point. Can you recommend a more reliable online map for checking position with? Even 'after the fact' (i.e. when I get back home or to the office)

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Narrow your searches down to D2/T2 or less...

I don't know what that means.

 

What I don't understand is why you want something to be easy.

Well, there's degrees of easy, but really that's not my point. I just want to get started. Sometimes I do want easy, such as when I'm doing one in my lunch break, but other times I just don't want to feel like I'm utterly clueless! :-)

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If all you did was send a pic for the earthcache, you didn't complete any requirements (pics are optional) and shouldn't be counted as a find.

Except that at least one of the caches I've done the CO has said "Send a picture, that'll do.", particularly where there's likely to be a lot of muggles.

 

But I do agree in principle, there's a much more solid sense of achievement to signing a log.

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Check the photo gallery. The phots may give you hints that you may be at the correct spot. Check the logs, do some of them mention the garden. Is there a hint for the final location? Does it seem to match with your final location? Email the owner with your final coords and ask if they are correct. Hopefully you can re-visit and try again. If they are correct let the owner know about your concerns for the garden, maybe it's in a spot that is accessible without walking through the garden. Hopefully s/he really didn't put it too close to a garden where damage could happen from searching cachers.

 

I do check the photos. In the case of the church cache they just confirmed I was at the right church (difficult to go wrong with that!) :D

 

Checking the Activity page seemed to suggest I was looking in the right place, at least within 5 or 10 feet...unless of course I have worked out the co-ords wrong. I'll check with the CO on that. What puzzled me about it was where on earth the CO could have hidden it without damaging property (actually, perhaps that should help me!)

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Narrow your searches down to D2/T2 or less...

I don't know what that means.

 

The ratings on a cache describe the Difficulty and Terrain. Best to stick with low D and T ratings (usually up to 2.0 at most).

 

Also, see if you can locate any local geocaching events. Search for the "Event" cache type, and mark'em on your calendar. It would be great for you to meet some local experienced cachers to gain some tips first-hand (that's always better than internet text ;) ). Perhaps even go on a caching trip or two with some; most people are completely open to that! You may even make some great friends ;)

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If all you did was send a pic for the earthcache, you didn't complete any requirements (pics are optional) and shouldn't be counted as a find.

Except that at least one of the caches I've done the CO has said "Send a picture, that'll do.", particularly where there's likely to be a lot of muggles.

 

But I do agree in principle, there's a much more solid sense of achievement to signing a log.

 

If it's an earthcache just sending a picture would not satisfy the "must provide an earth science lesson" requirement.

 

If it's a traditional cache, the CO would run the risk of having the cache archived if they continue to accept "just send me a photo" as evidence of a find. The effectively turns it into a virtual cache and isn't allowed.

Edited by NYPaddleCacher

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If all you did was send a pic for the earthcache, you didn't complete any requirements (pics are optional) and shouldn't be counted as a find

Except that at least one of the caches I've done the CO has said "Send a picture, that'll do.", particularly where there's likely to be a lot of muggles.

 

But I do agree in principle, there's a much more solid sense of achievement to signing a log.

 

If it's an earthcache just sending a picture would not satisfy the "must provide an earth science lesson" requirement.

 

If it's a traditional cache, the CO would run the risk of having the cache archived if they continue to accept "just send me a photo" as evidence of a find. The effectively turns it into a virtual cache and isn't allowed.

+1

- And "a sense of achievement" may be fine, but it is one of the few rules in this hobby.

"To get your smiley, it is as important to log your find physically by signing the log book as it is to create your digital log. In the physical log, it is acceptable to use your user name, team name, stamp, or sticker which includes your user name. If the geocache does not have a physical logbook (Virtual, Benchmark, Webcam, EarthCache) you must physically visit the listed coordinates and meet any other requirements stated in the geocache description.

 

If you digitally log a geocache without meeting these requirements (also known as couch logging), your log can be deleted by either the geocache owner or Geocaching HQ without notice. "

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Also, see if you can locate any local geocaching events. Search for the "Event" cache type, and mark'em on your calendar. It would be great for you to meet some local experienced cachers to gain some tips first-hand (that's always better than internet text ;) ). Perhaps even go on a caching trip or two with some; most people are completely open to that! You may even make some great friends ;)

 

As I was reading down the thread, this is exactly what I was going to suggest especially as you are in London and the Geo community there is great! There is usually a well supported event every month, and often a few others too throughout the month - if you search the map there are a couple of events this week. Here is the link to the next big event - October Event. My experience there has always been good - really welcoming, and lots of opportunity to ask about the caches you've found tricky.

 

Good luck!

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Well, thanks for your replies, all. I've now found/completed 7 caches. The last one (within the past hour) was a nano-cache, so no log to sign, also no apparent other requirements.

 

Assuming, as per the quote above, I should supply the co-ords, where would I do that? I know the Activity page in the app allows the option of encrypting part of the text, but doesn't that allow for it to be treated like a 'spoiler' which anyone can reveal if they want to? If I'm right, then anyone can couch log using that.

 

Anyway, this is fun. I just wish there were more around, and that my younger daughter had less homework so she should come with me...

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Well, thanks for your replies, all. I've now found/completed 7 caches. The last one (within the past hour) was a nano-cache, so no log to sign, also no apparent other requirements.

Where did you get the idea you didn't have to sign a nano's log?

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Well, thanks for your replies, all. I've now found/completed 7 caches. The last one (within the past hour) was a nano-cache, so no log to sign, also no apparent other requirements.

Where did you get the idea you didn't have to sign a nano's log?

 

Ditto.

 

Sorry, friend, but Moonlit Alley is a fully-functional Traditional Cache, and as such has a physical log that you must sign. The fact that it's a 'nano' (not an official size designation, BTW) has nothing to do with it.

 

As has been stated above, it's one of the few absolute rules in this hobby full of guidelines.

 

If you didn't find a log, then either it's been lost or you didn't actually find the cache.

 

If you're sure you found it, then you should file a second "Needs Maintenance" log to alert the owner that there's no paper log.

 

As for your existing 'Found' log, I would change it to a "Note" log until I went back and signed it or the Cache Owner (CO) replaces it, and THEN I went back. Of course, the most commonly-intended phrase around here is "YMMV", so you can play as you wish. That's just what I'd do.

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Well, thanks for your replies, all. I've now found/completed 7 caches. The last one (within the past hour) was a nano-cache, so no log to sign, also no apparent other requirements.

Where did you get the idea you didn't have to sign a nano's log?

 

Ditto.

 

Sorry, friend, but Moonlit Alley is a fully-functional Traditional Cache, and as such has a physical log that you must sign. The fact that it's a 'nano' (not an official size designation, BTW) has nothing to do with it.

 

As has been stated above, it's one of the few absolute rules in this hobby full of guidelines.

 

If you didn't find a log, then either it's been lost or you didn't actually find the cache.

 

If you're sure you found it, then you should file a second "Needs Maintenance" log to alert the owner that there's no paper log.

 

As for your existing 'Found' log, I would change it to a "Note" log until I went back and signed it or the Cache Owner (CO) replaces it, and THEN I went back. Of course, the most commonly-intended phrase around here is "YMMV", so you can play as you wish. That's just what I'd do.

It may have to do with an earlier cache the OP found, where the CO pretty-much turned his cache into a Virtual (options of pics, or just logging it "found", without signing an "always-full" log).

That cache page has since been changed...

- If only Geocaching 101 is read, folks are supplied with the basics. :)

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I always check previous logs to make sure someone else has found it recently. If there are a few 'did not finds' I may avoid it or I go with the idea I'll probably get a DNF as well. If I do find it, that's even sweeter.

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Moonlit Alley is a fully-functional Traditional Cache, and as such has a physical log that you must sign...

Well, that was my assumption, and there is what looks like a lid on the cache which I did try to open but couldn't get it to shift. Will revisit and try harder.

 

Ta muchly.

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Where did you get the idea you didn't have to sign a nano's log?

Just because the item I found didn't look it contained anything. What looked like a lid didn't shift when I tried it. I extrapolated (incorrectly it seems) from there.

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Moonlit Alley is a fully-functional Traditional Cache, and as such has a physical log that you must sign...

Well, that was my assumption, and there is what looks like a lid on the cache which I did try to open but couldn't get it to shift. Will revisit and try harder.

 

Ta muchly.

You're welcome, and good luck!

...Bill

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Found it. Opened it. Felt like a schmuck. Signed it. Put it back.

 

I'm legal!

 

Don't sweat it.

 

Reminds me of my first 'nano' find - the type that looks like a tiny bullet. I found it magnetically stuck to the inside of a drainpipe (where the cords led me), pulled it out and tossed it from hand to hand for a minute while I continued to look for the cache. Never recognized it for what it was because I couldn't see any possible way that it could open.

 

Put it back where I got it and DNF'd the cache.

 

Weeks later I saw a picture of one and..... :o

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Don't sweat it.

 

Reminds me of my first 'nano' find - the type that looks like a tiny bullet. I found it magnetically stuck to the inside of a drainpipe (where the cords led me), pulled it out and tossed it from hand to hand for a minute while I continued to look for the cache. Never recognized it for what it was because I couldn't see any possible way that it could open.

 

Put it back where I got it and DNF'd the cache.

 

Weeks later I saw a picture of one and..... :o

Well, at least you put it back...

:lol:

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Well, at least you put it back...

:lol:

Yeah, when I see some of the "trash caches" (caches camouflaged to look like trash), I wonder how many of them I've thrown out as part of the CITO that I often do when I'm geocaching.

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Well, at least you put it back...

:lol:

Yeah, when I see some of the "trash caches" (caches camouflaged to look like trash), I wonder how many of them I've thrown out as part of the CITO that I often do when I'm geocaching.
+1

Most of a series from one who thought he was clever (leaving crushed water bottles w/ log inside, stuck in guardrails), were "muggled" when the local geocache group -adopted road crew removed litter. :laughing:

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Another suggestion might be taking someone else along to geocache with. A extra set of eyes makes a lot of difference. Plus, it's more fun.

Also, making friends with more experienced geocachers might help you. I know when I was first starting out, there was one cache that I just couldn't find. Must have had four attempts at it. Took along the girlfriend who'd introduced me to geocaching, and she found it in a matter of seconds.

Thirdly, (though this may be a little cheating) look at the various tricky caches they sell. Maybe even buy one or two, and hold onto them for when you want to try hiding. It gives you an idea of what's out there.

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(Ooer!)

 

I've searched for about nine caches, and certainly found only two. One, an EarthCache, I knew before I'd even left the house, but we went anyway. The other was a replacement cap on a road name sign post.

 

Of the fails...

  1. One was like a geography lesson/test, so although I was at the right place, I didn't have the energy to answer the questions! (shame on me, I know!)
  2. Two had too many muggles around and I didn't want to get arrested!
  3. One we couldn't begin to work out the first question of the multi-cache, and it was dark
  4. Four others we're absolutely sure we were in the right place but couldn't find anything.

I can accept my lack of intellectual vigour, and my discretion in the face of many strangers, but it's the 'can't find anything' incidents that bother me.

 

Example: The starting point was a ruined church in the city. The clues lead to various numbers which could then be used to complete a set of coordinates. The clues were pretty simple so I'm sure the numbers I had were correct, but upon find the new coordinates with the GPS I could find nowt there. At least, not without stomping in to a flower bed of a maintained, quasi-formal, gardens, and I doubt the CO would be that irresponsible to hide a cache in a place like that. Checking the written coordinates later, with Google Earth, I know I was looking in the right place.

 

I know this question is impossible to answer, but, indulge me...what am I doing wrong?!

:-)

 

JPJ

 

I've read through this thread and have only one other suggestion and that is to go to a site that sells geocaching stuff and you can see what many of the cache containers look like-I couldn't believe it when I found my first bolt on a fence line-very devious.

Edited by Edesiree

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(Ooer!)

 

I've searched for about nine caches, and certainly found only two. One, an EarthCache, I knew before I'd even left the house, but we went anyway. The other was a replacement cap on a road name sign post.

 

Of the fails...

  1. One was like a geography lesson/test, so although I was at the right place, I didn't have the energy to answer the questions! (shame on me, I know!)
  2. Two had too many muggles around and I didn't want to get arrested!
  3. One we couldn't begin to work out the first question of the multi-cache, and it was dark
  4. Four others we're absolutely sure we were in the right place but couldn't find anything.

I can accept my lack of intellectual vigour, and my discretion in the face of many strangers, but it's the 'can't find anything' incidents that bother me.

 

Example: The starting point was a ruined church in the city. The clues lead to various numbers which could then be used to complete a set of coordinates. The clues were pretty simple so I'm sure the numbers I had were correct, but upon find the new coordinates with the GPS I could find nowt there. At least, not without stomping in to a flower bed of a maintained, quasi-formal, gardens, and I doubt the CO would be that irresponsible to hide a cache in a place like that. Checking the written coordinates later, with Google Earth, I know I was looking in the right place.

 

I know this question is impossible to answer, but, indulge me...what am I doing wrong?!

:-)

 

JPJ

 

I've read through this thread and have only one other suggestion and that is to go to a site that sells geocaching stuff and you can see what many of the cache containers look like-I couldn't believe it when I found my first bolt on a fence line-very devious.

There are also YouTube videos showing some geocache hides. They can be found by searching for 'geocaching', 'caching', 'geocache' on YouTube. Many are spoilers, but maybe doesn't matter if you aren't going to find those specific caches anyway.

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As you gain experience you will develop what we call "Geosense" You start to figure out what the particular CO is thinking about when they hid it. Reading the hints, the size of the container, difficulty, the previous logs, looking at the enviroment, even finding previous hides by the same CO, you can almost walk right up to them. In some cases you can follow what is called a "Geotrail" where numerous cachers create a path to the cache without thinking about it.

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As you gain experience you will develop what we call "Geosense" You start to figure out what the particular CO is thinking about when they hid it. Reading the hints, the size of the container, difficulty, the previous logs, looking at the enviroment, even finding previous hides by the same CO, you can almost walk right up to them. In some cases you can follow what is called a "Geotrail" where numerous cachers create a path to the cache without thinking about it.

 

There's a local cacher that, over the past several months has placed well over 100 caches. Although the cache listings are very good (they're all based on plants), every one that I have found has been a pill container tethered to a bush or tree with a piece of fishing line.

 

This time of year, at least in the northern hemisphere, you may find temporary geotrails in the snow that will lead you right to the cache. The trick is to follow the footprints in the snow coming away from GZ.

 

Once one develops a bit of geosense, you can often find caches much quicker by starting to look for potential hiding spots (places where your geosense will tell you a cache might be hidden) as you approach the area, sometimes 50-100 feet away. In other words, stop following your GPS once you get "close" and start using geosense to locate the hiding spot. Otherwise you might find yourself walking around a 30' circle, trying to get your GPS to show 0 feet, when there is large stump with a hole in it nearby that may be the only place where the container could be hidden.

 

 

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In other words, stop following your GPS once you get "close" and start using geosense to locate the hiding spot. Otherwise you might find yourself walking around a 30' circle, trying to get your GPS to show 0 feet, when there is large stump with a hole in it nearby that may be the only place where the container could be hidden.

...or you'll find out that the CO's coordinates were themselves 30' off the mark and even though you determined an accurate GZ, accuracy itself won't help you find the cache.

Geosense will always play a big part in finding a cache :)

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In other words, stop following your GPS once you get "close" and start using geosense to locate the hiding spot. Otherwise you might find yourself walking around a 30' circle, trying to get your GPS to show 0 feet, when there is large stump with a hole in it nearby that may be the only place where the container could be hidden.

...or you'll find out that the CO's coordinates were themselves 30' off the mark and even though you determined an accurate GZ, accuracy itself won't help you find the cache.

Geosense will always play a big part in finding a cache :)

 

Yep. The goal of the game isn't to see how close you can get to a set of published coordinates. It's to find a cache given a set of coordinates.

 

 

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Make sure you log your DNF (Did Not Find).

 

You'll start to notice some of the easier caches are generally hidden in the same spots like guard rails, lamp post skirts, and trees. Like everyone else has stated, start with easy ones so you get an idea of what kind of containers people use for caches in various locations and how they hide them.

 

Earthcaches are fairly simple to get and most COs give you a couple days to answer the questions and send them in.

 

You can also expand your search on just certain caches if you want like Mystery Caches and search difficulty for 1.0-1.5 with a 2.0 terrain. You'll find a lot of easy Mystery Caches that way that are solvable without taking all day.

 

Also, if you have any long walking trails or bike trails there's a good chance there will be someone who laid down a "series" of caches and those are always a good bet that they will be very simple to find and a lot of them. Like 30-50 caches in a series. Those really help boost your numbers. :)

 

Happy caching!

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