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newbie questions


rainbowlove4
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 so i  only  been  geocaching a  few  days.

1 .  trying  to  figure out   how  to  find i in the  right   area.. i   used  my  phone that keeps  telling  me don't have assess  to the  simple  caches on  basic.. but  then sort  of  track it  to on  top  to the  blue   dot  but some  greyed  out  and   some  not..  weird   cause  my  tablet    gives  them  all..  my  tablet  does  a  better  job.. it get me to the  start search however  today  searched   with it   got  me in  range   said  close  and  then  the    range kept  jumping   dramatically as i  looked  around  trying to  follow the line  that  said i  was close or  not..  what am i  doing   wrong.?

2  how   do you  search when muggles  are  around and it in  an  area  where  there might  always be  alot of  muggles?

3  do you need  wi fi to  geo  cache  or   will   your  gps work  and   get you there?

4  i   gone  to  a  few of the  same  places but  again i  get  worried  cause   to many  muggles..  how  do you  serch  with muggles  around

 

  ok i  know  alot of   questions and   enjoying it  but  tad  frustrating. am i  doing  something  wrong?   or is  it   just  cause i  new  to it  only  been  trying  for  4  days

 

  thank  You rainblowlove4

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Be welcome!

1. Depending on the app you have on both devices, you may see different results. By instance, the official app for iPhone and Android has limitations for Basic Members, showing only close-by easy Traditionals, while Premium Members will see all the caches, close or far. (If you want to try a month free of PM, just ask me.)

2. You need to be in "stealth mode" :). Sometimes we need to go at different hours, to not jeopardize the cache.

3. You can save the caches (one by one) you want to look for offline use, then you won't need WIFI... but only Premium Members can save Pocket Queries or Lists (large amount of caches at once).

4. Remember to be stealthy... but most of the time if you act normally, people won't pay attention to you. There are some basic tricks, like wearing a reflective jacket and a helmet like if you are any public worker doing some maintenance, pretending to tie your shoelaces also works, pretending take pictures of everything... on close-up. :)

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Great questions about stealth! As a new player I am becoming more cognizant of the importance of stealth.

GPS works independent of WiFi or cellular data. GPS is communication with GPS satellites in the sky and will continue to work even if you are waaay off grid and/or in airplane mode.

That said, there are certain terrains or environmental considerations that can interfere with GPS signal. Such as tunnels, deep canyons, etc.

Also that said, to geocache in airplane mode or off grid you should download the maps and cache info ahead of time. The GPS will work but you still need to have access to a map and cache data. Downloading ahead of time is the best way to go.

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3 hours ago, RuideAlmeida said:

4. Remember to be stealthy... but most of the time if you act normally, people won't pay attention to you. There are some basic tricks, like wearing a reflective jacket and a helmet like if you are any public worker doing some maintenance, pretending to tie your shoelaces also works, pretending take pictures of everything... on close-up. :)

For caches in busy places, I've often taken out a plastic bag and started picking up trash while I search for the cache. When I spot the cache, it goes in the bag too. When I'm a short distance from the cache site, I take a break from collecting litter, sign the log, and then start collecting litter again, replacing the cache when I get to its original hide location.

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I've never been "stealthy".  I go to a cache expecting the CO to have permission to be there (a requirement for placement).  We've noticed others looking, and it seems (to me) people looking around furtively draw more notice than someone just doing it.  Act like you belong there.  :)

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1.) I'm not entirely sure what you're asking here, sorry. As has been said though, results can vary depending on the app and the phone. Make sure you're using the official geocaching app and make sure you have the GPS switched on so that your phone is locating you based on satellites and not phone towers. That'll make your searching much more accurate.

2 & 4.) This depends on the situation and location. Sometimes you can sit and wait for the muggles to go, other times you have to be a bit stealthy and just grab the cache when no one is looking. Sometimes you just have to give up and come back another time. The important thing though is to relax, make your motions deliberate and don't actually try to be stealthy. Trying too hard is a sure way to draw attention.

3.) No, you don't need wifi. All you need is a GPS-enabled device and the coordinates for the cache. And a pen to sign the log. GPS and wi-fi are two very different systems and it's GPS and not wi-fi that'll get you to the site of the cache.

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28 minutes ago, Furrhan said:

Make sure you're using the official geocaching app

Why?

I see no logic behind that statement, other than: the official one may be easier to learn, and there are likely more people around who are familiar with it, and thus can help if you have issues.  But that app has intentional limitations, to encourage you to spend more money.  The other apps don't do this.

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Well I figure since the official app is designed by the people that make the official site it's likely to have more support and compatibility. Also I've not had to put any money into the app beyond my initial Premium Member purchase so I've not had any problems with it. I guess you're right in that there can be an element of personal preference in which app you use though

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On 4/6/2018 at 10:30 AM, cerberus1 said:

I've never been "stealthy".  I go to a cache expecting the CO to have permission to be there (a requirement for placement).

Not sure I completely agree with this.  A CO may get permission from the landowner, but that doesn't mean that everyone else in sight of that land knows about the permission. There are some cool caches in my local area, placed with full permission and knowledge of the nearby businesses/managers, but when passersby that have nothing to do with the business/location see a bunch of people messing with a box near a building, then they may (1) get freaked out and call police or (2) wonder what the commotion is about and come back after the cachers have left to mess with the box.

Personally, I try not to draw attention to the cache location, no matter where or how it is hidden.  Sometimes that means skipping a cache and coming back another time. Some cache locations are quieter on weekends, some are quieter on weekdays, some are quieter at night, etc.  The other day, I wanted to look for a cache at a local park, but there was a large group of muggles hanging out at the picnic tables about 20 feet away. Their curiosity about what I might retrieve/replace in a nearby tree isn't going to matter based on the cache having permission of the park manager. Muggles aren't going to check with land managers before investigating things themselves.

 

On 4/6/2018 at 8:47 PM, Viajero Perdido said:

Why?

I see no logic behind that statement, other than: the official one may be easier to learn, and there are likely more people around who are familiar with it, and thus can help if you have issues.  But that app has intentional limitations, to encourage you to spend more money.  The other apps don't do this.

Other apps that use the official API should be applying some restrictions to Basic Members, but they are different restrictions than the official app applies (see below from API agreement):

1. Features and Geocaching Data provide through the API shall be available only to authorized geocaching.com account holders with the following limitations which are subject to change at the discretion of Groundspeak:

a. Basic Members shall be limited to viewing full geocache details for up to 3 Geocaches per day. Prior to viewing the full details for each of the 3 geocache listings, the Basic Member must be notified of this restriction using text supplied by Groundspeak or, in the absence of text supplied by Groundspeak, text which is substantially similar to the text displayed in Exhibit B.
b. Geocache search results for Basic Members shall be limited to Traditional Geocache Listings only.
c. Basic Members may request full geocache details for non-Traditional Geocaches using the GC reference code; however, they will remain subject to the limitation of 3 as set forth in section 1a above.

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21 hours ago, noncentric said:

Not sure I completely agree with this.  A CO may get permission from the landowner, but that doesn't mean that everyone else in sight of that land knows about the permission. There are some cool caches in my local area, placed with full permission and knowledge of the nearby businesses/managers, but when passersby that have nothing to do with the business/location see a bunch of people messing with a box near a building, then they may (1) get freaked out and call police or (2) wonder what the commotion is about and come back after the cachers have left to mess with the box.

Personally, I try not to draw attention to the cache location, no matter where or how it is hidden.  Sometimes that means skipping a cache and coming back another time. Some cache locations are quieter on weekends, some are quieter on weekdays, some are quieter at night, etc.  The other day, I wanted to look for a cache at a local park, but there was a large group of muggles hanging out at the picnic tables about 20 feet away. Their curiosity about what I might retrieve/replace in a nearby tree isn't going to matter based on the cache having permission of the park manager.

This.

We've left caches unfound due to muggles nearby.  We've circled a block three times before feeling confident enough to go to the LPC and retrieve it.  Carry a clipboard, and a reflective safety vest for some caches and no one will give you a second thought as you search.

Personally, I prefer those caches that are on hiking trails or lonely country roads where you can search, find, sign, and replace without anyone nearby.  Waiting for trafic or other hikers happens, but it's a lot easier than trying to retrieve an LPC in a busy parking lot.  A back corner of a parking lot is preferable to one we recently found in the handicapped spot right in front of the store.  Sheesh!  We got it, but wondered what possessed the CO to hide it right in front...

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17 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

This.

We've left caches unfound due to muggles nearby.  We've circled a block three times before feeling confident enough to go to the LPC and retrieve it.  Carry a clipboard, and a reflective safety vest for some caches and no one will give you a second thought as you search.

Personally, I prefer those caches that are on hiking trails or lonely country roads where you can search, find, sign, and replace without anyone nearby.  Waiting for trafic or other hikers happens, but it's a lot easier than trying to retrieve an LPC in a busy parking lot.  A back corner of a parking lot is preferable to one we recently found in the handicapped spot right in front of the store.  Sheesh!  We got it, but wondered what possessed the CO to hide it right in front...

Perhaps the CO or a friend of his/hers is handicapped and the CO is hiding caches according to their ability or that of their friend.

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Gps devices can be fickle.  Sometimes you need to stop and let them settle for a minute or two.  Other times it will continue to bounce and you'll have to rely on your Geo-sense to find the cache.    

I'm not muggle friendly which means I'm not the most stealthiest  person in the world and I tend to stick out like a sore thumb.  Normally stay away from caches in high muggle areas.  Believe it or not I've used a clipboard and some paper when looking for caches like these.    It's amazing how people will notice the clip board and think I'm on some official business or something and not give me a second look.      

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26 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

Gps devices can be fickle.  Sometimes you need to stop and let them settle for a minute or two.

The correct orientation of the antenna can make a big difference as well.  I use a Garmin 62s which gives a much more stable reading when held vertical.

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1 hour ago, justintim1999 said:

Gps devices can be fickle.  Sometimes you need to stop and let them settle for a minute or two.  Other times it will continue to bounce and you'll have to rely on your Geo-sense to find the cache.    

I'm not muggle friendly which means I'm not the most stealthiest  person in the world and I tend to stick out like a sore thumb.  Normally stay away from caches in high muggle areas.  Believe it or not I've used a clipboard and some paper when looking for caches like these.    It's amazing how people will notice the clip board and think I'm on some official business or something and not give me a second look.      

Clipboard and tape measure. I take a lot of pictures so........crime scene tape?

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56 minutes ago, garyo1954 said:

Clipboard and tape measure. I take a lot of pictures so........crime scene tape?

Brilliant!!!!    People will actually run away from the area.    Unless it's my wife who's been know to follow ambulances.

This is probably the first time I'm glad my wife has no interest whatsoever in Geocaching.;) 

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I'm new to geocaching, but after finding 4 caches, I've gotten the hang of it.

1. I'm not sure exactly what you're asking, sorry.

2. Try to remain nonchalant when searching for a cache. I usually try to look for a cache when there is a lower amount of muggles in the area. For example, I recently found a cache in an area where there are usually many muggles.However, I searched for the cache when there was a lower amount of muggles in the area. You just have to wait until you feel like there are few muggles so you can search for the cache.

3. No, GPS should help you.

4. See #2

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On 4/6/2018 at 0:14 PM, niraD said:

For caches in busy places, I've often taken out a plastic bag and started picking up trash while I search for the cache. When I spot the cache, it goes in the bag too. When I'm a short distance from the cache site, I take a break from collecting litter, sign the log, and then start collecting litter again, replacing the cache when I get to its original hide location.

What this technique infers is that there are three parts when finding a cache.  Locating the container, retrieving the container, and replacing the container.  Typically the part that can draw the most attention is locating the container, especially if it requires getting into a position that is "unnatural" (prone on the ground to look under a bench).  Having a camera (especially a good camera) can come in handy in those situations.  Photographers will position themselves in strange ways to get the perfect shot.  I found that it's usually more difficult to be stealthy in a situation where there is just one or a few people nearby then when there are a lot of people around.  When there are a lot of people, nobody seems to notice what any one other person is doing.  Every situation is different.  I've had a couple of instances where there was just one other person at GZ.  In one case, I just went up to him, told him what I was doing, and he watch me find the cache while I explained the game to him.  In another, I was with my brother and mother and she distracted him by asking him a question about something off in the distance while I deftly reached under the bench he had been sitting on, retrieved the cache, and handed it to my brother.  

As noncentric suggested, rarely is the person the granted permission the one that might notice what you're doing and find it suspicious.  It might be an employee of a business that is unaware, someone using the same parking lot to shop, or, as I encountered in Rome, a plain clothed policeman.  

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On 4/20/2018 at 9:45 AM, NYPaddleCacher said:

What this technique infers is that there are three parts when finding a cache.  Locating the container, retrieving the container, and replacing the container.  Typically the part that can draw the most attention is locating the container, especially if it requires getting into a position that is "unnatural" (prone on the ground to look under a bench).

Yes, the three stages of 'finding' a cache. Many times, I will 'see' the cache and then determine the best way to actually retrieve it without drawing undue attention from muggles.

For example, I might see an MKH under a bench as I walk up to it. Instead of bending down behind the bench to grab it, then I'll sit at whichever end of the bench the cache is hidden under and then casually reach for the cache while sitting there. If I see a nano attached to a pole, then I might lean against the pole and pretend that I'm texting on my phone, then make a subtle grab so passersby don't notice that I've removed something from the pole. Even caches hidden in trees in a park. I might want around in circles a few times, pretending to be talking on my phone while I scan the tree limbs for the container, then go and stand by the container for a little while before grabbing it.

It's not necessary to grab the cache as soon as it's spotted. It's not a live animal that is going to walk away.

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6 hours ago, noncentric said:

For example, I might see an MKH under a bench as I walk up to it. Instead of bending down behind the bench to grab it, then I'll sit at whichever end of the bench the cache is hidden under and then casually reach for the cache while sitting there.

I'll usually just walk up and say something like, "excuse me, but I need to look under this bench you're sitting on", then explain it's a scavenger hunt, sign in and move on.

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4 hours ago, badlands said:

I'll usually just walk up and say something like, "excuse me, but I need to look under this bench you're sitting on", then explain it's a scavenger hunt, sign in and move on.

    :D   I witnessed similar just a short while ago.  The finder explaining why as she looked  behind a man with two ladies.  They found it amusing, and one even said she's interested in the hobby, hearing about it from others as well.

  - Probably might have been a different outcome if I was the one looking under the bench,  both women wearing skirts.  :laughing:

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I have to be especially wary of "neighborhood watch" types because I look like Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty (Old man, long hair and beard) and drive an "Overlander". (Off--road truck  equipped for long camping expeditions). Some act like I'm a gypsy come to steal their children. I actually had a gentleman approach me, baseball bat in hand, to inquire what I was doing messing around in his alley. I've since decided to avoid caches in residential neighborhoods unless it's something really interesting/historical. Remember to think of your own safety on your outings.

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On 4/24/2018 at 2:40 AM, dweldy424 said:

I have to be especially wary of "neighborhood watch" types because I look like Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty (Old man, long hair and beard) and drive an "Overlander". (Off--road truck  equipped for long camping expeditions). Some act like I'm a gypsy come to steal their children. I actually had a gentleman approach me, baseball bat in hand, to inquire what I was doing messing around in his alley. I've since decided to avoid caches in residential neighborhoods unless it's something really interesting/historical. Remember to think of your own safety on your outings.

I don't look like someone from Duck Dynasty, but I still am apprehensive of searching in residential neighborhoods. I try to keep my searches in those areas to weekdays, when most people are at work and kids are at school. Even then, I'll often read the hint if it's taking me more than a few seconds to figure out where the cache is hidden.

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Could someone post a link to the form rules page?

I tried the link in the getting started page and it keeps taking me back to the main forum page.

I found a box today and discovered geocaching. I brought the box home not really knowing what it was for and decided to check out the site printed on it. I plan on returning the box tomorrow after I kind of figure out how this works.

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16 minutes ago, monkohunter said:

Could someone post a link to the form rules page?

I tried the link in the getting started page and it keeps taking me back to the main forum page.

I found a box today and discovered geocaching. I brought the box home not really knowing what it was for and decided to check out the site printed on it. I plan on returning the box tomorrow after I kind of figure out how this works.

To learn about Geocaching, check out the Help Center.  To learn about rules for posting in these discussion forums, read the forum guidelines.  Links to both are found in my signature line.  Welcome to geocaching!

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Thanks. Although I don't see your signature line or the links anywhere. So I downloaded the app and it seems to be relatively easy to understand. I don't think I'll even need the forum. It seems fairly easy. Open the app pick a point marked on the app go to it sign your name and put it back then mark it found on the app. Finished. Thanks for trying to point me in the right direction anyhow.

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I didn't even check the website until there was an update and the app started bugging out. There's some random information here. It's just scattered all over. I'll mail you a link to a YouTube video that will tell you most anything you need to know. 

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11 hours ago, monkohunter said:

Thanks. Although I don't see your signature line or the links anywhere. So I downloaded the app and it seems to be relatively easy to understand. I don't think I'll even need the forum. It seems fairly easy. Open the app pick a point marked on the app go to it sign your name and put it back then mark it found on the app. Finished. Thanks for trying to point me in the right direction anyhow.

 

This is the link to the articles about how Geocaching works:  Geocaching HQ Help Center

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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2 hours ago, monkohunter said:

Thanks for an actual link. b(^_^d)

 

You're welcome. You would see a signature line when using a PC web browser. In fact you see more using a PC web browser on geocaching.com than when using a phone. For one thing, you will see a lot more caches for free. Be sure to use a PC at some point, especially if you decide to get into geocaching with puzzles on the pages.

Edited by kunarion
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19 hours ago, kunarion said:

 

You're welcome. You would see a signature line when using a PC web browser. In fact you see more using a PC web browser on geocaching.com than when using a phone. For one thing, you will see a lot more caches for free. Be sure to use a PC at some point, especially if you decide to get into geocaching with puzzles on the pages.

Are there ones you have to pay to see? Sometimes the app ask if I want to upgrade to premium but I don't because I haven't seen anything worth or needed for paying for the premium.

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7 minutes ago, monkohunter said:

Are there ones you have to pay to see? Sometimes the app ask if I want to upgrade to premium but I don't because I haven't seen anything worth or needed for paying for the premium.

On the web site, basic members can see all caches except those specifically marked Premium Member Only (PMO).

In Groundspeak's Geocaching app, basic members can see only traditional caches and event caches, and only those rated difficulty 1.5 or less and terrain 1.5 or less. And they still cannot see PMO caches, of course.

For reference, see the Help Center articles:

Benefits of Geocaching Premium

Geocaching® app: Premium vs. Basic membership features chart

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On 5/2/2018 at 1:59 AM, niraD said:

On the web site, basic members can see all caches except those specifically marked Premium Member Only (PMO).

In Groundspeak's Geocaching app, basic members can see only traditional caches and event caches, and only those rated difficulty 1.5 or less and terrain 1.5 or less. And they still cannot see PMO caches, of course.

For reference, see the Help Center articles:

Benefits of Geocaching Premium

Geocaching® app: Premium vs. Basic membership features chart

I'm not seeing anything different in the app. I can still read and access higher lvl caches in the app. Maybe the app likes me lol. I guess I'll go try and find one and log it to test it out.

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32 minutes ago, monkohunter said:

I'm not seeing anything different in the app. I can still read and access higher lvl caches in the app. Maybe the app likes me lol. I guess I'll go try and find one and log it to test it out.

The one Find that you've logged is rated 4.5/2, so Groundspeak's Geocaching app is definitely not supposed to show it to you.

Are you sure that's the app you're using?

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Yea. I didn't realize there are other apps. It's funny actually that cache is the one I found before I even knew what geocaching was. I picked it up and took it home then checked the site printed on it before realizing I wasn't supposed to take it. So I put it back lol.

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1 hour ago, niraD said:

The one Find that you've logged is rated 4.5/2, so Groundspeak's Geocaching app is definitely not supposed to show it to you.

Are you sure that's the app you're using?

I sent you an email with a screenshot of multiple caches that are higher lvls that aren't locked away on my free membership.

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On 4/29/2018 at 7:07 PM, monkohunter said:

It seems fairly easy. Open the app pick a point marked on the app go to it sign your name and put it back then mark it found on the app. Finished. Thanks for trying to point me in the right direction anyhow.

I would encourage you to at least read the Geocaching 101 page  HERE.  It might be easier to read than the Help Center articles, but in either case it would be good to read more about the hobby to familiarize yourself with etiquette and logging options. For example, what to do if you don't find the cache (DNF) or you find that there are problems with the cache (NM).

 

7 hours ago, monkohunter said:

I sent you an email with a screenshot of multiple caches that are higher lvls that aren't locked away on my free membership.

9 hours ago, niraD said:

The one Find that you've logged is rated 4.5/2, so Groundspeak's Geocaching app is definitely not supposed to show it to you.

Are you sure that's the app you're using?

That's because the OP is in Canada, where there is a 'test' that removes the Type/D/T restrictions within the app for Basic Members. It's also in New Zealand. Read more about it HERE. Depending on how the app identifies location, this could open up loopholes.  :ph34r:

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