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bronskibeat

Country Caching vs. City Caching

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Hi there!

I officially started geocaching on holiday in the Lake District (mountains, countryside, lakes) along with my husband.  We soon noticed a bit of a pattern to cache hiding places - look for fallen trees and piles of rocks that didn't seem to belong there!  

Since coming back home to the South West London/Surrey borders we've not had as much luck.  The areas we've looked round have been much more built up and we've yet to find a cache near us (doesn't help that our 3.5 year old geokid isn't quite as interested as we are so hunts are interspersed with trying to stop the kid from running off elsewhere!)

Any tips for caching in suburbia?

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7 minutes ago, bronskibeat said:

Any tips for caching in suburbia?

 

I just don't do it.  Even though I live in the city.

 

I save my caching for the wilderness, and enjoy the game immensely.  B)

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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. Micro micro.gif size caches can be smaller than most beginners can imagine (sometimes called "nanos"). But if you're searching for urban/suburban hides, those may be all that is available.

 

Also, stick with caches that have a difficulty rating of no more than 2 stars stars2.gif. Save the more difficult ones for later. The catch is that many "easy" caches (especially urban/suburban caches) have low difficulty ratings because they are in "the usual spot". If you're a beginner, then that won't help you until you learn where "the usual spots" are. But perhaps you can find more experienced geocachers to go geocaching with; local events are great places to meet people.

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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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, bronskibeat said:

Any tips for caching in suburbia?

 

Look for parks in your area. Geocaching helped me discover all the wooded trails that I never knew existed in my city (and cities/towns nearby). You may be pleasantly surprised by the number of nice parks, nice trails and forest tracts near you. Try a google satellite search in your area and then check the geocaching map for caches in those forested areas.

Edited by L0ne.R
clarity
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Guess I'm similar to Viajero Perdido.  Quality and experiences just weren't there (for us), so we don't play in large towns/cities anymore.

Just outside of cities,  this area has returned (a little bit) back to an outdoors experience with new parks springing up every fall/summer.

 - Maybe they're finally realizing that when visitors started moving in, the main reasons to visit were deteriorating...

One not completed yet had a walk event, and if they stick with their plan, will afford miles of beautiful vistas.

A twenty minute drive from town.

I hit parks similar during weekdays, when the city crowds they seem to be meant for aren't packing the place.  ;)

 

Here, parks usually have a playground somewhere on it.  Walk the trail with mum, then play in the castle n swings afterwards an option. 

Look for regular (in size) caches, and they may have "toys" (swag) to generate interest in the little one as well. 

 - Most kids want to find toys.  Only kids do I say "we're going on a treasure hunt !" to.    :)

Remember to trade...

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Where are you bronskibeat?  I’m near Woking; I may be able to make some suggestions...

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1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

 Most kids want to find toys.  Only kids do I say "we're going on a treasure hunt !" 

 

This is what I say to my geokid too 😊 he gets an initial rush of excitement and interest which waned quickly after 20+ minutes digging in bushes today! In our first cache we found a car left by Land Rover during a mountaineering event in the Lakes, he tells people that it came from a "treasure box!"

 

Thanks all for the advice and thoughts on this, I am struggling to find anything larger than micro round here (which is a pain as I have A fairly big TB to drop from the Lakes)  which probably doesn't help. Mr Beat found a nano cache whilst we were away so might need his keen eyes!

 

IceColdUK, we're near Hampton Court Palace - suggestions greatly received! 😊

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12 hours ago, bronskibeat said:

IceColdUK, we're near Hampton Court Palace - suggestions greatly received! 😊

 

Afraid I’ve done very few close to you (and those are mainly puzzles).  As others have suggested, look on the map for green areas - you might be better off finding a nice circuit further out of London.

 

One cache not too far from you that has to be recommended is Africa! in Richmond Park (GC48691), but with a youngster you’d probably need to split that over a few visits.

 

By the same CO, King Arthur’s Return (GC43RAR) is more kid friendly.  I haven’t done this one yet, but I’ve heard it’s a lot of fun.

 

I’d say a majority of urban caches are tiny (I won’t say ‘small’ to avoid confusion with the website categories).  Some will be the size of a 35mm film canister, others will be smaller, some the size of your fingertip - Google “nano geocache” and you’ll get the idea.  Many will be magnetic and attached to street furniture: on road signs, behind electrical boxes (please don’t try to open the boxes!), on benches, railings, etc.  Check the size and difficulty ratings, and read previous logs for hints.  Don’t be afraid to reach out to the CO for help if needed.

 

After a while you’ll develop a caching sense and it will become easier.  That said, you’ll never find them all!  Good luck.

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My personal opinion of urban caches is .... avoid like the plague ! I don't find them enjoyable at  all, so seldom do them  (with the exception of earthcaches and virtuals) . Even suburban parks can be problematic in England when they are small and heavily used ones: easy to find caches get muggled soon after setting as they are easy to find by curious kids and nosy dog walkers, hard to find caches get muggled because the curious kids and nosy dog walkers see cachers searching for them ...

 

Get to a big country park or forest, or out in the fields for proper, enjoyable caching . If you are stuck with a TB you can't find a cache big enough for, go to an event and drop the TB there ... it is a well worn joke amongst event setters I know , the unweildy huge TB that you get lumbered with after the atendees have all  gone  (I've had a few road signs and a full size wooden oar, and seen an ironing board and a teddy bear as tall as an adult ... )

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On 1/7/2019 at 11:35 PM, bronskibeat said:

IceColdUK, we're near Hampton Court Palace - suggestions greatly received! 😊

 

Aren't there some larger ones along the river between there and Richmond? Not too far for 3.5 year old legs to walk (and there are sure to be ducks and mud!) I walked past them a couple of summers ago but we were aiming to get to Hampton for a particular time and were comping by then...

 

i'd agree that looking at containers online helps, but it takes some time to get the hang of smaller cache types (i.e. 35mm and below). Always check the hints and pictures if there are any to start with and that might help. You might want to consider trying caches which are magnetic as well if you want to find something tiny and suburban - I find that at least that narrows down the possible hiding spots enough to make it possible.

 

And if you see ivy, leave!

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21 hours ago, hal-an-tow said:

(I've had a few road signs and a full size wooden oar, and seen an ironing board and a teddy bear as tall as an adult ... ) 

 

Wowser!!  Where on earth do you cache something like that??
 

I had some luck in central London today and found a box big enough for the TB to go in to - hooray!  Also noticed someone has picked it up since (double hooray!) as 4 other TBs in that cache had gone missing!

 

12 hours ago, Blue Square Thing said:

 

Aren't there some larger ones along the river between there and Richmond? Not too far for 3.5 year old legs to walk (and there are sure to be ducks and mud!) I walked past them a couple of summers ago but we were aiming to get to Hampton for a particular time and were comping by then...

 

i'd agree that looking at containers online helps, but it takes some time to get the hang of smaller cache types (i.e. 35mm and below). Always check the hints and pictures if there are any to start with and that might help. You might want to consider trying caches which are magnetic as well if you want to find something tiny and suburban - I find that at least that narrows down the possible hiding spots enough to make it possible.

 

And if you see ivy, leave!

 

There's a series from Hampton Court towards Kingston, and several along the river towards Walton.  Sounds like climbing is involved for some of them!!  Mr Beat and I are going to go caching along the river for my birthday in Feb whilst geokid is at nursery :)  

It seems a bit hit and miss with what I find and what I don't - figured out my first puzzle cache and managed to find the teeny nano cache by plugging the co ordinates into Google Maps but couldn't find the cigar sized cache by the railings of Wesley's Chapel :rolleyes:  Next time though!

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I haven't found many in London but this, I think, is my favourite even if it is a micro (strangely listed as an ?"Other". It's been favourited 1500+ times.

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13 hours ago, bronskibeat said:

It seems a bit hit and miss with what I find and what I don't - figured out my first puzzle cache and managed to find the teeny nano cache by plugging the co ordinates into Google Maps but couldn't find the cigar sized cache by the railings of Wesley's Chapel :rolleyes:  Next time though!

 

That's normal for at least the first 2-300 caches I reckon.

 

The one by Wesley's Chapel is one that once you know the sorts of places to look will be straightforward - I found it during a fire alarm when there were hundreds of people milling around. Iirc the coordinates may be a bit out - which is perfectly normal, particularly when there are big buildings around the place. You'll get there with time and persistence! I'd be interested to hear how much tree climbing is needed for those ones along the river as I have to go back that way at some point.

Edited by Blue Square Thing
The one I was about to recommend was the one you found!

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