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How much of a hint do you like?


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Are you the kind that doesn't want much of a hint. On the other hand do you want, it almost given to you?

This is a big question I have when I make a cache up for hiding. Let me know how you feel.

Do you several way of telling where to look, like "Magnets" stuck to a road sign telling you the next corrds? Pad locks, hooked to a fence or chain telling you to got here or there?

What make a good hint to you?? icon_wink.gif

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When I create a hint for my caches, I try to make it a dead giveaway. My cache difficulty ratings are based on the assumption that the seeker has not decrypted the hint. If they do, it could turn a 2.5 star hunt into a 1 star.

 

When looking for a cache, I expect the same. But what I really can't stand is going through the trouble of decrypting the clue and finding it says "no hint needed". Helloooo, if I had to decrypt the thing, I needed a hint!

 

"Au pays des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois"

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Kodaks4 started a trend in our area.

[nudge]Bnx gerr.[hint]Ybbx nebhaq gur bnx gerr orgjrra gur srapr cbfgf.

Gur pnpur vf uvqqra va n fznyy penpx va gur bnx gerr. Arne gur tebhaq. Lbh jvyy unir gb yrna jnl bire gb frr vg.

 

It's cool because you only have to decypher what you need.

 

39197_3100.jpg

Pepper playing nice!

Mokita!

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I partially agree/disagree with Brian.

 

IMHO, If you didn't have to work hard to actually get to the cache location, (driving distance not applied) then the cache hider can be as vague or playful as they please. It was the hider that went to the time and expense of placing the cache and the finders fault for not finding it unless it has gone AWOL. The problem is that many people don't want to post a frownie which would alert the cache owner of a potential loss. Camo is a big deal here in the pit and no one wants to give their grab-n-go's away if they went to a bunch of trouble.

 

Snicon_razz.gificon_razz.gifgans

texasgeocaching_sm.gifThe greatest labor saving invention of today is tomorrow....

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quote:
Originally posted by leatherman:

Kodaks4 started a trend in our area.

[nudge]Bnx gerr.[hint]Ybbx nebhaq gur bnx gerr orgjrra gur srapr cbfgf.

Gur pnpur vf uvqqra va n fznyy penpx va gur bnx gerr. Arne gur tebhaq. Lbh jvyy unir gb yrna jnl bire gb frr vg.

 

It's cool because you only have to decypher what you need.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/profile/default.asp?A=39197

_Pepper playing nice!_

http://www.global-dialog.org/mvd/mvl.cgi?NextName=wAnti-Mokita.html


 

Now that's cool! I would do that for a harder rated cache. I'm all for a chain yanker on a grab-n-go though....

 

Snicon_razz.gificon_razz.gifgans

texasgeocaching_sm.gifThe greatest labor saving invention of today is tomorrow....

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The hints usually suck anyway. Give me a good set of coords any day and I'll find it. I like to keep my hints vague and impossible. If they give too much away it takes the hunt right out of it. As long as you rate the cache correctly a hint is not necessary.

 

migo_sig_logo.jpg

______________________________________________________________________________________

Caching without a clue....

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I agree with Brian. But the three level hint is also a great idea.

 

After reading Brian's opinion on this in a previous post, I did a dead giveaway hint on my last placement. I noted in the unencrypted part that it is a dead giveaway and don't decode it in advance.

 

I think a lot of people decode them routinely. That would make a dead giveaway a total spoiler.

 

I think if your hint is a dead giveaway, you should say so in the main body.

 

Caint never did nothing.

GDAE, Dave

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I have always thought that a cache should be hid such that a causual hiker won't find it and a cacher could. The hint should enable the cacher to find the cache.

 

Land managers have repeatedly expressed their fear that a geocache will lead to the area being trampled by cachers. I think the best way to minimize this impact is to make the clue useful. In my most recent hide, the clues make no sense until you are in the area and then it hits home. They don't have to be dead giveaways to be useful. On others, I give a bearing from a landmark and a distance. If it is a family type of cache, you don't want to have a bunch of kids have a no find.

 

As many have mentioned, I hate stupid, useless clues. Fortunately, with the PDA queries, I don't waste much time on them. But I pity the person decoding them on paper in the field and get some inane attempt at being funny rather than helpful.

 

Steve Bukosky N9BGH

Waukesha Wisconsin

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I want people to find my caches, so I give really specific hints for all of them. I do use the tier method, where I give a general nudge, then a more detailed hint to get them thinking, and finally a dead giveaway. I have even figured out how to get an ordered list tag to work while encoded.

 

I do this because I really am a terrible looker and I really detest getting to the end of a long hike only to have to hunt for over a half an hour tromping all over the vegetation and overturning rocks to find the container. I really leave a terrible mess if they are hidden too well.

 

stealyourcache.gif Ever notice how anyone that caches more than you do is a maniac, while anyone that caches less than you do is an idiot? -Dru Morgan

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Shibby:

Not me...I do not look at the hint unless I am stumped, so I want the EXACT location. At the very least, I will know if I was looking in the right place.

Kar


 

I agree. I like navigating to the cache. Searching gets old fast if someone has been overly clever in hiding the container or there's a hundred potential hides within view and the hint is useless.

 

PDOP's GPS Pages

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quote:
Originally posted by sbukosky:

I have always thought that a cache should be hid such that a causual hiker won't find it and a cacher could. The hint should enable the cacher to find the cache.

 

Land managers have repeatedly expressed their fear that a geocache will lead to the area being trampled by cachers. I think the best way to minimize this impact is to make the clue useful. In my most recent hide, the clues make no sense until you are in the area and then it hits home. They don't have to be dead giveaways to be useful. On others, I give a bearing from a landmark and a distance. If it is a family type of cache, you don't want to have a bunch of kids have a no find.

 


 

I mostly agree with that. Very well worded and some good ideas that I had not thought of yet. Thanks.

 

Snicon_razz.gificon_razz.gifgans

texasgeocaching_sm.gifThe greatest labor saving invention of today is tomorrow....

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quote:
Originally posted by PDOP's:

Searching gets old fast if someone has been overly clever in hiding the container


 

Is there such a thing as overly clever with respect to hiding a container? That's what makes the game fun for me.

 

I'm in the, "If I can't find it then it's my fault," camp.

 

Snicon_razz.gificon_razz.gifgans

texasgeocaching_sm.gifThe greatest labor saving invention of today is tomorrow....

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I like a hint that tells me where it is or how to locate it. So I can go right to it? No, but recently I came across a micro (magnetic key case) that had been plundered and tossed aside. Only by dumb luck did I find it at the bottom of the bridge, rather than attached in its proper place. A clue that tells where it is helps the hunter determine if the cache is where it's supposed to be, and therefore save others who follow a lot of grief.

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I will almost always check the hint before I give up, so if it's the hiders fault I can't find it (like say really bad coordinates), or it's been plundered, I can pass that info along and others don't waste their time until the problem is fixed. So a giveaway hint can help maintain the cache.

 

I did just place my second cache with no hint, but I also triple checked my coordinates with 2 different GPSrs, on different days, at different times. I also monitored the cache closely until a couple of cachers found it. And I plan at least a trip a week to check it (more if needed) because it's an 'out in the open' cache in a fairly high traffic area.

 

_________________________________________________________

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 and Here (newest)

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I like "stepped" hints. Say 1 to 5 hints (determined by the cache's difficulty) which start out vague and progressively give more clues.

 

For example

 

1. If you reach the fence you've gone too far.

2. Not down. Think a bit higher.

3. Not the LARGE tree but....

4. It might be a HOLE lot easier if shed some light on the situation.

5. It's in the hole in the small tree you idiot!

 

;D Seriously. The above gives you the option of translating one clue at a time as needed without giving away too much.

 

Jolly R. Blackburn

http://kenzerco.com

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

When I create a hint for my caches, I try to make it a dead giveaway. My cache difficulty ratings are based on the assumption that the seeker has not decrypted the hint. If they do, it could turn a 2.5 star hunt into a 1 star.

 

When looking for a cache, I expect the same. But what I really can't stand is going through the trouble of decrypting the clue and finding it says "no hint needed". Helloooo, if I had to decrypt the thing, I needed a hint!

 

_"Au pays des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois"_


 

I agree. If try not to look at hints unless it's a LAST resort. If I just spent forty minutes searching for a cache and read THEN read the hint only to be told "no help here" or "Cheater!" I'm an unhappy camper.

 

I wanna know if the cache is missing or if I need to keep looking. I don't mind tough finds but at some point if you can't find it you want to make sure it's really missing before giving up.

 

Jolly R. Blackburn

http://kenzerco.com

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My hints are pretty much dead giveaways. I like these as well on my hunts as I don't like trampling areound the bushes around here where I've picked up Lyme infested ticks. Also, spending 45 minutes turning over or moving every branch or rock or shadow isn't my idea of fun. Planning, getting to and enjoying the location is the best part.

 

Alan

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan2:

My hints are pretty much dead giveaways. I like these as well on my hunts as I don't like trampling areound the bushes around here where I've picked up Lyme infested ticks. Also, spending 45 minutes turning over or moving every branch or rock or shadow isn't my idea of fun. Planning, getting to and enjoying the location is the best part.

 

Alan


 

I hate to Amazonian bush-dive looking for a cache in a high-traffic place. (Oh, gee, ANOTHER under-the-bush cache, how exciting!) Most of the time I will read the clue before going to the cache, but I want the clue to be a CLUE, not a dead giveaway, I want to have SOME hunting left when I get there.

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i tend to incorporate hints in the body of the description. any word or unusual capitalization might be the information you need.

 

if the location is starightforward and will not benefit from trampling, i say so. i have been known to use the stepped hints, but sometimes i don't want to make it possible for a hider to decrypt from the start. i want them to look before they resort to hints.

 

when i'm looking, i prefer no hints over useless hints. if i need hints, the kind of thing i like is (progressively)1)an idea of the size and shape of the container 2)whether or not the container is comouflaged or very obscured 3)a distinctive landmark that will let me know if i'm in the right area, and sometimes 4)advice on how to get to the right area if i've taken the usual wrong turn and fallen into the trap.

 

what i do not want to see in the hints is advice on where to park, or which trail will cross the railroad tracks safely, or that i should turn right at the trail junction. these are all things that should be in the description if the hider wants me to know. they are only useful at the beginning of the hunt. if i'm decrypting hints, chances are that these are now useless bits of information.

 

it doesn't matter if you get to camp at one or at six. dinner is still at six.

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quote:
what i do not want to see in the hints is advice on where to park

 

I often put parking coordinates in the hint, because some people want the coordinates and others would rather find their own way. I do label them as such. An example:

 

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

[Parking] sbhe1 bugjb gjbfvksbhe, frira4 gjb-bu, frira bar sbhe [The Cache]Nzbat ebpxf npebff sebz snyyf. Haqre fyno.

 

It is kind of senseless to put parking coordinates, trail info, etc... in the hint if they aren't labeled. Most of the time people don't decrypt the hint until they are at the cache site. At that point the other info is useless.

 

"Au pays des aveugles, les borgnes sont rois"

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I used the stepped [HINT][NUDGE]

hints after seeing it used by one of the better known NWern area cachers, but I forget who it was.

 

However, with more people using PDAs, this stepped system is useless because as soon as you view the hint all is revealed. That's why I put the spoiler in the body of the description so it must be decyphered manually. Example here.

 

Because I'm such a tenacious hunter, I feel that there should spoilers for everything more than something obvious and in the open. I will hunt at least for 30 minutes looking for a cache, many times longer. About the only thing that will cut my hunt short is mosquitoes and other biting bugs.

 

The way I hunt is approach the area looking for obvious hiding spots and places that don't look right. Then I start gently probing. Then when that is exhauted, I look at the hint and then the previous logs for clues. I exhaust what I can from that. Then, the pitbull comes out, I AM going to find it!!! Unforunately, after this amount of activity, the area looks less for the wear.

 

So, to protect your site, IMHO, you should place spoiler information, at least encryted in the description, if not in the hints area.

 

CR

 

72057_2000.gif

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The "tiered" hint idea (and parking) seems like a great way to give people only the info they need, as they need it....so that would work great for a good traditional cache.

 

One thing that I also like (in larger multis or puzzle caches) is the clue on the cache page just being a set of coords for another place.

 

For Example: You go off in search of a five step multi-puzzle, which gets progressively harder with each step. The first two caches are fairly easy 2/2's. The third takes a little brain-power, but the hide is fairly obvious, so if you have the right coords, you won't need a hint. The fourth cache is downright tricky, so even if you have the right coords, you may need a hint....so if you descramble the hint for #4 on the cache page, it gives you coords for a "hint-card" that's somewhere nearby (just a laminated card hanging from a tree that will give you a good clue). The fifth cache is devious, and is a very hard find (say a 4/4), so if you get stumped you can descramble the clue to #5. That will give you the coords for another clue-card, which has some vague info, as well as coords for another clue card. There's two or three hint cards that you can go after that give you progressively better and more specific info on the location....So, you end up having to solve all the puzzles, but you can get hints along the way (if you choose to)...but you still have to work for them. icon_smile.gif

 

The only problem with this is that the cache hider has more maintenance to keep up with, and if all the caches and cards aren't within a close proximity, it can get frustrating quickly having to go back and forth.

 

migo_sig_logo.jpg

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I rarely use the encrypted hints; around my region, at least, it is a rare cache where the hiding spot isn't immediately evident. For the higher difficulty caches, the cache owners usually (and wisely, in my opinion) don't include encrypted hints.

 

In my opinion, too many cachers rely on the encrypted hints rather than learning to open their eyes and take nothing for granted.

 

I also regularly notice that cachers choose to seek caches with higher (3 or above) difficulty ratings, fail to find the cache within 10 minutes of searching, and then post an angry "note" or "couldn't find" log to the cache page. ... I would offer no condolences to that type of cacher; if they weren't prepared to expend the amount of time searching for the cache suggested by the difficulty rating, then in my opinion they had no business seeking that cache.

 

I think encrypted hints are fine for caches with low difficulty rating, (in particular, "beginner" or "family" caches), where the cache owner wants to practically "guarantee" a find. But for higher difficulty ratings (3 and higher), I see no reason for encrypted clues to be provided. The possibility of a challenging find is a "given".

 

I have also noticed on many occasions that encrypted hints are offered in place of reasonable coordinates or an accurate difficulty rating.

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i will search for hours if need be, and spread out over several days. usually what i do with the hints is decrypt them after the find to se if they would have been helpful or not.

 

when i do look for a hint, i'm looking for just that: a hint. i'm not looking for the answer. i like what briansnat has to say about offering parking coordinates to those who want them.

 

and i'm with bassoonpilot on those difficult caches. people who hunt them should expect challenges.

 

it doesn't matter if you get to camp at one or at six. dinner is still at six.

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

I used the stepped [HINT][NUDGE]

hints after seeing it used by one of the better known NWern area cachers, but I forget who it was.

 

However, with more people using PDAs, this stepped system is useless because as soon as you view the hint _all_ is revealed.


 

This stepped hint idea sounds great. Maybe decoding the hints in steps should be added to the wish list of new features for Geocaching.com

 

PDOP's GPS Pages

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Just set an offset cache, my first. I tried to put info in the hint that would save excessive trouble, but nothing that would be a dead giveaway. There are a couple of ways to mess up that I know of, and these would be really frustrating.

 

____________________________

- Team Og Rof A Klaw

All who wander are not lost.

 

[This message was edited by Team Og Rof A Klaw on June 12, 2003 at 11:12 AM.]

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Most caches in our area are a long way apart and the time it takes to get there can be considerable. As far as a hint to a cache I am looking for I like a really good accurate hint. After driving 100+ miles and gaining 2000 feet on foot in elevation I don't want to go home empty handed. I will look long and hard for it but if all else fails I want the hint to be a good one. Other drive bye caches I don't care how vague the hint is because it is no big deal if I can't find it after a good search. I try to make the hints to my caches a dead giveaway for the same reason. If you want to use the hint it is there.

sidewinde

 

LOST AND FOUND DEPT.

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I rely pretty heavily on hints, since I like the walk to the cache a lot better than the hunting process. I have no interest in poking around for 1/2 an hour under every log, looking for burlap covered with vines. Darkness, a tight schedule, too many bugs, and poison ivy all add to my impatience. Plus I often cache with Mr. Kane and other people who relish the hunting process even less than I do. Mr. Kane gets cranky after about 10-15 minutes. So I'm not ashamed to decrypt the hint after poking around casually for a few minutes. And yes, vague or clever meaningless hints really annoy me.

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Shibby:

Meaningless hints are annoying. Theres nothing worse than searching for 45 mins and decrypt the hint to read something like " When you see a tree, your getting close" WHAT!!!! Im in the middle of a friggin' forest for christ sakes!!!!

 

Kar


 

Thank you, Kar ... I think I'll add the clue "The cache is located within 100 feet of the water" to my MOC in your area. icon_wink.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by ChurchCampDave:

I see no need to encrypt the parking hint. In a sense, they are already encrypted, since they are meaningless unless you enter them into your gpsr.


 

The whole argument for encrypting parking coordinates is ridiculous.

One argument was "If parking coordinates are listed I feel compelled to use them." No one is twisting any arms here. If the intent is to raise the challenge, then don't use them.

Parking coordinates are a convenience not a spoiler.

 

39197_3100.jpg

Pepper playing nice!

Mokita!

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I would at least like for the person who placed the cache to instruct on how to get to the parking location. Tried to go after a new one today and there were no instructions on where you could park. An access was through private property or on the side of the road, that didn't a parking place. Even tried a round about way on a trail for a shortways, but ended up in peoples backyard. But it was the only way of a trail leading in that direction that had a place for you to park. At least give some coordinates of where to park and don't make it in such a place where you could get hit or towed away.

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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I want to know where to park... I don't want it as a hint... Especially since where I live, to get to most caches, I have to drive half an hour, so I end up in places that I don't normally go. So for me, I want to know basically how to get to somewhere to start the cache from... The point of caching isn't the drive to get to where you walk from... It's goint to the Cache and saying you've found it..

 

As for clues... I want them to be good ones.. We were having problems finding stuff today, and the clue wasn't helping me at all. So it's like... What the heck... Cause it's pointless to have a clue that doesn't help... BUT, I do think that it's a case by case basis... I know someone who has a cache that the coordinants it's listed under is where to park your car, then you have a list of 19 sets of coordinants, and only one is right... The clue tells you which one to look at, so if you read the clue, you don't have the "thrill" of 18 wrong sets of coordinants..

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I haven't done too many yet, but of those that I have the best clues were a set of progressive clues with each giving more and more information, with the last clue just about giving it away. This actually added to the excitement with the kids as they wanted to see if they could do it with the fewest number of clues, yet had some assurance they wouldn't walk away empty handed.

 

It might even be nice to see the cache descriptions say:

 

Parking Hint: xyzxyzxyzxyz

Trail Head Hint: xyzxyzxyzxyz

Location Hint 1: xyzxyzxyzxyz

Location Hint 2: xyzxyzxyzxyz

 

This way you could decode those that that you wanted/needed only.

 

etc.

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I agree fly46. After I typed the message above, my son and I set out to go after a new one. No directions of where to go and park. Just some coordinates. We drove around about 10-15 minutes trying to see where the parking was. Finally found it.

 

We are not from the area, we just moved here from over 1000 miles away a few months ago. So knowing where something is, is not an option for us. Just basic directions would be good. Or at least a road name. Then the parking coordinates would help.

 

Brian Wood

Woodsters Outdoors

http://www.woodsters.com

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We had this discussion over on the NE forum recently.

 

Not to beat a dead horse but this whole disagreement (if ya ask me) is based on one’s individual definition of Geocaching. This is a great game because it is enjoyed by so many different people, in so many different ways. Some just need coords and they’ll do the rest; others get no joy from rummaging around in the woods (ticks now being a legitimate concern) and want to go directly to the cache.

 

What’s fun for you isn’t necessarily fun for me--and visa versa. I think there is enough “longitude and latitude” (pun intended) in this game for everyone to be happy without forcing your personal ideology on another.

 

I think we all concluded that encrypted hints should be revealling leaving the decision to the individual. This way, everyone is happy.

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Personally when I get stumped I want a good set of hints because I don't want to feel like I just wasted my time. I like the way Leatherman said people are starting to list [nudge], [hint],

within the hints. That way you can move up as you like. Sometimes I want an all out photo just because I looked, and looked and want proof that it was there, ha ha. I guess though to a point too many clues could lead one to call it Letterboxing instead of Geocaching. Ha Ha.

 

NeuroNomad & Sublonde's Page

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IMHO as a newbie (5 finds in 6-7 tries) I would like to have a dead giveaway hint available. I have found it pretty frustrating a couple of times not being able to locate the cache, especially when conditions are not very favorable (hot, humid, snowing, raining, cold, etc...) or after a lengthy hike. I like the idea of a multi-tiered hint option so that I could confirm that I'm in the right general area first, then if I still needed help, a little more info, and then a third dead giveaway. Since the hints are coded, people don't have to use them if they choose not to. I just find it frustrating to come away without a find. Besides, it would be a good way to confirm if the cache is gone or not.

 

Another thing that I personally find frustrating is people who give misleading clues to throw subsequent cachers off the path. I don't want spoilers but I also don't want to be deceived either. I'm sure some folks like that and its fine but I've been a little frustrated at times.

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quote:
Originally posted by ScurvyDog:

Are you the kind that doesn't want much of a hint. On the other hand do you want, it almost given to you?

This is a big question I have when I make a cache up for hiding. Let me know how you feel.

Do you several way of telling where to look, like "Magnets" stuck to a road sign telling you the next corrds? Pad locks, hooked to a fence or chain telling you to got here or there?

What make a good hint to you?? icon_wink.gif


Well, on cache binge days, I want good hints to speed things up if needed. I always try to find the cache without hints, but when you are doing cache machines, you almost have to read hihnts as others will have. Don't give me useless hints!!!! e.g. An ivy league hide!, e.g. 2 look at the spoiler picture

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