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Cache's Uncovered

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Maybe this has been talked about, but I really need some help.

Seems I need some lessons in finding cache's. I have found only one so far and have searched for 5, one is just a technicality that I will clear up, but the others are just making me mad and I am kind of wondering if I am doing it right.


I have a Magellan nav 6000 and it seems to get me to with in 0.00 or 0.01 mi/nm/km of the find and that is it. Then I start to search, but sometimes there are moogles and sometimes I am worried that I found it, but passes it some how.


It is winter here and I went out to find one hidden on a break wall I looked for about 1 hr and had no luck except for getting a football and some stuff stuck to my coat. I figured either it was gone or it was too far under the snow to find. Then A day later a couple not to far from me logged it as found. the snow was deeper that day than on mine.


Help, pleas give some examples of how you knew you found the cache (BEFORE you found the container)


example: my first find, i figured i was on the right track when i could tell something could be hidden in this spot and then i found a videocassette case with geocache on it.


some pics of before and after would help too :blink: thank you

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Sometimes there are big signs such as an unnatural rock pile or a bark pile or just sticks laid together in a row. Some cachers take more steps to disguise the location.


Does your gps have a satellite signal strength window? If so click it on and see if you're getting a strong signal. You can always hold the gps above your head and make certain you aren't casting a little body shadow on the gpsr.


Practice helps, keep it up.

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I follow the arrow til I get within 50 feet or so, then I switch over to the coordinates and walk around til I'm on the spot (a compass helps here). I then look at the error and search in a circle equal to the error.


This of course assumes that I didn't spot the cache already. I might suggest that you try out some easy caches. Once you have found a few spoting them does become easier.


Happy Geocaching :blink:

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It sounds like you might not have correct settings on your GPSr. My Magellan (platinum) reads out in feet down to 0 after getting within less than .1 miles.


Check your settings. Are you reading a screen that shows the distance in more than say 2 or 3 digits? Some screens show more info than others.


I mostly use the compass screen with a distance to waypoint and bearing window also on the screen.


If your unit has a magnetic compass (I am not familiar with the entire line), use that when you get close.


I will set my compass screen to "GPS course" for the "rough" hike in, and at about 100 feet, I stop, let the readings settle down, and switch to the magnetic compass.


If your unit does not have a magnetic compass, remember that the slower you move the LESS accurate your compass needle is pointing- don't depend on the GPS compass if you are moving less than 1mph and ESPECIALLY if you are standing still. At the final stages, using a magnetic compass is VERY helpful. Get a Silva map compass (about five bucks) and simply dial the pointer to the bearing shown on the GPSr while standing still. Then align the north arrow and walk however far the GPS indicates.


From there LOOK AROUND! Remember that normal GPS PUBLISHED error is 45 feet or more depending on conditions and quality of GPSr. 15 feet is about THE BEST available with WAAS active on non-commercial GPSr's.


Almost all GPSr's will give different readings over a few minutes time. The first place the thing points is almost always NOT IT. Let it settle and LOOK AROUND.


Also, just a very basic thing to check. Are you entering coords in the right format and using the right datum? Mistakes here could generate LARGE position errors.


Try marking a spot in your back yard and then go back and find it a day or so later to see just how much error you can expect with your machine.


OH, and it's a lot easier when everything is NOT covered with snow, unless of course the cache you are hunting for was just recently found- then you can simply follow the footprints.

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Help, pleas give some examples of how you knew you found the cache (BEFORE you found the container)


There is just a sense that you develop after a number of finds. You get to an area and say to yourself, there it is, and you go there and...there it is.


It could be a crevice in the rocks, or a hollow tree stump that looks big enough to hide an ammo box, or the ubiquitious URPs (unnatural rock pile), or UPSs (unnatural pile of sticks), or something else that screams out "caaache" to you.


Some cache hiders get to an area, find the most obvious hiding spot, then hide it elsewhere to throw people off, but most use the obvious spot.

Edited by briansnat
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It looks like you are using an older GPS, so it's very possibly that it doesn't read out in feet. Switch it to kilometers instead of miles, since .01 mile is about 53ft, and .01 km is only about 33ft. Not quite as accurate as what most of us use, but it will get you in the area. Set your pack and gps down when you reach ground zero, and just start looking for unatural things. It takes practice. Start on the easy 1-1.5 star difficulty hides first, until you get a feel for how caches are hidden. Good luck!

Edited by Mopar
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Be certain to read the cache listing very carefully. Look for anything that might help you get an idea as to the type of container you're looking for. Look too for any subtle hints or suggestions in the cache page. You can use other cache pages by the same author to get a sense of the types of caches he or she seems to prefer and, sometimes, their comments in the forums allow you to get inside their head just a little bit. Some of our fellow sports folks are Altoid can artists. Others seem to remain true to the ammo can. We have one in our area who loves those little containers that memory chips are in when you purchase one. Try finding one of those in a pile of rocks. I certainly agree with the suggestion that you find a local cacher with some experience who is willing to search out a few with you and show you the ropes. Don't get discouraged. The thrill is, after all, in the hunt.

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Another thing I would add is don't be afraid to get "down and dirty!" When my friend and I go caching, I didn't know it for a while, but he would pre-read the hint to try to get a one-up on me on finding the cache, while I would look for the cache without knowing what the hint was. (sneaky bastard...) Lucky for me though, I always found it first anyway. The reason I think, is because I would crawl up the tree, or dig in the ground, under leaves, under trees, etc. while he didn't really want to get his hands dirty. So, even though he new where to look, I would always find it first. So when you look, REALLY LOOK.

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The big trick is learning to spot something unnatural in the area. Sticks & rocks arranged in a way unlikely to occur in nature, something rearranged, etc. They're also sometimes hidden in nooks & crannies in which case you won't find anything unnatural. You have to check every nook and cranny, that can be daunting in some places.


Your GPS is also less accurate than most so you're starting at a disadvantage. I'd check with the manufacturer to see if this can be improved, it may be capable of displaying in feet, that's what you really want. Finally, it's not that uncommon to search for an hour before you find the cache. Be persistant, check and double check.

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Help, pleas give some examples of how you knew you found the cache (BEFORE you found the container)


some pics of before and after would help too :D 

Check out my cache page - www.the-cache.com- early on (before I got to busy to continue), I took pictures of all my cache hunts, including the container in its hidden state, and once it had been uncovered. Maybe those might help!

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