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Finding Those Elusive Caches


goldfishy
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:lol: I am wondering, at what point do you read and use the hints given? If that does not work, how much time do you spend at a cache and how many visits do you make before you email the owner for an extra hint? If that doesn't work, at what point do, if at all, give up completely? :lol:
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Well lets see . The one I did yesterday took me 3 hours went into dark with coyotes nearby. The clue was torn up and thrown 40 feet away. Satellite reception went to nil. I called my wife to go on chat and get a new clue from the owner and as soon as I was about to get it the phone went dead. So I looked for another 40 minutes and found it finally in the dark with a stick.

 

Read the log here: The Ugly Duckling

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I'll usually decrypt the hint after about a half hour of searching, and give up the search completely after about an hour....depending on the difficulty rating for the cache. If it's 3 stars, or more, I'll already have budgeted extra time for the search and will spend as much as two or three hours looking, but for a 1 or 2 star cache, an hour is tops.

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I'll break out the clue after 15 minutes or whenever I get tired of searching without a clue, so to speak. Total search time will depend on a number of factors, including whether I'm close to home (easy to come back later), alone or with others, or doing just a few caches vs. an ambitious schedule for the day.

 

One rule of thumb I'd like to add: if I notice that I'm starting to disturb the natural environment by turning over too many logs, leaves, rocks, etc., then it's time to take a deep breath and log that DNF.

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For me this usually depends on a lot of factors with the biggest factor being time. If I know I only have a few minutes to get to the cache site and find the cache, then I always decode and read the hint ahead of time. While I would love to find every cache without using a hint, sometimes I just want a quick cache and dash on the way home from work.

 

As for searching time, I usually only give myself about ten minutes for a cache and dash. If I've hiked a good distance then I'll usually give up after a good 20 to 30 minute search.

 

I've noticed that lately it is very rare that I don't find the cache. My geosense must be getting stronger. :lol:

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if i get to the location and i'm pretty sure the container is under a big pile of snow, i read the hints before i start digging. likewise with giant piles of brush.

 

if i have exhausted all of my ideas i read the hint. usually if i have to read the hint i usually come up with a NF anyway. i almost always read the hint afterward to see if it would have helped. some hints are just useless.

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I don't decrypt until I've exhausted my search. (1/2 hourish depending on how many hiding spots and reception.)

 

After decrypting, it's usually found within another 1/2 unless the hint features a red-herring or is designed to lead astray--then it's a DNF.

 

I'll then email the owner, indicating what I've searched, and asking for a more specific hint (but NOT a spoiler) and return accordingly.

 

There have been a few times I've decrypted ahead of time--usually for safety reasons (night caching in winter alone on a high terrain rating).

 

Check out the link in my profile (extreme logs) for the solo nighttime FTF, I didn't decrypt ahead of time but ultimately found it despite wrong coords!

 

That was MEMORABLE!

 

Enjoy whatever works for you,

 

Randy

 

PS: I usually note if I needed the hint so the owner knows that some of us don't decrypt ahead of time! The recent trend in our region is to not provide hints at all--which is a big bummer as when you need it, there's nothing there...

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I'm in the 20 minutes to a half hour crowd. At that point I'll hand the printout over to my caching partner. She's usually ready to decode before I am, that's why I hold onto the printout. That is unless it's like this. If there's a long hint, I'll decode before I print. Once I go paperless, then I'll decode when I reach the half hour mark.

 

F_M

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Like many others, I tend to wait until I think I've exhausted all possibilities for searching and not finding it. Doesn't matter how long that takes, unless we're on a cache run. :)

 

Some caches you KNOW will take long hours to find, like the recently placed Little Nasty 4. So far it's been placed for a few days, and several cachers have spent a couple full days out there hunting but coming up with nothing.

 

The first three were a challenge, but this one seems to take the cake.

 

Little Nasty series.

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The rain has me away from Little Nasty 4. I'll try tomorrow. In the case of LN4, the clue won't do you any good. It says, "There will be no hints for this one until the first 5 cachers have logged it successfully! After that, drop me an email for a clue. Good luck all! If you find it, please do not give out clues!"

 

About says it all, doesn't it?

 

F_M

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I hate looking for the cache under every rock and in every bush (especially during tick season) so I decode within minutes or as I'm arriving (Who decodes? gpssonar does that for me). Low tolerance and laziness I suppose but for me, the mapping, planning to get there, the hike, the new places, the scenic views, the instrumentation, the picture taking etc, are more important. Also placing caches are lots of fun and sometimes it's harder to find a good hiding place for your own cache then finding someone elses!

 

Do whatever you are happy with and don't worry what others are doing.

 

Alan

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If only I had clues to decrypt with some of the more frustrating caches I've been searching for lately. There's one with hopelessly bad co-ordinates and no hint. It's a micro in a row of trees. Sometimes, I wonder if people get the objective of the game.

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