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Ideas/suggestions for "Group Geocaching"


Pharmadude

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We've all been in situations where the topic of geocaching comes up, and everyone present says "gee, that sounds like fun--I'd like to try it!" I was in such a situation last night and it was decided that we would get a group together next month. So I'm wondering how best to introduce a group of novices to the sport.

-it would be about 6-12 people

-there is only one GPS (mine)

 

How do you keep everyone "involved"?

Would you visit "tried & true" caches, or take them out on one you've never been on yourself?

Should each individual be asked to bring a trade item?

Other ideas or suggestions?

 

I'm interested in hearing from others that have done this, and finding out what works and what doesn't work.

 

TIA!

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12 people sounds a bit to large for newbies. If you could keep it under 6 you may be better off.

 

I would also plan on about 3-4 caches. The first 2 would be caches I've found and in the 1/1 range. The next two could be a little more difficult. If you get skunked on those at least your friends will have the thrill of finding the first two.

 

Some people won't be able to use the GPSr the first time out. Others will want to jump right on it. Let them all take turns using it on the way to the cache. Then when you're in the area take it and put it in your pocket. This will show them to use their eyes to find the cache.

 

About tradeables. Try and explain the idea and let them bring their own. You should carry a bunch of "high" quality tradeables. This will cover anyone who brought a trade down item.

 

Most adults will be happy just to sign the log book.

 

in the next few days just wait and watch what they do. The addicted ones will own a GPSr by payday while the "that was a nice way to spend an afternoon" crowd will forget about it.

 

Most of all try and have some fun yourself. It's a game/hobby/sport. Not a day as a camp counselor.

 

====================================

As always, the above statements are just MHO.

====================================

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You will also want to be careful that the caches you chose to take them to will not be ones where a large group would damage the environment to a sever extent. That many people stomping around a well hidden, off trail cache could leave a noticeable impression, not to mention drawing a lot of attention.

 

M-D-M Explorations

MrSki and DogMa

40º 07.874'N

88º 11.647'W

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Looks like Harrald just about covered it. I'd like to add just one thing.

 

Tell each participant (before the hunt) to NOT give away the location once they find it. As each finds the cache see if you can have them move away from it and in some way indicate that they have found it (maybe join you off to the side). That way, everyone gets to enjoy the thrill of finding the cache.

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I know people talk about that. I hear people say the when they encounter other cachers (rare, I know) on the trail, they offer to hide the cache while the others wait. Maybe it is me, but the last thing I want to do after a 2 hour hike up a mountain is search for the cache. I have spent an hour looking for a cache in the hot sun before. If someone makes it easy to actually find (when you are looking with a GPSr, of course), my time is more enjoyable. I can't hardly find my wallet on the night stand without my wife helping me. I enjoy the website, posting, reading about new caches, planning my cache hunts, hiking to new and exciting places, long and short hikes, and then counting my finds compared to the leaderboard, and finally discussing my adventures with fellow cachers. The part that I, personally, could do without is the hunting through bushes to find the cache itself. I know this is a natural part of the hobby/sport, and I accept that, but I certainly would not go out of my way to try to have my friends hide it again so I could find it myself. If I cache with my wife, and she finds it first (usually), I love when she says, "Honey, it's here, I found it." The last thing I would say is, "OK, I'm gonna close my eyes and count to 100. You be sure and hide it real good!"

OK, that is my rant. You may return to your normal programming.

 

Everywhere that cache is found,

Bound to Cover Just a Little More Ground.

-Dru Morgan www.theheavenlyhost.com/dru

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The first thing I would do is give them a lesson on how to use the GPS, and the rules of geocaching.

 

Once that was done I would take them to the area of a fairly easy cache and break them into groups of 2 but no more than 3 and let each group have a go at it.

 

If you hunt a cache as a group of that size it's not going to be much fun.....one person with the GPS and 11 others tearing up the forest!

 

Put them in small groups like I mentioned and they will all learn the joy of a find. icon_biggrin.gif

 

El Diablo

 

Everything you do in life...will impact someone,for better or for worse.

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The first thing I would do is give them a lesson on how to use the GPS, and the rules of geocaching.

 

Once that was done I would take them to the area of a fairly easy cache and break them into groups of 2 but no more than 3 and let each group have a go at it.

 

If you hunt a cache as a group of that size it's not going to be much fun.....one person with the GPS and 11 others tearing up the forest!

 

Put them in small groups like I mentioned and they will all learn the joy of a find. icon_biggrin.gif

 

El Diablo

 

Everything you do in life...will impact someone,for better or for worse.

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Gave it some thought, and here's exactly what I would do in your situation.

 

1. Go hide a cache about a half mile from a nice picnic spot. Do not post the cache here yet.

 

2. Take your group on a picnic to the spot. Have them bring the food, drink, BBQ, etc, since you're providing the primary entertainment.

 

3. Preprogram the coords into the GPS and have it set on the right screen so they don't need to press any buttons. Tell them to follow the arrow, and send them out in small groups (no more than 3 people) by themselves to find your cache. Send out the first people to arrive right away, so that those who arrive later won't have to spend so much time sitting around waiting and getting bored.

 

4. Make sure when the groups get back that they don't talk to those who haven't gone yet about it. This will be especially hard when 2 or 3 groups return and will want to exchange 'war' stories. You might need to make people who can't resist the urge to discuss it go to a seperate area.

 

5. After everyone is done, find out who traded what for what. The last groups will almost certainly have taken stuff that the earlier groups left which itself could make for some entertaining conversation.

 

Other ideas;

A. Take walkie-talkies that have enough range to reach at least to the cache. If a group is having serious difficulties, you can give hints, and they can also radio in when they've found it, so you can begin to prepare the next group.

 

B. Get some other friendly geocachers in your area to help out. You could each set up different caches in different directions from the picnic and send out multiple groups. If each geocacher brought their own GPS to loan out and their own group of newbies, it could turn into a real party.

 

Wow, the more I think of this, the more fun it sounds. I might just have to do this around here this summer.

 

--- Two paths diverged in a wood, and my... my GPSr pointed dead center between them. ---

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When my son-in-law asked what geocaching was, I went to our backyard (which is about 2 or 3 full lots in size) and hid a mini-cache in an old rock pile. (Standard log book, trinkets, Where's George dollars, etc.)

 

I then made up a sheet (similar to what you would get on Geocaching.com (with encrypted clues and everything.)

 

I then explained the way a GPS works to him, how to enter coordinates, a little about the various screens on the Mag 315, and I then turned him loose.

 

I walked him thru putting in the coordinates, using the "GOTO" feature. He said, "Hey, this one is less than 400 feet away" (I smiled!)

 

I told him to go for it and follow the arrow (til he got within about 50 feet, then to take a compass bearing and visual guestimation of the cache hiding area.)

 

I named this backyard cache "Hudson & Gomer" (get it - Rock Pyle) and it stays there to this day!

 

Well, three hours later, he had logged 4 real finds from our area (including two virgin ones I had recenlty placed and had just been approved!) This was 2 weeks ago. They know own a Mag 315, digital camera, MAHA recharger, etc. etc.!

 

Our obsession expands...

 

I was going to pull it and place it traditionally, but my wife wants to search for it when our daughter comes home on vacation.

 

It is now a Permanant, Private training cache!

 

(And welcome to those back-yard trained new geocachers: ArmyMan27 and Mommy#1 - my son-in-law and daughter!)

 

< !-- maj-gps.gif

-->

Always trade UP in both quantity and quality and Geocaches will be both self-sustaining and self-improving!

 

--majicman

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Hello Pharmadude, I don't know where you live but if you live anywhere around Connecticut USA, I have a few Garmin V's that I would let you use for your outing. When I have a couple of other people with me caching, I supply each person with a unit just so we can all search at the same time. Great for competition and fun. Keeps everyone interested. Just let me know.

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Hey Ranger Rick, thanks for your very generous offer! I'm in the Vancouver area (opposite coast) so that obviously won't work, but it was a terrific thought. And thanks to everyone else who have contributed to this topic. I've picked up some great ideas here, and I think, no I *know* we're gonna have some fun with "the group" in a few weeks.

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