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To All The Newbies

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Nude geocaching should be left to the professionals! ;)

Excuse me while I poke out my mind's eye. ;)


But seriously, what Metaphor said. The forums ARE NOT geocaching.


Read the guidelines and play your OWN game. Remember ALWAYS that it's YOUR game and don't hold other's to YOUR standards.


BTW Noobs, please don't invest your feelings into a travel bug. It saves on heartburn later. Travel bugs disappear and that is just a sad fact of geocaching.


A few of my favorite geocaching quotes:


"Failure is a hard pill to swallow until you realize the only failure you can really have in this sport is the failure to enjoy yourself."

TotemLake 4/26/04


"Everyone plays their own game. There is no sense in trying to police another's mindset as long as it falls within the general parameters of the game." Me (quoting myself from the poll that I posted on 10/23/03.)


Great wisdom from a master TB finder:


"It's a web of life, in my opinion, and absolutely any movement is the next step in reaching it's goal. That weird side trip to Florida, may be the next step to Canada. And a side trip may have saved it from going MIA by pilferage in Pennsylvania."


bthomas on the subject of TB movement 10/27/2003


Sn ;):P gans

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  • Learn how to use the trackback feature on your GPS (if it has one).
  • Carry basic cache-fixing stuff (ziploc bags, pens, pencils, sharpener, extra log book). It's rare that I don't have to fix a cache somehow.
  • Enjoy the view.
  • It seems that you can never have too much water, unless it's in your bladder.
  • Carry a whistle and a hiking stick. Even if you don't think you need them.
  • Skunks make a hissing sound like a startled cat. Trust me on this one.
  • Storms come up on you faster than you think, especially when you are ascending.
  • Say nice things in the log, even if you don't mean it. If you have to make a critical comment, do it in a private email.
  • It's not about the numbers. Unless you want it to be. Don't be offended if I'm not impressed that you found 800 caches in your first year.
  • Gladware is good for mac-n-cheese. It's bad for geocaches.
  • Leave the cache container in a better condition than how you found it.
  • Don't think that you know of a better spot to hide the cache. The hider put it there for a reason. If you disagree, send the hider a private email and let them deal with it if they wish.
  • Calling people out in the forums or on a log is a good way to get a bad reputation. Or a black eye.
  • Your first cache will eventually get approved. Don't be offended if it takes a few days. The approvers are volunteers and they like to get out sometimes, too.
  • The moderators may seem like bullies, but it's their playground and they get to make the rules. Getting into a public pissing match with a moderator will almost never work out to your advantage.
  • Find a geocache above tree line at least once.
  • Kids view geocaching differently than adults do. For better or worse.
  • There is no magic "hides to finds" ratio. Place only as many caches as you can easily maintain. Unmaintained caches are litter, no matter how nice the container.
  • CITO day is in April. Get with your local caching group and clean up other peoples' $#!+.
  • After you've played with your new GPS (or Palm) for a day, read the manual.
  • Ford/Chevy, Republican/Democrat, Baptist/Methodist, Magellan/Garmin. No matter what you have or who you are, there's always going to be someone who thinks it's rubbish. Smile and say "you're absolutely right" as you turn your back on them.
  • Don't take anything with you that you aren't prepared to lose or broken. Things in your vehicle can and will get stolen.
  • Don't fall in love with technology. Your batteries will fall in a lake, your cell phone will break, and your flashlight will stop working. All at the same time and when you are a long ways from your car.
  • Let your spouse/kid/friend hold the GPS for a while.
  • Ignore the idiots in the forums. They don't know what they are talking about.
  • Have fun. Once it starts being a chore, find something else to do.

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waypoint your car

Good advice to waypoint you car, it is amazing how all those trees start to look alike once you are a mile in and can see nothing but trees.


My suggestion, which goes along with this one, is if you place a cache and you know that those seeking it will have to park in a particular place, include coords for that place inside of your cache.


This way those of us who know better, but still forget to waypoint our car can still get back before needing to use that tissue Mr. Lost (appropriate name ;) ) suggests you bring along.


This is particularly true for those multi leg caches taking us out into the far reaches of nowhere.


OK, for the noobs who do not waypoint their car, and the cache doesn't include the waypoint to the parking lot, and you don't have any tissue with you, always remember this: Your GPS has a man overboard or backroute|reverse route function. Learn how to use it before you need to. ;)


OK, another suggestion for those so inclined is get yourself a camera and take in with you on your hunts. Most of the caches I seek I end up seeing something that I take a picture or 3 of. Might be a creature, a view, who knows, but I have never had reason to regret taking a camera along with me and do have regrets for not having had one with me.


Oh yeah, one more thing. Bring a pencil and garbage bag with you. Sometimes a cache doesn't have anything to write with in it and you can't sign the log book if you don't bring your own. The plastic bag is to help weather seal anything in the cache that looks like it isn't doing well on it's own and if it isn't needed then you can carry out any trash you find as you leave.

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Take any advice/help that is offered, but remember to use common sense. When they placed the waypoint to the next stage the water level might have been lower, so that "18 inches of water" might now be closer to "34 inches."

Never be afraid to ask for help, we've all been there. Just because I'm fluent in Klingon or elven tongues doesn't mean you are, and someone might know where you can learn enough to read the cache page.

If in doubt, look before you touch. That fuzzy tail you find MIGHT have an owner, and he'll be kinda ticked if you tug on it.

Libraries are a great resource. They have books you can use to understand clues, people who might be familiar with local history and historical sites and they're a great place to get emergency access to cache listings. If you downloaded the cache page 2 days ago, you might not have seen that the cache was disabled yesterday.

If you meet with the local LEOs, remember they're just doing their job and they appreciate it when you tell the truth. Some of us have been questioned, some of us have been warned, but I don't recall anyone being arrested for caching. You never know when might recruit a new cacher.

Try not to take anything in the forums personally. Some people just don't know when to walk away from the keyboard.

Make sure you've brought everything you need before you need something you forgot. The most important thing being common sense.

Don't be surprised if that 1/1 cache you DNF'd after 2 hours is found the next day by a newbie on their first hunt.

Just because you've got 800 finds doesn't mean 801 will be any easier.



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Let your significant other / spouse hold the GPS every once in a while ;)


If you can't find the cache it doesn't mean you're a failure.


If/When questioned by the police offer to show them where the cache is. You just may convert them into cachers


Take a hiking stick with you. You can get these at Wally Word or Target for under $20.00 and they're great for poking around in holes, etc when looking for a cache.

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