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Alibags suggested a topic to help out all the noobs spawned from Simply Paul's video diary on COUNTRYFILE so here is my attempt!

 

First thing to do is go and purchase a GPSr (Global Positioning System Receiver).

 

Good places to try are eBay and GlobalPositioningSystems.co.uk.

 

It is worth noting that ANY GPSr is fine for Geocaching as long as it has the ability to input waypoints (set positions) and you can pick new ones up from about £45.

 

If you are reading this then the chances are you are already registered on GeoCaching.com. Make sure you input your home location and then you can view all your nearest caches!

 

I recommend printing out the cache page for your first target and reading it very carefully. You can click on the Streetmap.co.uk link on the cache page to get an idea of the location of your cache too.

 

Put the co-ordinates listed on the cache page into your bright and shiny new GPSr and follow the arrow to the cache location.

 

With any luck you should find your first cache very easily but just in case there is a clue which can be decoded using the ABC key which is printed on the page. Sometimes the cache placers also add a photograph or two (called spoilers) to help you locate the box.

 

Once you have found your first box (yay!) you should sign the logbook inside the box. If it is a regular cache then there is probably a few items in the box which are there to trade. There is an unwritten rule that you should trade items of similar value or 'trade up' by leaving an item of a higher value. You may also find Travel Bugs in a cache. These are a special items that do not need to be traded. You can pick them up and drop them off as you like without a swap. It is important to check if the travel bug has any specific mission and then you can try and help it on its way.

 

NB. You do not NEED to trade anything. If you like you can just leave a note that you 'Took Nothing, Left Nothing' (TNLN) and signed the log (SL).

 

There are also a lot of different types of cache including many that are too small to allow trades or even no cache box at all. See Geocaching.com's cache types page.

 

When you have finished trading make sure you hide the box exactly as you found it (or better if has become exposed by weather or critters). Then when you get home log your visit on Geocaching.com and tell everyone about your adventure!

 

There is more information on Geocaching.com's FAQ page.

 

No doubt there will be lots more advice and questions so please post them here. :laughing:

Edited by The Hokesters
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Notes on buying (or not buying) a GPS receiver.

 

1) Some caches can be found without a GPSr if you know the area. Look for a 1/1 cache in your listings, and see if you can work out where it is from the description and clue.

 

2) If you post your general location when saying hello in the forums, local cachers may offer to hook up and show you the ropes while you borrow their GPS receiver. There have been successful public events in Hampshire where this has happened.

 

That said, a cheap GPS receiver (GPSr) is as good as an expensive one for starting out caching, so it's not too much outlay. If you don't enjoy caching (unlikely!) then the GPSr has many other uses, it won't be a wasted purchase.

 

Cheers,

 

Stu

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Just thought I would add;

 

GPSr selection - the cheaper models do not offer datacables. A data cable will become invaluable when you become addicted (you know it's going to happen). A datacable allows you to download bulk waypoints from GC.com (if you are a premium member) in a matter of seconds where it would take days to enter them manually.

 

Cache placement - it is generally advised that you find a few caches before being tempted to set your own. Varying opinions on this but I should think the majority would say 'find 10 or more before setting your first'. This just helps you learn the pros and cons of cache setting.

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Remember that AAA batteries don't last as long as AA's when choosing a GPSr :huh:

 

And extra utilities like Electronic Compass and Altitude etc (which eat up battery life btw !)...are not all that necessary for the even the most experienced geocacher ;)

 

Also, rechargeables are reasonably cheap nowadays and well worth the cost ;)

 

(can I say this is a really great thread for the new geocacher :) )

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When you read the cache page, also pay attention to the past logs. Sometimes they give hints but even more important you can get an idea of how hard they are, whether kids have enjoyed that hunt, whether muggles were present and whether it has taken several attempts for experienced finders to find.

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Seriously

 

A must for newbies (& not so newbies) is to attempt caches with in your capabilities,.

 

DON'T go out into open moorland ect with out being prepared. If you get lost or injured you need a back up plan.

And realise that not all cache pages clearly outline the dangers ... so be prepared to call it a day if you suspect that you might be taking a risk you normally wouldn't take ... and either give it a miss or come well prepared next time ;)

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1) Some caches can be found without a GPSr if you know the area. Look for a 1/1 cache in your listings, and see if you can work out where it is from the description and clue.

I bagged my first 3 caches while I was waiting for my GPSr to be delivered. The cache page from geocaching.com and a satellite photo from Terraserver were all I needed.

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Newbie question re: placing caches

 

I'm a bit new to this game to be placing caches yet, but how do you find out who the landowner is, and how accommodating do you find farmers etc.. who havn't heard of geocaching? Do you get their consent in writing?

 

You really need to find several caches - about 10 - before placing one of your own, simply to ensure that you have some experience to know what makes a cache well hidden.

 

In order to find out who owns the land you just need to ask around, or if a public space then there is usually an information board. The Geocaching Association of GB is negotiating for permission to place caches with the Major Landowners. More details on our progress so far is here Landowners Agreements Database

 

Consent doesn't need to be in writing although it helps to send a confirmation as your record.

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;) Hello, I thought I'd introduce myself as one of the newbies introduced by Paul's Countryfile debut!

 

Since seeing the video diary, we've signed up to geocaching.com and the various other websites, ordered a Garmin Legend (I hope that was a good choice for beginners?!) and we now eagerly await the weekend to get started searching in Sunny Bournemouth (Dorset)! :)

 

These forums are a hive of information and existing geocachers comments have got us hooked before we've even got the GPSr!

 

Looking forward to seeing some of you out and about :huh:

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my advice would be this :-

 

1=spare batteries for gps and torch

2=a torch !.regardless of time of search

3=a map of area,especially wooded areas or wide open spaces

4=proper footwear and clothing(waterproof)..i even take a very lightweight mountain shelter in case the weather turns very nasty or a casualty needs keeping dry or warm

5=few choccy bars or boiled sweets

6=drink of some description

7=mobile phone,charged and with credit.

8=small medical kit,plasters,talcum powder etc.

 

most important of all...be aware of your surroundings and the surface you are walking over,many accidents can be avoided by using the mk1 eyeball.

 

happy hunting !

 

third-degree-witch

Edited by third-degree-witch
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When you read the cache page, also pay attention to the past logs. Sometimes they give hints but even more important you can get an idea of how hard they are, whether kids have enjoyed that hunt, whether muggles were present and whether it has taken several attempts for experienced finders to find.

A muggle is the geocaching name for non-cachers. The uninitiated. Those who do not cache. Civilians. It comes, of course, from the Harry Potter books where it's uses as a name for non-magical folks.

 

A cache box can also be muggled, if it's found by a non-cacher (or rare, evil cacher) and either removed, emptied or otherwise damaged or destroyed. It doesn't happen often, happily, but it has been known.

 

A big special hello to the newbies - I'm glad you found my silly film (all thanks to the editing skills of Cat at BBC countryfile) inspirational and I hope you find geocaching as much fun as I have! Oh to be rediscovering it again. That surreal emotion of finding your first box. The thrill of your FFTF (First 'First To Find' - basically being the first cacher to locate a new cache). I envy you ;)

 

Happy caching

 

SP

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Hi all this is very helpfull ;)

 

Today was my first day and i have bagged two cache's in 2 hours and started to assemble my own caches (no expense spared :) )

 

I have a few questions that probably should have gone in a techie post somewhere but here goes...

 

My new GPSr should arrive tomorrow (a bargin Garmin eTrex Legend C from digiwoo.com) and i know it will come with a data cable.

 

What i would like to know is can i as a proud Apple Mac user still download bulk waypoints from GC.com if i become a premium member?

 

Also, are there any other mac users that are genned up on all things geocaching that could give me some pointers regarding software etc?

 

Also, my Dad has a big farm in Wales and i wanted to place a cach in an old burial mound that sheep used to sleep in... Is there a rule about stone age tombs being used?

 

Cheers guys...

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''Also, my Dad has a big farm in Wales and i wanted to place a cach in an old burial mound that sheep used to sleep in... Is there a rule about stone age tombs being used?''

 

AHEM..........i dont think thats a good idea,its a historical monument and tomb .such places should be left well alone......simple respect

But you could place the cache close by to the burial mound so other cachers can have a gander at a "safe & respectable" distance!!! ;)

 

House Of Boo

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Thanks for all that info - it appears that we are still newbies as after reading all your comments there are still things in there that I didn't know. Is this the right place to ask about virtuals, we have set up our very 1st traditional cache, but have had a virtual turned down as there are strict rules - what are those rules?

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[snip]

What i would like to know is can i as a proud Apple Mac user still download bulk waypoints from GC.com if i become a premium member?

 

Also, are there any other mac users that are genned up on all things geocaching that could give me some pointers regarding software etc?

[snip]

Hi 3rdEye,

 

I am not a Mac user but just had a quick look at GC.com's WAYPOINTS INFO page and there are several Mac applications listed. Get downloading and have a look :mad:

 

Have fun...

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... but have had a virtual turned down as there are strict rules - what are those rules?

People keep using the phrase 'wow factor' when describing what you have to provide with new virtuals.

 

As I understand it, the bottom line is that the virt must take you somewhere and show you something that is especially interesting/historical/picturesque/etc BUT there would be no chance at all of placing any sort of physical cache there.

 

Having spent a day underneath park benches retrieving very small micros last week, I don't think there are manay places where you could not place something nearby. The point of the cache could still be to stand and go "wow", but have a physical cache nearby to find and sign.

 

The obvious place where you could not place a physical was on a patch of land such as an SSSI, but there was something there that was worthy of going to see all the same.

Edited by Alibags
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The obvious place where you could not place a physical was on a patch of land such as an SSSI, but there was something there that was worthy of going to see all the same.

Not in every case. I am in touch with the manager of our local SSSI and we are very nearly at a point where we should be granted permission for a physical. It will be placed under the manager's supervision though.

 

I guess the answer is; if you have a location with the 'Wow Factor' then ask the landowner if they would consider a physical cache. If they say 'no' then speak to the GC approvers about setting a Virt.

 

Hope that helps.

Edited by The Hokesters
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2) If you post your general location when saying hello in the forums, local cachers may offer to hook up and show you the ropes while you borrow their GPS receiver. There have been successful public events in Hampshire where this has happened.

With this in mind, it would be a good idea to have an adopt-a-newbie-cacher thread. I know that I would certainly not mind taking someone caching at any time.

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The obvious place where you could not place a physical was on a patch of land such as an SSSI, but there was something there that was worthy of going to see all the same

 

I have a physical cache in a SSSI, I had to obtain permision of both the landowner, and after a site inspection by a officer of CCW (Countryside Councle of Wales) from them as well. Due to the site being a SSI CCW had the final say, as by law they regulate all activitys that take place in SSSI's, here in Wales.

 

They only place I would guess that you could not place a physical cache, would be one were the landowner had a permanent ban on them, but even then, would they be prepared to give permision for a virtual, as it still involves visiting the site.

 

out of the 5 genuine virtuals that I've done, one was a replacment for a physical which was trashed several times (but has now been reinstated), 3 could actualy have a physical cache placed there. That leaves only one were a physical cache would be extremly hard to place a physical, due to the fact that it spends several hours a day covered by the sea.

 

The rest of the virtuals were miss labled Locationless caches.

 

Dave

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I am a newbie to Caching. My husband and I went out this past weekend to try. WE found the 3 we were looking for. How I found out about caching was from a computer friend in TX.

 

Anyway... There were footprints in the snow so that helped learning to use the GPS at the same time. I still have to learn more. We are picking hiden caches that seem to be easy finds to learn. My husband and I figure if we start of with easy ones then we try harder ones later one.

 

I know I would like a newbie class to help with the progession of caching but I dont know if there are any clubs or how to find out about them. :( but I will watch the site to keep update. I have a long weekend and we are going out again. My sister wants to go to as tag along. :mad: I think I may get 2 days of caching in :D

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I know I would like a newbie class to help with the progession of caching but I dont know if there are any clubs or how to find out about them.

Hi Derb,

 

I have started an Adopt-a-Newbie thread in the UK forum HERE.

 

Post your general location and hopefully a veteran will offer to lend you guys a hand.

 

Have fun...

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When you read the cache page, also pay attention to the past logs. Sometimes they give hints but even more important you can get an idea of how hard they are, whether kids have enjoyed that hunt, whether muggles were present and whether it has taken several attempts for experienced finders to find.

Or even that the last 10 visitors have been unsuccessful - it could save a fruitless search.

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Thanks for all the info on virtuals - the one we were trying to set was on Military land where the public have access and the army have regular pretend fights :rolleyes: with big signs saying not to touch suspicious objects so it didn't seem sensible to place a suspicious looking object and ask everyone to start poking around - have spoken to park ranger and it was a big no - shame as it was a really interesting piece from WWII which has only just had a sign put up explaining what it is. Anyway think we will have another look and see if we could get something nearby. We are based in SW Surrey if anyone wants to adopt newish newbies!!!!!

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ssi's.. ccw's.. ttfn... fubar... scuse the ignorance but is there a page explaining all the abbreviations used in Geocaching?

 

Don't know if these are right but according to my hubby who is the fountain of all knowledge in our house (so he likes to think!!!!) Sight of Scientific Interest - CCW's (have no idea!) ttfn - ta ta for now - fubar the printable version fowled up beyond all recognition - of course in the geocaching world have no idea if they mean something else!!!!! :rolleyes:

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ssi's.. ccw's.. ttfn... fubar... scuse the ignorance but is there a page explaining all the abbreviations used in Geocaching?

 

I'm not quite the techno geek i thought i was :)

Try this

 

Its US based But its got most of them :):rolleyes:

 

<--- post 1500 (now if I could just get my finds up to match it :))

Edited by Deego
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''Also, my Dad has a big farm in Wales and i wanted to place a cach in an old burial mound that sheep used to sleep in... Is there a rule about stone age tombs being used?''

 

AHEM..........i dont think thats a good idea,its a historical monument and tomb .such places should be left well alone......simple respect

Yes, tombs and ancient mounds should be left alone...........BUT...........if you place a cache somewhere near (so as not to damage it) and inobtrusive you could well be informing people of a site of historical importance that they never new of!

 

That is without doubt, the best thing about Geocaching.... opening up new areas of interest that otherwise, people would never of heard of let alone considered visiting! :rolleyes:

 

A big hello to all newcomers, I only found the game after a lot of "googling" on a very bored Sunday afternoon............ I am now hooked! :)

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I am a newbie to Caching. My husband and I went out this past weekend to try. WE found the 3 we were looking for. How I found out about caching was from a computer friend in TX.

 

Anyway... There were footprints in the snow so that helped learning to use the GPS at the same time. I still have to learn more. We are picking hiden caches that seem to be easy finds to learn. My husband and I figure if we start of with easy ones then we try harder ones later one.

 

I know I would like a newbie class to help with the progession of caching but I dont know if there are any clubs or how to find out about them. B) but I will watch the site to keep update. I have a long weekend and we are going out again. My sister wants to go to as tag along. :) I think I may get 2 days of caching in :)

There is no "big secret" to caching. After hunting for a few dozen caches you will be able to recognise suitable areas that a cache could be hidden in. The best tip I read was "Look for somewhere YOU would hide something" after hunting for a few caches you will be able to see what kind of places people hide stuff and (unfortunately :rolleyes: ) you won't be able to pass a "nook and cranny" without thinking "that'd be a good place for a cache" :)B)B)

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<--- post 1500 (now if I could just get my finds up to match it :P)

thats because you like talking more than cacheing Brian :D;););)

Thought I'd be clever and look at Steviep's stats. 'Found: 209'

 

So it seems he's a rare poster on the 'right' side of the found/talked about divide. I feel a Dave Gormanesque 'Let's see what this post has done to the graph' moment coming on!

 

SP - Logged 340ish, posted about double that... :P

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