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Hints Or No Hints?


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Fairly new to geocaching but we are already hooked. We have placed 4 caches (1 regular, 2 small and a micro) and have found out that placing caches are almost as fun as hunting for them. My question refers to HINTS. We have a micro that we just put out and started the rating at 1.5 star difficulty, after 2 dnf's and contant checking on the container (we live close by) we moved the difficulty level up. We got an email saying that it should be a 4 without hints. Problem is, if we put a hint, be it as vague as possible, it will surely give the hiding place away and would make this go back down a 1 star difficulty and have it labeled as a "park and grab". This is NOT a park and grab micro. This is the type of cache we like looking for if time doesn't permit a nice long hike.


Lake Betty


Should there be a hint when it's a 3+ difficulty micro? We just don't want people to shy away from it because it's "too hard".


Thanks in advance for your comments. :laughing:

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If you really can't give any kind of a hint without giving it away, I'd leave the hint off. If somebody emails you with a request for a hint, you can email a hint back if you choose.


There's nothing wrong with having it be a challenge! :laughing:


You can play with the difficulty setting as you see more activity and get more feedback (the cache has only been in place for about a week). I wouldn't bump the difficulty too high based on a single email - some people are really good at finding micros, others not so much.

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It all depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want people to find the cache easily, by all means add a hint. If your point is to stump people, then leave it out.


Hints should be a last resort, but unfortunately many geocachers go to them right away and if you want the cache to be a challenge, the hint will spoil that.

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March 28 by JJmac (203 found)

Hats off to the dajonses! This cache will rank as one of our all time favorites. A real challenge! Also this is a very nice park if you just want to sit and think about it!!! Thanks for the great hide. Took FTF prize. SL


No hint is needed. Notice the elation the finder got when he actually found the cache. It's like a magician giving away their secrets, it takes away the fun.


I say leave the hints off.

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Judging from your post you’d rather not make it easy. Then there’s no reason to do so. Just keep upping the difficulty level if you get a lot of DNFs. Also, you may want to add some words to the description. Something along these lines:


“After some thought and discussion, we decided not to give a hint. All the hints we’ve thought of will remove all the challenge, and we’d like it to stay challenging. If you decide to hunt this one please keep in mind that some people didn't find it.”


Hard ones are great, but I think it’s important to be sure people know it’s hard and don’t go to it hoping for a park and grab.


NOTE: Tough micros with poor coordinates are a pet peeve of mine. It’s no trick at all to make a hard to find micro by posting inadequate coordinates. In my opinion, a person who places micros has a special obligation to try to get super accurate coordinates

Edited by Thot
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The difficulty rating should be based on how hard the cache is to find based on where it's hidden and not how good a job you can do in your hint. People may or may not use the hint.


As has been said you can taylor the cache to your personal goal for it. Want it to be hard for everyone and not just the ones that don't read the hint? Don't use a hint... etc.

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I second Thot's advice to add language in the cache description about why no hint is posted. Not necessary, but a polite thing to do, and it may save you from some flames in the dnf logs (or maybe not :) ).


Edit: Judging by the FTF log, you've definitely done something right. Keep up the good work!

Edited by Sputnik 57
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Some caches are meant to be tough to find, and a hint may not be appropriate. But in some cases a hint is a really good idea, e.g., if the cache must be well hidden to keep muggles from finding it, a hint may allow geocachers to find it without destroying the area around the cache and alerting muggles.

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Once you get to where coordinates say the cache is, it is VERY obvious where you are suppose to be searching any more hints than that I might as well meet the cacher there and point to where it is. Part of the challenge is that it is a high muggle park but mostly the way it was hidden. I will probably add more to the description when I get more emails. The two people that found Lake Betty did it together and between them, they have over 800 finds. It was so fun to watch them post dnf's.


:) (insert evil laugh here)

Edited by dajoneses
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