Forum: Just Getting Started In Geocaching
Topic: Important Tips!
started by: PC Medic
Posted by Guest on Nov. 02 2001,2:49 pmJust curious, Thinking back to your first time out on a cache hunt, what would you recommend to those preparing to go out for the first time?
Posted by Quinn on Nov. 02 2001,3:33 pmDon't tell the Mother-In-Law where the car is parked on the way out of the woods!
The most Important thing would be letting people know where you are going before you go, this way if for some reason you happen to get lost at least there are people that can come and look for you. another good idea is to trust your GPS, but not to always follow it. For Instance: if my GPS tells me the Cache is on the other side of a Ditch or River, i know the person that placed it didn't exactly go walking through the water and or jump in the ditch to get there (though not so sure about Gimpy) so even if the pointer tells me to go straight I know that there must be another direction to travel that will take me around.
Posted by Caron on Nov. 02 2001,4:50 pmgood thing for you i have a sense of humor.
Posted by mikechim on Nov. 02 2001,6:53 pmI'd probably say make sure you "mark" your vehicle before you leave it, I personally haven't had any problems (I tend to have a good sense of direction in the woods, lousy in cities but good outdoors) but I could see someone hiking on in, taking a bunch of different turns and not knowing how to get back or even in which general direction their car was.
Also stay on the path, if you go tramping through the woods towards the cache you'll almost always end up crossing a trail that would have taken you close to the cache.
Check the "accuracy" of your gps, if it's heavy tree cover, your using an etrex, and you only have 40 feet of acuracy it doesn't do much good running around like crazy when your less then 40ft from the cache. Stop look around and think.
Just go do it, it's pretty easy, experience is the best teacher as far as knowing where exactly to look for caches.
Posted by Guest on Nov. 02 2001,7:09 pmOne I would like to add, Plan Ahead !!
Unless the cache was planted in your local malls parking lot, bring (or at least look at) a Topo-map of the area. Based on how far off the well traveled road the cache is said to be placed, be sure to allow yourself plenty of daylight also.
Know your physical limits, and if you thinks you'll need a bottle of water you'll really need two!
Posted by Ascension on Nov. 02 2001,9:45 pmDon't reley too much on your GPS receiver! When I first started I was often frustrated because of the mixed readings I would get from the GPS once I was close, like within 50'. I approach much slower now, and start taking readings with a compass at about 100'. That will lead me to within 20'. Then I pry my eyes from the receiver and start using some common sense and looking around. If I am stumped I retreat about 100' and start the process over. Once I am sure I have the area down with the GPS I often turn it off and start a thorough search.
In looking back, the biggest thing that confused me was trying to follow the arrow on the GPS to the cache, it took me a while to realise that the arrow only points from the last movement (above 2.5 mph on the 315) to where the cache is, but that a compass will always point to where it is.
Posted by Gimpy on Nov. 02 2001,10:23 pmI second PCs comment about topos. The first cache I went on I turned into a nightmare. Parked about .75 miles too far away & hiked in at the wrong spot just to find out I was on the wrong side of a pond. Then I figured I'd just go around the end of the pond & sure enough I picked the end that took me the farthest out of the way. Finally got to the cache but I turned about a .5 mile hike into a 2 mile hill climb challenge in the snow. Didn't even know what a topo map was before I went after the cache, but I made sure I did after I got back. Didn't know enough at the time to mark a waypoint at the car either, so the walk back was even more fun. Started to get dark & I had no clue where I was. At least my first unit, the III Plus, is a mapping unit & I learned very fast how handy the breadcrumb trail can be. Too bad the breadcrumb trail just took me out the same excruciating trail I took in. Hence came the name "Gimpy". Really learned to do my homework first after that one.
Posted by Quinn on Nov. 09 2001,3:08 pmI know I may have tagged onto this in another thread, but I think that lately with all that is going on in the world it would be a great idea that if we are out placing Caches that we cary them to the cache site in some sort of back pack. Packs for the most part look harmless and draw little attention from other hikers and bikers that you may pass on a trail, this versus walking into the woods with a GPS and a Ammo can might be a plus. If you walk into the woods with an ammo can tucked under your arm and then walk back out without it you can almost guess the looks or attention you may draw from people that may have seen you go in. I always place my Cache in my back pack because I go in with it, and come out with it. I am not harming anyone and all my caches are very safe for the whole family. Another thing I do is read up on the park rules and make sure that I am within those same rules when I place my caches, I do not bother the folks who may or may not have to make a split second choice on if or not I will be allowed to place my cache. You will find that with all the red tape there is to clear before someone wants to come to terms that if and when you ever get it cleared you will most likely be in a retirement home by then. Read the park signs, look at the sites on the net for your parks in your areas, most of these have the rules posted quite clearly. Make sure your caches are very safe for anyone that may just happen across it. Mark your name and contacts inside and also outside if you are able. Give people a clear picture that you mean no harm and that this is a sport and nothing more. If someone makes a contact with you and asks you to remove your cache please be sure to do so. There are plenty of places in the world to hide caches, losing one or two will not hurt in any way.
Posted by Gimpy on Nov. 09 2001,10:47 pmI too never walk into an area to place a cache with the cache visible in hand. If I'm putting out a .30 cal., it is always in my backpack. If I'm putting out a .50 cal., I have a canvas carry-all bag that fits the .50 nicely. Looks like I'm heading down the trail with a picnic lunch or something. The cache container is NEVER visible. And when I place it, it is not going to be in an area where someone will just stumble upon it. If someone were to by chance come across it, every cache is clearly marked as such & inside each cache is a printout of the geocaching info sheet & contact info to get in touch with me. Knock on wood, 22 caches placed logged a total of a couple of hundred times, & no problems yet.
Posted by dogdoins on Nov. 20 2002,8:46 pmHi there,
I'm new to this site and I've been poking around and truly enjoying the posts. I especially enjoyed the one about unusual caches that went from a Rattlesnake in Letchworth to Rhinos. Upstate NY certainly has a variety of creatures that we don't get to see in Georgia! (I've been to Letchworth and had a blast) It's the Grand Canyon of the East. ;-) Sorry, personal joke with my Rochester buds. Chili folk.
Anywho... I thought I'd address a couple of recurring themes and give my 2 cents.
Hiding the cache: I've only hidden 2 but I agree that you should conceal the container ESPECIALLY if it is an ammo can.
We look suspicious enough without having an Olive Drab box AND a little electronic gizmo. I prefer an ammo can although I have seen a few tupperware caches that have remained in perfect condition and it's much easier to stick one in a crevice. No matter what, a Ziploc bag is your best bet. One for the log, one for the toys.
Placing the cache: There appears to be a fine line between National Forests policies and those of National Parks. Burying a cache is not a option in either case and why would we any way? My only experience thus far has been with caches that are in well travelled areas of trails. I'm constantly amazed at the minimal amount of concealment that needs to be done. I also thought that it was cool that the Ranger guy contacted our poster to tell him that his cache had been removed.
Disturbed/Stolen caches: Haven't seen that before. Maybe Georgians are used to seeing ammo cans in the woods and afraid that they'll have to "squeal like a pig" if they touch them. I mark mine with a waterproof label and letter of explanation from - and here's where I might step one some toes- www.geocaching.com.
Rattlesnakes/rhinos: Y'all are on your own with that problem.
Navigating obstacles: If we didn't like 'em, we'd be able to buy GPS's on Ebay for 10 bucks! Gorges and briars and swamps, oh my!
Thanks for the cool site and forum. See you in the woods!
Posted by cenobite07 on Nov. 20 2002,9:55 pmHello!
Welcome to Navicache!
You get to deal with things in Georgia that we miss out on up here. My client is moving to North Carolina and I look forward to caching when on business trips but I have to read up on what the local flora and fauna is like. It's rare for us to have poisonous snakes or plants except poison ivy. I can't wait to see what I get bitten, stung, or punctured by in the south!
Unlike that other site, we don't mind seeing the name of other web sites, we welcome everyone. Navicache seems to be developing a great following especially here in the upstate NY area. I've only been caching for a month but it is my favorite site so far.
Posted by Gimpy on Nov. 21 2002,3:01 amHey, dogdoins. Welcome!
Posted by Quinn on Nov. 21 2002,5:05 pmI'm not gonna ask why you use the name "Dogdoins" but welcome anyways!
Many people seem to be drawing more and more to the ammo cans,and I think with the fact of 9/11 starting to ease a bit you may find that more and more cans of this sort will take over the plastic containers.
Hiding them in unique and fun to find places is the hard part.
Not too much you have to worry about where I am located, but when I went to Virginia Beach, snakes was the big thing to watch for.
Posted by YardBoy on Nov. 21 2002,11:05 pmWelcome to the group, Doo
I've got a NaviCache very close to some free-range elephants.
Posted by Cracker7M on Nov. 22 2002,9:44 amHehehehe...... Instead of hiding caches in tree stumps, I bet a big pile of elephant droppings would do!
Actually the Rattlesnake shouldnt be a problem in Letchworth anymore....Penny's Point has been moved away from it.
Then again, I hear there is supposed to be a new cache soon on Rattlesnake Hill, about 15 miles away...
Posted by dogdoins on Dec. 04 2002,8:48 pmI catch flack about the name dogdoins. It's not what it sounds like. One of my Georgia buzzchums coined it to describe "up to no good". I finally ran into a fellow 'cacher and had to introduce myself using my handle. It didn't really sink in until I said "Nice to meet you. I'm Dogdoins."
I hid a multistage cache over Thanksgiving week. It damn near killed me. Kept screwing up the waypoints. There can be a domino effect if you don't THINK.
By the way, I just bought a data cable for my GPS from www.gpscables.com. Works great and the folks are really helpful. It was about half the price that I've seen them elsewhere.
Thanks for the welcomes!