8 Comments

Ten tips for newbies looking for their first geocache

So you’ve heard about this “geocaching” thing for a while now, and you’ve finally signed up on Geocaching.com or through the Geocaching® app. You’ve done a search, selected a great cache to find, and now you’re within 30 feet of the cache. So, now what?

Here are ten tips for newbies looking for their first geocache.

1. Use your eyes, hands, and geo-senses

Use your eyes and hands
Use your eyes, hands, and geo-senses. Your GPS or smartphone will only get you within about 30 feet of the cache location. When you’re close, use your eyes, hands, and geo-senses to locate the cache.

2. Look for something that seems out of place

Look for something that seems out of place
Look for something that seems out of place. Cache containers come in all sizes, shapes, colors. Look in tree hollows, under park benches, inspect that oyster shell in the forest, and yes, look in that one spot you’re 100% positive is not the hiding place. Chances are, that’s exactly where the cache is.

3. Geocaches are often disguised

Geocaches are often disguised
Geocaches are often disguised as rocks, bricks, bird houses, or other everyday objects, so think outside the (ahem), cache-box.

4. Think like a detective

Think like a detective
Think like a detective, “If I were a geocache, where would I hide?”

5. Geocaches should never be buried

Geocaches should never be buried
Geocaches should never be buried, but they won’t always be on the ground.

6. Look high, look low, look around

Look high, look low, look around
Look high, look low, look around. Leave no bench unsearched, no stone unturned.

7. Respect your surroundings

Respect your surroundings
Respect your surroundings. NEVER trample on flower beds, scale walls, or damage property trying to find the cache.

8. Check the hint

Check the hint
Check the hint. Many cache pages offer hints that may help you figure out where to look.

9. Check the latest activity

Check the latest activity
Check the latest activity. Recent logs from other geocachers may contain valuable information such as, “I had to lean ON THE FENCE to find this one!”

10. Be patient

Be patient
Be patient. Developing your geo-senses takes time.

One last tip: Always, always ALWAYS bring a pen!

Remember every single geocacher started out as a brand new geocacher and had to learn the ropes. And just like getting to Carnegie Hall, geocaching takes practice, practice, practice.

 

Janelle
Joined Geocaching HQ in the fall of 2014 as Community Manager. Kind to animals. Loved by children. Excels at DNFs.
  • JimRKY

    All great tips. My wife and I took up Geocaching in the Fall of 2013. We can tell you- the first 100 are the hardest, in descending difficulty. After that you’ve either seen it, or have a good ‘tool kit’ of experience. It’s fun, at first, because it’s hard – then it’s fun because…it’s FUN!! We still consider ourselves “newbies” with 1300 logged – there’s always an ‘Old Timer’ with more experience to ‘lean’ on!

  • Ellen Hayes

    Just remember just because you can not find it Does not mean it is not there. It just means YOU can not find it. Do not file a missing report just because YOU can not find it. To many times I have gone out to check on mine because one of them has been reported missing and sure enough it is right where it is suppose to be. It just means YOU could not find it. Someone with less then 100 finds at the least should not report missing if they can not find it. Contact the cache owner for help, I will go out and meet you to help you learn.

  • PapaRonNL

    We all gone through those phases, and even still do despite our experience.
    That makes Geocaching fun .. we explore and sometimes feel like a newbie.

    Great to set this up to lower the level!

  • Kent Van Cleave

    The bases of light poles and flag poles often lift up. In the woods, look for what I call “geopiles” – where the hider has covered the container with a bunch of sticks and/or tree bark. Look for trails on the ground from previous finders.

  • Sidney Muller

    You could have added that when a TB is found, log and move it on. Never keep, or allow children to keep them as the owners are tracking them as they roam around the world.

  • JimRKY

    Couldn’t agree more. And taking a TB with no intent of passing it on is nothing short of theft. We’ve found a few TBH’s with “vampires” sitting on them – checking the notes, TB’s go in, but they don’t come out (gasp!)

  • JimRKY

    And as caches ‘age’ the containers may have been changed – with or without the description having been updated.

  • Peter Lawrence

    OK. I’ve tried and tried and tried yet again, to find this one specific cache. To no avail. If anyone out there has found and located the cache in, under, between, on top of the King Edward Vll pillar box in Claygate, pray tell, pretty please where it is, because I’ve, basically given up.