This forum area will be used to suggest NWOGEO suggested guidelines for geocaching.
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I have hidden a number of caches since I started Geocaching in March, 2002, and I thought I would pass along some thoughts, observations and lessons that I have learned. These are in no particular order, but some are more important than others. Some are musts (which Iâ€™ll note with bold), and some tips are just ideas that I have found that myself and others like to see in a cache.
1. Try to find an interesting location or area to put the cache. We are somewhat limited in Northwest Ohio, but there are areas that many people will still enjoy. Often it will be an area that they have driven by many times but have never taken the time to stop, or an area that were in years ago, but forgot about. One of the most frequent comments that I get on my page logs is â€œI have driven by here many times, but didnâ€™t even know this was here.â€?
2. The cache site doesnâ€™t have to be a park. It can be a historical site, gardens, maybe just some place interesting, or just a great view. Donâ€™t confuse the general area you want to put the cache in with the actual hiding spot. Once you have identified the general area, look for a hiding spot.
3. Just because you have found an area you think is interesting, it doesnâ€™t mean you should put a cache box there. I have been in a number of potential areas, but I couldnâ€™t find a good or appropriate spot for the hide. I have sometimes walked around for a couple of hours and then given up on placing a cache there. Experience in hiding caches will help with this problem, but donâ€™t put a box there just to do it. You can come back at another time and try to find a hiding spot with a fresh perspective.
4. Things to consider when placing a cache:
Can you hunt it in private?
Is it on private land?
Donâ€™t place a cache that is commercial (such as your favorite restaurant).
Would the park/location people be pissed if you put one there? If in doubt, ask permission, check park regulations at the park office, check geocaching web pages for posted guidelines, email others cachers who have caches there and ask if they had any issues when they hid theirs.
5. I have learned that the size and type of cache box does matter. I started off with shoe box size containers (some are still in place), but after awhile I learned that these can be hard to hide. I started placing smaller containers and eventually micros when appropriate. When I go out to hide a new cache now I take a pack full of various size containers. If itâ€™s deep in the woods I try to put the larger boxes so people can drop off Travel Bugs and larger trade items. If the hiding area is more exposed or there are just no appropriate large trees, rocks etc. I place the largest container from my selection that fits the area. Sometimes a nifty container with a magnet is just the ticket, or maybe a smaller 3x5 in. box. Just donâ€™t go with a preconceived box in mind, or you will find it difficult more times than not to hide it. Experience hunting other caches will give you lots of ideas. Remember stealing someone elseâ€™s idea is the highest form of flattery
6. Donâ€™t hide any boxes until you have a fair number of â€œfindsâ€? to your credit. Maybe 25 or more. The more you are exposed to other cache ideas the more success you will have at establishing your own. You could up the timetable if you know another more experienced geocacher who can give you sound advice.
7. Donâ€™t list all the initial stuff you put in your box. It will all be moot after the first few cachers ransack it anyway.
8. When you hunt your first 20 or so caches, note the type of container they use. How well is it holding up? Can you get your big paws in it to get the stuff out? Is it water proof and reasonably animal proof? Pesky raccoons can get into the oddest places. Is it camouflaged in any way and how well is it hidden from casual passerbyâ€™s? Is it hidden well, but fair? The idea of hiding a cache is to make it interesting and challenging, but you do want people to find it.
9. Put your log in a freezer type heavy bag and supply a couple of pencils. Pens are ok, but they freeze in the winter.
10. Put items that will get wrecked or dirty in a sandwich type bag. The cache will get groody after a few months.
11. Pay attention to where you put the box. Is it near a creek that is likely to flood? Look at the vegetation to see if it is the type that loves wet areas. Try to keep it off the ground in such cases, maybe even 5ft. or so up.
12. A cache doesnâ€™t have to be on the ground, but shouldnâ€™t be too high for the average person to find. Lots of my caches are in trees. This keeps them off the wet ground, makes it easier for winter cachers, and keeps a lot of the animals away.
13. Donâ€™t put food of any type in caches. This includes mints, tic-tacs, gum, candy, dog bones, candles, incense, soap, steak and fish. In fact, nothing scented at all. These types of items will attract critters who have a much better sense of smell than you do, are curious, bored stiff and just looking to get into trouble (hmmm sounds like a lot of boys I know). Also, ask yourself, would you eat food that you found in a box in the woods placed there by who knows who? I wonâ€™t even let my dog eat such items and they think horse road apples are a delicacy. Too many wackos out there.
14. I stated in number 8 that you want the cache to be found, but there are varying degrees of difficulty you can apply. The terrain is one, but type of hunt is another. Some people only want to hunt your straight forward relatively easy box in the woods. Others like more of a challenge and like multi caches, more cleverly hidden caches, puzzle caches and other intricate hides. Not every cache has to be designed to be found by a family of four, or us old farts who donâ€™t get around as well as we use to. I try to make a variety of caches and donâ€™t expect everyone to hunt them. When you list your caches put the degree of difficulty on it, and also tell people why. If itâ€™s a mile walk, tell them. If the terrain in rough, trails (or lack there of) are rough tell them. Let them decide if they want to hunt it. If they leave a criticism on the web log page, consider if it is valid and if you need to adjust something, or if they are the type who crab at everything.
15. If you get comments that the coordinates are off, and more that one geocacher has said so, go check it out, but donâ€™t run out there the first time. The hunters may just be having a bad GPS day. Same thing for â€œNo Findsâ€?. If you have a high difficulty rating expect more than average â€œNo Findsâ€?.
16. Expect to have to visit the cache occasionally to do routine maintenance.
17. In my opinion you should tell what type of container they are looking for, unless it gives away a surprise. â€œShoebox sizeâ€?, â€œsmall mini container about 2x3inâ€?, â€œpill bottle micro containerâ€?, â€œammo boxâ€?, â€œone gal. Peanut butter jar.â€?
18. For micro containers, some pill bottles are NOT waterproof, and no 35mm film canisters are, although you would think they would be.
19. Give a clue when it is necessary, but donâ€™t give away the store. â€œLook behind the rock that is shaped like a 56 Chevyâ€? or â€œlook behind the 3rd postâ€? is just giving too much away. I donâ€™t give too many clues anymore unless itâ€™s a micro or I know the woods are very dense and GPS coverage will be bad.
20. Donâ€™t put caches where someone might get hurt or no-one in their right mind wants to go. Who wants to wade through 100 yards of blackberry prickers in shorts in the summer to get a cache? If you want to put it there, give it a high difficulty rating and tell people why. Some geocachers are nuts and thrive on this, which is cool, but others will get mad.
21. If there is not adequate and obvious parking, put coordinates on the cache that will take the hunters to safe parking.
22. Consider using a multi-stage cache if your hiding spot would show up on the maps as being right next to a road or parking spot. You donâ€™t want to go to all the work hiding the cache, and then have people just drive up to it (unless that is the nature of the hunt). Have them find something farther away and add a number to some coordinates you have on the web page to find the final spot, or have a mini cache there with the final coordinates in it. This is also a great way to get them to see something you particularly want them to see. Keep it simple, itâ€™s not a math test, its geocaching.
23. Mark your car. Itâ€™s very easy to get turned around in the woods, and you may want to go home eventually. If you get lost, youâ€™ll hate me for advising people not to leave food in their caches
24. Speaking of food etc., most cachers I know carry a small pack with energy bars, extra batteries, mini flashlight, water bottle, cell phone, bug spray etc.
25. Get a dog, and take him along.
There are many other tips that others might want to add, but these are most of the basics and you will learn from experience. If you donâ€™t like tips, disregard all the above, and just have fun. [hr]
An excellent list created by GoodDog that I felt should be noted in the forums. Please comment or add to this list to help any new cachers (or current ones )
Can someone help me hide a cache???
North Carolina more like it
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