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Thread: Setting first cache

  1. #1
    jenandberry Guest

    Default Setting first cache

    I'm looking at setting my first cache and have a good idea or two for them (one trad, one multi). Can anyone give me pointers of common pitfalls or any other help further than whats on the 'hide a cache' page of geocaching.com. Also, if i want a cache to go live on a partiucular day can I do that, how far in advance do I need to submit it or should I just submit it near the day and hope? Thanks, J&B

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Common pitfalls are

    Poor or wrong coordinates
    misclassified types. ie not at the posted coordinates but posted as a Trad.
    Exesive mentioning of a business


    Delayed publications are easy, just not a specific time . Submit as early as possible wit a request to be published on the specific date. That allows time if there are any issues.
    If you wish to contact me, please see my GC profile, the quickest way at the moment tough is via a post on here, or alternatively via PM on GC's UK Forum.

    Oh and I'm the ejit who Reviews caches
    My post is my personal opinion and as such you do not have my permission to quote me outside of these forums!

    Dave
    Brenin Tegeingl
    Formerly known as Mancunian Pyrocacher on GC

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Ive written some advice on this on our website

    http://markandlynn.croaghan.com/Geoc...eocaching.html

    Hope it helps.
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning."

  4. #4
    jenandberry Guest

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    Thanks, hopefully it will be ok.

    Is there any way of 'averaging' GPS positions if your GPSr won't do it for you? I have taken several readings due to dense tree cover but I don't know which one to choose. I was going to see which one looked closest on GoogleEarth if there is no other way.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jenandberry View Post

    Is there any way of 'averaging' GPS positions if your GPSr won't do it for you? I have taken several readings due to dense tree cover but I don't know which one to choose...
    Usually when you take several readings it's only small differences in the last 3 digits. I've always averaged the readings this way -

    Say you have taken 5 readings and they've come out as .738, .736, .740, .738, and .735.

    I add together 738+736+740+738+735 = 3687

    Then divide that number by the number of readings taken
    3687/5 = 737.4

    So in this case I'd use .737 as the final digits.

    But maybe somebody with A-level Maths will now tell me the errors of my ways

  6. #6

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    There is an excel spreadsheet on our website to do averaging.

    I walk about 100 yards from the loaction and walk back, place the gps above the target wait for 2 mins and mark a waypoint.

    Do this from all four directions

    Average the results.

    Key them into your gps

    Walk about 0.1 miles away and go back to your cache following the arrow.
    "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to serve as a horrible warning."

  7. #7
    jenandberry Guest

    Default

    Ok, I can manage that. I've GPS works is a bit of a mystery to me so I wasn't sure if that would be correct.

    Next problem (sorry!) What is the difference between the long and short descriptions?

  8. #8

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    I've always used the short description to give the cacher a quick check of what they can expect e.g. " A short walk of approx 1.5 miles, mainly along field paths, with a couple of stiles. This area has a lot of interesting history and there are lovely views across the Bogmoor valley."

    So with a quick glance they can tell whether it's what suits them for that day. the short description is limited to x characters (I can't remember what x is, but it's about two or three sentences and when you submit the form, if it's too lengthy, you'll get a red message up to tell you you'll need to edit it!)

    The long description can be LLLLLLOOOOOOOONNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGG - I've no idea what the limit is - I've seen a few in the USA that read like short novels.

  9. #9
    sTeamTraen Guest

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    Leaving the GPSr steady for 10 minutes at the cache site and taking a single WP will probably get you at least as good as result as any manual averaging, or the "auto-average" feature of models like the Garmin 60 series. This is because the instantaneous reading is itself a weighted average of recent position values. Quite often I'll find a cache and look at my GPSr which says 7 or 8 metres to go, sniff, make a mental note to log "coordinates off", write my log in the book, and by the time I've put the cache back in its place, it's down to 1 metre, so I make a mental note to log "cache quickly found thanks to perfect coordinates".

    The newer Colorado series doesn't have an auto-average feature, although whether this is because the people who know that it doesn't actually work won the argument, or it's just another simple function that for some unknown reason Garmin just dropped (like configurable beep tones, timing data in Active Route, etc), I don't know. (Companies do sometimes implement features which they know don't work because some people think they need them, and it's cheaper to do it than to lose their business or try to win the argument with them. The cooling fans in the first Amstrad PCs from the mid-80s are a good example.)

    If you really want an even higher percentage chance that the seeker's reading will match yours, it could be worth visiting the site two or three times with an interval of a couple of days each time, but that's a lot of effort for a very marginal potential improvement. I wouldn't recommend using Google Earth's coordinates because, depending on where you are, the latitude and longitude can be quite badly off (even if you can identify your hide through the tree cover). It's best just to say "coordinates may be a little off due to heavy tree cover" and maybe add a spoiler (photo of the final hide). You can also ask the first few finders to post the coordinates which they found and see if a trend emerges; you can update your cache's coordinates at any later time.

    Quote Originally Posted by jenandberry View Post
    What is the difference between the long and short descriptions?
    Essentially, none. At some very early stage I think there may have been a vague plan for the geocaching.com site to be able to give you the two at different times under some circumstances (perhaps the short description first and the long one if you asked for more, in a mobile phone version), but if there were such plans, nothing ever came of it. On my caches I used to try and write "something snappy" for the first and "the more detailed stuff" in the second, but now I just use the Long description. You can leave either of them blank with no noticeable results. (You can also leave both of them blank; your reviewer might then ask if you meant it, if there's so little to see at the spot, but it's not a reason not to publish the cache. Some puzzle caches have both a short and a long description which are totally blank... or are they? )
    Last edited by sTeamTraen; 30th July 2008 at 02:59 PM.

  10. #10

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    I've just thought of something else that it took us a while to understand when we set our first cache:

    On the Report a New Cache form there is a small box which is ticked "Yes, this listing is active" - If you un-tick it, you can then work on perfecting your cache page descriptions until it's exactly as you want it.

    Once you've got it exactly right you're ready to actually do the Final Submission for the reviewer to have a look at... At this point make sure your cache is actually in place, in the field (or wood, or ivy, or whatever).
    If it is in place then you can put the tick in that little box that you previously un-ticked, and press the "Report New Listing" button at the bottom. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! It arrives with the Reviewer who then does his bit and, if all is well, it gets published. Sometimes this can happen literally within 3 minutes! Yep, they can be that fast, if it's a very straightforward cache listing. Some new cachers get caught out by the speed - They push the Report New Listing button, then think, "Great, that's done, I'll just have my tea then we can take a leisurely stroll out this evening and put the cache in place." 3 hours later they discover that 6 First to Finders have already been out to try and find it and are putting puzzled logs onto their brand new cache listing - "We leapt into the car as soon as we saw this new one appear. Had a good search in all the likely spots but DNF."

  11. #11
    jenandberry Guest

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    Well they are all written up now, just a couple more bits to sort out and put the boxes out tomorrow then I can tick that box (thanks for the tip!) and see what happens. Thanks for everyone's help, I just hope people like the caches.

  12. #12
    fraggle69 Guest

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    Why don't you hide your first terracache whilst yer at it. Word on the street is it took some cacher a month to get his authorised on GC.com, whilst my reviewers at terracaching had simialr hide active within 24hrs.

    Aiiii

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by sTeamTraen View Post
    ... This is because the instantaneous reading is itself a weighted average of recent position values.
    That is frequently true (even usually true), but not always true. It depends on the GPSr, the chip within it, and the configuration.

    Rgds, Andy

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by fraggle69 View Post
    Why don't you hide your first terracache whilst yer at it.
    For me, because terracache disapprove of me cross-listing it.

    Rgds, Andy

  15. #15
    fraggle69 Guest

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    YEah it has to be a unique cache, sorry Andy!

  16. #16
    jenandberry Guest

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    Well my first trad is now active, however my multi is causing problems and the box is now back at home with me waiting for me to completly re-work the cache page someone else has hidden a cache within a few feet of mine and got it published before me, also a multi, so I spent all afternoon following the clues to see where it ended up and the realisation slowly dawning on me, kind of funny in a way.

    So, is there any way to 'reserve' a hide location for a multi before putting all the work in with the clues etc? or is cache hiding always a bit hit and miss whether someone else gets there first?

    And I have no idea how to even enter terracaching, I tried to sign up and it wanted sponsors, said to ask in the forum if you didn't know anyone but I couldn't even get to the forum. Sorry, I don't have time for a site that is so complecated to even access!

  17. #17
    sTeamTraen Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by jenandberry View Post
    So, is there any way to 'reserve' a hide location for a multi before putting all the work in with the clues etc? or is cache hiding always a bit hit and miss whether someone else gets there first?
    If two caches or "physical multi stages" (eg, micros with clues) clash by being within 0.1 mile of each other, and neither cache is yet published, the reviewer will normally give priority to the lowest GCxxxxx number, even if it hasn't been presented for publication yet (by checking the "Yes, the cache is active" box). I say "normally" because you if you just create a GCxxxxx listing today and keep it unpublished for a couple of years, and then wheel it out with new coordinates deliberately to bypass another cache, you will get a Reviewer Hard Stare™.

    Some people take ages to get round to submitting their cache. Just today, with my reviewer hat on, I published a cache in France which had a number in the GC18xxx range, dating from January of this year.

    However, in cases where you have "priority" and your cache is not yet enabled, the reviewer will probably ask you if you still intend to publish your cache within a reasonable time. So you can't "squat" on a space for ever. And when you create your listing ahead of time to "reserve" the space, it could also be true that someone else has done the same thing a day before while they prepare their cache. It's in the nature of the system that when there's secrecy (as there has to be while you're planning your fiendish cache), there's the potential for "collisions".

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by sTeamTraen View Post
    On my caches I used to try and write "something snappy" for the first and "the more detailed stuff" in the second, but now I just use the Long description. You can leave either of them blank with no noticeable results. (You can also leave both of them blank; your reviewer might then ask if you meant it, if there's so little to see at the spot, but it's not a reason not to publish the cache. Some puzzle caches have both a short and a long description which are totally blank... or are they? )
    It seems to be good practice to start the cache description with a quick summary, to provide for those that can't be bothered with anything like lengthy text. Although I know that there's no real reason to use the short description for this, the knowledge that it will only take a limited number of characters helps me focus and keep it concise.

    However, I have a mystery cache where, when submitted, both fields were blank and there was no hint. The cache name was only 2 characters as well ("VM"), and there was no other clue. The reviewer did query it! Perhaps I should have kept it like that, but eventually it bloated out with a link to Geochecker and a hidden clue.

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