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Thread: How do you choose which caches to hunt?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    S. E. Wales

    Default How do you choose which caches to hunt?

    This is a spin-off from Happy Humphrey's topic regarding defining "quality" in relation to caches.

    Scenario: Next month you're off to a new area for a long weekend with a friend/partner (and maybe a dog, just to add colour to this hypothetical scene.) You're not into caching for the numbers, so you'd like to do perhaps 6 - 8 caches each day to include the best of "the sort of caches you personally enjoy".

    How do you come up with your short list of "caches that look like they'll be good"? Roughly, what steps do you go through?

    For us (that means me, because I'd be the one searching and doing the homework) I may already know of one or two caches "by reputation", from either conversations with other cachers, or from forum posts. Then I'd do a search from the postcode of where we'd be staying (to about 15 miles radius) and literally skim down it, looking at the D/T ratings and reading the descriptions of those that are rated 3/3 and above, just to see what's there. While doing this, I'd also pick up on any amusing cache names - If something makes me laugh, or intrigues me in some way then the description will get read. I'd also look at each Puzzle/Mystery cache and make a quick assessment of whether I have a snowball's chance in hell of solving it. A few will be noted down for head-scratching sessions over the coming weeks.

    So... I'd hope to end up with maybe 3 or 4 caches that look a bit special which would be the "must do" caches, then I'd be looking from them at the caches nearby them that could be done while we're near that spot.

    What are your filtering/selecting procedures?

    P.S. In case this makes it look as though I do all the work I'll just point out that MrB does the techie stuff of sorting out PQs, puts them into the magic arrow machines, charges about 3 dozen batteries for all the gadgets, makes sure that the Tom Tom goes ping or ding at the correct places, and does all the driving.
    Last edited by Mrs Blorenge; 30th July 2009 at 05:54 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Dalston, near Carlisle


    I use Google Earth.......zoom in on the area that I am visiting, and just bring them up on The beauty of caches shown GE means that I have full page map, zoomable, I have Gavins Unofficial OS kml overlay, and then pick and choose which caches I want to do........usually the easy ones I am just a basic member and don't do all these PQ wotsits.....I usually delete a waypoint once I've found the cache anyway. Why anyone would want gazillions of waypoints in the GPSr defies me........(runs and ducks for cover!!)

    Which now takes me off kml files are back up and running.....and I am CHUFFED TO BITS :cheers:


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    To get 6-8 caches in one day, they'd have to all be doable on a single walk as I don't do drive-walk-cache-drive-walk-cache-drive-walk-cache, so I'd use Google Maps to find some caches that fit the bill (I don't use Google Earth so don't miss the KML thingy). If it's an area I'm unfamiliar with then I'd be looking for a cache series 'cos then I know someone has already planned the route for me. If there are no suitable series' then I'd look for 2 or 3 single caches that would give me a decent walk.

    It's all about the walk, not about the numbers.

  4. #4
    sTeamTraen Guest


    My unromantic solution: I load up a big PQ, then see which cache is nearest to wherever we're staying and head for that one, then the next, etc. It's as likely to produce a great caching experience as anything else, I reckon, plus it may allow just enough time to fit in one more cache than might have been the case if we'd headed off to what looks like "the pretty one" which was muggled the day before.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jul 2008


    My priority is to have a good walk then see what caches are along the route. I'm not really into the number of caches I do.
    Ho hum!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Church Warsop, Notts


    Good question, Blorenge!

    For a "serious" caching day with a view to a small number of selected caches I use Memory Map to get a suitable centre point, then look through the list of nearest caches and try to find some bookmark lists. Then I use any suitable bookmark lists (I'll have a look at the content and make a judgement) to find further caches to add to the shortlist. Once I have the shortlist (and having solved any necessary puzzles) I'll load them into GSAK, plot them on MM and make them into a bit of an itinerary.

    On top of that, I'll also load the nearest couple of thousand easy traditional caches into the GPSr, to make it easy to change plans and to allow a bit of flexibility.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2008


    Don't often do days of 8 or less unless there's a specific reason (EG doing the Black Mountains Horsehoe or the like).

    Bearing this in mind;

    If I'm going away with the other half, then the high-terrain caches are out (she can't do them), which obviously affects things.

    The other big factor is whether its a driving/sightseeing day or a wandering around on foot day.

    First thing I'll do is look online or in a book for things/places that are of themsleves interesting/touristy (you know, the places you went BEFORE you started caching!).

    Second thing I'll do is fire up the map thingie and zoom around looking for caches that are near these thing/places, bookmarking as I go.

    Third is to check for any local 'caches of renown', once again bookmarking as I go.

    Fourth is to look for any caches that have interesting sounding names or that look like they are in intersting locations. Bookmarking as I go.

    That sorts out the 'feature' caches.

    Next, I'll look for caches that are clustered near the 'feature' caches or which join them up (we're not really ones to drive past a cache!). Bookmarking as I go.

    That sorts out the 'filler' caches (which are sometimes a pleasant surprise when you get there!)

    Next, I'll go into the bookmark list and edit/tune it to keep the numbers under control and to ensure domestic harmony...

    Run a PQ off the bookmark and the Jobs a good'un!


  8. #8
    uktim Guest


    A personal query for the area followed by an import into Memory Map. The good old Ordnance Survey give me all the info I want to judge the quality of the walk and as long as it includes a few "big boxes" our 3 year old daughter will be more than happy

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Staffordshire Moorlands


    We create a PQ on the chosen area. I have a strange memory in that I will drive to an area I have never been to and will be able to recall any caches that I have heard about so we check them out. We then look for clusters to visit, my wife will also scan the Colorado as we drive checking out the nearby ones and if they sound interesting we go for them. We are also dictated to by the kids, so may end up doing a few cache and dashes if they are not up for it.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    North Brizzle


    Try and be organised and create a PQ for the area I'm visiting a few days before,
    Download it and promply forget it for a few days,
    On the day faff about 10 minutes before I have to leave the house trying to download an updated PQ to replace the one I lost,
    Get in car, forget I haven't done a route - back into house to run another PQ, Mutter under my breath about rubblish service while GC decides to crash/loose my new route,
    Realise that it's still the day before in Seattle and rerun the PQ with the correct date for the States,
    Drive to the area, decide that I haven't got enough time to do any caches along the way so will do them on the way back,
    Choose a cluster and head for that or pick up an caches that I have been recommended by friends,
    Have a great day caching,
    Return to car to wipe off mud, treat nettle stings and scratches, pull burrs off fleece and out of my hair and make mental note not to wear shorts caching ever again.
    Drive home tired and decide to leave the caches on the route for another day.


  11. #11

    Join Date
    Feb 2006


    I'm off down to Devon for a week in September, with the wife and the dog :lol:, so Mrs B has just about described my intended holiday.

    When planning a holiday in a new area, I usually look up all the puzzle caches within a 15 mile radius of my base. I solve as many as possible (usually 80%+ but I'm not boasting) and plot them on a paper OS map.
    I then add on to the map all the Trads and Multis which are fairly near to the puzzles, or on the way to/from them, and of a small size or larger.
    Finally, I run a PQ of all those on my list.

    The reasoning for this is as follows:-
    If somebody has gone to the trouble of setting a decent puzzle, the chances are that there is a decent cache box to go with it, and that it is at a decent location. I know that this argument is not watertight, but it does seem to hold up more often than not.

    I have nothing against micros per se. There are some very inventive micro hides and, of course, some wonderful locations which will only permit the placement of a micro/nano. My aversion to putting micros on my "to do" list is probably due to the increasing numbers of film canisters which appear to have been "chucked in hedges every 528' along a path/road".
    (But that's the subject of a different thread)
    Try not to let your mind wander...........
    It's too small and fragile to be out by itself

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