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Thread: Aye Aye! Noob questions

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default Aye Aye! Noob questions

    Hello folks,
    I'm a total novice to geocaching, in fact I only discovered it by accident a few days ago.
    I do a bit of hill walking and I was looking for a good sat nav that I could use in the car and on the hills, I bought a Garmin nuvi 550 and after a bit of investigation I also bought the OS GB discoverer map of scotland for it.
    It was on the Garmin site that i first read about geocaching, I decided to look for a UK specific forum and here I am!
    I have a few questions that I hope you can answer for me.
    1) What equipment do I need / would you reccommend apart from my GPS and normal hiking gear?
    2) What should I leave or take from any caches? What sort of gifts should I leave?
    3) Is the book "Geocaching for Dummies" a worthwhile investment?

    If there's any other top tips you can think of I'd be greatfull.
    I'm on holiday in Glencoe in a couple of weeks time so I'm planning my first geocaching outing for then but at the moment I'm stuck on an oilrig in the north sea so all my research has to be on the internet.
    Cheers!:socool:
    Slorach

  2. #2
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    Welcome to the hobby.

    loads of questions so I'll answer what i can.

    what gear do you need? not much, you can print out the cache details, so a pencil/pen, map, safety gear appropriate to your location and a gps. Then get out for a great walk with a purpose.

    What can you take. At caches you'll find normal trade items, pens badges pretty much anything but usually not very expensive, pound stores are often a good location to find odds and ends to swap. The simple rule is to swap with something that is equal or higher in value to what you take.

    You'll also find trackable items. Either travel bugs which have a small metal dogtag on them, these are not swaps. you can take these on a journey to another cache and leave them there, logging what you've done on the gc.com website.
    or what are generically called coins. These started as just coins of many designs but now include lots of other designs, telephone boxs, small pens etc, they are flat small with a tracking number on them. Basically treat them the same as travel bugs.

    right I'll stop at this point and let everyone else patch the holes in my answer.

  3. #3

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by slorach View Post
    Hello folks,

    1) What equipment do I need / would you reccommend apart from my GPS and normal hiking gear?
    2) What should I leave or take from any caches? What sort of gifts should I leave?
    3) Is the book "Geocaching for Dummies" a worthwhile investment?

    1. You don't really need anything above what you'd normally take appropriate for a walk in the terrain. It's worth taking a pen though in case the one in the cache isn't working and you need to sign the logbook.

    2. The rule of thumb is 'trade up or trade even', i.e. don't deplete the swaps in the cache by taking something valuable and leaving a McDonalds happy meal toy in exchange. As Nobby said pound shops are a good source of swaps. However a lot of people don't trade items, I used to at the start but then found that I was taking things that I didn't want, carrying them around for a few days and then leaving them in another cache, so I stopped trading. I do often take a couple of items in my bag in case I find a swap I really want though. Also be prepared to find some caches where the swaps are merely cheap tat that no-one is likely to want anyway.

    3. I wouldn't bother. Its basically a very simple game, and we're a friendly and helpfull bunch, so chances are that if you have a problem/question and come onto the forums to ask for help you'll get a usefull response pretty quickly.

    Also keep your eye out for event caches near you, these are where cachers get together (often with BEER involved ), if you see one, just log your intention to attend online, turn up at the published time & place & say hello, you can swap stories, give/get advice and have a nice chat.


    Hope you enjoy it.


    M:

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    44

    Default

    I'd just echo what others have said really...

    You'll soon pick up on items to keep in your caching bag... Mine usually has the following in, and I travel light:

    Batteries, batteries and batteries, anti bacterial hand gel (I don't want to eat my sandwiches after rummaging in hedges!) pens, pens, pens, spare log book in case one is full, tweezers - NOT for removing tricky log books, I have a tendancy to fall over while caching and tweezers are to remove bramble thorns from my hands - trust me - I need them!!
    I also carry water, a mini first aid kit and my lunch!

    I don't swap items now, but when I did, I always loved going to the "party favours" section in "a leading supermarket" for items to swap - bouncy balls, finger monsters, blah blah blah

    Geocaching for dummies... nah - unless you're three years old, I found it rather partonising and told me too much abut how caching came about. I also think that reading it is a bit like training in first aid... they can teach you the theory, but you need to get out there and DO it to learn it!!

    Events are fab ways of picking up tips... I don't know if there are regular local events where you live, but if there are, go along - everyone will be really friendly - I almost guarenteee it!

    Most of all, have fun and enjoy it!!
    Now doing small hills!
    Still blonde under the hair dye ;-)

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    S. E. Wales
    Posts
    1,223

    Default

    What they all said...

    and have a read here: Getting started with Geocaching

    Welcome

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    5

    Default

    Well thank you very much folks, very informative answers. I'm looking forward to my first hunt
    I have another question though, what size can I expect the caches to be? For some reason I've got it in my head that they'll be about the size of ice cream tubs, is that right?

  7. #7
    nobbynobbs Guest

    Default

    Look at the size description at the top of the cache page.

    They can be anything from 1cm accross magnetic bolt heads! to a full size dustbin!

    The larger the better

    simple rule, caches should be the largest that can possibly be placed at that location

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