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Thread: Please be gentle, I'm new to all this...

  1. #1
    Buckleberry Guest

    Default Please be gentle, I'm new to all this...

    Hi there! As the title suggests, I'm new to this site & geocaching and am still actually awaiting the arrival of my SatMap A10+ but thought I'd check out a few sites first. This seems like the place to be.

    Originally, I wanted a GPS unit to use when I go mountain biking but became intrigued by geocaching after seeing an article in a magazine a few months ago. I live in Wickford, Essex and wonder if anyone can point me in the direction of any locations that are used in the County. I do a lot of mountain biking at Epping, Danbury (nr. Chelmsford), Langdon Hills, Warley and Thorndon Country Parks so this is where I'm most interested in heading out.

    I haven't been able to find much online about any specific geocaching in Essex and would be grateful if anyone could give me a few pointers on where to go and, what to expect..!

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    nobbynobbs Guest

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    Welcome to the hobby.

    The main listing site is www.geocaching.com free to register. then go and do a search for your nearest cache using your post code.

    for your first couple I'd try a simple terrain 1* and difficulty again 1* with a large container.

    At the same time have a search for any event caches happening near to you. basically meeting up with other cachers for a drink and chat and probably a cache or two.

    have a look and see if it makes sense. then when you come up with any problems just ask away.

  3. #3

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    Welcome! There is a geocaching event in Chelmsford on the 13th January. Great opportunity to meet your local cachers and find out more about this strange hobby of ours!

    Chris (MrB)

  4. #4
    skibums (uk) Guest

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    hey BB

    welcome to caching....there are loads of caches in Wickford its self to break yourself in gently.

    Come along to the meet in Chelmsford and meet a few local cachers (we don't bite).

    Hadleigh Castle has loads of quality caches as does Thorndon Country Park. Essex Country Parks are currently planning on expanding the number of caches in their parks so keep your eyes peeled, this will include the flitch way and Weald country park.

    Check out GC.com for all your local caches.


    we are in Wickford to although we cache on foot not by bike. Good luck. Shout if you need any help
    Last edited by Bill D (wwh); 30th December 2009 at 11:05 PM. Reason: Post was trapped as spam - I've no idea why!

  5. #5

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    A very warm welcome to this addictive hobby
    Quote Originally Posted by nobbynobbs View Post
    Welcome to the hobby.

    The main listing site is www.geocaching.com free to register. then go and do a search for your nearest cache using your post code.
    As Nobbynobs says GC is the biggest site but you might also check out Opencaching UK which is UK based. It is quite new and small but hopefully it will grow in time to provide a friendly alternative for UK cachers. Another alternative is Terracaching which like Geocaching.com is US based but contains a number of caches in the UK.

    Coming to the GAGB was a good move as they support UK cachers whichever listing site you use. Whatever you do, remember it's about having FUN

  6. #6
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Thanks for the warm welcome!

    I have registered at geocaching.com (basic only) so will hopefully be searching soon.

    @Skibums - thanks for the Wickford tip off. Probably best to start locally. Initially, the postcode search came back blank but typing in Wickford brought up loads of caches. I might make your Wick Country Park my first try!

    So, thanks again for all the help and if you see someone looking lost on a silver Trek Fuel EX9 mountain bike and scrabbling about in the undergrowth, it'll be me!

  7. #7
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Oh, just another thought - what sort of things/value do most people put in/take out of the caches? I'm guessing nothing expensive/offensive/dangerous/illegal...?!!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckleberry View Post
    Oh, just another thought - what sort of things/value do most people put in/take out of the caches? I'm guessing nothing expensive/offensive/dangerous/illegal...?!!
    From GAGB's guidelines:

    Only items that would be deemed safe and acceptable for an unaccompanied child to find should be placed in a cache.

    No items of food or drink of any kind should be placed in the cache.


    You'll find our guidelines here.

    Generally, it's just common sense. Nothing dangerous or illegal, and nothing strong-smelling that could draw animals to the cache.

    Most items placed in caches aren't high value, but they should be decent quality. If you've got a Poundland or something similar near you that could be a good source. Generally children are more likely to trade than adults.

    One exception is that some cachers place one higher value item in a new cache as a reward for the first finder.

    And if you're trading items yourself, remember the golden rule: trade even or trade up. In other words if you take something, leave something of equal or greater value. The contents of all too many caches quickly deteriorate when a decent item is taken, and nothing, or tat, is left to replace itl But of course one person's tat can be another's treasure, so as I said earlier, it's mainly just down to common sense.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  9. #9
    skibums (uk) Guest

    Default .

    So have you been out yet??

    Waiting to read about your first exeprience.

    Are registered on GC.com as Buckleberry as well.

    Remember you don't have to trade - TNLN (took nothing, left nothing).

    If you find trackable items in caches (Geocoins and Travel Bugs) these are not for you to keep, they are left by their owners to travel from cache to cache. You will find unique code on each item which enables the owner to track their travels. If you pick one up make sure to 'retrieve' it on GC.com and when you place it in another cache 'drop it off'
    Last edited by Bill D (wwh); 3rd January 2010 at 03:19 PM. Reason: Sorry, this got trapped as spam - no idea why!

  10. #10
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Thanks for advice. I do have a newly opened 99p shop in my town (as Skibums can confirm!) but didn't want to just buy a load of cheap tat. I think I read somewhere that someone put in some stickers and a pencil set or such like, but wasn't sure if that was the general cost target. I don't want to go over the top but at the same time, don't want to look like a cheap skate!

    The thought of trading is fun and very appealing, especially if something of yours turns up in another cache you find elsewhere...

  11. #11

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    Just another thought, as you're starting out...

    Some geocachers have their own small "signature item" that they leave in a cache. Some examples: small LED torch keyrings (DrSolly), latex gloves (bones1), small sand-filled gecko toy (the Geckos), named stone/pebble (Zetetic). You might like to ponder whether there's something that you have/use/like that would say to the geocaching world "Buckleberry was here".

  12. #12
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Thanks for the heads up. Would this signature item be in addition to anything else left - I presume one can leave more than 1 item, space permitting. I do have an item in mind - a small gold trophy made from the finest plastic, no less, that I can adorn with my username, or is that not the done thing? I want to get the etiquette right so as not to upset anyone!

    Skibums - I haven't actually taken delivery of my gps yet. Should have it in the next couple of days so might have a chance this weekend. As and when I get out I'll duly report back...!

    And yes, I am Buckleberry on GC.com

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckleberry View Post
    Thanks for the heads up. Would this signature item be in addition to anything else left - I presume one can leave more than 1 item, space permitting. I do have an item in mind - a small gold trophy made from the finest plastic, no less, that I can adorn with my username, or is that not the done thing? I want to get the etiquette right so as not to upset anyone!
    A signature item is just any swap item that you might like to use regularly - if it actually has your name on it then that's even better - Please note, only a few geocachers use signature items... don't feel obliged to do so!

    Remember that it needs to be something relatively small and, if you plan on doing a lot of caches, fairly inexpensive. Of course, you don't have to leave one in every cache you find.
    Some geocachers collect the signature items of other geocachers that they find in caches - they swap for them, as they would for any item (apart from trackables) that is found in a cache.

    Click here for a recent topic about UK signature items from the GSP forum.

    And, yes, you can leave more than one item in a cache if you want... and you don't have to do any trading if you don't want to... Just make sure you sign the log!
    Last edited by Mrs Blorenge; 4th January 2010 at 01:49 PM. Reason: Extra sentence added.

  14. #14
    Buckleberry Guest

    Default

    Well, I had my first attempt yesterday and it wasn't very successful. I tried this cache, http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache...b-fa1fc52d17af and as you'll see from my log, things didn't really take off.

    I'm really surprised at how disappointed I was. I guess I was thinking it was going to be easier than I'd anticipated and am trying to not let it get me down but then again, it was only my first attempt and the weather didn't help one bit. Also, I'd forgotten that the gps is only accurate to within a certain distance and I had it set up to sound a warning at 5ft which, I gether, is far to small a radius to be practical given the accuracy of the unit's sat lock.

    I must admit though, I felt so excited as I was walking to the location, watching the distance meter counting down. I felt like a big kid off on a treasure hunt..!

    Roll on the better weather...

  15. #15

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    just looked at the hint and it would depend on how much metal stuf is in the visinity of the GZ as indicated bu the GPS.

  16. #16
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Please excuse my ignorance, but what is a "GZ"..?

  17. #17

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    "GZ" is the hiding spot - I believe it is an abbreviation of "Ground Zero".

  18. #18

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    You may find this link useful as you'll come across a lot more abbreviations as you get into geocaching!

    Chris (MrB)

  19. #19
    skibums (uk) Guest

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    You were in the right area just searched the wrong metalic object.

    Trying to remain inconspicuous is all part of the challenge - hi viz kjacket often helps.


    Don't give up you were literally right on top of the cache.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by skibums (uk) View Post

    ...Trying to remain inconspicuous is all part of the challenge - hi viz kjacket often helps...


    That made me laugh...

    I read what you said but I know what you mean!

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by skibums (uk) View Post
    Trying to remain inconspicuous is all part of the challenge - hi viz kjacket often helps.
    For the GT version add a clipboard and a hard hat. It really works.

  22. #22
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Thanks folks. I'll be revisiting the cache at the weekend. Hopefully, there'll be less snow covering everything...

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Roger View Post
    For the GT version add a clipboard and a hard hat. It really works.
    And if someone approaches you, just hold your GPS up to your ear and pretend to talk to someone whilst indicating to the person approaching that you are on the phone. Then slowly walk away while 'talking'......

    Chris (MrB)

  24. #24
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blorenge View Post
    pretend to talk to someone whilst indicating to the person approaching that you are on the phone. Then slowly walk away while 'talking'......

    Chris (MrB)
    Aha! The stock reaction to street survey takers...

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Blorenge View Post
    And if someone approaches you, just hold your GPS up to your ear and pretend to talk to someone whilst indicating to the person approaching that you are on the phone. Then slowly walk away while 'talking'......

    Chris (MrB)

    Used that one many times :lol::lol::lol:
    Happy Caching

    Gazooks

    - Setting a good example for children takes all the fun out of middle age.

  26. #26
    weegiegrum Guest

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    Hello folks;

    I'm a newbie at geocaching and also to this forum; hope you don't mind me jumping into this thread.
    I got a Garmin GPS60 for Xmas and discovered geocaching quite by accident on the Garmin website . It seemed like a good scheme to get used to using the Garmin before venturing out into the Scottish hills and also get some exercise after the seasonal overindulgences, so myself and the missus ventured out just before New Year in search of some urban caches in Glasgow. We looked for 4 and found 2 - only a 50% success rate, but given the snow and ice perhaps not too bad a result.
    Since then I've been moderately hooked and have been trying to schedule in some cache hunts every time I venture out.
    I have also found two geocoins recently, and yesterday discovered one from the Blorenges up in Perthshire! Great to come on here today and find your names in this thread.
    I'm doing a bit of travelling around the UK and abroad over the next few months, so I'm hoping to dramatically increase my 'found' score.
    Anyway, Happy New Year to all, and cheers! :cheers:

    Weegiegrum

  27. #27

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    Welcome to weegiegrum, too...

    Which geocoin was it? - We have over 100 trackables wandering around the world and I can't recall what's up there in Perth atm... probably something we dropped that way in the summer when we attended the Gathering in the Glens geocaching event.

  28. #28
    weegiegrum Guest

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    It was Taxi to Belgium, please!
    I didn't take it as I already have two others with me; but if it's still there next month I'll be passing again and will grab it then.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by weegiegrum View Post
    It was Taxi to Belgium, please!
    I didn't take it as I already have two others with me; but if it's still there next month I'll be passing again and will grab it then.
    Thanks for that - I just checked the link and was reminded that I hadn't added pics of the coin to the page...

    Done now

  30. #30
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Well, I'm pleased to report my first find. It was the Fire Wickford cache I tried to find in the snow the weekend before last. I had an idea where it might have been but after a little hint, I finally found it on Saturday. So exciting, especially trying to replace the cache without being spotted. Thankfully, the weather was a bit grim so not many people about.

    Tried another two yesterday without success. Just need to sharpen up my hunting skills...

    Last edited by Buckleberry; 18th January 2010 at 09:54 AM.

  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckleberry View Post
    Well, I'm pleased to report my first find. It was the Fire Wickford cache I tried to find in the snow the weekend before last. I had an idea where it might have been but after a little hint, I finally found it on Saturday. So exciting, especially trying to replace the cache without being spotted. Thankfully, the weather was a bit grim so not many people about.

    Tried another two yesterday without success. Just need to sharpen up my hunting skills...

    Well done!
    If you'd like to give us the GCnumber of the ones you couldn't find we might be able to give you some extra ideas (if you need any!)

  32. #32

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    What Mrs B said!
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  33. #33

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    I have just sneaked a little look at the caches you dnf'd.

    Do not worry, being urban micros they can be harder to find, went you start looking for bigger boxes it does get easier.

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    one of those two was a nano as well, even harder for a newbie to hunt.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckleberry View Post
    Well, I'm pleased to report my first find. It was the Fire Wickford cache I tried to find in the snow the weekend before last. I had an idea where it might have been but after a little hint, I finally found it on Saturday. So exciting, especially trying to replace the cache without being spotted. Thankfully, the weather was a bit grim so not many people about.

    Tried another two yesterday without success. Just need to sharpen up my hunting skills...
    Often, the replacing is easier. It can be replaced behind you back, or as you nonchalantly lean against the wall/fence etc. without actually looking at the cache! Then just a quick check as you leave, to make sure the cache is hidden.
    I have a Geocaching problem...
    Work gets in the way!

    * Cache Walker -Caching by byway, not highway! CacheWalker.co.uk
    Walking and Caching in Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Gloucestershire areas

  36. #36
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs Blorenge View Post
    Well done!
    If you'd like to give us the GCnumber of the ones you couldn't find we might be able to give you some extra ideas (if you need any!)
    Thanks! They were GC1Y6KO (High Again) and GC1KXQN (Did you flash in Wickford). I'm all for any searching hints and tips but do intend to keep trying until I find them, but a little help along the way never hurt anyone, did it..?!!

  37. #37

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    Going by the past logs, they both seem to be rather cunning hides.

    High Again - When Dr Solly, who has the UK's highest number of finds, comments "nice container" then it makes me think it must be a particularly neat disguise. I guess you read the logs for 24/9 and 24/10?

    The second one, Did you flash?, is a tiny nano hidden in what is (apparently) a spot busy with muggles so maybe it might be worth trying again at a quiet time - perhaps a Sunday?

    If you can't find them with your next attempt I'd suggest cheering yourself up by going to find something larger and probably easier!

  38. #38
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Thanks. I'll revisit the logs for another read. The vicinity for the Did you Flash? cache isn't too over populated by muggles and was pretty quite even at 11am on Sunday morning.

    Thankfully, DrDick PM'd me with a link to ebay showing what the nano's look like so at least I know what to keep an eye out for!

    I can't wait to get out again for another search...

  39. #39
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Rather than starting another thread, I thought I'd tack this next question onto this one.

    I think I'm ready to place my own caches now. I've read through all of the rules but just need a pointer on one thing. I have located some good places to hide them, and have suitable containers and have bought some official Geocahing stickers to adorn them but the stickers have spaces to write the GC number, cache name & coordinates etc.

    I read on GC.com that I have to place the cache first before submitting the details but, and this is where I'm struggling, as I won't have the GC number at the time of placing the cache. I know this sounds obvious, but does this mean I should then revisit the cache and write the details on the sticker once known? I appreciate that stickers are not mandatory but I want to make sure I do things correctly.

    Am I right in thinking that I can send a note to the reviewer with all the cache details but advising that the cache hasn't been placed yet and I can just confirm to them at a later time when it has been? And, would I receive the GC number at that stage or not until I've physically placed the chache and notified GC..?

    Any thoughts would be most appreciated.

    Many thanks.

  40. #40

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    complete the form on GC.com but make sure that the 'Yes this listing is active' check box is clear. This way you will be allocateda GC number but the reviewers won't look at the cache until you have placed the cache and then edit the listing and then TICK the box to make it active.

  41. #41

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    What DrDick&Vic said.

    It's generally a good idea to create the listing without that box ticked, as it gives you the opportunity to see how the page will appear, and make any changes if necessary before the cache goes live.
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  42. #42

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    Yep, what the good Doc says...

    Once you un-tick that little box you'll be able to work on your cache listing page over and over again. Each time you make some changes to the submission form you tick the two boxes at the bottom (assuming that you have read the Guidelines and the ToU) and click 'Report New Listing' but as long as that important little box is un-ticked your new cache listing will not appear in your reviewer's queue for listing. So you'll have plenty of opportunity to see exactly what your cache page will look like, including the GC number allocated to it. You'll be able to change the description, layout, add a picture (if you want), play around with coloured text etc until it's exactly what you want.

    Once you're happy, make sure your cache is in place, ready to be found, before ticking the little box "yes, this cache is active..." and the two boxes at the bottom of the form and 'Report New listing'. This will immediately send your cache submission form to the appropriate reviewer for your area. Sometimes, if you've done everything right and your reviewer happens to be at his pc doing reviewing and your cache pops into his review queue then it could get published within 10 minutes. An automatic message will then go out to all those premium members who have set up instant notifications for new caches in their area. They will be leaping into action to go and search for your cache, so it needs to be there!

  43. #43
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Thanks ever so much for all your advice, kind peeps! I just wanted to do things in the right order before I went ahead and ballsed the whole thing up.

    I'm having a day off next week to have a good old hunt around for some caches and will be placing mine at some point.

  44. #44

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    You will also have to ensure that you buy your local reviewer a beverage for every cache you intend to place at any events they may attend, do not forget that bit.

    Have a look at http://www.follow-the-arrow.co.uk/re.../default.shtml where there is also some good information from one of the senior reviewers.

  45. #45

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    Not wishing to sound unduly negative, placing a cache after just one find, may not be the wisest thing to do.
    Others have done so only to be berated, and discouraged, by adverse comments on their cache placement.

  46. #46

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    wot he said .....

    Its worth getting a few more under your belt to see different types of hide/container/cache type.
    Happy Caching

    Gazooks

    - Setting a good example for children takes all the fun out of middle age.

  47. #47
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lost in Space View Post
    Not wishing to sound unduly negative, placing a cache after just one find, may not be the wisest thing to do.
    Others have done so only to be berated, and discouraged, by adverse comments on their cache placement.
    I don't want to rock the boat, what with being the new boy and everything, and I appreciate what you and gazooks say however, everyone has to start somewhere and if other cachers are so low as to dig someone out just because they don't like where they hid a cache or what type of container they used, then more's the pity.

    Granted, constructive criticism is fine, almost de-rigueur, but if comments became derogatory or insulting, a suitable albeit fair and controlled, reply is all that's warranted. I've seen a lot of snobbery in the mountain bike world where noobs are perceived as an invader to an otherwise large, well established community and often sneered at for what equipment they have and how they conduct themselves, even where impecably so. I'd like to think cachers, generally being of a more mature standing, would tend to be more encouraging than not, rather than fall into the old trap of "I've been doing this far longer than you, young man" attitutude.

    That said, I do have plenty of caches still to find in my area and have nothing but the utmost respect and appreciation for all the the good folk of this forum that have given me help and advice. Who knows, a noob might have a refershing angle on locations or hiding places worthy of a good ol' head-scratching..!

    Having re-read this post it sounds like a bit of a rant. Sorry. It's not meant to, and I don't want to get anyone's back up or upset anyone. Far from it, as I wouldn't want to alienate myself from what looks likely to be a long-term love affair with a great hobby...

  48. #48

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    I would suggest that at the least you talk about the container and location with a cacher who has been caching for a while

  49. #49

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    Buckleberry...

    It may have been "a bit of a rant" but it was a very nicely written bit of rant.

    The comments made by the old-timers (and I include myself in that definition) are not meant to dampen your enthusiasm, they simply suggest a degree of caution before hiding caches yourself. Those who've been around the block a few times have seen again and again caches put out by very new cachers, often in unsuitable containers in poorly selected locations, the caches that soon collect 'Needs Maintenance' logs or disappear quickly due to muggle activity or have other 'issues'.

    There's nothing at all to say that very new cachers with, say, less that 20 finds can't place excellent caches but experience has shown that those that do tend to be in the minority.

    Having said that, start getting your new cache ready for placement.

    Be aware that if you intend to list it on geocaching.com then it will have to follow all their Guidelines/Requirements for listing a cache. I can tell you that the most common stumbling blocks are proximity issues and getting specific permission sorted out as required.

    If you intend to list your caches on one of the other sites such as OpenCaching you will see their Guidelines on their own submission form.

    One piece of advice that crops up regularly is "hide the sort of cache that you youself would enjoy finding". Personally, I think hiding caches for others to find is every bit as much fun as finding them. I'm sure that when you direct your enthusiasm into that side of the game you'll find that to be so too.

    Good luck.

  50. #50
    Buckleberry Guest

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    Thank you for your measured replies! I was in two minds to hit the submit reply button, and was expecting a barrage of 'flamed' responses.

    I fully understand the issues concerning locations and container types, most of which I learned from here! I'm sorry to say that when I take up a new interest I do, rightly or wrongly, tend to get a bit 'anorak' about it all and end up spending more time than is probably needed (or is healthy for that matter - ask the missus!) researching and reading all I can about the subject matter so I can try to at least hit the ground running. It's a bit of a long running joke that I have a rather unhealthy addiction to instruction manuals for anything I buy.

    Since signing up to this forum I have found out so much more information from its members and users, for which I am extremely grateful, and have studied so many cache listings and logs on GC.com I should soon be eligible for shares!

    I'm not trying to make myself out to be a 'nobby know-all' by any stretch of the imagination and know that there's no substitute for experience. I remain a noob, but a noob that's just clocked up his years to the wrong side of 40 and remain open to all advice that you kind people have proffered and I will continue to do so, and will gladly listen to all words of wisdom. Sure, if I place a cache that people think doesn't conform for whatever reason, of course, I need (and want) to know. As I eluded to previously, I have no agenda to upset anyone, so if you see me on a meet, you'll hopefully see that I really am all for the greater good (and am rather an all-round good egg, even if I do say so myself!)
    Last edited by Buckleberry; 22nd January 2010 at 07:34 PM.

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