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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

    Default

    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

    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    South East Wales
    Posts
    277

    Default

    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

    Default

    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 10:05 PM. Reason: Post was trapped as spam - I've no idea why!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    261

    Default

    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

    Default

    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

    Default

    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

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    5,520

    Default

    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 02:19 PM. Reason: Sorry, this got trapped as spam - no idea why!

  10. #10
    Buckleberry Guest

    Default

    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

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

    Default

    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

    Default

    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

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

    Default

    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 12:49 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

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Anywhere the mood takes us
    Posts
    2,538

    Default

    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.

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