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Thread: Hello from a wannabe!?

  1. #1
    ljb12 Guest

    Default Hello from a wannabe!?


    I heard about geocaching from my gym who suggested it as a good form of exercise between gym visits, so I registered with and was amazed how many caches there were local to me. I pushed my son in his pushchair round to the most local one to me - 200m from my house!!! - and whilst I'm sure I had the location correct (on Smartphone and also matched with clue), I just couldn't find the cache. Firstly I didn't know what sort of container I was looking for, and secondly the area was all ivy and bushes and I didn't know how far into a bush I could push myself without getting arrested for weirdness and thirdly then it got dark and I came home. I feel strangely addicted though and I can't wait til its light and I have time to go look again! Is it acceptable to lay on pavement to look under the ivy on the floor?! How well hidden are these things?!

    How was your first find? How did you know what to expect/look out for?

    I'm in Wokingham, Berkshire and would love to hear from any other local geocachers, it seems like it could be quite a social hobby. Going to drag my son and husband out at the weekend and I'll find the local cache if it kills me (maybe through scratches after being in a bush!!)

    All hints and tips welcome, good to be here!!!


  2. #2


    Hiya and welcome to the GAGB.

    Don't worry, you'll find yourself in some strange situations, getting strange looks etc etc. You will soon learn the shoelace tying technique and have it down to a fine art!

    When you are on the forum, search for caches close to your postcode for a start. Then when you find ones that you fancy doing, read the cache page carefully, including the logs that other cachers have left. Near the top left of the page you will find something that tells you the size. Also on the page there will be a hint, you will need to decrypt this for it to make sense, which is only the click of a button. That hint should give you more idea of what you are looking for.

    Smartphones are good up to a point at helping you, but if you get in to it more seriously, think about buying a cheap second hand GPS. There should be some on Ebay (other sales sites are available) and after christmas there will probably be more as people may have had an upgrade.

    We started with the Garmin Etrex, a great little starter unit.

    I could go in to a lot more detail and bog you down with too much information for a start.
    The best thing is to learn as you go along and don't be afraid to come back on here and ask as many questions as you want. There is usually someone along pretty quickly to help out.

    Take care and happy caching.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Chippenham, Wiltshire


    Welcome lbj12. It gets much easier once you get your eye in.

    Check the cache description to find out how big the container is. Is it magnetic? Then consider where you would hide such a cache.

    It perfectly acceptable to poke around in daylight, most people don't care and if they do then just say you dropped something.

    For local events, check out our calendar or if you've signed up for regular mails from then they'll tell you about them too.

    Our first cache was a decent sized box in a tree - Queen's Oak in 2001 - and we're still hooked! It is easier to choose a larger box with a low difficulty rating as your first.

    Happy caching.

    Caching since 2001
    Founder member of GAGB (2003)
    Committee (2003-2013)
    Chair of GAGB (2010-2012)
    Negotiator of 18 Landowner Agreements
    GAGB Friend

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Oct 2006


    We had a DNF (Did Not Find) on my first outing too, I then went for some different caches on our second outing, and went back to the first one when we had a bit more idea.

    I would suggest that when you go out again, rather than just going for the closest caches look for something that sounds like it might be an easier find.
    As for what you're looking for, depends on the cache size.

    If it's listed as :-

    micro, very often they're 35mm film pots, but can be much smaller (as small as a pile of about six 5p pieces).

    small, that's typically something around the size of a packet of 20 fags.

    regular, that's typically something like a tuppaware lunch box

    Large would be a large tuppaware box, or an ammo tin.

    Also bear in mind any of these sizes could be disguised, I've seen anything from a nano glued inside a snail shell, right up to a log which had been hollowed out inside.

    Welcome to the game and don't give up!

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2009


    Welcome to the game and don't give up, as Martybartfast says, but sorry I have to disagree with him on cache sizes. In my experience:

    Micro could be even smaller than a pile of 5 ps e.g. a magnetc nano, a dog ID tag.
    Small includes small butty boxes, plastic coffee jars, peach jars etc
    Regular is large butty boxes and ammo cans - even the big ammo cans I have found were classed as regular
    Large - I only have one listed in my finds, and it was a camping event! I think the official designation is sort of bucket size or bigger.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Anywhere the mood takes us


    Welcome to the addiction, soon you will be attending Cachers Anonymous and standing at the front and saying "My name is LJB12 and today I had a DNF"

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Land of the Bear and Ragged Staff!



    Check the size of the cache you were after.
    Micro is "35mm film tub and SMALLER."

    These 'smaller' ones can be Nano* size, about the size of the rubber on the end of a pencil...

    Also worth avoiding any caches marked as 'Not Listed' or 'Other' as a lot of them could be 'Nano' size.

    *Nano isn't an officially recognised size (yet), "...and smaller" should be classed as Micro, but some cache hiders either don't know, or try to hide the fact it's a nano.
    I have a Geocaching problem...
    Work gets in the way!

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

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Burnley, Lancashire


    Welcome lbj12!

    Don't worry you will get the hang of it. I only have 11 finds and thats all without a GPS, now that I have my GPS I hope to find loads more.

    All the advice given above is advice I got and trust me it does work!

    I DNF on my first one but returned and found it the next day.

    Good luck and hope to see you on GAGB in the future!


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Carterton Oxon


    As you can see from the posts above, we are a friendly lot ! - There are quite a few cachers in your area - Look at the calendar (on the top banner) for events and you will find that there is a local group that meets quite often fairly near you. We went to a meet quite soon after joining and found that (contrary to a lot of the posts you read here !) Most cachers are quite normal people !! We got a lot of good advice from more experienced cachers and - went out in company with a few of them and "got" a few caches (more than we would have got on our own) It can be a bit of a downer when you get all set up - go out and get a series of "did not finds" when you are on your own - but going out with other more experienced cachers is much more fun. After a while you get more cunning and - if you are doing local caches, you see the same "Owner's" name on a few you begin to understand their mind set in hiding them. When you meet them at a local event you can then talk knowledgeably to them about their series (or not if they are fiendishly hard)
    Get stuck in and enjoy it !!
    Si vis pacem para bellum

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