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Thread: Not off to a good start...

  1. #1
    ratty & son Guest


    I'm a 24 year old aircraft engineer in the RAF and have a 5 year old son. I heard about this thing called geocaching a while ago from a collegue and didn't think much of it...

    Not at least until I looked into it a little a few weeks ago. WOW..! I was really impressed, not only at the amazing concept behind the very simple idea, but mostly the number of caches in my area. And to think every day folk have no idea. That's maybe what makes it quite interesting for some people, the exclusiveness of it all!

    So, I borrowed a Magellan GPSr from a friend (who does not geocache) and set out with my lad one sunny Saturday morning. We attempted 3 caches in the Reading area, and did not find a thing. I noticed that things like car parks with given co-ords were not accurate, about 350 ft out.

    After a bit of advice on groundspeak, I changed the datum to the geochaching norm and tried again the next weekend. I was more than dissappointed, not just because I had really gotten into the idea (just by surfing t'internet), but because I could see the dissappointment in my son, and felt bad because of it.

    I've given up up my friend's Magellan GPSr and gave it back. I've just bought an eTrex Vista from an American trader (with pre installed UK mapping hopefully) and am just waiting on delivery. Lets just hope we have a little more luck with this one!

    Well, the point of this topic was really for some advice, and to share my experiences. What I would like would be for someone in the Berkshire area to very kindly invite us along for a couple of caches one weekend to give us a head start. I see this as something my son and I can share together for many years to come, and want to do it properly. And, I want to tackle a couple of caches on the Isle of Wight and Northern Ireland over Christmas!

    Thanks all!

    Steven and Wee Matthew

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2003


    Welcome to geocaching, Steven! I'm sorry to hear that your first attempts were all unsuccessful.

    If the gpsr was pretty consistently out, then that sounds like it's a problem with the settings on the gpsr. You need to have the datum set to WGS84, and the coordinates to degrees and decimal minutes, which may be displayed in your settings as HDD MM.MMM or 00 00.000 or something similar, to match the format gives the coords in.

    You may have noticed that caches have star ratings for difficulty of finding and for terrain, ranging from 1 star for easy to 5 stars for difficult. Try ones that are rated low for difficulty.

    And be aware that some are traditional caches, i.e. a single hidden container, and some are multis, where there are several stages before you get to the final container, and sometimes the early stages are virtual, in other words you're not looking for a container but usually something like a sign with numbers on - the cache page will give details.

    Also, container sizes vary - a micro might be a 35mm film container, which can be pretty difficult to find in some locations, whereas a regular container will be something like a tupperware box or an ammunition can.

    Go for traditional caches that are rated low for difficulty. And you might at first want to decrypt the hints before you set out, and choose caches that give a fairly good description in the hint of where to look. If nothing else, that might help to establish whether you're in the right spot or whether the gpsr has led you astray. And read other finder's logs to see whether they had any problems or not.

    I hope that helps. Better luck with your next attempts!
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​

  3. #3
    John & Hazel Guest


    Hi Steven,
    Welcome to Geocaching. Sorry tho read of your unfortunate first attempts.
    You might want to post the same question and request in the Groundspeak Forums (United Kingdom) which can be found HERE

    Good Luck

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