Whenever you start geocaching you will probably just punch in a set of coordinates and go. However, if you look around you, there may be a path next to it, which is easier to traverse. Finding such pathways is a matter of being smart and tactical. In order to be more tactical, here are some tips and tricks you may wish to try out for yourself.
Think Like A Geocacher
Don’t keep your face buried, do your research instead. Take a look at the route that you are taking and the terrain that you are traversing.
Don’t Expect Your GPS To Lead You Directly To The Cache
This is one of the biggest mistakes that people who are new to this sport make. Even some of the more experienced members of this sport can get lulled into it from time to time. Remember: GPS is only meant to get you close to your target, not zero you in on top of it.
Carry A Repair Kit
Finding the cache is only the beginning. You may have to pull it out of a tight place. There may be no pencil. The log may be full or wet. Its Ziploc bag may be torn. These are just some of the many reasons why you should always carry a “repair kit.”
Make Sure To Check Out All The Good Hide Sites
If you do some background work, have a good idea what your cache is and know its likely hiding spot, go there. It really is possible for your GPSr to say that it should be in one location when it is actually 100 feet from there.
Check Everywhere And Everything
Anything but burying the cache is permissible so keep your eyes out for things that simply don’t belong there (i.e. a rock in a tree, a pine cone, a pile of logs, a reflector, light switch, bird house, bolt, sheet of metal, etc.). Do whatever it takes to inspect the entire area but be discreet in doing so.
Knowing How To Search
You know that you have reached your area whenever the GPSr begins bouncing around in single digits. This is the area that you want to take some time to investigate. Look all around you but be slow in doing so. Use your peripheral vision, as it is good at picking up shapes.
Be On The Lookout For Trails And Openings
People will always hide their cache. Try to be discreet but if you have to, don’t feel bad about breaking up some brush. Take a look around you first though. There may be a pathway that you didn’t see before that is more visible to you now and that will lead you to the cache.
Plan A Route But Don’t Be Afraid To Modify It
You’ll know that you are heading the right way whenever the distance on your GPSr is going down. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are on the best possible route. Therefore you should never become fixated on your GPS4. It is simply a guide, which, by the way, doesn’t take into account the terrain or routes that it is giving you.
Avoid Pre-Conceived Notions
While some people will tell you exactly what the cache is, others won’t. You can never make assumptions either or you will skip over the real thing. Instead, depend upon your search plan, not your pre-conceived notions.
Read All Cache Information And Logs
Now is the time to be a detective. You can either wing it or create a full plan so that you don’t waste any time. Look for cryptic clues and keep your eyes open for key facts whenever you are reading through the log entry. Make sure that you gather as much information as possible. Take a look through the pictures and jot down some notes. Make sure to run the location through a topographical map like Google Earth or talk to some people that have been in that area to get all of the information that you need. The point here is that you will want to gather up clues and create a plan. If you have a smart phone, you can even use that as an additional aide.