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Finding a geocache

Tips on searching

Five tips of geocaching

1 - don’t follow the arrow, follow the trail

Your GPSr will always show where they cache is in a straight line.

If you’re walking through the bush, there’s a far chance that the track will not be straight. In fact sometimes the track may take you away from the cache.

Don’t be tempted to bush bash and head straight for it. You may find that the track eventually finds it’s way to the cache.

Not following the track can not only take you longer, as you travel through thick bush, you could also damage wildlife.

2 – plan your cache hunt

Some caches are straight forward. Many urban caches are not hard to find and typically rely more on cunning placement, than a challenging walk.

Caches in bushland or remote regions should be studied in detail to identify; where you should park and what path to follow.

Google Earth or Google Maps are a great place to start. The satellite/aerial images allow you to identify the lay of the land, things such as roads, parkland and bush.

Topographic maps and street directories are also very useful.

3 - take a packback

No matter where you go, a backpack is handy to take geocaching.

In the summer, you should carry sunscreen, insect repellant, a hat and plenty of water. In the winter, a rain jacket, beanie and even an umbrella are handy. I also pack a first aid kit, spare pens and logbooks, food and gloves. Gloves are handy not only for bush caches where you might be wary of snakes, ticks and spiders, but also with urban caches, where you have to avoid spiders (again), rubbish and occasionally syringes.

4 – respect the environment

Most of the time you know where to find the cache, or where it should be.

If you need to conduct a more detailed search of the area make sure you replace any rocks, logs, branches and even leaf litter. You could be disturbing someone’s home. .

Sometimes the geocache is close to the corner of a garden bed or on the outer edge of clump of shrubs.

Sometimes the cache hider likes to make it a little difficult to find. This doesn’t give you an excuse to tear the place apart. If you can’t find it, then you may have to walk away and try again another time.

Hiders should also be aware that by placing a cache it will encourage a greater number of people to explore that area, typically in a 20 metre radius. Consider what impact this will have on the environment.

Also remember tip one about paths and tracks. Park rangers frown upon the creation of new paths, particularly through sensitive areas.

Ensure that your cache is far enough from muggle zones, but don’t venture too far into unmarked areas.

5 – respect the feeling of your fellow geocachers.

The Internet is a very impersonal medium. Sacracism loses its humourous nature on the ‘net and its very easy to offend someone, when you thought you were being funny.

Remember that your logs also appear in the public domain. If you are unhappy with experience at a cache, be diplomatic and fair, or contact the owner privately.

If you find a particular geocacher’s style of geocaches not to your liking, consider adding them to your ignore list and avoid confrontation.

Remember, there are many types of geocachers, each with their own likes and dislikes. What you consider to be ‘geo-trash’ is another person’s ‘geo-treasure’.