General Information and FAQs
The Petoskey Stone's Crib Notes For New Cachers
In general I rate accuracy like this:
12 feet or less = Great
13-17 feet = Good
18-20 feet = OK
20-25 feet = not so good
25-30 feet = poor
greater than 30 feet = bad
Lousy accuracy? Go far enough away to get some a better signal. Now
note the bearing and distance. Next, go away from the target on a different
bearing and find a good signal. You are triangulating! Note the second
bearing and distance. Where the two bearings intersect, should be your
zero point. Start your search there.
- Sometimes it is just best to put away the GPSr and try to think like
- Sometimes you just have to ask yourself: "Where would I put it?".
- Read the cache description pages. Really read them. Have them with
you to refer to.
- Familiarity with the person who has hidden the cache can be VERY
helpful. Try to think like them.
- Know how to reach the search point. It can be frustrating when you
can't navigate yourself to the target area. Use maps.
- Finding the right "approach" can be the most important aspect of
a hunt. Remember that most caches have a very reasonable approach available.
- Don't bushwhack, scale or climb, until you have looked for a reasonable
- Know Poison Oak (or ivy). And remember to watch out for it.
- Don't waste your time looking for a bad cache in a bad location.
- Geocaching is supposed to be fun. If you aren't having fun, move
along. The next one is bound to be better!
- Log your DNF's (Did Not Find). There is nothing humiliating about
logging DNF's. The best cachers log them. It helps other seekers and
it helps the cache owner.
- Be honest in your logs. If you find a cache, and have issue with
some aspect of it, put the info in the log. Write the log entry that
you wish others had written before you. If it is a bad location and
dangerous, say so. If it is a poor location to bring children to, say
so. Be honest, be blunt, but don't be mean or egotistical.
- Rare-earth magnets are really great!
- J-B Weld is a Steel Epoxy that is incredible! Does a great job of
bonding magnets to containers.
- Cache containers can be made from lots of different materials. I
have used: - Surplus ammo cans - PVC pipe - Wood & nails - Electrical
boxes - Film canisters - Altoids mint containers - Metal chewing gum
containers - Fencepost caps
- It is better to build/acquire the right cache container that to put
out the wrong one, or one that is has not been completed.
- It is easier to fix it in the garage, than in the field.
- Geocachers appreciate "attention to detail". A well made cache is
admired by those who find it.
- If you have a nice little park, and you put your micro in the middle
of the park, you just prevented anybody else from putting a cache in
this park. It is better to put your micro at one end and leave the rest
of the park available for more caches.
- If you have a nice little park and you put your little micro in a
hollowed out stump that is in the un-developed, back one-third of the
park, you just prevented anybody else from putting a larger cache in
this park. It is better to hide you little micro far away from the un-developed
section, in any one of the many places that a micro can be hidden, leaving
the un-developed section for the placement of larger caches.
- It is better to take your time and find "the right spot" than to
rush and put a cache in a spot that you later wish that you hadn't.
- It is better to rate a cache too high than too low. If too high,
nobody complains, they just feel good about themselves. If too low,
they feel bad... and complain.
- There are guidelines for rating caches. Use them when possible.
- Consider the 'muggle factor' when placing a cache. Don't put a difficult
cache in a location that has very high muggle traffic. It just frustrates
the cache finder because he is unable to conduct a proper search.
- Geocacher's appreciate "attention to detail". A well placed cache
is admired by those who find it.
- Know Poison Oak (or ivy). And remember to watch out for it.
- I have a cache named "Paced Hunter" The name is an anagram that may
provide a hint. It is not uncommon for people to employ anagrams in
- Read the cache description carefully. In some cases, what is not
said can be as important as what "is" said.
- Read the logs. See when a cache was last found. If the last entry
was a DNF (Did Not Find), maybe it has gone missing.
- Get to know the names/handles of other geocachers and know who hid
the cache you are looking for. For example, when I go looking for a
cache that Marky & Joani hid, I try to think like Marky & Joani. (Sometimes
successfully... other times less successfully) :^)
- Post your DNFs. When I first started geocaching I was reluctant to
post DNFs because I thought "Gee, I'm such a newbie. I probably just
overlooked it." Don't worry, about it. The readers will recognize that
you are a newbie and weight the value of the info on their own. The
info is important, though. For example, if an experienced cacher posts
a DNF, that is one thing. But if an experienced cacher posts a DNF which
is followed by two more DNFs by less experienced cachers that does have
- Don't go after "hard" ones until you've had some experience. Collect
15 or more 1-1.5 caches first to see what kinds of hides there are.
- Don't hide a cache until you have collect 15-20 caches.
- Don't hide a cache in ivy (unless it is a very small patch) because
geocachers hate ivy. And they will whine about it (they will do this
even if it is a very small patch).
- Choose your hiding spots carefully. For example, a difficult hide
in a busy park should be avoided because it frustrates the seeker.
- Always try to collect a cache without letting others observe you.
- Non-cachers are referred to as "Muggles" (from Harry Potter books).A
cache that has been found and removed, vandalized or destroyed by a
muggle is said to have been "muggled".
- Sometimes you can locate a cache with lots of people around but will
need to come back later to actually collect it.
- For some reason, carrying a clipboard make one "invisible". In other
words, muggles tend to ignore you if you are walking around with a clipboard.
This is particularly effective if you spend some time examining plants
and taking notes.
- Carry a small mirror with you. I use a 2-inch mechanic's inspection
mirror with a telescoping handle that I bought at Sears. It can be quite