How to… Find your first geocache

With more than 2 million geocaches hidden around the world, there is no shortage of geocaches to make your first target, but before you rush out to make your first find, here are a few this to consider that could help make your first hunt a success rather than a disappointment.
There are 4 main types of geocache you will see a lot of on the map (more information on all geocache type here). They are not all as straight forward as they could be. Generally you should find a Traditional Cache to start yourself off on. These are indicated on the map with a green box symbol like this:

Geocaches come in all shapes and sizes (more info here). An indicator to the size of the container you are looking for is given on the website like this:
Size: (regular)
For your first few hunts, look for Regular sized and even Large sized caches, you can then try a small, then later a micro. Take care to read micro geocache descriptions, as there is an unofficial size of ‘nano’. These geocaches can be as small as the tip of you finger (smaller if you are a big bloke) and are the bane of many geocachers day.

Difficulty of hide
Every geocache has a Difficulty rating. These are indicated using a star rating system, where 1 star is the easiest and 5 stars the most difficult. On cache pages, the stars look like this:
When starting out, try looking for caches with a difficulty of less than 3 stars. More information on the star ratings can be found here.

Terrain surrounding geocache
Similar to Difficulty ratings, each geocache also has a star indicating the type of terrain or landscape the geocache is hidden in. Once again, try to pick geocaches with a lower terrain rating, ideally less than 3. More information on the star ratings can be found here

Recent logs
Have a look at the recent logs on the geocache you are thinking of hunting for. If the last few are DNF (Did Not Find, indicated with a ) maybe give that one a miss.

Beginner Caches
At the bottom of search pages is a tick box labeled Highlight Beginner Caches. The characteristics used to define this selection are:

  • Traditional type
  • Low difficulty
  • Recently found by others
  • No micro sized caches
  • No problems reported

Take an experienced friend
Did you find out about geoaching from a freidn who already plays? Why not head out with them for a few caches. They can show you the ropes, teach you some of the ‘unwritten rules’ and even some of the written ones.

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