CacheCrazy.Com: How To: Placing Your First Geocache ~ According to Hedge

Saturday, March 9, 2013

How To: Placing Your First Geocache ~ According to Hedge

How To: Placing Your First Geocache

Hiding and Marking your New Cache - for Newbies!
Another post from "Hedge's Ramblinz" May, 2008

You want to place your cache, and you want to do it right. Here's some advice I've not seen in other places.

First off, I'd say don't try to place caches till you've found 75 to 100 of 'em. You'll have the hankering to do it sooner, but after seeing what's out there, you'll know better what's a lame hide and what's a good one. Then the ones you make will be better, less likely to get stolen, etc. I remember finding my first skirt lifter and thinking, "Pretty ingenious hide!" ... and then I found another, and another, and another ... good thing I didn't place one under a skirt early on, I'd have kicked myself later.

Ask yourself:
Is this a location that's worth visiting? • If it's not, can't you place this same cache somewhere better?
What's unique about this cache? • If it's just like the one you saw someone else do, why don't you take a minute to plus it up a bit and make it one better?
Is this likely to be seen by some as a danger or threat? • If you're placing an ammo can next to the Police Dept's building, maybe it's time to rethink that placement.
How can I make the description better? • One, you can check your spelling. Two, add images. Just borrow source code from a cache description that uses images and swap out the name of the old image for the image you're using. Three, don't put a list of all the original items in the cache - no one thinks you're generous but you. If you must, put the list in as the first note as you activate the cache. Four, less is more.
What's just enough of a hint to help someone who's looked for 20 minutes without giving it away? • Ah heck, people read the hint before leaving their computers. But there is one hard and fast rule of thumb for hints: No one appreciates decoding a hint that reads, "Too easy for a hint" or something as inane as that. If your cache is going to be in a high-traffic area, put a spoiler hint in so your seekers will know if the cache is muggled and that's why they can't find it.

You don't have to place a cache just because there's no cache here. The world doesn't need another really lame cache, really. Really!

Be certain when you do hide one, that the only people who can find it are geocachers - if you're worried that it might get muggled when you place it, then it is probably going to get muggled... And muggled sooner rather than later. If you walk away thinking that it's hidden well, you'll sleep better at night. Nothing's more demoralizing than reading DNF logs from frustrated cachers who came to find your cache but it wasn't there - face it - because you didn't hide it well enough. Not to mention the time and expense of replacing the cache and contents.

I've also found with my unit that having different batteries makes a big difference. Rechargeables at 1.25 volts lead me 40 feet away from every cache, where 1.5 volt non-rechargeables give me dead-on coords. Guess what? It's right there in the owner's manual: my GPS is rated for 1.5 volt batteries. Finding out what voltage batteries your GPSr is made to use is so simple, but can make a huge difference when finding and marking!

I know I sweated bullets placing my first few because I didn't trust my marked coordinates. I have a cheapy yellow eTrex, which is just fine for finding caches, but I still want to make sure that my posted coords are dead on the mark.
For my first couple of caches, I made sure to come back on multiple days to test the coords. That doesn't hurt one bit! But one thing you should do each visit when placing is to take a few marks, then go away a good football field or so, turn your GPSr off and then back on, then walk back trying to find your cache using the GPS. You'll see in a hurry which mark is the best, and how far off the bad ones are. You can also take a moment to adjust the coords using your compass, then find again, and again, until you're right on the money.
(How to do this? Say you're now standing on your cache again, but the GPS is saying it's 22 feet South. You have "too much South and not enough North." Just raise the N coordinate number, say by a couple of ticks. Alternately, if the GPS is saying it's 22 feet SouthWest, you have "too much South and West." You'd raise the North number a tick or two, and lower the West number a tick or two. Doing this a few times should get you spot on, even under weerd conditions.)

If you're under power lines, or between high walls and having wacky readings, you can do what I call "Bi-angulation." Walk directly North until you have clear sky. Here, your North reading will be totally off (it will be higher than the cache), but your West reading will be the same as the cache location. Make a note of the West coord, then do the same directly West of your cache location - and you have a good North coord for your cache, too.

Finally, don't be in a hurry to place and publish your cache. Be sure before you pull the trigger on it. Feeling like you gotta get it done so you can get the reviewer to publish it today will only cause you to make a mistake, or settle for a worse placement or concept than you should. Take your time! Take your Time!
Place the cache container, and wait for a day or two. Come back and find it under a fresh constellation of satellites to re-check your coords.
If you have a fellow cacher who's willing, have them pre-publish find it and tell you what they experienced. Feel free to move it if they think there's a better hide 10 feet away. Feel free to change the coords if their GPS didn't agree with your mark. Feel free to upgrade the container, add camo, add swag, ruminate on a good hint... Giving it time can improve your cache in so many ways. Don't feel that you have to publish it right NOW.
Look at it this way, if you think the cache is going to stay in place for years for cachers to enjoy and find, what's another day or two for it to sit in place before it's published? It's just additional time for the hide to weather a bit, get good and dusty and blend in, so the FTF has to work for their trophy. Right?

There's lots of other stuff to say, but let's not go overly long. I'll keep it short by saying simply,
PLEASE FOR PETE'S SAKE DON'T PLACE MICROS UNLESS YOU HAVE A GOOD REASON!
Trade up!
Replace 'em better than you found 'em!
Give other hiders positive feedback!
Add some TBs and Geocoins to the pool!
and
Thanks for hiding one! Without you, there's no geocache to find, and no geocaching!

1 comments:

BigAl said...

Good article and a great reminder of how to hide your cache. Thanks for the info.

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