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Hunting Time 
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Joined: 15 May 16 2:31 am
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Post Hunting Time
How long does it take you guys to find the average traditional cache?

I ask because I spent half an hour at each of two different sites looking for the cache at each site today and I was kinda thinking I should have found them by then if they were there...

What do you guys think?

They were both traditional caches and small-sized.


24 August 16 7:12 pm
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Post Re: Hunting Time
It depends on a lot of things. One is the difficulty rating of the cache. The second factor is the experience of the cacher involved. I don't know how many you have found (I will hazard a guess of not many if you need to ask the question - in no way meaning to be impolite). We all started there at the same place, no matter how many or how few finds we have now. But after the first few you start to get an idea of what to look for and different hiding styles.

If the caches have a hint then use it. Looking at previous logs can also give clues as to where it might be as well.

When I first tried geocaching in around 2001 or 2002 I tried for 3, couldn't find any and gave up despite a good half hour at the locations. I was then reintroduced on a 4WD trip in 2003 with a single outback find, and got back into it. There will be styles of hide that aren't obvious until you have experienced them before, perhaps if there is an event down there sometime go along and talk to a few people, I am sure they would be happy to help you out with some finds to get you going.


24 August 16 7:54 pm
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Post Re: Hunting Time
For most within a minute or two of arrival. Some take longer. I think the longest has been an hour. I am not as patient as the main person I cache with. I am ready to call it a DNF, but he won't give up. I am more prepared to call a DNF on a low rated cache than a higher rated cache, even though I have soon realised after beginning searching for a rated say '1.5 star' difficulty cache, this is no 1.5 star difficulty cache and possibly the coordinates are wrong, the cache owner is new and inexperienced, or lying about the rating for reasons that only mean something to them and annoy many other cachers. It's easy to spot these often purposely wrongly rated caches by the number of DNFs they have. If I'm travelling and I can't possibly find all the local caches in the time I have, I often walk away and find another cache.


25 August 16 10:23 am
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Post Re: Hunting Time
Oh, it totally depends.

Some are obvious that you know immediately where it will be (aka "trust your geosense"). Some need the hint.

Others take a long time and multiple visits.

After a certain moment it's a matter of going through the posted images to see if the container is there so you have some idea of how big it is (the ones I cannot find are often depressingly large) or for a clue on the exact location. And going through the logs of course to check for better coordinates :-)

And at the end you mark them as DNF and talk about it at the next meetup to see if somebody has a hint.


25 August 16 10:40 am
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Post Re: Hunting Time
Richary wrote:
I don't know how many you have found (I will hazard a guess of not many if you need to ask the question - in no way meaning to be impolite).

Oh yeah. So far I've managed to find one whole cache! So I'm very much a n00b at this. :P And that was an easy one too, just a tube under a rock.

With one of the ones I was looking for yesterday, I'd seen a picture of GZ in a log so I knew I was in the right spot. Also the grass was all trampled down (this was in a bush area and just off the track) so it was obvious that people had been there. No sign of the cache though. But I definitely intend to go back again and have another look! It would be great to find an experienced person to help me find a few until I get the hang of it though...


25 August 16 1:30 pm
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Post Re: Hunting Time
Furrhan wrote:
With one of the ones I was looking for yesterday, I'd seen a picture of GZ in a log so I knew I was in the right spot.

Unless the photo was supplied by the CO as a hint/spoiler, that assumption can lead you astray. The cache might have been moved by the CO to a more suitable spot since the photo was taken or it might be a cacher having some fun with others by posting a photo that isn't actually of GZ or it might be that another cacher has taken it upon themselves to move the cache to a spot that they think is more suitable than the one the CO placed the cache at.
Experience will allow you to take into account and overcome all these obstacles and in order to gain experience, try some caches that are rated for beginners and if possible, try to meet other cachers and go out with them on a caching run. The first time I went with an experienced cacher who happened to be "TheSwaggies" I learned an enormous amount about geocaching. I've used the lessons learned on that day ever since.


27 August 16 1:08 pm
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Post Re: Hunting Time
tl;dr: urban - 10-60min depending on size. bush - ages!

For me, it depends highly on the cache size.
I'm a city/urban cacher, so terrain is less of a factor. I have done it for a few years now.

For sizes Small and upwards, it takes 10-15min. There's only so many places to look.
(Honestly, it's a miracle if a regular sized cache even gets hidden in the city. Small is typically the biggest they get.)

I'll happily spend 30min poking about before giving up on a micro. (Key box to tube sized)
Some nanos (thumb nail sized) have taken me over an hour to find - I'll stop and read logs after 15min, pretend to take photos of ants, leave and come back if I haven't found it within 30min (can only loiter in one place so long before it looks suspicious).

Generally, I'll budget an hour per cache that I intend to find - I'm always on foot, and sometimes backtracking on an elevation mistake takes AGES. If that sounds like heaps, think 'magnetic nano/micro somewhere on these metal fence posts/street signs/heaps of other metallic things? augh!'


For me, bush caches are another matter entirely. You're free to look as suspicious as you want, but the terrain is against you!
The few times I've tried:
A regular sized thermos '15m off the track' took me an hour. 15m is not ~15 paces in a straight line when it comes to the bush, and with the arrow refusing to settle, it was hard to tell WHICH track it was located off of.
An ammo can nestled against a huge rock up a vertical clamber by the side of a gravel road took 30min, despite two of us searching.
A regular box sitting in full view at the base of a tree between two rocks overlooking ocean took me 5-10min to spot... but a good 1.5h of wandering about beforehand, trying to figure out how to get to it.

Have fun with the hunt!


30 August 16 1:02 am
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Post Re: Hunting Time
biggles1024 wrote:
in order to gain experience, try some caches that are rated for beginners and if possible


However, some cachers have been changing their difficulty and terrain ratings to 1.5 when they should be more so that the geocaches show up on the free apps for non-premium members. This could really frustrate new players who think it's meant to be fairly easy to find but it is cleverly camouflaged or in a tricky spot. :(


30 August 16 8:49 am
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Post Re: Hunting Time
No_Tomorrow wrote:
biggles1024 wrote:
in order to gain experience, try some caches that are rated for beginners and if possible


However, some cachers have been changing their difficulty and terrain ratings to 1.5 when they should be more so that the geocaches show up on the free apps for non-premium members. This could really frustrate new players who think it's meant to be fairly easy to find but it is cleverly camouflaged or in a tricky spot. :(


That is something beyond our control however you can always put out in your log that the rating is incorrect and provide a link to the relevant guideline to back up your claim.
I see many cachers who don't bother to use or in an increasing number of cases, don't know that there are rules to geocaching. As a consequence of this, they rate their caches, both D and T and also container sizes, according to their personal opinions instead of using the guidelines.


30 August 16 10:56 am
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Post Re: Hunting Time
This link might help you figure out hunting times also, based on the assumption that the owner has attempted to give it the correct rating.
https://support.groundspeak.com/index.p ... page&id=82


30 August 16 11:43 am
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Post Re: Hunting Time
Thank you, that was a useful link and I have book marked it. I have generally used the ratings that are given when a cache is registered. Unfortunately that terrain rating appears more suited for caches out in the bush and not so suitable for urban caches, such as one I did recently at Cowra. That required me to stand on a stool on a picnic table and then use a mirror with a handle to see it, and once located to stretch out, while teetering on this set up to reach the cache. Rated 1.5 stars terrain. I now notice that the CO is only a 'member', so perhaps that's why they rate ALL their caches at 1.5 stars or lower. They are maybe using the free app. Wrong terrain ratings in particular annoy me, as not everyone has the same physical abilities and for this, and also safety's sake they need to be as accurate as possible. If a CO is using the free app. then they should only have caches that are truly 1.5 star difficulty or below. It's a shame that there isn't a way that finders could rate the difficulty and terrain of a cache and the average rating be shown, although I think the ability to do this should be limited to cachers with at least 500 finds, so the rating isn't screwed by very inexperienced cachers making their first finds.

I do try my best to give a correct rating, often mulling over it and discussing it with someone I often cache with to get another opinion, and then I take finder's comments into account to fine tune them. I find caches with under-rated difficulty and especially terrain VERY annoying, and they do ruin the game a bit for me.
Unfortunately, with any COs that are using the free app, no matter how many times they are told their rating is very wrong and how many times they are given that link and other examples, they will NOT correct their ratings.


30 August 16 12:41 pm
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Post Re: Hunting Time
Goldenwattle wrote:
...one I did recently at Cowra. That required me to stand on a stool on a picnic table and then use a mirror with a handle to see it, and once located to stretch out, while teetering on this set up to reach the cache. Rated 1.5 stars terrain. I now notice that the CO is only a 'member', so perhaps that's why they rate ALL their caches at 1.5 stars or lower.


I'm suspecting you are talking about a Chuze cache. Joshwa27 and Chuze geocache together so only one needs premium membership. These are two names known for down-rating a large number of their caches' DTs, I think it was earlier this year. They are great cachers, hiding interesting history mysteries among many others west of the Blue Mountains, doing cache maintenance for others, and introducing me to nu:world paper. I've heard some haven't had the best experience with them though, especially in regards to the DTs they set.


30 August 16 6:19 pm
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Post Re: Hunting Time
No_Tomorrow wrote:
Goldenwattle wrote:
...one I did recently at Cowra. That required me to stand on a stool on a picnic table and then use a mirror with a handle to see it, and once located to stretch out, while teetering on this set up to reach the cache. Rated 1.5 stars terrain. I now notice that the CO is only a 'member', so perhaps that's why they rate ALL their caches at 1.5 stars or lower.


I'm suspecting you are talking about a Chuze cache. Joshwa27 and Chuze geocache together so only one needs premium membership. These are two names known for down-rating a large number of their caches' DTs, I think it was earlier this year. They are great cachers, hiding interesting history mysteries among many others west of the Blue Mountains, doing cache maintenance for others, and introducing me to nu:world paper. I've heard some haven't had the best experience with them though, especially in regards to the DTs they set.

:-$ :)

I have been disappointed a number of times with inaccurate cache ratings (a generic answer here, with no reference to any cacher in particular), even though some might be interesting caches. The example I gave, I did explain in my log what I needed to do to reach this cache, so as to warn others this is not close to a 1.5 star terrain. Normally I don't like to give this information away, but if a cache terrain rating is so wrong I feel others need to be warned. In fact, the cacher who came after me changed their mind about attempting this cache after reading my log, because they said, "it was too difficult and dangerous for an 80 year old to attempt." With only a 1.5 star terrain rating, how would they know this? Likely they would have just wasted their time looking in 1.5 star terrain places and left with a DNF and disappointed.
And then what about the one star terrain cache (different town and CO) with the hint, 'up in the rafters'? :? I was able to get it down with a long stick, but because it was rated one star, I had not come with anything that I could use to get it back up into the rafters. So I left it down low, where a person in a wheelchair could get it, to match its rating. The cacher who came after me agreed with me. I actually felt uncomfortable :? about not returning it to where I found it, and I had to keep reminding myself that the CO had rated the cache's terrain as wheelchair accessible and then shoved it high in the rafters :twisted:.


30 August 16 7:19 pm
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Post Re: Hunting Time
I can understand getting D ratings wrong (they are a bit subjective) but the guidelines for terrain are pretty clear and they should always be within 0.5 of the correct rating you'd think. I've seen caches that require climbing into the roof beams of picnic shelters rated 1.5.

I've noticed tree climbs seem to be rated 3.5 generally. Is that the guideline? If it's in the lower branches that's okay but some require a ladder to the first branch or are more than 5 metres up which puts them in 4.5 to 5 territory in my book.

But this is getting off topic...


31 August 16 1:34 pm
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