We thought it might be a good idea to post ideas here for things you can do to enhance your geocaching experience. We'll keep adding to this list from time to time as we come across an example of best practice.
Always carry a mobile phone with you when out caching. It can literally help to save a life if you come across a situation where assistance is required. A bonus of modern mobiles is that if you have a camera phone you can take pictures of the tracking codes of any trackables you come across to record them without the need for pen and paper.
Remember to mark your cars location into your GPSr before embarking on a cache hunt if you are in an area unfamiliar to yourself. That way, you can't get lost as you'll always be able to find your car again - even if you can't find that elusive geocache.
If you are looking inside a hole for a cache, take a minute to check the area, is there any activity from wasps etc, and it could also be worth checking the hole with a long stick first to ensure that it is not a wasps nest or something similar before you put your hand in.
And don't forget the important spare batteries for your GPSr Unit, these are always a handy item to carry.
Whilst you are walking and looking at your GPSr Unit don't forget to watch where you are going and general awareness of people and cars around you, I have heard of several very near misses with both cars and cliffs. It may be a good idea to check out the local area, print out a map or just go on google earth to see the type of terrain you will be walking in.
Ever heard of the term 'dipping a geocoin in and out of a cache'? Geocoins can be very expensive to release into the wild as you always run the risk of it being stolen or mistaken as geoswag by newbies. You might have a special geocoin that you can't bear to part with and its a shame that no-one else can enjoy it. Well geocoin dipping is the term given to carrying a geocoin on you (ie not releasing it into the wild) and dropping it into and immediately retrieving it from a geocache again when you visit it. This does two things:
- It acrues mileage to the geocoin. This is in fact your own mileage, so you can use it to record how far you travel whilst geocaching.
- By carrying the coin with you and not releasing it you don't risk losing it and it can be shown to other geocachers that you meet whilst out geocaching so that they can 'discover' it.
Releasing a Trackable Item
We strongly recommend that before you release anything trackable you attach something to it to say what its mission is going to be, and that it is not a trade item. This helps people know if they can help it move, and where you would prefer it to go. It also means that new people to geocaching will not mistake it for a trade item.
Discovering a Geocoin or Trackable Item
A new part of geocaching is being able to discover a trackable item, these items can be attached to cars in the shape of a magnetic, window cling or decal, they have a tracking number on them, just make a note of it to discover later. You can also find these numbers of Tattoos, T-shirts, Hoodies, Patches and probably more items that I haven't discovered yet. The idea is that you don't move it on you just log that you have seen (discovered) it. So when you are out caching don't forget to check other cars in the car park.