You've decided geocaching sounds like fun, you've set up a profile at geocaching.com, and you've even found a few caches containing geocache swag. But disappointment sets in and you feel like a quitter when you can't find a cache that seemingly was a simple find for other geocachers. You're a beginner geocacher, and you need to develop your geo-sense!
First, don't take it too seriously. It's a game that requires skill and takes several geocaching outings to become adept. Finding cleverly hidden caches is difficult, especially nanos. Also, the more often you go geocaching, the faster your geo-sense will improve.
Until then, here are a few quick tips for beginner geocachers to make geocaching adventures more successful.
Start with easy caches of traditional size
This makes a big difference for the beginner geocacher. If you are inexperienced, it can be extremely difficult to find a small or nano cache that has been cleverly hidden by a pro. Traditional caches are larger and easier to find. By starting with them you will feel encouraged and eager to find more. Besides, these are great finds for kids because they are the ones that contain swag.
Read the comments
Reading the comments before you go geocaching lets you know if other geocachers have recently found the cache, if the coordinates are accurate, and give a general feel for the type of cache and its location.
This is a big help; especially when you plan to visit several geocaches. Sure it takes a little time, but it is well worth the effort. It is almost impossible to remember all of the details of the geocache listing. The cache owner's instructions are important and should not be left up to memory. Also, don't be shy about looking at and recording the hints. It's more fun to find a cache, than not.
Check out the terrain
Always know where you are going. Is the geocache in the woods, near a stream, a bridge, in town, etc. As a beginner geocacher, you may want to look for caches listed as easy terrain. This will allow you to focus all of your attention on finding the cache without worrying about your physical abilities. Besides, easier ones are great for young children who may not be up to climbing a steep hill.
Get into the success mindset
Prepare yourself for success. Nothing puts a damper on success more than the expectation of failure. A positive attitude and willingness to spend a fair amount of time in searching for a geocache will go a long way towards your success in finding one. Bring a friend or make it a family affair. A little competition is a great motivator!
Lastly, relax and have fun
The purpose of geocaching is to have fun. It's not to have stress. Don't be discouraged if you can't find a cache. Take it in stride. Your geo-sense skill will develop and you will be geocaching like a a pro in no time!