Trouble with the hints
So I am very new at the whole geocaching game, but really want to become good at it. I'm having a little problem with the hints. I just don't understand most of them. Some of them of course are self-explanitory, but others are confusing. For example, one says "R.E.M's Happy People" or "if you tip my cap you are at the wrong end." How do you know how to decipher these hints?
Sometimes the hints do not make any sense until you find the cache then it is clear as a bell. R.E.M. I think is , or was a Musical Group. Happy People was a song title. You could do a Google search and find out more on the song and that would probably give you the clue you need. Tip my cap is probably referring to a chain link fence cap. Look at the other end of the fence.
I have found caches that the hint never made any sense to me. This information may or may not be what the hints mean. Just my guess.
I am very new to this as well and have become addicted to this "sport". When I go geocaching, I won't look at the hint unless I come back with a DNF. In this event, I will look at the hint and go try again. Also, there is a type of encryption that is very prominent in the Geocaching world, ROT 13. As far as a cacher's hint, you will just have to keep it in mind and go out looking. Your GPS should get you within at least 20 feet of GZ and then you can run through the hint to see if it gets you closer while doing the drunken bee dance. Eventually you will receive the force and won't need many hints. I wish you many FTFs and happy hunts!
This website helped me greatly with all of the acronyms: http://geolex.locusprime.net/
Newbie, I must inform you that hints are not always helpful and most of the time they will only help you once you have found the cache (that is my way of doing it). If I give a hint it may tell you exactly where to look, a general area or just another chance to mess with the hunters mind when I enter the cache page. For me it is how I feel when I write the cache page
Now that is as clear as mudd.
I try not to use them until I get frustrated and if they are like me about there hints I am in trouble. If that is the case either I have to try harder or DNF the cache.
"R.E.M's Happy People"- Shiney would be what I would get out of it.
"if you tip my cap you are at the wrong end." that would be location specific. I have no idea other than what Cachemates suggested.
Decyphering hints is more about how YOU see thing vs the Owner of the cache.
Start Big on cache size and work yourself down to micro's. Easier Difficulty working on harder as you gain more experience. I will give a better hint after a DNF is logged if you request it and this will usually tell you exactly where to look. Try Emailing the Cache owner.
That is if we owners even remember where we put it! Oneof my favorite hints is "north of the tree that looks like a chair". When I say remember, all I know is I hid one of mine in some rocks, but I couldn't be more precise than that, and the GPS won't let you get too close before loosing sats and causing problems.
Good luck decoding the hints, some of them are in ciphers. Contacting the owners will help, we have a "phone a friend" list somewhere on here I believe.
I know this is late, but better late than never. Since I'm the gremlin responsible for REM's happy people, I feel the need to elaborate.
To me, the subject of hints is very important, because I hate DNF's! I think virtually all caches should have a hint. Even if you think the cache is easy, there ought to be a hint. Furthermore, the hint ought to help you locate the cache. Now, I think clever hints are fun, and I don't mind them one bit. For example, the clue about the cap. For that particular cache, that is the first place I will look. If I don't find it under the cap, I would probably think that it became dislodged and got sucked down the wormhole. Then I would whine about my DNF. Now, if they told me that I would be wrong looking at the cap, then I would know that it is not there, so when I don't find it there, not to be disappointed. As for my REM hint, you've already found that cache, and in retrospect, I think you know that one is looking for something "shiny" as in the song "Shiny Happy People." I apologize if that is obscure, but you can't tell me that even the most obscure fact can escape the omniscience of Dr. Google. There have been plenty of hints that make no sense to me at the time, many that still don't, and many that only made sense after the cache was discovered (to serve as a pun, not really a clue to help you find the cache). And then there are those clues of Hick's that might just be there to purposefully confound you (yes, I know you're laughing, you sick puppy).
Most cachers have a certain style of giving clues, just as they do of hiding caches. If you like that style, then go for those caches. Why I torture myself with some of the caches I go for I don't know; I guess I truly enjoy the punishment :twisted:
Hints are at the owners discretion. If someone is having trouble finding a cache of mine using the hint I don't add to the hint to make it easier, I just raise the difficulty rating. I personally enjoy the harder to find caches and the adventurous ones. While on the other hand my wife will usually look at the hint if my oldest daughter is with us, who is six, or my nephew, who is 11, just to give them a little help. I am to the point now in caching, like what was said before, that I will not look at the hint unless I am totally stumped. I use the GSAK software while caching. I load the coords onto my GPS, and if I get stumped while at a cache I will pop open the laptop and pull up the info. I got ruined on the DNF's in Arkedelphia, after I had first started caching. After that DNF's are unacceptable.
If a cache is very difficult to find and is not getting any logs. To me as the hider it would not be much of a fun cache. I want anyone who is looking for one that I have out to be able to find it. So I use a hint.
I ALWAYS use at least a somewhat meaningful hint, except for stupendously easy caches. (A few of which kind I've missed. :) ) I hate DNF's for me, especially since I do alot of caching in areas I may not go back to for months. And likewise, I hate for someone to search for one of my caches & DNF it. It's simply a courtesy to your fellow cachers.
I've even gone to the length of changing, and/or adding to a hint, if more than 1 experienced cacher seems to have a problem with it. ("In the top of a tree" may not mean the same thing to me as it does to you.)
Not including a hint, simply to increase the difficulty, is what I personally have started calling "Artificial Difficulty". I'd MUCH rather look for, & hide, caches which are purposely made difficult even WITH a hint. GC1X7WR & GC1XPXD are 2 of mine in that catagory. I didn't need to exclude a hint because you're gonna do some serious searching regardless. (Unless you just have a bit of dumb luck like the Canoe-Gang did. :) :) )
Hints are encrypted for a reason. You aren't giving anything away, nor making the cache any easier by including one. But often a cache can be made more FRUSTRATING by EXcluding one. Cachers who enjoy the challenge, like myself, will not use (decrypt) the clue until they have exhausted every possibility to find the cache. Cachers who prefer the fast & easy ones will greatly appreciate you taking just an extra few seconds to provide them a bit of extra help.