10 mistakes to avoid while geocaching

Geocaching should always be fun, so make sure to avoid the following ten mistakes, that way you can focus on the most important part—finding geocaches!

Mistake #1: Forgetting to bring a pen
A classic mistake that still gets the best of us! Keep an extra pen in your car, your jacket, or near your phone so you’ll always have one handy.

Mistake #2: Not reading the cache description
Geocache descriptions can contain important information about the hide. They may describe the area, share pertinent details, list any TOTT (tools of the trade), or drop subtle hints to help make the find more fun.

Mistake #3: Not checking the latest activity
Take a look at the activity log on the cache page before heading out. It’s helpful to know if a cache was recently found or has a string of DNFs. The Geocaching® app and new search map both share the last found date without needing to click into full cache details.

Mistake #4: Not using your geo-senses
Geo-senses are honed over time but they’re key to geocaching! Just like trusting your intuition, geo-senses guide you to the cache. For example, you’re getting close to the cache and spot a small side trail heading in the right direction, or perhaps you spot a small stack of unnaturally parallel branches and…sure enough, the geocache you’re  looking for is right underneath!

Mistake #5: Forgetting to make a List*
Lists keep your geocaching life organized, so before you head out for an adventure remember to make a List! Additionally, Lists sync automatically with the Geocaching® app so you can either make changes on the website or on the go through your phone.

Mistake #6: Not CITO-ing (Cache In Trash Out®)
Always leave the trail better than you found it. Quality geocaching extends beyond the cache itself and we all play a part in making geocaching better for everyone.

Mistake #7: Not being safe
Be sure to tell someone—a friend, partner, or family member—where you are going, how to get in touch, and about what time you expect to return. Set a turnaround time and make sure you check back in upon your return so they don’t worry!

Mistake #8: Not staying aware of your surroundings
There are many reasons to stay aware: keeping an eye out for muggles, ensuring you have enough daylight, and not trampling plant life. However, one of the most important reasons to stay sharp is that trails look different when you turn around. Make sure you know which way you’ve come so you can make it back safely.

Mistake #9: Not wearing the right shoes
You might be tempted to wear your flip flops or sandals—especially in the warmer months, but these won’t do you much good once you’re hitting the trail. You never know when a that perfectly level path is going to change to mud, get steep, or become slippery.

Mistake #10: Letting mistakes ruin your geocaching outing
Now that you have seen all the ways to avoid making mistakes while geocaching, it’s time to let you in on a secret—there will probably be mistakes anyway. The trick is not to let this get you down. Embrace the fact that you can’t always control everything and have a great time anyway!

What else would you add to this list? How do you prepare for geocaching adventures? Share in the comments!

*Lists are a Premium member feature. Learn more about Lists.

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