If there is one thing many new geocachers need help with, its some tips on how to find a micro cache. The micro cache is one of the most frustrating things that you will run into while geocaching.
Part of the problem is that they are just so darn small. That means a micro cache can be hidden almost anywhere, and whether you are geocaching on a road trip or right around town, you will come across many. Unlike a regular cache, which is generally the size of a peanut butter jar or small shoe box, the micro cache can be as small as your little finger. That makes it a tricky little bugger.
Normally when a cache is real tiny it is called out as a nano, but there is officially no way to note this in a geocache listing, so assume that a micro cache covers everything from tiny to about the size of your finger. Here are some tips, as you learn how to geocache, to help you find the micros.
The attributes that you find online for larger caches may not be that necessary, but for a micro cache they are important. Is the cache available in winter? If so, you can stop looking on the ground where the snow sits. Is it wheelchair accessible? That means you dont need to climb that tree. Keep working though the attributes to determine what they are telling you. These tips are important to cut down your geocache search time.
Pretend You Are The Hider
Approach a geocache location with the mind of a hider. Where would you put it? Is there a natural but small hole or crevice somewhere? Would you really stick your head in the middle of a thick bush or choose an outer branch? You may find that looking for a good place to hide a cache is a good way to find a cache.
Micros Are Often Attached
Micro caches dont weight much and would move easily if they werent attached to something, so it is likely that they are attached to something. If ground zero is near metal, think magnetic. If ground zero if a shrub, think about a bison tube hanging from a branch. If ground zero is a fence line, think about a wire attached to a small container.
Look for indications of past cachers making the find. Look down at the ground and think like a tracker. Is there an obvious matted area in one spot? That might be where people stand when removing and replacing the cache. Do you notice bent grass or a broken twig? You might be getting warmer. Don’t be afraird to look low or in little places either. If you are geocaching with children you have an advantage. Their perspective may be just right to spot the cache.
Read The Log
If you are truly stuck, read the past log entries on the geocaching site. Dont be afraid to go back over several entries and even back more than a year. You may find some repeated language that helps you to come up with a clue. This works best if you have already been to the geocache location and done a search yourself. Reading the logs after this will generate several ideas in your mind based on your knowledge of the area.
Ask For Help
If all else fails, ask for help. You can ask the cache owner or a past finder by going online and sending them a message. You will find that almost everyone is happy to give you a small clue without giving it away. There are a few out there who wont, but they are few are far between. Geocaching is supposed to be fun and that spirit is alive in nearly all geocachers. Most importantly, dont give up!
If you apply these tips, you will soon get much better at knowing how to find a micro cache, and your micro cache anxiety will start to go down.