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Everything posted by -CJ-

  1. It's a good advice if you plan your trip in advance and notice that there's already a problem at someone's geocache like a wet logbook. Asking questions while being in field is time/money consuming and even not possible technically in some areas. I see no reason for asking permissions for such small maintenance. It's not only about being a nice player, it's sometimes about the quality of the game and survival of geocaches in remote regions. Basically I agree - with one exclusion. In a limited number of situations one may find not the cache itself but some distinct traces that the cache is gone. I believe that - again, if I'm not able to help myself - I can log a NM. For example, in June in Saint-Petersburg I approached one geocache that was obviously muggled. One half of this micro was still attached to its wooden "basement" but all other parts were missing and the whole construction was covered with a thick layer of fresh paint. Technically I didn't find the cache. I didn't sign the logbook. I was "only" 95% sure that what I saw was a part of a geocache (not 100%). Did no attempt to do any maintenance (I was sure that the hiding place should be changed). So I logged a NM. Is everyone at this forum so self-confident that you know for sure every rule that can be broken? I'm yet not in this club I guess. One thing I will definitely do is that I provide a detailed description of the problem (mostly what you suggested). However I will let more experienced users to decide upon if the cache actually deserves a NA log or not. This is not within my understanding of a fair game.
  2. -CJ-

    A spot too far

    Thank you all for these thoughts. Cezanne proposed the solution that I will probably try first.
  3. I have one geocache with long history of logs that I wish to transfer from our local geocaching website to geocaching.com. The problem is the distance between coordinates of its start and the final point (container). The cache is a chess problem (you're suggested to think and mate in two moves). The idea of this cache is that one has to walk in the forest while making moves. The chessboard is "made" with cuttings in this forest, one check is 1x1 km. So, it's a pretty long walk but doable in one day if you start early and make correct moves. It isn't a multistep however because one is not given the exact coordinates for his moves. It's a puzzle cache. One has to go to the starting point using his GPSr, find a micro container there, get necessary hints to understand how the board is localized in this forest, think about where to move and walk there. If this move is correct the cacher will find the next microcache in new location with some hints for the second move. ... The end of this puzzle is a standard size container hidden in the same forest somewhere near this playing zone. The problem is that the starting point (at the published coordinates) is too far from the container. This raises concerns about cache saturation and would probably prevent the cache from publishing. One solution could be to publish coordinates of some part of the playing zone closer to the final point and add the starting point as a waypoint (reference point) to the description of the cache. I think this approach won't violate any rules. I've seen many puzzles with bogus coordinates in seas or in centres of wide lakes so putting such bogus coordinates in the forest (adding "don't go there, please") would be OK. (Am I right?) But, again, the problem is that the playing zone appears to be too large. With 1x1 km checks and the container placed "outside" the board I have to move bogus coordinates almost to the edge of the playing zone to comply with the rule of 2 miles. If I publish such coordinates there will be not so much fun: one would see the area where the container is located and may deduce that the final move must be done somewhere close to this area. So, it would be a kind of a spoiler and spoilers are no good for chess problems, you know. Another way would be to physically move the final point deeper in this forest and closer to the centre of the playing zone. This would a) demand a whole day of re-construction for this geocache, ruin the route. Now it's a nice forest walk, you start at one side of the board and complete the puzzle at the other side. From the final point it's an easy and short walk to the bus stop (taxi parking). If I move the container somewhere to the centre of the board then geocachers will have to do circles and/or return using the same paths, not really nice. Moreover, after this long and exhaustive walk people will find themselves deep in the forest and have to walk 7-8 kilometers more to get out of there to some civiilization. I would appreciate any ideas about how to solve this "distance problem". Just talking to reviewer with an attempt to explain everything and ask for some exclusion is certainly an option but I don't think this will work with our local reviewer.
  4. From what I've seen I can conclude that NM and (especially) NA logs most probably make COs disappointed if the author of such log didn't do anything to help/solve the problem when he actually was able to do this. If I find a cache in trouble and able to do some maintenance myself I'll do it. (I'll do my best for geocaches far from civilization). If this solves the problem - no NM log. If not, I will log NM in case the cache really needs urgent assistance. No NA logs.
  5. To me there will be no problem to drop a PM to owners. I guess that if a trackable owner isn't happy with his item to travel along powertrails he could include this wish into a trackable mission, right?
  6. Yes, something like that. Perhaps the difference is made by what you find. When it's something physical (container or plaque, for example), no one asks any questions. If it's something you cannot touch (like in your example - some spot from which one can see ...), it's not so obvious.
  7. Thank you all for sharing your experience and thoughts about trackables. I followed your advice and sent messages to all owners of these trackables. Let's see.
  8. The position of our reviewer is that with GPS coordinates one should find something, not just get to some spot. It wasn't totally clear to me since the guidelines allowed different interpretations. Thanks a lot. Your explanations helped me to get deeper in these issues and understand some things I've never thought about.
  9. At one of my mountain geocaches I solved the problem you described by suggesting to "walk 300 piping hare steps" - to make short and tall people feel equal
  10. I can see the starting point on a map at any traditional and multi-step geocache listing. I can print it from the website and go there without GPSr. Do you mean starting points that are already marked on maps, e.g. crossroads? Then I agree but I wasn't actually talking about such obvious objects. A "typical" puzzle is 1) "do some not GPS-related tricks, then use GPSr to find the spot and grab the cache". Let's change this order to 2) "use GPSr to find the spot, then do some not GPS-related tricks and grab the cache". Is 1 valid but 2 invalid? If so, why? (And what guidelines stipulate this?) Sometimes (in large cities / narrow streets) GPS signal may be so poor that GPSr just takes me to some area and I have to search hard using vague hints. That's my example no.2, isn't it? I read guidelines as "one must use your GPSr during search for your cache". No rules regulate when to use GPSr in a puzzle cache - at all stages, at the start, at the end. Am I right?
  11. If this CO values his time so much and wants to avoid unnecessary trips I guess he should first contact you and ask for details before going anywhere.
  12. I take DNFs as lessons. Generally, there are three situations when I log a DNF. - The cache is obviously too difficult to find for me at this time. Well, geocaching is a way to learn something new. Great. - I decided to abandon further search for some reason. E.g. a group of muggles approached the GZ and stopped there chatting. - The cache has disappeared. Again, it's not my fault that I cannot find it. In all these situations there's nothing to be ashamed of. I cannot say I'm proud of logging DNFs. (Seriously, how can anyone be proud of not finding a geocache?) When I log a DNF at a cache I usually thank its CO for taking me to an interesting place.
  13. There once was a discussion about geocaches indoors. Some people said that such caches shouldn't be placed because GPS doesn't work indoors and GPS usage is essential according to the guidelines. This approach definitely works for traditional geocaches but what about puzzles? Many puzzles that I know follow the same scheme: one should solve a puzzle, calculate coordinates and use a GPS device to get to the GZ. What if you don't need to calculate coordinates? Let's say, the published coordinates bring you to get to some spot. From this spot you follow the description (like Indiana Jones ). Thus, you use a GPS device to get to the starting point but not to the final one. Is anything wrong with such puzzles? Guidelines say: GPS usage is an integral and essential element of both hiding and seeking caches and must be demonstrated for all cache submissions. Projecting waypoints from a specific location already defined by set of coordinates is permissible. For geocaches that include additional waypoints see the guidelines specific to those cache types. GPS is necessary to find the spot so the guidelines aren't violated, right? Mystery/puzzle caches are introduced as follows: The "catch-all" of cache types, this form of geocache may involve complicated puzzles that you will first need to solve to determine the coordinates. Mystery/Puzzle Caches often become the staging ground for new and unique geocaches that do not fit in another category. "May involve", not exclusively. The phrase about "new and unique geocaches that do not fit in another category" also makes me think that not every puzzle must have a task of calculating of final coordinates. Suppose there's an old abandoned building with many entrances and windows. The container is somewhere inside. I post coordinates of one of the entrances and publish a legend that will take a cacher to the container. "Enter. Go right. 20 stairs up. Turn left. Fifty steps more..." etc. You need your GPS to locate the correct entrance. You don't need the device to get to the hiding place. Or there's a forest with many paths. Coordinates take you to some specific path and follow tiny marks on trees (plus maybe solve some puzzles) to get to the container. GPS is needed to get to the starting point. You cannot find it without GPS so it's essential. However, GPS is not needed for further searches.
  14. Oh, yes. It's really a headache. I could understand such behaviour when one just heard about geocaching and decided to give it a try. But people with thousands of finds sometimes do just the same.
  15. As for counting windows, I spoke about dull tasks. Why not use some imagination? E.g. "Find a statue with a sword. Look where the statue is looking. How many other statues you can see from this point (if you were this statue)?" To me it's more like a game, more fun than just counting windows.
  16. Sometimes I like puzzles (you described it more like a puzzle than a simple task ) with more than one solution. Some years ago I places several geocaches with such tasks. For example, you need to get numbers A and B but the only number you can get when you're on the first step of the cache is neither A nor B but A+B. E.g. A+B = 8. So, you've several pairs of coordinates and can project several waypoints on your map. At a first glance the task may sound ugly but when you get all these pairs you'll find that many points do not fit the description so you're left with e.g. 4 coordinates and get rid of two of them because they're against your common sense and intuition. And so on. Well, I like such tasks. That's adventure, much more than following clear instructions. So when people say "I hate puzzles with more than one solution" - well, I'd say our life is a game with more than one solution
  17. I can understand your opinion, Team Sagefox, but I don't live in the US - my country is Russia. There are not many geocachers here and very few people who know about trackables. We (the Russian geocaching community) do our best to introduce trackables to folks here but it's not so fast. Frankly, not many people know about geocaching at all. Leaving trackables in containers here is risky. They may be taken as souvenirs or just stolen. Except several TB hotels near airports I would not recommend anyone to put a trackable in a cache in Moscow, at least now. This is why I usually don't take trackables from geocaches to bring them to my country (if only a trackable has no mission to travel to Russia, of course). This is why we still have to practice dipping.
  18. As for missions - nothing special. Just travel from cache to cache. I missed one important detail: I have no intention to drop any trackables into that remote cache. The idea was to dip them into that cache, bring them back to Moscow and let them move further. (I made corrections in the first posting, thank you).
  19. - People that ruin geocaches. Not those muggles who accidentally run into containers but those bastards who use geocaching website to follow new (restored) caches just to go and steal them. The reasons may be different: "It's my wood!", "I hate CJ!", "I'm the Great Cache Terminator!", anything. - People who believe that by publishing a cache I owe some exclusive attention, entertaintment and reward to them. Those who think that a CO must place a cache so they could find it easily, solve puzzles for them, explain hints, publish spoilers, suggest easy trails, etc. "The hint was vague! A photo with an arrow pointing at the hiding place was missing! It was -30 celcium below zero! It was midnight! I came there with my small kids! We left our car at the other end of the town! The CO must be an idiot!" - Cache seekers that ignore an opportunity to do a small maintenance even when it is an easy job. "I hardly managed to log my nickname into the wet logbook, the cache needs maintenance". Totally agree with Mr Crazyhedgehog. - Cache owners who don't care about their hides. Especially when they are active in forum discussions but don't reply neither to DNFs nor to PMs requesting maintenance. As for geocaches, there was a nice "survey" on "what geocaches you don't like" at some British website (sadly, don't remember which one). It was a very long list My selection of disliked geocaches is as follows: - When a cache is hidden in rubbish. - A multi-step with a formula like "A*B*C/D-F+G/2+237". Lord, what kind of a game we're playing here? - A multi-step with dull tasks like "Now count all windows in that building". - Poor containers. - Caches requiring extreme stealth where one can easily find a place without such a need. - Caches placed in summer without thinking what will happen in winter. (I'm so tired with that containers buried under snow and frozen into ice!) - Caches under/near CCTV cameras. - A cache in a really interesting place with just few words in its description. - Multi-steps and puzzles where some formulas happen to be wrong. "Oops! Coordinates point to someone's private garden!" - Hints like "at the left side of the park". What side you believe to be left, dude? - Multi-steps where you have to walk three km in one direction and then return 3 km exactly along the same highway.
  20. There are several TBs in my inventory right now. The choice is whether I should let them go further quickly or keep them for some time so they could travel to a really interesting location with me. I've got these trackables at a small geoevent in Europe with an intention to bring them to a dozen of places in Russia (Moscow and Saint-Petersburg) and return to Western Europe. That was the original plan. The trackables already travelled a bit with me and I'm ready to pass them to my friend who's going to travel abroad next week. However, since I took these TBs my summer schedule has changed. I'm planning a hike about 1,300 kms from home and will (hopefully) ascend one mount which has a geocache on its summit. Logged as found only once since placed. It's a really wonderful and remote place and a rare chance for TBs to visit such a cache. I will not leave them in that cache but bring them back to Moscow and pass to someone going abroad. But the hike is planned for August so I'll have to keep the trackables here for at least 1.5 months. What would you do if you were in my shoes? Would you return these trackables to Europe quickly so they could continue their way ASAP? Or let them wait and ascend the mount?
  21. Actually, this is not about how to explain an "ownerless" term - it's about the balance between harm and profit from wide-scale archiving geocaches that are believed to be "ownerless" because their COs didn't respond to some email messages. It's simple. There's a geocache in e.g. town of Murmansk. (Perhaps the only one there). You go, find it and log happily. I bet that in this situation you won't care to check if its CO is responsive to your email messages. Now someone suggests to make a clean-up. The cache disappears from geocaching maps. You have nothing to hunt for. No game. The cache is a real living piece of the game. You should not remove it just because someone is not responding to an email. You talked about throwdowns. Now imagine that hundreds (thousands?) of active geocaches were archived and people started to place new geocaches around the same places. The number of duplicates will increase by no means - and you won't be able to blame anyone for making a throwdown. How many geocachers will miss these emails just because their email clients filter them in thrash? I think that your suggestion raises more problems then there are.
  22. A cache that obviously needs maintenance but there's no one to do it, that's an "ownerless cache". Should it be archived? Most probably. A cache that is OK and continues to bring pleasure to dozens of people - is it really necessary to archive it? I'd say no. I believe that such decisions should be make individually and "on the cache basis", not "on the owner basis".
  23. Maintenance plan is important for caches placed far from home. So, if I have an idea about placing a geocache in a town that takes me two days to travel to I should think about what I say to reviewer. Regular business trips, or a local geocacher, or some resident who is ready to take care about my cache. It's pretty clear. What about really remote regions? Places with no population? Mountains, for example? In my country the majority of the territory is almost deserted (Siberia). You can hike there for two weeks without meeting a soul. I have many geocaches published at our national website in such regions. Commonly, they have been checked and maintained by geocachers who travel there from time to time so I basically know in what conditions are these boxes. However I obviously cannot suggest a "traditional" maintenance plan for these caches. No one is able to do this and no one will be. I mentioned this issue in one discussion here and got some vague replies like "this may be country specific so your local reviwer might consider..." etc. To be more specific. There are Khibiny mountains to the north of my city, 1.5 days by train. Not so difficult trails but not for everyone, as all mountain regions I believe. I've been there 7 times and placed 9 traditional geocaches. As far as I know, all of them are alive. They're usually logged by geocachers several times a year at our national website but in summer season hikers pass these locations every day. By moving these caches to geocaching.com I hope that they could be visited more frequently. Since then I've read many descriptions of geocaches in very remote locations in other countries. Forests, deserts, Arctic, so on. Somehow people manage to publish these caches. Are there such COs here? If yes, could you kindly tell how it became possible, what maintenance plan you provided, what were your arguements at whole?
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