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Is This Actually A Guideline?


hamgran
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I have been somewhat admonished about one of my caches because it was both difficult to get to, and difficult to find. I had rated the difficulty/terrain properly, I believe, but the cacher in question had been told that if a cache was difficult to get to, it should be easier to find, and vice-versa.

Is this actually true? I have never heard of such a thing... especially if both conditions had been reflected accurately through the rating system.

- hamgran

(GCJ7TC)

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I have been somewhat admonished about one of my caches because it was both difficult to get to, and difficult to find. I had rated the difficulty/terrain properly, I believe, but the cacher in question had been told that if a cache was difficult to get to, it should be easier to find, and vice-versa.

Is this actually true? I have never heard of such a thing... especially if both conditions had been reflected accurately through the rating system.

NO. It may just be their personal preference. I have found many caches that were easy to get to, AND easy to find - I just wish there WAS something difficult. But as to - difficult to get to, AND difficult to find? That just makes it better :) (as long as you actually DO find it :) )

Edited by 4wheelin_fool
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I think that enough people have expressed the opinion that "it isn't necessary to hide a micro deep into the woods where no muggles go" to say that is an unofficial rule.

 

Never heard of the "easy access/difficult find" "difficult access/easy find" corrolation.

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I have been somewhat admonished about one of my caches because it was both difficult to get to, and difficult to find. I had rated the difficulty/terrain properly, I believe, but the cacher in question had been told that if a cache was difficult to get to, it should be easier to find, and vice-versa. 

Is this actually true?  I have never heard of such a thing...

Fiddlesticks! Piffle! Pooh! Nuh-uh! Absolutely not!

 

I read that last log. In addition to the terrain/difficulty observation, it was also a "...and your coordinates were off and I didn't like your hint and your description made me do something stupid and..." Those sorts of logs make me want to hide a 35mm film canister in fetid swamp bottom, blow the coords by a hundred feet and name it No Whiners.

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I prefer it that way. If I hike 4 miles RT over three or four star terrain, I'm not crazy about the idea of spending a hour or two poking around in every knothole and crevice. I want to find it and move on. On the other hand if its 75 feet from the car I don't mind looking for a cleverly concealed container. My hides are usually done with this in mind.

 

But that's my preference. There is no guideline, or even a "gentlemen's agreement" among geocachers that this should be the case.

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I prefer it that way. If I hike 4 miles RT over three or four star terrain, I'm not crazy about the idea of spending a hour or two poking around in every knothole and crevice. I want to find it and move on. On the other hand if its 75 feet from the car I don't mind looking for a cleverly concealed container. My hides are usually done with this in mind.

 

But that's my preference. There is no guideline, or even a "gentlemen's agreement" among geocachers that this should be the case.

Ya I feal the same way I'd eather like a low tarane rateing and difficult find or a real nice hard hike and climb with a easy find at the end but at the same time if i look at the rateing and see 4/4 well then I know what im getting into and enjoy those too. So basicly yes some people like a 1/4 or 4/1 but also some people like a 4/4 and some like both. I would say place it and peole will come.

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Make your caches as difficult as you want, as long as you don't violate the guidelines and bury it, or something such. I have seen a cache so difficult that half a dozen people working together took an hour to find it. I have stared right at a cache and not seen it.

 

Play the game your own way (everyone else does).

Edited by reveritt
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Is this actually true? I have never heard of such a thing... especially if both conditions had been reflected accurately through the rating system.

Well, yes, it is a guideline. Just not one that is written on the gc.com site. The gc.com guidelines are more for getting a cache listed on the site, not general decorum.

 

Thing is, it doesn't really look like this one fit that bill. It doesn't appear to be overly difficult and the complainer looks to be the only person complaining about coords being off. Could have been he was the one off.

 

While I agree with the assessment of briansnat I have to disagree with his guideline statement. It is true that there is no statement to this effect on the website, but then again neither is "trade up, trade even, or don't trade at all" and that is a widely accepted concept.

 

Looks like the cache needed archiving anyway for other reasons. Glad you did the responsible thing.

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Im with AW on this.

 

Hide your caches in any way you want within guidelines. If you want to hide a micro 5 miles in the woods, go for it. The rest of us have the choice of ignoring it if we so choose.

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The majority of my real difficult caches are in the hills with a long uphill walk to them. And only one of them is not a multi cache with several difficult hides along the way. I may have to make one of them easier so a few more can find it but that will have to wait till I can get time to get back up there.

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I get complaints about my puzzle caches: "How do you expect us to find them when the puzzle is this hard? I can't figure this out." Okay, so DON'T. I have personally failed to solve a puzzle cache or two, or encountered ones that I know I haven't got a hope of figuring out. I don't know who played Mr. Bugglesworth in "Slack Wind Shoeshine," for example, but I'm not whining to the owner for the solution.

 

If a cache is hard, it's hard in order to provide a challenge, whether that's mental or physical. I have made two attempts on one physically-challenging cache, failed to get halfway either time. Am I going to give up? No way!

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it's your cache, hide it the way you want. there is a cacher in northern michigan, who figures that if your heat is pounding when you get to the first waypoint of the cache, and you still have a few more hills to go, make the hide easy. i would hate to have to look for an hour for a cache, if it took a couple of hours to get there.

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Is this actually true?  I have never heard of such a thing... especially if both conditions had been reflected accurately through the rating system.

Well, yes, it is a guideline. Just not one that is written on the gc.com site. The gc.com guidelines are more for getting a cache listed on the site, not general decorum.

It is? The existence of 4/4s or 3/3s violates decorum in what way?

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Everyone has their own guidelines on how to geocache. I personally don't like puzzles, my brain is usually fried from Monday to Friday 8am to 8 pm, so why do I want to sit down and do something that will push me over the edge. Do I personally curse out every person that puts out a puzzle cache within 100 miles of me, heck yes. Do I think they should be removed from gc.com? Heck no. Some people like them so who am I to publically criticize them.

 

What I find interesting is that the guidelines on gc.com are subjective. For instance, the recent forum posts about virtuals. Many posters said it doesn't have that wow factors. I reviewed the caches that have been listed as virtuals within the past year, sorry, but I didn't see many wow virtuals in there either. So I guess it is what the reviewer saw as wow, not anyone else.

 

Personally I enjoy the hard 4/4 caches. We recently went to Aruba and I spent over an hour climbing steps to find a 3.5 and it had a 3.5 difficulty. I decided to try this one over the other simpler caches. There are no written rules regarding the terrain and difficulty levels so do what you want. If cachers hunt your cache, great, if they don't who cares.

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I think a valid point is that if you make someone climb a mountain, It's not nice to make them sift through a pile of rock chips for a bison tube. Still can be a 5/5 - but the difficulty needs to come from something other than a haystack hide - what we call grope and hope like a dope.

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Is this actually true?  I have never heard of such a thing... especially if both conditions had been reflected accurately through the rating system.

Well, yes, it is a guideline. Just not one that is written on the gc.com site. The gc.com guidelines are more for getting a cache listed on the site, not general decorum.

It is? The existence of 4/4s or 3/3s violates decorum in what way?

Here we go... :anibad:

 

Is this the point where a little Jeremy pops up on my shoulder to say, "it would have been more gracious just to say that you agree to disagree" because I'm about to ask something that could very well get me warned.

 

But, let's just leave it with "where did you 3/3 or 4/4 from?" You know good and well that has nothing to do with what I said. Besides, if you had been paying attention in the forums it's been said and acknowledge at least a half dozen times in past couple or three years that a hard hunt at the end of hard hike in is frowned upon. How does that equate to what you asked me? I haven't the foggiest.

 

What really gets me is the "screw you" attitude some folks have. "Rage against the machine" or whatever you want to call it. Pick a rule, guideline, or even a helpful hint and somebody has to pipe up and say, "...that makes me want to...[fill in whatever it is being advised against]." There seems to be no thought, only an attitude of "you can't tell me what to do."

 

:anibad: Yeah, right. Whatever.

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Well, yes, it is a guideline.  Just not one that is written on the gc.com site.

Ok. Ok. Hold on.

 

Lemme get this straight.

 

its a rule...its just not written down anywhere like the rest of the rules.

 

Hmmm.

 

:anibad:

Like "Trade up, trade even, or don't trade at all?"

 

Yep, just like that. You got it.

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I've done this particular cache. It's about a medium-level of difficulty to get to, depending on the season (sometimes the path can be very waterlogged, and the foliage overgrown). The hiding place is relatively simple - hoist yourself into the crotch of the tree, about three feet off the ground, and uncover some bark in a big rotted branch. Fairly obvious to a seasoned cacher. I really wouldn't call this one a hard hike in (maybe 400 metres?) or a difficult find. Sheesh.

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But, let's just leave it with "where did you 3/3 or 4/4 from?"  You know good and well that has nothing to do with what I said.  Besides, if you had been paying attention in the forums it's been said and acknowledge at least a half dozen times in past couple or three years that a hard hunt at the end of hard hike in is frowned upon.  How does that equate to what you asked me?  I haven't the foggiest.

It was a sincere question, and I've been pretty active in the forums for a year and a half or so without seeing it come up before. If a hard hunt at the end of hard hike were universally frowned upon, why do we speak so often of 4/4s? I'm completely unaware of any 'guideline', explicit or implicit, that says as one number goes up the other should come down.

 

I'd be madder than heck if I hiked up a mountain to look for a one inch fake rock in a field of rocks (of course, I'd be madder than heck if I walked across the street for one). But the only person likely to encounter such a thing unwarned is the FTF, and FTF-hounds are a breed apart.

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...why do we speak so often of 4/4s?

The difficulty doesn't have to come at the end of the hunt. The difficulty can be completely front-end loaded as in a devious puzzle, obscure riddle, or other task that one must complete before you even hit the field. It could come from difficulty of navigating the route or finding and completing intermediate stages. Heck, one of the most celebrated caches to date has a final that is actually pretty easy. It's probably celebrated because it has just about the perfect mix of physical, mental, length, and theme.

 

Like you I don't care for NIAHS hunts no matter how far it is from the truck. I don't care for tedium no matter the form. There's no adventure in tedium. I don't know anyone who uses tedium as a form of recreation. (I'm sure someone is going to pipe up, "I do!")

 

What people do like is an adventure in some form or the other and sense of completion of that adventure. Of course you can place a NIAHS cache at the end of a 20 mile hike, but I don't know how satisfying the hunt will be. What would the reward be? It had better be something pretty spectacular.

 

Now, I ain't saying the cache has to be in plain sight. It can be a couple of stars or better. But it's got to be findable in a reasonable amount of time otherwise the fun factor goes way down.

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Quote by (CoyoteRed @ Jul 24 2005, 02:16 PM )

 

But, let's just leave it with "where did you 3/3 or 4/4 from?" You know good and well that has nothing to do with what I said. Besides, if you had been paying attention in the forums it's been said and acknowledge at least a half dozen times in past couple or three years that a hard hunt at the end of hard hike in is frowned upon. How does that equate to what you asked me? I haven't the foggiest.

 

End Quote

 

I have two comments on this topic.

 

The first comment concerns the above quote. People that post in these forums are a minority in the geocaching community. The ones that post most often are probably type "A" personalities and like to express thier opinions. Unless official action is taken on an opinion by the powers that be it is not a guideline or a rule.

 

The second comment is ------ variety is the spice of life ------ Hide it and they will come.

 

I enjoy all caches hard or simple alike.

 

Depending on my mood I enjoy all caches easy or hard, micro or regular. I even enjoy virtuals. The fun is getting out and doining it not complaining about how other people do it.

Edited by tanisdad
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I think some people tend not to really believe the difficulty rating. Hiders often seem to just make it the same as the terrain rating -- at least, I've seen a lot of cases like that. The cache will be rated 3/3, and it'll be a bit of a hike, but then the cache will be under an obvious pile of geo-camouflage and easy to find. Difficult-terrain hikes often take you to out-of-the-way places unlikely to attract muggles, so at the end of a long hike you often get an easy find... but the hiders have a tendency to match the d/t numbers for symmetry rather than admit it's a 1/3.

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I've also done this one. I'd read the ratings, and had a good idea what to expect. The co-ords weren't perfect, but with all the tree cover I didn't expect them to be - however, they weren't out by much for me, maybe 10 metres. I've had much worse. The cache wasn't head high, unless you're basketball player tall - I needed to climb up into the crook of the tree to reach it. Not very far, as my tree climbing days are long over. I didn't find the hike in very hard either, just very wet and very weedy. If all caches were easy, I'd lose interest in this game. Seeing this small conservation area, with the added chance of seeing some deer, was well worth the trip out. I guess I'm defending this cache because I hate to see it archived - it was a nice walk, in a beautiful area, with wildlife, and the cache find as a bonus. What more could I ask for?

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Personally, I don't mind hard to find caches in easy terrain. I wouldn't mind easy to find caches in hard terrain, if I could do hard terrain.

 

I choose x/1 or 2 caches for my own reasons. If someone doesn't like 4/4's or whatever, then don't do them. I appreciate the fact that some people really like the challenging caches. Since having knee surgery, I have to be picky about which caches I do, but that's my problem, not the hider's.

 

If you want to place the hard ones, there will be people to do them. Maybe not as many as the easy ones, but they'll know they earned that find!

 

Maggieszoo

Waverly Ohio

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Well, I read the cache page. The only things that bother me are:

 

1) The name... (I know...it's a nit-picky thing) "Ode to a Geocache" sounds better (but hey, it's your cache).

 

more importantly:

 

2) Non-trade cache in the woods...why hide a non-trade cache that "does not (and will not) contain items to trade" out in a riverside wilderness? (buy hey, it's your cache).

 

3) Insisting on a poem...I would have suggested or recommended a poem, but not require one (but hey, it's your cache).

 

Sure cachers had the choice to ignore it, but you stacked the deck against cachers wanting to find and enjoy the find.

 

The July 22nd logger and his "friend" need a clue. Their idea on cache hides is incorrect. It might be their preference, but it isn't a rule or guideline.

 

Archiving the cache because of vehicle and searching damage to the area IS a legitimate reason for archiving the cache.

 

Ed

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English 101: "Ode on a Geocache" - derived from the old classic, "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (Keats) ...

 

and, yes, I do reserve the right to create a cache to my own specs - isn't that what it's all about? Individuality...

 

I've seen caches that are only supposed to trade CDs, or Travel Bugs, or anything blue, or McToys, or... (As has oft been pointed out in these forums, "cachers are free to pick and choose the caches they find".)

 

but we digress from the original question.

 

The overall consensus was basically what I thought it would be. If the terrain/difficulty ratings are accurate, it is of course at the hider's discretion as to what those numbers will be, and there is no (official or otherwise) correlation requirement between the two.

 

My thanks to all who answered.

 

- hamgran

Edited by hamgran
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