Jump to content

Lack Of Safety Informatio On Geocaching Web Sites


Followers 8

Recommended Posts

I am new to this group and fairly new to the whole geocaching experience. I do not claim to be Daniel Boone. Like many of you who geocache, I am fairly competent in the woods. I can read maps, navigate with maps, air photos, compass and pace and GPS. I have advanced first aid training and some (very little) survival training. I always prepare when I go into the woods. It scares me to think of people going into the woods unprepared.

 

Now that GPS's have become commonplace, more and more untrained people are going down to Wal-Mart and buying a GPS and logging into geocaching web sites and enjoying this great sport. The problem is that many of them don't carry a compass and more of them wouldn't know how to use it if they did. I have browsed around this web site, my local geocaching sites and I can not find any information on safety, first aid, woodscraft, survival, etc. Maybe I just haven't dug deep enough into the sites, but I think that this kind of information should be front and center on geocaching web sites.

 

Granted many caches are in cities and within site and sound of roads, but many are not. GPS's are not compasses and should not be mistaken for one. As a rule of thumb, everyone who ventures into the woods should carry a compass and know how to use it.

 

Geocache web sites should state this and other important safety information. The various forums go into great detail about how to choose a good GPS, but I have not seen any topics on safety or compasses.

Edited by Plasma Boy
Link to comment

I live in an urban area in which a compass doesn't add much value as you are always within earshot of a road. The thing I find of more value in this environment is a whistle. Finding your way out isn't an issue, but falling and breaking an ankle or leg could prove life threatening if you can't get someone's attention. ( a cell phone is great too )

Link to comment

Safety is the responsibility of the cacher, not the website providing coordinates.

 

If you thought you would get lost while gc'ing, why would you not think yourself to take a map/compass?

 

Would you walk into a scorching desert and not bring water because noone told you to?

 

Use common sense people. Know your limitations. Plan ahead.

 

& there are plenty of threads with people trading quips on what survival gear they bring.

Link to comment
Safety is the responsibility of the cacher, not the website providing coordinates.

 

Agreed, it is up to people to use thier own common sence.

 

On every cache page is this:

Please note: To use the services of geocaching.com, you must agree to the terms and conditions in our disclaimer.

 

The Disclaimer.

 

From the disclaimer:

Geocaching, hiking, backpacking and other outdoor activities involve risk to both persons and property. There are many variables including, but not limited to, weather, fitness level, terrain features and outdoor experience, that must be considered prior to seeking or placing a Cache. Be prepared for your journey and be sure to check the current weather and conditions before heading outdoors. Always exercise common sense and caution.

 

In no way shall Groundspeak Inc. nor any agent, officer, employee or volunteer administrator of Groundspeak Inc., be liable for any direct, indirect, punitive, or consequential damages arising out of, or in any way connected with the use of this website or use of the information contained within.

Cache seekers assume all risks involved in seeking a cache.

Link to comment

Plasma,

 

First off there will be old timers that will say unneeded post, just go on with post. Dont be intimidated...

 

There are safety concerns that should be discussed as a forum. if a person states you should be prepared thats true, but newbies as the are called so be informed about some safety features...

 

Urban chachers do have it made more or less. they still have to worry about muggers(not Bears or Mountain lions), they have to watch for traffic(not falling rocks or flass floods).

 

I agree a gps is not the answer to all finds or is a cell phone to try to call help, to protect yourself. State highway maps dont help much, and topos hummm be well off and be able to purchase many of them for just a few miles from my home... Most people wind up buying less topos than what they need.

 

I have a friend working on a cache he considers a terrain 1.5 (typical of a rolling hill golf course) and a difficulty of 10+ which they dont have on web site. (BY the way I am trying to discourage him from this setup on the cache.) I attended Outbound way back when first started, have been on fire firefighting teams and search and rescue teams in high Colorado rockies.

 

One mile from cache you loose cell phone coverage, at entrance to canyon, gps reads accruacy range 1 mile, inside canyon you lose gps signal. And all this for a thimble sized micro cache., along a stream that disappears underground as you go into canyon.

 

Would a person carrying a backpqack like mentioned in other forums and this one have the right maps, and such.......NO WAY.. Even a topo for this area is brown vertical strips for almost a thousand feet.

 

So I say yes people should be more prepared, and people should know their limitations. Study the description of cache carefully and check all on line maps....

 

To those that disagree with having this forum on line, I say there is expert help out there to help those who may wonder off to being unkown..

 

As far as Team_Talisman, we have an EMT, a LPN, a child theripist, a National registered Wildland firefighter all as family members on the searches.

 

We all back you Plasma, on this forum

Link to comment

Addition to previous post,

 

Team_Talisman does not as others feel, it should be up to geocacheing to grade or judge caches...

 

Its up to the owners of caches and to hunters of caches should decide what to take on the searches...

 

But we should have a forum open considering safety.

Edited by Team_Talisman
Link to comment

If people are concerned about their safety, they will do the research, gain the skills and obtain the equipment necessary to keep themselves safe on their own initiative. If they aren't concerned, there is very little that anyone can do to make them concerned, regardless of how many warnings or safety cautions that anyone might publish. Read the Darwin Awards if you need examples of this.

Link to comment

I think that every one knows that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. When you get out the cat make a note of where east and west are .

 

As to the disclaimer, if someone were to take Groundspeak to court that disclaimer wouuld not hold up. I have seen signed waivers overridden in court even when it was blatantly the suers fault.

I am sure that if someone were to take Groundspeak to court we could arrange a hit in no time at all.

Link to comment

...The problem is that many of them don't carry a compass and more of them wouldn't know how to use it if they did. I have browsed around this web site, my local geocaching sites and I can not find any information on safety, first aid, woodscraft, survival, etc. Maybe I just haven't dug deep enough into the sites, but I think that this kind of information should be front and center on geocaching web sites.

 

Granted many caches are in cities and within site and sound of roads, but many are not. GPS's are not compasses and should not be mistaken for one. As a rule of thumb, everyone who ventures into the woods should carry a compass and know how to use it.

 

Geocache web sites should state this and other important safety information. The various forums go into great detail about how to choose a good GPS, but I have not seen any topics on safety or compasses.

 

People should know their own limits and this site nor any other should provide any obligatory safety information whatsoever. As a cache owner I have zero control over a cache seekers means and methods. Any warning I may see fit to give is a bonus and should not be assumed to even remotly come close to covering all the ways a person may come to harm.

 

Having said all that if you ran a Geocaching event and taught geocachers some of the skills that you think they should have it would probably be a hit and much appreciated.

Edited by Renegade Knight
Link to comment

...There are safety concerns that should be discussed as a forum. ...

 

Discussing safety and survival is fair enough in the forums and the forums are a good place to do it. That's different from providing safety information as an obligatory part of a cache page for either the cache owner or the cache listing site.

 

Speaking of safety, some professional first response types came across a victim of an apparent heart attack near Boise a few years ago. They did not have the shield used to prevent the transmission of AIDS and other diseases when performing CPR. Thus the first responders refused to provide CPR and the person died who may have lived.

 

Even your right to privacy may kill you.

Link to comment

Okay, I'm going to part company with many experts and open myself to ridicule, but here goes:

 

I think carrying a compass as backup to a GPS is like carrying a bicycle as backup to your car.

 

Not that I don't carry a compass, but it's for the end game, not as an emergency measure. Quite frankly, even if I had to rely on a compass to find my way, I probably couldn't. I'd go broke buying all of the topo maps I need for our range. Additionally, many topo maps for our local areas probably don't have any contour lines as it's so flat--not much terrain in a swamp. Of course, your area is likely different.

 

Our setup is primarily two people each with their own GPS. Each also has a pair of lithium AA's in their packs as backup. We both have our TrackBack on--might be called Bread Crumbs in other units. There's plenty of redundancy in that.

 

Okay, so what can make GPS navigation go out? It falls into two basic categories; loss of signal and broken or dead unit.

 

Loss of signal is generally easily remedied by moving to another spot. So what that you have 500' accuracy where you are. Move to higher ground or out from under heavy cover.

 

A dead unit, besides dead batteries, is harder to remedy, but really is this that much of an issue? Do units typically just go out? Okay, so you dropped it. What makes that different from dropping your compass?

 

While I'm not trying to pooh-pooh preparedness, I'm just questioning the admonishment that if you're not carrying a compass, and know how to use it, you're just not prepared.

Link to comment

A dead unit, besides dead batteries, is harder to remedy, but really is this that much of an issue? Do units typically just go out? Okay, so you dropped it. What makes that different from dropping your compass?

 

hate to be rude..

but

um i did drop my gps... (and as the good eagle scout i am) i had my compass..

and got out of the woods alive

 

What makes that different from dropping your compass you say..

well my gps is about $400 more then my compass... and the compass on it is off (way off) to a normal compass :laughing:

and it is more easy to break then a compass..

 

i go with the boy scout's on that Be Prepared

a compass can be your friend... when you need it

 

you people need to learn that

 

ok if you read this site Finding

you will see that it says

under Step 3 The Hunt:

 

Now you’re ready for the hunt.

 

1. It should be pretty straightforward to get within a mile or so from the cache (unless it’s deep off-trail). If you’ve done your research, follow the map more than the GPS unit (although we keep ours on the whole time). It’s inevitable that you’ll lose signal from overhanging trees, mountains, etc.

 

2. If you’re using USFS roads (US Forestry service), the signs for each road can be pretty small in size. Instead of street signs, they’re brown signs that have white writing running vertically. Usually they’re close to the ground. Sometimes you may have to backtrack on the road to locate them.

 

3. It’s always good to have a compass on hand if your GPS unit doesn’t have one.

 

4. When you leave your car, mark its location as a waypoint! Sounds silly, but once you get deep into the cache hunt, it’s easy to get disoriented. We’ve learned this from experience!

 

5. When you get close to the Geocache (within 300 feet, which is the length of a football field), make sure to check your GPS unit signal. Sometimes the signal will have an error between 25-200 feet. Don’t concentrate as much on the arrow as the distance decreasing, as you get closer to the site.

6. For the last 30 feet, use a compass or direct your buddy in the direction of the cache. In some cases we’ve had good luck circling the site with the GPS unit to get a good area to search.

 

7. The final 30-100 feet is the hardest. It helps to think like the person who hid the cache. If there are stumps around, investigate around the base. Check for a pile of rocks. Some stashes, especially in people-trafficked areas, are pretty ingeniously hidden, so it helps to know the container they used.

 

 

see right there is your answer

 

carry a map and a compass....

Edited by Charles Iverson
Link to comment

I think that every one knows that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. When you get out the cat make a note of where east and west are.

 

Don't be so sure.. :laughing:

 

Okay, I'm going to part company with many experts and open myself to ridicule, but here goes:

 

I think carrying a compass as backup to a GPS is like carrying a bicycle as backup to your car.

 

Not that I don't carry a compass, but it's for the end game, not as an emergency measure. Quite frankly, even if I had to rely on a compass to find my way, I probably couldn't. I'd go broke buying all of the topo maps I need for our range. Additionally, many topo maps for our local areas probably don't have any contour lines as it's so flat--not much terrain in a swamp. Of course, your area is likely different.

 

Our setup is primarily two people each with their own GPS. Each also has a pair of lithium AA's in their packs as backup. We both have our TrackBack on--might be called Bread Crumbs in other units. There's plenty of redundancy in that.

 

Okay, so what can make GPS navigation go out? It falls into two basic categories; loss of signal and broken or dead unit.

 

Loss of signal is generally easily remedied by moving to another spot. So what that you have 500' accuracy where you are. Move to higher ground or out from under heavy cover.

 

A dead unit, besides dead batteries, is harder to remedy, but really is this that much of an issue? Do units typically just go out? Okay, so you dropped it. What makes that different from dropping your compass?

 

While I'm not trying to pooh-pooh preparedness, I'm just questioning the admonishment that if you're not carrying a compass, and know how to use it, you're just not prepared.

 

This is a great post. I have a cheap compass in my backpack, but in the daytime I don't need it. I couldn't use a map and topo to find my way anyways, but i've been hiking for a long time, and never been lost. We also cary two gps's with batteries for both.. when I hunt I never even carry my GPS and walk around all day and still find my way to the car. Some people are just good navigators. Some people don't know their a** from a shotgun barrel.. I refer to my original post: know your limitations.

Link to comment

Safety tips are only useful if they are concise. No novice is going to read pages of info on safety. Heck we can't even get them to read the guidelines for placing a cache. The variety of geocaches and places they are hidden would require voluminous amounts of information covering scuba caches, climbing caches, urban caches, wilderness caches, hydro caches, caches in high crime areas, caches in grizzly, mountain lion or venomous snake country etc... Nobody would read them.

 

There may also be a liability issue. Someone comes along and gets hurt, and sues the website saying "well you covered that, that, that and that, but you never mentioned this".

 

The various forums go into great detail about how to choose a good GPS, but I have not seen any topics on safety or compasses.

 

I don't see the need for an entire forum devoted to safety, however there have been plenty of threads over the years that touch on safety. Here are a few fairly recent ones:

 

Are you prepared?

Some geocachers don't belong here

Ten essentials

A basic guide to the 10 essentials

Geocachers survival guide (well this is tongue in cheek, but some advice is still useful)

Ultralight geocaching, whats with packs ready for a week in the wilderness

Caches on hunting lands

Hunting and caching

Geocaching Safety Tips

Safety while caching for women

Advice on geocaching safely

Geocaching and personal safety

Bear safety tips

Women geocaching alone

Venomous snakes

Snakes and a snakebite guide

Deer ticks, how to prevent

How does one avoid ticks?

Map and Compass

How do you read a compass?

 

Found these in 5 minutes of searching. I could probably find dozens if not hundreds more threads addressing safety concerns. Still, there is nothing keeping the OP from starting a new thread devoted to geocaching safety. You might even be able to convince a moderator to pin it to the top.

Edited by briansnat
Link to comment

I really like the suggestion to waypoint your car. I never remember to, but it would have helped a time or two....

 

Use the TrackBack feature of your unit if it has it. If you ever find yourself turned around you can curser to the spot that looks like where you parked, mark it, and then goto it. It helps if you have a mapping unit with detailed roads. That way it is easier to tell where you parked. You can make an educated guess by simply looking at the track to see how the pattern of movement changed.

 

I've done this plenty of times to find where we parked the car after going from cache to cache.

 

...or just follow the track back.

Link to comment

I really like the suggestion to waypoint your car. I never remember to, but it would have helped a time or two....

 

Lesson I learned yesterday. The cache I went on was a longer hike than I was initially expecting to do with a 4 year old and a 2 year old (though they did it quite well, in fact when I was ready to turn back about 2/3 of the way to the cache my 4 yo son begged us to go on as he so enjoyed the views and seeing the birds and flowers) and thunderstorms were threatening. While staying on the path was going to get us back easily so there was no real threat (except maybe getting wet), Waymarking my car probably would've made it shorter and easier.

 

I also want to note that people should look at the difficulty and terrain ratings and sometimes the logs of others help in evaluating safety of a cache hunt. 95%+ of the caches I do are with my wife, son and daughter and I look very very carefully to make sure it will be appropriate and safe for the whole family. In this sense as well as "guidelines" I think GC.com provides all the warnings, disclaimers, etc. to keep you informed and protect them from lawsuits. :laughing:

Edited by hairymon
Link to comment

I really like the suggestion to waypoint your car. I never remember to, but it would have helped a time or two....

 

This piece of advice also comes in real handy when you visit an Air Show, Amusement Park, Fair, etc. Nothing like "knowing exactly" where you POV is among 50,000 other cars.

 

Although I don't prescribe to the theory of evolution, I do believe in survival of the fittest. Removing all these "hold someone's hand/ political correctness" warnings from cache pages, common household products, etc is akin to adding "Chlorine to the gene pool."

 

As a cacher, I review the difficulty and terrain ratings of a cache, and plan accordingly.

 

Best quote I found in one of the the threads listed by Briansnat.

 

"if one can't navigate out of an area without a gps, one shouldn't navigate in with one."

Edited by Kit Fox
Link to comment

 

"There is nothing more offensive to me, as an American Citizen, then seeing a foreign invader engage in criminal activity, while waving a Mexican flag on American Soil. These criminals should be tried for sedition then deported.

 

Sorry to get off topic here, but your disclaimer stood out for me. I admit I am not fully briefed on the whole south west US immigrant situation, but your words above are a two edged sword.

 

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

 

Imagine ~ 200 years ago in south west what is now US territory, a Mexican citizen saying your words.

 

There is nothing more offensive to me, as an Mexican Citizen, then seeing a foreign invader engage in criminal activity, while waving a foriegn flag on Mexican Soil. These criminals should be tried for sedition then deported.

 

We all know how that turned out.

Link to comment

When I first posted this topic, I wasn't thinking of legal liability, Darwin awards, survival of the fittest or common sense. I was just thinking that anyone who became involved in the sport of geocachng should do it safely. The safety information isn't for experienced cachers, it is for the inexperienced. To blatently dismiss this topic with platatudes like "survival of the fittest", "darwin awards", " compasses are useless", etc. is very sad.

 

I do not care what the disclaimer says. The disclaimer doesn't cover safety. It just protects the websites and maybe cache placers from legal liability. It is a cover your buut disclaimer. Fair enough. I just can not understand all of the negativity towards safety.

 

Common sense is a very relative thing. It changes from place to place and from time to time. What I use as common sense here in Nova Scotia would not work in the desert. I have never been to a desert. I would not appreciate how much water is required. My common sense does not cover deserts, tropical jungles or even very big cities.

 

If your kids came to you and asked, "daddy should I stick my fingers into the lawn mower output while it was running?", would you say, " Try it and see, if you make the wrong choice and get hurt, that is what we call survival of the fittest, son. I will nominate you for a Darwin award. "

 

I would rather explain why they shouldn't stick their hands in the mower.

 

I think the geocache web sites should have basic safety information available. Briansnat posted lots of good safety information available in past forums. My point is why should a newbie cacher be required to dig around for this information. If there was a specific forum topic then it would be easier. If there was a link on the front page it would be even better still.

 

Yes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Come on guys and gals, at the very least supply the drinks. Is space on the server so tight that thereis not space for safety information. Put a counter on the page if it is not accessed then remove it. I am willing to bet that it will be hit often and repeatedly.

 

I believe I have said all I want, except...

 

Safety first.

Link to comment

I think that every one knows that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. When you get out the cat make a note of where east and west are .

 

As to the disclaimer, if someone were to take Groundspeak to court that disclaimer wouuld not hold up. I have seen signed waivers overridden in court even when it was blatantly the suers fault.

I am sure that if someone were to take Groundspeak to court we could arrange a hit in no time at all.

 

Yes, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. The problem we have here in eastern Canada is that while the above statement is true, we have many overcast days and days that become overcast when you least expect it. We also have this funny natural effect called fog. It also appears when you least expect it. So yes the sun rises and sets everyday, but if you can not see it then it is as useless as your $400.00 GPS that has run out of batteries or fell off the cliff.

 

Another way to navigate without a compass is the way my surveying instructor (30 years ago) taught me was usiong a watch to find north.

 

Basically it goes like this, "Point the hour hand at the sun when you are north of the equator. South will be halfway between the hour hand and 12 o'clock."

 

But as you can see it involves seeing the sun. It also involves an analog watch that has hands, but now we mostly ignore the analog watch for the electronic, much the same way as we ignore the compass. He told the class this just before he dug ut his trusty brunton compass and taught us how to use it with and without a map. A compass is very useful, even without a map. If you looked at the topo that you left in camp or saw a road as you were choppered into an area, you can get a general trend on where it is and move in that direction.

 

If a buddy gets beaver fever and bolts into the woods, after you have called for any assistance available to you and before you give chase, yoiu should geta general bearing on his direction so you can reverse it on the way out. Can't do that with a basic GPS.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love my GPS. It makes life very easy. but I would trust a compass with my life. Can you say that of your GPS?

Edited by Plasma Boy
Link to comment

 

Sorry to get off topic here, but your disclaimer stood out for me. I admit I am not fully briefed on the whole south west US immigrant situation, but your words above are a two edged sword.

 

Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

 

Imagine ~ 200 years ago in south west what is now US territory, a Mexican citizen saying your words.

 

There is nothing more offensive to me, as an Mexican Citizen, then seeing a foreign invader engage in criminal activity, while waving a foriegn flag on Mexican Soil. These criminals should be tried for sedition then deported.

 

We all know how that turned out.

 

Their war loss isn't my problem. I don't demand rights as an American on their soil, and and "in reverse", neither should they.

 

I think the geocache web sites should have basic safety information available.
This information is readily available throughout the internet.

 

Briansnat posted lots of good safety information available in past forums. My point is why should a newbie cacher be required to dig around for this information. If there was a specific forum topic then it would be easier. If there was a link on the front page it would be even better still.

 

Newbies aren't required to look for difficult terrain caches. It is their choice to seek difficult terrain caches. All cachers make personal choices as to which caches they want to look for. Perhaps you could become "cache guardian" to assist them, while seeking these caches.

 

Yes, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Come on guys and gals, at the very least supply the drinks.
Again, this info is "all over the net."

 

Here is a cache that I would love to find. Anasazi Ruins The problem is that I don't have the equipment, and the time to make the 40 mile roundtrip to this cache. I don't need to see a list of safety precautions about desert survival to know that this cache is out of reach for me.

Edited by Kit Fox
Link to comment

Charles Iverson already posted in the topic the link to finding your first cache which is easily found in the Getting Started area of the site. In fact it even says "you can never stress enough the importance of preparation and safety."

 

So it's already there. You should stop your criticisms now and come back with some actual solutions to improve education about safety issues. Please provide exact changes you would like to see. Screenshots and mockups would help. Thanks.

 

And take sig line controversy to a PM. None of us really care about your needless posturing.

Link to comment

Charles Iverson already posted in the topic the link to finding your first cache which is easily found in the Getting Started area of the site. In fact it even says "you can never stress enough the importance of preparation and safety."

 

So it's already there. You should stop your criticisms now and come back with some actual solutions to improve education about safety issues. Please provide exact changes you would like to see. Screenshots and mockups would help. Thanks.

 

And take sig line controversy to a PM. None of us really care about your needless posturing.

 

Firstly, sorry for the sig line side bar.

 

The link you quote is easy to see. it says "finding your first cache"

 

Mr. Iverson's said, "finding". I missed the link, because of his other underlined non-linked phrases.

This link has some good information included.

 

I think it would be clearer if under the Getting Started link, a "Safety Considerations" link was included. From the link

 

(Guide to Finding a Geocache

Some tips to make it easier to research and locate your first cache, based on experiences from fellow geocachers.),

 

I didn't get that there was safety info there. Maybe along with the statement to carry a compass, you could add that you should know how to use it and offer some basic tips. One of the forum links you supplied earlier, had this link (http://www.learn-orienteering.org/old/). I think it would be helpful if this site was offered as a good primer to compass and map useage. I believe it is free available to non-profit orgs.

Maybe expand on some the ten essentials (http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=53416&hl=pack)could be included.

 

I really think that this information would be greatly appreciated by many cachers. Stress that thisis general safety information and not neccessarily needed for all cache locations.

 

Those are my specific suggestions.

Edited by Plasma Boy
Link to comment

I did exactly what the OP mentioned, ran out to walmart, got my gps and started trying to find caches near my home.

 

The first one I attempted to find brought me to a trail head with two signs , one which was a warning that there was hunting on adjacent lands and to wear brightly colored clothing and be careful, and another sign which warned that this was a lyme tick area.

 

Well we hightailed it out of there and I was extremely disappointed that this wasn't mentioned on the page for the cache. Had I known about the hunting I wouldn't have bothered going out there.

I also know there are bears in our area, though there was no sign for that. I'm guessing that sign had probably succumbed to the weather. Had this happened to the hunting sign, and I had experienced hunters while trying to find the cache, this would be a very different post indeed, lol.

 

I understand that the site has it's necessary disclaimer and that's all well and good. But I think it is up to them to make it very easy for the person placing the cache to make it as clear as possible what the dangers of that cache might be. And the responsibility of the person placing the cache to make sure they've made any possible dangers very clear.

 

Since then I've come across cache listings that mention nothing about hunting, but then the people logging finds will mention running into hunters.

I know I don't live anywhere near Dick Cheney :laughing: , but there are still hunting accidents and I'm not a gun person and I would never send people unknowingly into a hunters path.

 

As for other dangers, I learned of one firsthand when I was out on a local trail enjoying the day and considering a place for one of my own caches someday, when I sprained my ankle on a very easy downhill trail, lol. That was my own lack of common sense, I should have been wearing better shoes that I had put off getting.

 

Anyway, I agree that most of the responsibility has to fall on the the person heading out into the woods, but whether they want it or not, or whether they have any legal responsibility or not, the website that posts these caches IS responsible for a degree of safe listings and the person hiding the cache is responsible for making it a safe one and letting people know what they are in for if they try to find it.

Link to comment

Okay, I'm going to part company with many experts and open myself to ridicule, but here goes:

 

I think carrying a compass as backup to a GPS is like carrying a bicycle as backup to your car.

 

I like that analogy....

 

Not that I don't carry a compass, but it's for the end game, not as an emergency measure. Quite frankly, even if I had to rely on a compass to find my way, I probably couldn't. I'd go broke buying all of the topo maps I need for our range. Additionally, many topo maps for our local areas probably don't have any contour lines as it's so flat--not much terrain in a swamp. Of course, your area is likely different.

 

Good point about the topo maps. Around here (Canada), we can get pretty high res topo maps (1:50k) free of charge that can be loaded to the GPS with a little bit o' fiddling... Works well.

 

Okay, so what can make GPS navigation go out? It falls into two basic categories; loss of signal and broken or dead unit.

...

A dead unit, besides dead batteries, is harder to remedy, but really is this that much of an issue? Do units typically just go out? Okay, so you dropped it. What makes that different from dropping your compass?

 

Actually I've dropped my GPS several times, and its never broken on me...

 

While I'm not trying to pooh-pooh preparedness, I'm just questioning the admonishment that if you're not carrying a compass, and know how to use it, you're just not prepared.

 

I for one have an awful sense of direction. I could tell you some stories...but then you'd loose all respect for me :laughing:. Its actually part of the reason I bought the GPS in the first place.

 

My personal feeling is that you shouldn't be overly reliant on *any* piece of technology to find your way to safety (GPS or compass). I've personally never been in a situation where if I lost my GPS I'd be in really serious trouble. Sure sometimes you bush whack a little ways, but generally you've got a pretty good idea which way the trail is.). If you're going up a mountain, well guess which way is back to the car/civilization? Down. If you're at the top, well you really should be able to determine which side of the mountain you came up on.

 

If you are going in to a situation where a loss of GPS/compass/watch/whatever is going to be a major issue, then I can see the point of those who would encourage you to bring lots of extra survival gear (i.e. prepared to stay the night/week/month/rest of your life in the bush).

Link to comment

"Ok, here goes", he says as he steps into this mine field...

 

Safety, of all kinds, starts at home. Each individual is responsible for his/her own safety and that of any minor children in their care. Are there occasions where " heads up" note on the cache page might have saved some pain? Of course, but that still doesn't relieve the prospective finder of the need to exercise thier grey matter and apply some common sense. Of course there are the people that just get the coordinates and go without looking at the description...To you all, if you run into something wierd[1], before you sound off in the log or e-mail, have a look on the cache page. It just might be mentioned.

 

 

 

[1] Coordinates off, no place to park, suddenly surrounded by a platoon of heavily armed, real serious looking Marines, etc.

Link to comment

If posting every safety requirement or suggestion on a cache description page was required, those pages would be two pages long and the information about the cache would be lost in it.

In Indiana, deer hunting is allowed in some State Parks in the fall to control the herd. It's also allowed in a few residential areas near the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Somebody who doesn't hunt might not know that and place a cache there. Would they be required to post a "Hunters Ahead" warning?

Having a compass and not knowing how to use it is the same as going cache hunting without a GPS. You might be successful, you might not.

If your not sure of an area, ask someone who has experience there. E-mail somebody who already found the cache your looking at and ask for advice.

Somewhere along the line, common sense has to be used.

Knowledge comes from experience,

Common sense come from bad experiences.

Link to comment

Amazingly enough, the human race survived and thrived for thousands of years without ANY safety warnings. In more recent history, since the dawn of geocaching there have only been a few instances of unprepared people getting in trouble while geocaching. We're closing in on 1/4 million cache logs a week (if you factor in the people who don't log online) and yet everyone but the OP seems to be able to grasp the concept of personal responsibilty.

Link to comment

A compass doesn't do much good without a map or a good sense of which direction you need to go and even then you can determine basic directions through a number of means. Sigh...nothing wrong with relying on technology. A 14th centry sailor thought a compass and sextant was "high tech". Best advice I can give is go prepared for reasonable situations and don't go if you aren't prepared. Where do the warnings start and stop?? I can't warn people about the dangers of every step to the cache - should I also caution folks to use seatbelts while driving to the cache area?? Warn of the 2 foot drop off the sidewalk you take to the cache? Warn that certain muggles might carry weapons and mean you harm? Seriously.......

Link to comment

I have a compass. It tells me were north, soth,east & west is. But like most people it doesn't do me a lot of good. There are probably less than 1% of all caches that are in what is truly a wildnerness area. Most are urban, or hidden in parks or along hiking or biking trails that are well marked.

 

If you want to hunt wilderness caches then I would expect that you are familar with the territory that comes with that. If not, then do what I do....listen to your wife. :)

 

El Diablo

Edited by El Diablo
Link to comment

I was reading through this topic for the first time today. Bottom line for me is that geocachers are adults (or younger folks under adult supervision) and any ADULT who geocaches, newbie or not, has to be responsible for their own safety. For those ADULTS that can't be responsible, then that's what the "Darwin Awards" were invented for!

 

IMHO

Link to comment

Sigh...nothing wrong with relying on technology. A 14th centry sailor thought a compass and sextant was "high tech".

 

Yes, but I imagine that sailor still had a good idea which way he needed to go, even without the compass and sextant. If he knows he's been sailing west for two days, well to get back home, he needs to sail east for about two days. Sure without his compass he may spend an extra couple of days sailing up and down the coast trying to get his bearings, but he probably isn't going to die if his sextant falls overboard.

 

This is what I meant about not relying on technology.

Link to comment

Sigh...nothing wrong with relying on technology. A 14th centry sailor thought a compass and sextant was "high tech".

 

Yes, but I imagine that sailor still had a good idea which way he needed to go, even without the compass and sextant. If he knows he's been sailing west for two days, well to get back home, he needs to sail east for about two days. Sure without his compass he may spend an extra couple of days sailing up and down the coast trying to get his bearings, but he probably isn't going to die if his sextant falls overboard.

 

This is what I meant about not relying on technology.

Rest assured I will do my best to wander around a bit to find my own bearings if I lose the GPS ---- before I die. :)

Link to comment

A 14th century sailor thought a compass and sextant was "high tech".

 

Actually a 14th century sailer would have loved a sextant if he would have known how to use it.

In those days I believe it was a Backstaff they used, and after the backstaff it was the Octant

The Sextant didn't come into being until the mid or late 18th century if I remember correctly :):):)

Link to comment

Sigh...nothing wrong with relying on technology. A 14th centry sailor thought a compass and sextant was "high tech".

 

Yes, but I imagine that sailor still had a good idea which way he needed to go, even without the compass and sextant. If he knows he's been sailing west for two days, well to get back home, he needs to sail east for about two days. Sure without his compass he may spend an extra couple of days sailing up and down the coast trying to get his bearings, but he probably isn't going to die if his sextant falls overboard.

 

This is what I meant about not relying on technology.

Rest assured I will do my best to wander around a bit to find my own bearings if I lose the GPS ---- before I die. :)

 

:)

Link to comment

PLEEEEEEEEASE....Is this topic for real?

 

I would have to bet that 50% of Geocachers are seeking out micros hiden in WalMart parking lot light pole skirts. I would hardly think they would need a compass to navigate their way out of the lot to their cars.

 

Of the remaining 50% I would bet that at least 99% of them are caching in areas that if they had complete GPS failure they could walk out of the situation in ANY direction to safety.

 

The remaining 1% of that 50% are the true "hard core" cachers and I feel they are most likely more than prepared for unexpected accurances.

 

Of course noone can can be totally prepared for the unexpected but isn't that why we are all doing this silly hobby? What fun is it to be out seeking something that you have total control over? That's why roller coasters are so popular. They might actually jump the track and kill you!

 

If you want special sections of the site to warn you of the potential dangers then don't bitch and complain when it takes you 20-minutes to navigate from page to page on the website and when the cache page you print out requires 20-pages due to all of the disclaimers.

 

This is a very simple hobby. Can't we keep it that way?

Link to comment

It probably doesn't hurt for "basic safety instructions" to be permenantly posted somewhere (it may be already, I really don't know), however with that being said the real responsibility should lie on the cacher themselves. Geocaching is really no different than hiking (or rock climbing, scuba diving, etc). There's safety information out there if you want to look for it (prior to doing it), and if you don't act responsible and look, hey that's your own fault.

 

I, personally, carry a compass with me. I've only had to use it once. I see no valid argument to not carry one, due to how light and small they are. In addition to the compass, I always have a flashlight, extra batteries, something to drink, etc. Nothing difficult to carry, it just makes sense (no web page had to tell me this) that "things happen" and "be prepared". Marking a waypoint where you park is an invaluable tool. But more than that, looking over a map of where you're going to be and work out a "safety bearing" that you can use with a compass to get out of where you are.

 

An example... I decided one night that it'd be a great idea to finally do a night cache. The place was somewhat marshy, away from the city (so very very dark). I knew beforehand that there was alot of tree cover so I knew it was likely the gps would lose signal occasionally. I looked over an aerial map, saw that if I went northeast from any spot I'd eventually hit a road within a couple miles. I also marked a waypoint where I parked. All went well for the most part until we were working our way out and we lost the gps signal and it didn't appear that it was coming back. I felt that I should head in a specific direction, but out came the compass, found northeast and headed off towards the road. This ended up taking us through some really nasty areas, knee deep in marshy water, I definately wasn't a happy camper. At any rate, the compass helped, and to be honest this was a cache I should've waited to do. Wasn't gc.com's fault I went at it gungho, and wasn't the cache owners fault. I did log it tho, and it felt great :) Doing a cache like this without a compass is incredibly stupid.

 

My point is, one should know what they're getting into before they do it. They should be prepared and it's the cachers responsibility to be prepared.

 

And another thing... Almost everyone has the ability to put up a web page these days. If the OP is so worried about the lack of safety information, put up a web page documenting what you think others should know. I'm sure there are alot of people who would appreciate the effort and it would be yet another asset to the community.

Link to comment

I suppose I'm causing blows with my foot to a dead equine here, but...

 

Geocaching is a listing site, they list caches, and it's up to you to decide how to find them, or if you'll find them, and how to prepare for it.

 

The cache owners, may voluntarily give info about the conditions near the cache, or equipment/ preparation needed, but they are not required to. Also, until Geocaching.com can afford to send a reviewer to each cache before listing it (Which I don't think will happen, ever.) it is up to the seeker to take care of themselves and prepare for the unknown. No website can induce good judgement on other people, that's something you have to do yourself, and educating yourself in survival or good preparedness is one of those things. It's simply not thier place.

Link to comment

A compass doesn't do much good without a map or a good sense of which direction you need to go and even then you can determine basic directions through a number of means.

 

The fact is that knowing what direction you are heading can be very helpful. The majority of people who get lost without a compass become disoriented and end up going in circles. A 16 year old girl proved this. Here's a good quote from Everything2.com:

 

People who have been lost in a fog or in a snowstorm have often walked for hours imagining that they were headed in a straight path. After a while, they arrive right back where they started from.

 

The reason why we cant guide ourselves without our eyes is that the human body is asymmetrical. The heart, for instance, is on the left side, while the liver is on the right. The skeleton of our body is not symmetrical, either. The spine is not straight, and our feet and thighs are different on each side. All of this means that the structure of the muscles in our body is asymmetrical.

 

Since our muscles differ, this affects how we walk, our gait. When you close your eyes, the control of your gait depends on the muscle structure of your body, and one side forces the other to turn slightly. As you walk further, this slight turn increases, and pretty soon you are walking in a circle!

 

By the way, this is true of not only of the muscles in our legs, but in our arms, too. Tests were made in which blindfolded people tried to drive a car in a straight line. In about 20 seconds, every person in the test began to drive off the road! This is just one good reason to keep your eyes open when walking or driving.

 

So with a compass you can point yourself in a direction, pick a landmark and head towards it. By continuing this method you can eventually reach another destination other than your own trail.

Link to comment

I understand that the site has it's necessary disclaimer and that's all well and good. But I think it is up to them to make it very easy for the person placing the cache to make it as clear as possible what the dangers of that cache might be. And the responsibility of the person placing the cache to make sure they've made any possible dangers very clear.

The site provides a blank cache description box which allows the cache hider to enter an unlimited amount of text to describe the risks. The hider is in the best position to know these risks, having researched and visited the placement site.

 

The site provides tools such as cache attributes (hunting area, dangerous area, not for children, etc.). The site provides a rating system for terrain and difficulty.

 

What, specifically, would you like the site to do, which is not already being done? I don't think they'll send a guide to lead you around to all the caches.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 8
×
×
  • Create New...