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markp99

How Closely Do You List Your Hide Coordinates?

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I placed a couple caches recently. I took great care to determine the coordinates and confirmed from other finders that they are spot on.

 

Most of the hunts I've done (not too many) seem to require a fair amount of hunting on my part and sometimes a review of the hints and previous finds. Generally the cache is NOT located where my GPS points me to, but within ~30 feet. I personally enjoy this aspect of geocaching; it makes the find just a bit sweeter.

 

Questions: If the coordinates are too perfect, does this make the cache (traditional size) too easy to find? Would it be better to list the coordinates for a traditional *slightly* off (i.e., within the typical GPS margin of error in the vicinity of the cache, say < 30ft) to require a bit more work on the part of the finder?

 

Would something like this need to be listed as a multicache, an offset? I'm not a huge fan of multistage puzles, but I have not seen a listing for a simple offset. I envision a traditional "offset" being OFF by a good margin (i.e., >30ft) and then with compass bearing or line of sight sort of info, so that may be a different category listing that what I am thinking of.

 

Thanks for any pointers,

 

markp99

Edited by markp99

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The coordinates posted should always be exactly those as measured for the cache. Variations in satellites, weather conditions, GPSr's, etc. will take care of adding the randomness of search area for you.

 

If you find that your cache is too easy to find with the coordinates you've given, that's more an indication that your "hide" style is too simple. Spend time searching an area to locate "just the right spot" for a hide -- typically somewhere where there could be multiple locations for a hide be and where it's not immediately obvious -- and perhaps where there might be several different possible elevations for the hide, where surrounding objects may hinder satellite reception or add to the difficulty in getting a good lock -- such as under heavy tree cover or near a rock outcropping, and employ some camo to make it blend in with the surroundings -- which may mean choosing an appropriate container and color.

 

Some of the most interesting finds that I've come across had spot on accurate coordinates, require searching for an ammo can, and still take two trips to come up with it. Yes, you can hide an elephant in the room if you're creative enough with the hide technique.

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I agree, posted coords should be as spot-on as your equipment allows. I even go so far as verifying the placement on googlearth or an interactive topo map if the resolution is high enough and it is hidden in the proximity of a recognizeable landmark or geographic "handrail".

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One of our local teams often employs soft coords in order to make the hunt more challenging, and it's quite annoying. Their last hide was at a pavilion in a park, and the coords took you to the wrong end of the pavilion. I spoke to a prior finder (who spent about 2 hours there with 5 other people before finding the cache), and found out that the coords were off, so I expanded my search and found the cache in just a few minutes. When I logged my find I included much better coords for the hide. I'll continue to post corrected coords in my future logs, and I encourage others to do so as well. Hunting in the wrong place because someone posted bad coords is a waste of time. Making a hard hide is fine, but don't screw up the coords to add difficulty.

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Mark: Just let your GPS settle in, get an accuracy reading of less than 20 ft. and that will work. Due to variances in reception, etc. etc. etc. everyone will get a different reading. They just let force show them the location.

 

I have not seen a listing for a simple offset.

 

Here is an example of a simple offset cache. The offset is easy, the hike is the tough part.

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One of our local teams often employs soft coords in order to make the hunt more challenging, and it's quite annoying. Their last hide was at a pavilion in a park, and the coords took you to the wrong end of the pavilion. I spoke to a prior finder (who spent about 2 hours there with 5 other people before finding the cache), and found out that the coords were off, so I expanded my search and found the cache in just a few minutes. When I logged my find I included much better coords for the hide. I'll continue to post corrected coords in my future logs, and I encourage others to do so as well. Hunting in the wrong place because someone posted bad coords is a waste of time. Making a hard hide is fine, but don't screw up the coords to add difficulty.

 

Soft cords, you've gotta be kidding me, no wonder it seems like one local's caches are hard to find. I really enjoy WASTING MY TIME searching for a cache where someone put the numbers off to make it harder. SOB if I hide a cache I want you to find it, why do you think I put it out.

 

I take pride in my caches and I make sure the numbers are as good as I can get them. I can understand tree cover and tall buildings causing problems but to fudge the numbers if just wrong.

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I placed a couple caches recently. I took great care to determine the coordinates and confirmed from other finders that they are spot on.

 

Most of the hunts I've done (not too many) seem to require a fair amount of hunting on my part and sometimes a review of the hints and previous finds. Generally the cache is NOT located where my GPS points me to, but within ~30 feet. I personally enjoy this aspect of geocaching; it makes the find just a bit sweeter.

 

Questions: If the coordinates are too perfect, does this make the cache (traditional size) too easy to find? Would it be better to list the coordinates for a traditional *slightly* off (i.e., within the typical GPS margin of error in the vicinity of the cache, say < 30ft) to require a bit more work on the part of the finder?

 

Would something like this need to be listed as a multicache, an offset? I'm not a huge fan of multistage puzles, but I have not seen a listing for a simple offset. I envision a traditional "offset" being OFF by a good margin (i.e., >30ft) and then with compass bearing or line of sight sort of info, so that may be a different category listing that what I am thinking of.

 

Thanks for any pointers,

 

markp99

I don't know about the accuracy of your GPSr in locating your finds, but All my finds (not too many ) have been 20-30 feet off the coords given and that is with my GPSr directly over the "treasure"... I think that all coords should be as accurate as possible ^_^

I do have some DNFs...Now I wonder why????

Edited by Wild Thing 73

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If the hiding spot is the only logical hiding spot in the area, and it's an easy find, I wouldn't be concerned about thirty or forty feet one way or the other, but if a hider was to intentionally post "soft" [bad] coordinates, I would quickly "black list" [ignore] any and all caches hidden by that person.

 

If the hide is intended to be difficult to find, I would expect the hider to be very diligent in posting accurate coordinates. A well hidden cache can be in your hand and not be recognizeable (yes, we've found a few like that).

 

Bad coordinates should never be used to raise the difficulty rating. That's just wrong!

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If the coordinates are too perfect, does this make the cache (traditional size) too easy to find? Would it be better to list the coordinates for a traditional *slightly* off (i.e., within the typical GPS margin of error in the vicinity of the cache, say < 30ft) to require a bit more work on the part of the finder?

NO.

 

 

 

 

NO.

 

 

 

 

NO.

 

 

 

NO.

 

 

 

 

And did I mention: NO!

 

Please read: Dave's Opinions on Geocache Hiding. Section 3 addresses your question directly.

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Most of the hunts I've done (not too many) seem to require a fair amount of hunting on my part and sometimes a review of the hints and previous finds. Generally the cache is NOT located where my GPS points me to, but within ~30 feet. I personally enjoy this aspect of geocaching; it makes the find just a bit sweeter.

 

If you want non-perfect coords make it an offset (multi) cache and say it's within 30 feet of the posted coordinates.

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As a variation, you could list as "In the Vicinity" , for those who don't mind spending the time , (like me).

Others could just no go.

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From the Cache Listing Requirements/Guidelines:

 

The coordinates listed on the traditional cache page are the exact location of the cache.

 

The only commonality of this cache type is that the coordinates listed are not of the actual cache location but a general reference point, such as a nearby parking location.

 

Bret

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I personally would rather have accurate coordinates and a well camouflaged container to make the find more difficult. If someone doesn't have the sheets with them and they don't know that they are supposed to look somewhere other than at the coordinates it can be frustrating. We had one recently that gave coordinates and then instructed us to turn around and go back X number of feet (really annoying).

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I think we've sufficiently covered that the coords need to be as accurate as possible... I'd reiterate that concentrating variations on the hide technique is a much better strategy for making it a little more difficult. Or the camo on the cache container. We've found a few where the camo was so good on the container that spot-on coords were essential (and so were lifelines).

 

:mad:

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Don't get me started! Okay, you got me started. I aked you not to do that.

Giving the benefit of the doubt, perhaps the cacher hid his/her cache on a bad satellite day, or doesn't know how to use a GPS, or the batteries were sparking. But! Everyone logged that the coordinates were in the middle of the street. As it turns out, 57' from the cache. In that case, one should take new coordinates, and correct the page. Especially since the cache was in a nicely manicured park. I won't say that this cacher is deliberately posting incorrect coordinates, but it seems to happen with everyone of his caches. Oh, well. We don't do that cacher's hides anymore. (Not to mention that the shrubbery in these parks are taking quite a beating...)

Did one today that took us two tries. Today with two GPSes. Seventy feet off. I don't think we were having a bad satellite day both days. The coords are off. My QC department would never permit that. We spent a half hour both times, searching.

This is not geocaching. It is deliberately being nasty. I'm not in this game to inflate the hider's ego.

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If I knew for sure that somebody put out soft coordinates on a cache, that would be the absolute last time I waste my time trying to find any of their caches! I see absolutley no reason to knowningly put out bad coordinates.

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If the coordinates are too perfect, does this make the cache (traditional size) too easy to find?

 

Hopefully, if its a 1 or 2 star difficulty cache. If you want to make it harder, hide it better. It takes some skill to hide a cache well enough to make it a challenge, there is no skill involved with posting bad coords on purpose.

 

If I knew a local was doing that, his caches would be on my ignore list the minute they pop up.

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Soft coordinates?

 

Sounds like a cover-up - someone is unable to take accurate coordinates, so he concocts a story to take credit for his mistake. :mad:

 

I'd have thought that hiders take pride in posting as accurate coordinates as possible to demonstrate his GPSr skills.

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I like to see the coordinates right now, but the cammo done real well. We've had a few find that were right on, but took awhile or multiple trips and a hint to find. I think the 'art' of caching is in how well the cache is hidden and not making a so-so hide, but putting coords that are off a couple dozen feet.

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If the coordinates are too perfect, does this make the cache (traditional size) too easy to find?

 

Hopefully, if its a 1 or 2 star difficulty cache. If you want to make it harder, hide it better. It takes some skill to hide a cache well enough to make it a challenge, there is no skill involved with posting bad coords on purpose.

 

If I knew a local was doing that, his caches would be on my ignore list the minute they pop up.

 

Ditto.

 

I try to waypoint our caches as close as we can. I can think of no valid reason not to.

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If I knew of somebody doing this, I would beat them with a wet noodle.

 

That comments provokes an interesting visual.... :unsure:

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There is a cacher in our area who does this. He said on one of his cache pages that he thinks it makes it more challenging to have soft coords.

 

I spent toooo long at two stages of a three part multi of his one day. Three of us couldn't find the third part, even after a 30 minute search of the area. I didn't feel challenged, I felt frustrated and irritated. We finally just left to go do something more fun (find caches with good coordinates).

 

At least, I guess he still does that. I really don't know. I don't do his caches any more.

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One of our local teams often employs soft coords in order to make the hunt more challenging, and it's quite annoying. Their last hide was at a pavilion in a park, and the coords took you to the wrong end of the pavilion. I spoke to a prior finder (who spent about 2 hours there with 5 other people before finding the cache), and found out that the coords were off, so I expanded my search and found the cache in just a few minutes. When I logged my find I included much better coords for the hide. I'll continue to post corrected coords in my future logs, and I encourage others to do so as well. Hunting in the wrong place because someone posted bad coords is a waste of time. Making a hard hide is fine, but don't screw up the coords to add difficulty.

 

If the hiding spot is the only logical hiding spot in the area, and it's an easy find, I wouldn't be concerned about thirty or forty feet one way or the other, but if a hider was to intentionally post "soft" [bad] coordinates, I would quickly "black list" [ignore] any and all caches hidden by that person.

 

If the hide is intended to be difficult to find, I would expect the hider to be very diligent in posting accurate coordinates. A well hidden cache can be in your hand and not be recognizeable (yes, we've found a few like that).

 

Bad coordinates should never be used to raise the difficulty rating. That's just wrong!

 

There is a cacher in our area who does this. He said on one of his cache pages that he thinks it makes it more challenging to have soft coords.

 

I spent toooo long at two stages of a three part multi of his one day. Three of us couldn't find the third part, even after a 30 minute search of the area. I didn't feel challenged, I felt frustrated and irritated. We finally just left to go do something more fun (find caches with good coordinates).

 

At least, I guess he still does that. I really don't know. I don't do his caches any more.

 

Our area, too, has a hider who thinks "soft co-ordinates" help sharpen someone's "geo-sense". (How I regret ever using that word to anyone who knows her.)

 

She has a cache listed as a traditional that a reviewer changed to a puzzle cache because she delibrately posted co-ordinates 75 feet away from the cache hiding spot. Well, apparently, she threw enough of a hissy fit that it is again listed as a traditional, with no "tweaking" of the co-ordinates.

 

She is notorious for bad co-ords. However, if you post the accurate co-ordinates on your find, she will delete it. Heck...she has been known to delete ALL your finds (and DNF's, just for good measure) on her caches if you "hurt her feelings" like that.

She also underrates the difficulty on her caches (by her own admission), stating that she is afraid that if she rates them higher than a 1.5, no one will look for them.

 

*raises right hand* I swear I am telling the truth.

 

(And I will note that I have exercised remarkable restraint in making this post....)

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Our area, too, has a hider who thinks "soft co-ordinates" help sharpen someone's "geo-sense". (How I regret ever using that word to anyone who knows her.)

 

She has a cache listed as a traditional that a reviewer changed to a puzzle cache because she delibrately posted co-ordinates 75 feet away from the cache hiding spot. Well, apparently, she threw enough of a hissy fit that it is again listed as a traditional, with no "tweaking" of the co-ordinates.

 

She is notorious for bad co-ords. However, if you post the accurate co-ordinates on your find, she will delete it. Heck...she has been known to delete ALL your finds (and DNF's, just for good measure) on her caches if you "hurt her feelings" like that.

She also underrates the difficulty on her caches (by her own admission), stating that she is afraid that if she rates them higher than a 1.5, no one will look for them.

 

*raises right hand* I swear I am telling the truth.

 

(And I will note that I have exercised remarkable restraint in making this post....)

Maybe if she noticed all of her caches on several cacher's ignore bookmark lists, she's get the message. B)

Edited by Criminal

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Our area, too, has a hider who thinks "soft co-ordinates" help sharpen someone's "geo-sense". (How I regret ever using that word to anyone who knows her.)

 

She has a cache listed as a traditional that a reviewer changed to a puzzle cache because she delibrately posted co-ordinates 75 feet away from the cache hiding spot. Well, apparently, she threw enough of a hissy fit that it is again listed as a traditional, with no "tweaking" of the co-ordinates.

 

She is notorious for bad co-ords. However, if you post the accurate co-ordinates on your find, she will delete it. Heck...she has been known to delete ALL your finds (and DNF's, just for good measure) on her caches if you "hurt her feelings" like that.

She also underrates the difficulty on her caches (by her own admission), stating that she is afraid that if she rates them higher than a 1.5, no one will look for them.

 

*raises right hand* I swear I am telling the truth.

 

(And I will note that I have exercised remarkable restraint in making this post....)

Maybe if she noticed all of her caches on several cacher's ignore bookmark lists, she's get the message. B)

 

There was a bookmark list on the caches in question that a cacher put there when she deleted all his logs. It was stated on the bookmark list that the bookmark would not be removed until his notes were restored. However, much to the same tune as the cache type listing being changed back...the bookmarks disappeared, but the posts did not reappear.

 

I would be willing to do so...However.... :ph34r: It just so happens that I would end up being made more of the pariah than she, if I were to do such a thing. We have too many people in our area who believe "Let her play the game as she wishes, and just ignore her." Too many who do not wish to "rock the boat" or hurt her feelings. Out of respect for them, is the only reason I have not done so.

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There are a few locals who's caches I skip due to consistantly bad coords. Not sure if they are intentional or not, though.

 

I do my best to get the most accurate coords possible for my hides. If someone tells me they are off I'll go take another set** of coordinates.

 

 

** Set being as many are necessary to get a reasonably accurate average.

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How about rounding the coords? I've seen "soft" coords, and it isnt rarely.

It really annoys me to think some people see posting intentionally bad coords as

a "good" idea. Ignoring them is usually the best thing to do....

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I had a couple more thoughts on the issue of so-called "soft coords."

 

The hobby is about using a GPS. The clues are listed in terms of coordinates which the GPS uses. Of course, you don't need to use a GPS, but there is requirement that in some part of the hunt the searcher should have the option to use a GPS. I believe this is a hard and fast rule. By using "soft coords" this, in essence, could be seen as violation. Is it? I don't know, but apparently it is not seen as one.

 

"Soft cords," depending on how "soft" they are could be little more than saying "Show up at the park and find the cache." Clearly an extreme scenario, but where do you draw the line between accurate coords and complete listing violations?

 

The second thought I had is if a searcher doesn't know the coords are "soft," but for whatever reason is fairly certain the cache is in place--like found just the day before--they could be encouraged to search a bit too aggressively. Not good stewardship of land on which we place our caches.

 

I submit "soft coords" are counter to the spirit of the hobby and a negative which should be strongly discouraged. While I know some will complain that this stifles creativity, I submit it is little different than the creativity of waypointing rotting carcasses or using an old sneaker as a codeword cache. I think it should be used with as much caution as vacation caches, digging holes, or using bogus puzzle coords too far from the actual location. Accurate coords are not a spoiler and owners should be barred from deleting them.

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one of the first few cache's I found was off by about 30 feet. Maybe my GPS is too good, but I usually get within 5 feet of the cache when I get to the numbers (co-ordinates) to match up. The one that was off by 30 feet was really really frustrating, I only found it cause I was wandering around and noticed some branches that were placed over the cache and they looked like they were placed there, so I went to look and there was the cache. I listed what my cords were in the log book, and posted on line that I did, for the owner to check it out. Don't know if its been changed or not. If "soft" cords are published intentionally to make it harder, then the owner should publish that the cache will be withing 30 feet of the cords, or whatever number they want to make it. If someone does it intentionally and tells the person that the cords are right-on then why would anyone look for cache's placed by them again?

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Had one this weekend where two diff GPS's were pointing at a tree that was broken off about 10ft high and the hint mentioned 'in the tree trunk'. We kept trying to figure out how to check in the top of that tree. Hubby gave up and sat down to have a cig and started looking around the area to see where he would hide a cache and spotted a likely place and sure enough it was there. We posted in our log about the difficulties and the owner emailed back apologizing and mentioned that he'd had trouble getting a good lock . We'd waypointed the correct location with both GPS and I emailed him the coords from both units.

 

I'm still new to geocaching and I find it very frustrating to know you have a good lock and your unit says its right there but you can't find it. Intentionally setting the wrong coords would quickly drive me to boycott that persons caches in the future. After this experience, I will however give the person the benefit of the doubt and just mention in logs when I think the coords are off. At the very least, it might help the next person.

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