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Begging To Be Let In _ Freebies?

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Being informed by Groundspeak to archive one of my caches, in this instance GCW5AA situated at Rietvlei Nature Reserve, I really have to question the etiquette of some Geocachers in RSA.

 

Complaint received is:

 

"We have been having problems with people playing your game in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve. These people come to the reserve expecting to come in for free and then they want to walk to this site on their own.

 

Rietvlei Nature Reserve is a protected conservation area and we have many dangerous animals in the reserve including Rhino, hippo, cheetah, leopard and buffalo. No walking in the reserve is allowed unless you are accompanied by a trained field guide. No visitors will be allowed to enter the reserve after the official closing times.”

 

The statement from Rietvlei is for sure more than valid and to use Geocaching (as an excuse) to have free access is a no-go.

 

Subject of this topic is:

 

· Do we really pay 5G’s for high-tech and ditch the R 20,00 or so entrance fee?

· Is asking for freebies “free access to sites” acceptable using the name of Geocaching and in this way discrediting the sport and cache owner?

· Why using the name of Geocaching for free access to interesting sites which cache owners provide, again trying for free access?

 

I am inclined to remove all of my caches from “pay-sites” if desired , if other cache owners follow suit this will reduce the number of caches in RSA by 30%. The savity (most people die in African due to Hippoes) issuse are not pat of this discussion.

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Ummmm. Sad story about the situation there. I have to admit before I make any comment that we asked to just visit a reserve quickly last week to grab the cache. We thought we would be faster than we actually were. After finding the cache we tried to offer to pay the entrance fee, but the guy said not to worry about it. So that is me before I say anything else.

 

Cache-fan - I think you should have clearly mentioned the entrance fee on the cache page so that the seeker knows that the fee is to be paid.

 

Now, if a cacher is not willing to pay the entrance fee to spend time at a spot, the cacher should not enter. I know this may be one of the reasons Cape Point doesn't have more caches in that reserve. R40 per person!

 

After reviewing the logs on the cache, I see that some people are running in and out. I know the temptation is there to log many caches in a day, but to pay the fee, wouldn't you want to spend a bit of time to look around and learn about the area that the cache is in?

 

I don't know. It seems that these stories are becoming frequent. I know in the states you are not allowed to place a cache in a national park. We are lucky here in SA that this is not the case. But if Groundspeak gets more requests from reserves for cache removals, we are going to have a tough time placing caches in some of the most enjoyable areas of the country.

 

Lets all think and act communally, so that we can build geocaching SA sustainably with the support of gov't officials and land owners alike.

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Subject of this topic is:

 

· Do we really pay 5G’s for high-tech and ditch the R 20,00 or so entrance fee?

· Is asking for freebies “free access to sites” acceptable using the name of Geocaching and in this way discrediting the sport and cache owner?

· Why using the name of Geocaching for free access to interesting sites which cache owners provide, again trying for free access?

 

 

Oooooo... there are a number of aspects to this story, however I just want to comment on the BAD form by cachers trying to access a site for free and using geocaching as the excuse to do so.

 

1. If you're not there to enjoy the cache and the area it's been placed in... don't do it, and go elsewhere to rack up your numbers :grin:

 

2. If you want to take a chance for a freebie, then try some other story, not Geocaching :grin:

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:grin::grin: It sure is sad ...... we all spend so much on acquiring all we need to geocache (and that doesn't even include the amount we spend on petrol!) and then we are too mean to pay an entrance fee ??

 

I do think that we need to get our priorities right - geocaching takes you to some really special places and an entrance fee is a small price to pay to enjoy the area and have some fun, too.

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Darn! This cache was our "to-do" list! :grin:

 

Well, we feel that there is always a reason (especially for reserves) that a fee is levied at the gate: it isn't because the owners are trying to make a fast buck out of us... somebody has to keep the place going so that one day our grandchildren will find this same cache! :grin:

 

Also, while laying the Amazing Cache series, we have paid over R200 in entrance fees from numerous trips to our cache locations while doing research and laying the physical cache (and then we find out that if we just pointed at the horse trail sign - we get in for free ;) ) - it's all part of the experience, and South Africans should just get out of the habit of "bargaining" our way into places (discount, discount!) - you're not visiting the Oriental Plaza! (actually... is there a cache there?)

 

once again - sorry to see this cache go.

Edited by Team_Farmers

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Having read cache-fan's comments, and reading some of the logs and listening to people, I am starting to wonder if I really want to be associated with a group of people that are just dragging the name of our sport through the mud.

 

cache-fan (and GlobaRat for that matter) has a valid point in being very miffed with cachers who use the name of Geocaching to want to bargain their way into a place where the intention of cache-fan certainly was to enjoy the day, do a bit of bird-watching and generally just relax. Unfortunately the urge to make up the numbers has overtaken the genuine need to get out a bit.

 

In one of the logs I recently read for a cache near Sabie, the comment was made that tracks were made right up to the cache. I was as the cache too, and I parked my car, on the road, 27m from the cache. Now this person decided that 27m was too far to walk, so his 4x4 blazed a trail, 5, maybe 6 bakkie-lenghts to the cache over the vegetation and small creatures, just so they don’t have to walk. Similar comments were made by a friend of mine about a cache in the Berg. The 4x4 tracks going straight to the cache.

 

Somehow I don’t want to be associated with these people. I do not want to be ashamed of my GEOCACHING.COM sticker on the back of my car. Unfortunately just like all English football fans are seen as hooligans, because of a few that cannot behave properly, I will have to accept that these irresponsible people are the minority and that I have to accept most of my fellow cachers as good, responsible people.

 

I am considering making my next series of caches a ‘Members only’ cache series. Then get a dummy user to log the FTF, so that cachers can cache again for the right reasons. To get out, and appreciate the place I am sending you too.

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I am considering making my next series of caches a ‘Members only’ cache series. Then get a dummy user to log the FTF, so that cachers can cache again for the right reasons. To get out, and appreciate the place I am sending you too.

 

I do like that idea.

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Quick question: how does a not-just-members-cache take the fun away from caching? There are enough premium members that will rack up a members-only cache just for the number - regardless of whether they are FTF or not.

Edited by bear&fox

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In one of the logs I recently read for a cache near Sabie, the comment was made that tracks were made right up to the cache. I was as the cache too, and I parked my car, on the road, 27m from the cache. Now this person decided that 27m was too far to walk, so his 4x4 blazed a trail, 5, maybe 6 bakkie-lenghts to the cache over the vegetation and small creatures, just so they don’t have to walk. Similar comments were made by a friend of mine about a cache in the Berg. The 4x4 tracks going straight to the cache.

 

Not only are these "hooligans" in such a hurry to get in and out of a cache that they deem it necessary to destroy everything in their path to get there as quickly as possible, but seems they also couldn't be bothered to close cache boxes or replace them properly when they're done clocking up another.

 

Member only cachers will perhaps deter some of these cachers. Another would be those difficult or multi-caches, or series caches... seems the number hungry cachers don't like these too much.

 

One can only hope that a handful of irresponsible cachers won't destroy it for the rest of us. Keep in mind, that for example probably over 60% of the caches in the Western Cape are in conservation areas.... mess that up... you going to lose a lot of caches.

 

Let's cache responsibly. There will always be those that act irresponsibly, so keep this in mind when placing caches and stay away from sensitive areas.

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Quick question: how does a not-just-members-cache take the fun away from caching? There are enough premium members that will rack up a members-only cache just for the number - regardless of whether they are FTF or not.

 

Certainly B&F. Point taken. But how do I get you to slow down and admire, enjoy and relax, without the rush to do the next cache ? Normally there is this feeding frenzy to get the FTF with people getting up and some ridiculous hour to do that. And maybe miss what I want to show you.

 

This debate can go on and on, and speaking to a fellow cacher earlier today, he pointed out that we (I) seem to be doing a lot of complaining on these forums. No more friendly banter (apart from the occasional hilarious thread by team Farmers). There seem to be a lot of animosity brewing, I just want the game back. The game I loved playing with caches in far out places. Places to see, things to do. But maybe the fault lies with myself. Maybe I’m taking this waaaaay to seriously. :)

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No more friendly banter (apart from the occasional hilarious thread by team Farmers).

 

awww... dankie Brick :D I wouldn't even worry about it... I can also tell you that these "geocachers" we talk about are most probably not even reading this forum... so all the hot air we're creating here is just steaming up our computer screens :) and in anycase, I bet they'll find a couple of caches and get bored after a dozen or so..

 

... though I must agree that sometimes the minority do spoil it for the rest... has anyone else noticed that the red flashing arrows (LTAS) on robots are being taken away?!!! gone are the days when you can sneak a quick left at the junction, or is it that only the east rand had these robots? :D

Edited by Team_Farmers

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Brick - I absolutely agree with you that even in the single year that I've been caching a lot of the innocence has been lost. And by that I mean that many cache placements are ruthless and dozens of finds are strung together just for the numbers where folks don't pay any attention to area outside the cache container. But that will unfortunately only increase I suspect. What to do?

 

I think Globalrat raises two very strong points in his post above: annoy the nature conservation folks and we will loose many Cape caches; and then longer multis or puzzle caches would encourage more thoughtful cache hunting.

 

We plan to place a cache where no log is allowed to mention whether you were first to find, how easy the cache was to find or how may you hunted that day! :laughing:

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I was always under the impression that, traditionally, geocaching went hand-in-hand with conservation? And by that I thought that most cachers were ecologically minded?

 

Perhaps they are and it's the minority that gives the rest of us a bad name? I think we should do something about this.

 

I had a situation earlier this year. When organising the CITO event within Table Mountain National Park, I had to sell geocaching to the park rangers. I obviously told them that we were all the conservation type crowd, and sensitive to the vegetation etc.

 

But in the back of my mind I was hoping that on the day nobody was going to go walking over all the vegetation and straying off the path in order to find caches, and this in front of the National Parks head rangers (and my peers). Because that would surely give us a bad name!

 

When I had that thought, thats when I realised that not all of us have the same ideals! And that my concerns were perhaps very justified?

 

However, having said that, I think that most geocachers in South Africa can be commended and in general we are lucky to have a great bunch of people with a fantastic outlook on life!

Edited by Larks

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I was always under the impression that, traditionally, geocaching went hand-in-hand with conservation? And by that I thought that most cachers were ecologically minded?

 

Perhaps they are and it's the minority that gives the rest of us a bad name? I think we should do something about this.

 

We like to think so, but unfortunately there are some bad apples… and we hope it’s the minority.

 

What to do, well is there anything that can be done?

 

I must here commend, and I think it was Goofster, the action of a cache owner who archived a cache once he discovered that cachers weren’t playing by the rules and destroying the environment.

 

I think herein lies a “solution” of sorts. As owners of cachers we have to be more ruthless about managing our caches. This includes deleting logs, taking care of where caches are placed, and certainly archiving and removing a cache if cachers aren’t respecting the environment it is placed in.

 

This is a game, and while we may debate and bemoan the way some folks play it re logging and the race to pick up numbers, these are in fact irrelevant although it may get the hackles up. What is relevant though is that a small minority may destroy it for the rest of us. I agree with Team_farmers that quite a few of these will probably lose interest. However there will always be a handful, but I think if cache owners can be more ruthless in managing their caches then perhaps we will expedite the exit of these types of cachers and keep the number of them to a minimum.

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Just read a bit of this thread, but I have found that purchasing a "Wild Card" if you enter various reserves many times a year is really worthwhile. My wife and I have a country wide (All Clusters) card for about R330.00 p.a.. There are various options available. Go www.wild.endlessrewards.com

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I have one of these cards as well, but I AFAIK Rietvlei does not feature on their list, as this is not a National Resevre, but only a reserve belonging to Pretoria / Tshwane, thus showing the Wildcard at Rietvlei will only give you a blank stare, nothing more.

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Hey Alex B-S.

 

Welcome to geocaching. Good to see another Capetonian bashing around with a GPS in hand.

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You are right, Rietvlei Reserve falls under Milnerton Municipality(sorry, Blaaauwberg nowadays). I went there this week and the fee was R5.00 pp. Well worth the lovely walk to the bird hide and back.

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