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How 'bout We Stop Putting Pens/Pencils in Caches?


Thot
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Do you know anyone who needs the pen or pencil included in a cache to sign the log. In our area there are so many micros with no writing instrument you have have your own.

 

Again and again I see logs in ziplock bags with holes in them made by the pen or pencil included with the log. A bag with holes is the same as no bag at all.

 

I'm not proposing a rule, simply a guideline that discourages people from including pens for log signing. Similar to the guidelines about not reusing food containers, not putting food in caches, etc. Neither am I taking about pens or pencils included as trade items. They are much less likely to puncture the log bag.

 

Comments?

Edited by Thot
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I include one in my caches as many will not have a writing implement when arriving at a cache. I know that I have managed to arrive at a few caches with out one and was quite happy there was in the container.

 

I do agree that pens and pencils will punch holes in a bag, (I will replace the bag if I have one with me) in my hides I tend to not place the pen in the baggie I just leave it floating around in the cache, however both of my current containers are small.

 

I have only 121 finds but in that time I do not recall there being many wet logbooks as a result. The few wet logbooks I have found were not in a bag, and the container had either failed, was left open or had been damaged.

 

I suspect that if there is no pen or pencil in the container there will be a fair number of logs on line with no correlating log in the logbook.

 

When out caching I try to have extra pen and pencils with me so I can leave one in a cache if there is not one there already.

 

Jim

Kc8bdr

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Never again will you have an excuse for not being able to sign a log.

Unless you drop your $50 pen whilst hiking to the cache. :laughing:

Seriously though, I don't think this problem has reached the stage where a ban on pens is called for. I tend to buy the cheap pens with the rounded caps, as opposed to the retractable type. That generally keeps the pen from poking through the baggie. Using a heavy duty Ziplock instead of a generic brand also helps.

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I never put the pen in the baggie. Solves the problem right away.

 

I never do either, but many finders decide that it really should go in the bag and put it in there anyway.

 

With a good container though, you really don't have to worry about holes in the Ziploc. Its more of a just in case thing.

Edited by briansnat
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Some random thoughts...

 

I sort of agree that a pen in a cache should be unnecessary. Everyone should have their own pen anyway. It's almost a given unless you simply don't hunt smalls or micros.

 

How would you change the momentum of bringing pens? It would probably take a few folks in every area posting something to the effect, "While this is a regular-sized cache, you need to bring your own pen or pencil. There is no guarantee there will be one in this cache."

 

If you don't put the cache pen in a baggie, how are people to know which pens are the trade items? Some folks have pens as signature items, too.

 

I like the shortie pens that you can make.

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I'm not proposing a rule, simply a guideline that discourages people from including pens for log signing. Similar to the guidelines about not reusing food containers, not putting food in caches, etc. Neither am I taking about pens or pencils included as trade items. They are much less likely to puncture the log bag.

 

Honestly, I think I’ll keep my own counsel on whether to put writing implements into my caches or not.

 

Just the same as an over night soaking of 10% bleach solution will remove the food smell from all but the worst food containers with geocaching aptitude. My very first cache was a food container and it's still going strong almost 4 years later.

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Your cache, your choice. Several times I have left my pen in the pickup, fortunately there was usually one in the cache. Have occasionally had to walk back to the pickup to get one though. On that same note, I have had to go back to the cache more times to put the pen back that a walked off with. :laughing: Comes from being a space cadet.

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I always put pens that have blunt ends on them in our caches. We usually use the cheapy Bic types with the caps that you have to manually remove to get to the ballpoint. Pencils are too sharp and we won't use "clicking" type pens either since they are usually too sharp whether they are clicked or not. It's not foolproof since somone will eventually leave the cap off,,, but it does help.

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I always keep a pen in our truck, but once my daughter left it in a cache thinking it was supposed to be there, and another time she dropped it outside the truck while putting backa cache. Both times I to scramble a backup pen out of the caching debris bag...(swag bag for organized folk) to be able to sign the necxt log, which of course was from a cache with no implement.

I think PENCILS are the hard thing, they are pokey and half of them that I see have no useable point on them, and no sharpener either.

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imho...

 

The only caches that should not include a writing stick are micros that are too small to fit one. Film cans can hold a pencil stub, and anything larger can as well. With all the angst about finders having logs deleted because they didn't sign the log, why set up a cache thats just begging for more of the same?

 

I keep a baggie of short golf course pencils in my bag for caches that are missing the pencil.

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I'm one for, if you use a water tight container, the baggies aren't required.

 

Mostly I put my logs in a baggie just to make them easier to find in a full cache.

 

Why don't you simply write on the baggie "No pencils in bag, they poke holes!" That should discourage people from returning the pencil to the bag.

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That's a sensible suggestion. I'm experimenting with going bagless in some of my caches--using waterproof containers, Rite-in-the-Rain logs, plastic mechanical pencils, and water-resistant swag.

 

A Ziploc bag is a poor second line of defense for an iffy container. By the time the container develops a leak, the bag will have been perforated anyway, whether by pens and pencils or clumsy fingers.

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I almost always put the log in a Ziplock even in ammo boxes. In general I put pencils in my caches. I take a pencil, cut it in half and sharpen all three ends leaving the rubber outer on one end. Even in Micros I try to have a double ended pencil or two. I also carry a Bic POGO in my pants pocket and a 'space pen' in with my swag in a bag/pouch/vest pocket or whatever, great for wet logs. Log sheets I put in 35mm type micros have the "instructions" on one side, lines on the other. I use clear 2" tape over the instructions side which makes it a bit easier to sign and helps if it gets damp due to not being resealed good or condensation, lots of room for one long or two shorter log sheets plus two short double ended pencils in a 35mm can.

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I never put the pen in the baggie. Solves the problem right away.

 

I never do either, but many finders decide that it really should go in the bag and put it in there anyway.

 

With a good container though, you really don't have to worry about holes in the Ziploc. Its more of a just in case thing.

A subject more worthy of continual rants than "I hate micros." People should follow Ambrosia's example and break the habit of putting writing implements inside the baggy with the log book.

 

I try to put generic pens inside my caches (and outside the baggy) so people don't treat them as trade items.

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Do you know anyone who needs the pen or pencil included in a cache to sign the log. In our area there are so many micros with no writing instrument you have have your own.

 

Again and again I see logs in ziplock bags with holes in them made by the pen or pencil included with the log. A bag with holes is the same as no bag at all.

 

I'm not proposing a rule, simply a guideline that discourages people from including pens for log signing. Similar to the guidelines about not reusing food containers, not putting food in caches, etc. Neither am I taking about pens or pencils included as trade items. They are much less likely to puncture the log bag.

 

Comments?

 

Put the log in a dry bag and leave the pencil outside it. Yes we cachers have a personal responsibility to be prepared, to have our own pencil or pen, but this solves the issue for all.

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While I agree people should try to carry their own pen/pencil, and many do. I still think cache owners should put a pen/pencil in the cache. At some point someone will likely need to use and it will be there... sorta like how we put in stash notes even though the majority of people visiting the cache already know what geocaching is.

 

To try and avoid hold punctures in the bags I try to use only golf pencils or shorter pens. I think many baggie punctures are actually caused by full size pens/pencils. If you must leave full size ones, then I would do as has been said and just leave them in the bottom of the cache outside the bags.

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I never put the pen in the baggie. Solves the problem right away.

Duh.. at least there are two of us in the world... never could figure out why the pencil needed to be protected from moisture...

 

And folks know it's not a trade item, how?

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I never put the pen in the baggie. Solves the problem right away.

Duh.. at least there are two of us in the world... never could figure out why the pencil needed to be protected from moisture...

 

And folks know it's not a trade item, how?

Who trades out already sharpened pencils?? And are they really cool personalized ones or what?

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I never put the pen in the baggie. Solves the problem right away.

Duh.. at least there are two of us in the world... never could figure out why the pencil needed to be protected from moisture...

 

And folks know it's not a trade item, how?

 

They don't. But they don't necessarily know it's not a trade item just because it's in the baggie either. I would think that if a cacher saw only one writing implement in the cache, they would know others might need it to sign the log. I do like the idea of leaving pens out of the baggie because I've seen many a wet log book caused by a pen put in the baggie.

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I never put the pen in the baggie. Solves the problem right away.

Duh.. at least there are two of us in the world... never could figure out why the pencil needed to be protected from moisture...

And folks know it's not a trade item, how?

Who trades out already sharpened pencils??

13c58c5e-ac06-4cc3-b9b1-9a8632241a97.jpg

Pens have also been part of the discussion.

Edited by Thot
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And folks know it's not a trade item, how?

Who trades out already sharpened pencils?? And are they really cool personalized ones or what?

 

Pens have also been part of the discussion.

Ok, who trades out 'normal' pens??

 

Yea I know, someone in need a pen :ph34r: ... I guess I don't see it being a baggie as any sort of protection that someone who really wanted it (for whatever reason) won't take it. I can see someone swapping pens so they get someones 'personalized pen', but if they realize it was meant to be in the cache I think they would leave a different one in its place. And if not, well like I said being in baggie wasn't keeping it there ;).

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Do you know anyone who needs the pen or pencil included in a cache to sign the log. In our area there are so many micros with no writing instrument you have have your own.

 

Again and again I see logs in ziplock bags with holes in them made by the pen or pencil included with the log. A bag with holes is the same as no bag at all.

 

I'm not proposing a rule, simply a guideline that discourages people from including pens for log signing. Similar to the guidelines about not reusing food containers, not putting food in caches, etc. Neither am I taking about pens or pencils included as trade items. They are much less likely to puncture the log bag.

 

Comments?

Simply do not place the Pen Inside the zip lock Bag

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I never put the pen in the baggie. Solves the problem right away.

Duh.. at least there are two of us in the world... never could figure out why the pencil needed to be protected from moisture...

 

And folks know it's not a trade item, how?

 

I would assume an unsharpened pencil is a trade item and a sharpened one isn't.. and to never take the last pencil in a cache, but maybe I have more common sense than most.

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I never put the pen in the baggie. Solves the problem right away.

I do too, and I really don't understand how someone can be stupid enough to put it in the plastic log bag. On one of my caches, I wrote a note around the pencil saying "DO NOT LEAVE IN LOG BAG." Guess where it was on my next maintenence trip?

 

OK, let's assume you can't read the note. You also don't notice that the pencil is white with black letters on it instead of wood. We can also assume you don't realize that the pencil doesn't feel like a normal pencil at all, being covered in paper. Furthermore, you didn't notice the fact the the log bag already had some punctures in it. After all that, how can you not realize that a pencil is SHARP and POINTY? Duh!

 

I'm trying this method on my newest cache. If I find it in the bag again, my perception of geocacher's IQ's will be in the single digits.

logpencilnoteip5.jpg

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I put a whole batch of sharpened pencils in my cache, outside of the log baggie. If someone uses one as a trade it's okay, because there are plenty more. No one has so far put one in the bag with the log, I think because it doesn't make sense to only have one in there while all the others are lying at the bottom.

 

Found a cache once that had more accidental finds than intentional ones. The owner would never have known this if the cache had not contained a writing implement.

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I usually put the smaller "golf" pencils in the cache. I was told pens would freeze up in the winter. Had that happen to me- with one I was carrying.

I'm experimenting now with straws. I have straws -from McDonalds or such-that can slip over the pointy end of the pencil. I tried stapling it shut on one end although may try taping it-electricians tape.

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Of course we should ban pens and pencils in caches.

 

Pencils can be very sharp. Lots of people cache with small children, who could easily poke their eyes out with a sharp object like a pencil. Knives and other sharp objects are already prohibited as trade items; seems only consistent to ban pencils as well.

 

And some pens might contain ink that could cause harm to a child if ingested. Parents can't always be watching their kids, who could easily put the pen in their mouth. So, clearly, pens should not be allowed, either.

 

:rolleyes:

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