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Determining Cache Size


Delawhere
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I am sure this has been covered before but I couldn't find this in the archives.

 

I'm not sure how to ask this question. What determines cache size-volume or the visible dimensions of a cache.

 

I recently placed a cache that is 18 inch x 3 inch x 1/2 inches thick. It is a piece of bark that has the log paper attached to the inside layer. I listed the cache as a small cache but one of the the cachers in this area told me that I should have listed it as a micro since the volume is micro sized or less.

 

I also have another cache which has a container that would ordinarily be a small cache but the cache itself is not hollow so I attached a small bison tube to the cache. Is this a small or a micro cache? On this cache I said it was a small cache with a micro log.

 

Thanks

 

(edited to add more questions)

Edited by Delawhere
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There are no hard rules, but I think actual size is more important than volume. For example an AOL tin has very little volume but I don't think most people would consider it to be a micro.

 

In your case I'd have to say a cache that has any measurement of 18 inches is definitely not a micro.

Edited by briansnat
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There are no hard rules, but I think actual size is more important than volume. For example an AOL tin has very little volume but I don't think most people would consider it to be a micro.

 

In your case I'd have to say a cache that has any measurement of 18 inches is definitely not a micro.

Wow, I can't believe I actually disagree with Briansnat. I must say that size has a functional significance. Specifically, a micro is one so small as to have no swag. A small cache barely has room for trade items, but not a great place to expect to put a travel bug. A regular is everything you could hope for in a cache. A large is a bonanza that has lots of unusual possibilities.

 

Generally, it's not about knowing how big a thing to look for, but what kind of expectations to have about it. A cigar tube fastened into the end of a great big log is still a micro, eventhough the log, acting as cammo, is still part of the cache. People aren't going to be happy if they pack a bunch of trade items with them for your "regular" only to find that, functionally, it's just a micro.

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There are no hard rules, but I think actual size is more important than volume. For example an AOL tin has very little volume but I don't think most people would consider it to be a micro.

 

In your case I'd have to say a cache that has any measurement of 18 inches is definitely not a micro.

Wow, I can't believe I actually disagree with Briansnat. I must say that size has a functional significance. Specifically, a micro is one so small as to have no swag. A small cache barely has room for trade items, but not a great place to expect to put a travel bug. A regular is everything you could hope for in a cache. A large is a bonanza that has lots of unusual possibilities.

 

Generally, it's not about knowing how big a thing to look for, but what kind of expectations to have about it. A cigar tube fastened into the end of a great big log is still a micro, eventhough the log, acting as cammo, is still part of the cache. People aren't going to be happy if they pack a bunch of trade items with them for your "regular" only to find that, functionally, it's just a micro.

 

I agree that you wouldn't include the hiding place as part of the cache when judging the cache size, bit in the OP's example the "container", which is a piece of bark, is 18 inches long. I really can't see how anything that is 18 inches long can be considered a micro.

Edited by briansnat
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I'm gonna have to agree with the volume idea. Going by the logic that the "log on bark" cache is a small/regular, I could put a mr. magneto on my car and call it a large. There wouldn't be any room for trade items in the container though.

 

I see the log attached to bark as different than a Mr. Magneto attached to a car. In the former instance the bark IS the "container" . In the latter example the car is simply the hiding place.

 

You have to separate what is a cache is from hiding place. Sometimes it can be a fine line. I think that a logical place to draw the line is to ask if the cache and the camoflage are one.

 

For instance if you make a fake rock around a film canister and the film canister is part of that rock, you would consider the entire rock to be the container and use that to determine the size. On the other hand if you have one of those hollow plastic landscaping "rocks" and use it to cover a film canister, only the film canister would be considered. The fake rock in that case is not a part of a container, only the hiding place.

 

A slightly different example would be a Thermos bottle. The volume of the inside is often significantly less than the dimensions of the container, but I think the entire Thermos bottle should be considered when judging cache size.

 

Here is what is behind my thinking. You have to consider the reasons that we list cache size. The primary reason is to give the searcher an idea what he is looking for. Probably the first thing we searchers ask when we get to the cache site is "OK, how big is this thing?". We do that to help narrow down the places we are going to search.

 

Determining what kind of swag we can fit inside the container is a secondary reason and a distant second. Many geocachers don't trade. The remainder often bring swag in a variety of sizes, so the volume of the container is of minimal importance to most geocachers.

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Wow, I can't believe I actually disagree with Briansnat. I must say that size has a functional significance. Specifically, a micro is one so small as to have no swag.

 

Whoa! So if I read this right a film can should no longer be considered a micro since it can hold all kinds of swag?

 

There's a whole breed of micro-coins that fit in them, personal items, champagne-glass bracelets, small travel bugs, any number of small toys, etc. all fit and are found frequently in film cans!

 

Man, wouldn't the micro-spew-haters be bummed! :)

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This cache was sized based on volume and not the physical size of the container. :)

 

I can see both sides of this. I use the size like Briansnat, to narrow my search. However, I have always considered the size to be more about what could be traded inside.

 

In the rock example I would consider both of those micros, as the volume is still that of the inside dimensions of the film can.

 

I think the cache linked above is a good example of size vs volume. You definitely could not get anything but a pencil in there and I would definitely agree that it was a micro. However, you have no problem knowing exactly where the cache is located when you get there because of the shear size of the container.

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I use the following to determine which size to post a container as...

 

If a standard geocoin doesn't fit...it's a micro.

If my gps doesn't fit into the cache but a standard geocoin will, it's a small

If it's big enough to hold a small container...it's a regular

If a .30 cal ammocan fits inside...it's a large.

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