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krws

Geocaches in National Parks

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I notice that there are now more and more caches appearing in National Parks - I am talking here about the SANPARKS.

 

In my own mind I am uneasy about this, whether the caches are in the rest camps or at spots where visitors can get out of their cars.

 

1. I have in the past worked for the Parks, and there is no doubt that foreign objects can both attract and sometimes affect wildlife. The ecosystems are fragile without a doubt (and this is not just a greeny beany statement).

2. Wildlife does exist in the camps - it is just smaller.

3. What will be the effect as the number of caches proliferate?

4. It is not a good idea to have people wondering around at "get out" points looking for caches, instead of being alert for animals!

 

Do not get me wrong here - I like the idea of caches in Parks, but at the same time as I indicated above I also get uneasy about them as well - for the reasons mentioned.

 

So, what are the opinions.

 

Should they not be placed in parks?

 

Or should they be restricted to Rest Camps only?

 

Or should there be a total ban?

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No, there should not be a ban.

 

If you are referring to Kruger, sure caution may need to be taken in many areas, but here in Cape Town, some of the best places to visit are in the parks (thus the reason for them being a park).

 

I think so far most cachers have been responsible about placing appropriate caches in the sensitive areas. And the reviewer has a good understanding of our region of the world and has been very good about managing the caches that are approved onto the website.

 

I think we are fortunate to have the parks and be able to cache in them. Other countries (USA) traditional caches are banned. Only virtuals can be in the national parks, which is a good thing and a bad thing IMHO.

 

So keep the good caches active and coming in the parks.

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Edit - changed my mind - not going to respond yet.....

Edited by Fish Eagle

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I notice that there are now more and more caches appearing in National Parks - I am talking here about the SANPARKS.

With SANPARKS permission? I wonder ......

 

In my own mind I am uneasy about this, whether the caches are in the rest camps or at spots where visitors can get out of their cars.

"real caches" or dreaded micros??????

 

1. I have in the past worked for the Parks, and there is no doubt that foreign objects can both attract and sometimes affect wildlife. The ecosystems are fragile without a doubt (and this is not just a greeny beany statement).

2. Wildlife does exist in the camps - it is just smaller.

3. What will be the effect as the number of caches proliferate?

4. It is not a good idea to have people wondering around at "get out" points looking for caches, instead of being alert for animals!

I had a game lodge a few years ago and, from a personal perspective, even though I love this game, there's no way I would EVER give permission for a cache to be placed on the property - ANYWHERE!

 

Do not get me wrong here - I like the idea of caches in Parks, but at the same time as I indicated above I also get uneasy about them as well - for the reasons mentioned.

I don't. The parks are wildlife refuges. They contain wildlife that is dying out elsewhere due to urban sprawl, poaching, illegal hunting and so on. With this in mind, I feel that the parks (and by this I mean game parks and reserves) should NOT have caches hidden within their boundaries. Go visit - see the wonderful diversity of wildlife in their natural surroundings. That should be enough for anybody. If you want to go caching in a wildlife reserve - you are there for the wrong reasons imho.

Edited by Grawp

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I support Grawp in his statement above. NO caches should be placed in Game parks etc.

Here is the guideline from the geocaching website on placing of caches.

Will it be on private or public land? - If you place it on private land, please ask permission before putting it there! If you place the cache on public lands you need to contact the managing agency to find out about their rules.

How many of the caches placed in parks did the owners got permission for???

Edited by geocacher_coza

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Why do I have a de-ja-vue feeling? Didn't we have this discussion before? I'm just back from a weekend in the Kruger. We found four caches this weekend, two in permitted spots where one can get out of your car, one at a picnic spot and one in a rest camp. To me it all the same, whether it is in a camp or not. I don't see any problem with any one of the caches that I have found or hidden in the park.

The argumant of the Game parks or reserves being there to visit for the wild life etc. is not valid, all National Park is there to visit for the for the biodiversity, regardless if game are presentor not, so is Table mountain, so is the wildcaost and other beaches. If caches must be banned from National Parks, it must be banned from all, National and provinsial parks, Botanical gardens and other conservancies.

And to suggest that we visit the park for the wrong reasons, is an insult I will leave to fly over my head - We are fortunate enough to visit the Kruger at least six to ten times a year, I have never planned a route to find any caches, If we happen to drive by, I collect them, If not I leave them, we missed a FTF on a new cache today, for exactly that reason, we took a specific road to drive along the river, and missed the cache, If we realy wanted it, it would have been only a 13km detour to find, it, but it was not so important. I also had a cache made up to hide this weekend, but could not find a perfect, safe spot, so it came back home with me.

I will also not retrieve a cache in the park If it not in a "legal" spot.

And the argument of permission to place caches - do all cachers who hides micros in muggle areas and parking lots all have permission for placing it?

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And the argument of permission to place caches - do all cachers who hides micros in muggle areas and parking lots all have permission for placing it?

That is why you should not hide "hundreds" of caches! Getting permission for your caches is part of managing your caches correctly and if you indiscriminately place caches (micros and normal) you cannot possibly get permission for all of them.

I have placed 13 caches. A lot of them are placed on private land that I did get permission to place each and every one. I carry a few of the Geocaching brochures that is published by Geocacher University The brochure are normally sufficient to explain my intensions to the owners/managers.

I believe that we will be having the same problems as they have in America with caches on public land if we don't start off on the correct foot. As the sport gets bigger in South Africa more and more caches will be placed in this sensitive areas and we need to make sure we keep the authorities happy. We can only do this by asking permission to place these caches.

Maybe it is a good idea to start looking for volunteers that could contact the Park authorities in their areas to set up some guidelines for placing caches in parks etc.

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As the sport gets bigger in South Africa more and more caches will be placed in this sensitive areas and we need to make sure we keep the authorities happy. We can only do this by asking permission to place these caches.

Maybe it is a good idea to start looking for volunteers that could contact the Park authorities in their areas to set up some guidelines for placing caches in parks etc.

 

This is the right approach, and one that has met with considerable success in America. Although I must point out that some park administrators have banned caching completely because of people who will NOT obey the rules.

 

I stand by my comment that in areas where there is wildlife, no caches should be permitted. While there is danger for the cachers as far as the predators is concerned, the more inquisitive animals - monkeys in particular, can be adversely affected by some of the things in caches. As for the so-called "safe" areas, I have a photograph of a large rock with a sign in front of it which states "It is safe to leave your motor vehicle at this point". Lying beneath the sign are four young lions!!!

 

I did NOT mean to insult anyone with my comments. The views expressed are my personal observations only, so I apologise for any implied insult.

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I personally feel that nature conservation, in a sense, is the back bone of Geocaching. Hence CITO etc.

Thus, all who compete in this sport should just use thier heads! Both in placing and finding caches. Think about the ecological implications and there should be no problem.

 

Having said this, I feel that some of the best spots in the world are in nature reserves, and geocaching is a great way to share that. But in a responsible manner of course.

 

I do however realise that we don't live in a perfect world, and there are idoits who feel that finding a plastic box is far more important than longterm environmental health and are willing to dig up anything in thier path.

 

So my vote is YES for caching in reserves, but at the same time SPEAK UP about specific caches in irresponsible areas.

Edited by Larks

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Having said this, I feel that some of the best spots in the world are in nature reserves, and geocaching is a great way to share that. But in a responsible manner of course.

True statement, best spots are in the preserved areas.

I do however realise that we don't live in a perfect world, and there are idiots who feel that finding a plastic box is far more important than long-term environmental health and are willing to dig up anything in their path.

As we cannot get virtual caches approved anymore we should be looking at www.Waymarking.com. In a sense is a "rebirth" of a virtual cache. You can still go and find a spot without the added "waste" that goes with it! NO container needed so no digging, no spoiling of the environment and it should keep everybody happy.

Edited by geocacher_coza

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I am not afraid to say that I am for Geocaching in the parks. As long as it is done responsibly. Obviously one must be careful if they place a cache that they do not endanger the environment and any cachers who will be viviting the cache afterwards. I have kept an eye on the caches that have popped up in the Kruger (22 in Total) and if I see anything obviously wrong with them then I will say something about it (Usually someone, living nearby, beats me to it though).

 

There have been cases where we (the geocaching community) have stood up and said to other cachers that they should move their caches. An example that comes to mind was one that was placed near a picninc spot but required you to move into the bush. The cache has since been disabled and / or moved to a safer location.

 

If we want to discuss enviromental impact let's rather talk about the privately owned safari vehicles and some irresponsible 4X4'ers (and some normal car drivers even). They sit there driving off the roads so they can get a better view for their clients or themselves, damaging the terrain and possibly killing some endangered fauna and flora in the process.

 

Honestly a hidden cache and the people visiting the cache doesn't cause nearly that much damage. Agreed be careful that your micro is not blocking some important hole which hosts a reptile, insect or other animal which may use it as it's burrow. And if a cache is proven to be in a stupidly placed spot then yes, by all means remove it.

 

From a safety perspective, geocachers are not completely focused on their caches (or shouldn't be). Most experienced cachers are always on the lookout/hearout for muggles. Animals should be no different. In camps the worst you should expect is a snake, but most likely a Francolin scaring the living daylights out of you. Anyone stupid enough to approach Bushbuck in order to get a cache behind it should be removed from the face of this planet anyway. Most likely result if they manage to corner the Bushbuck anyway.

 

As for permission... Yes... That is a tough one. I agree that all caches should be placed with the permission of the land owners. And... At the same time, South Africa is not renowned for having the brightest people in charge. How often have you asked someone wether you can place a geocache in their land, only to be given a blank stare. And after explaining what geocaching is, you receive the blank stare accompanied by "Eish" or "Howu"?

 

I have tried approaching Joburg City Parks about running a CITO event in April. What response have I gotten? Zilch! You'd think they would be happy to have a group of people offering to help clean up a park for free. Nope. So what do you do? Drop the whole idea completely and let some poor park become run down, or, Arrange a CITO without their permission?

 

Realistically, if anyone of us went up to SANPARKs and informed them of geocaching and the caches hidden in their parks then that would be the end of those caches. Either that or they would come up with some hairbrained scheme to charge the owners an exhorbitant amount for placing a cache in the parks.

 

Unfortunately the reality of the situation in this country is that the majority of us have given up on asking for permission to place caches and that is why it is all that more important that we, the community, monitor the new caches that are being placed to ensure that they meet the guidelines of geocaching and do not damage the environment and place others in danger.

 

Sorry for the long winded response. krws - If you want to debate this further with me I suggest eMailing me and I will be glad to offer up some examples and let you know my past experiences with regards to this topic.

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I am not afraid to say that I am for Geocaching in the parks. As long as it is done responsibly. Obviously one must be careful if they place a cache that they do not endanger the environment and any cachers who will be viviting the cache afterwards.

 

There have been cases where we (the geocaching community) have stood up and said to other cachers that they should move their caches. An example that comes to mind was one that was placed near a picninc spot but required you to move into the bush. The cache has since been disabled and / or moved to a safer location.

 

As for permission... Yes... That is a tough one. I agree that all caches should be placed with the permission of the land owners. And... At the same time, South Africa is not renowned for having the brightest people in charge. How often have you asked someone wether you can place a geocache in their land, only to be given a blank stare. And after explaining what geocaching is, you receive the blank stare accompanied by "Eish" or "Howu"?

 

 

MeerkatM@X, you couldn't have said it better and I refer to your cache at M@Xshower, I've been busted there by a Parksboard official, (and I still stand by my point, no signs that permit hiking in the areal), you guys did the right thing by contacting the powers to be, and now it can be done legally. I will still visit the cache regardless. I've also heard some rumors about people taking illegial guided trails out in the area and that this is their main concern - so geocachers are paying for the sins of others!!

 

I think cache in National parks should stay, but as all of you said, with the necessary responsibilty in mind. All things are not black and white, there are a little bit of grey in between.

 

And.. Gwarp sorry for the harsh response, as I see it now your comment were not unfair, I took it a bit personally because I own four cache in the Kruger park, and because I have this personal "thing" about the area. If you visit us one day I'll treat you to one day in the Kruger and then we talk again.

 

I also agree with the argument of vervet monkeys that can take caches, but I must say the whole of Pilgrim's Rest is full of them as well, (maybe that is where my muggled cache went!!)

 

As long as we play this game to have fun and dont harm any people or the environment, I'll be there!!

 

I might not have mentioned it before but I'm working for the Department of Environmental Affiars, and we have a slogan that says "enjoy, dont destroy" . I will practise what I preech!

Edited by Guineafowl

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It's always the minority that spoils it for the majority

 

Adding our 2 little cents here (and agreeing with the majority of cachers here), we've always believed that geocaching has taken us to places we would have never thought of ever visiting, and hence why we love this game!

 

As long as all caches are placed in "legal" zones, we've got no problem at all - but it just takes one geocacher to get eaten by a lion, because of a stupid cache placement, for the Parks Board then to call the whole game off for everybody.

 

This is also where the local cachers come in: if you see a new cache listing that is pointing towards a "no-go" area, then just make your voices heard to your nearest moderator :rolleyes:

 

happing caching! :blink:

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Again we have an excellent thread running, with considered and valid replies to the posts. South African cachers are probably the best there are!

 

As I mentioned - I once had my own lodge up in Limpopo Province, which is why I get a bit heated about caches in these pristine and beautiful areas.

 

I HAVE to agree with the the comment about irresponsible visitors and guides - the so-called tour operators in their fancy viewing vehicles are a curse.

 

I just don't like the idea of cachers wandering around trying to find a cache in a reserve. The muggle probabilty is high - monkeys more than humans! - and it would be very easy for cachers to wander an appreciable distance away from the safety of their vehicle - and get into serious difficulties, not to mention the fact that if spotted by the authorities, would be asked to leave the park (and probably fined).

 

In the camp sites themselves, apart from the monkey threat, there would be a better chance of placing and maintaining a cache, but I stand by my original comment - NOT out there in the bush.

 

I also feel that in the main, South African geocachers are a very responsible group of people, and play this game exceptionally well. But as one of the posters stated - it only takes one irresposibly placed cache to stuff it up for all of us.

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I have been watching this thread to see where it's going before making a contribution.

As Grawp said, it has evolved well, and now it's time for me to have my tuppence worth.......

 

I grew up, and still live in Nelspruit, about 60kms from the KNP. I have been visiting the KNP at least once a month for over 50 years, and know it intimately. I am passionate about conservation, feel very protective about "MY" KNP, and cannot tolerate irresponsible behaviour in the KNP - like the bloody tourist guides in their game viewing vehicles - they are 1000% more of a threat than geocachers could ever be. I am so sorry that SANPARKS permitted them a few years ago - a big, big mistake on their part that they'll find very difficult to back out of now!!!

 

I am also a passionate geocacher, view the KNP as a prime geocaching resource, own about 50% of the cache hides in the KNP, and have found all the other KNP hides. I am highly supportive of caching in the park, but I am equally sensitive about it. Some of our very best caching experiences have been in Game Parks/conservancies - specifics that come to mind are KNP, Roodeplaat, Mount Carmel, Trout Hideaway, Vernon Crookes, Jordynn at Mtubatuba, Spioenkop near Bergville, Table Mountain, Tygerberg, etc, etc

 

I need to clarify a few things...

 

Firstly - the contributors to this thread fall into two groups, there are "nay-sayers" (Kpws, Grawp, and Geocacher-coza) - the balance are "yay-sayers", albeit all having reservations, which shows a responsible outlook. Sadly, none of the "nay-sayers" have ever visited any of the geocaches in the KNP (most of the "yay-sayers" have). I'm not trying to discredit or belittle your opinions at all - I really do respect them. All I'm saying is that your opinions should be viewed as being in "principle" only, because you cannot express valid opinions about the present "practices", as you have no knowledge or experience thereof.

 

Secondly, I must challenge the following statement about practices, before anybody assumes that such practices actually occur......

[Grawp] "I just don't like the idea of cachers wandering around trying to find a cache in a reserve. The muggle probabilty is high - monkeys more than humans! - and it would be very easy for cachers to wander an appreciable distance away from the safety of their vehicle - and get into serious difficulties, not to mention the fact that if spotted by the authorities, would be asked to leave the park (and probably fined)."

The answer is simple - There are no existing caches in the KNP which involve wandering off into the bush, there are no caches that entail breaking the KNP's rules, and, in my opinion, there are no caches that pose any threat or disruption to wildlife in any manner, or any serious danger to cachers. The caches that are in unfenced spots where you are permitted to alight from your car - are all very easy hides with explicit instructions of how to find the cache - so there's no distracted scratching around. These cache listings at least warn cachers to be careful, and that there could be risks involved - unlike the overseas tourists who wander around in total and blissful ignorance at these spots.

 

Thirdly......

[Grawp] "...only takes one irresposibly placed cache to stuff it up for all of us."

I agree 100%, so that can't be tolerated - and it has not been tolerated. There have been two irresponsible placements already, placed by visitors. Both involved walking off into the bush in obvious disregard to KNP rules. They have both been addressed, and were archived. The one was archived by the cache owner as a result of a negative log, the other as a direct result of a communication from myself expressing serious concern about it. Should the cache owner not respond to concerned e-mails, the next step would be to log a "needs archiving" with a story about it being an irresponsible placement in a national park, and you can kiss that listing goodbye - it'll be archived by the reviewer in a flash!!

 

I respect the concerns expressed in this thread - I share them. So, I suggest the following...

 

1. That we elect a committee to "police" cache placements in the KNP (and other parks?). I propose the following cachers - Myself, Guineafowl and Warthog. All experienced geocachers, have existing (and responsible) hides in the KNP, know the park well, and are enviromentally sensitive people.

 

2. That this committee draws up, and publishes guidelines of "do's" and "dont's" for hiding caches in the KNP (and other parks?).

 

3. That they evaluate existing placements, and new placements as they occur, and address any placement that does not comply with the guidelines.

 

Rigidly controlling an aspect of the game is contrary to the essence of geocaching, which does not have a rigid set of rules, is not policed, and rarely involves any judgement or sentence being passed. However, in this case, I believe it necessary to ensure continuity.

 

I believe that, having this committee in place, with clear-cut guidelines, and a track record of concerned and responsible action, is probably our best "insurance" for continuity, should there ever be an incident which attracts attention from SANPARKS. We might be able to talk our way out of a "hole" if we have this behind us.

 

There will never be "lots" of caches in the KNP. It is already close to saturation, as there are only a limited number of places where responsible cache hides can be made. Most of these have already been taken - at least in the southern and central KNP. I know this, because it's now becoming quite difficult to find a suitable and legal hide (and we would love to hide some more...)

 

Happy & safe caching,

Andy

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Fish Eagle - well ...... that post of yours perfectly illustrates why the SA caching community is so far ahead of the other countries!!

 

Well written, well thought out and eminently sensible.

 

You're right - I haven't been caching in KNP (also one of my all-time favourite pieces of paradise I might add!), but next time I go, I WILL try the caches.

 

I think some of us reacted the way we did because the OP expressed concerns, which I agree with, and because (in my case anyway) no additional research into KNP caches was carried out.

 

The points you raised are all valid, and your ideas of a "policing" group an admirable one.

 

I also agree that for places such as we are discussing, the guideline be more rigidly enforced.

 

Thanks to all who have contributed to the thread in such a professional manner.

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A most excellant post Fish Eagle. I think the idea of having a committee to review all cache placements in the Kruger is a great idea.

 

As mentioned previously, I have been keeping an eye on geocaches in the Kruger since the incident you mentioned with the two caches that have now been archived. If needed I will be more than willing to assist you guys/gals/etc. where possible.

 

This is the kind of forum posting that displays the true greatness of the South African geocaching community. Everyone's opinions are respected and we get things done (Now if we can only get someone from Government to follow our lead, :unsure: ).

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I am more than willing to do my bit as part of such a committee.

 

I would also suggest that the guidelines are shared with cachers in other provinces where there are caches in National / Regional Parks, i.e. Eastern Cape (Addo), Western Cape (Table Mountain and others), North West (Pilanesberg), etc. as the guidelines "controlling/guiding" the one may just as well be used for the other provinces.

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(Now if we can only get someone from Government to follow our lead, :grin: ).

 

And another thing ..... geocachers have an amazing sense of humour! ...... get someone from Government to follow our lead! .........

 

Absolutely PRICELESS!!!!! :unsure::blink::grin:

Edited by Grawp

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Thank you Warthog and Guineafowl.

 

In the absence of any alternate proposals, I think that we should now take the initiative and start putting together a set of guidelines and standards. We'll do this off-line, and be back here in a week or two with our proposals.

 

Anybody wishing to contribute, please do so, either by posting here, or by e-mail to me.

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Grawp

 

" As for the so-called "safe" areas, I have a photograph of a large rock with a sign in front of it which states "It is safe to leave your motor vehicle at this point". Lying beneath the sign are four young lions!!!"

 

Please, please put up the photograph for all "Grensvegters" to see. It is my personal gripe when I visit the National Parks to see idiots not using their brain cell.

 

LeonW

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I'll dig out the photogpraph and post it for you.

 

It's actually really amusing!

 

But beneath the humour lies a real and obvious danger - what if the young lions (4 of them) had been lying in the bushes close by the sign? Assume they investigated the humans who, believing the sign implicitly, had got out of their vehicle.

 

Who is responsible for the inevitable outcome?

 

Would KNP be sued because the sign STATED thast it was safe to leave the vehicle?

 

Scary thought!

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Ho-hum....

 

Maybe you should post the photo - because I must dispute it as not being a genuine KNP photo - even without having seen it. Perhaps someone playing with Photoshop? I don't dispute that there could be lions at an "OK to get out of your car" spot - seen that myself - also rhino, elephant, etc, but I dispute the purported wording of the sign.

 

I have been visiting the KNP about 15 times per year, for over 50 years, and I have NEVER seen a sign that says it's "SAFE" to get out of your car at an unprotected spot - they don't exist!!

All the signs say "You may alight from your vehicle AT YOUR OWN RISK. Do not leave the demarkated area".

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You're more than likely correct - the wording was from memory, I made the photograph a good few years ago. As I recall it was at a spot where there is plaque attached to a large rocky outcrop which acknowledges the donation of land to KNP. I cannot remember the exact location, perhaps you are aware of it.

 

Apologies for any confusion over the wording, but as I said - written from (old and hazy) memory!

 

But I stand by what I tried to illustrate - it is NEVER safe to get out of your vehicle while exploring a place like KNP. It's the animals' preserve, not ours, and the dangers are VERY real.

 

In the times I used to be a fairly regular visitor I have witnessed behaviour from visitors that were death-defyingly stupid.

 

As an avid wildlife photographer, always on the look out for an outstanding image, I would dearly have loved to get out of my car on ocassion to get the "right" shot, but would never do so.

 

Wildlife is too unpredictable.

 

I applaud the ideas put forward in this thread for an "approval comittee" for caches placed in parks and reserves. If I can help in any way, please let me know.

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I agree totally about irresponsible behaviour in the park, and sadly, there is a lot of it. We discourage it whenever we can, but it's the tip of the iceberg. Wish the park had sufficient resources to get it under control.

 

Regarding the "OK to get out of your vehicle at your own risk" spots - there is potential risk if you're not alert, albeit small. Despite all the irresponsible behaviour by tourists, incidents are exceptionally rare.

 

The geocaches in the KNP at these spots are responsibly placed, and all carry warnings. Take a look at this cache of ours as an example. The warnings are obvious, even down to the name of the cache. We didn't actually find sign of large animals there (but we could have), and the cache is hidden in a small "island" of bush a few metres in diameter, in the middle of the turning circle in the parking area - a very open, exposed and safe spot, where you can park within a metre of the cache! The container is a 1.5 litre tupper, never had food in it, enclosed in a strong, and well sealed waterproof canvas camo bag (ala some of Grawp's caches), and not wrapped in a garbage bag. The hide is a hole under the roots of a bush on the island which we checked carefully to ensure it's no animal's home, and it has a fairly heavy stone holding it in place. The cache hide is obvious, even without reading the spoiler, so no distracted searching is necessary.

 

IMO, this is a "responsible" cache, which should encourage responsible behaviour in the park, and is typical of KNP caches, which have been placed by very few responsible cachers.

 

I must re-iterate...... Please visit the KNP caches before making assumptions and passing judgement.

 

Edit: Typo

Edited by Fish Eagle

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Writing comments is a lot harder than voicing them! My concerns are for the environment, the safety of cachers and responsibility. I was not passing judgement, but DO admit to making emotional assumptions.

 

And believe me - I am really looking forward to getting back to the park in the near future for a few days of living in paradise, and will be seeking the caches.

 

I am aware of the type of location your cache is placed in, having been to many of the areas where these turning circles have been placed. Sounds good.

 

PS - I envy the frequency of visits you make to the park!!!!!

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My concerns are for the environment, the safety of cachers and responsibility

 

I believe that all caches have been placed in areas where people may either get out of there vehicles or in camps, which even in the case of not having caches, have been open to "environmental activity" by people, and was declared "safe at own risk" by the KNP. The ONLY real issue in this whole thread comes to your last word RESPONSIBILITY, being the cacher to be responsibile in the way he/she places the cache, and I think most have had the responsibility of placing it correctly. Those that were not placed responsibly were very quickly pointed out as such. There is obvisouly also the RESPONSIBILITY on the next cacher finding the cache to not further affect the environment negatively when doing the cache.

 

Please THINK RESPONSILBLY

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:rolleyes::rolleyes: We adopted a cache in Augrabies National Park last year. Despite the cache owner requesting that a permit be asked for at reception if one was not walking the entire 3 day trail, not one cacher besides ourselves and shambleramble actually walked the entire trail or asked for a permit. We subsequently found out no permit would be issued.

Here the problem lies not with the placement, but with the cachers not taking heed of the cache owners request.

The cache is very well hidden and not a threat to animals in any way.

If one walked the entire trail, the finding of the cache would not be a problem - nobody that has not walked it has found it - now that tells one something!!

Some cacher (a day tripper) on not finding it decided to take it upon himself to "replace" the cache - in a blue plastic shopping bag!!! with a bottle of brandy in it to boot!! Now we will have to return, walk the trail yet again to remove this piece of rubbish.

Read our notes on this cache - this becomes very worrying when the searchers decide not to stick to the cache owners request and just take it upon themselves to disobey Park rules and alight from their cars in search of another find.

We have changed the listing as besides writing several notes on this cache, still nobody was actually walking the trail.

The trail is a wonderful one. Three days of easy walking. Day 2 is walked entirely along the river. We have walked it 4 or 5 times and have found that June is possibly the best month. Not too hot!

Now, what do we as the new cache owners do - archive it or hope that future cachers will be responsible?

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Now, what do we as the new cache owners do - archive it or hope that future cachers will be responsible?

 

I've been quietly watching this thread with interest... sitting on my hands.

 

My response is more directly related to C&C’s post than the balance of the thread, but just some brief comment.

 

There have been some interesting and valid points made. The crux of the matter as stated by Warthog is RESPONSIBILITY by cache owners AND cachers alike. While I understand the debate for a “committee”, (perhaps it’s not a debate anymore) I’m not convinced of it. It goes against the freedom of Geocaching. Having said that, history has shown that total freedom leads to chaos, so perhaps there is some merit.

 

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

 

What concerns me is that despite a cache being irresponsibly placed, cachers still attempt it rather than report it – ahem… how responsible is that? <_<

 

C&C’s post is proof positive of irresponsible caching and something that is concerning. Caches can be placed responsibly in reserves and sensitive areas. Unfortunately cache owners can not control cacher’s behaviour. So despite detail instructions and a list of do’s and don’ts, I’m afraid there are cachers that just ignore cache owners requests and bash their way through just to get a quick find. I’ve had a similar experience on one of my caches that was placed in the second oldest nature reserve in the world. Despite requests that cachers remain on the paths, they cut it through the bush. Why? Because cutting through the bush was a 300m walk versus the 3km walk via the paths. Could I have placed it elsewhere to prevent this from happening, perhaps, but the view from that point was one of the reasons for the placement, and the walk to the view required a 3km stroll along winding paths.

 

So as cache owners we need to be aware of this when placing caches, especially in sensitive areas, and not be reliant on good behaviour. Unfortunately there will always be the few that spoil it for others. A possible solution here, and C&C you could employ this for your Augrabies cache, is to turn it into a multi to ensure that cachers will attempt the cache in the spirit in which it was created. It’s much harder work for a cache owner, but under the circumstances if it’s a worthwhile cache (which I’m sure it is) then only those that really want to do it will. I’ve decided to leave mine archived.

 

It’s not just cache placers that can spoil it for the rest of us, but cachers too.

 

BE RESPONSIBLE

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While I understand the debate for a “committee”, (perhaps it’s not a debate anymore) I’m not convinced of it.

 

Maybe the name "committee" isn't really fitting and maybe this should rather been seen as a "Sprecial Interest Group" with the "Special Interest" being to keep a special watch on RESPONSIBLE placement and finding of caches in envornment sensitive areas.

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Unfortunately cache owners can not control cacher’s behaviour.

That is exactly why I have a problem in placing caches in sensitive areas. It is the age old problem, like the old army days, it only takes one person to stuff it up for everybody then everybody is made to suffer!

to keep a special watch on RESPONSIBLE placement and finding of caches in environment sensitive areas.

Just what we need!

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