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the pooks

Placing caches in remote places - what is your opinion

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I was wondering what fellow South African cachers think about placing caches in remote places. I am considering placing some caches in the Fish River Canyon in July 2008. I posted a topic on the "Geocaching.com Website" forum a while ago to test opinion about this which resulted in a heated discussion.

 

The cache would only be accessible as part of the hike - so obviously not readily maintainable - this was unacceptable to many of the repliers.

 

In such a situation I would consider it acceptible for other cachers to help maintain the cache - this was also considered unacceptable to most repliers.

 

This situation is different to what is generally called a "vacation cache" - it is more of a "serious hikers cache". It would not be difficult to find and probably only contain a logbook for cachers (and other hikers) to connect with each other. It is more of a way of saying "I was here" than "I found it".

 

More densly populated (by caches and/or people) are a different matter - then there is no justification for a remote cache. There would be enough caches about to entertain everybody and enough people about to maintain them.

 

I would not want to place caches that is more of a frustration to the caching community than anything else.

 

I personally would prefer a cache in a remote area with a low maintenance plan than no cache at all. What do you think?

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Would this not be more appropriate as a Benchmark, rather than a cache? Benchmarking has not seemed to have taken off in SA though.

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Would this not be more appropriate as a Benchmark, rather than a cache? Benchmarking has not seemed to have taken off in SA though.

 

I've investigated Waymarking ( www.Waymarking.com which I suspect is the same or similar to Benchmark). As you say, not well supported here. Looked at Terracaching.com and Navicaching.com - also not well represented.

Edited by the pooks

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Consider how irritated a cacher will be after walking for 4 days and the cache is gone :D

 

Granted, this would only be for serious hikers, and the cache would be a bonus on the primary which would be the hike. Even if it relies on a samaritan network to keep it maintained, somewhat of a hollow find if one has to find it by replacing it. :D You may also find yourself in a situation where the cache site is littered with cache containers as cachers may not find the cache and decide to "replace" it.

 

IMHO: no. Cache should be maintainable either by yourself or someone local you can rely on to do it. There are many caches that are not maintained by their owners much to the frustration of cachers. Many of these are the vacation type, or extremely remote caches.

 

Also, ask yourself this question. If for some reason you are required to archive and remove the cache, will you be able to do this. Considering that you may need to wait 2 years to get a booking on the trail.....??? Unlikely!! Who will remove the Geolitter?

 

It would be nice to see caches in remote areas, but with the demise of virtuals, now Waymarking, it is a tad challenging. Perhaps consider having the cache at a more accessible location (start/finish) where you can maintain it more readily, but in order to find it you would have had to complete the hike and find the answer to some permanent landmark along the hike somewhere in order to calculate cache coordinates... something along those lines. Pick something very permanent... trees etc. get destroyed. This of course still assumes that you are in a position to regularly visit the area to maintain the cache. Perhaps somewhere near Ai-Ais, and perhaps you can get someone from there to maintain it.

 

I think the Trickies adopted a cache on a 3-day trail near Augrabies. However cachers ignored requests to stick to the trail and it may have been archived by now.

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Hello there,

 

We agree with the comments made above, Cache Reviewers will not Publish a cache that is placed on holiday unless someone nearby has offered to maintain it. As you have mentioned Waymarking is not well supported in South Africa, but I'm sure one day will be just as popular as Geocaching.

 

Another option is to place an Earth Cache, which seem to be allowed on Geocaching.com again, the site is www.earthcache.org and the cache will be listed on the Geocaching website.

 

Hope this helps,

TeamTGF.

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It was us who adopted the cache on the Klipspringer Trail at Augrabies (GCJQK5) when Baa! relocated to the UK.

This cache has caused numerous headaches. People have 'replaced' a cache which never went missing - in a blue plastic bag (in an area where there are wild animals).

Despite numerous requests for cachers to hike the entire trail people are still taking shortcuts to reach it.

We will be removing it shortly and will archive it. We will also attempt to find the 'replaced' one ( which is geolitter). There was also tremendous confusion when finding the blue plastic bag if this was a 'find' or not!

In our opinion - place caches near to your home where you can maintain them yourself.

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I see the point that you guys have here and understand what is been said. I however enjoy dropping caches as much as finding them. Some in remote area's that I don't often get to see. But at the slightest chance that I am in the area I will make the effort to inspect. I have gone to the length of checking up on other peoples caches nearly every time I pass them. I think that every cacher should have the same go in them to keep maintaining caches in their area much as I expect people to do the same for me. We are a community and I think that it is great that we can have such fun in this great country. But as a community working together will make it so much better. I don't ask that this be how it be done, I just feel that it is right. I am all for remote cache's but with a remote cache at least give a decent clue as to where to look. In most cases it is quite a journey to get to these remote caches but if it is it is usually for more than the cache. I spent a hour plus searching for a cache on the top of a pass and only found it after I sat down a bit to take in the scenery. Maybe a remote cache should be better planned with whoever is searching for it to probably contact the hider and let them know that they are going to look for it, perhaps get a bit more info as to what to look for where to look etc. Maybe keep the clues as a last resort. Don't read the clues unless you really get stuck. I don't know this is just my opinion.

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Wat 'n goeie idee!

Miskien kan daar 4 cache's in die Visrivier self versteek word, een vir elke dag se stap! Geocache stappers moet versoek word om die cache's instand te hou, seker nie te veel gevra nie? As ons cachers kan vra om rommel op te tel, waarom nie om hierdie besonderse caches instand te hou nie.

Ek merk dat vele cacher's tog reeds help om ander cache's instand te hou, deur nuwe potlood te plaas ens.

 

Dit blyk dat sommige cacher's dit nie kan verda of kan hanteer om nie 'n cache te kry nie. Is dit 'n skande as jou profiel wys dat jy nie 'n cache gekry het nie? Is dit nie waarom hulle hierdie cache's 'relocate' nie?

 

Plaas vir ons stappers hierdie cache(s) asseblief.

 

Kanneman

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Geocaching.com is quite specific in what they state about cache maintenance - one has to be able to check on the cache within a few weeks after it has had a DNF posted on it or someone has to have agreed to do this for the cache owner, before they will approve a cache.

 

An Earth cache was recently approved at the start of the Fish River Canyon and one has been at the end for quite some time. The fact that there is a two year waiting list to walk the trail would make it very difficult for cachers to visit the cache, whether to do the cache itself or even maintain it.

 

Not finding a cache after walking for four days would be awful! AND that has nothing to do with one's statistics either! The disappointment would be huge - after all the effort and cost one has gone to the actually get to the cache and then not to be rewarded with a find, imagine how you would feel!

 

Maintaining another persons cache is something most of us do regularly without a second thought but actually replacing their cache is another thing entirely and we personally would never do it unless we have spoken to the cache owner and they have given us their permission to do so - after all co-ordinates are often out and we just might not be looking in the right place (which happens frequently to most of us too!)

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There still remain the obstacle to get "Permission" from the responsible department. Get that, prove that the permission is in writing and maybe the reviewer will approve. Otherwise you will only be adding to the current amount of litter.

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Another problem with the caches placed in Namibia is that they often get lost due to being covered with sand, or flash floods sweep them away, or the harsh differences in temperature play havoc with the cache containers, resulting in broken plastic littering the environment.

We know of several caches up there that have disappeared in the the past year or more, and with the owners permission will be replacing them shortly. Most of the owners are resident in SA or Europe.

These caches have been gone for quite some time and with the owners living great distances away it takes months before anybody heading that way can replace them.

We have lots of trails in SA to place caches along. Why don't we do that first before heading over the border.

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If I can add my little piece of mind: I don't think any geocacher will specially book the trail to go and find the cache ( or are there really no caches left for you to find :anitongue: ?). On the other hand a motivated hiker will do the trail regardless weather there is a cache or not. With all the hassle of maintaining it and above point as mentioned by c'nc I don't think it is worth it - Die kool is nie die sous werd nie! I will for that matter also not place caches on the Fanie Botha trail, even if it is not to diffucult to maintain for me, and even if I can get permission to hide it, it might cause illegal trespassing on private land. As c'nc has seen some people go for the grab only and don't do the whole trail.

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It was us who adopted the cache on the Klipspringer Trail at Augrabies (GCJQK5) when Baa! relocated to the UK.

This cache has caused numerous headaches. People have 'replaced' a cache which never went missing - in a blue plastic bag (in an area where there are wild animals).

Despite numerous requests for cachers to hike the entire trail people are still taking shortcuts to reach it.

We will be removing it shortly and will archive it. We will also attempt to find the 'replaced' one ( which is geolitter). There was also tremendous confusion when finding the blue plastic bag if this was a 'find' or not!

In our opinion - place caches near to your home where you can maintain them yourself.

 

It seems that the problem with this cache is that it was accessible via a short-cut and that the short-cut violated regulations in the area. These problems can happen to any cache and not entirely as a result of being remote.

 

Another problem with the caches placed in Namibia is that they often get lost due to being covered with sand, or flash floods sweep them away, or the harsh differences in temperature play havoc with the cache containers, resulting in broken plastic littering the environment.

We know of several caches up there that have disappeared in the the past year or more, and with the owners permission will be replacing them shortly. Most of the owners are resident in SA or Europe.

These caches have been gone for quite some time and with the owners living great distances away it takes months before anybody heading that way can replace them.

We have lots of trails in SA to place caches along. Why don't we do that first before heading over the border.

 

It seems that CnC is actively involved in caches that have precisely the problem we are discussing - ie caches without a local person to maintain them. By all accounts they should not have been placed (no maintenance plan, bad location), so they need to be removed and delisted.

 

Having said this - I personally would enjoy having the opportunity to look for a cache as a diversion while on a trip. I would be aware that maintenance is a tad more difficult (that does not mean non-existent) and I would adjust my expectations accordingly.

 

About the Fish River. I would not hide a cache there in a place that is difficult to find. My idea was to place a cache in a cairn where somebody can write a "I was here" note with the added benefit that visitors can log their visit and contact others via the website. If correctly placed it would minimise risk of going missing. No non-hiking cacher would even be tempted to go after the cache (unless they have a helicopter). There is the connectivity one experiences as being part of a community. This is not a cache for cache hunting purposes - it is meant purely for hikers who are also cachers to greet each other. This would be explained in the listing. I cannot imagine that anyone would be mightily disappointed if they do not find it. I agree - keep hard to find caches to the start and end of the hike and to other places that can be easily maintained. Now folks say that GC.com is not the place for this - that is for Waymarking, Terracaching, Navicaching, own website, blog etc - but GC.com is well represented here and there is enough flexibility in the game to accommodate this (I think)

 

Look - I have contacted a reviewer about this and they are not all dead against it so there is room to cater for all tastes. There seem to be good reasons not to place a cache and then there are also folks who would like to have a cache available... That is the beauty of the game - you choose what caches you want to visit. As long as you consider the environment, landowners and act within the GC.com guidelines you should be OK.

 

In contemplating this issue in the forum I have become a lot more aware of the various problems concerning remote caches, so it has already been very worthwhile.

 

Thanks

Edited by the pooks

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The sad thing about the Namibian caches is that they supposedly had locals looking after them. But it seems that when maintenance needs to be done the locals are not available/ moved.

No wonder that Reviewers will not allow caches placed far from ones home co-ordinates.

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As cachers that have completed the Fish river trail and found the cache at the end of the trail I think we can make comment on this post, though some will not like it. Learn from our mistakes.

 

When C and I did the Fish River canyon hike we were both eager new geocachers with 30 or so finds under our belts. We thought we knew everything and where to place the best cache. So on the 5day, 85km hike we added weight in the form of a GPS and a geocache to our backpacks and set out.

 

On the third day, first shortcut we stopped check out the terrain, enjoyed the view, noticed some unique stones and planted the cache. To our knowledge it is still there. And so I hear all screams of blue murder and "geo-litter" and may other words that, truthfully we have no defense against, except we were young. :rolleyes:

 

When we returned from the hike to JHB we relised that we would not be returning to the fish in the near future and the cache would never be approved. So, we have since lost the co-ord of the cache and all we have left is the picture of us at the cache site and vague memories of where it could be.

 

The cache was in a small 250? ml nescafe bottle and was quite secure in its rock house. It is very noticable with the entrance being blocked by quartz and there is no chance of it flooding, being covered in sand or anything similar. (it is a number of meters above the canyon floor, there is little sand and it is in a raveen of sorts, just off the path).

 

Below are the photos that may help someone remove our litter for us, but we don't expect anyone to carry it for the remaining 50km. One day (soon I hope) we will return and clean up after ourselves, though the idea of another finding our lost treasure is apealing... :lol:

fishpic.jpg

C and I, with the cache hiding spot, notice the quartz house.

 

fishmap3.jpg

Approximately where the cache is hidden on the trial.

 

So what did I plan to achive in this post?

Rather don't place a cache on the trail. It will more than likely not be approved and will in the end be torn apart by some wild animal (we did not think of this). This will in the end spoil the trail for the cacher rather than enhancing it. Rather place the cache in an accessable area or place a waymark or an earth cache. This way people can take the experience from the visit.

 

Other random notes....

Having completed the hike we climbed the mountain (150m up) accross from Ais-Ais for a spectacular view that so many people dont post pictures of... (I think this is because they didn't make it...) This cache is an example why holiday caches are not worth it. The orriginal container went missing eons ago and the remains have been moved to the visitors book/box at the top of the mountain which is publicly accessable to all.

 

Do not expect a cache (there a just a few specs of paper). Do this for the enjoyment and the view. We did it for the cache and returned happy with the view :) and even more sore than when we started.

 

5bbaccdf-23ea-4021-90cd-a19c066e3e14.jpg

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Taking my hat off to QFC for their candor, now go and find that piece of geo-litter, you do have the map, don't you?

 

:rolleyes:

Edited by LeonW

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Honestly I like caches in remote places :D , properly placed they are safer then the ordinary cache here in SA, and the Fish River Canyon could certainly do with some more then just "Hot on Top" above Ai Ais which I found just the other day (July 07) hence whould I have known about QFC's cache at the short cut I would have looked for it... I slept not far from that spot :D

 

The only pity about remote caches around SA is that we have way to few cacher that are into some serious hiking, hence two of my caches (right in my back yard!) are still after 2 years not found... :D but I'll keep positive!

 

Regarding the "WayPointing", I found it sad :D that it got split from the main Geocache site, after all those were the most eco friendly caches around and added so much to the historical element in geocaching... but well change is unavoidable isn't it so?!

 

Back to the Fish River Canyon... the far bigger problem I found when hiking there 2 month ago, were the piles of rubbish, toilet paper, clothes and blue gaz containers left by fellow hikers :D now that was really a downer... I guess it all get's washed down to the Orange with the next flood but still it's bad conduct :D

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Honestly I like caches in remote places :laughing: , properly placed they are safer then the ordinary cache here in SA, and the Fish River Canyon could certainly do with some more then just "Hot on Top" above Ai Ais which I found just the other day (July 07) hence whould I have known about QFC's cache at the short cut I would have looked for it... I slept not far from that spot :D

 

The only pity about remote caches around SA is that we have way to few cacher that are into some serious hiking, hence two of my caches (right in my back yard!) are still after 2 years not found... :D but I'll keep positive!

 

Regarding the "WayPointing", I found it sad :ph34r: that it got split from the main Geocache site, after all those were the most eco friendly caches around and added so much to the historical element in geocaching... but well change is unavoidable isn't it so?!

 

Back to the Fish River Canyon... the far bigger problem I found when hiking there 2 month ago, were the piles of rubbish, toilet paper, clothes and blue gaz containers left by fellow hikers :ph34r: now that was really a downer... I guess it all get's washed down to the Orange with the next flood but still it's bad conduct :ph34r:

 

Thanks for the support Matata - I feel a bit lonely in this quest. I must say, having been caching a little longer I see there is quite a large number of disabled/defective caches about. Possibly a result of the low number of cachers and the big spaces. We also should have more ideas about hiding/securing them effectively. There needs to be more collaboration between cachers to maintain each other's caches so that more people can join in on the fun. I say: rather some wobbly caches than no caches at all. The Fish River is possibly slightly unique in that there are quite a large number of hikers going through there (compared to Drakensberg?) and all the hikers go along the same route.

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Hello "The Pooks"

 

I regret that I would not be able to do the Fish River Canyon hike, a beautiful place and the memories of 1988 will not be forgotten. Just as I would not carve my initials on a tree, I would not place a cache that I could maintain myself or with a buddy. If you promise to maintain the cache in the FRC then you should do so. But is it really necessary? Hiking the FRC is not about Geocaching, it is more than to geocache!

 

You could place a cache there outside of the "Groundspeak Geocaching community" and nobody would be able to stop you, but the responsible community we wish to belong to has its rules, which I do respect and abide to, for good reason. In a small way it shows my concern to the litter already in the FRC. How about having a CITO event next season in the FRC ? A pity that most hikers do not leave the FRC with more rubbish than they started with.

 

Doing the FRC should be prize enough, not the caches along its length. A very rewarding way of sharing these memories would be to log them as Waymarking waypoints, which is the Ultimate way of prove of the hike. Take a series of pictures of yourself with recognizable landmarks in the background, or foreground, and you would belong to one of the oldest groups of geo-seekers - the "True Explorers" The proof of my point is in the pictures above by QFC, it is not the cache but the scenery that impress.

 

Ask yourself how would you see your actions in 30 years time - then be true to yourself.

Edited by LeonW

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Hi Matata, are you active in Waypointing?

 

We need to get that side of Groundspeak running in South Africa. Just because it split off, does not mean it is a lesser activity. It is now a fully fledged activity that don't need to be carried by Geocaching is my believe; and I think that "Team TGF" would support me here. :laughing:

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Hi Matata, are you active in Waypointing?

 

We need to get that side of Groundspeak running in South Africa. Just because it split off, does not mean it is a lesser activity. It is now a fully fledged activity that don't need to be carried by Geocaching is my believe; and I think that "Team TGF" would support me here. :laughing:

 

Naa I "lost" interest when it got onto a seperate website, reason being, me working off a very slow line (4-12kb/s) out in the mountains and hence I haven't got much drive to surf for hours in cyberspace just to tell the world that I spotted unique maze, canyon, watermill, crater, or what ever it is that is so special out here in the country side... pity though since I love to plot my way with my GPS. Yet if you check my logs of the few TB's that found their way into my hands, you'll see that I take geocaching seriously and ad my share to the fun with images of the TB's where ever I take em.

On that note I might mention also the sencelessness of grabbing a TB at an event and psssing it along the table just so I can highten my score... but that's another story for maybe another forums topic...

 

How ever once I get a fast line... hell know's when... I'll check on Waypointing again... after all I got tonnes of pictures I took just before the split!

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Eish Matata, how we envy you there in the mountains.

 

What would be the options for 3G from one of the cellphone company's? I am only now starting to take photographs again after I lost interest in the film and slide method over 10 years ago. Boy, is this digital method of photography fascinating. Check out that links of Team TGF that he refers to in the active topics now.

 

:)

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G3... ?! No man out here there's no cellphone reception still good old copper 50km of it :) But I've aplied to WIFI eons ago... let's see when Telkom will move its butt :)

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Haa haa, Rhino I noticed you had shorts on the hike but where where the sandles..... are you not a real man? Hee hee. Let us know when you go back. This mountain goat is rearing to go. My kids are already talking of going to Monks Cowl weekend after next. Hello Sterkhorn!!!!

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Then we fly back down and you can hike back. How about that..... We will even have a cold one waiting for you at the bottom. As long as you bring a cold one up for us.

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Reason behind the longs is that, in long grass, long pants protect the legs better. But the main reason was that my legs are really white and unlike bats I have respect for the other people around me who may have forgotten the sunglasses. Now bats on the other hand.... with his tanning session on the lower part of Cathedral peak... Well....

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Fish River epilogue - very exciting - with apologies to QFC

 

Way back in August 2007 I was involved in a debate on whether one should place caches in remote places as we were planning to do the Fish River Hike (again) in Namibia and being new to the game I was all fired up to leave a cache there. Following the debate I decided not to and after a year's caching I see the point and agree BUT...

QFC posted an entry to this topic describing a treasure they had hidden on the hike with the intention of listing it as a cache but that they had decided not to for reasons described in their post. All I had to go on were the two photographs. It was one of my missions on this hike to try and find the stash. I had a rather skeptical group of fellow hikers who looked at me enthusing about looking for bottles in the desert with some amusement. I decided to go ahead of the group while they had a break so as not to delay them and ended up doing a lot of scrambling and approaching the site from above as I could not remember exactly where the shortcut was. I recognised the spot from the photographs and sadly the cache was missing, so ran back to the group to explain the disappointing news.

Later we hiked past the site as a group and a few diehards stayed behind to commiserate with my disappointment. We looked around the area for signs of parts and how great the excitement when Dave found the bottle close by under a small pile of rocks. Everything is still very much intact - the bottle has a mild case of sunburn and some wax melted inside it but otherwise it is in great shape. We cleaned it out a bit and added the two photographs and a badge (forgot to note in the logbook what the photos are about) and hid it again under the pile of rocks on top of and slightly behind the original spot as it is more out of sight there. It was hugely exciting to successfully complete this project and the others were also duly impressed.

I am aware that QFC did request that the bottle be removed, but this was too much of a moment, so sorry QFC - it is still there.

All said and done, I agree with the sentiment that remote places such as the Fish River canyon should not be littered by a multitude of caches, but in my heart of hearts I do think that the canyon can do with one teeny cache in the middle of the hike for the exclusive use of those intrepid cachers who actually do the hike itself. It gives one warm fuzzy feelings to sign a log knowing that the other cachers have shared the experience of the canyon from the inside, so to speak.

The intention of this post is not to rekindle the debate - it's just that I wanted to share the experience.

 

ac379552-0604-4d0c-a638-6c62c35af371.jpg

 

The site

 

7d844559-9265-4575-92f1-33de62059978.jpg

 

The contents

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:) well done to The Pooks!!! :D I back your action fully - and this might expose my neck :D but I stand to it there is after all a little (big) rebble in Matata... :D We need to be sensible when caching but need not "ALLWAYS" stick to the rules when they do not harm the inviroment or tresspass on peoples rights and properties... and add a little excitement to a hike.

Ps The Swellendam caches hike has been shifted... to the 08.08.08?!

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Keeping my eye on 8/8/08 - where does one find money for fuel these days!?

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> Keeping my eye on 8/8/08 - where does one find money for fuel these days!?

 

glad you are still suffering of the cache-hiking-itch :) and are going to be on board... in that case why not share drive? There'll be at least 3 cars (without yours) coming from West of the De Toitskloof... we'll have to organise something!

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Coming into this debate very late: one of the main reasons I place caches in remote places is to try to expose places that people wouldn't otherwise visit. There are many reasons to place a cache, but my feeling is that if a remote cache does not achieve this goal *at all* then there is no point in placing it. And I think a cache on an established hike (Fish River, Otter Trail, Outeniqua, etc) does not achieve that goal at all.

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Hmmm, let me add my 50cents worth... I guess we here have a rather unique situation which many other countries outside S.A. and North of Grootfontein (Namibia...) haven't got and that are: Fences and Walls on ALL sides of our roads and any publicly accessible areas.

Were as in say Switzerland - my country of birth :lol: - you can pretty much walk (and for that matter place a cache) anywhere except onto urban / residential properties. Hence it's Geocache opportunity galore! A forest might only have the restriction of: No private motorised vehicle access, cyclists or hikers/walkers have free range on and off the paths, tracks or roads - where ever they nose points them B)

Here in S. A. you feel like an ostrich when looking for a cache place in nature, walking up and down a barbed wire to spot a hole, rest place, gate, gap, etc.

So to get a suitable location out there you end up with only hiking trails, parks, roadside tables, etc or an occasional farm (lucky me with 2000ha to choose from...)

 

I think we should be more easy with "trail caches" after all: Boskloof-, Drosters pass-, Gladdebank-, Arangieskop-, Helluvaview-, Boesmanskloof-, Vrolikheit-cache, etc are ALL on hiking trails be it a 2 dayer or not, fact is they are and we are all happy about 'em or not??? :)

 

If we want to be strict I think we'd loose the best we got... :) The trick I think is to come up with a better cache container/hide and maintenance there off. It would be interesting to list and analyse the muggled/vanalised cache versus the safe ones and see where they are located as well as the impact they have on their surrounding vegetation or animal life?! Never mind the effect on wild animals when nibbling Tupperware or Tuffy-bags for supper?! :huh: but that's another side all together or is it?

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Just my 2c worth. I think there is enough evidence to support me.

 

Most caches that are planted on the peaks are on somewhat established routes. If one analysed these caches then there is many that is not found after two years or longer. If I look at the Swellendam caches then it is actually sad to see that there are no attempts. If you look on the Internet you will find the map for these trials and all the information you need. But yet people stay away from them – but only a small amount of effort is needed. People are different and I accept that hiking is not for everybody. Ok, the majority of people do not climb mountains and they do not hike. Rock climbers are even less. Most cachers do not even know what the term belayer or cam means.

 

To plant a cache in an extreme remote area is in my personal opinion not good. You have even less chance to see a find on this cache than on the one in the established area. On the other hand the cache owner must maintain them. Conditions change quickly – the easy going route can suddenly change in dense vegetation which could be impassable in the next year. One can go overboard and plant one on the moon. Who is going to find him? What is the point of doing it? You plant a cache to show someone something new and to read his log afterwards. If it is bad then you fix it. If it is good you pat yourself on the back.

 

At the end, geocaching is a family sport. My wife can not climb mountains, but she would love to stand on top of a mountain. But she loves to play the backup and she loves to share my photos and memories. It is the scenery and the challenge and how I overcome them that she loves. In most cases I climb and hike alone – even the long ones. For me to go into an extremely remote area is not practical. I am already accepting a risk to be alone and to increase the risk more is not good. There is a fine line that needs to be well balanced.

 

Let us use this example. We hiked down to the old dam in George; some people do not even realized that there is one. It is in bad shape. But the going is tough and extreme. In rainy season you will get hurt in this area. Many years ago there was a path leading up to this area. Today there is just bush and you need to know where you going. Do not think this is established. You walk zig zag and all over the place to find it, GPS is going crazy. No direct routing to this one. I can plant a cache and only state on the listing “Cache planted at old dam, please enjoy”. To get your way to this one and to get back is not easy if you do not know the area. I was basically born on this mountain but it was extremely frustrating to get there. As a cache owner I accept responsibility for the safety of the cacher. I will not plant a cache in this area because I know that there is a good chance of getting lost, that he/she could be injured and if it does happen there is no quick rescue. So forget about the golden 30 minutes. Higher up from the dam is more challenges and a good place for caches, but you must have the ability to use rock climbing equipment. I can take you a R1000 bet that if this is planted in this area that no one will attempt it. Therefore I will not plant a cache in this area although it is a nice location.

 

Wazat just placed a cache in the Drakensberge. This is not a walk in a park and it offers more than enough challenges for the average person. It took a while to remember this one – but I was there before. It is not easy. But you have the support system and you can get the information. You can do a risk assessment and you can mitigate your risk to acceptable levels. In an extreme remote area you have too much unknowns that can not be measured or predicted and they normally comes as a surprise. All mountaineers I know do not like surprises and they do weigh the chances and risks that they must take.

 

My bottom line is that if people loved the extreme isolated caches they would be rushing up mountains, hills and through valleys to find the “easy” ones which are lying dormant for the last 4 years already.

 

This is only my viewpoint and there should be many that differ from me.

 

Gerhard

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