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Ratings and Attributes


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Granted I'm no expert at this and I don't claim to be an authority, but I thought the "low" ratings (i.e., 1.5 and below) and the attributes like "Kid Friendly" meant that this is easily traveled terrain and landscape, and the cache is easily located without too much thought or excavation of logs, rocks, or other debris. If any part of the cache search includes thorns, poison ivy or even more than the casual reach off of "beaten path", then it is not "kid friendly". Spiders, snakes, and other wildlife and insects are abound in the Texas grass and woodlands, and the safety of small children should be considered when using the "kid friendly" attribute.

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It can be a little rough sometimes. One thing to keep in mind is if the cache owner placed the cache in the fall/winter it may have seemed very kid friendly at the time, not knowing that the area becomes overgrown in the summer. Also keep in mind that poison ivy seeds come mainly from bird droppings so an area that didn't have it last year may have it this year if a bird nested near the cache and ate poison ivy berries in the fall elsewhere. The planet is ever changing and some things get overlooked in the off-season. Don't get discouraged and keep on finding. There are plenty of kid friendly caches to be found. Also make sure to check the logs if you are concerned about that and or post in your log that there is a problem with overgrowth so the owner know that the cache may need to be moved or they may need to post a not stating that it is a good cache to find in the fall or winter. I notice many have posted about poison ivy covering caches this year and some owners were able to make notes of it in the description. Remember to be thorough in your logging if you see a problem or potential issue, it is most likely not the owners fault.

 

If you are truly concerned about spiders, snakes and other wildlife maybe venturing into any wooded are is not such a great idea for you and your family and try to find more urban caches or in a park setting that has enough human traffic to deter such thing.

 

Hope some of this helps and that you are able to get out and have a great time caching!

 

~Erica

TDPR&C

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My youngun who loves to cache considers the more wild it is with more critters to be seen and those that can be safely catched to view closer are the friendliest to kids.

 

Poison Plants...no problem

Thorns....No problem

Spiders....only problem is mom acting like an idiot

 

And she is 6, to her it ain't worth it if you don't come home dirty.

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It 's an outdoor sport, embrace it as such - learn all you can and enjoy knowing more than others and sharing what you learn. Yes Cache rating can be debated and most cache owner will adjust or explain their thinking that inspired the rating. I have adjusted mine due to respectful comments in logs or emails.

 

I personally don't feel PI is acceptable at any cache site and should be eraticated ASAP. Having said that, I have gotten lots of debate on that one and most say it's out there - deal with it or avoid it. I still say eraticate it.

 

I try to take snips for the thorns and eraticate them too. I hate them cause they bite me. If everyone would help work on the thorns - they would go away as well.

 

Snakes - always assume snakes, and bees (Yellow Jackets) Learn all you can about them. The neat thing about Cacheing is learning about the outdoors. Learn Alot. I find it truely interesting. Found a Hercules Beetle recently - Wow! what a Bug. Run from the bees and don't pet the snakes.

 

Don't sweat the petty things and Don't pet the sweaty things.

 

If you think the rating should be adjusted - just say so nicely or leave any helpful comments in logs for others. People do read those logs - just for that reason.

 

The risk is always yours Alone - never use anyone elses judgement and work on making yours better.

 

Report Big Foot siting as often as your see them.

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Define "Kid" and make it a very narrow definition and perhaps you will get some satisfaction. I was caching with a pair of 12 year old twins and a 9 year old last week. We drove to within 700' of the cache and looked right up at the titular object. But it was about 150'+ above us up a grassy field. They ran to the top and waited for me to stagger to the top before we could really look for it since I had the GPS.

 

One of my 8 year old neices and my nephew will hunt for anything anywhere, their older sisters won't go down a trail if it is too muddy.

 

Also, consider that the PI or PO wasn't present when the cache was placed, but a year or two later has spread to that area?

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Then there are the cache hiders who ignore or don't care about ratings and attributes.

 

Examples:

1.0/1.0 cache close to the trail but in heavy tree cover. Poor reception meant a greatly extended search area, with some people indicating that they crossed a fence onto adjacent railroad property. Required manuvering through fairly heavy brush for several feet. Lots of PI around, but as others have stated that could have appeared any time.

 

1.0/1.5, Wheelchair accessible attribute on. I agreed with the 1.0/1.5, but a person in a wheechair would have to climb out of the chair then crawl under a bush to retrieve the cache.

 

1.5/1.5 cache requiring climbing (scrambling) about 15-ft up a VERY steep and soft slope, then traveling cross-slope for about 30 feet.

 

As for Kid-Friendly, well, that's a discussion all by itself. A woods-wise 10 year old would love to search for a cache that my 2.5 year old city slicker toddler would absolutely hate. I personally believe that "kid-friendly" should be limited to caches that are safe. No edge-of-cliff caches, no caches immediately beside busy roads, no dangerous animals, no poison ivy, etc. And if conditions change after a cache is place (explosion of PI growth, for example), then the description and attributes should be changed accordingly.

 

[Edit: Speeling]

Edited by J-Way
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Recently I found a cache that was placed in 2001. It had a 1/1 rating. I emailed the cache owner and he said back then they didn't have ratings, and he didn't think to change them, perhaps because no one ever mentioned it. He has changed them now to reflect the actual Difficulty and actual Terrain.

 

I think emailing the cache owner, or making a note in your log, might prompt cache owners to make a change. I have changed the ratings on some of my caches after seeing logs saying the cache rating is either too high, or too low.

 

Like J-Way, I think the "Kid Friendly" attribute should only be used for caches that are in parks or on safe, well-traveled, wide trails. I think I have only used it for two of my caches.

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...Spiders, snakes, and other wildlife and insects are abound in the Texas grass and woodlands,...

 

I loved those things the best when I was a kid.

 

Kid friendly always meant that the cache was inteded to be full of toys. Or maybe not such a vertical hike (mostly about parents worrying about the kids falling since they do beat the adults to the top). It would never occure to me that it needed to be bug free.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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To me kid-friendly is a cache that doesn't require much searching to find once you are at GZ and is full of kid swag. Usually a regular or large size.

 

Terrain that is kid-friendly includes up to a 3 at a minimum. As for bugs and weeds - facts of life around here anyway.

 

Absolutely. Kid friendly is primarily swag related in my opinion. I wouldn't use the kid friendly attribute in an area that is inherently dangerous but encountering thorns, overgrowth, and the occasional wild animal is just part of the game.

It seems to me that parents should decide if a cache is too hard for their kids, not me.

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