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Do you use cache attributes?


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We see a fair amount of discussion regarding cache attributes here in the forums, and certainly many cache owners have assigned attributes to their caches. I know there are a few quirks, but by all accounts, the feature appears to have been pretty well implemented - you can use the attributes to help filter caches when setting up a PQ, you can study the attributes on the cache page before heading out, and they have cool little icons:

 

cow-yes.gif

 

But from a finder's perspective, how widely used are these attributes? I've assigned attributes to my own caches, but perhaps with the exception of the 'Needs maintenance' attribute, I really don't pay attention to them when looking at anyone else's cache page. Perhaps I am missing out on something, and should pay more attention.

 

Do you use cache attributes when searching for a cache or preparing to go out?

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The only time I look at a cache page online before hunting the cache is when I'm planning a big hiking trip and I want to select good hiking caches, plan my route, read any warnings and study the maps. In those cases I will look at the attributes as well as the other available information.

 

For the average cache in a suburban park, along a bike trail, or in an urban location, I typically don't read the cache page until I'm in the car getting ready to drive to that cache. Since attributes aren't included in pocket queries, the information is lost to me. This scenario covers more than 80% of my cache hunts.

 

It would be nice if attributes were included in pocket queries.

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Do you use cache attributes when searching for a cache or preparing to go out?

I think that the only one that I pay attention to is the "winter-friendly" one. Some people use it to mean that the cache isn't hidden at ground level where it would be covered by snow; this knowledge can be helpful when searching.

 

(of course, some use it to mean "this place isn't closed in the winter", so it can also be misleading if I take it the other way :) )

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We have a few caches placed in which we used attributes for finders to utilize but for the most part, i don't use them with our caches. Two reasons:

 

First, i'm one of those cachers who doesn't read cache page descriptions (unless it's a puzzle of course) very often and therefore doesn't even see those attributes. To be honest, i'm not sure i remember a time when i noticed the attributes, even when i did read the page.

 

The second reason is that i'm also one of those cachers who likes challenges and doesn't want to be "taken by the hand" to find a cache. I like the surprises and sometimes extra challenges associated with not knowing everything about a cache before i get to it. Give me an idea of the type of cache (traditional, multi, unknown, etc,,,) along with difficulty ratings and i'm good.

 

Since i do cache this way, it just comes natural for me to think that others may do as well, so i normally end up not using attributes with our caches. :)

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We see a fair amount of discussion regarding cache attributes here in the forums, and certainly many cache owners have assigned attributes to their caches. I know there are a few quirks, but by all accounts, the feature appears to have been pretty well implemented - you can use the attributes to help filter caches when setting up a PQ, you can study the attributes on the cache page before heading out, and they have cool little icons:

 

cow-yes.gif

 

But from a finder's perspective, how widely used are these attributes? I've assigned attributes to my own caches, but perhaps with the exception of the 'Needs maintenance' attribute, I really don't pay attention to them when looking at anyone else's cache page. Perhaps I am missing out on something, and should pay more attention.

 

Do you use cache attributes when searching for a cache or preparing to go out?

I look at them to see if the Snakes! attribute is set. I hate snakes!!

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I find the "dogs allowed' attribute very helpful. Since I usually cache with my dog I'll check to see if the Dogs Allowed (or prohibited) attribute is set, and avoid those that I know prohibit dogs if she's with me. I dislike driving out to a cache on a hot summer day only to find that dogs aren't allowed and I have to give up on the hunt, wasting the gas and time it took to get there. I set attributes for all of my caches to help out other cachers who may do the same.

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Yes, we use them.

 

I and the kids get PI practically by looking at it so we check for that, snakes, times available, things like that. It tells me that we need plan our time out or to dress more hard-play and that the particular cache isn't going to be a short-time find.

 

We plan our trips around the type we feel like doing that day so those little attributes come in handy.

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I never noticed there was a cow attribute! That's cute. I wonder how many caches actually use it!?

 

Sometimes I'll look to see if the cache is available at night, but for the most part I don't really look at the attributes. Now that I'm a premium member, maybe I'll start using them to filter PQs

 

 

edited for grammar

Edited by ThirstyMick
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Affirmative.

 

Lately, I have been running PQs filtering for the following attributes:

 

1) Kid Friendly - Finding caches that are appropriate for 4 and 2 year olds based on an area which we intend to visit;

 

2) Significant Hike - I've lately been interested in caches that require a 3 or more hike to remote places;

 

3) Scenic View - Related to #2, but also don't mind a P & G with a beautiful view;

 

4) Off-road vehicles - like #2, but like a remote place to take my Jeep;

 

5) Dogs - been enjoying having my dog as a hiking/caching companion.

 

I have lately been filtering out the following attribute:

 

Stealth required - usually associated with an urban micro. I used to love the challenge of these, and have placed a fair number myself. Every so often (every couple of months) I like a good, long micro run; lately, however, I have not been in the mood for micros or being around people-dense places.

 

I think attributes, if properly managed by cache owners, could be a great boon to the type of cachers who are not into on-line smilies, but are into getting to unique places.

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Yup - I look for that COW (livestock) symbol.

 

I hate loose aggressive livestock - like big ungulates.

 

82317e4d-fd3e-464f-a162-3b1027402918.jpg

These two juvenile delinquents were sparring near the library in mid-town Anchorage, close to 3 caches... ;)

 

a1f336ef-079c-42e3-b009-be1c51e860b6.jpg

This young lady didn't want me to visit her side of the pedestrian tunnel over in east Anchorage. ;)

 

Some Anchorage caches are well-known for their 'guardian moose'...

and if you catch them on a bad day they don't like visitors! ;)

 

So, if you're caching Alaska and see a 'livestock' attribute on the cache page -

it's likely more about one of the Moose Mob's cousins than

about one of the Cache Test Dummies' near kin. ;)

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We see a fair amount of discussion regarding cache attributes here in the forums, and certainly many cache owners have assigned attributes to their caches. I know there are a few quirks, but by all accounts, the feature appears to have been pretty well implemented - you can use the attributes to help filter caches when setting up a PQ, you can study the attributes on the cache page before heading out, and they have cool little icons:

 

cow-yes.gif

 

But from a finder's perspective, how widely used are these attributes? I've assigned attributes to my own caches, but perhaps with the exception of the 'Needs maintenance' attribute, I really don't pay attention to them when looking at anyone else's cache page. Perhaps I am missing out on something, and should pay more attention.

 

Do you use cache attributes when searching for a cache or preparing to go out?

Yes, when seeking any cache with a D/T rating higher than 2/2, but I am also fully aware that some cache hiders invoke entirely irrelevant and inapplicable icons for their humor value, such as the SCUBA icon or a "boat required/water cache" icon for a cache in the middle of a desert.

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We find them very helpful, especially the dog and winter friendly attributes. Moxie is part of our caching team and we rarely go caching without her. As another person mentioned, it's no fun driving all the way out to a cache location only to find one of us is excluded. Likewise, if there 2-3 feet of snow on the ground, it is good to know whether we're in for a dig or not!

I agree, it would be great if attributes showed up in pocket queries.

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We find them very helpful, especially the dog and winter friendly attributes. Moxie is part of our caching team and we rarely go caching without her. As another person mentioned, it's no fun driving all the way out to a cache location only to find one of us is excluded.

Since I no longer have a dog, I hadn't thought of this before it was mentioned above. But I can see now that the 'dogs allowed' attribute would be useful to those dogs who are nice enough to take their owners out caching with them. ;)

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Do you use cache attributes when searching for a cache or preparing to go out?
I seldom use them. Every cache I typically find has snakes, ticks, poisonous plants, etc so seeing those attributes isn't much use. I'm fact, anyone that goes into nature should expect all of those things regardless of the attrubute omission. Edited by TrailGators
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I've been trying to use the attributes lately in the searches as well. I appreciate it when I can tell right away whether the 4x4 will get to the cache vs. hiking and now I'm searching for ones that can be reached by boat. It's nice to know which will be the method to reach the cache as it can determine which vehicle is used and whether we'd be able to have a chance. Sometimes a hike is out of the question and it's disappointing to drive to one thinkin' a 4x will get to it only to find it's hike accessible only and I'm not able to hike that day. If I can see no 4x access to the actual cache initially then I can know not to include it on a non-hiking route/day.

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I think if you ask anyone who was at GeoBash this year (and attended the moderator panel) they'd have about the same reaction as me.

 

A cacher in a wheelchair made a plea for the "handicapped accessible" attribute to be used on one-star terrain caches. That was enough for me to realize how important the attributes can be to some people. I may not pay that much attention to them, but there are cachers who find them to be a necessity.

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I always look at the attributes, but I never consider them to be "gospel" and I don't use them as a filter for pocket queries. Because attributes are optional and arbitrary, they aren't reliable. Attributes are fine to communicate basic rules of an area or that maintenance is needed on a cache, but they shouldn't be completely relied upon because they're often interpreted incorrectly, used inconsistantly and are based only on the opinons or knowledge of one individual.

 

That said, I still use them on all my cache hides and I review them when examining a cache's worthiness of my hunting time. The ones I find most useful are the ones that convey the rules of an area, such as "Not available 24/7" or "No dogs allowed".

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I place relevant attributes on the caches I hide. However, I rarely use them when seeking caches since they don't transfer through to my PDA. I also don't filter my Pockey Queries using them either.

 

That would change if the one attribute I wished existed was around: RV Friendly. It's great to be doing caches along a route but it would be nice to be able to filter out ones that aren't suitable for RVs or other large vehicles. A cache might be right next to a road but if the only turnout means I'm going to get into a tight situation and have to do some fancy maneuvering it would be nice to know beforehand. :laughing:

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I use them when they're available, most particularly the dog-friendly (or not) attribute, since I like to hike with my dog. I don't pay much attention to the poison ivy, ticks, snakes, or whatever icons since I see those things everywhere.

 

I'll also note others like needs maintenance or wheelchair accessible to decide whether I want to search for that cache or not. Sometimes I don't mind an easy one. Sometimes I really want to avoid them. I always want to avoid caches with maintenance issues.

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