Jump to content

Geocaches responsible for getting us BANNED


Followers 6

Recommended Posts

An increasing number of state, county and local park systems are banning geocaches and letterboxes because of the environmental damage that certain types of geocaches and geocachers are causing, just like the NPS. This is the tradition of a cache without a good hint, requiring people to tromp all over the place, tearing apart historic stone walls, killing vegetation, etc.

 

This type of cache should be banned. Caching etiquette and ethics must change, or the activity will gradually be banned from one park to another, until there is nowhere else to cache. Hints should not be encrypted, which implies you are cheating. Cachers should not be wandering in circles aimlessly hoping to stumble upon a cache.

 

This is particularly unfair to the majority of cachers who practise good ethics and design their caches in a more environmentally and cacher friendly way. Caches can be challenging without the mindless "searching for the car keys" style hunt. Put a puzzle in the clue, make it a multistage, add a bearing and distance if you want to make it more difficult.

 

It is especially unfair to letterboxers, who rarely cause the environmental problems caused by geocaches, yet are erroniously classified as "a variant of geocaching" by ignorant Park employees (grrrr). Letterboxing has been around since 1854, and clues are supposed to take you directly to the box without disrupting natural areas, so long as you can decipher the meaning of the clues (if you can't, you might not even be in the right town).

 

Geocaching.com has a responsiblity to take the lead and espouse an environmental ethic. Otherwise, everything will eventually be banned, the good with the bad. I am a conservation agent for a town with 1900 acres of open space. We have about 50 good caches and letterboxes. But there was one cache that was so poorly done that people were ripping apart historic stone walls and trampling vegetation. Note that some cachers were also complaining in their comments for that cache. If I were someone who didn't cache or box, I might be tempted to ban all of it just due to the bad experience with that one cache, which is exactly what is happening all over the country.

 

The hintless-style cache might be OK in the vast forests of the northwest USA, for example, but a lot of these caches now are in small parks with a lot of people. They cause harm to the parks, and should not be allowed - or we will all lose out.

Link to comment

An increasing number of state, county and local park systems are banning geocaches and letterboxes because of the environmental damage that certain types of geocaches and geocachers are causing, just like the NPS. This is the tradition of a cache without a good hint, requiring people to tromp all over the place, tearing apart historic stone walls, killing vegetation, etc.

 

Caches were banned because of damage both perceived, and actual damage. They also dislike caches because they classify them as litter or abandoned property.

 

Cachers are their own worst enemy. Hiding super hard caches in sensitive areas is a prescription for excess damage.

 

This type of cache should be banned. Caching etiquette and ethics must change, or the activity will gradually be banned from one park to another, until there is nowhere else to cache. Hints should not be encrypted, which implies you are cheating. Cachers should not be wandering in circles aimlessly hoping to stumble upon a cache.

 

Encrypted hints does not imply someon is cheating. Give me a break! It is very easy to print a cache page already decrypted, but it is your choice.

 

It is especially unfair to letterboxers, who rarely cause the environmental problems caused by geocaches, yet are erroniously classified as "a variant of geocaching" by ignorant Park employees (grrrr). Letterboxing has been around since 1854, and clues are supposed to take you directly to the box without disrupting natural areas, so long as you can decipher the meaning of the clues (if you can't, you might not even be in the right town).

 

Letterboxers are not as innocent as you lead us to believe. In fact they are some of the biggest offenders, who place LBs in National Parks or other restricted areas without permission.

 

Geocaching.com has a responsiblity to take the lead and espouse an environmental ethic. Otherwise, everything will eventually be banned, the good with the bad. I am a conservation agent for a town with 1900 acres of open space. We have about 50 good caches and letterboxes. But there was one cache that was so poorly done that people were ripping apart historic stone walls and trampling vegetation. Note that some cachers were also complaining in their comments for that cache. If I were someone who didn't cache or box, I might be tempted to ban all of it just due to the bad experience with that one cache, which is exactly what is happening all over the country.

 

As a conservation officer and geocacher, you should have posted a needs archive not for the offending cache.

 

The hintless-style cache might be OK in the vast forests of the northwest USA, for example, but a lot of these caches now are in small parks with a lot of people. They cause harm to the parks, and should not be allowed - or we will all lose out.

 

That is only a theory, the problem lies more in the type of people who have taken up geocaching, and have never had outdoor ethics in the first place. A hint wont stop some idiot from destrying a meadow with a quad, who is hell bent for FTF.

Edited by Kit Fox
Link to comment

While I tend to disagree somewhat with your finer points, I do understand what you are saying in general. Much of geocaching used to be all about discovering a new place, traveling where we had never been, sharing the world around us, giving us a good excuse to explore. Now it is leaning more towards numbers, difficult hide challenges, speed and outdoing somebody else. Needle-in-the-haystack hides are becoming common, hiders keep looking for that ultimate hide style, finders look to find each cache quickly. More and more hiders have abondoned the tradtional cache for trading and replaced it with smallish inexpensive containers. This combination has led a few areas becoming oversaturated, containers that are not good for caching, poorly thoughtout locations, damage to small localized areas from overzealous searchers and the breaking of rules and regulations.

 

However, I still believe that the vast majority of cachers as a whole are not a problem. It is the few that choose to damage, to ignore the rules and those that don't care about others that ruin it for the rest of us.

 

Best we can do is continue to interface with land managers, listen to thier concerns. Take action to protect Geocaching. Do CITO. Be responsible. It is the best we can do.

Link to comment

An increasing number of state, county and local park systems are banning geocaches and letterboxes because of the environmental damage that certain types of geocaches and geocachers are causing, just like the NPS. This is the tradition of a cache without a good hint, requiring people to tromp all over the place, tearing apart historic stone walls, killing vegetation, etc.

I'm not sure that providing a hint would stop bad cachers from tearing up the place. There are already the following guidelines for cache placement

Caches may be quickly archived if we see the following (which is not inclusive):

...

[*] Caches that deface public or private property, whether a natural or man-made object, in order to provide a hiding place, a clue or a logging method.

[*] Caches placed in areas which are highly sensitive to the extra traffic that would be caused by vehicles and humans (examples may include archaeological or historic sites).

...

Caches should not be placed in historic stone walls or in environmentally sensitive area that would likely be damage by the extra traffic caused by cachers searching for a cache. If I saw a cache in such an area, I would first ask the cacher owner to move it and if that didn't work, a Needs Archive log would be appropriate. Cachers should report any damage that may have been caused by cachers to the the cache owner and try to get them to correct the situation. If there is no response, then Needs Archive. Of course, once damage is done, it may be too late and land managers may already decide to ban geocaching. The point should be made that such damage is rare and there are guidelines that we can enforce to try to limit when it does happen. Parks can provide additional guidelines short of banning caches, and if they contact Groundspeak, the local reviewers can be aware of them and at least ask cachers to follow these before approving a cache in that park.

 

I personally cannot understand why any cacher would do intentional damage while searching for a cache. If all cachers were responsible, one could in theory hide a micro in an historic stone wall with no impact. I always remember that the hider hid the cache without damaging and property, so I should be able to find it without damaging the property. Even if a hider hid a cache in violation of the guidelines, I still wouldn't start disassembling walls or digging holes. I expect the hide to be fair (i.e. within guidelines). I don't view DNF as a failure. It simple means that on that day I didn't find the cache. I'm happy to report that I've never seen major damage caused by cachers. I find threads like this disturbing, not because damage in some location led to a local park manager to ban caches, but because other park managers will read this and think it is a widespread problem. It it not widespread and if responsible cachers would try to get owners to fix guideline violations and use the SBA when an owner won't fix things there should be no reason to have to ban geocaching.

Link to comment

On the other hand, there are caching organizations out there that are actively working with their state's State Parks and DNR to work out a plan to allow caches back into these areas that were previously off-limits. Minnesota is one of them. :P

 

Trouble with one cache in an area with 50 really nice ones doesn't have to ruin the game for everyone. The reviewer may not have realized that the cache was placed in a sensitive area, or the CO may not have disclosed that information. It's unfortunate that it has to happen that way, and I know not all geocachers think about the environmental impact they impose when they are rooting around trying to find that ammo can.

 

I think that it is up to the CO to be more receptive of environmental guidelines when placing caches, and being more mindful of what stress the area around it might be experiencing.

 

That was a lot of babble, sorry if nobody got that. :laughing:

Edited by NeoAddict
Link to comment
It is especially unfair to letterboxers, who rarely cause the environmental problems caused by geocaches, yet are erroneously classified as "a variant of geocaching" by ignorant Park employees (grrrr). Letterboxing has been around since 1854, and clues are supposed to take you directly to the box without disrupting natural areas, so long as you can decipher the meaning of the clues (if you can't, you might not even be in the right town).

 

So, encryted hints = bad

 

.....but.....

 

Clues that may take you to THE WRONG TOWN = more gooder?

 

clues are supposed to take you directly to the box without disrupting natural areas

 

Is this a stated objective of letterboxing clues? Well, the "rules" on geocaching.com are meant prevent any destruction of property and environment in a similar fashion. However, any game where you are finding something hidden in a natural environment, there is the potential for destruction.

 

I agree with your overall point.....but why the last minute jab at geocaching vs. letterboxing? Do you think it might also be that the environmental impact of geocaching vs. letterboxing (assuming you are correct) has more to do with overall popularity and participation rather than date of inception (?) and how the container is found.

 

You are correct that geocachers can and should take the lead, once again, because of the numbers.

Link to comment

An increasing number of state, county and local park systems are banning geocaches and letterboxes because of the environmental damage that certain types of geocaches and geocachers are causing, just like the NPS. This is the tradition of a cache without a good hint, requiring people to tromp all over the place, tearing apart historic stone walls, killing vegetation, etc.

 

This type of cache should be banned. Caching etiquette and ethics must change, or the activity will gradually be banned from one park to another, until there is nowhere else to cache. Hints should not be encrypted, which implies you are cheating. ... snip

It's the cachers not the caches that are the problem and should be banned.

 

It's a choice to trample vegetation and tear apart rock walls. Just because a cacher can't find a cache doesn't make it okay to cause damage.

 

While I agree that the cache hiders have a responsibility to hide caches in a responsible manner, I believe that cache seekers have an even greater responsibility not to create damage in their quest. If someone can't find it without causing damage, they should give up and move on to another cache.

 

There is absolutely no excuse and no justification for causing any damage during your search. A cacher can only blame one person if they cause damage and that is themselves. It's a choice.

Link to comment
ignorant Park employees

I think that's your key problem. The land managers need to be educated regarding the real reason for the demise of an area. Blaming a cache for area destruction makes as much sense as blaming spoons for me being fat. Caches don't kill ferns. Cachers do. A land manager who fosters the mentality of, "One cacher tromped my shrubbery, ergo, they are all bad" is probably beyond help. If there is not so much as a modicum of common sense to begin with, there is nothing to build a foundation upon.

 

Reminds me of a local land manager around these parts. He had heard about geocaching, and found out that there were about 30 active caches in HIS 6000 acre park. (Yeah, he thinks it's his... :laughing: ) He went to the closest one, just to see what it was all about, and found a pretty sad excuse for a container, with predictably soggy contents. He called for an immediate removal of all caches in HIS park, judging all caches, and all cachers, on that one experience. I convinced him to let the existing caches stay while we worked out a plan, but his "Big Fish/Little Pond" mentality has stifled advancement.

 

He just acquired 20,000 more acres, which will probably remain cache free until he retires, because he refuses to be educated.

Link to comment

Do you have any actual examples of "state, county and local park systems" recently banning geocaching? Because what I see is exactly the opposite. Local to me, of course.

 

A couple of county systems that had bans are now opened. One that had a broken permit system, a ban of sorts, has fixed that system and is now permitting caches rather easily. The National Parks are sloowly coming around on geocaching, and have a few new physical caches in the last year.

Link to comment

I mostly agree with the OP.

 

In the UK, any cache that is hidden in a dry stone wall (i.e. one without cement to hold it together) is not allowed to be listed.

 

It's fine saying "be careful when searching", but I've seen the damage when such a wall cache has been in place for even a short time. No matter how carefully you look behind stones, some of them are going to get moved. GPS being what it is, the next seeker will carefully move stones a few feet further along. After half a dozen visits a large area of wall will have been tampered with.

 

As most of these types of wall are regarded as fragile and historic, the reviewers (rightly) won't list a cache that they suspect is placed like that, and will archive any that are brought to their attention.

 

For other types of cache, I've often seen cases where the description only gives you the general area - the box being well-hidden in bushes and trees and the hint being along the lines of "under a stone". For ten yards each side of the cache you can see where the vegetation has been trampled and every stone moved.

 

Particularly where GPS signal is likely to be poor and the immediate environment easily damaged, I'd advise improving and moving the "hint" to the description and giving an absolute giveaway for the hint. After all, in most cases the cache is only hidden to protect it from accidental muggle discovery: it's not meant to stop a geocacher finding it.

Link to comment

An increasing number of state, county and local park systems are banning geocaches and letterboxes because of the environmental damage that certain types of geocaches and geocachers are causing, just like the NPS. This is the tradition of a cache without a good hint, requiring people to tromp all over the place, tearing apart historic stone walls, killing vegetation, etc.

 

This type of cache should be banned. Caching etiquette and ethics must change, or the activity will gradually be banned from one park to another, until there is nowhere else to cache. Hints should not be encrypted, which implies you are cheating. Cachers should not be wandering in circles aimlessly hoping to stumble upon a cache.

 

This is particularly unfair to the majority of cachers who practise good ethics and design their caches in a more environmentally and cacher friendly way. Caches can be challenging without the mindless "searching for the car keys" style hunt. Put a puzzle in the clue, make it a multistage, add a bearing and distance if you want to make it more difficult.

 

It is especially unfair to letterboxers, who rarely cause the environmental problems caused by geocaches, yet are erroniously classified as "a variant of geocaching" by ignorant Park employees (grrrr). Letterboxing has been around since 1854, and clues are supposed to take you directly to the box without disrupting natural areas, so long as you can decipher the meaning of the clues (if you can't, you might not even be in the right town).

 

Geocaching.com has a responsiblity to take the lead and espouse an environmental ethic. Otherwise, everything will eventually be banned, the good with the bad. I am a conservation agent for a town with 1900 acres of open space. We have about 50 good caches and letterboxes. But there was one cache that was so poorly done that people were ripping apart historic stone walls and trampling vegetation. Note that some cachers were also complaining in their comments for that cache. If I were someone who didn't cache or box, I might be tempted to ban all of it just due to the bad experience with that one cache, which is exactly what is happening all over the country.

 

The hintless-style cache might be OK in the vast forests of the northwest USA, for example, but a lot of these caches now are in small parks with a lot of people. They cause harm to the parks, and should not be allowed - or we will all lose out.

 

So, are we talking about vandalism or the silly notion that walking in the woods destroys the environment? I just wanted to be sure to understand your point (and your motive).

Link to comment

In my opinion, the original post is built on so many assumptions that it's hard to get a grasp on a response. Without delving too far into it and slicing away the various presumptions that I disagree with, let me just make a couple of statements:

 

I don't think that caches should be hidden in dry-stack stone walls. Sooner or later someone will humpty-dumpty the wall.

 

If a cacher discovers a recently-listed cache that doesn't appear to meet the guidelines, he should throw up a flag.

 

The absence of a good hint does not cause damage.

Link to comment

In Pennsylvania we are seeing an increase in the number of county parks that allow Geocaching and have created a simple no fee permit system to track what and where a cache is in their parks.

 

As the conservation officer if there is a cache on land you are repsonsible for have the cache archived immediatly.

Link to comment
Do you have any actual examples of "state, county and local park systems" recently banning geocaching? Because what I see is exactly the opposite.

 

Same here. I see more and more places welcoming geocachng. Even the NPS has loosened up its ban somewhat.

 

And all this "damage", I'm just not seeing it. I'm not saying that no caches cause problems, but they

are either very rare, or people where I've cached are just more considerate. I'm willing to bet its the

former.

Link to comment

Looked for a cache one time at a beautiful local preserve and came up empty. Started looking at the logs on my PDA and the last log stated something to the effect of "Cache was too far off trail so moved it to a more accessible location". Well... fine and dandy! And this was the final of a multi-cache so they couldn't post the new coords. De-de-deeee.... So I get a DNF because I have no clue where a "more accessible location" was and the owner goes out the next week and moves it back! Easy find after that.

 

I agree to some extent of the potential impact to the environment that some caches can cause stomping down palmettos or tossing around ground clutter looking for the cache. But I think the total damage all the cachers in the state have done in the entire history of geocaching wouldn't even come close to what a family of wild hogs can do rooting around for a month.

Link to comment

...They cause harm to the parks, and should not be allowed - or we will all lose out.

If you have the time I'd be happy to take you around and show you the reality of caching. Good and Bad, Warts and Band aids.

 

Until then it's best not to build your empire on a foundation consisting more of assumptions than bedrock. The misperceptions behind your post can do more harm to caching than the real issues that do exist. Especially since you are so vocal about them.

Link to comment

So, are we talking about vandalism or the silly notion that walking in the woods destroys the environment?

I took it to mean neither: more that we should think about the type of cache where you're led to an area of dense trees and brush with a hint that requires you to trample all around the area for half an hour until you chance upon the container. We've all seen the "cacher path" that develops after about three finds - at least these tend to lead you on a narrow line straight to the cache, with minimal damage to the environment.

 

But I've seen plenty of cases where there is signs of searching all over the area: turned rocks, trampled grass, broken branches etc. Hardly a huge problem compared to other allowed activities, but why not simply lead people directly to the cache rather than force them to turn the site over?

Link to comment

Earth Caches are the way to go!

 

I'm with the Scout! Earthcaches make land managers happy, and are easier to place in areas where physical caches are restricted. I recently received permission (for earthcaches) from a Sector Superintendent who manages nine California state parks. Sadly, he had a dim view of geocaches due to cachers placing caches without permission, and in sensitive areas. The non physical container idea helped garner his blessing.

Link to comment

I do wonder if caches in stone walls should be banned.

I'd agree that caches in dry-stacked walls should not be allowed due to how easy it is to disrupt the wall.

 

If it is out of sight, cachers are going to be tempted to start moving stones.

 

However, I'd much prefer that people take more personal responsibility for their actions and stop blaming others for "tempting" them into doing something. Most of us are adults, we have brains -- use them.

Link to comment
I'd agree that caches in dry-stacked walls should not be allowed due to how easy it is to disrupt the wall.

On Saturday, I was the third person to get to a cache hidden in a rock laid on top of a built-up flower bed stone wall. The hint said it was a micro in something that added about two more pounds. I couldn't find it and I didn't want to do any damage to the wall around this flower bed in this new park. I logged this as a DNF and put this on my watch list. By Sunday, I must have gotten ten to fifteen emails from cachers who had found this difficult hide. On Monday, I went back to see if I could find the cache. Sure enough, I found it in a rock that blended in with the rest of the wall. It was easily apparent that between Saturday and Monday, the wall had been disturbed significantly. I thought about the person who probably spent a lot of time putting this raised flower bed together for this small family park. They probably would have wanted to ban geocachers from this or any other park forever. :laughing:

 

BTW, there was a nearby bird bath and I thought it could contain the cache. It was broken and not looking new, so I thought the CO might have placed this in the park on his own. I have to admit, I took the top off this to see what was inside. This hobby is a little dangerous because you don't know what is permissible and what is not according to the CO or land owner. Two weeks ago I wasn't about to start searching around a bank teller's window even though that's where the cache coordinates took me to.

Link to comment

Earth Caches are the way to go!

 

I'm with the Scout! Earthcaches make land managers happy, and are easier to place in areas where physical caches are restricted. I recently received permission (for earthcaches) from a Sector Superintendent who manages nine California state parks. Sadly, he had a dim view of geocaches due to cachers placing caches without permission, and in sensitive areas. The non physical container idea helped garner his blessing.

Earthcaches are not geocaches and neither are letterboxes. It's all fine and good if Geocaching.com wishes to list things other than geocaches on their website. If a land manager chooses to allow non-geocaching activities because he believes that goecachers cause damage, that's his decision. One can always list a waymark any place you like, and if the location is accessible to the public people can visit it.

 

A geocache is a container containing at least a log that is hidden somewhere where there is at least the option of using GPS as an integral part of the search. A hint might be given. It is usually encrypted and sometimes is not useful until you get to ground zero. A letterbox clue takes you to the cache location and sometimes it might even tell you where to look. But to claim that letterboxing clues always prevent damage is silly.

 

Don't try turning geocaching into earthcaching and virtuals and don't try making it letterboxing. Geocaching is what it is. Does this cause problems? I'm not sure. An irresponsible person can tear apart a stone wall looking for a letterbox. An irresponsible person can damage an area near an earthcache by trampling sensitive ground or by removing fossils or minerals without permission.

 

It saddens me to hear the stories that some geocachers have felt it necessary to damage property while searching for a cache. Remember that if the cache was hidden according to guidelines the hider did not damage anything. You should be able to find a cache without damaging property. The biggest problem we have is that some people foolishly think that a DNF is a failure. No one likes to fail and perhaps those who mistake a DNF for failure are willing to act like total idiots and damage property before they will give up searching. I wish there were a simple way to educate people that there is no shame in DNF'ing.

Link to comment

But I've seen plenty of cases where there is signs of searching all over the area: turned rocks, trampled grass, broken branches etc. Hardly a huge problem compared to other allowed activities, but why not simply lead people directly to the cache rather than force them to turn the site over?

 

I just don't see the impact turning over rocks, breaking a branch or two (I'm talking small off shoot branches here, not limbs) and stepping on grass has on the big picture. Branches are broken off by forest animals and the wind and the tree still doesn't die. Grass is trampled down by any large animal that walks on it, and it grows back. I can't even fathom how turning over rocks has any lasting impact.

 

These things might have a visible effect for a year or so but once the initial furor over a new cache has died down the traffic will too and nature begins the neverending job of repairing itself, much the same as it's been doing every spring since time began. Nature is cool that way.

Link to comment

Do you have any actual examples of "state, county and local park systems" recently banning geocaching? Because what I see is exactly the opposite. Local to me, of course.

 

A couple of county systems that had bans are now opened. One that had a broken permit system, a ban of sorts, has fixed that system and is now permitting caches rather easily. The National Parks are sloowly coming around on geocaching, and have a few new physical caches in the last year.

Around here, we had a State Park, Anza Borrego Desert State Park, which encompasses more than 600,000 acres, suddenly ban Geocaching. Caches have been removed without warning and have not been returned to the cache owners. In many cases after the caches have been removed, they haven't even had the courtesy to post a Note to the cache page, meaning cachers continue to look for those caches . . . :anicute:

 

Apparently, one cache, that wasn't placed directly in a sensitive area, was blamed for damage.

 

Negotiations between Groundspeak and the Park Management have not been fruitful, so until the management of ABDSP is changed, no caches will be allowed. The Superintendent and Park Archaeologist are dead set against caching, even though twice a year local Geocachers have a CITO Event where we clean up a two-mile section of a highway that runs through the Park.

 

Many, many of the caches that have been stolen were not in sensitive areas, and some of the caches that were removed had fewer than six finds per year in recent years.

 

It is exceptionally sad that caches that brought cachers to areas like this no longer exist . . .

 

864556ed-d4cb-42e5-88be-3516d0b4bad3.jpg

Link to comment

In my area we have a number of historic rock walls. They were created when fields were cleared of all the volcanic detritus and the rocks were stacked into walls. I've found a couple of caches hidden in such walls and have been careful not to harm the walls. I don't know about subsequent cachers but, when I've searched for such caches, I've never seen any damage to the walls due to previous searchers. Maybe we're just better at not destroying such things.

 

On the other hand, if you want to destroy a bush just hide a cache in the thing. Folks will paw all through it looking for the cache with the result of leaves and branches being broken.

 

Personally, I don't hide caches in stone wall or delicate bushes and, when searching in such areas, I take care.

 

I have had a rattlesnake that was hiding in a rock wall start rattling right next to my foot though.............

Link to comment
I just don't see the impact turning over rocks, breaking a branch or two (I'm talking small off shoot branches here, not limbs) and stepping on grass has on the big picture. Branches are broken off by forest animals and the wind and the tree still doesn't die. Grass is trampled down by any large animal that walks on it, and it grows back. I can't even fathom how turning over rocks has any lasting impact.

 

Ever see what an area looks like after a bear comes through turning over rocks and looking for grubs? A mess.

 

I remember one cache where a finder complained about someone destroying the area. It was close to my house and I went to take a look. Yup, someone had overturned dozens of boulders. It looked like crap.

 

I was pretty annoyed, because it was unnecessary, and if a park ranger happened by at that moment it would have looked pretty bad for our sport. But what was the real damage? None. 2 months later you'd never know that anything happened there. For all you can tell the boulders have lain there undisturbed since the last ice age.

Link to comment

Earthcaches are not geocaches and neither are letterboxes. It's all fine and good if Geocaching.com wishes to list things other than geocaches on their website. If a land manager chooses to allow non-geocaching activities because he believes that goecachers cause damage, that's his decision. One can always list a waymark any place you like, and if the location is accessible to the public people can visit it.

 

Relax Marty!

 

We weren't trying to ban geocaching, we were offering a solution when geocachers have ruined it for others.

 

A geocache is a container containing at least a log that is hidden somewhere where there is at least the option of using GPS as an integral part of the search.

 

My two earthcaches require the use of a GPS

 

 

Don't try turning geocaching into earthcaching and virtuals and don't try making it letterboxing. Geocaching is what it is. Does this cause problems? I'm not sure. An irresponsible person can tear apart a stone wall looking for a letterbox. An irresponsible person can damage an area near an earthcache by trampling sensitive ground or by removing fossils or minerals without permission.

 

Would you be happy with nothing but LPCs because all the nice parks have banned caching? The only viable way to keep geocaching available in managed lands, is to be completely transparent, and work with the managers regarding the placement and maintenance of said caches. Again nobody was trying to outlaw geocaching, and replacing it with earthcaches.

Link to comment
a hint that requires you to trample all around the area for half an hour until you chance upon the container.

Wierd. People actually post hints that require seekers to tromp down vegitation? What would the cache owner do if I elected to ignore their encrypted directives, and instead, conducted a safe, careful hunt? Would they delete my logs because I didn't trample?

 

A geocache is a container containing at least a log that is hidden somewhere where there is at least the option of using GPS as an integral part of the search.

Unless it's a virt or a webcam. :drama::anicute::huh:;)

Link to comment

Wierd. People actually post hints that require seekers to tromp down vegitation? What would the cache owner do if I elected to ignore their encrypted directives, and instead, conducted a safe, careful hunt? Would they delete my logs because I didn't trample?

You're suggesting that you levitate in? Otherwise, let me know how you avoid treading on the vegetation.

 

I know that a couple of geocachers treading carefully cause little damage to such places. But surely you've seen what happens after a few weeks and a few dozen teams, particularly when the ground has been soft and damp for some time? It's similar to the wall: you peek behind a dozen loose stones in the wall, replacing each one carefully, until you chance upon the cache. Each team does the same, but in a slightly different place. After a year, every loose stone in the wall for 30 feet has been carefully (but now obviously) moved and replaced a dozen times and many of the not-so-loose ones are loose too.

 

I'm aware that this is a worldwide game and some areas recover more easily and/or don't get damaged so easily. Possibly, in arid areas there's rarely such an issue. Some sites would actually benefit from a bit of trampling.

 

Also, some caches only get a visitor every month or two and there's time for recovery. So I can't guarantee that everyone will experience the same problems. All I'm saying is that in such terrain: make it possible to go straight to the cache rather than having to search all over. So put a good hint in the description and a perfect hint in the "hint".

Link to comment
Ever see what an area looks like after a bear comes through turning over rocks and looking for grubs? A mess.
Agree 110%, as stated before wild feral hogs in Florida root untold thousands of acres to such a mess you can't even walk thru it. If anyone has seen freshly tilled and turned farm fields then that's what the hogs do... and they do it in preserves, state parks, county parks, along roadsides, across hiking and biking trails, and in some places so badly they make the land completely impassible. Might be a little spot here and there, might be completely across several acreas without a square inch untouched.

 

The population has grown in Florida alone to over 500,000 wild feral hogs and reached the point where companies have sprung up with no other task then feral hog removal.

 

Someone complaining about a few geocachers stepping on a palmetto that will probably be gone after the next controlled burn needs to step back and see what nature herself does to her own land. I think what geocachers do with CITO far outweighs the problems they cause... but we still need to encourage respect.

Link to comment
a hint that requires you to trample all around the area for half an hour until you chance upon the container.

Wierd. People actually post hints that require seekers to tromp down vegitation? What would the cache owner do if I elected to ignore their encrypted directives, and instead, conducted a safe, careful hunt? Would they delete my logs because I didn't trample?

 

You've been around these forums how long? And you don't know the answer to THAT? :drama::anicute:

Link to comment

An increasing number of state, county and local park systems are banning geocaches and letterboxes because of the environmental damage that certain types of geocaches and geocachers are causing, just like the NPS. This is the tradition of a cache without a good hint, requiring people to tromp all over the place, tearing apart historic stone walls, killing vegetation, etc.

 

This type of cache should be banned. Caching etiquette and ethics must change, or the activity will gradually be banned from one park to another, until there is nowhere else to cache. Hints should not be encrypted, which implies you are cheating. ... snip

It's the cachers not the caches that are the problem and should be banned.

 

It's a choice to trample vegetation and tear apart rock walls. Just because a cacher can't find a cache doesn't make it okay to cause damage.

 

While I agree that the cache hiders have a responsibility to hide caches in a responsible manner, I believe that cache seekers have an even greater responsibility not to create damage in their quest. If someone can't find it without causing damage, they should give up and move on to another cache.

 

There is absolutely no excuse and no justification for causing any damage during your search. A cacher can only blame one person if they cause damage and that is themselves. It's a choice.

 

What she said.....

Link to comment
Wierd. People actually post hints that require seekers to tromp down vegitation? What would the cache owner do if I elected to ignore their encrypted directives, and instead, conducted a safe, careful hunt? Would they delete my logs because I didn't trample?
You're suggesting that you levitate in? Otherwise, let me know how you avoid treading on the vegetation. ...

Are you suggesting that geocaches should only be placed in locations that are paved?

Edited by sbell111
Link to comment
Wierd. People actually post hints that require seekers to tromp down vegitation? What would the cache owner do if I elected to ignore their encrypted directives, and instead, conducted a safe, careful hunt? Would they delete my logs because I didn't trample?
You're suggesting that you levitate in? Otherwise, let me know how you avoid treading on the vegetation. ...

Are you suggesting that geocaches should only be placed in locations that are paved?

[Monty Python]

Are you suggesting coconuts migrate??

[/Monty Python]

 

Sorry it reminded me of that line. :rolleyes:

 

Edit: Spelling

Edited by Trinity's Crew
Link to comment
Wierd. People actually post hints that require seekers to tromp down vegitation? What would the cache owner do if I elected to ignore their encrypted directives, and instead, conducted a safe, careful hunt? Would they delete my logs because I didn't trample?
You're suggesting that you levitate in? Otherwise, let me know how you avoid treading on the vegetation. ...

Are you suggesting that geocaches should only be placed in locations that are paved?

[Monty Python]

Are you suggesting coconuts migrate??

[/Monty Python]

Not at all. They could be carried. Edited by sbell111
Link to comment

These types of threads come around every so often. Since I have yet to see a cache area that has been affected for any reasonable amount of time by cachers, I'll assume that it's a solution in search of a problem and not worry about it.

 

Grass get's stepped on.

Twigs get broken.

Rocks are rolled over.

Dead logs are damaged.

 

<shrug>

Edited by sbell111
Link to comment

These types of threads come around every so often. Since I have yet to see a cache area that has been affected for any reasonable amount of time by cachers, I'll assume that it's a solution in search of a problem and not worry about it.

 

Grass get's stepped on.

Twigs get broken.

Rocks are rolled over.

Dead logs are damaged.

 

<shrug>

 

I have seen damage caused by overly well-hidden caches in sensitive areas. An example: The coordinates took you to a cottonwood tree alongside a river. We did a visual search, then gave up. Another cacher found the cache, followed by several other cachers in quick succession. We decided to give it another shot. When we returned, we found that the cache had been shallowly buried, covered with a burlap mat to which local leaves, twigs and dirt had been attached. But the startling thing was the change in the cottonwood tree: The bark had been peeled off in huge strips up to the seven-foot level. Now cottonwoods are basically giant weeds, but this one is now pretty unsightly, owing to just a couple days of cachers' vigorous investigation of nooks and crannies in the bark.

 

The original post is overwrought to be sure, but there's a grain of truth: Hide something well enough and the efforts that cachers make to find it can leave scars.

 

I don't think letterboxes are really relevant. They don't attract the same kind of intense search in a localized area that caches do. As someone pointed out, you're lucky to be in the right state based on the clues for some letterboxes.

Edited by Mule Ears
Link to comment
Wierd. People actually post hints that require seekers to tromp down vegitation? What would the cache owner do if I elected to ignore their encrypted directives, and instead, conducted a safe, careful hunt? Would they delete my logs because I didn't trample?
You're suggesting that you levitate in? Otherwise, let me know how you avoid treading on the vegetation. ...

Are you suggesting that geocaches should only be placed in locations that are paved?

[Monty Python]

Are you suggesting coconuts migrate??

[/Monty Python]

Not at all. They could be carried.
What? A swallow carrying a coconut?
Link to comment

Knee-jerk reactions by park officials to circumstantial evidence is what killed caching in one enormous park out here. You can't even reason with people once they start thinking that way. So my suggestion would be to contact the local reviewer with the concern. I think we would all rather see a cache archived than to let one or two "borderline" apples risk spoiling the bunch. I wish that had happened out here. Now it's too late. :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Wierd. People actually post hints that require seekers to tromp down vegitation? What would the cache owner do if I elected to ignore their encrypted directives, and instead, conducted a safe, careful hunt? Would they delete my logs because I didn't trample?
You're suggesting that you levitate in? Otherwise, let me know how you avoid treading on the vegetation. ...
Are you suggesting that geocaches should only be placed in locations that are paved?
[Monty Python]Are you suggesting coconuts migrate??[/Monty Python]
Not at all. They could be carried.
What? A swallow carrying a coconut?
It could grip it by the husk!
Link to comment

Knee-jerk reactions by park officials to circumstantial evidence is what killed caching in one enormous park out here. You can't even reason with people once they start thinking that way. So my suggestion would be to contact the local reviewer with the concern. I think we would all rather see a cache archived than to let one or two "borderline" apples risk spoiling the bunch. I wish that had happened out here. Now it's too late. :rolleyes:

I agree, assuming that a note to the owner didn't result in some action.

Edited by sbell111
Link to comment
Wierd. People actually post hints that require seekers to tromp down vegitation? What would the cache owner do if I elected to ignore their encrypted directives, and instead, conducted a safe, careful hunt? Would they delete my logs because I didn't trample?
You're suggesting that you levitate in? Otherwise, let me know how you avoid treading on the vegetation. ...
Are you suggesting that geocaches should only be placed in locations that are paved?
[Monty Python]Are you suggesting coconuts migrate??[/Monty Python]
Not at all. They could be carried.
What? A swallow carrying a coconut?
It could grip it by the husk!
It's not a question of where he grips it! It's a simple question of weight ratios! A five ounce bird could not carry a one pound coconut.
Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 6
×
×
  • Create New...