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Ideal Number of Hides


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Not too sure where to pen this topic but I know that I will receive good advice from the SA Forum members. :)


What is the optimum amount of hides to have? I noticed a number of caches in SA are not that well maintained by their owners and have put it down to perhaps the owner having too many caches that are too spread out. On the other hand, many caches are placed by an owner who has maybe 1 or 2 caches only and they are never maintained at all. One cannot say then that the cachers with 100+ hides are worse than the cachers with 3 hides or vice versa. I am looking for ideas as to what the optimum number might be.


I have 60 hides to my name. 15 are in South Africa and maintained by my family members who also cache. 4 are Earthcaches that require zero maintenance and the rest are here in Qatar. All 41 can comfortably be visited within 2 weekends if necessary. My lead time to maintain / replace any one missing cache is therefore maximum of 8 days. Should all have to be replaced the lead time would remain the same.


Here we have the added problem that caches are placed by ex-pats who then move on and do not bother to get their caches adopted by locals. When the cache gets into a state of disrepair the owners are not around to perform maintenance and the burden is left on the local cachers to maintain. Not that I mind doing so [i will always attempt maintenance on a cache if I am in the area and aware it requires same], but then at least they should have the decency to place a note saying they are no longer in the country and asking for an adopter.


Back to the question again - how many caches would you consider as being optimum? I would say that any cache should be able to be serviced within a maximum of 1 month. So, if you have 2 or 200 hides you should be able to service them within a month of receiving notice that maintenance is required.


Ideas, thoughts and debate around this would be welcomed.


Happy caching [and hiding] :)



Edited by cincol
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Hi Cincol


The sandpit cachers have a good formula that I think works well. They are trying to have about 10% of your number of the finds you have to be the number of hides. This means if you are very active you will have the time to maintain the number of hides out there and visa versa. Yes there can be different numbers like the area of Wazat where he is trying his best to help geocaching in his area.

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We have always been adamant that one should only place as many caches as one is prepared to maintain regularly - we have always tried to replace caches within two weeks of them going AWOL, but, of course, this is not always possible when the cache is further away than usual.


We often come across caches that need maintenance or archiving and while the cache owners are still active cachers and continue to place new caches and find others, they don't bother to maintain those they have placed previously. We always carry spares with us in our caching bag and will always assist when we can, but cache owners must also do their bit.


:) The moral of the story is: if you are prepared to maintain a cache, place it!

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Yup came across many caches in a bad state and the owners not been active or visited the GC website for months or even longer!!


Anyway to adopt these by cachers living close by? How do one go about it? Maybe we should campaign to identify these caches to keep them active!


Keep hiding caches ... ! :)

Edited by Cape_Guy
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For me it is important to do what you feel comfortable with. Some folks like hiding caches, others are not so keen. It's a game we practice for fun - rules and guidelines, although necessary, can run the risk of taking the fun out of it. If we all pitch in and help with a bit of maintenance, then we can make maintaining caches less of a chore for the owners. But then, also no point in harassing a reluctant owner. I'm not adding much to this topic except to say keep it fun.

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If you've got 10,000 finds, 1 uninspired, take me to a dumpster cache is too many. If you've got no finds, I welcome as many inspired, take me to great and interesting places caches as you can throw out there!!


Take your time, use a little thought and make sure you can maintain what you put out there.

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Agreed ... fun is what it is all about ... the hike, places you would never have made the time to go to, etc ... But one should take responsibility for the caches you place, either maintain them yourself or put special arrangements in place ... It's part of the geocaching thing ... You take and put something back into the game.


If the above is not an option and you don't see your way out maintaining all or some of them, then put it up for adoption by someone living close by ... Even better ... Only place so many you are able to handle!


Have fun! :)

Edited by Cape_Guy
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It is like everybody is rightly saying. It is not how many you have but how many you can maintain and how you are prepared to maintain them.

The moral of the story is: if you are prepared to maintain a cache, place it!

I thing the above statement sums up the ideal number of caches to hide!

I just take myself as an example. I struggle to get to caches to do maintenance due to the nature of my work. When someone leaves a note that something is wrong with one of my caches it can take weeks before I can get to them! And that is no good!

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I just take myself as an example. I struggle to get to caches to do maintenance due to the nature of my work. When someone leaves a note that something is wrong with one of my caches it can take weeks before I can get to them! And that is no good!


Agreed, I suppose that is why we also "try" not to place caches which are "high" maintenance.

Allthough, we recently noted that some rats/or other animal had chewed holes in a couple of our waterproof cache-bags out in the sticks. Back to the drawing board then, as wet logs are no good! :laughing:

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