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Converting a traditional cache to an Earthcache.

Carbon Hunter

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In South Africa, Earthcaches are only just getting going. But there are a number of really cool traditional caches in the region that are "perfect" as Earthcaches. A few cache owners have asked me about converting. e.g. there is one down an old adit gold mine, another at a fossil site.


Is this a normal practice, or should they merely log a new earthcache next to the exiting cahce - or disable the old cache once the Earthcache is up and running?


I'd appreciate your thoughts.

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It takes a reviewer to convert an existing cache from one type to another. And they rarely do this.


30 ft rule! What is this? I've never heard of this. Here is a quote from the earthcache guidelines at earthcache.org:


"EarthCaches can be placed close to existing caches, but we require that the EarthCache developer contact the original cache developer before submittal. "


Is this a case of an "unwritten guideline"? Does anyone have a direct reply from Geoaware on this. Are you willing to speak up here on this Geoaware?


And while I'm asking - Is permission required to place an earthcache near an existing cache. The published guideline requires contact not permission or is this implied?


Regular caches don't require contact or permission in such circumstances. For instance - If I had a traditional cache placed behind a boulder with a plaque on it another cacher could put a stage of a multi-cache at the same location (one that required taking info from the plaque to calculate the next stage) without permission from me as the hider of the traditional cache. Seems to me to be the exact same circumstances. Quote from GC.com cache hiding quidelines (bolding is mine):


Cache Saturation

The guideline does NOT apply to event caches, earthcaches, grandfathered virtual and webcam caches, stages of multicaches or puzzle caches entered as “question to answer” or “reference point,” or to any “bogus” posted coordinates for a puzzle cache.


The same sentence also pointedly mentions earthcaches too as exempt from this rule.


Not trying to tell Geoaware what the rules are or how to do his job, but sure would like to see some consistancy between all cache types. And to see the guidelines spelled out in their entirety. Because I sure do hate (yes hate) unwritten guidelines.



AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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Quote from Geoaware on a mail:


For EarthCaches which are within 0.1 km of another cache (of any type), we require that you obtain permission from the owner of that other cache before we publish. Otherwise, the 0.01 km absolute minimum separation holds.


For the three geological features - if they are at least 0.01 km from each other, you can create three separate EarthCaches for them. If not, I would suggest amalgamation.

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We have had the same situation - several caches that we have found have led us to an interesting spot that were great spots.


The traditional did not make a difference for us - it was the EC across the street that conflicted - we just needed to get the "ok" from that EC owner (easy) AND Geoaware gave us some leeway on the distance because the features of our EC were different AND we made sure the EC was more involved.


I was not aware that a traditional could impact an EC - we have many around here that overlap because there is no container to be found at the EC.

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1. A geocaching reviewer would not convert a traditional cache to an earthcache.


2. A traditional cache or a stage of a multi or puzzle cache can be plunked down right on top of the posted coordinates for an earthcache. Geocaching reviewers ignore earthcaches for all purposes. The two different types can coexist peaceably. :P

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Thanks Keystone for the official reply!


I'm still interested in hearing Geoaware's take on the contacting versus permission question I asked and how it relates to Keystones reply.


Carbon Hunter and Geosliders - I didn't understand that you were both refering to earthcaches being to close to each other. That does get me thinking with more questions about that perticular set of circumstance but I won't clutter this thread with them.



AKA: DeRock & the Psychic Cacher - Grattan MI

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Just ask the traditional owner for permission to place a ec, oh, and remember the 30 ft rule :unsure:


Cachers are a friendly bunch, in general :ph34r:


But what if the cache owner wants to convert his own Trad Cache to an EC?

I think it's fair to give them first shot at it before making your own EC on top of the Traditoinal Cache.

One of my TC's is now also an Earth Cache. My TC illistrated the areas geologoy and gave a quick lesson. Much like an arch cache. The person who did the EC never asked me before they put their EC on top of my TC. Now both are there doing the same job.


Had they asked they would have my blessing. Now they serve as an example of a good time to ask.

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If a submission is made for an EarthCache in the same (or very close to) a traditional cache, it will only be approved if...


a. It meets all the EC guidelines

b. Does not cover the same information as the traditional cache and

c. The EC developer contacts the traditional owner (as a matter of courtesy). We ask EC developers to do this, but only if the coords are within 100 meters.


However,some EC submissions provide such a great experience that the traditonal cache has missed, it would be a shame not to approve those based on proximity alone...



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Traditional caches have to be placed in locations that allow for a good hiding place, which are not necessarily the best viewing area for the Earthcache.


Try changing the info on the traditional and submit an earthcache at coordinates that are better for viewing the feature. The coordinates will be different. The trouble will be that the owner of the traditional and earthcache are the same and within 0.1 mile which may violate the No Container rule.


In that case, you may need to 'swap' ownership with another traditional that is being "converted." Otherwise the traditional will have to be archived.

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Carbon Hunter and Geosliders - I didn't understand that you were both refering to earthcaches being to close to each other. That does get me thinking with more questions about that perticular set of circumstance but I won't clutter this thread with them.


Here are the ones I think the Geosliders were refering to:

GC171P6 and GC16Y2V

Edited by genegene
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