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I've been accused of being the TB police and put out alot of NM logs


ZeMartelo
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Tonight by complete surprise I found out from a chatbox that three cache owner were talking about me in a not very positive way.

 

The issue seems to be that I am posting too many Need Maintenance logs and I am also reporting missing TB's in the bug logs and also that I am sending emails to people (I sent one to one of them today) to update properly the cache because the person logged that they took the bug but it is still listed as being on the cache.

 

Which is true.

Whenever I feel that a cache needs the owner's attention I place a needs maintenance because I've noticed that any other way does not mean that the owner will pay attention.

I have an example of a cache with two DNF and the last log says that there was bits of a geocaching info paper and a zip plastic bag chewed by animals and that the owner should check on it.

It was posted in August.

No action from the owner.

Today I posted a needs maintenance and in less than an hour the owner disabled the cache.

 

One of them was annoyed because he had to drive quite a bit to come check on a cache that I reported to him that it was missing and aparently it was there.

I understand that his frustration, but I did that cache last week and was back with a friend and we could not find it anywhere and I remembered where I left it very well.

He says that they were at the postd coordinates.

There were no online logs after mine, was I wrong in warning the owner that the cache is missing?

What is it that doing wrong?

About TB's, it is a peeve of mine, I am focusing more on caches with trackables and most of them are empty because people are not logging them properly.

I thought I was doing my part by sending an email to those that reported taking or placing a bug and also to leave a note on the bugs page that the it is missing.

Is this wrong as well?

 

I only a newbie with only hundred finds so far compared to these guys with more than a thousand finds but I am trying to help the hobby by making sure that the next person behind me will have fun as well.

Theres nothing worse than a DNF. :unsure:

Maybe I am doing it wrong so I thought I better check with you here.

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I am with you I have noticed that people only check on the cache's when they are placed on need maintenance, but i usually only put one on the cache if I haven't found it after 3 seperate trips and no email response. Thankfully I have never had to do it. The people in my area are pretty good at keeping an eye on their email as well as their caches.

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Instead of immediately posting a Needs Maintenance log, try a polite email to the owner instead when you find a cache with a problem. For one you think is missing, a DNF is the best route. A DNF stating you found it a week ago but not today with a friend and you think it maybe missing will give the owner the heads up to check on it. As far as trackables go, it can take awhile for someone to log it. Specially if the cacher is traveling.

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I am a relative noob myself. But it seems the community is pretty protective of their respective sandbox--especially when the criticism is being hucked at them from a noob. I wouldn't say that you are doing anything against any Groundspeak guidelines, just more going against the unwritten rules. I agree, it is annoying to have DNFs, but we are searching for things that are hidden. If I truly think a cache is missing, I either post a note or DNF on the cache page or send the owner a courteous email explaining why I think it is missing and where I looked--always thanking them for their time and effort goes a long ways. Even if you have already been to the cache, it could have been moved (and not everyone who finds a cache logs it). I wouldn't let the owner who had to drive and got mad bother you. He choose to place the cache and to drive out and check on it.

 

Perhaps maybe get involved with the community and tell the cache owners you are interested in helping maintain their caches or go caching with them. That may be the needed thing to break the tension between you. Your goals are the same, you are just simply mis-communicating.

 

One thing I am not clear on, are you actually going to these caches or just reading the logs?? If you haven't actually hunted the cache, you shouldn't tell a CO that their cache needs maintenance unless you can cite evidence of what needs to be fixed. You need to give them the benefit of the doubt, and unless you have seen something at the cache location that actually needs to be fixed, don't post NM logs.

 

Good luck with the TB's. You should be emailing the TB owners, not the cache owners. Generally posting in your log (the physical and web) that you didn't see a TB is sufficient. Also, some people travel and wait until the end of their trip to log all their trackable finds, so just give it some time.

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This is where posting a DNF only because you think a cache is missing becomes a problem. A DNF does not signify a missing cache. It merely signifies you DID NOT FIND it. Always post a DNF when you did not find the cache and the cache owner can make their own decision based on the number of DNFs long before a Needs Maintenance is ever required, which would then preclude the need to post a note on the cache page you think it is missing.

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The Needs Archive log type was one of those silly unnecessary modifications that was made to the site over the years. People (especially newbs) complained that some cacher seem to abandon there responsibility to maintain their caches. The Needs Archive log already exists to bring this to the reviewers attention. A cache that is no longer huntable because it isn't be maintained should be archived. In reality, most of the Needs Maintenance logs are unnecessary because the cache is huntable. The logs may be full or the container is in bad shape so the contents get wet but you can go and find the cache. Not only that but whether or not the owner maintains this cache, a cacher can bring a new log or some plastic bags to keep the contents dry. In fact, unless the container is specially camouflaged or unique in some way, you could even replace the container. In the old days, it was quite common for cachers to take care of each others caches.

 

When a cache goes missing, the best way to inform the owner and others is to post a DNF. If after several people have DNF'd a cache, the owner hasn't checked it, the best thing is to email the owner to ask if the cache is still there. If the owner seems to have gone AWOL, then a Needs Archive might be called for. If there is no cache to find then at least free the area for others to hide a cache. Some people use Needs Maintenance because it doesn't sound as severe as Needs Archive. (I suspect some of the heat the OP is seeing is from cache owners who don't understand the difference between Needs Maintenance and Needs Archive and think that some newb if trying to get their cache archived)

 

With regards to marking travel bugs missing, as has been stated, not everyone logs that they picked up a travel right away. They may be traveling and don't have access to a computer. More likely, when they picked up the travel bug they threw it in their backpack and forgot about. They might not log it till the find it there and leave it in another cache. I realize that this can be frustrating to travel bug owners and to newbs who seem to think that they will find a travel bug in the cache every time one is listed as being there. Because travel bug movements are logged by humans, there are always some errors and bugs will get logged into the wrong cache. I've found several travel bugs in caches that didn't show up as having bugs. Usually those bugs had been logged into the wrong cache often in the same area. I have also found a bug that wasn't listed as being in the cache were I found. When I went to that bug page I discovered that in fact it had been log into that cache but the bug owner had marked it missing since no one had logged it out in several months (although the cache had visitors during that time). If you don't find a bug in cache, feel free to email the bug owner or the cache owner to let them know. If they mark it missing fine, but if they don't, don't make a big stink about it.

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Travel bugs and geocoins, now there is a subject. Any listing on a cache page of a traveler is highly suspect in my opinion. I don't pay attention to that part of the cache page. If I find one when I visit the cache, great, if I don't find one that is okay also. I might mention in my log that no bugs or coins were found but that is about it. Some times it just takes time for the logging to happen. Other times they are just gone.

 

Jim

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You did nothing wrong.

 

If the annoyed guy had to drive a long ways to check his cache, I believe he should have considered that possibility when he placed it so far from home.

 

With only 350+ finds, I've already seen way too many "junk" containers where the contents are soaking in standing water and the log is a sodden mass. When I find containers that originally were not even close to being waterproof, I wonder what the heck were they thinking?

 

As far as Geocoins/TB's not being in a cache, get used to it. I enjoy finding them, but I quickly figured out that too many people just don't care enough to properly log them out of one cache and into another.

I no longer expect to find them in a cache that supposedly has them.

 

I've decided I'll never own one that I release into the wild. I will "discover" them, but I won't move TB's or GeoCoins anymore unless they catch my eye for some reason. I especially won't move anything attached to a big plush toy.

 

I say keep doing what your doing.

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Needs Maintenance logs are an excellent tool if used properly.

 

If you find a cache that obviously is in poor condition, or has a full logbook or otherwise needs immediate attention by all means log a needs maintenance. As a cache owner I wish more people would use the option because it makes life easier for me.

 

Now if you are logging a Needs Maintenance for minor issues (junky swag, pencil needs sharpening, torn Ziploc, etc.), or for caches that you just couldn't find, or if you are simply surfing the website looking for caches to flag as Needs Maintenance, then I can see people becoming annoyed.

 

As far as missing TBs, just note that the TB is not in the cache in your log and leave it up to the TB and cache owners to work it out.

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Once again-brian is da man with da correct answer.

NM for a soggy log or a damaged container is a fine log. I wouldn't use it if a TB was missing though. And I certainly wouldn't log anything from the comfort of my home until I had personally visited the location of the cache.

 

As far as the issue of others discussing your activity-meh who cares what others are saying about you? Let your actions speak for you.

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briansnat, nailed it.

 

Also, don't expect a cache to be where you last found it. Folks tend to not put caches back where they found them. You might think the cache is gone, offer up an SBA, and then someone with fewer finds than you comes along and finds it. Why? Because they didn't have expectations of where the cache was "supposed" to be. Remember, you might have found it out of place and the owner put it back.

Edited by CoyoteRed
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After my first few months as a cacher I realized that rather than posting NM logs (Don't think I ever have really, although I've noted problems in my find logs or maybe a note) I would serve the community better by putting some cache maintenance gear in my backpack. Now I carry a variety of sizes of plastic baggies with me and a bunch of spare log sheets and extra pens/pencils. I have some spare Bison Tubes and a roll of Duct Tape (I also carry CITO bags...I go through more of them than anything!). Now when I see a shredded baggie, I replace it. Log a wad of pulp in a torn bag? I leave a fresh log sheet in a new baggie if it'll fit in the container with the old one (Otherwise I think I would take the wad with me and email the CO and ask if they want me to send it to them...which reminds me (dag, and I even saw to the CO yesterday)!).

 

One of the biggest lessons I learned in my first few dozen finds is that just because I can't find it...even if I'm just the latest in a long string of DNFs...Does NOT necessarily mean the cache isn't there. It just means I didn't find it. Some have taken me half a dozen attempts or more. Some have taken 10+ hours. Some I've eventually just needed a point in the right direction from the hider or a previous finder. And there are a few DNFs I just haven't cleared up yet.

 

I've only been hiding caches a couple of months and just put out my 6th. I've not yet gotten a NM log on any but have gotten find logs on one about a soggy log. I can't speak for CO's with huge numbers of hides that have been at it a long time, I'm still in the new and exciting stage so I read all the logs (repeatedly) and when I saw the soggy log comment I went and did some cache maintenance. I'm thinking Brian is totally right though, I bet I won't be immediately jumping to read every new log in a couple of years with 100 caches out there, so a Needs Maint. would be helpful for stuff like wet/full logs or broken containers just to make sure I notice it.

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briansnat, nailed it.

 

Also, don't expect a cache to be where you last found it. Folks tend to not put caches back where they found them. You might think the cache is gone, offer up an SBA, and then someone with fewer finds than you comes along and finds it. Why? Because they didn't have expectations of where the cache was "supposed" to be. Remember, you might have found it out of place and the owner put it back.

 

Don't forget, this works both ways...I hid a cache on Friday, went back yesterday morning to check on it after the FTF (Long story) and saw another cacher there who had been looking quite a while but hadn't found it. We talked a while and then I went to get it because he said he'd already looked there. Well, I looked and it wasn't where I'd put it. It took me about 10 minutes to find it even though it had only been moved about 3' from where I put it. I went back and edited the cache page to ask folks to try to get it back where they found it. Just moving it the 3' not only made it a decent search for me (and I knew what flavor of evil I was looking for)...but it made the hint completely untrue.

 

It's all a learning process...I think that's a big part of what makes it so much fun.

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Don't forget, this works both ways...I hid a cache on Friday, went back yesterday morning to check on it after the FTF (Long story) and saw another cacher there who had been looking quite a while but hadn't found it. We talked a while and then I went to get it because he said he'd already looked there. Well, I looked and it wasn't where I'd put it. It took me about 10 minutes to find it even though it had only been moved about 3' from where I put it.

Yep, happened to me, too. I was trying to figure whether to archive or replace when another find log came in. I emailed them and they told me where it was--about 50' away!

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Yes.

You are doing it all wrong. :D

Those cachers with lots of finds are the experts. :D

Now quit playing the game your way, and fall in line with the other geocachers in your area.

;)

 

I never use the needs maintenance post anymore.

I too have been slammed for using it. :(

 

Also I hate when I get one of those on one of my cache hides. :D

I prefer to get a note, or an email. :D

 

Try this.... fix the cache if you can.

I carry extra logsheets and containers of varied sizes.

If the logsheet is soggy, I'll add a new dry one in a baggy.

 

....and don't worry about the geocoins. They are never listed in the correct spot for long.

as an owner of many geocoins, I'm thrilled just to see they haven't been stolen yet.

 

Now go have fun, and work on getting off that list of nagging noobies :D

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You can "police" my caches any time. I'd appreciate it.

 

As for TBs, everyone seems to agree, don't worry too much. Perhaps an e-mail to the cache owner. Rarely one to whomever grabbed it last. This is especially if it has been a very long time.

 

As far as NM, I do a lot of maintenance on other peoples' caches. I even carry superglue and magnets. I'll note repairs or the need for them in my log, just as I would trades. Only when a cache is too bad for me to fix will I do an NM. I find most COs read the logs.

 

When I am absolutely positively certain a cache is gone, I still only do a DNF because I've been wrong a lot of times. Sometimes I'll send an e-mail. Once, after finding a cache, I returned and could not find it. That warranted a note.

 

(There is one cache that I look for every month or two. I still have not found it. I use DNF because I'm pretty sure it is just me. And, so not to discourage other, I make that clear in my logs.)

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If anyone tells me any of my caches need looking at I get to it ASAP as I think it is only right to keep them in good order for cachers who take the time and trouble to look for them.

 

I have known some people who are very good at setting new caches as if they want to have a high number out there but are very, very slow when it comes to maintaining them - it seems once set they forget about them - as if it's just numbers game with them.

Edited by El Aguila
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Thanks for all the replies.

I just want to clarify a few things and will leave it at that.

I will only send an email to someone if they have logged a find and wrote that they took the bug.

Sometimes I might send an email asking someone if they took a bug and forgot to log it.

 

I do not post needs maintenance or email the cache owner or the bug owner.

I just post a note on the cache log saying that the bug is missing and leave it at that.

 

I use needs maintenance as a reminder to the cache owner that the cache has problems.

Maybe because the logbook is full, the cache is broken, everythign is wet, etc.

I have a few things that I carry with me, like a few regular logbooks, pencils and bags.

But I cant possibly carry everything to fix everybody's caches.

 

Maintaining the cache is not my business, my business is finding them and it is up to the owner responsability to keep it in shape.

I will help if I can.

I have had a few caches that had several DNF's and some explicitly say that the cache has been destroyed and no action was taken to fix it.

A NM from me and within hours the cache owner is aware of it and takes steps to look at it.

Isnt what NM is for?

I have fun finding caches, not wasting my time looking for caches that are gone. I want to make sure that the cache is there so the next guy behind me will have fun finding it. Thats all.

 

Anyway, it really upset me what happened last night and I need to calm down and let it go.

Thanks for reading.

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If you did not see the actual cache damage and just took it upon yourself to log a NM then you did wrong plain and simple.

 

I've seen that done before when it turned out the thing they saw was just junk paper and stuff that the public threw out, the cache was fine and in good shape. I would be upset if you logged that as a NM and you personally did not witness it.

 

So, if you're going through caches in the area and logging NM on them without firsthand knowledge stop it.

 

I would also suggest you stop emailing people asking them if they took the bug that you didn't find. Just make a note in your found log that the bug you wanted was not there and that that's how the game works.

 

Play nice with people.

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I would assume that a NM log really means that it needs maintenance.

For a cacher to know this however the cache would have had to actually find it and notice something that needs attention! Cracked lid, wet contents, full log, camo gone or damaged etc... Just because you could not find does not warrant a NM. It does however merit a DNF to let the placer know that it may be one to keep an eye on.

 

I'm with you as far as the TBs go though. I dislike finding a cache that is supposed to have a trackable only to find none but I've given up on trying to advise the owner to mark it as missing because it is VERY possible that a previous finder simply hasn't logged it yet.

 

As a cache placer, I do however appreciate a friendly note if something is wrong with my hides but to get a NM log when maintenance is not necessary is quite frustrating.

 

It's funny too, just last weekend two caching buddies and I were discussing some "Log Full' notes we had received only to find several open spots when we arrived to replace. One of which had a full half of the log available.

 

So.. just keep in mind that a NM means "Dude, something is messed up here!" and please mean it.

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The only note all add regards the TB's. I definitely recommend giving it a few days if you notice one gone and somebody has visited it recently. Case in point:

 

I started a three day trip with a friend to complete a challenge. That morning, at the first cache I went too, I dropped a bug and picked one up. That night, at a stop, we got lucky and were able to get online. We published two caches and I logged the drop off of my bug. However, I had a problem logging the bug I picked up because I misread a 0 as an O. Not realizing that, I decided to wait until after the trip to take care of it.

 

When I got home from the trip, I saw a log from later that same night (on the first day), someone stopped at the cache who had been there earlier in the week. They were exchanging bugs. They saw my visit, saw that I had logged a find, and noticed a TB missing. They immediately contacted me, contacted the TB owner, and posted a log about it. However, the e-mail I got sounded a bit accusatory for not logging the pick up. The e-mail I got from the TB owner merely stated that they had been contacted about a missing bug and was checking to see who might have picked it up. The log on the cache page however, stated "it looks like somebody visited the cache but didn't care to log the TB they picked up". Since I was the only one who visited between their two visits, it clearly looked aimed at me to anybody reading it. And all of this had occurred within 24 hours after I had visited the cache the previous morning, and I was on a three day camping/geocaching trip.

 

I only recommend that if you do log that an item is missing, a note that you didn't see the item is all that is needed. My friend and I thought it was a bit rude how this was handled. It got worse when I e-mailed them and explained what happened, asking if they could try not being so "finger - pointy" and that contacting me, the cache owner, the bug owner, and posting a log on the cache page about how "I didn't care to log the TB" was a bit excessive. Let's just say it ended with me receiving a vicious e-mail about how this is standard procedure by "all regular geocachers" and that maybe I should adjust how I log items.

 

As a TB/coin owner myself, I usually about two weeks before I start looking at why it might missing. The person may be on a trip, or they forgot they had it. Usually, an e-mail stating that I am just checking on the item to confirm it's location is enough. I also offer to help out if they run into a problem and are unable to place it. Being nice about it usually goes a long way when I do this. Once, I was even contacted asking if a person could hold onto it because they had a trip coming up and wanted to take it with them because they thought they had an idea for where to drop it.

 

I think you are doing the right thing. You're just trying to help make it a more enjoyable experience. Just remember to be nice when you do this and if it were me, I'd be appreciative of your effort to help my items.

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Just moving it the 3' not only made it a decent search for me (and I knew what flavor of evil I was looking for)...but it made the hint completely untrue.
I've gotten in the habit of decrypting hints after I find a cache, just to check for caches that have migrated a bit from where the hint suggests. If the hint doesn't match where I found the cache, then I replace it where the hint says it belongs if I can do so reasonably. Whether I can or not, I let the owner know about the problem.
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Regarding travelling bugs and geocoins....

Most of my trips are more than one day long.

Therefore I don't get my travelbugs logged until I get home.

Many times the bugs are already logged out of the cache I dropped them in, and into another.

Many times there are notes about travelbugs being missing out of the cache I grabbed them from.

Patience..... learn patience.... You may open up a cache I dropped a travelbug into. It won't say it has one until I get home.....sometimes a week later.

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When I got home from the trip, I saw a log from later that same night (on the first day), someone stopped at the cache who had been there earlier in the week. They were exchanging bugs. They saw my visit, saw that I had logged a find, and noticed a TB missing. They immediately contacted me, contacted the TB owner, and posted a log about it. However, the e-mail I got sounded a bit accusatory for not logging the pick up. The e-mail I got from the TB owner merely stated that they had been contacted about a missing bug and was checking to see who might have picked it up. The log on the cache page however, stated "it looks like somebody visited the cache but didn't care to log the TB they picked up". Since I was the only one who visited between their two visits, it clearly looked aimed at me to anybody reading it. And all of this had occurred within 24 hours after I had visited the cache the previous morning, and I was on a three day camping/geocaching trip.

Ooh, yeah, I know that feeling! Dropped a bug in an cache. Next visitor (same day) moved it to another cache (and waited for me to log it.) (Same day) someone grabbed it from me, saying "Guess they didn't bother to log it in." The irony is that two yers later, that third person still has the bug!

 

To OP:

Best advice is to wait a week (or two) before worrying about a bug getting logged. Sorry it took me a half hour to drive home to log the bug in!

If I do not find a listed bug, and it has been sitting in that cache for a while, I'll wait a week, then post a note on the TB's page. That alerts the owner. I also log it on the cache page. Cache owners can mark a bug missing, but many don't bother to.

 

Needs maintenance: I wouldn't post Needs Maintenance for a filled log. I always carry extra paper. And there's usually some room to sign you name. Do mention it in your log, however. Needs Maintenance is for broken containers, soggy contents, or even "The fence/tree the cache is hidden in is missing." And that you witnessed this. Just because you cannot find it does not mean that it is missing. I DNFed one of my own caches, and the previous finder had just moved it three inches! (Okay. So that's a long story...) Next finder found two caches.

 

Yes, I can see why people think you're the geocaching police.

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I disagree with the suggestion that one should not e-mail someone who has grabbed a TB but not dropped it after a reasonable time. Sometimes people, including me, forget to drop bugs. Sometimes, all we find are micros. A pleasant e-mail just helps keep the game moving.

 

FWIW, there was one TB that I grabbed. When I went to log the grab, I read the TBs goal and realized that the bug I grabbed was probably not the one in the description. I then read the prior logs. These showed that something real odd was going on. It was as if there were two bugs with the same id number.

 

I spent several hours and sent about a dozen e-mails trying to get the thing straightened out. I eventually did. While it was not my responsibility, I felt that assuming such a responsibility helped the game. Enough said.

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Again thanks for all your opinions.

 

I decided to cut back on my endeavours and just go out find caches and log Found, DNF logs and log the bugs I find.

 

I dont need this kind of aggravation and if cache owners dislike to be informed that something is wrong with their caches then I am not going to bother with it anymore.

I will take this as a lesson and move on.

I dont like it but will move on.

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1. If you can't FIND a cache simply log a DNF.....period.

 

2. If you FIND a cache and it needs attention you could log a NM......hopefully if its only a wet log you will have one to leave to help the owner, I've probably done this a hundred times. You can cut them out of pieces of paper and put them in little ziplocks for pennies a log.

 

3. Please don't mention that you didn't have a pencil.

 

4. Cache owners are not TB Police and are not responsible for TB's placed in there caches. 90% + of missing TB's are not muggled but mishandled by cachers. I have caches that are ONLY ASSESIBLE TO CACHERS and yet PLENTY of bugs go missing.

 

I think things were WAY better without NM and NA being included.....we used to just email the owner. Now this junk shows up on the cache page to discourage and confuse future finders. The vast majority on NM's and all the NA's on my stuff have been bogus.

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Needs Maintenance has been covered so well in this thread that I won't even go there. However, on the note of missing bugs, that is entirely different. Many times I have e-mailed a cache owner, reporting that a listed bug is not in their cache. This is only after reading logs going back weeks or even months. I have searched through the contents, came up empty, and I would like to let the owner of the bug know. The cache owner is able to log a missing on a bug, where I as a seeker can not. I don't have the tracking number. The owner of the cache where the bug is logged into doesn't need a tracking number. The only reason I e-mail the cache owner is to remind them that they have that option. The owner of the cache can delete it from inventory, thereby notifying the bug owner that it is indeed missing. I reiterate! I only do this when previous logs show that the bug is not there, and I have searched the cache diligently.

Edited by Mag Magician
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1. If you can't FIND a cache simply log a DNF.....period.

Thats what I do.

 

2. If you FIND a cache and it needs attention you could log a NM......hopefully if its only a wet log you will have one to leave to help the owner, I've probably done this a hundred times. You can cut them out of pieces of paper and put them in little ziplocks for pennies a log.

Its one thing to replace paper, but if it is wet then the problem is more likely bigger than just replacing the paper.

 

3. Please don't mention that you didn't have a pencil.

Pencils are not an issue and besides I always use have a pen with me. ;)

 

4. Cache owners are not TB Police and are not responsible for TB's placed in there caches. 90% + of missing TB's are not muggled but mishandled by cachers. I have caches that are ONLY ASSESIBLE TO CACHERS and yet PLENTY of bugs go missing.

I dont report bugs to either cache or bug owners.

I simply put a note on the bug log that the item is missing. Nothing else.

I only send an email to someone if they logged that they took Tb and did not remove it from the list as a reminder.

I agree with you that cachers are mishandling bugs, I blame it a bit on the way Geocaching log system works (I've discussed that in another thread), but if they dont know that they are doing it wrong how are they gonna do it right if someone doesnt tell them?

But I am going to stop doing it as well. I will only log the bugs that I find and thats it.

 

I think things were WAY better without NM and NA being included.....we used to just email the owner. Now this junk shows up on the cache page to discourage and confuse future finders. The vast majority on NM's and all the NA's on my stuff have been bogus.

Whats the difference?

With the log future finders know what they are up against.

If a NM log says that the logbook is wet or full, the next guy planning to go visit the cache can take the necessary stuff to fix it instead of relying on the owner.

By sending an email to the owner, theres always the possibility that the owner will do nothing about it.

 

Imo it is up to the cache owner to make sure that the cache is maintained properly.

It shouldnt have to rely on us finders to maintain them.

If you place a cache then own it and take care of it, dont moan and bitch because someone sends a bogus NM.

Lets not forget that if someone goes to the trouble of posting a NM thats because the person feels that it is warranted bogus or not.

If someone doesnt want to put up with it then shouldnt be putting out caches.

Edited by ZeMartelo
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With the log future finders know what they are up against.

If a NM log says that the logbook is wet or full, the next guy planning to go visit the cache can take the necessary stuff to fix it instead of relying on the owner.

By sending an email to the owner, theres always the possibility that the owner will do nothing about it.

 

Imo it is up to the cache owner to make sure that the cache is maintained properly.

It shouldnt have to rely on us finders to maintain them.

If you place a cache then own it and take care of it, dont moan and bitch because someone sends a bogus NM.

Lets not forget that if someone goes to the trouble of posting a NM thats because the person feels that it is warranted bogus or not.

If someone doesnt want to put up with it then shouldnt be putting out caches.

Hmm...I can't imagine why someone would speak negatively about you. Not a very progressive attitude, but not an uncommon one either. While it isn't against the guidelines, it is against the "un-written" etiquette rules of the game. So, to answer your question, yes, you are going about it all wrong. Also, these are very bold words from someone who has one cache in another country and doesn't even maintain it. My theory is to help out with maintaining caches as much as possible and if there is something I can't fix, well, I either email the CO or post a note (if possible, I even offer to fix it for them if they would like). But, I don't use the NM because I want people to still go to the cache. True, it is the CO property and their ultimate responsibility, but why try to create a headache from them?

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Thanks for all the replies.

I just want to clarify a few things and will leave it at that.

I will only send an email to someone if they have logged a find and wrote that they took the bug.

Sometimes I might send an email asking someone if they took a bug and forgot to log it.

 

I do not post needs maintenance or email the cache owner or the bug owner.

I just post a note on the cache log saying that the bug is missing and leave it at that.

 

I use needs maintenance as a reminder to the cache owner that the cache has problems.

Maybe because the logbook is full, the cache is broken, everythign is wet, etc.

I have a few things that I carry with me, like a few regular logbooks, pencils and bags.

But I cant possibly carry everything to fix everybody's caches.

 

Maintaining the cache is not my business, my business is finding them and it is up to the owner responsability to keep it in shape.

I will help if I can.

I have had a few caches that had several DNF's and some explicitly say that the cache has been destroyed and no action was taken to fix it.

A NM from me and within hours the cache owner is aware of it and takes steps to look at it.

Isnt what NM is for?

I have fun finding caches, not wasting my time looking for caches that are gone. I want to make sure that the cache is there so the next guy behind me will have fun finding it. Thats all.

 

Anyway, it really upset me what happened last night and I need to calm down and let it go.

Thanks for reading.

That's only nine steps, I thought it was a 12 step process. :)

 

keep it up, make yourself happy, don't hurt others; after all, variety is the spice of life.

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I have an example of a cache with two DNF and the last log says that there was bits of a geocaching info paper and a zip plastic bag chewed by animals and that the owner should check on it.

It was posted in August.

No action from the owner.

Today I posted a needs maintenance and in less than an hour the owner disabled the cache.

Question: Did you actually visit the cache prior to posting your note? If so, I say "Bravo!". That's what a responsible cacher should do, when they encounter a cache that's been trached. If you not personally visit the cache immediately prior to posting the note, then I'd say you have no clue what the condition of the cache is. As such, your actions, while possibly being entirely warranted, might come across as irksome.

 

One of them was annoyed because he had to drive quite a bit to come check on a cache that I reported to him that it was missing and apparently it was there.

Maybe it's just how you posted it? Some folks come across as prickly in their online postings, without ever meaning to. There's a world of difference between:

"Your cache is missing."

and

"I think the cache may be missing, as I found it last week and it wasn't where I left it."

 

While one statement is an absolute, the other is clearly just your opinion, based upon your personal experience.

If the owner chooses to rush out and check their cache every time someone posts an opinion about its presence, they have only themselves to blame for the wasted gas and time.

 

Overall, I'd guess you were being a responsible cacher, but I'd need to see the other side of this story to be sure.

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I usually log NMs when I did not find the cache after a 15+ minute search and one of the following scenarios are present:

1) There are several consecutive DNFs already logged (especially since most people don't log DNFs, three or four could mean alot more.)

2) The last find was months ago although several other caches close by have been repeatedly found recently.

3) There is evidence of an incident, such as swag scattered around ground zero. (After all, how often do you find flag lapel pins and golf balls in the middle of the woods or right next to a suburban road intersection?)

 

I prefer to detail my reasoning, considering it not a negative, imperative call, but a open-ended heads-up, to the tune of 'Hey, just wanted to let you know that you might want to check on this cache, just in case something really happened to it'.

 

If the cache actually is fine, all the better - and the owner's verification on the cache page would be greatly beneficial to all the DNFs who wouldn't mind going to look again. If the CO is bitchy about having to do that for a cache, he/she shouldn't have put it out in the first place.

 

Otherwise, when a cache needs maintenance rather than being possibly MIA, I carry a caching toolkit with me and very often replace torn ziplocs or pencils, or add log sheets when necessary. I also have the habit of CITO-ing all those torn, dank black trash bags that some caches are wrapped with. If several already declared NM stating that the cache is destroyed, I would go in with a lock-and-lock and logbook, and patch it up to good as new, even if only temporarily until the owner comes back. The owner probably would be MIA him/herself to the tune of months to years, and the cache would need adopting, or an archive-relist.

 

I also note, for every cache I goto, what trackables are present, and that the rest aren't, on the cache as well as the TB page - only stating 'is MIA' when the last log was months off - and so far the only responses I have had, thankfully, are positive ones.

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As a TB/coin owner myself, I usually about two weeks before I start looking at why it might missing. The person may be on a trip, or they forgot they had it. Usually, an e-mail stating that I am just checking on the item to confirm it's location is enough. I also offer to help out if they run into a problem and are unable to place it. Being nice about it usually goes a long way when I do this. Once, I was even contacted asking if a person could hold onto it because they had a trip coming up and wanted to take it with them because they thought they had an idea for where to drop it.

 

I think you are doing the right thing. You're just trying to help make it a more enjoyable experience. Just remember to be nice when you do this and if it were me, I'd be appreciative of your effort to help my items.

 

Just wanted to reiterate that. How a CO responds a NM log, an online log, or sending email to the CO is may vary significantly depending on the tone of the message.

 

I've contacted quite a few trackable owners after picking up a coin/TB prior to taking a trip somewhere. Even though a TB's mission might say it wants to go in a different direction the CO might appreciate me taking it across the pond for a visit to Italy.

 

About a week ago I got an email acknowledgment that a TB had been placed in a new cache. The previous log on the item was almost a year to the day earlier. I have no idea why the holder kept it so long but I'm just glad it's back in circulation.

Edited by NYPaddleCacher
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Like others have said, with travel bugs and geocoins, anything can happen.

 

I also will try to help a little to clean up or repair a cache if I can; however it is not my responsibility to purchase supplies for all the poorly maintained caches I find.

 

When I place a cache, I strive to provide a good, sturdy container that will remain watertight. It really drives me nuts when folks put out flimsy fim cans or pill bottles or pickle jars. Those kinds of containers never stay watertight, and the logbooks turn to mush. I think it's really lazy to use film cans.

 

On a recent caching day, six of the twelve caches we found were in film cans or pill bottles, and the logs were all pulp. What a pain! On a couple of them, I noticed that numerous 'log was wet, could not sign' logs were posted, but the cache owner didn't do anything.

 

Why not take a little caring and thought ahead of time to place a quality cache container that can take the abuse of of time, weather, and use, and still protect the contents? It shows a lack of creativity and caring to just dump a plain old film can in a spot and call it a cache.

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Yes, I'm one of the guilty party. You were the topic of discussion. We did not run away when you asked if we had a problem. If you check the chatbox history, you'll notice I did invite you into the discussion.

 

I typically do routine cache checks, usually spring and fall. If cache logs indicate a problem I'll stop by the next time I'm in the area if it's going to happen soon otherwise I'll do a special trip. Luckily most of my caches are fairly close to home.

 

I'd like you to save this thread and visit it again when you get 1000 or so finds under you belt and have placed 100 caches ( the suggested minumum hides to pay back the sport, 10:1) See if you still think the same way.

 

We are a community, we help each other, the unwritten rules are learned over time. Alway remember it is just a game and DNFs are part of it. Some of the most humorous logs stem from DNF adventures.

 

Another thing to keep in mind about cache descriptions and logs is that many cachers don't read them before they search. Sometimes cachers load a bunch of caches into their GPS and don't update it for a week or a month. That can lead to searches for disabled or archived caches. Surprisingly, sometimes the cache is still found, safe and sound.

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I'd like you to save this thread and visit it again when you get 1000 or so finds under you belt and have placed 100 caches ( the suggested minumum hides to pay back the sport, 10:1) See if you still think the same way.

suggested minimum hides to pay back the sport :D

 

We are a community, we help each other, the unwritten rules are learned over time.

unwritten rules :laughing:

 

I'd better start paying more attention.

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I'd like you to save this thread and visit it again when you get 1000 or so finds under you belt and have placed 100 caches ( the suggested minumum hides to pay back the sport, 10:1) See if you still think the same way.

That's suggested by YOU, of course... this is nothing official. It would be irresponsible for me to hide 360 caches, because I could not possibly maintain them. Yet, I feel that I give plenty back to the sport without reference to this made-up "suggestion."

 

To the OP, maybe you could turn your attention to reporting people who cheat on puzzle caches by asking for help in the forums. :D

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Hey I did not cheat, I was asking how to solve Bifid cripted text. :D

 

Stickman, I have learned from this and I will refrain from posting NM in the future and also stop f/u with people to make sure they log the bugs properly.

If this is what the comunity wants then I will go with it.

 

I just want to go out find caches have fun and report what I found (or not), I am not interested in the background "politics" of it.

That's all.

 

Happy cachen and hoepfully we will meet on the trails.

Edited by ZeMartelo
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To the OP, maybe you could turn your attention to reporting people who cheat on puzzle caches by asking for help in the forums. :laughing:

This is a good example of a newbie who hasn't learned all the unwritten rules yet :D

 

Sometimes the new guy wants to be helpful and jumps right in, for example, by giving out advice on the forum or using Need Maintenance when it isn't necessary, Almost always, the so-called experienced cachers will jump on the newb for doing this. Hey the new guy is really trying to get into this and be helpful. Give him some constructive criticism and pointers, but don't attack him for trying.

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Perhaps I misunderstand the problem, but...

 

If I don't find the cache after what I feel is an adequate search I usually whup out my Phone-A-Friend list to see if I or someone I know knows how to contact the owner, or if I can contact one of the last cachers who did find it. They are almost always willing to give me a hint. If that works, wonderful, if not I call them back and ask for specific info. The owner doesn't want to make a useless status verification trip (I'm already there, why should they have to?), so they tell me where it's supposed to be.

 

If I still can't find it I tell the owner that it's missing and he will temporarily disable the listing until he can come check on it. Sometimes in this circumstance I may replace the cache and ask the owner to come check it out. If he finds that his cache is still in place he can remove mine. Cache owners generally appreciate all the help they can get!

 

If I cannot contact the owner or a dependable previous finder it is a DNF. To me a DNF means simply that... I didn't find it, not that it's missing. I may or may not file a DNF log. I rarely if ever cache alone nowadays and I don't keep records while caching; at the end of most caching days I am hard-pressed to remember which caches we found that day. If I decide to log them I will wait until my partners log them then use their Found It logs as the record of which ones I found with them. Mostly I know that my signature is in the cache log, my friends who were there know that I found it, the cache owner will know that I found it when he sees my signature... unless it's a really special cache or something interesting happened on the hunt I don't need to log it online; therefore I log maybe half of my finds. No, I don't 'owe' the owner a log! If there where several DNFs before ours it's almost certain that one of the people with me will file a NM note to get the owner to come check on it.

 

If I find a cache in need of minor maintenance and I can fix it I do. That helps everyone. The cache is depleted? Restock it, for everyone's benefit. Wet log? Dry the cache and replace the log with one in a Ziploc baggie. Simple no-brainer. Swag wet and smelly? CITO it and put in some replacement swag. I don't do it for what you'll think of me, in fact I probably won't even mention it in the log (if I log it at all)... I do it because it fits my image of me. Sort of a Pay It Forward kind of personal ethic thing. Is fixing someone else's cache your responsibility? I suppose that depends on how you choose to live your life! :ph34r:

 

If I find a cache that needs heavy maintenance, something that I can't easily fix that the owner needs to know about and deal with, it would be nice to have a mechanism with which to alert the cache owner and any cacher who follows me that there is an issue with the cache that needs, um, maintenance. Then when the owner fixes the problem (in a timely manner as all cache owners do) he can post that it has been dealt with.

 

Oh wait! We have that! It's called a Needs Maintenance Log! :D

 

If I am at the cache and the landowner rolls up, tells me to get off their property, that there isn't supposed to be a cache here, it'd be really nice to have a mechanism to immediately alert the cache owner, anyone following me and the Reviewer that there is reason to believe that that this cache possibly needs to be archived and why. Then the cache owner can straighten out the misunderstanding (because nobody places caches without adequate permission, so it must be a mistake) and, if it's not dealt with right away the Reviewer can decide what to do about it.

 

Oh wait! We have that! It's called a Needs Archived Log! :laughing:

 

Logging anything just because I saw what I believe to be a problem expressed in the online logs of others in a cache I never hunted for?

Um, no.

 

Logging that I found the cache and the listed TB isn't in it? Very doubtful.

 

Wannabe Cache or TB Police? Not my job.

 

So that's how I roll, for what it's worth. For me it keeps caching fun and simple, no question about what is the right thing to do. I like fun and simple, and I feel like I left my little piece of the world better than I found it in some minute way. :)

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...Whenever I feel that a cache needs the owner's attention I place a needs maintenance...

 

I'm biased. I hate the NM log. Keep that in mind.

 

That said.

If you THINK the cache needs maintance. That's not the time for a NM log. A feeling, a huntch, an inkling, or your thought are not enough for the NM log. You need a reason. "I checked with the last finder and the cache is missing". That's a reason. You are now working on facts, and not a hunch.

 

Next. If the cache owner is paying attention, they already know and are already as 'on it' as they are going to be. If the cache owner isn't paying attention, your log won't help. The two things a NM does is:

A) Some owners skim log types and only read NM logs. For them the NM log works.

:D It sets the "NM" attribute so other finders can filter out caches in needs of maintance.

 

Lastly there are reasons for maintenance and there is fluff. If you don't like the swag. Thats not reason enough for a NM log. If the cache is a tad worn but otherwise fine. That's no reason for a NM log. If the TB inventory differs from what's in the cache, that's not reason for a NM log. And so on. Damp, Wet, Broken (and in dire peril of becoming damp or wet), or Missing are valid reasons for an NM log.

 

Then you have TB's. I don't really participate much in the TB part of caching. It's not my cup of tea. To that end I don't check my caches to be sure the bugs listed match. Nor do I remove TB's from inventory that are not there . I am content to allow the TB sub game to play out on it's own without my participation.

 

Recently I asked someone (the co-owner) to check a jointly owned cache. They said sure. Right after that two folks posted NM logs because they THINK the cache MAY be missing. As it happens I agree that there have been too many DNF's on this cache even though it's a hard find. However because they posted that afte we were already on the job....it pissed off the help and now they will get to it when they are dadgum good and ready. I can't force the issue because I know their personality and it would be counter productive. Will we take care of the cache? Yes. Will we do in in the time frame of every NM Posting fiend? Nope.

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...Maybe I am doing it wrong so I thought I better check with you here.

I think it would help to get in the right mindset.

At what point would you approach someone about maintaing theri children, car, house, or even washing a bit more because of BO, or doing something about their breath?

 

We all have issues with each of these at some level. However we all are also somewhat sensative at some level as well. There is an art to approaching a stranger about them. Ditto a cache. Others have alluded to it. Once you know a person you know the right approach. Some owners you put on the kid gloves. Others you just phone them up and say. "Hey dummy, check your cache". YMMV.

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At least you do not put an NM log out of the blue without visiting the site.

I know a cacher, who will remain nameless due to the guidelines, who had placed hundreds of NM logs just because he saw many caches with even just one DNF, half way around the country, in a place that he might be in a few months.

 

It's nice knowing people everywhere, I've been asked if I know, such-and-such, by at least 5 people. And I don't think that cacher has actually ever cached outside his state. Well, no more than a few dozen in a half dozen local states (not the states where he's placed NM logs).

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I'd like you to save this thread and visit it again when you get 1000 or so finds under you belt and have placed 100 caches ( the suggested minumum hides to pay back the sport, 10:1) See if you still think the same way.

That's suggested by YOU, of course... this is nothing official. It would be irresponsible for me to hide 360 caches, because I could not possibly maintain them. Yet, I feel that I give plenty back to the sport without reference to this made-up "suggestion."

 

To the OP, maybe you could turn your attention to reporting people who cheat on puzzle caches by asking for help in the forums. :rolleyes:

 

Sorry, I cannot take the credit for this "made up " suggestion.

 

My memory is not the best but I'm pretty sure the 10:1 ratio was brought up in one. Actually if you care to search for the related threads they are present on this site, I'm sure you've been around long enough to have read one or two of them. Personally, I don't care to search for the threads again having read a bit a one a while back. Nor do I care about hide to find ratios.

 

Yet the gist of my post is this, find a whole lot, hide a significant number, see if you still feel exactly the same way about all aspects of geocaching as when you first started. IMHO.... I think many cachers/hiders would have to say no. After a year or two, at least some of their ideas about geocaching will have changed.

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My memory is not the best but I'm pretty sure the 10:1 ratio was brought up in one.

I think you're right, but your context may be off. I remember a while back someone suggested a 10:1 find:hide ratio.

It was shot down pretty thoroughly, for many valid reasons.

 

I will agree with your general theory, as I interpret it:

"Experience is the best teacher"

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I'd like you to save this thread and visit it again when you get 1000 or so finds under you belt and have placed 100 caches ( the suggested minumum hides to pay back the sport, 10:1) See if you still think the same way.

That's suggested by YOU, of course... this is nothing official. It would be irresponsible for me to hide 360 caches, because I could not possibly maintain them. Yet, I feel that I give plenty back to the sport without reference to this made-up "suggestion."

 

To the OP, maybe you could turn your attention to reporting people who cheat on puzzle caches by asking for help in the forums. :rolleyes:

 

Sorry, I cannot take the credit for this "made up " suggestion.

 

My memory is not the best but I'm pretty sure the 10:1 ratio was brought up in one. Actually if you care to search for the related threads they are present on this site, I'm sure you've been around long enough to have read one or two of them. Personally, I don't care to search for the threads again having read a bit a one a while back. Nor do I care about hide to find ratios.

 

Yet the gist of my post is this, find a whole lot, hide a significant number, see if you still feel exactly the same way about all aspects of geocaching as when you first started. IMHO.... I think many cachers/hiders would have to say no. After a year or two, at least some of their ideas about geocaching will have changed.

The variety of hide to find ratios that have been proposed over the years have always been well intentioned but just don't work in the real world. A good hide is what we should all be striving for, not some random ratio. I agree that attitudes change with more experience.

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