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Keith Watson

Newbie Cachers Should Not Be Allowed To Place Caches

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Now that I have your attention, consider the following.

 

You go looking for a cache only to not find it. You read the hint and find it to be useless. You read the description and get no help there. You check the listing when you get home, or if you have the right toys, you look it up on the spot and discover the placer is a new, or fairly new cacher. It is at this point that you decide the reason you did not find the cache has to be that it was placed by a new cacher and they messed up some how. They must have got the coordinates wrong, don’t know how to use a GPS, or they are using a crappy GPS. Maybe the hint is out to lunch, or they have placed the cache in a place you didn’t check because placing a cache there is against the guidelines.

 

Why is it that over the past five years of caching I have seen, heard, or read this attitude in logs quite a few times? I myself have been frustrated with cache owners simply because I can’t find a cache and sure I am not alone. I think it may have something to do with an instant gratification thing. When I started caching, there was no running around grabbing 2 minute caches everywhere we went. We had to look for them, and sometimes we came up empty.

 

More and more it seems like the only difference between a badly placed cache and a clever hide is how many hides and finds the placer has. Why is that? Do the “more experienced cachers” have some kind of ability to decide what a good hide is and what isn’t? What makes their hides so much better? The answer is nothing. My first cache was conceived with only a few finds and no hides. Five years later it still exists and is still being enjoyed for the most part. I have messed up placing a cache pointing the first few finders to a manhole cover. Made for one curious shop keeper who finally asked the third cacher why people were standing in front of his shop looking at a manhole cover in the middle of the road.

 

Caches are not sub-standard or less worthy just because they were placed by a new cacher.

 

New cachers may have an advantage over us old timers. They haven’t had time to form an opinion on what constitutes a good cache or a bad cache. They sometimes come up with new ideas or long lost challenges that have not been seen in a while. We were all new cachers at some time. Think of how proud you felt when you placed your first cache.

 

Try to keep a few things in mind when looking for a cache.

 

• If cachers did not place caches, there would be nothing to find.

 

• Try to find a cache the way it was intented to be found. You may actually enjoy what the hider wanted you to experience.

 

• We all make mistakes when placing or finding a cache.

 

• Maybe the placer did that deliberately because they are tired of seeing a “Well placed cache” treated as a smash and grab.

 

• Treat every cache with care and respect. Just because “you” are in a hurry, is no need to leave the container out in the open, or not taking time or care to make sure it is properly sealed and closed.

 

I hope that some cacher attitudes don’t stop new cachers from placing hides and look forward to what ever new challenges they can come up with.

 

This is not yet another discussion about what is considered a lame cache. There are plenty of threads to cover that subject.

Edited by Keith Watson

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I'm so confused by this post... it looks like it has two points... ?

 

I'm a very new cacher, and I have placed one cache, and currently working on two more.

 

My one that is currently is active has not had a singal DNF, many people have enjoyed it, becuase it is right in front of my house and it is a good time when you walk out and see cachers getting your cache!

 

How do you expect the new kids to learn how to place a cache if they cant place any to begin with?

 

Thats just my opinion.

 

Still confused though about the topic, with the corresponding post... ?

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The title is what some cachers seem to think. Personally I think it wrong to blame the placer just because you can't find a cache.

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Hi There... I agree with that... I AM a newbie cacher, and for the moment I'll fight down the urge to place caches everywhere I go... but that does not mean that I a not considering the possibilities in the mean time.

 

New to caching also does not carry a meaning of unknowledgable, or unskilled etc. Interpreting a GPS isn't all that new, more so for map and compass work, other forms of electronic position finding also. Many people have used them and more to place themselves on the surface of the earth for centuries... So I think that it's a very individual thing. I know a few 'experienced' cachers who can find a waypoint, but really don't have a clue how to navigate in the wild... and I have met many who can run rings around me in the bush, but not very many... Right now I'm happy to play around and find what caches I can with help from my 'good half' Lynne. I'm really hoping to find a few that are in the 'real' boonies around here, which is saying a lot, since Elkford is the 'wilderness capitol of BC'. I'd hate for one of those to be out of place, though, but I go for the experience of the 'hunt' not always for the 'find'... and yes I've had DNF's this year, but I've stuck with it and eventually get the find. I use a early 90's Garmin 45xl 4 channel... and I've never had serious navigation problems that can't be worked around... though it really hates trees and canyons...

I have my techniques developing and inventing work arounds based on classical methods.. Avalanche beacon search grids can work... for example.

 

Anyway... got to run... BTW typos can cause problems finding caches also... one doesn't always get what you "indented" to type :laughing: eh! But one can always learn to read between the lines as well.

 

Doug

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Keith, here's a new one that just popped up in your neck of the woods. It has been placed by a person with no cache finds. Let's see if this will be a great cache or not. Check it out.

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I'm so confused by this post... it looks like it has two points... ?

 

Just two? :laughing:

 

Experience is nice, but not a requirement. Check that the cache is within guidelines and if necessary provide constructive feedback.

 

That's it.

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Anyway... got to run... BTW typos can cause problems finding caches also... one doesn't always get what you "indented" to type :laughing: eh! But one can always learn to read between the lines as well.

 

Doug

 

LOL, spell check works, just need a good grammer checker.

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Keith, here's a new one that just popped up in your neck of the woods. It has been placed by a person with no cache finds. Let's see if this will be a great cache or not. Check it out.

 

Hey, it's in a park, it can't be that bad, eh? :D I was just in the neighborhood 3 weeks ago, probably won't be for a long time though.

 

The title is what some cachers seem to think. Personally I think it wrong to blame the placer just because you can't find a cache.

 

A long OP, but that's pretty much what I interpreted. But I also was thinking that, in general, you think from reading cache logs that some of us are a little too hard on the newbs? I don't know, in most cases no one knows the newbs, and we're leaving feedback. Personally, I think a little constructive feedback via a cache log is not a problem, if not done in an obnoxious and arrogant manner. But I have a thick skin, and assume most other people do. Maybe I really am obnoxious and arrogant? :laughing:

 

But no, I don't, and I think most other cachers don't blame the placer if they can't find the cache.

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I have seen great caches from newer cachers and crappy caches from experienced cachers...it can go either way.

 

My opinion (though this has been discussed many times before and I doubt it will ever happen) is that new cachers should have a minimum number of finds before placing a cache. Its not that they are not capable of placing good caches, I just feel that if have exposure to different types of caches, they would know what is fun and what is not so much fun.

 

I find that most new cachers place urban micros as their first caches or something right in their front or back yard (as one of the other posters mentioned). After a while, urban micros are just not fun anymore and caches in yards always bother me. Yes, the cache owner may be OK with cachers coming into their yards but what do passersby or neighbors think when they see someone wandering through your yard or peering in your bushes? This is just an example but unless cachers have experienced different types of hides, they won't know what certain hides feel like for the finder.

 

As I say though, some new cachers put out great hides, experiencce just improves the odds (hopefully).

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Well, Keith, I read exactly what you intended in your first post. I have to agree with you that perception by some, is the detriment. It's the creativity and aforethought of the newbie cache placer, and that can make a great hide, or a very crappy one. Just look at some of the 30 or so caches placed in this area by Team Shutterbug, before they had their first find. Absolutely wonderful! Being someone who is new is no reason to be shunned by the masses.

 

All I can say, is go for it, new hiders. If I don't like your first few, so be it. If I like them, you are a friend for life.

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Keith, here's a new one that just popped up in your neck of the woods. It has been placed by a person with no cache finds. Let's see if this will be a great cache or not. Check it out.

 

I just noticed this new one as well -- looks kind of funny to me. What's up with the address? (which is not where the cache appears to be, it's a school). All lower case spelling, title mis-spelled, joined less than a month ago.....

 

Maybe it's something extra clever and sneaky, it's a 3 / 2 1/2

 

Chris

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Keith, here's a new one that just popped up in your neck of the woods. It has been placed by a person with no cache finds. Let's see if this will be a great cache or not. Check it out.

 

I just noticed this new one as well -- looks kind of funny to me. What's up with the address? (which is not where the cache appears to be, it's a school). All lower case spelling, title mis-spelled, joined less than a month ago.....

 

Maybe it's something extra clever and sneaky, it's a 3 / 2 1/2

 

Chris

 

Just wondering if the address is actually the access to the park/schoolyard/whatever. From the map it seems like the cache is on the perimeter of the greenspace. And the hint makes it sound like it's in vines on a fence. (You got me curious now, but I ain't drivin' all the way to Brampton!)

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I was the one who posted a DNF for "our cach". I may have not found it but that doesn't mean that it isn't there. I hope someone else tries it, I was just a little uncomfortable searching someone's fence as I am not too sure about the coordinates. I will come back if it is found though. The new cacher might have not realized that the cache container should be placed before posting and placed it after the listing came up. I hope new cacher's continue to place caches so I have something new to look for in my neighbourhood.

Chris

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It's not always the newbs that put out lame caches. Old timers looking for that special recognition just might put out some "less imaginative" caches:

 

Is this the model for "newbs"

 

:)

 

First off, that was placed as a lame cache, thus the name of it.

 

Second, this topic is not about lame caches as per the instructions in the original post. Please find one of the many other threads to make comments on lame caches.

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A happy FTF has occurred.

 

Thank goodness, you Bramptontonians. All of Canada and Buffalo was watching you. :)

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It's not always the newbs that put out lame caches. Old timers looking for that special recognition just might put out some "less imaginative" caches:

 

Is this the model for "newbs"

 

:P

 

First off, that was placed as a lame cache, thus the name of it.

 

Second, this topic is not about lame caches as per the instructions in the original post. Please find one of the many other threads to make comments on lame caches.

Can I use this forum to make comments on lame cachers? Awaiting your "instructions".

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I have seen both veterans and newbies make mistakes when placing caches -- whether that be transposing a couple of digits when entering the coordinates, or having really poor coordinates, or a really poor location, or a cache listing full of spelling errors, etc.

 

That said, I think new cachers are much more likely to make those sorts of errors than people who have been playing the game for years.

 

My personal favorite was a cache hidden near here -- it was a Terrain 5, the cache title mentioned "mountain top", and the description explained how it was placed while out on a major hike. All sounds good, right? The coordinates were for the middle of the parking lot at the trailhead. :P A couple people posted DNFs, emailed the cache owner, posted Needs Maintenance logs but nothing ever happened. Eventually our reviewer stepped in and disabled the cache, never heard a thing from the owner and archived the cache.

 

My problem with the idea that someone needs to have a certain number of Finds before hiding a cache is this: How do you define that number? How often do you review that number? When I started someone with 500 finds was a caching legend, today newbies are easily knocking off 1000 caches in the first year.

 

Does someone who has 100 LPCs really have a wide enough exposure to the hobby?

 

I think sometimes it's more about the length of time you have been caching than how many you have found. I hid my first cache with less than 100 finds under my belt, but I had been playing for two years -- at least at that point I was confident I was going to be with the game for the long term. I cringe when I see new cachers rush out to place a metric whack of hides, not so much because I am worried about the quality, but because I don't know how long they'll stick with the hobby once the new shininess rubs off.

 

I figure place a cache when you think you are ready.

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I have seen both veterans and newbies make mistakes when placing caches -- whether that be transposing a couple of digits when entering the coordinates, or having really poor coordinates, or a really poor location, or a cache listing full of spelling errors, etc.

 

That said, I think new cachers are much more likely to make those sorts of errors than people who have been playing the game for years.

 

My personal favorite was a cache hidden near here -- it was a Terrain 5, the cache title mentioned "mountain top", and the description explained how it was placed while out on a major hike. All sounds good, right? The coordinates were for the middle of the parking lot at the trailhead. :P A couple people posted DNFs, emailed the cache owner, posted Needs Maintenance logs but nothing ever happened. Eventually our reviewer stepped in and disabled the cache, never heard a thing from the owner and archived the cache.

 

My problem with the idea that someone needs to have a certain number of Finds before hiding a cache is this: How do you define that number? How often do you review that number? When I started someone with 500 finds was a caching legend, today newbies are easily knocking off 1000 caches in the first year.

 

Does someone who has 100 LPCs really have a wide enough exposure to the hobby?

 

 

I'd never endorse the idea of a minimum number of finds, and it usually gets shouted down by the masses pretty good every time it comes up. But I do understand what the people saying that are saying. I think a somewhat decent suggestion that doesn't get shouted down as badly is having newbs take some kind of quiz about the guidelines before hiding their first cache.

 

The 100 LPC cacher is not some crazy hypothetical situation. In my area, many newbies start out doing almost all their caching in parking lots and street corners, i.e. the easy ones first. And I can think of a recent newb with about 150 finds (almost all of them in parking lots) who has thus far put out 3 parking lot micros. Who knows, some of them may go on to be career parking lot cachers. :laughing:

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The 100 LPC cacher is not some crazy hypothetical situation. In my area, many newbies start out doing almost all their caching in parking lots and street corners, i.e. the easy ones first. And I can think of a recent newb with about 150 finds (almost all of them in parking lots) who has thus far put out 3 parking lot micros. Who knows, some of them may go on to be career parking lot cachers. :laughing:

 

This became very common in our area. People commented on the situation in order to try and improve things. A huge uproar ensued because people were upset that other people commented on cache hides :P . In the end, for a variety of reasons, the new cacher hide quality went up substantially over this last summer.

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While it can be argued that "newbs" might not have enough exposure to know what makes a good hide - it can be problematic if their experience comes in an area of unusually low quality caches.

 

I think what is most important is the motivation behind the hide. Many start out and find a number of caches and then want to give something back. Hopefully they have visited a good cross section and put out something worthy.

 

Sadly however I have found that for many this game is all "about the numbers" and self admiration. Consequently some veteran cachers put out crap just to get a unique ICON in their profile. This scenario seldom happens with a newb who likely begins as a purist and unaware or uninterested in "the numbers".

 

Just my opinion... and no intention to offend the guilty. :P

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While it can be argued that "newbs" might not have enough exposure to know what makes a good hide - it can be problematic if their experience comes in an area of unusually low quality caches.

 

Because a "good hide" is subjective is one of the reasons that comment on lame caches was asked to be left out of this thread twice now. Another reason would be that as explained, there are many other threads full of arguments about lame caches. Please use on of those or start yet another thread on the issue.

 

Sadly however I have found that for many this game is all "about the numbers" and self admiration. Consequently some veteran cachers put out crap just to get a unique ICON in their profile. This scenario seldom happens with a newb who likely begins as a purist and unaware or uninterested in "the numbers".

 

I will field this one and hopefully terminated this line of comments in this thread.

 

As Barnie's Band of Gold posted early, he was referring to a cache I placed. The reviewers are aware of this cache, it was approved, and remains approved. The “qualtity” of this cache remains subjective to the individual and thus should no longer be part of this thread.

 

Personally for me it used to be about the numbers, but looking at my stats for the past seven months, I don’t think that applies to me any more. As for getting icons, no point there because I missed the boat on getting them all about five years ago.

 

I do find it interesting about you mentioning numbers. I think I covered that in my original post. It may be possible that some cachers may feel that unless they can get in, find the cache, and get on their way with out having to deal with a DNF, or spending an hour looking for a cache they thought would be only minutes is wasting the time they could be finding other caches.

 

If I hit a DNF, I am not pleased, only because I could not find it. If I spend an hour looking for a cache that should have only taken minutes, but still find it, I am happy.

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Talking with some fellow cachers last night came up with another thought. Is the Found Hidden count a valid judgment of how long a person has been caching for. What if they have just been caching with a nother cacher and finally decided to get their own account?

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It was fun typing an essay-length post. TL;DR need not reply.

 

I find the very concept of judging someone based on numbers, whether years spent caching or numbers found/hidden, very flawed. Some people have already pointed out exceptions. I'll add mine to the list:

 

I created an account only a couple months ago, effectively being among the "newest" posters to this thread by a margin of half a decade from you '02 and '03 fellas. I have less than 80 finds. Automatically, you may go on seeing my profile, "Newbie." That's a qualified statement based purely on the numbers. But are its negative connotations warranted?

 

When you notice my hides, if you are a proponent of the bias espoused by this topic, you would go "I bet they aren't very good ones." Maybe even "he shouldn't be putting any out."

But I think they're pretty good, and I'm giving back to the sport by more than 10% - and I'm still experimenting and learning. Except for one out in the middle of nowhere in bear and cougar territory, all my caches are fairly regularly found; I envision putting my caches in somewhat off-the-road natural areas and try to hide them well. Granted, being an academic living out of a backpack, I don't have much swag to put in, so I resort to odd items like everything from polished stones to brand new thermal underwear from MEC. Those few who only care about the numbers don't bother walking in, or go TNLNSL, but I seem to be receiving more appreciation than not - a degree of sincerity - and it is heartwarming. I'm doing the right thing, and those who put on a little smiley, who care about the cache or the cacher more than the numbers, are letting me know. I almost feel like I'm receiving a warm welcome into the community.

 

I organized my first CITO a couple weeks ago, the first in this in-between neck of Alberta. An awesome well-known local geocacher helped me post it and spearheaded it with tremendous effort. It was only the second time I met another geocacher, and we went for a night walk exploring the ground zero area and mapping it out.

But if I was the one who posted it, I am certain it would not have been considered as well by those who showed up, based on the judgement this thread proposes, and that which I'm sure some subconsciously consider. I think I'll call it "the newbie effect".

 

Of course if I worked alone, it wouldn't have been as successful. But I'm thinking about the logical influence effect - if newbies are not allowed to hide caches, what about even suggesting events? Especially if, since they haven't hidden any caches, because they're not allowed to, the contact and understanding of him/her with and by the local geocaching community is minimal? The idea essentially becomes a rite of passage that alienates newer geocachers and reduces their mutual relationship with the community to be one way consumers for a much longer time. Having thus no feedback on their caches, since they don't have any, they clue in less into the general community mentality of helping each other, enjoying the sport, and thus become individualistic and numbers-oriented for the first 100 caches, until they put out a hide to experience a new way of living this sport, interacting with others in the community. I'm willing to bet they'll stay numbers oriented for a lot longer than their first 100 caches. These are deeper things to consider than "oh, it will lower the amount of badly-placed/planned/maintained caches" or "it will bring about some bias or not necessarily healthy judgements".

 

I would go as far as to propose that the number 100+ finders with poor attitudes far outnumber the number among newbies. In this stead, the numbers are a fallacy; rhetorically speaking: how are they accounted for? Do we mean to set up a rating system whereby a person gets points for putting good caches, and those with negative points are barred from placing some? Then how do they ever prove that they can turn over and do better?

 

Lack of experience isn't the exclusive requirement for a good cache; effort counts as well, and there are newbies who put more effort because it's their first and it's a challenge. Let the lazy be lazy, and there are of course geocachers, sub or over 100, who are lazy - and not group them with me! I have never *seen* a multicache before. Nada on my list. Ergo, the one that I put out has maybe a 95% chance of being crappy when judged at face value. But not many do judge, and having a couple weeks of comments to see, I fall into the 5% of not-crappy; it seems to work nicely - not exceptional or orgasmically enjoyable, but, come on, it's my first! The city is quite saturated already and all I have is a bicycle. That shouldn't stop one. Neither should inexperience. I intend to put out a puzzle cache soon, just after finding 4. It's taking awhile because I needed to talk to more than one mathematician about it.

 

I have put out bad caches. The cache reviewer is an angel telling me what's wrong and how to fix it; the first time I had a disagreement over policy, he/she very expertly handled my initial stubbornness and providing much help, and it resulted in a better cache.

 

A newbie to hiding caches is forever a newbie to hiding caches until hiding afew. Getting approved is a privilege requiring a level of examination, and a cache reviewer doesn't need one extra policy requiring him/her to deal with cachers under 100 who want to hide a cache. What if rejection is not warranted and the cache is a good one? What if they don't have a vehicle, like me, and just go for caches on nature trails worth a trip out and a hike? Or if they're in a small community where there are perhaps a dozen maximum within half an hour's drive? Do you lower it to 50? 25? But certain locations are so saturated that one could get that number after two nights and a tank of gas. It certainly doesn't necessarily imply eminent qualification to stash containers all over the same near-saturated area unka splat.

 

Like the OP later thought of, how do you judge "newbie"?

There is a geocacher in my community who has zero finds (uh-oh?) but 5 hides! And here's the snag: He placed his first hide in 2001, far outdating all of the active geocachers in the local community, and most of those who would read this post wouldn't even have a GPS yet then. A couple got burned by a forest fire, one plain died away, and he still checks on his remaining two regularly. They are fairly easy and fairly nice caches that makes you happy you took the time to get out of your vehicle, walk up the trail, and find the cache. If you want to look at his background, he has a PhD in geography, and he was the one who first introduced me to geocaching, and he is introducing new students every year to a wonderful sport. What if he had been slapped in the face with "you need to find 100 caches first"?

 

I found a geocache recently placed by the opposite - someone with 5 finds. It was all of a ziploc back stuffed into a tree trunk off a beautiful trail system. It is approaching 3 years of age but I can tell the ziploc bag is brand new. The "newbie" had some tough love from the local cachers in the form of rather frank comments when it first went missing, and he now looks after his first, last and only cache pretty well, it seems to me. I'm sure his second, if it comes out, wouldn't be bad. And it sure beats standard drive-ups or LPCs.

 

How can one generalize so broadly at the penalty of fairly new people who, despite their numbers, are not dumb or irresponsible?

Also, if this proposal comes into force, what will happen to my hides? Be grandfathered? How about a CITO that has already taken place, if I did post it?

 

I think it's a poor idea. It is constructive to talk about the trends of hides by the inexperienced and how they can be taught to avoid it, but it is not constructive to form generalizations and ideas based on blanket judgements. Experience is not a silver bullet, and the way this thread suggests brings in negative side effects and possibly poor judgement calls. The thread would have been alot better for everyone if it was focused more on how to help newbies.

 

Let a bad cache-hider come to light from the get-go irregardless of numbers. If people care, they will comment, and if he/she cares, things cannot get worse. It's the only direct avenue of learning about cache-hiding: Trail and error. Most in-between caches will stay as they were, standard drive-up TNLNSL caches, the staple of the geocaching diet. The other staple, the park trail ammo can, makes up for it.

 

To be constructive, I have an idea: If you think your area is getting margialized by poor cache hides from low-number people, set an example and put out some really good ones. Make a cache a tutorial about making good caches, and make it a beginner-friendly regular well-placed in a super-accessible grove of trees or the like. Put the tips at the top of this thread into the cache page and on the logbook. The only bad thing that can happen is it getting muggled.

 

I thought an area could use a little CITO. So I put out a geocache filled with folded plastic bags and a note explaining the idea. I'm pleased to read in a most recent comment that it is now a "cache in a nice, clean area." It sure works better than proposing a rule that says "cachers must attend a CITO event, or post evidence of CITOing, every 100 caches found," even if that would actually make everyone do a little bit for the environment that cradles our sport. Yeah, lousy example, but it's a lousy concept, after all. It would be awesome for all caches to be good hides, and every cache found to involve a CITO, but it's not a rule. It's a moral obligation, just like not putting trash on, or picking trash up from, your neighbour's lawn.

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I don't think it's simply about being new. However you just get a feeling when that new hider, often with no finds or maybe a couple, posts their first cache. It's usually reflected in the write-up. If the write-up is sloppy and short with poor spelling and punctuation, I think it's a good sign that the hide was also down without care and concern. In the Brampton box example, it was immediately reflected in the inaccurate coordinates and the poor placement. Often the hider subsequently shows a lack of communication and inaction about coordinates and placement.

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I don't think it's simply about being new. However you just get a feeling when that new hider, often with no finds or maybe a couple, posts their first cache. It's usually reflected in the write-up. If the write-up is sloppy and short with poor spelling and punctuation, I think it's a good sign that the hide was also down without care and concern. In the Brampton box example, it was immediately reflected in the inaccurate coordinates and the poor placement. Often the hider subsequently shows a lack of communication and inaction about coordinates and placement.

 

I agree, good point.

 

At the risk of being pedantic, it really bugs me when I see a cache listing full of spelling mistakes, poor punctuation, sloppy language, etc. Why don't reviewers catch stuff like this? The title of the subject cache got me going right away. :unsure:

 

Look at this little gem (no kidding, this is the entire listing, verbatim):

 

it is in a wet kind of land hint hint to the name of the Cache, it is in an obvious but not obvious spot

 

The Cache is a Water Bottle, (clear so easier to find), it has a black lid but a blue bracelet on the end of it, it has some small itmes in it, it is our 3rd cache, attempt since our other three haven't been published yet, but we are still trying have fun with this one,

 

Topic for another day, I guess. :D

 

CZ

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I have read some good points in this thread and I have reflected on my original thoughts. Maybe having the right to place a cache be based on number of finds is not fair, I will concede it is hard to pin down what is right/fair.

 

As I had stated though, I have seen great caches from "newbs" and crappy ones from those with hundreds of finds or more. My thoughts were only to "improve the odds". I really am thinking about some local finds in recent times where inexperience led to coordinates being WAY off and caches in very bad locations. These were all by new cachers who were likely just not aware that it is bad form to place a cache along a fence or in a tree right at the edge of someone's backyard (just an example). I don't feel these caches were intentionally crappy, just that the cachers were not aware of what is cool/fun or not due to inexperience. Nothing malicious, just the facts.

 

Another thought is that I have seen over the years a number of cachers who get into geocaching, place a number of caches right away, then decide this hobby is not for them. I have DNFed on a number of caches over the years that had been muggled but since the cacher had left the hobby, they were not replying to requests to replace or archive their caches. I can think of at least 4 examples in our region in the last two years where this was cachers with few finds and just lost interest.

 

As stated, you guys are likely correct...setting a number of finds or time in is maybe not the right approach. Not sure how else to show new cachers what good caches are like. Not saying mine are the best by any means but the more someone finds, the more unique cache ideas they get and the more they learn great hiding strategies. I'm still learning too...always love a new hide type.

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I don't think it is the responsibility of the cache reviewers to act as grade school grammar teachers. They have enough to do just reviewing coordinates etc.

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I don't think it is the responsibility of the cache reviewers to act as grade school grammar teachers. They have enough to do just reviewing coordinates etc.

Definitely, but I do think it's an indication that the cache is likely to be as good as the description. Not that a reviewer can do anything about that.

 

I'm thinking that one way to decrease poorly placed caches is by honest, tough criticism in the logs. If other newbies read it they may think harder about how they place their hides. Easier said then done though. I'm not particularly good at it but I'm thankful for a few in my area that are and can dish out some tough love when it's necessary.

 

Regarding new-ness, I do think that commitment to geocaching increases the chance that the cache will be a better hide, at least there's probably a better chance that the hider will make more of an effort. And if they mess up (bad coordinates, improper placement) that they are more likely to fix things rather than ignore problems or abandon the cache.

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I'm thinking that one way to decrease poorly placed caches is by honest, tough criticism in the logs. If other newbies read it they may think harder about how they place their hides. Easier said then done though. I'm not particularly good at it but I'm thankful for a few in my area that are and can dish out some tough love when it's necessary.

This is a slippery slope. The newbie without enough experience may believe his/her hide is a good one only to get trashed by those that hold higher standards.

 

I think you need to temper your critism with an understanding of the motivation behind the hide. By all means whack those that are disingenuous in their motivation for the hide and coddle those that are truly making an effort to contribute to the game.

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I'm thinking that one way to decrease poorly placed caches is by honest, tough criticism in the logs. If other newbies read it they may think harder about how they place their hides. Easier said then done though. I'm not particularly good at it but I'm thankful for a few in my area that are and can dish out some tough love when it's necessary.

This is a slippery slope. The newbie without enough experience may believe his/her hide is a good one only to get trashed by those that hold higher standards.

 

I think you need to temper your critism with an understanding of the motivation behind the hide. By all means whack those that are disingenuous in their motivation for the hide and coddle those that are truly making an effort to contribute to the game.

 

Not sure what motivation has to do with newbie’s other than they may not understand the guidelines fully and place a cache with an agenda. Being as this is against the guidelines, reviewers should catch this before it is published. If the reviewer does not catch it, then a simple note to the reviewer will clean this up in no time. Could give details on what you were thinking here?

 

Giving a new cacher constructive criticism may be a good idea. I would suggest how ever sending them a private message instead of posting it in a log. A well worded private message would be more discrete, helpful, and less embarrassing to the placer. Imagine how a new cacher would feel seeing a note posted in public declaring their cache is crap, and they should archive it, or should have never placed it, just because it does not fall in line with what the note poster’s belief of what qualifies as a well placed cache.

 

Just did a little checking on GC1H4B. The difference between the posted coordinates and what two finders have reported is only 12 meters. Not two shabby for a first cache placement. I doubt you would see finders complaining about a cache placed by a cacher with 2,000 plus finds in the middle of the woods with a hint of “Under the stump” and there is only one stump visible with in 50 meters.

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Giving a new cacher constructive criticism may be a good idea. I would suggest how ever sending them a private message instead of posting it in a log. A well worded private message would be more discrete, helpful, and less embarrassing to the placer. Imagine how a new cacher would feel seeing a note posted in public declaring their cache is crap, and they should archive it, or should have never placed it, just because it does not fall in line with what the note poster’s belief of what qualifies as a well placed cache.

 

I'm definitely not talking about rude public (or private) criticism. The cachers I admire are great because they know how to provide constructive honest criticism, no pussyfooting around but no rude comments either. They have never called a cache "crap". They have stated they're concerns about caches and have made suggestions. I think that's a great service to the cache owner and the cache finders.

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Well, I've never placed a cache or even found one, but I did DNF one once :rolleyes:

 

Perhaps I shouldn't chime in here but Groundspeak has maintained the position that everyone is welcome to participate. There are only two criteria, those being following the listing guidelines and the terms of use. A 0/0 player account is treated in the same way as anyone else. To do it any other way would be rather subjective, and no one here would want that would they?

 

There are many reasons guesses as to why the game seems different here at the end of 2008 from how some of us started out, in some cases 7 years ago. Things change and evolve. The trick is to craft the experience for yourself that you enjoy, those experiences certainly do exist still.

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....More and more it seems like the only difference between a badly placed cache and a clever hide...

 

Why forcefully expose the noob who has great and creative ideas to the old timers jaded views before they place a cache?

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I think a new cacher has every bit a right to hide a cache as someone who has been caching for years. I have seen many unique cache ideas from new cachers. Since new cachers haven't found too many caches yet, they might come up with ideas for cache hides that most of us wouldn't think of because we think caches should be a certain way.

 

As for new cachers placing caches and then leaving the sport...The cause of this might be because many people are just too critical of new cachers and insult them and hence scare them away. I think it's important to be honest in a log (ie, if the cache page says to follow the trail and you bushwack to the cache, then that's what you did...no need to lie about it and pretend it didn't happen), but at the same time be nice in your log...don't insult the cache placer. I know sometimes messages get perceived in the wrong way when writing online.

 

As for a cache being 12m off...I think that's very acceptable and reasonable. Anything within 20m is good in my opinion, atleast that is what was always stated by most people in the forums when I first started caching. I am sure we have all found many caches where the GPS says 10m and then you walk away from the spot and go back and it says 0m and then you walk away again and come back and it says 15m. It's just a GPS and many things can effect the accuracy.

 

We all make mistakes. If a new cacher makes a mistake and understands their mistake, then they will have learned something which is just like anything in life. No one goes through life without making mistakes.

 

Geocaching is a fun activity and everyone should be allowed to play and treated equal no matter how long they have been caching.

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I know cachers who have been around for a while that still put out horrible hides.

 

People should have to CONVINCE the reviewer that this cache is worthy of publishing when it is published - New and Old alike

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Now that we have a reviewer in the thread, do the reviewers us satellite maps when reviewing cache coordinates? If so, is this used to question cache placement?

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Now that we have a reviewer in the thread, do the reviewers us satellite maps when reviewing cache coordinates? If so, is this used to question cache placement?

 

Based on the interaction I have experienced, I would say they definitely use sat maps to review. I was recently asked to move the posted coordinates because there was a high school between the posted coords and the cemetery where the cache actually is located. The reviewer was even good enough to suggest an alternate location in a cul-de-sac

 

I am not sure how you would enforce cache placement with any degree of consistency. Some would say that anything in a mall parking lot is unacceptable while others might prefer to see nothing beyond a couple of hundred meters down a trail. Remember this is a game for the masses and excessive rules will just make it hard on all of us.

 

I have to agree with Cache Drone's earlier comment about the game is different for everyone.

 

It has been my experience it is best to make your own judgment about a cache placement. As an example, there is a 10 year old boy in Markham putting out caches. They are for the most part in small urban parks. Some hides are not going to last due to muggles etc. But he is trying. I would not want to be the one to discourage him from improving. Instead, I wait until someone else has found his cache before I go after it. I don't rush out to FTF them. There are other cache owners who I immediately try for FTF.

 

Being a PM also allows individuals to "ignore" caches they don't want to be bothered with. A great feature.

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It has been my experience it is best to make your own judgment about a cache placement. As an example, there is a 10 year old boy in Markham putting out caches. They are for the most part in small urban parks. Some hides are not going to last due to muggles etc. But he is trying. I would not want to be the one to discourage him from improving. Instead, I wait until someone else has found his cache before I go after it. I don't rush out to FTF them. There are other cache owners who I immediately try for FTF.

 

Being a PM also allows individuals to "ignore" caches they don't want to be bothered with. A great feature.

 

To be totally honest, some of the most horrific hides I've ever seen have been unsupervised child hides (I'll say age 15 or younger). And I'm talking about kids with their own GPSr driving around town on their bicycles to place them. :D Micros tossed in the landscaping of Subway with seekers in full view of patrons and employees; on the side of the street in view of dozens of homes; LPC's in the parking lots of private industrial employers; in public landscaping that require flower trampling to retrieve, to name a few. Maintenance on these easily muggleable caches is almost non-existant, and they usually end up being involuntarily archived. And yes, I've ignored them, or driven away after seeing where they were.

 

Not a blanket statement covering all "child hides" of course. I'd love to see the Markham or Brampton cache placers improve and become long time active cachers.

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It has been my experience it is best to make your own judgment about a cache placement. As an example, there is a 10 year old boy in Markham putting out caches. They are for the most part in small urban parks. Some hides are not going to last due to muggles etc. But he is trying. I would not want to be the one to discourage him from improving. Instead, I wait until someone else has found his cache before I go after it. I don't rush out to FTF them. There are other cache owners who I immediately try for FTF.

 

Being a PM also allows individuals to "ignore" caches they don't want to be bothered with. A great feature.

 

To be totally honest, some of the most horrific hides I've ever seen have been unsupervised child hides (I'll say age 15 or younger). And I'm talking about kids with their own GPSr driving around town on their bicycles to place them. ;) Micros tossed in the landscaping of Subway with seekers in full view of patrons and employees; on the side of the street in view of dozens of homes; LPC's in the parking lots of private industrial employers; in public landscaping that require flower trampling to retrieve, to name a few. Maintenance on these easily muggleable caches is almost non-existant, and they usually end up being involuntarily archived. And yes, I've ignored them, or driven away after seeing where they were.

 

Not a blanket statement covering all "child hides" of course. I'd love to see the Markham or Brampton cache placers improve and become long time active cachers.

 

Holy Smoke!!! Have you been to Markham and found all of this kid's caches??????? Your text could be the "hint" for everyone of them. :unsure: In one case, he asked to FTF'er to camo the container.

 

I am hoping he is like wine and improves with age.

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I think a new cacher has every bit a right to hide a cache as someone who has been caching for years. I have seen many unique cache ideas from new cachers. Since new cachers haven't found too many caches yet, they might come up with ideas for cache hides that most of us wouldn't think of because we think caches should be a certain way.

 

As for new cachers placing caches and then leaving the sport...The cause of this might be because many people are just too critical of new cachers and insult them and hence scare them away. I think it's important to be honest in a log (ie, if the cache page says to follow the trail and you bushwack to the cache, then that's what you did...no need to lie about it and pretend it didn't happen), but at the same time be nice in your log...don't insult the cache placer. I know sometimes messages get perceived in the wrong way when writing online.

 

As for a cache being 12m off...I think that's very acceptable and reasonable. Anything within 20m is good in my opinion, atleast that is what was always stated by most people in the forums when I first started caching. I am sure we have all found many caches where the GPS says 10m and then you walk away from the spot and go back and it says 0m and then you walk away again and come back and it says 15m. It's just a GPS and many things can effect the accuracy.

 

We all make mistakes. If a new cacher makes a mistake and understands their mistake, then they will have learned something which is just like anything in life. No one goes through life without making mistakes.

 

Geocaching is a fun activity and everyone should be allowed to play and treated equal no matter how long they have been caching.

 

Some good points Ralph, though the couple of caches I am thinking of that were placed by new cachers who then left the sport were actually decent caches. My brother in law out in Nova Scotia is another example. I think he has a hide or two but only 35 or so finds since starting almost at the same time as us in 2005. I think life just got busy and the novelty wore off. I am sure that happens with many.

 

Actually, I have been surprised it didn't happen with me. I am famous for buying the newest thing and then walking away a few months later. I don't think we would have a reason to put on an annual garage sale if it weren't for all of my forgotten "hobbies"!

 

I would agree 100% with your comment about statements being misperceived when written online. I think the internet is 90% responsible for the downfall of polite communication over the last 10 years. No one cares about the other's feelings if they don't have to worry about facing them.

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To be totally honest, some of the most horrific hides I've ever seen have been unsupervised child hides (I'll say age 15 or younger). And I'm talking about kids with their own GPSr driving around town on their bicycles to place them. :D Micros tossed in the landscaping of Subway with seekers in full view of patrons and employees; on the side of the street in view of dozens of homes; LPC's in the parking lots of private industrial employers; in public landscaping that require flower trampling to retrieve, to name a few. Maintenance on these easily muggleable caches is almost non-existant, and they usually end up being involuntarily archived. And yes, I've ignored them, or driven away after seeing where they were.

 

Yep, we have a couple local young cachers who are/were notorious for those exact same sorts of hides. Their local neighborhoods became "no go" zones for a lot of veteran cachers. Those sorts of hides make me wonder which premium member feature I am more thankful for: Pocket Queries or the Ignore List. :laughing:

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To be totally honest, some of the most horrific hides I've ever seen have been unsupervised child hides (I'll say age 15 or younger). And I'm talking about kids with their own GPSr driving around town on their bicycles to place them. :D Micros tossed in the landscaping of Subway with seekers in full view of patrons and employees; on the side of the street in view of dozens of homes; LPC's in the parking lots of private industrial employers; in public landscaping that require flower trampling to retrieve, to name a few. Maintenance on these easily muggleable caches is almost non-existant, and they usually end up being involuntarily archived. And yes, I've ignored them, or driven away after seeing where they were.

 

Yep, we have a couple local young cachers who are/were notorious for those exact same sorts of hides. Their local neighborhoods became "no go" zones for a lot of veteran cachers.

 

Well, sort of. Maybe for some of us, but my experience is the overwhelming majority of active cachers run out and look for anything that gets listed on the website, even if they grumble about it. <_<

 

Yeah, I had a gang of kids a few towns over in 2005. And I'm familiar with a small City in Ohio where 90% of the caches currently are from a gang of 13 yr. old kids (An old non-geocaching pal of mine lives there, and I check the listings once in a while). The cache descriptions are some doozies, although I can't personally speak for the caches.

 

I'm not some big meanie though, I'd take the kids under my wing in a second. I once helped a cacher whom I believe was 14 at the time with an appeal on an Earthcache. But think about your initial contact with these kids. I have a 14 yr. old girl and 9 yr. old boy. I'd be pretty ticked off if they started getting emails from adults about "some hobby" they're into, especially if I didn't have a good understanding of the hobby. :laughing: Who wants to email the 10 yr. old in Markham?

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We had one good success story where a young cacher, upon reading the local forums became an advocate for quality caches and archived a number of his original hides which he later decided were lame. Unfortunately a majority of cachers, whether they be young or old, don't have a thick enough skin and consider anything less than glowing praise to be a "personal attack" coming from the "old boys club".

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Micros tossed in the landscaping of Subway with seekers in full view of patrons and employees; on the side of the street in view of dozens of homes; LPC's in the parking lots of private industrial employers; in public landscaping that require flower trampling to retrieve, to name a few.

 

I know the reviewers are swamped, but in my view caches on private property should not even be considered for review unless the owner specifically states in his application that the land owner has given permission. I know this is one of the stated guidelines, but it's beyond me how some of these caches get approved.

 

More than once I've found myself high-tailing it out of someone's field when I've realized I am clearly on private property -- forget about even looking for the cache. Am I the only one who feels guilty about this?

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Micros tossed in the landscaping of Subway with seekers in full view of patrons and employees; on the side of the street in view of dozens of homes; LPC's in the parking lots of private industrial employers; in public landscaping that require flower trampling to retrieve, to name a few.

 

I know the reviewers are swamped, but in my view caches on private property should not even be considered for review unless the owner specifically states in his application that the land owner has given permission....

 

They do.

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Came across this cacher who placed a cache that got published last evening. This definitely takes it to a new level. 0 finds, 1 hide. Name removed for privacy.

 

new_cacher.jpg

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