# Reduction of Minimum Cache Distance?

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I recently placed two caches, but both were too close to other caches to be published. Admittedly I should have checked for the first one, which was only 67 meters (around 200 feet) away from another cache, but the second was about 120 meters (around 360 feet) from a micro stage of a multicache. I thought I knew the area well enough, but I didn't remember either one being close enough to invoke the power of this rule upon myself. Anyways, I cannot conceive of a way that a person with a working GPSr could possibly find one cache when looking for the other. The first one (67m) is across the street, and about 15 meters up a hill. The second one seems to me to be a reasonable distance.

The point of this post is to clarify (from reviewers/mods/veteran geocachers) the purpose of the 528ft/161m rule, and to get people's opinions on this rule.

Is the purpose

(A) To prevent stray geocachers from finding the wrong cache in their search, and prevent confusion in such an occurence.

( To prevent overcrowding of caches where 528ft/161m is judged the appropriate proximity for cache crowd-control.

My personal opinion is that overcrowding in the range of 50-100 meters away should be avoided (unless geographical features are in between), and that the range should be made smaller (120-140m), or done by common sense. Of course this would be much harder to review.

( This is the number that Geocaching decided on. That's the way it is.

Some minimum distance is needed because without it, somebody *would* place 100 micros in a box with 100 log sheets and list them as 100 caches. And then somebody else *would* do the same with 101, and then 102, and so on, repeat until caches=0.

Clearly, if the distance were reduced from 161 to 140 metres, there wouldn't be a huge increase in the number of "confuse-a-cache" cases. But for some value of the minimum distance, it would start to happen. When you have 750000 of anything, statistics, rather than finite logic, are what drives everything.

As Jeremy has said, "Geocaching is about taking you to cool new places you haven't been before. Not cool new places 528 feet from each other".

Slightly OT, I'd rather concentrate on playing the game (hiding and finding caches in cool places) than the meta-game (discussing the rules of the game) or the meta-meta-game (discussing how the rules of the game are made). But perhaps I'm oversensitive because at work yesterday, we had a 2-hour meeting which a colleague and I later calculated was about meta-meta-meta-meta-work.

You will see a lot more support for increasing the minimum distance than decreasing it.

Checking for existing caches in the area is always a good idea before trying to hide one.

I mostly cache in areas with cellular coverage of some sort, so I use a BlackBerry Curve 8310 and Trimble's Geocache Navigator instead of a traditional GPS. Press 'Find Caches - Near Me' and it does so, allowing you to find (or hide) caches spontaneously wherever you are without having to go home and look up the coords.

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler

<Some minimum distance is needed because without it, somebody *would* place 100 micros in a box with 100 log sheets and list them as 100 caches.>

I think there should be a Geocaching Zone...where people can place 1000's of geocaches on a piece of property.

Suppose I get a small piece of property...and place on it some trees, bushes, mail box, street lamp, rock fence and a guard rail. People could come and place their caches all over the place...just think...hundreds of magnetic key holders on the guard rail...bison tubes galore on the trees...so many micros under the lamp post skirt, it won't close...etc. Oh yea...and a monster TB Hotel.

You could stop at the Geocaching Zone and in a couple hours get a years worth of caches.

Just a thought.

From the guidelines

... the ultimate goal is to reduce the number of caches hidden in a particular area and to reduce confusion that might otherwise result when one cache is found while looking for another.

So the reason it not just to reduce confusion that you might find a different cache then you are looking for but also to reduce (or rather limit) the number of caches in a particular area. TPTB have decide that caches should be spread around more and not just place a ton of cache near each other so someone can set the record for most caches found in a hour or whatever. This is the rationale behind the power trail clause as well. If five caches are enough to get people out to find the caches on the trail, there isn't really need for 10. Deciding how many caches are needed to get someone to hike a trail is somewhat more subjective than .1 mile separation rule, which is why there is some controversy over what constitutes a power trail.

In some areas the land managers have already increased the minimum separation to a distance greater than .1 mile.

Be careful what you wish for, and hide caches with a purpose and it will all be good.

From the guidelines

... the ultimate goal is to reduce the number of caches hidden in a particular area and to reduce confusion that might otherwise result when one cache is found while looking for another.

So the reason it not just to reduce confusion that you might find a different cache then you are looking for but also to reduce (or rather limit) the number of caches in a particular area. TPTB have decide that caches should be spread around more and not just place a ton of cache near each other so someone can set the record for most caches found in a hour or whatever. This is the rationale behind the power trail clause as well. If five caches are enough to get people out to find the caches on the trail, there isn't really need for 10. Deciding how many caches are needed to get someone to hike a trail is somewhat more subjective than .1 mile separation rule, which is why there is some controversy over what constitutes a power trail.

Alright, that was what I was really getting at. I originally thought that the guideline was to prevent confusion; so that no one could accidentally find a cache that was not the one they were looking for.

Thanks for the opinions, and I agree that cache-crowding isn't good for the game.

I'm all for increasing the separation to 1/2 mile or more.

I have to say that I appreciate being able to take a nice walk around a town and find a few caches while I'm out on that walk. a tenth of a mile apart is fine I think.

-Rozie

I'm all for increasing the separation to 1/2 mile or more.

Can I get an "AMEN!"? If not half a mile, I'd like to see at least 2/10th or so.

I'm all for increasing the separation to 1/2 mile or more.

Can I get an "AMEN!"? If not half a mile, I'd like to see at least 2/10th or so.

I would suggest that if you don't like a particular cache location you don't need to hunt for it. The current guideline seems to work pretty darned well so I see no reason or need to change it. I think the vast majority of saturation issues are in urban areas so the argument really isn't about asthetics. A good hide location is a good hide location. Bummer that some can't be used when another cache is already too close but that is the rule. Appeal to GS if you believe your location is worthy of an exception and your reviewer doesn't agree.

<Some minimum distance is needed because without it, somebody *would* place 100 micros in a box with 100 log sheets and list them as 100 caches.>

I think there should be a Geocaching Zone...where people can place 1000's of geocaches on a piece of property.

Suppose I get a small piece of property...and place on it some trees, bushes, mail box, street lamp, rock fence and a guard rail. People could come and place their caches all over the place...just think...hundreds of magnetic key holders on the guard rail...bison tubes galore on the trees...so many micros under the lamp post skirt, it won't close...etc. Oh yea...and a monster TB Hotel.

You could stop at the Geocaching Zone and in a couple hours get a years worth of caches.

Just a thought.

You could do this.

You'll have to have your own website to list the caches on, but you could definitely do this.

I'm all for increasing the separation to 1/2 mile or more.

It's easy enough to get an exception to this if the geography warrants. We even have a webcam here in Memphis which has two separate caches. You stand in one place, get a photo, log a find. Walk 0.1 down the block, same camera, get a pic, log a find. When I brought this up to the reviewer, he merely shrugged and said all he could do was follow rules.

In another case, I placed a cache closer than 0.1 miles to another. There was a stream in between them, and mine was, um... not at the same elevation.

Jamie

Edited by Jamie Z
<Some minimum distance is needed because without it, somebody *would* place 100 micros in a box with 100 log sheets and list them as 100 caches.>

I think there should be a Geocaching Zone...where people can place 1000's of geocaches on a piece of property.

Suppose I get a small piece of property...and place on it some trees, bushes, mail box, street lamp, rock fence and a guard rail. People could come and place their caches all over the place...just think...hundreds of magnetic key holders on the guard rail...bison tubes galore on the trees...so many micros under the lamp post skirt, it won't close...etc. Oh yea...and a monster TB Hotel.

You could stop at the Geocaching Zone and in a couple hours get a years worth of caches.

Just a thought.

Sounds like a grand idea to me. Just list it as one cache with coordinates for the front gate, then state on the cache page that cachers can log the find as many times as the number of micros they find on the property.

It make the numbers ho's happy. They wouldn't even have to lift skirts.

AK

I could easily see finding the wrong cache 67 meters away on a bad sat day.

Another issue is that many cache owners want to protect thier "special place" they want to share with you. Listing another cache so close could offend these owners who might feel that you are trying to crowd them.

Sometimes the rule gets violated unintentionally. I've got a hide too close to a puzzle final (I'd not solved the puzzle, so was unaware of the conflict when I placed mine). The puzzle owners picked up on this, but they graciously allowed my cache to stand. If they had complained I would have totally understood and relocated my cache. We have had no issues with accidental finds of each other's cache that I'm aware of.

In another case recently near here a new Traditional was placed 3 m from a multi final. It was discovered when an early seeker found the wrong cache. Obviously that will not work, and the new cache is being moved.

I would suggest that if you don't like a particular cache location you don't need to hunt for it.

Sorry. You lost me. What does my like, or dislike of a particular location have to do with my proximity preference?

My biased caching aesthetics lend themselves to natural environments. I prefer more distance between caches out in the woods.

My wife prefers urban adventures. When I cache with her I would prefer more distance between caches. (so does she)

Since I prefer more distance between caches in all environments, should I not hunt for any caches?

Seems kinda silly to me.

I would suggest that if you don't like a particular cache location you don't need to hunt for it.

Sorry. You lost me. What does my like, or dislike of a particular location have to do with my proximity preference?

My biased caching aesthetics lend themselves to natural environments. I prefer more distance between caches out in the woods.

My wife prefers urban adventures. When I cache with her I would prefer more distance between caches. (so does she)

Since I prefer more distance between caches in all environments, should I not hunt for any caches?

Seems kinda silly to me.

Perhaps you should only hunt for every other cache.

I kid! I kid!

Perhaps you should only hunt for every other cache.

I recently tried my first hide in a huge wilderness park that I discovered while caching. I tried a 3 stage multi, planned it out for two days, spent an entire saturday hiding the stages and then the reviewer shot it down. I feel it's ridiculous when you're in this type of setting. So a couple of my stages were within the 500 foot radius, so what? In a huge park like this with different elevations and trails, they might as well not even be in the same county. The reviewer also told me that two of my stages were too close to other multi's stages-how am I supposed to know where other's multi stages are? Plus it ticks me off that I tried to create something for people to enjoy and it gets shot down. It's not like I'm getting paid to place this thing. Now I had to spend another two hours removing it (long hike). I think getting a cache approved is harder than getting a mortgage these days. It's just frustrating and discouraging to anyone who wishes to hide a cache and has some great ideas, so I guess I'll stick to finding and not hiding.

Hiding a cache and maintaining it is a lot of hard work. Part of that is doing the research on other local caches. If you go out and find the other caches in the area of yours you may be able to find a way to make it work.

Edit- I see you have found some of my caches in Eighteen Mile Creek. Is that the area you are talking about? Things are getting a bit tight in there but I think there are a few spots left. I need to make a maintenance run out that way. Perhaps we can get together and work on it.

Edited by GOF & Bacall
I think getting a cache approved is harder than getting a mortgage these days. It's just frustrating and discouraging to anyone who wishes to hide a cache and has some great ideas, so I guess I'll stick to finding and not hiding.

I've hidden over 270 caches and had exactly one questioned by a reviewer. That issue was resolved with an email.

If you read the guidelines before hand and make sure your cache complies, getting a cache published is a cinch. There are over 3/4 million caches out there so it obviously isn't that hard.

Edited by briansnat

I recently tried my first hide in a huge wilderness park that I discovered while caching. blah...blah...blah... so I guess I'll stick to finding and not hiding.

Did you find the other caches in the park before you decided to hide yours? If you found a cool spot, it's pretty likely that others have also found it. If you want to hide a good cache, research the area a bit.

There are exceptions of course, if a puzzle cache leads to a spot on the park, or if a multi has huge distances between stages, you can't always know that in advance, but in most cases, if you're hiding a cache someplace, it's good etiquette to find the other caches in the area.

So the reviewer denied your cache because it was too close to other caches. Fix it to comply with the guidelines and resubmit it.

Jamie

I guess I'll stick to finding and not hiding.

I think that's your loss. I take tremendous satisfaction in being a cache owner. There have been a few issues with some of mine, but by working with the reviewers, instead of seeing them as opponents to be thwarted, I was able to get them all listed with little difficulty. A key thing to remember is that reviewers are, first and foremost, geocachers. The more caches they can publish means more caches for them to find. I've never heard of a reviewer who wasn't willing to work with a hider to get their cache listed.

I think, based upon what you've typed, that in this case, you've got no one to blame but yourself for that multi not getting published. You had an idea regarding what you were going to do, knowing it would take a lot of time to set up. You shoud've done your homework first. When you are contemplating a challenging cache hide, you should know what's out there. Find all the multis within a few miles. Try to solve all the puzzles. If you can't solve a puzzle, explain to the owner that you want to create a multi, and beg them for hints until you can solve it. Barring that, send a note to your reviewer with your proposed waypoints. They can tell you if any of your spots are problematic without your ever leaving the house.

I hope you'll reconsider your decision and join the ranks of cache owners. Obviously you're willing to expend a lot of effort in the creation of a cache, and in my experience, effort almost always equals quality.

I think getting a cache approved is harder than getting a mortgage these days

I just re-financed my home and dropped our rate by 1.1%. Maybe I should press my luck and go hide some caches tonight after work too?

If you read and understood the guidelines, and saw that there were a number of multis and/or puzzles nearby, and still placed yours without bothering to find the others, then you have no one else to blame for your disappointment but yourself.

Kudos to GOF for taking the high road and creating a kinder and gentler forum.

I think getting a cache approved is harder than getting a mortgage these days

I just re-financed my home and dropped our rate by 1.1%. Maybe I should press my luck and go hide some caches tonight after work too?

If you read and understood the guidelines, and saw that there were a number of multis and/or puzzles nearby, and still placed yours without bothering to find the others, then you have no one else to blame for your disappointment but yourself.

Kudos to GOF for taking the high road and creating a kinder and gentler forum.

Thanks, but I honestly didn't make an offer I wouldn't make for anyone I was in a position to help out. I suspect that most people on these forums would do the same.

All in all you're all a helpful bunch. Some of you just enjoy debating more than others.

Cool, I have a few of those.

If your 'spot' is "the spot" place the cache anyway. It won't be approved on this site but you can list it somewhere else where it will languish unfound, waiting for the day when a cacher who likes finding caches that should exist instead of all the ones that merely exist may find it. Or maybe the blockign cache will be archived and you can get your listing approved.

If the cahe isn't in one of those spots begging for a cache and which should exist becaue all of caching is better off for it existing, then take your cache and find another spot.

528' is an artifical distance in that 300' or 600' would also work, that solves two real problems. Saturation which in my view (and my view isn't the site view) is all about preventing that look of panic a park manager may get when they learn there are 10,000 caches in their park. The other problem is solves is as you have noted. Finding one cache when looking for another. For that 528' is more than you need...until they turn selective availablity back on. Then it would be just about right.

I'm all for increasing the separation to 1/2 mile or more.

It's got to be the right 1/2 mile. I'd hate to lose the park to the parking lot.

is all about preventing that look of panic a park manager may get when they learn there are 10,000 caches in their park. The other problem is solves is as you have noted. Finding one cache when looking for another. For that 528' is more than you need...until

...until one or both of the cache owners move their hides. Even 528 will allow two caches to end up on the same tree when they're maintained and shifted by cache owners. I've seen it happen, twice. There's clearly no ideal distance, just something had to be selected and the .1 was easy (or easy if you're not using meters ;-) .

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