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Archiving disabled caches that are ignored by the CO.


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I just started doing this myself. First, I try to contact the owner....if I get no reply, I turn it in to be archived. I've been looking at the same caches for just about a year now with no response from the owners....even from other cachers who ask for a check in the logs. I just hate to see new cachers with 7 finds looking for these "caches" and not knowing what's really going on.

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Each volunteer cache reviewer is free to choose how they want to enforce the "Cache Maintenance" section of the listing guidelines. Though not obligated, many reviewers make periodic "sweeps" of caches in their review territory which have been disabled for too long. The reviewer leaves a reminder note on the cache page and, if the owner doesn't fix the problem or post a status report within a reasonable period of time, the listing is archived. Speaking for myself, I make these "sweeps" monthly, and I post reminders on caches that have been disabled for more than two months, giving the owner two or three weeks to respond. Other reviewers may have different timetables.

 

Some reviewers choose to be reactive, relying on e-mail complaints and "needs archived" logs to alert them to maintenance issues with long-disabled caches. If you see a cache that has been disabled for many months with no update from the owner and no obvious reason like a winter park closure or summertime construction project, then consider writing the owner of the cache. If there is no response, then consider logging a "needs archived" to bring the cache to a reviewer's attention.

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The most recent example near here was an active cache that had 9 consecutive DNFs and a "Needs Maintenance" log over 11 months before it became archived. The Reviewer may have granted some leeway as it had been placed in Sept. 2002 with a total of 77 finds. So, agreed, it is not something that happens quickly.

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Please note that volunteer cache reviewers are not automatically notified when someone leaves a "Needs Maintenance" log. That was the whole purpose for creating that log type -- to have a less drastic way of flagging a problem than asking for the cache to be archived.

 

Unless you write a "Needs Archived" log, a reviewer will not be alerted to a problem with a cache.

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I just recently found out what Keystone said about the needs maintenance note on a cache.

Before I post a Needs Archived note I make sure I go through some steps.

 

First I post a DNF for the find. I do this because most of my DNFs are because I simply missed a great hide, but if I didn't it is noted that someone couldn't find it.

 

I then write an e-mail to the owner asking the owner if it's still there.

 

Next I will put a watch on it so when someone does find it I can pack a lunch and go after it until I find it. If it isn't found, I keep a note of that too.

 

After more DNFs show up I will check it one more time, and if I don't find it then I will write the Needs Archived.

Edited by Bigdaddy Mark
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How long does a disabled cache have to be out there, unmaintained, before TPTB archive it?

 

I'm pretty liberal. Life happens. Caches can be remove and inaccesable for most of a year and a wedding in the middle of your planned trip means "maintain the cache or support the family?" it's an easy decision.

 

So I have no problem with a year as a minimum number and in a circumstance like the above, give them two. They aren't ignoring the cache, just not able to do it.

 

When caches become real life critical things instead of an activity we do as time and life allow I may decide that a quicker responce time is needed. Heck parks don't even make repairs as fast as some folks want cachers to jump on a cache and parks have a budget and staff to do the job.

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I just recently found out what Keystone said about the needs maintenance note on a cache.

Before I post a Needs Archived note I make sure I go through some steps.

 

First I post a DNF for the find. I do this because most of my DNFs are because I simply missed a great hide, but if I didn't it is noted that someone couldn't find it.

 

I then write an e-mail to the owner asking the owner if it's still there.

 

Next I will put a watch on it so when someone does find it I can pack a lunch and go after it until I find it. If it isn't found, I keep a note of that too.

 

After more DNFs show up I will check it one more time, and if I don't find it then I will write the Needs Archived.

 

I had some folks follow that on a hard hide of mine. They all got angry when I didn't jump on it, drive 250 miles and check on it. My cache partner was annoyed by the tone of one key cacher and refused to respond just because of the one annoying NM person.

 

Finally went on my own. When I got there I found the cache in 5 min. Mostly because I used the wrong rock as my guide (it was dark after all). Then I posted that the cache was in fact there.

 

A DNF on a hard find is nothing more than an indicator of it being a hard find. It may mean the cache is MIA but typically not. Some caches really are that hard to find.

 

The Needs Archived isn't about "I can't find it, and I think it's gone". It's about there being an actual and real problem.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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How long does a disabled cache have to be out there, unmaintained, before TPTB archive it?

 

It varies from reviewer to reviewer. Recently, I've noticed an increased effort by local reviewers to keep to a timetable. They will do searches for caches that have lots of DNF's in a row with few or no finds, and needs maintenance logs that don't go answered by the owner. After reviewing the logs, they make a determination on whether the DNF's are because it's missing or because it's well hidden. If the decision comes out that they need to do something, they will disable the cache and post a note for the owner. Lately, they have been giving the owner 1 month. Now, that's not necessarily 1 month to fix it. It's 1 month to get online and show that they are going to fix it. For example, let's say three weeks after the reviewer disables it, the cache owner gets online and says "Just got a new cache container and I'll be out there this next week to fix." Well, then the reviewer is going to keep tabs on it. If three weeks later that person hasn't demonstrated that they went out like intended, then the reviewer is going to contact them.

 

Now, if that person never got on and mentioned that they are going out to repair it, then right about one month after the original disabled listing, the reviewers will get on and archive it. However, they also put in there that if this was archived and the owner was about to replace it, then they can contact the reviewer to have the archival reversed, statiing that sometimes cacher's schedules get in the way.

 

I personally think the system works well. I've seen caches sit for over a year with multiple DNF's and no finds before a reviewer stepped in and began the process of archiving it.

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There is a cache that is a 3 hour round trip for us that has never been found. Unable to contact the cache owner as email hasn't been validated or wording similar to that, I posted two "needs maintenance" and emailed our local reviewer twice. Nada. Now, I have only just made my 400th find (today) so I am not that experienced, but three of those who also DNFd this cache have 1000, 1500 and 2000 plus finds. The cache resides slightly offshore inside a duck, and searches in the rushes, water and at GZ, about 25 ft away from the waters edge yielded nothing.

Think I will go and find that "needs to be archived" button next. It is a good spot for a cache...someone local may as well take advantage of it.

 

edit to add: just posted the "needs to be archived" thanks for the how to advice.

Edited by popokiiti
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Just an update on the above....within 24 hours of posting a "needs to be archived" note through the log page, the CO has finally temporarily disabled the cache in question and another one with the note "My friend is scum. Sorry for the inconveniance." (spelled this way in the log.)

That is quick action by the reviewer and CO, IMO. Thanks to both of them!

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How long does a disabled cache have to be out there, unmaintained, before TPTB archive it?

 

I'm pretty liberal. Life happens. Caches can be remove and inaccesable for most of a year and a wedding in the middle of your planned trip means "maintain the cache or support the family?" it's an easy decision.

 

So I have no problem with a year as a minimum number and in a circumstance like the above, give them two. They aren't ignoring the cache, just not able to do it.

 

When caches become real life critical things instead of an activity we do as time and life allow I may decide that a quicker responce time is needed. Heck parks don't even make repairs as fast as some folks want cachers to jump on a cache and parks have a budget and staff to do the job.

 

Life happens, but it only takes a minute or two to place a note on the page describing the circumstances. If someone can't find two minutes over the course of a a few months to explain why he can't maintain the cache right away then he has no right to complain if it's archived.

 

I've seen these kinds of notes placed by a guy with terminal cancer and people being deployed to war zones, so there is no good excuse for totally ignoring a cache that needs attention.

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I have to also add that this particular cache owner has finally validated his email, so we are at least able to send a message through geocaching.com now. I was feeling a bit bad for posting two maintenance notes and emailing the reviewer, when I would rather have contacted the CO directly in the first place. Now that oversight has been corrected.

I agree with what briansnat just said, a couple of minutes to perform a common courtesy is all it takes. It used to tick me off big time when patients didn't show for confirmed appointments - another patient could have had that spot and I didn't get paid. The two I still remember cancelling were the man calling from the ER to brag about two broken fingers (I had broken only one) and the husband who had just lost his wife to cancer. If they could take the time.............

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Well, I have about 5 caches I looked for that I simply listed as needs archived. I did list my did not finds, but I also see previous maintenance requests and over a year of DNFs. so, I felt the other steps were not necessary at this point. With this type of history, why is it taking over a month for the reviewer to address these caches? These are rural caches that would be a great waste of time for people to come out for nothing.

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Well, I have about 5 caches I looked for that I simply listed as needs archived. I did list my did not finds, but I also see previous maintenance requests and over a year of DNFs. so, I felt the other steps were not necessary at this point. With this type of history, why is it taking over a month for the reviewer to address these caches? These are rural caches that would be a great waste of time for people to come out for nothing.

 

Believe it or not, many people actually enjoy visiting, and even living in rural locations.

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Well, I have about 5 caches I looked for that I simply listed as needs archived. I did list my did not finds, but I also see previous maintenance requests and over a year of DNFs. so, I felt the other steps were not necessary at this point. With this type of history, why is it taking over a month for the reviewer to address these caches? These are rural caches that would be a great waste of time for people to come out for nothing.

 

Believe it or not, many people actually enjoy visiting, and even living in rural locations.

 

I believe he is referring to where some people would have a longer drive. Where I live every thing is a long drive. I would simply decide for myself if I wanted to waste my time make an effort for a possibly missing cache.

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So I have no problem with a year as a minimum number and in a circumstance like the above, give them two.

According to Miss Cleo, in a past life, I hid what would amount to a cache during the War of 1812. Some pesky cavalry sergeant couldn't find it the next week, and advised headquarters that it was gone. Ha! Silly sergeants! I didn't like his arrogant tone, and I've been kinda busy dying, being reborn, dying again, etc, so now, 197 years later, I still ain't done my maintenance run. Hey! Life happens!

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Unable to contact the cache owner as email hasn't been validated

A pet peeve of mine. Were I allowed to interject new rules into the GS playground, folks who won't validate their email wouldn't be able to hide caches. But I'm not gonna hold my breath. BTW, you mentioned that it hadn't been found, and that you were 250 miles away, but you didn't mention how many DNFs you personally logged on the cache. Have you ever even looked for it, or are you just posting an armchair DNF? What's the GC #?

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So I have no problem with a year as a minimum number and in a circumstance like the above, give them two.

According to Miss Cleo, in a past life, I hid what would amount to a cache during the War of 1812. Some pesky cavalry sergeant couldn't find it the next week, and advised headquarters that it was gone. Ha! Silly sergeants! I didn't like his arrogant tone, and I've been kinda busy dying, being reborn, dying again, etc, so now, 197 years later, I still ain't done my maintenance run. Hey! Life (and death) happens!

 

Fixed it for you. :D

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Well, I have about 5 caches I looked for that I simply listed as needs archived. I did list my did not finds, but I also see previous maintenance requests and over a year of DNFs. so, I felt the other steps were not necessary at this point. With this type of history, why is it taking over a month for the reviewer to address these caches? These are rural caches that would be a great waste of time for people to come out for nothing.

 

Believe it or not, many people actually enjoy visiting, and even living in rural locations.

 

I believe he is referring to where some people would have a longer drive. Where I live every thing is a long drive. I would simply decide for myself if I wanted to waste my time make an effort for a possibly missing cache.

 

I am not a country hater. I come from a family of ranchers. I also enjoy a nice country run, but get disappointed if I wasted an hour drive for no find. Also, these are grouped in areas that people would set together. So, you go to one and nothing there, you would try the next one because it is about 20 minutes away. After no find, you try the next that is 30 minutes away. After 5 of these, you have wasted a good part of the day. Then, nobody else really thinks to put some caches out there, because the site looks as though there is at least some representation. But, not really. It could easily turn off a newbie.

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but get disappointed if I wasted an hour drive for no find.

Maybe here in lies the problem? If you were to adjust your expectations, you might discover that the joy can be in the hunt itself, and that the find is naught but a pleasant bonus. I can tell you that a large percentage of my grandest adventures resulted in DNFs, for which I hold no regrets.

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