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Kill the lights - hiding coins in caches


Lemon Fresh Dog
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During WWII, when there was an air attack, people would kill the lights in order to hide where they were located. The idea was to make it harder for the bombers to find their target. Did it work 100% - no. Did it work a little? I think so.

 

What has this got to do with Geocoins?

 

Has progress ever been made on the suggestion that coin icons are not in cache listings? The idea that the tracking number is still associated with the cache, but only the coin page shows cache location - not the other way around?

 

In this manner, if I own a coin, I could see every cache it has been in and track it, but anyone searching cache listings would not be able to see if coins are in the cache or not. Obviously, they would see it if they found the cache and be able to log it and drop it into the next cache. It just wouldn't appear on the cache listing or as an icon to alert the "bombers"

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This has been brought up before with no resolution.

Personally I think it is a good idea. We use paperless caching so It's always a surprise when we find a coin.

Not having the icon on the cache page would stop the thieves who hunt coins that way but wouldn't help against those who just keep whatever coins they stumble upon.

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I did this with the coin I activated and adopted out as part of the Holiday Adoption Mission. I was able to move the coin a good distance, but the cache I accessed was one of those unfortunate mixes: easy to find, lots of trackables listed, NONE in the cache.

 

I placed the coin in the cache and then retrieved it on the website so that the icon was absent, although the coin was still present physically in the cache. I wanted to avoid the possibility that someone was watching this cache - it is on a well-travelled highway - for the purpose of taking geocoins left by visiting geocachers.

 

The coin was picked up by an honorable cacher who placed it, and it has been taken responsibly since. I don't do this all the time, but I might in the future for those caches that are relatively easy to access and have a bad history of trackables being left and going MIA.

 

I think it's worth considering...

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Personally, I don't like the idea. As a member and one who is responsible to move the coins I would find it irritating. I often plan a hunt around where I believe coins will be so I can either discover them or trade them and move them on. IMO, it would just take away one of the main elements that interested me in the first place. Now if you want to make them viewable to members only maybe that would work.

Edited by Da_Muggle
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Personally, I don't like the idea. As a member and one who is responsible to move the coins I would find it irritating. I often plan a hunt around where I believe coins will be so I can either discover them or trade them and move them on. IMO, it would just take away one of the main elements that interested me in the first place. Now if you want to make them viewable to members only maybe that would work.

You would hate it around here. We have dozens upon dozens of caches showing coins that haven't been in residence for months if not years in some cases.

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Personally, I don't like the idea. As a member and one who is responsible to move the coins I would find it irritating. I often plan a hunt around where I believe coins will be so I can either discover them or trade them and move them on. IMO, it would just take away one of the main elements that interested me in the first place. Now if you want to make them viewable to members only maybe that would work.

 

I agree that for geocachers who plan their caching day based on caches with trackables, they might miss out. However, there is a rampant problem with the discrepancy between both coins and TBs listed in caches online but then said cache is completely void of trackables of any kind.

 

For this reason, it might be...nay, IS, a fun surprise for geocachers to happen upon a cache and find a coin or TB inside that wasn't listed! This also happens all the time, as some cachers are on vacation and don't get to log their finds as promptly as they might like.

 

The idea of placing a coin but somehow hiding the icon from online watchers is NOT meant as punishment or avoidance for responsible trackable movers. Rather, it would be to promote the "life" of the coin/TB in the real caching world. It's a jungle out there. :grin:

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Yep, this has been discussed before. I think Burgessfour did an experiment with a coin that requested it NOT be logged but that an email be sent to them upon finding it. I hope she will chime in and let us know how that experiment is going. I put a watch on it and never got any hits so that means people were paying attention to the instructions at least! :grin:

 

I know it would be extra work for the finder, but I almost wish that coins don't get logged into a cache until they are taken out. If the finder of the coin did the actual drop into the cache (grab from the previous holder and drop it into the cache) then retrive it until the next move, I wonder if that would make any difference on coin theft?

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I’m obviously the odd duck out on this one, oh well.

 

I’ve just taken to creating proxies in the place of the real coins. So far the response has been positive but I go to a lot of effort to make them look good with high quality Xerox copies cut to a round and placed in a coinment container with a washer between the front and back copies. At first glance and feel it looks like the real thing. It gives at least as much satisfaction as a travel bug and if it gets lost or destroyed it’s easy to replace. Each one costs me about one to two dollars so the expense isn’t high it’s the time to make them. I've thought about having round tags made to go with coins I mint so that the tag gets released, (the cost is about then same) but considering how sensitive people are about prices I doubt it'll fly.

 

Whether it would be meant to punish those of us who do it right or not the net result would be the same. Another downside, imo would be a situation such as: We will be traveling to Michigan this spring to see our daughter graduate. On the trip I plan on hitting all caches listing TB’s and coins and moving them as far as I can. If coins are blacked out then I would have no way of knowing where to even look and with limited time I wouldn’t be able to search for some magic cache with coins in it.

 

I’m not saying coin theft isn’t a problem or that I don’t find it irritating because I do but planning to the lowest common denominator is the wrong way to go about it.

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Yep, this has been discussed before. I think Burgessfour did an experiment with a coin that requested it NOT be logged but that an email be sent to them upon finding it. I hope she will chime in and let us know how that experiment is going. I put a watch on it and never got any hits so that means people were paying attention to the instructions at least! :grin:

 

I know it would be extra work for the finder, but I almost wish that coins don't get logged into a cache until they are taken out. If the finder of the coin did the actual drop into the cache (grab from the previous holder and drop it into the cache) then retrive it until the next move, I wonder if that would make any difference on coin theft?

 

I did do an experiment; TB2BAT6 was to be discovered only not logged into caches but I think it was confusing. It has been missing for a little while, but that could be due to cachers who haven't lost travelers and don't understand this concept and/or don't take time to read the mission. I would like to think that it is still out there traveling under the radar, but I just don't know. I do still tend to sway towards not having the icon showing though, as almost all the caches around here that are supposed to have coins in them do not.......

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While I like the concept, I wouldn't be happy with the result. I paid for the Icon on my Look Twice coins with the specific intent to have the Look Twice message show up everywhere they go, and hopefully peak some peoples interest to look at the coins and take the message to heart. I feel I would not get my money worth if thet Icons did not show on the Cache pages.

 

It looks like we have seen one workable back door, if the coin owned want's to spend time managing the coin, they can always mark it missing each time it's dropped into a Cache.

 

Another idea would be having the option to hide the Icon, if the owner wanted to. It could be just a check box in the edit page. Considering that...Maybe the same option could be placed on Cache pages, to hide all the Icons in the inventory(Another idea that may not fit in the business model of GS, since the existance of more trackables makes the game more appealing to more new customers, and that's what they need to keep making money)

Edited by WRITE SHOP ROBERT
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During WWII, when there was an air attack, people would kill the lights in order to hide where they were located. The idea was to make it harder for the bombers to find their target. Did it work 100% - no. Did it work a little? I think so.

 

Interesting analogy. I believe they used black out curtains too. During my studies of my grandfather who flew Avro Lancasters in the RAAF (and hence the name Avroair) I came across sources of German radio navigation. German \bombers used fixed radio transmitters at night which accurately guided them to their targets. Call it a precusor to the GPS.

 

Anyways it's late and I digress, I like the idea of 'hiding' trackable coin icons but experience tells me they will still end up missing which is a shame.

 

4 out of 5 geocachers deny stealing coins... just waiting for the 5th finder... <_<:P:)

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A coin owner's option for the icon to show up only for members, or not at all, would be nice. That way people could make their own decision regarding this issue.

 

Wisdom comes from purple armadillos. I like this idea best!

I said that, but it got lost in all my wordyness

 

Or it got lost due to my skimmingness! Sorry! You speak much wisdom as well. <_< (Granted, that's not nearly as unusual as purple armadillos)

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Honestly, if I understand what is being discussed correctly, if they remove the geocoin icon from caches, it removes most of my fun of finding and moving geocoins from cache to cache. I would stop releasing coins (I do not release proxies) and return to just sending out TBs instead. While admittedly few in number still, my coins are not sent out just so I can watch their travels, but for other geocachers to get to see and enjoy them, too. Of course theft is not part of the desired plan, although it is a risk. For me, event binders don't have the thrill of finding geocoins in a cache. Sometimes I will watch an interesting coin that enters my area and if it by chance lands in a close enough hide, go out just to see it in hand. To trade knowing where geocoins are, interesting ones I would have the opportunity to see or even how many are nearby, for only the rare chance encounter with random coins would be a major loss, in my opinion.

 

Consider, too, a few other side effects:

Now I watch some coins that are in infrequently-visited and/or puzzle caches. If they sit too long, I sometimes go get them moving again. Will they languish for months or years with only the distant owner knowing because no one else is aware of the problem? What of when cachers switch travelers from known high-risk caches to safer caches just to try to protect them?

 

If someone finds a geocoin in a cache, how will they know if it has been there for 2 days or 10 months? What about its desired goals/missions if a sheet is not attached? If I am traveling from California to Florida, how will I know of coins that would like to hitch a ride with me? The odds of someone finding a coin by chance and being able to help it along to complete a goal is lower than if someone who can assist is aware it is in that cache and picks it up because they can help.

 

I have visited a hide hoping to see a recently dropped coin, but did not find it in the container. Then someone later picked it up out of that same cache. That one was a full-sized coin and I had missed it in the contents while looking for it; imagine how many micro coins will be overlooked in the contents of a 50 cal ammo can when they are not even listed as being there.

 

Sometimes a thief can be found out by local cachers by a pattern of coins disappearing soon after they visit a cache. If there are no icons showing the cache had a coin inside, every coin the thief chances upon and steals is known only by a scattering of individual owners around the world. There would be no pattern of the coins disappearing, because outside of the coin-dropping cacher and the distant coin owner, no one would know any of those geocaches even contained geocoins. And good luck trying to figure out which visitor picked up a coin without logging it if the coin’s presence is supposed to be hush-hush and no one dares mention the coin when they record online they found the cache.

 

While an optional hiding of the icon sounds good, as the number of owners that chose to put their traveling coins into hiding grew, the remaining listed coins become ever more vulnerable to theft. As the scales tipped, practically all of the owners would have to hide the icon to protect their coins, because it would be even more dangerous for cache-iconed coins than it is today.

Edited by aka Momster
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I think the "negatives" regarding the scenario proposed by LFD are related more to cache-seeking STYLE rather than why it is "bad" for the coin.

 

Consider this scenario: I place a coin in Cache A and then retrieve it from Cache A virtually. The coin is STILL physically in Cache A, but it just doesn't show up. The next person who finds it is free to move it along b/c by placing it and retrieve it, the mileage log is still intact. And if the next person is "into" moving trackables, they might just go home and do a little research about their surprise coin and move it according to the mission/goal/etc.

 

Other than not appearing in the cache inventory for those of you who seek caches with trackables, what is the problem with this scenario?

 

Going further, are there any opinions out there on the joy, or surprise, or whatever you've experienced when visiting a cache with an empty inventory only to find a coin there? Is there anyone who finds is annoying to happen across a coin or TB that wasn't listed and so you've no idea about the coin's mission or history? And when you do find such a coin, do you investigate it's page to look for a mission or goal or do you just place it ASAP?

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Other than not appearing in the cache inventory for those of you who seek caches with trackables, what is the problem with this scenario?

 

 

Apparently lost in all my wordiness. <_<

 

No, I understand your wordiness perfectly. I'm just not sure your examples apply in general, OR that having an icon in an inventory improves coin movement/history/achieving goals, minimizes chance of theft or newbie mistakes, or guarantees anything at all.

 

Here's my take on your side-effects:

1. Trackables languishing in poorly-visited/puzzle caches: this is usually due to remoteness or difficulty, which are independent of the presence of trackables. Yes, an icon might help trackable-seeking cachers revisit these places, but there are plenty of cachers who go for the cache challenge.

 

2. No access to coin history or mission: Not sure an icon helps there, either. Read this thread in these forums...

 

3. Overlooking coins in full caches: I really don't see how an icon helps. By your own example, you visited a cache and didn't find the coin that was listed among the contents! Yes, micro coins are smaller, but a micro coin in a cache w/out the inventory doesn't mean that it WILL be found in a full cache.

 

4. Thief patterns: Maybe my wordiness lost you on this one. How will the "unscrupulous coin coveters" find the coins if they're not listed at all? :P

 

We can agree to disagree on all of this - that's what the forums are for, ay?! And I do appreciate that my proposed example would keep you from getting an icon as easily as you would prefer. But there are lots of techniques in geocaching and many different ways to play the game, and I'm wondering how the "lights out" factor might affect (or not) the way other geocachers play the game or look for caches.

 

I like my icons as much as the next person, but I am also trying to balance that with trying to ensure that my released coins "last" so that others can enjoy them! It's an ongoing discussion that is improved by a variety of opinions, thoughts, ideas, and the subsequent defense of those ideas, I image. :)

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Other than not appearing in the cache inventory for those of you who seek caches with trackables, what is the problem with this scenario?

 

 

Apparently lost in all my wordiness. <_<

 

No, I understand your wordiness perfectly. I'm just not sure your examples apply in general, OR that having an icon in an inventory improves coin movement/history/achieving goals, minimizes chance of theft or newbie mistakes, or guarantees anything at all.

 

Here's my take on your side-effects:

1. Trackables languishing in poorly-visited/puzzle caches: this is usually due to remoteness or difficulty, which are independent of the presence of trackables. Yes, an icon might help trackable-seeking cachers revisit these places, but there are plenty of cachers who go for the cache challenge.

 

2. No access to coin history or mission: Not sure an icon helps there, either. Read this thread in these forums...

 

3. Overlooking coins in full caches: I really don't see how an icon helps. By your own example, you visited a cache and didn't find the coin that was listed among the contents! Yes, micro coins are smaller, but a micro coin in a cache w/out the inventory doesn't mean that it WILL be found in a full cache.

 

4. Thief patterns: Maybe my wordiness lost you on this one. How will the "unscrupulous coin coveters" find the coins if they're not listed at all? :P

 

We can agree to disagree on all of this - that's what the forums are for, ay?! And I do appreciate that my proposed example would keep you from getting an icon as easily as you would prefer. But there are lots of techniques in geocaching and many different ways to play the game, and I'm wondering how the "lights out" factor might affect (or not) the way other geocachers play the game or look for caches.

 

I like my icons as much as the next person, but I am also trying to balance that with trying to ensure that my released coins "last" so that others can enjoy them! It's an ongoing discussion that is improved by a variety of opinions, thoughts, ideas, and the subsequent defense of those ideas, I image. :)

 

If you understand then why bother arguing.

 

The point is you don't like it the way it is and some of us do. Turns out being able to find caches with coins and plan your hunt around that is one of the reasons those of us who like it the way it is got started which I believe is just as valid. You're comments and those of a few others seem bent on silencing opposition in which case why not just stop putting coins out all together. Seems to me it would be just about the same effect. If you don't want something stolen then either don't leave it out or stop playing. I hate to be so brutally blunt but all of us know the risks of putting coins out when theft is obviously an issue and the way I see it is we start treating coins like TB's or take the risk of letting the coin out and putting up with the risk. Diminishing others joy and method of caching doesn't seem overly friendly or the right way to go about it.

 

Sigh, I've gone over my rational limit of two posts per thread so I'll just bugger off now. Enjoy it however you want and leave the rest of us to do the same.

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1. Poorly-visited caches meets up with having plenty of visitors somewhere on the graph, I guess.

 

2. I have read plenty of threads of cachers leaving the trackable because they did not know the mission.

 

3. Not listing can greatly increase the chances of multiple cache visitors overlooking the coin.

 

4. Thieves often geocache too, and will come across coins in uniconed geocaches in the same way honest cachers find them.

 

If seeing geocoins were about the icon, I would be digging through binders at events and nabbing numbers from online photos. It isn't. Belittled traveler enthusiasm and it fades a little; every time a letter shows up in my inbox from an owner thanking me for going out of my way for their trackable by taking pictures, telling a story about an experience or meeting a goal/mission the game becomes a bit more fun. Posting in the forums is practically a guarantee that I'll be adding my name to the list in the Interest in Geocoins Going Down? thread agreeing that it has :lol: I know.

 

How long before the threads asking where all the cachers that used to post photos, complete missions and write more than "picked up." and "dropped." went to start showing up in the forums on a regular basis? I don't believe that is really the desired destination of the consensus, but it may be the road we are walking on.

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If seeing geocoins were about the icon, I would be digging through binders at events and nabbing numbers from online photos. It isn't. Belittled traveler enthusiasm and it fades a little; every time a letter shows up in my inbox from an owner thanking me for going out of my way for their trackable by taking pictures, telling a story about an experience or meeting a goal/mission the game becomes a bit more fun. Posting in the forums is practically a guarantee that I'll be adding my name to the list in the Interest in Geocoins Going Down? thread agreeing that it has :lol: I know.

 

How long before the threads asking where all the cachers that used to post photos, complete missions and write more than "picked up." and "dropped." went to start showing up in the forums on a regular basis? I don't believe that is really the desired destination of the consensus, but it may be the road we are walking on.

 

I think we AGREE on more than is coming across here. I, too, enjoy moving trackables, posting pictures of them, writing little stories about how I found them, etc. I believe that geocachers and people in general should lead by example. I don't think either of us will stop posting pictures if we don't receive "thank yous" or if our travellers disappear. We do it because it's the "right" thing to do, because we like it when others do the same for our travellers, and it adds to the overall fun. I think we probably agree on these points! We are disagreeing on the relative value of doing what the OP suggested, and that's OK.

 

I apologize if our spirited discussion has left a bad taste in your mouth for the forums or for coins, but it was only intended as a discussion and not at all as a critique of how you enjoy the game. I truly value your comments because you represent a type of geocacher that I am not, and so by definition I want to learn more. I do this through questioning/commenting to simply learn more. akamomster: Your post was thorough and obviously well thought out, and it got me thinking. So I had some alternative theories that I wanted to share and thought they would be received as openly...

 

And full disclosure, for the record: I do not release anything that I am not ready to have lost. However, admitting that it might/will get lost does not mean that I'm not allowed to say that losing a geocoin is poopy, nor does it mean I shouldn't explore ways to minimize such losses.

 

Now, back to the topic at hand?!

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Rats! Going over the rational two posts limit here :lol: but I wanted to acknowledge the great efforts of enthusiasts in the coin forums that encourage wild release of coins through various cointests, missions and fun challenges. There are quite a number of them and I won't name names because we know who they are by their visible efforts are right here in the forums. Thank you for guiding (bushwhacking, when necessary) us towards a brighter destination.

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I see a few challenges with icons for coins:

 

1) Many times the coins are not in the cache. It's not nice, but it is true - so the icon is somewhat meaningless already. I see it as a "probability indicator" rather than a guarantee.

 

2) As I don't even log a lot of caches - I personally don't understand people that cache for trackables. In fact, re-visiting a cache that you have already found in order to pull a trackable strikes me as a little unfair (although, I've done it - so I'm at least a self-aware hypocrite :lol:

 

3) I think the icons are simply a flag that says "here I am!" - and I don't see the benefit to cachers. I do see the benefit to those with less trusty motives.

 

4) I like surprises! I'd love to find a cache and see there was a trackable that I wasn't expecting. It's like finding a nice trade item. It's a little surprise.

 

I completely understand the other opinion though. I'd just like more control over my own coins.

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