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PACSGUY

Cache In...OK but also LNT

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I am new to geocaching. I was looking to buy a GPS for the car and asking around a guy told me about caching.

My first question was "you mean people are stomping through the woods looking for these caches?" Yea I was told but everyone practices "Cache inTrash out".

 

Well after doing this for a week, I am astonished by the distruction to shrubs outside of buildings, in parks and in sensitive areas of a local wildlife refuge.

Many of the caches I have found that are "city" caches you can find without a GPS. The shubs and ground cover is so trampled, it is obvious where it is.

I went to a park where there are several caches along a walking path that is .5 miles long. After the second find I told my boy to tell me when I was within 30Ft. He would say so and I started looking. 1 I found after serveral minutes, following broken tree limbs and trampled grass, the other was so torn up I had to resort to using the GPS. These are not small areas either. probably 20ft by 80Ft. In this casse the shrubs are common FL landscape plants, but never the less. Not good.

 

The problem is of course that the accuracy of GPS units varies greatly. All of use have found stuff that makes you wonder how the coordinates where determined. So image some body putting a cache down with a GPS that is 20Ft off. Thats creates a large area of traffic looking for the cache. A cache that was placed with good intentions, now is leading people into areas that can be devistating to the environment.

 

I am a Leave No Trace (Outdoor Ethics) Trainer for the Boy Scouts. I teach scouts how to camp, hike, make fires Etc. with out a trace so the next people there can enjoy the area as you did.

Many Park Rangers and volunteers are LNT trained. Geocaching will take a hit in state and county parks if the rangers start linking damage to caching.

 

There needs to be more instructions in the "beginners guide" and hopefully, links to the Leave No Trace website. Geocaching organizations need to do more to get the word out on ethical use of the lands.

 

I personally love the game. I do it with my boys, a scout and a National Gaurd soldier, also my wife if it doesn't go into the woods (mosquitoes) :laughing: I would hate to see caching get a bad name.

 

So Cache in Trash out..but more importantly Leave No Trace!

 

Best,

Troy

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Maybe you could teach a class to teach all of those non-woodsy people how to walk in the woods (or other landscapes) without wrecking them.

 

Boy, you got your work cut out for you. A least a few thousand flat-footed stompers! ;):lol::P

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I've heard about issues on occasion but I've never really seen an area trampled to find a cache. Social trail maybe but that's about it.

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Thanks Troy,

 

A point well taken that has been brought up many times in this Forum. However, I'll have to take issue with the apparent targeting of Geocaching as even being a infinitesimal percentage of the problem that you describe.

 

I've returned to many areas where Geocaching has either been severely restricted or banned all together. To be honest, most, if not all the areas actually appear to be worse off today due to human activities than they did prior to the policy change.

 

I completely agree with the basis of your premise, but I'm afraid that Geocaching is a mere drop in the bucket compared to other forms of recreational activities.

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Maybe you could teach a class to teach all of those non-woodsy people how to walk in the woods (or other landscapes) without wrecking them.

 

Boy, you got your work cut out for you. A least a few thousand flat-footed stompers! :P:blink::wub:

I don't think a class on the subject is necessary, I think all we really need is a note to everyone to make them realize it could be a problem. Some people just may not have thought about it before and don't realize the impact that one person walking across the same patch of grass 20 times could cause.

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Maybe you could teach a class to teach all of those non-woodsy people how to walk in the woods (or other landscapes) without wrecking them.

 

Boy, you got your work cut out for you. A least a few thousand flat-footed stompers! :P:blink::wub:

I don't think a class on the subject is necessary, I think all we really need is a note to everyone to make them realize it could be a problem. Some people just may not have thought about it before and don't realize the impact that one person walking across the same patch of grass 20 times could cause.

Highlighted portion causes me to reiterate this response! :(

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okay i dont post much i just hover in the back ground, but this one brings me out. i have an ohv (off highway vehicle) that we drive on the trails, a big jeep. anyway we have this problem in our community also where others feel they have to bushwack to find the "good" places. there is a group called TREAD LIGHTLY that is involved in teaching through literacy about this kind of stuff. we have lost a lot of trails do to others not doing as best they can to be ethical. alot of the problem is people just not understanding the impact they have, and they just need a poke in the right direction, maybe a nation wide geo pamphlet to be stuck in the small and up size caches, nothing big maybe just a card size, so that were not just CITO everyhting. us being hunters / fisher/ wheelers weve always practice the take more than you bring trash idea. weve even left a few extra walmart bags in a pringles tube attached to a location if its a bad one for trash, in the hope some others "get it" just my couple pennies

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So far i haven't seen messed up natual grass areas..... And i had catchers be there the day i was AND days before that... and almost no damage done by them.....

 

- 2 were in "under bridge teen hangout" so place was dirt with litter...

- 2 were 15' off a trail and had small faint trails, leading to the cache and OTHER places, just from kids running around in the 4' tall grass...

- 2 of them was 2'-4' tall grass and weeds and it had a trail around a brush pile that has the cache, i personally spent 20mins and flattend the grass and weeds :rolleyes: I was like "well the next geo cacher wont have any problems with stickers and weeds cutting their legs..."

- last 2 were in a small town, in a crack in a wall and in a local business flower garden...

 

Even then, its GRASS it comes back. FAST. At least here in Austin, Texas it won't take more than 7 days for all my trails to go away.... and be fully regrown in.

Edited by viper1986

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