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Cache (location) defacing


simplyred
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More and more I'm seeing a darker side of caching. People placing hard to find caches and others tearing the area up to find it. I'm all for clever hides, crafty cache containers and the like, but more and more it's just caches that are placed in a huge rock pile, or beautiful area with no real hint. So cachers tear up the area looking for the find. I understand that we all like to play different ways, but when the area get's trampled, branches broken, rocks flipped over, it's got to be wrong. I'm thinking if your gonna place a cache, you should have a hint that really helps, not like "under a rock" in rock pile or no hint at all. Caches should be hidden from muggles, but more obvious for cachers. It's bad enough to see places littered with garbage, but when the area is trampled down, you know it's fellow cachers that are doing it. At first, I would not say anything as it was a rare occurrence, but lately it seems to be getting worse. What your thoughts.

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the title is misleading, i thought its going to be about people defacing caches not GZ and the surrounding area

 

no matter what the hide is like search can be done without destroying anything at GZ

those that make a mess just to find the cache its how they are

they'll wreck a place just because they want to sit in that spot

 

its amazing how many out there have no respect for nature

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I haven't seen a lot of it yet, but I've encountered it a few times. In every instance the damage was temporary and no different that what you'd see if a bear was digging around for grubs or a deer for acorns.

 

Looks like crap but in a year you'd never know that it happened.

 

That said, the potential exists to give our sport a black eye. All we need is for a park ranger to come along just after one of the scorched earth searchers. He may not equate the damage to that of a wild animal rooting around for food.

 

It's why I generally don't hide micros in the woods and my caches usually have dead giveaway hints. I know there is a small, but growing segment of cachers who only care about the +1 to their smiley count.

Edited by briansnat
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I know there is a small, but growing segment of cachers who only care about the +1 to their smiley count.

Numbers cachers are not likely to be scorched earth cachers. They are more likely to adopt a rule like the Ventura_Kids and limit the amount of time searching for a cache to seven minutes. The problem is not the numbers cachers but the increasing numbers of cachers who see the game as a competition between hiders and finders. The hiders try to make the caches harder to find and the finders are of the type that will not admit defeat. If you want to hide a cache that is a challenge to find, then consider that some people may resort to extreme methods to find the cache.

 

However I think the most often cause of trampled down grass and broken branches may be the herd cachers. A big group of cachers searching a area may spread out over an area and be less careful when they are searching. But I don't think this is true of every group. I've been with big groups and we've worked together to find the cache efficiently and with less impact to environment. It just takes some communication.

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Very early on in my caching I decided that I didn't blame the national parks for banning them--even when folks are careful and hides are obvious, you get geotrails, it's inevitable, unless it's concrete of course! I won't destroy vegetation to find a tough cache--I'd rather have a DNF than break branches and destroy vegetation. I will admit to trampling down those honking big thorn bushes that do literal damage to my body, but I need to stop doing that, truth be told.

 

Why not leave the really tough, clever hides to the more ordinary places, or places needing some stealth? For geocaches out in the beauties of nature, it's the trip that makes it worthwhile, not an impossible to find micro.

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... rocks flipped over, ...

Are you kidding me? Rocks flipped over is not an ecological concern. The bugs that live under the rock will just move to the other side. I always try to put rocks back in their hole, but it really doesn't matter (unless it is a rock garden).

 

I think you are being a little over sensitive. If an area is actually being damaged, yes, the CO should do something. You could even notify the local reviewer. But I have never seen any significant damage other than goetrails.

Edit for speling (that is supposed to be a joke, I no how to spell "spelling" (I also know how to spell "know").

Edited by Andronicus
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... rocks flipped over, ...

Are you kidding me? Rocks flipped over is not an ecological concern. The bugs that live under the rock will just move to the other side. I always try to put rocks back in their hole, but it really doesn't matter (unless it is a rock garden).

Rocks can have moss/lichen on them. It grows on the 'up' side of the rock.

 

Cache can often be found by looking for the rock without the moss/lichen facing up, after the rock was replaced incorrectly... :anicute:

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I've actually seen this in action.

 

It was a large cache in the woods, and the hint was actually REALLY clear about exactly where it was.

There were two teenagers destroying all the vegetation in the area with sticks, looking for the cache.

 

I've seen it quite a bit though.

 

It's usually a problem with micros in the woods.

 

There was one cache that had bad coords in a really nice park. The whole area was flattened, especially the area around GZ.

 

I emailed the owner and they archived it immediately to let the place grow back. Another cache owner responded with anger when I approached them with the same problem. and their coords were more than 50 feet off.

 

To say it is OK to damage an area, because it will grow back in a year, does not make sense.

 

The caches stay there.

So if the cache is there 7 years and it takes a year to grow back, you've got an area destroyed for 8 years.

Edited by Sol seaker
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... rocks flipped over, ...

Are you kidding me? Rocks flipped over is not an ecological concern. The bugs that live under the rock will just move to the other side. I always try to put rocks back in their hole, but it really doesn't matter (unless it is a rock garden).

Rocks can have moss/lichen on them. It grows on the 'up' side of the rock.

 

Cache can often be found by looking for the rock without the moss/lichen facing up, after the rock was replaced incorrectly... :anicute:

Ok, well I love nature and all that, but I don't think I would classify myself as a "moss/lichen hugge". I suspect that that moss and lichen (fungus+alga) will just move to the other side.

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In New England, we have a LOT of historic rock walls, not old like in Ireland and places like that but old nonetheless. Many are in areas that were once farms and are now forests. Cachers love to hide caches in them (they're not just micros but regulars too) and then makes it really challenging with the hint being "In the rock wall." We did one that was a nano drilled into a rock and placed into the wall.

 

Even when cachers try to be careful, the wall gets disturbed, sometimes falling down. Sometimes the hide isn't even meant to be hard, but finders re-hide it "better than found because it was visible" and things like that.

 

Thankfully, many around here don't like these hides and often complain about them, so after someone hides one, they realize they're not liked and don't hide them again.

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I did a cache where it was this small/micro container in the middle of this landscaped bush. I had gone out there the week previous and everything was intact with the landscaping and bush (large area). The hint was not really helpful.

 

So there were a few finds and the next week my friend went out there again and discovered the landscaping timbers had been demolished basically (pulled part). The bush was broken and torn up (as the cache is placed in the middle of the landscaping).

 

At that moment I was so embarrassed to be a geocacher.

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Areas can recover from the carelessness of cachers, but it's embarassing and I don't want to be there searching in a trampled area when someone else comes around enquiring. As for being over sensitive, you would of been embarassed if you saw the area. I'm not talking about a broken branch and a rock turned over. The area was very well trampled. Anyways the real point is this kind of thing could really hurt the sport in others eyes. And a proper hint would go a long way in preventing such things. I like caching for the places it brings me to, but if the place is destroyed, it's more discouraging than exciting.

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