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patricknbj

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My husband and I have only been geo-caching for about a month. We are really enjoying it. We have 47 finds so far. We are however a little bothered by the number of caches placed on electrical boxes, meters and the like. Are we wrong or isn't this against protocol? Do cachers in general just look over this? We thought about mentioning it in the logs.....but that gives the locale away to others hunting. I apologize in advance if this topic has already been covered (I searched electrical box and got nothing)........Thanks!

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You may look for LPC, Lamp Post Cache, Lamp Post Skirt or Skirt Lifters.

 

I just try to avoid lamp posts for a variety of reasons, although there do not seem to be any guidelines about them.

 

Good luck with this thread.

 

edit: Oh are you talking about ones on things like transformers and power boxes? I avoid those even more than LPCs.

Edited by John in Valley Forge

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Welcome to geocaching, and to the forums. You are correct, the topic has been mentioned and another geocacher (whose name escapes me) is concerned about this too. He has a website with some very interesting facts. Maybe searching "lampost caches" or "electrical boxes" to get past the 5 letter minimum required for a search would help.

This other geocacher is, I believe, at the very least an electrician if not more. I can understand your concern, lamposts can and do become energized, sometimes with fatal results. (This occurred in Canada, I think.) If it makes you uncomfortable - pass on it. There's plenty more caches to be had.

We have found our fair share of LPCs, electrical boxes and the like. Some of those boxes are in peoples' front yards - so they would have to be extremely safe....but the warning is there, that what lies within is a hazard.

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There is no official stance on this. Some people freak out about it, some are very cavalier, and others fit somewhere in between. In my personal experience, the difference between a cache and a real piece of electrical equipment is obvious.

 

If you have to force it... leave it alone. For that matter, if you are uncomfortable in the least... leave it alone.

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Bear in mind that this blog is written purely from his own experiences & opinions and it's not the gospel truth, nor required that you obey what he writes.

 

Example:

 

In my area, I've found a cache that was inside an electrical switch box. It was mounted right to the outside wall of a building, next to other equipment. Seems dangerous, right?

  • The CO works for the owner of the building & has permission
  • The box has a Geocaching logo on it in an inconspicuous spot, indicating that it's safe

IOW, just use your brain around this equipment, both as a hider and a finder.

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Hindsight is 20/20, but I shudder to think about some of the places I looked as a new geocacher.

 

The first time my GPSr pointed to a LPC, I had no idea the skirt lifted. There was nothing else around, so I knew the cache was on this thing somewhere. Then I noticed a little access door on the side of the pole. I wondered if it was real, so I opened it and saw the electrical wires!

 

Over 800 caches since, and I still find electrical boxes pried from their mounts. I've seen caches so convincing that I pushed and pulled on REAL electrical objects that were adjacent before finding the cache. There is no end to the ingenuity that COs use in mimicking electrical objects, or blending these hides seamlessly into the surrounding electrical equipment.

 

Yup, someday someone is going to look in the wrong place and get killed doing an LPC or other similar find.

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Groundspeak does not evaluate cache locations for safety.

 

It is up to you to protect yourself and decide if hunting the cache can be done safely.

 

If you have a gripe with a cache that you think is unsafe then consider attacking it from a different direction - caches on electrical equipment most likely do not have (and cannot get) adequate permission. If you really feel the need to get the cache listing removed then filing a Needs Archived log for suspected lack of permission will probably be more effective than complaining about danger. :laughing:

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Many of these caches are guideline violations and should be reported. Electrical equipment is usually owned by somebody, meaning that it is private property and permission would be needed to hide a cache in such a place. I doubt that in most instances the utility company or building owner would allow someone to place a cache on their electrical equipment.

 

Outside of the private property concerns, safety is also a good reason not to hide these caches. All it takes is one loose wire to make the spot dangerous. And it's not that far fetched. It's just a matter of time before a geocacher gets fried while poking around electrical equipment while looking for a cache.

 

As TAR pointed out, caches are not reviewed for safety, so safety is up to the individual cacher. If you think it might be unsafe there are plenty of other caches out there to find. You don't have to find it.

 

I avoid these caches mostly because they are usually not in the kinds of places I enjoy geocaching and also because I'm not comfortable poking around electrical equipment.

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Many of these caches are guideline violations and should be reported. Electrical equipment is usually owned by somebody, meaning that it is private property and permission would be needed to hide a cache in such a place. I doubt that in most instances the utility company or building owner would allow someone to place a cache on their electrical equipment.

 

This is an honest to goodness question, not a sarcastic response.

 

How DO they get approved then? I generally look at Google maps of any caches I am going after, and even at my level of inexperience I can pick out most LPCs from space. The reviewers must know what they are when they approve the cache. Are they relying on the CO claiming they have permission?

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Are they relying on the CO claiming they have permission?

Yes.

 

This game is based on trust. To get a cache listed you must check two boxes at the bottom of the cache listing submission stating that you have read the cache listing guidelines and terms of use and by checking them you tell the Reviewer that your listing is in compliance.

 

Unless the Reviewer knows differently he takes the hider's word.

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Are they relying on the CO claiming they have permission?

Yes.

 

This game is based on trust. To get a cache listed you must check two boxes at the bottom of the cache listing submission stating that you have read the cache listing guidelines and terms of use and by checking them you tell the Reviewer that your listing is in compliance.

 

Unless the Reviewer knows differently he takes the hider's word.

 

I guess they have no choice. Otherwise you would have a lot of accusations and all that come with them.

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If the electric looks fake then I'll check it out. If it looks real or I can't get inside easily I stop my search of the electric box etc. Not worth it to me.

 

I have a fake electric box stamped with GE in my yard drilled into a piece of wood stuck into the ground. It's pretty obvious that's its fake.

 

Last week I was caching with a team and the one member found the cache on the end of a wire that was attached to 2 real wires. I suppose that none of the wires were hot..no idea really.

 

I never would have found that one because I don't want to risk getting shocked. It was rated a 4.

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Aren't all lamp posts and guardrails owned by someone? Do the reviewers really believe the COs got permission for all of those?

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Aren't all lamp posts and guardrails owned by someone? Do the reviewers really believe the COs got permission for all of those?

Right-of-way and public parking lots, infrastructure and places and lands open to public access are all owned by someone.

 

The guidelines call for adequate permission, where 'adequate' is the key word. What level of permission is adequate is up to the hider to determine, unless the Reviewer has knowledge otherwise.

 

Since guardrails, for example, fall under different rules in different locations the Reviewers leave it to the hider to determine if explicit permission is required.

 

Caveat: These are fellow-geocacher opinions, if you want real answers ask your Reviewer. :laughing:

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