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someone ruins a cache to get it open...


calamitystrange
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i recently hid a new cache in a very neat and unusual container. it was a relic from my childhood: a metal, waterproof, match container, that had an unusual way of being opened. it required a certain method of unscrewing tension so that it could be 'flipped' open. the logs of the people that had found it were intrigued by it's unusual construction:

 

"I think it took longer for me to figure out how the container worked than locating the cache. Interesting."

"This container sure took awhile to figure out how to open and close!"

"Finding it is half the problem. Opening it, the other half. Another clever little cache."

and so on.

 

this morning i received this note:

 

"...we must have spent at least 15 minutes trying to open it. Eventually, I used a bottle opener, thinking I could put things right after opening it. Wrong! So, now the end is pried open and the cache could use some TLC. However, it securely back in it's location."

 

and i am SO bummed. part of the beauty of geocaching is finding caches that are NOT simple to open and require some thinking. in the event a person has trouble figuring out how to get it open, all one has to do is read the previous logs to discover that, yes, it is possible to open this without breaking it.

 

this is one of my favorites, and clearly, no one has taken a hack saw to it yet: Beulah Land

 

i realize sometimes people might break a cache on accident, but this is an odd case. clearly using a can opener to pry back the metal was not what anyone else had done to get it open.

 

is there some protocol here? please advise.

thanks.

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Some people hide containers that the very act of opening them is part of the find requirements. Those caches will state those requirements and instruct them not to force it open.

 

I'm familiar with the container you are talking about and it is very unfortunate someone decide to force it open. Either way you need to be prepared to replace any container due to farce or misfortune.

 

If you use use the same container be very clear on the cache description that people may have trouble opening it and what you expect them to do.

Edited by BlueDeuce
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Cache finders are only about a 1/4 as careful as you would be with your cache. They also only read about a 1/4 of what you want them to read on the cache page. If you put out a cache that takes patience and ingenuity to figure out, some cacher is going to come along and just tear it apart. It's life. Please replace or archive.

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There are many impatient cachers out there. I read the cache page where no indication of a container with special needs was mentioned aside from a ubiquitous note to close up and place as found.

 

As a cacher I've found various caches which were rusted closed, damaged and stuck closed, ill thought and stuck closed and so on all of which required some degree of brute force to open. Don't know if it's the case with the cacher. I've found caches with doo dads that had to be manipulated to open but they were fairly obvious that something had to be noodled with to open it and not a brute force situation as well.

 

If you put out a new cache and are worried about the potential damage to it note in the cache description so people know not to man handle it open. Or make the container obvious that something special is needed to open it up (special manipulation or what not).

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is there some protocol here? please advise.

thanks.

 

Unfortunately, there are cachers who will take the path of least resistance. I have had problems with people not even doing the simple things - like closing the lid on a plastic decon container so that it seals shut. I have seen similar containers used in caches and they require a bit of thought. Since the container was a bit unusual, it was perhaps an event waiting to happen.

 

I am not sure if you warned people in the cache description not to pry the lid open or that the cache opened in an unusual way, but similar containers I have seen had not used any kind of warning either. In any event, at this point I don't think there is a standard protocol.

 

I would, of course, disable the cache as soon as possible so that others do not further damage the container or create other problems with the cache. Beyond that, what you decide to do is up to you. You could contact the cacher who wrote the log about prying it open and explain that it was a personal item and not meant to be opened like that - but it seems that most of the value was because it was something personal to you. You could simply replace it and move on or be done with that particular cache.

 

Some people will take personal responsibility if they lose or destroy caches or coins. Others won't. In any event, I am sorry that it happened.

Edited by mulvaney
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I would write the cacher a note with links on where to purchase a replacement container.

I would not threaten log deletion or have anything negative in my comments.

Could be this cacher is sorry that they broke your container but has no idea how to replace it and thinks all they can do is let you know they broke it.

Provide them a way to make amends and then let the issue go.

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I would write the cacher a note with links on where to purchase a replacement container.

I would not threaten log deletion or have anything negative in my comments.

Could be this cacher is sorry that they broke your container but has no idea how to replace it and thinks all they can do is let you know they broke it.

Provide them a way to make amends and then let the issue go.

 

No, just let it go and replace the container yourself.

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is there some protocol here? please advise.

 

Yes,the protocol is mumble to yourself about inconsiderate boobs, and go out and replace the container. At least that is what I would do.

 

I had a container that was frozen in place and a finder smashed it open with a rock. What did he expect to happen when he whacked a plastic container in sub freezing temps with a rock?

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No, just let it go and replace the container yourself.

 

Agreed. I know that when I place a unique cache container, something might happen, and that's the risk I take. Fortunately for me, my most unique cache container has never gone missing, but I have a backup just in case.

 

Things happen. Just replace the container and move on. I don't think it's appropriate to send a link for a replacement container to the cacher who accidentally broke it.

 

I did once break the hiding spot for a unique cache, and felt just terrible. I fessed up, and asked him to please let me know the cost of the replacement, but he refused any money and told me to not even worry about it.

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I once dropped an ammocan about 175 feet down a cliff onto the bank of a large stream. It was 28 degrees and I climbed down, waded across the water multiple times, tied it to a rope my caching partner had lowered. I then climbed back up while he tried to place it back. He dropped it the second time, when the handle broke. This time it landed in the middle of the stream. We contacted the owner and said we'd replace it. He said not to worry about it. It was a 5/5 several hours away from us. It stayed disabled for quite awhile, so we finally made it back down there and put out new cache and made a TB out of the ammocan handle. We haven't been able to meet up with the owner yet to present him with the TB, but it is the plan.

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I once dropped an ammocan about 175 feet down a cliff onto the bank of a large stream. It was 28 degrees and I climbed down, waded across the water multiple times, tied it to a rope my caching partner had lowered. I then climbed back up while he tried to place it back. He dropped it the second time, when the handle broke. This time it landed in the middle of the stream. We contacted the owner and said we'd replace it. He said not to worry about it. It was a 5/5 several hours away from us. It stayed disabled for quite awhile, so we finally made it back down there and put out new cache and made a TB out of the ammocan handle. We haven't been able to meet up with the owner yet to present him with the TB, but it is the plan.

 

Wow!! That is a fantastic story!!!

 

It is good to see people with such integrity!!!

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There is a really fantastic cache here in Seattle, part of the Tubular series, that you have to use a battery out of your GPS to get into it. It's a totally hand-made cache. When you put the battery in you hear a whirr and the cache is lowered out of the tube. You reverse the battery to raise the cache up again.

 

It states these instructions clearly on the cache page.

People have taken apart this cache and ruined it a number of times. So far the CO has been able to piece it back together, although it seems it doesn't work quite as well as it did.

 

It's sad to see people be so destructive. Surely you think they'd figure out that it wasn't meant to be destroyed in order to sign the log.

 

At least at this point the CO is seeing appreciation in his great cache design in "favorite points."

I think it's really important he know how much his caches are appreciated, so I'm very glad for the new point system.

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Unfortunately there are people who seem to feel they are entitled to "their" find and will do whatever it takes to get it. I created a cache which consisted of a length of PVC pipe strapped to a fence post and trapped inside was a micro. It was the final cache in a set of three with the first cache container intended to be used as a watertight bung to seal the bottom of the pipe. The second cache container could be used as a container to take water from the nearby stream to pour into the top of the pipe until the micro floated to the top.

I archived it after someone kicked the fencepost until it snapped at ground level, then inverted the post until the cache fell out,

twisting the fence in the process and badly damaging it, selfish *******s.

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One thing to remember is that not everyone will have access to the logs/info when they're at the cache site so may not have access to specific instructions etc.

 

Until I got my Android I would have had to print the cache details off, OK if you're only doing a few, but when I went on holiday for a couple of weeks and had 500 nearest on the GPS there was no way I was going to have all the info with me.

 

For me it meant there were a few I just couldn't find, none that I couldn't open. Puzzle caches were right out!

 

Don't forget - some people are walking round out there with just an Etrex and a pen!!

 

Chalky

Edited by Chalky723
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i recently hid a new cache in a very neat and unusual container. it was a relic from my childhood: a metal, waterproof, match container, that had an unusual way of being opened. it required a certain method of unscrewing tension so that it could be 'flipped' open. the logs of the people that had found it were intrigued by it's unusual construction:

I've found some caches in that type of container. Over time, they get corroded and become nearly impossible to open so you can experience the soggy log.
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thanks for your input everyone.

i totally agree about "if you don't want to lose it- don't put it out there" of course, and i'm not that concerned about the item. i'm not *that* sentimental. ;)

i was more shocked at the behavior of the finder- but i haven't been involved very long- that's why i wanted to hear what other people had to say. it's interesting to hear so many stories. i will just go replace it, and make sure if i hide one of those again that i mention the 'no tools required' bit in the listing.

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i recently hid a new cache in a very neat and unusual container. it was a relic from my childhood: a metal, waterproof, match container, that had an unusual way of being opened. it required a certain method of unscrewing tension so that it could be 'flipped' open. the logs of the people that had found it were intrigued by it's unusual construction:

 

"I think it took longer for me to figure out how the container worked than locating the cache. Interesting."

"This container sure took awhile to figure out how to open and close!"

"Finding it is half the problem. Opening it, the other half. Another clever little cache."

and so on.

 

this morning i received this note:

 

"...we must have spent at least 15 minutes trying to open it. Eventually, I used a bottle opener, thinking I could put things right after opening it. Wrong! So, now the end is pried open and the cache could use some TLC. However, it securely back in it's location."

 

and i am SO bummed. part of the beauty of geocaching is finding caches that are NOT simple to open and require some thinking. in the event a person has trouble figuring out how to get it open, all one has to do is read the previous logs to discover that, yes, it is possible to open this without breaking it.

 

this is one of my favorites, and clearly, no one has taken a hack saw to it yet: Beulah Land

 

i realize sometimes people might break a cache on accident, but this is an odd case. clearly using a can opener to pry back the metal was not what anyone else had done to get it open.

 

is there some protocol here? please advise.

thanks.

Sorry to hear about the destruction of your container ! Word of advice ? Don't place ANYTHING you value out in the wild world of geocaching ! Consider yourself lucky if you even get the lid of your container put/snapped/screwed back on correctly ! You're lucky if you're cache even gets rehidden correctly. You're lucky if your logsheet even gets rerolled and put back in the container in a manner where the next visitor can get it out ! Unless every cacher who visits your cache is a close and personal friend, don't expect respect. Period.

 

Again, DON'T place anything you value out in the wild.

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I like to collect puzzles, like a block puzzle where you slide one piece and remove another so the whole thing will come apart- getting it back together is another matter. It is amazing what people will do to solve these. I was working on a rubix cube when my brother suggested a very clever way to solve it. He said to just pry off all the little pasted on colored squares and put them back in proper order. The more I thought about it the more I thought, "You know, that would work." We tend to follow protocol, but there are those who think outside the box and although not protocol it does get the job done.

I also had a puzzle that was composed of little plastic balls where several were connected together and you had to stack them to make a pyramid. I gave it to my niece to solve, but apparently didn't do a very good job of telling her how to solve it. When I came back to check on how well she was doing she had broken all the little balls apart. Yup, that would work to solve it; it was a means to an end, but the puzzle was ruined.

I have ruined two caches, one where I kicked a hole in it when I tried to free it from the ice and another that I couldn't figure out how to open and basically assumed the top just pulled apart,and I ended up breaking it apart. Both times I offered to replace them.

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If it is a cache that is a real challenge to open, then perhaps it should be listed as a puzzle, but with the coords at the top of the page. Some containers may be specifically intended as a challenge to open, but if the cacher does not know that ahead of time, they may think that the lid is stuck or rusted shut. But some containers are just bad ideas. If you hide a glass jar in a rockpile eventually it will break. I damaged a cheap dollar store container nestled in a rockpile and frozen in place, while trying to wiggle it free. Being several hours from home, all I could do is e-mail the cacher with an apology. :(

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Anytime I have found those containers in the field they were ALWAYS broken or unworkable and the log was always mush. I for one would not trust them to keep my matchs dry. One time I even sliced my finger trying to get the bugger open. Get the plastic ones they are half the price and seem waterproof.

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I have no idea what kind of container we are talking about. Does anybody have a pic?

 

As far as containers. I agree, don't hide anything that means something to you without accepting that it will be damaged or stolen. That is why I recycle containers, rather than spending money on something.

79045.jpg

 

Looks easy enough from the picture. I wonder what the challenge is in opening this? It looks like you push the lid sideways to get it off.

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I have no idea what kind of container we are talking about. Does anybody have a pic?

 

As far as containers. I agree, don't hide anything that means something to you without accepting that it will be damaged or stolen. That is why I recycle containers, rather than spending money on something.

metal%20match%20container.jpg

 

Looks easy enough from the picture. I wonder what the challenge is in opening this? It looks like you push the lid sideways to get it off.

Edited by Lone R
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I have no idea what kind of container we are talking about. Does anybody have a pic?

 

As far as containers. I agree, don't hide anything that means something to you without accepting that it will be damaged or stolen. That is why I recycle containers, rather than spending money on something.

79045.jpg

 

Looks easy enough from the picture. I wonder what the challenge is in opening this? It looks like you push the lid sideways to get it off.

 

Actually that is wrong. Well, more like not entirely correct. You have to turn the center section a bit before you can flip the cover to the side.

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I have no idea what kind of container we are talking about. Does anybody have a pic?

 

As far as containers. I agree, don't hide anything that means something to you without accepting that it will be damaged or stolen. That is why I recycle containers, rather than spending money on something.

79045.jpg

 

Looks easy enough from the picture. I wonder what the challenge is in opening this? It looks like you push the lid sideways to get it off.

 

Actually that is wrong. Well, more like not entirely correct. You have to turn the center section a bit before you can flip the cover to the side.

Plus I've seen a couple that have been corroded and took a while working it back and forth to get it to open.

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I archived it after someone kicked the fencepost until it snapped at ground level, then inverted the post until the cache fell out,

twisting the fence in the process and badly damaging it, selfish *******s.

 

Similar story: There was a tree hide here, in the middle of nowhere, made out JB-Weld and secured to a branch. Rather than removing the cover and pulling the log out, the finder yanked on it until they broke off the branch (it was NOT a small branch) and ripped the heavy gauge wire out of the JB-Weld in the process.

 

WTF?

 

<_<

Edited by daschpeeg
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If you put out a new cache and are worried about the potential damage to it note in the cache description so people know not to man handle it open. Or make the container obvious that something special is needed to open it up (special manipulation or what not).

 

If it requires a trick of sorts to open it, wouldn't it be good to list it as a puzzle cache?

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If it requires a trick of sorts to open it, wouldn't it be good to list it as a puzzle cache?
I've found puzzle caches where the puzzle is to figure out how to open the container. The container the OP used really isn't like that. It isn't much more complicated than an ammo can or a "childproof" medicine bottle. One action releases the latch, and a different action opens the lid. But I would expect a lot of people to be confused by it, since it's unfamiliar to them. (And FWIW, I've seen newbies get just as confused by ammo cans.) Edited by niraD
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In my cache planting experience, I have discovered that you must idiot proof your caches. If people can take the cache apart wrong, remove a cover wrong, break a lock, or do anything wrong, they will. You really need to make your caches as simplistic as possible.

 

As has been stated, I don't think in all cases it is just a case of stupid people who don't get it. It might be someone in a hurry, someone that doesn't have access to the logs in the field, or just sometimes bad luck.

 

In your case specifically, I applaud the cacher for taking responsibility and stating they damaged it. That was the right thing to do.

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