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ScottScott

Unwritten "Rules"

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It seems that I am one of those cachers irritating the hell out of a number of cache owners, reading some of the posts above. For that I am sorry. I refer specifically to the issue of copy and paste of logs. My understanding is as follows:

 

The purpose of the log is to share my experience/s while caching with the caching community, that to me, is the broader caching community, including but not only the cache owner. Groundspeak suggests that logs could include my experiences to and from the cache as well.

 

I also use my logging as a diary of my caching life, so that in years to come, I can go back and relive my experiences, taking a virtual walk down memory lane.

 

This approach has brought me to the practice of writing one log per caching day, which was every single day for the past 181 days, and if all goes well, for the next 184 days as well. In this one log I try to capture my experiences, my thoughts, my viewpoints. I try to be innovative, imaginative, creative. I try to be me. I try to share myself. For those interested in following my path, it's one log per day to read.

 

I do not expect anyone else to have the same approach. My goodness, one of me is about all the world can take! I do believe that each individual should be allowed the freedom of choice. To choose when he caches, to choose where he caches, to choose how he logs his experience, to choose where he place caches, within the Groundspeak rules.

 

Furthermore I believe geocaching is about experiencing our world, to see places I otherwise would not even know about. What I most appreciate about it is that I can do it how I want to, without other people on a continues basis trying to tell me what and how and when.

 

I have become aware of a couple of cachers who believe their way of doing things is the only, the right way of caching. Guys, you are welcome to think so, but please, do not expect me to share your viewpoints. If I may compare it to eating:

I just love to eat out in a fancy restaurant

Some days we have friends over for a lekker braai

Most days we just have a simple cooked meal.

Often we grab take aways

All the above makes for balanced healthy relaxed living.

Different strokes for different folks.

 

Who are you to tell me what and where and how is the only right way of doing things?

Who are you to tell me how I should live my life?

Who are you to threaten me that you are going to delete my logs, or to get even by copy and pasting loooong logs on my caches, simply because my understanding of life differs from yours?

 

Once again, I am sorry that I irritate some people in the caching community. This does not mean that I shall change my ways, because then, just perhaps, I may start to irritate other people.

 

The Lion has spoken

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eish I agree with Scottscott, this thread is about helping newbies, not scaring them away from caching because they are now too scared to do the wrong thing and thus come in for revenge. Revenge has no part in geocaching :angry:

 

I also agree with CapeDoc. Various unwritten rules should be looked at with a good old fashioned Cape Town style chill pill.

 

- Often I am a fool and forget to bring a pen. If the cache does not have one, why should I not log the cache? I really don't see the point of coming back just to write my name. what I do in such cases, is stab a hole in the logbook with a stick or something, and note that on the cache page. This can now be proof that I have found it, otherwise how would I know there is a hole in the logbook? But on this point, I recon 95% of my cache finds I could just not write my name, and who would know or care? Do any owners really go and check the logbook with a list of finds, and then ensure everything matches up? Sometimes, if the cache is far from home, and in a highly muggled area, if I see the cache, and know that retreiving it would put it at risk, I log the find anyway - after all, I have found the cache - it is extremely rare that I do this, but would you rather I put your cache at risk. I know some of you might have an issue with this, but who have I upset or hurt by doing this - no-one!

 

- I log my caches when I can. I don't always have internet access, and am certainly not going to go to great lengths to log an FTF. Most cachers are adult, and should be able to get over the pain of going to find a cache to find someone found it 2 days before. Learn to cope, folks :D

 

- cache logs - a simple TFTC is one of the few things that does bug me, (as well as "logged on the move with my geocacher trimble", unless I know I have hidden a shoddy cache, so a nicer log is preferred, but I am not going to go cry about it, or start to hate the cacher involved!

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Come on guys - 'play nicely'. It is only a game after all and of no National importance.

To us the point of the game is to discover new places and enjoy what we are doing and not get into mud-slinging matches. CHILL & ENJOY!!!

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I finder of my Edenvale Panther cache found it, but when wanting to replace it, had someone stitting on/at ground zero.

He then hid it nearby under a roack, and uploaded a photo of it with his online log.

 

I think this is more then acceptable, and glad he did this.

 

I feel he took the cache out of the game only for the next finder, and possibly only for a day or so. If you remove the cache it is out of play for many days/weeks.

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I finder of my Edenvale Panther cache found it, but when wanting to replace it, had someone stitting on/at ground zero.

He then hid it nearby under a roack, and uploaded a photo of it with his online log.

 

I think this is more then acceptable, and glad he did this.

 

I feel he took the cache out of the game only for the next finder, and possibly only for a day or so. If you remove the cache it is out of play for many days/weeks.

 

Good pointer

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But soon I will pay these chaps a visit and then it is PAYBACK TIME.

 

What is all this about? Cachers can log their finds in whichever way they want to. Who are we as the geocaching community to point fingers and tell other cachers what they should be doing? So what if a cacher writes "TFTC" or copies a log which incorporates his/her caching experience? Some cachers don't even write anything and leave an empty log. So what? You can't be serious that you take personal offence to certain types of log contents?

 

For us, we are grateful when our caches are found and replaced as they were found, available for the next cacher. The way the cache finder logs his experience is his/her personal choice and none of us should be telling him/her how to log nor should we be threatening with "PAYBACK" and stuff. That is silly and not in the spirit of geocaching.

 

Our 2c worth.

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I don't understand what gives anybody the right to think that they can make "unwritten rules"?

 

Groundspeak, and only Groundspeak owns this wonderful game, and they make the rules - the written rules, which are the only rules.

 

And they've made as few rules as have been absolutely necessary to limit obvious abuse of the game and their website. Their intention for the game is, and has always been non-competitive, so please don't try to manipulate the game into a competitive "something" that suits your personal tastes. If the rule you want to see isn't formally written somewhere on geocaching.com, then there is no rule, and you have no right to try to impose it on anyone else - QED.

 

Fit in, or go elsewhere.

 

As an example - there are no rules about FTF whatsoever. If you can find any FTF rules on geocaching.com I'd like to see them. So don't try to create rules for FTFs - there aren't any.

 

C'mon - lighten up, it's a game, not a fight for survival. As mentioned earlier by someone else, I shudder to think what a newby will think when reading this thread - probably run for cover...... what a pity. :(

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I don't understand what gives anybody the right to think that they can make "unwritten rules"?

 

Andy, i am not taking issue with you :)

 

I think the topic was incorrectly named right at the beginning - It should have been called "Caching Etiquette"

 

I think SS was trying to establish what sort of etiquette is followed when caching (within the rules made by GS).

 

e.g.

  • Wait for the FTF to log first.
  • "Cut & Paste" logs are not nice, neither is a plain "TFTC"
  • Never relocate a cache without speaking to the owner first
  • and so on ...
     

 

Some posts have tended to get a bit personal, but then that is one of the hazards of an open forum :)

 

Maybe we should concentrate on that, and not on rules which don't exist.

 

PT

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I don't understand what gives anybody the right to think that they can make "unwritten rules"?

 

Andy, i am not taking issue with you :)

 

I think the topic was incorrectly named right at the beginning - It should have been called "Caching Etiquette"

 

I think SS was trying to establish what sort of etiquette is followed when caching (within the rules made by GS).

 

e.g.

  • Wait for the FTF to log first.
  • "Cut & Paste" logs are not nice, neither is a plain "TFTC"
  • Never relocate a cache without speaking to the owner first
  • and so on ...
     

 

Some posts have tended to get a bit personal, but then that is one of the hazards of an open forum :)

 

Maybe we should concentrate on that, and not on rules which don't exist.

 

PT

Phew - ummmm, nope, with the greatest respect - I don't agree...

 

The "etiquette" that you're trying to dictate to others is "unwritten rules", and that's exactly the point I'm trying to make.

If the "etiquette" isn't a Groundspeak rule, then please don't try to force others to do what you want them to do.....

Nobody has the right to do that.

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Don't you mind me asking question here? :rolleyes:

At first- sorry for my English.

 

Question- 1.are there any word files with logbooks? I mean -not to buy logbook , but just print it myself?

2. If you founs cache with full logbook and decided to put new one in cache- what should I do with old logbook? Specialy -if I do it not in my home city.

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Fish Eagle

 

While I hear you and respect the standpoitn you bring - having cached in a number of locations, there are some localised flavours to the game.

 

Cache rating is one - a 3* in joburg is likely to differ to a 3* in Cape Town - and certainly to Germany. This is something that is definitely localised and there would be some sort of pressure applied (real or more subtle) by the local caching community to come in line with the local flavour.

 

I do agree with you that we as Cache Owners or players can not "invent" our own rules - such as you need to answer in english, or have to type a certain amount of works in your log etc. - these are additional logging requirements which are definite no-no's.

 

So although they are probably not rules or ettiquette - there is a definitle flavour in how the game is played from area to area. Soem of these are positive and some less so. I believe this is what Technonut was probbaly trying to gauge - but the topic went a little awry?

 

Just like the official and unofficial culture of a large corporate such as a bank which has the written rules, visions, mission statements and values - but then there are the actual values and culture of the organisation that are not necessarily written.

 

I trust that these are what the OP was looking for - in order to not step on anyone's toes - but in the end - stood on a landmine :)

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Cache rating is one - a 3* in joburg is likely to differ to a 3* in Cape Town - and certainly to Germany. This is something that is definitely localised and there would be some sort of pressure applied (real or more subtle) by the local caching community to come in line with the local flavour.

Interesting example above - and I agree with you about that because it's a "WRITTEN RULE". Groundspeak has provided a rule/guideline on geocaching.com regarding how to rate terrain/difficulty, and I support guiding and assisting newbies to conform with Groundspeak's written rules. The problem I have is with unwritten rules.

 

Maybe the easiest way to clarify my viewpoint is whether one can provide a link to the "rule" somewhere on the geocaching.com website.

If you can, then it's a written rule, and guidance to newbies could/should be provided.

If you can't provide a link, then it's an unwritten rule, and off-limits IMO.

 

Here's the link for your 3* terrain example above..... Link

 

Here's the 3 examples mentioned a few posts ago....

# Wait for the FTF to log first.

# "Cut & Paste" logs are not nice, neither is a plain "TFTC"

# Never relocate a cache without speaking to the owner first

I'm not aware of anywhere on geocaching.com that these items are mentioned.

Can anyone provide links...??

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Agreed - but using the terrain example again - locally in the Arabian gulf - a number of offroad caches that need a 4x4 are rated as a 2-3 star - because that is the norm here in the sandy desert. Over the 10 years of being played - the game has developed a local flavour here and higher rating caches are given to those that after an off road section you then need to hike up a steep mountain.

 

Although it goes contrary to the GS rating system - it is locally accepted (including by reviewers) as it is understood that it is impossible to get a global rating system.

 

When I arrived here almost 3 years back - after checking local caches and speaking to local cachers - I realised that is how one rates caches in the Gulf - and one used the surroundign caches as a yardstick.

 

This IMO does not detract from the game, or impinge on anyone's enjoyment thereof. so while being an "unwritten" aspect - still adds to the enjoyment.

 

I also agree with you as soon as one becomes limiting on what you expect should be or shouldn't be in a log posting, or who can or can not claim a FTF or who may or may not remove a coin etc. - then the boundary has been firmly stepped over and we are now impinging on peoples enjoyment of the game.

 

I guess my real point is that there will always be "unwritten" cultural aspects to any game, gathering, organisation. It is the nature of organisations - whether it is the Boy Scouts with written rules and constitutions and over a 100 years of history - or a more loose organisation such as caching. IMO We can't deny this - but we can ensure that they do not cause a problem.

 

May I raise a question with you on this please (as you are privvy to the rules). The Challeneg Cache I read about that seems to be popular in hte US and EU. What is the GS view on this - e.g. you have to have at least 1000 cache finds before you can find this cache - or you need a find in every province etc.?

 

I have even seen it on an Earthcache - only cachers with more than 100 EC finds may log a find on a particular cache. thanks for your input again.

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May I raise a question with you on this please (as you are privvy to the rules). The Challeneg Cache I read about that seems to be popular in hte US and EU. What is the GS view on this - e.g. you have to have at least 1000 cache finds before you can find this cache - or you need a find in every province etc.?

 

I have even seen it on an Earthcache - only cachers with more than 100 EC finds may log a find on a particular cache. thanks for your input again.

Challenge caches - yep, they are allowed under certain circumstances as far as I know, but I've retired from reviewing and I don't keep up to date with guidelines changes, so you should direct your enquiry to ROTSIP for more info.

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After reading what the "great" Fish Eagle has had to say above I will repeat what I originally said - after the written rules have been complied with do whatever blows your hair back, or as CapeDoc said "Whatever floats your boat".

 

At the end of the day this is a game that we play and we all play it differently and for different reasons - much of which has been stated already.

 

I love the game as it is and I do what blows MY hair back. I do not like prescriptive rules and I do not like telling others what to do. I had enough of that both in the military and in corporate life. Now I want to relax when I have my GPSr in my hand.

 

Happy caching all.

 

My 2c worth. :ph34r:

Edited by cincol

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After reading what the "great" Fish Eagle has had to say above I will repeat what I originally said - after the written rules have been complied with do whatever blows your hair back, or as CapeDoc said "Whatever floats your boat".

 

At the end of the day this is a game that we play and we all play it differently and for different reasons - much of which has been stated already.

 

I love the game as it is and I do what blows MY hair back. I do not like prescriptive rules and I do not like telling others what to do. I had enough of that both in the military and in corporate life. Now I want to relax when I have my GPSr in my hand.

 

Happy caching all.

 

My 2c worth. :ph34r:

Bingo...where's the "like" button?? :D

 

I have such fond memories of the voyage of discovery Lindy & I had years ago when we discovered this wonderful game. If someone had jumped in then with a heavy hand, and said you shouldn't log TFTC, or you can't do this, or can't do that, I wonder whether we would still have been geocachers today....?

 

So, my belief is - even if it isn't quite what you want as an experienced player, let newbies enjoy discovering the breadth and depth of the game with as little interference as possible. Newbies should be nurtured. If they only log TFTC - so what. One day when they own their own caches, they'll work out how the back-and-forth flow of pleasure works, and the light will come on..... and they'll still be geocachers, and they'll be reinforced by that "discovery" experience.

 

My 2c worth...

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Here's the 3 examples mentioned a few posts ago....

# Wait for the FTF to log first.

# "Cut & Paste" logs are not nice, neither is a plain "TFTC"

# Never relocate a cache without speaking to the owner first

I'm not aware of anywhere on geocaching.com that these items are mentioned.

Can anyone provide links...??

 

I knew I have read the rule of “no moving” a cache somewhere, and with confirmation from Fish Eagle share the info on this forum to help newbie’s and “old hands” with some links...

 

On the Groundspeak Beginner's Basics guidelines Link they provide a list of ethos of the geocaching community and a link for more info to the site Link. This site notes that you “must not move a cache”. And reading the Groundspeak Q & A Link “Can I move a cache once I find it?” they answer “Do not move a cache from its original location. If you feel that the cache may not be located in the correct location, please email the cache owner directly or post a log on the cache detail page, notifying the owner of your concern. It is an owner's responsibility to maintain cache placement.”

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OK I will just go through small points.

 

I was biting fun at Scott Scott as he had copy and pasted in a few caches along my side. But it is sort of accepted on my side. But then it opened up a big can of worms. I looked deeper into this and lo-lo-and behold I became a victim of such on a JHB cache of mine. I saw it develop into a full blown war of words and I am sorry. I looked at other posts and realised that even bigger posts in GP were copied and pasted. This brought me to the point of what do we want to see such long logs on our caches for... and then repeated on every cache. It comes to a point that we have to still scrutinise every log to find that nothing is mentioned of our actual caches but maybe two or three others. All good and well but I can imaging that an owner of 20 or 30 caches, let alone over 100 would like to read the same log over and over again... It comes to a point that the CO just gets sick of reading it and deletes all the email notifications of the log.... But what if number 29 on his list was a cache in urgent need of some TLC and Mr. copy and paste just made mention of it on that particular log... It goes by un-noticed and next cacher thinks, that even though it was mentioned by another cacher, the CO is not maintaining the cache... I am not saying that this happened or will happen. But it could...

 

I do not mind a copy and paste, I look at what TechnoNut did on the recent trip to Bloem. That is what I like to see, it makes a note of the cache number for the day and with reference to the event. And though his logs are not complete, it has a little description of the day, not a breakdown of the day... including the extra side order of chips and onion rings for lunch....

 

So yes copy and paste, but pertain to the day event as such and not the weather and how lunch was... that is all I ask... it just makes me as a CO appreciate the time I put in to place a cache and read a compliment of sorts on the cache in question. I have cache owners tell me that a copy and paste log doesn't make their cache feel worth the effort they put in. And with 3 other caches on the cards, they scrapped them because of a copy and paste response. I have to convince them that not all cachers will do this, that some will actually put in a response to make their cache something to be proud of...

 

TFTC.....

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Phew!!

Okay, can we stop this now and get back to caching?

 

Wise words from Chris Chameleon on Facebook this morning:

- die verskil tussen kritiek en n persoonlike aanval le in die bedoeling; of jy bedoel om dit te verbeter of om dit te vernietig. dis eintlik eenvoudig. voor jy praat, vra jouself af: 'waarom se ek dit?

- the difference between critisism and a personal assualt lies in the intention; whether you're trying to improve something or destroy it. it's quite simple, really. before you speak, ask yourself: 'why am i saying this?'

 

Now can we all stop getting our knickers in a knot about a game?

Edited by cownchicken

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Now can we all stop getting our knickers in a knot about a game?

Who said I wear knickers... huh huh huh... let me at 'em... grrrr.

 

Hey G-Doos come give me a hug buddy.. LoL.

 

The biggest un-written rule must be... Lets have fun. Treat others, as you yourself would like to be treated... Make love not war... Don't hate, Populate... Smoke a joint, make a better sounding point... Place a cache , everyone will dash... End of thread, I'm off to bed...

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Anything beyond the formal guidelines listed on Groundspeak should be seen as common courtesy or just plain good manners. Some of these will have a local flavour:-

 

e.g. In Indonesia, a person points with their thumb as it’s considered very rude to point with a forefinger

 

So pointing a finger in Indonesia will get the locals feathers ruffled, while here we wouldn't be offended.

 

So, while it is helpful for a newbie to understand what is considered as global and local common cacher courtesy, don't flog them for going against the grain or committing what you consider to be a caching faux pas.

 

More importantly guide the cacher to the formal guidelines

 

 

 

For the guidelines on logging a find: Link

 

Physical geocaches can be logged online as "Found" once the physical log has been signed. An exception is Challenge Caches, which may only be logged online after the challenge requirements have been met and documented to the cache owner's satisfaction.

 

For physical caches all logging requirements beyond finding the geocache and signing the log are considered additional logging requirements (ALRs) and must be optional. Cache finders can choose whether or not to attempt or accomplish such tasks. This is a guideline change that applies to all logs written since April 4, 2009. If you own an existing cache with mandatory additional logging requirements, we request that you:

 

1. Cease deleting logs based on ALRs.

2. Review your own cache listing to see if the ALR can be made into a simple, optional task, or whether it must be removed altogether.

3. Edit the text of your geocache listing and, if necessary, contact a reviewer to change the cache type.

 

So for me, someone assuming they see my cache as qualifying for a Found does not qualify as a find as per the guideline above. I would provide leeway on this guideline if the cacher can provide evidence that they recovered the cache and couldn't sign the log because it was wet or the pen stopped working etc. (photo suffices). The numbers are of little consequence, so if I have to visit a site twenty times to retrieve a cache, so be it.

 

 

While this thread is bound to stimulate some heated debate, kindly adhere to the forum guidelines. Keep rants and raves, personal attacks etc. out of this forum and stick to the topic.

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How ironic - so much written about unwritten rules! :D The most important rule - have fun! B)

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- maintain hides of cachers who have either stopped caching or moved town/country.

I don't always agree with this. There are situations I can think of where this is not always a great idea.

- someone may have a "better" cache in mind and the cache is blocking the location.

- sometime they are just "poor" caches.

- If it is archived, you still have the opportunity to replace it and become the new CO.

- If they are really good caches that you are going to maintain, isn't it better to try and adopt? I have adopted a local cache that needed maintenance, with an overseas owner. I left the cache as it was (didn't change the listing, position of hides etc). I was not really prepared to maintain it regularly as a non owner.

 

The real lesson is to have your caches adopted when you move.

 

If the CO is still around, I will always do maintenance where I can to help out.

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- maintain hides of cachers who have either stopped caching or moved town/country.

I don't always agree with this. There are situations I can think of where this is not always a great idea.

- someone may have a "better" cache in mind and the cache is blocking the location.

- sometime they are just "poor" caches.

- If it is archived, you still have the opportunity to replace it and become the new CO.

- If they are really good caches that you are going to maintain, isn't it better to try and adopt? I have adopted a local cache that needed maintenance, with an overseas owner. I left the cache as it was (didn't change the listing, position of hides etc). I was not really prepared to maintain it regularly as a non owner.

 

The real lesson is to have your caches adopted when you move.

 

If the CO is still around, I will always do maintenance where I can to help out.

 

I think this is one of those regional "unwritten rules".

 

Here in the Middle East = expats are coming and going faster than anything - so cacher turnover is very high (very different to SA).

 

So rather than constantly adopting caches - we just maintain the good caches (on that I totally agree) - the chaff must blow away in the wind :)

 

Some are adopted out - but most just continue on in the original hiders name.

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Wow, so I have a short question. Obviously just replacing a missing/unfound cache without permission is just not on but is it ok to replace a cache once found if the container is not waterproof/damaged etc?

 

I am usually quite happy to do so but I hope I have not offended anyone by doing that.

Edited by GPSJane

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Wow, so I have a short question. Obviously just replacing a missing/unfound cache without permission is just not on but is it ok to replace a cache once found if the container is not waterproof/damaged etc?

 

I am usually quite happy to do so but I hope I have not offended anyone by doing that.

Yes, I think nthat is great - and a good service to the original cache owner - especially if the cache is cracked/broken/burned etc. - or if it is looking worse for wear.

 

Also removing old black bags etc. around the cache is another service you could do - replacing pens, fulling swag, replacing full logbooks (or wet ones) etc. are all great in mky book.

 

But I would caution on - moving the location or replacing the cache container size significantly (e.g. a nano and upgrading to a large lunch box.

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Sorry asked this in another thread. GPSJane i recall your Windy Corner cache having a close to full logbook, i can replace it for you as i pass the area often, unless you want to maintain it?

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Sorry asked this in another thread. GPSJane i recall your Windy Corner cache having a close to full logbook, i can replace it for you as i pass the area often, unless you want to maintain it?

 

Haha, Wazat you know you can personally message me? I replied.

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