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Why are cachers NOT using Attributes?


Tobias & Petronella
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I (Tobias) just ran a PQ from near the center of Mercer Island (GC2FVD7) and exclude all Attributes types that I could. It covered all cache types / sizes and was sent for 20 miles. It came back with 794 caches that did not have any attributes listed for them. My question is why are cache owners not using them? I'm sure that there are a few that want it to be a surprise or they feel it could give away where the cache might be hidden. So even if we dropped the number down to 700, that is still a lot without attributes.

 

Is it a case that cachers don't how to add them? Could it be that they are not sure what each of them mean?

 

When we do a numbers run (10+ caches), the attributes that we use the most in our PQ are available at all times available-yes.gif, not available at all times available-no.gif, not recommended at night night-no.gif and stealth required stealth-yes.gif. On most traditional cache unless it has one of these four attribute we don't look up the cache while we are out caching, we just go for it and use our own judgment when we get there.

 

When cache owners don't use the attributes it could include or exclude a cache in a way that could cause problems for both the CO and the cacher. I'm thinking of business that don't want cachers to search at certain times during the day or week, areas the are not kid, dog or wheelchair friendly. Places that require a fee to park or might not be safe to be in for one reason or another.

 

They way we see it, it just takes a moment to add something that can be very helpful to others. So why do you feel there are so many caches that are void of attributes?

Edited by Tobias & Petronella
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A lot of caches were hidden before attributes were available. Not every CO has gone back and added them to 'old' caches. Check the placed date of those caches on your list, and I'd bet most of them are older caches.

 

BTW, aren't Available At All Times and NOT Availabe At All Times mutually exclusive?

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I'll make a further assumption. A lot of caches are/were placed by inexperienced newbie cachers, that likely don't understand the value of attributes. The same can be said about caches that don't offer an additional way point for parking, or even any kind of help for parking or access to the cache etc. I do wish that reviewers would help suggest these things to cache placers, and I have always felt a person should have a set number of cache finds before being able to place one.

 

That's not necessarily asking for rules that allow the game to be played a specific way, but is more about educating cache hiders so we can all use the great tools that Groundspeak provides to improve the experience for everyone.

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Interesting question. The only reasons I can come up with is laziness on the part of the cache owner or lack of pride in the cache.

 

Why do people assume anyone that plays different is lazy or lacks pride? That seems to be a recurring theme in the forums.

 

I never could figure out why using an attribute that seems to reinforce the obvious, was needed. If dogs are allowed, it would seem unnecessary to add something to tell you they are. If dogs are not allowed, I could see adding something to let seekers know. If I can drive a car to the cache, why would I need an attribute to tell me a bike or motorcycle is allowed. Seems that should be obvious.

 

I am not lazy, and I take great pride in my caches. If using attributes (whether they support a positive, or a negative)will help someone I will take the time to go back and check what attributes I can add to my caches. I want to make my caches as available to others as I can.

 

For myself, I rarely pay much attention to attributes, unless they warn of a negative. (No dogs allow, Not available at night, Motorcycles not allowed,etc.) If there is no attribute, I would assume such things are allowed.

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A lot of caches were hidden before attributes were available. Not every CO has gone back and added them to 'old' caches. Check the placed date of those caches on your list, and I'd bet most of them are older caches.

 

From what I could find out, the attributes first started being used January 17, 2005. Using that date as the starting date placed, I reran the same PQ and came up with 656 caches without attributes.

 

Knowing that it takes awhile for something new to catch on I moved the start date placed by one year to January 17, 2006. It changes the number to 598. I even ran that PQ with the date placed starting January 17, 2007. Which is two years after the attributes were first available and it came back with 554 caches without attributes. Which is still a lot.

 

So when state that "most of them are older caches", I would need to bring the starting up to May 11, 2009 for that to be true. May 10, 2009 and before 401 caches, May 11, 2009 and after 391.

 

 

BTW, aren't Available At All Times and NOT Availabe At All Times mutually exclusive?

 

If ran in the same PQ it would be. But by running two different PQ (24/7, Not 24/7) it helps us decide which caches to do (and not do) when it gets dark and sometime which order to do them in.

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I never could figure out why using an attribute that seems to reinforce the obvious, was needed. If dogs are allowed, it would seem unnecessary to add something to tell you they are. If dogs are not allowed, I could see adding something to let seekers know. If I can drive a car to the cache, why would I need an attribute to tell me a bike or motorcycle is allowed. Seems that should be obvious.

 

You've never used pocket queries, huh?

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I'd be willing to bet that those that don't put them on their caches don't use them in their hunts so they don't realize that they're important to others.

 

+1

 

I would also bet a lot of us that are lax about using them, would be glad to use them, if they are importaint to those seeking our caches.

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I never could figure out why using an attribute that seems to reinforce the obvious, was needed. If dogs are allowed, it would seem unnecessary to add something to tell you they are. If dogs are not allowed, I could see adding something to let seekers know. If I can drive a car to the cache, why would I need an attribute to tell me a bike or motorcycle is allowed. Seems that should be obvious.

 

You've never used pocket queries, huh?

 

No I do not use pocket queries. I have tried that feature once quite a while back. But for my kind of caching, I usually just load a bunch of caches in the area I'm going to.

Now that I have had my second knee replacement, I may be able to do a lot more caching this summer. Pocket queries may become a great help, but I haven't needed them yet. :)

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No I do not use pocket queries. I have tried that feature once quite a while back. But for my kind of caching, I usually just load a bunch of caches in the area I'm going to.

Now that I have had my second knee replacement, I may be able to do a lot more caching this summer. Pocket queries may become a great help, but I haven't needed them yet. :)

 

Yeah, that explains. Just take a look at the page where you create them, you'll see that you can filter by attributes. And some cachers actually use this, for example to find caches where they can walk with their dog. That's why it makes sense to put the "dog" attribute even though someone looking at the listing or at the location would know that dogs are allowed anyway.

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No I do not use pocket queries. I have tried that feature once quite a while back. But for my kind of caching, I usually just load a bunch of caches in the area I'm going to.

Now that I have had my second knee replacement, I may be able to do a lot more caching this summer. Pocket queries may become a great help, but I haven't needed them yet. :)

 

Yeah, that explains. Just take a look at the page where you create them, you'll see that you can filter by attributes. And some cachers actually use this, for example to find caches where they can walk with their dog. That's why it makes sense to put the "dog" attribute even though someone looking at the listing or at the location would know that dogs are allowed anyway.

 

I use attributes for PQ's all the time

 

for example

 

to get a list of child friendly caches that involve a hike, but not to strenuous for when I go out with my grandson

 

or to get a list of jeep friendly or trail bike friendly caches (I often cache by jeep or motorcycle)

 

or to get a list of caches with a good view, or a waterfall

 

the list goes on and on.

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Interesting question. The only reasons I can come up with is laziness on the part of the cache owner or lack of pride in the cache.

 

Why do people assume anyone that plays different is lazy or lacks pride? That seems to be a recurring theme in the forums.

 

I never could figure out why using an attribute that seems to reinforce the obvious, was needed. If dogs are allowed, it would seem unnecessary to add something to tell you they are. If dogs are not allowed, I could see adding something to let seekers know. If I can drive a car to the cache, why would I need an attribute to tell me a bike or motorcycle is allowed. Seems that should be obvious.

 

I am not lazy, and I take great pride in my caches. If using attributes (whether they support a positive, or a negative)will help someone I will take the time to go back and check what attributes I can add to my caches. I want to make my caches as available to others as I can.

 

For myself, I rarely pay much attention to attributes, unless they warn of a negative. (No dogs allow, Not available at night, Motorcycles not allowed,etc.) If there is no attribute, I would assume such things are allowed.

I don't normally cache in your neck of the woods. Attributes about dogs would be a help, obvious or not. What looks like a road on the satellite where I can drive a car is in fact a locked logging road, and motorcycles are probably not allowed, it might be nice to know that. I guess the attributes are not for the things that are obvious to the locals but for the "tourists".

 

I guess one of the things that gets me when I cache outside of normal haunts is what seems obvious to the cache owner and all the locals is not obvious to an out-of-town cacher. Attributes are a help, child coordinates are a big help. Some times attributes are better than hints.

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Alright, I just took some time and went through my caches and added attributes to them. Most of my older cache had attributes, my newer ones didn't.

 

I'm still not sure which attributes to use when, somewhat of a guess on my part. If anyone finds one of my caches and feels an attribute was needed and not there, or there and not needed, let me know.

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Alright, I just took some time and went through my caches and added attributes to them. Most of my older cache had attributes, my newer ones didn't.

 

I'm still not sure which attributes to use when, somewhat of a guess on my part. If anyone finds one of my caches and feels an attribute was needed and not there, or there and not needed, let me know.

 

yeah.. we have a convert! as for picking which attributes, it is somewhat of a guess.. who's to say what is fitting for a child, or what not, but more is better, just make sure they fit

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A lot of caches were hidden before attributes were available. Not every CO has gone back and added them to 'old' caches. Check the placed date of those caches on your list, and I'd bet most of them are older caches.

 

BTW, aren't Available At All Times and NOT Availabe At All Times mutually exclusive?

 

you're not even remotely correct, 90% of all the newly published caches in my area have no attributes

 

i agree with jholly...laziness, and that is putting it nicely

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You guys are forgetting a big thing about this game. It was designed to play the way the player wants to play. That includes the hiders. Some of the challenge to the caches were all about how to find a way to it, including parking, hours of accessibility, etc. It was incumbent upon the seeker to figure it out and it still is regardless of the (non)usage of the attributes.

 

There was a lot of discussion behind it before it was implemented. The attributes were put in place to accomodate those who wanted to use them. it was not meant to be a mandatory usage and it will likely never be a mandatory usage. Those calling cachers lazy for not using them are presumptuous; offering nothing more than belittlement towards cachers not playing the way the name caller wants them to play. <_< Keep it respectful. We don't have to be like the general forums.

 

My advise is to play the game you want to play, and allow others to play the game they want to play. As long as it is within the guidelines, it doesn't have to be just one way on a straight and narrow path.

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You guys are forgetting a big thing about this game. It was designed to play the way the player wants to play. That includes the hiders. Some of the challenge to the caches were all about how to find a way to it, including parking, hours of accessibility, etc. It was incumbent upon the seeker to figure it out and it still is regardless of the (non)usage of the attributes.

 

There was a lot of discussion behind it before it was implemented. The attributes were put in place to accomodate those who wanted to use them. it was not meant to be a mandatory usage and it will likely never be a mandatory usage. Those calling cachers lazy for not using them are presumptuous; offering nothing more than belittlement towards cachers not playing the way the name caller wants them to play. <_< Keep it respectful. We don't have to be like the general forums.

 

My advise is to play the game you want to play, and allow others to play the game they want to play. As long as it is within the guidelines, it doesn't have to be just one way on a straight and narrow path.

Okay, I'll take back the lazy. How about inconsiderate? If I know about conditions covered by attributes that might affect your decision to hunt for my cache I just think it is considerate of me to use the attribute. Example: I hide a cache in a park behind some boulders. The path leading up to these boulders is a nice wide, smooth level paved path. Certainly not more than a 1 terrain. No attributes. Some dude in wheelchair comes along, finds he can't access the cache and leaves. I think it would have been considerate to use an attribute. And forget the 1.5 terrain business, I'm playing my way, sorry it affects how you play.

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You guys are forgetting a big thing about this game. It was designed to play the way the player wants to play. That includes the hiders. Some of the challenge to the caches were all about how to find a way to it, including parking, hours of accessibility, etc. It was incumbent upon the seeker to figure it out and it still is regardless of the (non)usage of the attributes.

 

I agree 100% with what you said above. Even though we use attributes on all of our hides, there is one of them that we didn't put parking coords because we wanted the cacher to figure it out for themselves.

 

My main concern is that I'm seeing more cache pages with "Do This" or "Don't Do That" written on the page and not using the attribute for that same request. As I stated in the first post, on most traditional caches, unless it has certain attributes, we don't look up the cache while we are out caching. We just go for it and use our own judgment when we get there.

 

While looking at some of the caches listed for the Kent / Auburn area, I found one that only wanted cachers to search at certain times or maybe on certain days, per the business. The CO chose not to use any attributes and I don't remember which cache it was. So now there is a very good chance that at least one cacher (Me) will search for it at the wrong time and may create a problem.

 

If a cache owner wants me to do or not do something, or warn me of a danger, then they should at least use the tools available (as best as possible) to bring it to my attention. Should I read every word on every traditional cache page before starting to look for the hide? Maybe I should, but I don't. If that causes a problem for me, then I will deal with it when it happens. If it causes a problem for the cache owner then they can contact me and I will help them choose the correct icon to use in the future.

 

To add to my original question: Why are so many cache owners choosing not to use attributes? Do they see no need for them? Do they not know how to add the attributes? If either one is true then it's not their fault for not knowing, and as cachers we should somehow encourage them to start using attributes. Personally, I'm not sure how this can be accomplished.

 

If a cache owner deliberately chooses not to use attributes, that's their choice and I have no problem with that. However they should be aware that not all people read the cache page before searching for a cache, but some use the attributes instead.

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OK, my guess that most were older caches was wrong.

 

As to why the obvious isn't used (at least by me) is that there is a limit on how many attributes you can put on a page. Also, I don't have experience/knowledge for some - such as dogs, I don't have a dog, so I don't know/pay attention to where they are allowed or not. And should I put Available in Winter on all my low land caches?

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You guys are forgetting a big thing about this game. It was designed to play the way the player wants to play. That includes the hiders. Some of the challenge to the caches were all about how to find a way to it, including parking, hours of accessibility, etc. It was incumbent upon the seeker to figure it out and it still is regardless of the (non)usage of the attributes.

 

There was a lot of discussion behind it before it was implemented. The attributes were put in place to accomodate those who wanted to use them. it was not meant to be a mandatory usage and it will likely never be a mandatory usage. Those calling cachers lazy for not using them are presumptuous; offering nothing more than belittlement towards cachers not playing the way the name caller wants them to play. <_< Keep it respectful. We don't have to be like the general forums.

 

My advise is to play the game you want to play, and allow others to play the game they want to play. As long as it is within the guidelines, it doesn't have to be just one way on a straight and narrow path.

Okay, I'll take back the lazy. How about inconsiderate? If I know about conditions covered by attributes that might affect your decision to hunt for my cache I just think it is considerate of me to use the attribute. Example: I hide a cache in a park behind some boulders. The path leading up to these boulders is a nice wide, smooth level paved path. Certainly not more than a 1 terrain. No attributes. Some dude in wheelchair comes along, finds he can't access the cache and leaves. I think it would have been considerate to use an attribute. And forget the 1.5 terrain business, I'm playing my way, sorry it affects how you play.

I remember the day when a 1 terrain did not mean wheelchair accessible. So again I repeat... it is incumbent upon the seeker to be sure of the conditions before going in. If you don't like it, don't hunt it. I've turned back from caches I couldn't take my dog in. Did I regret the lack of attributes? Not... One... Bit... It's the game that brought me out. It's the story I took back home.

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However they should be aware that not all people read the cache page before searching for a cache, but some use the attributes instead.

This hasn't changed from the beginning of the game, even before the attributes. Even though the attributes are posted on the web page for the non-premium types, it still an issue. This is not a game of entitlement. It is a game where you do accept responsibility for your own actions.

Edited by TotemLake
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Thank you TotemLake. I am an old timer cacher. Now into my tenth year. I'm also a bit of a purist, and a minimalist. I do not often use attributes. If I have something to point out, I usually put it on the cache page. I want people to view my cache page. <--Who's lazy?

What is a cache? A box, a logbook, a coordinate, a GPS, a cache page. Nothing more than that is required. Anything more than that deminishes the challenge to some degree. We now have endless attributes, zoomable google maps, hints, photos, explainations, parking directions, extra waypoints, on and on. Sorry, but that's rather a lot of hand-holding. I don't think I'm lazy. I have a lot of 5 terrain caches, and take pride in my cache pages. I would like it if people bothered to look at them every now and then. The one thing I often do is point out any safety hazards. I believe in people knowing what they are getting into if there are hidden risks involved. I put that info on my cache page. Please take the time to read it. You always have the option to not do any of my caches for any reason. I have no objection to that. Don't like my lack of attributes? Don't do my caches. I'm fine with that. Really.

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However they should be aware that not all people read the cache page before searching for a cache, but some use the attributes instead.

This hasn't changed from the beginning of the game, even before the attributes. Even though the attributes are posted on the web page for the non-premium types, it still an issue. This is not a game of entitlement. It is a game where you do accept responsibility for your own actions.

 

Sadly, taking responsibility for one's self probably won't happen. That sense of entitlement keeps getting in the way.

 

If the attributes you're looking for don't exist, or, there are no attributes posted, don't hunt that cache. The Co probably won't get too worked up either way.

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I like using the attributes, especially since I am in Colorado and like to know if a cache is accessible in snow conditions. Another one I look for in mountain areas is do you need a four wheel drive or is a horse allowed in that area/park/trail. All of these can save me lots of time and mileage and allow me to target caches I can actually find or even get to. I wish more would use them, especially outside of urban areas.

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I seldom see attributes on the cache page here in Kitsap County so I never pay much attention to them. I prefer to get all the information I need from the cache page. Those who hide caches do a good job of pointing out the important things on the page. Also I never use them when requesting PQs.

Edited by W7WT
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Some may not be attaching attributes because it is another step done after the cache page is put together.

When I put my page together(still in progress), I noticed there were no attributes and found they needed to be added to the cache page.

It is an extra step, perhaps overlooked by many.

I think this is the main problem that some of the newer cachers don't realize. They get excited about getting the cache up tahtthey don't notice the option after the fact to add attributes.

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Thank you TotemLake. I am an old timer cacher. Now into my tenth year. I'm also a bit of a purist, and a minimalist. I do not often use attributes. If I have something to point out, I usually put it on the cache page. I want people to view my cache page. <--Who's lazy?

What is a cache? A box, a logbook, a coordinate, a GPS, a cache page. Nothing more than that is required. Anything more than that deminishes the challenge to some degree. We now have endless attributes, zoomable google maps, hints, photos, explainations, parking directions, extra waypoints, on and on. Sorry, but that's rather a lot of hand-holding. I don't think I'm lazy. I have a lot of 5 terrain caches, and take pride in my cache pages. I would like it if people bothered to look at them every now and then. The one thing I often do is point out any safety hazards. I believe in people knowing what they are getting into if there are hidden risks involved. I put that info on my cache page. Please take the time to read it. You always have the option to not do any of my caches for any reason. I have no objection to that. Don't like my lack of attributes? Don't do my caches. I'm fine with that. Really.

 

This is exactly my view of the situation, If there is something that is dangerous or needs caution I'll put an attribute but if you need to know if your kids or dogs can go with you to GZ than check out the map.

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Interesting question. The only reasons I can come up with is laziness on the part of the cache owner or lack of pride in the cache.

 

Uh, maybe it's because I don't want to?

 

I don't even read them when looking for caches, I don't sort my PQ's with them and I could not care less about them even being there.

 

I have to agree with TotemLake, EraSeek, W7WT and Shop99er as well.

 

I hunt geocaches for the adventure. Not to have my hand held and lead by the nose to the cache.

 

I read the cache pages for my information, not the attributes.

 

I go after caches because I want to enjoy the outdoors and for the entertainment.

Edited by logscaler & Red
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