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Logging Virtual Caches remotely


jeffgamer
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I was just visiting the cache page for a Virtual Cache I'd really like to add to my found count (because it's got a particular difficulty/terrain combination I don't yet have). As I was looking through recent logs, I noticed that 1 of every 3 finders was logging it remotely...i.e. they were visiting the cache in a "virtual" manner by viewing the site online and then logging the smiley.

 

Is that within the bounds of the game? Can you find a virtual cache virtually, like that? Are there official rules about that?

 

I'd love to know the answer, if anyone has feedback....

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I would say no.

 

What is the point? If you have not done it then it doesn't count. I know I have thought about it once or twice, but to be honest, it defeats the point. Locationless caches used to be a feature but they have been removed, so virtual caches should not take up that category.

 

If I was the owner and people where remote logging my caches I would delete their logs.

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Personally I would consider this to up to the cache owner. In the past some virtual cache owners would allow these sorts of finds, while many did not.

 

However, this is one area where TPTB (Groundspeak) has made their position clear. In August of 2009, Miss Jenn posted the official Groundspeak policy on couch potato logging of virtual caches. Cache owners who allow such logs risk their cache being archived. If there are many couch potato logs on a virtual cache with no active owner, that cache may be archived and the cache page lock.

Edited by tozainamboku
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I was just visiting the cache page for a Virtual Cache I'd really like to add to my found count (because it's got a particular difficulty/terrain combination I don't yet have). As I was looking through recent logs, I noticed that 1 of every 3 finders was logging it remotely...i.e. they were visiting the cache in a "virtual" manner by viewing the site online and then logging the smiley.

 

Is that within the bounds of the game? Can you find a virtual cache virtually, like that? Are there official rules about that?

 

I'd love to know the answer, if anyone has feedback....

In a word NO. :shocked: Log one of my virtuals in this manner and your log will be deleted. :sad:

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Thanks for all the feedback, ya'll! Yes, it seemed sort of fishy to me. If that thing about the cache being forcibly archived is true, I hope the cache owner of the one I saw cracks down...otherwise I'll never get a chance to try for the cache...and it's got a bunch of "favorites" tacked onto it already, to boot!

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What about this twist? You travel somewhere, see the sights, then sometime later when you are home, you do a search and find there was a virtual cache right where you visited. You even have pix of the spot. And in those pix, there is the answer to the question(s) asked. Log it as a find? Legit?

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not sure how you can tell folks are logging virtuals without them actually seeing it. Sure some folks are obvious about it, but to say definitely 1/3 of the folks are not there, that would be hard to do, but would be interested to know if you were right.

 

To answer you, no. Virtuals should be done by being there, however you log it is up to you as long as you were there and answered the requirement. This is part of the reason Enter the Dragon virtual was archived I bet, it was too easy to get the answer without being there.

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What about this twist? You travel somewhere, see the sights, then sometime later when you are home, you do a search and find there was a virtual cache right where you visited. You even have pix of the spot. And in those pix, there is the answer to the question(s) asked. Log it as a find? Legit?

 

Actually, I have wondered this about this scenario before. I decided that if this occurred to be, I would not log the cache... But that's just me.

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What about this twist? You travel somewhere, see the sights, then sometime later when you are home, you do a search and find there was a virtual cache right where you visited. You even have pix of the spot. And in those pix, there is the answer to the question(s) asked. Log it as a find? Legit?

 

Sure, log it. In fact, backdate it with a log date prior to the "hidden" date of the virtual. Just to show the absurdity of such a "virtual cache" :D

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I don't like the idea of virtuals. It makes no sense for their existence at all.

If a place can not allow a physical container to be hidden (even a nano??) then the place has no business with geocaching.

I dont know why we feel that every single spot of dirt on Earth must have a geocache!

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What about this twist? You travel somewhere, see the sights, then sometime later when you are home, you do a search and find there was a virtual cache right where you visited. You even have pix of the spot. And in those pix, there is the answer to the question(s) asked. Log it as a find? Legit?

 

Actually, I have wondered this about this scenario before. I decided that if this occurred to be, I would not log the cache... But that's just me.

 

I've run into this too and decided against it. I've run into virtual caches that have retroactive logs through 2000 (ie years before the person started caching or even when the cache was placed) and I couldn't get over how strange that was to me!

 

I maintain Earthcaches in some unique spots and often get requests from people wanting to retroactively log them (we're talking stuff like Victoria Falls or the only non-physical cache in Laos, ie places it's unlikely people will return). After thinking about it I decided against the idea because an Earthcache by definition has things you have to do or measure at the site, so obviously you couldn't have done them before the cache was listed or you knew about it.

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What about this twist? You travel somewhere, see the sights, then sometime later when you are home, you do a search and find there was a virtual cache right where you visited. You even have pix of the spot. And in those pix, there is the answer to the question(s) asked. Log it as a find? Legit?

 

Actually, I have wondered this about this scenario before. I decided that if this occurred to be, I would not log the cache... But that's just me.

 

I've run into this too and decided against it. I've run into virtual caches that have retroactive logs through 2000 (ie years before the person started caching or even when the cache was placed) and I couldn't get over how strange that was to me!

 

I maintain Earthcaches in some unique spots and often get requests from people wanting to retroactively log them (we're talking stuff like Victoria Falls or the only non-physical cache in Laos, ie places it's unlikely people will return). After thinking about it I decided against the idea because an Earthcache by definition has things you have to do or measure at the site, so obviously you couldn't have done them before the cache was listed or you knew about it.

I totally agree with you on that. If there are questions that need to be answered, that's a must. Just because you've been there in the past, too bad so sad. No answer, no "found it". I'm not saying I agree with "arm chair caching", as I don't, but I can see allowing a find if someone can prove they were there and can answer the questions.

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Is that within the bounds of the game? Can you find a virtual cache virtually, like that? Are there official rules about that?

 

I'd love to know the answer, if anyone has feedback....

Yes, there are official rules. They can be found in the Guidelines section of the Groundspeak Knowledge Books, under the heading "Logging of Non-Physical Geocaches", Section 3.2.2:

 

Virtual Cache Logging Guidelines: A geocacher must visit the location of the virtual cache site to log the cache online. Logging a virtual cache requires compliance with the requirements stated by the owner. This includes emailing the cache owner to provide the required answers and sometimes photographs. Neither answers to questions nor hints should be placed in the logs, even if encrypted.
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What about this twist? You travel somewhere, see the sights, then sometime later when you are home, you do a search and find there was a virtual cache right where you visited. You even have pix of the spot. And in those pix, there is the answer to the question(s) asked. Log it as a find? Legit?

 

That happened to me for a cache at Delorme HQ in Yarmouth, Maine. We were spending a week in a place a few hours away and stopped for a bit to check out the map store and found the two traditional cachs that are nearby. After I got home to log the caches that I'd found I discovered that there was a virtual located there that I didn't know about when I was at the location. It had three questions to answer and I knew the answer from my visit there but also asked for a photo of a certain object with the GPS visible in the picture. I didn't take that photo, I didn't log it as a find. I suspect that I *could* log it as a find and the CO probably wouldn't mind but *I* would know that I didn't satisfy all the requirements.

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What about this twist? You travel somewhere, see the sights, then sometime later when you are home, you do a search and find there was a virtual cache right where you visited. You even have pix of the spot. And in those pix, there is the answer to the question(s) asked. Log it as a find? Legit?

 

Sure, log it. In fact, backdate it with a log date prior to the "hidden" date of the virtual. Just to show the absurdity of such a "virtual cache" :D

 

It may have been a virtual at the time he visited, but either he wasn't caching at all yet, or was, but wasn't aware of the virtual. I think its a fair question.

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What about this twist? You travel somewhere, see the sights, then sometime later when you are home, you do a search and find there was a virtual cache right where you visited. You even have pix of the spot. And in those pix, there is the answer to the question(s) asked. Log it as a find? Legit?

 

Actually, I have wondered this about this scenario before. I decided that if this occurred to be, I would not log the cache... But that's just me.

 

That might be why many virtuals require that some questions be answered, questions that would require a person to actually visit the site.

Of course, in the age of Google searches, even those can sometimes be researched.

 

I've been to virtuals before I started caching. The Atlantis resort in the Bahamas for example. I even have photos of me standing at the virtual. I'm not going to log it though. If it was a listing on Waymarking.com, I might, but not on GC.

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What about this twist? You travel somewhere, see the sights, then sometime later when you are home, you do a search and find there was a virtual cache right where you visited. You even have pix of the spot. And in those pix, there is the answer to the question(s) asked. Log it as a find? Legit?

 

Actually, I have wondered this about this scenario before. I decided that if this occurred to be, I would not log the cache... But that's just me.

 

That might be why many virtuals require that some questions be answered, questions that would require a person to actually visit the site.

Of course, in the age of Google searches, even those can sometimes be researched.

 

I've been to virtuals before I started caching. The Atlantis resort in the Bahamas for example. I even have photos of me standing at the virtual. I'm not going to log it though. If it was a listing on Waymarking.com, I might, but not on GC.

 

I'll admit to logging at least one earthcache without doing a special trip to find it. It wasn't a matter of visiting before caching existed, or before we started caching. We just visited a particular location without realizing there was an earthcache there. A couple of weeks later I noticed the earthcache. I knew the answers from our visit, and the photo request was vague enough that several of our tourist photos satisfied the criteria. I wouldn't log a find on one that I visited before the cache existed, but if I have accidentally met the requirements (which probably doesn't happen very often), then it seems okay to me to log it. Kind of like stumbling across a cache when you aren't actually caching--you would sign the log, and then go home and figure out what cache you just found.

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Is that within the bounds of the game? Can you find a virtual cache virtually, like that? Are there official rules about that?

 

I'd love to know the answer, if anyone has feedback....

Yes, there are official rules. They can be found in the Guidelines section of the Groundspeak Knowledge Books, under the heading "Logging of Non-Physical Geocaches", Section 3.2.2:

 

Virtual Cache Logging Guidelines: A geocacher must visit the location of the virtual cache site to log the cache online. Logging a virtual cache requires compliance with the requirements stated by the owner. This includes emailing the cache owner to provide the required answers and sometimes photographs. Neither answers to questions nor hints should be placed in the logs, even if encrypted.

 

While they say that, they are not worth the electrons they are written with. What you identify as "official rules" also state, "3.1. Logging of All Physical Geocaches * * *

Physical geocaches can be logged online as 'Found' once the physical log has been signed." As the MOGA Megaevents demonstrate, if you volunteer you can log finds on 100 caches you are not physically able to do for volunteering and you can log finds on much harder caches in exchange for finding punches if you pay a fee. Acting like there is integrity in number of finds instead of the reality that nowadays numbers are totally meaningless, helps people who get their numbers this way maintain their delusion that they are great cachers.

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I don't like the idea of virtuals. It makes no sense for their existence at all.

If a place can not allow a physical container to be hidden (even a nano??) then the place has no business with geocaching.

I dont know why we feel that every single spot of dirt on Earth must have a geocache!

 

I agree with your last sentence. But, the rest demonstrates a lack of knowledge about virtuals. I've set up some virtuals in 2001. There were not any nano containers or nanos in 2001. Back then almost all the caches were regular size or bigger. Two of my virtuals were because of flooding along a major river. There were no bison tubes back then and I have never used an ammo can due to concerns it could be mistaken for something else (I use tupperware so you can see in it). So I had some really nice areas that required miles of hiking to get to. Since I could not secure and waterproof a logbook with 2001 technology, I attached something to a piece of rope and had them tell me what it was. I have since archived these caches. I also set up a virtual on the Old RT 66 bridge across the Mississippi. GC2258 It is still active. While with today's technology, it is easy to hide a cache in a place like that, in 2001, I could not figure out a way to secure tupperware to the bridge. So I did a virtual. I've thought about shutting it down, but its a historic cache and lots of people like doing these. Besides being on an iconic bridge, its a real nice walk with fantanstic views.

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What about this twist? You travel somewhere, see the sights, then sometime later when you are home, you do a search and find there was a virtual cache right where you visited. You even have pix of the spot. And in those pix, there is the answer to the question(s) asked. Log it as a find? Legit?

 

Sure, log it. In fact, backdate it with a log date prior to the "hidden" date of the virtual. Just to show the absurdity of such a "virtual cache" :D

 

It may have been a virtual at the time he visited, but either he wasn't caching at all yet, or was, but wasn't aware of the virtual. I think its a fair question.

Those two situations describe it very well. For example, took a cruise of the Panama Canal before I was caching. Turns out there's a virtual there, I know where the spot is. But, it required a picture of yourself with your GPS unit. Would I log that? No. But, suppose it asked to describe something there and one of the many pictures you took had that item in it. What about that?

As for one you weren't aware of but while you were a cacher? That can happen. But, if there is a requirement to log and that can't be met, no find.

I guess it all comes down to what we each feel comfortable with. Some have no qualms about "cheating" themselves, while others won't do that (which is my approach).

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While they say that, they are not worth the electrons they are written with. What you identify as "official rules" also state, "3.1. Logging of All Physical Geocaches * * *

Physical geocaches can be logged online as 'Found' once the physical log has been signed." As the MOGA Megaevents demonstrate, if you volunteer you can log finds on 100 caches you are not physically able to do for volunteering and you can log finds on much harder caches in exchange for finding punches if you pay a fee. Acting like there is integrity in number of finds instead of the reality that nowadays numbers are totally meaningless, helps people who get their numbers this way maintain their delusion that they are great cachers.

It would be nice if you could avoid bringing your personal issues with the MOGA group into every thread. It would also be nice if you would learn the differences between logging requirements for physical caches and logging requirements for containerless caches. The physical rules are specifically meant to prevent cache owners from deleting logs due to Additional Logging Requirements. The containerless rules are specifically meant to discourage armchair logging of virtuals. Trying to read more into them than what is actually said is fruitless.

 

Let us also not forget the virtuals that have no logging requirements whatsoever.

 

I suppose if you can't be bothered to even ask for a picture or to read a sign, you should expect armchair loggers.

The intention of a virtual cache was to have something to find where you could not hide a physical cache. Virtual caches had to have a method of verifying that you found the object (answering questions or posting a photo). Some virtuals may have been approves without a verification method, though I think what happened is that often the owner removed the verification method afterward because they got tired of having to maintain the quality of the logs to their cache. Such caches are, IMO, in violation of the guidelines. They also indicate a problem with virtual cache owners not understanding the difference between a virtual cache and a waymark.

 

I also set up a virtual on the Old RT 66 bridge across the Mississippi. GC2258 It is still active. While with today's technology, it is easy to hide a cache in a place like that, in 2001, I could not figure out a way to secure tupperware to the bridge. So I did a virtual. I've thought about shutting it down, but its a historic cache and lots of people like doing these. Besides being on an iconic bridge, its a real nice walk with fantanstic views.

Why would you secure a tupperware container (or any container) to a highway bridge? Why not find a place along the river with a good view of the bridge and hide a cache there? ZsMartello is right that you don't need to put a cache on every spot. Virtuals may have been a good way to share a cool spot by taking you to some object (much smaller than a bridge) that you could find. But if your point was to share the old highway bridge, you may have done better by placing a physical cache away from the bridge where the finder could get a good view of the bridge. Or you could have used a sign on the bridge to compute the coordinates of a cache nearby.

Edited by tozainamboku
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I also set up a virtual on the Old RT 66 bridge across the Mississippi. GC2258 It is still active. While with today's technology, it is easy to hide a cache in a place like that, in 2001, I could not figure out a way to secure tupperware to the bridge. So I did a virtual. I've thought about shutting it down, but its a historic cache and lots of people like doing these. Besides being on an iconic bridge, its a real nice walk with fantanstic views.

Why would you secure a tupperware container (or any container) to a highway bridge? Why not find a place along the river with a good view of the bridge and hide a cache there? ZsMartello is right that you don't need to put a cache on every spot. Virtuals may have been a good way to share a cool spot by taking you to some object (much smaller than a bridge) that you could find. But if your point was to share the old highway bridge, you may have done better by placing a physical cache away from the bridge where the finder could get a good view of the bridge. Or you could have used a sign on the bridge to compute the coordinates of a cache nearby.

 

How did you conclude it is a "highway bridge"? Its the "old" RT 66 bridge. Its a trail now. Its obvious if you look at the cache before jumping to conclusions. I used to have a cache where you could see the bridge. I hid it up in a tree to try to keep it above the flooding, but it floated away. Why place it on the bridge???? Simple: so they can see the view from the bridge. First you get to walk in tree tops and look down and see fish and turtles swiming in the backwaters. Then you get a view of the "Chain of Rocks" when the river level is down. YOu get to see a great view of Downtown St Louis. You also get to see some really neat buildings in the river that used to be water intakes. You also get to learn about RT 66. In the winter, many times you can also watch eagles. If I did as you suggest, they would not get to see any of this.

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While they say that, they are not worth the electrons they are written with. What you identify as "official rules" also state, "3.1. Logging of All Physical Geocaches * * *

Physical geocaches can be logged online as 'Found' once the physical log has been signed." As the MOGA Megaevents demonstrate, if you volunteer you can log finds on 100 caches you are not physically able to do for volunteering and you can log finds on much harder caches in exchange for finding punches if you pay a fee. Acting like there is integrity in number of finds instead of the reality that nowadays numbers are totally meaningless, helps people who get their numbers this way maintain their delusion that they are great cachers.

It would be nice if you could avoid bringing your personal issues with the MOGA group into every thread. It would also be nice if you would learn the differences between logging requirements for physical caches and logging requirements for containerless caches. The physical rules are specifically meant to prevent cache owners from deleting logs due to Additional Logging Requirements. The containerless rules are specifically meant to discourage armchair logging of virtuals. Trying to read more into them than what is actually said is fruitless.

 

It looks like you did not read the requirements before jumping to your conclusion:

 

"3.1. Logging of All Physical Geocaches

This page is an extension of our Geocache Listing Requirements / Guidelines.

 

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. ** *"

 

It sure seems clear to me that "finding the geocache and signing the log" are "logging requirements." Why bring up MOGA-simple-it was the game changer. Where else before MOGA was the "logging requirement" to "find[] the geocache and sign[] the log" waived to allow thousands of find logs without finding the cache?

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Myotis, you're a 2001 Charter member, and I like almost all of your posts. Believe me, I'm as big of a regular-sized cache in the woods guy as you are. I do agree with Mr. T though, you need to let the MOGA thing go though. Heck, people in parts of Ohio log that they attended events 125 times for finding "caches" 200 feet apart, that don't meet the guidelines, and are not, and never will be listed on the website. You just have to shake your head and say "whatever" and ignore the shenanigans. :D

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How did you conclude it is a "highway bridge"? Its the "old" RT 66 bridge. Its a trail now. Its obvious if you look at the cache before jumping to conclusions.

 

When we recently visited St. Louis, this was a "must do" part of our trip. It met all of our expectations. I probably would not have noticed it if it had been anything but a virtual. A great cache, well deserving of the many favorite votes it has received.

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NO, the intent of virts is to take you to a nice place. If you're not going there, then what's the point?

increase smilie count by one? :anitongue:

 

Awe come one. I have found 59 virtuals. I Kind of came on the scene as they were being phased out.

 

59 is only a little above 1% of my total, but I can remember each and every one of them, and only one could have been considered lame. It's about the history and the experience, not the find count.

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... Virtual caches had to have a method of verifying that you found the object (answering questions or posting a photo). Some virtuals may have been approves without a verification method, though I think what happened is that often the owner removed the verification method afterward because they got tired of having to maintain the quality of the logs to their cache. Such caches are, IMO, in violation of the guidelines...

 

The earliest virtuals had no verification requirements as far as the guidelines were concerned. Individual cache owners may have added them on their own however. The verification requirement was added later on. I don't recall exactly when, maybe some time in 2003, or perhaps mid to late 2002.

 

So if there is no verification requirement it could be a very old virtual. If a VCO removed a verification question from a virtul that was published once they were required I agree it would be a guideline violation.

Edited by briansnat
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... Virtual caches had to have a method of verifying that you found the object (answering questions or posting a photo). Some virtuals may have been approves without a verification method, though I think what happened is that often the owner removed the verification method afterward because they got tired of having to maintain the quality of the logs to their cache. Such caches are, IMO, in violation of the guidelines...

 

The earliest virtuals had no verification requirements as far as the guidelines were concerned. Individual cache owners may have added them on their own however. The verification requirement was added later on. I don't recall exactly when, maybe some time in 2003, or perhaps mid to late 2002.

 

So if there is no verification requirement it could be a very old virtual. If a VCO removed a verification question from a virtul that was published once they were required I agree it would be a guideline violation.

The official guidelines were introduced on June 5, 2002. They had this to say about virts:

 

Virtual Caches

A virtual cache is a cache that exists in a form of an object at a location which was already there. Depending on the cache "hider," a virtual cache could be to answer a question about an item at a location, something seen at that location, etc. The reward for these caches is the location itself and sharing information about your visit.

 

  1. A virtual cache must be of a physical object that can be referenced through Lat/Lon coordinates. That object should be semi-permanent to permanent. Objects in motion (such as people, vehicles) do not count as a virtual cache, unless that item can be adequately tracked and updated on the web site (For example, a link to a tracker for a vehicle would be ok). If I post the cache today someone else should be able to find it tomorrow.
     
    A trail is a trail, a beach is a beach, a view is a view; but a trail/beach/view is NOT a virtual cache. A cache has to be a specific distinct GPS target - not something large like a mountain top or a park, however special those locations are.
  2. A virtual cache must be novel, meaning of interest to other players. Items that would be in a coffee table book are good examples. A flagpole, manhole cover, tree, etc are poor examples (with an exception: A flagpole at a memorial or a particular novel flagpole would be ok, or an especially unique tree would count). If you don't know what is appropriate, post to the forums first.
  3. Virtual caches are not commercial. For example (but not exclusive), a coffee house, pizza parlor, ice cream shop are not acceptable.
  4. There should be a question that only the visitor to that location will be able to answer. The questions should be difficult enough that it cannot be answered unless you physically visit the spot.
  5. A photo is acceptable way to verify a find, or an email to the owner with the answer. In *no* cases should answers be posted in the logs.
  6. Understand that although the virtual cache is not something you physically maintain, you must maintain your virtual cache's web page and respond to inquiries. You should also return to the web site at least once a month to show you are still active. Virtual caches posted and "abandoned" will be archived by the site.

Edited by sbell111
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