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Some newbies = bad hides


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I am still relatively new to geocaching, logging my first find at the end of last November. While doing caching during the winter, I often imagined how many more folks there would be come spring and summer. Well, of course that was true. I also figured that is the same time of the year many start caching for the first time. That also appears to be true. One thing I have noticed with some (not all) of these newbies is that there have been several really crappy caches in my area placed by them. How do I define "crappy"?

 

1. Coordinates that are off by over 100 ft. (I had one that was off by 3/4 of a mile!)

2. Not fixing the coordinates when this is called to their attention

3. Crappy containers (I recently found one that is a cardboard box. Glad I logged it before it disintegrates) This same CO logged a smiley on her own cache! blink.gif

 

So my question is this...is this a typical summertime problem? (Well "problem" might be a bit of an exaggeration since I am sure most of these folks won't be caching very long)

 

Second question....how in the world can you be off by several hundred ft when you place a cache? I am being serious, how do you actually have that much error?

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So my question is this...is this a typical summertime problem? (Well "problem" might be a bit of an exaggeration since I am sure most of these folks won't be caching very long)

 

 

Not just summer. There are noobs created all year round.

 

 

Second question....how in the world can you be off by several hundred ft when you place a cache? I am being serious, how do you actually have that much error?

 

By using Google Earth to set your coordinates.

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Second question....how in the world can you be off by several hundred ft when you place a cache? I am being serious, how do you actually have that much error?

 

By using Google Earth to set your coordinates.

 

Also making a typo, transposing numbers, or not realizing that your GPS is set to a different datum or format. I think it's probably relatively easy to screw up coords. I've done it, but caught it before submitting for approval, by checking the map. The real problem is not fixing it if cachers are telling you it's wrong.

 

ETA: To answer your first question, yeah, I notice a lot more activity in the summer. There is also usually an influx of cachers around Christmas time when people get new GPSrs as gifts.

Edited by Mr. 0
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Not just summer. There are noobs created all year round.

.. and all around the world (we see them in DK too)

 

By using Google Earth to set your coordinates.

Or a smartphone and not verifying the coordinates on google maps..

I became FTF on a cache that was placed by someone who got the coordinates with an iphone and didn't bother to uncheck 'this cache is published' to make sure the coordinates were correct when he entered them in an incorrect format and ended up having GZ roughly 1900 feet off (!).

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How do I define "crappy"?

 

1. Coordinates that are off by over 100 ft. (I had one that was off by 3/4 of a mile!)

2. Not fixing the coordinates when this is called to their attention

3. Crappy containers (I recently found one that is a cardboard box. Glad I logged it before it disintegrates) This same CO logged a smiley on her own cache! blink.gif

 

 

Add:

 

4. They start to place dozens of caches every few weeks in every spot that they can!

 

Yes, the noobs here also think it's ok to log finds on all their new caches.

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Regarding summer: Crappy hides by new cachers are a year round phenomenon but I would agree that there are a higher degree of crappy hides that come out in the summer. They are mostly placed by kids, junior high age and high school with nothing better to do then to put a ziploc storage container they bought at Safeway in a shrub along the walking path that they walk with their mom every night. They don't last long and tend to get archived come winter when the kids are in school and have other activities to focus on.

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I am not a fan of tons of rules and regulation, but would be in favor of some sort of simple test before newbies can place a cache. It would simply help verify that they have read and understand the guidelines that are already in place. My bet is that many never even look at them prior to placing their first cache.

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Somehow between me telling my daughter the cords and her writing them down we had 2 numbers mixed up. They were way off. I fixed them on the same day they were published as I got many emails telling me they were in the middle of someones house. I can see getting them wrong but not fixing them or disabling the cache I can't see.

-WarNinjas

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Second question....how in the world can you be off by several hundred ft when you place a cache? I am being serious, how do you actually have that much error?

 

By using Google Earth to set your coordinates.

 

Also making a typo, transposing numbers, or not realizing that your GPS is set to a different datum or format. I think it's probably relatively easy to screw up coords. I've done it, but caught it before submitting for approval, by checking the map. The real problem is not fixing it if cachers are telling you it's wrong.

 

ETA: To answer your first question, yeah, I notice a lot more activity in the summer. There is also usually an influx of cachers around Christmas time when people get new GPSrs as gifts.

 

I was once off by 57 miles. I typed W 118 instead of W 119, (almost all my caches are 118).

 

As far as new cachers and bad hides. It was a near epidemic around here earlier this year. Lots of bad coordinates, location doesn't match the descriptions, etc. Neighborhood hides that zero out in the middle of the street. Cache is a glass jar, cache is a cardboard box in plastic shopping bag. Almost all were zero find, one hide cachers.

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I am not a fan of tons of rules and regulation, but would be in favor of some sort of simple test before newbies can place a cache. It would simply help verify that they have read and understand the guidelines that are already in place. My bet is that many never even look at them prior to placing their first cache.

 

Feedback Suggestion for exactly this.

 

Voted (2 votes) because I really think this would solve some of the problem, but unfortunately not all. Here's one newbie's answer to the reviewer's request to get new coords:

 

"im done with this! your putting me through all this trouble! why didnt you just use the coords jentaka put on here. oh well. im DONE."

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Bad coordinates: Accidents happen. Typo-coordinates (called fat-finger syndrome) is not solely limited to nØØbs. Use of Google maps (see below), not being familiar with equipment (GPSr, Datum, etc.).

 

Bad containers: A relative sign of inexperience, though not exclusive to nØØbs. It can also be that the CO is "cheap, cheap, cheap".

 

Lack of maintenance: A symptom of a "drop-it-and-forget-it" society. Not necessarily nØØb related.

 

Using Google: See guidelines, or read guidelines again (and again, and again).

 

Very common nØØb mistake: Vacation caches (see guidelines).

 

Other reasons also, but this list is long enufffff.

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Some of the crappiest hides I have seen have been by long time (players).

True. There are occasions when an experienced player creates what I would call a poor hide, both in the bad coords department and in the inadequate container department.

 

I really can't fuss too much about bad coords, as I've done it myself. I created a puzzle cache based on finger placement on a keyboard, but didn't realize that there was more than one standard, nor did I realize that the standard I chose for creating the puzzle was not the most common one. Everybody who attempted the FTF ended up 600' away. Doh! Though I wasn't aware of it at the time, the puzzle had more than one solution, and I did not incorporate a solution checker. Live and learn. I've also transposed digits when typing up a cache page, but my Reviewer caught it prior to publication. Another hide I own must be sitting atop a buried flying saucer, as I could not get a fix on good coords even after making multiple trips to ground zero over several days, at different times of day. The best I was able to get was 30' off. The worst was 50' off. Thankfully, this hide is very obvious, once you get close.

 

Though, I suppose that inexperience could increase the odds of an error.

 

I will, however, fuss about crappy containers. Locally, crappy container hiders seem to fall into two distinct groups; those who don't know any better, (inexperienced), and those who don't care. Of the first group, education usually fixes the problem. Either by friendly suggestion, or by repeated maintenance trips, they learn what does, and does not work, in their geographic region. Of the latter group, sadly, I see no solution. Locally, the apathetic hiders are mostly those who create vast quantities of hides specifically geared toward the numbers crowd. Even when it is pointed out how many of their caches have failed, they continue to use crappy containers, with some going so far as to defend crappy containers using various justifications that fail even the simplest logic test.

 

All I can do is avoid those hides placed by those players.

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Second question....how in the world can you be off by several hundred ft when you place a cache? I am being serious, how do you actually have that much error?

 

By using Google Earth to set your coordinates.

 

Also making a typo, transposing numbers, or not realizing that your GPS is set to a different datum or format. I think it's probably relatively easy to screw up coords. I've done it, but caught it before submitting for approval, by checking the map. The real problem is not fixing it if cachers are telling you it's wrong.

 

ETA: To answer your first question, yeah, I notice a lot more activity in the summer. There is also usually an influx of cachers around Christmas time when people get new GPSrs as gifts.

 

Well said.

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Somehow between me telling my daughter the cords and her writing them down we had 2 numbers mixed up. They were way off. I fixed them on the same day they were published as I got many emails telling me they were in the middle of someones house. I can see getting them wrong but not fixing them or disabling the cache I can't see.

-WarNinjas

 

The best way to prevent this is to check the map after you post the coords.

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Let's face it, newcomers do not corner the market on bad caches. That's why these threads never turn out well. You start off with legitimate complaints about one or more caches that just so happen to be owned by newbies. But then it always turns into nothing more than a vague generalization that all newbies can't do anything right. Everyone who complains about newbies somehow miraculously started caching as experts. Instead of putting them down, maybe help them correct what they're doing wrong. If you have one in your area that just can't seem to get it right, contact them and ask if they'd like help. Good coords can be achieved with a smartphone and not all bad coords were hidden with a phone. Could you imagine the backlash if as many threads started popping up bashing all the long time cachers who hide bad caches, even with GPSr's? I'm not saying all newbies are innocent, but you shouldn't assume that just because it's not right, it must have come from a new cacher.

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The one thing that gets me is the failure to maintain caches and to not archive them. I've recently started using the "Needs Archived" lifeline for those caches that are MIA and the owners been offline for over a year ( these are caches I've been to personally). Also their is one veteran cacher near here who has refused to be active enough to check on his caches that have many DNF's and needs maintenance logs HOWEVER he can go and get a FTF on a new cache listing in the same area as all his caches. Just not good for a seasoned cacher. On the other note it's good to encourage the new cachers, most will learn from their mistakes and the others will fall off. Natural selection lol , but there's always the concern they'll drop the game. :o

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We actually feared this. We got excited at first after a few finds, and wanted to add to the enjoyment. It's almost unquestionable that this is a pretty common thing to happen. We know it wasn't a requirement, but we did take the tossed around idea of getting to 100 finds before placing our first hide. We actually take pride in that, and it made our first (and still only) hide better than it would have been.

 

New test and requirements scare people. In reality, we can only hope that people start regulating their own area better. We can't stop bad hides, specifically as we can't agree what a bad hide is in the first place! However, we can work within our own community to produce a better overall outcome. A lot of areas have a local geocaching community that is more active than people would think. There are people out there with the same passion as you and should be a first stop. It's refreshing to talk to others in your same area.

 

Next would be the old found power of posting your log as you wish. We at first where extremely afraid of posting a needs maintenance log for a wet log, or the like. No longer. That's what it's there for, use it when needed! Otherwise, if the hide is just mundane or not that great, we just post a TFTC and move on. Otherwise, a good log does wonders to encourage others. A bad hide will see lots of TFTC, and not much else. A good one will (hopefully) support more involved logs.

 

Finally... be the change you want to see. If your hides are unique and involved some work, of course it's natural to erm... see others as less involved. Keep in mind those people with 'bad hides' really did just want to add to others enjoyment and didn't think of the long term frustration. Good hides, good caches are the best way to combat this. People seeing how great a set up is, or how involved a hide is, etc, are more likely to see how a dump a random cache anywhere isn't the best play.

 

Keep on enjoying the good caches. Keep your head up on the not so good ones. The next magic experience is but a cache away!

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But then it always turns into nothing more than a vague generalization that all newbies can't do anything right.

 

Where to you get this "all" allegation from???? That's why the thread title uses the word "Some"

 

Everyone who complains about newbies somehow miraculously started caching as experts.

I was no expert but I knew enough to read the rules and tips on GC.com first. Who doesn't fix coordinates when every single post indicates they are hundreds of feet off?

 

Instead of putting them down, maybe help them correct what they're doing wrong. If you have one in your area that just can't seem to get it right, contact them and ask if they'd like help.

I have emailed and posted notes for every one of these newbs and NOT ONE had even the decency of retuning my correspondence. I told them to hang in there and they will learn. I let them know that I would be willing to help them place caches, find caches, etc. I have seen some of them ignore requests from reviewers and have their caches archived too.

 

Could you imagine the backlash if as many threads started popping up bashing all the long time cachers who hide bad caches, even with GPSr's?

I admit that I have seen some experienced cachers who hide crappy caches and some who ignore requests for maintenance even from reviewers, but I have yet to see one with a cache with coords off by triple digits.

 

I'm not saying all newbies are innocent, but you shouldn't assume that just because it's not right, it must have come from a new cacher.

I started this thread because I have seen at least 4 or 5 NEW CACHERS with serious problems as indicated above. Not assuming anything.

Edited by geocating
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The best way to prevent this is to check the map after you post the coords.

 

I have done this and my coordinates look pretty spot on from the map, is it safe to say I have good coords for my hide? And this is with my phone...is it an absolutely no no to use my phone to get coords to hide a cache? I've read through a bunch of threads and I'm getting mixed answers :(

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The one thing that gets me is the failure to maintain caches and to not archive them. I've recently started using the "Needs Archived" lifeline for those caches that are MIA and the owners been offline for over a year ( these are caches I've been to personally). Also their is one veteran cacher near here who has refused to be active enough to check on his caches that have many DNF's and needs maintenance logs HOWEVER he can go and get a FTF on a new cache listing in the same area as all his caches. Just not good for a seasoned cacher. On the other note it's good to encourage the new cachers, most will learn from their mistakes and the others will fall off. Natural selection lol , but there's always the concern they'll drop the game. :o

 

One of the cachers here had a spring maintenance event where he split the area caches into groups and gave a group to each attendant to check on, replace, clean, add swag, etc.

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Maybe I haven't been caching long enough to notice newbies putting out crappy caches. I have noticed some newbies getting progressively better at creating fun caches over time. That is great to see. My gripe is with the "numbers-only" cachers, who often are not newbies, who hide or just set down without even hiding, the micro cache, usually a film can or key holder. My area is inundated with what I refer to as "numbers-only caches". At first, they are fun, but then you realize there is no challenge in finding them. As a result, we travel to surrounding towns and cities for most of our caching.

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Well, in the defense of noobs, I do like the idea of Having a minimum amount of found caches first. I've found 23, and just hid my first cache today. It's only recommended that people find at least 20 before hiding one, but I think that should be mandatory. The more caches I found, the more I understood how to properly and easily put a good quality cache.

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how in the world can you be off by several hundred ft when you place a cache? I am being serious, how do you actually have that much error?

iphone

Bah! That's iPhone bashing, pure and simple. Much more likely would be fat-fingering the coords or using the wrong datum and failing to cross-check by looking at the map. Let's save iPhone bashing for when its really needed.

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The best way to prevent this is to check the map after you post the coords.

 

I have done this and my coordinates look pretty spot on from the map, is it safe to say I have good coords for my hide? And this is with my phone...is it an absolutely no no to use my phone to get coords to hide a cache? I've read through a bunch of threads and I'm getting mixed answers :(

 

Using a phone with a true GPS is OK. Using a phone that is simply triangulating cell towers is not OK.

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how in the world can you be off by several hundred ft when you place a cache? I am being serious, how do you actually have that much error?

iphone

 

Turn on a dedicated GPSr, and mark the co-ordinates before the thing has a chance to get a satellite lock.

 

I've seen AMAZING caches place by first-time cachers.

I've also seen really poor caches placed by veterans that should know better.

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The best way to prevent this is to check the map after you post the coords.

 

I have done this and my coordinates look pretty spot on from the map, is it safe to say I have good coords for my hide? And this is with my phone...is it an absolutely no no to use my phone to get coords to hide a cache? I've read through a bunch of threads and I'm getting mixed answers :(

 

I use a smartphone, I'm a newb, and I just placed my first cache. I believe it is a good cache. No complaints about coords being off, in fact someone commented that they were spot on.

 

Not all newbs with smartphones place bad caches.

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The best way to prevent this is to check the map after you post the coords.

 

I have done this and my coordinates look pretty spot on from the map, is it safe to say I have good coords for my hide? And this is with my phone...is it an absolutely no no to use my phone to get coords to hide a cache? I've read through a bunch of threads and I'm getting mixed answers :(

 

I've said this soooooooo many times to other geocachers: "Before you hit submit, always take a look at the map on your cache page. Does it look about right?"

 

The map won't indicate that your coords are spot-on, but what this does is help you spot obvious errors ("wait a minute.... that map is showing my cache on the wrong street (or city)!") And yes, I've seen a local cache published that was really placed in another state!

 

Every one of us should check the map on the cache page before sending it to the reviewer. Always!

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A minimum find count before they let you register a hide I don't see as a bad thing.

 

Sure there are some great caches by newbies, and dreadful caches by veterans, but overall you will have a much better idea of what/how/where to hide a cache when you have seen a useful amount of them first - a certain container may sound like a good idea at home, bt once you have seen a few flooded examples it will probably get you to think twice and look for alternatives...

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And yes, I've seen a local cache published that was really placed in another state!

Every one of us should check the map on the cache page before sending it to the reviewer. Always!

When the reviewer denies your cache because vacation caches are not allowed.... you know you should have checked the map first. :lol:

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A "test" before a first hide wouldn't do anything except ensure the hider, whether new of not, had read the Knowledge Books section on Cache Listings and Cache Ownership. Wouldn't have to be tricky or very long, but just a dozen or so questions that let everyone know that the potential CO has a basic understanding of ownership.

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I use a smartphone, I'm a newb, and I just placed my first cache.

Kudos! Welcome to the addiction. Looking at your cache page, it looks to be a pretty neat place, and the write up is quite impressive. A couple things I would have done differently, (Not that you did it wrong. We just have different tastes), is made it an ammo can, and put the hint about ignoring the "No Trespassing" signs prominently on the cache page. Still it's a great first cache. I hope you continue to take pride in your hides! :)

 

But, you should know that an exception doesn't disprove a generalization.

 

Some noobs do place bad hides. In fact, many noobs place bad hides. I wouldn't say "most", but my personal experience would put the number pretty high. Locally, the game is inundated with folks who jump in with both feet, find a couple caches, place a real stinker, and disappear when the next fad catches their eye, leaving their detritus to rot under an azalea bush.

 

Then there are the noobs who lack experience. They read the guidelines, thinking they understand them, and place a cache that doesn't quite pass muster, or, they use a container which an experienced hider would know doesn't work well in their geographic region. I have been both of those guys.

 

You place good hides. That doesn't mean all noobs place good hides. B)

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A couple things I would have done differently, (Not that you did it wrong. We just have different tastes), is made it an ammo can, and put the hint about ignoring the "No Trespassing" signs prominently on the cache page.

 

The reason for a micro cache in this hide is because of the wishes of the land manager. He decided, and I agree with him, that a micro would be more appropriate and respectful of those who are buried in this cemetery. The idea is to get people to cache because of the area, not because of the cache.

 

My point is that it is possible for a newb to geocache with a smartphone. People give them a bad rap. Sure, they have their limitations, but I think mine works quite well for what I use it for.

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The only way to stop this is to reach out to the newbies aand show them the ropes. Some newbies just stumble upon the game and don't have the slightest clue how to play, or what containers are good. It's usually monkey see monkey do. If they don't want help then help them out by putting their trashy container where it belongs.................in the trash. :ph34r:

 

As for the coords, many things can happen. Wait til you make a mistake on your coords and someone comes to the forums to bash your crappy coords. It happens to the best of us.

 

Bad hides are placed by veterans as well as newbies. Some people just SUCK at choosing containers and hiding. Just the way it is. The ignore button works GREAT.

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I definitely don't think bad hides are just a newb phenomenon. I've come across many caches placed by "veterans" who obviously just don't care enough about their caches to place ones appropriately (outlandish ratings, etc.). My biggest complaint, however, would be the unbelievable amount of cattiness, and just plain rudeness, of some cachers (many of them being local "veterans"). I got such a severe dressing down by own local "vet" well over a year ago, that I'm still not fully recovered from it. Not only did they e-mail me with a nasty note, they also went off on me on the cache page itself (where, at the time, I made a minor newb error that I offered to rectify personally--alone--or with the COs). They then deleted my explanation from their page, but kept THEIR horrible note on the page, for all the world to see. Nice way to welcome a newb into your area. I've been caching since 2005, but took a few years off. When I finally got my own GPS a few years ago, I went crazy finding caches all over my area. I've always been a courteous cacher, making sure I am careful with retrieval and replacement of caches, trying to help out with worn out baggie replacement/issues with logs, etc. I e-mail COs with any issues I think they should be aware of, and I NEVER say anything bad about a cache, even if I found it to be a cache that I have some type of issue with (like inappropriate placement, poor maintenance, etc). I appreciate all the work all COs put into placing caches, and I really have a lot of respect for them. So, that being said, I would really love to see everyone just let everyone be, and ENJOY this sport! Who cares if you aren't part of a caching group, or don't go to socials/events! I'm a "lone wolf", and I prefer to either cache solo or with a couple of friends here and there. If I meet up with other cachers at a cache, I always stop and chat and always have a smile on my face. Ok, sorry, I got a bit off topic. :rolleyes: Just keep placing those caches, regardless of how your "status" in the caching world. I need another "fix"! :P

Edited by Lost Girl
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As for the coords, many things can happen. Wait til you make a mistake on your coords and someone comes to the forums to bash your crappy coords. It happens to the best of us.

 

Where the problem lies is when the CO doesn't immediately do something about the mistake. They plant and post the cache and then they're gone. Or the CO that posts bad coordinates, and about a month later makes the change by using one of the posted coords from a finder. Then he posts another hide with bad coordinates and a few weeks later uses one of the posted coordinates from a finder to update the coordinates. Then he posts another hide with bad.....etc. etc.

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As for the coords, many things can happen. Wait til you make a mistake on your coords and someone comes to the forums to bash your crappy coords. It happens to the best of us.

 

Where the problem lies is when the CO doesn't immediately do something about the mistake. They plant and post the cache and then they're gone. Or the CO that posts bad coordinates, and about a month later makes the change by using one of the posted coords from a finder. Then he posts another hide with bad coordinates and a few weeks later uses one of the posted coordinates from a finder to update the coordinates. Then he posts another hide with bad.....etc. etc.

At that point it's time to tar and feather them, string them up in a tree a pelt them with ammo cans til they cry.

 

That's why it's important to help the new players(the quote you left out) so this doesn't happen. As for the plant and post and gone person, just pick their cache up and trash it. Simple.

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My Caching partner and I have had this discussion several times, and we both agree that having a mandatory minimum number of finds prior to making your first hide is a great idea.

 

We've come across several caches in our area that have been placed by cachers with less than 15 finds, and in 90% of the cases, the caches were poorly placed, poorly designed, or had poor coordinates.

 

I understand learning from your mistakes, but getting pissed off in response to suggestions from more experienced members is just ridiculous.

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