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Virtual Caches & Geocaching Regulations


YOSA-2
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I recently noticed a new Virtual Cache in my area which was immediately archived with the following message:

 

"Per the new guidelines, all virtual caches are being examined closely before acceptance. The goal is to limit virtual caches as much as possible in preference to physical caches.

Is it at all possible to place a physical cache at the final location, even a micro. If not, then what about adding an additional nearby stage at the end with a physical cache?

If none of these ideas will work, please provide detailed explanations as to why not."

 

The cache site is a large reproduction of the Hubble telescope in the town where the designer (Hubble) is from. As local park systems and state conservation depts seem to be determined to say that Geocaching is bad for the public lands and detrimental to the environment, virtual caches are the only kind of cache which is virtually harmless. I don't understand why there are guidelines to prevent virtual caches. I enjoy visiting a site with some historical or other significance, and these caches often show me places I have not been aware of. I also have been to some physical caches which were nothing but a box of junk alongside a highway, with no interesting aspect whatsoever.

 

I am just curious to hear how others feel about this development.

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There has been much in the forums recently about what caches are allowed and what isn't. TPTB have noticed many virtuals could have been physicals after all.

 

The game isn't really about sightseeing. It's about finding things with your GPS. Far too many times a physical cache could have been placed at a spot a virtual has been made. In fact, not once have I come across a virtual that couldn't have been made into a physical.

 

You just have to be more creative. Use the spot you want to bring someone to as part of a multicache.

 

Hope this helps!

 

CR

 

72057_2000.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

In fact, not once have I come across a virtual that _couldn't_ have been made into a physical.


 

You haven't been to Washington DC, have you?

 

Seriously, the above statement just drives me nuts. There are places where physical caches are just plain not allowed. Those places are good places for virtuals. There are also some virtual caches that are not easily made into physical caches.

 

I do agree with you that the vast majority of virtual caches can simply and easily be made into physical caches. But virtuals still have their place in certain circumstances.

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What is the max acceptable distance from a virtual site to an offset cache box ?

 

Would having a cache box about 6 miles from a virtual spot be to far or close enough ?

 

What about places that do not allow cache boxes, as in the NPS ? How far away from " The Spot " would you be willing to go to find a cache box ?

 

Yellowstone comes to mind real fast. Lots of interesting spots inside but no cache placement allowed. Would you be willing to backtrack something like 50 miles to finish a multi starting at the center of the park and ending at the end you came in but where not going back out of ?

 

Done with the small rant.

 

I think a simple explaintion to TPTB when submitting a cache as to why it should be allowed as a virtual would cut out a lot of headaches.

 

logscaler.

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The Hubble Virtual was a good idea. The rest of the story is...

A clarification question was sent and the cacher never responded. You do have to maintain a virtual cache simply by answering questions and verification answers that cachers send in for verification. Not answering a simple question from an admin about the cache when it is placed is not a good thing.

 

From the requirements page:

 

7. 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.

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Say someone places a bunch of two part multis with the first stage being a location that they want to share. The catch is, all of the first stages solve for the same coordinates. Thus, a cacher could direct people to cool locations without cluttering the landscape with film cannisters. The common final coordinates would have a logbook, and cachers could log whichever first stage(s) they found. Of course, this would require the use of the honor system, but the entire sport is based upon the honesty of finds anyway.

 

Don't even think about putting those muddy boots in my car.

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Why the issue at all? It's my cache, why can't I do a virtual if I like or a traditinal? Or for that matter set up a solar powered web cam?

 

A virtual gives me flexability in having someone enjoy (or hate) something I find significatn and I get a chace to see if they learned or saw the lesson/site.

 

It increases my work by having the email verification.

 

Wherever you go there you are.

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quote:
Originally posted by YOSA-2:

The cache site is a large reproduction of the Hubble telescope in the town where the designer (Hubble) is from.


 

I would be vastly surprised if Edwin Hubble, after whom the Hubble Space Telescope was named, participated in the design of the telescope, since he died on September 28, 1953.

 

Maybe the reason the virtual was archived was that the poster got his/her facts wrong? Mistakes about who Hubble was and what he did are a constant problem. icon_smile.gif

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Renegade Knight:

 

It increases my work by having the email verification.

 

Wherever you go there you are.


 

If you don't want to put any effort into it, just post the coordinates on a forum and let people know it's a neat place to go. People that aren't interesting in continuing to support their caches are the reason for many issues that are brought up here.

 

smiles_63.gif ---Real men cache in shorts.

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were brought up as places that one just couldn't place a real cache. My first question is why do you want to place a virtual? In D.C. is it a museum that is on any tourist map and not really a special find or is it a hidden old house not on most people's route that could have a tiny micro hidden under a trash can halfway down the block?

 

Yellowstone I could maybe see, but it would have to be someplace that not every tourist sees or drives by. I think with any of these, if you would see the cache area in your normal travels there, the whole argument for needing a virtual cache there is mute.

 

The larger problem is people not putting the effort in or not wanting work of a regular cache and just posting a virtual. Yes, maybe you can't place a cache any where near the parking lot right next to the neat waterfall, but there is a great place at a turn out 1/2 mile down the road that info at the waterfall could lead you to.

 

Last idea, maybe not EVERY PLACE needs a cache. You're at Yellowstone and find a neat out of the way place, enjoy it and tell people about it. There seems to be this feeling that we deserve and need to have a cache at every intersting place. Some places are maybe okay without a cache.

 

smiles_63.gif ---Real men cache in shorts.

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quote:
Originally posted by fizzymagic:

You haven't been to Washington DC, have you?


 

LOL No, I haven't. Granted, I've only found relatively few and not over a broad area, but I have been on multi's that have taken me miles to complete. Generally, they tell a story or give a tour of a town or area. A lot of the stops could have been candidates for virtuals as they were interesting places.

 

But it's still a simple matter of the virtuals that I can think of, not a one had to be virtual because of placement issues.

 

Unless, of course, the owner of the property simply forbade it.

 

Though I'm of the mindset that virtuals have to be avoided, I find myself in a position that a cache of mine might have to go away because of a policy change beyond the control of the person I originally got permission from. There is the option of making it a virtual, but I might put the EndGame somewhere else. icon_rolleyes.gif So, I know the dilemma of not being able to put a box just anywhere I want.

 

CR

 

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I placed a virtual because the location is one that even many locals know nothing of, and it in no way could support a physical cache. I agree points that would be considered 'common knowledge' like Old Faithful should not be created as virtual caches, but there are many more candidates, and they are not all that much to maintain, by admin or myself.

cachewidow

 

It's not difficult to meet demands; just turn around and there they are.

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If you want to poke fun at my ignorance about astronomy, that is fine, but the cache page does not say anything about Hubble being the designer. I simply chose the wrong words. Check it out: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=56256

 

I am sure you know that the telescope was named in his honor, he was a native of Marshfield MO. It is the fact that I don't know much about this type of subject that makes me happy to visit and learn about them.

 

My point is that I have visited some physical caches which had very little value at all. I find some of the Virtual caches far more interesting than many of the physical ones which are simply a box under some leaves along side the highway. Thats all.

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quote:
Originally posted by mtn-man:

The Hubble Virtual was a good idea. The rest of the story is...

A clarification question was sent and the cacher never responded. You do have to maintain a virtual cache simply by answering questions and verification answers that cachers send in for verification. Not answering a simple question from an admin about the cache when it is placed is not a good thing.

 

From the http://www.geocaching.com/articles/requirements.asp page:

 

7. 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.


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quote:
Originally posted by Renegade Knight:

 

It increases my work by having the email verification.


If you don't want to have to maintain a cache then don't have to place it. Let someone who accepts the responsibility have the chance to create the cache.

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quote:
Originally posted by mtn-man:

quote:
Originally posted by Renegade Knight:

 

It increases my work by having the email verification.


If you don't want to have to maintain a cache then don't have to place it. Let someone who accepts the responsibility have the chance to create the cache.


 

Did you confuse stating the facts about a VC for the normal whining you are used to hearing about a VC?

 

My point was that a VC has a certain flexibility, and creates more work for the placer of the VC due to the email verification. My point was also that nobody should realy give a rats all what kind of cache is placed because the placer should control. It's their cache after all.

 

Wherever you go there you are.

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Not a threat, but a signal that the cacher may not be able to maintain the cache.

 

Whatever Renegade Knight. It is the guidelines from the owner of the site that you have to follow like it or not. It may be your cache, but you have to follow the site's requirements. For example... it may be your car, but just because it can go 150 MPH doesn't mean you can go that fast through a checkpoint when the requirements for the checkpoint say 10 MPH. Does that help this make sense?

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quote:
Originally posted by mtn-man:

Not a threat, but a signal that the cacher may not be able to maintain the cache.

 

Whatever Renegade Knight. It is the guidelines from the owner of the site that you have to follow like it or not. It may be your cache, but you have to follow the site's requirements. For example... it may be your car, but just because it can go 150 MPH doesn't mean you can go that fast through a checkpoint when the requirements for the checkpoint say 10 MPH. Does that help this make sense?


 

Give it up, already. I stated my opinion and moved on. However I'm beginning to think you don't take the time to try to understand what someone is trying to say. That's your loss. Especially since you are in left field on this. But as you say "Whatever". If you want clarity email me.

 

Wherever you go there you are.

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Mtn-man is correct. If a cacher is not going to answer a simple question from the admins in order to get the cache approved, what makes any of us believe that they will respond to any of our emails regarding the cache?

 

As for the issue of whether all of these virts should be approved just because the location is worth seeing, I believe they should. When I visit a new city, caching allows me to ex[perience it in a way that Jow Tourist doesn't get to. Certainly some of the locations will be the same, such as the caches on the mall in DC, but many will be cool spots that would normally be missed. The combination of the two makes the trip worthwile. This is in the same way that the combination of 1/1 and 5/5 caches make the entire caching experience more fun.

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Here in the northeast where it was below 20 degrees for about six weeks (it seems), where there is 2-3 feet of snow on the ground, where my kids have not been able to go outside for recess as school since Christmas, virtual caches have their purpose. You do the calculations or whatever, visit the site, and email the verifying information. We have to do SOMETHING in the winter!

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hey, i like 'em. i don't think i need to justify it, and apparently i'm not alone. i also like physical caches, and i even (gasp) like locationless. i just like going out and finding something.

 

they just placed a virtual on the exact site of where i'm planning a leg of a long multi, so you can't tell me it isn't suitable for a container.

 

i'm happy that they put the virt there; it saves me the trouble of having to note the significance of the spot without giving too many clues or taking up space on the directions to the next location.

 

it doesn't matter if you get to camp at one or at six. dinner is still at six.

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quote:
Originally posted by Team Spoonhead:

Here in the northeast where it was below 20 degrees for about six weeks (it seems), where there is 2-3 feet of snow on the ground, where my kids have not been able to go outside for recess as school since Christmas, virtual caches have their purpose. You do the calculations or whatever, visit the site, and email the verifying information. We have to do SOMETHING in the winter!


 

Funny. It's just the opposite down here in Hotlanta during the summer.

It gets up to about 100 degrees icon_redface.gif in mid summer and the humity can be 90-100 percent. And at least you don't have mosquitoes on top of the cold and snow icon_mad.gif. I will be doing more virtuals/driving and non-geocaching activities during that time icon_smile.gif.

 

Ken

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Not speaking for geocaching.com or anything, but in the past they have made statements like...

 

The numbering system is filling up, must slow down!

 

and

 

We hope to dedicate a new section of the site to virtuals, much like the benchmark site.

 

Because of this, I'm sure they are just holding off on as many vc's as possible. Plus, just the fact that a object would be very easy to find without a GPS, do research on the web and answer many of the questions that could be posed, make many virtuals a bit out of the scope of geocaching.com.

 

One I found was a block away from where I worked, there was a pic of a native american code talker, so I knew right where it was. But actually anyone could have typed in the clues into google and the cross streets and you would have found the answers to the clues. (I tried it and was easy to do) Was a bit older cache, but one that would not have been approved today.

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We are disappointed that new virtual caches are being immediately archived. Having moved from an area where Geocaching was just starting to go ahead to a remote region with only a very small population we were enjoying trying to find things in this area that satisfy the virtual caches. It was making up for the lack of caches around here. Before you say that we should start a group going we have been trying to, so far now there are two teams here and another two 350 kilometres further north of us. Most people up here dont want to venture out into 40C plus heat in the desert here.

We find that we are disadvantaged in many respects because of our isolated location, please dont make this another thing we cannot enjoy.

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Locationless submissions are currently in a temporary moratorium. The will come back. You can log the ones that are currently approved still. The temporary moratorium was discussed here. This is linked on the "Report a New Cache" page at the Cache Type selection area. They should open up again in April or May.

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quote:
Originally posted by Jomarac5:

quote:
Originally posted by mtn-man:

Not answering a simple question from an admin about the cache when it is placed is not a good thing.


Oooooh... that sounds like a threat. icon_eek.gif


 

I'm here! Couldn't you hear the sirens? You can't possibly be serious about that remark?

 

When are you actually going to HIDE your first cache? icon_confused.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_biggrin.gificon_razz.gif

 

canadazuuk

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quote:
Originally posted by Renegade Knight:

 

...nobody should realy give a rats all what kind of cache is placed because the placer should control. It's their cache after all.


 

The placer alone should control?

 

Please confirm if this is what you meant.

 

canadazuuk

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I don't understand the current phobia AGAINST virtual caches.

 

To me, this sport is about using your gpsr to take you somewhere and find something. I don't care about containers. I don't care about log books. I don't care about trying to find a needle in a haystack. What I do care about is taking my kids outside and having an adventure. I care about going somewhere on the advice of others. I care about seeing things along the way. Is the wildlife you happen across on the way to a virtual any less enjoyable? Finding something at the end is simply frosting on the cake. The thrill of the hunt is not about the kill, it is about the chase. You get all that with a virtual, without the messyness of a container.

 

I believe our sport needs to evolve with the times. People are apprehensive about unexpected containers in public. No amount of labels is going to make these concerns go away. I believe the days of hidden contains are numbered.

 

I think virtual caches are the future of this game, and I applaude all who are creatively posting them. The phobia needs to go away!

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quote:
virtual caches are the future of this game

 

If that's true, then I won't be doing this much longer, but I think your crazy.

 

In my case, I frequently mountain bike, hike, rock climb, and paddle, so having the goal of finding a few traditonal caches while participating in these activities makes then even more enjoyable.

 

Personally, I think we have more than enough virtual caches of old cemetaries, churches, statues, art, and similar 'points of interest'.

 

texasgeocaching_sm.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by NE Cache Guys:

I don't understand the current phobia AGAINST virtual caches.

 

To me, this sport is about using your gpsr to take you somewhere and find something. I don't care about containers. I don't care about log books. I don't care about trying to find a needle in a haystack. What I do care about is taking my kids outside and having an adventure. I care about going somewhere on the advice of others. I care about seeing things along the way. Is the wildlife you happen across on the way to a virtual any less enjoyable? Finding something at the end is simply frosting on the cake. The thrill of the hunt is not about the kill, it is about the chase. You get all that with a virtual, without the messyness of a container.

 

I believe our sport needs to evolve with the times. People are apprehensive about unexpected containers in public. No amount of labels is going to make these concerns go away. I believe the days of hidden contains are numbered.

 

I think virtual caches are the future of this game, and I applaude all who are creatively posting them. The phobia needs to go away!


Not a phobia. The very heart and soul of geocaching is just what you say you dislike. Geocaching started as a game where you find a container and sign the logbook. Its a high-tech version of letterboxing, which has been going for hundreds of years on the principle of "find a container, sign the logbook". There are no virtual letterboxes, and for a long time, no such thing as a virtual geocache. In time, the concept of virtuals came about to allow caches in interesting places that couldnt support a actual cache. I enjoy a well done virtual as much as an actual box, but its getting out of hand. if gc.com approved every virtual submitted, you wouldn't be able to walk out of your house without virtually tripping over one. people tray to make a virtual out of any old spot they think of. No work. No creativity. No interesting place to see. i have no problem with them cracking down on them, even though it meant not submitting one I've made several long distance trips to work out. There is no phobia involved, nobody is afraid of a cache. what they are afraid of, is the street sign on your corner being a cache, the mailbox in front of your house a cache, the streetlight 200ft away becoming a cache, the tree in the field, the flagpole, the bridge, the junk car in the neighbors driveway.....

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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Mopar, no one wants to see uncontrolled prolification of junk caches, of any kind, traditional, virtual, etc. The point is, the fear of too many junk virtuals is throwing the wheat out with the chaff. You said it yourself, "...it meant not submitting one I've made several long distance trips to work out." There was probably nothing junk about your virtual cache idea, but no one will get to enjoy it as you intended. I'm saying that not everyone likes the same things, yet there is still lots we have in common. GC.com needs to loosen up and let the game evolve to embrace a wider range of tastes, while maintaining high standards. There is such a thing as a good virtual, just like there are junk traditionals. We should strive for the "good" regardless of type.

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I think that virtuals can be just as much fun a traditional cache. But many virtual caches are just waypoints for some monument or building with no other challenge. Not every historical marker should become a virtual cache. The verification question should be something that requires you not only to visit the site but to take a look around.

It may be that some approvers are going overboard disapproving caches. I don't think this is the case in general. These posts seem to indicate that the approvers generally give the submitter a chance to make an argument for why the cache should be approved.

The guidelines for virtual caches are meant to keep it interesting. If your cache is not approved go back and look at the guidelines, look at suggestions people have posted in the forums, think how you can make this a more interesting experience.

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