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veit

After tragic death of experienced geocacher - what needs to change?

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Been following along, but I can't get past your statement that there should be caches in places where one shouldn't officially go. Did you miss the very first thing in the guidelines about placing caches that states all local laws apply? And the part after that stating you should have permission?

 

To me that's like a thief who complains not that he broke the law but that he got caught if you ask me.

 

Argh, I really didnt wanna get dragged into this one. I have done "illegal caches" myself and enjoyed them, "Lost Places" are HUGELY popular here, and some of the most interesting caches. I havent done many of them, and I don't feel qualified enough to discuss whether they should exist or not - there are surely tons and tons of cachers who have much stronger feelings about this issue, and probably great discussions of the past about it that we could link here. In the end there MUST be some consensus at least in the German geocaching community that they are ok to place, list, search, since there are just such huge numbers of them out there.

 

What I'm suggesting is that regardless of the illegality of a cache we should have a way to warn other cachers of dangers.

 

But supposedly your desire is to prevent other cachers from being harmed. The very first line of defense is to not place caches where it is illegal to be. Some places are off limits precisely because of the hazards involved with the location. If you ignore the trespassing issues, all the warnings on the listing are for naught.

 

I think this is an important issue and maybe the reviewers working together to discuss this issue which is apparently proliferating in this part of the world. It's been stated here that there are numerous caches in places they shouldn't be like in this case.

 

I still hold to that people also need to make use of the NA log in these cases as well. That is another step to safety there. Or implement a way to contact the reviewer with a concern which isn't public.

 

With how touchy people get about NM and NA logs as owners I would think that warning logs are going to illicit the same ire from cache owners calling them spoilers or what have you.

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Yes, I also think it's down to cultural differences a lot. Interestingly enough, Germans for example have a much more relaxed attitude towards "cheating" in school. I think similar cultural issues apply in geocaching where we might be much more relaxed about this issue of illegal access. I do see a point that a lot of risky caches would be gone if we archived them all, but as someone pointed out above, there are plenty of risky caches in the natural world that ARE legal, and so my personal thought is to develop a good warnings system that applies to any cache.

 

How offensive! As someone who was born in Germany and still has family there as well as making frequent trips there, please be assured they/we are not a bunch of anarchist who believe rules are meant only as suggestions as you indicated here. In fact, I believe the exact opposite is true and often wish stateside school systems took things as serious as those in Germany and other surrounding countries.

 

This is not cultural, this is simply a disregard for common sense and frankly, disrespectful to the tragic event that started this thread. If GS reviewers are not doing there jobs and ignoring NA or NM (re: 2009 referenced example) someone should be contacting contact@geocaching.com to have them intervene.

 

If you are correct that rules in Germany are simply suggestions that people make up their own minds whether or not to follow is true, warnings are simply a waste of time.

 

This thread has probably run it's course and seems to be of little to no valuse at this point.

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I'm getting a very strong cultural differences vibe here. I just couldn't for the life of me see a cache placed in the USA or Canada where people have to climb the steel support structure of a private shopping mall sign. Granted it's an unusual sign, unlike anything I've ever seen in North America, and cachers are mostly "hidden" while climbing the sign.

 

I'm tending to agree with the warning proposals that have been put forth, however.

 

Yes, I also think it's down to cultural differences a lot. Interestingly enough, Germans for example have a much more relaxed attitude towards "cheating" in school.

 

Not only in school, also at university level and other aspects of society. The same is true in Austria.

 

I think similar cultural issues apply in geocaching where we might be much more relaxed about this issue of illegal access.

 

There are certainly cultural differences involved, but also many other aspects play a role.

 

Geocaching in North America and in the various countries in Europe have developped quite differently.

The North American law system, the relatively early involvement of various government agencies, land managers, the existence of geocaching associations etc have led to a completely different culture of geocaching and a different way to deal with legal issues. Quite a number of North American reviewers seem to be somehow active in geocaching associations and seem to have had an active interest to come up with a positive public image for geocaching right from the beginning. It is also interesting to note that in the UK and the Netherlands (a traditionally quite liberal country) there exist geocaching associations and a considerably stricter review process taking into account special issues arising in these countries.

 

In some countries in Europe geocaching developped more like an underground activity in the beginning where it was not welcome that government authorities, the media and the general public learn about the existence of geocaching. In countries like Germany and Austria there is no reasonable way, except for special cases like hiding caches on one's own or a friend's property, of hiding caches with explicit permission. So the vast majority of caches are somehow not really legal. The majority of caches belongs to either of the following two classes: Those with no permission to place a cache, but hidden at locations one is allowed to access and those hidden at locations where also access is not allowed.

 

 

I do see a point that a lot of risky caches would be gone if we archived them all, but as someone pointed out above, there are plenty of risky caches in the natural world that ARE legal, and so my personal thought is to develop a good warnings system that applies to any cache.

 

Yes, certainly many risky caches would disappear or never would have been published, but this indeed does not solve the security issue. The major difference I see is that it certainly will cause more troubles for the future of geocaching if several incidents like the one in Pirna happen at locations where access is not allowed. There are some areas in the US where geocaching has been banned at all or was close to be banned. First developments in this direction are already visible in Germany as some natural protection areas are concerned and if laws show up against geocaching they will much harder to deal with than in the US as there exist no geocaching associations in Europe except for in the Netherlands and the UK (at least I know of no others).

 

I would like to repeat however another aspect that somehow got lost in this thread. It is not connected to your request for a new log type, but I think that is an important aspect with respect to trying to reduce the probability for such serious accidents which happen while geocaching. I think that there is too much peer pressure and too much prestige coming from doing adventurous caches so that also many cachers who are not really used to undergo such risks are often feel a temptation which is too high for them to resist.

I think that the value of a geocacher in a community should not be based on the criteria like: number of finds, number of T5 caches, etc.

While there certainly exist high terrain caches in North America as well, I have never heard about such a hype as it exists in countries like Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic and others. I have come across cache descriptions in these countries that mentioned that those who do not like the cache, are simply not brave enough and should go home to their mother and cry. In North America this would be in conflict of their idea of political correctness.

 

 

Cezanne

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Deleting a warning log could be sticky if it's a valid warning. It could open the CO up to liability. Only the person who placed the warning should be allowed to delete it. For those that know occupational safety, think lockout/tagout. The spirit of that industry standard applies here.

 

 

SBA has been deleted, within an hour. Of course the local reviewer certainly received it.

 

Yes, perhaps only reviewers should be allowed to delete "Need Archived" logs.

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SBA has been deleted, within an hour. Of course the local reviewer certainly received it.

 

Who deleted it? 4WF or the CO?

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Yes, I also think it's down to cultural differences a lot. Interestingly enough, Germans for example have a much more relaxed attitude towards "cheating" in school. I think similar cultural issues apply in geocaching where we might be much more relaxed about this issue of illegal access. I do see a point that a lot of risky caches would be gone if we archived them all, but as someone pointed out above, there are plenty of risky caches in the natural world that ARE legal, and so my personal thought is to develop a good warnings system that applies to any cache.

 

How offensive! As someone who was born in Germany and still has family there as well as making frequent trips there, please be assured they/we are not a bunch of anarchist who believe rules are meant only as suggestions as you indicated here. In fact, I believe the exact opposite is true and often wish stateside school systems took things as serious as those in Germany and other surrounding countries.

 

This is certainly getting us off-topic, but I would like it stand that way.

 

It was not offensive, but just the truth. I guess you and Veit talk about different issues. Veit was not writing about the quality of the school system and the quality of education. You are right with what you write in this aspect. I also agree that countries like Germany and Austria are certainly not anarchic at all.

 

You are not right however with respect to what veit wrote about.

 

To provide you with an example:

A friend of mine worked for a year at a Canadian university and was extremely surprised that cheating when doing homework assignments was seen as a serious offence in Canada and could easily lead to being banned from the university. In my home country Austria, there is absolutely nothing effective a university teacher can do if cheating is involved in homework assignments and even in case of exams, what could be done is just not taking into account the exam and not grading it. It is not possible to let the student fail the exam and much more has to happen to make it a case for the university administration.

 

Another example: Have you followed the affair around the Ph.D. thesis of the former German minister of Defence, Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg? (There are other similar examples, but probably less known internationally.)

 

Some of the difference in culture seems to be that in countries like Austria and Germany more control is necessary to make things work properly. For example, in supervising exams one needs to be very careful and be prepared to all sorts of cheating. In North America there is something like an inner conscience telling many people that they will not even try to cheat even if the control is bad. Of course, it is possible to generalize as the world is not black and white. For example, I am Austrian, but somehow have an inner conscience that keeps me from doing a lot of things that I do not regard as being right even if there is no control around. Likewise, I am sure that there are people in North America that depend on control systems.

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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SBA has been deleted, within an hour. Of course the local reviewer certainly received it.

 

Who deleted it? 4WF or the CO?

 

The CO, of course.

 

The fact that a cacher would be castigated for posting a valid Needs Archived log in his community emphasises the need to have them to be only deletable by a lackey, reviewer, or the cacher who posted it.

 

 

Deleting a warning log could be sticky if it's a valid warning. It could open the CO up to liability. Only the person who placed the warning should be allowed to delete it. For those that know occupational safety, think lockout/tagout. The spirit of that industry standard applies here.

Edited by 4wheelin_fool

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No, it was not offensive, but just the truth. I guess you and Veit talk about different issues. Veit was not writing about the quality of the school system and the quality of education.

A friend of mine worked for a year at a Canadian university and was extremely surprised that cheating when doing homework assignments was seen as a serious offence in Canada and could easily lead to being banned from the university. In my home country Austria, there is absolutely nothing effective a university teacher can do if cheating is involved in homework assignments and even in case of exams, what could be done is just not taking into account the exam and not grading it. It is not possible to let the student fail the exam.

Another example: Have you followed the affair around the Ph.D. thesis of the former German minister of Defence, Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg? (There are other similar examples, but probably less known internationally.)

 

Setting aside reality for a moment, let's assume you are both correct and Germans are routinely disrespectful of the law.

 

You also stated earlier that there is a very competitive nature to do dangerous "T5" caches, and that extreme peer pressure exists that push individuals to do things that possibly to not involve using any sense on their part.

 

Both you an veit are making very strong case against a warning system. If what you say does exist, people would view ignoring the warnings as a badge of honor and those that chose not to would be viewed as inferior cachers. Viewing the facts as given by the two of you in recent posts, would that be the logical progression?

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but your theory is in line with how society is this days....blame someone else for lack of common sense

You are right. Lets blame the dead guy. So convenient.

Bit extreme...

.

.

.

I do feel for the individual, friends and family. That being said, we all are responsible for our own actions. I try to be very aware of my surroundings, skill level, and determination...in this case, an accident occurred...and we call them accidents for a reason.

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If what you say does exist, people would view ignoring the warnings as a badge of honor and those that chose not to would be viewed as inferior cachers. Viewing the facts as given by the two of you in recent posts, would that be the logical progression?

 

No.

 

If there had been a warning on the cache page (by whomever): "Careful, there's a hole in the bridge." nobody would have ignored that warning and stepped into it just to prove a point or not feel inferior.

 

BTW, adding to the cultural differences side-thread: at least for Germany a lot of it probably has to do with the fact that after WW2 it's ingrained into us/the culture that you should always question authority and not simply "follow the rules". This of course is a tricky thing in all sorts of areas of society, the cheating-in-exams example was just one very simple one. Until now I wasn't aware how much this apparently also applies to geocaching. While many Americans might think: "These Germans are stupid for not simply following the rule of not entering illegal places.", many Germans might think: "These Americans are stupid for assuming that simply following the law will solve everything."

 

Both are right and wrong, and I actually don't see much middle ground. I'm pretty sure though that Groundspeak is aware of this problem, because as been noted, there are just such large numbers of caches listed on the platform in this part of the world.

 

cezanne actually expresses these lines of thought much better than I, so I think I'll let him do it :-)

Edited by veit

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and we call them accidents for a reason.

 

Yes, but in this case it was very preventable. :mellow:

 

There appears to be a broken spoke in the geocaching cultural wheel in regards to this fatality. Some of us are interested in exploring and discussing ways to prevent another tragic geocaching fatality.

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As unpalatable as it might be, sometimes the responsibility lies solely with the victim.

And if deleting a log you think is spurious but turns out to actually be valid and opens the CO to liability, then I really don't like this idea.

As unpalatable as it might be, sometimes, when you make a bad choice and delete a valid warning message, then you should be responsible for the consequences of your actions.

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It's not authority that necessarily needs to be questioned, but following the herd without thinking, which is still happening obviously. :rolleyes:

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and we call them accidents for a reason.

 

Yes, but in this case it was very preventable. :mellow:

 

There appears to be a broken spoke in the geocaching cultural wheel in regards to this fatality. Some of us are interested in exploring and discussing ways to prevent another tragic geocaching fatality.

I agree, I am interested yes...I would say care needs to be taken down that road as well since it is so easy to assign blame...a fine line between the two in this thread...

 

(the two being "how to prevent" and "who to blame")

 

Something caused this man's focus to change while attempting this particular cache...and, unfortunately, we may never know. Again, some things can only be called an accident becuase we will never fully know why... My comment prior was not meant to be heartless and I am sorry if it came across that way.

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Imagine there are 100 logs and one important warning is 50 logs away: most wouldn't notice even if they read logs.

 

I would argue that if 49 other people have found the cache and didn't feel the need to mention the warning then it really can't be that important.

 

What if the warning is true in bad weather conditions (i.e. rain > slippery underground) and the last 49 finders reached the cache with sunshine? A warning doesn't has to apply every day to a specific cache!

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The guy I was thinking of was named Stuart Anderson and cached with his wife under the name k123anderson. I would post forum links if I wasnt using a phone right now.

 

Here ya go: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=237171

 

That matched the Dishman hills article linked earlier. We seem to still be at 4 deaths 50% of which haven't been directly linked to the final grab and 1 of the 2 remaining (in BC) I'm unsure about.

 

Does anyone have a higher figure? :unsure:

 

There was a cacher in CA who died of heat stroke while geocaching. It could be argued that geocaching is what caused him to venture outside in dangerous, 100+ degree weather.

 

Is that the cache owner's fault?

Edited by briansnat

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No, it was not offensive, but just the truth. I guess you and Veit talk about different issues. Veit was not writing about the quality of the school system and the quality of education.

A friend of mine worked for a year at a Canadian university and was extremely surprised that cheating when doing homework assignments was seen as a serious offence in Canada and could easily lead to being banned from the university. In my home country Austria, there is absolutely nothing effective a university teacher can do if cheating is involved in homework assignments and even in case of exams, what could be done is just not taking into account the exam and not grading it. It is not possible to let the student fail the exam.

Another example: Have you followed the affair around the Ph.D. thesis of the former German minister of Defence, Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg? (There are other similar examples, but probably less known internationally.)

 

Setting aside reality for a moment, let's assume you are both correct and Germans are routinely disrespectful of the law.

 

I guess I need to correct something here. If what I or veit wrote came over as Germans are routinely disrespectful of the law, then we failed in explaining a rather complex phenomenon.

 

 

You also stated earlier that there is a very competitive nature to do dangerous "T5" caches, and that extreme peer pressure exists that push individuals to do things that possibly to not involve using any sense on their part.

 

Both you an veit are making very strong case against a warning system. If what you say does exist, people would view ignoring the warnings as a badge of honor and those that chose not to would be viewed as inferior cachers. Viewing the facts as given by the two of you in recent posts, would that be the logical progression?

 

As I have already mentioned before, I am not seeing the warning system as an overall remedy. Warnings can help in some cases, but in many other cases they will not help and I agree with you that for a certain groups of cachers warnings even can be contra productive.

 

I have thought about issues like those touched here already for quite some time as I was expecting some serious accidents to happen. In our local community I tried to voice my concerns, but it did not really help to change something. Somehow I have the feeling that it needs tragic incidents or serious other troubles to lead at least to slow changes.

 

Veit's idea is not overly bad in my opinion and when coupled with a change in the attitude of the community which will have to come anyway, it could make sense.

You might argue, however, that with such changes in the community we would not need a new system which is true to some extent. In any case, I think that a recently clever used system of cacher supplied warnings could for caches with many logs as scrolling down all the logs is somehow quite tedious. I guess the warning logs would not appeal to those not caring at all about warnings, but to those who do care, but are currently overlooking existing warnings that somehow buried among all other logs.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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No, it was not offensive, but just the truth. I guess you and Veit talk about different issues. Veit was not writing about the quality of the school system and the quality of education.

A friend of mine worked for a year at a Canadian university and was extremely surprised that cheating when doing homework assignments was seen as a serious offence in Canada and could easily lead to being banned from the university. In my home country Austria, there is absolutely nothing effective a university teacher can do if cheating is involved in homework assignments and even in case of exams, what could be done is just not taking into account the exam and not grading it. It is not possible to let the student fail the exam.

Another example: Have you followed the affair around the Ph.D. thesis of the former German minister of Defence, Karl Theodor zu Guttenberg? (There are other similar examples, but probably less known internationally.)

 

Setting aside reality for a moment, let's assume you are both correct and Germans are routinely disrespectful of the law.

 

I guess I need to correct something here. If what I or veit wrote came over as Germans are routinely disrespectful of the law, then we failed in explaining a rather complex phenomenon.

 

Cezanne

 

Might want to check before you make the statement that you both failed to explain. He was quite clear when he stated;

 

"While many Americans might think: "These Germans are stupid for not simply following the rule of not entering illegal places.", many Germans might think: "These Americans are stupid for assuming that simply following the law will solve everything.""

 

Sounds like I understood precisely, however will concede that I painted with too broad a brush including you.

Edited by baloo&bd

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If what you say does exist, people would view ignoring the warnings as a badge of honor and those that chose not to would be viewed as inferior cachers. Viewing the facts as given by the two of you in recent posts, would that be the logical progression?

If there had been a warning on the cache page (by whomever): "Careful, there's a hole in the bridge." nobody would have ignored that warning and stepped into it just to prove a point or not feel inferior.

 

Not trying to be difficult here, but help me understand why a cacher would enter a obvious illegal (probably for safety reasons) place since those boundaries supposedly are not as clear to people you associate with, but would stop and say "Wait, there is a safety warning here. Peer pressure be damned, I'm not going in"?

 

If the previous finders did not say anything in there logs, why would they post a warning?

Edited by baloo&bd

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The guy I was thinking of was named Stuart Anderson and cached with his wife under the name k123anderson. I would post forum links if I wasnt using a phone right now.

 

Here ya go: http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=237171

 

That matched the Dishman hills article linked earlier. We seem to still be at 4 deaths 50% of which haven't been directly linked to the final grab and 1 of the 2 remaining (in BC) I'm unsure about.

 

Does anyone have a higher figure? :unsure:

 

There was a cacher in CA who died of heat stroke while geocaching. It could be argued that geocaching is what caused him to venture outside in dangerous, 100+ degree weather.

 

Is that the cache owner's fault?

 

Not one bit. If he died of heat stroke hunting my cache, I wouldn't lose sleep.

 

But ask yourself this, if there were an upfront and active safety culture such as exists in scuba or skydiving, or shooting sports, or technical climbing, or spelunking, etc. would he have died on that hike?

 

There would be a good probability that he might not have. I'll take 5%, 10%, 25% that he could have been reached and been prepared or never walked out his door in a geocaching culture of safety over nothing at all and another mark on the geocaching wall of the dead.

 

1 Million caches to 1.6 million caches in just over a year.... How many MORE at risk behaviors are occurring every day? How many more near misses? How many more minor injuries? How many more injuries that cause a cacher to miss work/school? Each and every day... Heinrich's Law shows us that the death notices will become more frequent.

 

Do you (the royal you) truly believe that the status quo is the best practice in an activity that sometimes involves personal risk and is growing at the rate that this community is growing? :unsure:

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Do you (the royal you) truly believe that the status quo is the best practice in an activity that sometimes involves personal risk and is growing at the rate that this community is growing? :unsure:

 

It seems to work for other activities such as jogging, hiking, etc.. There does have to be a line somewhere that takes into account personal responsibility. As a for instance, albeit not safety related, how many times do we here of cachers getting caught in off hours when there was a warning on the cache listing as well as signs up all over the given area?

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Do you (the royal you) truly believe that the status quo is the best practice in an activity that sometimes involves personal risk and is growing at the rate that this community is growing? :unsure:

 

It seems to work for other activities such as jogging, hiking, etc.. There does have to be a line somewhere that takes into account personal responsibility. As a for instance, albeit not safety related, how many times do we here of cachers getting caught in off hours when there was a warning on the cache listing as well as signs up all over the given area?

 

Do you have to log into a website to go jogging or hiking? :unsure:

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Do you (the royal you) truly believe that the status quo is the best practice in an activity that sometimes involves personal risk and is growing at the rate that this community is growing? :unsure:

 

It seems to work for other activities such as jogging, hiking, etc.. There does have to be a line somewhere that takes into account personal responsibility. As a for instance, albeit not safety related, how many times do we here of cachers getting caught in off hours when there was a warning on the cache listing as well as signs up all over the given area?

 

Do you have to log into a website to go jogging or hiking? :unsure:

 

How does that impact things one way or another? Skydivers, pilots, scuba, etc do not have to log into a web site either.

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Regardless of the disclaimer on the site, Groundspeak is always sad to hear of the death of a cacher – particularly in the pursuit of the game. We are part of one big community, and this type of death always has an impact. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of this cacher. As always, we hope that cachers will take care while geocaching.

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Regardless of the disclaimer on the site, Groundspeak is always sad to hear of the death of a cacher – particularly in the pursuit of the game. We are part of one big community, and this type of death always has an impact. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of this cacher. As always, we hope that cachers will take care while geocaching.

 

Good to hear. Now what is Groundspeak doing to help prevent anything similar from happening again?

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Regardless of the disclaimer on the site, Groundspeak is always sad to hear of the death of a cacher – particularly in the pursuit of the game. We are part of one big community, and this type of death always has an impact. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of this cacher. As always, we hope that cachers will take care while geocaching.

 

Good to hear. Now what is Groundspeak doing to help prevent anything similar from happening again?

Why is it solely Groundspeak's responsibility??? I am not asking to be "smart" about it...but, again...we are not forced to go caching, we do so of our own free will.

 

Geocaching, hiking, backpacking and other outdoor activities involve risk to both persons and property. There are many variables including, but not limited to, weather, fitness level, terrain features and outdoor experience, that must be considered prior to seeking or placing a Cache. Be prepared for your journey and be sure to check the current weather and conditions before heading outdoors. Always exercise common sense and caution.

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Do you (the royal you) truly believe that the status quo is the best practice in an activity that sometimes involves personal risk and is growing at the rate that this community is growing? :unsure:

 

It seems to work for other activities such as jogging, hiking, etc.. There does have to be a line somewhere that takes into account personal responsibility. As a for instance, albeit not safety related, how many times do we here of cachers getting caught in off hours when there was a warning on the cache listing as well as signs up all over the given area?

 

Do you have to log into a website to go jogging or hiking? :unsure:

 

How does that impact things one way or another? Skydivers, pilots, scuba, etc do not have to log into a web site either.

 

Yet you don't dispute that a culture of safety exists there either. :laughing:

 

How would you feel about this issue if Willi was your relative?

 

What if the next cacher to die is closer to home? Your friend? Your relative? Somebody's young child? That enthusiastic new cacher you met and liked at the last event in your local community?

 

What if the death could have been prevented by learned a system of safety precautions or some simple information on a cache page that was set aside from spoiler info and highlighted in some way that would precede coordinates.

 

What if the next death happens while someone is reaching for your cache? :mellow:

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Regardless of the disclaimer on the site, Groundspeak is always sad to hear of the death of a cacher – particularly in the pursuit of the game. We are part of one big community, and this type of death always has an impact. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of this cacher. As always, we hope that cachers will take care while geocaching.

 

Good to hear. Now what is Groundspeak doing to help prevent anything similar from happening again?

 

First I don't believe it is their responsibility. Second there is nothing they can do to prevent it from happening again. Next week it could be a cacher who trips and hits his head on a curb on a 1/1 cache.

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Nope the links add up to 3 deaths and this being the 4th. All present and accounted for unless I missed one. :unsure:

 

Perhaps it was this 'near miss', cacher was rescued after being trapped by falling rock.

 

Rescued by GPS

 

Unless that had a delayed result, it could have been mistaken for a death by some give passage of time.

 

Doug 7rxc

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Regardless of the disclaimer on the site, Groundspeak is always sad to hear of the death of a cacher – particularly in the pursuit of the game. We are part of one big community, and this type of death always has an impact. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of this cacher. As always, we hope that cachers will take care while geocaching.

 

Thank you for your condolence!

 

I don't know if you had the chance to follow the complete discussion. But what do you think about some extra possibility of posting warnings? I know, GS is not responsible, but is this a good idea to follow from your point of view?

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Do you (the royal you) truly believe that the status quo is the best practice in an activity that sometimes involves personal risk and is growing at the rate that this community is growing? :unsure:

 

It seems to work for other activities such as jogging, hiking, etc.. There does have to be a line somewhere that takes into account personal responsibility. As a for instance, albeit not safety related, how many times do we here of cachers getting caught in off hours when there was a warning on the cache listing as well as signs up all over the given area?

 

Do you have to log into a website to go jogging or hiking? :unsure:

 

How does that impact things one way or another? Skydivers, pilots, scuba, etc do not have to log into a web site either.

 

Yet you don't dispute that a culture of safety exists there either. :laughing:

 

How would you feel about this issue if Willi was your relative?

 

What if the next cacher to die is closer to home? Your friend? Your relative? Somebody's young child? That enthusiastic new cacher you met and liked at the last event in your local community?

 

What if the death could have been prevented by learned a system of safety precautions or some simple information on a cache page that was set aside from spoiler info and highlighted in some way that would precede coordinates.

 

What if the next death happens while someone is reaching for your cache? :mellow:

I think the "culture of safety" is taken for granted in geocaching...and for one main reason. The "average joe" can pickup a GPS and go find treasure without an formal training...

 

One "solution" to help prevent accidents like this is for the community in general become more aware...now...how that is to happen...I couldn't even begin to venture a guess...

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Regardless of the disclaimer on the site, Groundspeak is always sad to hear of the death of a cacher – particularly in the pursuit of the game. We are part of one big community, and this type of death always has an impact. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of this cacher. As always, we hope that cachers will take care while geocaching.

 

Hope? :huh:

 

As the 800 pound gorilla of geocache listing services, not to mention the best, most user friendly, and fun... (My perception)... I certainly hope that isn't the prevailing attitude for too much longer. Even if it's just your attitude.

 

Sorry if that steps on your sentiment. That is not my intent, but at some point there is a duty to do more than hope even if it is just to facilitate and endorse a community effort to instill a more safe and responsible mindset. Remember 1M to 1.6M caches listed in just over 1 year.

 

Deaths are going to happen. It's almost unavoidable over a period of time. What Groundspeak and the community can do together is reduce the frequency of fatalities and the frequency and severity of other injuries.

 

We CAN do this.

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Regardless of the disclaimer on the site, Groundspeak is always sad to hear of the death of a cacher – particularly in the pursuit of the game. We are part of one big community, and this type of death always has an impact. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of this cacher. As always, we hope that cachers will take care while geocaching.

 

Good to hear. Now what is Groundspeak doing to help prevent anything similar from happening again?

 

First I don't believe it is their responsibility. Second there is nothing they can do to prevent it from happening again. Next week it could be a cacher who trips and hits his head on a curb on a 1/1 cache.

By our very nature, human beings are very "tolerant" of risks...it is a risk each day we get up and leave our beds...heck...it could be a risk just leaving our beds if something is left on the floor we forget about and trip/slip the next morning...

 

It is that tolerance of risk that gets us into trouble from time to time...we lose focus of all the possible things that can happen. Just because something is possible does not stop us from doing something...but we need to get better at making ourselves aware of and more mindfull of the risks we take with little or no thought.

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Do you (the royal you) truly believe that the status quo is the best practice in an activity that sometimes involves personal risk and is growing at the rate that this community is growing? :unsure:

 

It seems to work for other activities such as jogging, hiking, etc.. There does have to be a line somewhere that takes into account personal responsibility. As a for instance, albeit not safety related, how many times do we here of cachers getting caught in off hours when there was a warning on the cache listing as well as signs up all over the given area?

 

Do you have to log into a website to go jogging or hiking? :unsure:

 

How does that impact things one way or another? Skydivers, pilots, scuba, etc do not have to log into a web site either.

 

Yet you don't dispute that a culture of safety exists there either. :laughing:

 

How would you feel about this issue if Willi was your relative?

 

What if the next cacher to die is closer to home? Your friend? Your relative? Somebody's young child? That enthusiastic new cacher you met and liked at the last event in your local community?

 

What if the death could have been prevented by learned a system of safety precautions or some simple information on a cache page that was set aside from spoiler info and highlighted in some way that would precede coordinates.

 

What if the next death happens while someone is reaching for your cache? :mellow:

I think the "culture of safety" is taken for granted in geocaching...and for one main reason. The "average joe" can pickup a GPS and go find treasure without an formal training...

 

One "solution" to help prevent accidents like this is for the community in general become more aware...now...how that is to happen...I couldn't even begin to venture a guess...

 

I can. :)

 

Go to my profile and read my posts for the past few days. :laughing:

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I think we have identified cotributing factors to this both in and out of control of Groundspeak. If there truly are a plethora of illegally placed caches obviously this should be looked into wit the reviewer.

 

It's been noted the culture in this part of the world for m seeking caches and hiding caches is different. That is the culture that needs to be addressed locally. Cachers should be reporting these caches not gleefully doing them and not fear retaliatory behavior from peers. A private reporting system helps this.

 

Educating people on how to make a better choice would be helpful in general and to a broader population because in the end it is the seekers choice on where to go.

 

The reality is this is a more magnified problem in one geographic area. Instead if coming here only those people from that area need to stop enabling the hiders of these caches. They need to step up and say something to their little community.

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I think we have identified cotributing factors to this both in and out of control of Groundspeak. If there truly are a plethora of illegally placed caches obviously this should be looked into wit the reviewer.

 

It's been noted the culture in this part of the world for m seeking caches and hiding caches is different. That is the culture that needs to be addressed locally. Cachers should be reporting these caches not gleefully doing them and not fear retaliatory behavior from peers. A private reporting system helps this.

 

Educating people on how to make a better choice would be helpful in general and to a broader population because in the end it is the seekers choice on where to go.

 

The reality is this is a more magnified problem in one geographic area. Instead if coming here only those people from that area need to stop enabling the hiders of these caches. They need to step up and say something to their little community.

That would be the other item I beleive contributes to our lack of a "safety culture" in geocaching. No one wants to be labeled as the "cache police"...I had wanted to bring it up earlier, but didn't really know how to say it thoughtfully...

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...but we need to get better at making ourselves aware of and more mindfull of the risks we take with little or no thought.

 

That's true. And every risk one get's aware of should be better transported to others so that everone can profit from this. This might be better achievable by some extra warning stuff...

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Yet you don't dispute that a culture of safety exists there either. :laughing:

 

Nor are you disputing that none exist for my earlier post for joggers, hikers, campers etc. All of which are willing to take personal responsibility.

 

 

How would you feel about this issue if Willi was your relative?

 

What if the next cacher to die is closer to home? Your friend? Your relative? Somebody's young child? That enthusiastic new cacher you met and liked at the last event in your local community?

 

What if the death could have been prevented by learned a system of safety precautions or some simple information on a cache page that was set aside from spoiler info and highlighted in some way that would precede coordinates.

 

What if the next death happens while someone is reaching for your cache? :mellow:

 

Wow, this last one from a guy who says if someone died going to his cache he would not lose any sleep over it.

 

I have lost someone very close to me. Under different but somewhat similar circumstances.

 

He was about 10 years old, riding his bike in a relatively small town during summer break.

 

At the time, the railroad was working on making all the crossing smoother. He was coming back from a small convenience store chain that existed near us at the time and went the wrong way down a one way street. He was listening to a walkman and as he approached the RR crossing, which had gates blocking both lanes if you entered from the correct direction and gates blocking pedestrian traffic going either way and there were work barricades up, he did not hear the workman yelling at him to stop. It is believed he thought the gates were down because of the work being done and, according to witnesses, didn't even look to his left where the workman was and the oncoming express passenger train.

 

Parents decided to sue the RR. The position was that there should have been gates on the other side (wrong way traffic) that would have prevented this. I was called into a deposition because of our relationship. They asked the normal questions, one of them did I feel he was responsible to which I answered in the affirmative. When camping he knew all the safety stuff down cold. Fire drills, no problem. CPR, he knew it.

 

What caused the accident was youthful stupidity. It was his fault, not the railroads. Just in my description above, you can see at least 3 things he should not have done. it still bothers me just to type this, however there is no way any warning signs (barricades) were gonna stop him from taking this shortcut.

 

I don't know the man who was killed at the cache, however I do know what his family is going through. The simple matter of fact his that while the CO should not have placed the cache there and the reviewer should not have allowed it and the culture of the area is skewed, it was ultimately a lapse of judgement by the individual who the OP stated "cachers who know him much better than me describe him as a level-headed, rational guy who did NOT take crazy risks" so most likely knew full well this area was off limits and made a conscious decision to ignore what we all would like to think is common sense.

 

And lest we all forget, our prayers are with family and friends for their loss.

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he did not hear the workman yelling at him to stop

 

Yet the workman tried to warn him of the danger that he knew about, but the boy unfortunately not. And he could not hear him. I see a clear analogy to what we want to do with Warnings-logs.

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Deaths are going to happen. It's almost unavoidable over a period of time. What Groundspeak and the community can do together is reduce the frequency of fatalities and the frequency and severity of other injuries.

 

Reduce the frequency? You sound as if there is some sort of epidemic of fatalities. I'm aware of 3 deaths that can be directly associated with geocaching and at least two more that were tangentially related. That is 3 incidents in 11 years and out hundreds of millions of found it and DNF logs (and who knows how many unlogged cache hunts).

 

While any deaths are unfortunate, I think you will be hard pressed to find an active outdoor activity that has a better safety record. Perhaps badminton.

Edited by briansnat

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Good to hear. Now what is Groundspeak doing to help prevent anything similar from happening again?

Second there is nothing they can do to prevent it from happening again.

Sure there is. They could actually enforce their own guidelines instead of using them as a convenient fiction, but they think hiding behind a checkbox gives them liability protection. That protection will fade away like a mirage the first time it is tested.

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Deaths are going to happen. It's almost unavoidable over a period of time. What Groundspeak and the community can do together is reduce the frequency of fatalities and the frequency and severity of other injuries.

 

Reduce the frequency? You sound as if there is some sort of epidemic of fatalities. I'm aware of 3 deaths that can be directly associated with geocaching and at least two more that were tangentially related. That is 3 incidents in 11 years and out hundreds of millions of found it and DNF logs (and who knows how many unlogged cache hunts).

 

While any deaths are unfortunate, I think you will be hard pressed to find an active outdoor activity that has a better safety record. Perhaps badminton.

 

Wow. If that really illustrates the standard opinion of thinking about safety of people in position of power on this site, then I think our time spent discussing here is futile. We better start applying real pressure to Groundspeak to own up to the fact that they do have a responsability in thinking about how to avoid more deaths and giving the community the right tools to do so. Bragging about a safety record after someone just died is just crazy, really.

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... a responsability in thinking about how to avoid more deaths and giving the community the right tools to do so.

Warning logs should be used only when there's an unexpected hazard that's not highlighted by the cache listing. In such cases, the listing should be amended or archived.

 

There's already a log type for that: Needs Archived. Just change it to "Alert the Reviewer" and make it easier to find (like the Report button mentioned ages ago) and it's job done.

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I can just see this appearing in every cache description...

 

By attempting to locate this cache, the person attempting to locate it (cacher) agrees to hold harmless the person who placed the cache (hider) blah blah blah...

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Yet you don't dispute that a culture of safety exists there either. :laughing:

 

Nor are you disputing that none exist for my earlier post for joggers, hikers, campers etc. All of which are willing to take personal responsibility.

 

 

How would you feel about this issue if Willi was your relative?

 

What if the next cacher to die is closer to home? Your friend? Your relative? Somebody's young child? That enthusiastic new cacher you met and liked at the last event in your local community?

 

What if the death could have been prevented by learned a system of safety precautions or some simple information on a cache page that was set aside from spoiler info and highlighted in some way that would precede coordinates.

 

What if the next death happens while someone is reaching for your cache? :mellow:

 

Wow, this last one from a guy who says if someone died going to his cache he would not lose any sleep over it.

 

I have lost someone very close to me. Under different but somewhat similar circumstances.

 

He was about 10 years old, riding his bike in a relatively small town during summer break.

 

At the time, the railroad was working on making all the crossing smoother. He was coming back from a small convenience store chain that existed near us at the time and went the wrong way down a one way street. He was listening to a walkman and as he approached the RR crossing, which had gates blocking both lanes if you entered from the correct direction and gates blocking pedestrian traffic going either way and there were work barricades up, he did not hear the workman yelling at him to stop. It is believed he thought the gates were down because of the work being done and, according to witnesses, didn't even look to his left where the workman was and the oncoming express passenger train.

 

Parents decided to sue the RR. The position was that there should have been gates on the other side (wrong way traffic) that would have prevented this. I was called into a deposition because of our relationship. They asked the normal questions, one of them did I feel he was responsible to which I answered in the affirmative. When camping he knew all the safety stuff down cold. Fire drills, no problem. CPR, he knew it.

 

What caused the accident was youthful stupidity. It was his fault, not the railroads. Just in my description above, you can see at least 3 things he should not have done. it still bothers me just to type this, however there is no way any warning signs (barricades) were gonna stop him from taking this shortcut.

 

I don't know the man who was killed at the cache, however I do know what his family is going through. The simple matter of fact his that while the CO should not have placed the cache there and the reviewer should not have allowed it and the culture of the area is skewed, it was ultimately a lapse of judgement by the individual who the OP stated "cachers who know him much better than me describe him as a level-headed, rational guy who did NOT take crazy risks" so most likely knew full well this area was off limits and made a conscious decision to ignore what we all would like to think is common sense.

 

And lest we all forget, our prayers are with family and friends for their loss.

 

First. Man, I'm sorry for your loss. It's gotta be hard to lose someone that young. :sad:

 

Wow, this last one from a guy who says if someone died going to his cache he would not lose any sleep over it.

 

I wouldn't it's not my responsibility to make sure every finder of my caches is physically able and prepare to hunt them. Why should I lose sleep over it?

 

My questions to you are in the context of this thread and the facts that are known in Willi's death. It seems that you don't disagree that it took more than one bad step on Willi's part to cause his death...

 

I soooo get the personal accountability bit. I'm one of the biggest advocates this forum has for personal accountability, but this death didn't have to happen. It wasn't just one of those unfortunate thangs that go wrong. There was a flawed process that led to his death and I don't mean it's anyone's fault. Let the local authoorities lay blame. It happened and for the sake of the next guy looking to fill Willi's shoes, I hope the community and Groundspeak together can prevent a similar process from costing another life.

 

There seems to be a disconnect that to practice and endorse safety as a core value of geocaching also means to reduce accountability or that it will maybe fundamentally change the experience when it is in fact just the opposite.

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Deaths are going to happen. It's almost unavoidable over a period of time. What Groundspeak and the community can do together is reduce the frequency of fatalities and the frequency and severity of other injuries.

 

Reduce the frequency? You sound as if there is some sort of epidemic of fatalities. I'm aware of 3 deaths that can be directly associated with geocaching and at least two more that were tangentially related. That is 3 incidents in 11 years and out hundreds of millions of found it and DNF logs (and who knows how many unlogged cache hunts).

 

While any deaths are unfortunate, I think you will be hard pressed to find an active outdoor activity that has a better safety record. Perhaps badminton.

 

Wow. If that really illustrates the standard opinion of thinking about safety of people in position of power on this site, then I think our time spent discussing here is futile. We better start applying real pressure to Groundspeak to own up to the fact that they do have a responsability in thinking about how to avoid more deaths and giving the community the right tools to do so. Bragging about a safety record after someone just died is just crazy, really.

 

@ Brian.... Epidemic? Your hyperbole fails to make me an alarmist.

 

How many of the deaths have occurred in the huge leap past 1 MILLION caches listed as opposed to before that mark?

 

I believe frequency is the proper term. The frequency of fatalities has increased. Do you dispute that?

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Deaths are going to happen. It's almost unavoidable over a period of time. What Groundspeak and the community can do together is reduce the frequency of fatalities and the frequency and severity of other injuries.

 

Reduce the frequency? You sound as if there is some sort of epidemic of fatalities. I'm aware of 3 deaths that can be directly associated with geocaching and at least two more that were tangentially related. That is 3 incidents in 11 years and out hundreds of millions of found it and DNF logs (and who knows how many unlogged cache hunts).

 

While any deaths are unfortunate, I think you will be hard pressed to find an active outdoor activity that has a better safety record. Perhaps badminton.

 

http://www.badmintoncentral.com/forums/showthread.php/28336-Girl-died-during-badminton-practice...

 

Well there is one..

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I can just see this appearing in every cache description...

 

By attempting to locate this cache, the person attempting to locate it (cacher) agrees to hold harmless the person who placed the cache (hider) blah blah blah...

 

Wellll, maybe not for every cache, but I wouldn't mind it on this cache of mine. :anibad:

 

ca01b7cd-a45c-4c35-ad06-180e8fed007f.jpg

Yep, it's down there somewhere.

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Wow. If that really illustrates the standard opinion of thinking about safety of people in position of power on this site, then I think our time spent discussing here is futile. We better start applying real pressure to Groundspeak to own up to the fact that they do have a responsability in thinking about how to avoid more deaths and giving the community the right tools to do so. Bragging about a safety record after someone just died is just crazy, really.

 

Groundspeak already gives a cacher enough information (D/T, cache description, logs, etc.). The only other thing Goundspeak could do is to go along and hold the cachers' hand. People have a responsibility to provide for their own safety and to walk away when things get to crazy. If you cannot or will not provide for your own safety, then it is time for you to get a new, safer hobby. This sense of entitlement is wrong, Groundspeak has warnings for those that are smart enough to follow them.

 

All the warning signs were there and the cacher failed to heed them, another warning would have accomplished nothing.

 

The safety records shows that a knee-jerk reaction to this death is just that - a knee-jerk reaction. Safety is only as good as the person makes it. If they don't follow through with the warning signs, it is their own fault and not some listing site on the internet.

 

Sorry, but each person must be held responsible for their own actions.

 

John

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If what you say does exist, people would view ignoring the warnings as a badge of honor and those that chose not to would be viewed as inferior cachers. Viewing the facts as given by the two of you in recent posts, would that be the logical progression?

 

No.

 

If there had been a warning on the cache page (by whomever): "Careful, there's a hole in the bridge." nobody would have ignored that warning and stepped into it just to prove a point or not feel inferior.

 

You can't say nobody would have ignored that warning. Lots of people take great pride in not reading the listings at all.

 

Of course I agree with you that no one would step into a hole in the bridge just to prove a point. But that isn't what baloo was saying.

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