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Acorn Fence Caps


Packanack
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A friend sent me a note saying that he had to take down a bunch of hides that employed the typical chain link fence cap and pill fob glued inside. He asked me if there was some change that made these impermissable under the "defacement" guidelines. I knew of nothing and so I told him. This is a fairly common hide technique in this areaand I was wondering if there was something new that disallowed them.

 

Also, the over the branch on a sting cache hide technique was outlawed as he used a screw eye into the tree to tie off the string. Also under defacement guideline.

 

Any thoughts, other than the one I gave him that the Reviewer just doesn't like him ?

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Did he own the fence caps that he modified? I would be pretty annoyed to find out someone glued garbage into my fence caps without asking me first and that more over it encouraged people to pull them on and off all the time.

 

And where I am it's not encouraged to screw or nail stuff into trees and I know of a cache that was asked to be moved due to that.

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A friend sent me a note saying that he had to take down a bunch of hides that employed the typical chain link fence cap and pill fob glued inside. He asked me if there was some change that made these impermissable under the "defacement" guidelines. I knew of nothing and so I told him. This is a fairly common hide technique in this areaand I was wondering if there was something new that disallowed them.

 

Also, the over the branch on a sting cache hide technique was outlawed as he used a screw eye into the tree to tie off the string. Also under defacement guideline.

 

Any thoughts, other than the one I gave him that the Reviewer just doesn't like him ?

 

I'd be willing to bet the reviewer had no opinion on your friend either way, and that suggestion seems a bit out of line.

 

As far as a screw in the tree, to my knowledge that's never been okay. I think I've heard of caches being archived for things like that in the past, as it should be. There are other ways to secure caches to trees.

 

If I get the gist of your post, your friend had fence post caches archived by a reviewer based on the new defacement wording that were glued inside fencepost caps? That's an interesting interpretation, one I hadn't thought of with the new update. It doesn't matter to me much either way, as I don't hide caches like that and don't actively search for them either, but I can see where it's going to twist up a whole department store section full of knickers if it's enforced on a large scale.

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If I get the gist of your post, your friend had fence post caches archived by a reviewer based on the new defacement wording that were glued inside fencepost caps? That's an interesting interpretation, one I hadn't thought of with the new update.

To me, the meaning of that guideline is the same as it was before. In fact, checking the Archive, this guideline has been in place and virtually unchanged since February 14, 2005:

Caches may be quickly archived if we see the following (which is not inclusive):

...

Caches that deface public or private property, whether a natural or man-made object, in order to provide a clue or a logging method.

If they weren't your fence caps, then gluing anything to them would be against the guidelines, and would have been for the last 7 years.

The matter of screwing things into trees falls under the same guideline, which again means that this has been prohibited for 7 years.

Remember, just because other cachers have gotten away with unapproved caches, that doesn't make yours exempt from the guidelines. Every cache must comply with the guidelines in place at that time.

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As for me, I've had a tough time lately getting caches published. It seems the blanket statement of:

"Geocache placements do not damage, deface or destroy public or private property. Caches are placed so that the surrounding environment, whether natural or human-made, is safe from intentional or unintentional harm. Property must not be damaged or altered to provide a hiding place, clue, or means of logging a find."

Most of those creative hides on youtube are now outlawed. It seems as if you are to place a cache where it naturally fits. I had such a hard time with a birdhouse cache recently. Although there is more to this story, basically it is screwed into a DEAD tree and technically because it was screwed, it was defacement. I'm not sure what happened recently to bring on all of this heat.

 

Did he own the fence caps that he modified? I would be pretty annoyed to find out someone glued garbage into my fence caps without asking me first and that more over it encouraged people to pull them on and off all the time.

 

You are confusing a privately place fence with a public fence. You need permission either way, but when it has been granted, you should be able to place the cache in a way that is acceptible to the owner of the fence. If the owner of the fence cap says it is alright to glue something under the cap then you can't really call it defacement can you.

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Did he own the fence caps that he modified? I would be pretty annoyed to find out someone glued garbage into my fence caps without asking me first and that more over it encouraged people to pull them on and off all the time.

 

You are confusing a privately place fence with a public fence. You need permission either way, but when it has been granted, you should be able to place the cache in a way that is acceptible to the owner of the fence. If the owner of the fence cap says it is alright to glue something under the cap then you can't really call it defacement can you.

 

When I was working with two local communities to get permission to hide caches on the community owned land I had to have extensive discussions with both of them about defacing public property. One went so far as to state that they didn't want caches on fences due to the risk of damage to them from people trying to find caches. They even brought up defacement of those fences to hide caches.

 

Just because a fence is on public property does not mean it is ok to glue stuff in it when the guidelines clearly state defacing public or private property are subject to archival.

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You are confusing a privately place fence with a public fence. You need permission either way, but when it has been granted, you should be able to place the cache in a way that is acceptible to the owner of the fence. If the owner of the fence cap says it is alright to glue something under the cap then you can't really call it defacement can you.

Very true, but the OP said that the reviewer archived the caches in question. If the hider had permission, and had stated it on their listing, there wouldn't be any reason for the reviewer to archive it. Therefore, permission was likely never sought.

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Most of those creative hides on youtube are now outlawed.

 

Most of those "creative" hides I see on Youtube have been outlawed for many years. The has been no substantial change to the defacement guideline.

 

I'm not sure what happened recently to bring on all of this heat.

 

Nothing has happened, other than perhaps: 1. There are LOT more cachers now than even a year or two ago, and that means more people to report violations. 2. A locally based reviewer is more likely to be caching about the area and encountering violations him/herself than one who lives in another state. 3. Perhaps it's the work of a single cacher who had a cache shot down, got ticked off and decided report every violation he encounters (I have seen this happen).

 

Bottom line is that these caches have always been archived when reported. The rules haven't changed. If there appears to be "sudden heat" it's simply because violations are being reported or caught more frequently, or maybe more people are violating the guidelines.

Edited by briansnat
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I have two geocache hides hanging inside tubular fence post from the fence caps. In both cases, I did not glue or bolt anything to the cap. I have not modified the caps in any way so it does not fall under the category of defacement. Instead, I have constructed a frame made of stiff wire that pushes outward from the inside to keep it securely attached. The cache is then hanging from a small chain attached to this wire frame. One of them is in a 4" diameter tube post and uses a full size peanut butter jar as a container. Many cachers who find them remark in their logs that they've seen this type of cache before, but none so well constructed. I have worked very hard to not deface property when hiding my caches. BTW... I only put these on caps that are easily removable and do not require a rock to remove.

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As for me, I've had a tough time lately getting caches published. It seems the blanket statement of:

"Geocache placements do not damage, deface or destroy public or private property. Caches are placed so that the surrounding environment, whether natural or human-made, is safe from intentional or unintentional harm. Property must not be damaged or altered to provide a hiding place, clue, or means of logging a find."

Most of those creative hides on youtube are now outlawed. It seems as if you are to place a cache where it naturally fits. I had such a hard time with a birdhouse cache recently. Although there is more to this story, basically it is screwed into a DEAD tree and technically because it was screwed, it was defacement. I'm not sure what happened recently to bring on all of this heat.

 

Solution to your birdhouse problem: Go hang a birdhouse because you like birds. Then go back and say "Hey, this would be a great birdhouse in which to place a cache!"

 

Back on topic: I agree that magnets would solve the problem. Hopefully.

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As for me, I've had a tough time lately getting caches published. It seems the blanket statement of:

"Geocache placements do not damage, deface or destroy public or private property. Caches are placed so that the surrounding environment, whether natural or human-made, is safe from intentional or unintentional harm. Property must not be damaged or altered to provide a hiding place, clue, or means of logging a find."

Most of those creative hides on youtube are now outlawed. It seems as if you are to place a cache where it naturally fits. I had such a hard time with a birdhouse cache recently. Although there is more to this story, basically it is screwed into a DEAD tree and technically because it was screwed, it was defacement. I'm not sure what happened recently to bring on all of this heat.

If you could get a zip-tie to attach to the birdhouse (maybe holes drilled in the birdhouse, etc.), you could zip-tie it to a tree. Not quite as sturdy an attachment as screws, but it might do the trick.

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I attached my birdhouse cache to a tree using giant hose clamps. I bought two of these U-clamps like this, with the flat metal pieces:

 

uclampb.jpg

 

I screwed them (the flat pieces, not the U-clamp... The U was discarded) into the back of the birdhouse vertically, one above the other. Then I took two giant hose clamps:

 

3542195683b14d9fac27746.jpg

 

And slid them underneath those flat metal bits before I tightened them down.

 

Then I took the loose ends of the hose clamps, wrapped them around the tree (they were really BIG hose clamps!), and tightened them down. Very secure.

Edited by Mitragorz
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Find a fence post that has a cap missing. Go out and buy a cap that fits. Any altering you do to the cap won't be defacing the fence owner's property.

 

Zip-ties and hose clamps have been seen as damaging the tree if they are left tight for any time. Trees grow,and the fasteners don't expand. There's a thread around here somewhere with pictures of what trees will do to something attached to them.

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I attached my birdhouse cache to a tree using giant hose clamps. I bought two of these U-clamps like this, with the flat metal pieces:

 

uclampb.jpg

 

I screwed them (the flat pieces, not the U-clamp... The U was discarded) into the back of the birdhouse vertically, one above the other. Then I took two giant hose clamps:

 

3542195683b14d9fac27746.jpg

 

And slid them underneath those flat metal bits before I tightened them down.

 

Then I took the loose ends of the hose clamps, wrapped them around the tree (they were really BIG hose clamps!), and tightened them down. Very secure.

 

But trees grow. Hose clamps don't. Are you going to loosen it yearly so the tree can grow and doesn't choke or scar? That looks like it would do more damage than a nail.

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Thank you for the input on hanging Bird House caches, I am sure it will prove helpful to some others. But I think I answered my own intial inquiry, in that I looked up what constitutes defacing, and it specifically refers to marring the surface of an object, and therefore concluded that placement inside of an acorn fence cap does not (absent outside marring) violate the defacing guideline. Thanks for the input.

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Thank you for the input on hanging Bird House caches, I am sure it will prove helpful to some others. But I think I answered my own intial inquiry, in that I looked up what constitutes defacing, and it specifically refers to marring the surface of an object, and therefore concluded that placement inside of an acorn fence cap does not (absent outside marring) violate the defacing guideline. Thanks for the input.

As I read this, you have interpreted that the defacement guideline is not violated by a pill fob glued inside a Fence Cap (that the placer does not own)? Acknowledging that my opinion is not official, I disagree with you. Certainly your interpretation is not official either. Hopefully someone officially versed in guideline interpretation will drop by and speak to the issue.

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I would agree with Cardinal Red. Leaving aside the interpretation of the wording in the guidelines, If I owned an item, and someone stuck something to it, either inside, or outside, I'd consider that you defaced it. Maybe you didn't harm it, but you still altered it. It's just as simple as that!

 

Lets try to not spin things to match our wishes.

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I would agree with Cardinal Red. Leaving aside the interpretation of the wording in the guidelines, If I owned an item, and someone stuck something to it, either inside, or outside, I'd consider that you defaced it. Maybe you didn't harm it, but you still altered it. It's just as simple as that!

 

Lets try to not spin things to match our wishes.

 

By its nature a guideline is subject to interpretation. checking back with the person who asked the question of me, he found that generally his hides were called into question at the same time as hides of others with the same or similar hide technique was not. I suspect you will never see a statement such as Cardinal Red suggested being made. but I too would welcome one.

 

It would go along the line that no mechanical or added means of attachment may be employed without express permission. mkc stock just rose.

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It would go along the line that no mechanical or added means of attachment may be employed without express permission.

I believe a reviewer once posted that they use something like this as a rule of thumb: If you can remove the cache and its attachment device without leaving any sign that they had been there, then the cache doesn't run afoul of the "do not deface" guideline.

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I can't possibly see a land manager getting upset over something like that. Also the cacher could use their own cap. They are called guidelines, not rules anyhow. There was another thread awhile ago where it appeared that another cacher got upset that someone had did that, so they glued the cap on, causing other cachers to leave tiny dents all over it trying to get it off. it's often cachers that get upset over things that don't have any potential to cause issues, who cause the most problems sometimes.

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I would agree with Cardinal Red. Leaving aside the interpretation of the wording in the guidelines, If I owned an item, and someone stuck something to it, either inside, or outside, I'd consider that you defaced it. Maybe you didn't harm it, but you still altered it. It's just as simple as that!

 

Lets try to not spin things to match our wishes.

 

If a tree falls in a forest nd no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

 

Something attached to the inside of a fencepost cap that was intended to never again have the inside seen is defacing that cap? I'm sorry, but I'm not going to take the guidelines that literally. Even if it were the original cap and the fence ower discovered it, I seriously can't see any reasonable person being upset over that.

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As a fence owner I would be highly upset to discover something like that. You didn't pay for the cap or install it. It's not your fence. If it doesn't see the light of day that is still my fence cap and I would prefer people not messing with my property. I could see any land owner upset by people tampering with their property public or private.

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The subject cap was on a chain link fence next to a highway access path to a rail trail. Personally, I thought it was a strech to consider it defacement. The bigger problem was that the owner was being denied placement, while others were using the same methods, that is where the problem came from. I know two wrongs....but he had a problem with uneven application as it pertained to his caches. So if the current thinking is that they will not be allowed, someone should point blank say it.

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Thank you for the input on hanging Bird House caches, I am sure it will prove helpful to some others. But I think I answered my own intial inquiry, in that I looked up what constitutes defacing, and it specifically refers to marring the surface of an object, and therefore concluded that placement inside of an acorn fence cap does not (absent outside marring) violate the defacing guideline. Thanks for the input.

 

Since when is the underside/inside of an object not a surface? If you are "marring the surface of an object", then why does it matter if it's exposed or not?

 

I would agree with Cardinal Red. Leaving aside the interpretation of the wording in the guidelines, If I owned an item, and someone stuck something to it, either inside, or outside, I'd consider that you defaced it. Maybe you didn't harm it, but you still altered it. It's just as simple as that!

 

Lets try to not spin things to match our wishes.

 

If a tree falls in a forest nd no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

 

Something attached to the inside of a fencepost cap that was intended to never again have the inside seen is defacing that cap? I'm sorry, but I'm not going to take the guidelines that literally. Even if it were the original cap and the fence ower discovered it, I seriously can't see any reasonable person being upset over that.

 

The thing I've found with these types of hides is that the caps can get stuck, which means a cacher then picks up a rock and taps the cap off. After 100 of these "taps", the cap and post starts to look a bit beat up. Then add to the fact that sometimes a cacher might do this to the nearest few posts if they guessed incorrectly initially. Even if your hide only defaces the inside surface of a single fence cap, this can lead to defacement of the outside of multiple posts and caps over time.

I can't see any reasonable fence owner not being upset at the fact that a few of his posts and caps got marred without his permission. The end-all, be-all solution to this issue is to just ask the owner of the fence if you can place a simple little cache under his/her cap.

 

 

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Find a fence post that has a cap missing. Go out and buy a cap that fits. Any altering you do to the cap won't be defacing the fence owner's property.

I have two hides like this. I've purchased and modified the caps that I own. Hardest part, is getting them to look aged to look like the old one. I have spare caps also.

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The subject cap was on a chain link fence next to a highway access path to a rail trail. Personally, I thought it was a strech to consider it defacement. The bigger problem was that the owner was being denied placement, while others were using the same methods, that is where the problem came from. I know two wrongs....but he had a problem with uneven application as it pertained to his caches. So if the current thinking is that they will not be allowed, someone should point blank say it.

 

If the fence owner denies permission then there's not much you can really do. It doesn't matter if a certain type of hide is allowed or not at that point. You just need find a different location.

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The bigger problem was that the owner was being denied placement, while others were using the same methods, that is where the problem came from. I know two wrongs....but he had a problem with uneven application as it pertained to his caches. So if the current thinking is that they will not be allowed, someone should point blank say it.

 

It is not my placement, but the problem is not really related to the specific placement, it is related to the idea that others are using the placement technique locally and this owner is being denied. The local review standards should apply uniformly, not just to one cacher in particular.

 

As to those who would argue about the interior of the fence tube being "defaced" , you need to understand that defacement has an understood definition to limit to that surface that is visible, that is what the word means. To suggest otherwise is parsing and simply not in keeping with the definition.

Edited by Packanack
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The bigger problem was that the owner was being denied placement, while others were using the same methods, that is where the problem came from. I know two wrongs....but he had a problem with uneven application as it pertained to his caches. So if the current thinking is that they will not be allowed, someone should point blank say it.

 

It is not my placement, but the problem is not really related to the specific placement, it is related to the idea that others are using the placement technique locally and this owner is being denied. The local review standards should apply uniformly, not just to one cacher in particular.

 

I understand what you're saying now. In this case, I'd bring it up with the reviewer and ask why the same cache hide type is being approved in some cases and denied in others. Maybe the ones being approved have permission from the fence owner?

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The bigger problem was that the owner was being denied placement, while others were using the same methods, that is where the problem came from. I know two wrongs....but he had a problem with uneven application as it pertained to his caches. So if the current thinking is that they will not be allowed, someone should point blank say it.

 

It is not my placement, but the problem is not really related to the specific placement, it is related to the idea that others are using the placement technique locally and this owner is being denied. The local review standards should apply uniformly, not just to one cacher in particular.

 

John,I sincerely doubt there is selective enforcement going on here. Reviewers generally aren't even aware of the exact method of the hide unless 1. The CO volunteers the info when he submits the cache, 2. Someone reports it, or 3. The reviewer encounters it while caching.

 

It could be that any of those three happened with this CO and not the others.

 

Once a reviewer learns that a certain cache owner has a tendency to skirt the guidelines, its only natural that his submissions may receive a little extra scrutiny. That CO may feel "picked on" (as if a reviewer is going to randomly decide to pick on one person who he never met), but he earned his reputation.

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I agree, and I also know how it is sometimes people take things personally when no personal element is involved and none was intended. One good thing about this discussion is that we get flavor from many different people and learn that each perspective is no less valuable than the next one, and it does give an idea as to how we should be approaching the art of the hide for the betterment of the game. I think I will go hide an ammo can in the woods, just so I don't have to......And yes I still have a few ammo cans. I do know that I will never use some means of fastening , having never thought much about it before.

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The thing I've found with these types of hides is that the caps can get stuck, which means a cacher then picks up a rock and taps the cap off. After 100 of these "taps", the cap and post starts to look a bit beat up. Then add to the fact that sometimes a cacher might do this to the nearest few posts if they guessed incorrectly initially. Even if your hide only defaces the inside surface of a single fence cap, this can lead to defacement of the outside of multiple posts and caps over time.

I can't see any reasonable fence owner not being upset at the fact that a few of his posts and caps got marred without his permission. The end-all, be-all solution to this issue is to just ask the owner of the fence if you can place a simple little cache under his/her cap.

But that is defacement by the finders (or the lookers, at any rate), not the hiders. Likewise, I have seen fencepost caps askew and sometimes beat on when the cache wasn't even hidden there. Edited by knowschad
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The bigger problem was that the owner was being denied placement, while others were using the same methods, that is where the problem came from. I know two wrongs....but he had a problem with uneven application as it pertained to his caches. So if the current thinking is that they will not be allowed, someone should point blank say it.

How did the reviewer come to know that this was a fencepost hide? Did that reviewer also know somehow that those other caches you mention were fencepost hides?

 

What Briansnat said.

Edited by knowschad
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If you could get a zip-tie to attach to the birdhouse (maybe holes drilled in the birdhouse, etc.), you could zip-tie it to a tree. Not quite as sturdy an attachment as screws, but it might do the trick.

 

Not to stray too far off topic, however a point of clarification. A zip-tie, string, hose clamp, wire, etc will damage the tree far more that an eye screw.

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Find a fence post that has a cap missing. Go out and buy a cap that fits. Any altering you do to the cap won't be defacing the fence owner's property.

 

That isn't the perception. Some COs even try to age the fence post cap to further the illusion that it is original. As a fence owner myself if someone puts something on my fence it becomes my responsibility. It always comes down to did the CO get the permission of the land owner/manager to place the cache in the first place.

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