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DrJay

Cache issue in the Czech Republic

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I just returned from a 3 week long caching trip to Europe. Most of that time I spent in the Czech Republic and saw lots of amazing things and found many great caches. I hope to return again some day.

 

Unfortunately, I found myself in the middle of a controversy over one particular cache and felt the need to air my opinion about it. Many have posted comments in logs on the cache page, but since a cache log is not an appropriate place for running commentary on a cache, I decided to post my views here.

 

At issue is this cache, placed by my nephew, JohnnyCacheMN: Pod Svahem. My nephew married a Czech woman a number of years ago. He now works in the Czech Republic and moved there a year ago. Unfortunately, he hasn't done much caching since he moved there.

 

Anyway... a long while ago he placed a cache down the street from his home. His in-laws, who also live nearby, were interested in geocaching so he wanted one nearby that he could show them. Without giving too much away about the hide, I'll just say it's a moderately interesting hiding spot, but beyond that there's not much else about the hide. It's a type of hide that I've literally found dozens like in the United States. And since my nephew is not very fluent in the language he just named it after the nearby bus stop and his cache listing is pretty short and to the point.

 

The cache listing was denied because he had forgotten to update his home coordinates in his cache listing, so the reviewer rightfully rejected the listing since it still showed that the owner lived in the United States. At that point, he just let it go and the cache container sat there for several months.

 

Then I came to visit and he started caching again. He and I went out many times to find caches in the area, as well as in Poland. I then convinced him that he should finally list the cache that was sitting down the street from his house, which he did.

 

And that's when all hell broke loose. It got listed the final night of my visit, and being just down the street from it, I was in a good position to get the FTF on it, which I did within 10 minutes of publication. Within a half hour of my find, three groups of cachers showed up to try and get the first to find. And when they found out that they were not first, and that I had beaten them to it, the complaints started. Some even tried to claim the FTF, even though my name was clearly in the log when they got there. Nasty, rude logs complaining how it wasn't fair, some even requesting that the cache be archived.

 

Now I can understand the complaints if the owner was not local. To me, that was the only legitimate complaint that was raised... if the complaint was true, which it was not.

 

But that wasn't the only complaint. There were also complaints that my FTF "wasn't fair" and that it's a horrible cache because it's "about nothing."

 

I'll address each of these, starting with the latter:

 

It is not a Cache Reviewer's job to decide if a cache is worthy of publication. His/her only job is to determine if the listing falls within geocaching guidelines of proximity, safety, and private property concerns, not whether or not it is interesting. To Dark Lord Reviewer's (the Czech volunteer reviewer) credit, he has posted a reviewer note on the page stating as such. Could the cache listing have been more interesting? Probably, but given my nephew's limitations with the language, there's not much he could do about that.

 

But I suspect that the complaints about the cache being "about nothing" really has more to do with the fact that that those complaining think that this is somehow "unfair" that I got the FTF. My response here is simple: As I pointed out, this cache was NOT placed just so I could get an easy FTF. It had been placed several months prior to my arrival, and it was only with my visit that my nephew finally got motivated to take the necessary steps to make the hide "legal" in Groundspeak's eyes. (ie updating his home coordinates). So I was fortunate enough to be close enough by to get to the cache first, so what? Are any of the complainers saying that if a cache got published near their home they wouldn't try to go for the First to Find because it was "too close" to them and that it wouldn't be fair? Most likely not. I have seen many caches placed in areas with the hope that a particular cacher will get the First to Find. Some have even stated in the listing that they've wished a particular cacher WOULD get the First to Find. So, why should this cache be any different?

 

In the end, most of this seems like a mixture of misunderstanding, jumping to conclusions, sour grapes, and... I hate to say it, but maybe also some anti-American sentiment (based on some of the logs).

 

All in all, however, I won't let it tarnish the wonderful time I had caching in the Czech Republic and I look forward to visiting and finding many more caches there in the future.

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Hi, I briefly scanned the cache listing and the logs, and if I can judge remotely, my point of view is the following:

 

Cache Quality. The cache seems to be exactly what the cache owner intended to create, i.e. a very simple hide with very little value added. It of course should continue to exist, but the cache owner needs to be prepared for frequent negative feedback since (i) the cache standards are a little higher here and (ii) Czech cachers are more open and direct compare to Americans. So he will get many logs like "thanks for the point" meaning that the cache is only good for statistics, or "the cache is worth nothing".

 

FTF. Oh, these imaginary FTF points. If you are saying that you didn't know where the cache is hidden, and that you only went to look for it after it has been published, everything is all right. A local FTF hunter is unhappy? Who cares...

 

Anti American sentiment. I didn't see any. Two guys commented the fact that "one American placed a cache for another American", and their concern was that a tourist has placed a cache that he will not be able to maintain, or that one friend wanted to give an FTF chance to another friend. None of this is true based on your explanation, so you shouldn't be worried.

 

Net, the cache will continue to exists as long as your friend will be willing to maintain it, and as long as he will be able to live with not so nice logs. The debate in the cache listing is nothing exceptional, I have seen far worse, or far more emotional.

 

I am glad that you enjoyed caching in the Czech Republic!

Edited by kulhal

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Thanks for your input kulhal. I was beginning to feel bad for my nephew with all the criticism. Some of the notes have been deleted at this point. It's nice to see now that he has some defenders.

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Hi DrJay,

I noticed the discussion in cache listing directly at the beginning as I live in the town where the cache is hidden. The discussion persuaded me not to go for a find as the cache apparently doesn't have a great value. But, of course, if I go round sometimes, I can stop there. But this is not just a matter why I'm writting.

 

Same as Kulhal - I'd like to assure you that no comment has anti-american sound. Most of next finders expressed the same opinion as yours - the cache is not against GC rules. There are several FTF fighters in our region who have to have first find at all costs. They are able to accept if they are sometimes beaten by some of other local cacher. But also in these cases they are looking for some reasonable (from their point of view) explanations why they haven't been the first ones. And they have an urge to tell it to us through writed note. They don't care about the cache listing about the cache purpose, they don't care about surroundings. Their mission evidently is to have as most FTFs as possible. But I think this has to be the same everywhere. Each cacher has his own attitude. Hopefully most of us are different from your opponents :-) This is why we try to choose better caches in better places. Some logs of first finders can be a measure for us if a cache is worth to go for it.

Edited by MLSF

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My question would be, was it really a first to find? For it to count as a find, you actually need to have found it. If you knew were it was prior to publication, I can see how people consider it to be unfair. You had inside information that means they didn't have a fair shot at the FTF. As for originality. Any bit of research that combined the coordinates and cache name would've shown them it wasn't too original ahead of time... You're right, that's not really a valid argument.

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My question would be, was it really a first to find? For it to count as a find, you actually need to have found it. If you knew were it was prior to publication, I can see how people consider it to be unfair. You had inside information that means they didn't have a fair shot at the FTF. As for originality. Any bit of research that combined the coordinates and cache name would've shown them it wasn't too original ahead of time... You're right, that's not really a valid argument.

 

It's basically the equivalent of a situation I've seen a number of times: A cacher will say, "Hey, I hid a cache near you, be on the look out for it." I've been on both the giving and receiving end of that kind of tip. That's how it was. As far as I see it, the only time "advance knowledge" really gives perhaps an unfair advantage is if it is supposed to be a difficult hide. If you're told where it is, when others are not, then that's not really a level playing field. That most certainly wasn't the case with this one, since the CO makes it very clear where the hide is in the listing. I knew nothing more than what anyone else coming to the cache knew. I got there a half hour before anyone else, and it most definitely wouldn't have taken ANYONE a half hour to find it, so I wouldn't still have been looking for it when the next group of cachers arrived. My only "advantage" was the fact that I was just up the street when it got published.

 

In the end, it's really much ado about nothing. I just was surprised at the anger and meanness exhibited by some of the local cachers, especially at first when they really didn't have all the facts.

But like I said, I won't let that tarnish what was otherwise a very pleasant trip to the Czech Republic.

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I am definitelly not czech geo-vet, rather novice, but my point of view: i would see some issue if that was a mystery cache and solution of it's riddle would have been forwarded to u prior to publishing. It's traditional cache, i guess nobody can predict exact time of publishing, so where's the issue?;)

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