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[FEATURE] Add a new attribute: Not intended for visits in larger groups


cezanne
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There are many areas where it attracts too much attention if they are regularly visited by large groups of geocachers. Some examples are many night caches, rural caches with parking areas where normally hardly any non locals are parking etc.

 

I'm aware that the visitors can decide to ignore attributes, but still it would be nice to be able to allow the hiders to signal their explicit wish that the cache is not visited in large groups (or also the converse that such visits are ok) and to allow the possibility to filter for such caches.

 

Cezanne

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I don't understand the problem. Too many people finding the cache? Don't hide it there, or cammo it better. We have a cacher that does some camo where you could watch someone take his cache and then you don't know where it is. Plus the fact that there is always the chance that more then one person could randomly be there. I went looking for a cache and ended up with 8 people, no more then 2 together. I just don't think limiting then number of people "allowed" at a cache at once is a bad idea.

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If two 'sub-large' groups happen to coalesce at the cache, how do they determine who should 'bugger-off'?

 

There is a difference between planned events and what happens by chance, in particular with respect to the frequency.

 

I'd say the 'Stealth Needed' attribute covers this adequately...how can a group of 30 cachers possibly be stealthy? :lol:

 

In some cases the stealth icon might apply as well and send a similar message, but not in all cases and in particular not for multi stage caches. Stealth is usually understood (at least in my area) with respect to the area of the hideout. If this is located somewhere offtrack in a forest area, the stealth icon somehow does not fit. If regularly five and more cars from abroad park at the same time at a location where until then typically only locals parked, this certainly creates attention and is not connected to the choice of the hideout and the camouflage.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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There are many areas where it attracts too much attention if they are regularly visited by large groups of geocachers. Some examples are many night caches, rural caches with parking areas where normally hardly any non locals are parking etc.

 

I'm aware that the visitors can decide to ignore attributes, but still it would be nice to be able to allow the hiders to signal their explicit wish that the cache is not visited in large groups (or also the converse that such visits are ok) and to allow the possibility to filter for such caches.

 

Cezanne

 

To me attributes are generally useless. I can't see attributes in the GPS and the whole point of PQs is to bulk load caches into the GPS and then select individual caches in the field. If something requires special attention or action it should be mentioned in the description.

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Under what conditions would a cache in a public area not have a problem with a large group? An attribute to signal such an issue seems redundant.

 

The specific cases you cite don't seem to be helped much by an attribute. "No groups" isn't quite the same as "too many people at night might spook the neighbors" or "limited parking", so those cases seem better handled in the description. And such an admonition would be more likely noticed in the description, anyway.

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Of all of the new attributes requests that I have seen posted here, this one seems to be the silliest. If the location can't handle the traffic a cache will bring, then maybe it's not a good location for a cache. Using an attribute that 90% will ignore is not the solution.

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If two 'sub-large' groups happen to coalesce at the cache, how do they determine who should 'bugger-off'?

 

There is a difference between planned events and what happens by chance, in particular with respect to the frequency.

 

I'd say the 'Stealth Needed' attribute covers this adequately...how can a group of 30 cachers possibly be stealthy? :lol:

 

In some cases the stealth icon might apply as well and send a similar message, but not in all cases and in particular not for multi stage caches. Stealth is usually understood (at least in my area) with respect to the area of the hideout. If this is located somewhere offtrack in a forest area, the stealth icon somehow does not fit. If regularly five and more cars from abroad park at the same time at a location where until then typically only locals parked, this certainly creates attention and is not connected to the choice of the hideout and the camouflage.

 

Cezanne

 

If lots of cars from out of town turn up then unless the cache is right by the parking all it means is a group of people decided to go for a walk. Not sure why that's such a problem.

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If the environment can't handle the traffic, then the geocache probably should be placed somewhere else. This sentiment is in the guidelines and is reflected in the principles of Leave No Trace, which geocachers are asked to respect when placing and searching for caches.

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We have had Cache Machines along with an Event Dinner here in the NW. Well over 100 out of town cachers attending. The route is laid out and the OC of the Event will request any of the cache owners on the route if they would like to OP OUT, then he will remove them from the route. Seems to work very well.

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I see where you are trying to bring attention to this, but this seems more of a limited need, and perhaps better served by large, bold-faced type at the top of the cache description, rather than an attribute, which is very easily overlooked. Not that the attribute is a bad idea, but if it that important for the integrity of a cache, it would be better served in the description.

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I've planned alot of outings with large groups and it's usually easy enough to see which locations will work.

 

Yes=Well maintained path around a lake

No=Lampost cache in a busy parking lot

FWIW, I've been part of a large group searching for a cache in a parking lot (as part of an "evil cache run"). In many ways, you're less conspicuous when you're part of a large group milling around and joking than when you're alone.
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I've planned alot of outings with large groups and it's usually easy enough to see which locations will work.

 

Yes=Well maintained path around a lake

No=Lampost cache in a busy parking lot

FWIW, I've been part of a large group searching for a cache in a parking lot (as part of an "evil cache run"). In many ways, you're less conspicuous when you're part of a large group milling around and joking than when you're alone.

 

That's true, especially if you've got one more than one car. A lone person sniffing around in a parking area looks suspicious but a bunch of people, especially if they are shifting stuff from one car to another as a distraction, looks much less so. Plus it means you've got two cars to shield what's really going on instead of just the one.

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I've planned alot of outings with large groups and it's usually easy enough to see which locations will work.

 

Yes=Well maintained path around a lake

No=Lampost cache in a busy parking lot

FWIW, I've been part of a large group searching for a cache in a parking lot (as part of an "evil cache run"). In many ways, you're less conspicuous when you're part of a large group milling around and joking than when you're alone.

 

That's true, especially if you've got one more than one car. A lone person sniffing around in a parking area looks suspicious but a bunch of people, especially if they are shifting stuff from one car to another as a distraction, looks much less so. Plus it means you've got two cars to shield what's really going on instead of just the one.

 

I guess you're right if you're talking about hiding your activities. I was thinking more along the lines that I would never take a group to a parking lot cache. They'd probably never come out with me again if I did. :) If I was doing a filter looking for caches that were 'large group friendly', I certainly wouldn't want LPCs to be included.

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If I was doing a filter looking for caches that were 'large group friendly', I certainly wouldn't want LPCs to be included.
To tell the truth, it may have been in a parking lot, but it wasn't an LPC. (The "evil cache run" focused on high-difficulty well-camouflaged caches.)
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I see where you are trying to bring attention to this, but this seems more of a limited need, and perhaps better served by large, bold-faced type at the top of the cache description, rather than an attribute, which is very easily overlooked. Not that the attribute is a bad idea, but if it that important for the integrity of a cache, it would be better served in the description.

 

I would guess that the first thought that Groundspeak would have about a new attribute is, "is there a need for it"?

 

Of all the caches that I have found and all of the trail heads that I have parked at, I can think of three that would use this attribute. Each clearly states that there is room for only three cars to park.

 

If the idea is simply not to have a large group disturbing the neighbors, then I'll say it again, you put your cache in the wrong place.

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I've planned alot of outings with large groups and it's usually easy enough to see which locations will work.

 

Yes=Well maintained path around a lake

No=Lampost cache in a busy parking lot

FWIW, I've been part of a large group searching for a cache in a parking lot (as part of an "evil cache run"). In many ways, you're less conspicuous when you're part of a large group milling around and joking than when you're alone.

 

That's true, especially if you've got one more than one car. A lone person sniffing around in a parking area looks suspicious but a bunch of people, especially if they are shifting stuff from one car to another as a distraction, looks much less so. Plus it means you've got two cars to shield what's really going on instead of just the one.

 

I guess you're right if you're talking about hiding your activities. I was thinking more along the lines that I would never take a group to a parking lot cache. They'd probably never come out with me again if I did. :) If I was doing a filter looking for caches that were 'large group friendly', I certainly wouldn't want LPCs to be included.

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I've planned alot of outings with large groups and it's usually easy enough to see which locations will work.

 

Yes=Well maintained path around a lake

No=Lampost cache in a busy parking lot

FWIW, I've been part of a large group searching for a cache in a parking lot (as part of an "evil cache run"). In many ways, you're less conspicuous when you're part of a large group milling around and joking than when you're alone.

 

That's true, especially if you've got one more than one car. A lone person sniffing around in a parking area looks suspicious but a bunch of people, especially if they are shifting stuff from one car to another as a distraction, looks much less so. Plus it means you've got two cars to shield what's really going on instead of just the one.

 

I guess you're right if you're talking about hiding your activities. I was thinking more along the lines that I would never take a group to a parking lot cache. They'd probably never come out with me again if I did. :) If I was doing a filter looking for caches that were 'large group friendly', I certainly wouldn't want LPCs to be included.

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I see where you are trying to bring attention to this, but this seems more of a limited need, and perhaps better served by large, bold-faced type at the top of the cache description, rather than an attribute, which is very easily overlooked. Not that the attribute is a bad idea, but if it that important for the integrity of a cache, it would be better served in the description.

 

I would guess that the first thought that Groundspeak would have about a new attribute is, "is there a need for it"?

 

Of all the caches that I have found and all of the trail heads that I have parked at, I can think of three that would use this attribute. Each clearly states that there is room for only three cars to park.

 

I can think of more than hundred I've been at and I also have caches in this category myself. I try to discourage visits in larger groups anyway by making the tasks or the starting puzzle very hard, but not everyone wants to do that. Moreover, an attribute can be helpful if a larger groups want to select caches that they can do together with a PQ and not look at each description separately.

 

If the idea is simply not to have a large group disturbing the neighbors, then I'll say it again, you put your cache in the wrong place.

 

Not disturbing the neigbours is just one of many potential issues I have in mind. Moreover, I'm not necessarily speaking of locations where a cache or a container which is part of a cache is hidden. I'm aware of many caches which include question to answer stages which lead to public places with installations that have been placed there to be visited. Still it attracts special attention if large groups of cachers which typically behave quite differently than normal visitors show up there and sooner or later it will become known that a geocache makes people visit the location (NB: I'm not talking about a container hidden there) and this often causes issues that would not come up otherwise. For example, I have a quite a difficult cache where a church plays a role (nothing is hidden there) and I'm convinced that among the visitors of my cache there is noone who would ever break into a church or would vandalize the signboards of a themed trail. Still these things happen and if people get to know about a cache, many of them tend to associate all what happens to geocaching.

 

Moreover, there is another issue with larger groups. One of the main lines of attack of lobby groups like those behind hunters and owners of large properties against geocaching in Germany and my country is to argue that geocaching is an organized group activity and therefore visiting geocaches does not fall under the forest law which allows individuals to visit the forest for recreational purposes. This issue plays a particularly large role for a night cache. If 2-3 people or 2 families with kids go for a walk in the forest, they can argue that nothing organized is behind what they do. If 25 adults are walking around with torches, most people will obtain the impression that an organized activity is behind what they are doing.

 

In your country, the legal situation is different and also the situation regarding land managers. Moreover, there tends to be more space available (e.g. for parking). A location which allows 3 cars to park there, is untypically huge for many rural caches in my area.

 

Cezanne

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