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Minimize Your Environmental Impact While Caching... its easy enough to do!


T3am Bandito
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We all know how many caches are off the beaten path in the woods. Please Please Please... refrain from geocaching with more than a few people and we could greatly decrease damage and erosion in and around caches. I am tired of stumbling upon a cache trail that leads directly to the cache and has compacted the ground so that its hard for plants to grow.. only to find a log book or cache page that states "we just found this with our whole family all 6 of us"! Please people, think about the cumulative impact of your heavy treading... and tread lightly.

 

I have spoken before about this and in alot of cases caches have had nil environmental impact based upon soil compaction and erosion, but several highly traveled caches are causing harm.

Please tread lightly, how easy is it to be discreate around a cache with 4,5,6,+ people?

 

Thanks! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

 

. . . . . ..T 3 a |/| B a || d i T 0.. . . .

-S [] U T |-| 3 U < |_ i D [] |-| | G |-| []-

.... . . . . . . . . .

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ive seen 3 forum posts in here talking about 5 or six people in tow to a cache and read several cache logs stating they had the whole extended family doing this 'neeto' activity and there were like 6+ names... but ther is a cache in Aurora, Ohio where the log in the cache said this family had 9 LMAO now wonder the trail was so beaten icon_eek.gif

 

<-T 3 a |/| B a || d i T 0->

S [] U T |-| 3 U < |_ i D [] |-| | []

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What does it matter if six people come to seek the cache at one time or six come in the space of a few hours or days. I guess I have to leave my family at home now. So much for geocaching being a family activity. Sorry kids, you'll have to wait in the car while daddy tip toes into the cache site to make T 3 a |/| B a || d i T 0 happy.

 

Oh yea, one more thing. I have yet to hunt a cache where I don't pass some kind of garbage or junk on the way in. I pack some out. ALWAYS. I might squish a plant or two but the area is cleaner after me and my clan have passed through. Save your environmental impact crap for the ones who spray paint trees or bore holes in them. The ones who swig down their last drop of pepsi and casually flip the can in the bushes. The ones who drop their cigarette butts in the middle of the trail. A family out for a day of fun in the outdoors is NOT part of the problem.

 

"There's no need to be afraid of strange noises in the night. Anything that intends you harm will stalk you silently."

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I love a well educated well written reply from people who are knowledgable on the subject at hand. Environmental Impacts... hmm look around buddy, do you have your blinders on to the current state of things? I bet you were real ticked off we voted down drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Get used to "environmental impact crap" its the future... why dont you spend 2 minutes reading up on the growth of the greens as a political party in the USA.. then counter my opinion.

 

As for not brining all your rugrats along on a cache hunt... I can tell from the get go you are only interested in providing your self with a bit of entertainment on the weekend.. and not with preserving our hobby, why else would you insist on brining a group of people which makes if virtually impossable to be covert or to not blow a cache's cover. Im glad you have your best interests in mind and thinking so selfishly... I guess that makes sense considering your stance in eco impacts.

 

I am not even going to delve into the difference between the impact of 6 at once or three seperate groups of 2. That has been talked out on other threads that luckily your nOOb self was not a participant in.

 

icon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gif

 

<-T 3 a |/| B a || d i T 0->

S [] U T |-| 3 U < |_ i D [] |-| | []

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quote:
I love a well educated well written reply from people who are knowledgable on the subject at hand.

 

Seeing as you are both well educated on this subject and are capable of writing thoughful replies, icon_rolleyes.gif I would love to see some cold hard data on the supposed environmental impact of a small family of geocachers. I'm willing to learn - point me to the information.

 

By the way, you name implies that you are not a single cacher, but a team - not sure how this squares with your rant.

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quote:
Originally posted by <-T3am Ba||dit0->:

We all know how many caches are off the beaten path in the woods. Please Please Please... refrain from geocaching with more than a few people and we could greatly decrease damage and erosion in and around caches. I am tired of stumbling upon a cache trail that leads directly to the cache and has compacted the ground so that its hard for plants to grow.. only to find a log book or cache page that states "we just found this with our whole family all 6 of us"! Please people, think about the cumulative impact of your heavy treading... and tread lightly.

 

I have spoken before about this and in alot of cases caches have had nil environmental impact based upon soil compaction and erosion, but several highly traveled caches are causing harm.

Please tread lightly, how easy is it to be discreate around a cache with 4,5,6,+ people?

 

Thanks! icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

 

. . . . . ..T 3 a |/| B a || d i T 0.. . . .

-S [] U T |-| 3 U < |_ i D [] |-| | G |-| []-

.... . . . . . . . . .


 

Your post sends two messages. 1. Lots of people mess up the environment. 2. Lots of people leave a trail to the cache messing up MY fun in hunting the cache.

 

Which is it, Team Unselfish?

 

alan

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quote:
Originally posted by <-T3am Ba||dit0->:

I love a well educated well written reply from people who are knowledgable on the subject at hand. Environmental Impacts... hmm look around buddy, do you have your blinders on to the current state of things? I bet you were real ticked off we voted down drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Get used to "environmental impact crap" its the future... why dont you spend 2 minutes reading up on the growth of the greens as a political party in the USA.. then counter my opinion.

 

As for not brining all your rugrats along on a cache hunt... I can tell from the get go you are only interested in providing your self with a bit of entertainment on the weekend.. and not with preserving our hobby, why else would you insist on brining a group of people which makes if virtually impossable to be covert or to not blow a cache's cover. Im glad you have your best interests in mind and thinking so selfishly... I guess that makes sense considering your stance in eco impacts.

 

I am not even going to delve into the difference between the impact of 6 at once or three seperate groups of 2. That has been talked out on other threads that luckily your nOOb self was not a participant in.

 

icon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gificon_rolleyes.gif

 

<-T 3 a |/| B a || d i T 0->

S [] U T |-| 3 U < |_ i D [] |-| | []


 

Give me a break! Being critical on a guy for bringing his family along for a walk in the woods. Lighten up pal! If it bothers you so much find a new hobby and leave us alone.

 

goldfish.gif

"Only when the last tree is cut,

and the last stream is polluted,

and the last fish is caught,

will we realize that you can't eat the money"

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I have placed caches that have had dozens of visitors. The area still looks the same as the day I planted it there. Mother nature has her own way of keeping balance. I don't believe that a family of six or even more hunting a cache will cause any lasting damage to the enviroment.

 

Just as a thought though.....I was wondering if T3AM drove a vehicle while out on a cache hunt? Seems to me a person with such high concerns for the enviroment might want to walk from home to the cache. However if you do drive....please stay below 20 mph in order to allow the insects a chance to avoid being splattered on your windshield. After all they are an important part of the enviroment.

 

Just a thought. Happy geocaching.

 

El Diablo

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It seems I evoked the reaction I was hoping to! Really though, I wanted to get this topic rolling.. and I just like you cache with my family.

I can aptly see why I came accross as a anti family geocaching type, but please let me explain a little bit further...( I am really just antiextended family geochaching or more specificly.. you your kids, your cousins and a bunch of friends treading off trail, which is illeagle in certain parks and trampling the heck out of our parks!!) you see I have just recently visited 2 caches that were off the trail so to speak, both of which had previous to my arrival been logged by a group of 7 and 9 people It was cousins and friends and and extended family... (thats what the log said) anyway, to make a long story short and to get to the ROOT CAUSE of my rant, we were in a park that restricted hikers to staying on trails. Placing a cache off the trail in this situation is sort of understandable(high traffic locale)... but when the path is so worn in that all the saplings and ground cover is stomped... it irritated me... (same situation at both locations) Now it was obvious to me that this was a recently worn path, i.e. the broken branches still had leaves on them that were green etc etc... but I was preatty sure that it the large group who precedeed me in logging the cache that created this level of distrubance... seriously... you could totally follow this fresh trail to the cache. NOW if you all dont agree that this not only was wrong from the perspective of eco impact, but also from the perspective of breaking park rules... I dont know what to tell ya! Other than the fact that I have heard and read park employees cite this type of trail breaking as one of the hand full of reasons geocaching is nolonger available in all National Parks, and is getting ready to be prohibited in British Colombia and Ontario Provincial Parks.. as well as many Canadian national parks.

 

I am not anti family, if you knew me you would know I love kids dearly, and I try to lead them by example.

 

Individual replies-

 

DenaliNW-

 

I can not provide you with impact data for small families geocaching, my post was not intentionally aimed at small families. As you see at the top I believe the number I used was 6.

Granted the term small is relitive (small family to me means like 3 or 4)

 

Smoochnme-

 

"Give me a break! Being critical on a guy for bringing his family along for a walk in the woods. Lighten up pal! If it bothers you so much find a new hobby and leave us alone."

 

Umm I was only critical of people who bring large groups... like 6+ so umm calm down. if you like to violate park rules thats your own buisness, I try to stay on the trail to prevent all sorts of stuff, and when I do go off the trail I try and tread lightly... the people who motovated this rant (the large group) were not being so considerate. Alternitively, I could care less if you bring your whole family reunion to a cache in an urban concrete type of area... though it may be hard to be covert

 

Alan2-

 

why cant I cite multiple reasons for not caching in large groups? One, I cited the obvious environmental impact (trail breaking, trampled saplings, etc etc) and I also cited the fact that the trail formed by large groups is easier to follow.. I mention this... because I am trying to appeal also to the people who dont give a ratz *** about nature or ecology and may pay attention when I am talking about how it could spoil a hunt by leading you right to the cache.

 

El diablo -

 

Even though your comment is predominently a sarcastic one... I will respond. It made me laff... actually I have managed to take public or mass transit to 3 or 4 caches in urban areas, of course in rural areas thats less of an option, rest assured I am fueling my ecocar with electricity from solar power! lol. I do like the bug on the windshield part!

 

in closing I restate what is obvious to me and (IMHO)

1. large groups of people can and do wear a wider swath of trail into the area leading to a cache.

 

2 large groups of people make it rather difficult to be covert, as many many cache's directions specifily state something like "please be covert and low key as the cache is in a well traveled park and we would not want it found"

 

3. I am not against families caching, I am against parents who knowingly break state, federal or local laws with their children and families by treading off the trail in State, National or local parks. I believe there to be a direct correlation between the amount of off trail caching on public lands, and the level of animosity with in the park management industry towards geocaching. As things get worn in, and in my local national parks, caches are confiscated and owners notified and a sign is erected in the cache's place that it has been confiscated by the NPS.

 

Now in conclusion I must say that I respect all of you for your opinions, thats what this is all about, we discuss our opinions. Though it is a bit hard not to take some of your jabs personally, I know I provoked them all. I appreciate all of your input.. even the bugs on the windshield part 8-) I think at least some of you will agree to the hopefull now more apparent moral of my story?

 

icon_smile.gif

 

<-T 3 a |/| B a || d i T 0->

S [] U T |-| 3 U < |_ i D [] |-| | []

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Sorry, when you cut through all your verbiage, I still say what concerns you is that people are leaving markers to the cache spoiling your fun. That's your real gripe. So I have a suggestion. Go early. Look up caches that haven't been visited at all or by a few and go hunt those. Then you can let others worry about the damage to the envionment and the markers to the cache you are leaving.

 

Alan

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I get paid all day to worry about environmental impact as a environmental scientist. It's to hard to turn it off, I understand your entitled to your opinion but.. i think you may have weeded out a bit much in your generalazation of my verbage. Its ok though, point taken!

 

<-T 3 a |/| B a || d i T 0->

S [] U T |-| 3 U < |_ i D [] |-| | []

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T3am, I will agree with you on the point of placing caches off trail in an area where off trail hiking is forbidden. When we break these rules we give our sport a bad name. There are plenty of areas where we can go off trail without breaking the rules.

 

As far as stepping on and breaking saplings...we part in thinking. There is no one that has more love and respect for nature than I do. However I also realize that all of us effect nature in our day to day lives without meaning to, or even realizing that we do so. I also know that nature has its own way of balancing things this small. I do know that in a wooded area nature will prevent most saplings from reaching maturity without any help from heavy footed cachers.

 

I as I'm sure most do, appreciate your passion for your job and concern for the enviroment. It's the extreme level that you take it to that provokes these responses. Thanks for you post and thoughts. Maybe the next time a cacher is in the woods they will look more closely where they step, which they should.....there are sneaky snakes out there!

 

Happy geocaching.

 

El Diablo icon_biggrin.gif

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i appreciate your input. While one may view my opinions as extreme... regarding the trampling of saplings.. I do feel I am being extreme... rather I feel I am not opposed to one person squishing a tree... but I think I am zoomed out and looking at the big picture like caches receiving dozens of visitors every month. The balence nature is usually capable of, I feel can be o so easily offset when you look at the cumulitive effects of a readily visited cache... granted not all caches receive visits with a regularity that would alarm me.. but as of yet I hae not seen data to show me our sport is decreasing in popularity. The only thing I have to look at is Garmens sales figures. But I feel if a cache is getting 15 visits a month now... in 5 years when we all have gps wristwatches or something... there may be double that. And perhaps that figure is a conservitive estimate. I am as putting as much weight and importance in cachers of the future as in our impacts now. In fact imho the technologys lack of total accuracy is in all probability assisting in the minimization of impact becasue of the fluctuating accuracy. I mean with + or - 40 feet many cachers may not be approaching the cache from the same route... but 5 years from now, theoretically will the technology be so exact as to eliminate this variable? I dont know but it would not suprise me. I guess I am just trying to stir up some interest, conversation and contemplation of this issue... because I feel strongly that as time marches on they will IMHO be much more pronounced, and we will be more regulated. Speaking of regulation, I just got my cache placement permit form from Cleveland Metroparks.. thats another topic but its on point because they are acknolodging impacts and attempting to regulate them via amoung other things requiring that they are moved to a new locale annually. T

 

thnx eldiablo for your balanced approach to this matter icon_biggrin.gif

 

<-T 3 a |/| B a || d i T 0->

S [] U T |-| 3 U < |_ i D [] |-| | []

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i appreciate your input. While one may view my opinions as extreme... regarding the trampling of saplings.. I do feel I am being extreme... rather I feel I am not opposed to one person squishing a tree... but I think I am zoomed out and looking at the big picture like caches receiving dozens of visitors every month. The balence nature is usually capable of, I feel can be o so easily offset when you look at the cumulitive effects of a readily visited cache... granted not all caches receive visits with a regularity that would alarm me.. but as of yet I hae not seen data to show me our sport is decreasing in popularity. The only thing I have to look at is Garmens sales figures. But I feel if a cache is getting 15 visits a month now... in 5 years when we all have gps wristwatches or something... there may be double that. And perhaps that figure is a conservitive estimate. I am as putting as much weight and importance in cachers of the future as in our impacts now. In fact imho the technologys lack of total accuracy is in all probability assisting in the minimization of impact becasue of the fluctuating accuracy. I mean with + or - 40 feet many cachers may not be approaching the cache from the same route... but 5 years from now, theoretically will the technology be so exact as to elim

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T3am, Some people may be zoomed in a little too much, and some zoomed out a little too much. Maybe we all need to refocus. As far as future technology improving to the point that we can easily pinpoint a cache...I think it would kill the sport. What would be the challenge?

 

Someone once started a thread at the cost of geocaching. My reply was....GPS..169.00, Backpack..50.00, Supplies for backpack..40.00, Gas..5.00, Insect repellent..5.00, Time spent with my lovely wife geocaching.....priceless!!

 

The point being that there is a trade off. While this sport has its bad points, it certainly has its good points. I believe that if you were to add up the good that vs the bad...the good would win out. I can only imagine the quality time that families have spent together geocaching.

 

Should we minimize our impact on the enviroment...yes. Should we stop all impact on the enviroment...only if we want to stop exsisting. We all have different degrees in which we view this. I believe that maybe you caused some thought that might not have been given before. I'm not sure if I agree on how you started it off, but I do appreciate how you toned it down a bit though.

 

happy geocaching

El Diablo

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Whew! After I read all the replies, I had a head ache!

 

What's the difference between a large group and several smaller ones? The problem I see around here is that some caches are easy and in popular parks. I've met several teams of cachers on a nice afternoon, all of us seeking the same popular, easy caches.

 

Isn't part of cache maintainance checking to see if there is too much use? Shouldn't the hider archive any cache that was causing a lot of wear?

 

This is a very popular activity. The easy caches will be hit and hit and hit. There is bound to be some damage and wear. I don't know what the answer is. Shouldn't seekers be aware of the impact of their activity?

 

Oh well, most of my caches are off the beaten path and don't see many visitors. One hasn't been visited for almost 2 months. Not much wear there, I guess!

 

Bluespreacher

 

"We've got the hardware and the software, the plans and the maps ..." -- Citizen Wayne Kramer

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quote:
Originally posted by Bluespreacher:

Whew! After I read all the replies, I had a head ache!

...Oh well, most of my caches are off the beaten path and don't see many visitors. One hasn't been visited for almost 2 months. Not much wear there, I guess!...


 

MIne are in parks with millions of people living withing blocks and they haven't been visited in months either. Whatever "trails" were there before have long been grown over.

 

This issue is a tempest in a teapot; look at the fires now destroying forests in Colorado over the last few days. No social trails to worry about there. (No disrespect intended for the people going through this horrendous situation out there. I'm just trying to place a scale on the issue of social trails).

 

My suggestion - take two aspirins and enjoy the day.

 

Alan

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Did you minimize the damage to the environment by walking to your cache site or did you drive your gas powered car from home and then hike in? Were you wearing your leather (dead cow skin) shoes or were you barefoot?

 

Are you using plastic toilet paper to wipe your rear end or paper made from trees?

 

Let's promote this sport as a family activity and quality time together. You whiners make me sick with your double standards.

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Nothing wrong with family geocaching outings. Stand back a bit and look at the larger picture. The world would be a much better place if more families played together. The impact geocaching has on the environment is negligible when compared to almost any other recreation that I might consider doing with my family. I am cognizant of the impact I have on the environment, but that doesn't stop me from stepping on it. You have noted that some of this activity makes it difficult for plants to grow. Can you refer me to any studies where activities such as geocaching have caused long-term ecological harm?

 

You may not agree with what I say, but I will defend, to your death, my right to say it!(it's a Joke, OK!)

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It seems to me that the main issue here is that Mankind is considered by some people to be outside the environment. I fail to see the difference in a social trail created by people doing what people do and a social trail created by deer, hogs, etc doing what they do.

 

Robert Heinlein said it better through his character Lazarus Long:

 

There are hidden contradictions in the minds of people who "love Nature" while deploring the "artificialities" with which "Man has spoiled 'Nature.'" The obvious contradiction lies in their choice of words, which imply that Man and his artifacts are not part of "Nature" - but beavers and their dams are. But the contradictions go deeper than this prima-facie absurdity. In declaring his love for a beaver dam (erected by beavers for beavers' purpose) and his hatred for dams erected by men (for the purpose of men) the "Naturist" reveals his hatred for his own race - i.e., his own self-hatred.

In the case of "Naturists" such self hatred is understandable; they are such a sorry lot. But hatred is too strong an emotion to feel toward them; pity and contempt are the most they rate.

As for me, willy-nilly I am a man, not a beaver, and H. sapiens is the only race I have or can have. Fortunately for me, I like being part of a race made up of men and women - it strikes me as a fine arrangement and perfectly "natural."

Believe it or not, there were "Naturists" who opposed the first flight to old Earth's Moon as being "unnatural" and a "despoiling of Nature."

 

Please don't get me wrong. I am NOT for trashing the wilderness. I practice the old adage of "take only pictures, leave only footprints". It just gets under my skin when someone complains about the footprints.

 

BTW, I cache with my wife and 3 kids. I use this as an opportunity to teach my kids something about nature.

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"Minimize Your Environmental Impact While Caching... its easy enough to do!"

 

Yes it is - don't do it. Just sit on your couch, and don't do a single thing that might "harm" our 4.5 million year old environment.

 

"I've never been lost. However, I did misplace the camp for a few days." - Daniel Boone

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Time heals all wounds, including footprints. Dont get me wrong, I'm not saying to bring in the bulldozers, but what could it hurt to walk on, or even make a new trail? What about all those darn walking trails in out parks, did they just appear? icon_confused.gif As long as we are somewhat responsible when out in nature, it wont make a bit of difference what we do(ex.no trash). I think bringing 6+ people may be a little silly, but to each his own.

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I think a little common sense goes a long ways. Don't take a ATV to the cache...or a HumV. Pick up trash on your way out. Don't squash the spider you see on the log.......and for Petes sake don't kill every snake you see!

 

El Diablo

 

Everything you do in life...will impact someone,for better or for worse.

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quote:
Originally posted by El Diablo:

I think a little common sense goes a long ways. Don't take a ATV to the cache...or a HumV. Pick up trash on your way out. Don't squash the spider you see on the log.......and for Petes sake don't kill every snake you see!

 

El Diablo

 

Everything you do in life...will impact someone,for better or for worse.


 

Let's hear it for common sense! Walk with your lover, walk with your family, walk with your friends. Walk to the cache. Just walk. We'll all feel better!

 

Bluespreacher

 

"We've got the hardware and the software, the plans and the maps ..." -- Citizen Wayne Kramer

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We most often go caching with just ourselves and our geopup. Sometimes he is allowed, sometimes not, though I often think he can't be as destructive as some children are. The one time we went with a large group (to introduce some friends to geocaching) we DID notice that we made a mess of the cache area. 5 adults mulling around can create a trampled look. But we realized it and grabbed a broken limb with branches on it, and sortof "erased" our tracks, carefully. When you cache in smaller groups, you typically don't have to compete for room around the cache itself, so the damage to the area is less. I see his point. And we all know how excited we can get when the GPS says 20 feet and everyone is tromping around trying to find it first. Just use common sense.

 

Often we will see fresh tracks to a cache, depending on the terrain. But generally, if a few days, a week or a month go by between cachers, things heal themselves. One good rain and the signs are gone too. I would rather leave a footprint in the dirt than step on a sapling or clump of wild flowers.

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