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Auto-disabling of caches that haven't been found in a long time


DENelson83
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Today, I decided to go after a multi-cache in my area. But when I arrived at the site of the first stage, I looked its info up and discovered that the cache hadn't been found in 1¼ years, meaning it was highly likely to have been muggled. What I consequently propose is that if a cache has not had a "found it" log for a certain period of time depending on its difficulty and terrain ratings, its listing should automatically be disabled and the owner of the cache should be notified that the cache needs to be verified as still in place and ready to be found. I recognize that this idea may be a bit controversial, though.

Edited by DENelson83
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I totally disagree.

 

Boat caches

Tough puzzles

Winter access near mountains

 

Its part of the reality for looking for a cache that has not been found in a while. You would make every tough puzzle or mountain cache or boat cache disabled every year. No owner would want to hide a mountain cache in that scenario. I think its a bad idea. Caches should be disabled if not found, not that they might not be there.

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Why??? "Highly likely to be muggled"??? Says who? Were there a lot of DNFs? Any NMs?

I've got a number of caches that are not found frequently. Albeit they may require a hike, or are tough mystery caches.

I've got two not found since 2011, and 12 not found since 2012. Go hunt for them! They are still there!

Auto-cleansing? "Your cache has not been found in two months? We're disabling it."

Oh! Only easy to find caches (the modern entitlement theory) will be permitted!

I vote NO! to auto-cleansing.

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Today, I decided to go after a multi-cache in my area. But when I arrived at the site of the first stage, I looked its info up and discovered that the cache hadn't been found in 1¼ years, meaning it was highly likely to have been muggled.

"Not found recently" does not directly translate to "highly likely to have been muggled".

 

Were there previous DNFs that mentioned problems finding the first stage?

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We have a cache on top of a "small" mountain in the Black Hills that hasn't been found in almost a year and a half. No DNF's. Because of where it is and how it's hidden, there's no way that it's gone. It's just that... it's not a park and grab, which seems to be the new normal today. There's no need to disable it based solely on last found date. Now if it gets a couple DNF's in a row, I'll make the climb up there to look and replace if necessary. :ph34r:

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Like Harry Dolphin, I have several caches in the backcountry. One hasn't been found since October 2009. Four since 2010 (one's an almost urban puzzle that the audit log shows no one has even looked at for a couple of years). Five since 2011. Twenty-two since 2012. When I am in the area, I check on them and post an "Owner Maintenance" log. However, unless I have reason to believe there is a problem, I don't go out of my way to check on them. A DNF does get my attention pretty quickly.

 

I was the third to find and first to find after nearly two years on Bear Gap Cache. The cache looked like it had been placed yesterday and I'm certainly glad I made the hike to it. Check out the photos!

Edited by Ladybug Kids
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Unlike others I don't have any caches on mountains or in the bush. I do have caches that are in less than tourist friendly areas of town. That mean all the locals found it already, and unless a geocacher is staying with family nearby, most out of towners won't look for it for various reasons. And yet those cache are still there...

 

How bout, you read the cache page before you get to GZ, and make your own decisions if you want to go for a cache or not...

 

Or what about the mystery caches? There's a cache in my city that has been found 2 or three times in 3 years(all within a couple months) It's still there.

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A friend found a backcountry cache last year. Her STF came 5+ years after the FTF. Why should that cache have been disabled, just because it hadn't been found in 5 years?

 

One of my favorites has gone more then 2 years between finds at times. Of course, it's a 5-star puzzle. Why should that cache have been disabled, just because it hadn't been found in 2 years?

 

And so on.

 

Have you tried using the "Found in the last 7 days" filter when you create your Pocket Queries?

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absolutely No. The most forceful No.

 

GCT8G5 - Found 07/08/2012, next find 09/062013. There was a find early this year, but from the last log I need to check it out since it seems a sig is missing.

 

GC1B32N - maybe two or three a year. Generally not in the rainy season.

 

GC2DJ15 - getting down to a couple a year.

 

None of these caches should be auto disabled forcing me the say family unfriendly words as I re-enable them. If you don't want to look for lonely caches, don't, but don't say they should be auto disabled.

Edited by jholly
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I also vote no for auto disabling. I think it would be hard to come up with a rule that suits everyone. I was just in Scotland and found a puzzle cache that had not been done for 9 months, and that was just two weeks ago. I have, however, had reviewers archive a cache that had not been found for sometime and one that I could not find. So, there are ways to get rid of bad cache sites.

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Today, I decided to go after a multi-cache in my area. But when I arrived at the site of the first stage, I looked its info up and discovered that the cache hadn't been found in 1¼ years, meaning it was highly likely to have been muggled. What I consequently propose is that if a cache has not had a "found it" log for a certain period of time depending on its difficulty and terrain ratings, its listing should automatically be disabled and the owner of the cache should be notified that the cache needs to be verified as still in place and ready to be found. I recognize that this idea may be a bit controversial, though.
Another NO.

It's not a controversial idea, just misguided and poorly thought out.

Oh, and it's been suggested before, and met the same responses.

Yep, it has been suggested before:

Inactive Caches: Removal until reactivated (Posted 15 February 2004)

 

[Edit to add:]

 

Nevermind. The OP of that thread later clarified that he wanted disabled caches automatically archived, which is a different bad idea from wanting lonely caches automatically disabled.

Edited by niraD
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Heavens no. Like everyone else, I think it's an awful idea. Some of the best caches are those that are hard to get to, and rarely found. Like time machines .

 

However, I think it would be a good idea to identify these easily. Something not found in six months the icon would turn tan, after a year it would turn reddish brown. After 2 years, brown. Once found it would be green again. This would encourage people to seek them out and look for them. If someone wanted to skip them, they could easily. It would be different than disabling or archival. Auto disabling would be annoying and counter productive. Post your DNFs if you can't find it, sheesh.

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Another no from me! I have been having a great time finding lonely caches recently. Next weekend I am planning on one that has not been found in almost 4 years.

 

OTOH, I kind of understand where the OP is coming from. A 1/1 cache with multiple DNFs not found in several months may indeed merit some kind of further attention.

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Today, I decided to go after a multi-cache in my area. But when I arrived at the site of the first stage, I looked its info up and discovered that the cache hadn't been found in 1¼ years, meaning it was highly likely to have been muggled. What I consequently propose is that if a cache has not had a "found it" log for a certain period of time depending on its difficulty and terrain ratings, its listing should automatically be disabled and the owner of the cache should be notified that the cache needs to be verified as still in place and ready to be found. I recognize that this idea may be a bit controversial, though.

 

Bad idea.

 

If a cache doesn't seem to be there people can log NM to ask the owner to check it out and if the owner doesn't respond they can log NA to get the reviewer to deal with it.

 

The fact a cache hasn't been found for months doesn't mean it's not there. It just means nobody found it. In my general area there is a resuscitator challenge cache where you have to find a cache that had previously gone unfound for 12 months to qualify. There are a few caches around here that haven't been found for that kind of time - for all most are fiendish puzzles and silly cliff face hides the stats on the resuscitator challenge page showed someone qualified by resuscitating a 1/1.5 traditional. It just happened nobody found it for a year. I qualified on the back of a 2.5/2 puzzle and a friend qualified on a 3.5/1 puzzle.

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How bout, you read the cache page before you get to GZ, and make your own decisions if you want to go for a cache or not...

 

Woah! That might mean making a decision and taking responsibility for it, rather than expecting Someone Else to provide everything "at a glance" to avoid wasting any precious time at all. Doesn't seem to be fashionable these days.

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The fact a cache hasn't been found for months doesn't mean it's not there. It just means nobody found it. In my general area there is a resuscitator challenge cache where you have to find a cache that had previously gone unfound for 12 months to qualify.

 

Yes, this. I found one which hadn't been found for over a year which was a relatively straightforward multi. There weren't many caches around it, and it took a couple of hours for just one cache so it wasn't so popular and was just ignored.

 

There is no real algorithm that can be used. I would look at the cache page and make a judgement. In a case like the cache I described above; where there were no DNFs, I would expect that most likely it is there. In the case of a cache which had 100 finds in a row, then the last 10 logs are DNFs, I would expect a high probability of the cache being missing. Depending on such factors and my mood I might decide to look for it or not. Sometimes I like the challenge to perhaps find something which others have been struggling to find; accepting there is a high risk I won't find it either. Sometimes I'm pretty sure it is missing and would rather find other caches which are more likely to be there.

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Some of my caches that haven't been found in over a year: 2 unfound for 3+ years, 2 unfound for 2+ years, and 4 more over a year.

I've found caches that had gone over 4 years unfound.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing a fix of the phone apps, such that accessing the site through them generates a Last Visit Date - and then maybe auto disable any cache without an owner Visit for 3 years.... This is controversial as it would kill some virts, webcams, Earthcaches and most critically some areas oldest caches.

But on the whole, it would clean up the listings big time.

 

I don't expect it to happen, at all, ever.

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I wouldn't mind seeing a fix of the phone apps, such that accessing the site through them generates a Last Visit Date - and then maybe auto disable any cache without an owner Visit for 3 years.... This is controversial as it would kill some virts, webcams, Earthcaches and most critically some areas oldest caches.

But on the whole, it would clean up the listings big time.

 

I do not see any reason for cleaning up listings which do not show any issues.

 

I have some difficult caches and my most recent one is one that will surely go with no finds for longer times as there is only a restricted audience for that cache.

I check on the cache when I'm in the area, but only log my visit in special situations. I do not want to provide spoilers on the area where the cache is hidden and I do not want to fake dates or lie in my logs.

Edit: Or did you talk only about the last login date on the site and not a last visit log for the cache under consideration?

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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Some of my caches that haven't been found in over a year: 2 unfound for 3+ years, 2 unfound for 2+ years, and 4 more over a year.

I've found caches that had gone over 4 years unfound.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing a fix of the phone apps, such that accessing the site through them generates a Last Visit Date - and then maybe auto disable any cache without an owner Visit for 3 years.... This is controversial as it would kill some virts, webcams, Earthcaches and most critically some areas oldest caches.

But on the whole, it would clean up the listings big time.

 

I don't expect it to happen, at all, ever.

 

Wasn't there a recent notice of a cache published in 2002 that was found for the first time this year? It would have been a shame if such a cache had disappeared from everyone's radar just because nobody had found it yet.

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I think this is a first! Except for the OP, everyone agrees. :o

 

Oh, and i do to. Just because a cache hasn't been found doesn't mean it isn't in place. I had someone file a NA on one of mine about a year ago i guess. That would have been fine except that he never even visited the cache site. He assummed that since it had been a few years since last find, that it was missing. I ended up checking on it and although the container had suffered some damage, it was still there.

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some design caches to be mainstream, like the usual stuff, quite easy to get to, and quite easy to find and log.

and such caches will also get alot of finds..

 

a very few caches are specially designed to be .. VERY special..

they could be located at extreamly remote locations,

and YES at those locations something very rare and unique could be of big interest to the one geocacher

who would love to see if it is there..

A cache hidden at such places are very unlikely to get lost,

since stuff dont get lost by it self.. people make stuff get lost..

 

a few times a year some friends and I, we seek such lonely caches

other peopel have given up finding them, some of them are even disabled or archived,

but we go there and start to search.. a few times we actually manage to find the thing :-)

and it is VERY funny and cool when that happens.

 

LEAVE old caches online.. they dont harm anyone, they dont take up any space

and they dont cost anything..

Edited by OZ2CPU
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Some of my caches that haven't been found in over a year: 2 unfound for 3+ years, 2 unfound for 2+ years, and 4 more over a year.

I've found caches that had gone over 4 years unfound.

 

I wouldn't mind seeing a fix of the phone apps, such that accessing the site through them generates a Last Visit Date - and then maybe auto disable any cache without an owner Visit for 3 years.... This is controversial as it would kill some virts, webcams, Earthcaches and most critically some areas oldest caches.

But on the whole, it would clean up the listings big time.

 

I don't expect it to happen, at all, ever.

 

Wasn't there a recent notice of a cache published in 2002 that was found for the first time this year? It would have been a shame if such a cache had disappeared from everyone's radar just because nobody had found it yet.

 

The cache owner on that was still active. Actually planning a return visit for shortly after it was found. My proposal would not have impacted it.

It would impact some other old, rarely found hides... but it's just forum fodder, won't happen ;-)

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There is no real algorithm that can be used. I would look at the cache page and make a judgement. In a case like the cache I described above; where there were no DNFs, I would expect that most likely it is there. In the case of a cache which had 100 finds in a row, then the last 10 logs are DNFs, I would expect a high probability of the cache being missing. Depending on such factors and my mood I might decide to look for it or not.

This is the point I'd like to stress. The key observation is that we geocachers are responsible for determining the state of the caches, and we cannot turn that responsibility over to an automated process, and we shouldn't want to.

 

And once you start thinking that way, these long unfound caches turn into one of my favorite things about geocaching. When I notice that a cache hasn't been found for a long time, I immediately think, "Someone should go check and make sure it's still OK. Is that something I can do?"

 

Just a few days ago, I was looking at some caches up on Mount Diablo that are out of the way and haven't been found in a long time. A huge fire started on Mount Diablo since then, and it swept through the area I was looking at. Do I think those caches should be disabled? Heck, no! Now I'm even more determined to go check on them after the area is reopened so I can report whether they survived or not.

 

The bottom line is that the OP's suggestion is based on thinking that if there might be a problem with a cache, the system shouldn't send people to look for it because they might not find it. Geocachers should accept and even embrace the idea that they won't find every cache. We go caching to see if we can find the cache, not just to find the cache.

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Geocachers should accept and even embrace the idea that they won't find every cache. We go caching to see if we can find the cache, not just to find the cache.

Exactly. I could check on each and every one of my caches today, yet sometime overnight one or several may get sucked into a black hole, or removed from the planet with a Klingon tractor beam. There's no guarantee any cache will be there at some specific moment in time. :ph34r:

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Today, I decided to go after a multi-cache in my area. But when I arrived at the site of the first stage, I looked its info up and discovered that the cache hadn't been found in 1¼ years, meaning it was highly likely to have been muggled. What I consequently propose is that if a cache has not had a "found it" log for a certain period of time depending on its difficulty and terrain ratings, its listing should automatically be disabled and the owner of the cache should be notified that the cache needs to be verified as still in place and ready to be found. I recognize that this idea may be a bit controversial, though.

 

I have one similar to that nearby only it has not been found in 5 years..But I'm the only that has posted in the last five years..DNF....muggled I presume..

Edited by ItTakesAThief
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I believe the OP worded it wrong.

 

I think hes talking about those ownerless caches that got a long sting of DNF and NM logs.

Every cache has an owner. The question to be answered is the owner still active? That can not be determined by checking the last login date as I recently found out. The best way of determining if the owner is still active is logging a NM and if no response in 30 days or so, log a NA.

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How bout, you read the cache page before you get to GZ, and make your own decisions if you want to go for a cache or not...

 

Woah! That might mean making a decision and taking responsibility for it, rather than expecting Someone Else to provide everything "at a glance" to avoid wasting any precious time at all. Doesn't seem to be fashionable these days.

 

You're right. What was I thinking? :rolleyes:

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I believe the OP worded it wrong.

 

I think hes talking about those ownerless caches that got a long sting of DNF and NM logs.

 

 

My thinking is...no comment or update by original placer,,,,,seems they may not be caring for their cache...

 

So log Needs Archived against it and the reviewer will deal with it. If there's a string of DNFs against it sooner or later someone will log NM, and if no action is taken someone will log NA. There's no need to automate the process.

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