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mluostari

Replacing Missing Caches

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This has probably been asked but I cant seem to find it. I have several favorite caches in my area that I revisit from time to time. I've noticed some of them have gone missing, but are still listed. I think it's a bit of a shame that people are missing out on cool caches. Is it OK to place a new container/log in those places if I'm not the cache owner?

Edited by mluostari

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NO NO NO N O NO NO NO and in case you missed it NO.

 

If you are sure they are missing put in a NA log and place your own cache when it is archived. Replacing missing containers makes you an enabler. You let a poor CO continure when you should be standing strong.

 

And this comes up several times a week.

Edited by Walts Hunting

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I think it okay to help with minor maintenance on revisited (and first visited!) caches, but I wouldn't replace a "missing" container unless you have express permission from the cache owner. Sometimes caches migrate, or they may have been removed by an authority/irate property owner/aliens, etc...

 

Your best bet with a missing cache is to post a "Needs Maintenance" log on the cache page and then watch the listing for a few weeks to see if the owner does anything about it. If not, you have three choices:

1. Send the CO a nice email saying how much you enjoyed finding his/her cache and offering to help replace the container.

2. Write a Needs Archive log on the cache page and let the local reviewer make contact with the CO.

3. Go find other caches.

 

I recommend all three - in that order. At the very least, I recommend #3. Time will take care of the rest :D

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This has probably been asked but I cant seem to find it. I have several favorite caches in my area that I revisit from time to time. I've noticed some of them have gone missing, but are still listed. I think it's a bit of a shame that people are missing out on cool caches. Is it OK to place a new container/log in those places if I'm not the cache owner?

I have 3 cache place and if one was missing I would want to know. It took quite a bit of time to find a spot to place my cache. ( I live 20 miles from NYC) not much land, and if it was muggled I would want to fix it. Thanks

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NO NO NO N O NO NO NO and in case you missed it NO.

 

If you are sure they are missing put in a NA log and place your own cache when it is archived. Replacing missing containers makes you an enabler. You let a poor CO continure when you should be standing strong.

 

And this comes up several times a week.

 

I think what he's trying to say is NO. I agree. It's not your cache, it's not your job.

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This has probably been asked but I cant seem to find it. I have several favorite caches in my area that I revisit from time to time. I've noticed some of them have gone missing, but are still listed. I think it's a bit of a shame that people are missing out on cool caches. Is it OK to place a new container/log in those places if I'm not the cache owner?

 

No, it's not okay to place new containers for someone else's cache, unless you have express permission from them to do so.

 

It's the cache owner's job to maintain their cache.

 

Guidelines:

 

http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx

Owner is responsible for visits to the physical location.

 

You are responsible for occasional visits to your cache to ensure it is in proper working order, especially when someone reports a problem with the cache (missing, damaged, wet, etc.), or posts a Needs Maintenance log. Temporarily disable your cache to let others know not to search for it until you have addressed the problem. You are permitted a reasonable amount of time – generally up to 4 weeks – in which to check on your cache. If a cache is not being maintained, or has been temporarily disabled for an unreasonable length of time, we may archive the listing.

 

Put the cache on your watchlist, and if you see it get archived, then the location is free for someone else to put a cache there. A new cache would need to go through the review process.

 

B.

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Also from the Guidelines:

 

3.8. Throwdowns - How to handle them

 

A throwdown is when a geocacher places a new geocache container when the previous geocache is missing or cannot be found. Throwdowns are placed so the geocacher can log a find on a geocache that they couldn't find and suspect is missing. Geocaches should never be replaced without the permission of the geocache owner as this frequently leads to multiple containers at the location and disputes about whether you found the "real" container and are entitled to log a find.

 

Our policy is that geocache owners are responsible for maintenance, so as soon as they are aware of throwdowns, the physical geocache should be checked and if it is still there, the throwdown geocache should be removed. If this is not done, there will be no way for geocachers to be sure they are finding the correct geocache container. If subsequent find logs indicate multiple or inconsistent containers, it can often be a sign that a maintenance visit by the geocache owner has not taken place. In these cases, it is reasonable for the geocache owner to allow finds of the throwdown to be logged online as found because the finder generally cannot determine whether they found a throwdown instead of the original container. The original geocacher who placed the throwdown does not have a strong claim to log the geocache online as found.

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This has probably been asked but I cant seem to find it. I have several favorite caches in my area that I revisit from time to time. I've noticed some of them have gone missing, but are still listed. I think it's a bit of a shame that people are missing out on cool caches. Is it OK to place a new container/log in those places if I'm not the cache owner?

 

No. Let them be archived and if you want to place your own cache there, go for it.

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File a "Needs Maintenance" log. If you want, in the log you can offer to replace it if the owner wants, pointing out that you found it previously and know what to place where. Then wait to see what happens. If he takes you up on your offer, then you can replace it. If you're interested, you could talk to him about adopting it.

 

If nothing happens after you file the NM, then you'll need to file a "Needs Archived" so the listing goes away. After it's been archived, the spot's open for a new cache (hint, hint).

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I had a guy leave this log on a cache of mine.

 

05/19/2011 We found 55 caches today coming to Santa Fe from Albuquerque, most of the caches in Santa Fe! We are on our way home to North Carolina after completing the Route 66 run of 800 caches! Thanks for placing and maintaining this cache! SL!

 

We replaced this cache! Gas is too expensive for cachers to go to a geocache and find it missing. Hope our replacing it will be appreciated by all!

 

When I went to check on my cache it was exactly where it should have been. I also found Geo13's "replacement" cache a few feet away under a bush on the wrong side of the fence (read: on private property).

 

Looking back through his "found" logs I could see a pattern of this behavior that was disturbing to say the least.

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I had a guy leave this log on a cache of mine.

 

05/19/2011 We found 55 caches today coming to Santa Fe from Albuquerque, most of the caches in Santa Fe! We are on our way home to North Carolina after completing the Route 66 run of 800 caches! Thanks for placing and maintaining this cache! SL!

 

We replaced this cache! Gas is too expensive for cachers to go to a geocache and find it missing. Hope our replacing it will be appreciated by all!

 

When I went to check on my cache it was exactly where it should have been. I also found Geo13's "replacement" cache a few feet away under a bush on the wrong side of the fence (read: on private property).

 

Looking back through his "found" logs I could see a pattern of this behavior that was disturbing to say the least.

 

Did you delete his log?

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I had a guy leave this log on a cache of mine.

 

05/19/2011 We found 55 caches today coming to Santa Fe from Albuquerque, most of the caches in Santa Fe! We are on our way home to North Carolina after completing the Route 66 run of 800 caches! Thanks for placing and maintaining this cache! SL!

 

We replaced this cache! Gas is too expensive for cachers to go to a geocache and find it missing. Hope our replacing it will be appreciated by all!

 

When I went to check on my cache it was exactly where it should have been. I also found Geo13's "replacement" cache a few feet away under a bush on the wrong side of the fence (read: on private property).

 

Looking back through his "found" logs I could see a pattern of this behavior that was disturbing to say the least.

 

Sounds like an opportunity for a life lesson. Starting by deleting his Found it. And not by assuming he had the best of intentions. Far from it.

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I'd say it was okay if it was a paddle to micro, and you were absolutely certain it was gone, as that is routine and expected around here. Also if it was a small or larger with the owners permission. Without permission, it would have to be a classic 10 year old cache, or have a ton of favs, with an identical container.

 

The common problems with throwdowns are:

  • Using a micro to replace a regular or small container
  • Using a crappy container
  • Using another container without the owners permission and behind their back
  • Leaving a duplicate hide when the original is intact
  • Perpetuating a crappy hide
  • "Fixing" something that the property owner removed

 

If it doesn't run afoul of the above, it may be fine, but not always.

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Most people would say "no". Some even say "it's none of your business to maintain caches you don't own".

 

From my point of view, it depends.

 

Once I found a geocache that had been obviously muggled just before my visit. The container was on a bench, wide open, no logbook, no stuff. I found a pencil sharpener and an introduction note about geocaching a couple of meters away. What should I do? Leave it as it was? I gathered everything alltogether, added a logsheet, a pencil, some souvenirs and hid the cache in different location. Then I hurried to log a NM and sent a PM to the CO telling that he should pay attention ASAP. Once I found the remains of the container - some idiots had burned it. I didn't hesitate much to replace it.

 

If I just cannot find some cache I understand clearly that this doesn't mean it has been destroyed. I lack evidencies. The best thing I can do is to contact the CO, describe the situation and ask if he/she needs assistance.

 

Sometimes I act this way when I'm going to visit some remote places. I understand that maintenance may be rather difficult for such caches so I send messages to COs asking if they need assistance. I've been offered help of the same kind by fellow geocachers too.

 

It also depends on whether the CO takes care or not. If I see he/she doing the job, replying messages, changing description and cache status, I see that the cache isn't abandoned so my efforts to help aren't meaningless.

 

If such missing caches are in my area and I really like them I would definitely contact their COs and ask what they think.

Edited by -CJ-

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The common problems with throwdowns are:

...

All good points. One more common problem, perhaps not quite as critical: throwdowns make the thrower think they're justified in logging a find on a cache they didn't find.

 

Most people would say "no". Some even say "it's none of your business to maintain caches you don't own".

 

From my point of view, it depends.

Yeah, good point, it definitely does depend. But I say "no" because if someone's asking, then I'm not sure I can explain all the cases where the answer might be "yes", so I just want to discourage them in general. Among other things, I can't be sure they'll be as conscientious as you. So it's not really a moral absolute, I just want people that don't know better yet to think it's a moral absolute until they do know better.

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Answer: No!

If the cache is not being maintained, then it should be archived. Then feel free to hide a new cache in the area.

Harry Dolphin is right.

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Answer: No!

If the cache is not being maintained, then it should be archived

 

It was said (as far as I can see) that the caches were missing. A missing cache is not necessarily an abandoned one.

 

I think that someone's intention to replace a missing cache should not be stopped by absolute "no!" Why don't suggest the topicstarter to contact COs instead?

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You probably will never convince those who believe leaving a throwdown is being helpful that it is otherwise. I think the issue is that everyone knows caches go missing from time to time and that many people consider looking for a cache that isn't there "a waste of time". For many people, what matters is not the the cache owner has brought you to a interesing place or has create a challenge for you to find a well hidden cache, but rather getting that almighty smiley. It goes without saying that a duplicate container or an inferior hiding spot doesn't "hurt" so lon as the next finder is able to get that find.

 

What angers me more is the arrogance of those leaving a throwdown. Often, they just haven't looked hard enough for the cache. They assume that because it was 1/1 and nobody has logged it in a while that it must be gone. Now, I know that even a cache owner can have problems locating their own caches and on more than one occasiong I've found duplicate containers left by the cache owner. But still I believe that unless you've gotten some real spoiler information from the cache owner or a previous finder it's very hard to determine that a cache is really missing. I don't see why people can't log a DNF and accept that not finding a cache sometimes is part of geocaching.

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A missing cache is not necessarily an abandoned one.

That's true. As several folks in this thread have already pointed out, it could just be a cache in need of maintenance. I know I've had a couple caches go missing over the years. If a cache needs maintenance, the proper response is to post a "Needs Maintenance" log describing the problem. A missing cache which is not addressed by the owner would certainly qualify as abandoned.

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Always thought this was a classic example: Put Me in Coach

3 DNFs: 4/2009, 6/2009, 12/2009. Cache was a Tupperware container (as far as I could tell, hidden under the large electric transmission building...) 12/2010 DNF. That cacher replaced it in 07/2011 with a switch plate cache on the transformer building. CO never checked on it. (Inactive since 2102.) Sorry. But that's been missing for four-and-a-half years! Five finds on the throw-down since.

Some cachers think that a find at any cost is better than a DNF, NM, SBA. (Though the throwdowner did log a DNH a year before the throwdown...)

Should have been archived four years ago!

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This has probably been asked but I cant seem to find it. I have several favorite caches in my area that I revisit from time to time. I've noticed some of them have gone missing, but are still listed. I think it's a bit of a shame that people are missing out on cool caches. Is it OK to place a new container/log in those places if I'm not the cache owner?

 

Only if it is YOUR cache.

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I have several favorite caches in my area that I revisit from time to time. I've noticed some of them have gone missing, but are still listed. I think it's a bit of a shame that people are missing out on cool caches. Is it OK to place a new container/log in those places if I'm not the cache owner?

 

1. Please don't.

 

2. Does the cache owner have any reason to know that the caches are gone? Is there, for instance, a Needs Maintenance post on the cache page saying that the cache seems to be missing?

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From my point of view, someone has enough enthusiasm and altruism to help to maintain some geocaches in his area. It's a good intention in its core. It may be easy for him since he lives nearby. A kind gesture at a little cost.

 

Should he be stopped at his start with "No", "Don't do it", "Let them be archived" and so on?

 

You say throwdowns, well, do you think this cacher has intention to place throwdowns? For me he doesn't look like so bad. People of that strange sort don't come to geocaching forums to politely ask for an advice before placing their micros. To me all this thread doesn't seem a "throwdown issue". Neither we can say for sure that these caches have been abandoned.

 

Leaving a NM log is OK (if no one has done this for the cache yet). My way of further action would be "If you really like this cache consider contacting the CO and offering him your assistance". If a CO doesn't reply then it could be that the cache has been really abandoned (let it be archived) or the CO didn't value my offer. I would do nothing then. (And will most probably not trouble this person with my messages at all regarding other caches he owns). Different scenarios may lead to bringing the cache back into game or its adoption. Both variants are better in my mind then doing nothing if you have ideas, enthusiasm and are ready to help someone.

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"NO" is not always the answer here. If the CO is not active then definitely NO is right. Don't keep the cache going but I have been happy to have someone replace one that has gone missing that might be harder to maintain. Not impossible but for them to do it while there and for us not to have to make a special trip out there can be helpful. I have done it for cachers I know. If I didn't know the cacher and didn't think they were active I would never do it. We have replaced broken containers for cachers we didn't know but seemed active when it was just cracked and we had a container just like it. That was not just a throw down though we found it and helped it out. It is a judgement call. I would recommend not to throw down a container and log a find just because you can't find it.

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I'm not sure if this fits the same topic, but what about caches that have been reported as Needs Maintenance, and the cache is still there but clearly in poor condition? If a cache is constantly reported as waterlogged, or has been chewed by animals and has holes in it, etc? Is it appropriate to put a new container in its place? Sounds like the answer is "no", but just wanted to check first.

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I'm not sure if this fits the same topic, but what about caches that have been reported as Needs Maintenance, and the cache is still there but clearly in poor condition? If a cache is constantly reported as waterlogged, or has been chewed by animals and has holes in it, etc? Is it appropriate to put a new container in its place? Sounds like the answer is "no", but just wanted to check first.

I would still say "No". In the situation you are describing, it seems apparent that the cache owner no longer cares about the maintenance obligation they agreed to when they submitted their cache for publication. By replacing it, you are simply delaying the inevitable. I think a proper response to this would be posting a "Needs Archived" log describing the problem. If the spot is worthy, someone else will eventually place a cache there.

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I'm not sure if this fits the same topic, but what about caches that have been reported as Needs Maintenance, and the cache is still there but clearly in poor condition? If a cache is constantly reported as waterlogged, or has been chewed by animals and has holes in it, etc? Is it appropriate to put a new container in its place? Sounds like the answer is "no", but just wanted to check first.

 

Here's a personal example, of a nearby cache I found in very poor condition - this index card box placed in a couple of ziplock freezer baggies:

 

6da09df7-09a3-4c72-b142-4cb01b20535b.jpg

 

  • Cache had the first NM post in Oct 2011
  • 2 more NM reports Dec 2011
  • I found it near the end of December 2011 and posted a NA and added the above picture to my NA log
  • Temporarily disabled by reviewer that day
  • Archived by the reviewer 2 months later
  • I went back and picked up the remains
  • Put it in my garage, left a note giving the CO a month to pick it up then I would dispose of it. I disposed of it.

The Groundspeak system works quite well. I highly recommend the process in order to clean up abandoned caches, open the area to new caches and show the greater community that geocachers aren't a bunch of litterers. Replacing an abandoned cache and then abandoning that replacement is essentially promoting litter.

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I'm not sure if this fits the same topic, but what about caches that have been reported as Needs Maintenance, and the cache is still there but clearly in poor condition? If a cache is constantly reported as waterlogged, or has been chewed by animals and has holes in it, etc? Is it appropriate to put a new container in its place? Sounds like the answer is "no", but just wanted to check first.

I would still say "No". In the situation you are describing, it seems apparent that the cache owner no longer cares about the maintenance obligation they agreed to when they submitted their cache for publication. By replacing it, you are simply delaying the inevitable. I think a proper response to this would be posting a "Needs Archived" log describing the problem. If the spot is worthy, someone else will eventually place a cache there.

Here's a cache I found back in 2003 when I was still a newbie

e635148a-8821-47d7-941e-7748bb03bfe2.jpg

 

I returned a week later and replaced it with an ammo can. No permission from the owner who seems to have cached for only a week back in 2001 (one find in addition to this one hide). The cache, while just over two years old at the time, was already one of the oldest caches in Los Angeles county.

 

Would I do this again?

 

Probably not. Now 10 years later people go and find, not my ammo can (it lasted seven years before someone stole it and left a tupperware replacement), but another cache that someone replaced that cache with. They take great pride in finding what they believe is the oldest cache in Los Angeles county. Of course, I was last person to find that cache and everyone since has found something else. (Not to say anything of the power trail of caches leading to the top of the mountain, unlike having to find the path and climbing up the mountain for one cache like I did; or the fact that someone got a reviewer to correct the coordinates so you don't get the same experience of having to search a much larger area).

Edited by tozainamboku

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I'm not sure if this fits the same topic, but what about caches that have been reported as Needs Maintenance, and the cache is still there but clearly in poor condition? If a cache is constantly reported as waterlogged, or has been chewed by animals and has holes in it, etc? Is it appropriate to put a new container in its place? Sounds like the answer is "no", but just wanted to check first.

The "no" answer is actually much clearer in this case than in the case in the OP. In the case you describe here, the cache is just a pile of trash and the CO is not reliable, so the sooner the cache is gone, the better. In the OP's case where a cache is just missing, there are some rare situations where a replacement would be warranted (but if you have to ask what those situations are, you should assume there are none).

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From my point of view, someone has enough enthusiasm and altruism to help to maintain some geocaches in his area. It's a good intention in its core.

 

...Should he be stopped at his start with "No", "Don't do it", "Let them be archived" and so on?

 

You say throwdowns, well, do you think this cacher has intention to place throwdowns?

I agree. Not all cache replacements are throwdowns. At least they didn't used to be. I replaced a lot of caches in the early years but never did it for the purpose of claiming a find. I just wanted to keep the cache active and often the CO was inactive or a non-maintainer. But that was back when there were not so many caches. I expect it is not necessary to replace caches anymore because there are always enough of them around. I also was not shy about posting NAs when appropriate.

 

The throwdown concept actually started way back then too but it wasn't as prominent as it is now.

 

In the big scheme of things replacing a container for a non-active or non-maintaining cacher simply for the purpose of keeping a cache active is not the great evil it is often made out to be. If it is a worthy cache locals will sometimes keep it active. If it is not then it will eventually get NMs and an NA. In any case, I suspect the non-throwdown cache replacement is not likely to reach epidemic proportions.

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