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infiniteMPG

Special Tool Required.... what's allowed?

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There is the attribute labelled "Special Tool Required" but is there any limit as to what could be required? Obviously the more specific the "tool" the less the cache will be found but can you make someone required to use things like :

 

- Thermometer

- Wind speed sensor

- Tape measure

- Calculator

- Decibel meter

- Light meter

- Tachometer

- Voltmeter

- Metal detector

- Seismometer

- pH Meter

- Scale (weight)

- Humidity sensor

- Flow meter

 

Just curious if there's any limits or restrictions as to what "tools" you can require a cacher to need?

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For the most part, the caches that I see with the Tool Required Attribute, are usually talking about fairly common household objects, but not something people usually carry on their person. Usually something like a screwdriver/pocket knife, or maybe a magnet or pail/water bottle to carry water.

 

In general, there are no restrictions on the tools needed to access or open a cache, although I can think of a few proprietory tools, which cost a great deal of money, which would cross the spirit of the Commercial portion of the Guidelines, which a Reviewer might call into question.

 

All that being said, Cachers are pretty resourceful group of folks, and some may find workarounds to even the best thought out cache ideas. As a general rule, you cannot *require* a special tool, if someone fulfills the spirit and letter of the Guidelines regarding a Find.

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All that being said, Cachers are pretty resourceful group of folks, and some may find workarounds to even the best thought out cache ideas. As a general rule, you cannot *require* a special tool, if someone fulfills the spirit and letter of the Guidelines regarding a Find.
That was my thought when I read the original question. I've seen caches where the CO actually provided the "required" tool, but where some finders retrieved and replaced the cache in some other way instead. In the more typical case where the CO doesn't provide the tool, there's no telling how seekers will retrieve and replace the cache. I've found a couple "Special Tool Required" caches myself, where I didn't figure out what tool the CO intended until after I had already retrieved the cache some other way.

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Obviously the more specific the "tool" the less the cache will be found
Maybe. Maybe not. Some of the "Special Tool Required" caches I've seen have become destination caches. They end up being found by about as many people as the more typical caches in the area, although some of them tend to be found infrequently by large groups (e.g., a dozen people all at once, every couple months), rather than being found by individuals or small groups, but more frequently.

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Geez, when I see "special tool", I think of tweezers or perhaps something to use for one of those "fill it with water" types caches.

 

:D

 

 

B.

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Obviously the more specific the "tool" the less the cache will be found
Maybe. Maybe not. Some of the "Special Tool Required" caches I've seen have become destination caches. They end up being found by about as many people as the more typical caches in the area, although some of them tend to be found infrequently by large groups (e.g., a dozen people all at once, every couple months), rather than being found by individuals or small groups, but more frequently.

 

Found a cache that required a ladder to climb a water tower. (Well, to get to the bottom of the ladder there.) About fifteen of us climbed that ladder that day. Since archived, and would no longer be permitted by County Park guidelines. I ignore the tree climbing-gear caches. No way! The 'pour in water to float the cache, while using fifteen fingers to block the holes' makes good use of duct tape. Don't have a kayak, or 4WD, so ignore those too. UV light? Night caches? Don't cache at night. (Night blindness.)

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Thanks for the info and the wise words. I can see I can list special tools required but that's just a "suggestion". I could suggest the cacher needs a Bucyrus RH400 Hydraulic Shovel but read in the logs that folks have been making due with a rusty spoon. Might take an extra few decades but a find is a find B)

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A flashlight.

 

Not sure if a flashlight would constitute "special tool" as anyone with a lick of geocaching addiction knows that the "just one more" syndrome will lead one to those last few being found in the dark :ph34r: And trust me when I say that the flash on your camera (pre-flashlight app for mobile phones) is a sad substitute for a flashlight when faced with a big hollow log in the middle of the woods in pitch black darkness... (i.e. GC116JX)

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A flashlight.

 

Not sure if a flashlight would constitute "special tool" as anyone with a lick of geocaching addiction knows that the "just one more" syndrome will lead one to those last few being found in the dark :ph34r: And trust me when I say that the flash on your camera (pre-flashlight app for mobile phones) is a sad substitute for a flashlight when faced with a big hollow log in the middle of the woods in pitch black darkness... (i.e. GC116JX)

 

I was thinking along the line of what is required to make the difficulty a 5, that a "special tool" is required. It can be as simple as a flashlight or tweezers.

 

I just find too many D5's are just too simple. Looks like I missed your point. :anicute:

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I just find too many D5's are just too simple. Looks like I missed your point. :anicute:

 

I would have to agree, owning just under 400 hides, 14 that are +4.0 terrain and 22 that are +4.0 difficulty, I have only felt that 2 are worthy of a 5.0 difficulty. One because the puzzle is tough (even for me to occasionally check) and the other because if someone picks the wrong time of year or are not well prepared, their bleached bones might turn up someday... :o

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All that being said, Cachers are pretty resourceful group of folks, and some may find workarounds to even the best thought out cache ideas. As a general rule, you cannot *require* a special tool, if someone fulfills the spirit and letter of the Guidelines regarding a Find.

 

Funny...I actually was FTF on a "gadget cache" that was a bird house that apparently had the contacts for a 9V battery to run a motor that opened the bottom. The description never stated this, it only said I would need a special tool to access the cache. I could tell there was some sort of gate-latch mechanism and assumed it required a strong magnet. I tried a few magnets I had in my car, but none worked. As a last ditch effort, I slid a multi-tool I have on my keychain into the gap, wiggled it around and the thing popped open. After logging it, the CO emailed me to ask what tool I used and when I told him he seemed amused and told me about the battery contacts (which I never noticed). Fortunately I hadn't done any harm to the mechanism...just goes to demonstrate that no matter your intent, folks may find alternate means. Be prepared for such things and, unless they damage or destroy your cache, don't be upset.

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There is the attribute labelled "Special Tool Required" but is there any limit as to what could be required? Obviously the more specific the "tool" the less the cache will be found but can you make someone required to use things like :

 

- Thermometer

- Wind speed sensor

- Tape measure

- Calculator

- Decibel meter

- Light meter

- Tachometer

- Voltmeter

- Metal detector

- Seismometer

- pH Meter

- Scale (weight)

- Humidity sensor

- Flow meter

 

Just curious if there's any limits or restrictions as to what "tools" you can require a cacher to need?

Add 24 foot long pole with hook on end( painters pole 8 foot three sections)

UV flashlight, hacksaw blade, Anti gravity boots <_< In general anything that you can dream up.

There have been a few times I wish for them boots. The insanely high 40 foot micro in a pine tree.

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Add 24 foot long pole with hook on end( painters pole 8 foot three sections)

UV flashlight, hacksaw blade, Anti gravity boots <_< In general anything that you can dream up.

There have been a few times I wish for them boots. The insanely high 40 foot micro in a pine tree.

Tell me about it... trudging along (i.e. Cache-a-paloza, FFF, etc)... "AH-Ha! We see it way up high hanging on that far branch.... and look, the bark is worn on that low branch 5-feet off the ground... HEY, IMPG.... ERR, WE MEAN MONKEY BOY, GET OVER HERE!!!"....

 

::sigh:: :unsure: "Okaaaaaaaay, here, hold my sign..."

Edited by infiniteMPG

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Just don't get TOO special with your tools.

 

Note to self: cancel colonoscopy.

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Everything that doesn't fit in woman's purse is a special tool.

 

The best definition I've ever met.

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So...

 

Q1. Would a tape measure be classed as a special tool / specialist equipment?

 

Q2. Would needing a tape measure in order to locate the cache automatically render that cache a D5?

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So...

 

Q1. Would a tape measure be classed as a special tool / specialist equipment?

 

Q2. Would needing a tape measure in order to locate the cache automatically render that cache a D5?

Related thread regarding D/T ratings:

 

How do I ask Groundspeak a question

 

Thanks.

 

Didn't spot anything relevant in that thread other than perhaps the idea of forwarding my questions to Groundspeak?

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So...

 

Q1. Would a tape measure be classed as a special tool / specialist equipment?

 

Q2. Would needing a tape measure in order to locate the cache automatically render that cache a D5?

Related thread regarding D/T ratings:

 

How do I ask Groundspeak a question

 

Thanks.

 

Didn't spot anything relevant in that thread other than perhaps the idea of forwarding my questions to Groundspeak?

I guess the relevance is that the rating system is subjective. If you require a tape measure to find one of the caches you own, and you feel that makes it a D5, then so be it. People will agree/disagree based on their own bias, so it really doesn't matter.

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So...

 

Q1. Would a tape measure be classed as a special tool / specialist equipment?

 

Q2. Would needing a tape measure in order to locate the cache automatically render that cache a D5?

Related thread regarding D/T ratings:

 

How do I ask Groundspeak a question

 

Thanks.

 

Didn't spot anything relevant in that thread other than perhaps the idea of forwarding my questions to Groundspeak?

I guess the relevance is that the rating system is subjective. If you require a tape measure to find one of the caches you own, and you feel that makes it a D5, then so be it. People will agree/disagree based on their own bias, so it really doesn't matter.

 

So your position is basically maybe - but who cares?

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So...

 

Q1. Would a tape measure be classed as a special tool / specialist equipment?

 

Q2. Would needing a tape measure in order to locate the cache automatically render that cache a D5?

Related thread regarding D/T ratings:

 

How do I ask Groundspeak a question

 

Thanks.

 

Didn't spot anything relevant in that thread other than perhaps the idea of forwarding my questions to Groundspeak?

I guess the relevance is that the rating system is subjective. If you require a tape measure to find one of the caches you own, and you feel that makes it a D5, then so be it. People will agree/disagree based on their own bias, so it really doesn't matter.

 

So your position is basically maybe - but who cares?

My position is irrelevant actually. It's what the community imposes, and given the trend to fill up grids, the D/T issue left the barn quite some time ago. It's come to the point if you hide a micro and put "BYOP" in the Description, it's pretty much a D5 nowadays.

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So...

 

Q1. Would a tape measure be classed as a special tool / specialist equipment?

 

Q2. Would needing a tape measure in order to locate the cache automatically render that cache a D5?

Related thread regarding D/T ratings:

 

How do I ask Groundspeak a question

 

Thanks.

 

Didn't spot anything relevant in that thread other than perhaps the idea of forwarding my questions to Groundspeak?

I guess the relevance is that the rating system is subjective. If you require a tape measure to find one of the caches you own, and you feel that makes it a D5, then so be it. People will agree/disagree based on their own bias, so it really doesn't matter.

 

So your position is basically maybe - but who cares?

My position is irrelevant actually. It's what the community imposes, and given the trend to fill up grids, the D/T issue left the barn quite some time ago. It's come to the point if you hide a micro and put "BYOP" in the Description, it's pretty much a D5 nowadays.

 

Cool.

 

I completely disagree.

 

Anybody else care to contribute?

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Q1. Would a tape measure be classed as a special tool / specialist equipment?

Q2. Would needing a tape measure in order to locate the cache automatically render that cache a D5?

Yeah, that's an interesting question. I'd answer Q1 "yes" and Q2 "no". I don't really know exactly how the guidelines deal with this case, but I consider it a special tool because I wouldn't have it in my pocket, so I'd need to know to bring it, but I don't consider it a sufficiently complex requirement to take the difficulty all the way to 5. I'd consider it a one point bump, maybe two points if the description didn't tell me explicitly that I'd need it.

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Q1. Would a tape measure be classed as a special tool / specialist equipment?

Q2. Would needing a tape measure in order to locate the cache automatically render that cache a D5?

Yeah, that's an interesting question. I'd answer Q1 "yes" and Q2 "no". I don't really know exactly how the guidelines deal with this case, but I consider it a special tool because I wouldn't have it in my pocket, so I'd need to know to bring it, but I don't consider it a sufficiently complex requirement to take the difficulty all the way to 5. I'd consider it a one point bump, maybe two points if the description didn't tell me explicitly that I'd need it.

My opinion is D1 and D2 are not special equipment any more than say using a pen or a screwdriver which we here sometimes refer to as a TOTT - Tool of the Trade. Special Equipment has the inference that there is a special skill required in using it such as rapelling equipment or handling a watercraft.

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...I consider it a special tool because I wouldn't have it in my pocket, so I'd need to know to bring it, but I don't consider it a sufficiently complex requirement to take the difficulty all the way to 5.

I agree with this. There's a cache near me that requires you to bring an air pump with you to open the container. This "special tool" isn't particularly rare or difficult to use. When I found the cache, it seemed appropriately rated at D3.5, if not over-rated. Rating it D5 simply because you had to bring the pump would seem totally wrong, considering the amount of effort and brainpower you had to use to get to the log.

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So...

 

Q1. Would a tape measure be classed as a special tool / specialist equipment?

 

Q2. Would needing a tape measure in order to locate the cache automatically render that cache a D5?

Related thread regarding D/T ratings:

 

How do I ask Groundspeak a question

 

Thanks.

 

Didn't spot anything relevant in that thread other than perhaps the idea of forwarding my questions to Groundspeak?

I guess the relevance is that the rating system is subjective. If you require a tape measure to find one of the caches you own, and you feel that makes it a D5, then so be it. People will agree/disagree based on their own bias, so it really doesn't matter.

 

So your position is basically maybe - but who cares?

My position is irrelevant actually. It's what the community imposes, and given the trend to fill up grids, the D/T issue left the barn quite some time ago. It's come to the point if you hide a micro and put "BYOP" in the Description, it's pretty much a D5 nowadays.

 

Cool.

 

I completely disagree.

 

Anybody else care to contribute?

 

Lack of precision doesn't mean complete subjectivity. There's a middle ground and a general consensus. I think the majority of cachers would be very amused if the only reason for a 5 rating was that a tape measure is required.

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...I consider it a special tool because I wouldn't have it in my pocket, so I'd need to know to bring it, but I don't consider it a sufficiently complex requirement to take the difficulty all the way to 5.

I agree with this. There's a cache near me that requires you to bring an air pump with you to open the container. This "special tool" isn't particularly rare or difficult to use. When I found the cache, it seemed appropriately rated at D3.5, if not over-rated. Rating it D5 simply because you had to bring the pump would seem totally wrong, considering the amount of effort and brainpower you had to use to get to the log.

Yup.

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Q1. Would a tape measure be classed as a special tool / specialist equipment?

 

Q2. Would needing a tape measure in order to locate the cache automatically render that cache a D5?

FWIW, I carry a (small) tape measure with me pretty much everywhere I go. But if I need a 100ft tape measure, I'll have to bring that from home.

 

Anyway, I'd consider a tape measure unusual enough to earn the attribute

s-tool-yes.gifSpecial Tool Required

but not so unusual to deserve a D5 stars5.gif rating.

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Q1. Would a tape measure be classed as a special tool / specialist equipment?

 

Q2. Would needing a tape measure in order to locate the cache automatically render that cache a D5?

FWIW, I carry a (small) tape measure with me pretty much everywhere I go. But if I need a 100ft tape measure, I'll have to bring that from home.

 

Anyway, I'd consider a tape measure unusual enough to earn the attribute

s-tool-yes.gifSpecial Tool Required

but not so unusual to deserve a D5 stars5.gif rating.

Sounds about right to me.

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So...

 

Q1. Would a tape measure be classed as a special tool / specialist equipment?

 

Q2. Would needing a tape measure in order to locate the cache automatically render that cache a D5?

 

The opinions expressed so far are pretty much what I expected and fit with my own viewpoint. I wouldn't expect the need for a tape measure to automatically raise a cache to D5 either - but I'd heard in the past that _any_ sort of specialist equipment = D5.

 

So it might be interesting to explore:

 

Q3. What, if any, special tool(s) _might_ lead to a cache being automatically rated as a D5?

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I always just equate the special equipment/T5 deal to something that has its own "sport" or section in a sporting good store. So kayaks, canoes and other boats...climbing or rapelling gear...SCUBA or snorkeling gear. Folks don't typically go out on tape measuring expeditions or socket wrench adventures. I have never heard of an "Extension Ladder Climbers Club". I don't believe any of those, by themselves, would warrant a T5 (or D5).

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Sometimes, I think the special tools could be a magic crystal ball and a lucky rabbits foot...

:lol:

I've needed those a few times.

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I just place a cache that requires somethng to extend your reach. I used a length of bailer twine and a piece of wire found on site to fashion a hook. Some finders have used a magnet instead of a hook. The cache I got the idea from was solved with a paperclip. There is now a suggestion that the terrain should be a 5 since a 'special tool' is required, even though it is on a path frequented by kindergarden students on their way to school.

 

So add

 

string

plastic bag - can be cut to make a string

shoe laces

fishing line

lanyard

paperclip

coathanger

fish hook

to the list or put some cord and stiff wire in your TOTT kit

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There shouldn't be a problem if the owner of the cache supplies the necessary tool(s) to retrieve it, correct?

 

I have an idea for a multi cache that I planned to include a special device to derive coordinates for the next stage.

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To me Special Tool would be something you may or may not carry. Like I don't have a ladder but I do have a flashlight and UV light. Long poles are good to carry with you. Some think tweezers are special tools.

Your list I would think the CO should list the items on the cache page because those are more then just Special Tools.

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It seems that special tool can be broken into two categories.

 

Tools that are required to 'open', or 'retrieve' the cache, and tools that are required to get to the cache. String, pliers, magnet, etc. are in the former category, while kayak, climbing gear, scuba equipment, etc. are in the latter.

 

Tool to open the cache should have a difficulty rating appropriate to how difficult it is to figure out what tool is required. Tools required to get to the cache make it a D5 cache, because, as pointed out earlier, they require special skills and/or expensive equipment.

 

Skye.

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It seems that special tool can be broken into two categories.

 

Tools that are required to 'open', or 'retrieve' the cache, and tools that are required to get to the cache. String, pliers, magnet, etc. are in the former category, while kayak, climbing gear, scuba equipment, etc. are in the latter.

 

Tool to open the cache should have a difficulty rating appropriate to how difficult it is to figure out what tool is required. Tools required to get to the cache make it a D5 cache, because, as pointed out earlier, they require special skills and/or expensive equipment.

Except that tools required to get to the cache generally affect the terrain rating, while the tools required to open or retrieve the cache generally affect the difficulty rating.

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