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Ethics of Finding


Profbrad
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Maybe part of my problem also is a cultural one. Often in this forum and whenever the people taking part come predominantly from the US, I somehow have the feeling that using any sort of negative statement is discouraged. That's quite a difficult to face for someone from continental Europe.

No, what is objectively discouraged is stating that one's opinion is how the game should be played, when said opinion goes against the simplicity of the game's guidelines. Between this thread and others, you constantly try to claim that your opinion is how the game is played, not how the game is played by you. Any time anyone tries to acknowledge that you are entitled to your opinion, but that opinion does not trump the guidelines of this global game, you pitch a fit.

 

You can play how you want and wish beyond wish, and hope beyond hope that they follow your more stringent self-imparted guidelines...but you just can't control others when they play the game according to the established and simple guidelines.

 

SOmehow some of what is written here sounds like saying "Oh, well done. We are happy that you take part in geocaching and found fun in it. We appreciate you being part of the community" to someone who shares final coordinates on the large scale.

I don't think anyone anywhere is saying that.

 

I'm pretty sure that many would frown on that behavior. And, in the case of web-spoilers of grand scale, Groundspeak has taken action. We can regard that behavior as "lame", and still simply move on and play without obsessing on and on that the game should be played "my way".

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On the other fin, I do look down upon large groups who meet to find all the mystery caches that only one has solved. But, I do not delete such finds.

 

I would never delete someone's find. Don't even want to.

 

I just wish mega power cachers who share final coords, and who never see the puzzle or the stages, or often not even the cache, would understand the effect they have on cache owners. Especially those of us that try to create a unique, fuller experience. It is not motivating and many of us will quit bothering.

 

 

When the mega power cachers come through and leave their cut n paste logs, all the good logs drop off the page. The favourite points percentage takes a nose dive. Anyone reading the last logs to see if it's worth doing sees ho-hum logs that don't address the cache.

 

Maybe if the Fav Point logs could float to the top, I'd be satisfied. Those FP logs help advertise our cache and get more people interested.

Maybe if cache owners could move non-descript logs to the bottom of the logging page, that might help.

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Feature request? Display only logs tagged with a favorite point.

Could that be easily abused? If you hate a cache, to have your sabotaging comments to rise to the top you'd have to favorite it; not really an effective abuse :P

 

Hey, maybe that could be a greasemonkey extension... then again maybe not, only the owner can see who favorited their own cache. Favorites are private. Never mind... still would be a nice feature. I'd still like to be able to just click the icons and show only those log types.

Butanyway....

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I would like to be able to simply hide the text of the 'mega cacher cut-n-paste log'. Their name and smilie would remain, just not the bit about their group this being find 47 of 138 of their group trip through the area.

Not sure what to do about the Favorite Point hit that these mega-cachers put on a cache.

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There's a difference between being open and direct and constantly being critical and negative.

 

I fully agree with you.

 

Open and direct not only relates however to what you might consider as negative. When reading through messages from Groundspeak or some US cachers, I often have the feeling that someone is pulling my leg which is of course not intended. What is often meant as a polite and positively formulated message, rather produces the converse for recipients from a different culture. In those cases I always have to remind myself of the very different culture.

 

In any case I'm missing open and direct words in connection with all the types of behaviour which are not against the Groundspeak guidelines, but which I do not think that they are within the spirit of geocaching. I still think that there should be something like an unwritten codex of a minimal standard of ethical behaviour in geocaching. It will not change the behaviour of geocachers and will not care about and will not feel bad e.g. when they share coordinates in a large style, but I see it already as a success if a few might become aware that there is more than the

guidelines of Groundspeak.

 

BTW: If you read through a couple of my most recent cache logs, I guess you will certainly not be able to claim that I'm constantly critical and negative.

I have to admit however that I will never stop to be critical and negative about certain effects of mass geocaching.

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I would like to be able to simply hide the text of the 'mega cacher cut-n-paste log'. Their name and smilie would remain, just not the bit about their group this being find 47 of 138 of their group trip through the area.

Not sure what to do about the Favorite Point hit that these mega-cachers put on a cache.

 

That would work too, as long as it hides it from everyone viewing the cache logs (accept the person who posted the log). And also then keeps it off the gpx files so that people looking for real information about the cache don't see 5 long logs with no substance.

But it could get abused by cache owners who hide logs that say anything negative about their cache.

Sorting would be better. But I'm sure there's a way of abusing that too.

Wish I could come up with a win-win so people who feel compelled to cut-n-paste or post logs that say nothing about the cache could do so, but not show up in the first 5 logs.

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Wish I could come up with a win-win so people who feel compelled to cut-n-paste or post logs that say nothing about the cache could do so, but not show up in the first 5 logs.

I don't think GS would implement anything site-wide for all people that's based on individual preferences... At most, an option you can set up for your own account available only to you.

If they keep favoriter identities private except to cache owners, there's no way they'll let people decide who's logs are 'worth' seeing, for more than themselves.

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f they keep favoriter identities private except to cache owners, there's no way they'll let people decide who's logs are 'worth' seeing, for more than themselves.

 

For the record, anyone can see who favorited a cache - simply click the Favorites box on a cache page and then select "View Who Favorited This Cache". You will be taken to a page like this.

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f they keep favoriter identities private except to cache owners, there's no way they'll let people decide who's logs are 'worth' seeing, for more than themselves.

 

For the record, anyone can see who favorited a cache - simply click the Favorites box on a cache page and then select "View Who Favorited This Cache". You will be taken to a page like this.

 

I thought that was owners only... you know, maybe I never actually tried on a not-my-cache... I'm sure I did. huh. Is it a PMO feature? Or is it literally everyone?

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I thought that was owners only... you know, maybe I never actually tried on a not-my-cache... I'm sure I did. huh. Is it a PMO feature? Or is it literally everyone?

 

It's for everyone and I use it much more often than the number or percentage data. When some cachers give a cache a FP, it almost always means something negative for me.

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Somehow some posts in this thread (not yours by the way) make me feel as cache owners ought to welcome all visits to their caches equally and should not be more happy with one type than the other.

 

First part before the "and" - why wouldn't you welcome ALL visitors to your cache in the same manner? With happiness in fact? They opted to spend part of their day caching and they chose your cache! If you're talking about visits meaning finds, then yes, they're equal. A find done the way you intended = a find done in a manner you didn't intend. They're both finds but it's the manner in which the find has been made that you have the problem with and that leads us to the next part.

 

Second part after the "and" - no one is telling you you shouldn't be more happy with one type over another. They're only telling you that you might get visitors to your cache that didn't do it the way you intended. You can be upset about it but it's probably going to happen. That's it. That's all. You can also be thrilled that someone wrote a log that exactly summarizes what you wanted the cacher to get out of it. That's great when those logs happen. They're NOT the same and you shouldn't feel the same way about those two types of logs, but that doesn't mean the other find (the one done in a manner you don't like) isn't valid. If those types of logs are having you consider whether or not to archive your caches, then you're taking them way too personally. It's OK to be upset about a log that appears to avoid the experience you so hoped to give them. The thing I learned to accept is that those types of logs ARE going to happen. If you can't accept that, then you probably should archive the caches to prevent that from happening, but it would be a shame as it would prevent other cachers from possibly experiencing exactly what you want them to.

 

I have some multis that cachers have shortcut, denying them the experience I wanted them to have. Am I unhappy? Sure, but I understand that it can happen so I don't let it get me down as much as it apparently gets you down. The fact that they chose to visit MY cache over someone else's cache, even if done in a way that undermines what I wanted them to experience, is the positive I dwell on instead of the fact that they didn't do it the way I intended. No hurt feelings on my part and I hope that what they did end up doing was enjoyable for them, even if I was a bit upset that they circumvented (either willfully or accidentally) the method to complete it the way I intended.

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Somehow some posts in this thread (not yours by the way) make me feel as cache owners ought to welcome all visits to their caches equally and should not be more happy with one type than the other.

 

First part before the "and" - why wouldn't you welcome ALL visitors to your cache in the same manner? With happiness in fact? They opted to spend part of their day caching and they chose your cache! If you're talking about visits meaning finds, then yes, they're equal.

 

Of course they are all legitimate finds (and I never questioned that in the slightest), but it does not mean that all such visits need to have the same value for the respective cache owner.

 

As to spending part of the day caching and chosing the cache owner's caches (I'm not necessarily speaking about my caches) is regarded, such visits typically happen because cachers want to visit as many caches existing in an area and increasing their number of finds as much as possible.Such visitors typically do not care a bit what caches they visit (except that some times the cache type, ratings etc play a role for challenge caches).

 

no one is telling you you shouldn't be more happy with one type over another.

 

I already mentioned before that some of the statements in this thread and related ones here and at other places let me however end up with exactly this impression.

 

 

They're only telling you that you might get visitors to your cache that didn't do it the way you intended.

 

I definitely was not referring to this part of the message. I'm into geocaching for too long to be not aware of this aspect.

 

I have some multis that cachers have shortcut, denying them the experience I wanted them to have. Am I unhappy? Sure, but I understand that it can happen so I don't let it get me down as much as it apparently gets you down.

 

I guess it also depends a lot to which extent such things happen. The fact that people shortcutted caches or did not solve puzzle caches they visited together with someone else who has solved them is nothing new and has occured already in the early years of geocaching.

 

I have multi stage caches where some visited the final when they have been in the area with other cachers who have done the cache before. That has happened also years ago.

 

The uprise of creating and sharing really extremely large lists with final coordinates is a more recent development. The aspect that bothers me the most is however not that such lists gets created and are shared, but that so many cachers think that is perfectly fine to create and share such lists. The recent discovery of the hack of geocheck.org has led to a huge number of discussions in particular in the German geocaching community and I'm disappointed about how many cachers defend such sharing coordinates at such a large scale and blame those who hide multi and puzzle caches. It's all a matter of balance. As long only occasionally someone visits a cache based on such lists, most cache owners will manage to stay motivated. As soon as too many come with the attitude "We are only interested into searching and logging cache containers and it is our right to turn every cache into a traditional", the more cache owners of non traditionals will get demotivated.

 

I'm however sure that it is also a regional issue. I do not know how many cachers there are in your area which are very number oriented and want to clear off a large radius or run out of caches in order to compete with others in rankings and urgently need to visit all available caches and do not even have the time to bother with them more than for the minimal time.

 

In my opinion, geocaching has become way too competitive in some areas in Europe (I cannot say anything about North America) and what I write about is of course influenced by that development.

 

 

 

The fact that they chose to visit MY cache over someone else's cache, even if done in a way that undermines what I wanted them to experience, is the positive I dwell on instead of the fact that they didn't do it the way I intended. No hurt feelings on my part and I hope that what they did end up doing was enjoyable for them, even if I was a bit upset that they circumvented (either willfully or accidentally) the method to complete it the way I intended.

 

It can happen very easily that one circumvents accidentally the intended way (e.g. by chance) - that has happened to me several times, sometimes I later dealt with the intended way or visited stages I missed. As a cache owner I regret if someone willfully skips parts of my caches which I regard as important for the cache. What really bothers me however if the skipping is based on sharing final coordinates and those who use this approach argue that what they are doing is within the spirit of geocaching. In my opinion, if those were right, we could just as well make all waypoints public to everyone who wants to see them or do not allow traditionals at all. Having multiple cache types, but somehow arguing that everyone has the right to turn every cache into a traditional is inconsistent to me. I'm fully aware of the fact that it will always happen that people turn every cache into a traditional, and I also know that nothing can hinder them from doing so. But it's different thing for me when those people claim that they are entitled to turn every cache into a traditional and argue that the guidelines are on their side while I think that this an ethical matter beyond the guidelines (and that's why I think that it fits to this thread).

 

 

Cezanne

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f they keep favoriter identities private except to cache owners, there's no way they'll let people decide who's logs are 'worth' seeing, for more than themselves.

 

For the record, anyone can see who favorited a cache - simply click the Favorites box on a cache page and then select "View Who Favorited This Cache". You will be taken to a page like this.

 

I thought that was owners only... you know, maybe I never actually tried on a not-my-cache... I'm sure I did. huh. Is it a PMO feature? Or is it literally everyone?

Everyone.

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f they keep favoriter identities private except to cache owners, there's no way they'll let people decide who's logs are 'worth' seeing, for more than themselves.

 

For the record, anyone can see who favorited a cache - simply click the Favorites box on a cache page and then select "View Who Favorited This Cache". You will be taken to a page like this.

 

I thought that was owners only... you know, maybe I never actually tried on a not-my-cache... I'm sure I did. huh. Is it a PMO feature? Or is it literally everyone?

Everyone.

 

Also all of the favorites you gave out is also viewable to everyone under your "lists" tab.

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It's OK to be upset about a log that appears to avoid the experience you so hoped to give them. The thing I learned to accept is that those types of logs ARE going to happen.

I agree with everything you're saying, but I wouldn't use the term "accept" here. I don't consider it a matter of accepting a negative. I think of it as recognizing that it's a positive even though it's a much, much smaller positive than the person that enjoyed the entire experience.

 

The uprise of creating and sharing really extremely large lists with final coordinates is a more recent development. The aspect that bothers me the most is however not that such lists gets created and are shared, but that so many cachers think that is perfectly fine to create and share such lists.

I have no direct experience with the problem of lists of shared final locations although I've heard about it, so I can't comment on how bad it's gotten. But I agree completely that such actions should be condemned.

 

I'm however sure that it is also a regional issue. I do not know how many cachers there are in your area which are very number oriented and want to clear off a large radius or run out of caches in order to compete with others in rankings and urgently need to visit all available caches and do not even have the time to bother with them more than for the minimal time.

Although the motivation isn't quite how you describe it, there are a few cachers in my area that are very numbers oriented who I suspect regularly get answers from other people. That part of it isn't regional, I don't think. I think what's regional is the widespread acceptance of doing it openly, and I'd be as annoyed as you if that were the case in my area. So I'm starting to get a sense of how your anger could spill over on the people taking advantage of it and encourage it.

 

In my opinion, geocaching has become way too competitive in some areas in Europe (I cannot say anything about North America) and what I write about is of course influenced by that development.

Let me stress that I now know that I really don't understand everything you're feeling about this, but let me humbly suggest that caring about such finds buys into the thinking that the number of finds are important. Part of the reason I'm not as sympathetic as I should be is that I really don't care who claims what as a find as long as they've followed the rules set out in the guidelines, so I don't even think about whether they were motivated by some imagined competition. The quality of the find for me as the owner is in the log, so I see no difference between the competitor that shortcut to the final and the seeker that fully followed the intended path and then logged, "What fun! TFTC!"

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It's OK to be upset about a log that appears to avoid the experience you so hoped to give them. The thing I learned to accept is that those types of logs ARE going to happen.

I agree with everything you're saying, but I wouldn't use the term "accept" here. I don't consider it a matter of accepting a negative. I think of it as recognizing that it's a positive even though it's a much, much smaller positive than the person that enjoyed the entire experience.

 

You are certainly right. When writing in a foreign language while being busy also with other stuff, I often do not end up with most suitable terms.

 

The uprise of creating and sharing really extremely large lists with final coordinates is a more recent development. The aspect that bothers me the most is however not that such lists gets created and are shared, but that so many cachers think that is perfectly fine to create and share such lists.

I have no direct experience with the problem of lists of shared final locations although I've heard about it, so I can't comment on how bad it's gotten. But I agree completely that such actions should be condemned.

 

Condemning them is something which might not be appropriate for those who do not care at all. I would already be fine if the number of defenders of those practices were smaller.

Somehow it ends up with those who think that

 

 

In my opinion, geocaching has become way too competitive in some areas in Europe (I cannot say anything about North America) and what I write about is of course influenced by that development.

Let me stress that I now know that I really don't understand everything you're feeling about this, but let me humbly suggest that caring about such finds buys into the thinking that the number of finds are important.

 

Actually I'm not caring about the finds itself, but rather about the implied consequences (and believe me there are many unfortunate ones).

What I experienced with respect to my own caches (most of them being minority caches) is relatively harmless and I could find a way for my most affected cache (by changing it).

My main focus was on the community at large and not specifically on my own caches. Actually, I'm more affected if a nice cache that I wanted to go for gets archived than if I decide myself

to archive a cache. My intention when taking part in this thread was rather to explain why I'm not happy with the reduction to just what is ruled by the guidelines.

 

I thought that some cachers who have not experienced massive abuses might start to reconsider whether they think that "It's a game. Everyone can play as they want" is really a suitable parole in all situations.

 

The cachers who actively share such lists are definitely not active in this forum - most of them are not active in any forum at all, it would take away too much time from their caching time and forums discussions are anyway not their beef. So I do not think that my posts here will have the effect you have mentioned above.

 

The quality of the find for me as the owner is in the log, so I see no difference between the competitor that shortcut to the final and the seeker that fully followed the intended path and then logged, "What fun! TFTC!"

 

From the point of view of the logs, neither do I.

 

However compare scenarios A and B (made up for the sake of demonstration): Suppose someone has hidden a hiking cache involving a trail of say 7km with the idea to motivate people to go for a hike and be physically active.

 

In scenario A the majority of the visitors go for the hike. Some report about the hike and some others who are known to be lazy loggers write very short logs (some of them are typically accompanied by someone writing longer logs). In this situation the cache owner will probably end up with the feeling that his/her effort was not useless and that it was not a silly idea to hide the cache.

 

In scenario B, a lot of visitors visit only the final and then either belong to group one who writes a log making everyone believe that they visited all stages and that everything is ok

(which is problematic as I have mentioned before and also makes cache owners suspicious as they somehow start to become overly suspicious except if they know the loggers very well)

or they belong to group two which explicitly writes in the log that they are not interested into hiking, do not have time for the hike etc and so obtained the coordinates from elsewhere.

 

As a cache owner in scenario B I cannot help to asking myself whether it was a good idea to hide a cache. Of course in the moment when logs of cachers who are really interested into the cache come in, the motivation might come back, but at the very moment when the disappointing logs come in, it's not always easy not to end up being frustrated.

 

You even could get very positive made up logs for a cache from cachers who only visit the final. Some cachers are known for this and most local cachers know that what they write is irrelevant, but not all visitors are local and not every log reader knows the area and its cachers.

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I just want to know why it's always the newer cachers who want to make more rules and otherwise suck the fun out of a lighthearted game? :unsure:

I think newer cachers are more likely to think more rules are a good idea because it takes time to run into the myriad of cases, either in your own experiences or hearing about other people's experiences, that provide examples of why any additional rule you might think of would be a bad idea. It's similar to how young people tend to think that more government should be used to solve all problems because they don't know how often giving the government more power turns out badly.

 

Whenever someone posts a list like this, I consciously ignore the fact that, even though I consider them good ideas that should be followed, I've broken almost every proposed rule at one time or another and don't feel at all bad about it. So I focus on the general reasons not to have more rules without bringing up the specific times these rules would have gotten in the way of my fun.

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I have some multis that cachers have shortcut, denying them the experience I wanted them to have. Am I unhappy? Sure, but I understand that it can happen so I don't let it get me down as much as it apparently gets you down.

 

I guess it also depends a lot to which extent such things happen. The fact that people shortcutted caches or did not solve puzzle caches they visited together with someone else who has solved them is nothing new and has occurred already in the early years of geocaching.

 

I have multi stage caches where some visited the final when they have been in the area with other cachers who have done the cache before. That has happened also years ago.

 

The uprise of creating and sharing really extremely large lists with final coordinates is a more recent development......

 

In my opinion, geocaching has become way too competitive in some areas in Europe (I cannot say anything about North America) and what I write about is of course influenced by that development.

 

This is the crux of the matter - the uprise. It's starting to have a dominant effect on the game. Competition IMO is not good for the pastime, might be good for Groundspeak profits though. But I foresee a tipping point where competition takes completely over and those who prefer a pastime over a sport, stop participating.

 

 

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To reiterate what has been said here numerous times: This set of 'standards' sounds like a great way for you, personally, to play the game. As for the rest of us, Groundspeak puts it perfectly when they define a 'Found it' as signing a log and claiming the find. Anything else only creates more confusion and, in my opinion, creates more of a situation for people's feelings to get hurt.

 

As a cache owner, all I really care about is a mark on a log sheet. If you want to use coordinates for a puzzle that someone else solved, go ahead. If you want to cache as a group, go ahead. If you think breaking up into smaller groups, each finding separate caches but claiming them all as individual finds is fun and fair...go ahead. To each, his/her own.

 

I cache by a set of personal standards not too unlike the standards you've put forth here, but I don't expect anyone else to follow them.

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1. The finder located the physical container or was on site to visit an earthcache or virtual.

2. The finder signed the log if it was possible to do so and, if not, documented evidence of the find.

3. The find was made without overwhelming assistance from others.

4. The find was made by following any specific rules in the cache description.

5. The find was publically available when claimed.

6. The find was not a cache placed by the finder.

7. The find was not previously discovered by the finder.

 

I was a gamer before I was a geocacher so I like rules.

 

1. Yes.

 

2. Yes.

 

3. I think "overwhelming assistance from others" is too vague a term. I think they only cheaty behavior is being given a list of puzzle solutions and/or multi-stage cache final coords. IMO finding a non-traditional cache final by accident is fine. So is accompanying another cacher who has solved the puzzle or who has required technology you lack (CHIRP, Wherigo, etc). So is solving in a way other than the CO intended, including accidental finds and Jetskiering (FL term, named after a cacher, for finding a cache via logical deduction and process of elimination on its possible locations rather than traditional solving). In other words, if you're not doing the intended "work" to get the cache, you should instead being doing alternate work or be part of a team effort or just lucky.

 

4. That's basically an ALR. I think it would be far better to say "...by following all laws and posted legal restrictions." So obey park hours and No Trespassing signs.

 

5. Disagree. I have no problem with people finding caches before they are published. However, FTF should only count Finds made after publication, unless the pre-publication finder did not have advance knowledge of the cache (i.e. found it accidentally).

 

6. Yes. Do not log Finds on caches you own, except in unusual circumstances (such as finding a cache then adopting it).

 

7. Yes. Do not log the same caching listing more than once. I suppose exceptions would reasonable for Moving Caches, but I would personally just as soon have such caches be retired.

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Any time anyone tries to acknowledge that you are entitled to your opinion, but that opinion does not trump the guidelines of this global game, you pitch a fit.

 

Actually, you apparently misunderstand me completely. Once again, nothing of what I wrote had the background to trump the guidelines and let me stress again that even if I could

I would not make the guidelines stricter and I'm not in favour of ALRs etc.

 

Thanks for making me learn the phrase "to pitch a fit" which I have not known before (I do not think that your impression is true).

 

When it comes to the topic of ethics, I think however that the situation changes. I do not see it as a proper way to deal with ethics to list a catalogue of wanted and unwanted behaviour and then that's it. So once again I'm not even in favour of setting up a list like the one provided by the OP even if it is only a compulsory one.

 

Even for my own approach to logging I could not come up with a list that covers every single potential situation, not even when the list were 1000 pages long, and it would be a waste of time and energy in my opinion to come up with such a list.

 

I really wonder where you take the idea from that I require others to play the game (I use your words, as I do not play a game at all) in my way.

I have never deleted a legitimate log (actually up to now I only deleted 3 or 4 bogus logs for my virtual coupled to a physical cache over time) and I never threathened to delete a log.

I never imposed ALRs in one of my caches (not even at the time when they existed).

 

I'm not expecting anyone else to apply the same logging ethics than I do. Personally, I try to respect certain wishes of cache owners (note wishes and not conditions).

For example, I only logged a note for this cache

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3G0H2_mtb-gipfelsturmer

even though I have visited all stages and the final and did not obtain any help whatsoever. I walked however and did not come by MTB which is out of what I could achieve. I can assure you that the cache owner would not have deleted a found it log of mine (he did not delete other logs by cachers who came on foot). For me as an individual it felt way better to log this cache (which by the way I enjoyed very much and much more than a lot of the caches for which I logged a find) as a note. I never ever would expect someone else to follow my example. So I definitely can distinguish between my own ethics and what I hope others comply with.

 

And when it comes to the suggestions that if cache owners want to ensure that the visitors visit the cache in the intended manner, I actually prefer cache set-ups like the one above

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3G0H2_mtb-gipfelsturmer

which allow me to enjoy the cache tour

to setups like a Wherigo with a time limit where those who are not able to meet the requirements cannot even do the cache (regardless of the chosen log type).

 

By the way: In some aspects the guidelines are absurd anyway. For example, the owner of the MTB cache above could have deleted my note (based on a signature in the log book) and would have had no chance to appeal and get the log reinstated while if I happened to log a found it, Groundspeak would have helped me. Weird, isn't it?

 

 

You can play how you want and wish beyond wish, and hope beyond hope that they follow your more stringent self-imparted guidelines...but you just can't control others when they play the game according to the established and simple guidelines.

 

Once again, I do not have self-imparted guidelines for others to follow. What I experience however is that coordinate sharing to a large extent influences the motivation of owners to hide and maintain complex caches and that's the coin where I come from.

 

 

SOmehow some of what is written here sounds like saying "Oh, well done. We are happy that you take part in geocaching and found fun in it. We appreciate you being part of the community" to someone who shares final coordinates on the large scale.

I don't think anyone anywhere is saying that.

 

I'm pretty sure that many would frown on that behavior.

 

Too few in my opinion in the areas I have in mind. And no reaction of Groundspeak will ever change that.

 

And, in the case of web-spoilers of grand scale, Groundspeak has taken action. We can regard that behavior as "lame", and still simply move on and play without obsessing on and on that the game should be played "my way".

 

What they did was like a drop in the bucket (this does not mean that I think that they could have done more). The data and lists are still out there and new such lists will created and shared. What became known now is just one small incident compared to all what happened.

 

There are many thousands of cachers out there who think that is perfectly ok to use whatever methods to turn every cache into a traditional.

My stance is that it is ok from the point of view of legitimate found it logs, but I do not regard these methods as ethical behaviour within geocaching.

 

I wonder what ethical behaviour means to you with respect to geocaching. It cannot be ruled by the guidelines as those are closer to laws when it comes to logging. Ethics is something different. There is a lot of fully legal behaviour in this world which is extremely unethical.

Edited by cezanne
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The oft repeated statement here about not forcing your way of playing geocaching on other cachers is a bit shortsighted.

 

For example, if sharing puzzle/multi/Wherigo finals becomes too widespread then COs will stop hiding puzzles, multi, and Wherigo. Then cachers who enjoy those kinds of caches will not have the kind of caches they enjoy and may quit the game.

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On the leapfrogging, i'm just saying that there is no one size fits all for what people call, teamwork. Some will say that a team needs to be together to claim a find on a cache. Then there are some who think it's fine to split up and still have everyone in the team claim a find. Like many aspects of geocaching, there is no clear cut right and wrong. This is one reason why the OP's idea of incorporating some standard guidelines would be pretty tough to do.

Agreed.

We're of the "everyone stays together" opinion of a team find.

Right. Any other approach leads to strange results. If a "team member" can be a half mile away, why not 2,000 miles away? He or she makes the find and I claim a smiley???

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For example, if sharing puzzle/multi/Wherigo finals becomes too widespread then COs will stop hiding puzzles, multi, and Wherigo. Then cachers who enjoy those kinds of caches will not have the kind of caches they enjoy and may quit the game.

 

I agree and it's one of my concerns.

 

Moreover, it's not only about stopping to hide such caches, but also about having to make the existing ones more complicated when the hider actually prefers them to be by introducing artificial elements that would not be necessary otherwise.

 

As far as those who prefer to do every cache as traditional are concerned, those then of course have won. They do not care of the diversity of cache types disappears and they clearly state this in this manner.

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The oft repeated statement here about not forcing your way of playing geocaching on other cachers is a bit shortsighted.

 

For example, if sharing puzzle/multi/Wherigo finals becomes too widespread then COs will stop hiding puzzles, multi, and Wherigo. Then cachers who enjoy those kinds of caches will not have the kind of caches they enjoy and may quit the game.

 

I agree if this is taken to an extreme. Though I still don't think an ethics document is needed.

 

I own puzzle caches, Wherigos, and a multi. If I was to learn that someone (for example) didn't play the Wherigo, but just got the final coordinates from someone else, that wouldn't bother me. If the sharing of final coordinates became so widespread that I learned that NOBODY was doing the Wherigo anymore (other than the first finder), then I would be unlikely to set another. Why would I put in the effort if the finders just want a traditional? So they can get a different icon whilst only really doing a traditional?

 

But if someone who didn't have a device to play the Wherigo, and had poor eyesight and could not read the screen, did it with a friend who provided the device and read out the questions etc ("overwhelming assistance"), I'd be thrilled.

 

So I think that widespread final coordinate sharing would be bad for the game. But I don't think a rule/guideline that says "you shall not get overwhelming assistance from others" is the solution.

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But I don't think a rule/guideline that says "you shall not get overwhelming assistance from others" is the solution.

 

I fully agree with you.

 

I do not agree with the OP in his wish for assembling a document defining the ethics of finding.

 

My point in this thread is just that in my opinion, there are issues that go beyond having a guideline about what makes a legitimate find.

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But if someone who didn't have a device to play the Wherigo, and had poor eyesight and could not read the screen, did it with a friend who provided the device and read out the questions etc ("overwhelming assistance"), I'd be thrilled.

 

Me too, but in such a case I would it even call it overwhelming assistance.

 

There is another issue involved when it comes to coordinate sharing on a larger level.

Some caches are multi caches with a longer route or puzzle caches with a challenging puzzle to reduce the number of visitors. It's not uncommon that when being provided with permission to hide a cache this is based on some estimate of the number of visitors. It can make a huge difference whether 3 people come per month or say 20 - this not only holds with respect to permission issues, but also e.g. with wearout effects at tricky stage constructions etc which occur much faster if the traffic is higher. I fully understand why some affected German cache owners who have invested 100 and more Euro into their constructions, decided to archive their caches.

 

There are many more issues involved when the unhappyness of the owner with visits that did not happen in the intended manner.

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But if someone who didn't have a device to play the Wherigo, and had poor eyesight and could not read the screen, did it with a friend who provided the device and read out the questions etc ("overwhelming assistance"), I'd be thrilled.

 

Me too, but in such a case I would it even call it overwhelming assistance.

 

There is another issue involved when it comes to coordinate sharing on a larger level.

Some caches are multi caches with a longer route or puzzle caches with a challenging puzzle to reduce the number of visitors. It's not uncommon that when being provided with permission to hide a cache this is based on some estimate of the number of visitors. It can make a huge difference whether 3 people come per month or say 20 - this not only holds with respect to permission issues, but also e.g. with wearout effects at tricky stage constructions etc which occur much faster if the traffic is higher. I fully understand why some affected German cache owners who have invested 100 and more Euro into their constructions, decided to archive their caches.

 

There are many more issues involved when the unhappyness of the owner with visits that did not happen in the intended manner.

 

If a cache can't handle 20 cachers/month maybe it shouldnt have been placed in the first place. Even with a very active coordinate sharing group I can't see a cache getting an extra 15+ cachers/month on an ongoing basis. I think your arguments are exaggerated and even if by chance they aren't in your area they are not the norm.

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If a cache can't handle 20 cachers/month maybe it shouldnt have been placed in the first place.

 

The question is not whether it can, but whether based on such numbers the property owner is giving his ok.

 

For example, I can think of several places where I at most 5 cachers on average per month is something that would be ok while

larger numbers are not. That's not necessarily an issue of being a sensible location - for example there shouldn't be a cache at all

at an environmentally sensible location where a single cacher can already destroy/damage something of value.

 

With regard to privacy and intrusion issues the matter is however different. Up to a certain point the additional traffic caused by a cache will not really matter,

but up from that point the situation changes. Of course the limits were just examples and it will depend on the local situation and the preferences of the property owner (of course I do not have large parks and such locations in mind, but rather areas where the property owner or neighbours live nearby).

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If a cache can't handle 20 cachers/month maybe it shouldnt have been placed in the first place.

 

The question is not whether it can, but whether based on such numbers the property owner is giving his ok.

 

For example, I can think of several places where I at most 5 cachers on average per month is something that would be ok while

larger numbers are not. That's not necessarily an issue of being a sensible location - for example there shouldn't be a cache at all

at an environmentally sensible location where a single cacher can already destroy/damage something of value.

 

With regard to privacy and intrusion issues the matter is however different. Up to a certain point the additional traffic caused by a cache will not really matter,

but up from that point the situation changes. Of course the limits were just examples and it will depend on the local situation and the preferences of the property owner (of course I do not have large parks and such locations in mind, but rather areas where the property owner or neighbours live nearby).

 

I have never heard of a cache having a restriction to the number of monthly finders and I'm sure such caches are scarce. Again, I do not think, even with an active coordinate sharing group the cache will receive excessive traffic on an ongoing basis.

 

Once you publish a cache how it's found is out of your control as long as the log is signed and fretting over people not finding it the way you intended only hurts you. I'm sure coordinate sharing has been going on since the first cache that was not at the pisted coordinates and it will go on indefinitely, it never has been and never will be a major issue to the majority of hiders.

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I have never heard of a cache having a restriction to the number of monthly finders and I'm sure such caches are scarce.

 

Of course not an explicit limit (the only such caches I know of are some very special night caches with a special calendar where cachers have to register their intented visit).

 

I have often heard however that cache owners provide estimated upper bounds for the number of visits when asking for permission.

 

And if a new powertrail shows up in an area or if coordinate sharing and methods like hacking checker sites occur, then these estimates will be thoroughly wrong.

 

Of course on cannot control the way people visit a cache. It's not unreasonable however to assume that only few cachers are able and willing to solve a puzzle which requires very special skills and knowledge.

If it then turns out that many come and visit the cache for whom it would be completely impossible to solve the puzzle (and I do not mean a few cachers coming along with a friend who solved the puzzle)

then it is not surprising that some owners will archive their caches (actually, sometimes it seems to me that this is a reaction many of those who hate non traditionals are hoping and aiming for anyway).

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I have never heard of a cache having a restriction to the number of monthly finders and I'm sure such caches are scarce.

 

Of course not an explicit limit (the only such caches I know of are some very special night caches with a special calendar where cachers have to register their intented visit).

 

I have often heard however that cache owners provide estimated upper bounds for the number of visits when asking for permission.

 

And if a new powertrail shows up in an area or if coordinate sharing and methods like hacking checker sites occur, then these estimates will be thoroughly wrong.

 

Of course on cannot control the way people visit a cache. It's not unreasonable however to assume that only few cachers are able and willing to solve a puzzle which requires very special skills and knowledge.

If it then turns out that many come and visit the cache for whom it would be completely impossible to solve the puzzle (and I do not mean a few cachers coming along with a friend who solved the puzzle)

then it is not surprising that some owners will archive their caches (actually, sometimes it seems to me that this is a reaction many of those who hate non traditionals are hoping and aiming for anyway).

 

Then I say the problem does not lie with those sharing coordinates but rather with the COs creating puzzles only few can solve. Now if an area were to get saturated with these kind of puzzles it many cause local cachers to quit. Sounds like those types of puzzles are elitist and I would not blame anyone for obtaining final coordinates in any manner possible.

Edited by Roman!
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Then I say the problem does not lie with those sharing coordinates but rather with the COs creating puzzles only few can solve. Now if an area were to get saturated with these kind of puzzles it many cause local cachers to quit. Sounds like those types of puzzles are elitist and I would not blame anyone for obtaining final coordinates in any manner possible.

 

But why should puzzle caches that few can solve be any more elitist than climbing caches that few can do?

What about running caches where a certain limit has to be achieved that hardly anyone can achieve? I really like being outdoors and I prefer it to sitting for hours in front of a PC when it comes to geocaching, but there are so many caches out there which exclude me because I do not have fulfill the requirements for such caches.

 

By the way what you write above fits well into the picture of the many opinions that using whatever method to end up with the final coordinates for difficult caches is fine and ok. Of course the guidelines are not saying anything about this, but I think it should be a topic when it comes to ethics.

 

In my opinion, it's not about caches appealing only to a few cachers it's rather that for puzzle caches there is an easier way to arrive at a find log and this approach unfortunately got widely accepted in the community.

 

I doubt that people would see it the same way if I sent someone else out on the running track in order to obtain the final coordinates for me (I never ever would even think to really do something).

 

Sometimes puzzles are also spoilt heavily by those who have not solved them themselves and so have no feeling for what are the essential steps. That's then like placing a high terrain cache at a lower height to make it easier reachable. Hardly anyone would feel that it is ok to change the height or in the extreme move the cache down to ground level. A cache does not neccesarily consist only of a container - there are other aspects as well. Either one believes (like I do) that all parts of a cache should be treated with respect or one should apply the same tolerance one allows in one area also in all the other ones. Everything else is inconsistent.

Edited by cezanne
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kinda like a group find on a tree climbing cache? I don't see many COs complaining.

 

Difference is a high terrain cache does not take up a spot in a easy location where as a high difficulty puzzle usually does.

 

There are also different ways to get to a high terrain cache, for example helicopter.

Edited by Roman!
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Of course not an explicit limit (the only such caches I know of are some very special night caches with a special calendar where cachers have to register their intented visit).

 

I have often heard however that cache owners provide estimated upper bounds for the number of visits when asking for permission.

 

And if a new powertrail shows up in an area or if coordinate sharing and methods like hacking checker sites occur, then these estimates will be thoroughly wrong.

Sounds like the problem is in trying to estimate an upper limit that they think will stay valid for all time.

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Difference is a high terrain cache does not take up a spot in a easy location where as a high difficulty puzzle usually does.

 

Not true in my experience at all. Most tree climbing caches and also the caches with time limits I mentioned take up spots where caches could

be hidden that are easily within my reach.

 

Most trees used for tree climbing caches are trivial to reach. That's also the reason why lots of T5 cachers complain when

cachers who did not climb up log a find while many of them have the habit to log difficult puzzle caches for which they needed

help.

 

There are also different ways to get to a high terrain cache, for example helicopter.

 

A helicopter will not help you to finalize a given running trail or cross country skiing trail quicker when you have to pass exactly certain points and stay within time.

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Sounds like the problem is in trying to estimate an upper limit that they think will stay valid for all time.

 

Under normal conditions it's rather that the visit rate goes down after a while.

Of course there is a never a guarantee that some estimate will stay valid for all time - then one needs to react. That does not mean however that whatever causes

estimates to become finally wrong needs to be appreciated and be welcomed. It is not a big deal to act on the level of an individual cache - caches are quickly archived.

 

The point I tried to make is rather that the topic is much more complex than just about caring or not caring about the number of finds of someone.

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kinda like a group find on a tree climbing cache? I don't see many COs complaining.

I don't know whether the OP is a CO, but this thread started with a post that included the following:

Signing for others / having others sign for you – It is not legitimate to sign another finder’s name or to have someone else sign a cache for you (#1, 2). Relatedly, if a cache is in a difficult location (e.g., in a tree or under water), it is not legitimate for someone else to bring you the cache for you to sign (#3, 4). Serving as a member of the ground crew on a 5/5 does not entitle you to claim a find. To summarize: If you are unable to retrieve and sign a cache in the way intended by the owner without overwhelming help from others, then you should not claim a find.

And this isn't the first complaint of this type that I've read here.

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kinda like a group find on a tree climbing cache? I don't see many COs complaining.

I don't know whether the OP is a CO, but this thread started with a post that included the following:

Signing for others / having others sign for you – It is not legitimate to sign another finder’s name or to have someone else sign a cache for you (#1, 2). Relatedly, if a cache is in a difficult location (e.g., in a tree or under water), it is not legitimate for someone else to bring you the cache for you to sign (#3, 4). Serving as a member of the ground crew on a 5/5 does not entitle you to claim a find. To summarize: If you are unable to retrieve and sign a cache in the way intended by the owner without overwhelming help from others, then you should not claim a find.

And this isn't the first complaint of this type that I've read here.

 

What? People complaining on this forum, well I never.....

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kinda like a group find on a tree climbing cache? I don't see many COs complaining.

I don't know whether the OP is a CO, but this thread started with a post that included the following:

Signing for others / having others sign for you – It is not legitimate to sign another finder’s name or to have someone else sign a cache for you (#1, 2). Relatedly, if a cache is in a difficult location (e.g., in a tree or under water), it is not legitimate for someone else to bring you the cache for you to sign (#3, 4). Serving as a member of the ground crew on a 5/5 does not entitle you to claim a find. To summarize: If you are unable to retrieve and sign a cache in the way intended by the owner without overwhelming help from others, then you should not claim a find.

And this isn't the first complaint of this type that I've read here.

And I think it comes down to the "DO IT MY WAY!" wishes that some cache owners have (heck, I used to feel that way myself, until I was on the other end of the stick and had to appeal a "legitimate Found It" to Groundspeak), and how Groundspeak realizes that they can't intervene in any way other than to hold the line that a log with a signature by an individual, or a group, constitutes a "Found It" log.

 

If they intervened on behalf of every cache owner who asks, requests, or demands that a cache were completed in a certain way, there would be an entire division of labor dedicated to that endeavor. So, they opt for the simple guideline that a signed log is a Found It log online (with the exception of Challenges, but the guidelines are now established for that ALR, and likely won't be going away any time soon...).

 

Enclaves and communities and individuals within this game are welcome to play with their own sets of ethics and preferences, and that's the beauty of it. By leaving it simple, Groundspeak allows us all to make decisions for ourselves. Any talk about increasing the amount of control over playing is only going to be to the detriment of the overall gameplay on Geocaching.com.

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And I think it comes down to the "DO IT MY WAY!" wishes that some cache owners have (heck, I used to feel that way myself, until I was on the other end of the stick and had to appeal a "legitimate Found It" to Groundspeak), and how Groundspeak realizes that they can't intervene in any way other than to hold the line that a log with a signature by an individual, or a group, constitutes a "Found It" log.

 

I do not think that it comes down to that. There is no need for Groundspeak to intervene as long as no found it logs with a signature are deleted.

 

There is a difference between requiring that someone climbs a tree in order to log a found it and saying that the idea behind tree climbing caches is that one climbs the tree and it one has a preference for found it logs that are obtained that way. (Instead of tree climbing you could insert puzzle solving and many other activities).

 

It makes sense to have a simple rule for when found it logs are allowed, but as I said before I do not see found it logs as the essence of geocaching.

 

 

Any talk about increasing the amount of control over playing is only going to be to the detriment of the overall gameplay on Geocaching.com.

 

Discussing about what fits to the topic of ethics does not imply at all increasing the amount of control.

 

I wonder why you blame me with imposing my way of caching on others when for you it is only about the rules for a found it log which do not play any role in my arguments and in what I talk about.

 

Like I cannot change that someone logs TFTC for a cache in which I invested many days of effort, I cannot change that someone shortcuts a cache of mine. And I'm certainly not calling out for a change of the guidelines which could me make it influence. I wonder however why you apparently think that something as complex as ethics can be governed by as simple things like a logging rule.

 

If I had to instruct a beginner, I would tell them that they can log a found it whenever they signed the log book, but that there are circumstances where I would not recommend logging a found it even though it is not forbidden. I do not think that any cacher on this site would end up with the slightest detriment if someone decides to log a note in certain cases or to ignore a cache.

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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It makes sense to have a simple rule for when found it logs are allowed, but as I said before I do not see found it logs as the essence of geocaching.

 

Cezanne

 

But it IS the essence of our game/hobby of geocaching. When you boil it all down to the simplest explanation of what geocaching is (the definition, in other words), it's find a container hidden at a set of coordinates and sign the log to prove you were there.

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It makes sense to have a simple rule for when found it logs are allowed, but as I said before I do not see found it logs as the essence of geocaching.

 

But it IS the essence of our game/hobby of geocaching. When you boil it all down to the simplest explanation of what geocaching is (the definition, in other words), it's find a container hidden at a set of coordinates and sign the log to prove you were there.

 

Even when you reduce it to traditionals and to finding the container (and ignore the way to the container), I would not say that writing find it logs is the essence.

Somehow someone not logging online at all or writing a note or ending up with did not find, is geocaching, too, and some of my best geocaching experiences did not end up in found it logs.

 

I start to ask myself whether anyone who started in the early years would agree that writing found it logs is the essence of geocaching.

There are certainly old timers for whom the search for the container is the essential part of geocaching (which is not the case for me), but I cannot believe that

there are many old timer for whom logging finds is the essential part.

 

Moreover, I'd like to raise the following explicit question directed not just to you:

 

Suppose you act as a mentor for a new geocacher (not a muggle whom you want to explain what geocaching is). Is the rule when one is allowed to write a found it log really the most important

and only thing you are going to tell the cacher?

 

As I'm concerned, a lot more would be part of what I'm going to tell the mentee. For example, I also would explain that most cache owners appreciate to receive meaningful logs (to provide an example that is not related to logging a find or not).

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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Suppose you act as a mentor for a new geocacher (not a muggle whom you want to explain what geocaching is). Is the rule when one is allowed to write a found it log really the most important and only thing you are going to tell the cacher?
For either muggles or new geocachers, I never mention logs (physical or online) initially. I start with the idea that geocaching is a high-tech scavenger hunt, and then explain that someone hides a container and publishes its GPS coordinates, and then others use those GPS coordinates to find the hidden container. Or, depending on the context, I might express it this way: someone hid a container and posted the GPS coordinates, and now I'm using those GPS coordinates to find the hidden container.

 

If they're still interested, then I'll tell them more: trade fairly; sign the log; replace the container in its original location; re-seal the container carefully; don't leave anything edible, dangerous, or illegal; trackables are not trade items; post a log online; log trackables online; size, difficulty, and terrain ratings; cache types; and so on.

 

But my simplest explanation of geocaching is that it's a high-tech scavenger hunt where someone hides a container and publishes its GPS coordinates, and then others use those GPS coordinates to find the hidden container.

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Suppose you act as a mentor for a new geocacher (not a muggle whom you want to explain what geocaching is). Is the rule when one is allowed to write a found it log really the most important and only thing you are going to tell the cacher?
For either muggles or new geocachers, I never mention logs (physical or online) initially. I start with the idea that geocaching is a high-tech scavenger hunt, and then explain that someone hides a container and publishes its GPS coordinates, and then others use those GPS coordinates to find the hidden container. Or, depending on the context, I might express it this way: someone hid a container and posted the GPS coordinates, and now I'm using those GPS coordinates to find the hidden container.

 

If they're still interested, then I'll tell them more: trade fairly; sign the log; replace the container in its original location; re-seal the container carefully; don't leave anything edible, dangerous, or illegal; trackables are not trade items; post a log online; log trackables online; size, difficulty, and terrain ratings; cache types; and so on.

 

But my simplest explanation of geocaching is that it's a high-tech scavenger hunt where someone hides a container and publishes its GPS coordinates, and then others use those GPS coordinates to find the hidden container.

And really, we're boiling this down about geocaching™ on Groundspeak®'s Geocaching.com website. Meaning, it isn't really about the original intent or actions of the "GPS stash hunt" founders of the game you mention, Cezanne, but rather how the game is played on this site. And, how the game is played on this site is guided by the official guidelines and terms of use for this site. The essence of the game on this website is to find a container someone has hidden at some coordinates, sign the logbook, and log the find online at Geocaching.com.

 

I'm not saying that I, or anyone else, have to sign a log to enjoy the game. You don't even have to sign a log to go "geocaching", but if you're going to play on this website, you usually log found containers with logs signed by you and yours as "Found It" (or other applicable log types for whatever situation). Nobody says you have to sign a logbook. Nobody says you have to log your finds online. But Groundspeak® has said that, for a "Found it" log to be used according to their guidelines, you should first sign the physical logbook of that geocache™.

 

Now, you can not sign a logbook and log a find online at Geocaching.com, but on this hosting site owners of listings are entitled to audit the logbook and delete logs which do not meet the guidelines of the game. At the fundamental level, the "ethics" of the game on geocaching.com are the guidelines. There can be personal ethics, community ethics, and even regional common practices that may be in addition to the guidelines of this website. But, if I were to go log a find on a cache I found and signed the log of, and the owner prefers I had biked instead of hiked, I will still be able to log that cache as "Found it" according to how the game is played on this website.

 

This doesn't mean that you have to log online when you find a cache. It also does not mean you have to sign the logbook to log a find online (especially if the cache owner doesn't mind, e.g.). But in terms of Groundspeak® covering how the game of geocaching™ is "enforced" or guided at Geocaching.com, they will hold user disputes to the "sign the physical logbook to log a "Found it" on our website" if it comes down to it.

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Suppose you act as a mentor for a new geocacher (not a muggle whom you want to explain what geocaching is). Is the rule when one is allowed to write a found it log really the most important and only thing you are going to tell the cacher?
For either muggles or new geocachers, I never mention logs (physical or online) initially. I start with the idea that geocaching is a high-tech scavenger hunt, and then explain that someone hides a container and publishes its GPS coordinates, and then others use those GPS coordinates to find the hidden container. Or, depending on the context, I might express it this way: someone hid a container and posted the GPS coordinates, and now I'm using those GPS coordinates to find the hidden container.

 

If they're still interested, then I'll tell them more: trade fairly; sign the log; replace the container in its original location; re-seal the container carefully; don't leave anything edible, dangerous, or illegal; trackables are not trade items; post a log online; log trackables online; size, difficulty, and terrain ratings; cache types; and so on.

 

But my simplest explanation of geocaching is that it's a high-tech scavenger hunt where someone hides a container and publishes its GPS coordinates, and then others use those GPS coordinates to find the hidden container.

And really, we're boiling this down about geocaching™ on Groundspeak®'s Geocaching.com website. Meaning, it isn't really about the original intent or actions of the "GPS stash hunt" founders of the game you mention, Cezanne, but rather how the game is played on this site. And, how the game is played on this site is guided by the official guidelines and terms of use for this site. The essence of the game on this website is to find a container someone has hidden at some coordinates, sign the logbook, and log the find online at Geocaching.com.

 

With a slight modification:

 

The essence of the game on this website is to attempt to find a container someone has hidden at some coordinates, sign the logbook if the caches is found , and log the experience online at Geocaching.com.

 

 

 

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Meaning, it isn't really about the original intent or actions of the "GPS stash hunt" founders of the game you mention, Cezanne, but rather how the game is played on this site. And, how the game is played on this site is guided by the official guidelines and terms of use for this site. The essence of the game on this website is to find a container someone has hidden at some coordinates, sign the logbook, and log the find online at Geocaching.com.

 

And I still happen to believe that the logging part and in particular using the log type "found it" is in the least significant part in this, and so even when you focus on gc.com and the guidelines there the rule when one is entitled to write a found it log is not the essence of geocaching on gc.com and has never been.

 

The essence is still setting out and trying to find a cache (not the same as finding it necessarily) and not the found it log.

 

But Groundspeak® has said that, for a "Found it" log to be used according to their guidelines, you should first sign the physical logbook of that geocache™.

 

I'm aware of this since 2002. But Groundspeak does not tell me that I need to log a found it online whenever I signed the logbook.

When I visited a cache and signed the log book, but did not feel that I should log a "found it", I wrote a note to share my experience with the cache owner (since it is of course this part which is what Groundspeak has in mind and not the used log type).

 

At the fundamental level, the "ethics" of the game on geocaching.com are the guidelines. There can be personal ethics, community ethics,

 

I do not agree. The guidelines are rather a mixture of laws and guidelines. Ethics is something different for me.

 

But, if I were to go log a find on a cache I found and signed the log of, and the owner prefers I had biked instead of hiked, I will still be able to log that cache as "Found it" according to how the game is played on this website.

 

Yes, I fully agree and I never said anything else. I even said that I'm fully ok with this rule and I would not change it (while there are other guidelines on gc.com I do not feel happy with).

 

The rule when found it logs are allowed is so simple that no dicussions are needed. I never ever questioned it.

 

In my opinion it starts to get interesting at the level whether everyone should in every situation exploit whatever the rules allow.

That's where in my opinion ethics might enter where of course I agree that the ethical rules people have in mind will vary from cacher to cacher. So you could ask yourself e.g. in the biking case: Is a found it log so important to myself that I need to make the cache owner unhappy that might have provided you with several joyful hours just out of a matter of principle and just because I'm are allowed to do so? Everyone will find his/her own answer to that. I guess you know my own. I respect if yours is different. As long as legitimate logs are not deleted, there is no need that everyone applies the same approach. It's at this level that a discussion becomes interesting as there will be different views and not a simple unambigious answer.

 

To add to my previously raised question to which niraD already replied nicely. Suppose that you act as mentor for a cacher who has already gained some experiences with traditionals and maybe also some multi caches and wants to proceed with puzzle caches at the next level. What would you tell this cacher about issues that are not related to puzzle solving techniques?

 

If it were me, I would not only recommend to make a serious attempt to solve the chosen puzzles myself before even considering asking for a small hint and I would in any case stress that if someone asks for a hint, the first address should be the cache owner.

I'm always amazed that the newer caches seem to think that it is the best to ask a previous finder.

 

There is so much which I regard as important which is far beyond the so simple rule when one is allowed (but not forced) to log a found it.

Edited by cezanne
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