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Hiking Events


HikingSeal
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Hi all,

 

Many are having strong reactions about the recent change in event rules. When the time limit rules were announced, the reviewers in our area started enforcing another rule about events which unbeknownst to us has been in place for a while. This is the guideline about “moving” events. Given the broadness of the term, there are sure to be many types of events to which it applies. Here is the specific wording of the guideline.

 

***Guidelines clip***

Events should take place at the posted coordinates and must include both a start time and end time.

***end of clip***

 

What concerns me most is that this prohibits hiking events. For nearly six years I have hosted a monthly hiking event http://www.geocaching.com/bookmarks/view.aspx?guid=b4f221a6-be57-466d-b1fd-227448e9f702. I’m certainly not the only cacher in the area that hosts hiking events, just the most consistent. I think our reviewers would have happily let things continue in our area as is if they weren’t being given grief by other reviewers who in turn were getting grief from cachers in their areas pointing to our events as examples of the types of events they were being denied. Ironically what attracted everyone’s attention to our ongoing hiking events was me.

 

In celebration of the 5th anniversary of my hiking series, I wrote an item for Podcacher. Then just a couple months later I was nominated as Geocacher of the month primarily on the basis of how much everyone enjoyed the hikes. Most of the votes were about the hikes as well http://www.geocaching.com/blog/2014/12/and-the-nominees-for-novembers-geocacher-of-the-month-are/#disqus_thread It seems everyone was pretty happy with the level of socialization they got on the hikes.

 

Now I fully intend to keep the series going just with a bit of a facelift. The events will be posted as trailhead meet-ups with a brief mention of the hike afterwards.

 

The first thing that bothers me about this is the essential dishonesty. Whatever window dressing is put on it, it’s a hiking event NOT a trailhead meet-up. I can’t put anything about the hike on the cache page. I guess I could provide a description of the trail here in the forums like the Cache Machine events do for that route. Putting descriptions on another website (not Groundspeak run) then linking to the cache page is against the cache page guidelines.

 

I also fear for newbies. All the regular participants will know what the deal is. Although I will be there for the required half hour, the regulars will know not to show up until later. I think newbies would be the only ones who may show up planning to stand around at a trailhead for a half hour. That’s going to be a pretty boring event. I can also see them being confused by any of these formerly “moving” events that have only a line or two about the real moving part of the event. Hopefully they will send the CO a note rather than just being put off by their confusion.

 

In good weather, we normally would be standing there for a while chit-chatting and getting our things together. In rain and cold (Keep in mind the trailhead for most hikes in this area is above 5,000 feet), we tend to sit in our cars until everyone gets there then dive out and start hiking. There’s a big difference between standing in nasty weather and hiking in it; the latter allows for some heat generation.

 

Given Groundspeak’s response to protests of our reviewers’ announcement that they are going to start enforcing this moving cache guideline, it appears to be a done deal. They are not budging on the guideline. (As a side note, I have to say I am further disenchanted with how Groundspeak handled the situation. The tone came across as “suck up and deal like everyone else.”)

 

That’s the story. I’m looking for three things to be discussed as a result of this post.

 

1) What’s the history here? Where did the restriction on “moving” events come from? Basically what did some numskull do to up their numbers that the rest of us are now paying for? Or is this a case of someone being upset they were physically not capable of participating in a hike? Or someone showed up late and missed the group?

 

2) Why does Groundspeak continue to put reviewers in the situation of announcing guideline changes by denying caches that violate the new guidelines? If it weren’t for Podcacher who has a large audience being responsible for the WWFM, I’m sure we would only have found out about the new time limits when cachers started complaining that their events were being denied. It also puts reviewers at odds with each other as in this situation. Guideline changes seem like they should be in the weekly newsletter. Maybe that needs to become more substantive and less happy-happy, joy-joy, marketing content. (Much the same issue as calling hard and fast rules “guidelines”.)

 

3) General suggestions about how to continue having hiking events within these new guidelines.

 

Thanks for everyone’s time and thoughts in response.

 

Chris

aka Hiking Seal

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Yikes! There are already 7 pages of discussion on this subject in the other thread.

 

But what I would find useful, and worthy of a new thread, is discussion of you second point.

 

2) Why does Groundspeak continue to put reviewers in the situation of announcing guideline changes by denying caches that violate the new guidelines? If it weren’t for Podcacher who has a large audience being responsible for the WWFM, I’m sure we would only have found out about the new time limits when cachers started complaining that their events were being denied. It also puts reviewers at odds with each other as in this situation. Guideline changes seem like they should be in the weekly newsletter. Maybe that needs to become more substantive and less happy-happy, joy-joy, marketing content. (Much the same issue as calling hard and fast rules “guidelines”.)

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Have the event as a meet and greet at the trail head. Also tell people you are going on a hike and they are welcme to join you. The Guidelines say the event has to be half hour right? They don't say anything about the CO having to be there. Just lave the logbook on the windshield of your car.

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It's been abundantly clear that "hiking events" can still happen in tandem with Event Caches. One simply needs to be clear that the minimum time and single site guidelines are met together.

 

See the examples in the other thread for how this idea can be put to practice in an Event Cache's listing.

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Why not have the event at the posted coordinates along the trail and not at the trailhead in a parking lot?
That would be my approach. To me, a half-hour break for lunch (or whatever) along the trail seems closer to the original intent than a half-hour meet-up in the parking lot. It does require some planning to make sure you're there at the posted coordinates during the designated half hour.

 

And it's still a hack to work around the current interpretation of the event guidelines.

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Two references have been made to "the other thread" without a link to the relevant posts in that thread being added. Presumably the reference is to the thread about the new event time guidelines. Although the issue of moving events is mentioned in that thread, well, complained about, no one answers "why?". What is that guideline addressing?

 

Also feel free to ignore my third question if you feel it has been sufficiently addressed elsewhere.

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Why not have the event at the posted coordinates along the trail and not at the trailhead in a parking lot?
That would be my approach. To me, a half-hour break for lunch (or whatever) along the trail seems closer to the original intent than a half-hour meet-up in the parking lot. It does require some planning to make sure you're there at the posted coordinates during the designated half hour.

 

And it's still a hack to work around the current interpretation of the event guidelines.

 

There might even be a bigger issue with bad weather with this version than with the one mentioned in the first post when it comes to meeting at the start of the event but staying inside the cars until the start.

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When the time limit rules were announced, the reviewers in our area started enforcing another rule about events which unbeknownst to us has been in place for a while. This is the guideline about “moving” events.
Unbeknownst? I take it then, that you never read the guidelines?

 

Actually I had read the guidelines but it never occurred to me that moving from the posted coordinates after the posted time was a problem. The cache pages all clearly indicated what would happen at what time and I was never told until Feb 16 that doing so was a problem.

 

Essentially this boils down to a communication issue. People responding in these threads have thousands of posts to their name. If one has the time and desire to sift through everything in the forums, they are more knowledgeable and "get wind" of when changes are coming. The percent of registered accounts that post or read these forums is likely low. If Groundspeak makes a major change to the rules, there needs to be a way to inform ALL cachers to go look at the guidelines there's been a change and offer an explanation of how that change will be interpreted/applied.

Edited by HikingSeal
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It's been abundantly clear that "hiking events" can still happen in tandem with Event Caches. One simply needs to be clear that the minimum time and single site guidelines are met together.

 

See the examples in the other thread for how this idea can be put to practice in an Event Cache's listing.

 

For those event caches that include a hike and manage to get published, how many of those do you suppose are hikes on trails that have a lot of caches to be found. Perhaps one of the reasons that GS doesn't want events that are basically just a hike is that there would be so much potential for abuse.

 

 

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Why not have the event at the posted coordinates along the trail and not at the trailhead in a parking lot?

We've been to two that were at a trail junction (easy and long way in), a good distance from trailhead/parking.

Quite a few showed up to both. :)

Edited by cerberus1
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For those event caches that include a hike and manage to get published, how many of those do you suppose are hikes on trails that have a lot of caches to be found. Perhaps one of the reasons that GS doesn't want events that are basically just a hike is that there would be so much potential for abuse.

 

None of the hiking events in which I took part and a hardly anyone in my country has been set up on a trail with lots of caches to be found.

Many of the hiking events took place for special events (like e.g. full moon, sun set at winter solstice etc

 

Typically the target audience for such events is much less interested into visiting a lot of caches during one hike than the typical audience of meet and greet events.

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Why not have the event at the posted coordinates along the trail and not at the trailhead in a parking lot?
That would be my approach. To me, a half-hour break for lunch (or whatever) along the trail seems closer to the original intent than a half-hour meet-up in the parking lot. It does require some planning to make sure you're there at the posted coordinates during the designated half hour.

 

And it's still a hack to work around the current interpretation of the event guidelines.

 

That's how I work my paddle/hike events. We meet for lunch from 1200-1400 - people either walk in or paddle down the river. We get 30+ people a year to the event.

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Why not have the event at the posted coordinates along the trail and not at the trailhead in a parking lot?
We've been to two that were at a trail junction (easy and long way in), a good distance from trailhead/parking. Quite a few showed up to both. :)

 

Cerberus1, did the group actually spend a half hour at the trail junction? Or maybe that wasn't relevant yet.

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That's how I work my paddle/hike events. We meet for lunch from 1200-1400 - people either walk in or paddle down the river. We get 30+ people a year to the event.

 

Of course if your break is so long it is easier to plan it and less artificial to declare these 2 hours as event than it is for 30 minutes. However I definitely do not like to make such a long break.

 

30+ people sounds like a small number which is possible in my area only for remote events.

Edited by cezanne
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For those event caches that include a hike and manage to get published, how many of those do you suppose are hikes on trails that have a lot of caches to be found. Perhaps one of the reasons that GS doesn't want events that are basically just a hike is that there would be so much potential for abuse.

 

None of the hiking events in which I took part and a hardly anyone in my country has been set up on a trail with lots of caches to be found.

Many of the hiking events took place for special events (like e.g. full moon, sun set at winter solstice etc

 

Typically the target audience for such events is much less interested into visiting a lot of caches during one hike than the typical audience of meet and greet events.

 

OK...so what's the problem. Host an event at the top of Mt Geocache at 21:00-21:30 to view the full moon. Make it at 19:30-20:00 at a scenic spot overlooking Lake First-to-find to see the glorious sunset. On these event cache listings, state you plan on leaving the trailhead at some time - people can join you (most will) or come in when theyare good and ready.

 

You keep ignoring good solid ideas for some reason.

 

[edit: typos]

Edited by BBWolf+3Pigs
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For those event caches that include a hike and manage to get published, how many of those do you suppose are hikes on trails that have a lot of caches to be found. Perhaps one of the reasons that GS doesn't want events that are basically just a hike is that there would be so much potential for abuse.
None of the hiking events in which I took part and a hardly anyone in my country has been set up on a trail with lots of caches to be found.Many of the hiking events took place for special events (like e.g. full moon, sun set at winter solstice etcTypically the target audience for such events is much less interested into visiting a lot of caches during one hike than the typical audience of meet and greet events.

 

 

AMEN!!!

 

NYPaddleCacher's point would be like that numskull I alluded to in my original post.

Edited by HikingSeal
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Why not have the event at the posted coordinates along the trail and not at the trailhead in a parking lot?
We've been to two that were at a trail junction (easy and long way in), a good distance from trailhead/parking. Quite a few showed up to both. :)

 

Cerberus1, did the group actually spend a half hour at the trail junction? Or maybe that wasn't relevant yet.

Yep. More than that.

One was a lunch/meet n greet event (bring your own), the other was a reading of a Dr. Suess book.

Both were caching afterwards (if you wanted to).

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For those event caches that include a hike and manage to get published, how many of those do you suppose are hikes on trails that have a lot of caches to be found. Perhaps one of the reasons that GS doesn't want events that are basically just a hike is that there would be so much potential for abuse.

 

None of the hiking events in which I took part and a hardly anyone in my country has been set up on a trail with lots of caches to be found.

Many of the hiking events took place for special events (like e.g. full moon, sun set at winter solstice etc

 

Typically the target audience for such events is much less interested into visiting a lot of caches during one hike than the typical audience of meet and greet events.

 

OK...so what's the problem.

 

The above is not a problem, but the reply to NYPaddleCacher that the hiking event I'm familiar with involve less caching (most no caching at all) when many stationary events I'm familiar with.

 

Host an event at the top of Mt Geocache at 21:00-21:30 to view the full moon. Make it at 19:30-20:00 at a scenic spot overlooking Lake First-to-find to see the glorious sunset. On these event cache listings, state you plan on leaving the trailhead at some time - people can join you (most will) or come in when theyare good and ready.

 

You keep ignoring good solid ideas for some reason.

 

I already explained that I'm aware of this approach but it does not change the fact that in this manner the official event will last only for 30 minutes which is quite lame and indeed a lie as it is much longer.

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Why not have the event at the posted coordinates along the trail and not at the trailhead in a parking lot?
We've been to two that were at a trail junction (easy and long way in), a good distance from trailhead/parking. Quite a few showed up to both. :)
Cerberus1, did the group actually spend a half hour at the trail junction? Or maybe that wasn't relevant yet.
Yep. More than that.One was a lunch/meet n greet event (bring your own), the other was a reading of a Dr. Suess book. Both were caching afterwards (if you wanted to).

 

Thanks! That approach had been suggested locally. For most of the year, it will work. For the snowshoe hikes, not so much. I may occasionally be able to work it so we could stop somewhere and build a fire, but that wouldn't be the norm.

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Two references have been made to "the other thread" without a link to the relevant posts in that thread being added. Presumably the reference is to the thread about the new event time guidelines. Although the issue of moving events is mentioned in that thread, well, complained about, no one answers "why?". What is that guideline addressing?

 

Also feel free to ignore my third question if you feel it has been sufficiently addressed elsewhere.

 

The other thread wandered all over the place. It was largely about why have a minimum time, but the aspect of "moving events" workarounds was discussed.

 

Your post is very clearly about the moving event aspect. Which interestly isn't new to the guidelines; all that is new is the 30 minute minimum. But in your case, your moving events have been published for years (the latest being 2 weeks ago), and now they are being rejected. Interesting.

 

Personally, I like the idea of a hiking event. And I don't know why Groundspeak has taken the specific view of events that they have. We can debate the wisdom of the guidelines and speculate why they exist. I don't think we will get any definitive answers. I think it mainly comes from "An Event Cache should not be set up for the purpose of gathering geocachers for a geocache search". If there are geocaches along the way, a hike with geocachers generally becomes geocaching.

 

Yes, it does seem less honest to list a 30 minute event at the trail head (and mention that you are going for a walk AFTER THE EVENT and everyone is invited) then your previous invitations. It is not a lie, but it is artificial. But it is the way to do it within the rules.

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For those event caches that include a hike and manage to get published, how many of those do you suppose are hikes on trails that have a lot of caches to be found. Perhaps one of the reasons that GS doesn't want events that are basically just a hike is that there would be so much potential for abuse.

 

None of the hiking events in which I took part and a hardly anyone in my country has been set up on a trail with lots of caches to be found.

Many of the hiking events took place for special events (like e.g. full moon, sun set at winter solstice etc

 

Typically the target audience for such events is much less interested into visiting a lot of caches during one hike than the typical audience of meet and greet events.

 

OK...so what's the problem.

 

The above is not a problem, but the reply to NYPaddleCacher that the hiking event I'm familiar with involve less caching (most no caching at all) when many stationary events I'm familiar with.

 

Host an event at the top of Mt Geocache at 21:00-21:30 to view the full moon. Make it at 19:30-20:00 at a scenic spot overlooking Lake First-to-find to see the glorious sunset. On these event cache listings, state you plan on leaving the trailhead at some time - people can join you (most will) or come in when theyare good and ready.

 

You keep ignoring good solid ideas for some reason.

 

I already explained that I'm aware of this approach but it does not change the fact that in this manner the official event will last only for 30 minutes which is quite lame and indeed a lie as it is much longer.

 

Still don't see the problem. Look at my listing for last year's event paddle:

 

Get Lei'ed With The Armada

 

It meets the guidelines for event caches. But it clearly spells out the "cezanne style" event timeline, and clearly shows this is basically a whole day affair.

 

[edit: clarify point]

Edited by BBWolf+3Pigs
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Essentially this boils down to a communication issue. People responding in these threads have thousands of posts to their name. If one has the time and desire to sift through everything in the forums, they are more knowledgeable and "get wind" of when changes are coming. The percent of registered accounts that post or read these forums is likely low. If Groundspeak makes a major change to the rules, there needs to be a way to inform ALL cachers to go look at the guidelines there's been a change and offer an explanation of how that change will be interpreted/applied.

Yeah, with 10% or less ever going into the forums, I thought the newsletter would be perfect for passing along new info, included with whatever marketing has going on for the week.

But not sure if many get the newsletter either...

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For those event caches that include a hike and manage to get published, how many of those do you suppose are hikes on trails that have a lot of caches to be found. Perhaps one of the reasons that GS doesn't want events that are basically just a hike is that there would be so much potential for abuse.

 

None of the hiking events in which I took part and a hardly anyone in my country has been set up on a trail with lots of caches to be found.

Many of the hiking events took place for special events (like e.g. full moon, sun set at winter solstice etc

 

Typically the target audience for such events is much less interested into visiting a lot of caches during one hike than the typical audience of meet and greet events.

 

OK...so what's the problem.

 

The above is not a problem, but the reply to NYPaddleCacher that the hiking event I'm familiar with involve less caching (most no caching at all) when many stationary events I'm familiar with.

 

It doesn't seem to matter what ideas or suggestions people are expressing here. You always seem to an excuse for why you're an exception to it.

 

In an ideal world if there is a hike associated with an event people are going to meeting for a 30+ minutes to organize and coordinates, then go on the hike and focus on the hike. It would great if geocachers followed the spirit of a geocaching event and didn't use it as an excuse to find a bunch of caches with a group of people.

 

In the real world, event cache listings are going to be submitted indicating a 30 minute window at a location then the "hike" will be more of a walk on a trail where a bunch of caches were recently placed and it will be more of a group geocaching hunt than a hike.

 

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Essentially this boils down to a communication issue. People responding in these threads have thousands of posts to their name. If one has the time and desire to sift through everything in the forums, they are more knowledgeable and "get wind" of when changes are coming. The percent of registered accounts that post or read these forums is likely low. If Groundspeak makes a major change to the rules, there needs to be a way to inform ALL cachers to go look at the guidelines there's been a change and offer an explanation of how that change will be interpreted/applied.
Yeah, with 10% or less ever going into the forums, I thought the newsletter would be perfect for passing along new info, included with whatever marketing has going on for the week.But not sure if many get the newsletter either...

 

Since so many are caching with the app maybe a splash screen when it's opened with "There has been an important update to ****. Tap here if you would like more information about this change sent to your registered email." Presumably if someone is opening the Geocaching app it's because they want to find a cache. They are not going to read and think about it at that moment. Allowing it to be sent later would be get past that issue.

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Two references have been made to "the other thread" without a link to the relevant posts in that thread being added. Presumably the reference is to the thread about the new event time guidelines. Although the issue of moving events is mentioned in that thread, well, complained about, no one answers "why?". What is that guideline addressing?

 

Also feel free to ignore my third question if you feel it has been sufficiently addressed elsewhere.

Sorry. There's 7 EXHAUSTIVE pages talking about this issue. Somewhere around pages 2-5 is where you'll find the meat of the discussion where there are VERY easy ways to have your cake and eat it too with a "Hiking Event".

 

Join me! We'll meet at the above coordinates to get started and give people time to arrive. We'll then head out for a hike to the hilltop to watch the lunar eclipse. Round trip on the hike is about 3 miles, and should take about an hour each way. Please meet at the coordinates starting at 8:00pm, and we'll depart from the trailhead at about 8:30pm. Please arrive no later than 8:30, as we will head down the trail in the dark, and we will want to account for everyone who would like to attend so we don't lose anyone, or miss anyone before we head out. We should be back around 11:30pm, so please be sure to dress accordingly, and bring appropriate hiking supplies and a torch or headlamp.

 

What? Lunar Eclipse Event!

Who? You, your family, and friends

When? 8:00pm-11:30pm

Where? Bird Point Trailhead (coordinates above)

Why? It's a great night for some stargazing and an opportunity to see an amazing lunar event.

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It doesn't seem to matter what ideas or suggestions people are expressing here. You always seem to an excuse for why you're an exception to it.

 

In an ideal world if there is a hike associated with an event people are going to meeting for a 30+ minutes to organize and coordinates, then go on the hike and focus on the hike. It would great if geocachers followed the spirit of a geocaching event and didn't use it as an excuse to find a bunch of caches with a group of people.

 

In the real world, event cache listings are going to be submitted indicating a 30 minute window at a location then the "hike" will be more of a walk on a trail where a bunch of caches were recently placed and it will be more of a group geocaching hunt than a hike.

 

I just meant to say that my real world experiences are not the slightest indication that what you write above is true. For years we had hiking events in my country with no special guidelines about the length, end time, end point whatsoever and everyone who came attended the hike and it was not about a geocaching hunt at all. It was also very different from a group hike organized in a closed facebook group or via a skype channel, much more open to a wider audience and not just a group of friends.

 

One also could forbid urban pizza eating events as they often take place at locations where at the event day new caches show up within a 5 mile radius and people rush away to find them. Would you think that this would be an appropriate measure? Punish those who do not abuse some concept?

Edited by cezanne
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Your post is very clearly about the moving event aspect. Which interestly isn't new to the guidelines; all that is new is the 30 minute minimum. But in your case, your moving events have been published for years (the latest being 2 weeks ago), and now they are being rejected. Interesting.

 

It's not so surprising to me - there always have been large regional differences which types of events got published.

In my area events have been very liberal and flexible until a relatively recent point of time from there onwards it became more and more annoying to list events up to the point that more than half of the events need to be changed.

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You keep ignoring good solid ideas for some reason.

Thes "solid ideas" are simply to force a listing that meet guidelines. They don't really solve the problem for someone who wants to have a event that is "the hike".

 

Once upon a time you could list an event that was a hike. You posted coordinates and a time for the start of the hike. People showed up before the start time and went on the hike.

 

Then the guidelines were changed that the event had to be at the posted coordinates and have a start time and stop time. I'm not quite sure what was discussed then. Most likely people who comlained were told "What's the big deal. You have to get organized at the start of the hike. Set aside some time and call that the event. Your hike will be listed".

 

My guess is that reviewers continued to publish hiking events as they always had, so long as there was some indication that a period of time was set aside and anyone who showed up during that time could log "Attended" whether or not they went on the hike.

 

The latest change says the end time must be at least half an hour past the start time. The ostensible reason is so people can socialize. This appears to imply than nobody is socializing on the hike and that only by making people stand around on some freezing cold morning can they form "meaningful relationships". I have to agree with cezanne and HikingSeal that this trivializes the actual hike, making it feel like an afterthought. But people have always found workarounds to list activities on geocaching.com that didn't meet whatever the guideline were for events were at the time.

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Part of the question is should those regional differences exist? Should the guidelines truly be guidelines, not rules, to be enforced at the local reviewer's discretion? Admittedly that would bring a lot of heat down on them. On the other hand, having Groundspeak dictate everything forces a lot of American sensibilities on to non-Americans.

 

One of the biggest examples I can think of is being in Germany and going after some Lost Places (http://www.lost-places.com/ It's in German but Google translate will give non-German speakers an idea of what they are) caches. First those caches were not even listed on geocaching.com because of restrictions and damage to the place. Second, can you imagine the American military or a private company going off and leaving unused property without a fence around it? There's a lot more personal responsibility in Europe than in the US. In Europe if you go somewhere and get hurt, it's on you. You can't sue someone for not putting up a fence to keep your stupidness out.

 

On the other hand, during the 10th anniversary of Geocaching, I remember hearing about groups of Europeans that went from event to event, the whole group including the hosts spending only minutes at each location in order to get a record number of events in a day. As we gear up for the 15th anniversary is this where the time limit rule came from? As it was explained to me, the intent of the rule is that the host should be present at the posted coordinates for the 30 minutes to welcome anyone regardless of when they show up. So the time limits won't prevent the attempt to get more events in a day only the host won't be able to go along right away.

 

Or will they? As was pointed out above the intent is not what the guideline actually says. It only states the event, not the host, must be at the posted coordinates for a specified time. Want to bet that on May 2 we hear about people setting up events to break the record?

 

Ultimately it should be up to the host who can log an "Attended" just like on a cache. Unfortunately if they sign an event log or appear in the event picture, there is no way to fairly keep everyone there for a certain amount of time. The conflicts arise when you have someone who's going for number of events "drive-by" an event that is intended to go on for a duration. The owner of that event deletes the log of the drive-by attendee because they weren't there for the whole event. In other words when someone from one "region" attends an event in another "region", what set of rules should be followed? The local reviewer published it according to the local rules but the attendee is used to different rules.

 

Some people are not mature enough to work things out for themselves as should happen and they ended up whining to local reviewers and Groundspeak. And the rest of us end up with stupid rules that are introduced in a poor manner.

 

Essentially I think I just argued my way into a corner that there is no way to make everyone happy. Considering Aesop's fable (http://www.aesopfables.com/) about the man, the boy and the donkey taught us that when someone tries to keep everyone happy, they lose their a** :lol: Hmmm, I think Groundspeak may need to re-read that one.

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Part of the question is should those regional differences exist? Should the guidelines truly be guidelines, not rules, to be enforced at the local reviewer's discretion? Admittedly that would bring a lot of heat down on them. On the other hand, having Groundspeak dictate everything forces a lot of American sensibilities on to non-Americans.

 

One of the biggest examples I can think of is being in Germany and going after some Lost Places (http://www.lost-places.com/ It's in German but Google translate will give non-German speakers an idea of what they are) caches. First those caches were not even listed on geocaching.com because of restrictions and damage to the place. Second, can you imagine the American military or a private company going off and leaving unused property without a fence around it? There's a lot more personal responsibility in Europe than in the US. In Europe if you go somewhere and get hurt, it's on you. You can't sue someone for not putting up a fence to keep your stupidness out.

Woah, that's a lot of stereotyping. But it certainly brings to light some impressions other countries have of the United States of America...

 

On the other hand, during the 10th anniversary of Geocaching, I remember hearing about groups of Europeans that went from event to event, the whole group including the hosts spending only minutes at each location in order to get a record number of events in a day. As we gear up for the 15th anniversary is this where the time limit rule came from? As it was explained to me, the intent of the rule is that the host should be present at the posted coordinates for the 30 minutes to welcome anyone regardless of when they show up. So the time limits won't prevent the attempt to get more events in a day only the host won't be able to go along right away.

No, the related Guideline clarification after this kind of thing was the "Event stacking" guidelines. The 30-minute guideline came from...well, it's anyone's guess. But what it does, and how Groundspeak announced and discusses it in the Guidelines and Event Cache description is a bit of a highlighting of the key reasons for the clarification/change.

 

Or will they? As was pointed out above the intent is not what the guideline actually says. It only states the event, not the host, must be at the posted coordinates for a specified time. Want to bet that on May 2 we hear about people setting up events to break the record?

 

Ultimately it should be up to the host who can log an "Attended" just like on a cache. Unfortunately if they sign an event log or appear in the event picture, there is no way to fairly keep everyone there for a certain amount of time. The conflicts arise when you have someone who's going for number of events "drive-by" an event that is intended to go on for a duration. The owner of that event deletes the log of the drive-by attendee because they weren't there for the whole event. In other words when someone from one "region" attends an event in another "region", what set of rules should be followed? The local reviewer published it according to the local rules but the attendee is used to different rules.

 

Some people are not mature enough to work things out for themselves as should happen and they ended up whining to local reviewers and Groundspeak. And the rest of us end up with stupid rules that are introduced in a poor manner.

 

Essentially I think I just argued my way into a corner that there is no way to make everyone happy. Considering Aesop's fable (http://www.aesopfables.com/) about the man, the boy and the donkey taught us that when someone tries to keep everyone happy, they lose their a** :lol: Hmmm, I think Groundspeak may need to re-read that one.

Well...and without a logbook/register for people to sign, there is no reliable or consistent way for an Event Cache owner to verify the Attended logs--unless they are keen enough to know everyone's web-handle for each person that showed up.

 

Someone could totally still drive-by log an event, and the owner has no recourse to audit the logs on their listing.

 

I suggest that Events no longer award another Smiley. That's one way to rid the process of any requirements for duration, location, or logging of an "Attended" for another smiley "point".

 

But...so long as there is additional value to attending an Event Cache, there will have to be guidelines for listing and logging.

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Part of the question is should those regional differences exist? Should the guidelines truly be guidelines, not rules, to be enforced at the local reviewer's discretion? Admittedly that would bring a lot of heat down on them. On the other hand, having Groundspeak dictate everything forces a lot of American sensibilities on to non-Americans.

 

One of the biggest examples I can think of is being in Germany and going after some Lost Places (http://www.lost-places.com/ It's in German but Google translate will give non-German speakers an idea of what they are) caches. First those caches were not even listed on geocaching.com because of restrictions and damage to the place. Second, can you imagine the American military or a private company going off and leaving unused property without a fence around it? There's a lot more personal responsibility in Europe than in the US. In Europe if you go somewhere and get hurt, it's on you. You can't sue someone for not putting up a fence to keep your stupidness out.

Woah, that's a lot of stereotyping. But it certainly brings to light some impressions other countries have of the United States of America...

 

Since I'm American, I guess that's my impression of my own country. Look at some of the caches around Fort Ord In California and see how many encounters there are with MPs or police. My impression of the German Lost Places is no type of law enforcement would bother your explorations there.

 

As far as event stacking goes, you're right, that is a separate issue. I was trying to come up with a good example of regional differences and got myself off topic. Regardless of the example I chose, the issue is still the same. Everyone caches a little differently. What may be common practice in one area is not acceptable elsewhere. How is that regulated on a world wide basis to keep the game fair?

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Regardless of the example I chose, the issue is still the same. Everyone caches a little differently. What may be common practice in one area is not acceptable elsewhere. How is that regulated on a world wide basis to keep the game fair?

 

My experience is there isn't much regional difference in how reviewers enforce the guidelines. I see more differences between how different reviewers interpret the guidelines. Though some regional difference may come from reviewers talking to eachother. I know the reviewers in my country work closely together, so I suppose they could agree one interpretation (here in the UK) which is different elsewhere. But generally the UK reviewers are trying to follow the Groundspeak guidelines like reviewers in any other country.

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Essentially this boils down to a communication issue. People responding in these threads have thousands of posts to their name. If one has the time and desire to sift through everything in the forums, they are more knowledgeable and "get wind" of when changes are coming. The percent of registered accounts that post or read these forums is likely low. If Groundspeak makes a major change to the rules, there needs to be a way to inform ALL cachers to go look at the guidelines there's been a change and offer an explanation of how that change will be interpreted/applied.

Yeah, with 10% or less ever going into the forums, I thought the newsletter would be perfect for passing along new info, included with whatever marketing has going on for the week.

But not sure if many get the newsletter either...

 

11,800,000 accounts, and there are 892,000 forum accounts. Someone can do the math, but that's well under 10%. :) However, it's a dirty not so little secret that a little over half of them have never geocached, and were just signing up for a free account on the internet.

 

Oh yeah, I've joked about several things over the years that only forum regulars know. That nano's are supposed to be listed as micro. That you don't need a cell phone signal to cache with a smartphone. That many types of challenge caches that were allowed before March 2012 are no longer allowed. Shall I go on? :lol:

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3) General suggestions about how to continue having hiking events within these new guidelines.

 

Thanks for your nice forum post. I've been following the other thread but it seemed like one thing it was lacking was a nice story about how the new guidelines will impact a local geocaching community in a very real way. I wonder if you could work with your Reviewers and Groundspeak to continue to host the events that you have been hosting so successfully. It is apparent to me that your events are appreciated and enrich your local geocaching community. It seems like it might be an annoyance, for you to have to jump through a few extra hoops to continue doing what is considered a good thing, but sounds like it would be worth the effort. I wonder if this could be the case for others who feel strongly about hosting events in this way, that by simply putting in some extra effort to communicate with Reviewers/Groundspeak, they will still be able to host the events that they are wanting to. It seems that as much as anything, the new guidelines are meant to dissuade lazy event hosts that only put in the bare minimum effort to get something posted. When that is the case, you can be assured there will be at least 30 minutes in one location. But when event hosts are passionate about doing something different but welcome in their geocaching community, it would be nice to know that Reviewers would be open to working with them. In this way, it's not all that different to some of the guidelines for placing geocaches in that as long as you can work with the Reviewer over some issue (be it proximity, altering landscape on private property..) you can have your geocache published. Folks who frequent these forums, and probably the broader geocaching community know that there are exceptions to guidelines. They may be limited, but they exist because in the end, Groundspeak, Reviewers and Geocachers all want the same thing: For this game we play to be fun.

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"Fall Foliage" Deep Woods Picnic - A picnic type gathering in the woods

 

And why do you refer to this as a hiking event? It does not even suggest parking coordinates, trails to take, information on how long one might need etc

It's up to the participants to find someone to join them for the hike and all the socializing of the event has to take place at the picnic.

 

It's just a 4 hour picnic at a location reachable only by a hike.

 

I'm not against such events, but a hiking event is something completely different to me.

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Yikes! There are already 7 pages of discussion on this subject in the other thread.

 

But what I would find useful, and worthy of a new thread, is discussion of you second point.

 

2) Why does Groundspeak continue to put reviewers in the situation of announcing guideline changes by denying caches that violate the new guidelines? If it weren't for Podcacher who has a large audience being responsible for the WWFM, I'm sure we would only have found out about the new time limits when cachers started complaining that their events were being denied. It also puts reviewers at odds with each other as in this situation. Guideline changes seem like they should be in the weekly newsletter. Maybe that needs to become more substantive and less happy-happy, joy-joy, marketing content. (Much the same issue as calling hard and fast rules "guidelines".)

 

Exactly. I was about to say the same thing. Thank you for doing it for me.

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"Fall Foliage" Deep Woods Picnic - A picnic type gathering in the woods

 

And why do you refer to this as a hiking event? It does not even suggest parking coordinates, trails to take, information on how long one might need etc

It's up to the participants to find someone to join them for the hike and all the socializing of the event has to take place at the picnic.

 

It's just a 4 hour picnic at a location reachable only by a hike.

 

I'm not against such events, but a hiking event is something completely different to me.

 

Didn't say it was a hiking event. HikingSeal asked:

 

Cerburus and anyone else who has mentioned having the posted coordinate be along the trail, could you please post some GC #'s for examples on how the cache page was written? Thanks!

 

That cache answered the question.

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"Fall Foliage" Deep Woods Picnic - A picnic type gathering in the woods

 

And why do you refer to this as a hiking event? It does not even suggest parking coordinates, trails to take, information on how long one might need etc

It's up to the participants to find someone to join them for the hike and all the socializing of the event has to take place at the picnic.

 

It's just a 4 hour picnic at a location reachable only by a hike.

 

I'm not against such events, but a hiking event is something completely different to me.

 

Didn't say it was a hiking event. HikingSeal asked:

 

Cerburus and anyone else who has mentioned having the posted coordinate be along the trail, could you please post some GC #'s for examples on how the cache page was written? Thanks!

 

That cache answered the question.

Now ya know why I sent a PM. :laughing:

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"Fall Foliage" Deep Woods Picnic - A picnic type gathering in the woods

 

And why do you refer to this as a hiking event? It does not even suggest parking coordinates, trails to take, information on how long one might need etc

It's up to the participants to find someone to join them for the hike and all the socializing of the event has to take place at the picnic.

 

It's just a 4 hour picnic at a location reachable only by a hike.

 

I'm not against such events, but a hiking event is something completely different to me.

 

How is a picnic at a location reachable only by a hike not a hiking event? I still do not understand what it is you ARE looking for, although I've heard 100 things that you are not. Why is this example not suitable for you? You don't like picnics? What is the difference?!?

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"Fall Foliage" Deep Woods Picnic - A picnic type gathering in the woods

 

And why do you refer to this as a hiking event? It does not even suggest parking coordinates, trails to take, information on how long one might need etc

It's up to the participants to find someone to join them for the hike and all the socializing of the event has to take place at the picnic.

 

It's just a 4 hour picnic at a location reachable only by a hike.

 

I'm not against such events, but a hiking event is something completely different to me.

 

How is a picnic at a location reachable only by a hike not a hiking event? I still do not understand what it is you ARE looking for, although I've heard 100 things that you are not. Why is this example not suitable for you? You don't like picnics? What is the difference?!?

I don't understand why people have so much of a issue understanding that an event could be the hike itself (prior to recent changes) and that geocachers can socialize and hike at the same time. A picnic that you have to hike to is still a picnic event - especially when you post the coordinates for the picnic and the time you will be a that location. Sure the write up can give instructions for joining the group some hours before at the trailhead and hiking to the picnic together, so cezanne probably isn't going to miss out on the social hiking, but he may feel that having to add a picnic (or maybe providing the option for someone to show up in their helicopter at the coordinates just for the picnic) has trivialized the hike.

 

Now there is some speculation in the other thread that people abused the ability to have hiking and other events by really using this to organize a geocache hunt (oh! my!) and TPTB had to make sure that this wasn't happening. I don't know how many events I've been to where the event was really organized as breakfast before a day of geocaching or a dinner after a day of geocaching. Of course the event was opened to geocachers who didn't spend the day caching and they often account for a significant number of attendees. But on the same level, just because there are caches to find on the trail doesn't mean that everyone on the hike is finding these caches. I've gone on hiking events where I had found most of the caches on the trail already. I can't say I didn't log any caches on the hike, but would contend that I went for the hike and the social interaction and not to find caches.

Edited by tozainamboku
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Didn't say it was a hiking event. HikingSeal asked:

 

Cerburus and anyone else who has mentioned having the posted coordinate be along the trail, could you please post some GC #'s for examples on how the cache page was written? Thanks!

 

That cache answered the question.

 

I'm sorry. I then misunderstood the question of HikingSeal. I understood the question as asking for a hiking event which had the posted coordinates along the (event) trail.

 

I looked only at the last example you provided and was confused. For me that is a picnic event. Moreover I understood the question also in the another aspect differently than you.

Coordinates along the trail was something I understood as taking coordinates along the route suggested to the participants in the event listing. But the example listing does not provide any route suggestion, so I'd rather see it as a non drive in picnic event.

Edited by cezanne
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"Fall Foliage" Deep Woods Picnic - A picnic type gathering in the woods

 

And why do you refer to this as a hiking event? It does not even suggest parking coordinates, trails to take, information on how long one might need etc

It's up to the participants to find someone to join them for the hike and all the socializing of the event has to take place at the picnic.

 

It's just a 4 hour picnic at a location reachable only by a hike.

 

I'm not against such events, but a hiking event is something completely different to me.

 

How is a picnic at a location reachable only by a hike not a hiking event? I still do not understand what it is you ARE looking for, although I've heard 100 things that you are not. Why is this example not suitable for you? You don't like picnics? What is the difference?!?

I don't understand why people have so much of a issue understanding that an event could be the hike itself (prior to recent changes) and that geocachers can socialize and hike at the same time. A picnic that you have to hike to is still a picnic event - especially when you post the coordinates for the picnic and the time you will be a that location. Sure the write up can give instructions for joining the group some hours before at the trailhead and hiking to the picnic together, so cezanne probably isn't going to miss out on the social hiking, but he may feel that having to add a picnic (or maybe providing the option for someone to show up in their helicopter at the coordinates just for the picnic) has trivialized the hike.

 

Now there is some speculation in the other thread that people abused the ability to have hiking and other events by really using this to organize a geocache hunt (oh! my!) and TPTB had to make sure that this wasn't happening. I don't know how many events I've been to where the event was really organized as breakfast before a day of geocaching or a dinner after a day of geocaching. Of course the event was opened to geocachers who didn't spend the day caching and they often account for a significant number of attendees. But on the same level, just because there are caches to find on the trail doesn't mean that everyone on the hike is finding these caches. I've gone on hiking events where I had found most of the caches on the trail already. I can't say I didn't log any caches on the hike, but would contend that I went for the hike and the social interaction and not to find caches.

 

Actually, I was addressing my question to cezanne, but since you answered...

 

Of COURSE people can socialize and hike at the same time! To suggest that even one person or entity here would think otherwise is a ludicrous straw man. You walk, and you talk (or if its a good hill, you climb and pant together... its still socializing). A picnic that you have to hike to is still a picnic and hiking event You don't like picnics? Fine. Leave. You still get your smiley if that's what you came for. You still got your hike, if that's what you came for.

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