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SheepOnTrip

Wierd idea I heard

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I'm an enthusiastic geocacher for about a year and a half. My biggest regret in this game is that I learned about it too late - after I already been to all the 7 continants and remote parts of the world (while in my country there's not much caching culture...).

 

When I told this to a veteran cacher lately, he said "well, you can always log earthcaches in the places you have visited before, I mean, as long as you can answer the question and you have realy been there - the date doesn't make a difference".

 

That strike me as a wierd idea, something which is probably not allowed. After all, I wouldn't think to log a new earthcache in London that was published 2 weeks after I left the UK, for example, So logging an earthcache of a place I have visited 2 years or a decade ago? The owners will probably see that as not ethic or cheating, even though the basic rules (answers and being in the actual place) are applying. That is at least my opinion, so I have never done that.

 

What do you think? Do people really do that?

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What do you think? Do people really do that?

Yes, some people really have done that. But the practice is frowned upon by The Powers That Be.

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You'll probably get away with it on Earthcaches with less attentive owners, but it's generally frowned upon.

 

Good quality Earthcaches have detailed tasks that need to be done at the site, not just questions you can Google.

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What do you think? Do people really do that?

 

People do that, and worse... It get's you a reputation with fellow cachers though and it might not be the reputation you want :ph34r:

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The Earthcache FAQ states:

 

1. There is no rule that says somebody has to visit the location after publication in order to make a log.

2. HOWEVER, in GSA’s view, somebody has not actually visited an EarthCache if there was no EarthCache there at the time of their visit!

3. GSA has no problem with a cache owner deleting a log from somebody who has clearly not visited the EarthCache after its publication date.

4. If a cache owner wants to allow such logs to stand, that's fine too. (That's up to the cache owner. Maybe in some cases they would feel as though the person logging the cache did get a good lesson, by combining an earlier visit with solving the cache's logging tasks after the fact. The cache owner can be the judge of that.)

 

In a previous thread about this, GeoawareHQ described logging earthcaches based on previous visits as being "cheesy." I tend to agree.

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Yes, it's a weird idea that no self-respecting geocacher would do. I believe it is even technically not allowed, in the sense that a CO could reject such a find if only they could prove what happened. In most cases you wouldn't be able to answer the questions based on an unrelated visit, anyway: I have enough trouble answering some EarthCache questions even when I'm there to visit the EarthCache because I sometimes misunderstand the question when reading it in the field. But the more important thing is that someone doing such a thing has forgotten about geocaching and is just grubbing numbers.

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The Earthcache FAQ states:

 

1. There is no rule that says somebody has to visit the location after publication in order to make a log.

2. HOWEVER, in GSA’s view, somebody has not actually visited an EarthCache if there was no EarthCache there at the time of their visit!

3. GSA has no problem with a cache owner deleting a log from somebody who has clearly not visited the EarthCache after its publication date.

4. If a cache owner wants to allow such logs to stand, that's fine too. (That's up to the cache owner. Maybe in some cases they would feel as though the person logging the cache did get a good lesson, by combining an earlier visit with solving the cache's logging tasks after the fact. The cache owner can be the judge of that.)

 

In a previous thread about this, GeoawareHQ described logging earthcaches based on previous visits as being "cheesy." I tend to agree.

 

This however addresses the issue if the visit predated the publication date of the Earthcache and not if the visit predated someone's start as a geocacher.

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In most cases you wouldn't be able to answer the questions based on an unrelated visit, anyway:

 

I do not agree with respect to most of the Earthcaches I visited. In most cases I could give as good answers with no visit or an unrelated visit as with a planned EC visit. Sometimes the questions are hard, but they do not become easier when having been there with the explicit intent of doing a specific EC on that day.

Moreover, a lot of EC owners do not care about the answers anyway.

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I see you all agree with me. It just seems so strange to hear that, and I heard it from couple of veteran cachers. With all the temptation of logging all my previous visits to Antarctica, Arctic, Africa and such, it just feels wrong. Maybe it's time to make it more clear in the rules, that only real visit on real dates (as "not before you became a cacher" or "before the earthcache was published") are counted for.

 

About "In most cases you wouldn't be able to answer the questions based on an unrelated visit, anyway":

 

Sometimes even on a related visit I found the question way too hard to answer, specially as it not easy for a not native English speaking cacher like me to describe terms and explanations in English. I actually gave up on quite a lot of Earthcaches because of that. Some of the CO don't realize how hard this is for travelers foreigners to answer sometimes 10 questions with very long answers (and sometimes a need to read and search complicated info online) in a language they don't master and feel uncomfortable writing. It is much harder for us non native English speakers - but that is probably disserve a different topic...

 

There are also caches that are easy and I could probably solved in an unrelated visit, I think, as some of the ones I did visit on purpose were like that.

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I do not agree with respect to most of the Earthcaches I visited. In most cases I could give as good answers with no visit or an unrelated visit as with a planned EC visit. Sometimes the questions are hard, but they do not become easier when having been there with the explicit intent of doing a specific EC on that day.

I guess it must be a region thing. The EarthCaches I run into tend to have some questions that depend on a detailed observation that I never in my wildest dreams would have made without the EarthCache asking about it.

 

Moreover, a lot of EC owners do not care about the answers anyway.

Well, yes, of course. I meant I wouldn't be able to answer the question based on my visit, not that I couldn't have created an answer through research or just on the fly that would satisfy the CO. I'm interpreting the OP as asking what we should do, not what we can get away with.

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I see you all agree with me. It just seems so strange to hear that, and I heard it from couple of veteran cachers. With all the temptation of logging all my previous visits to Antarctica, Arctic, Africa and such, it just feels wrong. Maybe it's time to make it more clear in the rules, that only real visit on real dates (as "not before you became a cacher" or "before the earthcache was published") are counted for.

Eh. I do feel that one shouldn't give in to temptation, but I certainly understand the temptation -- and you must feel it to an extreme -- so I'd be reluctant to have a strict rule that punishes people with less willpower. Currently, it's up to the CO: if the questions are constructed carefully, and the CO is strict about correct answers, then they can prevent pre-cache visitors from successfully logging a find if they really want to. I think that's good enough.

 

About "In most cases you wouldn't be able to answer the questions based on an unrelated visit, anyway":

 

Sometimes even on a related visit I found the question way too hard to answer, specially as it not easy for a not native English speaking cacher like me to describe terms and explanations in English. I actually gave up on quite a lot of Earthcaches because of that. Some of the CO don't realize how hard this is for travelers foreigners to answer sometimes 10 questions with very long answers (and sometimes a need to read and search complicated info online) in a language they don't master and feel uncomfortable writing. It is much harder for us non native English speakers - but that is probably disserve a different topic...

Oh, my, yes. Once in a while, I get home and discover I didn't really understand the lesson or the questions when reading them on my little GPSr screen in the field, even with everything in English. And I really appreciate that many EarchCaches in other countries provide English translations. So while I can't claim to have experienced these hardships to the extent you have, I can certainly sympathize.

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Oh, it's ok - I wouldn't start resisting to temptation and logging earthcaches based on my 6 months trip around national parks in the USA back in the 90's, or even the ones in remote once-in-a-life-to-visit-places like Easter Island, where I was 6 years ago. No danger of that (:

Why oh why did I discovered geocaching so lately?...

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It's just a cross we have to bear…I visited Scotland a year before I started caching…***sob***

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It's just a cross we have to bear…I visited Scotland a year before I started caching…***sob***

 

Could be worse. We were in Hawaii when we were already caching but not yet using GSAK and just had a Garmin GPS 12XL. At that time we went caching with printed listings. We didn't go caching at all eventhough we knew there was at least one very close to one of our B&B's.

These days I would have all HI caches on my Oregon and in GDAK on my tablet with listings/pictures and all.

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It's just a cross we have to bear…I visited Scotland a year before I started caching…***sob***

 

Could be worse. We were in Hawaii when we were already caching but not yet using GSAK and just had a Garmin GPS 12XL. At that time we went caching with printed listings. We didn't go caching at all eventhough we knew there was at least one very close to one of our B&B's.

These days I would have all HI caches on my Oregon and in GDAK on my tablet with listings/pictures and all.

 

I know what you mean! We could have found a cache in China. Yes, there are Virtuals at places we visited but what's the point? We weren't there to specifically do a Virtual and hence we're not logging it. That simple. We'd also not log an EarthCache either simply because we were there. Hey, we had some very extended look at some interesting geology somewhere in Europe twice (remaining vague here). A few years later we thought those locations deserve a proper EC. We looked on the map and saw that each location indeed had one - which told next to nothing about the very interesting geology :( Oh well.. shame. The questions would have been easy to answer, but still it never crossed our minds to log them even though we knew more about those locations that the CO.

 

Mrs. terratin

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You think this is a miss? This is part of my list of TBC (traveling before caching) in my backpackers trips:

Antarctica, the Arctic, Uganda & Tanzania in Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Nepal, Chile, Argentina (with a day tour to Brazil), Falklands islands, Easter Island, USA (all the west side and 4 states in the east), West Canada, France and more... Unless I would win the Lottery, I can't imagine myself going back to even third of them, unfortunately.

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I'm an enthusiastic geocacher for about a year and a half. My biggest regret in this game is that I learned about it too late - after I already been to all the 7 continants and remote parts of the world (while in my country there's not much caching culture...).

 

When I told this to a veteran cacher lately, he said "well, you can always log earthcaches in the places you have visited before, I mean, as long as you can answer the question and you have realy been there - the date doesn't make a difference".

 

That strike me as a wierd idea, something which is probably not allowed. After all, I wouldn't think to log a new earthcache in London that was published 2 weeks after I left the UK, for example, So logging an earthcache of a place I have visited 2 years or a decade ago? The owners will probably see that as not ethic or cheating, even though the basic rules (answers and being in the actual place) are applying. That is at least my opinion, so I have never done that.

 

What do you think? Do people really do that?

 

Rather than logging a Find on the Earthcache you could always post a Note describing your previous visit to the location. Of course this doesn't increase your smilie count, but would provide you with a personal record of your visit and provide some feedback to the CO.

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I do not agree with respect to most of the Earthcaches I visited. In most cases I could give as good answers with no visit or an unrelated visit as with a planned EC visit. Sometimes the questions are hard, but they do not become easier when having been there with the explicit intent of doing a specific EC on that day.

I guess it must be a region thing. The EarthCaches I run into tend to have some questions that depend on a detailed observation that I never in my wildest dreams would have made without the EarthCache asking about it.

 

Yes, Earthcaches are subject to a lot of regional influences and also changes over time. However a lot of questions can be answered by having a decent geological knowledge.

 

Well, yes, of course. I meant I wouldn't be able to answer the question based on my visit, not that I couldn't have created an answer through research or just on the fly that would satisfy the CO. I'm interpreting the OP as asking what we should do, not what we can get away with.

 

In my opinion it's a matter of philosophy. If no new visit to a location is needed, then the logging questions and or the lesson are not optimally chosen. For a lot of ECs one could learn at least as much about the location and geology from books and the internet than from visiting the location and the EC.

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Hey, we had some very extended look at some interesting geology somewhere in Europe twice (remaining vague here). A few years later we thought those locations deserve a proper EC. We looked on the map and saw that each location indeed had one - which told next to nothing about the very interesting geology :( Oh well.. shame. The questions would have been easy to answer, but still it never crossed our minds to log them even though we knew more about those locations that the CO.

 

In my opinion this just shows one of the big weak points of the EC program.

There would be no difference whatsoever if you visited the EC at a later time and ended up with exactly the same answers you also could send without a new visit. You would not learn even the smallest new fact.

 

EC can be submitted if a visit took place in the past (with some limits to make sure that there have not been many changes meanwhile) and I think the same should hold for EC visits. I cannot see anything bad in them as long as someone has been at the location and can answer all questions. I think that the standard arguments with respect to finding physical caches do not fit for Earthcaches which also have quite different rules for hiding.

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Maybe one of the QTA could be "what's the xx th word on the xx line of the info sign" or something that you could easily see while there but would notice if not going there for the EC?

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Maybe one of the QTA could be "what's the xx th word on the xx line of the info sign" or something that you could easily see while there but would notice if not going there for the EC?

 

Many people take photos regardless of the reason why they visit a cache location.

For many places one would end up with quite absurd questions.

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Many people take photos regardless of the reason why they visit a cache location.

For many places one would end up with quite absurd questions.

 

That's not what I meant. Since an EC can be solved online in many cases the extra question could be anything not seen by visitors (maybe the manufacturer of the info sign has a sticker on the back of that sign or there's a serial number, just some detail). Nothing of interest to take pictures of and very small chance this info can be found without actually visiting.

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Many people take photos regardless of the reason why they visit a cache location.

For many places one would end up with quite absurd questions.

 

That's not what I meant. Since an EC can be solved online in many cases the extra question could be anything not seen by visitors (maybe the manufacturer of the info sign has a sticker on the back of that sign or there's a serial number, just some detail). Nothing of interest to take pictures of and very small chance this info can be found without actually visiting.

 

This was what I meant above with weird/absurd questions. The intent of an EC is to teach something that cannot be easily learnt without visiting the location. If that cannot be accomplished, the Ec is just an excuse for getting a virtual cache published.

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Yes, Earthcaches are subject to a lot of regional influences and also changes over time. However a lot of questions can be answered by having a decent geological knowledge.

...

In my opinion it's a matter of philosophy. If no new visit to a location is needed, then the logging questions and or the lesson are not optimally chosen. For a lot of ECs one could learn at least as much about the location and geology from books and the internet than from visiting the location and the EC.

But the logical conclusion of this line of reasoning is that it's OK to log an EarthCache from home without a visit if you can get it past the CO. But, of course, it's not. So I rule out logging based on my other knowledge or what I can research because those things have absolutely nothing to do with visiting the EarthCache. Once I've reached that conclusion, it seems obvious to me that it makes no more sense to log the EarthCache because I visited the location without knowing about the EarthCache and just happened to pick up the right information.

 

This was what I meant above with weird/absurd questions. The intent of an EC is to teach something that cannot be easily learnt without visiting the location. If that cannot be accomplished, the Ec is just an excuse for getting a virtual cache published.

Is there something official stating this? I consider EarthCaches a fun way to teach something that might, nevertheless, be learned elsewhere.

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Just a reminder folks:

 

EarthCaching Guideline #6.

 

Logging an EarthCache requires visitors to undertake a site-specific task which provides a learning opportunity related to the topic. The logging tasks must have visitors using the information from the cache page along with their observations at the site to perform some type of analysis of their own. Logging task solutions will serve as the cache owner's proof that the cacher has visited the site. Questions which only serve to prove that someone visited the site, and do not relate to the site's geology, are not permitted.

 

Discussions in the past have generally led to the conclusion that the person should have visited the site after it was an official EartCache. No one advocates logging it as a visit if you have never been there. It's important to work with the EarthCache owner and respect their decisions on what they will allow.

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Discussions in the past have generally led to the conclusion that the person should have visited the site after it was an official EartCache. No one advocates logging it as a visit if you have never been there. It's important to work with the EarthCache owner and respect their decisions on what they will allow.

 

I agree but there is quite some gray area left like when cachers visited an EC location without knowing about the EC or without having the EC description with them, but at a later time send in the correct answers or when someone visited an EC

when the EC existed but the person was not yet an official cacher. Even for physical caches such visits are typically seen to be ok.

 

The questions at most ECs I visited are such that when having been at an EC site previously one always can answer all questions in a satisfactory manner.

 

Many cachers are well behind with their logging (up to many months or even years). So in my opinion the date of a log for an EC does not play a real role anyway and as long the date is after the publication of the EC, there is hardly anything to check or not to tolerate for the EC owner.

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