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Cache Maintenance Etiquette


Kd7tps
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Hello Everybody,

 

Somewhat of a newbie still, with less than 100 finds, and 0 hides (Soon to be remedied.). I'm using my cell phone, which apparently is also a newbie thing? I've got a question regarding etiquette of maintenance. I'm sure this has been covered in the past, but there's not been a comprehensive all-encompassing article that I've found.

 

The question is: What sort of maintenance is Good, and what would be considered going too far?

 

Examples:

 

A.) If I find a log that's wet to the point of being unsignable or unreadable, I'll replace it with new paper and a new plastic baggie if needed. Occasionally I'll throw in a bag of silica gel if it looks like most of the moisture was from condensation and there's room for it.

Depending on the cache, I'll either leave the old wet log in the container wrapped in a plastic bag to protect it from getting worse, or if there's no room I'll take it (logging that I've done so) and stick it in my maintenance kit (In a baggie marked with cache name) until a good amount of time has passed.

 

This isn't the maintenance I think is a problem. I personally would find this very helpful if I were a CO. The next one is where I'm hesitant to travel.

 

B.) A 2-part multi-cache has had it's initial cache washed away in a flood. It's been confirmed missing, but the final is still there. Would it be acceptable to take the coords of the final and replace the initial in the same spot with the same kind of container that it was originally, or is this going too far?

 

*Edit* One detail I omitted is that the CO shows to have been inactive without a find for over 500 days. It's safe to assume (s)he won't be making it out to perform maintenance.

Edited by Kd7tps
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Silica gel is completely worthless for caches. It is only good for sealed containers, until it is opened. Then it will give off moisture when heated by the sun. That just makes things worse. So forget about that.

Replacing a wet log is generally concerned nice, But it is the CO's responsibility.

Replacing a missing stage of a multi, with a missing CO is not a good idea. NA is the proper thing to do. It is not being maintained by the CO. Same as a throw down on a missing cache, or a cache that the geocacher can not find. If it is misssing, it is the CO's responsibility to replace it. If the CO is missing, then NA is the proper log.

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You do not replace the cache. It's not yours to replace. For one, by doing that, you're encouraging cache owners to just place and forget them. Or its an owner that's not active, and you're just keeping the cache alive instead of letting it die out and get archived.

 

The other reason is that it's my cache. So it should be my decision to fix or replace it. Or to move it. Change the container. Archive it.

 

For the logs, well I wouldn't replace one unless I know the cache owner. I carry a sharpie and a space pen, so if there's a log, I can sign it.

 

If the cache needs any work, even a new log, you log (separate, you also log your found it) a needs maintanance. Or if there is hasn't been maintenance, log a needs archived.

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Silica gel is completely worthless for caches. It is only good for sealed containers, until it is opened. Then it will give off moisture when heated by the sun. That just makes things worse. So forget about that.

 

Can someone confirm this? It's just the first I've heard this. Just looking for clarification of when silica is and isn't useful.

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Silica gel is completely worthless for caches. It is only good for sealed containers, until it is opened. Then it will give off moisture when heated by the sun. That just makes things worse. So forget about that.

 

Can someone confirm this? It's just the first I've heard this. Just looking for clarification of when silica is and isn't useful.

 

This is true.

 

Even if it doesn't get warmed by the sun, which does cause it to release water, as soon as the container is opened outside the silica gel is exposed to virtually infinite water molecules and quickly reaches its capacity for water absorption. It is totally useless in a cache.

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Silica gel is completely worthless for caches. It is only good for sealed containers, until it is opened. Then it will give off moisture when heated by the sun. That just makes things worse. So forget about that.

 

Can someone confirm this? It's just the first I've heard this. Just looking for clarification of when silica is and isn't useful.

I've tried "silica gel" in my caches, in various ways. Even if I figured out the ideal ratio of silica to water, the problem is cachers. One large cache had a problem with water accumulation, and to dry the log book, I placed two socks full of silica gel in a ziplock bag with the log book. Finders removed the gel packs and dropped them into the water. The finders also tend to open or damage the packs, so the crystals get all over the place. Note that in all cases, the cache is still wet. Now it's more of a mess.

 

When you research so-called "silica gel packs", the info is all about how big a pack you need for the volume of a completely dry container, airtight, unopened. If your cache is completely dry and airtight and is not to be opened, how much desiccant do you need? Wild guess, none at all. :anicute:

 

The craft DIY sites recommend a large container full of silica gel. Place the rose or other flower into it, allow it to dehydrate. Recharge the silica gel in an oven. So the ratio of gel to rose is high. The entire container is full, and the rose has relatively little water in it. In theory, a whole bunch of silica gel could dry a log book in a ziplock bag in a container, but that depends on how much it's messed with while it dries.

 

So here's a rule of thumb (I found this online, but it's good as a guideline):

"How much can it absorb? Twenty (20) percent of its own weight. One pound of silica gel can absorb 3.2 ounces of water from the atmosphere."

 

You must replace it with a completely dry pack well before it's absorbed all it can. If you are diligent enough to routinely replace/recharge that couple of pounds of silica gel in your cache, you could instead dry the container in the usual way, or just replace the soaked contents and add new ziplock bags. When something goes wrong (often, the lid was not closed properly by a finder) I've sometimes taken all the contents of my cache home, dried/replaced everything, put it back. Some containers are always soaking wet, and in many cases, cachers don't seem to mind. They just wanna sign a log.

 

I hope this helps! There may be rare circumstances where silica gel would be suitable in a cache. One teeny packet as a kind of swag, is not it. I hope cachers aren't using free (used) silica gel as trade items. :anibad:

Edited by kunarion
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Silica gel is completely worthless for caches. It is only good for sealed containers, until it is opened. Then it will give off moisture when heated by the sun. That just makes things worse. So forget about that.

Can someone confirm this? It's just the first I've heard this. Just looking for clarification of when silica is and isn't useful.

There's a couple threads on these. A simple google search shows the same.

A few years ago someone thought they'd "help" our ammo cans by putting a handful of those things in each one when he hit 'em.

Maintenance time, every can that had a pile of those expletive deleted things had a rust outline of where they lay, with swag around 'em shot.

The military uses ammo cans because they keep things well.

In the military and out, I don't recall one ever coming with silica packets inside...

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Even if I figured out the ideal ratio of silica to water, the problem is cachers.

 

The bigger problem is that every single time the cache is opened, the silica gel is exposed to endless quantities of moist, outdoor air. A geocache can't be treated like a sealed environment where the total amount of water is known and doesn't change.

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Your best bet is to install a dehumidifier and a sump to remove all moisture. Of course, that means you'll have to create a cache large enough for someone to walk into..

I am liking this idea! With a moisture barrier under it!

 

As far as replacing logs...As a CO I am fine with it. Some might not be. Once in a while when I have changed one out I will take a pic of it and send it to the CO so it is a done deal and you can throw the wet thing away.

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A.) If I find a log that's wet to the point of being unsignable or unreadable, I'll replace it with new paper and a new plastic baggie if needed. Occasionally I'll throw in a bag of silica gel if it looks like most of the moisture was from condensation and there's room for it.

 

If the log's wet, it's a sign that there's something else wrong with the cache, such as a poor choice of container, or a cache that's been moved from a sheltered location. Replacing the log won't fix it, and adding a dry page will simply make things worse.

 

Maintenance I'll do is things like drying out a logbook that's "hour in the sun"-level damp, adding a pencil to a cache that's missing one (if I've got one with me), or packing up the pieces of a muggled cache. Anything more significant gets an NM log.

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Replacing the log won't fix it, and adding a dry page will simply make things worse.

 

Really? You've never used a waterproof log sheet?

 

Caches that use little ziplock baggies in a humid climate will always have wet logs if they have been out more than a few months. It's a sign of bad cache construction, not bad cache maintenance, and it is ubiquitous.

 

Replace the logsheet with a waterproof one, and nine times out of ten the design problem is fixed and further maintenance will be unnecessary.

 

If I could ban the little zip bags, I would, as they are a pain and do no good. But apparently their magical powers are widely believed, so they are everywhere.

 

But your claim that a wet log means more serious problems with the cache is just plain wrong, in my experience.

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A.) If I find a log that's wet to the point of being unsignable or unreadable, I'll replace it with new paper and a new plastic baggie if needed. Occasionally I'll throw in a bag of silica gel if it looks like most of the moisture was from condensation and there's room for it.

 

If the log's wet, it's a sign that there's something else wrong with the cache, such as a poor choice of container, or a cache that's been moved from a sheltered location. Replacing the log won't fix it, and adding a dry page will simply make things worse.

I think finders should evaluate the container itself. Water can get into caches and logs can get wet at no fault of the container. Consider cases where a cacher found it in the rain and let water get onto the log paper, or let rain get into the container, or dropped the log onto wet ground/puddle. It's not always about using a sub-optimal cache container.

 

There have been times that I've added waterproof paper to a cache, with the appropriate online logs. Not if the container is in bad shape though.

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B.) A 2-part multi-cache has had it's initial cache washed away in a flood. It's been confirmed missing, but the final is still there. Would it be acceptable to take the coords of the final and replace the initial in the same spot with the same kind of container that it was originally, or is this going too far?

 

*Edit* One detail I omitted is that the CO shows to have been inactive without a find for over 500 days. It's safe to assume (s)he won't be making it out to perform maintenance.

 

I wouldn't be replacing stages or caches, time for NM/NA logs in those situations....

I wouldn't completely assume the CO is inactive on those criteria (although usually you would be right) - I've seen a few around here like that which will still maintain a cache, but don't find many.

 

Too many junk caches around with inactive CO's - we should be aiming to have them archived to make way for fresh caches, rather than propping them up with ad-hoc maintenance....

 

 

 

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Not your cache, post a NM if it is a mouldy wet smelly log, broken link in a multi post a NM. Watch the posting and if a response is not apparent in two weeks, post a NA. If the CO cannot respond within two weeks, then it is not worth your time watching the cache and the cache needs to be removed from the system as the CO cannot look after it. It is not up to the finders to prop up caches, it is up to the cache hiders to look after their babies! I know this post will probably get a lot of flack from do good cachers who want to keep a cache going, but realistically, let the cache be archived to allow some one else a chance to move in with a viable, long lasting cache.

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Hello Everybody,

 

Somewhat of a newbie still, with less than 100 finds, and 0 hides (Soon to be remedied.). I'm using my cell phone, which apparently is also a newbie thing? I've got a question regarding etiquette of maintenance. I'm sure this has been covered in the past, but there's not been a comprehensive all-encompassing article that I've found.

 

The question is: What sort of maintenance is Good, and what would be considered going too far?

 

Cache maintenance is for the cache owner. Proper etiquette for cache seekers is to log your finds, DNF's, and needs maintenance logs accordingly.

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I'm just replying to one of your original questions, about replacing a wet log with a dry piece of paper.

 

I was surprised to see so many answers saying to not replace a log and instead to post a NM log. As cache owners of about 32 caches, there are times when we just can't get around within two weeks or so to a cache to replace a wet log; sometimes it's because of travel, bad weather, illness, or family responsibilities. I am always grateful to those thoughtful cachers who will replace a log in one of our caches and let me know they did so in their log. (I carry spare paper with me and often replace logs and let the CO know I did; no one has EVER complained about this!) I hope that posting a NM log would be reserved for a more serious problem with a cache, such as a cracked or broken container, or some condition at the GZ causing problems.

 

It's sort of sad to see that so many cachers don't feel they have a responsibility to help fellow cachers. That's a real change from the way the game was played when we started geocaching in 2006. I think if you (the original poster) are kind enough to want to replace wet logs you should do so!

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It's sort of sad to see that so many cachers don't feel they have a responsibility to help fellow cachers.

 

Only the cache owner is responsible for their caches. I maintain close to two hundred caches and I enjoy playing this game as it was intended. If my caches need attention, please make note of it in your log ans post a NM so I can address it. How I maintain my caches reflects that I proudly maintain my caches, I don't want someone else propping them up for me. Maybe others feel the same way and should respect the cache owners wishes. Just a thought.

Edited by Manville Possum
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I was surprised to see so many answers saying to not replace a log and instead to post a NM log...

The argument is that if the log got wet, then there's no point to putting a new log into the cache which will also get wet. Simple. In other words, the important point of the NM isn't that the log needs to be replaced, it's that the container is no longer waterproof.

 

It's sort of sad to see that so many cachers don't feel they have a responsibility to help fellow cachers.

I have no idea what gave you the idea I have a responsibility to help the CO maintain his cache. I don't. Feel free to bemoan the fact that people visiting your cache don't choose to help you out as often as you want, but don't pretend they have a responsibility to help you out.

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It isn't the temporary replacement of a log that is the problem - it is the continual addition of scraps of paper to do so, over years, when it is clear the CO is not going to maintain the cache. This is mainly the problem of micros, where after a while it gets hard to get the log pile back into the container (and then back out), so after a short time the logs tear and end up like pulp....

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I was surprised to see so many answers saying to not replace a log and instead to post a NM log...

The argument is that if the log got wet, then there's no point to putting a new log into the cache which will also get wet. Simple. In other words, the important point of the NM isn't that the log needs to be replaced, it's that the container is no longer waterproof.

It's sort of sad to see that so many cachers don't feel they have a responsibility to help fellow cachers.

I have no idea what gave you the idea I have a responsibility to help the CO maintain his cache. I don't. Feel free to bemoan the fact that people visiting your cache don't choose to help you out as often as you want, but don't pretend they have a responsibility to help you out.

+1

Just went to one today. Soggy, moldy mess with a new log-in-a-baggy sitting on top of it.

Yeah, that was some help...

 

The use of NM hasn't changed since I started. :)

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Only the cache owner is responsible for their caches.

 

Finders are still responsible for reasonably proper handling of caches they find. Closing the container correctly, putting it back where it was found, not leaving inappropriate swag, don't contaminate containers with food, don't get the contents wet, etc. Unfortunately, there are no consequences for irresponsible seekers. (Irresponsible COs have their caches archived, which is at least some small measure of consequences.)

Edited by Joshism
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Only the cache owner is responsible for their caches.

 

Finders are still responsible for reasonably proper handling of caches they find. Closing the container correctly, putting it back where it was found, not leaving inappropriate swag, don't contaminate containers with food, don't get the contents wet, etc. Unfortunately, there are no consequences for irresponsible seekers. (Irresponsible COs have their caches archived, which is at least some small measure of consequences.)

Great point Joshism. I see this as part of cache maintenance. Much can be done by NOT doing careless things like you mention.

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It is the cache owners responsibility to perform maintenance.

 

YOU the finder should NOT be performing maintenance. If the cache owner is no longer active than so be it. Post a Needs Maintenance. If owner does not come back then it needs to be archived.

 

As to the other discussion: I don't see silica doing anything. Proper waterproof cache container should keep the worst of the water out. and I do agree it is the finders responsibility to handle a cache carefully (close properly, do not open in the pouring rain, please!) But that said there are always going to be finders who did not take care and some that will cache in the rain, even just a very humid day and moisture can get trapped inside a good container, so as an owner I am responsible for visiting my cache on some sort of regular scheduled to resolve issues. I often take a spare container, switch them entirely and take the old one home for a good wash and full 24 hour air out before returning. I hate wet cache smell.

 

Edit: See the Help Center for more information on Cache ownership responsibilities: #4. Geocache Ownership: A Long-Term Relationship

Edited by ConsHaltonCache
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YOU the finder should NOT be performing maintenance

 

Is this stipulated in any rules/guidelines?

 

4.11. Throwdowns - How to handle them

 

"A throwdown is when a geocacher places a new geocache container when the previous geocache is missing or cannot be found. Throwdowns are placed so the geocacher can log a find on a geocache that they couldn't find and suspect is missing."

 

Placing a throwdown is not the same as performing maintenance.

 

There are lots of levels of maintenance that a finder might perform that fall short of a "throwdown".

 

 

 

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YOU the finder should NOT be performing maintenance

 

Is this stipulated in any rules/guidelines?

 

4.11. Throwdowns - How to handle them

 

"A throwdown is when a geocacher places a new geocache container when the previous geocache is missing or cannot be found. Throwdowns are placed so the geocacher can log a find on a geocache that they couldn't find and suspect is missing."

 

Placing a throwdown is not the same as performing maintenance.

 

There are lots of levels of maintenance that a finder might perform that fall short of a "throwdown".

 

No, they are basically the same thing. Repair caches, new container and a log, whatever. :)

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NYPaddleCacher is right. My question was about maintenance, not throwdown. The link you provided Manville Possum only confirms that throwdown is not maintenance; moreover, maintenance is required to remove a throwdown.

 

No, they are the same thing. You may call it a maintaince cache, repair cache, a replacement cache or whatever. It's still a cache container or log placed by someone other than the cache owner. :rolleyes: If the cache is ownerless, it's just propping up a cache that may need archived to open up the area to other users.

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NYPaddleCacher is right. My question was about maintenance, not throwdown. The link you provided Manville Possum only confirms that throwdown is not maintenance; moreover, maintenance is required to remove a throwdown.

 

No, they are the same thing. You may call it a maintaince cache, repair cache, a replacement cache or whatever. It's still a cache container or log placed by someone other than the cache owner. :rolleyes: If the cache is ownerless, it's just propping up a cache that may need archived to open up the area to other users.

 

Seriously? A "throwdown" by groundspeaks definition is the placement of a container at the published coordinates because the "finder" could not find a cache and still wants to log it as a find. Do you honestly not see a difference between that and adding some duct tape to a cracked container or a adding a clean piece of paper to a cache with a full log sheet. To me the primary difference is that in a throwdown is placed primarily for the benefit of the throwdowner (so that that can justify to themselves that they "found" because now their name is on log sheet) while cache maintenance typically only provides a benefit for future finders and possibly the CO as well.

 

 

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NYPaddleCacher is right. My question was about maintenance, not throwdown. The link you provided Manville Possum only confirms that throwdown is not maintenance; moreover, maintenance is required to remove a throwdown.

 

No, they are the same thing. You may call it a maintaince cache, repair cache, a replacement cache or whatever. It's still a cache container or log placed by someone other than the cache owner. :rolleyes: If the cache is ownerless, it's just propping up a cache that may need archived to open up the area to other users.

 

Seriously? A "throwdown" by groundspeaks definition is the placement of a container at the published coordinates because the "finder" could not find a cache and still wants to log it as a find. Do you honestly not see a difference between that and adding some duct tape to a cracked container or a adding a clean piece of paper to a cache with a full log sheet. To me the primary difference is that in a throwdown is placed primarily for the benefit of the throwdowner (so that that can justify to themselves that they "found" because now their name is on log sheet) while cache maintenance typically only provides a benefit for future finders and possibly the CO as well.

 

It's still propping up a cache without the owners consent. What is the "Needs Maintenance" feature here for, just in case the finder forgot or ran out of geocache repair kits?

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"Needs Maintenance" is obviously for letting COs know that their caches need maintenance and they (CO) should take care of them (caches).

 

However, it's not stipulated anywhere (AFAIK) that maintenance is something totally exclusive that must be done by COs only. Vice versa, it's quite common that maintenance plans involve other cachers and even non-cachers. This is allowed and advised by Groundspeak itself. You mentioned consent - right, it's more about consent and some other important circumstances, not about maintenance itself as an action.

 

For example, there are situations when one can both perform some temporary maintenance and add a NM log for the owner to come and fix everything permanently (e.g. move the container to a safer location). It's quite common I'd say.

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I think the difference lays between 1. helping out a CO with bits and pieces, new ziplock bags, maybe a temporary logsheet; and 2. propping up a cache whose CO has long stopped caring, hasn't found a cache for 3 years, and has no intention of checking or maintaining any of their caches. IMO, #1 is fine, #2 should attract NM/NA logs only.....

Throwdowns are different, and are bad in any circumstance.

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I think the difference lays between 1. helping out a CO with bits and pieces, new ziplock bags, maybe a temporary logsheet; and 2. propping up a cache whose CO has long stopped caring, hasn't found a cache for 3 years, and has no intention of checking or maintaining any of their caches. IMO, #1 is fine, #2 should attract NM/NA logs only.....

I agree minor maintenance is fine, but I do think it's reasonable to bring up that even minor maintenance isn't the seeker's responsibility.

 

By the way, in our mild weather here near San Francisco, baggies are almost pointless. They fail after just a few finds, so it's very rare that they accomplish anything if water does get into the cache. If the container's not waterproof, the baggie doesn't really help. Early in my career, I added or replaced baggies, but it soon dawned on me that I wasn't really helping. Are they more useful in other climates? I would have thought they'd be even more pointless in areas where rain and snow are common.

 

Throwdowns are different, and are bad in any circumstance.

I assumed equating throwdowns with replacing logs was meant primarily to exaggerate the practical similarity for emphasis, but I agree it's confusing and incorrect to use "throwdown" for anything other than the thoughtless dropping of a mundane container to avoid a DNF.

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even minor maintenance isn't the seeker's responsibility

 

Yes. What we talk about here is just a simple logical mistake when some people make the following conclusion:

 

COs are responsible for maintenance (true) - only COs should do maintenance, not anyone else (false)

 

And this wrong conclusion appears again and again in this forum when someone (usually a newbie) asks his innocent questions.

 

Once I tried to find a cache but failed. It seemed obvious to me that the cache has gone but I couldn't be 100%. I knew the owner and I also knew he was active in the game. So I called him by phone and said his cache was in trouble. He asked me to describe the place in details. I did. With additional hints he concluded that the cache had really been muggled. I had a micro container with me and suggested replacement. He agreed and the cache got back to game quarter an hour later. I wouldn't call it minor replacement since I replaced the whole container, not just a damp logsheet. I'm quite sure I didn't violate any guidelines. So, not only minor maintenance can be done by seekers. Full replacement is also worth doing in certain circumstances.

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1460831013[/url]' post='5577199']

By the way, in our mild weather here near San Francisco, baggies are almost pointless. They fail after just a few finds, so it's very rare that they accomplish anything if water does get into the cache. If the container's not waterproof, the baggie doesn't really help. Early in my career, I added or replaced baggies, but it soon dawned on me that I wasn't really helping. Are they more useful in other climates? I would have thought they'd be even more pointless in areas where rain and snow are common.

 

I agree. I'm near Toronto (we get everything up here - snow, ice, rain, hail, tornadoes, heat, humidity) and yes baggies are generally pointless.

 

In fact they can be a problem in water tight containers, like authentic Lock & Locks. They sometimes get caught in the seal. Everything ends up soaked. It's happened to about 3 of my letterbox and geocache hides. Because someone puts the logbook in a baggie that's too big for the cache, it gets crammed in, then a corner of the baggie ends up stuck between the lid and the container bottom. The best way to keep the logbook dry is to start with a watertight container. Don't rely on the baggie to do the job.

 

I've seen way too many hide-a-keys with crammed baggies and soggy logs. Film canisters with a soggy log in a baggie. Ziploc throwaway containers with wet logs in a baggie. Dollar store containers with a moldy wet log in a baggie. Yogurt containers, a solid frozen block of ice with a log in a baggie stuck in the middle of the ice.

 

It has also been my observation that if the container's not waterproof, the baggie doesn't really help.

Edited by L0ne.R
fixed quotey thingy
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*Edit* One detail I omitted is that the CO shows to have been inactive without a find for over 500 days. It's safe to assume (s)he won't be making it out to perform maintenance.

 

Quoting original post above. In this case I feel it is unacceptable to perform maintenance. Even just replacing a logbook.

 

Placing a dry piece of paper into a wet cache does not solve the problem that caused the log to become wet in the first place. It only results in yet another wet log. Even if the cache owner is still active they need to fix the problem. A new paper (to also become wet) does not fix the cause...

 

CJ - your example is a very different situation. You had the cache owner on the phone...they confirmed you were at the right location and gave their permission for you to take actions they was fully aware of and condoned. In that example I do think that is fine (Key factor: the owner is aware and involved). Not at all the same as routinely replacing logs for absentee owners or containers that are not waterproof.

 

As a cache owner I want to know when things are getting damp inside. The solution may be as simple as taking it inside to dry it out or it may require a whole new container but that is my responsibility. As a cache finder I really really hate moldy logs (and caches). A replaced log will quickly be just as bad as the first if the reason for the wetness is not dealt with. People cache in the rain, things get humid, snow may fall inside, a watertight container will just let that moisture continue to fester and rot many a new log...a cracked container lets even more in...both need to be solved.

 

Zipper bags: I agree with L0ne.R's comments...they are prity useless most of the time, but I still have my log books in a zipper bag since they seem to be deemed essential by 99.99% cache visitors and I'd rather have one appropriately sized to the log book and cache container rather than ones placed by visitors and jammed in there only to get stuck in the caches seal...

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CJ - your example is a very different situation

 

Yes, my example had the only purpose to highlight that situations can be different. The topicstarter provided two examples but the question itself was a general one ("What sort of maintenance is Good"). So, the general answer should be "depending on circumstances". Sometimes even a small maintenance isn't worth doing (like with an abandoned cache which was mentioned above). Sometimes is may be OK to do full maintenance (like the situation I described).

 

A replaced log will quickly be just as bad as the first if the reason for the wetness is not dealt with

 

Yes, but there are variants depending on circumstances. If I believe that the cache isn't abandoned I can replace the wet log as a temporary solution and add a NM log so that the CO visits his cache ASAP and make full maintenance. Or (in some cases) I can call him and describe the problem and offer my help. Solutions can be rather flexible.

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even minor maintenance isn't the seeker's responsibility

 

Yes. What we talk about here is just a simple logical mistake when some people make the following conclusion:

 

COs are responsible for maintenance (true) - only COs should do maintenance, not anyone else (false)

 

And this wrong conclusion appears again and again in this forum when someone (usually a newbie) asks his innocent questions.

 

Once I tried to find a cache but failed. It seemed obvious to me that the cache has gone but I couldn't be 100%. I knew the owner and I also knew he was active in the game. So I called him by phone and said his cache was in trouble. He asked me to describe the place in details. I did. With additional hints he concluded that the cache had really been muggled. I had a micro container with me and suggested replacement. He agreed and the cache got back to game quarter an hour later. I wouldn't call it minor replacement since I replaced the whole container, not just a damp logsheet. I'm quite sure I didn't violate any guidelines. So, not only minor maintenance can be done by seekers. Full replacement is also worth doing in certain circumstances.

 

I think that the only circumstance a cache should be replaced is with the approval of the cache owner.

 

This is a big picture problem.

 

In your example you knew the cache owner and they agreed to allow you to replace the container. Nothing wrong with that.

 

If a cache owner can keep a particular cache and do so without having to assume the responsibility of maintenance, because everyone else is maintaining the cache for him/her, than eventually that cache is going to suffer. First time cache hiders need to understand the level of commitment required to own a cache. It's not like a rotisserie chicken where you "set it and forget it". preforming cache maintenance on another's cache is allowing the cache owner to forget about the commitment they made when they pushed that submit button.

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OK, let me pretend that I'm your student :)

 

Helsinki, Finland. I visited a cache on an embankment and was much upset when I approached the GZ. I found the cache box, its lid and some swag on the ground, all items separately from each other. I failed to find a logbook though. The place seemed to be rather popular but I was there in the morning so very few people were around. It appeared that some vandal visited the site right before I got there. I didn't know the CO and had no way to ask for any permissions/opinions. I didn't know the exact hiding place either: there were many variants where the container could be hidden and hints didn't help.

 

What would you do if you were in my shoes?

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OK, let me pretend that I'm your student :)

 

Helsinki, Finland. I visited a cache on an embankment and was much upset when I approached the GZ. I found the cache box, its lid and some swag on the ground, all items separately from each other. I failed to find a logbook though. The place seemed to be rather popular but I was there in the morning so very few people were around. It appeared that some vandal visited the site right before I got there. I didn't know the CO and had no way to ask for any permissions/opinions. I didn't know the exact hiding place either: there were many variants where the container could be hidden and hints didn't help.

 

What would you do if you were in my shoes?

Link for reference:

 

I Found a Geocache that Needs Maintenance

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OK, let me pretend that I'm your student :)

 

Helsinki, Finland. I visited a cache on an embankment and was much upset when I approached the GZ. I found the cache box, its lid and some swag on the ground, all items separately from each other. I failed to find a logbook though. The place seemed to be rather popular but I was there in the morning so very few people were around. It appeared that some vandal visited the site right before I got there. I didn't know the CO and had no way to ask for any permissions/opinions. I didn't know the exact hiding place either: there were many variants where the container could be hidden and hints didn't help.

 

What would you do if you were in my shoes?

 

I would log my Needs Maintenance and move on. What would you do? :unsure:

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Zipper bags: I agree with L0ne.R's comments...they are pretty useless most of the time, but I still have my log books in a zipper bag since they seem to be deemed essential by 99.99% cache visitors and I'd rather have one appropriately sized to the log book and cache container rather than ones placed by visitors and jammed in there only to get stuck in the caches seal...

 

That's a good tip. Thanks.

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OK, let me pretend that I'm your student :)

 

Helsinki, Finland. I visited a cache on an embankment and was much upset when I approached the GZ. I found the cache box, its lid and some swag on the ground, all items separately from each other. I failed to find a logbook though. The place seemed to be rather popular but I was there in the morning so very few people were around. It appeared that some vandal visited the site right before I got there. I didn't know the CO and had no way to ask for any permissions/opinions. I didn't know the exact hiding place either: there were many variants where the container could be hidden and hints didn't help.

 

What would you do if you were in my shoes?

 

I would put the cache back together the best I could. I would add a new log sheet and hide in in the most likely spot. I'd log the find and send an e-mail to the cache owner explaining what I found and what I did making sure to accurately describe where I re-hid the cache. I'd also post a Needs Maintenance log.

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justintim1999, it's nice that we're thinking in the same direction. I actually did what you described in your variant plus before replacing the cache I checked the other caches in the area by this owner to be sure that this person was an active player and the cache wasn't abandoned. And I put the container in a different location because it seemed to me that if someone had found it in the old place this vandal could easily check this very place once again.

 

The result was that the container and some swag were saved, no litter around, the CO replied very quickly and visited the site next day to put everything in order.

 

So, my point is that even more serious maintenance (than replacing wet logs) can be done without prior approval in some circumstances (in this case it was an obvious and direct threat to the cache). Indeed, such actions require accuracy and responsibility both from the visitor and the CO.

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