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What happens when someone loses your cache?


shan
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[begging your pardon if this is better addressed in another thread...]

 

I would like to know your thoughts on a situation in which I find myself at present. I have (had?) a tricky little log-only cache hidden under a bridge- very tricky to retrieve and trickier, in a way, to put back. See, the container was a PET pre-form with a magnetic lid; it was stuck to the bottom of the bridge and the way to get it down (and put it back) was to get a length (about 9-10') of 1 1/2" PVC into which the thing would fit -not snugly, but well enough to let you pull it off (or reattach it to) the understructure. Yes, it's a pain in the rear -but that's kinda the point, I don't mind saying! The cache listing even says that special tools are needed and "don't remove it until you're sure you can put it back", etc. Several folks were up to the challenge, though, and everyone had done a fine job of putting the thing back as it was originally placed. I know this for a positive fact, 'coz I always went to check after each "found it" log. Well, just this week a fellow logs it and I go to check on my cache and... where is it? Not there. Oh, and by the way, the guy never emailed me to say "hey, I didn't put it back where it's supposed to be" or anything like that. So, having done my usual checking in after a "found it" log, and having found nothing there, I contact the guy to say "hey, where's my cache?" and the guy says he put it back "near" where he found it. So I go back and look, closely and carefully and find nothing. The guy says he just threw some rocks at it to get it down (how's that for "special equipment"?!), and says that to replace it, he lobbed it up onto -get this!- about a 3" ledge of an I-beam from about 10' away. Even if he did manage to pull that off (unlikely!), the bridge *can* vibrate a little bit (but, apparently enough) when large trucks pass over. Charitable interpretation is that the thing wasn't put back securely at all, and it went into the drink and is now bound for the Gulf of Mexico. Now: I won't ask if this sort of thing has happened to any of you before (because, construed broadly enough, "this sort of thing" can include all manner of chicanery, most of which I'm sure has happened at one time or another); I'm curious how Geocaching.com/Groundspeak has handled cases like this in the past. I'm plenty steamed about this, but I don't know what to expect of the powers that be -do they sanction abusive cachers like this, or do they just say "meh, get over it, lol"?

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I'm curious how Geocaching.com/Groundspeak has handled cases like this in the past. I'm plenty steamed about this, but I don't know what to expect of the powers that be -do they sanction abusive cachers like this, or do they just say "meh, get over it, lol"?

Groundspeak can't implant intelligence into its members, and I doubt anything would happen to them for being careless.

 

Personally, I think if you place a cache under a bridge, near water, and that cache has the possibility at any time to, "go in the drink", at some time it's bound to do so. :)

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....or do they just say "meh, get over it, lol"?

 

I'm almost 100% sure you would NOT receive such a flippant remark as that from the well trained staff at Groundspeak. I will say, I've been in similar situations, and I'm a better cache hider as a result ;) Live and learn. Your next effort will be better.

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Please don't be upset. Preforms and magnets are cheap, and it sounds like it's not hard for you to visit GZ, so I suggest taking any losses in stride. That's a very creative idea, and it sounds like you don't explicitly explain what's needed to retrieve it, so you have to expect some odd things to happen as people come up with wrong ideas on how to get the cache and put it back. Just chuckle at "another clumsy cacher" and replace it.

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Have you heard the saying "If you make something foolproof, they'll just invent a better fool"? You simply won't be able to place a cache without the possibility of it going missing because of something silly a cacher (or non-cacher) might do while looking for/retrieving/replacing it. As others have said, if you are going to place a cache, especially one that is over water, you best be prepared to replace it when it goes missing. Even if it's because of something stupid a cacher did. It's part of being a cache owner.

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Too bad the cacher didn't just mail you to tell you what happened. So far I've broken one cache (fake mushroom and it was NOT intentional B) ) and I've let the CO know as soon as I had access to internet.

 

People just should learn to treat caches as if they were their own but "it ain't gonna happen".

Edited by Keystone
Removed potty language. Don't use potty language.
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I'm going to guess the fine folks at HQ will professionally and politely tell you that they just administer a listing service. What happens out in the field is between the cachers.

 

In other words: "meh-get over it."

 

Or as my good friend fishingfools says: "don't pet the sweaty stuff and don't sweat the petty stuff."

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Some people are simply new to caching and haven't quite figured out how things work.

 

I broke one cache this winter trying to chip it out of the ice. The cache placement was a little iffy as it was obvious that the spot would collect water but that's no excuse. I should have been more careful retrieving it or simply passed it by and grabbed it another day. Luckily I had a similar container on me and replaced it. I e-mailed the cache owner and informed them what happened and what I did.

 

Point is, if you hide a difficult or custom built cache it has the potential to be damaged or go missing. As a cache hider you know this going in and should be prepared to preform a lot of cache maintenance. When you place a cache you have a set idea of how it's to be retrieved. People will come up with all kinds of different ways to accomplish this. It's amazing what people will do to get that smiley.

 

The key here is if you damage or loose a cache while trying to retrieve it, own up to it and inform the cache owner.

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Something similar happened to me many years ago. My cache was magneted to the bottom of a bridge railing. When retrieving it, a finder dropped the cache into the river below. But then... they logged "NEEDS ARCHIVED." I disabled the listing and replaced the cache with a new hide-a-key the next time I was in the area. Hide-a-key's only cost a few bucks, but the eye roll :rolleyes: that I still get from remembering the "needs archived" log is priceless.

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I've broken my fair share of "tricky" caches over the years. The problem with those types of caches is that a cacher may not think exactly as the cache hider (i.e. using a length of PVC vs. throwing rocks at it), and the cacher may not think about having to put the cache back until they get it down.

 

I would think this situation is just part of having a "tricky" hide.

 

 

I'd like to share a story on the topic: I once found a cache that where the log was stuck inside a PVC pipe inside a glass Coke bottle. The pipe had a bolt through it that prevented the pipe from leaving the bottle. The cacher had to somehow find a way to remove the nut from the bolt, remove the pipe, sign the log, then find a way to replace everything. I managed to find a solution on YouTube (hint: there's no real "trick"...it's basically strong-arm tactics and luck), and as I was trying to open it, it managed to shatter the Coke bottle. I signed the log, but only posted a note on the cache page, and called the CO as soon as I could to let him know.

 

A few days later, the CO had managed to make another Coke bottle contraption. he called to tell me that as he was replacing the cache, he dropped it on a rock and it shattered again.

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I get it, and I can honestly say I anticipated some degree of "uh-oh, something's missing"... But what has got me Irish up is the total DGAF attitude of the cacher... The fellow didn't read (or read and disregarded, 'coz after all, he's 'premium' dontcha know) the cache attributes, and for that he's tried blaming me, the weather, and even a mysterious "someone else" for the loss of the cache. Pfft, replacing the cache is no big deal- heck, I like the idea of building a better one or one more deviously hidden/attached. That's all cool by me. But this guy... he's been aggressively verbally abusive- typical "angry young male" type behavior. Anyway-- I thank you all for your input- you've helped lower the temperature, so to speak.

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I'm curious how Geocaching.com/Groundspeak has handled cases like this in the past. I'm plenty steamed about this, but I don't know what to expect of the powers that be -do they sanction abusive cachers like this, or do they just say "meh, get over it, lol"?

Groundspeak can't implant intelligence into its members, and I doubt anything would happen to them for being careless.

 

Personally, I think if you place a cache under a bridge, near water, and that cache has the possibility at any time to, "go in the drink", at some time it's bound to do so. :)

 

It's called the cost of doing business. To the OP, and not to be disrespectful, but if you're not up for the intricate replacement of a cache, you should not be hiding it in such a manner.

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I agree with those who point out that if you hide a cache that may not be hard to replace, it may not be replaced properly.

 

I'll add that not everyone reads the cache page or checks the attributes. So saying not to grab the cache unless you can replace it may be irrelevant.

 

I've wanted to use a puzzle box as a cache, but realized that if someone can open it, they may not be able to close it. So I have not done so.

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(...)if you hide a cache that may not be hard to replace, it may not be replaced properly.

One of those negatives doesn't belong, right? ;)

Naw, seriously, though: I hear you guys. I've been out of geocaching for a few years (kids, job, etc.) and my expectations of others' diligence has not kept pace with reality. Lesson learned.

(see also: "the Tragedy of the Commons")

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I did one of those cache down a pipe where you need string and something metal to retrieve it. So I did and the cache got wedged and stuck. I tried many things but nothing would fix it. I made a replacement just in case someone came along. I contacted the CO who thanked me for contacting him and understood. I guess that only works when you casually know your local cachers. He went back removed my cache and fixed his and when he saw me at an event, kindly returned my replacement.

 

About yours I would suggest besides a TOTT note you let cachers know what they need to bring to get it down. Not everyone carries what you used. I don't have a ladder in the back of my car like some do, but I do carry a extended painters pole which I can either attach a hook or tape to retrieve and replace caches with.

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'TOTT note'... I get the sense of what you mean by it, but the acronym itself is unfamiliar to me.

Tools of the trade. Tricks of the trade? One of the two.

In caching it's generally "tools of the trade".

 

I don't think that term really fits this situation, though. TotT implies the things that cachers are generally expected to have with them, like tweezers, magnets, string, duct tape, etc. I don't know of any cachers who typically carry around 10 feet of PVC pipe. :laughing:

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I don't know of any cachers who typically carry around 10 feet of PVC pipe. :laughing:

Indeed!! And that, by the way, was intentional; this one was meant to be one that took a little more time and thought than your typical park & grab micro... I guess geocachers of late are less inclined towards the enjoyment of "solving" (for lack of a better way of putting it) these kinds of finds and more inclined towards adding as many finds as fast as possible. [not judging, by the way; just calling'em like I see'em]

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I don't know of any cachers who typically carry around 10 feet of PVC pipe. :laughing:

Indeed!! And that, by the way, was intentional; this one was meant to be one that took a little more time and thought than your typical park & grab micro... I guess geocachers of late are less inclined towards the enjoyment of "solving" (for lack of a better way of putting it) these kinds of finds and more inclined towards adding as many finds as fast as possible. [not judging, by the way; just calling'em like I see'em]

In my area, plenty of cachers, including, in particular, most of the high volume cachers, enjoy a novel and interesting retrieval challenge. But in the absence of a clear statement that this is such a cache or any hints about what might be required, seekers will approach it as a typical hide and, hence, will arrive at GZ unprepared. This will result in some "innovation" in the retrieval because people don't normally expect to make multiple visits.

 

By the way, a lot of the power cachers in my area have grabbers in their trunks, so they'd likely solve this with that tool instead of tracking down a suitable length of PVC pipe.

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I get it, and I can honestly say I anticipated some degree of "uh-oh, something's missing"... But what has got me Irish up is the total DGAF attitude of the cacher... The fellow didn't read (or read and disregarded, 'coz after all, he's 'premium' dontcha know) the cache attributes,

General rule of thumb; if it's a traditional cache, assume no one is going to read the cache page.

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I get it, and I can honestly say I anticipated some degree of "uh-oh, something's missing"... But what has got me Irish up is the total DGAF attitude of the cacher... The fellow didn't read (or read and disregarded, 'coz after all, he's 'premium' dontcha know) the cache attributes,

General rule of thumb; if it's a traditional cache, assume no one is going to read the cache page.

To be fair, the cache is listed as a Puzzle/Mystery/Unknown. The only suggestions I'd provide would be to increase the difficulty rating to really grab people's attention and give some guidance about what type of tools people will need to bring. It need not be specific; it could somehow imply that you need to reach 10 feet without explicitly saying what to use.

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Something similar happened to me many years ago. My cache was magneted to the bottom of a bridge railing. When retrieving it, a finder dropped the cache into the river below. But then... they logged "NEEDS ARCHIVED." I disabled the listing and replaced the cache with a new hide-a-key the next time I was in the area. Hide-a-key's only cost a few bucks, but the eye roll :rolleyes: that I still get from remembering the "needs archived" log is priceless.

While that wasn't me, I have, at least once, been where a cache was dropped into an irretrievable spot after finding it. And I know that I logged a "Needs Archived" for it and stand by it. NM + found are routinely ignored and figured that it would get the attention of the cache owner. It did, he disabled it and left it disabled until the reviewer fixed it.

 

To me, that's better than saying you dropped it (with or without a NM) only to have it appear to be an active listing to those not reading the logs.

Edited by ODragon
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There are several cachers around here who place caches requiring similar tools. They usually provide them somewhere near the cache. Yes, even a 10' pole with a custom hook on the end can be hidden under a bridge. On the cache page state that a tool is needed and provided in the vicinity. I've had several caches of mine go missing, e.g. falling down inside a metal fence post, or one over a bridge. That bridge one was one of my very first hides and I kept replacing it for maybe the first three times it went missing. It was the second stage in a multi that people seemed to like a lot. Eventually, though, I realized that it just wasn't a good spot for a hide at least not without a much better custom container. The fault was mine, not the finders'. I archived the cache.

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I keep a 3 section telescoping pole in the back of the car, and consider it an essential TOTT. Along with a wire hook, magnets, and duct tape, I've used it to retrieve quite a few caches over the years.

 

Still, if you place a cache over water, if you don't think Murphy won't hit you within the first 24 hours, you're being optimistic. Whether the 'finder' is penitent or a complete jerk about it, you should have replacements ready the day you put something like that out. Caching karma says you'll need one if you don't make up a replacement, and that it will stay there forever if you do.

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Still, if you place a cache over water, if you don't think Murphy won't hit you within the first 24 hours, you're being optimistic

 

Aye, but this was not 'Murphy', this was a guy who couldn't be bothered to play fair. Maybe in the end, it's all the same, eh?

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Still, if you place a cache over water, if you don't think Murphy won't hit you within the first 24 hours, you're being optimistic

 

Aye, but this was not 'Murphy', this was a guy who couldn't be bothered to play fair. Maybe in the end, it's all the same, eh?

Yup. Murphy is capable of visiting in nearly every possible form, be it climate, critter, human or solar flare. Just gotta plan on it.
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Let's put it this way. If the finder had replaced the cache in its spot, but inadequately, so that the cache fell out of its spot and ended up walking/floating/blowing away, what would've happened? You'd have contacted him, he'd have said "gee, I put it back just how I found it", and you'd chalk up the lost cache to bad luck, the cost of doing business, etc.. You probably wouldn't blame him for anything.

 

Sure, he didn't hide the cache the way that he found it. It happens. Just like cachers will leave containers open, allow water to get inside as they sign logs during rainstorms, and a myriad of other lesser sins. It's all a part of what you should expect as a cache owner.

 

 

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I don't know of any cachers who typically carry around 10 feet of PVC pipe. :laughing:

Indeed!! And that, by the way, was intentional; this one was meant to be one that took a little more time and thought than your typical park & grab micro... I guess geocachers of late are less inclined towards the enjoyment of "solving" (for lack of a better way of putting it) these kinds of finds and more inclined towards adding as many finds as fast as possible. [not judging, by the way; just calling'em like I see'em]

In my area (sorry warninjas) many caches have been put up in trees. Way up!!! And with the Mega event coming up I keep thinking cachers who maybe visiting from far distances will not be carrying ladders with them.

So thinking a cacher could be local enough to go to a hardware store after they seen what needs to be done and create tool is fine. But cachers from out of the area will probably ignore it as too much trouble, or like what happened before by knocking it down and throwing it back up.

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I have found places in public areas where I could put a very tricky cache that would blend in to its hiding place creating a very clever hide that was fun to find. Muggles wouldn't even know it was there because of the way the cache is fitted into the hiding place, but I have had to pass them up because it requires that the cache be replaced in a specific way so that it remains the tricky hide that I intended it to be. I knew that people wouldn't always replace it properly and the cache would probably end up disappearing.

It was easy to see that the OP's hide was a problem waiting to happen. Doesn't mean they shouldn't place a cache that way, but I could just tell from their discription that there was bound to be trouble with people retrieving their cache. Best to consider all the problems that could happen when hiding a cache and try to find ways to prevent those problems. Realize other people will not always try to retrieve your cache the way you want and something may happen to it.

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Another factor to consider is that not all cachers will have read the description before searching for a cache, or if they did read it, they have forgotten any warning about TOTT, etc. Even if you've hidden a tool nearby they may not know it. I don't have a smart phone so unless I made a note on paper or put it into my GPSr (with a 30-char limit note field) I have only my memory to rely on. People are inevitably going to do what that guy did. Consider naming the cache "Long tool" or something like that as an extra hint or direction of sorts. If the reviewer has a sense of humor that shouldn't be a problem.

Edited by The Rat
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Consider naming the cache "Long tool" or something like that

You know, that is a fantastic idea! I mean, the cache to which all this applies will keep its name ("Π Filling", for reasons that become evident if you visit the listing), but another similarly placed cache would be well-served by the name (or something similar to it) you suggest!

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[...] not all cachers will have read the description before searching for a cache

This is true, and I have done this as well. I suppose it is worth mentioning, however, that in the brief (but strident) email(s) I got from the fellow in question, he wrote:

Yes, we did read it, and we were warned by many people about how your cache was made.

So... although I am trying to find a way to be generous in my attribution of this fellow's motivation, I come up with nothing more charitable than that he just couldn't be bothered to play fair.

Anyway-- it matters little in the grand scheme. Thanks again all for the thoughtful comments.

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