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Inmountains

Geocaching Ethics!

84 posts in this topic

What is it?  Where is it?

We all enjoy the activity of Geocaching and we realize that we all play the game the way that makes it enjoyable for us.  But in my 15 years of Geocaching, I seem to find less and less integrity in it.  And while we can all play the game we like, HOW does a cacher "find" a cache if they are not personally at the cache site?  Why log a geocache on a different day than you found it?  Why replace a geocache just because you can't find it?  AGAIN, let me emphasize that everyone is allowed to play the game any way they want. They can log every cache in the world from their laptop without leaving their basement, but what is the point?  Back in 2003 and 2004, having 1,000 finds was quite the accomplishment.  It meant that one cacher, usually using a Yellow Garmin Etrex, went afield, and using paper printouts, actually found the cache.  I realize technology changes, but going afield, finding a cache and signing the log is Geocaching, in my humble opinion.  The whole idea was to enjoy the HUNT and the FIND!

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Posted (edited)

I believe it's simply that some people changed over the years. This change isn't limited to this hobby...

No longer "losers", as everyone gets a trophy/everyone's a winner entitlement kinda thinking these days.

I started a bunch of similarities, then found that it was sorta political in nature, to express the thinking of many folks  who now believe their  entitlement really has few limits today, then dropped it...

Look how many threads have folks arguing over something they know isn't gonna change here (challenge caches usually has a few...), but believe it should if no other reason than it's them.

Edited by cerberus1
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Stealing, lying and cheating is nothing new. This isn't a "generation" problem. This is a "human being" problem. Humans have always acted in this manner it's just there is more ways to capture the incident and the overgrowth of the human population has led to more of it. 

 

People are always going to try to "cheat the system" and not have any moral high ground when it comes to it. The best approach is to not worry about them so much, and enjoy the game in front of you. If shady things happen on your watch of course, call it out but in the long run, there's no real need to stress about it let along make a thread on Geocaching.com about it. 

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I don't really consider any of this ethics. Most of the things you mention don't hurt anyone else, they're just goofy. And even the ones that do impact others, I think the perpetrator is being oblivious more than he's being unethical.

And I think that distinction is important. Call someone unethical and they're likely to dig in their heels and insist they'll cache however they want. Point out why what they're doing is kinda silly, and they're more likely to think about whether it makes sense or not.

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6 minutes ago, dprovan said:

 Most of the things you mention don't hurt anyone else

Yes they do. When people armchair log caches and the CO's get fed up with this and archives their caches that impacts others. (I've written it before, preparing for a holiday down under I solved several virtuals months in advance only to find them archived a few weeks before we would have been able to log them. The reason: armchair loggers)

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5 hours ago, on4bam said:

Yes they do. When people armchair log caches and the CO's get fed up with this and archives their caches that impacts others. (I've written it before, preparing for a holiday down under I solved several virtuals months in advance only to find them archived a few weeks before we would have been able to log them. The reason: armchair loggers)

Except there are 3 million caches world wide. so if you miss out on some its not the end of the world. 

Why would a CO get mad and archive his/her cache over bogus finds? It's the CO's job to audit their Found It! log and delete the logs that are fake. 

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3 minutes ago, SeattleWayne said:

Except there are 3 million caches world wide. so if you miss out on some its not the end of the world. 

Why would a CO get mad and archive his/her cache over bogus finds? It's the CO's job to audit their Found It! log and delete the logs that are fake. 

Those were (really) old virtuals, some not easy to solve for a non-local. If the CO feels there's an unreasonable amount of work to clean up the listing I can't blame them for archiving. I blame the armchair loggers. As virtuals are getting rare it was a shame seeing them go. I did visit the locations though but since the listings were also locked I couldn't log them. So mising out on one of 3 million is not a big deal, missing out on a few "special ones" left (and after spending hours solving them) is a bigger deal especially when they are not allowed to be replaced.

BTW, for one of the virtuals I was able to log I got an e-mail from another cacher who asked me for the answers "as he would never visit the location himself". Ethics you say?

 

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7 minutes ago, on4bam said:

Those were (really) old virtuals, some not easy to solve for a non-local. If the CO feels there's an unreasonable amount of work to clean up the listing I can't blame them for archiving. I blame the armchair loggers. As virtuals are getting rare it was a shame seeing them go. I did visit the locations though but since the listings were also locked I couldn't log them. So mising out on one of 3 million is not a big deal, missing out on a few "special ones" left (and after spending hours solving them) is a bigger deal especially when they are not allowed to be replaced.

BTW, for one of the virtuals I was able to log I got an e-mail from another cacher who asked me for the answers "as he would never visit the location himself". Ethics you say?

 

You know, I can totally see where you're coming from in this aspect so I apologize for coming off insensitive. I, too am trying to log finds on as many Virtual Caches as I can before they all start going away. So far I've found nine in Washington State, and I still have a handful left to go before I move on to Oregon, etc. 

Regarding ethics, and Virtual Caches, here's a question for you: If you come across a Virtual Cache and see that the VCO has not logged in for a few years, and hasn't actively found a cache in several years as well, but on the cache page the VCO requires you to send an email with answers to be able to log the VC, would you call out the VCO inactivity in a NM log or would you just log your find, send email and move on? 

 

Because we all know what happens when we start a NM...eventually the cache gets archived. 

Edited by SeattleWayne
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3 minutes ago, SeattleWayne said:

Regarding ethics, and Virtual Caches, here's a question for you: If you come across a Virtual Cache and see that the VCO has not logged in for a few years, and hasn't actively found a cache in several years as well, but on the cache page the VCO requires you to send an email with answers to be able to log the VC, would you call out the VCO inactivity in a NM log or would you just log your find, send email and move on?

Easy one.. I'm not in the habit of checking profiles. Send answers and log just like any virtual/EC. I would however NEVER check for inactivity of a CO and take the advantage of just logging (visited GZ or not) and not bother about answers. So far my statistics are 100% clean and I will keep it like that.

BTW, did a Wherigo recently and got to GZ where I got the completion code but the container was gone so logical thing to do: log DNF on GC and a "played" on Wherigo.com.

Since we DNF'd the multi of the series that took the same route we will go back and make a small detour to sign the Wherigo logbook too.

 

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26 minutes ago, SeattleWayne said:

Regarding ethics, and Virtual Caches, here's a question for you: If you come across a Virtual Cache and see that the VCO has not logged in for a few years, and hasn't actively found a cache in several years as well, but on the cache page the VCO requires you to send an email with answers to be able to log the VC, would you call out the VCO inactivity in a NM log or would you just log your find, send email and move on? 

That's a good question, since some can't even do something as simple as place a NM, or even a DNF on a mediocre traditional roadside cache. 

 - But like on4bam, I don't believe most people are curious enough to do research on the CO before logging.  They simply log their find and send their answers.   :)

Edited by cerberus1
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14 hours ago, Inmountains said:

What is it?  Where is it?

We all enjoy the activity of Geocaching and we realize that we all play the game the way that makes it enjoyable for us.  But in my 15 years of Geocaching, I seem to find less and less integrity in it.  And while we can all play the game we like, HOW does a cacher "find" a cache if they are not personally at the cache site?  Why log a geocache on a different day than you found it?  Why replace a geocache just because you can't find it?  AGAIN, let me emphasize that everyone is allowed to play the game any way they want. They can log every cache in the world from their laptop without leaving their basement, but what is the point?  Back in 2003 and 2004, having 1,000 finds was quite the accomplishment.  It meant that one cacher, usually using a Yellow Garmin Etrex, went afield, and using paper printouts, actually found the cache.  I realize technology changes, but going afield, finding a cache and signing the log is Geocaching, in my humble opinion.  The whole idea was to enjoy the HUNT and the FIND!

As a new geocacher, I find little integrity in it now. 

I can answer, "Why log a geocache on a different day than you found it?"  Some days I get home so tired I fall asleep before I can log a find.  There have also been times I've simply forgotten about a find until I come across something that reminds me, "Oh yeah, I forgot about that one," which reminds me... :rolleyes:

I went to my first event last night.  I brought along a couple of TBs to pass along (get rid of).  Several people wanted me to let them see the TBs just so they could copy down the #s and record themselves as having found them (or whatever--I'm new, remember?)  I declined, thinking about something I'd recently read about that practice.  I finally found someone who was traveling in the right direction to advance these TBs along their goals, and I gave them to her.  She immediately threw them down on the table so her "friends" could log them.  Some will disagree, but that's not the way I understood these things to work.  Another reason I want nothing more to do with TBs... ever.

There happened to be a cache very close to this event.  I couldn't find it (later to find out from folks who'd previously found it that it really was missing).  I was talking to another cacher there who told me, "Go ahead and log it; if it's gone, who's gonna know?"  Answer: I'D know.

Whether you call it--or blame it on--ethics, "goofiness", entitlement, human nature, situational ethics, or laissez faire gameplay doesn't matter; you'll always find those who'll say it's cheating, those who'll say it's not, and those who'll fall back on "it's just a game."

Edited by RufusClupea
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9 minutes ago, RufusClupea said:

As a new geocacher, I find little integrity in it now. 

I can answer, "Why log a geocache on a different day than you found it?"  Some days I get home so tired I fall asleep before I can log a find.  There have also been times I've simply forgotten about a find until I come across something that reminds me, "Oh yeah, I forgot about that one," which reminds me... :rolleyes:

I went to my first event last night.  I brought along a couple of TBs to pass along (get rid of).  Several people wanted me to let them see the TBs just so they could copy down the #s and record themselves as having found them (or whatever--I'm new, remember?)  I declined, thinking about something I'd recently read about that practice.  I finally found someone who was traveling in the right direction to advance these TBs along their goals, and I gave them to her.  She immediately threw them down on the table so her "friends" could log them.  Some will disagree, but that's not the way I understood these things to work.  Another reason I want nothing more to do with TBs... ever.

There happened to be a cache very close to this event.  I couldn't find it (later to find out from folks who'd previously found it that it really was missing).  I was talking to another cacher there who told me, "Go ahead and log it; if it's gone, who's gonna know?"  Answer: I'D know.

Whether you call it--or blame it on--ethics, "goofiness", entitlement, human nature, situational ethics, or laissez faire gameplay doesn't matter; you'll always find those who'll say it's cheating, those who'll say it's not, and those who'll fall back on "it's just a game."

You can log caches on a different day than when you found them - but change the date on the log to correspond with the date you signed the log. The person you are responding to is complaining about people using fake found dates, not that they're not registering the found a few days late. :)

People are allowed to "discover" TBs at events. Some TB owners don't like it and have restrictive requests on their TB page, but others WANT as many discoveries as possible. So that's not really an ethics issue. (There are issues over whether it's OK to log discoveries using a list of TB codes when you haven't even handled or seen the TB itself, but that's a whole other discussion.)

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19 minutes ago, TriciaG said:

You can log caches on a different day than when you found them - but change the date on the log to correspond with the date you signed the log. The person you are responding to is complaining about people using fake found dates, not that they're not registering the found a few days late. :)

People are allowed to "discover" TBs at events. Some TB owners don't like it and have restrictive requests on their TB page, but others WANT as many discoveries as possible. So that's not really an ethics issue. (There are issues over whether it's OK to log discoveries using a list of TB codes when you haven't even handled or seen the TB itself, but that's a whole other discussion.)

I agree.   We know a couple folks who log days/months later (and correct the date), which isn't what the poster was referring.   :)

We've seen "fake" found dates mostly for those who claim a find-a-day for streaks/stats, or when Groundspeak puts out their marketing campaigns , and they wouldn't qualify without faking it.

"Discover" is an approved log by Groundspeak, so again agree, "ethics" not an issue.

What may be though, is that rude lady who, after feigning an interest to move trackables along to "help a newbie" , just dumped 'em on a table for her friends to Discover, with that newbie looking on.  Hopefully she at least explained the  Discover  option, and didn't completely treat him with disdain...

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8 hours ago, on4bam said:

Yes they do. When people armchair log caches and the CO's get fed up with this and archives their caches that impacts others.

Sorry, but I have to disagree. The CO might get fed up, but he isn't actually affected. You are affected, but by the CO archiving the cache, not by the false find. I don't deny that these shenanigans have negative consequences, but for me to consider it unethical, I'd have to see the behavior as a conscious attempt to benefit at the expense of someone else, and that's not what's happening here.

8 hours ago, on4bam said:

(I've written it before, preparing for a holiday down under I solved several virtuals months in advance only to find them archived a few weeks before we would have been able to log them. The reason: armchair loggers)

Yes, it's sad when fun caches are archived. But virtuals aren't archived because of an individual acting unethically, they're archived because of widespread stupidity that the CO isn't willing to put up with. I agree it's bad, and I agree we should try to convince people not to do it. I just deny it's a matter of ethics.

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58 minutes ago, TriciaG said:

People are allowed to "discover" TBs at events.

"Those who'll say it's not"

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Different group of folks geocaching today. In the early days we had a lot more in common with each other than today. Back then most geocachers I knew were outdoor enthusiasts who were early adopters of the GPS technology. I think this group of geocachers were more interested in the process of programming the coordinates of the cache along with a printout of the hints and the adventure of searching for the cache. Back then it seemed more like a treasure hunt. It was about the journey and not the numbers. Most new geocaches I see today are geared towards a quick find to boost your numbers. Caches that require a hike have much fewer hits anymore. Find a cache that has been around for 15 years and read the early logs and observe the difference to today's logs. 

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15 hours ago, Inmountains said:

And while we can all play the game we like, HOW does a cacher "find" a cache if they are not personally at the cache site?

In logging guidelines there is just one primary rule.

Quote

Physical caches can be logged online as "Found" once the physical log has been signed.

It does not matter how or when the physical log is signed. Of course you may have some private ALRs (additional logging requirements). For example you may rule yourself that you have to be near the ground zero to log found online. Some fundamental geocachers may require personally signed logbook. Never seen such a hero.

You may ask why the guidelines are so liberal? I think the reason is quite practical. Since this is not about competition, but entertainment, it is irrelevant how each one does this. Any extra guideline is just a potential reason to unnecessary dispute.

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7 minutes ago, TahoeJoe said:

Different group of folks geocaching today. In the early days we had a lot more in common with each other than today. Back then most geocachers I knew were outdoor enthusiasts who were early adopters of the GPS technology. I think this group of geocachers were more interested in the process of programming the coordinates of the cache along with a printout of the hints and the adventure of searching for the cache. Back then it seemed more like a treasure hunt. It was about the journey and not the numbers. Most new geocaches I see today are geared towards a quick find to boost your numbers. Caches that require a hike have much fewer hits anymore. Find a cache that has been around for 15 years and read the early logs and observe the difference to today's logs. 

We started in 2006 and I can recognize our profile in this. We used to get out and find 1 multi on a day, usually it would take us along walking or bike paths away from traffic and houses (as far as getting away from houses is possible here). We still try to do the same but now we do full day outing instead of a few hours but the cache types we like are still the same. Next three days are already planned, a 25+ Km bike ride in a nature reserve (series traditionals) tomorrow, a 40Km bikeride through an Unesco area (multi) on Monday and since there's some rain predicted, a 3 walking multi's that share a part of their route in an historic city center.

Logs will be longer than TFTC and I hope to include a few photographs too.

 

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1 hour ago, TriciaG said:

People are allowed to "discover" TBs at events.

40 minutes ago, RufusClupea said:

"Those who'll say it's not"

A big difference maybe is when we started, TOs would bring their own trackables to events to log them as Discover.

Some (even the other 2/3rds)  had sheets of codes (for over 200 coins), simply to make it easier than writing them all down by hand.   Otherwise events would be hours longer.  ;)

Today, one often finds sheets of codes, but they not always belong to the bearer.  People "sharing" trackables codes that don't belong to them.

The last one I saw, after asking if they were theirs and got a reply of "no", I handed those sheets back to them.

 - Throughout the event, this  cheatincreepystealerofcodes  person told anyone who'd stand still long enough wasn't playing in a fun way...  :)

 

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Sharing trackables at events on a discovery table used to be something that I enjoyed. I have a private picture collection of TB's that I discover.

And don't forget about those codes on vehicles at events. Those are fun.

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2 hours ago, TahoeJoe said:

Different group of folks geocaching today. In the early days we had a lot more in common with each other than today. Back then most geocachers I knew were outdoor enthusiasts who were early adopters of the GPS technology. I think this group of geocachers were more interested in the process of programming the coordinates of the cache along with a printout of the hints and the adventure of searching for the cache. Back then it seemed more like a treasure hunt. It was about the journey and not the numbers. Most new geocaches I see today are geared towards a quick find to boost your numbers. Caches that require a hike have much fewer hits anymore. Find a cache that has been around for 15 years and read the early logs and observe the difference to today's logs. 

Agreed. The way I put this is that geocaching started out as something additional that people did when they were hiking, but it grew into its own game and developed its own non-hiking characteristics.

From what I've seen, this hasn't diminished the hike based geocaching, it's just that most of the expansion of the game has been in non-hikng geocaches. People that started with the hiking only environment might be disappointed that the kind of caching they like best hasn't gotten more popular, but they should also appreciate that those hiking caches often encourage people to discover hiking. In my area, I think a lot of people that started out enjoying the park&grab style caches eventually noticed the other caches on the map and, through that, discovered the wonderful park system that they otherwise wouldn't have noticed.

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35 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Agreed. The way I put this is that geocaching started out as something additional that people did when they were hiking, but it grew into its own game and developed its own non-hiking characteristics.

From what I've seen, this hasn't diminished the hike based geocaching, it's just that most of the expansion of the game has been in non-hikng geocaches. People that started with the hiking only environment might be disappointed that the kind of caching they like best hasn't gotten more popular, but they should also appreciate that those hiking caches often encourage people to discover hiking. In my area, I think a lot of people that started out enjoying the park&grab style caches eventually noticed the other caches on the map and, through that, discovered the wonderful park system that they otherwise wouldn't have noticed.

I don't see many new hiking caches in my area anymore and I live in an area know for it's trails and outdoor activities. I took a break from geocaching for a number of years and when I returned I was surprised at the direction the game took. At first looking at the map of all the caches I thought I had enough caches to keep me busy for months but soon realized the majority were park and grab and poor excuses for what I thought a geocache should represent. 2 1/2 years ago I placed a new hiking cache out there that involved a moderate hike to an interesting local location stocked with goodies for the kids and I thought it would get plenty of visits. It was two months till the first visit and one visit after that. The game is what it is but I'm amused how geocaching is marketed as a treasure hunt when the majority of caches I see are leaky pill bottle with camo tape placed along side the road with little or no thought involved with the creation or placement of the cache. By no stretch of the imagination do I see this as modern day treasure hunting. When I think of geocaching treasure hunting, I think of the treasure as being the journey to the cache as well as where the cache is located and my overall experience from the cache. I'm one who likes a logbook in the cache that I read about others experiences and that I can record my own thoughts. I'm probably a relic from the early days but I don't see playing for the sake of numbers of finds as geocaching. 

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33 minutes ago, TahoeJoe said:

 I'm one who likes a logbook in the cache that I read about others experiences and that I can record my own thoughts. I'm probably a relic from the early days but I don't see playing for the sake of numbers of finds as geocaching. 

:)

We used to like to read those ... a lotta poems too,  and view the drawings that often accompanied that lengthy log. 

 - Those  people,  many who rarely or never logged online really made us look forward to maintenance.

We know now our log books will last a long time, unless damaged from neglect, as these days there's either a name/date on a single line, stamp, or sticker.

 - And it's rare to see any kind of wordy log on the online as well.    We're often told that change is supposed to be good...

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I want to thank ALL the posters on this thread thus far for a respectful and honorable dialogue, it is refreshing to see.  Everyone can absolutely play Geocaching any way they want, even log every cache in the world from their basement and claim 3,000,000+ finds.  I just enjoy my personal accomplishments that I TRULY achieved. 

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15 hours ago, on4bam said:

Yes they do. When people armchair log caches and the CO's get fed up with this and archives their caches that impacts others. (I've written it before, preparing for a holiday down under I solved several virtuals months in advance only to find them archived a few weeks before we would have been able to log them. The reason: armchair loggers)

If a cache is archived because of a few armchair logs, in my mind that has more to do with the owner than the bogus logs.  

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10 hours ago, arisoft said:

Since this is not about competition, but entertainment, ....

I respectfully disagree.  Everything about geocaching is about competition; if it weren't there wouldn't be logs to sign, whether to journalize (I didn't think it was a word either, but I looked it up, and apparently it is) the adventure or just to declare/prove "Kilroy was There".  It's referred to almost universally as a "game", which by definition is a competition.  There's nothing wrong with that (competition).  Competition is in our DNA; games are simulations of the struggle to survive.  And every new aspect to the game has been about competition--trackables, tours, promotions (e.g.Mary Hyde), not to mention the ubiquitous challenges.

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4 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

If a cache is archived because of a few armchair logs, in my mind that has more to do with the owner than the bogus logs.  

Or it has to do with Groundspeak.   As Miss Jenn made clear in 2009, armchair logging is not part of this game.  Either the owner will tire of deleting logs or Groundspeak will step in.  And since people cannot adopt virtuals to transfer ownership to someone more willing to take on responsibility, armchair logging will lead to archival in any event.  

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3 minutes ago, geodarts said:

Or it has to do with Groundspeak.   As Miss Jenn made clear in 2009, armchair logging is not part of this game.  Either the owner will tire of deleting logs or Groundspeak will step in.  And since people cannot adopt virtuals to transfer ownership to someone more willing to take on responsibility, armchair logging will lead to archival in any event.  

Well, looks they don't.

10 minutes ago, RufusClupea said:

I respectfully disagree.  Everything about geocaching is about competition; if it weren't there wouldn't be logs to sign, whether to journalize (I didn't think it was a word either, but I looked it up, and apparently it is) the adventure or just to declare/prove "Kilroy was There".  It's referred to almost universally as a "game", which by definition is a competition.  There's nothing wrong with that (competition).  Competition is in our DNA; games are simulations of the struggle to survive.  And every new aspect to the game has been about competition--trackables, tours, promotions (e.g.Mary Hyde), not to mention the ubiquitous challenges.

I don't see it as a competition. We went on bike rides and went for walks/hike before geocaching and still do the same except that now where we're going is less random because we let "good" caches lead us. We don't care if we find 1 or 100 caches in a day as long as we enjoyed the area. After walking a multi all day we've even came home "empty handed" as we got stuck on a WP or found that the cache was missing (we don't do, "found it: found the spot but container is missing").

 

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7 hours ago, TahoeJoe said:

At first looking at the map of all the caches I thought I had enough caches to keep me busy for months but soon realized the majority were park and grab and poor excuses for what I thought a geocache should represent.

When I ran my first PQ I thought the same thing--that I'd be busy for months, but after pursuing a few, and then perusing the list, I came to the same conclusion.  So I ran a second PQ, exactly the same as the first, except that I filtered out "Micro" size caches.  I was amazed at the result, so I ran a few more test samples.  Of the samples I ran, ~45% were "Micro"s--caches ostensibly geared toward boosting the numbers of cachers and COs.

7 hours ago, TahoeJoe said:

The game is what it is but I'm amused how geocaching is marketed as a treasure hunt when the majority of caches I see are leaky pill bottle with camo tape placed along side the road with little or no thought involved with the creation or placement of the cache. By no stretch of the imagination do I see this as modern day treasure hunting. When I think of geocaching treasure hunting, I think of the treasure as being the journey to the cache as well as where the cache is located and my overall experience from the cache. I'm one who likes a logbook in the cache that I read about others experiences and that I can record my own thoughts. I'm probably a relic from the early days but I don't see playing for the sake of numbers of finds as geocaching. 

Well, I've been considering myself a relic for a couple years now, but I'm still a noob by my reckoning. :rolleyes:

I decided when I ran that second PQ that I would no longer (with very few exceptions) bother at all with micros, which leaves me with a bit of a quandry.  The kinds of caches I'd like to be going after are the kind I can no longer safely pursue.  I've gotten myself into trouble a few times now going after caches rated T=1.5 that were actually T=2.5 or even higher.  But it seems the ones I can safely hunt are of that carpy pill bottle/film can type.

I couldn't care less about the numbers; I got into this for the exercise and mental stimulation.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, on4bam said:

I don't see it as a competition.

I don't either.  That doesn't mean it isn't designed that way--or doesn't function that way--for the vast majority.

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8 hours ago, TahoeJoe said:

I don't see many new hiking caches in my area anymore and I live in an area know for it's trails and outdoor activities.

Maybe we should clarify our terms. My area is blessed with many parks that have many trails, and on those trails are geocaches requiring hikes of 2, 5, or even 10 miles. Those trails aren't littered with geocaches, but I still claim there are plenty. Some are old, but many were planted in the last few years. I wasn't around in the early days, but I'd be so bold as to guess there a significantly more such caches now that there were back before geocaching got popular.

Are those the kind of hiking caches you're thinking of? I can't speak about caches that require longer hikes, like overnight excursions.

8 hours ago, TahoeJoe said:

...when the majority of caches I see are leaky pill bottle with camo tape placed along side the road with little or no thought involved with the creation or placement of the cache.

That's so sad. While I do run into leaky pill bottles from time to time, most of the new caches in my area are of reasonable construction, and many are placed with a great deal of thought. I'm sorry that's not the story in your area.

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1 hour ago, RufusClupea said:

I respectfully disagree.  Everything about geocaching is about competition; if it weren't there wouldn't be logs to sign, whether to journalize (I didn't think it was a word either, but I looked it up, and apparently it is) the adventure or just to declare/prove "Kilroy was There".  It's referred to almost universally as a "game", which by definition is a competition.  There's nothing wrong with that (competition).  Competition is in our DNA; games are simulations of the struggle to survive.  And every new aspect to the game has been about competition--trackables, tours, promotions (e.g.Mary Hyde), not to mention the ubiquitous challenges.

For me, "competition" implies there are winners and losers, but about the only thing I can think of in geocaching where there are losers is an FTF race. Mary Hyde isn't a competition - no-one is deprived of a gold coin or a souvenir because I got one. And how are trackables and tours competitive, or even challenges? No-one loses out if I complete a challenge cache, the challenge for anyone else is unaffected whether I complete it or not. Tennis is competitive, cricket is competitive, football is competitive, geocaching isn't.

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2 hours ago, RufusClupea said:

I respectfully disagree.  Everything about geocaching is about competition; if it weren't there wouldn't be logs to sign, whether to journalize (I didn't think it was a word either, but I looked it up, and apparently it is) the adventure or just to declare/prove "Kilroy was There".  It's referred to almost universally as a "game", which by definition is a competition.  There's nothing wrong with that (competition).  Competition is in our DNA; games are simulations of the struggle to survive.  And every new aspect to the game has been about competition--trackables, tours, promotions (e.g.Mary Hyde), not to mention the ubiquitous challenges.

Well, in that case, unfortinately,  you've already lost this game and it is time to surrender and go forward to an another hobby where you may have better change of winning. There is always someone better that you or me or in this game at any major factor. Instead of sure loss in this "competition", you could start to compare statistics and track your own development which actually means collecting [virtual] items. So called challenge caches are very good instrument for this comparison.The challenge gives you a goal to achieve - not a win. Collecting goods is also in our DNA regardless of whether you have to struggle against someone or not. You may still feel yourself as a winner anytime you find a cache. :)

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6 hours ago, geodarts said:

Or it has to do with Groundspeak.   As Miss Jenn made clear in 2009, armchair logging is not part of this game.  Either the owner will tire of deleting logs or Groundspeak will step in.  And since people cannot adopt virtuals to transfer ownership to someone more willing to take on responsibility, armchair logging will lead to archival in any event.  

I agree that armchair logging shouldn't be part of the game but it's probibbly the last thing in the world that would cause me to archive one of my caches.   I don't own a virtual and know very little about why new ones are no longer allowed.   Could fake logging be part of the reason?    

 I have 25 caches with about 2400 finds on them over the last 4 years and I've had a total of 2 logs that I thought were armchair logs.      

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5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

For me, "competition" implies there are winners and losers, but about the only thing I can think of in geocaching where there are losers is an FTF race. Mary Hyde isn't a competition - no-one is deprived of a gold coin or a souvenir because I got one. And how are trackables and tours competitive, or even challenges? No-one loses out if I complete a challenge cache, the challenge for anyone else is unaffected whether I complete it or not. Tennis is competitive, cricket is competitive, football is competitive, geocaching isn't.

Displaying things like find counts and favorite points makes it a compititon to some.   To others those numbers represent a certin status within the caching community.    

These "reputation points" are no different.   Eventually they will change how some respond on these forums.  

Not a good thing when it comes to honest discussion.       

 

 

  

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9 hours ago, RufusClupea said:

When I ran my first PQ I thought the same thing--that I'd be busy for months, but after pursuing a few, and then perusing the list, I came to the same conclusion.  So I ran a second PQ, exactly the same as the first, except that I filtered out "Micro" size caches.  I was amazed at the result, so I ran a few more test samples.  Of the samples I ran, ~45% were "Micro"s--caches ostensibly geared toward boosting the numbers of cachers and COs.

 I don't think we've been anywhere that micros weren't the majority today.

Possible, as in many areas we've been, that those caches sized small are actually a much  lower percentage, and instead just more micros  (those taped pill bottles...) in place.

Some probably were either purposely sized that way by a CO who knows the larger size will draw more people, or erroneously by one who has no clue what a small really is (after finding film cans and other pill bottles called "small" themself) .  :)

Edited by cerberus1
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9 hours ago, geodarts said:

Or it has to do with Groundspeak.   As Miss Jenn made clear in 2009, armchair logging is not part of this game.  Either the owner will tire of deleting logs or Groundspeak will step in.  And since people cannot adopt virtuals to transfer ownership to someone more willing to take on responsibility, armchair logging will lead to archival in any event.  

I don't think Groundspeak is to blame for bogus Found It! logs. The COs are supposed to audit their logs, and delete any bogus Found it! logs. This is a case of CO's not maintaining their caches. 

Some of these Virtual Caches literally have no logging requirements other than "If you want to post a picture of you and your GPS at GZ..." (some of them don't even have that) other than that it's basically on the cachers to exhibit their integrity and actually visit the location. So it opens the doors for cheating, and you really can't put that on Groundspeak's shoulders because how is anyone able to prove that the cacher really didn't visit the location?

Obviously "armchair" logging isn't part of the game and if you want Groundspeak to get involved then try to get them involved. But just because you think someone is logging fake finds, and you have no proof, what do you expect Groundspeak to do about it? 

Instead, COs get frustrated with having to maintain a cache and just archive it. That works too, I guess. 

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Life is short and I personally don't have time to open up every single nano sized cache and put my name on the log where the piece of paper is 1/8 to 1/4 inch wide. If I find the cache, sometimes I'll log a find without signing. I recommend playing the game your way and let people play the game their way. It's not really a peeing contest and I don't care the least about my find count in relation to everyone else. About the only thing that really bothers me is if someone would leave something like a condom in a cache, which has made me consider making all of my caches premium member only. 

I used to get upset that the number 2 cache hider lived near me and placed power trails of these type of caches but I've learned to accept it. There's still plenty of great places to hide caches around here. You can't please everyone nor should you try. If you have the time to go through logs to delete entries where the person didn't sign, more power to you. Personally I never even look at who signed. Sign my logs or not it doesn't matter to me. 

Geocaching for me is about scenic locations and the people you cache with, not so much that I found a soggy pill bottle in a location that should have had a larger container, or whatever or that I didn't sign that tiny nano (but I did actually hold it in my hand after finding it)

Edited by sholomar
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4 minutes ago, sholomar said:

About the only thing that really bothers me is if someone would leave something like a condom in a cache, which has made me consider making all of my caches premium member only. 

 

Just a FYI: making your caches premium member only doesn't really stop this kind of behavior. 

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4 minutes ago, SeattleWayne said:

Just a FYI: making your caches premium member only doesn't really stop this kind of behavior. 

The real question is what goes through the heads of people who do this.. I figured geocaching would be an activity that wouldn't attract perverts but I guess I'm wrong. Oh well, I'll learn to accept it. :P

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9 hours ago, dprovan said:

Maybe we should clarify our terms. My area is blessed with many parks that have many trails, and on those trails are geocaches requiring hikes of 2, 5, or even 10 miles. Those trails aren't littered with geocaches, but I still claim there are plenty. Some are old, but many were planted in the last few years. I wasn't around in the early days, but I'd be so bold as to guess there a significantly more such caches now that there were back before geocaching got popular.

Are those the kind of hiking caches you're thinking of? I can't speak about caches that require longer hikes, like overnight excursions.

That's so sad. While I do run into leaky pill bottles from time to time, most of the new caches in my area are of reasonable construction, and many are placed with a great deal of thought. I'm sorry that's not the story in your area.

I think part of the problem in my area is the cachers that place way too many caches. There is one person in particular that has placed over 800 caches. Cache maintenance on these type of caches is when a reviewer disables the cache due to DNF's. There still are some nice hiking caches in my area I haven't hit yet but most were placed years ago. 

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9 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

For me, "competition" implies there are winners and losers, but about the only thing I can think of in geocaching where there are losers is an FTF race. Mary Hyde isn't a competition - no-one is deprived of a gold coin or a souvenir because I got one. And how are trackables and tours competitive, or even challenges? No-one loses out if I complete a challenge cache, the challenge for anyone else is unaffected whether I complete it or not. Tennis is competitive, cricket is competitive, football is competitive, geocaching isn't.

What you are describing are "zero-sum" competitions/games,  Not all competitions are zero sum; some/many are "non-zero-sum" competitions, nevertheless it is still competition.  Prisoner's Dilemma is one example.

Geocaching can be either/both, depending on players' objectives and other factors.

I'll reiterate; there is nothing wrong with competition, or that geocaching is competitive.  Competition is not a dirty word.

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7 hours ago, arisoft said:

Well, in that case, unfortinately,  you've already lost this game and it is time to surrender and go forward to an another hobby where you may have better change of winning. There is always someone better that you or me or in this game at any major factor. Instead of sure loss in this "competition", you could start to compare statistics and track your own development which actually means collecting [virtual] items. So called challenge caches are very good instrument for this comparison.The challenge gives you a goal to achieve - not a win. Collecting goods is also in our DNA regardless of whether you have to struggle against someone or not. You may still feel yourself as a winner anytime you find a cache. :)

I think you may have just lost your own argument to yourself. :huh::blink::D 

I'M not playing a zero-sum game at the moment.  As I've said before, I got into this (originally) primarily for the exercise (which I badly need) because I loathe mall walking.  After looking into it a bit more, I've discovered other aspects that also appeal to me. Some could be considered competitive; others not. Inherent in almost any pursuit I undertake more than once or twice is competing with myself.  I don't see competition as a bad thing/dirty word; I am a lifelong consummate gamer (consummate when I'm feeling good enough).

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18 minutes ago, RufusClupea said:

What you are describing are "zero-sum" competitions/games,  Not all competitions are zero sum; some/many are "non-zero-sum" competitions, nevertheless it is still competition.  Prisoner's Dilemma is one example.

Geocaching can be either/both, depending on players' objectives and other factors.

I'll reiterate; there is nothing wrong with competition, or that geocaching is competitive.  Competition is not a dirty word.

I don't see anything wrong with competition but competition (or perhaps obsession) is primarily  responsible for Power Trails and throw downs which encourage poorly maintained and unimaginative caches. 

Edited by TahoeJoe
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1 hour ago, sholomar said:

The real question is what goes through the heads of people who do this..

Better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it?  :rolleyes:  Hey...ya never know... y'know?  :P

Or maybe they're just spreading the love...

1 hour ago, sholomar said:

 I figured geocaching would be an activity that wouldn't attract perverts but I guess I'm wrong. Oh well, I'll learn to accept it. :P

Oh, you are sooo wrong!  Perversion is an equal opportunity delinquency.

Edited by RufusClupea
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40 minutes ago, RufusClupea said:

What you are describing are "zero-sum" competitions/games,  Not all competitions are zero sum; some/many are "non-zero-sum" competitions, nevertheless it is still competition.  Prisoner's Dilemma is one example.

According to Wikipedia

Quote

A zero-sum game is also called a strictly competitive game while non-zero-sum games can be either competitive or non-competitive.

There is possibility that geocaching is a non-competitive game.

Edited by arisoft
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1 hour ago, TahoeJoe said:

I think part of the problem in my area is the cachers that place way too many caches. There is one person in particular that has placed over 800 caches. Cache maintenance on these type of caches is when a reviewer disables the cache due to DNF's.

That may be the best argument I've seen/heard for limiting the number of caches one may hide.  In my few short weeks GC, I've seen several discussions about prohibiting people from hiding caches until they've found x (or xx or xxx) # of caches.  I haven't seen any discussions about limiting the # of hides (though that could be due to my noobishness... noobisity? <shrug>) though seeing some of these astronomical #s makes me wonder...  To anyone who says they can reasonably maintain several hundred caches... Well... I wouldn't call them a liar, but I might quote a line from The Ghost and the Darkness, "On that I choose to remain dubious." :DB)


 
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40 minutes ago, TahoeJoe said:

I don't see anything wrong with competition but competition (or perhaps obsession) is primarily  responsible for Power Trails and throw downs which encourage poorly maintained and unimaginative caches. 

I don't doubt nor disagree with that.  I think we may be in violent agreement. ;)

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There are two classes of competitive games. In one class, like football or bridge, part of the game is actively preventing someone else from achieving their goals. In the other class, like golf and geocaching, you do your best, and you win when your best is better than your competitor's best. The thing about that second class is that there's no particular reason to identify a competitor, thus playing the game but eliminating the competition. That's how I see geocaching, and I think this is the way most people view it. Some people can't play a game unless they can compare themselves to everyone else, but I don't worry about the geocachers that act that way.

People that falsify logs are in that minority, and then they go further by mistaking having a better score with actually doing better, so they feel like they've won when all they've really done is file an invalid scorecard. I can only chuckle with amusement. Of course, part of my game is maintaining accurate records, so if I can prove an invalid log on a cache I own, of course I'll delete it. If I detect an invalid log on some other cache, I'll normally mention what I've noticed in a log. But I feel no need to try to prevent them from being silly or accuse them of being unethical.

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1 hour ago, TahoeJoe said:

I think part of the problem in my area is the cachers that place way too many caches. There is one person in particular that has placed over 800 caches. Cache maintenance on these type of caches is when a reviewer disables the cache due to DNF's.

From time to time, my area gets some enthusiastic hiders that then don't maintain their caches, but we don't leave it up to the reviewer to handle it. We can all see what's going on, so people tend to note who the CO is when a cache has a little trouble and file the NMs and NAs without bothering to wait as long as we normally would because we know from that CO's previous caches that there's no point in waiting for something to get fixed. So those COs' caches got cleaned up way faster than if we'd all waiting for a reviewer to detect a problem. What I've noticed is that COs like that lose interest, so the two I can think of off the top of my head had caches for a year or two and then faded from the CO ranks.

Now, admittedly, the COs I'm thinking about were in the 50 cache range, not the 800 cache range. The COs in my area with hundreds of caches tend to have the caches that least need maintenance.

Just out of curiosity, have you talked to your 800 cache CO who doesn't maintain his caches? Maybe he doesn't understand how his actions are negatively affecting your game.

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