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MarkandKumiko

Abandoned caches

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I would like some thoughts on abandoned caches. I live here on cache saturated Okinawa. There are several people who have left caches here and left the island. One person boasts well over 100. The general practice here is to help these people out and do their maintenance for them. One guy even sends out a request for someone to do maintenance, which someone always does. To me I think this is a little unfair. As I said the island is saturated so there are very few, if any, places left to place a cache. Not to mention the majority of them are micros when they didn’t need to be. So those of us that are here now don’t get to enjoy the fun of placing a cache. I’ve approached a couple of owners as to the possibility of letting someone adopt their cache, as I have done when I left a cache behind. One individual’s response was they wanted to keep their caches to build their stats. IMO that’s not the right reason to be in this game. I could log a NM, but the owners just send out a request for someone local to do it for them. I’m curious as to everyone else’s thoughts on this.

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From your description, it sounds like the remote owners have a working maintenance plan.

Abandoned caches get archived when they fall into disrepair, the owner doesn't respond to the NM logs, and the owner still doesn't respond to the NA log(s). It sounds like the owners are responding (although not in the way you would like), so the process won't progress beyond the NM logs.

Edited by niraD

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7 minutes ago, niraD said:

From your description, it sounds like the remote owners have a working maintenance plan.

Is simply asking in the listing/logs to do maintainance (whoever might do it) a working plan? I thought you have to name a specific person when placing a holiday cache.

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8 minutes ago, Rebore said:

Is simply asking in the listing/logs to do maintainance (whoever might do it) a working plan? I thought you have to name a specific person when placing a holiday cache.

It sounds like this isn't a case of people placing holiday/vacation caches. The situation is different.

The owners used to be local, so there wasn't an issue when the cache was listed. Since then, they've moved away. So the question now is whether the cache owners are responding and getting the caches fixed.

As long as there are local geocachers who are willing to visit cache locations and fix any issues that have come up, the maintenance is going to get done, and that demonstrates a working maintenance plan. If at some point in the future, none of the local geocachers are willing to continue helping in this way, then the CO will need to make other arrangements when the caches fall into disrepair.

But until then, I don't see anything that Groundspeak or the volunteer reviewers could do to free up space on the saturated island.

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28 minutes ago, niraD said:

It sounds like this isn't a case of people placing holiday/vacation caches. The situation is different.

 

No, these aren't holiday caches. These are from people who were once stationed here. This is a common problem around military installations, but everyone here seems to be more than happy to do maintenance for abandoned caches. It's kind of expected since we are a 'community'.  In fact I was somewhat chastised when I said didn't think it was right to EXPECT people to do it on someone's behalf.

Cache Okinawa.JPG

Edited by MarkandKumiko

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You might try adopting some of these abandoned caches by emailing the cache owners.  This would of course make them your caches and you could handle them as you see fit.

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16 minutes ago, captnemo said:

You might try adopting some of these abandoned caches by emailing the cache owners.  This would of course make them your caches and you could handle them as you see fit.

Sounds like they tried that approach already.  From the first post:

1 hour ago, MarkandKumiko said:

I’ve approached a couple of owners as to the possibility of letting someone adopt their cache, as I have done when I left a cache behind. One individual’s response was they wanted to keep their caches to build their stats.

For what it's worth, this is a very similar situation found in cache dense urban areas.  Not trying to be dismissive of your concerns, but it looks like some room for some scuba caches :)

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3 hours ago, MarkandKumiko said:

I’m curious as to everyone else’s thoughts on this.

Well, to be honest, my first thought is that it's a very nice problem to have: an island literally full of caches to find without having to maintain any of them.

Consequently, I don't have any problem with this maintenance plan since it sounds like the cache quality is good and caches get fixed as soon as an NM is posted. So I can't say anyone's doing anything wrong, either.

But you want to plant some caches, and that's reasonable. It sounds like you're already approaching the existing COs in a friendly way, which is a good idea although it doesn't sound like you're having much luck with it. Instead of adopting, you might suggest clearing an area for those people actually on the island to use. I'm thinking a CO might be reluctant to give up his baby, but more comfortable with giving up some caches he doesn't really care about if someone else has a better use for a particular area. Besides, you really want to plant new, bigger caches, not support the micros.

I didn't look, but I'm assuming the main cause of this situation is US military personal coming and going, right? I'm wondering if using events to get to know the community might help understand who's still around and who's maintaining the caches and why. It's possible that a significant number of people are as annoyed as you and they just thought they had no choice but to maintain the caches for the remote COs. Talking about it at events might lead to a better understanding on all sides. I'm thinking "The Island Is Full!" might be a good name for an event...

But the important thing is to enjoy what you've got even as you work to find a way to create new caches.

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5 hours ago, MarkandKumiko said:

I’ve approached a couple of owners as to the possibility of letting someone adopt their cache, as I have done when I left a cache behind. One individual’s response was they wanted to keep their caches to build their stats.

One of the CO's said they wanted to keep their cache because of their stats, but what about the other CO's?  Is it possible that they looked at your profile and saw that your cache maintenance history isn't the best? You've placed 4 caches, all in the UK - 2 were archived after no response to NM/NA's and the other 2 have red wrenches on them. Personally, if someone asked to adopt my caches and I saw that they didn't already have even one well-maintained cache in the area of my hide, then I wouldn't feel comfortable handing my cache over to them.

 

5 hours ago, MarkandKumiko said:

I would like some thoughts on abandoned caches. I live here on cache saturated Okinawa....As I said the island is saturated so there are very few, if any, places left to place a cache.

I remember looking at my local area and thinking it was 'saturated', but when I really started looking at the area then I realized that there were really a lot of spaces that could fit a cache. I'd encourage you to look at your area on the caching map, at a more zoomed in level than the image you've posted above, to try and find some open areas. You might be surprised by what you find. And if you can find one or two spots to place a well-maintained cache, then that might increase the likelihood that CO's agree to adopt their caches to you.

 

Another thing you could do is create Instant Notifications for Archived caches in your areas of interest. Then, you'll be notified when a cache is archived and a spot is free'd up, so then you could place your own cache there.

 

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6 hours ago, noncentric said:

Personally, if someone asked to adopt my caches and I saw that they didn't already have even one well-maintained cache in the area of my hide, then I wouldn't feel comfortable handing my cache over to them.

I have seen many caches adopted and then archived pretty soon due to maintenance problems.

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11 hours ago, noncentric said:

One of the CO's said they wanted to keep their cache because of their stats, but what about the other CO's?  Is it possible that they looked at your profile and saw that your cache maintenance history isn't the best? You've placed 4 caches, all in the UK - 2 were archived after no response to NM/NA's and the other 2 have red wrenches on them. Personally, if someone asked to adopt my caches and I saw that they didn't already have even one well-maintained cache in the area of my hide, then I wouldn't feel comfortable handing my cache over to them.

Based on the available evidence I would consider that a fair assessment of what happened. There is more to the story though. I did leave someone there to do periodic maintenance. My neighbors had three lurchers they took on very long walks daily. All of my caches were within walking distance of my house. So I explained geocaching to them and asked if they would consider taking care of them until someone adopted them. Being elderly, and not tech savvy, they didn’t have internet or cell phones, so they didn’t show any interest in geocaching themselves, but did agree to take care of mine.

By the time I left England my children were becoming disheartened with geocaching. We had released six trackables around the area and five of them went missing almost immediately. Then, when we got to the states we were surrounded by micros. Micros are no fun for kids. So we basically stopped caching altogether. My children grew up and I got divorced. So I was on my own and geocaching by yourself is no fun. I never came back to the sight and eventually forgot all about my caches. In the meantime Shirley, my neighbor, fell ill and was no longer able to take those long walks with their dogs. So they stopped maintaining them. So yes, I technically did abandon them, but I did have a plan. I just didn’t keep track of it. Not to mention I offered them up for adoption. The people who leave the island don’t do that.

Now fast forward to Thanksgiving 2017. I’m sitting at a traffic light with my girlfriend and the car in front of me has a trackable sticker on it. So I took a picture of it and explained geocaching to Kumiko. She was interested so we went home and logged the find. I looked at the map and saw there were several within walking distance of my house. We gathered up a few things and went off in search of them. She was immediately hooked. Not so much for the micros. I mean who does enjoy those? Anyway I paid for a Premium subscription and we plan on going every weekend now.

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1 hour ago, MarkandKumiko said:

So yes, I technically did abandon them, but I did have a plan. I just didn’t keep track of it. Not to mention I offered them up for adoption.

You can still do what this owner did when they couldn't get to their cache... On your cache page in a Note log, ask if the next finder will please remove the cache and report back, then archive the cache when you know it has been removed:

 

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9 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

You can still do what this owner did when they couldn't get to their cache... On your cache page in a Note log, ask if the next finder will please remove the cache and report back, then archive the cache when you know it has been removed:

 

Thanks, I didn't think of that as an option. I will add that to the note offering it up for adoption.

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I would urge you to explore your island - you'll likely be amazed at the cool places you'll find that don't have geocaches.  

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3 hours ago, MarkandKumiko said:

Seems I'm in luck. Someone who is still here is wanting to get rid of all their caches and putting them up for adoption.

Make us all proud! No, seriously, we're all rooting for you.

16 hours ago, noncentric said:

I remember looking at my local area and thinking it was 'saturated', but when I really started looking at the area then I realized that there were really a lot of spaces that could fit a cache.

That reminds me of some puzzle caches in Walnut Creek, CA. A park was "saturated" when someone posted a puzzle cache and the puzzle was to determine where in that park, according to GS guidelines, there was still room for a cache. What was particularly funny about it was that subsequently 3 other puzzle caches were published in the same park with the same "where could this be" theme. I'm not sure how that happened since I wasn't even caching when these were published, but I think what happened was that after "that one last spot" was published as a puzzle cache, a traditional was later archived so there was room for another "where could this be" puzzle...and again and again. In each case, a critical piece of information was having solved the previous "where could it be" puzzles so you knew where they were, too.

Of course, at the time, you had to figure out how to plot all the occupied space yourself. These days, most of the work could be done by pulling up the map GS gives you to check whether your new cache is in an open spot.

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We're a military family on our 7th duty station since we got started in 2007.  I haven't yet run into the problem of having no place to hide my caches, but it's a possibility every time we move.

As a military cacher, I do not expect that anyone maintain my hides after I move.  I expect the opposite: I've policed up most of our physical caches before every move, and the few I've left, I had maintenance plans with active geocachers.  I  expect others to do the same.  And yet I'm continually disappointed by abandoned caches left behind when someone PCS'd.  Even had one that had been a hide in a military cacher's yard.  They PCS'd about EIGHT YEARS AGO  and didn't bother archiving the cache, which means that all the logs from 2009 to the date it was finally archived were by cachers who were unknowingly trespassing.  Not cool for the original CO to do.

Really, the only exception to policing up one's caches when one leaves an area seems to be caches downrange.  I wasn't caching when I deployed, but I've tracked many since, and I'm OK with the expectation that a deployment cache be maintained following a cacher's end of tour.  BEcause if this didn't happen, there wouldn't be many, if any, to find after a unit rotated out of a given AO

I understand the desire to hang onto a hide for caching karma.  When I first started, I was pretty attached to our hides.  I wanted them to keep going, but I didn't want to adopt them out, and I didn't want to saddle someone with the responsibility to maintain them without getting credit as the CO.  My local reviewer and I came up with a solution: when I found a cacher willing to adopt, I disabled the listing, the adopting CO created a new listing in the same location, and then submitted for publication once they'd checked the container and replaced the logs.  I kept credit for the logs I'd received, the adopting CO got a new cache, and those who were interested got another find.

I did this for most of our hides in Germany and for a few hides in Virginia, but by the time we moved to Alabama, I was less attached to our hides and also tired of coordinating the details.  Now when I PCS, I just give a warning a few months out that the caches have an expiration date, and when that date comes, I disable my caches, pick them up, and let the movers pack them with the rest of my household goods.  If someone wants to put a new cache out in that spot, awesome.  If not, then such is life.

But if someone really wants to keep stats for their old hide, you could perhaps explore that as an option.

Edited by hzoi
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If it were me I'd just cache and not worry about who owns what and who's maintaining what. If the cache needs repair, post a NM and move on. If it doesn't get repaired within a few months or so, post a NA and be done with it. The rest works itself out. 

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7 hours ago, hzoi said:

 

I did this for most of our hides in Germany and for a few hides in Virginia, but by the time we moved to Alabama, I was less attached to our hides and also tired of coordinating the details.  Now when I PCS, I just give a warning a few months out that the caches have an expiration date, and when that date comes, I disable my caches, pick them up, and let the movers pack them with the rest of my household goods.  If someone wants to put a new cache out in that spot, awesome.  If not, then such is life.

But if someone really wants to keep stats for their old hide, you could perhaps explore that as an option.

Thank you and that is great advice. The CO for several caches here is giving them up and I'm going to suggest this very idea to them. I'll update when I know.

 

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There is one thing I would definitely do differently in your situation. If your girlfriend and you plan to cache every weekend and are on a island I would go find those caches before asking a CO to give them up.  You will soon run out of caches to find on a island.

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On 11/28/2017 at 6:54 AM, MarkandKumiko said:

Seems I'm in luck. Someone who is still here is wanting to get rid of all their caches and putting them up for adoption.

On 11/28/2017 at 0:04 PM, MarkandKumiko said:

BTW I have found someone to take over my caches in England. So that process is happening.

Awesome and congrats!

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