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Does ANYONE read the Cache Description anymore??


Doc_musketeers
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8 hours ago, hzoi said:

Just as a side note:

Before Blue Switch Day, there was no geocaching.  Selective availability was turned off 2 May 2000; Dave Ulmer hid the original stash 3 May 2000.

More about the early days here.

IW8simF.gif

 

8 hours ago, J Grouchy said:

Yeah, I saw that and was going to bring it up, but figured I wouldn't pursue it.  Maybe he's referring to letterboxing or other similar location-based games.

I actually was confused about the timeline. I would assume that handheld GPSrs have gotten a bit more reliable? I guess I remembered someone reminiscing how they’d hand write the online descriptions, and yeah, I also had letterboxing in mind.

thanks for the enlightenment.

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1 hour ago, colleda said:

When I get notifications of new listings I'll have a look at the player's name. If it's one I recognise I probably wont read the description and just head on out . If it's a name I don't recognise I'll quickly scan the the description for those ominous words "this is my/our first cache". Forewarned is forarmed.

Hmm, if it's one of mine, ignore the description at your peril. Even my traditionals are generally well off-track and the description contains suggestions of how to get from the parking spot to GZ with a minimum of self-inflicted damage.

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37 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Hmm, if it's one of mine, ignore the description at your peril. Even my traditionals are generally well off-track and the description contains suggestions of how to get from the parking spot to GZ with a minimum of self-inflicted damage.

Knowing the types of cache you place I would know that already and make a mental note to do further research if we were heading your way.

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32 minutes ago, colleda said:

Knowing the types of cache you place I would know that already and make a mental note to do further research if we were heading your way.

Yep, that's how we do it as well. 

Reading the lengthy ramblings of everything from ball games, book reviews, and tv programs, having nothing to do with the simple 1.5/1.5 cache gets old quick, and we  now ignore most.  But realizing this CO is known for higher D/T ratings, I'd be sure to read that lengthy drivel on "The Munsters wouldn't have been the same without Grandpa" just-in-case it has anything to do with access and/or my safety.   :D

I'd think many already know which CO has helpful info mixed in (interesting or not...), and which is just blathering for some stat thing.

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2 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

One of the things that contributes to this is many cache descriptions contain nothing useful about the cache.

What you consider not useful about the cache?   There is a local geocacher that has put out about 300 caches all based upon types of trees or bushes in the area. The cache listings are extremely thorough with descriptions, photos of each plant in it's different stages but there is little about the actual cache. The caches themselves are pretty much hidden in an identical manner somewhere close (or even tethered) to the plant it features.  If she were to take all the descriptions and bind them into a book it would be a comprehensive guide to the local plants in the area.   For me, sometimes the best descriptions are not about the cache itself, but about the area and it's history and tells us why a specific location was chosen to place a cache.  

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30 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

What you consider not useful about the cache?   There is a local geocacher that has put out about 300 caches all based upon types of trees or bushes in the area. The cache listings are extremely thorough with descriptions, photos of each plant in it's different stages but there is little about the actual cache. The caches themselves are pretty much hidden in an identical manner somewhere close (or even tethered) to the plant it features.  If she were to take all the descriptions and bind them into a book it would be a comprehensive guide to the local plants in the area.   For me, sometimes the best descriptions are not about the cache itself, but about the area and it's history and tells us why a specific location was chosen to place a cache.  

Ditto. I don't like sacrificing creativity for practicality in a pastime that allows for (and occasionally even encourages) creativity.

But then some poeple just want to find containers. Whatchagonnado. *shrug*  ¯\_-_-_/¯

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43 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Ditto. I don't like sacrificing creativity for practicality in a pastime that allows for (and occasionally even encourages) creativity.

But then some poeple just want to find containers. Whatchagonnado. *shrug*  ¯\_-_-_/¯

It’s funny that on the same thread there’ll be some cachers bemoaning the rising number of nanos and other “urban cache” or P&G styles, and another group that is frustrated by hard to reach caches or puzzle caches etc.

One of the first guideline points that stuck in our heads was that a cache location should be more than just a magnetic surface or crack in a stump.

if a location qualifies as “somewhere you want people to visit” it probably warrants a description.

That being said, I DO think an innovative hide method can make itself the reason to visit a location, but that too will probably show up in the description.

That’s not an argument for hiding important cache info deep in a rambling treatise on the history of lampposts, lol.

Edited by Doc_musketeers
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28 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

It’s funny that on the same thread there’ll be some cachers bemoaning the rising number of nanos and other “urban cache” or P&G styles, and another group that is frustrated by hard to reach caches or puzzle caches etc.

It has always been that way. I remember many years ago when I met first time a geocacher who complained about making mystery caches. I did not understand how it could be better not making them. Afterwards I have learned that most people who complain about type or quality of geocaches are not going to do anything to increase the number of caches they like. For example, if you don't like micro caches why not to make some ammo box caches instead of whining about micros? A good example may lead to better caches overall.

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On 28/02/2018 at 4:55 AM, Max and 99 said:

I like to follow the "When all else fails read the instructions" philosophy. I scan the cache page, then if I can't find the cache I read the cache page.  My husband prefers to read everything before looking. 

I do exactly the same

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2 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

What you consider not useful about the cache?   There is a local geocacher that has put out about 300 caches all based upon types of trees or bushes in the area. The cache listings are extremely thorough with descriptions, photos of each plant in it's different stages but there is little about the actual cache. The caches themselves are pretty much hidden in an identical manner somewhere close (or even tethered) to the plant it features.  If she were to take all the descriptions and bind them into a book it would be a comprehensive guide to the local plants in the area.   For me, sometimes the best descriptions are not about the cache itself, but about the area and it's history and tells us why a specific location was chosen to place a cache.  

That's all really interesting information, and a series of caches I would probably enjoy. Also more effort than most cache pages get these days.

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10 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

One of the things that contributes to this is many cache descriptions contain nothing useful about the cache.

Ouch. But, yeah, exactly so. I do enjoy the stuff that's not useful about the cache, but I read it at home, not in the field, and often after I've found the cache. And, in the end, when I belatedly find information in the description, I usually find it amusing. I can't remember the number of times I've laughed over missing what would have been obvious if I'd just read the title.

Of course, if I notice that the cache rating is high, I'll pay more attention to the description.

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I usually do at least a quick scan of the cache page,  but it has gotten to the point where there really isn't much point in it.   There is rarely anything to help you find the cache anymore.   I think the worst ones I came across were from a prolific hider,  who had done a power trail off a rugged dirt road.    There was some detail about the road,  the conditions you might encounter, etc etc.   Which was just fine for that power trail.   The problem is that was all that was in the description for each and every cache on the trail,  and then they started to just copy & paste that description to every other cache they did,  even though the cache might be miles away, on a different road or not near any road, not part of a power trail...:unsure:

I also used to read previous logs on caches,  to see if there were problems or hints on finding a cache.  Now, they are usually just the same copy / paste garbage   " Went out,  found some, didn't find some."  Or a narration covering their entire 2000 mile roadtrip, with no mention of anything specific to the cache.

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On 3/1/2018 at 7:09 PM, colleda said:

When I get notifications of new listings I'll have a look at the player's name. If it's one I recognise I probably wont read the description and just head on out . If it's a name I don't recognise I'll quickly scan the the description for those ominous words "this is my/our first cache". Forewarned is forarmed.

Haha. Good idea. 

Once, though, I went for a puzzle cache, a first cache placed by University students. It took us more than one trip (to a city an hour away), and many hours in the field. It was one of my favorite puzzle caches of all time, and it was their first cache. So well done!

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On ‎3‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 8:09 PM, colleda said:

. If it's a name I don't recognise I'll quickly scan the the description for those ominous words "this is my/our first cache". Forewarned is forarmed.

Yep, I agree.  We've yet to have a "first cache" turn out well. I guess YMMV...    :)

We stopped the FTF side-game after finally growing tired of "beta-testing" for accounts with no hides/finds.  

The one that finally made the other 2/3rds decide to leave a hobby that wasn't fun (for her) anymore was 400+' off.  No finds, no hides first timer, just joined a few days earlier...   This after the last four were similar.  She drove down the road (the norm here...) and thought the spot she picked was where she'd put it if we placed that kinda hide.  Sure enough...     

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17 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

One of the things that contributes to this is many cache descriptions contain nothing useful about the cache.

Yep.  If something grabs me in the first line or so I might read it all.  Like this one the other day.  Where they placed the cache was at a spot there son was in a serious car accident.  It gave details about all that happened and also the up to date on how he was doing.  It was long but I got sucked in and read it all on the spot.  But most that are really long and I am in the field, if the first few lines just seem pointless I am not going to read it all.

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     A caching friend once told me he "never read the cache page", just entered the cords in his GPSr and went hunting.  This was at a time when folks typically printed out the cache page.  He would on occasion dnf and then keep returning until he found it.  I admired his tenacity and skill (he never read the hints either).   But I always thought of a cache page as similar to an album cover:  you don't need it to enjoy the music, but it often contains additional information and graphics that enhanced the enjoyment....Well, yeah, album covers are no more, nor albums and caching has followed a similar trajectory:  I think today most folks only read the cache page when they get stumped.  Their view of the cache page comes from the phone app  or the tiny screen on their GPSr.  I still enjoy creating a verbal and visual description of the cache and the area around it, and typically use them to embed information that might be helpful in finding the cache. On some caches (multies, puzzles, field puzzles, stages with visual clues for example) reading and even thinking about the cache page might be required to find the cache.   In those cases, I will sometimes include a nod to my friend, by adding a reminder like: "reading the cache page and reviewing the gallery may be helpful"; not that he would ever see it, of course...

 

 

 

 

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As I wrote in the beginning of this thread, not reading listings may result in more DNFs. We did a multi yesterday and as usual I read the listing, logs .... a previous cacher did not and logged a DNF because at the last WP he didn't find the needed 3 values. While reading the listing and formulas I could just fill in 2/3 of the values without even visiting the WPs, the values for the last WP were in the listing (probably because there is nothing more to find at that WP). Using logic I predicted the cache location from home and while walking the multi everything was checked and found to be correct. Even the cache location was correct. There was absolutely no reason for someone to DNF this cache because of the values (opening the cache itself was something else, hence the D4 rating). Not a "run of the mill" traditional >> always read the cache page :ph34r:

 

 

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Not really, some CO talks too much... just keep it simple. Many of us don't wanna read all the hot air.  If you want something to say, say it.. .but trying to tell how to log your cache and blah blah blah...   You are talking too much.  There are a lot of things that don't need to be said.

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On 3/4/2018 at 2:01 PM, edexter said:

I always thought of a cache page as similar to an album cover:  you don't need it to enjoy the music, but it often contains additional information and graphics that enhanced the enjoyment.

Sometimes the description can contain some pretty vital information, like, "Don't park at the business next door, or you may get towed!"

I don't fully read every cache description before setting out, but I do make sure to read them at some point to make sure I'm not setting myself up for failure, or arrest, or whatever.

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On 2/28/2018 at 11:00 AM, thebruce0 said:

Yeah I'd say order of reading generally speaking (not everyone, not every case) would tend today to be something like:

  1. Title
  2. Hint
  3. Attributes
  4. Recent logs
  5. Description

 

For me it is:

  1. Title
  2. D/T / Size
  3. Hint
  4. Description
  5. Recent logs
  6. Attributes

The searching happens  before the hint, after the hint, after the description and logs.

Edited by fuzziebear3
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I guess I’m Old School (or maybe just old) but I DO read cache descriptions. That’s part of the geocaching experience. I do not read hints unless it’s a last resort or I’m super short on time. I don’t typically do high-muggle caches but sometimes I read those hints so I can just get it done fast and get out.

I also enjoy reading previous logs. There are some funny ones out there. Of course most logs these days are crappy but there are still cacher’s out there that tell good stories.

The descriptions that never fail to surprise me are the ones that describe the container and tell you where it is.  ???  I don’t get that at all—isn’t the whole point that’s its a hunt for something you don’t quite know know what and where?  “Container is a bison tube hanging on a small cedar tree 15 feet off the trail.” I would reeeaaaaally love it if those kinds of explicit descriptions were put in the hint so as not to take take the fun out of of it. I’ll bet pirates didn’t have maps to the booty that said “Arrrggg...Ye will find the Gold Dubloons in a camo-painted Wooden Chest buried 10 feet from the crooked tree under 5 feet of sand.”

 

 

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24 minutes ago, PlantAKiss said:

The descriptions that never fail to surprise me are the ones that describe the container and tell you where it is.  ???  I don’t get that at all—isn’t the whole point that’s its a hunt for something you don’t quite know know what and where?  “Container is a bison tube hanging on a small cedar tree 15 feet off the trail.” I would reeeaaaaally love it if those kinds of explicit descriptions were put in the hint so as not to take take the fun out of of it. I’ll bet pirates didn’t have maps to the booty that said “Arrrggg...Ye will find the Gold Dubloons in a camo-painted Wooden Chest buried 10 feet from the crooked tree under 5 feet of sand.”

 :laughing:

Not sure if they see themselves as clever, giving a hint to others, but we usually see that with the "weekend-n-done" kids.  Here, those logs are a tell that the CO isn't paying much attention anymore too.  :)

 

 

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22 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 :laughing:

Not sure if they see themselves as clever, giving a hint to others, but we usually see that with the "weekend-n-done" kids.  Here, those logs are a tell that the CO isn't paying much attention anymore too.  :)

 

 

I think PlantAKiss was referring to give away phrases in the cache Description, but this reminded me of some  amusing (or iritating) logs we noticed on a cluster of caches once. There was a scout or school group that came through. There were perhaps six logs from them on each cache and at least two of those - on every cache - said “found it! It was in the stump under some moss” or “found it! It’s a fake rock” or the equivalent. If this was a Geocaching lesson, the instructors needed to explain log etiquette a bit better, lol.

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5 hours ago, Doc_musketeers said:

I think PlantAKiss was referring to give away phrases in the cache Description, but this reminded me of some  amusing (or iritating) logs we noticed on a cluster of caches once. There was a scout or school group that came through. There were perhaps six logs from them on each cache and at least two of those - on every cache - said “found it! It was in the stump under some moss” or “found it! It’s a fake rock” or the equivalent. If this was a Geocaching lesson, the instructors needed to explain log etiquette a bit better, lol.

Yeah, those type logs aren't limited to kids. I see them from newbs of all ages.

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17 hours ago, PlantAKiss said:

The descriptions that never fail to surprise me are the ones that describe the container and tell you where it is.  ???  I don’t get that at all—isn’t the whole point that’s its a hunt for something you don’t quite know know what and where?

If it is a multi stage cache or a remote traditional were it already took quite some time and effort to reach GZ I very much appreciate when the box is only hidden from by-passers and not from me. IMHO "Searching for hidden boxes at GZ" is not necessarily the whole point of Geocaching.

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1 hour ago, Hynz said:

IMHO "Searching for hidden boxes at GZ" is not necessarily the whole point of Geocaching.

And yet it's part of the game. Last weekend I saw the cache from across the road but it to over 15 minutes to log. There were 3 locks and only 3 numbers out of four were given. While sometimes frustrating at that moment it's part of the "package". Sometimes finding the container is easy but logging isn't other times it takes time to find the container but logging can be done in seconds.

Seeing where a cache is from a distance and then just opening the container to log is just too easy and not fun at all.

 

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2 hours ago, on4bam said:

And yet it's part of the game.

This is another reason why descriptions (and perhaps attributes) are important. It’s obvious that this game can be played in so many ways and supply different caching experiences and we each have our preferences.

I suspect a good deal of frustration and disappointment comes from discovering too late that a particular cache we’ve invested a lot of time and effort to reach isn’t our “type.” Sometimes that’s the COs fault for a vague listing, sometimes it’s our fault for not noticing the indicators.

D/T ratings and attributes can only tell you so much. A high T cache might indicate a long hike, it could also be a cliff or tree climb relatively close to town. Obviously general map location gives you a clue too.

But D rating is sometimes harder to interpret. A clear description of the type of challenge (or use of he Field Puzzle attribute) might tell you more.

for example, we have an urban cache which is relatively easy to locate, but the street muggle level adds to the potential for DNFs, so we bumped the D rating a bit and explained why in the description. That’s a different type of challenge than a well-camoed hide and might be disappointing to someone who assumed that from the D rating alone.

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2 hours ago, on4bam said:

Seeing where a cache is from a distance and then just opening the container to log is just too easy and not fun at all.

Again this depends on the situation. When I was on the trail for hours to hunt *just this one cache* and I had to overcome some obstacles to reach GZ I wll never complain that the box was too easy to retrieve and that it was not fun. To the contrary, when after all my efforts reaching a lonely GZ far from any other visitors of the area I have to log a DNF because of an IMHO unnecessary tricky hidden box this will not make me smile.....

Edited by Hynz
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I guess we are pretty old school when it comes to geocaching. I no longer print out a cache page, instead taking a screen shot of it with my iPad which I carry with me when geocaching. That allows me to read it if I am struggling with the find. Most posts nowadays are cell phone posts with minimal words or they are cut and pastes so I just scan over those. 

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3 hours ago, on4bam said:

Seeing where a cache is from a distance and then just opening the container to log is just too easy and not fun at all.

 

Usually a container has at least some concealment, if only to prevent passers-by from messing with it.  I don't like to find a container that is easy to spot from a park trail, when there is an intended hiding spot for it.   First, I have to figure out a way to hide it (or decide where it belongs), and second, it's probably been muggled.  It's disappointing, but it's not the ease of the find that's a problem for me. :cute:

But "Visit Horton" is a 2-foot-tall elephant which people have said they see from a distance, and it's been well received.  There is no advance warning in the cache description that it's no fun at all.

The Visit Horton cache became a little more hidden in September when several large trees fell nearby as the remnants of a hurricane passed.

 

c5d061af-ed67-48f5-b01d-f2777fbfa009_l.jpg

Edited by kunarion
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18 minutes ago, Hynz said:

Again this depends on the situation. When I was on the trail for hours to hunt *just this one cache* and I had to overcome some obstacles to reach GZ I wll never complain that the box was too easy to retrieve and that it was not fun. To the contrary, when after all my efforts reaching a lonely GZ far from any other visitors of the area I have to log a DNF because of an IMHO unnecessary tricky hidden box this will not make me smile.....

I’ve seen descriptions that clearly state cache is IPS because there’s no muggle threat. And that is rewarding all on its own on a high T cache. Other distant caches that have higher D ratings obviously require more effort to locate. Again, hopefully the info you’d need would be in the ratings, description, previous logs and attributes. If you’ve hiked hours to target just one cache, I’d assume you checked what to expect before investing the effort.

We are trying to make a dent in our Fizzy and some d/t combos are hard to come by. I’ve gotten all excited finding one within traveling distance only to dig deeper and realize it was a bad match for our team.

example: here on the coast, high T probably means a long hike in the rugged coastal mountains, a very long hike in the dunes, or perhaps cliff/tree work.

Inland a bit, the same T ratings seem more likely to require an off road vehicle just to get within hiking distance. For us a longer hike from a Subaru-reachable Trailhead is the better experience. Only reading the description tells us which is which.

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23 minutes ago, Hynz said:

Again this depends on the situation. When I was on the trail for hours to hunt *just this one cache* and I had to overcome some obstacles to reach GZ I wll never complain that the box was too easy to retrieve and that it was not fun. To the contrary, when after all my efforts reaching a lonely GZ far from any other visitors of the area I have to log a DNF because of an IMHO unnecessary tricky hidden box this will not make me smile.....

Sorta agree.    Most we know that have higher T ratings make D a much lower, realizing what they just did to you.  :)

When we see the rare true 4-5/5 , we may even skip it due to that D rating for sometime in the future.  Lugging the rope gear in a few miles on rock or ascent is sometimes tough enough.  After numerous climbs, a couple rappels, on a six mile walk, the last thing I'd want to see when daylight's getting scarce is having to return another day just to find that "clever" hide.   If challenge D/T combos was the only reason for that D rating, they could have easily put it only a half-mile in...

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40 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

Sorta agree.    Most we know that have higher T ratings make D a much lower, realizing what they just did to you.  :)

When we see the rare true 4-5/5 , we may even skip it due to that D rating for sometime in the future.  Lugging the rope gear in a few miles on rock or ascent is sometimes tough enough.  After numerous climbs, a couple rappels, on a six mile walk, the last thing I'd want to see when daylight's getting scarce is having to return another day just to find that "clever" hide.   If challenge D/T combos was the only reason for that D rating, they could have easily put it only a half-mile in...

Yeah, we look for one of two situations for high D/T combos: A puzzle cache that is responsible for a large part of the D rating, or a T situation where we won’t be rushed (camp on site) or can halfway easily return (day hike with large portion of the T rating from a final climb, etc.).

ETA: The worst is seeing high T caches with (understandable) long gaps since the previous Find, or with vague but disquieting last logs (“this one may need attention soon” posted 3 years ago, or “found out in the open ... think I put it back in the right spot”)

Edited by Doc_musketeers
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On 3/7/2018 at 7:27 AM, Doc_musketeers said:

I’ve seen descriptions that clearly state cache is IPS because there’s no muggle threat. And that is rewarding all on its own on a high T cache. Other distant caches that have higher D ratings obviously require more effort to locate. Again, hopefully the info you’d need would be in the ratings, description, previous logs and attributes. If you’ve hiked hours to target just one cache, I’d assume you checked what to expect before investing the effort.

We are trying to make a dent in our Fizzy and some d/t combos are hard to come by. I’ve gotten all excited finding one within traveling distance only to dig deeper and realize it was a bad match for our team.

example: here on the coast, high T probably means a long hike in the rugged coastal mountains, a very long hike in the dunes, or perhaps cliff/tree work.

Inland a bit, the same T ratings seem more likely to require an off road vehicle just to get within hiking distance. For us a longer hike from a Subaru-reachable Trailhead is the better experience. Only reading the description tells us which is which.

Agreement here, plus a look at a detailed map (topo or otherwise) can be very telling.  

As a traveling cacher I would appreciate waypoints to relevant waypoints to XYZABR.  Said location may be evident to local cachers, however, we who are meanderers lack such a knowledge base.  

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16 minutes ago, humboldt flier said:

Agreement here, plus a look at a detailed map (topo or otherwise) can be very telling.  

As a traveling cacher I would appreciate waypoints to relevant waypoints to XYZABR.  Said location may be evident to local cachers, however, we who are meanderers lack such a knowledge base.  

Not saying I want "progressive taxiing" instructions just get me to an appropriate jumping off point.

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I read a cache description and a hint last week. Based on that I was sure the cache was hidden inside a bunker that wasn't the most accessible. Result: I tore my pants on a rusty piece of metal and slammed my knee on a rock. Only then did I notice that the CO had chosen a different hiding spot but had forgotten to update the information. Hmpf.

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On 3/10/2018 at 9:30 AM, terratin said:

I read a cache description and a hint last week. Based on that I was sure the cache was hidden inside a bunker that wasn't the most accessible. Result: I tore my pants on a rusty piece of metal and slammed my knee on a rock. Only then did I notice that the CO had chosen a different hiding spot but had forgotten to update the information. Hmpf.

Oh my! Yup. Nothing like the hidden major hide modification. A lot of COs seem to pull up the description and add modifications to the END of the existing description where the cursor pops up. So the first line says “.100 cal mortar ammo can hidden in a stump” but 5 paragraphs later there’s a line saying “as of 2/1/2008 the cache is a blinkie nano on the inside of the nearby mileage marker.”

As has been discussed already in this thread - waay better to put important info at the top.

 

Or another situation we’ve seen: when the CO moves the cache or provides adjusted coordinates in a WN instead of a formal Update Coordinates. 

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18 minutes ago, Doc_musketeers said:

A lot of COs seem to pull up the description and add modifications to the END of the existing description where the cursor pops up. So the first line says “.100 cal mortar ammo can hidden in a stump” but 5 paragraphs later there’s a line saying “as of 2/1/2008 the cache is a blinkie nano on the inside of the nearby mileage marker.”

Yeah the description is definitely not a chronological record of events.  That's already given natively by the dated logbook entires. The "as of" should be an owner post in the log history, and the description should be entirely current, relevant, up to date, with the optional addition of any historical info as bonus info if desired. ("should", of course, being subjective and merely a guideline, but based on the way most anybody actually uses the description)

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3 hours ago, Doc_musketeers said:

Oh my! Yup. Nothing like the hidden major hide modification. A lot of COs seem to pull up the description and add modifications to the END of the existing description where the cursor pops up. So the first line says “.100 cal mortar ammo can hidden in a stump” but 5 paragraphs later there’s a line saying “as of 2/1/2008 the cache is a blinkie nano on the inside of the nearby mileage marker.”

As has been discussed already in this thread - waay better to put important info at the top.

 

Or another situation we’ve seen: when the CO moves the cache or provides adjusted coordinates in a WN instead of a formal Update Coordinates. 

Mind you, in this case there was no update in the listing. Only a owner maintenance log a bit further down the list of logs. Hmpf indeed. I do like to read the listing though as there might be some interesting information about a place. Being poorly prepared for a bit of touristy stuff, this sometimes is the only info I have.

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To the OP

We ALWAYS read the cache description, either before we leave the previous cache, if on foot, or MsKitty will read it while I'm driving to the next one.

Now, if the cache page is a book, we'll king of skim it to get the relevant info

We'll then read some of the most recent logs before trying to fond the cache.

Only after trying and not finding will ewe look at the hint if there is one.

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The latest changes to the App add a new dimension to this, with all but the first few words of the description now hidden, all but the first attribute hidden and no indication of whether a cache has additional waypoints like parking or a trailhead. What's more, the Info button for traditionals says to just navigate to GZ and only look at the details if you get stuck, while the driving directions point to the nearest road to GZ, ignoring any parking or trailhead waypoints.

All this became a perfect storm for one of my caches (GC6Y0R7), which I've just archived out of safety concerns. The cache was in a sea cave at the bottom of a 40 metre cliff, with a residential area up on top. To someone just looking at the app's map, it would appear that the closest access is from Fairscene Crescent or Ascot Avenue. This is reinforced by the Driving Directions which point to the corner of Ascot Avenue and Avoca Drive. Even when they realise there's a cliff there, the one and only attribute visible on the app's cache page is Cliffs/Falling Rocks and, with it being a T3, they might just think there's a bit of a scramble down to reach it, only to find halfway down that the cliff's actually undercut and there's no way down from there. At this point when they're stuck, they might decide to actually read the cache's description, only to find there's no phone coverage tucked in against the cliff face.

Map.png.14cc27855ff5c8b5a8427474af0e47b9.png

The "safe" access to this cache was from Winney Bay to the south, with a long but moderately easy walk along the rocks at low tide. All this was spelt out in the description, along with a parking waypoint, a trailhead and a reference point to guide the way. The small map on the cache's website page showed all this too, making the correct approach obvious even at a glance. But the expectation now is that the webpage is redundant, at least for traditionals; just the App is all you need and none of this information is immediately visible there, at least not without delving down into lower levels.

Yes, I did have other safety concerns with recent rockfalls, which contributed to my decision to archive the cache, but this Press Start and just Follow the Arrow philosophy in the App now, with instructions actually discouraging people from looking at the cache details unless they get stuck, really was the last straw.

Apart from making them multis or puzzles, where people really have to read the description, is there any way now to safely accomodate caches like this where access isn't straightforward from the nearest road? Or is the game now all just about easy P&Gs?

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Yes.  Driving directions take you to the nearest road.  (I don't use the app.)  Here's a good example  Driving instructions (Google Maps, nüvi) will tell you to park on the New Jersey Turnpike, climb the fence, and swim across the waterway.  (I doubt that anyone has tried that...)  Or, you could read the cache page, and park at DeKorte Park, and hike the .8 mile to the cache.

Lots of caches where I had to ignore the nüvi, and figure out the best way to get to the cache.

DeKorte Park.jpg

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Really, the better interface would be to sense if there is one or parking waypoint when turning on Directions, and immediately choose one of those first (if more than one).  If there isn't one, then perhaps a small alert or disclaimer/reminder that the system assumes driving directions, and the best route (without a parking coordinate) is not necessarily what is automatically shown.

Something to that degree.

1. 'Direct me to this cache'
2. Which Parking waypoint? A / B  [if available]
2b. There is no parking waypoint. Directions to the posted coordinate by car may not be the optimal method of approach. Continue? Y/N

Maybe there could be a map preview where you can move the routing destination coordinate.

(just some thoughts coming from someone who's never used the official geocaching app's navigation feature :P )

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