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Soggy Caches, Sodden Logbooks


EmzyJanezy
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Hiya!  I'm new to geocaching and went out 3 days in a row.  In total I found 12 caches but to be honest was quite disappointed.  When I researched geocaching online before I started people were always finding clean, dry caches, full of interesting trinkets and clean dry log books.  However, in reality I'm finding most of the caches I find contain water, and some even look like those in the attached photo!

Am I the only one who is finding this??  I have just bought some trackable tags but I really hate the thought of them just ending up sitting in a pool of muddy water surrounded by drowning slugs and slimy paper!

30581897_2027099240947229_2152067099659337728_n.jpg

Edited by EmzyJanezy
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Log a Needs Maintenance which you did) and don't leave TBs in those caches. I'm happy to inform you that in my experience caches like that don't last long around here once the NM is posted. The reviewer will archive the cache if action isn't taken.

 

Edited by Max and 99
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Found 3 yesterday, all 3 were a mess. All 3 had soggy logs in various stages of excess decay. 2 had owners that weren't geocaching anymore but never retrieved and archived their caches. One had an active owner with 200+ hides, and it did have found logs that reported the wet/frozen problem. The other day I visited a cache that the previous day was logged as found and the finder said it had made it through the winter in great shape. It was a little aspirin jar (30ml capacity listed as 'small' not 'micro') with no lid and a wet bit of tattered paper inside. (There was also the DNF that went missing a couple of years ago, then group cachers left a throwdown, lasted for a few months and now it's been missing for a couple of months again). I logged NMs.

Edited by L0ne.R
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5 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

Log a Needs Maintenance which you did) and don't leave TBs in those caches. I'm happy to inform you that in my experience caches like that don't last long around here once the NM is posted. The reviewer will archive the cache if action isn't taken.

 

It now has 4 NMs going back to 06/21/2017. The cache owner hasn't logged in since Tuesday, 02 August 2016. Time for an NA log.

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LOL!  Pretty much what I first posted a couple of months ago when I started!  I also wondered if this was the norm as I seemed to find lots of soggy paper on my first searches.  But since then have found a variety from totally sodden to lovely & dry.  So it varies!

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Welcome to the hobby. Are wet, soggy caches the norm? Not in my experience. Yes, I do run across them on occasion, and if you do, you should post a NM log, and if there are several prior unacknowledged NM logs, post a NA log. If a cache owner performs maintenance, they are supposed to post an OM (Owner Maintenance) log.

When you do find 'good' (good meaning the kind that you like) caches, look to see if that cache owner has other caches in the area. They may be better at maintaining, or using containers appropriate to the climate, than others. You may want to consider going to an event cache. There, you can meet others that can point out caches that you may like.

Regarding your trackables, you may want to send out a proxy, instead of the actual travel bug.

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Thanks for this!  I will start marking as 'needs maintenance' in the future.  I was a bit nervous at doing so initially.

If a cache is archived do people who have found it lose it from their total finds?

Looking forward to finding more clean dry caches one day.  I did wonder if the soggyness was an England thing what with all the rain we get haha!

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1 minute ago, EmzyJanezy said:

Thanks for this!  I will start marking as 'needs maintenance' in the future.  I was a bit nervous at doing so initially.

If a cache is archived do people who have found it lose it from their total finds?

Looking forward to finding more clean dry caches one day.  I did wonder if the soggyness was an England thing what with all the rain we get haha!

 

2 minutes ago, EmzyJanezy said:

Thanks for this!  I will start marking as 'needs maintenance' in the future.  I was a bit nervous at doing so initially.

If a cache is archived do people who have found it lose it from their total finds?

Looking forward to finding more clean dry caches one day.  I did wonder if the soggyness was an England thing what with all the rain we get haha!

Excellent!   Don't be nervous about posting any log you think is justified. 

Soggyness is also a New England thing as well.:)  

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Just now, EmzyJanezy said:

Oh - another question!

Do people find the premium caches are kept in better condition or just generally more interesting than those available to those who haven't paid to upgrade?

I haven't noticed a difference in condition or quality between PMO and non-PMO caches. I've seen quite a few lamp post caches listed as premium.

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1 hour ago, Manville Possum said:

Unless a NA is posted, reviewers around here won't do anything either.

 

People give our local reviewer a hard time for acting on caches with NM logs, but personally I think it's terrific that he does.  It saves a lot of frustration from instances like that where poorly maintained caches languish in mushy, wet purgatory.

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5 minutes ago, EmzyJanezy said:

Do people find the premium caches are kept in better condition or just generally more interesting than those available to those who haven't paid to upgrade?

Like LOne.R , we've seen no difference in pmo caches from any other.  Pmo lamp posts with a pill bottle, or magnetic key holder guard rail hides doesn't sound that special to me.  :D

There are caches that have kinda expensive gadgets, or caches in sensitive areas that are pmo as well, meant to keep traffic down maybe , but we usually find that the only reason it's pmo is the CO could. :)

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Also, regarding posting NM - as mentioned, don't be afraid of posting it if you think it's needed. But also don't go around posting NM on every cache that has a minor issue. Where that line is, well that'll depend on who you ask :) After a while you'll get a feel for what you think is an essential owner-maintenance issue.  Many people will help the CO by, say, replacing a full log; or letting a logsheet sit in the sun to dry out while they clean out the container and put it back nicely, stuff like that.

In short, post freely, but smartly!

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7 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Also, regarding posting NM - as mentioned, don't be afraid of posting it if you think it's needed. But also don't go around posting NM on every cache that has a minor issue. Where that line is, well that'll depend on who you ask :) After a while you'll get a feel for what you think is an essential owner-maintenance issue.  Many people will help the CO by, say, replacing a full log; or letting a logsheet sit in the sun to dry out while they clean out the container and put it back nicely, stuff like that.

In short, post freely, but smartly!

Well said!

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1 hour ago, Max and 99 said:

Aha! Now I see it, under the log text box. Thanks!

 

I'll just post this here, as I know some cache owners like to get more detail in NM logs than the canned responses that are included with the "log full", "container damaged", "other" option. And, I know that some cache finders like to add detail to the reason for their NM logs, and so they either add yet another log (Write Note) after submitting the NM and/or they go back to their NM log and edit it to include more details. The latter method doesn't send an email to the CO with the newly added text though.

Personally, I prefer to add NM/NA logs the "old way". By opting out of the "New Logging Experience" (see top of attached image) and using the old logging page, I can simply choose Needs Maintenance from the list of log types (see bottom of attached image) and then add my own description of the NM issue.  The Old logging page can't be used when logging from Draft logs (Field Notes), but does work when selecting "log geocache" from the cache page.

Another method I've used is to submit the NM log via the official app. In the app, I can open a cache, select "Report a problem" from the "..." menu, then "Maintenance suggested" (NM), and then enter my own description of the issue.

My personal preference is to use these other options, because I don't want to create a needless WN log and because I want my own text to be in the NM log, rather than one of the canned log messages. YMMV.

gc-loggingNM.png

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2 hours ago, EmzyJanezy said:

Do people find the premium caches are kept in better condition or just generally more interesting than those available to those who haven't paid to upgrade?

Not a scientific study, but within 50 miles of my home location, which tends to have its fair share of wet weather:  there are NM attributes on 8.5% of PMO caches vs 13.5% of non-PMO caches, when looking only at Trad, Multi, Myst, LBH cache types only.

I have found a good share of yucky caches, but I think PMO caches fare a bit better simply because they get less visitors, or non-PMO caches that are placed further away from cities (ie, hiking caches). Less visits means less times opening/closing the container to expose its contents to the climate and less times that someone might not close the lid correctly.

Edited by noncentric
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1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

Like LOne.R , we've seen no difference in pmo caches from any other.  Pmo lamp posts with a pill bottle, or magnetic key holder guard rail hides doesn't sound that special to me.  :D

There are caches that have kinda expensive gadgets, or caches in sensitive areas that are pmo as well, meant to keep traffic down maybe , but we usually find that the only reason it's pmo is the CO could. :)

I thought you didn't even search for PMO caches?

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5 minutes ago, noncentric said:

Not a scientific study, but within 50 miles of my home location, which tends to have its fair share of wet weather:  there are NM attributes on 8.5% of PMO caches vs 13.5% of non-PMO caches.

 

 

Interesting.

I looked at my NM PQ. Within 35 miles of my home location, there are currently 821 caches with the red wrench (NM) attribute.

I looked through the first 10 pages and count 10 PMO caches.

If I used the search box and filter for 35 miles, disabled caches I get 219. Disable PMO caches 23. 

So my stats are close to what you have. Approximately 10% of the red wrench/NM/disabled caches are PMO.

So unscientifically, it looks like PMO caches are more likely to be in OK shape. 

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31 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

Interesting.

I looked at my NM PQ. Within 35 miles of my home location, there are currently 821 caches with the red wrench (NM) attribute.

I looked through the first 10 pages and count 10 PMO caches.

If I used the search box and filter for 35 miles, disabled caches I get 219. Disable PMO caches 23. 

So my stats are close to what you have. Approximately 10% of the red wrench/NM/disabled caches are PMO.

So unscientifically, it looks like PMO caches are more likely to be in OK shape. 

I used a combination of PQ and Search pages to do my counting. I looked at a 50 mile radius around a Virtual cache at Guelph University, which I think is your general area, and got this:

PMO = 71 / 2916 = 2.4% of PMO caches have NM attribute  (Trad, Multi, Myst, LBH cache types only)
Basic = 1147 / 14198 = 8.1% of Basic caches have NM attribute  (Trad, Multi, Myst, LBH cache types only)

 

Edited by noncentric
ETA: Added note that my numbers are for Trad, Multi, Myst, LBH cache types only.
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12 minutes ago, noncentric said:

I used a combination of PQ and Search pages to do my counting. I looked at a 50 mile radius around a Virtual cache at Guelph University, which I think is your general area, and got this:

PMO = 71 / 2916 = 2.4% of PMO caches have NM attribute
Basic = 1147 / 14198 = 8.1% of Basic caches have NM attribute

Thanks for running the math. That is a surprising. We sure are saturated where I live. And about 10% of all caches in this area have a red wrench, but only 2.4% of those red wrenches are PMO caches.  

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12 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

So unscientifically, it looks like PMO caches are more likely to be in OK shape. 

Not my experience - but then we do have one or two CO's with volumes of PMO hides beyond their maintenance capabilities plus quite a few caches left in existence by cachers who have long since retired from the game.

 

16 hours ago, EmzyJanezy said:

Am I the only one who is finding this??  I have just bought some trackable tags but I really hate the thought of them just ending up sitting in a pool of muddy water surrounded by drowning slugs and slimy paper!

30581897_2027099240947229_2152067099659337728_n.jpg

You're not the only one. I would say that caches in as bad a state as that one though are few and far between but I'm probably not the best person to ask as many of my finds are on brand-new caches, before they've had chance to fall into disrepair.

 

14 hours ago, J Grouchy said:

People give our local reviewer a hard time for acting on caches with NM logs, but personally I think it's terrific that he does.  It saves a lot of frustration from instances like that where poorly maintained caches languish in mushy, wet purgatory.

 

Sad, isn't it? That reviewers AND players get given a hard time for doing things which are intended to raise quality? That some people will fight for mediocrity / junk simply baffles me.

 

14 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Also, regarding posting NM - as mentioned, don't be afraid of posting it if you think it's needed. But also don't go around posting NM on every cache that has a minor issue. Where that line is, well that'll depend on who you ask :) After a while you'll get a feel for what you think is an essential owner-maintenance issue.  Many people will help the CO by, say, replacing a full log; or letting a logsheet sit in the sun to dry out while they clean out the container and put it back nicely, stuff like that.

In short, post freely, but smartly!

 

I know this advice is intended to be helpful and at the same time it might lead the person reading it to spend more time second-guessing themselves as to whether or not to log an NM - especially if they are new to the game.

Surely it would be simpler, especially for those just getting into geocaching, if the advice was simply If you think the cache needs maintenance - post a Needs Maintenance log and let the CO decide on the appropriate course of action. Cach Owners are nice people who welcome useful feedback on their caches so there's really no need to be afraid :)

 

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At the end of the day, if the log is wet (as at least half of the ones I've found so far have been) its not serving its purpose, so surely something should be done about that?

I'm new so have been wary of being too 'picky' and have only done NM twice, but this does mean there are some rather wet logs still sitting in boxes, probably getting wetter!  

Would most other geocachers think this is ok?

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1 minute ago, EmzyJanezy said:

At the end of the day, if the log is wet (as at least half of the ones I've found so far have been) its not serving its purpose, so surely something should be done about that?

I'm new so have been wary of being too 'picky' and have only done NM twice, but this does mean there are some rather wet logs still sitting in boxes, probably getting wetter!  

Would most other geocachers think this is ok?

I would think it is perfectly OK.

If the log is wet it needs replacing and the CO also needs to check if the wet log has a arisen from a container problem.

My yardstick for a log being too wet is whether I could successfully sign it.

If I could sign the logbook I'll probably just mention its condition in my Found It log for the CO's information.

If I couldn't sign it I'll probably log a Needs Maintenance.

 

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If it's no longer functional (you can't write on the log, the container is broken, the container went for a swim) I always log a NM. In the end we're placing things in nature, the moment those things turn into unmaintained trash - we're doing something wrong.

Considering how many of the caches are placed on private properties, in government maintained forests or other public locations - it's important that we leave a good impression with property owners in case they find the caches. If they find out they give permissions to leave - what can only be described as trash - on their property, the sport gets a more negative image.

Cache in - trash out!

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For folks running stats on NMs in their area... What's the min, avg, max length of time since the oldest NM log that doesn't have a OM clearing it? With abandoned caches that were marked NM, they won't ever get reset despite throwdowns or multiple slips of paper bring inserted.

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Just now, EmzyJanezy said:
2 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Out of interest, will you be putting this one on instagram? :wub:

 

 

Umm ... is that a request?

Not really. I just noticed you were hoping to upload caching photographs to instagram and that got me to thinking.

I don't tell anybody about geocaching any more - because the experience all too often ends up considerably more disappointing than the expectation, the marketing hype, if you like.

I start to wonder how many people - seeing photographs like that one - would swerve geocaching completely. After all - admitting to going out hunting for stuff like the cache shown in your photograph could be kind of embarrassing :unsure:

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27 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Not really. I just noticed you were hoping to upload caching photographs to instagram and that got me to thinking.

I don't tell anybody about geocaching any more - because the experience all too often ends up considerably more disappointing than the expectation, the marketing hype, if you like.

I start to wonder how many people - seeing photographs like that one - would swerve geocaching completely. After all - admitting to going out hunting for stuff like the cache shown in your photograph could be kind of embarrassing :unsure:

I had edited my "is that a request?" to ask if you wanted me to or thought I shouldn't.  Just because I was a bit worried you were telling me off.  I suffer from severe anxiety and you got me worried lol.

You're right though!  I have only uploaded photos to my Instagram of my children delighting at our best cache finds.  Anybody seeing those would assume its always like that, but yes, the reality is we will often find waterlogged caches, soggy logs, and floating slugs.  And I properly chuckled at your last comment - yes, people would think I was nuts!

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Just now, EmzyJanezy said:

I had edited my "is that a request?" to ask if you wanted me to or thought I shouldn't.  Just because I was a bit worried you were telling me off.  I suffer from severe anxiety and you got me worried lol.

You're right though!  I have only uploaded photos to my Instagram of my children delighting at our best cache finds.  Anybody seeing those would assume its always like that, but yes, the reality is we will often find waterlogged caches, soggy logs, and floating slugs.  And I properly chuckled at your last comment - yes, people would think I was nuts!

I apologise - the last thing I would wish to do is cause you any anxiety or worry you.

Your last comment made me chuckle too - I'm almost tempted to do exactly that though - just photographing and uploading all the worst caches but writing them up as fantastic experiences :lol:

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8 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

I apologise - the last thing I would wish to do is cause you any anxiety or worry you.

Your last comment made me chuckle too - I'm almost tempted to do exactly that though - just photographing and uploading all the worst caches but writing them up as fantastic experiences :lol:

No worries - you aren't to know I suffer from stupid mental health issues.  I'm just new so always worried I'm not yet clued up enough with etiquette - i.e. what photos are allowed to be posted where, accidentally giving away spoilers etc.

Depends on whether we want to encourage new geocachers or discourage those who may only take it up for the weekend and not play the game properly, I guess.  I mean, if I only posted caches full of tempting trinkets and shiny coins (not that I've yet found any lol) I'm sure I'd be tempting a lot of people who might see it as a way to bag a few small free toys for the kids and not actually look into how to play fair.  Its these people who I am sure are responsible for most coins or TB disappearing.

Whereas if I only posted knackered caches like the one in the photo above I doubt anybody who follows me would take up geocaching as a hobby!

I'm new though so this is all beginner's theory lol.

Edited by EmzyJanezy
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3 hours ago, Team Microdot said:
18 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

Also, regarding posting NM - as mentioned, don't be afraid of posting it if you think it's needed. But also don't go around posting NM on every cache that has a minor issue. Where that line is, well that'll depend on who you ask :) After a while you'll get a feel for what you think is an essential owner-maintenance issue.  Many people will help the CO by, say, replacing a full log; or letting a logsheet sit in the sun to dry out while they clean out the container and put it back nicely, stuff like that.

In short, post freely, but smartly!

 

I know this advice is intended to be helpful and at the same time it might lead the person reading it to spend more time second-guessing themselves as to whether or not to log an NM - especially if they are new to the game.

Surely it would be simpler, especially for those just getting into geocaching, if the advice was simply If you think the cache needs maintenance - post a Needs Maintenance log and let the CO decide on the appropriate course of action. Cach Owners are nice people who welcome useful feedback on their caches so there's really no need to be afraid :)

Sure, okay.

 

47 minutes ago, EmzyJanezy said:

You're right though!  I have only uploaded photos to my Instagram of my children delighting at our best cache finds.  Anybody seeing those would assume its always like that, but yes, the reality is we will often find waterlogged caches, soggy logs, and floating slugs.  And I properly chuckled at your last comment - yes, people would think I was nuts!

We often like to focus on the good, not the bad. We go on a road trip and find 100 caches, 5 of which were memorable, and those are the ones we share :) Then if anyone asks why we love geocaching, we talk about those 5, but remember that those 5 are great because they shine out from amongst the other 95.  If all 100 were great, part of me thinks the whole thing would become relatively mundane. It's not the peaks we enjoy, it's dips and the journey to the peaks define the height!

Geocaching isn't all sunshine and happiness, but it's sure rewarding and fun when the clouds fade and and give way to those moments ;)

 

3 hours ago, EmzyJanezy said:

I'm new so have been wary of being too 'picky' and have only done NM twice, but this does mean there are some rather wet logs still sitting in boxes, probably getting wetter!  

Would most other geocachers think this is ok?

Another thing you could do if you really think the log should be replaced but believe the CO should have the log, is keep it, dry it, let the CO know, and find a way to get it to them if they want it.

 

1 hour ago, Team Microdot said:

I start to wonder how many people - seeing photographs like that one - would swerve geocaching completely. After all - admitting to going out hunting for stuff like the cache shown in your photograph could be kind of embarrassing :unsure:

I would sa it depends how a photo like that is described. Without comment, it doesn't put geocaching in a good light. With a critical word, or with light at the end of the tunnel, it can add to the 'intrigue' =P

 

36 minutes ago, EmzyJanezy said:

I'm just new so always worried I'm not yet clued up enough with etiquette

You're very brave for coming to the forums as a newbie ;)

If you'd like to enjoy what I think is a vastly more positive-focused geocaching environment, check out some youtube geocaching channels.  The Geocaching Network (GCNW) has been gaining steam over the last few months, and there are a bunch of channels spanning a wide variety of styles and personalities, many of which are great for kids, outdoors junkies, adventurers, gadgeteers, or just general social fun.:antenna:(mine is in my signature)

Edited by thebruce0
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On 4/10/2018 at 3:08 PM, EmzyJanezy said:

Oh - another question!

Do people find the premium caches are kept in better condition or just generally more interesting than those available to those who haven't paid to upgrade?

I think it definitely depends on the area. As you can see from the notes, a lot of PMO caches aren't much better. Around my area, however, there are quite a few premium caches put out by a certain CO that are an absolute delight to find. (One of my favorites is the one he based off the gold rush.)

As for logging NM, please please do! I just recently logged a few NA on caches in my local area that had been complaining about the container being broken or filled with water for YEARS, but absolutely none of them logged a NM, all of them have just been Found logs when I visited despite the log complaints. The CO in question hasn't logged on since 2013 and, unless they put out a great container, most of their caches I've ran into have been either almost completely destroyed or getting to that point. I ended up taking out the cache remains because of this so it didn't end up as the geolitter it already was on the wilderness trail, i doubt they will be coming back to collect it. I'm going to guess that if they had logged them properly they wouldn't have been sitting there disappointing people for so long.

Edited by mimaef
clarity
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1 minute ago, EmzyJanezy said:

I upgraded so I can find out for myself :D

Should have said you were thinking of it - TPTB can give you a month's free trial premium membership if you ask nicely.

Hopefully a kindly moderator will pick this up and add a free month to your existing membership - please Mr Moderator? :wub:

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5 minutes ago, Team Microdot said:

Should have said you were thinking of it - TPTB can give you a month's free trial premium membership if you ask nicely.

Hopefully a kindly moderator will pick this up and add a free month to your existing membership - please Mr Moderator? :wub:

Awww haha.  That would be lovely :wub::wub::ph34r:

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1 hour ago, belangora said:

Has your experience with logs/containers improved?

 

soggy is old in the game... 

https://coord.info/GCBB8F

 

I think there has been a modest improvement in cache containers since I started.  Used to see flat plastic boxes with loose fitting lids, intended for indoor closet storage, inadequate containers INSIDE big black plastic garbage bags, (trap moisture and attract scorpions where I live ) and wax coated paper food take-out containers.  Don't see any of those now.

Mostly okay containers that fail over time - with owner not handling the replacement needs

 

 

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46 minutes ago, Isonzo Karst said:

I think there has been a modest improvement in cache containers since I started.  Used to see flat plastic boxes with loose fitting lids, intended for indoor closet storage, inadequate containers INSIDE big black plastic garbage bags

 

Agreed.  Some of our oldest hiders used cookie tins and metal coffee cans, again with that black garbage bag wrapped around 'em.

On one, I replaced with a 30cal, after the finder before me couldn't open it (rusted).

 - We got it open, and used another black garbage bag to bring it (along with the science experiment growing inside it) home.  

Even no-name lock n locks are better, but (to us) those older hides did seem to be the best areas we've been to with this hobby.   :)

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17 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Agreed.  Some of our oldest hiders used cookie tins and metal coffee cans, again with that black garbage bag wrapped around 'em.

On one, I replaced with a 30cal, after the finder before me couldn't open it (rusted).

 - We got it open, and used another black garbage bag to bring it (along with the science experiment growing inside it) home.  

Even no-name lock n locks are better, but (to us) those older hides did seem to be the best areas we've been to with this hobby.   :)

Three cheers for Earl Silas Tupper.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_Tupper.  He made the life of a cache owners (and cache finders)  much better.  

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