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Geocache Quality

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23 hours ago, strelokthestalker said:

I would even suggest that Geocaching imposes a rule that players should have an even distribution of large, medium, small and nano cache sizes in order to qualify for listing.

No, no, NO!! If I had to put out a nano cache to even out the larger size caches, I would STOP putting out caches. Hate nanos and refuse to use them. They are most times ( very few exceptions - I can only think of two worthy nanos I have found in the MANY ) put out by unimaginative people who can't imagine anything bigger could be placed, when almost inevitably, there is a place for a larger cache, even if it's only a micro.

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4 hours ago, FatHap said:

I Don't put out replacement caches. Unless the cache has significant value, such as caches remaining from the early days of geocaching, would it be such a big deal for that cache to get archived if the owner can't/won't maintain it? This would open the area up for another cacher

That's okay in areas with lots of geocachers, but in remote areas (such as in many areas of Australia) there are often no geocachers living nearby (the nearest might be hundreds of kms away), and hardly anyone else for that matter. Any geocaches existing were often placed there pre the rule the geocacher must live within a certain distance (150kms?) Travellers regularly maintain these caches as they find them. I have replaced a number. Otherwise there would be NO geocaches to find in remote areas.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

That's okay in areas with lots of geocachers, but in remote areas (such as in many areas of Australia) there are often no geocachers living nearby (the nearest might be hundreds of kms away), and hardly anyone else for that matter. Any geocaches existing were often placed there pre the rule the geocacher must live within a certain distance (150kms?) Travellers regularly maintain these caches as they find them. I have replaced a number. Otherwise there would be NO geocaches to find in remote areas.

 

Maintenance should only be done by the CO or at least after making arrangements with a CO to do maintenance for him/her. If a NM was posted and a cacher replaces the container while a CO is no longer active there's no OM log. At least here (Belgium) that would mean a reviewer acts on the NM and disables the cache following up a month later by archiving.

 

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On 20/06/2018 at 7:46 AM, morgansandcoke said:

How about each reviewer sets up a virtual challenge cache for each region. Newbies have to qualify for the cache and log it before they can hide caches in a given area. The challenge can be different for different regions to reflect the local caches that are available to find. By qualifying for the cache the newbie has shown they have got a broad range of the experience available to them and so are more likely to have a better quality hide (I don't agree with the 100 finds idea).

 

That's a great idea, which would allow  the qualification criteria to be customised to the local conditions.

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9 minutes ago, on4bam said:

 

Maintenance should only be done by the CO or at least after making arrangements with a CO to do maintenance for him/her. If a NM was posted and a cacher replaces the container while a CO is no longer active there's no OM log. At least here (Belgium) that would mean a reviewer acts on the NM and disables the cache following up a month later by archiving.

 

Belgium is a built up tiny country where the CO can get to a cache easily. Imagine needing to travel hundreds; maybe thousands of kms for a CO to get to an old cache, placed back when rules were different. In some areas NO-ONE can now place caches, because no cacher lives in the area and it's very difficult for a cache to be placed. There are VERY few, if any, caches in some areas, and if travellers didn't service these old caches there would likely be NO caches. It's a whole different scenario to Belgium and other populated countries. Towns can be hundreds of kms apart.

In populated towns and areas of the country it's different; COs should maintain their own caches. I was talking about remote areas, which Europe has no comparison with.

Edited by Goldenwattle
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A quick way of weeding out abandoned Caches with maintenance issues would be to disable all Caches with a needs maintenance icon.  Active Geocachers can easily re-enable their Cache listing and it will act as a reminder that their Cache is in need of some maintenance.  Caches owned by people who have left the game can then be archived.

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4 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

In populated towns and areas of the country it's different; COs should maintain their own caches. I was talking about remote areas, which Europe has no comparison with.

 

I know the difference (visited NSW, QLD, TAS, VIC, WA, NT...). I mean no-one should maintain other people's caches without their consent. Want to do maintenance for someone? No problem, ask first.

If a CO is no longer active, would it be bad if his/her caches are archived? I think not but if that cache is so important they can give it up for adoption.

 

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11 minutes ago, on4bam said:

 

I know the difference (visited NSW, QLD, TAS, VIC, WA, NT...). I mean no-one should maintain other people's caches without their consent. Want to do maintenance for someone? No problem, ask first.

If a CO is no longer active, would it be bad if his/her caches are archived? I think not but if that cache is so important they can give it up for adoption.

 

In remote areas, from my experience the consent is there without asking. It's the only way the few caches are maintained; by people travelling through, some who regularly travel through. If one had to ask it might be too late before the yes reply came. You might have moved on to another area. I do have an ongoing understanding with at least one CO; if their cache needs some maintenance, I can do it.

Edited by Goldenwattle

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  On 6/18/2018 at 6:13 PM, Geocaching HQ said:
  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?
  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?
  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?
  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

 

In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

One which has been placed with dead on coodiances!!! You will be rewarded with a quality cache based of the skill of the CO...
 

In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

One which has been placed with "good enough coordinates"...  Searching for a long time takes the fun out of the game...


What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

Given honest feedback in logs... 
Post DNF / NM / NA logs as appropriate... Make a temporary repair for the CO so it won't frustrate the next cacher... (remember some cachers travel a great distance)
Experienced cachers can lead by example...


What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

Keep it fun!!!

 

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A High-Quality Cache: A high-quality cache should be a sturdy container, waterproof and camouflaged well enough to keep muggles from disturbing it.  If it is not camouflaged it should be very well hidden.  It should be placed in a spot that has some significance to it.  History, scenery, adventure, science etc. 

 

A Low-Quality Cache: A low quality cache is a cheap container that quickly gets wet or has animals chew it up.  It is also easily found by muggles.  And a series of cheap container caches are the ultimate.  Don’t put a DNA container every .1 mile along a boring highway that goes on endlessly.  Strictly a numbers game then.  I have seen these along busy highways and they aren’t popular with LEOs.  Also, I’ve seen flower beds destroyed by someone looking for a cache in one.  Children’s playgrounds are also a poor chose.  Many catchers are men and having them snooping around a playground is potential trouble.  And don’t put a cache in areas that are littered.  CITO is fine but it shouldn’t become more of a challenge than finding a cache.  Anther poor choice are “lamp skirts” in mall parking lots.  I found one once with a note attached to it.  The note was from someone who saw the cache found and returned.  They said that this is evidently a popular way to drop off drugs.  So there may be someone watching that you have to do some explaining to.  Simply put, think about where you are placing that cache.

 

Community Steps:  Log your DNFs.  I make a list of my hides that haven’t been found and if they are consistently not found I will check them out.  This is especially important if the CO has a lot of caches to maintain.  If you don’t find it a 2nd time and don’t get a response from the CO in a reasonable amount of time on a consistently not found cache, contact them directly through geocaching.com.  If still no response, write a “needs maintenance” log and/or let the local reviewer know.  If the cache doesn’t meet the guidelines for a cache, contact the CO and/or the local reviewer. Keep records of your cache hides so that if someone contacts you, you can possibly give them a hint or if there is a problem you can check on it yourself.  And lastly, write a decent log.  It takes a lot of work to place and maintain a cache so something more than a TFTC is appreciated.  I’m sure phone caching has a lot to do with that.  But edit your log later when you get to a computer and have time, or on your phone if you don’t use a computer.  If we want geocaching to return to a family activity we need to put out more caches with swag in them.  If you bore the kids with endless micros they won’t remain geocachers when they grow up.

 

Geocaching Steps: I’ve seen caches under overpasses on interstate highways, near courthouses, post offices, schools, prisons, etc.  These can be sensitive areas. Be sure there is a compelling reason to place a cache there.  And if you decide to place one at these sites, be sure you get permission to do so.    I’ve seen reviewers approve such caches with no proof that permission was obtained.  Sensitive areas need more than just a “Yeah, I’ve got permission.” In the ‘Note to reviewer’ box.  Some area just shouldn’t have caches.  Earth Caches were a great idea and my 2nd favorite type of cache.  The old virtuals that aren’t allowed, except at the whim of Groundspeak, could become a new type of cache.  Similar to an Earth Cache.  They would be “History Caches” with a similar write up to an Earth Cache.  Most virtuals I’ve found, and I search for a lot of them, deal with history.  Like Earth Caches they are a great alternative to a regular cache, especially where a container is not allowed.  They are my favorite.

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22 minutes ago, Mr. & Mrs. Magic said:
  On 6/18/2018 at 6:13 PM, Geocaching HQ said:
  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?
  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?
  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?
  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

 

In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

One which has been placed with dead on coodiances!!! You will be rewarded with a quality cache based of the skill of the CO...
 

In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

One which has been placed with "good enough coordinates"...  Searching for a long time takes the fun out of the game...


What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

Given honest feedback in logs... 
Post DNF / NM / NA logs as appropriate... Make a temporary repair for the CO so it won't frustrate the next cacher... (remember some cachers travel a great distance)
Experienced cachers can lead by example...


What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

Keep it fun!!!

 

Upvote

I believe many caches are placed with phones nowadays.  I use a high quality handheld GPS.  But it means nothing if the cache was hidden in any area with even a partially obstructed view of the sky with a phone.  The phone coords will be off and you searching the posted coordinates won't mean much.  Geo senses are more important here.

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  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?  Minimum: Accurate coordinates, maintained by an active CO (which means the log will be replaced promptly when needed, container will be replaced as needed, updates will be posted if needed) and a reasonable place for ground zero. Better than average: a beautiful/interesting location or container. Bonus: gadget caches!  There are some REALLY CREATIVE people out there and I love it when they show off their skills in geocaching.
  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache? Bad location choice.  I can handle a guardrail cache for the sake of numbers or when I want to geocache but don't have much time.  But when there is no pull-out - no safe place to park, I am happy to drive on by.  Low quality also means little to no effort towards a cache container. By today, year 18, most know that Altoids tins are NOT a good idea. And yet, they still show up now and then.
  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality? When speaking to a large group of individuals, this can be difficult.  Cache owners need to be better about maintaining their caches.  It would also be a good idea that if a cache owner hasn't logged in within a specific amount of time (a year?) that their caches can be adopted by interested cachers who will maintain them.
  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?  I would prefer that private residences NOT be used for geocaches.  I am ALWAYS uncomfortable searching for those and tend to avoid them.  I fully support the idea that some experience in geocaching is needed before one is allowed to hide.  100 finds should be the BARE MINIMUM... and I would readily agree to 500 finds before they start hiding. 

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-In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

    1- Good Cache Page

            Well written, good story, layer out well, interesting,  photos etc.

     2- Good Cache Container

            Fits the location, waterproof,  good camo, gadget,

     3- Good Location

            Intersections location, beautiful lication, hidden/secret location

 

A Good Geocache needs at least Two of the Three aspects. And higher Quality cache would have all Three aspects!


 


-In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

 

A Lamp Post Hide…. Lol

 

A Low quality cache would only cover One or none of the above aspects.

 

A zip lock bag hidden in a abound lot near the Rat Poison sign,  with no info on the cache page.

 

Location is also critical, I've seen some really good containers, good cache pages and even nice locations but they are not geocaching friend location. Hiding an Ammo box next to a police station is not a good idea…

 


-What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

 

Place good quality caches!

Many towns, Facebook groups etc have their own ranking systems and awards for local caches. Join your local groups and participate.

 

Good critical feedback in your logs, leave compliments and mention any problems you may have found.

 

Log your DNFs,  log Needs Maintenance



 


-What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

 

Minimum amount of finds before you can place a hide , I'd suggest  at least 100 (one hundred)

 

Maybe some kind of official quality marker, like an attribute that a finder can suggest  (like needs maintenance) but a positive one! Not so much a rank, but either your cache has it or not, and can lose it too. Favorite Points are great! But don't reflect the current condition of the cache, only that someone liked it in the past. 

 

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  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

Any cache that meets the guidelines and is well maintained. As long as that is the case, any cache has it's justification. We should always rememmber the different motivations in the community. You might not like a traditional cache in a boring residential area but for me or somebody else this cache might just be the motivation for a little digestive walk after a dinner with firends living there.

  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

Caches in bad state maintenancewise or in disgusting locations - but I have to admit I have not found many caches that would meet this criterium. Only one or two but both could have been avoided easily.

  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

Report DNF and damaged containers even if somebody has already done so.

  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

I am not in favour of any downvoting tools because as mentiined above tastes and motivations are different and this would just lead to some people feel entitled to act as "cache police", which would only lead to hostilities in the community. Leave that responsibility with the reviewers, maybe have some more but add one small feature - an obligatory maintenance log of the CO every six or ten months in which the owner has to formally confirm that the cache is in order and well maintained. This would help identify inactive cache(r)s and improve the general focus on maintenance.

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11 hours ago, FatHap said:

 

  • Allow anonymous feedback for bad caches, kind of like the opposite of a favorite. Feedback should be specific about the problem with the cache. Having it not displayed on the cache page could prevent people from ganging up on another cacher, but it could provide reviewers another tool to know who the delinquent cache owners are. Cachers with too much negative feedback shouldn't be allowed to place new caches.

 

Not displaying negative feedback will not prevent people "ganging up" , on the contrary it would make ganging up easier because a non local reviewer does not necessarily know the "chemistry" of local caching communities and might be inclined to just archive based on quantity of negative feedback. 

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2 hours ago, MayberryZoo said:
  •  I fully support the idea that some experience in geocaching is needed before one is allowed to hide.  100 finds should be the BARE MINIMUM... and I would readily agree to 500 finds before they start hiding. 

 

There are a lot of areas where a fixed number of finds before you can hide would not work (Greenland had 113 caches when we visited, I found 13 and that include several flights and several boat trips). OTOH, finding 500 micro's doing power trails will keep you busy for only a few days but doesn't make you experienced.

 

 

1 hour ago, Dublinius said:

 

Not displaying negative feedback will not prevent people "ganging up" , on the contrary it would make ganging up easier because a non local reviewer does not necessarily know the "chemistry" of local caching communities and might be inclined to just archive based on quantity of negative feedback. 

 

Imagine schools would not give "negative feedback",everyone is the smartest kid in class  :ph34r:

Rating a cache is noting to be afraid of and a CO can only learn from it. In fact, there already is some kind of negative feedback, caches that have 100's of found it logs and zero favorites can be considered as having negative feedback. At the very best it says "thanks for the +1 but that's all I remember of it".

 

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15 hours ago, MAS83 said:

 

It is rules like this that would do more damage than good. Imagine you are making an event, busy planning 10+ caches, almost ready to create the listings, then someone posts a NM on one of your old caches. You go out there and realize something is broken, and at home you realize the spare part is not available until after the event. Tough luck, you have to cancel the event now, because you can't create the caches for it no more.

 

If a CO can not take care of the cache in two weeks nothing stops the CO from disabling the cache itself until they can look after it.  This does not involve a reviewer having to do the work the CO, which the CO should be doing in first place. These issues are only brought up mainly from a lack of CO responsibility.

Edited by PCFrog
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1 hour ago, PCFrog said:

If a CO can not take care of the cache in two weeks nothing stops the CO from disabling the cache itself until they can look after it.

Not all maintenance issues are significant enough to warrant disabling the cache.

 

When the custom camouflage of one of my caches started failing, I left the NM attribute in place as a reminder. But it took me well over 2 weeks to source the supplies and construct a replacement container. In the meantime, the cache was fine, and those who found it just replaced it with the ruined section of camouflage facing the ground.

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16 minutes ago, niraD said:

Not all maintenance issues are significant enough to warrant disabling the cache.

 

When the custom camouflage of one of my caches started failing, I left the NM attribute in place as a reminder. But it took me well over 2 weeks to source the supplies and construct a replacement container. In the meantime, the cache was fine, and those who found it just replaced it with the ruined section of camouflage facing the ground.

:-/ Really....

 

I guess the easy approach would be if a NM was placed on the cache the CO log would amount to something like..."I took a look at my cache and only noticed that the camouflage was coming off from the outside. The cache, the contents, and log are fine. Thanks for the NM report and I will address the  camouflage issue." now NM can be removed. 

 

A little thought behind how to handle issues can go a long way. 

 

Please keep in mind my suggestion is to make sure CO are held accountable for the caches they place. If a CO is diligent at responding to NM and other issues then the CO will never have an issue. The past decade of exceptions and considerations is what led up to this point. A HUGE majority of the issues I see in the forums comes down to CO not being held to higher standard and expected to care for the caches they placed. Whats wrong with expecting the Cache Owner Responsibilities (https://www.geocaching.com/play/guidelines#ownerresponsibility) being upheld?  It flat out says"

o keep the geocache in proper working order, the cache owner must

  • Visit the geocache regularly.
  • Fix reported problems (such as replace full or wet logbook, replace broken or missing container).
  • Make sure the location is appropriate and change it if necessary.
  • Remove the geocache container and any physical stages within 60 days after the cache page is archived.

Cache owners who do not maintain their existing caches in a timely manner may temporarily or permanently lose the right to list new caches on Geocaching.com."

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22 minutes ago, niraD said:
1 hour ago, PCFrog said:

If a CO can not take care of the cache in two weeks nothing stops the CO from disabling the cache itself until they can look after it.

Not all maintenance issues are significant enough to warrant disabling the cache.

And not all reports of a need for maintenance are accurate. While I take NMs seriously, I also take them with a grain of salt, so normally I wouldn't disabled a cache with an NM posted on it unless the evidence was quite convincing. I once posted an NM on my own cache -- when that was allowed -- and disabled it because I couldn't find it, but then I did find the original container when I went back to drop the replacement. So I hope you can see why I don't bother to disable that one without checking for myself whether the cache is there.

 

But as with so much of this discussion, that's because my attitude is no longer the norm: I do not think it's the end of the world to not be able to find a cache because it's missing or find a cache with problems, so I don't feel this urgent need to disable a cache that someone thinks has problems in order to be absolutely sure no one else encounters the problems. I consider the false negative more of a problem than the false positive: I'm not too concerned about someone confirming the problem, but I am concerned about someone wanting to find my perfectly fine cache and being told they shouldn't look for it because I disabled it in error.

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3 minutes ago, PCFrog said:

I guess the easy approach would be if a NM was placed on the cache the CO log would amount to something like..."I took a look at my cache and only noticed that the camouflage was coming off from the outside. The cache, the contents, and log are fine. Thanks for the NM report and I will address the  camouflage issue." now NM can be removed.

The cache still needs maintenance, so clearing the maintenance flag would be a lie. I'm sorry if that's inconvenient for your plans to abuse the NM flag as an absolute measure of value.

 

4 minutes ago, PCFrog said:

A HUGE majority of the issues I see in the forums comes down to CO not being held to higher standard and expected to care for the caches they placed.

A huge majority of the issues I see in the forums comes down to a few people that demand a higher standard because they prioritize geocache perfection above all else and don't care whether other people have a life. Those people imagine that if they succeed in setting the standards, all caches will be perfect, and that might be true, but there'd only be a tenth as many caches. They'd be happy, but most of us would consider it a loss.

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17 minutes ago, PCFrog said:

I guess the easy approach would be if a NM was placed on the cache the CO log would amount to something like..."I took a look at my cache and only noticed that the camouflage was coming off from the outside. The cache, the contents, and log are fine. Thanks for the NM report and I will address the  camouflage issue." now NM can be removed. 

Except I did not want the NM attribute removed.

47 minutes ago, niraD said:

I left the NM attribute in place as a reminder.

 

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10 minutes ago, dprovan said:

... higher standard ...

This is not a higher standard, please read the Guidelines. It is the standard.

 

"Cache owners who do not maintain their existing caches in a timely manner may temporarily or permanently lose the right to list new caches on Geocaching.com."

 

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One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just isn't the same.

 

40 minutes ago, PCFrog said:

"Cache owners who do not maintain their existing caches in a timely manner may temporarily or permanently lose the right to list new caches on Geocaching.com."

 

18 hours ago, PCFrog said:

I truly would like to see where cache owners who have ANY caches that have need maintenance on a cache for over two weeks automatically be prevented from placing new caches.

 

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On 6/18/2018 at 4:30 PM, Beardman75 said:
  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

A clever or original container which is maintained regularly and a finding or solving experience that the CO has clearly put time, thought and effort into.

  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

A plastic container thrown into a high muggle area, poorly hidden, not maintained, little or no description Of why that spot was chosen

  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

Log all DNFs, report Maintenance whenever it is required and if these issues remain unaddressed, raise with local reviewer

  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

Require some form of caching experience prior to hiding a cache, whether that is time caching or number of finds or some other metric. Too many caches in my local area are placed by people with less than 20 finds after a week or so of caching. Those people then quickly disappear from the game and their caches, which were low quality to begin with, go missing or need maintenance and it can take months to get the impetus of enough DNFs and needs Maintenance logs to get the reviewer to disable it and then another few months before it gets archived

This post expresses exactly my opinions on this question. There is no doubt that "high quality" hides have waned and their "low quality" brethren have waxed as the geocaching game has gone on. When I began, there were many clever caches, often with very original containers that provided "Aha!" moments when found. Locations were more carefully chosen. I haven't encountered such a hide for quite some time. Now, it's a numbers game promulgated by newbies who don't seem to grasp the concept that caching should (at its best) provide an adventure of sorts, whether physical, emotional or cerebral. Poorly conceived, poorly executed, sloppily placed caches now predominate. In my neck of the woods, the sport is practically dead with a new hide being posted maybe every few months. And yes, I know some of this change is due to cache density, but there is scant interest locally among new cachers to even find caches which involve any effort or are outside of city limits. 

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In your mind what is a high quality cache:  

 - Is a cache that is maintained.  If a cache is reported as Needs Maintenance, it is attended to in a reasonable amount of time. 

 

In your mind what is a low quality cache:

-Is a cache that hasn't been maintained by the CO.   

 

What steps can the community take to improve th cache quality:

-Post  a DNF if you didn't find it, and make sure that you post that you didn't find it in your comments whether or not it was due to time constraints/failing lights/too many Muggles.  

-Post Needs Maintenance if a thorough search has been made of VS and you can't find it...

-If you have caches, maintain them.  Disable the cache of it's been reported as being missing.  

- Also if you own caches and are leaving the area, Archive them or put them up for Adoption. And follow through on the adoption process of that is your choice.  The other option is is to keep the cache and have a fellow cacher help with the maintenance while you are away.   

-If you pick up TB's/Coins  make sure that you log them. If you don't know how, there are instructions on the web site on how to log them. If you pick one up,  and loose it, either log it as missing or notify the owner of the traveler. This would also apply to CO whose caches go missing with TB/Coins in them  mark them as missing....

 

What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve cache quality:

-If a CO hasn't signed in to a while have a contingency plan on place so that their caches can be adopted out (baring that there aren't any needs maintenance problems...)

- while the quests for a certain amount of caches are great incentives for some caches to get souvenirs,  some times, the souvenirs are given quickly in the beginning then there is a long interval to get the last one/few.  

-While i do think that a cacher should have some experience in finding the different types of caches,   it is hard to put a number on how many funds they need to have before they hide one, with a plan  on place for areas (like Fiji) that don't have a whole lot of caches in place to meet said requirements.

-Make the phone app more user friendly for new users so that they can have the same benefits of using the full site on the computer.  

 

 

Good for thought:

   Life happens.  Realizing things happen beyond people's control, this is a recreational activity.  For many of us, with the exception of the Lakeys at HQ this is just a recreational activity, if a cacher/CO hasn't logged in in a while and they have a cache that needs attention or has picked up a TB/Coin, send them a note through the app to find out if there is something that you can do to help with getting it moving again.

 We are all individuals that like the same recreational activity, but we like different things about the activity,  therefore we all have some different ideas about this topic....

Edited by cejamison4
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7 hours ago, Dublinius said:

 

Not displaying negative feedback will not prevent people "ganging up" , on the contrary it would make ganging up easier because a non local reviewer does not necessarily know the "chemistry" of local caching communities and might be inclined to just archive based on quantity of negative feedback. 

I'm not sure I'm following you. Are you suggesting that a group of cachers would join together and give a bunch of unwarranted negative feedback on someone's cache just because it's not displayed? I don't understand your argument about the "chemistry" of the local community either, unless you may be referring to a cacher who is a known complainer or something similar. I'm trying to understand your reply, not argue with you. :)

 

It seems to me if a cache is getting negative feedback from multiple cachers there is more than likely a problem. If several of the CO's caches are getting a quantity of negative feedback it's even more likely there is a problem. I also never said it should be grounds for any particular cache to be archived. When I made that suggestion I was thinking of a specific CO who just does not maintain their caches well. Key locations in field puzzles have changed making the puzzle unsolvable, the CO acknowledges the container is missing and then never replaces it, coordinates to the next stage of a multi are wrong, etc. I just don't see why cache owners like this should be allowed to continue placing caches. It is not my intention that someone who places a cache others may not like gets banned from hiding more caches. If someone wants to put out a bunch of parking lot caches, I just won't look for them. They certainly shouldn't be penalized because I don't like that particular style of caches. 

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15 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

That's okay in areas with lots of geocachers, but in remote areas (such as in many areas of Australia) there are often no geocachers living nearby (the nearest might be hundreds of kms away), and hardly anyone else for that matter. Any geocaches existing were often placed there pre the rule the geocacher must live within a certain distance (150kms?) Travellers regularly maintain these caches as they find them. I have replaced a number. Otherwise there would be NO geocaches to find in remote areas.

This is the type of cache I was thinking of when I said "unless the cache has significant value". An older remote cache that has been maintained by the community in recent years sounds to me like a cache that has significant value. It's unique, and as long as the community wants to preserve it, it makes sense to leave it as is.

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In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

A cache with a reason for being: A story to tell, a place to show, a challenge to find or open.

A good container that is appropriate for the place and not least waterproof.

Well maintained.

 

In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

Caches placed just because you can - with no clear reason.

Bad containers: Jars, used bottles and the like that are not fully waterproof and seem more like garbage than cache.

Caches that are not maintained - soggy logs.

 

What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

Appreciate caches that are well maintained and where you can see how much work and thought have gone into them. Show it in your logs.

What I find most demotivating when creating creative caches is getting meaningless logs that only say "I logged this to be able to log...(some challenge cache)". Challenge caches that are often meaningless containers in a meaningless place but for some reason is more important than the cache I have spent hours making a special container for or creating a mystery to solve.

 

What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

Make it possible for COs to exclude certain caches from counting towards challenges. We all play in our own way but currently it is totally the finders that decide how to play. Owners that are the ones spending money and time creating caches have very little to say. I have many caches I would not mind people finding because of a challenge but for me to make the very special caches I would expect cachers to find them because of the cache itself.

Make special promotions for COs with many favorite points or the like. Like the virtual reward-cache... Though I would like the assignment criteria to be more transparent so that everyone knows why certain people got it and have something to work towards.

 

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I read what other geocachers have written and I largely agree with what's already been submitted.  Here's my spin on it:

  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

A high quality geocache is one that has a container that will withstand the weather and keep the contents dry for several years. It is one that is placed with some degree of forethought to the location.  The geocache takes geocachers to interesting places they otherwise would not see. The geocache is well-kept with a usable log and contains interesting trade items.  Granted, trade items depend upon the geocachers themselves who TSLS of equal value. 

  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

A low quality geocache is one that has one or more of the following characteristics:

  • The container is a recycled plastic container that readily succumbs to the weather, allowing the log to get destroyed.  Plastic pill bottles, peanut butter jars, ziploc containers, and the like do not last long in many locations.  I've geocached across the globe and have found cracked containers due to sun baking or freezing conditions.  If it doesn't stand up to the elements, it shouldn't be used as a geocache container.
  • The location is filthy, like behind a dumpster or near a dumping ground, or the surrounding area is covered with grafitti.  I've found geocaches in which the CO has said, "I placed this geocache with the hope that geocachers will CITO to clean the place up a bit.  Sorry, I want to geocache, not collect garbage.  The CO could organize a CITO event which I would consider attending and participating in.
  • The geocache contains business cards or other advertisements, broken trade items, or items that look like they should have been thrown away instead of put into a cache: scratched, dirty, cracked, or otherwise broken items should not be traded.  A realtor's card is not a trade item. An expired coupon is not a trade item.  I realize people don't have a lot of money to buy things to put in geocaches. However, there are a lot of trade items that can be purchased rather inexpensively and used for trade items. Or go through that kitchen junk drawer and use the things that are in good shape.
  • The geocache is maintained by other geocachers than the CO.  I've put logs and trade items in several caches. I've replaced worn out plastic bags with new ones, added new pencils, etc.
  • It is a 'log only' geocache.  Technically, a log-only geocache is not a 'cache'. The word 'cache' implies it contains something of value.  A log book or log scroll doesn't qualify. 
cache
kaSH
noun
noun: cache; plural noun: caches
  1. 1.
    a collection of items of the same type stored in a hidden or inaccessible place.
    "an arms cache"
    synonyms:

    hoard, store, stockpile, stock, supply, reserve; informalstash

    "a cache of arms"
    • a hidden or inaccessible storage place for valuables, provisions, or ammunition.
         
  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

The community can help improve geocaching by abiding by the rules:

log DNFs; if you take something leave something of equal value. If you don't have a trade item to leave, don't take a trade item. 

Log travel bugs, travel coins, and other trackables.  If you are terrible about doing this or don't know how, then please don't take these types of items.  All of the trackable items I have placed are now MIA.  Muggles can be blamed but contacts with someone listed as last having one of my trackables revealed that they indeed did have the trackable stashed away somewhere in their pile of junk (their words, not mine) for over a year. It's still not back in circulation.

Make the geocache worth the effort required to find it. A bison tube or a pill bottle in a bush at the end of a 3-mile hike is not worth the effort. A 10-part multi-cache, unless there is a LOT of thought put into each of the stage's location, container, hide, is not worth it.

Make the geocache interesting for children, too.  Children couldn't care less about finding a piece of paper, according to my 5 year old nephew.

Logs and containers need to be maintained or removed.  COs should not expect the geocaching community to take care of their hides.  If the CO can't do this, archive it until it can be addressed or someone volunteers to take ownership of it. Filled logs should be removed by the CO or at the least the CO should post permission to geocachers to remove old logs.  I've found a series of geocaches that were hidden to form a certain shape on the map.  Many of the containers were military decon containers which would seem to have a high degree of durability. However, almost every single one of the decon containers require replacement.  While I appreciate this particular CO's initial investment, it was saddening to see that the geocaches couldn't be maintained.

  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

In no particular order of importance:

  1. Set clearer guidelines regarding geocache sizes, especially for "Small".  While I don't expect micros and nanos to be able to hold trade items, I do expect "Small" geocaches to be able to hold trade items.  If it is a log only geocache regardless of its size, label it a micro so people can ignore it and find geocaches with trade items. 
  2. Some other responders have suggested having a thumbs down option on a cache. Though worthy of consideration, I don't see how it could be implemented fairly or justly or without hurting someone's feelings.
  3. Instead of having themed events like that Mary Hyde thing awhile back. Consider a month or two where geocachers and COs can work together to upgrade and update geocaches in need of maintenance.  i.e. January and July are cache maintenance months. Or,
  4. Set up a way for geocachers to receive a souvenir or some other incentive for working with COs to replace containers, logs, trade items, etc. Set guidelines so that ripping out a piece of paper from a notebook does not constitute replacing the log, for example. 
  5. Provide a means for COs to let geocachers know they need help maintaining their geocaches.
  6. Set and enforce guidelines for cases where COs have been inactive for a long period of time while their geocaches sit in need of maintenance. Geocache Reviewers should be able to flag geocaches which tell the geocaching community the geocache-in-need-of-maintenance is available for someone to take ownership without the original CO getting upset.  Set it up so the geocache maintains its history of those who have found it, just have the ownership transferred to the new owner.
  • What has Geocaching HQ done right and should continue doing?

Though not in the original set of questions, it is important to know that Geocaching HQ is doing a great job of keeping geocaching in the hands and hearts of the common geocacher across this big, blue, wonderful globe.  It is quite enjoyable to read logs and stories from geocachers in Europe, for example.  The fact that Geocaching HQ can maintain the web site and the game while the number of geocaches and geocachers continues to grow is truly phenomenal and worthy of accolades.  People being people, Geocaching HQ has done a good job over the years of maintaining interest and keeping the large core of geocachers satisfied.   I know interests change and wane and I've read posts from disgruntled geocachers who no longer geocache for one reason or another. But the fact that the number of geocachers and geocaches keeps growing indicates Geocaching HQ is doing something right.

Keep up the good work!

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1 hour ago, SoranDK said:

Make it possible for COs to exclude certain caches from counting towards challenges.

 

OMG yes! I might hide caches again. And non-trads again.

 

I've had it with my non-trads being used for group hunts in order to qualify for challenges. The reward for my weeks of effort is 30-50  cut n paste GSAK logs, a couple of times a year all telling how they now qualify for a 10-10-10 Jasmer challenge. Only one of the logs refer to my actual cache. The last time it happened I retrieved and archived my cache. It's the only way to send a message. And I haven't hidden a cache in 2 years. If my efforts are only worthy for getting a more coveted prize, the 10-10-10 challenge, then my cache no longer has the value I intended. They also dropped the favourite percentage for 70% to 25%. 

 

The leader of the group did not apologize, instead he said my reason for archival was a shame and not valid. 

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On 6/19/2018 at 10:56 PM, MAS83 said:

 

I never understood this. If you hate the power trails that much, why are you doing them? Then you complain it is all there is around you. But without them you would have nothing, surely they are better than nothing?

 

No one is forcing you to find geocaches. If you dislike a specific type of cache, then I am all for you need the tools to filter them out, but to campaign for their removal so no one can enjoy them, just because you don't, seems very silly to me.

 

I have severe fear of heights, but you don't see me campaigning to remove all climbing caches, just because they are not my cup of tea.

 

Everyone is entitled to an opinion and its' expression. I was taught that this carries the duty of defending that opinion against all comers. 😁 First, perhaps you missed that my statement was actually that there are times when all that is available in the area where I am caching is a power trail or guardrail trail? Perhaps you also missed that I DID NOT suggest any sort of ban or moratorium on such guardrail trails, but instead suggested  a greater incentive for what I consider 'higher quality caches' in Souvenir Events? Perhaps you failed to notice that the topic of this Survey is "Quality Caches" and also taken from the trend of questions, quality in Geocaching?

 

No one is forcing you to be POSITIVE and GENERATIVE (or even to read for accuracy and comprehension) - so you're not. Was this the item which you cared to have discovered from your post? Congratulations! You succeeded admirably! 😁👍👌 Have a Nice Day - and Happy Geocaching to You!

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

Once a cache is published, I'd have thought it should be open to any geocacher to find regardless of their motives

They can still find it and get a smiley. The cache would still be open to any cacher, even basic members if it’s not PMO (which it wasn’t). They may more likely visit the cache at a more leisurely pace (and may actually visit and see the cache) and experience the cache for all its merits, not just as a team smiley point gathering exercise. 

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1) What is a high quality geocache:

It is a cache that meets a few of the following conditions:

  • It is placed in or near an interesting location
  • It has a container that suits local conditions and keeps the inside dry and safe
  • It has a tidy listing page
  • It has an innovative or well themed container and/or masking
  • It can be found without looking into the hint, but the hint, helps to find it.
  • It is well maintained if necessary
  • It has a proper size. I am not against micros, but placing a micro in a location where a regular could be placed as well is not too good.
  • With interesting way to get the final if multi / mystery / letterbox / Wherigo.
  • With an innovative conditions if a challenge (however this factor has been deeply harmed by the recent rules about possible challenge conditions, I liked the old ones much more)

2) What is a low quality geocache:

Well, a cache that does not meet the conditions above: poor container, unmaintained, in a place full of garbage, with a crappy listing etc.

 

3) What the community can do:

  • Try not to place bad geocaches. I own not so many caches because I know I am not a very good hider. If I decide to place one I think twice (or more) - "will it really be fine?"
  • Provide hints for new geocacherers how to hide good caches.
  • Not be ashamed to log DNF / NM / NA.

4) What the HQ can do:

  • Change the name of the "Needs archived" log to "Needs reviewer attention" and add some options there to clarify what's wrong with this cache. I guess that this will make it much more useful. Now people are afraid to use NA, thinking: "Someone should take a look at this cache but that does not mean that this cache should be archived!".
  • Instruct the reviewers not to publish caches that are formally OK, but the listing or additional info provided by the owner strongly suggest bad quality.
  • Do not trust the automatic "cache health" system. ;) It gives too many false alarms and does not catch too many real problems to be reliable.
  • Keep encouraging the players to put high quality caches (like cache of the week, maybe some bonuses for gaining favorite points on the owned caches).

 

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High quality caches to me are those which put a smile on my dial when I find it - it could be an interesting location, it could be an interesting container, it could even be an interesting story - I once found one which was just a preform in a tree but the story in the cache description made it worth a favourite point. I also like a worthwhile hint. Don't use the hint field to inform your finders of something the ought to be in the description field eg keep it covered.  I'd prefer no hint rather than a totally useless hint,

 

Low quality is an interesting question. I am sure the majority of us look back at our first and second hides and cringe. Locations that make you think 'what the!', containers which are unsuitable for the locations, or simple poor or no maintenance. Throwdowns are a definite no-no.

 

But then I see logs from people who are all about the numbers - they don't seem to care if the cache is a mint container in a guard rail or stuck on the back of a toilet wall, its just another smilie.

 

What should the community do, for a start keep an eye on the caches in your own area - perhaps within proximity of where you live or regularly hunt. Check the cache pages of  fellow CO hides particularly if they are newbies. Follow up if there are a string of DNFs - is the cache owner still playing; easy enough to see when they last logged in, when was their last find. Make a judgement call on whether you want to go and check on the cache (assuming you have previously found it), is it worth helping maintain, or place a needs maintenance and if this is not addressed within a reasonable time frame, update to a needs archiving.

 

What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality? I like some of the ideas already posted - being able to rate a cache but be positive " this cache is ok, this cache is good, this cache is excellent" and have an averaged rating. Maybe stick a link under the rating stars to a page on "what makes a great cache".  Change the cache creation page to encourage hiders to describe the location and the container a little better.

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  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

A good container (water-resistant, solid), well hid in a good location.  A good location is somewhere where you can learn something (historical, beautiful, etc).  Cache whould be maintained regularly.

  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

1) a cache that is not maintained, or 2) a cache thrown in a location full of trash.  Also, IMHO, there are entirely to many of the small vials (we call them DNA tubes) shoved in the ground with either a stone, acorn cap or bottle cap glued to the top of the vial.

  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality? AND What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

1) When I submitted a cache in Eastern Tennessee I was required to give all sorts of info including container description, size, exactly how and where it was hidden.  I was also required to submit a plan for maintenance as it was quite a distance from my home.  Instituting a plan like this world-wide might be considered to massive but at least it would make cachers like before submitting substandard hides.

2) Before a cache is published consider another step such as a volunteer to go out and check the hide for proper coords, placement/attachment, and compliance with local/national guidelines.

 

SNAP!!!  

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Why don't you submit a survey to all members via email link and a product like survwey monkey, instead of placing a survey on the forums where you have a small subset of the player on?

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  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

An appropriate, quality container for the location. (Water tight. Ammo can in hot/dry areas, sturdy plastic containers in wet/cold areas) An active CO who is not overwhelmed by the number of caches they own and maintains it. Dry with a not moldly logbook. Anything else is just a bonus and raises the quality and experience further. (A beautiful/interesting location, a good puzzle, a creative container, a challenge to find.)

  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

A poor container for the location and viability. (Pill bottles are not water tight, for example.) An unresponsive CO or one that has left the game. Caches that have been hobbling along for years because people keep "maintaining" them for the sake of having a cache there, but the maintenance is just tossing down a worse container than before. Wet and moldly insides. An inaccurate description, attributes, and D/T.

  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

Log your NMs and NAs if it needs it. Stop placing throwdowns for caches you don't own. It's nice to replace a bag or add a new log (not a ripped out scrap of paper that helps no one) now and then and being kind. Replacing containers that will not be looked after and are last-minute thought quality is helping no one. Please choose better containers. A container that is not water tight isn't going to give anyone a good experience after a while (for your maintenance issues to deal with and cachers who have to find moldy, wet items later.) Stop placing more caches than you can handle, it shows in the quality. Try to actually trade up/even. Maybe try to make slightly better logs than an emoji reply. Even a sentence and a thank you will do! A bit of kindness goes a lot way to encourage our COs to continue placing and maintaining the caches we all love.

  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

When a new cacher joins the game, give them a mini tutorial to show them how the game works. Right now they have to search out the information for themselves and forcing it in their view right off the bat via the app and/or website would at least help some of the issues caused by new cachers who don't understand certain aspects of the game, which causes cache quality to suffer. More specifics on what makes a good container that will not be a quick maintenance problem would be helpful for new COs, as of right now it's very vague. Cache owners who have a certain amount of maintenance issues with their caches should not be allowed to place more until they are fixed (I am not sure how best to implement this with time frames, ratios, etc to consider.) After an account has a certain number of caches that were forced to be archived by a Reviewer, they should not be able to place any more caches as they clearly have no intention of maintaining them. COs who have left the game and not archived their caches should be looked into. (I am not sure how to deal with this issue either, as there are some where their caches are doing just fine and are being actually properly maintained by the community, while others are just being left to rot.) I also think some more volunteers to help out would be lovely. With all the new proactivity, it seems like they could use a little more help.

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  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

Cache that is durable in all weather, environment and is very unique that blends in with the environment that is not in the high muggle area. 

  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

Plastic container covered in camouflage tape and it's broken and wet on the inside. Especially if it's in a lamp skirts in a high muggle area. 

  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

Make sure the person who wants to hide a cache meets the requirement of how long they've been active and how many finds they have.

  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

Add the option to log the trackable on the website without having to rely on the mobile app. 

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  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

Dry, shows a history of owner maintenance, some even a little effort into the container.

  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

No history of owner maintenance after DNS and maintenance suggested logs.  No owner response after a series of complaints about the quality of the cache. Blank unmarked pill bottles!

  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

The Community can stop replacing containers as they find them and perhaps some sort of more aggressive needs maintenance.  So many people are happy to take a smiley even though it day just found a zip tie or a completely waterlogged cache.  I think people are afraid to cause conflict within the community and I can understand that.

  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

If a player who owns caches does not log in for a year I suggest they become archived. Or a different term where they could reactivate them but I know for a fact that whole areas and trails in my neighborhood are blocked by people haven't signed in for 6 years or more!

I think HQ could also help remove old caches with a anonymous archive request people are very afraid to cause conflict community and I can completely understand an anonymous option would get the reviewers attention without putting your name to the General Public for fear of Retribution.

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  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?  Camouflage is maintained.  Log is dry.  No garbage inside.

 

  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?  Peeling camouflage.  Wet log.  Garbage or prohibited materials inside.  Location is lacking any real reason for a cache other than the fact that there isn't another within 528' in any direction.

 

  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?  Post comments to caches or personal messages notifying owner of needs.  Remove garbage or prohibited materials.

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In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

 

A high quality geocache is one that has taken time, is well-thought out, and is maintained regularly by the cache owner. A geocache that gives you information about where the container is hidden, a hint, and what the description of the container. One that's creative, and fun to find and at a unique location. 

 

In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

 

The opposite of what's above. A geocache that clearly didn't take time or effort, not maintained, and doesn't give you any information about where it's hidden or the container. A cache that's not just a pill bottle thrown into a skirt every shopping center. 

 

What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

 

Not spamming their account with hides of guardrails and LPCs, maintaining their caches on a weekly-monthly basis, and archiving caches that are not maintained if missing. 

 

What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

 

Geocaching HQ can review caches that have a hint and information about the cache, and ask the reviewers to frequently look over caches in the area to see if they are maintained and do not publish caches of an owner who has a history of not maintaining their hides and or publishing new, guardrail and LPC hides. Making sure that all coordinate locations are approved via satellite imagery, and remove "throwdown caches." 

 

Thanks for your time in reading my opinion on Geocaching. 

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  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache? very simple Takes me somewhere beautiful/ interesting or surprising or the container is ingenious or has  clever camouflaged 
  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache? throw downs, pointless areas - although a random area with a significant clever container is ok
  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality? articulate logs, although I do get infuriated by down right rude or nasty log write ups - a constructive log goes a lot further
  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality? I have always believed that there needs to be a metric to placing a cache, I placed my first cache after I had done over 1000 caches, too often new cachers "have a go" and due to low experience usually mess up the place or container, then they stop caching and it just sits there getting negative logs, then the a new cacher finds it and thinks thats the way to do it or just gives up because it's in a horrible area or a poor container

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A high quality cache is one that is maintained.

 

A low quality cache is one that is not maintained.

 

The community can help improve geocache quality by reporting problems with a geocache.

 

TPTB can help by taking action against cache owners who don’t maintain their geocaches.

 

Everything else is subjective. 

 

 

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  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?     
  • A HIGH QUALITY geocache for me and my Husband Bill would be, a large container that is perfectly air tight . The geocache could be an Ammo Can, as bucket, or something the owner rigged up like a gadget cache for example. Also "high quality" for us is a cache this is hidden in a nice to visit location, it's dry 24-7, and isn't a magnet or mini magnetic bison on a sign on the corner or anything like that as those hides to us are considered low quality.
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  •  
  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache? Haha I just discussed this up above, a low quality geocache would be something like the "park and grabs" or any cache that is not maintained proper and is moldy wet and nasty and has a full log and no swag except the molded match box and kooshy mini ball that's hard and has a ton of hair n dirt stuck it (ice found countless amount a of caches that run exactly like this smh!) But that's low quality, if someone complains about a cache being of low quality in a log we are reading while thinking about going for a geocache we automatically think, the cache is going to be in a zip block baggy, stuffed under a tree stump, 100 feet away from its original spot,  be moldy as all get out and have no viable swag for the kiddos to take. We slip them if they don't have my valuable history on it. 

 

  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality? There are a few steps our community of cachers can take , the FIRST ONE BEING "MANAGE YOU HIDESTHE WAY HEAD QUARTERS INTENDED YOU TO, when you first hide a cache it asks you of you agree to all the terms and rules one of them being to check on your hide and clean up/out your container. Add or replace logs as needed,  and if someone complains about something come out as soon as they are available and fix their cache up. Also if a cache is in need of a log or something instead of flagging down the owner to bring out some logs or what not, why not just carry some extra logs on you. I know US DIE HARD CACHERS  bring a bag of TOTTs alomg fill with logs or bags for them, small temporary replacements. This would all better geocaching for our community as a whole!!!!!!

 

 

  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality? Do not allow cachers with less then 100 finds of their own, as I have seen geocaches hidden by people who only had one to five funds under their belt so they had absolutely NO EXPERIENCE AT ALL!!!!! 9/10 the geocaches are hidden all types of wrong, from cords being 100s of feet off, containers that are not water proof at all. Heck we even found a cache a person had his near their house, said person only had 2 finds period. So they hid the cache in a storm water man made sewage type system thing I rarely ever see them so I'm not sure the exact name however a few weeks latter z toem.came and washed their cache away however this is not all, we were the 2nd to find with cords being terribly off it was a miracle we even found it just happened to peak under the right metal bar. But the container was an orbit gum box, the log was only a two by two inch square of red paper. And wrapped around the cache via rubber band was a hotwheel car with a sticker on it that said this item is a trakable (misspelled it like that N all.) And in the cache page description they let everyone know that the FTF or anyone who wants it after that shpuld take their Trackables and move it along....... it was not a trakable it was just a toy with a sticker, I eventually spoke to them and worked out their misinformation , they actually thought a trakable was exactly what they made they expected that as the car moved cache to cache somehow e veeyone would know it was his car and that it started at his cache so he wanted future people to log "I have your car TH now" under his cache logs. I know confusing. That is a prime example of why geocachers shpuld have to earn the ability to hide geocaches them selves. This will also take some of the load off our reviewers as they will get less caches they have to archive or deny due to the person's being new and not knowing rules ect.  

Thanks for Geocaching head quarters interest in what we the Geocachers think!!!!!! Hope some changes are made due to this survey you guys have put out!!!

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A great quality cache is a cache well planned, great theme meaning for area and cache. Making the cache fun but not overly difficult. KEEPING IT MAINTAINED ALL THE TIME!!

 

a poorly done cache is not maintained or missing constantly. Not answering messages in regards to that cache. Wet, nasty bug infested caches. Caches that are placed in poison ivy or thorns have become troublesome. 

 

As as a community, we need to report these caches on a consistent basis. Offer help with those interested in placing a cache, regardless of how many finds they have. This is suppose to be fun!!!! Help them to organize their cache. Stop placing negative or criticizing logs. It makes to cache not want to participate. Place more caches with swag everyone like a reward for those really hard to finds. A micro is not nice in the forest.... really? We need more get together son Memphis! Not everyone can travel to get to an event. 

 

HQ, caches need archiving! We need caches that have not been maintained to be archived. Other caches that haven’t been found in a year or more should be checked on with the CO to makes sure it is there and proof it still exists. There are many spots occupied by these caches and aren’t there. I love caching but I get so discouraged when I want to find or place a cache and it’s not there or it’s hasnt been maintained.. just sayin!! 

 

Thanks, 

sageboy01

 

 

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On 18/06/2018 at 6:13 PM, Geocaching HQ said:

In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

Factors which can improve the geocaching experience might be, the listing, the container, the  puzzle, the location.  Even a micro can be fun if it is hidden in a decorative host. 

 

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  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

Things that do not improve the geocaching experience can be flimsy containers, lack of information such as helpful attributes (are we allowed to be there at night? are the dogs allowed?), wet contents, or a questionable location (homeless camp or trash dump). 

 

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  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

We used to have a local lonely cache challenge which encouraged visits to caches which hadn't been visited in a while.  Some of these caches simply got fresh online logs and some were referred to the Reviewer for action. 

 

I don't feel that posting a dnf, needs maintenance, or needs archived is a bad thing.  I see it as helpful.  I didn't used to post dnf's until I saw a Challenge cache which required the finders to have posted one hundred dnf logs.  This encouraged me to be a better geocacher by posting dnf's.  Alas, the cache is archived now that I have many more than a hundred dnf logs.  This sort of Challenge was deemed negative, so Groundspeak is calling the dnf log a bad thing? 

 

Events geared towards introducing geocaching to the community or to building cache containers could be helpful.

 

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  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

 

I cache with a GPS unit and log later from my computer.  Many (all?) of the new ideas encourage only caching with a phone.  Please don't shut us out.  For instance, the related web page option is taken away from me because of phone users.   

 

Could the phone app encourage more useful logs?

 

Do not require every one to have found so many caches to hide one.  But the idea of waiting some days might be beneficial. 

 

Improve the Wherigo builder.  The only reason new WherIGos are being created is because of outside builders.  We have found some really creative and fun WherIGos, but these were only possible because of the outside builders. 

 

The comment I see here a lot, and agree with, is that the next souvenir promotion encourages quantity over quality.  There is still time to change it to be more meaningful.  "Find a hundred caches" really lacks imagination.  Add in favorite points, older caches, cache types, etc in some manner.  You're encouraging lots of boring caches to be found rather than interesting caches that often take more effort.  There is still time to improve this.  Add extra points for attending an intro or building event.  Add points for favorited caches.  Add points for finding older caches.  There is still time to make this souvenir promotion emphasize quality finds. 

 

I don't know what the cache health score is and don't know what score my caches have earned.  Would I know this if it were bad?  If I haven't been told my caches' scores are bad are they good?

 

Award another round of Virtual rewards each year.  And let us know the reason why each was awarded.  I really like another suggestion above to allow historical Virtual caches.  Surely this could highlight some interesting places in National Parks.

 

Allow a certain number of new web-cams in each state/province/area.  No, we wouldn't want one on every corner.  But we want some. 

 

I like the favorite points and we often seek out caches that have been awarded favorite points. 

 

Edited by r.e.s.t.seekers
  • Upvote 1

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  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

A High quality geocache gives you a unique experience in the nature. Most are EC. Alos ordinary geocaches with dry logs and plenty of SWAG.

  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

A low quality geocache just adds a number to the statistics, like power trails. Or a normal cache with no maintenance.

  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

Selvf critisism. And a voting mechanism that allows you to expand the amount of geocaches you make. The more votes you get  the more caches you are allowed to place.

  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

The voting mechanism of above, and a need maitentance list. for a geocacher with many geocaches,  it is not possible to overlook the ones needing maintenance.

 

Best regards

Peter / pli / Denmark

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  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

This depends on what I'm looking for in a cache.  Some days I'm looking for a simple break from the day where I don't have much time, and a PnG is perfect for me in that situation.  Then there times where I'm looking for a deep woods adventure, wanting to be taken to breath taking landscapes and city lines.  While other times I want to be challenged with a clever puzzle. A quality geocache does one of more of those requirements.

  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

This is realitive I think to the experience to the cacher.  I remember my first LPC and I was mind blown, now years and thousand of find and miles later I'm not as mind blown.  There should be a standard which is already set.  Clean, safe, maintained and well written.

  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

Honestly this is kinda a double edge sword of a question.  I think in order to have quality caches, we need to have quality logs, in order to have quality logs we need to have quality caches.  The community needs to understand that there are two sides of this community. 

 

Finders and Hiders

We all are finders first and I can tell you that when I first found caches my logs weren't the best, it wasn't untill I found a couple hundred (and started to feel guilty for not giving back to a hobbies I feel in love with) I started hiding my own.  I put a ton of work, thought and time into my first power trail. It was also by the grace and paitence of quality reviewers that kept me from making a ton of rookie mistakes.  But to my point, it wasn't untill I seen my hard work, efforts and time rewarded with just a "TFTC" log or even worse just an emoji and how disappointed I was that made me  go back and rewrite all my logs that were lacking. 

 

Those people that took the time to share their adventures (good or bad) with quality logs encouraged me to make better quality geocaches.  I grew hungry for the praise and criticism that we're presented in a positive fashion.

 

The community needs to give more love to the hideers, both in their logs and ability to inform the CO of any issues a hide might have.  The tools are there, people just need to use them.  COs also must keep that commitment of maintenance.  I will be the first to admit I am far from perfect, but there have been plenty of geocaches I found that where noting more than a ziplock bag with a cloths pin hanging in a tree.  Or 4 containers at GZ  because geocachers didn't want to log a dnf and assumed the the lvl 5/5 caches was missing.

 

Another tip for quality caches is making and attending events.  Get to know your local community of geocachers and you become family, the area I live was dead, being one of the handfuls of geocachers to help rejuvenate the hobby I can not stress how important events are, when you become friends with both Hiders and finders you start bouncing off ideas and those ideas become quality.

  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality

While there are plenty of good ideas this can be tricky because you can't force people to write quality logs, nor can you force a person to check maintenance on their cache immediately after a needs maintenance request is submitted.  Really education is the best way to improve both sides of these problems.  

 

Favorite points are a good idea, and logs should be a review but they don't work if people don't use them.  Perhaps a 5 Star system that is easy to use may help elivate quality, but unlike the favorite point system, the star system is required.  Perhaps make an online required course to become "certified" hider, and have a minimum character requirement in logs before the find is completed.

 

Thank you for giving me voice in this as well as taking the time to read my thoughts!

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  • In your mind, what is a high quality geocache?

In my mind, a high quality geocache is one that has either: i) a good location or physical journey; ii) an interesting container; or iii) an excellent puzzle, challenge, or writeup describing, for example, local history.  

 

If a cache exceeds at any one of these three traits I will likely give it a favourite and call it a very high quality cache. For example, a matchstick container on a mountain summit would probably get a favourite for the location. A brilliant hide or unique container in the middle of the city would also likely get a favourite from me. A micro on a bench would even be likely to get a favourite from me if the puzzle or method used to get the coordinates was excellent.  A cache that somewhat fulfills one of the three traits could still be a quality hide. 

 

To be a quality cache it should be reasonably-well maintained too.  But I'm less likely to care about maintenance the more remote the cache is, as I understand it can be difficult to keep backcountry caches at 100% all the time.  I have a higher expectation that urban caches be well maintained.

 

I like to think that most all of my hides are high quality hides as per my definitions.  I invest a lot of time choosing good containers, finding great locations and writing detailed descriptions.

 

  • In your mind, what is a low quality geocache?

In my opinion, a low quality cache is one that is placed with little or no forethought. A poor location, uninteresting container, etc. Power trail caches usually fall under this umbrella. The less time that was spent by the owner during the hiding process (including the journey to the cache site), the less likely I am to call it a high quality cache. 

 

  • What steps can the community take to improve geocache quality?

A lot of geocachers in my local community seem to geocache just to increase their find count. I've heard many people say they'd rather find 10 power trail caches than spend the same amount of time on one really excellent multi, just because the 10 caches are worth more finds. That's just wrong. The community needs to re-think what is really important about geocaching. I gave up caring about my find count a long time ago and have lately been pursuing caches that have quality over quantity, and I must say it's a way more rewarding way to geocache. If the community as a whole were to accept a geocaching mantra of quality over quantity, overall geocache quality would probably increase. 

 

  • What steps can Geocaching HQ take to improve geocache quality?

I think HQ needs to take the focus of geocaching away from a find count mentality with a high quantity of low quality hides and move it to a more quality mentality. Even the newest summer promotion requires a large quantity of finds (100 for all souvenirs) with no preference towards any sort of quality hide.  Not to say quantity can't be good - a high quantity of high quality caches is great!

 

Perhaps HQ could further incentivize quality hides by giving quality hiders a special badge or tag or recognition. Gifting the virtual rewards was a good idea, but it doesn't necessarily promote quality hides in the long run (especially for those who did not receive one).  Perhaps a more proactive approach would be to say, "if you reach X quality hides, you will be rewarded with X".  That very easily could be the incentive hiders need to push themselves to hide quality caches!

Edited by brendan714
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