Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2
ecanderson

Fast and Loose With Contact Guidelines

Recommended Posts

Over the years I have noted that in areas south of the U.S. border, including the islands of the Caribbean, reviewers play pretty fast and loose with cache approvals that do not conform to the guidelines.  Queries to the reviewers by email never produce any kind of response.  These are often what we call 'vacation caches' that are left in the care of a business owner, and require entering the business and making contact with the business owner in order to find the cache and sign the log.  Why does this continue to occur?

 

In particular, the following are not permitted, and yet I find many caches that require these kinds of interactions:

 

No contact required

  • Caches cannot require geocachers to contact the cache owner or anyone else.

 

Suggests or requires the finder do any of the following

  • Go inside a business
  • Interact with employees
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post

Maybe those caches were placed years ago.

Maybe the rules were different when the cache was placed.

Maybe the placements were different when the cache was placed.

Maybe there wouldn't be "any" caches in those areas if the rules weren't bent a little.

Maybe cachers in cache-dense areas should consider that some areas of the world might need some accommodations to get geocaching into the area, with the goal being that locals in that area participate and grow the game.

 

Just did a quick search of all caches within a 30 mile radius of Mexico City.  With a population of almost 9 million people, there are 253 caches.  How interested would someone in that city be if there were only 253 caches around?  Even at a reasonable pace, they'd run out of caches to find in a year.  Compare that with a 30 mile radius around one of your first hides, where there are 5,863 caches around.

Share this post


Link to post

Maybe none of the above.  These are both old and VERY recent placements, and the 'issues' have existed since original publication.

 

If I understand what you are suggesting, it is better to have caches that do not conform to the guidelines rather than having less caches available?  My own opinion is that if the locals aren't interested in supporting the hobby, keeping caches available for tourists trying to fill up their maps isn't justification for the manner in which some of these are being placed.

 

Share this post


Link to post

I have no idea what GS or the reviewers think about, but I can't help but imagine that there are some areas where if they didn't allow caches that skirted some of the requirements, there's be no caches at all. If that's what's going on, I can't blame them for ignoring some of the rules once in a while. In particular, in some places, a cache not protected by a business might not last very long.

 

Calling it "trying to fill up their maps" isn't really fair. Geocaching is a hobby, and people enjoy adding their hobby to their vacations. There's no need to belittle that by asserting that they don't enjoy it on vacation for the same reasons we all enjoy it every day and only want to look for caches on vacation because of some mindless numbers grubbing. (Is that why you're looking for these same caches?) While I generally understand the negatives of, say, business caches, are the negatives really so large that you don't want the caches available for you to seek at all?

 

Historically, business caches have been upfront about the requirement to interact with the business, so I've never had much trouble when I'm traveling understanding that a cache had that requirement and skipping it if I didn't want to interact with anyone. But with the rules having changed, particularly if people complain, you're likely to run into more caches that do require interaction because there's no other way to have a cache in that area, yet don't talk about it because it wouldn't get through review. I'm not sure that's better.

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not "suggesting" that. Some people may believe that and others may not.  And the point of my last bullet was that accommodations might be considered to get geocaching started in an area. If there are enough (who knows what number constitutes "enough"?), then stricter adherence to the guidelines might be practiced.

 

It does seem a bit of a catch-22 when you say "if the locals aren't interested in supporting the hobby" - apparently, some locals are supporting the hobby if they are allowing caches on their property and will present the cache container to people that ask for it. And those caches may introduce locals to the hobby, which might then get them interested to develop a local caching community.

 

I don't know the situation of the specific caches you're referring to, but if there are ongoing issues, then I'd suggest discussing it with the Reviewer that's local to that area. They are really the best resource for understanding why a specific cache was allowed.

Share this post


Link to post

Could be that the situation changed after Publication.  The surrogate left to look after the cache (the business owner in your example), might have found that looking after a cache was more work than expected, and brought it inside their business for "safe keeping", not realizing this was in violation of the Guidelines.

 

As previous answers have demonstrated, the speculation on the "why?" could be pretty endless without actually looking at your "many" examples.

Edited by Touchstone

Share this post


Link to post

Being a lisboner, I currently live in the Amazon since 2011.

My "starting point" was a medium size european country with around 30 000 caches, but when I moved to Brazil, a continental size country, there were less than 1000.

In Manaus there were none... and the only one then available in the entire state of Amazonas, was 130km north.

As soon I got to know all the interesting spots, naturally I started to hide my own caches with that famous phrase from Field of Dreams in mind... "Build it and they will come!"


All above is to explain that I have a good deal of knowledge about the subject of having active geocaching in faraway places... or places without active geocachers.


Apart from a tiny local community I managed to grown, the majority of geocachers come to the city on board the cruise ships or by plane. Some also have the desire to place caches of their own... mostly Events.


Please bear with me for a while more.

If I travel afar and create an Event in a geocaching-virgin area, I will have an opportunity to present the game to other people during a very small amount of time... I will increase my ranking with one new smile... and that's all.

With a physical cache, providing a maintenance plan, the joy can be spread to other travelers or locals that may get to know the game later in time.

Being also a volunteer I try to think firstly if any new cache placed around abides with the local laws... which can be tricky in a region with some native lands.

When I bump into any cache that raises me concerns, I simply report it to the reviewers or HQ.

 

I would suggest the PO to do the same, case by case.

Edited by RuideAlmeida
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post

@Touchstone:

No, and again, that is not the case.  These caches are published with descriptions that fall outside of contact guidelines, some quite recently.  Reviewers do not respond to queries about these caches.  Those whose conditions have changed since publication can also be asked about, but there is silence on these as well in these regions of the world.

 

"... without actually looking at your "many" examples"  Would you like me to begin posting examples?  I was trying not to point fingers at particular reviewers and so avoided doing so by not posting specifics other than general geographic regions.  That said, anyone who has cached in Mexico, Central America, South America or the islands will know exactly what I reference.  It is not at all uncommon. 

 

@RuideAlmeida:

It sounds like you have been very successful with your placements in 'virgin' territory.  Your efforts are no doubt appreciated by many finders.  Good job!

I also like your idea of presenting the game through events.

As noted, reviewers have not replied.  But surely HQ already knows that such caches exist?

 

@noncentric

Queries to reviewers do not result in replies.  Were it not for that, I would not have brought up the subject in a larger forum.

 

@dprovan

" While I generally understand the negatives of, say, business caches, are the negatives really so large that you don't want the caches available for you to seek at all?"  One would first need to understand why the no-contact guidelines were created, I suppose.  Avoiding their application in order to have cache placements where tourists are the target audience and  the local population does not support them on its own seems to be justification for some reviewers and some here as well.

 

" In particular, in some places, a cache not protected by a business might not last very long."   I've found caches in some of the dodgiest areas imaginable in my own country and elsewhere, and not had to interact with local business owners.  I've cached in some of the MOST public places (world-famous landmarks that are always teeming with muggles) and many well designed and well placed caches survive for years. 

 

@all

In areas where the local population has at least some interest and is placing caches of their own, 'vacation' caches that require contact seem unnecessary.  'Pure' 'vacation' caches have always been discouraged by most reviewers.  Where cache management can be successfully left in hands of a local, that is and has been accepted both by reviewers and the guidelines, but there are many ways of accomplishing this that do not require entering into a business and interacting with staff. 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, ecanderson said:

In areas where the local population has at least some interest and is placing caches of their own, 'vacation' caches that require contact seem unnecessary.  'Pure' 'vacation' caches have always been discouraged by most reviewers.  Where cache management can be successfully left in hands of a local, that is and has been accepted both by reviewers and the guidelines, but there are many ways of accomplishing this that do not require entering into a business and interacting with staff. 

To summarize my thinking, the guidelines are written with the assumption that the geocaches will be placed one way or the other, so it's just a matter of helping -- requiring -- COs to make better choices. When I encounter a cache of the type you're talking about, I often feel like it's unlikely a cache would be placed there at all if the guidelines had to be strictly followed. So when I run into them, I'm happy they're there and don't mind dealing with whatever problems the guidelines are trying to prevent.

 

My attitude towards these issues in general is that way: while I understand why the guidelines prohibit certain things, and I support them in that attempt, for the most part, those things don't bother me personally. So, for example, I understand why GS has a rule that insures a cache can be found without interacting with a business, but whenever I find a cache that requires going into a business, allowed because it was published before the restriction, I enjoy the additional element of dealing with someone and talking to them about what it's like to support the geocache. I sometimes wish there could be more of them...although not too many more, so that's why I accept the restriction even though I like the caches.

Share this post


Link to post
27 minutes ago, ecanderson said:

Would you like me to begin posting examples?

Yes.  How else do you expect things to improve.  I've seldom found that talking about it in the Forum results in any action, without some concrete examples.

Edited by Touchstone

Share this post


Link to post

@dprovan

" because it was published before the restriction "

That must have been a long time back.  I wonder when this guideline item came into being?  On my own very first geocache, the reviewer pointed me to the 'commercial' section only because I had mentioned the designer (Trent Jones III) of the public golf course adjacent to which the cache was placed.  That was back in 2008.

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

Yes.

Is the moderator OK with this?  Just asking...

Share this post


Link to post
Just now, ecanderson said:

Is the moderator OK with this?  Just asking...

If they aren't, they'll let you know.

Share this post


Link to post

I guess we can try it this way.  A few redactions will occur, though I suspect a Google search will bring them all to light in any case.  Here are two very typical examples:

 

" This cache is placed in honor of one of my favorite places in [redacted]. It’s a little language school with a big heart! I’ve studied Spanish here for the past few summers, a couple of weeks at a time. Although I live in [redacted, city in USA], the owner of the school has agreed to maintain the cache. Hopefully you’ll get to meet her—ask for Anne. Maybe you’ll be inspired to take a class or two as well!  To claim the cache, you’ll need to go inside the school and ask for it, so it’s best to visit between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm on weekdays."

 

Resolving that 'inspiration' isn't free.  The establishment charges for lessons.  So now we have solicitation added to the overall issue.

 

Here's an example of a cache that not only requires interaction, but has evidently been moved and is no longer at the posted coordinates.  Business was moved and cache was taken by business owner to the new location.  It's all a bit confusing.   In this case, the reviewer posted a note that he had requested updated coordinate from the owner ... on 12/20/2016.  Again, no comment from email to reviewer. 

 

"This cache is NOT AT THE ABOVE COORDS BUT NOW HIDDEN on [redacted] Street between [redacted] and [redacted] Avenue close to the weird looking tree growing out of the sidewalk. From there walk a short distance to the white wooden patio railing that looks like "X's" with a Canadian flag hanging above. You can see the flag from that tree looking towards 15th Avenue. Daniel, the proprietor of this Canadian sports bar with that patio, moved the cache when he relocated his business.

 

There is a red plastic Canadian Drink Mug with the logbook and a container for the TBs. Note: If you have found [redacted] already, when walking towards this cache you will see the Canadian Sports Bar before you get to the posted coordinates. Ask a server or bartender for the cache. Will update coords soon as I find them."
 

Yes, I have many more examples than just those two.  They just happen to be two that I ran across this last week in preparation for another trip.

 

 

 

And for a different non-contact twist on a vacation cache, we have a vacation cache that was left in the hands of a local who evidently tried his best to maintain it, but it  kept disappearing.  So although the cache is listed as a traditional, the owner self-declared it a virtual back in 2014, after which a "Needs Archived" log was posted but ignored.

 

"DISCLAIMER" This cache site is virtual. The pine tree here has gone through many changes, by hurricanes, and tropical storms. This area represents an area that has yet to become saturated with resorts. One day this tree will be gone. This cache is dedicated to the documentation of the life of this one tree. Its intention is to remind beach goers of the diversity and change of the coastline. Go on past the pine tree to the rocks at the end. Please have fun, and try not to spoil the fun for others. This pine tree is on the coastline, just South of [redacted]. approx. 200 ft from the water. It is up on higher ground. Your goal is to locate the pine tree, then photograph yourself by the palm tree with the pine tree in the background. Post the photo in your log. This photo that you post may seem insignificant at the time, but it means a bunch for Becky and I. Thanks! This cache was a dedication to my new wife Becky. We originally placed a physical cache here together as a dedication to the diversity found here.[redacted] has replaced the cache a few times. Thanks [redacted], but it just seems to keep going missing, or gets left in disorder.

 

 

 

 

  • Surprised 1
  • Helpful 2

Share this post


Link to post

Your first example at the school, sounds a bit non profit to me, which is not to say they don't charge for their instruction.  Without further information, my inclination is to say no big deal.  I've heard of similar ones in Park gift shops and the like, and I've found one on the East Coast in an NPS Visitor Center that was approved by HQ.  My mind could be swayed on the issue if the cache were only available on a very limited basis...say one day out of seven, or something like that.

 

Your second one clearly needs an NA if the coordinates are not updated in a timely manner, and it sounds from your description that it has been this way for quite some time.

 

Likewise with your third one, an NA sounds appropriate.   We do have one Multi cache/Virtual in my area that predates the Virtual cache type introduction to the pantheon of cache types.   That one has been tolerated for many, many years, and at this point, the only one's that can change the cache type would be HQ, which sounds a bit pointless to me (plus it would change the stats of all the Finders on the Listing page, which is frowned upon).

 

So in my estimation, your first example sounds similar to non profit locations that I've found or heard about, and been allowed on a limited basis, and your other two appear to need action.  If a Reviewer is not proactive in answering the NA logs (say in 30 days or so), then escalating to HQ would be my second choice.

  • Upvote 2
  • Helpful 3

Share this post


Link to post

No, it is not a non-profit operation.  My comment that "...that 'inspiration' isn't free" should have been clear enough.  They post their fees online.

 

Edited by ecanderson
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, ecanderson said:

No, it is not a non-profit operation.  My comment that "...that 'inspiration' isn't free" should have been clear enough.  They post their fees online.

 

I work for a non profit organization that provides a service and we post our fees as well.  Do you understand the meaning of "non profit"?

  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post

I’m curious why this is of concern to the OP who does not appear to live in the area being discussed.  If that is the case what obligation does the reviewer have to respond to someone in a different area who is challenging the reviewer’s decisions?

 

We know things are not consistent among various areas and reviewers.  So what?  Seems to me someone is trying to roil things up for no good reason. 

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, GeoTrekker26 said:

I’m curious why this is of concern to the OP who does not appear to live in the area being discussed.

 

I don't think that it would make any difference whatever the reason to ask is. More interesting would be to hear the reason why simple vacation caches are not allowed. I do not believe that maintenance problems are the real issue.

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, arisoft said:

More interesting would be to hear the reason why simple vacation caches are not allowed. I do not believe that maintenance problems are the real issue.

 

It is very well explained in this Help Center article: 5.5. Can I hide a cache while on vacation?

(and in negative examples posted above, which need to be addressed I believe)

Edited by Rikitan
linked
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

I don't think that it would make any difference whatever the reason to ask is. More interesting would be to hear the reason why simple vacation caches are not allowed. I do not believe that maintenance problems are the real issue.

I can assure you that mainrenance is a big problem with vacation caches. I have finds in several Central American countries and have found the situation pretty much as the OP described. However, I don't believe the situation is due to Reviewers turning a 'blind eye' to the problem.  Many, the majotirty, of those I found were vacactions caches and, almost without exception, they were in poor condition with maintenance issues, and, generations of throwdowns. Perusal of the cache descriptions mostly mention the existance of a local willing to perform maintenance but it never happens. They are mostly older placements (many Canadion COs for some reason).

The exception are caches actually in business premises, usual a small cafe or bar, and were in the best condition of any we had found. These caches usually had large containers and plenty of TBs to take or exchange. The coordinates are usually a spot in front of the premises. I have found one of those in the OPs examples, the weird tree one.

Unless a finder raises a compliance issue, reviewers would be none the wiser. There was one cache that I found that was in a small library that was also a coffee shop, a nice spot to relax and chill out. Word must have gotten back to a reviewer as it was archived not long after we found it.

The CO could have saved it but did not respond to a Reviewer request (I'm guessing a PM to CO here) to move it.

GC50D9D


 

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, Touchstone said:

I work for a non profit organization that provides a service and we post our fees as well.  Do you understand the meaning of "non profit"?

Yes.  Was just noting that I'd seen how much the 'inspiration' would cost.

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, GeoTrekker26 said:

I’m curious why this is of concern to the OP who does not appear to live in the area being discussed.

Because I cache in such places, and there seems to be a real difference in how things are managed vs. the guidelines in different areas of the world, most especially those with a large number of these 'vacation caches' that require direct interaction with a business staff.  And yes, I've seen variations in different areas, but nothing quite so different as what I find in the areas I mention.  I doubt that any of us in North America would even consider trying to get a cache published that recommended going into the bar and asking the bartender for the container, much less suggesting that it would be a nice stop for a cold one.  Understanding how absurd it would be to try to get something like that past a NAM reviewer explains my ongoing surprise at how easy it seems to be in other areas.

Edited by ecanderson
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post

This one is classic as regards its commercial message.  Excerpts:

 

 

Best time to make the grab is when security is resting. Please stop in during business hours to enjoy a libation or two. The difficulty rating is due to the amount of muggle activity and security patrolling you may find during the business hours...

...October 2013 we coordinated with the manager of the establishment and the security folks and they support the "GPS Game".

The gift shop located near by sells a shirt with partial coordinates on the front - pretty cool...
 
  • Upvote 1
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, ecanderson said:

I guess we can try it this way.  A few redactions will occur, though I suspect a Google search will bring them all to light in any case.  Here are two very typical examples:

 

For some reason, the thing that bothers me the most about these caches is that cachers are logging "Found It" even though they admit that they didn't 'find' the cache because the business was closed when they visited. Examples of logs that fit in the "found it = didn't find it" thread.

Share this post


Link to post

I long ago quit concerning myself with how others play the game, and one gets whatever caching reputation one earns.   It's also not something that reviewers or GSHQ could possibly manage, even if some players wanted them to.  Improper cache placements, OTOH...

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
10 hours ago, ecanderson said:

@dprovan

" because it was published before the restriction "

That must have been a long time back.  I wonder when this guideline item came into being?  On my own very first geocache, the reviewer pointed me to the 'commercial' section only because I had mentioned the designer (Trent Jones III) of the public golf course adjacent to which the cache was placed.  That was back in 2008.

I imagine it was a long time ago. I'm not sure why it matters. But notice that this is different than the commercial restriction. It's one thing to say "Just go inside and the friendly person behind the desk will give you the cache," and "Jimmy Bob's sells the best hamburger in town, so go in and buy one and they'll let you sign the log." The ones I've done were very oblique about what the business was, so until I got to GZ, I could only guess what I'd find.

 

I don't know which came first, though. My impression is that the commercial restriction was there from the beginning, and it was only later, when they started forbidding ALRs, that the part about not forcing someone to deal with an employee was added. I only started in 2010, and I think both restrictions were already in place by then.

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, Rikitan said:
10 hours ago, arisoft said:

More interesting would be to hear the reason why simple vacation caches are not allowed. I do not believe that maintenance problems are the real issue.

 

It is very well explained in this Help Center article: 5.5. Can I hide a cache while on vacation?

(and in negative examples posted above, which need to be addressed I believe) 

 

The help center article is based on the old assumption that caches are made to last forever. But we both know that this is not true anymore. Brand new geocaches with very good maintenance plan have been archived just in few days after publication because the cache was missing. What makes vacation caches any different?

Share this post


Link to post
54 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

The help center article is based on the old assumption that caches are made to last forever. But we both know that this is not true anymore. Brand new geocaches with very good maintenance plan have been archived just in few days after publication because the cache was missing. What makes vacation caches any different?

 

Nobody goes out to check if it's missing. Then it's turned into a photolog cache, or people dump more plastic/paper to keep it alive. Or just log a found while not even having found anything. Basically, the caching experience turns into a cheating experience. If there's a higher number of those in an area then the whole caching experience just leaves a very bitter taste in my opinion. I've seen this often enough, really.

 

Last example was a guy who thought it might be a good idea to put a cache mailbox next to a mailbox of a private property and business (mother of a friend). At a certain time the business owner was so fed up with people digging through her mail to find the cache that she removed the cache but didn't know what to do next. People kept on coming, logged found for something that wasn't there anymore. I posted a NA on her behalf. Cue angry CO *sigh*

Edited by terratin
  • Upvote 5
  • Love 2

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, arisoft said:

The help center article is based on the old assumption that caches are made to last forever. But we both know that this is not true anymore. Brand new geocaches with very good maintenance plan have been archived just in few days after publication because the cache was missing. What makes vacation caches any different?

 

Where do you see such assumption? 

There is only simple assumption - responsibility of cache owner to visit his cache, check logs & do the maintenance when needed. It's essential. If you can't maintain it, don't place it. 

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, terratin said:

Nobody goes out to check if it's missing. Then it's turned into a photolog cache, or people dump more plastic/paper to keep it alive. Or just log a found while not even having found anything. Basically, the caching experience turns into a cheating experience. If there's a higher number of those in an area then the whole caching experience just leaves a very bitter taste in my opinion. I've seen this often enough, really.

 

 

How this demonstrates that a non vacation cache is maintained any better than a vacation cache? You surely know some caches nearby you that are not maintained any better.

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, Rikitan said:

Where do you see such assumption? 

There is only simple assumption - responsibility of cache owner to visit his cache, check logs & do the maintenance when needed. It's essential. If you can't maintain it, don't place it. 

 

Can you explain why this is so essential any more? When the hobby was new, it was important to make long living caches, but today, the suggested practice is to archive caches quite soon to make space for new caches. When the most frequent "maintenance plan" seems to be archiving at these days, why this "maintenance plan" can not be used at vacation caches?

 

Share this post


Link to post
3 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

Can you explain why this is so essential any more? When the hobby was new, it was important to make long living caches, but today, the suggested practice is to archive caches quite soon to make space for new caches. When the most frequent "maintenance plan" seems to be archiving at these days, why this "maintenance plan" can not be used at vacation caches?

 

 

It was essential in 2005 when I started and it is still essential - nothing has changed on this principle as far as I see in official guidelines & caching etiquette.
Quote: "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."

 

It does not support practice you hinted above. Owners here are still hiding for long and maintaining, in respect with game principles.

Repeating pattern of archiving caches instead of maintenance is not acceptable "maintenance plan". I would address it, if it would be prevalent in my area.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
29 minutes ago, Rikitan said:

It was essential in 2005 when I started and it is still essential - nothing has changed on this principle as far as I see in official guidelines & caching etiquette.
Quote: "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."

 

I am not trying to find that old guideline, but instead, asking reason why this is important today. Guidelines can be changed without prior notification at any time. You can not justify that something is essential just because there is a guideline. It is circular reasoning. There must be some logical reason for that guideline and I think that the reason is outdated or at least not respected any more. Same problems what happened with old vacation caches seems to happen now with non vacation caches. For me the situation seems to be more or less hypocritical.

Edited by arisoft

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, arisoft said:

Same problems what happened with old vacation caches seems to happen now with non vacation caches. For me the situation seems to be more or less hypocritical.

I don't agree with all the points you make along the way, but I do agree with the conclusion. When numbers trails like the ET Highway trail are allowed, it does seem hypocritical to prohibit vacation caches that would rely the same maintenance plan.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, arisoft said:

I am not trying to find that old guideline, but instead, asking reason why this is important today. Guidelines can be changed without prior notification at any time. You can not justify that something is essential just because there is a guideline. It is circular reasoning. There must be some logical reason for that guideline and I think that the reason is outdated or at least not respected any more. Same problems what happened with old vacation caches seems to happen now with non vacation caches. For me the situation seems to be more or less hypocritical.

The guideline forbids a hide when there is no intention of maintaining the cache. The fact that some other caches are not maintained is completely irrelevant. It's not hypocrisy, it's just that vacation caches can be identified as caches that won't be maintained and are often placed by people not really thinking seriously about how long the container can last without maintenance. I'm not sure which you think has changed, but I see no trend towards being more lax about unmaintained caches near home today -- quite the contrary, in fact -- nor do I see any trend that makes me think vacation caches will be any better now than they were when they were first outlawed. I'm generally anarchistic towards the guidelines, so I'd have no problem if this guideline was missing, but at the same time, I recognize that there's a logic behind it that's still valid, it's not just arbitrary hypocrisy that hasn't been reconsidered in the modern era.

 

23 minutes ago, niraD said:

I don't agree with all the points you make along the way, but I do agree with the conclusion. When numbers trails like the ET Highway trail are allowed, it does seem hypocritical to prohibit vacation caches that would rely the same maintenance plan.

I think power trails are a completely different issue. They are allowed because no one expects them to be maintained, and no one that expects every cache to be there is going to be interested in them. Vacation caches are planted in places where all kinds of geocachers will want to geocache, and, if anything, the disappointment of a missing or bad cache is more likely that normal. So it makes perfect sense to hold vacation caches to the higher standard of other normal caches. The argument for or against power trails with loose maintenance plans is a completely different issue with different considerations.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
6 minutes ago, dprovan said:

The guideline forbids a hide when there is no intention of maintaining the cache.

 

6 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I think power trails are a completely different issue. They are allowed because no one expects them to be maintained

 

:blink:

Share this post


Link to post
16 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

 

:blink:

I believe that dprovan was trying to point out/illustrate the tiered system of maintenance expectations that is applied to the cache review process.  I believe the visual guide provided to the Reviewing Community looks something like this...

image.png.3f7a330ec0f518927a3932d5c139a2b8.png

Share this post


Link to post
15 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

I believe that dprovan was trying to point out/illustrate the tiered system of maintenance expectations that is applied to the cache review process.

 

I don't think that you can explain the process any better than dprovan just made. 

 

All caches are equal, but some caches are more equal than others.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
20 hours ago, GeoTrekker26 said:

I’m curious why this is of concern to the OP who does not appear to live in the area being discussed.  If that is the case what obligation does the reviewer have to respond to someone in a different area who is challenging the reviewer’s decisions?

 

We know things are not consistent among various areas and reviewers.  So what?  Seems to me someone is trying to roil things up for no good reason. 

 

This. The cache gestapo must stop.

Share this post


Link to post
13 hours ago, ecanderson said:

I long ago quit concerning myself with how others play the game, and one gets whatever caching reputation one earns.  

 

 

Yet here we are...

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

I am not trying to find that old guideline, but instead, asking reason why this is important today. Guidelines can be changed without prior notification at any time. You can not justify that something is essential just because there is a guideline. It is circular reasoning. There must be some logical reason for that guideline and I think that the reason is outdated or at least not respected any more. Same problems what happened with old vacation caches seems to happen now with non vacation caches. For me the situation seems to be more or less hypocritical.

 

Short answer - quality of caches is the reason, quality of the game. At least for me.

 

Longer answer:

 

The fact that maintenance is not respected somewhere and by someone does not make guideline obsolete.

 

Maintenance expectations are in guidelines, because responsible owners and maintained caches are good for the game in long run. Once you'll drop this principle, or do not follow regionally, overall quality of the caches & the game itself goes down. I travel a lot and experienced both - locations where caches are maintained & other locations, where issues are not addressed properly. Geocaching feels very different at one place vs. the other.

 

Vacation caches (those with no or fake maintenance plan) have one additional specific - their owners typically does not react at all. If they would archive it once it goes missing - fair play. I don't see this often. Usually they are keeping listings of their missing caches active - ignoring logs, or hoping / asking for community maintenance. Meanwhile, travelling cachers rarely log DNF, because find in exotic country is more precious than at home, where they can return & fix the DNF. 

 

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post

Seems we've wandered off into the broader area of vacation caches, which is a subject in itself.

 

When I said the following

 

" I doubt that any of us in North America would even consider trying to get a cache published that recommended going into the bar and asking the bartender for the container, much less suggesting that it would be a nice stop for a cold one.  Understanding how absurd it would be to try to get something like that past a NAM reviewer explains my ongoing surprise at how easy it seems to be in other areas."

 

and mentioned vacation caches, it was not to focus on vacation caches per se, which have their own issues that can sometimes successfully be dealt with at a local level.  Rather, the whole issue of contact with business owners and staff was my original focus  ... noting at the same time that these have often turned out to be 'vacation caches' as well.

 

  • Upvote 3
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post

The vacation caches served as a good example. In my experience, "south of the border", caches where the description mentioned entering a bar or other business establishment, I believe, would not have been published. I suspect the descriptions have been altered after publication. I don't see any double standard or blind eyes being turned on the part of reviewers. It would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for any reviewer to monitor cache descriptions for post publication alterations.

There is a cache in my area that required entering a licenced premises and there was no  way of accessing the cache without interacting with staff. I NA'd it but the CO (falsely) claimed the cache could be accessed without entering the premises. The Reviewer accepted the COs word that it could be accessed so I let it drop. It's now on my ignore list.

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, arisoft said:

I don't think that you can explain the process any better than dprovan just made. 

 

All caches are equal, but some caches are more equal than others.

Come on, don't be dense. "EarthCaches don't have to have containers but other caches do! What hypocrisy!"

 

Anyway, if power trails are bothering you, then for purposes of this discussion, I happily stipulate that all power trails are stupid and should be banned. With that settled and the hypocrisy metaphysically erased, now can we go back to talking about vacation caches and whether they should have strict maintenance plan requirements?

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, colleda said:

The vacation caches served as a good example. In my experience, "south of the border", caches where the description mentioned entering a bar or other business establishment, I believe, would not have been published. I suspect the descriptions have been altered after publication.

Continue to argue this if you want, but one already quoted was published in exactly the state as quoted, something I can assure as I have been 'watching' caches in its area on a consistent basis since my plans to visit the area were firmed up.  Its publication occurred after my period of observation had already begun.

 

Share this post


Link to post
55 minutes ago, ecanderson said:

Continue to argue this if you want, but one already quoted was published in exactly the state as quoted, something I can assure as I have been 'watching' caches in its area on a consistent basis since my plans to visit the area were firmed up.  Its publication occurred after my period of observation had already begun.

 

Was not arguing anything, simply, relating what I experienced at the time three years ago and my own observations and conclusions.

Share this post


Link to post

The point had already been made earlier by other posters, hence the 'continue'.  I think we may not have used the same of the two senses of verb  'argue'.  Mine was synonymous with 'present reasons'', yours perhaps 'disagree or contend'.  In the former sense, we are all providing arguments for various positions as we post.  Sorry if that was unclear.

 

 

Edited by ecanderson

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, ecanderson said:

The point had already been made earlier by other posters, hence the 'continue'.  I think we may not have used the same of the two senses of verb  'argue'.  Mine was synonymous with 'present reasons'', yours perhaps 'disagree or contend'.  In the former sense, we are all providing arguments for various positions as we post.  Sorry if that was unclear.

 

 

????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2

×