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Cache Quality Survey results

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1 hour ago, justintim1999 said:

What if it was an employee that wasn't washing the cars correctly and as a result the owner went out of business.  I'm sure it would be a big deal to that guy. 

 

This. ^

 

 

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

How many one weekend wonders have you seen? I've never noticed a big difference between someone hiding their first day or after a year. Some are good, some aren't.

 

It happens at both ends of the scale, the new members and the established members who've been at it for decades. Hopefully, they will continue to tackle the problem of set-em-and-forget-em behaviour of both new and established cache hiders. As the survey showed the lack of maintenance (new or old) is the #3 concern. 

 

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6 hours ago, Hynz said:

It was already pointed out but I also want to state that for me this is so wrong on multiple levels.

The physical entity holding the log is not "ultimately" what is discussed here and depending on the layout of the cache it can also be only a rather insignificant part of what I consider "The Cache" and if it's a good one or not.

For me it is much more important what the purpose of the cache is and what the owner wants me to experience by going for the cache than to retrieve a pristine or maybe only damp logbook. If the "well maintained box" is the only good thing I have say about a cache then I wish I would have been more successful in ignoring it in the first place.

 

Regarding the survey results and their presentation: let's say my expectations were not overly surpassed -_-

Everything about the caching experience is subjective except the condition of the cache itself.     

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22 minutes ago, dprovan said:
1 hour ago, arisoft said:

I do. Our local reviewers explained some years ago how they are trying to handle the situation.

 

When a new CO posted the first cache they didn't publish it immediatelly.  Instead, they posted a reviewer note asking some fundamental questions. I see that the main reason for a such request was to verify that the CO is able to monitor email and to respond promptly. "One weekend wonders" may forget the hobby before the cache has even been published or they have no idea how to use their tools :)

That's not a problem of cache quality, so it doesn't strike me as relevant in this thread.

It seems perfectly relevant to me, since abandoned caches (especially the kind placed by "one weekend wonders") will become low-quality caches pretty quickly, and will provide a low-quality experience to those who search for them.

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Following this thread with interest, it has me reminiscing about my first months geocaching, and then reflecting on if there was some kind of rule dictating when you are "eligible", if it would have affected how I evolved as a geocacher. Always fun to play the "what if" game. I hid my first geocache a little after a month of playing this game, and by that time I had racked up about 70 finds, both urban and rural/wilderness and felt like I was ready to "give back" to the game by placing a cache of my own. Right off the bat, I made a rookie mistake by not fully understanding the proximity rule, and my first cache, GC2WRJ3, which I had carefully thought about where to place almost did not get published because it was about 500 ft from two different existing geocaches. The Reviewer ended up granting me an exception, and I learned later that this leniency is partially given to newbies like I was, so that we don't feel discouraged by the cache hiding process after making this first mistake. My next hide was an attempt at a puzzle cache,GC2XCYE , and I'll be the first to admit that it was based on a terrible idea, but one that probably many newbies make. I came up with a hare-brained way of hiding a cache but not giving the actual coordinates, and basically getting it published just to answer my curiosity if any one would actually be able to find it. This is maybe the most frustrating way for anyone to create a puzzle cache, as there is almost no way of actually solving the puzzle and getting a find is an exercise in grim determination, and exhaustive field searching. Were either of these caches good quality? I don't think so, but they became my entry point to the game. I think Barefootjeff said it best:

 

19 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

And even after finding those 100 caches, there's no guarantee that their first hide will be any better than if they'd placed it earlier, after all the best teacher is one's own mistakes and everyone has to start somewhere.

 

 

Ultimately, it was the feedback that I got from the local caching community that had the biggest impact on my cache hiding style, and got me thinking about what it takes to be a quality hide in that region. The well written "Found logs", and email/messages I received from the locals provided the valuable feedback that got me thinking about how to improve my cache hiding, and how best to add to this game in a way that was consistent with how I like to play. With that thought in mind, I would suggest letting people make mistakes, and not being overly restrictive in creating barriers to someone's first hide. Rather, it is up to the community  to reach out, help rookies realize what mistakes they may have made and why, and ultimately help mentor them so that future mistakes are avoided. I don't think that a waiting period, or quota of found caches would have changed the mistakes I made. And I share some of the sentiments posted in this thread, that such new regulations will not help in promoting geocache quality.

 

Now if you are a newbie and happen to be in an area without a supportive and helpful local geocaching community... well, good luck!

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55 minutes ago, niraD said:

But my main point is any solution needs to address a specific problem. If the problem is that new COs are uninformed, then address that. If the problem is that COs that don't maintain their caches are hiding more caches, then address that. If the problem is new cache owners who disappear after listing a cache on their first weekend, then address that.

Yes, exactly: any solution needs to address a specific problem. This entire effort, including the survey, it trying to solve the "problem" of "bad cache quality". Plenty of things can improve "cache quality" in one sense or another. But when we actually try to list the individual issues, such as one weekend wonders, I find that they aren't really problems at all. Bad caches happen for all kinds of reasons, including reasons we'll never be able to prevent. That will always be true no matter how complicated we make the game by adding rules to avoid issues that occasionally generate a bad cache or two once in a while.

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10 minutes ago, niraD said:

It seems perfectly relevant to me, since abandoned caches (especially the kind placed by "one weekend wonders") will become low-quality caches pretty quickly, and will provide a low-quality experience to those who search for them.

He was talking about the problems one week wonders cause for reviewers, so it wasn't a quality issue.

 

You're asserting one weekend wonders result in low-quality experiences, but I haven't seen that effect in practice. To begin with, I've only seen a few people run out right away and plant a cache, and of the ones I've seen, as many were successful as weren't, and the odds aren't significantly different for people who wait 3, 6, or 12 months to hide their first cache.

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24 minutes ago, Fugads said:

Now if you are a newbie and happen to be in an area without a supportive and helpful local geocaching community... well, good luck!

And good luck to the community that treats newbies like that, too.

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29 minutes ago, niraD said:

It seems perfectly relevant to me, since abandoned caches (especially the kind placed by "one weekend wonders") will become low-quality caches pretty quickly, and will provide a low-quality experience to those who search for them.

 

The other 2/3rds finally gave up this hobby, after repeatedly acting as the beta tester (FTF nut)  for no find/no hide newbs.

The final straw was a roadside hide 400+ feet off ...  and she found it...

 

Our first find was a virtual, and we started by finding tupperware and ammo cans.   :)

6 months into the hobby and unlike those found, our first hide was a tiny park micro that's still there today.

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30 minutes ago, niraD said:

All about the find count? Where do you get that?

Why else would you be in favor of allowing a brand new cacher the ability to hide a cache?    There are way more downsides to allowing this than there are positives.   The one positive is the potential for "more caches to find!".  If better cache maintenance is what everyone wants than isn't this just one piece of that puzzle?   at least make sure the person is going to stick around before you let them hide caches all over the place. 

 

Personally Finding a broken, moldy caches doesn't faze me a bit.    I feel bad for the next cacher who was expecting better.   Don't get me wrong,  I'm hoping to find the cache in good shape but I'm experienced enough not to expect it. 

 

I've always felt that cache ownership should be a honor and not a right.     A right is something you're entitled to.   A honor is something you've earned.    

 

Man that last part is pretty heavy handed,  even for me.

 

I promised myself I wouldn't do this.   When I decided to get back on the forums I said "self,  just make your point and move on.   Don't get involved with the inevitable back and forth.   When they ignore simple facts or present wild scenario's just laugh and turn the page."    It's hard.  It's so hard. 

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38 minutes ago, niraD said:

It seems perfectly relevant to me, since abandoned caches (especially the kind placed by "one weekend wonders") will become low-quality caches pretty quickly, and will provide a low-quality experience to those who search for them.

Amen.

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1 hour ago, justintim1999 said:

I'll give you a real world analogy.   I hired a new employee about 6 months ago.  His primary job is to stitch boxes and he's quite good at it.   I promised him I'd teach him how to operate the forklift.   Over the past few months I've been doing just that.   Today was/is an extremely busy day loading and un-loading trucks.   He asked if he could hop on the forklift and help.   Although he can operate the forklift he's not yet experienced enough or fast enough.   Because of his inexperience he'd be (1) very slow.  (2) wind up breaking units that would need to be fixed and (3) asking a lot of questions which I really don't have time to answer.   He's a good kid and I hate to burst his bubble but I understand the value of experience.

 

I understand we're talking about Geocaching here but the principles are basically the same.      Until he becomes more proficient and understands the job better,  I'll have to bring him along slowly and give him work I know he can handle.  The last thing I want to do is put him in a situation where he's over his head and becomes discouraged.    

      

What if it was an employee that wasn't washing the cars correctly and as a result the owner went out of business.  I'm sure it would be a big deal to that guy.

This example is based on a limited resource: you're talking about one guy and one forklift. You have a choice to use him or not, make him better or not. Geocaching isn't like that. In geocaching, he doesn't break units, he just hides a cache that isn't as good as other people's. Nothing he's done has gotten in the way of you getting those trucks loaded: you can continue to hide as many high quality caches as you want regardless of whether he's trying to hide something flawed. Nothing he does is going to make you go out of business. He doesn't work for you.

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3 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

Why else would you be in favor of allowing a brand new cacher the ability to hide a cache?    There are way more downsides to allowing this than there are positives.   The one positive is the potential for "more caches to find!".  If better cache maintenance is what everyone wants than isn't this just one piece of that puzzle?   at least make sure the person is going to stick around before you let them hide caches all over the place.

This is really a very good illustration in the differences in attitude. Yes, I think finding a cache is fun. That's not about counting finds, it's just because I like the game. This "cache quality" campaign is all about there being some minimum level below which a cache is a negative experience. With all the broken containers, poor coordinates, and missing caches I've encountered, very, very few of them were negative experiences to me. So I think that almost any cache of any quality improves geocaching. But apparently I'm in the minority 'cuz your type of snobbery seems to be driving this entire discussion.

 

Cache maintenance is a great example. In my opinion, 3 years of flawless but completely unmaintained performance is a boon. To hear you tell it -- and GS seems to agree with you -- years of fun for a bunch of players is always completely wiped out if the CO isn't there to jump on a missing container three years later.

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21 minutes ago, dprovan said:

He was talking about the problems one week wonders cause for reviewers, so it wasn't a quality issue.

 

No... it was about how our local reviewers explained some years ago how they are trying to handle the situation of "one weekend wonders" to maintain good cache quality.

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7 minutes ago, dprovan said:

This example is based on a limited resource: you're talking about one guy and one forklift. You have a choice to use him or not, make him better or not. Geocaching isn't like that. In geocaching, he doesn't break units, he just hides a cache that isn't as good as other people's. Nothing he's done has gotten in the way of you getting those trucks loaded: you can continue to hide as many high quality caches as you want regardless of whether he's trying to hide something flawed. Nothing he does is going to make you go out of business. He doesn't work for you.

This example is based on real life experience.   The point is he's not ready to be a full time operator.  He need a little more seasoning.   No different in Geocaching.   I could have simply thrown him into the job.  Sink or swim.   That wouldn't have been fair to him, me, the company or the customer.    Sometimes people are willing and eager but not quite able.   

 

Don't you think most people who really wanted to become cache owners would agree to wait 3 months?    Doesn't the simple fact you have to wait indicate that this is something special and they just don't give these opportunities away to just anyone?    

   

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Posted (edited)
37 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:
1 hour ago, niraD said:

All about the find count? Where do you get that?

Why else would you be in favor of allowing a brand new cacher the ability to hide a cache?

This is what you get when I point out that find count is not a meaningful way to measure whether someone should be able to list a new cache? Really?

 

I had found almost 100 caches when I listed my first cache. Still, I learned a LOT about what it takes to own and maintain a geocache from creating and maintaining that cache. Those lessons made my other caches better.

 

Finding almost 100 caches didn't teach me any of that. Finding a hundred more caches wouldn't have taught me any of that.

 

Look this isn't surgery, where you need years of school and years of apprenticeship (internship, residency). This isn't safety-critical car repairs, where you need months of school and months of apprenticeship. This is just a hobby, finding hidden containers in the woods (or in the park, or wherever).

Edited by niraD
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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2019 at 4:35 PM, justintim1999 said:

That wouldn't have been fair to him, me, the company or the customer. 

 

 

Right. And if there are no other car washes (using the previous example), so I'm forced to come back to a car wash  whose standards are slipping,  I'm going to complain to management. Maybe I'll only use Bob, when he's scheduled, who has always done a great job, and not Joe the apprentice. And if Bob leaves because he doesn't want to work for a substandard car washing company anymore, well I won't use a car wash anymore (or only geocache occasionally and stop supporting the business by not paying for the PM membership for our 2nd account). 

Edited by L0ne.R
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15 minutes ago, dprovan said:

With all the broken containers, poor coordinates, and missing caches I've encountered, very, very few of them were negative experiences to me.

You and I are in agreement here.   To me this isn't a matter of what's quality and what isn't.  It's about understanding that to become a cache owner you're agreeing to do all the things a cache owner needs to do.   It's about being willing to make good on that promise before you hide the cache and following through when you're all done.   Where is the distinction between the person who hides a cache and walks away 3 month later and the person who's maintained a cache for years?   Both share the title "Cache Owner"   One in mind and one in spirit. 

 

I consider cache ownership an honor which is why I don't think anyone should be able to hide one right out of the box.   

 

 

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15 minutes ago, niraD said:

Finding almost 100 caches didn't teach me any of that. Finding a hundred more caches wouldn't have taught me any of that.

It shows me you were likely to stick around and that's all I'm looking for.    I found more than 600 before I took the plunge. 

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54 minutes ago, justintim1999 said:

This example is based on real life experience.   The point is he's not ready to be a full time operator.  He need a little more seasoning.   No different in Geocaching.   I could have simply thrown him into the job.  Sink or swim.   That wouldn't have been fair to him, me, the company or the customer.    Sometimes people are willing and eager but not quite able.   

 

To advocate for the devil, in your real life example you are the judge of their ability, you're a 'mentor', as it were, determining when they're "ready" to be a full time operator.  On the flipside, you might get a very capable employee who grasps the task and understands the equipment and does really well.

So we have two concepts: Company policy is all candidates must train for 3 months (even if you're super-proficient after only 1), or .... your mentor can vouch for you and approve you for the task after 1 month of training and demonstrating that you have what it takes.

 

The question here is, which concept is better in geocaching?  (Objective or subjective qualification for hiding? Global or regional? What are the parameters? What's the scope?)

 

On catching up in this thread, there are exceptions to every freaking idea! lol  I don't think anyone believes there is some magical "cure all".  Every option is going to be an inconvenience for a select few. And everyone can present "what if" cases that counter an idea.

 

Good luck, HQ. 🤣

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3 hours ago, arisoft said:

No... it was about how our local reviewers explained some years ago how they are trying to handle the situation of "one weekend wonders" to maintain good cache quality.

That's simply not what you said, but never mind.

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3 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

This example is based on real life experience.   The point is he's not ready to be a full time operator.  He need a little more seasoning.   No different in Geocaching.

You get seasoning by hiding caches. Did you "season" that employee by having him load trucks by hand for another year? Of course not, because that would have done nothing whatsoever to make him a better forklift operator.

 

3 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

Don't you think most people who really wanted to become cache owners would agree to wait 3 months?    Doesn't the simple fact you have to wait indicate that this is something special and they just don't give these opportunities away to just anyone?

This has nothing to do with whether COs can wait. It's all about whether it makes sense to add yet another rule to the guidelines to force them to wait. People that are going to hide good caches are going to wait until they know what they're doing, anyway. People that aren't going to hide good caches are going to not hide good caches no matter how long you make them wait. So don't bother everyone with memorizing an arbitrary rule that's not going to make any difference. Save your effort for teaching about hiding good caches.

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2 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

I consider cache ownership an honor which is why I don't think anyone should be able to hide one right out of the box.

Yep, that's another big difference between us. I think having caches to find is the honor, and we should thank anyone that gives it a try even when their caches are less spectacular than we'd like. I'm appalled at the popular notion that COs work for seekers and should be not be able to hide caches unless they can prove they'll live up to the most discriminating seeker's expectations.

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6 hours ago, niraD said:

It seems perfectly relevant to me, since abandoned caches (especially the kind placed by "one weekend wonders") will become low-quality caches pretty quickly, and will provide a low-quality experience to those who search for them.

 

I ran into a series that was part of a high school ecology project.  Lessons about human interaction with the world.  I thought they all had an agendum.  All the students joined November 2013.  Each hid a cache May 2014.  None (except the teacher) had a find.  Most did not last long.   One is still actually active.  I found it sad that this was permitted.

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13 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

It will mean fewer scout groups creating a hide.

And hopefully fewer logs like, "Kidnapped the bear". That was a TB (not mine) I left in that cache...and then along comes a scout group. The bear has never been heard from again.

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10 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

When people see all the examples of abandoned caches  left rotting with perpetual dry logs thrown in (to "help" i.e. to claim finds) and logs that thank those hiders for their contribution, it sends an impression... 'Go ahead and do the same, it doesn't matter'.  Eventually those for whom it does matter stop playing. All your left with is those that set-em-and-forget-em.

9 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

It happens at both ends of the scale, the new members and the established members who've been at it for decades. Hopefully, they will continue to tackle the problem of set-em-and-forget-em behaviour of both new and established cache hiders. As the survey showed the lack of maintenance (new or old) is the #3 concern.

 

Did you also notice that the survey showed "a strong majority (74%) also said assisting geocache owners with minor maintenance would be very or extremely helpful".

"Assist geocache owners with minor maintenance (e.g., replace wet or full log sheets)" was the #2 thing that finders could do to help with quality.

If you want to tackle the problem of "quality" - then why object to whether that problem is addressed by both hiders and finders?

 

 

7 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

You and I are in agreement here.   To me this isn't a matter of what's quality and what isn't.  It's about understanding that to become a cache owner you're agreeing to do all the things a cache owner needs to do.   It's about being willing to make good on that promise before you hide the cache and following through when you're all done.   Where is the distinction between the person who hides a cache and walks away 3 month later and the person who's maintained a cache for years?   Both share the title "Cache Owner"   One in mind and one in spirit. 

 

I consider cache ownership an honor which is why I don't think anyone should be able to hide one right out of the box.

 

This survey and topic is about "cache quality" - not just about cache maintenance or restrictions to cache hiding. There are other threads where you can discuss the "right" to hide a cache.

 

 

 

 

 

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22 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

It will have an effect on the fly-by-night temporary cachers. 

It will mean fewer teachers assigning geocaching as a teaching tool, if their students have to wait 3 months the teacher will not have time to assign hiding a cache. 

It will mean fewer scout groups creating a hide.

 

Are these really problems?  I don't know how many caches we're talking about here.  A few hundred?  A few thousand?  Out of millions of caches hidden?  Aren't there things in place to get them archived if they're not being maintained?

 

Of the three categories above, I would have to assume that that largest group is the first group.  As many have said/asked, how big a problem is this actually?  How many caches are we talking about?

 

I really don't know of too many caches that fall within the latter two groups.  That doesn't mean they don't exist.  I'm sure they do.  However, are there really enough of them to be considered a problem that needs to be fixed?  

 

I see the suggested solution countering all three options but I'm just not sure that it's something GS would get behind, especially considering that the placement of caches (and their ability to be the listing service) is the foundation of their business model.  It's a delicate balance they would need to walk, addressing quality (as it pertains to maintenance) of a cache for membership while still allowing as many caches to be placed as they can.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

What if it was an employee that wasn't washing the cars correctly and as a result the owner went out of business.  I'm sure it would be a big deal to that guy. 

 

 

Of course it would.  The business is the lifeblood (most likely) of the owner.  They're relying on it to provide for their family.  We're talking about an activity that people choose to do on their free time.  There's nothing on the line other than the enjoyment of going outdoors, taking a walk and finding a few caches.

 

You keep using real world analogies to try to help make your point but those real world analogies all have possible serious consequences.  To paraphrase Allen Iverson, "We talkin' about caching, man.  Caching."  Where's @Why So Serious? when you need him?

Edited by coachstahly
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16 hours ago, justintim1999 said:

He need a little more seasoning.

 

You give him that seasoning by letting him actually do the thing he needs to learn about, incrementally.  You don't make him wait 3 months, doing manual loading with a hand pallet truck so he gains a better understanding of what it takes to use a forklift.  You let him use the forklift.

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On 5/16/2019 at 4:23 AM, JL_HSTRE said:

People have expressed concern that a good player would quit geocaching rather than wait 3 months before their first hide. To that I say good riddance. If you're so impatient that, although you can find caches to your heart's content, not being able to hide right away would be a dealbreaker I really have trouble believing you're an asset to the geo-community.

 

Also, the idea that more vigilant policing of cache problems solves fly-by-night / one-and-done hides isn't really accurate. It only lessens the problem. Furthermore, it doesn't address a larger problem: abandoned cache containers.

 

How many archived caches were abandoned in place, broken junk trashing the environment? While I think the eco-warriors who hate all geocaching are grossly misguided, I think there is an environmental impact geocaching needs to address: ensuring removal of archived containers. There's too much wringing of hands - it could be in play under another game, it's someone else's property, etc. The principle of good environmental stewardship is more important. There needs to be a way for cachers (other than the CO) to remove abandoned, archived caches and to punish COs for knowingly abandoning containers rather than retrieving them.

 

 

This is something I agree with wholeheartedly. I'm not sure of the general opinions here on the forum, so I may face some criticism here, but I purposely search out archived caches using the Project-GC live map. If I look through the logs and have a reasonable suspicion that it's still there I'll go out and grab it. I'll email the CO and give them 30 days to email me and tell me they want the log, or the container or the contents. If they don't... well let's just say nobody's come back several years later and told me they want it.

 

Most recently I've done this with a multi-cache -> GC26C92 - The Juneau Totem Pole Safari 


I hate that we live in a litigious society that makes this an even questionable habit, but there you go.

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4 minutes ago, STNolan said:
On 5/16/2019 at 5:23 AM, JL_HSTRE said:

How many archived caches were abandoned in place, broken junk trashing the environment? While I think the eco-warriors who hate all geocaching are grossly misguided, I think there is an environmental impact geocaching needs to address: ensuring removal of archived containers. There's too much wringing of hands - it could be in play under another game, it's someone else's property, etc. The principle of good environmental stewardship is more important. There needs to be a way for cachers (other than the CO) to remove abandoned, archived caches and to punish COs for knowingly abandoning containers rather than retrieving them.

 

This is something I agree with wholeheartedly. I'm not sure of the general opinions here on the forum, so I may face some criticism here, but I purposely search out archived caches using the Project-GC live map. If I look through the logs and have a reasonable suspicion that it's still there I'll go out and grab it. I'll email the CO and give them 30 days to email me and tell me they want the log, or the container or the contents. If they don't... well let's just say nobody's come back several years later and told me they want it.

 

Most recently I've done this with a multi-cache -> GC26C92 - The Juneau Totem Pole Safari 


I hate that we live in a litigious society that makes this an even questionable habit, but there you go.

 

Let's face it, if someone (muggle or cacher) wanted to remove a rotted cache from the "gameboard" - then they could go ahead and do it with very little risk of punishment.  Or they could be very un-stealthy when muggles are around, and most likely one of those muggles would clear the board for them.  Would someone "punish" a muggle that happens upon a cache and takes it, then tosses it into the nearest garbage bin?  Cachers that are so adamant about removing "geolitter" that they want GS to create rules and penalties for CO's that abandon their caches could just act on their own.

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5 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Are these really problems?  I don't know how many caches we're talking about here.  A few hundred?  A few thousand?  Out of millions of caches hidden?  Aren't there things in place to get them archived if they're not being maintained?

In addition to teraching/scout not actually being very common, the fact is that they're not generally that bad, either. Sure, it's rare that they're exceptional caches -- just like anyone else's first cache -- and they often disappear within a year, but even the most spectacular failure of a teaching/scout cache means one person finds a hideous mess after 20 people have enjoyed the cache while it was still in good working order. Yet another great example of the problem here: they're condemned for being less than stellar despite adding a very real value to the game despite their limitations.

 

And that's before observing that these instructional activities would be worth some negative effects because they achieve their goal: students and scouts familiar and sympathetic with the game regardless of whether they become avid geocachers or productive COs.

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On 5/16/2019 at 4:20 PM, dprovan said:

With all the broken containers, poor coordinates, and missing caches I've encountered, very, very few of them were negative experiences to me.

 

 

Sometimes it's the hiders that don't maintain their own caches that are happy with the status quo and prefer that Groundspeak not try to promote maintenance, and get owners to abide by the guidelines they agreed to abide by. 

 

Do you take pride in your own caches and monitor and maintain them?

Remove them when you can no longer maintain them?

Have any of your caches lingered for more than a month after an NM?

Have you left a cache to linger for months with rows of DNFs without checking? 

Have you had any of your caches archived by a reviewer?

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, noncentric said:

Cachers that are so adamant about removing "geolitter" that they want GS to create rules ...

 

Not "create rules", those rules have always been there. Check the guidelines for expected responsible cache ownership, they haven't changed much over 2 decades. We agree to those when we submit our caches. Some of us ask that cache owners abide by the set of good responsible ownership. Cache ownership is a community-minded important responsiblity. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

Sometimes it's the hiders that don't maintain their own caches that are happy with the status quo and prefer that Groundspeak not try to promote maintenance, and get owners to abide by the guidelines they agreed to abide by. 

 

Do you take pride in your own caches and monitor and maintain them?

Remove them when you can no longer maintain them?

Have any of your caches lingered for more than a month after an NM?

Have you left a cache to linger for months with rows of DNFs without checking? 

Have you had any of your caches archived by a reviewer?

 

From my experience, most decripit or missing caches belong to COs who have left the game, rather those that are still active but are wilfully thumbing their nose at any maintenance expectations. Some of my thoughts on the questions you've raised:

  • Do you take pride in your own caches and monitor and maintain them?
    I would expect that most new COs would do precisely that, particularly with their very first hide, their pride and joy, yet the main thrust of this thread seems opposed to COs new to the game.
  • Remove them when you can no longer maintain them?
    The "can no longer maintain them" usually happens after someone has stopped caching and moved on to other interests, and that's usually a gradual process rather than being an active cacher one day and back to muggledom the next. Most well-made caches will last many years, even decades, before they fall into disrepair so by then, the long-gone CO may well have moved away or changed email address. As for me, I've removed the caches I've archived when I've been able to, but one got buried under a rockfall, one was muggled and another was washed away in a storm so there's not much I could do to retrieve those.
  • Have any of your caches lingered for more than a month after an NM?
    It would depend on the nature of the NM, the effort needed for the CO to get to the cache and the amount of traffic the cache sees. For an urban hide in a busy area, a month is definitely excessive, but for one that takes a full day (or more) of hiking to reach, with weather-dependent access, and might only get one or two finds in a good year, I wouldn't think a month would be unreasonable. Many of the caches locally with long-outstanding NMs are for minor issues that don't impact on cachers being able to find and log them (a dried-out pen, for example, or a full log that the next finder has replaced), or are false alarms like warnings about nearby construction work that turned out not to affect the cache. I've yet to have an NM on any of my hides, but the one that got a CHS ping (a false positive) I wouldn't have been able to reasonably check on for about a month due to its location and the time of year.
  • Have you left a cache to linger for months with rows of DNFs without checking?
    It would depend on the difficulty of the hide. Something tricky to find, and suitably D-rated, ought to be getting rows of DNFs and if it's not, maybe that's when it needs checking. There's no requirement in the guidelines or Help Centre for COs to act on DNF logs, so if the DNFers think the CO needs to check on it they should log an NM and, if that doesn't work, an NA.
  • Have you had any of your caches archived by a reviewer?
    One of the most common circumstances here for a reviewer to archive a cache is when it's been left disabled for too long. After the first warning, which says to provide an update every month, there's no second chance and, if the cache is disabled for a long time for reasons beyond the control of the CO (construction work, floods, fires, etc.), if they miss an update even by just a day the cache is archived and will not be unarchived. There's a CO here who's lost a few of his hides that way, and yes, maybe he's a bit slack and forgetful, but the caches he's put out are top rate and amongst many of my all-time favourites so I'd much rather have those caches out there to be found even if only for a limited time than for them to have never existed.
Edited by barefootjeff
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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

if they miss an update even by just a day the cache is archived and will not be unarchived.

 

It will be unarchived if there is nothing that prevents unarchiving like a new cache.

Edited by arisoft

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5 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

It will be unarchived if there is nothing that prevents unarchiving like a new cache.

 

Nup, our reviewer is quite explicit about that:

 

Quote

If you plan on repairing this cache, please log a note to the cache (not email) within the next 28 days so I don't archive the listing for non-communication. For ongoing issues please ensure you visit the listing and post a new note every 28 days to keep everyone up to date, if you do not then you cache may be archived without further note from a reviewer. Caches archived due to lack of maintenance are no longer unarchived and you will need to submit a replacement as a new cache.

 

and then, after the axe falls:

 

Quote

No response from the owner within the last 28 Days and as per the original note posted to this cache it has now been archived. If you wish to replace it please submit a new cache via this link.

 

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7 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

Sometimes it's the hiders that don't maintain their own caches that are happy with the status quo and prefer that Groundspeak not try to promote maintenance, and get owners to abide by the guidelines they agreed to abide by. 

 

Do you take pride in your own caches and monitor and maintain them?

Remove them when you can no longer maintain them?

Have any of your caches lingered for more than a month after an NM?

Have you left a cache to linger for months with rows of DNFs without checking? 

Have you had any of your caches archived by a reviewer?

This isn't about what people do. Please, please feel free to promote good cache ownership. I support GS encouraging good cache ownership.

 

This is about adding rule after rule that we all have to know, remember, and follow in a misguided attempt to avoid problems that don't exist, and if they did exist, the rules wouldn't solve them, anyway.

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3 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:
10 minutes ago, arisoft said:

It will be unarchived if there is nothing that prevents unarchiving like a new cache.

 

Nup, our reviewer is quite explicit about that:

 

I am sure that it depends on the situation. Of course there is no need to explain these situations forehand. I think that I have seen this happening but can not remember the exact case.

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6 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

I am sure that it depends on the situation. Of course there is no need to explain these situations forehand. I think that I have seen this happening but can not remember the exact case.

 

Did you read the reviewer note he quoted right afterwards?  It appears there's no "depends on the situation" with the reviewer in Jeff's area.  The very last sentence he put in bold text spells it out in black and white.

 

  Quote

If you plan on repairing this cache, please log a note to the cache (not email) within the next 28 days so I don't archive the listing for non-communication. For ongoing issues please ensure you visit the listing and post a new note every 28 days to keep everyone up to date, if you do not then you cache may be archived without further note from a reviewer. Caches archived due to lack of maintenance are no longer unarchived and you will need to submit a replacement as a new cache.

The "no longer" bit in the last sentence is what you might have been referring to but that is NOT the case anymore, at least in Jeff's area.

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6 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

I am sure that it depends on the situation. Of course there is no need to explain these situations forehand. I think that I have seen this happening but can not remember the exact case.

bfjeff's post is also consistent with the following Help Center article:

 

https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=38&pgid=56

 

Quote

If a cache is archived by a reviewer or staff for lack of maintenance, it will not be unarchived.

 

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4 hours ago, coachstahly said:

The "no longer" bit in the last sentence is what you might have been referring to but that is NOT the case anymore, at least in Jeff's area.

 

It depends on the reviewer or course. It is possible to appeal to HQ if there is a good reason and the reviewer can not negotiate.

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On 5/17/2019 at 5:53 PM, L0ne.R said:

Not "create rules", those rules have always been there. Check the guidelines for expected responsible cache ownership, they haven't changed much over 2 decades. We agree to those when we submit our caches. Some of us ask that cache owners abide by the set of good responsible ownership. Cache ownership is a community-minded important responsiblity. 

 

Yes, the rules have always been there, and some people do not abide by the rules - actually guidelines. People that don't follow the current rules are not going to follow even more rules. So whatever problems you're seeing are not going to go away by creating more rules. That is the crux of the issue.

 

You can want all CO's to be responsible and maintain their caches regularly, but some of them simply won't or can't.  Establishing more rules isn't going to change the behavior of those CO's, but it may discourage the CO's that want to follow the 'rules' because they will see the rules as being overly onerous and decide against taking on all of those responsibilities, whereas the current list of responsibilities do not seem daunting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, noncentric said:

You can want all CO's to be responsible and maintain their caches regularly, but some of them simply won't or can't.  Establishing more rules isn't going to change the behavior of those CO's, but it may discourage the CO's that want to follow the 'rules' because they will see the rules as being overly onerous and decide against taking on all of those responsibilities, whereas the current list of responsibilities do not seem daunting.

 

 

The bit I've highlighted in red is probably what scares me most about this cache quality push, not so much for my own hides which I visit fairly regularly anyway just for my own satisfaction that all's well (and because I put them in places I like to visit), but for some of the excellent ones I've enjoyed over the years that are well-made, well-concealed from muggles and simply don't need regular maintenance. A nano in a busy city might need its log scroll and/or seal replaced every few months, but the same isn't true of a remotely-placed rugged cache with a proper logbook that might only get a couple of visits a year.

 

To fill in a dull evening last week (and to avoid all the endless political talk about our Federal election), I went through the hundred caches I've given FPs to. Of those, 9 have been archived, 23 have had some maintenance done during their life, but the other 68 as best I could tell have never had any maintenance at all (no NMs logged and the only OMs just said everything's fine). They're still the original container with its original logbook and are still in great condition.

 

These aren't just all new caches either; of the ones that haven't been archived, 41 are more than 5 years old and 9 of those are more than 10 years old. The oldest was placed in 2001 and, after being replaced in 2002 following a fire, hasn't had or needed any attention since.

 

A good container in a hiding place protecting it from the elements and muggles will last pretty much indefinitely without any owner attention, so it really doesn't matter whether the owner is responsible and still active or not, the cache remains there to be enjoyed by generations of cachers to come. I'd hate to see any well-intentioned enforcement of regular maintenance designed to rid the world of decrepit micros result in the loss of many of these fine caches either because their owners have left the game or are unwilling to put in the often substantial effort needed to visit them regularly when there's no need to.

 

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57 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

The bit I've highlighted in red is probably what scares me most about this cache quality push, not so much for my own hides which I visit fairly regularly anyway just for my own satisfaction that all's well (and because I put them in places I like to visit), but for some of the excellent ones I've enjoyed over the years that are well-made, well-concealed from muggles and simply don't need regular maintenance. A nano in a busy city might need its log scroll and/or seal replaced every few months, but the same isn't true of a remotely-placed rugged cache with a proper logbook that might only get a couple of visits a year.

 

To fill in a dull evening last week (and to avoid all the endless political talk about our Federal election), I went through the hundred caches I've given FPs to. Of those, 9 have been archived, 23 have had some maintenance done during their life, but the other 68 as best I could tell have never had any maintenance at all (no NMs logged and the only OMs just said everything's fine). They're still the original container with its original logbook and are still in great condition.

 

These aren't just all new caches either; of the ones that haven't been archived, 41 are more than 5 years old and 9 of those are more than 10 years old. The oldest was placed in 2001 and, after being replaced in 2002 following a fire, hasn't had or needed any attention since.

 

A good container in a hiding place protecting it from the elements and muggles will last pretty much indefinitely without any owner attention, so it really doesn't matter whether the owner is responsible and still active or not, the cache remains there to be enjoyed by generations of cachers to come. I'd hate to see any well-intentioned enforcement of regular maintenance designed to rid the world of decrepit micros result in the loss of many of these fine caches either because their owners have left the game or are unwilling to put in the often substantial effort needed to visit them regularly when there's no need to.

 

 

Maybe the highlighted bit should be something like "maintain their caches promptly when needed"?

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11 minutes ago, rapotek said:

Maybe the highlighted bit should be something like "maintain their caches promptly when needed"?

That would help if it were actually the intended meaning. But I think it's pretty clear that "inactive COs" is a bogey man that's widely accepted, and that this guideline really does intend that caches not visited regularly by their CO should disappear, regardless of whether they need any maintenance. Like so many changes in the last few years, the idea is that it's OK to sacrifice some quality caches for the goal of never encountering a bad cache.

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3 minutes ago, dprovan said:

That would help if it were actually the intended meaning. But I think it's pretty clear that "inactive COs" is a bogey man that's widely accepted, and that this guideline really does intend that caches not visited regularly by their CO should disappear, regardless of whether they need any maintenance. Like so many changes in the last few years, the idea is that it's OK to sacrifice some quality caches for the goal of never encountering a bad cache.

The Polish saying comes to my mind now, "throwing the baby out with the bathwater"... 😕 Why to sacrifice some quality caches that do not need maintenance when all is needed is to archive the bad ones without unnecessary extending their lifespan and to make a place for another, possibly better ones.

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4 hours ago, rapotek said:

The Polish saying comes to my mind now, "throwing the baby out with the bathwater"... 😕 Why to sacrifice some quality caches that do not need maintenance when all is needed is to archive the bad ones without unnecessary extending their lifespan and to make a place for another, possibly better ones.

 

I can only vouch for my area, I’m not seeing quality caches (caches containers in relatively good shape with no ongoing issues) being archived by reviewers. The stuff that gets archived have ongoing problems. Missing for months, broken, missing lid for months, soaked for months, throw downs over and over. Caches that look like this get archived but only after months of neglect:

 

8839f0de-f74c-4e75-b231-719b441a869e_l.j

 

But I’ve been told by a few in these forums that this is a quality geocaching experience. Just needs a bit of community help with a wipe down. 

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22 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

But I’ve been told by a few in these forums that this is a quality geocaching experience. Just needs a bit of community help with a wipe down. 

 

Your example cache may not be the best of the best and may not earn many favorites but some caches must be worse than others to make them others to look better.

 

This cache could be pretty nice if every finder would clean the cache instead of adding more dirt inside.

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