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45 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

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

 

 

So why are your caches turning into this after just months of neglect, yet there are plenty here, like the one in the photo below that was placed 17 years ago, still the original container with its original logbook looking much the same as it did when the CO bought it only it has some logs written in it now?

 

ThunderBlunder.jpg.cb38386876fb93e1bdb2b0bef4a50168.jpg

 

Is it the climate? The ones around here are mostly in dry eucalypt forests. Is it the choice of container? This one's a thick plastic bucket with a screw-on lid intended for taking cool drinks on picnics, but here's another one from 2002 that's not much different to yours.

 

image.png.47c35fab2baa370aa502677ff97b3bb2.png

 

That one is tucked in under some large boulders, protected from sun and rain, with everything clean and dry and pretty much the same as when it was placed. So is it the choice of hiding place that makes such a difference?

 

The same is true for pretty much all of my hides. They just sit there, year after year, everything staying clean and dry without any TLC from me or anyone else. The only ones where I've had any moisture entry have been in places subject to flooding in heavy rain where the container has actually gone underwater, and on those I've switched to using waterproof "stone" paper and double-bagging the logbook which seems to have worked.

 

So I'm really curious now why we have such different experiences. "Regular maintenance" isn't the difference because none of the examples I've given have had that or needed it to stay essentially pristine over years and decades, so I really doubt if imposing a regular maintenance regime is going to fix it. Are there caches in your area that stay clean and dry for years without any maintenance? If so, what's different about them and can that lesson be taught to new hiders?

 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

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.

 

From the get-go that container is not a good container. It's a gladware throwaway food container not meant for outdoor use. The plastic is thin and brittle. There is no gasket. It is not watertight. It's designed for short term use in the fridge. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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19 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Is it the climate?

 

I’d say climate is a huge factor.  Also not many convenient rocky outcrops along the Basingstoke Canal. ;-)

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17 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

So why are your caches turning into this after just months of neglect, yet there are plenty here, like the one in the photo below that was placed 17 years ago, still the original container with its original logbook looking much the same as it did when the CO bought it only it has some logs written in it now?

 

Depends on the culture in an area. Once the power-style culture kicks in it holds tight. Since the idea is to hide a lot of caches, many feel that the containers need to be an upcycled or free container  (pill bottles, gladware). Once people see that finders don't mind and in fact say thanks, it perpetuates, there is no incentive to spend the money ($3+) on better quality containers or seek out better quality free containers. 

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3 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:
25 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Is it the climate?

 

I’d say climate is a huge factor.  Also not many convenient rocky outcrops along the Basingstoke Canal. ;-)

 

Just looking at rainfall charts, and surprised to see that annual rainfall in SE Australia is actually higher than here in SE UK, but we do have more rainy days and the 10° C lower average temperature can’t help. :-(

 

A lot of the caches I go for are puzzles, typically only found a few times a year.  The most common issue (in maybe 10-20% of my finds) is a useable but damp log.  Once a little water gets in, they just don’t get the chance to dry out.

 

Doesn’t get away from the fact that many containers are poorly chosen though, and that plastic bags rarely help!

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1 hour ago, IceColdUK said:

Just looking at rainfall charts, and surprised to see that annual rainfall in SE Australia is actually higher than here in SE UK

We have a variety of climates; from desert to rainforest. I used to live in a rainforest area, and saw 457mm (18 inches) in one day for instance. 762mm (30inches) over 11 days . Admittedly, this was more than normal, but even normally we got a lot of rain.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

and that plastic bags rarely help!

 

This is timely because I just checked one of my letterboxes. It is in a sandwich size authentic Lock & Lock (not a knock-off). I don't put baggies inside because they can get caught in the seal. Authentic L&Ls do a very good job of keeping the contents dry. It kept the contents dry for 5 years, without a baggie. So I find my LB and the contents are swimming in grey yellow water. Inside I find the contents have been put into a large freezer bag. The freezer bag is full of water. It did not protect the contents at all and only served to compromise the container by getting caught in the seal.  Here's what it looked like after I poured out the water. 

 

IMG_3534.thumb.JPG.adf2e14ae75fe4161b90338bdc8fdb4e.JPG IMG_3535.JPG.496bc412e3267b3ce85acc9ecbe487e7.JPG

 

 

Edited by L0ne.R
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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

From the get-go that container is not a good container. It's a gladware throwaway food container not meant for outdoor use. The plastic is thin and brittle. There is no gasket. It is not watertight. It's designed to for short term use in the fridge. 

Sounds like a cache created with a bad container is not going to benefit from regular maintenance, because it's going to go "bad" very soon.  How often would it need to be maintained to stay in good shape?  Every month, every week?  Does that mean that every cache should be maintained every month or every week?  Of course not!

 

There is no "one size fits all" guideline that is going to solve these problems that you're seeing.  If a cache is in bad shape, then report it and let it succumb to the archival process.  If you don't think your Reviewers are clearing out caches fast enough, then take that up with HQ. But forcing the entirety of geocaching.com users to change because certain regions have issues is not appropriate.

 

 

1 minute ago, L0ne.R said:

Authentic L&Ls do a very good job of keeping the contents dry.

Not always and not exclusively.  I have found plenty of caches with moisture issues that were authentic Lock-n-Lock containers.  And I have found plenty of bone dry caches that were not authentic Lock-n-Lock containers.

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9 hours ago, barefootjeff said:
11 hours 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.

 

Exactly. The current guidelines do not specify what "regularly" means and I know there have been discussions in these fora debating how often a cache should be visited to be considered "regularly" maintained.  Again, there's no "one size fits all" timeframe.

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7 minutes ago, noncentric said:

Not always and not exclusively.  I have found plenty of caches with moisture issues that were authentic Lock-n-Lock containers.  And I have found plenty of bone dry caches that were not authentic Lock-n-Lock containers.

 

My example shows my authentic L&L with 'moisture issues', not because the container is sub-standard but because someone thought a freezer baggie was necessary to keep the contents dry and compromised a good container. The other issue I see are COs who cover their authentic L&L with camo tape and wrap it around so that the camo tape is caught in the seal. Also 3+ year old L&Ls that are abandoned. After hundreds of finds the tabs finally snapped off. No response from the owners who are either not playing anymore, moved away, left a vacation cache (Aunt Martha isn't maintaining it because there never was an Aunt Martha), or had no intention of ever returning to maintain what they left behind. 

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2 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 ...  Once the power-style culture kicks in it holds tight. Since the idea is to hide a lot of caches, many feel that the containers need to be an upcycled or free container  (pill bottles, gladware). Once people see that finders don't mind and in fact say thanks, it perpetuates, there is no incentive to spend the money ($3+) on better quality containers or seek out better quality free containers. 

 

The "power trail culture" hasn't really taken off here like some hoped, but I'd say more than half the caches are pill bottles.

I don't mind that.   I just wish they'd stop calling them smalls.    :)

Actually, if you looked at post 1 on cache quality, which is the entire experience, and not centered only on that container,  you'd notice that accurate coordinates,  does not harm the environment , and owner maintains the cache regularly are stated before a container is even mentioned

It also said, around 92% of survey respondents ranked accurate coordinates as very or extremely important for a high-quality geocache. By comparison, only 24% said that the largest container for a location was very or extremely important.

 

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7 minutes ago, noncentric said:

how often a cache should be visited to be considered "regularly" maintained.

 

Use common sense.

 

"Periodically" is appropriate (see Help Center info below), it gives people leeway depending on the quality of their container (and how well protected their container is, and their climate--see barefootjeff's examples). It also makes the time-period flexible between reviewer and CO. Generally, at least in my area, the time period is 4 weeks after a reviewer TD, if a CO does not respond. Which usually means the cache had issues for at least a year that the CO did not respond to and did not even "periodically" check. 

 

When we leave a cache and never go back we have littered. Littering is a public offense.  Would you like GS to publicly condone never checking the caches we leave behind? 

 

7. Ownership after publication

7.3. Geocache Health Score

Geocaching is more fun when caches are available to find. To help improve the overall caching experience, Geocaching HQ created an algorithm to calculate a hidden Health Score for each geocache. A low Health Score provides an indication that the cache may need attention from the owner. Our goal is to improve the overall geocaching experience and avoid frowny faces due to missing or broken caches.

This algorithm is based on a combination of logs and circumstances, including

  • Did Not Find (DNF)
  • Needs Maintenance (NM)
  • Needs Archived (NA)
  • Caches that have not been found in a long time
  • Difficulty and terrain rating

Support for cache owners

If the Health Score of a cache drops below a certain point, an automatic email is sent to the cache owner. These emails alert owners that they might need to check on their cache. Here are a few options for cache owners:

  • Maintenance: Visit the cache and make any needed repairs. Post an “Owner Maintenance” log so the community knows it’s available to find.
  • Adjust D/T rating: If your cache turns out to be more difficult than you thought, adjust the D/T rating so that the community knows what to expect.
  • Disable: If you cannot check on your geocache within a few days, disable your cache page. In the log, include the date on which you will do maintenance. After you maintained your cache, enable your cache page and post an “Owner Maintenance” log.
  • Archive: If you decide that it’s time for your cache to be permanently retired, please archive the cache page and retrieve all physical stages.

Role of community volunteer reviewer

If the score of a cache does not change after the email is sent, a community volunteer might follow up with with further recommendations if it appears the geocache continues to need maintenance.

Answer your reviewer with a “Write Note” on the cache page and let them know when you will do maintenance.

 

7.4. Maintenance expectations

To make sure your geocache is in good health, monitor the logs and visit the cache site periodically. Unmaintained caches may be archived.

Here is a list of your responsibilities as a cache owner:

  • Choose an appropriate container that is watertight.
  • Replace broken or missing containers.
  • Clean out your cache if contents become wet.
  • Replace full or wet logbooks.
  • Temporarily disable your cache if it’s not accessible due to weather or seasonal changes.
  • Mark trackables as missing if they are listed in the inventory but no longer are in the cache.
  • Delete inappropriate logs.
  • Update coordinates if cache location has changed.

After you maintain your cache, make sure to remove the "Needs Maintenance" icon.

If you no longer want to maintain your cache, retrieve the container and archive your cache page.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/20/2019 at 11:26 AM, cerberus1 said:

 

The "power trail culture" hasn't really taken off here like some hoped, but I'd say more than half the caches are pill bottles.

I don't mind that.   I just wish they'd stop calling them smalls.    :)

Actually, if you looked at post 1 on cache quality, which is the entire experience, and not centered only on that container,  you'd notice that accurate coordinates,  does not harm the environment , and owner maintains the cache regularly are stated before a container is even mentioned

It also said, around 92% of survey respondents ranked accurate coordinates as very or extremely important for a high-quality geocache. By comparison, only 24% said that the largest container for a location was very or extremely important.

 

 

All good points and I'm in agreement. The last part about the 24% that want the largest container for a location... I would have voted no so I would be in the 76%.

But I do want a watertight quality swag size container in a location that can support a "larger" container with a capacity for maybe a couple of small trackables. If it's in the woods it doesn't have to be a 5 gallon bucket. In fact those are pretty awful - the contents are usually destroyed by water if the bucket has been out for more then 4 months, because most COs don't buy the bucket with the gasketed lid. It's hard to get the lid off, most people don't get the lid back on right. 

I hate to find a pill bottle listed as small in a forest where a sandwich size container could easily fit in dozens of spots. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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3 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

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:

There's a solution to that: people visiting the cache post an NA. The problem with the war against "inactive COs", is that a cache that doesn't look like this and that no one's complaining about should also get archived under the "must visit regularly" rule.

 

3 hours 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. 

You haven't heard that from me. The cache pictured clearly calls for action, an NM then an NA, and I beg you to take it. What I object to is adding rules that impact good caches just to insure this cache is off the records and festering in private even if no one visits it for a long time.

 

This leads me to one of the things I don't like about the attitude behind this survey. Are trashed geocaches what we're worried about when we want to improve "cache quality" or aren't they? Every time I see a picture like this, I try to think of what it means. Either this is one rare cache out of many good ones -- that's my experience -- or almost every cache in the area looks like this. In the former case, no amount of rules is going to stop that because the cause is just that stuff happens. If the cache doesn't get archived in a reasonable amount of time, that's just because the people discovering the problem aren't posting the appropriate logs. In the other case, where nearly all the caches in an area look like this, I would think an area that regularly puts up with bad caches like this must really be desperate for caches, so perhaps we should consider whether archiving all those caches and leaving the area with none is really what anyone should want. And, in particular, the people that should make that decision are the ones that visit it: they can vote against putting up with this kind of cache with NMs and NAs.

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14 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

I hate to find a pill bottle listed as small in a forest where a sandwich size container could easily fit in dozens of spots. 

 

I understand that. and sometimes feel the same, but we had to compromise ...     :)

 I wish this was still the "language of location", rather than  "the world's largest treasure hunt" too.

The "Intro" app burned a lot of folks here (us too), so they don't feel the same about a "quality" container much anymore.

 - Some odd reason a few of those people now have their caches pmo , so I don't understand why a better container can't be placed.

Many of those older folks place caches further in the woods, some at awesome views, or unique areas.

Because of their locations alone, I'm okay with the container they picked,  as long as it's hidden to be suited for the environment.

We still have a half pallet of 30cals and have offered some to others.  Only a couple accepted.

We figure so few takers only because they'd keep them home, and unless it's a park n grab, we'd find out.   :D

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45 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

No response from the owners who are either not playing anymore, moved away, left a vacation cache (Aunt Martha isn't maintaining it because there never was an Aunt Martha), or had no intention of ever returning to maintain what they left behind. 

And the point is that those CO's are not going to follow current or new/expanded guidelines.

 

 

28 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

When we leave a cache and never go back we have littered. Littering is a public offense.  Would you like GS to publicly condone never checking the caches we leave behind?

Where do my comments say that we should be littering?  And where did I say CO's should "never go back"?  That's quite the leap to over-dramatize your point.

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

 

This is timely because I just checked one of my letterboxes. It is in a sandwich size authentic Lock & Lock (not a knock-off). I don't put baggies inside because they can get caught in the seal. Authentic L&Ls do a very good job of keeping the contents dry. It ept the contents dry for 5 years, sans baggie. So I find my LB and the contents are swimming in grey yellow water. Inside I find the contents have been put into a large freezer bag. The freezer bag is full of water. It did not protect the contents at all and only served to compromise the container by getting caught in the seal.  Here's what it looked like after I poured out the water. 

 

IMG_3534.thumb.JPG.adf2e14ae75fe4161b90338bdc8fdb4e.JPG IMG_3535.JPG.496bc412e3267b3ce85acc9ecbe487e7.JPG

 

 

Love that 'community maintenance help'.  It absolutely ruined your cache.

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26 minutes ago, dprovan said:

There's a solution to that: people visiting the cache post an NA. The problem with the war against "inactive COs", is that a cache that doesn't look like this and that no one's complaining about should also get archived under the "must visit regularly" rule.

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

 

Would you use this photo to recruit new players? 

 

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

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

 

Would you use this photo to recruit new players? 

 

As I carefully explained...in an area where this is rare, a new player is unlikely to make his decision based on this one cache. And if he does decide not to play because he ran into one of the rare caches in this condition, maybe that's a good thing, since this happens and will always happen, so if they're shocked to encounter a cache that looks like this, this might not be the game for them. On the other hand, in an area where all the caches look like this, while I wouldn't use this as a recruiting poster, we do need to consider whether a map with no geocaches on it is a better way of recruiting players.

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9 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

 

I’d say climate is a huge factor.  Also not many convenient rocky outcrops along the Basingstoke Canal. 😉

Pity the poor COs on New Zealand's South Island. When I had my motorcycle accident there eight weeks ago, in the area we were riding some places recorded 100cm, almost 40 inches, of rain in one day. Where I live that's a years' average. It certainly cut short my caching that holiday. One day two finds then a week in hospital! Ouch.

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8 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

 

Just looking at rainfall charts, and surprised to see that annual rainfall in SE Australia is actually higher than here in SE UK, but we do have more rainy days and the 10° C lower average temperature can’t help. :-(

 

A lot of the caches I go for are puzzles, typically only found a few times a year.  The most common issue (in maybe 10-20% of my finds) is a useable but damp log.  Once a little water gets in, they just don’t get the chance to dry out.

 

Doesn’t get away from the fact that many containers are poorly chosen though, and that plastic bags rarely help!

 

I think the temperature range might be a big factor. Here, if things get wet, it's usually warm enough to dry them out again fairly quickly. Even our winters are generally mild (15-20 C maximums) with dry off-shore winds, so unless a cache is placed in a watercourse it's likely to stay reasonably dry unless it's hydroscopic.

 

The worst containers locally tend to be mint tins which, in the salty coastal environment, rust out in no time. One of my hides in a creek retaining wall was originally a plastic Sistema but it floated off in a flood so I replaced it with a heavy powder-coated steel cashbox weighed down with a couple of big fishing sinkers, but moisture got under the powder coating on the lid and it started rusting. I replaced it with another one but added a couple of coats of transparent rust inhibitor all over it and so far it seems to be holding up. During the recent CC promotion I ran a bit of a semi-humorous "say no to mint tins" campaign...

 

SayNoToMintTins.thumb.jpg.97a34821cbadd9f9afe68e1986594f89.jpg

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9 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

We have a variety of climates; from desert to rainforest. I used to live in a rainforest area, and saw 457mm (18 inches) in one day for instance. 762mm (30inches) over 11 days . Admittedly, this was more than normal, but even normally we got a lot of rain.

 

I use to live in a desert environment. During the rainy season it rained almost every day for an hour. It was a monsoon, came down in buckets, never saw so much rain at one time. The dry rivers became dangerous torrents. An hour or two after the rain ended everything was back to bone dry. 

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2 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I think the temperature range might be a big factor. Here, if things get wet, it's usually warm enough to dry them out again fairly quickly. Even our winters are generally mild (15-20 C maximums) with dry off-shore winds, so unless a cache is placed in a watercourse it's likely to stay reasonably dry unless it's hydroscopic.

 

The worst containers locally tend to be mint tins which, in the salty coastal environment, rust out in no time. One of my hides in a creek retaining wall was originally a plastic Sistema but it floated off in a flood so I replaced it with a heavy powder-coated steel cashbox weighed down with a couple of big fishing sinkers, but moisture got under the powder coating on the lid and it started rusting. I replaced it with another one but added a couple of coats of transparent rust inhibitor all over it and so far it seems to be holding up. During the recent CC promotion I ran a bit of a semi-humorous "say no to mint tins" campaign...

 

SayNoToMintTins.thumb.jpg.97a34821cbadd9f9afe68e1986594f89.jpg

I have a few mint tins and they are lasting quite well. Most are out of the elements except one which is a magnetic on a vertical section of train track. It's been there since Sep 2015 and is still good but I had painted it with an epoxy enamel (similar to Rustoleum). It replaced  the previous one that had been there since May 2013 which disappeared in a bush fire. Sometime after the fire it was found among the ashes, log was ash but container was ok. I had painted that one too.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, colleda said:

Pity the poor COs on New Zealand's South Island. When I had my motorcycle accident there eight weeks ago, in the area we were riding some places recorded 100cm, almost 40 inches, of rain in one day. Where I live that's a years' average. It certainly cut short my caching that holiday. One day two finds then a week in hospital! Ouch.

Not all south island of NZ. Alexander area for instance, only has about 360mm annual rainfall. It's considered to be a semi-arid area. I think it suffers rain shadow.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra,_New_Zealand

Photographs I took of the dry hills there.

Alexandra to Wanaka 6.jpg

Bare hills.jpg

Edited by Goldenwattle

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

The worst containers locally tend to be mint tins which, in the salty coastal environment, rust out in no time.

Like this one. Attached under a bridge that goes over salt water :rolleyes:. At least they are biodegradable and in the long term likely better than plastic containers.

Rusty mintie tin.jpg

Edited by Goldenwattle
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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

At least they are biodegradable and in the long term likely better than plastic containers.

I never thought of them that way! You're right..... They still suck though.....

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On 5/20/2019 at 2:32 AM, rapotek said:

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

 

This seems to follow the current trend regarding maintenance, that it must be done immediately.  I'm pretty sure there's no guideline in place that says caches must be in pristine condition for all finders.  Promptly doesn't allow for extenuating circumstances that might delay a CO's opportunity to get out to GZ to fix any issues.  Promptly implies immediacy and that's the biggest issue I have with the direction expected maintenance from finders is heading.  While it would be nice to find pristine caches, I think that's a bit of a reach for an expectation.  Caches in good condition (which varies from cacher to cacher) is what I would hope would happen.  That might mean a slightly damp log doesn't need an immediate OM to correct the issue.  The current guideline states "regularly" I believe.  When things are vague like this, some cachers believe regularly to mean monthly while others might see that as a call to visit once a year (or longer) because it's an ammo can that gets found 6 times a year at best and isn't conducive to monthly check ups.

 

I don't think anyone is even remotely saying that NO maintenance should be performed.  I think many of us feel that the calls for maintenance done as soon as possible to guarantee a pristine cache are unreasonable.  I don't want to feel pressured (other than what I bring to it myself) to keep things as clean and nice as they were when they were first placed.  I place my caches to do as little maintenance as possible because I place good containers in locations that aren't apt to be discovered.  Things happen and I'll address them when needed, but just because a finder mentioned that the log is slightly damp, it shouldn't be a call to "prompt" maintenance.

 

On 5/20/2019 at 8:01 AM, arisoft said:

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

 

While it would certainly look nicer, if the container is cracked, it's still going to need maintenance.  Adding to that, that's not a container I would recommend for use except in very specific locations where it wasn't exposed to the elements.

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8 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

Things happen and I'll address them when needed, but just because a finder mentioned that the log is slightly damp, it shouldn't be a call to "prompt" maintenance.

But this is the same in my opinion: "maintain their caches promptly when needed" means primarily for me "when needs maintenance is posted to your cache, take care of it as soon as possible".

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3 minutes ago, coachstahly said:
On 5/20/2019 at 3:01 PM, arisoft said:

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

 

While it would certainly look nicer, if the container is cracked, it's still going to need maintenance.  Adding to that, that's not a container I would recommend for use except in very specific locations where it wasn't exposed to the elements.

 

Correct, but in this case the container seems to be intact. Whoever visits the cache could clean the container if it is too dirt to find. I have seen more sturdy containers as dirt as this one.

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On 5/20/2019 at 9:17 AM, L0ne.R said:

Depends on the culture in an area.

 

I disagree, to some extent, with this notion.  To me it's more about the containers used than anything else.  Culture of an area influences container use, only so far as the idea that what many find, many tend to use.  It still boils down to containers used in a manner that will provide the best longevity for the environment in which it's being used.  The same container, like the one LOne.R used as an example, survives much better in a dry, arid climate than one with 4 seasons.  It does even better if hidden in a manner that reduces exposure to sunlight in that arid climate.  That doesn't mean that it's a container that should be used in that situation all the time.  It just means that it could  be used in the right type of situation.  

 

22 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

Authentic L&Ls do a very good job of keeping the contents dry.

 

They do the same type of job that other similar products do.  This has been hashed out elsewhere.  They have a tendency to succeed or fail at the same rate as other containers.  There are certainly some cheaper knock offs that perform worse, but many others have found success with other type of tab locked containers.

 

6 minutes ago, rapotek said:

But this is the same in my opinion: "maintain their caches promptly when needed" means primarily for me "when needs maintenance is posted to your cache, take care of it as soon as possible".

 

Not the same in mine.  Perhaps that's a language issue? Not with the meaning of the word but instead what one implies over what the other implies.

 

Promptly - with little or no delay; immediately

 

As soon as possible - possible implies when it's possible for the CO to address the issue.  It allows the timeline for maintenance some flexibility, based on the CO's availability.

 

14 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Correct, but in this case the container seems to be intact

 

The lid is missing part of its lip (look to the left of the ziplock bag). 

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59 minutes ago, coachstahly said:

Not the same in mine.  Perhaps that's a language issue? Not with the meaning of the word but instead what one implies over what the other implies.

 

Promptly - with little or no delay; immediately

 

As soon as possible - possible implies when it's possible for the CO to address the issue.  It allows the timeline for maintenance some flexibility, based on the CO's availability.

Maybe you are right. I encountered these two phrases in some kind of a corporate talk and they were used interchangeably there. :D

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2 hours ago, rapotek said:

But this is the same in my opinion: "maintain their caches promptly when needed" means primarily for me "when needs maintenance is posted to your cache, take care of it as soon as possible".

Should we bring up the issue of NM logs that don't need to be responded to? The most obvious example are NM logs that should be simple DNF logs.

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6 minutes ago, niraD said:

Should we bring up the issue of NM logs that don't need to be responded to? The most obvious example are NM logs that should be simple DNF logs.

If you are sure the cache is where it should be and the log should be simple DNF instead, just post Owner Maintenance saying that all is well. Is it really a problem?

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2 hours ago, coachstahly said:

While it would be nice to find pristine caches, I think that's a bit of a reach for an expectation.

While I agree with what you're saying, I'm not going to let this statement pass. Pristine caches not just a reach, it's an impossible to achieve goal, yet the impossible goal that this whole "cache quality" effort is driving at. No matter how good a job the CO does, someone is going to find the cache after it fails. Someone is going to find it full of water when it eventually cracks or the last seeker fails to close it properly. Someone is going to look for it after it goes missing. That's just part of the game. But more and more, there is, in fact, this expectation of pristine caches, and, by all appearances, this "cache quality" effort is taking us towards the idea that the CO should visit the cache often enough that he discovers any problems before anyone else gets there. I think this is leading in the wrong direction because the conscientious COs determined to maintain their caches see the expectations as being impossible to meet, so they hide fewer caches, leaving the COs that never really cared about maintenance to begin with and never planned to meet expectations as the ones hiding most the caches.

 

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46 minutes ago, rapotek said:

If you are sure the cache is where it should be and the log should be simple DNF instead, just post Owner Maintenance saying that all is well. Is it really a problem?

Some might argue against "armchair OM logs".

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, coachstahly said:

This seems to follow the current trend regarding maintenance, that it must be done immediately.

 

I don't think the guidelines have changed regarding how much time a CO is allowed. In fact the Help Center keeps it fairly loosey-goosey. The language in the Help Center reflects no urgency, just a general instruction to perform maintenance and keep the reviewer informed about when maintenance is expected to be performed.

 

In practice, it's been 4 weeks, and that's usually after months of DNFs or NMs. Followed by an NA, followed 4 weeks later by a reviewer note, followed 4 weeks later by a reviewer TD, followed 4 weeks later by a reviewer archive when there's been no response to the weeks/months alerts sent by finders and the reviewer. That's the normal sequence of events and hasn't changed since the implementation of NM and NA tools. Probably hasn't changed since reviewers were recruited to archive caches.

 

The usual amount of time an unresponsive owner has is usually 12 weeks (3 months) after an NA is posted. I've seen responsive owners lengthen the process by an extra 4 weeks to an extra 6 months to the process, depending on reasons give for not being able to maintain their cache.

Edited by L0ne.R
typo
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On 5/20/2019 at 6:17 AM, L0ne.R said:

Depends on the culture in an area. Once the power-style culture kicks in it holds tight.

Which is cause and which is effect? As it gets harder and harder to meet the high expectations of "cache quality" currently being advocated, it gets easier and easier to decide to just throw out a line of caches for which quality isn't a consideration.

 

34 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

I don't think the guidelines have changed regarding how much time a CO is allowed. In fact the Help Center keeps it fairly loosey-goosey. The language in the Help Center reflects no urgency, just a general instruction to perform maintenance and keep the reviewer informed about when performance is expected to be performed.

The current "cache quality" effort is, nevertheless, pushing in the direction of quicker CO responses. When you post your pictures of trashed caches, what are you saying other than "the CO should have fixed this before I got there to see this"?

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

In practice, it's been 4 weeks, and that's usually after months of DNFs or NMs. Followed by an NA, followed 4 weeks later by a reviewer note, followed 4 weeks later by a reviewer TD, followed 4 weeks later by a reviewer archive when there's been no response to the weeks/months alerts sent by finders and the reviewer. That's the normal sequence of events and hasn't changed since the implementation of NM and NA tools. Probably hasn't changed since reviewers were recruited to archive caches.

This likely summarizes the reviewers' practices where you live, but there is a fair amount of discretion given to Community Volunteer Reviewers to tailor their cache maintenance guideline monitoring activities according to the circumstances of their local communities.  The Alaska reviewer is likely to be less aggressive with maintenance notes in January vs. the Australian reviewers, who are likely to act consistently throughout the year.

 

In 2003 it was likely that I would archive a clearly missing cache, or a cache that had been temporarily disabled for many months, immediately upon becoming aware of the situation.  That evolved into giving the CO two weeks' notice prior to archiving.  That timeframe grew to three weeks, and a few years ago I extended it to four weeks.  The four weeks begin when I become aware of the issue and post a log to the cache page.  I do not wait four weeks before reacting to a "Needs Archived" log.  It would be unusual for me to not decision those logs within four days or so.  In addition, in recent years I've been posting responses to nearly all "Needs Archived" logs:  when I don't take any action, I indicate that the log should be treated as a DNF log or a Needs Maintenance log, as applicable.  Those logs let the person submitting the NA know that their request received attention, and they let the cache owner know when to worry & take action, and when not to worry as much.

 

So, over the years, I've become more forgiving of cache owners, while at the same time catching many more situations where maintenance is needed, due to the improvements in the tools provided to me for this task.

Edited by Keystone
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Posted (edited)
On 5/21/2019 at 7:29 PM, niraD said:

Some might argue against "armchair OM logs".

Maybe I was lucky but I did not see any "armchair OM logs", while caches with no owner response for even a few Needs Maintenance logs are more common here, unfortunately. And a broken cache being "virtually" maintained is as bad for me as a cache in good state being archived by reviewer for no response from owner on Needs Maintenance logs.

Edited by rapotek

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1 hour ago, Keystone said:

This likely summarizes the reviewers' practices where you live, but there is a fair amount of discretion given to Community Volunteer Reviewers to tailor their cache maintenance guideline monitoring activities according to the circumstances of their local communities.  The Alaska reviewer is likely to be less aggressive with maintenance notes in January vs. the Australian reviewers, who are likely to act consistently throughout the year.

 

In 2003 it was likely that I would archive a clearly missing cache, or a cache that had been temporarily disabled for many months, immediately upon becoming aware of the situation.  That evolved into giving the CO two weeks' notice prior to archiving.  That timeframe grew to three weeks, and a few years ago I extended it to four weeks.  The four weeks begin when I become aware of the issue and post a log to the cache page.  I do not wait four weeks before reacting to a "Needs Archived" log.  It would be unusual for me to not decision those logs within four days or so.  In addition, in recent years I've been posting responses to nearly all "Needs Archived" logs:  when I don't take any action, I indicate that the log should be treated as a DNF log or a Needs Maintenance log, as applicable.  Those logs let the person submitting the NA know that their request received attention, and they let the cache owner know when to worry & take action, and when not to worry as much.

 

So, over the years, I've become more forgiving of cache owners, while at the same time catching many more situations where maintenance is needed, due to the improvements in the tools provided to me for this task.

 

Good to hear from a reviewer that it's become more lenient, not more aggressive. 

It's remained the same where I cache. And reviewers provide lots of leeway in the winter months. Generally, for the average cache situation, the norm is 4 weeks minimum after an NA if the owner does not respond. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/22/2019 at 4:48 AM, Keystone said:

vs. the Australian reviewers

Hopefully more time would be given here too. Mountains south of Canberra where I live. I include this here, because some people don't know it snows in some parts (although a relatively small area) of Australia. Also we have remote areas, that need time for people to get to caches. Under the snow at the top of that mountain, there is a cache. (Somewhere...I couldn't find it 😭.)

Great though to read that there is a fair amount of discretion given to Community Volunteer Reviewers.

image.jpeg.d0eae8565c1868488c72b7448c6af29d.jpeg 6268847.jpg?627

Edited by Goldenwattle

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8 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Hopefully more time would be given here too. Mountains south of Canberra where I live. I include this here, because some people don't know it snows in some parts (although a relatively small area) of Australia. Also we have remote areas, that need time for people to get to caches. Under the snow at the top of that mountain, there is a cache. (Somewhere...I couldn't find it 😭.)

Great though to read that there is a fair amount of discretion given to Community Volunteer Reviewers.

image.jpeg.d0eae8565c1868488c72b7448c6af29d.jpeg 6268847.jpg?627

A little known fact, or trivia. Australia (the Snowy Mountains in the state of NSW) has more snow in winter than Switzerland.

I'll throw in another. Australia's largest cattle station (ranch) is almost the same size as Belgium.

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2 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Hopefully more time would be given here too. Mountains south of Canberra where I live. I include this here, because some people don't know it snows in some parts (although a relatively small area) of Australia. Also we have remote areas, that need time for people to get to caches. Under the snow at the top of that mountain, there is a cache. (Somewhere...I couldn't find it 😭.)

Great though to read that there is a fair amount of discretion given to Community Volunteer Reviewers.

image.jpeg.d0eae8565c1868488c72b7448c6af29d.jpeg 6268847.jpg?627

 

By contrast, where I am on the Central Coast it can be very hot, humid and stormy during the summer months, making access to higher terrain caches (T4+ especially) unpleasant if not downright unhealthy, particularly for someone my age, and is also when the snakes are most active. I much prefer to visit those during the cooler months of the year, and if one of those got an NM at the height of summer, I'd probably just disable it until we got a cool enough day for me to get out there. Likewise my one on Waterfall Bay, that was pinged by the CHS a couple of years ago, is a 2km kayak paddle to GZ and one I'd prefer not to have to go to during the summer school holidays as the normally quiet bay turns into a haven for jetskis and water skiers with the the little beach at GZ being a popular after-fun booze-up place for them (which is why it got the DNF that caused the CHS to ping it - doh!).

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re Most important factors for a high-quality geocache

Around 92% of survey respondents ranked accurate coordinates as very or extremely important for a high-quality geocache. By comparison, only 24% said that the largest container for a location was very or extremely important.

 

The factors, in order of importance, were:

. . .

5. Accurate Difficulty and Terrain ratings

 

In our opinion, despite the result of this factor ranking only 5th in the list of importance factors for a high-quality cache, it is important - when searching - to have as objective as possible an indication as, if a cache is actually difficult but not graded as such, it can have just as much of an impact as poor co-ordinates.

 

Nobody likes a DNF, least of all the majority of cache setters because only a very small minority set caches they don't actually wan to have found and those setters just have slightly twisted minds :( (in my opinion!). A series of DNFs on a cache, for whatever reason,  leads to either a maintenance check or prospective seeker/finders  abandoning the thought of looking for the cache concerned and, when there is more than one such on a series,  many will look elsewhere to cache.

 

This can lead cache setters to give generous Hints. When we started setting caches, we generally made our Hints cryptic so as not to make the find too easy. Over the years, we have softened our approach. But, besides the positive effect of eliminating excessive DNFs, a good Hint can have a negative impact  on the quality of Statistics when a high-difficulty-rated cache becomes too easy to find. Cache setters can, and do, have quite a problem selecting a D rating if a hint is given.

 

So we (well Mrs AnT did if truth be told) had the idea of a variable Difficulty rating. The concept would be that the standard rating would apply when the Hint is not viewed. The value of the Hint would be determined by the setter in reductions at 0.5 intervals and a change to the Difficulty rating would be applied to the finder's personal results /statistics if the Hint was viewed before the cache was logged as a Find. Mrs AnT is (or was) a programmer and thinks this would be a fairly simple piece of interactive data collection.

 

This would mean that different cachers would have different stats resulting from the same find. It would leave a challenge and the opportunity to improve their stats distribution to those who want it , and make it easier for those who just want to chase the numbers or are short of time. Of course it doesn't address the issues of PAFs, and other forms of information sharing such as 2 or more persons caching together that would benefit from only 1 person taking a hit on their stats. But this aspect of the game relies on cachers being honest with themselves.

 

AnTs!

West Sussex UK 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, AnTsInRpAnTs said:

So we (well Mrs AnT did if truth be told) had the idea of a variable Difficulty rating.

 

This would mean that different cachers would have different stats resulting from the same find.

-snip-

 But this aspect of the game relies on cachers being honest with themselves.

 

Sure.  What could go wrong...    :)    

Noticed you did the latest promotions. 

Did you know that the biggest complaint here was people given each other Favorite Points like madmen, some even on their archived hides for that promotion?

The recent lab cache complaints were all the people armchair logging them, some with mutiple finds from different countries on the same day.

 

Different stats on the same cache, based on whether someone reads the hint, I think deep-down you realize just won't work.  ;)

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3 hours ago, AnTsInRpAnTs said:

when the Hint is not viewed

How would you determine this?

 

3 hours ago, AnTsInRpAnTs said:

This would mean that different cachers would have different stats resulting from the same find.

Statistics (different or otherwise) are not the point of the difficulty and terrain ratings.

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6 hours ago, AnTsInRpAnTs said:

The concept would be that the standard rating would apply when the Hint is not viewed.

 

I'm sure I've seen something somewhere that said the D rating should assume that both the description and hint have been read by the searcher, but I can't put my finger on the reference.

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2 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm sure I've seen something somewhere that said the D rating should assume that both the description and hint have been read by the searcher, but I can't put my finger on the reference.

One of my Favorites is a D5 cache that includes 3 hints, with a note that each hint used subtracts 1 from the difficulty of the cache. I'm not sure that's terribly accurate, because even with all 3 hints, the cache is definitely not a D2 hide.

 

But I don't recall seeing anything that would contradict this idea of rating the cache without the hints, and including hints that could even be spoilers, making the cache much easier to find than the difficulty rating.

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14 hours ago, niraD said:

How would you determine this?

 

Statistics (different or otherwise) are not the point of the difficulty and terrain ratings.

 

If the hint is not viewed, nothing would happen. 

If the hint is viewed, the remote device application would have to create a record that would be uploaded to Geocaching.com somewhere linked to , or on, the user profile noting the cache GC code and a "hint viewed" flag, the D penalty for which would be applied at the time, or retrospectively if the cache is logged later. Similarly, if the cache is logged directly online, the penalty would be applied immediately if the record had been extracted from the user's remote device / application, or retrospectively when it was later extracted.

 

I have to say, this does sound a wee bit convoluted and barefootjeff's comment "I'm sure I've seen something somewhere that said the D rating should assume that both the description and hint have been read by the searcher, but I can't put my finger on the reference ", if correct, is how it should work.

 

As regards  "Statistics (different or otherwise) are not the point of the difficulty and terrain ratings", I totally agree. And with reference to geostats, too many cachers abuse them as a form of self-aggrandizement and the manipulation of D ratings to enable grid completion is only one of many ways that can be achieved. I read somewhere that a.o. Mark Twain attributed the great and well-used quotation "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics" to Benjamin Disraeli. Geostats fall into all three :)

 

17 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

Did you know that the biggest complaint here was people given each other Favorite Points like madmen, some even on their archived hides for that promotion?

The recent lab cache complaints were all the people armchair logging them, some with mutiple finds from different countries on the same day.

 

No, I had no idea. :(

 

re: Different stats on the same cache, based on whether someone reads the hint, I think deep-down you realize just won't work.  

 

It could work but given the propensity of many cachers for self-promotion based on stats manipulation anyway Per your other allegation, it's probably a complete waste of time. Hey-ho! 

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14 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I'm sure I've seen something somewhere that said the D rating should assume that both the description and hint have been read by the searcher, but I can't put my finger on the reference.

 

This was always my assumption, but I’m sure it’s not used consistently - I’m probably not even consistent with my own caches!  I can see the value in the idea - it would be useful to know, say, a cache is a “D3 but down to D1.5 if you read the hint”.

 

But to build this into the system, particularly for the statistical side, would be next to impossible.  If the only way of accessing the cache information were through the official app, just maybe, but what about the webpage, GPX files, PQs, the API, ...?  They all include the hint.

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