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DrakeTheDragon

How far do I place my Geocache from others?

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Before you yell at me, I know it’s like 161 m or something like that, but is there a sure-fire way to measure with the map. Like, is there a rule like ‘if your desired location is two thumbs away on the map, it’s ok’ or something alone that lines?

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Under the "Cache Saturation" guideline, the separation distance between physical elements of geocaches is .1 miles (or 528 feet, or 161 metres). 

This Help Center article explains how to check for cache saturation using the planning map.  The planning map has lovely pink circles around visible physical cache element waypoints.  It does not show hidden waypoints, like the actual location of a Mystery Cache, or the final stage of a Multicache, etc.

 

In addition to the planning map, there are third party partner applications which also display circles around waypoints.  The one that I use is GSAK, because it's easy to record the solved coordinates for puzzles, the actual locations of Wherigo and Multicaches, etc., so that hidden waypoints won't trip you up.

 

For all applications that display 161m "saturation circles," the objective is that the outer edge of one circle cannot cross over the centerpoint of any other circle.  They can overlap, but not past the centerpoint. 

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4 hours ago, DrakeTheDragon said:

Before you yell at me, I know it’s like 161 m or something like that, but is there a sure-fire way to measure with the map.

Like, is there a rule like ‘if your desired location is two thumbs away on the map, it’s ok’ or something alone that lines?

 

The map circles may help with veering too close to another,  but by guidelines we're supposed to be using a GPS-enabled device for coordinates.

The guidelines do say "Don’t rely only on the Geocache Planning Map to choose a location. Multi-Caches, Mysteries, Wherigos, and Letterbox Hybrids can have hidden physical waypoints."

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5 hours ago, DrakeTheDragon said:

is there a sure-fire way to measure with the map.

 

I use the map as a second check after I've found caches all around the area I'm wanting to place one - I stand at my potential location(s), and look at the distance on my GPS to the nearest caches.  THEN I go to the map, pop in the potential coordinates, and see how it places with the circles.

 

We learned early that hidden coordinates can trip you up - that's why we find all the caches we can so we KNOW where the hidden waypoints and caches are, and can place ours in an open area.  We also pre-check with our reviewer before getting too attached to any one location - once we know a spot available, we get going on the container, the write up, and the fun!

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I find the visual representation (the red circles) helpful when reviewing an area prior to placing a cache but not so much when there are mystery and multicaches in the area.  Since the hidden stages are unknown, it's only after you have placed a cache that you get the word it is "too close".  I recently ran into this issue twice:  the first time my cache was 350 feet from a hidden stage; the second time it was 525 feet away.  The Reviewer would not tell me the coordinates of the hidden stages, so I had to puzzle it out.    I asked for an exception to the distance rule in the first case because the cache was in the middle of a river while the hidden stage was ashore  and in the second because there was a busy four lane highway between my cache and the other.  I was told "no" in both cases.  Because I also place a number of mystery and multicaches, I have run into the distance issue from the other side and to date I have found notes on four of my caches that have a version of this:  "GC4V8WD is 314 ft E of your waypoint. Minimum acceptable distance is 528 ft. Learn more."   

In each case, my cache was placed years earlier than the other cache.  In each case, I emailed The Reviewer who approved the other cache and asked for an explaination of why the other cache was approved, indicating that I wasn't objecting to the placement, but wanted to know the rationale for approving it.  No response from any of The Reviewers.  Anyone else run into this issue?  

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Yep, it's like watching a strip show over the telephone. 

You create something a little different, make it interesting, find an appropriate track to space them out before falling victim to a hidden multi. 

I'm currently on the spinning wheel right now, trying to relocate my cache series so it doesn't offend an existing hidden cache location (the co-ordinates which are still unknown). 
You are basically bullied into searching (and finding) all caches surrounding the selected location before placing a series. 

I can see why people just post boring mint tins... 

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6 minutes ago, Importunity said:

Yep, it's like watching a strip show over the telephone. 

You create something a little different, make it interesting, find an appropriate track to space them out before falling victim to a hidden multi. 

I'm currently on the spinning wheel right now, trying to relocate my cache series so it doesn't offend an existing hidden cache location (the co-ordinates which are still unknown). 
You are basically bullied into searching (and finding) all caches surrounding the selected location before placing a series. 

I can see why people just post boring mint tins... 

It is a disappointment when you try to place a cache, only to discover that there is already one in that space.  As you know, you have to place any physical part of any cache you place the minimum distance (0.1 miles/528 feet/161 meters) away from any physical stage of another cache. 

 

Nobody is being bullied by this rule from about 19 years ago.

 

Maybe you should find the caches in the area you want to place yours, including any puzzle/Mystery caches whose ? icon lies within 2 miles of your chosen spots.  When you find these, there's a good chance it will be something much better than a boring mint tin.

 

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46 minutes ago, Importunity said:

Yep, it's like watching a strip show over the telephone. 

You create something a little different, make it interesting, find an appropriate track to space them out before falling victim to a hidden multi. 

I'm currently on the spinning wheel right now, trying to relocate my cache series so it doesn't offend an existing hidden cache location (the co-ordinates which are still unknown). 
You are basically bullied into searching (and finding) all caches surrounding the selected location before placing a series. 

I can see why people just post boring mint tins... 

You would have had the same problem with this location if you had tried to hide a boring mint tin there, so that part of your rant is irrelevant. :)

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1 hour ago, K13 said:

It is a disappointment when you try to place a cache, only to discover that there is already one in that space.  As you know, you have to place any physical part of any cache you place the minimum distance (0.1 miles/528 feet/161 meters) away from any physical stage of another cache. 

 

Nobody is being bullied by this rule from about 19 years ago.

 

Maybe you should find the caches in the area you want to place yours, including any puzzle/Mystery caches whose ? icon lies within 2 miles of your chosen spots.  When you find these, there's a good chance it will be something much better than a boring mint tin.

 

I had a Mystery all set to go but it fell foul of another Mystery with false coords about a kilometre away. As the other mystery was a D5 there's no hope of my solving it. I'll just have ti find another spot.

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On 5/31/2019 at 6:28 AM, DrakeTheDragon said:

Before you yell at me, I know it’s like 161 m or something like that, but is there a sure-fire way to measure with the map. Like, is there a rule like ‘if your desired location is two thumbs away on the map, it’s ok’ or something alone that lines?

If you're wanting to use the geocaching.com map - either the search or the browse map - look for the distance indicator.  It will show both m/km and ft/mi, and that will change as you zoom in and out.  Rather than use your thumb, use these distance indicators as your initial guide to eyeball a location on the map.

Then, if it's looking pretty good, you really will need to get coordinates and follow the rest of the fine advice already stated, above.

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8 minutes ago, colleda said:

As the other mystery was a D5 there's no hope of my solving it. I'll just have ti find another spot.

 

Thank you for stating this. 

It must be overwhelming/frustrating for some one who is new or even a seasoned cacher who just doesn't excel at mystery caches to be instructed to go figure all of them out.

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To OP, for eyeballing the map purposes, you can also enter your coordinates in google maps.  Right-click on the point, and choose (the last entry) 'measure distance'.  Click on anywhere else, and it will show you, in both ft and m, how far it is.

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1 hour ago, VAVAPAM said:
1 hour ago, colleda said:

As the other mystery was a D5 there's no hope of my solving it. I'll just have ti find another spot.

 

Thank you for stating this. 

It must be overwhelming/frustrating for some one who is new or even a seasoned cacher who just doesn't excel at mystery caches to be instructed to go figure all of them out.

 

You could always ask the CO (or even a past finder of the mystery), not for the coordinates of the cache but tell them where you'd like to put yours and if that would clash with it. I did that when placing a multi earlier this year in an area that had a D4 and a D5 mystery within 3km and they gave me the all-clear. I still have no idea where those mysteries are (my puzzle-solving skills aren't yet up to the task), only that they're not within 161 metres of my GZ.

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1 minute ago, barefootjeff said:

 

You could always ask the CO (or even a past finder of the mystery), not for the coordinates of the cache but tell them where you'd like to put yours and if that would clash with it. I did that when placing a multi earlier this year in an area that had a D4 and a D5 mystery within 3km and they gave me the all-clear. I still have no idea where those mysteries are (my puzzle-solving skills aren't yet up to the task), only that they're not within 161 metres of my GZ.

Give them your proposed coordinates, rather than ask for theirs.  Excellent!

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57 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

You could always ask the CO (or even a past finder of the mystery), not for the coordinates of the cache but tell them where you'd like to put yours and if that would clash with it.

 

I used to notice open areas in otherwise saturated places, and at some Event I'd excitedly mention my idea of a cool cache to put there.  The locals would say "That sure is cool and on a completely unrelated topic have you found "[Cache Z]" yet?  I may next do a ride-along and go find some caches around there.  Including that one.

 

Or even more valuable information, is that the spot I've chosen, historically could never have a cache there.  A muggle nexus.

 

But it never has bothered me that my way cool cache idea won't fit in some spot due to the existing way cool cache.  That place is full.  I make no mint tins instead.  I place a nice cache somewhere else, in an even better place I discovered.

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1 minute ago, kunarion said:

But it never has bothered me that my way cool cache idea won't fit in some spot due to the existing way cool cache.  That place is full.  I make no mint tins instead.  I place a nice cache somewhere else, in an even better place I discovered.

^^This.  One of my first cache hides ran afoul of a puzzle final.  We solved the puzzle, found that cache and saw where it was.  We found another spot that worked and placed our cache.  The hint that was PERFECT for the original placement we wanted is still waiting for another perfect placement that the hint will apply to - in the meantime, the cache I had to relocate is still going strong, and actually in a better location than the original.  I'm over it.

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8 minutes ago, kunarion said:

But it never has bothered me that my way cool cache idea won't fit in some spot due to the existing way cool cache.  That place is full.  I make no mint tins instead.  I place a nice cache somewhere else, in an even better place I discovered.

 

While I haven't bumped up against any unsolved puzzles or multis yet, I've come across plenty of you-beaut cache spots in the local national park only to find out that there's a registered Aboriginal site nearby. Like hidden waypoints and finals, Aboriginal site locations aren't disclosed, you only find out about them when you try to put a cache too close to one. It took a bit more searching but I eventually found alternative scenic spots that got the green light from the authorities, so those caches didn't go to waste.

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50 minutes ago, CAVinoGal said:

^^This.  One of my first cache hides ran afoul of a puzzle final.  We solved the puzzle, found that cache and saw where it was.  We found another spot that worked and placed our cache.  The hint that was PERFECT for the original placement we wanted is still waiting for another perfect placement that the hint will apply to - in the meantime, the cache I had to relocate is still going strong, and actually in a better location than the original.  I'm over it.

 

There's a big cache I know about (an old one, a bonus cache), and I tried to work out its coordinates for almost 5 years. Just making guesses, and compiling clues.  One day I placed two caches without first checking for saturation (no cache there, right?).  Well there was a cache there, and if both of my proposed caches conflict with it, now all of my grid work is down to a single line, maybe a quarter of a mile long.  I walked the line and found the cache based on my notes.  Sure enough, it's the one I had been pondering all that time.

 

And there is no way I'm placing caches all around it.  That could spoil that cache.  So even though I know how far is OK to put some caches, I'm not gonna do it.

 

Edited by kunarion
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On 5/31/2019 at 1:28 PM, DrakeTheDragon said:

Before you yell at me, I know it’s like 161 m or something like that, but is there a sure-fire way to measure with the map. Like, is there a rule like ‘if your desired location is two thumbs away on the map, it’s ok’ or something alone that lines?

 

Go to the address https://www.geocaching.com/play/search or click Play / Search from the main menu.

Then enter coordinates you are planning to use for your new cache like "N 47° 38.938 W 122° 20.887" and hit Enter or click the magnifying glass symbol.

You get a list of caches sorted by distance and you can check that none of them are too near.

Hit the "Map These Geocaches" button to see them on the map around your planned position. (Press "+" sign to zoom near)

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