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Chakthi

SWAG (Or the lack thereof)...

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Hey, I'm about ready to go through the process of getting permission from a local park to hide a regular size cache.  Everything is on order (lost in the mail at this point, but on order nonetheless) and when it arrives, I and my fellow geocacher are going to put together a nice puzzle to make it a bit of a challenging find.  I specifically wanted to do a regular size cache so that there would be room for plenty of SWAG items.  I plan to include quite a bit of SWAG to get it started, but I'm wondering if others have noticed that it seems like people must be pilfering the caches on a regular basis, because even caches that are listed as having had maintenance done on them and new SWAG left, when found, are nearly empty.  Someone isn't playing by the rules of leaving something of equal or greater value - apparently a lot of someones if I'm right.  Without giving away the name of my cache, I've been planning on including estimated values of the items included and specifying in the listing that anything taken must be replaced with something of equal or greater value.  Yes, this will be my first hide, so I'm just trying to get some input from everyone on what I'm thinking.  Good, bad or indifferent, it will help me to decide on the course of action I decide to take.  Personally, I've never taken any SWAG from a cache, but my teenage cohort has, but we always leave a proper item(s) in the place of what is taken, but too many times recently, we've sought out regular and large caches and they're basically empty.  My only interest is in moving TBs from point to point and solving the puzzles and well, of course, the actual find, but my caching buddy is often disappointed by virtually empty caches that should be brimming with items.  Is this a serious problem in all areas or is it specific to certain regions within the US?  We have only been looking in Southwestern Ohio and admittedly only have 20 out of 22 finds, but it is already becoming a rather evident and disheartening fact.  Thoughts?  Solutions?  Also, one other question just to be sure - I have ordered a full-size FTF Geocoin to put in the cache.  I'm assuming I should not register that particular TB before putting it in the cache, is that correct?  As for the SWAG issue, I'm not trying to come across as a jerk or anything, but we have rules we're supposed to abide by and we are doing our best to make sure that we do our part and it's frustrating to find that others aren't doing the same...

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One of the common misconceptions of Geocaching is that it's a “treasure hunt” of quality goodies for the taking (placed by Geocaching.com, I guess?). And the reason people think that is because you see lots of stuff in print that “Geocaching is a kind of treasure hunt”. Go figure.

 

A cache that's easy to find and is readily accessible tends to become empty. But some of my ammo boxes that I pretty much filled up have remained that way for years, due to simply not being found all that often, and especially not found by the general public (muggles). If it's kind of a hassle to get to, even folks that know where it is tend to not make the trip to take stuff. Sometimes only a few extra yards away, makes all the difference.

 

I don't place dollar values nor require fair trades on my caches. But I do sometimes place notes in the baggie with a nice swag item, like “Do you like to find cool stuff? So do we! Trade fairly.” Many people just plain don't know that the idea is to participate in making the “treasure” fun for all.

 

But caches I've seen that are well known or are easy pickings, they get picked.  I may make a trade, but I won't add anything to a neighborhood toybox.

 

Edited by kunarion
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You can ask folks to trade even, but it's impossible to enforce.  If you want a lot less stress, don't let it bug you too much.  :)

We noticed people taking instead of trading more than ten years ago, so it's nothing new.    

After filling one of our caches at maintenance, a fellow cacher living less than 500' from it noticed it was almost empty after the third log.

The good n bad thing of "anyone can play"...     

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Just now, kunarion said:

One of the common misconceptions of Geocaching is that it's a “treasure hunt” of quality goodies for the taking (placed by Geocaching.com, I guess?). And the reason people think that is because you see lots of stuff in print that “Geocaching is a kind of treasure hunt”. Go figure.

 

Well, I for one don't believe it's any fault of a new person interested in the hobby, as the site calls it "the world's largest treasure hunt."

I feel that's where many trackables go bye-bye.  "Treasure" from their one weekend and the free app...

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This comes up fairly regularly on the forums but my experience has been almost the opposite. My hides are mostly higher terrain ones requiring a fair bit of effort to reach, so I don't usually leave swag in them as they're unlikely to be visited by people with young kids. Yet over time some of those caches accumulate swag, and I don't mean pebbles, sticks and used bus tickets, it's mostly things like small figurines, marbles, etc. I suspect there are some "good samaritan" cachers here who carry a bag of swag with them and top up any caches they find. My biggest concern is with my two caches in national parks where one of the approval conditions is that the cache can't have any swag (or trackables) left in it, and I tend to check on them after they've had a few visits to make sure none has been left.

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38 minutes ago, Chakthi said:

Hey, I'm about ready to go through the process of getting permission from a local park to hide a regular size cache.  Everything is on order (lost in the mail at this point, but on order nonetheless) and when it arrives, I and my fellow geocacher are going to put together a nice puzzle to make it a bit of a challenging find.  I specifically wanted to do a regular size cache so that there would be room for plenty of SWAG items.  I plan to include quite a bit of SWAG to get it started, but I'm wondering if others have noticed that it seems like people must be pilfering the caches on a regular basis, because even caches that are listed as having had maintenance done on them and new SWAG left, when found, are nearly empty.  Someone isn't playing by the rules of leaving something of equal or greater value - apparently a lot of someones if I'm right.  Without giving away the name of my cache, I've been planning on including estimated values of the items included and specifying in the listing that anything taken must be replaced with something of equal or greater value.  Yes, this will be my first hide, so I'm just trying to get some input from everyone on what I'm thinking.  Good, bad or indifferent, it will help me to decide on the course of action I decide to take.  Personally, I've never taken any SWAG from a cache, but my teenage cohort has, but we always leave a proper item(s) in the place of what is taken, but too many times recently, we've sought out regular and large caches and they're basically empty.  My only interest is in moving TBs from point to point and solving the puzzles and well, of course, the actual find, but my caching buddy is often disappointed by virtually empty caches that should be brimming with items.  Is this a serious problem in all areas or is it specific to certain regions within the US?  We have only been looking in Southwestern Ohio and admittedly only have 20 out of 22 finds, but it is already becoming a rather evident and disheartening fact.  Thoughts?  Solutions?  Also, one other question just to be sure - I have ordered a full-size FTF Geocoin to put in the cache.  I'm assuming I should not register that particular TB before putting it in the cache, is that correct?  As for the SWAG issue, I'm not trying to come across as a jerk or anything, but we have rules we're supposed to abide by and we are doing our best to make sure that we do our part and it's frustrating to find that others aren't doing the same...

Don't register the FTF coin if it's a gift for someone. If you register it, it's yours.

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1 minute ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Well, I for one don't believe it's any fault of a new person interested in the hobby, as the site calls it "the world's largest treasure hunt."

I feel that's where many trackables go bye-bye.  "Treasure" from their one weekend and the free app...

 

Hmmm.  I thought of that one day recently when a TB wasn't in a cache that indicated it would be there.  I assumed though that the person who had found the cache and took the TB just hadn't logged it yet.  But, yeah, I purchased a couple of Geocoins and, at least for right now, I've decided not to put them out into circulation for fear of them being taken.  I mean, the coins are so nice!  I'd hate to not get it back after it completed its mission.

 

Has there ever been any discussion of making the Geocaching.com membership fee mandatory to maybe introduce a bit more honesty to the game?  I paid the yearly membership fee for myself and my teenaged friend and I didn't find it to be what I would consider too expensive for what we have gotten out of it so far and we've only been going out caching 4-5 times in the past month.  I can think of a lot of things that cost quite a bit more for less entertainment.  It's also helping me get the exercise that I have been lacking the past several years and getting Lil_Guy130 out of the house and away from the Xbox and PlayStation.  We're both having an awesome time!

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Just now, Max and 99 said:

Don't register the FTF coin if it's a gift for someone. If you register it, it's yours.

 

Thanks, I thought so, but just wanted to be sure.

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4 minutes ago, Chakthi said:

 

 

Has there ever been any discussion of making the Geocaching.com membership fee mandatory to maybe introduce a bit more honesty to the game?  

I do not see a correlation between paying a fee and honesty.

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14 minutes ago, Chakthi said:

 

Hmmm.  I thought of that one day recently when a TB wasn't in a cache that indicated it would be there.  I assumed though that the person who had found the cache and took the TB just hadn't logged it yet.  But, yeah, I purchased a couple of Geocoins and, at least for right now, I've decided not to put them out into circulation for fear of them being taken.  I mean, the coins are so nice!  I'd hate to not get it back after it completed its mission.

 

Has there ever been any discussion of making the Geocaching.com membership fee mandatory to maybe introduce a bit more honesty to the game?  I paid the yearly membership fee for myself and my teenaged friend and I didn't find it to be what I would consider too expensive for what we have gotten out of it so far and we've only been going out caching 4-5 times in the past month.  I can think of a lot of things that cost quite a bit more for less entertainment.  It's also helping me get the exercise that I have been lacking the past several years and getting Lil_Guy130 out of the house and away from the Xbox and PlayStation.  We're both having an awesome time!

 

When you place a Trackable, it's in the wind.  There are long periods with no news, no logs, while you wonder why the guy who was "going on a trip in four weeks" doesn't log anything on that TB after a year.  It's certainly not managed with the care that you would give it.  And you can expect to never see it again, even if it remains in play.  In my 10 years of Geocaching and many trackables, I've only gotten one Geocoin back.  And that was because I made a special trip to the specific cache after the coin arrived from Germany.

 

Making a mandatory fee may not help when the persons forced to pay are the ones who don't play fair.  You see posts on this very Forum when someone begrudgingly pays the fee, then pronounces that they shall extract that value from Geocaches.  But you know for sure that they keep an accurate account and stop extracting value at exactly $30.  B)

Edited by kunarion
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1 minute ago, Max and 99 said:

I do not see a correlation between paying a fee and honesty.

 

Well, if I had to pay for something to play, I'd be more likely to make sure I knew the rules of the game.  If, as cerberus1 mentioned, it's the free app and one weekend of treasure hunting that is the cause of TBs coming up missing, maybe it's also the free app that's leading to all the SWAG disappearing as well.  People who are just out to take what they can find with the free app would be eliminated or, it would at least cost them a $5.99 membership fee for a month.

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9 minutes ago, Chakthi said:

 

Well, if I had to pay for something to play, I'd be more likely to make sure I knew the rules of the game.  If, as cerberus1 mentioned, it's the free app and one weekend of treasure hunting that is the cause of TBs coming up missing, maybe it's also the free app that's leading to all the SWAG disappearing as well.  People who are just out to take what they can find with the free app would be eliminated or, it would at least cost them a $5.99 membership fee for a month.

 

You should start a Geocaching kind of company, membership fee required, so we can see it work!  :P

 

Caches I've seen that are completely emptied are often the ones in popular hangouts, and that are easily found by everybody.  No App, not "members" at all.  Maybe some become Geocachers, though.  So some learn more about it by accidentally finding a cache.

 

Edited by kunarion
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6 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

When you place a Trackable, it's in the wind.  It's certainly not managed with the care that you would give it.  And you can expect to never see it again, even if it remains in play.  In my 10 years of Geocaching and many trackables, I've only gotten one Geocoin back.  And that was because I made a special trip to the specific cache after the coin arrived from Germany.

 

Making a mandatory fee may not help when the persons forced to pay are the ones who don't play fair.  You see posts on this very Forum when someone begrudgingly pays the fee, then pronounces that they shall extract that value from Geocaches.  But you know for sure that they keep an accurate account and stop extracting value at exactly $30.  B)

 

That's really sad.  As you can tell by my avatar, I'm a huge Star Trek fan and I've read a lot of complaints by people who don't feel they should have to pay the CBS All-Access fee to watch the new Discovery series.  Seems like too many people think everything should just be free.  There are costs for most everything worth doing or having.  It's just the way it is.  Extracting their membership fee from caches is just plain horrible in my opinion. 😞

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3 minutes ago, Chakthi said:

Extracting their membership fee from caches is just plain horrible in my opinion. 😞

 

Yep.   And the mindset that would do that after paying a fee, has been taking things unfairly before that.  You know, because they know it's a "treasure hunt".  :ph34r:

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4 minutes ago, Chakthi said:

 

Well, if I had to pay for something to play, I'd be more likely to make sure I knew the rules of the game.  If, as cerberus1 mentioned, it's the free app and one weekend of treasure hunting that is the cause of TBs coming up missing, maybe it's also the free app that's leading to all the SWAG disappearing as well.  People who are just out to take what they can find with the free app would be eliminated or, it would at least cost them a $5.99 membership fee for a month.

 

 

At least the weekend and done geocachers can't see my PM and higher rated  geocaches if they are using the free app and are regular members. I prefer it that way.

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10 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

At least the weekend and done geocachers can't see my PM and higher rated  geocaches if they are using the free app and are regular members. I prefer it that way.

 

Part of the challenge is creating a cache that's viable, that isn't muggled or raided.  It's partly because of who finds it and who doesn't.  So adding some limitations to the number of people who may find it, can help.  My main goal is to make caches that only Geocachers mess with.

 

In a spot where nobody could keep a cache, it was always muggled and missing, I made one that was PMO, high difficulty, very aggressively hidden, multi-stage, a puzzle icon, and required Garmin Chirp.  Each one of those things limits the number attempts to find (or even its visibility in the Official App).  Together, they created a very quiet cache.  It was always in fine shape, full of stuff, and never muggled.


But I once saw a post about a Tupperware box on a sidewalk bench in a town.  It held up well for a while.  So there are many factors that make a viable cache.

 

Edited by kunarion
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3 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

 

 

At least the weekend and done geocachers can't see my PM and higher rated  geocaches if they are using the free app and are regular members. I prefer it that way.

 

I'm thinking that any cache that I hide will be PM only at this point.  I really didn't realize that there was so much going on "behind the scenes" until now.  There are definitely moral and ethical issues here that I didn't foresee.  I think maybe it's best to take the earlier advice of not letting all of this bug me too much.  I just want to go out there and have a good time and if I focus too much on all of the negative, I'll never accomplish that.  Thanks to you and everyone else for the insight though.  I'm also reading the Complete Idiot's Guide to Geocaching to become more informed.  Even realizing that the game has its problems, it's still one of the coolest things I've come across in quite some time.  I'm not going to let the negatives keep me from getting my exercise and a lot of enjoyment out of it!

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1 hour ago, Chakthi said:

my caching buddy is often disappointed by virtually empty caches that should be brimming with items.  Is this a serious problem in all areas or is it specific to certain regions within the US?  We have only been looking in Southwestern Ohio and admittedly only have 20 out of 22 finds, but it is already becoming a rather evident and disheartening fact.  Thoughts?  Solutions?  Also, one other question just to be sure - I have ordered a full-size FTF Geocoin to put in the cache.  I'm assuming I should not register that particular TB before putting it in the cache, is that correct? 

 

I have fun by making inexpensive signature items that I think are pretty cool, and placing one in some especially roomy cache once every few finds.  But if it looks poorly maintained or raided (contains only things like candy wrappers?  Construction hardware?), maybe I'll wait til I find one further into the woods.  I don't expect to find treasure, to become disappointed because the previous guy found the treasure.  I place an item that someone else (I hope) will think is a treasure.

 

One thing you may try with cool Geocoins (FTF coins especially) is to not activate them, but make a private note of the tracking number anyway.  The finder may opt to activate it or not, but if they do, you can follow its adventures.  Maybe it's not so bad if it doesn't do so well in the field, because it's not really yours to worry about.  You gave it away.  I've done some like that, and it's less stressful than having to keep an eye on my own TBs. :)

 

Edited by kunarion
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11 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

Part of the challenge is creating a cache that's viable, that isn't muggled or raided.  It's partly because of who finds it and who doesn't.  So adding some limitations to the number of people who may find it, can help.  My main goal is to make caches that only Geocachers mess with.

 

In a spot where nobody could keep a cache, it was always muggled and missing, I made one that was PMO, high difficulty, very aggressively hidden, multi-stage, a puzzle icon, and required Garmin Chirp.  Each one of those things limits the number attempts to find (or even its visibility in the Official App).  Together, they created a very quiet cache.  It was always in fine shape, full of stuff, and never muggled.


But I once saw a post about a Tupperware box on a sidewalk bench in a town.  It held up well for a while.  So there are many factors that make a viable cache.

 

 

That makes sense.  Question though - I use my iPhone and the official app and Cachly to find caches.  Is there any way to track a Garmin Chirp with my phone?  The really nice Garmins are pretty expensive and having a phone that does GPS pretty well makes it even harder to justify the expense of a new GPS unit, especially if it's only to be able to track a beacon...

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5 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

I have fun by making inexpensive signature items that I think are pretty cool, and placing one in some especially roomy cache once every few finds.  But if it looks poorly maintained or raided (contains only things like candy wrappers?  Construction hardware?), maybe I'll wait til I find one further into the woods.  I don't expect to find treasure, to become disappointed because the previous guy found the treasure.  I place an item that someone else (I hope) will think is a treasure.

I love finding signature swag! 

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7 minutes ago, Chakthi said:

 

That makes sense.  Question though - I use my iPhone and the official app and Cachly to find caches.  Is there any way to track a Garmin Chirp with my phone?  The really nice Garmins are pretty expensive and having a phone that does GPS pretty well makes it even harder to justify the expense of a new GPS unit, especially if it's only to be able to track a beacon...

 

I used my Garmin or my Android tablet or phone.  But I'm special, because I've been kind of switching between iOS and Android, and although I've currently settled on iPhone as my "real phone", I have "wifi-only" Android for the stuff that iPhone won't do.  Such as Chirp.  Don't even think about making iPhone do Chirp.  For the all the time and money (and finding out that it's not worth the time and money), you could instead find a used old Samsung phone that has all the built-in stuff to read Chirp with no trouble.  You just need an App (kind of a crummy App, but it's OK) called, strangely enough, "Chirp". :)

 

 

Edited by kunarion
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5 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

I used my Garmin or my Android tablet or phone.  But I'm special, because I've been kind of switching between iOS and Android, and although I've currently settled on iPhone as my "real phone", I have "wifi-only" Android for the stuff that iPhone won't do.  Such as Chirp.  Don't even think about making iPhone do Chirp.  For the all the time and money (and finding out that it's not worth the time and money), you could instead find a used old Samsung phone that has all the built-in stuff to read Chirp with no trouble.  You just need an App (kind of a crummy App, but it's OK) called, strangely enough, "Chirp". :)

 

 

 

Well, I take my good friend's son out geocaching with me and he has an Android phone, so between the two of us, we should be able to find a Chirp beacon.  I'm not sure that his phone is a Samsung but it's definitely Android.  It doesn't have to be a Samsung does it?

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

This comes up fairly regularly on the forums but my experience has been almost the opposite. My hides are mostly higher terrain ones requiring a fair bit of effort to reach, so I don't usually leave swag in them as they're unlikely to be visited by people with young kids. Yet over time some of those caches accumulate swag, and I don't mean pebbles, sticks and used bus tickets, it's mostly things like small figurines, marbles, etc. I suspect there are some "good samaritan" cachers here who carry a bag of swag with them and top up any caches they find. My biggest concern is with my two caches in national parks where one of the approval conditions is that the cache can't have any swag (or trackables) left in it, and I tend to check on them after they've had a few visits to make sure none has been left.

 

I haven't encountered park rules like that.  But when my "remote" cache (the one 100 extra feet into the brush is the "remote" cache) full of swag seems to accumulate even bigger swag, part of my maintenance is making some room.  I have to place TBs sometimes, and need to create the space!  B)

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22 minutes ago, Chakthi said:

 

Well, I take my good friend's son out geocaching with me and he has an Android phone, so between the two of us, we should be able to find a Chirp beacon.  I'm not sure that his phone is a Samsung but it's definitely Android.  It doesn't have to be a Samsung does it?

 

If it's not Samsung, you either have to research the specs, or just try it.  I once had a $20 USB Chirp gizmo (the technology is called "ANT+") for my old Acer tablet.  But I've hung onto my newer Samsung tablet, so I have it for Chirp testing.  Garmin treats Chirp pretty well (the Garmin GPS obeys Garmin's specs and rules for Chirp).  Phones, on the other hand, can change, erase, or otherwise mess with a Chirp in the field, including adding text that a Garmin GPS can't read, or making the Chirp readable only by another phone, accidentally or deliberately, and you as a Cache Owner may not immediately know when that happens.  On a completely unrelated note, ask me why I haven't put out a Chirp cache lately. :ph34r: 

 

The good news is that there's "iBeacon", a cool Bluetooth broadcasting thing for kiosks and company advertising. Technology similar to this is kind of falling away, but there are Apps for both iOS and Android, no particular phone hardware needed.  I was looking at some hobby computer stuff this week, and thinking it would be cool to send clues or coordinates using something like iBeacon.  If it was running on a "Raspberry Pi" hobby computer, for example, it would need to be plugged into a constant power source (which a Chirp doesn't need), but it shows promise.  Maybe some Parks office would let me plug it in.  :P

 

Edited by kunarion

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17 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

If it's not Samsung, you either have to research the specs, or just try it.  I once had a $20 USB Chirp gizmo (the technology is called "ANT+") for my old Acer tablet.  But I've hung onto my newer Samsung tablet, so I have it for Chirp testing.  Garmin treats Chirp pretty well (the Garmin GPS obeys Garmin's specs and rules for Chirp).  Phones, on the other hand, can change, erase, or otherwise mess with a Chirp in the field, including adding text that a Garmin GPS can't read, or making the Chirp readable only by another phone, accidentally or deliberately, and you as a Cache Owner may not immediately know when that happens.  On a completely unrelated note, ask me why I haven't put out a Chirp cache lately. :ph34r: 

 

The good news is that there's "iBeacon", a cool Bluetooth broadcasting thing for kiosks and company advertising. Technology similar to this is kind of falling away, but there are Apps for both iOS and Android, no particular phone hardware needed.  I was looking at some hobby computer stuff this week, and thinking it would be cool to send clues or coordinates using something like iBeacon.  If it was running on a "Raspberry Pi" hobby computer, for example, it would need to be plugged into a constant power source (which a Chirp doesn't need), but it shows promise.  Maybe some Parks office would let me plug it in.  :P

 

 

Yeah, I've been researching ANT+ just now.  Doesn't seem like something easily found for iPhone, but I haven't checked eBay yet.

 

So why haven't you put out a Chirp cache lately? lol

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, Chakthi said:

Yeah, I've been researching ANT+ just now.  Doesn't seem like something easily found for iPhone, but I haven't checked eBay yet.

 

There are ANT+ adapters that allow iPhone to interact with all kinds of things.  Maybe even "detect" a Chirp.  Maybe.  The problem is, there aren't any actual iPhone Apps that could read it, at least I haven't seen one yet.  Chirp is a special part of ANT unlike the usual activity monitor devices.  Check out the "Chirp" threads around this Forum for way more than you'd ever want to know about it.

 

 

13 minutes ago, Chakthi said:

So why haven't you put out a Chirp cache lately? lol

 

Quit it.  :mad:

 

 

 

:lol:

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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4 minutes ago, kunarion said:

 

There are ANT+ adapters that allow iPhone to interact with all kinds of things.  Maybe even "detect" a Chirp.  Maybe.  The problem is, there aren't any actual iPhone Apps that could read it, at least I haven't seen one yet.  Chirp is a special part of ANT unlike the usual activity monitor devices.

 

 

 

Quit it.  :mad:

 

 

 

:lol:

 

 

 

There's an app called GeoBeacon mention here: http://arkgeocaching.org/archive/index.php/t-3523.html

 

And I found this little guy here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/202691931123?ViewItem=&item=202691931123

 

Combined with a lightning to USB adapter, shouldn't that work to find a Chirp?

 

I haven't checked for the app yet, but I will as soon as I send this along...

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7 hours ago, Chakthi said:

I've been planning on including estimated values of the items included and specifying in the listing that anything taken must be replaced with something of equal or greater value. 

 

Getting back on topic, you do know that you can't require this on a cache page, right?  It's called an "Additional Logging Requirement."

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I like to put just a handful of swag items in the cache to start, with room for people to leave their stuff,  and then replenish when I visit again. I try to get to my caches a couple of times a year minimum. I find that often the stuff I left is mostly still there. If I leave 5 items, 3 will still be there but there may be 7 items when I return. Also, I've noticed that if I keep the inside of my cache in good shape it tends to attract nicer swag and the occasional travelbug. I'm guessing that's because people will leave their stuff in caches that look like the contents will be protected.

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Some responses on the topic of trading

 

1) If there's an item of some value (more than $5ish)most aren't carrying any swag of like value, so they'll  take it and plan to swag up some other cache later,  OR put a bunch of low cost swag items that they are carrying as trade. Ie, twelve items worth 25 cents each. Volume of stuff in cache looks okay ;-)   Or, commonly, just take it.  I dropped 20+ unactivated geocoins in caches as swag  over a couple of years. They were labeled as SWAG and as unactivated. 100% of them were taken, not traded for.  A couple of times, the taker logged, "took FTF premium!" - caches were years old. My log in the logbook mentioned "unactivated geocoin left as SWAG"  (these days i leave unactivated TB tags, now my log says, "no need to trade for it, just take it" - because that's what's going to happen anyway).

 

2)  Take an item and leave a trackable - somehow this take/leave balances in their thinking. It is pure take, no leave, but the rationalization works for most. Someone once left a genuine Archie McPhee rubber chicken in a cache of mine - I nearly walked out after it, thinking to trade it out for an unactivated geocoin -  but the next finder took and left activated  TB. Took $9 item, left nothing.

 

3) agreeing with others - further from parking, less trading.   I too have seen remote caches swag up.  The better the cache condition, the better it be will handled and dealt with. Nearer parking, hey, it's the tragedy of the commons.  

 

rubber chicken.jpg

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Keystone said:

 

Getting back on topic, you do know that you can't require this on a cache page, right?  It's called an "Additional Logging Requirement."

 

ETA the previous comment was:  I've been planning on including estimated values of the items included and specifying in the listing that anything taken must be replaced with something of equal or greater value. 

 

 

Trade even or trade up is now considered an ALR?

 

 

 

 

Edited by fuzziebear3
edited for clarity.
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I rarely take anything, but I regularly leave things. At present it's jewellery, and soon I will begin to leave doll's furniture. I don't care if I don't swap.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Isonzo Karst said:

If there's an item of some value (more than $5ish)

 

I'm not keen on expensive stuff in caches. I don't think people are into swag for the value of the swag. It's just a bit of fun.

 

For a year, I was keen on those little plastic animals. My goal was to find and collect as many different plastic animals as possible. The anticipation of opening up a cache to see what might be inside--perhaps an elephant I didn't have--added to the delight of finding a cache. (Eventually, after a couple of years, I donated about 2 shoeboxes of plastic animals to Goodwill). Now it's signature items. I leave and trade them. 

Edited by L0ne.R
sentence structure
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When viewing geocaching impartially, the rule is trade up or even. But as a CO, you have to recognize that you're giving the stuff in your cache away. Yes, it's nice when people taking the stuff in your cache give away their own stuff to future seekers, but that is, in a sense, none of your business: it's between your current seekers and your future seekers. Try to avoid thinking or acting as if you can demand seekers stock your cache for you. Indeed, while you might, as a geocacher, be disappointed that people are trading even, as a CO, you should be happy people are enjoying your cache and the stuff you put in it. If you find it goes empty, then you can decide whether or not to restock it. And, at that time, you can reevaluate how much you want to spend on the stuff you're giving away in it.

 

A couple tangential points. First, trading swag has gotten less and less popular over the years. You can either blame it on most caches being micros these days, or you can see micros as the result of fewer people caring whether there's room for trade items. So remember, especially if you're putting really nice swag in the cache, that almost no one will be carrying something to trade of equal value. Before you put something nice in the cache, consider whether you want it to stay there moldering or you want someone to take it an enjoying it. Those are the two possibilities, since it's very unlikely someone will be able to trade for it.

 

Second, sometimes muggles find caches. I've seen a lot of well stocked caches that stay well stocked because no one takes anything. I've also see well stocked caches go empty much faster than can be explained by geocaching visits. So I don't really think the pilfering of caches is done by cachers as often as people think. That might make you feel better about your fellow cachers, but it's also something to keep in mind to help you remember that you're putting stuff in the cache to give it away, not to trade for other stuff.

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9 hours ago, Chakthi said:

Has there ever been any discussion of making the Geocaching.com membership fee mandatory to maybe introduce a bit more honesty to the game? 

 

Seriously ?   You don't really believe that simply coughing up bucks makes anyone more honest, considerate, or knowledgeable, do you ?

 

Actually, the site has stated since there was such a thing as "premium membership", that the hobby would remain free to play.

We know many basic members who've cached longer than us (and have more caches out/found). 

 - Most have many hides, or an extensive trackable collection, that I feel that more than makes up for just plunking down thirty bucks.  :)

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, fuzziebear3 said:
3 hours ago, Keystone said:

 

Getting back on topic, you do know that you can't require this on a cache page, right?  It's called an "Additional Logging Requirement."

 

ETA the previous comment was:  I've been planning on including estimated values of the items included and specifying in the listing that anything taken must be replaced with something of equal or greater value. 

 

 

Trade even or trade up is now considered an ALR?

 

A simple request on the cache page saying "Please trade even or trade up" is just fine; that is the "norm" for our sport.  But the OP appeared to be proposing far more than that, by using words like "must" and requiring the dollar value to be stated.  I was imagining cache description language like this:

 

"The initial trade items' values are as follows: {LIST}.  You MUST specify the value of the item(s) that you leave in the cache, and that value must be greater than or equal to the value of the item(s) you took."

 

The only way to enforce that statement is to delete the online "found it" logs of anyone who ignores the "request."  And that's not permitted.

 

Edited by Keystone
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9 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

At least the weekend and done geocachers can't see my PM and higher rated  geocaches if they are using the free app and are regular members. I prefer it that way.

 

Think so ?

It was only a promotion or two ago that the site gave basic members a free PM during a promotion period.  

They could have loaded every pmo hide in their state during that time.   :)

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1 hour ago, Isonzo Karst said:

 I dropped 20+ unactivated geocoins in caches as swag  over a couple of years. They were labeled as SWAG and as unactivated. 100% of them were taken, not traded for.  A couple of times, the taker logged, "took FTF premium!" - caches were years old. My log in the logbook mentioned "unactivated geocoin left as SWAG"  (these days i leave unactivated TB tags, now my log says, "no need to trade for it, just take it" - because that's what's going to happen anyway).

 

After the other 2/3rds had a lot of 'em go "missing", we decided my entire lot of sig coins would remain unactivated.

I put them in caches I really liked, or sometimes in distant ones, maybe an incentive to get folks to actually walk a bit.

 - Hand them to new folks at events once-in-a-while too.    :)

I leave notice in my Found-It that they're swag (and it's written on the coin sleeve), but have never heard of anyone taking them.  Go figure...

In our area, If I trade,  I'm still the only one who  notes, "Took a ......, left a ......"  in my logs.  

Hoping someday that changes, but it's easier on some folk's conscious looking to just take,  when there's no mention I guess...

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9 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

I love finding signature swag! 

Me too!  I have several small things that we have tucked away.  The kids love remembering where we found them and other memorable parts of that particular day.

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10 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

After the other 2/3rds had a lot of 'em go "missing", we decided my entire lot of sig coins would remain unactivated.

I put them in caches I really liked, or sometimes in distant ones, maybe an incentive to get folks to actually walk a bit.

 - Hand them to new folks at events once-in-a-while too.    :)

I leave notice in my Found-It that they're swag (and it's written on the coin sleeve), but have never heard of anyone taking them.  Go figure...

In our area, If I trade,  I'm still the only one who  notes, "Took a ......, left a ......"  in my logs.  

Hoping someday that changes, but it's easier on some folk's conscious looking to just take,  when there's no mention I guess...

I don't generally mention my trades in my log - never really thought about it to be honest.  As a CO, is that something you like to see?  I am starting to wonder of I am actually one of those cachers that drive COs mad.  But on a good note, I have been more conscientious about how I log since I have been on the forums - again, it had never occurred to me that they were really for anything other than documenting the find until I started reading comments on the forums from owners.

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8 minutes ago, RobinsonClan56 said:

I don't generally mention my trades in my log - never really thought about it to be honest.  As a CO, is that something you like to see?  I am starting to wonder of I am actually one of those cachers that drive COs mad.

 

I've made requests in various forms, that when any item is removed from a cache, mention it.  I do not request that they log their SWAG item that was placed, because one day, they may leave something nice to make up for the things never traded into the game, then someone else looking at logs reads that "Took button, left unactivated Geocoin", and *yoink!*  Yay Treasure! …with no particular log about taking it.

 

A lot of my signature cool SWAG is in my own caches, some far and wide.  But if people like and take my sig items, I really want to know.  It is so rare that I ever find out if anyone even likes the things, it certainly is no encouragement to me to make more.  I do anyway, but always wondering... maybe people are just taking it because it's the last thing there... I might as well place bouncy balls or something.  I can buy a bah-zillion for ten bucks...

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37 minutes ago, RobinsonClan56 said:

I don't generally mention my trades in my log - never really thought about it to be honest.  As a CO, is that something you like to see?  I am starting to wonder of I am actually one of those cachers that drive COs mad.  But on a good note, I have been more conscientious about how I log since I have been on the forums - again, it had never occurred to me that they were really for anything other than documenting the find until I started reading comments on the forums from owners.

If I leave something really nice, I don't mention it in my log. Someone would pick it up really fast if I did mention it.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, RobinsonClan56 said:

As a CO, is that something you like to see?  I am starting to wonder of I am actually one of those cachers that drive COs mad.

 

 

As a cache owner it doesn't bother me if people don't log what they traded. I get a good idea about what's gone when I revisit my cache. 

 

I do like stumbling upon a log that says they took my signature item. I especially like when they post a photo. It inspires me to keep making swag items. :)

 

Here's a photo someone left showing their trade--they took my painted penny and left a handcrafted Chubackka.

 

0a25de51e5da502e086bb5cdf9b48af0--geocac

 

Edited by L0ne.R
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51 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

I especially like when they post a photo. It inspires me to keep making swag items. :)

 

+1

 

If people like finding cool things, it's suitable for them to mention what they take.  If I can't even tell if anyone likes my sig items, you will tend to find less of them.  Just a leetle heads-up. B)

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2 hours ago, RobinsonClan56 said:

I don't generally mention my trades in my log - never really thought about it to be honest.

Don't worry about it. In my area, no one ever logs swaps any more. When I started in 2010, a few did, but most had already dropped the idea. Now, you can't really tell if there's any trading going on in my area, and I think that's mostly because there isn't. I used to log swaps, but then I realized no one really cares, and, besides, I often couldn't quite remember what came from or went where.

 

2 hours ago, RobinsonClan56 said:

But on a good note, I have been more conscientious about how I log since I have been on the forums - again, it had never occurred to me that they were really for anything other than documenting the find until I started reading comments on the forums from owners.

I think a lot of people have that problem. It's easy for people to think they're just talking to a machine when they file their logs and forget that lots of people, not only the COs, are going to read what they're writing. That's the only thing that bothers me about trivial logs: I imagine people logging "TFTC" just aren't thinking about the fact that they have an audience that they could be saying something interesting to.

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3 hours ago, RobinsonClan56 said:

I don't generally mention my trades in my log - never really thought about it to be honest.  As a CO, is that something you like to see? 

 

When we started most people logged if they traded anything.  Around '09 or so we noticed that going along with worded logs.

 - If we didn't trade anything though, along with our log we did include "TNLNSL".

 

As a CO, when you have all ammo can hides, it'd be nice to know if it still has anything of interest to kids inside.

On maintenance and see it empty each time ,  where the "trade" part of the hobby is now put and take,  I can see why many are just placing pill bottles instead ...

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3 hours ago, kunarion said:

A lot of my signature cool SWAG is in my own caches, some far and wide.  But if people like and take my sig items, I really want to know.  It is so rare that I ever find out if anyone even likes the things, it certainly is no encouragement to me to make more.  I do anyway, but always wondering... maybe people are just taking it because it's the last thing there... I might as well place bouncy balls or something.  I can buy a bah-zillion for ten bucks...

 

Agreed.   We pretty-much got out of the "give 'em a prize" end of how this hobby's become.  Only one easy ammo can left.

Some we filled with educational stuff for kids, others just fun things (we'd buy close-outs, and in bulk),  but all better than A toy soldier outta the pack of fifty.

 - Folks, that's beyond cheap...

We've never put a mcDee toy or any similar "free stuff" in other's caches either.

We could have filled our ammo cans with Otrading rubber balls at an eighth the cost of  break-your-own-geodes and RealBug jewelry.   :)

Some not only don't log trades, but not even a thanks.    Many logs today are only including their stats as the log.

 - Sheesh...

Rant over.  :D

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11 hours ago, Keystone said:

 

A simple request on the cache page saying "Please trade even or trade up" is just fine; that is the "norm" for our sport.  But the OP appeared to be proposing far more than that, by using words like "must" and requiring the dollar value to be stated.  I was imagining cache description language like this:

 

"The initial trade items' values are as follows: {LIST}.  You MUST specify the value of the item(s) that you leave in the cache, and that value must be greater than or equal to the value of the item(s) you took."

 

The only way to enforce that statement is to delete the online "found it" logs of anyone who ignores the "request."  And that's not permitted.

 

 

That's taking things a little farther than I had in mind.  I had no intention of requiring anyone to log the value of their traded item(s).  I only intend to request that people who take something of a certain dollar value leave something of equal or greater value.  The idea is that I handle the initial stocking of SWAG items, but if each finder follows the rules of the game, then it will be continually stocked.  No one has to do anything extra unless, by extra, you mean following the rules of the game.  Those rules are meant to preserve the caches that are out there and therefore make the find enjoyable for the next person, are they not?  I mean, I went out caching today and found caches that were in horrible states of disarray.  I mean, there were a couple that had SWAG in them, but they were so nasty that no one would want to even touch the items unless it was absolutely necessary.  One didn't even have a log, so not having one with me to replace it with (yet), I left a piece of Rite In The Rain paper in the cache so there's at least a temporary log for the next finder and we added a few toy ninjas to it so that there was at least a little something in there for any kids that happen to be part of the next find. It seems like many COs also aren't doing their part in maintaining their caches, at least that's what I'm finding as I go through the logs and compare when maintenance was last done (many times that would be never) with what I find.  I don't think it's asking too much of anyone to do their parts correctly so that everyone can continue to enjoy finding these caches.  Perhaps it's just in my area of Ohio, but it doesn't seem like there is any oversight at all over the caches in general.  So, because of this, I intend to place my first cache inside Five Rivers MetroParks land (with permission) because they have very specific guidelines for caches placed within their borders.

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21 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

My biggest concern is with my two caches in national parks where one of the approval conditions is that the cache can't have any swag (or trackables) left in it, and I tend to check on them after they've had a few visits to make sure none has been left. 

 

Really, it that a blanket National Park Service policy or just from managers at those parks? Because I think good swag is a bennie for geocaching and a reason to have regular/small caches over bison tubes and magnetic nanos. Yes, I am one of those cachers who regularly performs swag transplants, just to keep geocaching fun.

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3 hours ago, chasclifton said:

 

Really, it that a blanket National Park Service policy or just from managers at those parks? Because I think good swag is a bennie for geocaching and a reason to have regular/small caches over bison tubes and magnetic nanos. Yes, I am one of those cachers who regularly performs swag transplants, just to keep geocaching fun.

It is blanket policy for our state of New South Wales. Refer last paragraph of last page.

https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/-/media/OEH/Corporate-Site/Documents/Policy-and-law/geocaching-consent-form-150502.pdf?la=en&hash=5E0EC5AFBD4D6C77FCF9365DEEA37FEFE9926F16

 

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