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Max and 99

Geocaching Etiquette 201: cache ownership comments

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I enjoyed reading today's Geocaching blog about Etiquette.

One section that caught my attention was: the "Proper use of attributes". There are several in my area that have absolutely bogus attributes, for the SOLE purpose of helping people meet challenges or with their grids. Park and grabs rated 4.5T, beacon attribute with no beacon, just so you can now have the attribute; D1 that's a D5, with instructions to read the cache page very carefully.

 

On the other hand, I've seen cachers with good intentions mark a cache as wheelchair-accessible. I geocache with someone in a wheelchair, and I know that he cannot roll over a curb to get to a cache that is hidden behind a bunch of rocks. I think those situation are just a misunderstanding of what wheelchairs can access. 

 

I will confess.... long long ago, when I first started geocaching, I did have a Liar's Cache. It was a ton of fun. I've learned since then!

 

Proper use of attributes

  • Attributes are intended to communicate what to expect at a cache location. Please use them for that purpose.
  • Don’t intentionally add incorrect attributes to help people with challenge caches, or for a puzzle, or just to be funny. It defeats the purpose of preparing finders for the cache location.
  • Be especially mindful of the Wheelchair accessible attribute. If you’re unsure if your cache location is wheelchair accessible, handicaching.com is an excellent resource to help you figure it out.
Edited by Keystone
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Yes, I really appreciated this article, and the careful wording of many of the items. The avoidance of absolutes where possible and the encouragement of the spirit of geocaching and the guidelines (example: attaching things to trees, breaking ground, or hiding things in ways that are against prior 'rules' - rather than saying never to do so, recognizing that property owner permission is the difference, and to make that clear in the description to avoid giving people the thought to do similar hides but without permission).

Loved the tone of the article.

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"Don’t post a ‘Needs Archived’ log if you did not visit the coordinates."

 

(*Sigh*)

 

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6 minutes ago, dprovan said:

"Don’t post a ‘Needs Archived’ log if you did not visit the coordinates."

 

Right, there was that...

I think the vast majority of cases, true, but it's certainly not an absolute.

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2 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

I enjoyed reading today's Geocaching blog about Etiquette.

Yep.   :)     So far...

I liked seeing, "Don’t add content to your cache page after publication that doesn’t comply with the guidelines", as we seem to see a lot of that.

The last one had, "A cache page is not a discussion forum", which we're seeing off n on too.

My favorite on the last one was, "Don’t post a ‘Needs Archived’ log if you did not visit the coordinates".  I found that strange...

 - We saw more than a few forum posts saying that's what they do, some even keeping track to be sure it's done.     :huh:

 

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This sentence made me laugh:

 

If you insist on hiding a cache far from home...

 

Wait, what?? I can insist? I never knew that! Haha.

 

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58 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

 

Right, there was that...

I think the vast majority of cases, true, but it's certainly not an absolute.

 

For example: this cache that I posted an NA on recently...

 

Edited by Blue Square Thing
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2 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

This sentence made me laugh:

 

If you insist on hiding a cache far from home...

 

Wait, what?? I can insist? I never knew that! Haha.

 

You: I'd like to hide this cache way over here.

Reviewer: Sorry, your cache is too far from home and you don't have a maintenance plan.

You: I insist.

Reviewer: Alrighty then. Let me publish that for you.

 

:laughing:

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55 minutes ago, The A-Team said:

You: I'd like to hide this cache way over here.

Reviewer: Sorry, your cache is too far from home and you don't have a maintenance plan.

You: I insist.

Reviewer: Alrighty then. Let me publish that for you.

sandwich.png

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I found the article to be a good refresher on "expected" conventions when hiding and maintaining geocaches. I wonder though, is the message getting to the intended audience?  Who reads the blog - brand new geocachers or those more involved in the hobby who WANT to go deeper?  This may be aimed at the new cacher, placing initial hides - will they read it?

 

In my short (relatively speaking, comparing myself to a lot of you who follow and contribute to this forum) geocaching career, I've come across several hides by newbie cachers, some with obvious location errors, or poorly chosen locations, and they disappear quickly, never to be heard from again.  Others are OK, but they've disappeared and never do maintenance when the container cracks or log is full.  Are they the ones this article is intended for?  Will they ever see it?

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3 hours ago, CAVinoGal said:

I found the article to be a good refresher on "expected" conventions when hiding and maintaining geocaches. I wonder though, is the message getting to the intended audience?  Who reads the blog - brand new geocachers or those more involved in the hobby who WANT to go deeper?  This may be aimed at the new cacher, placing initial hides - will they read it?

 

In my short (relatively speaking, comparing myself to a lot of you who follow and contribute to this forum) geocaching career, I've come across several hides by newbie cachers, some with obvious location errors, or poorly chosen locations, and they disappear quickly, never to be heard from again.  Others are OK, but they've disappeared and never do maintenance when the container cracks or log is full.  Are they the ones this article is intended for?  Will they ever see it?

 

You have raised very good point.

 

As reviewer, I'm going to do my bit in spreading the word by translation to slovak language and sharing it with our local community AND I will link it to some of my reviewer note templates, especially to those where I welcome new hiders in the game.

Edited by Rikitan
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As it's probably not practical for Reviewers to check D/T or Attributes for accuracy, I would be interested in having Groundspeak let Finders vote on them so there's an average community rating and so relevant attributes are flagged as community-suggested as COs often ignore those entirely. 

 

If this meant the death of Liars Caches that's no great loss.

 

Frankly, I have long found the indifference of many (not most, fortunately) COs to accuracy one of the more frustrating aspects of geocaching.

Edited by JL_HSTRE
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55 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

As it's probably not practical for Reviewers to check D/T or Attributes for accuracy, I would be interested in having Groundspeak let Finders vote on them so there's an average community rating and so relevant attributes are flagged as community-suggested as COs often ignore those entirely. 

 

This was brought up in a different thread.  I'm against this.  That means you're going to have a floating D/T rating that may jump up or down .5 in both categories on a regular basis, especially in the early stages.  Eventually things will even out but even with that, if enough cachers rate it 1.5 rather than the 2 that it currently sits at, it will drop down.  You think there are complaints about inaccurately rated D/T caches; just wait until you get complaints from people who can't fill their 81 D/T spots because the cache they had found for one of the spots is now not in that spot.  Also, cachers in relatively flat states (FL and IN since those are two states I've cached in frequently) will rate T caches typically a bit higher in areas with more elevation change while those used to finding caches with elevation changes will rate the flatter areas lower in T.  Also, those cachers who opt to cache in the winter, when vegetation is gone, will find an easier T rating than those who have to go through chest high grass and other vegetation that sprouts up over the summer.  Honestly, I don't really find that many incorrectly rated D/T caches.  Almost all of the caches I find are rated within 1/2 a star of where I would rate them.  I can think of only one instance (other than the liar's cache I found) where the D/T rating was off so much that I contacted the CO.  Turns out he was rating it based on the ability of someone in a wheelchair getting to the cache, rather than an average seeker getting to the cache.

 

1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Frankly, I have long found the indifference of many (not most, fortunately) COs to accuracy one of the more frustrating aspects of geocaching.

 

I don't see this very often in most of the caches I've done.  I can think of three situations when the coordinates were off by a few hundred feet or more.  One was hidden by the city's parks department, celebrating their 100th year.  The cache was roughly 350 feet off.  I have no idea how that happened but there was only one place that matched the hint and there it was.  Another was a new CO who hid a cache too close to other caches and then changed the coordinates to a place that worked but didn't move the cache to the same coordinates.  The final one was an incorrect entry of coordinates where they had transposed two of the coordinates when entering them, putting them in the middle of a cornfield instead of the LPC where the cache was found.  Most of the caches I've found where the coordinates were off enough for me to wonder also had a +/- of at least 20 ft. accuracy on my GPS.  Many of them like that were older caches as well.  I just don't see the problem as prevalent as it appears you do.

 

One time I thought the coordinates were off was in a paddle series in FL.  Here in Indiana, many of our paddle caches are stay in the kayak type of hides.  In FL, I rented a kayak and paddled the Ocklawaha (sp?) along the Ocala National Forest, and the first 3-4 caches I stopped at, I assumed the same thing, even though the coordinates were showing 25 ft or so.  The next cache I got to, the coordinates were 75 feet from the shore.  Turns out I had to get out of the kayak to find them.  They weren't bad coordinates but instead a lack of understanding on my part.  That's a pretty specific situation and one that applies rarely, but it's also a reason some people might make a mistake and assume the coordinates are bad.

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1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Frankly, I have long found the indifference of many (not most, fortunately) COs to accuracy one of the more frustrating aspects of geocaching.

 

Same here.

Recently I went out of my way (a 40 minute drive from home, a 20 minute from another cache location) to go find a "regular" size cache. I had some signature items I wanted a chance to leave and I like stuff in a cache.  It turned out to be a golf club with a bison tube attached. I NM'd it because the size should be "other" (or micro) not regular (I could have skipped the unnecessary drive if it had been listed correctly). I noted in my log that the size is wrong and posted links to the Help Center regarding size. The owner OM'd the cache saying he replaced the log, but did nothing about the listed size. 

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

As it's probably not practical for Reviewers to check D/T or Attributes for accuracy, I would be interested in having Groundspeak let Finders vote on them so there's an average community rating and so relevant attributes are flagged as community-suggested as COs often ignore those entirely.

 

Nope.

My cache, my cache page, my decision about what it says, my assessment of the D/T.

This is a listing site, it doesn't  own the caches, it just has the privilege of publishing them to an audience.

 

If  the audience disagrees with the cache owner's D/T rating , they  are free to comment in their logs, but change it ? So D/Ts are dynamic, constantly fluctuating ? That's not going to please the C.O.s, or the grid fillers and most especially those interested in the associated  challenges ... I can easily imagine a cabal of cachers co--operating  to upgrade an innocent cache to a D/T that is rare in their area, or to get at a C.O. they don't like by reducing their 4.5/4.5 to a 2/2 .

 

If you think that's far fetched,   think about all the hundreds of armchair loggers of lab caches who went to great lengths to claim a smiley in a country they have never visited . Then there's persistent cache thieves with a personal agenda (at least three I could name, all known to the local cache setters and currently active as setters and finders themselves) , disparaging logs placed by a cacher deliberately stalking someones caching activity, then following them to the hide and claiming they did not replace the cache properly (over and over again this was done to the point where the victim waited weeks to log caches online so someone else would find it after them and the stalker could not log it next and claim they 'found the cache left carelessly out in the open', or 'bison cross threaded') .

 

Caching, and caching groups on social media include all sorts of characters, the gamut of humanity, the majority are good, but there are also inevitably manipulative , rule flaunting and frankly unpleasant individuals. When groupthink gets dominated by one or two individuals like that, normal decent principles of behaviour get overruled and the easily led go along with the local norm as they are shown it. You want a full grid ? We can sort that ! Here's the solution to a tough bonus at the end of a puzzle series, no problem, you don't need to solve or even visit any of the feeder caches,  as long as your name is on the log book, you have that D/T . No abseil or boating capability, but you want some T5s ? We can manipulate some T2s to sort that too  now we can all rate someones caches to what we want ...

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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

Honestly, I don't really find that many incorrectly rated D/T caches.  Almost all of the caches I find are rated within 1/2 a star of where I would rate them.  I can think of only one instance (other than the liar's cache I found) where the D/T rating was off so much that I contacted the CO.

 

I've seen a lot more cache listings for caches that I haven't found but questioned the ratings.   These are 5/5 rated caches which require a kayak or a tree climb (which justifies the 5T rating) but once at GZ  the cache is relatively easy to find.  In some cases, the container may even be clearly visible from the ground, but for some reason a 5D rating is used.  

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18 hours ago, Blue Square Thing said:

 

For example: this cache that I posted an NA on recently...

 

Yep, I've seen a few mistakenly owner disabled caches like that where someone thought they were archiving it , but I think I posted a note as a first step with an explanation of  how to archive , and the CO sorted the archive themselves soon after.

 

I have NA'd some I've not visited when I've noted them before a planned visit and see they have apparently slipped through the algorithm or reviewer's net unnoticed , like this ,  this or this.

 

On the other hand, I can see that overenthusiastic officious use of the NA without visiting ( sometimes known as 'cache police' ) is a bad thing, but very, very occasionally it makes sense to NA, when you spot a long standing problem, especially when there can be such reluctance to NA  from cachers who maybe don't understand the system, or are perhaps worried about giving offence.

 

Over 9 years and 29 NM logs I think I've only posted those three without actually visiting GZ  Usually it's more like this sort of situation where I just know if I leave it at needs maintenance and let nature take it's course, some cachers will come along, log a 'find' on the string ,  the algorithm will be placated for a while, the cache will limp along , and even more folk will think logging a find on a bit of string is acceptable.

 

 

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38 minutes ago, hal-an-tow said:

If you think that's far fetched... persistent cache thieves with a personal agenda ... disparaging logs placed by a cacher deliberately stalking someones caching activity ... then following them to the hide and claiming they did not replace the cache properly ... rule flaunting and frankly unpleasant individuals ...

Sounds like an extremely unpleasant Community that you come from.  Just wanted to point out that many of these issues are addressed in the following link:

 

https://www.geocaching.com/account/documents/termsofuse

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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

 You think there are complaints about inaccurately rated D/T caches; just wait until you get complaints from people who can't fill their 81 D/T spots because the cache they had found for one of the spots is now not in that spot.  ............................................................. Honestly, I don't really find that many incorrectly rated D/T caches.

No one can expect someone not to change the D/T rating of a cache after it's published. I have, as I do take very seriously D/T ratings and I do my best to get them right, so I gratefully take aboard feedback; both given and with D how many DNFs this cache is getting. I have lowered the D when a cache was being found without difficulty by nearly everyone. I had expected people to have difficulty, but I was wrong; they didn't, so I corrected the rating. If too many DNFs I up the rating. I have moved a cache to a new hide; very close to the old one, but it went from T1 to T3, because of the nature of the geography and the very limited places to hide a cache there.

As for your comment, "I don't really find that many incorrectly rated D/T caches", perhaps that is so where you live, but I have visited towns where almost no cache is listed greater than 1.5 for either D or T. When I rechecked the caches (by several COs) recently I notice that many have been changed to 2 D&T. It's so that non-paying geocachers can assess the cache. So, even if a cache requires climbing, it won't be rated over 1.5T, but now 2T. Actually it's a whole region, not just one town. Very annoying😡!

If we could have the cache have the averaged D&T ratings of finders it would be very helpful. But maybe only displayed after a certain number of finds, say 20 logs or so. Also maybe by only Premium Members with a minimum number of finds.

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2 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Same here.

Recently I went out of my way (a 40 minute drive from home, a 20 minute from another cache location) to go find a "regular" size cache. I had some signature items I wanted a chance to leave and I like stuff in a cache.  It turned out to be a golf club with a bison tube attached. I NM'd it because the size should be "other" (or micro) not regular (I could have skipped the unnecessary drive if it had been listed correctly). I noted in my log that the size is wrong and posted links to the Help Center regarding size. The owner OM'd the cache saying he replaced the log, but did nothing about the listed size. 

Size is one of my bug bears too, especially when bringing a TB to place in it. Once I had picked up a TB in the UK which wanted to go to Australia, and I brought it back to Australia with me. Then I read that it wanted to be dropped off in a particular suburb in Sydney, so the sender's sister could find it. I thought that wasn't that impossible for me, so I made the 700km drive to do this. Lots of caches in that suburb marked as small size, so shouldn't be  hard to find a small cache to fit this (not large) TB. Well, cache after cache marked small, were mintie tines, which are micros. I drove around for some time before I finally found a real small sized cache; getting more and more annoyed at the wrong ratings😡.

I blame nanos for this wrong ratings by beginners. If nanos are micros, that must mean that anything bigger; minties tins, 35mm film canisters 'MUST" be smalls, sistemers are then regulars🤔😲😠!!!!

Edited by Goldenwattle
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1 hour ago, hal-an-tow said:

Nope.

My cache, my cache page, my decision about what it says, my assessment of the D/T.

This is a listing site, it doesn't  own the caches, it just has the privilege of publishing them to an audience.

 

If  the audience disagrees with the cache owner's D/T rating , they  are free to comment in their logs, but change it ? So D/Ts are dynamic, constantly fluctuating ? That's not going to please the C.O.s, or the grid fillers and most especially those interested in the associated  challenges ... I can easily imagine a cabal of cachers co--operating  to upgrade an innocent cache to a D/T that is rare in their area, or to get at a C.O. they don't like by reducing their 4.5/4.5 to a 2/2 .

 

If you think that's far fetched,   think about all the hundreds of armchair loggers of lab caches who went to great lengths to claim a smiley in a country they have never visited . Then there's persistent cache thieves with a personal agenda (at least three I could name, all known to the local cache setters and currently active as setters and finders themselves) , disparaging logs placed by a cacher deliberately stalking someones caching activity, then following them to the hide and claiming they did not replace the cache properly (over and over again this was done to the point where the victim waited weeks to log caches online so someone else would find it after them and the stalker could not log it next and claim they 'found the cache left carelessly out in the open', or 'bison cross threaded') .

 

Caching, and caching groups on social media include all sorts of characters, the gamut of humanity, the majority are good, but there are also inevitably manipulative , rule flaunting and frankly unpleasant individuals. When groupthink gets dominated by one or two individuals like that, normal decent principles of behaviour get overruled and the easily led go along with the local norm as they are shown it. You want a full grid ? We can sort that ! Here's the solution to a tough bonus at the end of a puzzle series, no problem, you don't need to solve or even visit any of the feeder caches,  as long as your name is on the log book, you have that D/T . No abseil or boating capability, but you want some T5s ? We can manipulate some T2s to sort that too  now we can all rate someones caches to what we want ...

If this option was given, it doesn't mean your rating need change. It can still display 1.5T, or whatever you choose. I think it would be good if both ratings were shown, and it could be that the COs rating was the one that counted towards the grid. The other could just be a guide; nothing more. It would be informative to future finders if people were finding it say 3T. Perhaps your rating and the finders rating would be close. But I know I wouldn't be arrogant enough to persist with my initial rating if it was way out from what the finders found it. I take notice now of comments and the number of DNFs and adjust accordingly.

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29 minutes ago, Touchstone said:

Sounds like an extremely unpleasant Community that you come from.  Just wanted to point out that many of these issues are addressed in the following link:

 

https://www.geocaching.com/account/documents/termsofuse

No, this is not an unpleasant community, and that is an offensive comment . You are calling an entire community  'extremely unpleasant' .

 

There are a very few bad apples within hundreds of decent folk in , say a 50km radius,  but as I explained, a few such manipulative, moral compass lacking individuals can have a negative effect on the ethos of a small group within that community. Psychologists reckon 4% of Americans ( Americans are the people who have been most intently studied: there is no reason to think that percentage is not typical for people all over the western world ) are sociopathic , therefore it is very probable that a similar % of cachers have sociopathic traits. Humanity is not uniformly lovely if you step outside your bubble. Ask any police officer.

 

Was the behaviour reported to Groundspeak  through the proper channels ? Yes, more than once and by more than one victim .

 

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4 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Honestly, I don't really find that many incorrectly rated D/T caches.

 

Try being temporarily disabled. My eyes were opened by the number of caches listed as T1-2.5 but were impossible to get to with a leg in a brace that was mending. 

 

Also in my experience, COs actually used the T-rating as outlined by ClayJar and then was adopted/adapted by the GC site between 2001-2010. T3 was an off-trail cache which required any slogging through downed logs and relatively thick vegetation, or an area that had a steep slope that required careful footwork to get up or down, or hopping a creek, or balancing on a log to get across a section of stream/river. Now that's considered a T2. 

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

If this option was given, it doesn't mean your rating need change. It can still display 1.5T, or whatever you choose. I think it would be good if both ratings were shown, and it could be that the COs rating was the one that counted towards the grid. The other could just be a guide; nothing more. It would be informative to future finders if people were finding it say 3T. Perhaps your rating and the finders rating would be close. But I know I wouldn't be arrogant enough to persist with my initial rating if it was way out from what the finders found it. I take notice now of comments and the number of DNFs and adjust accordingly.

 

That's a good solution. Keep the posted T rating but have a user T rating. I'd like to see a clickable link (like Favs) where you can see who submitted the rating and what they rated. If I know GeoBob has bad ankles and I have bad knees, I'm going to go with GeoBob's rating. 

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2 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

Also maybe by only Premium Members with a minimum number of finds.

 

Number of finds makes sense. I honestly don't see any correlation whatsoever between being a Premium member and the ability to rate a cache's size, D/T or attributes (or accuracy of coordinates or even type of cache sometimes if I'm being totally frank).

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27 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Try being temporarily disabled. My eyes were opened by the number of caches listed as T1-2.5 but were impossible to get to with a leg in a brace that was mending. 

 

Also in my experience, COs actually used the T-rating as outlined by ClayJar and then was adopted/adapted by the GC site between 2001-2010. T3 was an off-trail cache which required any slogging through downed logs and relatively thick vegetation, or an area that had a steep slope that required careful footwork to get up or down, or hopping a creek, or balancing on a log to get across a section of stream/river. Now that's considered a T2. 

 

T ratings seem to vary quite a lot geographically as well. It's flat round here, but a 2.5 or 3 means somewhere with a bit of a slope or quite a lot of vegetation involved. In Switzerland or Nova Scotia I've come across caches rated 2.5 which involve some scrambling.

 

It's difficult to quantify consistently - and that's not necessarily a dreadful thing. A user rated system is an interesting idea, but when you look at the issues with size ratings, I'm not at all convinced that many cache hiders - let alone searchers - have read, let alone understood, any of the rating systems.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

No one can expect someone not to change the D/T rating of a cache after it's published.

 

Of course not but a mandatory fluid rating scale based on the input of all the finders isn't the way to address it.  

 

1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

I have, as I do take very seriously D/T ratings and I do my best to get them right, so I gratefully take aboard feedback; both given and with D how many DNFs this cache is getting. I have lowered the D when a cache was being found without difficulty by nearly everyone. I had expected people to have difficulty, but I was wrong; they didn't, so I corrected the rating. If too many DNFs I up the rating.

 

But that's YOU changing it based on your feedback. How would you feel if it changed all on its own based on input from finders, not based on your feelings about the D/T rating as you believe it to be?  You firmly believe it's a 2 T but finders continually differ from your rating and it changes, despite your certainty.  You firmly believe it's a 3 D cache but everyone who finds it thinks it's easier and rates it a 2, so it changes without your consent.  That's what an automated program would do and I'm not OK with that.

 

If I originally listed a cache and it was a 1 star difference either way (based on feedback), then it deserves a new listing because, IMO, it's different enough in nature to qualify for a new listing.  A cache with a .5 star difference isn't overly "different" enough to warrant a new listing and I'd change it as such on the cache page.  I've only changed a couple of my caches based on feedback.

 

2 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

If we could have the cache have the averaged D&T ratings of finders it would be very helpful. But maybe only displayed after a certain number of finds, say 20 logs or so. Also maybe by only Premium Members with a minimum number of finds.

 

Nope.  Now you're limiting who can verify/comment/critique on your cache.  How is this fair to others who may not meet your criteria?  If they can find the cache, they should be able to rate the D/T accordingly.  You're limiting something that affects EVERY cache to only some of the caching community.   If you need to limit the scope of who can rate the cache, then it shouldn't be something that is implemented.

 

1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

I made the 700km drive to do this. Lots of caches in that suburb marked as small size, so shouldn't be  hard to find a small cache to fit this (not large) TB. Well, cache after cache marked small, were mintie tines, which are micros. I drove around for some time before I finally found a real small sized cache; getting more and more annoyed at the wrong ratings😡.

 

That would be annoying but if you're driving that far for a single cache/single purpose, why wouldn't you guarantee that you found a cache large enough by focusing on regular size caches? It seems that micro/small have the most errors in regard to proper sizing so I would be more likely to guarantee the purpose for my visit by finding a regular sized cache.  Not only is the problem solved, it's not something that even comes up.

 

1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

If this option was given, it doesn't mean your rating need change. It can still display 1.5T, or whatever you choose. I think it would be good if both ratings were shown, and it could be that the COs rating was the one that counted towards the grid. The other could just be a guide; nothing more. It would be informative to future finders if people were finding it say 3T. Perhaps your rating and the finders rating would be close. But I know I wouldn't be arrogant enough to persist with my initial rating if it was way out from what the finders found it. I take notice now of comments and the number of DNFs and adjust accordingly.

 

 

So now it has changed from an automated D/T change to one that lets finders rate it themselves.  I'm pretty sure that's what log comments are for.  If a cache had this now optional D/T rating that was exactly the same as what the CO rated it, or just a .5 star up or down, what good would it even do for those looking at the cache and determining whether or not they should go after it?  This seems to create a lot of work for programmers, just to verify that the CO got the ratings right most of the time.

 

2 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

These are 5/5 rated caches which require a kayak or a tree climb (which justifies the 5T rating) but once at GZ  the cache is relatively easy to find.  In some cases, the container may even be clearly visible from the ground, but for some reason a 5D rating is used.  

 

I've seen those too, but I believe them to be the exception and not the norm.  I've also found a cache (forgot about this one in my first post) where the D/T numbers were reversed and the CO ended up flipping them back to the "correct" set up.

 

1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

Size is one of my bug bears too, especially when bringing a TB to place in it.

 

I took JL_HSTRE's post to be about coordinate accuracy vs. size accuracy.  Size issues are bothersome but in the large scope of things, it's a minor inconvenience.  Yes, they should be accurate but I'm rarely dropping swag or coins (I hand them off personally anymore, as they have a tendency to get taken in my area) but will drop off the aluminum TBs and will be annoyed if the size is small but is actually a key holder that's a micro.  There are enough caches I can visit that I've found previously that are labeled correctly if I really need to drop off some TBs.  If you're really concerned about size, don't limit yourself to smalls.  Focus on regular caches or revisit previously found caches you know to be size appropriate.

 

 

21 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

Try being temporarily disabled.

 

This is different than what is being discussed here.  It's a situation that you have no control over.  Cache ratings should be made based on the environment they are in and what a "normal" person would have to do in order to find the cache at GZ.  If I were temporarily disabled, I'd either cut my caching way back (because I'm not REQUIRED to go find any caches) or make sure I limited myself to 1/1.5 T caches and verify (with a map) that I'd be comfortable getting to the cache to find it.  There's NO way I'd go out to a 1.5 T cache just because I felt like it, without verifying that I could actually get to GZ to find the cache because my limitations prevent me from going after anything much more difficult. My health and proper recovery are more important to me than finding a cache.

 

27 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

Now that's considered a T2.

 

Only if the CO makes that determination.  Based on what you stated, I'd rate it a 2.5 or 3, depending on how far in one had to go in that type of terrain.  I'd rate it even higher if it involved a longer trek through those types of conditions.

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2 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I blame nanos for this wrong ratings by beginners. If nanos are micros, that must mean that anything bigger; minties tins, 35mm film canisters 'MUST" be smalls, sistemers are then regulars🤔😲😠!!!!

 

Partly, yes. But more important in this area seems to be the self-fulfilling nature of things. If I start out the game and find lots of film pots called "small" then it's not unfair that I might assume that small = film pot. So bigger than that is regular etc... It's gotten to the stage that I give specific credit to people in my logs or through messages when I find something that's the right size - especially if they're new hiders.

 

Honestly, I'm convinced a great many people have never read the guidelines on this sort of thing.

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7 minutes ago, coachstahly said:
41 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

Try being temporarily disabled.

 

This is different than what is being discussed here.  It's a situation that you have no control over.  Cache ratings should be made based on the environment they are in and what a "normal" person would have to do in order to find the cache at GZ.  If I were temporarily disabled, I'd either cut my caching way back (because I'm not REQUIRED to go find any caches) or make sure I limited myself to 1/1.5 T caches and verify (with a map) that I'd be comfortable getting to the cache to find it.  There's NO way I'd go out to a 1.5 T cache just because I felt like it, without verifying that I could actually get to GZ to find the cache because my limitations prevent me from going after anything much more difficult. My health and proper recovery are more important to me than finding a cache.


Thing is, back before c2010 I could reliably choose a T2 (and under) and expect that it would actually conform to the ClayJar/GC rating. If it worked back then why doesn't it work now? Why are T-ratings so unreliable? I think it's because they became a commodity.

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There are plenty of geocachers with mobility issues. Many of the geocachers I know are over 50, probably averaging 60 years in age. So they are going to have mobility issues that will get worse with time. Many of us will need reliable T ratings in order to continue to enjoy geocaching.

 

But maybe we shouldn't make people with mobility issues feel included. There may actually be plenty of nice caches out there that may be perfect for them, but 'oh well'. depositphotos_49498407-Who-cares-emotico

 

Edited by L0ne.R
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45 minutes ago, Blue Square Thing said:

 

Partly, yes. But more important in this area seems to be the self-fulfilling nature of things. If I start out the game and find lots of film pots called "small" then it's not unfair that I might assume that small = film pot. So bigger than that is regular etc... It's gotten to the stage that I give specific credit to people in my logs or through messages when I find something that's the right size - especially if they're new hiders.

 

Honestly, I'm convinced a great many people have never read the guidelines on this sort of thing.

 

A big part of the problem is the submission form which looks like this:

 

1611097242_2019-06-2614_54_20-Window.thumb.png.c5348acffd87d09e86909e8fdfd1ecff.png

 

Notice how there is no link to more information for Size. People probably see the bison tube as the upper end of the micro scale. Yet many hiders think that a bison tube attached to anything bigger than the tube makes it a small or regular or large. That's why a link to the Help Center size/volume information is important. 

 

Wrt to the Terrain rating I don't know why people ignore "Three star = Challenging Terrain" and the link to the chart which describes T3 as "The hike may be more than 2 miles (3 km) on varied terrain - too difficult to ride a bike due to elevation changes or significant overgrowth." They purposely choose to opt for a lower terrain. The only reason I can think of is because they consider their rating to be a commodity, or as GW describes, to get it on the app for basic members. Either way they deliberately choose to misrepresent. 

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

Try being temporarily disabled. My eyes were opened by the number of caches listed as T1-2.5 but were impossible to get to with a leg in a brace that was mending. 

Also in my experience, COs actually used the T-rating as outlined by ClayJar and then was adopted/adapted by the GC site between 2001-2010. T3 was an off-trail cache which required any slogging through downed logs and relatively thick vegetation, or an area that had a steep slope that required careful footwork to get up or down, or hopping a creek, or balancing on a log to get across a section of stream/river. Now that's considered a T2. 

1 hour ago, Blue Square Thing said:

T ratings seem to vary quite a lot geographically as well.

Exactly.  :)   

It seems (to me)  the same ones who want to judge folks on conditions of their caches want to rate them too.  

Well,  I for one don't want to see some buttinski  interfering like that...

 

The  Help Center even says "Ratings vary from one community to the next.  A 3-star terrain in Banff, Canada, is a different experience than a 3-star terrain in Amsterdam, Holland. Please rate your cache accurately based on standards in your area and guidance in the table below".

Next time someone wants to tell you how to make your cache better on their standards,  if me, I'd tell 'em to move along*.   :)

 

This is a family-friendly site...   

 

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2 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

Also in my experience, COs actually used the T-rating as outlined by ClayJar and then was adopted/adapted by the GC site between 2001-2010. T3 was an off-trail cache which required any slogging through downed logs and relatively thick vegetation, or an area that had a steep slope that required careful footwork to get up or down, or hopping a creek, or balancing on a log to get across a section of stream/river. Now that's considered a T2.

Really? In my area, it's just the opposite. Anything like that would be considered T4. T2 typically means you have to leave the sidewalk. If a cache requiring slogging through downed logs and thick vegetation had to be rated T2, the terrain ratings higher than 2 would never be used 'cuz that's as hard as a anyone would hide except for caches needing special equipment.

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On 6/25/2019 at 12:30 PM, thebruce0 said:
On 6/25/2019 at 12:22 PM, dprovan said:

"Don’t post a ‘Needs Archived’ log if you did not visit the coordinates."

 

Right, there was that...

I think the vast majority of cases, true, but it's certainly not an absolute.

What I've found is that it's almost never true. When I post an NA before I've been to GZ -- which is most of my NAs -- it's precisely because there's no point for anyone, including me, to go to GZ. What previous seekers have logged tells us the cache has a serious problem, and enough time has passed to say that CO has failed to address the clear issue. The only reason to visit GZ if I thought the previous seekers were lying. Why would I assume that?

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2 hours ago, Blue Square Thing said:

T ratings seem to vary quite a lot geographically as well.

 

I seem to remember hearing that there's somewhere in Europe where they intentionally misuse the D/T ratings by combining the two into a type of "cache score". They seem to think that if they feel their cache is so difficult that it warrants a 7-star difficulty, they'd artificially inflate the terrain rating beyond what it would normally be. For example, a really difficult cache that's easy to access might get a 5/3 rating. I don't know why they don't just scale their ratings to the same 5-star scale that everyone else uses. We already have 9 discrete steps for each rating. Isn't that enough?

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4 hours ago, dprovan said:
6 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

Also in my experience, COs actually used the T-rating as outlined by ClayJar and then was adopted/adapted by the GC site between 2001-2010. T3 was an off-trail cache which required any slogging through downed logs and relatively thick vegetation, or an area that had a steep slope that required careful footwork to get up or down, or hopping a creek, or balancing on a log to get across a section of stream/river. Now that's considered a T2.

Really? In my area, it's just the opposite. Anything like that would be considered T4. T2 typically means you have to leave the sidewalk. If a cache requiring slogging through downed logs and thick vegetation had to be rated T2, the terrain ratings higher than 2 would never be used 'cuz that's as hard as a anyone would hide except for caches needing special equipment.

 

It depends a lot on what people are used to and what the local topology is like. I struggle with Clayjar because of its strong emphasis on being able to ride a bike to GZ, which makes anything with steps T3+. Just about everything off-road here, even concreted walking tracks, has many steps because of the nature of the topology (drowned and silted valleys in an ancient sandstone plateau). For me, to rate T4 it'd have to be a long hard slog with lots of steep scrambles and thick undergrowth, something that'd leave me pretty scratched and sore for a day or two afterwards. I'd think a hundred metres off-trail through moderate undergrowth and some fallen logs on mostly level ground would be a reasonable 2.5, like my GC70YHG, and I'd want to see a lot more distance (>3km), elevation change (>50m) or scrambling to push it up to T3.

Edited by barefootjeff

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7 hours ago, Blue Square Thing said:

 

Number of finds makes sense. I honestly don't see any correlation whatsoever between being a Premium member and the ability to rate a cache's size, D/T or attributes (or accuracy of coordinates or even type of cache sometimes if I'm being totally frank).

The geocaching site can't run without money, and I made this suggestion as another reason for people to pay for membership, to encourage people to support the geocaching site, so that we can all continue to play this game.

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7 hours ago, coachstahly said:

But that's YOU changing it based on your feedback. How would you feel if it changed all on its own based on input from finders, not based on your feelings about the D/T rating as you believe it to be?  You firmly believe it's a 2 T but finders continually differ from your rating and it changes, despite your certainty.  You firmly believe it's a 3 D cache but everyone who finds it thinks it's easier and rates it a 2, so it changes without your consent.  That's what an automated program would do and I'm not OK with that.

No problem with having a separate finders' rating. Why should I have a problem with that? That's what people think. I can accept that. I hope my brain isn't set in concrete.

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7 hours ago, coachstahly said:

That would be annoying but if you're driving that far for a single cache/single purpose, why wouldn't you guarantee that you found a cache large enough by focusing on regular size caches? It seems that micro/small have the most errors in regard to proper sizing so I would be more likely to guarantee the purpose for my visit by finding a regular sized cache.

What regular sized caches? I don't remember seeing any in that area. Small was the largest rating, and most of those turned out to be micros.

 

Naturally I logged the micro caches I found and I did other things during my visit, but the TB was the reason I visited at that time.

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7 hours ago, coachstahly said:

I'm pretty sure that's what log comments are for.

Yes, and then to be completely ignored by a stubborn or non-active CO; say those who won't rate anything over 2D/T (once it was 1.5D/T). I could show you whole regions where that happens, but I don't want to name and shame.  People shouldn't need to read past logs to find what the true rating is.

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Just to add to my comments about terrain rating, I'm in the midst of planning a short holiday up north and looking at an EC at the summit of a small mountain (about 200 metres above sea level). The walk from the carpark to the top is a concrete path and quarried stone steps, and the last time I was there, about a decade ago, there was a constant stream of tourists with children going up and down. This cache's terrain rating is 4.5. I mean, really?

 

image.png.d6583a8f36e563f92bbfc3832aca71a4.png

 

How does that in any way compare to the T4.5 I did recently that was a 7-hour return hike through mostly trackless thick scrub with a steep-sided craggy 80 metre deep gully to cross along the way? The trouble with making everything that's not a level path T3+ is it makes distinguishing the tougher caches a lot harder.

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Well, there are also WAY more than just 9 types of terrains. How many types of T3's could there be? Ratings just can't be that strict. Why would a T4.5 tree climb be any more objectively difficult or easier than a T4.5 hike, for example? Ratings are fundamentally subjective, and that's why there can only be guidelines and we simply have to trust the CO's judgment and the local community landscape, to a reasonable degree. Obviously very curious and strange ratings for a terrain can be reported for a higher judgment and possible correction.  But asking "why is this a T4.5 and this one isn't?" or "How can this be a T4.5 when this other one much more like it?" based on differing personal opinion of what quantifies a T4.5 is just so very argumentative.

 

But on that note, I'd rather a terrain rating be overrated than underrated. Better to be overprepared than underprepared.  I'd rather see the quarry stairs terrain rated 4.5 than 2.0.  But I'd have a better idea of what the T4.5 might entail if I knew the CO, or had cached in the area a significant amount.

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23 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

But I'd have a better idea of what the T4.5 might entail if I knew the CO, or had cached in the area a significant amount.

Also, I've seen T4.5 used both as "T5 lite" (requiring "special equipment" that is easier to get/use than a boat or climbing gear), and as "T4 plus" (essentially the hardest terrain that doesn't require "special equipment").

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1 hour ago, thebruce0 said:

But on that note, I'd rather a terrain rating be overrated than underrated. Better to be overprepared than underprepared.  I'd rather see the quarry stairs terrain rated 4.5 than 2.0.  But I'd have a better idea of what the T4.5 might entail if I knew the CO, or had cached in the area a significant amount.

 

It can have an impact the other way too. I'd initially limited my PQ to T3.5 and lower as it's a short holiday and I won't be really prepared for what I'd consider a genuine T4, let alone a T4.5 which ought to be at the epitomy of those physically challenges that can be done without special equipment. It was only that I knew there was an EC on that mountain and saw that it wasn't in my PQ that I realised it was a T4.5.

 

There's another peak in the area (at 550 metres) which the park management says is only for very experienced and fit climbers, with warnings of falling rocks and debris, steep exposed rock faces and slabs, strong winds and frequent mist. Climbers are warned to always stay in pairs and never attempt it alone. There's no cache up there, though if there was it would definitely be a T4.5, but then how would you differentiate it from the other one where tourists take their kids to look at the views? Making everything with a bit of a climb a T4.5 just makes that rating rather useless.

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3 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

The geocaching site can't run without money, and I made this suggestion as another reason for people to pay for membership, to encourage people to support the geocaching site, so that we can all continue to play this game.

OK: that makes more sense; thanks for clarifying.

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

It can have an impact the other way too. I'd initially limited my PQ to T3.5 and lower as it's a short holiday and I won't be really prepared for what I'd consider a genuine T4, let alone a T4.5 which ought to be at the epitomy of those physically challenges that can be done without special equipment. It was only that I knew there was an EC on that mountain and saw that it wasn't in my PQ that I realised it was a T4.5.

 

There's another peak in the area (at 550 metres) which the park management says is only for very experienced and fit climbers, with warnings of falling rocks and debris, steep exposed rock faces and slabs, strong winds and frequent mist. Climbers are warned to always stay in pairs and never attempt it alone. There's no cache up there, though if there was it would definitely be a T4.5, but then how would you differentiate it from the other one where tourists take their kids to look at the views? Making everything with a bit of a climb a T4.5 just makes that rating rather useless.

If there are many caches when I am visiting another place, I too have been known to load only D&T 3 and less. No equipment and I won't be able to find all the caches anyway, so this reduces some of the load. Higher rated caches are usually better done with company too. Another reason to not load them when away from home.

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6 hours ago, niraD said:

Also, I've seen T4.5 used both as "T5 lite" (requiring "special equipment" that is easier to get/use than a boat or climbing gear), and as "T4 plus" (essentially the hardest terrain that doesn't require "special equipment").

I've seen T5 caches on islands that "require a boat" that would be easily accessible with an inflatable pool toy.   I've also been to a spot which has a cache (before I started caching)  a mile off the coast of Newfloundland in a sea cave, which required launching in 3 feet of breaking surf in very cold water.   It was also rated a T5.

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6 hours ago, niraD said:

Also, I've seen T4.5 used both as "T5 lite" (requiring "special equipment" that is easier to get/use than a boat or climbing gear), and as "T4 plus" (essentially the hardest terrain that doesn't require "special equipment").

 

There's still a few T4.5s  here,  water/land access mostly. 

Asking COs, they've said,  "you can walk all day and get back to the car just before dark, or paddle-to it in about an hour".

I believe most finders would rather that 5.  

Many have said it seems the ratings don't make sense, when it's easier by using the "special equipment" that'd make it a 5.   :)

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Some misunderstanding of my suggestion: I meant two ratings for the cache, displayed side by side. One is the CO's rating and one is the community averaged rating.

 

Bad coordinates are thankfully usually an accident and usually corrected by the CO. And fortunately not very common, especially if you don't chase FTFs.

 

D/T ratings, cache sizes, and the frequent non-use of Attributes was what I was referring to.

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48 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Some misunderstanding of my suggestion: I meant two ratings for the cache, displayed side by side. One is the CO's rating and one is the community averaged rating.

Bad coordinates are thankfully usually an accident and usually corrected by the CO. And fortunately not very common, especially if you don't chase FTFs.

D/T ratings, cache sizes, and the frequent non-use of Attributes was what I was referring to.

 

I'm not in favor of "rating" another for anything here.  

A "rating" can't be limited to the community, and we find new kids saying T1.5s are too tough at times.

IIRC, there's a third-party site that does that though...

Just as (you say) coordinates are often  changed by the CO through finder input, we also see that with D/T.

One of our favorite hiders didn't think it a big deal to have T1.5  for lengthy walks, on primitive trails, on varied terrain, and  raised their terrain when they found out I rarely do anything under T2 at an event. 

I jokingly told them I found I was missing out on good walks, just because they were rated similar to packed community park trails here.

 - We both do the same caches, and asking around,  realized their hides weren't being touched by others for the same reason.   :)

 

Sometimes I get #$&*@ mail for my logs, most saying "Wanted to drop a trackable. No room for it. A pill bottle is not a small". 

When we finally found a hide-a-key holder , with the next a folding zippo lighter case, and both listed as small, I don't care that I get those logs.

 - Enough logs and they might change that.

 

The majority of caches I've viewed here have no attributes.  Not sure if they're not there as part of their "clever" hide,  or just don't want to add any.

 - But we have seen PI and tick attributes added, when the CO that placed it in winter gets a ton of notices on found-it logs as well.    :D

 

Edited by cerberus1
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