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Gary&Vicky

Power trails in the suburbs are bad for “Geocaching”.

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1 minute ago, VAVAPAM said:

You fully misinterpret my intent, and I'm sorry that you took it be a personal attack in some way.

That was an actual question, a bona fide musing ... it didn't occur to me that it would be amusing or reflect on you in any way.  Huh.

 

The shrimp-eaters one, though, yeah, that was just a flippant remark.  I thought your characterization was funny!

 

OK, reset, friends again.

 

In the case I mentioned, the 'cache carpet' isn't really filling a void left by others. This was a brand new five mile long paved, guard-railed, wonderfully scenic bike path. The COs almost immediately filled it from one end to the other.

 

And the shrimp thing? Another personal pet peeve of mine, of which I occasionally catch myself being close to perpetrating. <sigh>

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1 hour ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

It's not that "I" wanted to plant caches along there, it's that ONLY they get to plant caches there.

Exactly. They ruin the trail for some of us. The whole trail ruined by same-old-same-old, almost certainly dozens if not 100s of abandoned cheap (not meant for outdoor heavy use) containers.  I would prefer a trail with a variety of cache types, sizes, owners.

 

Variety is the spice of life. 

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6 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

Exactly. They ruin the trail for some of us. The whole trail ruined by same-old-same-old, almost certainly dozens if not 100s of abandoned cheap (not meant for outdoor heavy use) containers.  I would prefer a trail with a variety of cache types, sizes, owners.

 

Variety is the spice of life. 

 

And...

No one else hides there if spots open up. If you do, your cache gets swept up in the power number style play. I had a cache a kilometer from a PT and regularly got cut n paste logs thanking the PT owner for my cache contibution. <_<

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Meanwhile, over here in Utopia2, in the 10 mi radius we have ....

# caches:  82 (including 1 disabled micro)

# regular: 19 (23%)    # traditional  78  

# small:   24 (30%)     # multi:          01    
# micro:   35 (42%)    # mystery:     02
# other:    04 (05%)    # virtual:        01

 Difficulty: 1-4; Terrain:    1-4

[# functioning pens: unknown] ;)

 

Everybody who has NOT taken advantage of a convenient LPC to satisfy a challenge of some sort, or a simple wish to find a cache, please step forward.  "Any one?  Any one?"

We have three ...  BYOP.
 

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Back to the OP:  I know very well how fortunate I am to be in area with responsive and respectful COs (they do actually leave space for others, even), and the sense of community, extending to nearby larger cities, is strong and supportive.  Perhaps that is why I keep going back to trying to resolve the issue within your own caching community...because that works here.  Do you have a caching community, or is it a more insular, everybody-do-their-own-thing type of place?  Granted, not every one wants to participate in a community, but is there a way to create a community spirit there that engenders cooperation, empathy and respect for others? Is that never gonna happen?

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3 hours ago, Wet Pancake Touring Club said:

I found the subject of this thread interesting, "Power trails in the suburbs are bad for Geocaching". Upon reading, the thread didn't go in the direction that I expected based on the subject.

 

For the most part, I don't object to power trails. (I do wish that there was an easy way to ignore them.) But, most power trails are on some long stretch of highway. But these are a high density of caches in a suburban setting. Most of the caches are located on arterial roads. So, where does one park? Stop (blocking the bike lane), jump out, search in the bushes, then jump in the car and do it again in a quarter of a mile? Seems like these caches are designed to get one stopped and questioned by the police. 

 

We know that there are cachers that will park without regard for anyone else in their quest to find a geocache. To me, that is how suburban power trails are bad for Geocaching. Neighbors reporting strangers doing strange things in the bushes, cops stopping to investigate illegally parked cars, etc., are all things that can give geocaching a bad name. What can be done to alleviate this? Asking the CO to add parking coordinates, and maybe suggesting the best way to approach their cache might help. Yes, not everyone looks at cache descriptions, but some of us still do. For this specific set of caches, the best way would be to ride a bike. Maybe suggest that in the cache description. Heck, link the cache descriptions to a bookmark list that lists the caches in order for a bike trip, with parking at a local park. IMO, doing this shows that the hider is trying to make the experience a good one for the cacher.

+1  All good points - with solutions!

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3 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

Just a bit south of Lancaster, PA

 

Ironically it's an area which used to be the playground of someone, who at one point was one of the most prolific hiders in the game (before power trails became a thing)

Thanks, a but east of my normal travel

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1 hour ago, VAVAPAM said:

Meanwhile, over here in Utopia2, in the 10 mi radius we have ....

# caches:  82 (including 1 disabled micro)

# regular: 19 (23%)    # traditional  78  

# small:   24 (30%)     # multi:          01    
# micro:   35 (42%)    # mystery:     02
# other:    04 (05%)    # virtual:        01

 Difficulty: 1-4; Terrain:    1-4

[# functioning pens: unknown] ;)

 

Interesting. For comparison, my 16km radius has 327 caches but a much more varied distribution:

 

Micro     56      Traditional  209

Small   156      Multi              45

Regular 88       Mystery         61

Large       8       EarthCache    8

Other     19       LBH                 1

                          Virtual             3

 

            1     1.5     2     2.5     3     3.5     4     4.5     5

D        33     66  108    50     38    12     11     1      8

T        16     74    51    52      65    24    20    12    13

 

PMO  42

Basic member app accessible (D/T <= 2 traditional non-PMO) 92

 

A couple of things that stand out are that the regulars outnumber the micros and that 41% are T3 or higher. I think this reflects that many of the caches here are in bushland rather than suburbia, as the map is more green than white:

 

image.png.30bfb363ba0b88940d57849ee9732821.png

 

1 hour ago, VAVAPAM said:

Everybody who has NOT taken advantage of a convenient LPC to satisfy a challenge of some sort, or a simple wish to find a cache, please step forward.  "Any one?  Any one?"

We have three ...  BYOP.

 

I'll stick my hand up since our lamp posts don't have covers over their bases so there are no LPCs anywhere. Four of the five challenge caches I've done have required lots of high-T caches (the other was a trivial challenge requiring just one find of any type) so LPCs wouldn't have helped with those anyway. The only time I've specifically gone out after whatever P&G caches I could get my hands on was for some of the recent numbers-chase souvenir promotions.

 

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4 hours ago, niraD said:

Maybe it's just the types of series that I've seen, but I don't think of a series as being the same thing as a power trail or a numbers trail at all.

 

A series is a group of caches that is unified by some theme. Most of the ones I've seen aren't 528ft/161m apart from each other along a road or trail. They can be miles apart from each other, and still reflect the common theme.

 

I’d always assumed that PTs were along roads, where you can drive from cache to cache.  A series of caches along footpaths (even at 161 m separation) doesn’t offer quite the same opportunity for number crunching.

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8 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:

I’d always assumed that PTs were along roads, where you can drive from cache to cache.  A series of caches along footpaths (even at 161 m separation) doesn’t offer quite the same opportunity for number crunching.

The first trails I heard described as "power trails" were actual trails, which had become saturated with caches. (Parks that restrict caches to a certain distance from the trail effectively encourage this kind of thing.) The term was later co-opted for the driving-style numbers trails, once they were allowed.

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10 hours ago, p0cy said:

one of my favorite quotes

"When you go to hide a geocache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot. If the only reason is for the geocache, then find a better spot."

briansnat, Charter Member

 

As I mentioned earlier, about 41% of the hides within 16km of home are T3 or higher, and across the whole NSW Central Coast region it's 28%, but looking at the stats on project-gc, there's a worrying trend with only one of the 14 new caches hidden in the region this year in that terrain range. That one's mine, a T3 in a scenic spot at the end of a 3km hike through the forest, which was published in February but has only had four finds to date (and got 2 FPs). Of the other 13 lower terrain hides, four are P&Gs but the rest require at least a short walk and look around in what are interesting places to bring people. So no power trails yet but I fear it's only a matter of time.

 

Anyway, to try to make amends I've spent much of the past week plotting and exploring places for a T4 multi, settling on a forested area with just a few existing caches along a walking track at the top of the ridge. My multi, with its themed bushranging story, starts at the bottom, following a narrow track that weaves its way up, down, around and across a creek to the first waypoint, and from there it's straight up the spur, climbing 100 metres in a bit over 300 metres horizontally to what I think is a fairly impressive rock formation at the top with some filtered views through the trees.

 

Rocks.jpg.0434b314ff00284eab1d55f280b17e89.jpg

 

Hopefully it'll please those like me who prefer this sort of cache over the quick grabs, though I doubt its find count will ever make it into double digits. By contrast, the 215-cache Dog's Head power trail up north of Maitland in the Hunter Valley, published in April, has had around 40 finds on most of its caches, thus generating something like 8000 smilies. So I really have to wonder which is better for the community, a T4 multi or a power trail?

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16 hours ago, niraD said:

Maybe it's just the types of series that I've seen, but I don't think of a series as being the same thing as a power trail or a numbers trail at all.

 

A series is a group of caches that is unified by some theme. Most of the ones I've seen aren't 528ft/161m apart from each other along a road or trail. They can be miles apart from each other, and still reflect the common theme.

 

I agree that a series is a group of caches with a common theme.  However, I've seen a ton of them on maps for which it appears that only thing common that follows a theme is the cache name.  Placing 150 easily found  identical containers along a road every 525ft  is, to me, a power trail even when the caches are all named after  rock bands.    For me, whether or not a group of caches is a power trail boils down to what kind of experience is provided.  

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

I agree that a series is a group of caches with a common theme.  However, I've seen a ton of them on maps for which it appears that only thing common that follows a theme is the cache name.  Placing 150 easily found  identical containers along a road every 525ft  is, to me, a power trail even when the caches are all named after  rock bands.    For me, whether or not a group of caches is a power trail boils down to what kind of experience is provided.  

 

I have three series, none of which I think would be classed as power trails - you certainly couldn't do them very quickly!

  • Chasing Waterfalls series - five multis exploring different waterfalls around the district.
  • Dark Creatures of Patonga series - three themed traditionals in Patonga, one in an interesting rock formation high on the ridge, one inside a wet cavern in total darkness and the third in the tidal wetlands.
  • Plodfoot versus the Bushranger series - an evolving storyline played out in a collection of nine mysteries and multis set in 1850s colonial Australia.

Edit to add: I'd also get pretty annoyed if someone tried playing the 3-cache-monte on them.

Edited by barefootjeff

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14 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Interesting. For comparison, my 16km radius has 327 caches but a much more varied distribution:

 

Micro     56      Traditional  209

Small   156      Multi              45

Regular 88       Mystery         61

Large       8       EarthCache    8

Other     19       LBH                 1

                          Virtual             3

 

            1     1.5     2     2.5     3     3.5     4     4.5     5

D        33     66  108    50     38    12     11     1      8

T        16     74    51    52      65    24    20    12    13

 

PMO  42

Basic member app accessible (D/T <= 2 traditional non-PMO) 92

 

A couple of things that stand out are that the regulars outnumber the micros and that 41% are T3 or higher. I think this reflects that many of the caches here are in bushland rather than suburbia, as the map is more green than white:

Yes, quite a bit more varied.  Lots of trads might be good training ground for beginners, I think, but not so much for those that would want variety.  Perhaps I need to work on that.  (I'm not smart enough to create challenging puzzles, but the others may be do-able.) Fortunately, I don't have too far to go (50ish miles) to get both the variety and terrain missing in our area.  The kicker there is that those T5s tend to be rated as such because watercraft ($$) is needed...only a couple are "swimmable".

 

14 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I'll stick my hand up since our lamp posts don't have covers over their bases so there are no LPCs anywhere. Four of the five challenge caches I've done have required lots of high-T caches (the other was a trivial challenge requiring just one find of any type) so LPCs wouldn't have helped with those anyway. The only time I've specifically gone out after whatever P&G caches I could get my hands on was for some of the recent numbers-chase souvenir promotions. 

M'Lady Penelope runs naked in the streets of Australia, eh?  Good to know - filing that away for future reference. And indeed, the P&G part is the point ... the souvenir challenges tend to sink the good ship Utopia2.

 

Sort of like the OP, I'm not hoping for any PTs in my area, but a bunch of P&Gs somewhere else, nearby, would be handy on those occasions.  :D

 

 

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11 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

which is better for the community, a T4 multi or a power trail?

 

I can't say for the global community.  In our area, the T4 multi would be better - and far more appreciated - than the power trail.

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1 hour ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

Placing 150 easily found  identical containers along a road every 525ft  is, to me, a power trail even when the caches are all named after  rock bands.    For me, whether or not a group of caches is a power trail boils down to what kind of experience is provided.

Agreed.  When I earlier read your comment about a geoart probably being a power trail, I felt you were using a paint brush a bit too large; however, that may just be your experience, admittedly much greater than mine.  After finding a couple of points of a nearby geoart and then looking at the many remaining points' logs, it looked like it was going to be exactly that (a power trail), so I quit.  But I just did one a bit further out that covered a lovely pastoral circuit of about 15 miles, with varied containers and hides: definitely not a power trail, I do consider it a series.  I don't think anybody would have considered the  [now retired] Virginia Star a power trail.  I can't speak to whether its replacement is or not, as I've not researched it.

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4 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I have three series, none of which I think would be classed as power trails - you certainly couldn't do them very quickly!

  • Chasing Waterfalls series - five multis exploring different waterfalls around the district.
  • Dark Creatures of Patonga series - three themed traditionals in Patonga, one in an interesting rock formation high on the ridge, one inside a wet cavern in total darkness and the third in the tidal wetlands.
  • Plodfoot versus the Bushranger series - an evolving storyline played out in a collection of nine mysteries and multis set in 1850s colonial Australia.

Edit to add: I'd also get pretty annoyed if someone tried playing the 3-cache-monte on them.

 

It sounds like all three would be fun and are more in line with what I've traditionally thought of as a series.   There used to be a series of caches in my area called "B" caches.  They were called "B" caches because they were all near formerly used bridges.  Unlike what some call a series today, there were only 5-6 caches in the series, all within about 30 miles.  

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On 8/13/2019 at 11:00 AM, TeamRabbitRun said:

I'd love to see a land manager implement a policy that encourages cache diversity.

If you think you have a good case, make it to the CO instead of making it to someone else in a position to force the CO to do what you want.

 

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I'm familiar with the caches that the OP posted and really like them. I never considered them to be like a power trail, rather a whole lot of caches in a suburban area. Most are not park & grabs but require parking on a side street and walking to the caches. I do most of them by bicycle and it's great to plan out a route and bike to these. It's rare that I stop at more than 10 of these caches in a day. At my rate I have many, many days ahead of me to look for these and take the bike out for a spin.

 

I don't think it was mentioned about the effort the CO used to place these. There's a variety of caches and hide styles. The containers include flat packs, film cans, milk bottles, tupperware, pill bottles, bisons, and an occasional nano. Most of these are painted or taped up. The CO usually provides good hints and the coordinates are usually right on. The CO has taken months and months to place these and I believe they're also placed by bike. I appreciate that these were placed for the benefit of others and they've shown to be quite popular.

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23 minutes ago, bon scott said:

I'm familiar with the caches that the OP posted

Thank you for this insider's view of the caches in question.  It really does shed some light on what is being referred to, and what may just being assumed by many because of the nature of publication.

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Thoughts from another local cacher: I am well aware of CO being referred to but I do not share the OPs opinion. 

Based on public stats I can see that the OP has been caching for 16+ years and has logged 15k+caches. That’s awesome, and I understand why they are in a position to be more selective about their finds. I have only been playing a few years and have less than 800 logs. The majority of my finds have been in the last few months for two reasons: I found some friends to go caching with and because we are lucky to live in a place where there are a lot of caches, many (but certainly not all)  placed by this CO. Before about May of this year, I was pretty terrible at caching by myself and often got discouraged, admittedly I didn’t really “get” what the draw was. But I found that with my friends helping me and with all the local hides, my confidence has grown and it has become really fun for me now. I still consider myself to be pretty green but my experience so far is the exact opposite of what the OP seems to be worried about.

I can’t imagine the time and planning that is put into mapping the coordinates for the caches; obtaining, weather-proofing, camouflaging, and customizing the containers; and keeping them maintained as well as they are. They are not “lousy” by any stretch. The CO has made it clear that he will happily archive anywhere someone else would like to place a cache. What’s more, the sheer number of these caches means that a good amount are accessible to those with various abilities and means of transportation. I’m guessing there are others like me who, between work and family, don’t have the opportunity to travel out of town much. So these caches and their CO will keep me active in this game that I really enjoy. I say we are spoiled.

Geocaching is a great activity because it can be played many different ways, from casually to competitively. As stated elsewhere, there is no “right” way to play. There is certainly no need for a NIMBY attitude, especially since there are easier and friendlier ways to address these specific issues. It sucks that the OP is unhappy. But I am definitely having fun, and from all the familiar names I see in all the logs it seems that many others are too.

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I tend to agree with all of the sentiments in the original post. We've done a few PTs and always in the end it becomes quite boring. We started doing them just as a way to rack up our finds in a short amount of time. So as we've grown older (AHEM) and wiser, we've come to realize that now for us, it's more about quality instead of quantity.

That being said, what else we've discovered is that the ONLY way to complete them with any amount of satisfaction (and lack of shame) is to do them by bicycle. Biking for 5 minutes to get to the next cache in line is far more rewarding than accelerating our car for 60 seconds. God knows my body needs the workout too.

 

Our major beef about PTs are when they are placed in such a way as to be hazardous to the cacher. A couple hours east of us there is a long power trail that runs along the TransCanada Highway. Some of the trail is placed beside an access road that runs parallel right beside the highway. At some point the access road ends and the caches require you to pull onto the shoulder and head down into the ditch. All while semis are whizzing by, 2 feet from your car. Of course, during ANY caching activity, one must always be conscious of safety. But it seems to us that placing caches like these just unnecessarily put people in harm's way. 

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2 hours ago, kpow17 said:

Thoughts from another local cacher: I am well aware of CO being referred to but I do not share the OPs opinion. <very relevant points snipped>

 

Thank you for providing an important additional "in-house" perspective on this topic.

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Hmm.. I'd not be happy about such a powertrail in my neighbourhood. But on the other hand: Look at the average European big city with some visitors: Many of the caches there are not really of better quality than the average powertrail: Nanos or filmpots at a road crossing or somewhere in someone's garden fence. If you filter out those few tourist nanos at popular sights there's often not a lot left with regards to traditionals. One can decide to go and find them, or ignore them. Or if one happens to live there place create traditional, at interesting places, a city centre ammocan and lift the overall quality.

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8 hours ago, terratin said:

Hmm.. I'd not be happy about such a powertrail in my neighbourhood. But on the other hand: Look at the average European big city with some visitors: Many of the caches there are not really of better quality than the average powertrail: Nanos or filmpots at a road crossing or somewhere in someone's garden fence. If you filter out those few tourist nanos at popular sights there's often not a lot left with regards to traditionals. One can decide to go and find them, or ignore them. Or if one happens to live there place create traditional, at interesting places, a city centre ammocan and lift the overall quality.

 

This is how I feel. 

In my experience, the PT culture has decreased the overall quality of the pastime.

By sanctioning PTs, Groundspeak promoted cheap quality containers and lots of them. Then said it's OK to community-maintain them. That attitude quickly became the norm for all caches. 

 

 

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On 8/17/2019 at 10:10 AM, katdude said:

I think he should be banned.

 

Interesting to see the CO of the powertrails in question participate in the forum topic.

 

Quoting dprovan:

 

Quote

If you think you have a good case, make it to the CO instead of making it to someone else in a position to force the CO to do what you want.

 

Given the OPs frustrations, will you change your hiding habits? Has the comments about how PTs effect geocaching negatively had any effect? 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

What about that archived power trail in eastern Colorado that got all the farmers upset? 

Edited by SwineFlew

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Posted (edited)
On 8/12/2019 at 4:21 PM, 31BMSG said:

I have the same problem north of me in the west Texas oilfields, that's why the CO and all 503 of his caches are on my ignore list. As long as the reviewer approves these and they are in decent shape I don't see any options other than ignoring them. Because of the few caches I've found that were placed by this CO I've learned to delete anything that resembles a power trail from my caching list.

I see that you found some of the power trails that I found in the Midland area.  Yes it's in the middle of nowhere but I have people following me and asking me what I am doing out there.  One time it was almost at gunpoint.  There's people out there that don't want you close to their oil fields, period.  BTW, I know which CO you are talking about. It's not hard to figured that out if anyone found his caches in your area.

Edited by SwineFlew

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3 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

This is how I feel. 

In my experience, the PT culture has decreased the overall quality of the pastime.

By sanctioning PTs, Groundspeak promoted cheap quality containers and lots of them. Then said it's OK to community-maintain them. That attitude quickly became the norm for all caches. 

 

Citation needed.  The only references I could find regarding maintenance, seems to put the responsibility squarely on the person who placed the caches (i.e. cache owner)....

 

https://www.geocaching.com/play/guidelines#cachemaintenance

 

https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&amp;id=38&amp;pgid=57

 

 

 

3 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

Has the comments about how PTs effect geocaching negatively had any effect? 

 

Apparently it has:

 

https://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LUID=5d11f05a-89d3-409b-851b-e06406b9daf4

 

Congratulations to the OP.  Job well done. [/sarcasm]

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Touchstone said:

 

>[

Extremely irresponsible cache owner behavior, done in anger to goad. See what happens @dprovan when you talk to some addicted COs. He archived without retrieving it and welcomes irresponsible finder behavior. 

 

katdude archived 2.gif Westpoo Tree Hanger

Saturday, 17 August 2019California W W 3441.3 km from your home location

 

"When you go to hide a geocache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot. If the only reason is for the geocache, then find a better spot."
I should have thought better that just fun and exercise for everyone premium and basic.
Feel free to log until container is stolen or I get a chance to remove. Remove and dispose as you see fit if you want.
Unfortunate they have made so many cranky. All for fun in a GAME.

 

 

Edited by L0ne.R
Cleaned up some bad syntax
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1 hour ago, SwineFlew said:

I see that you found some of the power trails that I found in the Midland area.  Yes it's in the middle of nowhere but I have people following me and asking me what I am doing out there.  One time it was almost at gunpoint.  There's people out there that don't want you close to their oil fields, period.  BTW, I know which CO you are talking about. It's not hard to figured that out if anyone found his caches in your area.

I was stopped caching around Terlingua ranch about two years ago and it WAS at gunpoint.

 

Another problem with his caches is I think word has gone out that these are unattended and a free for all. Coming back from OK around the first of the month I had to go through the area and decided to try 10 caches along my route. There were logs from May of this year back through 2018 with no mention of any problems, the last logs were eight paragraph dissertations that made no mention of the caches but did mention the "finder" had learned about this PT at Geowoodstock. Even though there were several online logs, of the caches that did contain logs none had been signed since early 2017. I like chasing down lonely caches and bogus online logs throw a wrench in that game play.

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4 minutes ago, 31BMSG said:

I was stopped caching around Terlingua ranch about two years ago and it WAS at gunpoint.

 

Another problem with his caches is I think word has gone out that these are unattended and a free for all. Coming back from OK around the first of the month I had to go through the area and decided to try 10 caches along my route. There were logs from May of this year back through 2018 with no mention of any problems, the last logs were eight paragraph dissertations that made no mention of the caches but did mention the "finder" had learned about this PT at Geowoodstock. Even though there were several online logs, of the caches that did contain logs none had been signed since early 2017. I like chasing down lonely caches and bogus online logs throw a wrench in that game play.

I saw those logs and I was wondering if he/she really found them.  I am willing to bet that you can log all of the ET powertail and only find a dozen of them and drive by the rest. Whos really checking? Nobody.

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4 hours ago, SwineFlew said:

Whos really checking? Nobody.

On numbers trails like that, where three cache monte and other "shortcuts" are encouraged/accepted, who can really check? Nobody.

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Recently a number of very long Power Trails have popped up all around the beautiful bush capital of Canberra, Australia, mostly placed by the same geocacher.  Personally I think they are a blight, littering the country roadsides.  When I placed my first hide, I was impressed and still am by this advice from briansnat, charter member... "When you go to hide a geocache think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot.  If the only reason is for the geocache, then find a better spot."

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On 8/13/2019 at 1:13 PM, L0ne.R said:
On 8/13/2019 at 9:39 AM, p0cy said:

one of my favorite quotes

"When you go to hide a geocache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot. If the only reason is for the geocache, then find a better spot."

briansnat, Charter Member

 

That quote should come up every time someone looks at the submit-a-cache form. 

 

What about gadget caches? Often placed only in a location where it would be feasible, rarely about the location.  It's a great quote, but I would never use it to presume that it's fundamental to every cache placement. It's something to keep in mind, but sometimes yes, the reason you bring people to a spot is the geocache.  Better would be to consider that your bringing someone there either for the location, or the geocache. :)

 

However... sometimes a cache is about the extended experience - it is to many people. So those who enjoy powertrail mentality would take issue with not including extended experiences. In that case it's not about each individual location, or each individual geocache, but the experience from start to finish. And then it gets more convoluted when you talk about 'why not make it a multi', and so on... Geocaching today ain't so cut and dry!

 

Many different cache owners want to provide a wider variety of geocaching experiences than used to exist 'back in the day'. And not everyone enjoys every kind of experience. The fun part is finding a balance point, and that balance point is bordered by the guidelines and definition of 'geocaching' that Groundspeak wants to provide (as implemented by geocaching.com, since there are a couple of other sites with their own definitions as well).

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On 8/18/2019 at 11:37 AM, L0ne.R said:

By sanctioning PTs, Groundspeak promoted cheap quality containers and lots of them. Then said it's OK to community-maintain them. That attitude quickly became the norm for all caches.

 

It's not that they've sanctioned power trails, it's that they know there's no way to reasonably (ie, without 'ugly baby' judgments) disallow them. More rules? More regulations? Someone complains and so make another rule? That's effectively what happened. SO they had to settle on a set of placement guidelines that's applicable to all geocaches everywhere. No matter the rules, there will always be people who push the limit, and the ones who like 'power trail mentality' will find a way to provide as close an experience to that as possible. Groundspeak has never said or implied "We like powertrails!" But they've recognized the arbitrary nature of such an experience, and left it up to communities to shape face of their local geocache distributions.

 

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On ‎8‎/‎18‎/‎2019 at 11:37 AM, L0ne.R said:

This is how I feel. 

In my experience, the PT culture has decreased the overall quality of the pastime.

By sanctioning PTs, Groundspeak promoted cheap quality containers and lots of them. Then said it's OK to community-maintain them. That attitude quickly became the norm for all caches. 

 

I don't feel that the site has given official approval, just that there's not much that can (really) be done about it.   :)

But when this Newsletter   came out, I have to admit I was a bit peeved as well.

I've done a number of caches that now have "on the way to..." caches leading to them, most by different accounts too.

Many rails-to-trails hides here have this happen.  One places four hides, another places in-between because they're "along the way", and so on.

Eventually the entire rail system might become a "power trail" .  I'd like to believe that most did that innocently...

I simply skip by most.    ;)

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Posted (edited)
14 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:
  On 8/18/2019 at 11:37 AM, L0ne.R said:

This is how I feel. 

In my experience, the PT culture has decreased the overall quality of the pastime.

By sanctioning PTs, Groundspeak promoted cheap quality containers and lots of them. Then said it's OK to community-maintain them. That attitude quickly became the norm for all caches. 

14 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

But when this Newsletter   came out, I have to admit I was a bit peeved as well.

 

Wow. :huh: And that came out in 2011, shortly after PTs were approved.

 

There's this one where the newsletter/blog article where the tips section included throwdowns:

 

Quote

-Plan to bring at least 50 film canisters with logs (for cache maintenance along the way)

 

 

Edited by L0ne.R
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2 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:
On 8/18/2019 at 11:37 AM, L0ne.R said:

This is how I feel. 

In my experience, the PT culture has decreased the overall quality of the pastime.

By sanctioning PTs, Groundspeak promoted cheap quality containers and lots of them. Then said it's OK to community-maintain them. That attitude quickly became the norm for all caches. 

 

While the PT culture is certainly something that I'd rarely consider doing (as a hider or finder), I don't know that it's made things any worse than it already was.  It might have sped up some things that are detrimental to caching, particularly adequate responsive maintenance.  It also certainly promotes some other things that I'm not a fan of but to say GS is promoting cheap containers by allowing them isn't the truth.  What they're doing is allowing cachers to hide them and the cachers are the ones using cheap containers because it's, well, cheaper.  One of the side effects of allowing PTs is the fact that there's a strong possibility that COs will choose cheaper containers but that's not up to GS to determine what containers they are to use.  That's solely up to the CO.  As @Touchstonehas mentioned, the onus of maintenance is, per the guidelines, still on the CO as well. Even within that newsletter from 2011, beneath the "...an extra geocache container... " the 3 step guidelines promote the following things that seem to counter your claims:

 

1. Place a cache that is durable and requires little or no upkeep

2. Periodically check on your cache both in person and via the cache page to see if there are any issues

3. If you see a ‘Needs Maintenance’ log on the cache page, fix the cache and post an ‘Owner Maintenance‘ log

 

It seems that GS has since modified their stance since 2011 based on this newsletter - https://www.geocaching.com/blog/2017/06/9-tips-for-responsible-cache-maintenance/, this one - https://www.geocaching.com/blog/2019/02/four-tips-for-hiding-quality-geocaches/, this one - https://www.geocaching.com/blog/2019/02/show-your-cache-some-love/, and this one - https://www.geocaching.com/blog/2015/03/you-hid-your-first-geocache-now-what/.

 

"...the norm for all caches..."  According to this statement, every cache is now cheap, low quality and unmaintained.  Really? Is that what you're truly saying?  Do you have evidence showing that every cache falls into this grouping?  I know plenty of cachers who use good containers and maintain their caches.  Yes, I do know some who rely on the largesse of others to maintain their caches as well.  I'm not saying they don't exist.  What I am saying is that your generalization isn't realistic or factual.  It only applies to some COs.  Laying the blame solely at the feet of those PT COs for the supposed degradation of geocaching is going too far.  While some of them certainly are the type of CO being described and have contributed to some of the problems facing geocaching, some of them are not.  There were plenty of maintenance issues due to COs not doing what was required before PTs were allowed to be placed as well.

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We're very familiar with these caches and will miss them now that they are gone.  The key point here is the CO made it very clear he would archive any cache that interfered with a planned new hide.  If you don't like power trails, don't do them, but why do you have a right to tell me (and the CO) that we can't?  The placement of these allowed for a nice walk with a diversion every tenth of a mile to stop and grab a cache - how is that bad?

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13 minutes ago, M5 Driver said:

If you don't like power trails, don't do them, but why do you have a right to tell me (and the CO) that we can't?  The placement of these allowed for a nice walk with a diversion every tenth of a mile to stop and grab a cache - how is that bad?

 

Would you prefer to find one multi-cache containing 10 similar waypoints to earn one find at the final container OR 10 similar traditional caches to earn 10 finds with the exactly same effort? Both ways you would get a nice walk.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

Would you prefer to find one multi-cache containing 10 similar waypoints to earn one find at the final container OR 10 similar traditional caches to earn 10 finds with the exactly same effort? Both ways you would get a nice walk.

 

The multi-cache approach is such that a single missing stage makes the final inaccessible.

 

And both ways would exclude exactly the same area from other caches.

Edited by fizzymagic
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3 minutes ago, fizzymagic said:

And both ways would exclude exactly the same area from other caches.

 

Right!  I am very keen to hear that it doesn't matter which way it is constructed because the only difference is the number of finds you are going to earn.

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19 minutes ago, arisoft said:

Would you prefer to find one multi-cache containing 10 similar waypoints to earn one find at the final container OR 10 similar traditional caches to earn 10 finds with the exactly same effort? Both ways you would get a nice walk.

 

I said similar at an event once and got booed.   Odd man out when mentioning no need for numbers and stats with locals here...   :D

It was after one asked why I skip by their low D/T hides, yet do some others further along.  Sometimes I'll sign a few logs (but not online).

 - They kinda showed my point...I was heading to that one at the end,  just like they did when they placed them.  :) 

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5 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

They kinda showed my point...I was heading to that one at the end,  just like they did when they placed them.

 

Here is the plan. Instead of placing one traditional cache at the end of the road start from the beginning of the road with a multi-cache and place waypoints along the road to make them busy while the are going to the cache at the end of the road.

 

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Another local cacher here.  I’m really disappointed by this post.  This area is ALL of our neighborhood, not just OPs.  Many of us enjoy this level of caching that is so fortunately available to us.  I certainly don’t view it as “encroaching”.   The CO has always been clear that he would vacate a spot if someone else wanted it. 

 

Although I’ve been caching for 16 years, I haven’t been a big numbers person and I am still working so my time is limited.  I can honestly say there is no negative impact to the quality of MY geocaching by claiming these finds.  I love that I can take my dog for a walk and grab a few caches.  I can gather friends on short notice and we can spend the morning together getting a string while also getting some exercise.  I can grab a one or two on my way from work.  I can do all this without much planning and if I wanted, I could up my numbers game without having to drive to the desert.  This CO has spent countless time and energy (and money) building a game that I like to play.  He is extremely responsive and keeps his caches maintained.  People have even traveled here to clear these – yay local commerce!

 

It is also not this CO’s sole responsibility to make sure new cachers have experience with favorites.  This is an urban area.  Without this CO, it would be very much the same, just a lot less of it.  I really don’t see the issue.  Don’t go for those caches, ignore the CO, message the CO if you want a location he has.  You don’t care about numbers anymore?  Great!  But that doesn’t mean that others shouldn’t have that opportunity.  Play the game the way you want to play.  Let CO play his.  Let me play mine.

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1 hour ago, arisoft said:

 

Would you prefer to find one multi-cache containing 10 similar waypoints to earn one find at the final container OR 10 similar traditional caches to earn 10 finds with the exactly same effort? Both ways you would get a nice walk.

Yup, either way works for me.  Some will like one, others will like the alternative.  So why prohibit one of them?

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, M5 Driver said:

Yup, either way works for me.  Some will like one, others will like the alternative.  So why prohibit one of them?

 

Sometimes it may be good for the game itself. This is a complicated situation. I would like to say that it doesn't matter but I can't. I have enough finds to be a reckoned geocacher. I am not after numbers at all but I am a little bit lazy or I optimize things too much. It is my habit. I prefer to select caches based on distance instead of quality. For me, a low quality power trail near my home would have negative effect on the quality of my experience for a long time. Powertrails far away has no similar effect as I can easily avoid them. It is my bad that I am lazy and I need some push to go after those better caches further from my home. I would support banning power trails near my home. Most power trail visitors seem to come far away. I think that players who are after power trails don't care whether the trail is in a suburban area or not but I care.

Edited by arisoft

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1 hour ago, arisoft said:

 

Would you prefer to find one multi-cache containing 10 similar waypoints to earn one find at the final container OR 10 similar traditional caches to earn 10 finds with the exactly same effort? Both ways you would get a nice walk.

 

It's horses for courses. I have a couple of caches along a section of the Great North Walk. Apart from them being on the same walking track, they have nothing else in common so they're both traditionals. You can do one, the other or both coming from either direction, it makes no difference to the experience. On the other hand, my latest cache is a multi because I wanted to lead the finders along a particular route, following a series of tracks in and around a gully in the forest to a physical waypoint beside the track, and then up the spur from there to the impressive rocky outcrop at the top where the cache is concealed. This wouldn't have worked as well as a couple of traditionals, firstly because the location of the waypoint has no great merit other than being the point where you leave the track to head up the hill, and secondly because there's a shortcut to the final from a car park and track on top but coming in that way you miss out on exploring the gully, the hill climb and seeing the outcrop in all its glory from below.

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