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The_Man_Of_Steel

An idea for a future update.

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I saw a post of Facebook by a Geocacher that does not live very close to his "hides" and has therefore announced that he will be archiving his caches this Sunday. (Possibly not retrieving the caches and just leaving them as rubbish in the environment - This is an assumption on my part).

This got me thinking about the process involved with Archiving a cache.

To the best of my knowledge, there is no compulsion on the Cache owner to visit the cache location to retrieve/recycle or dispose of, the actual physical cache once they decide to Archive the cache.

I propose the introduction of a L.T.F. system. So the same as First To Find, but it would be Last To Find instead. The system would work like this; the cacher would decide to archive the cache, by using the computer to Archive in the current manner, the Cache owner would be prompted by the computer to answer a question like "Have you removed the physical cache from the location and disposed of it thoughtfully?" If the answer is YES, they get awarded a L.T.F. and the cache is archived. If the answer is NO, then the computer could write an entry to the log to inform the next person to find the cache that they will be the last person to find the cache and that they will be awarded a L.T.F. by disposing of the physical cache thoughtfully. The cache would remain "live" until the next cacher finds it and then that cacher, not the cache owner gets awarded with a L.T.F. So, by awarding people with a L.T.F. it is helping to ensure that Geocaching as a pastime isn't contributing to adding rubbish to the environment around us. By awarding L.T.F's people will seek out dead caches and clean the environment up in the process and assist in giving Geocaching as a pastime a "Good Reputation".

 

This change if implemented would also be an opportunity for Geocaching.com to formally introduce a system of FTF's (First to find's) as well.

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The way this game is already "gamed" I foresee the following would happen. The CO would choose NO putting the responsibility off on the next cacher who would log a find and leave the container for the next cacher, then the next, and so on until the cache became "community maintained" trash. Then there is the fact that some cachers will log the LTF but still leave the container behind. It's a good idea but you're not looking at the fact that adding a number to their find count is the only thing some people care about and will help their like minded friends do the same.

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Groundspeak has never sanctioned FTF so I can't see them sanctioning LTF.

Edited by JL_HSTRE
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I feel that "containers", no matter how many are left, don't compare to what's left by the same people who start this carp about "litter".

Walk to most vistas on any major trail and there's often much more junk left than packed back out, by those same, caring, hikers.  

Sheesh...  

We do have CITO to help a bit though.   Our good reputation with landowners is because of it.

We've loaded a few bags when on major trails while caching, and still see water bottles and "energy" bar wrappers, even at GZ.  

 - That container means nada...

 

Similar to 31BMSG, I could see "LTF" a stat that means about as much as FTF does now. 

Rushing off for the next, dollartoadonut that dirty container isn't traveling with them... 

 

We're often surprised by questions here and events by new folks looking to place a cache,  found one that isn't listed anywhere in the exact spot.

If just most caches were at noteworthy spots, odds are they'd be picked up by the next person (if it was left there).     :)

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2 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Many caches are archived because the container is gone. 

 

Exactly. I am just about to archive one of my caches because it completely disappeared, a container with a camo as well. I could not find it despite a few visits at GZ and I am not able to recreate it in the form acceptable for me. Now imagine, I have this question to answer: "Have you removed the physical cache from the location?" and I have to answer "No" because I could not find anything to remove. The cache stays alive forever then, blocking a place for new caches, because no one is able to find it and log a L.T.F.

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8 hours ago, The_Man_Of_Steel said:

The system would work like this; the cacher would decide to archive the cache, by using the computer to Archive in the current manner, the Cache owner would be prompted by the computer to answer a question like "Have you removed the physical cache from the location and disposed of it thoughtfully?"

If the answer is YES, they get awarded a L.T.F. and the cache is archived. If the answer is NO, then the computer could write an entry to the log to inform the next person to find the cache that they will be the last person to find the cache and that they will be awarded a L.T.F. by disposing of the physical cache thoughtfully.

The cache would remain "live" until the next cacher finds it and then that cacher, not the cache owner gets awarded with a L.T.F. So, by awarding people with a L.T.F. it is helping to ensure that Geocaching as a pastime isn't contributing to adding rubbish to the environment around us. By awarding L.T.F's people will seek out dead caches and clean the environment up in the process and assist in giving Geocaching as a pastime a "Good Reputation".

 

This change if implemented would also be an opportunity for Geocaching.com to formally introduce a system of FTF's (First to find's) as well.

 

You do realize there are a few other location games, right ?  :)    

If I ever decided to use one of my just-archived caches for one of those other location games, it'll stay put, thanks. 

This hobby has nothing to do with placement of another hobby's caches.   Ever find a real letterbox almost next to a cache ?

 - So if I was to say "NO",  it could simply mean I haven't removed it.  What business is it of yours what I'm planning ?

Heck, I might be planning (and already have the form filled out)  to place a new geocache there. 

We use good containers, so I'll just be swapping new swag and log into that one already there   ;)

 

Geocaches belong to the COs.   This site is a listing service for it's members. 

"Consideration for the needs of other people" isn't a factor when few would know what another's plans are...  

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3 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Many caches are archived because the container is gone. 

 

Yes, of the four of mine I've archived I've only been able to retrieve one of them. The other three were muggled, washed away in huge seas and buried under a rockfall.

 

Many times, though, it's not the CO who's archiving; they've long gone and it's down to a reviewer to do that, usually when the long-abandoned cache has gone missing. From what I've seen, the reviewers seem reluctant to archive a cache that's still there even if it's abandoned and in poor condition.

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2 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

You do realize there are a few other location games, right ?  :)    

 

Nope, I didn't, and I don't see how that is relevant to this discussion. This proposal is about this game/pastime. Who knows, if it was implemented well, the other "games" that your refer to may follow our lead.

 

Anyway the whole idea of what I propose is that there is a system whereby there isn't anything left behind in the natural environment once the cache is Archived.

 

The "mechanics" of how to make that happen may differ from what I proposed, so long as the end result is achieved. That is; that the cache gets removed and disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner somehow.

 

I am more than happy for others to suggest a mechanism that would work better than what I have suggested.

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It takes personal responsibility and integrity to clean up after yourself without being told to, if someone doesn't have that by the age of 18 they will probably never have it. If a person were to find a way to entice someone with no personal responsibility to suddenly have it 95% of the world's problems would be solved, I too would be interested in a mechanism to suddenly make 300,000 people become responsible.

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40 minutes ago, The_Man_Of_Steel said:

Nope, I didn't, and I don't see how that is relevant to this discussion.

...

Anyway the whole idea of what I propose is that there is a system whereby there isn't anything left behind in the natural environment once the cache is Archived.

The point of Ceberus1's reply was that there are other geocache listing sites other than this one, and a container could be listed on both here and another one (or more). By your proposal if a CO archived his cache listing on here (perhaps because he had a disagreement with Groundspeak), then a Geocaching.com cacher would go and remove the container which is still actively listed on another site and then render the listing on the other site as missing.

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13 hours ago, The_Man_Of_Steel said:

The system would work like this; the cacher would decide to archive the cache, by using the computer to Archive in the current manner, the Cache owner would be prompted by the computer to answer a question like "Have you removed the physical cache from the location and disposed of it thoughtfully?" If the answer is YES, they get awarded a L.T.F. and the cache is archived.

 

I like that you are trying to come up with a possible solution. 

 

I like this part:

 

13 hours ago, The_Man_Of_Steel said:

The system would work like this; the cacher would decide to archive the cache, by using the computer to Archive in the current manner, the Cache owner would be prompted by the computer to answer a question like "Have you removed the physical cache from the location and disposed of it thoughtfully?"

 

I would add "Have you checked to see that there is no cache container at the site and removed the physical container from the location and disposed of it thoughtfully?" 

This will take into account that sometimes the container is likely missing (but the area should be checked to verify). 

 

If the answer is YES, the cache is archived. 

If the answer is NO, the cache is disabled and a canned message says "Please check the site and remove the physical container from the location and dispose of it thoughtfully before archiving your cache." 

 

At this point the cache owner makes a decision - do the right thing, check and remove the container, then log the archive.

Or the cache owner chooses to lie. Many won't lie.

 

Some will choose NO and leave it to a reviewer to archive it. Some will do nothing and leave it to a reviewer to archive their caches. All will get the message that Groundspeak is serious about ownership guideines and expects that owners will be responsible for their container and listing from beginning to end of the process. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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7 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Many caches are archived because the container is gone. 

I've seen caches archived because the cache location was inaccessible.

 

Maybe it was always off-limits and the cache was placed without permission. Maybe construction started. Maybe fences were erected to protect sensitive areas. Maybe something else. But no one is allowed to return to the cache location to collect the container, not even the CO, not even the LTF.

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11 minutes ago, niraD said:

I've seen caches archived because the cache location was inaccessible.

 

Maybe it was always off-limits and the cache was placed without permission. Maybe construction started. Maybe fences were erected to protect sensitive areas. Maybe something else. But no one is allowed to return to the cache location to collect the container, not even the CO, not even the LTF.

 

True.  Thankfully those cases are rare. They could leave a public note about checking the area and discovering that the location had been bulldozed and fences erected. They then contact their reviewer to have the listing officially archived.

 

 

 

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Do you think that a cache owner who doesn't care enough to pick up  their archived cache is going to care enough to click a button to give someone else a point of some kind rather than awarding themselves the  point with a dishonest button click ?  The majority of caches I'm seeing archived at the moment are either suburban micros that go missing (and were never expected to last long apparently, as the owners say they are not  bothering to  replace them in the archive logs) or caches belonging to folk  who stopped caching ages ago and after multiple DNF's and mo maintenance are archived by a reviewer. So who gets last to find there ?

 

With some cachers happy to claim finds on adventure lab caches they've never visited, log virtuals from afar, repeatedly dip TBs in caches to get a souvenir, and drop throwdowns to ensure every GZ has a smiley, a last to find points competition would just be something else to 'game' , encouraging short lived caches at the very least, and no doubt some Machiavellian  manipulations I can't even imagine.

 

Also remember that Groundspeak does not own the caches, they just run the website that lists them. Cache owners need to abide by the listing rules to place Groundspeak listed caches, but Groundspeak don't own any of the containers, morally or legally, and has no right to unilaterally grant permission to take the containers away..

 

13 hours ago, The_Man_Of_Steel said:

This change if implemented would also be an opportunity for Geocaching.com to formally introduce a system of FTF's (First to find's) as well.

 

The chances of Groundspeak thinking formalising FTFs would be anything other than a giant pain in the neck involving vast numbers of FTF disputes sent to appeals are zero. How on earth could they adjudicate it ?

 

2 hours ago, The_Man_Of_Steel said:

Nope, I didn't, and I don't see how that is relevant to this discussion. This proposal is about this game/pastime. Who knows, if it was implemented well, the other "games" that your refer to may follow our lead.

 

The other games you are ignorant of are , in some cases , absolutely identical, i.e. geocaching using a different listing site, or letterboxing which is a low tech version of geocaching and predates the GPS system by about a century. The relevance to the discussion is that there are several other equally valid reasons for placing containers, and for leaving them  where they are : It's not difficult to imagine a cacher archiving their containers on Groundspeak and then listing them on one of the competitors .

 

The personal responsibility for honesty and thoughtful behaviour in cache setting and finding is one of the things I enjoy and appreciate about caching. If I see a local cacher archiving their hides without collecting them in I get in touch and offer to collect them in if they want me to . That's my choice to offer help, and theirs to accept it or not, and to my mind, all part of being a member of a community of cachers .

 

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1 hour ago, L0ne.R said:

 

True.  Thankfully those cases are rare. They could leave a public note about checking the area and discovering that the location had been bulldozed and fences erected. They then contact their reviewer to have the listing officially archived.

 

 

Perhaps it's not all that rare. One of mine is unreachable due to being under several cubic metres of rock when part of the cave roof came down right on top of it. I'm not strong enough to lift many of the larger pieces of rock and the area is only accessible on foot along the coastal rock shelves so I couldn't hire heavy machinery to dig it out. Another cache locally was archived when security fencing went up around GZ, again it's no longer accessible to even determine whether the cache is still there, let alone remove it. There have been other cases I've seen where the cache has been accidently dropped into a pipe or crevice from where it can't be retrieved, and I'm aware of others that have been destroyed in forest fires.

 

I've just gone back through the last three months of archival notification emails I've received (my radius is set to 40km so it includes much of northern Sydney as well as my own area) and these are the stats:

  • Archived by CO - 27 missing, 1 recovered by CO, 1 archived shortly after publication and resubmitted due to bad coordinates.
  • Archived by reviewer - 41 missing, 3 decrepit containers, 1 archived after being disabled for too long due to being behind "temporary" fencing but is likely still there.

Is there really that much of a problem that needs such a heavy-handed solution?

Edited by barefootjeff
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4 hours ago, hal-an-tow said:

Do you think that a cache owner who doesn't care enough to pick up  their archived cache is going to care enough to click a button to give someone else a point of some kind rather than awarding themselves the  point with a dishonest button click ?  The majority of caches I'm seeing archived at the moment are either suburban micros that go missing (and were never expected to last long apparently, as the owners say they are not  bothering to  replace them in the archive logs) or caches belonging to folk  who stopped caching ages ago and after multiple DNF's and mo maintenance are archived by a reviewer. So who gets last to find there ?

 

With some cachers happy to claim finds on adventure lab caches they've never visited, log virtuals from afar, repeatedly dip TBs in caches to get a souvenir, and drop throwdowns to ensure every GZ has a smiley, a last to find points competition would just be something else to 'game' , encouraging short lived caches at the very least, and no doubt some Machiavellian  manipulations I can't even imagine.

 

Also remember that Groundspeak does not own the caches, they just run the website that lists them. Cache owners need to abide by the listing rules to place Groundspeak listed caches, but Groundspeak don't own any of the containers, morally or legally, and has no right to unilaterally grant permission to take the containers away..

 

 

The chances of Groundspeak thinking formalising FTFs would be anything other than a giant pain in the neck involving vast numbers of FTF disputes sent to appeals are zero. How on earth could they adjudicate it ?

 

 

The other games you are ignorant of are , in some cases , absolutely identical, i.e. geocaching using a different listing site, or letterboxing which is a low tech version of geocaching and predates the GPS system by about a century. The relevance to the discussion is that there are several other equally valid reasons for placing containers, and for leaving them  where they are : It's not difficult to imagine a cacher archiving their containers on Groundspeak and then listing them on one of the competitors .

 

The personal responsibility for honesty and thoughtful behaviour in cache setting and finding is one of the things I enjoy and appreciate about caching. If I see a local cacher archiving their hides without collecting them in I get in touch and offer to collect them in if they want me to . That's my choice to offer help, and theirs to accept it or not, and to my mind, all part of being a member of a community of cachers .

 

In answer to paragraph one. It's about cleaning up the environment after the Cache has lived its life. Granted, my idea may not be the ideal solution. What's yours?

 

In answer to paragraph two. I wasn't even aware of these manipulations to the game and would never have been had you not written it in this post. There are still "honest" game players out there, and I'm one of them. You shouldn't not do something just because there are a few people "gaming the system".

 

In answer to paragraph three. This paragraph just doesn't make sense, are you saying that it is ok for them to tell use where we can and can't put a cache and in what form it takes (This is why there are reviewers) and yet they can't somehow moderate or review how the cache gets "cleaned up".  This whole idea is about cleaning up the environment after the cache has lived its life.

 

In answer to paragraph four. Time stamps. The first to log it earns the FTF.

 

In answer to paragraph five. I don't appreciate being called "Ignorant". I am making a suggested change to this game/pastime only. I have stated that a number of times. 

 

In answer to paragraph six. Good on you. Agreed.

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3 hours ago, The_Man_Of_Steel said:

In answer to paragraph one. It's about cleaning up the environment after the Cache has lived its life. Granted, my idea may not be the ideal solution. What's yours?

 

The Guidelines, which every CO agrees to abide by when they submit a cache for publication (it's that box you have to tick at the bottom of the page), already say:

  • Remove the geocache container and any physical stages within 60 days after the cache page is archived.

Remember geocaching.com is a cache listing service, they have no ownership or rights over the actual caches themselves.

 

3 hours ago, The_Man_Of_Steel said:

In answer to paragraph three. This paragraph just doesn't make sense, are you saying that it is ok for them to tell use where we can and can't put a cache and in what form it takes (This is why there are reviewers) and yet they can't somehow moderate or review how the cache gets "cleaned up".  This whole idea is about cleaning up the environment after the cache has lived its life.

 

You can put a cache anywhere you like and no-one from HQ will try to stop you. What the Guidelines and reviewers control is what caches can be listed on this service. Ownership and responsibility always resides with the CO, and removing a cache that doesn't belong to you is technically theft.

 

3 hours ago, The_Man_Of_Steel said:

In answer to paragraph four. Time stamps. The first to log it earns the FTF.

 

So how does that work with people like me who use a Garmin GPSr in the field and log online when they get home? Or for caches in places where there's no internet access? I have a bunch of caches around Patonga and only one of the three networks has any coverage there, and there are plenty of places far more remote than that. The entire 168km Putty Road from north-westerrn Sydney to the Hunter Valley, for example, has no mobile coverage at all. And someone travelling might not log their finds until they return home which could be weeks or months after they made their finds.

 

In my earlier post, which you appear to have ignored, I analysed the 74 archivals that have happened around here in the last three months. Of those, 68 of the archived caches had gone missing, so how is the CO or anyone supposed to retrieve them to collect LTF and allow the listing to be archived? In only 4 of those archivals is the cache likely to still be there and all those were archived by a reviewer, not the CO. Are you expecting the reviewer to go out and retrieve those caches? And what about the caches that simply can't be retrieved because GZ is now off-limits or because some other calamity has made it impossible?

 

I hark back to your OP:

 

23 hours ago, The_Man_Of_Steel said:

I saw a post of Facebook by a Geocacher that does not live very close to his "hides" and has therefore announced that he will be archiving his caches this Sunday. (Possibly not retrieving the caches and just leaving them as rubbish in the environment - This is an assumption on my part).

 

So all this is based on a Facebook post from someone intending to archive his caches and your assumption (your word, not mine) that they'll violate the Guidelines they agreed to abide by and just leave them out there to rot. I really think you're inventing a solution for something that isn't a significant problem.

 

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3 hours ago, The_Man_Of_Steel said:

In answer to paragraph five. I don't appreciate being called "Ignorant".


In fairness to Hal, he’s not calling you ignorant.  He simply states (as you have implied yourself) that you are ‘ignorant of’ - i.e. unaware of - other location-based games.  

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14 hours ago, The_Man_Of_Steel said:

All good, clearly my idea isn't going to gain traction.

 

Thanks to all that had an input.

 

Have a great day!

 

 

I'll bet Thomas Edison had ideas that didn't "gain traction". I'll also bet that he didn't stop having them (ideas).

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On 10/14/2019 at 12:22 PM, barefootjeff said:

I've just gone back through the last three months of archival notification emails I've received (my radius is set to 40km so it includes much of northern Sydney as well as my own area) and these are the stats:

  • Archived by CO - 27 missing, 1 recovered by CO, 1 archived shortly after publication and resubmitted due to bad coordinates.
  • Archived by reviewer - 41 missing, 3 decrepit containers, 1 archived after being disabled for too long due to being behind "temporary" fencing but is likely still there.

Is there really that much of a problem that needs such a heavy-handed solution?

 

Sadly I've just had to add one more to the Archived by CO category. Doing the rounds of my caches after the recent school holidays, I found GC7CKH9 had been vandalised, with the container smashed, the logbook taken and a broken strap left in its place. A bit ironic I suppose since the cache was called All That Remains. I cleaned everything up so there's now no sign a cache had ever been there. I also did a fairly thorough search down below the rock ledge where it had been hidden, in case the logbook had been thrown down there, but nothing found.

 

AllThatRemains.jpg.7903551149a01cdd4d151b2cfd453930.jpg

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