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FiveEyes

Geocaching admin temporarily disabling caches

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Oh I agree. Let me adjust that double negative: "Unless of course you believe on principle that reviewers should never act unless requested to do so by community, and I don't agree with that, on principle." [ie, I think reviewers have every right to act autonomously, not only in response to community nudge, according to guidelines and their judgment, which should be in line with Groundspeak's guidelines and intended geocaching ethics]

 

So, yes. :) Despite the occasional disagreement, I like our reviewers, and I believe they model excellent PTB at least for our region, given its community dynamic = P

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In this case, it so happened that all the geocaches which this reviewer temporarily disabled, actually DID end up needing maintenance.  But I've also had other geocaches temporarily disabled by a reviewer after 2 DNFs, which did NOT need maintenance, and were there in the original spot in perfect condition.  I don't tend to do difficult hides because I don't want to ask people to make the effort to hike out to a spot only to be unable to find the cache.  However, even with a good hint, some cachers have not found my geocaches.  

Because I like hiking geocaches, mine mostly take more than a couple hours of time to check on, could take half a day to check on. For this reason, I am now inclined to make my geocaches even easier to find.  I am not keen on reducing what little challenge there already is, but I also dont' want to continue to be called out to spend half a day checking on a geocache that is in fine condition because some people weren't able to find it.  

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4 hours ago, FiveEyes said:

Because I like hiking geocaches, mine mostly take more than a couple hours of time to check on, could take half a day to check on. For this reason, I am now inclined to make my geocaches even easier to find.  I am not keen on reducing what little challenge there already is, but I also dont' want to continue to be called out to spend half a day checking on a geocache that is in fine condition because some people weren't able to find it. 

 

I'm in a similar position, with many of my caches a considerable hike from the nearest road or railway station. I generally do a routine check on the more remote ones during the winter, but these would be challenging to get to in the heat of summer or if there's a spell of stormy weather. Even windy weather's not a good idea for hiking as our eucalypt trees like dropping substantial branches on people's heads without notice. And of course this summer it's particularly difficult with many areas either fire-affected or closed because of the fire risk.

 

Those more challenging caches also sometimes get DNFs from people who didn't even make it to GZ, because the weather closed in, they ran out of daylight, the terrain was too tough or even if they encountered a snake on the track. The CHS ping I got a few years back left me in a situation where I couldn't do any of the things the email asked me to do - I couldn't make an immediate visit to the T5 multi due to the holiday season and all the power craft on the waterway, but the person who logged the DNF because of muggles near GZ wanted to have another try so she asked me not to disable or archive it. Luckily she found it a week later, which must have pushed the cache's health score back above the threshold as there was no reviewer intervention, but it's something that's now in the back of my mind whenever I contemplate new hides and it makes me think twice about anything that might be too challenging to get to at short notice, particularly if it requires water access or is substantially off-track. The simplest solution should that arise again might be just to archive the listing, go out and collect the cache when conditions are favourable and reuse it in a P&G.

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22 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

Those more challenging caches also sometimes get DNFs from people who didn't even make it to GZ, because the weather closed in, they ran out of daylight, the terrain was too tough or even if they encountered a snake on the track.

If that were the situation and their logs stated that, eg turned back because of snake, but the cache was pinged and you got a message the cache needs checking, I would do an OM and say the cache is remote and the last visitors to the cache found the cache. They did not find it missing. Then mention the resent DNFs and say they never got to the cache, so the DNF does not indicate the cache is missing. Add, last visitors found it okay and the cache and log were in very good condition on last regular CO check, with still lots of room in the log.

It would be a very mean Reviewer who came back after that. As long as the CO writing this has a good record of maintaining their caches.

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27 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

If that were the situation and their logs stated that, eg turned back because of snake, but the cache was pinged and you got a message the cache needs checking, I would do an OM and say the cache is remote and the last visitors to the cache found the cache. They did not find it missing. Then mention the resent DNFs and say they never got to the cache, so the DNF does not indicate the cache is missing. Add, last visitors found it okay and the cache and log were in very good condition on last regular CO check, with still lots of room in the log.

It would be a very mean Reviewer who came back after that. As long as the CO writing this has a good record of maintaining their caches.

 

About a year ago I reported on a similar scenario unfolding in northern Sydney, on a difficult (D3) traditional that gets a fair number of DNFs. There was a bunch of DNFs just before Christmas from three or four inexperienced searchers, with a "might be missing" NM by one of them as well, to which the CO responded with a note saying he was pretty sure from past history and the nature of the hide that it was okay but he'd check when next in the area. That wasn't enough to appease the reviewer, though, as two weeks later he disabled it with the boiler-plate log saying "The cache appears to be in need of owner intervention. I'm temporarily disabling it, to give the owner an opportunity to check on the cache, and take whatever action is necessary. Please respond to this situation in a timely manner (i.e., within 28 days) to prevent the cache from being archived for non-responsiveness." The CO did go and check within the allowed time and, as he suspected, the cache was fine.

 

My understanding is that you're supposed to actually visit the cache and check it personally before logging an OM to clear an NM or CHS ping. Isn't there another thread about the evils of armchair OMs?

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29 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

About a year ago I reported on a similar scenario unfolding in northern Sydney, on a difficult (D3) traditional that gets a fair number of DNFs. There was a bunch of DNFs just before Christmas from three or four inexperienced searchers, with a "might be missing" NM by one of them as well, to which the CO responded with a note saying he was pretty sure from past history and the nature of the hide that it was okay but he'd check when next in the area. That wasn't enough to appease the reviewer, though, as two weeks later he disabled it with the boiler-plate log saying "The cache appears to be in need of owner intervention. I'm temporarily disabling it, to give the owner an opportunity to check on the cache, and take whatever action is necessary. Please respond to this situation in a timely manner (i.e., within 28 days) to prevent the cache from being archived for non-responsiveness." The CO did go and check within the allowed time and, as he suspected, the cache was fine.

 

My understanding is that you're supposed to actually visit the cache and check it personally before logging an OM to clear an NM or CHS ping. Isn't there another thread about the evils of armchair OMs?

If the CO has a good record and the previous loggers mentioned that they never got to the cache (turned back bad weather/ snake blocking path, so chickened out/etc) as I wrote, I can only repeat, " It would be a very mean Reviewer who came back after that. As long as the CO writing this has a good record of maintaining their caches. " A LOT different than an armchair logger who never (or rarely at best) checks their caches and don' have a good record.

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1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

If the CO has a good record and the previous loggers mentioned that they never got to the cache (turned back bad weather/ snake blocking path, so chickened out/etc) as I wrote, I can only repeat, " It would be a very mean Reviewer who came back after that. As long as the CO writing this has a good record of maintaining their caches. " A LOT different than an armchair logger who never (or rarely at best) checks their caches and don' have a good record.

 

I guess I'll find out when the time comes, but as a matter of principle I won't log an OM unless I've actually had the cache in my hand and flicked through the logbook. I'm even reluctant to log an OM unless there was actually something amiss that needed maintaining, lest it be misinterpreted as "that cache must be poor because it's always getting maintenance". Often when I visit one of my caches I'm the first to have done so since my last visit.

 

There's a popular camping ground at Patonga so each summer my caches there get worked over by out-of-town visitors and there's usually a few DNFs amongst the logs. A lot of them have D/T grids with only the top left corner filled in so are probably unused to bushland hides and what to expect from my cunning devilry. I have the opposite problem when I visit urban areas and am something of a Blind Freddy when it comes to disguised micros. Some of my holidays have ended with more DNFs than finds. Anyway, I'm sure some of those Patonga caches must have sailed close to getting a CHS ping or a TD from the reviewer in summers past (this summer they've been disabled most of the time due to park closures); luckily it's only a short drive over the hill to check on them. It's more my T4s and T5s that will be tough to get to in summer if anything arose, and with them getting very few finds now, archival and winter retrieval might be the simplest answer.

Edited by barefootjeff
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2 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

I'm even reluctant to log an OM unless there was actually something amiss that needed maintaining, lest it be misinterpreted as "that cache must be poor because it's always getting maintenance". Often when I visit one of my caches I'm the first to have done so since my last visit.

I do an OM if I visit a cache to show I am maintaining it. If you want to let it be known that you didn't visit because there was a problem, write something like, "Cache and log are still good with plenty of room still left in the log." I'm sure that OM logs like that would be seen as positive rather than as you wrote, "I'm even reluctant to log an OM unless there was actually something amiss that needed maintaining, lest it be misinterpreted". I don't think the reviewers are stupid; they can read there was nothing wrong with the cache.

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51 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

I do an OM if I visit a cache to show I am maintaining it. If you want to let it be known that you didn't visit because there was a problem, write something like, "Cache and log are still good with plenty of room still left in the log." I'm sure that OM logs like that would be seen as positive rather than as you wrote, "I'm even reluctant to log an OM unless there was actually something amiss that needed maintaining, lest it be misinterpreted". I don't think the reviewers are stupid; they can read there was nothing wrong with the cache.

 

Only one of my hides (GC4X42A) is ever likely to get a full logbook and even that won't happen for at least another two or three years at the current find rate. The rest, well, an almost-empty logbook is a given as they just don't get enough finds to fill even a nano scroll. I came to realise the futility of consecutive OM logs when, after the third in a row on this lonely multi, I saw that I was talking to myself and saying the same thing over and over again:

 

image.png.01a12d67f8974fa068c92b175aa54bc1.png

 

Maybe I should just put in the description that I check it after school holidays and clear away the leaf litter. That way, if someone has it in a PQ, they'll see something useful on their GPSr instead of my repetitions.

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