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'yakinCacher

Caching Culture Changes?

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I joined Geocaching in 2005, but stopped in 2013.  I've recently started again, but am wondering how the caching culture has changed in the 7 years I was away.  I've logged 20 finds in the last month and one major thing I've noticed is that the caches are sometimes full of literal trash.  I opened one yesterday that contained a plastic fork and the lid from a fishing worms container.  Is this normal now?  Do people take things and not leave things?  

 

What would you say is a major change in the caching culture?

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, 'yakinCacher said:

I joined Geocaching in 2005, but stopped in 2013.  I've recently started again, but am wondering how the caching culture has changed in the 7 years I was away.  I've logged 20 finds in the last month and one major thing I've noticed is that the caches are sometimes full of literal trash.  I opened one yesterday that contained a plastic fork and the lid from a fishing worms container.  Is this normal now?  Do people take things and not leave things?  

 

What would you say is a major change in the caching culture?

Read it. 

(Smart phone logging is much more prevalent and logs in the field usually say very little). 

Edited by Max and 99
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1 hour ago, 'yakinCacher said:

I've noticed is that the caches are sometimes full of literal trash.

This happens, but I find that rare where I live. I have taken rubbish to dispose of it.

 

The biggest difference, is the smart phone and the short logs because of this. The smart phone has lowered the quality of geocaching.

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1 hour ago, 'yakinCacher said:

What would you say is a major change in the caching culture?

Stats, stats, stats. Everything to get your +1 even if against the guidelines.

 

Also newbies that have no idea how this game is played but have downloaded an app on their phone.

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1 hour ago, 'yakinCacher said:

one major thing I've noticed is that the caches are sometimes full of literal trash.  I opened one yesterday that contained a plastic fork and the lid from a fishing worms container.  Is this normal now? 

No. I very rarely find garbage in a cache. Maybe a muggle did it?

 

1 hour ago, 'yakinCacher said:

Do people take things and not leave things?  

Of course. 

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7 hours ago, 'yakinCacher said:

I joined Geocaching in 2005, but stopped in 2013.  I've recently started again, but am wondering how the caching culture has changed in the 7 years I was away.  I've logged 20 finds in the last month and one major thing I've noticed is that the caches are sometimes full of literal trash.  I opened one yesterday that contained a plastic fork and the lid from a fishing worms container.  Is this normal now?  Do people take things and not leave things? 

No, I haven't seen anything like that around here, so I don't think trash in the container is a cultural thing. I suspect trash is just some individual with a wrong idea, not a cultural change.

 

7 hours ago, 'yakinCacher said:

What would you say is a major change in the caching culture?

Geocaching started as something you could do while you were hiking. The emphasis was on being a literal cache, i.e., a container with things in it. Now geocaching is a game on its own, with caches not typically requiring a hike, and the emphasis is more commonly on finding the cache instead of getting to the cache. Containers frequently have no room for anything but a log. It is more popular and more often played by people that haven't learned all the rules, official and cultural, but I'm not sure whether that's a cause or an effect of the fundamental shift to a game that no longer requires boots and a backpack to play.

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21 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Geocaching started as something you could do while you were hiking.

 

Let me add that you needed knowledge to start. Buy a GPS, learn how to use it.

 

As for trash is a cache? bottle caps, used train/bus tickets yes, that happens but most of the time it's a container with just a logbook/roll.

 

 

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1 hour ago, dprovan said:

It is more popular and more often played by people that haven't learned all the rules, official and cultural, but I'm not sure whether that's a cause or an effect of the fundamental shift to a game that no longer requires boots and a backpack to play.

 

Boots? I guess that makes me culturally shifted.

 

More seriously, though, I see a lot of difference between regions. Locally on the Central Coast, all my caches, including the traditionals, regularly get substantial logs and sometimes there are half-page or full-page entries in the logbooks too. For example, the shortest log on GC831AR, a 2/3 regular-sized traditional, is 65 words and most are at least double that. By contrast, I have a couple of adopted caches on the Sydney side of Broken Bay, GCMHXX and GCMMNT, both also 2/3 traditionals (a regular and a small) and they get mostly single sentence and sometimes single word or single acronym logs.

 

Looking at the traditionals in the two regions, the relative proportions of cache sizes may go some way to explaining this:

 

  Size       Central Coast       Sydney

Micro              24%                    54%

Small              52%                    31%

Regular          19%                    12%

Large               2%                      1%

Other               3%                      2%

 

A breakdown by cache types also paints a similar picture:

 

  Type       Central Coast       Sydney

Traditional       65%                   78%

Multi                 13%                     8%

Mystery            19%                   11%

EC                       2%                     1%

LBH                    1%                    <1%

Virtual                1%                    <1%

 

There's also a much higher cache density in Sydney than here on the Central Coast, so maybe it's just that, with so few caches to find here, the finders put more effort into their logs.

 

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I don't really think the geocaching culture has changed all that much since 2013.  There has been perhaps a greater use of smartphones over handheld GPS devices but not significantly.   There may however, be regional changes if the number of local caches has been significantly reduced and a local geocaching community less vibrant. The swag or lack of it in caches has pretty much been the same for 10 years.

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47 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I don't really think the geocaching culture has changed all that much since 2013.  There has been perhaps a greater use of smartphones over handheld GPS devices but not significantly.   There may however, be regional changes if the number of local caches has been significantly reduced and a local geocaching community less vibrant. The swag or lack of it in caches has pretty much been the same for 10 years.

 

Yes, I agree with that. I don't think there has been too much change apart from the high amount of one sentence, or . logs. Locally, I do see masses of logs on caches that are clearly gone. But I think that's more related to more people caching, than more people not caring.

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I don't feel anything's really changed (as far as cache culture) since 2013.  We were seeing the hobby going downhill (to us) since 2009.

We're usually the first/only NM on any cache that needs it.  One a couple months ago had people logging a nano's lid...

 - But you're basing "culture" on caches having pieces of junk in them ?  That's been that way years before 2013...

 

We been completely re-stocking our ammo cans since late 2007.  They even take the pencils and sharpeners.  

Some recently add in their log there's nothing for them to take, like they're supposed to get a reward for spending time at your cache.  

They don't even bother to say trade items anymore...   

We consider it the norm for a generation that thinks their-own reflection in a camera is more important than the beautiful view they're blocking.  :)

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I started in 2016. I followed the hobby for a long time before but didn't start until then. I downloaded the app to my phone one day while bored and found a single cache. I had the general idea. After the first one I went home and read every rule and tip I could. I always make sure I trade equal or greater. I pick up trash. And my logs are often a direct reflection of the cache. The better the experience the better the log. 

It is a bummer popping open a large container and seeing trash, food, or other inappropriate "swag" but it will always happen and there will never be a way to completely stop stuff from disappearing.  

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Posted (edited)

The quality of swag has been an issue since we started participating in October 2003. "Trade fairly or don't trade at all" is a mantra I have heard since the beginning. I admit I was concerned about it too when we placed geocaches. We would do annual or semi annual maintenance and find what looked like junk inside. But that said, I live in the soggy Pacific Northwest and over time, moisture will seep in and degrade everything inside especially paper products. I have yet to see a container in these parts that does not have that mildewy scent in them. Several years back we made the decision to be geocache finders not placers and once we find a cache all we look for is the log book/sheet and ignore the rest unless its a trackable.

 

The geocaching app had definitely dumbed down the quality of the online logs. I believe that is simply laziness. I use the app often and able to do more than a simple "Thanks!, TFTH" Even then though if I find a lot of geocaches over the day and am logging them in later that night, I will forget things of note about a specific find will sometimes default to the simple "Thanks!, TFTH" 

 

This is a good topic though, its nice to see a topic that does not include the issue we are all enduring right now.  

 

My two cents for what its worth..

 

 

Edited by brodiebunch
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Remember another factor for an increase in "small" containers is the proliferation of geocaches in general. People want to be a part of the hobby, but there are so many out there that people are having to get creative; and creative in more ways than just 'hide a big container in the woods'. So whether you see small containers as a downfall or an evolving - well that's pretty subjective like the glass halfway between full and empty.

 

"Changes in culture" will always have supporters and detractors. Take opinions with a grain of salt ;)

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1 hour ago, OneEighth said:

It is a bummer popping open a large container and seeing trash, food, or other inappropriate "swag" but it will always happen and there will never be a way to completely stop stuff from disappearing.

 

Part of the experience of being a cache owner is to check my geocaches occassionally to see if the contents are still in relatively good shape. Contents include a dry, not full logbook, and a few bits of swag in reasonably good shape for added fun.  Junk will accumulate, so part of a maintenance visit includes removing things like broken toys, coupons, bus tickets, dirt, leaves, stones. 

 

 

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I appreciate all the responses on here.  I suppose maybe some of the changes are regional?  Some of you have said there's always been trash in your area's caches. When I first started caching, there was almost always something in a cache to trade, usually bouncy balls or fun erasers.  I've rarely (from the start) traded anything because the find was the reward.  But I have been disgusted by the trash I've found lately and will remove it when I find it.  

 

Soggy log books have always been a battle here.  Especially in the spring when the snow melts and the temperatures swing so violently from night to day.  That just is what it is.  But I do find it interesting that many feel the smart phone has caused a decline in the quality of posts.  I think I've been guilty of a less than awesome post myself, so I'll try to be more cognizant of that.  

 

I also noticed a decline in regular sized caches and see that they seem to be getting smaller and smaller.  I don't know that I find this to be a bad thing necessarily.  I think the smaller caches are easier to hide.  I've also noted a virtual absence of trackables.  Have those gone by the wayside?  Perhaps my area just doesn't have any for now.

 

Thanks again everyone for your feedback and opinions.

 

 

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1 hour ago, 'yakinCacher said:

I've also noted a virtual absence of trackables.  Have those gone by the wayside?

 

As the caches have got smaller, it's harder to find a cache large enough.

I rarely retrieve a trackable (if I find one!) unless I feel the cache isn't safe to leave it there, or it's been there for a long time.

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1 hour ago, 'yakinCacher said:

I also noticed a decline in regular sized caches and see that they seem to be getting smaller and smaller.  I don't know that I find this to be a bad thing necessarily.  I think the smaller caches are easier to hide.

There are a number of reasons why smaller containers have become more prevalent.

 

In more urban/suburban locations, smaller containers are what survive. Larger containers get muggled more quickly, so they don't last as long. And it isn't just the cache being discovered accidentally in its hiding spot. Geocachers must be able to find, retrieve, and replace the cache without drawing undue attention to it.

 

In more remote locations, smaller caches are easier to carry. Rather than filling your pack with an ammo can, you can take multiple smaller containers, and still have room for extra food, water, or other general supplies. I also know cache owners who deliberately choose smaller containers for remote caches because they don't want people to leave trackables in them. They no longer want to deal with demands that they check on the status of someone's trackables in their remote caches.

 

1 hour ago, 'yakinCacher said:

I've also noted a virtual absence of trackables.  Have those gone by the wayside?  Perhaps my area just doesn't have any for now.

I mostly see them at events now. Some of that is the way they disappear. Some may be taken by "collectors". Some may be kept by newbies who trade for them, not realizing that trackables are not trade items. Some may just disappear. But of all the trackables I've set loose, only a couple are still moving, and they aren't collecting the photos described in their stated goals.

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2 minutes ago, niraD said:

I mostly see them at events now. Some of that is the way they disappear.

Some may be taken by "collectors". Some may be kept by newbies who trade for them, not realizing that trackables are not trade items.

Some may just disappear. But of all the trackables I've set loose, only a couple are still moving, and they aren't collecting the photos described in their stated goals.

 

For clarity, people who steal trackables are not "collectors", they're thieves.  We should be calling them thieves...

The other 2/3rds is a collector with almost three hundred coins.  She doesn't "collect" coins not hers.

She paid or swapped for most,  and some were given to her.  One was given to her by Groundspeak.

She won it in a "Explain what are the benefits of premium membership" contest.  I wrote it.

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32 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

For clarity, people who steal trackables are not "collectors", they're thieves.  We should be calling them thieves...

Thanks for the clarification. That was my point, even if it wasn't clear.

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Back in 2004 when I first started You actually had to make an investment of both time and money. It actually took a level of dedication just to find your first cache. I heard about our "Sport" on about the 13th of June, found this forum and read Everything I could. Became a Premium member on the 15th..Then went out and bought me a Magellan Sportrac Pro for something like $100.00, and found our first cache on the 20th.

 

We would print out the cache pages and would actually keep them on a clip board and take that out with us lol.

 

I think a lot has changed in the 16yrs since our first find. Most notably the prevalence of what I call micro spew, and smaller caches in general. I just do not understand why there should be a small bison hidden in an area that could absolutely sustain a larger cache, even a small Loc N Loc. or a small plastic peanut butter jar. I still go out and look for the micro and even a nano in the woods but often wonder ..Why...Here.

 

Caching doesn't seem to be as family (Kid) friendly as it was back then. our kids who were 14 & 12 when we first started looked forward to finding and trading swag, But the advent of smaller and smaller caches just seems to me that it kinda robs kids of the thrill of the hunt and the fun and excitement of what might be hidden away in the ammo can lol...It really was like a treasure hunt to them.

 

The prevalence of the cell phone free app..More specifically teens who think geocaching is nothing more than a different "Form" of Pok E Man Go. I see logs quite often posted to a cache page from new free member that they found a certain cache but upon my arrival at GZ no such sig is on the log, Meaning that more then likely they looked and either did or didn't find it but for what ever reason neglected to actually make their mark and called it good. I have tried to contact them and give em a few tips and  to let them know that signing is actually a prerequisite for claiming the smiley, but most have no way to contact.

 

There are other things but those are my tops things...For now :D

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1 hour ago, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot said:

Back in 2004 when I first started You actually had to make an investment of both time and money. It actually took a level of dedication just to find your first cache.

That's true enough, but as with everything in life, the more people enjoy something, the more they will find a way to reduce the cost to enjoy it which finding a balance between cost and enjoyment.  It's no surprise that there ways to participate in geocaching that don't cost as much money and time as they used to. That change itself isn't a problem (and I'd defy anyone to say that the hobby should cost more time and money just for the sake of it). The issue is just trying to educate people as to good etiquette, and in many cases that isn't being done - whether the user is a smartphone user or a dedicated handheld user.

Technology improve, technology cheapens. But the tools aren't the problem :) 

 

1 hour ago, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot said:

Caching doesn't seem to be as family (Kid) friendly as it was back then.

This could a very very regional statement. In general, I'd beg to differ. It's most commonly marketed as a family friendly hobby, if not kid-friendly especially.  Any more family/kid-friendly and I'd expect GPS devices to be sold in the toy section ;)

But again, how family/kid friendly a region is entirely depends on the local community makeup; and it comes back down to 'hide what you'd like to find' (or at least, encourage a community that will provide the sort of experiences you'd like to see more of).

 

1 hour ago, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot said:

The prevalence of the cell phone free app..More specifically teens who think geocaching is nothing more than a different "Form" of Pok E Man Go.

And in this case, it's not the existence of smartphone app(s), it's their design (as I'm sure you'd agree). So if we can see a trend, then we can attempt to encourage different design.  If that doesn't happen, then there's got to be a reason. Either that's the direction the hobby guardians want to take it, or there's nothing they can do universally to force a community attitude that's acceptable to the current criticizers, and it's more of a granular problem falling down on the side of working within your own community.

 

And the fact that we can have a good, strong, positive community in a world with the app means that it can be done and it's fundamentally because of the app. Things can always be improved - not just in the app, or technological devices, but across the board, including our local communities.

 

1 hour ago, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot said:

I have tried to contact them and give em a few tips and  to let them know that signing is actually a prerequisite for claiming the smiley, but most have no way to contact.

heh, that's one of the things that's been thrown around in the forums for so long :) Then again, all it takes is someone ignoring any incoming messages (email or otherwise).

 

My personal pet peeve is just the reduction in the official app of the seeming importance of the description and, well most of the details about a cache other than the coordinates and name. That's a thing that does need to be fixed, imo. 

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Posted (edited)
24 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

My personal pet peeve is just the reduction in the official app of the seeming importance of the description and, well most of the details about a cache other than the coordinates and name. That's a thing that does need to be fixed, imo. 

 

Indeed. A few weeks ago I had someone log a DNF on one of my multis and message me asking for an additional hint. I replied, asking them what coordinates they got from their answers at the eight waypoints, and they came back saying they were where their phone was pointing and searched all the trees matching the hint without success, and could I please give them a another hint. I then did my best to explain how a multi works, but at that point they appear to have gone off in a huff and haven't done any caching since.

 

Another pet peeve of mine is the driving directions in the app (and on the website for that matter) that ignore any parking or trail head coordinates the CO provides and instead just direct searchers to the road nearest GZ. When they changed the app to hide the description and all but one of the attributes, I archived one of my hides at the bottom of an undercut cliff where the driving directions led people to the road at the unfenced top. The safe access was along the bottom from a track about a kilometre south, but the app went out of its way to hide that.

Edited by barefootjeff
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52 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

they changed the app to hide the description and all but one of the attributes

 

Seriously!?!?!


Feature request: could we have a website-and-full-featured-apps only setting?  For public safety?

 

I think the software-development culture has changed.

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6 hours ago, 'yakinCacher said:

also noticed a decline in regular sized caches and see that they seem to be getting smaller and smaller. 

And what many call a regular now, would once have been called a small. The site still gives a regular as being ammunition tin or shoe box size though (as they should be). Smaller than this, it's a small.

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3 hours ago, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot said:

I think a lot has changed in the 16yrs since our first find. Most notably the prevalence of what I call micro spew, and smaller caches in general. I just do not understand why there should be a small bison hidden in an area that could absolutely sustain a larger cache, even a small Loc N Loc. or a small plastic peanut butter jar. I still go out and look for the micro and even a nano in the woods but often wonder ..Why...Here.

Yes, micro spew...good term :laughing:. On road trips where there are lots of caches to choose from and I can't possible find them all, I often drive past many of the micros and don't bother with them.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Goldenwattle said:

And what many call a regular now, would once have been called a small. The site still gives a regular as being ammunition tin or shoe box size though (as they should be). Smaller than this, it's a small.

 

No, the Help Centre says 100ml to 1 litre is a small and 1 litre to 20 litres is a regular. Ammo cans and shoe boxes are a fair bit bigger than 1 litre (10cm x 10cm x 10cm or variations thereof). This is a 1 litre Sistema, which I'd list as a regular, but clearly my foot wouldn't fit in it, let alone a couple of shoes.

 

20200512_130322.jpg.64c0f13e6fbe7ddf89925cb5d95ae239.jpg

Edited by barefootjeff

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37 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

No, the Help Centre says 100ml to 1 litre is a small and 1 litre to 20 litres is a regular. Ammo cans and shoe boxes are a fair bit bigger than 1 litre (10cm x 10cm x 10cm or variations thereof). This is a 1 litre Sistema, which I'd list as a regular, but clearly my foot wouldn't fit in it, let alone a couple of shoes.

Note that most of the examples cited for the various sizes fall in the middle of the ranges.

 

A film canister is less than half the 100ml maximum for a micro.

An apple or a sandwich is somewhere in the middle of the 100ml to 1L range for small.

A shoebox is somewhere in the middle of the 1L to 20L range for regular.

 

The exception is the five-gallon bucket that is at the 20L minimum for large.

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2 hours ago, Viajero Perdido said:
3 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

they changed the app to hide the description and all but one of the attributes

 

Seriously!?!?!

 

Well to be clear, it's not "hidden" as in not visible. It's reduced to an item in a list of properties to view on separate panels.

Prioritized features when viewing a listing in the official app:

1. Info: Title, GC, type

2. Interaction: Navigate and Log buttons

3. Info: Favorite count, D/T, size, Placed by/date

4. Interaction: Hint, Message owner

5. List-style button, tap for more: Description (1-line previewed), Activity (latest DNF or Find previewed), Attributes (1-line text list previewed), Photos (owner pics, not the log gallery), Trackables, Waypoints

6. Minor links as clickable text: Open in browser, Report a problem, Info (popup about the cache type)

 

If you download the app you can see how they design it and how it compares to others.

 

So the info is all there, but what many of us consider the most important information is relegated to satellite detail that doesn't appear to have nearly as much significance to finding the cache; or at least is not easy to get to or view so is quite often skipped for the hassle in favour of "just take me there" by the Navigate button.

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

So the info is all there, but what many of us consider the most important information is relegated to satellite detail that doesn't appear to have nearly as much significance to finding the cache; or at least is not easy to get to or view so is quite often skipped for the hassle in favour of "just take me there" by the Navigate button.

 

Just to compound the issue, when you tap the Info button right down the bottom of the top screen for a traditional, it says "Read the details if you get stuck." If you're stuck on a ledge half way down the cliff, reading the details about how to access the cache along the track at the bottom isn't going to be of much help. Why are they not telling people to read the details before they head off? Or is every cache just supposed to be a micro in a car park now?

 

Seriously, how is a CO meant to convey any safety info to an app user?

Edited by barefootjeff
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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:

 

No, the Help Centre says 100ml to 1 litre is a small and 1 litre to 20 litres is a regular. Ammo cans and shoe boxes are a fair bit bigger than 1 litre (10cm x 10cm x 10cm or variations thereof). This is a 1 litre Sistema, which I'd list as a regular, but clearly my foot wouldn't fit in it, let alone a couple of shoes.

 

20200512_130322.jpg.64c0f13e6fbe7ddf89925cb5d95ae239.jpg

From the geocaching site, and somewhere they also mention shoebox sized as well an ammunition tin for a regular sized cache.

 

Personally your example I would list as a small (admittedly it's a large small), because it wouldn't fit a novel, and that 's my personal definition of a regular (definition borrowed from another cacher). That makes me consider the inside dimensions of a cache. For me, a regular cache (or bigger) can fit a paperback novel.

Cache sizes.jpg

Edited by Goldenwattle
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35 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Personally your example I would list as a small (admittedly it's a large small), because it wouldn't fit a novel, and that 's my personal definition of a regular (definition borrowed from another cacher). That makes me consider the inside dimensions of a cache. For me, a regular cache (or bigger) can fit a paperback novel.

 

The sizes are unambiguously defined in the Help Centre (<100ml, 100ml-1l, 1l-20l, >20l). Everything else is just examples of common containers and how they might be classified. If I have a box that's 10cm x 10cm x 10cm or bigger, then it's a regular regardless of whether it looks like an ammo can or a shoe box or whether it can hold a novel.

 

37 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Cache sizes.jpg

Edited 28 minutes ago by Goldenwattle

 

This is another of my pet peeves, that they just put this on the cache creation page instead of stating there what the actual size definitions are. No wonder there are so many mint tins listed as Small since a mint tin looks closer to that tupperware Small example than it does to the bison tube they're holding for a Micro.

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14 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

This is another of my pet peeves, that they just put this on the cache creation page instead of stating there what the actual size definitions are. No wonder there are so many mint tins listed as Small since a mint tin looks closer to that tupperware Small example than it does to the bison tube they're holding for a Micro.

To me a mintie tin looks closer to the bison tube.

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4 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

To me a mintie tin looks closer to the bison tube.

 

It depends on whether you imagine that hand belongs to a petite lady or the village blacksmith.

 

20200512_154419.jpg.68e7a63935beefed2b79582f2e2895b3.jpg

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27 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

It depends on whether you imagine that hand belongs to a petite lady or the village blacksmith.

I once found a cache that used one of these tins:

P0.jpg

 

IIRC, it was listed as size "Other", but specified that it was an Altoids tin in the description. It was kinda the opposite of the caches listed as "Other" and described as an ammo can, where the actual cache turns out to be one of these:

ad703351-cb24-4846-88b0-ada82c1f1cbb_d.j

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7 minutes ago, niraD said:

I once found a cache that used one of these tins:

P0.jpg

 

IIRC, it was listed as size "Other", but specified that it was an Altoids tin in the description. It was kinda the opposite of the caches listed as "Other" and described as an ammo can, where the actual cache turns out to be one of these:

ad703351-cb24-4846-88b0-ada82c1f1cbb_d.j

I would have listed that top tin as a small and the bottom definitely as a micro. For me an 'other' rating could be where say the external size of the cache is say small or greater, but the internal dimensions of the cache is say' micro. This is an example of a cache I have listed as 'other'. Although the object being looked for is externally small sized, the actually internal space where the log and anything else that can be placed is micro, in this case a bison tube in the spider's rear.

Cache 2.jpg

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10 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

And what many call a regular now, would once have been called a small. The site still gives a regular as being ammunition tin or shoe box size though (as they should be). Smaller than this, it's a small.

 

The size creep started with nanos. They're so much smaller than a film can yet they're micros. Then I started seeing some of the larger rectangular magkeys listed as small because they were slightly larger than a film can.

 

Then preforms came along and they're the size of 2 or 3 film cans or bison tubes so they really must be Smalls.

 

As much as we quibble about D/T accuracy, size accuracy has practically no gray area unless you have a very unusual container (and that's even got a size Other option). Yet COs get this wrong often.

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10 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

 

 

The size creep started with nanos. They're so much smaller than a film can yet they're micros. Then I started seeing some of the larger rectangular magkeys listed as small because they were slightly larger than a film can.

 

Then preforms came along and they're the size of 2 or 3 film cans or bison tubes so they really must be Smalls.

 

As much as we quibble about D/T accuracy, size accuracy has practically no gray area unless you have a very unusual container (and that's even got a size Other option). Yet COs get this wrong often.

Yes, I have long blamed the problem on there being no size rating for Nano. Add a nano rating and I suspect sizes would begin to correct themselves. If a Nano is rated a micro, beginners think then the mintie tin/film canister/small pill bottle, being bigger must be a small. Beginners also see how caches are rated that they find and copy this, but often those caches might have been placed by cachers often not much more than beginners themselves, and the wrong ratings perpetuate.

WE NEED A NANO SIZE RATING.

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Added if we had a Nano rating, I would know which caches, when there are plenty to choose from, not to bother to find.

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The biggest changes I've seen since I started in 2010:

 

Increased urban hides, decreased non-urban hides (except roadside hides, especially power trails).

 

Vast increase in number of hides. When I started we were just short of 1 million worldwide hides. We're now at over 3 million. It really shows.

 

Decline in ammo can hides due to increased cost, increased theft, and attrition from land management (prescribed burns, etc).

 

When I got into this hobby in 2010 it was predominantly hiking oriented. Now it's predominantly park-n-grab oriented. A lot of that is smartphone apps supplanting GPS.

 

Ironically, as the community has grown in terms of number of hides and finders, in many areas the community has not grown socially. When it was a small close-knit community people seemed more likely to attend local events. Now it seems a greater percentage of geocachers play in isolation from other geocachers. 

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I haven't looked at the app lately, but for quite a while sizes were different than what most of us knew them to be.

"Extra small" was one that caused some confusion for some in our area.  That size was never listed anywhere but that app.

At one event, a lotta folks questioned if "cachers" work at Groundspeak anymore.    :D     We said AFAWK they did.

Today there's still other geocaching-related sites saying a nano is "A type of geocache smaller than a standard micro (or ‘extra small’)", so this unfortunate wording carried over.

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9 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

To me a mintie tin looks closer to the bison tube.

 

Sorry, but unless you have some other version in your country, I don't see that would be close to possible.    :D

Here's an example of what I carry every day I'm caching.   Try putting that into a bison.  :laughing:

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8 hours ago, niraD said:

It was kinda the opposite of the caches listed as "Other" and described as an ammo can, where the actual cache turns out to be one of these:

ad703351-cb24-4846-88b0-ada82c1f1cbb_d.j

 

The other 2/3rds went to an "ammo can" hide once, and it was listed as either "not chosen" or "other".

Small park, over a dozen people couldn't find it,  leaving DNFs and NMs that coords are off, or container gone already.

She had me come along the next day or two, with folks texting that I can't find smaller than a 30cal ... and found it within minutes.

All those people, none of them noticed the size on the cache page didn't say "regular", but the dyslexic old fart that reads everything did.   :D

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, thebruce0 said:
17 hours ago, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot said:

Caching doesn't seem to be as family (Kid) friendly as it was back then.

This could a very very regional statement. In general, I'd beg to differ. It's most commonly marketed as a family friendly hobby, if not kid-friendly especially.  Any more family/kid-friendly and I'd expect GPS devices to be sold in the toy section ;)

But again, how family/kid friendly a region is entirely depends on the local community makeup; and it comes back down to 'hide what you'd like to find' (or at least, encourage a community that will provide the sort of experiences you'd like to see more of).

 

Well, the rest of that comment was aimed at swag:

 

17 hours ago, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot said:

Caching doesn't seem to be as family (Kid) friendly as it was back then. our kids who were 14 & 12 when we first started looked forward to finding and trading swag, But the advent of smaller and smaller caches just seems to me that it kinda robs kids of the thrill of the hunt and the fun and excitement of what might be hidden away in the ammo can lol...It really was like a treasure hunt to them.

 

And in that respect, I agree.  I've taken my 6 year old daughter to over 900 caches over the years.  I can't get my interested in hunting most micros*, because she knows all too well that there isn't going to be a toy inside for her.  And micros have become more and more prevalent.  I'm guilty of hiding more of them as well.  That's why I purposely went out last year to hide a series of ammo cans in the woods, and the logs I get make it clear that folks still love finding nice big caches.  My hope is that they're inspired to go hide some more of their own.

 

*Creative micros can still be fun for her, of course.

 

c7d922f1-a394-4fa7-ad5b-fa1567191ad4.jpg

Edited by hzoi

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20 hours ago, 'yakinCacher said:

I also noticed a decline in regular sized caches and see that they seem to be getting smaller and smaller. 

I don't know that I find this to be a bad thing necessarily.  I think the smaller caches are easier to hide. 

 

In fairness, our first hide was a micro in 2005.   It's still in play today, and after asking for permission, simply what the landowner would allow.   

          We had a series on a well-used community bike trail in 2006, and those landowners (the trail belonging to a few townships) asked for the same, caches that were hidden well, and as small as possible.  Most micros, but we were able to place a small at the end.

Folks who do actually ask for permission, even today ... may well have the same.     :)

Half our hides have been regular (ammo cans), one large, and the rest micro or small. 

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9 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

For me an 'other' rating could be where say the external size of the cache is say small or greater, but the internal dimensions of the cache is say' micro.

"Other" can be used to indicate that any of the existing sizes could be considered wrong or misleading including the inside/outside dichotomy you describe. But it's also used when giving an accurate size would be too much of a giveaway for the hide. I think that's perfectly reasonable.

 

3 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

As much as we quibble about D/T accuracy, size accuracy has practically no gray area unless you have a very unusual container (and that's even got a size Other option). Yet COs get this wrong often.

If you follow the guidelines, then it's true there's no gray area for size. But the reason people don't follow the guidelines is that it basically eliminates the size as useful information because there's nothing but "micro" (meaning on the small end of the scale) and small (meaning on the large end of the scale). When all caches placed are micro and small, I think it makes perfect sense to start calling that upper half of the small range "regular". I guess I can't quite get over the irony of "regular" being highly unusual. I don't mean to advocate unilateral size creep, but I certainly understand why it's happening, and I, for one, would be open to the official sizes being reconsidered to bring them down to levels that reflect the current norms.

 

2 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Decline in ammo can hides due to increased cost, increased theft, and attrition from land management (prescribed burns, etc).

While in a few cases I'm sure those are factors for ammo cans being less popular, by far the bigger cause in the decline in ammo cans is just that not as many people, COs and seekers both, care about having large caches anymore. Sure, almost everyone likes them when they find them, but not enough to favor them over smaller, more convenient sizes. I've acquired two ammo cans I've never bothered to deploy, so cost isn't the question, and I suspect I'm not the only one that's ended up in that position.

 

Furthermore, while I haven't counted, I'm not convinced there's been a true decline in ammo can hides. I would guess as many are being hidden and as many are in the field as ever, it's just easy to overlook that because vastly *more* smaller caches are being hidden. In other words, the proportion of ammo cans is lower even though the raw numbers might not be.

 

2 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

When I got into this hobby in 2010 it was predominantly hiking oriented. Now it's predominantly park-n-grab oriented.

I wouldn't say "park-n-grab oriented". The orientation has shifted towards the hide and away from the journey. In my experience, that's not because of a desire to make everything park-n-grab. More caches being easily accessed from parking is just a side effect of people no longer considering the hike to GZ to be an essential component of all caches.

 

2 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Ironically, as the community has grown in terms of number of hides and finders, in many areas the community has not grown socially. When it was a small close-knit community people seemed more likely to attend local events. Now it seems a greater percentage of geocachers play in isolation from other geocachers.

I'm not sure which is cause and which is effect, but I blame the reduction in the social side to the change in attitude from this being a game played among friends to a service provided by Groundspeak. The shift away from seeker based NM/NA policing to reviewer sweeps and purges has made it much too easy for players to lose track of COs as other players now that GS treats them as servants.

 

Fortunately, I'm not seeing this as having too much impact on events in my area. There are still plenty of events, at least there were until the lockdown. There was even a popular event (with full social distancing, etc., of course) around here just last week. On the other hand, the events do tend to be attended by a close-knit inner community of long term geocachers more than random people. Not because the close-knit community excludes anyone, just because newbies don't get the social side of it as well as they used to.

 

1 hour ago, cerberus1 said:

At one event, a lotta folks questioned if "cachers" work at Groundspeak anymore.    :D 

Don't say that too loud. I got kicked out of the forums for half a year when I made that observation.

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2 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Don't say that too loud. I got kicked out of the forums for half a year when I made that observation.

 

If you had captured the entire line, it also said, "We said AFAWK they did."   Why the need to start something not there ?

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13 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

No, the Help Centre says 100ml to 1 litre is a small and 1 litre to 20 litres is a regular. Ammo cans and shoe boxes are a fair bit bigger than 1 litre (10cm x 10cm x 10cm or variations thereof). This is a 1 litre Sistema, which I'd list as a regular, but clearly my foot wouldn't fit in it, let alone a couple of shoes.

 

20200512_130322.jpg.64c0f13e6fbe7ddf89925cb5d95ae239.jpg

 

Is there a story to go along with that pinky toe, Jeff?

 

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28 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I've acquired two ammo cans I've never bothered to deploy, so cost isn't the question, and I suspect I'm not the only one that's ended up in that position.

Years ago, I won a camo-painted ammo can at an event. I haven't used it for anything other than showing kids what a regular size cache looks like when I teach geocaching classes.

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