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Semínko

Do Premium Members Only caches last longer?

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I have a two part question.

 

It seems only a premium member can flag a cache as 'premium only'. I've done some googling and it seems that if the premium membership expires, the cache retains the 'premium only' setting. Is that info still valid?

 

Here's the conundrum I'm in. I'm planning to hide a mystery cache. Have a story written, great puzzle to solve so it's only fitting to have a great final container. I'm thinking about some minor electronics, buttons, LED lights, all the bells and whistles.

Now, I did some calculations and it will cost some amount of money. Since converting currencies doesn't give clear picture, let's say I would need to work 5 hours to earn the amount of money the components cost. Plus there would be time spent putting it together, making the container itself, finishing touches etc.

 

From my limited experience as a non-premium member, I can safely say that some people just don't give a dadgum, at least in my neck of the woods. And obviously I don't want to spend time and money on something that will get broken in a month.

 

In your experience, do you see a difference in how people treat your container / how long it's in an OK condition when the cache is set as 'premium only' and when it's not?

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Posted (edited)

Seems like the insurance of having a premium membership would be cheaper than the cost of the cache.

I think it would provide SOME measure of added security, but certainly no guarantee.

Also, if it's a difficult mystery cache and a casual app user points his compass at it and finds it without knowing anything about the game, it IS likely to be broken in a month.

I'd say spring for a one year premium and have fun!

 

Edited by hukilaulau
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I don't know.

 

The "muggles with apps" who download the official app and just go for it, and have no clue about how the game is to be played, won't see your Mystery/Unknown cache anyway, if I recall correctly the limitations of the official app. And it seems like a growing number of "muggles with apps" are springing for premium membership nowadays, so PM doesn't guarantee the care and concern of the players.

 

Also, a lot depends on where you hide your final. Does it happen to be an area where muggles will stumble upon it? It's surprising how many seemingly out of the way spots can be close to teen hangouts! So it might be true muggles, and not geocachers at all, that cause damage.

 

Personally, I think your best defense is the mystery/unknown cache type, followed by wise cache placement, over the PMO listing. Your mileage and area may vary.

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Given the restrictions on the apps used by cachers, I think most pay up for Premium Membership to be able to see more caches per day...

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13 minutes ago, TriciaG said:

Personally, I think your best defense is the mystery/unknown cache type, followed by wise cache placement, over the PMO listing. Your mileage and area may vary.

 

Basic members with the app don't see puzzles, and most beginners (and even a lot of long time geocachers!) just don't do puzzles.  I typically don't make my puzzles premium for that reason.  They just don't get found that often.

 

Put a basic cache out there at the final location (unpublished, just acontainer) and let it be for a few weeks as you build your puzzle final.  Does it get taken?  Vandalized?  If so, then rethink that location.  A clever gadget in the woods will draw attention unless it's very well cammoed or in a place where it will not be found unless someone is intentionally seeking it out.  That may be hard to determine, so placing a "test" container will help out with that.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Semínko said:

I'm planning to hide a mystery cache. Have a story written, great puzzle to solve so it's only fitting to have a great final container. I'm thinking about some minor electronics, buttons, LED lights, all the bells and whistles.

Now, I did some calculations and it will cost some amount of money. Since converting currencies doesn't give clear picture, let's say I would need to work 5 hours to earn the amount of money the components cost. Plus there would be time spent putting it together, making the container itself, finishing touches etc.

 

From my limited experience as a non-premium member, I can safely say that some people just don't give a dadgum, at least in my neck of the woods. And obviously I don't want to spend time and money on something that will get broken in a month.

 

For one of my caches like that, I placed it in a spot that requires some planning and effort (and boots) to get to.  I didn't make it PMO.  I don't see any difference in the way a cache is treated by finders, except that it may be found less often.  If you get a lot of finds, expect to do a lot of maintenance.  But a fancy electronic one may require an attentive CO anyway, just to keep it viable even with few finds.

 

But there was a reason I made one PMO.  There was one spot in a park where it was proving impossible to keep a cache.  After the last cache was archived, I worked on a way to have an ammo can cache there that would not get muggled, although it's only about 100 feet into a wooded area next to a hundred bored kids (next to a soccer field, fills with kids at times).   "PMO" was only a part of my plan.

 

I made it a Chirp cache, because almost nobody uses Chirp, and that also made it a "Mystery" cache type, so it wouldn't even be hunted much. 

I had it super aggressively hidden in a way that was easy to put back just right, so someone walking past doesn't see it.  AND someone's friend of a friend can't go find it by simply knowing about its existence (it's tough to find even with Final coordinates).

I made it PMO, so that someone just now installing the App would not see it pop up.  But it had a high enough Difficulty rating where it shouldn't be in view anyway.

 

That one was never muggled.  I eventually archived it because logs were tending to give away the exact hide style.

 

Edited by kunarion
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2 hours ago, Semínko said:

It seems only a premium member can flag a cache as 'premium only'. I've done some googling and it seems that if the premium membership expires, the cache retains the 'premium only' setting. Is that info still valid?

       Here's the conundrum I'm in. I'm planning to hide a mystery cache. Have a story written, great puzzle to solve so it's only fitting to have a great final container. I'm thinking about some minor electronics, buttons, LED lights, all the bells and whistles.

Now, I did some calculations and it will cost some amount of money. Since converting currencies doesn't give clear picture, let's say I would need to work 5 hours to earn the amount of money the components cost. Plus there would be time spent putting it together, making the container itself, finishing touches etc.

        From my limited experience as a non-premium member, I can safely say that some people just don't give a dadgum, at least in my neck of the woods. And obviously I don't want to spend time and money on something that will get broken in a month.

        In your experience, do you see a difference in how people treat your container / how long it's in an OK condition when the cache is set as 'premium only' and when it's not?

 

If you're looking to join as PM for a year simply to place your hide, than just give it up after the year's over, I feel that's not worth it.

Mystery or gadgets caches have been completely destroyed by premium members for years.  PM is simply someone paying money. 

 - If you think paying money makes anyone more intelligent, trustworthy, or responsible,  you'd be mistaken.

I went to two gadget caches last year that weren't even working anymore, premium members were disassembling them to get to the log.

This hobby is based on trust.  Sometimes it works, others not so much...

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We're seeing an unusual trend of new phone cachers becoming PM immediately. 

Used to be free app only, and maybe they'd stick around for a weekend.   Allowances getting bigger maybe...

When anyone sees their first pmo guard rail of lpc hides, they realize that's not a reason to join.   :D

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6 hours ago, Semínko said:

if the premium membership expires, the cache retains the 'premium only' setting. Is that info still valid?

Yes. A cache retains PMO status  even if premium membership expires.  Basic member can see and manage the listing and logs with no issue. Can remove PMO status if they choose.

 

If I had a lot of effort into a special container, I'd front load with puzzle, make the cache type Mystery, PMO and consider placement with care. It would either be in a place with a known geocaching policy that my cache met, or it would have explicit permission. 

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Like you stated, I opted to make some of my hides PMO due to the cost incurred for all of the caches in a series (as well as the cost for replacement parts and containers) or whatever other caches I made premium.  However, unlike yours (which might appear to have a higher D rating and would be a ?) some of my PMO traditional caches would have appeared in the free version of the app and I wanted to attempt to limit the cachers who visited my caches to more experienced cachers.  Despite that, I've still had a few issues but I honestly believe that I would have had more if I hadn't made them premium.  I don't make them premium that often (I adopted quite a few that the previous CO wanted kept as premium) but when I do, it's almost always due to the cost of the cache.  It's been 27 caches and 3 1/2 years since I made my last cache premium.  That doesn't mean that I won't do it again.  It would just depend on a variety of factors.

 

Premium caches aren't "better" or better maintained, and premium cachers aren't "better" than basic cachers.  However, I believe the benefits of being premium are worth the amount GS charges for premium membership.

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7 hours ago, Semínko said:

In your experience, do you see a difference in how people treat your container / how long it's in an OK condition when the cache is set as 'premium only' and when it's not?

 

I do. Anyone can sign up to a basic member. It's nice but some do it to vandalize cache hides for fun. Paying the membership to become a premium member shows that you are serious about the sport.  I know a diehard geocacher that ended up making all his cache hides premium only because of them being stolen.

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14 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

Paying the membership to become a premium member shows that you are serious about the sport.

 

In some cases it just means they have the disposable income to spend, rather than being serious about it.  I have some new finders of my PMO caches who found a few of my caches when we first went into shelter at home in March and haven't cached since.  Most of the time, however, those that become premium do so because they want to help support geocaching, want access to some more caches, or want some of the extra abilities that being premium provides (notifications, PQs, etc..).  It didn't take me long to become premium (less than a month from when I started) because I knew this was something I could see myself doing for quite some time.

 

To specifically answer the question in the title (I kind of skirted it in my initial reply), I don't think they last any longer, except in certain specific situations.  Some disappear faster than basic member caches, most last just as long, and some last longer.

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15 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

I do. Anyone can sign up to a basic member. It's nice but some do it to vandalize cache hides for fun.

Paying the membership to become a premium member shows that you are serious about the sport. 

I know a diehard geocacher that ended up making all his cache hides premium only because of them being stolen.

 

That's weird, the few Trackable hoarders we're aware of were also premium members at the time.

One cache maggot (we caught) was a PM just so he could steal ammo cans.  Go figure...     :)

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9 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

That's weird, the few Trackable hoarders we're aware of were also premium members at the time.

One cache maggot (we caught) was a PM just so he could steal ammo cans.  Go figure...     :)

 

So how do we report them? 

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9 hours ago, coachstahly said:

(I kind of skirted it in my initial reply)

 

I guess you did. I'm still confused. I'll repeat again. Being a premium member does help and the extra features are worth it. 

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I have a series of 21 PMO caches which stretched about half way along a popular trail. Another local had a series along the other half of the same trail which ended about 400m from where mine finished . The two series were listed at almost the same time (we were unaware of each others' cache placement at the time). The other CO's caches were not PMO. They lasted a while but were eventually archived due to maintenance becoming a burden, and at one point, were subject to a cache maggot attack.

My PMOs keep me busy enough although one of them, a D2.5, has been has been muggled about five times yet another, the easiest of them all (D1/T1.5) has 150 finds, 0 DNFs , 0 NMs and has been in place for 7 years still in its original (small) container (a plastic screw top jar as mentioned in another recent thread) with original log book and is exposed to weather.

So, I can state that owning PMOs can make maintenance less odious but certainly not immune to it.

 

 

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On 5/19/2020 at 4:42 PM, Semínko said:

In your experience, do you see a difference in how people treat your container / how long it's in an OK condition when the cache is set as 'premium only' and when it's not?

 

Earlier days, when beginners were members and advanced players were premiums, there was a significant difference but nowadays, when beginners are practically forced to upgrade to premium level, I don't see how that could help. A better and very effective way to save your investment is to make any kind of puzzle that must be solved to get coordinates. For example, bearing and distance. Beginners will skip all puzzles despite the difficulty.

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13 hours ago, HunterandSamuel said:

 

I guess you did. I'm still confused. I'll repeat again. Being a premium member does help and the extra features are worth it. 

 

My initial reply was talking about the reasons I made some of my hides premium (typically cost reasons) as well as my belief that, at least in the case of my series that would be visible for those using the free app, making those caches premium has reduced the amount of work to keep them going, despite those caches still occasionally having problems I need to take care of (like someone taking ALL of the dominoes and ALL of the dice despite my telling them not to on the cache page and on another laminated note inside the cache).  Some premium cachers are just as at fault as newer basic members.

 

My second reply was directed to the actual OP that asked a slightly different question - related to duration of the cache.  I don't think there's any proof that a premium cache will last longer than a basic member cache, just because one is premium while the other is basic.  Some PMO caches will last longer than basic caches, most PMO caches probably last the same amount of time as basic caches, and some PMO caches will die an earlier death than basic caches.  Just being a PMO cache does NOT guarantee that they'll last longer than a basic member cache.

 

I also replied to your post about becoming premium because it shows they're "serious" about it, which in some cases they are but in some cases they're not.  It's not a blanket statement that applies to everyone.  Many are while some do it for reasons that aren't so altruistic.

 

I suspect most cachers who choose to purchase the premium plan do so because of all the extra things that can be done with premium access, not just the access to PMO caches (which is certainly one of the additional things that can be gained by becoming premium.

 

I believe it to be worth the "investment" of my yearly fee, considering what I get out of it but to say that premium members are "better" somehow than basic members and that PMO caches are "better" somehow than basic member caches is a falsehood.  The only difference is that premium members are able to do more with the site than basic members.

Edited by coachstahly
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On 5/19/2020 at 11:14 AM, cerberus1 said:

 

Mystery or gadgets caches have been completely destroyed by premium members for years.

 

THIS. And worse, Premium Members that have been around for years that you'd think would know better.

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On 5/19/2020 at 12:14 PM, cerberus1 said:

Mystery or gadgets caches have been completely destroyed by premium members for years. 

If my mystery or gadget cache was completely destroyed, I apparently didn't make a very high quality cache...  

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19 minutes ago, TmdAndGG said:

If my mystery or gadget cache was completely destroyed, I apparently didn't make a very high quality cache...  

 

The "quality" of your cache has nothing to do with the person who can't take the time to access it the way intended.  :)

One I saw just a couple months ago even had the attachments to the tree cut so they could disassemble it "comfortably".

All premium members...

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4 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

One I saw just a couple months ago even had the attachments to the tree cut so they could disassemble it "comfortably".

It probably took them longer to do that and then solve the puzzle, than it would have taken them if they just did it in place:D

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9 hours ago, coachstahly said:

 

My initial reply was talking about the reasons I made some of my hides premium (typically cost reasons) as well as my belief that, at least in the case of my series that would be visible for those using the free app, making those caches premium has reduced the amount of work to keep them going, despite those caches still occasionally having problems I need to take care of (like someone taking ALL of the dominoes and ALL of the dice despite my telling them not to on the cache page and on another laminated note inside the cache).  Some premium cachers are just as at fault as newer basic members.

 

My second reply was directed to the actual OP that asked a slightly different question - related to duration of the cache.  I don't think there's any proof that a premium cache will last longer than a basic member cache, just because one is premium while the other is basic.  Some PMO caches will last longer than basic caches, most PMO caches probably last the same amount of time as basic caches, and some PMO caches will die an earlier death than basic caches.  Just being a PMO cache does NOT guarantee that they'll last longer than a basic member cache.

 

I also replied to your post about becoming premium because it shows they're "serious" about it, which in some cases they are but in some cases they're not.  It's not a blanket statement that applies to everyone.  Many are while some do it for reasons that aren't so altruistic.

 

I suspect most cachers who choose to purchase the premium plan do so because of all the extra things that can be done with premium access, not just the access to PMO caches (which is certainly one of the additional things that can be gained by becoming premium.

 

I believe it to be worth the "investment" of my yearly fee, considering what I get out of it but to say that premium members are "better" somehow than basic members and that PMO caches are "better" somehow than basic member caches is a falsehood.  The only difference is that premium members are able to do more with the site than basic members.

 

Thank you for your reply!

 

 

 

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On 5/19/2020 at 6:42 AM, Semínko said:

In your experience, do you see a difference in how people treat your container / how long it's in an OK condition when the cache is set as 'premium only' and when it's not?

When I started caching in 2004 everyone, beginner or experienced, member or premium member, had invested at least a couple hundred dollars for a GPS to get in the game.  Back then PMO caches were very rare and there was little difference on how each group (member or PM) treated a cache.  That changed with the advent of free cell phone apps. Now the typical beginner/nonPM has invested $0 and it shows.  If any of my caches start having problems, go missing, damage whatever, the first thing I do is make them PMO. Not a perfect solution but it helps. 

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On one hand, Premium caches obviously get found less frequently than regular caches, so it will see fewer hands.  On the other hand, I have seen a LOT of newbies who go straight to Premium, and those people might not have the same respect for caches that the more serious cachers do.  So I would think your best bet would be to hide it in such a way that only the very best and most experienced cachers can find it.  And keep it a regular cache so that respectful-but-not-Premium cachers like myself have a chance at it.  (In other words, location and difficulty are far more reliable safeguards than how much money a cacher was willing to pay.)

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17 minutes ago, Ageleni said:

Premium caches obviously get found less frequently than regular caches

I did not realize that.

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1 minute ago, Max and 99 said:

I did not realize that.

 

Well, there are fewer people looking for them, correct? 

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On 5/23/2020 at 11:23 PM, Ageleni said:

 

Well, there are fewer people looking for them, correct? 

 

While they might be fewer in number, they're also typically (but not always) going to be the ones who cache more frequently since they've invested more than just time into this activity.  I think my PMO caches have been hit more than my non PMO caches these past few months but that might also be due to the fact that my PMO caches are either easier D/T rated (one series in particular) or that many I've adopted are PMO (per the original CO's request) and are more spread out across the area.

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One of my first active non-PMO caches is going on 9 years old, and its withstood a lot (replacement container, log change, rough elements, etc.)

I recently hid a PMO cache, one that I invested money in, so I felt the need to make it PMO.

 

My rationale is if I can create the cache for pennies (or free), it'll be accessible to everyone. 

If I spend multiple dollars to create or order a custom container, then it becomes PMO. (unless it's an ammo can on top of a mountain, then I'll be desperate for ANYONE to find it lol)

 

I've noticed that the caches around me that get muggled are due to construction and groundskeeping. 

It's important to consider how much foot traffic the area gets, and the likelihood of the cache getting "accidentally" discovered.

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By making the majority of my caches PMO I am able to place more. If they were all non PMO I think that I would not be able to maintain them as well as I'd like.

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13 hours ago, colleda said:

By making the majority of my caches PMO I am able to place more. If they were all non PMO I think that I would not be able to maintain them as well as I'd like.

 

I'm not sure I completely understand the point you're making here.  You can always place more, even if they're not PMO.  

 

However, I think you're trying to say that your PMO caches require less maintenance so you're able to place more due to the lessened burden of maintaining them to your level of satisfaction.  Basic caches could potentially require you to perform more maintenance, which would prevent you from placing more caches.  Do I have that right?

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, coachstahly said:

 

I'm not sure I completely understand the point you're making here.  You can always place more, even if they're not PMO.  

 

However, I think you're trying to say that your PMO caches require less maintenance so you're able to place more due to the lessened burden of maintaining them to your level of satisfaction.  Basic caches could potentially require you to perform more maintenance, which would prevent you from placing more caches.  Do I have that right?

You got it.

I'm not sure exactly how many active caches I have but I'm comfortable with the level of maintenance I do, unless illness gets in the way, which it has a habit of doing lately.

Edited by colleda

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