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hostanut

Proposed Disabled Cache Guidelines

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Now that there is a new Cache Owner Dashboard….it is time to update guidelines concerning Disabled caches.

Changes needed to promote higher quality finds:

3.1. Log types
Change https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=107&pgid=534:
Found It
You can log caches online as "Found" after you visited the coordinates and signed the logbook. You can also add a photo or a Favorite point to your online log.

To:
Found It
You can log “active” caches online as "Found" after you visited the coordinates and signed the logbook. You can also add a photo or a Favorite point to your online log.

Active caches are defined as caches that are NOT disabled or archived.
Note: Caches found on the day they become disabled or archived may be logged as found because cachers may already have their gpsr loaded.

Cache owner should post in their Disable log: “Cache is temporarily unavailable. NO finds allowed while disabled.”…….if the cache owner does NOT want cachers searching for the disabled cache.

Cache owner may post in their Disable log: “No finds allowed until maintenance is performed.”…….if the cache owner will allow another cacher to perform the required maintenance then log a find…..ie new log and or new container.

Reason: Cache owners should have a reasonable expectation that finders experience their cache similar to the condition in which it was hidden.

Cache owners become aware that their cache requires attention by:
- Needs Maintenance log
- Verbiage in found logs
- Emails/messages from hiders

Cache owners might not be able to visit their cache immediately to do maintenance so they may Disable the cache.

Reasons cache owners may disable their cache and NOT want finders until conditions change include:
- Cache has been damaged so much the finders experience would be significantly altered
   EX: Locked birdhouse is missing part of its roof….so finder could just reach thru roof to access logbook

- Cache has not been re-hidden properly
   EX: Cache was tethered up in a tree but is now at the base of the tree

- Cache is now a throwdown instead of the original (possibly unique) container

- Cache has been repaired/painted on site and needs time for glue/adhesive/paint to cure.

- Property/land owner or manager has requested that cache be disabled for a special event.
  Cache hider should post a note prior to the disable date to make searchers aware.

- Area/State has been closed for public safety.
   EX: Playgrounds closed for health reasons, waterways closed because of contamination,
  14-day quarantine orders for out-of-staters because of COVID-19

 

This change would be consistent with other guidelines:
7.4. Maintenance expectations
https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=38&pgid=57

“Here is a list of your responsibilities as a cache owner:
Temporarily disable your cache page when the cache is not available or you need time to fix reported problems. “

7.6. Disable and enable a geocache
https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=38&pgid=235

“You can temporarily disable your cache page if the cache needs repairs or if the area is closed temporarily”

7.11. Respond to "throwdowns"
https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=38&pgid=427

“How to handle throwdowns
Consider disabling the cache until you can remove the throwdown or replace the original cache. If you do not disable the cache, you may want to honor Found It logs for the throwdown.”

7.16. Seasonal tips for cache owners
https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=38&pgid=715

Temporarily disable your cache when it is unavailable. “

Geocache hiding guidelines
https://www.geocaching.com/play/guidelines#ownerresponsibility

Disable a cache page when the cache is not available or you need time to fix reported problems.”

 

 

These changes would facilitate cachers being able to find geocaches that are in better shape while discouraging them from going after Disabled caches that, in many cases, are in need of attention.

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My idea of "quality" is much different than yours.  Mine is location, and the container is a plus.   :)

 

 I enter caches I plan to do maybe a week in advance.  I won't know what's going on if anything happens in-between.

If it's temp-disabled and there's no indication why when I get there, it's found.

If an archived cache is still there and I find it , it's found

You can create all kinds of ALRs if you'd like, but if the cache is there, and there's no reason to think there's an issue, it's signed and found.

 

By some of this, looks like a lot of folks in busy areas would have their caches TD most of the year...  :D

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I've found some archived and disabled caches.  Why would they not qualify as a find?  Hiding caches with my sister.  I spotted an ammo can!  The final of a multi.  The origianl first stage had gone missing, and the CO did nothing.  Final stage still there!  And we found it!!  Why would you think that is not a find???

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Some of that would be hard to enforce with the current rule "name in log book, post a find".

 

And, as cerberus1 said, I sometimes load my GPSr days ahead of the trip (even at home I update the DB twice a week).

 

 

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I've found an archived cache with my GPS that was loaded probably weeks ago, not having any clue until I got home to log it that it was archived. I found it and signed it. It was the first time It was my first experience with an archived cache.

 

 

3 hours ago, hostanut said:

Changes needed to promote higher quality finds:

OK, I get it. You're not talking about higher quality hides, but higher quality finds. That explains why you can't log a Found It on a cache that's disabled. You'd be finding it not in the way it was intended.

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3 hours ago, hostanut said:

Cache owners should have a reasonable expectation that finders experience their cache similar to the condition in which it was hidden.

 

And the only way you can truly guarantee this is to visit your cache after each log.  Otherwise you're left to the vagaries of individual cachers.

 

3 hours ago, hostanut said:

Caches found on the day they become disabled or archived may be logged as found because cachers may already have their gpsr loaded.

 

It's already been addressed, but how would you prevent finders from logging a find if they don't have the most current information in their GPS?  I'll be loading up a bunch of caches for the areas of Michigan I'm traveling to in a week and a half.  What if the CO disables or archives a cache that I plan on finding at the tail end of my trip two days after I load my updated GPX file?  I go there and find the cache and sign the log.  Are you saying that, through no fault of my own, that my find isn't valid?  I don't think GS will be on your side for that appeal.

 

The ONLY way to guarantee that no finds would be made on disabled or archived caches is to go out and pick them up and then disable/archive them.  Until such time as they're not in the field anymore, a find can be claimed if the log has been signed, even if it means that a tree climb is on the ground, a birdhouse has no roof, or the paint or glue hasn't dried.  As I stated in my first sentence, the only way you can truly guarantee the experience you want them to have is to visit your cache after each log to ensure it is back and in place in the manner which you desire - be it up in the tree where it belongs, in a roofed birdhouse, or a cured paint/glue job.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, hostanut said:

Note: Caches found on the day they become disabled or archived may be logged as found because cachers may already have their gpsr loaded.

The most frequent I load my GPS is once a week, but it's not uncommon to be longer, so I might not know a cache is disabled for a couple of weeks, and in some cases, such as puzzles (which I only load when I solve them and then they sit on the GPS until I find them), months at least.

If a cache and log still exits it can be logged. If the CO doesn't want it logged for awhile for some reason, get off your backside and go remove it. I had a MEGA near me, and one of my caches was unsuitable for masses of visitors at once, so I disabled the cache, got off my backside and removed it for the duration of the MEGA, and said it wasn't there to log, so don't visit. After the MEGA I returned the cache and re-enabled the cache.

 

Cache still there = log it!

Edited by Goldenwattle
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1 hour ago, coachstahly said:

The ONLY way to guarantee that no finds would be made on disabled or archived caches is to go out and pick them up and then disable/archive them.  Until such time as they're not in the field anymore, a find can be claimed if the log has been signed, even if it means that a tree climb is on the ground, a birdhouse has no roof, or the paint or glue hasn't dried.  

 

Yep.  If the doc finally gives the okay (bouncing around 70%) there's a tree cache that has been on the ground for nine months.

No NMs yet, I'll be the first.   It will be counted as a find...

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Awhile back a cacher disabled their caches for Covid but the cache was still present. I was tempted go and log it. But I never found myself nearby and did not care that much to push the issue.

 

The spirit of the OP is interesting though and in that spirit of that it is definitely more apparent now if a cache has problems.I always thought a limit on new cache placement while NM flags on existing caches would go a long way to improving cache quality.

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1 hour ago, MNTA said:

I always thought a limit on new cache placement while NM flags on existing caches would go a long way to improving cache quality.

I think that would be good. No placement of new caches until the present caches have NM done. Some COs place caches with little plans to maintain their caches, but keep placing them. Ban them from being able to place new caches until they maintain those they already have. And to stop them just archiving the old caches (and leaving plastic junk; ie. never returning to pick up their old caches) so they can publish another power trail, if this is obviously what they have done, just so they can place new caches, don't allow them to publish new caches for a few months. Maybe then they will start to think beyond place and forget caches, while they move onto the next power trail, which they will then place and forget...and so on

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The ONLY way to guarantee that no finds would be made on disabled or archived caches is to go out and pick them up and then disable/archive them.

 

That makes sense to me, looking at it from the point of view of someone new to the hobby. I would imagine (and I could be totally wrong) that a cache which is still in location is still "findable".

 

I also agree with Goldenwattle, as much as having new caches to find is a great thing, leaving old ones lying around (effectively littering) can't be good for the hobby. It's good to see that member feedback and ratings are used and there is a process in place to notify the owner if there's an issue with a cache and it needs to be maintained.

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4 hours ago, MNTA said:

The spirit of the OP is interesting though and in that spirit of that it is definitely more apparent now if a cache has problems.I always thought a limit on new cache placement while NM flags on existing caches would go a long way to improving cache quality.

 

More likely it'd just result in a surge in armchair OM logs to clear those pesky NMs.

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57 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

More likely it'd just result in a surge in armchair OM logs to clear those pesky NMs.

I have on a couple of occasions when it's obvious the CO hasn't checked the cache ("I think it's still there" was one worded OM) made another NM straight away. That cache had had maybe 15 DNFs. The CO told me off. Then I had 'pleasure' watching about another 10 or 15 DNFs appear (why, why oh why are some people so scared to log those NM & NA!) before FINALLY the reviewer came in. This was not in Australia. The cache has been archived.

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Sounds like there is little/NO need/incentive for a CO to Disable a cache even when they have removed the cache for maintenance since some cachers won't see the Disable log.

 

Cache owners have no feasible way to contact cachers that may have their cache(s) in a gpx file.......but cachers can get an update closer to their cache trip to learn about Disabled and Archived caches.

NM logs are not always correct. I have several times seen logs that say "Cache is missing", Cache is no longer here" but when I do maintenance I find that the cache was and is there.
I've had a cacher with over 25,000 finds......find a piece of plastic near GZ that they claimed had to be part of the cache, place that piece of plastic and a scrap of paper in a baggie, place the baggie on the GR and claim a find. I disabled and 2 days later checked on the cache........my container was about 12 inches away from the baggie they left. Needless to say, the throwdown was removed and their log deleted when I got home.

As far as finding caches that are still "there".....does finding an empty baggie, just a plastic lid,  a busted birdhouse with no container or log, a piece of velcro, some sort of container (that was not the cache), a tether to a cache but no container, etc constitute a "find"? 

 

Yes, there are some bad/inconsiderate cache owners. Even good COs can't always get to GZ immediately to repair/remove the cache. A couple of years ago I had emergency surgery and couldn't walk over 500 ft for a couple of weeks. ......and even longer before I was healthy enough to get to my caches that were long walks.


As several have stated.....NM logs are there to notify the CO that maintenance is needed.
Disable logs are a way for COs to notify cachers that caches are unavailable.
If COs need to react to NM logs, why don't cachers need to heed Disable logs?
 

What is the incentive for COs to hide quality caches and maintain them if cachers can claim a find no matter the condition?.......why wouldn't COs just throw just any old container down and not worry about it because finds can be logged on any container that is there?

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12 hours ago, The Jester said:

Some of that would be hard to enforce with the current rule "name in log book, post a find".

 

And, as cerberus1 said, I sometimes load my GPSr days ahead of the trip (even at home I update the DB twice a week).

 

 

There are many places where updating the cache data in a GPS more than even twice a week would normally be unnecessary.  There are some times in the year where I wouldn't have to update my GPS more frequently than twice a month and the data would still be "current".  Blocking the ability to log a cache that was disabled two days ago would be a bit extreme in areas that are not very active.

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37 minutes ago, hostanut said:

Cache owners have no feasible way to contact cachers that may have their cache(s) in a gpx file.......but cachers can get an update closer to their cache trip to learn about Disabled and Archived caches.

 

But not as frequently as a daily or every other day update.  When I traveled to Malaysia a few years ago I left home on a Friday morning didn't get to my destination until Sunday afternoon.  I loaded my GPS before I left and there were not new caches published (and I was able to get FTF on a cache that was published just before I left the states), archived, or disabled in the area I was visiting.  There was one cache that a local told me was mostly likely missing (but the CO had not disabled it).   I found it completely intact.   When I went to Kenya I was in an area where I had no access to data for 3 days.   

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8 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

When I traveled

I have been in that situation, where I load caches before I leave home; which might be several weeks worth. I will try to upload a more up to date one as I travel, but that hasn't always happened, so I end up using a few weeks old load.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, hostanut said:

Sounds like there is little/NO need/incentive for a CO to Disable a cache even when they have removed the cache for maintenance since some cachers won't see the Disable log.

I've had a cacher with over 25,000 finds......find a piece of plastic near GZ that they claimed had to be part of the cache, place that piece of plastic and a scrap of paper in a baggie, place the baggie on the GR and claim a find.


As far as finding caches that are still "there".....does finding an empty baggie, just a plastic lid,  a busted birdhouse with no container or log, a piece of velcro, some sort of container (that was not the cache), a tether to a cache but no container, etc constitute a "find"? 
 

What is the incentive for COs to hide quality caches and maintain them if cachers can claim a find no matter the condition?.......

why wouldn't COs just throw just any old container down and not worry about it because finds can be logged on any container that is there?

 

True.  I'm heading there for the "language of location" though (pretty-sure you remember that...).

If it happens that the cache is no longer there, when I get home I'll either read the CO's message, or log a DNF.   :)

 

 I know of one with twice that, that logged the top to a nano.   Looking at logs, folks logging a nano lid was going on some time.

I NA it when I got home,  and the next day the "CO" archived it as well as every other cache they owned.  COs aren't always the good guys...

 

No ... And you're stretching ....  Odd thing is there is a forum regular who thinks similar...  It's gotta be all or nothing.  :D

A find is claimed by finding a container with a log to sign.  If it's still there, I'm logging it found.  

 

I'm not sure how you could believe that.  A person places caches they like.  They might even give "quality" a thought when doing it.

The incentive is good logs and a feeling of accomplishment.  Some feel it's FPs too.

Even the "lonely" hides that so many cherish are held afloat by other geocachers because the CO's been gone for years.

Edited by cerberus1
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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

 

 I know of one with twice that, that logged the top to a nano.   Looking at logs, folks logging a nano lid was going on some time.

Same thing happened here with a bison tube lid zip tied to a bush. The bottom half of the bison tube had gone missing, but people were still logging finds, even clearly stating that there was only a lid. We logged an NM (or maybe an NA) and it eventually got archived by the local reviewer. There's a local cacher around here who always says, "It's your game, play it how you want"(or something like that). It really is true. If you want to log a find on a lid, go for it. Nothing's gonna stop you. (Unless the CO deletes your log of course;))

Edited by TmdAndGG

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29 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

I NA it when I got home,  and the next day the "CO" archived it as well as every other cache they owned.  COs aren't always the good guys...

Ha, ha, that happened once when I logged a NM or NA on a cache. The CO argued first, but then spit the dummy and archived all their caches, even those in great condition. Reminds me of a spoilt child who takes their ball and goes home.

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The rules/guidelines are fine the way the are. If a CO wants to remove it from play then they should disable it AND remove it. As has been stated, when I'm going on vacation, my GPSr gets a PQ loaded 1-10 days BEFORE I go caching. If I find one that has been disabled AFTER I loaded a PQ, I'm still claiming a find. If the CO wants to disallow my find I'm not going to complain. I only have 700 finds in 10 years. Numbers and arguments are not something I'm worried about. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, hostanut said:

Sounds like there is little/NO need/incentive for a CO to Disable a cache even when they have removed the cache for maintenance since some cachers won't see the Disable log

 

If it only helps some cachers it's not worth doing at all???

 

It's rare that a container is removed for maintenance. For most caches, the CO takes a replacement container and removes the old container on the same visit they remove the old one (to be repaired or tossed as appropriate).

 

If I search for a cache and come up emptyhanded I will check the latest logs. An active cache gets a DNF. If the cache got Disabled and I didn't know it then I will log a Note.

Edited by JL_HSTRE
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It strikes me as odd that many think it is perfectly acceptable for searchers to get a list/gpx of caches weeks or even months before a trip and feel entitled to log a find on a cache that the CO has disabled for cause just day(s) before they arrive.....
But Cache Owners are expected to remove a cache immediately/before the cache is disabled.

Shouldn't cache hiders and searchers be given similar courtesies.

 

Searchers can know waaaaay ahead of a trip but an owner may never have a warning that a cache needs disabling in advance.

Many cache owners also go on caching trips.......if they are away from home, it is impossible to remove the cache until they get home. A Disable log is the only way that COs have to communicate that a cache is unavailable. Searchers most times have the option to update cache data close to departure......it shouldn't be the CO's fault if they don't.

 

Yes, there are good and bad COs. There are COs that leave the game and also leave there containers.......I'm not addressing those situations. I'm talking about COs that are trying to maintain their caches, keep them in good shape and retain the cache experience they intend for cachers.......not the COs that place a cache never to perform maintenance.

There might be COs that would Disable/Archive their cache and just leave where it was hidden......bad CO IMHO.
I'm referring to COs that Disable their cache for cause with the intent to repair/replace/reactivate when appropriate.....I think they deserve the consideration/respect to honor that request.

I believe there are 2 schools of thought on this topic with my proposal being on the minority side.
But I also think the neither side will convince the other side to change their mind.

Thanks for all the comments......there is no need for any of us to beat a dead horse.

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42 minutes ago, hostanut said:

But Cache Owners are expected to remove a cache immediately/before the cache is disabled.

They are?

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42 minutes ago, hostanut said:

It strikes me as odd that many think it is perfectly acceptable for searchers to get a list/gpx of caches weeks or even months before a trip and feel entitled to log a find on a cache that the CO has disabled for cause just day(s) before they arrive.....
But Cache Owners are expected to remove a cache immediately/before the cache is disabled.
 

 

 

 

Please explain why this is a problem? How does it hurt you if someone logs a disabled cache? Let's assume a cache has fallen out of a tree and now instead of a T5 it is a T1. You did not get out there first and they signed the log. To me it's no big deal. There is no winning or losing in this hobby. We are all just trying to have a bit of fun. There are so many things about a caching that is not perfect but it does get me out of the house have a bit of fun and occasionally take me to places I may have never thought to go.

 

The rule is sign the log as simply as that. Honestly this is why I don't care for EC and some virtuals. I got a response a month later saying my estimated width was off by over 10 feet and did I have proof that I was there. Nope the destination did not inspire me to take a picture. So I said the answers were from my kids and do what ever you think you need to do. One less find is not going to change anything in the grand scheme of things. 

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7 hours ago, hostanut said:

Sounds like there is little/NO need/incentive for a CO to Disable a cache even when they have removed the cache for maintenance since some cachers won't see the Disable log.

 

Cache owners have no feasible way to contact cachers that may have their cache(s) in a gpx file.......but cachers can get an update closer to their cache trip to learn about Disabled and Archived caches.

NM logs are not always correct. I have several times seen logs that say "Cache is missing", Cache is no longer here" but when I do maintenance I find that the cache was and is there.
I've had a cacher with over 25,000 finds......find a piece of plastic near GZ that they claimed had to be part of the cache, place that piece of plastic and a scrap of paper in a baggie, place the baggie on the GR and claim a find. I disabled and 2 days later checked on the cache........my container was about 12 inches away from the baggie they left. Needless to say, the throwdown was removed and their log deleted when I got home.

 

It sounds like you consider COs and seekers to be enemies or at least playing the game on opposing teams, where NMs are an attack on COs and TDs are an attack on seekers. How about a different perspective where they're seen as collaborators? Someone logs an NM and when you check it turns out the cache was really there, isn't that a good outcome? Would you rather it was missing and you had to build a new one or archive it?

 

I log NMs to try to help the CO, give them a heads-up that there might be a problem that they should know about. There are times I wish someone had logged an NM on one of my hides as I would have been across the problem and had it fixed sooner.

 

Likewise I disable one of my caches as a heads-up to seekers. It might be because I've taken the cache home for repairs or it might be because GZ is closed for maintenance work or due to natural calamities like fires and floods. If a seeker ignores my advice, or doesn't see it because of an old gpx file, and goes after the cache, it's on their head if they have an unfavourable experience. Remember if nothing else, disabling a cache makes it invisible on the official app.

 

8 hours ago, hostanut said:

As far as finding caches that are still "there".....does finding an empty baggie, just a plastic lid,  a busted birdhouse with no container or log, a piece of velcro, some sort of container (that was not the cache), a tether to a cache but no container, etc constitute a "find"? 

 

The objective definition of what constitutes a find is a signature in the logbook. If a seeker has done that, they're entitled to log an on-line find. That doesn't mean they always will, if I'd signed a log and then discovered when I got home that the CO had disabled or archived the cache, I'd likely hold off logging it until I'd contacted them and asked them what they'd like me to do. On the other hand, if there's no signature in the logbook, the CO is entitled to delete an on-line find, but again that's something I won't do without first contacting the seeker and giving them the opportunity to tell their side of the story. To me, hiders and seekers are collaborators, not enemies.

 

8 hours ago, hostanut said:

What is the incentive for COs to hide quality caches and maintain them if cachers can claim a find no matter the condition?.......why wouldn't COs just throw just any old container down and not worry about it because finds can be logged on any container that is there?

 

I hide quality containers in interesting places because I hope the seekers will have an enjoyable experience. Not all will, you can't please everyone, but as long as some do I'm happy to have been of service.

 

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1 hour ago, hostanut said:

It strikes me as odd that many think it is perfectly acceptable for searchers to get a list/gpx of caches weeks or even months before a trip and feel entitled to log a find on a cache that the CO has disabled for cause just day(s) before they arrive.....

 

It strikes me as odd that you do not think a cacher should be able to log a find on a cache that they found and signed the log, even if it were disabled or archived! 

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8 hours ago, hostanut said:

Sounds like there is little/NO need/incentive for a CO to Disable a cache even when they have removed the cache for maintenance since some cachers won't see the Disable log.

 

This is when you should TD a cache.  The timing of the Temporary Disable (TD) log as it pertains to anyone other than the CO is irrelevant.  You can't control what other cachers will or won't do or will or won't see.  You can only control your cache and if you TD it when you pull it, those that might look at it will then see that it's not available.  You can't do anything about those who have no way to know that it's disabled and not there.  If they come and can't find it, then when they go to log the DNF, they'll realize why they couldn't find it.

 

8 hours ago, hostanut said:

Cache owners have no feasible way to contact cachers that may have their cache(s) in a gpx file.......but cachers can get an update closer to their cache trip to learn about Disabled and Archived caches.

 

Yes they can but as I've already mentioned, I'm not bringing my laptop with me to update my GPX file on my GPS.  Once I load it on Saturday (we leave on Sunday and return the following Saturday), I'm under the assumption that all is well with all the caches I've loaded, even though it may not be.  That's not anyone's fault; it's just the way it happens sometimes.  Should a CO still delete a find of mine if it was disabled on Monday but I found it (because the CO didn't pull it) on Friday?

 

8 hours ago, hostanut said:

Disable logs are a way for COs to notify cachers that caches are unavailable.
If COs need to react to NM logs, why don't cachers need to heed Disable logs?

 

You seem to think that a TD log is noticed by everyone, even those who may have pre-loaded multiple caches that were fine before the TD logs were filed.  If the cache is still there with a log, then it's still viable to claim a find, despite whatever might be wrong with it that required the CO to disable it but not get out there to pick it up so cachers can't log a find.  

 

8 hours ago, hostanut said:

What is the incentive for COs to hide quality caches and maintain them if cachers can claim a find no matter the condition?.

 

They can't claim a find no matter the condition.  If the cache isn't there, then they can't claim a find.  If they have to put out a throwdown (without your permission), then they can't claim a find.  If they don't sign the log, then they can't claim a find.  If the cache is there and has a log that can be signed, then they can claim a find.

 

The incentive lies in what you as a CO hope they experience and that you do your best to ensure that they get the best experience possible, whatever that might entail you to do as a CO.  If you don't care about their experience, then toss down a crappy container if you want.  It's your name attached to the cache and if that's what you want to be known for, then by all means lower the bar.

 

1 hour ago, hostanut said:

It strikes me as odd that many think it is perfectly acceptable for searchers to get a list/gpx of caches weeks or even months before a trip and feel entitled to log a find on a cache that the CO has disabled for cause just day(s) before they arrive.....

 

Why is this odd?  I started my Michigan list last week and have been winnowing it down and refining it since I actually have the time on my hands.  I know there's no way I'm going to find all the caches on my list.  Heck, I'll be lucky to find 50 of them in the week I'm up there.  However, once I leave, my GPS can't be updated.  I'll load it up the day before we leave with the most current information.  I'm under the assumption that nothing has changed with regard to a TD log or an archive because I have no way of knowing.  If I arrive, begin my search and find the cache that's been disabled or archived and am able to sign the log, I'm still under the assumption that nothing is wrong with the cache because I found it.  How should I know that the cache is archived or disabled?  Why should my find be invalidated because the CO couldn't get out there to pick it up to prevent this from happening?

 

2 hours ago, hostanut said:

But Cache Owners are expected to remove a cache immediately/before the cache is disabled.

 

If you don't want cachers to log finds on the cache, then yes, you need to remove it ASAP so that they can't.  It may not seem fair but it's the only control you have over a situation like this.  I've TDed a few of my caches and didn't get out there to pull them but if someone had logged a find and it was verified, then I'd have to let it stand.  I adopted a library cache.  It was TDed because the library was closed for a few months due to the pandemic.  If a librarian found the final, either by doing the multi the way it was intended or by fortuitous luck, then I'd let it stand, assuming their name was in the logbook.  It's not their fault that they have access to the final location.  They're just fortunate enough to have access that most everyone else doesn't have.

 

I don't know about you, but I want my caches to be found.  Not every find will be done in a manner that I approve of but if the name is in the log, then the find stands, regardless of how they got it in there.  Not every finder is going to like the experience I have tried to provide for them, regardless of how much effort I put into it.  Different strokes for different folks.

 

2 hours ago, hostanut said:

I think they deserve the consideration/respect to honor that request.

 

Of course they do but not everyone is going to know if a cache is disabled or not. Most GPS units can't update without connections of some sort so this suggestion, while certainly one that should be honored when possible, is also one that's completely out of your control.  You've done what you needed to so it's now left up to a cacher, who may or may not have access to the site to see the current status of a given cache. 

 

2 hours ago, hostanut said:

Many cache owners also go on caching trips.......if they are away from home, it is impossible to remove the cache until they get home. A Disable log is the only way that COs have to communicate that a cache is unavailable. Searchers most times have the option to update cache data close to departure......it shouldn't be the CO's fault if they don't.

 

As to the TD log, if you're truly that concerned about maintenance on your caches, then why don't you have a plan in place that allows another local cacher to provide maintenance and pull the cache (preferably one who has found the cache previously) if you are traveling and need to disable one of your caches?  Seems to me that's the best way to keep up with your caches when you're not in the area to do so.  

 

I'll reiterate again, cachers who load GPS units typically don't update their caches when they're out on the road unless they bring their laptops.  I go on vacation to get away from my laptop, not bring it with me, so my list of caches in Michigan will be as current as I can make it but it will still be almost a week old on my next to last day in Michigan, which will also most likely be the last day I have the opportunity to cache.  

 

Why are you assuming that it's the "fault" of anyone?  Sometimes things happen that neither the finder nor the CO can do anything about.

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4 hours ago, hostanut said:

It strikes me as odd that many think it is perfectly acceptable for searchers to get a list/gpx of caches weeks or even months before a trip and feel entitled to log a find on a cache that the CO has disabled for cause just day(s) before they arrive.....
But Cache Owners are expected to remove a cache immediately/before the cache is disabled.

Shouldn't cache hiders and searchers be given similar courtesies.

I really don't understand at all why this worries you. I don't relate to your complaints at all. If the log is still signable, let the finder log it. I do, without a worry. If the cache is missing and there's nothing to find, I delete them. The same as I delete claims without signatures (I do make exceptions when people contact me with a good excuse and proof of find). I deleted a log yesterday.

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7 hours ago, hostanut said:

It strikes me as odd that many think it is perfectly acceptable for searchers to get a list/gpx of caches weeks or even months before a trip and feel entitled to log a find on a cache that the CO has disabled for cause just day(s) before they arrive.....
But Cache Owners are expected to remove a cache immediately/before the cache is disabled.

 -skip -

I believe there are 2 schools of thought on this topic with my proposal being on the minority side.
But I also think the neither side will convince the other side to change their mind.

 

IIRC, that was simply other's opinions.  The guidelines don't say that.  The guidelines say we just need to sign the log for a find.

This is a pretty basic hobby, with more than enough guidelines now, thanks.

 

You said "Now that there is a new Cache Owner Dashboard….it is time to update guidelines concerning Disabled caches" in your first sentence.

Maybe if you said " Now that there is a new Cache Owner Dashboard…. do you think it is time to update guidelines concerning Disabled caches?" you might have received a more positive reception to the question, rather than the directive.    :)

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On 7/9/2020 at 4:28 AM, The Jester said:

Some of that would be hard to enforce with the current rule "name in log book, post a find".

 

This is not the rule. The rule is "You can log caches online as "Found" after you visited the coordinates and signed the logbook." Some folks forget the signing part and some forget the visiting part but both of them are mandatory.

 

 

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8 hours ago, MNTA said:

There is no winning or losing in this hobby. We are all just trying to have a bit of fun.

 

Oh yes, this! I've seen so many great hobbies and groups get ground into dirt or people having huge arguments because they had different levels of dedication or one person was passionately arguing that the Sun is in the sky and another equally passionately that the Sun is actually a star. Both are right, from their points of view - but they'll get into long rambling arguments trying to convince the other.

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There's only one problem that I have ever encountered with people pre-downloading caches weeks before. You see, there is a park near us that is well known for it's large cache saturation and annual event (Literally ever single spot in the park has been taken.  There is no room for another hide without a cache being archived). Every year, within a few months of the annual event, nearly ever single cache is turned over into a new hide. So one cacher, must have downloaded the caches a couple of weeks before heading to the park. When the cacher went, it was right in the middle of the cache-turnover. Two of the caches that the cacher "found" had been archived recently and there were new hides in their spots. The cacher ended up finding the 2 new hides, and then logging them as found on the archived caches in their spots. We promptly messaged the cacher and deleted his logs (they were our caches). The cacher never responded to our message. But they did end up coming back and went to the exact same caches and logging the find on the new caches. Anyways, that's my story.

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I seem to have a slightly different perspective than many on this forum as a seeker of geocaches.

 

Geocaching is a game.

How you choose to log a visit online does not impact me in any way.

The Frog has chosen to put some guardrails/rules around the sport.

If you choose not to adhere to those rules, it doesn't affect me.

As long as you don't steal or damage the container or log, or not put it back as the CO intended, I don't care what you do in the context of logging it online.

 

We are out to get exercise, make the geohound happy (read: hike in the woods), be introduced to new areas, and have a wonderful experience.  If you want to work around the rules, well, 1) that says something about you and your ethics, and 2) it doesn't impact me.

 

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1 hour ago, Clancy's Crew said:

I seem to have a slightly different perspective than many on this forum as a seeker of geocaches.

No, I think that's pretty much the perspective of almost all geocachers. But there are some exceptions. For example, I think we all agree that posting a find as if nothing's wrong on a cache that isn't there is one of those cases where it *does* impact other people.

 

The debate here is about whether the behavior of a CO with a disabled cache is one of those cases where the impact on others should be taken into account. Caches are disabled by COs for a variety of reasons, so I think it should be left to the CO how exact he does it for any given cache. I interpret this proposal as being based on the idea that caches are only disabled when seekers should not go to GZ, but in my experience, that case is fairly rare, so I wouldn't want disabling to be treated if seeking a disabled cache is automatically undesirable.

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2 hours ago, Clancy's Crew said:

I seem to have a slightly different perspective than many on this forum as a seeker of geocaches.

 

Geocaching is a game.

How you choose to log a visit online does not impact me in any way.

The Frog has chosen to put some guardrails/rules around the sport.

If you choose not to adhere to those rules, it doesn't affect me.

As long as you don't steal or damage the container or log, or not put it back as the CO intended, I don't care what you do in the context of logging it online.

 

We are out to get exercise, make the geohound happy (read: hike in the woods), be introduced to new areas, and have a wonderful experience.  If you want to work around the rules, well, 1) that says something about you and your ethics, and 2) it doesn't impact me.

 

 

Does it not affect you, or do you just don't care if it affects you?   Do you care if it has an affect on others?

 

Yes, you're perspective is different than mine.   To me, the affect from how other play the game has on me personally isn't important.  It's not all about me.  However, I am concern with how others playing the game affecting game as a whole or the perception from non-geocacher about the game.   I'd rather not see that game gain a reputation as  a game in which it's players don't care about honesty, and adhering to guidelines which protect the environment and the property of others.   When that happens, and land managers start denying access to geocaching for large swaths of real estate that will have an impact on me, you and everyone else that wants to play that game in that area.  

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20 hours ago, hostanut said:

But Cache Owners are expected to remove a cache immediately/before the cache is disabled.

 

I expect a CO to remove their archived cache. Not immediately but within a reasonable amount of time.

 

There are lots of reasons for a cache to be Disabled but not removed yet.

 

1. Disabled because it is there, but maintenance is needed. The CO hasn't visited it yet, or they did visit but needed something they didn't have. For example, they went to replace the logsheet but found the container is damaged and they did not have a replacement. Or they brought a replacement container only to realize it didn't have a logsheet. 

 

2. Disabled because it might be missing, but the CO hasn't checked it yet.

 

3. Disabled because it will soon be archived and being Disabled serves as a warning to seekers. Much better than archival without warning, when possible. 

 

4. Disabled because access is temporarily closed and the CO cannot legally go to GZ to remove it yet.

 

Disabled status is a warning to seekers. Much like a Mystery cache, it can mean many things.

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3 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

There are lots of reasons for a cache to be Disabled but not removed yet.

Disabled status is a warning to seekers. Much like a Mystery cache, it can mean many things.

 

Exactly.  :)     We have two caches that many times my TD and enable are the only logs that year.

Every year they're TD during the two-week very-busy rifle season for deer, and opened a day or two after (unless season's extended).

No one is supposed to be in state game lands during that two week period unless hunting too  (that's what I do  ;-).

It's always followed with a reminder that there is a season year-'round in game lands here (even sundays...), and to be aware of that.

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7 hours ago, Clancy's Crew said:

How you choose to log a visit online does not impact me in any way.

 

Actually it does. If someone logs a find on a cache that's missing or because they found the remains of what used to be the cache, it has ramifications for others. For the CO, seeing the find log may make he or she think the cache is fine, for other seekers looking at recent logs they'll see the find as meaning the cache is fine, the CHS will give the cache's health score a positive lift as a result of that find and, if it comes to the attention of a reviewer, they might also see that find as meaning the cache is fine.

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23 hours ago, Clancy's Crew said:

How you choose to log a visit online does not impact me in any way.

 

Sooner or later they will log your cache. Or you will log their cache.

 

Everyone who geocaches contributes to what geocaching "is" and to the idea of normal, accepted, expected geocaching behavior.

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On 7/9/2020 at 9:37 AM, hostanut said:

What is the incentive for COs to hide quality caches and maintain them if cachers can claim a find no matter the condition?.......why wouldn't COs just throw just any old container down and not worry about it because finds can be logged on any container that is there?

 

Why do we have to find a way to regulate cache owners into hiding quality caches? Why can't cache owners just be intrinsically motivated to hide good caches and maintain good caches? If we're at the point where we need to legislate every aspect of finding/hiding a cache then we're at a serious cross roads in the caching community.

 

I'm of the laissez faire mindset here - if it's not broke don't fix it. If a cacher finds a container with a log and signs their name to the log sheet; they have found the geocache. It's not the finders responsibility to not find the cache if it's in poor condition; it's the Cache Owners responsibility to ensure the cache is in good condition to find. 

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On 7/9/2020 at 11:24 AM, Goldenwattle said:

The CO argued first, but then spit the dummy...

 

Thanks.  I learn a lot of slang in these forums.    :laughing:

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5 hours ago, STNolan said:

Why do we have to find a way to regulate cache owners into hiding quality caches? Why can't cache owners just be intrinsically motivated to hide good caches and maintain good caches? If we're at the point where we need to legislate every aspect of finding/hiding a cache then we're at a serious cross roads in the caching community.

 

Your question is actually a very deep one.  It is a very integral part of human nature to try to regulate the behavior of other people.  Some people are able to refrain, but others simply cannot handle the idea that everyone is not being forced to play the game the way that they (the controlling person) think they should.

 

As a result, we have constant calls for new rules in order to force everyone to live up to whatever standard the rule-proposer thinks is the "right" standard.   These people are usually mainly worth ignoring, but a couple of particularly persistent forum denizens have had success in changing HQ's approach in a couple of areas, most notably in cache "quality."

 

Sadly, such people will always be with us.

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7 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

Thanks.  I learn a lot of slang in these forums.    :laughing:

I guess your equivalent would be, Spit the pacifier. (Doesn't have the same ring to me though, as Spit the dummy:D.)

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14 hours ago, fizzymagic said:

It is a very integral part of human nature to try to regulate the behavior of other people. 

 

Everyone believes in some degree of regulation of the behavior of others, unless you're an anarchist. The question of how much regulation and how broad the spectrum of acceptable behavior is the question. 

 

Given the vast possibilities it's no surprise the opinions are likewise very varied.

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4 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Everyone believes in some degree of regulation of the behavior of others, unless you're an anarchist. The question of how much regulation and how broad the spectrum of acceptable behavior is the question. 

 

Given the vast possibilities it's no surprise the opinions are likewise very varied.

The difference is between people that think regulating the behavior of others is generally a good idea and the only question is how to regulate them, and people that think regulating the behavior of others is generally a bad thing to do, so a clear justification is required before you take that action. In other words, between people that think order is the most important thing and those that think freedom is the most important thing.

 

Unfortunately, US popular opinion has, over the last half century, shifted from the latter to the former. Ironic, since the generation that originally saw itself as anti-establishment has been so instrumental in enlarging and fortifying the establishment now that they're in charge of it.

 

Increasingly here in the geocaching world, people talk as if their standards should be enforced without any regard to whether the things they want to rule out are actually bad things as opposed to merely being things they don't like even though others do. As in our politics, this leads to unending arguments because the rule proposing side does not consider objections worthy of consideration as long as the rules they are proposing have popularity on their side. They don't respond to -- in fact, they don't even consider -- the objections that are repeatedly raised and, instead, repeat their opinions as if people will decide to believe in those opinions if they're repeated often enough. Which, sadly, turns out to be an effective approach.

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Indeed.  We have our own Caching Cancel Culture.  Saying something loudly and often enough is expected to mute objections.

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17 hours ago, ecanderson said:

Indeed.  We have our own Caching Cancel Culture.  Saying something loudly and often enough is expected to mute objections.

 

Is this an implied endorsement for challenge stars? :anibad:

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2 minutes ago, hzoi said:

 

Is this an implied endorsement for challenge stars? :anibad:

No.   Just a general observation about this forum, and of course, many others.

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23 hours ago, dprovan said:

Unfortunately, US popular opinion has, over the last half century, shifted from the latter to the former. Ironic, since the generation that originally saw itself as anti-establishment has been so instrumental in enlarging and fortifying the establishment now that they're in charge of it.

 

That may be the single best observation I've read in this or any other forums.

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