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geocachingnurse

Quality Caches

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Posted (edited)

Hello,

 

I am new to geocaching, heard of it many years ago, tried to find one and couldn't, got discouraged. But just 2 weeks ago I decided to go look for one while walking the dog and found my first cache. I've found about 15 caches locally with lots more to discover. Most of the caches I've discovered are micro caches with just a rain soaked piece of paper inside. 

I'm thinking about placing a couple caches out myself to spruce up the geocaching market value of my area, so to speak. I've picked up a plastic ammo box at walmart, a waterproof box, a waterproof match tube (that I'm JB Welding a magnet to, hide a key box, and a couple bison tubes and travel bugs from this website as well as some cheap swag.

 

It seems most of the caches I've found locally are poor quality (old prescription bottles, coffee cans, etc).

 

I'm just curious what is typical swag/geocache quality. The one that I found that had swag had a matchbox car, an eraser and that was about it. I realize it's not about dropping valuable stuff, but I think it would be much cooler to find something useful or at least interesting/unique. I'm just wondering if I am off base here? It seems like the caches I've discovered are basically trash hidden in the woods and not a lot of thought went into them. Is that pretty common or do I just seem to live in a crappy area for geocaching?

 

I'm hoping to place some nicer caches out that people can actually drop some swag and travel bugs in. I also picked up some cheap items to drop off as swag...Wal-Mart had some $1 headlamps, geocaching patch (from this website), emergency blanket, fire starter, compass, unactivate travel bugs, etc. Just some small stuff that I think would be cool to discover and trade for. I have no problem spending some money since this is a pretty cheap hobby, but I'm wondering if I'm the only one out there dropping off "non-junk drawer items."

Edited by geocachingnurse
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11 minutes ago, geocachingnurse said:

Hello,

 

I am new to geocaching, heard of it many years ago, tried to find one and couldn't, got discouraged. But just 2 weeks ago I decided to go look for one while walking the dog and found my first cache. I've found about 15 caches locally with lots more to discover. Most of the caches I've discovered are micro caches with just a rain soaked piece of paper inside. 

I'm thinking about placing a couple caches out myself to spruce up the geocaching market value of my area, so to speak. I've picked up a plastic ammo box at walmart, a waterproof box, a waterproof match tube (that I'm JB Welding a magnet to, hide a key box, and a couple bison tubes and travel bugs from this website as well as some cheap swag.

 

It seems most of the caches I've found locally are poor quality (old prescription bottles, coffee cans, etc).

 

I'm just curious what is typical swag/geocache quality. The one that I found that had swag had a matchbox car, an eraser and that was about it. I realize it's not about dropping valuable stuff, but I think it would be much cooler to find something useful or at least interesting/unique. I'm just wondering if I am off base here? It seems like the caches I've discovered are basically trash hidden in the woods and not a lot of thought went into them. Is that pretty common or do I just seem to live in a crappy area for geocaching?

 

I'm hoping to place some nicer caches out that people can actually drop some swag and travel bugs in. I also picked up some cheap items to drop off as swag...Wal-Mart had some $1 headlamps, geocaching patch (from this website), emergency blanket, fire starter, compass, unactivate travel bugs, etc. Just some small stuff that I think would be cool to discover and trade for. I have no problem spending some money since this is a pretty cheap hobby, but I'm wondering if I'm the only one out there dropping off "non-junk drawer items."

.

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1 hour ago, geocachingnurse said:

I think your post got deleted somehow, all I see is a period.

Cone of Silence in use?

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Hello geocachingnurse,

 

you can use filters of several kind (especially as premium user that you are) to avoid caches of the kind you don't want to find.

 

You don't like micros? Filter them out and see how many caches remain. Hopefully there aren't just micros around but especially in urban areas you mostly find these as bigger boxes are in greater dangers to be found be non-caching people. If you leave the urban area you should find more bigger boxes (like those you mention).

 

You want to find better caches? Look at the given favourite points and especially the rate "Favorites/Premium Logs" (you can see this when you click at the blue hearts) as obviously caches with less finds tend to have less favourite points but the rate might be higher. Of course what others like does not have to be what suites you but it is an indication.

 

You want to encourage better caches? Log honestly - say what you liked about the cache and say what you didn't like - that is one main problem: with noone saying that a cache isn't the best here - perhaps because the box is not waterproof - the owners will never know.

 

You want to hide some good/great caches? Do so! Remember that it's not only aboot "big box" but about a good location, maybe a good riddle (mystery cache), an interesting task (multi cache).

 

There are several ways to improve the hobby for you - and for others.

 

Jochen

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2 hours ago, geocachingnurse said:

Most of the caches I've discovered are micro caches

 

Just one addition: from the list of your found caches I see that only three of fourteen were listed as "mirco" - the last three. You found eight "small" caches, two "regular" ones and size "other" once. Is it really as bad as you think or were this just the three? 11/14 (or 10/14 whatever the "other" is) would make a good rate of non-micro caches or were those falsely tagged?

 

By the way - another addtion:

 

2 hours ago, geocachingnurse said:

with just a rain soaked piece of paper inside

 

You hopefully logged "needs maintenance" in these cases? That's something to help cache owners - how should they know that they have to change the logbook and to get a better container?

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55 minutes ago, frostengel said:

how should they know that they have to change the logbook and to get a better container?

By reading the log. Why do you assume they can not read? <SCNR> and sorry for being Off Topic

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6 minutes ago, Hynz said:

By reading the log. Why do you assume they can not read? <SCNR> and sorry for being Off Topic

 

Found it today quickly. TFTC

TFTC

*smiley of any kind*

Found it when geocaching with *enter some names here*.

We found cache *X*, cache *Y*, cache *Z* today. This was one of them.

 

You can only read it if anyone logs states the problems. Okay, I'll correct my statement: you have to log it if there are problems (and many cachers don't do this). The needs maintenance log type is thought for that so you should use it but of course mentioning it in you found it log helps, too.

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Just now, frostengel said:

You can only read it if anyone logs states the problems

Ahh.. I thought what you have quoted was the actual content of the found log. I didn't went trough all logs.

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1 hour ago, frostengel said:

Just one addition: from the list of your found caches I see that only three of fourteen were listed as "mirco" - the last three. You found eight "small" caches, two "regular" ones and size "other" once. Is it really as bad as you think or were this just the three? 11/14 (or 10/14 whatever the "other" is) would make a good rate of non-micro caches or were those falsely tagged?

From my experience, falsely rated. Unfortunately, with no rating for Nano, that's become very common. Many caches I find that are rated 'small', are actually micros. Very frustrating (and annoying:bad:), when trying to find a cache to leave a TB or trinket in.

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2 hours ago, frostengel said:

 

Just one addition: from the list of your found caches I see that only three of fourteen were listed as "mirco" - the last three. You found eight "small" caches, two "regular" ones and size "other" once. Is it really as bad as you think or were this just the three? 11/14 (or 10/14 whatever the "other" is) would make a good rate of non-micro caches or were those falsely tagged?

 

By the way - another addtion:

 

 

You hopefully logged "needs maintenance" in these cases? That's something to help cache owners - how should they know that they have to change the logbook and to get a better container?

I did not, that’s why I’m coming here asking questions. I did message one the cache owners to let them know about their box needing repair. However, I wanted to check and see what the state of usual repair these things are in being out in the weather and all. I was thinking perhaps I had set my expectations too high before “flagging” their caches. 

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Depends of the area but where I live most small geocache are trash after 3 yrs because of the rain and snow. I stopped to count the number of caches I wasn't or barely able to properly sign.

 

Geocaching HQ did a survey on cache quality 2 yrs ago but didn't implement anything really useful since except maybe the new cache owner dashboard. 

 

Also an advice about TB be prepared that they will get likely lost fast.

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2 hours ago, geocachingnurse said:

I did not, that’s why I’m coming here asking questions. I did message one the cache owners to let them know about their box needing repair. However, I wanted to check and see what the state of usual repair these things are in being out in the weather and all. I was thinking perhaps I had set my expectations too high before “flagging” their caches. 

 

I can only speak for my own hides but I try to make sure they're in good condition, both by design through appropriate choice of container and hiding place, and through regular checks. But I have it pretty easy as all my hides are in bushland, with most in natural hiding places protected from the elements like in caves or under rock ledges, plus a subtropical climate that's kind to caches generally.

 

As a finder, I consider a cache is okay if the container is intact and the log is dry enough for me to sign without it disintegrating or my pen clogging up. A bit of dirt or some slight dampness after wet weather doesn't bother me, and I have no interest in swag so to me that's just stuff that has to be moved out of the way to find the logbook. It doesn't have to pristine, just fit for service. It's pretty rare for me to come across a cache in poor condition and when I do I'll report it in my log with enough detail so the CO knows what has to be done.

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One of the related problems that I see a lot is that COs drop a container and never go back. They don't maintain what they leave. 

 

Kudos to the OP for purchasing watertight containers. 

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10 hours ago, geocachingnurse said:

Most  of the caches I've discovered are micro caches with just a rain soaked piece of paper inside. 

I'm thinking about placing a couple caches out myself to spruce up the geocaching market value of my area, so to speak. I've picked up a plastic ammo box at walmart, a waterproof box, a waterproof match tube (that I'm JB Welding a magnet to, hide a key box, and a couple bison tubes and travel bugs from this website as well as some cheap swag.

 

It seems most of the caches I've found locally are poor quality (old prescription bottles, coffee cans, etc).

 

I'm just curious what is typical swag/geocache quality. The one that I found that had swag had a matchbox car, an eraser and that was about it. I realize it's not about dropping valuable stuff, but I think it would be much cooler to find something useful or at least interesting/unique.

 

You seem to be placing "quality" only on the container.  I consider the spot it's placed, with the container secondary.

Many place micros because larger caches in certain areas were swiped on a regular basis.  They're noticeable.

 - And others place them because they don't know any better.  So it may be a good idea that you came here.    :)

 

Our favorite hider, (maybe within your travel area...) whose hides have a lot of favorite points, uses larger pill bottles for containers.  

 

"Quality" (I feel) is based on your likes.  I'm happy with a large pill bottle if it's showing me a unique area, or awesome view.

Anybody can put a ammo can in a nondescript area.   That (to me) isn't a quality hide.

We tested many containers, and found plastic ammo cans not good for our area.  Others found they're fine in theirs.

Another example, a magnetic key holder lasted months, where a matchstick holder lasted years.

 

Every cache we ever owned was virtually empty each time we did maintenance.  Even the pens, pencils, and the sharpeners.

One lock n lock hide we had someone apparently needed our Rite in Rain notepad, and left a few pages  in the baggie...

Many cachers in your area no longer re-stock their containers, when take instead of trade is the norm.

We'll let you find that out for yourself.  At least you asked...

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, geocachingnurse said:

 I wanted to check and see what the state of usual repair these things are in being out in the weather and all.

I was thinking perhaps I had set my expectations too high before “flagging” their caches. 

 

Luckily in our area we don't have too many COs drop containers and never come back. 

  - Seems by others to be more prevalent in some areas, or maybe even exaggerated.  

 

To be fair, we're talking about mainly plastic containers left out in the wild,  hoping they'll last a while.  :)

If you're planning on simple D/T, it may be easy to visit it once in a while.  A lengthy, multi-mile walk in the woods ... not so much.

We've used mostly ammo cans (the real ones...) after finding how horrible actual Tupperware was.  Science projects inside made us switch.

But a few times we've even had them damp inside, because the last finder was careless or uncaring, and they weren't closed properly.

 

We act on logs, so if you said, "seems this log is gonna be full soon" in your Found It , we'd stop by JIC.

Unfortunately some either don't want to get involved, too nervous confronting others, or simply don't care, and NM logs aren't done. 

If more  COs would act on logs, and /or  finders place NMs, or DNFs, I feel that issues many see would go the way of the dodo.

 

 

 

Edited by cerberus1

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4 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

because the last finder was careless or uncaring, and they weren't closed properly.

 

As much as I'm against "pay to play" games, this is one of the arguments in favor of asking people pay for co-ordinates (either by a membership, or paying for the app or a fee per cache listed - which could be refundable when archived). If people have to put money up, then they tend to care a bit more.

 

Personally, if there was a cache with multiple NM and NA reports and the Reviewer asked me to retrieve the remains for proper disposal, I'd be more than happy to do that. Much better to remove litter and poor condition caches from inactive CO's rather than discouraging old players and disappointing new players. The key is that people need to make those NM reports. 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, geocachingnurse said:

I'm just curious what is typical swag/geocache quality.

A lot depends on your area and your local community of geocachers.  If there is a good sized group of hiders and finders, who meet often, then the local hides tend to be taken care of, with neglected and "bad" locations archived and better hides appearing in their place.  On the other hand, if geocaching has fallen off, and there aren't many around, the hides that are in place tend to get neglected and there are no new ones being hidden by new cachers, so the general quality declines.

 

I've visited the East coast and done a little bit of caching north of where you live (in PA, just over the NY/PA border near Binghamton) and found some nice caches there.  In good shape, confident to leave travel bugs, and even met one of the CO's!  SWAG varies widely and tends to disappear.  I, personally, don't leave SWAG, but I will exchange travel bugs if the location seems a good one to do that.

 

21 hours ago, geocachingnurse said:

I'm thinking about placing a couple caches out myself to spruce up the geocaching market value of my area, so to speak.

Go for it!  It may do exactly what you intend, but you'll need a tough skin, just in case it doesn't work out that way.  Be prepared for disappointment, and be happy if it works out and the geocaching community near you appreciates your effort!  Find a local FB group or event (when they are allowed again!) and meet some area geocachers - generally they are nice people and want this hobby to continue and improve.

 

17 hours ago, geocachingnurse said:

I did message one the cache owners to let them know about their box needing repair. However, I wanted to check and see what the state of usual repair these things are in being out in the weather and all. I was thinking perhaps I had set my expectations too high before “flagging” their caches. 

Wise, perhaps, contacting the CO personally before knowing much about the local community and being villified as the "cache police"!  Over time, you'll get to know the various CO's, and what is accepted as "normal" in your community.  Then you can decide how far you want to go (or need to go) to effect change for the better.  It may be nudging owners via private messages.  It may be logging NM or NA to get those oldy moldy caches off the map and out of play.  It may be placing quality caches of your own and upping the game locally.  

 

Welcome to this crazy hobby/obesession!

Edited by CAVinoGal
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2 hours ago, Unit473L said:

If people have to put money up, then they tend to care a bit more.

 

I'd like to see this for owners. $1 per hide. If you get a PM you get 5 free hides per year, then $1 per hide. 

 

2 hours ago, Unit473L said:

Personally, if there was a cache with multiple NM and NA reports and the Reviewer asked me to retrieve the remains for proper disposal, I'd be more than happy to do that. Much better to remove litter and poor condition caches from inactive CO's rather than discouraging old players and disappointing new players.

 

 A reviewer can't ask you to remove someone's gamepiece. Reviewers don't have that authority and neither does Groundspeak (it's a smart legal move). 

You however could retrieve the remains for proper disposal.

 

With the usual caveats... it could be a game piece on another site. Post that you removed the container and will hold on to it for a month. That gives the owner enough time to respond. I have never had an owner request their broken moldy container back. But I've only removed containers that have looked similar to these. With owners who never responded to issues that went on for months, often years.

 

b7303b16-9b8b-4fec-bea8-474108b15c82.jpgth?id=OIP.olnV3iHZ54e_SgPFX3uLBgHaFj%26pth?id=OIP.EM9M7GcsHhmmknHvmQeKKAHaFj%26p

 

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26 minutes ago, CAVinoGal said:

A lot depends on your area and your local community of geocachers.  If there is a good sized group of hiders and finders, who meet often, then the local hides tend to be taken care of, with neglected and "bad" locations archived and better hides appearing in their place.  On the other hand, if geocaching has fallen off, and there aren't many around, the hides that are in place tend to get neglected and there are no new ones being hidden by new cachers, so the general quality declines.

 

At least in my area, the opposite seems to be true. My region, the New South Wales Central Coast, is in serious decline with few new caches and few finders on those that do appear. My last five hides, spread out over the past year, have had 2, 4, 8, 4 and 2 finds respectively, with some of those finders being groups, and even the new low D/T urban hides have only had a handful of finders. Yet the quality of caches here is generally quite good, probably because the poor hides tend to disappear quickly while the better ones endure for years or even decades without requiring any attention. The logbook isn't going to fill up on a cache that only ever gets a dozen finds. I've found poor quality caches are more prevalent in the high cacher population areas where all the good locations are already taken so those that just have to hide a bunch of caches will plonk them down anywhere they'll fit.

 

Another factor might be the motivation for a cache. If the hider is thinking this is a great location to bring people to then starts planning a cache to suit that spot, it's more likely to be of better quality than when the thinking is I have a cache in my pocket, now where can I put it? The caches around here are nearly all in places of interest; there are very few car park caches and even those are tied to a theme perhaps involving the history of the precinct.

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27 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

I'd like to see this for owners. $1 per hide. If you get a PM you get 5 free hides per year, then $1 per hide. 

 

So in addition to the cost of the cache itself, sometimes not insigificant if it's a themed novelty container (for example GC7YP51 cost me about $30 and I bought a second one as a spare), plus the travel costs in making regular visits to my caches, you now want to slug me another $50 (presumably US dollars so that would be about $70 in the local currency) for the privilege of hiding them. That sounds like a great way to reduce the tiny trickle of new caches here to an even tinier one.

 

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1 hour ago, barefootjeff said:
1 hour ago, CAVinoGal said:

A lot depends on your area and your local community of geocachers....

 

At least in my area, the opposite seems to be true.

It all depends on where you are - I was generalizing and it obviously doesn't fit all situations!!  This is a GLOBAL hobby and various regions of the world are vastly different.  As the OP is in the US, and in an area I have found caches in, I tend to think it's comparable to those areas I am familiar with...

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5 hours ago, Unit473L said:

As much as I'm against "pay to play" games, this is one of the arguments in favor of asking people pay for co-ordinates (either by a membership, or paying for the app or a fee per cache listed - which could be refundable when archived). If people have to put money up, then they tend to care a bit more.

 

Some feel that premium members are more responsible, and knowledgeable too.     :D

All trackable hoarders we're aware of were premium members. 

We had a PM that only swiped ammo cans when we started, and us "newbs" were blamed. 

 - I happened to catch him returning,  the outline of a 50cal in his too-small pack gave him away.  Not one person ever said they were sorry... 

 

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59 minutes ago, CAVinoGal said:

  As the OP is in the US, and in an area I have found caches in, I tend to think it's comparable to those areas I am familiar with...

 

Yep.  About 90 miles away, but I've cached  in the same area at times, and never saw an issue.    :)

I feel it might have to do with the D/T of the OP, who hasn't yet gone above 1.5 in terrain. 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Unit473L said:

As much as I'm against "pay to play" games, this is one of the arguments in favor of asking people pay for co-ordinates (either by a membership, or paying for the app or a fee per cache listed - which could be refundable when archived). If people have to put money up, then they tend to care a bit more

 

These are the dozen new caches that have been published this year in my neck of the woods (four of them mine):

 

NewCaches.jpg.3e1e37c3bde3735d0f7eb9618c7f9d3b.jpg

 

There's a good mix of cache type, D/T rating and container size and none of them are pill bottles thrown under bushes or in car parks. They are all in interesting locations: a beach-side park, a couple of historic jetties, an airfield, a cemetery, a waterfall and rock pool, wetlands, a scenic outlook, a picturesque bushland walk, a tree climb and an unusual railway station.

 

I don't understand why this is bad for the game, to be discouraged by penalising their owners, or for that matter why their archival should be rewarded. You don't get rid of a few rotten apples by chopping down all the apple trees.

 

Edited by barefootjeff
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5 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

you now want to slug me another $50

 

As I said, I'm not a fan of "pay to play". Especially for something like this where if somebody wants to put out a nice gadget cache, there is the materials, time and as you said - maintenance. It all adds up. But in that same vein, the type of person that goes to the trouble of putting together a quality cache is also the type of person to keep an eye on it and take a bit of pride in it. I think that the idea of "paying a bond" or "buying a license" to be allowed to put out caches has some appeal to try and remove the "drop a pill bottle in the bushes" brigade... on paper. In reality, a game like this lives on new people coming in to replace established players as they stop playing (injury, illness, family issues, lose motivation, etc).

 

6 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

A reviewer can't ask you to remove someone's gamepiece.

 

Ah yes, good point. I knew that, thank you for reminding me. :) So if there was a situation where the cache was in an obviously decrepit state, multiple NM and an NA or two, a non-active CO and the Reviewer had archived it … that would qualify as abandoned litter? Stick it in the CITO box. :D 

 

4 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

All trackable hoarders we're aware of were premium members.

 

:( Now I'm sad again.

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3 hours ago, Unit473L said:

As I said, I'm not a fan of "pay to play". Especially for something like this where if somebody wants to put out a nice gadget cache, there is the materials, time and as you said - maintenance. It all adds up. But in that same vein, the type of person that goes to the trouble of putting together a quality cache is also the type of person to keep an eye on it and take a bit of pride in it. I think that the idea of "paying a bond" or "buying a license" to be allowed to put out caches has some appeal to try and remove the "drop a pill bottle in the bushes" brigade... on paper. In reality, a game like this lives on new people coming in to replace established players as they stop playing (injury, illness, family issues, lose motivation, etc).

 

Charging these "replacement" hiders to have the ability to hide a cache is going to significantly reduce the number of new hiders.  Most new cachers I've ever encountered and talked with or exchanged messages with do it because it's free.  If they like it enough, they continue, perhaps even to the point of becoming a CO and becoming a premium member and if not, then they end up dropping it.  Some that continue with it only continue finding and don't want to hide.Charging a fee to hide a cache will discourage many from placing a hide for others to find.  

 

As with any undertaking, there will be some who care, there will be some who are indifferent, and there will be some who don't care.  You will lose the last two groups as potential hiders and you will lose some of the first group as well.  I'm pretty sure that's not the business model that TPTB want to follow, considering the CO is the lifeblood of the company.

 

Should this actually become a thing, what's to stop the CO who drops down a dollar to hide a cache from tossing out a pill bottle?  Why do you assume that now that there's a price associated with placing a cache that the containers are going to get better?  What about that gadget cache owner who spent who knows how much (+ 1$) and then has some careless finder come along and break it because they couldn't take their time to do it properly and without frustration?  Do you think they'll be willing to put out that type of money again plus one more dollar each time something like this happens?  Does that mean that somehow these COs, since they're paying a dollar, will suddenly get their D/T right or their size right after getting them wrong previously?  Does this mean that the 1$ suddenly makes them a good CO willing to take care of their cache?  

 

Finders, in some cases, are responsible for many of the issues that we, as COs, have to deal with.  Lids not put on properly, ammo can shut with something in the seal, decon container not snapped shut on all 4 corners, tubes torqued down so much that they break the o-ring, replaced so it's visible to muggles, etc...I don't see a suggestion to make them pay for the opportunity to find caches as the premium membership is optional, not mandatory, like this suggestion for 1$ a hide.  If the prevailing logic is that charging money for the ability to place a hide means better hides (container related apparently), then it follows that charging everyone a fee for the ability to find someone's hide means better finders who know what to do in every situation because now they're paying for the opportunity to find caches.  No more broken gadget caches, no lids put on wrong, properly filed NM and NA logs, good logs instead of TFTC, properly logged TBs as well as TBs not taken, caches returned so that they won't get taken by a non-cacher......

 

10 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

With owners who never responded to issues that went on for months, often years.

 

This, then, is on the finders as well as the CO.  Where is the subsequent NA log that should have addressed issues like the pictures you've provided?  Years?  Finders are just as much at fault if they allow unmaintained caches with issues to survive for years.  Get the reviewer involved once it's apparent the CO has no interest in maintaining their caches.  You continually harp on COs being responsible for maintenance and not doing their part but much of that angst can be corrected with finders properly logging the needed NM once an issue has been discovered and then a subsequent finder logging the NA if the CO hasn't taken any steps to fix the issue in an appropriate amount of time.  That's the system of checks and balances we have in place for situations like this.  If a CO isn't going to do what's needed, then the finders can take the necessary steps to get that cache out of the field.  It's not a one-way street.  It takes both sides to help keep things moving along.

 

On 7/31/2020 at 12:32 AM, geocachingnurse said:

plastic ammo box

 

As to the OP, I've found many of these and they have a roughly 50/50 rate of being good cache containers.  Some have been full of water while others have been just as good as metal ammo cans.  However, metal ammo cans have a much higher rate of being good cache containers.  As to your ratio of micros to other sized caches, it appears that this is a normal ratio.  Micros, by far, are the most common size of cache.  In almost all areas I've cached in, the rate of micros to everything else averages about 60% of the local number of caches.  Some areas, like urban/suburban areas where more people live, that rate goes up and some areas, like national forests/state parks, that rate goes down.  I have placed ammo cans in urban areas only to find them gone within a few months of placement.  I have placed regular sized caches in areas where I thought it unlikely they would disappear, only to have them disappear.  My smalls typically do better but even they have a tendency to disappear more frequently than my micros do.  While many would prefer hiders to place larger sized caches than micros, in many cases it's an unrealistic expectation, based on where the cache is going to be located.  I suggest you place your larger containers (small and up) out for a bit, revisiting the caches with your GPS in a variety of weather situations (to make sure your coordinates are good) and also to verify that the cache can survive where you've placed it without it being accidentally found and/or taken.

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9 hours ago, coachstahly said:
On 7/31/2020 at 2:32 PM, geocachingnurse said:

plastic ammo box

 

As to the OP, I've found many of these and they have a roughly 50/50 rate of being good cache containers.  Some have been full of water while others have been just as good as metal ammo cans.  However, metal ammo cans have a much higher rate of being good cache containers.

 

I've used one plastic ammo can. Initially I had it lying on its side in the hollow base of a tree, which was slightly below the surrounding ground level, but in heavy rain it must have become submerged and a bit of water got inside. I now have it standing upright and haven't had any more trouble. But metal ammo cans aren't without their own problems. There's one I found that was subject to almost constant sea spray and was rusted out after just eighteen months. Its hiding place was protected from sun, rain and immersion so a plastic one would have likely survived well there.

 

RustyAmmoCan.jpg.d46b07af284b4bf67a100ce970d55c32.jpg

 

9 hours ago, coachstahly said:

As to your ratio of micros to other sized caches, it appears that this is a normal ratio.  Micros, by far, are the most common size of cache.  In almost all areas I've cached in, the rate of micros to everything else averages about 60% of the local number of caches.  Some areas, like urban/suburban areas where more people live, that rate goes up and some areas, like national forests/state parks, that rate goes down.  I have placed ammo cans in urban areas only to find them gone within a few months of placement.  I have placed regular sized caches in areas where I thought it unlikely they would disappear, only to have them disappear.  My smalls typically do better but even they have a tendency to disappear more frequently than my micros do.  While many would prefer hiders to place larger sized caches than micros, in many cases it's an unrealistic expectation, based on where the cache is going to be located.  I suggest you place your larger containers (small and up) out for a bit, revisiting the caches with your GPS in a variety of weather situations (to make sure your coordinates are good) and also to verify that the cache can survive where you've placed it without it being accidentally found and/or taken.

 

Micros aren't the most common size in my country, my state or my region, and in the latter they're the third most popular size, being outnumbered by both smalls and regulars. Here are the percentages:

 

Size         Australia     New South Wales      Central Coast

Micro            34%                   34%                            24%

Small            45%                   46%                            44%

Regular        17%                   16%                            26%

Large             1%                     1%                               1%

Other             3%                     3%                               5%

 

Maybe that's partly why I have such a different perception of cache quality to most of the other respondents here.

 

Edit to add: Worldwide, micros are 45%, smalls 33% and regulars 12%.

 

Edited by barefootjeff
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10 hours ago, coachstahly said:

Charging these "replacement" hiders....

 

I'm completely agreeing, with all your points. Poor wording on my part in my earlier posts, they read like I am advocating for charging a hiding fee.

 

Just be clear: I am against charging the types of fees I described, though I do see how fees could be one argument in favour of trying to force people to be more responsible. As you have stated, the fallout of such an idea would be fewer new players and caches to the overall detriment of the game as a whole. I assume that is one of the reasons such a system has not been implemented.

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21 minutes ago, Unit473L said:

Just be clear: I am against charging the types of fees I described, though I do see how fees could be one argument in favour of trying to force people to be more responsible. As you have stated, the fallout of such an idea would be fewer new players and caches to the overall detriment of the game as a whole. I assume that is one of the reasons such a system has not been implemented.

 

Charging a hiding fee is a blunt instrument. The percentage of wilfully irresponsible hiders is tiny yet the fee would be penalising all those who do the right thing. Schemes that penalise the innocent because it's too much trouble to penalise just the guilty always irk me.

 

Caches fall into disrepair for (at least) four reasons:

  • there's a problem the CO doesn't know about it because finders haven't said anything in their logs or logged an NM
  • the CO is aware of the problem but hasn't been able to address it yet
  • the CO is no longer active or has died
  • the CO is wilfully irresponsible

I'm really not sure how charging COs a fee per hide will fix any of these. Wilfully irresponsible COs will likely still be just as irresponsible if they only have to pay a token amount (say $1) and charging a substantial amount would seriously impact long-time players who have a good number of well-maintained hides.

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On ‎8‎/‎1‎/‎2020 at 8:20 PM, barefootjeff said:

I'm really not sure how charging COs a fee per hide will fix any of these. Wilfully irresponsible COs will likely still be just as irresponsible if they only have to pay a token amount (say $1) and charging a substantial amount would seriously impact long-time players who have a good number of well-maintained hides.

 

I am uncertain as well.  But I'm willing to test it.  Everyone send me a large sum of money and I'll let you know how it goes.

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