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captnemo

OK to offer additional hint?

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I am wondering if it's OK to offer additional hints on cache where I am the CO?  I have been thinking of adding a line to the cache page under the hint such as "feel free to contact me if you need another hint".

 

I have a number of  Gadget caches and my goal is for cachers to find them and enjoy the puzzles involved to open them I want them to succeed. 

 

I use an official Geocaching sticker on each cache that has a space for contact information  where I have placed my phone number.  I've had several finders and one Muggle call me when they couldn't figure  it out.  I  ask them what they have tried and them give them a hint  such as "look for another knob, lever etc".

 

What do you think?  Is it OK to add the  contact me line to the cache page?

 

 

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43 minutes ago, captnemo said:

I am wondering if it's OK to offer additional hints on cache where I am the CO?  I have been thinking of adding a line to the cache page under the hint such as "feel free to contact me if you need another hint".

 

I have a number of  Gadget caches and my goal is for cachers to find them and enjoy the puzzles involved to open them I want them to succeed. 

 

I use an official Geocaching sticker on each cache that has a space for contact information  where I have placed my phone number.  I've had several finders and one Muggle call me when they couldn't figure  it out.  I  ask them what they have tried and them give them a hint  such as "look for another knob, lever etc".

 

What do you think?  Is it OK to add the  contact me line to the cache page?

 

 


If several people contacted you that they can’t figure it out, a bunch more also couldn’t figure it out, yet didn’t contact you.  
 

Since you know people are arriving with the intent of solving it, but are unable to do so, consider adding a hint to the page itself.  Or change the page in some other way so people know it’s tougher than they may expect.

 

I’ve adjusted my cache descriptions when it seems like cachers get stuck in the same way a lot.  But for my caches that have an ordinary combination lock... I’ve added links and whole paragraphs trying to help, and people still can’t figure them out.  So maybe add more to the page, and have the contact info as well.

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1 hour ago, kunarion said:

Since you know people are arriving with the intent of solving it, but are unable to do so, consider adding a hint to the page itself.

I've done this myself. When I offer a hint privately (typically via email), then I figure out how to add it to the cache description so it's also available to everyone else.

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How much help you are willing to give is up to you. If you don't mind giving out your phone number, that's fine too. Your choice.

 

Personally, if people have logged a DNF and contact me for help I am happy to given them more hints, even very precise hints, as after all they tried and were willing to log a DNF. I like people to attempt my caches first. On the other hand someone once contacted me for a hint and said they had been trying to find my cache, but when I checked they hadn't bothered to log a DNF, so how do I know they even tried. I also get annoyed at people who won't log DNFs, and much of my response was from that. I told them I might have already contacted them with the offer of assistance, if they had logged that DNF, but I don't offer help unless they log DNFs. I couldn't be bothered to help them. It's a two way thing. I have contacted people a number of times to see if they want help with finding my cache when they have logged a DNF. I replied to a DNF last night, as they had asked for help with more information than was given in the hint, and they found and logged the cache today. Even though a beginner they had logged a DNF. I thanked them for logging a DNF and welcomed them to geocaching.

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17 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

Personally, if people have logged a DNF and contact me for help I am happy to given them more hints, even very precise hints, as after all they tried and were willing to log a DNF. I like people to attempt my caches first. On the other hand someone once contacted me for a hint and said they had been trying to find my cache, but when I checked they hadn't bothered to log a DNF, so how do I know they even tried. I also get annoyed at people who won't log DNFs, and much of my response was from that. I told them I might have already contacted them with the offer of assistance, if they had logged that DNF, but I don't offer help unless they log DNFs. I couldn't be bothered to help them. It's a two way thing. I have contacted people a number of times to see if they want help with finding my cache when they have logged a DNF. I replied to a DNF last night, as they had asked for help with more information than was given in the hint, and they found and logged the cache today. Even though a beginner they had logged a DNF. I thanked them for logging a DNF and welcomed them to geocaching.

 

Most of the time when I get a call for help (usually via Message Centre) the searcher is still at GZ searching, so they wouldn't have logged a DNF at that point. Sometimes it's easy when they're up-front with where they've searched and I can give them a little nudge that sets them on the right course, other times it's hard to say if they're even at the right locality. Photos help a lot and a few times I've been able to say I can see the cache in their photo. The only time I can think of when a call for help ended in a DNF was on my sea cave cache that had been buried in a rock fall.

 

My advice to the OP would be to consider suggesting the Message Centre be used rather than giving out a phone number. As well as maintaining anonymity, it also makes it easy to include photos and a picture really is worth a thousand words.

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5 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

Most of the time when I get a call for help (usually via Message Centre) the searcher is still at GZ searching, so they wouldn't have logged a DNF at that point. Sometimes it's easy when they're up-front with where they've searched and I can give them a little nudge that sets them on the right course, other times it's hard to say if they're even at the right locality. Photos help a lot and a few times I've been able to say I can see the cache in their photo. The only time I can think of when a call for help ended in a DNF was on my sea cave cache that had been buried in a rock fall.

 

My advice to the OP would be to consider suggesting the Message Centre be used rather than giving out a phone number. As well as maintaining anonymity, it also makes it easy to include photos and a picture really is worth a thousand words.

I don't usually have my phone attached to me, so rarely see the message in time to help them while they are at GZ. Only a few friends have my phone number to actually ring me.

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I've put contact advice in my profile, messaging etc, I put my phone number there, but don't get many calls to it... it's never been abused....

 

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I DNFd the first cache I attempted.  A little while after I posted the log I got a PM from the CO asking where I had searched and if I wanted help.   It was that reaching out by someone that had played the game for awhile to a new player that drew me into the game.  As it turned out, the cache was missing and the CO offered to let me log it as a find.  I waited until he replaced it and found it later.  I ended up caching a couple of times with that CO and spent a day kayaking with him as well before he moved out of the area.  

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17 hours ago, captnemo said:

What do you think?  Is it OK to add the  contact me line to the cache page?

It's fine with us. You might get tired of getting calls all the time, but that's up to you. :-)

 

But do take niraD's advice seriously. The way I'd put it is that if someone can't figure out the field puzzle without calling you, consider whether that's because the hint you gave them over the phone was something that you really should have put into the description or hints to begin with. There's a fine line between being helpful and requiring people to contact you before they can solve it. There's a CO on the east coast that puts out lots of puzzle caches for which about 90% of the found logs say something about getting a hint from the CO. When I go back to that area, I tend to ignore his puzzles because I want to solve puzzles, and it's pretty clear I'd be wasting my time with those because most of them aren't solvable as presented.

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18 hours ago, captnemo said:

I am wondering if it's OK to offer additional hints on cache where I am the CO?  I have been thinking of adding a line to the cache page under the hint such as "feel free to contact me if you need another hint".

I have a number of  Gadget caches and my goal is for cachers to find them and enjoy the puzzles involved to open them I want them to succeed. 

 

I use an official Geocaching sticker on each cache that has a space for contact information  where I have placed my phone number.  I've had several finders and one Muggle call me when they couldn't figure  it out.  I  ask them what they have tried and them give them a hint  such as "look for another knob, lever etc".

What do you think?  Is it OK to add the  contact me line to the cache page?

 

There's a lot of COs who feel it's okay to phone them for help.  If you're one, sure you can.      :)

 

I don't care to be bothered by those who (we know) didn't really give it a look, and just want to get the cache n go.

 - One used to pull that before there was a FTF,  then claim it !   

BSers happen enough that I'd really not want to  play the "what did you try?" carp with them live time.

They can email, and I'll get back to them, but not immediately.   Write a DNF...

I don't ask other COs for help either, figuring if it shows a bunch needed extra, it could have been on the cache page and saved everyone the aggravation.

It's just a cache...

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7 hours ago, dprovan said:

It's fine with us. You might get tired of getting calls all the time, but that's up to you. :-)

 

But do take niraD's advice seriously. The way I'd put it is that if someone can't figure out the field puzzle without calling you, consider whether that's because the hint you gave them over the phone was something that you really should have put into the description or hints to begin with. There's a fine line between being helpful and requiring people to contact you before they can solve it. There's a CO on the east coast that puts out lots of puzzle caches for which about 90% of the found logs say something about getting a hint from the CO. When I go back to that area, I tend to ignore his puzzles because I want to solve puzzles, and it's pretty clear I'd be wasting my time with those because most of them aren't solvable as presented.

I don't intend to put my phone number on the cache listing only on the cache itself so am not going to get a lot of calls. 

 

These are Gadget caches so finding them is not a problem, the puzzle is in opening them.  What I want to do is put an additional hint  on the cache page saying that it's OK to call using the number on the cache.

 

The cache in question has been found by both those who needed help and by those who didn't.  No one is required to contact me  so far about 1/3  have.  I just want to let seekers know that it's OK to call,

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@captnemo, if your phone number is on the cache, maybe add "call for additional hints" on the container as well. 

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I offer additional hints, HOWEVER, there must be a DNF associated with the cache.   I am NOT Santa ... nor am I Scrooge.

 

Have even face timed during the search.   

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On 1/9/2021 at 1:33 PM, K13 said:

@captnemo, if your phone number is on the cache, maybe add "call for additional hints" on the container as well. 

Good Idea.  

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One of my caches was DNF'd a couple of days ago so I went to check it on it. All was ok but there had been a little overgrowth of bitou bush, a declared noxious weed which obscured the hide and the hint.

I added an extra, cryptic, hint in my OM.

I then got an appreciative message from the DNF'er, "Regarding #02 Two Beaches - Pet Cemetery (GC8CF1G):
Wow, you are quick on the maintenance. Unfortunately not going to get another chance to try to find this ok this trip but good to know it’s still there."

Nice to have feedback occasionally.

 

The cache is at a spot I found accidentally on an elevated headland overlooking beaches as far as the eye can see. At the spot there is a small (about 1' or so high) wooden cross with a tiny metal dog bone emblem on it. I'm guessing that someone had buried their dear departed four legged buddy there a while ago. I placed the cache a foot or two away with a small stone on it.

 

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