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Too Many Caches = denied opportunities for others to participate


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Someone has created too many caches and therefore has denied opportunities for others to participate in geocaching.  A brand new rail trail just opened up in our area.  Friends of mine live along the trail and have just gotten the geocache bug.  They wanted to hide their first one on the trail near their house but there is no room now.  To be clear, the trail is new and someone just puked a ton of hides all along the trail.
This is wrong.  The reviewers should not have allowed this.

 

Hiding guidelines on the official Geocache site:

"Pick a unique location and get accurate coordinates

A quality cache brings the community to an interesting location."

 

Please rectify this poor management.

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I know what you mean.  It is hard to find spots.  I was really happy to find some greenspace and put out a few caches only to have them denied because they were too close to some Mystery cache final coordinates.  The map will show you if you are far enough from Traditionals but, by nature, they can't really reveal some stages of certain caches.  So it may even be worse than it appears. :-)   For myself, I don't much care for "cache runs" along country roads.  But usually that doesn't conflict with some other, higher quality, potential cache.  There was a new trail that opened up and one cacher put up a ton of caches along it but it didn't bother me since I didn't have any designs on the place.  I don't know how management could satisfy you.  I don't think they are in the habit or position of judging the quality of quantity of caches.  I would understand them not wanting to delve in to that.

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Reviewers do not have the discretion to disallow caches that otherwise meet the Geocache Hiding Guidelines. 

 

More than a decade ago, the "Cache Saturation" section of the Guidelines was updated.  Prior to then, Reviewers could disallow caches that were spaced closely together, called a "power trail."  This provision was removed due to complaints and the difficulty in judging how many caches, and at what separation distance, would constitute a "power trail."

 

Now, caches 529 feet apart can be published without question.  Conversely, caches placed less than 528 feet apart are subject to the current saturation guidelines.  I no longer give regular "exceptions" for caches that are too close to their neighbors - especially if hidden by the same owner.

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27 minutes ago, yorkmapper said:

Hiding guidelines on the official Geocache site:

"Pick a unique location and get accurate coordinates

A quality cache brings the community to an interesting location."

The help center also says this:

 

7.4. Maintenance expectations

To make sure your geocache is in good health, monitor the logs and visit the cache site periodically. View the Cache owner dashboard to get a full view of your caches and an activity feed of logs on your hides. Unmaintained caches may be archived.

Here is a list of your responsibilities as a cache owner:

  • Choose an appropriate container that is watertight.
  • Replace broken or missing containers.
  • Clean out your cache if contents become wet.
  • Replace full or wet logbooks.
  • Mark trackables as missing if they are listed in the inventory but no longer are in the cache.
  • Delete inappropriate logs.
  • Update coordinates if cache location has changed.
  • Temporarily disable your cache page when the cache is not available or you need time to fix reported problems. A cache page can stay disabled for a reasonable amount of time - generally up to four weeks.
  • After you maintain your cache, make sure to remove the "Needs Maintenance" icon.
  • If you no longer want to maintain your cache, retrieve the container and archive your cache page.
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4 hours ago, yorkmapper said:

Someone has created too many caches and therefore has denied opportunities for others to participate in geocaching.  

A brand new rail trail just opened up in our area.  Friends of mine live along the trail and have just gotten the geocache bug.  They wanted to hide their first one on the trail near their house but there is no room now.  To be clear, the trail is new and someone just puked a ton of hides all along the trail.
This is wrong.  The reviewers should not have allowed this.

Hiding guidelines on the official Geocache site:

"Pick a unique location and get accurate coordinates

A quality cache brings the community to an interesting location."

Please rectify this poor management.

 

No offense, but it's "poor management" that someone beat another to a new location ?  It's been that way long-before we started...    

We know people who place caches months before they finally ask to get it published. 

One hides caches when hunting in winter, and may ask for them to be published mid-summer.  :)

As you now know, there's no such thing as saturation guidelines anymore (for a while now...).

To be clear, I don't care much for a cache every 529'  either unless it's a nice long walk.  I'll split 'em up and get every-other one on the way back.

 - But your friend's cache could have become one of a number of others naturally as well.  A new trail always brings out hiders...    ;)

If you've been caching off n on, you've already known that "an interesting location" has been few and far between for some time.

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If your area is saturated with caches, why place more? Enough is enough surely. (Speaking as someone who lives in an area with new caches which are continuously being placed, and I can't keep up :antenna:.)

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Wow! Lots of new caches. Yet you and your friends are complaining? That seems odd, particularly since there's every reason to think the established COs that are on the ball enough to put out caches when the trail is available are odds on favorites to have better caches and do better maintenance than your friends who only just recently got the bug and could well lose it as easily as they got it.

 

Anyway, teach your friends that they can reach out to the owners and talk about them making some room on the trail. Just emphasize that if the CO makes room for them, that it would be really embarrassing to you, as their mentors, if the cache they hide on the trail don't compare favorably to the caches the CO pulled for them.

 

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8 hours ago, yorkmapper said:

Someone has created too many caches and therefore has denied opportunities for others to participate in geocaching.  A brand new rail trail just opened up in our area.  Friends of mine live along the trail and have just gotten the geocache bug.  They wanted to hide their first one on the trail near their house but there is no room now.  To be clear, the trail is new and someone just puked a ton of hides all along the trail.
This is wrong.  The reviewers should not have allowed this.

 

Hiding guidelines on the official Geocache site:

"Pick a unique location and get accurate coordinates

A quality cache brings the community to an interesting location."

 

Please rectify this poor management.

 

Snooze you loose... Have your friends message the CO. Most CO, s are good people and I'm sure they will help your friends out by creating some room for them.

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When I first started out I had several places in a nearby park where I was eager to place caches. None of the locations had caches, but I was disappointed to find all were with 528 feet of existing caches. Not even all the same CO as this was a decade ago and the caches were placed when the more restrictive saturation guidelines still existed.

 

I do miss something that used to happen but rarely does anymore: a new public land would open, the first cacher there would place a couple caches and several subsequent finders would add caches as well. It provided more natural cache growth with diversity in hide styles and containers.

 

For something like a rail trail it's probably better for a single account to have most of the hides for maintenance purposes.

 

Trying to tighten saturation guidelines would be difficult. For example, if you required hides to be 528 ft apart but also 1000 feet from other caches you own then power trail COs would simply use two accounts and alternate placements.

 

I don't think you can put the genie back in the bottle.

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8 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Trying to tighten saturation guidelines would be difficult. For example, if you required hides to be 528 ft apart but also 1000 feet from other caches you own then power trail COs would simply use two accounts and alternate placements.

Yep. And that's how teams were skirting any guidelines blocking numbers trails. Increasing the distance between caches owned by the same account just meant that the team needed more accounts.

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On 6/2/2021 at 6:47 PM, yorkmapper said:

Someone has created too many caches and therefore has denied opportunities for others to participate in geocaching.  A brand new rail trail just opened up in our area.  Friends of mine live along the trail and have just gotten the geocache bug.  They wanted to hide their first one on the trail near their house but there is no room now.  To be clear, the trail is new and someone just puked a ton of hides all along the trail.
This is wrong.  The reviewers should not have allowed this.

 

Hiding guidelines on the official Geocache site:

"Pick a unique location and get accurate coordinates

A quality cache brings the community to an interesting location."

 

Please rectify this poor management.

 

Assuming your friend lives in the same area you do, I see places to hide caches all over the place.

 

And it is not wrong or poor management just because you say it is. I find that most cachers that are sore about an area allegedly being "filled up" just want to take the path of least resistance and spend zero time scouting their own hiding spots. I live in one of the most cache dense cities in the country and I have no problem hiding new caches. You just have to work at it and get creative. It's not everyone else's fault you and friend may be slightly late to the game.

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On 6/2/2021 at 6:47 PM, yorkmapper said:

Someone has created too many caches and therefore has denied opportunities for others to participate in geocaching.  A brand new rail trail just opened up in our area.  Friends of mine live along the trail and have just gotten the geocache bug.  They wanted to hide their first one on the trail near their house but there is no room now.  To be clear, the trail is new and someone just puked a ton of hides all along the trail.
This is wrong.  The reviewers should not have allowed this.

 

Hiding guidelines on the official Geocache site:

"Pick a unique location and get accurate coordinates

A quality cache brings the community to an interesting location."

 

Please rectify this poor management.

I agree it's frustrating when someone runs right out and fills an area with caches, especially if they're lame, uninspired "micro in the woods" type caches. But as others have said, it's pretty much "first come, first served." Before we had instant notification of new caches, for the FTF-hogs to grab up, a lot of people enjoyed the very real possibility that they might snag a FTF. I see the day coming when we can reserve cache locations where new trails or parks or other cache locations are slated to become available in the future. So I'm putting in my reservation for the entirety of Olympus Mons, on Mars, so I can put out caches there once it's open for Geocaching!  

 

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If your friends want to place a cache, why not let them find an interesting location?   A nice view or maybe some feature of their town that non-locals won't know about.   Place a cache  there.  That would be better IMHO than just because it is close to a house.

 

Edited by Gill & Tony
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What is the ratio of crappy caches to cool caches do you encounter?  If I was King (and you'll soon be happy that I'm not) I'd make a few changes to the game.  I'd limit the number of caches that can be owned in some way.  The formula would take into account many things and would not limit cache creation to only those who discover hundreds of caches.   Again, I'm not King.  I'd probable limit the number to 5, plus 5 at the end of each full year in which you discover at least 10 caches capped at 50, plus another cache for every 10 favorites earned on caches owned.  You want a lot of caches?  Have them earn favorites.  This is just a stab in the dark... I'm sure as King I'd have servants like you to help me refine the formula.

 

I'd also create an ownership transfer request system that would allow active geocachers to request ownership over caches that have owners who have no maintained their caches.  These would be limited in number, and caches over a certain age would be exempt.  In reality, I suspect there would be little to no HQ involvement necessary.  Two years without a maintenance log?   Those eligible to make an ownership transfer request could trigger a warning to the owner that they have 90 days to either transfer ownership to someone else or maintain the cache.  Failure to do either in 90 days would cause the cache to auto disabled and ownership would be marked as disputed.  During the next 30 days the person requesting ownership or the original owner would be able to establish or reestablish ownership by either archiving or reenabling the cache.  If ownership was manually transferred to someone else by the original owner during the initial 90 day period the new owner would have an additional 90 days to enter a maintenance log or the above scenario occurs.  Arguments over ownership would result in a duel to the death.  As King you can do things like that.

 

Edited by CachedIronSkillet
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1 hour ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

I'd also create an ownership transfer request system that would allow active geocachers to request ownership over caches that have owners who have no maintained their caches.  These would be limited in number, and caches over a certain age would be exempt. 

 

A cache is owned by the individual the made and placed it.  Geocaching is a listing service and as such has no legal right to make ownership changes.  They provide a an adoption process that allows cachers to transfer ownership so Geocaching can update the record to display the new owner. While this sounds silly for a rusted mint tin, some caches are valuable and all must be treated uniformly.  Why?  Because Geocaching doesn't own any of them, except of course for those they have placed.

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2 hours ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

What is the ratio of crappy caches to cool caches do you encounter?  If I was King (and you'll soon be happy that I'm not) I'd make a few changes to the game.  I'd limit the number of caches that can be owned in some way. 

I see this kind of non sequitur a lot in these conversations. In my area, the geocachers that place the most caches are, almost without exception, the ones that place the best caches, by far. They know what containers work best, long term, and they're always looking for new ideas about what to hide and where to hide it.

 

And even the exceptions, the CO or two that place a lot of caches that turn out to be poor, usually place good caches to begin with, they just don't end up maintaining them.

 

The crappy caches I've seen are usually from people that have only placed a few caches, so they don't realize what happens to, say, a disposable sandwich box after a couple weeks.

 

I've been to places where only one person places any caches, filling the vacuum with low grade containers and thoughtless hides, but, I promise, that's really the exception, so I beg you, sire, not to inflict rules intended to fix that rare anomaly on the areas where that doesn't happen. Besides, even in those places, I'd rather have a lot of not very interesting caches to find when I'm on vacation in that area instead of a tiny handful of excellent caches...or no caches at all because that one prolific yet lazy CO is still the only one places caches.

 

2 hours ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

Again, I'm not King.  I'd probable limit the number to 5, plus 5 at the end of each full year in which you discover at least 10 caches capped at 50, plus another cache for every 10 favorites earned on caches owned.

My guess is that, in my area, that would reduce the number of caches by more than a factor of 10, probably much more. And likely it would reduce the quality of the ones that remained because it would, as you intend, encourage more people with no experience to plant more caches.

 

2 hours ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

I'm sure as King I'd have servants like you to help me refine the formula.

This is a great example of where government action, whether kingly or representative, would make a little problem limited to a few places into a big problem that's ubiquitous, likely without even improving things in the target areas where there really was a problem.

 

2 hours ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

I'd also create an ownership transfer request system that would allow active geocachers to request ownership over caches that have owners who have no maintained their caches.

I don't understand the purpose of a beefed up transfer protocol at all. Broken caches should be archived. Active COs should be allowed to place their own caches where the bad ones used to be if they want to. I see no reason to transfer the bad caches with their bad reputation to a new owner. The only thing transferring accomplishes is preserving the now misleading logs about the cache's past troubles.

 

If I were king, I'd leave it to the local geocaching communities to do the best job they can enjoying geocaching however they want.

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2 hours ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

 

I'd also create an ownership transfer request system that would allow active geocachers to request ownership over caches that have owners who have no maintained their caches.  ... Two years without a maintenance log?   
 

There are many caches that go a lot longer than two years before needing a OM log, or even a check up.  If a cache is being found regularly (depending on the cache, that could be once a year...) and no problems are reported, why would you be trying to give it away to some other owner?

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2 hours ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

What is the ratio of crappy caches to cool caches do you encounter?  If I was King (and you'll soon be happy that I'm not) I'd make a few changes to the game.  I'd limit the number of caches that can be owned in some way.  The formula would take into account many things and would not limit cache creation to only those who discover hundreds of caches.   Again, I'm not King.  I'd probable limit the number to 5, plus 5 at the end of each full year in which you discover at least 10 caches capped at 50, plus another cache for every 10 favorites earned on caches owned.  You want a lot of caches?  Have them earn favorites.  This is just a stab in the dark... I'm sure as King I'd have servants like you to help me refine the formula.

 

I'd also create an ownership transfer request system that would allow active geocachers to request ownership over caches that have owners who have no maintained their caches.  These would be limited in number, and caches over a certain age would be exempt.  In reality, I suspect there would be little to no HQ involvement necessary.  Two years without a maintenance log?   Those eligible to make an ownership transfer request could trigger a warning to the owner that they have 90 days to either transfer ownership to someone else or maintain the cache.  Failure to do either in 90 days would cause the cache to auto disabled and ownership would be marked as disputed.  During the next 30 days the person requesting ownership or the original owner would be able to establish or reestablish ownership by either archiving or reenabling the cache.  If ownership was manually transferred to someone else by the original owner during the initial 90 day period the new owner would have an additional 90 days to enter a maintenance log or the above scenario occurs.  Arguments over ownership would result in a duel to the death.  As King you can do things like that.

 

 

 

So glad you are not king. All evil kings and dictators eventually fall ;-)

 

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2 hours ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

If I was King ...

 

I can see an all-day paddle-to from the road.  It's position allows me to see that it isn't moved.

Silly to leave an OM every time I pass by the ammo can, and it already has more temp disables (for hunting season) than people going after it.

Few people can tell whether an owner is still in the hobby as well.   

A Reviewer said he once allowed another to "take over" a supposedly-abandoned cache

 - The owner returning ,asking "what they heck ?" put the end to that option.  

Luckily you're not king, but do you leave DNF, NM, or NA logs on caches ?  Few do, why we now have a "cache health score".  

A simple action log would remedy the majority of issues with caches.  

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6 hours ago, The Jester said:

There are many caches that go a lot longer than two years before needing a OM log, or even a check up.  If a cache is being found regularly (depending on the cache, that could be once a year...) and no problems are reported, why would you be trying to give it away to some other owner?

 

My first cache hide I checked on nine years later.  It was still in good shape.  I have a lot of hiking caches.  I do not do maintenance unless there's a problem.

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10 hours ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

What is the ratio of crappy caches to cool caches do you encounter?  If I was King (and you'll soon be happy that I'm not) I'd make a few changes to the game.  I'd limit the number of caches that can be owned in some way.  The formula would take into account many things and would not limit cache creation to only those who discover hundreds of caches.   Again, I'm not King.  I'd probable limit the number to 5, plus 5 at the end of each full year in which you discover at least 10 caches capped at 50, plus another cache for every 10 favorites earned on caches owned.  You want a lot of caches?  Have them earn favorites.  This is just a stab in the dark... I'm sure as King I'd have servants like you to help me refine the formula.

 

I'd also create an ownership transfer request system that would allow active geocachers to request ownership over caches that have owners who have no maintained their caches.  These would be limited in number, and caches over a certain age would be exempt.  In reality, I suspect there would be little to no HQ involvement necessary.  Two years without a maintenance log?   Those eligible to make an ownership transfer request could trigger a warning to the owner that they have 90 days to either transfer ownership to someone else or maintain the cache.  Failure to do either in 90 days would cause the cache to auto disabled and ownership would be marked as disputed.  During the next 30 days the person requesting ownership or the original owner would be able to establish or reestablish ownership by either archiving or reenabling the cache.  If ownership was manually transferred to someone else by the original owner during the initial 90 day period the new owner would have an additional 90 days to enter a maintenance log or the above scenario occurs.  Arguments over ownership would result in a duel to the death.  As King you can do things like that.

 

I agree there should be a limit on the number of geocache a CO can own because in my area those with lot of hides put hundreds of crappy pill bottle that will leak and be geolitter in less than 3 years.

 

But good luck implementing it because people in my area already have puppets account...

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10 hours ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

What is the ratio of crappy caches to cool caches do you encounter?  If I was King (and you'll soon be happy that I'm not) I'd make a few changes to the game.  I'd limit the number of caches that can be owned in some way.  The formula would take into account many things and would not limit cache creation to only those who discover hundreds of caches.   Again, I'm not King.  I'd probable limit the number to 5, plus 5 at the end of each full year in which you discover at least 10 caches capped at 50, plus another cache for every 10 favorites earned on caches owned.  You want a lot of caches?  Have them earn favorites.  This is just a stab in the dark... I'm sure as King I'd have servants like you to help me refine the formula.

 

I guess I'm that guy who pukes out lots of caches, as Project GC informs me I'm now the most prolific hider in my region:

image.png.04588daede70bf80c42e9f131aaf4dd9.png

 

I also have another three that are just outside this region, plus a couple of ALs. Not only that, 21 of my hides haven't had an OM in the last two years and 11 have never had an OM. Disgusting, throw him in the dungeon, sire!

 

I try to design my hides so they don't need maintenance. Most of the hiding places are in caves or under rock ledges where they're protected from the elements, with containers that are fit for purpose and with good-sized logbooks having ample room for all the logs the cache is likely to get in its lifetime (or my lifetime for that matter). Usually that works, but if there are problems I attend to them promptly and that's when I'll log an OM.

 

As for FPs, caches around here have to work hard to get them. Seven of my hides have less than ten finders so they can't possibly have ten FPs, and since finders are limited to one FP for every ten finds and there plenty of excellent caches by other COs around here competing for them, a cache really does need to be exceptional to score highly. This one of mine, GC8RTKC, has only had one FP from eighteen finds but I don't think it's a particularly bad cache. It's a pleasant-enough short bushland walk (if you follow the directions in the description and leave the fire trail at the reference point rather than bush-bash in a straight line through the dense prickly scrub in the gully) with nice views across the forest from Mount Wondabyne around to the distant sea, and the container is a good-sized Sistema with a proper hard-cover bound logbook, but it's a pretty typical run-of-the-mill Central Coast hide so I never expected it to get many (or even any) FPs.

 

GC8RTKC.thumb.jpg.5953b818e22189318c2466a39c3d9e3a.jpg

 

As others have said, most of the really problematic caches (mint tins that the sea air soon turns into rusty lumps filled with paper mache) are hidden by here-today-gone tomorrow owners who place a small number of them before losing interest and disappearing, and they're soon dealt with by the community through NM and NA logs. I don't see much call for regal decrees to clean up the game around here, and if the prolific hiders were all sent into exile there'd hardly be any caches left for people to find.

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42 minutes ago, Lynx Humble said:

But good luck implementing it because people in my area already have puppets account...

Back in the days of "Please don't hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can", the various attempts at thwarting numbers trails were being subverted by having multiple accounts hide the caches. If each account has to place its caches 1 mile apart, then a numbers trail needs 10 accounts to own all the caches. If each account has to place its caches 2 miles apart, then 20 accounts. And so on. Eventually, Groundspeak gave up and the fans of numbers trails won.

 

Do you expect to put the genie back in the bottle?

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11 hours ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

What is the ratio of crappy caches to cool caches do you encounter

 

Few crappy I'd guess.  It  may be different if I felt the need to go after anything in the area, thinking for some odd reason that I had to.

We know that my idea of  cool is different than others.   :)

I'm happy these days with a long walk, and load only caches I'll do, skipping all those less than 2 in terrain for starters. 

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People, people...  I was using hyperbole to get people talking.  Off with your heads!

 

Lots of great points. 

 

I wish there was some way that forced people to down-vote bad caches, but really no system would work except commenting.  I've left negative comments when I feel the cache does something to make caching less fun.  A lot of people just TFTC and move on.  

 

Also, if the container leaks, maybe more people should enter a needs maintenance log?  While I don't mind playing the bad guy on the boards to serve a conversation, I have a hard time doing this as often as I should.  Or do you think we should limit the use of the "Needs Maintenance" option to extreme cases?

Edited by CachedIronSkillet
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15 minutes ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

Or do you think we should limit the use of the "Needs Maintenance" option to extreme cases?

On the contrary, we should use it more. An NM doesn't mean your cache is garbage (well, not all the time!) or that it needs to go.... just as it says, it needs maintenance. I know some take offence to it, I add NMs to our own caches at times, to remind me we have a job to do....

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30 minutes ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

I wish there was some way that forced people to down-vote bad caches, but really no system would work except commenting.  I've left negative comments when I feel the cache does something to make caching less fun.  A lot of people just TFTC and move on.  

 

What do you define as a "bad" cache? If it's one that's in a poor state of repair, log an NM and if that's already been done and ignored, log an NA. If the cache is physically fine, though, but is just one you didn't like, then it's just a matter of taste. During the 2019 Cache Carnival promotion I did a lot of highly favourited caches I didn't particularly like, but other people clearly did or they wouldn't have had 50+ FPs. The caches I seem to like the most are the higher terrain ones, particularly when they take me to an amazing rock formation, waterfall or view, but one of my friends only likes the urban hides and hasn't done anything with a terrain rating higher than 2.5. I suspect his favourites are my irks and vice-versa.

 

35 minutes ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

Or do you think we should limit the use of the "Needs Maintenance" option to extreme cases?

 

Please no! As a CO, I want people to log an NM if there's anything about the cache that needs my attention, no matter how trivial. It really annoys me the way NM has become transformed from a helpful heads-up to the CO into an indelible mark of shame that has to be avoided at all costs. The once clearly defined log types of DNF (simply reporting that a search was unsuccessful), NM (a request to the CO for a check) and NA (bring in the reviewer) have all become blurred and tinged with hatred, with the result being that people are now scared to use them.

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Some things that can make a cache bad:

 

- A cache placed on privately owned without explicit permission of the landowner.  FAR too many people lie about getting permission.

- A cache placed on posted ground.

- In a location with lots of trash.  I've seen a new cache pop up in a location that was full of old broken beer bottles and within 20 feet of a rotting sleeping bag that was clearly there before the location was selected.

- Lack of safe parking for a 1.5, 1.5.  This could be an issue of a dangerous highway or it could be the proximity to the local meth lab.

- A pill bottle shoved into the boxing glove of a guide rail with no purpose to exist.  This is particularly perplexing when there are very interesting things and good hiding locations 250 feet away and no cache collisions preventing it from having been nearer to the historic monument, cool rock formation, scenic view, etc.  

 

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54 minutes ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

Some things that can make a cache bad:

 

The issue is that HQ can't define "good" or "bad" caches subjectively. If the listing is according to the guidelines (under the assumption of the agreement of the owner to guidelines), then it's published. The community does the rest.  The grey areas on subjective opinions tend to get pushed to reviewers or appeals to adjudicate. Otherwise, there's nothing that can be done about lack of indication of safe parking for a 1.5/1.5, or the existence of lots of trash, for example.  If someone is concerned about that, they should get used to reading past logs for details the CO may (choose to) leave out of their description. 

Guideline violations should be reported.

Major concerns could be lifted to reviewers or hq.

Otherwise, at some point geocachers just need to be reasonable and proceed with due caution.

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2 hours ago, CachedIronSkillet said:

Some things that can make a cache bad:

 

- A cache placed on privately owned without explicit permission of the landowner.  FAR too many people lie about getting permission.

- A cache placed on posted ground.

- In a location with lots of trash.  I've seen a new cache pop up in a location that was full of old broken beer bottles and within 20 feet of a rotting sleeping bag that was clearly there before the location was selected.

- Lack of safe parking for a 1.5, 1.5.  This could be an issue of a dangerous highway or it could be the proximity to the local meth lab.

- A pill bottle shoved into the boxing glove of a guide rail with no purpose to exist.  This is particularly perplexing when there are very interesting things and good hiding locations 250 feet away and no cache collisions preventing it from having been nearer to the historic monument, cool rock formation, scenic view, etc.  

 

 

Probably the worst cache I've found, as far as making me shake my head and wonder whatever made me want to attempt it, had a bit of most of those. A 1.5/2 traditional, it's in an overgrown patch of bushland alongside a busy road. The description, probably edited since publication in 2009, says that you used to be able to park right next to GZ but it's now signposted as No Parking, which under the NSW road rules means you can park there for a maximum of two minutes but only if offloading or picking up passengers or goods. So, well, you can't legally park there while searching for a cache. When I did it I came by public transport, getting off the bus at the stop a few hundred metres south of GZ and walking back behind the guard rail on the opposite side of the road to the cache, where I was safe enough as long as I dodged all the broken bottles. It was in the middle of the day on a weekday so once parallel with it, I didn't have to wait too long for a break in the traffic to dash across, but that could be difficult on a summer weekend when the road is busiest.

 

I'll give the CO the benefit of the doubt, maybe back in 2009 it was a pleasant little spot to visit, but now it's mostly overgrown with thorny weeds and is home to a fair amount of dumped rubbish and broken glass. After getting scratched, scraped and almost impaled, I eventually found the cache, a small-sized screw-top plastic tube sitting on the ground under a few rocks. From reading the older logs, apparently it wasn't always there but someone found it lying out in the open and rehid it as best they could. The plastic has also now gone brittle and has a big hole in the bottom. Surprisingly the log was dry but I didn't think it would stay that way for long so I logged an NM.

 

edd377aa-956d-452d-9376-274065014ad6_l.j

 

That was in 2019, there's been no OM or other response from the CO, but the cache has been found another four times with no mention of either the hole or any water penetration. The cache has had a total of 58 finds and, judging from those logs, most didn't find it particularly bad, so as I said it all comes down to taste I suppose. But for me, that's one smiley I could have quite happily lived without.

 

 

Edited by barefootjeff
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6 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I guess I'm that guy who pukes out lots of caches, as Project GC informs me I'm now the most prolific hider in my region:

image.png.04588daede70bf80c42e9f131aaf4dd9.png

 

I also have another three that are just outside this region, plus a couple of ALs. Not only that, 21 of my hides haven't had an OM in the last two years and 11 have never had an OM. Disgusting, throw him in the dungeon, sire!

 

I try to design my hides so they don't need maintenance. Most of the hiding places are in caves or under rock ledges where they're protected from the elements, with containers that are fit for purpose and with good-sized logbooks having ample room for all the logs the cache is likely to get in its lifetime (or my lifetime for that matter). Usually that works, but if there are problems I attend to them promptly and that's when I'll log an OM.

 

As for FPs, caches around here have to work hard to get them. Seven of my hides have less than ten finders so they can't possibly have ten FPs, and since finders are limited to one FP for every ten finds and there plenty of excellent caches by other COs around here competing for them, a cache really does need to be exceptional to score highly. This one of mine, GC8RTKC, has only had one FP from eighteen finds but I don't think it's a particularly bad cache. It's a pleasant-enough short bushland walk (if you follow the directions in the description and leave the fire trail at the reference point rather than bush-bash in a straight line through the dense prickly scrub in the gully) with nice views across the forest from Mount Wondabyne around to the distant sea, and the container is a good-sized Sistema with a proper hard-cover bound logbook, but it's a pretty typical run-of-the-mill Central Coast hide so I never expected it to get many (or even any) FPs.

 

GC8RTKC.thumb.jpg.5953b818e22189318c2466a39c3d9e3a.jpg

 

As others have said, most of the really problematic caches (mint tins that the sea air soon turns into rusty lumps filled with paper mache) are hidden by here-today-gone tomorrow owners who place a small number of them before losing interest and disappearing, and they're soon dealt with by the community through NM and NA logs. I don't see much call for regal decrees to clean up the game around here, and if the prolific hiders were all sent into exile there'd hardly be any caches left for people to find.

Geez Maree. If you're puking then I must be projectile vomiting.:lol:

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On 6/3/2021 at 1:47 AM, yorkmapper said:

Someone has created too many caches and therefore has denied opportunities for others to participate in geocaching.  A brand new rail trail just opened up in our area.  Friends of mine live along the trail and have just gotten the geocache bug.  They wanted to hide their first one on the trail near their house but there is no room now.  To be clear, the trail is new and someone just puked a ton of hides all along the trail.
This is wrong.  The reviewers should not have allowed this.

 

Hiding guidelines on the official Geocache site:

"Pick a unique location and get accurate coordinates

A quality cache brings the community to an interesting location."

 

Please rectify this poor management.

As far as I can see, the only way to reduce "cache bombs", filling up the entire neighborhood with park-and-grabs, would be to limit the number of caches one CO can have. Even then, some COs would just register several accounts to get around the problem, but I guess most COs would take the hint and not take every free position available.

 

We all know the citation "When you go to hide a geocache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot. If the only reason is for the geocache, then find a better spot." But few care about that.

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On 6/29/2021 at 3:44 PM, barefootjeff said:

I'll give the CO the benefit of the doubt, maybe back in 2009 it was a pleasant little spot to visit, but now it's mostly overgrown with thorny weeds and is home to a fair amount of dumped rubbish and broken glass. After getting scratched, scraped and almost impaled, I eventually found the cache, a small-sized screw-top plastic tube sitting on the ground under a few rocks. From reading the older logs, apparently it wasn't always there but someone found it lying out in the open and rehid it as best they could. The plastic has also now gone brittle and has a big hole in the bottom. Surprisingly the log was dry but I didn't think it would stay that way for long so I logged an NM.

+1 And we should post NMs on these old things - if the cache looks like a piece of trash, it should be maintained or removed.

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5 hours ago, lee737 said:

+1 And we should post NMs on these old things - if the cache looks like a piece of trash, it should be maintained or removed.

On a 2009 cache, yes. On a 2002 cache, no, then we may helping the CO, who may not be active, to maintain it. We don't have to but since old caches is a thing in the hobby, they have a special value.

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On 6/29/2021 at 1:38 AM, GeoTrekker26 said:

 

A cache is owned by the individual the made and placed it.  Geocaching is a listing service and as such has no legal right to make ownership changes.  They provide a an adoption process that allows cachers to transfer ownership so Geocaching can update the record to display the new owner. While this sounds silly for a rusted mint tin, some caches are valuable and all must be treated uniformly.  Why?  Because Geocaching doesn't own any of them, except of course for those they have placed.

But they do make the rules regarding listing caches on their site and they could change the rules.

 

How about "For any cache listed after 1 Jan 2022 the owner must agree to our new Archive or Adopt policy.  This new policy says that if a reviewer is about to archive the cache due to a non-responsive owner, the reviewer can solicit adoption requests from interested parties and transfer ownership instead of archiving the cache."

 

This could not be made retrospective, but owners of caches listed earlier can voluntarily agree to the policy.

 

Maybe cachers could register their interest in adopting caches within a given distance of their home location so the reviewer has a pool to choose from.

 

It could work and be legal.

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4 hours ago, Gill & Tony said:

How about "For any cache listed after 1 Jan 2022 the owner must agree to our new Archive or Adopt policy.  This new policy says that if a reviewer is about to archive the cache due to a non-responsive owner, the reviewer can solicit adoption requests from interested parties and transfer ownership instead of archiving the cache."

IANAL, but it seems to me that a change like that could affect Groundspeak's role as a listing service. With this change, they would be exercising control over the ownership of the caches, and therefore, exercising ownership rights over the caches.

 

4 hours ago, Gill & Tony said:

It could work and be legal.

It may be legal, but it may also put Groundspeak in an ownership (and liability) role that they don't want.

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13 hours ago, Gill & Tony said:

But they do make the rules regarding listing caches on their site and they could change the rules.

 

How about "For any cache listed after 1 Jan 2022 the owner must agree to our new Archive or Adopt policy.  This new policy says that if a reviewer is about to archive the cache due to a non-responsive owner, the reviewer can solicit adoption requests from interested parties and transfer ownership instead of archiving the cache."

 

This could not be made retrospective, but owners of caches listed earlier can voluntarily agree to the policy.

 

Maybe cachers could register their interest in adopting caches within a given distance of their home location so the reviewer has a pool to choose from.

 

It could work and be legal.

 

Oh, that would never work.

 

I put out a fancy, expensive cache, then get sick, have a family tragedy: something that takes me OOS for an extended period where my occasional hobby is nobody's priority.

 

Some reviewers are quick! Two months later, a reviewer hands my expensive gadget over to someone else.

 

I come back, and want my stuff back. 

 

Now what?

 

 

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2 hours ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

 

Oh, that would never work.

 

I put out a fancy, expensive cache, then get sick, have a family tragedy: something that takes me OOS for an extended period where my occasional hobby is nobody's priority.

 

Some reviewers are quick! Two months later, a reviewer hands my expensive gadget over to someone else.

 

I come back, and want my stuff back. 

 

Now what?

 

 

II'm trying to envision a situation where you are unable to read and respond to your emails for more than 2 months and where nobody in the local geocaching community knows of your situation.

 

I'm pretty sure that if I were hit by a bus and went into an induced coma for several months, during which time one of my caches went into the NM/NA stage, someone in the local community would post a note in response to the reviewer note.  If my cache did get transferred, it would be to someone in the local community - the reviewer won't transfer it to someone outside the area - so there's an excellent chance that they would adopt it back to me.

 

Surely you have at least one close friend or family member who caches and who would take temporary custody of the cache.  Surely that's better than the cache getting archived and some unknown person gathering up the remains.

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5 hours ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

 

Oh, that would never work.

 

I put out a fancy, expensive cache, then get sick, have a family tragedy: something that takes me OOS for an extended period where my occasional hobby is nobody's priority.

 

Some reviewers are quick! Two months later, a reviewer hands my expensive gadget over to someone else.

 

I come back, and want my stuff back. 

 

Now what?

 

 

 

I agree with TRR.

 

I never want my caches adopted out. If I drop dead with no time to retrieve and archive,  I'd rather they were archived. It would be nice if someone would then go out and retrieve the cache. Archiving preserves the history of the cache and it's still under my/our account. Call me skeptical but I think it's likely that someone who adopts our caches will do it to get an old GC code (and a bunch of FPs that they didn't earn). The new owner can change the listing completely--remove  our trailname, change the hiding spot, change the description, etc.   I don't want my seasonally-checked, water-tight, swag-size container to turn into a bison tube that never gets checked.

Edited by L0ne.R
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3 hours ago, Gill & Tony said:

II'm trying to envision a situation where you are unable to read and respond to your emails for more than 2 months and where nobody in the local geocaching community knows of your situation.

 

I'm pretty sure that if I were hit by a bus and went into an induced coma for several months, during which time one of my caches went into the NM/NA stage, someone in the local community would post a note in response to the reviewer note.  If my cache did get transferred, it would be to someone in the local community - the reviewer won't transfer it to someone outside the area - so there's an excellent chance that they would adopt it back to me.

 

Surely you have at least one close friend or family member who caches and who would take temporary custody of the cache.  Surely that's better than the cache getting archived and some unknown person gathering up the remains.

 

Well, I'm a mostly-solitary non-retired occasional cacher with no family or friends in the hobby and only accompanied by my wife when there's absolutely nothing else to do, or we're on the road. And, by the way, that's the way I want it. 

 

So no, nobody in the local GC community would that know I'm out. If it was that serious, then geocaching would be pretty low on her priority list.  (I HOPE!)

 

You said that the local reviewer wouldn't transfer your cache out of the local community, but how would the word 'local' be defined? Would that be part of the rules?

 

Then, where would it end? Once GS is no longer JUST a listing service, could the rule expand to include punitively 'taking' a cache if you break the rules?

What about the caches listed on more than one website?

What about my cache, located in my front yard or at my place of business? Would you have HQ reassign a cache on my property? How would they know?

If I got permission to place a cache, then will the reviewer check that permission would then be granted to the new CO?

The number of caches owned by someone with no investment would skyrocket. "I don't want to create something; I'll just see what used cache I can get from GS!" Where's the hobby go from there?

If GS 'awards' a cache to someone and something goes wrong, where would their liability end?

If you owned Groundspeak, would you change your company in this way? Would your lawyers let you?

 

 

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On 7/4/2021 at 3:07 AM, Ragnemalm said:

As far as I can see, the only way to reduce "cache bombs", filling up the entire neighborhood with park-and-grabs, would be to limit the number of caches one CO can have.

I'm shocked that you don't even consider just discussing the problem with the CO.

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On 7/5/2021 at 12:46 AM, Gill & Tony said:

How about "For any cache listed after 1 Jan 2022 the owner must agree to our new Archive or Adopt policy.  This new policy says that if a reviewer is about to archive the cache due to a non-responsive owner, the reviewer can solicit adoption requests from interested parties and transfer ownership instead of archiving the cache."

What's the point? If a cache falls into disrepair, archive and forget, I say. A failed cache doesn't deserve to be transferred to another owner.

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On 7/5/2021 at 9:46 AM, Gill & Tony said:

How about "For any cache listed after 1 Jan 2022 the owner must agree to our new Archive or Adopt policy.  This new policy says that if a reviewer is about to archive the cache due to a non-responsive owner, the reviewer can solicit adoption requests from interested parties and transfer ownership instead of archiving the cache."

 

This could not be made retrospective, but owners of caches listed earlier can voluntarily agree to the policy.

 

Maybe cachers could register their interest in adopting caches within a given distance of their home location so the reviewer has a pool to choose from.

 

It could work and be legal.

 

I think this is a good idea, especially if COs can opt-out.

 

The example of having an expensive gadget cache force-gifted away is valid, but it is a wider problem than that. Having a simple space-filler petling archived by a reviewer or force-adopted is nothing, little is lost so that could happen quickly. Caches with much work put into them should deserve a little more slack. The actual value is higher. They should not be archived as easily and quickly. However, it is hard for reviewers to know whether that is the case. They have D/T, attributes, description and the FP rating, but all of these can be high for other reasons than a hard-work, valuable construction.

 

So how can we tell reviewers that a cache is a gadget cache?

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36 minutes ago, Ragnemalm said:

Having a simple space-filler petling archived by a reviewer or force-adopted is nothing

Archived? Sure. That's just Groundspeak (as a listing service) removing the listing from active use.

 

Force-adopted? That isn't the same thing at all. That is Groundspeak exercising ownership rights over the physical container and other game pieces. That compromises Groundspeak's role as (just) a listing service.

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2 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

 

I think this is a good idea, especially if COs can opt-out.

 

The example of having an expensive gadget cache force-gifted away is valid, but it is a wider problem than that. Having a simple space-filler petling archived by a reviewer or force-adopted is nothing, little is lost so that could happen quickly. Caches with much work put into them should deserve a little more slack. The actual value is higher. They should not be archived as easily and quickly. However, it is hard for reviewers to know whether that is the case. They have D/T, attributes, description and the FP rating, but all of these can be high for other reasons than a hard-work, valuable construction.

 

So how can we tell reviewers that a cache is a gadget cache?

 

 

Opt-out or Opt-in?

 

There's another effect in this, too in addition to what I wrote above.

 

By having such a policy, GS would be removing any pretention of responsibility from COs.

 

"I know that if I get to the point where I don't wanna deal with this anymore, then the company will take care of  it. They'll just give it to someone else to deal with the crap at the site, or the ants, or the bees, or when I graduate and go home, it'll be given to someone else.   GS says it's OK for me to just ... walk away."

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On 7/9/2021 at 4:39 PM, TeamRabbitRun said:

Opt-out or Opt-in?

Opt-in feels fair, but it would need to be opt-in, because a CO making a CO will make as little settings as possible, while a CO building a gadget cache has spent more time and can take the extra time to uncheck a checkbox.

 

But let us consider when this is at all relevant. Most caches are archived when not maintained, and the CO all to seldom takes care of the remains. It stays in the forest as litter. So it is mainly things like 2001-2002 caches that we want to adopt, and they are not under any new adoption rules. So would an "set up for adoption as needed" option actually solve anything?

 

So maybe we should stop trying to solve the wrong problem. Now, how about the cache bombs? Is there any reasonable way to avoid to have COs with a thousand petlings filling every possible space? Or is it desirable to have as many (simple) caches as possible around? Is that what the hobby is about?

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6 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

Is there any reasonable way to avoid to have COs with a thousand petlings filling every possible space?

Back when the guidelines included the phrase, "Please don't hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can," Groundspeak and the volunteer reviewers tried a number of ways to objectively define what "cache bombs" or "power trails" or "numbers trails" were, so they could block them. If an account's caches needed to be a mile apart from each other, then the numbers trail crowd just used 10 accounts to hide their numbers trail caches. If an account's caches needed to be 2 miles apart, then 20 accounts. And so on.

 

Some people want fungible containers hidden every 528ft/161m. I don't see how to put that genie back in its bottle.

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On 7/12/2021 at 1:43 PM, Ragnemalm said:

Is there any reasonable way to avoid to have COs with a thousand petlings filling every possible space?

Or is it desirable to have as many (simple) caches as possible around? Is that what the hobby is about?

 

Wiki says the "The hobby" of geocaching "... is an outdoor recreational activity, in which participants use a Global Positioning System receiver or mobile device and other navigational techniques to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches" or "caches", at specific locations marked by coordinates all over the world." , and I feel that still holds true.

Many cachers near me will go after any geocache they can access.  I prefer those that have more of a walk.  Which is correct?  Both are...

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