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Suggested cache limitation


fallingforstars
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To allow the greatest amount of people to place caches I think it would be advantageous to restrict a limit to say 10 caches per person. There are numerous members who are responsible for placing very large numbers of caches. This not only shuts out lots of other people within an area but they all have to be maintained which has a diminishing probability of proper maintenance the more caches an owner places.

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I don't like this idea.

Your right that a maintenance needs more time if a owner have many caches (like me).

But what is with the owners who want to place a powertrail or a little series of Caches? 

A limit can also avoid high quality caches. A few days ago I found a series of about 30 caches and every cache was different and high quality AND from the same owner. 

Something like this isn't possible with a limit!

 

Oh, and it wouldn't help because everyone can create a second, third, ... account to place new caches. 

Edited by capoaira
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2 hours ago, fallingforstars said:

To allow the greatest amount of people to place caches I think it would be advantageous to restrict a limit to say 10 caches per person. There are numerous members who are responsible for placing very large numbers of caches. This not only shuts out lots of other people within an area but they all have to be maintained which has a diminishing probability of proper maintenance the more caches an owner places.

 

Geocaching is a global game with rules that apply globally. In my region, the New South Wales Central Coast in Australia, there are a total of 525 caches spread over 1680 square kilometres. I own 42 of those, making me the most prolific hider here:

 

image.png.04588daede70bf80c42e9f131aaf4dd9.png

 

If I was limited to just 10 caches, the result would simply be 32 less caches for the cachers here to find. If the other nine COs on that list were also limited to 10 caches, that would be 157 less caches to find, or about 30% of the total.

 

So far this year there have been just 10 new caches hidden in this region, 3 of them mine. Do you really think people are going to suddenly rush out and hide 157 new caches to replace those you want archived? There's already plenty of empty space on the map for anyone who wants to place a new cache, without archiving any of the existing ones or restricting players like me from hiding any more.

Edited by barefootjeff
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Cache maintenance is a responsibility of every cache owner, for every cache.  It's in the Geocache Hiding Guidelines.  If someone hides so many caches that they cannot keep up with maintaining them, hiders can (and have been) restricted from hiding any new caches.  Some cache owners can maintain hundreds of caches successfully.  Others cannot maintain ten caches successfully.  I see this every day as I archive caches whose owners do not respond to maintenance notes and Reviewer reminders.

 

Recently, I found 28 caches along a rails to trails, most of which were hidden by a retired geocacher who goes caching every day, and maintains his nearly 500 active caches meticulously.  One of the caches on the trail needed a maintenance check.  In my log on the CO's next closest cache, I pointed out the maintenance issue and left an unactivated Reviewer Trackable as a gift to the cache owner, knowing he would be stopping by soon to check on the cache that had been getting some DNF's.  He drove directly to the cache from vacation, 14 hours away, and retrieved the trackable while replacing the missing cache.  I would not want to do anything to limit the great hides placed by this cache owner.  In my memory, he has never received an official reminder from me to maintain one of his caches.

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While I agree - my thoughts - I have seen many prolific hiders who would / could not be in a position to maintain all their caches, they rely on finders doing the maintaining for them -
'if the logsheet is sodden please replace it rather then put a NM'
'Happy for you to take a few logsheets to replace any that need replacing' 

However resrticting a limit to as low as 10 would take out the possibility of some terrific trails that have been placed where there are between 30 and 50 
Unfortunately the trend has been that with these trails containers such as filmpots and the like are used more and more - these are not the best at being waterproof and so replacing logsheets is more frequent than with better weather proof containers - but my opinion is that if  CO is going to put out a trail of 40 or so filmpots then that CO should expect to visit regularly and maintain. 

1 hour ago, Keystone said:

If someone hides so many caches that they cannot keep up with maintaining them, hiders can (and have been) restricted from hiding any new caches

Maybe this happens in your neck of the woods but I have not seen this being implemented in our region - unfortunately, prolific hiders get seen as demi-gods in the caching world and woe-betide anyone who prevents them from hiding more.  

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You can't say in general how much effort the maintenance of a cache means. That also depends on how often it is visited. There are also regions (like mine) where there are few cachers and therefore few caches.
Limiting makes no sense at all.
I think the programmers at HQ also have more important things to do. For example to eliminate the real bugs (see here in the forum).

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7 hours ago, fallingforstars said:

To allow the greatest amount of people to place caches I think it would be advantageous to restrict a limit to say 10 caches per person. There are numerous members who are responsible for placing very large numbers of caches. This not only shuts out lots of other people within an area but they all have to be maintained which has a diminishing probability of proper maintenance the more caches an owner places.

My estimate is that if your rule had been in effect for the last few years, I would have at least 10 times fewer caches in my area, and they wouldn't be anywhere near as good as the ones I have now. Why would I think that's better? I'd much rather have my experienced COs who have hidden hundreds of high quality caches than a smattering of caches by people who, by law, don't have the experience from hiding even 10 caches.

 

If the prolific COs really did "shut out" others, then I might at least listen to you, but I'm seen them do no such thing. The high volume COs in my area hide hundreds of caches because they easily find hundreds of places to hide caches, and there are thousands more places after that for anyone else to use.

 

If caches aren't being maintained, then they should be archived. In my area, the caches hidden by the high volume COs are the best maintained. It's much more common with a CO with 10 or fewer caches to neglect their hides. But, in any case, they should be archived because they aren't being maintained, not forbidden in advance because your faulty logic predicts that they won't be maintained at some point in the undefined future.

 

In other words, my experience contradicts every single one of your assertions. So please, please, if you really are experiencing those problems, please look for ways to fix it in your local community. And, in fact, that's the obvious place to start anyway: if someone's dominating your area with crappy caches, talk to them. Work with them to make more areas available for other COs to hide caches. Treat them as the friends they should be, the friends you're playing this game with, the friends hiding so many caches for you to find. You're acting as if they're impersonal powers inflicting this situation on you for their own evil ends that you can't discuss with them. My guess is that they're just filling a vacuum and would welcome anyone volunteering to plant their own caches.

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14 hours ago, fallingforstars said:

To allow the greatest amount of people to place caches I think it would be advantageous to restrict a limit to say 10 caches per person.

There are numerous members who are responsible for placing very large numbers of caches.

This not only shuts out lots of other people within an area but they all have to be maintained which has a diminishing probability of proper maintenance the more caches an owner places.

 

There's gotta be a couple dozen "cache limit" threads by now in a simple search...   :)  Would that include all caches ?  What about Geotours ?

Most seem to be folks relatively new to the hobby, that realize they have few options to hide around their home town. 

A lot of folks here like to take advantage of the numerous rails-to-trails in the area.  Families on bikes mostly.

True, some caches could be placed by numerous people, but one adventurous sort might have simply gotten there first.

 - That doesn't mean they're not gonna maintain them.  Sorry if you're seeing that where you are...

 

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8 hours ago, balu2003 said:

You can't say in general how much effort the maintenance of a cache means. That also depends on how often it is visited.

 

It depends on a whole lot of things, especially the suitability of the container to its environment and the nature of its hiding place. This one of mine, which I visited a few days ago for a routine check, I placed over six years ago. It's still the original container with the original logbook and the original pencil, all in pretty much pristine condition:

 

UpperMullet.jpg.76ac02b465b357afb19c01237ad1ff67.jpg

 

It's hidden in remote bushland, tucked under a rock ledge where it's protected from the elements, and in those six years it's only had 20 finds so its logbook will never get full, not in my lifetime at any rate.

 

Out of my 45 active hides, so far this year four have required maintenance. One disappeared after part of its hiding place (a tree stump) broke away, which I replaced the day after I became aware of the problem, a couple were containers that came off second best in the extreme rainfall this area copped in late March, which I've replaced with something a bit more rugged, and one, a novelty container, had a broken zipper which I replaced. There have also been three where I carried out a bit of preventative maintenance, a couple of wooden waypoint objects that I gave a fresh coat of anti-fungal oil and a steel container that was starting to show a little rust which I removed and repainted, and a gadget cache that requires fresh batteries every six months. Most of my other hides are like Upper Mullet, they just keep on keeping on without any need for maintenance, and seeing as I'm now retired with plenty of time on my hands, I reckon I could easily manage many times the number of hides without it becoming an excessive burden or allowing any of them to fall into neglect.

 

There's no one-size-fits-all when it comes to caches, cache ownership or cache maintenance.

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On 7/13/2021 at 9:17 AM, fallingforstars said:

To allow the greatest amount of people to place caches I think it would be advantageous to restrict a limit to say 10 caches per person. There are numerous members who are responsible for placing very large numbers of caches. This not only shuts out lots of other people within an area but they all have to be maintained which has a diminishing probability of proper maintenance the more caches an owner places.

Some respondents seem to take offence to my statement where none was intended and also assumed I had problems. The main thrust of my proposal was to allow the greatest number of people to join the game by limiting the number of caches any one individual can place - it's not an elite club for a few members to commandeer an area by placing multitudes of caches - be they excellent or not. OK so make it a limit of 50 or another number but at least limit it. More people means more diverse ideas. It doesn't guarantee the quality will rise or diminish but it throws open the game to more people who may wish to place a cache of their own which will naturally fall within an area relatively local to where they live. Cache maintenance will always be a problem for some, and particularly the farther afield they are placed from the CO's home, logic dictates they are potentially more likely to be not up to par the greater the number of caches an individual has to manage.  I've seen it myself but it is not within my remit to work with a CO or message them, no matter how friendly the approach, that their caches may be substandard, and quite honestly it would not be welcomed. People can be very sensitive to criticism no matter how well intentioned (take this post for instance). We have all done our bit to help out CO's by replacing damp logs etc, it's just common courtesy and part of the game, but allowing unlimited placement of caches within an area by one individual really does shut out many others who may have wished to do so.

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13 minutes ago, fallingforstars said:

Some respondents seem to take offence to my statement where none was intended and also assumed I had problems. The main thrust of my proposal was to allow the greatest number of people to join the game by limiting the number of caches any one individual can place - it's not an elite club for a few members to commandeer an area by placing multitudes of caches - be they excellent or not. OK so make it a limit of 50 or another number but at least limit it. More people means more diverse ideas. It doesn't guarantee the quality will rise or diminish but it throws open the game to more people who may wish to place a cache of their own which will naturally fall within an area relatively local to where they live.

 

You're assuming that everywhere is saturated with caches but in most parts of the world it's not. Limiting the number of caches anyone can place in an area like mine makes no sense because there's heaps of room here for new caches. In my region we currently have about one cache per three square kilometres and even in the urban areas, caches are still thin on the ground. This is the what the cache map looks like around where I live, which is home to a population of about 40,000:

 

image.png.969c6d80696f9d214f554b97059ba72b.png

 

The problem we have here isn't new players being unable to squeeze their hides in, it's players running out of caches to find and losing interest. Not only that, there's also the natural attrition of caches, with existing caches being archived by their owners, or by reviewers if the owners are no longer active, when those caches go missing or reach end of life, and currently that rate of attrition is considerably higher than the rate at which new caches are being placed, resulting in a decline in the total number of caches over time. There used to be at least half a dozen caches along the waterfront between Blackwall and Woy Woy but now there's only one and recent logs suggest it's gone missing too.

 

Placing any limit on cache placement here will just kill off the game even faster, and my area isn't unique, the same is likely true in most parts of the world away from large population centres.

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21 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

You're assuming that everywhere is saturated with caches but in most parts of the world it's not.

Even in saturated areas, it is still possible to find places to hide new caches. Maybe you have to seek out a new place to hide a cache, but that was one of the original goals of the saturation guideline in the first place.

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I know that large power trails are often pointed at as an example of why there should be a placement limitation and that there are a multitude of hiders that would otherwise be able to place a cache if not for all these spots being taken by one hider, but that has always seemed like a dubious claim to me. Even in the most cache dense area's of the world (Seattle,  Portland, Prague, etc) new geocaches are published daily/weekly. There ARE places to hide a cache no matter where you live. It may not be in the park down the street from you but finding a good location is all part of the process/challenge of being an owner. 

 

Saying that owners that hide a large number of caches is keeping other potential hiders from placing their own caches also ignores the bigger problem, which is that so many of these caches within a power trail or series should have been archived long ago. There are exceptions, but most big trail caches tend to be hundreds (or thousands) of crappy micro containers that simply will not survive in the wild for very long but instead of being archived when they go missing/break, someone will always come along and throw down another crappy container to keep it alive. This keeps sooo many caches alive in perpetuity (not just in trails or series but overall, everywhere) that otherwise would've rightfully been archived. 

 

If you live in a cache dense area and want more places to hide more caches, I'd start with changing the mentality that geocaches, particularly power trail hides or series, somehow need to live forever. They should be like any other geocache: if they go missing (or become a hopeless mess), log a Needs Archive and wait for the spot to open up again. 

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4 hours ago, fallingforstars said:

The main thrust of my proposal was to allow the greatest number of people to join the game by limiting the number of caches any one individual can place - it's not an elite club for a few members to commandeer an area by placing multitudes of caches

- skip -

but allowing unlimited placement of caches within an area by one individual really does shut out many others who may have wished to do so.

 

I was kinda understanding until the "elite club" nonsense...  We archived most of our caches, most years ago. 

 - Not one person has placed a cache in any of those spots...

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7 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

We archived most of our caches, most years ago. 

 - Not one person has placed a cache in any of those spots...

 

I placed a bunch of caches where no cache was.  Caches were there previously but got archived, it was too much work to keep them viable.  So I designed a fun cache for a cool spot.  Some designs took me years to develop, and most require modifications after placement.  Some require more maintenance than the average Cache Owner wants to do.  If I hadn't placed it, there would not be a cache in that spot.  An ordinary sandwich box gets archived.  A Micro bison tube might occupy that spot of course, but those aren't maintained and again get archived.

 

So there are small areas where I have a variety of caches.  I didn't place them to block people, I placed them because the area is empty.  If someone has a great idea for a cache where my cache is, I'd hope they'd let me know!

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6 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

We archived most of our caches, most years ago. 

 - Not one person has placed a cache in any of those spots...

 

Yes, it's much the same here. Over the years I've archived 8 of my hides due to a variety of problems, but none of them has had a new cache appear within 161 metres of where it was. They're just all empty spaces on the map now.

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On 7/18/2021 at 3:31 AM, fallingforstars said:

Some respondents seem to take offence to my statement where none was intended and also assumed I had problems.

I'm not sure who you think is taking offense, but you've hit the nail on the head with the last part of this sentence: you haven't had a problem. That's exactly what we're saying: there's no problem here, you're just imagining that there could be a problem, and you're proposing a solution to that non-existent problem that we can see would cause a huge *real* problem which  we've been trying to explain to you. I'm not offended. I just think you're wrong.

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On 7/18/2021 at 3:31 AM, fallingforstars said:

The main thrust of my proposal was to allow the greatest number of people to join the game by limiting the number of caches any one individual can place - it's not an elite club for a few members to commandeer an area by placing multitudes of caches.... More people means more diverse ideas. It doesn't guarantee the quality will rise or diminish but it throws open the game to more people who may wish to place a cache of their own

I live in a pretty cache dense area - and yet, over the past year and a half several new cachers have appeared, and a few have hidden several new caches.  There are still lots of spots available - and not all cachers even WANT to hide and maintain caches of their own.  Those that do enjoy hiding are able to find spots.  Yes, we do have a few "prolific" hiders, but not all that many, and they. by no means, take EVERY available spot.  There's lots of room for those who want to place a cache.  I very much doubt that limiting each cacher to a specific # of hides will "throw open the game to more people who wish to place a cache of their own".  If someone truly wants to lplace a cache, they will find a place.

 

Limiting the # of caches any one individual can place to a specific # is not likely to "allow more people to join the game" - the number of caches any individual can place, and maintain, is inherently self-limiting.  Each cacher is different.  I have 17 hides, with a few more in the works.  For me, that's about all I want to manange.  Others who have more time and resources may have 100, or 200 hides to manange, and that works for them.  The local community (different in every town, or area) knows who the hiders are and how they maintain (or don't maintain) their caches.  Reviewers see patterns and may limit a cacher's ability to place new caches.  A concrete, specific # simply is not a workable solution.

 

8 hours ago, dprovan said:

That's exactly what we're saying: there's no problem here, you're just imagining that there could be a problem, and you're proposing a solution to that non-existent problem that we can see would cause a huge *real* problem which  we've been trying to explain to you.

This ^^^^^

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