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Question on how quickly a "new" person should hide a cache...


bradtal
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Hello All-

 

I have noticed quite a few posts that go along the line of, "I found my first cache yesterday and plan on hidding a cache tonight...etc, etc"

 

Almost always, everyone here replies, "Wait until you have a few caches under your belt before hiding a cache. Learn what to do before you hide them, etc, etc"

 

My question is... Should the "Powers-to-be" (Jeremy, Erik, etc) not allow new caches to be approved if the user has less than X number of found caches? X could be 5 or 10, for example...

 

I know this might upset some people, but I think it could improve the "quality" of caches. For example, we keep hearing of caches hidden in parks that look like PVC bombs, etc. With a few cache finds under their belts, they would know where are good places to hide and where not to hide. Is a Glad trashbag a good cache container, should I put chocolate in the cache, etc...

 

What are your thoughts?

 

Brad

 

Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.

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I think there are enough rules already. Of course if someone with one find were to post about placing a cache, I wouldn't disagree with people urging him or her to wait a little longer though.

 

I placed my first (and only) one after about 10 finds and after reading up on the subject on the forums. But having read up on the subject I began planning the cache after my first find, it was just that it took me awhile to get it out there. So, for me the cache would have been the same regardless of when I placed it.

 

pokeanim3.gif

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Should TPTB set a number? No. But I think there ought to be some common sense used by cachers who want to be hiders.

 

So how many should it be?

 

14

 

Why? I dunno . . it was the advice I got when I first started caching and it's what I decided to go by. If it was good enough for me, it oughta be good enough for just about anyone. icon_wink.gif

 

Actually, more to the point, I'm less concerned about poorly hidden caches (those take care of themselves one way or another) than I am about cachers who get into the activity all hot and heavy, found a couple, hid a bunch, and then disappear. Those of you who've been around the forums for a while could probably quote a lot of names of diehard cachers who died fast (I'm thinking of a couple . . . I bet you are too).

 

Give yourself some time to make sure the game is for you, then leave your mark on the game . . a mark that you will be able to maintain.

 

Just my 2%

 

Bret

 

"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field.

When a man found it, he hid it again." Mt. 13:44

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quote:
Originally posted by carleenp:

I think there are enough rules already.

 

I placed my first (and only) one after about 10 finds and after reading up on the subject on the forums.


 

Carleen-

 

I agree with you. I think there are enough rules already too...

 

I was just trying to think of a way that would minimize the "Bomb squad responded to a GeoCache located at the end of a military runway" or the "Hid geocache in an ancient cave..." articles we are seeing lately.

 

For example, just because a 15 year old can buy a car doesn't mean that they can drive it. They have to learn how to drive first. I was thinking the same thing with hiding a cache. Learn how to hunt them before hiding them. Learn the rules/regulations/pros/cons/etc.

 

I'm not saying we should do this, I just wanted to get other people's opinions on whether it would help or not...

 

Brad

 

Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.

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While I completely understand not wanting to hike through the woods for an hour just to end up finding a crappy cache that some n00b did a bad job on, I think adding rules excludes people new to the sport.

 

Usually after a couple comments it will become obvious if it's not very well done.

 

Just a thought.

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Well, we had hide our first two before we found our first one! Okay, so they were letterboxes.

 

Anyway. It's not the individual experience that's the problem. It's the lack of collective experience. Many newbies have to learn a lot of things from scratch, only to find out they could have saved a lot of headaches by coming to the forums and reading. I would like to suggest we come up with a "knowledge base" of geocaching. What works and what doesn't. Not what we think works, but real world experiences.

 

Maybe what I'm thinking about is a short crash course of what is expected, etiquette, good and bad materials to use, etc., etc. Maybe, one for finders and one for hiders.

 

I feel there should be more rules. It's simply too rag-tag and thus the problems we are having. I'm not for draconian measures, just things defined and followed--with enough room for creativity. Right now the guidelines are so loose that people don't really know where the boundaries are and when they are yanked back, they get ticked off.

 

I feel if you have a paragraph or two that explains "this is what you do and what you use to place a cache" then I think there will be a lot more quality caches by newbies.

 

I followed something similar from letterboxing to place my first two and they both are going strong.

 

CR

 

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I think once the rules reach a certain level of confinement, the sport is no longer a sport and has turned into an organized activity that has lost all fun.

 

I only got into it because of the gung-ho nature of the activity, and the last thing it needs is a bunch of people making up more rules.

 

I think geocaching has a lot of potential and I don't want to see it end up like paintball. Though I know some people do.

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I've seen Caches that have been placed by so called experienced cachers that just stunk.

And some by those with no experience that were awesome. It all depends on the Cachers own skills.

 

Brad, I know you did postcards from the edge, how many caches has that person found. Only O, with 1 plant and its a tough cache.

 

Tahosa - Dweller of the Mountain Tops.

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I am new to geocaching but I was wondering about the items left for trade I thought that if you hid a cache you are encouraged (exspecialy for the harder ones) to leave an item of a little greater value than a few key chains or so. When I have some experience of finding I plan to hide a cache and possibly leave a gold coin they are about 30$ apiece but as a first find cache I think it would be appropriate.

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quote:
Originally posted by ZBlack:

Compared to what other activities?

 

It's not like it's an activity that really requires rules. How many rules are there for easter egg hunts? Hide and seek?


 

Name an international easter egg hunt spanning an indefinite period of time with tens of thousands of eggs and thousands of participants.

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quote:
It's not like it's an activity that really requires rules. How many rules are there for easter egg hunts? Hide and seek?

 

AGREED

 

While I agree that guidelines should be offered to help people, it is not this site's job, nor any other sites present or future to try an "regulate" the hobby. That will turn people off, create new boards where people are more into the game and less into trying to be bossy to a simple game... and I'm sure in the end Jeremy will end up thanking all his micro-rulers for encouraging a forum that is so wound in cache-tape that people migrate to less-control-freaked boards. So while people are blowing their "support-smoke" signals out one hole, keep that in mind as you blow beaurocracy out the other. icon_wink.gif

 

That's just my opinion, don't let it send ya to the doc with high blood pressure. icon_wink.gif I could be all wrong... Maybe some of you would like to buy pre-packaged caches from a site, and have it come with explicit instructions (read, coordinates) on where to hide it... you know... basically have someone hold yer unit while ya take a leak. icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

 

Of course, maybe the hobby needs a site for those who like regulation.

 

For me? It couldn't be simpler, and my young daughters "get it." But sometimes when I read the forums I get the feeling I must have some exceptionally advanced young members of society. icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif

 

People will always be able to place caches wherever they want. "TBTB" are themselves. They are not "subject" to anyone else's "power." So whichever direction ya'll choose to take this board, that's up to you. The more you regulate, the less you'll be able to find, the more you'll turn people off, and the more you'll wind up with your own little inner circle of people who have paper-chased this site into the ground. icon_biggrin.gif Of course, I could be wrong... Mindless people everywhere might come flocking to be told what to do, where to do it, when to do it, how to do it, etc. etc. icon_biggrin.gif

 

If you hide it, they will come.

Grandmaster Cache

Tank at: FISH WHISPERER'S LAGOON

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"No more rules!" "This site is trying to regulate the sport and is going to kill it!" "Too many rules will kill it!" "Rules will push people away!"

 

HELLO! This sounds so familiar. Only it was "Don't go commercial! You'll kill the sport!" Only thing is, this commercial site is, and has continued to be, the defining site for geocaching. Looks like those who thought going commercial would kill the sport was WRONG!

 

It's the same now. Trying to create an anarchist's hobby is what's going to kill it. Creating rules, adjusting the rules to make them work, and sticking to the rules is what is going to make the hobby grow and prosper.

 

What is needed is to closely define what is a cache, what is required to be a cache, and what is required to maintain the cache. Anything else is not accepted. It's your job to work within those guidelines. If you can't do it, then you don't get to place the cache.

 

From the FAQ: "A cache can come in many forms but the first item should always be the logbook." Though pertains more to that other thread than this one, but it seems pretty simple to me.

 

quote:
Originally posted by ZBlack:

It's not like it's an activity that really requires rules. How many rules are there for easter egg hunts? Hide and seek?


 

Ha! Yeah! Like the rock wall doesn't require rules either, right?

 

Don't follow the rules and help get our hobby banned from more public lands.

 

Thanks, dude.

 

Back on topic. There should be no requirement, experience-wise, to place a cache. Just the ability to follow good cache guidelines. It's always best to wait to get creative (read: away from the normal, accepted, everyday cache) until you have a few placements under your belt. How well your basic hides are doing should be your judge to experiment with something out of the ordinary. Just as it's always best to learn the fundamentals of any activity before trying to reinvent it.

 

'nuff said.

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Quit yer whinin' and go find some caches. If you don't like the cache that you find, don't leave anything in it. Better yet, when you log it, state that it's a crappy cache. For heaven's sake, don't sit here debating whether or not there should be more rules to regulate how many finds you have to have in order to hide a cache. If you're interested in more parameters for the sport to make it "just perfect", then go ahead and write the official Geocaching rulebook. Once it's written, place it in one of your caches (of course, make sure you have enough finds under your belt first). Then, make sure when you write your cache description, let us all know that the official rulebook is in there. That way, we can be sure not to seek it.

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quote:
Originally posted by bradtal:

My question is... Should the "Powers-to-be" (Jeremy, Erik, etc) not allow new caches to be approved if the user has less than __X__ number of found caches? __X__ could be 5 or 10, for example...


As I said in the other thread...

No, such a system with an X limit would be difficult to set up (even if X was a variable), difficult to enforce, and wouldn't do any good.

 

waypoint_link.gif22008_1700.gif37_gp_logo88x31.jpg

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The rule of X finds before being allowed to hide wouldn't work at thousands of places around the world where there are no caches nearby yet. Those people that would be interested to start the hobby wouldn't be able to spread new caches at their area, because they don't have big found-number enough. And I think hardly anyone would just buy a GPSr and drive 200 kilometers to search for his/her first caches just to see if (s)he's going to be interested in geocaching.icon_rolleyes.gif

 

- All you need is a sick mind and a healthy body. -

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Thanks for all your replies. I knew I would put a "burr" under some people's belt, but I wanted to see what everyone's thoughts were.

 

What's funny after reading all the replies is that I agree with pretty much everyone here. Everyone made real good points. For example, Tahosa brought to my attention the "Postcards from the Edge" cache located in our area. It's one of my favorite ones I've done, and he has zero finds and only one hide. But it's a great cache and gave me some ideas for doing others like it. So, like Tahosa (and others) said, you can't count on the number of finds to determine how good a cache is. Interesting...

 

I too, don't want to regulate a "hobby" so much that it no longer is fun. I'm not asking for more rules or stricter guidelines... I was just getting tired of talking about geocaching to co-workers and all of them say, "I saw on the news you guys try to blow up bridges or airforce bases with those things..." All they knew of GeoCaching was the "bad" publicity.

 

I do agree with those of you that mentioned maybe a "tutorial" in the "how to hide your first cache" that went into a bit more detail explaining what you should do, places that are bad ideas to hide, etc. Technically they aren't "rules" but more like "pointers".

 

Anyways, thanks for allowing me to see all sides of the coin.

 

Brad icon_razz.gif

 

Hard work pays off in the future, laziness pays off now.

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quote:
Originally posted by sbell111:

Its been my experience that people let you know when your cache is great, but don't tell you that it stinks.


 

I totally agree!!

 

Peer pressure *should* help ensure better caches, but many of us don't want to offend the hider by saying the cache is trash in a tree stump. From the logs, you can sometimes read between the lines and figure this out, but many times, I do not read through the logs prior to looking for the cache.

 

**Back on topic...

 

I feel there should be a minimum waiting period from the time a user first registers until he/she can submit a cache. A minimum number of finds would not be helpful for many reasons,but the approvers should look closely at the finds/other hides of newbies before giving their stamp of approval..

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quote:
Originally posted by Sc out:

Wouldn't there be a possibility that Geocaching.com could help us top give a clear comment? Maybe FOUND it and DIDN'T FIND IT are not enough. There could be more like :

This cache is great, this cache has clear instructions, this cache has a new idea ______, .....


 

Hmm...you're talking about some kind of a rating system for hunters to rate caches they've found? Sounds like an interesting idea, at least.

 

Now, it raises many questions. Should it be similar to the rating system here in forums (1-5 stars)? If so, what are exactly the values of the cache that the hunters are rating? Or should it be similar to the rating system of difficulty/terrain when you're hiding a cache? That is, you'd get a separate web form you have to fill, and the questions in the would be about the cache page, clear instructions, creativity, trinket quality etc. and the computer would calculate a rating value for different specs of the cache.

 

For me the current system of getting feedback in the web logs is ok, though. icon_smile.gif

 

- All you need is a sick mind and a healthy body. -

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WARNING...Slight topic deviation ahead...

 

The rating system idea has been discussed many times. It seems that Jeremy has an opinion against rating of caches (a star system) by finders. I wish he would consider this idea as a way to help keep quality caches and weed out poor ones.

 

The best thing we can do as a community is to be honest, polite, and clear in our log entries. This is very hard to do, but is the only way we can influence cachers as a whole to put more thought into their caches. (raise the bar)

 

Generally if the cache is trash in a tree, the log entries are short, and the hider says the cache was easy. If the majority of finders TNLN, then it is possible that the cache is filled with junk.

 

BACK to topic...

 

I don't see that new hiders place bad caches. I have seen newbies hide a cache, and then stop geocaching. As a result, we are left with an absentee cache owner.

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quote:
Originally posted by OUTSID4EVR:

It seems that Jeremy has an opinion against rating of caches (a star system) by finders.


 

That's not the impression I got at all. It was a vocal group against ratings that probly nixed. It's a good chance it's in the new site.

 

And there is no way you're going to get the numbers of people needed to be brutally honest in their logs.

 

CR

 

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

That's not the impression I got at all. It was a vocal group against ratings that probly nixed. It's a good chance it's in the new site.

 

And there is no way you're going to get the numbers of people needed to be brutally honest in their logs.

 

CR

 

http://img.Groundspeak.com/user/72057_2000.gif


 

Thanks for clearing that up. I've been going through old threads to find out why a user rating system has not been added.

 

You're absolutely right. It's hard to be completely blunt and honest in log entries. I never want to be the one finder to say the cache is a poor one. I guess other finders are thinking the same thing.

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I don't think we should require x cache finds before being allowed to place one, but I do think something like "It is highly recommended that a geocacher find several caches before placing a cache" in big, bold, red letters should appear at the top of the 'guide to placing a cache' FAQ page.

 

I walk the Maze of Moments, but everywhere I turn to, begins a new beginning, but never finds a finish... -Enya, Anywhere Is

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Well I'm just a newbee at this and in fact found my first cache today (yipee!!!) I havn't placed one yet but am thinking about it and all but have one made up. Just have to think of a good place to put it.

Regarding what some have said about waiting till you have a few finds (14 was suggested I think?)under the belt. I find the logic a bit hard to follow. Down where I am there are not many around. The one my daughter and I found today was the closest to our house and that was nearly a hundred Kilometers away. The next nearest is nearly three hundred K's away and I can't just go trucking of those sorts of distances.Surely getting more out there would encourage others to place them in this area too? Also I thought that the aim of the game was more about getting out there and seeing if you can find the cache rather than worrying about what "goodies" your going to find in it?

 

Mike

 

[This message was edited by Kiwi Cruiser on March 01, 2003 at 02:05 AM.]

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Well I'm just a newbee at this and in fact found my first cache today (yipee!!!) I havn't placed one yet but am thinking about it and all but have one made up. Just have to think of a good place to put it.

Regarding what some have said about waiting till you have a few finds (14 was suggested I think?)under the belt. I find the logic a bit hard to follow. Down where I am there are not many around. The one my daughter and I found today was the closest to our house and that was nearly a hundred Kilometers away. The next nearest is nearly three hundred K's away and I can't just go trucking of those sorts of distances.Surely getting more out there would encourage others to place them in this area too?

 

Mike

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quote:
Originally posted by Kiwi Cruiser:

I find the logic a bit hard to follow. Down where I am there are not many around.


 

Exactly the reason there shouldn't be any kind of requirement to place a cache. Well, the only requirement should be following good sound guidelines.

 

I'm writing a tutorial on placing your first cache. It's just basically a list of pointers from putting putting together a cache through getting it approved to maintenance. I'm trying to make it as simple and straight forward as possible so even someone with very few finds cames successfully place one.

 

Personally, I think requiring one to "get experieince" before placing a cache is simply elitist.

 

CR

 

72057_2000.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

quote:
Originally posted by Kiwi Cruiser:

I find the logic a bit hard to follow. Down where I am there are not many around.


 

Exactly the reason there shouldn't be any kind of requirement to place a cache. Well, the only _requirement_ should be following good sound guidelines.

 

I'm writing a tutorial on placing your first cache. It's just basically a list of pointers from putting putting together a cache through getting it approved to maintenance. I'm trying to make it as simple and straight forward as possible so even someone with very few finds cames successfully place one.

 

Personally, I think requiring one to "get experieince" before placing a cache is simply elitist.

 

CR

 

http://img.Groundspeak.com/user/72057_2000.gif


 

I saw your posted tutorial in another thread. Great job! I hope TPTB take notice of it. It is certainly clearer than what is currently in place.

 

I agree with most of your statements, except for the fact that it couldn't hurt to have a short waiting period before caches posted by newbies are placed on the site. I don't see it as elitist. This may prevent the person from getting hiding fever before understanding the game. It may also prevent a person from hiding a cache and leaving the game. If someone wishes to place a cache, there is a commitment that goes with it.

 

I agree with the previous posts regarding a specified number of finds. That would be impractical in areas that are cache-poor.

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It's not the numbers; it's the dedication and determination of the individual.

 

quote:
Originally posted by ZBlack:

While I completely understand not wanting to hike through the woods for an hour just to end up finding a crappy cache that some n00b did a bad job on, I think adding rules excludes people new to the sport.


 

I mentioned at some point in another thread that I've frequently noticed that low quality caches are often placed by cachers of long experience and with a high number of placements ... in several cases, I have observed no improvement in cache or location quality between a newbie's first "dump-and-run" hide and 50th.

 

I have also observed the opposite ... where the first cache of placed by a newbie was excellent and their 50th hide showed no lowering of standards. Bravo to folk like that!

 

I've also pointed out in the past that some of the highest quality (as determined by location and adventure) caches were placed early in the sport's history ... when all hiders necessarily had "low numbers."

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i think new cachers, such as myself, should find experienced cachers in their own areas and ask questions. newbies finding virtual mentors would do alot to maintain the quality of caching. yeah, i had a problem with my first cache, but RK in my area set me straight and provided alot of good ideas and advice. i think new cachers should get to know their local admins and what is expected in a cache before newbies post their first cache. there is a good description for caches on the website, but the rules don't cover everything. that was my problem, i should have contacted my local admin for advice on my first cache, then i would have had a much better idea about what is expected in my local area. different admins have varying ideas about what is acceptable and not. newbies need to find out from their local admins.

 

Creativity Within The Bounds Of Conformity

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