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Concerns about Geocaching & Letterboxing

Guest Anton

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Guest jeremy

The opinion of the writer of this article sums up nicely in the last paragraph -

"Whatever happened to the good old walk in the woods for the mere enjoyment of doing so?" What indeed.


This is a common thread in these forums, so I don't know how much more we can chat about it. I do like how it comes up once in a while, however, to refresh the old players and inform the new players about being careful of the environment and try to keep the trails cleaner than when you found it.


The opinion of the article you point to on the web is extremely biased, but still has some merit. The points expressed in the segment mirror those in the Geocaching FAQ.


I guess I'll just have to reiterate the fact that the people who play are not ruffians with evil intent. In fact, I'd have to say that people who play are intelligent, thoughtful families, couples, and individuals, who take great care when playing in the outdoors. If anything it has made me (and others I've spoken to) appreciate the environment that much more. I now bring a trash bag on every hunt, and am more attentive to my surroundings.



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Guest PneumaticDeath

I think Jeremy's response is well thought out, but even well intentioned people can do harm.


At this point, most geocachers are concientious (sp), but even now I wouldn't be surprised if less than 1/2 of the caches placed in the US are put there with the express permission of the land owner.


As the popularity of the sport grows, (and as bariiers to entry get lower, e.g. as GPS receivers become cheaper/smaller) the people who participate will have less "buy-in", and will often take the easy way over the "right" way.


Already many cache locations are given away by the trails that people beat to them, even if established trails lead close to the cache already, it's often difficult to know that without a pretty good familiarity of the area.


Given the choice between spending a day or two scouting out the area and researching approaches, or just taking the major trail to within 1/4 mile and bushwacking the rest of the way (taking a hour at the worst), many people will chose the more destructive trailblazing method. I know that I've been guilty of doing this at least a few times.


Look at how other leisure activitites by well intentioned people have become environmentally destructive. Mountain biking, for example, can do an incredible amount of damage. Even if most mountainbikers are careful, the few who go off trail do much damage.


I'm not sure what the answer is, but it's time to ask difficult questions. Among those: Does this sport need to be better regulated? De we need higher barriers to entry? Is peer pressure enough? If so, how should it be applied?


-- Mitch

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