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Is it vandalism?


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Hello All-


I have found a real nice park where I would like to put a multi-cache. The coordinates would point you toward something like a sign or a lamp-post, etc. On the lamp-post, I would have a small label (printed with a label-maker) that would give you the coordinates to the next location in the park.


My question is, is it ok to put little labels like this on "public" signs? I know it is vandalism if you "tag" or paint on these signs, but I would think a little label would be fine.


What are your thoughts?





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

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With something as easy to remove as a small label, I would hope that if someone did have an issue with it, they would simply remove it and be done with it. But if possible, I would ask first.



"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." - John Wayne

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that if it's a park sign you should have the "OK" of the park management before affixing anything to their sign....


A nicely printed label not withstanding, it's not our sign, so I would think that permission to attach something to it would be appropriate.


Makes a good chance to tell them about the benefits of geocaching for their park! (Cache in, trash out - you know...)


If it's a public safety kind of sign/lamp post (traffic light, light post, stop sign, etc.) I don't know that I wouldn't suggest looking for another place to point people to...


My two cents worth...





I just need a fix!

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First ignore the above message. For some reason the first time I kept trying to reply it kept saying I need to enter a user name even though I was already logged on. So it figures I just type 't' and the message posts.


Anyway, I wouldn't recommend it as things tend to get blown out of proportion. Either it would be "Geocaches deface public property" or other users would start using bigger permenant labels.

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I offer no opinion on whether the removable label constitutes vandalism, etc.


Another consideration is the risk of having your label disappear just because a normal 13 year old walks by, sees a removable label, and peels it off "just because." If the label is highly visible, you'll have a high-maintenance cache.


A low-maintenance multicache makes use of numbers already permanently present at the site. You have a lamp post picked out? Fine. Does it have a serial number on it, a model number, etc.? Then just say "subtract 234 from this number to get the last three digits for stage three's latitude coordinate."


One of the first multicaches I ever found used telephone poles for this purpose. Every pole had a unique number on it.


Our own first multicache is in a wooded park, but by scouting out the park real well, I was able to find two man-made, permanent objects out in the woods that had numbers on them, so I just used those for the intermediate stages.


I am now planning a multicache based on the Harry Potter books. In one segment, Harry has to visit Stonehenge. "Stonehenge" is a traffic circle turnaround at the end of a parking lot, surrounded by stone posts to keep cars from driving up onto the grass. Count the number of posts in the circle and multiply by 10, and you have the last three digits for the next stage of the cache.


You get the idea.... no impact on the environment, no issue of vandalism, no risk of your number disappearing.



Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitos?

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almost every city, state, region has "no posting" rules. in NY it is actually a form of graffitti advertising.


think about this. direct the finders to a sign. take a bearing say 120° for 50ft (aim them at a really obvious hiding spot.) in the hiding spot place a film canister weighted with washers inside. post new coordinates inside on laminated paper strip.


i ran into this at a recent local cache placed by a reputable member. i liked the 2nd leg of the trip. the first leg was to a historic spot.


many other options than posting out on the pole.


my opinion only.





"Fire burns, and when it rains... you get wet."

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I wouldn't call it vandalism.

However there maybe regulations/ordinances/laws from the park, city, county or state forbidding posting anything to poles. Here in Seattle, and many other cities in the area, it is against the law to post signs fliers and anything else to telephone or light poles.

It might be wise to check into it.




If you do not extend your expectations unto others, you will not be disappointed by the stupid things they do.


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A few years ago, a friend and I went around town stapling the image of J. R. "Bob" Dobbs to hundreds of telephone poles.


While nearing the end of a long, heavy traffic road, a police cruiser pulled up.


"Hey, you can't do that," the cop says.


"Why not?" I ask.


"Because its illegal."


So, I called the station the next day and said that I had lost my cat, and wanted to know if it was legal for me to put up some Lost Cat posters around town. "Well, its not legal to attach signs to telephone poles, but I doubt anybody would press charges," was the answer I received.


Selective enforcement annoys me.

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Originally posted by cachew nut:

If you are worried about someone vandalizing your coordinates, I believe it was Criminal who mentioned using a Sharpie. This would seem more permanent than a Labelmaker type label.


A Sharpie on the back of an aluminum sign is fairly permanent. You can use a fine tip to write really small. If you have to remove it, denatured alcohol removes it in a snap with no effects on the aluminum.


If you write it really small so the reader has to almost put his nose on the sign, who's to notice? Plus, if you write it just below a manufature's or owner's label as just a series of numbers, then it looks like a serial number. (i.e. 32° 27.143 080° 45.745 written as 322714308045745)


But, it really is better to always get permission, though.





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I think the idea of placing obvious graffiti to guide someone to a cache is wrong. I've heard of people spraypainting large marks on rocks, walls etc..., and I think that is wrong. But to use a sharpie to pencil tiny coordinates or clues on the back of a sign...I don't see a problem with that.


For one of my caches, I printed coordinates, laminated them and screwed them to the back of a wooden lamp post (out of view of passersby). I didn't feel like I was "vandalizing" the pole in any way. A number of veteran geocachers have found the cache using the coordinates and not one complained.


I think it's all a matter of degree.


"You can't make a man by standing a sheep on its hind legs, but by standing a flock of sheep in that position, you can make a crowd of men" -Max Beerbohm

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Huh, I get two mentions and they're both supportive...... whodda thunkit icon_wink.gif


Yes, my latest cache involves a sharpie and a sign. It has caused no grief, nor do I suspect it ever will. If you (and the numbers) are discreet I seriously doubt it would cause a problem.

With the ease of the online mapping programs, it's feasible to find a cache w/o a GPSr. Offsetting the coordinates helps a little by making it a lot of trouble for someone find your cache using these online maps. If you call it a multi, your cache is often passed over as some people (IBGuilty) aviod them.

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Or encrypt the message using what's on the sign as the keyword. The playfair and vigenere ciphers are pretty straightforward and can be decrypted in the field.


For one cache I used the vigenere cipher and the keyword was the last letter from each word on a sign, and in another I used the playfair with the two words on the sign as the keyword. I also suggest you post a sample encryption on the cache page for people to decrypt before they hit the road - it's incredibly frustrating trying to figure out how to decrypt in the field without prior practice.


I keep the messages simple, like "add point zero sixty two to west and point zero thirty seven to north." Decrypting a long a message is just frustrating.


Have fun,



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and tiny tiny letters is the way to go if you must do it that way. What about a micro cache film cannister somewhere with the coodinates in it.


As for posting signs on signs, illegal, most likely. Posting on phone poles is definitely a no no. Because IF the phone/electric guy had to climb the pole and he tried to get his spikes in and they hit a nail/staple, and they don't grab, and he slips, the creosote covered splinters he would incur could take weeks to pull out. Nasty thought. Fortunately most have cherry pickers now, but you never know when the cherry picker is not available and they might have to climb.


Cache you later,



Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

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Well, I wanted to update everyone who responded to my question (Thanks!, by the way...)


I got permission from the Parks Department to create a cache in one of their local parks. The guy I had talked to had never heard of GeoCaching, but after I explained to him all about it, he said, "No problem." He sent me a park permit and said that he was going to give GeoCaching a try (since he had a GPS he used for hunting...) So, hopefully I got another one hooked. icon_biggrin.gif


Also, I put my "labels" in the park about a month ago and they are all still there. None of them have been removed. I hid them pretty well, so you'd have to really be "looking" for them to find them.


Anyways, I just wanted to pass on how easy it was to ask permission first. The conversation was enjoyable and now have an "inside" connection if I want to hide others.


Thanks for all of your replies.




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

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This cache obviously uses already vandalized handrail as a clue to the next stop of a multicache in imho pretty cool way. Must go for that cache before they fix the handrail!


Little did Sepi know that his scribbles in the park were to become an important clue for some people's hobby. icon_wink.gif


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

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