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Micros with NOTHING in them


Markwell
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I know, I know - it's a local thing and it's just a chicken bone sticking in my throat, but I wanted to see if my opinion is alone in this.

 

We have a cache hider who has placed a WHOLE BUNCH of micro caches in plastic tubes or unused pill bottles. He openly admits that his coordinates are off. Yet he keeps placing these things (when asked, he responded that "People like these things."). Currently, this user has 31 micros placed within 50 miles of my front door, all but 9 placed within the last 2 months.

 

Now, someone else has found them and started doing the same thing - placing 5 of these Pill Bottle Micros within the last week.

 

The kicker is that there's nothing in them to log. You're supposed to find the bottle or tube and e-mail them the contents.

 

To me, this ammounts to little more than GeoTrash. Why not (as someone once said in logging one of these caches) throw a beer can down and mark the coordinates?

 

I don't mind micros with a log book or some small contents, but this seems a bit too much.

 

Am I taking this too seriously, or am I right to be concerned about these things?

 

One of the other side concerns I have is that these "throw-away-micros" take the physical place of what could be real honest-to-goodness-trading caches.

 

Markwell

Chicago Geocaching

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I wouldn't mind these types of caches around here, I don't think - except I think ANY cache should be required to have fairly accurate coordinates posted, unless it is an offset.

 

Also, I don't mind the "tell me what is inside" method of verifying a find. The only potential problem with that, is that you have to rely on this guy "being around" as long as his caches may be. If he loses interest, then yes - those caches become geotrash and will have to eventually be picked up by someone and archived.

 

The idea of a cache becoming geotrash isn't enough to suggest a person shouldn't place them though - because, every cache that is hidden has that same chance of being abandoned.

 

geobanana.gifThe Toe Pages

"Now with 50% less yuck, and 100% more color!!"

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I have found a few of the specific caches you are referring to and I felt these were pretty well placed. And a couple were cleverly hidden. As I am not into trading, it does not bother me that there are no items in the caches. The verification process he uses is good and insures the finder actually found the cache. Note I have not searched for any of the more recent ones that have been placed.

 

Any cache can be trash, whether big or small if hider does not put thought into its location and its location is not good

 

Bruce

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The problem I would have with this is the quantity of thoughtless caches. That would REALLY bug me to no end.

However, with a little thought, I think contentless-nothing-to-log caches CAN work. Take for instance my It's Elementary #1 and #2.

Neither have trade items, or a log book, but I believe both are quality caches. I'll probably do 1 or two more in the series (getting progressvely more difficult), but 50 would be just stupid. That would bore the hedoublehockeysticks out of people, no matter how much they liked that type of puzzle.

 

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"We never seek things for themselves -- what we seek is the very seeking of things."

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

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I have an ultramicrocache. It is so small that the piece of paper is big enough to hold a question and that is the qualifier. If you answer it, you get credit. It seems to be a popular cache here. I have other containers with a more normal content profile.

 

If you are looking at pill bottles, try this for a pencil:

 

use either a golf pencil or a standard #2 cut into 2 1/2 inch lengths. Use a single sheet of paper to describe the cache and the log in procedure here on geocaching.com. The finders will have plenty of room to add their names. All of this will fit in a standard pill bottle, even with a magnet inside.

 

remybussi.gif By appointment to the Court of HRM Queen Mikki I. remybussi.gif

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Variety is the spice of life. He's enjoying it. People are finding them. That's what this is about. When he stops having fun, or if everything hates them like you and doesn't bother to find them, they will go away.

 

You could always bring back up the topic on having an option to make caches on your nearest list 'go away' so they stop cluttering up your screen.

 

Wherever you go there you are.

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I dont know... I guess im a fence sitter on this one. I have found 2 of the CT caches. And as far as they go, they are ok. I mean now that I have found a few I would not head out just to seek them, but if some are nearby or on the way to other caches, I would go hunt them up. Of the 2 I have found, I would never have found the first without the clue, as indeed the coords were a good deal off. For the second, it was just kind of "there" exposed on the ground behind the only obvious cover. I guess they can be quite challenging or quite "eh" depending on placement.

Since these tubes are sealed, theres no way to do a log. I guess it is sort of like a Do It yourself virtual cache. YMMV.

 

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Are they rated as virts then? On top of that I don't like the placing bad coords on purpose expecially with a micro.

 

I agree with those who mentioned Quality over Quanitity. Thats the approach I'm taking to caches I have placed and my approach seems to be working judging from the great comments they have received.

 

______________________________________________________________________________________

So far so good, somewhat new owner of a second/new Garmin GPS V 20 plus finds so far with little to no problem. We'll see what happens when there are leaves on the trees again.

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I'd have to agree with the Quality over Quantity of caches. In the past year, we have had tons of really bad caches placed. While they don't break any of the rules on the site, they really are awful. The current system has no facet for quality control built in. (Rating system anyone?)

 

My biggest peeve are new micros that are hidden along the side of the highway that cuts across NY state. They are six spread about 30-40 miles apart. Sigh.

 

- Dekaner of Team KKF2A

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I’ll admit that I can sympathize with Markwell on this – to a point. I’m very familiar with the caches he’s referring to, as I’ve hunted and found the majority of them. I think they’re not bad caches for the most part, although I DEFINATELY agree that the hider should have provided accurate coordinates. But after doing so many, I’m surely thankful that I still have the opportunity to hunt a regular cache around here, or at least a mini that was placed with more regard to the historical, cultural, or scenic value of the location.

 

With identical containers and nearly identical cache page descriptions, these particular minis feel very ‘mass produced’, and even their names are simply numbers (ie: Mystery Pill Bottle #1, Mystery Pill Bottle #2, Cigar Tube #8, Cigar Tube #9, etc.). At one point, the hider himself got mixed up and accidentally gave two caches the same name. For gosh sake, McDonalds restaurants seem more unique!

 

I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing, but these minis don’t require or receive much maintenance (if any) on the part of the hider. If enough people don’t find one, it’s just archived – no follow up visit needed on the part of the hider to confirm or deny existence.

 

To claim a Find as a hunter, you log the cache online first, then email the hider – and you won’t receive a reply unless there’s a problem. Like I said, I don’t know if this is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – but it all adds up to feeling sort of impersonal. Of course, with so many caches out there, the hider would go nuts if he gave a personal response to everyone claiming a Find. I’d prefer a more personal interaction with the hider, but I understand that it’s impossible when he has so many Finders to service.

 

I’d not go so far as to call these minis geotrash, as I’ve honestly enjoyed my hunts for all of them. In fact, they often make for a welcome change of pace, especially from a grueling multi or stupefying puzzle cache. However, when you’ve found as many as I have, you really do start to get tired of them, and the fact is, our Chicagoland area is now pretty darn saturated with these minis.

 

After all, ‘Variety is the spice of life’ (and for some of us, geocaching is life!) so I think that the time for fewer, but ‘higher quality’ caches has arrived here in Chicagoland. Leave the minis that are out there now (and kudos to the cacher who hid ‘em) but NO MORE, please! I personally hope the cacher that hid these spends as much time planning and hiding his next cache as he did hiding the last three-dozen of his minis (in fairness, he has hidden some great regulars, too).

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I'll be honest. At first I really hated them. They're tough to find and I found them extremely frustrating. Many times I came home from searching for those darn pill bottles and cigar tubes cursing the cache placer's name and and swearing I'd never attempt to log one of his caches again.

 

But since then my opinion has changed -- dramatically.

 

I have to say they actually ended up rekindling my love of geocaching. Because the tubes are so small they can be hidden in really clever places. They are challenging and most of them force you to stop and think rather than letting the GPSr lead you right to it.

 

After going back and finding those tubes which I was convinced had gone missing, they ended up being very enjoyable. I now go out of may way to find them. Just my opinion but I really love having them as an option.

 

While I like traditional caches and signing logs, I find the micro caches with nothing in them just as enjoyable. I certainly hope more of them are placed.

 

I must have spent an hour searching for Cigar Tube #7 the other day. I was convinced it had been stolen. When I got home I read where Cachewnut found it shortly after my attempt. The next morning I went out to redeem myself. Finally finding that darn tube was just about the most rewarding cache experience I've had to date. icon_wink.gif

 

Jolly R. Blackburn

http://kenzerco.com

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OK - I'll clairfy my position a little.

 

I don't mind the micros at all. I have found some. I even went out of my way to find a new one (which was at least 45 feet off on the coordinates - and I never did find before he had to archive it).

 

I don't mind not trading. I don't trade much anyway.

 

I'd prefer it if they had a log book - I like that thing to sign - but I can live with just finding the cache and e-mailing back.

 

The only real problem I have is the quantity. Does a 50 mile radius of caches really need 60 micro caches? Yes - that's the actual number of active micro caches within 50 miles of my house. That's 20% of the 295 caches.

 

I'm done complaining. Thanks for the opinions.

 

Markwell

Chicago Geocaching

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Markwell's gripe is more evidence that the approval standards are far too low. A few caches like that in an area might be fun, but this sounds like overkill.

 

It is also a good example of why caches tentatively approved by unknown and unseen administrators far away should be reviewed by someone familiar with the local area and "caching scene."

 

It's also a good example of why caches should only be approved with specific "expiration dates."

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This thread has really given me pause. I've just got through asking about an idea about micros as part of a high-risk, high visiblity series with bonus cache in the end. (You know the one about the dropped idea of deleting logs.) Anyway, I was thinking about 2 or 3 series of these in the area. I was to keep each series to within a 2 or 3 mile radius to cut down on the drive time.

 

I was planning to put each series of 6 or 12 micros on a single page so in a query you'd only get the single waypoint for each series. I'd have available a .loc file to download if you want, otherwise you'd have to input each by hand. I'm going to try to keep the hide of each micro as unique as possible to reduce creating a pattern.

 

So, my question would be, in an area with very few micros--and the ones that are here are excellent, but long winded--would 12 to 24 micros leading to 2 or 3 regular-sized traditional be too much for a 200 - 300 sq mile area?

 

If so, would keeping it to one series of 6 mircos and then one series of 12 micros be about right?

 

Thanks

 

CR

 

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OK let me get this straight.... You are venting because there are too many caches in your locale? Hmmm I am sure that there are many people out there who would not share the same feelings. IE just got my mom into caching in Alaska and she has the following: 1 cache 3.5 miles from her home and the next is 35.6 miles next 47.4 miles. You get the picture. I guess that if you dont want to hunt them then dont. However it sounds as if the logs are speaking for themselves. Remember, any cache is better then a day at work! icon_razz.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by GeoPrincess:

It's also a good example of why caches should only be approved with specific "expiration dates."


 

Expiration dates? I don't think so. I've heard the arguements of social trails and someone getting the "good spot." But a well maintained cache should be in place until it isn't. Folks in high density areas may appreciate expiration dates, but those of us with slim pickens don't.

 

CR

 

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I have to agree with you on the expiration dates. I think that they might be good for some place like Seattle where there are hundreds of them, but here, some of the oldest ones have the best locations. The caches would be deleted before a lot of us would have the chance to find them.

 

As for your idea of the micros leading to the caches, I would be up for that kind of a hunt. What would make it cool is to have all the micros lead to the ultimate cache, but some more directly than others, like a maze. Sounds like the making of a cool cache. icon_wink.gif

 

remybussi.gif By appointment to the Court of HRM Queen Mikki I. remybussi.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

 

Expiration dates? I don't think so. I've heard the arguements of social trails and someone getting the "good spot." But a well maintained cache should be in place until it isn't. Folks in high density areas may appreciate expiration dates, but those of us with slim pickens don't.


 

That doesn't really make sense to me. I would think that if the "picken's were slim" in a particular area, all the local cachers would have found the caches in short order and then had nothing else to seek. Over the long term, expiration dates would likely provide people in cache poor areas with more caches to seek, not fewer.

 

I didn't suggest that a cache couldn't be renewed when its expiration date had arrived. By the way, expiration dates are not a new idea. There have been a few threads discussing this idea over the past few months.

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I got my introduction to micro caches in the SF Bay area this past year. The trend seems to be going toward small, sign-only type caches in that area. Definately a bit tougher than an ammo box in a hollow tree kind of cache.

 

I've also had the opportunity to search for the caches Markwell is talking about. They are definately tougher than the traditional cache. However, I've got to say that I like them. I like them a lot. They are well hidden as a cache should be, and they are fun to search for.

 

The contents of these caches vary from numbered tickets to small toys or certain colored items. I find myself being curious about what I will find inside as much as I am curious about the hiding spot itself.

 

I had emailed one of these hiders to ask him why he puts "coordinates may be off" in the description, since for the most part I find the coordinates to be quite good. His email response to me was that he uses an older GPS and as much as he tries to get the coordinates to be right on, he always gets emails from people claiming that the coordinates are 20 feet off.

 

20 feet off is acceptable to me, 50 feet is usually the furthest I will search before a vote of no confidence in the coordinates. Only once did I find the coordinates to be near the 50 foot mark, so I encrypted them in my log. When the next couple of finders mentioned that they wouldn't have found them without those coordinates, the hider took action and changed the coordinates to match the ones I posted. I thought that was a very responsible thing to do.

 

The one thing that bothered me at first was that he hid one in the same park as one of my hides, and now people get to find two for the price of one, so to speak. Nothing wrong with that except that usually folks will go directly from one cache to another, and so they may be bypassing my suggested starting coordinates. In the end, I guess it doesn't matter, since either route is scenic enough.

 

I met one of the hiders at a recent picnic and he is into geocaching in a big way, he leads Chicago on the Leaderboard and is fourth in the state. I don't see him just folding up and leaving.

 

I would welcome more of these caches, I think they are fun. I certainly wouldn't complain about having an abundance of caches. I think the finder just needs to identify the type of caches they want to search for and bypass the ones they don't. I know that there are caches that I simply have no desire at all to do, webcam caches come to mind. Eventually when I have found everything else within 50 miles of me, I'll probably go do those just to get them of my nearest list, but for no other reason than that. As long as there are plenty of others to find, that's enough to keep me happy. I'd be more concerned about a lack of caches than having too many.

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We've got two topics going here and both are interesting. I've asked local cachers about the problem with an area being pretty much saturated with caches and for those with a few hundred finds, that amounts to driving for a few hours just to get somewhere to find a new cache.

 

About a year ago, I placed one in a park and soon someone placed two more there. Some locals were concerned about this, though I wasn't. My cache went MIA after a fair amount of finds, so last weekend I put another cache in the park but in a different area. Seems like some people are happy to have something new to hunt. My point is that while there may be lots of caches in an area, if you've found them all, you're going to wish that there were more. My question is how do we manage this situation and keep things interesting and of good quality?

 

Steve Bukosky N9BGH

Waukesha Wisconsin

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quote:
Originally posted by bigredmed:

What would make it cool is to have all the micros lead to the ultimate cache, but some more directly than others, like a maze. Sounds like the making of a cool cache. icon_wink.gif

 


 

That's another cool idea! A series of mircos, or simply tags or written coordinates, which have two sets of coordinates. It'd be like coming to a fork in a maze, only the correct choice would get you to the cache. If you get to a dead end you have to back up and take the other fork.

 

I like it! I'm sure someone has done this before, but I haven't heard of it.

 

Thanks for the idea!

 

CR

 

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

quote:
Originally posted by GeoPrincess:

Over the long term, expiration dates would likely provide people in cache poor areas with more caches to seek, not fewer.


 

I just don't understand how that would work. Anyone care to explain this or Markwell me to a good explaination?


 

I think the logic here is that as old caches expire, new ones will be placed to replace them, so there'll always be new caches to find. There's something to that line of reasoning, and in an area with more than a handful of active cachers, it probably makes a lot of sense.

 

However, I disagree that the concept works in an area like mine where there are only a dozen or so active cachers, and only one or two really active cachers. If you look at the distribution of caches local to me, you'll find that the same names appear over and over, mixed in with the names of a couple of people who don't appear to be actively caching anymore but whose caches have miraculously survived. This makes me come to a bunch of essentially unsupported conclusions that might or might not be worth sharing, but I'll share them anyway:

Those caches that are owned by people who no longer cache actively, if they expired, would become litter unless someone else took it upon themselves to retrieve the contents. Since there's never any official indication that the owner is no longer actively caching, a certain number would end up as litter because everyone thought the owner was still active, and a certain number would create hard feelings when the still-active owner went to retrieve an expired cache only to find out that someone else thought he was "dead" and had retrieved his cache. The net effect on number of available caches due to these problems is essentially zero, but the net effect on the local geocaching community would be huge, especially in an area where there are only a handful of geocachers to begin with, as people formed resentments and/or developed a sour taste for geocaching in general.

Caches owned by "dead" cachers would probably not be replaced. That doesn't make much difference to long-term cachers who found them before they expired, of course, so the net effect with respect to the original statement is zero for older cachers and negative for newer cachers who'll never find those caches and who don't have anything new to replace them.

Active cachers would probably place more caches with or without expiration dates if they had the time, money, creativity, or whatever else to place the caches and maintain them. Having their old caches expiring left and right wouldn't give them more of any of those things, though it presumably would provide them with a ready-made cache they could put in a new location if money is the limiting factor for them (That's unlikely, though; being an active cacher in an area like this means having gas money.) Being able to renew their old caches would remove the incentive to move them, though, so the net effect on cache population is probably not very high.

What I'm trying to say here is that it's not the lack of hiding places that keeps people from hiding new caches around here, it's the individual lack of other resources for the people who want to do so. Freeing up hiding places isn't going to solve the problem. Speaking from experience, I have a long list of potential hiding places and a reasonably long list of creative things to do with them, but insufficient time to do most of those things.

 

To support these assertions, I'll note that the number of caches within 15 miles of the coordinates above (which are, incidentally, the coordinates given for our Shortwave cache rather than the coordinates of anything useful) has either stayed the same or actually gone down in the past three months, due to old caches being plundered or lost (The net number of "available" caches has gone down, but some of the lost caches were just disabled until they could be replaced and they just haven't been replaced yet.) Some of those lost caches belonged to "dead" cachers, and some belonged to really active cachers. Plundering or loss are really just really random forms of expiration, so if they don't stimulate the people who hide caches to hide more caches, I don't see why a less random form of expiration would do otherwise.

 

With all of that said, I actually do think expiration is a good idea for the reason GeoPrincess stated, and for other reasons, but I think it makes a much bigger difference in areas where there's a cache under every bush.

 

Finally, a suggestion: if you think expiration would be a good thing for geocaching in your area, practice it: archive your old caches and either move them or remove them, and see what happens. Suggest - nicely - that others do the same, perhaps in a regional forum, at a local event, or within the context of whatever local geocaching organization might exist. One local cacher here archived everything he had and then rehid all of them, effectively creating a lot of new caches at the expense of the old ones (his reason, at the time, was that he wanted to rename them all to fit his new naming scheme. There was probably an easier way to do that....) The jury is still out, but it looks like those who found his old caches were pretty ambivalent about the new hides, possibly because the essential nature of each cache didn't change much. Perhaps if he'd moved them all to really unique new locations, the response would have been different, but there's only one way to find that out: do it, and let us know what happens.

 

warm.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

 

Finally, a suggestion: if you think expiration would be a good thing for geocaching in your area, practice it: archive your old caches and either move them or remove them, and see what happens. Suggest - nicely - that others do the same, perhaps in a regional forum, at a local event, or within the context of whatever local geocaching organization might exist. One local cacher here archived everything he had and then rehid all of them, effectively creating a lot of new caches at the expense of the old ones


 

As I have stated in other threads on this subject, I like the idea of periodic reverification of both caches and cache owners, which is essentially the same as an expiration date with an option of renewal.

 

In the course of the past discussions, people agreed that most caches are visited frequently when first placed and then after a few months (three months was a period oft mentioned) they are infrequently visited. Many cache owners are conscientious about maintaining their caches and post notes to their cache pages regarding the status of the cache. It is my opinion that having to periodically reverify their caches would be a non-issue for those cache owners.

 

But many other cache owners are not so conscientious. At the very least, a reverification process would help ensure that their caches had been revisted and maintained.

 

I suggested in the past that it would be reasonable to assume that caches that had not been reverified (within a reasonable time frame) were abandoned and that their owners were no longer active. This could be determined further by an e-mail sent to the registered owner of a cache that had not been reverified: if the e-mail bounced or was ignored, the cache would be archived and a local volunteer (who had found and logged the cache) would be asked to retrieve the cache. (I don't support the concept of cache adoption, but that could be a possible alternative.)

 

There are also active cache owners who simply place many more caches than they can reasonably expect to maintain. Many such caches have been reported as missing or in extremely poor condition by multiple cachers over many months (more than a year, for a few) with no action being taken by their (currently active, for the caches I have in mind) owners. Perhaps a limit should be established as to how many active caches one may have.

 

I live in the cache-rich NY/NJ region. All of these problems exist here, and I have done precisely what Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy's quote suggests: Over the past couple of months, I have archived all 16 of my caches with the intent of eventually reusing the same general locations in fresh ways.

 

Incidentally, the loss of those 16 caches has had no noticeable affect ... I think several hundred caches could disappear overnight in this region and not be noticed for months ... if ever.

 

[This message was edited by BassoonPilot on January 02, 2003 at 02:19 PM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by BassoonPilot:

I suggested in the past that it would be reasonable to assume that caches that had not been reverified (within a reasonable time frame) were abandoned and that their owners were no longer active. This could be determined further by an e-mail sent to the registered owner of a cache that had not been reverified: if the e-mail bounced or was ignored, the cache would be archived and a local volunteer (who had found and logged the cache) would be asked to retrieve the cache. (I don't support the concept of cache adoption, but that could be a possible alternative.)


 

So even perfectly workable and active caches could be brought down simply because the original owner is no longer active? That's not an idea that I'd particularly care for.

 

Now, if the cache is ruined or missing and the owners don't respond, taking the cache down is appropriate, even something I've been part of.

 

But let's not take down caches that are in good shape just because the original owner is no longer around.

 

CR

 

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Just wanted to clarify something here.

 

To quote from one of the cache Descriptions. "I have hidden several of these containers and I have tried to make them all easy to find. Please note - coordinates may not be exactly perfect. You may have to look around."

 

What this actually means is that I stood over the cache and marked the spot. My GPSR may be off by 15ft. and/or your GPSR may be off by 15ft. Therefore please factor in a small margin of error. This does not indicate that I intentionally listed incorrect coordinates.

 

Spyderuser was Here !

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quote:
Originally posted by Sissy-n-CR:

So even perfectly workable and active caches could be brought down simply because the original owner is no longer active? That's not an idea that I'd particularly care for.


 

Yes. One can find references to how responsible geocaching/geocachers are practically everywhere on the geocaching.com website. Abandoning caches is not a responsible act. Allowing abandoned caches to remain on the website does not demonstrate responsible oversight of the sport or management of the website.

 

Responsible cache owners who are no longer able to, or interested in, maintaining their caches will either arrange for someone else to assume that responsibility or will remove and archive their caches. The issue of abandoned caches is among the most often voiced concerns of land managers; it is the geocaching community's responsibility to directly address, and eliminate, that concern.

 

If the location of a removed cache was exceptional, it would quickly be reused by another cacher.

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I've had the pleasure of being first to find a number of the said cigar tubes and found it quite a bit of fun seeing as there aren't any fun caches within ten miles of my house any more. In fact I plan to go find the seven new caches the new guy placed this weekend and I know I'll have fun searching for them. The real fun is in the hunt afterall.

 

I much prefer these over multi staged caches that require returning home for research between stages. That's just crazy to me. I've driven by a number of those in favor of unting for micros.

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quote:
Originally posted by BassoonPilot:

Abandoning caches is not a responsible act. Allowing abandoned caches to remain on the website does not demonstrate responsible oversight of the sport or management of the website.


 

Who decides its abandoned and when?

Theoretically a cache is self sustaining. If you trade for something or TNLN the only maintainance is usually from the effect of UV light on tupperware or replacing a logbook when its full. If the cache is an ammo can weather is pretty much a non factor.

I know, I know, I know, people start out caches with lots of cool stuff and the caches end up getting the goodies traded out for rocks sticks and mactoys. But who of us has made their decision to hunt a cache or not based on our estimation of if there are indeed little green army men or rubber balls actually in the cache? Which cachers update their origional cache inventory with each trade and keep it current so hunters know at all times if there are cool trinkets or junk in the cache at any particular time?

 

I know of some cache's that are in fine shape long after their owners have slowed their caching to an intermittant crawl. Removal of a functioning cache simply because the cache owner hasnt made a log in 3 months hurts the hunter more than anything else.

Understand, I come from a part of the country where a 20 mile radius search recently turned up less than 200 caches. In NJ and NY it is entirely diffrent I am sure.

The problem with rules and legislation is that what fixes a percieved problem for you actually hurts and is a wrong solution for a diffrent part of the country.

 

A cache may BE abandoned, but if its still hidden and dry and interesting, why shouldnt we still hunt it?

The safty valve on abandoned caches that are completely strewn about would be the same as when we find ones that are vandalised. We cache in trash out and email the owner to see if he wants his stuff returned.

Am I oversimplifying this?

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

 

Cachin's a bit sweeter when you've got an Isha!

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quote:
Originally posted by Ish-n-Isha:

 

Who decides its abandoned and when?


 

This was detailed in a previous post to this thread.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Ish-n-Isha:

 

Theoretically a cache is self sustaining. If you trade for something or TNLN the only maintainance is usually from the effect of UV light on tupperware or replacing a logbook when its full. If the cache is an ammo can weather is pretty much a non factor.


 

So you believe that a "cache owner" is absolved of further responsibilty for their cache once it has been placed. I disagree.

 

Cache maintenance includes ensuring that the cache remains hidden in the proper location/manner and that the location is not deteriorating because of the activities of those seeking the cache.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Ish-n-Isha:

 

I know of some cache's that are in fine shape long after their owners have slowed their caching to an intermittant crawl. Removal of a functioning cache simply because the cache owner hasnt made a log in 3 months hurts the hunter more than anything else.


 

I'll have to re-read the thread to see where you got that "3 month" figure.

 

I would think any expiration date/reverification period would more likely be for 6 months or a year, with a 30 or 60 day grace period after "expiration" and owner notification. I reject the notion that cache seekers would be "hurt" by the removal of abandoned caches, as stated in a previous post to this thread.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Ish-n-Isha:

 

Understand, I come from a part of the country where a 20 mile radius search recently turned up less than 200 caches. The problem with rules and legislation is that what fixes a percieved problem for you actually hurts and is a wrong solution for a diffrent part of the country.


 

I do understand; that's why I believe requiring greater responsibility from and involvement by cache owners would probably provide, over time, more caches for people in cache-poor areas to seek.

 

I have been greatly surprised that no one took umbrage with my suggestion that perhaps a limit should be established as to the number of active caches cache owners may have. I think that in conjunction with an expiration or reverification policy, this would especially help cache-poor and stagnant areas. People in your situation want more caches to seek; what good are caches placed 6 months or a year ago that all the local cachers found long ago?

 

quote:
Originally posted by Ish-n-Isha:

 

A cache may BE abandoned, but if its still hidden and dry and interesting, why shouldnt we still hunt it?


 

Nobody suggested that anyone should not seek a cache until/unless such a cache had been archived. As stated above, I would suggest that (abandoned or not) if a cache has been in place for 6 months or a year and local cachers are no longer seeking it, the cache has become irrelevant and is therefore unnecessary. Cachers who failed to avail themselves of an opportunity to seek it have clearly demonstrated their lack of interest in that cache.

 

quote:
We cache in trash out and email the owner to see if he wants his stuff returned.

Am I oversimplifying this?


 

Well, yes, since the cache wouldn't have been subject to archival in the first place if the cache owner had replied to a simple e-mail.

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quote:
Originally posted by BassoonPilot:

People in your situation want more caches to seek; what good are caches placed 6 months or a year ago that all the _local_ cachers found long ago?


 

All of the local cachers who've been around for a while, anyway. What about the new cachers? I know that the first thing I did when I heard about geocaching was come here and plug in my ZIP code and see whether there was anything nearby. Probably, at that time, most of what was near me had been found by nearly everyone who was caching in this area then. In fact, with the scarcity of caches (and cachers) around here, anything that's been out there for more than three or four nice weekends has probably been found by everyone local who's going to look for it. Does that mean it's outlived its usefulness? I don't think so.

 

A quick survey tells me that all but 3 of my 25 closest caches are less than a year old anyway. In fact, only those three caches have been there longer than we've been caching. Of the 27 caches we found in the past year (yeah, we're slow) the first 5 are archived. So - in this area at least - the existing attrition rate may be making expiration a moot point.

 

I don't have a problem with cache owner verification; I'm just concerned about the "automated" part of it. It would be nice if there were a button I could press that said "ping this cache owner and see if he's still alive" as a sort of in-between step between emailing him myself (and having no reliable audit trail) and asking that the cache be archived. Maybe even have an option to adopt the cache if the owner is found to not be alive. Heck, don't even beat around the bush. Send an email that says "You placed such-and-such a geocache on such-and-such date. Someone is concerned that you might not be maintaining it. If you fail to reply to this email within 30 days, your cache will be put up for adoption. If you are no longer interested in geocaching, just ignore this message."

 

Obviously, such a button could be abused, so you'd want to limit the rate at which such messages were sent, but the basic idea seems sound to me.

 

warm.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

 

All of the local cachers who've been around for a while, anyway. What about the new cachers? I know that the first thing I did when I heard about geocaching was come here and plug in my ZIP code and see whether there was anything nearby. Probably, at that time, most of what was near me had been found by nearly everyone who was caching in this area then.


 

No, I don't believe caches should be left in place 'in perpetuity' just in case a new cacher, or visiting cacher, pops up.

 

I do, however, support the idea of cache (and cache owner) reverification: If active cache owners believe their (oft or rarely visited) caches should remain beyond whatever the designated timeframe is, and they agree to continue to maintain such caches, I agree that option should be available to them.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

 

In fact, with the scarcity of caches (and cachers) around here, anything that's been out there for more than three or four nice weekends has probably been found by everyone local who's going to look for it. Does that mean it's outlived its usefulness? I don't think so.


 

I agree with you that "three or four nice weekends" is too short of a period; as I stated previously, I think an "expiration date," or reverification six months or one year after cache approval would be reasonable.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

 

I don't have a problem with cache owner verification; I'm just concerned about the "automated" part of it. It would be nice if there were a button I could press that said "ping this cache owner and see if he's still alive" as a sort of in-between step between emailing him myself (and having no reliable audit trail) and asking that the cache be archived. Maybe even have an option to adopt the cache if the owner is found to not be alive.


 

I don't see why the "automated" part is a problem ... as discussed in those previous threads, if the cache owner followed the simplest procedure (perhaps merely checking a box on the cache page), s/he (and the cache) would be automatically reverified. If the cache owner failed to do that, an e-mail outlining the procedure would automatically be sent to the registered e-mail address 30 days after the cache had "expired." If the e-mail bounced or the owner failed to act, the cache would automatically be disabled at the end of (another) 30 days and the system would alert an administrator, who would then review the situation and, if deemed necessary, enlist a local volunteer to remove (or adopt, if you wish) the cache. After the cache had been physically removed, it would then be permanently archived. The former location would then be available for any cacher who wishes to reuse it.

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

I don't have a problem with cache owner verification; I'm just concerned about the "automated" part of it. It would be nice if there were a button I could press that said "ping this cache owner and see if he's still alive" as a sort of in-between step between emailing him myself (and having no reliable audit trail) and asking that the cache be archived. Maybe even have an option to adopt the cache if the owner is found to not be alive. Heck, don't even beat around the bush. Send an email that says "You placed such-and-such a geocache on such-and-such date. Someone is concerned that you might not be maintaining it. If you fail to reply to this email within 30 days, your cache will be put up for adoption. If you are no longer interested in geocaching, just ignore this message."

 

Obviously, such a button could be abused, so you'd want to limit the rate at which such messages were sent, but the basic idea seems sound to me.

 

http://216.202.195.127/warm.gif


Without jumping into the actual debate, there is already a way to do this, Fuzzy. One each cache page there is a link to the cache hider's profile. Click that. It will show you the last time the person visited the website. It will also show you if the email the hider has registered with is no longer valid. Those 2 things alone should give you a very good idea of the hider's current status. Couple that with their hides/finds dates and the condition of the cache and its maintenence, and you should be able to make a good guess as too the status of the hider. Even a better guess then just pressing a "ping" button on the cache and waiting 60 days.

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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quote:
Originally posted by BassoonPilot:

 

So you believe that a "cache owner" is absolved of further responsibilty for their cache once it has been placed. I disagree.

 

Cache maintenance includes ensuring that the cache remains hidden in the proper location/manner and that the location is not deteriorating because of the activities of those seeking the cache.


 

No one believes that and you know that was not the point.

 

Lets assume your hypothetical about the local cache thats had no hits from locals for a while.

 

If no one has hunted it and its hidden and by default it was already placed in a legal and correct place, who does it hurt to let it sit there until a new cacher comes along or your family comes to town and you want to take them on a hunt you might already have been on...?

 

There are too many who would make the assumption that there is no interest when a cacher hasnt logged in a while. Actually I know of at least 2 people who have taken 3-4 months off not from lack of interest but from health reasons and broken bones.

 

When you live in NJ and the place is a crawling mass of people, a cache has alot greater chance of accidental discovery than out in here in BFE.

 

icon_geocachingwa.gif

 

Cachin's a bit sweeter when you've got an Isha!

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quote:
Originally posted by Mopar:

Without jumping into the actual debate, there is already a way to do this, Fuzzy. One each cache page there is a link to the cache hider's profile. Click that. It will show you the last time the person visited the website. It will also show you if the email the hider has registered with is no longer valid. Those 2 things alone should give you a very good idea of the hider's current status.


 

Apparently I wasn't clear enough. I know about all of those things, but they are all purely passive, and can be wrong. For example, this cache seemed to have an absent owner for a long time, but it was popular so it was never really in need of maintenance to speak of. The owner, as you see, has not found a cache since May. I couldn't tell you whether he came back just because he got the "archive this cache" email or whether he was visiting the website periodically the whole time, but he is definitely alive even though he isn't actively caching anymore.

 

Besides, once I've checked all that info (and assuming the email address used at registration is still valid) then what? There's no easy way, short of a personal note to the admins, to say "I think this cache might be orphaned and I'd like to see about adopting it if it is." If there were, maybe a lot more people would do it. As I understand it now, the procedure is:

  • email the owner.
  • wait a week or two to see if the owner responds, trying not to forget about the cache in the meantime.
  • If the owner doesn't respond, email the admins and claim to have emailed the owner and gotten no response.
  • Wait for the admins to get to the message.
  • Wait for the admins to try emailing the owner themselves, since there's no telling whether you've already done so or given the owner enough time to respond.
  • Wait for the admins to manually handle the cache adoption.
That's a lot of work, both for the person who finds an abandoned cache and for the admin who ends up handling it.

 

We already have "cache should be archived," what's wrong with "cache might need to be adopted"? Most of the procedure seems to be the same, it's only the outcome that's in question. I don't want to archive The Sarsaparilla Cache because it's in a great location and it's still popular, even though the owner (different owner, actually) hasn't been here since May. But I'd love to adopt it, if I could make anonymous inquiries into its actual status without the fear of hurting Mr. Carboneau's feelings (and inviting possible retribution, should he be "that kind" of geocacher) by suggesting that he might have abandoned his cache.

 

This cache seems, to me, to be a good argument against automated expiration: the owner hasn't logged anything in seven months, but the cache itself is still in great shape (I was there myself in early November, to place a card for Shortwave and for other reasons I wanted to keep secret at the time) and is still being visited (the latest visit, also not logged, was four days ago by KidCraZy, to retrieve the Secret Squirrels cache that I left there in November.)

 

I think there should be a mechanism to prompt the owner to either fix his cache, give it up for adoption, or archive it, but I don't think that mechanism should kick in just because some arbitrary timer went off. I think a human should be required to make the decision to start that mechanism going.

 

warm.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

But I'd love to adopt it, if I could make anonymous inquiries into its actual status without the fear of hurting Mr. Carboneau's feelings (and inviting possible retribution, should he be "that kind" of geocacher) by suggesting that he might have abandoned his cache.


 

By the way, for what it's worth, I just emailed the owner of that cache to make slightly less anonymous inquiries into the cache's status, because I'd hate to see it fall into disrepair. I still think it'd be nice if there were a semi-automated procedure for this, though.

 

warm.gif

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Just because the locals aren't hunting a cache anymore doesn't mean people just getting into the sport and people passing through wouldn't hunt it. In fact, we've been saving most of the local caches for short days, days where we have no desire to travel to cache. Just because we haven't hunted them yet doesn't mean we don't want to. I really don't think the "all caches will be found by the locals in short order" argument for terminating caches is valid.

 

I agree that land managers like to have a contact to discuss a particular cache. This can be a problem if the placers are no longer active. But the landmanagers can simply get in touch with TPTB and they can contact a recent local finder for assistance.

 

Caches gone bad. Most, if not all, of the caches we've come across which were in dire need of maintenance were in place for less than a year. Some of which the placers are no longer active or you simply do not get a response. These fall under the radar of the expiration concept of self cleaning.

 

I simply don't see the point of fixed term caches, even renewable ones.

 

If were concerned about the quality of the caches, this is what we could do:

 

  • If the log notification email bounces, it can be put into a que and tried again in a couple of days. Then if it bounces three times, the account is put on an inactive list.
  • On the cache logging page, a check box can be placed for "This cache needs maintenance." The cache page is flagged and the owner is notified in addition to the regular log notification.
  • If both the "needs maintenance" and inactive owner tag is flagged, then the cache page could say "this cache needs temporary adoption." A volunteer could then go take care of it. If it is beyond repair or the cache is simply not viable, then they, having seen it first hand, could request it be archived.
  • To get a volunteer, email each of the previous finders for that cache asking for help. They would post a note on the cache if they intend to do so, or ignore the email if not.
  • If no one steps up to adopt the cache then it can simply be archived. The GeoTrash problem remains though.

 

Sounds like a simple solution to maintain caches regardless of the length of time it's been out AND there's less risk of taking down viable caches and ticking people off.

 

I think one should also consider something. Making it too strict with heavy handedness, elitist views, or trying to move the sport toward utopia [not saying any of that pertains to this thread] would alienate quite a few players. There's absolutely nothing wrong with rules, standards and guidelines, but they must be sensible. If not, the result would more offshoot websites, maybe even software packages similar many forum packages you can install on your own website. Regional sites with caches. Whole groups of people delisting their caches here and putting them up elsewhere. Even underground sites you wouldn't want to associate with geocaching. Then the central players would have absolutely no say in the matter.

 

That's the reason we should be careful in these matters. We need sensible guidelines.

 

If we're concerned about people dropping out, maybe we could implement a "groups" idea. Users could form a group and it not only be a social type of thing, but also members of the group could be tapped to take care of other member's caches if the placers are not available. There are groups now, but independant of GC.com. This could foster a more inclusive atmosphere rather than exclusive.

 

CR

 

72057_2000.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

 

I think there should be a mechanism to prompt the owner to either fix his cache, give it up for adoption, or archive it, but I don't think that mechanism should kick in just because some arbitrary timer went off. I think a human should be required to make the decision to start that mechanism going.


 

I like the idea of the owner having the option to give it up for adoption.

 

I made a suggestion in this post about recycling cache_IDs, but the core idea was about creating a list of adoptable caches. (Dead cache_IDs would also be adoptable, but is not relevant to this discussion.)

 

Being able to adopt a cache is certainly better than taking down a popular cache and starting all over with a new cache-ID, et al. all in the exact same spot, IMHO.

 

Beyond the work to impliment the mechanism, adopting a cache would be much less work for the appovers than archiving one and approving another.

 

CR

 

72057_2000.gif

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quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

Apparently I wasn't clear enough. I know about all of those things, but they are all purely passive, and can be wrong. For example, http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=3461 seemed to have an absent owner for a long time, but it was popular so it was never really in need of maintenance to speak of. The owner, as you see, has not found a cache since May. I couldn't tell you whether he came back just because he got the "archive this cache" email or whether he was visiting the website periodically the whole time, but he is definitely alive even though he isn't actively caching anymore.


Ahhh, but you looked at more then you saw then. This cache is a perfect example of what I was talking about, actually. I mentioned looking at a combination of things. He's logged into the site recently. His contact info is still valid. When there was a problem with this cache, he addressed it in a timely manner. He also logged a note on his other cache a month ago, so even though he isn't actively seeking or hiding caches, I know he is still active on the site.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Warm Fuzzies - Fuzzy:

Besides, once I've checked all that info (and assuming the email address used at registration is still valid) then what? There's no easy way, short of a personal note to the admins, to say "I think this cache might be orphaned and I'd like to see about adopting it if it is." If there were, maybe a lot more people would do it. As I understand it now, the procedure is:+ email the owner.+ wait a week or two to see if the owner responds, trying not to forget about the cache in the meantime.+ If the owner doesn't respond, email the admins and claim to have emailed the owner and gotten no response.+ Wait for the admins to get to the message.+ Wait for the admins to try emailing the owner themselves, since there's no telling whether you've already done so or given the owner enough time to respond.+ Wait for the admins to manually handle the cache adoption.That's a lot of work, both for the person who finds an abandoned cache and for the admin who ends up handling it.


Actually, there's a VERY easy way. I it's a good cache, and you see a problem come up that the cache owner isn't addressing, just fix it. Do you really need to have your name at the top to add a new logbook, or replace torn ziplocks? I was reminded of a local cache in another thread today. It's a great cache, above average in the cache contents. The hider is in the military, and not always able to maintain the cache. So when a problem came up, a local cacher repaired it. He posted a note to the page that he went out and repaired it. That's all it takes. I carry spare logbooks, pencils, "foud it!" sheets, and ziplocks. If a otherwise good cache needs a little work, I fix it. No need to go through the trouble to adopt it.

 

Tae-Kwon-Leap is not a path to a door, but a road leading forever towards the horizon.

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quote:
Originally posted by Ish-n-Isha:

 

Lets assume your hypothetical about the local cache thats had no hits from locals for a while.

 

If no one has hunted it and its hidden and by default it was already placed in a legal and correct place, who does it hurt to let it sit there until a new cacher comes along or your family comes to town and you want to take them on a hunt you might already have been on...?


 

I can only presume you didn't actually read my preceding posts to this thread.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Ish-n-Isha:

 

There are too many who would make the assumption that there is no interest when a cacher hasnt logged in a while. Actually I know of at least 2 people who have taken 3-4 months off not from lack of interest but from health reasons and broken bones.


 

I'll bite. In what way is this relevant to the discussion? If a process similar to the one being discussed had been in place at the time of those unfortunate souls' illnesses/injuries, would they have been unable to access a computer for a period of several months, and would they have been unable to ask a friend, relative or other local cacher to check up on their cache if it had been necessary?

 

quote:
Originally posted by Ish-n-Isha:

 

When you live in NJ and the place is a crawling mass of people, a cache has alot greater chance of accidental discovery than out in here in BFE.


 

Again, I question whether you actually read anything I wrote. That quote is totally irrelevant; "accidental discovery of caches" is not an issue I touched on, and I have addressed at length how the process I was supporting would benefit cachers in cache-poor regions.

 

I enjoy the exchange of different viewpoints and it doesn't bother me in the least when people strongly disagree with my positions, but at this point, I can't for the life of me decide whether you failed to understand what I wrote or are just trolling.

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since I first saw Markwell's post.

 

I have returned several times to get a sense for what others with more experience and less experience than me think. At a bit over 100 finds, I am no longer a newbie but not yet a veteran cacher.

 

Though this thread has gone through normal deviations from where it started, my initial thoughts on the topic remain unchanged. In general, I like the caches in question. I have done 10 from the original cacher and 2 of the new cacher's. The original cacher has archived, as a result of this thread I suspect, 8 of those 10. I was very happy to see that one of the 2 remaining is still active as it was one of my favorites but was done without George and Collin. I want to take them to find it themselves.

 

On several occassions, the caches in question have turned up on my closest to home page after it had been cleared...one time three showed up. The boys and I went out and did them and we enjoyed some more than others. No different for us than a traditional cache.

 

I appreciate from reading the forums that some people don't like locationless caches...I don't seak them out but have no issue with doing some that are interesting to me from time to time. I had never done a Markwell Photographer's Cache until last weekend. I enjoyed it. So did the boys and their cousins. Markwell may feel differently but I see them as locationless caches with a twist. My favorite cache is a virtual. Some folks don't like those.

 

I suppose what I am getting at here is that there are thousands of us participating in this sport of Geocaching and I feel there is room for many different types of caches. Also each of us as individuals may choose a particular type of cache depending on our mood, energy level or the others caching with us at the time. I wouldn't plan on taking first-time children cachers on a day of just finding test tubes, but I could spend an afternoon finding a few with George and Collin and not one of us would fail to have a good time.

 

I would also like to take this opportunity to ask the cacher who we are discussing to unarchive at least some of his more challenging tubes. It would be a shame for some of the locals to miss them even if there is no log to sign. My on-line logs have tended to be more detailed than my on-site logs anyway.

 

Thanks for listening!

 

George

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Wow this thread sure took a left turn. The topic was if there is such a thing as too many micro caches. The placers of these micro caches have already commented, and as far as I know, they have been doing a good job of maintaining them. In some cases they have even been maintaining each other's caches.

 

I can see the trend moving towards micro caches for the more experienced cache hunters, for whom the thrill of trading toys has worn off. The skill they acquire through experience should be enough to help them find the micros. Additionally the micro caches have less impact and containers such as film canisters or altoids boxes are less likely to be blown up by the bomb squad.

 

Traditional and micro caches provide a nice mix and variety for cache hunters of all experience levels. Talk of archiving caches or placing limits on them is just silly talk, the last thing we need here is more buttons to click or forms to fill out.

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quote:
Originally posted by Dad and the Dynamic Duo:

I had never done a Markwell Photographer's Cache until last weekend. I enjoyed it. So did the boys and their cousins. Markwell may feel differently but I see them as locationless caches with a twist.


 

I think your description is probably accurate. I don't like these myself but can see where others do. I did one in particular, the Chicago themed one, to get it off my list because every couple of moves it would show up on my nearest list. I doubt that it would normally bother me, but every time these caches are moved, Markwell resets the date on them and they keep showing up as new. Some of these have been around longer than I have, but they keep showing up as new. I can understand , I guess, why Markwell is bothered by those micros, it's probably the same feeling I get when one of these keep popping up near me as new.

 

Maybe he would consider not resetting the date on each move, I wouldn't go so far as suggest they be made totally locationless, since the coordinates do point the finder towards the subject of the photos.

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I hadn't chimed back in on this thread because it took such a bizarre turn. But I will now that it's coming back on topic.

 

I never intended the cacher in question to archive his caches - and I'm sorry that he did. I tried as best as possible with my meager writing skills to get across in my original post that I understand that some people like them and actively seek them out - and that I just have a different opinion. Remember this line?

quote:
Am I taking this too seriously, or am I right to be concerned about these things?
Again, I had NO intention of asking this cacher to archive the ones out there.

 

It appears, however, that the cache hider will be placing more micros in the area (for which I am glad), and that he will be placing log books in them (for which I am MORE glad).

 

I also understand that "variety is the spice of life" (as Renegade Knight said) and take no offense when someone says that they don't like my Photographer's Caches or a puzzle cache that makes someone go home for research in between legs. We each like what we like and we seek out caches the based on those likes/dislikes.

 

Can 1 hider adequately maintain 31+ caches? Maybe. I can't - I've got three that need maintenance and haven't been able to get to.

 

Seems kinda weird, but I guess if every one of those micro caches were replaced with pill bottles that had a log book and the coordinates taken were the best possible ones (and if you get enough bad coord complaints go out and retake the coordinates), I don't think I would have a problem.

 

===============

Side topic A:

I know that the prize doesn't matter. As I said when I cache alone, very rarely do I trade anything except travel bugs. However, many times I cache with my 7yo and 3yo boys. It's really hard to get them excited about Geocaching when the goal is to find a small bottle. The McToys are extrinsic motivation to get my sons out in the woods with me. If all of the caches were just micros, after 3 trips they wouldn't want to go anymore.

===============

Side topic B:

Locationless Cache: Cache finder provides coordinates to something s/he has found that meets requirements.

Virtual Cache: Cache hider provides coordinates to something they want someone else to find.

 

Markwell

Chicago Geocaching

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