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Location, Hide Or A Combination?


mozartman

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I've been reading with great interest the "old-timers" thread on how the game has changed over the 3 or so years of it's existence. Check out this thread if you haven't already-- it's very enlightening!

 

Some of the comments made me think of a related question, and that is: What's more important to you as a geocacher, the quality of the location of the cache, or the difficulty or the cleverness of the hide? I mean, ideally, you want both, but which is really what it's all about for you, most of the time? Traditional, micro, whatever, I'm looking for your opinions here.

 

what's impressive or interesting to you? a natural feature? a bit of history? an architectural oddity? is it OK to place a cache that has a "hey pretty nice" factor as opposed to a "WOW, AWESOME" factor to it?

 

Thanks!

 

mozartman

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Well, if one or the other is really great, I'm coming home happy. If both are "blah" like some micros I've done, then I often go away thinking 'What was the point?" If you have a "blah" location, at least try and make the hide interesting/challenging. If you've got a "wow" location, then the difficulty of the hide just needs to be enough to keep the muggles from stumbling on the location of the container, although it never hurts if BOTH are like "oh wow" :)

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I really enjoy a cache that is particularly challenging/interesting to get to, whether it be a long hike or out of the ordinary terrain. Any cache that takes a bit of planning to bag is better than one that I immediately recognize as a drive and grab. As far as hiding difficulty, it depends. Some micros I've come across were great just because of the slyness of their locations, but overall I much prefer a navigation adventure over some needle in a haystack.

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I'm going to give you that wonderful lawyer phrase: It depends!

 

My first cache was one where I wanted a really nice location. I didn't care much about the hide being difficult (it is a really easy find after a decent hike). So it is placed at an Audubon owned site with permission that requires a nice hike but easy find. My next cache was kind of the same. It was at a lake that few in the area seem to know about, yet an easy find after the walk. My third was about showing the local cachers a different type of hide. So, it is an urban micro in plain sight stuck to a light pole with magnets. Lame in many areas, but a new thing here. My last was a Christmas theme cache where cachers getting the prizes before any possible plundering mattered most. So, it is fairly easily accessible, and while in a nice (and hopefully safe) location, is not anything overly special outside of the idea of the cache theme.

 

Edit: I figured I would add finding in here too. My favorite caches have definitely been the ones I had to work for, such as a physical hike or hard find, or which showed me a new place. Not necessarily both together though, and seeing the new neat place tends to make me notice more.

Edited by carleenp
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I always thought "It depends." was an engineering phrase?

 

Any way It does, depend that is. Right now I could maybe find two caches in one day in my area, if I didn't get stuck in the mud. I could care less what kind of cache I find. We got up early to find a key hide box in a wrecked car last weekend. [sarcasm] I was so disgusted I almost didn't log the FTF [/sarcasm]. So right now any cache I can get to in a reasonable amount of time is great.

Somebody hid a micro downtown this week, I can't wait til the company goes home so I can go find it.

 

In a perfect world, a challenge, with a view for every cache.

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The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced that not only is one not more important than the other, but there's a lot of other important things besides.

  • location
  • hiding spot
  • dealing with muggles
  • theme of the cache
  • adult cache or family cache?
  • cache container (micro, altoids, ammo box, something different)
  • logbook (can you find one for the theme?)
  • swag (theme?)
  • puzzles (mystery cache or multi?)
  • route
  • time of day
  • clues
  • web page design

Some of these things you might not think of at first, but they matter. The inspiration for my Harry Potter cache was 4 Harry Potter logbooks that were small enough to fit in an altoids container with room for a pencil. The rest was a lot of work, planning, and a number of repeat visits.

 

I've been considering getting another Pichacu Water Bottle and doing some work on it to make it a waterproof Pokemon cache (Gotta cache them all!). I think with proper planning and the perfect site, I could send carleenp on a Pokemon roadtrip.

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I agree that there are many things that play a part in determining whether a cache is a good one or not. However, when it all boils down, for me it depends primarily on location. I am much more forgiving of a leaky container and uninspired hide set on a spectacular mountain top than I am of a wicked hide or creative puzzle that leads you to the side of a freeway.

Edited by Moun10Bike
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I've been considering getting another Pichacu Water Bottle and doing some work on it to make it a waterproof Pokemon cache (Gotta cache them all!). I think with proper planning and the perfect site, I could send carleenp on a Pokemon roadtrip.

 

OOOOH! I forgot to add that I am a sucker for pokemon caches! But I guess that was a given! :)

 

Now, I have to go get myself one of those bottles too! :)

Edited by carleenp
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Some of my favorite caches are the ones that take you either to or by interesting places. A couple of my favorite caches have been a multi that took you by an old prison, a traditional that took me to an "oak opening" one of only a few in the world, a cache that took me through an old army base where I could see all the old buildings, 2 different caches that took me right up to waterfalls, 2 different caches that took me through old abandonded towns, and one of my very favorites ever was a short hike through a really cool field of giant human and animal like sculptures.. It was one of the first caches I ever did, and is still my favorite. (If you're in Upstate New York check it out Walk with Giants GC8378) I really enjoy seeing new places, or things that were right in your backyard, but that you never knew about, or took the time to visit. Once I get to the area I like to be able to find the cache relatively easily (instant gratification).

 

That said, I am glad there are lots of types. I like "challenging" caches from time to time, where you are really puzzled once you get to ground zero. However, I have brought my 80 year old Grandmother caching with me several times. She likes short walks (less then a mile round trip) and really enjoys the cache and dash type hides, where we get out of the car walk .2 or so miles find it, and return.

 

My 11 year old cousin is my almost all the time caching partner, and he loves the trading . :) His favorite type of cache is one that is stocked with great items. Nice toys, first aid items, camping stuff, watches, tattoos, etc.. We have been really lucky in that most of the caches right around my area have all had really great things in them. We went out of state caching over the fall and hit a loop of caches over a few miles that had junk in them, and even though they were really clever hides, and spectacular views, he left overall disapointed. (I was happy though) :)

 

I have also found that on long car trips looking for locationless caches out the window can be a great way to pass time. Last summer my family drove up to Toronto and we saw lots of Locationless Caches along the way. I made a print out of the checklist page, everyone read it over and would shout out when they saw one. We didnt even log them all, just had fun "car caching." Sort of like Travel

Bingo. :)

 

The great thing about caching is there are so many different kinds, you never get bored, and there is something for everyone!

 

Edit to add: I don't think every cache needs to have that WOW! factor in them, but I don't think people should place a cache in a park just because there isn't one there yet. I have placed a few easy easy ones, and stocked them with great loot, and have stated the reason why i picked that certain area. All caches that are placed with care and thought have a good place in Geocaching. :-)

Edited by OurWoods
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Well everyone is different. For me it doesn't matter too much as long is everything is decent I'm happy to add another Find to my stats. If you held a gun to my head and made me choose what is important, my order would go like this:

 

1) Location

2) Swag / Container (It's not that I like to get good trade Items, I just like to see some pride in a cache)

3) Hide

 

[edit] spelling

Edited by JMBella
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I guess I'd have to say I'm more about the location. I've always been interested in local history, but because of Geocaching, I've become much more interested in it. I've found several caches that taught me a piece of local history that isn't very well known. So that's always impressive to me. Also the old "Yet another park I didn't know about..", parts of parks I've never been to, or impressive scenery are what keep me caching.

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For me: location.

 

I actually don't care if there's nothing to find as long as I've seen somehting cool that I wouldn't have seen otherwise. And I'm talking aobut odd ball stuff. I don't want to go to some virtual that I can find in a historical guide from the park service, I want really obscure insider informtion on the wierd places to go.

 

My daughter (4 yrs old) cares about the "treasure" more than the location.

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Anything original. Since caches can't be placed one on top of another, the locations tend to be unique automatically. I like to see new types of containers, new ways to conceal them, and new ways to incorporate coordinates into simple puzzles. A very simple hide in an otherwise unremarkable location can still be fun to find. Those seemingly plain caches can be great for out of town cachers who like to see more of a new area.

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:) What we like for caches are locations we didn't know about, taking us to historical or scenic places. Some are just nice walks with clever hiding techniques for the cache.

 

:) What we don't like is dangerous hiding spots, like going up steep cliffs or hanging off the side of ruins to reach under and claim the cache. One even had us under a bridge, on a ledge, leaning to reach a micro with nothing to hang onto. Some are frustrating because there are too many people around and you have to wait to get the cache so it doesn't get plundered.

 

:) Poison Ivy is not one of our favorite things to cache thru, so far we haven't gotten it, but it is not fair to some cachers who may be allergic to it or have children with them.

 

:) We don't feel these are safe geocaching practices, but you don't know this when you have started the hunt.

 

:D But I guess all things considered it is the thrill of the hunt, with sometimes really cool treasures to be claimed.

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:) Finding the cache should be a pleasant experience. So I'd have to say that location is number one for us.

 

We ran into one yesterday that involved standing in traffic no fewer than five times. Hey, New Jersey is the Traffic State, and caching is what we do to get away from the traffic! :)

 

Other turnoffs include wastelands (junkyards, sprawl, etc.) and useless treks through unpleasant terrain (brambles and other dense jungley growth).

 

Putting the hide at a place where there's a good view, especially a view of something we wouldn't have seen otherwise, helps.

 

The hide can enhance a cache with a good placement, but it can't make a good experience out of a bad placement.

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The key to me is location, or a nice walk to the cache. I'm generally not one for "clever" hides, because I think the point is for the cache to be found. I make sure its hidden well enough that muggles won't accidently discover it, but geocachers should be able to find it with little difficulty. I don't want people tearing apart the area looking for the thing.

 

I understand that urban caches, or caches in other high traffic areas do need to be cleverly hidden, so they aren't accidetly found, but I don't place many urban caches.

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