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The Negative Side Of Geocaching


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I was considering the fact that gas is rising to $2 a gallon in some parts of the country (with at least one expert on the subject saying we can expect $3 a gallon in parts of the US later this year), and it started me thinking about some of the negative aspects of Geocaching.

 

• Geocaching encourages more fuel consumption, and thus produces more pollution.

 

• Buying of cheap schwag may furthur the use of child labor in countries like China, by pushing the demand for inexpensive disposable products.

 

• Putting a greater strain on our parks and lands by encouraging lots of people to go just a little bit off-trail.

 

And let's not forget the irreperable damage we're doing to Jeremy's social life by forcing him to spend all weekend trying to kick bots off the server. <_< Now of course I realize all of the positive aspects of Geocaching, but those have been discussed to death. It's not often I see people mentioning the fact that Geocaching has its downsides too. Thoughts or comments?

Edited by Indiana Cojones
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• Geocaching encourages more fuel consumption, and thus produces more pollution.
How you choose to get to the cache is your own problem. It's not the fault of geocaching. No one would take you seriously if you said that the movie industry was wasting gas because people drove to the theatre. If you don't want to drive, bike or get an alternative fuel vehicle or even a motorcycle or Vespa.

 

In Omaha, you can have a perfectly good time caching along a bike trail that runs through the city. There's a lot of caches here that are better on bike. So I'll lay down a claim that geocaching may actually be encouraging some people to conserve gas and exercise at the same time.

 

• Buying of cheap schwag may furthur the use of child labor in countries like China, by pushing the demand for inexpensive disposable products.
Then don't buy cheap swag made in China. To the best of my knowledge my sig items and my micro birds are made of wood in America. Once again, geocaching is not at fault for the choices you make.

 

• Putting a greater strain on our parks and lands by encouraging lots of people to go just a little bit off-trail.
3) I seriously doubt I'm putting more of a strain on the parks than the deer trail I'm almost always following. Thursday, rather than follow a long paved trail I decided to "bushwack" my way in because the view looked a LOT better. Deer trails the whole way. I don't think I even did as much as brush a branch out of my way. Mother nature is not the helpless weak creature you make her out to be. She survives deer and beavers, either of which will put more of a strain on the park then I will do geocaching.

 

In addition to this, it gets people out into nature and the parks instead of leaving the Discovery channel as their only view of nature. Perhaps if more people got off the pavement, we'd remember why things like parks and wetlands and forests and prairies should mean so much to us. Geocaching gives people a personal reason to get involved.

Edited by bons
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<_<

 

Anyone have anything to actually contribute to this post?

I contributed in my first post. The posts that followed (mine included) proved that we are going to accept the down side of geocaching because we enjoy the activity.

 

If you want something that people will get uptight about mention guns here then you will get a heated thread going.

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Look at it as a photograph. The negative produces a positive (with a little work). And perception is reality. It is a personal choice to percieve something as negative just as it is a personal choice to extend the negative into positive.

 

I am sure one can find negatives to go with every positive.

I'm just not sure what is the purpose of this discussion. :mad:<_<

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Well said Bons. One of the biggest positives for me is the time I spend with my soon to be 7 year old son geocaching.

 

We both get out and get in some exercise and he gets to enjoy nature instead of spending that time playing a video game.

 

To be realistic no matter WHAT hobby you have I'm sure it's doing some damage to somebody somewhere.

 

You could say the same thing about birdwatchers that this thread implies. You could say the same thing about someone that drives out to the country at night to watch stars, etc. etc....

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Well said Bons. One of the biggest positives for me is the time I spend with my soon to be 7 year old son geocaching.

 

We both get out and get in some exercise and he gets to enjoy nature instead of spending that time playing a video game.

 

To be realistic no matter WHAT hobby you have I'm sure it's doing some damage to somebody somewhere.

 

You could say the same thing about birdwatchers that this thread implies. You could say the same thing about someone that drives out to the country at night to watch stars, etc. etc....

Cache hunting for me is also mostly time out of the house with my family. I have a fairly new cache out in a remote location and my 8 year old son is eager to go see. It has only been visited once since placing but who knows it may have gone missing and since my son want to see it we shall check on it. Most everything I do these days is for my kids. :mad:<_<

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<_<

 

Anyone have anything to actually contribute to this post?

Um... No.

Heh.

 

OK, I suppose I should clarify:

 

I enjoy Geocaching. As far as I'm concerned, all of the negatives I listed are outweighed by all of the positives which have been discussed so many times before. But just because there ARE positives doesn't mean that the negatives aren't there. The Church seems to help an awful lot of people, when the priests aren't molesting children or torturing heathens.* It's by acknowledging the bad that we grow and develop. Putting your hands over your ears and yelling "Geocaching is good!" over and over doesn't cut it.

 

Bons, not everyone pollutes. But most people aren't driving Honda Insights. Some people are driving thousands of extra miles a year to go to areas that they otherwise wouldn't go to, all because of Geocaching. If Geocaching didn't exist, they wouldn't drive the extra mileage, thus Geocaching IS directly related. Also, it's great that your signature item is handmade (I appreciate these the most). Now look me in the eye and tell me that most of the items you find in caches are handmade as well. It's not a valid argument.

 

I'm playing a bit of the devil's advocate here, but I do think that the issues I raised are certainly worth discussing, if not worth wringing your hands over.

 

* I'm using this as an example of how discussing the bad things helps changes develop and makes things get better. Please don't go after me for church-bashing.

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I'm not sure I understand the purpose of this discussion. Geocaching (like any other activity) can be related to some negative side effects. Realistically, everyone is not going to trade in their cars for bicycles, and fast food joints aren't going to spend the extra money to have their kid's meal toys made in the US. While that may be a possible solution, the fact is that people do pollute. We can control how much pollution we cause by making choices as individuals. (Such as the type of transportation we use.) However, we can't make those decisions for our neighbors. The most you can do is educate them and try to lead by example.

 

A good place to start might be a themed event cache. In order to get credit for attending the event, cachers must use alternative modes of transportation to attend. Perhaps a new type of log even. A "green" smiley, to indicate that you found the cache on foot, bike or other means of low pollution transportation. This way everyone can have a find, but those who want to can have the means for distinguishing their visits as environmentaly friendly. Just a thought. <_<

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If Geocaching didn't exist, they wouldn't drive the extra mileage.
There is no way that you know exactly what people would do if they weren't geocaching so you don't know if driving to/from the cache is causing them to drive more or less. Perhaps they would spend the time caching, simply driving around enjoying the view. You don't know.

 

Now look me in the eye and tell me that most of the items you find in caches are handmade as well.
Yes, a lot of the stuff in caches is NOT handmade. Then again, a lot of the stuff in caches doesn't seem like it was purchased for the cache. A lot of it appears to be stuff people already had lying around. If that's actually what it is, I can make the claim that the McToys are actually being recycled, by going to some other child instead of straight to the dump and that in doing so parents may actually be buying less junk toys overall.

 

You make your own choices. Geocaching doesn't make them for you. I'm not required to drive to go caching. I'm not required to buy plastic toys to go caching. If you're doing both of these things, that's your fault, not the fault of the hobby.

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<soapbox>

 

If you look hard enough, any thing positive will have a negative. I four wheel, and no I do not drive 'off-road'. <_<

I was involved several years ago in a process that brought all land users on Vancouver Island to a forum and tried to get some general guide lines and uses of the public forest lands. At the table were governments, loggers, native groups, recreational user groups, enviromentalists etc. I was representing the mechanized user groups within the recreational group. This included every thing from mountain bikes and snow mobiles to four wheelers. In the sectorial group I was in, there where hikers, mountineers, cavers, horse riders, sea kayakers, back country skiers etc.

You could say that I was the black sheep of the group. :mad: After 6 mos. or so of meetings some of the group had changed their minds about my use of the woods because of the ethics I use when persuing my other sport. (TREAD Lightly etc)

One guy though, a sea kayaker, really resented me. One night at a sectorial meeting, we had a little tiff. He tried to say that his form of recreaction was so much better then mine because when he did his there was zero impact to the enviroment. I had to point out to him that he used a vehicle to get to the area he wanted to kayak in, he used roads that were put in by logging companies, and his kayak was fiber glass, a product that uses petro-chemicals. I then asked him to figure out how many kayaks went down when the Exxon Valdez ran aground.

Now I know that was a little over the top but I wanted to make the point that every human activity does impact the world, and that at times while it looks that you are having a zero impact where you are, the things you use to persue an activity may have very large impacts elsewhere.

Discussing the negatives does serve a purpose too. It reminds people that they do impact the enviroment and makes them think about it. It will possibly make them more carefull as they do their activities along with helping them realize that the things that they use like Gortex, the computer your viewing this on, also has an environental cost too. It may even stop a few from doing it.

<rant>Will it stop me, no. But then again, I four wheel and I'm used to pissing people off. I try to explain, but if your not receptive to other points of view, I'll carefully drive around you on the road your hiking on and be on my way. If you happen to break your leg, I will stop and help get you out of there no matter what your views are. Because I work with SAR groups in our area too.</rant>

 

</soapbox>

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Look at it as a photograph. The negative produces a positive (with a little work). And perception is reality. It is a personal choice to percieve something as negative just as it is a personal choice to extend the negative into positive.

 

I am sure one can find negatives to go with every positive.

I'm just not sure what is the purpose of this discussion. :D<_<

Stop smoking that s*** :):mad:

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My entire purpose for starting this post was to have what's known as a discussion. A discussion is where people talk about a topic, offering their viewpoints and ideas, and hopefully everyone learns a bit and comes away with a better understanding, not only of other people's viewpoints, but of their own.

 

My point was not to chastise anyone, nor to get anyone to "change their evil ways." However since it's apparent that what we are going to have is not a discussion so much as a "Boy are you an idiot" argument, I'm closing the topic.

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