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Help With Interpretation Of "bury" Rule


Linesides
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I recently had a cache "archived" because the cache was "buried" in sand on a beach. I've done it this way in the past, but I'm told now that anything buried is a "no no", yet the rule clearly states:

 

"Caches that are buried. If a shovel, trowel or other “pointy” object is used to dig, whether in order to hide or to find the cache, then it is not appropriate."

 

My cache was buried by hand in a matter of seconds and did not require any tools - easily found and easily uncovered. I've done caches just like this in the past and people continue to find the caches with no complaints.

 

I could move the cache to above ground, but given the particular elements of it being on a beach, I've found it's better to put the cache in the sand so it isn't moved by occasional rough weather.

 

What is your opinion? Doesn't it seem the rule as stated allows me to bury the cache in the sand as long as it doesn't require tools?

 

I appealed to the reviewer once already and they said I was taking the rule too literally? Seems to me the rule is clear and makes sense since it seems to allow for exactly my type of cache placement.

 

Any suggestions on what I should do to rectify this would be appreciated.

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I'd have to side with the approver on this one. But I'm right on the line. The cache is still technically buried, even if you didn't use any "point object" to burry it. But also, there really isn't anyway to hide a cache on a beach without burrying it in sand, so hwo knows...

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I understand no buried cashes - completely covered. I can see why you don't want people digging to retrieve it for several reasons.

 

I don't understand and disagree with the interpretation of the rule to mean no implanted caches (like the original cache) where no digging is required to log it.

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I always understood that burying a cache in the sand on a beach was OK. It was using a shovel, or similar object to dig a hole that was off limits. The no burying rules has been there pretty much since the beginning, but they've been approving buried beach caches all along.

Edited by briansnat
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Thanks for your comment, TeamK-9

 

Well then why wouldn't the rule just simply say "caches that are buried" period - the end.

 

As I read it, it would seem the reason for the additional description to the rule was intentionally put there for the exact reasons I'm outlining. Why else would the "If a shovel, trowel or other “pointy” object is used to dig, whether in order to hide or to find the cache, then it is not appropriate" be in the rule if it wasn't to provide some exception? The word "IF" definately infers "exception".

 

I have no problem with the idea one shouldn't have to bring any kind of "tool" with them to uncover a cache - that wouldn't be acceptable.

 

Most importantly, I honestly believe if I "expose" this cache otherwise, it won't survive in the environment it's in.

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Hmmm ... interesting. I recently did an urban cache that was a small cookie tin hidden under a bush then covered over with bark dust. Would that count the same as covering with sand? This one has been in quite some time and there never seemed to be a problem with it.

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As I read it, it would seem the reason for the additional description to the rule was intentionally put there for the exact reasons I'm outlining. Why else would the "If a shovel, trowel or other “pointy” object is used to dig, whether in order to hide or to find the cache, then it is not appropriate" be in the rule if it wasn't to provide some exception? The word "IF" definately infers "exception".

To cover the circumstances where someone digs a hole, then sits a container in the hole that the lid sits flush with ground level, like a "drain" container currently listed on Ebay.......

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Thanks IV Warrior...

 

Your ruling, as stated, would have been easy to follow if it were integrated into the rule posted.

 

I still believe my cache is acceptable simply because it does not require a "shovel, trowel or other pointy object" to "dig in order to "hide or to find the cache".

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While I am not familiar with the beach this particular cache was placed on, one issue that has to be considered is that some beaches actually prohibit digging. While that may sound crazy to some of you, it has to do with different factors. For example, in my area the beaches at certain times of the year are one of the few remaining places where an endagered sea turtle lays their eggs. Needless to say, digging in this area could be harmful to their continued survival. Further to the south, many of the beaches prohibit digging and walking on the dunes as they are part of a project to reintroduce certain dune grasses that help stalize the beaches and prevent errosion.

 

So, how do you decide which cache can be buried and which can not if you do not know the rules every square inch of land in the area? Even local approvers could not possibly stay on top of all the do's and don'ts in some areas.

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It might help to take a larger look at the question. Consider the effects of people looking for a "buried" cache as they dig. Not a pretty concept in most areas. We'd all get a bad name by the messes that would be left behing as lots of little holes in the ground are dug in an area.

 

Now I'm the first to admit that sandy beaches would usually not be harmed by a little digging, but there are some sand-dune areas where the flora is really quite sensitive.

 

I think I'd opt for the conservative side and recommend a different kind of hide. We're already fighting a public perception problem. Let's not add fuel to their fire.

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I recently had a cache "archived" because the cache was "buried" in sand on a beach. I've done it this way in the past, but I'm told now that anything buried is a "no no", yet the rule clearly states:

 

 

From my understanding as long as you don't do any digging it was allowed. Kids dig and play in the sand all the time so I don't see how it can hurt.

 

I have seen other caches buried in the sand. I don't understand why yours was archived.

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I think caches like that are fine, so long as they are not impossible to find, I think that is one of the reasons for "no burying" because 1) if you bury it, a searcher would have to dig a bunch of holes everywhere to find it which could mean bad publicity 2)it can be impossible to find but if it is in sand and obviously you did something to make it findable i think it is fine, maybe you should email the approver and ask him/her to check out this thread to see what we all think, I mean it does tell you to do that a little farther down in the guidlines

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"Caches that are buried. If a shovel, trowel or other “pointy” object is used to dig, whether in order to hide or to find the cache, then it is not appropriate."

The rule is poorly worded - "or to find" is especially problematic. How can a cache hider be sure that no finder will use a pointy object? It seems like the intent is to ban buried caches, but if that is the case the rule should say so.

 

The first cache that I found with my kids was this one buried on a Monterey CA beach. My kids loved it and it is still one of my favorite caches. And yes, we used a folding shovel that I keep in my car trunk to dig it up.

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...The rule is poorly worded - "or to find" is especially problematic. How can a cache hider be sure that no finder will use a pointy object? It seems like the intent is to ban buried caches, but if that is the case the rule should say so....

You are right about the intent, but you have to keep in mind that one heck of a lot of perfectly good caches are "Buried". Under rock piles. Under leaves, or take advantage of a natural hollow and then have something put on top.

 

The problem with the wording isn't so much banning buried caches, it's allowing the ones we know aren't really buried but to where a rules lawyer can nit pic.

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From another thread quoted above, here is a quote from KA:

... if you can place the cache by just moving aside sand or other soft earth without the aid of a "pointy object", then that is fine.

 

Again, sounds to me there are other issues involved here or they've since changed the rules yet again without telling the rest of us.

 

What many have said is true about some areas as being not good to dig at the beach. But if there are not such local restrictions, burying a cache should be fine.

 

With that said, I think it would be very bad form to take someone to a nondescript area of the beach and have to dig an unknown depth within the margin of error of two GPS units. Make sure there is some kind of mechanism to give exact location like exact distances (read exact feet) from two nearby objects or directions from two objects (using a quality compass), or a combination of both.

 

If you get the cheap idea to increase the difficulty of the cache by not giving an exact location then you'll have frustrated cachers and possibly compromise your cache because many people will not leave the area as undisturbed as with just one small area.

 

If it's a remote beach or area with little traffic, tether the container. You can either tie it to a existing oject, (reminder: being a beach, just because you can't move it doesn't mean nature can't move it.) or bury the cache with a tether to the surface and some object that blends in--don't want to mar the view!

 

Hope you get this resolved.

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The only way I would support a buried cache is to have it buried in the sand, but have an above surface marker (a chain leading to the actual cache container, or such) that would serve as a clue where to dig in the sand. The good will of land use managers is really important and if you have people wandering over a 30 foot circle, digging up the beach, you could have some issues with the local authorities. With a surface marker of some sort, the clue could be find the "fishing line" to pull in the big one. Cachers would hunt for the cable/chain/sign and then brush sand out of the way to get the contaner exposed.

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The only way I would support a buried cache is to have it buried in the sand, but have an above surface marker (a chain leading to the actual cache container, or such) that would serve as a clue where to dig in the sand. The good will of land use managers is really important and if you have people wandering over a 30 foot circle, digging up the beach, you could have some issues with the local authorities. With a surface marker of some sort, the clue could be find the "fishing line" to pull in the big one. Cachers would hunt for the cable/chain/sign and then brush sand out of the way to get the contaner exposed.

I agree with this but I would add one exception, you could make it a terrain 5 and tell them to bring a metal detector, but other than that you should always give them someway to know where abouts to dig

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Thanks to all for your comments!

 

I should add a couple of notes regards my cache in question:

 

This cache is in the Bahamas. I checked with the Bahamian authorities. The beachfront I placed my cache on is absolutely "public access" and digging in the sand is not prohibited in any way shape or form.

 

There is such a thing as "protected dunes" where they install special plants to hold the dunes together. These should not be used for caches.

 

With my particular "cache", I made the mistake of using the word "buried". The fact is, I simply "brushed aside" enough sand to insert a medium size tupperware container in it. It literally took me 10 - 15 seconds to insert the cache. I also marked the cache and made it quite clear exactly where the cache is.

 

I've done this before, people have found my caches, and the caches survive quite well. "Survivability" of the cache in these particular enviroments can be tricky and this is the reason why I install my caches in these areas as such.

 

For what it's worth, one needs to be at least 15' in altitude when placing caches near the beach so they don't get washed away by inclement weather. I usually shoot for 25'+ and place them very close to obvious markers and add a few of my own using natural elements such as driftwood to mark the cache.

 

Even if you were to lay the cache on top of the sand, eventually sand will accumulate on top the cache.

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Cache description usually include words "covered" or "under" to avoid the use of the bad word "buried". And indeed nobody's using showels to hide them, right? But if a use of shovels by a finders would be a big issue, then we'd have to archive most of the caches before the beginning of the snow season :D

In Russian geocaching BTW, hiders are required to provide virtual-style verification info for the traditional caches for the winter season, so that cachers won't be tempted to dig in the snow.

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