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CoyoteRed

Geocachers Code Of Ethics

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Some wording suggestions, as promised/threatened above. :laughing: These are rewordings to try to make the examples clearer or stronger, not new points - thought I'd pass them along for your consideration:

 

...Not endanger myself or others.

 

As a placer, give enough information in your cache description for people to decide if they can handle any dangers involved, and arrange the hunt to minimize hidden dangers.

 

...Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm.

 

Don't create a cache that could be mistaken for a terrorist device (e.g. a pipe bomb).

 

...Minimize my and others' impact on the environment.

 

Follow Leave No Trace ethics whenever possible.

 

...Protect the integrity of the gamepiece.

 

Use caution and judgment when hunting a cache to prevent onlookers from discovering the location of the cache. [i combined two, and would delete: Use caution and your better judgment when confronted with a curious onlooker.]

 

If you suspect the cache is not in the proper hiding spot, hide it the best you can and alert the owner immediately. [The way this was originally worded, I fear it could be interpreted as permission to relocate a cache if you don't think it's in the best spot!]

 

Do not collect hitchhikers or other traveling items meant to stay in the wild. This is tantamount to stealing.

 

...be considerate of others.

 

Treat other geocachers civilly – in the field, in the forums, or wherever your paths may cross.

 

If you trade, trade kindly: Consider what future finders would like to trade for, and leave something equal to or better than what you take.

 

Move hitchhikers along towards their goal if possible. Don’t hold them for more than a week or two.

 

Promptly alert the owner of any issues with their cache. Make minor repairs if you can, it will save the owner a trip.

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If you suspect the cache is not in the proper hiding spot, hide it the best you can and alert the owner immediately.  [The way this was originally worded, I fear it could be interpreted as permission to relocate a cache if you don't think it's in the best spot!]

I really like Kai Team's wording. On the quoted one, maybe "If you suspect that the cache is not in it's original hiding spot . . ."

 

I'm concerned that "proper" might be misunderstood to mean what the finder thinks is proper.

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On the quoted one, maybe "If you suspect that the cache is not in it's original hiding spot . . ."

 

I'm concerned that "proper" might be misunderstood to mean what the finder thinks is proper.

That's my concern too - your wording is better!

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The code's looking good.

 

Sure is. Incredible what an interested and committed discussion group can come up with.

 

Congratulations to all who contributed. Great thread!

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On the quoted one, maybe "If you suspect that the cache is not in it's original hiding spot . . ."

 

I'm concerned that "proper" might be misunderstood to mean what the finder thinks is proper.

That's my concern too - your wording is better!

The word "intended" might also work well here.

 

It eliminates the ambiguity of "proper" while making no assumptions that the intended hiding spot is necessarily exactly the same as an "original" spot which is not always where the cache owner wants the cache to be currently. Since some caches do move during their lifetime.

 

Just a thought.

Not that I want to suggest that I support this effort or anything. :blink:

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Ok, 2 issues I'd like to comment, otherwise everything looks pretty good (on a first glance of the newest version Dated Dec. 1st, 2004).

 

Put the cache back where you found it and hide it as well as or better than you found it.

 

If you suspect the cache is not in the proper hiding spot, try to figure out where it goes and hide it well. Alert the owner immediately with detailed description of location.

 

I have a problem with hiding a cache better than I found it. I think a cache should be hidden exactly as it's found........ unless you suspect it's not in the proper hiding spot. If I hide a cache a certain way, I want people to put it back EXACTLY like I hid it, unless they suspect that's not how it's supposed to be. I don't want somebody finding my cache IN it's hiding spot and thinking to themself "Hey, that tree over there looks like a better spot" and moving the cache 25 feet.

 

I think these 2 items probably should be combined into one item:

 

Put the cache back where you found it and hide it exactly like you found it. If you suspect the cache is not in the proper hiding spot (or is no longer hidden in the proper manner), try to figure out where it goes and hide it well. Alert the owner immediately with a detailed description of the location

 

Unfortunately that's kinda long. Can one of these points be too long? Perhaps somebody can suggest a better version of that....

 

Trade kindly. Consider what future finders would like to trade for.

 

This REALLY needs to have If you trade in it. I almost never trade, and don't like the impression that I should. I also don't think we should make others (especially newbies) think they have to trade. (Maybe I'm overreacting, but I'm probably not alone in thinking that. This can be avoided).

 

If you trade, trade kindly. Consider what future finders would like to trade for.

 

sd

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The bullet points and examples aren't really part of the code, nor are they 'rules,' merely suggestions that if followed rarely will you go wrong.

 

I have a problem with hiding a cache better than I found it.

If you only hide as well as you find it, eventually it will not be hidden at all.

 

Forest debris shifts. So, if I leave it with a bit of the container exposed the next person will likely find with more of the container exposed. The cycle continues until the container is fully exposed.

 

The idea put it back in its spot and make sure it is hidden. You can only guess on the intended or desired degree in which it was hidden, but it safe to assume it should not be able to be casually viewed by simply being near it unless it's rated a 1 star.

 

This REALLY needs to have If you trade in it.

It's already implied that you should trade by the basic rules of the game. Certainly we wouldn't want to go against that would we?

 

Besides, "trade kindly" only deals with how you trade no if you should trade.

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It's already implied that you should trade by the basic rules of the game.  Certainly we wouldn't want to go against that would we?

Why not stir the pot a little?

 

Speak honestly on what the community shares as appropriate behavior and trading every time is not part of that.

 

In the end, we only try to insist on signing the log. Many, if not most of us often choose not to trade at all. Why pretend to believe otherwise?

 

Then, this list can lead to increased consistency instead of a continuation of hypocracy on this particular issue.

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Continue on to the last sentence. That's not to mention nowhere does it say you should trade. Let's not pick nits, okay?

 

Is the main tenets the way we are going to want them, or are they not? At this point in time, the rest is minutiae.

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Continue on to the last sentence. That's not to mention nowhere does it say you should trade. Let's not pick nits, okay?

 

Is the main tenets the way we are going to want them, or are they not? At this point in time, the rest is minutiae.

If it's minutiae, why include it?

 

You can't honestly say that adding "If you trade," is going to offend somebody that trades. I CAN say that it point blank TELLING me to trade does offend me.

 

I'm really not sure what the basic rules of the game are. I know what the basic rules of GC.com are, and they say something about "take an item, leave an item" - but a lot of people say gc.com's rules aren't the rules of the game.... so I won't make inferences about the rules of the game.

 

I will say I really think that should be added. It looks like I'm not alone in that. I also saw Kai Team word it the same way I did.. so that makes 3 people that think it's an issue.

 

If it's minutiae, why not just add it??

 

sd

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I will say I really think that should be added.

Owich! You twisted my arm enough! :blink:

 

It included. :(

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Next version up for editing. Dated today.

 

One thought as I was swapping out text. Some of the wording is not outsider friendly. "If you're going to trade..." Trade? Trade what?

 

Should it be less... "jargon-y?"

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CR,

 

I believe the main tenets of the code are the way we want them. There have been only positive comments on the main tenets, with the exception of a minor tweak I suggested (ignore me - I don't know when to stop :( ). People are moving on to tweaking the examples because they don't feel the need to comment on the main tenets - i.e. they're satisfied with them. It almost seems too easy, but I think you've nailed the main tenets down! :blink:

 

You're right that "the bullet points and examples aren't really part of the code, nor are they 'rules,' merely suggestions that if followed rarely will you go wrong". We should craft an introduction to the examples that says something to that effect.

 

However, the examples are more than minutiae - they will help people understand and interpret the code, which is important to creating the kind of culture we're striving for! I'd vote for spending some time on them, now that the code is in place.

 

Edit: Ooops - I was crafting this (and was interrupted several times by my family :P ) while you posted the preceding posts!

Edited by Kai Team

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If you only hide as well as you find it, eventually it will not be hidden at all.

 

Forest debris shifts.  So, if I leave it with a bit of the container exposed the next person will likely find with more of the container exposed.  The cycle continues until the container is fully exposed.

 

The idea put it back in its spot and make sure it is hidden.  You can only guess on the intended or desired degree in which it was hidden, but it safe to assume it should not be able to be casually viewed by simply being near it unless it's rated a 1 star.

 

Point taken, but I think you're focusing too much on one possibility. Not all caches are buried under forest debris. There are thousands of ways to hide a cache. I don't think we should imply that you should hide a cache better than it's hidden (unless there is a problem with it). You're thinking of a specific hide type. I'd think it'd be common sense to know you should make sure you put all the debris (and maybe some extra) back on a cache that was buried with debris. Not all caches are hidden like that.

 

I know it's hard to differentiate how it's hidden and WHERE it's hidden, but often the where has a lot to do with the how. If there's an urban micro that that was intended to be hidden so you could see the container was moved so you can't see it - you can change the intentions of the hide dramatically.

 

I think you should hide a cache exactly like you found it unless you have a good reason to suspect that's not how it was intended to be hidden.

 

At the VERY least, I do think the order should be changed so that those 2 specific items are by each other. Possibly I'd put the one about location FIRST and the other one second:

 

If you suspect the cache is not in the proper hiding spot, try to figure out where it goes and hide it well. Alert the owner immediately with detailed description of location.

 

Put the cache back where you found it and hide it as well as or better than you found it.

 

Do not move the cache to match your reading.

 

I think this makes more sense, and implies that the location should stay the same first and foremost (unless there is a problem). The 2nd point is still not as clear to me... but oh well... maybe somebody can suggest something that is a compromise without being too wordy or confusing.

 

sd

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Next version up for editing. Dated today.

 

One thought as I was swapping out text. Some of the wording is not outsider friendly. "If you're going to trade..." Trade? Trade what?

 

Should it be less... "jargon-y?"

I'm not sure. I thought this was for geocachers, not outsiders. (I don't feel like looking up your quote). Of course I understand what you're saying.

 

Some issues may be confusing for the non-geocacher as well as the new geocacher. I'm not sure if it's worth going to any great length to make it outsider friendly.

 

I'd say that the anyone learning more about a hobby should be expected to learn the jargon involved with that hobby (R.A.S.H. ... whatever).

 

Could you point out some more examples?

 

In reference to trade what? I'd say trade an item.

 

I'm not sure if it's necessary, it's implied already.

 

sd

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Newest draft is now posted here. Sorry for the delay... spent most of the evening planning for an unexpected caching trip now scheduled for Saturday!!!!

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The Geocacher's Code

Safe · Legal · Ethical

 

<span style='font-size:10pt;line-height:100%'>When placing or seeking geocaches, I will:

  • Not endanger myself or others.
  • Observe all laws and rules of the area.
  • Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate.
  • Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm.
  • Minimize my and others' impact on the environment
  • Be considerate of others.
  • Protect the integrity of the gamepiece.

</span>

I really like this. I'll apologize in advance for not wading through all the posts, but has there been any discussion of when this particular piece (the actual code) will be considered nailed down? And where after that it will be "kept"?

 

It would be very good if everyone adopted and evangelized the exact same version of the code. The blowout text is another subject, but this is a very clear, very concise statement of the values I think geocachers actually represent.

 

It's a great idea who's time has come. Thanks for starting this CR. A code of ethics should be just like this one. Clear and very concise. There are a lot of details associated with the concepts like "Protect the integrity of the gamepiece" but a statement of ethics is not the place to put the detail. It's not meant to be the bible for geocaching to teach you all you need to know.

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On the topic of trading, "Be considerate of others" already encapsulates trading fairly.

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CR -

 

This is really looking great! When you see it all together, it's very impressive! A couple of additional wording suggestions on the examples (in italics below):

 

...Observe all laws and rules of the area.

Don't leave dangerous or illegal items in a cache.

 

Rationale: Not all potentially dangerous items (e.g. knifes) are illegal.

 

...Minimize my and others' impact on the environment.

Practice "Lift, Look, Replace" - put all of the stones or logs back where you found them.

 

Rationale: Introduces an easily remembered idiom. Makes clear (especially for external audiences) that we don't toss things around and then run around and try to put it all back.

 

...be considerate of others.

Move [hitchers] hitchhikers along with their goal if possible. Don’t hold them for too long. Contact owner if you hold them for more than a couple of weeks.

 

Rationale: Typo. BTW, I agree that we shouldn't be any more specific about a time frame - "a couple of weeks" communicates the idea without being too prescriptive.

 

Don't copy unique themes and techniques, or add to an existing series of caches, without permission.

 

Rationale: I know a local cacher who was four caches into a numbered series when someone hijacked the series by placing the next cache in number sequence without permission. The originator had already placed the next cache, but the series was hijacked before he could post it! :lol:

 

That's all I have to suggest - from my point of view, the writing is done (and done well)! B)

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Don't copy unique themes and techniques, or add to an existing series of caches, without permission.

 

Rationale: I know a local cacher who was four caches into a numbered series when someone hijacked the series by placing the next cache in number sequence without permission. The originator had already placed the next cache, but the series was hijacked before he could post it! B)

Heh, I thought that only happened here. I think a bigger issue was the hider of the series was upset by the fact that a newbie who had just built a bad reputation for himself by throwing out 10 micros with scraps of paper as logsheets in the most forgettable places hijacked his theme and added a #X to the situation.

 

The newbie ended up changing it, but he's never replied to emails....

 

I guess that maybe it is worth putting as a suggestion... heh.

 

sd

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...Observe all laws and rules of the area.

Don't leave dangerous or illegal items in a cache.

 

Rationale: Not all potentially dangerous items (e.g. knifes) are illegal.

Let's talk about this a minute.

 

As I'm trying to keep this non-site specific, another site might have very different philosophies about somethings--like maybe no hard and fast rules.

 

Without getting in the past arguments of the validity of a bladed item being a good trade, I think we leave that up to the individual or listing site.

 

If something is beyond someone's general capability to just pick it up and handle it, it's generally regulated in some way. If it's regulated then it probably shouldn't be put in a cache unless you have control over who can find and open it.

 

I don't want to say it's against the Code if someone established "The Ultimate Survivalist Cache" somewhere needing a 2 day hike which included a knife, matches and fire starter, food, or heck, considering this might be anywhere in the world, a gun. For that matter, what about Criminal's booze cache (or whatever it was, it had alcohol, but just not listed on gc.com), some countries might have a different view on pornography or recreational drugs. That's not to mention some locales might have even stricker decorums than we do.

 

If anything, we might want to mention something in the "endanger" tenet about minumixing risk with the trade items--"if the cache allowes a potentially dangerous item minimize risk like tape a folding knife shut or remove batteries from powerful flashlights or lasers." Something like that.

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I'm not sure. I thought this was for geocachers, not outsiders. (I don't feel like looking up your quote).

That would be "everyone." Be it a landmanager, a newbie, or a veteran needing guidance on an issue he never dealt with before.

 

Okay. "Trade" = "Exchange trade items." We're using it both as a verb and an adjective.

 

Placer = person placing or hiding the cache. Cache Hider.

 

Finder = Person hunting a cache, not allways finding the cache. Cache Hunter.

 

But of course, we could introduce folks to these new terms by hotlinking them to the definition in a glossary somewhere. Only we don't want them having to look up a word in every line.

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Now that we've swapped the last two items one issues has been nagging at the back of my mind.

 

We've put be considerate of others over protecting the cache. As it stands, this can be construed as be considerate of other hunters and let them know where the cache is and not think about the cache owner.

 

Do you think we need a statement to the effect, "Allow other to experience the cache hunt as its owner intended" or something? Need to take care of tape trails, cache marking, blatant spoilers, etc.

 

Or should we re-word the last item in the "integrity" item and move it to the "considerate" item? "Be considerate of the owner's hunt. Minimize spoilers. Don't give away clues unsolicited. Respect owner wishes if it is requested that previous finders not help later ones."

 

Thoughts?

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...Observe all laws and rules of the area.

Don't leave dangerous or illegal items in a cache.

 

Rationale:  Not all potentially dangerous items (e.g. knifes) are illegal.

Let's talk about this a minute.

 

If anything, we might want to mention something in the "endanger" tenet about minumixing risk with the trade items--"if the cache allowes a potentially dangerous item minimize risk like tape a folding knife shut or remove batteries from powerful flashlights or lasers." Something like that.

I was reacting to: "...a cache...could be found by children or even prisoner work crew". On second thought, I agree we should move this to the "endanger" tenet. Since illegal items are fairly self explanatory, I'd suggest moving the first sub-example as well, i.e. put the following under the endanger tenet:

 

Don't leave dangerous items in a cache.

  • Recognizing a cache, your own or the one you're trading out of, could be found by children or even a prisoner work crew, don't leave any item that you wouldn't just walk up and hand them.

The one under the "observe all laws" would then read:

 

Don't leave illegal items in a cache.

  • Some drought stricken areas have forbidden matches and lighters. Pay attention to the area the cache is in and trade appropriately.

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Don't leave dangerous items in a cache.

How could we word this to take into account the area it is in. You wouldn't want to leave items with the same risk factor in a cache next to a children's park as you would in a remote cache.

 

Or should there be an additional sub-item instead?

 

"Recognize the cache could be accidentally discovered and consider 'dangerous' could mean different things in relation to different age groups. What might be a benign tool in the hands of an adult could be a tragedy waiting to happen in a 6 year old's hands."

 

...only shorter. B)

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We've put be considerate of others over protecting the cache.  As it stands, this can be construed as be considerate of other hunters and let them know where the cache is and not think about the cache owner.

 

Do you think we need a statement to the effect, "Allow other to experience the cache hunt as its owner intended" or something?  Need to take care of tape trails, cache marking, blatant spoilers, etc.

 

Or should we re-word the last item in the "integrity" item and move it to the "considerate" item?  "Be considerate of the owner's hunt. Minimize spoilers. Don't give away clues unsolicited. Respect owner wishes if it is requested that previous finders not help later ones."

 

Thoughts?

I see your point, but I'm having mixed feelings about this. A clever (obtuse) clue in a log can add to the fun of finding the cache, and if the owner doesn't object, I see that as part of the fun of the interchange with other geocachers. On the other hand, no one wants to read a log that says exactly what and where the cache is.

 

Owners can and should be clear about their wishes by saying something in the cache description if they want absolutely no hints in the logs. They can also request that someone edit an online log that gives away too much. The owner's wishes should always be respected in those cases. If their wishes aren't respected, the owner can always delete the offending log (extreme measure, but there as a last resort).

 

This is a tricky balance: what do we mean by "minimize" spoilers? Where do we draw the line - e.g. are corrected coordinates spoilers? What about really clever, cryptic hints or those that are encrypted in the online logs? It probably varies by the cache and by the owner.

 

What if we combine both of your ideas under the "considerate" tenet, i.e. something like (a little wordy, but I couldn't figure out how to make it shorter yet still clear about the balance):

 

Don't spoil the cache hunt for others - allow them to experience the cache as its owner intended.

  • Minimize giving unsolicited clues that reveal the cache (i.e. "spoilers"). Respect the owner's wishes if the owner requests that previous finders not help later ones.
  • In all other cases, be cryptic, or encrypt, any hints or spoilers you enter in online logs. Respect the owner's wishes if the owner requests that you edit your online log because it gives away too much information.

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Don't leave dangerous items in a cache.

How could we word this to take into account the area it is in. You wouldn't want to leave items with the same risk factor in a cache next to a children's park as you would in a remote cache.

 

Or should there be an additional sub-item instead?

How about something like (still a little wordy):

 

Don't leave dangerous items in a cache.

  • Recognize that a cache, your own or the one you're trading out of, could be found by children or even a prisoner work crew: don't leave any item that you wouldn't just walk up and hand them. Consider the location of the cache and those likely to find it when deciding what to leave.

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But of course, we could introduce folks to these new terms by hotlinking them to the definition in a glossary somewhere. Only we don't want them having to look up a word in every line.

That's a very excellent idea.

 

Do you think we need a statement to the effect, "Allow other to experience the cache hunt as its owner intended" or something? Need to take care of tape trails, cache marking, blatant spoilers, etc.

 

Or should we re-word the last item in the "integrity" item and move it to the "considerate" item? "Be considerate of the owner's hunt. Minimize spoilers. Don't give away clues unsolicited. Respect owner wishes if it is requested that previous finders not help later ones."

 

It's unfortunate that this issue has to be mentioned, but it is necessary. I'm not sure if this recent thread brought that to your attention - but it's the most recent example of the need for this.

 

I'm not exactly sure how to word it, but we probably should address the issue.

 

sd

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I've done a bunch of OMIT NEEDLESS WORDS editing - though I think Boxer Notes has mangled the formatting

 

The Geocacher's Code

Safe · Legal · Ethical

 

When placing or seeking geocaches, I will:

 

* Not endanger myself or others.

* Observe all laws and rules of the area.

* Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate.

* Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm.

* Minimize my and others' impact on the environment

* Be considerate of others.

* Protect the integrity of the gamepiece.

 

 

Examples of how to apply the code and further explanation:

(The following is not part of the Code)

 

The items in the Code are in order of importance. Earlier ones take precedence over later ones.

 

...Not endanger myself or others.

 

* Geocaching involves some inherent risk like any outdoor activity. There is no way to eliminate all risk and many of us thrive on some risk, as long as it manageable.

* As a placer, give enough information in your cache description for people to decide if they can handle any dangers involved, and arrange the hunt to minimize hidden dangers.

* As a finder, know your limitations and be aware of your surroundings. Don't attempt anything beyond your limits--walk away.

 

...Observe all laws and rules of the area.

 

* Don't place caches that encourage someone to break the law or rules of the area.

* Don't break the law to place a cache.

* Don't break the law to hunt a cache.

* Don't leave illegal items in a cache.

* Recognizing that a cache could be found by children or even a prisoner work crew, don't leave any item that you wouldn't walk up and hand them.

* Some drought stricken areas have forbidden matches and lighters. Pay attention to the cache area and trade appropriately.

 

...Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate.

 

* Seek permission on all private property if it's not generally open to public access.

* Check to see if any public land has a geocaching policy. Follow the recommendations and restrictions of the stewards.

 

...Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm.

 

* It's not a good idea to place a cache near schools, or other government buildings, without the administration and staff being aware of the placement.

* It's not a good idea to place a cache on, under, or near critical infrastructure that might be considered a terrorist target.

* Don't create a cache that could be mistaken for a terrorist device (e.g. a pipe bomb).

 

...Minimize my and others' impact on the environment.

 

* Follow Leave No Trace ethics whenever possible.

* Endeavor to obtain the best possible coordinates for your cache. If seekers consistently get significantly different readings, recheck the coordinates. This will reduce unwarranted wear and tear to the area.

* leave the cache area in as good or better condition than you found it

* Put all of the stones or logs back where you found them.

* Do not leave the area like a tornado blew through. (From this post.)

 

...be considerate of others.

 

* Treat other geocachers civilly – in the field, in the forums, or wherever your paths may cross.

* If you trade, trade kindly: Consider what future finders would like, and leave something equal to or better than what you take.

* Move hitchers hikers along with their goal if possible. Don’t hold them for too long. Contact owner if you hold them for more than a couple of weeks. (I'm hesitant to put a hard and fast definition in there, though.)

* Don't step on others' toes by placing your cache too close to another.

* Don't copy unique themes and techniques without permission.

* Promptly alert the owner of any issues with their cache. Make minor repairs if you can, it will save the owner a trip.

 

...Protect the integrity of the gamepiece.

 

* Ensure the cache is ready for the next finder and is in as good shape or better than you found it. The owner trusts you to not damage or jeopardize the cache.

* Use caution and judgment when hunting a cache to prevent onlookers from discovering the location of the cache.

* Once you find the cache, move away from the hiding spot in case you are observed signing in by a passerby. It will be much harder for someone to return, find, and vandalize the cache than if you were signing right next to the hiding spot.

* Make sure the container is properly closed to prevent the contents from getting wet and or damaged.

* Put the cache back where you found it and hide it as well as or better than you found it.

* Do not move the cache to match your reading.

* If you suspect the cache is not in the intended hiding spot, hide it the best you can and alert the owner immediately.

* Do not collect hitchhikers or other traveling items meant to stay in the wild. This is tantamount to stealing.

* No tampering or involving a gamepiece in "alternate" games without permission.

* Minimize spoilers. Don't give away clues unsolicited. Respect owner wishes if it is requested that previous finders not help later ones.

 

On hitchhikers or other traveling item - stay "in the game" rather than wild?

 

On don't break the law to place a cache

don't break the law to hunt a cache - how about

Don't break the law to hunt or place a cache

 

On causing public alarm how about - don't place caches on or very near playground equipment? I've seen parents get terrifically alarmed by GXers acting "weird" around kids. We no longer hunt playground caches if there are any people present

 

Personally I'd completely omit the * Once you find the cache, move away from the hiding spot in case you are observed signing in by a passerby. It will be much harder for someone to return, find, and vandalize the cache than if you were signing right next to the hiding spot -

it's too "cache specific" doesn't apply in many (even urban) instances.

 

Great job, many thanks

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It's unfortunate that this issue has to be mentioned, but it is necessary.  I'm not sure if this recent thread brought that to your attention - but it's the most recent example of the need for this.

 

I'm not exactly sure how to word it, but we probably should address the issue.

 

sd

Geez - that thread cites examples that takes "spoilers" to a whole new level - fortunately I've never encountered that blatant an example. Let me amend my suggested wording to add something about marking caches:

 

Don't spoil the cache hunt for others - allow them to experience the cache as its owner intended.

  • Avoid leaving tracks to the cache ("leave no trace"). Never deliberately mark the location of a cache.
  • Minimize giving unsolicited clues that reveal the cache (i.e. "spoilers"). Don't provide any hints if the cache description asks you not to.
  • In all other cases, be cryptic, or encrypt, any hints or spoilers you enter in online logs. Always edit your online log if the owner requests it because you gave away too much information.

Edit: Fewer words to say the same thing.

Edited by Kai Team

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The order of the list should not be an assignment of priority. All these points are equally important.

 

This will not, ultimately, dictate to a cacher how they MUST act but indicate how geocachers in general act. This should not be used as a license by anyone to dictate to others how they must participate.

 

i.e. "You should have asked permission to put a cache there. You violated the code of ethics, I denounce you and have taken your cache." etc.

 

I look at the bulleted list and I see copy I really can support. I'm not interested, to be honest, in the minutia. The outdoor code is a long code with much supporting documents, but I have always remembered it and taught it as "Leave the outdoors better than you left it." This sums up ALL the other documents relating to it.

 

I'd rather see the code get nailed down and then let everyone who wants make their own supporting documents or whatever.

 

I think to noodle on it much further would result in something less perfect as a result of over-thinking.

 

edit: still learning to talk... apparently :P

Edited by trippy1976

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The order of the list should not be an assignment of priority.  All these points are equally important.

I think CR intended the order of precedence merely to resolve conflicts between the tenets - i.e. if minimizing the impact on the environment meant endangering yourself or others, you go with safety. However, the other way to look at this is that if minimizing the impact on the environment means endangering yourself or others, you should adhere to both tenets, rather than choosing between them. That would be the case if all points are equal, and it makes sense in this context - it's not like geocachers are forced to choose between conflicting tenets - they can just walk away.

 

This will not, ultimately, dictate to a cacher how they MUST act but indicate how geocachers in general act.  This should not be used as a license by anyone to dictate to others how they must participate, i.e. "You should have asked permission to put a cache there.  You violated the code of ethics, I denounce you and have taken your cache."  etc. 

 

Frankly, the code isn't worth much if we don't promote it - i.e. those who need it most (newbies and narcissists) will be the least likely to see it. How we promote the code is key - i.e. we should promote it consistent with the tenets of the code - be considerate of others. This means we don't "dictate", but we certainly can refer to the code if we think someone is unaware of it. Obviously there is no enforcement mechanism except peer pressure, which is pretty powerful in defining community norms. (Taking a cache would, of course, be a blatant violation of the code).

 

I'd rather see the code get nailed down and then let everyone who wants make their own supporting documents or whatever.  I think to noodle on it much further would result in something less perfect as a result of over-thinking.

 

You're right - we are beginning to over-think this. CR - how about posting a final version and let's move on to talking about how to promote it.

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Promoting the code?

 

I just want to state that, although I agree with the basic tenets of your "Geocacher's Code", I do not wish to be counted among those that espouse the code. I will certainly share reference to if asked, but, I have not more desire to have this code evangelized to me than I desire to have good meaning Christians, with whom I share my basic values, coming to my door to evangelize their beliefs.

 

Please, go ahead a post the code in a visible spot, but please, don't try and turn this sport or this web site into a Sunday school. I think most of us are well beyond that in maturity, and those that aren't, pobably wont read it or care anyway.

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Promoting the code?

 

I just want to state that, although I agree with the basic tenets of your "Geocacher's Code", I do not wish to be counted among those that espouse the code. I will certainly share reference to if asked, but, I have not more desire to have this code evangelized to me than I desire to have good meaning Christians, with whom I share my basic values, coming to my door to evangelize their beliefs.

 

Please, go ahead a post the code in a visible spot, but please, don't try and turn this sport or this web site into a Sunday school. I think most of us are well beyond that in maturity, and those that aren't, pobably wont read it or care anyway.

Relax! By "promoting the code", I meant making it visible to others, especially newcomers. I didn't mean "evangelizing". No one has proposed using the code as a bully pulpit in this entire, long post.

 

Since the code was conceived as independent of gc.com, I presume we would want to try to have it visibly posted not only on gc.com, but also on other geocaching related sites (e.g. State associations, that "other" listing service, etc). I thought CR might want help in identifying and approaching those other sites.

 

Once the code is published, we can't control how people use it, but perhaps we should add a one paragraph introduction, something like:

 

"The Geocacher's Code describes how geocachers in general act. It's intended as a set of guidelines, not as "laws" or "rules". Please be considerate of others when sharing the code, and avoid trying to dictate how others must act".

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As a cache reviewer who sees a lot of the problems with existing caches, I would like to see something added to the Code of Ethics on the subject of cache maintenance by the owner. (There is a mention about *finders* helping out an owner with simple maintenance tasks.)

 

Perhaps this belongs under "protecting the integrity of the gamepiece."

 

How about a subsection there like the following:

 

"I will only place caches that I am in a position to maintain, and I will maintain them. If a problem is reported by another cacher or by a listing service, I will promptly investigate and fix the problem."

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"Quote snipped"

I second KA's comments, and would add:

 

"If situations arise where I can no longer maintain a cache, I will adopt it or archive it. I will NOT abandon a cache."

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"Promptly investigate" I know this has been discussed many times before and I'm sure gc.com would like to have a general guideline as to proximity and time frame. However, maybe the amount of time from when there is a problem reported to when it is repaired should be dependent on the agreement between the landowner/steward and the cache owner.

 

It might also be considered dependant on the amount of traffic the cache gets and proximity to population.

 

A popular cache in a city park it would be considerate of an owner to prompty pay a visit within a day or three to repair it, but if the cache is very remote with only a sinlge visitor every couple of years, then a little less tight schedule would be expected.

 

This is not to mention what the problem is. Low on swag I wouldn't consider a problem. Hadn't been visited in a while and what to know if the cache is still there would be very low on my priority scale.

 

Conversely, cops have a finder in handcuffs and the bomb squad is about to get some unscheduled training as we speak, well, I'd get my butt over there right now.

 

Could we have wording so the above is taken into account?

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Additionally, when do we consider a cache beyond repair, beyond viable, and needs to be CITOed out under the "minimize impact" item?

 

What about rescue? How do you handle caches abandoned. Do we establish a timeline as to how long one has to wait before an owner is considered inactive? Should there be a set time or a sliding scale depending on several factors?

 

One of the most memorable caches we've been on the owner is pretty much absentee, but the cache is well protected and not likely to need maintenance for a long time. The previous visitors where nearly two years before us.

 

What do you do with an abandoned cache?

 

What do you do when you archive a cache on one listing service but keep it on another or list it privately?

 

Should you post a note detailing the final disposition of the physical cache when you archive it to avoid a rescue attempt?

 

I'm sure if everyone understand up front the expectation and results of actions, then there wouldn't be much of a problem when others step in.

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1. What about rescue? How do you handle caches abandoned. Do we establish a timeline as to how long one has to wait before an owner is considered inactive? Should there be a set time or a sliding scale depending on several factors?

 

2. One of the most memorable caches we've been on the owner is pretty much absentee, but the cache is well protected and not likely to need maintenance for a long time. The previous visitors where nearly two years before us.

 

3. What do you do with an abandoned cache?

 

4. What do you do when you archive a cache on one listing service but keep it on another or list it privately?

 

5. Should you post a note detailing the final disposition of the physical cache when you archive it to avoid a rescue attempt?

 

6. I'm sure if everyone understand up front the expectation and results of actions, then there wouldn't be much of a problem when others step in.

1. In MI caches do not get archived just because their owner has gone dark. Unless there is an issue with the cache, we think it's better to keep it out there and keep people going to it. If it becomes an issue, people generally try to reach the owner or make good use of the Should Be Archived button. Action gets taken by a reviewer to archive it. If the cache is clearly missing, it's not added to our rescue list but otherwise it is (if not apparent danger/legalities appear to exist by doing so). Owner inactivity is not a consideration.

 

2. So long as the cache is in good shape, it's best to leave it active and on everyone's collective radar.

 

3. We encourage people to repair and re-place it under their own account if possible and if the owner cannot be reached. Recycle it. If the owner wants it back we encourage people to return it if there is anything left. 9 times out of 10 there is nothing but garbage or the container's totally missing. Every now and again someone will find a good ammo can.

 

4. I don't know if anyone is going to sign up to babysit every listing service out there, but if a cache is in poor shape and needs to be archived here - it needs to be there also. This also relates to the previous comments about guidelines between various listings. Just because soemthing can't be listed here doesn't mean it's not listed somewhere else and therefore out there. You can only do so much. In the case of wrecked caches - it'll be caught as wrecked or missing by users of the alternate listing service and reproted eventually.

 

5. As part of our rescue mission we require that to get credit for the rescue. It helps the owner, gc.com and the reviewers understand what eventually happened and serves as documentation that it's been removed and is not litter.

 

I once heard a quote from a Supreme Court justice on the topic of "indecency". When asked if they could define it they said, "I'm not sure if I can define it but I know it when I see it." I completely understood what they meant (I may be paraphrasing there, but it's the essence) and think the same can be said about ethics and this code. Everyone will know if someone is flying in the face of ethics, with or without this code. The community will, let's hope, apply appropriate peer pressure to ensure that the unethical behavior is not encouraged with or without this code. The code is more of a"marketing tool" in my mind. A clear, accepted statement of the ethics we all know that a geocacher generally holds.

 

Now that something is there, acceptance is key. I don't know if the delving into minutia is a process for brainstorming, but when it comes to community acceptance, I think there's some dangerous ground being tread on in the minutia. It could be interpreted by many as dictation. Things like "Don't place..." sound like directives.

 

Anyway, the comment near the first post states

Examples of how to apply the code and further explanation:

(The below is not actually part of the Code)

 

Which leads me to wonder if that's just a way to encourage brainstorming on the short, concise text or what? And if so, at what point will it be accepted that the code of ethics itself is "done".

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Under:

 

...be considerate of others.

 

Add:

 

Write an online log as feedback for the cache owner.

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Re-wording my suggestion on cache maintenance:

 

I will only place caches that I am in a position to maintain, and I will maintain them. If a problem is reported by another cacher or by a listing service, I will investigate and fix the problem within an appropriate period of time.  If I archive my cache listing on a listing service, I will ensure that the container is removed unless I am listing the cache elsewhere, and I will explain the disposition of the cache in my archive log.

 

Does that work to address the concerns which followed my prior post? "Appropriate period of time" is a wordy phrase that captures the concept that a trip to check on a back country cache might not be easily arranged within a week or two, whereas a call from the bomb squad requires a faster response. The sentence about archiving caches covers the ethical obligations of the cache owner. Most problems with orphaned caches, cache rescues, adoptions, etc., occur because the owner is M.I.A. Had the above standard been honored, we would never be in the position of deciding how others ought to handle the abandoned cache. At that time, the cache owner isn't paying attention to the Code of Ethics... heck, he's not even responding to e-mails and negative posts to his cache page.

 

Very few areas have organized methods for dealing with abandoned caches, like Trippy summarized for Michigan. The propriety and specific methodology for such efforts has been the source of much prior debate in these forums and elsewhere. I think it best left for another discussion thread. To keep the Code of Ethics relatively free from controversy, I'd advise stopping where the above language stops.

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Re-wording my suggestion on cache maintenance...

The rest of the code is not written in the first person ("I Will") - for consistency and brevity, might I suggest:

 

Only place caches you can maintain. If a problem with your cache is reported to you, investigate and fix the problem as soon as you can. If you decide to stop maintaining a cache, ensure that the container is removed, and explain the disposition of the cache in your archive log.

 

  Under:

...be considerate of others.

Add:

Write an online log as feedback for the cache owner.

 

Works for me, assuming other listing sites support that feature (I don't know if they do, since I've never listed or logged anywhere but gc.com).

 

 

Examples of how to apply the code and further explanation:

(The below is not actually part of the Code)

Which leads me to wonder if that's just a way to encourage brainstorming on the short, concise text or what? And if so, at what point will it be accepted that the code of ethics itself is "done".

As far as I'm concerned, the code itself is done, because no one has commented on that part in quite some time, but since CR started the thread, it's up to him to decide when to officially declare that part done. Do you think that part is done, CR?

 

CR added "(The below is not actually part of the Code)" to clarify when we were working on the code itself - I hope that parentetical will be deleted from the final version - the first sentence says what the rest is - there's no need to say what it isn't! :grin:

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Oops, sorry about writing in the wrong person. That was a draft or two ago.

 

I think the Code will be finished when two things happen:

1. Coyote Red, as the editor for this project, declares a draft to be final... last chance for comments.

2. There are no further comments after a day or two, especially from those who have been active in this thread. The thread has been pinned to the top of the forum for two weeks, so everyone's had notice and a chance to be heard... at least if they're a forum regular.

 

Once the Code is final, it is then time to "publish" it. I will find out how the Code can be featured on Geocaching.com: at a minimum, a pinned forum thread, but perhaps also a website page that is linked to from logical places on the website.

 

Others can volunteer to try and get the Code published on other listing sites.

 

As for geocaching organizations, perhaps Trippy might make the Code available via the Geommunity site, or at least publicize its availability here for folks to copy or link to.

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I think the Code will be finished when two things happen:

1.  Coyote Red, as the editor for this project, declares a draft to be final... last chance for comments.

2.  There are no further comments after a day or two, especially from those who have been active in this thread.  The thread has been pinned to the top of the forum for two weeks, so everyone's had notice and a chance to be heard... at least if they're a forum regular.

I agree - thanks for saying what I meant! :blink: Seriously, I'm sorry if I came across as trying to chop off the discussion - I was asking if CR is ready to declare last chance for comments on the code itself (while we're clearly still discussing the examples of how to apply and explanations, I think it's time to finalize the tenets of the code, since there haven't been any recent suggestions on that, and it didn't work well when we were trying to discuss both things at once earlier in the thread). Maybe I'm just being simple, but I'd like us to agree that one part is done, if we do agree!

 

Once the Code is final, it is then time to "publish" it.  I will find out how the Code can be featured on Geocaching.com:  at a minimum, a pinned forum thread, but perhaps also a website page that is linked to from logical places on the website.

 

Others can volunteer to try and get the Code published on other listing sites.

 

As for geocaching organizations, perhaps Trippy might make the Code available via the Geommunity site, or at least publicize its availability here for folks to copy or link to.

I agree again. I have some ideas and am willing to volunteer to follow up with my State association. However, I wonder if we should wait until we finish discussing the examples and explanations - again, it gets confusing when people are chiming in on multiple aspects at the same time. :grin:

 

I will again defer to Coyote Red on how he wants to proceed.

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I'm just thinking here, but the issues of taking responsibility of your cache, should there a tenet to take care of that?

 

I mean, "Protect the integrity of the gamepiece" was originally meant to handle finders not compromising the cache either by leaving it for accidental discovery or trying to not change the hunt as teh owner intended.

 

This new turn is something a bit different. It's more like the responsibilities of the cache owner. It's my thinking that adoption, abandonment, disposition, owner maintenance are all issues that don't really fit under another of the other tenets.

 

Maybe something like "(..., I will) be responsible for my cache."

  • I will maintain my cache and hunt to ensure it is always in working order. (Yuck, bad wording.)
  • Respond to cache hunt issues in a reasonable time frame. (Cache hunt? The cache is the box at the end, what do we call the whole thing, from beginning to end?)
  • When I de-list a cache, I will leave a final cache disposition on that service.
  • don't abandon a cache, remove it and archive it, or put it up for adoption.

Anyway, along those lines.

 

Thoughts?

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Under:

 

...be considerate of others.

 

Add:

 

Write an online log as feedback for the cache owner.

How about:

 

It is helpful to report your experiences.

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...Once the Code is final, it is then time to "publish" it.  I will find out how the Code can be featured on Geocaching.com:  at a minimum, a pinned forum thread, but perhaps also a website page that is linked to from logical places on the website.

 

Others can volunteer to try and get the Code published on other listing sites.

 

As for geocaching organizations, perhaps Trippy might make the Code available via the Geommunity site, or at least publicize its availability here for folks to copy or link to.

I will be happy to find a home for it in Today's Cacher. :blink::D

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As for geocaching organizations, perhaps Trippy might make the Code available via the Geommunity site

Would be happy to make a place for it on Geommunity and provide CR with the means to maintain it there if requested.

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I'm just thinking here, but the issues of taking responsibility of your cache, should there a tenet to take care of that?

The reason I've been advocating bringing closure to this is that I believe we are in real danger of overdoing it. We have seven tenets and are talking about adding an eigth.

 

The code will be diluted if it is too long to be memorable (i.e. people will get overwhelmed trying to process it all). Studies show that most people readily remember no more than 7 things in a list (that's why phone numbers were originally 7 digits). There also is a pretty long list of examples under "protect the integrity of the gamepiece" and it's not good to have too many examples under one tenet. The whole thing begins to feel oppressive and will turn people off.

 

If we keep going, we can and will generate more examples, which will lead to more tenets, and the whole thing will become a tome that few will read. I am reminded that "The perfect is the enemy of the good".

 

If we don't stop now, we need to consider how to reduce this risk of information overload, e.g.:

 

1) after we're done adding examples, go back through the examples and pare it down to those that are most important (If desired, I'll develop an online "poll" listing all the examples on another site and link to it here, to facilitate people "voting" on priorities), and

 

2) Combine some of the other tenets to make room for any new ones, e.g. we could take the two examples under "Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate" and place them under "Observe all laws and rules of the area".

 

Regardless of how we approach it, we need to think very carefully about making this longer or more complex... B) Do others agree, or am I the only one who feels this way?

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