Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3
Kai Team

The Geocachers' Code

Recommended Posts

The first iteration of "Geocachers' Code" was released on December 23, 2004 after 3,626 views and a month’s active discussion among 35 geocachers in the development thread). The code was finalized so that we could begin distribution (the refinement of examples and further explanations can literally go on forever). A separate thread was opened to discuss distributing the code - please limit comments on the distribution thread to distributing the code.

 

The main tenets of the code itself are pretty well settled, but new ideas are still coming in for refining the examples. I’ve taken on the role of editor, with CoyoteRed’s blessing, and, to keep the distribution thread on-topic, I’m opening this thread for discussion of "tweaks" for the next iteration of the Code’s examples and further explanations. Here's the first iteration of the examples and further explanations (the main tenets are in bold, the examples are bulleted), for your review and comment:

 

Introduction: This is a voluntary code - it describes how geocachers in general act, and is not representative of any particular listing service. It's designed to orient new players to the ethos of the geocaching community and to guide experienced players in questionable situations.

 

The bulleted text are examples of how to apply the code with further explanation. These are only examples and not part of the code - not every contingency can be spelled out. If something is not specifically listed in the examples, refer back to the "intent" by looking at the main tenets (in bold). The items in the Code are in order of importance. An earlier one will take precedence over a later one.

 

...Not endanger myself or others.

  • Like any outdoor activity, geocaching involves some inherent risk and many geocachers enjoy manageable risks. Minimize inordinate risks.
  • When creating a cache, describe any hidden dangers and, if possible, arrange the hunt to minimize these dangers.
  • When seeking a cache, know your limitations and be aware of your surroundings. Don't attempt anything beyond your abilities.
  • A cache you own, or one you're trading out of, could be found by children or even a prisoner work crew - consider the location of the cache and those likely to find it when deciding what to leave as a trade item.

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

  • Don’t break the law or rules of an area, or encourage others to do so, when placing or seeking a cache.
  • Don't leave illegal items in a cache.

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

  • Seek permission on all private property that's not generally open to public access.
  • Check if public land has a geocaching policy and respect existing policies.
  • Promptly remove your cache if the land manager or steward asks.
  • Do not damage or interfere with buildings, structures, or signage.

...Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm.

  • Don’t place a cache near schools or government buildings unless the administration and staff are fully aware of the placement.
  • Use caution where children play. Parents are understandably concerned when strangers are near their children.
  • Don’t place a cache near critical infrastructure that might be considered a terrorist target, or 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.
  • Practice "Lift, Look, Replace" - put all stones or logs back where you found them. Leave the area as you found it or better (e.g. pick up litter)
  • Obtain the best possible coordinates for your cache to reduce unwarranted wear on the area. Recheck and correct your coordinates if finders report significant errors.
  • Do not abandon a cache.
    • If you stop maintaining a cache, remove the container, archive its listing and explain the disposition of the cache in your archive note, or put it up for adoption or rescue.
    • If you de-list a cache on one host, but keep it on another, make sure you mention this in the archive note to prevent rescues of active caches.

...be considerate of others.


  • Treat other geocachers civilly - in the field, in the forums, or wherever your paths may cross.
  • Don't spoil the hunt for others - allow them to experience the cache as its owner intended.
    • Avoid leaving tracks to the cache. Do not disrupt the cache area or mark the hiding spot.
    • 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.
    • Edit the log if the cache owner requests you to remove spoilers.

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

    [*]Cache owners appreciate feedback - write an online log, send an email, or otherwise let the owner know about your experience with their cache.

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

    [*]Move traveling items toward their goal if possible. Contact the owner if you hold a traveling item for more than a couple of weeks or so.

    [*]Only place caches you can maintain and respond promptly to problem reports.

    [*]Obtain permission from the originator before copying unique themes and techniques, adding to an existing series of caches, or placing a cache close to another.

...Protect the integrity of the gamepiece.

  • The owner entrusts you to not damage or jeopardize the cache. Try to ensure the cache is ready for the next finder and is as good or better than you found it.
  • Make sure the container is properly closed to prevent the contents from getting wet or destroyed.
  • Be inconspicuous in retrieving, signing in, and replacing a cache to avoid vandalism.
  • Put the cache back where you found it and hide it well. Don’t move a cache to match your reading - if you suspect the cache is not in the intended spot, hide it the best you can and alert the owner as soon as possible.
  • Don’t collect traveling items meant to stay in the game. This is tantamount to stealing.
  • Don’t tamper with or involve a game piece in "alternate" games without the owner’s permission.

Edited by Kai Team

Share this post


Link to post

From the distribution thread:

Move traveling items toward their goal if possible.

As far as traveling items go, you should add that the owner of a traveling item should have the goals attached to the traveling item, otherwise risk the traveller moving in an undesired direction. It shouldn't be up to the finder to figure out what the goal is.

Share this post


Link to post

Also from the distribution thread:

In the "Not endanger myself or others" part, Not carrying a firearm would ne a nice addition I think.  :unsure:

What? Never! Now it's nearing infringment of personal rights.... :blink:

 

All in all it's okay.

Share this post


Link to post
Also from the distribution thread:
In the "Not endanger myself or others" part, Not carrying a firearm would ne a nice addition I think.  :unsure:

What? Never! Now it's nearing infringment of personal rights.... :blink:

 

All in all it's okay.

The great gun/knife/brass knuckels debate has no place in the code. The code is about geocaching.

Share this post


Link to post
From the distribution thread:
Move traveling items toward their goal if possible.

As far as traveling items go, you should add that the owner of a traveling item should have the goals attached to the traveling item, otherwise risk the traveller moving in an undesired direction. It shouldn't be up to the finder to figure out what the goal is.

I personally DON'T want to see anything about traveling items in the code.

 

People need to LET GO. TBs have been essentially thrown away. Donated if you prefer, to enhance the game for some. Leave them OUT.

 

Every time someone whines about a bug I just want to scream. :unsure: They don't belong in the code. :blink:

Share this post


Link to post

"Do not damage or interfere with buildings, structures, or signage."

 

I see a problem with this one... I can think of a couple, actually.... many micros I have found and placed (!) can be interpreted to "interfere" with structures... i.e. they are attached to them (even temporarily, with velcro) or placed around them.

 

I would be careful and just say "damage" and that's it.

Share this post


Link to post

I would think "interfere" would mean to alter the function, to hinder, to obstruct, etc.

 

Let's take a typical stop sign. Something written on the back of a sign that can be wiped off is not interfering (maybe still illegal but not part of this dicussion), a magnetic attachment on the post and out of sight is not interfering. A discreet sticker on the back is interfering. A sack covering the sign is not damage, but certainly interfering (among other things.) (Again, this is not getting in appropriateness, only used as an example.)

 

This was the thought process behind it this.

 

You can certainly negatively and adversely affect something without damaging it.

Share this post


Link to post

I just skimmed it, didn't read it word for word, but is there anything in there about "having fun"? If not, I'd like to vote for that to be added ... anyone second? :unsure:

 

7

Share this post


Link to post
From the distribution thread:
Move traveling items toward their goal if possible.

As far as traveling items go, you should add that the owner of a traveling item should have the goals attached to the traveling item, otherwise risk the traveller moving in an undesired direction. It shouldn't be up to the finder to figure out what the goal is.

I personally DON'T want to see anything about traveling items in the code.

 

People need to LET GO. TBs have been essentially thrown away. Donated if you prefer, to enhance the game for some. Leave them OUT.

 

Every time someone whines about a bug I just want to scream. :unsure: They don't belong in the code. :blink:

I think it's more like lending money to family and friends. While they may still owe, don't expect it back--life will be much easier.

 

I see hitch hikers as little different than a cache. It's yours, but you are at the mercy of everyone who comes in contact with it.

 

Again, it's a courtesy to move a bug along its goal, not the law. It's little different than trading fairly or a whole host of other actions that help us get along with our fellow players.

 

If no one recognized a bug as property of the owner they could just do whatever they please with it. Pretty soon no one would bother with placing a bug because few would last more than a hop or two.

 

You can see this in the trading. There are enough people who don't trade fairly that there are some who won't trade at all because most caches have turned to junk. If everyone traded fairly this wouldn't be an issue. If everyone treated hikers with respect it wouldn't be like you are just releasing them into an abyss.

 

The Code is an attempt to turn around some of these trends.

Share this post


Link to post
From the distribution thread:
Move traveling items toward their goal if possible.

As far as traveling items go, you should add that the owner of a traveling item should have the goals attached to the traveling item, otherwise risk the traveller moving in an undesired direction. It shouldn't be up to the finder to figure out what the goal is.

I personally DON'T want to see anything about traveling items in the code.

 

People need to LET GO. TBs have been essentially thrown away. Donated if you prefer, to enhance the game for some. Leave them OUT.

 

Every time someone whines about a bug I just want to scream. :unsure: They don't belong in the code. :blink:

Hmmm... That's YOUR opinion! There are those of us who really enjoy TBs and think they are a real enhancement to the geocaching experience. Perhaps YOU have "Let Go" of them, and that is certainly your right, but there are those of us who choose to continue to enjoy them. A few TB guidelines in the code would be nice, especially those suggested by Kai Team. :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
In the "Not endanger myself or others" part, Not carrying a firearm would ne a nice addition I think.  :unsure:

Not sure how this would help.

 

Personal safety implementations should be left to the individual.

Share this post


Link to post

how about "not damage or interfere with the function, utility or beauty of structures, buildings or signage?

 

then again, maybe I'm putting too fine a point on it.

 

I still think, many times, you could be interpreted as "interfering" with a structure by doing anything to it, i.e. placing a micro on it with a magnet, velcro or other attachment method... which could be a bad thing for all of us if it is challenged in certain situations...

 

and I for one, would not like to see these types of caches go away or have them be peer-pressured out because they are not seen as conforming to the "Code" either by outsiders or other cachers.

 

Just a thought.

 

if you are going to do this thing, in these documents the language can be very important, I know you have been careful so far...

Share this post


Link to post
From the distribution thread:
Move traveling items toward their goal if possible.

As far as traveling items go, you should add that the owner of a traveling item should have the goals attached to the traveling item, otherwise risk the traveller moving in an undesired direction. It shouldn't be up to the finder to figure out what the goal is.

I personally DON'T want to see anything about traveling items in the code.

 

People need to LET GO. TBs have been essentially thrown away. Donated if you prefer, to enhance the game for some. Leave them OUT.

 

Every time someone whines about a bug I just want to scream. :unsure: They don't belong in the code. :blink:

Hmmm... That's YOUR opinion! There are those of us who really enjoy TBs and think they are a real enhancement to the geocaching experience. Perhaps YOU have "Let Go" of them, and that is certainly your right, but there are those of us who choose to continue to enjoy them. A few TB guidelines in the code would be nice, especially those suggested by Kai Team. :D

Of course it's just MY opinion. :huh: What heck are these forums for? :)

 

Where, in my post, did I say that I don't like travel bugs, or other people shouldn't enjoy them? :D

 

I own 113 tb tags and I've logged nearly 400 found. I enjoy them very much, but I DON'T whine about a wrong move, or someone holding one for too long.

 

I got a rude email from a tb owner who had a bug headed South, because I moved it 4 miles Northeast. FOUR MILES! My gawd! Someone should break my legs for THAT infraction. :D Oh what an awful person I am.

 

I have gotten email from TB owners demanding that I get a TB from someone I handed it off to, or out of a cache that has sat unfound for several months, AS IF I was responsible for some precious jewel, or their kid or something.

 

I shouldn't HAVE to explain to an ADULT that I'm not responsible for a TB after it leaves my hands. TBs disappear for MANY reasons. I suspect ONE of the reasons may be their owners. See my pinned thread in the TB forum. (which I fondly call the whining and unrealistic expectation forum.)

 

FWIW: IMO, TBs are a side game. Something OTHER. The Geocaching Code should be simple and as basic as possible. To put a clause about TBs in the code would just validate more whining about a hunk of plastic with a little metal tag.

 

You said yourself, TBs are for enjoyment. Then why do people allow them to produce such negativity when they disappear, or get moved off track, or get held too long?

 

I'll stick with MY opinion. Let's not validate the TB whiners.

Share this post


Link to post
I still think, many times, you could be interpreted as "interfering" with a structure by doing anything to it

I guess that is true, but only if you don't know what the definition of "interfere" is.

Share this post


Link to post
I just skimmed it, didn't read it word for word, but is there anything in there about "having fun"? If not, I'd like to vote for that to be added ... anyone second?  :unsure:

 

7

ha ha I very much second that with an "amen" and a "hallalujah". If this code is meant for new cachers/visitors to the site I think we need to convey that we have a good time at least some of the time!

 

maybe I'm just special but I've had all parts of the code in mind before they were made into code through common sense. I guess some of us just aren't blessed with this, this gift... :blink:

 

...SeventhSon, you so read my mind

Edited by pnew

Share this post


Link to post
I just skimmed it, didn't read it word for word, but is there anything in there about "having fun"? If not, I'd like to vote for that to be added ... anyone second?  :unsure:

 

7

ha ha I very much second that with an "amen" and a "hallalujah". If this code is meant for new cachers/visitors to the site I think we need to convey that we have a good time at least some of the time!

 

maybe I'm just special but I've had all parts of the code in mind before they were made into code through common sense. I guess some of us just aren't blessed with this, this gift... :blink:

 

...SeventhSon, you so read my mind

LOL so true.

 

QUESTION:

 

When a cacher breaks the code and gets caught.......... Do they walk the trail of shame, or die the death of a thousand cuts, or something????

Edited by Snoogans

Share this post


Link to post
I just skimmed it, didn't read it word for word, but is there anything in there about "having fun"? If not, I'd like to vote for that to be added ... anyone second?  :unsure:

 

7

ha ha I very much second that with an "amen" and a "hallalujah". If this code is meant for new cachers/visitors to the site I think we need to convey that we have a good time at least some of the time!

 

maybe I'm just special but I've had all parts of the code in mind before they were made into code through common sense. I guess some of us just aren't blessed with this, this gift... :blink:

 

...SeventhSon, you so read my mind

LOL so true.

 

QUESTION:

 

When a cacher breaks the code and gets caught.......... Do they walk the trail of shame, or die the death of a thousand cuts, or something???? T

I think all the code-ites will rise up and smite them. I think that's in there somewhere.

Share this post


Link to post
I just skimmed it, didn't read it word for word, but is there anything in there about "having fun"? If not, I'd like to vote for that to be added ... anyone second?  :blink:

 

7

ha ha I very much second that with an "amen" and a "hallalujah". If this code is meant for new cachers/visitors to the site I think we need to convey that we have a good time at least some of the time!

 

maybe I'm just special but I've had all parts of the code in mind before they were made into code through common sense. I guess some of us just aren't blessed with this, this gift... :unsure:

 

...SeventhSon, you so read my mind

LOL so true.

 

QUESTION:

 

When a cacher breaks the code and gets caught.......... Do they walk the trail of shame, or die the death of a thousand cuts, or something???? T

I think all the code-ites will rise up and smite them. I think that's in there somewhere.

LOL I didn't see that anywhere. Maybe if I try reading every other word, while listening to Nirvana played backwards.

 

Like I said over on TXGA, it's harmless. You may be onto something though with the code-ite thing. Geocaching seems to have more than its fair share of Type A, control freak personalities. These so called "Code-ites" could try to use the code as a weapon of conformity. (It will be like hearding cats too.) That could actually make for some future entertainment.

 

OK where's my pitchfork and torch? :D:huh::)

Share this post


Link to post

Never, ever, try listening to Nirvana backwards...

 

I think it's fine... there's some stuff in there I would take out or change but nothing that is major or would change it significantly. Thanks, Kai team, for offering this additional chance for people to make suggestions. I think this thing may be helpful for new people.

 

have a question... will this be on the GC.com website on the same page as the GC guidelines for geocaching? Is that the plan?

Edited by mozartman

Share this post


Link to post
have a question... will this be on the GC.com website on the same page as the GC guidelines for geocaching?  Is that the plan?

Keystone Approver, who moderated the development thread, said he was discussing (with folks inside gc.com) how they would display/promote the code. I think KA may be away this week - I noted on the distribution thread that we're waiting for him or her to let us know how those discussions are going (I believe GC.com is supportive of posting the code, it's the details of how/where that they're discussing). Or if Jeremy is reading, perhaps he could give us an update on the distribution thread.

 

While we're on the topic of moderators, would it possible to have this thread pinned? My fear is that my link to this thread from the distribution thread will get missed, and folks will start debating content in the distribution thread again! Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post

Sometimes you have to put common cents into written form. Locally there is a bitch of a cache. It's skunked me twice and the third time I took a look at the area saw the area was being terraformed and realized that I would no longer hunt this one and be part of that.

 

That people would tear things up is bad enough, but then you have to deal with the land manager later and explain "well we are not all like that" Nope not going to fly. But if you can shake your head, appologize and say "we are not about that" then you can point to the code and say "We endorse responsible geocaching and promote this code", now you have something. Maybe not enough to turn the world on end, but enough to tip the scale a little bit more in favor of geocaching.

 

That's the value of the code. Not to roll it up into a sabre and skewer the SOB who tore up the area to begin with. Nice as that might be.

 

That's the value of the code young Jedi.

Share this post


Link to post

Please, don't misunderstand! I don't intend to make light of what you are doing. However, I feel I should note a general human tendency to "internalize" whatever is important to them.

It would be easy to demonstrate that tendency between various factions within the geocaching community. Each group wants to include "rules" about their own little bugaboo (like firearms).

You have been careful to make this a "voluntary" code, lest it be a very sore point. Somewhere above it was requested that you include "fun" in these guidelines. To some, "fun" means they want control of their t.b's. To some, that is irrational. In the end, your list must of necessity be so "watered down" that it becomes almost irrelevant, or else be ignored at any given point.

In short, whatever behavior we are hoping to correct will not, in the long run, be greatly affected. You could seek to issue memberships to those who sign the statement, or some similar arrangement. You might then form a governing council for International Geocaching. Of course, you'd need a paid director, and he'd need expenses, and a secretary. I vote "no."

Share this post


Link to post
Please, don't misunderstand! I don't intend to make light of what you are doing... In the end, your list must of necessity be so "watered down" that it becomes almost irrelevant, or else be ignored at any given point.

In short, whatever behavior we are hoping to correct will not, in the long run, be greatly affected.

My desire is to develop a code whose tenets are agreeable to the majority of geocachers. As it says in the intro - the code describes how geocachers in general act...It's designed to orient new players to the ethos of the geocaching community and to guide experienced players in questionable situations.

 

As for it being so watered down that it becomes irrelevant, I can speak from my own experience. When I was new to geocaching, I read all the gc.com guidelines and thought I knew how to geocache. Of course they were a bit overwhelming, and upon going back later (once in a snit with a reviewer, where I was clearly wrong), I realized I hadn't absorbed half of them.

 

I did some things early on that were inconsistent with the generally accepted ethos because I didn't know any better (although a lot of this is common sense, I just didn't think some things through). Later, I discovered the forums, and after 18 months of reading the forums, caching, hiding some of my own caches, releasing some of my own traveling items, I began to have a different perspective and was embarrassed by my some of my earlier attitudes/behaviors (e.g. I wasn't always the most civil person in these forums - still working on that!).

 

IF there had been a clear, concise code when I first started, I would have been up to speed more quickly. Even after caching for over 18 months, I found myself re-evaluating my own attitudes as we were discussing developing the code. It was affirming to see where the majority of others agreed with me, and humbling to learn where they didn't.

 

I think that's the value of the code, for newbies and experienced players - it gives you a sense of what the larger geocaching community agrees upon and makes you think about things that you otherwise could take for granted (i.e. assume that everyone feels the way you do). I believe it has the potential to make a difference. It also has the side benefit of communicating to outsiders what the majority of geocachers agree on, which is some pretty positive stuff for the sport as a whole!

 

Edit: Some others' thoughts, from the Distribution Thread:

That' cool, Just as an Idea, when new cachers sign up, that should be sent by e-mail to show them the rules and guidelines.
I agree with the intention to get this kind of information all in one spot for the convenience of new cachers.  I would have liked that myself as a newbie. It seems well-thought out.  and anyway, I followed "the code" before there was a "code", and continue to do so!  :)

see ya,

Mozartman

I could have really torn into a couple people for stuff that was posted on the run-up thread for this project here, but I decided to adopt a wait and see. I'm glad I did, because I can find NOTHING wrong with what they have compiled. The code dosen't insult my intelligence, but most people who've read my posts gather that I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

And the kind of comment that makes it all worthwhile:

As my first post in this group, I'd like to say this posting of the Code has been more than welcome to me.  I'm hardly new to exploring, especially here in Nevada's deserts and mountains, and GC gives me new excuses...ah...REASONS to do that.  I'm afraid my GPS is very outdated, but a new one will have to wait until I see how close it gets me to the caches.

  I'm not new to CITO concept either, being a long-time member of Earthguardians and a practioneer of Leave No Trace since before the concept was popular.  However, it was a relief to read this Code and KNOW exactly what was expected of me as a new member.

  I was stunned when I first googled local GC groups and saw how many there were!  And was pleased to see the organization and thought behind the GC concept.  However, as a newbie to the [game/sport/??] the amount of information confronting me was mind-numbing, and, again, it was with relief I found the Code post.  At least that part is now clear. [Now if only I could figure out how to use Waypoints...hmmm]

  Thanks again for posting the Code and for all the happy times I anticipate ahead!

Edited by Kai Team

Share this post


Link to post

Here are my thoughts on revising the examples and explanations, based on the suggestions above:

 

Guns: I agree with Dawgies, Renegade Knight and CoyoteRed - we should stick to geocaching and not try to take on broader social/political issues or dictate the implementation of personal safey.

 

Traveling Items: traveling items should be included - they are legitimate game pieces, like caches (and sometimes both, like moving caches listed at sites other than gc.com). I don't see a difference between removing a travel bug from the game and removing a cache from the game. Granted, TB's will get lost for a variety of reasons (e.g. if the cache they're in is muggled), but geocachers shouldn't remove them from the game. Getting a rude email from a TB owner would entitle you to point to the first example under "Be considerate..." Treat other geocachers civilly - in the field, in the forums, or wherever your paths may cross. (Ah, the beauty of the code) :D

 

It makes sense to include a statement that the owner of a traveling item should attach a tag describing the bug's goal. You can make your own or buy one from Sissy 'n CR (shameless plug for CR). How about under "Be Considerate...", just above the statement on moving traveling items towards their goal: "If you place a traveling item into the game, attach a tag that describes it's goal, so that others can help it along." (This is one of those things I wish I'd known as a newbie). :) I'm open to better wording suggestions.

 

Buildings: How about "Do not damage or interfere with the function of buildings, structures, or signage". This clarifies that "interfere" means preventing the building or sign from functioning as intended, without becoming too wordy.

 

Having Fun This doesn't seem like an ethical guideline, but perhaps we should add something the introduction, e.g. This is a voluntary code - it describes how geocachers in general act, and is not representative of any particular listing service. It's designed to orient new players to the ethos of the geocaching community and to guide experienced players in questionable situations, without diminishing their ability to have fun and enjoy geocaching. Again, open to wording suggestions.

 

I think I captured all the suggestions above. Feedback? Better suggestions for wording? Did I miss the general sentiment on these?

Edited by Kai Team

Share this post


Link to post

Here is my take on the code. It's done. Make a note of the comments, work on promoting it, and give it a year. If promoting it goes like it is in Texas that's work enough for anyone. After a year take a look at it again. Maybe it needs tweaked maybe not. But give it time to let it settle in. It's really not broken as is.

 

If it catches on, you really won't want to change it more than you need to, because every site that has a copy will need to update.

Share this post


Link to post

There's a poll going on over at TXGA and the code thread in our forum just got a bit more interesting.

 

I actually voted no for TXGA adopting it, but I still think the code was OK before the TB carp got in. I am totally against giving TB whiners validation in print and with good reason. If I can dig up an old email, I'll illustrate my point later.

Share this post


Link to post

The arguments down in Texas, I would assume, represent any other State, and cover all responses. Cautious people react cautiously, and rash people act rashly, etc.

I fail to see how the hiking death of a 68 year-old man with a heart history relates. Certainly, it would be responsible to rate caches (Oh, we already do that) and encourage responsible caching (covered again). If the cache is placed in a legal spot (again, we have rules about that), then we've done the best we can - unless someone wants to outlaw all but 1/1 caching.

Does this code hurt us legally? I don't see how. I can certainly agree with RK. Give it a year and re-evaluate.

If it were possible to email this code to all new cachers, then, it stands a chance. It might make a difference.

Share this post


Link to post

Does this code hurt us legally? I don't see how.

Never underestimate an ambulance chaser.

 

Most people understand that coffee will be served to them hot. That didn't stop Mickey D's from losing millions.

 

The right lawyer could use the code as a weapon.

 

Personally, I think it's harmless, but........

 

Carleen? Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not particularly worried about the code somehow being used to create a legal duty. It is a suggested way of behavior, not a legally binding contract.

 

disclaimer: personal legal opinion only. I am not providing legal services. :D

Edited by carleenp

Share this post


Link to post

Does this code hurt us legally?  I don't see how.

Never underestimate an ambulance chaser.

 

Most people understand that coffee will be served to them hot. That didn't stop Mickey D's from losing millions.

 

The right lawyer could use the code as a weapon.

 

Personally, I think it's harmless, but........

 

Carleen? Thoughts?

I really see posting the code as protecting web sites that post it, not creating liability. It tells its members that it expects them to be safe, legal and courteous. The site can't control its members' actions, but it can ask them to follow reasonable guidelines. Isn't a site that refuses to ask its members to follow those guidelines more culpable than one that does? What am I missing here?

 

OT: I always wonder when people blame lawyers for extreme results like the McDonalds verdict (which was settled for a modest amount that didn't make the headlines, as I understand it). Sure some lawyer asked for a rediculous verdict. But the award was given by 12 citizens, who are YOUR PEERS, almost certainly none of whom was a lawyer. Thank goodness for tort reform (IMHO).

 

disclaimer: personal legal opinion only. I am not providing legal services. :D

Share this post


Link to post

I like the guidelines (notice I avoided the word code?).

 

Travel Bugs: I don't care that there is stuff in here about them. They are an aspect of the game and the guidelines explain how they should be handled. Whether they are or not remains to be seen.

 

Guns: Leave this out -- it's up to individuals to make their own decisions. (why this was even brought up here I don't know) We're having a good time in the Firearm forum with this.

 

Safety:(and SAFETY only): This is the only area where I would add a little. I think that part of placing a cache is to regularly read the logs of cache-seekers and respond to any and all safety concerns by archiving, replacing, or modifying a cache as conditions warrant. I also think that it is a good guildeline to cache seekers to immediately report any safety concerns they may have to the cache owner and to expect a response from the cache owner within a reasonable time-frame. If no response is forthcoming, then maybe an escallation process could be added to the guidelines?

 

It's a tough one when it comes to rules, codes, guidelines. Here are my thoughts:

 

Rules (mandatory): Relating to health, safety, legallity

Guidelines (optional): Accepted community norms that increase/maintain the enjoyment of the game

 

By blending these two areas into a voluntary "code" the risk becomes that some people see them as rules (mandatory) while others see them as guidelines (optional). IMHO - Travel Bugs would be part of a Guideline, caches in areas of extreme, immediate, unavoidable, unreasonable danger should be covered by a rule banning them. (and I hate most rules)

 

Maybe a line about "respect that others may not play the game in the same manner that you choose to play the game. Do not interfere with their enjoyment of the game by destroying or modifying game pieces they are using to play" <-- covers TB's, Micros and self-appointed cache-cops.

Share this post


Link to post

The code has no mention about keeping information in log books or geocaching forums confidential. Is there any consensus about what is or is not acceptable?

 

Gerry Ashton

Share this post


Link to post

I have some mild concerns over the clause:

Practice "Lift, Look, Replace" - put all stones or logs back where you found them. Leave the area as you found it or better (e.g. pick up litter)

 

I would guess that 75% or more of the caches I have found (and hidden) have to some extent used a compliation of nearby natural coverings including logs, bark, grass, vegetation, rocks, leaves etc.... When searching for a cache we certainly don't want to tear up an area during our search and should leave everythig as close as possible to the original setting. However, we often use these items to help with a hide so I guess some clarification is needed here. All of the mentioned caches had low impact on the surroundings but some "material" was used for the hide. Any other thoughts along these lines??

Share this post


Link to post
Maybe a line about "respect that others may not play the game in the same manner that you choose to play the game. Do not interfere with their enjoyment of the game by destroying or modifying game pieces they are using to play" <-- covers TB's, Micros and self-appointed cache-cops.

A challenge with the Code is making examples general enough to cover a variety of situations (and keep the number of words down) yet specific enough so that they communicate useful information, especially to the unitiated.

 

I'm afraid some newbies might not realize that these things with tags are game pieces. Specifically mentioning traveling items at least alerts people that there are such things!

Share this post


Link to post

Safety:(and SAFETY only): This is the only area where I would add a little.  I think that part of placing a cache is to regularly read the logs of cache-seekers and respond to any and all safety concerns by archiving, replacing, or modifying a cache as conditions warrant. 

Although not explicitly addressing safety issues, I think this is covered under "Be Considerate...", i.e. "Only place caches you can maintain and respond promptly to problem reports."

I also think that it is a good guildeline to cache seekers to immediately report any safety concerns they may have to the cache owner and to expect a response from the cache owner within a reasonable time-frame. 

This seems to be covered by "Promptly alert the owner of any issues with their cache. Make minor repairs if you can, it will save the owner a trip" and

"Cache owners appreciate feedback - write an online log, send an email, or otherwise let the owner know about your experience with their cache."

If no response is forthcoming, then maybe an escallation process could be added to the guidelines?

The code is voluntary - we should keep it that way. If people are acting inappropriately, it can be pointed out to them, but there is no enforcement mechanism beyond peer pressure (the way geocaching is organized, I don't see how there could be). If their behavior violates the guidelines of the site where their cache is listed (which may or may not coincide with the tenets or examples in the Code), you can report it to the listing site and they can deal with enforcement, as they do now.

Share this post


Link to post
The code has no mention about keeping information in log books or geocaching forums confidential. Is there any consensus about what is or is not acceptable?

Personally, I assume that information in log books, online logs or the forums is not confidential, since anyone, anywhere in the world, can view the information at any time (all you have to do is find the cache or create an account at the listing or forum site). I think it's up to the writer not to write anything in a log or forum that they would not want published.

Share this post


Link to post
I actually voted no for TXGA adopting it, but I still think the code was OK before the TB carp got in. I am totally against giving TB whiners validation in print and with good reason. If I can dig up an old email, I'll illustrate my point later.

Are you reacting to the part about not collecting traveling items, the part about moving them towards their goal, or both?

 

If it's the part about moving them toward their goal, how about a clarification:

"If you pick up a traveling item with a tag describing its goal, move the item toward the goal if possible. Contact the owner if you hold a traveling item for more than a couple of weeks or so." I think this addresses both concerns expressed about this item - it makes clear that you aren't expected to pick up a traveling item if you don't want to, that you can't be expected to guess it's goal if it isn't tagged with same.

 

This is under "Be considerate" - it's a courtesy, and a reasonable one. I'm trying to understand, but I don't hear you disagreeing with the example in the code as much as reacting to rude emails you've received, which is another issue (you can get rude emails on anything, and I wasn't joking when I said that could be a time to send the rude emailer a copy of the code and point to the first example under "Be considerate").

Share this post


Link to post
:D C'mon, this isn't the Bushido code, then a weapon like a katana is necessary for sepiku(hari-kari) for violating the code.. Common sense, a sense of humor, and use all senses. There I've put in my three "sense". I like the idea of a code, not the Magna Carta. But hey, I'm a beginner Edited by Savoy 6

Share this post


Link to post
This is under "Be considerate" - it's a courtesy, and a reasonable one. I'm trying to understand, but I don't hear you disagreeing with the example in the code as much as reacting to rude emails you've received, which is another issue (you can get rude emails on anything, and I wasn't joking when I said that could be a time to send the rude emailer a copy of the code and point to the first example under "Be considerate").

OH mannnn, I wish I could dig the offending email up. I sent email to a friend to see if she might have a copy.

 

You'll see if I find it. I lost a pst file that I haven't bothered to look for on a ghosted hard drive at work.

 

The offender was acting in just such a capacity that you describe. They claimed to be with some caching group called C.U.R.E.

 

Cachers

Using

Responsible

Ethics

 

I suspect it was made up. The funny part was the (I'll be nice) user was contacting me because they felt it was WRONG for me to revisit a cache to grab a bug. You tell me.... Is there a rule against it?

 

IT WASN'T EVEN THEIR EFFIN BUG!!!! Get it? They just moved it and then felt that gave them a say on who could pick it up. Pa-lease. :o

 

The email is pretty entertaining and the cacher in question is an infamous PAIN to the cachers in their area. I did some checking. When you say a username at an event and several people immediatly recount similiar experiences..... You get the picture?

 

So, no. I'm not reacting. I'm responding from prior experience.

 

"Be Considerate" is enough. Why muddy it up and give the TB whiners validation?

 

Regardless, there will be zealots who will feel empowered by a code. You can count on THAT. ;)

Share this post


Link to post

FWIW this much hit the nail on the head:

 

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.

 

That last one really sold the code to me. Infer what you will from it and no one can find much fault with it.

 

Anything more and you're in for resistance. Take me as an example. ;) I won't support the code if it has anything to give a zealot a reason to bother me or anyone else. I already operate by the code AS IS. All the extra stuff is fixing what AIN'T broke.

 

This is the only change *I* would make:

 

The Geocacher's Code

Safe · Legal · Ethical

 

When placing or seeking geocaches, I should:

  • 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(s).

 

Infer (s) means TBs.

 

And "should" instead of "WILL" to make it more palatable for some.

Edited by Snoogans

Share this post


Link to post
Regardless, there will be zealots who will feel empowered by a code. You can count on THAT.

There will always be "FAQ thumpers" no matter what. Because there was no guidance about revisiting a cache to pick up a TB someone made one up. As a consequence, the rule they made up was wrong. I've never seen where a hitch hiker is supposed to move via "natural" movement. (Of course, I'm not in the TB forums much, either.)

 

So, no, I don't think the threat of "FAQ thumpers" maybe using The Code to beat us over the head as a reason to change it.

 

Hikers are part of the game, like it or not. When you're going to make examples of how to apply The Code TBs should be included. So, unless you think the example is wrong I think it should stay.

Share this post


Link to post
And "should" instead of "WILL" to make it more palatable for some.

Hey, why not change "will" to "might if I feel like it?" ...or "will consider"

 

I doubt if anyone who needs "should" in there is going to care one way or the other if he's following the code in the field. "Will" is strong and gives power to the tenets when someone reads them. Let's not take away any strength of what it says. Unless it has strength, all fo this effort is wasted.

 

If you don't want to support it then don't. I wanted this to be a code for all sites to be able to use, but if a particular group doesn't want to adopt it for whatever reason, that's not my hang up.

Share this post


Link to post
The offender was acting in just such a capacity that you describe. They claimed to be with some caching group called C.U.R.E.

 

I suspect it was made up. The funny part was the (I'll be nice) user was contacting me because they felt it was WRONG for me to revisit a cache to grab a bug. You tell me.... Is there a rule against it?

No, there is no rule against that, and the Code doesn't create such a rule. If anything, the code supports that you've done nothing wrong.

 

The email is pretty entertaining and the cacher in question is an infamous PAIN to the cachers in their area.

 

"Be Considerate" is enough. Why muddy it up and give the TB whiners validation?

Because TB's are part of the game, and the "TB whiners", as you call people, have legitimate grievances when someone removes a TB from the game, or moves it counter to it's known goal, which is all the Code's examples address.

 

Regardless, there will be zealots who will feel empowered by a code. You can count on THAT. ;)

And your experience shows that, in the absence of a code, zealots already feel empowered to create and try to enforce their own rules. If widely accepted and distributed, the Code offers a way to cut down on everyone creating their own set of ethics and rules. That's the point of a code, as Sputnik pointed out.

 

And if the Pain asserts that the Code says something that it doesn't, it's no different than what he or she is already doing. The Code has the potential to make things better, and it does no harm.

 

I'd like to count you among the supporters of the code, but, if you're going to oppose the entire Code just because it mentions traveling items, so be it.

Share this post


Link to post
I have some mild concerns over the clause:
Practice "Lift, Look, Replace" - put all stones or logs back where you found them. Leave the area as you found it or better (e.g. pick up litter)

 

I would guess that 75% or more of the caches I have found (and hidden) have to some extent used a compliation of nearby natural coverings including logs, bark, grass, vegetation, rocks, leaves etc.... When searching for a cache we certainly don't want to tear up an area during our search and should leave everythig as close as possible to the original setting. However, we often use these items to help with a hide so I guess some clarification is needed here. All of the mentioned caches had low impact on the surroundings but some "material" was used for the hide. Any other thoughts along these lines??

Sorry I didn't respond to your post yesterday. I see your point - the need to conceal a cache is a given, and this tenet is intended to address searching for one more than hiding one (unless someone is tearing up the area to hide one, which seems unlikely).

 

Perhaps it should say, "When searching for a cache, practice "Lift, Look, Replace" - put all stones or logs back where you found them. Leave the area as you found it or better (e.g. pick up litter)"

 

OK?

Share this post


Link to post

Perhaps by changing the word "code" to something hip like "manifesto", it's not appearing to be anything legal or otherwise forceful. Either way, I like it, and think that cachers will recognize it positively for what it is. <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Perhaps by changing the word "code" to something hip like "manifesto", it's not appearing to be anything legal or otherwise forceful. Either way, I like it, and think that cachers will recognize it positively for what it is. <_<

I've been thinking of "Cachers Creed" just to add to your list.

Share this post


Link to post

Posted here from other discussion area.

 

The argument about safe caching and the variety of cachers hunting them could be settled with better definition of terms and clearer difficulty ratings. The 5 step difficulty and terrain ratings are great for very hard ones and for very easy ones. They are not so good for ones that are a little harder than a 1 but not hard enough for a 2, and the terrain ones really fall off when anything that can't be reached in a wheelchair has to be more than a 1. This creates a cluster of caches in the 1-3 range that can be physically challenging, but rate only a 1.5 and others that are at the end of a easy long walk that get 2.5 to 3 just due to the distance.

 

The ratings system was debated a while ago, and it was programmatically unfeasible to change it. Perhaps a required part of the cache description would be a breakdown of the two ratings. A cache that programmed out at 1.5 but involved a short walk over a fragile bridge over a stream could be so noted, and a 3 that was basically at the end of a 1.5 mile walk along a dike pathway could also be so noted. Thus players that could handle the walk but didn't want their kids to deal with a rickety bridge could make a more thoughtful choice as to what they would hunt.

 

That coupled with the required basic data set for cache logs would be how I would implement the code. Teeth added that if you didn't want to follow these two, that perhaps you would be willing to list your caches elsewhere.

Share this post


Link to post

enough already with all the nitpickin' ! just keep it simple as snoogans has suggested and get on with it.....humble opinion of one who knows nearly nothing about the subject but is willing to learn.

Share this post


Link to post

The distribution thread has seen the raising of safety as an issue.

 

That's why the locations are rated with two sets of stars - difficulty and terrain.

 

If you feel strongly about being safe at all times whilst out caching, DON'T even attempt a 5/5 rated cache, stick to 1/3 or 2/3.

 

Your choice.

 

I, on the other hand, would grasp the opportunity of stretching myself physically, mentally and emotionally to log a 5/5, for no other reason than for my own satisfation. If I got into trouble attempting them - hey! I was warned - the rating clearly stated 5/5!!!!!!

 

In fact, I fully intend to place a couple of 5/5 caches here in South Africa, and they are going to be extremely hard to get to, let alone find! <_<

Edited by Azaruk

Share this post


Link to post
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3

×