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Applying The Geocachers’ Creed

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The Geocachers' Creed is a voluntary set of guiding principles that describes how geocachers in general act. It was developed in open forums to orient new players to the ethos of the geocaching community and to guide experienced players in questionable situations.

 

People geocache to have fun! The Creed helps make our relationships mutually pleasant and productive: those who are asked to follow its principles are also those who benefit from the conformity of others. This reduces the discord that can quickly sap the fun out of caching.

 

Not every contingency can be spelled out, and there will questions about applying the Creed in “real life” situations. These questions should be answered by a consensus of the geocaching community, consistent with the way the Creed was developed. This thread is intended to promote discussion of those questions.

 

Please post your questions (“What should I do if…” or “Does this seem consistent with principle XYZ…”) here. Please also feel free to offer you views on how to resolve questions or dilemmas posted by others.

 

Above all else, please keep this discussion consistent with the Creed, i.e. “be considerate of others” and “treat other geocachers civilly - in the field, in the forums, or wherever your paths may cross”!

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To start the discussion, I'm quoting a question related to the Creed that was posted on another thread:

 

I really liked what you wrote.  I copied it and saved it to my computer to show my husband and boys.  Just curious though, if we do come upon a cache that we feel has dangerous items in it, what would be the appropriate thing for us to do?  I would feel horrible if someone were to be injured because a child or like you suggested a prisoner on a work crew stumbled upon something that may have something in there he/she could use as a weapon.  Thanks for replies and suggestions as to what you do in these cases.

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Dangerous items?

Since YOU are not cache police, you should email your concerns to the owner, and possibly the approver or the local group. It would not be appropriate for cachers to start making those decisions for others.....I'm sure there are some obvious exceptions - anything worth calling the police over, well, then call the police.

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Dangerous items?

Since YOU are not cache police, you should email your concerns to the owner, and possibly the approver or the local group. It would not be appropriate for cachers to start making those decisions for others.....I'm sure there are some obvious exceptions - anything worth calling the police over, well, then call the police.

If its dangerous, I'd just trade it out. If some kid sliced his hand open on a broken piece of glass while looking through the cache and I knew it was in there I'd feel responsible.

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It depends on what "dangerous" is and the likelyhood it being a danger to someone.

 

Caches placed in urban parks have a much lower threshold of "dangerous" than remote ones. If a cache were in a city park or any place likely to be visited by unsupervised children then I'd be more likely to remove items that can start a fire, have an edge, or is designed to be injested.

 

Caches where one has to have transportation to a trailhead and then walk a good distance will likely not be visited by children without adult supervision. Presumably everyone will have some sort of responsibility for their own actions.

 

Just follow the guidelines of a the site the cache is listed on and everything should be fine.

 

Like Brian said, trade out offending items. Don't just take them.

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I'm not the cache police. But I have my own conscience to deal with. If I fear that someone may be injured by something left in a cache, I will trade it out (not just take it), rather than have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that someone may get hurt.

 

I agree with CR that "dangerous" may be a relative concept for any given cache. In the famous words of Walt Disney's favorite Cricket, "Let your conscience be your guide." <_<

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Dangerous items?

Since YOU are not cache police, you should email your concerns to the owner, and possibly the approver or the local group.  It would not be appropriate for cachers to start making those decisions for others.....I'm sure there are some obvious exceptions - anything worth calling the police over, well, then call the police.

If its dangerous, I'd just trade it out. If some kid sliced his hand open on a broken piece of glass while looking through the cache and I knew it was in there I'd feel responsible.

I'd do the same thing (actually, I have done the same thing). Trade the dangerous item for something else. With the addition that, if I knew who left the item in the cache, I e-mail them with a polite explanation of why it wasn't a good thing to leave in the cache.

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Dangerous items?

Since YOU are not cache police, you should email your concerns to the owner, and possibly the approver or the local group.  It would not be appropriate for cachers to start making those decisions for others.....I'm sure there are some obvious exceptions - anything worth calling the police over, well, then call the police.

If its dangerous, I'd just trade it out. If some kid sliced his hand open on a broken piece of glass while looking through the cache and I knew it was in there I'd feel responsible.

I'd do the same thing (actually, I have done the same thing). Trade the dangerous item for something else. With the addition that, if I knew who left the item in the cache, I e-mail them with a polite explanation of why it wasn't a good thing to leave in the cache.

I found a cache with 2 claymore mines, 500 rounds of .223 ammo and 50 pounds of yellow cake uranium. All I had to trade for it was a broken McToy and a golf ball.... so guess what I did?

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I've actually specifically done that with food or food-smelling items. Toothpaste, floss, mints, etc. - I trade them out and throw them away - improving the cache's contents and helping preserve the cache itself.

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Of course it's been discussed before but since dangerous items have too let me throw this out.

 

Abandoned caches. Say that I know of a cache that hasn't been maintained by the owner for over a year, I can (and did) maintain the cache so that others can find it and in general, enjoy the caching experience (as I am willing to maintain the cache until it becomes a problem for the community).

 

But should I? Aren't I really maintaining a situation that could very well likely, repeatedly, become a problem that wouldn't occur if I was the owner?

 

I know that owners sometimes don't know their cache needs attention until after it is reported, but is maintaining a cache from afar, supporting the community? Or is it actually good enough?

 

Should it be maintained until it's a lost cause? Or yanked sooner?

 

Sometimes sooner ends up with the owner resurfacing.

 

Edit: additional thought

Edited by BlueDeuce

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Abandoned caches. [snip] I am willing to maintain the cache until it becomes a problem for the community [snip]

But should I? Aren't I really maintaining a situation that could very well likely, repeatedly, become a problem that wouldn't occur if I was the owner?

I think that if you have effectively adopted the cache, it isn't a problem so long as you are willing to maintain it.

 

I assume that you have contacted the cache owner and have gotton no response, but have decided to maintain the cache for the good of the community. I think this is fine, unless to owner objects (in which case he or she can archive it, I guess).

 

If you no longer are willing to maintain it, then (perhaps after another e-mail to the owner), you should post an sba and let it die a natural death.

 

I don't see this as encouraging others not to maintain their caches. People either will or won't do so. Your willingness to help out in one situation does not imply that you will be the local cache angel for all neglected caches.

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it isn't a problem so long as you are willing to maintain it.

That's the jist of my posting.

 

I can maintain it, but sometimes there are added problems by not being the owner, like not being able to respond to emails posted to the owner.

 

If this is my position, when is enough, enough and when is it too soon? If I maintain it I eliminate the obvious reasons to SBA, but the flip side is that there can be recurring issues.

 

My practice with a problem cache is to support it. But what about the next time, or the time after that?

 

I know when it's a lost cause, but did I do anyone a favor by letting it become a lost cause?

Edited by BlueDeuce

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My practice with a problem cache is to support it. But what about the next time, or the time after that?

 

I know when it's a lost cause, but did I do anyone a favor by letting it become a lost cause?

The relevant example under "Be Considerate of Others" is "Promptly alert the owner of any issues with their cache. Make minor repairs if you can, it will save the owner a trip. " If you've alerted the owner and made minor repairs, you've met your ethical obligation to the owner and others.

 

While you can choose to do more, if the cache needs more than minor maintanence and the owner is not responding (either by making a maintenance run or by replying to you and asking for your help), I'd post a "Should be Archived" note and not create the limbo situation you described. To directly answer your question, I don't think you are doing anyone a favor by trying to maintain what appears to be an abandoned cache. As you've noted, it creates a disconnect between other finders and the de factor owner (you), which is not a good situation for anyone involved. You will inevitably give up on maintaining it under these circumstances, and you've only prolonged the agony, so to speak.

 

If you want to preserve the cache (e.g. it's worth preserving because of location or other factors), you can note your willingness to adopt the cache in your SBA note. If the cache is archived by gc.com (that's their call), you can place a new cache at the location that you can maintain and respond to inquiries about.

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