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Cache and log etiquette...


CCrew
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Couple of "newbie" questions here.

 

1) When logging a cache, is it sufficient to just log it here on the site and in the cache or should the owner also be emailed? I know most owners probably have their caches on their watch list but wondered what the expectation is.

 

2) Is it normal to see a cache, especially an older one be filled with mostly junk that normal people would chuck in the trash? I've now seen both directions.. new caches that were stocked with nice items and older caches that weren't that impressive. Personally I don't care what's in it, as I'm in for the hunt, but we *always* take the kids and the dissapointment at seeing absolutely nothing that they consider trading for I'm hoping doesn't curtail their interest. we told them going in that we always intended to "trade up" but them seeing a trade for brand new items for junk isn't much of a lesson in fairness either.

 

Not trying to start a flame war here, and it's not indicative of the majority of the caches we've seen, but in perusing logs where you see statements like "my daughter took the silver dollar and all the $5's, had nothing to trade.. IOU" pretty much doesn't seem very kosher.

 

I could see how people get disenchanted with it. Our version of a cache is the hunt, but to a 10 year old it is indeed the treasure at the end of it that's a partial driver. In our case when that 10 year old (or 11 , or 13 in our case, we have 3 children)loses that enthusiasm, then it's time to reconsider.

 

Thanks.

Roger

 

If Wal-Mart is lowering prices every day, how come nothing in the store is free yet?

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quote:
Originally posted by CCrew:

Couple of "newbie" questions here.

 

1) When logging a cache, is it sufficient to just log it here on the site and in the cache or should the owner also be emailed? ...

 

2) Is it normal to see a cache, especially an older one be filled with mostly junk that normal people would chuck in the trash? ...


 

1) No need to mail the owner unless there's something you want to say privately to them. I believe you automatically get email when one of the caches you own is logged anyway.

 

2) Unfortunately, it's rarer for me to see something I want to trade for than to see junk, and while I'm not a kid I'm always eager to see what's in a cache. I always leave a little frog, even if I take nothing, and try to make sure my own trades are at least fair if not an upgrade. I've been carrying some objects for a long time because I've never found anything to trade them for. Sometimes I'll leave something for nothing, but I do want to still have good trade items to actually use should I run across something cool.

 

Usually, the harder a cache is to find and the fewer visitors it's had, the more interesting (and less dirty) the contents. It's unfortunate but often true. I found it helpful to cultivate an interest in little rubber lizards.. caches make me much happier now. I think it's too bad that junky caches can and quite possibly will be a bit discouraging to kids, though. Getting excited about being altruistic and improving caches is nice enough, but if I were a kid I'd start getting a little suspicious of an activity that required me to give neat toys away in exchange for broken pencils. It'd be nice if people could leave the dirty junk at home and put something in that they'd like to find.

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1) Kite & Hawkeye are correct. An automatic e-mail is generated. An e-mail may be appropriate if you have concerns about the cache, or its location that you don't want to post in the log.

 

2) Unfortunately contents degradation does happen and has been discussed to death in the forums. My first cache was filled with decent stuff, but when I checked on it 6 months later, it was filled with junk, including a single Lifesaver (individually wrapped at least). Most of my other caches have suffered similar degradation.

 

Since most people claim to "trade up" or "trade even", there must be cache fairys out there putting the junk in caches. Actually, I think the real reason is that many geocachers consider leaving several junk items in exchange for one nice one an even trade (e.g. Took new Swiss Army knife, left polished stone, McDonalds toy, spiderman stickers, used golf ball and a plastic comb I found on the way).

 

Many geocachers try to re-stock their caches during maintenance visits, but it seems that most don't.

 

[This message was edited by BrianSnat on November 28, 2002 at 04:56 AM.]

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This topic has come up in the forums here before. There were some interesting comments as I recall, worth making the search. Or, summoning Markwell our Archive specialist. We have noticed a difference in cache contents that corresponds to its age as well. This is unfortunate if you visit a cache late.

This hasn't been a big concern for us since we normally TNLNSL. On a couple of occasions, I have removed trash (used golf ball, etc) and left a Sacagawea. You won't find it in our posts. As far as we are concerned, it never happened.

 

TNLNSL - It's the adventure! icon_wink.gif

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This is something I've been thinking about. It is understandable when you hit an older cache and it is filled with junk. Too bad, but understandable human nature being what it is. What I have difficulty with are cachers who start their cache with two or three cheap mctoys. That's it. They have lots of caches, but they are all filled (or not filled) with cheap stuff. And the logs invariably consist of one or two sheets of paper, folded and shoved in the cache. Recently one guy in our area set out a cache and didn't bother with either paper or pencil. icon_eek.gif I was critical in my log. And the next week he started two more caches, this time he included three folded sheets of paper in each, but no pencils. icon_frown.gif

 

So I started wondering, why don't we have a way for people to rate caches. Maybe an option that pops up for experienced geocachers to comment on quality of the cache, quality of stuff in the cache, accuracy or terrain/difficulty ratings. I've read the discussions Markwell flagged on ratings, but it seems to me that it still doesn't get around the subjective issue or the fact that some people are apparently rating their caches without any review of the guidelines at all. This could be addressed by having geocachers (maybe just those with some minimum level of experience - 50 caches, 100 caches, 6 months + 50 caches, whatever) review and rate the cache. I guess the idea is to set up a rating system along the lines of e-bay.

 

Just a few thoughts.

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step . . . and then I get in my truck and drive the rest of the way.

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quote:
Originally posted by BrianSnat:

Since most people claim to "trade up" or "trade even", there must be cache fairys out there putting the junk in caches. Actually, I think the real reason is that many geocachers consider leaving several junk items in exchange for one nice one an even trade (e.g. Took new Swiss Army knife, left polished stone, McDonalds toy, spiderman stickers, used golf ball and a plastic comb I found on the way).


 

I suspect people who put broken, dirty McToys in caches don't frequent the forums. A polished stone, though? I like polished stones, but I've never found one in a cache! Darnit. Not that I think they're fair trade for a Swiss Army knife, but I sometimes leave a tiny polished rock in a microcache. I like a number of items that some cachers consider junky (I have an ever-growing collection of rubber insects and reptiles). Some people probably like stickers, though whenever I find them they're dirty and peeling off their backing. And yeah, I know your point was that no number of these kinds of things would constitute a fair trade for one truly nice item, but in a more general context there is some variability in what a random cacher will consider junk or interesting trade items. I leave things I would like to find, which I think is as good a rule of thumb as any when it comes to the question "is this something I should put in a cache or throw away?"

 

On the other hand, I think there's a special circle of, uh, heck, waiting for people who leave golf balls in caches. Do they expect somebody, anybody, ever, to say, "ooh, a golf ball! never mind the dirt, I can wash it!" and take it home?

 

Kite

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quote:
Originally posted by Kite & Hawkeye:

 

On the other hand, I think there's a special circle of, uh, heck, waiting for people who leave golf balls in caches. Do they expect somebody, anybody, ever, to say, "ooh, a golf ball! never mind the dirt, I can wash it!" and take it home?


 

Gee, I hope not, icon_frown.gif having left my share of golf balls. icon_redface.gif I don't leave dirty balls, though (or dirty anything) and golf balls seem a reasonable trade item, given how blasted expensive they are. (Or maybe that's just cause I leave so many scattered around the course behind me.) I tend to leave either marketing balls or "branded" range balls, so hopefully, that's different. icon_rolleyes.gif

 

I do hope there's a special place, though, for people who leave stuff like used corks, pine cones (in a pine forest - gee isn't that special) and, I kid you not, twigs.

 

 

icon_cool.gif

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step . . . and then I get in my truck and drive the rest of the way

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quote:
Originally posted by CCrew:

 

2) Is it normal to see a cache, especially an older one be filled with mostly junk that normal people would chuck in the trash? I've now seen both directions.. new caches that were stocked with nice items and older caches that weren't that impressive. Personally I don't care what's in it, as I'm in for the hunt, but we *always* take the kids and the dissapointment at seeing absolutely nothing that they consider trading for I'm hoping doesn't curtail their interest. we told them going in that we always intended to "trade up" but them seeing a trade for brand new items for junk isn't much of a lesson in fairness either.

 


 

I don't think it's a lesson in fairness. I can't expect my children to accept, logically, that trading some nice toys (like small fabric kites) for McToys, or worse, is fair.

 

What I am teaching them is that there are some people in the world who like to be selfish and just take, and others who go the extra mile and make the world better.

 

My children seem to like the idea that they can make the world better. When we come across a cache that needs some improvement, they are happy to take things that we have on hand, and "trade up". Sometimes, I have to stop them from stuffing the Dickens out of a cache. icon_smile.gif

 

So, I think my kids look at the issue of finding a junky cache as an opportunity to do something nice and feel good about themselves. It certainly hasn't dampened their enthusiasm for the sport.

 

Shannah

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I like to remember one man's trash is another man's treasure. So far, my favorite cache item found was a light saber pen that came in a cereal box. I've found two so far and they rock. Someone else might look at them and think they were junk (good thing for me, since I could scoop 'em up). We do hope to find diamonds one day in a cache, but we're happy just to find the cache! I do however see the point with children, especially their first time out. They might be a little discouraged but I think TeamStitches has the right approach.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------

"You're no verra sensible, Sassenach, but I like ye fine. Let's go."

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quote:
Before you put an item in the cache, ask yourself:

1) would I leave this item if somebody was watching?

2) would I leave this item if I had to put my name on it?


 

That's a good point to remember. I like "Had nothing to leave so took only memories"

 

Chuck

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quote:
I do however see the point with children, especially their first time out.

 

One thing that we started with the boys was the concept of 'rotating the stock' when visiting caches. We always try to leave more than we take, and what we take generally ends up being placed in another cache, eventually. We take a tupperware container of caching materials with us, and the loot ends up in the container. Thus, it is available to be recycled into another cache.

 

I figure it like this: For the real young kids, a McD toy, rubber animal, bouncy ball, etc, is the kind of stuff that they can take. I try to put enough of those in that there should always be some trinket for the kids. For the mature cachers, the find is the reward.

 

I appreciate the efforts of people who have placed caches for us to find. I think it is a bit snooty to expect each cache to be a 'museam in a box' or a fabulous collection. If people want to stock caches like that, that's fine. But to get upset when someone trades a hotel pen for the steak dinner certificate seems a bit naive.

 

Maybe this is becoming like Halloween? The adolescents don't want the cheap candy, they would prefer money. I think I'll start putting Canadian Loonies ($1 gold colored coins) in the caches. You can pick them up for pocket change now!

 

Regards-

Norm

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I have three kids 8,11 &13 years old. We have a tradition of leaving a small bag of baseball cards plus an item or two. When I package up the cards I alway make sure to slip in one that is worth a few bucks and every now and then one that has some real value say in the $20 plus range. I find that the local dollar store is a good place to shop for cache items. Bags of the little green army men are a favorite of alot of kids. You can find things an adult could use there also and all of $1 per item. Once a month we will go there and spend about $10 so we have good items to leave. I find that old paperback books (especially the classics) are great items also. They can be had for next to nothing at garage sales. Every book I have ever left in a cache has been taken by somebody. Just thought I would share some ideas.

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Well, being a newbie moving toward intermediate after 37 finds and by placing my first cache today, I feel better now about some of my earlier trades!

 

I really did look at this as a treasure hunt originally, hoping to find cool stuff to bring home, but not thinking too much about the stuff I left.

 

After seeing a few junky caches, I hope I've made up for some semi-lame trades I've made in the past by stocking my first cache with a bunch of new, good stuff, and some used, but good books.

 

I won't feel bad, though, if newbies find my cache, write an interesting log, and leave some junk. I'll just remember my newbie days and smile. icon_wink.gif

 

cu,

Gary

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quote:
Originally posted by Big Red One:

quote:
Originally posted by Kite & Hawkeye:

 

On the other hand, I think there's a special circle of, uh, heck, waiting for people who leave golf balls in caches. Do they expect somebody, anybody, ever, to say, "ooh, a golf ball! never mind the dirt, I can wash it!" and take it home?


 

Gee, I hope not, icon_frown.gif having left my share of golf balls.


 

There's a huge difference between leaving a golf ball you found on the ground as you walked to the cache, and leaving a brand new one or a package. I know that the real problem isn't a particular sort of item.. it's trashy items of any description. I just tend to generalize about golf balls because I've seen caches near driving ranges that were FULL of obviously used balls, to the point of being silly. But I have no problem at all with people who have golfballs in decent shape for trade items. Wouldn't want one, but it's not junk (same as a McToy that isn't broken or dirty, extra points if the package isn't opened).

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Well, here's my thoughts on the matter.

 

1) I like the idea of the rating a cache by it's finders, but how do you validate that someone has actually 'found' a cache and not just logged it?

 

2) I've found that the 'treasure' portion of the trip is part of the fun. It keeps my kids into it (5 & 8), while getting them into a family activity of hiking and seeing wildlife.

 

3) When we went out for our first find I took what I had available (two Sacagawea(sp) dollars). After that I decided that I'd actually spend a little time either finding things that people would like to get (not that this didn't qualify), or purchasing things to have on hand for that very reason. So far I like the idea of a used CD that my kids don't listen to, a DVD that we don't watch anymore, some type of collectible, or figurine(not gumball machine type).

 

4) I leave a sticky note in the cache with my item so I'm accountable... "Left 11/28 by Mike & Devin email: so onandsoforth" That way it's like someone _is_ watching... icon_smile.gif

 

For the short period I've been doing this, how do my ideas match up with others?

 

Oh yes, and my kids wanted to get an old time treasure chest to keep the items from our finds. We'll also log each item with the place it was found on a big map so they can tell their friends and show them pictures of their hikes. icon_smile.gif

 

-Mixster

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"Took dadgum near everything. Left a ratchet and $100 bill. Any Hotties who want to meet me, be here Tuesday or Saturday night."

 

Unfortunately, there was no $100 bill in the cache, and the ratchet had obviously been picked up from a nearby pile of junk. I can't imagine why that person didn't sign their name or log online ...

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quote:
Originally posted by Cache4Corn:

 

... there should always be some trinket for the kids. For the mature cachers, the find is the reward.

 

I appreciate the efforts of people who have placed caches for us to find. I think it is a bit snooty to expect each cache to be a 'museam in a box' or a fabulous collection. If people want to stock caches like that, that's fine. But to get upset when someone trades a hotel pen for the steak dinner certificate seems a bit naive.

 

Regards-

Norm


 

I agree. Good manners and cleanliness aside, it's supposed to be about a box that's been cached away, not about how much cash is in the box.

 

For me the game is fundamentally a demonstration of your ability to plan your trip, use the receiver, interpret the steering information and map data, navigate your way to the destination, and finally, to spy the cache.

 

An exchange of booty when you find the cache is secondary, a token exchange to leave something of yourself and take a momento as "proof" to yourself that you were there--to self-actualize, as it were. The exchange also keeps the cache from becoming an empty box (No self-respecting pirate ever left anything but footprints in the sand when they found their treasure, yes?).

 

If finding something of value was the reward I sought, then I'd find a stream and start panning.

 

It is my humble opinion that no one cache item should be valued more than a few bucks, if that much. Otherwise, I guess I should cancell that trip to geocache in Beverly Hills....

 

Don

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I have never been 'big' on leaving toys in my caches. But not being a parent, I can see now where kids would like to find treasures.

 

My idea of fun is simply the walk to the cache, finding it, and signing the log book. I do leave things like individual kleenex packs, batteries, occasional books, and other usefull stuff.

 

Never underestimate the stupidity of people in large groups.

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quote:
Originally posted by Kite & Hawkeye:

There's a huge difference between leaving a golf ball you found on the ground as you walked to the cache, and leaving a brand new one or a package.


 

whew!! icon_cool.gif

 

I agree. The worst I've seen (other than the twigs some boys left in the geocaching event I arranged for my son's Boy Scout Troop) was a used wine cork. It was a nice wine, but puh-leeeze. How could anyone imagine that anyone else would want their used wine cork? icon_confused.gif

 

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step . . . and then I get in my truck and drive the rest of the way.

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