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How Do I Get Quality Caches In My Area?


sbell111
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In the DPM thread, it was inferred that a serious problem with the game is that lame caches are taking over. This thread is not to dispute this fact. The purpose of this thread is to discuss how to improve the quality of caches.

 

Obviously, one way to do this is to hide good ones, but that is not a complete solution (largely because it still doesn't give you good ones to look for).

 

I suggested having an event cache that celebrates some of the really good ones, perhaps an event that includes a series of short hikes in a local park.

 

What are some of your suggestions?

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As mentioned in the other thread, start a local geocaching association if there isn't one already in your area. The entire range of geocaching experience is enhanced by such groups.

 

See

Alabama Geocachers Association

Georgia Geocachers Association

 

or

Google "geocaching oganization association"

 

You might be amazed at how this can grow, promote and protect the game!

Edited by TheAlabamaRambler
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Hiding good ones and setting an example is a start. Someone has to do it. As I mentioned in the other thread though, its like putting your finger in the dike in some areas.

 

Perhaps a local, or regional geocaching assn that votes on quality caches might be a good idea. I recall seeing this logo on a cache and thought it was a good idea. It gives people something to strive for and many encourage good hides.

 

88b330b0-0b3a-49f5-a32f-9e2dddb1783f.jpg

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The new "lists" feature, when fully realized, could be a good tool to promote quality caches. I think there have been discussions about creating a special ratings list (like the watch list, or ignore list, only different) that would be used for some kind of ratings system. This might encourage quality hides and/or inspire a lot of petty politics and bickering but something's got to give.

 

Kill the stats. Kill them dead. Let them be viewable only to the account holder. Stop the counts seen on the cache pages at 99+. If somebody with 99+ finds DNF's my cache, that's the same as somebody with 5000 finds not finding it. I don't need to know this number for any other reason.

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Perhaps a local, or regional geocaching assn that votes on quality caches might be a good idea. I recall seeing this logo on a cache and thought it was a good idea. It gives people something to strive for and many encourage good hides.

The only flaw there is a local association is composed of local cachers. If you are in an area where the majority of local caches are low quality (a finger in the dike area) they are probably going to vote along those lines too.

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Of the five regional geocaching associations I belong to, all have discussed, and rejected, a rating system. My vote then and now was a resounding NO!

 

What we are experiencing, however, is that each group has forums, events, meetings - and a core of cachers who are respected by most, if not all.

 

New cachers coming into the groups learn from the existing members and hides, and, it has been my experience, try hard to "fit in" and impress their peers.

 

Here in the AGA we have several new members that have looked at, learned from and emulated the "old hands" and these new cachers are now placing some of the best caches around!

 

Ed

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Perhaps a local, or regional geocaching assn that votes on quality caches might be a good idea. I recall seeing this logo on a cache and thought it was a good idea. It gives people something to strive for and many encourage good hides.

The only flaw there is a local association is composed of local cachers. If you are in an area where the majority of local caches are low quality (a finger in the dike area) they are probably going to vote along those lines too.

Yep, that's about right. And believe me they will be hurt if they feel you are in any way unhappy with what they are doing. It's terribly difficult to even have the discussion, as they are usually really nice people, too. It would be easy if I didn't care about people's feelings, or they were just nasty people. But that's seldom the case. They are usually the nicest people you'll ever meet. And they are apparently having fun so it's hard for them to see that this isn't just entirely your problem.

 

As I said in the other thread - I don't begrudge anyone their fun. I just wish it didn't have to come at the expense of mine. I have no idea what to do about it though. Sorry. I think they are probably going to win.

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TAR said:

 

"As mentioned in the other thread, start a local geocaching association if there isn't one already in your area. The entire range of geocaching experience is enhanced by such groups."

 

While I have no problem with those that want to join clubs, there are many, many more cachers who don't, and who, myself included, would contest the part of the statement that referred to the "entire range of geocaching experience is enhanced by such groups." That may be true for some people, but not for all. Nevertheless, it may be but one solution to the problem, there are probably many others.

 

To me, it is fruitless to even try to solve the problem unless there is some objective standard as to what constitutes a "quality cache."

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...

 

What are some of your suggestions?

Start with your own. Think out of the box. Create themes based on other interests you have. Be willing to travel. Jazz up you cache page. Add pictures. Add poetry. Here's one I traveled to over 200 miles round trip to set up. I have a series of these in 4 states. <_<

 

Finally be quick to spot an opportunity to plug your caches so others know about them. Let those urban micro hunters know there's a big world out there to see and explore. <_<

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Obviously, one way to do this is to hide good ones, but that is not a complete solution (largely because it still doesn't give you good ones to look for).

This is probably just expanding on what has already been said, but here it goes:

 

Hiding good caches will give you good ones to look for, in the long run. A good, clever cache attracts (or at least should attract) comments in the logs about how cool it is, how tricky it is, etc. There are usually at least a few people who are competitive enough to try and place one just as cool and tricky, or better yet, do you one up. Some people just want to hide a box—big or micro. But at least a few will start raising the bar for “cool caches.”

 

A corollary to this "rule" is that you need to praise good caches in the logs. We all like a figurative pat on the head. Seeing good logs, particularly from the cachers we know and respect, inspires most people to work harder on the next cache they place.

 

A local organization does not have to be a “club.” Our own valley has a loose group of regulars that is semi-organized. Mostly, it is just a group of regulars that decides who will do the next event cache. It works for us. Bringing the cachers in an area together leads to talk of cool caches, the exchange of ideas, and inspiration. If you don’t have a local group, do a few event caches to get the “regulars” together and talking.

 

Most of us here in Cache Valley feel our caches are of a high quality. We have plenty of ammo cans in the woods. But we also have caches that run the gamut from a container that is the mortal remains of the tin man, to puzzling micros that often require multiple trips to solve. Largely this is because we have seen other cool caches, and want to make our own caches meet the standard.

 

Of course, living in “Cache Valley” also gives us a name to live up to… <_<

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Really, what's the problem with less than ideal caches as long as they don't multiply to the point that they prevent good ones from being created because of the .10 mile rule? In this vein I think a local organization could possibly excersize geocaching "manifest destiny". It seems to be the trend for government cache approval to issue permits on a yearly basis. As caches multiply, the time will come that some have to be voted off the island.

 

Yeah, I know. Save the quotes. Who to judge what is "less than ideal" and how do you know what to bump for a so called potentially good cache? Thats the tough decisions that the board of directors has to make. Then again, perhaps a local organization shouldn't be able to do that. Perhaps a sister city type of agreement where a club across the country makes those decision. No hard feelings among the local members or the approvers then.

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Hiding good caches will give you good ones to look for, in the long run. A good, clever cache attracts (or at least should attract) comments in the logs about how cool it is, how tricky it is, etc.

Well, that hasn't been my experience. The really cool caches languish with few finds, while less than stellar, but easy to retrieve caches will attract many finders. It's about the numbers, and the more challenging caches are simply unproductive, if you care about that. (No judgement implied here - I'm just trying to state the obvious.)

 

Is this really surprising to anyone?

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Really, what's the problem with less than ideal caches as long as they don't multiply to the point that they prevent good ones from being created because of the .10 mile rule?

Actually, the problem is more insidious than that. The problem is that people stop hiding more challenging caches, instead opting for very simple, quick to find caches. If I had lots of spare time, and needed (or wanted) little exercise, I'm sure that situation would be fine with me. But I'm in the opposite situation. It's true that it's easier on the hider to place these types of caches - but I don't really think that's the entire problem. Given the choice between doing 1 moderately difficult cache, or 5 quick and easy ones, many, many people will pick the 5 quickies. So if you are a hider who's motivated by having someone actually find your cache, you quickly figure out what's popular. And in some places, quick is very popular indeed. It's been my experience that people who hide caches are highly motivated by this feedback, so they figure this out pretty quick.

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This may be an old idea, but perhaps GC.com should not accept caches until a player has a minumum number of finds. I would expect that after 20 or so finds, a person may have a pretty good idea of what makes a good cache. If caches have to go through a review panal before they are located, we have to be exceedingly careful which caches were to be excluded. I suspect the very thing that makes a "lame cache" for most of us is the thing that makes a "great cache" for people with mobility issues, or other disabilities.

 

In addition to the "hide it better than you found it" mantra we've all seen. We should start an additional mantra of "Hide ones better than you've found." This should be as ubiquitus as the former!

 

spelling edid

Edited by Menagerie
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Kill the stats. Kill them dead. Let them be viewable only to the account holder. Stop the counts seen on the cache pages at 99+. If somebody with 99+ finds DNF's my cache, that's the same as somebody with 5000 finds not finding it. I don't need to know this number for any other reason.

 

And kill the forum post numbers also.

Maybe less intimidation would get more players to read, so to learn how, and what they are supposed to do.

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This may be an old idea, but perhaps GC.com should not accept caches until a player has a minumum number of finds.  I would expect that after 20 or so finds, a person may have a pretty good idea of what makes a good cache. 

 

I suspect the very thing that makes a "lame cache" for most of us is the thing that makes a "great cache" for people with mobility issues, or other disabilities. 

 

This has been discussed before, and I disagree with it. The people who flood areas with scores of very simple caches typically have enormous numbers of finds, at least from my perspective. And while it's true that new cachers sometimes make very silly mistakes that lead to a sub-optimal experience, they also sometimes place great caches because they don't yet know how low a quality standard is accepted. Often they'll put in much more time and money than an old-pro will. That doesn't always mean better - but sometimes it does. More often than you'd think. In any case, 20 finds here locally should take a couple of afternoons - 3 tops. At that point, I'm fairly confident they'd know how to hide a very simple cache a few feet from parking about as well as anyone.

 

I wish folks would stop mentioning disabilities. Yes, I would hate to see anyone cut-out from this activity. However, "great for the disabled" is mostly a rationalizaton for hiding a really easy cache. I think it's mostly bull. There may be some areas where a severely disabled person is hiding tons of these types of caches for other disabled people. But it's not typical. In my area, the folks who do this are mostly much better able to make a long hike than I am - just less willing. Seriously - I think mentioning this comes across as really condescending.

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I hardly think making sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the game and that care is taken not to exclude them is "condescending."

 

There is no question that there are some lame caches out there. We'd all like people to be more selective at times. But those less able than you and I are out there, and do have difficulties with some caches simply due to their disabilities (for instance look at the Feb 7 log of GCKEPA). Obviously they take care to avoid the caches that are rated beyond their abilities. We just need to make sure there is a variety of caches available for all types and they don't all become a homogenous 1/2 mile walk in the woods to a pretty view.

 

As I mentioned previously, it is a worthy excercise to try and enhance the quality of caches, but the sport is improved by the variety of people that are included, so care should be taken not to carelessly disregard what another might think is a "good cache."

 

"hide ones better than you have found!"

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Host an event.

 

In SE TX, I've been to a couple of events. The conversation ALWAYS eventually turns to "Have you tried Snoogan's Quantum Leap yet?" Or "How cool was Captain J's Krugerrand Run?" It doesn't take long for the discussion to point out great (and lame) caches. Just hope that your cache makes the "great" (or not mentioned) categaory, and not the "lame" category!

 

There is nothing like an event to clue you in to truly cool caches and make you want to raise the bar on your own hides.

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I hardly think making sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the game and that care is taken not to exclude them is "condescending."

 

There is no question that there are some lame caches out there.  We'd all like people to be more selective at times.  But those less able than you and I are out there, and do have difficulties with some caches simply due to their disabilities (for instance look at the Feb 7 log of GCKEPA).  Obviously they take care to avoid the caches that are rated beyond their abilities.  We just need to make sure there is a variety of caches available for all types and they don't all become a homogenous 1/2 mile walk in the woods to a pretty view.

 

As I mentioned previously, it is a worthy excercise to try and enhance the quality of caches, but the sport is improved by the variety of people that are included, so care should be taken not to carelessly disregard what another might think is a "good cache." 

It's condescending to pretend that something you are doing to make the game easier for yourself is helpful to a disabled person. I would suspect that it takes a certain amount of consideration to hide a truly handicapped friendly cache. I'm quite certain that most people, at least here locally, do NOT think about this *at all*. For example, it can be hard to retrieve a film-can from the middle of a really large photinia bush from a wheelchair, no matter how close that bush is to parking.

 

No, consideration for the disabled is not driving these types of hides for the most part, and it's rationalization to say that it is. If somone wants to hide a cache that's meant for everyone, including a disabled person, they should hide a great cache and put thought into it so it really is fun and reachable by all. Doing otherwise, saying "maybe it won't be lame for them", pretty much defines "condescending".

 

If your area is in danger of being overrun with 1/2 mile walks to pretty locations, to the exclusion of really silly park-n-grabs, can you please tell me where it is you live? I want to move there! In fact, at least around me, the exact opposite is happening, and people hide tons of park-n-grabs, to the exclusion of darn near anything else. Where's the variety in that?

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Excuse me if I offend any one, but a cache is a cache. Geocaching doesn’t come with any guarantees. You take your chances when you go out on the hunt. If you go see a movie and don’t like it, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. The same it for what you think is a lame cache. There is nothing you can do about it, so stop whining about it and get on with your life.

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I hardly think making sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy the game and that care is taken not to exclude them is "condescending."

 

There is no question that there are some lame caches out there. We'd all like people to be more selective at times. But those less able than you and I are out there, and do have difficulties with some caches simply due to their disabilities (for instance look at the Feb 7 log of GCKEPA).

 

I reject the notion that people with disabilities are limited to finding lousy caches. There are many quality caches out there that are available to people with a variety of disabilities. The fact that a cache has a 1 terrain rating does not make it lame. The fact that a cache requires a 50 foot walk does not make it lame. A total lack of imagination on the part of the cache hider is what makes it lame.

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I completely agree with BS' post. That being said, lets get back on track. This thread is not about whether a certain type of cache is required to satisfy handicapped players. It is about how we as individuals (or working together) can cause an increase in the overall quality of caches in our areas.

 

I also reject the idea that 'quality' must be defined before we can have this discussion. For our purposes, a quality caches is one that YOU enjoy.

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As for micros not increasing your find count, this would discourage any good micros from being placed.

 

As for not worrying about it as long as the 0.1 mile rule didn't start hindering good cache placement, there are a lot of places to hide caches and if new players start out with caches near their homes and their first cache sucks, they may well find something else to do with their GPS.

 

I agree with different cache approval standards for people who haven't found many caches, like approvers that query them more, or require that they go hide caches with experienced players once or twice.

 

I also think that adding a line to the approval software that would give the approver a list of cache types in the surrounding 10 mile area (by number, X micros, Y trads, Z virtuals) would be good as it would help the approver know whether a given cache type was getting over done.

 

Lastly part of the info required of cache hiders is an meaningful answer to the question: "What makes your cache special or different from its neighboring caches?"

 

If you can't come up with a persuasive answer to that question, perhaps the approver should say no.

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I completely agree with BS' post. That being said, lets get back on track. This thread is not about whether a certain type of cache is required to satisfy handicapped players. It is about how we as individuals (or working together) can cause an increase in the overall quality of caches in our areas.

 

I also reject the idea that 'quality' must be defined before we can have this discussion. For our purposes, a quality caches is one that YOU enjoy.

LOL. well this seems another thread on LAME CACHES. Okay enough said sorry.

 

In reading this and the DPM and other thread even the one where I was berated for starting a thread on LAME caches. I guess I see my mistake now and the reall question is:

WHAT MAKES A GOOD CACHE?????????????

 

I don't know the answer and again it may be something subjective just as what makes a cache LAME is subjective. To me a good cache is one where I can see the person that placed the cache put some though into it. Now there are exceptions and I do not really like multis where it is all go here and count the rails in the fence and go here and count the window on the north side of the house. I know these that some time but they become co common after a while. I like caches that I can see some creative juice has been used to come up with it. One reasent cache had a good play on words as part of it.

 

SO WHAT MAKES A GOOD CACHE? is what we really need to address?????

 

cheers

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...SO WHAT MAKES A GOOD CACHE? ...

While I believe that this is a worthy topic (and one that is impossible to get a concensus on), it is not the topic of this thread.

 

I intentionally sidestepped that debate in this thread. I am more interested in how we can promote good caches.

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Sbell,

 

Not wanting to get into a "contest" with you, especially since for the most part I admire and agree with the majority of your posts over the years, and I also agree with you on what you are trying to do by opening this topic.....but (and there had to be a "but") when you said "I also reject the idea that 'quality' must be defined before we can have this discussion. For our purposes, a quality caches is one that YOU enjoy" I think you have just sent this discussion down the road of all the other dead horse beating discussions that are in this vein.

 

I think "quality" does have to be defined objectively....as soon as you say that quality is defined as a cache YOU enjoy, you open it up to the usual "well, different people enjoy different kinds of caches, so all caches are quality" arguments. And as soon as that starts, then the idea of trying to improve the quality of caches gets lost in the noise.

 

I would honestly be interested in finding out if there really could be an objective standard set that defines quality.

 

Hank

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...SO WHAT MAKES A GOOD CACHE?  ...

While I believe that this is a worthy topic (and one that is impossible to get a concensus on), it is not the topic of this thread.

 

I intentionally sidestepped that debate in this thread. I am more interested in how we can promote good caches.

How can you promote good cache if you can not even definw what a good cache is???? It is like using a word to define itself. What to you maybe a good cache maybe really LAME to me. So again: WHAT MAKES A GOOD CACHE?

 

cheers

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Kill the stats.  Kill them dead.  Let them be viewable only to the account holder.  Stop the counts seen on the cache pages at 99+.  If somebody with 99+ finds DNF's my cache, that's the same as somebody with 5000 finds not finding it.  I don't need to know this number for any other reason.

I'm all for this!!!!!!

 

However, it would be a tough decision for GC.com since I would think many cachers would leave the game. But I would pay them triple the current membership cost for a membership if they did! :(

 

I would also like to see a cache rating system. Anything that could elevate cache quality instead of continually accepting dumbing down caches to get an easier smiley face has my support.

 

BTW...I will be re-signing up for a premium membership next payday. I let mine run out cause the features were of little use to me. With the new ignore and bookmark features, I'm in again!

 

Salvelinus

 

edit: speeling ;)

Edited by Salvelinus
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Excuse me if I offend any one, but a cache is a cache. Geocaching doesn’t come with any guarantees. You take your chances when you go out on the hunt. If you go see a movie and don’t like it, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. The same it for what you think is a lame cache. There is nothing you can do about it, so stop whining about  it and get on with your life.

Ever hear of movie reviews?

 

I guess if the reason I cache was for numbers than a cache would just be a cache. But I think its safe to assume that for most cachers, there are some caches that are better than others. Striving for excellence is never a bad thing.

 

Salvelinus

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How can you promote good cache if you can not even definw what a good cache is???? It is like using a word to define itself. What to you maybe a good cache maybe really LAME to me. So again: WHAT MAKES A GOOD CACHE?

I think that we have seen a number of good ideas as to how to improve quality come from this thread without getting into your definitional argument.

 

I seriously suggest that if you want to define what a good cache is, that you post in one of the threads on that topic.

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I have gotten into the practice of emailing a new cacher after they find one of my caches and thanking them for taking the time to look for the cache and welcome them to the sport. I then give them a link to another cache in the area, not one of mine, but one that I know is also a fun or unique hide and suggest they give it a try.

 

I wouldn't be surprised that someone soon writes a thesis on the sociology of geocaching. There certainly is enough to consider, but one thing I think that occurs, and it relates to the "lead by example" idea , is that there are so many caches these days and most new cachers tend to look for the easy ones first. So, after a dozen mediocre cache finds in parking lots and such, they assume this is the norm and then go out and hide a similar cache.

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I have gotten into the practice of emailing a new cacher after they find one of my caches and thanking them for taking the time to look for the cache and welcome them to the sport. I then give them a link to another cache in the area, not one of mine, but one that I know is also a fun or unique hide and suggest they give it a try.

 

I wouldn't be surprised that someone soon writes a thesis on the sociology of geocaching. There certainly is enough to consider, but one thing I think that occurs, and it relates to the "lead by example" idea , is that there are so many caches these days and most new cachers tend to look for the easy ones first. So, after a dozen mediocre cache finds in parking lots and such, they assume this is the norm and then go out and hide a similar cache.

My point exactly, hide nice caches in scenic areas and hope new cachers emulate what you hide. I would be embarassed to introduce a non-geocacher to our sport by showing him a film canister behind a dumpster.

 

The very first cache I laid eyes on was an ammo box under a bush on a scenic trail. I was hooked. Had it been a micro in an unappealing part of town, I probably wouldn't have gotten involved in the sport.

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I think one line of gc.com code would go a LONG way; Micros should no longer increase your found count. As for the cachers that would have a problem with this... Well, we know who they are.

 

Why are you worried about someone else's count? Oops, I think you gave yourself away :( .

Not at all. People who are playing the game to run up their find count as fast as possible are almost playing a different game from people who want to find stuff at the end of a hike in a natural area. There's nothing wrong with either game - but many who like the 'hike in a natural area' style see the 'run up the numbers' style caches as a threat. In some areas, the bulk of the new hides are intended for quick finds. So people who want the more hiking oriented caches are worried about being edged out completely. Personally, I'd like to see a way where both camps could play the way they want and be happy.

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I find it interesting that there are apparently only two types of cachers.

 

Numbers hounds who are just in this to run up their "score" or kind gentle souls who enjoy long walks in the woods to find ammo containers filled with clean dry treasures.

 

What about those of us who enjoy most of the caches they go to and who hunt all types of caches in an area? If you do it a bunch you end up with "high numbers", does that make you bad?

 

To be on topic, HIDE GOOD CACHES. That is the only way to improve the quality of caching in an area. I try to hide good caches and maintain them, sometimes I succeed sometimes I fail, but I never try to tell people what they should be hiding. I realize that "good" is subjective, so I do what I think is good. Sometimes that means I stick a film cannister in a lightpole near something I want to show finders, sometimes that means an ammo box in the woods with a nice hike, sometimes it means a puzzle in a local library, sometimes it means a devilishly difficult micro in a less than scenic locale. I think those are all good caches, if you disagree then I apologize that I was unable to entertain you. That is what it is all about isn't it?

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I find it interesting that there are apparently only two types of cachers.

 

Numbers hounds who are just in this to run up their "score" or kind gentle souls who enjoy long walks in the woods to find ammo containers filled with clean dry treasures.

 

What about those of us who enjoy most of the caches they go to and who hunt all types of caches in an area? If you do it a bunch you end up with "high numbers", does that make you bad?

I never said there was anything wrong with having high numbers. Far from it. There are no bad cachers in that regard, as far as I'm concerned. If someone is in a race to get to some milestone number of finds first, that's cool by me.

 

My point was that some people enjoy quick, easy finds, and this style is very popular in some areas, and that this seems like a very different game to me than people who are primarily after a walk in a natural area. Not better, not worse, just different.

 

You have a point though. There's a few people in my area who find 'em all, and they do end up with high numbers indeed. It's great they find enjoyment in all of these different types of caches. I don't. There's a great many more who go for the mostly easy ones, and this is what they place. In fact, the "find it all" folks often place rather easy ones, at least in the sense of the physical challenge, at least here locally.

 

If you don't enjoy that type of cache, you are kind of stuck if that's mostly what's placed in your area.

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Something else that might go a long way to improving caches in your area - write good logs on good caches. Give praise and glorify those caches that have changed your life and made it better. If you had a particularly moving experience in something to do with the cache, share that experience (without spoilers of course) on the cache page.

 

I know that I really enjoy reading lengthy and detailed logs on my caches, and I also have come to know (most of the time) that caches with a lot of TNLNSL logs are probably not going to be the most rewarding ones.

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Something else that might go a long way to improving caches in your area - write good logs on good caches. Give praise and glorify those caches that have changed your life and made it better. If you had a particularly moving experience in something to do with the cache, share that experience (without spoilers of course) on the cache page.

I totally agree that this is very helpful. I always find it disappointing when I spending weeks on constructing a nice cache, spending time selecting a nice location to hide it, only to have someone log a find with: TNLN TFTC.

 

For all the time I spent hiding nice caches, I don't even deserve whole words?

 

--Marky

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Wow... lot's of different opinions here. I think that briansnat's idea of a regional award for a cache is a great idea. You could have different categories (i.e. most scenic, most inventive, most difficult, etc). I also agree with sbell111 that a definition won't have much meaning because we all cache for different reasons with different lifestyles. Sometimes, I want to go after the quick and easy ones - especially when my two year old daughter is with us. Sometimes, I want to hike for a mile or two - like when my five year old son is with me.

 

How to increase quality caches? I think there should be a mandatory minimum find before you get to place any caches on GC.com and I think regional awards programs are a great way to inspire the next generation of challenging caches. I like Geocaching for what it is, and it fits my family lifestyle. If you want something more exclusive that actually REQUIRES quality, then go to http://www.terracaching.com/

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I think there should be a mandatory minimum find before you get to place any caches on GC.com

 

I don't think this will help, nor is it a good idea. Many of what I've heard others call "cache polluters" are veteran geocachers with hundreds of finds. The problem is lack of imagination and desire to hide a quality cache, not lack of experience. I've found numerous excellent caches hidden by novices with a handful of finds and plenty of totally lame caches hidden by people with many finds.

 

Newbs with a little imagination can hide wonderful caches. Why poison their minds by making them find other caches first, particularly in areas where lame caches are the rule. Perhaps they can lend a fresh perspective to geocaching in an area.

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I think there should be a mandatory minimum find before you get to place any caches on GC.com

 

I don't think this will help, nor is it a good idea. Many of what I've heard others call "cache polluters" are veteran geocachers with hundreds of finds. The problem is lack of imagination and desire to hide a quality cache, not lack of experience. I've found numerous excellent caches hidden by novices with a handful of finds and plenty of totally lame caches hidden by people with many finds.

 

Newbs with a little imagination can hide wonderful caches. Why poison their minds by making them find other caches first, particularly in areas where lame caches are the rule. Perhaps they can lend a fresh perspective to geocaching in an area.

I agree.

 

As I stated earlier, in the cache approval process, the approvers need to be able to have a breakdown by cache type as to how many are in an area of each type and if one type becomes common, then the approver can take steps to limit further caches of that type.

 

I also think that the onus needs to be put on the hider. The question put bluntly and with some weight behind an answer of "What makes this cache special?" should be included in the approval process.

 

Each approver can set his or her level regarding the acceptable answer. The answers may be real simple (like its an International Cache, or its the first one of its type in the area.) They may be more esoteric and complex, like we are building a cache chain from point A to point B and this dull one in the middle is needed to make the chain.

 

The answers have to be there for approval. If its just "Its a cool park and we thought it was keen to put one there", maybe you approve it because there are few in the area, but maybe you don't if there are already a surplus.

 

If every cacher that hid a cache knew that the approver was waiting on an answer as to what made that cache special and worth adding to the database, more people would think twice about machine gunning crappy caches around an area just because they could.

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Long rambling discourse to follow.... I apologise in advance...

 

When CR and I first started caching (letterboxing, actually), we found that it was a hobby that brought us together. The caches in our area were not that numerous, but it gave us a way to be together and out of the house with no distractions. We had just become empty nesters and nice long walks through the woods or through town gave us a chance to rediscover each other. We had hidden two letterboxes and quickly converted them to letterbox hybrids once we found Geocaching.com.

 

The first cache that we did that required a trip off the beaten path was CCC in Columbia. I had been to the park it is in several times with my daughter (even swam in our clothes at the end of the trail once when it was really hot) and finding this cache was a perfect opportunity to show CR our swimmin' hole. I was surprised to discover that the cache was hidden on the other side of the ravine from the trail. I remember thinking "are we allowed to go over there?" followed immediately by "Well, the cache placer did!"

 

This was the kind of cache for me! At the time we had some very good caches in Charleston, but none that gave me that kind of feeling. I do not do anything quickly, but I knew I wanted to put some out like that. The result was the Sissy's Snarky Walk series. Granted, placing the kind of caches I like to find does not insure that there will be more like this for me to find, but *I* certainly had fun while placing them.

 

The best way to get more caches like what you want to find is to place them. Even if no one were to want to hunt mine, I had a blast putting them out. I like some of mine so much that I go check on them, even if I know no one has been out to them! (Just today I was out in the rain to see if any of my new ones might be in a spot where they might float away.) :)

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How to promote good caches:

 

As others have said, hide good caches, and talk up the good ones through regional clubs, the regional forums, and in the logs.

 

Also:

 

Travel. When I go out of my area, I find new ways to hide caches. I would learned the lamp-post trick on an out-of-area cache. Take this knowledge with you when you come home and use it to be inventive in your hides.

 

Start a newsletter/review forum for your regional group. Promoting good caches means PROMOTING-- talk it up, give it some press.

 

Make puzzle caches that are fun and not impossible-- people enjoy getting another icon in their stat bar.

 

People have mentioned many times that good log entries mean good caches. This is true. Write a story when you log a good find, something you enjoyed. I guarantee, if you write something good and meaningful in the log on my cache pages, I don't care a bit if you Took Stuff and Left Nothing-- your creative and inventive log can be your trade item.

 

Travel Bugs. Place travel bugs only in caches that you enjoyed. People go to caches for many reasons, and travel bugs are one of them. I'm a TB player-- I look for the bug icon when I'm searching for local caches. I like to see what bugs are in the area, where they're going, and if I can help them along. Double for Jeep TB's-- if you get a Jeep, put it in your FAVORITE cache. Someone else will come by to get it and they will have another example of "good cache hide" to remember when they go to place their cache.

 

Promoting the placement of good caches means getting people interested in good, quality caches and keeping their interest. Those people will go on to place a good cache, because they will know what caches they liked, and will use those ideas to place their own.

 

On a tangent: I don't believe that urban micros are ruining the game, and I don't think gc.com should discriminate on finds based on a find being a micro. I love micros. I love them because they are easy to hide in an otherwise hiding-spot-free area. I love them because I have a hard time finding them, even when they're supposed to be easy. I love them because they challenge my stealth abilities when non-geocachers are around. I love them because I have an easy time getting *to* them. Not everyone loves a walk in the woods (she says, scratching at the poison oak covering half her body right now). Not everyone has *time* for a walk in the woods. Some of us take our 1-hour lunch break to go geocaching, and working more than 20 minutes from the woods means urban micros have to be a big part of the game. The key is to stay creative with them, look for inventive ways and places to hide them, and remember the creative placements you liked.

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Something else that might go a long way to improving caches in your area - write good logs on good caches.

I just got done posting this same idea in another topic... and here I was all proud of myself for such an original idea :)

 

but honestly making a point to say good things about good caches is what will make people want to hide better caches... you don't have to be a great writter to put a couple of lines of text into a log.

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I think one line of gc.com code would go a LONG way; Micros should no longer increase your found count. As for the cachers that would have a problem with this... Well, we know who they are.

 

-WR

I would respectfully disagree with this - micros under lamposts, I agree with you, but here's a recent log of mine from a cache down here in AZ:

 

Micros in the woods of Massachusetts would be a nightmare. In AZ though, they are excellent. The open desert which provides an excellent signal and a lack of non-obvious cache placement for large containers often leads to quick finds of ammo boxes.

 

This one had me going for a while, and I almost gave up. Nice one. Thanks.

 

There are times and places for micros. Walmart is not one of these. Creative micros that are not impossible to find are.

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