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Special Equipment Rateing


PyroDave
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The way i read the rules is special equipment is anything that is not required for a bacic geo cache. Me for one not haveing a camera right now i consider it special equipment esp if its required to log a cache. Ive found a couple caches id love to do but being cameraless makes it so I cant log it just like not owning scuba equipment makes it inposable to log some under water caches.

 

edit: a car isnt a requirement you can still walk If its to far away from you then well you dont want the cace bvad enough.

 

And im talking tradisional caches

 

Pyro

Edited by PyroDave
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:)

 

You're kidding, right?

 

Probably 50% of the virts require a camera to take a picture. It's not special equipment it's a logging requirement distinct to that kind of cache.

 

100% of locationless caches require cameras to take pictures when you find the spot. It's not special equipment it's a logging requirement distinct to that kind of cache.

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My take on "special equipment" is that its something that the average person is not likely to have along and/or not likely to have ready access to.

 

If you go down the "camera is special equipment" road, you could probably include flashlights, tweezers, hiking boots and nearly anything else outside of your GPS.

 

Many people bring cameras along and nearly everyone owns, so its not specialized equipment. Climbing equipment, SCUBA gear or a boat would be. I'm on the fence about 4WD, but since not everyone owns a 4WD vehicle that they are willing to (or can) take off road I may give that too.

 

There should also be a specialized skill of some degree involved. Climbing, diving and even paddling a canoe are skills that not everyone posesses. Since nearly everyone has access to a camera and can use it, its not specialized equipment. So if you want to justify rating all those locationless caches and virtuals 5 stars, nice try, but no cigar.

Edited by briansnat
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When I think of speical equipment I'm thinking more along the lines of SCUBA gear, 4X4, wench, rappeling gear; things like that.

I've always considered my wench to be special.

LOL, yeah, I read my spelling mistake after I hit the post button and really meant winch. I got a good giggle out of it so I just left it misspelled. ;)

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My take on it is a camera is not special equipment.

 

Further, I'm not fond of logging requirements. Unless it's a locationless you shouldn't be required to take a photo. A physical cache has a logbook to sign which is all the verification you need. A virt will (should) have a verification which can be written.

 

If an owner wants to play games use the ignore function. Me, even on virts that require you to email the owner and get a response back before logging, I log it anyway. I found it. I own that find, not them. If they want to play games, fine. The ignore function is a great tool. The number beside my name is not that important.

 

Besides, if I wanted my find count to be 100% accurate, I can place a found log on one of my own caches with an explanation of why it is there.

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Virtual Cache Posting Guidelines

3. There should be one or more questions about an item at a location, something seen at that location, etc., that only the visitor to that physical location will be able to answer. The questions should be difficult enough that it cannot be answered through library or web research. The use of a "certificate of achievement" or similar item is not a substitute for the find verification requirement.

 

4. An original photo posted to the cache log can be an acceptable way to verify a find, or an email to the owner with valid answers for the question or questions. In NO cases should answers be posted in the logs, even if encrypted.

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I know with verts a camera is required thats part of a vert like i said Im talking tradisional caches. How bout this then if a camera is required at a tradisional type of cache the the owner should put a desposable in the cache for that purpouse or rate it a 5 to avoid needing special equipment.. As for the hikeing boots ect hike bearfoot if you want no one says on the cache page you must wear boots to log this. No one says you must have a 4x4 to log this you just have to walk farther if you dont. My issue is the need to take a pic to log the cache.

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We recently placed a cache where a condition is taking a photo as well as finding the cache. It _isn't_ a 5* but it _is_ a mystery cache. In my opinion, a traditional cache should be just that - go and find the cache. So the additional requirement for a camera makes this a mystery, and you need to read the description before you go out.

 

A camera in the cache won't work, because the photo is a significant distance from the cache, at the start of the 'trail'.

 

Cheers,

 

Stu

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We recently placed a cache where a condition is taking a photo as well as finding the cache.

While the sign is funny I don't get the reason for requiring a photo in order to log. Wouldn't signing the log of the cache be enough verification that the cache was visited?

 

Personally, I would have preferred that photos not be taken so the surprise would be revealed when the cacher showed up, but that's just me.

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The reason for an equipment rating is so you know you need it before you go and are dissapointed that you didn't bring your flashlight for the cache 22 miles accross town.

 

I'm not going to assume anyone has anything other than a GPS when I place a traditional cache.

 

Most everyone has fishing poles but bringing them on a cache hunt is another story. The cache I'm about to place that requires one, will be listed as needing special equipment.

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For grins, let's take this logging requirement a bit further.

 

First, though, let me point out that I've not ever seen anything in the rating system(s) that considers the difficulty of logging a cache, only finding.

 

I could create a 1/1 traditional park-n-grab and then make a requirement of having to solve some hideously hard puzzle and email me the answer in order to log the cache online.

 

Would that be acceptable? I think not.

 

I really hope the desire to make folks jump through hoops goes on the decline now that the new ignore feature allows you to find the cache and then simply ignore it without having to leave feedback. Too bad it's a PM feature as I'm sure the rest could use that feature, as well.

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Its all a matter of choice, if you don't have a camera go find another cache. If a camera is considered special equipment, then what do we call a computer or a GPS. If a compass was a requirement on a cache would that also be a special equipment with a rating of 7.5 or a 10 because one does not know the difference betwenn True or Magnetic, and if you had to use a map what would the rating be on that one.

 

If having a camera would make it a 5 star, then what would the ratings be on one of my up the mtn. backcountry caches. Probably around a level 20.

Edited by Tahosa and Sons
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I actually thought about this when considering a hide in a local cave.

 

See, you *need* two flashlights to enter a cave. One is your backup, for when you drop the other one. For some caves, you might also need rope, helmets, and other spelunking gear. But for this cave, it's just flashlights and being completely un-squicked about spiders and mud.

 

I wouldn't make it a 5 rating just because you need 2 flashlights, though, because it's not "specialized" gear-- nothing you can't find easily in the average drugstore. I would add 1 to the terrain rating, though, because you really have to BRING those flashlights with you, or you'll never find the cache. If it's an otherwise 3 terrain and it's listed as a 4, I figure people will read the description before they go to the cache site.

 

I'd do the same with a camera, which can also be found in a drugstore. If the geocacher must bring a camera to log the find, then I'd add a 1 to the difficulty-- not the terrain, though. The camera isn't needed for the terrain, but it is needed for the finding/logging part of the cache.

 

It doesn't fit perfectly into the GC guidelines, because the guidelines are just that-- guidelines. If you need SCUBA gear, a boat, a 4WD vehicle, or a fishing pole, then yeah-- that's specialized equipment, cut and dried (I can find a fishing pole in my local drugstore, but not the *average* drugstore). But if you're not quite sure.... just list it a little harder, not all the way to a 5.

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I think of special equipment as any gear that I normally do not carry. I would say that about half the geocachers I know carry a digital camera with them on every cache hunt. They may not use it, but they have it. I know very few geocachers who carry a flashlight on every cache hunt. I cannot think of any who always have climbing gear with them.

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I think of special equipment as any gear that I normally do not carry. I would say that about half the geocachers I know carry a digital camera with them on every cache hunt. They may not use it, but they have it. I know very few geocachers who carry a flashlight on every cache hunt. I cannot think of any who always have climbing gear with them.

I cannot think of any who always have climbing gear with them.

 

I have a wide asortment of items in the trunk of my car for those "just in case scenarios:

 

climbing gear

 

hip waders

 

flashlights

 

snowshoes w/ poles

 

topo maps

 

(other assorted items)

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I always carry a flashlight geocaching-- it's a small flashlight that just stays in my geobag.

 

But I don't always carry my camera, because it's larger, heavier, more valuable (I don't want to leave it in the car), and far more delicate than a flashlight. Also, I use my digital camera for a lot of things-- I don't have a way to leave a dedicated digicam in my geobag.

 

In the future, if I upgrade the size of the geobag, I might leave a disposable camera in there, for those "you have to take a picture to log it" types of scenarios. But most of where I cache, those kinds of caches are rare.

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The cache I'm about to place that requires one, will be listed as needing special equipment.

Which reminds me. Why isn't there a generic "Needs Special Equipment" attribute to filter out these types of caches? :ph34r:

 

BTW, I thought about one that required a fishing pole, too.

Good point. Having this attribute would remove the need for adjusting the cache rating. The debate over what is special equipment would still rage on.

 

If you have to use something other than your own hands to log the cache it's special equipment. Some caches even say "Bring a pencil" and yes I think that counts because even though I have great intentions of having a pencil on me I tend to leave them in the car, or the other jacket, or flat out lose them.

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One thing that bugs me is trying to search for caches that require climbing/rapelling gear. The only way to do it that I can see is to search for T5 caches, but then you have to wade through all the results that are T5 because they require a canoe or kayak. Personally, I don't believe that should make the cache a T5. I mean, the rating is for terrain. I don't know where the proper place for noting that a boat is needed should be, but I don't think it should be on the terrain rating. If you can walk down a nice T1.5 trail, hop in a kayak, paddle to an island, walk some more, and find the cache, does that make the terrain rating difficult? I think it makes the difficulty level higher.

 

Now look at the opposite example: a cache on the side of a cliff. Obviously the terrain is level 5, it's a cliff! The terrain is so treacherous, that proper safety gear is essential to the attempt. So the litmus test for T5 becomes: "If specialized gear is required, that's definately a T5." Then someone comes along and says, "Well, is a boat considered specialized equipment?" And the next thing you know, every cache that's accessible by water is a T5. People forgot that the point of rating terrain is to rate the terrain.

 

I'll swim to your water cache, feel free to fly to my cliff cache.

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The only way to do it that I can see is to search for T5 caches, but then you have to wade through all the results that are T5 because they require a canoe or kayak.  Personally, I don't believe that should make the cache a T5.  I mean, the rating is for terrain.

Huh? Water isn't terrain? When was the last time you tried to hike across a lake? :lol:

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The only way to do it that I can see is to search for T5 caches, but then you have to wade through all the results that are T5 because they require a canoe or kayak.  Personally, I don't believe that should make the cache a T5.  I mean, the rating is for terrain.

Huh? Water isn't terrain? When was the last time you tried to hike across a lake? :lol:

That's not to mention I know of an attempt of a boat required cache in a kayak and failed to get half way. I remember a couple jet ski trips we took that were 30 minutes in rough water. Lost a GPS mount on one--ripped it right of the boat.

 

That's not to mention a few that you probably could do if you were a very strong swimmer, but you'd be pretty stupid to attempt without an escort.

 

I do agree though, specialized gear shouldn't make a cache T5 automatically. Now that we have attributes we could rate the terrain more accurately and put the special gear requirement in the attributes.

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I do agree though, specialized gear shouldn't make a cache T5 automatically. Now that we have attributes we could rate the terrain more accurately and put the special gear requirement in the attributes.

I'll agree with you on that. Any cache with 3-stars or higher for terrain I usually spend a lot more time researching than those with lesser terrain ratings.

 

I've been caught in the desert, in the summer, with no more water left. I'm lucky to have lived through that, but I'm a lot more cautious now before I start venturing out. If I blindly start hunting for a higher-terrain cache without knowing what I'm going into, I do so at my own peril.

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I think it makes the difficulty level higher.

Nope, the terrain is for the "getting there" and until the attributes allow for stuff like "boat required" etc the way to do it is make it T5.

 

Difficulty is "how hard's the cache to find ONCE YOU'RE AT GROUND ZERO" so needing a boat to get to ground zero has no bearing on the difficulty rating.

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I know very few geocachers who carry a flashlight on every cache hunt.

Every cacher I know carries at least one flashlight with them at all times when caching. Team NAB pulled out about six last time we were somewhere and needed one.

 

I don't always carry my camera

And by contrast, TPrints out of Erie has over 20,000 digital photos he's taken while geocaching - that's every stage of every multi he's ever done, every final location he's ever done, etc.

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