CacheCrazy.Com: Geocacher Feud - You be the judge......

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Geocacher Feud - You be the judge......

Hey, lets have some fun here. I wrote an article awhile back and shortly there after Dodger came back with an opposing view. We are secure enough in our friendship that we can take a little ribbing now and then. I mean, I did post that sign on his mail box during the Superbowl in Feb. even though he's a huge Pittsburgh fan. 
So, you be the judge.....


Making Geocaching Better One Cache At A Time
  


By: Bloodhounded

Notes from the author: You can make a big difference in the longevity of a cache and Geocaching in general.




When I first started geocaching I was enthusiastic to find as many caches as I could. Not that the numbers where really important but, I wanted to see all different types of caches and find what was out there. What I found was an eye opener and I knew right away that I needed to change the way I looked at caches and started to bring additional stuff with me in the field.

I found caches that were filled with water, smashed all over the place, completely missing, empty and basically done for with nothing but an “archiving” fate. If I archived every busted and soggy cache, I knew I would be limiting the opportunities. Instead, I decided to send emails to the cache owners (aka CO’s). Many got right back to me and promised to fix it however, others never responded. I knew I couldn’t just leave them like that for the next cacher so, I made it my mission to “rescue them” and that I did. It made me feel good that even though the cache didn’t have a responsible owner, it now had a safe and secure home. I know, I have problems. Mind you, these are not my hides.

On subsequent caching trips I went prepared with what I called my “Cache First Aid Kit”. It was assembled using the following items:

• A medium size Lock N Lock container (which I used to stuff everything else inside). The medium size is small enough to fit in a hip pack but large enough to sub for a damaged large container.

• (2) spiral notebooks (large cache logs)

• (2) small replacement logs

• (2) micro replacement logs

• (2) small plastic containers

• (4) sharpened pencils

• (1) roll of clear tape

• (2) ziplock sandwich bags

• (2) ziplock freezer bags

• (4) small ziplock bags

That sounds like a lot of stuff but it fits nicely in the container and I’m ready for any cache container s in the field no matter if they are minor or critical injuries. No cache dies on my watch!

As a CO, I really appreciate when someone goes out of their way to fix up one of my hides. I always add a comment of thanks to the log and make sure I send a Thank You email. Here are some signs that you might have to spring into action and break out the survival kit:

1. Check the logs of the last three cachers who found it last. Many will make mention of the log being wet or full, the container being cracked or something to that effect. I target these caches because to me it’s a twofold adventure, I get to find the cache and I get to fix it up too. For some strange reason, I find pleasure in that.

2. A cache that hasn’t been found in a long time is suspicious. Email the cache owner before you go and let them know you are prepared to do maintenance if needed. Sometimes they will email you back and tell you what it needs and offer additional support (cell number) to get field support if needed. The caches that haven’t been found in a long time are usually the ones that are a 3+ mile hike and you don’t want to come away without a smiley.

3. Great caches that just got a bad break. These are caches that are in a great location and get a lot of seeker traffic however no one has the stuff to fix them. The logs usually spell out what is needed.

4. If you come across a full log you can replace it with a new one BUT PLEASE, do not remove the original log. They are the history documented for all to see.

5. Don’t forget your swag bag! I have some “secondary” swag that I don’t mind parting with and some caches have nothing! So I dump some swag in there and it’s all set.

6. Some caches need a complete overhaul. You’ll find yourself basically doing everything because the cache is so badly damaged there is no hope for the container and its contents are gone.

By making a geocache fully functional, you are insuring that the cache will not be archived in the near future, adding to the longevity of the location and insuring that the next seeker has a positive geocaching experience. Who knows, it could be someone’s very first cache adventure (we all remember that one don’t we?) or some little kid who is all excited about the treasure.

By helping out the CO’s, they have more time to plan a cache and do additional hides. This insures the growth of the sport and keeps a smiley not only in your cache count but on the faces of everyone who participates in the adventure of geocaching.

Yes, you CAN make a difference, one cache at a time!

TEAM BLOODHOUNDED


The Opposing View


It’s not always sunshine and lollipops here at the Cache Crazy headquarters. (The other guys right now are like, “What?  We have a headquarters?”) We’re all buddies, but sometimes we see things differently. Sometimes we even – gasp! – disagree.  So today I’m going to play the devil to my colleague’s angel and take an opposing viewpoint. 
Some time back, Bloodhounded wrote a very good and interesting article called “Making Geocaching Better One Cache at a Time”.  In a nutshell, he advocates carrying replacement containers and swag to repair damaged caches.  First and foremost, there is nothing at all wrong with that.  I, too, have come to the aid of my neighbor from time to time by leaving swag, cleaning up garbage, and checking to see if a cache is still hidden after several people have logged DNFs.  It is a good feeling, and it is fun.  My question, however, is this – Where do you draw the line?  Specifically – When do you fire off the “Needs Archived” salvo? 
The answer to that question is undefined.  I see it as a judgment call by the referee.  Maybe a cache just had some bad luck or maybe the CO is a buddy of yours or is somebody that you know is actively playing the game.  Fine.  Give it CPR.  Gee whiz, you might even consider requesting to adopt it.  Cool.
 
“Be a good scout – replace the cache just like you’d like others to do.” 
“Don’t be ridiculous - Archive it, you coward!”
What I’m really talking about is that cache you find that is, say, an old Kool-Aid jug with a seal-on lid and the contents are a nice potpourri of glop.  To make matters worse, you check the cache page and see two “Needs Maintenance” logs and a whole slew of notes saying things like “Contents are soaking wet” and “Really could use some TLC” and “Everything is moldy and rotten”.  Then you see that the CO has like four finds, one hide, and hasn’t logged on in two years.  

Come on, you’ve all found them.   I’d guess that it tees you off, but, then again, I really don’t know.  Maybe someday I’ll set up some sort of sting. Put out some soupy caches on purpose and get John QuiƱones to hide in the woods.  When you show up at GZ, he and his camera crew can ambush you with a lot of on-the-spot questions.  

"Tell us, sir - why didn't you trade evenly?"
Anyway…
Call me wrong if you will, but I say these things have to be pounded with the “Needs Archived” hammer.  Oh sure, you could rescue it, but what about when the container gets cracked again or the swag gets pilfered? Does it then become YOUR responsibility?  Are you some sort of default ghost CO now?  I say archive it and let somebody else have a chance at hiding something there because, remember, it’s not just that pinpoint location that is being wasted.  A cache gobbles up everything in a 0.1 mile radius.  If my quick math is right, that’s somewhere around 20 acres give or take. 
Think about that.  20 acres of geocaching wasteland.
Clean out the deadwood and let the new shoots grow, I say!
Now please don’t misunderstand – I do not urge you to use this tactic simply because you don’t like a cache.  I think we all know that’s not fair. The NA tool is not to be deployed lightly.  We can never be quite sure why a CO has neglected his cache.  You have to think of yourself as being kind of like Spiderman.  You know – with great power comes great responsibility. 
Certainly, though, we all have seen these caches.  In fact, we’ve seen them many times.  So instead of being geocaching’s version of Johnny Appleseed, I say let’s get the junk cleared out. 
So there you have it.  I suspect I’ll be sending my blogger resume out by the end of the day.
Who’s with me?
“I’m plumb out of Tupperware!”


So I ask you, what do you think?

4 comments:

Dave DeBaeremaeker said...

I gotta go with Dodger here. Some cache first aid can be in order (replacing a soggy logbook or a tattered ziplock baggie) if the cacher is still active, but just hasn't gotten around to fixing his cache (or yet been informed). I carry a spare set of Zips just for this purpose.

If its an abandoned cache with the last bunch of logs being DNFs, and the CO not responding then I have no problem with the Needs Archived. Its not mean, or a weapon. In the right circumstances it can be the humane way to put a cache out of its misery.

I normally do a Needs Maintenance on the cache, and wait two weeks, If no response is forthcoming I do a Needs Archive. I've cleaned up a lot of geo-litter in my town this way, and there are at least 4 new caches placed that would not have been otherwise.

I have adopted a cache as well, if it was in an area I was willing to maintain one in.

A factor not mentioned is that fixing an abandoned cache means that find logs are not seen by anyone. By getting those archived, new caches in the area will have humans actively viewing all those find it logs, and increasing the enjoyment of the game for the population as a whole that much more.

BLOODHOUNDED said...

"the humane way to put a cache out of its misery"
I love that line!
All good points......

Dave DeBaeremaeker said...

FYI I love the Point/Counterpoint nature of this post. It makes for an interesting and thought provoking read.

smithie23 said...

I tend to like to help a brother out while in the field. However, if the cache appears to be abandoned, both by observing the container and online logs, then it's time to notify the geo-authorities.

BTW, the Packers got lucky vs. the Giants.

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