CacheCrazy.Com: CACHE HIDERS NEED TO READ THIS!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

CACHE HIDERS NEED TO READ THIS!







If you do any caching around NEPA (Northeast PA) then you may have heard about a caching couple called "Whistlers". They are a neat couple and I have enjoyed getting to know them. Today's post was written by Barb from Whistler & Co. and it covers a subject that really needs to be followed. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

It happened again. We went out to find a quick cache and ended up getting interrogated by a muggle. Under the right circumstances, we enjoy explaining caching to people we run into while searching. The "right circumstances" generally means in a place that it is normal for the general public to be, such as a park or cemetery or state gameland or even a parking lot. The cache we were trying to find was not in any of those places. It was along a public roadway, but a very small road which was a cul-de-sac with rather expensive homes on it. The street is not the kind of place where people just randomly park and rummage about on the roadside without attracting attention from the residents. 

Furthermore, the cache is a well-disguised micro placed in a setting with literally hundreds of potential hiding spots. A woman and a kid out in broad daylight are not really threatening, but nonetheless one of the neighbors felt inclined to investigate. Thankfully, she left with the opinion that we were slightly nuts but essentially harmless. On other occasions, we have actually been yelled at and told to leave. 

Before you hide a cache, please consider the following:

1. Is it private property? Is it public property that is in a place very close to private property? The guardrail in front of some random stranger's house is NOT a good place for a cache, no matter how fine the view! "We always used to hike here as kids" does NOT justify hiding a cache in someone else's woodlot or field!

2. Can the neighbors see the cache site? A little park surrounded on three sides by houses is public, but maybe it's not the best spot to hide a cache. Strangers in strange cars, some with out-of-state plates, will surely be noticed, and not in a good way. At best, a neighbor investigates and discovers the cache. At worst, a neighbor calls the cops and reports your license plate as a suspected drug dealer, because why else would a grown man from New York be poking around under the climbers in a park in some sleepy Pennsylvania town?

3. The difficulty of the cache hide should depend on the situation. Just as it is bad caching etiquette to hide a nano two miles down a trail in the woods, it is also bad caching etiquette to hide a nano or micro in a fragile environment such a stone wall, landscaped planted area, or where things will get torn apart by searchers. Yes, you want the cache to be safe from prying eyes, but that needs to be balanced with getting cachers in and out quickly and discreetly when the cache is in full view of the public. If YOU would not feel relaxed and comfortable searching for the cache, neither would anyone else.

4. Consider the area itself. Is it safe from passing traffic? is it full of trash? We once found a cache in a rusty can along a fence at an interstate rest area that was also full of trucker bombs (Google it if you are unfamiliar with the term ). Cachers should not have to dodge speeding vehicles to reach the guardrail where the cache is, nor should they have to sift through empty food containers and worse. If the area itself is super-gross, then why do you want to put your name to a cache that is hidden there? Find another place that folks will appreciate. It doesn't have to be spectacular, it just has to be decent. Remember, a lot of cachers have kids with them, so roadside litter and speeding dumptrucks are two signs that the cache is not in a good spot.

5. And a few basics: Make sure the container is waterproof. Check your coords on the cache submission form AND on a satellite image, like Google maps, to make sure they match the actual location. Either give a real hint, or don't bother giving one at all. Have the cache in place BEFORE you fill out the online form (they can get published within minutes under the right circumstances). NEVER hide on private property without actual permission, and ALWAYS state on the cache page that the cache is on private property with permission. Give parking coords if it's confusing about from which point to access the cache site. 

Remember: If it's not a cache you yourself would like to hunt for, then it's not a cache you should hide either.

                              Nice view of Nicholson Bridge

                                            Merli-Sarnoski Park


                                               Merli-Sarnoski Park


Thanks Barb. This was a great reminder and something we all need to consider when hiding caches. Big Al. 

5 comments:

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Great post - I was just thinking of doing one on this subject myself after an experience last weekend. What are some people thinking when they hide a cache?

Kevin Bloodhounded said...

Oh man, you know I love this post!
I have said it before and will say it again, THE HIDER sets the precedence of our sport, everything else is incidental. If the hider uses bad taste, then the sport gets a ding. Location and common sense play a major role in the game.
Thanks Barb!
BH

BigAl said...

Thanks Barb for a great post. BH really hit it right on. If the CO messes up then everything from there on out goes down hill. Big Al

Lindsay said...

We were mistaken for bombers the other day. The muggle was crazy, but we had to take the cache with us. It was in an industrial part of town, not really a scenic area.

BGrace said...

We sometimes find ourselves passing on caches simply after looking at the satellite view and seeing that they are right in the middle of residential neighborhoods. Even a nano on a stop sign...a quick find for anyone with caching experience...can be a tough one to access stealthily. When I hide a cache, ideally I want the finder to enjoy the experience, but at MINIMUM the cache seeker should at least not have a NEGATIVE experience. I'd rather deal with poison ivy, bees, wet logsheets, and bad coords than hostile neighbors and property managers.

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