CacheCrazy.Com: Does Your Cache Need Maintenance

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Does Your Cache Need Maintenance

Have you ever had to perform maintenance on one of your caches before because someone posted a “Needs Maintenance” log, or have you ever had to disable your cache for a good reason?  In today’s article I am going to cover why you might have to perform maintenance on your cache, or why you might want to disable your cache, and how you can do that. Then I will cover what to do on the cache page (CP) after you have taken care of the situation. Let’s look at what happens when someone posts a “Needs Maintenance” log on your cache page.

If you receive several DNF (Did Not Find) logs on your CP then naturally you’ll want to check up on it. But what happens if someone posts the dreaded “Needs Maintenance” (NM) log on your cache page? 

When someone posts this on your CP the Maintenance Squad will appear at your door within 48 hours and escort you to your cache and make sure you perform the required maintenance, and if you don't they will archive you for the rest of your life.  Okay, so I just woke up and realized I was dreaming. What really happens is that when a Geocacher visits a cache and either doesn’t find it, or they do find it, but it is in bad shape they might post a NM log. They can do this when they choose to “log their visit” on the right hand side of the CP.

The Groundspeak Knowledge Book says this:

3.8. Caches That Need Maintenance

FINDERS: you find a geocache that is in need of some help (e.g. container is cracked, logbook is full or wet), please post a "Needs Maintenance" log on the cache page so the cache owner and the community is notified. This log adds an attribute to the page (looks like a colored cross) to alert other geocachers of the needed repairs. Logging Needs Maintenance does not increase find count. Needs Maintenance logs are not forwarded to reviewers. (Italics and underlining mine.)
As a fellow cacher if I notice that a cache is in need of maintenance then I should post a NM log on the CP. Now I might do this if the cache is really soaked, or filled with ants or bees, or is thought to be missing.  When you go to the CP you choose “log your visit” on the right hand side.  When the next window opens up you’ll need to “select type of log” and choose “Needs Maintenance”. 

Then fill out the date and then fill in your comments as to why you are assigning it a NM log. Next just hit “submit log entry” and you’re all set.  Once this log is logged then an email is sent to the cache owner (CO). He should go and repair the cache and get it back in order for others to find.  When you choose this type of log entry then as mentioned above a colored cross is automatically put into your attributes on the CP.

Once you have made the repairs to your cache then you need to log into your account and go to the appropriate CP that you repaired and select “log your visit” and then choose the drop down menu and select “Owner Maintenance”. 

Check the date and then make your comments and then submit the log entry. When you do this the colored cross will then disappear from your attributes on the CP. If you do not do this then your CP will be excluded from any PQ’s that are run, and no one wants to be excluded from anything. Once you are done with all of this then you can go back to your CP and delete the entries. That way your CP stays nice and clean.

Now on to disabling your cache. You can disable your cache, and you should, if it is in an area where there will be hunting taking place. A good idea is to disable it during Big Game season. That way you don’t have people out in the woods looking for your cache when there might be hunters out there hunting for deer or bear. If you choose to look for Geocaches during hunting season PLEASE WEAR ORANGE so that the hunters can see you better.  By disabling your cache others who go to your CP will see that it is temporarily disabled. You can post a note as to why you disabled it, and when you expect it to be re-enabled.

So you would go to your CP and on the right hand side you would choose “Disable Listing”.

Then you choose “Temporarily Disable Listing” and fill in the date and then make your comments as to why it is disabled. Click submit log entry and your done for now.

Once you’re ready to enable it you do it the same way but you choose “Enable Listing” and it will be enabled once again. 

Then I go back and delete both entries from the logs. The cache page is back online and folks can now look for it again. I hope this has been helpful because the last thing I want to see is the colored cross on the search page when I am looking for caches, or find a cache that has been disabled and forgot about. And I’ve seen some caches that have been found even though there is still a needs maintenance attribute listed. Clean those pages up and let everyone know that your caches are well maintained. It really shows you care. 



An excellent tutorial that I just finally finished reading. Man, you detailed that whole process so well, are you sure your not an engineer Big Al? A Geocaching engineer? Well done my friend, well done! We all could use a little more education with the technical end of being a cache owner. It's a big responsibility.



cachecrazy admin said...

From CacheCrazy.Com facebook page - John Marshall posted - Nice writeup. My only question is why delete the NM, NA, OM, & Enable logs? To me that shows that you care as well. You had issues and you fixed them. Kind of a track record of how you take care of them.

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Heather Cook (Lady-Magpie) said...

Very good instructions Big Al, anyone new to the venture needs help like this. I must admit that if I see any problems with any of my caches I'm out there to check straight away. Like another poster says, I leave all logs, it shows a history of the cache.

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