Forum: Just Getting Started In Geocaching
Topic: abandoned caches?
started by: welch

Posted by welch on Nov. 21 2003,7:16 pm
So I was wondering, How does Navicache handle caches that become abandoned??

This is just a 'what if' question, I do not know of any caches listed here that are not being maintained. :thumbs-up

Posted by Quinn on Nov. 21 2003,7:31 pm
I think that this goes beyond just "Navicache". this is more of a Geocaching community responsibility. In other words I feel that even if a cache has been left an not looked after, as long as it is doing no harm to it's area of placement and that people are still enjoying it then why bother?

Now on the other hand if a trail is being run into the ground or damage done and perhaps the cache is turning to trash we would then ask the next cacher to please remove the contents from the area if a notice to the cache owner can not be made. we would then also remove it's listing from the website.

adoption of a cache is also always an option. If a person decides to give up on a cache then Ifeel he loses all rights to that cache and another that wishes to maintain it can do so.
But always a notice to the original owner of intent goes hand in hand.  :)

Posted by welch on Nov. 21 2003,7:35 pm
Ok, and if the owner just disappears? Is the cache still awarded to someone that wants to adopt?
Posted by PC Medic on Nov. 21 2003,7:51 pm
Well, first you need to define what is an abndoned cache?
I also think each woud have to be considered seperately (kind of like approvals)

I say if there is question that the cache listed on navicache is abanodoned, a messge should be sent to the cache owner. If no response is received in a reasonable amount of time (remember some folks do not have time to sit at the PC daily), then you should contact us (we sometimes have private contact info for cache owners not in their public listing). If we are unable to make contact and there is other evidence it may have been abandoned, then depending on its condition or location we (Team Navicache) after discussing the best solution may respond with an offer to adopt.  

If the cache owner has other listings, further steps may even be needed regarding those caches and their account. After all, geo-litter is certainly not acceptable.

Posted by Brobubba on Nov. 21 2003,8:48 pm
I ran into this very delimma on the second cache I went after, on another site.  It was a two stage cache, and because of pictures posted, I was able to figure the general location of the second stage.  I found that part after combing the area (posing as a  government worker counting grass blades as part of a federal program).  As I am not the only one who couldn't find the first stage, it is a high percentile that it is missing.  I have emailed the owner twice, and and after two weeks am wondering if they will answer.  My personal opinion is that if a cache is able to be salvaged and remain in play for others to experience, every effort should be made to keep it going.  It seems to me that many caches require little to keep them maintained.  If someone is willing to adopt and keep a cache going, then to me it is a no  brainer.
Posted by Volvo Man on Nov. 22 2003,12:15 am
WOW, the attitude to cache maintenance here is so diametrically opposed to GC.com.

The attitude I got from some of their members when I was trying to get the rules changed to allow a vacation/business trip micro in a spot where there are no caches for 10 miles, was that "if the hider can't maintain it twice weekly, then #### it I'm not going to"

Whereas, Quinn's post advocates the "Community Spirit" that is needed to change a micro log once in a while.

Also, as I pointed out there, I don't advocate GeoLitter, but if a micro cache goes missing, If it wasn't in the third hollow up from the roots or whatever, Its gone, most likely nobody's going to find it. Fair enough it would be nice if it got replaced, but it can be archived until then, no sense in dragging the cache owner out just to look for a film container that isn't there.

I definately agree with the geocaching community's responsibility to assist with a little cache maintenance on occasion, after all, ensuring the cache is at least as well hiden as when you found it is part of the maintenance too, and nobody complains about that.

one attitude I have seen is that if a cache is abandoned, then within 5 minutes of the owner deciding to leave it, the cache will self destruct, spewing it's contents over a wide area. Someone also posted that seemingly abandoned caches should be removed by the approvers over there (physically). I pointed out that that isn't up to them as it may be listed elsewhere where the cachers may be willing to maintain it.

Posted by PC Medic on Nov. 22 2003,7:24 am
Quote (Volvo Man @ Nov. 22 2003,2:15 am)
WOW, the attitude to cache maintenance here is so diametrically opposed to GC.com.


You bring up a few valid points.

While we we do have a different approach to "abandoned" caches than GC.com, we do both have the same goal and that is to prevent needless geo-litter. So I don't think "diametrically opposed" would be the best term.

Quote

The attitude I got from some of their members when I was trying to get the rules changed to allow a vacation/business trip micro in a spot where there are no caches for 10 miles, was that "if the hider can't maintain it twice weekly, then #### it I'm not going to"


This is more an "approval" process difference than determination of abandoned cache, but they do (after the fact) seem to become related subjects. I think the first difference is in the definition of "what is an abandoned cache?" The question needs to be asked, is this cache abandoned or orphaned? And yes, there is a difference. If a park employee, hiker, geocacher or who ever contacts us stating that they found this cache box full of trinkets and mold and mildew, it hasn't been logged in months they have been unable to contact the owner then this would probably be an abandoned cache. On the other hand, if we are contacted and told 'xxx cache appears to be abandoned because the owner does not respond to my emails and has not checked it every 14.5 days as stated in the International Geocaching Society Charter', but checking we find the cache listing contains current logs stating things like "great cache, found it", then this may at best be an orphaned cache. In either case attempts at contacting the owner would be made by us and if unsuccessful, a determination would then have to be made on the caches status. This is why I stated earlier that kind of like approvals, each report of a suspected abandoned cache would have to be considered individually.

Quote

Whereas, Quinn's post advocates the "Community Spirit" that is needed to change a micro log once in a while.


You are also correct in that we operate more on a "Community Spirit" principal rather than that of an "Overseer". This attitude is probably a major player in the differences you see in how abandoned caches (and other things) may be handled. To continue on this would be off-topic though so I will leave it at that.

Quote

Also, as I pointed out there, I don't advocate GeoLitter, but if a micro cache goes missing, If it wasn't in the third hollow up from the roots or whatever, Its gone, most likely nobody's going to find it. Fair enough it would be nice if it got replaced, but it can be archived until then, no sense in dragging the cache owner out just to look for a film container that isn't there.


Here we may differ a little in that if it "goes missing" then YES the cache owner (should they wish to retain ownership) should be the one to go out and replace it, but the trick is first determining IS it really gone. This would be off-topic here and any more on this would be best in a seperate thread about pirated/lost caches.

Quote

Someone also posted that seemingly abandoned caches should be removed by the approvers over there (physically). I pointed out that that isn't up to them as it may be listed elsewhere where the cachers may be willing to maintain it.


If a cache has in fact been determined to be 'truly' abandoned, and the person that reported it is not in a position for a return trip to retrieve it, then I see no problem with their approver going out to do so. After all, if we are against geo-litter then we need to act on it when possible.
You also bring up another good point here in that if a cache owner lists their cache with more than one service, then they need to maintain those accounts/listings. If they do not, then they may one day find some undesirable results.

Posted by team_tar on Nov. 22 2003,9:26 am
Quote (Volvo Man @ Nov. 22 2003,2:15 am)
The attitude I got from some of their members when I was trying to get the rules changed to allow a vacation/business trip micro in a spot where there are no caches for 10 miles, was that "if the hider can't maintain it twice weekly, then #### it I'm not going to"

Volvo, I read the thread on GC about vacation micros. It's surely not an obvious matter (there's few obvious matters indeed). Anyway, I don't think is a good idea to shrink an entire thread, a rather long one, in a short and somewhat ironic phrase. The tone seems "I went there with a reasonable point  of view and received a denial based on absurd assumptions". Well, anyone can see the thread at < Thread >
What I see are people having different points of view, and, as someone pointed out, the question had already discussed there ad nauseam.
Another one in fact is at:
< http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/index.php?showtopic=52354 >

You are obviously biased toward your point of view on it, but consider that, if the question would have an obvious solution, il would not be still discussed after so much time. Both positions have some good point.

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