Forum: General Discussion
Topic: Geocaching "enlightenment" Chapter 4
started by: DudleyGrunt

Posted by DudleyGrunt on June 01 2010,7:34 am
Third piece written by a Northern Virgina geocaher
< Original NoVAGO Thread >

Geocaching "enlightenment" Chapter 4 "Location"
by twowheelin

Quote
The excitement of placing a geocache rarely fades…it’s a culmination obtaining permission (if required),selecting, and preparing a container, choosing the type of cache, determining the location(s) for the cache, obtaining accurate coordinates, preparing the cache page, and placing the container…each of those things are uniquely, and equally important in defining a quality geocache. Please consider the following suggestions when selecting the location for your hide…it just might go a long way to enhance the entire experience for you, and the cachers who hunt for it.  Statements in italics are personal opinion…please take them for what they may be worth.

Chapter 4:  “Location

1.  Spend some time thinking about where/why you want to place your geocache. Generally, there are 3 basic locations:

Urban: (parking lots, business parks, shopping centers, residential areas, etc.)
This location is more ‘In your face”, usually a busy location where guile and stealth must be used to retrieve and replace the container.  Distance from parking to cache is normally short.

Suburban: (housing development green spaces, pathways, sports areas, small parks, etc).
Typically more secluded where natural cover is used to hide the container, and usually suited for containers larger than a micro.  Distance from parking can vary from short to a half mile or more.

Rural/Woodland: (larger parks, natural areas, preserves, sanctuaries, etc).
True rural areas are more “wild”, and offer are veritable cornucopia of hiding locations: log piles; thick brush; hollow stumps; trail bridges; hedgerows; streams; fence lines; etc).  Distances from parking to the cache location are usually longer, with many involving a 2 to 5 mile hike over varied terrain.

The cache type, and size of the container are usually tied directly to the location.  Consider the cache type (there are only 6):  Traditional; Multi; Mystery/Puzzle; Wherigo, EarthCache; and Letterbox Hybrid.  Next consider the container size (there are only 4):  Micro; Small; Regular; and Large.  Try to match the cache type and container size to the location…it should be obvious that some are better suited for placement in a parking lot or near buildings (Micro or Small), while others are better suited for woodland, park, or more remote locations (Small, Regular, or Large).  There is no hard an fast rule though, and common sense should prevail.

Will your chosen location support longevity, and how will it impact cache maintenance?  A micro in a parking lot, in front of windows and parked vehicles is likely to be “discovered” through observation…while an ammo can deep in the woods could go un-noticed for years.  Urban Micros are usually maintenance intensive, they frequently disappear (muggled), they have small logs that fill up fast and require frequent replacement…while a Small or Regular container hidden in the woods usually enjoys a long life, and they have room for a good sized logbook which may last for a year or more.

(While I’m at it…some locations are expressly forbidden for obvious reasons (Quoted from the Groundspeak Guidelines):

"Caches on land managed by an agency that prohibits geocaches, such as the U.S. National Park Service or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (National Wildlife Refuges).
Caches that are buried. If a shovel, trowel or other "pointy" object is used to dig, whether in order to hide or to find the cache, then it is not appropriate.
Caches that deface public or private property, whether a natural or man-made object, in order to provide a hiding place, a clue or a logging method.
Caches placed in areas which are highly sensitive to the extra traffic that would be caused by vehicles and humans (examples may include archaeological or historic sites or cemeteries).
Caches hidden in close proximity to active railroad tracks. In the United States we generally use a distance of 150 ft (46 m) but your local area’s trespassing laws may be different. All local laws apply.
Caches near or on military installations.
Caches near, on or under public structures deemed potential or possible targets for terrorist attacks. These may include but are not limited to highway bridges, dams, government buildings, elementary and secondary schools, and airports".

A word about “stealth” and how it relates to cache location…asking for the “utmost stealth” on your cache page usually does little good…it’s like whispering in a wind storm -- almost impossible for the message to be received!!  Many cachers don’t really read the cache page (they just load coordinates and go), others don’t care and/or will hunt regardless of the “muggle factor“, and then too…one persons definition of “stealth” is another’s IPV (In Plain View) approach. The key to cache/container longevity is to place it where observation by the “uninitiated” is the most limited.  That’s relatively easy in the woods…in a parking lot, in front of windows, a city street, etc., -- not so much.

There are as many location choices as there are cachers, and we all have our favorites.  Some enjoy hunting Micros that are primarily “Cache & Dashes”, while others enjoy a nice long hike in the woods…picking up stages of a Multi, and finding a “box” at the end.  Hide what you enjoy finding is my advice….and try to keep the following in mind:

“Think about why you are bringing a geocacher to your chosen location…if it’s just to get another smilie…pick another location”
.

Bill


While again written with Groundspeak in mind (and I've not edited his post for such references), this is very much applicable to any cache listing site.



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