Forum: Questions And Answers About Geocaching
Topic: The Lazy Cacher or the Hitch-Hiker!
started by: PC Medic
Posted by Guest on Oct. 23 2001,9:54 pmOK, I was just browsing around via the search engines to see the Geocaching related sites out there and stumbled across < http://cachestuffers.cjb.net/ > .
I gotta tell ya this is definitly in my opinion for the lazy :sleepgo: cacher ! I personally find picking the items to go inside to match the theme part of the fun of placing the cache.
Anyone else have any thoughts on this?
Posted by Road Kill on Oct. 23 2001,10:02 pmIt's nothing that interests me. Also I didn't like all the ads that popped up when I clicked on the link.
Posted by dgridley on Oct. 24 2001,6:38 pmPop-ups definitely slowed down the site..
Posted by Scout on Oct. 24 2001,7:54 pmNothing new being done at cachestuffers that isn't already well established at one of the big geocaching sites. You know, the one that sells everything from ammo cans to stickers to log books to hitchhiker tags (ŭ.99 plus shipping and handling for an ID number). You can stuff the cache with that site's T-shirts, hats, window decals and key chains. No, nothing new here at all.
Posted by Quinn on Oct. 24 2001,8:49 pmLOL! remember the time when that err site was mad at me because I was "too commercial"
Posted by Guest on Oct. 24 2001,9:56 pmNot really anything wrong with selling some items to promote the sport IMHO (####, ya gotta pay the bills), but I don't think you should try to get rich of your mambers either.
Anything over six figures should go back into the site :biggrin:
My main point about "cachestuffers" was that to me, buying and placing a pre-packaged cache would take all the fun out of it. When we placed our caches I think my wife and kids had more fun in the Dollar Store picking out stuff to put in it than they did placing the cache!
Posted by Quinn on Oct. 25 2001,5:21 amReally...what fun would it be to know exactly whats going to be in the Cache before you get there. heck, if I knew what I was going to find, chances are I wouldn't go after it in the first place. I don't care if a cache cost only a couple bucks to make, it's the fact that you never know whats going to be in it that makes it fun.
Posted by Scout on Oct. 25 2001,7:08 amQuote:
Quote: from PC Medic on 10:56 pm on Oct. 24, 2001
Not really anything wrong with selling some items to promote the sport
Nothing wrong with a little side commerce at all. When it becomes pay-to-play, then I think the site owner is exploiting his position in a manner beyond the stated purposes of promoting the hobby. Tracking hitchhikers on geocaching.com is a pay-to-play scheme (ŭ.99 plus shipping and handling).
P.S. How do you know what's going to be in the "mystery" bags? Are you assuming that they will all be the same? Even if they are, just wait for a finder or two to visit and the cache contents will change.
P.P.S. The cachestuffer's site is targeted at New Zealand geocachers. Other comments from geocachers there seem to indicate problems doing commerce with the geocaching.com store, probably due to currency and international shipping. It's possible that cachestuffers is trying to set itself up as a middleman to work through those problems, saving individual geocachers a lot of red tape.
Posted by Quinn on Oct. 25 2001,9:34 amYes...you are correct. I was assuming and should not have. But even with a bit of random packing it is bound to be the same of sorts. As for the finders it will be the first few people to be bummed if this is the case. It is still much better to make a cache based on your own interests, this way a bit of mystery will be added to the finders.
Posted by mikechim on Oct. 25 2001,10:18 pmI have to agree with PCmedic, picking the contents of the cache while in is not as important as location, setup, etc. is still very important. It's another part of the cache's "personality". As for the other topic that's popped up I am a big fan of that other site, and was pretty excited about the tracking bugs til I found out they cost ŭ.99 that's a little steep. A think a free tracking number with the option of having a bug would be a good idea.
Posted by Guest on Oct. 25 2001,11:28 pmQuote:
Quote: .... A think a free tracking number ..... would be a good idea.
We are always open to suggestions here so, Let's hear some more about the tracking number idea?
Posted by Scout on Oct. 26 2001,7:19 amQuote:
Quote: from PC Medic on 12:28 am on Oct. 26, 2001
Let's hear some more about the tracking number idea?
Hitchhikers have been around in one form or another for a long time. Popularity is growing. A simple, standard way of tracking them would help. geocaching.com has a system, but it will be limited by the fact that it costs ŭ.99 to play, plus you have to wait for something to arrive by mail. (Editorial opinion: For a site that claims to exist for the sole purpose of promoting geocaching, implementing hitchhiker tracking as a pay-to-play scheme is a strange way to show it.)
Wheresgeorge might be an alternative system, since that site has already given its OK to track dollar bills circulated in caches. Just attach a wheresgeorge bill to a hitchhiker and you have a tracking system that costs only ũ with no wait for the mailman. But this would be stretching the concept of wheresgeorge, since the bill itself is now only an ID tag, and it's something else that we're really interested in tracking its circulation.
One trouble with either of these systems is that the ID tag might go astray (someone might pocket the ũ bill or even keep the bug dogtag as a souvenir). Why not just generate a unique ID over the Internet (for free), much like each cache submission gets its own unique ID. Then let each hitchhiker owner make his own tag, or even write it on the hitchhiker itself. A lost or stolen tag could be replaced by some kind future finder. Maybe a lost-and-found site at NaviCache.com could help locate missing hitchhikers to facilitate this.
Just a few thoughts...
Posted by Scout on Oct. 26 2001,9:03 amSome more off-thread thoughts on hitchhikers:
We are thinking about this wrong. Up to now hitchhikers have been something out of the ordinary. That's because it's a lot of work to set up and track a hitchhiker. Why not make hitchhiking as easy to set up and track as wheregeorge bills? Then, you could make *everything* in your cache a hitchhiker. And everything you take from a cache. Make it easy to track the movements of *everything* in a cache, just like wheresgeorge makes it easy to track the movement of *every* bill.
How would that change the dynamics of the hobby? For one, it would make opening a cache interesting to me again. Instead of just finding the usual collection of trinkets, I would find a collection of hitchhikers, each with its own personal travel history. I would be eager to get back to the computer and log my finds and see where these random trinkets originated and traveled to.
The only built-in advantage that wheresgeorge has in this respect is that each of their hitchhikers (dollar bills) comes ready made with a serial number. But set up a site that generates a unique serial number whenever you register a new hitchhiker and let the cacher write that ID on the hitchhiker with an indelible marker and that problem is solved. Encourage cachers to register every trinket they remove from a cache and a side benefit is that will also encourage them to get out and find a new cache to place it in to see where it goes next. It fosters the continuation of the hobby. It may also help with the Gresham's Law of "cache depletion" whereby good trinkets disappear and get replaced by cheaper junk. With everything a hitchhiker, cachers have an incentive to keep the good stuff circulating, too.
The key to this is to flood the market with hitchhikers by making them as ubiquitous as dollar bills. The key to that is to make it easy to register hitchhikers and log their finds.
Just a few more thoughts...
(Edited by Scout at 10:09 am on Oct. 26, 2001)
Posted by Guest on Oct. 26 2001,10:36 amMaking Hitch-Hiker Caches the norm vs the unique as suggested may present some issues
First, tracking "everything in a cache" may prove difficult. One problem I could see is that everything contained in it would now need to be of a size that would allow you to mark it. This would result in either caches with fewer items to make room for the increased size of each item or, larger cache containers (which may stir trouble in areas that until now have tolerated the sport).
Another issue I see is that many (myself included) generally Geocache as a family outing. I have yet to choose an item from a cache we locate and instead leave that to the little one. Now while he has placed a stuffed frog he retrieved from one cache, generally he prefers to keep most the items permanently as souveniers (he has a box he keeps them in) and instead place our own unique items back in the cache to replace what we take. This would mean that there would either be a lot of items retired early never to be logged again, or for cachers like my son the fun of collecting would be gone.
While I think hitch-hikers in a cache are a cool idea (planning one myself) I would hate to see it become the norm for all contents of all caches to be in effect, hitch-hikers. Like my wife and kids, I think finding things to put into a cache is half the fun. Would kind of take the fun out of it if all you put in was stuff you took out someplace else (though we do that too sometimes too).
Now, setting up to randomly generate a FREE unique number for a Hitch-Hiker Cache would be do-able I'm sure. I am curious however, what advantage(s) does a numbering system offer over the traditional "naming" method now used?
Posted by Guest on Oct. 26 2001,10:45 amQuote:
Quote: from Scout on 11:03 am on Oct. 26, 2001
Some more off-thread thoughts on hitchhikers:
Not off-topic anymore :biggrin:
Seemed easier to slightly alter my topic title than to move what has become an interesting thread.
Posted by Scout on Oct. 26 2001,10:59 amQuote:
Quote: from PC Medic on 11:36 am on Oct. 26, 2001
Making Hitch-Hiker Caches the norm vs the unique as suggested may present some issues
Just like wheresgeorge focuses on dollar bills, not coins, there is still plenty of room for putting things in caches that aren't marked (aren't hitchhikers).
And just like wheresgeorge dollar bills disappear, I'm sure a lot of cache hitchhikers will keep disappearing, too. Only now it won't be so devastating because there will always be plenty more hitchhikers to trace.
Why use a numeric ID? I guess you could do like Web sites do and let the registrant choose the ID (M&M Dude, Grandalf, The Hare, Squeeky, Shaky, etc.) and only check for uniqueness. Some might prefer a simple generated number to allow quick marking of all their cache items, even the ones that aren't cute and cuddly.
Posted by Quinn on Oct. 26 2001,11:29 amAnother good way to track a hitch hiker would be this...
There are places that offer a very nice protective plastic cover for dollar bills (collectors) if you were to place a dollar in this and use the "wheres George" website to track the bill's number, you could tag this to a hitchhiker or use it as one itself. this will show you where the bill is and how long it's been from it's last logging. Cost, about .60 cents for the plastic, and 1.00 for the dollar.
Posted by Quinn on Oct. 26 2001,11:31 amBy the way...please keep me informed if anyone places a 21 year old blonde female hitch hiker in a cache. I would like to go find it
Posted by YardBoy on Oct. 26 2001,9:10 pmFYI: if needed, I always have a nice, crisp supply of serialized, highlighted ID tags :newlaugh:
Posted by Rocky on Oct. 27 2001,6:00 amI think the Hitch-Hiker will be a passing fad. No question it was fun when we were chasing the Dude all over but as people added more and more Hitch- Hikers it diluted the unique special aspect and it became a chore to track them all.
Posted by mikechim on Oct. 30 2001,1:48 amI'm not sure that a unique number does have any benefit over naming them except for tracking purposes. A web page specifically for tracking where an individual only had to enter the name and would be taken to that hitchikers site (log area, whatever) would be nice, (kind of like the cache pages). A random number may make it easier to keep them unique or may be easier to type in then a name (but then again that only effects the lazy type of cacher who would buy the premade kit). So that's basically what I had in mind.
Yardboy anytime you feel like donating some ID tags I'm always accepting donations, they don't even have to be clean or crisp
Quinn if that hitch hiker ever does show up me and you would probably be the first two cachers to ever get into kung-fu (or fightclub depending on how cute she was) style fight at a cachesite over a hitchiker
Posted by Road Kill on Oct. 30 2001,11:38 amThe (HH) hitchhiker topic has been chewed on enough for Road kill to put his two cents in. I, for one, have started four and find that they’re about as much fun to hide and follow as a cache.
The imposter was my first HH and she was introduced as a joke to mimic the “Dude”. I never was able to follow her and have since given up trying. At that time there was a common HH forum where all HH’s were chucked. To follow one of them soon became difficult.
Then came “Sammy the Snail”. Designed as a homing pigeon, he was planted out in Chicago to return to Letchworth State Park, NY. He has moved 3 or 4 times and is now in Pennsylvania (mikechim’s hands) and is slated for one of the Gamehenge Ranger caches (says he). Even though I advertised in the regional forums, I found that few people knew about him unless they just happened to hit the cache he was in.
Finally came the “Hare & Tortoise Race”. A dual set of homing pigeons with incentives to become part of a winning team and an offer for awards. Planted in Phoenix, AZ they too are heading for Letchworth State Park, NY. Both are now in Northern Arizona having moved about 100 miles each in about one month.
Having said all that - What am I leading up to?
Fun - Waiting in anticipation for someone to find your HH, Congratulating the finders & Reading the stories (fact and fiction) all carry the same rewards as for a hidden cache. It’s that way for me at least and I know not everyone experiences the same feelings. Bottom line it IS fun.
Advertizing – Very few follow HH’s because few even know what they are let alone where they are. I believe posting in a cache format would solve the problem. Give them a Name, an internal ID number for record keeping sake, display a short description and story to explain their purpose or goal and have a “Most recent at the Top” listing of report logs. It may be possible to blend them in with the current cache listings but that would be an option for further study.
There is one side issue that makes HH’s different than caches. That is that they fluctuate in and out of circulation which adds to the difficulty in tracking the HH. To report a log for a cache you define; either a “Find”, a “Miss” or a ”comment”. To do HH’s in the same fashion also requires a “Took” and a “Hid” to frame the “Out of Circulation” portions of its travels.
Timing – This is the big one. With all the things that the Navicache team has done and with all the things they still want to do; I can only imagine their eagerness to take on a new venture.