Forum: Questions And Answers About Geocaching
Topic: Checking your caches?
started by: Quinn
Posted by Quinn on July 30 2001,2:14 pmI was wondering how many of you that have placed caches have gone back to check on them to see the condition of the container as well as the area you placed it in?
I have well over 14 caches placed and intend on taking an afternoon to go out and about to see if all is well and to make sure that I am not causing any ground damage as a result of people visiting my caches.
However I also have one that is well over 100 miles away that I intend on posting a message for other finders to "please Inform me of" so this way if it's become a problem I'll just ask a cacher to please take it home as a gift and send me my logbook back.
I think it is very Important that we all maintain and look after the places we place these containers. It's very nice to be able to use the parks for these purposes, but others use them for many different reasons that we need to respect, thus if we keep an eye on our property and show respect to others, we'll all profit in the long run. Ok...I have babbled enough here, so whats your In-put? †
Posted by Scout on July 30 2001,6:12 pmI think your aim is admirable and noble, but I just don't think it's practical. This hobby is still in its infancy and there are already over 3500 caches out there. It is inevitable that many cache placers are going to lose interest and their caches are going to become orphaned. Some of these may be adopted, but many will not.
So, what to do? First, your efforts to encourage self-policing and neighborly assistance can help keep this problem from getting out of control. Second, caches are small enough that even if they are abandoned, they are less of a problem than what gets tossed out of car windows everyday. So, too much worry is misplaced. Finally, if you want to sidestep the whole issue, place virtual caches instead of physical caches.
Posted by Guest on Aug. 10 2001,1:53 pmI am all for this and am hoping to check on mine this weekend. One reason being that last Cacher to post find mentioned that is was quite full so made need to replace container with larger one.
Besides I am for one HATE when I someone throw garbage out there car window. The old "it's only a gum wrapper" is a sad excuse.
Like Scout mentions, the sport is in it's infancy and already over (now 4000) caches out there.
Don't know about anyone else but I don't care to see my parks and trails littered with ammo cans and 5 gal buckets any more than I want to see gum wrappers.
Posted by Road Kill on Aug. 10 2001,7:15 pmTo PC Medic - I'm confused. You say:"Don't know about anyone else but I don't care to see my parks and trails littered with ammo cans and 5 gal buckets any more than I want to see gum wrappers." But you also say:"(I) am hoping to check on mine this weekend." †If you don't use cans or buckets, what DO you litter with? †If you don't go to the Parks and use trails, Where DO you litter? †Please don't get upset because; I only over expressed your statements in jest. †However, I'm sure someone out there is reading it that way. †This has been an ongoing topic, which is, to define litter and deside whether a Cache box fits that discription. †Another question for thought is: If we take out 3 trash bags full does that allow us to leave one small box? †All we can do is trash out and hope the parks, or in a few cases land owners, continue to allow it.
See "Parks Vs Caching " in "The X- Files! "
(Edited by Road Kill at 9:34 pm on Aug. 10, 2001)
Posted by Guest on Aug. 10 2001,8:21 pmRoad Kill - Fully understand what you are saying but, perhaps for my lack of correct wording (gotta be quick when posting from work ) I think I missed making my point.
A carefully placed cache, which is also generally hidden with brush or what have you from plain view does not constitute litter in my eyes. However an unchecked cache that has been strewn about by passers by, wild life (you'd be amazed what a curious racoon or bear coud do) or any other means would be unsightly and, considered litter in my eyes (and others I'm sure).
This coupled with trampled brush and flora would certainly make for a bad rep for the sport.
Posted by Guest on Nov. 11 2001,8:04 pmWas going to put this in a different topic "Year round caching" but thought maybe it fit better here.
Something I had not thought much about until a recent find post to one of my caches was all the falling leaves burying those caches that are in wooded areas. The finder had stated he almost gave up until he decided to start moving the leaves around and found the buried cache. Going out and checking one of my other caches, sure enough, buried in leaves.
Anyone else thought of checking their caches for this type of problem?
Posted by Gimpy on Nov. 12 2001,9:58 amI gave it some thought, but it would take me 3 or 4 days to go check all my caches. And that's without going to the ones up in the Adirondacks. Most of my caches are consistantly getting logged & no reports of any real problems so far. If someone does report a problem, I'll head to the cache & check it out. Around 200 logs so far & nobody has logged a "not found". I have gone on a few hunts recently where the fallen leaves have added a bit of a twist to the hunt. But providing the posted co-ordinates are right, not too much difficulty.
Posted by Rob on Mar. 12 2002,8:38 pmI guess Iím bumping up a pretty old thread but this is something thatís been on my mind for awhile. Weíve all heard the debates about the thrill of the search vs. quality of items. I go back and forth on that but Iím coming down on the side of better quality items. It just seems that the caches in my area evolve into collections of empty candy wrappers and business cards. Iíve kind of been on a geocaching public relations kick recently. By that I mean Iím always thinking about how things look to the new geocacher and what their initial impressions are. The caches around my area definitely donít do much to promote the game. Itíll take me a few weeks but I thought I would go through and re-stock my caches. Iím also curious about the people who sign the logs but donít log on to the website. Oh yeah, I thought I might add one of those disposable cameras as well.
Posted by mikechim on Mar. 12 2002,10:07 pm
I know what you mean, one thing that I've found works well is to blantantly come out and say what you expect cachers to trade for example in two of my caches I pretty much come out and say what the acceptable trade items are. One is the fellowship of the ring which requires Tolkien themed trade items, the other is the CD-swap shop which I I implicitely stated that you have to swap quality CD's (music, games, software) no aol disks free stuff etc (it was longer then that but you get the jist).
So far for the most part people have been pretty good about it. It's had 5 finds logged on the net and all have traded CD's so the quality of the cache has remained. (although somebody did trade a non CD item, but I don't think they logged their find either)
So like I said if you want to do a theme cache cachers are pretty good about keeping the quality of the swap items but you have to be pretty specific about what is ok and isn't ok to trade.... which makes ya sound kind of anal
Posted by DxChallenged on Mar. 13 2002,1:34 amHey.....Mst admit that we take the "upkeep" of the cache box rather seriously. Now mind you at this point we have only 1 cache out there (one was stolen) but even when we had 2 we checked them every other week. When I wrote to the parks department requesting to place a cache there (they told me I had to send them a written presentation on geocaching...ended up being 12 pages long with px... Ok I'm wordy but then I'm also a speech therapist) I told them that we would check on our cache every few weeks. I had heard cachings being described a "abandoned property" so I figured that by saying I would check on it and also by putting it in writting (my work in advocating for services for handicapped kids has taught me to put stuff in writting & make it legal) would make the cache seem less "abandoned". The caches were also within 5 miles of my house. So we could go out for a walk and check at the spur of a moment. Have done night time checks as well.
I realize that people who have many caches out there have a hard time even conceiving of routine checks so when we find a box I try to record the status.
BTW our cache is in much better shape than the last few people who've discovered it. They ended up mud covered and wet....Cache is in no way littering. It's within the environment
Posted by Gimpy on Mar. 13 2002,2:17 amI try to check on mine periodically, but with 20 out there, it's tough to keep up. I've had to exchange 6 cache cameras when they got filled up. One cache, my "Mendon Ponds 1" cache, is on its' 3rd camera. The caches have been logged in excess of 300 times though, so I'm always getting reports from kind cachers like Dx, filling me in on cache conditions. 3 of mine are up in the Adirondack State Park, & they are in spots that there is no way they'll be stumbled upon by passersby. You're good if you can find them with the co-ordinates. And 1 of them, I've suggested that it not even be attempted in the winter months. Beautiful view from the cache, but if you slip in the snow or ice and slide about 5 ft. forward, it's a looooong way down. As far as cache items, I kind of gauge it on the cache difficulty rating. I placed some that are kind of geared toward family caches. Not any real heavy duty terrain, etc. In those I'll put a mix of kids trinkets & some stuff for hikers, campers etc. I know when the kids are along, they love to find things for their age group.The caches that are a little more difficult & geared more toward the serious cacher, I usually put in just things that outdoors folks (cachers,hikers,sportsnuts) could find useful.
Posted by 300mag on April 02 2002,6:19 pmLot's of times I will ask the person who as logged in my cache about its condition. Often I don't even ask the cacher informs me about its condition. If I feel anything might be wrong I wll go out and check it out.
Posted by Quinn on April 27 2002,8:51 pmI took my daughter and her cousins out today to a couple caches ( a new one and one of mine) to check on them and to see how they were doing. I found that on one of my caches that when placed was packed to the lid with very nice items such as a mini mag light, compass, computer memory, batteries and much more. Well anyways, when I opened the caches it was filled with wrappers from items opened and taken from the cache, and also had about 6 burger king toys in it and nothing else.
I don't mean to complain and I am sorry if maybe i am out of line on this, but it takes quite a bit of time and planning when placing many of these caches, and the idea is to keep it interesting for others that find them. I am certain it would not be fun to the entire world of Geocachers if they could expect to open a cache and find nothing more than Burger king toys in each one. I see that Geocaching can require a great deal of restraint when opening a box.
If people take a group of kids it can be expected that each kid will want something from that box, and if this is to happen it is the responsibility of the cache finder to plan ahead of time and cover this when it happens, not by taking four or five items from a cache and dumping a rock,golf ball and burger king toy in the box to replace the items taken, but to make sure and I mean REALLY!!!! sure that you trade items fairly. If you take an item replace it with something of equal value, please do not grab a compass worth 30.00 and dump in a rubber ball. I am not asking that people spend tons of money to go Geocaching, but put some thought into your trade item and make it something that the next cacher will want to find. People get excited when they are the first to find and log a cache, one of the reasons is because you just don't know what to expect on seeing when you open that lid. Well this should be the same if you are the first or 100th finder... items in a cache should not be loaded with happy meal cast-aways. Remember, the person who placed the cache went to some work on placing the container and thought into it's contents, you would be saying "Thank you" if respect was shown when the cache was found and items traded if it was kept fair.
I must admit I was a bit upset when the kids this morning were all excited when they pulled the cache from under the log and then when opening it all their faces dropped when they saw just wrappers. Now I will have to replenish the container which takes time and a small amount of money. I like seeing people have a good time but not when it comes to things like this.
So please... if you go caching keep it fair, and if you see a cache that is a bit low on items try taking a pass on removing one and as a matter of fact place a couple more in it to help build it back up, I do this all the time when I see another members cache looking a bit weak from people taking too much.
We can all have a great time out there but it works better when we watch over each others caches to keep them in tip-top shape.
Posted by Road Kill on April 27 2002,9:58 pmI check my caches once or twice a season but then I only have 5 hides and they're near by. West Meets East got depleated last year and I had to bolster it up. I just checked on Low & Behold and Gibsonville and they were packed. Overall the three together are about balanced prize for prize with respect to what was place there to start with.
On the other hand when I go out caching I seem to come home with less and less in my back pack. Somehow that's fine with me. If I've seen a nice park, a grand view, learned a little history or got to say Huckle-Buckle Beanstalk first; then I come home with more than I left with, even though the bag is lighter. I also generally return with a big... †
Posted by YardBoy on April 28 2002,12:02 amI know what you mean Quinn: I had a NaviCache upstate where my autographed A.J. Croce CD was replaced with a chewed up hockey puck...plus I had to remind the guy twice to log the "hitchiker" he took. I've since learned to edit my NaviCache postings to include the words "Swap for equal value". I also post the contents so would-be finders can plan accordingly. Lastly, I ask NaviCachers to post their adventure & what they've swapped.
I generally find nothing of interest, but I've enjoyed the hike & leave my easy-to-carry trademark, a hitchiking WheresGeorge.com bill. One exception was the first time I met you & Caron at Mt. Hope Cemetary...GPS Fool put together a nice treasure box. There is another series of NaviCaches out there containing 56K modems, USB card, sport/jogging radio, PDA, Leatherman-type tools, Sullivans Char Broil certificates, Compton's Encyclopaedias, etc.
Posted by Morseman on April 28 2002,12:47 am
I usually swap 'Burger King' (except I don't go to Hamburger places, as I don't like the stuff they sell) with similar items.
I suppose that, if I found anything of value in a UK cache, I would have to leave it as I don't normally carry anything of any more value than a few trinkets.
The other thing is, I don't normally keep what I take out, I usually use it as a swap item in another cache.
I guess it just depends what you expect from the swaping part of geocaching?
Posted by Scout on April 28 2002,7:39 am
Woo hoo. It finally turned up. I left that Brett Hull Stanley Cup series-winning hockey puck in a cache and forgot which one. ;-)
Posted by barrington on April 28 2002,10:46 amI usually check my nearby caches every month or two, but a couple of more remote ones haven't been checked since last fall and need attention soon. I've seen quite a bit of "value depletion" in some of my caches, and have occasionally removed things that were questionable, such as food items. Occasionally (rarely) I'm surprised to find the value and volume of cache items has increased! This happened at my "Down in the Dumps" cache, which I found so full that I had to removed a couple of the original items so the lid would close properly.
I usually carry some gold dollar coins in my pocket and use them as swap items when I forget my swap stuff, but more often than not, I just sign the log and take/leave nothing (and hope I haven't insulted the cache owners by rejecting their treasures).
When I do leave an item, it's usually in a zip-lock bag for protection from moisture; I've seen some caches with cloth or cardboard wrapped items starting to get moldy.
My caches usually start out about ten bucks worth of dollar store items, and occasionally with a more valuable "first finder" prize for the more difficult caches, but I try to make the hunt interesting enough so that the items in the cache are really irrelevant.
Posted by Hinge Thunder on May 01 2002,7:10 am
I don't make frequent trips to my caches, but I closely monitor posted logs, or lack thereof, and have checked my caches based on those. If I find someone elses cache in disrepair, I will contact them to let them know.
Posted by Gimpy on May 13 2002,10:26 amPouring rain & flood watch in effect today, so great time to do some routine cache maintenance, eh'! ---I'VE ARCHIVED my "Tinker Toy" cache.--- Went there first thing this morning, & the clouds,rain & overhead foliage made conditions such that even my V & III Plus had a real hard time holding a satellite lock. Unfortunately, I was able to find the cache by following evidence of other folks going off trail after it. Far too much impact in the area. If you've been to the Tinker Nature Park, you know how meticulous the folks in charge there are about maintaining the trails, etc. No need for myself or any fellow cachers to damage the area in any way. Cache was well received, being logged in excess of 40 times, but I'll transplant it elsewhere. So if like myself, you sometimes head out to a cache without checking the latest updates on the cache page, PLEASE note that the cache no longer exists. Cache camera in my "Gimpys Walk" cache, in Ellison Park, was full again, so I've replaced it with camera #3. If you've been to that one, you know that it's not one to do in the rain. Add my mud slide marks to those left by other cachers that have been there under wet conditions. † †.I've also added some more items to the cache, as the cache quality was pretty depleted. I also pulled the near empty cache camera from my "Mendon Ponds #1" cache. It's now on camera #4. That's another one that's a lot of fun in the pouring rain. †. I'll develop the pics from the cameras & send them on to the QuinnMan to post on the site. Happy caching, folks. Tis' the season.
Posted by barrington on May 19 2002,10:16 pmAfter getting some find reports that mentioned how easy my "Penny's Point" cache was to find, we thought it was time to check it out. We found that the hollow stump it was hidden in had collapsed and the box was concealed in a neat pile of bark that stuck out like a sore thumb in the open woods. We moved the box a few hundred feet to a more hidden area, and left a marker with the new coords at the old spot for those using old info.
Unfortunately, we'll have to make a return trip. I didn't take along anything to replenish the cache items, which are abundant in quantity (the box is 3/4 full), but are significantly diminished in quality, mostly plastic Happy Meal toys and useless doodads. I suspect that in general cache contents start to diminish over the first several finds; the original contents become picked over or "high-graded", and when subsequent finders don't find anything appealing, it becomes junk out, junk in. Few people would put in a three dollar item in exchange for a key ring or cellophane-wrapped toy. I don't mind replenishing a few items in the box, but not the entire contents!
Also, I was surprised that there were no "Where's George" bills in the cache; there's usually at least a couple tucked into the logbook in every cache I've visited. Maybe someone needed more Happy Meal toys.
Posted by YardBoy on May 20 2002,3:48 amDid they leave you any #2 pencils or AOL disks?
Posted by Rocky on May 20 2002,6:24 amI do not trade when I cache so I really am not bothered by how selfish some people are. For those of you who make an effort to have nice items available I can understand your frustration. I think the same characteristic found in the nature of man that caused the fall of the Soviet Union is in play here.
Posted by YardBoy on May 20 2002,12:44 pmThe Soviet Union fell because of AOL disks & #2 pencils?
Posted by DxChallenged on May 20 2002,5:25 pmHey! I must say that at times we "bulk up" depleted caches.
If we go to a cache that looks like the cacher took time and effort into placing a cache (the ones that you don't need a GPS for don't come under this category nor do the let's hide a shoe variety) and the contents are sparse. We bulk it up.
I have been carrying a 30 pound pack filled with stuff. So bulking up a cache lightens my load!!
Kids also do there part to scope out the cache box (after they have taken out the trades) and tell me what sized items would fit. "OK, Mom a large one will do" is alway a plus for the same lighten the load reason but also because when the next cacher opens the box they will find our trade right away and hopefully be pleased with it.
I've tried to accurately record what we take out and put in. On a couple occasions I've had people e-mail and thank me...That was nice...
Also enjoy trading when we meet cachers at a cache.......Typically just let them look in the bag and take out what they want.....Made a little boy happy in Ottawa when we did this.........
Posted by Guest on June 30 2002,1:14 pmChecked out cache jubilee today and all is well! † † Also marked parking coordinates due to the fact that most cachers were missing the park completely! †
< http://www.navicache.com/cgi-bin/db/displaycache2.pl?CacheID=501 >
Posted by silverterr on June 30 2002,7:10 pmI have four children ages 1-9. †Each child has several trinket toys and also a nice item, which are tucked into our backpack. †In order to trade, I make the child choose a comparable item. †We are still pretty new at caching, so it has taken us a while to get the system down. † I think one of our first caches ended up with an unequal trade, but we plan to stop by it next time we are in that part of Rochester and add some more items.†
I think an information page geared toward families, with helpful (and blunt!) hints for trades, would be a nice feature to add to this site.
Posted by DxChallenged on June 30 2002,7:51 pmWell a cacher just reported that our bike path cache was no where to be seen.....that is except for the single log book pages that they found all over the ground.........
Fearless went out and it is gone.........
So I need to archieve it.
How do I do this on navicache? Remove the cache all together?
Although usually 3 strikes and you are out applys here......this is it for me.........no more caches on the bike path. It is just way too busy there...........
New house will adjoin the park......I could make some right in my backyard and watch em! Kool!1
Posted by YardBoy on July 01 2002,1:28 am
I think you have a perfect NaviSwap system: prepared for an exchange of equal value. I admire your parenting in that you instill honesty & let your kids judge for themselves. They'll probably grow to be great traders in exotic, foreign ports.
"Swapping for equal value" is a frequent topic in NaviCaching forums. Many of us spend $5-15 to put out a NaviCache and are befuddled by characters who would take an autographed A.J. Croce CD ($15) and leave a chewed up hockey puck or an AOL CD. Personally, I leave a mix in my NaviCaches: $1 items, $5 items (swiss army knife, leatherman multi-tool, PDA, walkman), $10 restaurant certificate, and the occasional 56K modem or USB interface card. In my NaviCache Descriptions, I list the contents so searchers can come prepared and in that same Description, I ask that swaps be posted on the NaviCache "Find" webpage for all to see. Half the fun is reading the finder's web postings (rather than returning to the NaviCache every day, trampling the environment, just to read the Log Book).
Again, WELCOME, and have fun with the "other kids" you'll meet at the NaviCaches (and picnics) .
Posted by Quinn on July 01 2002,1:55 pm
DX...sorry to hear about your cache. That does seem to be a common problem when caches are placed on busy area's.
I try my best to explain to people that when opeing and logging a cache to be certain that nobody is looking at them doing this. Most caches that end up missing are a result of such a practice.
Anyways...you can "Retire" that cache by going to the cache page and using the "Edit" feature at the top of that page, once there you will see a option to retire the cache. Then for some reason if down the road you wish to replace it, just go back in and unretire it.
By the way... I still can't thank you enough for the great gift of the Quilt It hangs on my computer wall as I type! and I show it proudly to friends,family and cachers of all ages.
Silverterr... I too welcome you to Navicache and hope you like what you see. Your idea of fair trading is a good once and i think we have this in our "FAQ" section somewhere but I will double check, if not I will be sure to add it for you.
But while on the thought of fair trading I think it is quite clear to most people what is and should be fair. For instance, I have a full set of "Delorme" topo map CD's placed in a cache I just put out. The value of this set (it is a new set by the way) is 69.00US, so if you were to take this set of CD's I would not be upset in the least if you were to leave maybe a item of 10-15.00 range, but if you were to take it and leave a happy meal toy in return I would have to say I would most likely key your car in the next park parking lot I spotted it in
As long and only if it is mentioned in the cache page to make a fair trade I say stick to the cache placers wishes as it was he/she that took the time to provide the adventure for all of us in the first place. Respect is the name of the game, and if you don't respect someones wishes you will most likely see less and less caches placed as a result.
Yardboy...where'd your avatar go? find one for me and i'll add it to a private area for you.
Posted by YardBoy on July 02 2002,2:45 am
Thanks for the offer, Quinn!
I'm hosting my avatar on Xoing.com (a freebie) and they've reneged on "remote linking". They claim their "bandwidth has gone thru the roof". Get a life, my little ol' 56KB is what passes thru a modem in one second.
I could host with similar, but I'm remembering that old adage: you get what you pay for. With these sites, they collect your email addy, sell it, and the spam begins.
Thanks to some leads from Quinn, I'm registering my own domain name for <$10 per year which includes some simple hosting space. Unfortunately, YardBoy.com is "parked", but I'll think of something else in the next few days. If anyone needs it, I've got well researched domain registers for <$8-9 per year and more sophisticated hosting for $5 per month (space and bandwidth may be your top concerns).
Posted by DxChallenged on July 03 2002,8:18 pmHey Quinn,
Thanks for the info on updateing/retireing a cache......another case of "if it was any closer I'de step on it". I did look at the edit page earlier but not at the top of the page......just did and retired the Akron Bike Path Cache...
Glad you like the quilt. The best part of my quilting hobbie is that I get to give them away to any one that I choose......
When I was a girl I had a great aunt who lived in a very small town in NY..Van Etten. People in her town would save up all their bits of material and give them to her. She in turn made quilts and gave them away to just about everyone who lived there........Geocaching is my "community" and the quilting bit really fits.......a tangible log book that will be around long after the caches that held its unsigned squares.........
Seems I can never have more than 3 caches going at a time.....the day we put out our latest (Strawberry Fields Forever) the Akron Bike Path was reported missing........
The Strawberry one I did as a caching story and as a way to give navicache the lime light.......the box is made to look totally navicache........You'll have to check it out to see what I mean
Can't wait for the heat to break so we can cache again.......
Posted by Rob on July 06 2002,3:47 pmI just got back from maintaining one of my ďless visitedĒ caches. Thanks to Mike and others, I knew I had a problem so I brought a whole new box and swapped it for the existing messed up box.
One thing Iíve learned is to not leave containers with liquid in them. The bubble soap must have gotten hot and leaked all over the cache. Another one of my caches had mosquito repellant that also heated up and leaked.
On the declining quality issue, it just doesnít seem to be getting any better. It just seems to be a fact of life and Iíve come to expect it. I think 90 percent of the people out there are really casual about this activity and donít put much thought into their trade items. You have a small percentage of people who read forums like this and take an interest in making the game fun. Most of the others are barely aware of what is involved.
I had one person take a DVD movie and leave $5 dollars in exchange. I know he meant well but a 5 dollar bill is really uninteresting as an exchange item.
Posted by mikechim on July 09 2002,2:33 am
Actually I thought he only left 2 bucks, and I was peeved I'm a huge monty python fan missed the meaning of life DVD by only 1 person.....ahh well
Posted by Guest on Oct. 12 2002,8:49 amWe went to check on "Candies cache" to replace the log book since it was filled up. † The log book has some very neat and interesting logs. † † There was an entry from a couple by the name of Jeff and Michelle that signed the log book three times! † Apparently the couple found the cache accidentally while riding a go cart on the trails. †They were looking for rocks for their camp fire. †We didn't have any information in the cache but the log book, so these people had no idea what they found. †All they figured out was that they needed to sign the log book.
This is a prime example while you should identify your cache.
We lucked out because the couple didn't take the cache and even put it back in the correct hiding spot!
So, today we will go check on our caches and make sure they are ready for winter and make sure they are all identified. †