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Topic: Logging finds in website -- part of the rules?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
Seabound Offline
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Posted: Dec. 17 2004,8:43 pm QUOTE

Hi everyone.  First of all, I would like to express my hopes that navicache.com grows in membership and caches.  More power to it.  I also hope that these forums get more member activity.  Right now, I notice that the posts are few and far between.

I'm new to geocaching (and this forum) and am keen on taking it up as a fun activity.  I'm ready to go with my GPSr.  I've also had the chance to read about some of the "controversies" in the geocaching community, specifically that involving the geocaching.com website.

The way I understand it, geocaching has three simple rules:  Take something, leave something, sign logbook.  My question is, is it also part of the rules to log one's finds electronically at the website where the cache waypoint information is posted?  From what I've read from various sources, my sense is I probably don't like the direction that the people running geocaching.com is taking the activity of geocaching, and I am not keen on supporting the website.  Unfortunately, the site has a near monopoly of the cache waypoints, especially in my area, and I probably have to use their waypoint information.  Would it be doing the geocaching community a great disservice if I use the gc.com cache information and not electronically log my finds there?

Somebody please straighten me out on this.
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PC Medic Offline
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    Posted: Dec. 18 2004,2:21 am QUOTE

First let me not only say welcome to Navicache, but also to Geocaching! :wave

With that said, I would also like to say thanks for the well wishes for our site. As for what seems like a lack of activity, we just have a more laid back bunch here I think. Kind of like a bees nest, quite and going about their business (geocaching), but poke em a couple times with a stick and they get active! I will admit, the other guys do have us beat in the 'Locked Topics' area though :grinnin

Any way, on to your question about logging ...

While I prefer to think of them as guidelines rather than 'rules', your understanding of the basics of the game are correct. Even in this area though there are acceptable variations, but if I had to say that anything is a must in the game/sport (and I think most would agree), I would say it is that you should always log the find.

Cache owners do not (and should not) use their cache as a means to acquire 'neat things'. Instead when placing the cache, what they are doing is challenging you to the hunt. The reward for them (and others) is reading about your experiences in meeting that challenge. How you enjoyed being brought to a new area you would have not otherwise found or maybe how you enjoyed solving the puzzle to get the final coordinates. Maybe even how you got all the way back to your car only to realize you left your keys back at the cache  :grinnin

Now, whether you choose to sign the physical log book, log it on the listing site(s) or both, in most cases I suppose is entirely up to you, but IMHO a log on the listing site is the more important option. For example I am sure you have by now seen log entries on the site stating 'TNLNSL' which simply means 'Took Nothing, Left Nothing, Signed Log'. May not seem like much, but even a simple on line log entry like this can serve as an indicator to the cache owner (and listing service) that the cache is probably still intact and at the location it should be. With out these log entries the cache owner may find themselves continuously (and needlessly) making trips back to the wilderness to check the status of their caches which would certainly take the enjoyment out of the game.

Perhaps if you are not keen on supporting a particular web site, you could at the very least use the sites option to email the cache owner and notify them directly of the find and what you thought of it. Maybe even tell them your reasons for not 'logging' it. While I am not sure I would like to see this become a regular practice, I suppose it would be an option.

So, would not logging your find on the listing site be "doing the geocaching community a great disservice"? That would be a little harsh and there are plenty that do not, so while I encourage it myself, if you prefer not to, don't fret it.


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Scout Offline
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    Posted: Dec. 18 2004,8:11 am QUOTE

Quote (Seabound @ Dec. 17 2004,9:43 pm)
The way I understand it, geocaching has three simple rules:  Take something, leave something, sign logbook.  My question is, is it also part of the rules to log one's finds electronically at the website where the cache waypoint information is posted?

Geocaching was invented by Dave Ulmer. In his words, "The only rule for stashes is: Get some Stuff, Leave some Stuff!!" ( http://geocaching.gpsgames.org/history/ ). No rule about sign the log book.

For his original cache, Dave did say he was going to include a log book. But he also said he was going to half-bury the cache and put some food in it, so we shouldn't take everything he did as a requirement. And there was no concept of an electronic log book at all. That was just one of many additions added to the game over the years.

So, in short, it's not a rule. But reporting problems, retelling experiences, etc., either in the online log or private email or whatever, is sometimes the courteous thing to do. But don't feel obliged to do it just because someone else says it's a rule.


Edited by Scout on Dec. 18 2004,11:43 am

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Icenians Offline
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    Posted: Dec. 18 2004,11:59 am QUOTE

Hi and welcome from me as well.

I no longer log caches on the web as there are too many self-appointed and self-opinionated cachers out there, mainly on gc.com. By not logging online I keep my activity largely to myself and just enjoy the hunt and locations. I don't tend to get involved in the politics any more. Never really wanted to before but it's difficult to bite your lip when you disagree. I like it here as we just don't have politics. :) That said it's fairly easy to keep out of trouble on gc.com but just keeping out of the forums.

Much nicer bunch over here  :D
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scalpel Offline
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    Posted: Dec. 18 2004,5:10 pm QUOTE

I like having a logbook in the caches.  I also generally include a cache camera for people to take a pic of their cache visit if they want.
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Seabound Offline
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    Posted: Dec. 18 2004,11:42 pm QUOTE

[quote=PC Medic,Dec. 18 2004,1:21 am][/quote]
Quote

First let me not only say welcome to Navicache, but also to Geocaching! :wave

With that said, I would also like to say thanks for the well wishes for our site. As for what seems like a lack of activity, we just have a more laid back bunch here I think. Kind of like a bees nest, quite and going about their business (geocaching), but poke em a couple times with a stick and they get active! I will admit, the other guys do have us beat in the 'Locked Topics' area though :grinnin


Thanks for the welcome, PC Medic.  I do prefer the laid-back atmosphere in these forums, compared to gc.com, where I sometimes detect hubris in some of the threads and posters.  I mean, reading some of those posts in that other forum is enough to counteract the endorphins that one produces in hiking to a cache, so what's the point? :grinnin  I just hope that the rate of posts and posters increase in this site.  For my part, I plan on supporting this site by creating caches in my area as my schedule permits and posting them in navicache.

Quote

Any way, on to your question about logging ...

While I prefer to think of them as guidelines rather than 'rules', your understanding of the basics of the game are correct. Even in this area though there are acceptable variations, but if I had to say that anything is a must in the game/sport (and I think most would agree), I would say it is that you should always log the find.

Cache owners do not (and should not) use their cache as a means to acquire 'neat things'. Instead when placing the cache, what they are doing is challenging you to the hunt. The reward for them (and others) is reading about your experiences in meeting that challenge. How you enjoyed being brought to a new area you would have not otherwise found or maybe how
you enjoyed solving the puzzle to get the final coordinates. Maybe even how you got all the way back to your car only to realize you left your keys back at the cache :grinnin

Now, whether you choose to sign the physical log book, log it on the listing site(s) or both, in most cases I suppose is entirely up to you, but IMHO a log on the listing site is the more important option. For example I am sure you have by now seen log entries on the site stating 'TNLNSL' which simply means 'Took Nothing, Left Nothing, Signed Log'. May not seem like much, but even a simple on line log entry like this can serve as an indicator to the cache owner (and listing service) that the cache is probably still intact and at the location it should be. With out these log entries the cache owner may find themselves continuously (and needlessly) making trips back to the wilderness to check the status of their caches which would certainly take the enjoyment out of the game.


You make sensible points.  While I don't feel like supporting the people running groundspeak/gc.com, I think there are neat cachers in my area who deserve the courtesy of logging a find and information about the state of the caches.  So I will probably force myself to log my finds electronically.  I just hope that the current system of a handful of people running the most-used geocaching website -- and the direction of geocaching -- changes in the future.
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Seabound Offline
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Joined: Dec. 2004
    Posted: Dec. 18 2004,11:48 pm QUOTE

Quote (Scout @ Dec. 18 2004,7:11 am)
Quote (Seabound @ Dec. 17 2004,9:43 pm)
The way I understand it, geocaching has three simple rules:  Take something, leave something, sign logbook.  My question is, is it also part of the rules to log one's finds electronically at the website where the cache waypoint information is posted?

Geocaching was invented by Dave Ulmer. In his words, "The only rule for stashes is: Get some Stuff, Leave some Stuff!!" ( http://geocaching.gpsgames.org/history/ ). No rule about sign the log book.

For his original cache, Dave did say he was going to include a log book. But he also said he was going to half-bury the cache and put some food in it, so we shouldn't take everything he did as a requirement. And there was no concept of an electronic log book at all. That was just one of many additions added to the game over the years.

So, in short, it's not a rule. But reporting problems, retelling experiences, etc., either in the online log or private email or whatever, is sometimes the courteous thing to do. But don't feel obliged to do it just because someone else says it's a rule.

Thanks for the history lesson, Scout.  It's good to be informed about the real roots of geocaching.  I agree with you that it's the courteous thing to do to report problems and experiences.
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Seabound Offline
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    Posted: Dec. 19 2004,12:55 am QUOTE

Quote (Icenians @ Dec. 18 2004,10:59 am)
Hi and welcome from me as well.

I no longer log caches on the web as there are too many self-appointed and self-opinionated cachers out there, mainly on gc.com. By not logging online I keep my activity largely to myself and just enjoy the hunt and locations. I don't tend to get involved in the politics any more. Never really wanted to before but it's difficult to bite your lip when you disagree. I like it here as we just don't have politics. :) That said it's fairly easy to keep out of trouble on gc.com but just keeping out of the forums.

Much nicer bunch over here  :D

Thanks, Icenians!  I find it hard to bite my lip when I disagree, too.  There's already too much politics in life, and it would be a shame if geocaching goes that way, too.  Yeah, I figure that if I stay away from the forums I'll keep my blood pressure down.  I imagine that many geocachers stay away from the gc forums anyway.
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Seabound Offline
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    Posted: Dec. 19 2004,12:57 am QUOTE

Quote (scalpel @ Dec. 18 2004,4:10 pm)
I like having a logbook in the caches.  I also generally include a cache camera for people to take a pic of their cache visit if they want.

Yeah, a cache camera sounds like a cool idea.  I might do that one of these days.
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PC Medic Offline
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    Posted: Dec. 19 2004,5:55 am QUOTE

Quote (Seabound @ Dec. 19 2004,1:42 am)
For my part, I plan on supporting this site by creating caches in my area as my schedule permits and posting them in navicache.


That is all it takes. All too often I will will hear comments like "I don't post my caches here because there are not any others in my area listed here". Generallytell them just what you have suggested you will do.

Quote

You make sensible points.  While I don't feel like supporting the people running groundspeak/gc.com, I think there are neat cachers in my area who deserve the courtesy of logging a find and information about the state of the caches.  So I will probably force myself to log my finds electronically.  


Don't force yourself if it takes the fun out of the game for you. Simply sign the logbook and leave it at that if it makes you happier. If there is something you think they need to know (damp inside, could not find, etc) you can always shoot them an email.


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welch Offline
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    Posted: Dec. 19 2004,7:50 am QUOTE

I would say to others as you would want them to do to you....

for me that means logging both, if its justs a signature in the logbook and a 'its still there' online. If the cache is being found and logged everyone week someone not posting isn't noticed. But if the cache goes months without anything online I wonder if people are not looking for it, or looking but not finding and not logging (or sending an email with the same message), or looking finding and not logging that. Yes I'll eventally figure it out when I check on the phyisical cache, but without ESP it could be a while to get to that cache.


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