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wzbt03
WGA Friend



Joined: 2003-02-02
Posts: 736
Location: Janesville, Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:42 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I was thinking today about the biggest issue I have with todays geocache hunting:

Bad Caches

I am not saying that there are not a number of great ones out there, as I have done many and will still do some, however, there appears to be an increasing number of really lame caches out there.

What would happen if everyone who had a lame cache, picked it up and archived it?
Could everyone just look at their own caches and say:

1- Did I bring them to a special place?
2- Was the hunt unique in some way?
3- Is there historical, social or human importance associated with the cache?
4- Did I challenge the hunter in some way?
5- Was the hide clever or camo in a new way?
If the answer is yes, then these caches are of the type that should be out there.

I am sure others could come up with a bunch of other things but if the cache is:
1- In the middle of the woods for no apparent reason.
2- In a area of no real importance or value.
3- Hidden in such a way as to be easily found by anyone.
4- Brought the hunter on a five mile walk only to hide the cache in a very common location.
If these are what the answers would be, don't you think we could do without them?
What is the point of a micro along the side of a road with no apparent reason?
What is the point of a cache in a bush in a small park that would not warrant a return even though you know where it is now?

I understand that there needs to be a number of different difficulty level caches due to varied physical abilities of everyone
but they can still offer things from the list of things that make them good caches.

I will admit freely that I have placed some very good caches and some very lame ones. I think people preferred the good ones by far and felt the lame ones were a waste of time.

Feel free to leave your opinion on this subject but lets not trash anyones caches in particular if it can be avoided.
 
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marc_54140
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-01-28
Posts: 2631
Location: Little Chute

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 7:27 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I archived one of mine recently, because it had been bugging me. Would think of it every now and then, and wonder if it was really anything special. Could not say yes, so ....
 
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Bushwhacking Queen
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-09-30
Posts: 463
Location: West Bend, WI, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 7:30 pm Reply with quote Back to top

You bring up a lot of good points. And without much thought (forgive me) one thing I'd say is that some of even the lamest caches bring me to places I've never "seen."

Geocaching in general has heightened my awareness to my surroundings. I've noticed stores, parks, and other locations in West Bend that have been oblivious to me for the six years or better since I first moved hereI prior to geocaching. Perhaps it is me looking for a spot or searching for a locationless cache, but it is for sure that I am more aware of my surroundings.

One of the first thing I think of when I read this is the saying, "someone's junk is another one's treasure." Something of beauty may not be of any significance to another. A certain memory makes a spot special, whereas to another it may just be a spot. So whether a cache is thrown into a bush at a park no "clever" way, it got you to the park.

I agree that there are a lot of lame caches out there; caches just placed for whatever reason of the cachers who place them. I do like the diffiuclt ones and enjoy them a lot, but the lames ones are a "gimmee" and help me maintain my confidence.

I will think more about this and perhaps post more later. To me it seems that caching has changed over the last year a lot. I didn't know if it was just me because I'm more seasoned or if it has changed for others too. The hobby is evolving, more players getting involved, and some leaving because of various reasons. One thing is for sure though: whether it is a difficult cache or a lame cache out there, caching has gotten me outside where in the past I've been inside, eating, watching TV, reading, and other stuff.

Thanks for putting this thread out here.


 
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brkster
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-06-10
Posts: 550
Location: Racine, Wisconsin, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 7:32 pm Reply with quote Back to top

That's funny. Just the other day, I was examining my existing caches that I have out there, and wondering "what am I offering with these caches"? Although I appreciate really challenging hides when I search, I try to bring cache hunters on a nice scenic hike or to a scenic end point, and hide it just well enough so that non geocachers won't notice it, but not too hard for a geocacher to find. I do have one in a cemetery, but it's an old and interesting place, and a couple in parks that meant something to me. About half of them are multi-caches or mystery caches, but not too difficult to figure out (okay..maybe one is a bit tricky for the first waypoint), and one has a bonus added onto it. As far as caches I like to search for..I like them all, but if I had to pick my favorites, I'd go with the ones that left an impression on me with the hiking or finding experience.
 
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ForeFeathers
WGA Friend



Joined: 2005-09-07
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:32 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I know we're still a little new at this but I've already been thinking about some of these same issues. We did our first couple of caches three years ago but just got an account in August of this year. We've done some amazing caches- some that involved an entire afternoon of kayaking (one cache), one that took almost 4 hours of hiking up and down the sides of Rib Mountain (one cache), and we paddled out to Horseshoe Island and spent a half day out there (one cache). Last weekend, in order to hit our goal of 100 caches by the end of the year we drove to the closest cache-saturated areas we could find and came home with 20 caches and our goal met. But on the way home we discussed how, even though we had 20 caches and met our goal, that we would probably never spend much time looking for urban micros. It just didn't do for us what the other caches did.

Today we headed north and spent the afternoon caching and came back with three caches. Only three compared to twenty an afternoon just a few days ago...

But these were interesting. One had us hiking through public land off-trail and through the snow. The dog was running back and forth. The tracks and beds of deer were apparent under the heavy pines. Fresh rabbit tracks through the tangled swamp I navigated us through instead of around. And when we got to the cache the view was fantastic. We would have never found or visited this spot on our own.

Another took us to a place where an old woman apparently lived for years in a homemade shack in the woods raising goats. I don’t know if the story on the cache page is true or not, but it was interesting to contemplate that the rubbish strewn through this area of this particular woods was once a primitive shelter that an old woman spent part of her life living in. It was fun to at least entertain the possibility and imagine what once was.

Finally, the last cache was deep in the winter woods- further in than the snowplow will go. We had to push the 4WD button on the dash a mile before we got near the cache. The possibility of getting stuck, of being so far back in we didn’t hear or see anybody else the whole time, of working the cache which hadn’t been visited in 6 weeks or so from its frozen spot in the ground- it all added up to a memory that my kids will always carry. To top it off, there was an unlisted White Jeep in the cache. On the drive up we had been talking about the first White Jeep (Upton) we found on The Three Bad Ribs cache back in August. We had discussed what had happened to Upton and how it would be fun to check on him.

When we got home and plugged in the numbers on this White Jeep, well, you guessed it- Upton returns. What fun.

But to find yet another micro behind yet another tree with cars zooming by a few feet away is just not for us. We’ll never have big numbers of finds. For us we’ve decided that, in Geocaching, less is more.

We’ve hidden four caches. None of them are spectacular but I’m satisfied that all of them take folks to places they might not of otherwise and that the majority of them will appreciate. Some of them are better to visit at certain times of the year for best effect- but all caches are that way in some way.

This is an interesting discussion and I look forward to hearing others’ thoughts. I realize that part of geocaching is that it is different things for different folks. What’s “right” for us isn’t for everyone. I’m not saying what works for us is what should work for everyone. I’m just sharing one, fairly new, point-of-view. For what it’s worth…
 
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Lostby7
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-06-07
Posts: 3190
Location: Lake country area, WI

PostPosted: Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:43 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I think you make a good argument for what a cache “should” be. I’m sure that what Geocaching is today is night and day from what it was even two years ago. I wonder at exactly what point the whole sport will actually blow up.

One of the reasons I like to put out Puzzle caches is because there are only so many places left in nature that are unusual and worth the hike to. A puzzle cache offers one a chance to feel the “a-ha” and then go to find the cache. The thrill in these is not really the find so much as the mental journey.

I had two caches that I always felt odd about placing yet I did so anyway; they were also short lived because I just couldn’t get excited about them so how could I expect someone else to be.

The nice thing about the proliferation of caches is that we are able to pick and choose what our hunt will be; how much time do I have, can I walk three miles, can I get out of my car and stretch my legs on a long trip and get that find just off the interstate. Variety is part of what makes this sport so much fun. There are gems among the ordinary and just like a box of chocolates we never quite know what we are going to get; that is the way I like it.


[This message has been edited by Lostby7 (edited 12-29-2005).]
 
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Digital_Dan
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-10-19
Posts: 64
Location: Waukesha, WI USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:22 am Reply with quote Back to top

The Geocache Purist will always look for "Caching the way it used to be". Originals, whether they be Paintings, or Geocaches, hold more significance to a select few than they ever will to the masses. Not everyone who has a painting feels they MUST have an Original, a Print will suit them just fine. The same is true for Caches. Not all Cachers feel like they must seek only "Original Type" caches. These cachers can just as easily be satisfied with a "Print" type variety. Are they wrong for taking this approach to caching? No, not if that is the experience they find satisfying. There is enough variety out there to suit everyone, without eliminating options for anyone! Personally, I like a Mix. Lucky for me, I don't have to choose. I can just do them ALL!!
 
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ForeFeathers
WGA Friend



Joined: 2005-09-07
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:32 am Reply with quote Back to top

Perhaps I wrote first before thinking- I'm guilty of that often (I will stop writing- ...after this Image). I wouldn't say we found any caches that didn't belong as a cache. I don't even think I agree that anyone should go through their caches and eliminate some. I think I was more "writing out loud" my thoughts about how "a cache" is not "a cache". There seems to be a big push for numbers amongst the caching community that I don't understand.

Probably my real problem is that I do have a "driven" side that likes to see the numbers go up and it is in conflict with the other side that really appreciates the kind of cache that doesn't lend itself to rising numbers. Ack, I think I'll pour another cup of coffee and get off the computer before I write something else that doesn't matter.

I know, too late.

Enjoy your day.
 
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brkster
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-06-10
Posts: 550
Location: Racine, Wisconsin, USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:32 am Reply with quote Back to top

Don't stop writing, Forefeathers.

There are growing numbers of us who look for geocaches, and there are different types of caches to suit everyones needs at one time or another. When on the road for trips, the idea of stopping at a rest stop or a nearby park and ride for caches works for me. In time, I'll go for any cache within my immediate area. I'll admit, some have left me feeling much more fulfilled than the rest. I may find one cache, and feel satisfied with that, or I may hit a cluster of several that are in close proximity of each other. It varies for me from one day to another. Caches have brought me to a lot of places I would have never been to before that are really worth seeing, but I guess the main thing is that it's something to do, that I really enjoy doing. As I said before...I like them all.

[This message has been edited by brkster (edited 12-30-2005).]
 
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Bushwhacking Queen
WGA Member



Joined: 2004-09-30
Posts: 463
Location: West Bend, WI, USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 8:50 am Reply with quote Back to top

WOW! These are incredible! I love it!

Forefeathers I felt like I was there! I can feel your excitement, the thrill, and it brings back memories of some of my initial finds when primarily caching by myself.

Digital Dan -- WOW! You have a very nice way with words.

Image

 
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The Snail
WGA Member



Joined: 2003-05-18
Posts: 72
Location: Jefferson, WI US of A

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 11:59 am Reply with quote Back to top

Me thinks lame is in the eye of the beholder.
A couple days ago my son and I had some rare time together and he wanted to go caching. Drove 15 minutes to a great park with some excellant hiking potential. Cache was found within 350 ft. from the parking lot. A month or so ago we went to this same park and that cache was on the other side of the same parking lot. I could have leaned out my car door to retrieve it.

In my mind these were both "lame". There was no adventure, no hiking, no challenge. In the mind of others, these were both nice, easy finds.

I can think of more than a couple of caches that were not more than a couple hundred feet from my car that I would consider "lame". However the cache that I did that was at an artesian well was right next to the parking area. I enjoyed that cache because of the attraction that it was high-lighting.

I would enjoy a five mile hike through the woods for a plainly hidden cache. Others, not so much perhaps. To each his own.
 
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rpaske
WGA Member



Joined: 2002-09-09
Posts: 485
Location: Slinger, WI/ USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:36 pm Reply with quote Back to top

quote:
Originally posted by The Snail:
Me thinks lame is in the eye of the beholder.
A couple days ago my son and I had some rare time together and he wanted to go caching. Drove 15 minutes to a great park with some excellant hiking potential. Cache was found within 350 ft. from the parking lot. A month or so ago we went to this same park and that cache was on the other side of the same parking lot. I could have leaned out my car door to retrieve it.

In my mind these were both "lame". There was no adventure, no hiking, no challenge. In the mind of others, these were both nice, easy finds.

I can think of more than a couple of caches that were not more than a couple hundred feet from my car that I would consider "lame". However the cache that I did that was at an artesian well was right next to the parking area. I enjoyed that cache because of the attraction that it was high-lighting.

I would enjoy a five mile hike through the woods for a plainly hidden cache. Others, not so much perhaps. To each his own.




What a wonderful time to spend with your son. Fifteen miles of 'me time'. Time to chat about the events in his life. Time to share family values. Time to discuss things that are important. The Geocache was just a means to to an end. In the end, it shouldn;t have been the geocache - it should have been the time with family.
 
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The Snail
WGA Member



Joined: 2003-05-18
Posts: 72
Location: Jefferson, WI US of A

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:17 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I think I'm gonna tuck my tail and slink under a bush to die.

Thanks for the perspective change, I obviously needed it.

And while I'm at it, I'll apologize for the terse cache log (I was feeling terse-y), and thank the hider for placing the cache.
 
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Team Honeybunnies
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-05-03
Posts: 1029
Location: Stevens Point,WI

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:22 pm Reply with quote Back to top

I had a long message framed in my mind about beautiful caches I have done, the vistas, the spectacular trails, the little mountain valley on the way back from a cache where I asked Ms. Honeybunny to be my bride, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum. I realized that all I was doing was apologizing for the part of me that loves the number hunt. It's just a part of who I am. I may as well apologize for being born blonde-haired and blue-eyed.
Yes, there are lame caches. At the very absolute worst, I can thank them for adding one to my count. Somebody else may be thankful to be able to find a cache at the playground they take their kids. Or that their friends can log it when they visit their town, or that anyone logs the cache in their special place in the middle of nowhere.
Just like anything in our society, we can choose whether or not to do it. If I don't like a cache I don't have to do it. Someone else will. Treat it like the ability to change the channel if you don't like the show rather than removing it from the airwaves.
My second cache, recently placed is somewhat experiential. In the winter, you will be swarmed by mallards looking for bread, in the summer it will be one of the easiest park and logs you've ever done, in a pretty unremarkable park. The people doing it now are getting it, and it shows in their logs. I doubt others will appreciate it in the summer. Do I take it offline then because it's not fun? Where do I draw the line on style?
If the numbers went away, I probably would revisit more often some of the other great things I do outside. I wouldn't look for waterlogged tupperware and rusting army surplus. And I'd still find the amazing vistas, beautiful views, interesting history and the place I asked Marie to marry me.
 
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hogrod
WGA Member



Joined: 2005-07-24
Posts: 639
Location: New glarus, WI

PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2005 5:42 pm Reply with quote Back to top

quote:
Originally posted by wzbt03:

What would happen if everyone who had a lame cache, picked it up and archived it?



when i first started caching, i placed a few caches i would now consider lame. i did exactly what you are talking about.... i archived all of them to open the area's up to new caches/cachers. i liked the locations i brought people to with these first caches but with them all being basicly drive up caches no one could really enjoy the area fully. (only being there for 20min)

i only have a few caches now and consider them quite a bit better(my opinion) than the first ones i placed.
for me it seems that my caching preferences and style are constantly evolving. probably true for others as well. so i will leave it to the cache hider to decide if there cache is LAME, as i did when i archived all my original caches.
 
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