A Guide - "Take Pride in your Hide"

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A Guide - "Take Pride in your Hide"

Postby TooWheelIn » Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:26 pm

There are no "rules" in Geocaching...only Guidelines, and the following chapters are presented for your information, and to highlight some of those guidelines. I certainly don't know all there is to know about the pastime, but I've been involved for a very long time -- "guys talk, ya see things, and I get around" :wink: Newcomers to geocaching may find this information, and the associated tips, reminders, and links helpful...while Old Timers might spot something new, or that jogs their memory. Geocaching has grown by leaps and bounds, and one thing is for sure...it is imperative that we all follow the established guidelines so that the pastime we enjoy continues to be recognized as a legitimate recreational activity. The individual chapters below were each published separately in the General Discuss Forum...they remain open for discussion, and I will review them from time to time and incorporate any pertinent comments/suggestions here in this "stickie" The information presented in italics is my personal opinion...take it for what you think it's worth. I hope you find this "Guide" useful....I’ve enjoyed putting it together. Be well, cache on…and play the game your own way!

Chapter 1 “Coordinates

In the geocaching world they are that alpha/numeric string of 2 letters and 15 numbers that pinpoint (within 15 feet or so) your exact position on the face of the Earth. They are written in Lat/Lon Hddd mm.mmm format (Example: N38 35.238 W077 22.051 that’s North 38 Degrees 35 point 238 minutes and West 077 degrees 22 point 051 minutes. Again, in the geocaching world they are generally accepted as being applied to WGS84 (World Geodetic System) map datum. That puts everybody on the same sheet of music so they can find a cache, where they parked their vehicle, or the way back home.

1. Accurate coordinates depend on the number of satellites in view, the current satellite configuration, atmospheric interference, and good reception. Reception is not affected by weather, darkness, or cloud cover. Reception is affected by things that block your GPS receiver from receiving a strong signal from the satellites: tall city buildings, narrow canyons, heavy (green) leaf canopy, your body, etc.. GPS receiver manufacturers use EPE (Estimated Position Error displays) to give you an approximation of the strength/accuracy of the satellite signals being received by your handheld device - 10 feet, 15 feet, 30 feet, etc.. The lower the EPE, the better the supposed accuracy (generally).

2. Always try to mark the coordinates for your chosen location with the lowest EPE possible. It’s no guarantee they are completely accurate, but it betters the odds.

3. Check the satellite page on your GPS receiver to note the configuration of satellites, see the concentric rings on that page? A “scattered” configuration with satellites overhead (centered), at 45 degrees (middle ring), and on the horizon (outer most ring) will usually give the greatest accuracy. If your satellite page indicates the satellites are in a more-or-less straight line...reception will normally be poor, and your EPE will be higher.

4. Averaging your waypoint (cache location) is not always reliable, if you have poor reception/accuracy you’ll just be averaging bad coordinates (garbage in, garbage out). The most reliable way to average coordinates is to visit the location on different days, and at different times. (Those geosynchronous satellites move - circumnavigating the Earth once every 12 hours). Mark the new coordinates each time you visit, and then average all those that you’ve recorded.

5. One way to assess accuracy of your averaged coordinates is to select your marked waypoint, then walk 100/200 feet away from that waypoint (i.e. your cache coordinates), do a GoTo, and (moving steadily) follow your compass arrow back to the marked waypoint location...all the while watching the distance to destination as it counts down on your approach that marked location. Repeat from all 4 Cardinal Directions. If your distance to destination consistently counts down to within 5 to 15 feet during each of those 4 approaches to your marked waypoint...you can be reasonably sure that you have the best coordinates possible.

Chapter 2: “Permission

The following is quoted from the Geocaching website: “Did you seek permission from the land owner or manager? If you place a cache on private land, you must ask permission before hiding your cache. If you place it on public lands, contact the land manager to find out about any rules or restrictions.”

Locally, many of our parks, preserves, and recreational areas have established formal written guidelines which must be followed when placing a geocache. Failure to follow these guidelines places you as the cache owner, and those who hunt your cache, as well as geocaching in general in jeopardy. The current known local guidelines (which pertain to both large and small area parks, woodland areas, natural areas, and may also include specific playground areas (check if there is any doubt)) are:

FCPA (Fairfax County Park Authority) Guidelines Click Here

PWC ( Prince William County) Regulations Click Here

NVRPA (Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority) Click Here

RA (Reston Association) Common Areas. Quoted from the Common Area Resolution of the RA Covenants.
"13. Geocaching (use of Geographic Positions Systems ("GPS") to locate a cache of materials) is permitted by members only under the following rules:
a. Members interested in performing geocaching must notify the Association of all cache sites.
b. Cache sites located on common areas must be completely hidden from view.
c. Cache sites are not permitted near wildflowers, a wildlife nest, or den.
d. Cache sites located in the common area known as the Walker Nature Education Center, must be no more than 10 feet from pathway or trail edge.
e. The Association shall not be held liable for any injuries, or personal property damage incurred by those participating in geocaching on the common area."

BRMC (Bull Run Mountain Conservancy) The BRMC Geocaching Guidelines are published in the NoVAGO Forums Click Here

Virginia State Parks - Guidelines Click Here - Application - Click Here )

Personal opinion: It is always a good idea to obtain private property permission in writing, or to at least record the name, position of authority, and telephone number of the individual who granted said permission.


You’ll face an entirely different set of circumstances when placing an “urban” style cache (pocket park, parking lot, lamp post skirt, guardrail, electric power distribution box or transformer, sign, bench, rain gutter, gate post, storm drain, etc., etc., etc.. (You get my point) As stated in the Geocaching website quote above “If you place it on public lands, contact the land manager to find out about any rules or restrictions“. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you to at least attempt to determine who has oversight responsibility for the location, and to find out if there are any rules or restrictions on placing your cache there. There are very few (i. e. none) areas of unclaimed real estate - someone, somewhere owns it! Very often…caches placed in urban settings tend to draw lots of “unwanted” attention…sometimes from the constabulary, but that’s a topic for another “chapter”.

Bottom line - if there are published guidelines, follow them to the letter - no exceptions!!! If there are no guidelines, you should at least make an honest attempt to find out who owns, or is responsible for the property, explain what geocaching is all about, and ask permission to place your cache. Finally…although I do NOT condone it - you may think it easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission…just understand that you, and those who seek your cache will have to accept the consequences if things to bad. Being charged with “criminal trespass” is NO joke...to say nothing of paying for a police, fire, suspicious package, or terrorist activity incident response!!

Chapter 3: “Containers

Just a simple question; what makes a good geocache container? The answer - just about anything. That answer sounds equally simple, right?…well it is, IF you take some basics into consideration. Some of those basics include: What is the container made of?; What was the container originally used for?; How does the container open/close/seal?; How much does the container cost?; What does the container look like?; Will the container withstand repeated (sometimes rough) handling?; and where or how will the container be hidden?

Containers come in all sizes, and are therefore more-or-less tied to the 4 cache sizes (micro, small, regular, and large).

Some examples of “good” micro containers are: Pico Buttons; Bison Tubes; Match Stick Holders; Preforms; Diabetes Test Strip “cans”; and Pill Caddies. All those containers come with a rubber O-Ring, or snap seal that greatly improves water resistance. The O-Ring can degrade and break over time, but O-Ring replacements are available in almost every size in your local home improvement store plumbing section. Note that I left out 35mm film cans, Altoids tins, and magnetic Hide-a-Key containers. By themselves they are not water resistant, but by placing the log in a small ZipLock bag, and hiding the container where it has protection from precipitation…they are suitable.

Small containers include: 3” round Lock & Lock; 2” X 4” Lock & Lock; pill bottles (careful that the neck of the bottle isn’t so small that log removal is next to impossible); Beach Safe containers; 3” X 5” Pelican™ cases; 3” X 5” Otter Box™ some small food containers IF thoroughly washed to remove ALL scent of food (GatorAde powder, plastic peanut butter, plastic mayonnaise, plastic coffee jars, etc..) Re-sealable deli meat containers, Gladware and dollar store food storage containers are usually poor choices - they get brittle over time and a prone to cracking.

Regular containers include: The “King”, an ammo can (remember to paint over or remove all military markings); 6” X 6” or 6” X 8” Lock & Lock; larger plastic (thoroughly washed) peanut butter, and mayonnaise jars; 6” X 10” Pelican™ and Otter Box™ cases; Vittles Vault™ jars; Rubbermaid™ and Tupperware™ cereal and bread containers (although after a year or two in the elements both Rubbermaid™ and Tupperware™ will take on moisture/water).

Large containers include: 5 gallon plastic paint buckets, mortar cans(remember to paint over or remove all military markings), 8” X 30” map tubes, large equipment Pelican™ cases and Otter boxes™.

Please note - plastic is mentioned often, and glass and tin are not mentioned at all - one breaks, the other rusts closed!! Both are poor choices.

You can spend a lot, or a little…you can place a maintenance free cache, or one that will constantly receive “wet log”, “water inside”, “wet contents”, or “mildew” on-line logs, and a fair number of Needs Maintenance logs. Over the course of many years, and many caches I’ve seen some doozies: A ZipLock bag (that’s it…no container, just a ZipLock bag); cardboard Pringles tubes; paint cans; cookie tins; containers “protected” by being placed in plastic garbage/grocery bags (think “greenhouse effect“, the bag provides the perfect hot and humid breeding ground for slugs, bugs, mold, fungus, and slime…yuk)!

While on the subject of containers...remember that it is a VERY good idea to mark your container as a "Geocache". Stickers are available commercially, you add the GC ID, cache name, and contact information. If you prefer not go the sticker route...place that information on your container with a permanent marker. Identifying the container as a geocache game piece can go a long way in allaying the fears of the uninitiated if they should stumble upon the container. Then too...there are other cache listing services out there besides Groundspeak...identifying the container will let the seeker/finder know that they have indeed found the one they were searching for.


Take pride in your hide
…it’s less work for you, and a more enjoyable experience for those who find your cache.

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”.

Chapter 5: "Cache Pages"

1. Open the “Hide and Seek a Cache” page on GC.Com, go to the right (Hide a Cache) column, and click on the on-line form link. Your time starts now!! That’s right, you have 45 minutes to complete your submission or you will time-out. Solution…take a good look at the on-line form itself…see what’s required for submission, take some notes…then open a word processing application or notepad and do your typing, formatting, and editing there. Transferring the information to the actual online form comes later via copy and paste. Complete/type the following:

A. Select a cache Type (Traditional/Multi/Mystery-Puzzle/Letterbox Hybrid/Wherigo/EarthCache/Event Cache/CITO Event)

B. Select the cache Size (Micro/Small/Regular/Large) Let’s stop right here, I suggest you do not select the “Not Listed” or “Other” sizes unless you have a VERY good reason for it. If your only reason for selection one of those options is to “make the cache harder to find“…then list an honest size and raise the Difficulty rating!!. Then too, realize that many cachers filter out the “Not Listed” and/or “Other” sizes…they just don’t wish to hunt what they don’t know the size of…don’t sell your cache short. You place it to have it found…and an accurate depiction of the size will at least help raise the odds of it being hunted. Use “Not Listed” or “Other” for Events…or if you opt to use them for another type of geocache…at least describe why in the cache page description.

C. For the time being you are preparing your cache page…so UNCHECK the “Yes, this listing is active” box NOW! That’s right, UNCHECK the box.

D. Don’t worry about the date, you can select the current date when you copy and paste your narrative to the actual on-line form for submission.

E. The “Related Webpage” and “Background Image URL” entries are optional, use them if desired. I suggest keeping your first cache or two simple, you can experiment later, or you can go back to your cache page after it’s published and edit those items.

F. Ah, coordinates. Go back and read Chapter 1 now. Type your marked coordinates in your word document…double check them to make sure they are exactly what you marked as the waypoint for the cache location. Good….now triple check them again!! Keep in mind…once you release your cache for review, and it’s published…there are folks who will rush right out to hunt it. There’s not much that’s more embarrassing to a cache owner…than having lousy coordinates (big mistakes) pointed out to them by the first hunters. When entering your coordinates…make sure “fat fingering” doesn’t enter into the process.

G. Select your Difficulty and Terrain ratings. Here’s where experience finding caches pays big dividends. By comparing the ratings of the caches you’ve found, you are much more likely to assign accurate ratings to your own cache. The following rating system links may also help in the process: ClayJar or Techblazer While I’m at it…the Difficulty and Terrain ratings should be “static”. If, after the first few finders log your cache, you receive suggestions to adjust your ratings…fine, make adjustments if you agree. However; over the life of the cache the published Difficulty and Terrain ratings should remain as published…changing them will affect some on-line data bases that are integral to past finder’s Profile statistics, “Well rounded cacher”, GSAK stats, LogicWeave, etc..

H. Remember to “check” the HTML box if you plan to use that on your cache page.

I. Prepare your short description, it’s a great place to mention the terrain, path availability; hike distance, parking, amenities. Keep it short though (500 characters or less).

J. Prepare your long description, here’s your chance to shine - promote your cache, and give cachers a reason to seek it. Highlight the area, the hike, the views, the challenge, and the satisfaction you hope they will receive by finding it. Take a look at other existing cache pages and include what you like, discount what you don’t like - taking “Pride in your Hide” starts on your cache page!

K. Child Waypoints, are mandatory for stages of a multi-cache, and optional for Reference Marks, Suggested Parking, or to highlight Scenic Views, etc. Prepare them now if required, and pay as much attention to their coordinates as you do for the coordinates listed at the top of your cache page.

L. Prepare your hint. If you don’t have a hint, leave it blank. Resist the urge to enter “None needed”, “Too easy for a hint”, “Are you kidding?” Cachers who find themselves decrypting that hint in the field will…at best consider it a waste of time, at worst…..well, if you were close enough you’d hear what they’d call you. Actual hints should be kept short…ROT 13 is an easy cipher, but not if you have to decrypt 6 lines of it, and keep the hint meaningful…those using it will thank you.

M. Prepare your Note to Reviewer. Do a bit of research, it is optional, but suggested that you list those active caches that you are aware of in close proximity to your new cache (list them by GC ID and distance from your submission - mapping programs like MapSource, Google Earth, or an application like FizzyCalc can help with that effort). Include a statement about permission: adequate; blanket; or explicit (might be a good time to review Chapter 2, eh)? If your new cache is on private property, or falls under the guidelines published by the various local land managers, or jurisdictions…then list the contact information for the individual or office who granted permission for cache placement.

2. Hey, you’re almost done…just a few more steps: Run a spell check and grammar check on your word document, then proofread it! (I’m forever typing “you” instead of “your”, or “then” instead of “than”…take pride in your cache page and try to eliminate those little errors before the page is published.

3. Now return to the Hide a Cache on-line form, update the “Date placed” calendar to the current date, then copy and paste the information from your word document into the appropriate locations on the form. Double check your coordinate entries! Make sure the “Yes, this listing is active” box is still UNCHECKED. You can also omit the Note to Reviewer entry for the time being. Proofread the on-line form one final time, assuming you have read the GC.Com “Guidelines” and “Terms of Use agreements…check the 2 boxes at the very bottom of the on-line form, and hit the “Report New Listing” button.

4. Your cache has been submitted, and will be assigned a GC ID, but will not be placed in the review queue…this gives you the opportunity to view your cache page in its final form, and also to edit your cache page if necessary, and to add Attributes to the page. Please don’t skimp on the Attributes, they display valuable information about your cache, and the location…to name just a few: Parking; Hours; Hazards; Kid Friendly; Rest Rooms; Dogs; Bikes; etc..

5. Once you’ve added the Attributes, and are completely satisfied with our cache page…copy and paste your prepared reviewer information into the Note for Reviewer block. Now, assuming your cache container is actually in place…go back up near the top and place a checkmark in the “Yes, this listing is active” box…return to the bottom of the form, you’ll have to again checkmark the Yes, I have read and understand the guidelines for listing a cache, and Yes, I have read and agree to the terms of use agreement boxes…and hit the “Report New Listing” button. Your cache will enter the review queue, and (if there are no issues with your cache or location) it will normally be published within 72 hours.

Then sit back, watch the flurry of activity as folks hunt for it, and enjoy the on-line logs they will write. Oh, and thanks for placing a new cache!

Chapter 6 “Odds & the End

1. On hunting caches:

A. Clean up your mess - No need to trample flowers, destroy stone fences, break branches, or generally tear up an area during the search. Search thoroughly, but gently - and whether you find the container or not, return the area to it’s original state.

B. Return things to where you found them - So you, or a member of your group found the cache container, great - when the rite of signing the log is finished…you, or whoever actually found it…put it back: Not where you think it belongs; Not where you think the coordinates actually point you to; Not where you think you would have hidden it; Not where you think the CO meant for it to be…but where it was actually found!

C. Play fair - You found the cache, but there was no pen/pencil to sign the log. Huh? You don’t have a pen/pencil with you? You knew you were hunting a micro…since when do micro’s have room for a pen/pencil? According to the Guidelines you cannot claim a find if you don’t actually sign the log -- take a hike -- go get a pen/pencil, and sign the log! Maybe the walk will remind you to carry a pen/pencil next time.

D. Hold hands and stick together - Think about building your very own “cache first-aid kit”…stock it with: A couple of spare logs, a pencil stub, maybe a short length of rolled up Duct Tape for a cracked lid, a few trade items to replenish an empty container. Feel free to make repairs, or donations as needed…make note of your actions in your on-line log, and trust that the cache owner will take it from there.

E. Don’t Ask - You are not clairvoyant…you didn’t find it so you don’t know if it’s there or not. You simply didn’t find it - not every cacher is meant to find every cache!! Log a DNF…the CO will read it…and if he/she is a “good” CO, once a few DNF’s are logged…they’ll go check the cache! Don’t ask “Is it missing”, or “Is it still there” in your DNF (you did write a DNF, didn‘t you?). You don’t know it’s missing, even a previous finder can’t always be sure it’s missing - only the CO can tell for sure!!

F. Don’t Tell - Avoid listing the actual Tracking Numbers for Travel Bugs and Geocoins in your on-line logs…likewise, if you post photos of the travelers…make sure the Tracking Number is not showing. Unscrupulous cachers will “virtually” log those Travel Bugs and Geocoins!! So what?? Well, if the virtual logging happens frequently, Groundspeak will "Lock" the Travel Bug or Geocoin!

G. Think before you die - Whether you cache solo, or with others (but especially solo)…it’s a good idea to let someone know the location you plan to visit, and how long you expect to be gone. Some of the larger parks in the area: Fountainhead; Bull Run Trail, Pohick, etc., have some rugged, remote areas…becoming incapacitated, or ill could quickly turn a nice hike in the woods into a life threatening situation. Think about some basic necessities too: water, snacks, cellular phone, and maybe a first aid kit.

2. On owning/hiding caches:

A. Experience counts - Maybe more than you realize. Having others hunt a cache you've placed is very rewarding, and it can be just as much fun as hunting caches. Although there is no "rule" or even a Guideline on this...I suggest that you find 25, 30 or more caches before you decide to place one of your own. Why? Experience counts...you'll recognize the difference between a "good" hide and a "poor" hide...a "good" cache container and a "bad" cache container...and both the Difficulty and Terrain ratings will make more sense to you.

B. Ownership - You put it out there, it’s your responsibility to maintain it!! You read the chapter on containers right? Hopefully you chose a sturdy, weatherproof container. If you start to receive on-line logs that mention a broken lid, a full log, a wet log, or any other indication that you should get off your duff and make a visit to your cache…”Just do it”!!! Maintain your cache for the long run…consider it a badge of pride to have an active cache that’s 5, 6, 7 or more years old. There’s a lot to be said about “old age”.

C. Timeliness - The “Disable Cache” log allows the cache owner to notify all seekers that the cache has problems: it may be down for a broken container, wet log, full log, full of trash, etc.. It may be that the CO intends to visit the cache to ensure it is still there; or maybe it needs restocking. Thing is…don’t wait 1, 2, or 3 months to take the necessary action. Sure, life can get in the way…but there are way too many caches that stay disabled for extended periods of time….which often results in the Volunteer Reviewers posting cache page notes to query the status of the cache (that‘s not their job). If it’s too far away to maintain in a timely manner…adopt it out, or archive it.

D. I Spy - Did you read the chapter on “Location”? I hope so, but if you persist in hiding your cache in a pocket park that's 25 feet from the bay window/back deck of a house, or under a lamp post skirt just outside the WalMart front door, or anywhere passersby, people in parked cars, or those behind windows affording a clear view of the cache location might see you…then I suggest you look up the definition of “Trouble” (yes, with a capital “T”) in the dictionary…because you’re bound to have some. Pick a remote lamp post skirt, use available features to screen the location (shrubs, trees, a fence), or find a more isolated or rural location for your cache.

E. Contraband - This fits in both “hunting” and “owning” categories…think about what it is you place in a cache as SWAG or a trade item. Geocaching Guidelines specifically mention not placing explosives, fireworks, ammo, lighters, knives (including pocket knives and multi-tools), drugs, or alcohol in caches. Additionally, food items (candy, sport bars, gum, etc.) are also a bad idea…animals have far keener noses than humans, and they’ll smell those items…and do whatever it takes to get into the container!! Liquid (bubbles, perfume, liquid filled trick pens) can leak in the heat of Summer, and freeze in the cold of Winter…making a total mess of both the container, and contents.


Addendum:

When is the last time you read the Geocaching Guidelines? They were revised on 11 February 2011...might be worth a look-see, and you can find them here .

Here's another valuable resource "The Groundspeak Knowledge Book"...lots of topics, lots of anwsers...Click here to see.

rob3k reminds us that Geocoins and Travel Bugs are not trade items - you may take or leave them as you wish...just remember: If you take one, log it out of the cache...then drop it off in another cache, and log it as being placed in that cache (in a timely manner please)!!

Thanks to zgrav for submitting: "Here is a useful link to the GeoLexicon" Click Here

Bill
"There are three types of mistakes; Those you learn from, those you suffer from, and those you don't survive. "
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TooWheelIn

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FOLLOW UP - "Take Pride in your Hide"

Postby TooWheelIn » Wed Nov 10, 2010 8:56 pm

OK…can’t keep my mouth shut any longer :silenced: ...so I’m bumping this topic.

Over the past year or so we’ve seen geocaching grow quite a bit here in NOVA...and that’s a good thing, but along with the good comes the “bad”. These are personal observations, and my personal opinion:

1. Twenty five caches placed on FCPA managed land that “appear” to violate FCPA published Geocaching Guidelines. There are probably more, I’ve quit bookmarking them.
2. Really lousy container choices: Cardboard boxes; coffee cans; ZipLock bags (no container, just the bag!); glass jars; recycled deli containers; and numerous other plastic containers that are not water resistant in the least.
3. A significant increase in cache coordinate errors...anywhere from 50 feet to 0.5 miles.
4. Cache pages that border on useless as far as descriptions, attributes (or lack thereof), and D&T ratings go.
5. A big rise in the number of caches that receive “Needs Maintenance” logs, and are then left to languish for weeks, and even months...until one of the Volunteer Reviewers disables it, and eventually Archives it (That's not their job, that's the CO's job!). Also, I'll bet you a nickel those caches remain out there as geo-litter too, because if the CO won’t maintain it, then he/she sure won’t be bothered to go out and pick it up.
6. “Monkey see, monkey do”...with the increase in micro hides…newer cachers are prone to hide what they find, so it perpetuates. Now there’s nothing wrong with a micro (other than the fact that every time you hide one a Faerie dies :wink: )...but it’s the location of the micros - “nothing to see here, move along”. More small, and regular containers (in a non-urban setting) would enhance the geocaching experience for new folks, to say nothing of families with small children (they do love to trade).

I could go on, but what’s the point - you’ve seen it, and you know exactly what I’m talking about. I heard a quote by Maya Angelou the other day “Those that get...give, those that learn...teach”. That applies well to geocaching. This particular Topic was "Stickied" so that it would be available as a ready reference...the trouble with that is (it’s only been viewed 137 times) and again, I’ll bet another nickel that those 137 viewers (you) were not the ones who would really benefit by reading “Take Pride in your Hide”. How to get the ones who would benefit to read it? - that's the question :smt017 . Well, since I (we) have learned...maybe it would help when you see something like the items in 1 through 6 above...you include a link in your on-line log to this Forum Topic. Couldn’t hurt, and I have seen some of you do it already. The individual chapters are still "alive" here (below) in the General Discussion “Topic” section...when you encounter a lousy container...refer the CO (politely in your log) to Chapter 3; if you suspect FCPA permission was not obtained, then link to Chapter 2; etc., (don't link to the whole pinned Take Pride in your Hide topic...because obviously it’s too long to read :smt102 .

Chapter 1 “Coordinates”
Chapter 2 “Permission”
Chapter 3 “Containers”
Chapter 4 “Location”
Chapter 5 “Cache Pages”

I am not a cache cop, and I don’t play one in the field, but I care more about the actual progression of the pastime, than I do about finding caches. I’ve started including “links” to the respective guidelines, and even the Take Pride in your Hide article in my logs when I perceive it is necessary, and the devil take the hindmost. Just maybe some of these things will turn around :smt100 .

This topic will remain locked...if you have comments, please make them to the appropriate Chapter (I'll read them)...it's time those chapters floated back into view anyway.

Bill (Yes, everyone plays this game their own way, but who's to say the game couldn't stand some improving)?
"There are three types of mistakes; Those you learn from, those you suffer from, and those you don't survive. "
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TooWheelIn

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Re: A Guide - "Take Pride in your Hide"

Postby TooWheelIn » Mon May 16, 2011 11:45 am

Updated today to include a direct link to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA) website that hosts their recently published Geocaching Guidelines.

Bill
"There are three types of mistakes; Those you learn from, those you suffer from, and those you don't survive. "
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TooWheelIn

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Re: A Guide - "Take Pride in your Hide"

Postby TooWheelIn » Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:17 pm

This one seems to have "floated down the page and out of sight"....thought it might be of interest to some of our newer NoVAGO Members. :smt102

Bill
"There are three types of mistakes; Those you learn from, those you suffer from, and those you don't survive. "
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TooWheelIn

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Re: A Guide - "Take Pride in your Hide"

Postby TooWheelIn » Tue Dec 20, 2011 5:05 pm

Hmmmm....there's been so many "unsuitable" containers, lousy coordinates, caches published before they are actually placed by the cache owner, caches placed without permission (where permission is explicitly required), etc....maybe it's time to Bump this one. Might help :whistle:

Bill
"There are three types of mistakes; Those you learn from, those you suffer from, and those you don't survive. "
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TooWheelIn

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Re: A Guide - "Take Pride in your Hide"

Postby TooWheelIn » Tue May 28, 2013 8:33 pm

A timely "Bump" couldn't hurt :wink:

Bill
"There are three types of mistakes; Those you learn from, those you suffer from, and those you don't survive. "
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