The steady decline of the quality of geocaching....

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Do you think the quality of geocaches is going down with the quantity of caches going up?

Yes!
94
58%
No!
47
29%
Don't care!
21
13%
 
Total votes: 162

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Webguy
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The steady decline of the quality of geocaching....

Post by Webguy » 09 September 08 3:02 pm

I don't know about anybody else, but, to me, it would seem that the quality of geocaching is on the decline. Fast disappearing are the days of a reasonable sized cache, with real swaps, not 30cents worth of crap toys, interesting locations, clever hides, proper containers and so on.

Now, I am starting to see new caches placed by people with no finds under their belt, sure they could have done some with a mate, or family, but, based on the choice of location and or container, I doubt it.

Micros and smalls are becoming the norm as far as I can see. Don't get me wrong, I love a clever micro that has had some effort placed into it to set it aside from the growing pile of crud. And I am the first to praise a clever micro when I do them.

Of course, the more of this crud that appears, the more the norm it looks like to new people starting geocaching, and they then monkey see monkey do and end up putting crud out.

The quality caches are really becoming fewer and farther between. it's no wonder my kids don't want to go caching anymore, they like to swap, can't swap in what seems like 60-75% of all finds now, and that's raised even higher by the crud that is inside.

I long for the days gone bye where less caches were published, but, you were 95% certain it was going to be a quality cache to go find.

Oh well, it's not quite time for an obituary, but, if this keeps up, it won't be far away.

Gunn Parker
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Post by Gunn Parker » 09 September 08 3:07 pm

I must say my interest level has dropped lately, I always look at new caches and wait for a while. If others say it is good and if it involves a walk in the bush then even better.
But there are soooo many run of the mill caches in local parks it's not worth going out.

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trail_geek
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Post by trail_geek » 09 September 08 3:19 pm

For me interest has dropped for other reasons.

I feel there is a lack of consistancy in the way things are run and this causes confusion.

There is also too many personal attacks going on, say no more. (opening the flood gates now)

If you want my opionion as to what needs to happen going forward here it is.

For starters lets democratically vote for representation in some of the more senior roles within the group AND/OR spread the work around so that not any one person or group of people hold the majority control, this will provide a fresh approach and a more unified, agreed team that has been majority voted in to run the place.

Cheers

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Mischief's Crew
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Post by Mischief's Crew » 09 September 08 3:40 pm

I like to the pride myself on the quality of my caches!<br>
<br>
We did only start caching this year and do already have 21 hides, but I feel they are quality caches. Other's may think differently.<br>
<br>
I do know what you mean about the some caches, I have been to a few and thought hmmm, why bother.<br>
<br>
I have put the majority of mine (not all) out in the bush somewhere. Some with neat views and some just in nice areas of bush.<br>
<br>
My favourite caches to find are the ones that include a walk in the bush. They are really enjoyable and for us a lot of fun.<br>
<br>
Here's to the quality of Geocaching coming back up!

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GammaPiSigma
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Post by GammaPiSigma » 09 September 08 3:47 pm

I hate to say it but I have to agree. What I find disappointing are cache hides in locations that you know if the hider walked a little further they would have found a much better location.

Have to agree again with Webguy, crud breeds crud.

Maybe I have been spoilt by having a hider of Tangles capacity in my local area. The time and effort he puts in to his hides puts us all to shame but that said we do have a great local area for hiding caches in.

All you can do is to make sure that the caches you place are worth the effort to find them and hope this encourages others to make a similar effort.

My 2cents worth,
Mike

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The Spindoctors
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Post by The Spindoctors » 09 September 08 3:50 pm

The quality of geocaches that I FIND is about the same. The great thing about being a new parent is that ME time is very precious. When I go geocaching I now have to be very selective in which ones I hunt for. My time is too short searching for crap.

Also on my side is that I moved to a new city only two years ago. There are still a lot of older caches I haven't found.

Are there more crappy caches now then before? As a percentage, probably not. But with more players and more caches, the odds of finding one is greater.

I'm just glad I have so many pre-GC1xxxx geocaches to find.

Speaking about my hides - I only hide a geocache after I have scouted the area thoroughly. I want to understand the lay of the land, rather than throw one out before someone else does. It may be a month or two before I actually hide it.

My only tip for those not in my position, be more selective, use the ignore list and maybe take up Waymarking.

One other suggestion for those not happy with the standard of caches. don't search for the crap ones. By searching for it and then posting a smiley you are only encouraging that person to hide more of the same standard.
Last edited by The Spindoctors on 09 September 08 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Papa Bear_Left
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Post by Papa Bear_Left » 09 September 08 3:52 pm

I haven't done the stats, but my gut feel is that things haven't changed all that markedly in the last couple of years as far as cache size ratios are concerned.

Of course, the total number of new caches continues to rise and I think the placement rate is increasing as well. This means that, unless you live in a remote spot, you'll see a lot more nearby caches that are in suburban parks and, therefore, more likely to be small or micro.

The good thing about having lots of new caches available is that you can afford to be more selective in what you look for! Filter out the micros with low difficulty and you'll avoid a lot of the more mundane "There's a playground without a cache in it!" hides, at the risk of also missing the "wonderful hidden secret" hides.
If there's some way to filter in caches that have GCA recommendations, that'd be nice, and it might even be worth the manual effort to go through them and tick a user filter box in GSAK or something.

I still see plenty of interesting-looking caches go through my queue, so it's just a matter of finding a way to ignore the more mundane ones to keep your enjoyment up.

Just a side-thought: as a placer, I've got to the stage where I really don't mind if a new puzzle or multi gets fewer finds than it would if it were a trad, as long as the cachers who do find it, enjoy it. Quality of finds rather than quantity.
To a new hider, though, seeing lots of logs is exciting, so the incentive to (e.g.) try to split a multicache into a series of trads is there. As a reviewer, I discourage this practice to the extent that the guidelines allow, but there's still (to my mind) too many "multi-smileys" out there.

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Post by Usat31 » 09 September 08 3:52 pm

I can't beleive the amount of no-effort caches that are being hidden & approved. Micro's where a large contiainer could be hidden are one of our pet hates. Clever Micros, as Webguy has said, are good & I enjoy looking for and finding them, but the other ones are very dissapointing.
Some of the caches we have done recently are of such a poor quality that that I would not even contemplate introducing propsective cachers to the sport. It is dissappointing.

The level of interest has certainly dropped in with our kids, and it is only revived when we do a series of better qaulity caches. Swaps are getting worse by the day, to the point that we don't often swap anymore, as I don't believe a Maccas toy is a worthwhile swap.

I'm not saying that all of our caches are top level or will ever be in the "most recommended" category, but they are placed to bring people to placed that we find interesting or have a history to them. If people think otherwise, I would hope that they either say something in the log or contact me offline. At least they have all been placed with pens, logbooks and some half-decent swaps in them, and in decent solid containers - unlike a number of our local caches recently.

Just my observations....

Cheers,

Coxy

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Webguy
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Post by Webguy » 09 September 08 3:52 pm

Case in point, and I had hoped that this would not turn out like it seems to of...

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_de ... c868&log=y

Published today, hidden under a for sale sign on a vacant block, hider has no finds, and it turns out there is no logbook or pen, so, is it just an empty container??

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Post by The Spindoctors » 09 September 08 3:58 pm

Ignore it, don't find it. As the Ursa said, smileys drive their enthusiasm and they belive they did a good job.

I'm avoiding that region a tthe moment as the caches are crap. Darwin's theory of evolution will ensure it dies quickier than the dodo.

BTW - this posting will be of interest to all - http://forum.geocaching.com.au/viewtopic.php?t=7479
What concerns me is that it's a dissappointing advert for the 'sport'. What would a new geocacher (or muggle) think if all they found was geolitter.

I'm not against micros or small geocaches, but if the reward is not a large container with swaps and a fat logbook, then make it a scenic location or walk. Puzzles caches should not be immuned to this either.

If you're after 'kid-friendly' geocaches, make them large enough for kids to do swaps. If you think that every 'good' location in the ACT is taken up with a cache, get out of your car and go for a walk -- there's a HUGE National Park itching for you to walk around in.
Deja vu?

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Papa Bear_Left
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Post by Papa Bear_Left » 09 September 08 4:32 pm

The test a colleague of mine from NZ uses is: "If you were contacted by a journalist doing an article on geocaching, is this one you'd be proud to take them to?"

If you can't answer Yes, then why are you putting a cache here?

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Post by Bewilderbeest » 09 September 08 4:37 pm

Webguy wrote:
http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_de ... c868&log=y

Published today, hidden under a for sale sign on a vacant block, hider has no finds, and it turns out there is no logbook or pen, so, is it just an empty container??
I thought a logbook was part of the minimum requirements for a cache. If it hasnt got one, stick a 'Needs maintenance' flag on it and let the hider know what they should be doing.

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Post by theUMP » 09 September 08 4:47 pm

Webguy wrote:Case in point, and I had hoped that this would not turn out like it seems to of...

http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_de ... c868&log=y

Published today, hidden under a for sale sign on a vacant block, hider has no finds, and it turns out there is no logbook or pen, so, is it just an empty container??
I was watchng this one, as I'd had problems with the owner from the start. (no home coords, initially listed at ".000, .000", slow responses, one-word emails, etc.)
We're expected to assume that permission has been arranged (unless we have some reason to think that it couldn't have been), but I doubt it has in this case (what property owner would sell a vacant block "complete with its own geocache!" to a new owner?)
I've archived it now, and I kind of thought I would be doing it sooner rather than later...

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Post by feral five » 09 September 08 4:48 pm

Bewilderbeest wrote:
Webguy wrote:
http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_de ... c868&log=y

Published today, hidden under a for sale sign on a vacant block, hider has no finds, and it turns out there is no logbook or pen, so, is it just an empty container??
I thought a logbook was part of the minimum requirements for a cache. If it hasnt got one, stick a 'Needs maintenance' flag on it and let the hider know what they should be doing.
I just got back from this one. another DNF, and now i see its gone.

There was literally a scrap of paper written by a possibly a 10 yr old in a ziplock bag, wedged on the back of a for sale sign, which actually says sold, so it wont be there long.
It (the clue in the bag) said you'll find the cache buried between the four nearby posts in a cleared paddock about 20m away. A cleared paddock next to a school / pre-school with no screening or protection from muggles.

ISSUES
1. it will be mowed regularly
2. The clue in a bag will be gone in a day
3. The plovers that are nesting AT GZ didnt stop attacking me
4. it was a multi or a mystery cache at least on private land

the cache "4 Sale", seems to have vanished, and I am unable to vent on its log, hence this post :evil:

the hiders other cache was an icecream container burried on an island that floods if it rains for more than 2 minutes !!

On a happier note for those out the northwest. I have a few large PVC pipe caches ready to roll out in the next few weeks. These should have many stars for difficulty and terrain. feral five caches are micro free for the foreseeable future :lol:
Last edited by feral five on 09 September 08 4:58 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Post by caughtatwork » 09 September 08 4:52 pm

Papa Bear_Left wrote:I haven't done the stats, but my gut feel is that things haven't changed all that markedly in the last couple of years as far as cache size ratios are concerned.
Hideous and ugly, but this may help.
http://geocaching.com.au/stats/graphs/a ... es_by_size

Regulars look about the same, micros and smalls getting larger (even as a percentage).

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