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

For all your general chit chat, caching or not.

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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djcache
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My 2c

Post by djcache » 15 September 08 11:25 pm

...those caches you don't think much of, are better than sitting at home doing nothing...
This may be so but who said they'd be doing nothing? I have lots of valuable things to take up my time around home, most people do.

I often wonder if "numbers cachers" maybe driving around all day doing seemingly pointless caches are considering that they are just consuming $$$ in fuel & generating copious quantities of greenhouse gas...

Where at least if there's a point to the cache - something educational, interesting, historic, scenic, fantastic location or hide - it can help me rationalise why I spent the time & money getting to it.

One of the masters of quality management & theory of the last century offers a few quotes of relevance to this discussion:

Does experience help? NO! Not if we are doing the wrong things.

Quality is everyone's responsibility.
(W Edwards Deming)


Is caching for numbers environmentally friendly? It's an interesting question to me. It certainly contributes to my reason for not being a "numbers cacher".

Do ordinary caches (by my estimation at least) promote numbers caching? Probably.

Is there any point in ordinary caches other than to encourage people to travel places they would otherwise have not, chewing up fuel? Possibly.

Is driving an extra 10km out of your way to find a film container poked into a cranny in an otherwise uninteresting park or laneway good for caching or the environment? Nup. And it validates the hide to the hider.

Don't interpret this as me criticising those that do. I couldn't care less and I'm not trying to be judgemental. I'm just putting some of my thoughts on the issue out there.

I don't often go very far out of my way to do caches [img]unless[/img] the cache page indicates to me that I or the kids are going to be rewarded by visiting something that will leave us with a valuable experience. I place caches for others to have the an experience that would meet or exceed my own expectations.

If a cache I wouldn't normally jump at is on my route I might stop for it if I feel like stopping. I drive past plenty though. Even so my stats say that I've done 38381 km caching. Many of those kms I'd have done anyway as I enjoy outback travel & 4wd touring. But I reckon if I was a prolific cacher I'd have doubled that by now.

I'd love to see a statistician work out how many tonnes of greenhouse gas caching generates each week, and how much of that is discretional travel - travel they'd not have done otherwise. I don't even know if that can be done.

Food for thought. Just my 2c.

DJ

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Spruce Mooses
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Post by Spruce Mooses » 17 September 08 12:02 pm

I came across a cache this morning that would probabaly fall into the category of a crap cache. You can find it here.
I read the notes from home -quite poor spelling and not a great description and to top it off they'd said it was in a butter container. Given that it was so close to work I thought I'd check it out anyway and give some feedback.

The location was OK, by the side of a country road. Thankfully it was a gorgeous sunny morning and the birds and frogs chirping away made it a pleasant find. The hide was alright apart from the container, so I just swapped it over for a tupperware style container and signed the log with some positive comments.

Why did I do this?

Quite obviously from the handwriting in the book, the cache was hidden by some kids - probably still primary aged ones at that.

Do I destroy their first attempt at a cache because it's not a solid camoed hide with awesome swaps and a gorgeous view? They probably just like the 'finding something hidden' part of caching so none of that really matters!

Instead, I made contructive comments in the online log, and sent them an email asking if they'd like a hand putting their next cache out!

Bitching about the initial crappy hide isn't going to help caching into the future.

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Geodes
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Post by Geodes » 17 September 08 2:51 pm

Spruce Mooses wrote:I came across a cache this morning that would probabaly fall into the category of a crap cache. You can find it here.
I read the notes from home -quite poor spelling and not a great description and to top it off they'd said it was in a butter container. Given that it was so close to work I thought I'd check it out anyway and give some feedback.

The location was OK, by the side of a country road. Thankfully it was a gorgeous sunny morning and the birds and frogs chirping away made it a pleasant find. The hide was alright apart from the container, so I just swapped it over for a tupperware style container and signed the log with some positive comments.

Why did I do this?

Quite obviously from the handwriting in the book, the cache was hidden by some kids - probably still primary aged ones at that.

Do I destroy their first attempt at a cache because it's not a solid camoed hide with awesome swaps and a gorgeous view? They probably just like the 'finding something hidden' part of caching so none of that really matters!

Instead, I made contructive comments in the online log, and sent them an email asking if they'd like a hand putting their next cache out!

Bitching about the initial crappy hide isn't going to help caching into the future.
It must be good - it's for premium members only :!:

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penguin
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Post by penguin » 17 September 08 9:46 pm

Spruce Mooses wrote: Instead, I made contructive comments in the online log, and sent them an email asking if they'd like a hand putting their next cache out!

Bitching about the initial crappy hide isn't going to help caching into the future.
Now that's a positive way to prevent 'crappy' cache placement. Nice work. :)

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djcache
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Post by djcache » 17 September 08 10:16 pm

Nice work! Can I see your Department of Justice, Working with Children permit please...

Tongue removed from cheek now...

:)

DJ

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Richary
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Post by Richary » 18 September 08 1:24 am

Currently in WA for work (fly home tomorrow). I am trying to get a handle on this lets put a container (decent or otherwise) inside a plastic shopping bag syndrome that seems to be prevalent here.

So far everything from an ice cream container to an ammo tin. But all nicely wrapped in a shopping bag. Which after a few months just starts disintegrating and blowing plastic bits all over the environment. And some of them makes the hide more obvious as they are brightly coloured (at least those were in the bush).

rhinogeo
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Post by rhinogeo » 18 September 08 12:28 pm

richary wrote:Currently in WA for work (fly home tomorrow). I am trying to get a handle on this lets put a container (decent or otherwise) inside a plastic shopping bag syndrome that seems to be prevalent here.

So far everything from an ice cream container to an ammo tin. But all nicely wrapped in a shopping bag. Which after a few months just starts disintegrating and blowing plastic bits all over the environment. And some of them makes the hide more obvious as they are brightly coloured (at least those were in the bush).
Why would anyone put an ammo box inside a plastic bag :?

Is it a result of monkey see, monkey do by newbies?

Last weekend I found a rare (in VIC) example of the cache in a bag phenomena :shock: I suspect it was to protect the rather dodgy container from the elements but it's resulted in a minor case of condensation and mould ... so far :roll:

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If
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Caching anyone ?

Post by If » 18 September 08 11:09 pm

I guess as the years have passed the technology to go caching has become more available to the masses :)
No longer is it the exclusive domain of a few 'geeks' forming an exclusive club where competition and cleverness were the driving force behind hiding a cache. It seems inevitable that the percieved quality of caches would drop as the sport/hobby developed outside the confines of universities and professional domains :D
With the widespread availability of the WWW anyone can now take part 8)

The BBC show "The Goodies" had a great quote in one episode.
"There are four types of people. A,B,C and D.
D for dumb, C for clever, B for brilliant and A for advertising men".
We can't all be in advertising :lol:

Duck...

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Papa Bear_Left
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Post by Papa Bear_Left » 19 September 08 12:51 am

richary wrote:Currently in WA for work (fly home tomorrow). I am trying to get a handle on this lets put a container (decent or otherwise) inside a plastic shopping bag syndrome that seems to be prevalent here
The only version of this that I can understand is the inside-out courier bag that gets used to make a less-intriguing object under a bush than a tempting ammo can or lunchbox. At least they're tough and seem to survive for quite awhile, even if they do encourage moisture, mould and spiders!

The shopping bag thing, though, I agree with. Using it as a camo method shows lack of care and imagination in the placement and awareness of its temporary nature.

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Alpini
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Post by Alpini » 19 September 08 9:50 am

In total I think the percentage of goodies is going down, but this is mere due to the increasing number of average to crap caches.
From Germany I can tell there was an episode when each and every tree in 160 m radius without a WP inside that radius was equipped with a micro in some regions.
I did not went much caching in that region and at that time.
Now from my last visit in Germany I can report there was a new caching team setting up one of the most enjoyable caches done in my whole carrier.
In Oz the GeosportZ game helped me a lot to sort out really good ones and although not doing too much caches the weekends were filled with fun.
And that comes to another point, caching alone is good and with nice fellow cachers it is even more fun, than I even can accpet a crap one in between.
However hiding good ones is getting more difficult nowadays as the best locations are normally occupied, thus you have to focus on hides, camouflage and story in my eyes despite the container.
Cheers
Alpini

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mtrax
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Post by mtrax » 19 September 08 10:22 am

Perhaps going forward we need another tier of caches.

eg rated and unrated caches.

The rated caches are those which have been "seen" by approved cachers and given the tick of approval.

by default all caches are un-rated till designated or perhaps "senior cachers" have visited them and given a tick.

This method would allow novices to still hide but the rating wouldn't be overly subjective ie the rated cache don't necessary have a good/bad rating just a tick for ok.

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Alpini
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Post by Alpini » 19 September 08 10:37 am

Yes that is a way, but unfortunately GC.com has not that function.
In Germany I think some of the regional forums took on an idea for the best cache of the last month. But again there it was more mouth to mouth propaganda which helped me to get to the cache I was refering to to get to roughly 360 founds in about three months time and not one of the finders was disappointed.
However if you attract masses you attract also less cooperative cachers and thus this cache is tat the moment disabled and a hider of high quality is may frustrated...
For GCA the recommend function is the solution in my eyes and it would be great if that could be copied to GC.com. But they probbaly spend more time on wherigo or design issues...

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Richary
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Post by Richary » 19 September 08 10:32 pm

Papa Bear_Left wrote:The shopping bag thing, though, I agree with. Using it as a camo method shows lack of care and imagination in the placement and awareness of its temporary nature.
Unfortunately in some cases it wasn't even a camo method. I guess the worst example was a 4 litre ice cream container in a bright blue, heavy duty, shopping bag stashed behind a log with no covering. So it was purely a protection from the elements thing.

If anyone decided to walk 50 metres off the track into a recently logged area it would be clearly visible. This was about 70km south of Perth CBD in the hills, and yes it is I believe a fairly new cacher.

The other hide nearby by the same cacher was at least somewhat better, though the parking area was littered with broken windscreens. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the bush the caches were found in or the drive to get there, but the hides and actual spots needed a little more thought.

And before anyone asks, I am definitely not running down WA caches. The last few days I found a number of ones that took me to very nice areas with a surprise location at the end. Just a couple of bad examples mixed in with some very nice ones.

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Post by team unicycle » 20 September 08 9:32 am

richary wrote:... Which after a few months just starts disintegrating and blowing plastic bits all over the environment
After a few months? I thought plastic bags lasted 1000 years :P

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Post by zactyl » 20 September 08 11:18 am

I've found one in the fork of a tree that was in a biodegradable doggie bag, one of those that break down when exposed to rain and sun y'know?! :P

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