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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McPhan
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Post by McPhan » 12 September 08 8:12 am

Thanks for that Squirrel, I've been stewing for a while on that post.

Incidentally, I thought the Topic was "The steady decline of the quality of geocaching...." not "The steady decline of the quality of geocaching in Canberra based on 13 finds."

I've done a lot of caches in Victoria and would have to say - urban caches are urban caches no matter where. There are good bad and ugly.

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Marcus Vitruvius
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Post by Marcus Vitruvius » 12 September 08 10:50 am

Having only been caching for just over a year now...I can't really comment on the so called 'good ol' days', but I get the drift. In my short experience, I don't think caching in general is really on the decline, I just think that because there is an influx of new cachers in any area, and new caches being published all the time, you are going to notice the bad one more often because there are more of them.<br><br>

I really hate to call any cache just plain 'bad', but what usually ticks me off the most about some caches, and there is one prime type of example...and that is when the cache looks like it has been placed by chucking it out the window of a car and has landed in a tree..ie with no historical info, no real relevance for a hiding a cache in this specific spot...it doesn't differentiate this location from any other, you can pretty much spot the cache when you arrive within 10m of GZ, and worst of all...the container is cheap as well as the log sheet.<br><br>

Now for some, that scenario might sound like one in a million, but I can assure you it isn't. As SS said previously, I too try to think why that person has placed the cache here and in this particular manner, and most times you can give them the benefit of the doubt. But it's the caches you see that have had absolutely no effort put into them whatsoever, other than spending the 10 mins needed to write up a cache page, that I think ticks most caches off. And on a side note, having spent numerous trips to Canberra for caching, I've loved every minute of it. The effort that goes into some of those puzzles is truly amazing.<br><br>

Having said all that, when it comes down to it, if someone has put out a so called 'bad' hide, they have still spent the 10 mins needed to write up the cache page and publish it, so I guess some effort, no matter how small, has gone into the cache. This is why it makes it all the more special when you see how much work has gone into some caches, and the ultimate reason why more people should recommended them on GCA.<br><br>

So whats the answer to improving the situation of 'bad' caches...that I'm not sure, but topics like this this on the forums, no matter how repetitive they might be...are a good thing. If just one new cacher sees this topic, and sees how much passion there is in geocaching, then they might take that little bit extra time when deciding to place their next cache, which continues to influence caching in their area, and influence others around it. After all...geocachers are a pretty good bunch of people...well the ones I've met are anyway, so I don't think anyone goes out to deliberately place a 'a bad' cache. :D<br><br>

Although that '4 sale' cache...I think qualifies as a 'bad' cache! :shock: I still can't stop laughing about that one.

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stealth_ninja_penguin
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Post by stealth_ninja_penguin » 12 September 08 1:20 pm

Marcus Vitruvius wrote:After all...geocachers are a pretty good bunch of people...
After seeing on the forums the self justifications, the us and them mentality of (some) oldies to newbies, witch hunts, personal attacks and wild reactions, sometimes one could form another opinion :shock: Sometimes things get way out of hand as most of us have probably seen. If it does come down to choosing sides then we are all on the same side. And yes, plenty of cachers are great people.

Expanding a little on Webguy's initial thread, I think its not only the quality of the hide but all things caching that we should always look to improve on (not that all is bad, more that we can always make things better). Some of these things are, cache placements, conduct in forums, conduct when finding (obeying the local signage (if it says please don't touch, then don't touch :!: ), interaction with the public). That way we protect and promote our sport/hobby and can be embraced by the public too rather than be seen as .... something less.

I suggested before, requesting someone (voluntarily) beta test our caches. It could be a good opportunity to interact with a cacher we don't know and hey, for their effort maybe they can get the FTF.

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SecretSquirrel-BJC
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Post by SecretSquirrel-BJC » 12 September 08 6:30 pm

How can we turn this thread into something more positive now?

We don't really need to keep venting.

Let's keep focussing on positive steps which we can take personally and communally to encourage the improvement of the quality of hides, without trying to put others in a straight jacket of how what constitutes a good cache, and without discouraging others?

And some other points..

1. "praise in public, constructively criticize in private". Speak honestly without being too blunt in public logs and forums can avoid discouraging other cachers.

2. create quality hides and caches as examples and benchmarks for others

3. considered, balanced participation in forums
"less us and them mentality of (some) oldies to newbies, witch hunts, personal attacks and wild reactions"

4. keep an open mind about what constitutes a good cache and respect the opinions of others. I am about to cringe from what I am about to say next.."Celebrate diversity!" (have I been brainwashed in the Public Service for too long?)

5. Engaging new cachers early and welcoming them into the community,
perhaps recommending some good benchmark hides etc.

6. Perhaps creating more bookmark lists to assist visitors to a region to spot the caches they prefer

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winglen
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Post by winglen » 12 September 08 7:49 pm

OK, I'm another Canberran but between my other half and I we have cached in every state, and seen the good and bad caches of every capital city. I could point out some shockers around Salisbury in Adelaide, but there are some remarkably clever ones in the city centre too. I could comment at the surprising number of nanos in a place the size of the Northern Territory, but as I didn't venture far off the highway I assume I didn't take a representative sample! And so on....

In every city the caches are a mixed bag, and all that does is prove that everyone is different. There are lots of caches where someone appears to have hurled it out the car window without any prior thought, and then there are the hides so clever you remember them for months.

In defence of Canberra, there are some pretty smart hides and some great hilltops to climb. Great national monuments to tour and find a cheeky micro in a public place. And Djcache, if your visit didn't include Namadgi National Park, you have really short changed yourself. Next time you're in town send us an email and we will happily recommend some good caches in clever or scenic spots.

By the way I like the idea of explaining in 25 words or less why you placed the cache. If it is an unremarkable location (such as that well known industrial estate!!) this might cause someone to think again.

Rabbitto
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Post by Rabbitto » 12 September 08 9:07 pm

"Things aren't getting worse. You're just getting less tolerant" - Rabbitto - 1982

<p>You can quote me.

<p>Before saying things are worse, first check if your perception has changed. "But how do I do that?" I hear you ask. Great question. Let's check these examples -

<p> Example 1
<br>I have an odd sense of humour. Bad? Well, maybe but let's just settle on odd for the sake of this argument. My brain will think of a very bad pun in any situation in about a nano-second from your last comment coming out of your mouth. If you have only just met me, you may think this humourous, possibly quirky, hopefully endearing. My strange ability does not stop at one or two. I can rattle them off all day every day. Ask anyone who has been on a geocaching trip with me.

There is one constant however. Sooner or later you will say "You are getting worse!". Haven't said it yet? Probably haven't hung around me long enough. Give it time. But have I gotten worse. Really, no. I have been able to do this since probably about 16 or 17 years old. It probably fine tuned over the first few years but it has been pretty constant since that time. So worse. definitely not. (Hey I have had to live with my brain every day for quite a while, I should know) So what has changed? Your perception. What was novel at first has now become grating. (Please do not ask me to stop. I cannot. The best that I can promise is that I will try to filter out some of the really bad ones out on a good day) But I digress...

<p> Example 2
<br>I used to work at Arnott's Biscuits for a good number of years. Every now and then we would be able to buy bargain priced biscuits from the staff shop. When 'Goldfish' first came out, they over produced for the opening production run and had them coming out of their ears. I hadn't tried them so I brought a packet home for the family and we all loved them.

<p>So the next day, I bought a box of 24......

<p>The first few packets were great. By the sixth or seventh packet the novelty was starting to wear off and by the tenth, we had all gone off them. Not wanting to waste, I continued on alone and within the next couple of packets I grew to loathe them. Ever heard the saying - Too much of a good thing? The last few packets were given away to neighbours and friends who all said "Wow, they are really nice". Same little crackers. Same taste. Now a different perception. They hadn't changed. So what was different? We were.

<p> Example 3
<br>At the Cadbury Chocolate factory they have (or at least had - it may have changed) a rule that staff were welcome to eat as much chocolate as they wanted whilst at work. As long as you don't take it out with you "Munch away". How much chocolate did they lose. A surprisingly small amount. It is the same tasty chocolate day in day out. But staff went all out for the first few days then their perception changed and they ate less and less.

<p> Example 4
<br>Listen to the Monty Python "Cheese Shop" sketch with particular reference to the Bazooki.

<p> The Point
<br> "Crickey, he has finally gotten to a point" Before saying that something is getting worse, don't forget to check your perception and experience in at the gate.

<p>Ever bought that great shirt that you loved but after a while you grew to hate it?

<p>Ever seen people have a relationship with someone they think is the bees knees, only to end up in a split a few years later.

<p>Ever thought that it was a good idea to get a tattoo and a few years later realise that it was a mistake (Sucks to be you, they don't easily come off)

<p>For all those who say, things are getting worse, try this test. Go back through your first 100 caches and your last 100 caches and run a comparison - but - Take off your rose colouered glasses for those first hundred and fairly compare to the last hundred. Be really, really fair. I'll bet that you find that the standard has not really changed that much.

<p>So perception aside, putting down the new breed of geocachers (those ones who are on their first day working at the Cadbury factory) this is the result....

<p>Image

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winterdragon
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Post by winterdragon » 12 September 08 9:25 pm

(in yorkshire accent).. Of course, we 'ad it tough! We 'ad to get up at 1AM, an hour before we went to bed, and walk three hundred mile with no shoes, to geocaching shop to buy printed listing. Then we 'ad to spend a week in pouring rain, searching every tree in state forest, 'cause GPS 'adn't been invented. And then cache turned out to be paper bag in septic tank, and there weren't no swaps or pen or logbook. Then we had to fill in 100 page form in blood so that we could log find. And you try telling the young cachers of today that, and they won't believe you...

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big dazza
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Post by big dazza » 12 September 08 11:52 pm

I think Rabbitto has said it all.

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tronador
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Post by tronador » 13 September 08 11:14 am

big dazza wrote:I think Rabbitto has said it all.
Ditto :D

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Post by mundoo » 13 September 08 11:46 am

tronador wrote:
big dazza wrote:I think Rabbitto has said it all.
Ditto :D
Double ditto.

And I felt sad for the little cache. sniffle.

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stevenwill
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Post by stevenwill » 13 September 08 1:03 pm

All caches are good caches, it gets us out, if like a SecretSquirrel caches your brain also gets a work out and you get to find something at the end!
What could be better than that? :lol:
I must say if I found a cache without a log I would log it as needs maintenance, mainly so the newbie can improve his hide. Lets always try be constructive in our criticism, this way we can keep raising the bar, not just upsetting people because of our own judgemental ideas!

And if you really do not like some ones caches dont do them, put them on your exclusion list.

Personally I like the variety not knowing what you will find. I still remember one of SSQ caches that I found in a town that was "massive" what a pleasant surprise, the memory will always remain with me, I also remember a cache "some thing to do with a stick" took me ages but got it in the end, but I do not exspect them all to be like that.

My motto: If you are doing it, enjoy doing it, else do something else.

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Post by feral five » 13 September 08 3:03 pm

winterdragon wrote:(in yorkshire accent).. Of course, we 'ad it tough! We 'ad to get up at 1AM, an hour before we went to bed, and walk three hundred mile with no shoes, to geocaching shop to buy printed listing. Then we 'ad to spend a week in pouring rain, searching every tree in state forest, 'cause GPS 'adn't been invented. And then cache turned out to be paper bag in septic tank......... And you try telling the young cachers of today that, and they won't believe you...
Luxury.... we used to dream of caches in a septic tank. Would 'ha been a palace to us

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Post by caughtatwork » 13 September 08 4:45 pm

And if you really do not like some ones caches dont do them, put them on your exclusion list.
But I don't know it's unworthy until I'm there and found it. Even pigs without ears sometimes make a silk purse.

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McPhan
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Post by McPhan » 13 September 08 7:41 pm

caughtatwork wrote:Even pigs without ears sometimes make a silk purse.
I'm guessing they use a diagram then? Oral instructions wouldn't work.

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Post by caughtatwork » 13 September 08 10:51 pm

McPhan wrote:
caughtatwork wrote:Even pigs without ears sometimes make a silk purse.
I'm guessing they use a diagram then? Oral instructions wouldn't work.
Braille might be in use somewhere :-)

Co-incidentally, today I did 5 caches. Of those 5 I rated one a 5, one a 4 and the remaining 3, each got a 3 (one was a borderline 2 though). A very good hit rate from 5 caches.

Three were 1 litre sistemas, one was a 200ml sistema and one was a 200ml lunch box which wouldn't seal properly.

All bar 1 were essentially driveby's, but the one that got a 4 rating was a decent walk up and down a hill to the location of the Sunbury Music Fesitval all those years ago. The one I gave a 5 was a driveby, but the panoramic view was spectacular.

There was some nice history in the caches I hit today and that is always welcomed.

None of the caches today was painted, but three had stickers attached to the lid explaining what they were. Nice touch. The other two seemed to be a quick grab from the cupboard with no effort to cammo them up in any way.

4 were under bushes/shrubs/trees. One was in a guard rail 2m from a road. It was just shoved in there with no attempt to attach a magnet so it wouldn't fall out.

Each had their charm, so I wasn't disappointed, but the apparent lack of effort to put some "pride" into some of the hides was just not there, so I came away a little deflated.

Not everything will be a silk purse, but a few sows ears were still in play today.

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