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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4056

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not knocking the idea of a FAQ here on the MNGCA. But I'd be willing to bet that anyone that takes the time to be a member, lurk, and read through some of the articles, aren't the ones leaving food in caches. I could never prove it of course.
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BobboTeam
Geocacher


Joined: 11 Jun 2006

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 11:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
I am not knocking the idea of a FAQ here on the MNGCA. But I'd be willing to bet that anyone that takes the time to be a member, lurk, and read through some of the articles, aren't the ones leaving food in caches. I could never prove it of course.


I had assumed that the FAQ was information about geocaching intended for new geocachers, the general public, as well as for police and park authorities who might be interested to know what standards the MnGCA tries to instill in players of Geocaching.

I would imagine any constructive contributions to that cause are appreciated.
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rosebud55112
Geocacher


Joined: 03 May 2008

Posts: 137

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I’m not going to claim to speak for Bflentje, as he can certainly do that for himself, but I think you may be misinterpreting him. Of course, maybe I’m misinterpreting him, or misinterpreting you.

To me, his statement reads as “yes, this is a good thing to have, and if people would follow it everything would be rosy”. But the population is a spectrum, and the ones at the end of the spectrum who would most likely benefit from reading and following this, are opposite those are actually likely to read it and follow it. The ones who think “I wonder if there are rules about what to leave in a cache?” are probably introspective and clever enough to figure out on their own that food, scented candles, bubble solution, etc., don’t make good swag. That’s not to say that nobody would read this and realize they’ve been doing something that’s a no-no, but that the population that does is likely to be significantly smaller than those who should.

Still, as you point out, this is a good thing to be able to point land managers, etc., to and show them that the MnGCA is trying to be proactive in educating its members and the public about how to be a good geocacher. Something like this written up is a good basis for talks with land managers, and may answer questions they didn’t realize they had. That always seems to be a good way to gain someone’s acceptance.

Thanks to everyone who has worked on and made suggestions for this!
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spinowner
Geocacher


Joined: 25 Nov 2004

Posts: 587

PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BobboTeam wrote:
KRedEP wrote:
SWAG - no food or otherwise enticing to animals or insects

Can that be included in bold italics at the top of every page? It boggles my mind when I hike a mile into a park and find an unopened packet of two oreos in the cache. Seriously, who is going to eat a cookie that has been lying in the woods for who knows how long?


This should be extended to include anything that is intended to be put on one's person or especially in one's mouth. I have found (and disposed of) items such as ibuprofen, toothbrushes, dental floss, lip balm and sunscreen. I'm sure the people who left those items had good intentions but just didn't think it through.
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Rustynails
Geocacher


Joined: 27 Oct 2009

Posts: 791

PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="schmittfamily"]
Q - Any logging etiquette geocachers should be aware of?

When you find a creative cache DON'T just log (TFTC). Mad

I just had someone do that on one of mine. When you put work into creating a cache you want to hear something about it.
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schmittfamily
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Sep 2012

Posts: 116

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Round 2 attempt - I tried to include the feedback from round 1:

Q - I have a general Geocaching question
A - The intention of this FAQ is more specific to MN. General questions should refer to: http://www.geocaching.com/guide/


Q - Are there places in MN I can try geocaching?
A - Hyland Park does have GPSs available on a check out basis for the geocaches in their park: http://www.threeriversparks.org/parks/hyland-lake-park/hyland-visitor-center.aspx


Q - What are the land use conflicts with geocaching?
A - The placer of the geocache is responsible to obtain permission to place a geocache from the land owner. The geocache reviewers do NOT check the placement.

Outdoor activities in Minnesota geocachers should be aware of:
1. Hunting - Hunting is possible in MN from September to February. You should check the DNR website for specific information (http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/regulations/hunting/index.html). If there is a metro hunt scheduled you should treat that as a reservation and geocache somewhere else. If a cache is on private hunting land - read the description carefully. Open hunting land is available for hiking during hunting season but wear bright orange and be very respectful of hunters. It is against the law to interfer with a hunter.
2. Cross Country Skiing - Groomed trails are reserved for cross country skiers by law. Do NOT walk on, across, or within 6 feet of a groomed cross country ski trail.
3. ATV Trails and Snowmobile Trails - It is not advisable to hike on these unless specifically stated it is legal
4. Horseback trails - Designated Horseback trails are reserved for horseback riding by law. Do NOT hike on these unless hiking is allowed by signage.
5. Biking Trails - Most biking trails allow hiking


Q - Are there plants in MN geocachers should be aware of?
A - Avoid these plants:
1. Poison Ivy - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxicodendron_radicans
2. Wild Parsnip - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsnip
3. Nettles - http://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/stinging-nettle


Q - Are there animals to avoid in MN geocachers should be aware of?
A - These are the most notable:
1. Mosquitos (http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/dtopics/mosquitoborne/)
2. Ticks (http://www.cdc.gov/features/stopticks/)
3. Geese - Canadian Geese can be aggressive near their offspring
4. Bears
5. Wolves
6. Rattle snakes - typically bluff regions only


Q - MN specific activities geocachers enjoy?
A - Some to be aware of:
WNC (Week Night Caching) - these are announced on the MNGCA forum and are open. If you are new to geocaching this is a good way to meet people.
MNGCA events - These are typically announced on the forum and published as an event cache. They are open events.
Event Caches - These are published event caches on geocaching.cpm and are open.


Q - How dog friendly is MN?
A - Leashed dogs are allowed in MN State Parks. Cities do vary but most do allow dogs in their parks. If you want a specific city's policies you should check the city's webpage.


Q - Special SWAG considerations in MN geocaches?
A1 - General SWAG guidelines can be found on geocaching.com. MN will experience freezing temperatures so SWAG items that can freeze should be avoided. The most notable here is pens.
A2 - Food should never be left as SWAG - animals will find it (and probably destroy the cache in the process). In general anything that goes in your mouth is probably a bad idea.

Q - Any logging etiquette geocachers should be aware of?
A1 - If a cache needs the attention of the reviewers a "Needs Archive" log must be used. This should be used if there is reasonable reason to believe the cache is not in an approved location.
A2 - You are encouraged to log more than "TFTC". Not to imply that thanks aren't appreciated but everyone loves reading about deer sightings, or any amusing anecdotes on the hunt. Take a few moments to share your experience with others.
A3 - Try not to spoil the fun for others. Don't post photos of, or log details about, a unique cache container or any specifics of the actual hide location. Logs often contain vague and useful hints, but be cautious of making comments that give the hide away too readily. (Example: Say "I needed to improvise a tool of the trade (TOTT) and was able to make the grab" do NOT say "I found a long stick with a forked end which enabled me to lift it down off of that limb").
A4 - Logs should be encouraging to the cache owner as well as other players, and never overly critical. Constructive critique, as well as genuine concerns should be addressed via a private message—unless you are intending to warn other cache hunters of an immediate concern in the cache area, i.e., insects, construction, dangerous conditions (flooding, mudslides, sinkholes, and the like), etc.

Q - When can I hide a cache?
A - Groundspeak will allow you to hide a cache whenever you want as long as it meet the placement guidelines (http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx). In general it is recommended to wait until you have found a wide variety of caches before hiding one yourself so you are comfortable with the many nuances of hiding a cache.
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AustinMN
Geocacher


Joined: 21 Mar 2012

Posts: 110

PostPosted: Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A few edits/additions in bold, comments in italics:

Q - Are there places in MN I can try geocaching?
A - Hyland Park does have GPSs available on a check out basis for the geocaches in their park: http://www.threeriversparks.org/parks/hyland-lake-park/hyland-visitor-center.aspx
Some MN state parks have GPS units that can be checked out: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/geocaching/demo_parks.html

. . .

Q - Are there plants in MN geocachers should be aware of?
A - Avoid these plants:
1. Poison Ivy - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxicodendron_radicans
2. Wild Parsnip - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parsnip This is probably not the link you want, unless there is a subsection in the article about the MN toxic variety.
3. Nettles - http://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/flower/stinging-nettle

Q - Are there animals to avoid in MN geocachers should be aware of?
A - These are the most notable:
1. Mosquitoes (spelling) (http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/dtopics/mosquitoborne/)
2. Ticks (http://www.cdc.gov/features/stopticks/)
3. Geese - Canadian Geese can be aggressive near their offspring
4. Bears
5. Wolves
6. Rattle snakes - typically bluff regions only


Q - Any logging etiquette geocachers should be aware of?
A1 - If a cache needs the attention of the reviewers a "Needs Archive" log must be used. This should be used if there is reasonable reason to believe the cache is not in an approved location. This should only be used if there is reason to believe the cache is in gross violation of Groundpeak rules and/or in violation of law, or requires a finder to break the law to find the cache, such as trespassing. (Use this with caution - older caches may be grandfathered). You don't want the reputation of being the person who goes around getting caches archived.
A2 - You are encouraged to log more than "TFTC". Not to imply that thanks aren't appreciated but everyone loves reading about deer sightings, the reason you chose to cache here, who you were caching with, milestones achieved at this cache, or any amusing anecdotes on the hunt. Take a few moments to share your experience with others.
A3 - Try not to spoil the fun for others. Don't post photos of, or log details about, a unique cache container or any specifics of the actual hide location. Logs often contain vague and useful hints, but be cautious of making comments that give the hide away too readily. (Example: Say "I needed to improvise a tool of the trade (TOTT) and was able to make the grab" do NOT say "I found a long stick with a forked end which enabled me to lift it down off of that limb").
A4 - Logs should be encouraging to the cache owner as well as other players, and never overly critical. Constructive critique, as well as genuine concerns should be addressed via a private message—unless you are intending to warn other cache hunters of an immediate concern in the cache area, i.e., insects, construction, dangerous conditions (flooding, mudslides, sinkholes, and the like), etc.
A5 - If there is a problem with a cache that you cannot solve (container damaged, cache is obviously missing, etc.), and you cannot make the fix yourself, post a Needs Maintenance. This will alert the CO and other cachers to the problem.
A6 - Photos can be great additions to a log as long as they don't give too much away.


Hope this is helpful.

Austin
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Draconisdax
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Nov 2007

Posts: 982

PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wild Parsnip

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialplants/herbaceous/wildparsnip.html

It is not a Minnesota Variety...it is an invasive species...and it must die!!!

(Not that I have had any experience with it or anything)
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TriggerMN
Geocacher


Joined: 28 Jan 2013

Posts: 33

PostPosted: Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArcherDragoon wrote:
Wild Parsnip

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/invasives/terrestrialplants/herbaceous/wildparsnip.html

It is not a Minnesota Variety...it is an invasive species...and it must die!!!

(Not that I have had any experience with it or anything)


The scars on my neck can attest to this! Sad
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BobboTeam
Geocacher


Joined: 11 Jun 2006

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AustinMN wrote:
A few edits/additions in bold, comments in italics:
A1 - If a cache needs the attention of the reviewers a "Needs Archive" log must be used. This should be used if there is reasonable reason to believe the cache is not in an approved location. This should only be used if there is reason to believe the cache is in gross violation of Groundpeak rules and/or in violation of law, or requires a finder to break the law to find the cache, such as trespassing. (Use this with caution - older caches may be grandfathered). You don't want the reputation of being the person who goes around getting caches archived.


Needs Archived should be used cautiously, of course. But, I think that last sentence about reputation is definitely not needed in an FAQ.

I apparently have a very small reputation for being a person who goes around getting caches archived. A few of the requests I have made were not granted and/or were (fortunately) forestalled by the cache owner finally responding to correspondence and maintenance requests. Of the caches archived at my request, however, none have been re-activated after the fact. In other words, I firmly believe there is a place for getting caches archived, and all players should utilize this option to help remove dead and abandoned caches from the active lists, when they feel it is appropriate. Archiving opens areas for new hides and makes for a better cache hunting experience. As cache hunters or cache owners, we should all work to ensure that when a cache is listed as active, it is, in fact, active and can be found.

Here is what I would prefer to see:
A1 - If a cache needs the attention of the reviewers a "Needs Archived" log must be used. This should only be used if there is reason to believe the cache is in gross violation of Groundspeak rules, is placed in violation of law or requires a finder to break the law to find the cache (such as trespassing), or is known to be missing and abandoned by the cache owner. (Use this with caution! Some older caches may have been placed under different rules and guidelines and remain valid. Not finding a cache is definitely not the same as knowing it to be missing.)
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MN.Fruitcake
Minnesota Reviewer


Joined: 18 Oct 2010

Posts: 34

PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2013 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BobboTeam wrote:
Here is what I would prefer to see:
A1 - If a cache needs the attention of the reviewers a "Needs Archived" log must be used. This should only be used if there is reason to believe the cache is in gross violation of Groundspeak rules, is placed in violation of law or requires a finder to break the law to find the cache (such as trespassing), or is known to be missing and abandoned by the cache owner. (Use this with caution! Some older caches may have been placed under different rules and guidelines and remain valid. Not finding a cache is definitely not the same as knowing it to be missing.)


While all of this is accurate, it could imply that some older caches were placed under guidelines that allowed trespassing or had different maintenance requirements which isn't the case.
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BobboTeam
Geocacher


Joined: 11 Jun 2006

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2013 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MN.Fruitcake wrote:
While all of this is accurate, it could imply that some older caches were placed under guidelines that allowed trespassing or had different maintenance requirements which isn't the case.


Looking at this with fresh eyes, I completely agree. Perhaps the following is better?

A1 - If a cache needs the attention of a reviewer, a "Needs Archived" log must be used. This should only be used if there is reason to believe the cache is in gross violation of Groundspeak rules, is placed in violation of law or requires a finder to break the law to find the cache (such as trespassing), or the cache is known to be missing and abandoned by the cache owner. (Use this with caution! Not finding a cache is definitely not the same as knowing it to be missing. Also, Groundspeak rules and regional laws for placement can change over time, as a result there may be a very few, rare exceptions. Having said this, trespassing is never okay, and all illegally placed caches should be brought to the attention of the local reviewer.)
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5708

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to the schmittfamily and everyone's contributions, this has been published!:

http://mngca.org/FAQ

It's also linked from a tab along the top of the front page of the MnGCA site.

I've moved this thread to the MnGCA website forum.
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RudeRat
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 Jul 2008

Posts: 798

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks good. Here are a few suggestions:

There are more firearm related injuries during the spring turkey hunt than any other season. I’d add April and May to the list.

Minnesota has plenty of Moose and Cougar. You might want to add them to the list of animals to be aware of.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5708

PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm working to make schmittfamily the maintainer of the FAQ - they will be the ones to incorporate changes.

Thanks!
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