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Screws/Nails/Holes
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5690
Location: north of Duluth

PostPosted: Sat Jul 02, 2011 5:50 am    Post subject: Screws/Nails/Holes Reply with quote

I've seen some disturbing caches lately that I've decided would be best to share with the community, not in an effort to make the owners of these particular caches fell bad or to call them out, but rather to help to educate people on the issue. I'm hoping this is something we can all have a good discussion about and learn something from.

What I've seen recently is more and more caches that are screwed or nailed to trees, signs posts, wooden signs, caches that are buried, caches that have been hidden by drilling out holes in objects, trees (dead or alive), buried in the ground, etc.

This is bad on various levels, but I'll highlight what I believe the top two are:

First, it's prohibited by the guidelines that we all agree to when we hide a cache:

http://support.groundspeak.com/index.php?pg=kb.page&id=304#buried

Code:
3.  Geocaches are never buried. If a shovel, trowel or other pointy object is used to dig or break ground, whether in order to hide or to find the cache, then it is not permitted.

4.  Geocache placements do not deface or destroy public or private property. Geocaches are placed so that the surrounding environment is safe from both intentional or unintentional harm. Keep both natural and human-made objects safe. No object or property may be altered to provide a hiding place, clue, or means of logging a find.


Secondly (and what I believe is the reason for the guideline,) is this places geocaches and geocachers in a bad light with people who find our caches. This can be the occasional muggle, but it can also be land managers. Real policies in Minnesota have come about because of issues like this, and it only takes one cache to wreck an area for the rest of us. Land managers DO randomly look at caches to see what type of an impact geocaching is having on the land they manage.

Even if you think that it's not an issue on the land where you hid the cache (perhaps it's your own land, or land that the manager has given the go-ahead on), other cachers (especially newbies) don't always grasp the difference.

A few examples:

Arrow A large hook screwed into a tree in a National Forest. Should the USFS look at the cache it could have negative consequences for not only caches in that National Forest (which is quite expansive), but also National Forests across the country. Do you want your cache GCabcde to be the example cache that got caches banned from National Forests?

Arrow A hole bored into a tree to facilitate hiding a cache. I've seen this numerous times in both living and dead items, both of which can have unintended consequences.

Arrow A bird house screwed to a tree.

Arrow A piece of PVC buried in the ground.

These types of hides, while I agree are often creative hides and very interesting and fun to find, are going to create problems for all of us down the road.

In full disclosure, I've had hides that have been questionable as well (I've used a nail a couple of times on posts). I've re-done the hides of my own that I'm aware of to eliminate the issues, and am simply asking the same from the rest of you.

Want to make a crafty hide? I know I'm most impressed by one that doesn't get it's craftiness illegally.
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jerpete
Geocacher


Joined: 11 Jun 2007

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for bringing this up.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4019

PostPosted: Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:34 am    Post subject: Re: Screws/Nails/Holes Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
I've seen some disturbing caches lately that I've decided would be best to share with the community, not in an effort to make the owners of these particular caches fell bad or to call them out, but rather to help to educate people on the issue. I'm hoping this is something we can all have a good discussion about and learn something from.

What I've seen recently is more and more caches that are screwed or nailed to trees, signs posts, wooden signs, caches that are buried, caches that have been hidden by drilling out holes in objects, trees (dead or alive), buried in the ground, etc.


I am not disagreeing on following the guidelines. However, with as much as I get around, I personally have NOT seen an incease in this kind of activity.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5690
Location: north of Duluth

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Screws/Nails/Holes Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
I am not disagreeing on following the guidelines. However, with as much as I get around, I personally have NOT seen an incease in this kind of activity.


I think some of it is because I'm more aware of what the guidelines say now, so these types of things stand out more to me.

I think it's also sometimes a localized thing - once someone in an area does it then it gets duplicated pretty quick by people that see it and think it's acceptable practice or a good way to hide a cache.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4019

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Screws/Nails/Holes Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
bflentje wrote:
I am not disagreeing on following the guidelines. However, with as much as I get around, I personally have NOT seen an incease in this kind of activity.


I think some of it is because I'm more aware of what the guidelines say now, so these types of things stand out more to me.

I think it's also sometimes a localized thing - once someone in an area does it then it gets duplicated pretty quick by people that see it and think it's acceptable practice or a good way to hide a cache.


Localized maybe. But I too am quite aware of the guidelines without having the overhead of being a reviewer. Wink
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5690
Location: north of Duluth

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Screws/Nails/Holes Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
Pear Head wrote:
bflentje wrote:
I am not disagreeing on following the guidelines. However, with as much as I get around, I personally have NOT seen an incease in this kind of activity.


I think some of it is because I'm more aware of what the guidelines say now, so these types of things stand out more to me.

I think it's also sometimes a localized thing - once someone in an area does it then it gets duplicated pretty quick by people that see it and think it's acceptable practice or a good way to hide a cache.


Localized maybe. But I too am quite aware of the guidelines without having the overhead of being a reviewer. Wink


My point was more that perhaps I see an increase in the activity because I'm more aware of what the guidelines say now versus a couple of years ago, not to say that you're not seeing them because you don't know what the guidelines say (which I know isn't the case).
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4019

PostPosted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 9:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Screws/Nails/Holes Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
bflentje wrote:
Pear Head wrote:
bflentje wrote:
I am not disagreeing on following the guidelines. However, with as much as I get around, I personally have NOT seen an incease in this kind of activity.


I think some of it is because I'm more aware of what the guidelines say now, so these types of things stand out more to me.

I think it's also sometimes a localized thing - once someone in an area does it then it gets duplicated pretty quick by people that see it and think it's acceptable practice or a good way to hide a cache.


Localized maybe. But I too am quite aware of the guidelines without having the overhead of being a reviewer. Wink


My point was more that perhaps I see an increase in the activity because I'm more aware of what the guidelines say now versus a couple of years ago, not to say that you're not seeing them because you don't know what the guidelines say (which I know isn't the case).


I know what you meant Smile
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emmanogoldfish
Geocacher


Joined: 26 Oct 2007

Posts: 106

PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The violations you speak of are often the caches with favorite points which makes me ponder the intent of the vote, was it for the cache or the rule bending?

PVC pipes, metal posts, wooden stakes, etc. pounded into the ground are also buried even though a pointy object was not used.

Sadly the some of the most creative caches end up being secured by mechanical fasteners.

The few State Parks caches that I did were the best collection of how not to hide a cache, screws into dead trees, staples in sign posts, holes bored in posts and a cache hidden beyond the trail closed.
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minnesotabrad
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 03 Mar 2007

Posts: 1264
Location: Brooklyn Center MN

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hate to say this but I think every cache I have found other that a bison tube hanging in a tree or a skirt lifter breaks #4. But I hope people are using common sense and not being destructive when hiding a cache.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4019

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

minnesotabrad wrote:
I hate to say this but I think every cache I have found other that a bison tube hanging in a tree or a skirt lifter breaks #4. But I hope people are using common sense and not being destructive when hiding a cache.


I think people are far more destructive when looking for caches.
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minnesotabrad
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 03 Mar 2007

Posts: 1264
Location: Brooklyn Center MN

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
minnesotabrad wrote:
I hate to say this but I think every cache I have found other that a bison tube hanging in a tree or a skirt lifter breaks #4. But I hope people are using common sense and not being destructive when hiding a cache.


I think people are far more destructive when looking for caches.


I think you are right. I have been amazed at what some people do to find a cache.
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King Boreas
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 2438
Location: Exploring Minnesota

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
minnesotabrad wrote:
I hate to say this but I think every cache I have found other that a bison tube hanging in a tree or a skirt lifter breaks #4. But I hope people are using common sense and not being destructive when hiding a cache.


I think people are far more destructive when looking for caches.


I know people are far more destructive when looking for caches.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5690
Location: north of Duluth

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At that point it's up to the cache owner to deal with the problem as well. Maybe it's moving the cache, maybe it's archiving the listing...
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minnesotabrad
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 03 Mar 2007

Posts: 1264
Location: Brooklyn Center MN

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
At that point it's up to the cache owner to deal with the problem as well. Maybe it's moving the cache, maybe it's archiving the listing...


Unfortunatley that may mean the same day as published.
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5690
Location: north of Duluth

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

minnesotabrad wrote:
Pear Head wrote:
At that point it's up to the cache owner to deal with the problem as well. Maybe it's moving the cache, maybe it's archiving the listing...


Unfortunatley that may mean the same day as published.


That's true too. I guess part of the reason for the thread was to point some of these issues out - to get people to start thinking of these types of things. It's an issue for both the owner and, as pointed out, often times the finders as well, although the ultimate responsibility comes back to the cache owner to ensure that the hide is not causing damage.
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