MnGCA Home MnGCA
Minnesota Geocaching Association
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   User listUser list   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Food for thought when creating/maintaining a cache
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    MnGCA Forum Index -> General
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
NeverSummer
Geocacher


Joined: 20 Feb 2009

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:14 pm    Post subject: Food for thought when creating/maintaining a cache Reply with quote

There is a thread going on the geocaching.com site that is discussing the placement of caches. Some of it is, well, what it is, but there was a good section of thoughts about placing caches and maintaining their listings that came up:

"1. Why would I bring someone here?
2. Can I get permissions?
3. What is the best spot in this location to hide a cache?
4. What is the best container for that spot?
5. Who am I hiding it from?
6. What will this area look like in 6 months?
7. Can the cache last at least 3 months without being detected by muggles?
8. When it IS detected by muggles, do they have good reason to suspect it's a bomb or trash?



After answering these questions, go get permissions, make your cache to suit the spot (instead of using a cache you already have out of convenience) and make a good cache page.
Come back and ask your self all these question again and add 2 more:

9. Have I accurately rated the difficulty of this cache for a "novice" cacher, while in the worst seasonal situation it will be hunted?
10. Have I accurately rated the terrain for the worst-case scenario seasonally, or otherwise?
11. Have I chosen applicable attributes to guide seekers in planning for their hunt?
12. Can I easily do a little better?
13. Is this ready to be published?"

I think the real key here is to think about actual and seasonally affected difficulty/terrain levels, as well as the question "Who am I hiding this from?"

I've been encountering many caches lately that have D/T ratings that are really not accurate given the season or conditions. Also, the idea of hiding a cache should ask who you are trying to hide it from. Are you hiding it from me, the cache seeker? Or are you hiding it from muggles? (or both)

For hiding from a cache seeker, up the difficulty for a cache in the woods. From muggles? Give a hint or description to make sure the cache is located with minimal damage to the surrounding area.

Nothing is more frustrating than a micro in the woods with a 1.5/2 and a hint that says, "tree". If that is the case on the D/T, cachers should have very little difficulty getting a name on logbook.

Anywhoo, discuss. I just thought it would be something very helpful to make MN caches stand out as some of the best created, hidden and most enjoyable. With an organized group like we have here, there is a great opportunity to improve on what we do![url][/url]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Hal-oween
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Mar 2009

Posts: 177

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great list. I would like to add steps to check and double check your coordinates out in the field and then again before you publish. It is so annoying to go for a newly published cache where the owner expects the first finders to refine the coordinates for them.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Moe the Sleaze
Geocacher


Joined: 10 Jan 2003

Posts: 1148

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

0. Does this location (and my hiding technique) follow the guidelines and local geocaching policies.
_________________
"Hi, I'm Moe, or as the women know me - Hey! You in the bushes."
-Moe, The Simpsons
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5709

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Food for thought when creating/maintaining a cache Reply with quote

While I don't disagree with what you've said above, it's also frustrating as a cache owner to have someone dress you down because you rated a cache the way you think it should be rated, only to have someone not find it.

.

Sometimes you find them right away, sometimes you don't. I've certainly DNFed caches that were rated as easy, and I'll admit that I have expressed frustration on cache logs at times, but at the same time it seems like there's a limit.
_________________
Hmm...


Last edited by Pear Head on Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
RonGerth
Geocacher


Joined: 25 Apr 2008

Posts: 103

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ones that kill me are the ones that are rated as a 2/2 and you think "cool, I can take the boys with me on this one (7 and 8 now, happened a lot when they were 4 and 5)" only to get there and find yourself about 200' short of the cache and you can see the swamp and tall grass between you and it. I hit a few of those down in the cities and thought I could walk around the swamp only to find out you couldn't. At least once I emailed the cache owner thinking that I had hit the back way in and that there must be an easier way to get there only to be told that you have to park where I did and go for it. Turns out they had placed it during the winter when you could just walk in across the frozen ground....

I do not mind a cache like that but do want to be warned about it with either a higher terrain rating or a note laying out some of the details so that I know that it is not as kid friendly as a person might think a 2/2 is. OTOH, I was out doing a series of caches in a big park (WMA sort of a deal) down there and had a cache pop up on my unit that I had not looked at so I went over and got it. I waded across a swamp that was knee deep for the most part (thought that if I followed the deer tail that deer would be smart enough to keep their feet dry so I could follow in their foot steps and do the same, boy was I wrong, deer must not mind wet feet) for a few hundred feet and when I got the cache and logged the find I found out it was listed as a 3/5. Ammo box sitting out in the open by a stump. That kind of messes with the rating system too....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
andrewmcc
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 29 Jul 2007

Posts: 996

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think some people think that Difficulty and Terrain are related. I believe that they are totally separate.
_________________
Dinnae fash yersel (don't worry yourself)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
NeverSummer
Geocacher


Joined: 20 Feb 2009

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Food for thought when creating/maintaining a cache Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
While I don't disagree with what you've said above, it's also frustrating as a cache owner to have someone dress you down because you rated a cache the way you think it should be rated, only to have someone not find it.

NeverSummer wrote:
Nothing is more frustrating than a micro in the woods with a 1.5/2 and a hint that says, "tree". If that is the case on the D/T, cachers should have very little difficulty getting a name on logbook.


I found the cache that you're referring to in the quote above today. Well, actually my 6 year old found it, well above her normal eye height, in about 5 minutes (we did use the hint as I normally use it for micros when hunting with my kids).

NeverSummer (in a cache log) wrote:
For a 1.5/1, it should be in my hand. No help from the hint...and that's unfortunate. Not sure why the cache owner would rate it like that and give a hint that doesn't help. I've found many caches with this rating or harder and not had this kind of issue. Thanks, but no thanks.


I'm not sure one could get a wheelchair in there or not (the path was narrow right at the end), but otherwise I found the cache to be appropriately rated. The hint was certainly a help for my 6 year old. The cache has 77 finds with only 3 DNFs (one by yours, one by an experienced pair of cachers, and one by a cacher with 7 finds total).

Sometimes you find them right away, sometimes you don't. I've certainly DNFed caches that were rated as easy, and I'll admit that I have expressed frustration on cache logs at times, but at the same time it seems like there's a limit.


Don't think for a second that I'm bringing this up because of that DNF. I'm glad you, and others, found it with ease. However, after 20 minutes of searching for a micro in the woods with a teaser hint of "tree", you get my drift, I hope.

I started this thread to help make caches more clear and raise the bar a bit. It's not meant to bring anybody down.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
swfan
Geocacher


Joined: 23 Feb 2008

Posts: 113

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

andrewmcc wrote:
I think some people think that Difficulty and Terrain are related. I believe that they are totally separate.


I agree 100% on this one.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5709

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Food for thought when creating/maintaining a cache Reply with quote

NeverSummer wrote:
Don't think for a second that I'm bringing this up because of that DNF. I'm glad you, and others, found it with ease.


No, I know that's not why you brought it up (and I do like the thread, BTW).

Quote:
However, after 20 minutes of searching for a micro in the woods with a teaser hint of "tree", you get my drift, I hope.


I guess my point is that we need to consider that the person who put the cache in place didn't just arbitrarily pick the D & T ratings. Too often (more often than not I think sometimes) a lot of things related to a cache placement ARE picked artibitraily, but I don't think that the D & T ratings are one of them (nor do I think the hint is). A lot of times a hint doesn't make sense until AFTER you've found the cache (and sometimes even then you're walking away wondering what it means), but often times it does makes sense, just not to everyone. In this case the hint of "tree" told me I wasn't looking on the ground under rocks and such, and I felt better than 50/50 that I was looking at something that was at least a few feet tall (as opposed to brush). In the end the hint was accurate and probably cut our search down in half or better.

Quote:
I started this thread to help make caches more clear and raise the bar a bit. It's not meant to bring anybody down.


Again, I think it's a good list of points to start with.

I'll also point out what someone else in the gc.com thread point out I think - I don't know that I'd rate a cache based on the worst seasonal situation. Caches can easily vary from 1-5 - I've found caches that would be a piece of cake in the summer that would be impossible without literally melting all of the snow in a 30' radius at GZ in the winter. I'd be incorrectly passing up a lot of caches in the summer that were rated 4/4 because in the winter they're impossible to find.
_________________
Hmm...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
NeverSummer
Geocacher


Joined: 20 Feb 2009

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd agree, yes. But Ambrosia and I also talked out how you can cover these seasonal differences in the description. Many caches don't offer that context, and are rated for the season they were hidden in, and do not address the possibility of leaves growing or snow falling.

Also, it is worth mentioning (so those that may not know this) that cache owners can update and change D/T ratings after a cache has been published. Sometimes, if the owner wants to maintain their listing in that way, it is very helpful when searching for a cache...or deciding to leave it for another day.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5709

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeverSummer wrote:
Also, it is worth mentioning (so those that may not know this) that cache owners can update and change D/T ratings after a cache has been published. Sometimes, if the owner wants to maintain their listing in that way, it is very helpful when searching for a cache...or deciding to leave it for another day.


That way would mess would a couple of challenge caches (not that I'd let it stop me from doing in though!)... It's one way to approach it, although I think I'd personally rather the CO indicated the information on the cache page (I don't know that I've thought of specifically doing that in the past).

I've always figured the caches were rated for the season that they were placed, or summer by default. I know that, for example, a 2/2 in the summer is probably going to be a lot more work in the winter.
_________________
Hmm...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
RudeRat
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 Jul 2008

Posts: 802

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dyslexic me wishes it was T/D not D/T. Itís the simple things that make life so difficult some times. I try to do the best I can, but itís not a perfect world.
_________________
Ahhhhhhhh, the power of cheese!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5709

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RudeRat wrote:
Dyslexic me wishes it was T/D not D/T. Itís the simple things that make life so difficult some times. I try to do the best I can, but itís not a perfect world.


I just keep reminding myself that they're in alphabetical order.

T/D would make more sense though - you're more concerned about the terrain getting to the cache first, before you encounter actually looking for the cache.
_________________
Hmm...
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger
bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4061

PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Poorly rated caches are the worst. On top of that, cachers that are either too lazy to rehide the cache the way they found it or just as bad, a cacher that thinks he is clever by rehiding it "better" to the point of blowing the ratings.

BTW, if I own a cache with a 3.5 star terrain rating and you find a way to get the cache down from 16' up in a tree, can you please put the damn thing back where you found it??? Some people.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ST11
Geocacher


Joined: 04 Jul 2009

Posts: 159

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep in mind the entire ratings configuration is just a guess. A 1.5 for one person is a 3.5 for another. It's a best guess only.
Also caches all have legs and they tend to move somehow. I go out and try a spring cache maintenance and end up DNFing half my own hides!

It's common for me to get responses from cachers that the terrain is rated to easy then the next person says it's rated to hard.

All you can do is your best (and try to be winter friendly Wink )
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    MnGCA Forum Index -> General All times are GMT - 6 Hours
Goto page 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group
Geocaching Cache Icons, Copyright 2009, Groundspeak Inc. All rights reserved. Used with Permission.