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Food for thought when creating/maintaining a cache
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spinowner
Geocacher


Joined: 25 Nov 2004

Posts: 586

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be interesting to see what a cache's D/T ratings would be if each finder rated the cache when logging the find. After 10 finds or so, round it off to the nearest half star.
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4050

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ST11 wrote:
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 )


I am quite aware of that. Like I said, if you find the 3.5 terrain rated cache 16' up in a tree, why would you hide it back where your feet never leave the ground?
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Moe the Sleaze
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Joined: 10 Jan 2003

Posts: 1146

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I've never paid much attention to difficulty/terrain ratings other than to occasionally filter out 5 star terrain rated caches when going into an area that I suspect will have a lot of watercraft accessible only caches and I don't plan on taking my kayak.
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Draconisdax
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Nov 2007

Posts: 982

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would bet that most caches in Minnesota are hidden Mid Spring to Mid Fall...so, i just assume most caches are rated for that time period. 'course, the problem with assumptions is that they lead to more assumptions...but, it hasn't done too bad for me.

In the winter, I just take winter conditions into consideration...I am responsible for my own self, I don't think I need the cache owner to update the page listing all the time to match conditions.

For me, I just use the ClayJar system based on the simple questions stated, sure, it may not be perfect, but it helps take a bit of the subjective nature out of D/T Ratings...

There...just my opinion...worth no more than the paper it is written on (now...where did I put my pen and paper)
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NeverSummer
Geocacher


Joined: 20 Feb 2009

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ST11 wrote:
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.


A lot of the guesswork is taken out if you use the clayjar system of rating a cache.

For instance:

If a cache were even just 10 feet inside of that line of trees, it c/should be rated a 3/3, even when being conservative with the entries on clayjar. But, in the fall/winter, the cache could be rated as low as a 1.5/2.5, depending on the specific hide.

Another thing that can be confusing is the "hike in" to a cache. Say it takes 200ft from parking to get to where your arrow points into the trees. You walk a paved trail to get there, but the last 20 feet are as seen above. Calling that hide a 2/1.5 would hardly be true.

Add on knee-high grass and plants on the trail, more than a 1/2mile walk in, and a dive into GZ that looks like above, and you're back at that ~3/3, not 2/2.

That same hide in the spring, with a 1/2mile hike in, and the grass is low, and leaves are just budding. Your hide at that time might be a 2/2 just then, but do be aware that for 8 months out of the year here in MN, it's only going to get harder to find that cache, especially without a hint or clear description.

jm2c, but I think you catch my drift.[/img]
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bflentje
Geocacher


Joined: 29 May 2006

Posts: 4050

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ArcherDragoon wrote:
In the winter, I just take winter conditions into consideration...I am responsible for my own self, I don't think I need the cache owner to update the page listing all the time to match conditions.


Which in a very warped way, contradicts your position on the snow flake attribute. Wink
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Draconisdax
Geocacher


Joined: 02 Nov 2007

Posts: 982

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
ArcherDragoon wrote:
In the winter, I just take winter conditions into consideration...I am responsible for my own self, I don't think I need the cache owner to update the page listing all the time to match conditions.


Which in a very warped way, contradicts your position on the snow flake attribute. Wink

Not really...

My Snow Flake position is "Available In Winter"...to me, all it means is that someone didn't remove it for reasons of snow.

Otherwise...for my statement above in relation to the D/T conversation...I am talking about the actual rating of the cache, not the attributes. A 1.5 rated cache...may/may not be 1.5 in the winter here in Minnesota...I make the "appropriate" adjustment when I arrive at the general area.
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ST11
Geocacher


Joined: 04 Jul 2009

Posts: 159

PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bflentje wrote:
ST11 wrote:
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 )


I am quite aware of that. Like I said, if you find the 3.5 terrain rated cache 16' up in a tree, why would you hide it back where your feet never leave the ground?


This is just the case - caches hidden 10 feet off the ground end up 4 feet or even 3 feet - perhaps it's Squirrels but it happens.
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NeverSummer
Geocacher


Joined: 20 Feb 2009

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would members or the board be interested in adopting a list like this, with the main purpose being to have a resource to educate on helpful hints?

I'm sure the inner libertarian in all of us would say to leave it alone, but the mission of the organization is to provide a resource for Minnesota geocachers to organize activities and events that will improve the credibility of the sport, protect our natural resources and strengthen the community of geocachers in the state of Minnesota. Holding educational meetings or posting educational materials for MnGCA members and the public on a wide area of topics, primarily about responsible land use and geocaching, could apply in this case.

Any opinions?
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Pear Head
Past MnGCA President


Joined: 04 Apr 2004

Posts: 5701

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeverSummer wrote:
Would members or the board be interested in adopting a list like this, with the main purpose being to have a resource to educate on helpful hints?

I'm sure the inner libertarian in all of us would say to leave it alone, but the mission of the organization is to provide a resource for Minnesota geocachers to organize activities and events that will improve the credibility of the sport, protect our natural resources and strengthen the community of geocachers in the state of Minnesota. Holding educational meetings or posting educational materials for MnGCA members and the public on a wide area of topics, primarily about responsible land use and geocaching, could apply in this case.

Any opinions?


My suggestion would be to write it up as an article that can be presented on the front page. I don't think there's anything in the list that's really controversial, so putting it there should be pretty simple. If the board is concerned about some part of it they can easily pipe up to you or GP or myself (as webmasters) to express concern over it.
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NeverSummer
Geocacher


Joined: 20 Feb 2009

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pear Head wrote:
NeverSummer wrote:
Would members or the board be interested in adopting a list like this, with the main purpose being to have a resource to educate on helpful hints?

I'm sure the inner libertarian in all of us would say to leave it alone, but the mission of the organization is to provide a resource for Minnesota geocachers to organize activities and events that will improve the credibility of the sport, protect our natural resources and strengthen the community of geocachers in the state of Minnesota. Holding educational meetings or posting educational materials for MnGCA members and the public on a wide area of topics, primarily about responsible land use and geocaching, could apply in this case.

Any opinions?


My suggestion would be to write it up as an article that can be presented on the front page. I don't think there's anything in the list that's really controversial, so putting it there should be pretty simple. If the board is concerned about some part of it they can easily pipe up to you or GP or myself (as webmasters) to express concern over it.


Sounds good. I'll be in touch...
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RudeRat
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 09 Jul 2008

Posts: 798

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NeverSummer wrote:
Would members or the board be interested in adopting a list like this, with the main purpose being to have a resource to educate on helpful hints?

I'm sure the inner libertarian in all of us would say to leave it alone, but the mission of the organization is to provide a resource for Minnesota geocachers to organize activities and events that will improve the credibility of the sport, protect our natural resources and strengthen the community of geocachers in the state of Minnesota. Holding educational meetings or posting educational materials for MnGCA members and the public on a wide area of topics, primarily about responsible land use and geocaching, could apply in this case.

Any opinions?

Iím all for using the resources of the MnGCA to help educate geocachers on how to cache responsibly and appreciate those members who step up and contribute toward that effort. The list is a great start, but is far from complete. We all cache differently, and because of that, there is no right answer to how to place a cache. Numbers cachers may place a skirt lifter which fits within their definition of a worthy cache, while hikers and bikers may place a cache a mile down the trail. Evil cache hides vs. kid friendly, cliff hangers vs. wheel chair accessible. Some caches are hidden from muggles while others are hidden from cachers. A good day of caching for some is 50+ caches in a day, while for someone else itís a full day mission to find a single cache. When hiding a cache, I would suggest asking if the hide can in any way affect geocaching in a negative way or draw negative attention to the sport. And when seeking a cache I would suggest asking if your search will draw negative attention to the sport, cause damage to the area or possibly destroy the hide. I look forward to your article as well as a continued discussion in the forums. Itís all good and it all helps make our game better.
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ST11
Geocacher


Joined: 04 Jul 2009

Posts: 159

PostPosted: Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would agree here also
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NeverSummer
Geocacher


Joined: 20 Feb 2009

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback, folks. If anyone wants to provide an "interview" of sorts that outlines how the list in the OP might have helped with a cache hide or find, please shoot me a PM.
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NeverSummer
Geocacher


Joined: 20 Feb 2009

Posts: 99

PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2011 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The article has been published! Check out the front page to see the finished product! (And thanks for all of the input, folks!)
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