Monday, June 26, 2006

People are different

The answer to this question may be obvious, but have you ever noticed how different people can be? Case in point: For the past couple of months I've been asking geocachers whose caches I review and who have additional waypoints for multicaches, to use the "add/edit waypoints" feature on the edit page to enter their coordinates. To my way of thinking, it's a fairly straightforward request and not that hard to do. Most geocachers see it that way. Most will say "OK, I didn't know about that feature," and they do it without whining. Then there are other geocachers who say something like "This is the final straw. I've had it!" and they proceed to let me know how this is the worst thing that has ever happened to them. Yup, people are different, all right. Sometimes that difference makes you appreciate the nice guys even more.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Think before creating a useless hint

I just posted this note to the owner of a new geocache:

"The only recommendation I will make is that you delete the text you placed in the hint field, since you're not actually giving a hint. It can be frustrating for some geocachers who spend the time at ground zero to decrypt a hint only to find there is no hint."

I try to post a note to the owner similar to this every time I see a hint like "No hint necessary." If no hint is necessary, why frustrate geocachers by making them decrypt the text you place there? The purpose of the hint is to give geocachers a final resort whenever they decide they have looked long enough and can't find the cache. If you think this through and put yourself in the geocache hunter's situation, it's easy to see why you shouldn't post a hint that says "No hint necessary." I know... there's nothing in the guidelines about this. But to me it's a matter of courtesy.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

A correction/clarification about the 528' rule

In a comment I posted here on May 31 I wrote:
"My understanding of the guidelines (and if you have better info from Groundspeak, please let me know) is that individual waypoints of multis need to be at least 528' from each other and from other caches. Finals for mystery caches also need the proper spacing. So, yes, individual parts of a multicache need to be at least .1 mile apart."

Well, a couple of geocachers DID let me know that they had better information from Groundspeak, so I want to thank them. Turns out that individual waypoints of your own multi don't need to be at least .1 mile from each other. The reference cited from groundspeak was a note posted in the "Getting Started" forum which reads, in part:

This guideline applies to all stages of a multi-stage cache, which must be .1 miles distant from any other cache. Within a multicache, the guideline doesn't apply - you can place stages of your own multi 250 feet apart, for example.

I have to admit, I missed that one. However, there have only been a couple of geocaches submitted where I asked the owners to space their waypoints futher apart. Now that I stand corrected, I won't be making this a requirement from now on. Thanks for the feedback!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

How long can you hold a cache location?

This past week a geocacher (cary1952) posted a couple of "Should be archived" notes for a few geocaches that had been placed by a pair of geocachers from Texas. My thanks to Cary1952, because he called to my attention several caches the Texas tandem had placed in the Iowa Great Lakes area and then disabled last summer. (Originally they explained that they have relatives in the area who would maintain the caches, so that's why I approved them even though they don't live in that area.) However, as I said, they subsequently disabled their caches and said they would relist them "next spring." Well, spring came and is now nearly gone, so rather than keeping these spots reserved with their "temporarily" disabled caches, I archived them. It's not fair to hold these locations, especially when they're along such a nice bike trail in one of the most popular tourist destination areas in Iowa. It would have been OK for them to keep the caches active, provided the relatives who live in the area were willing and able to maintain them. But with creative local geocachers like davyduck hiding caches in the area, it's not like these were the only caches available in the Okoboji area.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Requesting archives

I just checked email and see that I have 11 messages for "Should be archived" notices on caches -- and they're all from the same geocacher. I know this person probably has good intentions, but it's just kind of frustrating to see one person post so many at one time. I'll look at each one, but I also like to wait a few days before taking any action to see if the cache owners take it upon themselves to reply to the request, either by archiving the cache themselves or by posting a note that they will perform maintenance.