Tuesday, August 08, 2006

More discussion about electric box geocaches

Yesterday I enjoyed an email discussion with a geocacher who
asked me to clarify and discuss further why her geocache that is made out of a former electric utility box (but is no longer hooked up) could not be approved. In my response, I sent her this link to a forum post by a geocacher who works for a power utility. It's expert advice from someone who knows firsthand the dangers of conditioning geocachers to look inside or around electric equipment. Quoting from his post:

I am asking in behalf as a Safety Professional and Geocacher please not to hide caches on or around electrical equipment and not to even look for a cache that may be on or around any electrical equipment. If you believe that it is in a hazardous zone please contact the person who placed the geocache. If that is not a successful route please contact the person who approved it. Most of the time the approver of a geocache is not aware that it is in a dangerous zone. Let’s look out for each other.

For these reasons and others mentioned previously in this blog, these types of caches are not a good idea. I know some have been approved in other states, but I don't know why because it's doubtful that the business or utility company that owns the electrical equipment granted permission for the cache to be there.

Here's the reply from the geocacher with whom I was having the email discussion:

Thanks for the reply. I understand completely. It is good to get an explanation sometimes.


John said...

Ah, phooey. One of my favorite local caches is a fake electrical box on a telephone pole! It took me a while to figure out that was the cache and even longer to figure out the hints at the combination lock on it, but it was a great hide. I understand the reason for the warning, but a general denial for those types of caches I think might be a little extreme. Plus, what next? Are the fake electrical cover plates with the tiny logbook attached to metal street signs going to be banned? Fake sprinklers (in case someone might drown)?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to pick at you or anything, I just think caching should be more "Caveat Emptor" and a little less regulated.

From a legal standpoint, (I'm not a lawyer, but do work at a Law school) as groundspeak assumes more and more responsibility for controlling the way people hide and seek caches, they more likely they are to appear to a court as controlling the activity of cachers themselves. So if someone does get hurt, they might actually be more liable than if they had always stuck by the more hands-off, cachers do whatever cachers do, approach to geocaching.

Just my 2 cents...

IowaAdmin said...

Thanks for sharing your opinion. I agree with none of it, but thanks for sharing in a courteous manner. Drowning from a lawn sprinker? That's a type of false logic known as reductio ad absurdum. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reductio_ad_absurdum ) On the other hand, electrocution from an electrical utility box? Yes, it happens.

John said...

Isn't the Internet great! :)

cydriver said...

Iowa is a lot different from Texas. :)

Johnnygeo said...

IowaAdmin, Thank you for sharing this information. I really appreciate it.
Here's an example of a young boy who died... Not from a sprinkler.
There's too many of these sad stories out there.


Harris Anderson said...

great post, thanks for sharing.