Sunday, June 10, 2007

More about power trails

There certainly are a few passionate people who don't want to let go of power trail caches. Some of them seem to think this is all about MY decision. I don't see it that way. It's a Groudspeak thing. [Please see the guidelines.] It would be pointless for me to weigh in officially on the arguments that a few geocachers have voiced, because I'm not the one making the rules. Groundspeak has voiced its displeasure and preference about having power trails approved. As a volunteer reviewer, I am required to abide by Groundspeak's guidelines. And when you click the "agree" button on their web site, so are you.

However, I will say that personally [emphasis on PERSONALLY], I don't see why requiring a series of power trail caches to be set up as a multicache takes anything away from the sport. That way, geocachers still have a bunch of new caches to find and new and interesting locations to view. Plus, there's the added benefit that if it's a multicache, the trail isn't "locked up" by one geocacher's power trail because of the 528-ft. spacing guideline. Therefore, the trail is open to cache placement by future geocachers. That leaves room for the growth of our sport instead of an entire stretch of trail being monopolized by one geocacher.

6 comments:

Tom said...

Thanks, Ken, for the amplification of your previous remarks. Good points. BGT

Allen said...

Ken, first, I want to thank you for the time you give to doing this job. I know it is not easy and I am in no way trying to make it seem like I do not appriciate the hard work that you do. That being said,

Maybe I missed something,but if I have 20 caches placed every .1 mile it takes 2 miles of the trail. If I make that same group of caches a multi, does it not lock up that same 2 miles from other caches? No one can place a cache within .1 mile of the stages of my multi.

I also thank you for your comments, but I would like to ask, WHO at groundspeak we could find out answers from? I see the power trail guideline as very vague. Paraphrasing the guideline "you can place caches every .1 mile, but you shouldn't just because you can. If you place a group of caches too close, you may be asked to make them a multi." The questions that still have not been answered (and I have tried to get others to answer) is how many is too many and how close is too close?

I know that you are bound by the guideline, but with a guideline that vague, it seems volunteer reviewers can and are interpreting the guidelines in many ways.

Jason said...

"...Plus, there's the added benefit that if it's a multicache, the trail isn't "locked up" by one geocacher's power trail because of the 528-ft. spacing guideline. Therefore, the trail is open to cache placement by future geocachers. That leaves room for the growth of our sport instead of an entire stretch of trail being monopolized by one geocacher."

I didn't know multicaches worked that way, but knowing now, I think this is the most compelling case against powertrails. Would certainly win my support.

Larry said...

A multi can have stages closer than 528 feet from other stages in the same multi. You could put a 10 stage multi in a small amount of space if you wanted to.

Or... you could have the caches that were disapproved because they are considered part of a power trail and convert them to a multi. The multi in this case would "lock up" the trail just as if it were a series of caches because no new cache can be approved within 528 feet of an existing cache or stage.

Larry (CC8C4)

IowaAdmin said...

allen keeps asking -- in a cordial way (thanks!) -- for some specific distance guidelines from me as to what constitutes a power trail. My answer: other than the 528 ft guidelines, there is no specific distance.

You probably already know that geocaches need to be spaced at least 528 feet (.1 miles) apart from other caches or cache stages. But, the cache saturation guideline says more than that. This guideline’s ultimate goal is “to reduce the number of caches hidden in a particular area and to reduce confusion that might otherwise result when one cache is found while looking for another.” Thus, even for caches within a group of caches that are more than .1 miles apart, the goal of controlling cache saturation still applies. The guidelines continue by saying:
“On the same note, don't go cache crazy and hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can. If you want to create a series of caches, the reviewer may require you to create a multi-cache, if the waypoints are close together.”

If, when reviewing a specific series of caches, I may request that they be combined into a very nice multicache. If the owner disagrees, I'll ask why he or she believes that each cache stands on its own as an independent geocache that complies with the cache saturation guidelines. What is so different about points A and B that two geocaches are needed to get people to visit the area? Or, are the containers and hiding techniques different enough that both caches stand on their own merits even if separated by such a short distance? Any insight that the owner can provide would be taken into consideration.

I would also be happy to discuss other alternatives, such as moving a cache a bit farther away, or eliminating one or more of the caches hidden. Finally, it would also help to know your future plans for this area. If you want to add more caches in the vicinity, I’d like to know that.

(My thanks to fellow reviewer Keystone for letting me borrow and edit some of his wording for this comment.)

calebpublic said...

Re: Power trails - we were first introduced to them while doing a bike trip. We found a ton of caches along this bike trail, so we loaded up the gear and set out.

What did we find? Nothing but mag key holders on guard rails every 550'. It was the stupidest thing I have ever seen. Yeah, we logged all the finds, but were hugely disappointed. We would have done something else on the day had we know this was our destination.

But a funny thing about the whole "lock-out" thing - I despise lamp post micro's (and, well, guardrail micro's for no reason). Thus the whole "Always" series just irks me. So what did I do? They're building a new wal mart in my home town. I got landowner permission from surrounding businesses and placed a 5-stage multi-cache around the perimeter of this under-construction Wal Mart for the sole purpose of making it impossible for an Always cache to be placed on their premesis. People around here love my cache (not a single micro at any stage). ROTFL.