I have been asked to answer one simple question from from someone from out side of our game…”Are all geocachers assholes?”
At the time I was asked this, my first immediate thought was “No”. For the most part all the cachers I have met in person seemed very nice. I have met no more assholes in this sport than I have in any other, so let us examine this idea a bit further and see if we can see both sides to the story.
First off, we must determine what exactly an asshole is when it comes to geocaching, these people are not easily recognizable so I have made up some neck signs that say “I am an asshole cacher” on them to hang around these peoples’ necks. Here are some things I think we can all agree on certain things that would qualify someone in our sport as being one.
We live in a polite society. There is no excuse for not using manners in this day and age. We were all taught them, we all use them, but for some reason when it comes to communicating with other users in our sport, some cachers seem to lose the ability to be polite. This makes them assholes. “here’s your sign”
Telling other users things like how many finds you have or caches you own, can be seen as “thumbing your nose” at other players. As far as I am concerned, all players are at level pegging in this game. The fact that you have 10 times the finds I do does not make you superior to me or others, but the fact you pointed it out makes you an asshole “Here’s your sign”
3. Disregard for environment, public or private property.
Yep, without a doubt…”here’s your sign”
4. Sticklers for the rules.
Players who delete found logs of finders who found themselves with out a pen to sign and took a picture instead. Cache owners who delete logs because they had not met the ALR in the cache description to the owners satisfaction. Since any ALR in a cache description is only optional (according to groundspeak), you just wind up looking like an asshole, so you might as well take one of my signs while your at it.
5. Inconsideration for other players.
Taking all the swag, not putting a cache back where you found it, or bothering to re hide the cache properly. Yep,… you get it… “here’s your sign”
6. Inconsideration to the public.
Telling muggles to “get lost”, dealing with property owner concerns rudely, or trashing a public area. These are the assholes who give our sport a bad rap, it already is in danger of being banned in some areas because of these assholes, so.. “here’s your sign”
7. Giving advice that was not asked for.
The found log on a cache page is for recording your experience in finding a cache. Leaving critique or a link to the groundspeak guidelines and rules, is not your place. If someone wants your advice they will ask for it, until you can get this through your thick head, please wear this sign around your neck it will make it easier for all of us to identify you. “here’s your sign”
Now to be fair, and try to see the other point of view, I can imagine most players who are assholes don’t even realize what they are doing is rude and disrespectful. These people have had no training on how to deal with the public politely, and as far as they were concerned they were only being direct, not rude and condescending. Well, others did so.., “here’s your sign”
Geocaching is a user based sport, and quite frankly being rude in it is rather a stupid thing to do. The Bitchy Cacher NEVER responds to any contact from another cacher that is being an asshole. Their caches and any future ones they put out are on my ignore list and will stay there with one of my signs pasted over top. I will not let these people get me down or ruin my game, they are simply ignored. If they persist they are reported to Groundspeak for harassment.
So I will end this blog with the original question I was asked, “Are all geocachers assholes?” No, not all, some, but no larger percentage than any other group of people or profession out there. Feel free if you run into an asshole during your caching career to send them a link to my blog with the title in the heading “here’s your sign”
Lately I have been hearing from cachers who have left their local associations (or never joined in the first place), due to differences in opinion with the leaders of the group.
First there is Mary; Mary was only 6 months into geocaching when she decided to place some different caches around town
, her idea was she should pay the locals back for all the fun she had been having finding their caches. A small contingent from the local
association decided that one fine saturday they should make a day of finding all her newly placed caches, only to find they did not approve of mary’s placements
or choice of containers, each person in the group left Mary nasty notes on her cache page, telling her to “get to a meeting! you don’t know what you’re doing!” and calling
her out as an idiot on the local forum discussion page. Needless to say, Mary was in tears and swore she would never have anything to do with the local group ever if this is the way they behaved to newbies.
I, myself tried to comfort Mary to no avail, she was hurt, she swore up and down she would never go to a meeting or a group meal with these “jerks” ever. I thought surely if more time went by she would
change her mind, but the sting of being called names never went away for her, last time I contacted her, she replied, “I don’t cache that much anymore, the events of last year sort of left a bad taste in my mouth”
Shame, Mary only wanted to contribute, too bad the local cachers could not have been more polite and gracious, they could have had a fabulous person in thier ranks, instead they have yet another person who sees them as
“stuck-up” snobs and “elitest jerks”.
Then there is Jeff, Jeff and I met and corresponded over the internet, we became geo-friends. Jeff had an extra obstacle to overcome caching as he is partially disabled and can not do extremely long
walks or rough terrain. I gave Jeff some advice on how to find caches that would suit his needs physically, how to run a pocket query, and encourged Jeff to not cache beyond his physical capabilities. Only after caching for a week and finding
only a few caches, Jeff presented himself at a local event cache to meet the cachers in his area. The group regularily meets for lunch and then goes out caching in the area as a group. Jeff was told he could not participate in the outing as his disability would only
“slow them down” Jeff asked politely if next time the itinerary for the day could be somewhat changed to accomadate his needs, he was told a flat out “no”. Needless to say that was Jeffs’ first, last, and only meeting with the locals. Jeff was also left with “a bad taste in his mouth” and now only
sees his local association as “snooty”. Shame, Jeff still had a lot of questions about the sport, but as he said “I certainly will never be going to them for advice.”
Next there is Karen, Karen is a little different in the fact she had been with her local association for over 2 years and enjoyed the comeraderie and swapping stories aspect of meeting with other cachers. Karen has always been the type of person who picks up litter while caching, respects the environment,
and recycles everything. Karen is also extremely animal friendly and takes home every abandoned baby bird and critter she finds, dilegently nurses them back to health, then releases them back to the wild. Karen was out one day picking up some newly placed
caches in her area. She came across a recently placed cache that had metal bands wrapped around a living tree secured in place by large bolts drilled into the tree itself. Without a second thought, she left a needs archived note on the cache page and reported the hide to local reviewers saying that “the cache should be removed,
not only is the tree now irrepairably damaged, the metal band crosses a hole in the tree that may endanger the welfare of the local fauna.” Karen could not have known when she did this, the s%*t storm she was about to stir up. The cache had been placed by the leader of her local association, who did not appriciate
being told by someone “who doesn’t have one tenths of the finds I do” That thier cache needed archiving. She was told via e-mail that her presence was no longer welcome at meetings if she could not be a “team player” and tell them to their face, rather than “rat them out”.
Needless to say Karen was very hurt by this, she only did what she thought was environmentally correct, too bad her local geo friends could not have stuck up for her, but when she asked them to do just this, their reply was “I don’t want to get involved, or I could get kicked out too”
About a year ago, on my last vacation, I met a nice young man named Kevin, we both arrived at a cache location with the tell-tale GPS swinging around our necks. We exchanged pleasantries and swapped a few stories, he gave me some advice on some great caches that were in the area and a good hint on a very cleverly concealed one. (Thanks for that Kev.)
When I asked if there was a local geo association in the area, Kevin rolled his eyes, and replied “There is, but they’re a bunch of jerks” When I pressed him for further info, he simply replied “Apparently if you have an opinion that the group doesn’t share, you are not welcome at local events” Too bad, Kevin is probably one of the nicest people I have ever
met while caching. I hope his local association one day realizes what they missed out on by ostracizing Kevin from their ranks. They probably never will, because Kevin will never be going to another event cache again.
In closing, I would encourage cachers who can see themselves or others in these paragraphs to pass along my blog to leaders in geocaching communities. Local associations should never be “elitist” or “exclusive” to only those who share a common opinion, or physical
capabilities. If you find someone who feels ostracized by the local community, please try to befriend them and see their side to things. Just because a cacher does not have ten thousand finds to their name does not mean they have nothing of value to contribute to a meeting, or social event. In business practices that involve dealing with the public,
the general rule of thumb is “for every complaint you hear about, there are about 20 you don’t hear about, these people just simply take their business elsewhere” Unfortunately in most geo communities there is not a second choice of association to join, apparently it is “my way, or the hi-way” in certain geo groups. Let’s stop this practice right now, and
make sure our local associations don’t become places where “certain people” are made to feel left out. I have noticed that in some geo groups the leaders of the clan never change, perhaps players should start demanding elections for leadership of their groups, so that players with a passion for the sport and a sense of fair play by all become leaders and
players with a sense of self importance and elitism stay out of leadership roles. If you can see the leaders of your association anywhere in this blog post it is probably way past time someone stood up to them, even if it means being ostracized yourself. Let’s do what is right here, these are only the stories I have heard about. How many similar ones are in your community? How many more people have to leave
before members of these groups wise up and say to themselves “gee, maybe we ARE snobs!” You could be a hero to these people or a coward who just goes along with the status-quo. How do you want to remember your caching career?
I find one of the best things about our sport is that it is user based, unfortunately it’s also one of the worst things about it as well.
Fun loving , upbeat people are great at placing caches, leaving log entries, giving compliments and generally nice to run into while caching. Wish there were more people like this playing the game. People like this never leave a bad comment on a cache page, or criticize caches as though they are an expert on the subject. They seem to realize you never know who you are dealing with when caching, so be polite at all times. These people “get it” when it comes to expectations, even after hundreds of finds to their name, they are just as happy to find a skirt lifter as they are to find an ammo box filled with interesting swag, they understand someone made an effort to leave something for you to find and are always grateful for the cache. Kudos, if you can see yourself in the above description, if I could put out caches for only you to find I would gladly do it many times over just to read what you’re going to leave me in your log entries.
One of the biggest problems about our game is the rate in which it is growing, it would seem everyday I get a log entry, or a cache watch note by a user with less than 100 finds to their name. The Bitchy Cacher does not have a problem with “newbies” and is all for new players jumping into to contribute to the game. I just hope their enthusiasm holds out long enough to place a few quality, memorable caches before they get bored of the game.
I find some of the worst most unpleasant users of this game are some of the older, thousands of finds type players, they seem to be the most annoying, highly critical, jaded, and rude players in the sport. These players constantly complain about newbies not following etiquette, or crappy hides. Who would you rather play with? The newbies, or “Mr. Know-it-all” with 1000′s of finds. Well, let us break it down “Bitchy Style” and see what we come up with….
Newbie, shows up to an event, shakes hands, listens intently to what see what useful info is there to be had, makes small talk, thanks the cache event people, and leaves feeling a little smarter than when he came in. — Mr. K.I.A. shows up, makes a bee line straight to his buddies, brags about his latest challenge, complains about users who aren’t in the room , offers his opinion to others where it wasn’t asked for, he has learned nothing, and he likes it this way.
Newbies goes caching, finds a stuffed animal with a baby food jar in it, stuffed in the crux of a tree, he goes home, writes ” That was not at all what I was expecting, cool, Thanks very much!” — Mr. K.I.A. goes caching, finds the same cache, goes home, sends the cache owner a scathing log entry saying “I won’t stand for this nonsense!” with a link to the Groundspeak guidelines for cache placement.
Newbie places a traditional ”open for all users” cache:, he leaves a margarine container under a bench in a city park, to his delight, gets a finder on his cache one hour after being published, enjoys reading all his log entries good or bad , gets 40 find logs for the week, he has to replace his cache and update his co-rds within 3 weeks, but he has learned what works, and what doesn’t, very quickly.— Mr. K.I.A. puts out a “members only” challenge cache that will require the finder to have 100 different souvenirs on their profile before being allowed to find it. He waits two weeks before anyone qualified finds it first, scoffs openly at anyone questioning his accuracy, and one year later only has 3 finders in total. He has learned nothing about what a real “user friendly” cache is.
Newbie takes his muggle friends out caching with him, allows them all to enjoy the walk to GZ, points them in the right direction of the cache, follows behind, graciously allows his friends to make the find when they get there, marvels at the hide, then asks if they’d like to find another.—Mr. K.I.A. takes his muggle friends caching, leads the way, grabs the find first, proceeds to tell everyone why the hide is bad, then races to the next find with his companions lagging behind.
The Bitchy Cacher would rather spend 100 days finding caches with newbies, than one hour caching with Mr. K.I.A. Not only do newbies have more enthusiasm and sense of wonder for the game, but they don’t have the attitude ”Been there, done that” Newbies are genuinely impressed with any hide they manage to find, and grateful to the cache owners for their effort in placing one. Kind of makes you wonder why the Mr. K.I.A. s of this world even go caching anymore, they don’t seem to enjoy it, they have found one of just about every kind of hide you could imagine, have trolled every forum and blog offering advice that wasn’t asked for. So why do they bother anymore? Pride in not giving up on the sport? Just want to pad their find count more to beat a buddy? Who knows, but I can think of quite a few players who would be a lot happier, and still involved with the sport if it wasn’t for Mr. K.I.A. Newbies don’t bring down our sport, it is the jaded, cranky users who do. Perhaps Mr. K.I.A. should hang up the GPS for a while, it might make him realize why he loved it in the first place, it probably won’t, but hey, I can dream, can’t I?
If you have ever tried to source information about our sport, you will notice a lot of opinions and differing info on how players play the game. For starters, I found that there is over 150 published works on the subject. Some are so specific, they narrow down the types of caches by category or type. Others are dedicated to the use of the technology in the sport, and of course some are complete works of fiction with geocaching used as a theme in the story line.
You can also find forums, blogs, info pages, workshops, e-books, apps for smartphones, websites, and live chat. But the question is; Which ones do I need to read before heading out?, and which ones are the best sources for info?
A player may be overwhelmed if they try to learn everything they can before finding a cache, looking up such things as, Which GPS receiver should I use? What should I bring with me? What am I looking for exactly? What are the rules? and of course, How do I do this? The Bitchy Cacher feels your pain people, and is here to help simplify things.
First off, the only thing you really need, is to sign up for a free membership at geocaching.com. The rest is all just things to make the sport easier, you can even make do without a GPS if you are clever enough. Until you know whether or not you enjoy the sport dont bother making an expensive purchase. You can start very simply by using your car GPS, inputting cords manually. Car GPS wont be able to find any deep in the woods caches for now, but side of the road ones should be fairly easy if you’re just willing to look around for a bit. You can go even simpler than that by just cutting and pasting the co-rds into google earth will give you an idea of where to look locally for a cache. Try zooming in to some geocache co-ords using google street view. Above all other things, read the descriptions carefully for each cache, don’t head out and find just anything, choose wisely, some are easier to find than others.
Secondly, get out there, you are never going to know if you enjoy it or not, without finding a few. There is no genius to this, there are only so many places someone can hide something. You may not find anything the first time you look, but keep trying, the more you find the easier it gets.
That is basically it, I know a lot of cachers would want me to make it sound more exciting and complicated than that. Each user is going to have to decide for themselves whether or not they want to take the sport a little more serious. You don’t really need any advice you just need to go find one.
Take any and all advice you hear from other cachers with a grain of salt, the problem with the game is it is user based and 95% percent of what people are going to tell you is opinion, instead form your own opinions, by going out and finding some caches first. I have seen players arguing back and forth on forums about matters of opinion, don’t aggravate yourself. The only opinion you need is your own. No books, no forums, no websites, no apps. You don’t even need to invest any money, you can still find caches without a GPS or premium membership to groundspeak.
So for all you die-hard geo types giving lectures ,advice, offering lessons, writing books, trolling forums and generally touting yourself to be an expert on the subject, the sport is only about a decade old, come back in about another 20 years and then tell me you’re an expert on the subject. I have seen user with over 20,000 finds say some of the dumbest things, and users with only 300 finds give me the best advice I have ever heard. No one player is an expert, some just have more opinions than others.
There is not a book, or a lecture, or a website, that is an expert on the subject of geocaching, Groundspeak may be the authority on the subject, but you don’t even have to take their advice or follow their rules to enjoy the game. Above all, don’t let the massive amount of info on the subject confuse you. It’s really easy, I know some players would like to think of themselves as super clever and intelligent by finding difficult caches, but really, it’s not all that difficult.
Bottom line is here, don’t read too much into it, just do it, after all it is not rocket science, it’s just finding hidden objects. You don’t even have to log them if you don’t want to, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Books, lectures, local groups, online info, all are not needed to enjoy something that really is very simple.
I found the first 50 caches I ever found using a car GPS and google earth, after that, I upgraded to a handheld GPS for 40 bucks at a pawn shop. The fun is in the finding of a cache, not analyzing the sport to death. Get out there, it’s the only real way to know if your’re going to like it.
I have recently learned of a university course based on geocaching;
It is official; we have now analyzed the sport to death.
Now, if I had one piece of advice for new cachers it would be “Don’t listen to other cachers who are sticklers for the rules”. These people not only suck the fun out of the game, but life itself.
In one local forum, the poster had asked if he did not have a pen on him to sign with was it ok to take a picture of the logbook instead. The first response from a “try to be helpful” cacher was “No, the rules clearly state the physical logbook has to be signed to claim a find.” This has not been my experience at all, (thank goodness). It may be a rule, but I think the cache owner would have to be a real jerk to not let the log stand, when the cache itself was obviously physically found. A bonk on the head to the responder of this question, thank heavens I’ll never be finding your caches.
In another forum there was a cacher griping about a cache owner deleting their log. What they hesitated to say is how incredibly rude their log entry was. His post read, “Oh well, I’ll send it to appeals, and they will lock down my log so the cache owner can’t delete it, the rules clearly say I’m allowed to log it because I found it, and signed the log” Well, thanks to the reviewer for this one, his log entry was reduced to “TFTC”, without all the unnecessary opinionated rude drivel the original log entry had. It may be a rule that you are allowed your smiley for the day for actually finding it, but do you have to be an ass about it? Next time you post in the forums about the same thing, tell the whole story, you are the bully here, not the victim.
Another cacher had a question about placing a cache he wanted to know how long it usually takes for local review, he had already placed the cache and was awaiting publication of the cache page. The “I think I’m being helpful” responders to the question did nothing helpful to answer the question, but instead posted links to the groundspeak guidelines and rules as to why he should not have placed the cache without making a cache page first. Way to go people, do you also suck the joy out of your childrens’ lives when they announce to you some accomplishment they have made? For shame, couldn’t you have just answered the question without your “know it all” opinion?
The Bitchy Cacher has also been a victim of the rules, I found a cache once with an additional logging requirement (ALR). I enjoyed finding the cache very much and wrote a nice log entry for the cache owner, only later to see the cache owner had deleted my log because I had not included the ALR they had asked for in my log entry. I did not bother to do anything here, I couldn’t care less that I lost a smiley on my find count, I did not bother to log it again, it is frankly just not worth my time. If you want to be a stickler for your own made up rules, go ahead, I could have been a jerk here, and reminded you that any ALR in a cache description is only optional and not mandatory, but sticking people to the rules is not my style, I’ll leave that to you and remember not to log any finds on your caches from now on.
Now I know most people who are sticklers for the rules think they are just being helpful, but frankly, you just remind me of the snotty kids in school who go and tell on you to the teacher for coloring outside the lines. A new cacher can look up the rules for themselves, please allow them to discover things on their own, the game has a major learning curve to it and sometimes learning the hard way teaches you more than someone giving you a link to the guidelines. If you are new to the game you can most certainly enjoy it without memorizing every groundspeak guideline. As much as there are rules to our game, no one from an office in Seattle is going knock on your door and issue you a ticket for not following them word for word. Get out there and discover things for yourself and don’t let the rule sticklers suck the life out of your game, they are not any authority you have to listen to, nor do they have the enthusiasm you have for the sport. Ignore these people, The Bitchy Cacher does.
In my quest to find out how other players deal with muggles while geocaching, I’ve come across quite a bit of differing info and opinion. In today’s rant, we are going to examine all the various styles of meeting, and dealing with muggles.
1. ”You don’t see me!”
the general attitude is; act non-chalant, tie your shoes, play with your smartphone, pretend to talk into your GPS, or just plain try to blend in. Well, how very unfriendly of you, anyone ever thought of saying “hello”? or being friendly? This attitude generally reminds me of the NY city subway. ”I don’t know you, I don’t want to know you, and if you talk to me I’ll push you off of the platform” No, it isn’t very friendly, nor is it courteous. Try instead a smile, making a remark about the weather, and walk away for a short while. The Bitchy Cacher can understand not wanting to talk to strangers, but making it obvious you’re ignoring someone is well…, rude.
2. “Let’s tell everyone about this!”
Yes, there is one in every group of cachers it would seem. You know the guy, who just seems to think everyone should love caching as much as he does. This type of cacher will tell anybody within earshot what he is doing, (he’ll even flag them down), somehow he is hoping to bring new cachers into the fold. This same guy, is also an arrogant A$$. He will say condescending things to people who ask him what he is doing such as ” I can’t believe you’ve never heard of geocaching before!” and opinionated things like ”It’s just so much fun!, you should try it!” If you go caching with this guy, don’t, leave him at home. The public does not need to made to feel like they were living under a rock for the last decade. Perhaps we could put the phrase ” I am just out today doing a little geocaching, have you heard of it before?” In Mr. Enthusiastics’ linguistics data base before some muggle gets up in his business and tells him where to stick his GPS. Always let a muggle offer their opinion too, and listen to it without judgement.
3. “Shove off!”
I could not believe this when I read this on a local forum, but yes, there are cachers out there who when confronted by a muggle will tell them to “Take a hike!” . Why? Were they rude to you? Did they do something wrong? These types of cachers are not only rude, but idiots as well. It is your choice whether or not you want to explain yourself while caching, you really don’t have to explain what you are doing to another member of the public, but there is no reason to be rude about it either. If you’re this paranoid about muggles, perhaps you should work on a good cover story for your being there instead of being a jerk about it. If these muggles ever do find out what you were doing there on their own, they will probably think of all geocachers as being a$$holes. Well, thanks for that jerk, I’m going to have to hear about it when I meet these people for myself one day. A professional customer retention specialist makes $32 an hour, you now owe me $16 for having to clean up your mess. Be polite please, I guarantee you it is easier than trying to fill out the police report for the guy who decked you for your rudeness.
4. “We are treasure hunters!”
Ok, so I kinda get it when it is explained this way, but, come on people, don’t exaggerate it. I mean really? Is that the best you could come up with? Yes, I have actually heard people explaining it to a muggle this way, in person. I must say, at the time they said this, I wanted to just crawl under a carpet and stay there until everyone went away. It’s a game! It might be a sport, but it is not treasure hunting by any means. We are out searching for tupperware and bison tubes for a log to sign. Trying to make the activity sound super exciting was a nice thought, but if these people try caching for themselves some day there going to be a little disappointed to find their treasure is an old boy scout patch and a happy meal toy. Let’s not call it something it is not, it’s geocaching, the hunt for hidden containers listed on an internet website.
The Bitchy Cacher will only ever advocate being polite to members of the public. This is the same reason you shouldn’t ever road rage, what if the person you tick off is a complete and total psychopath? Why take any unnecessary risks while increasing the aggravation?
As the game grows the muggles will grow. In my personal experience, I have only found a very few muggles who heard about geocaching before they met myself. Most muggles I have met (and sadly 2 security guards) had not heard of it . I have explained the game many times, to many different people, I remain friendly and polite at all times. Unless I am asked, I have never given more info than necessary to explain the game.
By the same idea, bragging about what you are doing as though you’ve discovered a secret virtual diamond mine is a bit much. If you are a nice friendly type person then the muggle is more likely to see your joy in the game than some “pitch man” type bragging about the game.
Better yet, avoid muggles all together, pick caches in muggle free areas.
For today’s post I was doing some internet research, and as browsing the internet goes sometimes, you get distracted by something you we’re not initially looking for. This morning I came across this; http://www.geocreed.info/index.html#lnt3 The owners of the website are happy if their creed gets re-posted as long as they get the credit for it. Fair enough, but with that, you open yourself up to conflicting opinion and scrutiny. (don’t say you weren’t warned…)
For the most part, the creed is pretty spot on, kudos to the cachers who thought to do this. Today’s question is to ask ourselves ”Did we need a bunch of people we have never met before to spell it out for us?” Well, apparently they seem to think so. (the Bitchy Cacher does not).
We all have our own moral compass, we all conduct ourselves according to our own conscious, which can change from place to place, depending on the situation at hand. Frankly, I could not help but feel a little insulted by some of the ideas in the creed. So, let us break it down for them “Bitchy style!”
1. ” Not endanger myself or others.”
Now, I really don’t think anyone goes caching with the intent to harm others or themselves, but somehow this became creed #1 . It is like they seem to think a lot of cachers are idiots who would do risky things to find a cache. If I get to a cache area and it is terrain I don’t want to do or an area I don’t want to pass, I simply don’t do it. (I did not really need a rule for this did I?) They expand on the thought, leaving this as one explanation of the rule.– “A cache you own, or one you’re trading out of, could be found by children or even a prisoner work crew – consider the location of the cache and those likely to find it when deciding what to leave as a trade item.”–Sorry guys, but that made me chuckle, there are no prison work crews where I go caching. How about instead, no caches on major roadways period? And if your cache can be found by accident by anyone, it probably should have be hidden better. The Bitchy Cacher promises to leave only nice swag for prisoners (perhaps they’d like a nice koosh ball?)
2. “Observe all laws & rules of the area”
Ok, this is a good one, I agree with the thought of it, but once again when they break it down for cachers it’s like they don’t give users credit for having a brain, quote from the explanation– “Don’t leave illegal items in a cache” —can we have a big round of ”D’uh” here. (Too bad, I was working on some personalized ninja throwing stars for swag) Thank goodness for that rule, I’ll just have save them for some stocking stuffers at Christmas instead.
3. “Respect property rights and seek permission where appropriate”
I have blogged about this before, It’s also a good rule. I actually have no problem with their interpretation of this rule. (wow)
4. “Avoid causing disruptions or public alarm”
One of their explanations of this rule; “Don’t place a cache near schools or government buildings unless the administration and staff are fully aware of the placement.” — How about no caches period around these places? And telling the administration? I can almost guarantee it won’t be administration who calls the bomb squad for a bad placement, so telling them about it won’t really work here. Like I said in a previous rant, how about not finding or placing the types of caches that cause suspicions in the first place?
5. “Minimize my and others’ impact on the environment”
Nice idea… but once again does not go far enough. If they really cared, they would be calling for the archival of caches that have already caused damage to areas. I have only one small problem with this expansion of the idea.. “Obtain the best possible coordinates for your cache to reduce unwarranted wear on the area. Recheck and correct your coordinates if finders report significant errors.” Sorry, there are just too many phone GPS users, ion storms and tree cover for this to a rule of any use to anybody. I’m sure most COs strive to be accurate, but to be frank, looking for a cache rather than finding it right off is way more fun anyway. Nice thought though, but it’s not going to help the environment when my GPS goes wonky on a bad weather day.
6. “Be considerate of others”
Ok, I’m going to let them have this one, with very little scrutiny. “Live and let live”, I say, not everyone caches like you do, but this goes both ways. If you have the right to post a creed , I have the right not to concur with all of it.
7. “…Protect the Integrity of the Game Pieces”
I have no problem with the idea of this one, but maybe they could re-word the explanation of it to be a little less insulting. Chances are, if you are like me and came across this article while searching for something else, you did not need to be told– “Don’t collect traveling items meant to stay in the game. This is tantamount to stealing.” I don’t think this needed to be said. As I once said in an earlier rant on travel bugs, missing and stolen bugs are part of the risk we take when releasing one to the world. If you don’t want yours to go missing, not releasing it is the only way to guarantee this. ( lost travelers happen, suck it up.)
All in all, the creed itself is not a bad idea. I really didn’t need someone to write ethical behavior down for me, but I read the whole thing intently and did agree with most of it. I also read the groundspeak forum threads where the idea was discussed with others before the creators of the creed decided on the final draft. I really don’t think the message will reach the players who need to hear it the most, and not all cachers who do read it, will agree with your interpretation, but hey, you tried to do something. Now, try taking out the parts that don’t give cachers credit for intelligence and common sense and you’ve really got something there.
P.S. This whole post could have been avoided if you would just have a comments section, (remember, you were warned beforehand)