I have had the pleasure recently, of placing 2 new caches. I had decided to make these a little more challenging than most, and placed one hanging over a cliff and one that had a few decoys to it. Only a few finders of theses caches have actually signed the proper log book, so I am left with the dilemma; How big of an asshole do I want to be deleting their found logs?
On the cliff hanger cache, the online log reads; “I didn’t feel like getting dirty retrieving container, so I am logging this one as a find until I can return later, I will bring my kids to retrieve it for me.” I must admit to being really dumbfounded on this one, if you were coming back anyway to sign it, wouldn’t you think you would claim the find then, and not now?
On the decoy cache; “There was no slip of paper in the container so I left a gum wrapper with my signature on it” So, not only did you not understand the idea of decoys (or read the cache description), now “I” have to go out and retrieve the gum wrapper, so some poor animal won’t die from eating plastic.
I have sourced other opinions from cachers who have faced the same dilemma about deleting logs. Some feel very strongly that logs should be deleted. Others don’t want to be an asshole and are afraid of backlash from certain cachers if they do so.
I have allowed non-signers of logs to claim a smiley before, but usually they have a photograph or some proof the logbook was somehow not sign-able. I think I have been kinder than most cache owners. I have seen cache owners delete logs of players who did not sign, but were obviously there and opened the cache box just simply did not have a pen. I really do not want to become one of the assholes I hate. Those players who delete logs because the finder of the cache has physical limitations and could not climb a tree. Where is your compassion asshole? Not everyone has complete physical mobility and it may have been all they could do to just get to the GZ.
For now, I have gone back into the cache descriptions and tried to clarify things a bit. A warning has been placed front and center on the page that the actual physical logbook must be signed in order to claim a find.
The Bitchy Cacher will not have a problem deleting the logs of what I refer to as “numbers whores” players who just seem to like padding their find counts by driving by a cache location and claiming it as a smiley. Thankfully that has not been the case so far.
I am going to end this post with the original dilemma “How do you delete a log without being an asshole?” The answer is you can’t, someone with entitlement issues is always going to see you as one. So when clicking the delete log key ask yourself, “Do I want to be one of the players I hate?” “How big of an infraction was it?” “Was it an obvious cheat?” “Are there extenuating circumstances?” I am going to let the finders of my cache hides have a little grace for now, they don’t seem to be “numbers whores” and don’t have a lot of finds. Perhaps I am just gaining compassion in my old age. Doubt it, but for now I don’t want to be a asshole. There is always tomorrow…
I have heard from other geocachers recently, about players in our game that basically cheat the game and log finds without actually finding the cache or being at a virtual cache location. I have never experienced this phenomenon myself personally, but it certainly seems reason enough for today’s rant.
From Pierre in Canada;
“Dear Bitchy; I have a geo buddy who recently logged all of my traditional caches in one day (which is impossible, unless you have a teleporter). I am absolutely sure he is wagering I won’t call him on it because we are friends. I am 99% certain he did not find any of my caches, he just padding his find count. I am at a loss for what to do. Do I delete his logs? Do I go and check all my caches for his signature? Is he just testing our friendship? Please advise.”
From an outsider point of view, this is kind of a nasty position to put a friend in. First off, this is no friend. A friend would have at least asked “Do you mind if…?” In my bitchy opinion, yes, he is testing you, he is counting on the fact you probably will put your friendship first and not call him out on it. So, you are left with your original dilemma here, call him out and lose your buddy status with him, or let it slide, and know forever you aided and abetted a cheater. Your call Pierre, but if I were you I would at least let him know, he isn’t fooling anybody, least of all you.
From Mary in South Dakota;
“Dear Bitchy; I recently came across a list of virtual caches that can be done just using information found on the internet and not actually having to go to the cache location. I might be a little new at this, but I find this extremely unethical and immoral. Is this a common practice? What are your thoughts on this? Some of these caches have thousands of finds from all over the world, don’t the cache owners even care they were cheated?
Congratulations!!! you are the first, last, and only recipient ever of “The Bitchy Cacher Honesty Award” To answer your question, yes, this is cheating, if geocaching was meant to be done from the comfort of an armchair there would not be terrain ratings on them. I, also have been perplexed by this idea, and no, cache owners of virtuals just don’t seem to care how “finders” got the answers to their questions. (perhaps this is why the virtual cache has been grandfathered by Groundspeak.) Do what you know is right here Mary, actually get up off the couch and go find these if you want a smiley for them. If you feel you are under pressure form other geo-buddies to log them with actually making a find simply say “Thanks, but no thanks, I would actually like to go to these locations one day and log a REAL find”
From Mike in the mid-west;
“Dear Bitchy; A local association had put out a new challenge cache, of a cache-a-day for 3 months, and already after only a month it has several finders of it. Suddenly casual cachers have become die hards and have been struggling to find a new cache every day. I am one of the administrators of the cache listing and have noticed some of the finders have logged caches they claim they did months ago only a few days prior to finding the challenge cache. Without seeming like an asshole , how do I handle this?
There is no way to not be an asshole on this one. You and the others in the association are going to have to decide how tight you want to be on this one. Will it cause arguments at social gatherings? Will it cause animosity among others in the group? You may have to decide what is best for all concerned here and delete a few logs. The problem here is trust, you need to run a disclaimer on the cache page description for all to see “We trust you met criteria for your challenge honestly, if we hear from cache owners you did not sign logs you claim to have found, your challenge log will be deleted and your new 3 month challenge will start over again on this day.” It is a shame we can not seem to trust the moral compass of others in our sport, but in a user based game, it should not come as a surprise either.
Carry on caching folks, (honestly)
It’s summer time and the caching has been easy, travels have taken us to all over the land and there seems to be a prevailing commonality wherever you go…There are “accuracy snobs” everywhere.
Now to be fair to these people, let me say first off, I know co-ords are supposed to be accurate to save wear and tear by cachers to the surroundings and preserve the ecology of this land. I am talking specifically about those cachers who don’t seem to have any “caching sense” at all.
It occurred to me a short while ago, these types of players don’t use the most valuable tools a cacher has, what I have referred to as “geo senses.”
I was out showing off the sport to some friends of ours. I picked out a cache in a tourist area that only had been found once since published, (I was thinking there would be some good swag) The first finder of it claimed the co-rds were off by at least 15 to 20 yards, so knowing this, we headed out for a good hunt. The newbies were gung-ho for a find and started to look for it before we even got close to the cache. “Slow down” I said “this might take a while.” While explaining the art of looking for a cache, I said, ” once the GPS slows to only a few feet away, pocket the device and start letting your common sense kick in, there are only so many places you could hide a small box so look around for a tree of a bush or even a manmade object with a crevice in it.” So, as it goes, I stood as a marker within a few feet of the cache location and let my friends poke around for a bit. “I see a box!!” my friend claimed, “but I don’t want to touch it.” “It’s ok,” I said, “I’ll get it out.” Our friends were just amazed by the box, the swag, the book, the official geo sticker on the side. So if I can get newbies to “get it” why can’t we get players with 2000 finds to figure it out?
It would seem the “accuracy snobs” of this world want the GPS to count them down to zero, then point a light on the cache hiding spot. I have said it before people, “It’s a searching game, search for it!” Put down the GPS and start thinking like a geocacher. Is it really too much to ask that you have to look for it for more than a minute? Are the co-rds really so far off it worth noting in your log, or telling on the C.O. to the reviewer of the cache? Probably not, but hey if it makes you feel like some sort of “bigshot” for the day , hey, you go right ahead…
One of the reasons this issue deserves a post is sometimes the “well meaning” individuals sometimes cause more harm than good…
On a recent cache outing near my house, a couple of finders of it had noted about a 20 yard discrepancy. So armed with 3 sets of co-ords for what should have been a a very simple find, it wound up being the “3 hour tour” of geocaching. On my first attempt at a find I used the co-ords added by a geo-friend of mine, surely a friend wouldn’t steer me wrong, correct? Nice try, but not near the cache location at all. The second set of co-ords tried were left posted by the local “Mr. know it all” in my area so I pretty much trusted they were right and gave it another go. Still no joy, so I convinced my ego that the cache had been muggled and set out for home. I did not log a “DNF” instead, I read over other logs that had been posted for the cache. One log was very simply put “The name makes sense once you find it! TFTF” Suddenly my cache sense kicked in and I then realized I had not used the co-rds left by the C.O.. Revitalized with what I felt would be the key to finding this one, I once again, darted out the door. On my second try, I counted down the feet until there were no more to be had, placed the GPS in my pocket and stood there looking around the full 360. There it was… a marker in the natural surroundings that matched the cache name, (if you use your imagination) only about 10 yards away. That was it alright , found, signed, and a celebratory picture taken with my smartphone. Marched home triumphantly to log my find feeling very proud of myself that I had not given up too soon.
It can be helpful sometimes when the cache co-rds get updated, but for the caches that are only a few yards off sometimes the “well meaning, do-gooders” have caused more harm than good. Would it kill some of these people to put down the GPS and have a look at their surroundings? Sometimes what they are bitching about is in plain sight if they would just stop glaring into their electronic devices. Give it some thought for a second, just because it did not count you down to zero and then give you an instant find, doesn’t mean it did not credit you with some common sense. A lot less damage to the area can be done by letting your “geo-senses” kick in, rather than ripping apart a landscape.
It would seem sometimes we are more focused on the find than the journey and the enjoyment of the surroundings caching gives us. How are we to expect the next generation of kids who are glued into their smartphone communications to put down the device, when we seem so incredibly reliant on ours? Put down the device people, enjoy, and actually look for it.
Not so long ago, I received notice from cachers that a cache of mine was now sharing a hiding spot with the local wildlife. Without a second thought, I dashed out the door to retrieve my container. My intent was to remove the cache and archive the listing, I would never want it to be my fault some poor critter has come to harm or been harassed by cachers as a result of my hobby. The retrieval was successful, the box did not have any chew marks on it, and looked none the worse for wear. It had been a popular cache, several players having a watch on it, and after 2 years and almost 200 finders, it was time to give it up, and go on to a new hide. You would have thought after the archival, the story was over, but no, it was just about to begin….
I quickly got the feeling the locals did not want it to go, as it turned out I was going to have to defend my decision to several different local cachers. My responses were always quick and polite to each player who inquired, but now it’s time to answer them “Bitchy Cacher” style, just because isn’t that what everyone really wants me to do?
First Comment on cache page… “This one has been on my ‘to-do list’ for a while, do you mind if I still log it as a find? My response; “You have only had 2 @#$%^ years to find it !! But of course you may log a find seeing how you are not just some dumb @#$% off the internet. Go ahead, I put my trash to the corner every Tuesday night. You will find the log book in my trash can next to the freezer burnt ice cream and Sunday nights mashed potatoes.”
Next comment came from the local Mr. “know-it-all” In my area. “Too bad, I liked taking newbies to find it, Couldn’t you have just moved the cache without archiving it?” My response ” The idea was to stop cachers altogether from coming into the area…, wait… you mean to tell me you have been going there and finding it over and over again?!!! For @#$% sakes!! Get another hobby!!! Moving it was never an option, the eco friendly answer was stop any people from coming to the habitat area and harassing the local fauna. My choice, get over it.”
And of course there is always one or two players who didn’t get the memo…. Cache DNF log entry;…”Looked high and low, we’ll be back!!” My response: ” Er, um…when the name of the cache has a big red line through it, it means it has been archived….actually, never mind… go ahead and take a smiley for your stupidity. I’ll be sure to top up the swag on my next maintenance run . Good luck, I’m sure you’ll find it next time.”
Last but not least, I get this as a personal note from what obviously is a young cacher; “Bummer, dude, can I have your spot?” My response; “Oh how incredibly excellent ! Sweet! Would also make a bodacious spot to smoke a bong, enjoy!! Keep the @#$% away moron, it was archived for a reason.”
It would seem archiving a cache for ecological reasons simply is not enough for some players. Some, as it would seem need clarification, allow me to be clear here… because I @#$%&* wanted to.
Carry on caching folks,
Lately readers have been leaving a lot of off topic crap as comments on my rants. It is quite obvious some of my readers have a lot more to bitch about than I do. (I am so proud) In today’s rant, I am going to run down some of the common and reoccurring ones.
1. Wrong size of cache listed.
So why do players let themselves be bothered by this? Did you have a travel bug that wouldn’t fit? Are your fingers so fat they couldn’t get the log out of the pill bottle? Were you expecting fabulous valuable swag? A cache is a cache, you find, you sign the log , you leave. The complaint that your travel bug wasn’t going to fit in the bison tube probably could have been avoided if you had looked at the other cache logs and pictures left by previous finders of the cache. If more players would just take the attitude “Ok, I’ll just go find another one to put my TB in” this would not even be a complaint. Listings on caches are not perfect, neither are players in the game, if you are just bitching to prove your right and they are wrong you probably need a new hobby where all users in the game are completely perfect humans. (Lotsa luck to you, you are going to need it)
2. Late first to find logging.
I have blogged about this before, players who have this as a complaint seriously need to stop trying for them. What if the person who found it before you was there only 10 minutes before you arrived? Do you have the right to tell them it was your FTF because they didn’t let you know on the spot they found it first. You tried, you failed, too bad, for the most part we are not children here. The attitude “I’ll get the next one” would be a more positive one and save you from sounding off on someone who simply couldn’t be bothered to log it before heading off to get back to real life. It sounds to me like some of the people who do this kind of bitching only care to get the cache ” IF” they are FTF on it, just finding one apparently is not satisfying enough. Get over it, many caches are found by the CO’s friends first and there is not much anyone can do about that. Calling players out on forums and cache pages just makes you look like a psycho, save it for your therapists office.
3. Manners…, not saying “Thank you.”
Welcome to the “Me” generation people!!! This always has been a long standing problem in society as a whole, not just in geocaching. I don’t understand how we could have lost manners (they have only been around for centuries) but for the most part if you don’t expect them you won’t be disappointed when they don’t happen. Someone gave an example to me of a cache finder leaving a new logbook and zippy bag in place of an old moldy one (basically doing their maintenance for them) and then being pissed they got no “thank you” from them. Although it would have been nice, I think your main source of your disappointment here was your expectation of it. No expectations…no disappointments, it is just that simple. You can not expect other players to play and think like you do, they are not you, and you are not a superior being for pointing it out either.
Leaving another cache in place of one you think is missing should be against the rules. I know most players in the game who do this think they are doing everyone a favor here, but you are not. No one has asked you to do this, perhaps the cache is not missing and just wandered off a few yards, if a CO can not do their own maintenance, it should not be done for them. If the cache area is significant in some way and cachers are trying to keep it alive so others can find it the area would be better served by hitting “Needs Archived” and waiting for the area to open up again to place a new one. I find it a little confusing when I find 2 caches (or logbooks) at a location where only one should be. If anyone was to do this to one of my caches, I will use my manners and say “Thanks for the new container, I will be sure to do this for you one day, if I can’t find yours within 2 minutes”
5. Bad locations.
Now why is this even an issue here? if you go to a restaurant and the floor is dirty, the staff smell of B.O., and there are bugs on the floor do you stay? of course not . So, if you get to a cache location and you have a pungent small of garbage and a few animals carcasses to move to log the cache it is very simple… Don’t find the cache!!! Walk away. I have blogged about this before, we foster the idea that it is a log worthy cache and location by just logging it online. The only log entry needed here is a DNF with a comment as to why you will never be finding it ever. The Bitchy Cacher never leaves a log entry for any cache not worthy of one. I know this varies by opinion , but if I have to get smelly to find it, other cachers should be given a heads up .
Now I know there are a lot more pet peeves of geocachers to be listed than I have time for here, these are just a few but quite a few complaints can be just solved by doing some research before heading out to find. Look at the previous find logs, check out the pictures, find the co-ords on a map first, check out how many favorite points a cache has. I have talked about putting the onus on others for your happiness. Don’t…, it is that simple.., one of the reasons I stated I never found a cache not worthy of a log entry on my last vacation is because I only did ones with several favorite points. Stop going out to find any piece of crap players will throw just anywhere, and I’m sure a lot fewer of them will be getting placed.
Carry on caching folks!
Once in a while, I get asked some very odd questions about our sport. A muggle asked me recently; “What would happen if geocaching was to get banned everywhere?” I could not initially give him a direct answer, but I have given it considerable thought since then. I have arrived at several scenarios thinking about it, only time will tell what would or could happen should our game get outlawed. So in today’s rant we are going to examine the fallout from “The Day the Geocachers Stood Still.”
First and foremost let’s not forget all the lost jobs at Groundspeak. Suddenly all those poor souls in Seattle are out pounding the pavement hoping that someone needs an expert on a no longer existing sport. Well, at least they all probably have a GPS to find new employers with. Don’t worry about all the reviewers all over the world, (none of them are paid anyway) they’ll be o.k. They can always take out a Craigs’ list add that reads ” Will do very little work, for no money.” I’m sure they will have all sorts of replies in no time.
Let us also think about the poor die hards in our sport whose lives seems to revolve around caching events, new cache notices, find counts, daily geocaching forum trolling, and touting themselves to be an expert. Do not fear people!!! The Bitchy Cacher is here for you !!! I am currently working on a 12 step program to gradually wean you off of your tupperware and film can addiction, I am not going to lie to you this will be painful, and may include some shock therapy and some serious meds. You WILL make it through, I guarantee it (or your money back.)
I imagine there would be a massive frenzy of players going out to find (and take) the last few geocaches left out there. Suddenly for a short time there will be find counts of recovered geocaches. Players with false hope will be gathering them up as one last shot at our sport, hoarding all those containers for the faint hope that one day the game will be reinstated, and they can run out the door haphazardly hiding camouflaged containers everywhere. Should you find yourselves sitting on dozens of useless containers years later don’t worry there will be a Bitchy Cachers “Geocachers Anonymous” meeting near you. complete with latitude and longitude directions for you to the location of the meeting. It will be at this point other members will take your old cache boxes from you and recycle them. (We call this step #1 at G.A.) forget about step #1 being admitting you have a problem. (we all know this already and are here for you)
There will always be alternatives to our sport, I imagine if our game does get banned, it will be because of the physical containers geocaching relies on. So there may be a big increase in players in games such as geo-dashing, geo-golf, geo-tagging, and virtual capture the flag type games. So if you thought you looked suspicious when you were geo caching, imagine how you are going to explain yourself when you get caught looking for nothing? And forget about Munzees, chances are if the public is tired of seeing us leave litter all over the place there is a very good chance they don’t want to see us tagging and leaving what basically is graffiti all over town either.
It will take all of us working together to help save our sport in the near future. I can imagine lawyers arguing for our side to reinstate the game in court…, “But your Honor…We are ALL eco- friendly players, Can we please have our ammo cans back?” “I am sorry” the judge will say ” You cannot guarantee in a user based sport all players will play responsibly, so, for those of you who wish to argue it further, I will sentence you to a 30 day stay at The Bitchy Cacher Ranch for recovering addicts, motion denied!!”
Now, why do we even need to explore this issue at all? Because if we don’t stop and take a look at what we are doing, we really do risk getting the sport banned everywhere. It is too bad that so many hours in legislation rooms all over the world have already decided where we can and cannot leave a plastic box. Certain municipal areas, parks and authorities on hi-ways have already banned the game in areas that they control. Could the rest of the areas we play in be far behind? Will some areas get the game banned and others have tons of geo-tourism as a result? Only time will tell. Geocache responsibly please, and enjoy it while you still can.