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The Country Cacher and the City Cacher.

Summer is here once again and the caching has been fabulous. Our family vacation took us to some very remote areas of our land with some very wonderful local made caches.

The areas we had gone to were sometimes so remote that the caches we found only had few finders per year. There was no over saturation of caches like we’ve seen in urban areas. There was no geo junk, or places of little or no significance for hides. Sounds like utopia doesn’t it? Well, it was a real treat for us, but one couldn’t help but wonder what the locals would think of us city types and our urban caching habits.

So in today’s post the Country Cacher is going to take us geocaching with him, then we are taking him to the city to show him some of our very best caches.

After joining the local rural geocaching group online before our trip, I was befriended by a local who insisted when that when we get to his part of the world we would join him on a geo excursion in the area. Well, nothing could be better than to have a local show all the best places to go caching, so we gratefully agreed. We planned to meet at a specific cache location, it was a wonderful off the hi-way park with swings for kids, a babling brook, picnic tables, and the oh so important clean bathrooms for washing up. By the time our geo friend arrived we were already grateful for the spot he had chosen for our first cache. “This is only the tip of the iceberg” he said, “Wait till you see what’s were going to find next.” Off we flew in our respective geo mobiles, excited as to what might be around the next corner. The day could not have been better, over 100 miles traveled, 11 caches (not one micro) found and not a single DNF. We saw waterfalls, ghost towns, a natural water spring, an amazing rock formation, wild animals, livestock, historic locations, unknown beaches, and many had areas with amazing views. After thanking our host with a nice dinner at a wonderful place of his choosing we parted ways with a heartfelt thank you and a promise to reciprocate when he gets to the big city. We headed for home still in awe of all we had seen that day.

So as reciprocation goes, Country Cacher arrives in our town and is eager to find our favorite caches here in the big city. We tried very hard to pick caches with significance for our geo friend to find, (this was not easy) I realized we could not show him what he had shown us but we were going to try to make his day as worthwhile as we could. The caches we chose had many favorite points and pretty locales, but he had his sights set on other caches he had found on Geocaching.com. We had to explain to him that there were a lot of caches in our area not worth finding, but he insisted, so off we went to the caches of his choosing. Pulling up in a strip mall parking lot, our friend got a little confused, “Why is there a cache here?” he said “Must be a special hide!” We knew better, but he was our guest, so we let him poke around while we sat in the car. When our friend couldn’t find it, we offered to help. I pointed out the lamp post skirt, then lifted it up to reveal the cache. “Oh, that’s clever!” he said. (is it possible there we have found the only cacher out there that has never seen a LPC?) After showing him other types of urban caches fo the rest of the day , he seemed unimpressed by even some of our favorites. “Don’t people place caches in nice areas here? Don’t people leave swag?” he asked. “Not always” we told him “sometimes people place one just for the sake of placing one” his look was confused but we did not elaborate. Our day with our friend ended with a visit to the travel bug hotel near the airport so he could have some travelers to take home with him. Sadly it also was disappointing, the TBs listed in the cache were not there for the finding and the cache was strewn about the GZ and broken. We went our separate ways, vowing to keep in touch through facebook and geocaching adventure stories.

So our story ends here, the only difference in our story is unlike the old tale of “The Country mouse and the City Mouse” We would gladly change places with our friend if we could. (although we know he wouldn’t trade with us) He only seemed impressed by the sheer volume of geocaches in the city not the quality of them. Well friend, we would gladly give up all 5000 of our crappy urban caches just to find a few by you and some of your rural friends. You’ve got it good without even realizing what you have. I will pray it always stays that way so we can visit you again. We have discovered the most important thing of all, sometimes the best thing you find is a gracious new friend.

Carry on Caching…
Bitchy.

A Bitchy Cacher Retrospective…Muggles, Haters, and Cops, Oh my.

After a short hiatus from caching I am back at it full tilt. In my little corner of the world winter was extremely brutal and only the most die hards went out caching. My find count was down to one a month and that was fine with me and mine, “better days ahead” we always say. My blog however never slowed down, with better view counts than I have ever seen before. Caching as it would seem, is no longer the super secret society thing it was when we all started out years ago. Today we are going to run down all the changes in our sport, and ask the question; “Is this a good thing or no?”

Remember the good ol’ days when you actually needed a GPS to find a geocache? No more, now any idiot with a smartphone can do it. So it might take them a little longer for them find one, and when these players hide one it is almost never waterproof and the co-ords are almost always off by a mile. Never mind that it is usually these “fly-by-night” types that are responsible for crappy geo-junk all over town. There is a good chance they will give up on it after a short time and there will be other idiots to take their place, (and their crappy hiding spots)

Remember when you had to pay Groundspeak to do paperless caching? No more, now any idiot with a smartphone app can do this. Notice how log entries have gone from a nice written paragraph from a cacher you are familar with, to now it is a “TFTC” tapped from a smartphone from someone with 4 finds you,ve never heard of before? I would almost relish a snide remark from the local “Mr. Know-it-all” in my area rather than just have an acronym or a quick “found it!” log from the generation of texters now joining our sport.

Remember when the muggles were something you avoided like the plague? Now because of the increasing popularity in our sport it’s not such a secret thing anymore. I have had muggles walk right up to me while caching, to tell me where the cache is hidden. I must say it’s not that I don’t appreciate their help, it is that I didn’t ask for it. The “cloak and dagger” aspect of this game was always part of the fun, and now sadly, that’s gone too.

Remember when a geocaching hater was just some troll on the internet? Not anymore, the “anti-geocachers” of this world have become more organized and have actual followers now. I have been trolled by these people before, and almost daily someone looking for a “I hate geocachers” page finds my blog and leaves a comment (comment was blocked by me of course). If they think I am going to help them spread their hatred they are out of their @#$%ing mind. I am never going to comment on an anti caching website so stop asking, and if they think I’m on their side, then they haven’t read my whole blog have they?

Remember when you had to explain yourself to the cops and produce I.D. to them? Not anymore, the police are now educated on our sport, and in one case I heard of on Facebook if they’re called out to a geo location they will actually help you look for it instead of arresting you for suspicious behavior. Too bad, I must say I really enjoyed the frisking “pat down” from the cop who reminded me of Patrick Swayze. No more cheap feels, (sigh) and when the bomb squad shows up they now bring a GPS and steal our swag instead of blowing it up.

Is our sport growing faster than we can keep up with it? Probably, but the temporary phone cachers will come and go. The muggles will learn to leave us alone. The haters will keep hating, and the cops will keep frisking (thank the gods) and the urban geo junk will continue. May I take this opportunity to remind readers to report risky hides to the authorities, and not to leave find logs on caches not worthy of one. The game will change whether we want it to or not, it is how we respond to it that will determine the future of geocaching.

Carry on caching,
Bitchy.

Dear Bitchy Cacher… Leaving a Found Log for a Crappy Cache. (Guest Blogger)

 

Once in a while I like to let my readers have their say, as it turns out, some players in our game have as much to bitch about as I do. A reader who calls himself “Supremely Fat” has written their own rant on the fine art of writing a sarcstic log for caches that just were not worth the time or the effort of the finding. Enjoy!

“The Art of the Short Log on a crappy cache: A Glossary of the Hidden Meanings”– By Supremely Fat
I love writing logs. Let me clarify a little: I love writing logs when the words just seem to flow naturally. The best logs of mine begin in my mind while I’m finding the cache, and the details get filled in when I go home and type them up. Writing logs is easy when you have a memorable experience.

However, many caches I find are average at best, if not poorly conceived. Sometimes the words for these logs flow naturally as well, but unfortunately those words are often unfit for print. So the unremarkable cache ends up getting a short log, usually composed of my favorite stock phrases. Without further ado, I present…

The Art of the Short Log on a crappy cache: A Glossary of the Hidden Meanings

“A little worried”
1. The cache really blended in well with the poison ivy.
2. I was so close to the neighbors’ house I could watch their TV.
3. Seriously, why would you put a cache this close to a police station?
I was a little worried when I saw GZ, thankfully I found it right away.

“Camo”
Your soda can cache only blends in because the rest of GZ is covered with litter too
Well-camo’d container. I’ve seen this before, so I knew just where to look.

“Didn’t feel good” (for use with Notes and DNFs)
I briefly considered looking for this cache, but upon further review decided not to because it looks like dogshit. Which is saying something, because I’ve found caches that literally resemble dogshit and they are much better than yours could possibly be.
Passed by here, but didn’t feel good about the no trespassing signs and decided to move on.

“Don’t think anyone saw me”
1. I think someone saw me
2. I know someone saw me
Lots of muggles out today. Took me a minute, but I don’t think anyone saw me.

“Filling in a calendar day”
This is a crappy cache close to my home location, and while I’m grateful it saved my calendar challenge/streak, I was really hoping it would get archived before I had to resort to finding it.
Had to fill a calendar day, so I stopped here on my way home from work. Quick find.

“Found on my way to/from”
This cache is on the trail leading to a much better cache, and I needed a couple more finds so I could accrue my next favorite point for it.
Found on my way to Amazing Puzzle Cache.

“Glad I found this in the winter”
This cache would have sucked in the summer.
Pretty easy to spot with all the prickers dead, glad I found this in the winter.

“I was in the area”
1. Your cache is slightly more interesting than watching my girlfriend go shopping/waiting for my takeout order to be ready/staking out a dryer at the laundromat…
2. I got pretty drunk after going to the bar/concert downtown and had to sober up a little before driving home, so I went geocaching.
I was in the area tonight and I had to walk right past GZ.

“Knew just where to look”
1. I picked up the lamppost skirt.
2. I reached into the guardrail.
Got within 40 feet, and then I knew just where to look.
see also: didn’t need my GPS

“Needs some attention”
Needs archived, even though it technically meets the guidelines. I really hope you slack on the maintenance or just give up on it.
Easy find, but needs some attention. Everything is a little wet.

“Only had a little daylight” (for use with DNFs)
I’m pissed that I couldn’t find this, and I need an excuse other than my own incompetence.
Only had a little daylight to work with, and my battery was about to give out. I’ll be back.
see also: GPS/phone battery died, you can’t fire me, I quit

“Quick find” (NOTE: this is my personal favorite passive-aggressive log phrase)
The container and placement are identical to approximately 100 other caches you’ve placed.
Quick find in the park this afternoon.
see also: easy find

“Seen this before”
You are not the first person to hang a bison in a storm drain/put a nano in a piece of fake poo/stick a pvc pipe in the ground near a creek. The novelty is wearing off on me, for better or worse.
Could be a tough find, but I’ve seen this type before so it didn’t take me too long.

“TFTC” (Only use in extreme circumstances)
1. I remember nothing about this cache.
2. If I could say less, I would, but I’m not allowed to leave a blank log.
TFTC

“Thankfully”
Now that I’ve found the cache, I will never return to this crap location again. Unless someone puts another cache here.
I was a little worried about the location, but thankfully I made the find in about 4 minutes.

Thanks for your entry “Supremely fat”
All opinions and additions to this rant are welcome in the comments section.
Carry on Cachin’
Bitchy.

A Bitchy Cacher Christmas….

Originally posted on thebitchycacher:

Twas the eve before christmas,
just at the start of the night,
a young cacher was stirring,
turning on a flashlight.

His GPS was hung by the door on
its perch, in hopes that
tonight would be a great time
for a search.

The other cachers were nestled
all snug in their beds, with
dreams of big find counts
dancing round in their heads.

The young cacher donned mitts,
coat and a cap, while other
cachers settled in for their
pre-Christmas nap.

Out on the cold trails the lone
cacher heard chatter, he turned
down the path to see what was
the matter.

Backtracking his trail, he flew
like a flash, jumping a
creekbed without making a
splash.

With the moon shining down on
the new fallen snow, He
discovered a man, dressed in red
head to toe.

“Santa?” he thought, “does he
really exsist? But wait…,
where’s the reindeer…

View original 247 more words

The Next Rant… Geocaching Disputes.

As most of you already know, disputes among geocachers are many. Everything from “Stop hoarding my travel bug!” to “Don’t leave spoilers on my cache page!” There seems to be no end to what players in our game do not agree on. In today’s’ rant we are going to run down some of the more common ones.

First and foremost let’s go to the authority on the sport the almighty “Groundspeak” As much as they say they are here to help, quite frankly they don’t give a rats behind about player squabbles and probably just pass around player complaints like jokes and laugh at them. Don’t bother with these guys, for the most part we are all grown-ups here and we should be able to settle these things ourselves. The only time you should ever involve Groundspeak is if another player has used racist remarks, vulgarities or called you names in correspondence.

Primarily, the thing we need to remember is; not everyone caches like you do. Just because someone has been schlepping your travel bug all over North america (when you specifically ask to have it dropped off) doesn’t mean they need to be reminded of its’ goal. Patience here will save you a whack of aggravation. Keep in mind here, no one ever likes being told what to do, dropping someone a note may be seen as rude or condescending. What you write to others and how they are going to comprehend it, are two very different things. Example; “would you mind dropping my travel bug at the next convenient cache please?” could translate to “Can’t you read a description you idiot?!!” As you can see, perhaps just giving the situation more time is a lot better than receiving back a note from them that reads “I’ll drop it off when I’m damned good and ready to.” Save yourself the aggravation, remind yourself this is a ten dollar trinket you took the risk of losing by just releasing it, and move on.

Spoiler Photos and log entries; Now, The Bitchy Cacher has been on both sides of the issue here, and yes, it is infuriating when another player wants to fight you on the issue rather than just dealing with things respectfully. Try to understand that cache owners want finders of their caches to experience the wonder of discovering their hide without log entries and photos spoiling the fun for the finders. I personally, thought it a stroke of genius when Groundspeak added the ability for cache owners to edit logs and delete pictures on their own. Should you receive a note from a cache owner saying your log was a spoiler and had to be deleted just go back in and leave a “TFTC” All cache owners seem to think their caches are special in some way, telling them otherwise is only going to cause animosity among players in the game. Once again save yourself the aggravation and be the bigger person here. By the same token, if you are on the other side of the coin and asking someone to remove their spoiler remarks of your cache in their log entry, try to remember what I said; what you write to them won’t necessarily be what they read, maybe start your correspondence with a compliment or a friendly salutation first.

The bottom line here is; this is a user based sport, you never know what kind of personality you will be dealing with when you correspond with other players. Are they nice and sympathetic? Are they an arrogant asshole? Just using a “please” and “thank you” does not mean your message to others will not be seen as rude, condescending or arrogant when read over the internet. Always try to be the bigger person here, an apology can go a long way. (Even if this means swallowing some pride)

Carry on Caching…

Bitchy.

Oh, and P.S.

Stop asking me to settle disputes…

The Next Geocaching Rant…Deleting a found log without being an Asshole.

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…

Bitchy.

The Next Rant… The Armchair Cacher.

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.”

Dear Pierre,
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?

Dear Mary,
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?

Dear Mike;
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)
Bitchy.

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