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The Rant of the day… The Geocachers Creed.

October 31, 2012

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;  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.

With Respect,


P.S. This whole post could have been avoided if you would just have a comments section, (remember, you were warned beforehand)

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