View Full Version : Quality Caches
11-03-2006, 09:53 AM
Is it just me or does it seem that of late that the cache quality in our state is getting to be quite low? Seems like everyday I see less and less effort going into cache placement and the micro seems to be the cache of choice. Don't get me wrong, there are some great micros placed as well as some pretty bad traditional caches being placed as well. I think what really got my attention this morning was when I read about a new cache that was placed at a transfer station. Isn't a transfer station just a better word for the DUMP? I know nothing about the placers of this cache and I'm sure there was some good reason for placing this in their eyes, but for me I think there are more appealing and appropriate places for even the micro that seems it be taking over the state recently. Sorry if this seems cruel to some but I just had to vent about something and I think this is just my attempt at trying to get others to place caches that really have some thought put into their placement and not just thrown out the window of a moving automobile as you drive by. :rolleyes:
11-03-2006, 10:12 AM
Is it just me or does it seem that of late that the cache quality in our state is getting to be quite low? Seems like everyday I see less and less effort going into cache placement and the micro seems to be the cache of choice.
I fully agree. I think a micro has a place, usually somewhere you can't place anything larger, but still a place where there is a REASON for being there.
Since we've found more caches than most, in more than 20 states, we have a pretty good idea of the trend in caching. While in Tennessee this simmer,we just got disgusted and returned to our motel. The attitude seemed to be that a location "needed a cache" because there wasn't one within 1/4 mile, so behind the phone booth went another magnetic key box.
People need to get out and see Maine. We had a great trip to the Rangeley area a couple of days ago, and found some great caches - even some really cute micros. And there are STILL a lot of great locations for good caches out there.
11-03-2006, 10:39 AM
I ask this question sometimes when I am caching too. Upon arrival at the location I sometimes scratch my head and say........ HUH? What in the world is there a cache here for or why is this type of container used? ..... Then I remind myself about the diversity that this hobby holds - cachers, cache types, locations, etc. I am usually not privvy to the reason behind the placement so remembering that everyone brings their own perspective and interest to the game is helpful. Unless it is spelled out in the description, etc. I won't know what I will find until I get there. That is one of the great mysteries about the hunt. Sometimes I get there and I am in awe of what I see and others times I'm not. Just part of the game.
11-03-2006, 11:15 AM
The irony here is that out of the 11 caches I have personally placed, the ones that are most visited are the "park and grab". I'll go as far as to hypothosize that this is to help increase ones numbers quickly. Why do 1 or 2 caches in a day that require lots of walking when you can do 20 - 25 in one day driving. Lets face it, it is about the numbers, there are even websites dedicated to cachers "rankings (http://grand_high_pobah.home.comcast.net/Maine1.html)" based on their number of finds. So going back to your statement Haffy, the Park and grab caches are popular for that reason. I, personally, place my caches so that they are found, if I wanted them to be unfound I would be more into terracaching (http://www.terracaching.com)
where ones rank goes up if the cache remains unfound. I think people are placing caches based on what is popular and that is placing caches that can be found within a few feet of the vehicle.
Saying that the quality of caches is going down though is not totally fair. There are still many "good" ones being placed, either in location or concept behind the cache. Like Beach Comber stated, caching means different things to different people. To some its the challenge, to others its being exposed to new locations and yet to others its about the numbers. There is plenty of room for everyone!!!
The key here is to stay focused on why you got into geocaching.
11-03-2006, 12:32 PM
I have to be honest . . . I recently placed a cache and I had to really think long and hard before deciding to place it. I say this because the area wasn't really that scenic and it meant that I would have to use a micro.
Since micros are not my favorite type of cache (only my personal choice) I have tried to avoid using them whenever possible . . . I have used one for my Fill 'er Up cache due to the landowners (town) asking to not go very far from the roadside and a few micros as the first step in a multi-stage cache as I wanted folks to go to a location for the view (i.e. Bryer's Beach) before looking for the actual cache.
In the end I opted to go ahead with the cache as I felt the history of the location would be of some interest to geocachers . . . coupled with the fact that it requires a degree of stealth (I hope) and it is in (I think) a nice hiding spot (although not too tricky) and I could offer a clever clue with it.
That said . . . this isn't my favorite cache that I've placed, but as BC mentioned geocaching offers a little bit of something for everybody . . . whether it be a quick, urban micro (Once Bartlett's . . .) or a slightly longer walk/drive (Book-nobile).
I must also confess that I am starting to rethink my own "policy" of attempting to hide 1 cache for every 25 of my finds. While I am still committed to trying to do this in an effort to create new caches in the area for geocachers (old and new) I also believe that there will come a time when I will be unable to maintain the caches to the degree that I prefer (i.e. checking them every Spring and whenever there are a few DNFs on a single cache) . . . and I honestly do not want to get to the point of placing caches in guardrails just because there is a guardrail nearby (at least that is my hope . . . and again, nothing against the guardrail caches . . . to be honest I've found a few of these types of caches that actually brought me to a pretty view of a lake, stream, etc.)
The G Team
11-03-2006, 12:52 PM
John, things sure have changed since we started--eh? 100 caches used to be a darned respectable number of finds--now there's probably 100 caches within 20 miles of us. Not caring one whit about "the numbers" (I have nothing whatsoever against those that do, btw), I think, makes it easier to pick and chose which caches to do--heck, I haven't logged probably my last 40-50 finds--can't get more anti-numbers than that! It just goes with the territory--there are only a finite number of "nice" spots available--when those are gone, I guess it's lamp post micro time--sigh!
I have to admit that I was a huge advocate to get rid of Micros. I hated them. I found many of them had no redeming qualities other than a number. However, there are times that i am just to tired to go on a big hike or a long all day drive for one cache or two. I have found that on rainy days or days that i just dont want to do alot of walking (being lazy) I rather enjoy the park and grabs.
I found that after all the bitching that I did about the dalmations I have done many of them and can say that I have enjoyed it along the way.
So yes in some aspects there are not alot of caches that are getting placed that are great adventures to you or I but some will enjoy them. There will be some I am sure soon enough that we will have a blast doing.
Havent talked to you in awhile John. How are things.:)
11-03-2006, 05:25 PM
As I approach the 500 mark, I realize that numbers are important in this game to a lot of people. I am not a big numbers' person and I have refused to find a cache that is on a guard rail, five feet in front of me, because I thought the location was lame. I had fun posting the DNF on that one because the cache owner was wonderfully honest about it's location.
I love the long hikes and kayak trips to find one cache. Hey, it took TAT and I one weekend to grab a cache (Seal Trap Cache GC8437)! Besides that one, my all-time favorites include Dave1976's "Gorge"ous (GCPETB), "Air as Myth Geocache" (GCX69W) placed by the Parksville Prowler (my brother-in-law), Out on a Ledge Cache (GCPKRG), and some solo Nova Scotia and Seattle hikes. Yet, when I place a cache I tend to think of my Mum and Dad and families that like geocaching. They usually are kid and elderly (sorry Mum and Dad) friendly. So, each person has their reason to cache. Yes, I tend to lean Haffy's way... but that's a shared reason why we cache.
11-03-2006, 06:06 PM
I've gotta say that it's too bad "the numbers" get control of some people. I think that's what's behind the big increase in meaningless "park and grab" micros in Maine. There is no reason for most of these "urban" caches other than to facilitate the stats.
As a matter of fact, I once over heard one cacher bragging about his "position" in the numbers game, and the fact that "nobody noticed" how fast he was moving up. I kept my mouth shut instead of pointing out that it was probably that nobody really cared...
11-04-2006, 07:57 AM
You can find several posts I have made here and on other sites predicting Maine was coming to this point. Diversity is a good thing , but quality suffers as soon as haste due to elements like competitions, addiction to numbers, the rush to hide a cache at a location before someone else does, and other factors present themselves. I could see this heading our way just by following the gc.com forums and see what was happening in the more populated areas. When you can go to a park without a GPS and just look under every park bench and on every light pole and get 10 caches in an hour, it's hard to imagine they were placed for anything but the numbers.
Once again I take this opportunity to plug my Anatomy of a Great Cache Hide (http://www.geocachingmaine.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1564) article in hopes future hiders might read it and consider what it says before placing a cache. Perhaps people who have placed caches can see how well those caches match my opinion (as well as other cacher's opinions, I hope) of what a great cache hide is.
11-05-2006, 03:26 PM
I have a different view about micros. I have some caches I have placed that are micros that are intended to challenge the mind and skills of the geocacher. They are not necessarily in scenic places but they are fun to try to figure out and find. I know that some of the caches I have enjoyed the most are the ones that made me think long and hard and were cleverly hidden so that it took me as much as five visits to finally figure out and find the micro. I also recognize that many people would not enjoy the locations or the difficulty of the cache but I do and some others do. That being said, I am sure all of you understand the different motivations people have for the game. I love the walks in the woods and parks but I also enjoy the challenge of a hard urban micro with lots of muggles to avoid. I tried to bridge the gap with my "Two Cache, Two Cache" hide. At this one you will find a nice trail system and an easy hide that kids will enjoy. But many of the people cannot find the micro portion of the hide. You all have good points but don't leave those of out who enjoy the difficulty factor.
11-06-2006, 06:49 AM
I see that point, Rumblebees. As my article states if there is not an attractive location there should be something to make up for it. However, I don't like the mentality some cache hiders have that just because it's a micro a hider should feel free to place it anywhere. I'm not speaking of yours directly as I am not sure I have even done any of them. I think there are many urban locations with just a little something extra, a waterfront, a historic location, an interesting building, a tiny park, a monument - just some little indication a little thought was put into the hide as well. On a guard rail at Wal-Mart just states to me you hid it for the sake of hiding it.
12-03-2006, 09:40 PM
There is more to the cache then its location for many folks. Recently I have seen some very lame cache descriptions of some very interesting locations. I like the locations that show not only research of a quality location but of the background information supporting the location. Did a couple of great ones in Unity recently :p , but saw several recently posted that basicly state pay a fee :confused: and find it or you will like the great location with little else. If you are going to pay a fee there should be a explaination why one would want to pay a fee or if its a great location give an explaination why it is special to you. Many times people are not local so they like to know a little more about the area. We use them for that reason when we are travelling. We did a numbers of micros in IN this summer, where they were used to welcome you to a location or gave a great history lesson some were easy and others well we all get a DNF sooner or later. NB has a great series of trains and tanks (a personal favorite) all with good descriptions. If you don't like the information you don't have to read it but if you like the information it will give you a reason to find the cache.:rolleyes:
12-04-2006, 09:47 AM
There is more to the cache then its location for many folks. Recently I have seen some very lame cache descriptions of some very interesting locations. I like the locations that show not only research of a quality location but of the background information supporting the location. Did a couple of great ones in Unity recently :p . . ..
Thanks . . . at least I assume that a few of these were probably my caches . . . and for the record I enjoy writing why I place a cache at a particular spot -- whether it's for the beauty of the area, the historical significance (my favorites) or simply for the challenge. In some cases, a cache may encompass all three of these and in some cases just a few.
As some of you may know, micros aren't usually "my thing" (just my personal preferences for traditional caches) so when I did a micro cache recently I tried to make it a bit more interesting by making it a little more challenging to find (although not much more) and by adding in a little history to the place.
On the flip side, when I log a cache I try to write a little about the place instead of a blase description . . . again a personal preference. I always enjoy reading about a cacher's views (good or bad) on the cache hide, the location, personal experiences, etc. rather than reading a generic comment that they make for every other cache . . . when I read a log that talks about seeing wildlife at a site, or a cache that was a challenge I feel as though the cacher took that extra bit of time to really look around and see why I placed the cache there and that it simply wasn't just another number to them.
That said . . . sometimes it can be a challenge to find something personal to write on some caches . . . but I do try to write something personal on most of them.