View Full Version : Protocol on hints



ForceAtHome
11-09-2009, 03:57 PM
I got interested in geocatchign a couple of months ago and thus I've been lurking around these forums for just as long. I've been finding it really fun, however, there's one cache that I just can't seem to figure out. I've been on location multiple times and it still doesn't add up to me. What's the protocol on getting hints/help if someone just can't figure it out?

For what it's worth, the cache in question for me is George and Helen's Cache (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=baa1d5db-5c7c-49c4-9050-c1aca6afb2b6).

squirrelcache
11-09-2009, 04:20 PM
I was told by a CO(Cache Owner), who had a cache I also was stumped on... that if you ask a direct question answered w/a yes or no....that you might get further info.. Of course that only works if they read their e-mails....it didn't work for me on that one :(

shuman road searchers
11-09-2009, 05:14 PM
I do not believe that there is a protocol on hints. You are the one who is finding the cache. You can ask yes or no questions or for the CO to tell you just where it is. This is only a game with no prize at the end except for your ability to sleep at night because you cache the way you wanted to. Perhaps you can start with a small hint and progress from there if you need to. I think most, if not all, cache owners want their hides to be found and are willing to help you with the hint that you want or need to find their cache.

Gob-ler
11-09-2009, 05:30 PM
If you read the logs for the cache in question there are many "Hints" that are present.

Obviously you have not made the proper connection with this particular cache, but when you do make that connection and find the cache you will be pleased.

I can tell you this, the cache coordinates do help you a bit.

Ekidokai
11-10-2009, 01:27 AM
And of course Gobler is very clever. Very clever. A trip to Lewiston is now needed.

WhereRWe?
11-10-2009, 07:08 PM
We use hints. Always. :o:o

brdad
11-10-2009, 07:12 PM
We use hints. Always. :o:o

I've known you do darn near beg for hints! :p

WhereRWe?
11-10-2009, 07:22 PM
I've known you do darn near beg for hints! :p

Beg??? No, but I've been known to have a "George Washington" or two in hand when I asked for hints...

(Sheesh! We must have had 4-5 five hints before we found "Old 470 (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?ID=44562)"! That's what you must be talking about! LOL!)

Gob-ler
11-10-2009, 09:33 PM
I did not know George Washington was involved in this, what do you want to know?

shuman road searchers
11-10-2009, 09:48 PM
I think George is worth .25. Right?

mipster
11-30-2009, 11:40 AM
We are in PA. right now visiting family. Of course we had to squeeze in some caching! There is one cache on a covered bridge that we spent quite some time trying to find and couldn't. Since our time here is limited I email the owner for a second hint. No response. Sometime people don't take the time to respond back. So I guess that cache will have to remain a DNF until next year when we're back. On a better note, I got the cords. to one cache that we found. Went to post it and the owner changed the cache for premium members only. I contacted him. He changed it back just so that I could log it. How nice was that!?! One thing that I have loved these four years that we have been caching is that it is a free fun family activity (except for gas). We normaly pack a picnic when we go a distance from the house. It works out great! Anyway, some hints are toooo clear, others not enough. Everyone has a different idea on how much info. to put out there. Same goes for cache container sizes.
Mipster

Ekidokai
11-30-2009, 12:07 PM
A great man once told me "caches are meant to be found." (Gobbler)

When I ask for a hint I have spent a long time looking, posted at least one DNF, and I am frustrated as hell. I want to know exactly where it is at that point.

On the other hand when someone asks me for a hint I don't know know how much info to give. Some just want a push in the right direction and some want a lot more help. It helps me when people will tell me what they have done in their search and what they want. Otherwise I don't know how much a person wants.

I do read all the logs and try to answer questions right away.

I have two that I have had to give many hints on Dyslexic's Nightmare (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=6c85f14e-2e88-41bc-a263-11f3c7fe467c) and Tucked away at a forgotten launch (http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=73256e6a-c1b0-43cb-b201-2db72f22f099) . I really enjoy reading the logs and these are hard, but meant to be found, so ask away and tell me what you want.

When looking for a cache, I want to find it. Not for numbers but for the thrill of the hunt. After coming up empty I want to find it to see what I was missing and see how devious, inventive, creative and crafty other people have been. Until I find the cache I wont know. Which reminds me I have to give a big hint to Cano now on one.

cano
11-30-2009, 12:53 PM
Which reminds me I have to give a big hint to Cano now on one.

Thanks for the big hint, but I didn't ask for one. Now what have been seen cannot be unseen. Anyway as I said in my log I won't be able to find it even with correct coordinates, because my GPS just don't work there. No signal -> no cache, simple. And I'm not buying a new one for one cache, besides I'm fine with this one. I don't have to find all caches :)

hollora
11-30-2009, 08:36 PM
Thanks for the big hint, but I didn't ask for one. Now what have been seen cannot be unseen. Anyway as I said in my log I won't be able to find it even with correct coordinates, because my GPS just don't work there. No signal -> no cache, simple. And I'm not buying a new one for one cache, besides I'm fine with this one. I don't have to find all caches :)

And what cache might this be? I can't imagine so far off the grid you can't get any signal............

cano
11-30-2009, 08:53 PM
And what cache might this be? I can't imagine so far off the grid you can't get any signal............
dyslectics nightmare. I have like 50m accuracy when in that area :( way too large area to search.

hollora
11-30-2009, 09:02 PM
dyslectics nightmare. I have like 50m accuracy when in that area :( way too large area to search.

Hum, odd..........hopefully the rest of the forest for you is better.

firefighterjake
12-01-2009, 09:04 AM
Something that annoys me when it comes to hints:

A person with very few finds looks for a cache which is more challenging (according to the rating system) and logs that they looked for awhile and couldn't find it so they called a friend who pretty much gave them a really good hint or told them right where it was . . . I have no problem with offering a hint, but kind of wish folks would try a little harder.

On the flip side, I try to send hints to folks who have logged a DNF (as Eikidokai says caches are meant to be found) or whenever I get an e-mail requesting an additional hint. Unfortunately, I don't always get e-mails from gc.com letting me know about the DNFs for whatever reason.



Something that annoys me about my own cache hints:

Some of my cache hints are pretty obscure and some really are not at all useful if you're in middle of the woods without a connection to the internet . . . sometimes I think I should change these hints, but then I think to myself that it may not be as fun to have the hint say, "Rock and Roll" or "Don't get stumped."


Something that annoys me about caches without hints:

The easy caches . . . no problem. The challenging caches . . . I hate it when there is no hint or it says something like "in the rocks" and it's hidden in a boulder field or "check the tree" and you're in middle of the forest . . . and don't get me started on the cache hints which say "Take Exit 32 and . . ." D'uh . . . I have a GPSr . . . I don't need directions to the general location.


Things I hate when folks log a cache (and yeah, I know this has nothing to do with hints . . . it's just an annoyance):

I hate it when I've taken the time and spent the money to buy an ammo can, find a good scenic spot to make the hide, filled it with swag and then folks come through and log the "X number of finds out of Y number of finds for the day. TFTC" . . . this annoys the hell out of me . . . I know I shouldn't take it personally, but I feel like my cache was just another number and the person didn't take the time to look around and appreciate where I've taken them.

OK, I'll take my happy meds now . . . ;) :)

pm28570
12-01-2009, 09:17 AM
Maine's own Andy Rooney :D



Something that annoys me when it comes to hints:

A person with very few finds looks for a cache which is more challenging (according to the rating system) and logs that they looked for awhile and couldn't find it so they called a friend who pretty much gave them a really good hint or told them right where it was . . . I have no problem with offering a hint, but kind of wish folks would try a little harder.

On the flip side, I try to send hints to folks who have logged a DNF (as Eikidokai says caches are meant to be found) or whenever I get an e-mail requesting an additional hint. Unfortunately, I don't always get e-mails from gc.com letting me know about the DNFs for whatever reason.



Something that annoys me about my own cache hints:

Some of my cache hints are pretty obscure and some really are not at all useful if you're in middle of the woods without a connection to the internet . . . sometimes I think I should change these hints, but then I think to myself that it may not be as fun to have the hint say, "Rock and Roll" or "Don't get stumped."


Something that annoys me about caches without hints:

The easy caches . . . no problem. The challenging caches . . . I hate it when there is no hint or it says something like "in the rocks" and it's hidden in a boulder field or "check the tree" and you're in middle of the forest . . . and don't get me started on the cache hints which say "Take Exit 32 and . . ." D'uh . . . I have a GPSr . . . I don't need directions to the general location.


Things I hate when folks log a cache (and yeah, I know this has nothing to do with hints . . . it's just an annoyance):

I hate it when I've taken the time and spent the money to buy an ammo can, find a good scenic spot to make the hide, filled it with swag and then folks come through and log the "X number of finds out of Y number of finds for the day. TFTC" . . . this annoys the hell out of me . . . I know I shouldn't take it personally, but I feel like my cache was just another number and the person didn't take the time to look around and appreciate where I've taken them.

OK, I'll take my happy meds now . . . ;) :)

Ekidokai
12-01-2009, 10:35 AM
I agree with Firefighter Jake. I like looking around at every cache I go to. Even the ones in the city. I never knew some of those stores were there.

On the thread "Where is this?" I posted two pictures recently that I thought were very interesting near caches. Anybody going to do these caches would have had to see these sights if they drove with their eyes open. And no one got the location without some help.

Geocaching takes us to a lot of great places. I tend to spend the time to really see what is there. So, giving a hint to find the cache is no big deal for me. I brought you out to see stuff and find the cache.

Nano's are bad anywhere.

cano
12-01-2009, 10:49 AM
Nano's are bad anywhere.
Traffic signs are OK :)

hollora
12-01-2009, 01:18 PM
.......Nano's are bad anywhere.

Awh, come on......not on a plow. How else would you know where to play disc golf?

Sudonim
12-01-2009, 01:50 PM
Awh, come on......not on a plow. How else would you know where to play disc golf?

A plow is the WORST place for a nano. Lying on your back and the wind kicks up the gravel into your face.... or so I've heard...:p

kayaking loon
12-01-2009, 03:22 PM
I like hints, good hints. If I don't need it, I don't look at it. But when I've driven a 100 miles or more I didn't do it for a DNF. And so, here in the wilds of Eustis, where only the brave dare tred, I try to give good hints on my caches. And if those don't work, call me, knock on the door, I'll lead you to the cache by the hand if necessary. I've even taught people how to kayak so they can get to a cache. And in my kayak because they didn't have one. Caching is about having fun, finding caches, meeting (and helping people). And I too hate "in the rocks" when there's a boulder field or "in the trees" when you're in a forest. But I do like to hunt for a bit before giving up. And if it's close enough, I'll go back. But if I'm never going there again, well, that's a permanent DNF and I'm sad. :( :(

Mainiac1957
12-01-2009, 03:47 PM
A plow is the WORST place for a nano. Lying on your back and the wind kicks up the gravel into your face.... or so I've heard...:p

I know for a fact that you would say the worst place for a nano would be on a gazebo. Or any other container as well...:D:D:D:D (Inside Joke)

Mainiac1957
12-01-2009, 03:51 PM
My biggest complaint on hints are the cachers that say "Post a DNF and email me for hint" Ain't gonna happen folks. I will pass it by every time. If I am away from my immediate area then this is just a ridiculous request on a cache owners part. It will go right on the permanent ignore list.:(

hollora
12-01-2009, 05:20 PM
Puzzle caches sometimes have a hint to solve them - but even with that - I put a double A+ on folks who put the Puzzle Checker on their cache pages. That way I know I have at lease solved it correctly without looking in a way wrong place.

Puzzle checker isn't a hint - it's just an assurance you solved it correctly.

dubord207
12-01-2009, 05:40 PM
I think I'm already on record about serial logging. I find it annoying and inconsiderate especially on a cache that the CO obviously put some effort and thought into the placement.

And I agree 100% with Brad about the wise asses that say" Log a DNF and I'll e-mail you a hint." Stop and think about it. Are you trying to confound or are you placing a cache to be found?

Great thread!

pm28570
12-01-2009, 07:50 PM
Brad, thanks for this post and enlightening me. Makes sense in the overall scheme of things. I've got 2 I need to change......



My biggest complaint on hints are the cachers that say "Post a DNF and email me for hint" Ain't gonna happen folks. I will pass it by every time. If I am away from my immediate area then this is just a ridiculous request on a cache owners part. It will go right on the permanent ignore list.:(

firefighterjake
12-02-2009, 08:55 AM
Maine's own Andy Rooney :D

Yeah, now that you mention it . . . I am fat and feeling a bit cantankerous these days . . . and I did kind of ramble on there for a bit. ;) :)

WhereRWe?
12-02-2009, 09:23 AM
I think I'm already on record about serial logging. I find it annoying and inconsiderate especially on a cache that the CO obviously put some effort and thought into the placement.
!

And I'm on record as saying that I'll put as much effort into a log as the cache owner put into placing the cache. As such, I'll post a "serial log" for a drive-by/GRC/LPC every time. :D:D

And we do make regular use of hints - especially on "small" caches other than GRC/LPC's. You could spend a LOT of time looking for a fairly easy cache. It's great knowing when you go into the woods that it's in "3 Birch trees", or "hanging", or "knee-high".

JustKev
12-02-2009, 09:37 AM
Okay, confirm what it means for me please? I see references to it and suspect I know what's being talked about but.....enlighten me if you can.

Haffy
12-02-2009, 09:42 AM
In other words you write a comment about the cache and then copy and paste it on all the other caches that you found that particular day. It happens a lot on the so-called numbers runs when a person doesn't want to take the time to write out an online log for each particular cache. I am guilty of that as well on occasion.

JustKev
12-02-2009, 10:04 AM
I see, it wasn't what I thought. I was somewhat guilty of that. We hit the Hobbit caches in Vaugh Woods and when I logged them I put similar lines in each log. I didn't copy and paste but I didn't get elaborate in all the cache logs. Was our first concerted effort to go as a group and, I'll admit, I wasn't as prepared as I might be in the future. We're thinking we'll have a small notebook to jot down info we want to have both in the process of going out and to remember what we want to log in each cache. Not to mention I got my laptop a couple days ago and it's set up for my Magellan and wife's (JustPJ66) Garmin so we can be more prolific in our caching habits.

I thought serial logging was a group all logging the same cache as their find (which I think is the purpose of going as a group so I was going to keep serial logging). As we get better at being organized we'll log with more info pertinent to the particular caches or just thank the CO for their effort.

Haffy
12-02-2009, 12:51 PM
It can also pertain to the logging of lame caches,ie,lamposts guardrails etc where there isn't much to report and just writing TFTC or something short and to the point. I mean how much is there to write about a lame cache right? Although there is the exception to some of those lame type caches where they actually do have something to report about,maybe a nice view from the guardrail or a special skirt lifter but those are far and few between.

pm28570
12-02-2009, 02:56 PM
And the eyebrows? What about the eyebrows? :eek::D Keep rambling....haven't seen ya here for a bit.

Yeah, now that you mention it . . . I am fat and feeling a bit cantankerous these days . . . and I did kind of ramble on there for a bit. ;) :)

dubord207
12-02-2009, 04:26 PM
I certainly agree that not even my creative writing training leaves me with much to say about GRC's and LPC's. My gripe is when a cacher does 25 caches not in the category of Park and Grabs and posts " Out caching with Old Fart on a run of 25 caches. SL TFTC" and does that 25 times in a row! I would encourage "SL TFTC" if all you can muster is that type of boilerplate 25 times in a row. While not every cache deserves a story, many do and I get a lot of enjoyment about any comments folks make about caches I've placed and in turn wonder is a cacher didn't care for a particular cache if all he/she could write was a serial log or TFTC. I find the feedback has helped in the caches containers I hide and the way I hide them. I suppose, you could get by just saying what # find it was for you and skip all else.

pm28570
12-02-2009, 05:44 PM
I would echo Dan's comments here. As the quality or uniqueness of the hide goes up, so does the log content/quality. And, it certainly has helped me when doing another hide. I've got simple park and grabs that get the log it deserves, lacking content. Then there are hides I've done that get logs that I enjoy reading. Oh well.....enjoy the activity as you see fit.



While not every cache deserves a story, many do and I get a lot of enjoyment about any comments folks make about caches I've placed and in turn wonder is a cacher didn't care for a particular cache if all he/she could write was a serial log or TFTC. I find the feedback has helped in the caches containers I hide and the way I hide them. I suppose, you could get by just saying what # find it was for you and skip all else.

masterson of the universe
12-03-2009, 08:44 AM
I agree with Dan as well but would take it a bit further. While I certainly understand that during the spring and summer months here in Maine it can be difficult to stand in one spot long enough to sign a log all the while swat away the swarms of black flies and mosquitos, but I'd like to see more people take the time to write a little something in the paper log if its big enough. I really enjoy reading the paper logs when I find a cache and take the time to go through the whole thing. Some of the out of the way caches that have been out for a couple years still have the original logs in them and there are actual little stories in them...These days when I go to do a newer cache and its not an easy grab, it seems that all there is a name and a TFTC in the logs. While I don't usually take much from caches, I do take away memories and reading the logbook is part of that.

firefighterjake
12-03-2009, 08:53 AM
And the eyebrows? What about the eyebrows? :eek::D Keep rambling....haven't seen ya here for a bit.

Nah, no bushy eyebrows . . . I pluck them every other day. ;):D:eek:

pm28570
12-03-2009, 08:58 AM
Ditto.....



but I'd like to see more people take the time to write a little something in the paper log if its big enough. I really enjoy reading the paper logs when I find a cache and take the time to go through the whole thing. Some of the out of the way caches that have been out for a couple years still have the original logs in them and there are actual little stories in them...These days when I go to do a newer cache and its not an easy grab, it seems that all there is a name and a TFTC in the logs. While I don't usually take much from caches, I do take away memories and reading the logbook is part of that.

JustKev
12-03-2009, 09:38 AM
Too many of the logs we encountered on our trip into Vaughn Woods didn't support more than just the date and our geocache names and we weren't prepared with a notebook to make notes in so when we logged it on geocaching.com we had to rely on memory. Is it better to do a quick note in the book and then expand on it in the note space on the website?

Haffy
12-03-2009, 10:30 AM
I think most people nowadays will just put there signature in the log book and then expound more of their experience with the online log. I remember a few years ago liking to read the logbooks as usually everyone wrote something of interest in them. Now it seems no one does this and instead will opt to do it more online now. I think most cache owners like to see the online logs now and don't get out to check on their caches to read them like they used to years ago when they only had a few to take care of instead of the hundreds that some cache owners have out in the wilds now.

firefighterjake
12-07-2009, 09:28 AM
And while I'm still in my cantakerous mood as of late. . . .

Another thing that bugs me is when folks find over 1,000 caches . . . and yet, for some unknown reason can't seem to find the time, place or small investment of a cache container and log to do a hide of their own . . . maybe this comes back to the whole "giving something back" to the community thread.

I mean . . . c'mon . . . folks have all the time to find all these caches, but can't seem to find one place to even hide a single nano or micro even?

OK, I'm done ranting and raving like a lunatic . . . for now.

WhereRWe?
12-07-2009, 09:37 AM
Another thing that bugs me is when folks find over 1,000 caches . . . and yet, for some unknown reason can't seem to find the time, place or small investment of a cache container and log to do a hide of their own . . . maybe this comes back to the whole "giving something back" to the community thread.

I mean . . . c'mon . . . folks have all the time to find all these caches, but can't seem to find one place to even hide a single nano or micro even?


Yes - there are thousands of guard rails out there just waiting for a film can, and I've thought of many more opportunities for "themed" hides: Keys on the Keyboard (I'd love a hide named "esc"...), Fish of the Penobscot, Fish of the Androscoggin, Fish of the Saco (and so forth...). And most of the paper company roads in The North Woods have mile markers - well beyond the 500-foot limit for placing caches.. And game sightings! How about a series called "We Saw A Moose Here"?

Sheesh!

brdad
12-07-2009, 07:57 PM
While I certainly understand that during the spring and summer months here in Maine it can be difficult to stand in one spot long enough to sign a log all the while swat away the swarms of black flies and mosquitos, but I'd like to see more people take the time to write a little something in the paper log if its big enough.

Writing longer paper logs is something that was much more common in the beginning. I used to write longer paper logs myself. I'm sure for the number hounds it's often because they want to get on to the next cache, but the biggest thing for me is my writing sucks. It's bad enough when I am sitting at a desk, but in the field it's much worse. I'm not sure anyone else could read them!

I try to make my online logs an award for the cache. A better cache will get a better log if I can think of something to write, while lesser ones get less. Of course this changes depending on my creativity at the moment. On a couple occasions when I find a cache I can find no idea whatsoever why someone would place it, I have just logged a smiley with no words - which is basically all I can assume the cache is there for.