When puzzle cache help goes too far
There are not many cachers who haven't brainstormed with other cachers to figure out puzzle caches or ganged up at a cache site of a higher difficulty cache in order to make the find. Cachers from all over the world come into the national chat from time to time asking for help with puzzles, and often some of the chatters including myself will look them over and help solve them. There was a meeting of the minds at one of the recent breakfasts to help figure out several puzzle caches. It's nice when people are willing to help each other.
Recently I found out there are some emails being forwarded which contain at minimal explicit directions how to solve a cache, some contain the actual final coordinates. And not just puzzles, multicaches too. I have been informed some of these emails were not sent with ill intention, nor were they intended to be forwarded again and again. But they were. I'm not really sure how many and to what extent this issue has become. I hope it was short term and low numbers. I myself have received two different lists. I will not disclose any cache or cacher names so don't ask, nor will any be allowed to be posted.
To those that use these lists to find caches, I feel in many cases you are missing out on much of the fun of the cache. With many puzzle caches, perhaps you are just missing the puzzle, but it's a shame you're not willing to be challenged and learn something new. With multis, you could be missing out on interesting spots along the way. It's not like there are not enough caches around that you can't just skip the puzzles and multis. This is one reason why I don't acknowledge many milestones. For example, say you are emailed the final coords for a cache like Alex’s Monster Multiple Nightmare (Nightmare #2) (GCP6N8) by Team Nirvana (4/5). You drive to the cache site, walk 50 feet off the road and make your find. I take two days, driving over 70 miles and 20 or so stages, drive back to the cache site and make the find. And you want me to compare numbers with you? Phooey! However, you found the cache, signed the log, it's technically a legal find. If you can live without the guilt, fine with me. I've had an easier time doing some caches than I was supposed to have, but I have never actively tried to find puzzle/multi caches in this manner.
To anyone sending out help with caches, please take a minute to consider the cache owner. A lot of work goes into puzzle and multicaches. If they are an active cacher, perhaps it would be better that whoever is having trouble with the cache contact them. Only the cache owner knows how much of a hint he'd like to have given away, and most likely he would not just give out the final coords. Also consider that very little on the internet is private, nor does it die off easily. The email you send today can make it to many cachers in only a few months, if that long. Occasionally, it makes it back to the cache owner.
To anyone who forwards those emails with the intention of making it easy for others to find the caches on the list, shame on you. It shows total disrespect for the game, the cache hiders, and often compromises those caches. And it makes the whole sport look like a farce. To anyone who receives these lists, consider doing the honorable thing by ignoring the list and telling the sender it is not in the spirit of the game to play this way.
So now it is time to forgive and move on and promote what is right and what is fun in this game.
more questions on hints and clues
Please, wait! don't "move on" quite yet. This is a great thread for me because I haven't actually found anything yet, except for a virtual cache at Machias, which was neat, but seems like not the same thing. Anyhow, I have more questions on this topic.
The first time I looked for a cache I followed the clues and could not find it. Then, along came a very nice couple of geocachers and Wally and I watched them find the cache without any trouble. The location did not seem to fit with the clues, so we asked about that and they said that the clues were supposed to be MISleading. That was a surprise. Is that always the case, and how can you tell?
This weekend in Machias I followed coordinates and when I got to the "spot" it looked right but I could not find the cache, just some assorted garbage which I carried out, and a container lid, which I photographed and left. How do I know if the cache was destroyed or if I just did not find it?