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Thread: Label Your Cache Containers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    ME
    Posts
    3,517

    Default Label Your Cache Containers

    Hi All - reading a recent thread on the NH Geocaching Forums - I thought the information was relevent to share. Posted by NH Zamboni the NH Volunteer Groundspeak reviewer, I have obtained permission from him to quote his post here on our Forums/Threads.

    Before you say - this doesn't happen in Maine, it won't happen it Maine - It Has! Please label your containers.

    And I quote -

    "Groundspeak recently received this message from a state police officer (not necessarily in NH) who is also a geocacher. Since the message really applies everywhere I have pasted it below.

    Quote
    Hi Geo people,

    I am a supervisor with the State Police dispatch center here.

    The reason for my e-mail is to let you know of a couple issues with geocaches. (I myself am a geocache chaser, and thoroughly enjoy the sport.)

    We have had several situations involving geocaches, in which were reported to our dispatch center as suspicious objects, or possible explosive devices.

    When we get these calls, we send out our Bomb Techs who go out to figure out what the item is.

    I thought maybe you could pass along to everyone in geocache land, customers, etc... that they really need to identify the item as a geocache, and not just a duct/camo taped item that may look like a pipe bomb.

    Just last month we had a state employee call in, saying there was a suspicious object planted under his vehicle, that was parked near the xxxx State Capital. He thought it was possibly a pipe bomb.

    The item was wrapped up in camo tape, and looked like a pipe that was capped.

    I later spoke with the Bomb Tech who responded, and he told me it was a geocache. He said they are getting more and more of these type of calls, as the general public does not know what the item is. In this case, the geocache some how rolled out from where it was stashed, and the state employee thought someone planted it under his car.

    I know of three different incidents this last year (2009) that involved geocaches, where we had to send out our Bomb Techs.

    I don't know if you have discussed this anywhere in the forums, if you have, I apologize for being redundant.

    I thought maybe you could send out an informational e-mail to everyone to let them know that their caches could be found by the unknowing citizen, who might call the police about a suspicious object.

    If everyone hiding caches would properly mark their caches, so anyone finding them could see that they are a geocache, this might help alleviate some problems with the police having to respond, and possibly destroying the geocache.

    Thank you for your time

    Please do what you can to ensure that geocache containers are not easily mistaken for a dangerous object.

    Thanks

    -Zamboni
    Groundspeak volunteer reviewer"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Albion, Maine
    Posts
    324

    Default

    Too Funny! A cache that is large enough to look like a pipe bomb just happened to fall from its hiding spot and roll underneath a vehicle. This is kind of silly when you apply some logic. If you were a "bomber" then you would want to mark your bomb as a "geocache" to keep the cops complacent? LOL. Lets give our police some credit, any suspicious package should be suspect!!! Doesn't matter if it is labelled or not. LOL I suspect if a package was suspect regardless of its markings it would be destroyed and rightfully so. If I responded to a "white powder" in an envelop call, I would be fully suited (HazMat) even if it had the words "Baby Powder" printed on the outside.

    I do agree that a geocache should be properly labelled. After all, it isn't really a secret and in many cases it might encourage an "accidental finder" to actually take the time to learn about geocaching. After all, it is all about the numbers, the more folks playing the better.
    There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.~~Albert Einstein
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Many wise words are spoken in jest, but they don't compare with the number of stupid words spoken in earnest. - Sam Levenson (1911 - 1980)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    [x, y, z, t]
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TRF View Post
    Too Funny! A cache that is large enough to look like a pipe bomb just happened to fall from its hiding spot and roll underneath a vehicle. This is kind of silly when you apply some logic. If you were a "bomber" then you would want to mark your bomb as a "geocache" to keep the cops complacent? LOL. Lets give our police some credit, any suspicious package should be suspect!!! Doesn't matter if it is labelled or not. LOL I suspect if a package was suspect regardless of its markings it would be destroyed and rightfully so. If I responded to a "white powder" in an envelop call, I would be fully suited (HazMat) even if it had the words "Baby Powder" printed on the outside.

    I do agree that a geocache should be properly labelled. After all, it isn't really a secret and in many cases it might encourage an "accidental finder" to actually take the time to learn about geocaching. After all, it is all about the numbers, the more folks playing the better.
    LOL. When terrorists start putting geocache labels on their bombs, and police will complain again, will we make a different sticker that says: "This is REALLY a geocache" and then "This is REALLY REALLY a geocache" always step ahead of terrorists.
    Moo

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Hampden, ME
    Posts
    891

    Default Thanks Hollora

    Timely message and when you think about it, an important one. It also lends itself to good landowner relations as well.
    Everyone has the right to be an idiot at times. Just don't abuse the privilege.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Bangor, ME
    Posts
    6,061

    Default Good topic

    The way I see it is if caches are marked properly at least it shows we've made some effort to make anyone who finds it aware of what it might be, regardless of what any law enforcement officers might do with it. We should do what we can to present the game in a positive light to non-geocachers. No matter how much good it does or does not do, if it makes the authorities happy then it makes sense to me.

    Marking is especially important in urban areas where there are more onlookers or where caches are hidden near buildings or other sensitive areas where onlookers could make easy assumptions.

    Cachers have been fined when their caches have been mistaken for a bomb. Something to think about when you are placing them, and again a perfect example where having permission for caches in these types of areas makes sense. A percentage of these scares could have been cured if only the property owner was aware of the cache, where and how it was hidden, and what it looked like.
    Last edited by brdad; 01-17-2010 at 08:02 PM.
    DNFTT! DNFTT! DNFTT!

    "The funniest thing about this particular signature is that by the time you realize it doesn't say anything it's to late to stop reading it..."

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    America
    Posts
    2,543

    Default

    I work with many municipal organizations. Now this gives me some ideas.

    First labeling will not make a difference unless there is more information to go along with it, like the police knowing where the caches are and have access to the website to see if the location in question is a cache site. This will involve a great deal of time and effort on your part to go to your local police department and explain the sport and show them how to work it and decide what they might be dealing with. Putting a label on a cache container will make no difference with out this extra effort. So if anyone is really concerned with this issue it is up to you to make the effort to make a real difference.

    I am in the process of putting together another Geocaching 101 in the Bangor, Brewer area. Because of this post I will be going to the new Brewer Fire/Police station tomorrow to invite them to the class and offer my assistance to bring them up to speed.

    Now being in this field all my adult life, I will tell you how a report of a suspicious package will be handled label or not. A response from the Police will be required. The responding officers will have to make an inspection of the location and make a decision on what actions are to be taken next. Bring in the Fire Department and rescue crews, evacuate the area, bomb squad, etc.

    If they can see anything that says geocache on it this might bring the sport into mind and they can check the web site to see if the location is listed as a cache sight. If they have no idea what caching is or how to check the sight for the size of package they are looking for this will be useless. Another thing to remember is that these people are not going to get too close, for the most part.

    There is a lot more to it but that is the jest of a proper response.

    Now, lets see if how many of the pot stirrers will be responsible and do the right thing.
    I have no enemies, but I'm intensely disliked by my friends.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Auburn
    Posts
    2,113

    Default

    If everyone hiding caches would properly mark their caches, so anyone finding them could see that they are a geocache, this might help alleviate some problems with the police having to respond, and possibly destroying the geocache.
    If someone sees a marked container, they might not report it. If the hider has permission to hide the cache, the land owner might not report it to the police.

    Geocache bomb scares can happen even with marked containers and permission, but labeling and permission do make a difference.
    The farmer gave permission to place the cache in the field, but the bull charges.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Albion, Maine
    Posts
    324

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tat View Post
    If someone sees a marked container, they might not report it. If the hider has permission to hide the cache, the land owner might not report it to the police.

    Geocache bomb scares can happen even with marked containers and permission, but labeling and permission do make a difference.

    That might be a problem I would hope that people would always report suspicious activity and containers. Someone moving furniture out of a house at 2am, even if they are driving a clearly marked "Moving/relocation Vehicle", would be suspicious. Report it. What is the worse that could happen?

    I would like to think that all geocachers are good people but as we all know we can be decieved.

    Again, I agree that marking a container is the best course of action because it promotes the sport in a good light. We are not suppose to be sneaky or deceitful as geocachers(accept to each other with some of the hides I've seen). Our cache hides are suppose to be placed so others can enjoy looking for them. Permission to hide should never be assumed as well as permission to search shouldn't be assumed. On the otherhand a clearly marked geo-container could be a clear attempt to deceive, the more blatantly marked could be the more blatant attempt to deceive. Even here, on these forums, there are stories of muggles "violating" caches. One must use thy common sense!!!!
    There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.~~Albert Einstein
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Many wise words are spoken in jest, but they don't compare with the number of stupid words spoken in earnest. - Sam Levenson (1911 - 1980)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    So. China Maine
    Posts
    1,588

    Default Use and fill out the labels

    I have Groundspeak labels on all my caches, except the two nanos but they have the info on the scroll. I think it's also equally important to fill in your name and your telephone number on the label with a felt tip pen. I'm guessing that might convince a law enforcement person to make the quick call to me first, bomb squad second!
    Sometimes the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belgrade, Maine
    Posts
    953

    Default

    We all have to face it, we live in difficult times now for new reasons. My parents lived in difficult times, my grandparents, my great grandparents and so on. As technology evolves so does terrorism. It's unfortunate that we have to even discuss putting labels on geocaches in an attempt to keep from scaring non-cachers, whether it be the general public or members of the law enforcement community. Still, the circumstances exist that make this an issue everywhere.

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