Setting an example
A recent PM prompted this post...
The number of cachers and caches are growing exponentially in Maine. As much as we try to get certian cachers (new or seasoned) involved in this site or events, there are those who choose to be alone (some are just a little stubborn ) and there is little way to insure Maine caches retain their quality.
One way is by email, if it can be nicely and positively stated, explaining why you might disagree with the action a particular cacher took. This can be tough to do.
But there is another way we can. That is by setting an example.
If a cacher finds 10 lamp post micros, he will assume he should hide the same thing.
If a cacher reads logs of cachers trading a dirty used golf ball for a $5 item, he will assume it is ok to do so.
If a cacher finds a Gladware cache, broken and wet, he will hide the same assuming that's part of the game.
If a cacher sees a cache owner disable a lost or damaged cache and not do anything about it for 2.5 years, he will assume that is acceptable.
You get the picture - we as regular cachers affect other cachers more than we may think. Our hides and our actions give other cachers a baseline from which to start from.
It's impossible to expect everyone to do what is best for geocaching in Maine. And, there are multiple opinions of what is best. But we should remember when we place, log, or trade, that we are setting an example for others.
Last edited by brdad; 07-27-2005 at 08:48 AM.
I fully agree. Thanks for the post.
I second that. Sounds like we could all set an example one way or another. I wish I could bring myself to doing it all the time. I have one pet peave that I just can't do and that is pickup cigrette buts when they are near a cache. I will trash out almost anything else and always trade up. That means in a few years caching will be more expensive but oh well.
Although we have been caching a year, we still feel somewhat new at it. We have learned alot from caches we have visited and hopefully have learned the right things. One thing we like is to be able to visit places we might not have ever been to if not for caching. Therefore we have tried to place caches in areas that people may enjoy visitng. I also am disappointed when I find a cache that is broken & wet, ammo boxes are cheap ($5) or a good quality plastic container works fine if you need a different size. I guess the biggest thing I would recommend is; if you place a cache, be able to get back to it frequently to maintain it or take care of any issues that may come up with it. I hope to meet more of you guys on the trail or at a future event.
I have one ready to go out in as soon as I finish painting the ammo can. I have two sites picked out just need to scout both of them.
Along the same line of thought . . .
I realize that the real fun in geo-caching is traveling to new places and the challenge in finding the hidden "treasure" . . . however it seems in the short time I've been geo-caching that most of the cache items are junk (literally -- spent shotgun shells, empty bug spray container, run-of-the-mill rocks), broken or just plain dirty-looking . . . much of the stuff looks like it has been moving from cache to cache for years.
While I am guilty of taking a cache item only to place it in another I try to be selective and only take something that looks decent or may be of some value to another. If I only find "junk" (usually the case thus far) I'll usually leave a TNLN or more likely drop in a few small trinkets of my own (i.e. pencils with eraser tops, Sacajewa dollar coin, etc.) -- something with just a little value, but not junk.
I've only found one cache item that I actually took home as I thought it was neat and figured my wife might like it -- a glass cat at a site in Brooks. For the most part much of the stuff isn't anything I would ever want to keep.
Again I realize that geo-caching is all about the thrill of the hunt, finding new locations and the comraderie of geo-caching and I realize we (or at least I'm not) are rolling in the dough so to speak, but it's discouraging to see so many caches that have a lot of crapola in them when sometimes even a nice $1 item would make someone's day.
This said . . . I intend to practice what I preach and have already bought a whole bunch of brand new things ranging in price from $1 to $30 which I intend to start placing in caches. While I will continue to throw in the odd pencil or two or cached item from another site I hope that other cachers might realize that finding something in good shape and clean is definitely more appealing than what I've found in so many other caches.
Finally . . . I have a question . . . I'm still a new-bie, but I've already started planning on creating two new cache sites. I'm taking my time though since I want to get the coords right and make sure things are right. My hope with the first of my cache sites is to create a cache where everything in the cache has a monetary value between $5 and $30. While I would encourage everyone to look for it, I would hope that most cachers would either opt to TNLN and just sign the log book (rather than leaving junk) or be willing to do an equal monetary trade.
Based on many of the member's experiences here . . . how well do you think this would go over? Would the first cacher or two clean out the whole cache? Would cachers be apt to take an item of value and only replace it with an item of lesser value? What do you think?
One thing that I have found is that there is a group of die hard cachers among us that practice caching eticate. These folks always trade up. That is one of the "rules". That means that caches should always stay nice. That being said. You can elininate the cachers that leave junk and might not be as interested in the cache by means of making it a members only cache. What that means is that you have to be a premuim member at GC.com in order to see it on the menu. While that won't rule out all the junk it will certainly help. The other way is to make it harder to get to. Not harder to find just more work to get there. I placed my first cache in June and it is still full of awesome stuff, only one couple have found it but oh well. I would prefer the experiance much more than the items. I have 130 something finds under my belt and have probably traded 2 or 3 times.