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Forums —» General Caching —» General —» A Sticky Subject
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A Sticky Subject
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scruffster



Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 1207
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 11:34 am    Post subject: A Sticky Subject Reply with quote

Imagine you threw a party. Most of the guests were well behaved and left without incident. But the next day you noticed that someone brought a drill and bored a hole into your living room wall. Another guest decided to dig a hole into your newly laid laminate floor while another decided to grab some glue and paste some ornaments to the kitchen back splash. The furniture in your basement was rearranged.

Over the past year, an increasing amount of geocachers have been behaving in this manner. Not to anyone's house, but rather, to our parks.

I've seen some amazing hides. And I have to say that I am constantly impressed with the creativity of geocachers. But in the effort to find new and unique ways to hide a cache, some geocachers have been seriously damaging the environment.

When I say "environment" I'm not just talking about the forest. The environment can also be park structures, signs and buildings.

Over the last few years, some geocache hides in British Columbia have been placed by boring holes into trees and park signs with a drill. Other geocaches have been placed three feet into the ground by way of digging a hole with a shovel. Other geocaches have been attached to structures with nails, screws, and adhesive.

Some geocachers might argue that there is nothing wrong with a little screw now and then. What's wrong with some adhesive where nobody can see?

Park Boards consider these to be acts of vandalism. Just because the cache is placed out of immediate sight from the average muggle doesn't make it less damaging than an angst driven teenager spray painting the underside of a bridge.

I'm not sure if we can entirely blame the individuals who placed these caches. Sure, there may be some people that simply don't care but for the most part I have no doubt that the majority of ill placed hides are simply due to the lack of experience. Pretty much every geocacher I know, including myself, will admit to making some kind of mistake in their early days of geocaching. Lets face it. When people begin to geocache, they're thrown into the ring with a minimum amount of guidance.

Unlike Baseball or Hockey, there is no Geocaching Coach standing beside newbies to make sure they're doing everything in accordance to the guidelines.

Groundspeak's guidelines are vague to keep the game as open as possible. Nobody wants to be straddled with an endless list of THOU SHALT NOT... But one thing is clear. Groundspeak states that in the placement or finding of a geocache nothing in the environment may be altered. It is not permitted to use a shovel or trowel in order to hide a cache. Many mistakes are made by people who simply do not read the guidelines. I will put that part of the blame on those who ignore or do not read Geocaching.com's guidelines.

It must be noted that Groundspeak's guidelines are there for a purpose. The reasons may vary from safety to environmental issues. There aren't a lot of rules but it is a good idea to follow the guidelines posted.

Bad caches are nothing new. It's the increased popularity of geocaching that makes the problem of bad placements all the more intensified.

Although geocaching is supposed to be self-policing, senior geocachers hesitate to alert cache owners about bad placements. Nobody wants to be the Grinch that stole a cache.

So for newbies and senior cachers alike, please consider the first paragraph in this long and boring post. Don't do anything to a park structure you wouldn't want a stranger doing to your own house. Just like showcasing your own home, geocaching brings people to beautiful and historic places. So, lets do our best to curb changing for the worse the integrity of the places we love to explore.
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jangor



Joined: Jan 05, 2007
Posts: 144
Location: Surrey, BC

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:04 pm    Post subject: Re: A Sticky Subject Reply with quote

Very well said. Now if some of those cachers would read your post and act accordingly.

Don't forget the removing of conks to use as caches. Crying or Very sad

If you don't know what a conk is go to GC14V91 and see a really nice one.


Last edited by jangor on Thu Aug 20, 2009 6:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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scruffster



Joined: Sep 29, 2004
Posts: 1207
Location: Burnaby

PostPosted: Thu Aug 20, 2009 5:34 pm    Post subject: Re: A Sticky Subject Reply with quote

I had to email Jangor to clarify. I thought I did something wrong. **teehee**

He's referring to Bracket or Shelf fungus. In the coastal regions of BC, the flowering body of shelf fungus can survive for many decades. In fact, the age of some species can be seen by counting growth rings just like a tree. The fungi close to my cache at SQ #2 (referred to as the cranky oyster) is the largest I've seen and probably older than I am. A very rare specimen.
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