Archiving Geocaching

August 29th, 2006 by Kat Kingsley-Hughes

Spent a long time this weekend archiving my geocaches.  It’s not that I’m bored with geocaching – far from it! – just that owning geocaches is a lot of work and when I get some free time I want to go geocaching, not just maintain my caches.

Cachers complain a lot too! I checked my geocaching inbox Saturday (I moved everything to send to a separate account so I don’t get geocaching emails all day, everyday in my inbox) and I had 208 unread geocaching emails! Logged finds I can pretty much ignore and I can’t remember when I last got the time to check on my own travel bugs.  People logging DNFs (did not finds) takes longer as I need to go through the logs to find out if someone’s found the cache since or not and whether the cache is actually lost.  (I’ve only ever had a couple of caches disappear completely.  Mostly they just wander off, not on their own of course – people put them back in the wrong place, either because they aren’t paying attention where it came from or because they think of a much better place to put it than the one I chose. Either way it means that cache is temporarily down for a while until I can get out to check on it and see if it’s where it’s still supposed to be.  If I can’t find it, I then have to search the surrounding area for likely places that cachers could have put it instead. Only then do I give up and archive it, unless I’m minded to put another cache in its place,although if a cache has been stolen once, chances are it’ll happen again if it’s put back in the same spot.)

Back to the inbox, I get a LOT of emails from cachers contacting me to find out if a cache is going to be available for a certain weekend that they’re planning their vacation, or somewhere they might find accommodation or a campsite (I’m not the tourism department and it’s not up to me to plan your vacation!!!) I’ve had emails asking whether the terrain to the cache is really as difficult as its rating suggests.  All these emails take time to read, sort through, trash or reply to. 

But what gets to me most are the complaints.  Cachers complain that caches aren’t available, that they can’t find them, that they’ve been unavailable for too long, that the location doesn’t look like the photo or the clue I’ve given or that the cache box is broken, the log book if full or the camera is all used (OK those last 3 aren’t complaints, but it’s still telling me I’ve got to go fix it!)  I’ve had complaints that the parking has gone up and is ‘too expensive to make the cache worth it’. (Whoever said that the ammo tin I placed out in these woods was going to be worth the trip?  Where did it state that?)  I’ve had emails complaining that the undergrowth had grown up too much, that people have been pricked by thorns and poked their eyes on branches and that the mosquitos in the boggy place I put the cache were just too bad.   (I’m never sure what I am supposed to do about these?  Go in with pruning shears and insecticide?  Post a warning? Or do they really want me to move the cache to someplace more exotic??) 

I’ve even had emails asking for more ‘good stuff’ in the cache as there was ‘only crap left in it’.  Well the cache had good stuff put into when it was first placed, if it only has crap in it now take it up with your fellow cachers not me as they’re the ones who traded it for all that crap!  (And sure people do leave some crap, but what amazes me is that they actually LOG that they did it! ‘Took dollar, left used bus ticket’, ‘took: bookmark and radio  left: stick of gum’.  Kids fill caches full of shells and candy and pretty flowers and leaves.  Very nice when they put it in there, but stinky a few weeks later when the sea creature and the candy and the organic matter have rotted into a foul goo at the bottom of the cache mixed with all the detritus from the wallets of caches who didn’t bring anything else to trade!) Caches after they’ve been in place a while just aren’t nice to visit anymore, especially if it’s your cache and hence your job to pry the  sticky lollipop off the log book and printing out yet another set of cache instructions because someone considered Play-Doh to be a sensible trade.

So, I’m done being a cache owner, at least for the time being. I don’t have the time right now and my patience ran out a long time ago.  For too long when I’ve marked ‘Going Geocaching on Saturday’ in my diary it has meant going out to fix/check on/replace my geocaches instead of going out to do any geocaching of my own.

So cache owners out there … you better have some ‘good stuff‘ in those caches because here I come!

Posted this over on Hacking GPS but posting it here too because comments aren’t switched on on that blog, and I want to see if other cache owners feel the same! Feel free to post a comment…

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 29th, 2006 at 2:46 pm and is filed under Flotsam. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Archiving Geocaching”

  1. Hackergirl Says:

    I just started, so no I don’t feel the same YET. I will tell you though that I may not put up so many just in case.

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