Monday, March 13, 2006

Injury Prohibiting Geocaching

I took a pretty bad fall last week due to my hypermobile joints, and thanks to a condition called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type III. No geocaching for this fella for a little while longer..

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Placing & Maintaining a Geocache (eg. Take Care of Your Caches!)

On the way home from work yesterday, I snagged a cache nearby the Circuit City in town. I knew it would be an easy one, and I was counting on it because I needed to get home—momma wasn’t feeling so good and I needed to look after the little one.

I arrived at the cache location, parked the car and hopped out. After spending the “customary 7 minutes” looking for it, I took a look at the hint only to find “purple is a favored color of the Los Angeles Lakers.” At first glance I thought, sure, no problem. I’ll look for something purple, maybe even something related to the Lakers or basketball and it will lead me closer to finding the cache. Nope. Another 5 minutes goes by, and just before I leave I decide to blindly reach under the Circuit City sign and my fingers closed around a small purple cache container that probably once served to hold a young girl’s small jewelry. The cache was small, the log was wet more than once in the past and it STUNK.

Now before I rant, I want to say a very heartfelt thank you to the cache owner for placing this cache, because we know that deep down it was placed out of a joy for geocaching—even if a few elements had been overlooked.

Onto the rant. When you place a cache, it’s good to try and find something redeeming about the location that makes finding a cache in that spot even more rewarding. To the cache owner’s credit, this was placed at a local landmark that was pretty interesting. Where the cache went wrong, was the hint. The name of the cache didn’t do anything to lead us to the cache, so after a while of searching we decided to use the hint to help dial it in a little further. Nope. The hint referred to the LA Lakers and the color purple. The cache container was purple, but you wouldn’t have known it until you actually found the cache as it was completely out of sight. On top of that, previous cachers had posted almost a full year ago that the cache was wet and the log was showing signs of damage. A few even commented that the hint did nothing to help find the cache. In a nutshell, this cache needs maintenance!

The moral of the rant? If you are going to place a cache:

  1. Monitor the responses from cachers who’ve found your cache. Often they can tell you when the cache needs attention, and if the cache has gone missing.
  2. If someone does note that the cache is wet, visit the cache and dry it out/replace it/replace the log, et al.
  3. If you are going to add a hint to the cache, make sure it actually leads the cacher a step closer to FINDING the cache!
  4. If you happen upon a cache that needs maintenance like this, don’t hesitate to use the “this cache needs maintenance” button on the cache webpage on