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Cache Owner’s Intent

Every geocache that gets placed, has an intent. May it be to take you to a beautiful camera spot with a view, a puzzle to challenge your mind, or add numbers to your stats. Some caches are put out so that you can add your other pastime, may it be socializing, hiking, mountain biking or kayaking. I can’t say it enough, every cache has an intent, that the cache owner has decided that someone needs to go there and find it.

It seems lately that a lot of geocachers believe that because there is Tupperware in the woods, it is their given right to use any means to either get the FTF or log the cache, without the regard to the CO’s intent. May it be powering through geochecker or sharing answers to puzzles, doing caches in groups and not participating in the hunt or breaking the field puzzle to achieve the log. So in short, they have decided that the CO’s intent does not matter. With this in mind, why would anyone place a cache if the intent that they laid it would be disregarded?

Everyone that places a cache wants others to find it. That is the reason we put it out there! Cache owners may decide to change the intent on their own. For example, I have a Puzzle/ Night cache that I am debating to make a straight night cache as it has already gone through the puzzle crowd and I now want others that don’t do puzzles to enjoy, but that is my right, as a Cache owner.

This is a game, first. For some people, it is a way of life. The smiley is a badge of honor to say” I have experienced what the cache owner has intended me to experience and I wear my smiley with pride. I have physically visited your geocache, appreciate what you have done and hereby sign the log online to tell the world that I have successfully completed the task.” Ok, that may be a glorified way of saying it, but none the less, that is what you are saying. My smiley’s read as a roadmap of where I was and what I experienced during my time as a geocacher. The log may not state my experience but the memories will.

As the geocacher has a right to get a smiley, the CO also has the right to refuse a log. As the soup Nazi says” No soup for you!!” There seems to be a lot of discussion and wasted energy on complaining about what a cacher has done, lately.  As the cache owner, you have the right to delete a log if you believe that your intent has not been followed or contact the logger if there is a dispute. Lately, I had to contact a logger as I had a tricky hide and they gave too many hints in their log. It changed the intent I had for the geocache and it needed to be addressed. The logger was more than happy to change their log and it was fixed quickly. I decided to act, rather than complain which solved the problem and left the geocache experience the same way I intended it. If I had logged a cache without following the intent, I would expect it to be deleted! (if I could sleep at night after doing that)

Another question you have to ask yourself is, Does it matter? Who gets gets robbed when they log a cache when they didn’t find it? I can’t take credit for this one, thanks Dragoon. I  had an instance a couple of years back where an Ex relation logged a cache, the same day as I did, out of province, that physically they could not have been there. This bother me for a short while and I talked to a few experienced cachers about this. My findings were that it is only the cacher that gets robbed from logging a cache that they did not find. Do you, as cache owner, check the physical log to see if everyone was there? Sounds like too much energy wasted on the negative. My thought on it now is that it is a shame that the enjoyment you are getting is from a digital icon of a happy face, I got the enjoyment of being there and enjoying the CO’s intent for the cache. Enjoy your smiley!

So in short, if the intent is followed, you get a great experience and a badge of honor, maybe a peanut for a FTF(sorry SJ geoslang). Hard feelings don’t need to happen. It is still a game! I always say” Life is like Physics… For every action there is a reaction ” so if you don’t follow the CO’s intent in finding the geocache, expect it to be deleted. I got better things to do than complain about Geocacher Ethics, like wash my hair or figure out a micrologic.

5 Comments

  • avatar Rev Slippery says:

    I will admit to finding a puzzle belonging to Zor without solving it, although over the phone I told him how to solve it but I found it through sheer luck, searching the area I thought it was in. I felt bad and will not do that again. I have no issue finding a puzzle with someone who has solved it, many people do this and in groups it seems OK to me. To me the act of finding the cache and signing the log book is the only requirement, not how you get the coordinates and if I can’t solve it or don’t want to I can easily ignore it. I have heard from many cachers that they don’t mind that as long as I went out to find it and signed the log. Most cachers want their caches found and some will give you the answers if you ask nicely.

    I have never checked a log book and only deleted a find once as I thought it was a mistake but turned out to be true and re-logged. I gave up on trying to make others do the right thing a few years ago and if someone deletes my log I just let it slide whether it is a legitimate deletion or not, not worth the fight.

    I enjoy caching but I enjoy caching with others and going to events far more, so numbers, cheating, competitions or other games don’t interest me, the people do and that is what I focus on. When I hide a cache it is for everyone else to find and enjoy not for me or to show off my exceptional creative or hiding skill, which I don’t have, so I tend to make them easy and simple and leave the tough ones to others.

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  • avatar heathtree says:

    I know how you feel Sgt Pick. I recently went to find GC3BW32. I could guess from the description that this cache was going to be one of the caches where you need to bring water with you to fill a pipe, floating the log to the top of the pipe. So I hiked into the woods with a bottle of water, only to arrive at the GZ and see that someone had cut one of the ties holding the pipe to the fence, and so you could just tip it over and have the cache come out. I debated if I should sign the log, since I wasn’t going through the experience the CO intended, but in the end I did sign since I did come prepared.

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  • avatar Zor says:

    In thinking about owner’s intent, it reminds me of GCVWFJ which is a cache I found without having the final or having watched the movies.

    I actually used “brute force” and simply looked in the entire area that I knew the cache was at. It hadn’t been found for quite awhile and I knew it was there and I simply wanted to see if I could find it.

    I have no guilt of how I found the cache because although I didn’t find it the way the owner intended, it was still quite an adventure for me and a lot of fun finding it and in the end, I think that’s what all CO’s want. They want people to get some kind of enjoyment out of finding their cache.

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    • avatar Zor says:

      I should also point out that when I started geocaching, I hid 11 caches in bus shelters. I had actually laid out and included a route for someone to take so they could get the entire series by bus. I thought it would be a neat way to see the area. Not a single person ever did the series by bus.

      Was I disappointed? A bit, but I also still enjoyed getting the logs from people who did find them.

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  • avatar Madpuck says:

    With all the debates lately I see where your coming from. As an owner I want my caches found, but understand some that won’t be as often and why. One thing I have learned as an owner is that even the simplest cache placement can not be as easy as you thought it would be so I’ve just learned to appreciate the variety of methods people use to make the find

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