Being a cache owner can be a double-edged sword at times. When you’ve spent a lot of time scouting out the perfect location, or hand-making a unique cache container, reading nice logs from appreciative finders makes it all seem worthwhile. Unfortunately, it’s rarely all gushing logs and favourite points. Being a CO can have its downsides.
Lately, I haven’t been doing as much geocaching as I’d like to. However, being a cache owner means that I’m always involved in the game. Having owned quite a few caches over the years, and still the owner of 67 active caches, I have received thousands of logs. Some of the same things come up again and again, and occasionally, they have me rolling my eyes…
1. Caches move around, and it’s rarely the cache owner who moves them
You have placed your hide in a tree about a metre from the ground, so you think “1 metre up” is a pretty good hint. Unfortunately, someone couldn’t be bothered didn’t replace the container as they found it and instead chucked it at the base of tree. I have never known of a cache owner to deliberately mislead in a hint (although stranger things have happened), so chances are high that it is not the cache owner’s fault if you don’t find the cache where the hint says it should be. By all means letting the CO know that the cache was not where you expected to find it can be helpful, but complaining that the hint was misleading is unnecessary and very rarely the cache owner’s fault.
2. I didn’t put that trash there, and it wasn’t there when I hid the cache
Generally speaking, COs don’t hide caches with the intention of drawing your attention to a bunch of litter. One of two things has usually happened if you find a cache in the midst of a trash pile. The first is that the cache owner is a relatively new cacher and in their haste to hide their own cache, they have found a not-so-ideal GZ. They likely just got caught up in the excitement of becoming a cache owner and were blind to the location they’ve chosen. They may simply need some guidance, but there is no need to be nasty in your log about it. A steer in the right direction through a private message may be the way to go. The second likely occurrence is that the trash turned up after the CO hid their cache. Sure, let them know about it but just be mindful they probably didn’t intend for their chosen GZ to end up like that.
3. Just because you can’t find it, doesn’t mean it’s not there
Maybe it’s not there. But maybe it IS. Never assume it’s not there just because you can’t find it. This is not something that only new cachers write in their logs. I have received logs from geocachers with thousands of finds confirming that my cache was missing, only to check on it and find it exactly where it should be, where the hint says it should be, and where everybody else has been finding it without issue. Logging a DNF is not a bad thing, quite the opposite in fact, it helps alert the CO to a potential problem, but ‘I couldn’t find it’ is more helpful than ‘it’s not there.’
4. Cache owners are geocachers, just like you
I think this is a misconception probably more common among new geocachers. When I started out, I didn’t think about who hid the geocaches I was finding. It wasn’t that I didn’t know who hid them, I just never really took time to think about it. Not realising that other geocachers have hidden the caches for you to find, can sometimes lead to questionable log comments.
5. It’s not my fault you weren’t FTF/you lost your pen/you stepped in dog poop
Never, ever write a log in anger. It’s not the cache owner’s fault that you’ve had a bad day. Or that you tripped and twisted your ankle on the way to GZ. Or that you hiked for 3 miles and then realised you can’t find your pen. Or that you spent hours doing a very involved multi-cache only to be beaten to FTF by a mere 8 minutes (happened to me almost 4 years ago, I’m still not over it). All these things may suck but the CO didn’t intend you to have that experience (I hope!) so keep that in mind when you’re wording your log!
Are you a cache owner? Is there anything else you’d add to the list?
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