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?
© 2018 | Sarah McLarkey | All Rights Reserved
7 thoughts on “5 Things Cache Owners Want You to Know | The Geocaching Junkie”
I’m really enjoying your blog about caching. I was in Ireland before I geocached so I certainly have to go back. Also some of my ancestors were from there, so the trip would be for two purposes.
We drove the first and my husband said never again. So we’d be looking for a tour or transit to get us where the caches are.
Do you appear on any podcasts?
Hi Catherine, thanks for getting in touch! There are lots of tours that will take you to the tourist ‘hotspots’ and plenty of caches in the vicinity! I have been on the GeocacheTalk and Podcacher podcasts a couple of times, you should find them if you search their sites 🙂
I’m a cache owner myself. When we get 2 or 3 DNFs I check my caches. Most times it’s still there. Sometimes not. When I’m out geocaching and have to add to a string of previous DNFs, it frustrates me. CO’s need to do regular checkups. Then either fix it or say it is there try again.
Spoiler logs. You craft an ingenious D3-5 cache, find the perfect spot, and it’s basically invisible. Then Joe-The-Noob-Cacher with 3 finds comes along, miraculously makes the find, and tells others EXACTLY where to find it! I understand we all had to start somewhere, but this really should be common sense to not post spoilers. I gave a warning the other day to someone who did this on one of my caches, gave him a week to comply, and he did not, so I encrypted his log (I feel like total deletion should only be reserved for a very special kind of jerk).
The only other thing I can think of is not only just not putting the cache back, but going a step further and “hiding it better”. I put it where you found it for a reason, it’s not my fault you don’t like the spot I picked, and it is not up to you to decide where it should go.
Overall though, I’ve found that being a cache owner is more rewarding than anything. A nice log telling you how good of a job you did on the cache far outweighs the bad ones. My absolute favourite log to get is someone telling me that my cache was their very first find (granted they don’t post spoilers!) and it is what got them hooked on the game, it always makes my day 🙂
I LIVE IN THE AREA OF PORT CANAVERAL FLORIDA. I HAVE PLACED ABOUT 7 CACHES IN THE PORT AREA SO VISITORS TRAVLING WITH MUGGLES CAN FIND THEM IN SHORT ORDER. SOME OF THE COMMENTS I GET FROM EXTREME CACHERS ARE , THIS CACHE IS AN EXAMPLE OF GIVING A CACHE A DIFFICULY AND TERRAINE RATING THAT IS MUCH TO HIGH. GIVE ME A BREAK, WHEN THESE SHIPS COME IN OUR AREA HAS ABOUT 20K PEOPLE, AKA MUGGLES THAT THESE CACHERS MUST USE EXTREME STEALTH. MY RATINGS ARE DIFFICULT 2 STARS, TERRAINE USUALLY 2. 1 IS THAT A WHEELCHAIR CAN DO. GO CLIMB A MOUNTAIN WHILE YOU STILL CAN. JERANN
lack of favourite points in my cache drives me nuts. Gonna beg one or I kill that bastard! 😉
Number 3 is the one that hits home for me most of all. A certain cache of mine receives quiet a few DNFs and I check it regularly but I still get the odd needs archiving log because it’s definitely not there. The funniest thing I find is that these logs always seem to have come from people with huge cache counts. I do believe you were the FTF on it Sarah. Love the blog.