Friday, May 9, 2014

Do you know what burns my biscuits?!? A Finder's Rant.

Hiders who change cache information months or years after they published them!  Don't get me wrong….. I understand cache owners who tweak a listing when a cache is first published.  They may've rated it too high, too low, wrong cache size… but not months or years later!  You're affecting peoples' stats! 

After a lot of work, I finally qualified for Handyman's Date Placed Challenge GC3DCE0 and made the find in July of 2013.  In December of 2013, while checking on my stats at, I realized I no longer qualified for it!  2 years after one of the qualifying caches published, the CO changed the "Placed Date"!  How do I know this?  I had a GSAK export from the prior month with the original date and a new export with a different date.  When I asked the Hider, "Why?"  No answer.  I had to drive 34 miles round trip to "re-qualify" for this challenge.

Date Placed Qualifiers - July 2013

Date Placed Grid - December 2013

And today I pulled up my stats on  I was so excited to fill another box on my Difficulty/Terrain grid.  One of my goals is to qualify for DougPeterson's Sixty Percent Fizzy Challenge GC41TQB:

Find a cache in each of the Difficulty/Terrain combinations starting with 1.0 up to an including all of the 4.0 combinations. 

High difficulty is easy for me – I LOVE puzzle caches.  But I'm a dumpling – high terrain is a struggle.  So it's been with great pride that, for the last 8 months, I only need 2 more combos to qualify!  For months, I've been looking for a chance to grab a 3.5/4.0 and a 4.0/4.0.  Until today, that is.  Checking my stats today, I now need a 2.5/4.0 cache, also!  How could I be so close for 8 months and now suddenly need another?!?

Last Week's DT -

Today's DT -

Hiders, if you need to make a change to the difficulty, terrain, dates, or even sizes (in the case of Large caches), then archive the original and create a new listing.  We have a cache owner nearby who is considering a change to his D/T 5/5 cache because the tree has disintegrated so much it's not truly a 5/5 anymore – I'd hate to see the area lose a 5/5 but he said outright he'll archive before he changes it so we don't lose this victory on our grids.  Smart man.

And while I'm ranting…. along these same lines is the new trends in "bonus caches".  So far, I've experienced this TWICE in the last few weeks, once last Fall, and just read about another instance this month: Cache owners who just added clues inside existing caches (caches that have been out for months or years) for their new "bonus cache".  To find the bonus cache, you need to re-find the original caches ALL OVER AGAIN! 

To give you one example, to gather clues for a new bonus cache, you have to revisit 6 caches in a thorny, high-growth Nature Preserve. These caches ranged anywhere from 6 months to 6 years old!  This hider doesn't even own all the caches he modified.  Why did he do it?  To increase foot traffic to his older caches.  I already found the darn things once!  And in most cases, many of the local cachers probably already found these, too!  Why should we have to revisit them all over again because you had a sudden inspiration NOW?  This is just one of several examples, and these aren't new cache hiders….

Please, just think before you do.  You are draining some of the fun out of this great world of geocaching. IMHO.


Update: Woohoo!  My faith is restored!

After calming down, I searched until I found which cache was changed on my D/T grid.  The answer surprised me so I reached out to the CO. He was very sweet - I think he didn't realize that a change effects all finders (past and future) - he switched it back!  Happy Day!

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