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TWiG – This Week in Geocaching – Counting Finds

This is the second article a series titled, “TWiG – This Week in Geocaching”. TWiG is a weekly article that highlights my personal geocaching treks and point of view on anything that I find of interest that’s going on in the world of geocaching (i.e. geocaching related websites, forum posts, blogs, podcasts, etc.).

Cache Log

As mentioned in my previous TWiG article, this is my first week back to geocaching since August. I finally managed to get out and find a few caches. Since last week my cache count has increased by 6 finds, coupled with 3 DNFs. Five of the six finds were micro caches and yes, I logged my DNFs. Do I always log my DNFs? No, but that’s a topic for another article.

Geocaching Blogosphere

JestCaching.com has an article titled “When is a find really a find?“. It’s an interesting read about whether you should count a cache as find if you get help from a friend when the owner of the cache doesn’t want to give any clues. Here a snippet from the article:

It involves claiming a find when another geocacher tells you what to look for. An example of this is a puzzle or a deviously camouflaged container. You go there several times and just can’t find the cache. You email the owner and are told that they do not wish to give you a hint, but “Good Luck”. You either “phone a friend”, email someone that found the cache previously or hound somebody at a local event to tell you what to look for or how to solve the puzzle. You head out the next day, sign the log and claim a find. You have to ask yourself some questions. Did I play the game fairly? Did I respect the wishes of the hider?

I really enjoy articles like this that involves ethical issues in geocaching. My personal feelings are if owner of the cache doesn’t want to give out any clues, then you shouldn’t disrespect the owner or the game and ask someone else for help. Instead move on and try to find some similar caches, gain some experience, and come back and try it again. This has worked for me. When I first started geocaching there were times that I really wasn’t sure what I was looking for, so I moved along and found a few others, came back later, and usually found it with little or no problem. In the end you have to ask yourself if your integrity is worth trading for a find.

But here’s another situation. What if the owner of the cache does provide you clues or hints and you still can’t find it. Do you continue to ask for clues or hints? Do you still count it as a find after you have received multiple hints from the cache owner? I’m not really sure myself, so I guess it is up to the cache owner and the cache hunter.

Geocaching in the News

Here are few links to geocaching related news articles that have appeared online in the past couple of weeks:

‘Hidden treasure’ closes Jolon Road – Device resembled explosives, detonated by bomb squad (Montery Herald)

A state work crew cleaning the road shoulder found a three-inch long PVC pipe with end caps and a thick wire protruding from one end. The entire package was wrapped in camouflage-colored duct tape.

Deputies and state Department of Forestry employees decided the item could be an explosive device, and they shut down Jolon Road.

The bomb squad deployed its new robot, affectionately known as “Boomer,” and reported that the package was “blown to pieces.”

Alt Link: Geocaching Item Mistaken For Explosive Device (CBS 5)

Letterboxers Find Joy in Scavenger Game for Grownups (Northwest Herald)

Essentially, it works like this: Weatherproof containers are hidden in publicly accessible locations. Inside each letterbox is a log book and a carved rubber stamp. Clues (generally found on the Internet) are written to direct letterbox hunters to the sites. When boxes are located, finders use the rubber stamps inside to make imprints into their own log books. They then stamp the log books inside the letterbox with their own stamps.

Keystone the First to Offer GPS-Assisted Treasure Hunts (Denver Post)

As part of a special lodging package, visitors receive a new Garmin eTrex Legend GPS – a $150 unit that is theirs to keep – and a list of coordinates and tips for finding four caches.

Geocaching Winonans Take Out the Garbage (Winona Daily News)

Armed with global positioning devices, a few coordinates with clues and garbage bags, the geocachers looked for trash and treasure.

TFTC

One of my goals with this series of articles is to help keep me in the caching spirit and to remind me how much fun is involved with geocaching. I always appreciate comments and suggestions, so feel free to leave them here or send me an email. Have a great week and happy geocaching!