Friday, June 17, 2022

Upgrading Geocache Containers 101

How many times have you gone out caching with a full swag bag and a handful of trackables only to find nothing but micros, nanos, bison tubes, and DNA caches? Too many? Me too. Call me a grumpy old searcher if you like, but I am at the point where it is time to do something about it. How you ask? Well, by writing primers, teaching Geocaching 101 events (PCP8AB), and setting an example by hiding larger containers; that’s how.

At the risk of sounding preachy, aren’t you also weary of how little thought has been put into not only the container, but the location of so many caches these days? Every time I see the description on a cache page that reads, “This corner was just screaming for a cache, so I put one out!” I cringe. Arriving at the precious location I read it is a muggle-heavy micro in a bush, with no hint and possibly shaky coords. What? Again? The pharmacy parking lot is crowded with cars and now I find myself on my hands and knees in front of some car’s grill and the first thing I see is empty soda/pop bottles and McD’s wrappers that are aged to nutty perfection. My thought is always, “Are no cachers doing CITO these days” as the container has been published for 6 months.

I check the D/T rating and it is a solid 1.5/1.5. After 20 minutes I leave and feel like I’ve been cache-whipped. Checking the past logs I see someone with 18 finds praising the CO for hiding the smallest thing they’ve ever seen hold a log. I shake my head and wonder if I will be back. The newbie swears it is an “evil hide”, but I think it is a “stupid, needle in a haystack” hide as I post a DNF.

The only upside was the full sack of trash I picked up, as is my commitment to giving back to the community. I carry a large container behind the seat of my Jeep and a roll of trash bags and don’t feel bad about preaching CITO every chance I get. CITO is the only beneficial thing we do for the community and so many veterans appear to forget this, as evidenced by the many trash strewn cache locations I’ve witnessed.

The solution is twofold. Replace your containers with the largest container possible to facilitate trackables and swag.  You may have to actually get creative so muggles don’t spot it, but cachers can make quicker work of logging it and find the experience far superior to looking for a forgettable container. I want to fool muggles, but unless I am deliberately trying to make it difficult, I want cachers to find my hide. Give good hints. Cachers who don’t want hints, won’t read it anyway, but a family with kids and us old folks will appreciate it. Reserve evil hides for unique containers folks won’t recognize rather than a nano glued to the bottom of a pebble in a rock pile by a gas station. Come on! That is not evil folks; it is mean and most of us groan when we find it.

Second, archive that old LPC or micro that everyone has found (and has few, if any favorite points) and place a new, better, and larger container. Do the homework and make it something cool and awesome and folks will come and maybe give that precious favorite point. Our landscape here in the Houston area is littered with tiny insignificant hides and aren’t worth remembering for any reason except to get a point. Many of the CO’s aren’t active or do maintenance on their caches and in my opinion simply need to archive their hides. Open the area back up for new better containers and let’s give this game a makeover. If you hide caches, protect your user name by doing prompt maintenance. The last thing you want to hear is your name dragged through the mud. Happy caching!

 Bert Marshall (BaytownBert)

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