December is the traditional time to look back on the past year and reflect on what we did, for better or worse, and think about how we can be the best version of ourselves for the year ahead. With that in mind, what kind of geocacher have you been this year? Will you be on the naughty or nice list?
The Naughty List
Not Signing the Logbook
Okay, okay, I know that signing the logbook is not listed as one of the ‘rules of geocaching‘ by Groundspeak, but if you don’t sign the logbook, how can you prove you were there? This is a tough one, and there are many people who are of the opinion that it’s not a requirement to sign the logbook so why should they? Technically, correct but most cachers would agree that writing your name in the logbook is the unwritten rule of geocaching.
Leaving Lousy Swag
Now here is something that IS listed as one of the three ‘rules’:
If you take something from the geocache (or “cache”), leave something of equal or greater value.
I’m sure you’ve found caches like this: the cache description indicates that the box was full of swag when it was placed but when you happen across it months later, it’s all but empty. How can this be if people are trading up or even? It shouldn’t happen but unfortunately, it often does, so someone is not following the trade up or even rule!
Not Doing Your Cache Maintenance
Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate when a cacher changes the logbook on my busiest caches in the summer months, but if there are major problems with a cache – if it’s missing, broken or completely waterlogged – it’s the cache owner’s responsibility to take care of it and relying on finders to look after your caches is really not cool.
Spoiling the Fun
Spoiler images uploaded by the cache owner can be a welcome help, especially in urban environments or under tree-cover, but it’s not cool to give away the location of a cache in your log or in any images you upload for a cache you don’t own.
The Nice List
Whether you pronounce it sigh-toe or see-toe, practicing CITO is contributing a little to keep our game board clean and tidy. You can do your part by attending a CITO event, but keeping a few small bio-degradable rubbish bags in with you when caching, means you can help clean up every time you’re out and about.
Remembering your pen
It sometimes amazes me how many logs I read stating that the finder forgot a pen. If you take nothing else with you while geocaching, make sure you have a pen or pencil.
Writing a nice log
Cache owners make this game possible and their only ‘payment’ is a favourite point and/or a nice log. Taking the time to write a little something, or leave a favourite point if a cache intrigued, impressed or frustrated you (in a good way) is really appreciated. Even if you do a series of caches from the same owner, a few kind words about the series – which made your fun day possible – will be really appreciated.
Everyone plays geocaching their own way, but doing these three ‘nice’ things, and avoiding the ‘naughty’ list, makes the game more enjoyable for everyone. Just for fun, take my Naughty or Nice quiz and see what list you’re on this year!
© 2016 | Sarah Murphy | All Rights Reserved