The Promise

This document serves as my promise to the seekers of my caches.

My goal when placing caches is to positively impress the seeker. That is a task I take seriously.

I want to elicit comments such as:

Without question, my finest caching adventure.

Superb cache.

I was spent of energy but filled with contentedness for the conclusion of a difficult, time consuming, and splendid cache. One of my most memorable cache hunts.

Bob has created a puzzle here so fiendishly obscure that when it’s solved it can be compared to getting laid for your first time.

In order to positively impress you there are several steps I take.

Location
First I find a location. I live in South Jersey. The landscape does have variety, although it is a coastal plain and much of it is labeled barren. The view, the journey, and the lack of muggles all play into the locations I select. Ideally, the cache location has a remarkable view that required a journey to reach and once there, no one else will be around.

In addition, I usually try to find unique locations. Unique is another one of those words that is open to interpretation. A formerly unknown remote beach may be someone else’s pile of sand. Nevertheless, most of my hides are in locations that geocaches have not been hidden at previously.

Never will you seek a cache of mine that requires you to step foot on school property or a playground; I prefer remote locations.

Container
Soggy and rusted cache contents do not impress seekers. Therefore, I use containers that secure the cache well. When placing a cache, I use the standard, Why not an ammo box? Most of my caches are ammo boxes. My observation over the years is that a good ammo box protects the cache better than any other container. I have, however, used other containers on occasion. Never has the reason to use another container been based upon an ammo box being inappropriate for the location selected.

This is not an anti-micro stance. As a matter of fact, I tend to use micros as intermediate steps on the multis I place. Never, however, will you find a pill bottle, a film canister, or any other container seemingly selected without thought.

Most caches have been in the field six months to a year (or more with a few) before I list them. I re-visit the location several times in order to confirm how suitable the chosen location turns out to be.

Maintenance
There are other ancillary things that I do to positively impress you. All these things together I call maintenance.

Coordinates
Coordinates are key to the game. A dry container at a remarkable location means little if the coordinates provided do not direct one there. I do not place caches in areas where I struggle to attain accurate coordinates. I re-visit the location numerous times before I publish a cache. Doing so permits me to test the coordinates.

Traditional Maintenance
Trading swag is something that many people enjoy as part of this game. Experience has shown that cache swag deteriorates over time as folks find the cache and take items from it. I routinely visit my caches to clear out any contents that may not be in the best repair and replenish the cache with other items.

During these visits, I also check the integrity of the logbook.

Depending on the cache, I may need to re-secure the container, re-locate the container if it has moved, etc. Physically visiting the cache permits me to attend to these types of activities.

Cache Page
My cache pages tend not to have long descriptions. I am of the school that coordinates are all one needs to seek a cache. If those coordinates are good, then one has all he needs.

I rarely post hints to a cache page. Coordinates should suffice in finding the cache.

Text & Images
All text and images in the descriptions and my logs are my own. I do not plagiarize.

Puzzles
There are multiple reasons why coordinates may be disguised. I do employ puzzles. Puzzles are not geocaching.

Any puzzle I employ will be solvable from the comfort of one’s home. Once the puzzle is solved, you will have a clear set of coordinates to use to seek the cache. You will not have to find anything in the field in order to solve the puzzle. I will verify coordinates.

Ratings
Each listing service employs its own rating system to approximate the challenge of the hide and the difficulty of the terrain. I attempt to be impartial as to the application of the guidelines to my own caches. It is unlikely I will ever hide a traditional 5/5 as an ammo box is probably not going to be a such a challenge to find once one gets to the coordinates provided.

Many folks include the difficulty of the puzzle in the difficulty section of the ratings. That seems reasonable, but for me, should not encompass the entire rating. Some people can look at a puzzle and see the answer immediately while others will struggle to even know where to begin. Therefore, I tend to end up using 3.5-4.0 as my difficulty ratings for puzzle caches to split the difference, as it were.

Permission
I place caches on public land. While I have spoken to many land managers over the years about geocaching, I do not ask explicit permission when placing a cache. In many of the locations I use, there is no direct land manager.

Responsive
Courtesy includes responding to e-mail. I answer all posts within 24 hours unless there is something terribly amiss on my end (death, connectivity, etc.).

Not for Everybody
Everyone is welcome to seek my caches and I hope to positively impress those who do so. Those who seek, I suspect, are not representative of the entire geocaching population.

Puzzles are not geocaching. Some will filter puzzle caches so not to deal with them. The puzzles I use are meant to provide a challenge to you. All the information I desire to provide has been provided on the cache page. Not handholding one through the puzzle solution further limits who will seek my caches.

Caches that require physical work such as long hikes, climbing, and/or kayaking are not everyone’s cup of tea. The caches I place tend to require physical work. Some may consider the physical work risky. That further limits those who seek my caches.

I do not usually disclose the number of stages in multicaches that I hide.  Some may not desire to tackle a cache of indeterminate length.

Not securing explicit permission to place my caches will turn off some.

There are some people who do not care for my opinions. Some of them may not seek my caches presumably because they do not want to feed my ego. That further limits those who will seek the caches I list.

What that leaves is a very small sub-set of a very large geocaching population who will seek them. There will be even fewer who find them. It is to you who I am trying to positively impress. These caches are for you to enjoy. By all means, if something does not impress you, please let me know.

Expectations

  • If one claims a find online for a cache, I expect to find an entry in the physical logbook to support it.
  • Keep your relativism to yourself, one can find my caches but once.
  • I tend to cache alone, but should I ever hide a cache while someone else is present, that person will not claim a find.
  • Some of my caches employ puzzles. I expect that cachers will not reveal the solutions, offer hints, or otherwise assist regarding these.
  • I follow the trade up or not at all philosophy. I expect finders of my caches to practice the same.
  • While some think another cache in an area is good to draw attention to another cache that is visited seldom, I do not ascribe to that philosophy. I expect that no other cache is placed to draw attention to my seldom visited caches.
  • I expect online logs and photographs not to contain spoiler information.
  • I do not support pay-to-play. My caches are available to be found without paying licensing, membership, or any other fees. I recommend using ad blocks for online surfing for those sites that slip advertising in the middle of my content.

Many folks inquire about my geocaching history. Whenever asked, I feel like the guy in the Rupert Holmes’ song.

Yes, I like ammo boxes, and getting caught in the rain.
I’m not much into microspew®, I am into hikes and pain.
E-mail me by tomorrow noon, and you can espouse about Project Ape.
At a cache on Thompson’s Beach, where we’ll plan our escape.

You won’t find much about me when you look at the account profile on the various geocaching listing sites. If you read this blog, you can learn much more about me and my approach to geocaching.

The short and skinny of things is that I have been geocaching since 2001. I have found some caches and have hidden some too. I do not reveal my numbers. Some folks need to know a number to judge the validity of a person’s testament based on experience. I understand. Allow me to offer instead a couple posts that, while they do not specify a grand total may provide some insight to my experience (here and here).

Also blogged on this date . . .

9 thoughts on “The Promise”

  1. Bob has created a puzzle here so fiendishly obscure that when it’s solved it can be compared to getting laid for your first time.

    So, I should be able to solve your puzzles in about 9 seconds in an extremely awkward fashion?

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