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Cache Size

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Joined: 07 Mar 2005
Posts: 271
Location: Manitoba

PostPosted: Oct 11, 2005 11:56 pm    Post subject: Cache Size Reply with quote

So the famous question is asked...Does size matter? I have been looking at our caches this week (figuratively speaking) and examining the article in Today's Cacher where the author Mike Buschele states:

"I have learned that the size and type of cache box does matter. I started off with shoe box size containers (some are still in place), but after awhile I learned that these can be hard to hide. I started placing smaller containers and eventually micros when appropriate. When I go out to hide a new cache now, I take a pack full of various size containers. If it’s deep in the woods, I try to put the larger boxes so people can drop off Travel Bugs and larger trade items. If the hiding area is more exposed or there are just no appropriate large trees, rocks, etc. I place the largest container from my selection that fits the area. Sometimes a nifty container with a magnet is just the ticket, or maybe a smaller 3x5 inch box. Just don’t go with a preconceived box in mind, or you will find it difficult more times than not to hide it."

There were active: 12 Large caches in Manitoba, 140 Regular, 119 Small and 56 Micro's (though that is deceiving since many micros are used in multi/puzzle caches) when I checked today.

We have gone on some caching trips where we have felt that certain areas could definitely have held a larger container without fear of discovery. A micro or small container after a long walk in the woods (can't think of any like that currently) would be disappointing for our team. Micro's in urban settings feel more "right". Even if we choose to swap nothing it is nice to have the choice. We recently hid a number of micros and find ourselves a little more insecure about their placement since they so easily can be lost if not resecured well.

What do most of you think about the type of caches you have found or that you've hidden? We personally would love to see some cachers changing their small caches to more regular sized ones if the area allows for it. We have changed several of our containers as we maintain our caches. We've moved away from altoids to lock n' locks or pill bottles(not all are changed yet), been satisfied with the durability of the tobacco containers covered in hockey or camo duct tape, and now enjoy hiding some large plastic bottles with wide-mouths and handles. What have you had success with? And how do you feel about Mike's statement?

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Joined: 31 Jul 2005
Posts: 687
Location: Ste Genevieve

PostPosted: Oct 12, 2005 3:25 pm    Post subject: RE: Cache Size Reply with quote

My response covers other qualities of cache containers and hides as I have trouble separating out just size.

Firstly, there’s no such thing as a bad cache; and I just want to say thanks to all the teams out there who have put in the time, effort, and often expense, to hide treasures for the rest of us to find!

Having said that, in my opinion, some of the best hides take reconnoitering to plan the cache container. This also helps avoid the hastily placed cache that may not last. Ourselves, we haven’t placed any “spur-of-the-moment” caches – but for me, part of the enjoyment is planning the hide. If you're away from home, you may not want to make multiple trips to plan a cache. In which case, having multiple sized containers is a great idea. You should be fairly confident that the cache will last without maintenance though.

I believe that generally, cachers like to find a cache with room for trade items. There’s something about hunting for potential treasure (especially for junior cachers) , or perhaps taking away a memoir. And what Mike Buschele and 1queenand4jokers say is absolutely true, place as big a cache as reasonable. If nothing else, it opens up options for what trade items and TBs may be left behind. We don’t always trade either, but still like looking through the cache contents.

We’ve certainly learned a lot through the process of placing a few caches. We placed a small cache outside of the city and very quickly received feedback that cachers expected a bigger container (we’ve since replaced it). We’re also big fans of the Lock-n-Lock; there’s a size and shape for just about any occasion! We’ve hidden ammo boxes that we know will stand the test of time, but they’re fairly large and limit hiding options. There’re plenty of regular and large caches hidden in the forest under a pile of branches (ours included).

I think of greater importance than size, is planning for cache longevity. Making sure the contents stay dry and doing your best to ensure it doesn’t get muggled or taken away by Mother Nature should be the first consideration. Of course you can’t plan for everything – just do your best!

Also the hide itself is important; finding the cache should be both challenging and fun – not an ordeal. I’ve lost plenty of blood reaching through conifers and some locations have broken glass hazards. The ironic part is that often these locations have a much nicer hiding spot close by, and we wonder why the cache hider didn’t pick the nicer spot. I can appreciate that sometimes it’s difficult for the hider to see these hazards after focusing on finding the perfect hiding place; so step back and look at the site again to see what hazards exist and if it realty is a good place to send cachers to.

There is a place for micros (multi-caches are certainly a good use for micros), and a micro still beats a virtual! However, my opinion is there should be a reason to use a micro. If the location is historically significant (perhaps a monument or religious site) the cache doesn’t need to be placed right on the object. Even if the cache is hidden a short distance away, the cache hider is still bringing attention to the object and the cache stands a better chance of surviving muggles. Having said that, there are certainly some clever hides of micros on monuments that we enjoyed finding.

Cache variety is good. Cachers cache for different reasons, and will appreciate different cache containers for different reasons. For some it’s all about the location – a nice park, view, trail, etc. For us, after a hike, we appreciate sitting down and enjoying a cache with a logbook and a few treasures in it – it too tells a story. Other times, the fun is in solving a puzzle to come to the cache location – but still, after the accomplishment of solving the puzzle, we like to be rewarded with a few trade items. A very clever hide puts a smile on our faces. For some (myself included), sometimes it doesn’t matter if the cache is a micro buried in a pile of broken glass – as long as it’s got a FTF Certificate in it! There are times when a cacher is just looking for a quick cache-n-grab when they’ve got a little time to kill or on a road trip, but still, enjoy finding trade items. Some cachers will also enjoy the challenge of trying to retrieve a cache in a high-muggle area, and micros may be suitable for these types of caches.

-- Edited by TurdleEggs at 10:29, 2005-10-12

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Joined: 27 Sep 2005
Posts: 248
Location: 49°48.505', -97°08.066'

PostPosted: Oct 12, 2005 8:02 pm    Post subject: RE: Cache Size Reply with quote

I'm going to have to go with Turdle on this one -- if it doesn't *have* to be a micro, then it shouldn't be, and if there isn't suitable place for at least a "small" cache, perhaps another location is in order. And I don't think micros should be used to make the find difficult.

My reason for feeling this way is because of what geocaching is (or should be) about -- sending people to a spot that they may not have seen before, possibly requiring them to solve a puzzle to get there. A number of the micros I have (or haven't) found have been more of a "Where's Waldo" search. I've been to one site three times, and have yet to find the container.

Micros are just too easy to hide. If the container needs to be that small, it should be in a fairly obvious place. If you want people to scratch thier head and have to really search for the container, make it large enough that searchers have a have to think a bit to get it, rather than look in every nook and under every bench in 20M radius.

I've hidden two caches so far, and neither is intended to be an easy find, but both are small - medium sized containers. I've pretty much decided that I won't use smaller containers in the future. My personal hiding guidelines:

  • I will place no Micro caches. The cache will always be large eough for a pencil, log book, and some loot. No film canisters or mint tins. Finding a cache should not be about finding a needle somewhere in an obvious haystack.

  • The posted co-ordinates will be accurate. Either an average of multiple readings on multiple days, or intersection of two lines of readings. I aim for +/- 3 metres accuracy.

  • If the cache requires multiple co-ordinates (either as a puzzle or a multi-cache) they will all be provided in writing. No "The month posted on the plaque at these co-ordinates is the northing minutes." type of thing.

  • Cache should not be visible to the casual (and preferably the determined) observer. Stumps and logs are fair game, as is a certain amount of camoflage.

  • Hints in the cache listing should be a last resort. As such, they will not be ROT-13'd, but coded with some other scheme that must be decoded by hand. Some (perhaps vague) indication of how to decode each hint will be given.


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PostPosted: Oct 13, 2005 12:26 am    Post subject: RE: Cache Size Reply with quote

Personaly speaking, I prefer any cache bigger than a micro. I have hidden 3 caches as small as a deck of cards, but only in their rightful place.

If any of you have done my caches you'll see that I try to make each of my hides unique in some way. ie:micro, puzzle, multi, ect. Limiting yourself to one type of cache will either attract, or scare away potential cachers. Not everyone wants a drive up cache, or a dead end micro.

I feel that people want to be entertained by a cache. Wether it's a puzzle ,a leisurely stroll on a park path or a rugged hike in the Canadian sheild. If you can make the challenge or  the result an interesting experiance, the cachers will be entertained. You can't ask for much more than that.

Here's something that no one has touched on, is the proximity of caches to one another. There have been instances where caches have been placed very close together. I try not to place a cache in a small park where another cacher has hidden theirs.  This might be a subject for another forum, so I'll leave it at that.

Keep them guessing The-Stuntman

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Joined: 25 Apr 2005
Posts: 556
Location: Winnipeg

PostPosted: Oct 13, 2005 6:50 pm    Post subject: RE: Cache Size Reply with quote

Its already been summed up well, but basically as big as possible to remain well hidden and weather resistant.

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