The most damaging thing to geocaching is...
I have moderated in the forums, followed local threads, listened to endless conversations at events and in other get togethers. Everyone has their idea of the most damaging thing is to geocaching.
Some of the options I have heard:
- Swagless Caches
- Caches in cities
- Power Trails
- Caches in Wilderness Areas
- Permission issues
- Cacher X (Some cachers in particular are named)
- New Hiders
- Cell Phone Hiders or Finders
- Other caching websites
- Poor Containers
- Incorrect hides
- Sharing finals coordinates to caches
- Cache theft
Thos are just a few I thought of off the top of my head. Some of the things I have read. Many have been discussed ad nauseum.
Now its my turn...and because I am writing this I get to choose. The most damaging thing to geocaching is... Geocaching elitism.
What is that? Arguing that you are right and everyone else is wrong. Does that mean that you cannot have a strong opinion? No it does not. Does it mean you should stop trying to get a change made? No. In fact a healthy community should try and get changes made.
There are people our there that believe so strongly that a particular way of doing things is right that everyone else is wrong, and there is no point in listening to them. In fact the other is the enemy, the other cache is the enemy.
Taking an explanation is like opening a can of worms but here goes. I have heard a few discuss the horror of the city hide, the hide in the park, or drive by. When I started caching I was contacted by a person that was handicapped, and they asked me to encourage people to place 1 terrain-1difficulty hides so that they would be able to get them. The hides that were much more difficult were impossible to do and they enjoyed the hunt. a 1.5-1.5 by themselves seemed like a 4/4 to many others.
Geocaching has gone beyond one person. If you feel you are right and everyone else is wrong perhaps it is time to look at yourself. A few years ago a person placed a powertrail in Utah. I heard a number of people grumble, and in the process it was apparent that they were stolen. People quickly replaced the caches. While others were making trips from Arizona, New Mexico, and across the US just to do the series. It may not be about the numbers to some, but it is for others.
Another example is a cacher in the NW that conveniently takes any cache that is in an area they feel are enviormentally sensitive. Even if the forest service has oked the cache.
Those are my best examples. We can disagree, we can ask that changes be made, but stone throwing, purposefully taking cache from others, only ruins it for others. We can work harder to understand others, and other ways of caching. I may never do a certain style of caches, but some seem to love them.
I am off my soapbox, and I hope to do better posting. Sorry for taking a week off, I am opening an online store designing two coins, reviewing, scouts and family, and those are taking my time. Thanks, and feel free to comment. What are your opinions.