I’m not a firm believer that anyone should ever be told how to play the game of geocaching. It’s a hobby and people do it how they feel they want to and I’m fine with that.
The best part of this game is that there are some guidelines and the rest is up to the imagination of the people who play.
But there is one thing that really gets to me.
There are several types of geotrash — whether it be people leaving junk in caches or people not cleaning their caches up after archiving it. Or, those who just let their caches go to junk and never play the game again.
But it’s bad for all of us.
I’ve seen that recently. There was an event in the area recently where the idea was to select an area and go do some repair on caches. You could earn points, win prizes etc.
In theory, the idea for the event is a good one. Especially if it’s cleaning up and repairing some caches for active cachers.
But, on another side, it can hurt. Only because people who place caches and then leave the game leave their caches out there. Without things being kept up all the time, these geocaches, in theory, could become geotrash.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against an event like this. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. I’m a fan. But, it’s one of those things where we help people who are basically leaving things behind. If the event is an annual thing, then it can be OK because people will check in on these caches. But that shouldn’t always fall on the shoulders of people who are still active cachers.
In the weeks leading up to this event, I hit the majority of my caches. I had been planning to, but being I couldn’t give the time I needed for the event, it became a reminder to me to do what I’m supposed to do. And for that, I’m happy.
But, I digress. This post isn’t about events. Even good ones. It’s about trash.
If this event hadn’t had happened, I have to wonder what would have happened to some of the caches that were nicely repaired by the cachers who went out and did the repairs. I saw the bag of one twosome and it was awful. Trash all over.
I realize this happens with every activity. There’s always a negative to a highly positive game.
There are several geocaches in our area that, unfortunately, didn’t get checked during the day of the event.
The caches are placed by geocachers who are no longer active in the game. And they are in spots where, in all honesty, they are probably either gone or in bad shape from being in flood areas.
If you aren’t going to participate any more, how about going out and getting the cache and archiving it?
Some people don’t think that way and it seems like there’s not much we can do about it, outside of help them out a little (such as with the event idea).
That doesn’t excuse the laziness or neglect of just leaving the cache out there in the elements.
Remember — geocaches are containers that are made from many different things — metal, plastic, wood etc. So, depending on where said cache is placed, some caches could take a bigger beating than others. That’s a shame, too, as there’s nothing worse than getting to a cache and seeing it beat to hell.
I’m off the soap box now.
To those of you who help clean and repair caches, watch your own and help others, bravo. It’s what makes the game fun. Hopefully there’s more people like that coming along as the game continues to grow.
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com.