I thought I’d touch down on a slightly controversial subject and air my opinion. It is of course just my opinion, so would love to hear what others think…
I don’t moan much, really, do I? OK… Well… I’ve said that caches shouldn’t get put in plastic bags, I’ve moaned about little bottles being used as containers, I’ve compained about caches that are placed in obviously dodgy positions, I’ve debated people covering caches with soil, I’ve moaned about caches taking me to absolutely nowhere and complained that sometimes caches are submitted without the container being in place. Right, so maybe I do moan a lot, but you can ignore all that if you promise me one thing…
PLEASE don’t hide caches in your gardens without putting something EXTREMELY OBVIOUS in your description and hint!!!!
It makes me feel so very uncomfortable searching for them. GPSr’s can easily be 20ft or more off, especially if using a mobile device to find caches and that distance can mean the difference between me leaning the CO’s wall and rummaging in their bush to me rummaging in their neighbour’s garden. And even if I do get the right garden, what are the neighbours going to think when they see me rummaging on that property?
I think that in descriptions it should be made clear that it is in a front garden so that I feel comfortable searching. I know that there is a danger in saying “Hello everyone here are the coordinates and the cache is at my house” because then all geocachers know where you live! However those are indeed the dangers in hiding caches in these locations. If they absolutely have to put a cache in their front garden I think there should be a hint that tells me exactly where it is. “Under a bush” or “You will need to rummage” means I could be searching in anyone’s garden! Neighbours should be told, and by reading the description I should know that the neighbours know so that I can find the cache without the old bill tapping me on the shoulder and dragging me down to the station, because that generates great publicity for Geocachers. I can see it now… “Girl caught rummaging through old lady’s garden claims to be searching for a Geocache!” I think things may be slighly different for our friends over the pond where front porches and “back yards” may be a fair bit bigger, or more freely accessible, but in most gardens here in the UK I think it is pure madness.
Obviously none of you lovely people reading this blog entry would do such a thing, but I just had to get it off of my chest after experiencing one recently. It was near a big open square green patch with houses and front gardens along every side. A colleague and I went to scout it out with my iPhone after it had only just been published an hour before. The description was vague and all I knew was that for the CO it was a very local cache, it was a small tupperware box, and I had to rummage for it. To me this wasn’t definite enough for me to search anywhere near someone’s front garden. We searched around the area, however after a good 15 minutes decided that it could really only be in someone’s front garden. I found a likely spot that I thought was the location, but I didn’t feel comfortable enough to go for it. Whilst we were wandering about with my iPhone a lady that I thought was the neighbour walked past and into the house on the corner. Eventually we gave up.
Two days after us another cacher thought to give it a go. They DNF’ed it, and you know what they found? The neighbour’s spare frontdoor key!!! This would perhaps indicate that the neighbours weren’t aware, or the CO hadn’t made them aware that GPSrs can be off by a considerable amount and that searchers may wrongly target their garden. It was likely that the spot I suspected was the same place that a front door key would be, so what a good job that I didn’t search there. Can you imagine the look on the neighbour’s face if they saw me emerging from their bush with their front door key? I would now have to explain that I wasn’t planning to rob their house and if the CO isn’t in when I get caught then I have no-one to backup my story.
Since I went searching a new hint has been added (Obviously due to the comments both us DNF’ers made in our logs) and after asking another cacher I now know where it is. It is in the garden of the house where the “neighbour” lady went into when we were searching. I guess she was the CO, but she didn’t say anything. The description is still vague enough for cachers to really question where it may be, however with the logs there now they may feel more confident. I’m not sure if I’m going to go for it. It’s just down the road and I know its exact hiding place, but the thought of doing this, particularly in an area where there are houses facing the spot from every angle still makes me feel that finding this cache is a very, very naughty thing to do.
How would you feel about this sort of hide? Have you ever encountered one? Leave a comment below!