Logging Your Own Cache

posted Sep 29, 2012, 2:47 PM by Greg Jewett   [ updated Sep 29, 2012, 3:26 PM ]

Groundspeak Guidelines

6.6. Logging My Own Cache

Can I log a find on my own cache? What about when I go back to visit?

It is considered "bad form" to log a find on your own cache, no matter when you do it. The same is true if you re-visit another traditional cache (for example to place or retrieve a travel bug). Use the "post a note" log option to record your visit in these circumstances.

In either case, you're not "finding" a cache because you already know where it is. Save the smiley face for use when you've truly discovered a hidden cache.

Many thanks to Volunteer Cache Reviewer Keystone for initially developing this article.

banda_cacher (Brent)
Not to open up a can of worms, but I just ran across this and thought I'd post it since I wasn't aware until today that Groundspeak had a policy on this. I personally agree with them, but I know not everyone here does.

Russ the Waterweasel
Pretty much agree.  I make an exception for events that I host and also for caches that I help hide but am not the owner of.  The last is not so much because I 'found' them but because it gets them off of my 'unfound' list.

I agree with that...if I was at my event I'm going to log it.   Ditto on caches I helped hide and for the same reason, but not until it has a few actual finds on it. 

BarbJ =doesn't worry me, really= Tygress
While it is true, MOST of us consider logging your own cache ''bad form':

  1. Who are you competing with? Doesn't matter what *I* think, if you feel the need to log your own cache -- after all, you went through the work of creating it, maintaining it, and DID visit it -- then =whatever= (but mind that some will Disapprove and/or Mock You... because we're human)

  2. Same for repeat visits ... and sometimes, as the cache owner, I *feel* like I should claim a smiley, because the cache has been rehidden in a new way. Fresh hide for me!

  3. Events, however... Events are not 'finds' but "attended" -- which the Owner did. Not even a whiff of inappropriate to log your own event IN MY OPINION.
The question:  Is the line between 'right' and 'wrong' in this game in sand or concrete?

To *most* of us, logging one's own cache or sock puppeting caches, DOES SEEM a bit (or a lot) of 'bad form' ... and FTFing it is right out 'cheating' in most minds. There are also SOME who feel those who assist in a hide should not log it, either -- yet most of us do claim that smiley (just not FTF).

Heck, some people feel the same way about park and grabs -- or any sort of cache that doesn't fit their own view of what the game is.

But the game is large, it contains multitudes. The way YOU play, so long as you're not trashing caches or ground zeroes, attacking other cachers, spooking muggles or otherwise giving Geocaching an awful name in the general press/population, MOVING/"improving" hides that aren't yours, stealing coins/travel bugs, putting inappropriate material in caches, or other aspects that can cause real-world harm, doesn't affect MY game in the least.

The issue of armchair caching is similar -- it became a REAL problem when certain virtuals were flooded (almost a denial of service attack) by armchair visitors. Otherwise... other than the praise and/or derision of your peers, last I checked there are no awards for this game, beyond our own personal ego boo.

Ergo, ultimately, does it *really* matter? Is logging one's own cache such an endemic problem that it's destroying the game for people? I doubt it. How could it?

Frankly, I *do* feel some folks spend WAY too much time worrying about how others play the game, let alone live their lives, and wail over (and, worse, attempt to RULE out) others' refusal to toe the line to the fretters' idiosyncratic (and we're ALL idiosyncratic, get over it) constraints of "True Morality."

Do *I* have Opinions on what constitutes The Game, Good Caches, Lame Caches, bad form, etc.? Of COURSE I do. But unless there's a real-world implication of physical harm or getting the game outlawed (e.g. I'm very particular that Cemetery Hides need to remember that to many this is hallowed ground, even more sacred than their front doorstep -- that we remember we are 'visitors' to any cache spot, and need to behave as good and respectful visitors, and NOT disregard how locals/others may feel -- but even then, my margins of error may not be as tight as someone else's) -- then, =whatever=  [And, yes, some have seen me huff in a log if I'm feeling put-out. It's still, however, ONLY ONE CACHER'S OPINION. Whoop dee dee.]

Find-smilies are just icons.

I don't HAVE to go for any particular cache. And while I applaud some's numbers -- if I'm in competition with them, it's just a quirk of my own brain.  [I'm not. The only competition is in the moment: me versus hide.]

True, in the consequential aspect of the game, there is the real world implication of people's time and gas and all... but that's still a voluntary thing. And I only get pissy when someone's ignored cache maintenance, and I've driven miles to a clearly AWOL cache (not just a hard find that I genuinely DNF'd, but a cache where it's quite if not absolutely clear it's not where hidden -- and we've all been to those and growled).

So. Log your own caches or not -- up to you and your game. You'll figure out right away what many don't think is cricket. [Let's not even get into regional differences...]

All that said, WAYMARKING -- which some choose to hate on, which I don't get... if it's not your thing, ignore it, don't diss it, because lots of folks DO enjoy it -- has an OPEN policy that you can log your own waymark. But waymarks are visits, not finds, and that's simply an aspect of the game over there. There's no FTF aspect -- most of Waymarking is an effort to catalogue sites of a certain sort (some of mine have shown up as reference materials -- which is why I do it). And if there WERE an FTF game, just disregard the Owner log, just as geocachers should disregard owner & co-hider logs in the FTF credits, in my opinion, your mileage may vary.  But I digress.... (what's new?)

Bill a.k.a ZionZR2
I would like to add one more exception.  And it probably goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway. If I found a cache that was not mine then adopt it as mine at a later date.  Technically it could at first glance be seen as A find on my own cache, but it wasn't mine at the time I found it. There should be no problems with that either.

After all,  If I adopt it I better know where it is ;)

Jeremy @ Groundspeak (forums) per SQ (SemperQuesto)
I just saw this post from Jeremy in the forums.  Kinda sums it up pretty well I think...

"Bickering over the rules of a cache "find" was never the intent of Geocaching.com. There's no prize, no leaderboard, and no trophy, so there's no reason to get your knickers in a twist about anyone else's definition of a find."

Personally, I don't care what you log as a find on your cache or anyone else's but mine.  If I think there is a bogus log on my caches, I'll delete it and let the logger know why. 

As for others' find counts, I really don't care and I don't care what someone else thinks of mine.  My count means something to me because I know what went into it.  I congratulate others on their milestones simply because their count may well mean something to them.  If it doesn't, they are free to ignore my well-wishes.

BarbJ =shrug= Tygress
Their game, their count.

No skin off my nose -- unless someone starts awarding cache prizes or product endorsements. =g=

Around here, the stats are easy -- there are NOT that many 'prolific hiders,' and it's easily ascertained who may or may not be counting their own hides. If that bothers you, you can simply calibrate the numbers of that/those person(s) in your head.  Most of us, if we counted our own hides, would barely hit a statistical margin of error.

People with big find numbers face too much jealous/incredulous-based prejudice anyway -- there are those who accuse them of armchair caching  and worse. Eh. Why? (For the record: the people I know with BIG numbers do NOT armchair cache, they just get out there and FIND ALL THE TIME; The Outlaw doesn't even claim bonus smilies -- that's his personal yardstick.)

What about people/families who cache under a single moniker? Should they NOT count caches found by only a fraction of the team? That has the potential to pad the count far more than claiming one's own hides. It's an open game, with flexible interpretations. And, yes, for some, numbers are Meaningful. For the rest of us, it's just a ticking odometer. Milestones might be worth a woo hoo -- but then, when there's a party, it's the milestone person who's footing the swag bill. Again, who is HARMED?

Should my 'finds' count more than a cut-and-paste logger because I actually spend as much time over content as finding? No. That's *my* game. Sure, I get tired of 'TFTC' and, especially, contentless travel bug logs (the POINT of travellers (for me) is to collect stories, miles are ... not irrelevant, but not as interesting except as a notion of longevity). But just because *I* have this idiosyncratic notion of what makes adequate pay-back to a cache hider/traveller owner doesn't give me leave to enforce it on others. Though I will and always encourage folks to post more than four characters -- just as we ENCOURAGE people to put out more creative and interesting hides -- without outlawing ordinary goober hides, which have THEIR plate at the table, too. That's what the Austin Cache awards are about -- acknowledgement to those who do do a bit extra for the game.

Sure. Given the recent head-count, most of us think that logging a find on our own hide isn't cricket. Even and so, that's OUR mileage. Not going to worry about others'.

My alignment is clearly 'chaotic' rather than 'lawful.' "An' it hurt none," I'm a live-and-let-live, play-and-let-play kind of gal.

BarbJ = a toot on the party horn and we're good, yes? = Tygress

Also, to be totally transparent my personal calibration to this topic -- an email saying so-and-so hit X # of finds isn't a 'big deal' to me. We DID establish, a few years ago, that it made more sense to bandwidth to woo woo only over hundreds up to the 1K mark, then only shout out thousands -- unless you have a funky number (like 3333) that makes you giggle. But that was only because milestones were coming so fast and furious we couldn't keep up with them all.  [Some of the prolific folks were ticking over hundreds of caches every weekend or two.]
And most milestone woo-woos of late have been coming from third parties -- "I see so-and-so hit X on my cache...." There have been possibly statistically more of late because the two mega events involved road-trips for many, so they racked up big numbers.

Barb =longwinded= Tygress

Gee, haven't seen 'knickers in a twist' in ages... that Jeremy slings the metaphor!
and, well.. that last paragraph sums it up -- in rather fewer words than mine!

I had read that before and agree. IMHO the same goes for if you assisted in hiding it... if you wanted to find it then you shouldn't have gone along.

BarbJ = arbiter of my own game, that's enough = Tygress

Since we all likely do something that pisses off other cachers, perhaps we should take the indicting "you shouldn't" (even when bracketed with an IMHO) and rephrase "the way I play *I* don't..."
It's all personal judgement calls, anyway. I'm rather glad that geocaching isn't so tightly ruled in. Probably wouldn't play if there weren't the flexibility -- even if *I* don't always fully appreciate the directions some people might stretch it.

de Los Komododos (Paul)

While I think it is a little silly to log your own caches (as if there were not enough others out there to log).... it did get me thinking.  Every morning I get up and the first thing I do is to find my glasses.  Then I go through a process of 'finding' all sorts of things from my toothbrush to my shoes to my motivation to slug through another day at work.  I wouldn't mind get an little smiley for finding each of these things each morning.  I didn't exactly 'hide' them, but I am probably responsible for having to find them....  and my glasses are devilish little micros.   hmmmm....

Jay - BingOGT
I have always tried to put things in the same place after I use them so I don’t have to find them, now I see the error of my ways.
Thanks Paul for pointing to the way to have more fun in my life.

banda_cacher (Brent)

"Pretty much agree.  I make an exception for events that I host and also for caches that I help hide but am not the owner of.  The last is not so much because I 'found' them but because it gets them off of my 'unfound' list."

I see your point for events, since those are "attended" logs, but as for hides you assisted with, couldn't you accomplish the same thing by adding them to your ignore list? This keeps them from showing up on the maps and out of your pocket queries.

BewareOfPenguin (Mark)

Logging one's own caches is not something I'd do, but I wouldn't harsh on someone who does.  The way I see it, if the extra smileys are the carrot on a stick some people need to want to hide more caches, that's fine with me.

I have two Challenge caches placed.  One I have logged, and the other I'm just waiting a while to do (probably next year).  And I can't tell you off the top of my head how many event caches I've had.  I've logged all those.

I think it is ok for CO to log their own Challenge cache, especially if it is one they've put out but haven't met the goal for yet.  And I think it is definitely ok to log one's own event cache.

Those are the only two exceptions to logging my own hides that I can think of right now that I believe are acceptable.  People play different and I don't care.  Usually doesn't effect the way I play, and definitely doesn't take away from my enjoyment.

There's is only one cache close to me that I helped hide.  I have it own my ignore list so it won't come up in my PQ's, and my watch list so I can see when it gets found.  Seems weird to ignore and watch, but that's what gets the job done for me.

Extra smilies seem to be a big deal to some.  Don't know why.  GSAK and other programs will tell you how many "real" finds you have and how many extras.  Extra smilies for doing something are just part of the experience to me.


I'm going to answer this as an honest desire for understanding -- it does not *read* that way, mind. But that may be my baggage.
Why log help-hides as finds?
A> because I want credit for the assist. Hides appear in the owner's profile. They have heft. Assists don't have that option. Often I put as much or more effort in an assist than a find. And the log effort is just as equal. [Plus, if you're worried about my totals being corrupted, it's less than 10%]
B> in my head, an assist find here is no different than a find that is made as part of a geoteam. When we group cache, once the cache is found, it's a 'kaching' -- not standing around until everybody's found it independently.  Now, SOME people don't think that counts as a clean find. That's ok. Their numbers, their finds -- if you geoteam with us state that preference right off or you're not going to enjoy yourself.
To requote Jeremy: I know what went into my numbers. They're meaningful to *me* -- and aren't that important quantitatively except to clock the miles/attempts (even assists) I've made. It's not the FINDS (the number of smilies) but the string of experiences. Where I've been. What I've seen. Who I've been with.  I don't use my numbers as a yardstick or any one-upmanship against someone else. Bordering on 8K, I can still whiff a 1/1. =shrug= So if my numbers are bugging your numbers, tell 'em to cut it out. They're just milling about hoping for a chai latte anyway.
Numbers runs aren't about the numbers -- though numbers are nice (otherwise would I log at all? Some don't.) -- but about the experience with the people I've been with. [And, apparently, the challenge of logging them.]  I've cached alone. Don't care for it. I love caching with my best partner, and it's even better (for me) with our best geobuddies. [Geoherds, however, I'm not so fond of. But that's my personality quirk.]  That's what caching is to me. Not amassing find numbers (or I'd be out every day), but the experience of the chase -- or the assist -- and being out with people I truly enjoy.
Sure, finding is GREAT -- especially tricky hides. There's an endophin thrill I won't deny. Then it's over. Off to the next one. I remember exactly ONE of my major milestones. [1K -- it was Ebenezer Cemetery and SNOWING on the day before Easter.] The rest? Would have to look up. All they count for is that, well, I've spent some time at this game, haven't I?
That's my game. I'm happy with it. And I really truly hope you're not MEANING to put me in a mind-state of having to defend it. [If my ego were stronger it wouldn't give a whup, but some of us over crave acceptance, I fear. Even if we do insist on walking our own tracklog.]
Well, it is a can of worms, because many of us DO feel passionately about our numbers and therefore it starts mattering too much how others account theirs, I suppose.
Ok. I've said my piece. The moral is Jeremy's words. I'm good with that.


lol. Considerate idea, but I'm not going to hedge my opinions more than I already do. I think we all know that we have differing opinions and they are all valid... or mostly valid :P

Just like you said tho, it's all personal judgement calls and it's all personal stats. If people feel like they accomplished something by massively bending the rules then great for them. They get no respect from me tho. And that's my right too. That doesn't mean I'm gonna be a jerk to them tho. That's not cool.

The site says it's bad form and rightfully so. But the fact it's bad form to do something doesn't stop people in the real world so why would it be any different with caching.

banda_cacher (Brent)
I was just responding to what Russ said, that he wanted them off his "unfound list". It appeared to me that this could be accomplished by adding these caches to his ignore list. This would require the extra step of going back to all his existing PQs and checking the "Are not on my ignore list" button, if he hasn't already done that. So maybe that's extra work he doesn't care to do.

And you bring up plenty of reasons to go ahead and log them. To each his own. My original post was simply to point out Groundspeak's take on the subject, which is:

"Can I log a find on my own cache? What about when I go back to visit?

It is considered "bad form" to log a find on your own cache, no matter when you do it. The same is true if you re-visit another traditional cache (for example to place or retrieve a travel bug). Use the "post a note" log option to record your visit in these circumstances.

In either case, you're not "finding" a cache because you already know where it is. Save the smiley face for use when you've truly discovered a hidden cache."