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AR-HICK
01-07-2008, 11:53 PM
I am curious about something. Has anyone had submitted caches put on hold or asking you to resubmit them because they are a "POWER TRAIL"?
Does anyone know what this is all about? I do understand about cache saturation and I know that 528 feet in the minimum distance that the can be together.

Has anybody heard of this?

Does anyone know what is going on?

I am confused and I don't understand what this is all about. Are the rules about to change?

What is a power trail? I understand the term, but what is the definition?


I want to everyones opinion and if you have had problems getting caches published.

Our State Reviewer is welcome to chime in on this thread too.

BSA534
01-08-2008, 12:34 AM
This was a recent discussion on the Cachers of the Round Table podcast. They talked about that if you had a road or trail with several similarly hidden caches in succession that some feel this should be a multi instead of a series. Man, I couldn't disagree more! I've got to do the work to find 5 or 6 caches but I only get credit for 1 find.

To me, several caches in a single area is a great reason to visit that area. I noticed that when I originally placed 2 caches in the park in Ashdown, only a couple of cachers made the trip, when I added 2 more cachers started heading that way because it was worth their time to get 4 smileys instead of just 2. If I had made them all into a single multi I'd probably still be waiting for someone to find them!

idratherbehiking
01-08-2008, 12:43 AM
I have seen this on a couple of other forums and it is already being heavily discussed. I checked the guidelines page on GC.com and the only mention I could find of"Power Trails" is under the Cache Saturation topic.

Here it is:
Cache Saturation

The reviewers use a rule of thumb that caches placed within .10 miles (528 feet or 161 metres) of another cache may not be published on the site. This is an arbitrary distance and is just a guideline, but the ultimate goal is to reduce the number of caches hidden in a particular area and to reduce confusion that might otherwise result when one cache is found while looking for another. On the same note, don't go cache crazy and hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can. If you want to create a series of caches (sometimes called a “Power Trail”), the reviewer may require you to create a multi-cache, if the waypoints are close together. A series of caches that are generally intended to be found as a group are good candidates for submission as a single multicache.

It shows that the guidelines were last updated on February 21, 2007. That's why it surprises me that we are just now seeing it come up when submitting caches.

Another website I found has their own definition for it.
Power Trail – A path with a large number of easy traditional caches placed every 1/10th of a mile. Like a Cache Machine, it's another way for people to easily increase their Find count. As such, it is looked down upon by some.

I have seen a discussion in another forum where the cacher could not get an approval for his caches when they were spaced over .25 miles apart.

If this is going to be in the guidelines it needs more of a detailed explanation than what is there.

I see that this could turn into another one of those neverending discussion topics that will never be resolved.

Team_Pink
01-08-2008, 05:09 AM
I'm betting that rules like this will get tighter as geocaching grows. I hope they don't go too far in trying to make geocaching a wilderness experience exercise. We don't have any wilderness around my area! With gas prices likely to remain somewhere in the area of where they are now, I won't be traveling to many wilderness areas either. Of course there is the issue of conservation as well.

Maybe Waymarking will take over?

searcykid
01-08-2008, 09:12 AM
Up front I would like to tell you that I generally do not like rules. I do not like to be dictated to. Some general rules or laws are always necessary to maintain an orderly process to anything, but give someone a little power and you are then at their mercy. Power corrupts and complete power completely corrupts.

The Rules should be explicit and few. As long as we stay within those few rules we should be able to do whatever we want to do. If new rules need to be implemented they should be simple and apply to everyone.

Take the fun out of Geocaching and you will destroy it, at least for me.

That's the grumpy side of

SEARCYKID

flannelman
01-08-2008, 10:23 AM
As far out as I live from civilization with my caches placed close to home if I only had a few then they wouldn't get much action. I've got 22 caches that are active and they see little action as it is now. Maybe the power trail guideline is good on urban settings but I think the more the better out here in the sticks. I've got a trail that curently has four of my cahes on it along with another by other cachers that I want to add more caches to inbetween the ones that are already there. It is four miles from the trailhead to the last cache and then that same four back. Big time consuming hike for only 5 caches. I really hope they don't get tighter on this.

cachemates
01-08-2008, 12:46 PM
We had caches scattered all over the local lake and some of them very seldom got found. We archived those and placed several (10 I think) on a 4 wheeler trail. Since then they are found much more often.

With gas at 3.00 a gal. most folks are not going to drive very far for 3 or 4 caches.
We have had to cut back ourselves. My truck is about a 12 to 14 mpg vehicle, so the Power Trails is what we look for.

I have planned on a Dirt Road Series of caches like we found in Oklahoma with around 15 or so caches. Even have a few of them made. I will check with Chuck Walla before I go any farther.

4wheeling-1
01-08-2008, 01:22 PM
I think everyone feels pretty much the same way, we just want to hide and seek caches. That is the object of the game isn't it. We have a rule that states there has to be .10 of a mile between caches, that's fine and quite understandable, but if I want to go through the trouble and expense of hiding 100 caches in 10 miles, where's the harm in it. I bet it would be a very popular place. Just my 2 cents worth, now I'm broke.........

Geezer_Veazey
01-08-2008, 04:43 PM
The reviewers use a rule of thumb that caches placed within .10 miles (528 feet or 161 metres) of another cache may not be published on the site. This is an arbitrary distance and is just a guideline, but the ultimate goal is to reduce the number of caches hidden in a particular area and to reduce confusion that might otherwise result when one cache is found while looking for another.
This is not a guideline, but a hard and fast rule as applied by Chuck Walla and explained to me in an email. Trying to get something started in Mountain View ( a cache starved place with only a couple in a 15 mile radius at the time) I place a micro in a city park/amphitheater and a regular cache on a hiking trail. The immediate areas of each cache were vastly different, and one a micro and one a regular--- there was no possibility of getting them confused. To go from one to the other required a walk of much more than 528 feet in order to cross a creek and enter the trails area. The expressed reason for the rule did not come into play here. But I had failed to check the separation distince and it was slightly under 528 feet. Even so, as for similarities they were miles apart. I made an appeal to have them both approved and was denied.

I can understand that they don't want to relax the rule to the point of abuse, but such was not the case here. So don't expect to ever get one approved under 528 feet from another regardless of the circumstances.

B62GTAWK
01-08-2008, 09:08 PM
I have 7 caches in this "Power Trail" dark hole as we speak. I have one last email into Chuck Walla if things don't turn out I am going to archive them and start again. How frustrating!!!!! I agree with GV in that the "guideline; rule of thumb" is not that at all but LAW. Had the same trouble he had in Center Ridge.
B62

RGS
01-09-2008, 09:41 AM
Chuck makes many good points about power trails. I don't think that you
would want to turn this trail (or any trail) into anything that
Chuck describes. [assuming that CW described anything] What Groundspeak
seems to really want to avoid is to have a trail filled up with a
zillion little identical stupid un-inspiring caches that end up being
placed at the minimum distance for no other reason other than to rack up
a bunch of numbers. Believe me, that would turn a wonderful walk and
caching opportunity along a trail into something much less than wonderful.

I don't think tho, that Groundspeak is apposed to a trail "developing"
naturally over time filling in with caches that were well thought out,
of a diverse hiding style, including a mix of all the different types of
caches using all different kinds of cache containers. What if you and
fellow cachers got together and decide basically that the trail would be
a showcase of cache hides for the area. Decide which cachers that are
interested in placing caches on the trail and try to follow a few informal
guidelines that enhance what you would like to do on the trail. If
someone hides a micro, make the next one a different kind, if one is a
film can, make the next one down the line some sort of cammo container. a multi or an offset. etc.

Dont hide the same container more than a couple times along the
length of the trail and never next to each other. Go find the forum of
Cool cache containers and get some neat ideas and use them also. If a
single cacher is going to hide more than two or three caches, don't
place them together, place one and go down the trail a mile. You have a
whole trail, use all of it. Mix it up, get as creative as possible and
OVER TIME the trail will fill in with a bunch of really good caches
that will really highlight the creativity of the cachers in the area and
it WILL be a place the visitors will want to go to see the best that the
area has to offer and not just for the numbers.

Of course you cant keep others from hiding stuff on the trail but
hopefully everyone will "play along" with the project and bring out
their best stuff.

I really think you will get better responses from the cachers if there is a nice variety and styles to choose from, even some difficult ones that might not be found on the first try.

RGS - St. Louis

Team_Pink
01-09-2008, 11:29 AM
That is a nice thought out response and very clear. But everyone does not share that view of the "correct" way. To some, it IS about the numbers. That is one of the appeals of geocaching in that you can play the game how you choose. What is the point of a lamp post skirt or a cemetery cache? For some they are in fact pointless. For others, lamp post skirt or cemetery caches are a little shot of adrenaline. I think the "correct" way to play the game is however it is desired (with common sense and asking permission of course). I just hope Geocaching.com doesn't force us to play "their"
vision of what geocaching should be. Geocaching.com is only a database, not the overseers of the sport.

redink
01-09-2008, 11:45 AM
The reviewers use a rule of thumb that caches placed within .10 miles (528 feet or 161 metres) of another cache may not be published on the site. This is an arbitrary distance and is just a guideline, but the ultimate goal is to reduce the number of caches hidden in a particular area and to reduce confusion that might otherwise result when one cache is found while looking for another.
This is not a guideline, but a hard and fast rule as applied by Chuck Walla and explained to me in an email. Trying to get something started in Mountain View ( a cache starved place with only a couple in a 15 mile radius at the time) I place a micro in a city park/amphitheater and a regular cache on a hiking trail. The immediate areas of each cache were vastly different, and one a micro and one a regular--- there was no possibility of getting them confused. To go from one to the other required a walk of much more than 528 feet in order to cross a creek and enter the trails area. The expressed reason for the rule did not come into play here. But I had failed to check the separation distince and it was slightly under 528 feet. Even so, as for similarities they were miles apart. I made an appeal to have them both approved and was denied.

I can understand that they don't want to relax the rule to the point of abuse, but such was not the case here. So don't expect to ever get one approved under 528 feet from another regardless of the circumstances.I had a cache listed that was under the 528ft rule.The cache is
GCKOW1. I ask Chuck for a variance and received one for my cache GC16CRG. I stated the follwing reasons and he granted me the variance.
The cache was placed in a business with seasonal hours,the cache was placed bt someone from CA, that was not active in caching any longer(by looking at their profile)and the coords were bad,I also asked him to read the logs of the cache stating about business hours and such,and he granted me the variance. So maybe the system will work ? I certainly respect Chuck and his decisions,let me also add that he has denied one of mine also,so I redid the cache . Thanks RED INK

Geezer_Veazey
01-09-2008, 12:55 PM
I ask Chuck for a variance and received one for my cache GC16CRG.
If Chuck is now going by the spirit of the rule, that's good. When a person abides by the spirit of the rule but gets denied by a technicality, and that person sees dozens of "power trails" micros just over the limit, it's discouraging, which is why I no longer put out caches and seldom hunt them unless asked by someone to go with them.

B62GTAWK
01-09-2008, 08:40 PM
In regards to RGS the 7 caches I had notice past tense were all in different containers and even some of my own creations. The containers or the way they were hidden made no difference in her desision.
Signed
Frustrated but not quiting

B62GTAWK
01-09-2008, 09:06 PM
This is my response from Chuck Walla

I cannot tell you how far apart they have to be to not be a power trail because that
is too subjective, but 7 caches (including your 6 new ones) in that area is far too
many. Quantity does not equal quality.

Chuck Walla

oenavigator
01-09-2008, 09:09 PM
:D

OldRiverRunner
01-09-2008, 09:52 PM
Geocaching.com is only a database, not the overseers of the sport.

I respectfully disagree. All of this discussion is about caches posted on Geocaching.com (GC.com) and we have ALL chosen on our own free will to use that website. Any geocache listed on GC.com must conform to their rules / guidelines for listing. We all have to check a box at the bottom of a new cache submittal stating that we have read and understand the rules / guidelines and that our new caches comply. And we understand that our new cache submittals must be reviewed by a GC.com reviewer for compliance to the rules / guidelines prior to being listed. So GC.com is very much an overseer of the sport.

I seem to remember that the guidelines state something like there is no precedent for placing a cache and just because a similar cache was approved in the past, it doesn't mean yours will be approved now. That may be why GC.com calls them "guidelines" -- things change and what was acceptable yesterday may not be acceptable today.

No one is forced to list their geocaches on GC.com. They can submit them to another geocaching website. They can list them here in the AGA forums. They can create their own geocaching website and list them there. Or they can just share the coordinates with friends and family. There are many ways to play the game that do not involve GC.com and can avoid the restrictions placed on us by GC.com and their reviewers. For those of you who “do not like to be dictated to”, use one of these alternative methods and place as many caches as you would like 20 feet apart. No one will stop you.

AR-HICK
01-10-2008, 12:12 AM
I have learned a lot on this thread of how other cachers think. My question was originally posed to find out if cachers were having trouble other than the ones I knew about, this did not happen nor did I get answer from our Reviewer(as far as I know).
This being said I will take some of the things to heart and try my best as a cacher to place caches that fall within the guidelines. It is not my intent to inflame or cause malice towards anyone.

I just was wanting to learn of what has changed if any and why this was.

The best advice I can give is keep on placing caches how you think they should be placed. I would like to see something in black and white, but the world is made up of many shades of gray and this is a matter for someone smarter than me to decide. For anyone who has not checked it out you might want to look at Chuck Walla's profile, it is a lot different than the last time I checked it out. I can only assume that each cache will be handled on a cache by cache basis.

Team_Pink
01-10-2008, 06:42 AM
GC.com is very much an overseer of the sport.

I agree. I used the wrong word. Just like a word becomes a word, through usage, GC.com has became the overseer of geocaching. I happen to admire the quality of their website and I personally have no problems with their guidelines.

What I meant to say is that GC.com does not "own" geocaching. If Jeremy and company decide to quit tomorrow, geocaching will live on. If they tighten the guidelines to the point that people feel constrained, people will vote with their feet. We may see the day that another whiz kid programmer sees the potential of making some money. Don't forget that GC.com is a for-profit company providing a service to people in a sport (game) just like Wilson makes products for baseball. If there is a competitor that comes along with a better service geocachers can and will migrate.

That's the reason they use the word guidelines. They have no right to create "rules". And probably some of the issues are on advice of legal counsel.

If you research the history of geocaching, you will see that there was quite a bit of controversy when GC.com started. It was against the belief of many at the time that a for-profit company would be a good idea. I think it turned out to be in most ways. The big disadvantage is the lack of data portability. If I should decide to "do business elsewhere" their policy on pocket queries would prevent me from moving my data.

Again, I have no problem with GC.com, I just think it helps to step back once in a while to keep things in perspective.

oenavigator
01-13-2008, 11:01 AM
:D

topkitty98
01-14-2008, 09:33 AM
Just looked at the new Chuck profile and wow, that is truly different than the old one. I would love to meet this person. Hmm, wonder if I already have?

RugerPilot345
01-16-2008, 08:27 PM
WOW spooky scary....I'm working on two bunches (series) of caches.....a cemetary cache series and a ATV/hiking/horseback cache series......gotta go re-think all of mine and make sure they are all good, ha ha!!

Cool!! (RugerPilot345)

SJClimber
01-20-2008, 08:51 PM
Was checking on the Caddo trip and noted the "event" status was denied by Walla. There have been a number of confusing almost "in your face" decisions by our reviewer. Is there a way to petition the reviewer as a group or through the organization to ask that she relax a bit on requests for events or caches (as in this power cache thread)? If one watches the .10 mile interval, what is the problem with "power cache series?" If Caddo was presented as a gathering of cachers that were going on an outing, I understand her denial. On the otherhand, if a gathering with a meeting, exchange of coins/bugs, etc., then the float and CITO, this should have flown. My 2 cents.

Team_Pink
01-21-2008, 07:13 AM
IMHO, this is an excellent opportunity for the board of ArkGeo to address. Rather than 40 eleven people emailing the reviewer or GC.com, the board could get a feel for the members' opinions on the matter and approach the reviewer as an "offical" entity and as a representative of Arkansas geocachers.

Woodwalker9
01-22-2008, 10:52 PM
I know there has been some concerns over recent developments with cache approvals and that our reviewer seems to be taking a little heat because of it. I was recently turned down on 9 new hides along a county road because the reviewer deemed them to be a Power Trail. I will admit that I was disappointed that my new hides were not approved, but after reading Chuck Walla’s reasons, I understood that I was the one who was wrong and she was perfectly within the guidelines to turn me down. She didn’t just turn me down, but explained what I could do to insure that my caches would be approved in the future. I am now in the process of correcting my mistakes and have no doubt that my caches will be approved when I submit them the next time.

B62GTAWK was turned down on a series of caches north of Morrilton because of the same reason as mine. Chuck Walla explained to him what he needed to do to get his caches approved. In a recent email he has stated that his reply to her was that he thought her decision was reasonable and fair. He has since changed his hides and has had some approved .

I have watched with interest the development of the CITO planned in conjunction with the Caddo Float trip planned by dentful1. In one of his forum posts he has stated that the reviewer was right in turning him down because of mistakes he made in submitting the event. Again, not the fault of the reviewer.


Reviewers are volunteers who sometimes have a thankless job, but I, for one, am very thankful for a reviewer who wants to see quality caches within the guidelines set forth by Groundspeak. I believe Chuck Walla is doing her best to insure that geocaching remains at the quality level that we all want and appreciate her hard work and dedication.

AR-HICK
01-22-2008, 11:38 PM
AMEN
I too agree with you. I my opinion Chuck Walla, being a the best volunteer that we (Arkansas) has ever had. I don't always agree, but that is everyones right to think as they like.

Team_Pink
01-23-2008, 06:37 AM
Thanks Woodwalker for that well spoken reply and most importantly for the quick response.

While I think we should not forget that Geocaching is "our" game and not that of a particular company, I do understand that there must be guidelines or else there would be chaos. Like AR-Hick, I know I will not always agree but Chuck Walla is a good reviewer and I too appreciate her volunteer efforts!

topkitty98
01-23-2008, 09:08 AM
I appreciate Chuck because even if/when some of us haven't agreed with her, she has politely responded and answered our questions. That is valuable to me.

Dentful1
01-23-2008, 12:14 PM
WoodWalker Nailed it square on the head and drove it with one swipe. I have learned some things, after all I am still considered a rookie compared to those who find 5000+ caches. Let us see how things go this year with just a regular invite to float. I can get ideas from all of the participants and try for an event next year. I did email Chuck Walla a few times about it and we are on the same page of understanding and she was also greatful for the email, an email that wasn't raking her across hot coals or cussing her out for the denial.

You treat people with dignity and respect, you should have the same done in return and they will be more than willing to help.
That's my 2 cents plus the 6 cents from the previous posts to make it about 8 cents worth.

SJClimber
01-23-2008, 05:48 PM
Direct and understandable response from WW9. Thanks for your input.

HikerRon
01-24-2008, 07:24 AM
is Woodwalker really Chuck Walla.....?
anyone ever seen the two of them in the same place at the same time?

i mean, think about it.
WOODwalker. CHuck Walla. - woodchuck
Walker.....Walla......
yeah:) :twisted:

oenavigator
01-24-2008, 08:14 AM
:D

ButterflyDiver
01-24-2008, 10:39 AM
Yeah - Maybe that's why woodwalker always calls Chuck Walla "SHE" and why he was denied approval for his 9 caches!! Just to throw us off!! :wink:

searcykid
01-24-2008, 10:53 AM
Did he REALLY have 9 caches disapproved?
Do we know anything for sure?
Inquiring minds want to know.

oenavigator
01-24-2008, 11:30 AM
:D

ButterflyDiver
01-24-2008, 11:30 AM
Yep!! Check out his post on this thread from Tuesday, January 22! :)

MaxCacher
01-25-2008, 07:57 AM
From time to time we are told by TPTB at groundspeak to tighten up on certain guidelines, this is the case here, don’t believe it will suck the fun out of caching for anyone, personally I think she is doing a great job as the volunteer reviewer for the state

Max Cacher
Geocaching.com Volunteer Cache Reviewer // Moderator

topkitty98
01-25-2008, 02:24 PM
Just how many caches can a woodwalker cache if a woodwalker could cache caches?

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Yes, WHOMEVER it is is an excellent reviewer, ya'll! Anyone who can deal with us and can KEEP UP with us has to be a very multitalented individual!

Thank you, oh anonymous walla of caches extraordinaire!!!!

(Seriously, thank you!)

Beth
>^..^<

searcykid
01-25-2008, 04:09 PM
[quote="MaxCacher"]From time to time we are told by TPTB at groundspeak to tighten up on certain guidelines,"

Thank you MaxCacher for your enlightenment on why there seemed to be a change in attitude on our submitted geocache hides. If TPTB at groundspeak asked for the tightening of guidelines then we know that this was not just an arbitrary decision by one reviewer.
As long as the reviewer is willing to change his/her mind in certain cases if a logical explanation is presented then everything will be just fine.
Everything is cool with me.

paris1time
01-26-2008, 10:59 AM
Just how many caches can a woodwalker cache if a woodwalker could cache caches?

Woodwalker would cache as many caches as Woodwalker could cache if Woodwalker could cache caches.