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To log check or not to log check March 15, 2009

Posted by kinzuakid in Education, Geocaching, Philosophy.
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I do, log check that is.  This is the practice of checking the signatures on paper with the online logs, deleting those that don’t have a signature to match.  It’s not popular and most people would rather be like the local granddaddy of Geocaching Kawikaturn and say “I’m not the rules keeper, it’s their karma if they want to log a find they really didn’t find.”  I absolutely respect that since it is a LOT of work to police your logs, particularly if you have a lot of cache hides.

I see a problem though, at least for my hides: maintenance.

One of the most useful bits of intelligence, if not the only bit available, is the online log.  When someone reports a cache in good, bad or other shape I have a sense for whether I need to reseat the hide, refresh the swag or just plain visit it to make sure the cache really is there.  I place tough hides on occasion and need to know I am not wasting hunters’ time.  Poor cache maintenance is a pet peeve of mine and I don’t want to spoil an otherwise good outing for someone.

Now say I have a virtual logger out there claiming a find where none was possible.  Since he or she is lying there is no guarantee the log date has any relevance, nor does the fact that a “find” was logged communicate any useful information.  Another seeker on the same or next day could log a frustrated DNF because the cache was muggled.  A cache infrequently visited because of distance or terrain will miss rare opportunities for a visit from the owner because I thought all was well.  Finally, these fake logs thwart the best attempts to filter Pocket Queries, leading to more frustration and ultimately disappointment.  All of these have  happened more than once to me or my caches.

Enough.

I remember why and with whom I play the game: friends, family and neophytes looking for a new adventure.  I don’t want to let any of them down or discourage them from playing the game with me, even if I never meet any of them in person.  So while the rules of the game are loose enough for you to sign or not, I still have to leave a piece of paper for you to sign.  So I insist if you want to play with me you put something on that paper.

You don’t have to look for them if it doesn’t suit your style of play, but I encourage you to consider this: isn’t it cool to visit a cache that’s had hundreds of visitors and marvel at all the names on that log?  Isn’t that something you want to be a part of?  If not there are plenty of owners who don’t care, patronize those caches.

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