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Finding caches

To get started with finding caches, you don't need to read all of this. Next chapter "Easy rules for finding caches" lists the few rules that we have.

In addition to the rules, there is some information about the control questions and the different types of log entries you can make.

Simple rules for finding caches

It's really simple
  • You should ride a motorcycle (event cache organizers may allow exceptions)
  • The visit should happen after the cache has been published. Earlier visits don't count.
  • To log a find you should have visited the location or route within the last two months (even if the cache is older than that).
  • You can ride a route in either direction (if cache description doesn't specify a mandatory direction).
  • If you found the right place (or route), but you didn't get the answer for the question for some reason, you are allowed to guess or ask for help from the cache owner.
  • Please don't reveal anything about the answer to the control question (not even the wrong one that you tried - for a reason see last paragraph of the next chapter).
  • Remember good manners when writing to logs. Some children read the logs too.
  • When riding abroad or outside your home state, you can also find your own caches.

Ride safe. You are of course responsible for your riding. For example that you don't ride somewhere you shouldn't - no matter what the cache description says.

Difficulty levels and control questions

If the difficulty level is 1 or 2, you can be sure that you can log your find.

It happens to all of us every now and then that we, for example just forget that the cache has a control question. You may try to guess the answer if you don't want to go back and check again. After all it's riding that matters, not a competing with correct answers.

The system monitors multiple-choice questions statistically to detect misuse. But don't worry; you will not be blamed easily. However, there may be consequences if you decide to climb to the top-list without actually visiting any caches.

When the difficulty level is 3, you need to type the exact answer (except that upper- and lowercase doesn't matter). Therefore you should be prepared for the possibility that you need to log 'Did not find'. If the cache is far from your home and you would like to log the find, you can of course send a private message to the cache owner.

Please don't write or add pictures about the incorrect answer that you tried. We have had several examples where something was reported as "answer that was not accepted" but actually it described the correct answer. The problem is that in such case other users may not event try the right answer because the log already indicates that it's wrong.

Log entries

Logging a find means that you mark the caches that you have found and write your comments about it (link to making a log entry is right below the map on the cache page).

Logs play a significant role in motocaching - it's not just for keeping track of the found caches.

Log entries provide up to date information about things like road conditions, open/closed coffee shops and such. Other motocachers also like to hear about your trips. Did something interesting happen? Did you like the place? Did you go with other motocachers (use nicknames)? Feel free to tell your story. A lot of users read the latest logs page regularly.

If you don't have time to write much, at least thank the cache author for introducing the place or the route.

Note that event caches are not shown on the map after the event has passed. You can find them on the 'Find caches / Events' page. See the 'Past events' list.

Found it!

When you log a find, you can give the cache a rating with 1-5 stars. For more info, click the ?-button.

Rating is not mandatory but of course recommended. Note that the rating average is shown only when there are several ratings. No one will know how many stars you gave.

Did not find

This means that you tried, but didn't find. For example you couldn't figure out the correct answer or you didn't find the right place at all. 'Did not find' logs are important tips to both cache owners and others as well. For example, something may have happened and the correct answer can't be found anymore.

Comment

With comments you can tell something about the cache even if you haven't found it (or you have found it earlier).

Examples of good use; Telling about dangerous road conditions. Letting others know that the coffee shop is again open after winter.

Please avoid using the cache log as "a discussion forum". Comments are mainly meant for telling about things that cache visitors should know. For contacting the cache owner about other things, we recommend private messages.

Maintenance needed

If something has changed on the location or route and the cache is no more up to date, please let the cache owner know that maintenance is needed.

If the cache can't be found as expected, then it's an important message to everyone who is planning a ride.

Note that maintenance requests are shown on the 'Own caches' page of the cache owner and he or she will probably notice a 'Maintenance needed' log. Cache owners don't necessarily notice 'Comment' entries unless they read the logs very actively.

If you want to suggest some improvement or something that doesn't affect finding the cache, then private message is a better option.

Suggesting adoption

If you notice that there is something wrong with a cache and the owner of the cache doesn't react to maintenance requests in a reasonable time (e.g. in a few weeks), please suggest adoption. Adoption means that the cache is transferred to another user.

Usually the case is such that the cache owner doesn't visit motocaching.net anymore and therefore the cache is not maintained.

You are doing a favor to everyone when we get "old and broken" caches fixed or removed from the site.

When four users have suggested adoption, the cache is hidden from the map and moved to the list of caches that are waiting for a new owner. There's a link to this list on the 'Your own caches' page.

Anyone can can click the 'Move the cache to yourself' button on the adoption list and then fix or archive the chache.

If some user removes his or her logging suggestion the cache is put back on the map (e.g. if the cache is fixed).