High Crimes And Misdemeanors?

I have, up until recently, gotten into the habit of carrying tweezers around in my pocket. It happened by accident—I was given a pair at an Event, and I just never put them away. Unfortunately, I lost them out of my pocket about a week ago. It was not a huge deal, but it resulted in a little conundrum. I found a cache and had no tweezers to extract the log. This wouldn’t normally register as something worthy of column inches, but I’ve seen this specific subject crop up in various online fora. Is it all right to log something if you haven’t signed the logbook? This may seem like a simple question, but it’s turned out to be a little more complex than it might seem.

I’ve run into some absolute purists who say that if you didn’t sign the logbook, you didn’t find the cache. I am not one of those purists. I’ve written about times when I myself didn’t sign the logbook for one reason or another. In the linked case, I physically couldn’t get the nano open—like it was rusted shut or something. I’ve had many instances in which the logbook was a drenched mess, and signing was physically impossible without ripping it. I almost couldn’t sign a D5/T4 Multi because I lost a writing implement, my backup wouldn’t write because it was both new and cold, I left my second backup a mile away back in the car, and none of the pens in the ammo can would work! Once, early in my caching career, I found a micro in a tree, and when I touched it gloveless, ants began pouring out. I logged the find even though I never actually saw the logbook. Another early one I found easily enough, but I didn’t have tweezers to get the logbook out yet.

What about teams? I’ve been with a small group on many occasions where different individuals signed the logbook for the group. I don’t know anyone who would have a problem with that, but I didn’t actually sign every cache. But beyond that, for how big a team is this acceptable? I’ve been part of a couple of larger leapfrogging events. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, leapfrogging is when a large group, usually in multiple vehicles, goes after a large mass of caches, usually a trail or a Geoart. The first vehicle will go to and find the first cache, the second vehicle will go to the second, and so on and so forth. When the first vehicle is done, it bypasses all the other vehicles to go to the next cache that isn’t being attempted yet, leapfrogging the rest of the group. If everyone is using an agreed-upon team name, that’s similar to a small team, but I also appreciate the difference. There are those who consider this straight-up cheating and are quite vocal about it. I see their point, but I don’t entirely agree. I think that everyone decides what their experience is going to be like and what strictures and principles they wish to cache by. If someone has a philosophy that is cool with something, that’s their business as long as they’re not hurting anyone. It’s their game, and they’re playing it their way. I may not agree with something they do, but they have to live with their own actions.

As you can probably tell, I’m somewhere between total permissive and total purist. I have a number of hidden caches. If someone logs most of them, I’ll never go and check if they signed the logbooks or not. An LPC isn’t (normally) worth the time to confirm. I have two caches I guard more zealously. One is a puzzle box, and I want to make sure someone didn’t just “[find] the cache but couldn’t get it open.” The other is a challenge that gets logged more than it should. I mean, if you have to find caches in twenty-five specific counties, and you’ve only ever logged fifteen finds? That’s a “no” from me, Dawg. The rest, though? I’m (usually) not hiding things to be clever, sneaky, or especially difficult. If you say you found a D2/T2 or less, I don’t need any proof that you signed it. It’s honestly simple enough that I’ll take your word for it, whether you signed it or not. On the other hand, if you say you didn’t sign a D5/T4, and you didn’t leave a mark of some kind (I once sharpened a twig and used the wet sap to “sign” a log), I feel for you yet totally call shenanigans!

4 thoughts on “High Crimes And Misdemeanors?

  1. I’m in the middle too. I generally won’t check the caches, even when people tell me that certain people didn’t sign it, because it’s just not worth the fight. We know who the cheaters are and if that’s what it takes for them to feel good about themselves, then let them. Twice I have though – one was when I had to move all the caches in a series and people went before I’d posted the new coordinates so I knew they hadn’t signed them. The other was when one of my friends caught someone because he had a pretty difficult cache in an area we both had caches in. That was more to do with backing up my friend than anything else.

    I’ve been on the other end of that where I’ve signed the log while I was traveling and someone challenged me to prove it. So now I snap a photo of the logs and try to upload it with my log to geocaching.


  2. Well said M. I’m middle of the road right there with you. But does that put us in danger for getting run over?


  3. If I find a cache that is unlogable I take a picture of it and note it to the CO, when I log it online, that I will send the picture if they want it for proof. I had a nano recently that was impossible to open (I didn’t have 2 pliers on me), so I took a picture with my phone. I never heard from the CO. So for me it counts. More often than not logs are soaked blobs. If I forget to bring blank paper to replace the log, the best I can do is snap a pic and log the cache as needing maintenance. Most of the time those caches are lost causes anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My vote: It counts if you don’t sign the log in almost every case. Don’t have tweezers? Don’t have a pen? No room? Soggy log? Covered in spiders? You found it. It counts.

    The exceptions you raise are notable, and I could agree with those.


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