A couple of days ago, I was out doing stuff and decided to grab a cache. I had already had a long day, so I went for the lowest difficulty, lowest impact one I could see in the immediate area, an LPC. I arrived and lifted the skirt to find a small, duck-taped baggie serving as a container. I pulled out and signed the log, then returned it to its place under the light before returning to my car. That’s when I began to notice my annoyance with it.
Criticism of containers has probably been happening for as long as there has been geocaching. I’m sure in the wild and heady days of 2001, there were cachers bemoaning the use of plastic ammo cans instead of metal ones. I can only imagine the uproar (for certain values of “uproar”) over the appearance of micros. Or nanos. Or, as some have come to call the smallest DNA tubes, picos. I’m guilty of it myself. How many times have I (or you) found a micro in the middle of nowhere and thought it could easily have been a regular or a small? How many times have I run across a flimsy container and thought about how much better or more robust it could have been (usually before realizing the hider was new and calming down)? We’ve all seen lots of boring containers that could have been better. I’m not even saying duck tape and a baggie are always bad. Flat Stanleys have been a thing for at least as long as I’ve been doing this. But why couldn’t the CO (assuming the CO is the person who left this one there) at least come up with a pill bottle or something else equally common? Is it too much to expect a certain quality from caches? Even in places where quality (in the case of the humble LPC) isn’t something necessarily to be expected? At the same time, who am I to criticize? If some grognard was, as in the previous example, complaining about something being a pill bottle instead of an ammo can, I would be the first to tell them they might be wrong. How is this case any different other than scale? It’s not.
Someone once told me that wisdom is knowing there are conflicting truths and not feeling the need to resolve them (it was attributed to Aristotle, but I doubt that’s true because it sounds like more of a fake Socrates quote [though more likely paraphrasing F. Scott Fitzgerald], but that’s not important). I’m sure we all juggle the knowledge that “a cache is a cache is a cache” at the same time that “some caches are more equal than others.” I don’t claim to be wise (because I’m certainly not), but I do try to walk the line between the two because, no matter where you fall on that spectrum, every cache is special in its own way. It’s the good-faith contribution of someone who likes doing this as much as we do. Besides, if I get upset whenever I see something I may not like? That way lies grognardism!
2 thoughts on “Your Moment Of Snobbery”
Some of the containers depend on the kind of weather you get. The duct-tape baggie might be okay in desert or warm climates, but I don’t think they would last the winter here. Hell, pill bottles or just about anything plastic usually cracks within a year or two and has to be replaced. I’ve seen plastic ammos crack over the winter.
I have seen Duck Tape envelopes in LPCs that I appreciated. These include a small disk magnet so that they can be stuck on the inside of the metal skirt. If you look for the usual medicine bottle, you miss it. In fact, the first time I encountered one of these, I did miss it and had to go back a second time. Now, if I don’t find an obvious container, I always am sure to feel around on the inside of the skirt.
I suppose I could get annoyed at the CO in my area that specializes in these kinds of caches. I have found many many such caches. Not just in LPCs but under buggers (big boxy electric transformers) as well. I simply sign the log and move on hoping for something better. Occasionally, I find something better. I would rather rejoice in those moments than be annoyed at more normal situations.