Hiding caches and trouble with Terrain and Difficulty Rating
Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:56 AM
I have a cache in Bear Creek Park in an area that floods really badly at times. You have to cross a creek to get there, but since it has been so dry lately the creek is easy to jump over. The cache is also in a large tree that extends over a very large and full creek. The cache is in a location that requires you to climb out on this tree. You don't have to climb far out and the tree is large enough to easily hold the largest of cachers. The climb is more horizontal than vertical in the first place. It can be slightly disconcerting looking down, but it would be pretty difficult to actually fall.
At first I rated this a 5 star terrain, because if the area had a normal amount of rain the creek would be more difficult to cross, plus the slight danger of climbing the tree. I've seen other caches in the area rate a 5 terrain simply because they require climbing. I then changed my rating to a 4.5 simply because right now the creek is fairly simple to jump over. I go back and forth whether this is still too high a rating.
Then the second part of my problem is the difficulty level. This is a micro cache, but the attributes in the cache state you're going to have to climb a tree and once you're in the tree the cache will be hard to miss. Does the slight danger of climbing the tree, or does the difficulty of the terrain in general, effect the difficulty level of the cache, or is the difficulty level simply how difficult it is to find the cache once you arrive at GZ?
Thanks in advance for your help, and if you're curious the cache just posted last night and surprisingly, probably since it was a work day and it was cold last night, it actually hasn't been found yet. Luckily, by reading this post it would be quite difficult for you not to be able to find it.
You Want me to do what?
Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:06 AM
As for the terrain, I would rate it around the average conditions.
Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:36 AM
I didn't hide my first until I found 1000, simply because I too saw much inconsistency with a small sampling of finds.
I would rate it on your low end D/T until FTF and ask the first few who log it to let you know their thoughts. You are allowed to adjust based on feedback.
Oh, and I've always appreciated a note in description that indicates a tougher find under certain conditions such as full creek, etc.
Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:47 AM
- ohl hockey guy likes this
TXGA SETX Representative
Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:00 AM
Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:09 AM
- Mr Muddy Buddy and Baytown Bert like this
Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:34 AM
TXGA SETX Representative
Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:47 AM
Okay, big fella, here's your chance to prove it and I'm going to need your BFF to take photos and post them here as proof. It's okay to take HoustonControl along iin case... GC42DB2
If you are up to the challenge I will gladly bring the camera.
Posted 11 December 2012 - 01:31 PM
As for the original subject. Diff and Terrain ratings are all over the place, so don't fret too much. In a nutshell, Difficulty is, "how hard it is to locate the cache" and Terrain is, "how hard is it to get to the cache". Keeping in mind that people don't always look at cache attributes, it sounds like your D/T is pretty fair. I'd base the terrain rating on average conditions and put something in the cache description about how "your mileage may vary".
Another comment: Try to avoid changing the D/T rating after the cache has been out. Someone may be using that cache to fill in a needed square on their D/T matrix -- and that stuff is real important!!!
Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:03 PM
These are my thoughts on what the Terrain should be.
A Terrain 4.0 - 4.5 should be of a variety that has some sort of inherent danger to it - Vertical Climbs in trees, Climb into a Rainwater Sewer Drain, etc., A 3.0 - 3.5 maybe some mild amount of danger (possible tripping, rough hikes, moderate bushwacking), 2.0 - 2.5 Off the trail a moderate amount, not much of a danger, but you need to push in through some woods possible, or thickets, 1.0 - 1.5 Urban cache hide, right on the side of the trail (LPC) also 1.0 only for something that is wheelchair accessible.
Difficulty that's a bit harder IMHO, it depends - Things like Puzzle/Mystery Caches that make you think IMO increase Difficulty, Multiple stages of a multi-cache where you have to process information makes you think and add to difficulty, but so does how difficult it is to find the cache once you're there (not get to the cache as that's Terrain) but to find the cache.
These tend to be very subjective, but an Ammo can sitting at the base of a tree shouldn't be a high difficultly unless it required a difficult puzzle, or multi-cache to get to. A nano on a park bench might be a low difficulty, but a nano placed in a drilled out hold on the bottom side of a dead fall might be a high difficulty. That said, I'd not fret too much about the difficulty rating. I've had extreme difficulty finding some 1.5 D rated items (6 DNFs on one before I finally found it) and have spotted some 5.0 D rated items in seconds and in both situations the difficulty rating was right, but I didn't spot the easy ones like I should have been able to, and I got lucky on the hard ones. I'd say the more obvious it is, the lower the D rating, the more devious it is, the higher the D rating.
I'll second HC's comment about not changing a D/T Rating later. I've had one change on me and now I'm 63/81 DT's filled, when I could be 64/81. It's annoying when there's only 1 or 2 others for the D/T rating within 150mi of where I live, and those require at least 1hr drive to get to.
Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:46 PM
Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:09 PM
I have several caches that are four terrain ratings on islands that can be retrieved via a kayak or wading to them. The requires special tools being a 5 terrain cache is incorrect per PR. Ask him go ahead as I did. He told me those are outdated requirements that have been changed with the advent of attributes. I would recommend adding those to the cache.
Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:25 PM
Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:28 PM
I was under the impression that D/T remains unchanged with your log date even if changed later by CO. Hmmm.
The D/T goes with the cache. If it is changed your rating will change. So if I go make Smithsonian a 5/5 you would no have a 5/5.
Posted 11 December 2012 - 03:29 PM
I will say I disagree with Eagles1181 on difficulty of the cache being all mental. Difficulty can be physical when you get to the cache as well. Just ask any of the people who just did my Ninja Sandbox
I agree with LD here. A lot of it is the difficulty of making the find itself. At some level, it is physical due to placement.
The requires special tools being a 5 terrain cache is incorrect per PR. Ask him go ahead as I did. He told me those are outdated requirements that have been changed with the advent of attributes.
Knowledge book for D/T issues:
Which states 5*T "Requires specialized equipment (boat, 4WD, rock climbing, SCUBA, etc.) or is otherwise extremely difficult."
Whether or not PR thinks they are outdated or not -- they ARE the current guidelines.
Posted 11 December 2012 - 04:18 PM
LogDawgs: If you wanna make that fine Smithsonian cache of yours a 5/5 - I promise you I'll be okay with it
Posted 11 December 2012 - 06:08 PM
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