Matt Stum <>
Sent: 6/13/2000 3:22:54 PM

Littering, trespassing, etc.

From the very beginning I've given thought to the whole
"Is stash trash?" question. I thought common sense would
prevail, but I've seen some attitudes here that think we have
a "right" to put stashes wherever we see fit. That's not true.

The Letterboxing folks have a section in their FAQ that is pretty
relevant, and I've included it at the end. With a little editing it
would be appropriate material for the Geocache pages.

What it boils down to is, if it's private property and you own it,
no problem. If it's private property and you don't own it, get
permission. If it's public property, then it gets a little trickier.
If you're in an area where the ecosystem is fragile, or the stash
is easily visible, I'd find somewhere else. The two caches I placed
in Manistee National Forest are *well* off the beaten path, the
ecosystem wasn't disturbed, and they're not likely to be found

For those that have buried buckets in the median or shoulder of
a highway, keep in mind that you'll have ground crews mowing and
picking up trash... they *will* see it, and will probably call the police
to have it removed (who, in turn, will likely call the bomb squad).
The same scenario will happen in a manicured park setting.

In an earlier message, Randy, of Letterboxing fame, said:
>We had the "urban" discussion. The feeling was that it was important
>that there be zero chance of accidental discovery.

I believe that philosophy should hold true for Geocaching as well. Our
caches tend to contain items of value and the containers are much
larger (which could give local law enforcement the idea about bombs).
I'm thinking about cutting a large hole in the lid of my containers and
gluing a piece of plexiglass in its place, making sure it's still watertight.
That allows a cursory examination of the contents before opening the

This doesn't mean Geocaching should come to an end... just think
carefully about the locations. This will make caching more difficult,
but that's part of the fun. It may slow our growth a bit, but I'd rather
have safe, quality caches than create public incidents that give our
recreation a black eye.

Here's the excerpt from the Letterboxing FAQ:

Are There any Rules?

The old cliche is that the only rule is that there are no rules. That is
true for the art of letterboxing in many senses, although there is some
common sense etiquette:

Respect the land when hunting boxes and when hiding them. Don't place a box
that requires people to tramp through sensitive wildlife or plant habitat to
find it, for example. Warn hunters of possible hazards in the area of the
box in your clue notes. Use common sense.

Don't publish or re-transmit other peoples' clues or stamp images without
their permission.

Repack and hide the thing as well or better than it was when you found it,
in the exact place you found it. After finding it, try to be discreet when
stamping up and re-hiding it, as if you were hiding your own box for the
first time. When I find one, I usually carry it deeper into the woods to
stamp up, so as to not give away its location to any passerby's, then put it
back when I am done.

Do not post clue solutions on the Internet or discuss how to solve clues in
public fora. That spoils the fun for everyone else.

Of course, do not violate the laws, rules, customs, and people's or property
rights wherever you conduct any activities.