Read Thread: An Interesting Question (or not)
I very much agree with this, and the other statements to which I'm replying.
However, I'm going to analyze this from a statistical point of view. My analysis is going to use greatly simplified assumptions, but will suffice to demonstrate my point. The suggested ratio has been (about) 1 plant for every 10 finds that you have made. Let's say that in your travel area are 11 boxers who also have the same travel area. Someone will have to be the one to break out of the 1:10 ratio, which is why I am using "about" above. Then every other boxer goes out to find this box and also plant one of their own. So every round there are eleven new boxes, one your plant and ten you find. This works and everyone maintains their "about" ratio.
However, if you have fewer boxers in your travel area (as I do), you can expand your travel area or recruit more boxers. I've been doing the former and have tried (unsuccessfully so far) the later. My P:F ratio is 25:99, well above the 1:10 suggested ratio. I do need to go out and find more boxes, but I got above this ratio by planting boxes (after I'd found about 10 letterboxes and a lot more geocaches). I didn't feel pressured to plant, except for my Monthly Box series (a box a month for a year), which is only (about) half my boxes. I just wanted to plant.
Now, let's assume that you're in an area where there are more than 11 boxers trying to maintain this ratio. Either they ignore boxes in their area so that they can maintain their ratio, or they find all those in their area and plant accordingly. Assuming all of the boxers are taking the later strategy, there will be no way that they can maintain their ratio. Worrying about something that they can't fix will stress them out. Even attempting to keep this ratio will cause quality to suffer.
So statistically, you need 11 active boxers in your area to be able to maintain this ratio. This doesn't even take into account boxers from outside of your area, or the occasional trip by someone to an area outside of their regular area. You can see how this will quickly get complicated.
What I'm saying, a long way around, is that I agree with Kirbert for the very reasons he stated. I'm just backing up my opinion with math.
We were so glad to see the statistics breakdown! We have close to 3,000 finds of letterboxes placed by others, but even more finds from others on our boxes. It feels good to know that we are doing our part to help our hobby grow.
Statistics can lie. Here in the Frozen Tundra we call Alaska we have maybe 3 or 4 active boxers in our whole state. Yet we seem to get a lot of finds/plants above the statistical ratio.
in a land of boxing tourists
I believe that there is a Mark Twain quote about that.
Also I was oversimplifying, as I said. I think that you maintain you ratio because of visitors. I think that Hawaii could do that too with fewer boxers in that state because they get even more visitors than Alaska. The fun of being a tourist destination.
The find ratio to number of boxes placed also increases as your planting area expands. We would never have had as many visitors to our boxes had we not been fortunate enough to plant in many states, and frequently along oft-traveled routes.