Pause on New Challenge Caches
Beginning April 21, 2015, a one-year moratorium is in effect on all new "challenge cache" submissions. It does not impact previously published challenge cache listings.
Why is a moratorium needed?
Challenge caches encourage cachers to set and achieve fun goals. They run the gamut from finding caches on every day of the calendar year to finding one for every Difficult/Terrain combination.
However, there are many aspects of challenge caches that can make them frustrating for the community. They are neither a separate cache type nor do they have a specific attribute, so the logging requirements are easily misunderstood. Challenge caches can also be very difficult to publish due to the large amount of subjectivity involved relative to other geocaches. While they account for only ~1% of all geocache submissions, challenge caches comprise the bulk of appeals made to Geocaching HQ. More...
Provide feedback at: User Insights - Challenge Caches
Tuesday, 21 April 2015
- They've changed the golden rule that if your name is on the logbook you can claim a find.
- They've muddied the definition of a find.
- They've turned the find count into a commodity, a score.
- Filtering system is no longer designed to do what it's supposed to do - filter out caches you've found. If you find a challenge cache but don't qualify it still remains on your map of unfound caches, unless you put it on your ignore list. The ignore list for caches you do not wish to find, not for caches you've found.
- Challenge caches glorify the numbers game. Most require a lot of cache finds in a single day.
- "If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits, [...], the geocache will not be published." Most challenge caches do not comply with the guidelines. A streak cache "x number of caches in x days" is an alteration of most cachers' caching style/habits. As that is part of the challenge, i.e. to push them to do more in a day, a month, a year.
- It's a bragging type of cache - 'Look at me, I have the time and money to do a lot of caching.'
- It's a contest to see who can create the challenge for which the fewest people could qualify.
- More people, when trying to qualify for high numbers challenges, treat good caches like they don't matter and are only good for qualifying for another cache type.
- They encourage "cheating" - throwdowns, false logs, armchair logging, changing find dates, sharing final coordinates of puzzles/mysteries/letterboxes/multis.
- Less fun for cache owners of quality caches. Often their caches don't merit more then a cut n paste log from power cachers trying to qualify for challenges.
- Encourages the numbers crowd - both finding for numbers and planting for numbers, instead of finding and planting for quality.
- There are too many of them in some areas and the number is growing - some take up kilometers of good trail and only a handful of people can log them as found. Too many of any cache type that exclude a majority of cachers is not a good thing.
- Numbers cachers use challenge caches to stimulate the publication of new local caches when they've exhausted their local finds. Which usually results in caches placed simply to help people qualify for challenge caches.
- People hide caches for no other reason than to fill a challenge cache requirement. "There aren't enough Q caches so here's another one for MegaCacher's Q Challenge."
- Challenge caches are ALRs (additional logging requirements). They didn't work for Groundspeak's attempt at Challenge caches, they are wrong for challenge caches too.
- If 'tree climbing' cache owners can't delete the logs of those that didn't climb, if letterbox owners can't delete the logs of people who didn't stamp in the book, if puzzle cache owners can't delete the logs of people who didn't solve the puzzle, if multi cache owners can't delete the logs of people who didn't do all the stages nor should challenge cache owners delete the logs of finders who find their challenge cache. P.S. I think it's better for the game that cache owners can't delete logs because they didn't meet their idea of a qualifying find.
- Cache owners can't opt out. On principle, some of us might not want our caches to be used to encourage the numbers game. Our caches are forced to be involved in qualifying for someone else's cache.
- People are discovering trackables they've never found in order to qualify for challenge caches that require people to discover huge numbers of trackables. See: Forums groundspeak.
- Groundspeak may see a financial advantage to challenge caches. Challenge caches stimulate more cache placements. A growing database may equate to a growing number of new geocachers. More geocachers more potential for paying customers (premium accounts, merchandise sales, app buyers).
- Challenges that depend on old caches. When a cache owner has left and his cache is a rotten pile of pulp, people complain when it gets archived due to neglect. "It's an old cache! It's need for Jasmer/whatever other challenge!" should not be a reason to keep a cache around.
- Challenge caches can also be very difficult to publish due to the large amount of subjectivity involved relative to other geocaches.
- While they account for only ~1% of all geocache submissions, challenge caches comprise the bulk of appeals made to Geocaching HQ.
- Many challenge caches turn cache names, difficulty/terrain ratings, attributes, etc. into commodities. When these tools to facilitate communication between the cache owner and potential seekers gets changed to reflect more accurate information, some challenge seekers get upset because it affects their grid.
Saturday, 4 April 2015
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
Tuesday, 13 January 2015
In 13 years of geocaching, this dollar store container is the only one that I've found about a dozen times that seems to work for the long run (1-2 years).
Note the thick gasket on the lid.
Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Stumbled upon ElectroQTed's instagram picture of one of my halloween munzees. :)
The laminated card with arms bones attached is stapled to a stump, not a live tree.
Wednesday, 3 December 2014
Tips For Writing The Best Log In The World (The Geocaching Blog)
Share your experience beyond a TFTC (Thanks for the Cache) or TNLN (Took Nothing Left Nothing) log by following these 5 tips:
1) See it and Say it – Describe what you saw and experienced on your way to the geocache. Did you see a rare bird, a hidden waterfall, or Harrison Ford? Tell folks about it.
2) Be a Superhero – If there are new conditions in the area, like a fallen tree or heavy snow, warn other geocachers. You’d want them to do the same for you.
3) Talk about Trades – Tell people what is in the geocache container along with what you took and what you left.
4) Shout Out for the Cache Owner – Thank the cache owner for placing the geocache. TFTC is a perfectly acceptable way to do it, but feel free to be a little more creative with it.
5) Learn from Others – Think about the best log you’ve ever read…what made it so special? Humor? Sincerity? A haiku?
Monday, 25 August 2014
If you like cemetery caches, I would like to recommend 2 cemetery cache hiders. I have found hundreds in Ontario mostly from Toronto to Windsor. The 2 hiders I admire most are Dundeejim (Bone-Yard Series) in the Kitchener-Waterloo area and BC & MsKitty (SQ - Spirit Quest and CCF series) in the Chatham area. These cache owners provide the best full geocaching experience. They don't just take you to a cemetery, they provide the largest cache that will fit, good solid water resistant containers, AND they maintain their caches and their listings.