Posts posted by Ragnemalm
On 5/27/2021 at 5:22 PM, kunarion said:
I see an ALC here and there, separated by miles
Separated by miles? They are everywhere! The closest ones here have starts 200 meters apart, and these two are 300-400 meters from the planned Mega!
BTW, "separated by miles" doesn't sound very far apart. Add a bunch of stages to that.
About five years, and five visits. A very hard multi (D4T5) with multiple stages with one that was particularly hard.
But there are several mysteries that I have visited from time to time and never solved. Say, 8-9 years since first try. But they are not finished yet and probably never will be.
On 5/25/2021 at 6:20 PM, niraD said:
Most of the group caching that I have done has used the "Huckle Buckle Beanstalk" method, so everyone has a chance to spot the hide before it is spoiled by someone revealing it. Often, the only person to touch the cache is the last person to spot it. That person retrieves the cache, signs the log and then passes the log around (or just signs for everyone), and replaces the cache.
Everyone is participating, even if only one of us actually touches the container.
Actually, the case when touching the cache has a point is for high T, like swimming, boating, climbing etc. Unless we need to keep the time short, we insist on touching the cache even if the log is already signed. No "logging from ground/shore" if I can avoid it.
Groups that don't do this are easily spotted. At most one log actually notes the design of the cache. The others log "one of the ones we logged today", clearly not knowing or caring about the point of the cache.
But at least they didn't damage it.
Reviewers sure deserve our gratitude! They do a terrific job! In our area, Toa Norik is known as the super efficient reviewer that often review a cache within minutes! (No, not always and we do ni no way expect it, we know it is a bonus.)
But when do we see the "thank a CO" day?
On 5/7/2021 at 9:33 PM, TeamRabbitRun said:
- A head, with floating question marks
This is called a mystery/unknown. Most non-field mysteries would qualify. Like all these "easy" mysteries at D2 or even lower that are easy when you know what the CO was thinking and otherwise impossible. We have plenty of these.
- Mind-Reading Puzzle
On 5/9/2021 at 1:57 PM, Isonzo Karst said:
I've played with some more, and exchanged email with a long time member Basic.
There are some losses with this last update.
- Basic Members cannot see finds of other users. They can see hides, but not finds.
- There's no search page that returns a list of 20 caches, where a Basic member can download loc files 20 at time. I wonder how much use this was getting? any?
- And the filter for "that i haven't found" is gone. Basic member can search for caches from a number of places on the site with a few different parameters, but all such searches go to Search, and none filter out finds. They do indicate found status.
Can't see finds? Sure you can. Where do you mean?
But the search options as well as map options are limited, no "havn't found". That's not nice.
Ask for permission, and get it, including instructions on what kind of cache is welcome. In the ideal case, the cache should be a welcome addition in some way.
Make it clear in the description that you have permission, and maybe even state a contact person (or where to ask) if anyone want to be sure. They cachers will count as guests.
No permission, then no cache.
ALC = permanent, virtual, usually very easy. Go to somewhere and count windows. (Yes it can be something more interesting but it was already there, like other virtuals.)
Lab cache = physical, temporary, usually pretty hard.
Can it get more confusing?
My best bet is to replace lab caches with "event activities" and log them with a TB. I just have to get some TB codes.
12 minutes ago, kunarion said:
If event Lab caches cannot be logged, wouldn't people prefer the ALCs, based on your premise?
If they take the ALCs anyway, since both count as ALCs...?
But if they are not lumped together with ALCs but something else, then I think they would benefit even without logs. They would be part of the event. But a new log type or attribute on a physical final would solve the problem.
11 minutes ago, HHL said:
Give the Event-Labs a meaningful name and there will no confusion at all.
You mean names like "MEGA2021LAB name"? Sounds awkward to me.
On 5/19/2021 at 4:47 PM, kunarion said:
I was with a group like that once. They sign it as "Everybody", and now they're back in the van, impatiently waiting for me. I think I might have seen the cache box for a moment.
Spot on! They might have seen the cache! How about at least touching the cache that you log? Or in some way contributing?
I must bring this up. I am building LAB caches for an upcoming mega, but have second thoughts. Am I doing something meaningful?
LAB caches are dead, killed by Groundspeak by the introduction of ALCs. ALCs are permanent virtuals, totally different things than lab caches, which are temporary event activities. If we have LABs on the events, they will be mixed with local ALCs and visitors will have problems telling them apart. Also, will they care about that event activity cache when they have five virtuals right outside the event that counts the same?
So as far a I can see, this means LAB caches are dead. Making LABs on events will only cause more confusion.
What can we do instead? My suggestion is this: We either need a new attribute, "event activity", on caches, or a new cache type, event activity cache. Or we just make activities that are not logged online.
Beacuse we do want fun activities on mega events, don't we? But logging them as "new virtuals" make no sense so... maybe we shouldn't make them loggable at all.
For me, there are a few bad cacher types, on various degrees of bad. They have one thing in common: No regard for others.
- Cache saboteurs. In the worst case, they damage the cache, intentionally or not. They break locks, pry boxes open, disassemble what should not be taken apart. Others leave it in a bad state that ruins the experience for others, not putting things back properly.
- Throwdowns. Didn't solve the puzzle? Just put in a fake log! Didn't find the cache? Or couldn't reach it? Hang a petling at face hight and pretend it is the cache.
- Copy-pasters. Looong boring logs about nothing (just to fake that author badge) and not a single word about the cache, on a special, unique cache with much work in it. Yes it is legal. Legal to be impolite. I don't mind a TFTC much, but getting piles and piles of these boring copy-paste logs on something I have worked hard on... it makes me considering quitting the hobby. Really.
- People who can't communicate. People who misunderstand everything, takes offense when you try to help them, or don't respond. Can be both COs and finders.
But now I'd better think about the good cachers. Cachers who have fun and let me know it. Cachers that are careful. Cachers that you can talk to.
On 4/24/2021 at 7:04 PM, edexter said:
...bring a throwdown with them to avoid the annoyance of a dnf...
Who are doing that? People who don't know that a throwdown log can get erased? You didn't sign the log, just your own piece of paper - erase! What bothers me most are the people coming next who believe that the throwdown is valid. But it is still invalid AFAIK.
On 4/21/2021 at 5:39 AM, Spudyr said:
I just wanted to know what a favourite point deserving cache looks and functions like in all of your opinions!
Top 10% likeable in my view, for any reason:
- Could be a nice place
- Could be an historically interesting place
- Could be a nice field puzzle
- Could be a nice container
- Could be a good physical challenge
- Could be a good mystery
- Could be some other fun or commendable idea
but it is never
- FPs as "thank you", they are recommendations
- Randomly placed along a PT (If I would take a PT - which I don't - I would spot the best for possible FPs)
- An ALC (because I don't like the concept)
- The "new" kind of challenges (but I might give one to the "old style")
It does not have to be unique! If a cache must be unique for me to give FPs, then I will give fewer and fewer even to very good ones. I get one in ten, so I give one in ten.
Some would say archive and re-submit because new caches are desirabe, but I did that once with a cache that I wasn't totallt happy with. I improved it significantly, which I thought would qualify for archive and re-submit. The response to my new better cache has been totally underwhelming, so I will not do that again.
On 4/27/2021 at 6:29 PM, G0ldNugget said:
I had to look up Biltema Angel caches as I had never heard this term before. Heres a brief explanation:
"What are Biltema Angel Caches?
More and more often one reads that a geocache is a biltema cache. But what exactly is a Biltema Cache? The Biltema Caches, which are also called fishing caches or Sweden caches, are geoaches that hang at a certain height. Often these boxes are mounted higher than 5 meters or even at a height of 10 meters. These can be taken down with a fishing rod...
...These hinges are several conical, extendable rods which can be extended to a length of up to 15 meters. A hook or magnet is then attached to the tip of such a fishing rod in order to fish the can at this height.
I am a swede but I never heard the term "Biltema cache" on "fishing caches". I tend to refer to them as fishing caches, down-fishing or "Motala-style caches", since they are common there while we tend to climb the trees here in my town.
So this is typical for Sweden? I didn't know.
One more thing: Yes, pine trees as well as fir can be sticky. Not always, but sometimes I can get some resin on my hands. No big problem, it is easy to remove with some soft hand cream, or even butter (followed by soap and water).
So I see very little problem with that. But oaks and birches are nicer in that respect. (I free-climbed an oak today, just for the fun! )
My kind of topic.
There are several kinds of caches high up in trees:
1) "Fishing" caches, use a rod to get it down. Pretty easy but tends to be replaced badly. D/T for these are debatable since you are still on the ground, but it has some physical challenge anyway. I use this rarely, tend to use T3 when I do. Usually a petling with a hook built from metal wire.
2) "Flag poles", you haul down the cache with a string. Needs to be fastened in a good way so the string does not saw off a branch over time. A loop of string which the main string goes through works if you don't want to use something more sturdy like a pulley.
3) Caches ment to be reached using a ladder. Fasten in the tree in a suitable way (see below). Usually rated something like T4 in my area. (I have only one of these.)
4) Climbing gear caches. Usually very high in a tree with few branches.
5) Free climbing! (My favorites!) Needs a good tree with many living branches of medium size, must go low if the tree is supposed to be reasonably easy.
Next part: How to fasten a cache in a tree!
1) Nails or screws. NO! Don't! Never in a living tree. Geocaching avoid to cause that kind of damage.
2) Strings. Good, but must have slack to avoid tree strangling. Trees grow, branches too. I prefer rather thick strings to reduce the risk of the string "sawing" into the branch, especially of the cache is heavy.
3) Flexible things like a bicycle hose. i am not sure about this, it will cause a strain the tree but hardly kill or make it grow over it. I never this this.
And finally: Trees to avoid.
1) Trees with many dead branches that encourage you to rely on them. This can be dangerous.
2) Trees with brittle bark that may get significant damage from climbing. I avoid pine trees, they are often too easily damaged.
3) Dead trees or trees with signs of rot.
Sorry for the length. I have been through these issues a lot, as I own many tree climbing caches and really want to do it right.
Next episode: Rock climbing caches.
I checked out a nearby town, and got some expected results:
2021: 3 so far
What I see is not a declining trend but a strong dependency of very few people. From 2011 to 2012, one CO was very active, then stopped placing new and he has now archived all his hides, From 2014 to 2017, another CO was even more active, made lots of very original mystery caches. Then he got a full-time job that needs all his attention, so, few new hides since 2017. We see a dip in 2016, which perfectly matches his engagement in a mega event, so many new ideas went there.
2019 has a momentary top. Guess what? A power trail!
So all that area needs is a new CO making many new caches, but from the top in 2014-1015, the town as well as nearby roads are quite crowded.
So the conclusion is mostly the same: It depends on very few people. It usually depends on mass placements of very simple caches (PTs) like the 2019 peak. The 2014-2015 top is a bit different, also publishing of large batches, but in that case created by a very energetic enthusiast who made many (actually very good) mystery caches.
I checked out the trend in my area, and here it is. The "län" is the region, about 70 km radius, and "kommun" is the area for my city, around 20 km radius.
Year Län Kommun
2013 1342 250
2014 1895 291
2015 1622 247
2016 1435 254
2017 1230 167
2018 811 157
2019 578 166
2020 866 329
The numbers are very, very dependent on a few COs, and very much on PTs and other mass placements where 20-30 caches are placed and published at the same time.
I can see two exact times where an active CO quit, end of 2016 here in my town and end of 2017 in the neighbor town. The first was very active in making challenge caches. The latter guy has the second to most caches in the whole Sweden. We can also see the placement of some major power trails in 2013-2016. All that are quick and easy caches to create.
What dominates the numbers are just that, numbers. They are totally unrelated to quality. In 2017-2018 I was very active placing multis, always fairly ambitious ones. They are totally invisible. The same goes for the most high-quality CO in the entire region. He has made fewer caches since some time in 2017-2018, but those are equally invisible.
Also, placement of new caches become harder. There are so many caches, not least mystery caches, that it is hard to find locations. Outside the cities, large areas are dominated by power trails, and although you can place caches by walking some 100 meters beside the trail, those caches will ineviably be treated very badly by power trailers. So a power trail area is essentially blocked from other kinds of caching, at least other traditionals.
So it is hard to tell whether there is any significant trend with so much noise in the system. A single very active CO dropping out makes a visible dent, and power trails totally destroy the statistics.
It would be more interesting, IMHO, to check whether the number of well worked, ambitious caches go up or down, but there is no way to measure that.
On 3/5/2021 at 7:11 AM, fizzymagic said:
Idea and figuring out if a puzzle is possible -- usually a few days, up to a week
Creating the actual puzzle content -- this stage can take anywhere from a day or so to a few weeks
Testing on myself -- I usually try solving the puzzle twice from scratch. If a computer program or math is involved, I write an independent solver to be sure it's right.
Playtesting -- I send my puzzle to a minimum of two other people who have agreed not to be FTF (frequently, they are not locals) and ask for honest feedback. I am lucky to have friends that will tell me if my puzzle sucks.
Refining -- I iterate using feedback from playtesters to make the puzzle better. Frequently this stage involves coming up with a better tie-in between stages of the puzzle. If the playtesters tell me the puzzle requires moon logic at any stage, I work with them to make the flow logically coherent.
Checking the coordinates -- I almost ALWAYS do a coordinate check with my local reviewer.
Building and hiding the container -- This stage can happen any time in the few weeks before publishing.
Writing the cache page -- I generally leave this stage until after I have the puzzle completely working, and at this point I generate any final media content required.
Release -- I include as much information about the hide and the puzzle as needed to make the reviewer comfortable with what I am publishing.
Is my process insane? How does it compare to what other people do?
You have a good and ambitious list that fits well for an ambitious and well worked cache. I have some that fits your process pretty well.
For mosty of my caches, even fairly ambitious multis, I don't ask for a coordinate check from reviewers since it is so strongly unwanted, but for complex builds I do. Same with playtesting. I test the problem myself, and in some cases I have other people testing.
So it depends on the kind of cache, but for the most ambitious ones, your list is very good and complete!
And I wished that it would say AL... Splitting Adventure Labs from the very, very different Lab Caches would be a blessing! Although I think they could be merged with the very similar Virtuals.
LAB caches are dead! So what can we do instead?
in General geocaching topics
That comment brings us back to what I said. You mean ALC's, right? There certainly is room for confusion.