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Maddening Micros


Bill & Tammy
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Just wanted to pose a question about micros to the general geocaching public and hope for some thoughtful responses.

 

This being the question and prediction in a sense; Undoubtedly there will be attempts at spin-offs to try and replicate the elusive Shelter II (GCQR7W) and similar high difficulty micros.

 

What are everyone's thoughts on this? Is this something that is desired? Would you commit large blocks of time in the pursuit of a micro cache?

 

Thanks in advance.

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Hasn't the micro topic been discussed to death? I'm not trying to berate you directly, but it seems like there are already multiple threads about how micros are undesirable.

 

They are undesirable to some and others thrive on them. I think it is pretty clear from the logs of the cache you mention that a lot of people love to hunt for these nearly impossible micros. I am not one, but if it were close I would likely give it a try. If it was a FTF, I would give it a major try.

 

Most of the less desirable micros are pretty obvious from the logs. If you don't like what you read, then don't cache it.

 

Edit: Hmmm... maybe this was not as thoughtful as you had hoped. Sorry if I seem too tense.

Edited by tossedsalad
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Ummm. Good one, I was intrigued by Shelter II, but don't know if I would feel the same if I was out there looking for it. The thought did cross my mind to make a similar cache, but I doubt I could match the hiding skills used in Shelter II.

 

A good mystery will bring people in, but it will probably get old quick if everyone starts trying it. People will just get mad and quit looking for them altogether.

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Hasn't the micro topic been discussed to death? I'm not trying to berate you directly, but it seems like there are already multiple threads about how micros are undesirable.

 

They are undesirable to some and others thrive on them. I think it is pretty clear from the logs of the cache you mention that a lot of people love to hunt for these nearly impossible micros. I am not one, but if it were close I would likely give it a try. If it was a FTF, I would give it a major try.

 

Most of the less desirable micros are pretty obvious from the logs. If you don't like what you read, then don't cache it.

 

Edit: Hmmm... maybe this was not as thoughtful as you had hoped. Sorry if I seem too tense.

I didn't intend this thread to be about micros in general because I know that topic has been well covered. I wanted to be specific in discussing high difficulty micros and not necessarily the rest-stop, lamp post, hidden in a sign micro that is common.

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Here's a link, so people can read the DNF and Notes on the cache page:

 

GCQR7W, Shelter II

 

Let's hope the hide is deviously clever, and it's something the locals have not seen before. I would hate to see the backlash if this was a "needle in a haystack" hide.

 

To me, the issue isn't necessarily about micros, but about challenging hides. By looking at the photo on the cache, I wonder if the hider took the effort to get spot-on coordinates?

 

There have been numerous challenging hides in my area and I don't mind them as long as they are clever. I especially enjoy them if they require leap of logic or dramatic change in perspective to find.

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Here's a link, so people can read the DNF and Notes on the cache page:

 

GCQR7W, Shelter II

 

Let's hope the hide is deviously clever, and it's something the locals have not seen before. I would hate to see the backlash if this was a "needle in a haystack" hide.

 

To me, the issue isn't necessarily about micros, but about challenging hides. By looking at the photo on the cache, I wonder if the hider took the effort to get spot-on coordinates?

 

There have been numerous challenging hides in my area and I don't mind them as long as they are clever. I especially enjoy them if they require leap of logic or dramatic change in perspective to find.

That's a very good point. It seems it would require greater skill and cleverness to hide an ammo can that rivals the difficulty of "Shelter" than a very thin micro.

 

I would love to see a regular sized cache promote as much interest.

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Hi Bill & Tammy

In my small city there were no micros of any kind. I wasn't copying Shelter II when I made my cache Goldfish. Goldfish is a puzzle cache but the challenge at the heart of the cache is finding two micros that protect the location of the final. After watching the success of Shelter II I think I should have made it a traditional. :( I think it is a four star cache but I don't know for sure. The cache location isn't four star but the micros that you need to find to get there are difficult to find. I put money in the cache and I put in a White Jeep TB, if you think those TB's are rare in the US imagine what they are like in Canada !!! No takers yet, no notes and only a couple of watchers.

I made the cache primarily because I have three children who asked "Where is the challenge ?" Every local cache was a simple tupperware/bush hide and we had no caches like the ones I read about on these forums, no micros, we didn't even have a multi. I wanted a few caches that were more difficult to challenge geocachers who like the mystery and the hunt but don't really get thrilled by the hikes.

Goldfish is in my wife's words "impossible". I am confident that someone will prove otherwise. I wasn't a real micro fan before I started designing Fish and Goldfish but I can see the possibilities for increasing the challenge. I would spend some time searching for caches that were designed to highlight difficult micros.

In designing both Fish and Goldfish I chose locations for the microcache hides that could sustain intense searches, like Shelter II, just in case.

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Hard micros are a bit of a joke, because once several people find it, they start telling their friends how to find it, and it is no longer hard.

They're only hard for the out of towners & beginners. :o

Very much true.

 

However, if I were in the area, come hell or high water, I'd be the first finder. Then I'd sit back and enjoy the frustrations of others.

 

(I hope I'd be FF, anyway.)

 

On the other hand, if it were a needle in a haystack type of hunt or in a nondescript area, it's a good possibility I'd just put it on my ignore list. NIAHS-type hides aren't clever, they're simply tedious. If I wanted tedious, I could get out a pair of scissors and cut my lawn.

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What are everyone's thoughts on this? Is this something that is desired? Would you commit large blocks of time in the pursuit of a micro cache?

 

Why even discuss it any more? It's time to wake up and smell the coffee: Microcaches are what the activity is being reduced to. It's our own fault.

 

To answer your question directly, NO, I will not seek any microcache ever again, no matter how dastardly, clever, or worthwhile it is reported to be. Microcaches may have been fun when they were a novelty, but I consider a steady diet of them to be just a waste of one's time.

Edited by Skovar
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What are everyone's thoughts on this? Is this something that is desired? Would you commit large blocks of time in the pursuit of a micro cache?

 

Why even discuss it any more? It's time to wake up and smell the coffee: Microcaches are what the activity is being reduced to. It's our own fault.

 

To answer your question directly, NO, I will not seek any microcache ever again, no matter how dastardly, clever, or worthwhile it is reported to be. Microcaches may have been fun when they were a novelty, but I consider a steady diet of them to be just a waste of one's time.

I'm with you on this. Micros can be fun and interesting, but not to the exclusion of all else. That seems to be happening in many areas.

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Devious micro hides are a dime a dozen. Its not too hard to create one. You want to impress, hide a an ammo box and make it tough.

I've been thinking about bumping the difficulty on this one because of all of the frownies. It wasn't supposed to be that hard.

 

It is a SAW can (even larger than a .50, twice as large as a typical .30 can) so it warrants a "regular size" listing. However, the area just doesn't look like it will support that large of a container.

 

Probably the one Sissy is most proud of.

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What are everyone's thoughts on this? Is this something that is desired? Would you commit large blocks of time in the pursuit of a micro cache?

 

Why even discuss it any more? It's time to wake up and smell the coffee: Microcaches are what the activity is being reduced to. It's our own fault.

 

To answer your question directly, NO, I will not seek any microcache ever again, no matter how dastardly, clever, or worthwhile it is reported to be. Microcaches may have been fun when they were a novelty, but I consider a steady diet of them to be just a waste of one's time.

I'm with you on this. Micros can be fun and interesting, but not to the exclusion of all else. That seems to be happening in many areas.

While I might sound like a broken record, I still think it's not the fact they are micros, but uninspired. I find it is mostly the uninspiring locations mostly. These can be any size cache. It just seems if folks don't put much thought into the location, they don't put much into the cache itself.

 

It takes a lot more work to place a regular sized cache--or should I say "a trading cache"--than it is a log-only cache. So, if someone wants to simply hide a cache, they might just take a film can with a strip of paper and hide it under the nearest lamp post. Some feel a nice location is not required.

 

On the "log-only" issue, to be honest, I've often thought about logbook-only caches for a while. There would be less angst about trading as a result. But I've since decided against it in this area because it seems most everyone "gets it" and we generally don't have any problems. Other areas, though, this might be a viable alternative.

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It takes a lot more work to place a regular sized cache--or should I say "a trading cache"--than it is a log-only cache.

 

I placed a cache in my small city that is a microcache and used letterbox style directions, I didn't think the cache would be searchable because it is located in a very high activity area. I have visited this cache to check on it and it is very hard to retrieve even knowing where it is, someone is always looking at you. It is large enough to hold a Groundspeak logbook, the small one. Our city doesn't have any log only micros and I didn't want to place the first one so I decided to place a trading cache as part of this microcache/logbook. I made the cache a multi and added a Lock n Lock, the amount of effort required to find a place for the trading cache was far greater than the amount of effort for the microcache.

It was much harder to find a suitable hiding place, within walking distance, that would work as the trading cache site. As a bonus, when I finally found a site that worked, the stealth factor for the whole cache actually increased. It is tough to get the micro out, signed, and back in - imagine doing it with a full size box. :o

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Micros can be fun and interesting, but not to the exclusion of all else.

 

Hi briansnat

I asked you a question quite awhile ago about a multicache. I wanted to know if a stage could deliberatley have two outcomes. You directed me to ask my local reviewer that question. Here is a link to that post. I am bringing it up now because that answer resulted in the creation of the cache I call Fish. I started the cache as a single setup with one of the micros leading to a bonus cache called Goldfish. After completing the cache I felt it would work better with two listings so I split it up and made a case to the local approver.

I am happy to say that the approver approved. :o The whole point of the setup was the fact that both caches have micros positioned in exactly the same place. Goldfish has a microcache, a devious one, which is hidden in amongst the micros for Fish. I am not sure if this is unique but there is nothing like it around here.

At the end of the day though these aren't really micros. The micros add to the challenge and they are fun, people laugh when I show them the Goldfish micro, but they are just stages on the way to a full size cache.

 

I am currently working on another briansnat inspired cache you know. I will bounce the idea off you right now. I read your "test" the other day. The test is the one where you offer mutiple choice solutions to cachers for various situations and it had me chuckling, distilled wisdom for sure. I am going to modify this test and use it in a puzzle cache, I will be happy to give you full credit for the test on the cache page. Here is another question, can I place the solution for a puzzle cache here in the Groundspeak forum, in a message or multiple messages ?

Edited by wavector
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Just wanted to pose a question about micros to the general geocaching public and hope for some thoughtful responses.

 

This being the question and prediction in a sense; Undoubtedly there will be attempts at spin-offs to try and replicate the elusive Shelter II (GCQR7W) and similar high difficulty micros.

 

What are everyone's thoughts on this? Is this something that is desired? Would you commit large blocks of time in the pursuit of a micro cache?

 

Thanks in advance.

What's the point of a cache you can't find? :o

 

For me, it's more about the location of the cache, not the cache. If I get to the location and don't like the location because it's just a park n' grab (fill in the blank) size cache with no value other than to pump stats, I won't spend more than a minute of my life on it.

 

$0.02 :D

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Micros have their place, just like any cache. They are fine as long as they have "something" special about them. A difficult micro would be "special" in the fact it's hard to find, and should be advertised as such in the cache page. But I think we all agree it is annoying when everyone does the same old thing with film cans.

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Once in a while I like hunting micros simply for the challenge of it. So yes, I'd love to see a well-placed, hard micro around here.

 

I wouldn't spend much time if it were somewhere stupid, but give me a cool spot to visit while I search and I'll do it. :D

 

What would be really great, and I'm trying to come up with such an idea, it to place such a highly difficult micro in such a way that, when finally found, the finders think something like "I can't believe I didn't find this sooner." Preferably with some sort of humorous spin on it. :o

Edited by wandererrob
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I'd like to see a moratorium against micros, dictating that they can only be placed under the following circumstances;

1) The area absolutely will not support a small or regular cache.

2) There is something definitive that warrants bringing folks to the location.

3) The words "Parking lot" and Film Cannister" are never used in conjunction.

B):o:D

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Thanks for the clarification. I don't have a problem with any degree of difficulty as long as it is accurately listed. Heck, there are lots of different types of caches that are not my cup of tea. As long as I know that going in, I can decide to attack them or not.

 

In particular, I like the harder caches. There has been more than one that I could not find, but enjoyed the hunt and want to return to finally solve them... usually :o

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A good mystery will bring people in, but it will probably get old quick if everyone starts trying it.

Good point. The uniqueness of Shelter II is what made it interesting. If the idea catches on and more and more people do it, it will lose the thing that made it appealing in the first place. (Hmm...sounds like reality TV!)

 

Trying to duplicate Shelter II is like trying duplicate Woodstock -- the idea may be the same but the magic is gone.

 

But, yes, I would have loved to hunt a micro like Shelter II, but my attention span is so short I probably would have given up in a matter -- ooo! A shiny object. What was I saying?

 

:o

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I've seen some really great micros! I've seen good micros, in areas that would not support anything larger. (I hope that my micros qualify!) I've seen devious and evil micros. (Those I can appreciate.)

What I need to avoid are the nasty micros. I see far too many where the coordinates are deliberately off. Too many 'needles in the haystack'. Too many 'bison tubes in the prickly evergreen in the manicured park, where the shrubbery will quickly be destroyed.' A good, devious micro is fun! A nasty micro is nasty.

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