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Interesting cache idea?


Keruso
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i had an idea for a puzzle cache, but was shot down by Keystone, no offense to him/her. so i wanted to ask everyone else. my idea was for the cache hunter to take a certain number of steps to the cache, without the aid of a GPS. since many people now have pedometers, i thought it was a good idea

 

what do you guys think?

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i had an idea for a puzzle cache, but was shot down by Keystone, no offense to him/her. so i wanted to ask everyone else. my idea was for the cache hunter to take a certain number of steps to the cache, without the aid of a GPS. since many people now have pedometers, i thought it was a good idea

 

what do you guys think?

 

Sounds like something other than geocaching.

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Perhaps the Listing Requirements/Guidelines will help.

 

http://www.geocaching.com/about/guidelines.aspx

Guidelines that Apply to all Cache Types

... snip

GPS usage is an essential element of geocaching. Therefore, although it is possible to find a cache without a GPS, the option of using accurate GPS coordinates as an integral part of the cache hunt must be demonstrated for all physical cache submissions.

Edited by Motorcycle_Mama
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From the listing guidelines:

GPS usage is an essential element of geocaching. Therefore, although it is possible to find a cache without a GPS, the option of using accurate GPS coordinates as an integral part of the cache hunt must be demonstrated for all physical cache submissions.
From what you've described, it does not meet guidelines.

 

If it was approvable, I'd enjoy it.

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Without seeing keystone's reason for "shooting you down," I would guess that your cache would fly if you were to use the GPS for the starting point. Then the number of steps, direction, etc could come from the puzzle.

 

Use of GPS is an essential element of geocaching. There really isn't a lot of latitude (pardonne the expression) on that point generally.

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i started from my car to the cache. and of course i posted parking coords to where to park.

 

Will your car always be there? :anibad:

 

Seriously, what if someone else is parked there? Could the starting coordinates be somewhere else besides a parking space?

 

My GPSr isn't always that accurate. I could be starting 20 feet away from the correct spot. Will the steps be in actual footage, or average "steps"? I'm only 5 feet tall, could make a big difference. Just a few things to think about...

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I was out caching today with a bunch of co-workers. I take 2-3 steps for each one step of my friend. I'm 5'2... he's 6'4". Our "steps" are VASTLY different.

 

I'd say no. I don't think that's a very good idea. WAY too many ways for it to be 'variable'.

 

But... that's just my opinion.

 

~Ariel

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I did a puzzle cache once that did something similar...once you got to the "real" coordinates, take a bearing of 255 degrees and walk 100 feet.

 

I did one this past weekend where at the first coords you uncover a cache that has a treasure map. Then throughout the park you need to find different places to get to the final treasure. Only an initial set of coords, but a very cool cache.

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i had an idea for a puzzle cache, but was shot down by Keystone, no offense to him/her. so i wanted to ask everyone else. my idea was for the cache hunter to take a certain number of steps to the cache, without the aid of a GPS. since many people now have pedometers, i thought it was a good idea

 

what do you guys think?

 

They won't publish it unless a GPS and coordinates are involved somehow. There are many caches easy enough to find without a GPS, but the GPS will still bring you to them.

 

If you made it into a puzzle cache, and put coordinates at that spot redirecting you to a second location where the cache is, then it may work. However, everyone's steps vary in length, depending on their height and speed. The longer the distance, the more likely they would be way off..

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i had an idea for a puzzle cache, but was shot down by Keystone, no offense to him/her. so i wanted to ask everyone else. my idea was for the cache hunter to take a certain number of steps to the cache, without the aid of a GPS. since many people now have pedometers, i thought it was a good idea

 

what do you guys think?

It's a good idea. I had a cache in a cave. You can us the GPS to find the entrance to the cave, then you count steps to the cache. Alas the cache was taken a couple of times so I had to give up on it. Never thought of the pedomoter. That would have helped.

 

The idea is viable. This site however chooses to list only caches that have a GPS as an integral part of the hunt. If you want to list it here you have to work the GPS in.

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i had an idea for a puzzle cache, but was shot down by Keystone, no offense to him/her. so i wanted to ask everyone else. my idea was for the cache hunter to take a certain number of steps to the cache, without the aid of a GPS. since many people now have pedometers, i thought it was a good idea

 

what do you guys think?

Highlighted the problem. As stated before the guidelines require that "the option of using accurate GPS coordinates as an integral part of the cache hunt must be demonstrated for all physical cache submissions." One can hide a cache that uses a combination of GPS coordinates and letterbox style hints to find the cache. Such a cache would generally be listed as a multi since it would have more than one stage but may be listed as a mystery/unknown as well. Where I live it is common to see these listed as letterbox hybrids although that is not the current definition in the guidelines. I suppose you could list a traditional cache that can be found at the posted coordinates and in the description give your hints for finding the cache without a GPS.

 

I once was FTF on cache whose posted coordinates were more than .5 miles off. After bushwhacking to ground zero, I realized that there was no way the guy hid the cache here with his 3 and 5 year-olds. I decrypted the hint which read much like a letterbox clue and knew where to go to find the cache. :anibad:

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Here's one I hid a while back that was mostly GPSless. You needed the coordinates to get to the first point, then the rest was solved by interpreting photos of the path on my GPS.

 

I've also long considered a cache that would use many features of a GPS other than waypoints -- distance, project, alternate coordinate systems, etc. I wonder if that would pass these days. Strictly speaking, a GPS is required, but it's sort of like the old joke about the smart aleck using a barometer to measure the height of a building.

 

I know of another cache where you start at given coordinates, then follow a path for a certain distance and count the number of times your arrow crosses due north. Then you use that number to get the final coordinates.

 

I'm all for thinking different, but a pedometer -- sounds kind of imprecise.

Edited by Dinoprophet
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the steps are average sized, as average as you can get with a 5' 8", slightly overweight 22 yr old. its a typical gravel parking lot in a park near where i live

 

Yeah... but that's still REALLY imprecise. I'm a 5'2", definitely overweight 34 year old. I have no way of really gauging how many of my steps would equal your "go 30 paces to the NW". None. So unless there was a HUGE and obvious landmark, I'd be looking forever... and would probably never find it.

 

*shrug* Again, just my $0.02.... you can do whatever you want. But I'd probably steer clear of this one.

 

~Ariel

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i could always post a hint saying that if you find a certain "holey tree" your withen distance of the cache? i understand what some of you guys are saying, and this is my first puzzle, so im doing what i can. its not going to be "walk 671 steps to the cache" which i did have in mind, im already making it something else

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I'd guess (just a guess) that the problem isn't with the steps, it's with a lack of a specific point of origin - one that you'd need a gps to find.

I own a cache with an orienteering type off-set. The starting point is a spot along a trail. To know that you were at the right point to begin the "north pacing" (or project a waypoint) you need your gps.

I own another with a bearing from the coords, and I don't even give the distance, you go to the spot of the coords, and start walking away from it on the bearing... you encounter the cache.

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i had an idea for a puzzle cache, but was shot down by Keystone, no offense to him/her. so i wanted to ask everyone else. my idea was for the cache hunter to take a certain number of steps to the cache, without the aid of a GPS. since many people now have pedometers, i thought it was a good idea

 

what do you guys think?

 

Instead of numbers of steps - which can vary by person, why not ask them to shoot a bearing. i.e., 'go to posted coordniates, walk 500 feet due west'

 

You could make it a multi/mystery cache. Go to first stage, then find a micro with instructions, if you dont want people to try and figure out ahead of time where they will wind up. Just make sure you tell them how much work is involved (i.e. 'a short hike within a couple hundred yards'). I wont even do 90% of multis anymore, especially if theres lots of math to do, or several stages.

 

I know a rather devious cacher who got around a reviewer that way. He made it a mystery cache... and when you got to the "end", there were instructions for another stage.

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Saying go a set number of steps at a set bearing is ok, as long as you list other obvious benchmarks along the way. For example, one of my favorite all-time caches was a hybrid puzzle/offset/letterbox/terracache. First you had to decypher a rather complex puzzle to obtain the initial coordinates. The cache was a series of 4 that followed a storyline, and the text read something like.

 

"Leave your carriage and walk AB steps at a bearing of CDE degrees to the entrance archway." At this point you're under a live tree that was partially knocked down and "arches" over the trail... if your steps are off, you can correct yourself at this point. Basically, use classic letterbox-style clues to keep the searcher on-track. A stamp is only required if you want to call it a letterbox hybrid.

 

Back to coordinates. For a long time now, Groundspeak's policy toward "GPS use" is that the coordinates should not be easily obtainable off the web. Specifically, if I can read your description, drive to the parking lot, then pace off to find the cache, then that's a no-no. On the other hand, there are TON's of "traditional" caches that allow precisely that. The restriction only appears to apply to Mystery and Letterbox Hybrid caches.

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Yes "steps" isn't a good measurement. You need to specify meters, feet, yards, rods, chains, whatever; but at least something that has some sort of standard. I also believe that just using the GPS to find parking is no longer acceptable. I've been told by someone that should know that new submissions of "offset", or "projection" caches require a bit more GPS involvement before the pace and compass work starts. Maybe take them to a point in the woods a few hundred feet from parking then start them on the compass segment. Also, keep in mind that no existing cache can be used to justify a new cache, so there's no use scurrying about looking for examples to justify your case. A dialogue with your reviewer should result in a placement that involves the basic plan you want.

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Back to coordinates. For a long time now, Groundspeak's policy toward "GPS use" is that the coordinates should not be easily obtainable off the web. Specifically, if I can read your description, drive to the parking lot, then pace off to find the cache, then that's a no-no. On the other hand, there are TON's of "traditional" caches that allow precisely that. The restriction only appears to apply to Mystery and Letterbox Hybrid caches.

 

Of course, quite a number of traditional caches can be found from Google Earth/Maps - whichh, lest we forget, wasn't around when Dave Ulmer woke up one morning and found he had too many beans on his kitchen shelves. But to place the onus on the placer of a traditional cache to show that this can't be done, would create way too much work for the placers and the reviewers.

 

However, for non-Traditional caches, I think it's reasonable to expect that the puzzle will include a minimum of GPS usage. After all, nobody's forcing you to make it a non-Traditional.

 

A good first-level approximation to whether acceptable GPS usage is involved, is to ask yourself "could I have placed this cache without a GPSr"?

 

For example, if you say "drive to the parking lot at the intersection of X and Y streets, find the wooden gate, then follow the fence for 200 paces typical to the average 5' 8", slightly overweight 22 yr old", you do not need a GPSr at any point. (You might need to borrow a 5' 8", slightly overweight 22 yr old :unsure:).

 

In the OP's case, I think the idea is cool, and it could easily be integrated into a cache which is compatible with the guidelines. Simply use GPS coordinates to get the start of the pedometer section. But please (this is not a guideline issue, just something which ticks me off) use "feet" (or, of course, "metres") rather than paces; or, tell us what calibration to use on the pedometer.

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But if you can read an aerial photo the answer is always "yes"... now what? :unsure:

 

Not at all. Could you have placed the cache and put coordinates on the Web page which are sufficiently accurate that a GPSr user could find it? Google Earth's coordinates are often 40-50ft or more off. So posting a car park's coordinates is reliable enough, you won't be able to narrow it down to, say, a tree.

 

And as I said, there is an implied exception for Traditionals, so in the case of (say) a cache placed at the foot of a famous statue, the fact that you can localise the statue's area on a map is tolerated.

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But if you can read an aerial photo the answer is always "yes"... now what? :unsure:

 

Not at all. Could you have placed the cache and put coordinates on the Web page which are sufficiently accurate that a GPSr user could find it? Google Earth's coordinates are often 40-50ft or more off. So posting a car park's coordinates is reliable enough, you won't be able to narrow it down to, say, a tree.

 

.......

 

Yes I can. I never said to use use Google.

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But if you can read an aerial photo the answer is always "yes"... now what? :unsure:

 

Not at all. Could you have placed the cache and put coordinates on the Web page which are sufficiently accurate that a GPSr user could find it? Google Earth's coordinates are often 40-50ft or more off. So posting a car park's coordinates is reliable enough, you won't be able to narrow it down to, say, a tree.

 

And as I said, there is an implied exception for Traditionals, so in the case of (say) a cache placed at the foot of a famous statue, the fact that you can localise the statue's area on a map is tolerated.

I don't understand the implied exception phrase. Per the guidelines:

Therefore, although it is possible to find a cache without a GPS, the option of using accurate GPS coordinates as an integral part of the cache hunt must be demonstrated for all physical cache submissions.

The option to use accurate GPS coordinates is alway available for a traditional cache. Just put the posted coordinates in the GPS and find the cache. It doesn't matter if the cache page tells you exactly where to go and how to find the cache, the option exist for putting in the coordinates and looking.

 

Now if you have a mystery/unknown with bogus coordinates posted and have the same description on the cache page you would not meat the guidelines. Someplace along the way you must have the option to enter accurate coordinates and use the GPS to get to that location and it must be integral to the cache hunt meaning you must either find the cache there or find something that you need in order to find the cache.

 

For an offset multi, one could argue that you could put the coordinates in the GPS and go to the first waypoint. But unless going to that waypoint is integral to find the cache the guideline is not met. If the instructions would not make sense unless you actually went to the location one could say the option to use the GPS is integral to finding the cache. If on the other hand visiting the initial location doesn't add anything to finding the cache the cache would not meet the guidelines.

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i thank you all for your opinions for how to do the cache. I've already changed how it is. You have to find my other three caches in the park, with the coords in the logbooks, in order to find the cache, which is a Mystery cache.

 

you guys want to look at it? GC19X9F

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