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Definition of "Challenge" vs. "ALR"


J-Way

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Recently, Groundspeak discontinued the practice of allowing physical caches with mandatory Additional Logging Requirements, but gave an exception for so-called "Challenge Caches". This thread is NOT for the purpose of discussing whether or not ALR's should be brought back or wishing them good riddance. Instead, I'd like to start a discussion on what, exactly, qualifies as a Challenge Cache.

 

I thought of this topic recently while perusing a couple of lists of Challenge Caches that are exempt from the "no ALR" rule:

U.S. Challenge Caches: States A-M

U.S. Challenge Caches: States N-Z

(both lists maintained by shell1fish)

 

Honestly, some of the so-called Challenge caches on those lists are quite... (must...remain...polite...) ...odd. Some are to find caches whose titles start with the same letter as a certain word or phrase (find a cache starting with "D", then one starting with "O", then "R", then "K", in order, and each one must be farther away from a set start point than the previous one), some are to find the other caches in a series, some are to find all caches hidden by a particular person, etc. It almost appears as if you can take any ALR cache, change it to include the word "Challenge" in the title, reword the description a bit, and it can remain:

 

ALR cache: Bonus! (find all other caches in a series before logging this cache)

Challenge cache: Bonus Challenge! (find all other caches in a series before logging this cache)

ALR cache: CITO Cache (pick up a bag of trash in the area and post a picture)

Challenge cache: CITO Challenge (pick up a bag of trash in the area and post a picture)

 

I LIKE challenge caches, and I'm actively working on at least six of them. What I'm worried about is that cachers who are mad about losing ALRs will flood the game with so-called "Challenge" caches, resulting in their elimination.

 

Anybody else think their should be an established definition of what constitutes a "Challenge" cache, and that listing as a "Challenge" cache should be at the discretion of the reviewer? Again, this thread is not for general discussion of the ALR elimination, only the Challenge exception. (Please?)

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My impression was that a "Challenge cache" was geocaching related, while a ALR was not... For example a challenge cache that requires you to have found at least one cache in each county of a state, and a ALR which requires you to pick up trash, or post a photo of you doing something...

 

I love challenge caches when they are kept simple... and that doesn't mean easy... the "Well Rounded" Challenges where a cacher needs to find a cache with all 81 Diff/Terrain combos is hard enough and cool enough, its kindof annoying when the owner requires that the finds are on caches placed during a certain time period... just my two cents.

Edited by AD0OR
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My impression was that a "Challenge cache" was geocaching related, while a ALR was not... For example a challenge cache that requires you to have found at least one cache in each county of a state, and a ALR which requires you to pick up trash, or post a photo of you doing something...

 

I love challenge caches when they are kept simple... and that doesn't mean easy... the "Well Rounded" Challenges where a cacher needs to find a cache with all 81 Diff/Terrain combos is hard enough and cool enough, its kindof annoying when the owner requires that the finds are on caches placed during a certain time period... just my two cents.

Yeah...I had the same basic "understanding" of the difference between the two...

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Simple enough,

 

The challenge cache requires you to do something BEFORE you find the cache.

 

An ALR cache required you to do something AFTER you found the cache.

That's exactly my understanding and what I tell anyone that might ask. The BEFORE stuff does have to be geocaching related and not something like "must have gotten sick on Applebees food". Although I know someone who did, while geocaching! It seems a simple thing that could be added to the guidelines to help clarify for anyone who doesn't understand it yet.

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ALR cache: Bonus! (find all other caches in a series before logging this cache)

Challenge cache: Bonus Challenge! (find all other caches in a series before logging this cache)

 

ALR cache: CITO Cache (pick up a bag of trash in the area and post a picture)

Challenge cache: CITO Challenge (pick up a bag of trash in the area and post a picture)

 

In the scenarios above the bonus cache would be a challenge cache, not an ALR because you would do something geocaching related prior to finding the cache. This is specified in the current 'rules'. The second one is something done at the cache site that is not explicitly caching related. If you have to post a photo, submit verification or email the cache owner on a non-virtual/webcam/earthcache, perform a task at the cache site, or wait to log until a designated cacher is FTF that cache had an ALR. An ALR is not banned it is just an optional activity.

Edited by supertbone
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Simple enough,

 

The challenge cache requires you to do something BEFORE you find the cache.

 

An ALR cache required you to do something AFTER you found the cache.

Some of the original challenge caches (Delorme, county challenges) has bogus coordinates posted and required you to send the list of caches you found to the owner to get the coordinates to find the cache. These cache were granted an exception from the usual guideline of not requiring email to the cache owner to get coordinates. Later, after TPTB recognized ALR caches by requiring them to listed as mystery caches, Groundspeak or the reviewers adopted an unwritten guideline that most challenges be listed with true coordinates and simply have treat completing the challenge as an ALR before you could LOG the find. Today many, if not most, challenge cache can be FOUND before you complete the challenge. But cache owners can delete your logs if you have not completed the challenge. The ones I have seen, actually have the audacity to require me to go back to the cache I have already found and sign the log again with a date that is post my completing the challenge and then log a find. As far as I am concerned this is an ALR, even if it is only requiring me to do something BEFORE I find the cache a SECOND TIME.

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Simple enough,

 

The challenge cache requires you to do something BEFORE you find the cache.

 

An ALR cache required you to do something AFTER you found the cache.

 

They could set the challenge cache up that way, but my understanding is that most any of us can just go to the coords and find it. Then it's an ALR when they say 'but to keep your log you have to have completed the challenge'.

 

As for the difference. I suppose it's the difference between porn and erotica. The reviewers know it when they see it.

 

"Get a photo wearing a chicken hat at 100 caches" would not be a be a challenge cache though it pretty much has all the hallmarks.

Edited by Renegade Knight
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As already stated, Challenge caches hidden in the past few years had to be hidden at the posted coordinates. The only thing keeping a cacher from claiming a find after locating the container and signing the log is the "additional logging requirement" of completing the challenge requirements.

 

So the general consensus is that anything related to geocaching is acceptable? I guess I can get behind that definition, as long as people don't start publishing challenge caches even crazier than they do now.

 

"Get a photo wearing a chicken hat at 100 caches" would not be a be a challenge cache though it pretty much has all the hallmarks.
Actually, I look forward to seeing this one in the near future.
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I simply don't understand why this is such a big deal. The guidelines spell the difference out pretty well.

 

Challenge caches incorporate special logging requirements and are listed as Mystery/Puzzle caches. Typically they require the seeker to have previously met a reasonable geocaching-related qualification (Waymarking and Wherigo qualify too, of course) such as first finding a cache in every county in your state. If you are thinking of creating such a cache, please include a note to the reviewer demonstrating either that you have met the challenge yourself, or that a substantial number of other geocachers would be able to do so.

Challenge caches have requirements that are geocaching-related. Wearing a chicken hat is not geocaching-related, so it would not be an allowable challenge.

 

Per the guidelines, it still is perfectly acceptable to ask people to wear a chicken hat. It just isn't allowable to delete their log if they choose not to complete with this optional task.

 

Regarding the CITO caches, I suspect that the determination would be that CITO is geocaching-related.

Edited by sbell111
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I simply don't understand why this is such a big deal. The guidelines spell the difference out pretty well.

Challenge caches incorporate special logging requirements and are listed as Mystery/Puzzle caches. Typically they require the seeker to have previously met a reasonable geocaching-related qualification (Waymarking and Wherigo qualify too, of course) such as first finding a cache in every county in your state. If you are thinking of creating such a cache, please include a note to the reviewer demonstrating either that you have met the challenge yourself, or that a substantial number of other geocachers would be able to do so.
Actually, they do, and I should have re-read the guidelines before starting this thread. In my defense, some of the existing challenge caches in the two lists in the OP REALLY stretch the definition of "a reasonable geocaching-related qualification". Those caches are what got me started down the path.
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...worthless drivel deleted....

Dude-keep this up and you will fall below 23K posts! :unsure::P:ph34r:

 

Back OT-The term reasonable has some built in latitude already by definition. I suspect that as long as the submissions involve finding a subset of caches, or some geographical scattergory they will get published. Items like-be photoshopped wearing the chicken suit at your next 100 finds will not get published, even though the task is marginally cache related and takes place before or during the finds.

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....some of the existing challenge caches in the two lists in the OP REALLY stretch the definition of "a reasonable geocaching-related qualification". Those caches are what got me started down the path.

 

No doubt, but remember, unless they were published after April 4, 2009 the mere use of the word Challenge in the title does NOT mean that they meet the current Challenge cache definition. They may be ALR caches. Heck,

 

Somebody want to log one without meeting the ALR and find out?

 

I own 2 Challenge caches legit per the current guidelines and one of them is titled

A-Z ALR ! but really, it's not an ALR, it's a Challenge.

 

hmm, maybe I should rename it....

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To me, a challenge cache is one which requires you to find (and log online) a specified set of caches before finding the final. The set can be a list of caches or an unambiguous spefication of the required set. The former are compilation challenges (the list these days is usually a bookmark list). The latter include DeLorme challenges, county challenges, etc -- the set is described but the seeker chooses the specific caches to satisfy the conditions. In either case, the set might be time-limited (you have to find caches within a certain time frame) or ordered (find caches in a certain order).

 

Saying "anything geocaching-related" would include hiding caches as well as finding them, or getting a certain number of finds on caches you hid, or posting to the forums. Personally I think that's going too far and that those should be considered to be ALRs. (Requirements to hide caches are prohibited anyway IIRC, though I haven't looked to see if this clause was deleted or modified when all ALRs were eliminated.)

 

Edward

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