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SUBMITTED (24998) - [FEATURE] add "Part of a powertrail" to cache attributes

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Going forward from implementation, I could see reviewers encouraging or requiring its use prior to publication...

I could not see this. I would strongly resist adding "power trail attribute police" to my list of reviewer duties. I base this upon (1) prior experience with trying to define a "power trail" back in the days when reviewers could "just say no" to a group of caches placed 600 feet apart, and (2) prior experience with the few attributes which reviewers are asked to enforce (Terrain 1 = handicapped accessible; UV light required; Beacon attribute for Chirp caches).

 

Do not make the reviewer be the person obligated to say "your baby is ugly and you need to label it as such, so that others can steer clear of it." Let the power trail owner say "I want to add this attribute as a service both to those who seek out power trails and to those who wish to filter them out/ignore them."

I agree, don't make the reviewer police this. But I would encourage reviewers to ask, one time, whether the attribute might be appropriate. If the CO doesn't agree, that is the end of it. As The A-Team reminded everyone of, some CO's do add an attribute (scuba for the ET power trail) already, so we know that some CO's would use the attribute from the get go. They may even go back and change their existing caches.

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No. It is not a listing guideline issue or something that HQ has mandated to reviewers.

 

I do not want to suggest MY definition of a power trail to other cache owners.

 

I do not want to place myself in a position where folks who don't like power trails start writing me, saying "why didn't you "encourage" Hider X to use the power trail attribute?"

 

Keep me well clear of all that. Thanks.

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Just a question...if there are PTs consisting of hundreds or thousands of caches, and the COs are pretty hands-off about them...how likely would it be that all existing power trails would be assigned this attribute?

I would hope that GS could help with setting the PT attribute on existing power trails. I would think it would be easy enough at the database level to set the attribute for all caches with a certain name format, so I would want the announcement to include explaining that feature and telling any PT owners that want it set how to ask for it. If this isn't possible, I'd be less supportive of adding the attribute.

 

Do not make the reviewer be the person obligated to say "your baby is ugly and you need to label it as such, so that others can steer clear of it." Let the power trail owner say "I want to add this attribute as a service both to those who seek out power trails and to those who wish to filter them out/ignore them."

Absolutely. Reviewers should say, "Your power trail is beautiful. Don't you want to label it as such?"

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Going forward from implementation, I could see reviewers encouraging or requiring its use prior to publication...

 

Do not make the reviewer be the person obligated to say "your baby is ugly and you need to label it as such, so that others can steer clear of it." Let the power trail owner say "I want to add this attribute as a service both to those who seek out power trails and to those who wish to filter them out/ignore them."

 

Even if a small number of cache owners do this that's still more power trails that are identified as such than now. To me, that's an improvement and the fact that all power trails might not be tagged with a PT attribute isn't a good reason not to support this feature request.

 

 

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Yeah, feel free to call it a "Series" attribute if you like.

No one's looking for a way to detect all caches involved in a series, so, no, don't call it that. What people want flagged are caches planted purely for large numbers of quick finds. I'm not sure why everyone's so worried that people that plant caches purely for large numbers of quick finds won't want to advertise what they must consider an important quality.

 

Would anyone like to explain the difference between a series and a powertrail? I've seen plenty of strings of caches that seemed to be placed such that it would maximize the number of finds one could get in a limited time called "a series" when the only thing each cache had in common with other caches was that they were based on a theme and the name of the cache followed a pattern.

 

 

 

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Yeah, feel free to call it a "Series" attribute if you like.

No one's looking for a way to detect all caches involved in a series, so, no, don't call it that. What people want flagged are caches planted purely for large numbers of quick finds. I'm not sure why everyone's so worried that people that plant caches purely for large numbers of quick finds won't want to advertise what they must consider an important quality.

 

Would anyone like to explain the difference between a series and a powertrail? I've seen plenty of strings of caches that seemed to be placed such that it would maximize the number of finds one could get in a limited time called "a series" when the only thing each cache had in common with other caches was that they were based on a theme and the name of the cache followed a pattern.

 

To Me:

 

A Power Trail is a group of caches that are all 520 feet (ish) apart. This can stretch for miles. (ET Highway)

 

A Series is a group of caches that are related to each other that may or may not be near each other. (Ithaca NY Pi Series)

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Yeah, feel free to call it a "Series" attribute if you like.

No one's looking for a way to detect all caches involved in a series, so, no, don't call it that. What people want flagged are caches planted purely for large numbers of quick finds. I'm not sure why everyone's so worried that people that plant caches purely for large numbers of quick finds won't want to advertise what they must consider an important quality.

 

Would anyone like to explain the difference between a series and a powertrail? I've seen plenty of strings of caches that seemed to be placed such that it would maximize the number of finds one could get in a limited time called "a series" when the only thing each cache had in common with other caches was that they were based on a theme and the name of the cache followed a pattern.

 

To Me:

 

A Power Trail is a group of caches that are all 520 feet (ish) apart. This can stretch for miles. (ET Highway)

 

A Series is a group of caches that are related to each other that may or may not be near each other. (Ithaca NY Pi Series)

 

The Ithaca Pi caches are just a subset of the P.I.E. (Puzzled, Ithaca Edition) caches with published coordinates the form the pi symbol. They're "related" because they were all created by the same person, are all puzzle caches, and were placed one a month (for at least two years). The CO created another group of puzzles in the shape of a sword. All of the puzzles are in some way related to the game of thrones. That's more of a series than the Pi caches.

 

The ambiguous part of your definition is "are related to each other". For me, it takes more than a similar cache name or theme which is only manifested in the cache name to make the caches "related to each other" and, thus call it a series. For example, probably the first large power trail was the "Trail of the Gods" caches. They were all placed near power line poles and had names which were "gods".

 

 

 

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A power trail is more likely to be a series than not.

 

A series certainly does not have to be a power trail.

 

A 'series' attribute wouldn't be helpful towards identifying powertrail caches.

 

A 'powertrail' attribute definitely would, presuming of course the CO identifies it as such.

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The ambiguous part of your definition is "are related to each other". For me, it takes more than a similar cache name or theme which is only manifested in the cache name to make the caches "related to each other" and, thus call it a series.
Okay. So maybe a better example would be workerofwood's "Assume Nothing" series, which are "a series of common hides, with a twist". Or rragan's "CDC" series, which feature locations relevant to the development of the various CDC computers. Or Venona's "ACTIVITIES 2011" series, which are related puzzle caches originally placed as part of his ACTIVITIES 2011. Or mokelly's "Programming Challenge" series, which are not challenge caches, but a series of puzzle caches related to an online Python programming challenge.

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The ambiguous part of your definition is "are related to each other". For me, it takes more than a similar cache name or theme which is only manifested in the cache name to make the caches "related to each other" and, thus call it a series.
Okay. So maybe a better example would be workerofwood's "Assume Nothing" series, which are "a series of common hides, with a twist". Or rragan's "CDC" series, which feature locations relevant to the development of the various CDC computers. Or Venona's "ACTIVITIES 2011" series, which are related puzzle caches originally placed as part of his ACTIVITIES 2011. Or mokelly's "Programming Challenge" series, which are not challenge caches, but a series of puzzle caches related to an online Python programming challenge.

 

I agree. I think those are better examples of what I think of as a series. WVTim's "gadget caches" might be considered a series as well.

 

Whichever side one falls on regarding their opinion on power trails I think it's safe to say that for many, "power trail" has become somewhat of a dirty word. Slap the power trail label on it and some will systematically want to ignore those caches (or specifically want to find those caches). Slapping the "series" label on a collection of caches doesn't necessarily change the experience once one is on the ground out finding those caches but it seems that some will use "series" instead of "power trail" just to avoid the stigma associated with power trail.

 

If a CO calls their collection of a caches a series, and it consists of a large number of caches hidden in a similar manner (generally such that they're easy to find), has the same type of container, with canned cache descriptions, and are placed a minimum distance from one another, the experience while on the ground finding the caches may be indistinguishable from a power trail. Whatever the CO wants to call it, the use of an attribute which identifies the type of experience one can expect would be helpful.

 

 

 

 

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The ambiguous part of your definition is "are related to each other". For me, it takes more than a similar cache name or theme which is only manifested in the cache name to make the caches "related to each other" and, thus call it a series.
Okay. So maybe a better example would be workerofwood's "Assume Nothing" series, which are "a series of common hides, with a twist". Or rragan's "CDC" series, which feature locations relevant to the development of the various CDC computers. Or Venona's "ACTIVITIES 2011" series, which are related puzzle caches originally placed as part of his ACTIVITIES 2011. Or mokelly's "Programming Challenge" series, which are not challenge caches, but a series of puzzle caches related to an online Python programming challenge.

 

I agree. I think those are better examples of what I think of as a series. WVTim's "gadget caches" might be considered a series as well.

 

Whichever side one falls on regarding their opinion on power trails I think it's safe to say that for many, "power trail" has become somewhat of a dirty word. Slap the power trail label on it and some will systematically want to ignore those caches (or specifically want to find those caches). Slapping the "series" label on a collection of caches doesn't necessarily change the experience once one is on the ground out finding those caches but it seems that some will use "series" instead of "power trail" just to avoid the stigma associated with power trail.

 

If a CO calls their collection of a caches a series, and it consists of a large number of caches hidden in a similar manner (generally such that they're easy to find), has the same type of container, with canned cache descriptions, and are placed a minimum distance from one another, the experience while on the ground finding the caches may be indistinguishable from a power trail. Whatever the CO wants to call it, the use of an attribute which identifies the type of experience one can expect would be helpful.

There is definitely a difference between a series, and power trail. And, even though we don't all agree on a definition, calling something a power trail evokes stronger emotions in a number of people, as apposed to calling something a series.

 

There has been a lot of discussion about the difference between a series and a power trail. The indications from GS is that they are contemplating adding a 'part of a series' attribute, and they don't want to create attributes that are a subset of that. I find lat to be a bit hypocritical, because GS has already added an attribute that is a subset of our hypothetical 'part of a series' attribute. That attribute is 'part of a GeoTour'.

 

I wondered if the old Lost & Found attribute could be considered a subset of 'part of a series', so I went searching in the forum. I never came to a conclusion to my question, but I did find a topic regarding a new set of attributes added in 2010. One poster was concerned that the Park & Grab attribute may have negative connotations, and she was concerned about adding it to one of her caches. That cache was a roadside ammo can, at a turnout that had a scenic view of the surrounding area. Another poster suggested also adding the Scenic View attribute to help offset the perceived negative connotation of Park & Grab. So, based on that, and assuming that we only get a 'part of a series' attribute, is there a combination of attributes that would help differentiate a power trail from a series? I'm drawing a blank on this.

 

We know that attributes have been added, altered, and deleted several times over the years. So, why the reluctance to add more attributes now? I would hope that the way they programmed attributes into the system would be easily extensible. The only thing that is somewhat new is the fact that GS now has API partners that they would need to coordinate with. But, they added the GeoTour attribute, I think back in the 2011/2012 time frame. As for GPSr units, attributes are handled as an extension to the GPX standard, and I don't think any GPS manufacturers do anything with extensions. Therefore, it shouldn't mess up GPSr units.

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This may be too much, but what about an attribute describing something like "Related cache nearby" or <1km/1mi or something? That could imply series, or it could imply powertrail. That helps people identify what may be either series or powertrails. COs who have puzzle series in a small forest could tag them all, and people looking to complete sets of caches in one trip could target them. Could apply to geoart series as well. It wouldn't be applicable to a series that's very spread apart, but the attribute isn't intended to identify a "series", so much as a closely knit/group/string of multiple geocaches experience - a very different goal than just an arbitrary series.

*shrug*

Edited by thebruce0

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An attribute intended to cover both series and powertrails simply wouldn't work. While most powertrails are series, very few series are powertrails. A combined attribute would mean a huge number of false-positives and make the attribute fairly useless for including or excluding only powertrails (which is the purpose people are wanting this attribute for; I've seen very few people asking for the ability to include or exclude series). If they really want to provide a way to include/exclude both powertrails and series, then there must be two separate attributes.

 

As an example, I have a series of 10 caches that bring attention to various invasive species in my region. These are scattered over an area of about 50 square kilometres and are hidden in various different ways and very different types of areas. There's no way you can rationally say that my series should share the same attribute as the 2400-cache E.T. Highway powertrail, or that someone who wants to avoid powertrails also wants to avoid my series by default.

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Oh I certainly was not saying an attribute that intends to identify 'both series and powertrails'. I meant to draw the distinction that that attribute wouldn't do that, but rather identify a geocaching experience - that is, closely knit sets of geocaches usually intended to be found in one visit - whether they're a series, powertrail, or not. But, it addresses part of the issue of what people want to ignore - quick/cheap/simple sets of geocaching that are placed close to each other typically not meant to take a long time to search for.

Not all series would fall into that category if being spread over great distances, and not all series that do fit the bill would actually be quick & simple finds (but then again I've been on some 'power trails' that are the same; each cache being a high difficulty and taking a lot of effort to find).

So really, again, the attribute would be intended to simply identify related geocaches placed within close proximity to each other, typically with the intent of being found together in one or maybe two trips. Just a thought tho, based on the theory that GS doesn't seem to want to officially define the term "powertrail".

Edited by thebruce0

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Would anyone like to explain the difference between a series and a powertrail?

There's no difference because a power trail is a series. What makes power trails a special kind of series is that the caches in a power trail are planted for no other reason than being able to quickly find many caches. They typically have identical hides of interchangeable containers hidden at regular intervals.

 

Whichever side one falls on regarding their opinion on power trails I think it's safe to say that for many, "power trail" has become somewhat of a dirty word.

"Power trail" has only become a dirty word for people that don't like power trails. People that plant and find power trails think power trails are just fine. That's why they plant and seek them.

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Oh I certainly was not saying an attribute that intends to identify 'both series and powertrails'.

Sorry, I didn't intend my post to be a response to yours. I was just addressing a few things mentioned in this discussion.

 

So really, again, the attribute would be intended to simply identify related geocaches placed within close proximity to each other, typically with the intent of being found together in one or maybe two trips.

The problem is, unless you name it something fairly specific like "Part of a powertrail", it will end up being used on non-powertrail caches. Look at attributes like "Winter friendly". That one has been notorious for being ill-defined, and therefore it gets used in countless different ways and reduces its utility.

 

If the attribute included the word "series" in its name, then it would naturally be used by COs on their series caches, which may not be anything like a powertrail experience.

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If the attribute included the word "series" in its name, then it would naturally be used by COs on their series caches, which may not be anything like a powertrail experience.
What if the attribute name includes the word "fungible"?

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Would be fair to say that any numbers-run series where the containers and log sheets are fungible would be considered a power trail?
I think combining fungible containers and logs with roadside access is what pushes a mere power trail into being a numbers run trail. But I seem to have a minority opinion.

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I think getting bogged down in the detail of "what is a powertrail" and "what is a series" is mostly just a distraction.

 

Let the cache owners decide what they consider to be a powertrail. Perhaps have the reviewer (who just received 200 cache submissions from the same owner all at once) suggest it, but the owner makes the call.

 

As with any other attribute, inclusion or omission is at the discretion of the owner anyway -- I'm unaware of any rules that enforce any other existing attributes.

 

I'd hope that powertrail owners would use the attribute voluntarily; there's already a tendency to (mis)use other attributes for this, so clearly at least some powertrail owners want an attribute.

 

It wouldn't catch all powertrails, but by the same token, the "wheelchair accessible" attribute doesn't catch all wheelchair accessible caches.

 

Personally, were I inclined to hide a powertrail, I'd want to advertise it as such. (I'm not, at all, but if I were.... I'd be hiding it for people who want the numbers, so I'd want them to be able to search for it.)

 

Just give the players the tools that they are asking for, and let them decide when they are appropriate to use.

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There's no difference because a power trail is a series. What makes power trails a special kind of series is that the caches in a power trail are planted for no other reason than being able to quickly find many caches.

I wouldn't say "no other reason". I've been through a couple of power trails that were definitely not "quick finds". I would classify powertrails as a linear series of caches that follow a theme and are placed in close proximity to each other. They may or may not be intended to be found "quickly"; more like, found in some common manner - be it speed, or theme, or hide style, etc, but typically intended to provide multiple finds in one trip, if not the entire series/trail.

 

The problem is, unless you name it something fairly specific like "Part of a powertrail", it will end up being used on non-powertrail caches. Look at attributes like "Winter friendly". That one has been notorious for being ill-defined, and therefore it gets used in countless different ways and reduces its utility.

Right, but I'd no attribute is guaranteed to be used correctly 100% of the time. As EngPhil just said, 'wheelchair accessible' isn't applied to every wheelchair accessible cache, nor is it only ever usable on caches that are in fact wheelchair accessible. But it has a meaning that is helpful for those who use it the way it's intended. Even so, as I mentioned I wouldn't expect "Related cache nearby" to imply only "powertrail" - it could easily be used for a series placed on a trail loop in a forest, for instance, or geoart having each cache placed around a small town, that sort of thing. Generally speaking, the 'theme' of caches that fall into that definition may mean that their physical caches themselves are more akin to the sorts of caches that people who want to ignore "powertrails" would then be able to gnore. And it means anyone looking to hit up a close-quarters series of caches for a quick afternoon trip perhaps would be able to search and spot them on a map and decide. Who knows. I was just looking more to the cache-finding experience than definitions of 'series' and 'powertrail'.

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Would anyone like to explain the difference between a series and a powertrail?

There's no difference because a power trail is a series. What makes power trails a special kind of series is that the caches in a power trail are planted for no other reason than being able to quickly find many caches. They typically have identical hides of interchangeable containers hidden at regular intervals.

 

A-Teams example of caches which bring attention to invasive species is an example of a series that would provide a completely different experience than a power trail. A local, fairly new cacher in my area has been placing a similar series of caches related to various flowers and other fauna. The cache listings are very detailed, explaining the characteristics of each plant and the caches are hidden near examples of each plant. Although there are clusters of them in a couple of areas they are scattered about. In both cases, a "part of a power trail" attribute wouldn't apply, but if the attribute was called "part of a series" it could apply to those caches, as well as a "series" of caches about disney characters that other than the cache name didn't have anything to do with disney characters.

 

 

Whichever side one falls on regarding their opinion on power trails I think it's safe to say that for many, "power trail" has become somewhat of a dirty word.

"Power trail" has only become a dirty word for people that don't like power trails. People that plant and find power trails think power trails are just fine. That's why they plant and seek them.

 

First of all, I don't think that power trails have earned a bad reputation simply because people don't like them. Lots of people have presented arguments against them that shouldn't be dismissed with an insinuation that the only reason they're posted negative arguments is because "people don't like them".

 

There are also people that place power trails that think they're just find, but recognize that there are others that don't so instead of calling the 80 new caches with "Duct Tape" in the title a power trail, they call it a series.

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I think getting bogged down in the detail of "what is a powertrail" and "what is a series" is mostly just a distraction.

I agree. For what ever reason, people are going out of their way to nitpick this. COs know what they're trying to accomplish with their cache placement(s). They know they're placing a power trail when they put out 20 easy and identical caches, the minimum distance from each other, along a road.

 

For now, GS should just go ahead and offer up a PT attribute. As with the other attributes offered, owners can decide when to use it on their caches. PT owners know there are lots of people that enjoy these caches so i have no doubt many would use the attribute to help get more people by.

 

It's not a perfect solution but it would definitely be of help to just about everyone who caches.

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There's no difference because a power trail is a series. What makes power trails a special kind of series is that the caches in a power trail are planted for no other reason than being able to quickly find many caches.

I wouldn't say "no other reason". I've been through a couple of power trails that were definitely not "quick finds". I would classify powertrails as a linear series of caches that follow a theme and are placed in close proximity to each other. They may or may not be intended to be found "quickly"; more like, found in some common manner - be it speed, or theme, or hide style, etc, but typically intended to provide multiple finds in one trip, if not the entire series/trail.

On the one hand, I think what you're describing still amounts to "for no other reason than being able to quickly find many caches."

 

On the other hand, what I hear you saying is that "power trail" is in the eyes of the beholder, and that's exactly why I think the CO's eyes are the only ones that should matter to the reviewer.

 

Would anyone like to explain the difference between a series and a powertrail?

There's no difference because a power trail is a series. What makes power trails a special kind of series is that the caches in a power trail are planted for no other reason than being able to quickly find many caches. They typically have identical hides of interchangeable containers hidden at regular intervals.

A-Teams example of caches which bring attention to invasive species is an example of a series that would provide a completely different experience than a power trail. A local, fairly new cacher in my area has been placing a similar series of caches related to various flowers and other fauna. The cache listings are very detailed, explaining the characteristics of each plant and the caches are hidden near examples of each plant. Although there are clusters of them in a couple of areas they are scattered about. In both cases, a "part of a power trail" attribute wouldn't apply, but if the attribute was called "part of a series" it could apply to those caches, as well as a "series" of caches about disney characters that other than the cache name didn't have anything to do with disney characters.

Yes, that's just why I'm worried about calling the attribute "series" instead of "power trail". The people complaining about power trails would be mistaken to claim a thoughtful series exploring the area's flora and fauna has the same problems as a power trail.

 

Whichever side one falls on regarding their opinion on power trails I think it's safe to say that for many, "power trail" has become somewhat of a dirty word.

"Power trail" has only become a dirty word for people that don't like power trails. People that plant and find power trails think power trails are just fine. That's why they plant and seek them.

First of all, I don't think that power trails have earned a bad reputation simply because people don't like them. Lots of people have presented arguments against them that shouldn't be dismissed with an insinuation that the only reason they're posted negative arguments is because "people don't like them".

I think you're splitting hairs here, but, in any case, my point remains valid: "power trail" is a dirty word only to people that don't like power trails irrespective of how many actual negative consequences they've identified to justify their dislike. We aren't discussing eliminating power trails in this thread, so it doesn't matter here how good a case can be made against them.

 

There are also people that place power trails that think they're just find, but recognize that there are others that don't so instead of calling the 80 new caches with "Duct Tape" in the title a power trail, they call it a series.

I'm not worried about an 80 cache power trail not marked as such. The primary case for a power trail attribute is to filter out power trails which take up most of a PQ. With 80 caches, I have no trouble leaving it up to the CO to decide his series isn't a power trail. I also have no problem with you or the reviewer suggesting he add the attribute, but I don't think the possible problems involve rise to the level of insisting reviewers prevent such minor anomalies.

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I wouldn't say "no other reason". I've been through a couple of power trails that were definitely not "quick finds". I would classify powertrails as a linear series of caches that follow a theme and are placed in close proximity to each other. They may or may not be intended to be found "quickly"; more like, found in some common manner - be it speed, or theme, or hide style, etc, but typically intended to provide multiple finds in one trip, if not the entire series/trail.

On the one hand, I think what you're describing still amounts to "for no other reason than being able to quickly find many caches."

 

On the other hand, what I hear you saying is that "power trail" is in the eyes of the beholder, and that's exactly why I think the CO's eyes are the only ones that should matter to the reviewer.

Per #1, nope, in this case definitely not to quickly find many caches. In some cases it took much longer than were we to go find roadsides not part of a series or powertrail. Again, I think the 'power' aspect, while most often relating to speed, has a broader definition of a closely placed set of caches following a theme. A powertrail of difficult hides pretty much means that you're guaranteed easier transition from cache to cache (as opposed to driving all over the region) to find a number of thematically difficult caches; at best, you could say "quickly" refers to merely reduced minimum time getting from cache to cache - but not necessarily the cache-finding itself. On that last point, I would agree. But I'm just providing an example of where powertrail doesn't mean quick-find, even though that's by far its most common use.

 

Per #2, again in this case not just the eye of beholder - the CO intended them to be difficult and lengthier caches to find, and I really think the finder's experience in finding them is quite significant. Otherwise why would people be wanting to hide "powertrails"? (that is, long stretches of quick-find, simple, often unmaintained caches). Yes the CO deciding to use an attribute, whatever its definition, is entirely decided by said CO, but the result is more flexibility for the finder either to seek or ignore the attributes' defined experiences.

 

I'd love to see some study analysing the level of finder frustration and whether there's a direct correlation to whether attributes are used or not, including incorrectly used. :P

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"Power trail" has only become a dirty word for people that don't like power trails. People that plant and find power trails think power trails are just fine. That's why they plant and seek them.

First of all, I don't think that power trails have earned a bad reputation simply because people don't like them. Lots of people have presented arguments against them that shouldn't be dismissed with an insinuation that the only reason they're posted negative arguments is because "people don't like them".

I think you're splitting hairs here, but, in any case, my point remains valid: "power trail" is a dirty word only to people that don't like power trails irrespective of how many actual negative consequences they've identified to justify their dislike. We aren't discussing eliminating power trails in this thread, so it doesn't matter here how good a case can be made against them.

 

 

I don't think I'm splitting hairs here at all. "Liking" or "disliking" a certain aspect of the game implies that someone discussing that aspect of the game based on an emotional feeling. I've seen plenty of "don't listen to the haters" posts that instead of addressing the merits of arguments being made about that aspect of the game, they dismiss those arguments by suggesting that the response is based on a emotional reaction.

 

Implying that a response is just an emotional reaction (e.g. don't like power trails) suggest that someone discussing an issue solely based upon on how it affects that person personally. Power trails out in Nevada don't effect me personally but that doesn't mean I can't identify issues related to power trails that may impact that game as a whole.

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Per #1, nope, in this case definitely not to quickly find many caches. In some cases it took much longer than were we to go find roadsides not part of a series or powertrail. Again, I think the 'power' aspect, while most often relating to speed, has a broader definition of a closely placed set of caches following a theme. A powertrail of difficult hides pretty much means that you're guaranteed easier transition from cache to cache (as opposed to driving all over the region) to find a number of thematically difficult caches; at best, you could say "quickly" refers to merely reduced minimum time getting from cache to cache - but not necessarily the cache-finding itself. On that last point, I would agree. But I'm just providing an example of where powertrail doesn't mean quick-find, even though that's by far its most common use.
FWIW, I distinguish between "power trails" (a trail saturated with caches) and "numbers run trails" (a power trail optimized for numbers runs).

 

Your power trail of difficult hides is just a power trail. A local parks department uses a local power trail for its Intro to Geocaching classes, because beginners can experience 8-10 varied geocaches and make it back to the trailhead in time for lunch. Power trails like this can develop organically, especially in parks that require caches to be placed near existing trails/roads.

 

Numbers run trails seem to generate most of the problems with "wasted Pocket Queries", which is what many want an attribute for. They also generate most of the problems with questionable shortcuts (e.g., leapfrogging or the three cache monte) being applied to caches owned by people who do not approve of such shortcuts. It might be nice to have a "NOT part of a numbers run trail" attribute, so owners of normal caches can indicate that they do not approve of such shortcuts, and that normal geocaching practices should be observed for those caches.

Edited by niraD

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It might be nice to have a "NOT part of a numbers run trail" attribute, so owners of normal caches can indicate that they do not approve of such shortcuts, and that normal geocaching practices should be observed for those caches.

If we ever get to the point that this isn't the default and an attribute is required to opt out, then I'll opt out of the game entirely.

Edited by The A-Team

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It might be nice to have a "NOT part of a numbers run trail" attribute, so owners of normal caches can indicate that they do not approve of such shortcuts, and that normal geocaching practices should be observed for those caches.
If we ever get to the point that this isn't the default and an attribute is required to opt out, then I'll opt out of the game entirely.
I don't think the majority of caches should include the "NOT part of a numbers run trail" attribute. And in a perfect world, it would never be needed.

 

But in cases where a normal cache is surrounded by a numbers run trail, it might be useful for the CO to include such an attribute.

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NiraD I think your "power trail" vs "numbers run trail" is a better depiction of the varied finding experiences than I described earlier :P In this way, I'd have connected my "related cache nearby" attribute idea as more relevant to the "power trail" (which as you say would be more akin to a thematic similarity, not necessary for a fast-finding high-numbers trail, but a unified multiple cache finding trip to some degree).

So I agree :)

 

ETA: except on "NOT part of a numbers run trail" - uh uh, that ain't gonna fly...

Edited by thebruce0

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Hmmmmm, this one says Submitted and is the New Feature category. Maybe we're getting somewhere. COOL! (Maybe)

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Per #1, nope, in this case definitely not to quickly find many caches. In some cases it took much longer than were we to go find roadsides not part of a series or powertrail. Again, I think the 'power' aspect, while most often relating to speed, has a broader definition of a closely placed set of caches following a theme. A powertrail of difficult hides pretty much means that you're guaranteed easier transition from cache to cache (as opposed to driving all over the region) to find a number of thematically difficult caches; at best, you could say "quickly" refers to merely reduced minimum time getting from cache to cache - but not necessarily the cache-finding itself. On that last point, I would agree. But I'm just providing an example of where powertrail doesn't mean quick-find, even though that's by far its most common use.
FWIW, I distinguish between "power trails" (a trail saturated with caches) and "numbers run trails" (a power trail optimized for numbers runs).

 

Your power trail of difficult hides is just a power trail. A local parks department uses a local power trail for its Intro to Geocaching classes, because beginners can experience 8-10 varied geocaches and make it back to the trailhead in time for lunch. Power trails like this can develop organically, especially in parks that require caches to be placed near existing trails/roads.

 

Numbers run trails seem to generate most of the problems with "wasted Pocket Queries", which is what many want an attribute for. They also generate most of the problems with questionable shortcuts (e.g., leapfrogging or the three cache monte) being applied to caches owned by people who do not approve of such shortcuts. It might be nice to have a "NOT part of a numbers run trail" attribute, so owners of normal caches can indicate that they do not approve of such shortcuts, and that normal geocaching practices should be observed for those caches.

 

The cache trails (PTs) of 8 to 10 caches aren't the annoying power trails. It's the PTs consisting of a large number. While a large number might be different from one person the next, I ignore everything over around 25 to 50. But ANY number in a power trail should try and use the attribute should we get one. Hopefully people are keeping tabs on Nevada, I've read a couple complaints about that area being nothing but one big power trail, and they're right. Most of them are being set by the same team and being extended weekly. I can't really see any way to regulate a problem like that but it deserves being looked into.

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FWIW, I distinguish between "power trails" (a trail saturated with caches) and "numbers run trails" (a power trail optimized for numbers runs).

I definitely don't use those terms that way. When I say "power trail", I mean what you're calling a numbers run trail. I see no need for a term for a trail that's reached saturation with otherwise normal caches, whether they are related or not. At any rate, I don't think density is a characteristic of the cache itself, so I claim that what you're calling a power trail has nothing with what we're trying to get labeled with the "power trail" attribute.

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I claim that what you're calling a power trail has nothing with what we're trying to get labeled with the "power trail" attribute.

Right. The closely-knit series of caches (whether on a trail or a forest loop, etc) is a different experience than a closely knit series of easy-quick-find numbers-run style run-of-the-mill caches.(which was just what he was saying - only he used the terms "powertrail" and "numbers run trail", the latter being a subset of the former, to distinguish them; maybe different people use different terms)

Edited by thebruce0

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When I say "power trail", I mean what you're calling a numbers run trail. I see no need for a term for a trail that's reached saturation with otherwise normal caches, whether they are related or not.
Well, the term "power trail" was being used for these saturated trails before the modern "numbers run trails" existed, back when the guidelines included the "Please don't hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can" language. So someone thought a term was needed.

 

At any rate, I don't think density is a characteristic of the cache itself, so I claim that what you're calling a power trail has nothing with what we're trying to get labeled with the "power trail" attribute.
I realize that. And regardless of whether a "power trail" (for purposes of the attribute) is defined as a series of 25+ saturated caches, or a series of 50+ saturated caches, or a series of fungible caches, or whatever, there is clearly a demand for it, both from opponents of power trails, and from fans of them.

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FWIW, I distinguish between "power trails" (a trail saturated with caches) and "numbers run trails" (a power trail optimized for numbers runs).

I definitely don't use those terms that way. When I say "power trail", I mean what you're calling a numbers run trail. I see no need for a term for a trail that's reached saturation with otherwise normal caches, whether they are related or not. At any rate, I don't think density is a characteristic of the cache itself, so I claim that what you're calling a power trail has nothing with what we're trying to get labeled with the "power trail" attribute.

 

I agree. I don't know who first used the term power trail or which caches it was attempting to define, but without a formal definition, the "power trail" suggests to me that it's a trail of caches that one can power through to get many finds in a short time. While what niraD refers to as a numbers run trail certainly has led to some questionable practices but a power trail still has some of the same attributes as a number run trail or "cache series" in terms of saturating an area so that no caches of any other kind can be hidden.

 

 

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saturating an area so that no caches of any other kind can be hidden.

 

I like that description because it will include carpet bombing, where a whole park is saturated by one individual or team for the purpose of quick smiley acquisition.

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Well, the term "power trail" was being used for these saturated trails before the modern "numbers run trails" existed, back when the guidelines included the "Please don't hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can" language. So someone thought a term was needed.

That's interesting. I've never heard "power trail" used that way before.

 

But the alternative example you've presented involves caches that are planted for other reasons, not just because a cache can be hidden every 600 feet. The fact that they're hidden every 600 feet is incidental. So I wouldn't think they were the target of the guideline you quoted.

 

Anyway, the more we discuss the details, the more I want to leave it up to the CO. For example, fungible is an excellent example of one characteristic many power trails share, but a CO intent on hiding a power trail should feel free to call it a power trail even if each cache is a unique container.

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Well, the term "power trail" was being used for these saturated trails before the modern "numbers run trails" existed, back when the guidelines included the "Please don't hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can" language. So someone thought a term was needed.
That's interesting. I've never heard "power trail" used that way before.

 

But the alternative example you've presented involves caches that are planted for other reasons, not just because a cache can be hidden every 600 feet. The fact that they're hidden every 600 feet is incidental. So I wouldn't think they were the target of the guideline you quoted.

Well, yeah. I mentioned the guideline only to point out that the reviewers back then wouldn't allow a string of "just because you can" caches. Back then, a "power trail" was a trail that was saturated with caches, and the only way that could happen was with multiple owners placing multiple caches over time.

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Well, the term "power trail" was being used for these saturated trails before the modern "numbers run trails" existed, back when the guidelines included the "Please don't hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can" language. So someone thought a term was needed.
That's interesting. I've never heard "power trail" used that way before.

 

But the alternative example you've presented involves caches that are planted for other reasons, not just because a cache can be hidden every 600 feet. The fact that they're hidden every 600 feet is incidental. So I wouldn't think they were the target of the guideline you quoted.

Well, yeah. I mentioned the guideline only to point out that the reviewers back then wouldn't allow a string of "just because you can" caches. Back then, a "power trail" was a trail that was saturated with caches, and the only way that could happen was with multiple owners placing multiple caches over time.

 

That's not how I recall it. A power trail was when someone tried to create a string of caches, each about .1 miles from each other. Back in 2005, I tried to submit 6 individual letterbox caches as a series (separate boxes with a common theme connection) It had a Hansel and Gretel theme, each box had a stamp in it that depicted part of the story. But they were between 170 and 200 meters apart along a trail, taking up a little over a kilometer of trail. I was told this would be considered a power trail and power trails were not allowed. I could make it a multi. Which I did. Trails that had several caches, some which were .1 miles from each other with one owner, was a multi (one smiley). So usually a multi was done for loftier reasons then to up the finders' smiley count, since the finder was going to do more work for just one smiley but hopefully enjoy a geocaching experience with more substance.

Edited by L0ne.R

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Anyway, the more we discuss the details, the more I want to leave it up to the CO. For example, fungible is an excellent example of one characteristic many power trails share, but a CO intent on hiding a power trail should feel free to call it a power trail even if each cache is a unique container.

 

This. Because yeah, I don't see a power-trail as necessarily quick-find, identical, cheap, run-of-the-mill, speedy, numbers runs. Just a closely-knit (saturated, I like) set of caches sharing a theme, even though in most cases it's for high numbers / speed.

 

So if we're looking for an attribute to identify the latter, and not the former, ... dunno. :laughing:

 

That's not how I recall it. A power trail was when someone tried to create a string of caches, each about .1 miles from each other. Back in 2005, I tried to submit 6 individual letterbox caches as a series (separate boxes with a common theme connection) It had a Hansel and Gretel theme, each box had a stamp in it that depicted part of the story. But they were between 170 and 200 meters apart along a trail, taking up a little over a kilometer of trail. I was told this would be considered a power trail and power trails were not allowed. I could make it a multi. Which I did. Trails that had several caches, some which were .1 miles from each other with one owner, was a multi (one smiley). So usually a multi was done for loftier reasons then to up the finders' smiley count, since the finder was going to do more work for just one smiley but hopefully enjoy a geocaching experience with more substance.

Hm. Yeah I remember discussions about that after 2009... should close caches be instead listed as a multi. I think they moved away from that because it was becoming more common, and each cache could potentially provide a significantly different experience; that is, intended to be marked/logged and remembered distinct from each other. Plus some other arguments about benefits of listing them separately than joined as a single experience. Like really long trails - how long can/should the multi be? How many multis could be strung together along a trail? It could raise more questions; so it's easier to universally allow caches placed but no closer than a minimum distance. And it was just way too hard to manage defining whether the distance applied to trails or not, applicable for the full 360 degrees, not applicable over water crossings, etc. Adjust any of the accepted parameters and you affect more than just 'number run' power trails.

 

Dunno. Though I'm still totally on board for an attribute - whatever it's called - that COs can choose to apply to identify their caches that are intended to be part of a quick-find, similar, saturated collection of caches. As there are people who would seek out those caches, and people who could benefit from filtering out those caches, I don't see a problem with it (other than of course the issues inherent with Attribute use in general).

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I can't believe there's so much discussion over what a power trail is. GeoArt is a power trail, numbers runs are a power trail, power trails are a power trail. They all get ignored indiscriminately even if they are placed 708 feet apart.

Edited by Jake81499

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I can't believe there's so much discussion over what a power trail is. GeoArt is a power trail, numbers runs are a power trail, power trails are a power trail. They all get ignored indiscriminately even if they are placed 708 feet apart.

 

*nods*

But ah, geoart isn't necessarily a powertrail. Plenty of geoart series have finals that are scattered over a region. No "trail" (strung-together finding sequence) in that... just sayin' ;)

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But ah, geoart isn't necessarily a powertrail. Plenty of geoart series have finals that are scattered over a region. No "trail" (strung-together finding sequence) in that... just sayin' ;)
Yeah, the geoart closest to my home is a series of very challenging puzzles (intended to be solved by a group working together), and the final locations are scattered across several parks and open spaces. They are definitely not a power trail.

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But ah, geoart isn't necessarily a powertrail. Plenty of geoart series have finals that are scattered over a region. No "trail" (strung-together finding sequence) in that... just sayin' ;)
Yeah, the geoart closest to my home is a series of very challenging puzzles (intended to be solved by a group working together), and the final locations are scattered across several parks and open spaces. They are definitely not a power trail.

 

You might want to take a second look at most of those. They are power trails, nothing more nothing less, they trash a PQ just as fast and a straight line power trail.

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Yeah, the geoart closest to my home is a series of very challenging puzzles (intended to be solved by a group working together), and the final locations are scattered across several parks and open spaces. They are definitely not a power trail.
You might want to take a second look at most of those. They are power trails, nothing more nothing less, they trash a PQ just as fast and a straight line power trail.
We seem to have very different definitions of what a "power trail" is.

 

The finals for these puzzle caches aren't particularly close to each other, and finding more than a few at a time will require driving from one park or open space to another. At each park or open space, there will be only a few caches at most, and you'll have to hike significant distances to get from one cache to another. This really doesn't seem like a power trail to me.

 

Even the "trash a PQ" definition doesn't seem to fit. I don't know anyone who makes a habit of including unsolved puzzle caches in their PQs.

 

The only definition that seems to work is the "lots of caches that I don't like" definition. And I don't think an attribute for "lots of caches that I don't like" will be implemented.

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You might want to take a second look at most of those. They are power trails, nothing more nothing less, they trash a PQ just as fast and a straight line power trail.

So now you're defining "powertrails" as merely the posted coordinates, regardless of where the cache itself is; thus has nothing to do with the finding experience, just the map pin saturation.

 

Also, what niraD said. =P

Edited by thebruce0

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But ah, geoart isn't necessarily a powertrail. Plenty of geoart series have finals that are scattered over a region. No "trail" (strung-together finding sequence) in that... just sayin' ;)
Yeah, the geoart closest to my home is a series of very challenging puzzles (intended to be solved by a group working together), and the final locations are scattered across several parks and open spaces. They are definitely not a power trail.

 

You might want to take a second look at most of those. They are power trails, nothing more nothing less, they trash a PQ just as fast and a straight line power trail.

In Idaho, we have geoart that is at the posted locations, and are not on a road. A few of them are in the mountains, and require a fair amount of hiking to accomplish. One is estimated to require a camping trip of three days to complete. Others are on BLM land around Boise, in what would be considered desert. Lots of logs stating that it took multiple days to complete them.

 

IMO, not all geoart is a power trail, however they would qualify as 'part of a series'. I would love to see them split out as their own attribute. I have talked with other cachers, and they don't do numbers run or power trails, but they will drive over a 1,000 miles just to complete some geoart. I'm sure they were love to be able to select geoart out of the background of all these normal caches.

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But ah, geoart isn't necessarily a powertrail. Plenty of geoart series have finals that are scattered over a region. No "trail" (strung-together finding sequence) in that... just sayin' ;)
Yeah, the geoart closest to my home is a series of very challenging puzzles (intended to be solved by a group working together), and the final locations are scattered across several parks and open spaces. They are definitely not a power trail.

You might want to take a second look at most of those. They are power trails, nothing more nothing less, they trash a PQ just as fast and a straight line power trail.

Take a look at these 2 GeoArts. If a cacher thinks that these are power trails, then that cacher and I have very different definitions of "power trail".

ETA: I should probably mention that the solved locations of these caches are not close together. A few are grouped close together, so one could park and walk a find a dozen or so, but then you'd need to drive across a bridge to get another group, and then others are in random spots that aren't necessarily close to the others. AND, all of the caches in the image are Mystery caches. I've solved all but 2 of the peace sign puzzles, but I haven't gotten around to finding them yet.

 

GC-geoart.png

Edited by noncentric

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You might want to take a second look at most of those. They are power trails, nothing more nothing less, they trash a PQ just as fast and a straight line power trail.

So now you're defining "powertrails" as merely the posted coordinates, regardless of where the cache itself is; thus has nothing to do with the finding experience, just the map pin saturation.

 

Also, what niraD said. =P

 

I don't know where you get that from. Look at the example a couple posts above, someone posted two Geo Arts. Those are simple power caches. No ifs ands or buts. But they are probably not the size I would even notice because it looks like some of the caches in them are properly labeled as puzzle caches which I don't include in my PQs. If you look at the GeoArt above Rock Springs Wyoming called Wild Horse Run (I think), that string is a complete Power Cache, deserves an ignore and needs the Power Cache attribute should we ever receive one. There are hundreds of Pin Saturations. Look at Mondou for example in the Denver/Fort Collins area. The individual setting those uses his name in each and every cache, and he has thousands. It's difficult to separate the power caches from his regular caches. I've located several power caches by Mondou around the DIA area and placed them in the ignore list. The consideration was there to ignore his whole name set but he does have a few hundred actual geocaches even though he has created a case of 'Pin Saturation'. The Mondou situation is why the Macro CacheSeries isn't all that functional and you have to check every group on a map to determine if it is an actual PC.

 

Whether the power trail, numbers trail or geoart are set along some beautiful trail that people might want to actually go see or set out in some bare field somewhere, it's still a power cache and will be placed in the ignore list. If someone actually wants to find power caches, they can by not clicking the ignore power cache attribute should we ever get one.

Edited by Jake81499

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You might want to take a second look at most of those. They are power trails, nothing more nothing less, they trash a PQ just as fast and a straight line power trail.

So now you're defining "powertrails" as merely the posted coordinates, regardless of where the cache itself is; thus has nothing to do with the finding experience, just the map pin saturation.

 

Also, what niraD said. =P

I don't know where you get that from. Look at the example a couple posts above, someone posted two Geo Arts.

.... yes... and now I think you're going back to the definition of 'series'. "Power trail" is the discussion, not "power cache" (which the way you describe it is more like a cache in a series).

The geoarts posted above are not powertrails - the only thing close to what we're talking about is that their posted coordinates form an image of some kind; but the cache coordinates are absolutely nothing like a powertrail finding experience (quick-find or otherwise).

 

they are probably not the size I would even notice because it looks like some of the caches in them are properly labeled as puzzle caches which I don't include in my PQs.

That's a different personal taste then because we're talking about "powertrails", not just "caches I don't like to find".

 

If you look at the GeoArt above Rock Springs Wyoming called Wild Horse Run (I think), that string is a complete Power Cache...

eh? Do you mean "powertrail"? Because if the caches are scattered over the region, no, it's not a powertrail. And that 'string' [of caches] isn't a "complete Power Cache"; not sure what you're saying with that term as it's singular.

 

I can understand if you refer to a single cache in a powertrail or closely knit themed series of caches as a "power cache", that is, a subset of the powertrail concept. But the above geoarts aren't powercaches, and the experience of finding them really is just that of finding a series of caches around a region after solving their puzzles.

 

Whether the power trail, numbers trail or geoart are set along some beautiful trail that people might want to actually go see or set out in some bare field somewhere, it's still a power cache and will be placed in the ignore list.

Unfortunately then you may be missing out on a bunch of good caches that are most definitely not intended to be quick-find cheap micros; as many geoarts are composed of caches that are spread around a region in very nice locations and not necessarily intended to be found on a single hike/bike/road trip quickly.

 

But if you already ignore puzzle caches, geoart series, and powertrails, whenever possible, then that's your choice, and that's just fine. But not every geoart series is a powertrail.

 

If we get a "part of a power trail" or whatever it may be called, I fully expect that not every geoart CO will add the attribute, legitimately. IMO geoart is sufficiently different that it would merit its own attribute.

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