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Geocache Day/Race Questions

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I'd love to run an Amazing Race type event, and have some specific questions I can't figure out by reading descriptions of similar events. Additionally, I'd love any suggestions I might not have thought to ask about.

 

I am assuming that if I want to set up temporary Geocaches along part of a trail I don't have to officially list them and make them public (more like a scavenger hunt along a mile or so of trail), BUT I'd like to add Geocoins or travel bugs for participants to find. So, first part: should I activate coins/bugs before putting them in Geocaches? If I do, should the Geocache itself be listed so that the coin or bug has a home?

 

Second: should I set up ALL caches sought for this type of event, or could I use some belonging to others? How about throwing in waypoints? How many would you recommend for a 2-3 hour event (which would include a mile hike/hunt and driving to various locations within 15 miles)? How common is it to charge money per team entry, and what kinds of prizes are expected?

 

I want to keep it fairly simple, but interesting. Not having been to this kind of event before, I do want to make sure it's not too different from what participants would be expecting. If I had to guess, I'd figure maybe 3-7 teams would get involved. Of course, with the number of people who've logged our Geocache, it's possible we'd have much larger numbers. (I work at a forest preserve with about 2,000 acres at six different sites--we are Geocache-friendly and would like to participate more with the local Geocachers. Next step is to convince admin we should design and produce our own Geocoin.)

 

Wow, that was a lot of questions...thanks for any advice you can give me!

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I haven't been involved with geocaching TAR-style events, but I have been involved with gimmick car rallye TAR-style events.

 

One thing to keep in mind is that the kinds of activities (Detours, Roadblocks, etc.) shown on "The Amazing Race" show probably take too long for a one-day event. TAR contestants often spend more than an hour on a single activity. To capture the flavor of "The Amazing Race" in an event that lasts only a few hours, you need to keep everything smaller, easier, and faster. We found the activities used by the "Minute to Win It" show were a better fit. They could be completed in a reasonable amount of time, and they used equipment that we could easily obtain.

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One thing to keep in mind is that the kinds of activities (Detours, Roadblocks, etc.) shown on "The Amazing Race" show probably take too long for a one-day event.

 

I'm probably calling it the wrong thing, then. Someone suggested "Amazing Race" but I am thinking of more of a Rally maybe or...some other term.

 

I'd like to have teams compete for points by finding caches/wayoints, by speed, number of finds, and so on. The question of putting out new caches and handing teams the list on paper rather than listing online referred more to that. I don't know the particulars of how to run it--but I suppose I can run it however seems most logical. Just hoped folks had pointers for me.

 

Thanks, and I'll keep in mind that everything will probably take longer than I think it will.

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I'd love to run an Amazing Race type event, and have some specific questions I can't figure out by reading descriptions of similar events. Additionally, I'd love any suggestions I might not have thought to ask about.

 

I am assuming that if I want to set up temporary Geocaches along part of a trail I don't have to officially list them and make them public (more like a scavenger hunt along a mile or so of trail), BUT I'd like to add Geocoins or travel bugs for participants to find. So, first part: should I activate coins/bugs before putting them in Geocaches? If I do, should the Geocache itself be listed so that the coin or bug has a home?

 

Second: should I set up ALL caches sought for this type of event, or could I use some belonging to others? How about throwing in waypoints? How many would you recommend for a 2-3 hour event (which would include a mile hike/hunt and driving to various locations within 15 miles)? How common is it to charge money per team entry, and what kinds of prizes are expected?

 

I want to keep it fairly simple, but interesting. Not having been to this kind of event before, I do want to make sure it's not too different from what participants would be expecting. If I had to guess, I'd figure maybe 3-7 teams would get involved. Of course, with the number of people who've logged our Geocache, it's possible we'd have much larger numbers. (I work at a forest preserve with about 2,000 acres at six different sites--we are Geocache-friendly and would like to participate more with the local Geocachers. Next step is to convince admin we should design and produce our own Geocoin.)

 

Wow, that was a lot of questions...thanks for any advice you can give me!

The temp caches do not need to be officially published/review. In fact, they require no prior approval to even be hidden for the event, only if they are temporary though. If you do plan to keep them long term, they should be properly published and approved, but I would wait to submit them until after the event, so the locations are not given away prior.

 

As far as the coins go, you have a couple options. You could activate them and drop them in the inventory of the event page, which would give it a temporary home, and also would accurately depict the starting place for that coin, or you can just leave them un-activated and let the cacher do that. It's up to you.

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The temp caches do not need to be officially published/review. In fact, they require no prior approval to even be hidden for the event, only if they are temporary though. If you do plan to keep them long term, they should be properly published and approved, but I would wait to submit them until after the event, so the locations are not given away prior.

 

As far as the coins go, you have a couple options. You could activate them and drop them in the inventory of the event page, which would give it a temporary home, and also would accurately depict the starting place for that coin, or you can just leave them un-activated and let the cacher do that. It's up to you.

 

Thank you--those were my top two concerns.

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I think I'm starting to get down to the nitty gritty, thank you all for your responses.

 

So, I'm left wondering a couple of things. One is that I don't want to just hand out a paper with a list of coords at the start--it seems like it would be a huge pain for every team to enter them manually on their GPS units. Seems like I should maybe make a list of waypoints at the event cache listing, maybe waiting until the day before to edit the listing and add them so no one can get a head start?

 

Second, I'm picturing everyone leaving at once for the first coords and being able to see each other poking around at/near GZ. Should I start each team at a different waypoint/cache? How does that work out if they're all looking for the same things?

 

Aaaand...if I put FTF prizes in each cache (free passes for the park and golf, travelbugs, coins) and give away decent prizes for winners, should I leave this as a free event, or charge for teams to register? I'm not sure if that's an acceptable practice.

 

Thanks again!

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Traditionally, timed rallyes have each team leave at a different time. For example, car #1 leaves at 10:01, car #2 leaves at 10:02, etc.

 

For gimmick car rallyes, we don't worry about it. People occasionally see other cars, but someone usually pulls over to discuss something, and the cars split up again.

 

But a lot depends on how much of a spoiler it is just seeing someone else in the same area.

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I think I'm starting to get down to the nitty gritty, thank you all for your responses.

 

So, I'm left wondering a couple of things. One is that I don't want to just hand out a paper with a list of coords at the start--it seems like it would be a huge pain for every team to enter them manually on their GPS units. Seems like I should maybe make a list of waypoints at the event cache listing, maybe waiting until the day before to edit the listing and add them so no one can get a head start?

 

Second, I'm picturing everyone leaving at once for the first coords and being able to see each other poking around at/near GZ. Should I start each team at a different waypoint/cache? How does that work out if they're all looking for the same things?

 

Aaaand...if I put FTF prizes in each cache (free passes for the park and golf, travelbugs, coins) and give away decent prizes for winners, should I leave this as a free event, or charge for teams to register? I'm not sure if that's an acceptable practice.

 

Thanks again!

 

On the additional waypoints -- sounds like a good idea. In fact, you could add them to the cache listing at any time, just make them only visible to you and the reviewer -- then make them visible at a preannounced time before the event. You'd just have to be up front about it and let folks know exactly when to download the updated GPS file. I'd have paper copies just in case folks don't get the word, though. I've also been to events where the organizer has hidden a bunch of as-yet-unpublished caches and they had a couple laptops with GSAK standing by for folks to use. (This of course carries the risk that someone has some malware on their GPSr and it transfers itself to your laptop.)

 

On whether or not to charge a fee -- make sure you coordinate with your reviewer, I'm willing to bet there's rules about it. I've attended only one event so far that charged a fee, and that was a mega event.

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