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get confirmation that somebody did find my cache?


anibal2j
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I'm just starting to get into geocaching and I'm planning to create a series of caches. I would like to give a prize to the first geocacher who finds all the caches. In order to do this I would need to be able to track who found each cache. I know that people log it, but how can I make sure that they did indeed find each cache? I was thinking of putting a special "code" (or password, say) inside each cache (a different one on each one). Then, I would like the person finding it to log the special "code". This "code" shouldn't be public to the rest of the community, only to me and that way I'll be able to confirm that they did indeed get to the cache.

 

Is there something like this that I can use?

 

One idea that I had was to put my email address in the cache along with the code, and then ask the finder to email me the code. I can then track them on my end. Is there something that geocaching.com can do to help facilitate something like this?

 

Thanks!

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I understand what you're saying but that's not what I was asking. In this case I want to give a special prize to the first one finding the whole series - not just one cache, like the FTF.

 

When I do get the emails, I will not know for sure that they got them all, since, as you say, they could just be marking them as found when not really finding them. So, is there anything that I can add/manage from geocaching.com to provide a safer way for me to know that somebody did find the cache?

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Go out to the caches and find their signatures. That's the most certain way of doing it; everything else could lead to cheating. (Actually, so could this; someone could sign for their friend.)

 

Other than that, there is no other way. And I'm not sure another way would be allowed, if it would be considered an Additional Logging Requirement (which are no-nos).

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I understand what you're saying but that's not what I was asking. In this case I want to give a special prize to the first one finding the whole series - not just one cache, like the FTF.

 

When I do get the emails, I will not know for sure that they got them all, since, as you say, they could just be marking them as found when not really finding them. So, is there anything that I can add/manage from geocaching.com to provide a safer way for me to know that somebody did find the cache?

Not that I know of - you'll just have to check each logbook once someone claims to have found the whole series. Creative idea.

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Yeah, you cannot require them to do anything... such as relay a code. Dat's aginst da rules.

 

If you want to verify that they actually found the cache, then I think you would have to check the log book(s).

Personally, I would trust their online logs... BUT, I wouldn't broadcast that there is a special prize for finding them all either.

If they weren't aware of a special prize, why cheat?

 

 

If you feel it is necessary, and I would not suggest it would be, you could add that *so and so* won a special surprise to the cache page after-that-fact.

Edited by Gitchee-Gummee
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Very nice! That sounds like a really cool way of getting the same result I want without having to do much extra work.

 

So, if I understood you correctly you create the mystery cache, which is not logged in geocaching.com. The mystery cache is the prize itself, say, you put some money in it.

 

Then, you take the coordinates of this mystery cache, say it's N x° y.z W a° b.c; and you create 6 other caches. In each one you put the x, the y, the z, the a, the b, and the c. You label them accordingly. Then, you'd ask the finders to find all 6 caches to put the final destination of the big prize. I would actually put a sheet with short instructions in each cache so that it's clear what's going on. I would also add a special sheet with instructions on the final mystery cache with my email so that I can know when they found it (without having to go and check it personally).

 

Cool.

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There was a local series that offered geocoins for the first 100 people who completed the series. (These were self-minted coins that were not trackable on the geocaching.com site, IIRC.) To receive one of these geocoins, you had to log the bonus cache (similar to T.D.M.22's suggestion, but the geocoins were delivered personally by the CO, rather than being left in the bonus cache).

 

A local open space district has a series with one cache in each of their open spaces. Inside each cache is a self-inking stamp. If you print a "passport" (downloadable PDF document) and stamp the spaces on your "passport" with the stamps for all the caches, then they'll give you a geocoin (while supplies last).

 

Maybe one of these approaches will help you find a workable approach.

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So, if I understood you correctly you create the mystery cache, which is not logged in geocaching.com. The mystery cache is the prize itself, say, you put some money in it.
The bonus cache could be listed on geocaching.com if you want. See the discussion of bonus caches in the Help Center article Puzzle/Mystery/Unknown.

 

Then, you take the coordinates of this mystery cache, say it's N x° y.z W a° b.c; and you create 6 other caches. In each one you put the x, the y, the z, the a, the b, and the c. You label them accordingly. Then, you'd ask the finders to find all 6 caches to put the final destination of the big prize.
If your goal is to keep people from finding the bonus cache without finding all the series caches, then be careful with the calculations used to derive the final coordinates. It isn't uncommon for people to solve the coordinates for a bonus cache without finding all the series caches, just by working out the math to figure out what the possible locations are (and perhaps searching multiple locations, if they can narrow down the solution to a manageable number). If you create extra incentive for finding the bonus cache, then this is more likely to happen.
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Do you not trust the cachers in your area? Why not play the game a while, go to some events in your area and get to know the area cachers. By then you will know some of the cachers in your area and have a feel for what type of people they are, which may negate your concerns about 'cheaters'.

 

So, what do you plan to do if a group of cachers go out and do your series, sharing the FTF of all of the caches? Will you duplicate the special prize for everyone in the group?

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Strange how someone with five finds and no hides has already shown a great deal of mistrust of the people of our community. I would start by assuming whoever logs it first found it first and thereafter those who log it are honest and only check if something seems suspicious.

 

Maybe taking a little time to get to know this community will help,with that.

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Yeah, you cannot require them to do anything... such as relay a code. Dat's aginst da rules.

It would be against the rules to require additional confirmation if the threat were to delete the found log, but there's no rule against requiring additional effort to enter an FTF prize pool.

 

My advice to the OP is not to worry about it so much: either don't bother with the prize, or don't be overly concerned about someone cheating to get it. Really, your bigger problem is determining who was actually first, since the method you're proposing doesn't take into account how much time passes between finding a cache and sending you the corresponding e-mail. That would be enough of a problem with a single cache, but if I understand you, the last cache in the series could be a different cache for different contestants.

 

Other responders have mentioned trust, and that's something to think about, but actually this goes beyond mere trust into developing relations. In the end, what you need to come up with is a good natured way of confirming who was first that will convince everyone, not just you, that the winner really did win. And that comes down to, at the very least, trusting not only that people are finding the caches they claim to be finding, but also that they are reporting what time they found the cache accurately. In my experience, you can, in fact, trust people to be honest about it, but it's not like I'd bet my life on it.

 

I don't want to discourage you from finding a good way to do what you want to do, but, to be honest, as nice as you're being trying to provide an FTF prize, I'd much rather have a bonus cache based on information in the series caches.

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Just make a bonus cache (listed as a mystery) and put the prize in it. Each of the other caches would contain partial coordinates to the final.

 

I am working on right now for my bird series. I have 16 caches, each with a number under the lid or on the logbook. They have to collect all the numbers. I am working on the bonus cache now. It will be listed as a mystery and they will have to take the numbers they collected, do some math, and calculate the coordinates for the final, bonus cache.

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