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Irishflea

Challenges

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I have been geocaching for just under a year and am now totally addicted to the point where I want to open my own business related to the geocaching community. As my interest has grown, so has my desire for my geocaching knowledge so I have begun to read the forums. I almost regret doing so because I learned that virtual caches went away (I have viewed Waymarking.com and am not impressed) and even worse, challenges are going away. Somebody PLEASE tell me that current challenges will be grandfathered just like virtual caches.

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and even worse, challenges are going away

 

I think the nomenclature has confused you (it is and was very confusing language). For a brief period, there was a category of Geocaching Challenges on this site. They were not reviewed, no one could delete finds, and completing them did not increment find count. It was an experiment that failed. They're gone completely.

 

The Challenge Geocache, a sub-set of the Mystery category of caches is alive and well.

Edited by palmetto

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As my interest has grown, so has my desire for my geocaching knowledge so I have begun to read the forums. I almost regret doing so ...

 

You're not alone in that feeling ;)

 

Good luck with your business model.

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The Challenge Geocache, a sub-set of the Mystery category of caches is alive and well.

 

Alive? Yes. Well? ...that's often the subject of heated debate.

 

Don't worry, despite their popularity with a very small segment of the Geocaching populace, they could very well go away; I've not heard of too many volunteer reviewers who are particulary fond of them. :ph34r:

 

The OP did a very good job of research finding out about the short-lived Geocaching Challenges, seeing as all traces of them were wiped from existence. Ninja guy again ==> :ph34r:

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The Challenge Geocache, a sub-set of the Mystery category of caches is alive and well.

 

Alive? Yes. Well? ...that's often the subject of heated debate.

 

Don't worry, despite their popularity with a very small segment of the Geocaching populace, they could very well go away; I've not heard of too many volunteer reviewers who are particulary fond of them. :ph34r:

I don't know. I see several reviewers who seem to be among the biggest boosters of challenge caches. And that's dispite the reviewers being asked to make a subjective "wow"-style decision as to whether a challenge appeals to or is attainable by a "reasonable number" of geocachers, and to deal with confusing guidelines like one that allows a challenge to find a certain number of caches hidden by charter members, but does not allow a challenge to find a certain number of caches hidden by a list of specific members (such as if you listed the names of all the charter memebers who have hidden caches) :ph34r:

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despite their popularity with a very small segment of the Geocaching populace

 

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No kidding! Citation needed, indeed!

 

This isn't an academic research paper.

 

Despite the fact that some live in areas where challenge caches have become very popular, there are still a lot of places (in fact, in most of the world) where they haven't caught on, even in heavily populated areas in the U.S. Don't judge the popularity of a feature, or how the game is played in general, based on what you see in your local environment.

 

 

 

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No kidding! Citation needed, indeed!

 

This isn't an academic research paper.

 

Despite the fact that some live in areas where challenge caches have become very popular, there are still a lot of places (in fact, in most of the world) where they haven't caught on, even in heavily populated areas in the U.S. Don't judge the popularity of a feature, or how the game is played in general, based on what you see in your local environment.

 

It doesn't need to be a research paper, it's common sense. Look at any challenge cache. I mean other than ridiculously easy ones, which are extremely rare. See any finder with less than 1,000 finds? Cacherstats.com is down as I type this, but you're already most likely in the 99th percentile of all Geocachers. :P

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It is too bad that there isn't some feature that would differentiate challenge caches from the other Mystery types with a possible metric for indicating how much of a challenge is involved...

 

That way we could have some hard data instead of anecdotal and possibly apocryphal statements that are really just opinions.

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It is too bad that there isn't some feature that would differentiate challenge caches from the other Mystery types with a possible metric for indicating how much of a challenge is involved...

 

That way we could have some hard data instead of anecdotal and possibly apocryphal statements that are really just opinions.

 

Oh, I've always liked your linked feature request. And I'm entitled to my opinion. :) I looked at several caches on a challenge trail up your way. I'm seeing the same names over and over.. 5,000, 10,000, 15,000, 20,000 finds. Most definitely not your "average" Geocacher. However, they are highly active, Premium members for life, in most cases. And I'm sure Groundspeak, Inc. likes that.

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Out here the reviewers are not crazy about them but they are approving ones that not even the CO qualifies for. I believe they are tired of the rules, rule breakers and revenge caches. I won't say who said it, and I agree and disagree, that these are Challenges and they are meant to be difficult. Too many lame challenges. I believe challenges shouldn't always be difficult but fun too. The ones that are too difficult for me are the high terrains and distance ones. I don't have the money to travel as much as others and physically some of the higher terrain ones I have trouble with. But I can say I am only 2 away from the Original Fizzy Challenge. Never thought I'd be that close to finishing. Those last two are still a challenge because that D/T there are none close by.

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It is too bad that there isn't some feature that would differentiate challenge caches from the other Mystery types with a possible metric for indicating how much of a challenge is involved...

 

That way we could have some hard data instead of anecdotal and possibly apocryphal statements that are really just opinions.

They are suppose to require the word Challenge in it but since the search engine now only goes by the first word it is still difficult to find them. Maybe Challenges should began with the word Challenge.

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It is too bad that there isn't some feature that would differentiate challenge caches from the other Mystery types with a possible metric for indicating how much of a challenge is involved...

 

That way we could have some hard data instead of anecdotal and possibly apocryphal statements that are really just opinions.

They are suppose to require the word Challenge in it but since the search engine now only goes by the first word it is still difficult to find them. Maybe Challenges should began with the word Challenge.

 

I think prefacing with "CHALLENGE" would be a great idea ... Further, I would like to see challenges be differentiated with a separate icon <><><><> How about a big gold exclamation point.

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I believe challenges shouldn't always be difficult but fun too.

 

The problem is just that what people regard as fun is quite subjective.

 

The ones that are too difficult for me are the high terrains and distance ones. I don't have the money to travel as much as others and physically some of the higher terrain ones I have trouble with. But I can say I am only 2 away from the Original Fizzy Challenge. Never thought I'd be that close to finishing. Those last two are still a challenge because that D/T there are none close by.

 

Just out of curiosity:

Does the original fizzy challenge cache pose restrictions on where you have found the caches? Up to now I thought that a filled grid suffices.

 

I will never in my life fill the D/T grid, but there are so many caches out there that I cannot do that I cannot see a special role of challenge caches. To me it does not make a difference whether I cannot do a Wherigo that requires me to run a certain track within a given time not within my reach or whether I cannot do a fizzy type like challenge. I think of challenge caches as a sort of cache where you need something to unlock a find in the end like when you you happen to find the container of a cache by chance but cannot open it because what is needed to open is obtained on the way by those who do the cache in the intended manner.

 

Cezanne

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I believe challenges shouldn't always be difficult but fun too.

 

The problem is just that what people regard as fun is quite subjective.

 

The ones that are too difficult for me are the high terrains and distance ones. I don't have the money to travel as much as others and physically some of the higher terrain ones I have trouble with. But I can say I am only 2 away from the Original Fizzy Challenge. Never thought I'd be that close to finishing. Those last two are still a challenge because that D/T there are none close by.

 

Just out of curiosity:

Does the original fizzy challenge cache pose restrictions on where you have found the caches? Up to now I thought that a filled grid suffices.

 

I will never in my life fill the D/T grid, but there are so many caches out there that I cannot do that I cannot see a special role of challenge caches. To me it does not make a difference whether I cannot do a Wherigo that requires me to run a certain track within a given time not within my reach or whether I cannot do a fizzy type like challenge. I think of challenge caches as a sort of cache where you need something to unlock a find in the end like when you you happen to find the container of a cache by chance but cannot open it because what is needed to open is obtained on the way by those who do the cache in the intended manner.

 

Cezanne

The Original Fizzy has certain Icons and all finds must have been placed (gone active) before April 6th 2007. This makes it more difficult because many of older ones have been archived so they are harder to find and/or you have to travel further to get them. Challenges now for the 81 grid most use the inflated challenge caches. Those were not so available back in 2007.

Edited by jellis

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The Original Fizzy has certain Icons and all finds must have been placed (gone active) before April 6th 2007. This makes it more difficult because many of older ones have been archived so they are harder to find and/or you have to travel further to get them. Challenges now for the 81 grid most use the inflated challenge caches. Those were not so available back in 2007.

 

Thank you. I have not been aware of this restriction which of course makes the challenge more difficult.

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You know: CHALLENGE: find a cache in every county before able to claim this cache. That's 100 caches! Difficult? Well, as difficult as you want it to be I suppose. Want 100 P&G's in 100 diffrrent counties or do you go after those 3/3, 3/4, 4/4, 4/5, 5/5's? Popular in the way of attracting many to the challenge? Probably not. But to the guy doing the challenge, he might be having the time of his life. There are two challenges I in the middle of even as a relatively experienced noob, and would be rather unhappy to reach the end only to get no credit whatsoever because "challenges just weren't going over very well." Really?

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As stated in post #2, "Geocaching Challenges" didn't go over well and were removed from the website. Challenge Caches, on the other hand, are quite popular among a subset of geocachers, in the same way that "paddle-to" caches and puzzle caches are quite popular among subsets of geocachers. I wouldn't worry about them going away.

 

I am the co-owner of my State's "find a cache in each county" challenge. I agree with you that this particular challenge provides great opportunities for adventures, customized to the finder's tastes.

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You know: CHALLENGE: find a cache in every county before able to claim this cache. That's 100 caches! Difficult? Well, as difficult as you want it to be I suppose. Want 100 P&G's in 100 diffrrent counties or do you go after those 3/3, 3/4, 4/4, 4/5, 5/5's? Popular in the way of attracting many to the challenge? Probably not. But to the guy doing the challenge, he might be having the time of his life. There are two challenges I in the middle of even as a relatively experienced noob, and would be rather unhappy to reach the end only to get no credit whatsoever because "challenges just weren't going over very well." Really?

 

Well, especially after it was mentioned by our moderator, I should really downplay my assertion that it's possible they could go away. But the requirements could get more restrictive. They have once already. And none of the changes that were enacted looked to me like anything players in the field wanted, but rather "reviewer beefs". :lol: And Toz does make a great point, in that reviewers have been put in the position of making subjective decisions on whether or not a submission is "attainable". Very analogous, in his opinion and mine to the "Wow Factor" on virtual cache submissions. And we know what happened there. :o But does Mr.Yuck think they're going away? Not really.

 

Besides, I was not challenged, pun intended, on that. I was challenged on my statement on how small the subset of challenge groupies is, which I stand by. I do them and I own a few, but it's getting to the point where most of them out there are like "yeah, right, whatever".

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I agree that challenge caches should be a different icon. Challenges and unknown caches are actually very different. And Challenge caches are nothing like the "challenges" that GS tried a couple years ago--they kind of stole the name from the challenge caches geocachers were putting out.

 

I also think it should be a requirement that to put out a challenge cache, you've completed the challenge yourself. I finished my Jasmer Challenge more than a year ago. Then I decided to try to complete it with only physical caches--caches with a log to sign. It took me over a year to do that (I had a dozen months with virtual finds only). Then, and only then, did I put out a Physical Jasmer Challenge.

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Challenges and unknown caches are actually very different.

 

The unknown/mystery icon has always been a catch-all for geocaches that didn't fit into the other types. There are many, many uses for this icon and there always have been.

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And Toz does make a great point, in that reviewers have been put in the position of making subjective decisions on whether or not a submission is "attainable". Very analogous, in his opinion and mine to the "Wow Factor" on virtual cache submissions. And we know what happened there.

Reviewers are constantly making subjective decisions.

 

When must permissions be explicitly provided? When are cache locations too close to schools? What other locations are inappropriate (dams, major roadways, hospitals, etc.)? When should exceptions be made to the 0.1-mile proximity rule? When is a computer file an acceptable download? What is an acceptable logbook? What constitutes an agenda? What constitutes a commercial cache? When is a puzzle too hard? Too easy? Are event caches being "stacked?" Etc. Etc.

 

Somehow reviewers manage to make those decisions and the subjective guidelines persist.

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One way of seeing if it is attainable is by requiring that the person putting out the challenge has completed it!

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And Toz does make a great point, in that reviewers have been put in the position of making subjective decisions on whether or not a submission is "attainable". Very analogous, in his opinion and mine to the "Wow Factor" on virtual cache submissions. And we know what happened there.

Reviewers are constantly making subjective decisions.

 

When must permissions be explicitly provided? When are cache locations too close to schools? What other locations are inappropriate (dams, major roadways, hospitals, etc.)? When should exceptions be made to the 0.1-mile proximity rule? When is a computer file an acceptable download? What is an acceptable logbook? What constitutes an agenda? What constitutes a commercial cache? When is a puzzle too hard? Too easy? Are event caches being "stacked?" Etc. Etc.

 

Somehow reviewers manage to make those decisions and the subjective guidelines persist.

 

All true, but none of those subjective decisions are related to quality (aka, a wow factor).

 

 

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One way of seeing if it is attainable is by requiring that the person putting out the challenge has completed it!

 

I agree that a challenge cache shouldn't be published unless the CO has attained the challenge. However, a cache owner with 20,000+ finds is going to be able qualify for a lot of challenges that are not attainable by those with "only" a 1000 finds or so.

 

 

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Yes, I can see where reviewers are faced with some tough decisions, and am glad I don't walk in their shoes. I guess I can't complain too much; I know their decisions aren't usually rash or unmerited.

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I agree that a challenge cache shouldn't be published unless the CO has attained the challenge. However, a cache owner with 20,000+ finds is going to be able qualify for a lot of challenges that are not attainable by those with "only" a 1000 finds or so.

And I'm okay with that. Not every cache has to be attainable by every geocacher. Some caches are basically attainable by those with SCUBA skills, whitewater boating skills, cliff-rappelling skills, tree-climbing skills, mountain-climbing skills, advanced mathematical skills, access to the International Space Station, etc.

 

There are many caches out there that I'll never be able to find, and I'm glad they are there for those who can find them.

 

There are many challenges that I'll never qualify for, and I'm glad they are there for those who can. They help make geocaching more interesting.

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And Toz does make a great point, in that reviewers have been put in the position of making subjective decisions on whether or not a submission is "attainable". Very analogous, in his opinion and mine to the "Wow Factor" on virtual cache submissions. And we know what happened there.

Reviewers are constantly making subjective decisions.

 

When must permissions be explicitly provided? When are cache locations too close to schools? What other locations are inappropriate (dams, major roadways, hospitals, etc.)? When should exceptions be made to the 0.1-mile proximity rule? When is a computer file an acceptable download? What is an acceptable logbook? What constitutes an agenda? What constitutes a commercial cache? When is a puzzle too hard? Too easy? Are event caches being "stacked?" Etc. Etc.

 

Somehow reviewers manage to make those decisions and the subjective guidelines persist.

All true, but none of those subjective decisions are related to quality (aka, a wow factor).

The "attainable" factor also isn't related to quality.

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The "attainable" factor also isn't related to quality.

Correct. I am looking for a number (5-10) of geocachers in the general local area of the challenge, who qualify or almost qualify for the challenge. If the CO qualifies, that makes it even easier. It is an objective test - show me who qualifies.

 

You can have seven people who qualify for a "lame" challenge ("Find 20 caches that have the word Keystone in the cache title) and I will publish it quickly. You can have just one person who qualifies for a cool, but complex, challenge cache and I would need to kick it back under the "attainable" guideline.

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The "attainable" factor also isn't related to quality.

Correct. I am looking for a number (5-10) of geocachers in the general local area of the challenge, who qualify or almost qualify for the challenge. If the CO qualifies, that makes it even easier. It is an objective test - show me who qualifies.

 

You can have seven people who qualify for a "lame" challenge ("Find 20 caches that have the word Keystone in the cache title) and I will publish it quickly. You can have just one person who qualifies for a cool, but complex, challenge cache and I would need to kick it back under the "attainable" guideline.

"Attainable by" may not be related to quality but "appeals to" is.

 

Rules-of-thumb like reasonable number is 5-10 cachers in the local area aren't necessarily a bad way to deal with this. But if reviewers like Keystone start to tell us what their rules-of-thumb are, people will expect them to become absolute rules. 528 ft used to be a rule-of-thumb and reviewers could apply their own judgment. Now we have power trails and few, if any, exceptions to allow caches to be closer.

Edited by tozainamboku

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I agree that a challenge cache shouldn't be published unless the CO has attained the challenge. However, a cache owner with 20,000+ finds is going to be able qualify for a lot of challenges that are not attainable by those with "only" a 1000 finds or so.

And I'm okay with that. Not every cache has to be attainable by every geocacher. Some caches are basically attainable by those with SCUBA skills, whitewater boating skills, cliff-rappelling skills, tree-climbing skills, mountain-climbing skills, advanced mathematical skills, access to the International Space Station, etc.

 

There are many caches out there that I'll never be able to find, and I'm glad they are there for those who can find them.

 

There are many challenges that I'll never qualify for, and I'm glad they are there for those who can. They help make geocaching more interesting.

 

Of course, not every cache has to be attainable by everyone. The ISS cache and Rainbow Thermal Events are a couple of examples that clearly demonstrate that fact.

 

Keystone suggests his criteria would be that if it can be shown that 5-10 cachers in the general local area of the challenge would qualify that it would be considered attainable. For his review area I'm sure that's a reasonable number. I suspect, however, for every "general local area" that number could be different and profiles of those of those N caches could be vastly different.

 

 

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I had a challenge cache published that no local qualifies for.

While out caching with friend we were joking about challenges and someone brought up this one and I was only one state away but it was on the other side of the continent. I wrote my reviewer for approval to publish if I met the challenge and 2 weeks later I was off to Maine. So far FTF is up for grabs.

 

You need to find caches in 6 States that are the extremities of the US.

 

Minnesota has the northernmost point in the 48 contiguous states.

Maine has the easternmost point in the 48 contiguous states.

Florida has the southernmost point in the 48 contiguous states.

Washington has the westernmost point in the 48 contiguous states.

 

Hawaii has has the southernmost point of all the states.

Alaska has the northernmost, westernmost and easternmost point of all the states.

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I agree that a challenge cache shouldn't be published unless the CO has attained the challenge.

Well, that would have delayed the publication of both of my challenge caches by over a year. Several other cachers completed each of them before I did, with much appreciation. The second was being requested by other cachers even before I published it. Both are still popular over five years after publication, and another challenge cache in the same area -- somewhat modeled after mine -- is also popular.

 

I just see any point in requiring the CO to attain the challenge pre-publication. Sure, it's important that the CO has done the research to make sure it's an attainable challenge. And like any cache, the CO *should* make sure it's an interesting cache, though we all know that doesn't always happen. But attain in advance? No point.

 

Edward

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Shouldn't the idea of a Challenge Cache be to challenge the finders in an area to complete the tasks (finds of whatever nature, location, etc.) necessary, rather than to reward those in the area who have already completed the tasks?

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Shouldn't the idea of a Challenge Cache be to challenge the finders in an area to complete the tasks (finds of whatever nature, location, etc.) necessary, rather than to reward those in the area who have already completed the tasks?

 

That's what I thought but the prolific cachers in my area were angry they didn't pre-qualify.

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I wanted to create a cache in honor of alamougal called 100,000 finds and you guessed it, to log it you needed 100,000 finds but to make it easier you could bring as many cachers as you wanted and add their finds together to reach 100k.

 

It got denied.

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It is too bad that there isn't some feature that would differentiate challenge caches from the other Mystery types with a possible metric for indicating how much of a challenge is involved...

 

That way we could have some hard data instead of anecdotal and possibly apocryphal statements that are really just opinions.

 

A.....B.....C....

 

;-)

 

As I was reading this thread, I was wondering when I would see a frinklabs post. I knew it!

 

PS - No harm, no foul. Just messin' with ya.

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Shouldn't the idea of a Challenge Cache be to challenge the finders in an area to complete the tasks (finds of whatever nature, location, etc.) necessary, rather than to reward those in the area who have already completed the tasks?

This.

 

Unfortunately, many cachers complain when they see a challenge publish that they don't or will have a hard time qualifying for.

 

I feel the same as you do. It's a shame though that we can't all see it that way.

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Shouldn't the idea of a Challenge Cache be to challenge the finders in an area to complete the tasks (finds of whatever nature, location, etc.) necessary, rather than to reward those in the area who have already completed the tasks?

I think listing 5-10 locals who have already qualified (or nearly qualified) is a sufficient means of demonstrating attainability. But it isn't a necessary means. There are other ways to show attainability.

 

For example, one of my challenges requires geocachers to find an Unknown cache every day for a month. At the time it was published, I don't think any of the locals had come close to doing this. But it's not hard to see that a reasonably determined geocacher wouldn't have much trouble meeting this challenge. Indeed, three of them did so the month after the challenge was published.

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Shouldn't the idea of a Challenge Cache be to challenge the finders in an area to complete the tasks (finds of whatever nature, location, etc.) necessary, rather than to reward those in the area who have already completed the tasks?

 

Well, once Groundspeak changed the guidelines on Challenge Caches so that finds before a given date cannot be excluded from the challenge, that idea becomes extraordinarily difficult to enforce. For someone with thousands of finds, the number of challenge caches they don't automatically qualify for becomes diminishingly small.

 

Personally, I don't think it's a big deal. If I see that someone else has achieved a particular caching challenge, I might find that inspiring enough to attempt the challenge myself. (Says the guy who's now on a 920-ish day caching streak ...)

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