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Korichnovui

What makes a good letterbox or multi?

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1 hour ago, arisoft said:
22 hours ago, Keystone said:

Since traditional, multi and mystery caches all require GPS usage to be available as an integral part of the cache hunt, then by definition all letterbox hybrid caches require GPS usage. 

This difference may not clear even to all reviewers. The new aspect to me is that this may be true also for multi- and mystery-caches, if Keystone is correct.

 

I give you an example, where GPS usage is available but not needed. A mystery cache which contains a hint image of the cache. You can find the cache by finding the place where the picture is taken. There is no way to use GPS in this method but it may be easy if you can recognize the place from the image. Or you can decrypt the steganography message from the image by using a randomly chosen password which you must guess correctly before you can read the final coordinates from the image file. This nearly impossible task should be sufficient to make the GPS usage available for this cache.

When I read the phrase "GPS usage to be available", I don't interpret it that way, where the seeker can use accurate GPS coordinates or they can use some other clues/descriptions/whatever that don't involve accurate GPS coordinates at all.

 

When I read the phrase, I interpret it to mean that the cache incorporates accurate GPS coordinates as an integral part of the cache hunt, and seekers therefore need to navigate to those accurate GPS coordinates, but Groundspeak acknowledges that some geocachers do not use GPS devices. We still use accurate GPS coordinates, but we navigate to them using other techniques (e.g., map and compass, or online satellite/aerial photos).

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43 minutes ago, niraD said:

When I read the phrase, I interpret it to mean...

 

For me the sentence is quite clear without any "interpretation". It is reasonable and fits to the real world situation.

 

There is also the original guideline, but it does not have this kind of "avalability" wording at all. "For at least part of the search, the cache must require finders to navigate with a GPS-enabled device to specific coordinates necessary to finding the cache. " How do you interpret this one?

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5 hours ago, arisoft said:

There is also the original guideline, but it does not have this kind of "avalability" wording at all. "For at least part of the search, the cache must require finders to navigate with a GPS-enabled device to specific coordinates necessary to finding the cache. " How do you interpret this one?

For reference, here is the quote from the guidelines:

 

"For at least part of the search, the cache must require finders to navigate with a GPS-enabled device to specific coordinates necessary to finding the cache. See this article for examples."

 

As a practical matter, cache owners and Groundspeak cannot require seekers to use a GPS-enabled device. They can only require that seekers navigate to specific coordinates. Before I bought a GPS receiver, I found hundreds of caches using other tools. Groundspeak even published a blog post that features another geocacher who doesn't use a GPS-enabled device.

 

So my interpretation is that the cache must require finders to navigate to specific coordinates necessary to finding the cache. Using a GPS-enabled device is the expected way to navigate to specific coordinates, but they cannot enforce that.

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On 7/3/2018 at 6:25 PM, arisoft said:

 

This is the type we may call "fake LBH" if you can not find the cache using the clue only - you need also GPS. I make this type of cache as multi-cache to save the stamp. ;)

 

I think the biggest difference is how you define fake vs. how I define fake.  You're claiming that any LBH that needs GPS usage to complete is a "fake" LBH.   The example I provided (and the LBHs I'm talking about) only need the GPS usage at the beginning, to get to the starting coordinates or to do some orienteering to put you on the right path.  As niraD has pointed out, that usage, which fulfills the requirement of GPS usage for publication, isn't technically required to be used, but it is needed in order to be published.  You can get to most of the starting points with or without the GPS and you can orienteer with or without your GPS.  I define a "fake" LBH as one that a finder doesn't need to use the written instructions to find the cache.

 

Your two examples are "fake" LBHs (to me) because you don't NEED the clues/written directions to find the cache.  You can go directly to the cache using the GPS coordinates provided because the LBH is at the posted coordinates.  Your second example even says that geocachers can search for this as a traditional cache, since it's at the posted coordinates.  That's the fake LBH because the clue isn't required to find the letterbox.  You may opt to use the written description, which is the foundation of what letterboxing is all about, but it's not required to use the directions because the final location of the LBH is provided.

 

In the example I provided (did you even look at it?), the needed GPS usage is to get to the starting point, which are the posted coordinates.  The required GPS usage is to get to the starting point, but that usage isn't technically required to find the cache -it's required to publish the LBH.  From that point on, you NEED the clue/written description to find the cache.  You can't just walk to the final location, like you can with the two examples you provided, because the final coordinates are hidden from view and require the clue to get you to the LBH.  

 

Your other example (the church) is set up the same as my example.  It's my assumption that the reason this was published was because the posted coordinates are the starting location, hence the needed GPS usage requirement would be fulfilled, even though it's technically not needed.  You could use your GPS to get there, but the starting spot could also be easily determined by just going to the church doors to start.

 

 

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On 3.7.2018 at 8:08 PM, niraD said:

All the LBH caches I have found have started at a specific location using accurate GPS coordinates, and then used letterbox-style clues to navigate to the final location.

 

I have to return to this because I just consulted a fellow geocacher who tried today to publish a LBH using exactly this method, but the idea was rejected because there was nothing hidden in the starting location. The posted coordinates were meant to be the position where you start following the clue.

 

Maybe you can find couple of recent LBH GC-codes for a reference so I can to compare how they are different.

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2 hours ago, arisoft said:

Maybe you can find couple of recent LBH GC-codes for a reference so I can to compare how they are different.

There is no precedent and all that...

 

The most recent LBH cache I've found was published in 2014.

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4 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

I have to return to this because I just consulted a fellow geocacher who tried today to publish a LBH using exactly this method, but the idea was rejected because there was nothing hidden in the starting location. The posted coordinates were meant to be the position where you start following the clue.

 

Maybe you can find couple of recent LBH GC-codes for a reference so I can to compare how they are different.

 

That is incorrect. The app even warns you about coordinates not being correct for LBs. Maybe he forgot the final waypoint or something else. 

 

I prefer the direction LBs versus the traditional with a stamp that often goes missing.

 

I found a great LB this past week from the cache page:

From the posted coordinates walk southwest along the paved path. At about 40 feet take the wood chip and dirt trail that rises on the right. Climb the trail past two switchbacks to a split in the trail. (Please remember to never cut a switchback; it promotes erosion and eventually ruins the trail.) Take the left fork and travel for about 80 feet at which point you will pass between two trees. A few feet after that you will pass between the ends of a log that fell across the trail and was bucked out using a chainsaw. Immediately after that you will see a rotted stump on your right. The geocache is behind the fern which is behind and to the left of the stump. It will require a long stretch to reach behind the fern; please do not climb up the slope off trail to get the geocache. Please be kind to the foliage and replace the large piece of bark so the cache cannot be seen from the trail.

 

With respect to multi's I was addicted to a series in my area PBM (Phone Booth Multis) these had a small ~20 cacher following and he had almost 200 the easier ones stayed in the metro area though usually required 5-10 miles per stage and criss crossed the metro area. The problem he had was these started being removed by grocery stores and the like. The only reliable ones became the ones at public transit locations.  He had some that traversed 500 miles T5, One in Portland the final in Milwaukie Wis, and another in Chicago. Yes they all have been found.  Now not all folks liked them I still walk by PBs and check is there a cache there.  Oh for got to say final was a strip magnet with log glued to it placed on the bottom of the phone or a DNA tub in the tray, though some took you to nice views. They were all pretty fun for those who liked road trips. 

 

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I had a LBH (since archive) and the reviewer would not publish it due to the listed coordinates taking you to a spot where you pace  13 metres west then 48 meters south to the cache. It was published only after I changed the listed coordinates to the actual hiding spot.

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LBH are virtually but not completely similar to multi caches. Start somewhere and go somewhere else. The only thing I can think of is that the start point or WP was within the radius of another cache, but they should have told you that and you could have changed it to make them walk farther or something. There is also no spacing requirements between WPs so technically it could be a easy LBH and the final is 1m away. 

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The nearest cache (one of mine) was about 1klm away. No mysteries or multis within cooee.

 

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1 hour ago, colleda said:

I had a LBH (since archive) and the reviewer would not publish it due to the listed coordinates taking you to a spot where you pace  13 metres west then 48 meters south to the cache. It was published only after I changed the listed coordinates to the actual hiding spot.

 

Again, I can not understand this because such projection mysteries are published regularly.

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For me a good letterbox cache is an actual letterbox, or something equally interesting (I found one which was a metal sculptured man, with compartments, made especially to be a letterbox cache. That CO showed great skill constructing several interesting caches. For those of us without those skills, there are real letterboxes). An ordinary plastic box shoved under a bush and called a letterbox cache is a disappointment (and shows the limitations of the CO) and should just be listed as a traditional.

 

Multicaches should have clear, unambiguous WPs, with only one clear possibility. If they don't, the CO should be willing to take aboard the comments from finders that one or more of their WPs are ambiguous and do something about it. Otherwise, it makes the CO look bad and one of limited imagination, in that they can't also see this.

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13 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

For me a good letterbox cache is an actual letterbox, or something equally interesting (I found one which was a metal sculptured man, with compartments, made especially to be a letterbox cache. That CO showed great skill constructing several interesting caches. For those of us without those skills, there are real letterboxes). An ordinary plastic box shoved under a bush and called a letterbox cache is a disappointment (and shows the limitations of the CO) and should just be listed as a traditional.

 

Multicaches should have clear, unambiguous WPs, with only one clear possibility. If they don't, the CO should be willing to take aboard the comments from finders that one or more of their WPs are ambiguous and do something about it. Otherwise, it makes the CO look bad and one of limited imagination, in that they can't also see this.

Like this one perhaps?

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5 minutes ago, colleda said:

Like this one perhaps?

Okay cute, that would pass, although I imagine the log might be too small for my letterbox stamp. In the country it's common to see letterboxes belonging to farms all lined up in a row beside the road. One letter box I found was in an extra mailbox added to a line-up of letterboxes.  As in this example photograph...although this is not the line of boxes with the actually letterbox cache; just an example.

Letterboxes.jpg

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, MartyBartfast said:

 

The first one seems to be projection mystery cache with a stamp.

The second is also similar projection mystery cache.

Both are the type which was not accepted for @colleda

None of these caches have the Letterboxing style clue. Only coordinate calculations.

 

Edited by arisoft

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I  looked at the original reviewer note logs on the colleda LBH -->   I see mis-communication.  As submitted, the listing coords were not for the box, and the cache's actual coords were not attached to listing as a waypoint; offered as text in a reviewer note. I think colleda misunderstood  the reviewer's request to write up the page in the actual form of the cache - as a Multi or Mystery.  Submitted with only one waypoint in the Geocaching.com database, that waypoint must be the box.

 

Coords for a specific location  with a bearing and distance is an okay basis for a Mystery cache.  Design any guidelines compliant Mystery,  add stamp to the box, it's a  Letterbox Hybrid.  If it's coords for a specific location, gather info there, and use that info to continue to a box, that's a Multi, add stamp to make it a Letterbox Hybrid and just coords for box is a Traditional, add stamp, make it Letterbox Hybrid.

 

3 hours ago, arisoft said:

None of these caches have the Letterboxing style clue. Only coordinate calculations

 

 

Letterboxing style seems to be in the mind of the beholder,  and varies considerably with time and place. On Geocaching.com it's box + stamp and at least one location referenced by coordinates. 

 

"the 'clues' were just three reference compass readings triangulating where the letterbox was. " Seaglass Pirates, writing about letterboxing in Dartmoor in the 1990s. Further down on that page a picture of the Dartmoor catalog. Here's an example of a letterbox clue:   Crockern Tor HP tor 222.5. LHE trees 002 and 039. Trig 081.5. 12p from wall. Plugged in ground between 2 6ft x 3ft slabs. (Contains visitors book)

 

 

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35 minutes ago, palmetto said:

Letterboxing style seems to be in the mind of the beholder,  and varies considerably with time and place. On Geocaching.com it's box + stamp and at least one location referenced by coordinates. 

 

Yes, the idea is make these better and more interesting for geocachers. We need to understand better why something is allowed and something else is not.

 

Today I studied GPS usage examples and I found this:

 

Examples of objects that don't count as GPS usage: Trailheads, Doors and entranceways

 

If you try to create multi-cache style LBH by using the specific location for the starting point and then following written clues to the cache without additional GPS usage. How can it be done? The idea is to use GPS to find the correct trailhead and then follow instruction. But trailheads are not adequate GPS usage. I can not understand why.

 

Examples of specific objects or locations: A landmark used as a reference point to determine the next stage.

 

Does it make difference if the starting point is "the green fence post" nearest the trailhead? At least it is a specific object.

 

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56 minutes ago, palmetto said:

I  looked at the original reviewer note logs on the colleda LBH -->   I see mis-communication.  As submitted, the listing coords were not for the box, and the cache's actual coords were not attached to listing as a waypoint; offered as text in a reviewer note. I think colleda misunderstood  the reviewer's request to write up the page in the actual form of the cache - as a Multi or Mystery.  Submitted with only one waypoint in the Geocaching.com database, that waypoint must be the box.

 

Coords for a specific location  with a bearing and distance is an okay basis for a Mystery cache.  Design any guidelines compliant Mystery,  add stamp to the box, it's a  Letterbox Hybrid.  If it's coords for a specific location, gather info there, and use that info to continue to a box, that's a Multi, add stamp to make it a Letterbox Hybrid and just coords for box is a Traditional, add stamp, make it Letterbox Hybrid.

 

 

 

Letterboxing style seems to be in the mind of the beholder,  and varies considerably with time and place. On Geocaching.com it's box + stamp and at least one location referenced by coordinates. 

 

"the 'clues' were just three reference compass readings triangulating where the letterbox was. " Seaglass Pirates, writing about letterboxing in Dartmoor in the 1990s. Further down on that page a picture of the Dartmoor catalog. Here's an example of a letterbox clue:   Crockern Tor HP tor 222.5. LHE trees 002 and 039. Trig 081.5. 12p from wall. Plugged in ground between 2 6ft x 3ft slabs. (Contains visitors book)

 

 

Thank you Palmetto, its all clear to me now but I couldn't see it at the time.

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15 hours ago, arisoft said:

Maybe you can find couple of recent LBH GC-codes for a reference so I can to compare how they are different.

For what it is worth, I have had some recent Letter box hybrids published and I consider them to be in the "traditional" letterbox style. The only GPS usage is the coords for the starting location.

 

https://coord.info/GC7NDHY

https://coord.info/GC7EQVB

and a few older ones I published in Tennessee that have been adopted out:

https://coord.info/GC5W1PM

https://coord.info/GC60FKJ

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, colleda said:

Thank you Palmetto, its all clear to me now but I couldn't see it at the time.

 

The same happened to my friend when trying to make LBH. He did not understand what the reviewer meant and misunderstood that the LBH must be something like a traditional cache and was quite disappointed. It took for a while to trace down the root reason.

Edited by arisoft

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3 hours ago, arisoft said:

The idea is to use GPS to find the correct trailhead and then follow instruction. But trailheads are not adequate GPS usage.

The LBH caches that I've done have definitely not used GPS to find the correct trailhead. They have used GPS to find the start of the clues. That's a completely different thing.

 

Two of them took me to a specific spot on the trail, but it was not a trailhead. Two of them took me to a specific spot, but it wasn't really on a trail.

 

And while they generally took me to a location with some sort of a recognizable object, it wasn't a major landmark. It was just something that you could recognize to confirm that you were starting in the correct location.

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Posted (edited)
26 minutes ago, niraD said:

The LBH caches that I've done have definitely not used GPS to find the correct trailhead. They have used GPS to find the start of the clues. That's a completely different thing.

 

For me, navigating to the correct trailhead using coordinates is definitely GPS usage, but this is ruled out. For some reason there must be an object instead of position. This was new to me and explains some misunderstandings. It is not how to interpret GPS usage, it is just reading list of allowed and not allowed ways to use GPS.

Edited by arisoft

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1 hour ago, arisoft said:

For me, navigating to the correct trailhead using coordinates is definitely GPS usage, but this is ruled out. For some reason there must be an object instead of position.

This is very similar to the way library caches have been handled for years. The coordinates for the library parking lot or for the library entrance are not sufficient GPS usage.

 

In the same way, the coordinates for a parking lot or trailhead in a park is not sufficient GPS usage.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, arisoft said:

 

For me, navigating to the correct trailhead using coordinates is definitely GPS usage, but this is ruled out. For some reason there must be an object instead of position. This was new to me and explains some misunderstandings. It is not how to interpret GPS usage, it is just reading list of allowed and not allowed ways to use GPS.

 

I think the issue here is that a trailhead specifically can be found without GPS, like many trailheads are listed in google maps or other map systems, so there's no need for "GPS the way it's used for geocaching" at any point in the cache search

Edited by Korichnovui

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1 minute ago, Korichnovui said:

I think the issue here is that a trailhead specifically can be found without GPS, so there's no need for GPS from start to finish

 

If there are many trails in a park and you do not know which trail is the right without using GPS? Monuments and many objects are more easy to find without GPS. To get these caches accepted using an object, you actually make them more easy to find without GPS.

 

One of my mystery caches was planned to start by navigating to the exact position where you can understand the hint how to find the cache. I did not understand why reviewer did not accepted this navigation as GPS usage. Now I understand that the reviewer wanted me to describe the object you have to find and my idea was just opposite, go to the coordinates to find what object is there. Finders of this geocache did not understand how you can solve it without using GPS to find the object. I solved the problem by adding extra stage for the final.

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The letterboxes that I like give a starting coordinate and then give just verbal instructions after that. That, to me, is what a letterbox hybrid should be like. I don't really care too much about the stamp part. 

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Multi: I Have only placed one Multi, the issue of course is that each stage needs to be maintained, and checked periodically to make sure it is intact and usable. Generally if I want to do an in field multi I will just write a Wherigo which allows the use of many stages without taking up hiding spots that other players may want to use. I will drop a play anywhere Wherigo into a multi-stage hunt for the field portion if it is themed specific.

 

Letterbox: My reviewer will not allow the publication of a letter box without the use of a GPS at some point in the process of the find. A letterbox gives you multiple ways to find the same hide. You can have a puzzle on the listing to find coordinates while at the same time give written instructions. This allows players to choose their poison. However as others have posted I think it is incredibly more rewarding when the Stamp, Container and hide are all themed the same. While I do not own my own stamp, nor do I stamp when I find a letter box, I enjoy the history and old fashioned instructions of a well done hide. When I hide one I do my best to make it themed in some way with my own twist to it.

 

Both types of hides should have the same three rules that make every hide great, as others have posted.

1. Location

2. Location

3. LOCATION

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On 7/18/2018 at 7:16 AM, BrierPatch said:

Both types of hides should have the same three rules that make every hide great, as others have posted.

1. Location

2. Location

3. LOCATION

 

Coincidentally, my most favorited hide is a cache called Briar Patch. It is hidden behind a business called Briar Patch in a thematically appropriate hiding spot with a thematically appropriate container.

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On 6/30/2018 at 6:54 PM, Harry Dolphin said:

 

I hate the ones with set a course this many feet in this direction.  Though I can solve those from home:  Project a waypoint.  To me, Letterbox Hybrids should be follow letterbox style.  Go here.  Follow the blue path to the giant rock &c.  

 

Is this what you mean?

 

From the Bell you may as well make a 150 step march to the Purple Arch

To find the path you're looking for continue on for 15 more

You're at a scout campsite so stay out of sight and change your footfalls to the right

Walk 50 steps to the Gnome Sized Stone that is the color of weathered bone

You're at the point of no return so now it's time for a left turn

Walk 75 steps along the trail to the Troll's new Home in Van Scoyoc vale

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