Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3
Ragnemalm

Lonely days challenges

Recommended Posts

There is one kind of challenge that I really wish was allowed: The "lonely days" challenges. We took on one of these a few years ago and it was the best challenge we ever fulfilled.

 

The point is to log a certain number of "lonely days" in one week, caches that have not been logged online in a long time. Such a challenge encourages visits to caches that are a bit out of the way, and are rarely visited otherwise. The number should be tuned to fit the activity and cache density in the area.

 

There is a whole lot more to say about challenges, but that is the kind I am missing the most.

 

Groundspeak, maybe a "lonely days" souvenir? Of course, if it only works for a short time, everybody is doing it at once, it will only be one brief spike and then the lonely caches are lonely again, so a challenge is more effective, or a souvenir that lasts for a long time.

 

The lonely caches are often, ironically, the best (often in beautiful out-of-the-way locations) so they really need some help.

  • Upvote 1
  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
57 minutes ago, Ragnemalm said:

There is one kind of challenge that I really wish was allowed: The "lonely days" challenges. We took on one of these a few years ago and it was the best challenge we ever fulfilled.

 

The point is to log a certain number of "lonely days" in one week, caches that have not been logged online in a long time. Such a challenge encourages visits to caches that are a bit out of the way, and are rarely visited otherwise. The number should be tuned to fit the activity and cache density in the area.

 

There is a whole lot more to say about challenges, but that is the kind I am missing the most.

 

Groundspeak, maybe a "lonely days" souvenir? Of course, if it only works for a short time, everybody is doing it at once, it will only be one brief spike and then the lonely caches are lonely again, so a challenge is more effective, or a souvenir that lasts for a long time.

 

The lonely caches are often, ironically, the best (often in beautiful out-of-the-way locations) so they really need some help.

One of the forum posters has encouraged geocachers to NOT find his cache for the whole year, to help keep his cache status as lonely and one of the highest in the area. This might end that silliness.

 

I would not be opposed to a Lonely caches geocaching souvenir.  An open time frame, in my opinion, would be best. For example, like the country souvenirs. You can earn them at any time. Just my thoughts on this souvenir idea. However, I do not think it's a good idea to fine-tune the criteria for each area. I think one standard criteria would be the easiest for GC to implement. And my opinion is that only one lonely cache would be required.

Edited by Max and 99

Share this post


Link to post

I often head for caches not found in some time.  Most aren't found often just because of distance.  Many in beautiful spots.

Once in a while I get an email from another saying they were "going to" head for it soon.

Most are joking, knowing that a nondescript pill bottle ten feet from the car isn't for me, and like FTF,  they realize that "lonely" is simply luck...

 - The others serious, I say something along the lines of "There's six more in this area, and I plan on hitting them all.  When would be a good time for you to go first ?" ... and that usually cans that silliness.  :)

 

I'd prefer that there were no "awards" given for simply finding a cache not found by another a while.  Do we always need to compete ?

Like Max and 99's example of a CO creating an ALR to "alter" the cache's history, we'd see  "lonely" caches soon become meaningless.

Those same caches do sit for a while  (the hobby more based on numbers these days) and the only time they're visited is often when it's needed for something else by it's last date found

That doesn't make them special (in that context...) at all...

 

  

  • Upvote 1
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post

On the one hand, I do love lonely cache challenges. We had one around here and it piqued my interest, so I started focusing on lonely caches, and it led to all kinds of great discoveries. Many people in my area had the same experience, and for a few, it lingered long after the challenge was met in the form of a love of finding lonely caches independent of any challenge.

 

On the other hand, if GS insists on limiting challenges -- not my preference, but that's ship has sailed -- then it would be illogical for them to allow lonely cache challenges. They're exactly the kind of destabilizing requirements that GS is trying to prevent with its challenge cache restrictions. For one thing, they pit geocachers against each other to get the limited number of lonely caches. They are also impossible for some areas where there just aren't lonely caches. And they even lead to some unacceptable behaviors, like people avoiding certain caches until they're lonely, or logging caches on the wrong date to make the find count as lonely.

 

I think a souvenir would have the same problems, so I doubt they'd go for that.

 

But, in the end, lonely caches are just a hoot all by themselves. I don't need any extra motivation to hunt for them.

  • Upvote 1
  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post

Challenge caches need to be dependent on YOUR achievements, not on the behavior of others - in this case, the fact that other geocachers have not found the cache for X period of time.

 

Imagine your disappointment if you visit a "lonely" cache and you see a signature in the logbook from a week earlier, from a traveler who hasn't gotten home yet to log their find.  When they do, you are no longer eligible for the lonely cache.

 

Geocaching HQ does not want to encourage such scenarios, nor to referee the inevitable disputes.

  • Upvote 2
  • Helpful 4

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Keystone said:

Challenge caches need to be dependent on YOUR achievements, not on the behavior of others - in this case, the fact that other geocachers have not found the cache for X period of time.

 

Imagine your disappointment if you visit a "lonely" cache and you see a signature in the logbook from a week earlier, from a traveler who hasn't gotten home yet to log their find.  When they do, you are no longer eligible for the lonely cache.

 

Geocaching HQ does not want to encourage such scenarios, nor to referee the inevitable disputes.

 

This is not a problem. You just go for the next of the dozens of lonely caches. There are plenty of them. You just might to find two more instead of one more. It is an expected possibility.

 

The achievement is to find the lonely cache. The fact that nobody has found it in a long time is a problem in itself and such a challenge helps, a lot.

 

Dependency of others? We are always dependent on others. Caches are replaced badly by others. Caches are dropped and lost by others. Caches are even stolen, mugglers are also others. They are also maintained by others - something that is highly encouraged if someone finds the cache once in a while. When the last three visits to a cache was the CO maintaining it, isn't it obvious that the visits by CO will be farther and farther apart.

 

I insist that lonely days challenges are beneficial for the hobby (unlike many of the allowed challenges).

  • Upvote 2
  • Love 1

Share this post


Link to post
3 hours ago, Keystone said:

Challenge caches need to be dependent on YOUR achievements, not on the behavior of others - in this case, the fact that other geocachers have not found the cache for X period of time.

 

Imagine your disappointment if you visit a "lonely" cache and you see a signature in the logbook from a week earlier, from a traveler who hasn't gotten home yet to log their find.  When they do, you are no longer eligible for the lonely cache.

 

Geocaching HQ does not want to encourage such scenarios, nor to referee the inevitable disputes.

That happens. Move on and find another cache. I too like lonely caches, and that would not disappoint me greatly to find someone had beaten me. Good luck to them. Disappointment would be tiny and manageable.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

Yeah, what Goldenwattle said.

I have some sympathy with the original poster. The one and only challenge I consciously endeavoured to complete was basically one of this nature. Though it didn't have a time limit and, for most people, required the finding of a few dozen such caches.

 

It's one of very few local challenges that tends to distort geocacher behaviour in a useful, healthy direction IMHO. Spreading the love around to (largely) longer hikes and more challenging puzzles. (Or both simultaneously.)

 

On 4/4/2020 at 7:12 AM, Max and 99 said:

One of the forum posters has encouraged geocachers to NOT find his cache for the whole year


I made such a quip myself once, upon realising that a cache had gone unfound for a ridiculously long time despite frequent queries about it. I was surprised to have to explain that I had been trying to employ irony for LOLs!

 

 

Edited by BendSinister

Share this post


Link to post

No thanks.

I can see it being abused with "Found It" but didn't find it logs, or throwdowns, to get the 'prize' souvenier...

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

This is not a problem. You just go for the next of the dozens of lonely caches.

Maybe around you. Maybe now. If your challenge cache is popular enough, they could disappear quickly.

 

8 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

The achievement is to find the lonely cache. The fact that nobody has found it in a long time is a problem in itself and such a challenge helps, a lot.

I agree a lonely cache is an achievement. I don't see how a challenge make a difference. You find lonely caches so you can find the challenge cache, not vice versa.

 

8 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

Dependency of others? We are always dependent on others. Caches are replaced badly by others. Caches are dropped and lost by others. Caches are even stolen, mugglers are also others. They are also maintained by others - something that is highly encouraged if someone finds the cache once in a while. When the last three visits to a cache was the CO maintaining it, isn't it obvious that the visits by CO will be farther and farther apart.

What he means is that seeking a required number of lonely caches makes you dependent on what other people do within the game. Specifically, it creates a competition to find lonely caches before the other guy. The things you're talking about concern how well people play the game, which is something else. As you say, caching is enherently dependent on how well people play the game, but GS has decided to prohibit anything that allows your geocaching to be impacted by another geocacher's decisions about which caches to find.

 

8 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

That happens. Move on and find another cache. I too like lonely caches, and that would not disappoint me greatly to find someone had beaten me. Good luck to them. Disappointment would be tiny and manageable.

Your advice to other geocachers is, of course, quite good, and I often am puzzled that not everyone can follow it. But you're talking to GS. They aren't deciding how to deal with their own disappointment. They are dealing with people that can't deal with it, and they've discovered through years of experience that many disappointed geocachers just become irate when GS says, "That's tough. Deal with it."

 

8 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

I insist that lonely days challenges are beneficial for the hobby (unlike many of the allowed challenges).

I wouldn't go so far as to say "beneficial", but I do agree it's a shame GS feels it has to take responsibility for how people react to them.

Share this post


Link to post

I can see the headaches in ruling when a cache is lonely.  The example Keystone gave is easy.  But what about the finders who don't log on online?  I was first to log on a cache 14 months after is was hidden, but found three signatures from the first month after hiding - none of which have logged it online (this was in 2006).  And what about muggle signatures?  They very seldom ever log online.  And group finds?  Who gets the 'prize'?  Yeah, too much to deal with.

 

In Oregon last year, I was lucky (wasn't looking for lonely caches) to find two lonely caches 69 months after the last finders.  When I saw the 2013 date in the logs, my jaw about hit the ground.

Share this post


Link to post

I enjoy finding lonely caches.  I guess because I enjoy hiking for caches.  I've found 134 that had not been found in over a year, and 5 that had not been found in over four years!  One of the local cachers calls me 'his lonely cache finder'.  I did tease a friend who had found a lonely cache I wanted to find.  Eventually, I will go for it.  Several of my caches go lonely frequently.

I did find one that had a log from a year and a half earlier, but no signature.  And with the hike involved, I doubted the log "I was out today running errands and trying to fill in another loop of my D/T grid."

I have found two Lonely Cache Challenges.  One only asked for two not found in over six months,and one not found in over a year.  I do not consider six months as lonely.  The other works by a score:  10 points - not found in 12 months.  15 points - not found in 24 months.  20 points - not found in 36 months.  200 points required to log the cache.  I got a laugh that the most recent finder listed one of my caches not found in four years!  The Challenge cache was a fair distance off, but I went for it.

I like lonely caches, and see no problem with the challenge.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post

I have done a challenge cache that was log caches that hadn't been found for six months or more. When you had 18260 days you could log the cache. I logged that cache ages ago. I have kept recording caches not found for six months or more and I'm up to 34779 days, just in case I come upon an old challenge cache that I fulfil. The number would be higher, but I haven't recorded every 'unloved' cache I have found.

This is my 'loneliest' cache on my list: GCRN95 1364 days. The next find after mine was over two years later.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
23 hours ago, Keystone said:

Imagine your disappointment if you visit a "lonely" cache and you see a signature in the logbook from a week earlier, from a traveler who hasn't gotten home yet to log their find.  When they do, you are no longer eligible for the lonely cache.

 

Sort of like going after a FTF only to find someone got there 10 minutes earlier?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post

I maintain several Lonely Cache bookmark lists for Florida. In the several years I've been doing that, there have been 2000-5000 lonely caches (at least 1 year / 365 days without a logged Find). There is community interest in seeking these, especially when people are made aware of them.

 

It's a very mixed bag: remote hides, limited access, missing caches (lots of DNFs), hard puzzles, long multis. But the majority are fairly normal Traditionals still in place, just a bit out of the way. Often more than one in the same general area.

 

Challenge Caches are what made me aware of the concept. Florida has I think 4 scattered around the state. But I understand Groundspeak's logic as to why they're no longer allowed.

 

Hunting them is often more rewarding than qualifying for a challenge cache or earning a souvenir. Focus on that.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post

I enjoy finding lonely caches, but generally it's not a "mission". That said, a few months ago I did spend one day looking for three lonely caches. I was successful in finding two. It was a great day as reflected in my log. Reading it now, I can feel my excitement.  As for a challenge, I can see both sides and would prefer to occasionally find them on my own without any hoopla.

 

92cacd5e-4ab7-4a37-9c13-7ca7e2794723.jpg
LizzyRN

Wow! Just wow! 6 years, 1 month and 7 days since it was last found. 

This was the primary goal for the day. Muggle friend Ashley (aka TheZod) accompanied me on my quest to find some lonely caches. She is very familiar with the trails here and we needed a hiking day together. After not finding the cache just up the road, despite bumps, bruises, scratches, etc, we headed to this cache. I read a few logs and we followed the GPSr. We turned the Terrain 2 into at least a 4 by approaching from the wrong side. Honestly, we followed the GPS. We bushwhacked our way to GZ and began searching. We figured we'd be battling six years of forest duff and moved more stuff than I care to recall. Circling, bending, reaching, stooping, double checking....we did it all. 

We were down on hands and knees, reaching in various orifices, poking around with my hiking pole and resorted to looking for other hosts. I sat down to ponder and decided to pull out my flashlight. I was down on my hands and knees shining that light around and BINGO!! I spotted the half buried ammo can. Ashley reached in and pulled it out. Now came the hard part....it was stuck shut. I pulled and pulled and wiggled it a bit. Eventually it gave way and opened, exposing its very dry contents. We High 5'd a few times, super excited that we found this one. 

We stamped and signed the log. I grabbed the 2000-2001 Washington state map as I'm a bit of a cartophile. It will go in my collection. I didn't add a pathtag here as I had left my backpack where we entered the thorny hell that ripped out a bunch of my hair, left scratches on my arms and collected some DNA from me. 

After enjoying the moment, we exited directly opposite our entrance point to save us from another attack of the thorns. 

All is all, we hiked 8.5 miles for three smilies. 

Thanks so much*********. Favorite point for this adventure and great cache. It was SO NICE to log this one. I'd venture to say this has been my best Geocaching accomplishment so far!

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post

Also consider the technicalities of calculating the souvenirs? Someone decides to screw others up by posting a fake find log voiding the lonely status. It gets found, but that user is now upset they didn't earn the souvenir. Maybe there's an appeal and the CO has to go check the log to verify the fake log is actually fake, appeals has to adjudicate, then maybe the fake log gets deleted. Now the souvenir has to be recalculated. 

Right now to my knowledge because souvenirs are personal achievement statistically generated on logging Finds, recalculation is done manually and users still have to hide their own souvenirs they 'mistakenly' earned. There are far too many hurdles to overcome, I'd think, in this type of souvenir. 

Project-GC can calculate your lonely statistics, and nothing is awarded, just statistical data to show off, which could potentially change from day to day, or whenever stats are generated. I think that's sufficient.

Having a Challenge Cache based on lonely find dates might be more feasible, but it'd be a much bigger burden on PGC than HQ, since they'd have to be comparatively analyzing logs on geocaches all the way back to May 2000 for the longest-active geocachers. And I'm not sure the API is set up for optimal data analysis of log histories. Ideally, one could request a summary list of Logs, types, posting dates and owners, and very easily determine 'lonely' gaps, but I'm pretty sure that query doesn't exist.

Share this post


Link to post

This is one example of highly beneficial challenges. There are several others. There are minor issues with late logs etc but that is not much of an issue. If your challenge was fulfilled when you log it, OK. You might get some log deleted by a CO since you made some mistake (like logging on a fake logbook put outside a gadget cache or logging a tree climbing cache because you saw it - very common), but who cares? Those problems apply to other challenges as well.

While these beneficial challenges are not allowed, there are plenty of harmful ones. Maybe "full calendar of X" are the worst. So you are trying to get a full calendar of mysterys? Now, I am close to a final of a solved mystery. Oh no, today is not an empty "mystery calendar date" so you don't log it. Or you are not sure, can't waste it in case you are wrong. (Wasn't challenges that make you cache less not allowed? But these are!)

Not to mention that this is a problem that hangs over you for several years!

Share this post


Link to post
11 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

 (like logging on a fake logbook put outside a gadget cache......)

 

People actually do that to get around having to actually open it just so they can get another little yellow smiley face? Shakes head in wonder.

Share this post


Link to post
16 hours ago, colleda said:

People actually do that to get around having to actually open it just so they can get another little yellow smiley face? Shakes head in wonder.

From what I've seen, it's people not realizing solving the gadget is required and thinking the cache is just missing a logbook.

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/27/2020 at 9:50 AM, Ragnemalm said:

 ... like logging on a fake logbook put outside a gadget cache

 

Maybe that's instead of completely dismantling  them, as some we've found.    :)    Why gadgets are the least favorite of those I'll find.

The last I was to but not "found",  people were saying in logs they had "knowledge of electricity, and had another tool" to work the 6v battery-supplied container. 

 - Turns out they were just using a screwdriver to remove a side panel ...  The "knowledge of electricity" all hogwash.

Share this post


Link to post
19 hours ago, colleda said:

People actually do that to get around having to actually open it just so they can get another little yellow smiley face? Shakes head in wonder.

That's when you use that wonderful little tool called the delete log button:).

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/4/2020 at 7:19 AM, Keystone said:

Imagine your disappointment if you visit a "lonely" cache and you see a signature in the logbook from a week earlier, from a traveler who hasn't gotten home yet to log their find.  When they do, you are no longer eligible for the lonely cache.

 

There is no guarantee that the cache is even existing. No problem.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/28/2020 at 9:10 PM, cerberus1 said:

 

Maybe that's instead of completely dismantling  them, as some we've found.    :)    Why gadgets are the least favorite of those I'll find.

The last I was to but not "found",  people were saying in logs they had "knowledge of electricity, and had another tool" to work the 6v battery-supplied container. 

 - Turns out they were just using a screwdriver to remove a side panel ...  The "knowledge of electricity" all hogwash.

 

True. Sometimes I feel that screwdrivers should be illegal when geocaching. I have had my share of that. One of my cache stages for a mega event was disassembled by someone with a screwdriver, more or less the first visitor! And by doing so, that visitor destroyed parts of the construction. I had to make a temporary reassembly for the rest of the evening with a few hundred more visits. And that is not the only one that has had that kind of treatment. One was clearly cut by violent treatment with pliers.

 

You have to expect everything.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/30/2020 at 9:11 AM, Ragnemalm said:

 

 One of my cache stages for a mega event was disassembled by someone with a screwdriver, more or less the first visitor! And by doing so, that visitor destroyed parts of the construction. I had to make a temporary reassembly for the rest of the evening with a few hundred more visits. 

 

 

That's awful. I'm curious if you mentioned it to the cacher or not. My inclination would be to mention it, just in case it was an innocent mistake, but to also let them know the consequences of their actions. 

  • Helpful 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/30/2020 at 12:11 PM, Ragnemalm said:

You have to expect everything.

 

Yep.

Veering OT, we're seeing COs showing for an OM, and find their "gadget" has been dismantled for some time, with little to no mention by finders.

 

But one nearby has the tree that held it secured finally downed by weather for three months. 

 - Apparently the CO didn't check for issues after my write note four months earlier.  I know the person, but guess I shoulda left an NM...

By the last Found It log, "Found this box... love the concept, but couldn't get it to work. Might have to try it again. I felt like I was missing some obvious "trick" to solve it. ", they're not maintaining logs either...

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/27/2020 at 9:50 AM, Ragnemalm said:

This is one example of highly beneficial challenges. There are several others.

 

I don't see "lonely challenges" as beneficial.  I generally own 20 to 100 lonely caches (one year plus). 

 

I'd like seekers to be after them because they like hiking caches away from highway noise, rather than because they "need" the find for some other cache.  

 

I see finds of my caches that reference jasmer or lonely needs - sometimes from seekers whose logs make obvious how unprepared for where the hunt took them. I've archived some of those because of those logs.  I think it would be more beneficial if caches appealed to seekers who would mostly understand what they were doing and not get lost, or too wet, or too scared, or "freaked out" by whatever they encountered. 

 

 

  • Upvote 2
  • Helpful 1
  • Love 2

Share this post


Link to post
7 minutes ago, Isonzo Karst said:

 

I don't see "lonely challenges" as beneficial.  I generally own 20 to 100 lonely caches (one year plus). 

 

I'd like seekers to be after them because they like hiking caches away from highway noise, rather than because they "need" the find for some other cache.  

 

I see finds of my caches that reference jasmer or lonely needs - sometimes from seekers whose logs make obvious how unprepared for where the hunt took them. I've archived some of those because of those logs.  I think it would be more beneficial if caches appealed to seekers who would mostly understand what they were doing and not get lost, or too wet, or too scared, or "freaked out" by whatever they encountered. 

 

 

 

That argument could be used against any challenge cache that encourages finds of less run-of-the-mill caches, such as my two (GC752YF and GC8DQXK). Yes, perhaps challenges like these might lead to some doing qualifying caches just to qualify for the challenge, but on the other hand there are others for whom the challenge has taken them out of their comfort zone and shown them new delights. This is from a recent log on one of my challenges:

 

Quote

We've had our eye on this cache for ages, initially we were a few short of qualifying, but that was soon remedied with some awesome walks. The qualifying caches for this challenge are generally the best ones around, and make for great days with family and friends too.

 

When I see a log like that I know I've struck pay-dirt with my challenge.

 

The same happened with a challenge I did in 2017. It required 24 finds with a D/T rating of 2/4 and at the time it was published I had just four. It took me a year to get that number up to 24 and that journey led me to some awesome caches and adventures I might otherwise never have come across. There were remote waterfalls to descend to, narrow spurs to traverse, caves to explore, islands to paddle to, one was even up the side of a mountain on Lord Howe Island 800km from home. That would have to be my most memorable year of caching just from working towards that one challenge.

 

Of course the remote cliff-top GZ for that challenge was right up there with all its qualifying hides, and that's probably the key ingredient. If the physical cache for a lonely-cache challenge is itself remote, hard to reach and most likely pretty lonely, only those who really get that type of hide will bother trying to qualify for it.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 3

×
×
  • Create New...