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Ragnemalm

Letterbox hybrids - real or just stat boosters?

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I just ran into objections in an FB thread on letterboxes. I claim that letterboxes are best (or only) made as projections, because that is the only way I can think of that makes it solvable both with and without GPS, that is solvable as cache as well as letterbox.

Yes, I know that letterbox hybrids can be made as any kind of cache, multi, trad, mystery, but I don't see why.

If it is a trad, then you probably need a GPS to pinpoint the location. Same with multi and typical mysteries. But if it a projection, then you start at a relatively obvious location, take a bearing with a compass and estimate number of steps - or you do it the geocaching way to calculate the exact position and use the GPS. Perfect!

If that is the case, then it is a true hybrid. If not, is it anything but an extra cache type to boost various stats in Project GC with a stamp in it with no purpose? And with the serious drawback that it is confusing to beginners and by being an "anything" type gives poor guidance to the rest of us?

How about stricter demands on these?

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38 minutes ago, Ragnemalm said:

How about stricter demands on these?

I'm all in favor of imposing much stricter guidelines on the "Letterbox Hybrid" cache type. As you said, nowadays it feels like the vast majority of LBHs are of this type just because of stats (or maybe to stand out on the map - I don't know). Not far from me, there used to be powertrails with hundreds of so-called LBHs, which were traditionals to all intents and purposes. I've been told by an early finder, that many of them didn't even have a stamp almost from the beginning.

I enjoy doing "real" LBHs, which have some (or even a lot of) GPS-less navigation in it. I'd be happy to see this as a general guideline, to be enforced by the reviewer. I.e., the CO has to explain to "letterbox style" aspect of their cache. But to be honest, I think that hell freezes over before this is gonna happen...

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Posted (edited)

You supplied the answer to most of your questions in the title.  It's a hybrid, not an actual letterbox.  Since it's a hybrid (and not a traditional letterbox), it can be whatever type of cache someone determines it to be, as long as it has a stamp in it and it uses a GPS for some portion of the cache.  It's combining two different facets to create a cache type.  No stamp in it (meaning one never in there) and it is relegated back to whatever type of cache it fits into.  No stamp in it (meaning one never in there) and no GPS use and it won't get published at all.

 

That being said, you'll find some on here prefer a more "traditional" version of a letterbox - one with projections or written instructions that more closely mirror what a letterbox does, again, along with some GPS usage necessary (the hybrid between a geocache and a letterbox).  Some prefer LBHs that contain a handmade stamp instead of a store bought one.  Some prefer the LBH at the posted coordinates (traditional).  Some prefer the multi version with a stamp at the end.  Some prefer not doing them at all.  Some prefer that the stamp and the cache be related, as it applies to the theme of the cache.  Some prefer just finding the cache and ignoring the stamp, and so on and so forth and in various combinations.

 

ANY cache can be a stat stuffer so I'm not sure why you're singling out LBHs for special consideration, other than they're a different type of cache.  There are certainly some cachers who find them to pad their stats.  That goes without saying.  However, that doesn't mean that EVERY cacher who finds a LBH does so to pad their stats in some manner. Is a multi anything but an extra cache type to boost various stats in Project GC, with an extra stop or two (or more) with no purpose other than a find in a different cache category?  Is a puzzle anything but an extra cache type to boost various stats in Project GC with something completely unrelated to geocaching needing to be solved and with no purpose other than a find in a different cache category?  If you look at all of the cache types (but traditional caches), then aren't they all just different versions of what a traditional cache is?  At some point, EVERY cache boils down to a cache found at a specific set of coordinates.  However, it's all the various ways that one gets there that creates some variety, which includes the LBH, which is the only cache type that adds a stamp as an extra thing to create a little more variety.  If every cache were a traditional, it's unlikely I'd still be caching.  I like the variety and am glad we have it.

 

As to "regulation", since it's a hybrid, as long as a stamp is included and there's some GPS use involved, there's not much more to regulate for reviewers.  While I enjoy some LBHs more than other kinds, I'm not in favor of limiting the options of hiders and finders.  Are you trying to say that you want your preferred version of a LBH to be the ONLY type of LBH allowed?

Edited by coachstahly
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We were surprised how so few knew how to project a waypoint anymore.  A basic in many caches years ago.    :)

Folks now used to direct route power trails/roadsides maybe...

My favorite LBHs are directions after reaching GZ, telling me where the "final" is by hints.

 

But this isn't a "replacement" for the other hobby, it's a combination of two hobbies.  That's what makes it a hybrid.

I don't think the cache type needs anything.   This site only requires a stamp...

Guess I don't understand why someone wants to throw more rules n regs at things for no real reason than something doesn't suit them.  

 

We've stamped and signed into a lot of letterboxes.  Seriously, someone thinks they hold something special ?

Many we've found in worse shape than the pics one shows here in the forums, when they rehash how most CO don't do maintenance... 

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4 hours ago, coachstahly said:

You supplied the answer to most of your questions in the title.  It's a hybrid, not an actual letterbox.

 

But then we have the word "hybrid". What is a hybrid of two kinds? One kind with a picture of the other slapped on the side? A boat-car hybrid, will it go on both land or water, or is it a car with a non-working life jacket in the trunk?

 

ANY cache can be a stat stuffer so I'm not sure why you're singling out LBHs for special consideration, other than they're a different type of cache.

 

All other cache types are cache types, they have some unique feature that affects how you log them. The type carries some information and demands it to follow the rules for that particular type. If a letterbox hybrid is not a letterbox at all, then it has no point. To me it means that it should be both.

 

If every cache were a traditional, it's unlikely I'd still be caching.  I like the variety and am glad we have it.

 

Varitey is good, but if letterboxes are just like the others, just poorly documented and confusing, where is the variety? If the logging of them actually gives a different experience than others, that's variety. An unused stamp in the corner of the box is not variety.

 

As to "regulation", since it's a hybrid, as long as a stamp is included and there's some GPS use involved, there's not much more to regulate for reviewers.

 

The reviewers don't know if there is a stamp in it, and nobody cares. It is just an unnecessary feature to ask about. Speaking of GPS use, a lot of caches can be found without GPS. In many cases, you just have to look on a map. A difference here is that a letterbox probably should demand that it should be possible - but not as convenient - to solve without!

 

While I enjoy some LBHs more than other kinds, I'm not in favor of limiting the options of hiders and finders.  Are you trying to say that you want your preferred version of a LBH to be the ONLY type of LBH allowed?

 

Limits the options? In what way are options limited by demanding that the type is an actual type and not just a copy of another? If you want to make a multi, make a multi! I am saying that there should be a point with the type. If it is a letterbox hybrid, that means to me that it can be logged as geocache or letterbox. And that limits how it can be done.

If someone can figure out another way to do that properly except projections, be my guest, but "letterbox hybrid" means to me geocache and letterbox, not a geocache with a meaningless extra.

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27 minutes ago, cerberus1 said:

My favorite LBHs are directions after reaching GZ, telling me where the "final" is by hints.

The LBH caches I've found have been like that. The GPS coordinates requirement for geocaches is fulfilled by getting you to the starting location (a specific place, not just a parking lot or trailhead). Then the letterbox-style clues have taken me to the final.

 

I've found areas away from home that have had dozens of "traditional with a stamp" style LBH caches. I haven't found any though. If I'm looking for LBH caches away from home, I'm not looking for a cache at the posted coordinates.

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I must add this: This is partially a reaction to the discussion on revisiting caches, that I wished that to be a log type. These two issues stand out clearly against each other.

 

Letterboxes, if they are merely copies of almost any kind of cache type, adds this to the hobby:

  • It gives you a cache type that lets you boost number of cache per day stats plus one more stat to collect for Project GC badges.
  • It confuses beginners.
  • It puts unnecessay stamps into the caches, which are just litter in the forest and extra costs.

Revisit logs gives

  • One more log type to collect for Project GC badges. This was stated as a problem in the other thread. (But it isn't for letterboxes?)
  • It gives the hobby more longevity without longer and longer car trips, making it more likely that people won't quit when caches in the area dries up.
  • It means more visits for the cache, making it abandoned for less time, making it less likey to be forgotten by the CO, and makes it more likely that a maintainance need is discovered early.
  • It is great for exercise because you can start taking a whole bunch of caches by foot or by bike.
  • It is often interesting to see how the cache changes in 2-3 years or more.
  • It may cause visits to archived caches, making it more likely that they are properly taken in since more people know that it is still there. (Better than just forgotten litter.)
  • If it was a premium log type, it may cause people to stay premium. Groundspeak may like that.

Some comparison. The main drawback with "revisit" and advantage with letterboxes is of course that letterboxes are implemented and revisits are not.

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13 minutes ago, niraD said:

The LBH caches I've found have been like that. The GPS coordinates requirement for geocaches is fulfilled by getting you to the starting location (a specific place, not just a parking lot or trailhead). Then the letterbox-style clues have taken me to the final.

 

So you mean that the idea is to make part of the search letterbox-style? I can understand that, but I never saw one like that.

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2 minutes ago, Ragnemalm said:

 

So you mean that the idea is to make part of the search letterbox-style? I can understand that, but I never saw one like that.

I have seen this type. I've never seen a letterbox hybrid that uses projection. Not that I recall.

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21 minutes ago, Ragnemalm said:

So you mean that the idea is to make part of the search letterbox-style? I can understand that, but I never saw one like that.

It seems to vary regionally. Around here, the few LBH caches are the kind I described, using GPS coordinates to get you to a specific start location, and then using letterbox-style clues to get you to the final. (I've also seen mystery/puzzle caches like that, which couldn't be LBH caches because they didn't contain a stamp.)

 

But as I said, I've also seen areas where all the LBH caches are "traditional with a stamp" caches. Someone from those areas would think that all LBH caches are like that.

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At the risk of veering off topic...

 

31 minutes ago, Ragnemalm said:

Revisit logs gives

  • One more log type to collect for Project GC badges. This was stated as a problem in the other thread. (But it isn't for letterboxes?)
  • It gives the hobby more longevity without longer and longer car trips, making it more likely that people won't quit when caches in the area dries up.
  • It means more visits for the cache, making it abandoned for less time, making it less likey to be forgotten by the CO, and makes it more likely that a maintainance need is discovered early.
  • It is great for exercise because you can start taking a whole bunch of caches by foot or by bike.
  • It is often interesting to see how the cache changes in 2-3 years or more.
  • It may cause visits to archived caches, making it more likely that they are properly taken in since more people know that it is still there. (Better than just forgotten litter.)
  • If it was a premium log type, it may cause people to stay premium. Groundspeak may like that.

 

Except for the badges (meh) and the premium log type (a bad idea, IMHO), you can already get all of these benefits by simply revisiting caches and using the existing Write Note functionality.

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1 hour ago, niraD said:

The LBH caches I've found have been like that. The GPS coordinates requirement for geocaches is fulfilled by getting you to the starting location (a specific place, not just a parking lot or trailhead). Then the letterbox-style clues have taken me to the final.

59 minutes ago, Ragnemalm said:

So you mean that the idea is to make part of the search letterbox-style? I can understand that, but I never saw one like that.

 

So far, all but one of our few Letterbox Hybrids done have been that way.   

The one that had folks projecting waypoints to the final didn't fare so well, with me being one of the few to log it without help through PAFs.

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1 hour ago, Ragnemalm said:

I must add this: This is partially a reaction to the discussion on revisiting caches, that I wished that to be a log type.

 

Isn't this off-topic to your own thread ?   You know the replies from your other thread, why rehash it again here ?

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1 hour ago, Ragnemalm said:

Letterboxes, if they are merely copies of almost any kind of cache type, adds this to the hobby:

  • It gives you a cache type that lets you boost number of cache per day stats plus one more stat to collect for Project GC badges.
  • It confuses beginners.
  • It puts unnecessay stamps into the caches, which are just litter in the forest and extra costs.

 

Assuming you're speaking of Letterbox Hybrids, and not another hobby that'd be off-topic here...

 

IIRC, I've never been a member of "project GC".  I had a "states found" map on our profile once. 

After the first site update, it was removed for good.

I know sorta how it works, and realize it helps sometimes with searches, but stats not my thing.  

            May be odd to some, but when we were new members, we "introduced" things that long-time members weren't aware of.

 - Telling our first TO at our first event "no, I don't need to sign that log" was a fun example.    ;)

We still have long-time members swapping swag for trackables, so the only confusion comes from people who won't read.

              Being a Letterbox Hybrid makes it necessary.   The only thing needed is the stamp.... and a log.

We CITO every day out.  Wanna see litter, follow folks on a lengthy power trail sometime...   

Odd we never hear that the other hobby has issues with stamps regarded as litter, isn't it ?  :)

 

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Posted (edited)

Any time I suggest that LBHs be grandfathered, people get up in arms.

 

The LBHs fall under the mystery/puzzle category, since an offset cache without a stamp falls under the mystery/puzzle category.

 

People get upset about losing the icon, not because they love letterboxes. No one seems to care about the stamp part of letterboxing. In the official Letterboxing world, the unique handcrafted or commissioned stamp is an important part of the hobby, it proves you visited the location and collected an image of the unique stamp.

 

dartmoor.gif&f=1&nofb=1

 

 

IMG_3813.JPG?itok=tIWG16yP

 

People want the LBH icon. It's definitely about stats/grid-filling/challenges. We don't care about the stamp, but that's the unique definition of the LBH on the geocaching site. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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From the help center

 

2.4. Letterbox Hybrids

index.php?pg=file&from=2&id=1415

Tribute to letterboxing

Letterbox Hybrids are based on an older kind of container search, called letterboxing. Because letterboxing began in 1854, before GPS existed, the finder follows written instructions to discover the container.

Each letterbox contains a logbook, and a rubber stamp. When letterboxers find the container, they stamp the logbook with their personal stamp, and also stamp their own notebook with the stamp from the letterbox as a souvenir of their visit. The stamp and logbook remain in the letterbox for the next visitor to use.

Letterbox Hybrids - a geocache type

The geocaching version, Letterbox Hybrids, combines the use of GPS, and the stamps of letterboxing. As with all geocaches, this cache type must include GPS usage. In addition, the cache description can contain written instructions to guide geocachers to the container.

A Letterbox Hybrid container must contain:

  • A rubber stamp
  • A logbook

Tip: It is good practice to remind other cachers on the cache page, that the rubber stamp is not a trade item but intended to stay within the cache. Cache owners must replace the stamp if it goes missing.

Letterbox Hybrids and their underlying cache type

When you add a stamp to your cache, the cache type changes to Letterbox Hybrid but the guidelines for the underlying cache type still apply. The only exceptions are Wherigo Cacheschallenge caches, and bonus caches.

Traditional + Stamp = Letterbox Hybrid

Multi Cache + Stamp = Letterbox Hybrid

Mystery Cache + Stamp = Letterbox Hybrid

Wherigo Cache + Stamp = Wherigo Cache

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10 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

 

People want the LBH icon. It's definitely about stats/grid-filling/challenges. They don't care about the stamp and that's the unique definition of the LBH on the geocaching site. 

That's a pretty broad brush you're painting with - and very untrue, lots of people have mentioned (in other LBH threads) that they collect stamps (images).  I like LBH's because of the stamp - I have my stamp book with me in my Geokit - but I don't Letterbox as a separate activity (I will stamp and collect the stamp when I run across one).

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3 minutes ago, The Jester said:
17 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

People want the LBH icon. It's definitely about stats/grid-filling/challenges. They don't care about the stamp and that's the unique definition of the LBH on the geocaching site. 

That's a pretty broad brush you're painting with - and very untrue, lots of people have mentioned (in other LBH threads) that they collect stamps (images).  I like LBH's because of the stamp - I have my stamp book with me in my Geokit - but I don't Letterbox as a separate activity (I will stamp and collect the stamp when I run across one).

I don't collect LB or LBH stamps, but I have left a stamp of sorts in the LBH caches I've found. But I enjoy LBH caches because I enjoy the letterbox-style clues. I don't bother with "traditional with a stamp" LBH caches.

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3 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

People get upset about losing the icon, not because they love letterboxes.

No one seems to care about the stamp part of letterboxing.

In the official Letterboxing world, the unique handcrafted or commissioned stamp is an important part of the hobby, it proves you visited the location and collected an image of the unique stamp.

 

People want the LBH icon. It's definitely about stats/grid-filling/challenges.

They don't care about the stamp and that's the unique definition of the LBH on the geocaching site. 

 

I believe it's an exaggeration to say "people", when you don't really know how most feel...  

             Again, comparing this site's version to the "other" hobby not helpful either...

 

We had two sets of custom stamps made, because the originals wouldn't fit in the little notepads that COs put in their caches.    

When I know that I'm heading to a Letterbox Hybrid, I take my hardcover book with me.   We keep all stamp prints in it.   :)

There's a few we know who don't care about stats.   I'm one too.  Everyone isn't terrible...

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I’ll admit to going for LBHs in good part for the variety of the icon, and that I’ve placed a couple for a similar reason - one was essentially a Multi; the other, a Mystery (puzzle).  I do like variety. 🙂

 

The LBHs I’ve seen have all been simply Trads, Multis or Mysteries plus a stamp.  I don’t think I’ve come across any that give directional clues - I guess it’s a regional thing.


It seems to me, if the only thing that distinguishes a LBH from the underlying cache type is the stamp, then a ‘Stamp’ attribute would do the job equally as well.

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1 minute ago, IceColdUK said:


It seems to me, if the only thing that distinguishes a LBH from the underlying cache type is the stamp, then a ‘Stamp’ attribute would do the job equally as well.

A bit off topic, but I don't believe an attribute will ever do the job of a cache icon "as well".  Attributes do not show on maps...

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, The Jester said:

I will stamp and collect the stamp when I run across one

 

What are the stamps like in your area? Are they unique, or are they craft store (or dollar store) type stamps that don't match the theme of the letterbox? Generally, in my area they are any old commercial stamp found at the dollar store or in Michael's $1 bin or from the kids' toybox. Here's an example, the theme of the cache had nothing to do with spiderman:

 

 

863779589_2019-08-2916_14_00-Photo-Googl

 

Edited by L0ne.R
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Just now, L0ne.R said:

 

What are the stamps like in your area. Are they unique, or are they craft store (or dollar store) type stamps that don't match the theme of the letterbox. Generally, in my area they are any old commercial stamp found at the dollar store or in Michael's $1 bin or from the kids' toybox. Here's an example, the theme of the cache had nothing to do with spiderman:

 

Most are store bought, but that doesn't bother me.  Like I said I'm not a "Letterboxer" so I don't care about hand crafted stamps.  BTW, many of the letterboxes I've found (mostly from mention on a cache page one is next to/near by) don't have theme'd stamps or hand crafted, so I don't see that as a really valid point.

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14 minutes ago, niraD said:

I enjoy LBH caches because I enjoy the letterbox-style clues

 

 

Would you still enjoy the cache if it were listed as a "?" and had clues?

 

Example. 

 

From ground zero, walk 75 steps to a large beech tree where you will see a small trail. Walk another 75 steps down the trail to a boulder. The cache is behind the boulder under some leaves. 

 

How does the LBH icon make the mystery cache a better cache?

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6 minutes ago, The Jester said:

A bit off topic, but I don't believe an attribute will ever do the job of a cache icon "as well".  Attributes do not show on maps...

 

 

But attributes are filterable. 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, The Jester said:

A bit off topic, but I don't believe an attribute will ever do the job of a cache icon "as well".  Attributes do not show on maps...

 

Also Mystery caches show up on the map. A mystery cache with a stamp shows up on the map as a Mystery cache. You can then filter for stamps using the filter options. 

Edited by L0ne.R
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1 minute ago, L0ne.R said:

What are the stamps like in your area. Are they unique, or are they craft store (or dollar store) type stamps that don't match the theme of the letterbox. Generally, in my area they are any old commercial stamp found at the dollar store or in Michael's $1 bin or from the kids' toybox. Here's an example, the theme of the cache had nothing to do with spiderman:

 

863779589_2019-08-2916_14_00-Photo-Googl

 

 

Curious, why does that even matter ?     This is simply a fun, different cache type.

This isn't another hobby you're comparing  this site's cache type to.

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1 minute ago, The Jester said:

A bit off topic, but I don't believe an attribute will ever do the job of a cache icon "as well".  Attributes do not show on maps...


On another thread I’m currently arguing in favour of adding an icon type for challenges, specifically because I feel they are different enough from other mysteries to need distinguishing on the map.

 

Here, I think the separate icon actually confuses the map.  Is the LBH at the posted coords?  More like a multi?  Or a puzzle I need to solve before heading out?  The underlying cache type would make the map easier to read.

 

And if you were particularly interested in stamps, a filter would allow you to find caches regardless of type.

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39 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:
55 minutes ago, niraD said:

I enjoy LBH caches because I enjoy the letterbox-style clues

Would you still enjoy the cache if it were listed as a "?" and had clues?

Yes. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I've found a mystery/puzzle cache that had letterbox-style clues, but no stamp.

 

To me, its appeal is similar to the appeal of the night caches I've found: it's a mini-adventure of sorts. The LBH type helps me find these mini-adventures, except in areas where the LBH type is used for "traditional with a stamp" caches. So I still need to work a bit to find them, just like night caches (which do not have their own type, but do have an assortment of attributes that may or may not be used by any given CO).

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3 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Also Mystery caches show up on the map. A mystery cache with a stamp shows up on the map as a Mystery cache. You can then filter for stamps using the filter options. 

Of course, but that still doesn't show on the map so I can see all caches around there.  All you can see is the subset you filtered to.  Not the same functionality as a cache icon.

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5 minutes ago, The Jester said:

Of course, but that still doesn't show on the map so I can see all caches around there.  All you can see is the subset you filtered to.  Not the same functionality as a cache icon.

 

True, not the same funtionality. On that reasoning, perhaps we need cache type icons for night caches,  UV caches, CHIRP caches, tree-climbing, so people who like these types of caches can find them on the map at a glance. 

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5 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

Any time I suggest that LBHs be grandfathered, people get up in arms.

 

You never know.  GS archived Locationless caches.  But cachers wanted the icon.  So GS created a Waymark, and called it a Locationless, though it violates all guidelines for Locationless caches.

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Most of the LBHs I've done (a grand total of 4) have been a traditional with an actual letterbox as the container and a stamp inside. The most recent one, though, was a bit of everything, starting with a solve-at-home puzzle which led to a gadget field puzzle device that, when satisfied, displayed the letterbox-style instructions on its little LCD display. I tried my best to write them down as they came out but managed to muddle them up and had to contact the CO for help. Part of the problem was I'd solved the initial puzzle at home back around Christmas time and had completely forgotten it was an LBH. When I finally found the cache, yes it had a letterbox as the container and then it all twigged.

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5 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

True, not the same funtionality. On that reasoning, perhaps we need cache type icons for night caches,  UV caches, CHIRP caches, tree-climbing, so people who like these types of caches can find them on the map at a glance. 

Not at all the topic, the premise was that an attribute could do the same job as an icon.  But for fun, let's take your reasoning to the end:  perhaps we don't need any type of cache icons, just use the one and everything else is attributes (although we might need a few dozen more).  Then you can sort on whatever type(s) of cache you are interested in.

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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

Letterboxes, if they are merely copies of almost any kind of cache type, adds this to the hobby:

  • It gives you a cache type that lets you boost number of cache per day stats plus one more stat to collect for Project GC badges.
  • It confuses beginners.
  • It puts unnecessay stamps into the caches, which are just litter in the forest and extra costs.

 

 

ANY cache gives you a cache type that lets you boost number of cache per day stats plus one more stat to collect for Project-GC badges. If you choose to use the badges, they track EVERYTHING.  A webcam is one more stat, a multi is one more stat, a virtual is one more stat, a ? is one more stat, an EC is one more stat, an APE cache is one more stat, a lost-n-found is one more stat, an event is one more stat, a mega-event is one more stat, a CITO is one more stat, a giga-event is one more stat, a traditional is one more stat, a lab cache is one more stat, a GS HQ is one more stat, a community celebration is one more stat, a geocaching HQ celebration is one more stat, a geocaching HQ block party is one more stat, and a traditional is one more stat.  Did I miss any?  Locationless?

 

Multis and puzzles and challenges and Wherigos confuse beginners.  You have no idea how many times I've had new cachers find the first stage of any of my multis and think they've made a find.  I just had to send out an email to a new cacher about their lack of a signature on one of my Wherigos.  I had new cachers log a find on a challenge they didn't qualify for.  It doesn't matter when you're a beginner because beginners are confused about everything, including a traditional cache, which I've had a beginner take, thinking they believed it was for them to keep.

 

A stamp is necessary for a LBH.  If you're saying a stamp is just litter in the forest and extra costs, then the same applies to swag that's not LBH related in all other caches that have swag in them.  Are you really willing to apply this standard to EVERY cache that has swag?

 

16 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

No one seems to care about the stamp part of letterboxing.

 

I'm not no one.  I have just started a second book of stamps I've collected over the years from the LBHs I've done (of all types).  Again with these generalizations.  I will agree that most do not care about the stamp part but not "no one".  Those of us who do collect them are certainly in the minority but that doesn't mean we aren't out here.  I even carry my own ink pad with me because I know many COs don't provide one, it's dried out, or it's gone.

 

16 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

since an offset cache without a stamp falls under the mystery/puzzle category.

 

It can fall under the multi category as well, as I have found multis done this way as well.

 

16 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

People get upset about losing the icon, not because they love letterboxes

 

SOME people.  Again with the generalizations.  Just because you believe that doesn't mean that everyone does.  Some absolutely would get upset but that applies to ANY cache type out there, not just LBHs.

 

16 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

People want the LBH icon. It's definitely about stats/grid-filling/challenges.

 

Again a generalization that appears to apply to every single cacher out there.  Just because you've encountered cachers who cache this way, you assume that EVERY cacher caches this way.  NOT TRUE!  I could care less about filling my stats with icons or a certain number of icons.  I'll sometimes do some particular caches because they're part of a challenge that I'm interested in completing, not because I'm working on lots of challenges, but because I selected a particular challenge because it appeals to me, as do the caches that happen to be part of that challenge.  I select caches based on my personal preferences, not as part of some stat, some grid-filling purpose, or a multitude of challenges.

 

15 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

What are the stamps like in your area? Are they unique, or are they craft store (or dollar store) type stamps that don't match the theme of the letterbox?

 

Both.  While most are the store bought versions, some are unique hand carved stamps.  Some don't have anything to do with the theme of the LBH while others are centered around the stamp as the theme.

 

15 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

How does the LBH icon make the mystery cache a better cache?

 

It doesn't make it better but it offers up some variety with a slightly different "reward" at the end that other caches don't offer.  If you're going down this road, how does swag make any cache better?  You seem to want to remove a feature that a minority (yes, a minority) of us like (the stamps and the ability to collect them) so why not remove swag as well?  I don't participate in the swag portion of caching.  Therefore people don't want swag so it should be grandfathered and no more swag allowed.  The same point can be made for those people who don't do multis (or any other cache type).  I don't like (insert cache type), which means that people don't like (insert cache type), so they should be grandfathered and no more new ones allowed to be published.  This is the how you've applied the point you are trying to make.

 

15 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

You can then filter for stamps using the filter options.

 

ONLY if the attribute gets added.  When was the last time we have had a new attribute added?  This is wishful thinking.  I would assume/hope that challenge caches and power trails are addressed before stamps are addressed.

 

18 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

So you mean that the idea is to make part of the search letterbox-style? I can understand that, but I never saw one like that.

 

That's all I hide.  I've found all types of LBHs, including the ones that are set up more like a traditional letterbox.  While they're in the minority, they're certainly out there.

https://coord.info/GC88865

https://coord.info/GC84QBN

https://coord.info/GC7P3XY

https://coord.info/GC6T3FY

https://coord.info/GC6HGP1

https://coord.info/GC40P7D

Even the ones I adopted follow that premise.

https://coord.info/GC3Y1BV

https://coord.info/GC3R00M

Edited by coachstahly
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19 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:

If someone can figure out another way to do that properly except projections, be my guest, but "letterbox hybrid" means to me geocache and letterbox, not a geocache with a meaningless extra.

 

See my caches above.  It's really not that hard.  Just make sure your reviewer is on board with the manner in which your required GPS usage is incorporated into the cache.

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2 hours ago, coachstahly said:

While most are the store bought versions, some are unique hand carved stamps.  

Some don't have anything to do with the theme of the LBH while others are centered around the stamp as the theme.

 

We find the same with actual letterboxes.    :)

This is why generalizations, and fond, almost romantic images of what isn't there is an issue for me. 

 

As one who's spent a lot of time in the woods, I've found dozens of letterboxes.  I've found more hunting than caching.

The other 2/3rds has found some solo caching too.

In this hobby, most letterboxes are feet away from caches.  I don't believe the COs even knew until they found out in a log.

I've only seen a couple obviously "hand carved" stamps in letterboxes.  Most are formed rubber custom stamps just like we have.

Most "themes" seemed to be the owner of the letterbox, just like ours for stamping in other's.

I never kept track (no reason to...), but IIRC, only a handful even had a hardcover book for stamping.

Add in the ones from "long inactive owners" ( a favorite gripe from one here...), and there's just as many moldy pieces-of-carp in that hobby too...

 

 

 

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Letter Box Hybrid cache type is not all that common in my home area - though there are a couple local cachers who like to place them.  I've found a grand total of 7 (0.37% of my finds) and all have been some variation of what I understand to be a true Letterbox hide.  The starting coordinates are arrived at using GPS - from there you follow a set of instructions based on landmarks (walk 20 feet to the lone pine tree, go east 50 ft to the Stop sign, etc....) and then find a container with a book and a stamp.

 

We (hubby and I) don't have a book to collect stamps, but we do have a "signature" stamp we carry in our geo-bag to stamp those few books we come across.  Stat booster?  Hardly - it's just another type and fun to find when we do come across it.  

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20 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

No one seems to care about the stamp part of letterboxing. In the official Letterboxing world, the unique handcrafted or commissioned stamp is an important part of the hobby, it proves you visited the location and collected an image of the unique stamp.

I have a stamp book to collect letterbox and letterbox hybrid stamps.

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Letterboxes precede geocaching by nearly 150 years and rely on many of the same principles (hide box in woods, find box in woods).  When geocaching was young, there were more letterboxers than geocachers.  So the letterbox hybrid type was created to pull letterboxers to the game.

 

The approach on letterbox hybrid geocaches can vary from place to place, and from cacher to cacher.

 

At the end of the day, what makes it a letterbox hybrid is that there's a stamp in it, and that's it.    Some are hidden at the published coordinates.  Some use projection.  And some are just plain awesome, like the last one I found. (I can't give it away, but if you're an 80s pop fan, I highly recommend it.)

 

I don't see letterboxes being grandfathered any time soon.  So it may come down to the time honored forum response: if'n you don't like 'em, you don't have to hunt 'em.  

 

23 hours ago, Ragnemalm said:
  • It puts unnecessay stamps into the caches, which are just litter in the forest and extra costs.

 

Unless the local tradition in Sweden is to remove the stamp from letterbox caches and throw it into the forest, this comment makes no sense.

 

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On 6/22/2020 at 3:40 PM, IceColdUK said:

Here, I think the separate icon actually confuses the map.  Is the LBH at the posted coords?  More like a multi?  Or a puzzle I need to solve before heading out?  The underlying cache type would make the map easier to read.

 

And if you were particularly interested in stamps, a filter would allow you to find caches regardless of type.

 

Maybe I'm not getting it, but as in most caches short of low D/T traditionals, the fact that it is a LBH should say to read the description.

To me, by adding an "underlying cache type" just further dumbs-down a hobby that used to require you to read the cache page to get a rough idea what you're in for.

What's next ?  A which cipher-needed attribute for puzzles, when all know you need to read the page to gain information ?

There's enough hand-holding these days.  Do we really need to include this simple hobby too ?

 

You've found stamps in other caches that are used the same, but not a LBH ?  Thanks.   :)

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There are definitely a fair number of people who actually use a stamp on LBH caches. I see them in the LBH logbooks (the paper one, not the online one).

 

For me, I don't care about the stamp, but that a LBH must be large enough container to hold a stamp. I have seen a few little self-inking stamps, but generally LBHs are more reliable than Traditionals in a Small being a Small and a Regular being a Regular.

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First off, I'd be a little disappointed to see LBHs go - and I think it's very unlikely to happen - but that doesn't stop me playing a game of 'what if?'

 

23 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

Maybe I'm not getting it, but as in most caches short of low D/T traditionals, the fact that it is a LBH should say to read the description.

 

In the case of a Trad with a stamp, regardless of D/T, what information is there to read, beyond what would be there for the Trad without a stamp?  (Apart from "please don't take the stamp", of course!)

 

23 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

To me, by adding an "underlying cache type" just further dumbs-down a hobby that used to require you to read the cache page to get a rough idea what you're in for.

 

I don't see rearranging existing data to make it more logical as dumbing-down.  (And don't get me wrong, I think you should always read the cache page, and I wish this was the first thing you saw in the app.)

 

23 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

What's next ?  A which cipher-needed attribute for puzzles, when all know you need to read the page to gain information ?

 

No thanks!

 

23 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

There's enough hand-holding these days.  Do we really need to include this simple hobby too ?

 

I'm not sure what you count as hand-holding, but I don't think the app goes nearly far enough to explain the game to new players.  If that's hand-holding, then I think we could do with some more.

 

22 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

You've found stamps in other caches that are used the same, but not a LBH ?  Thanks.   :)

 

Hope I've got the question right...  I'm fairly sure that I've only found stamps in LBHs.  I wonder, though, are there any Wherigos out there with a stamp in them?  Or better still a Challenge (Mystery) to find LBHs that comes with its own stamp?

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On 6/22/2020 at 3:40 PM, IceColdUK said:


Here, I think the separate icon actually confuses the map.  Is the LBH at the posted coords?  More like a multi?  Or a puzzle I need to solve before heading out?  The underlying cache type would make the map easier to read.

 

And if you were particularly interested in stamps, a filter would allow you to find caches regardless of type.

 

Really good points.

 

Traditional + Stamp = Letterbox Hybrid

Multi Cache + Stamp = Letterbox Hybrid

Mystery Cache + Stamp = Letterbox Hybrid

 

The current LBH cache type icon tells us nothing about the actual cache type.

 

-----

Edited by L0ne.R
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2 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

Really good points.

 

Traditional + Stamp = Letterbox Hybrid

Multi Cache + Stamp = Letterbox Hybrid

Mystery Cache + Stamp = Letterbox Hybrid

 

The current LBH cache type icon tells us nothing about the actual cache type.

 

-----

Using the same thought - let's drop the Mystery icon.  The Mystery cache type icon tells us nothing about the actual cache type.  I have Mysteries that take you to the cache (trad type) and Mysteries that are multi-stage (multi type).  We already have a Field Puzzle attribute, let's add a Home/Computer Puzzle attribute and use the base type icon for each cache.

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8 minutes ago, The Jester said:

Using the same thought - let's drop the Mystery icon.  The Mystery cache type icon tells us nothing about the actual cache type.  I have Mysteries that take you to the cache (trad type) and Mysteries that are multi-stage (multi type).  We already have a Field Puzzle attribute, let's add a Home/Computer Puzzle attribute and use the base type icon for each cache.

 

It does tell us one thing.... read the description. The final is not at the posted coordinates. 

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2 hours ago, The Jester said:

Using the same thought - let's drop the Mystery icon.  The Mystery cache type icon tells us nothing about the actual cache type.  I have Mysteries that take you to the cache (trad type) and Mysteries that are multi-stage (multi type).  We already have a Field Puzzle attribute, let's add a Home/Computer Puzzle attribute and use the base type icon for each cache.


I still think there’s a useful distinction:

- Caches that are placed at the posted coords.

- Caches that are not placed at the posted coords, but everything you need is either on the cache page or on site.

- Anything else.

 

For the first two, you should just be able to turn up ... assuming you have any necessary equipment.  [Edit: That’s not to say you don’t need to read the cache page ahead of time!]

 

For the third, some preparation (e.g. puzzle solving) will probably be required ahead of a visit.

Edited by IceColdUK
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2 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

 

It does tell us one thing.... read the description. The final is not at the posted coordinates. 

The same thing is true with the LBH - read the description.  The final may or may not be at the posted coordinates.

 

BTW, Mystery caches can be at the posted coordinates.

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20 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

In the case of a Trad with a stamp, regardless of D/T, what information is there to read, beyond what would be there for the Trad without a stamp?  (Apart from "please don't take the stamp", of course!)

 

You'd have to go to the cache page to see what type of LBH it is.  You'd have to read that little bit anyway.  If the CO wanted to, they could make you read the entire page by putting that nugget of information at the end of the description.

 

20 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

Or better still a Challenge (Mystery) to find LBHs that comes with its own stamp?

 

It's a challenge, has directions like a LBH, with a stamp inside (the number 100).

 

https://coord.info/GC5C9GM

 

15 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

It does tell us one thing.... read the description. The final is not at the posted coordinates. 

 

Using this logic, the point you make earlier doesn't make sense then.

18 hours ago, L0ne.R said:

The current LBH cache type icon tells us nothing about the actual cache type.

 

If you feel that a "?" is good enough to have its own separate icon but you still have to read the cache page to decide which type of "?" it is, then it shouldn't really matter what other things you choose to identify LBHs as, since you would need to read the description to begin with.  You want to "identify" the underlying cache type for each LBH without needing to go to the cache page but then tell cachers that the "?" type still requires you to go to the cache page and read the description to find out what type of "?" it is.  That's not any different than it currently stands.  The only type of LBH that this would effectively identify (without needing to go to the cache page to understand what else is needed to find the LBH) is the ones that are at the posted coordinates.  You'd still need to go to the multi type LBH cache page to find out how many stages and you'd still need to go to the "?" LBH cache page to find out what to do.  I don't know if "solving" 1/3 of the problem and leaving 2/3 of the problem unsolved is any better.

 

15 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

I still think there’s a useful distinction:

- Caches that are placed at the posted coords.

- Caches that are not placed at the posted coords, but everything you need is either on the cache page or on site.

- Anything else.

 

The only real distinction for some cachers that this would benefit is the ones that desire a find in as little time as possible.  If they know they have to follow some instructions that might take more time, then they're going to be more likely to skip that LBH in favor of one that's at the posted coordinates.  Seems to me that this notion panders to cachers who are in it just for the numbers and are stat collecting.  It also would appear to support the premise of the OP that in many cases, LBHs are just hidden for stat stuffers to collect and add to their icon.  If you single out this type of LBH, then there is no need for cachers to go to the cache page to read the description and this type just becomes another P&G and the stamp rarely matters.  Whereas, if you choose not to single it out like this, it then requires the seeker to go to the cache page to find out what type of LBH it is.  Even if it is at the posted coordinates, it reinforces the concept of going to the cache page to read the description, which I believe should be one of the first things newer cachers should be encouraged to do.

 

Just like the "?" category, which is a catch-all for caches that don't fall into a designated category, the inclusion of a stamp creates a catch-all as well since you don't know what type of underlying cache it is until you read the description.  While I certainly prefer LBHs that are traditionally set up like a real letterbox, that doesn't mean that I want to single out, "regulate", or get rid of LBHs at the posted coordinates.  

 

How many sub-categories do we really need?  If it has a stamp, then it's a LBH.  It should be left to the seeker to read the description before venturing out and then realizing that it's a longer hike/walk than they anticipated, they don't understand bearings, they didn't solve the puzzle beforehand, they don't have a phone that can readily access the cache page to read the instructions, or any other thing that the LBH entails.  Are you telling me that a newer cacher going after a traditional cache shouldn't read the cache page every time?  All it takes is one time when they realize, once at GZ, they need to hike 3 miles, bushwhack through the forest 3/4 of a mile, climb a tree, ascend 700 feet in a short distance, wade in a creek, or do something different than a P&G traditional cache typically requires.  I'd rather newer cachers learn to read the cache page EVERY time rather than learn that lesson when out caching.  It's a good habit to develop and the underlying point of the LBH icon is something that can help them understand that, even if it is to go to the cache page and read that the LBH is at the posted coordinates.

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Most letterbox caches I have done, are traditionals. Most have a commercial stamp; nothing special. Not all have a log book with enough room to stamp. Think, narrow logs that go in micro caches. I don't mind if they are traditional caches, as long as the cache itself is special, such as a real letterbox with a log big enough to stamp. I have seen several traditional style letterbox caches that have wonderful homemade caches. Unfortunately, most I have done are no different to any other traditional cache, except there is a commercial stamp in it.

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