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G0ldNugget

Why all the complaining about AL's?

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Whats all this hate toward Adventure Labs? Its a different way to play the game, thats all. Don't download the app or search for them if they offend your sensibilities. Personally, I prefer country caching, spending a day exploring an area I've never been before, collecting maybe a dozen smilies for a satisfying day. Others could earn many times that many finds by spending the day doing a power trail or some geoart. Do we call for a ban on power trails because they are "too easy"? Should I rage that I have to see them on my map although I will probably never tackle one?

 

At least Adventure labs require effort. A mile or two walk, perhaps a long drive down a country road. How is this less worthy than a pill bottle every 600 feet? I've just published my first AL and I'm quite proud of it. I even included a bonus cache as a reward for finishing the whole thing. It lets local cachers know there is a new AL around and has brought new players into the game. If ALs are beneath your geocaching standards then don't do them. It really is that simple.

Edited by G0ldNugget
typo
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1 minute ago, G0ldNugget said:

Its a different way to play the game,

It's not a different way, in my opinion. It's like a different game. 

2 minutes ago, G0ldNugget said:

At least Adventure labs require effort.

We must have a very different definition of requiring effort. 

 

3 minutes ago, G0ldNugget said:

Personally, I prefer country caching,

Which you can't do with Adventure Labs with no cell service.

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2 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:
5 minutes ago, G0ldNugget said:

Personally, I prefer country caching,

Which you can't do with Adventure Labs with no cell service.

 

Lack of cell service is definitely a problem with rural caching, especially with AL's. Creating a good adventure requires more work than a generic city walking tour, and not all great locations will work, but country ALs are certainly doable: https://labs.geocaching.com/goto/cherokee

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37 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:
40 minutes ago, G0ldNugget said:

At least Adventure labs require effort.

We must have a very different definition of requiring effort. 

 

My Wreck of the Maitland AL is a 5km loop hike with 160 metres of elevation change between the starting point and the relics of the wreck at sea level. If it was a normal cache it'd be terrain 4. Lake Macquarie Highlights took me a whole day to complete, with 75km of driving (plus another 5 for the bonus) and a fair bit of climbing and rock-scrambling at some of the locations. So they're not all just a stroll along a few city blocks.

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5 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

My Wreck of the Maitland AL is a 5km loop hike with 160 metres of elevation change between the starting point and the relics of the wreck at sea level. If it was a normal cache it'd be terrain 4. Lake Macquarie Highlights took me a whole day to complete, with 75km of driving (plus another 5 for the bonus) and a fair bit of climbing and rock-scrambling at some of the locations. So they're not all just a stroll along a few city blocks.

My adventure lab is a lot easier than that but someone told me it is just way too much work for an adventure lab.

Yes, some Adventure Labs require much effort. I prefer those.  Some you can get five finds without even moving 10 ft  😯

 

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3 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

Some you can get five finds without even moving 10 ft  😯

I haven't had one quite that bad, but I most I've done, didn't require much walking. You couldn't have found five traditionals in that small area. So those that compare them to traditionals are wrong. They are more like a multicache, where WPs can be close, which is fine, as you only get one find. (Not five)

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It excludes people who use a GPS receiver to geocache. Remember those? To add insult to injury, the map of said users is littered with bonus caches that they can't get tied to "adventures" they can't see.

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7 minutes ago, msrubble said:

It excludes people who use a GPS receiver to geocache. Remember those? To add insult to injury, the map of said users is littered with bonus caches that they can't get tied to "adventures" they can't see.

 

My map is littered with D5 puzzle caches I can't solve, T5 caches I don't have the special equipment for and T4.5 caches my ancient bones aren't up to reaching. Of the 544 caches in my region, only 5 are AL bonus caches.

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You can exclude those. There is no way to know which bonus caches depend on an adventure lab.

 

This is a smartphone game, not geocaching.

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1 hour ago, msrubble said:

You can exclude those. There is no way to know which bonus caches depend on an adventure lab.

 

So there are some like that?  I found three ALs, and I was made aware that they existed when the Bonus cache popped up in my New Geocache notifications.  The cache description refers to the Adventure Lab associated with it, and the title says it's a "Bonus Cache".  If new Mysteries are placed so they're Bonus Caches not attributed to the AL, I won't know there's a new AL.  I don't open the App just to check, I'd find out by word of mouth.  So I wouldn't like such Mystery caches.  If I did one like that, the cache name and description would identify the AL.

 

There are two issues (if you don't count disappearing signal) that I have with ALs, and especially including the Bonus.  One issue is, my iPhone has that thing where the distance counts and cycles and changes between 450 feet and 50 feet, and the compass will point 90 to 180 degress off from its proper direction.  It's in the Bug Threads, I guess it's an iPhone thing, somehow made super obvious in Official Apps.  I can switch to a 3rd party App for Geocaching, NOT for ALs.

 

The other issue is, when I hunted the ALs that required driving, I had at least five Apps open to hunt the AL, and it's a pain switching back and forth, because of the need to transfer data between Apps.  So I ALSO had my paper notebook.  That's cool when hunting a high-difficulty Mystery Cache (which I simply pretend the Bonus Cache is).  But the reason I have all the Apps open is because of Issue #1, and because the AL App is too basic for anything other than a short walking trail.  I need other utilities, and manually type info between them.  One App was my 3rd-party compass/waypoint App, which of course I need again later for a Bonus Cache. 

 

I don't necessarily "hate" ALs as an idea.  On a short trail where you pretty much easily identify each point, the little beep and confirmation after you type each hint, is pretty cool.  It seems futuristic, and in that case it's even elegant.  The ones that require driving, where I need another App open, those stink.  The App places an icon on a teeny map, there's a very limited driving Map App selection, and those Apps were failing to give suitable directions.  So I had to mentally transfer the icon to my preferred App, guessing where that icon should be placed.  Anyway, it stinks.

 

I don't like to be stuck using a the phone when the distance and direction wanders as I stand still, and I'd bet a lot of people have tried App Geocaching, and quit Geocaching without anyone ever knowing that many people didn't like "Geocaching" because they found it to be too flakey (because phones, yuck). If I had only this iPhone when I first started and it pointed all over the place... would I have gotten hooked on Geocaching?  I wonder.

 

So as ALs go, yeah.  I'd much rather be hunting a physical Geocache with my rock-solid handheld GPS.  It's why I keep not starting my ALC Award cache.  I remember my experience hunting them. B)

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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The find count thing is as you said. It’s especially ridiculous if a person saying ALs finds are too cheap/easy simultaneously sees no issue with a 12k km multi find being equal to a single LPC trad along a power trail. Either the comparative effort doesn’t matter or you want a scoring system. Everything else is arguing for a specific kind of inequality just because it was the status quo.
 

My main issues with ALs are that the platform is too limited and the current rules and ”suggestions” are not well thought out. These, along with the ”use it or it will go away” type of release of AL credits, have resulted in ALs being generally unfun. 
 

I could add that I’m generally unhappy with how GS directs their resources, how they communicate with the community, and certain specific recent rule changes that I perceive as stiffling creativity for no reason. This unhappiness is then somewhat unfairly directed to the things GS does spend their resources on, like ALs. I think it would be healthier for geocaching in general and for GS’s focus too, if there was real competition among listing services.

10 hours ago, G0ldNugget said:

Do we call for a ban on power trails because they are "too easy"?

I mean I’m not going to waste my energy fighting power trails as GS obviously likes them, but I feel power trails are even less like what I see as the core of geocaching than ALs, virtuals or webcams. I believe the right thing to do would be to grandfather them and set up ”powertrails.com”.

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13 hours ago, G0ldNugget said:

Its a different way to play the game, thats all.

 

My opinion is that it is not the game at all. Even the rival game, which you are not allowed to mention here by the name, is nearer to geocaching that Adventure Lab Caches are. There were fewer negative opinions as these "caches" were a curiosity, but now they seem to be an unwanted permanent extension to the game. After saying that, I am not against evolution. I will use it to my advantage.

Edited by arisoft
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Apologies if this has been answered already but I've just completed my first Adventure Lab Cache, downloaded my Myfinds PQ into GSAK and I haven't got time to read every thread published. Why do we need these when we already have Wherigos? I can see Wherigos on the GC map and search via PQs, I get one cache count (not 5) for completing it, there's a physical container at the end and they appear correctly in my Myfinds PQ so they don't screw up my stats. Both types of cache require a separate app on a smartphone so there's no gain there either. I've completed twenty lab caches at two Mega events where they were given their own GC code (LB prefix though) and behave as normal caches as far as stats are concerned. Thanks in advance to anybody who can tell me why I need to bother with this new type and if I'm missing a point somewhere.

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On 10/17/2020 at 11:10 PM, kunarion said:

 

So there are some like that?  I found three ALs, and I was made aware that they existed when the Bonus cache popped up in my New Geocache notifications.  The cache description refers to the Adventure Lab associated with it, and the title says it's a "Bonus Cache".  If new Mysteries are placed so they're Bonus Caches not attributed to the AL, I won't know there's a new AL.  I don't open the App just to check, I'd find out by word of mouth.  So I wouldn't like such Mystery caches.  If I did one like that, the cache name and description would identify the AL.

 

That's what I'm saying. You can exclude T4.5 or higher caches from a search. You can't exclude only the bonus caches that depend on an Adventure Lab. Nor, in your case, can you search for only the bonus caches that show that a new Adventure Lab popped up in a geographic area that interests you. You'd also get bonus caches that are "collect the codes from this series of caches," if the owner has set the attribute.

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1 hour ago, msrubble said:

Nor, in your case, can you search for only the bonus caches that show that a new Adventure Lab popped up in a geographic area

 

Why don't you search directly for Adventure Cache?

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18 minutes ago, Mausebiber said:

 

Why don't you search directly for Adventure Cache?

 

The New Search page allow searching by name.  The three I found have the word "Bonus".  Did you mean that we search for that word?  In the case of a Mystery cache that is placed with the intent that cachers don't know which AL it's associated with, I'd expect "Bonus" may not appear in the cache name.  I don't know why they'd do that, but it was a premise that was mentioned.  There's a similar issue with searching for the "Bonus Cache" attribute.  And only 1 of 3 "AL Bonus Caches" that I found have that attribute.

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1 hour ago, msrubble said:

 

That's what I'm saying. You can exclude T4.5 or higher caches from a search. You can't exclude only the bonus caches that depend on an Adventure Lab. Nor, in your case, can you search for only the bonus caches that show that a new Adventure Lab popped up in a geographic area that interests you. You'd also get bonus caches that are "collect the codes from this series of caches," if the owner has set the attribute.

 

What if there was a secondary way to hunt the "Bonus Cache"?  Someone suggested that such a cache could have a separate puzzle to solve, in case you don't hunt its associated Adventure Lab.  OR the AL could use the same puzzle but provide extra clues upon completion.  I also thought I might simply place that physical cache as an "Adventure Lab Premiere Cache", a Traditional for the purpose of highlighting my AL.  You can go find it regardless.

 

Edited by kunarion

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9 minutes ago, Mausebiber said:

No, you search directly for the Adventure Lab

 

That might be OK, but I don't see that option.  The name "Adventure Lab" as such may not be in the title.  Or do you mean you search by another option?

 

If you instead mean that we simply install and run the AL and complete the AL and then go look for its Bonus Cache, that is kind of the opposite of ignoring "Adventure Lab" Bonus Caches. B)

 

Edited by kunarion

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15 minutes ago, Mausebiber said:

No, you search directly for the Adventure Lab.

 

Let's assume, you are living in Georgia, United States

Those would be the Adventure Lab close by:

.

Lab.thumb.jpg.87881d1e62ba768f51a95418493c47c8.jpg

 

 

What is this?  A 3rd-party utility?  Is that limiting the results to only Bonus Caches related to ALs, or is that a map of all the ALs?

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This is  the map of Al.

 

This is how you get it:

Let's assume, you want to know what and where the ALs of Chicago are.

 

You get the Coordinates of Chicago:  Dec: N 41.8882667 W 87.6294167

WW 87.6294167 is the same as E272.370583, I'm using East instead of west.

 

Now I enter this into my search string, with the Koordinates of Chicago and the number of ALs I would like to get, here take=50

https://labs.geocaching.com/gpx/search?latitude=41.8882667 &longitude=272.370583&skip=0&take=50

I download the .gpx and display it on Basecamp or any app you like.  The result is:

grafik.png.665474817d5c5bce8de88f17f3908e33.png

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24 minutes ago, Mausebiber said:

This is  the map of Al.

 

This is how you get it:

Let's assume, you want to know what and where the ALs of Chicago are.

 

You get the Coordinates of Chicago:  Dec: N 41.8882667 W 87.6294167

WW 87.6294167 is the same as E272.370583, I'm using East instead of west.

 

Now I enter this into my search string, with the Koordinates of Chicago and the number of ALs I would like to get, here take=50

https://labs.geocaching.com/gpx/search?latitude=41.8882667 &longitude=272.370583&skip=0&take=50

 

 

I download the .gpx and display it on Basecamp or any app you like.  The result is:

grafik.png.665474817d5c5bce8de88f17f3908e33.png

 

If we're using specialized software, it would also be easy to open the Adventure Lab App, to see where they are.  But how do you select to ignore caches that could only be found after doing an Adventure Lab?  "Bonus Caches" tend to be identified with their AL, but the question came up, what about Bonus Caches that are listed as Mysteries only?  I'm sure those are rare cases, and I guess the idea in that case, that's the idea, it's a secret.  But ALs are not shown on the Geocaching search map at this time, and there was a question of how to further filter by "AL Bonus Caches" which will be shown as, likely, "Mystery Caches".  Filtering out a cache type doesn't mean I hate that cache type. It's just a filter.

 

 

Edited by kunarion

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3 hours ago, kunarion said:

Someone suggested that such a cache could have a separate puzzle to solve, in case you don't hunt its associated Adventure Lab. 

 

I don't understand this idea. I've yet to see a puzzle cache that provides an alternate puzzle in case you don't like the first one.

 

"I don't do Adventure Labs but I want the bonus." Nope. Either do the required tasks to claim the bonus or don't. No one is entitled to a shortcut.

Edited by G0ldNugget
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The same filtering problem exists with chirp and special tool required attributes. With those, even opening the cache page isn’t usually enough verify if you can find the cache. Garmin chirp™ also fits the original complaint perfectly (excludes people who use a smartphone to geocache).

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10 hours ago, kunarion said:

Now I enter this into my search string, with the Koordinates of Chicago and the number of ALs I would like to get, here take=50

https://labs.geocaching.com/gpx/search?latitude=41.8882667 &longitude=272.370583&skip=0&take=50

Cool!  This helps a lot and solves some other issues!

 

Are there other search filters besides &skip and &take?

 

 

Edited by TommyGator
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12 hours ago, mustakorppi said:

The same filtering problem exists with chirp and special tool required attributes. With those, even opening the cache page isn’t usually enough verify if you can find the cache. Garmin chirp™ also fits the original complaint perfectly (excludes people who use a smartphone to geocache).

 

With chirp, there's a wireless beacon attribute, which I believe is required. Although it could be NFC. One cache I found actually broadcast a wireless signal. I used my ereader to read the message.

 

And no, it doesn't fit "the original complaint exactly" because geocaching is not fundamentally a smartphone game reliant on a specific app. Geocaching was founded on selective availability being turned off and people using their GPS units to hide and find things.

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14 hours ago, G0ldNugget said:

I don't understand this idea. I've yet to see a puzzle cache that provides an alternate puzzle in case you don't like the first one.

 

I have, two of them in fact in the same series, GC4YYD1 and GC4YZPN which have a Plan A and Plan B way of doing them. For each of them, Plan A involves going to the trailhead waypoint and following a series of photos to reach GZ, while Plan B involves scouring the local historic cemetery for clues to work out the final coordinates directly. Some of the Plan A climbs looked a bit too intimidating for me so I opted for Plan B on both and approached from the other direction, making them long hikes instead of steep climbs.

 

One of the AL bonuses I've done has an alternative non-AL way to do it as a field puzzle using the same waypoints as the AL but different questions.

 

But thinking about this now, maybe the idea has merit in the non-AL world. Perhaps a tough D4 puzzle to work out GZ directly as one option or a tough T4 hike through a series of waypoints as the other, with both leading to the same GZ. Not sure how one would rate it for D/T though.

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8 hours ago, msrubble said:

And no, it doesn't fit "the original complaint exactly" because geocaching is not fundamentally a smartphone game reliant on a specific app. Geocaching was founded on selective availability being turned off and people using their GPS units to hide and find things.

Feel free to try finding a chirp™ cache on a GPS unit from 2000. The AL app at least is available for free on both major smartphone ecosystems, whereas chirp™  isn’t even on all of Garmin’s own models.

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33 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

Feel free to try finding a chirp™ cache on a GPS unit from 2000. The AL app at least is available for free on both major smartphone ecosystems, whereas chirp™  isn’t even on all of Garmin’s own models.

All Chirp caches were required to have an alternate means for solving due to the fact that the Chirp device required the finder to use equipment from a sole source.  Any Chirp cache should have an alternate solution for your "unit from 2000".

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11 minutes ago, ecanderson said:

All Chirp caches were required to have an alternate means for solving due to the fact that the Chirp device required the finder to use equipment from a sole source.  Any Chirp cache should have an alternate solution for your "unit from 2000".

 

My caches were never required by TPTB to have more than the Chirp.  But Chirp stages were always flakey.  My GPS would crash when I set a Chirp's waypoint into it (and I'm the CO).  I had a long list of tips and tricks on my Chirp cache description pages, due to so much to consider.  

 

An alternate solution would be good, but nobody reads cache descriptions anyway. B)

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53 minutes ago, mustakorppi said:

Feel free to try finding a chirp™ cache on a GPS unit from 2000. The AL app at least is available for free on both major smartphone ecosystems, whereas chirp™  isn’t even on all of Garmin’s own models.

 

Similar issue with Wherigo, which disappeared from new Garmins a few years ago.

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8 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

have, two of them in fact in the same series, GC4YYD1 and GC4YZPN which have a Plan A and Plan B way of doing them. For each of them, Plan A involves going to the trailhead waypoint and following a series of photos to reach GZ, while Plan B involves scouring the local historic cemetery for clues to work out the final coordinates directly.

 

8 hours ago, barefootjeff said:

One of the AL bonuses I've done has an alternative non-AL way to do it as a field puzzle using the same waypoints as the AL but different questions.

 

Those are good compromises. They require the players get into the field and perform some actual tasks. The alternate AL bonus requires basically the same effort as the AL and preserves the idea that the cache is a bonus for completing the series. These accommodations make more sense than simply providing a puzzle which does not require leaving your computer and isn't a 'bonus' for anything at all.

 

Hats off to those COs for all the added work to accommodate different players and skill levels while preserving the spirit of the challenges. Thanks for sharing these.

Edited by G0ldNugget
added "Hats off..."

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I’m not seeing what would stop anyone from buying a chirp™ beacon on ebay and hiding a cache without any other means of finding it right now. Or I guess we can switch it around and say that I can’t know which wireless beacon caches work on my chirp™ enabled Garmin. Or on my non-NFC smartphone.

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Sorry -- appears I misremembered that one.  Guidelines did once day

If the cache owner does not provide an alternative means of finding the geocache, it must be listed as an Mystery geocache.

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I think it's ok if the only mean for solving a Mystery Is by completing the AL. Actually most of Mysteries have "only one way" to solve it. What I think Is terrible Is that every step of and AL counts as a found. What it this for? If i solve a 3-step multi, i have 1 found. If I resolve a complex mystery, I have 1 found. But if I complete a 5 step AL, boom, i have 5 founds??? Did I log something while i was not watching? Are virtual caches back again. I think GS is running things this way to encourage use of their new loved ALs. On one hand, most of ALs, along with virtuals and earth caches, require no maintenance, so owners will prefere these types. On the other hand, players would be delighted to have 5 more free founds. In my opinion, while bonus caches are actual caches, single steps of an AL should NEVER be counted as a found: they are NOT geocaches!

Edited by Tshio
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