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EthisEthat

What type is a gadget cache?

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I was just wondering what would the type be of a gadget cache? Because it is kind of a puzzle but what splits the traditional and the mystery if they are both at the original coordinates? So would it be a mystery cache or a traditional? I am mostly wondering this because I am about to put out a gadget cache.

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This does seem to vary depending on where you are.... is it a traditional with a field puzzle or is it a puzzle?? 

IMO if the container is at the published coordinates it is a traditional cache with the field puzzle attribute. Depending on the nature of the 'field puzzle' you may be in some grey areas....

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Yeah, some people have very strong feelings about gadget caches - both ways!

 

My personal opinion is that a gadget cache is a Traditional with a field puzzle element, though it depends on the nature of the cache. If it's a fairly simple one, such as you need to follow a maze to get the log out or you need to twist something to get a door to pop open then I'd call it a Traditional. If it was a fairly complex one that requires people to bring specific items (such as magnet on a string or a 9V battery) then it's more of a Mystery.

 

If someone is thinking of placing a gadget cache, I think they should consider what other cache types are in the area to give players a decent idea of what to expect. If there are other nearby caches that are gadget caches and are listed as Mystery, then new gadget caches should also be labeled as Mystery because that is what people expect in that area. If the area tends to get more of the "blast through and get as many smilies as possible" crowd, then labeling it as a Traditional may lead to frustration as players arrive expecting a quick grab-and-sign and possibly frustration for the cache owner when those people break open the cache or just log it as found without opening the cache.

 

On the other hand, since gadget caches tend to require a bigger investment of time and resources, many CO's opt to make them an unpopular type for that area (such as a multi) or make them Premium Only in an effort to try and reduce maintenance needs.

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7 hours ago, EthisEthat said:

I was just wondering what would the type be of a gadget cache? Because it is kind of a puzzle but what splits the traditional and the mystery if they are both at the original coordinates? So would it be a mystery cache or a traditional? I am mostly wondering this because I am about to put out a gadget cache.

I understand the argument that it is located at the posted coordinates, and therefore can be listed as a traditional cache (with the Field Puzzle attribute). But I would list it as a mystery/puzzle cache.

 

Consider the experience geocachers are looking for when they hunt for only traditional caches. Consider the experience geocachers are looking for when they hunt for only mystery/puzzle caches. Which is a better match to the experience they'll get with a gadget cache?

 

I've heard that some volunteer reviewers won't publish mystery/puzzle caches that are located at the posted coordinates. In that case, I would add a simple puzzle for seekers to get the coordinates of the gadget cache, if that's what it takes to list it as a mystery/puzzle cache.

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4 hours ago, lee737 said:

This does seem to vary depending on where you are.... is it a traditional with a field puzzle or is it a puzzle?? 

IMO if the container is at the published coordinates it is a traditional cache with the field puzzle attribute. Depending on the nature of the 'field puzzle' you may be in some grey areas....

In Germany, there is some common understanding (players, cache owners, reviewers) about the issue:

If you can head out to the listed coordinates, without any preparation at home, it's a traditional with a field puzzle. But if you have to do "homework" (i.e. solve a puzzle) to get to the logbook, it's a mystery cache.

 

I think this is a good guideline, and covers the typical use cases quite nicely. Most "gadget caches" end up as traditional (or multi) + field puzzle. But I've found mystery caches at their listed coordinates, where you had to solve a puzzle at home to get e.g. a code for a lock.

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Gadget caches at the posted coordinates can usually be published as Traditionals.

 

That said, I have long strongly been of the opinion that gadget caches, locked containers (even if the combo is given on the cache page), and pretty much any other kind of field puzzle should be a mystery cache.

 

My belief is that type Traditional should mean the cache can be found and the log signed without needing to read the cache page for instructions, directions, calculations, combos, or anything of the sort. (I say that as someone who usually reads every cache page anyway.)

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56 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

My belief is that type Traditional should mean the cache can be found and the log signed without needing to read the cache page for instructions, directions, calculations, combos, or anything of the sort. (I say that as someone who usually reads every cache page anyway.)

 

So why bother providing any description at all on traditionals? Or attributes for that matter? I have some traditionals where I need to convey access information, like one where if you just follow the arrow on your GPSr or app you'll end up on the wrong end of a cliff, or coastal ones that can only be accessed with the right tide. On some there are safety concerns that seekers really need to be aware of, or special conditions on caches in national parks, for example. Not all traditionals are urban P&Gs.

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11 hours ago, Unit473L said:

My personal opinion is that a gadget cache is a Traditional with a field puzzle element, though it depends on the nature of the cache. If it's a fairly simple one, such as you need to follow a maze to get the log out or you need to twist something to get a door to pop open then I'd call it a Traditional. If it was a fairly complex one that requires people to bring specific items (such as magnet on a string or a 9V battery) then it's more of a Mystery

In my area I had this cache published which was one where you had to bring water and the reviewer asked me to change it to a mystery because you had to bring something, so you are probably right.

 

If you don't know who WVTim is, apologies, but lots of his caches are very complex and most are traditional because they provide you with everything.

 

8 hours ago, baer2006 said:

In Germany, there is some common understanding (players, cache owners, reviewers) about the issue:

If you can head out to the listed coordinates, without any preparation at home, it's a traditional with a field puzzle. But if you have to do "homework" (i.e. solve a puzzle) to get to the logbook, it's a mystery cache.

 

That does make a lot of sense.

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We had a local cache near us we didn't find for a couple of years, simply because it was listed as a puzzle, but the cache was at the published coords and you just needed a padlock code.... no wonder I couldn't get any coords from the 'puzzle'.... Challenges aside, if it is a '?' icon I don't expect there to be a container.....

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2 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Gadget caches at the posted coordinates can usually be published as Traditionals.

 

That said, I have long strongly been of the opinion that gadget caches, locked containers (even if the combo is given on the cache page), and pretty much any other kind of field puzzle should be a mystery cache.

 

My belief is that type Traditional should mean the cache can be found and the log signed without needing to read the cache page for instructions, directions, calculations, combos, or anything of the sort. (I say that as someone who usually reads every cache page anyway.)

 

I agree and my Gadget Caches are listed as mystery with the field puzzle element they also contain "Gadget" in the title.  I live near several power trails and don't want someone who is on a numbers run to not know what they are getting in to.  Also my gadget caches take a lot of time to build and a lot more money then my regular caches and don't want to upset anyone who might then take a shortcut to open them.  

 

Yes I know who WVTim is and he is awesome. 

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Gadget caches should be in my opinion marked as Mystery Caches or Multi-caches. It's just so much more than a Traditional (green) cache for me.

But as far as I know many people don't share this attitude.

Edited by sernikk
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Whatever you do, and there are a few ways to do it - explain in the description if the container is at the published coords or not, and whatever other info you think people will need (depending on the puzzle nature) to access....

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2 hours ago, lee737 said:

We had a local cache near us we didn't find for a couple of years, simply because it was listed as a puzzle, but the cache was at the published coords and you just needed a padlock code.... no wonder I couldn't get any coords from the 'puzzle'.... Challenges aside, if it is a '?' icon I don't expect there to be a container.....

 

Okay.  But how do you get the padlock code?  Was that in the puzzle?

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10 hours ago, captnemo said:

...they also contain "Gadget" in the title.

 

Oh yes, that's a good point. Unless people are just blindly running towards an icon on a map without even glancing at the cache page, they should realise what it is before they get there.

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5 hours ago, Unit473L said:

Unless people are just blindly running towards an icon on a map without even glancing at the cache page, they should realise what it is before they get there.

That's a key point.

 

If you run off to a cache without reading the page, and then find out you're missing something ("special tool required") or it's not an easy log ("field puzzle"), then you made a mistake, and not the CO! As long as the CO has provided meaningful info in the listing, of course. In the end I don't really care how gadget caches are listed - as can be seen in this threads, there are valid arguments for both "Traditional" and "Mystery". I prefer the former, but the latter is fine, too.

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21 minutes ago, baer2006 said:

If you run off to a cache without reading the page, and then find out you're missing something ("special tool required") or it's not an easy log ("field puzzle"), then you made a mistake, and not the CO! As long as the CO has provided meaningful info in the listing, of course.

It may not be the CO's fault when people show up at a field puzzle without reading the description, or even the title (some GPS receivers display only the GC code).

 

But the CO has a vested interest in promoting cache longevity, and geocachers (or muggles with apps) showing up at a gadget cache expecting a typical traditional cache might not promote cache longevity.

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1 minute ago, niraD said:

But the CO has a vested interest in promoting cache longevity, and geocachers (or muggles with apps) showing up at a gadget cache expecting a typical traditional cache might not promote cache longevity.

Touché ;) !

 

In fact, It's not uncommon for gadget caches around here, that they are listed as mystery, with a relatively simple puzzle in the listing to get the coordinates and/or a lock code. The primary reason is to deny access to "muggles with apps".

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6 hours ago, baer2006 said:

Touché ;) !

 

In fact, It's not uncommon for gadget caches around here, that they are listed as mystery, with a relatively simple puzzle in the listing to get the coordinates and/or a lock code. The primary reason is to deny access to "muggles with apps".

 

These are why I prefer the mystery listing.  The down side is that using mystery may limit the number of finders.

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On 11/9/2020 at 3:37 PM, barefootjeff said:

So why bother providing any description at all on traditionals? Or attributes for that matter? I have some traditionals where I need to convey access information, like one where if you just follow the arrow on your GPSr or app you'll end up on the wrong end of a cliff, or coastal ones that can only be accessed with the right tide. On some there are safety concerns that seekers really need to be aware of, or special conditions on caches in national parks, for example. Not all traditionals are urban P&Gs.

 

"You do not need to read the cache page" is a very different thing from "you shouldn't bother reading the cache page."

 

A good cache page contains all sorts of useful information: Attributes, Hint, waypoints, what kind of container, hours of accessibility, what piece of property the cache is located on, history of the site (if applicable), and a general idea of why I should seek out this particular cache.

 

None of the above is actually required to find the cache. Helpful and interesting, but not neccessary. If the park is closed on Tuesdays, the parking coordinates aren't obvious, or the container requires climbing a tree a seeker will find this out the hard way if they don't read the cache page. If you happened to show up on Wednesday at low tide you wouldn't even know the cache isn't accessible on Tuesdays or at higj tide. But if the cache requires a gallon of water, a UV flashlight, or a four digit combo your chances of making a Find without the cache page (or PAF) are practically zero, no matter when you attempt it.

 

As a reminder: I'm someone who prefers rural caches, usually a avoids PnGs, and usually reads the cache page.

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