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Mr Indoorsman

Why do all bonus caches have to be Mystery caches?

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I already have a Bonus cache that is a Letterbox and have just had another refused to be published as such, seemingly due to the new attribute of 'bonus cache' being introduced. The reviewer is just applying the rules but I'm not sure why an attribute being created would necessitate that change of treatment? Can someone from Head Office or similar please explain the logic behind this. The  existing Groundspeak rules on 'if it has a stamp it's a letterbox' seemed to have been voided here for some reason.

Pretty confused.

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31 minutes ago, Mr Indoorsman said:

seemingly due to the new attribute of 'bonus cache' being introduced.

But the bonus cache must be a mystery cache was the rule before this new attribute was introduced. 

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26 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:

But the bonus cache must be a mystery cache was the rule before this new attribute was introduced. 

 

It does seem a strange rule though.  If you have a series of themed caches, it seems like a nice touch to include a themed stamp in the bonus.

 

I've seen this done locally for a themed series of puzzles (https://coord.info/GC8J89K), but here, the information for the bonus is in the coordinate checkers for the other caches, not in the caches themselves - i.e. it's just another puzzle (+ stamp), and not a bonus in the strict sense of the HQ definition.

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I already have a Bonus cache that is a Letterbox and from reading other threads on the forum so do loads of other people. Plus the rules on the site may read like they do today - but I'm not sure they have always done  - I think they just changed that when the bonus cache attribute came in a  couple of months ago. Else, why would there be so many letterbox bonuses out there?

Looked at in isolation the current rules quoted above may seem clear, however they are not - they don't state precedence over other rules on the site, such as the type hierarchy, where it basically says that if you stick a stamp in the container that trumps all other classification rules, and it is a letterbox. Doesn't add up.

 

More to the point - I asked about the logic of that rule. Why?

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1 hour ago, IceColdUK said:

 

It does seem a strange rule though.  If you have a series of themed caches, it seems like a nice touch to include a themed stamp in the bonus.

 

I've seen this done locally for a themed series of puzzles (https://coord.info/GC8J89K), but here, the information for the bonus is in the coordinate checkers for the other caches, not in the caches themselves - i.e. it's just another puzzle (+ stamp), and not a bonus in the strict sense of the HQ definition.

Not sure I totally follow, but are you saying I could use this as a workaround to make it a LB anyway? If so, I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter. :D

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9 minutes ago, Mr Indoorsman said:

More to the point - I asked about the logic of that rule. Why?

 

I guess that this feature was misused by creating Letterbox Hybrid bonus caches for non Letterbox caches making it pointless as a Letterbox. Original Letterboxing have bonus caches. From this fact it seems odd that Letterbox Hybrids can not.

Edited by arisoft

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47 minutes ago, Mr Indoorsman said:

I already have a Bonus cache that is a Letterbox and from reading other threads on the forum so do loads of other people. Plus the rules on the site may read like they do today - but I'm not sure they have always done  - I think they just changed that when the bonus cache attribute came in a  couple of months ago. Else, why would there be so many letterbox bonuses out there?

Looked at in isolation the current rules quoted above may seem clear, however they are not - they don't state precedence over other rules on the site, such as the type hierarchy, where it basically says that if you stick a stamp in the container that trumps all other classification rules, and it is a letterbox. Doesn't add up.

 

More to the point - I asked about the logic of that rule. Why?

 

"Bonus caches must be Mystery Caches" was a rule prior to the implementation of the bonus cache attribute.  The attribute, which is only available for the Mystery Cache type, merely reflected that existing rule.  For those cache owners and reviewers who were not following the "bonus cache must be a Mystery Cache" rule, the introduction of the attribute may have brought that disconnect to light.

 

The "bonus cache must be a Mystery Cache" rule trumps, in order of priority, several other rules - including "if the cache has a stamp, it must be a Letterbox Hybrid cache."

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38 minutes ago, Mr Indoorsman said:
2 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

I've seen this done locally for a themed series of puzzles (https://coord.info/GC8J89K), but here, the information for the bonus is in the coordinate checkers for the other caches, not in the caches themselves - i.e. it's just another puzzle (+ stamp), and not a bonus in the strict sense of the HQ definition.

Not sure I totally follow, but are you saying I could use this as a workaround to make it a LB anyway? If so, I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter. :D

 

HQ's definition of a bonus cache is a Mystery Cache for which you have to find clues in other caches.  That's not the case with here.  You have to solve the puzzles for all the other caches in the series, but you don't have to actually find the caches.  I'm assuming that small distinction is enough for this to slip under the radar...

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2 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

 

HQ's definition of a bonus cache is a Mystery Cache for which you have to find clues in other caches.  That's not the case with here.  You have to solve the puzzles for all the other caches in the series, but you don't have to actually find the caches.  I'm assuming that small distinction is enough for this to slip under the radar...

That has possibilities as an idea, Thanks

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3 hours ago, Keystone said:

 

The "bonus cache must be a Mystery Cache" rule trumps, in order of priority, several other rules - including "if the cache has a stamp, it must be a Letterbox Hybrid cache."

 

I never noticed that rule.  For the past several years there has been a series of caches published in central new york parks, called the CNY Park Geocache Challenge.  There are a few park offices where one acquires a passport book.  For 2020, each of the 70 caches in the series has a stamp in it.  After finding a cache, one stamps their passport and after acquiring 45 stamps, it can be turned in for a nice geocoin.   As far as I know, all of the caches were published as traditionals.  

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12 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

 

I never noticed that rule.  For the past several years there has been a series of caches published in central new york parks, called the CNY Park Geocache Challenge.  There are a few park offices where one acquires a passport book.  For 2020, each of the 70 caches in the series has a stamp in it.  After finding a cache, one stamps their passport and after acquiring 45 stamps, it can be turned in for a nice geocoin.   As far as I know, all of the caches were published as traditionals.  

We have a wonderful geotrail nearby. Almost all traditionals with a stamp inside for the passport for the Geo Trail award coin. 

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Just now, Max and 99 said:

We have a wonderful geotrail nearby. Almost all traditionals with a stamp inside for the passport for the Geo Trail award coin. 

 

There was a trail with 20 or so caches along the Susquehanna river that all had stamps in them.   A couple of them were close to the river, which frequently floods.  I found one of the caches a week or so after water level had dropped back down and the contents of the cache was a black, inky mess.

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20 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:
3 hours ago, Keystone said:

The "bonus cache must be a Mystery Cache" rule trumps, in order of priority, several other rules - including "if the cache has a stamp, it must be a Letterbox Hybrid cache."

 

I never noticed that rule.  For the past several years there has been a series of caches published in central new york parks, called the CNY Park Geocache Challenge.  There are a few park offices where one acquires a passport book.  For 2020, each of the 70 caches in the series has a stamp in it.  After finding a cache, one stamps their passport and after acquiring 45 stamps, it can be turned in for a nice geocoin.   As far as I know, all of the caches were published as traditionals.  

 

There's a similar series in the SF Bay Area. I completed my passport and picked up the geocoin a few years ago. The rules about stamps and LBH caches are a bit more nuanced than Keystone's summary. It's more like, "If you want to list your cache as a LBH cache, then it needs a stamp, and it doesn't matter whether the cache would otherwise be listed as a traditional cache, a multi-cache, or a mystery/puzzle cache." But even then, there are rules about special types of mystery/puzzle caches that override the CO's ability to list a cache as a LBH cache.

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Thank you for the four posts which served to point out that I should have said "letterboxing stamp" in my prior reply.  Since the OP asked about Letterbox Hybrids as bonus caches, my guidance was limited to letterboxing stamps.  It does not apply to postage stamps, tramp stamps, notary stamps, geotrail reward stamps or any other non-letterboxing stamp type.

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On 11/12/2020 at 6:07 AM, Mr Indoorsman said:

More to the point - I asked about the logic of that rule. Why?

I can't speak for GS, and they aren't always entirely logical, but here's the way I think about it: a bonus cache depends on something beyond what letterbox hybrid, for example, suggests. The fact that the seeker has to do something beyond just following the rules for a LB is flagged by making it an unknown type. So if you want it to be a LB, you need to avoid those extra challenges that a seeker won't be expecting when they get to the posted coordinates and start reading the LB instructions.

 

You don't explain exactly how your cache is a "bonus cache", so I don't know why it, specifically, was rejected. I assume you understand why the bonus cache of a traditional serious can't be a traditional. What's different about LBs that makes you think they should be excepted from the same rule?

 

On 11/12/2020 at 6:59 AM, IceColdUK said:

HQ's definition of a bonus cache is a Mystery Cache for which you have to find clues in other caches.  That's not the case with here.  You have to solve the puzzles for all the other caches in the series, but you don't have to actually find the caches.  I'm assuming that small distinction is enough for this to slip under the radar...

I don't see how that makes it less of a bonus cache, but I don't think that matters because it's clearly a mystery cache whether it's also a bonus cache or not.

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DProvan - My cache is a bonus cache because there are clue words in 4 earlier trads in the same numbered series - those words (and the order they are found in the series) enable you to interpret a treasure map done in slightly coded/;pictogram fashion, by steering you round the junctions of the formal gardens of a Manorial estate, telling you (in coded fashion by interpreting the words) which direction to turn at each junction. On the cache page there are further instructions on natural landmarks to follow when you get to that last junction, and these lead to the container. Other than the fact that I like LBH caches,  I thought letterbox hybrid would be a reasonable classification because coordinates are not used to get to gz, either to the actual container or round the path network of the estate. And of course, the cache has a stamp...

On the basis of the above, the logic of this rule continues to be...well...a mystery :D

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3 hours ago, dprovan said:

I don't see how that makes it less of a bonus cache, but I don't think that matters because it's clearly a mystery cache whether it's also a bonus cache or not.


But isn’t that the point?  If it was a bonus by HQ’s definition, then according to their rules, it couldn’t also be a LBH cache.

 

10 minutes ago, Mr Indoorsman said:

I thought letterbox hybrid would be a reasonable classification because coordinates are not used to get to gz


Ironically, this is much closer in spirit to a true Letterbox than my example, yet it can’t be a LBH.  Go figure! 🤷‍♂️

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9 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

But isn’t that the point?  If it was a bonus by HQ’s definition, then according to their rules, it couldn’t also be a LBH cache.

Yes, we agree it both is and has to be a mystery cache. I thought you were suggesting the hypothetical example -- requiring info from solving a puzzle but not finding the cache -- wouldn't meet HQ's definition of a bonus cache, and I contested that.

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On 11/14/2020 at 7:42 AM, dprovan said:

Yes, we agree it both is and has to be a mystery cache. I thought you were suggesting the hypothetical example -- requiring info from solving a puzzle but not finding the cache -- wouldn't meet HQ's definition of a bonus cache, and I contested that.

I already have several LBHs (which are not bonuses) which have puzzle elements to them (all published in the last 18 months), so I can't see how your statement above is correct. 

As Ice Cold UK says, it couldn't be more like a LBH if I tried.

 

Could someone from HQ/ a Moderator please respond to my question about what the logic of this decision is?

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1 hour ago, Mr Indoorsman said:

Could someone from HQ/ a Moderator please respond to my question about what the logic of this decision is?

 

I don't like your chances of getting anyone from HQ to buy into the argument. Sometimes you just have to accept that there is no why.

 

ThereIsNoWhy.jpg.648540130f9ae7cd1bcf5ce3536c2fda.jpg

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12 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

I don't like your chances of getting anyone from HQ to buy into the argument. Sometimes you just have to accept that there is no why.

 

 

While true, it is still frustrating. I've used LBH as bonus caches in the past, and would like to continue to do so. HQ's reasoning makes no logical sense and it can be easily remedied.

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4 hours ago, Mr Indoorsman said:

Could someone from HQ/ a Moderator please respond to my question about what the logic of this decision is?

One did:

EDIT to add: well, he didn't explain the logic behind it, but it WAS a mod/authority answering the question about the hierarchy. :)

Edited by TriciaG
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10 hours ago, sgerbs said:

 

While true, it is still frustrating. I've used LBH as bonus caches in the past, and would like to continue to do so. HQ's reasoning makes no logical sense and it can be easily remedied.

Quite correct. It is easily remedied, with a change to the code and an update to reviewer guidance. So what's the problem HQ folks....?

And to TriciaG's point - I'm trying to find out the reasoning behind that decision, so the mod telling me 'the rules are the rules', isn't helping with that. 'Why?' is the real question here, and without that being addressed, it looks like a mistake being cloaked in a reaffirmation that the rules just are, and don't need to be reasoned. I would like to think that when dealing with a paid service, we could expect a little better than that.

Hit me with your logic HQ/Mod folks, I can take it. :D

Edited by Mr Indoorsman

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On 11/14/2020 at 7:42 AM, dprovan said:
On 11/13/2020 at 9:54 PM, IceColdUK said:

But isn’t that the point?  If it was a bonus by HQ’s definition, then according to their rules, it couldn’t also be a LBH cache.

Yes, we agree it both is and has to be a mystery cache. I thought you were suggesting the hypothetical example -- requiring info from solving a puzzle but not finding the cache -- wouldn't meet HQ's definition of a bonus cache, and I contested that.


My example (https://coord.info/GC8J89K) isn’t hypothetical.

 

Admittedly it doesn’t say ‘Bonus’ in the cache title, but it is referred to as a bonus (and bonus puzzle) in the description.

 

Quote

The clues for this bonus puzzle can be found in the checkers of the other nineteen puzzles in the series.

 

If it met HQ’s definition of a Bonus then it shouldn’t be a LBH.  So either:

 

- It doesn’t match HQ’s criteria, and is therefore fine as a LBH, or

- The Reviewer interpreted the guidelines differently...

 

I think that because the information required for the bonus is NOT in the physical caches (or even at virtual waypoints of those caches) that it doesn’t fit into HQ’s bonus definition.  It is simply a puzzle + stamp = LBH.

Edited by IceColdUK
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1 hour ago, IceColdUK said:

I think that because the information required for the bonus is NOT in the physical caches (or even at virtual waypoints of those caches) that it doesn’t fit into HQ’s bonus definition.  It is simply a puzzle + stamp = LBH.

 

I think you are right and that is the pass for having a LBH (not)bonus. But we know there are a lot of LBH which shouldn't be ever published, but they are, confusing us all :ninja:

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2 hours ago, Mr Indoorsman said:

Quite correct. It is easily remedied, with a change to the code and an update to reviewer guidance. So what's the problem HQ folks....?

And to TriciaG's point - I'm trying to find out the reasoning behind that decision, so the mod telling me 'the rules are the rules', isn't helping with that. 'Why?' is the real question here, and without that being addressed, it looks like a mistake being cloaked in a reaffirmation that the rules just are, and don't need to be reasoned. I would like to think that when dealing with a paid service, we could expect a little better than that.

Hit me with your logic HQ/Mod folks, I can take it. :D

 

I would have been happy to explain at least two reasons supporting the "Bonus = Mystery" rule.  But, since I seem to have upset you, I'm bowing out of this thread and leaving that task for someone else.  I was trying to be helpful with my prior posts.

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3 hours ago, Mr Indoorsman said:

Quite correct. It is easily remedied, with a change to the code and an update to reviewer guidance. So what's the problem HQ folks....?

And to TriciaG's point - I'm trying to find out the reasoning behind that decision, so the mod telling me 'the rules are the rules', isn't helping with that. 'Why?' is the real question here, and without that being addressed, it looks like a mistake being cloaked in a reaffirmation that the rules just are, and don't need to be reasoned. I would like to think that when dealing with a paid service, we could expect a little better than that.

Hit me with your logic HQ/Mod folks, I can take it. :D

 

Geocaching HQ makes the rules as it's their version of the game that we are playing.  Instead of asking us why, you should ask them.  Then, when you receive an answer, post it here for everyone to see.

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1 hour ago, Keystone said:

 

I would have been happy to explain at least two reasons supporting the "Bonus = Mystery" rule.


Please don’t leave us hanging. 🙂

 

In fairness to Mr I, he has been asking about the logic right from the start.  Normally these threads are full of speculation, but for some reason not so, here.  It suggests to me that nobody can see why a bonus can’t be turned into a LBH by adding a stamp.


I know as a Mod / Reviewer you can’t speak for HQ, but I’m sure any insight would be interesting.  Thanks.

Edited by IceColdUK
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4 hours ago, Keystone said:

 

I would have been happy to explain at least two reasons supporting the "Bonus = Mystery" rule.  But, since I seem to have upset you, I'm bowing out of this thread and leaving that task for someone else.  I was trying to be helpful with my prior posts.

Not sure why you think I am upset, but rest-assured I am not.  So please do press on with your explanations as it seems there are now a few people on this thread interested in hearing them. Importantly it is the rationale that needs explained. 'Why' - that is all I am asking, and have been asking.

And IceColdUK has nailed it - no one has actually explained why my example can't be a LBH, which suggests it is probably an oversight that lacks a rationale. I will also email Geocaching HQ about this but I know in the current environment they may not be responding. 

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I've hidden quite a few Letterbox Hybrids with stamps that I've carved. It's always been clear that a Letterbox Hybrid can be hidden as a traditional, as a Multi, and as a Mystery. That's always been acceptable. I've hidden one Bonus cache that was published as a Letterbox Hybrid, because the LBH can be used as a mystery cache. Now we are to believe that the LBH can be any sort of mystery cache unless it is the mystery type that relies on finding other caches first? If this rule existed before the creation of this attribute then my reviewers should have done a better job in rejecting my illegal LBH bonus cache.

 

When did this rule come to be? We know the guidelines are always changing. I have a set of LBHs already waiting to be published along with an LBH bonus cache. Given the effort that I put in to these hides, much more than almost anyone in my area puts in to geocaching, this is a huge turnoff for me to try.

 

You can not say with any sort of logic say that an LBH can be hidden as a mystery cache unless it is a mystery "bonus cache". Anyway you skin it, it's still a mystery, which LBHs are allowed to be hidden as.

 

Letterbox Hybrid Bonus Cache: https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC7FC7G_panorama-vista-preserve

Published 11/26/2017

Description made it quite clear that you have to find other caches first, which are also LBHs. 

 

This article: https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=127&pgid=927

 

Should read as follows:

"A bonus cache is a Mystery Cache or Letterbox Hybrid for which you have to find clues in other caches. Sometimes the coordinates for the bonus cache are in one other cache. In other cases, you gather clues for the final coordinates of the bonus cache from multiple other caches. Clues for a bonus cache can be hidden in any other cache type."

 

Fixed. Real simple.

 

OJJgK2G.png

 

What's the argument here? Other than "Because we said so".

Edited by fbingha
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1 hour ago, fbingha said:

I've hidden quite a few Letterbox Hybrids with stamps that I've carved. It's always been clear that a Letterbox Hybrid can be hidden as a traditional, as a Multi, and as a Mystery. That's always been acceptable. I've hidden one Bonus cache that was published as a Letterbox Hybrid, because the LBH can be used as a mystery cache. Now we are to believe that the LBH can be any sort of mystery cache unless it is the mystery type that relies on finding other caches first? If this rule existed before the creation of this attribute then my reviewers should have done a better job in rejecting my illegal LBH bonus cache.

 

When did this rule come to be? We know the guidelines are always changing. I have a set of LBHs already waiting to be published along with an LBH bonus cache. Given the effort that I put in to these hides, much more than almost anyone in my area puts in to geocaching, this is a huge turnoff for me to try.

 

You can not say with any sort of logic say that an LBH can be hidden as a mystery cache unless it is a mystery "bonus cache". Anyway you skin it, it's still a mystery, which LBHs are allowed to be hidden as.

 

Letterbox Hybrid Bonus Cache: https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC7FC7G_panorama-vista-preserve

Published 11/26/2017

Description made it quite clear that you have to find other caches first, which are also LBHs. 

 

This article: https://www.geocaching.com/help/index.php?pg=kb.chapter&id=127&pgid=927

 

Should read as follows:

"A bonus cache is a Mystery Cache or Letterbox Hybrid for which you have to find clues in other caches. Sometimes the coordinates for the bonus cache are in one other cache. In other cases, you gather clues for the final coordinates of the bonus cache from multiple other caches. Clues for a bonus cache can be hidden in any other cache type."

 

Fixed. Real simple.

 

OJJgK2G.png

 

What's the argument here? Other than "Because we said so".

This makes a lot of sense. That diagram is the one I remember. Looks fairly clear to me, and there is no indication of how/why the bonus cache rule 'overules it'. 

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15 hours ago, Mr Indoorsman said:

This makes a lot of sense. That diagram is the one I remember. Looks fairly clear to me, and there is no indication of how/why the bonus cache rule 'overules it'. 

 

To me too. Makes me also think of Wherigos. Can't see why they cannot be used as bonus caches either, as they too can have clues fed from other caches . . .

 

On top of that, I have already noticed a multi bonus cache for an adventure lab recently. So that was accepted in error?

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On 11/12/2020 at 1:18 PM, NYPaddleCacher said:

I never noticed that rule.  For the past several years there has been a series of caches published in central new york parks, called the CNY Park Geocache Challenge.  There are a few park offices where one acquires a passport book.  For 2020, each of the 70 caches in the series has a stamp in it.  After finding a cache, one stamps their passport and after acquiring 45 stamps, it can be turned in for a nice geocoin.   As far as I know, all of the caches were published as traditionals.  

 

What kind of stamps are we talking about? If the passport stamps are really simple, like a code word or number, I can see why it might not be listed as a Letterbox. 

 

On 11/15/2020 at 6:22 PM, sgerbs said:

I've used LBH as bonus caches in the past, and would like to continue to do so. HQ's reasoning makes no logical sense and it can be easily remedied.

 

I'm a bit confused on why people want to use a letterbox for a bonus cache. Are you worried about the stamp being taken?

 

Bonus caches, like Challenge Caches, are a subset of Mystery caches. That's why it got the Attribute.

 

People who do not enjoy solving puzzles would usually still enjoy a bonus cache because the "puzzle" is normally just finding caches they were going to find anyway. When the bonus cache involves an additional layer of puzzle solving it seems to defeat the purpose.

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23 minutes ago, JL_HSTRE said:

Bonus caches, like Challenge Caches, are a subset of Mystery caches. That's why it got the Attribute.

 

I'm sure we've had similar discussions here about Challenges / LBHs.  Seems to me that it would make perfect sense for a Challenge cache based on finding LBHs, say, to have its own stamp.  Of course, there's nothing to stop you providing a stamp in a Challenge cache, but that wouldn't change it from a Mystery to a LBH.  (Exactly the same as for a Bonus plus stamp.)

 

Now that we have 'Bonus' and 'Challenge' attributes, maybe the time has come to get rid of the LBH type completely, and to add a 'Stamp' attribute?

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1 hour ago, JL_HSTRE said:

What kind of stamps are we talking about? If the passport stamps are really simple, like a code word or number, I can see why it might not be listed as a Letterbox. 

The stamps I've seen for stamping "passports" to earn a geocoin have been inexpensive self-inking stamps sold in sets like this:

stamps.jpeg.82853cb041155d87788b05c783b4820e.jpeg

 

They're just there to keep people honest, so they have something that shows that they actually found the caches in the series to earn the geocoin.

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4 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

Now that we have 'Bonus' and 'Challenge' attributes, maybe the time has come to get rid of the LBH type completely, and to add a 'Stamp' attribute?

The way that LBH are used (and defined) for geocaching makes them seem like many other types with a stamp added. I went letterboxing long before I ever went geocaching, so when I started finding LBH, I was disappointed. Many were not letterboxes at all, but were traditional caches with a stamp. Here are two examples of my own that are like letterboxing:

https://coord.info/GC73Z56

https://coord.info/GC8CJKR

 

If HQ actually defined LBH like a letterbox, we'd see a lot more interesting and fun caches being hidden instead of traditionals with a stamp. Letterboxing was invented before GPS existed, so they required landmarks and directions to get you to the letterbox.

 

As to why I would use a LBH as a bonus cache instead of a mystery/unknown; variety. Just because so many different things get lumped into mystery/unknown does not mean that they have to. Technically, shouldn't most bonus caches be multi caches since cachers visit other caches (locations) before finding the final. That is the very definition of a multicache. I use LBH as bonus caches because I want variety. HQ should be encouraging that, not inhibiting it.

Edited by sgerbs
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8 hours ago, NLBokkie said:

To me too. Makes me also think of Wherigos. Can't see why they cannot be used as bonus caches either, as they too can have clues fed from other caches . . .

I don't know what reviewers think or what went behind any of these decisions, but to me the key is that the unknown type tells you that you may not be able to start by just going to GZ. Letterboxes, Multis, and Wherigos imply to me that I can go to GZ and *then* read the description or fire up the app to start following the trail. I don't mean to say that's universally true, just that it's what I'll tend to assume even as I'm not particularly surprised by exceptions.

 

8 hours ago, NLBokkie said:

On top of that, I have already noticed a multi bonus cache for an adventure lab recently. So that was accepted in error?

I've never seen it, but I recall someone here in the forums saying what I understood to be that they created a multicache that paralleled the adventure lab, so someone could do the multicache independently while someone doing the adventure lab would get to the same final by following lab. Perhaps that the kind of multicache that was accepted as a "bonus": that's not actually a bonus because you can find it without doing the adventure lab.

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39 minutes ago, sgerbs said:

The way that LBH are used (and defined) for geocaching makes them seem like many other types with a stamp added. I went letterboxing long before I ever went geocaching, so when I started finding LBH, I was disappointed. Many were not letterboxes at all, but were traditional caches with a stamp.

 

Landmarks and clues are not a requirement to list a box on Atlas Quest.

 

A "real" Letterbox can be hidden in such a way that you don't need  to follow a trail of landmarks or clues. It is acceptable to tell the user where to go, via an address or "The Post Office on Main St", then where the box is hidden is made clear "behind the big flower pot". 

 

I use clues in some of mine and some I list at the actual coordinates. The only requirement on Geocaching.com and Atlas Quest is that the box contains a stamp.

 

I would say the vast majority of Letterboxers would consider the including of a hand carved stamp to be more important that how you found your way to the box. That's why I hide Letterboxes and I cross list most of them on Atlas Quest.

 

Second point, people are making the topic confusing by bringing up caches that contain stamps to show progress or prove something was found. A cache can contain a stamp and not be listed as a letterbox. 

 

Letterboxes were only ever included in Geocaching as a way to encourage that community to cross list their boxes, way back in the early days. At this point, the most sensible thing would be to add a "Has a Stamp" attribute, and even better would be a "Has a Hand Carved Stamp" attribute. I like the LBH icon but if challenges can't get their own icon, and many more people enjoy those, then what sense is there for LBH to have an icon, other than nostalgia and the fact that it might break some existing platform that expects the icon.

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53 minutes ago, sgerbs said:

The way that LBH are used (and defined) for geocaching makes them seem like many other types with a stamp added. I went letterboxing long before I ever went geocaching, so when I started finding LBH, I was disappointed. Many were not letterboxes at all, but were traditional caches with a stamp. Here are two examples of my own that are like letterboxing:

https://coord.info/GC73Z56

https://coord.info/GC8CJKR

 

If HQ actually defined LBH like a letterbox, we'd see a lot more interesting and fun caches being hidden instead of traditionals with a stamp. Letterboxing was invented before GPS existed, so they required landmarks and directions to get you to the letterbox.

 

As to why I would use a LBH as a bonus cache instead of a mystery/unknown; variety. Just because so many different things get lumped into mystery/unknown does not mean that they have to. Technically, shouldn't most bonus caches be multi caches since cachers visit other caches (locations) before finding the final. That is the very definition of a multicache. I use LBH as bonus caches because I want variety. HQ should be encouraging that, not inhibiting it.

Agree. I also think the LBH criteria is a bit loose (just chuck in a stamp and it's an LBH....). Hence why I take a different approach in my caches like: https://coord.info/GC8PCA5, using custom stamps rather than the generic ones.

I have messaged HQ and their initial response again fails to explain the rationale (again).

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3 hours ago, fbingha said:

A "real" Letterbox can be hidden in such a way that you don't need  to follow a trail of landmarks or clues. It is acceptable to tell the user where to go, via an address or "The Post Office on Main St", then where the box is hidden is made clear "behind the big flower pot". 

Perhaps we're using different language, but I think we are saying the same thing. For your "real" letterbox example, you've used clues - not coordinates. It is very short and sweet, but you're using clues to get them to find a letterbox. For an LBH, even that is unnecessary.

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6 minutes ago, sgerbs said:

Perhaps we're using different language, but I think we are saying the same thing. For your "real" letterbox example, you've used clues - not coordinates. It is very short and sweet, but you're using clues to get them to find a letterbox. For an LBH, even that is unnecessary.

Not necessary but neither is it prohibited...

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7 minutes ago, sgerbs said:

Perhaps we're using different language, but I think we are saying the same thing. For your "real" letterbox example, you've used clues - not coordinates. It is very short and sweet, but you're using clues to get them to find a letterbox. For an LBH, even that is unnecessary.

 

Correct, I've never used Coordinates for a real letterbox on Atlas Quest.

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On 11/17/2020 at 11:26 AM, NLBokkie said:

On top of that, I have already noticed a multi bonus cache for an adventure lab recently. So that was accepted in error?

 

Here you go, a Multi bonus cache for an adventure lab: https://coord.info/GC8NZ3A . . .

And a Letterbox Hybrid bonus cache for an adventure lab: https://coord.info/GC8HTX1

 

Now the above two examples are in France. But there are a few more in other countries too. Just using the find options on the geocaching.com website produced some more interesting bonuses:

- One "sort of LBH for AL bonus" in the Netherlands at https://coord.info/GC8K299

- Another "sort of LBH for AL bonus" in Belgium, and set for premium users only at https://coord.info/GC8VZBM

Now these may not be considered "proper bonus caches". But they do show that more is possible than meets the eye . . .

Edited by NLBokkie
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17 hours ago, sgerbs said:

Technically, shouldn't most bonus caches be multi caches since cachers visit other caches (locations) before finding the final. That is the very definition of a multicache.

 

A Mystery cache can involve multiple stages.

 

A Bonus cache by itself is not s Multi (though I have seen a few very old grandfathered daisy-chain caches listed that way), but a Bonus plus the caches containing the coordinate info could be replaced by a single multi.

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17 hours ago, fbingha said:

At this point, the most sensible thing would be to add a "Has a Stamp" attribute, and even better would be a "Has a Hand Carved Stamp" attribute. I like the LBH icon but if challenges can't get their own icon, and many more people enjoy those, then what sense is there for LBH to have an icon, other than nostalgia and the fact that it might break some existing platform that expects the icon.

 

I agree, but the idea of an Attribute replacing the LBH cache type has been suggested probably ever since Attributes were introduced. I don't seem them going away at this point.

 

I don't think it would be much of a technical issue though. You simply grandfather all the existing LBH caches when you introduce the Attribute. Adding a new cache type is I think a much bigger technical issue than adding new Attributes.

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20 hours ago, sgerbs said:

Technically, shouldn't most bonus caches be multi caches since cachers visit other caches (locations) before finding the final.

The distinction is that those other locations are physical stages of other caches. They bonus cache cannot have a physical stage at the same location as a physical stage of another cache, so bonus caches have to be handled differently.

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20 hours ago, fbingha said:

I would say the vast majority of Letterboxers would consider the including of a hand carved stamp to be more important that how you found your way to the box. That's why I hide Letterboxes and I cross list most of them on Atlas Quest.

 

That's odd...maybe it's location specific...    

We used to find letterboxes while geocaching, but now that so many are placed willy-nilly, I find more during hunting season. 

Of dozens of "real" letterboxes found, we've yet to find a single, "hand carved" stamp in any.    :)

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6 hours ago, NLBokkie said:

Here you go, a Multi bonus cache for an adventure lab: https://coord.info/GC8NZ3A . . .

And a Letterbox Hybrid bonus cache for an adventure lab: https://coord.info/GC8HTX1

I don't know whether those are mistakes or should be allowed, but it certainly would have made me mad if I'd seen them on my GPSr, walked a mile to where they started, and only then discovered I couldn't do them because I didn't have a smartphone. And I don't really understand why the CO wanted to list them as a multicache and a letterbox, either. They're just tacked on to the end of an adventure lab. Nothing about the caches themselves is anything like a multicache or a LBH except for the LBH's stamp.

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13 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I don't know whether those are mistakes or should be allowed, but it certainly would have made me mad if I'd seen them on my GPSr, walked a mile to where they started, and only then discovered I couldn't do them because I didn't have a smartphone. And I don't really understand why the CO wanted to list them as a multicache and a letterbox, either. They're just tacked on to the end of an adventure lab. Nothing about the caches themselves is anything like a multicache or a LBH except for the LBH's stamp.

 

I thought the only valid criteria that made a cache a letterbox hybrid was that it had a stamp? Other stuff's allowed with them, but isn't that the only qualifying criteria?

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