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Why do all bonus caches have to be Mystery caches?


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16 minutes ago, dprovan said:
7 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...


According to the Guidelines both are mistakes: bonus => mystery.

 

Imo, the multi is definitely a mistake - maybe that’s a regional thing?

 

But as I’ve said, I don’t see why a bonus with a stamp can’t be an LBH - and it seems that’s fine in Lyon too.

 

22 minutes ago, dprovan said:

Nothing about the caches themselves is anything like [...] a LBH except for the LBH's stamp.


Like it or not, that is pretty much the definition of a LBH.

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2 hours 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.

Genuine question that has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but do you not look at cache pages before you go geocaching? Every single geocache I go after, I've already looked at the cache page on the computer or my phone. That way I know exactly what I'm in for.

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30 minutes ago, sgerbs said:

Genuine question that has nothing to do with the topic at hand, but do you not look at cache pages before you go geocaching?

Every single geocache I go after, I've already looked at the cache page on the computer or my phone. That way I know exactly what I'm in for.

I agree. 

Not dprovan, but thought I'd like to give my take.   Thanks.    :)

Another reason I no longer do nondescript 1.5 or less caches is a lot have lengthy "descriptions", yet many don't have anything to do with the cache. 

The history of the town,  or a few paragraphs from a comic book, and find simply a pill bottle behind a roadside tree, for example...  

I feel those "descriptions" are misleading,  and now I'll read descriptions when I feel a higher D/T may warrant it.   

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8 hours ago, cerberus1 said:

 

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.    :)

 

Not sure what you are referring to by "real" letterboxes, but I'm referring to those listed on Atlas Quest that have nothing to do with geocaching. Letterboxing is about the trading of stamp imprints where store bought stamps are not desirable. Of course, it's probably location specific to some degree but I'm talking about the Atlas Quest letterboxing community.

Edited by fbingha
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4 hours ago, fbingha said:

Not sure what you are referring to by "real" letterboxes, but I'm referring to those listed on Atlas Quest that have nothing to do with geocaching. Letterboxing is about the trading of stamp imprints where store bought stamps are not desirable. Of course, it's probably location specific to some degree but I'm talking about the Atlas Quest letterboxing community.

 

We understand that other hobby.  I'm simply saying that's not always true.     :)

 - In fact, another thing we noticed is the condition of many were similar to this hobby too.  Damp pages and smeared ink...

I have no idea if any belonged to the "atlas quest community", but all were actual letterboxes, not geocaching hybrids.   

We've found some in a few states, just like muggled hides, those cool spots not restricted to this hobby...

All have been store-bought rubber stamps, just like atlas quest even calls them,  and like the custom rubber Cerberus ones we have that we use for hybrids.

 

 

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On 11/12/2020 at 7:36 AM, IceColdUK said:

If you have a series of themed caches, it seems like a nice touch to include a themed stamp in the bonus.

 

There's nothing stopping a cache owner from having a themed stamp in a bonus cache; just from it being a letterbox hybrid cache. The first bonus the OP refers to should have been submitted as a mystery/unknown cache as well and published as such.

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12 minutes ago, hzoi said:
On 11/12/2020 at 12:36 PM, IceColdUK said:

If you have a series of themed caches, it seems like a nice touch to include a themed stamp in the bonus.

 

There's nothing stopping a cache owner from having a themed stamp in a bonus cache; just from it being a letterbox hybrid cache.


Yep, as I said, above:

 

On 11/17/2020 at 2:15 PM, IceColdUK said:

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.)

 

It just seems a shame that these are two perfect examples of caches that ‘deserve’ a nice stamp, but there’s no way to show it through cache type or attributes.

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1 hour ago, IceColdUK said:

It just seems a shame that these are two perfect examples of caches that ‘deserve’ a nice stamp, but there’s no way to show it through cache type or attributes.

 

Title: "XYZ Series - Bonus cache [LETTERBOX HYBRID]" (or similar)

Probably just as boldly clear as a cache type, just without the LBH stat.

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3 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

 

Title: "XYZ Series - Bonus cache [LETTERBOX HYBRID]" (or similar)

Probably just as boldly clear as a cache type, just without the LBH stat.


It’s not about stats (for me).  I just see no reason why a bonus cannot be a LBH.  🤷‍♂️

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On 11/27/2020 at 2:56 PM, Mr Indoorsman said:

Yup, and to paraphrase the response I got from HQ staff - 'the rules just are'. When I went back to ask for a rationale, I never got a response.

 

 

It's for consistency. That way, hiders, reviewers, and finders are all on the same page of what's expected.

 

I should be able to find any given letterbox hybrid geocache, or traditional, or multi, or Wherigo, or earthcache, or virtual cache, or A.P.E. cache, or event cache, or adventure maze, without relying on other caches to piece it together. Whereas if it's an unknown/mystery cache, categorically I'm on notice that I can't just turn on the GPSr and go hunting, as there are other things I need to do or figure out in order to get the find.

 

Put a stamp in if you like, but if it's a bonus, it gets published as an unknown/mystery cache, or not at all.

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On 12/3/2020 at 4:39 PM, hzoi said:

 

It's for consistency. That way, hiders, reviewers, and finders are all on the same page of what's expected.

 

I should be able to find any given letterbox hybrid geocache, or traditional, or multi, or Wherigo, or earthcache, or virtual cache, or A.P.E. cache, or event cache, or adventure maze, without relying on other caches to piece it together. Whereas if it's an unknown/mystery cache, categorically I'm on notice that I can't just turn on the GPSR and go hunting, as there are other things I need to do or figure out in order to get the find.

 

Put a stamp in if you like, but if it's a bonus, it gets published as an unknown/mystery cache, or not at all.

I appreciate your point but you haven't said why that is - the rationale? - plenty of people on this thread have given examples of how LBHs can operate as Bonus caches and it doesn't break anything to do with Mysteries or LBHs. And you can still give non coordinate clues at each of the stages in the run up to the bonus, which is the precise circumstance that I was attempting to do when this issue first arose recently. So, not mutually exclusive to do LBHs type clues and build them into a Bonus.

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There is little rationale in many of the things in this hobby. It makes me wonder why can't I catch the ball with my hand and drop it before kicking it when playing soccer?  That rule doesn't make sense to me and I doubt anyone can explain the rationale of it, but it is a rule I must follow when playing that game.

 

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1 hour ago, Mr Indoorsman said:

I appreciate your point but you haven't said why that is - the rationale?

 

This phrase from the text you quoted sounded like a rationale to me:

 

"I should be able to find any given letterbox hybrid geocache, or traditional, or multi, or Wherigo, or earthcache, or virtual cache, or A.P.E. cache, or event cache, or adventure maze, without relying on other caches to piece it together. Whereas if it's an unknown/mystery cache, categorically I'm on notice that I can't just turn on the GPSR and go hunting, as there are other things I need to do or figure out in order to get the find."

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1 hour ago, niraD said:

 

This phrase from the text you quoted sounded like a rationale to me:

 

"I should be able to find any given letterbox hybrid geocache, or traditional, or multi, or Wherigo, or earthcache, or virtual cache, or A.P.E. cache, or event cache, or adventure maze, without relying on other caches to piece it together. Whereas if it's an unknown/mystery cache, categorically I'm on notice that I can't just turn on the GPSR and go hunting, as there are other things I need to do or figure out in order to get the find."

 

I think this sums it up perfectly.

 

I've stayed out of this discussion until now, although I did participate in a very similar previous discussion.

 

For me the problem does not lie in the "all bonus caches must be mystery caches" from the point of view that niraD has clearly pointed out - the situation where you need to find other caches before you can find this one - but for me it lies in the definition of "bonus cache".

 

I have an Adventure Lab which has a Letterbox cache as the bonus cache.  It fits in with the theme of the Adventure Lab for it to be a Letterbox cache.  Here's how it works:  If you complete the Adventure Lab, you'll have all the info necessary to open the bonus letterbox.  If you don't like Adventure Labs, you can simply complete the Letterbox, which just happens to take you to the same locations (slightly different questions) as the Adventure Lab.  So if you do the Ad Lab, then this cache is a bonus.  If you don't do the Ad Lab, it's just a letterbox cache.  To me that fits enough the definition of bonus cache - it's a cache and it's a bonus after doing some other geocaching activity - just that I'm being inclusive and not stopping people from finding it just because they don't like doing Ad Labs.  Truth be told, everyone who has found it so far has found it as a bonus to the Ad Lab.  But I can't give it the bonus cache attribute because it's not a mystery cache - and therefore I lose the opportunity for people to find it in "bonus cache" attribute queries, for those looking for Ad Labs with bonus caches.  It's not the end of the world, but it does seem to me to be a little silly and maybe a little counter-productive.

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On 12/3/2020 at 6:39 PM, hzoi said:

It's for consistency. That way, hiders, reviewers, and finders are all on the same page of what's expected.

 

I should be able to find any given letterbox hybrid geocache, or traditional, or multi, or Wherigo, or earthcache, or virtual cache, or A.P.E. cache, or event cache, or adventure maze, without relying on other caches to piece it together. Whereas if it's an unknown/mystery cache, categorically I'm on notice that I can't just turn on the GPSr and go hunting, as there are other things I need to do or figure out in order to get the find.

But LBH can require all kinds of other things you need to do before turning on a GPSr in order to get a find. It’s the arbitrary exception made for ”find another cache” that makes things inconsistent...

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On 12/3/2020 at 8:39 AM, hzoi said:

 

It's for consistency. That way, hiders, reviewers, and finders are all on the same page of what's expected.

 

I should be able to find any given letterbox hybrid geocache, or traditional, or multi, or Wherigo, or earthcache, or virtual cache, or A.P.E. cache, or event cache, or adventure maze, without relying on other caches to piece it together. Whereas if it's an unknown/mystery cache, categorically I'm on notice that I can't just turn on the GPSr and go hunting, as there are other things I need to do or figure out in order to get the find.

 

You don't see how this doesn't make sense?

 

You say "categorically I'm on notice that I can't just turn on the GPSr and go hunting, as there are other things I need to do or figure out in order to get the find"

 

I can take my cache with a stamp, set up a puzzle that requires you to do all sorts of things all over the county over several days and publish it as a letterbox, right now, per the rules.

 

.. but if I just happen to include finding another geocache in that puzzle, it can no longer be a letterbox.

 

It's just nonsense.

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On 12/7/2020 at 5:30 PM, fbingha said:

 

You don't see how this doesn't make sense?

 

You say "categorically I'm on notice that I can't just turn on the GPSr and go hunting, as there are other things I need to do or figure out in order to get the find"

 

I can take my cache with a stamp, set up a puzzle that requires you to do all sorts of things all over the county over several days and publish it as a letterbox, right now, per the rules.

 

.. but if I just happen to include finding another geocache in that puzzle, it can no longer be a letterbox.

 

It's just nonsense.

This and the post by mustakopi above exactly covers what I mean by my rationale challenge - Letterboxes can have all sorts of requirements on them to find the cache other than GPS, that's well within the rules and very consistent with the cache type, in fact it's kinda the point of them. So it is not correct to say this is a rationale - that would be inconsistent with the idea of Letterboxes. 

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On 12/8/2020 at 5:26 AM, mustakorppi said:

But LBH can require all kinds of other things you need to do before turning on a GPSr in order to get a find. It’s the arbitrary exception made for ”find another cache” that makes things inconsistent...

 

I thought a little more about this, and in my mind, this is what makes sense to me:

 

A (strictly) bonus cache requires a cacher to find other caches before they can find this one.  If this bonus cache was a letterbox hybrid, then it should be able to be found by a letterboxer, who might not actually be a geocacher.  A letterboxer should be able to go looking for letterboxes without needing to go geocaching, so if it strictly requires other caches to be found, then the letterboxer can't find it, and so it's not really a letterbox.

 

I don't know if that resonates with anyone else, but I'm satisfied with that, and for me it reinforces my approach with my Ad Lab "bonus" cache that is indeed a LBH, as I explained a few posts above (TLDR: It can be found as a stand alone letterbox without completing the Ad Lab).

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5 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

A (strictly) bonus cache requires a cacher to find other caches before they can find this one.  If this bonus cache was a letterbox hybrid, then it should be able to be found by a letterboxer, who might not actually be a geocacher.  A letterboxer should be able to go looking for letterboxes without needing to go geocaching, so if it strictly requires other caches to be found, then the letterboxer can't find it, and so it's not really a letterbox.

 

This, imo, is about the best way to look at it. The main point of the bonus cache is that another cache, another listing, needs to be looked up and found before this one can be. If I went searching for a LBH, I'd expect the cache to be self-contained and findable. If it's a Bonus, it would fall under the catch-all Mystery type (just like challenge caches, eg) because in this case there's no "cache type" indicating another listing has to be looked up and found first. I know what to expect with other cache types. Mysteries - always got to read and find out what it is and what has to be done, especially if it's a prerequisite (qualification, cache, adventure lab, etc).

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16 hours ago, funkymunkyzone said:

If this bonus cache was a letterbox hybrid, then it should be able to be found by a letterboxer, who might not actually be a geocacher.  A letterboxer should be able to go looking for letterboxes without needing to go geocaching, so if it strictly requires other caches to be found, then the letterboxer can't find it, and so it's not really a letterbox.

I’d like to make two arguments against this.  
 

First, if a letterboxer wants to find* a LBH bonus cache, the letterboxer is only required to locate the previous geocaches and read the clues for finding the bonus LBH. There is absolutely no requirement for the letterboxer to ”play geocaching” e.g. log finds on geocaching.com or sign any log books. This is not too dissimilar to having physical waypoints, which no one contests that a LBH can have.

 

Second, a ”real” letterbox probably wouldn’t include solving sudoku. A letterboxer might rightly say that they’re not a sudoku-neer. But a LBH cache can nevertheless involve solving a sudoku. Why should it be that we can require a letterboxer to ”play sudoku” but not ”play geocaching”? We can replace sudoku with an arbitrarily more complex game if you feel that makes a difference,

 

The only difference I can tease out is that geocaching requires registering on geocaching.com and geocaches can’t require registering elsewhere to e.g. play sudoku, but I don’t see why that would be an issue for LBH caches listed on geocaching.com.

 

*when talking about letterboxing, I’m assuming that ”find” means ”discover the whereabouts” and ”require” has nothing to do with the rules of geocaching, but rather it means that ”doing this task gives you necessary information to be able to locate the LBH”

 

 

Edited by mustakorppi
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4 hours ago, IceColdUK said:
11 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

in this case there's no "cache type" indicating another listing has to be looked up and found first

But there is an attribute.  Just sayin'... ;-)

 

Yes, we know, and same for bonus caches. But irrelevant to the point being made. And before the recent attributes, "challenge" in the title was required, just as "bonus" is for bonus caches. No new cache types. Mystery is still the catch-all classification.

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OK - I admit that I fell into the trap of only thinking about what the guidelines used to provide for letterbox hybrids, and not the expanded category of what is currently allowed. So yes, under the expanded definition that a letterbox can be almost any kind of geocache (other than Wherigo, challenge, or bonus), it does not draw the same distinction I stated earlier.

 

If you tried having strict categories without exception - "a cache is a letterbox as long as it had a stamp in it," and "a bonus cache must be an unknown/mystery cache," there's going to be a conflict between those two. Just like there would be conflict between the first one and "a challenge cache must be an unknown/mystery cache," or the first one and "a cache that works with a Wherigo cartridge must be a Wherigo cache." Lines had to be drawn somewhere, and the exceptions to these rules came down against letterboxes and not for.

Edited by hzoi
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2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:
7 hours ago, IceColdUK said:
14 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

in this case there's no "cache type" indicating another listing has to be looked up and found first

But there is an attribute.  Just sayin'... ;-)

 

Yes, we know, and same for bonus caches. But irrelevant to the point being made. And before the recent attributes, "challenge" in the title was required, just as "bonus" is for bonus caches. No new cache types. Mystery is still the catch-all classification.

 

Thought I'd already posted this reply, but either I missed the Submit button or it got lost in the ether...

 

I don't see why this is irrelevant.  The (new) 'Bonus' attribute tells us the cache is a bonus cache, and the 'Challenge' attribute identifies a challenge.  Maintaining that a bonus cache must also be a Mystery with "Bonus" in the title seems to be an unnecessary duplication of data.  Same for challenges.

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2 hours ago, IceColdUK said:

I don't see why this is irrelevant.  The (new) 'Bonus' attribute tells us the cache is a bonus cache, and the 'Challenge' attribute identifies a challenge.  Maintaining that a bonus cache must also be a Mystery with "Bonus" in the title seems to be an unnecessary duplication of data.  Same for challenges.

 

Well, now that we have attributes that identify such 'additional' properties of a geocache, then sure, I'd agree that making bonus caches Mystery caches is entirely arbitrary and "because HQ said so". But then the same can go for Challenge Caches, eh? :) And I've said that for years - why not have different cache types identify what the cache is like more accurately (especially now that we have an attribute identifying the ALR) since there are some challenge caches that have required solving a puzzle first, or placed like a multi-stage cache - yet still having the ALR. :laughing:

...well, because hq said so. *shrug*

 

If I were to see challenge caches mixed in with caches of other types all over the map, I'd get pretty confused, because the cache type is much more prominent than the attribute (regardless of the filters).

 

And so, I'd make the same argument for the Bonus cache concept. If it could be listed as LBs (or any other type), it could get very hard to distinguish by map view whether a cache can simply be found per the expectation of the presented cache type.

 

Having them all as Mystery - already knowing that there's a variety of potential tasks associated with it - makes it just a little easier to know what to expect, IMO.

 

I suppose it's a matter of priority between these two cases:

1. Have a Letterbox type with the Bonus attribute indicating another cache has to be found first.

2. Have an Unknown with the Bonus attribute and state that there's a stamp inside for those who like LBs.

 

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Just now, mustakorppi said:

I’d vote to resolve the issue by getting rid of the ”mystery + stamp = LBH” graphic and use to the rules to enforce an actual identity for the cache type. 

 

 

 

If so, please describe your requirements for a Letterbox Hybrid. 

 

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5 hours ago, K13 said:

 

If so, please describe your requirements for a Letterbox Hybrid. 

 

I don’t have requirements, and I don’t particularly mind what the rules specifically are. But for example something like ”No intermediate waypoints, no max distance, the way to cache from posted coordinates must be deciphered from the cache page and cannot require the use of any tools aside from a compass. Final container must include a stamp.” would get rid of most of the nonsense while enforcing something resembling letterboxing.

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On 12/11/2020 at 3:41 AM, thebruce0 said:

 

This, imo, is about the best way to look at it. The main point of the bonus cache is that another cache, another listing, needs to be looked up and found before this one can be. If I went searching for a LBH, I'd expect the cache to be self-contained and findable. If it's a Bonus, it would fall under the catch-all Mystery type (just like challenge caches, eg) because in this case there's no "cache type" indicating another listing has to be looked up and found first. I know what to expect with other cache types. Mysteries - always got to read and find out what it is and what has to be done, especially if it's a prerequisite (qualification, cache, adventure lab, etc).

Although I don't necessarily agree with the entirety of this argument, this is the closest thing I have read in this thread (or in HQ's reply to me) to attempt a logical explanation of WHY LBHs can't be Bonuses. I think it has been reasonably countered by mustakorppi and others above, but at least it showed coherent thought on the topic, based on rules that we can all agree as a starting point. Shame HQ didn't take the time to do similar, but thanks to thebruce0 for this.

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