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LAB caches are dead! So what can we do instead?


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I must bring this up. I am building LAB caches for an upcoming mega, but have second thoughts. Am I doing something meaningful?

 

LAB caches are dead, killed by Groundspeak by the introduction of ALCs. ALCs are permanent virtuals, totally different things than lab caches, which are temporary event activities. If we have LABs on the events, they will be mixed with local ALCs and visitors will have problems telling them apart. Also, will they care about that event activity cache when they have five virtuals right outside the event that counts the same?

 

So as far a I can see, this means LAB caches are dead. Making LABs on events will only cause more confusion.

 

What can we do instead? My suggestion is this: We either need a new attribute, "event activity", on caches, or a new cache type, event activity cache. Or we just make activities that are not logged online.

 

Beacuse we do want fun activities on mega events, don't we? But logging them as "new virtuals" make no sense so... maybe we shouldn't make them loggable at all.

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12 minutes ago, kunarion said:

If event Lab caches cannot be logged, wouldn't people prefer the ALCs, based on your premise?

 

If they take the ALCs anyway, since both count as ALCs...?

 

But if they are not lumped together with ALCs but something else, then I think they would benefit even without logs. They would be part of the event. But a new log type or attribute on a physical final would solve the problem.

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20 minutes ago, Ragnemalm said:

if they are not lumped together with ALCs but something else

 

Isn't there a list passed out to attendees?  When I've found Lab Caches at an Event, they've been separate from all other caches.  It was simple to select them, and there was a reward for finding the series.  Then they all vanished after the Event.

 

Plus, there's no requirement that a Lab Cache be common.  I've found these indoors, inside an antique store (the clue was in a painting that was placed just for the Lab cache), or inside a hotel lobby, all with theme decor, fragile and temporary, not the usual cache, nor even the usual ALC.  A creative cache name might also be good. :anicute:

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Posted (edited)

My opinion labs both old and new is meh but we really are not the intended audience of them so ..


I'd ask GS about ALC for events. They may grant one that would expire with the event. 

Edited by MNTA
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ALC = permanent, virtual, usually very easy. Go to somewhere and count windows. (Yes it can be something more interesting but it was already there, like other virtuals.)

Lab cache = physical, temporary, usually pretty hard.

Can it get more confusing?

My best bet is to replace lab caches with "event activities" and log them with a TB. I just have to get some TB codes.

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FYI, these are two nice LAB caches, fun physical temporary caches. Or rather, IMHO, from now on "event activities". (From FAD 2019 in Sundsvall, Sweden.)

 

Not very similar to ALC, right? So I think they will need to be renamed from now on.

IMG_8765.JPG

IMG_8754.JPG

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Posted (edited)
On 5/26/2021 at 4:50 AM, Ragnemalm said:

ALC = permanent, virtual, usually very easy. Go to somewhere and count windows. (Yes it can be something more interesting but it was already there, like other virtuals.)

Lab cache = physical, temporary, usually pretty hard.

Can it get more confusing?

 

I'm not sure there's a requirement that ALCs be easy, and that only LAB caches can have custom-built activities.  I read that ALCs must not have physical waypoints -- they make use of existing features and therefore tend toward "what is the shape of this concrete pad?",  Answer: "SQUARE".  But I might make use of something existing in the environment, to use it as a "hard" ALC waypoint, even a climbing tower or physical puzzle (where such a thing exists already and is open to all).  It would be rare, but it could happen.

 

But I'm also not sure that the difficulty is the issue.  The Lab caches I found at Mega Events were pretty much "type the word you see on a piece of paper".  Not hard to solve, and although indoors, not hard to access.  They were more creative than difficult.

 

One thing I did, which would need to be done differently for Lab caches, is I placed all the Event Geocaches into a Bookmark List once the caches were published.  That made the caches easy to work with.  The Lab caches were listed on the web page (Lab Cache site), and I logged them back at the hotel where I could get online (my phone had no service at the Event sites).  If Event Lab caches are now in The App and listed with along every ALC in the world, that's an issue.  It would be good to have a kind of List feature for ALC/Lab caches, built into the App, searchable as groups of caches.  Still, doesn't the Event itself provide an info sheet on what to go find?

 

Is it even that hard to tell all the existing ALCs apart from new Lab caches?  I see an ALC here and there, separated by miles, and an Event's temporary Lab Caches all bunched together in the Event city.  If they're that hard to distinguish, consider that part of what makes the Lab cache hard.  B)

 

Edited by kunarion
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My understanding is that these event activities are what Groundspeak had in mind when opening up Adventure Labs to everyone, but many folks (myself included) went with making them multi-part virtuals instead.

 

Do the labs anyway. Attendees will enjoy them.

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"Event activity" says it all. There is an event and there are activities which the attendees can make. Those activities form the event, don't they? Puzzling or climbing (see Ragnegalm's last post from thursday) are part of the event and that's why cachers may go there.

Why do event activities have to give a "geocaching point" in addition to the event if they are part of the event??

 

On 5/25/2021 at 4:37 PM, Ragnemalm said:

Or we just make activities that are not logged online.

 

That's it and nothing else.

event - event activities - fun - event log - one point added to the statistics

 

I remember the only mega event I have been to in my life. The owners have put out several extra caches (with logbook - real caches ;-)) and I found some of them (and it was a nice hike) but didn't see too much of the event itself. That was a pity.

Events should be about connecting the community (mega and giga: from several countries), maybe learn something new (if there are workshops for example), have a good time, make something geocaching related .... not about getting 10+ logging points for one attended event. :-(

 

When I started geocaching this wasn't a thing why is it so important now?

By the way I always hated this whole "caches only for the event" thing (and I haven't done one of them) as it doesn't have anything to do with geocaching in my eyes - even less than the ALCs....

 

Jochen

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It would have been a great idea to have two separate icons. One for Adventure Labs and one for Lab Caches.

 

I looked forward to each and every mega so I could experience the Lab Caches. They are not even close to the same thing. An Adventure Lab is more like a multi stage virtual and a Lab Cache is more like a Gadget Cache.

 

 

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4 hours ago, DARKSIDEDAN said:

a Lab Cache is more like a Gadget Cache

 

I think you have visited good event caches where the owners have done something special for their event labs. That's good to hear! :-)

 

When I have heard others talking about that kind of labs (as I said I haven't done any myself) these were mostly of the type walk around the area around the event and answer questions to the church nearby, to the town hall nearby, to the spring .... just like the new labs. Some cachers have told me that there were solution lists at the event so you could log the labs without finding the answers by yourself.

 

What is more usual? This gadget thing (cool! but still cool without a log) or this additional statistics points (nonsense!)?

Perhaps this "just one more point" is a German thing and in other countries everything is better?

 

I visited a (normal) event from a fellow geocacher once and he brought several of his hide ideas: open locks, play games, ..... might all work as some kind of gadget lab cache but was still fun without logging something (but the event). As owner you can give away a tracking code for someone completing a task if you want to.

 

Jochen

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On 5/27/2021 at 5:22 PM, kunarion said:

I see an ALC here and there, separated by miles

 

Separated by miles? They are everywhere! The closest ones here have starts 200 meters apart, and these two are 300-400 meters from the planned Mega!

 

BTW, "separated by miles" doesn't sound very far apart. Add a bunch of stages to that.

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1 hour ago, Ragnemalm said:

Separated by miles? They are everywhere! The closest ones here have starts 200 meters apart, and these two are 300-400 meters from the planned Mega!

 

BTW, "separated by miles" doesn't sound very far apart. Add a bunch of stages to that.


Sounds like there are a lot where you are.  
 

But weren’t there a limited number of awards to create ALCs?  Who placed all those?  There are two in my town, more are a 10 to 20-mile drive and beyond.  I have one, and I’m not super enthusiastic to make it yet.  

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2 hours ago, kunarion said:

But weren’t there a limited number of awards to create ALCs?  Who placed all those?  There are two in my town, more are a 10 to 20-mile drive and beyond.  I have one, and I’m not super enthusiastic to make it yet.  

 

In my region, the New South Wales Central Coast covering 1680 square kilometres, there are a grand total of eight ALs: three around Gosford, one at Terrigal, one at Norah Head, one at Somersby Falls and my two at Ettalong and Maitland Bay. There haven't been any new ones here this year, the most recent went live in early December. They were something that burned brightly for a little while in the latter half of last year and are now completely dead.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/2/2021 at 8:22 AM, barefootjeff said:

 

In my region, the New South Wales Central Coast covering 1680 square kilometres, there are a grand total of eight ALs: three around Gosford, one at Terrigal, one at Norah Head, one at Somersby Falls and my two at Ettalong and Maitland Bay. There haven't been any new ones here this year, the most recent went live in early December. They were something that burned brightly for a little while in the latter half of last year and are now completely dead.

 

Lovely area of the world that should have more Adventure Lab Caches

Edited by DARKSIDEDAN
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On 6/3/2021 at 1:40 AM, DARKSIDEDAN said:

Lovely area of the world that should have more Lab Caches

That comment brings us back to what I said. You mean ALC's, right? There certainly is room for confusion.

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On 6/2/2021 at 8:22 AM, barefootjeff said:

 

In my region, the New South Wales Central Coast covering 1680 square kilometres, there are a grand total of eight ALs: three around Gosford, one at Terrigal, one at Norah Head, one at Somersby Falls and my two at Ettalong and Maitland Bay. There haven't been any new ones here this year, the most recent went live in early December. They were something that burned brightly for a little while in the latter half of last year and are now completely dead.

You'd barely know if they were dead, as if it weren't for the bonuses, you wouldn't have a clue about AL activity unless you individually flipped through the online logs of the adventures.... including your own. This lack of logging/notification has had me scratching my head from the beginning....

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