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Fully themed challenge caches


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Here's a question for those of you who enjoy challenge caches (if you don't, please let's keep the thread positive =P but with that out of the way...):

 

Do you enjoy challenge caches that have a final cache placed in the same theme as the challenge itself?  (example: a challenge for gathering tree climbs where the cache itself is at the top of a tree, as opposed to a challenge for 5T caches where the final is a 1T under a lamp skirt)

 

Can you provide any example geocaches that really demonstrate a great application of this idea well?

 

Asking for a podcast :)

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For me, the challenge is about the challenge itself so I don't much care about the final being thematic as long as the cache is clean and dry. (Almost all of my active challenge caches are preforms, even if they can be a bit challenging to spot.) As long as we're talking preferences, my preference is for challenges that DON'T end up at an LPC. :mellow:

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There are pros and cons to both. In general, I prefer the challenge final to follow the theme of the challenge. However, if I’m on the road, it’s nice if it’s a simple hike-to, because I probably won’t have climbing gear or my kayak and could be in business clothing (if I’m going to a non-caching event or meeting). I’ve had that happen before… I was not able to get the final because I was hours from home and didn’t have the capacity to do what it required there. 
 

We did one challenge which required a lot of "thorns" attributes and you can guess how it was hidden. Just thrown in a thicket. I didn’t prefer that final, but I could appreciate why it was done, sort of.

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GC7KC3X

 

Requires finding (among other things) T5 boat attribute caches or T5 climbing gear required caches. The cache itself is on a locally famous "challenge island" with other D5/T5 challenges, and is itself a T5 boat required & climbing gear required.

 

I like the idea of the challenge island, and hope to visit one day. Preferably with someone who has climbing gear :ph34r:

 

On the other hand, when I'm farther from home I'd mostly just prefer to get the "reward" for filling achallenge without too much extra fuss. Many high T activities aren't really safe to do alone, require special equipment, or simply a significant time commitment... stuff that isn't necessarily a problem if you're specifically only out to find caches, but can be really awkward to do as a side activity while travelling. So you know, hopefully the CO can find some other aspect of their chosen theme to present on the challenge cache than "these places sure are hard to get to".

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On 3/1/2022 at 4:23 AM, thebruce0 said:

Do you enjoy challenge caches that have a final cache placed in the same theme as the challenge itself?

 

Yes I do, especially if the challenge cache itself is something of an epitome of its qualifying hides. Of the seven challenges I've completed, two have been like that, D2,4T Challenge (The Dutchman's Stern) (GC6QQPE) which requires 24 caches with a 2/4 DT rating and is itself an excellent 2/4 hide with a long tough hike ending in panoramic mountain views, and the Medium hike challenge (GC5HX3W) which itself is a medium hike (1-10km) out to the end of a scenic ridge with the cache in a cave.

 

I've done much the same thing with my two. The Slow Cooked Aussie Challenge (GC752YF) requires finding Australian caches with the Takes more than an hour attribute and got its name from the opening line in the description that says, "In this age of instant gratification, one might easily think that geocaching is all about the quick smiley, be it power trails, park-and-grab or that bison on a fencepost. But not everything's like that, there are still some caches that take time to savour like a slow-cooked winter meal." Not only does the 10km return hike take a lot more than an hour, the container itself is a camping cookpot. For my Nemophilist Challenge (GC8DQXK), the challenge requirements (prescribed numbers of caches with a T4 rating and/or any of the Significant Hike, Cliffs/Falling Rocks, Dangerous Animals and Scenic Views attributes) came from the nature of the hike through the forest out to GZ (a T4 with all those attributes) and the cache container is a yowie (the ultimate nemophilist) in a cave.

Edited by barefootjeff
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I'm less concerned with the challenge cache being "on theme" and more about it being a cache I would want to find even if it weren't a challenge cache. 

 

In other words, I hate it when challenge caches are LPCs, GRIMs, or roadside power trails. They don't need to be amazing, just "not lame." Same with puzzle caches (except maybe geoart) and bonus caches.

Edited by JL_HSTRE
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2 hours ago, JL_HSTRE said:

I'm less concerned with the challenge cache being "on theme" and more about it being a cache I would want to find even if it weren't a challenge cache. 

 

In other words, I hate it when challenge caches are LPCs, GRIMs, or roadside power trails. They don't need to be amazing, just "not lame." Same with puzzle caches (except maybe geoart) and bonus caches.

 

I am the exact opposite. Challenge caches are about the challenge, the destination was the experience not the physical cache. So I'd prefer that those great places "not lame" be for everyone and choose the "lame" sites for something that appeals to only a few. Same applies to Mystery caches. I'm hiding a pretty boring challenge cache right now a nano on a sign.

 

Though I'm a minority I suppose, I also don't think LPC, GRC PNG are ever lame nothing forces you to go there and you can read the hint and choose to place on your ignore list if it is too lame.

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9 minutes ago, MNTA said:

So I'd prefer that those great places "not lame" be for everyone and choose the "lame" sites for something that appeals to only a few.

 

I would rather caches not be placed in lame locations at all.

 

And yes I have skipped/ignored challenge caches when I recognized in advance where they were located. 

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That's some intriguing points being made. I hadn't considered the aspect of the challenge container being the technical 'reward' for completing the challenge, thus intending to be more accessible than the challenge requirement itself.   It certainly addressed the point about people just wanting to find geocaches, including challenge caches, even if they can't technically log it as found online until they qualify.

Though you can "earn" a puzzle cache D by logging it found without having to solve the puzzle (many ways to do that). But you can't "earn" the D/T of a challenge cache technically until you also qualify. But in either case you can still enjoy finding the physical cache if you know where it is.

 

That said, does anyone have any other examples of challenges where the final is related to the challenge?

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3 hours ago, MNTA said:

 

I am the exact opposite. Challenge caches are about the challenge, the destination was the experience not the physical cache. So I'd prefer that those great places "not lame" be for everyone and choose the "lame" sites for something that appeals to only a few. Same applies to Mystery caches.

 

None of the ones I mentioned are blocking great places that could otherwise be used for "something for everyone". Both the Medium Hike Challenge and the D2,4T Challenge are in pretty remote spots in the Watagan Mountains and my two are similarly remote in and around Brisbane Water NP where there are maybe one or two other caches within kilometres of them. I'm pretty sure my two have gotten more finds as challenge caches than they would have got as traditionals, given the effort needed to get to them. The same goes for my puzzles, which are generally themed to the hiding place like my recent Dentist's Delight (GC9BBJE) where the puzzle is based on tooth-numbering schemes and the hiding place is in a mouth-like cave full of honeycombed cavities (for that one, the hiding place inspired the puzzle). I find it much more satisfying when the final of a challenge, puzzle or even AL bonus is the climax of the experience and not just an afterthought.

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2 hours ago, thebruce0 said:

That said, does anyone have any other examples of challenges where the final is related to the challenge?

This is one I am still not quite qualified to log as a find - https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC44V4H_challenge-bikeway-wanna-supersize-that

It's part of a series of challenges along a Biking trail.  Most of the containers are the same, but the one for this is a 5 gallon bucket, in keeping with the challenge!

I had fun signing all the logs (about 30 challenges) along the Bikeway when I had been caching only a year, and didn't think I would ever qualify for most of them.  I've managed to qualify for about 10 of them so far, and I need only 2 more Large size to be able to log this one as a find.

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GC3V6RR requires finding caches near the hockey rinks of teams in Liiga (the highest level ice hockey league in Finland), the final container is hidden in hockey gear.

 

The theme for GC34R85 is the Winter War, and it was originally hidden at a WWII era AA-gun. I'm not sure if there's anything of interest at the new location. (Challenge is just a find streak of physical cache for the same duration as the war, and including a 50 day streak with the same cache type.)

 

The task of GC31ZZ4 and GC2CMZK is to find caches hidden at railway stations (cache name must include the words "railway station" or the Finnish equivalent), both are hidden along railway tracks (or where tracks used to be).

 

Aside from the simple "size large cache challenge is a size large cache" kind of themes, the current challenge rules make themed challenges more difficult to create maybe? A lot of the new challenges in the area are just meaningless stat combos.

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I think all caches with a theme that extends through to the final are clever and I enjoy clever things. I don't think this is any more or less interesting for challenge caches, but I do sometimes find it convenient. For example, I find it an advantage when a challenge for lots of tree climbs is, itself, a difficult tree climb because that means I won't be any more liikely to find the final than meet the challenge. And I'd definitely like any challenge to find a certain number of large caches to be itself a large cache. Of course, some are forbidden. It used to be something of a tradition to put a puzzle on a challenge to find so many puzzle caches, but that's no longer allowed.

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My one challenge cache is thematic, although it was approved before challenges were limited so it was easier to create one.  I use Aura Raines in many of my logs dealing with UFOs so it was easy to create an Aura challenge dealing with flying saucers, with an appropriate container.  

 

Many of my caches fit within a theme of a story - Bud Flout caches for Bigfoot; Roy caches for a local mostly fictional characters.  Those are not conducive to current challenges.  
 

I can no longer climb trees and stats don’t interest me.  So until I figure how to make a cryptid cache work, I’m not sure how to make a thematic challenge. 

Edited by geodarts
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On 3/2/2022 at 4:48 PM, dprovan said:

And I'd definitely like any challenge to find a certain number of large caches to be itself a large cache.

If a challenge cache helps in fulfilling its own challenge, an interesting situation can arise, if you arrive there with exactly one less find than what's required for the challenge.

Example: Challenge requires 50 Large finds, is itself a Large; and you arrive with 49 Large finds.

  • You log a find, and as proof for the challenge you point to your public stats, which show 50 Large finds. Additionally, you present the output of the Challenge Checker, which also says "Challenge fulfilled",
  • The CO thinks "What!?!", deletes your find, and as proof points to your public stats, which show only 49 Large finds, and adds the output of the Challenge Checker, which says "Nope".
  • Repeat ... ;)

I actually had such a situation, when a challenge required (among other things) 200 D4,5 finds, and was itself listed as D4,5. When planning a trip, I noticed that I would be in the area of that cache and had found 199 D4,5 so far. I decided to log a find, mainly because I found the whole conundrum quite funny (I like self-referencing logical questions ;) ). I indicated in my log, that I was aware of the inherent problems, and that the CO might be in a valid position to delete my find. He let it stand, though, and not much later, I had found another D4,5 anyway.

 

That said, and coming back on topic: Of course it's preferable, if a challenge cache is "themed" to match the challenge. Definitely better than a non-descript micro "just for the smiley".

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14 minutes ago, baer2006 said:
  • You log a find, and as proof for the challenge you point to your public stats, which show 50 Large finds. Additionally, you present the output of the Challenge Checker, which also says "Challenge fulfilled",
  • The CO thinks "What!?!", deletes your find, and as proof points to your public stats, which show only 49 Large finds, and adds the output of the Challenge Checker, which says "Nope".

 

The challenge must be completed before you are eligible to log it found. I have solved this problem by excluding the challenge cache itself from the checkers.

 

The checker is officially made for the cache owner. There is no requirement that the player must use any challenge checker. This is why only the result of the checker matters in this case.

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19 minutes ago, arisoft said:

The challenge must be completed before you are eligible to log it found. I have solved this problem by excluding the challenge cache itself from the checkers.

To my experience, the description of a challenge usually states explicitly that the challenge cache itself can not be included in the list of qualifying caches, in situations where that could otherwise be claimed. For good reason I think, not only should the challenge be completed before logging it, but also otherwise you would need to log found first and then edit your log to include the "proof" from the checker.

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10 minutes ago, ChriBli said:

then edit your log to include the "proof" from the checker.

 

The requirement of proof was there before the requirement of the checker. Modern challenges do not require additional proof. It is the owner's responsibility to use the checker instead of trusting any "proof" that may be counterfeit.

 

On 2/28/2022 at 7:23 PM, thebruce0 said:

Do you enjoy challenge caches that have a final cache placed in the same theme as the challenge itself?

 

I do. For example, a challenge that required visiting railway stations were situated near a railway. Another challenge required visiting link towers were situated near one. Themed challenges are now more difficult to implement as requirements for challenges are almost against any theme. Only attributes can be used to select a theme.

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2 hours ago, arisoft said:

The requirement of proof was there before the requirement of the checker. Modern challenges do not require additional proof. It is the owner's responsibility to use the checker instead of trusting any "proof" that may be counterfeit.

Yet it is not uncommon that the checker output is included in the log.

 

On 2/28/2022 at 6:23 PM, thebruce0 said:

Do you enjoy challenge caches that have a final cache placed in the same theme as the challenge itself?

Who doesn't? :) I also enjoy unknowns themed after the puzzle, or in general containers and/or placements following the theme of the description, where applicable.

 

On 2/28/2022 at 6:23 PM, thebruce0 said:

Can you provide any example geocaches that really demonstrate a great application of this idea well?

GC5HHDH (title can be translated to "the snow-shoveler") calls for finding ten caches north of the challenge (at around 60 degrees north latitude), during the two coldest months of the year, all having the "not available in winter" attribute. The challenge itself also has this attribute, and I can testify that it is not easy to find under the snow. Not sure this qualifies as a great application, but it is an application.

 

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