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Coming out of our first “no find”, I like to suggest easing the hiding (1 or 2 but no more than 3) when the terrain is getting a high score (like 4 or 5) .. imagine working really hard (e.g., driving long distances or tough navigation) to get to a site only to come back with no claim .. icon_mad.gif

 

By the same token, one can make the hide as hard as he wishes (~5) when the terrain is easily accessible (~1), knowing that you can come back again and again for further tries.

 

In short, why not avoid high scores (and low scores) on both ends of the scale (i.e., 5/5 or 1/1) .. This will spare lots of disappointments on both ends of the spectrum ..

 

Hard to get caches (~ 5/5) don’t turn me on, nor do easy ones (~ 1/1) .. the ideal situation is probably a good balance of high and low scores for the same cache .. what do you think ?

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Sorry you couldn't find the cache -- but at least you got to enjoy the spectacular views.

 

My original scoring for the cache was 5/5. The route was difficult, only because it required 4WD navigation over a couple steep "bumps" and the hike was rather steep but walkable without any special equipment. In addition to the coordinates which should have been accurate, I posted pictures of the cache as well as the site where it was located. Several others located the cache without problem. Perhaps it is missing?

 

I have seen other comments about what you propose with regard to scoring but respectfully disagree. Scoring and descriptions should accurately describe the difficulty of the cache. It should be up to the "seeker" as to whether he/she would like to attempt it or not based on the location or the difficulty.

 

There may be those who would enjoy the challenge of a 5/5 after having improved their hunting, driving and hiking skills to be able to tackle the more challenging caches.

 

However, I am not insensitive to your comments. For example, at the "Saudi Sauna" I placed two caches -- one fairly easy, and one more difficult depening on your climbing ability. Those going the "extra mile" are doubly rewarded.

 

See you on the trail!

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We have been around this buoy before with a consensus of a total maximum score of 7. You must however set some at the extremes on one of the scores to add to the fun for the geocaching purists.

 

I would like to disagree with you on low end scores. An increasing number of people are taking up the activity in the Kingdom and the proportion of children is growing. We must set caches to suit all experience and ages, and as you admit, there is nothing better for hooking the newbie than a successful bag. It is generally true to say that it is only the experienced that tend to relish the thought of a return visit to get that special bag that presents an allusive challenge.

 

On the other hand I disagree with Steve on the 5*/5*. To bag an M&Ms 5* for travel, you must undertake some extraordinary challenge to get to the cache that may involve carrying additional fuel and drinking water, specialist equipment or a physical challenge. After this type of activity looking for a grain of sand in a rock field is a waste of time and quite frankly unnecessary. Let me be controversial, a 5*/5* lacks imagination. M&Ms have been mischievous with Scorpion’s Sting a total of 5.5*s. All you need to do to find the cache is go to a co-ordinate, accessible by a straight forward 4WD trip, and then travel along a bearing for a distance of less than 200m. The type of travel along the bearing demands nothing more than a fairly simple rock scramble. What could be easier. However we are braced for the torrent of abuse from those that fail and hopefully the humble apology when they finally succeed. This 5.5* total presents a real challenge to anyone who wishes to take it on without them needing marine or special forces training, why then set a bloody-minded 10*s total for which the Kingdom is not yet ready.

 

M of M&Ms

 

[This message was edited by M&Ms on February 19, 2003 at 10:12 PM.]

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OK .. I didn’t realize there was some talk about this .. I’m referring to the post titled “Cache Placement”

 

Take a look at the grading proposed by M&Ms in that post (which looks good by the way) and suppose you mark 4 on difficulty, i.e., expect multiple trips but when coupled with 4 on terrain which is challenging for 4WD, then ... you get the picture. If the terrain is very challenging, I don’t want to come back again ..

 

Maybe we should aim for a maximum cache difficulty rating of say 6. i.e. - 5 to get there and 1 to find, or 1 to get there and 5 to find. Or indeed any other combination as long as it does not add up to more than 6. “

.. by Jim stabler

 

This is exactly what I meant.

 

For low end scores, I must admit our first cache which totaled 2.5 (the whole in the wall) was probably more thrill –at the time- than our recent higher score caches .. not only that but because of it we ventured into the game (v. good intro). While, now, I may not be turned on by low score caches, I believe they must be there …

 

Another thought here:

why do we jump into our cars & head for a cache ? on the serious side, if one is well-disciplined, look for challenges, wants to learn, improve skills, accept some risks (totally valid reasons), then a total score of 10 may be the ultimate answer for this question.. But on the lighter side, if simple guaranteed sheer enjoyment is the answer, then for others like me, they will be content with a total of 6 …

 

one final thought:

May I suggest if a score close to 10 is used, why not hide two caches one for that high score and another for less.

 

This discussion is good because many of us look at the score first (sometimes it’s the pics) when deciding what cache to go for (especially now, with more than 50 to choose from).

 

By the way, the cache swdecato is referring to is “Military stash” and we certainly enjoyed the view but our enjoyment could have been doubled ... icon_wink.gif

 

I liked the “Saudi Sauna” a lot .. (not only for bagging it icon_smile.gif but for some other good reasons that I will explain in another post .. I hope)

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... but a score of 6 means that a cache requiring a 5 for travel has to be out in the open. How long would a cache survive the Bedu at Ice Station Zebra or Haddith Meteor Crater. That is not meant as a slight to the Bedu but acknowledging that they are regular visitors who have little experience of what geocaching is all about.

 

M of M&Ms

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Don’t take the numbers literally, 6 or 6.5 or even 7 but not 10 .. if you choose close to 5 for the terrain, make the hiding 1.5, so it will not be flat open for a Bedou to stumble upon as you indicated ... and in those rare cases where one insists on 10, provide another cache where the numbers total less as I suggested earlier above.

 

We don’t want to be so rigid about it that we loose the fun and we don’t want to be so flexible about it that we loose the game. icon_confused.gif

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Now then can you imagine travelling two days off-road to get to what I consider the most difficult sites on this planet to drive to carrying eight cans of fuel and four of water to bag a very obvious cache, perhaps a tad of an anticlimax. No the score must remain in the hands of the setter. We the baggers can vote with our comments and as to whether we hunt out the cache or not. A 10* has a place when all other demands have been met and we are not at that stage in the Kingdom yet. Indeed the debate is that those we have been neglecting are the 2WD owners and families.

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quote:
Originally posted by Dick Turpin the Highwayman:

Now then can you imagine travelling two days off-road to get to what I consider the most difficult sites on this planet to drive to carrying eight cans of fuel and four of water to bag a very obvious cache, perhaps a tad of an anticlimax. .


 

At least, that is better, to me, than coming out of such trip with no bag at all .. icon_wink.gif

 

I took liberty in collecting statistics about the total score for all the 52 caches to date (not including the ones that are not available) and here is what I got:

 

score.jpg

 

We are not catering for 2WD nor to families as many have noted before. The scale is more towards medium to high side which probably reflects the needs of this group (so far) .. will it change ? I don’t know; does it have to change ?.. not really .. I like to see it more centered in the middle, though.

 

Here are some numbers:

 

28.8 % of the caches score a total of 6.5 points or more

61.5% of the caches score total points between 4 & 6

9.6% of the caches score total points equal or less than 3.5

 

Any comments?

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Your graph is very interesting. Thank you. An assumption is that the ratings are accurate and consistent.

 

Do things need to change, well that is a matter of opinion but it needs people to sit and think what we are about.

 

A group who want pleasant trips out geocaching has recently approached us. The factors they are after is caches than are fun to find, can be done so safely and provides a good day out for none participants. The reason for the approach is that they have had some experiences that have unnerved them and it is understandable why.

 

We intend to target caches aimed at the family. This is not to suggest that caches need to be easier but safer, ones where parents can feel reassured that they need not supervise the hunt too closely and where thay are confident to allow youngsters to take the GPS and lead.

 

We feel there are two gaps in the market. The first is caches that are challenges in themselves and that do not rely on: athletic prowess, driving ability, physical courage or that require baggers to spend excessive time looking under rock ledges. The second is for cache sites where geocaching forms only part of the fun. We hope by filling these gaps we can maintain the broad based appeal of the activity rather than concentrate on satisfying the specialist. Soon there will be enough caches for all but not yet and we must be careful to maintain a balance in order to invest for the future.

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