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The Next Rant… The Impossible Challenge Cache.

November 20, 2013

I was contacted the other day by a cacher who was fed up with other players in the game placing challenge caches that have impossible criteria listed in the cache page description. My first thought when I read her letter was “Why don’t you go and find them anyway?”  You may not get a smiley for the day, but I have always thought the fun was in the finding of caches, not the tedium of logging them.  She went on to say that she felt other, bigger players in the game were “thumbing their nose” at casual cachers such as herself, and pointed me in the direction of a few listings.   It got me thinking…Why do cachers put out caches that will not be found by many finders, if any at all?.

Well, first let’s go to the groundspeak rules and see how it is someone would be allowed to put out a cache that can only be logged by a few players in our game.  So, according to the rules….”A challenge geocache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers.  A challenge geocache may not specifically exclude any segment of geocachers.”    Well, I guess bending the rules is OK once in a while as long as it is groundspeak doing the bending.

In my research to look into this further, I found a few geocache challenges that had not been logged by anybody.

One cache listing requires cachers to find 21 separate caches at specific longitude and latitudes.  Now to be fair to these cache hiders, I don’t really see why this is not attainable by anybody in the area, however after almost 3 years of being listed no cacher has logged a smiley yet. (perhaps criteria could be loosened up a bit)  Placing a cache no one has logged yet couldn’t possibly seen as friendly to all who read the description or you would have had finders by now.

Another cache with no finders requires finders to specifically find ammo cans in 100 different counties in a U.S. state.    It has been 3 years  and no finders yet, there is a small chance there are cachers qualified to do this one, but if it was me personally, I wouldn’t bother doing the research to find out whether or not I qualify for it.  (no wonder you have no finders)

A popular challenge cache has always been “the grid challenge”  This type of challenge requires cachers to log cache finds in each of the difficulty and terrain ratings. 81 different finds in total. It was a nice idea, but now there are double, triple and quad challenges of the same idea. This might be seen as “thumbing your nose” as it is not attainable by cachers with physical limitations or  who have no use of specific equipment such as a boat or ATV.  (So much for the rule, ” needs be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers”)

There are all sorts of challenges out there, some require travel, (also not attainable by persons with limited income). A few that require you to cache a specific number of days in a row  (be glad you have a life outside geocaching) , a few that require you find an incredible amount of trackables. (good luck with this one)

So to respond to the lady who sent me her rant, my advice would be find them anyway, leave a note on the cache page saying when you have no life outside geocaching you will be happy to make the qualifications for their cache and log it properly. Be glad you have more to do in life than get 1000 smileys in a month, discover 10 000 trackables, or geocache in 50 different countries.  The Bitchy Cacher has found a few of these caches, and even though the real finders of some of these need to spend thousands of dollars and cache around the clock to be able to log a find, the caches themselves are nothing special.  In some cases they were only a nano, no special swag, no clever hide, no special redeeming qualities whatsoever. Makes you wonder why you bothered to make the requirements to log it when there was nothing interesting for you to find after all your hard work.

So are they “thumbing their nose at you” ?  Maybe, but probably not you specifically.  More likely they are bragging about their own accomplishments without actually publicly bragging.  Feel free to start a public bookmark list and call it “The Bitchy Cacher Ignore list”  Perhaps some of these hiders will make their next hide a little more casual cacher friendly.

  1. Thanks for coming over to my blog ( I really like what you’ve got going on here and I look forward to future reads!

  2. hello!,I love your writing so a lot! keep up the correspondence

  3. I realize this is an old 2013 blog post but it’s still very relevant. Maybe more so. Thankfully Groundspeak has put a moratorium on challenge cache hides until April 2016. They are gathering feedback via a survey:
    We need to tell them why we think challenge caches are not good for the pastime. If CCs stay, hopefully they can come up with a friendlier version.

    My biggest beef is they discourage quality cache ownership. It stings when you get a log on a cache you spent weeks and some money on to create, only to get “Thanks to the owners for placing their caches, I now qualify for Fizzy’s 10-10-10 challenge”. Fizzy’s challenge cache is a roadside bison tube with a moldy tattered logscroll. Sigh.

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