Tuesday, 4 February 2014

I "Heart" Geocaching, Geocaching Adventures, and Lab Caches

Good morning, and welcome back to our blog, geocachers!
If this is your first visit, welcome, and thanks for checking us out.

I Heart Hucka... Geocaching!

There's been some excitement (in many senses of that word) since news broke last Sunday on The Podcacher Geocaching Podcast and other channels about "I Heart Geocaching" and yesterday (Monday, Feb 3) was the official release of those Geocaching Adventures lab caches for premium members to try out.

http://www.geocaching.com/iheartgeocaching/

In an attempt to help folks understand what this is all about, we've put together a short, information laden video on our vlog and are adding this blog entry to supplement that.

As a starting point, official content from Geocaching.com (the good people formerly known as Groundspeak) has moved from forum chatter to an official and helpful FAQ. That's probably the best place to go, although many of my fellow bloggers, vloggers, and podcasters are all trying to make sure you have the pertinent info at your finger tips!

In that commitment to be helpful, we've created this short video to explain to you in three minutes what lab caches are, how Geocaching Adventures caches work, and what are the "rules" for "I Heart Geocaching" lab caches.

So in short:
  • You must be  premium member to participate.
  • You get to create 1 "I Heart Geocaching" Geocaching Adventures lab cache
  • That cache can only be found once, by one person 
  • The Geocaching Adventure is best played in the field on a smart phone
  • The 161 metre rule does NOT apply (these don't show up on the maps)

Thirsty for More Geocaching Adventures?

It's really important to Geocaching.com that they get your feedback if you do try this out. There's a few ways to get your constructive feedback to them. They seem to be soliciting this information via replies to this blog posting which first announced the I Heart Geocaching experiment for February. Of course, you can always use the forums also, but I'm in the process of reaching out to the good folks at Geocaching.com to find out how they want to hear your feedback, and share some of the stories they are hearing from you.

Our goal is to record the experience of creating and the subsequent finding of our lab cache (we're going to try it out on a muggle who is curious about geocaching) in an upcoming episode of LMGA, and try to round that out with some feedback from Geocaching.com themselves on how the field beta-test of Geocaching Adventures went.

But most importantly, we want to hear from YOU - are you interested in trying this out? Have you tried creating/finding an "I Heart Geocaching" adventure? What did you think? Would you do it again? Do you have any ideas on how to use these potential new cache types? Write to us via our email, Facebook page (like us! like us!), via Google+, or post comments on our videos. We love hearing from you guys and will be sure to include your feedback as we continue to review "I Heart Geocaching" and other geocaching topics.

Lab Caches Messed With My Stats!

The one criticism we hear most frequently about lab caches is that thy don't count in your stats like any other regular cache type. In fact, between lab caches and US benchmarks, we've found that things can get a bit hairy if you like tracking your stats. And although we're not *just about the numbers* cachers, we do like our stats to be accurate, and that is helpful if you want to tackle challenge caches.

So, the question remains, "if I create/find an "I Heart Geocaching" cache, does it count in my stats?

Well, here's the best answers we could find:
  • You will earn a "smilie" for finding any lab cache (you'll get  "lab cache" icon seen above)
  • Lab cache finds do not yet affect your statistics page on Geoccaching.com
  • Lab cache creation will not yet result in an increase in your "caches placed" statistics
  • Geocaching.com is promising to address these concerns in the future

Thanks for sticking through and reading this - we hope it's been helpful, and really appreciate any feedback you may have - did we miss anything important? Did we make any errors? Was this awesome and helpful? Let us know.

And until next time, please remember to cache safely, and cache often!
The LANMonkeys.

2 comments:

  1. Great Idea for collecting data. Keep on caching.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Ingrid! We most certainly will "keep on caching!"

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