Sunday, April 05, 2009

No more ALR caches

In case you haven't heard the news, the guidelines have been updated and ALR (Additional Listing Requirement) caches have been banned/stricken/outlawed/disallowed... whatever word you prefer. Here's the new guideline text:

Logging of All Physical Caches

Geocaches can be logged online as Found once the physical log has been signed.

If it is appropriate for your cache location or theme, you may ask the cache seeker to accomplish an optional and simple task, either close to the cache site (normally within 0.1 miles or 161 meters) or when writing their online log. For example, wear the goofy hat inside the cache container and upload a photograph. Cache finders can choose whether or not to attempt or accomplish optional tasks. Cache owners may not delete the cache seeker's log based solely on optional tasks.

This guideline change applies immediately to all logs written from April 4, 2009 and going forward. Older caches with "additional logging requirements" (ALRs) are not grandfathered under the older guideline. If you own an existing cache with mandatory additional logging requirements, we request that you:

  • Cease deleting logs based on additional logging requirements.
  • Review your own cache listing to see if the ALR can be made into an optional and simple task, or whether it must be removed altogether.
  • Adjust your geocache listing by editing the text then contact a reviewer to change the cache type, if appropriate.
Compared to some parts of the U.S. and the world, I think this change won't affect Iowa geocachers that much because I've seen very few ALR caches submitted in Iowa. Many ALRs had nothing to do with geocaching, such as the requirement to draw a picture, stand on your head, step under a waterfall, sing a silly song, etc.

What do you think? Do you (did you) love ALRs and think this is a terrible idea? Or did you hate them and think it's about time they were written out of the guidelines?

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Yesterday's blog post

For those of you who may still be scratching their heads about my blog post yesterday describing changes to the guidelines... think about the date on which it was posted. Yes, it was an April Fool's joke. No, there are no such plans in the works.

But wouldn't it be nice?

My thanks to General Disarray, who reviews caches for Oklahoma, for letting me borrow the idea. I understand Heartland Cacher, who reviews for Nebraska, also played this prank in the Cornhusker state.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

New guidelines take effect today

As some of you may have heard, there are modifications in the works for Geocaching. I would like to take this opportunity to inform you of some of the changes to take effect starting today. These changes are being implemented in order to take geocaching back to its roots.

Cache Size: Cache containers must now be of the one quart size or larger. No “nanos”, matchstick containers, or film canisters will be published.

Cache Content: All caches must contain a logbook (not log sheet) and items for trade. Fast food toys will be added to the list of items disallowed inside caches.

Permissions: As all land is owned by someone, all cache owners must obtain permission from the landowner in writing and fax or email this to me. This will be kept on file for the duration of the caches existence. *fax number to be added to my profile*

New Saturation Guidelines: The .1 mile rule still applies to caches placed within public parks. There is a new guideline for “linear” trails (sometimes referred to as “power” trails). This guideline states that caches must be placed no closer than 3-4 miles apart and must be in a location that will “wow” your fellow cachers.

Logging Guidelines: 1. Physical logbook: your physical log must contain more than just a signature. 2. Online Log: Acronyms are no longer an acceptable way to log online. You must write a minimum of three sentences detailing your experience. Logs containing “TFTC”, “TFTH”, “SL”, etc will be deleted.

As more information becomes available to me I will make it available to you via this site and my profile. Let’s continue to make Iowa the best state to geocache in.