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February 27, 2014 07:42 PM CST

Lab Geocaches

Written by Chevyole and Curly Girls

Author: NL_Admin. 190 Reads
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Chevyole's Lab Cache experiences

 

In the month of February, users were able to create and find a new type of geocache, a lab cache.  Described by Groundspeak as a “beta” cache, they allowed users to experiment with new types of geocache hides.

 Groundspeak allowed premium members to make one, and only one, personalized lab cache experience for one, and only one, other member.   Geocaching.com guideline rules such as proximity and obtaining permission did not apply and cachers were limited only by local laws and ordinances.  The lab caches allowed for much creativity and since Valentines Day was right around the corner, Groundspeak played up the Cupid role.  Many of the lab cache themes were romantic in nature.  

 Others used the lab cache to exact revenge on one of their favorite cache hiders.  For example, my friends Heavin made a “bot” puzzle cache, aptly named Robot’s Revenge, to pay back Ranger Boy for GC46RG3, Field of Dreams.  For over a week, Ranger Boy was toiling over the puzzle and “enjoying” the experience much like we do with his creative caches.


Gort.gif

When the cache was found, the finder entered a code word to prove they actually found it.  This counted the cache as an actual find on geocaching.com. A special cache icon appeared on your geocaching stats page.

 Lab caches allowed the creator to personalize the swag, like tickets to a Badger game or even chocolates which would normally be against the guidelines.

 Unfortunately, and hopefully something that will change with future iterations, no logs were available to be posted on geocaching.com.  Because of this, there were some that did not like the new lab caches.  I found they were not well advertised, as I wouldn’t have known about them if it wasn’t for word of mouth.  Others said that since only one could be created per account and that cache could only be found by one other account, why bother?  

 A group of five of us in southeastern Wisconsin pulled names out of a cyber “hat.”  It was a lot of fun to create a cache for my friend Beccaday involving a library scavenger hunt, her least favorite insects and a pot of gold at the end with a geocaching board game she had been talking about getting.

 I was lucky enough to have one of the most proficient and creative hiders in our area, Lobsters9494 (Tony) be my “Valentine.”

 The lab cache my family received from Lobsters was a walk through my wife, Lisa and my relationship, from meeting, getting married and having our daughter lilole (Ruby.)  Tony, a friend of mine outside of caching, used Facebook to do some light “stalking” and find out personal details before him and I met, such as how Lisa and I met and where we were married.  This really added to the personalized experience.  After a trip down memory lane with 3 unique waypoints we ended up in Ruby Park and a big container with presents for the entire family was waiting for us.

Valentines cache.GIF

 

 

Curly Girls Lab Cache experiences

 

         
It was a year ago at the 2013 WGA Chili Event when Auntie Nae and myself, Curly Girls, had chatted about wanting to make a trip to Pikeville, KY to go to the Hatfield McCoy Mega Event. As the trip approached, we had decided we had a couple of goals – one being to do the Hatfield McCoy Geo Trail and the other to do the anticipated Lab Caches which were only recently launched and only available at Mega Events.

There was little information available about the Lab Cache or even what one was, so come the day of the Mega Event we had finding a Lab Cache as our number one task for the day. Lackey Larry, from Groundspeak, gave a short presentation about the Lab Caches – we were told there were 5 of them in nearby Matewan, WV. Larry explained to get the full effect of a Lab Cache, instead of a GPS, you need a Smartphone and the experience was supposed to be somewhat interactive. I am thinking maybe it is like a beefed up Wherigo? The bad thing was, in that area of the mountains, there was very spotty cell coverage. Unfortunately, our phones did not work like intended for the Labs. Since we really wanted to do these caches, we approached Larry and were lucky enough that he had the info we needed – a printed copy of the Lab details!

We were on a mission! There were five Lab Caches and we wanted to find them all! We had coordinates and a coveted paper copy of the information to help us along the way. I keyed the coordinates in my GPS and we were in business. We found all the caches and in each of the caches was a code word that we needed, which i wrote down. These caches also had a paper log, so we signed that as well.

From what I remember, when logging the Lab Cache, all that was needed is the code word to log the find. There is no other text that you can enter, no room for even a TFTC or any memory of the adventure. That part I don’t care for. Personally, I like to be able to type about my adventure and be able to see what I said about a cache. I have none of that with the Labs. This is why I cannot tell you much more than what I already have. No place to put a picture I might have liked to document the adventure along the way either. But, I do have a new icon, the Lab Cache icon. And Renee and I did manage a few other cool souvenirs from the trip, so I guess that makes up where the Labs lacked a bit. A very different experience, one we never got to fully experience.

One last thing to note, a Lab Cache is only good for so long and only loggable for so long as well. It expires. Poof… just as fast as it was there to find, it is gone.
 



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Category: 2014 Spring Newsletter
Tags: Lab Geocaches Caches February
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