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Re: [CentralTexasGeocachers] How do you assign D/T ratings on your cac hes?

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  • gumbietygress@juno.com
    Howdy hi! Difficulty ratings are very arbitrary.Terrain, not too bad -- 1 is wheelchair accessible, 1.5 is level ground, e.g. sidewalk or verge, and on from
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 22, 2011
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      Howdy hi!
      Difficulty ratings are very arbitrary.
      Terrain, not too bad -- 1 is wheelchair accessible, 1.5 is level ground, e.g. sidewalk or verge, and on from there. *i* would call a 2 anything that's not a level, gravel or paved trail. Distance also adds in -- approaching .1 walking? at least a 2.  If I have to climb a tree or over 30 feet of 'cliff' (no trail), I expect it to be a 4. [That TELLS me it's 'up'] And anything requiring special equipment -- kayak, scuba, climbing gear -- even if, say, once you have the kayak/canoe it's an EASY paddle -- is a 5. We did a 5 from the veranda of our cruise ship state room. But it's still a 5 terrain, because you can only get to it via cruise ship or helecopter (otoh, I guess COST factors into terrain).
      Difficulty. Well, I've walked up to fours like I was there when they were planted, and totally whiffed 1s. What your 1 is might be automatically my 3, and vice versa.
      So *I* think you have to think like someone who's only got 100 caches under your belt. And be prepared to adjust if all the logs say it's too easy or too hard. You can also email the first few finders and ask them. 
      FOR MYSELF: Anything involving a nano should be at least a 2 -- mostly as a kindness to new cachers. Anything involving reaching under something in an urban or otherwise oogy environment would be a two -- because it's a mental ick. Anything involving a cedar should be a 1.5 at the least -- though they often act like 4s. Especially if they're wired low and away from the trunk -- because that's not where people automatically look.
      Think about your own caching: where do you look first. Cache with others. Where do they look first. Ok. Those are 1s and 1.5s.... up from there.
      You find the Austin caches easy because you're used to them. Go to another city and their gimme caches would fox you completely. Speaking from experience.
      Yes, setting D, particularly, is a dark art (as in 'no high beam flashlight), because it's a subjective art.... Hey, picking cache SIZE seems to be subjective. [They need another category for micro-micro is the problem.] [In MY calibration, regular is the size of a breadbox and up, small must be able to hold swag (if it's a pill bottle that a TB dogtag or geocoin won't fit in, it's not a small), anything smaller is micro, and it's a kindness to note relative size in the cache description -- because it's a different search for a magnetic nano than for a magnetic mint tin than for a bison tube than for a pill bottle/35 mm than for a match case.... my eyes seek certain shapes and all. Hey, if you intend it to be a mystery -- that's ok, too. But it better be an interesting/interestingly camo'd container or I will mock you. (I'm MEAN that way.) E.g. 'unknown' tells me it's cleverly concealed... gets my hopes up, an 'unknown' container.]
      As an experienced cacher, all I really ask is that you be consistent. X calls THESE caches 2s. Right...
      Not very helpful, but that's my point of view ... I'm also pretty fragged right now -- and you want a HARD cache, try to find a black film can just tossed in a desert bush. Footprints were mostly our salvation.....

      ---------- Original Message ----------
      From: "drdread66" <dave@...>
      To: CentralTexasGeocachers@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [CentralTexasGeocachers] How do you assign D/T ratings on your caches?
      Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2011 01:49:00 -0000

      Hello all, Team Landshark here. I have a question that has been bugging me for a while.

      I have noticed a tremendous variation in how I perceive D/T ratings in caches around town. Sometimes I think the rating is way too high, sometimes way too low. More often than not, when I compare a rating with the "official" scheme on geocaching.com,  the difference is even worse. Part of that is that the official scale seems screwy and non-linear to me. By the official scale, there are very few caches in Austin that rate more than a D3 or 3.5.

      The only reason I care is so I can try to assign ratings for *my* caches that are in line with the general community consensus...so I'm trying to get a feeling for what the community thinks and how it compares to the official scale.

      Comments please!


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