Geocaching exotics - the LAB caches

Geocaching exotics - the LAB caches

Admittedly, LAB caches are not the rarest geocaches. There are categories that are much rarer, e.g. this Geocaching HQ ,  the A.P.E. caches , Webcam caches, giga and mega events or the MAZE. But still, LAB caches are not commonplace. They are out of line in many ways. In the following article you can learn more about this cache special shape!

All about geocaching labs

LAB caches are still the newest development on in terms of geocache categories or icons. It all started in February 2014. At that time, every premium member could create a LAB cache and invite another player to do so. As the name suggests (LAB = laboratory), it is a rather experimental form of geocaching. Many of the otherwise applicable rules do not apply here. They were originally intended as an accessory for an event.

For example, a LAB cache can:

  • get by without a logbook
  • be very close to another geocache (the distance rule does not apply)
  • be in a building
  • Contain advertising (sponsor links and logos are expressly allowed)
  • be temporary (this is even intended)

LAB caches also have no D/T rating, no specified container size, and no attributes.

You can see: with such a cache there is much more freedom and players can get really creative.

It is also noticeable or inconspicuous that the LAB caches do not appear on the regular map and in the geocaching app. They can be accessed via a separate page:

LAB caches count towards the total number of found geocaches as normal, and they are also used to accumulate Favorite points. However, they are not taken into account in the D/T matrix, for example (because they do not have such a rating).

Since a logbook is not required, entering a code, scanning a barcode or an iBeacon, for example, is sufficient to log LAB caches.

LAB caches have their own icon and this is displayed in the player profile.

LAB caches cannot simply be placed or hidden by every player. A corresponding credit must first be created/activated by Groundspeak in the player profile. This option is available to the organizers, for example, in the context of mega-events or is granted to advertising partners or occasionally "given away".

According to statements from Geocaching HQ, new forms of the game should be deliberately tried out with this format.

Several lab caches are often combined into a so-called adventure. These include 5 or 10 individual LABs, which mostly have a content or spatial connection.

How to find LAB caches!

As you have read, LAB caches are not discoverable via map or geocaching app. Since most of these are also temporary, you will have to put in a little effort to find one (or several) and log it.

The easiest way to complete LAB caches is to attend an event, such as a Mega Event or Giga Event. The organizers get at least one credit for a complete adventure, i.e. 10 individual LAB caches, when they reach the Mega/Giga status. These are already part of the standard program for this type of event and are popular with visitors. It's a nice way to explore the area around the events! So simply create a notification and let yourself be informed when and where a corresponding event will take place in your area.

But there is another way to get the rather rare icon in your profile. Because there are now a number of permanent LAB caches worldwide. There are lab tours in many cities in Germany.

In the meantime there is a very practical APP for smartphones. The "Adventure Labs" app is clearly laid out and after initial difficulties you can now move around the map and explore whether there are lab caches in the area where you will be staying. Yes, it's a separate app and you shouldn't forget to check back there from time to time. Of course, it would be nice if this were connected to the geocaching app. But maybe that's still to come.
You can only log the LAB caches when you're close to the task. The owner has determined how many meters away one is allowed to be. The zone is usually around 20 - 50 m. It is only possible to enter the solution and thus the log within the given radius.

You should definitely refrain from doing this!

As with Mysteries, many LAB-Cache solutions appear in various Facebook groups or other platforms. You already know that from tracking codes, trackables and geocoins. A small lock is built into the LAB caches - to log in the app you have to be near the station. So players can also log them from home. But that's not the point. It's about getting to know new places and being creatively challenged. I've seen so many extraordinary LAB caches that I'm really excited about the new shape. It's an asset. Logging from home is a bit like taking all the money out of the bank when playing Monopoly and claiming you won. This is just silly and the fun falls by the wayside. Incidentally, this is a predominantly German phenomenon. Nowhere else in the global geocaching community is there so much cheating.

So, do yourself a favor and don't miss out on the experience and fun!

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