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When Is Enough Enough?


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Our most prolific cacher going flat out for three years has managed to find just over 2000 caches, leaving another 10,000 for him still to find. Surely there are enough caches already for the rest of us to spend the next 20 years looking for. :rolleyes: The fact that Deceangi has approved 1000 caches in two short months leads me to wonder how many caches we're going to have in 5 years, or 10 years...

 

I know this topic has cropped up in various forms before but I'm really of the opinion that there are already more than enough to go around even for the most obsessive "numbers" cachers - whadya think? :)

 

 

Edited to swap smileys around.

Edited by The Golem
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Our most prolific cacher going flat out for three years has managed to find just over 2000 caches, leaving another 10,000 for him still to find. Surely there are enough caches already for the rest of us to spend the next 20 years looking for. :rolleyes: The fact that Deceangi has approved 1000 caches in two short months leads me to wonder how many caches we're going to have in 5 years, or 10 years...

 

There are lots of areas that have caches galore but there are still areas which have very few caches, check out lincolnshire and norfolk too name just 2 :) . I would love the oppertunity to do several caches in 1 go but taking into occount the traveling time I usually only get to do 1 cache at a time.

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sometimes around here it can be a 4 or 6 hour round trip just to do 1 cache also I'm not one for going on the top of mountains so stick to the easier finds so to get back to the topic NO i dont think we have enough as they are all of different levels an ability

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Our most prolific cacher going flat out for three years has managed to find just over 2000 caches, leaving another 10,000 for him still to find. Surely there are enough caches already for the rest of us to spend the next 20 years looking for. :rolleyes: The fact that Deceangi has approved 1000 caches in two short months leads me to wonder how many caches we're going to have in 5 years, or 10 years...

 

I know this topic has cropped up in various forms before but I'm really of the opinion that there are already more than enough to go around even for the most obsessive "numbers" cachers - whadya think? :anibad:

 

 

Edited to swap smileys around.

 

You are a bit vague on the question, are you suggesting no new caches?

 

If so I think while there are still great places to place a cache, and people with good ideas for caches (puzzles etc), then let them be placed.

 

Disclaimer

This post is just one mans opinion, and is no more (or less) valid

than other opinions expressed in this thread. Any offence taken

because of this post is not the responsibility of the poster.

 

:)

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No, not no new caches - just a reduction in the number that are approved/put up for approval, how that would be administered I don't know, we could discuss it in this thread! :rolleyes:

 

 

 

Note: I like your disclaimer so I've nicked it! :)

 

 

 

Disclaimer

This post is just one mans opinion, and is no more (or less) valid

than other opinions expressed in this thread. Any offence taken

because of this post is not the responsibility of the poster.

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I see where you are coming from on this, but cant see a way to make it work.

 

A reduction in the numbers approved would mean someone making a judgement on the quality of the caches submitted to decide what will and what wont be listed. I am sure our reviewers have enough problems with people ignoring the guidelines without adding some kind of quality call to their workload.

 

I suppose we can include a bribe with each cache submission, and the reviewers publish based on the best bribes

 

Note to self - must find out what our reviewers preffered tipples are :rolleyes::)

 

Disclaimer

This post is just one mans opinion, and is no more (or less) valid

than other opinions expressed in this thread. Any offence taken

because of this post is not the responsibility of the poster.

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I can see where you're coming from, but I don't think it would be fair to any new comers who have yet to place a cache.

 

If a complete block on new caches was placed, everybody's 'area' will become very stale with no new caches appearing. You will have to start travelling silly distances to find any caches. I for one love seeing new listing appera in my area and look forward to getting out to find.

 

Besides, it's not like we're knee deep in tupperware or ammo boxes when we leave our doors. I believe we are a long way off coming anywhere near a saturation point.

 

The only sensible and fair way to restrict the number of caches appearing if it gets to it would be a restriction of the number or caches owned by a cacher, not stopping everybody from the joys of listing and maintaining their own caches.

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Ever since I started caching I have been aware that eventually it will become a victim of it's own success.

The pyramid effect takes place with ever increasing numbers of cachers placing ever increasing numbers of caches. This means more occasions where authorities are upset and more and more rules are applied regarding placements etc.

Technology gets cheaper so more muggles will enjoy destroying caches etc. etc.

One of the reasons I enjoy this pastime is that there is an element of muggles not knowing these caches are all around them and it is as if you are on a secret mission when out hunting but this side of it is declining rapidly.

I believe there is still some way to go before it all implodes but eventually there will be so many caches around that the fun will decline.

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There are still areas which have very few caches, check out lincolnshire and norfolk too name just 2 :) . I would love the opportunity to do several caches in 1 go but taking into account the travelling time I usually only get to do 1 cache at a time.

If we assume that Golem lives near Keswick then he only has to travel a maximum distance of 45 miles from his front door to find 500 caches (the most distant being GC8477). However living in Norwich I have to travel almost 75 miles to find my 500th closest cache (GCTTBW), and if you consider the likes of Naefearjustbeer then you would be 144 miles from your 500th nearest cache. So here are my thoughts:

  • The best caches (most enjoyable, informative, difficult, ...) stand the test of time and most of us would like to visit them eventually. See recent thread started by alistairuk
  • Other caches have a natural life span for a variety of reasons (it's not just "bad" caches) and so may only last a year or so.
  • Cache setters can become blinkered in where they set caches; for instance in Cumbria it would seem that if it ain't in The Lakes it ain't worth setting.
  • Perhaps what is needed is some thought on the placing of new caches in areas of high cache density - what's wrong with all those flat bits around Carlisle or the Northern Pennines for instance?
  • Before we have yet another of the bimonthly threads calling for a ban etc perhaps those thinking on posting such a new thread could go out and place a couple of caches in one of the many large blank spaces that still exist.
  • Oh yes must go and find that free beer and cheap petrol I promised Nobby.Nobbs :rolleyes: to place some caches.
    <div align="center">

cumbria.jpg

{edited to add map showing Golem some big blank sapces in and around Cumbria}</div>

Edited by Jango & Boba Fett
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I too think we are along way off saturation point....

 

I think it's a good thing that there ARE loads of new caches popping up all over the place.

 

In my local park there are three caches, and to be honest, most of the locals have done them, and it then attracts newbies, or those from further afield as they are then able to do three caches quite quickly together in a lovely country park...

 

What's wrong with that???

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[*]Cache setters can become blinkered in where they set caches; for instance in Cumbria it would seem that if it ain't in the lakes it ain't worth setting.

[*]Perhaps what is needed is some thought on the placing of new caches in areas of high cache density - what's wrong with all those flat bits around Carlisle or the Northern Pennines for instance?

 

 

i cannot agree with you there none of my caches are at lakes and some of mine are on "flat bits" cause i don't do heights

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[*]Cache setters can become blinkered in where they set caches; for instance in Cumbria it would seem that if it ain't in The Lakes it ain't worth setting.

i cannot agree with you there none of my caches are at lakes and some of mine are on "flat bits" cause i don't do heights

You would however, having examined the the map, have to admit that the distribution of caches in Cumbria is heavily skewed towards The Lakes, and while half of your caches are not in The Lakes something like 4/5ths of all Cumbrian caches are. Take it like a man scaw it was only an example as the OP was Cumbrian: in any case the same case could be made for most areas; in Norfolk we have two corridors of caches (down the A11 & between Norwich and the Cromer), Yellow Bellies don't place caches in eastern Lincolnshire and even in Cheshire they've got something against the areas along the Welsh border and southeast of Nantwich.

 

Meanwhile I look forward to visiting all the new caches that scaw plans to set in the Vale of Eden and north of Hadrian's Wall the next time I'm heading up past The Lakes. :):)B)

Edited by Jango & Boba Fett
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first off i wont take anything like a man as i'm not one :)B) B)

second i wont be placing any in the Vale of Eden and north of Hadrian's Wall as they are no where near where i live and would NOT be able to maintain them sorry :)

I dont think grouping all Cumbrian's in 1 bracket is fair that was why i put my first reply. Cumbria is a big area the lakes is just a part of it, myself along with other Cumbrian cachers are placing caches and trying to take people to intresting places they would otherwise not go to.

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As I stated earlier I don't think we should stop placing caches but at some point in the not too distant future we are going to reach saturation point - what happens then? :)

 

Do we archive all the low rated caches and just keep the good ones? Do we archive any caches over a certain age? :)

 

Oh - and Scaw is definitely a woman... B)

Edited by The Golem
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first off i wont take anything like a man as i'm not one B) B) B) ... I dont think grouping all Cumbrian's in 1 bracket is fair that was why i put my first reply. Cumbria is a big area the lakes is just a part of it ...

Woo seems like the old Intergalactic Bounty Hunting skills are letting me down, first dino-irl and now scaw. :)

 

I'm sure what you meant to say scaw was: while being fully cognisant of the rhetorical device which you were using, where by a general case is made by taking a location at random (such as that of the OP), and that this was in no wise intended as a slight on or at any particular group (indeed you had deliberately given parallel examples from your own local thereby implicating yourself as being equally guilty), I'm choosing to ignore that because ... well I'm not really sure why you've chosen to confuse the general and particular as your posts do not address the point I was making that all of us irrespective of whether we live in Aberdeenshire, Anglesey, Angus, Antrim, Argyll, Armagh, Ayrshire, Banffshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Berwickshire, Brecknockshire, Bristol, Buckinghamshire, Caernarvonshire, Caithness, Cambridgeshire, Cardiganshire, Carlow, Carmarthenshire, Cavan, Cheshire, Clackmannanshire, Clare, Cork, Cornwall, County Durham, County of Bute, County of Moray, Cumbria, Denbighshire, Derbyshire, Devon, Donegal, Dorset, Down, Dublin, Dumfriesshire, Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Riding of Yorkshire, East Sussex, Essex, Fermanagh, Fife, Flintshire, Galway, Glamorgan, Gloucestershire, Greater London, Greater Manchester, Hampshire, Herefordshire, Hertfordshire, Inverness-shire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Kincardineshire, Kinross-shire, Kirkcudbrightshire, Lanarkshire, Lancashire, Laois, Leicestershire, Leitrim, Limerick, Lincolnshire, Londonderry, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Merionethshire, Merseyside, Midlothian, Monaghan, Monmouthshire, Montgomeryshire, Nairnshire, Norfolk, North Yorkshire, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Offaly, Orkney, Oxfordshire, Peeblesshire, Pembrokeshire, Perthshire, Radnorshire, Renfrewshire, Roscommon, Ross and Cromarty, Roxburghshire, Rutland, Selkirkshire, Shropshire, Sligo, Somerset, South Yorkshire, Staffordshire, Stirlingshire, Suffolk, Surrey, Sutherland, Tipperary, Tyne and Wear, Tyrone, Warwickshire, Waterford, West Lothian, West Midlands, West Sussex, West Yorkshire, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow, Wigtownshire, Wiltshire, Worcestershire, Zetland behave collectively in such a way that the placement of caches are non random.

 

So have cleared up the point that I was making a general collective observation and not a criticism of any individual (doffs cap towards scaw) I look forward to your observations on why, collectively, we (the Geocaching community) set our caches in such a way that the distribution of caches in the British Isles is non random, and indeed shows a significant degree of clustering. I still think Cache setters can become blinkered in where they set caches was a much more succinct way of putting it though (indeed the use of “can” quite clearly demonstrates that this was an hypothesis not a declarative statement). :):)

 

{Jango crosses his fingers that that no more Solway Coast cachers take the hump; obviously I'll have to abandon the any hope of a career in politics and await hostile posts from the Crewe.cacheMeister and the Wisbech.Waypointers B) }

Edited by Jango & Boba Fett
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It was over two years ago that Haggis Hunter and I wondered whether Edinburgh had reached saturation point. As you can guess, there have been many more caches placed since then (including ones placed by us), and there are now around 100 within a 10mile radius of the city centre. Some of the more recent caches have been very inventive; someone always seems to have a new idea. We've had ingenious micros and we've had orienteering trails. There will always be new ideas and new places to hide caches.

 

I don't think we should worry about it too much, unless we are literally tripping over them and they cease to become fun or interesting.

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So have cleared up the point that I was making a general collective observation and not a criticism of any individual (doffs cap towards scaw) I look forward to your observations on why, collectively, we (the Geocaching community) set our caches in such a way that the distribution of caches in the British Isles is non random, and indeed shows a significant degree of clustering. I still think Cache setters can become blinkered in where they set caches was a much more succinct way of putting it though (indeed the use of “can” quite clearly demonstrates that this was an hypothesis not a declarative statement). :o:D

 

 

Clustering occurs because of several reasons:

There's not many geocachers in some areas: eg, not many (any?) in Carlisle or Penrith, both small places compared with down south. People generally place caches near (ish) where they live. Population isn't random so caches aren't.

 

Good areas for themes: if you want to put caches on tops of mountains, you need mountain tops to put them on. The Lakes map has got a bit more dense since Charlie and his SOTA caches arrived on the scene!

 

Good areas for caches: the Lakes has a huge number of really beautiful places (as well as mountain tops) that people want to visit and thay make great places to cache in. The flat lands around Carlisle are, well, flat! I know you folk in Norfolk probably get excited about the traffic calming humps, but up here flat farm land isn't as good as it gets! :P

 

People want to place and visit caches in the places they play. Nice areas like National Parks are attractive to hiders and finders. Cities have (I suspect) proportionally fewer caches per head of population. Yes they may have a good number, but that's mainly because there's a lot of people living there. So you get a cluster on the map, but if you did it proportionally I should think Nat Parks might have a higher density, or AONBs etc. Lots of cachers are interested in the outdoors, and want to visit nice areas.

 

Probably a few other reasons too! Speaking as a South Lakes cacher, I appreciate all the ones down towards Barrow & Ulverston and on the coast as much as the mountain and valley ones in the central Lakes. I'm also doing my bit around the 'flat lands' of Kendal. I'm also proud to say that I 'filled' in a big blank space on the map in February. The whole of Haweswater was just marked "Here be dragons" until the Mardale Madness series went out. Almost no one ever went there until the caches were placed :P:o

 

Still a way to go before all the niches are full!

Cheers :D

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Been mulling this whole how close are we to cache saturation question, particularly in the light of martlakes post and scaws's point about distance from a cachers home. It would seem to me that rather than approaching this as a subjective problem it would be much more productive to see it as an example of Spacial Diffusion - well I am a Geographer. So here goes on my first thoughts:

 

The Spread Of GeoCaches In The UK: How Close Are We To Saturation?

  • The spread of GeoCaching is an example of hierarchical diffusion as, at least in the early stages of its spread, cachers tended to belong to particular groups (IT fans, hill walkers/sailors, ...) and there are informal hierarchical structures within the Geocaching community.
  • The original hearth is the Portland, Oregon area where GCF was placed on 3 May, 2000 and the first UK cache was placed on 6 June 2000, GC4E.
  • Using the GcUK database for all caches placed prior to 1 January 2002 it is possible to identify 6 hearths within the UK from which the spacial diffusion of GeoCaches takes place by processes of hierarchical diffusion (both up and across the hierarchy but more importantly by trickle down).
  • These the hearths can be split into two groups, in the first group one caching team was primarily responsible for placing a the cluster of caches: Newcastle/Moss Trooper, N Cheshire/phredd & Bracknell/Robin Lovelock. The second group of hearths appear to be the product of two or more cachers placing in the same area: Worksop/John Stead et al, Central London, Winchester.
  • Theories of Spacial Diffusion were developed from the 1950s. The original work by Hägerstrand was on agricultural innovation but much of the work in this area has been for the purpose of understanding the spread of disease. Hearths can be thought of as originating areas in which the concentration of GeoCaches exceeds a threshold level, trickledown (contagious) diffusion/spread from these hearths could be expected to be more rapid than spread up and across the hierarchy. This means that while new hearths can be expected to appear (and of course isolated GeoCaches will appear spontaneously) the most rapid rate of cache placement would be expected to take place within and around existing hearths. Indeed if you look at time slices (eg the rm file on GcUK) such a pattern is seen.
  • Hägerstrand proposed that spacial diffusion can be explained as a process taking place in four phases:
    1. Primary Stage - when our 6 original hearths (centres of adoption) were established
    2. Diffusion Stage - when cache placement spreads out from these six centres of adoption, but there is a strong contrast between the high rates of placement in the centres of adoption and much lower rates beyond these hearths.
    3. Condensing Stage when placement rate in the "remote areas" approaches that within the hearth areas.
    4. Saturation Stage - the rate of placement slows and there are no regional variations in cache placement rates.

    • Although this is very much a back of a beer mat study as it stands it does explain why certain areas (such as Cheshire) are hot spots while others (such as Bolton) are not spots. The very fact that from recent posts strong regional variations in cache placement rate are present strongly suggests that we are still in Hägerstrand's 2nd Stage and a long way off cache saturation.
    • The hearth principle also explains why certain areas, such as the Scottish Borders are still cache deserts. For instance in Norfolk we have two subsidiary hearths, the first around Thetford where one of our earliest cachers Icenians placed several caches in 2002, and the other around Norwich (due to several cachers), West Norfolk has however remained a very sparse area until earlier this year when the combined efforts of Spindlewood, JollyJax & Red Squadron allowed it to achieve the threshold cache density required for hearth status.
    • What this also suggests is that if we want to seriously initiate the populating of cache deserts what is required is a concentrated effort to establish a hearth rather than sporadic efforts. Behaviourally this may be because cache finders need a minimum number of closely spaced caches to make it worthwhile to visit and potential cache placers require a certain a number of local caches to inspire them to start placing caches.

Sorry if that sounds a bit dry but if there is a budding A-level Geographer out there looking for a coursework idea, or a budding Academic Geographer looking for a new research area there is plenty of milage for more detailed work. For instance it is of note that the first two cache placers in Cumbria were actually based in Carlisle (Gaz & Relic Hunter), and that the development of The Lakes as a hearth may be more the fault of a certain St Helen's based cacher. :laughing: :laughing: cough thanks cough JS cough :laughing:

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when is enough enough? when i dead and buried. :D and not before

 

We`d second that. :)

 

Caching can take you to some really great locations you`d never know were there, if your worried about the quality or number of caches, start to cherry pick the ones you like the look of, no one says you have to do every cache out there... Although some try their hardest too B)

 

Pengy

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I think cache saturation is definately a real problem and the answer isn't as simple as "I like caching, so the more the merrier!" Consider it from the perspective of someone with only a few hides near their home...

 

Most caches in my immediate area haven't been found in several weeks (some months!), whereas they were previously being found quite regularly. I think the fact that there are so many new caches popping up in this same small area is partially to blame.

 

For example, there are 14 caches within 2 miles of our home coordinates that have been placed by a single user. And he's currently starting up a new series of 12 cache hides within that same area.

 

With 42 total hides in the past year(with most being of the unoriginal "small cache in the woods" variety), his being able to continue to place caches in this area only serves to make the game less enjoyable for others who have hidden caches here. The more caches that are hidden, the less often each individual cache will be found. Simple as that!

 

So, yes, while a ridiculous number of caches may be fun for the "seekers," it makes it much less fun for "hiders."

 

:D

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the numbers of caches only matter if you feel obliged to find them all!

 

don't like micros then don't do them.

don't like the ones set by s certain memeber then.....

 

see a pattern emerging?

 

:ph34r:

You're right - this involves a "mindset shift" from "Can I clear every cache in the County" or "everything within 20 miles of home" (both of which I've now given up on :P) to a more selective process.

 

But that involves a selective (and subjective) decision making process. "I don't like micros" doesn't really hack it - because there are some rather good ones out there - I don't want to exlude them. And I would hate to exclude a certain member's caches, just in case his next one is the one we've been waiting for...

 

So how do we make the decision? Currently, I think the best we've got is the rating process on G:UK. It's not perfect, and is obviously subjective - but if I'm going to have to choose, it's a good starting point for trying to identify a "better" cache. I've used it when away from home to help narrow down my initial selection of "possibles". But I also realise that I might be excluding caches that I might enjoy, but have not (so far) been highly rated in general.

 

I'd welcome anything that might help me with this decision making process.

 

And to address the original topic, perhaps we could have a "voluntary code of practice" to archive any caches that fall below an arbitrary rating? B):blink::P

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Clustering occurs because of several reasons:

There's not many geocachers in some areas: eg, not many (any?) in Carlisle or Penrith, both small places compared with down south. People generally place caches near (ish) where they live. Population isn't random so caches aren't.

 

I'm in Carlisle....well, I was when I started cachin in 2001.....live in a nearby village now!!!

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Clustering occurs because of several reasons:

There's not many geocachers in some areas: eg, not many (any?) in Carlisle or Penrith, both small places compared with down south. People generally place caches near (ish) where they live. Population isn't random so caches aren't.

 

I'm in Carlisle....well, I was when I started cachin in 2001.....live in a nearby village now!!!

 

Gaz - there's a big empty space all around Carlisle - time for you to get busy! :unsure:

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... it is of note that the first two cache placers in Cumbria were actually based in Carlisle (Gaz & Relic Hunter), and that the development of The Lakes as a hearth may be more the fault of a certain St Helen's based cacher. :(:unsure: cough thanks cough JS cough -_-

Clustering occurs because of several reasons:

There's not many geocachers in some areas: eg, not many (any?) in Carlisle or Penrith, both small places compared with down south. People generally place caches near (ish) where they live. Population isn't random so caches aren't.

I'm in Carlisle....well, I was when I started cachin in 2001.....live in a nearby village now!!!

Gaz - there's a big empty space all around Carlisle - time for you to get busy! :lol:

Like I said, and he's done his bit too. :(

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I'm really of the opinion that there are already more than enough to go around even for the most obsessive "numbers" cachers - whadya think? ;)

Woo, just noticed today that Norfolk has just knocked Suffolk into 4th place and that we are now the 3rd most cache rich county in East Anglia. Yep we've now got 129 live caches here, enough to keep even the busiest Badger busy for at least a couple of days! :D

 

Not only that but our cache density is up to 1 cache for every 41.5 km2 which makes the average distance between caches 6.5 km. Not only that but we've already got our first power trail where it is possible to bag 6 caches in a little over 2 hours walking. I've just got back from a busy afternoon in which I managed to bag 5 caches and a trigpoint in four hours. My feeling is that we are now cached out, before long people will be hiding ammo boxes of 6 mile walks through secluded areas of woodland, or setting puzzle caches that take longer than 30 minutes to solve.

 

Is this really the direction we want GeoCaching to go, the next thing you know people will want to come to East Anglia for GeoHolidays and then, horror of horrors we might have more than 1 Event Cache a year, maybe even descend to the all time low of a Camping Event. Oh how are the might fallen. :D:D:D:o;)

Edited by Jango & Boba Fett
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Woo, just noticed today that Norfolk has just knocked Suffolk into 4th place and that we are now the 3rd most cache rich county in East Anglia. Yep we've now got 129 live caches here, enough to keep even the busiest Badger busy for at least a couple of days! :D

Don't you worry, the rate at which Lost It is placing caches Tyne and Wear will be at the top by the end of the year. ;)

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Woo, just noticed today that Norfolk has just knocked Suffolk into 4th place and that we are now the 3rd most cache rich county in East Anglia. Yep we've now got 129 live caches here, enough to keep even the busiest Badger busy for at least a couple of days! :P

Don't you worry, the rate at which Lost It is placing caches Tyne and Wear will be at the top by the end of the year. :P

Wrong! B)

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