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Elitists - You know who you are...


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The purpose for this post? Something happened that irritated me a few weeks back at an event and it's been gnawing at me ever since. I'm not directing this post at anybody, although it may feel that way to those involved, I'm directing this at the situation that I do not like.

 

 

So, a few weeks ago, I attended a large local event. It was hosted by a local caching group that is well known to be anti-micro, anti-anything not a long hike in a beautiful locale, even anti-"nerdy cachers". I'm strongly against the last piece of this, since I'm a tech geek that moved on to caching, but I actually am starting to kind of agree with the other two pieces. Anyways, I try to make it a point to be polite to everyone I meet unless given a reason not to be. Even after given a reason, I'm not likely to be rude to them, just not "hang out" with them.

 

 

At the event, there was a large group of cachers that were all obviously good friends who were members of said organization. They were loudly proclaiming things such as "I found the path to the cache, that counts as a find!! HAHAHAHA", "well I found 3 trees near the cache, I'm going to log each tree!! hahahahah!", etc. It may have been hilarious to them, but they were being loud, obnoxious, and ignoring cachers who weren't part of their little group. Several of these guys are legendary cachers in the area (again, I'm not going to mention names, that's not the purpose here). At one point, I introduced myself to one of them simply because I recognized the name and thought it was cool to meet him and I almost felt like I was looked up on with scorn, maybe because I hunt micros occasionally, I dunno. Anyways, what really irked me about the entire situation is that when I returned back to the event from our purpose, there was a local cacher that I have met on a few occasions. He's a retiree and really a fantastic guy. Here in the pavilion was this large group of cachers and in the other end, huddled all alone was the guy I knew, looking very uncomfortable.

 

 

This seemed quite odd to me. I know that at events thrown by the organization that I'm a participant in, I make it a point to include everyone. If there's somebody sitting alone in the corner, I walk right up to them and make sure they're comfortable. This is exactly what I did in this case, I headed straight to the lone cacher and chatted with him for a good half an hour before heading out.

 

 

The point of all this rambling?? WHY?? Why do many old school cachers think they're "elite", better than anybody else? Don't get me wrong, it's not all old school cachers, but I've seen several. I've only had contact with maybe a dozen "old timers" to the caching game. One was positive, the rest were negative. In this case, I felt shunned when I tried to mingle with a group. I've been attacked in the forums by another member of the group in the past because he's not a "numbers cacher". I've also read an essay by another in the group that basically states that "geeky cachers" have overtaken the game and he wished cachers were the outdoor (read cool) types that they used to be. Whatever happened to don't judge a book by it's cover?

 

 

I honestly feel that I could probably be friends with any of these guys if given the chance. But, then again I'm visibly a geek so I guess that I don't qualify. Why can't we all just get along? If you don't cache for your find count...then that's your business...why attack those that do? If you don't like guard rail micros...ignore then...why attack those that do them? This is a biggie to some...if you think multiple logging of event caches is wrong, yet you're not a numbers cacher (the ultimate "why are you worrying about it then?")...then why attack those that do?

 

 

I'm rambling here...comments? criticisms (I know these are coming!)?

Edited by rhelt100
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WHY?? Why do many old school cachers think they're "elite", better than anybody else?

 

Its not a question of being "better" than anyone else. It's that many of us don't like the direction the sport is headed and will say so. If this is elitism, so be it.

 

If you don't like guard rail micros...ignore then...why attack those that do them?

 

Please tell me how I can determine if its a guardrail cache before I waste my time looking for it.

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Its not a question of being "better" than anyone else. It's that many of us don't like the direction the sport is headed and will say so. If this is elitism, so be it.

 

 

 

I don't consider that elitism, Briansnat. What I consider elitism is the refusal to even chat with another cacher simply because they haven't been around for as long as you have. Although I'm well known around my little community, I doubt any of these guys have ever even heard of me. I'm almost positive they've never heard of the guy they were ignoring in the corner who's new to the game and has sub-100 finds.

 

Please tell me how I can determine if its a guardrail cache before I waste my time looking for it.

 

 

 

Filter out micros? 90-95% of the time, micros are of this variety. The other 5-10% are micros in the woods, which are worse IMO. Since most of the comments I've read are anti-micro anyways, why not filter those out?

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How can anyone be "old school" anything with something that has only been around for 7 years?

 

Are 2nd graders considered "old school" :)

 

 

If they were the first ones in the educational system...yeah. That's kinda the case here. The sport may only be 7 years old, but these guys have been around since the beginning or near to it and it was a very different game at that time.

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Please tell me how I can determine if its a guardrail cache before I waste my time looking for it.

Google Maps and a size filter?

 

I can't speak for all of the "elitists" but the issue for many of us is not cache size, it's caches in uninspired places. Many of us use the term "guardrail micro" as a catchall phrase for what we feel are lame caches, but I certainly have found some quality guardrail micro caches.

 

Anyway, a size filter and Google map will not tell me diddly. I don't know that the cache is a waste of my time until I've wasted my time on it.

Edited by briansnat
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...If there's somebody sitting alone in the corner, I walk right up to them and make sure they're comfortable. This is exactly what I did in this case, I headed straight to the lone cacher and chatted with him for a good half an hour before heading out....I'm rambling here...comments? criticisms (I know these are coming!)?

 

Well, since you asked. I'd do the same thing you did. I prefere a small group and a good conversation over a large group. I like to get to know people. When I do the rare event for the most part I do my best to keep it small.

 

As for elitists. They don't know who they are. It's the people sitting in the corner calling them elitist that have made the call. Caching has clicks just like Jr. High. That's not something I ever expected. If one groups is full, join the next group. I have found it pays big dividends to just not care about such things. I'm in the corner talking to the shy cacher because that's where I want to be. If nobody is over there...I get a beer and butt right into the middle of the click. It doesn't take long to spin off a small group that's much more fun. Parties have eddies and currents like a river. Even clicks break up spin off and ebb and flow.

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I can't speak for all of the "elitists" but the issue for many of us is not cache size, it's caches in uninspired places. A size filter and Google map will not tell me diddly. I don't know that the cache is a waste of my time until I've wasted my time on it.

I'm certainly not calling anyone an elitist. Just trying to help. I thought good use of Google Maps would indicate if a cache is right against the edge of a road (or a curve in the road) and a size filter would point to a combination that makes a guardrail cache pretty likely.

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Please tell me how I can determine if its a guardrail cache before I waste my time looking for it.

Google Maps and a size filter?

 

I can't speak for all of the "elitists" but the issue for many of us is not cache size, it's caches in uninspired places. A size filter and Google map will not tell me diddly. I don't know that the cache is a waste of my time until I've wasted my time on it.

...Or you can concentrate on the caches that you know that you'll like.

 

...Or we can not derail every thread with our own personal pet peaves.

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Please tell me how I can determine if its a guardrail cache before I waste my time looking for it.

Google Maps and a size filter?

 

I can't speak for all of the "elitists" but the issue for many of us is not cache size, it's caches in uninspired places. A size filter and Google map will not tell me diddly. I don't know that the cache is a waste of my time until I've wasted my time on it.

 

 

I've actually gotten to the point that I agree with this. I've been working on clearing my closest unfound page out which was basically full of high terrain, long hikes since all of the easy ones have been cleared out long ago. I'm having a blast and doing some more difficult caches, often with fantastic views, has really changed my viewpoint on caching.

 

 

I'm still not going to shun those with a different viewpoint, but I at least see where you're coming from.

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I too do not like the general direction that our little activity is heading and have stated as much. However, I would never "shun" other cachers that disagreed with me. I would try to educate them on my point of view and leave it at that. Sorry you had a bad experience.

 

Let them know how you feel about things and then agree to disagree with them. About all you can do.

 

BTW

Simply filtering out all micros just doesn't work effectively as I have found that 25% or so of micros are at really cool spots that have many of the attributes I like about caching. And the mapping programs have very low resolution older images of many of the areas I cache in. So no help there.

 

I would simply like to see the "bar raised" on many of the micro caches.

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Cache rating system:

 

Thank you for logging your visit to this geocache! Please take a moment to rate the cache for the sake of the sanity of others:

 

[ ] This cache sucked

[ ] This cache didn't suck

 

Thanks again!

 

Then, to top it off, if it's a PMOC you get the right to see who rated it and how...

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To be fair to the elitists, I noticed a trend among young wannabee's. They would go out and find 100 caches in a cache rich area and expect recognition from the elitests. The elitists found 100 when it was real work, and the wannabee's are expecting their due when they found 100 urban caches in two weekends.

 

Yeah, right.

 

Fortunatly for the wannabee's a new generation came along who did pay them homage and the wannabee's anti elitist click formed.

 

Personally I find the whole thing funny. But then I'm easy to amuse that way. Like I said before. It pays to just not care about such things.

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I can't speak for all of the "elitists" but the issue for many of us is not cache size, it's caches in uninspired places. A size filter and Google map will not tell me diddly. I don't know that the cache is a waste of my time until I've wasted my time on it.

I'm certainly not calling anyone an elitist. Just trying to help. I thought good use of Google Maps would indicate if a cache is right against the edge of a road (or a curve in the road) and a size filter would point to a combination that makes a guardrail cache pretty likely.

It's an argument that can't be won.

 

Some want others to place some thought into their hides so they don't have to think to find them.

Some want others to place some thought into their finds so they don't have to think about who's going to find them.

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WHY?? Why do many old school cachers think they're "elite", better than anybody else?

 

Its not a question of being "better" than anyone else. It's that many of us don't like the direction the sport is headed and will say so. If this is elitism, so be it.

 

I really don't have an opinion on either side since I'm a newbie, but I will admit that, as a geek girl, I was originally attracted to geocaching because of the tech factor. However, once I started, I received a totally unexpected gift: remembering what is was like to get outdoors and explore again. I've discovered that even if I don't find a cache, if I've been led on a beautiful hike or to a new park, I still feel successful. I haven't had any luck with micros yet, but I may like that challenge down the road. For now, I'm just enjoying nature again.

 

I also have a comment about briansnat mention of this as a sport. I think it's a sport, too, but Barnes & Noble does not. When I first became interested, I searched the Sports section of the bookstore for geocaching books. I found books on camping, hiking, and even mountain climbing, but nothing on geocaching. I finally asked a clerk to search, and found them in the GAMES section! Yep, right alongside the Texas Hold Em, Bridge, and Magic Tricks books! Crazy in my eyes, but adds a little credence to the "this is a numbers game" group.

 

Clair

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I'm certainly not calling anyone an elitist. Just trying to help. I thought good use of Google Maps would indicate if a cache is right against the edge of a road (or a curve in the road) and a size filter would point to a combination that makes a guardrail cache pretty likely.

It's an argument that can't be won.

 

Some want others to place some thought into their hides so they don't have to think to find them.

Some want others to place some thought into their finds so they don't have to think about who's going to find them.

I didn't even think I was involved in an argument! I thought someone asked for a way to detect guardrail caches, so I was just trying to make a suggestion. Certainly wasn't trying to win anything. It's becoming gradually clear to me that I may have accidentally stumbled into some bitterness (and perhaps a question which wasn't actually looking for an answer), in which case my apologies for inserting myself.

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I read the OP's post as being more about social behavior than about geocaching. I see little to no clique behavior here in Florida. Though naturally, folks that have been caching 3 or 4 years and have known each other over time are gathering in groups at events, and novices are a tad on the outside.

Most events and event hosts work to create mixing and inclusion.

 

But there's no hike/ anti-micro factions, and no cliques. I think you've just got a local phenomenon. I have seen cliques big time in the horse show circles. I suspect it has to do with local leadership. It can happen in any type of activity. Or NOT. I'm sorry you're experiencing it there.

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I don't believe with shunning people either. I'm not into the numbers or the micros, but I am friends with lots of people that are. We joke around with each other about that stuff all the time. At events, I usually end up talking to old friends as well as new cachers. The new guys are usually quiet, perhaps a little shy, but taking it all in. We certainly don't go out of our way to exclude them, but sometimes it's tough to include everyone as much as we'd like. There are techno-minded folks like me who love to talk tech, and that's a complete turn-off for the 12 o'clock flashers out there. If your needs aren't being met by this particular group, either work harder to fit in, or try to find a different group to hang with. In your particular case, there are some hard feelings in that group due to the appengement of one of its members, so they are probably a little more vocal and perhaps a little more emotional about such things. All you need to do is quote some Seuss-esque poetry with a general geocaching theme and toss a melted film canister on the table. Then you're in. :blink:

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I can't speak for all of the "elitists" but the issue for many of us is not cache size, it's caches in uninspired places. Many of us use the term "guardrail micro" as a catchall phrase for what we feel are lame caches, but I certainly have found some quality guardrail micro caches.

 

Anyway, a size filter and Google map will not tell me diddly. I don't know that the cache is a waste of my time until I've wasted my time on it.

 

I agree with this.

 

To be fair to the elitists, I noticed a trend among young wannabee's. They would go out and find 100 caches in a cache rich area and expect recognition from the elitests. The elitists found 100 when it was real work, and the wannabee's are expecting their due when they found 100 urban caches in two weekends.

 

Yeah, right.

 

Fortunatly for the wannabee's a new generation came along who did pay them homage and the wannabee's anti elitist click formed.

 

Personally I find the whole thing funny. But then I'm easy to amuse that way. Like I said before. It pays to just not care about such things.

 

I agree with this too.

 

Despite any cache ethic disagreements we have here localy, we seem to get along well at events. The key is to keep your feelings for types of cache hides apart from your feelings of the cache placers.

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Just looking at your last event...if that's the event you are referring to, rhelt100, I can see where maybe that type of event would tend to be more clique-ish.

 

That seems like a bit of an odd event in a way...I guess I personally wouldn't do a b-day party / geocaching event type thing. Not that it's a bad idea, but again...I can see where that'd lend itself to be more of a inner-circle, personal group type get together.

 

Certainly doesn't excuse the behavior...

Edited by egami
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OK, I am totally new to Geocaching, but I have to ask:

 

1) What is this "change in direction" that people keep mentioning about geocaching? What was it like before as opposed to now? Ive only hunted down a few caches, but they seem to fall into 3 categories:

 

a - Caches that lead you to a cool (generally natural) place that you would have otherwise drove by.

b - Caches designed for the working guy out on lunch break, but jonesin for some caching

c - Themed caches

 

And, of course, some combination of those categories mentioned above.

 

2) Is Geocaching really a "sport"? Seems more of the pastime/activity thing to me?

 

3) I cannot fathom why anyone would want to hang out with, get recognition from, or even converse with "elitists". Personally, I would rather converse with the actual elite Geocacher, then a bunch of chumps who sit around stroking each others ego while excluding or looking down on others. I am sure the true elite know who he is and has no need for these things.

 

4) Just for the record from someone new and unbrainwashed by years of Geocaching....Geocaching is geeky. Theres no 2 ways about it. Its like pretending you're a pirate/adventure hunting for hidden treasure with the add-on of techno-bob/Star Trek/Tricorder like GPSes/PDAs. Hey! I love it and will continue to do it for years...maybe forever. I hope this doesn't come as a shock to any of you, but I have to call it like it is. I can't see one Geocacher calling another Geocacher geeky without realizing they are both equally geeky.

 

my 2cents

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People are jerks.

 

basically. (at least those people)

 

I haven't been around long enough to be elitist, but basically my feelings are, as long as people are having fun; let them be! Theres a place for (almost) every type of cache, and if someone is enjoying it, it serves a purpose. My tastes are evolving as I get more experienced and I'm discussing with the partner the archival of our first cache, which was a puzzle we set up because "We're running out of suburban micros that can be done at night" (but didn't want it to neccessarily be a quickie) When we started we did a lot of driving around to micros at night. They taught us how to get around our new (we had just moved) area avoiding highways and they gave us something we could do outdoors after dark; we thought it was great! Now I kind of hate them; but they still serve a purpose for somebody out there.

 

Generally, I look at the cache pages when deciding which ones to attempt? Of course I've been disappointed.... like that one hidden in a massive pile of garbage...gross garbage, behind a store. I fell in it too.

 

But anyway, despite feelings on specific types of caches; people should be nice to other cachers!!! Thats just wrong. Thankfully, all of the Garden State Cachers I've met have been really friendly :blink:

Edited by ThirstyMick
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I read the OP's post as being more about social behavior than about geocaching. I see little to no clique behavior here in Florida. Though naturally, folks that have been caching 3 or 4 years and have known each other over time are gathering in groups at events, and novices are a tad on the outside.

Most events and event hosts work to create mixing and inclusion.

 

But there's no hike/ anti-micro factions, and no cliques. I think you've just got a local phenomenon. I have seen cliques big time in the horse show circles. I suspect it has to do with local leadership. It can happen in any type of activity. Or NOT. I'm sorry you're experiencing it there.

Much in alignment with the thoughts aired by Isonzo Karst above, I strongly suspect that the behavior you observed was very comonplace behavior commonly encountered in and across tens of thousands of venues each day, most of them located well outside the realm of geocaching (and certainly outside the realm of antio-micro discussions), and I suspect as well that the behaviors which you observed (i.e., temporarily ignoring a newcomer) had little or nothing to do with the content of the discusion which was underway at the time (i.e., loud, good-natured and boisterous derision of lame urban micros and of numbers-game-related behaviors) and rather, EVERYTHING to do with human nature and with patterns of human nature which have been observed and commented upon my social psychologists as well as by anthropologists and linguists (social linguists, that is) for over a hundred years. It is simply a fact of human nature and of some of the traits exhibited by most Western cultures that people who already know each other sometimes tend to cluster together and talk about topics which are intimately familiar to them. What you are railing about has little to do with the happenstance content of the conversation of that particular group of cachers that day, and rather, has a lot to do with behavior of humans when in the presence of others who are "in members" of their intimate linguistic community while temporarily excluding those persons who were as yet non-members of their intimate linquistic community. In fact, you can see the same behavior a hundred times an hour among audience members at any sports game frequented by "regulars" and in any bar or pub which is largely, but not solely, frequented by "regulars", meaning the inner "in" members of the intimate linquistic community.

 

To the OP, sorry about this obvious attempt to pop your ballon (that is the thesis aired in your first post), but I was feeling particularly pompous this afternoon and felt an innate need, after reading your post and its assertions, to kinda reframe things in a much larger and more wholistic framework. In any case, it is also true that your observation of a single occurrence exhibited by these (your terms) old-line anti-lame-micro cachers hardly provides sufficient cause to generalize to the behaviors of all anti-lame-micro cachers at all events.

 

BTW, I tend to also dislike lame urban micros (LUMS) and also MicroSpew, and I also tend to laugh with great joyous derision and amusement at the inane antics pulled by many higher-numbers (that is, over about 800 finds) geocachers (many of whom are geo-friends of mine and will continue to be so, by the way...), and yet, strangely, I have received several compliments from newcomers to caching at what they perceived as my warmth and inclusiveness to them at local geo events over the years. Go figure. According to your shaky thesis, I shoulda ignored those newcomers when they showed their faces at the event in question.

 

:blink::huh:

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OK, I am totally new to Geocaching, but I have to ask:

 

1) What is this "change in direction" that people keep mentioning about geocaching? What was it like before as opposed to now? Ive only hunted down a few caches, but they seem to fall into 3 categories:

 

a - Caches that lead you to a cool (generally natural) place that you would have otherwise drove by.

b - Caches designed for the working guy out on lunch break, but jonesin for some caching

c - Themed caches

 

And, of course, some combination of those categories mentioned above.

 

2) Is Geocaching really a "sport"? Seems more of the pastime/activity thing to me?

 

3) I cannot fathom why anyone would want to hang out with, get recognition from, or even converse with "elitists". Personally, I would rather converse with the actual elite Geocacher, then a bunch of chumps who sit around stroking each others ego while excluding or looking down on others. I am sure the true elite know who he is and has no need for these things.

 

4) Just for the record from someone new and unbrainwashed by years of Geocaching....Geocaching is geeky. Theres no 2 ways about it. Its like pretending you're a pirate/adventure hunting for hidden treasure with the add-on of techno-bob/Star Trek/Tricorder like GPSes/PDAs. Hey! I love it and will continue to do it for years...maybe forever. I hope this doesn't come as a shock to any of you, but I have to call it like it is. I can't see one Geocacher calling another Geocacher geeky without realizing they are both equally geeky.

 

my 2cents

Answer to number 1: Most caches used to be type A in larger containers. Most caches now are type B in smaller no trade containers. Cache density has vastly increased as well. Reasons to place a cache have gone from type A reasons to Type B reasons.

 

I am of course generalizing the whole issue.

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1) What is this "change in direction" that people keep mentioning about geocaching? What was it like before as opposed to now? Ive only hunted down a few caches, but they seem to fall into 3 categories:

 

a - Caches that lead you to a cool (generally natural) place that you would have otherwise drove by.

b - Caches designed for the working guy out on lunch break, but jonesin for some caching

c - Themed caches

 

d - Caches with no hide or location value other than to increase one's hide count and finders count. Nothing to see, No puzzle, Not hard to find. Often behind Wal-Mart in a light pole or on a guardrail by the town dump. Can be any size cache but is typically smaller so there is no trade value either.

 

e - Caches hidden 529 feet from another cache just because they can, usually meeting the hide method in (d).

Edited by brdad
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By the way, if anyone ever meets me at an event and I'm talking mostly to people I already know, it's more because I'm kind of shy than b/c im not friendly :blink: I'll happily talk to new people, it's just I might not always initiate the conversation..

 

Course, I wasn't there, but the situation you described seems to go beyond that.... I'd probably go talk to the uncomfortable looking guy in the corner if he was being as excluded as it seems....

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...It's an argument that can't be won.

 

Some want others to place some thought into their hides so they don't have to think to find them.

Some want others to place some thought into their finds so they don't have to think about who's going to find them.

I didn't even think I was involved in an argument! ...

 

You weren't. It's a longstanding forum debate. I was just trying to catch you up to speed on it.

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I don't believe with shunning people either. I'm not into the numbers or the micros, but I am friends with lots of people that are. We joke around with each other about that stuff all the time. At events, I usually end up talking to old friends as well as new cachers. The new guys are usually quiet, perhaps a little shy, but taking it all in. We certainly don't go out of our way to exclude them, but sometimes it's tough to include everyone as much as we'd like. There are techno-minded folks like me who love to talk tech, and that's a complete turn-off for the 12 o'clock flashers out there. If your needs aren't being met by this particular group, either work harder to fit in, or try to find a different group to hang with.
I'm the same way. Just like any party, I will typically mingle with friends or people I have something in common with. I will also try to say "Hi" to a bunch of people I don't know too. Also just because I don't like a certain kinds of caches doesn't mean that I won't be friendly to everybody. :blink:
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OK, I am totally new to Geocaching, but I have to ask:

 

1) What is this "change in direction" that people keep mentioning about geocaching? ...

 

:blink:

 

Answer to number 1: Most caches used to be type A in larger containers. Most caches now are type B in smaller no trade containers. Cache density has vastly increased as well. Reasons to place a cache have gone from type A reasons to Type B reasons.

 

I am of course generalizing the whole issue.

 

My hypothesis:

 

When the game started, the early adopters were people who already had GPSrs. These people were likely to already be involved in outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, and 4x4 off-roading. So it made sense that early caches were hidden where you had to hike or were in interesting or scenic locations. Even so, it didn't take long before people began hiding caches in urban locations. An urban cache would be found sooner and generally by more people. And they were easier to maintain. As geocaching popularity grew, new cachers joined that had never gone hiking in the woods before. They bought their first GPSr just for geocaching - or maybe if it had autorouting to use for automobile navigation. Caches that you could drive right up to gained in popularity. Micro caches began to become more popular allowing hides in more and more urban locations. GPS equipped cell phones allowed a whole new group of cachers including teenagers who don't have a car and can only cache where they can get to with public transportation or on their bicycles. Geoacaching has evolved much to the chagrin of many early adopters. Still there are many more hiking caches and caches in interesting and scenic spots then there use to be.

 

Another change is the shear number of caches. In the early days, those who were into numbers had to find most every cache. The find count wasn't all that important except to show how much experience you had finding caches. With more caches of every type, people can get a big find count much easier and often concentrating only on quick and easy to find urban hides. It never made sense to compare two different cachers based on the find count, but it makes less sense today. What is more important is to realize that different people like to cache for different reasons and find different caches to be worth doing. Many, like briansnat, like finding urban micros as much as ammo cans in the woods. What they don't like finding are caches in parking lots or near dumpsters - especially if there is nothing special about that parking lot or dumpster. Put an urban micro in a park, or in an historic or scenic locale and it becomes worth doing.

 

Elitist are those that feel that their reason for geocaching is the only valid one. They put down people who are happy with parking lots and dumpsters especially when they don't have a lot of time. It is difficult to eliminate these caches without also eliminating worthwhile caches. Sometime the frustration in dealing with this is seen as elitism. No method is 100% perfect, but there are many ways to increase your enjoyment when geocaching. Certainly nothing is helped by one side forming a clique and not talking to the other side at events. Exchanging stories about caches you liked or disliked is one way to both understand the other side and perhaps influence them as well.

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I don't consider that elitism, Briansnat. What I consider elitism is the refusal to even chat with another cacher simply because they haven't been around for as long as you have

 

That isn't elitism, that is rudeness.

 

Exactly. What you're describing has less to do with caching and more to do with human nature. Take any grouping of people and will eventually divide up into little groups and some solo acts. I'm pretty shy, so I'm sometimes the solo guy. It's just as much my fault if I don't walk up and join the conversation.

 

As far as my local group goes, I try to push myself out of my shell and make a point to meet and greet everyone. But I understand the difficulty of walking up and interjecting yourself into the group.

 

As far as the conversation you mentioned the folks having, they have a right to make fun of cache types or strange logging practices if they like. Seems like a pretty normal discussion at a geocaching event. I would find it more objectionable if they were having some heated religious or political debate. (of course, I'd probably throw my $.02 in there, too!)

 

We are not our caches. I can shake your hand, be glad to meet you, and still disagree with elements about caching. Feel free to make fun of hikes in the woods. We'll all share a laugh, agree to disagree, and then go eat hot dogs.

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Why do many old school cachers think they're "elite", better than anybody else?

Because they are. :blink::P

I have it on good authority the Groundspeak regularly performs checks on its members, and once you reach a point where you have 1000 regular sized finds of at least a 2/2 D/T level, you get automatically nominated for Platinum Membership. Naturally, you still have to meet the other criteria. :D

 

Edit to add: You own a GPSr. You hunt film canisters, (hide-a-keys/ammo cans/Lock-n-Locks/Tupperware/etc). You are most definitely a geek. So am I! Welcome to the geekiest game in town! :huh:

Edited by Clan Riffster
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I don't consider that elitism, Briansnat. What I consider elitism is the refusal to even chat with another cacher simply because they haven't been around for as long as you have

 

That isn't elitism, that is rudeness.

 

Exactly. What you're describing has less to do with caching and more to do with human nature. Take any grouping of people and will eventually divide up into little groups and some solo acts. I'm pretty shy, so I'm sometimes the solo guy. It's just as much my fault if I don't walk up and join the conversation.

 

As far as my local group goes, I try to push myself out of my shell and make a point to meet and greet everyone. But I understand the difficulty of walking up and interjecting yourself into the group.

 

As far as the conversation you mentioned the folks having, they have a right to make fun of cache types or strange logging practices if they like. Seems like a pretty normal discussion at a geocaching event. I would find it more objectionable if they were having some heated religious or political debate. (of course, I'd probably throw my $.02 in there, too!)

 

We are not our caches. I can shake your hand, be glad to meet you, and still disagree with elements about caching. Feel free to make fun of hikes in the woods. We'll all share a laugh, agree to disagree, and then go eat hot dogs.

 

I agree with you right up until the last two words :blink: Vegetarian here.

 

Not trying to start another discussion (arguement) though :huh: I'll gladly munch on a Veggie Dog while chatting Geocaching, just sharing in the forum sprit of disagreeing!

 

Thats a good line "We are not our caches"

Edited by ThirstyMick
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I didn't do clicks when I was in school and I don't do them as an adult. I wore all black before it was cool and long before it was considered 'rebellious'. If I run into a similar situation at an event as you have I most likely won't let it bother me much. People like that deserve to be ignored as much as they ignore others in my opinion. We don't have high cache numbers because we do them as we can and as we can afford to hunt them down. Gas prices are a killer on a limited budget. We like a good hike just as much as anyone else but we like a cache with some originality as well. That's why we chose to place only a few and make dang sure that a person could get some kind of humor out of it. Then again some might not like our sense of humor either.

 

Bottom line, you can't make everyone happy. There is no sense in trying. Hang with the ones that are worth hanging with. Length of time in a something does garner a certain level of respect however, being an arse will lose it just as quickly.

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OK, I am totally new to Geocaching, but I have to ask:

 

1) What is this "change in direction" that people keep mentioning about geocaching? What was it like before as opposed to now? Ive only hunted down a few caches, but they seem to fall into 3 categories:

 

a - Caches that lead you to a cool (generally natural) place that you would have otherwise drove by.

b - Caches designed for the working guy out on lunch break, but jonesin for some caching

c - Themed caches

 

And, of course, some combination of those categories mentioned above.

 

2

Answer to number 1: Most caches used to be type A in larger containers. Most caches now are type B in smaller no trade containers. Cache density has vastly increased as well. Reasons to place a cache have gone from type A reasons to Type B reasons.

 

I am of course generalizing the whole issue.

 

I think you missed the nail by a wide margin. The issue with many of us "elitists", "old timers" or whatever you want to call us is the morphing of geocaching from a sport where the point was to use your GPS for a little adventure and discovery, to one focused on accumulating as many smileys as possible ( to the point where it sometimes no longer even involves finding geocaches).

 

This focus on numbers is the root reason for the explosion in what we consider to be "junk caches" (which to me and many of my fellow "elitists" are caches placed for no reason other than to place a cache).

 

Now it's easy to say to each his own - let the numbers people chase their numbers and let the "elitists" go after the kinds of caches they enjoy. The problem that us "elitists" have with this is that the junk caches

are crowding out the caches we like and making it difficult to find the kinds of caches we enjoy among all the chaff. In other threads I've detailed how this change has prevented my from enjoying the sport the way I prefer to.

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Thanks for the thread. I have had concerns about going to events. Sounds like they are as i imagine them.

 

I often say I like caches, but I love the cachers. I have had a wonderful time at every event I've attended, including those that I hosted. I hope that is how you imagined them.

I agree. Events are typically focused on just having fun and meeting people. :blink:
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Thanks for the thread. I have had concerns about going to events. Sounds like they are as i imagine them.

Actually, they're not.

 

We have events locally where there are no elitists. Everyone treats everyone else as fellow cachers.

 

There are other events where a group of long-time cachers act a bit like those in the OP. However, if you capture one, you will find that you really can carry on an intelligent conversation about all aspects of caching. Often, the reason they are grouped together is that they have known each other for a long time, and they don't see each other very often. No matter where you go, you will find the same situation.

 

One of the things that impressed me about the earlier events I attended was how easy it was to talk to other cachers - both new and experienced.

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WOW :blink: ! Talk about a skewed one side version of a story. I am not embarrassed at all to step up and state I am one of the cachers referred to as an elitist thug.

 

I was and am one of the more vocal people who were sitting at the table in question. I am unsure what qualified myself as an elitist in your book. It surely can't be by found count since you have about twice as many as I do in half the time as myself. Maybe it is because I am active in my area and frequent events and such and socialize with other cachers where you choose to lurk instead. i was at this event obviously and met some cachers I have not met before. I went up to them, and some approached me. You did not approach me or make any attempt to speak to me. I did not see you or I would have said hi. I guess this is entirely my fault since that is how you are able to justify calling me an elitist. Where I come from it takes two to shake hands.

 

The people you are referring to are anything but elitists. They consisted of a family of four, although TRIGO is paying for the four year old's elitist thug training, a cacher whom I had never met before, a couple from Ohio that I rarely get to see but enjoy the times when we are together, a cacher who rode with me and has less than 50 finds (I made him ride in the back and he was not allowed to talk either way), a well known and respected cacher from our area who enjoy learning things from, and a person who is probably at the head of the Geek Squad for TRIGO. Maybe if you would have made an attempt to speak to any or all of us you would have had a different view. Instead you choose to hide on the outskirts and listen rather than participate, then make a judgement about all of us based on your 60 minute stake out. That's sad and unfair.

 

You make assumptions about a group, TRIGO, based on things you have heard rather than facts. This is a group of over 400 members. You can not with any accuracy, group everyone under a single blanket of agendas. That is ridiculous and just full of holes. While there are people who are said to hate micros, it is actually easier to accuse them of this than state their true disgust which lies in crap caches of any size. Go ahead and continue to spread the false words and more cachers such as yourself will continue to be misinformed and make statements we can laugh at.

 

I am not surprised at all how this whole situation has become the group of cachers and the group of TRIGO's fault and not one ounce of it falls onto your shoulders at all. The event in question was us finding over 170 corners of a state park which was going to take them 3 years to do. We as a group did this in 1 day. This was a huge accomplishment and a great way for this group top step up and paint Geocaching and Geocachers in a great light to further our relationship with the DCNR. The saddest part of this whole thing is you took a great effort by our group and came away with nothing good to say. The only thing you can do is complain. Maybe you should make more of an effort to meet people rather than complain behind their backs.

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Thanks for the thread. I have had concerns about going to events. Sounds like they are as i imagine them.

Don't be scared off by the OP. He has only been to 5 events, or 29 if you count the number of times he has attened those 5 events. We didn't know what to expect when we went to our first event.

 

My wife had to be bribed into going. Since then she has gotten to be pretty good friends with a few people who we see reguarly outside of caching. We have had at least 20 cachers here for family birthday parties and such. Events are what you make of them. Don't expect someone to hold your hand the whole time. You have to be responsible to talk with people as well. You make any effort what-so-ever, and you will be rewarded wih friends.

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Too bad you're not out here in California (SF Bay Area). When I attended my first event I noticed a fairly large smattering of Tech Geeks (I am one, so I can spot 'em). :blink:

 

I had exactly the opposite experience, where I've been known to have trouble mixing in with new groups, it seemed that folks went out of their way to shake hands and say hi. I've attended three events, and I've only been caching since Jan 2007 and they've all been great! Events have enhanced my enjoyment of Geocaching by allowing me to match the faces with the names I see in cache logs. Hey, at the last event, a local cacher volunteered to make those attending these really nice laminated name badges :huh:

 

I haven't experienced any elitism, and we seem to have a fair number of folks attending local events that have found multiple thousands (including the guy who's found more than anyone!) and everyone has been very, very friendly.

 

Don't let the actions of a few sour you on the whole thing!

 

Driver Carries Cache

(madmike)

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