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Why does caching feel different now?


Icenians
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I'm not interested in the micro v big box arguement just that there feels a difference in caching now.

 

I can't put my finger on the problem as I can still see good quality caches out there, of any kind. I took a long break from caching and was quite shocked on my return to the way it had all changed, so much so I generally cache elsewhere where I still get the old 'secret' feeling.

 

There seems to be a small amount of nostalgia for the old days around and I just wondered what about the game the old timers think has changed.

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Hmmmm

 

I kind of know what you mean by this, and I have my own thoughts on it...

 

I just wonder has caching got too big? ie - too many people doing it?

Have Groundspeak become too big for their boots?

We lost 2 brilliant and very lovely reviewers, and whilst we have the very wonderful Deci, I can't help feeling that we'll never go back to the "cuddly" side of caching we had when we had the three stooges!!!

Groundspeak started to try and influence us (in the UK) too much...

 

Just my 2 penneth, it's not up for debate, nobody will change my mind, so don't bother trying!!!!!

 

I'd be interested to know what other people think too though!!

 

Edited to say....

 

I just read the thread that this one was born from and it would seem that although I've been caching for nearly 4 years I'm not an "old timer." Sorry if I'm not qualified to comment, but as I personally feel caching has changed, then I'm qualified! :blink::ph34r:

Edited by HazelS
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Hmmmm

 

I kind of know what you mean by this, and I have my own thoughts on it...

 

I just wonder has caching got too big? ie - too many people doing it?

Have Groundspeak become too big for their boots?

We lost 2 brilliant and very lovely reviewers, and whilst we have the very wonderful Deci, I can't help feeling that we'll never go back to the "cuddly" side of caching we had when we had the three stooges!!!

Groundspeak started to try and influence us (in the UK) too much...

 

Just my 2 penneth, it's not up for debate, nobody will change my mind, so don't bother trying!!!!!

 

I'd be interested to know what other people think too though

 

 

FWIW Hazel love I think I agree with everything you have said.

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It's probably because it has got bigger. And that's the same with any hobby / interest. They all start 'underground'. Take racing cars. That used be posh Edwardians (it was only they who could afford the cars) racing around their country estates. But as it grew bigger, it became formalised with rules, acceptabilities etc.

 

And that happens with geocaching. When it was a few geocaches hidden by trees, remote moors etc. That's fine. But now with caches being hidden in more places, the government authorities ( police, councils etc etc) all have opinions. So we end up having to put rules in place. These may annoy the 'old timers' who remember the way it used to be. But things move on...

 

Car racing doesn't seem to have been affected too much - let's hope geocaching doesn't either! :blink:

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Hmmmm

 

I kind of know what you mean by this, and I have my own thoughts on it...

 

I just wonder has caching got too big? ie - too many people doing it?

Have Groundspeak become too big for their boots?

We lost 2 brilliant and very lovely reviewers, and whilst we have the very wonderful Deci, I can't help feeling that we'll never go back to the "cuddly" side of caching we had when we had the three stooges!!!

Groundspeak started to try and influence us (in the UK) too much...

 

Just my 2 penneth, it's not up for debate, nobody will change my mind, so don't bother trying!!!!!

 

I'd be interested to know what other people think too though!!

 

Edited to say....

 

I just read the thread that this one was born from and it would seem that although I've been caching for nearly 4 years I'm not an "old timer." Sorry if I'm not qualified to comment, but as I personally feel caching has changed, then I'm qualified! :blink::ph34r:

 

 

You've hit that nail right on the head, Well said :(

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Hmmmm

 

I kind of know what you mean by this, and I have my own thoughts on it...

 

I just wonder has caching got too big? ie - too many people doing it?

Have Groundspeak become too big for their boots?

We lost 2 brilliant and very lovely reviewers, and whilst we have the very wonderful Deci, I can't help feeling that we'll never go back to the "cuddly" side of caching we had when we had the three stooges!!!

Groundspeak started to try and influence us (in the UK) too much...

 

Just my 2 penneth, it's not up for debate, nobody will change my mind, so don't bother trying!!!!!

 

I'd be interested to know what other people think too though!!

 

Edited to say....

 

I just read the thread that this one was born from and it would seem that although I've been caching for nearly 4 years I'm not an "old timer." Sorry if I'm not qualified to comment, but as I personally feel caching has changed, then I'm qualified! :blink::ph34r:

 

 

You've hit that nail right on the head, Well said :(

Seconded, it ain't half what it used to be. I used to love the 'think outside the box' attitude to cache setting... Seems to have all sunk down to micros in woods etc... not great fun IMO

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I just read the thread that this one was born from and it would seem that although I've been caching for nearly 4 years I'm not an "old timer." Sorry if I'm not qualified to comment, but as I personally feel caching has changed, then I'm qualified! :blink::ph34r:

As a "real" old timer :):o here's how things have changed since I started in 2001.

 

In the "old days" just about all the cachers in the UK knew each other. It was a nice time where everyone got on with each other. Nearly all caches were traditional and thoughtfully hidden. If you did five caches in one day you had done REALLY well.

 

As the thing grew more people became involved, geocaching lost a lot of its cosy feel. Micros started to crop up and it started to become a numbers game. I'm as guilty of placing micros as the next man. I placed 55 in one week in the town where I live now in Texas. The reason being cost more than anything else. A micro costs less than a dollar, a traditional cache if you stock it nicely at least $15. The same cost consideration applies in the UK.

 

But really the killer is cache availability. Early on I hauled myself up mountains, perched on clifftops and up trees filling out logs. Read the logs for Fossil Transfer - a classic in its time. There are people who wondered how the hell I got up there. But there were only 30 caches in the north of England at that time so you just did did. Petrus, I was up there twice. For me, some feat.

 

Nowadays, 50 1.5/1.5 caches is a five mile radius in most places, you just don't NEED to do the tricky ones any more. Probably like most, I got lazy and just picked off the easy ones. That was the point that Mrs Slytherin quit. Not having time to spend in some of the great places we found because we had another 15 caches to find that day.

 

So its all about the numbers. Number chasing has spoiled the thrill of the chase. Take Finds totals off cache pages and from Profiles. Take the competition away and some of the fun might come back. I just cache for fun these days. I only log DNFs for the info of the cache setter. And I DO still have fun hiding those micros in tricky places... :(:D

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Like Alex i also have been caching since 2001 (although having drunk quite a lot at an event last year was sure that it was 2000 :blink: )

 

I too have seen the rise of caching. When i started there wwere 28 caches in the uk. My nearest cache at the time was 28.2 miles from my home.

 

With the trads there were also a few Virtuals which were always useful for a quick cache and interesting monument etc.

 

Nowadays i really cant be bothered cacheing allday for 6 or 7 caches. Neither do i see the point of trying to clear an area, because give it 2 days and the same number are back in more places. Geo litter could become a big problem.

 

January 1st around 2 years ago i called for a 6 month cache placing ban because the cache density had spiralled in the birmingham area and other areas too. Ofcourse i was met with a stone wall, but with the growth having gone up again soon we may have no option but to have one (just to point out i am not calling for one now so dont miss quote me on that)!!!

 

Today i mainly cache at events only. I do enjoy the travel aspect and to see people across the country is fun.

I realise there aint mnay cachers who are willing to criss cross the country just to get another speech bubble for their list but its a new area and a day out.

 

Thats my 2p (now off to night duty)

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I just read the thread that this one was born from and it would seem that although I've been caching for nearly 4 years I'm not an "old timer." Sorry if I'm not qualified to comment, but as I personally feel caching has changed, then I'm qualified! :blink::ph34r:

As a "real" old timer :):o here's how things have changed since I started in 2001.

 

In the "old days" just about all the cachers in the UK knew each other. It was a nice time where everyone got on with each other. Nearly all caches were traditional and thoughtfully hidden. If you did five caches in one day you had done REALLY well.

 

As the thing grew more people became involved, geocaching lost a lot of its cosy feel. Micros started to crop up and it started to become a numbers game. I'm as guilty of placing micros as the next man. I placed 55 in one week in the town where I live now in Texas. The reason being cost more than anything else. A micro costs less than a dollar, a traditional cache if you stock it nicely at least $15. The same cost consideration applies in the UK.

 

But really the killer is cache availability. Early on I hauled myself up mountains, perched on clifftops and up trees filling out logs. Read the logs for Fossil Transfer - a classic in its time. There are people who wondered how the hell I got up there. But there were only 30 caches in the north of England at that time so you just did did. Petrus, I was up there twice. For me, some feat.

 

Nowadays, 50 1.5/1.5 caches is a five mile radius in most places, you just don't NEED to do the tricky ones any more. Probably like most, I got lazy and just picked off the easy ones. That was the point that Mrs Slytherin quit. Not having time to spend in some of the great places we found because we had another 15 caches to find that day.

 

So its all about the numbers. Number chasing has spoiled the thrill of the chase. Take Finds totals off cache pages and from Profiles. Take the competition away and some of the fun might come back. I just cache for fun these days. I only log DNFs for the info of the cache setter. And I DO still have fun hiding those micros in tricky places... :(:D

 

I actually agree entirely with Alex here, although I would debate the interpretation! :anibad: Clearly, caching has become much more popular than it was in the old days, when every cacher knew every other cacher. From my point of view, thats a good thing, as I wouldn't be here if it hadn't expanded at all!

 

I would suggest that it needed to grow somewhat, as without any growth at all from the time when there were only 30 caches in the north of england, then it would be a very short term hobby!

 

So, turning to the current time. Yes, there is a certain amount of number chasing, but is it about getting on some kind of national leaderboard? Personally, we're so far off the top (Rymans League probably!) that any kind of competition is irrelevent. Yes, there are some friendly local competitions, but that is more aimed at FTF than actual find numbers. HOWEVER, it IS about number for us (oooh - controversial!) inasmuch as we like to find caches, and given the option, we will find as many caches as possible! Maybe my view is somewhat biased, and we are very lucky, as ALL the caches near us have something going for them, and some kind of point, be it nice view, nice walk, good puzzle, interesting location, physical challenge, whatever. Even our MM cache is a full size TB hotel! And yes, many MM caches are micros, but I maintain they have a point - it forced me to take regular breaks driving up the M1 to Harrogate for one thing!

 

So, yes its changed (I know I wasn't around at the outset, but I think we're all agreed its changed!) and the cosyness and secrecy of the hobby has gone, but the cosyness can probably be maintained on a local scale, and I certainly don't feel when I'm actually caching that everyone knows what we're up to! Of course, if we carry on at this rate, we might be as instantly recognisable as the Ramblers Association!

 

Hmm - rather a long post, but its an interesting discussion! Probably no right or wrong answers - just lots of opinions! ;)

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I just cache for fun these days. :blink::ph34r:

 

Isn't that why we all cache? Because it's fun. I have only been caching since 2005 so I guess that makes me a relative newbie but I still get the same buzz when I find a cache as much now as I did when I found my very first cache....and yes that includes finding the micro's. the cache and dash's :(

For fun as opposed to "for numbers"

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It used to feel like a "private" activity. It was how I imagine you feel in a secret society but without the silly handshakes. I was hugely excited to meet another cacher and most caches - not all - were in prime locations.

 

I did the numbers thing. Alex and I approached the first 100 finds in the UK at the same time so we agreed to hit 100 on the same day rather than race. But over time I became less interested in adding numbers for the sake of it.

 

My kids are really interested in boxes big enough to contain toys. I'm interested in good locations.

 

But now with caches being hidden in more places, the government authorities ( police, councils etc etc) all have opinions. So we end up having to put rules in place. These may annoy the 'old timers' who remember the way it used to be. But things move on...

 

Some of the old timers saw this coming and started GAGB to help deal with said authorities.

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We totally agree with everything Hazel has said. You've got it in a nutshell.

 

We also feel it is similar to the way letterboxing on Dartmoor went (how we started before discovering geocaching). Too many shop bought, unimaginative stamps seemingly under every other stone you picked up. The real "gems" were the home made or custom designed stamps placed in quality locations. There was so much thought and effort put into them, making them far more satisfying to find.

 

Izzy & Paul

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Alex and I approached the first 100 finds in the UK at the same time so we agreed to hit 100 on the same day rather than race.

And we had tea and cucumber sandwiches afterwards. It was a very gentile pastime on those days. ;)

 

Which also reminds me of when we did our 500th cache in Feb 2003 (first to 500 in the UK by the way), the cache owner sussed us out and left a bottle of champagne by the cache. No prizes for guessing who that was.

Edited by SlytherinAlex
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We were not into this until 2003 but even then there was a feeling of geocaching being a little esoteric linked to the fact there were not too many geocaches and geocachers out there- in effect a small group with an unusual interest.

That to me started disappearing perhaps over two years ago.

Linked to that is the loss of decent and good moderators who understood the quirks that applied to this country in particular.

I do not like the feeling of belonging to some form of homogenised and "hygenic" game played by "rules " that seem to change on a whim.

I do expect to see at some time in the future to see spinoffs from geocaching in this country.

After all the people with the knowhow are there and the technology has advanced immensely.

Perhaps that would rekindle so called "oldtimers" interest again?

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Alex and I approached the first 100 finds in the UK at the same time so we agreed to hit 100 on the same day rather than race.

And we had tea and cucumber sandwiches afterwards. It was a very gentile pastime on those days. :D

 

Which also reminds me of when we did our 500th cache in Feb 2003 (first to 500 in the UK by the way), the cache owner sussed us out and left a bottle of champagne by the cache. No prizes for guessing who that was.

 

I remember that night well! OK not really ;):):D , we met in the Comrades Club in Sunninghill and much ale was drunk ...and I have a feeling you rang me in school the next day, year 11 ICT lesson, for something to do with the old cache on Chobham Common..............those were the days :o:lol::lol:

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I agree with Hazel and with Alex, too. I started in September 02, and I soon felt I knew, if not in person then at least online, every cacher in my area and everyone who used the forums. Now, as Chairman of GAGB, I'm validating new members every day, and quite a few of them turn out to have been registered on gc.com for some years but I've never even heard of them. And as to my view of the numbers game, well, the fact that I'm on a mere 253 should speak for itself...! But I've enjoyed doing (almost) all of them, and I think I can remember every single one of them!

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Isn't the biggest problem that a micro under a seat in a town be found by say 10 people in lets say 10 weeks.

If only one of those people place a like cache some where you have another seat micro.

The good cache in the woods may take a year to get 10 finds, in some cases more.

If one person places a cache like it, you can see how its going to go.

 

So you have in a 1 year period 5 more seat micros to 1 nice woods cache.

Multiply this up and you can predict the future.

I feel that when we lost virtuals we lost a valuable limiting factor.

 

If any of you yearn for how it was, then the Richmond area is fantastic.

We asked a caching team what caches they would recommend and they replied "there all good around here," I would agree with that, of the ones we have done around there. My favourite place. I wish I lived closer.

 

If you asked me what good caches there are in Durham and Tyne and wear area. I could not answer with the same reply.

However there are some very good ones, but they get very little traffic.

 

The poor ones get more traffic and will be the ones that new people will get their ideas from when placing a cache unfortunately.

 

To the New Cachers who don't like the older ones harping back.

I will bet in 4 or 5 years time you will be missing these old times and

complaining that its not what it was. That is if that is your still bothering at all.

 

When placing a cache think about the best 5 or 10 caches you have found and make sure that you would put the cache you are placing in your top 5 or 10.

 

This includes location, or cunning hide. Do not place a cache if it would not make your top 5 or 10,

 

This way quality will rise.

Edited by The Spokes
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I went back to my old stomping ground recently in the South East and was staggered by the bazillions of caches that are now there in comparison to round 'ere - the sheer ground density. I'd have felt lost starting in all that. I now think I moved to Wales just at the balance point where the density there was roughly the same as here. Thankfully it hasn't grown as rapidly here (though it does sometimes feel a little lonely in my immediate area as nobody else seems to be placing caches here at the moment!)

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This is an interesting 'debate', having only been cachers for 3 or so yrs Bonnie and I are not really 'old hands' but I think that geocaching in general has changed over the time since we started out.

 

Is it because of the development of GPRS units, mobile phones, more publicity on tele/radio etc or just that things do move on...I don't really know.

 

I have noticed that more Geocachers are popping up because of the development of mobile phones, they want to do more with the their new toy and they disappear into the wilderness coz they don't like it, maybe just wanted to try it out, maybe its more time consuming than they realised...who knows the real answer ??

 

If think that all caches placed serve a purpose, maybe for the numbers, maybe because of the muggle possibility...again who really knows.

What I have found is that new cachers who place a cache and continue, their caches become more...'better/nicer' as they gain experience and enjoy geocaching for what it is meant to be about...Fun and enjoyable.

 

But drive-by micros do serve a purpose IMHO

They do give some the number factor and also it can provide a slight distraction whilst out doing the usual things like traveling to work or shopping.

 

I will dive out to nab a FTF on a micro which is just down the road from me but over the yrs I'm finding that I am saying to myself....it'll wait till tomorrow now and add it on to some planned caches that we are doing in that area.

 

Geocaching is moving on/progressing/evolving or whatever big word that can be used but it happens in everything that we do.

 

Unfortunately as one bar of soap said to the other 'Thats lifebouy' ;)

 

We love it and will carry on until that 'buzz' of a FTF or placing a cache/finding a cache dies off in us, things do move on and we have to move on with them.

 

That my 5p worth (credit crunch ya know :) )

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Yes, I have got to say that it does feel different today. When I first started in August 2002 there were very few caches in Lincolnshire, there are still not too many today. To find them usually involved getting a good walk too.

 

Now instead of placing one or two caches, hiders seem to pepper an area with many micros that appear to imitate the last series of some other local cacher. We all know imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, but what happened to original thought. I know in my mind these types of caches are the least memorable.

 

The other thing is, that today, the idea seems to be to place as many caches into an area as close as possible to the road. Thus all you have to do is drive around and collect them. Not much of a challenge in that, perhaps that is why I now go out with my cycle as I don't get the walk in the woods now.

 

Thats my two penn'orth!

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The other thing I'd forgotten to mention is that things have *rapidly* changed for me very recently.

 

The caches around the Mega Event were my first attempt at true paperless caching. Up until then I'd always print out cache entries and take them with my trusty (but slightly inaccurate) Magellan Spotrtak to all caches.

 

Since then I'm now using my PDA with a Bluetooth, using Memory Map with all the cache entries on board at the tap of the screen on the lovely cache icon.

 

Yes, things have changed immensely for me since I started - I guess this major change hasn't really hit home for me yet as it's only been with me on a couple of caching trips in comparison to my overall experience - but the flexibility it's added is astounding, having 1000 caches at the tap of a screen right there on a map while I'm out in the field...

 

I guess one thing that's made me realise tonight how big a change this is for me is that I bought a little printer, especially to take out on the field to print new cache entries from my laptop for the Mega Event. It's still in the car boot since then, unused [;)]. Only £20, but still how rapid the train of thought has changed virtually overnight.

 

[did someone mention a virtual?]

 

Thinking back to those early days, my first GPSr would completely lock up and need a reboot whenever it lost signal - imagine the fun this was in wooded areas :)

Edited by Eclectic Penguin
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Just one more thing that seems to have changed

The posts about the quality of the contents.

Often a thread would start on cache contents and trading up.

It seems that was a lost cause and nobody bothers with the contents any more. It seems to have been accepted, trading up is never going to happen.

Now days nobody seems to care.

 

Or do they?

Edited by The Spokes
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For me I think its the sheer quantity of caches.

 

I used to get excited about a new cache appearing realising that a new cache meant that someone had found an amazing place that was in the local area I did not know about and was really please when I went there and signed the log.

 

Now a new cache appears, and I turn over and go back to sleep... gone are the days of FTF rushes.

 

Bring back decent walks like swinsty with decent sized caches and forget the "whoops I dropped a micro.. oh well I shall publish it mentality"

 

Yes I know I can ignore them, but you try driving down that road everyday with a cache pinging at you ! You sign them to get them off the list !

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For me I think its the sheer quantity of caches.

 

I'm relieved to see someone else who has the same experience.

 

My first dip into sheer cache denseness was at the Mega Event around Harrogate - this made me realise how things have changed around different parts of the country.

 

Lots of micros and not so many of the big 'uns was my disproportionate experience based on a flawed Pocket Query (pretty rich coming from someone who's published 3 micros this afternoon I know, but I had a big'un published also for the end of the series... :/).

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Thanks for the reminders of a time when Geocaching was really in its infancy.

Just what have we lost?

Too much in my opinion.

To Alex thanks for the bus stops, motorway "items" and signs that so tormenteded us.

To the "Cat" thanks so belatedly for so much support and help and of course the tins of sardines that may still be lurking in at least one cache that I am aware of.

And of course the Kit Kats so beloved by rampaging mammals (rats, badgers, foxes, hippos? and all the other vertebrates (or otherwise) capable of opening and reclosing tupperware boxes that seemingly frequent these shores.

However on a more serious note I feel that we had the best of it.

Would anybody who was involved at that time seriously disagree with that sentiment?

I think not.

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Thanks for the reminders of a time when Geocaching was really in its infancy.

Just what have we lost?

Too much in my opinion.

To Alex thanks for the bus stops, motorway "items" and signs that so tormenteded us.

To the "Cat" thanks so belatedly for so much support and help and of course the tins of sardines that may still be lurking in at least one cache that I am aware of.

And of course the Kit Kats so beloved by rampaging mammals (rats, badgers, foxes, hippos? and all the other vertebrates (or otherwise) capable of opening and reclosing tupperware boxes that seemingly frequent these shores.

However on a more serious note I feel that we had the best of it.

Would anybody who was involved at that time seriously disagree with that sentiment?

I think not.

 

No.

 

I've basically given up paying any attention to new ones published near me, the majority are thoughtless micros placed just for the sake of placing yet another cache. I have around 60 unfound caches within 5 miles of my home coordinates, I really can't be bothered separating the wheat from the chaff anymore.

 

We started in 2003, taking the children to new places, their excitement at opening the cache (they still occasional mention one or two memorable ones they did back then).

 

Finding new places on our doorstep we never knew existed. Learning some new local history. Discovering places to hide caches and researching them. The joy of sharing a place I love with others.

 

If a new cache alert popped up I knew it was a new cache close by worth visiting and I'd mark it down for visiting when I could. I had 100% completion on everything within 10 miles. Now when a new cache alert pops up (and it might be 10 or more in a go) I'll give the ones with interesting names a quick gander (i.e. the ones that don't start Such n Such a series number X") and usually be disappointed to find no description, no facts and it's yet another micro or nano.

 

We still enjoy caching when we are on holidays though and the vast majority of new finds we get are those now. They still give us the chance (with careful weeding) of finding places to visit in a place we've not been to before.

 

The utter pointlessness of some new cache hides winds me up. With a little research (Google) the placers could flesh out the cache page with some interesting titbits about the place, things to look out for whilst there etc. Just seems lazy placing.

 

Now so many are "Here's another micro, I don't know anything about this place, I just stuck a cache here, enjoy.". Pointless taking children to them as any inquisitive question they might have about the place can't be answered.

 

Multicaches. They don't get visited anymore. OK if we're in a hurry we'll filter them out too and it can be annoying to follow a long multi and not find the cache at the end (been there and done that). I'm not bothering to reinstate any lost/damaged/muggled multi I set now, yes this compounds the problem but I see no point in putting time and effort into maintaining them if no-one is going to bother visiting.

 

Number whores. Yes It's fun getting to a milestone and a little pat on the back is a nice and warm feeling. We've set out to meet milestones in certain ways. Now it's how big can I get that number for some and that's all the game is. The pointless caches are set to feed them. I'm sure it never used to be as obsessive and I've always generally ignored the "Well done on getting to n,000 caches X" threads as it feeds them too IMO.

 

They are some of the things that have changed for me. And I bet the stock reply will come out at some point "It's a game, play it anyway you like" - I've heard that answer for nearly 5 years now.

 

John

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Like many others in this thread, we're * relatively new, since she brought me my yellow etrex in 2005. So we've only been at it 3 years. But we've actually found more of our 400 out here in 10 months than we did in the preceding 2 years.

Living in the suburbs of US city, there are plenty of micros around us and we do sometimes had a rural afternoon, but having driven to an area we will wander around and get 3 or 4 before driving a mile or so and doing it again. When the temperature is over 100F, you don't want to do much more. We seem to have about a 50/50 split, of LPC and other obvious micros to devious ones, like pine cones in trees.

 

I wasn't excited about looking for a micro just off of the road a few weeks ago, since it was obviously going to be a 'micro in a tree' but was amused to find this. :o

 

Equally, we can drive 45 minutes up into the surrounding mountains and then have a decent hike to find an Ammo Box in the rocks. Yes real Ammo Boxes. Away from the summer months we can hike in the desert for a few miles, in fact did 10 miles in April for 1 cache. ;)

 

Perhaps there should be a new rule about the number of caches owned or other indicators as to the responsibility of an owner. One owner around us keeps putting out new micros although she has several that are logged as needing maintenance or have even been archived by the reviewer because of the number of DNF that are logged. Even if she archives a cache, she never clears up her trash as I know of one that has been logged twice she she archived it. It really winds me up that she has put one of her micros as 'wheel chair accessible', though its not on the bridge, its under it and you need to be 7 ft tall and climb over rocks to get it!

If there were a cap on the number that could be owned it, or a ban on new hides if you have outstanding maintenance, it might stop the cache equivalent of over farming.

 

I guess what I'm saying is the game has changed, and yes there is a deluge of micros out there, but if you read the page first then it give a clue as to the quality. The better the page the more likely the effort has gone into the placement. After all, it does give that nice little chart at the top of the cache page to indicate the size you're going after. I'm actually about to put a micro out in the street near where we live, but it's not a LPC and will take a bit of grey matter to locate. :D

 

I think the game has got to the stage where there are different categories of cacher. The number chasers (hiding and/or finding), the country walkers, the puzzlers, the muggle avoiders etc ( I can remember doing this one in Chester (now gone) and it was like an MI5 mission to avoid the muggles on a busy afternoon. I guess we all need to be more selective and very importantly, report the bad/unmaintained caches/locations back to the owners and ultimately the reviewers if necessary. :)

 

* I use the plural here but Mrs C would never come near the Forum and would never dream of going out caching on her own. She is however a great motivator to get out the house and cache.

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For a few glorious months some years ago I was a man on a mission - to overtake Alex (Slytherin) as the person with most finds in the UK. I can't remember the number of find when I finally achieved it but it was several hundred. For a few weeks I was "top of the tree" but of course the sapling grew and I was left far behind by subsequent climbers.

 

Back then I knew personally a good proportion of the active cachers and most of the rest by name and reputation. There was also a thrill whenever a new cache sprung up locally, usually placed by a friend. There was even a time when I spent 2 days clearing EVERY cache in London!! That lasted for about 2 days until some more started appearing and I doubt it could be achieved now (unless the police get their way!).

 

I also remember when the whole Geocaching scene in the UK seemed somehow special. It had a uniquely British feel about it and this was very apparent when I had some caching expeditions to America. Somehow it was subtly different, whether it was location, style of cache or people's attitudes I don't know, but it was different. Don't get me wrong, it was still enjoyable and the cachers I met were all very friendly and welcoming. It was just - different.

 

As someone else in this thread has suggested, the whole game is becoming more homogeneous and to use a shopping metaphor we seem to be moving from the "Open all hours" corner shop to the global supermarket. Yes, supermarkets have a vast choice and make the experience very much more convenient and cheap, but I do miss the fun of exploring those individual little shops with their own ways of providing the service and goods which made shopping something to be experienced rather than endured.

 

To continue the supermarket allusion, have you noticed how every town has the same Tesco (or whatever), all selling the same merchandise in the same way and all local "flavour" seems to be disappearing? Sounds familiar eh? I fear we are now entering the age of "Wallmart Geocaching".

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Some interesting replies here.

 

One of the things I enjoyed was, as others have said, finding caches took you to places worth visiting. I travel around the country a lot these days and thought this would be a great way to find places when away. I was dissapointed by the sheer numbers and the places they take me. It's become easier to read a guide book than search through the caches for those likely to take me places. That's not to say the caches are not out there, it's just difficult to see the wood for the trees.

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As far as I a concerned the problem is that there is still no way of rating caches for quality.

 

There used to be that option on geocacheuk.com (when the site was working). That gave the option for all cachers to rate a cache so at least you had a better idea of knowing if a cache was going to be a good one.

 

I still do where I now cache ;)

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Some interesting replies here.

 

One of the things I enjoyed was, as others have said, finding caches took you to places worth visiting. I travel around the country a lot these days and thought this would be a great way to find places when away. I was dissapointed by the sheer numbers and the places they take me. It's become easier to read a guide book than search through the caches for those likely to take me places. That's not to say the caches are not out there, it's just difficult to see the wood for the trees.

Yes, I found that very useful when I started caching but it needs a lot more research now to find the gems. If you concentrate on multi caches (the ones that just give one smiley rather than the ones that are a series of individual caches) I find the quality increases markedly.

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To further another Grumpy Old Git's analogy, we have sunk below Tescos and become Poundstretcher, Lidl and Netto all rolled into one.

50% of caches hidden now in the UK, the setter has little comprehension as to what they are in fact doing and has descended, to use a newspaper analogy, to the level of the Star, Sun, Mirror and Sport.

The concept of QUALITY is beyond their little brains.

 

I have more or less given up caching locally as I am now totally seduced into caching in the peak District. With the odd exception, caching in the Peaks feels real and long may it last.

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Before I say this please please please dont take offence I dont mean it to be or sound that way :

 

I just wondered if people ('old timers') realised how off putting some of this could sound to someone like me only been caching maybe 6 months or so.

 

In essense are people blaming newcomers for the problems? Are we all number whores and poor cache placers?

 

I've placed a 13 caches in my area and while none are super amazing I tend to get goodish logs, I've been to a few events and felt very welcome! I've made loads of lovely new friends... I just worry that as a new comer am I resented?

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The problem faced by newbies is:-

!). Micros appear to be the norm in open countryside.

2). Dilution of locations has dropped the level of expectation to the thought and reason behind a placement.

3). Reviewers cannot uphold quality as anything appears to go.

4). The higher rated caches are ignored which leads to a dumbing down of thought and input behind cache placements.

5). All the good locations have gone.

 

My advice to any newbie, is to wait for some time before placing and to think of a real reason why you want to hide a cache and how are you informing and what you are actually informing them about by bringing fellow cachers to the location.

It maybe worthwhile just going for caches that are placed 2006, or picking up on one or two of the experienced cacher's caches.

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I'm going to swim against the tide and hold a contrary opinion (so what's new).

 

We don't go back all the way to the "old old days" when there was one cache in the UK and people used sextants and had to beware of footpads. I got my first GPS in '02 and knew about caching but never got around to actually trying it for a couple of years. So we're kind of in-betweeny. Team Sieni has also been relatively inactive due to illness, operations (plus the dreaded "work") for long periods during our four caching years, so that's limited our experience.

 

I don't see much change at all, but this is largely due to our caching style (we all play the game ...). We aren't numbers-hounds, or event-attenders. We just like to find a cache or two on a nice weekend walk in the country. As someone who doesn't maintain a GSAK DB and is still resolutely un-paperless (unless using my wonderful Nokia N95) I'm largely blissfully unaware of the thoughtless micros of which you all speak.

 

I still go on to GC.com when I plan a walk. We still choose, seek, and find nice caches, and still help fun TBs along their way. We still find interesting geocoins from time to time - (more these days!). Nothing new there.

 

I've only been tempted once to go to an example of what I would consider a thoughtless micro, and that was at least two years ago (and we didn't find it!). I still resent that though ... I do hold grudges!

 

I like to think that - as occasional cachers who like to get out and about and use caching to add interest to a day out - we are representative of quite a lot of cachers. In fact I think I'm going to appoint myself as Voice of the Silent Majority ;):)

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I just worry that as a new comer am I resented?

 

Never Kirstie....

 

You have taken the time to discover what makes a good cache, actually did a fair few before placing your own etc.... My gripe is with those cachers who do a MM and a sidetracked cache - think they're all supposed to be like that and then go around setting gazillions of them....

 

grrrr ;):)

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Several thems running through this thread - one observation is about how geocaching is becoming homogeneous - with many caches all looking and feeling the same.

 

As forum attenders - maybe rather than chatting about it - maybe we should all make a special effort to go and hide some caches that are micros, that are regulars. But in containers that are just that little bit different in an unusual hide.

 

Newbies, as Hazel observes, may well only learn from their experiences. Maybe its time for the old timers / regulars to make a stand and get the newbies to learn better?

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I would say of course it's different .....

 

Not better or worse but different ......

 

As hobbies, sports, games develop they evolve and change.

 

When I found my first cache in Oct 02 I didn't have a GPS ( couldn't afford one then ) and just used an OS map, at the time it was the second closest to me at about 16 miles away the closest was in woods about 6 miles away and I couldn't find it with a map ...

 

Now there are well over 500 within the 15 miles, some I like, some I don't, some I may go look for , some I won't, but I'm not going to judge if they are better or worse than the first cache I did as my criteria may well be very different to yours.

 

I liken caching in many respects to my other hobby of Mountain Biking, when I first entered a competition in MTB in 1993 we all did which ever events we entered on 1 bike, Cross country , Downhill and observed trials and 1 bike was all you needed and most folks tried all 3, now you need a very different bike for each aspect of the game and most folks do the bit they like best and leave the bits they don't like alone. I think that those folks are missing out on some of the fun and now I have a collection of different bikes and depending on my mood may ride a different bike each time I go out, sometimes 1 of the bikes will get left in my cellar for weeks on end without use but sooner or later I go back to it and enjoy it a lot.

 

Likewise with caching, some times I'm in the mood for different types of cache and I'll enjoy the ones I do cos I'm in the mood for them....

 

Like I started with....

 

YES, caching has changed and will continue to do so,

 

I'm rambling now so tha'ts all folks ;)

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When I read threads like this one I really wonder why I bothered at all. If all of the oldies want to play the game their way then please do so and don't go looking for any of the caches set by newcomers. Just continue revisiting all of your precious oldie ones. The 'game' will soon get boring for you.

I did an enjoyable small series down in Camborne, Cornwall that took us round the town, it included two magnetic nanos, 1 magnetic key keeper and a good sized box for the bonus, the nanos were placed in busy areas of the town and the fun was to retrieve them without being spotted.

Not everybody wants to clamber over hills and muddy footpaths all the time. During our holiday in Devon some of the caches set up on Dartmoor were so desolute that you needed to walk for a couple of hours to get near them only to be on a Tor with a hint that said 'Under a rock' so which one of the 3,000 rocks is that then. Maybe the 'Oldie Letterboxers' who use Dartmoor would like us to leave the moor to them but it seems that unlike some of the people on here they have a more open attitude to necomers and other people and 'games'

Geocaching is for all types of people from all different areas with different abilities and aims, so leave us be and do your thing and let us do ours.

I shall just continue in my own way searching for the caches that I want to find (I actually enjoy the hunt for some micros/nanos) and set what type of cache I think is relative to where I am hiding it.

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When I read threads like this one I really wonder why I bothered at all. If all of the oldies want to play the game their way then please do so and don't go looking for any of the caches set by newcomers. Just continue revisiting all of your precious oldie ones. The 'game' will soon get boring for you.

I did an enjoyable small series down in Camborne, Cornwall that took us round the town, it included two magnetic nanos, 1 magnetic key keeper and a good sized box for the bonus, the nanos were placed in busy areas of the town and the fun was to retrieve them without being spotted.

Not everybody wants to clamber over hills and muddy footpaths all the time. During our holiday in Devon some of the caches set up on Dartmoor were so desolute that you needed to walk for a couple of hours to get near them only to be on a Tor with a hint that said 'Under a rock' so which one of the 3,000 rocks is that then. Maybe the 'Oldie Letterboxers' who use Dartmoor would like us to leave the moor to them but it seems that unlike some of the people on here they have a more open attitude to necomers and other people and 'games'

Geocaching is for all types of people from all different areas with different abilities and aims, so leave us be and do your thing and let us do ours.

I shall just continue in my own way searching for the caches that I want to find (I actually enjoy the hunt for some micros/nanos) and set what type of cache I think is relative to where I am hiding it.

Well good for you. That told us, didn't it!!!!!!!!

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