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Has the focus changed?


comfortablynumb63
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My caching team, consisting of young 'uns ranging from age 6 to age 14 have recently started our geocaching adventures again. We are fortunate that there are one or two fellow cachers that have placed some great geocaches in our community, but we recently have completed all within our city limits.

 

Now, we have been moving out and caching for a variety of hides within the Kansas City metro area. What we have encountered is geocaches that are so well-concealed, that 14 sets of eyes cannot locate them.

 

When we first joined geocaching.com, the majority of caches were well placed, well hidden, but were found somewhat adventurously by the kids who we take. Now, we deal with disappointed spirits to the point where they only hesitantly participate in geocaches.

 

Has the philosophy of geocaching changed to where it is the "hider's" goal to make their caches as difficult as possible. The majority of the caches have now become "micro" or "nano," which isn't very rewarding for our younger participants.

 

I'm just curious if this is the new trend, or is it unique to the KC area?

 

Any feedback would be appreciated.

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My caching team, consisting of young 'uns ranging from age 6 to age 14 have recently started our geocaching adventures again. We are fortunate that there are one or two fellow cachers that have placed some great geocaches in our community, but we recently have completed all within our city limits.

 

Now, we have been moving out and caching for a variety of hides within the Kansas City metro area. What we have encountered is geocaches that are so well-concealed, that 14 sets of eyes cannot locate them.

 

When we first joined geocaching.com, the majority of caches were well placed, well hidden, but were found somewhat adventurously by the kids who we take. Now, we deal with disappointed spirits to the point where they only hesitantly participate in geocaches.

 

Has the philosophy of geocaching changed to where it is the "hider's" goal to make their caches as difficult as possible. The majority of the caches have now become "micro" or "nano," which isn't very rewarding for our younger participants.

 

I'm just curious if this is the new trend, or is it unique to the KC area?

 

Any feedback would be appreciated.

 

Unfortunately no. We just had a bunch of caches hidden near me, a semi rural area. All micros, with a bit of thought and a bit of a walk we could have had some really nice smalls or regulars. It seems the thought process is how can I hide a cache where I don't have to do any work or do more that stick a scrap of paper in a film can.

 

Jim

Edited by jholly
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If micros and nanos are something you'd prefer to not hunt, you can filter them out when you run a pocket query. I do. I too have found that caching without micros makes the hobby much more enjoyable for me and my kids (who are all about the toys).

 

Regular sized caches are often easier to find, so the kids aren't disappointed because Daddy had to find the cache. I like them because they're generally in nicer locations than micros.

 

Has caching changed overall? I think so. But it's not just in your area. Fortunately this website provides tools to help us to separate the traches from the caches. :)

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I don't think the focus has changed. There have always been hiders that get their kicks out of people DNFing their caches. Just filter out those caches by looking at the high diffculty rating in your PQ if you're looking to avoid disappointing the kiddos. You might just do like a lot of cachers on this board do and nix micros altogether.

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2 things.

Rural caches in nature tend to be different then urban caches. In theory, all are the same, a container and so forth, but sometimes a rural cache can be hidden in plain sight and still be a tough find.

 

Example, the wife and daughter decided to leave dad in the car and grab one. It was a 3 star located in a old cemetery, that was very narrow and deep, it was an ammo can. Hint said "nice and easy for most".

20 minutes later the daughter returns and said "mom can't find it and I have not a clue". So I left daughter with son and trekked for it. After arriving at the location my wife said was it, I looked around, saw a tree that was split about 5' off the ground and reached in, pulled out a regular green ammo can. Nothing fancy, not camoed and in plain sight, just covered a tad bit.

The point, sometimes they are right there.

 

Change your thought process when hunting for these rural caches. Use new thoughts when hunting, but don't be afraid to adapt your urban cache ideas when hunting.

 

Frustration is part of life. We went out last weekend and found 7, but DNF'ed 4.

If you know the DNF's are there, then move and and use it as a scouting trip! Sometimes coming back that second time will open your eyes better to the location. Can't tell you how many times I have found a cache the second time I looked.

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I notice that the hides tend to be appropriate in some areas, then drive awhile down the road and you'll find a batch of lame/bad hides, then drive awhile and you may find another good batch.

 

It seems to be typically associated with one individuals "territory" who may tend to put out ammo cans in a certain radius around his local zone, then you may run into another "territory" that a different cacher may have dropped a bunch of micros.

 

It can be more noticable when the area is rural with less cachers for diversity. A higher concentration of cachers will yield more variety in hide styles.

 

Just some of my personal observations at least. :)

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I have a few urban caches that are hard to find. They range from micro to regular size. I didn't mean for them to be hard (I dislike hard caches!), but it is necessary in some locations to hide them in a way that they will not be found by non cachers easily. It's a balance between making them unfindable by non cachers, but still findable by cachers. Sometimes it just doesn't work out the way I'd like it to.

 

It's frustrating for me, but it's the way it is sometimes when hiding caches in the middle of town. Hey, parallel sticks in the middle of the woods are great! :):)

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Change the focus of your hunt! :)

 

Make finding the cache an incidental bonus... the trip, the companionship, the hunt, the location, what you teach the kids about the outdoors (and what they teach you!)... make these things the fun of the hunt and a DNF won't be a 'failure'.

 

The kids key off of you... if a DNF spoils the hunt for you so will it for them.

 

It's all in the attitude - decide that a nice time out looking for something can't be disappointing, even if you don't find it.

 

Make it a challenge - come back until you do find it.

 

Lastly, choose the caches that you hunt. Spend some time reading cache pages to find interesting locations and caches of the type that you like... if the cache page says it's a micro and you don't like micros, don't hunt for it!

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Change the focus of your hunt! :(

 

Make finding the cache an incidental bonus... the trip, the companionship, the hunt, the location, what you teach the kids about the outdoors (and what they teach you!)... make these things the fun of the hunt and a DNF won't be a 'failure'.

 

The kids key off of you... if a DNF spoils the hunt for you so will it for them.

 

It's all in the attitude - decide that a nice time out looking for something can't be disappointing, even if you don't find it.

 

Make it a challenge - come back until you do find it.

 

Lastly, choose the caches that you hunt. Spend some time reading cache pages to find interesting locations and caches of the type that you like... if the cache page says it's a micro and you don't like micros, don't hunt for it!

 

well said

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I'm sorry, I definitely get a kick out of a DNF from a cacher that is a legend in his/her own mind. Gives me that warm fuzzy feeling. Personally I love finding a cache after I've DNF'd it one two or three times. It shows me that:

 

A) I stick to it until I get it.

:( I am still enjoying this hobby.

3) That I am patient.

 

Plus I get some great ideas for my next hide!

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...Has the philosophy of geocaching changed to where it is the "hider's" goal to make their caches as difficult as possible. The majority of the caches have now become "micro" or "nano," which isn't very rewarding for our younger participants. ...

 

The philosopy hasn't changed so much, but the landscape has. Urban areas tend to fill up with micro's.

 

What you have to do to maximize your enjoyment is to start paying attention to a few details. Some cache owners like hiding caches to garner Did Not Find logs. Learn to avoid those. You can also focus on only looking for small or larger caches. By reading maps you can tell where the caches are an have a good idea of the kind of hide. Some of this takes a little time to learn, but it's all good skills.

 

When I take my family out I have to filter out the micro's. They like caching, they don't like micro's. In my area there was a shift away from micro caches and it's made caching all the more enjoyable.

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I don't think the focus has changed. There have always been hiders that get their kicks out of people DNFing their caches. Just filter out those caches by looking at the high diffculty rating in your PQ if you're looking to avoid disappointing the kiddos. You might just do like a lot of cachers on this board do and nix micros altogether.

And you can futher filter out more caches using something like GSAK. When we go on trips, I filter out all the micros and what not in my PQ. Then using GSAK, I filter out all caches that haven't been found in 6 months and/or that have DNFs for their last two logs. I'm sure most of you know this. But, then we spend the vacation having successful caching memories.

 

With that said, I enjoy the micro now and then. It's still exciting and amazing to find something "right under your nose" in just the most bizarre places. And I have even further shifted to doing the mystery/puzzle caches when I am home. I find I don't really care what container it is in if I have invested some time in it trying to get the coordinates. And if you get bored doing that, spend your time making puzzle caches.

 

Each cache type has it's own purpose for each person in varying situations (fit-for-purpose caching). Just filter to suit your needs.

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The cache hunter is at the mercy of the cache hider. But as others have stated so nicely, filter out the types you dislike.

 

I have hidden a bunch of caches. I may feel the need to be highly creative , so I hide a heavily camoed cache container. Maybe it's an ammo can that blends in, maybe it's a peanut butter jar or lock-n-lock that matches it's environment.

 

Some days I feel evil and hide a horrible micro. Maybe I want you to find it, maybe I don't. You can probably expect a high difficulty rating on these.

 

Sometimes I feel goofy and place a cache that's really off the wall and spin some goofy yarn on the cache page to go with it. Sometimes I like the "What the...........???" factor.

 

Many times, I want to showcase a location (like my Cache to Eagle series) and the container is secondary. It'll be easy to find.

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Yes, I would have to agree that the focus is a bit different than it originally was - at least around here. The heavy emphasis used to be on showing off little known, out of the way, scenic or historic or special sites. The fact that a cache was also found there was just a bonus.

 

Today - that type of cacher is still around and all cachers have some of that in them but more and more of the newer cachers seem to focus much more heavily on the difficulty of the hide itself. How devious, evil, difficult, muggle laden and small a hide can be. Some hides are designed to push your comfort level or frustrate your plans. The only reason behind some caches is to locate the cache itself.

 

While I appreciate both types of caches and cachers - I much perfer the discovery of new places over the frustration of spending hours under a pine tree looking for that nano. Just me though.....

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I've always said there are two types of caches: those designed to be hidden from muggles and those designed to be hidden from cachers.

 

I much prefer the caches that a muggle would never notice but a cacher can recognize in short order. Failing that, an ammo can under a pile of sticks works just fine.

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To me there is a difference in a hard cache and a hard find.

A hard cache is one meant to be as such. One that the owner put a great deal of time/effort into hiding or camo and doesn't want found easily.

A hard find is one in which the owner places it in a place that muggles won't just find and leave little info on its location.

 

Such as saying "its hidden on the south leg of the shelter at waist level" vs saying "its in the shelter".

 

If you want a cache to be found, but its in a urban muggle ridden setting, then you should really communicate the location of the cache to the best degree you can. Such as in a broken piece of wood, that fit back together and no one could tell. If you communicate that its the Southeast rail of the pavilion then you get the point across and the cache gets found by those intending to find it. But still is open to muggles..LOL

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Yes, I think that the focus has changed. When I started geocaching, around 2003, there weren't many geocaches hidden in our area. As the years went by, more and more people are joining and they have lost the idea of what geocaching is. Caches have been muggled and more and more caches have no trade items! I have noticed people are placing them on private property or close to buildings. I think the focus has definately changed.

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Yes, I think that the focus has changed. When I started geocaching, around 2003, there weren't many geocaches hidden in our area. As the years went by, more and more people are joining and they have lost the idea of what geocaching is. Caches have been muggled and more and more caches have no trade items! I have noticed people are placing them on private property or close to buildings. I think the focus has definately changed.

 

I agree totally with this statement, being a 2003 joiner myself. :(

 

However I believe the OP is asking has to focus changed to harder to find caches, so called "evil hides". I'd say definitely not. There's always been, in my opinion, a small cult following of those who think geocaches should be difficult to find, some who take great joy in seeing DNF's on cache pages. But this has always remained a small group, I'd say. I think when the majority of people exit their vehicle, they want to, and expect to find the cache they're looking for.

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filter out the types you dislike.

It is IMPOSSIBLE to filter out the types I dislike.

 

I like micros, but dislike lampposts.

I even like nanos, but dislike "needle in a haystack" searches.

I dislike caches placed with no way to hide your actions from muggles, regardless of cache size.

I dislike the kind of cache series where the description is the exact same on every cache even though the style of hide is different. Leave a hint already!

 

I enjoy clever hides, but that's not the kind of hiding people are doing these days - it seems they are hiding caches from geocachers so that geocachers are spotted by muggles. There seems to be no consideration for how the hider is going to be perceived by the general public. I pass up a lot of caches just so I don't get stopped by business owners or the police because I look like a vandal, someone casing the place, or a terrorist. This isn't what geocaching is supposed to be about.

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I haven't seen any large scale change of focus in that area, though I'm not an ol' timer to this game. When I started, there were a few hiders who considered it their mission to make caches which the average seeker could not find. They are still out there, playing the game their way. As I come to recognize their hide style, I can choose to seek their hides, dealing with the extra "challenge", or not. I don't think their numbers have increased as compared to the whole.

 

The greatest change of focus I've seen is a trend toward easier finds, of the P&G variety.

 

Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing depends on your perspective and adaptability. :(

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In the beginning.... we only hid large tupperware containers. ;)

As we progressed, we realized that some people don't leave the large urban areas. :)

So we made the containers smaller and smaller, until they fit right in plain sight without being muggled. :(

 

I suggest you filter your cache list by size.

Most Regular or Large sized caches have toys for kids in them. :huh:

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In the beginning.... we only hid large tupperware containers. :huh:

As we progressed, we realized that some people don't leave the large urban areas. :huh:

So we made the containers smaller and smaller, until they fit right in plain sight without being muggled. :(

 

I suggest you filter your cache list by size.

Most Regular or Large sized caches have toys for kids in them. :o

oh how I remember some of those bus stop caches :);)

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I really appreciate the feedback from all of you! It gives me a different perspective! Thanks for taking the time to respond....

 

I think the next time we're out "for the toys," I might ask the little cachers to point out something other than the geocache that they remember.

 

That's how it used to be, and that's the stuff I used to include in the logs. The surprise critters that we saw, the unique terrain...I guess I was getting a little too focused on "the find" rather than the companionship, the journey, etc!

 

Once again, thanks folks. All of your replies were most helpful!

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Lots of good points brought up. I just placed hide #100 (38 were adoptions I had to rehide) and have tried to keep the focus on fun. Some are for the numbers, some are nano's and some are caches that kids can trade into. Every once in a while I throw in an evil cache to throw off people who think all my hides are easy. I've done routes over scenic roads to take people places, I've done pointless hides next to the sidewalk with no redeming value.

 

When I hunt, what I hunt for depends on my mood.

 

I have a cache called The Barking Frog, named after a sign on a farm down the road. The cache is a goofy looking frog that I put a film container in, log only. It has sparked a few cute log entries s and many emails of laughter. Well worth the price, helping people enjoy themselves.

 

I would hope people look at mine as an adventure to be had and not a burden. Even my evil caches are still entertaining, I try not to make them difficult as more of a head slapper thet the finder made it tougher than they needed to.

 

Different people have different ideas of fun. Seems like everyone posting understands that. I tend to state the obvious.

 

What was this thread again???

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Change the focus of your hunt! :P

 

Make finding the cache an incidental bonus... the trip, the companionship, the hunt, the location, what you teach the kids about the outdoors (and what they teach you!)... make these things the fun of the hunt and a DNF won't be a 'failure'.

 

The kids key off of you... if a DNF spoils the hunt for you so will it for them.

 

It's all in the attitude - decide that a nice time out looking for something can't be disappointing, even if you don't find it.

 

Make it a challenge - come back until you do find it.

 

Lastly, choose the caches that you hunt. Spend some time reading cache pages to find interesting locations and caches of the type that you like... if the cache page says it's a micro and you don't like micros, don't hunt for it!

 

well said

 

Explaining once again why you need to research the caches you are looking for. Do not assume that caching is an outdoor experience where you are discovering new or fun places to visit - and enjoying caching. Determine that ahead of time.

 

I'm sure people would be able to take their kids to nice parks and trails, without caching.

Edited by BlueDeuce
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