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changes over a couple years


The Canning Clan
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Hello all, I've been away from Geocaching for a couple years and went out again yesterday. Was good to get back at it.

Is it me or has there been an incredible rise in "no reason to be there" caches over the last couple years?

I'm all for caching events buts is it really necessary to throw out 100 caches just for the sake of putting them out there? The side of the road just isn't why I Geocache. Where'd the imagination go?

I'm just curious whether others have experienced this as well.

safe caching all

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I'm just curious whether others have experienced this as well.

Yep. I understand a lot of areas are experiencing this. You'll have to learn to deal with the trache. You'll find there are more and more cachers who don't care about the quality of the geocache as long as they get their smilie.

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Welcome back after your hiatus. You are right. There has been a huge increase in the number of mind numbing "numbers" caches. The caches in a pretty park, or on a mountain top, or with a great view are still out there, but you'll have to come up with some kind of screening system if you want to find them. It can be done, but it's not like it was when you started. Good luck and welcome back.

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I think what I've seen is the percentage of caches that are park-and-grab caches have increased. The raw numbers of the caches you would like to find have increased as well, but not as fast or prolificly as these "just for the numbers" caches.

 

I look at it very much like television. There was a peak in my television viewing when it was hard for me to choose which shows to watch, and I had to video tape (archaeic term) shows to watch them later. But reality shows (which are cheap and easy to implement) and niche shows and channels (The Food Network or Paula Dean's Cooking Show) have come up and are much more prolific than the shows like had good scripts and actors. There are shows that have good scripts and good actors on them, but they're harder to find with all of the white-noise of the easy-to-implement and cheaper production shows. You have to be on the lookout for them and intentionally seek them out instead of stumbling on them by accident.

 

I think the parallel is true for caches. There are many caches that are easy to implement and fulfill some basic cache need for someone interesting in increasing their find count to x+1. But the caches placed in noteworthy locations, with a clever hide or beautiful vista are still out there. It just takes more effort to find these types amidst the white-noise of the caches that you're not interested in.

 

Pocket queries can help if you're selective in what you're looking for. Search for the particular type of cache container you'd like and cache type (multi, puzzle, traditional). Search for terrain greater than 1.0 or even higher than 1.5. Search for difficulty higher than 1.0. Search for caches with attributes of "Not Less Than 1 Hour."

 

While the list of caches is much shorter, and you may indeed miss some stellar caches by eliminating certain criteria, most likely you won't be as disappointed in the caches you do go out to find.

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Hey Markwell! wave.gif

 

I'm with Markwell... the rate of new caches continues to climb (where's Fizzy's charts when we need them?) meaning that the number of interesting and well though-out caches also increases, but my seat of the pants feeling says that the number of toss-and-mark caches outpaces those which were placed with a bit more effort.

 

The "if you don't like it, don't hunt it" defense if pretty thin. There's no easy way to filter them out. You can read every description and some of the logs (which is what I do sometimes) to get an idea of the cache, but often that's not feasible. Usually, you just have to go and see for yourself.

 

What's most surprising to me is that there are large numbers of people who enjoy searching for every micro stuck to a guardrail. I don't get it. It doesn't make much sense, but it's not going away and has been with us since very near the inception of geocaching. It's not just the past couple of years.

 

Jamie

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I think what I've seen is the percentage of caches that are park-and-grab caches have increased. The raw numbers of the caches you would like to find have increased as well, but not as fast or prolificly as these "just for the numbers" caches.

 

I'll begin with the caveat of respect to those spectacular top of the mountain, hidden behind the angry brown bear's den caches. :)

 

And I'll then suggest that the less Mountain Man/Woman caches are not "just for the number" for lots of us. Many of us are urban and don't have the opportunity to go after those Everest types of caches, and some of us (hey! me! me!) have a physical handicap that prevents us from enjoying them. Now, I don't want this to sound like a "I have no arms or legs and I can't see and I only have half of a skull but you need to make rugby accessible to MEEEEEEEEE" thing because that's not the spirit in which I write this.

 

But maybe the disdain and assumption that a less out-in-the-woods cache is "just for the numbers" could be reconsidered. It might sound lame to some people, but I get a big kick out of that cache that I had to dig around in the ivy for 20 minutes to find because it was so freaking well camo'd and in a batch of pine trees so I couldn't get a read... even if the patch of pine trees was in the back of a business park instead of a mile off the path in a forest.

 

Just my take on the subject.

 

ON THE OTHER HAND... I am often just as tired of a lamp skirt as the next person. :)

Edited by Gimpy13
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Yup. Lots more lame caches. Lots more long hikes. Lots more great historical locations. Lots more scenic locations. Lots more deep woods. Lots more high deserts.

 

The trick is finding a way to sort out the ones you want.

How true. Lots more of EVERYTHING. If you've been away for a couple of years you should have no trouble finding a bunch of new caches that appeal to you. Welcome back and have fun!
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Accessibility does not have to equate to lame. I've seen caches that are easy to get to and interesting at the same time.

 

That's true... not to brag (well, yeah, ok, it's a brag) my Buffy series has gotten very good reviews and they're all easily accessible. And I have a multiple that's driven a couple of people crazy. I'm extra proud of that one!!

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Accessibility does not have to equate to lame. I've seen caches that are easy to get to and interesting at the same time.
Note that I did NOT in my post use the term "lame" at all. Please read BOTH of these statements:
The raw numbers of the caches you would like to find have increased as well, but not as fast or prolificly as these "just for the numbers" caches.
There are many caches that are easy to implement and fulfill some basic cache need for someone interested in increasing their find count to x+1. But the caches placed in noteworthy locations, with a clever hide or beautiful vista are still out there.
I did not indicate that caches that were accessible were lame. Rather I said to the original poster that his concept of there being "an incredible rise in 'no reason to be there' caches over the last couple years" may be true and that he could use some means on the site to filter them out.
...maybe the disdain and assumption that a less out-in-the-woods cache is "just for the numbers" could be reconsidered
If the majority of caches that are 1.0/1.0 (of any size) in an urban setting brought me to a specific location for something more than visiting a parking lot and increasing my find count, I'd be glad to renounce this statement. To date, I have not seen this to be the norm. Have you found that these caches bring you to this particular place for a reason?
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Accessibility does not have to equate to lame. I've seen caches that are easy to get to and interesting at the same time.
Note that I did NOT in my post use the term "lame" at all. Please read BOTH of these statements:
The raw numbers of the caches you would like to find have increased as well, but not as fast or prolificly as these "just for the numbers" caches.
There are many caches that are easy to implement and fulfill some basic cache need for someone interested in increasing their find count to x+1. But the caches placed in noteworthy locations, with a clever hide or beautiful vista are still out there.
I did not indicate that caches that were accessible were lame. Rather I said to the original poster that his concept of there being "an incredible rise in 'no reason to be there' caches over the last couple years" may be true and that he could use some means on the site to filter them out.
...maybe the disdain and assumption that a less out-in-the-woods cache is "just for the numbers" could be reconsidered
If the majority of caches that are 1.0/1.0 (of any size) in an urban setting brought me to a specific location for something more than visiting a parking lot and increasing my find count, I'd be glad to renounce this statement. To date, I have not seen this to be the norm. Have you found that these caches bring you to this particular place for a reason?

 

Please note that I was responding to the post directly above mine. Nor did I say that anyone had implied accessible caches needed to be lame. I made an observation of my own. But thanks for playing.

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I'm just curious whether others have experienced this as well.

Yep. I understand a lot of areas are experiencing this. You'll have to learn to deal with the trache. You'll find there are more and more cachers who don't care about the quality of the geocache as long as they get their smilie.

A double Amen to that! Unfortunately, numbers, numbers, numbers is what is driving this game. Even those who renounce numbers do numbers runs??? I guess that makes them not interested in numbers like they often exclaim. It takes no creativity or investment to throw out lame micros. Maybe I shouldn't complain because one day I will be old ( I'm 66 now) and that's all I can find! There is one bit of light at the end of the tunnel. With so many more geocachers entering the game, there are some pretty interesting caches being placed. So, in this case, thank God for numbers! Numbers of geocachers.

P.S. I love the word you coined, or I believe it was you............"trache"! :)

Edited by Konnarock Kid & Marge
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If the majority of caches that are 1.0/1.0 (of any size) in an urban setting brought me to a specific location for something more than visiting a parking lot and increasing my find count, I'd be glad to renounce this statement. To date, I have not seen this to be the norm. Have you found that these caches bring you to this particular place for a reason?

 

I've found that there is a mix. There is an interesting series on presidents here in Houston - a couple of the caches have been in places that are "urban challenging" - which means you have to be very careful during the day because of all the people - granted, not a physical challenge to reach them. A couple of the hides in this series have brought me to places I didn't know were there. One in particular is a place I've driven by for 35 years and never noticed - it's not only a pretty little park, it also taught me some interesting history that I would have had no idea about even though it's less than a mile from my office.

 

We've got a person down here that does a series called "hidden in plain sight". And they are... if you can wrap your mind around the way this guy thinks. His are very mental and a lot of fun but not physically or geographically challenging. One of them had me walking in circles in a parking lot for half a hour before my caching buddy finally figured it out and pointed - "Hey could that be it?" and it was.

 

We also have a couple of people who drive down a long road with a lot of commercial businesses and place a lamp skirt in each parking lot. Not original or exciting... but if you're really new at this game it might help you gain some confidence. It's pretty easy to figure out that these are not exciting or challenging - they're all in Kroger and Hobby Lobby parking lots and they're obviously in a big line if you look at the map.

 

And really - I'm certainly not - and I hope no one is - asking you to "renounce" your statement! Only to consider that just because there might be a lot of caches in an area that it doesn't mean they're all just for the numbers. I know this is true in Houston - maybe it's different elsewhere.

 

A couple of weeks ago my hunting buddy and I went north an hour or so to get some "non-urban" hunting in. Three caches were in a state park. Two were in circle drives and they might as well have been painted day-glo orange and had big arrows pointing to them. One of them sent me home with bloody scratches on my arms from wading into a cedar tree and a chigger on my ankle. THAT one was fun! :)

 

I have a cache here in Houston that very experienced cachers write frustrated, happy logs about. Apparently it's hard to figure out how to approach it so it sends people driving a long way around - after they figure out they're in the wrong place - and then after they've crawled along behind a big fence for a hundred yards or so, they figure out that it's just off the pavement on the other side of the fence. He. He he he he. I didn't plan it that way, or design it to be that hard, but people seem to enjoy that they end up going "DOH!" when they find it. And it's in the middle of a city of 4 million people! Sometimes serendipity is all it takes to make a smiley.

 

What made you get out of caching? And what made you decide to come back? Did you miss it while you were out of it? I'm sure I would...

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Hey Markwell! wave.gif

 

I'm with Markwell... the rate of new caches continues to climb (where's Fizzy's charts when we need them?) meaning that the number of interesting and well though-out caches also increases, but my seat of the pants feeling says that the number of toss-and-mark caches outpaces those which were placed with a bit more effort.

 

The "if you don't like it, don't hunt it" defense if pretty thin. There's no easy way to filter them out. You can read every description and some of the logs (which is what I do sometimes) to get an idea of the cache, but often that's not feasible. Usually, you just have to go and see for yourself...

 

Jamie

 

That's my complaint. There is more and more chaff and it's not a simple process to separate it. In my home area I know who places what kinds of caches and can easily ignore caches placed by certain hiders, or in areas that I'm familiar with and not interested in. When I travel It's a different story. Short of reading every one of the 500-1,000 cache pages on my PQs, there is no way to filter out the kinds of caches I don't care for.

 

 

And I'll then suggest that the less Mountain Man/Woman caches are not "just for the number" for lots of us. Many of us are urban and don't have the opportunity to go after those Everest types of caches, and some of us (hey! me! me!) have a physical handicap that prevents us from enjoying them. Now, I don't want this to sound like a "I have no arms or legs and I can't see and I only have half of a skull but you need to make rugby accessible to MEEEEEEEEE" thing because that's not the spirit in which I write.

this.

 

Many people confuse easily accessible caches with "numbers caches" (also termed "lame" by some). I enjoy what you call "mountain man" caches, but I also enjoy urban caches and park and grabs that bring me somewhere interesting or unique.

 

Last year I had limited mobility for about 6 months, including 3 months spent on crutches. The fact that I was temporarily disabled didn't cause me to develop a sudden affinity for visiting 7-Eleven dumpster areas, Home Depot parking lots and highway guardrails.

 

It takes no creativity or investment to throw out lame micros. Maybe I shouldn't complain because one day I will be old ( I'm 66 now) and that's all I can find!

 

Where is it written that a 1/1 micro has to be lame? Wouldn't it be nice to have a plethora of easily accessible caches hidden in interesting areas once you're unable handle tougher terrain and wouldn't it be nicer if you didn't have to spend hours of research before heading out on a hunt?

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We also have a couple of people who drive down a long road with a lot of commercial businesses and place a lamp skirt in each parking lot. Not original or exciting... but if you're really new at this game it might help you gain some confidence.

I tend to think that's not the case. I think new cachers discover geocaching, go for a few hides near their home, and give it up because they get quickly tired of visiting parking lots.

 

I've been in a couple of situations where people I met learned I was a geocacher. They'd say, "Oh yeah, we've done that a few times" and the proceed to tell me how everything they looked for was behind a dumpster, or in a sewer drain, or in a parking lot so they lost interest.

 

Not new cachers, but a few weeks ago a well-known couple from Maine took a trip through my area. I was excited when they called and wanted to meet for lunch. When we got to the restaurant he asked me if Memphis had any caches that were not hidden at a gas station. All three caches they'd searched for since they arrived were in a gas station parking lot, one of them in a really questionable area of town. Frankly, that kind of makes me mad that we have visitors come from another part of the country and they have to wade through a bunch of rotten caches in order to find something worth seeing. How would these visitors know ahead of time?

 

And the environment is such that you can't discuss this type of thing without drawing the ire of hordes of supporters. Who places and who looks for this stuff? I don't get it.

 

Jamie

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And I'll then suggest that the less Mountain Man/Woman caches are not "just for the number" for lots of us. Many of us are urban and don't have the opportunity to go after those Everest types of caches, and some of us (hey! me! me!) have a physical handicap that prevents us from enjoying them. Now, I don't want this to sound like a "I have no arms or legs and I can't see and I only have half of a skull but you need to make rugby accessible to MEEEEEEEEE" thing because that's not the spirit in which I write.

this.

Many people confuse easily accessible caches with "numbers caches" (also termed "lame" by some). I enjoy what you call "mountain man" caches, but I also enjoy urban caches and park and grabs that bring me somewhere interesting or unique.

 

Last year I had limited mobility for about 6 months, including 3 months spent on crutches. The fact that I was temporarily disabled didn't cause me to develop a sudden affinity for visiting 7-Eleven dumpster areas, Home Depot parking lots and highway guardrails.

It takes no creativity or investment to throw out lame micros. Maybe I shouldn't complain because one day I will be old ( I'm 66 now) and that's all I can find!

Where is it written that a 1/1 micro has to be lame? Wouldn't it be nice to have a plethora of easily accessible caches hidden in interesting areas once you're unable handle tougher terrain and wouldn't it be nicer if you didn't have to spend hours of research before heading out on a hunt?

1. I can't imagine ANYTHING that would give me a sudden affinity for visiting 7-Eleven dumpsters. Although, the nearest 7-11 is in Austin, and I do miss the Slurpees. :)

 

2. I agree about the micros and this is sort of the point I've been trying to make. There is a micro (a tiny, annoying little buffalo tube) that is hidden here in Houston. It's easy to find the general location but the actual tube? Not so easy. I was literally about an inch from it for about 15 minutes before I figured out where it was - and that was dumb luck. It was a combination of a great hide and great camo. Again, right in the middle of a city of 4 million people.

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We also have a couple of people who drive down a long road with a lot of commercial businesses and place a lamp skirt in each parking lot. Not original or exciting... but if you're really new at this game it might help you gain some confidence.

I tend to think that's not the case. I think new cachers discover geocaching, go for a few hides near their home, and give it up because they get quickly tired of visiting parking lots.

 

I've been in a couple of situations where people I met learned I was a geocacher. They'd say, "Oh yeah, we've done that a few times" and the proceed to tell me how everything they looked for was behind a dumpster, or in a sewer drain, or in a parking lot so they lost interest.

 

Not new cachers, but a few weeks ago a well-known couple from Maine took a trip through my area. I was excited when they called and wanted to meet for lunch. When we got to the restaurant he asked me if Memphis had any caches that were not hidden at a gas station. All three caches they'd searched for since they arrived were in a gas station parking lot, one of them in a really questionable area of town. Frankly, that kind of makes me mad that we have visitors come from another part of the country and they have to wade through a bunch of rotten caches in order to find something worth seeing. How would these visitors know ahead of time?

 

And the environment is such that you can't discuss this type of thing without drawing the ire of hordes of supporters. Who places and who looks for this stuff? I don't get it.

 

Jamie

 

You're right - I've met a couple of "yeah we did that" people. I think it sucks that they didn't find something more challenging before being discouraged and/or giving up. The same thing for the visitors from Maine. I wonder if these folks read the logs? I think you can usually get an idea of the nature of a cache from the logs. If it's full of TFTC and nothing else, it's probably not a big lot of fun.

 

Someone had mentioned earlier (sorry, I don't remember who) the difficulty of finding a "good" cache because they would have to look through their entire download... Maybe I'm unusual in that I actually do that. I pull a pocket query but I also look up the ones that sound interesting here on the web site. Then I decide which ones I want to go for. It also helps me keep a few "in my pocket" so that if I'm running around town and I end up with an hour or two to kill, I can go hit them.

 

I guess it's a different approach to the game - I don't understand folks who would go for whatever is on a list that downloads. Just different ways to play the game.

 

Do you really feel like you're drawing the ire of hordes of supporters? I felt like this is a civilized discussion...

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Hello all, I've been away from Geocaching for a couple years and went out again yesterday. Was good to get back at it.

Is it me or has there been an incredible rise in "no reason to be there" caches over the last couple years?

I'm all for caching events buts is it really necessary to throw out 100 caches just for the sake of putting them out there? The side of the road just isn't why I Geocache. Where'd the imagination go?

I'm just curious whether others have experienced this as well.

safe caching all

Yes, there has been a degradation and degeneration of the sport in several realms as the masses have flocked to join and participate in it. What was it that John Malkovich shouted in a recent movie? Something about the proliferation of morons, and the ascendancy of the League of Morons. Well, a significant number of members of the League of Morons have discovered geocaching, and the sport has changed as a result. Regression to the mean, and all that, you know...

 

Ultimately, however, it does not bother me much at all, and I certainly do not sit around and worry about it. Rather, I am simply grateful that this sport exists, and that there are a number of good hides out there, as well as sincere cache hunters who appreciate high-quality caches. I do sneer condescendingly at the morons once in a while, but they, and their behaviors, do not, for the large part, matter much at all.

 

.

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I guess it's a different approach to the game - I don't understand folks who would go for whatever is on a list that downloads. Just different ways to play the game.

 

Many of us who have been involved with the sport for a while remember the day when you could just load your GPS with waypoints and 9 times out of 10 your GPS would guide you to some place that had some appeal. The fact that 9 times out of 10 if you do that now you will wind up behind a strip mall or in a WalMart parking lot is what bugs some of us.

 

I guess strip malls and WalMarts might be appealing to some people, but I see them every day and unless I need to pick up a bag of potato chips or a few cans of spraypaint, I'm really not interested in visiting them.

Edited by briansnat
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was out again today and instead of just driving and watching gps for caches, I spent some time online last night and picked a few specific ones. Much better day although water levels at my currant location stopped me from getting a few

 

Eeeyup. Those of us who don't care for parking lots or rural roadside "quick grabs" need to do some research before heading out. Locally of course, I can identify and ignore the turds pretty quickly. And even when traveling outside the area, it's pretty easy to figure out in almost all cases. As others have said, if you don't care for that kind of stuff, you can't just load up the GPS with every cache posted on the website.

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was out again today and instead of just driving and watching gps for caches, I spent some time online last night and picked a few specific ones. Much better day although water levels at my currant location stopped me from getting a few

 

That's the way you have to do it today if you're looking for special caches. Also, try asking other cachers in the area what caches they've found that were markedly special for them. That's the best guide.

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We also have a couple of people who drive down a long road with a lot of commercial businesses and place a lamp skirt in each parking lot. Not original or exciting... but if you're really new at this game it might help you gain some confidence.

I tend to think that's not the case. I think new cachers discover geocaching, go for a few hides near their home, and give it up because they get quickly tired of visiting parking lots.

 

I've been in a couple of situations where people I met learned I was a geocacher. They'd say, "Oh yeah, we've done that a few times" and the proceed to tell me how everything they looked for was behind a dumpster, or in a sewer drain, or in a parking lot so they lost interest.

 

 

Hmm. I did once meet someone at an out of State military picnic who noticed my GPS strapped to my pants (I cached on the way to the picnic). He said he was a GPS user and ATV enthusiast, but wasn't interested in Geocaching because all the caches in his area were in store parking lots. He was from somewhere in Connecticut.

 

However, I think these cases are not the norm! Many people in Urban or Suburban areas surf the listings in their zip code when they're new, see that many of the listings are in parking lots and such, and just roll with it. :)

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was out again today and instead of just driving and watching gps for caches, I spent some time online last night and picked a few specific ones. Much better day although water levels at my currant location stopped me from getting a few

 

Bingo!

 

You filter out parking lot hides by using the map tool on GC.com in satellite mode. I don't dump all the caches in my area to my GPS. I pick out the caches I want to find.

 

I identify the caches I want to find with the tools GC.com gives me, and the best tool is the map tool.

 

It's pretty easy to tell the diference between a parking lot cache and something near some trees.

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was out again today and instead of just driving and watching gps for caches, I spent some time online last night and picked a few specific ones. Much better day although water levels at my currant location stopped me from getting a few
I felt the same way as you, so I posted a thread titled Recipe for fun Share your techniques for avoiding caches you dislike.
That's a great thread and includes many really good ideas on how to maximize the odds of looking for a high percentage of 'good' caches'. Unfortunately, it includes a bunch of posts from hand-wringers who don't consider any method to be acceptable if it either allows one 'lame' cache to slip onto the GPSr or keeps one 'good' cache from being loaded to the GPSr.

 

These people don't 'get it'. They fail to admit that there has never been a guarantee that every cache will amuse them because every cache is not placed specifically to amuse them (individually). A better tack is to come to the realization that the best case scenario is to use proper search/sort techniques (as discussed in that thread), to greatly increase our odds of having a high percentage of winners in our GPSrs. Maybe the hand-wringers will come to accept this, maybe not.

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The problem with the gradual deterioration in cache quality is that the culture of geocaching is changing with it. I won't even try to solve the chicken-and-egg issue of what's cause and what's effect, but the trend is the same either way. And there are practical, negative consequences for the traditional hike-in-the-woods cacher.

 

In my area, we've already seen cachers attacking new placements with needs-archived notes challenging the cache owner's assertion of adequate permission and the reviewer's approval. The target caches are not iffy placements on commercial property (most of which would be denied approval if 'adequate permission' were strictly applied); they're strenuous backcountry hikes. Now that fewer of us, percentagewise, are hikers, there's little outcry against this sort of nonsense.

 

I suppose that many activities start out adventurous and edgy and then, as their popularity grows, sink to the lowest common denominator. But I've really enjoyed this one and stuck with it longer than the others; it'll be sad to see it slip under. Still a few good years left, though, if I have anything to say about it.

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We like getting to any and all caches. No complaints here. If one is not interesting so be it, we move on. Western NY is a beautiful area with thousands of interesting caches.

 

Rather, the constant whining that daily happens on this forum to me is worse than any dumpster cache. Talk about trache.

 

Sorry Frank but you have used as your example the one word that triggers me, dumpster. What anyone could possibly see as virtuous about a cache that takes them to a dumpster is beyond me. I once followed the GPS to a quaint little plaza of boutique type shops that had some nice artwork on an island in the parking lot. Would have been a great spot for a lamp post cache. The type of place that those who defend LPCs could hold up as the reason they are so great. But no, the cache was out back five feet from the big steel box and its odiferous contents. Did I get to see the art because of the cache? Yes. Was the cache a lame piece o' crap? Yes. On a scale of 1 to 10 the cache was a 1.5 only beating the dumpster caches with no interesting, near by feature. With just slightly more care in the placement it could have been 7. Toss in a bit of imagination and it could have been a home run 9.9.

 

Edit-Before someone asks, no, I did not log that cache. I didn't even get out of the car.

Edited by gof1
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Got ya GOF, you are right there are some that are just not worth it. But a good cache in the woods can become a dumpster cache. One we found in 18 mile creek park over the weekend had a dead deer next to it. Yes, we logged it anyways - haha.

 

Your example shows some here in our hometown must have lived too close to the chemical dumps in Niagara Falls or Allied Chemical in South Buffalo and do not have too many brain cells left.

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Got ya GOF, you are right there are some that are just not worth it. But a good cache in the woods can become a dumpster cache. One we found in 18 mile creek park over the weekend had a dead deer next to it. Yes, we logged it anyways - haha.

 

Your example shows some here in our hometown must have lived too close to the chemical dumps in Niagara Falls or Allied Chemical in South Buffalo and do not have too many brain cells left.

 

Many of those lost brain cells in South Buffalo had nothing to do with Allied. It is after all where Jimmy and his six pack came from.

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Keeping in mind that 'micro' does not equate to 'lame' as there are many great micros out there, my experience has shown me that most of the angst regarding this topic is about micros.

 

So, curious, I ran a couple of PQs through GSAK.

 

The first is my zip code, 35210, which is Irondale AL, a suburb of Birmingham, and thus a mostly urban area.

500 caches within 10.9 miles of 35210

193 are other than micro

307 are micros

61.4% of the 500 caches within 10.9 miles of my suburban zip code are micros (again, no reflection on quality, just number).

 

Then I ran a PQ centered on a rural area in NW Alabama.

500 caches within 47.7 miles of 35570 (the outer edges of that search touch two major cities, so it isn't all rural).

284 are other than micro

216 are micros

43.2% of the 500 caches within 47.7 miles of the rural 35570 zip code are micros.

 

If, then, you cache in urban 35210 the majority will be micros, if you cache in rural 35570 they will be the minority. Having cached in areas rural and urban in 28 states for some years now I would speculate that those ratios would be about the same nationwide.

 

How those numbers compare year-by-year historically is not known to me, but if I recall correctly that ratio hasn't changed much when each year this topic interests me enough to look it up.

 

The interesting part is that it took me a total of about five minutes each to run those PQs, load them in GSAK and set a filter.

 

Sure, filtering out all micros may mean that you miss some cool ones, and nothing says that non-micros are by definition interesting, but my experience tells me that there are a lot less, as a percentage, of 'other than micro' that folks will call lame, but still, given those caveats you can pretty much control your geocaching experience.

 

With additional filtering you can quickly get a list of caches that you are likely to enjoy, and by reading the cache listing and past logs you can get a very accurate idea of what to expect of each one.

 

You are in charge of your fun, and the tools to help you select what's fun for you are readily available.

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Got ya GOF, you are right there are some that are just not worth it. But a good cache in the woods can become a dumpster cache. One we found in 18 mile creek park over the weekend had a dead deer next to it. Yes, we logged it anyways - haha.

 

Your example shows some here in our hometown must have lived too close to the chemical dumps in Niagara Falls or Allied Chemical in South Buffalo and do not have too many brain cells left.

 

Many of those lost brain cells in South Buffalo had nothing to do with Allied. It is after all where Jimmy and his six pack came from.

 

Jimmy was from the Old First Ward - he did move to South Buffalo after he became popular. Well it must have been a "multi-cache" thing - the "drinking" and the chemicals in the water and air. Buffalo Color, Republic Steel, Donna Hannah Coke, Allied Chemical, NY Telephone (PCB's) all within a 2 mile radius and ALL dumping into the Buffalo River. I am sure the soot from Donna Hannah reached all the way to your neighborhood - "Lovejoy." BTW - while being off topic here, do you remember the open lot on Reimen and Gold with the horseshoe pits on it?

 

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source...4337931658,,0,5

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The same thing for the visitors from Maine. I wonder if these folks read the logs? I think you can usually get an idea of the nature of a cache from the logs. If it's full of TFTC and nothing else, it's probably not a big lot of fun.

 

Do you really feel like you're drawing the ire of hordes of supporters? I felt like this is a civilized discussion...

Like you, I often pick my caches carefully. I read through the logs, read the cache page, etc... but at the same time, I still like to leave the hunt as a mystery. In the olden days, I liked to simply put the coordinates in my GPS and go. No cache page, no hint, no nothing. I can't really do both.

 

You're right. This discussion is civilized, but in the past, and especially locally, I've gotten some nasty responses to my view that we don't need a cache at every gas station and Walmart parking lot.

 

So we need better machinery to sort between 'em. I like to sort caches using GSAK's average log length macro.

 

Interesting caches tend to get interesting logs, logs with actual sentences and paragraphs even.

Me too! I like that macro... but it's less accurate when you go to a new area and have just the last five logs to sort by. It works better when you can build a database over time.

 

Jamie

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Keeping in mind that 'micro' does not equate to 'lame' as there are many great micros out there, my experience has shown me that most of the angst regarding this topic is about micros.

A year ago, I would have agreed.

 

But in the past year, I have started finding a significant number of caches that would have been classified as "micros" a couple years ago but are now classified as "small."

 

These are caches the size of film canisters or small pill bottles, mind you. It seems that the new definition of "micro" is dictated by the bison tube!

 

My experience with lame caches has been that they are usually cheap containers; pill bottles and film canisters are especially common lame cache containers. People who spend a little money on a container somehow seem to find a better class of place to put it. Not always, but on average. Anyway, if pill bottles and the like are now considered "small," then the angst surrounding lame caches may actually be moving toward "small" containers and away from micros!

 

As for me, I wish there were a way to do an OR operation in a PQ. I'd like to do a query for caches that have terrain > 2 OR difficulty > 2. While that by no means eliminates all lame caches, the proportion is much more manageable.

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But in the past year, I have started finding a significant number of caches that would have been classified as "micros" a couple years ago but are now classified as "small."

 

 

Funny you should bring this up, we were just wondering this yesterday! As I've mentioned a couple of times, we're doing an "Anti-Micro" challenge put forth by a local cacher, and it's interesting to find some caches that are classified as "small" that are hidden in pill bottles, we didn't see this as often a couple of years ago.

 

-Rozie

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But in the past year, I have started finding a significant number of caches that would have been classified as "micros" a couple years ago but are now classified as "small."

 

 

Funny you should bring this up, we were just wondering this yesterday! As I've mentioned a couple of times, we're doing an "Anti-Micro" challenge put forth by a local cacher, and it's interesting to find some caches that are classified as "small" that are hidden in pill bottles, we didn't see this as often a couple of years ago.

 

-Rozie

 

I've seen caches listed like that more often lately.What I've seen even more of though is size "not listed" or "other". I'm cynical enough to believe that this is done so that these people can get their micro cache to show up in a PQ that excludes micros. I see this practice as deceptive and socially unacceptable. If you have to lie about your cache to get me to look for it perhaps you should rethink your hide.

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Got ya GOF, you are right there are some that are just not worth it. But a good cache in the woods can become a dumpster cache. One we found in 18 mile creek park over the weekend had a dead deer next to it. Yes, we logged it anyways - haha.

 

Your example shows some here in our hometown must have lived too close to the chemical dumps in Niagara Falls or Allied Chemical in South Buffalo and do not have too many brain cells left.

 

Many of those lost brain cells in South Buffalo had nothing to do with Allied. It is after all where Jimmy and his six pack came from.

 

Jimmy was from the Old First Ward - he did move to South Buffalo after he became popular. Well it must have been a "multi-cache" thing - the "drinking" and the chemicals in the water and air. Buffalo Color, Republic Steel, Donna Hannah Coke, Allied Chemical, NY Telephone (PCB's) all within a 2 mile radius and ALL dumping into the Buffalo River. I am sure the soot from Donna Hannah reached all the way to your neighborhood - "Lovejoy." BTW - while being off topic here, do you remember the open lot on Reimen and Gold with the horseshoe pits on it?

 

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source...4337931658,,0,5

 

I'll PM you.

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I've seen caches listed like that more often lately.What I've seen even more of though is size "not listed" or "other". I'm cynical enough to believe that this is done so that these people can get their micro cache to show up in a PQ that excludes micros.

Do you really think that? I don't. The caches I tend to want to avoid are those that are placed with little or no care; that lack of care often extends to the listing itself. The default cache size "not listed." It's not a bad bet that a cache hider who is not willing to put in the work to select a cache size probably didn't put a whole lot of effort into the hide, either.

 

As a result, excluding "not listed" cache sizes from a query is probably a pretty good filter for lameness.

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I told you, I'm cynical. The increase in caches miss-labeled for size has increased considerably over the last year or so. You may be right about "not listed" but that still leaves "other" and micros labeled as small. Coincidence? With numbers large enough to notice without studying? I guess it could be all in my head but so many have told me there's nothing there.

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I guess it's a different approach to the game - I don't understand folks who would go for whatever is on a list that downloads. Just different ways to play the game.

 

Many of us who have been involved with the sport for a while remember the day when you could just load your GPS with waypoints and 9 times out of 10 your GPS would guide you to some place that had some appeal. The fact that 9 times out of 10 if you do that now you will wind up behind a strip mall or in a WalMart parking lot is what bugs some of us.

 

I guess strip malls and WalMarts might be appealing to some people, but I see them every day and unless I need to pick up a bag of potato chips or a few cans of spraypaint, I'm really not interested in visiting them.

 

i'm with you all the way on this one. i have been caching since 2002 and the proliferation of just plain crumby caches is amazing. i finally had enough and posted a find on this cache, really lame cache

 

and saying it wasn't worth the trouble to look for it. of course, the owners of the cache removed the log.

 

i figure, if you place a stupid cache, then be prepared for honest logs.

 

actually, it is my fault, i don't know why i looked for this one at all, except i was at walmart and thought, what the heck.

 

how many altoid tins on the back of a sign do we really need? it keeps others from placing an interesting cache anywhere close by.

 

and when did altoid tins with just a log become "small" caches instead of micros.

 

when i started, caches were worth looking for, with pretty good swag and at least somewhere interesting to go.

 

i have to get back to reading the logs and being very particular about where i want to go.

 

i don't mind small caches that have a reason for placement, i really enjoyed the smile series around here even though they were all small. but it was a fun group of caches!

 

but to place 467 caches, most of them micros 1/1.5 indicates a real lack of creativity and imagination - and perhaps not really understanding the origin of the game. imho.

 

ok, rant off.

 

rsg

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If, then, you cache in urban 35210 the majority will be micros, if you cache in rural 35570 they will be the minority. Having cached in areas rural and urban in 28 states for some years now I would speculate that those ratios would be about the same nationwide.

 

You can't get much more urban than northern New Jersey and the last time I ran a PQ from my zipcode (07405) it was about 14 percent micros. It might be a bit higher now, but I don't think by much.

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I change my mind on micros. I went out today on a 70 mile cache run in the country side of Western NY and I will have to say - micros do not belong in the beautiful countryside. They take up the space of a quality cache. I even ran into a dumpster cache today. I did not believe it - in the country, not urban. I looked for a bit and skedaddled away as fast as I could. Guard rail magnetic micros in the countryside with beautiful views just seems wrong.

 

Yikes, do I ever take back my words from earlier today - or was it this thread that changed my view on micros?

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Hello all, I've been away from Geocaching for a couple years and went out again yesterday. Was good to get back at it.

Is it me or has there been an incredible rise in "no reason to be there" caches over the last couple years?

I'm all for caching events buts is it really necessary to throw out 100 caches just for the sake of putting them out there? The side of the road just isn't why I Geocache. Where'd the imagination go?

I'm just curious whether others have experienced this as well.

safe caching all

It’s weird. You’d think that more choice is always better, but sometimes having too many choices is a bad thing. Give me two knobs on my stereo labeled 'bass' and 'treble' and I’ll soon find a happy setting for the sound quality, but give me a 20-band graphic equalizer and no matter what I do with it I won’t be happy. Too much choice.

 

Back in the good old days, when a typical search for caches turned up fewer than a dozen hides within 100 miles, every cache was undeniably special. Each one had an audible mystique and spoke directly to one’s sense of adventure, demanding to be found.

 

Now that there are 500 caches within every ten mile search it’s just not the same anymore. But the paradox is that it IS still the same. There are still a dozen caches within every 100 mile search. It’s just that nowadays that dozen is mixed in with lots and lots of other dozens and dozens and dozens.

 

In the early years of the hobby caching was a cool little underground secret that only a rare few people were lucky enough to be in on. And there were very few caches, period. Bass and treble. Very little choice. Every Geocache was, by definition, cool. Now that membership has grown by several orders of magnitude we have a correspondingly huge number of cache hides available to hunt. And there’s that dang unsatisfying graphic equalizer. Or to look at it another way (and you can never have too many analogies), it’s a bit like if someone were to discover a huge new diamond mine that soon flooded the world gem market with a 10,000% increase in the number of available diamonds. The old engagement diamond on my wife’s hand suddenly wouldn’t seem so special. Or would it? Would her old stone have any less sparkle? Would it have any less sentimental value? So what if people are wallpapering their houses with solid diamond wallpaper now – is the old one on her hand any less of a diamond because of the new glut?

 

It’s an interesting question, and a very subjective one. I have seen the same explosion in "lame" caches that others observe and describe, but for some reason it has never bothered me. I’m just happy to have a cache, any cache, to find when I want something to do – and what’s even more awesome is that nowadays I know that I can always drive (or hike) right past all those hundreds of same-same hides to get to a truly awesome view/tour/natural wonder/tough challenge/cool surprise/history lesson whenever I feel like it.

 

In short: It’s all in one’s attitude. We can’t go back in time to 2001, but we can do the next best thing: we can appreciate the new and amazing variety for what it offers. The menu is both deep and wide. Learn how to sort out the good ones. It’s not all that hard to do. That’s a lot more fun – for me, anyway – than griping about the ones that fail to entertain.

 

If I were you, and I didn’t like caching by the side of the road, then I wouldn’t cache anyplace where there are roads.

 

But most importantly: Welcome back! :unsure:

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As for doing your homework before heading out to find a cache, a lot of the "numbers" caches can be detected just by reading the description. The caches that are hidden in a Walmart parking lot or tossed behind a dumpster have about as much effort put into writing up the cache page.

 

My only cache hide so far is a 1.5/1.5 that is hidden in a local park, near a gravel drive...but it's an ammo can that I put more effort into decorating the container than the hide. As my first cache, I wanted it to be something I could easily maintain and keep stocked with good swag and at the same time, be a cache that a family out at the park could find easily and enjoy. If that same cache is one that makes the hit and run list of a numbers cachers, I don't mind.

 

It was also a good litmus test to determine if hiding caches was my thing. After hiding my first, I ordered three more ammo cans and am in the process of painting/decorating them and finding spots to hide them.

 

I haven't been caching for even a year yet, so just getting out and finding "whatever" still has some appeal to me...but I find myself more and more running PQ's and filtering out micros/smalls and concentrating on larger caches.

 

Bruce

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Now that there are 500 caches within every ten mile search it’s just not the same anymore. But the paradox is that it IS still the same. There are still a dozen caches within every 100 mile search. It’s just that nowadays that dozen is mixed in with lots and lots of other dozens and dozens and dozens.

That's the secret to enjoying caching. When I first started, I was all anxious to get every cache within 20 miles of my house. I would wait eagerly for new ones to be published, and everybody in the area knew all the caches by name.

 

Not so any more. Now there are far more caches within 20 miles of me than I will probably ever do. The supply of caches has, for me, become effectively infinite!

 

As a result, my methodology for caching has changed completely. No longer do I keep a database of all nearby caches in case I get the urge to go out caching. Instead, I keep bookmark lists of caches I think I might want to do someday. I generally don't even look at caches that have difficulty and terrain ratings of 2 or under. Why? Not because I am a "difficulty snob" (or at least I hope not). But because experience has taught me that higher-rated caches are much more likely to have been placed by somebody who cared about what they were doing, and as a result are more likely to be fun. So what if I miss a few good low-rated caches? If any is really special, I will hear about it through the grapevine and do it. In any case, there are enough good caches to keep me occupied for a long, long time.

 

I do kind of wish that the geocaching.com site had kept up with my changing methodology; in particular, bookmark lists are apparently not a high priority and pocket queries won't let me do a logical OR operation. But I can pretty easily come up with workarounds for most of those problems, so I am quite content.

 

I think a lot of angst comes to people who feel compelled to find every cache in every place they visit. I was on a multi-day backpack in the back country this weekend, for example. Found some truly great caches. DNFed another I wish was still there, but loved the spot. Walked right past several more that just didn't appeal to me. (At least two of those were micros -- and mind you, this area is normally more than 10 miles from the nearest trailhead!). The caches that we were most interested in finding were the oldest ones that were put out as serious challenges back when caching was more about being outdoors. The "power trail" litter caches don't particularly bother me, but I am not going to make any particular effort to find them, and I am not about to feel angst about not having "cleared the park."

 

I am not claiming my way is the best way to cache; at the same time, I am not claiming that all caches are created equal. But getting all twisted up over lame caches is not going to do any good, so the best way to deal with it is to learn how to happily ignore them.

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