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How do you find the time?


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This has got to be the most enjoyable hobby I have ever taken on. I've been addicted since day one back in July. What I don't understand is how people can find the time to do this. Yes, if you aren't a parent it makes it easier, and if you are single or retired, it makes it even more easy...but I'm neither! With 12-hour workdays and kids extracurricular activities on the weekends, church, and housework, I have found it almost impossible to find a day just to go and cache. Early on, I just made time, consequences be damned, and just picked up the GPS and went...but responsibilities caught up with me double quick.


Maybe this is just a cry of frustration that may seem whiney and pointless to the forums, but I haven't been on a day-long cache since July...and I miss it so badly. I read logs about people going on three-day long caching runs where they find 100+ caches across three states, and I just have to shake my head. Man that sounds like so much fun, but how does a busy parent of three with full time job commitments find the time to do that? :)

Edited by griswell
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I do most of my caching "on the way" to work in the morning, or "on the way" home after work. Other times, I take a brief detour for geocaching, wherever I happen to be at the time. I think I've been on only one full-day geocaching hike. Even spending a few hours on a geocaching hike is pretty rare for me.


If you don't have time for full-day geocaching trips, then don't go on full-day geocaching trips. Do what you have time for instead.

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Try to get you family involved. Start with a short hike in parks/preserves. On a weekend, let the kids sleep in while you, and maybe your wife too, go on an early morning hike for a few hours.


My wife doesn't find caching alluring but she likes to hike; so, every Sunday morning, about 7a, I take her to a different hiking trail (with caches of course). She don't mind if I stop for a few caches per mile of hiking. We usually hike 3-5 miles, but I've talked her into 10-mile hikes a couple of times.

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Thanks for the encouragement, guys. Good to know I am not alone. I just got frustrated reading these posts where people get together with cacher friends and spend 3-4 days crossing seven counties and logging 150 caches along the way. Now me, I wouldn't want to do that many in a day. The most I have logged in a day was 5, and that was plenty. But the idea of spending a day just doing what I love really makes me sigh. :)

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A lot of my caching is opportunistic. For instance I may be visiting relatives and check for nearby caches, or on a trip to the dentist, or store I look for caches on the way to or from.


A lot of the time it's done while engaging in another hobby. I like to hike, canoe and fish so when I'm doing any of that I check for caches in the area. I coach soccer and when we have away games I'll look for caches near the field and bag them before or after the game.


I'm not saying you do this, but I do run into many people who ask "How do you find the time to...(insert activity)?" Then you find out that they watch 3-4 hours of TV every day. I rarely watch TV so that frees up quite a bit of time.

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I am with the OP. At this point in my life (a four year old, and a 1 month old) I am not usually able to go out that much.


Typically I will get about 4 hours a month to go... Usually it is on the weekend, after I lay my son down for his nap... then I beg mommy for a pass to head out for a few hours.


We camp a lot, so during the summer months I try to take the opportunity to find some when we go on vacation.


My son is almost ready to do this with me, but not quite able to stick with it long enough to go for anything other than really easy finds. Every time I feel frustrated I imagine the day when the kids are 7 and 11 or older and can't wait to go with me, when we can run all over God's creation all weekend long. I am hoping that I am not setting myself for disappointment later on, but this is my goal.


Hang in there.

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Being single and self employed, I can cache whenever I desire BUT..... I prefer to cache with my partners so I'm sorta tied to their schedules. However, as I head out shopping and errand running, I plan the trips around cache locations so I can grab a couple of quickies each week. Most times these are caches that my partners have already done, they are way ahead of me in cache counts, so for them there isn't the same thrill in the find that I have.


So you grab what you can, when you can, and have a set time limit for caching. My time limit is usually 1 hour or so.

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FWIW, I drive truck. I keep my GPS with me some days, which gives me a chance during the day to see how close some of the hides are to where I drive...my route varies by the day, and often by the load. Anyhow, when hubby says, "hey, I want to go 30 miles south to hit this little greasy spoon for breakfast", I hem and haw...grab the GPS, load up a bunch of caches, then say, "it's not worth the gas JUST for breakfast...let's hit some caches while we're down there.", and of course, he's hungry and agreeable, if it means he gets to eat!


Win-win situation. :)


The other is to just plan your day out, maybe NOT go to the very closest store that carries something you want, just so you're closer to a cache or three. That way, you still get whatever you need for the house or the family, PLUS you can do a quick hunt...just make sure you're after an easy hide and not a 5/5... :)

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Since the members of The Team both have day jobs you can imagine the crimp that this places upon our weekday geocaching adventures. Criminnie!!


Therefore we cache almost exclusively on weekends and that helps.


Our caching adventures are normally well planned in advance of the weekends when we go out for our caching runs. This allows us to focus on the outdoors and pleasant discussion between caches.


Like most folk, we also have varying amounts of weekend chores to perform. We typically handle this by concentrating our chores on one of the two weekend days. We have been known to skip entire weekends where we do not geocache at all.


The Team also takes a vacation ever once in a while. On some vacations we have found as many as 35 or so geocaches, others 3-4. It kinda depends upon the location and nature of the trip. For example a few years ago we were on a trip to northern Italy. We only found three as I recall. This was mainly due to the fact that we were with a group and you know how that goes. Also, I don't know if you have ever been to Italy, but to spend very much time geocaching there when there is all of that scenery, culture, art, architecture and FOOD to dive into....well to say the least, geocaching takes a seat waaaaayyyyy in the back 'o dee bus. :)


Lately we have been enjoying hiking the great outdoors independent of geocaching, most enjoyable.


In case you are wondering, we watch a LOT of TV.....at night.


You have much to look forward to, good luck in all of your geocaching adventures.


We also donate money and time to our local Women and Children's Shelter, SPCA and regional park.

Edited by Team Cotati
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Thanks for the encouragement, guys. Good to know I am not alone. I just got frustrated reading these posts where people get together with cacher friends and spend 3-4 days crossing seven counties and logging 150 caches along the way. Now me, I wouldn't want to do that many in a day. The most I have logged in a day was 5, and that was plenty. But the idea of spending a day just doing what I love really makes me sigh. :(


Hate to say this but it's only going to get worse. I used to be able to grab a cache before or after work or on the way to/from an errand but now that I've found almost every cache within 10 miles of where I live (and work nearby) that just isn't a possibility unless something new is placed within a radius close enough to home that allows me to find a cache within a half hour time span. Generally, I need at least 2-3 hours of free time if I'm going to be able to find more than a few caches. There are a few things that you can do though:


Take a day off of work every once in awhile just to go geocaching. You don't need to try and find a hundred or more caches that day. Having several hours free could also you to take your time to go after a cache or two that might require a longer hike.


Take advantage of any traveling you may do to get some out of the area caching. I just got back from a four day conference in Monterey made my travel plans such that I had a full day in Monterey to do some caching and enjoy the sites.


Plan day trips with the family to visit areas a couple of hours away. You can do some caching along the way even if you don't much at your destination.


Over time you'll begin clearing out caches nearby, and the more you get the longer it will take to get to a spot where you can find any caches, due the time constraint just to travel to/from your house to the nearest cache. When you do get a bit of extra time, spend it on caches farther from home so you'll have a few to do when you only get an hour or so free.

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Who needs to mow the yard?

Heck we can find our way back with the GPS right?

Then we can use the gas we would have put in the mower to get to more caches.


NYPaddleCacher has a good point about clearing out the areas you frequent. It did not take me long to realize that was going to happen.

My solution for that is to try and get more people involved so they can hide caches that I can find.

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You are totally not alone. As a university student, time is definitely not something I have an excess amount of.


Something that I find that helps... if I know I am going somewhere that I don't usually go (I ride, so usually when I am going somewhere for a horse show) I will try to find ONE cache right near where I am going. I leave my horse, coach, other riders, groom, etc and say I am going for a walk, and within 10 minutes I am back having found the cache. I have also done this while out with my parents... while they wait to pay the bill in the restaurant where we ate lunch, I escape and get my afternoon geo-fix. It might only take 10 minutes, but it's enough to get me through!


It might seem stressful to try and fit in caches but remember - you don't have to do the most difficult ones right off the bat. I also look for ones with logs like "Quick find" or "easy, thanks" and do those ones when I know time is tight.


Hang in there... and just think, pretty soon your kids may be interested in it as well!

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i just came back from a 20 day caching trip, or more specifically a peregrination, which is like pilgrimage only without a fixed destination. i lived in my car and wandered as i felt called to do, letting caches form the framework for the general "where" of my days, and stopping for prayer at fixed intervals.


for a lot of the year i don't have time to cache, though: during bike season i have training or races six days a week, and during ski season i ski every day, six days a week.


i can't really handle more than one outing in a day, so if i go grocery shopping i'm probably not going to cache.


so. i cache a lot in october and may a little bit in june and november but not all that much a lot of the time. i can't imagine caching all the time; i'm working on new artwork and new music and i'm STILL only logging 7 october.


church sundays, and choir practice during the week.


life takes time.


you either cache full time, or you don't.


i don't.


if you don't, don't worry about it.


yesterday i found three caches. today i'll have a nap.

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when i first started there were loads around me, but now i live in a clear bubble for miles. with winter now here and it being very wet and muddy this has an effect on where we go. Also have limited time due to running the other half to and from work at weekends so try and fit in what i can when she is at work. When we are all together we might go out for a couple of hours and if im on a run at work and one is nearby that is close and doesnt involve a trek then i will have a quick go.


Roll on the summer so we can go camping and spend the whole week out there caching.

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You have fun when you can make the time to have that fun. Take care of your responsibilities first, of course.

Usually, I cache on weekends with my caching partner. With the economy lately, I've been suffering with furlough days. (Fortunately, I got a good raise last year, which helps considerable.) And so, when I have Grumpy Dolphin days on Fridays, I go out and hide Grumpy Dolphin Caches! When Dolphin is grumpy, the whole world suffers! Grumpy Dolphin Cache Number Thirteen went out on Friday. (Brian! Go out and find Baby Bear! He's lost, and he's miserable, and he needs your help!) Some are evil. Some are long hikes. One is going on two months without a find! (Many cachers are cursing me!) Hee hee hee. When Dolphin is Grumpy ...

Answer: You do what you can. You have fun when you can make the time to do so. Otherwise, you carry on, and look forward to the next time to go geocaching.

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I find myself going to other cities for activities. When I have to go somewhere, I try to get there early enough to grab a cache in the area.


Because of this I have found over 500 caches so far and don't yet have a "bubble" around my house (around my boyfriends house perhaps, but not my house yet).


I try to spend some hours every weekend as "down time" caching. I have a busy life, but it's important to take time for fun, even if it's just a half hour here or there. It's called balance.


When we went camping this summer we loaded up the caches in the area. We both had been to that area many times, my boyfriend even growing up in that area, but we got a tour we did not expect by geocaching.


The cache locations showed all all sorts of things and history of the area. It was the best trip to the area either of us ever had just because of where caching took us.


My boyfriend used to be with a woman who hated caching. He used to wait outside when she went into the mall and he'd grab a cache. He only would grab one at a time, but he kept it up over the years.


Like someone else mentioned, I don't watch TV either. Gives me more time.

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You need to reserve some "me" time. I know it sounds selfish - but you will appreciate each other more. Could any other parents help with the school/activity runs? If you can afford to have someone watch your brood for a couple of hours...great. Maybe do some caches after you have dropped them off at their activities? I am no doctor, but prescribe geocaching to keep you fit and sane....

Good Luck!

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I combine 2 or 3 things into the one activity....


I have a dog.

Dogs need to be walked. ...especially Border Collies.

Instead of walking round the same block or the same park, etc, I now drive 5-15 minutes to a new exciting park/creek/lake/woods/etc which just HAPPENS to have a geocache........ :rolleyes:

...and I might pick up some groceries on the drive back home.

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First off, I feel your pain. I have three kids, two of whom are involved in very time-consuming activities, and I work. I just started geocaching and have been bitten by the bug badly, so I have come up with some strategies that will hopefully provide me with more time to pursue this new hobby. We do, of course, try to fit it in on the weekends as a family. In addition, I have started grocery shopping on-line. If this is an option for you, check it out! It saves you money (less impulse buys) and time! Also, I work like crazy 4 of the 5 weekdays to get all my errands, chores, paperwork, etc done which leaves me (in theory) 1 whole day to scratch my geocaching itch. Of course, as I said, I'm new to this too, so time will tell if this is something I'll be able to continue (I hope so!!!!!!!!!) and multi-day excursions are not on the radar screen for me right now, but I'm enjoying what I can do. Hope you figure out a way to enjoy it too :rolleyes:

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I like to stop every 30 minutes or so of driving, when going somewhere... lots of caches at rest areas and pulloffs... my back appreciates the rest and stretch. Get some going and some coming back. I resist the urge to clean them all out... save some of the local ones for those 'too short' days. Around here there are not that many local ones either... but I don't have to go to far to find some new ones.


Now that winter is approaching ( hah, we've already had snow on the ground twice) I'm looking forward to searching for and solving Puzzle Caches... Three types there... ones I'll never go and seek on the ground because they are simply too far away ( at least highly unlikely ), ones that I stand some chance of seeking someday, and ones that are not too far away for a weekend trip or less. It's not always possible to find time to go and seek even those, but the solutions soon stack up, and my puzzle skills are sharpening...

I don't do to badly on some, and I have a self destructive (punishing perhaps) bent for tackling HARD ones.


Makes for fun times on really slow days. Once in a while I partner up online, but I don't count any finds done that way as mine... just like a mention as a partner.


Good luck

Doug 7rxc

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One thought is to get your kids involved with you and pull them out of some of their activities over time - you sound stressed out and over-scheduled. Geocaching is a great way for kids to get outside exercise AND family bonding time all rolled into one :D


Personally I rarely participated in after school sports until I was in high school and never felt like I missed out on anything. Instead my family and I spent hours on weekends hiking, going to museums, horse back riding, etc etc and I loved it :D It's my birthday this wknd and I'm choosing to go out of town to spend it with my parents (and hubby and kids) :)

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