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Birthday greetings...


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First off, let’s get the apologies out of the way. This posting might not be for all who read it, so sorry to

 

1. Anybody thats been doing this for less than two years. That’s not a fixed time, just an arbitrary number. There’s nothing in here that’s “anti” you, it’s just that this post is referenced against a period before you joined and as such will have no place discussing here. If you do want to discuss the topics discussed here, please don’t hijack this thread – start one of your own :DB)

 

2. Number chasers. Again, I appreciate that for you the game is all about the numbers. This thread isn’t for you.

 

3. Manufacturers and vendors of 35mm film pots – I’m really sorry that the traditional market for your product is disappearing under the relentless onrush of digital photography – but I don’t feel it’s fair that you make us a marketing target :D

 

4. Anybody expecting an “I hate micros” rant, or a “kick the newbies” crusade.

 

5. Sorry for being a sock puppet. My owner is here somewhere - their just fearfull of backlash.

 

This isn't a moaning post (much) - just one persons thoughts on how caching has changed since they started. Lets keep the personal stuff out, and if you do want to add to the thread let it be your own observations on how things have changed over the past few years.

 

OK now that that’s out of the way, on to the substance.

 

We have reached the first ten year anniversary of the first geocache being hidden, and where are we? For me, after a little under 7 years playing, a world away from the game as I first found it. Regardless of how you look at it, the game has changed – and for me, it hasn’t changed for the better. Sometimes it’s hard to state exactly how and why it’s gone downhill. Yes, there are thousands more caches to find than there were. But look at them! If I run a PQ of new caches from my home coordinates, the vast majority – that’s over two thirds – will be micros. Perhaps that’s just my location? I don’t know. I would run the same PQ for different areas, but I can’t be bothered. And from the same PQ, three quarters of the caches will be circuits – or components in national series’! Whatever happened to originality and individuality? When did people stop trying to make their cache stand out by its own merit – and feel proud of the logs they received for those reasons alone? None of this is to say that there arent some crackin caches out there , just that theres an awful lot of filtering to be done to get to them.

Yes, I know I can use GSAK to filter out micros. But not all micros are bad, and not all micro-caches are correctly labeled as micros. And why should I? When did it become my responsibility to change the way I do something to accommodate the way a newcomer chooses to change the game?

 

Another way in which things have changed seems to be in the way people get into caching in the first place.

 

“Back in the day” cachers used to consist of three main types. ( a ) Outdoorsy people, who owned a GPS already for walking, or mountain biking, or whatever. ( b ) Geeky gadget freaks, who owned a GPS because it was this really smart bit of tech that could tell you (almost) exactly where you were on the planet, at any time (just in case that bit of info would ever come in handy) and ( c ) Outdoorsy geeky gadget freaks. Geocaching was this cool, secret-squirrel thing, that cool secret-squirrelly, outdoorsy geeky gadget freaks did in their spare time. Now it's mainstream, and it's something the general public do with the kids when it's not raining and there's nothing on the telly. And somehow, because of this, it became (for me) slightly more embarrassing and cringe making to discuss than it was a few years ago.

And the chances are if you weren’t introduced to caching by another cacher, then it wasn’t long before you bumped into a more experienced cacher. Introductions to the game were by word of mouth, or by going along with somebody you knew. Everybody had or knew of somebody that could mentor their hides, and their searches. Criticism was genuine and helped, rather than sniping. The caches you found shaped the caches you hid.

 

Nowadays Countryfile, and Rambling magazine, and the iShop have taken the place of people – and new geocachers come into the game in complete isolation. Occasionally one will find his or her way in here – where they’ll either join a big mutual back-slapping party, or kick up a fuss when not everybody agrees to drop everything to answer the questions they could either have answered themselves with a 30 second Google search – or, rather less likely, have found out themselves before they spent £300 on a GPS that now doesn’t do what they want it to do. And if you never meet another cacher, and only ever find hedge-bound filmpots, then that is what you are going to hide. The caches you find still shape the caches you hide.

 

I know that there are other cachers out there who agree with me. I’ve met them. I continue to meet them. But as is so often the case, few if any of them bother coming in here anymore. And those that do would rather keep quiet than risk the wrath of the self-appointed politically correct forum police.

 

So Happy Birthday Geocaching. Ten years old, and you don’t look a day over five. Have a great party everybody, don’t do anything I wouldn’t do. and remember, the game’s what you make of it and the way you choose to play it.

Edited by Sir Lance the Lott
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The caches you found shaped the caches you hid.

 

Well said. I have to agree that the caches you find influence those that you set but perhaps more importantly the type of caches determine which type of person partcipates.

 

It came as a shock to realise that the debates in these forums about educating new setters is fruitless, little experience of Geocaching is needed to set a trail, the fashionable cache of today.

 

The impact of the change came home to roost the other day when several events happened quite close to one another.

 

- The first was a local request for a route that would allow 30 caches to be found during a four-mile walk.

 

- The second is a setter I respect, wishes to set a trail for which the GPS does not need to leave the vehicle (is that not a treasure hunt?).

 

- The third was a discussion by a Government agency on how far measures could be taken to stop Geocaching on their land; the conclusion is that legally it couldn’t be stopped on a right of way but that misses the point it was an agency once pro Geocaching now wanting to impose limits.

 

- The last was a power cache close to where I live where I was unable to persuade the setter to divert from their route to include features of historical and geographical interest. Their argument was that the point of the caches was to collect a pre-determined number of caches in a set time in a set distance and seekers should not be diverted from that aim. They argued that they set their caches first. They did not care that their actions had put a great number of potential great sites out of limits; that the locations of the caches, based on distance travelled, meant that the hunt was not part of the experience and that the number of caches meant that a 35mm container was all that they could afford.

 

The point is that now the activity is dominated by the number-collectors and though this is a valid activity little regard appears to be paid to the highly regrettable consequence that these trails deny so much land to the more traditional types of cache.

 

That those responsible for managing Geocaching in the UK not to have grasped the issue now probably means it is too late and it will not be long before one of the alternative organisation begins to flourish which may prove a tipping point for Geocachers being perceived as a nuisance. Perhaps the 10th birthday provides an opportunity to reflect on the past, examine the future and decide whether any changes are needed.

 

Anyway let us reminisce about what Geocaching once was and acknowledge that the World has moved on and, as you rightly recognise, the seeker of today is a different beast with different aims and theirs are no less valid than ours.

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The caches you found shaped the caches you hid.

 

That those responsible for managing Geocaching in the UK not to have grasped the issue now probably means it is too late and it will not be long before one of the alternative organisation begins to flourish which may prove a tipping point for Geocachers being perceived as a nuisance. Perhaps the 10th birthday provides an opportunity to reflect on the past, examine the future and decide whether any changes are needed.

 

Anyway let us reminisce about what Geocaching once was and acknowledge that the World has moved on and, as you rightly recognise, the seeker of today is a different beast with different aims and theirs are no less valid than ours.

 

Amazingly, there is absolutely nothing I disagree with yet in this thread...., and as sad as it is at the moment, I don't think there's anything that could pull things back the other way within this organisation. So it's time to either shut up and put up with it, or move on to pastures new and try to recapture what it was that got me into caching in the first place :D

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Couldn't agree more with the above. I am prone to a drive-by or three, so wouldn't want to be "ultra hard core" and make everything either "big tin in the woods", or "somewhere or something nice to see", but certainly the majority.

 

Word of caution. I have been flamed for this speech before as being "anti disabled cachers", as when people moan about 35mm power trails it spoils the fun for those unfortunate enough to be handicached. So I'd like to say now, it's not. Plenty of handicache caches (well disguised micros as well), in nice parks and walks, not at the side of roads in a power trail, or down dog shyte alley ways.

 

To the OP, I think your general locale is a bit unlucky in % of micros. The England average is about a third micros, unless you live in the South East where it's nearer 40 odd %, and if you pick the right spot, double that!!!!

 

uk.jpg

 

http://www.icache.co.uk/region/

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Hi

 

From a Newbie perspective, ie less than 2 years old, I'd like to add it can be quite daunting to join this club. Every time I go to an event my daughters remind me about the advice I give them not to meet strangers who you only know after getting into coversation online. (And for the crowd I run with "strangers" is an apt description - (Only joking guys :D )). For my first event I had to drive nearly 40 miles at night to a pub I'd never been to, and walk into a room full of people I'd never met. But it was ok. I met some great people and had a laff. For many it's too much of a leap into the unkown, especially the single female - take a look at your next event and tell me I'm not wrong (btw am happily married, in case you are wondering where this is going).

 

Nonetheless I do appreciate your observation on the quality of caches and here I do feel I have benefitted from the experienced cachers I've met in a regional forum and for my part try put a cache down in a spot where you will learn something about the locality, stand in a particularly fine spot or find a really unique type of cache. So don't give up on us Newbies - some of us do "get it" eventually.

 

The issue is how the "community" reaches out and educates the novice - I'd suggest an approachable tone in forum threads is probably a good place to begin.

 

IMHO threads which start "Wen ah were a lad, it wer like this" aint going to cut it in the reaching out stakes.

 

Thanks for starting something really enjoyable for me to find.

 

Cheers NM.

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Agree with a lot of what the OP posted but fail to understand why they have to hide behind a 'sock puppet' account, come out with what you have to say as yourself and be proud of your opinion.

 

One of my pet hates is the cache page that says nothing about the location, it takes 5 minutes to type up some info even if you have to do a bit of research online to get the info it does not take that long.

 

Regards 'Micros' there are places where only micros and nanos can be used but then again there are far more places where they needn't be used but a small clip lock bix could be placed. I use some micros but endevour to make them different and blend in with the surroundings.

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Alive and well in the House of Dragons and I've only been here a year :D

 

Oh well, I suppose expecting the simplest of requests to last longer than 4 posts was a little too much to ask nowadays :D

 

Maybe it was an unreasonable request? You are a sock puppet after all, so what respect should your request be given?

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I agree with most of what has been said. However if

The caches you found shaped the caches you hid.

then how come they're not all these super inovative & worthy caches you talk of?

 

I'm guilty of hiding a series of Micros, I'm not going to hide it, it's there on my profile. However, since adding this block of Micros around an otherwise fairly cache-free town, a number of cachers have taken up the hobby. I find that in some areas (and we don't know where you live yet..?) that when there is nothing to find, people won't start. There were caches out in the countryside, but sometime people want something close to home when they start out. My first cache was a town centre micro but it gave me the bug straight out. Had it been 3 miles in the countryside I may not have bothered when I didn't know what it was all about.

 

As I said, I do actually agree with most of what has been said and, as it happens, have been thinking the same of late. As such, I have several 'different' caches in development, which won't finish with a film pot or keysafe. I'm looking to buy ammo cans. They probably won't be done in one go, some will, some won't. Either way, i've pledged, once I find my 1000th cache, to hide some interesting, fun and hopefully enjoyable caches! I might even take time to re-explore the afore mentioned town for larger hides, however with a public school all over it won't be easy!

 

Oh, and PS: I agree with the Sock Puppet comments! You are effectively asking for our opinions and thoughts. We're brave enough and honest enough to use our own accounts. Why don't you?

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Alive and well in the House of Dragons and I've only been here a year :D

 

Oh well, I suppose expecting the simplest of requests to last longer than 4 posts was a little too much to ask nowadays :D

 

Maybe it was an unreasonable request? You are a sock puppet after all, so what respect should your request be given?

 

There is so much personal bitchyness in these forums that using a sock was the only way to make the post and have it acceopted as a statement without personal conotations. I had already apologised for using a sock, and explained why. The sock is over 3 years old because it was created for a cache that never materialized. Why does everything on here have to degenerate to a slanging match whenever anybody tries to start a genuine discussion?

And yes, there are at least 6 socks using this forum that people take at face value every day without batting an eyelid!

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Just to clarify...yes, I am a seasoned cacher

Yes I am a number chaser

Yes I am an outdoorsy geeky type.

I'm also a bit fluffy and one of a pair!

 

The caches you found shaped the caches you hid.

 

That is absolutely correct. They do.

 

So when the FIRST micros got placed, many years ago, by all the well meaning Oldies out there, THEY set the trend. The newbies didn't INVENT micros, they just followed the trend.

 

Instead of micro bashing, we should perhaps look to the accounts of the people who are now bemoaning the fact that they are everywhere and ask ourselves

WHO STARTED THIS?

:D:D

Edited by Puppy Socks
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Well as I ‘qualify’ to post - for what it’s worth, here’s my 2p’s worth….

 

There’s no doubt caching has changed since I first started out back in 2005. But then I guess change is inevitable with anything in this world.

I don’t class myself as old school cacher by any stretch - I’ve only been doing this 5 years, so joined in half way though.

 

When I joined 4 caches in a day was a very big day out. I could pretty much guarantee walking a good 4/5 miles minimum and I was prepared to drive for a couple of hours to find a cache. I travelled miles out of my way to find my first ever travel bug cause I’d never seen one, and even further to set eyes on my very first geocoin. Ironically I even drove over an hour from home to find my first micro – something that was a real novelty five years ago, but not so anymore!

 

A newly published cache used to be such a rare thing that it really was something to get excited and rush out for. These days I come home to 20/30 new notifications a day rather than 1 a month, and most get deleted from my inbox without being read. I think that’s sad really, as I know the majority of hiders have put effort into them, but the sheer numbers these days mean I don’t have time to give them all the same level of attention as I used to.

 

The ethos of hide the biggest cache you can appears to have gone out the window – also a shame in my eyes. Micros and nanos definitely have their place, but I feel a big majority can not be justified and I personally think it’s to the detriment of caching.

 

I used to be a numbers hunter – but not any more. The first 100 caches I found were bl**dy hard work taking me almost a year to find. These days I could go for a walk in Ilfracombe and find the same number in a day.

I no longer get satisfaction from my find count as it’s no longer so challenging. These days I prefer to go out and find fewer quality caches so I’ve changed as a cacher too. For the better I think though - quality over quantity for me now!

 

Like the OP mentions, all the cachers were either outdoorsy types or geeks (or both). Not so anymore – caching is much more mainstream. Caching is also much easier now – there are far more urban caches and drivebys, so I guess it’s much more accessible to everyone from all parts of society.

 

I personally think caching was better when there were fewer people doing it. I know I’ll get lambasted for saying that, but now it’s mainstream I don’t enjoy it as much. The ‘secret club’ feeling has gone now. I guess ‘cause caching is always on the tv or radio. I don’t think that the publicity has always been a very good thing for our little hobby.

 

On the plus side I have made some fantastic friends through caching and had had a great time at events. Am looking forward to camping this weekend at the 5th Annual Wales Event even though someone forgot to order the sunshine!!!!

 

Here's to the next ten years! Happy Birthday Signal :D

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Just to clarify...yes, I am a seasoned cacher

Yes I am a number chaser

Yes I am an outdoorsy geeky type.

I'm also a bit fluffy and one of a pair!

 

The caches you found shaped the caches you hid.

 

That is absolutely correct. They do.

 

So when the FIRST micros got placed, many years ago, by all the well meaning Oldies out there, THEY set the trend. The newbies didn't INVENT micros, they just followed the trend.

 

Instead of micro bashing, we should perhaps look to the accounts of the people who are now bemoaning the fact that they are everywhere and ask ourselves

WHO STARTED THIS?

:D:D

 

Aaaah, but as you're a sock, according to some on here your opinion doesn't count for anything - so we'll just ignore you and move along shall we??? B):sad:

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Whatever happened to originality and individuality?

 

Alive and well in the House of Dragons and I've only been here a year :D

 

Oh well, I suppose expecting the simplest of requests to last longer than 4 posts was a little too much to ask nowadays :D

 

How incredibly rude. If you don't want responses from everyone, don't post on a public forum.

 

I think I have every right to answer your accusations and I was not rude, just stating a fact. You asked a question and I answered it honestly, politely and without flaming you. I do apologise if you think I am not qualified to do so. I have no interest in whether you are a sock puppet, been here for the whole 10 years or have only been here a month as I don't judge people like that.

 

Time Served does not make good cacher.

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Whatever happened to originality and individuality?

 

Alive and well in the House of Dragons and I've only been here a year :anibad:

 

Oh well, I suppose expecting the simplest of requests to last longer than 4 posts was a little too much to ask nowadays B)

 

How incredibly rude. If you don't want responses from everyone, don't post on a public forum.

 

I think I have every right to answer your accusations and I was not rude, just stating a fact. You asked a question and I answered it honestly, politely and without flaming you. I do apologise if you think I am not qualified to do so. I have no interest in whether you are a sock puppet, been here for the whole 10 years or have only been here a month as I don't judge people like that.

 

Time Served does not make good cacher.

 

I don't see how the OP was any ruder than you - they were definitely far more restrained in their post than you just have been. And if I'm reading their first post correctly it had nothing to do with qualification, but they asked newcomers not to post because they were talking about a period before you started??

But enough - this thread seems to have gone the way they all go. Perhaps one day somebody will come up with a forum where it's possible to read and write on a single topic without having to wade through insults, off-topic posts, and an ocean of PC cotton wool.

Edited by keehotee
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It has been six years and four months since I found my first cache, a film can drive by.

 

Still love the pastime, though on occasions I do think why have you brought me here. I have met a lot of people playing this game and have to say while I was having a rough year or three, a good few of them were around to check how things were going, some of them even dropped what they were doing and came and helped me to move after I lost pretty much everything I owned in a fire.

 

The pastime was never going to remain secret, something this fun never was. I certainly don't get many blank looks these days when the pastime is mentioned.

 

Micro caches have their place, they enable the quick find to feed the addiction. I guess these days I am quite lucky to live in a area where people do still seem to put out the biggest cache they can find and in general do try to take you some place nice to visit. Film cans seem an exception rather than a rule even amongst micros. Even relative noobs are putting out caches that are a real challenge (Decoy Dog gave me the co ords of a container he was testing the other day and it really did challenge me to find it, not a live cache but I must say I am looking forward to the logs when it does go wild).

 

Geocaching has taken me to some cracking places I would have very likely never visited otherwise: last weekends CITO in Holden Park organised by Overanout is a good example.

 

All in all, I say happy tenth birthday enjoy the game, just remember it is a game .

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The following is not bragging rights, but means something more special to my family and myself.

 

Still love the pastime, though on occasions I do think why have you brought me here. I have met a lot of people playing this game and have to say while I was having a rough year or three, a good few of them were around to check how things were going, some of them even dropped what they were doing and came and helped me to move after I lost pretty much everything I owned in a fire.

 

I was one of those who happily dropped everything to go and held [for those that don't know, I live in North Wales. And Tony Lived in Oldham] I was even virtually kicked out of the door to go and help by my family [who support my hobby even if their not addicts of it]. Not for bragging rights, but because of something more special!

 

10 years ago tomorrow President Bill Clinton started a chain of event's, which created the opportunity for me to make so many special friends. Tony being one of them! Without Geocaching My family and myself would never have met him. Nor would I have meet the person who I travelled over to Dublin to attend a event so that I could meet her. Nor would I have gained in confidence, 2008 anyone who saw me in front of 3-400 people at the M1 UK Mega will tell you I lacked confidence. Come M2 and I stood in front of a crowded room on my own answer questions.

 

To me personally Geocaching has never just been about going out and finding caches. It's been about a hobby which has grown and developed and continues to do so.

 

Is it perfect? Not by a long way, but some of that is down to the community. Whether they've been a member 7 days, 7 months or 7 years. The community as a whole shapes this hobby, but instead of pulling together and dragging the hobby and standards upwards. They prefer to castigate others at any possible opportunity.

 

So instead of making posts lamenting on the past, the OP should move forwards and say

 

What can I as a member of the community, do to influence others. And get them to influence others in turn, to improve this hobby!

 

Dave

Deceangi aka Mancunian Pyrocacher

 

ps: If you've been a member for around 7 years, given that there was so few of us around at that time. Who are still active. You've given a clue as to your identity. So wouldn't it have been better to be open about who you are. And start influencing the community in a direction you wish it to go.

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Birthday's are for the young. And 10 is young.

Caching for me is about walking and finding containers of any size.

I have no real interest in the community at large. Nice to meet them once in a while, but!

Why is a 3 year Sock Puppet account allowed to remain, yet I get hauled over the coals for mine?

Happy Birthday, but I'm not coming to the party.

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Whatever happened to originality and individuality?

 

Alive and well in the House of Dragons and I've only been here a year :anibad:

 

Oh well, I suppose expecting the simplest of requests to last longer than 4 posts was a little too much to ask nowadays :D

 

How incredibly rude. If you don't want responses from everyone, don't post on a public forum.

 

I think I have every right to answer your accusations and I was not rude, just stating a fact. You asked a question and I answered it honestly, politely and without flaming you. I do apologise if you think I am not qualified to do so. I have no interest in whether you are a sock puppet, been here for the whole 10 years or have only been here a month as I don't judge people like that.

 

Time Served does not make good cacher.

 

I don't see how the OP was any ruder than you - they were definitely far more restrained in their post than you just have been. And if I'm reading their first post correctly it had nothing to do with qualification, but they asked newcomers not to post because they were talking about a period before you started??

But enough - this thread seems to have gone the way they all go. Perhaps one day somebody will come up with a forum where it's possible to read and write on a single topic without having to wade through insults, off-topic posts, and an ocean of PC cotton wool.

 

The rudeness I was referring to was the fact that I was effectively reprimanded and dismissed for putting forward an opinion on something I was completely qualified to have an opinion on. I can't see any requests for oceans of PC cotton wool, nor can I see any insults, certainly not on my part. B)

 

I am perfectly qualified to answer one question 'he' posed and restricted my response to that:

Whatever happened to originality and individuality?

That is a question about the present, not the past. So I answered it. I have not been rude at all. If you sit around lamenting the lost Golden Days of the past, you won't be able to grasp any of the future and not all new things are bad.

 

The caches you find do shape the caches you hide. Perhaps I was lucky to have found an innovative hide early on. Anyway, who did hide the first 35mm pot or the first circuit? I suspect that's a chicken-or-the-egg type question ;)

 

and remember, the game’s what you make of it and the way you choose to play it

 

The game's what you make of it. Good advice which seems at odds with all of the post that came before it.

Edited by HouseOfDragons
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hmmm - I was just reading this thread and somehow managed to post a blank reply....

 

*edited later to add*

 

Oh well – seeing as I now have a post in this thread, I might as well throw my 2 pennorth in

 

First of all, I have no problem with the OP’s post – nothing ever feels the same once it has gone mainstream – I’ve been through this a number of times with bands – one day you’re watching a brand new talent in some pokey little club with 3 other people and a dog in the audience with you, and it’s fresh and raw and exciting and all yours. Then they go and get in the charts and ‘casual’ music fans start buying their records, and the next thing you know you have to pay £50 to see the same band at some soulless arena full of idiots waving their lighters around. Yeah, I’ve been there :anibad:

 

But as a previous poster said, something this much fun was never going to stay a secret forever.

 

Just be glad and proud that you were in at the start before we n00bs (I’m only JUST over the 2 years) gatecrashed the party – I envy you that. And remember the great hides in glorious locations are still out there, the “power trails” and pointless micros really are easy enough to avoid with a skim read of the cache page or the recent logs – I manage to avoid them without too much trouble. I did one of the Sidetracked series caches early in my geocaching “career” – a film cannister in a station car park – it was fine as a quick pick up, but personally wasn’t for me, I prefer a nice walk in the woods - and I have been a LOT more selective since. A bit of extra research up front pays off big dividends.

 

As for geeky outdoors types, I think that that description still largely fits – although you early adopters would have fit it more extremely. Certainly in the office where I work, my love of gadgets is a standing joke. And when my answer to the “so – what did you do on your birthday?” question was met with “we went for a full day trek through the woods and fields”, the other women in the office looked at me like I was an alien B) Apparently I was supposed to say “shopping” or “I went to the spa” or “a movie and a meal”. It’s a long while yet IMO before geocaching appeals to the true mainstream – most people in this country don’t own a pair of wellies and are reluctant to walk on anything other than hard paving and carpet….

 

Sarah

Edited by The Chaos Crew
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The joy is in the hunt and part of the hunt is about taking a bit of time to select good caches.

 

Yes, I agree. It just takes a bit more time and effort these days because there are so many more from which to make your selection.

 

 

 

Anyway, who did hide the first 35mm pot or the first circuit? I suspect that's a chicken-or-the-egg type question B)

 

 

Allegedly, it was Amsterdam Urban 1 so (if anyone needs to apportion blame :D ) it was that lot in Holland who down-sized first. :anibad:

 

 

Happy Birthday to Geocaching... It's given us a lot of pleasure, in various ways, over the last 9 years. Yes, it's changed in some ways, but we adapt or die move on to something else...

 

 

MrsB ;)

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When I joined 4 caches in a day was a very big day out. I could pretty much guarantee walking a good 4/5 miles minimum and I was prepared to drive for a couple of hours to find a cache. I travelled miles out of my way to find my first ever travel bug cause I’d never seen one, and even further to set eyes on my very first geocoin. Ironically I even drove over an hour from home to find my first micro – something that was a real novelty five years ago, but not so anymore!

 

A newly published cache used to be such a rare thing that it really was something to get excited and rush out for. These days I come home to 20/30 new notifications a day rather than 1 a month, and most get deleted from my inbox without being read.

 

I used to be a numbers hunter – but not any more. The first 100 caches I found were bl**dy hard work taking me almost a year to find. These days I could go for a walk in Ilfracombe and find the same number in a day.

 

I personally think caching was better when there were fewer people doing it. I know I’ll get lambasted for saying that, but now it’s mainstream I don’t enjoy it as much. The ‘secret club’ feeling has gone now. I guess ‘cause caching is always on the tv or radio. I don’t think that the publicity has always been a very good thing for our little hobby.

 

I could have written that........... :anibad:

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I started caching on May 20th 2003 - getting on for 7 years ago - so could almost be the OP. I'm not; I've never used a sock on this forum except when forced to by 'circumstances beyond my control' :anibad:

 

With that out of the way, i) I'm surprised a self-proclaimed sock account still has posting privileges- They're against the rules apparently and ii) There's nothing too contentious in their first post, so it's a shame they felt they needed anonymity.

 

They say they don't like micros much. That's pretty fair; lots of people don't. As I'm fond of a clever hide and don't have kids baying for swaps they don't worry me personally. On the up-side, when they're muggled your heart doesn't sink because someone had a TB or coin in there, and nor has £5-£10 worth of container and contents gone for a walk. Micros (more so than water-damaged 35mm pots, which are a sub-set) have a place in caching. That place is mostly urban, but they are the right cache size for the job in many locations. Who doesn't love those little plastic stoppers on kissing gates and footpath signs?

 

They say caching used to be about special locations, and now it's about walks. I still find both sorts of caches and enjoy both sorts of caching; You can run a PQ for caches hidden before 2006 (the transition year from niche pastime to something more mainstream, I'd say) and then get only the former, not the latter. Simples.

 

They feel this forum's become a place for sniping and PC chat. I've been on the receiving end of the sort of mild cyber-bullying you get here and it's all part of the Internet Social Experiment; Someone will want to be the Alpha Dog of any forum. Well, that's lovely. I don't mind a difference of opinion but when it comes to defending my point of view I will be what politicians call robust. As for neutering, well, yes. I do the typing version of biting my tongue from time to time too. Probably for the best.

 

They feel newbies get (demand?) too much attention here. That's not so friendly; we were all newbies once. Like learner drivers they do slow things down a bit but in the grand scheme of things I think they bring new ideas- fresh blood keeps things from getting stagnated; Think of them as Polish immigrants here for your job if you like... ;)

 

And the OP feels what you find is what you'll hide. I'm not so sure; I think when Grade A locations got used up, Grade B and C started to be used. We may now be on the Ds in some cases. It's hard to sort one from another, but it's not all micros at Grade D locations and Ammo cans at the As. It's not all old caches at the As and new ones at the Ds. If you lower your expectations, you'll be happier when you find a really cracking cache amongst the also-rans rather than constantly disappointed by other's efforts to give you something to hunt for - small though those efforts might prove to have been.

 

We as cachers can only take responsibility for our own caches; the location, the container, the initial contents, the page listing, the maintenance. We should try to set an example. We shouldn't knock anyone else's cache unless we're pretty sure our own are spot-on for the sort of cacher and caching it was -or they are- intended to service. Except when you find needles or human waste. Then it's ok to knock :D

 

Anyway, that's what I think B)

 

P.S. I've noticed two posts on this thread where 'their' has been used instead of 'they're'; the OP and... another one - Just saying... B)

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Something I've noticed is that since I started caching, I have become 6 years older. In that time, my kids have gone from middle school brats to university students, I've changed jobs and moved house, and Mrs sTeamTraen has gone back to work.

 

So caching may have changed - in fact, believe me, where I live it has changed more than it has in the UK during that time: there's the 50-fold increase in the number of caches, for a start :anibad: - but I don't think it's changed as much as me, and how one has changed oneself must influence how one sees change in other things (sorry if this sounds like the Queen).

 

Now you'll have to excuse me while I get my green pen out. I need to write to the local paper to point out that neither the policeman who helped me in the street the other day(*), nor the doctor who patched me up in the hospital afterwards(*), can have been a day over 18. And I bet the Foreign Secretary doesn't have to shave every morning either.

 

 

(*) Rhetorical. Nothing bad happened.

Edited by sTeamTraen
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The joy is in the hunt and part of the hunt is about taking a bit of time to select good caches.

 

Yes, I agree. It just takes a bit more time and effort these days because there are so many more from which to make your selection.

 

 

[

 

Same here, I often spend ages planning caches to do, and areas to visit, to me its just part of the whole game and is as enjoyable as finding them.

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Feel free to get admin to delete my post (what with being a n00b), but I just wanted to say that I was initially very reticent about joining this community.

The sheer scale of this operation was very daunting.

I hear the concerns about over saturation, but are there not positives to the gain in popularity?

GeoCaching.com’s revenues may increase,

Promoting the Outdoor space and the environment.

Expansion of social circles.

Etc.

 

I was astounded to receive over 20 responses to my very first post here. What a warm and welcoming community.

 

I can’t help the way GC’ing has been shaped over the years (and I know you are not blaming anyone), but should we (I hope I can count myself in) look to the future and make recommendations?

 

Can Caches be removed from the data base?

Can they be updated (containers etc) where possible?

 

I realise I have much to learn. I am willing.

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Don't sweat it, Indy. Caches come and go. Most of my first finds are now long archived. Urban micros have a short lifespan. Great and beloved hides last longer, because the community sees to it they are maintained.

 

Threads like this one remind me of the uproar when perfectly ordinary people were allowed access to the internet (see Eternal September). You can see how the internet has been simply ruined by escaping the academy.

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How appropriate this thread is considering that I am contemplating paying my subscription to geocaching.com.

 

I agree with all of the above. And yes I too feel that geocaching just isn't the same. But that's what happens isn't it as you get older (GOG).

 

I got fed up of hunting for a cache, in amongst piles of dog sh*t and/or litter, wondering whatever possessed someone to place a cache here.

 

Anyway after a break I've returned to do 6 local caches without even getting out of my car (almost). I didn't enjoy it.

 

So what to do?

 

Give up or pay the membership so I can PQ only the caches that I want to do.

 

Thanks for the advice guys - decision made :anibad:

Edited by MoJoBrad
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I got fed up of hunting for a cache, in amongst piles of dog sh*t and/or litter, wondering whatever possessed someone to place a cache here.

 

Anyway after a break I've returned to do 6 local caches without even getting out of my car (almost). I didn't enjoy it.

 

I've done four of your last six finds.

Three are "Why put a cache there?" :anibad:

 

The fourth I enjoyed, as it involved a walk along the canal.

 

(Seems around your area I'm 3-4 months ahead of you finding the caches! Old home turf B) )

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I am a rare visitor to these forums, even more so as we are now based in Denmark. I know I qualify as someone who enjoys the old days. In "the old days", I enjoyed reading logs and looking for the good caches, by that I mean caches that I thought I would like. These tended to involve a walk in the countryside, an interesting story and a spot of fun. But what is good for me is not good for other and I think there was enough to keep all interests going.

 

I actually think that there still are enough caches to keep me interested, but that I have to put a little more homework into finding them. Looking at the pattern of other cachers, I struggle sometimes to see any discrimination in the caches done or not done, that's the only bit I find odd about cachers today. If there was a better way of discriminating then I think quality could be improved, and for the sake of the hobby I think it needs to be. A rating system is the only solution that has any hope in my view.

 

I have written a long note on my profile page about these feelings and soon need to remove the note as - having moved to Denmark - it is not applicable. So if you can all forgive me I will post it here in the following post and will remove it from my profile in the near future.

 

Incidentally, the problems noted from the UK are repeated here in Denmark with many trails & micros. But the good caches and interesting multis/puzzles remain - I just have more of a challenge to find them.

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A Surrey based cacher with a preference for multis and for Trads that involve an interesting walk

 

Surrey – or Leafy Surrey as it is sold – is a beautiful area with more than it’s share of woodland, heaths and open spaces. It saddens me slightly both that micros are being set as caches in areas where decent sized boxes could easily hide and that some beautiful areas are being ignored with micros set elsewhere.

 

Stepping back a little, I should explain that one of the greatest appeals of geocaching to me is that it is such an absurd thing to do, and anything absurd is to be encouraged! Add to that the fact that it often involves a good walk and a little challenge, and I’m a happy chappy.

 

So having accepted that this is all fairly absurd hobby, it would be absurdly ridiculous to get het up about it. Each to their own, whatever floats your boat. For me, that’s not micros or micro trails.

 

Micros do have a place in the world of caching:

+ In towns where finding places for larger boxes is difficult

+ As a clever camoflague particularly nanos in quirky places

+ As a wry joke

+ As the solution to a puzzle where there is little flexibility on the co-ordinates

+ On a D5/T5 where little else might fit

+ On a trail that includes a mix of different sized boxes

 

I suspect that they also have a point for cachers to whom it IS all about the numbers. But even there, where do you all think this is going? Milestones are becoming less and less of an achievement in some form of caching inflation achievement deflation. Reaching 100 is now the equivalent of reaching 500. Next year, getting 100 caches a month will be a doddle.

 

Setting a single cache knocks out that area to other cachers setting caches. I have heard of the 0.1 mile exclusion and both understand and support the reason behind it. Although micro trails might leave some spaces for others to place alternative caches, what appeal does a single cache - whether it be a Trad, Multi or Puzzle – surrounded by a pool of micros on a trail? I would probably not be tempted out. A test I apply when setting caches is whether my cache is making an effort to be an appropriate use of that cache spot. If my idea is not strong enough, then I will not place it. It’s great when someone else subsequently comes along and does something interesting and resourceful. Sometimes, a micro trail is that interesting thing, with thoughtful planning and fun placements.

 

Particularly in rural areas such as Surrey, I would like to see a better mix with more caches of a reasonable size. Why?

 

For caching PR – I have sought permissions for many caches set and explaining caching as a hobby that the whole family can enjoy, which involves getting some exercise and fresh air in the local area is a relatively easy sell. Explaining the merits of a string of small plastic film containers does not have quite the same ring to it.

 

To develop the geocaching world – I’m not a big TB or Geocoin collector. However I rescue these where I can and try and move them on in line with their owner’s wishes. How often does it happen to you that there is a trackable burning a hole in your pocket and none of the caches visited have been large enough to fit the trackable into? Are trackables becoming less of a part of geocaching? Losing these hitchhikers would be a sad development.

 

So people can see that caching is not (just) about micros – When I started caching, I would read cache pages and logs for local caches and select the ones that seemed most fun, or a bit of a challenge. It was clear that the setter had put significant efforts into the style of the cache and every location seemed an interesting visit. As a result, I was lucky to experience caches that set a high benchmark. When I came to set some caches, I tried my best to set something good, even aspiring to be better that those that I looked up to. Today, are the cache pages with their total text reading “cache is a 35mm film container on the edge of a wood/park/road” merely a reflection of the caches that that person has found prior to setting one of their own? Our expectations should be set higher.

 

I am going to try and set some traditional caches around this area in an attempt to put more balance to my own cache portfolio and to "redress the balance" as others have referred to it. I will also not be going out of my way to find either micros placed locally or any cache with an uninspiring cache page.

 

Do I see any hope for the future for me (and any others of like mind)? I believe some form of scoring system for caches, even though I know that this is steeped in subjectivilty, could help change the caching landscape. If the numbers game was converted into a league table which rated the quality of caches set by each setter, then maybe the competitive spirit could be motivated towards quality. Maybe then, cache hunters can compete on more of a level playing field, not unlike the handicapping system in golf. Local areas could try and compete to be “the best area for puzzles” (that one has been claimed already I believe), “the best area for cunning micros”, or “the best area for trails”. Without this pressure on quality, I suspect that we will be over-run by quantity.

 

Anyway, how much does it all matter? We’re born, we live for a number of years, and we die. Does it matter if, in a big or much smaller way, we add to the style and quality of the times in which we live?

 

October 2008

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Perhaps one day somebody will come up with a forum where it's possible to read and write on a single topic without having to wade through insults, off-topic posts, and an ocean of PC cotton wool.

It already exists.

 

ps: If you've been a member for around 7 years, given that there was so few of us around at that time. Who are still active. You've given a clue as to your identity. So wouldn't it have been better to be open about who you are. And start influencing the community in a direction you wish it to go.

I'm not quite 7 years, but I am not that far off it. If I had made the post i would have made it myself.

 

For the record I don't agree with the rules of posting laid down by the OP, but I do agree with his observations on how it has changed. I however still enjoy the hobby, even if a good cache is only about 1 in 10.

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Threads like this one remind me of the uproar when perfectly ordinary people were allowed access to the internet (see Eternal September). You can see how the internet has been simply ruined by escaping the academy.

 

Thank you for that link, that was very interesting and something I had never heard of before!

 

As for caching? .... I found this great hobby 1 year and 20+ days ago.... B)

(So i'm a newbie for sure)

So can't even begin to understand what it used to be like.... but it feels great when find a cache over 5 years old ... that really gives me a buzz.

 

I'm trying to place better caches, I never leave a temp disabled cache longer than 3 or 4 days (no matter where it is) but it seems in some people eyes I will be forever the newbie who's opinion doesn't count.

But that's ok, I reply to a thread that interests me ... ::shrugs::

 

I have never been an outdoor type of person till I discovered caching and hoped it would help me recover from a Triple Heart Valve Replacement .... it did the trick!

 

Now I walk miles every day when I get time off from work which in turn keeps me fit for a very full on job.

 

My Youngest Son, his girlfriend and myself celebrated my 50th birthday making snowmen on top of a mountain in Feb this year.

 

 

Caching to me is a life saver .....and ..... blooming addictive. :anibad:

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

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Geocachings a bit like a long running TV series for us – it all started off well, then flagged for a while, had a revival when a special (1st UK Mega!) came along and then ran on and on. Similar story line - different characters :ph34r:

 

We do enjoy the occasional repeat though! :):)

 

L&H

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And Haggis Hunter makes a lot of sense too!

I make a simple short post and I get a nice compliment like this, thank you :ph34r::)

 

 

We do enjoy the occasional repeat though! :):D

 

L&H

I hope your planning on enjoying this years repeat in Perth? I believe all side events bar the CITO event* have been published, so people can really start to plan their week.

 

*The CITO event will hopefully be published in the next couple of weeks but for those making plans it should happen at about 10am on Sunday the 1st August in Perth.

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Sir Lance, you speak for many I'm sure. I agree with everything you say.

 

Me & the mrs have lost interest in this hobby - there was a time when we couldn't wait to get out and explore new vistas or new challenges in all weathers. Not any more. I expect there are a few good caches being placed here and there, but to be honest, we can't be bothered going out only to find someone's put yet another box under a pile of sticks 200 yards down a track used as a dog lavatory. The saturation of unremarkable cache placements in the last 3 years has resulted in the rule of medicocrity.

 

Now it all seems to be events & kiddie-orientated banality. The growing commercialism and political correctness hasn't helped either. I've let my Premium membership lapse this year as I am increasingly of the view (to misquote Mark Twain) - "Geocaching - a good walk spoiled".

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We do enjoy the occasional repeat though! :ph34r::)

 

L&H

I hope your planning on enjoying this years repeat in Perth? I believe all side events bar the CITO event* have been published, so people can really start to plan their week.

Week and a bit booked. We have enjoyed the hospitality of Perth before we started caching so look forward to a repeat performance with edited highlights!

 

Looking forward to seeing you all there.

 

Cheers, L&H.

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I must admit I still enjoy geocaching, having come back to it about a year ago after some time away. The time away was largely due to a combination of work pressures and a lack of local caches, which rather self-corrected when the work pressure lifted and I found there were literally hundreds of caches within 5-10 miles of home.

 

Some of the first caches I found (back in about 2004) were full size ammo cans hidden in the wilds of Devon and Cornwall. Some were micros under park benches in central London. You hide what there's space to hide without it getting muggled - trying to hide anything bigger than a film pot in the Royal Parks (before the ban, I should add) was likely to result in a muggled cache.

 

Now I regularly cache in my local area by bike and whether I'm hunting for a nano or a regular-sized cache doesn't worry me in the slightest. A well hidden micro can still take me to a nice area or a park I haven't found before, a badly hidden larger cache can still take me to a dump and leave me wishing I hadn't bothered. I found a micro in 2009 that left me wishing I hadn't bothered, and found a full-size cache in about 2005 that left me feeling likewise.

 

It's inevitable that as more caches are hidden there are going to be more mediocre ones - a well thought out cache in a location well off the beaten track takes a lot more effort to create and maintain than a film pot stuck on the signpost at the end of your own street. But a micro on a piece of street furniture can be interesting in its own way. I recently completed the Orion series around SW London - of the 8 caches one was a nano, three were micros and four were small.

 

I can't help thinking that if you hate micros so much don't look for them. The game has evolved to a place where a lot of micros are hidden - whether that's a good thing or a bad thing isn't really the point, if you dislike one aspect of where the game is now you've got the tools available to filter out the caches that bother you.

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Just thought I would add my little bit

 

As a cacher for 7 years now, yes I get up out of bed in the morning and start to swear about micros hidden in woods, lack of thought about this new cache thats just appeared, and all those other items that appear time after time in the forums that people hate.....

 

THEN

 

I think of the plus's for the "game" as mentioned by Deci above

 

FRIENDS

 

I currently have so many friends that warmly great me everwhere (yesterday in halifax was a prime example.. my name was shouted out numerous times) I appear and some extreemly close friends, so much so that I have been on holiday with them, been out for meals with them, even employed them !!!

 

For me its now having an extended family with the added advantage of getting out in the fresh air and having a walk !

 

Yes its not the same game as when I started, yes I remember Seasider drive all the way from Blackpool to Harrogate just because it was his nearest unfound... he even set off when only 4 of the 5 caches in the series had been placed, with the hope that the 5th (the final) might be published later that day !

 

Happy Birthday Geocaching and thank you for my past 7 years with my new found friends, and I look forward to the next 7 (10 years) and those new friends I will encounter in this game/hobby of geocaching in whatever form it may hold.

 

Robin

 

p.s. thankyou for 1000+ friends who came to see me at the Mega in harrogate !

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We are a pair of retired oldies who have been caching for a little over two years. We cache whenever and wherever we park the caravan.

We enjoy whatever we find as long as it takes us somewhere nice, we love the Church Micro series as there are some fantastic church building that we would not see otherwise.

We enjoy circular walks with a good mix of sizes and only get a little cheesed off if the micros are all hidden at the base of a post under a stone, we like to see the cache owner actually put some effort in to camoflaging even micros. We prefer the circulars that cover around 5 miles or so as we are not that able to walk much further at a time, when we see a bigger series that we really want to do we just try and break it down so figure 8's are nice.

We also enjoy the 3 or 4 mile walk to find a single box as these are normally in areas of natural beauty.

We have hidden a few micros, one is even in some woods but it is camoflaged and gets positive comments when it is found, and a few on the back of some roadsigns but only because we wanted to take people to stretches of road that are almost unused because of being by-passed.

When we hide our caches we will always, unless it is specified that the box must be transparent, camoflage the box using either DPM tape of some relevant coloured Gaffa Tape as we have spotted boxes due to the sun reflection on the bright clear plastic.

With regards to the absolute rubbish areas, we just walk on by.

Congratulations to all of the 'old hands' who have stayed involved in the game for so long, may you long continue, and welcome to all the newcomers, we hope that you enjoy the game as much as we do, whether you are singles, couples or families with a few kids.

Lets just remember that this is just a game and is there for all ages and abilities to enjoy. It is not an elitist activity that is restricted to being played the way that the originals want it to be, when they become to old to continue it will be the new players who keep the game alive.

Edited by DrDick&Vick
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