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Have your priorities changed?


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I'm glad that you bumped this. My priorities have definitely changed as I have basically lost almost all interest in urban caching. I keep an eye on things and if a new urban cache is getting good logs, I'll go for it, but otherwise it is not a priority at all. My average terrain for my first year, 2005, was 2.01. The next two years were 1.99 and 1.98. 2011, which is when I became obsessed with building my find count, it dropped to 1.67 for the year. Last year it was 2.02, and so far this year, 2.23. I'm finding that I'm more interested in getting my boots in the dirt and looking for trail side caches than I am driving around to parking lots.

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Yes, urban caching for me now = when I happen to be in a new city - if I want to go caching, then it's a country walk or (in winter) a village. There's a series over here called church micros, which means that in most villages in the UK you have a cache you can get without getting muddy!

 

There are 2 or 3 very involved multis in the area - the "pre-trail" type where a 5-mile walk will get you one cache. Now back on the radar having been ignored when I was just after numbers.

 

I've got a caching buddy into the concept of keeping trads under 90% and he's enjoying that too - even though he professes to hate puzzles!

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Surely....everyone's change after that first few days when you start! After several years - goals change, etc. We still totally love the hobby.....

Lately... LIFE has taken priority. More recently - haven't been cachin due to a variety of things. Changing jobs...home interior upgrades...buying/selling a home... packing & moving..unpacking...etc. After all that dust settles in the next month or so and we take a trip to Cozumel...we'll be ready to do some cachin!!

 

Goals? Our main goals have been accomplished (full calender & full D/T chart). Can't do any type of streaks....we work for a living! ;)

 

Can't wait to get the kayaks & bikes out this summer!

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Every time we approach a big milestone (1000s) I think we will slow down but so far it hasn't happened. This thing is just too addictive. I am into the numbers but not so much for quantity, mainly milestones and stats. We hosted an event for our 100th & 200th hide so that will probably be a tradition now. Other than that we just like to find something a bit different for our milestones. This year we are working on the calendar days - only 11 to go now. Next year, who knows? Whatever you do it for, just keep on doing it. It's a great way to spend time with your family.

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started out number number number for me! But noww that i have every cache in the close 3 towns, its a drag with a 20 minute+ drive for a smiley, so we plan out days well now. Though im currently not shooting for 366 days, or the D/T grid, but when i get close enough one year i bet ill try and finish them up. For now i'd be happy to just keep plugging away. I just broke 600 and its been a couple years. Best day i think was 36. which was an awesome day. now the number is still involved, but i like to find one or twoo "AWESOME" caches with lots of favorites, set out for that journey and pick away at its surroundings. its not about the count now, its about the trip as a whole and the sights!

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They have changed. The game has changed even more.

 

Back in 2003 when I started, if a cache was in a large park that could support several, that was it, the park was taken. I asked permission from the CO of one like that to hide another. Now there are 20 or so. Things like PDAs with Cachemate, GSAK and any paperless ability was non-existent. I still have the paper copies of the first 500 or so caches I hunted. GPS units were quite basic by today's standards, and smartphones were years away. Cache saturation was such that if a "power" cacher found one an hour that was a torrid pace. But I don't recall that was really a word used much. It was all about the hunt, the find, reading prior logs and writing a good one.

 

I never chased numbers for numbers sake. My largest day is just over a hundred, and truth be known, it was probably as much work as fun even though it the desert which I love. I was a certified FTF hound for a couple of years but rarely do that now. The first few years I found most alone, now, I only go alone if I have a special reason. Lately I have been filling in my calendar with double digits for all 366 days. 10 and 11x366 are done, 12x will be done this summer, and 13x next winter if all goes as planned. Then that's it, no more calendar driven caching.

 

Caching has had a sea change a couple of times. In 2003 I was not amongst the original cachers which were an exalted lot. By 2005 it was getting very popular and soon I didn't know every cacher in my area. That was okay, by then I was hiding so I got a lot of real logs, not this smarty phone crap of today. Which leads me to the second sea change-- smartphones. They have really opened up the game, not all in good ways. Real logs are way, way down, people whine a whole lot more about logging but not being bothered to sign the log. Back in the day if you signed the book without a story of your experience that was an insult. And.don't.even.think.about.claiming.a.find.without.signing.the.log. Forget your pen? Go get one and come back. Or sign in blood or mud. I did that a few times.

 

I still enjoy going for a few caches by myself but by far it is more fun with others and I look forward to that outing even if I have found some that we are after.

 

Probably the 3rd sea change is Groundspeak. Years ago we operated way below the police and public radar and that caused some problems. GS is much less accommodating these days but I understand why. I guess I wouldn't really return to the old days, not that it is possible. I still haven't totally forgiven them for murdering locationless caches. Which prompted my sig line for a couple of years, "Friends don't let friends waymark." But that is long gone and the LCs are too, but with good memories.

 

I wonder what the game will look like ten years from now.

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I'm glad that you bumped this. My priorities have definitely changed as I have basically lost almost all interest in urban caching. I keep an eye on things and if a new urban cache is getting good logs, I'll go for it, but otherwise it is not a priority at all. My average terrain for my first year, 2005, was 2.01. The next two years were 1.99 and 1.98. 2011, which is when I became obsessed with building my find count, it dropped to 1.67 for the year. Last year it was 2.02, and so far this year, 2.23. I'm finding that I'm more interested in getting my boots in the dirt and looking for trail side caches than I am driving around to parking lots.

 

Me too, which means I hardly ever cache any more because I live in an urban area. For a time I was quite happy going from film pot to film pot but whereas then I'd cycle from one to the next to the next, now I prefer to just keep cycling because I find it more fun than stopping every half a mile to look for another film pot.

 

Finding caches in more rural areas is far more fun for me, but then comes the problem that because there aren't so many of them it's easy to find them all, and putting too many of them out just turns rural caching into a numbers game rather than enjoying the walk to a specific cache. I guess I've just gone off the idea of finding dozens of caches in a day even if they are all lame micros, and prefer finding a single cache in a day that takes some effort to get to but the reward is a breathtaking vista I never knew about.

 

Fundamentally I think the key question for me is whether I regard the trip as wasted if I don't find the cache. If I enjoy the walk/ride, enjoy the location, don't find the cache but still come away thinking it was a worthwhile outing then everything is good. If, having found the cache, I revisit the area over and over again, then it was a good cache. If I find the cache and still wonder why I bothered going to the area then the event feels like a waste of time. For me, so many caches fall into that latter category I don't tend to bother hunting them much any more.

 

Maybe it will change, maybe I'll just end up taking some time away from the game.

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Hi,

I'm a geocacher since 2010. It all began with searching some geocaches. I also started to hide caches pretty soon. I love to create adventures for other geocachers. Waymarking was introduced to me at a Mega-Event, i often combine these two games. At the moment I found 806 geocaches and hid 151 caches. I love to visit events (74 including 8 Mega-Events) hosted/ing 10 events. Sometimes I do more Geocaching than a month more Waymarking. Now that I got 2 children I do more geocaching. My daughter loves to search them, she is 1 year and 8 month old and we go out almost daily. At the moment less time to creat Waymarks but I spend a lot of time to review them. I was never up to find 1,000 of caches. For me it's fun to find one or two with a nice walk, meeting people over the whole world, finding new friends in my homezone. I don't want to be a slave of the numbers.

lumbricus

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Thought I'd revisit this thread - relevant to see what lumbricus says above about making new friends, as I've done a whole lot of high-terain caching since my last post with a local cacher I only knew as a prolific CO until my event a year ago. Much tree / bridge climbing, kayaking and tunnel-crawling later I'm now on 70/81 D/T, and you can't stop there can you? Friendships made and reinforced, caching ideas swapped, caches found that would be impossible or at least rather dangerous alone.

21 caches owned, about 60 FPs on them. 5 of them up trees.

Just passed 2nd anniversary, about 2/3 speed compared to 1st year. (1050, 700)

Over 100 multis, 99 mysteries, 10 countries.

Date found grid 365/366 as planned; date, month hidden still not really a priority but their day will come.

Junior on nearly 900, more than half my number and finds most of the ground level ones before I'm within 20m now.

Ticking off a few challenge caches - some are plain daft but others quite interesting and, well, challenging.

 

I think the teamwork, and the accesss that gives to harder more interesting caches like http://coord.info/GC4T7NM , is this year's unexpected bonus.

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My turn: :rolleyes:

 

When I started over a year ago, my "focus" as a georunner was on cleaning the neighborhood. Now I'd have to run far too far for a running cache, so I've given up on this

Then the focus was to log an FTF. There are a few really FTF die-hards in this area, so it proved a real challenge. Eventually I made an FTF an immediately afterwards I realized that it wasn't my thing. I have quite a stressful work, and extra stress just to be the first to find a cache? No, it didn't really make much sense (to me).

Nowadays, some days I cache, others I don't. I am VERY lucky,though, to travel quite a lot for my work, so I'm having fun planning a couple of caches in a distant country I may just do between the meeting and the business lunch, or by early morning or .. In the meantime I'm trying to "convert" some colleagues to this great game

 

Ah, and other than collecting countries, and regions and so on, I love going for oldies (read anything older than 2010). I dream to finish some day the Jasmer matrix, it's pretty cool digging in the history of this game.

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They have changed. The game has changed even more.

 

Back in 2003 when I started, if a cache was in a large park that could support several, that was it, the park was taken. I asked permission from the CO of one like that to hide another. Now there are 20 or so. Things like PDAs with Cachemate, GSAK and any paperless ability was non-existent. I still have the paper copies of the first 500 or so caches I hunted. GPS units were quite basic by today's standards, and smartphones were years away. Cache saturation was such that if a "power" cacher found one an hour that was a torrid pace. But I don't recall that was really a word used much. It was all about the hunt, the find, reading prior logs and writing a good one.

 

I never chased numbers for numbers sake. My largest day is just over a hundred, and truth be known, it was probably as much work as fun even though it the desert which I love. I was a certified FTF hound for a couple of years but rarely do that now. The first few years I found most alone, now, I only go alone if I have a special reason. Lately I have been filling in my calendar with double digits for all 366 days. 10 and 11x366 are done, 12x will be done this summer, and 13x next winter if all goes as planned. Then that's it, no more calendar driven caching.

 

Caching has had a sea change a couple of times. In 2003 I was not amongst the original cachers which were an exalted lot. By 2005 it was getting very popular and soon I didn't know every cacher in my area. That was okay, by then I was hiding so I got a lot of real logs, not this smarty phone crap of today. Which leads me to the second sea change-- smartphones. They have really opened up the game, not all in good ways. Real logs are way, way down, people whine a whole lot more about logging but not being bothered to sign the log. Back in the day if you signed the book without a story of your experience that was an insult. And.don't.even.think.about.claiming.a.find.without.signing.the.log. Forget your pen? Go get one and come back. Or sign in blood or mud. I did that a few times.

 

I still enjoy going for a few caches by myself but by far it is more fun with others and I look forward to that outing even if I have found some that we are after.

 

Probably the 3rd sea change is Groundspeak. Years ago we operated way below the police and public radar and that caused some problems. GS is much less accommodating these days but I understand why. I guess I wouldn't really return to the old days, not that it is possible. I still haven't totally forgiven them for murdering locationless caches. Which prompted my sig line for a couple of years, "Friends don't let friends waymark." But that is long gone and the LCs are too, but with good memories.

 

I wonder what the game will look like ten years from now.

 

Good post and and my sentiments exactly! Except for one thing,,, it wouldn't bother me a bit to return to how things were done in the old days. B)

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while my priorities haven't drastically changed, I definitely enjoy pondering the different priorities of myself against other cachers, and this is a good hobby on which to get a wide variety of habits since there are so many strategies and statistics.

 

for example, one of my favourite things are when one of my caches are someone else's first ever find; just a specific oddity that I covet when it happens. I completely ignore filling in days on my calendar, and, I completely ignore the different formats and have 96% traditional. a good friend of mine tries diligently to fill in his calendar and makes sure traditionals make up at most 80% of his tally. I enjoy looking at the smiley pattern on the map, whereas he doesn't really look at the map.

 

just really neat to see the many takes possible on what is a pretty straightforward activity.

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Well now,

 

Having fun and being safe are just as important as they were years ago.

 

Tastes now tend to be older caches. **(must qualify for The Original Fizzy Challenge ... met and had lunch with Fizzy himself)**

 

Most importantly trying to be that cacher who sets the example for others **(still fall short, siiiiiggggghhhh)**

 

Still relish being a thorn in the side of those folks who "need" to be poked a bit.

Edited by humboldt flier
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I've been looking through old threads here on the forums and this one jumped out to me because I've thought a lot about how our caching behavior has changed since we started 8 years ago. We live in a suburb of a huge urban area (Houston, TX) and we used to go all over the city to cache. Now, urban caching has little or no appeal to us. We really enjoy caching in out-of-the-way places on our road trips, doing state stars, and completing state county challenges. We recently completed the Jasmer Challenge and need just one more spot for the Fizzy. We set our own goals and enjoy the game our way. We will soon head out on our annual summer road trip and look forward to discovering new places that geocaching will lead us. Happy Trails to all!

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When, earlier in this thread, I said that to stay caching for a long time your priorities need to change, some people responded that their priority was still the same -- to have fun.

 

Come on, folks. If having fun were not the main priority then we wouldn't be doing this. You know perfectly well that was not the intention of the OP.

 

So can we drop the "my priority is to have fun" nonsense?

 

Maybe it could be better worded as "how has your caching style evolved?"

I think my priority is to have fun (mission/strategic) but how I achieve that priority (goals/tactical )has certainly changed over time.

 

For awhile, just getting out and discovering new parks and new areas was a goal. Then I had a period of time where I was about numbers. Then I was gunning for FTFs. Then I became a radius slave. Now? Caching is more done to supplement my other activities rather than being the activity unto itself.

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I've found that I'm much more choosey with caches I seek. I've gone through stages of wanting to fill grids, radius clearing, FTF runs, get find counts up, etc.,...but have ended up falling into only caching when I'm doing other things--not doing other things while I cache.

 

When I started I'd hunt a few of whatever I found here and there on the message boards for "stash hunting" around town--there wasn't much at that time. Then, when I joined Geocaching.com in 2005, I'd drive all over northwestern Oregon and southwestern Washington for new caches and FTF hunts. I enjoyed using geocaching as a way to get out and about--finding new routes to the coast, small parks, good backcountry spots to camp or fish, etc. It was a great way to learn the area. Then in Minnesota I settled into just hunting caches that were of interest, but tried to fill grids and see what I could do about streaking a little bit with my finds. Then in northern Minnesota I got more involved in the community and events and the state organization. Now, in Alaska, I continued the community involvement and board work with the state organization.

 

However, here in Alaska (especially where I am) I've got to travel more than 70 miles for a cache I haven't found, or buy a boat to get some island or remote coastal caches nearby. So now I just grab one or two caches when I can, and much of that has to do with my wife not being so keen on our activities revolving around geocaching. So I'll go get a cache while she shops, or I'll load a few along the hike or bike ride we're taking that weekend.

 

I can also count on getting out for some new caches when I go visit my geocaching parents in North Carolina, or when they come to visit us in Alaska.

 

So, yeah. My priorities have changed. It's a different caching climate here in Alaska, and I'm busy with land management issues and other things that weren't on my radar back in 2001 with this game.

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Hehe I'd forgotten about this post of mine!

So nearly two years on, to reply to myself:

 

Me? Started ten months ago and am on 830 something [2200 and some now], so HAVE to go for 1000 in my first year [tick]. Best stretch 74, best day 51. Not interested in bettering either of those [now 100, 63!]. 40 D/T combos, am using pocket queries for some challenging ones to try one day but no ambition to do 81 [now 76 and a kayak trip planned to get the last 5]. Will go for 366 days by 29/2/2016 [got to 365 found days in about 18 months; am on 360 hidden days; hidden months I have 8 in the 2002-05 zone, all done 06 onwards]. Happy to collect countries, counties and regions when there but not going far out of my way [still true but on about 10 countries now and the odd weekend away has just happened to be in a new county]. I really think that once I've done 1000 I'll slow down, partly of course because the map around home and work is filling up [yes]. I own 7 [23 live]caches, some more inspired than others, and know where I'd put more (lovely quiet stretch of the Thames, would make a long but beautiful walk linking to other people's caches).

 

So as time has gone on I've developed more of a hunger for challenging (and Challenge) caches and that has made life more interesting.

 

As a CO I have 99 FPs (about 17%) and very proud of that. OS Junior is on 1100 or so and will be dragging me out for more this weekend, no doubt.

 

When grids are not of relevance it's still nice on a Sunday morning to look at the map, see maybe a 2-mile walk with half a dozen caches maybe 20 miles from home, find a pub, have a nice stroll, see somewhere new. So I cache on different levels. An underground river and a tree climb on the to-do list for the next week as well.

 

One last thing, though I'm not big on events I've done a lot more days with another cacher than I would have envisaged, and made some good new friends.

 

As you can see from my annotated OP I've done a lot more than I could have dreamt of. I'm sure other achievements await.

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My priorities have changed since I joined the game in 2002 (at the national website first). Unlike many others, I had no opportunities to hit milestones or travel extensively. So my steps were:

 

a) Using geocaching as a nice add-on to my main hobby (hiking),

b ) Developing the national variant of the game,

c) Experimenting with new caches, mostly difficult field puzzles in woods,

d) Getting acquainted with international experience, finding caches while travelling abroad, geocaching events,

e) Promoting the sport in our country.

Edited by -CJ-
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Yes, my priorities have changed. I've reached over 1,000 caches. I will probably reach 2,000, but I doubt I will make it to 3,000. I now generally limit my geocaching to "quality" caches. I will not go after a park and grab, unless it is located at the trailhead. My definition of quality caches will vary, but they generally are interesting locations, or are part of a personal challenge (Jasmer, Fizzy, etc.). I will complete my personal challenges, and will go to some lengths to achieve them. To complete the Jasmer challenge, there are only 3 remaining Aug 2000 caches. The closest is 650 miles straight line from my house. All other months are closer. I drove two days out of my way to get that Aug 2000 cache.

 

Once I fill my current personal challenges, I will probably change to more of a focus on GeoTours and reward trails, Earthcaches and Virtual Caches. Ive already completed a number of GeoTours, and find them well worth doing. Good, well maintained caches in interesting locations. I never knew Oregon had so many covered bridges, but thanks to GeoTours, I have seen quite a few. Earthcaches have taken me to some unique places, and I have learned a bit of history while logging Virtual caches.

 

There are a number of factors for the change. Kids are now out of the house, grandkids, finances, even a change of vehicles (From a Mini Cooper with no ground clearance, to a Suzuki Sidekick with over-sized tires).

 

Skye.

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Priorities changing? Coming soon. I don't know what the outcome will be.

My caching partner of eleven years will soon be visiting his maker/namesake, after a two year battle with cancer.

We've found six cache together this year. As opposed to 118 last year in the same time period.

I will be archiving forty (or so) caches soon. His neighborhood is not my neighborhood. Thirty-five miles away. (Probably a fairly large percentage of the caches in Hudson County, New Jersey.)

I may take up hiking again. But I'm eleven years older and hot as healthy. And there's the moratorium on caches in NJ State Parks and Rail Trails, and the ban in NJ WMAs.

I may just give up entirely. Dunno. Or I may go wandering off distances for the Fizzy Challenge. (Hmm... Few finds in months hidden caches since last November.)

I'll probably give up on cache and dashes. They were boring anyways,

Priority changes coming. Just not sure what they will be.

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Mine haven't changed much.

Now that CJ's in corporate, on days, and every-other w/e on call, our caching together is almost zip.

- But now we're not getting the tons of C&Ds, tough-to-find micros (she liked to see if she could find 'em), or FTFs in the dark either.

Supportive, but I wasn't happy with those.

Now I can center on the ones I like to do, usually higher terrain, or a nice lengthy walk, and escape for a while.

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My priorities have changed.

 

I wanted to clear out a huge area around my house and work my way out.

 

Now where I live I haven't found one for a great distance around my house.

 

Things changed a lot after I did the "Washington State Island Hopping Challenge". Nothing could top that, so I've been trying to find caches that take me to good places, even though none can be that good.

 

I do a lot of earth cache now, when before I couldn't be bothered with all the work it took to log them. I visited a lot of them, and even wrote down answers, but never logged them because they were too much trouble. Now I seek out earthcaches because usually they are in cool places and they will teach me something.

 

I think I logged 6 or 7 last weekend.

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I'll still find most everything out there, if it happens to be right in front of me, but now I usually focus more on non-traditional caches. Case in point, I was at Wickham Park in FL and found about 7-8 in the park, but only a couple were traditional caches and they were on the way to a non-traditional hide and that park is packed with caches. I find myself looking for longer hikes and paddle caches as well.

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