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Geocaching has changed


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We have been geocaching for 10 years. When we started, a Geocache was an ammo can with nice trade items. They usually required a hike to get to them. Jeep used to be a sponsor and gave out Jeep Travel Bugs that were prize finds. (These have all but disappeared since people kept them.) There were some very cleaver hides and puzzles to solve and themes for the trade items. Caches were placed in interesting containers. Multi stage caches were placed. People thought about where they wanted to place a cache and prepared it in advance. Micros, usually 35mm film canisters for log only caches were beginning. Nanos did not exist. Cachers put at least their home location in their profiles. It was FUN. Now Geocaching is a big business selling everything from Premium Memberships to Geocaching Pencils. It's now all about the numbers - How many finds you have. How many caches you hid. The caches big enough to hold something usually have junk or worse, trash. I can't write small enough to sign some of the logs in the micros or nanos. Now a cache is often a blank piece of paper in an old pill bottle under a light pole skirt in a parking lot. And you needed a GPS to find them, not just your everyday smart phone. I don't expect it will ever go back to the old days but maybe, some geocachers will put some thought into a new cache instead of just putting a piece of paper in a guardrail along the road. (If you do the latter, at least put it in a place that has a nice view and is safe to get to.)

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Despair not. The original game still exists, but it's hidden inside a much larger "new game".

 

It takes a bit of work, but there are ways to filter out the new from the old...

 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm just heading out the door to find some old-style caches. A nice walk in the woods. :)

Edited by Viajero Perdido
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I see that you started in 2004, so I filtered through a "My Finds" pocket query to see what I found from 2002 to 2004. Of approximately 1500 cache finds, around 400 had "micro" for the size choice. Scanning through those finds, I was reminded of many magnetic blinky finds, fake guardrail bolt finds, cryo tube finds and other things we'd call "nano." It's simply not true to say they didn't exist.

 

By 2004 the micro and the nano had a very firm and growing foothold in the geocaching landscape. There are way more caches of ALL sizes today. Micros have grown at a higher rate because they are cheaper containers, easier to hide and easier to replace when they go missing. But, regular and small size caches have also grown in numbers. In 2002 to 2004 it was unusual for a park to have more than a few caches. In 2003 I hid the first cache in a suburban township park that holds sixteen today. When I feel like hiking I go to a park like that and find five or six caches when I would have only found one or two in the "old days."

 

Tired of micros? Filter them out and only hunt for larger caches. Tired of urban parking lot hides? Only study caches that are in a "green spot" on the geocaching map. Tired of finding ten caches spaced every 528 feet along the trail? Find one on each trip and make ten trips.

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I see that you started in 2004, so I filtered through a "My Finds" pocket query to see what I found from 2002 to 2004. Of approximately 1500 cache finds, around 400 had "micro" for the size choice. Scanning through those finds, I was reminded of many magnetic blinky finds, fake guardrail bolt finds, cryo tube finds and other things we'd call "nano." It's simply not true to say they didn't exist.

 

By 2004 the micro and the nano had a very firm and growing foothold in the geocaching landscape. There are way more caches of ALL sizes today. Micros have grown at a higher rate because they are cheaper containers, easier to hide and easier to replace when they go missing. But, regular and small size caches have also grown in numbers. In 2002 to 2004 it was unusual for a park to have more than a few caches. In 2003 I hid the first cache in a suburban township park that holds sixteen today. When I feel like hiking I go to a park like that and find five or six caches when I would have only found one or two in the "old days."

 

Tired of micros? Filter them out and only hunt for larger caches. Tired of urban parking lot hides? Only study caches that are in a "green spot" on the geocaching map. Tired of finding ten caches spaced every 528 feet along the trail? Find one on each trip and make ten trips.

 

Well, there were far fewer caches and cachers around in the "old days", and I can attest to the fact that the first ever parking lot micro *and* LPC didn't appear in my area until February, 2005. If you live or had cached in Jacksonville, Nashville or Erie, Pa. before then, your mileage may vary. :lol: That's not counting a December 2004 "off your rocker" at the local Cracker Barrel, an idea that was obviously copied.

 

You know what? I just DNF'd a micro in the woods today. Maybe I am at a point in my career where I should start ignoring all micros!! I'd say 95% of the time, I won't be missing anything. Yes, that option is there with the ignore list, or PQ's, as Lep is saying.

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Yeah, geocaching has changed. A few cache types have been grandfathered (virtual, webcam, locationless). Some new cache types have been created, and the guidelines have been expanded and clarified as cache owners have pushed the limits further and further.

 

But for the most part, the kind of geocaching you talk about existing 10 years ago still exists. I haven't seen a cache with really high-end trade items (like a new cell phone, complete with charger and accessories) in years, but I never saw the point of putting things like that in a cache anyway. But there are still caches with trinkets, caches that require a hike to get to, very clever hides and puzzles, themed caches, interesting containers, multi-caches, people who think about where they want to place caches and who prepare for it, people who include their home location in their profile, caches that are about FUN and not just about the numbers, and so on.

 

Of course, other kinds of geocaching also exist now, things like modern numbers run trails that were unthinkable 10 years ago. The trick is figuring out how to do the kinds of geocaching that you enjoy, while ignoring the kinds that you don't enjoy.

Edited by niraD
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Now Geocaching is a big business selling everything from Premium Memberships to Geocaching Pencils.

 

They were selling premium memberships, T-shirts, hats and other items well before you started. Why is it suddenly an issue after 10 years?

 

I'm a pretty vocal critic of the direction geocaching has taken, but it's not Groundspeak's fault. It's your fellow geocachers who are placing all of these garbage caches and focusing on numbers, but as Keystone pointed out, there is nothing new about that either.

Edited by briansnat
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The one constant about geocaching over the years has been people complaining about how it has changed in this forum. :mmraspberry:

 

Dude. Geocaching has changed. And Global Moderators who are somehow allowed to post with sock puppet accounts isn't going to change anything either. See ya', I needed a vacation anyways. :ph34r:

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I reverted again back to actually trying to have fun caching and not go by the numbers. In fact today I was going after some old ones with high terrains. I've slip slided my way to some of these. Probably aquired some PO on the way. Did about 7 caches and ended up with calf cramps. That was a fun day for the 4th.

What I don't like is when you report a 5 gal bucket buried in the ground on the side of the road and the CO deletes your log (3times). Then they write a note stating I am taking the fun out of caching. And compared their cache to Mingo, and a few other grandfathered ones.

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Yesterday, we drove down dirt roads that were not made with our car in mind, and hiked out to a stunning area with volcanic rock formations twisted in any number of shapes to find a cache. It was exactly like the old days. In fact, it was the old days since the cache was a virtual published in 2004.

 

When I first began caching, a new cache always interested me. If usually would take me some place special or involve something with a little imagination. But I remember when friends described doing a series of 99 caches in Chicago and I could not decide if I wanted to go there or simply wonder how that happened.

 

So I found my first hanging micro in the woods, my first nano, or read my first description about a cache placed in a parking lot because there was a lack of listings in the area - a friend emailed me that the game was changing. And so it has. Most of the older core group in my area are no longer active unless we plan a group hike. I ignore most new listings. Every so often a cache will remind me of the reasons I started to play this game, some times even an ammo can down a trail. But it takes a lot of work to sift through everything else.

 

For the most part, when traveling, I stick to virtuals and earthcaches. And lately kayak caching has been fun. So for the moment I still play the game, at least until the last virtual is archived.

Edited by geodarts
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Change is the only constant, isn't it?

 

It seems to me that a lot of the 'old timers' who are complaining about the way things are today compared to the past are really complaining more about the fact that they need to work harder to find things they like to seek now (to separate the wheat from the chaff, in their eyes) than they used to. I find that even in my relatively short geocaching 'career', the amount of effort I have to put in to find a quality cache has increased dramatically. Used to be, I could just point at any cache on the map and almost be assured of finding something worthwhile (or at least it seems that way in the rose-tinted goggles of hindsight). I don't mind doing the work, because I want to have fun, and when caching is fun I enjoy it a lot.

 

Two things that rub me the wrong way about the direction caching has gone are:

 

The rise of flash-in-the-pan cachers, who find a few, hide a few (usually poor), and then disappear. This results in a clutter of poor, unimaginative, and unmaintained caches.

 

The lamentable and inevitable fading away of old caches. They're a dying breed, it seems, and I've been watching many of those supremely enjoyable caches of my "early days" disappearing as their owners move away from the game.

 

But if you look hard enough, there are still many caches worth seeking, and there are still people putting out high quality caches. To flip the old saying, "If you wanna do the crime, you gotta do the time".

 

My caching has changed in a few major ways as an effect of the changes in the game:

 

I very rarely cache on the spur of the moment anymore. You can still get pleasantly surprised this way, but more often it's begging for disappointment.

 

I 'build' many of my caching trips around a specific cache that I want to seek, which I think will be a good and fun one. I'll often pick up other caches nearby in that area along the way, without really considering whether or not they might be what I call "good".

 

I reserve large clusters of caches (i.e. power trails, large series) which might be generally forgettable, for caching in groups. The caches may not be all that, but the day often turns into a very enjoyable social outing. I usually remember those days for the people and the conversations, and for the life of me cannot recall a single cache detail (this makes logging them an almost comically frustrating process sometimes because I don't do cut and paste logs).

 

The solution to this problem, as has been pointed out many times, is to 'take back caching' by hiding more of the kind of caches you like to seek. I haven't yet hidden any, because I'm in a position where there are serious obstacles to being able to maintain them for large portions of the year, but I have a few ideas on the back burner just waiting, including one almost fully fledged multi-stage puzzle and mystery cache with a complete story line and custom containers including two ammo cans. If and when I place that one, I expect to get a lot of hate mail from the numbers folks and others of that ilk, and it'll be music to my ears...

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Yesterday, we drove down dirt roads that were not made with our car in mind, and hiked out to a stunning area with volcanic rock formations twisted in any number of shapes to find a cache. It was exactly like the old days. In fact, it was the old days since the cache was a virtual published in 2004.

 

For the most part, when traveling, I stick to virtuals and earthcaches. And lately kayak caching has been fun. So for the moment I still play the game, at least until the last virtual is archived.

 

I am with you on this completely.

 

change that I am not in favor of: group of four, all claiming find with the following note, looked and looked so we replaced the cache, hope owner does not mind, put new container in a good spot.

 

log entry: moved cache to make retreival more precarious.

 

play it as it lays, just like golf

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Yesterday, we drove down dirt roads that were not made with our car in mind, and hiked out to a stunning area with volcanic rock formations twisted in any number of shapes to find a cache. It was exactly like the old days. In fact, it was the old days since the cache was a virtual published in 2004.

 

When I first began caching, a new cache always interested me. If usually would take me some place special or involve something with a little imagination. But I remember when friends described doing a series of 99 caches in Chicago and I could not decide if I wanted to go there or simply wonder how that happened.

 

So I found my first hanging micro in the woods, my first nano, or read my first description about a cache placed in a parking lot because there was a lack of listings in the area - a friend emailed me that the game was changing. And so it has. Most of the older core group in my area are no longer active unless we plan a group hike. I ignore most new listings. Every so often a cache will remind me of the reasons I started to play this game, some times even an ammo can down a trail. But it takes a lot of work to sift through everything else.

 

For the most part, when traveling, I stick to virtuals and earthcaches. And lately kayak caching has been fun. So for the moment I still play the game, at least until the last virtual is archived.

 

Hey, I'm still here. :o I still have major issues with a known early "numbers cacher" telling us how many micros there were in 2002, and being allowed to use a sock to say it, but I'll forget about that, really. Love this particular post, thanks. I did run into a super dud of a .50 cal ammo box while traveling last April (basically 30 feet from a playground and 15 feet from someone's house), so you still have to be careful and look at the maps beforehand.

 

I won't say this thread was a major inspiration in a life changing experience or anything. But in my first post, I said I DNF'd a micro in the woods yesterday, and was thinking of pulling the trigger on ignoring all micros. Micro in a small park came in this morning. Ignored. I think this might work. B)

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Any good place, activity, or thing usually gets ruined, or at least degraded, once the general public discovers it and especially if it becomes a fad.

 

CB Radio was a prime example of this. In the mid-70's it used to be a nice useful civilized way to communicate. But when it became a fad it became useless with all kinds of idiots on the air and just too many users. Things have calmed down some but it never really recovered.

 

So are any number of vacation spots that got discovered, developed, and "improved". Or great places to hike to that used to be quiet, secluded, natural.

 

Geocaching is no different.

 

But you can still do it the way you want and just like the old days. Actually read cache descriptions and logs and plan ahead instead of just looking it a list or map of locations on your smart phone or GPSr.

 

Personally I don't mind micros if they take me to an interesting spot or just provide a quick stop along a route. I don't even mind them if they takes a long hike to, as long as they are not impossible to find once you get there. I'm not that big on trading trinkets anyway.

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Of course micros existed back then, but they were nowhere near the volume that they are now. Many micros back then are considered small today anyhow. The real question is why do most people who join lose interest? Possibly because of the large volume of hides only placed to boost numbers. A newbie might go out and visit 100 parking lot micros for a numbers boost only to discover their numbers are still relatively tiny for all of that work. There is no reason why anyone should feel inferior, but apparently many do. The caches are not multiplying in a healthy fashion and are starting to resemble cancerous cysts.

 

crukmig_1000img-12344.jpg

 

We are sorry sir, but the tests show what appears to be that of a powertrail forming in your colon.

Edited by 4wheelin_fool
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Of course micros existed back then, but they were nowhere near the volume that they are now. Many micros back then are considered small today anyhow. The real question is why do most people who join lose interest? Possibly because of the large volume of hides only placed to boost numbers. A newbie might go out and visit 100 parking lot micros for a numbers boost only to discover their numbers are still relatively tiny for all of that work. There is no reason why anyone should feel inferior, but apparently many do. The caches are not multiplying in a healthy fashion and are starting to resemble cancerous cysts.

 

We are sorry sir, but the tests show what appears to be that of a powertrail forming in your colon.

 

I don't think it is so much as losing interest as not having the interest in the first place. A stat published by Moun10Bike

Average number of finds among all cachers (only counting those with at least 1 find): 109

Median number of finds among all cachers (only counting those with at least 1 find): 8

 

With half of the cachers "leaving" after 8 finds I would say they have an awful short attention span, or it was trying out the app they downloaded, finding was something they did not like and then deleted the app.

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I totally agree that the game has changed and micros have gotten out of control. Seems to me that I remember in the golden years of geocaching, the goal of the game was for a cache to take you to an interesting place or teach you a bit of local history with an ammo can at the other end with a big log book to log your thoughts and to give you the opportunity to trade items. I for one could sit for an hour and enjoy reading the logbook entries. I actually enjoy reading the physical logbook way more than reading the online logs. Somewhere along the line things changed and the new goal appears to be about numbers with a micro logbook with only enough room for a name and absolutely no opportunity to trade items anymore (disappointing for the kids). I don't wish to place blame on any one party, but as a teacher it reminds me of when I teach a lesson. If a lesson strays from the direction I intended, it's my responsibility to get it back on track.

Perhaps the majority of our community like the way things are, but I sure miss the way things used to be. I'm still playing the game but I'm going to start being much more selective on my hunts. You might say I'm going back to what I enjoyed about the game in the beginning. I'm also going to start placing some interesting traditional size caches in my area and see what happens.

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It's interesting that Marketing still appears to trumpet the "old game". Recall this picture from the home page:

home-hero.jpg

 

However, I doubt Jeremy would ever get rich by limiting the game somehow to only the old-skool ones, say in interesting places like the Swiss Alps.

 

Hence, it's GAME ON for power trails and the like.

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It's interesting that Marketing still appears to trumpet the "old game". Recall this picture from the home page:

home-hero.jpg

 

However, I doubt Jeremy would ever get rich by limiting the game somehow to only the old-skool ones, say in interesting places like the Swiss Alps.

 

Hence, it's GAME ON for power trails and the like.

I guess I missed that marketing campaign. I've never seen anything from GS promoting power trails and outside of the picture on the top page they don't promote caches in remote areas. They did have a fling at promoting better quality caches. And speaking of old skool, the first cache hidden was a 5 gal pail buried next to a road. Not exactly what folks seem to fondly remember.

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Somebody posted something wise a long time back in a similar thread: in the beginning, any cache was few and far between. Today, an ammo can at the end of a hike is kind of rare. So really...what you want is still out there in roughly the same numbers. Just ignore the urban stuff and go hike. The kinds of caches you want do exist--go find them.

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10 years and only 1,134 finds? You're not doing it enough!!

 

Or... If you've lost that much interest in the hobby because things have 'changed' - then, its time to find a new hobby.

 

10 years ago, my husband and I were introduced to geocaching (Username 'Janster'). Found 2 caches....and that was it. Those 2 caches were the closest to our house and 30 miles away. Caches were few and way too far .....

 

We re-discovered the hobby 3 years ago and haven't looked back. WE LOVE IT!!! We've filled our calendar AND have filled our D/T chart in those 3 years with only 1,818 finds. We've kayaked, we've biked, we've hiked, climbed trees, met some wonderful people and have seen some awesome things.

 

Dude ...You are truly not seeing the hobby for what (I think) it should be.

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Of course micros existed back then, but they were nowhere near the volume that they are now. Many micros back then are considered small today anyhow. The real question is why do most people who join lose interest? Possibly because of the large volume of hides only placed to boost numbers. A newbie might go out and visit 100 parking lot micros for a numbers boost only to discover their numbers are still relatively tiny for all of that work. There is no reason why anyone should feel inferior, but apparently many do. The caches are not multiplying in a healthy fashion and are starting to resemble cancerous cysts.

 

We are sorry sir, but the tests show what appears to be that of a powertrail forming in your colon.

 

I don't think it is so much as losing interest as not having the interest in the first place. A stat published by Moun10Bike

Average number of finds among all cachers (only counting those with at least 1 find): 109

Median number of finds among all cachers (only counting those with at least 1 find): 8

 

With half of the cachers "leaving" after 8 finds I would say they have an awful short attention span, or it was trying out the app they downloaded, finding was something they did not like and then deleted the app.

 

After traveling to 8 parking lots looking for treasure, perhaps it's because they realize they have found a crock of something other than gold.

Edited by 4wheelin_fool
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I love pocket queries. If I don't wish to find a micro, I filter them out and favor of the larger caches.

 

Things change over time and not always for the better, but this is a hobby and, one of my favorite characteristics of geocaching, is that there are thousands (if not more!) ways to geocache and have a rewarding experience.

 

I think with the mobile apps it is easy to try geocaching. But trying a hobby doesn't guarantee they'll like it. There used to be more of barrier of entry to trying the hobby (e.g. prior to the mobile apps) so those who tried it may have been more likely to stick around.

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Of course micros existed back then, but they were nowhere near the volume that they are now. Many micros back then are considered small today anyhow. The real question is why do most people who join lose interest? Possibly because of the large volume of hides only placed to boost numbers. A newbie might go out and visit 100 parking lot micros for a numbers boost only to discover their numbers are still relatively tiny for all of that work. There is no reason why anyone should feel inferior, but apparently many do. The caches are not multiplying in a healthy fashion and are starting to resemble cancerous cysts.

 

We are sorry sir, but the tests show what appears to be that of a powertrail forming in your colon.

 

I don't think it is so much as losing interest as not having the interest in the first place. A stat published by Moun10Bike

Average number of finds among all cachers (only counting those with at least 1 find): 109

Median number of finds among all cachers (only counting those with at least 1 find): 8

 

With half of the cachers "leaving" after 8 finds I would say they have an awful short attention span, or it was trying out the app they downloaded, finding was something they did not like and then deleted the app.

 

After traveling to 8 parking lots looking for treasure, perhaps it's because they realize they have found a crock of something other than gold.

 

Yeah, I hear you. I found several caches yesterday, many of which were along a road which had insufficient pull-outs or shoulder and it was effectively a power trail and many of the caches were little better than trash.

 

The game does mean different things to different people, though. There's still a lot of good caches out there and some of us still endeavour to hide them. Rules are getting to be a pain in the neck, though. Someone lamented to me you can't do Letterbox Hybrids the way you once did, needing to mark every spot at some waypoint. I'm not sure I get that, if that's the case. I could easily do an Unknown with the same sort of action.

 

I do get the idea Groundspeak have very definite ideas on how the game should be played (hence no new virtuals and locationless caches all archived) but most of their new ideas aren't very good (hence the entire wiping of Challenges, you can read my mind on that idea by seeing what a dog left on the grass) So the PTB have no real good ideas and players continue to define the game.

 

Let's look at Puzzle Challenges - which are now a pretty major part of the game - no unique icon, but many cachers I know (myself included) are working on one or more and putting no small effort of time and money into these things (i.e. California Delorme pages) They can be rewarding and fun, but aside laying done some rules or guidelines, GS has no idea what to make of them. There best idea of the past 5 years was such an embarrassment to them they wiped it with some mumbling about making better mistakes in the future.

 

IMHO it would behoove GS to call in volunteer opinions and ideas and see where players are taking the game and try to keep themselves relevant, rather than cracking our skulls and trying to force us to step in line, thus ending up with a game which appears to spiral downward in quality.

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It was FUN.

And it's still FUN!

 

Now Geocaching is a big business selling everything from Premium Memberships to Geocaching Pencils.

This is an effect of large numbers of people joining the game, which is what has led to the changes you mention. I think you're mistaking the marketing end of geocaching as being the cause of those changes. That's not what I see, but I'm open to evidence.

 

It's now all about the numbers - How many finds you have. How many caches you hid.

No, sorry, numbers is not what it's all about. Some people are into them, but not everyone. In fact, I think it's a small segment of the players, although naturally it's a very visible segment.

 

The caches big enough to hold something usually have junk or worse, trash. I can't write small enough to sign some of the logs in the micros or nanos.

Yeah, people have lost interest in trading. I'm one of them. I don't see a problem with that.

 

And you needed a GPS to find them, not just your everyday smart phone.

This is just elitism. "Your everyday smart phone" is way more accurate than you're fancy GPSr from 10 years ago.

 

I don't think it is so much as losing interest as not having the interest in the first place. A stat published by Moun10Bike

Average number of finds among all cachers (only counting those with at least 1 find): 109

Median number of finds among all cachers (only counting those with at least 1 find): 8

With half of the cachers "leaving" after 8 finds I would say they have an awful short attention span, or it was trying out the app they downloaded, finding was something they did not like and then deleted the app.

After traveling to 8 parking lots looking for treasure, perhaps it's because they realize they have found a crock of something other than gold.

I can't tell if this is elitism or just silliness. Those people that quit after 8 finds never ever would have hiked a couple miles to find an ammo can in the woods to begin with, and if any did, that would just tend to make this statistic from from a median of 8 to a median of 1. Are you saying that it would be good riddance if they hadn't been about to find those 8 in parking lots, or are you erroneously thinking that if all they could find were ammo cans at the end of 2 mile hikes, they'd all be dedicated cachers by now?

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After traveling to 8 parking lots looking for treasure, perhaps it's because they realize they have found a crock of something other than gold.

Someone can certainly decide that geocaching is about finding the 10 closest caches that show up on your iPhone app, and when the first 8 are in parking lots decide that it's not for them.

 

I suspect though that someone who downloads the app and starts looking for caches nearby will be quite happy there are more than 10 and don't really care that some are in parking lots. Soon enough they will find ones in nearby parks or other spots they might enjoy more than a parking lot. If they are really interested in geocaching they may venture further away and discover places they've never been before. For some people, visiting the mall in the next town for the first time may be just as much of an adventure and going to the mountains, and if there is a cache in the parking lot then so much the better.

 

When I started 11+ years ago, urban caching had already "taken over" in Los Angeles and the surrounding suburbs. But we are fortunate here to have some large urban parks, along with state parks, forests, and open space preserves in the surrounding mountains. It was easy to look for terrain 3 and higher caches. That is what I looked for the first month. Later I cautiously expanded, looking for caches in neighborhood parks. But when someone hid a micro in a newsrack around the corner from my house on 5/1/2003 and I had the opportunity for my first FTF, I was out the door in a second. (I didn't find it that night because I had no idea where micros would be hidden on newsracks, so my first FTF came six weeks later on a hiking cache).

 

For the numbers cachers, the plenitude of urban hides is wonderful thing that makes the game approachable by people who don't have the time or desire to travel to the wilderness to find caches. For cachers who prefer hikes or visiting new places, these caches are often easily ignored. I understand that you can no longer go to an new city and expect that a reasonable proportion of the caches will take you to an interesting place. You now have to look at favorite points to find these caches. And I understand feeling overwhelmed by micros hidden every 528 feet on a trail that may have on or two larger caches. You can skip the micros, or check the descriptions and favorites to find ones that take you to a scenic view. Cache finders can make a small adjustment to increase their enjoyment: you do not have to find every cache. Take some time to select the caches you will hunt. If you can't and you seem to be taken to a lamppost in the far end of a parking lot, don't get out of the car. Press the next button.

 

If you can't find pistachio in the ice cream case because the market stocks too much vanilla, find another market. :mmraspberry: (hint: there may be a cache in the parking lot)

Edited by tozainamboku
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It was FUN.

And it's still FUN!

 

As I wrote earlier, the trend of the game over the past few years caters to those that want to achieve a high count verses those that favor quality over quantity. Yes, it's still fun for those that are indiscriminate about the quality of caches, as long as they get quantity. For those that favor quality, it's becoming an ever increasing burden, and less fun, to seek out the kinds of caches they want to find.

 

If geocaching had an approval rating, I suspect that if you polled players that have been in the game for over 5 years, that rating would be down significantly from what it was 5 years ago.

 

.

 

It's now all about the numbers - How many finds you have. How many caches you hid.

No, sorry, numbers is not what it's all about.Some people are into them, but not everyone. In fact, I think it's a small segment of the players, although naturally it's a very visible segment.

 

 

Unless you have access to the GS database and can provide statistics a statement regarding the percentage of players for which numbers are important is purely speculative. The impact of the all about the numbers trend has had a significant impact on the game though, and for those that are part of the numbers crowd, that impact is generally favorable. For those that seek quality over quantity, the impact has become a barrier to the kind of game they want to play.

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<snip>

Unless you have access to the GS database and can provide statistics a statement regarding the percentage of players for which numbers are important is purely speculative. The impact of the all about the numbers trend has had a significant impact on the game though, and for those that are part of the numbers crowd, that impact is generally favorable. For those that seek quality over quantity, the impact has become a barrier to the kind of game they want to play.

Sorry I don't see that at all. For the CO that has been hiding quality caches they are not going to suddenly start putting out 2-300 film cans at a time now. For those that put ammo cans in the woods they are not going to suddenly start hanging preforms on trees along a county road for miles. Those CO's are going to continue to hide those type of caches. So how has that game changed? Oh, you need to do a bit of work to find the caches you want. That is what has changed. What has not changed is the website's ability for you to do it directly on the website but you must now employee a 3rd party solution. And that is unfortunate that the website now depends on 3rd party solutions for their customers to enjoy their game.

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I've read everything in this thread which that in itself is a miracle. lol I'll admit I have only one find and that find is a few years old. That's what I love about this game though. You can leave for a little while, come back to it, and it's still the same. Yeah there are more micro caches than before, but I see it as a way for people to be more involved in the game other than just finding.

 

Now the subject of GS basically selling out by selling pencils and premium membership came up. Back when I started out 8 years ago they were already selling premiums, hats, and shirts. I see this as them not selling out but as a business strategy. In any business you go where the money is at and apparently the money is in accessories.

 

With that said I will say this: Play the game the way you want to play it while still following the rules set by GS. Make your own fun and go out and explore(even if it is Row 6B of the shopping mall).

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10 years and only 1,134 finds? You're not doing it enough!!

 

Or... If you've lost that much interest in the hobby because things have 'changed' - then, its time to find a new hobby.

 

10 years ago, my husband and I were introduced to geocaching (Username 'Janster'). Found 2 caches....and that was it. Those 2 caches were the closest to our house and 30 miles away. Caches were few and way too far .....

 

We re-discovered the hobby 3 years ago and haven't looked back. WE LOVE IT!!! We've filled our calendar AND have filled our D/T chart in those 3 years with only 1,818 finds. We've kayaked, we've biked, we've hiked, climbed trees, met some wonderful people and have seen some awesome things.

 

Dude ...You are truly not seeing the hobby for what (I think) it should be.

 

I started geocaching 10 years ago this month. As of this posting, I have 990 finds. There have been months, and even a little over a year, that I did not cache for various reasons, but I've always enjoyed geocaching. I would consider it my main hobby. The first year, I found 500 caches. My finds have slowed considerably, but I have never done a powertrail or a group cache run. I do occasionally grab the easy ones around, especially when I'm with my kid, but I will schedule a trip to a remote area to grab 1 or 2 caches for a weekend. I love this hobby.

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10 years and only 1,134 finds? You're not doing it enough!!

 

Or... If you've lost that much interest in the hobby because things have 'changed' - then, its time to find a new hobby.

Nonsense.

 

Someone might go geocaching once a month, targeting one specific cache each trip. If that's the way they enjoy geocaching, then it shouldn't matter that their find count is only 120 after 10 years of geocaching, and it's absurd to claim that they aren't "doing it enough".

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Briansnat says that The Leprechauns is Keystone. Is someone's sock showing?

 

This is for those that keep bringing this up. Many global moderators post with their personal accounts when they are not acting as an official moderator. This allows many of us to post a personal opinions without people thinking that it is an opinion of Groundspeak, or related to something that they have told us. Most do not hide their other account, it is just h. This is not the same as a sock puppet.

 

Please go back to your regular stations and do not bring this up again. It does not serve any valid purpose.

Edited by BlueRajah
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Briansnat says that The Leprechauns is Keystone. Is someone's sock showing?

 

This is for those that keep bringing this up. Many global moderators post with their personal accounts when they are not acting as an official moderator. This allows many of us to post a personal opinions without people thinking that it is an opinion of Groundspeak, or related to something that they have told us. Most do not hide their other account, it is just h. This is not the same as a sock puppet.

 

Please go back to your regular stations and do not bring this up again. It does not serve any valid purpose.

 

Just as you posted this I was just thinking that there is a major disconnect between Groundspeak and it's long time users, apart from the odd moderator or once in a while Mount10bike posting to quell some fire there really is no acknowledgement from GS of the concerns of their core customers. All suggestions and/or feedback is essentially ignored, there are so many topics crying out and they just get ignored, it is sad how the long term customers are being ignored.

 

Geocaching used to be a hobby/sport, now it seems to be turning into another iPhone app.

Edited by Roman!
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Briansnat says that The Leprechauns is Keystone. Is someone's sock showing?

 

This is for those that keep bringing this up. Many global moderators post with their personal accounts when they are not acting as an official moderator. This allows many of us to post a personal opinions without people thinking that it is an opinion of Groundspeak, or related to something that they have told us. Most do not hide their other account, it is just h. This is not the same as a sock puppet.

 

Please go back to your regular stations and do not bring this up again. It does not serve any valid purpose.

 

Just as you posted this I was just thinking that there is a major disconnect between Groundspeak and it's long time users, apart from the odd moderator or once in a while Mount10bike posting to quell some fire there really is no acknowledgement from GS of the concerns of their core customers. All suggestions and/or feedback is essentially ignored, there are so many topics crying out and they just get ignored, it is sad how the long term customers are being ignored.

 

Geocaching used to be a hobby/sport, now it seems to be turning into another iPhone app.

Groundspeak remains much as it has always been - a listing service. Sure there are a lot more guidelines and restrictions on what they will publish. But many changes have been to stop putting reviewers in the position of deciding what is a worthy cache. So while some reviewers may have liked being able to tell people that "just because you can hide a cache every 600 ft. doesn't mean you should". getting rid of this so-called "power trail" rule meant that reviewers don't get to decide which power trails are good and which aren't. Groundspeak may yet decided that the future of the sport is harmed by power trails or caches in parking lots, but for now if people submit them (and appear to have the proper permission) they get published.

 

That may bother some old timers who remember when these caches were fewer, but I think the alternative would be to change Geocaching.com into more of the commissioner of gecoaching with more rules and more of an enforcement role. As fizzymagic says when I complain about some of the challenge caches that get published, the last thing we need is more rules. Let Groundspeak tweak them if necessary, but don't create rules to favor any one vision of geocaching over another.

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Briansnat says that The Leprechauns is Keystone. Is someone's sock showing?

 

This is for those that keep bringing this up. Many global moderators post with their personal accounts when they are not acting as an official moderator. This allows many of us to post a personal opinions without people thinking that it is an opinion of Groundspeak, or related to something that they have told us. Most do not hide their other account, it is just h. This is not the same as a sock puppet.

 

Please go back to your regular stations and do not bring this up again. It does not serve any valid purpose.

 

Just as you posted this I was just thinking that there is a major disconnect between Groundspeak and it's long time users, apart from the odd moderator or once in a while Mount10bike posting to quell some fire there really is no acknowledgement from GS of the concerns of their core customers. All suggestions and/or feedback is essentially ignored, there are so many topics crying out and they just get ignored, it is sad how the long term customers are being ignored.

 

Geocaching used to be a hobby/sport, now it seems to be turning into another iPhone app.

Groundspeak remains much as it has always been - a listing service. Sure there are a lot more guidelines and restrictions on what they will publish. But many changes have been to stop putting reviewers in the position of deciding what is a worthy cache. So while some reviewers may have liked being able to tell people that "just because you can hide a cache every 600 ft. doesn't mean you should". getting rid of this so-called "power trail" rule meant that reviewers don't get to decide which power trails are good and which aren't. Groundspeak may yet decided that the future of the sport is harmed by power trails or caches in parking lots, but for now if people submit them (and appear to have the proper permission) they get published.

 

That may bother some old timers who remember when these caches were fewer, but I think the alternative would be to change Geocaching.com into more of the commissioner of gecoaching with more rules and more of an enforcement role. As fizzymagic says when I complain about some of the challenge caches that get published, the last thing we need is more rules. Let Groundspeak tweak them if necessary, but don't create rules to favor any one vision of geocaching over another.

 

GS is not just a listing service, they are reinventing rules without regard to anyone to publish their own pseudo-caches, I think there is a major disconnect between geocaching and GS. I think there are too many non geocaching businessmen trying to define what geocaching is and they have no clue.

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They were selling premium memberships, T-shirts, hats and other items well before you started. Why is it suddenly an issue after 10 years?

 

PM-ships, hats and such items do not have an influence on the hidden caches. I cannot talk about the US, but in my area it took quite some time until the first nano cache showed up and until the first fake bolt showed up.It also took around 3 years until I encountered the first fence post micro where one had to open the cap - a hideout type which is now prevalent.

 

They have been very difficult to get back then - one had to order them from the US or manufacture them. Nowadays there are many shops in those European country with many cachers and these shops offer almost every sort of container, including many that have been considered to be creative years ago. It can now easily happen that the first caches of cachers are nanos and fake bolts while back then such caches were typically hidden by experienced cache hiders who wanted to try out something different.

There is definitely a connection between the easy availability of some containers and what is hidden.

 

It's your fellow geocachers who are placing all of these garbage caches and focusing on numbers, but as Keystone pointed out, there is nothing new about that either.

 

Not new in 2014, but in my area in the early years almost all cache owners liked hiking and the cache of the choice to show a hiking trail was a multi cache and not 20 traditionals plus a bonus cache. That type of cache trails did not exist in my area for many years. I guess that different areas have developped differently.

 

Cezanne

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Briansnat says that The Leprechauns is Keystone. Is someone's sock showing?

 

This is for those that keep bringing this up. Many global moderators post with their personal accounts when they are not acting as an official moderator. This allows many of us to post a personal opinions without people thinking that it is an opinion of Groundspeak, or related to something that they have told us. Most do not hide their other account, it is just h. This is not the same as a sock puppet.

 

Please go back to your regular stations and do not bring this up again. It does not serve any valid purpose.

 

Just as you posted this I was just thinking that there is a major disconnect between Groundspeak and it's long time users, apart from the odd moderator or once in a while Mount10bike posting to quell some fire there really is no acknowledgement from GS of the concerns of their core customers. All suggestions and/or feedback is essentially ignored, there are so many topics crying out and they just get ignored, it is sad how the long term customers are being ignored.

 

Geocaching used to be a hobby/sport, now it seems to be turning into another iPhone app.

Roman! you seem to be under impression there is a symbiotic relationship between Groundspeak and the people that use their listing service or buy their products. In my opinion there isn't. Groundspeak is a medium sized closely held private company that is run for the financial benefit of its owners and for the financial benefit of its employees. It provides a listing service and some for-pay products that work in conjunction with the listing service and it provides physical products and tracking numbers for folks that want to produce their own products that tie into the Groundspeak business. Simply put, they are not running the business for your benefit, they are running it for their benefit. They also enjoy a 99.9% monopoly on the listing business and a 100% monopoly on the tracking number business. They are pretty much in the same position as J. D. Rockefeller was in the kerosene business. As I recall JD didn't listen to much in the way of feedback until Teddy Roosevelt gave him some. So once you accept that GS is being run for the benefit of its owners and they are the only game in town you then can live at peace and not get upset by what GS does or doesn't do.

 

As for geocaching being a hobby/sport, it still is. GS just elected to provide products that enhance their revenue stream. Other than that, not much has changed since 2002.

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I understand that you can no longer go to an new city and expect that a reasonable proportion of the caches will take you to an interesting place. You now have to look at favorite points to find these caches.

 

The last statement is definitely not true in my country (and also not in Germany) and that's part of the problem. Sorting out traditionals with many favourite points and even more a high favourite rate, won't typically lead you to interesting places. The FPs are typically given out for creative hides and containers as this is what the modern style urban geocachers (mostly local to the place anyway) appreciate.

For those for whom it's about the locations, there is no way to filter out caches without looking at all caches and investing much more time than is required for selecting locations with the help of travel guides. 10 years ago it was the other way round and one also led to interesting locations not mentioned in guide books.

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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As for geocaching being a hobby/sport, it still is. GS just elected to provide products that enhance their revenue stream. Other than that, not much has changed since 2002.

 

I do not agree, but not all changes have been brought along by GS.

For example, leaderboards and sites like project-gc have influenced geocaching too.

Edited by cezanne
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Briansnat says that The Leprechauns is Keystone. Is someone's sock showing?

 

This is for those that keep bringing this up. Many global moderators post with their personal accounts when they are not acting as an official moderator. This allows many of us to post a personal opinions without people thinking that it is an opinion of Groundspeak, or related to something that they have told us. Most do not hide their other account, it is just h. This is not the same as a sock puppet.

 

Please go back to your regular stations and do not bring this up again. It does not serve any valid purpose.

 

Just as you posted this I was just thinking that there is a major disconnect between Groundspeak and it's long time users, apart from the odd moderator or once in a while Mount10bike posting to quell some fire there really is no acknowledgement from GS of the concerns of their core customers. All suggestions and/or feedback is essentially ignored, there are so many topics crying out and they just get ignored, it is sad how the long term customers are being ignored.

 

Geocaching used to be a hobby/sport, now it seems to be turning into another iPhone app.

Roman! you seem to be under impression there is a symbiotic relationship between Groundspeak and the people that use their listing service or buy their products. In my opinion there isn't. Groundspeak is a medium sized closely held private company that is run for the financial benefit of its owners and for the financial benefit of its employees. It provides a listing service and some for-pay products that work in conjunction with the listing service and it provides physical products and tracking numbers for folks that want to produce their own products that tie into the Groundspeak business. Simply put, they are not running the business for your benefit, they are running it for their benefit. They also enjoy a 99.9% monopoly on the listing business and a 100% monopoly on the tracking number business. They are pretty much in the same position as J. D. Rockefeller was in the kerosene business. As I recall JD didn't listen to much in the way of feedback until Teddy Roosevelt gave him some. So once you accept that GS is being run for the benefit of its owners and they are the only game in town you then can live at peace and not get upset by what GS does or doesn't do.

 

As for geocaching being a hobby/sport, it still is. GS just elected to provide products that enhance their revenue stream. Other than that, not much has changed since 2002.

 

I understand that they are a business and were a listing service but recently they decided to enter the geocaching business by placing their own caches that break so many of the rules of their listing service. Worst thing for geocaching is non-geocachers placing caches, even worse, non-geocachers creating new cache types.

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being around since 2007 I'm still loving it. Sure, the last two weekends we only picked up a few urban hides because the weather is not really suitable for going out into the desert alone, but I still enjoy it. Looking at the overall caches available in Qatar I still have more small or larger to find than micros, other or not chosen (238 vs 157). Yea, it's still a massive amount of micros (133) but it's much better than in other areas. And most of these micros are worth finding as they are in nice areas that are frequented by muggles and a larger box would probably not survive long.

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I've only been playing for 5 years, but the main difference I see is "numbers inflation". As the Leprechaun said, that park which previously would have had 1 or 2 now has 5 or 6... or if it is a large park 10 or 20...

 

While few would call themselves "number cachers", the data tells me that in general cachers are drawn to numbers. They might not be obsessed with their count, but they like finding large numbers of caches.

 

In my area, there are many series of caches. Generally circular walks with an average of 5 caches per mile. So A 2 mile loop with 10 caches, a 4 mile loop with 20, 6 mile with 30, etc. In general these are not "crappy" caches - the walk is nice and the caches are quality containers. Some of them have a good variety of containers and hides; others have more repetitive containers and hides. These type of caches will get around 100 finds a year.

 

There are also the occasional "lone" traditional cache which requires more than a mile walk with no other caches near it. These caches get around 5 finds a year.

 

And there are some great multi and multi-stage puzzles in my area. Some of these take half a day or more to do one cache. These are very original, with great physical stages and field puzzles and in great locations. When you do one of these you will remember it. There is one owner who is getting increasingly known for these excellent caches, so via word of mouth more people are doing them. But still they are lucky to get 20 finds a year.

 

There are also "cache and dash" caches - a single cache which you can park by and make a quick find. These will get 100 or so finds a year.

 

We don't have a lot of "cache and dash" (park and grab) series, but there is one of 120 or so caches. In 8 months it has around 150 finds.

 

My own cache which I think is my best is a multi-stage puzzle cache. It involves about a 2 hour walk. It is circular but where I put the final was about 2/3 of the way around. And the last third back to the parking is along a (quiet) road. The first 2/3 is a lovely walk; the last third is a bit boring. So I added 6 traditional caches along this last third to break it up. In 18 months; my multi-stage puzzle has 8 finds. The 6 traditionals have 50 finds.

 

I don't see Groundspeak encouraging this. It is us geocachers, as a group we do like increased numbers. The average cacher expects to find 20+ caches if they spend a day caching; not just 1 or 2.

 

Now myself, I'm a bit of an "omnivore" for caches depending on my mood. Some days I'll seek out just one special cache which takes several hours. Other days I'll do a series and find 30 caches in the same amount of time. I have fun doing either.

 

I don't have fun finding caches in parking lots so I don't seek them out; but if I happen to be shopping and one is there; I'll generally find it. Though I feel a bit guilty when I do so; like I'm eating junk food.

 

Anyway, I agree with those who have said there are plenty of good caches to choose from, you just need to spend some time finding the type you like.

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There are some rose-tinted specs being worn re the old days. One of the oldest caches near me (and a very rare month hidden) is a bucket by a tree, that requires crossing of ditches and barbed wire whichever way you go to it - and hasn't been maintained in years. Really, really mediocre. And there are dozens of better places nearby. I pick one cache out of thousands I know - but there's certainly no constant link between cache age and quality in my region.

 

Yes, cachers want to get several caches in a walk - especially those with under 1000 caches - see my "priorities changed" thread - &/or those with kids? Is that necessarily a bad thing?

 

I have so far only been caching in dense areas - European cities (& Vegas), SE England. Next month though we're off to NW Spain where it's intriguing to see some rural caches with only a find or two in 2 years - maybe 500m from a carpark. Very tempting to seek at least one out. I think that sort of coverage might resemble how things used to be.

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