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Geocaching has changed


2skidivers
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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.

 

The decision to allow powertrails of course encouraged the development. I remember a time where for example a reviewer in Switzerland did not allow a series of traditionals hidden by one hider if the traditionals are closer than 1km to each other and were submitted at the same time. He required that the cache be turned into a multi cache. In other areas, the limit was not 1km, but no reviewer would have published what is almost the norm meanwhile.

 

Back when I started it was not the aim of any cacher I know of to find many caches per day. If one had 5 hours available for a hike, the most preferred cache type was a single multi cache or mountain traditional for which one spent all 5 hours. Those cachers more and more die out and leave geocaching.

 

For me it is not so much about changed cache quality or the fact that more filtering is required nowadays, but rather that my preferred types of caches get less and less hidden. Software tools, attributes and the fact that there are still many caches of good quality do not help me if these caches do not appeal me. My goal is not to find 20 creatively hidden containers per day - I rather go for a 5 hours hike in a scenic landscape and find a leaking container in the end.

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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.

 

Really? Judging someone by their number of finds in a certain number of years? We're another 10-year caching couple and we just hit 1,488. Is it time for us to "find a new hobby"? We concentrate on what *WE* like doing and don't really care if someone thinks we're doing it "wrong" or "not enough".

 

Mrs. Car54

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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.

 

Really? Judging someone by their number of finds in a certain number of years? We're another 10-year caching couple and we just hit 1,488. Is it time for us to "find a new hobby"? We concentrate on what *WE* like doing and don't really care if someone thinks we're doing it "wrong" or "not enough".

 

Mrs. Car54

+1

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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?

 

So, after traveling to 8 parking lots they decide that they don't like it. Somehow that is elitism?

:rolleyes: You know, some activities just are not intended for competition. Someone can always make competition out of them, and get others to play along, but that doesn't mean that it really should be done.

 

After not golfing for 10 years, Jack decided to get back into the game. He heads to his old golf club and sees that the parking lot is PACKED. Wow! This place is really hopping now! Excitedly he heads in and signs right back up without really checking anything out. Then he notices something. The golf carts look a little different. Some have fancy chrome wheels. He goes out on the course and sees that the grass is unkempt and uneven. There are brown patches everywhere. And nobody seems to be playing any golf. There is a steady line of carts racing through the course, stopping for a instant at each hole, and then peeling out to the next one. Several people point and giggle at his golf cart. Then there are the ramps. A few go airborne for several inches and return to earth. What the.. As he tees off, several go by loudly. It appears that they have also modified their drivetrains with gasoline engines. A big LED screen gives each player's lap score. He goes back in to complain. How do you expect me to play golf with this circus going on? The manager tells him he can still certainly play, and gives him a set of earplugs. He tries again, but someone rips through the green. He goes back in. The manager sits, smirking at his complaints. Yes, they are not supposed to drive on the green, and he has the right to remove their lap time, but why worry so much about it and ruin their day? You know, you only need to carry one club with you he says, but we never check. Just have fun. Where's the owner? he growls. The owner comes out and explains that this activity has become popular in the last ten years. Yes, the majority of new people that come here drop out quickly, but there are plenty of others that like it. It was going on when you were here 10 years ago. Jack thinks back and recalls a few teens that worked here, that used to race through the parking lot. This is bullhonkery! he exclaims. I've raced dune buggys, drag raced cars, and also ran on the circle gravel tracks. Took my ATV for hundreds of miles in the woods, and raced go carts on the boardwalk. But this is stupid! He storms out.

 

What's with him? Says the manager. Elitism, is the owners reply. Or maybe his low score makes him feel inferior. Or perhaps he just jealous of the other's fast carts. Its not for everyone.

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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?

 

So, after traveling to 8 parking lots they decide that they don't like it. Somehow that is elitism?

:rolleyes: You know, some activities just are not intended for competition. Someone can always make competition out of them, and get others to play along, but that doesn't mean that it really should be done.

 

After not golfing for 10 years, Jack decided to get back into the game. He heads to his old golf club and sees that the parking lot is PACKED. Wow! This place is really hopping now! Excitedly he heads in and signs right back up without really checking anything out. Then he notices something. The golf carts look a little different. Some have fancy chrome wheels. He goes out on the course and sees that the grass is unkempt and uneven. There are brown patches everywhere. And nobody seems to be playing any golf. There is a steady line of carts racing through the course, stopping for a instant at each hole, and then peeling out to the next one. Several people point and giggle at his golf cart. Then there are the ramps. A few go airborne for several inches and return to earth. What the.. As he tees off, several go by loudly. It appears that they have also modified their drivetrains with gasoline engines. A big LED screen gives each player's lap score. He goes back in to complain. How do you expect me to play golf with this circus going on? The manager tells him he can still certainly play, and gives him a set of earplugs. He tries again, but someone rips through the green. He goes back in. The manager sits, smirking at his complaints. Yes, they are not supposed to drive on the green, and he has the right to remove their lap time, but why worry so much about it and ruin their day? You know, you only need to carry one club with you he says, but we never check. Just have fun. Where's the owner? he growls. The owner comes out and explains that this activity has become popular in the last ten years. Yes, the majority of new people that come here drop out quickly, but there are plenty of others that like it. It was going on when you were here 10 years ago. Jack thinks back and recalls a few teens that worked here, that used to race through the parking lot. This is bullhonkery! he exclaims. I've raced dune buggys, drag raced cars, and also ran on the circle gravel tracks. Took my ATV for hundreds of miles in the woods, and raced go carts on the boardwalk. But this is stupid! He storms out.

 

What's with him? Says the manager. Elitism, is the owners reply. Or maybe his low score makes him feel inferior. Or perhaps he just jealous of the other's fast carts. Its not for everyone.

 

But if he drove a little farther down the road, there is another golf course that is just like the ones he remembers and enjoys.

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So, after traveling to 8 parking lots they decide that they don't like it. Somehow that is elitism?

:rolleyes:

The charge of elitism was about my unconfirmed conjecture -- one of a couple -- that you were dreaming about there being no parking lot caches, hoping that that would mean that those people that would go to 8 parking lot caches and be bored would never try geocaching to begin with, a desirable outcome because they're not good enough to play the real game. I hope that's not really what you were thinking, but I still can't rule it out.

 

After not golfing for 10 years, Jack decided to get back into the game....

OK, so that's how you see it. I see Jack being upset that in the time he was out of golf, they invented carts and tees and greens and fairways and clubs made out of metal and balls that are more than sand filled sacks. He complains that people can play 18 holes in one day without hitting the ball more than 72 times. "It's all about the numbers for these people!" And he also insists that miniature golf courses are ruining the game.

 

One thing that doesn't fit, though, is that in golf, if Jack went out with his old equipment and had to hit the ball 20 times to play a 150 yard hole, the golfers behind him would complain. In geocaching, the other players would go with him to find the caches he likes if he wanted them to.

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[snip]

 

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.

After more consideration, I agree with Roman! that this is a change. With the advent of the smartphone apps, Groundspeak has become more than a listing service. The apps are now an important part of their business models.

 

Just prior to the first App, I was expecting thar Groundspeak was working on an API and that they would allow third parties to create apps. I was a bit surprised when the iPhone app was announced and that it took several more years before they had a API that third party developers could use. Clearly they had made a marketing decision to become the official smartphone app and to market geocaching as a smartphone app.

 

They have certainly added some features with the app in mind, such as souvenirs. But they have done so in a way that can have little or no effect on those who don't want to participate. I simply ignore my souvenir page. Lab caches are not particularly a smartphone innovation. I think this began as a sandbox for Groundspeak developers to play with new ideas, perhaps with the idea of a future rewrite of the website. Marketing decided to use this capability to create some buzz and has made use of the feature in a number of ways. Again, it's easy enough to ignore lab caches or not to log them if you don't want them in your stats.

 

I still think this is not a fundamental change. I believe the founders of Groundspeak have always intended to run this as a successful business and have looked for ways to generate revenue - most importantly by growing the number of participants in geocaching. And yet they try to do this in a way that allows those who don't care about numbers, or souvenirs, or tweets, the ability to play their way. While a few old timers may feel the changes have "forced" them to quit, most have found ways to continue to enjoy caching.

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They have certainly added some features with the app in mind, such as souvenirs. But they have done so in a way that can have little or no effect on those who don't want to participate. I simply ignore my souvenir page. Lab caches are not particularly a smartphone innovation. I think this began as a sandbox for Groundspeak developers to play with new ideas, perhaps with the idea of a future rewrite of the website. Marketing decided to use this capability to create some buzz and has made use of the feature in a number of ways. Again, it's easy enough to ignore lab caches or not to log them if you don't want them in your stats.

 

 

Actually I have always viewed lab caches as something for GS to use for their block parties. The lost and found celebration they had some temporary caches around Fremont, then at the first block party they again had some temps around Fremont. These where just like all other event temp caches, they didn't count and had no real rules. Then in 2012 they had the challenges. So last year with no challenges and folks not liking doing temps for no smiley we got lab caches. A sort of counting temporary that can be associated with events and don't have to follow the rules. They are not real caches and are intended to be very short lived. I never viewed them as a sandbox for the developers to play with, but more something for the marketing team to use to attract folks to the block party.

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I never viewed them as a sandbox for the developers to play with, but more something for the marketing team to use to attract folks to the block party.

Of course my sandbox idea is speculative. It is based on the original announcement of Lab Caches which mentioned the idea of Geocaching Labs as a place where developers would come up with new idea for Geocaching.com. Later on when discussing Lab Caches being included in statistics, Moun10bike remarked that this was something the developers were looking as part of long term plans to update the website.

 

Of course only when Lab Caches have been made available to geocachers to log do we see the results. So far, Lab Caches have been used as temporary caches for some mega events - initially the GC HQ block party - and the I <3 Geocaching promotion in February. These are likely marketing ideas.

 

To some it may apppear that marketing is using the development team to come up with gimmicks to attract geocachers. I tend to think that the developers are taking the lead looking for ways to improve the website - possibly longer term - and that when they show what they have to marketing, the marketing team is comming up with ways to use these capabilities in the short term. People use to a traditional environment may think I have it a backwards. Marketing defines what the next product is and the developers do what they are told. But modern internet companies often give the developers more control over what they work on, and marketing has to come up with products to use what gets developed.

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I never viewed them as a sandbox for the developers to play with, but more something for the marketing team to use to attract folks to the block party.

Of course my sandbox idea is speculative. It is based on the original announcement of Lab Caches which mentioned the idea of Geocaching Labs as a place where developers would come up with new idea for Geocaching.com. Later on when discussing Lab Caches being included in statistics, Moun10bike remarked that this was something the developers were looking as part of long term plans to update the website.

 

Of course only when Lab Caches have been made available to geocachers to log do we see the results. So far, Lab Caches have been used as temporary caches for some mega events - initially the GC HQ block party - and the I <3 Geocaching promotion in February. These are likely marketing ideas.

 

To some it may apppear that marketing is using the development team to come up with gimmicks to attract geocachers. I tend to think that the developers are taking the lead looking for ways to improve the website - possibly longer term - and that when they show what they have to marketing, the marketing team is comming up with ways to use these capabilities in the short term. People use to a traditional environment may think I have it a backwards. Marketing defines what the next product is and the developers do what they are told. But modern internet companies often give the developers more control over what they work on, and marketing has to come up with products to use what gets developed.

 

When I was working (software, unix os) the development was shaped by what marketing thought they needed to be competitive. We did do some product improvement, but largely the feature set was driven more by marketing. To make the lab caches more acceptable, probably because they saw the acceptance waning, they incorporated the finds into the site statistics. Of course 3rd party solutions are still sucking swap water. GS has to be a marketing driven company and they need to attract a constant stream of new players, especially given that the median player only has 8 finds before they disappear. So you have to do something during those 8 finds to get what money you can.

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GS has to be a marketing driven company and they need to attract a constant stream of new players, especially given that the median player only has 8 finds before they disappear. So you have to do something during those 8 finds to get what money you can.

And Lab Caches get this money how?

 

Lab caches may get people to attend a mega-event to get a coveted icon or to allow them to bump up their smiley without having to log "attended" multiple times. Perhaps that gets someone to stick around more than 8 finds, perhaps not.

 

It could be that Groundspeak marketing has a better insight on how to attract new cachers than you or I (or those who complain that geocaching has changed). But my guess is that they are just throwing ideas against the wall to see what sticks. If something doesn't stick they can always say that next time they'll make better mistakes.

 

I know that some people will assume that marketing drives development. As I said, this is the traditional model. From what I have seen, Groundspeak is not a traditional company.

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Aside from Earthcaches, how else can I attract players to National Parks or sites where no physical cache may be left, such as conservation areas?

 

I need Groundspeak to get off their duffs and re-enable Virtuals, perhaps with some restrictions or cook up something I can place there, which tells a story of the place, leads a visitor to some location they may not be aware of, tells something of the flora and fauna or something special which happened there, and they can then get a smiley.

 

It may sound like the beating of a dead horse, but the reality is there are many parks which would be only too happy to work with geocachers to set up something without a physical cache presence. When is Groundspeak going to give us a means to do this?

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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".

 

Really? Judging someone by their number of finds in a certain number of years? We're another 10-year caching couple and we just hit 1,488. Is it time for us to "find a new hobby"? We concentrate on what *WE* like doing and don't really care if someone thinks we're doing it "wrong" or "not enough".

 

Mrs. Car54

 

+1

 

 

My improper usage of words has confused you.

 

A person comes to this forum to complain about the hobby ....and all I can think of is:

 

You haven't explored enough

You haven't experienced enough

You haven't traveled enough

You haven't hiked enough

You haven't kayaked enough

You haven't climbed enough trees

You haven't found enough creative caches

You haven't solved enough puzzles

You haven't found enough multis

You haven't found enough earth caches

You haven't found enough ........ whatever......

 

And if a person doesn't find enjoyment in those above things (and more) ...then the hobby isn't right for them.

Edited by Lieblweb
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GS has to be a marketing driven company and they need to attract a constant stream of new players, especially given that the median player only has 8 finds before they disappear. So you have to do something during those 8 finds to get what money you can.

And Lab Caches get this money how?

 

Lab caches may get people to attend a mega-event to get a coveted icon or to allow them to bump up their smiley without having to log "attended" multiple times. Perhaps that gets someone to stick around more than 8 finds, perhaps not.

 

It could be that Groundspeak marketing has a better insight on how to attract new cachers than you or I (or those who complain that geocaching has changed). But my guess is that they are just throwing ideas against the wall to see what sticks. If something doesn't stick they can always say that next time they'll make better mistakes.

 

I know that some people will assume that marketing drives development. As I said, this is the traditional model. From what I have seen, Groundspeak is not a traditional company.

 

They attend the event, visit the GS vendor booth and spend money. Worked, didn't?

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I was not going to post this, then i was, then not, then with my player account, then with this one. So conflicted.

 

At this point i tossing a yellow card to this conversation. (See what I did there during the world cup thingy?)

 

Too many are using this forum to bash Groundspeak and the employees. If you wish to do so, please continue and get a red card and a time out. In my personal opinion many moderators, reviewers, and Groundspeak employees stopped participating because they are torn apart.

 

I have spent time with a number of the lackeys, reviewers, and moderators. We have had dinner and discussions, some stopped by while driving through to spend a few moments. These people care deeply about caching. Many of them love it, after all week of dealing with it in the office, they still love to go out and go caching. They travel and hunt for caches around the world. I see pictures of them out bike riding and stopping for a cache, on a trip, or just stopping by an event.

 

I was surprised in dinners with Jeremy, Bryan, and other lackeys how much they care about this game, not in the financial way that my boss deals with our company and its product, but an interest in the people and what is going on. They have admitted mistakes, and that some directions were taken that stumbled.

 

Some will choose just to argue with me. That could be why some lackeys and volunteers stop coming in. People will never be happy with any change, but upset if there is a change in any way. (my personal opinion there, not what I have been told).

 

Back to the start of the conversation. Stop attacking people and employees. If you continue the red card comes out, and you can be sitting on the sidelines looking in. Discuss how things have changed but shift to attacks and belittling them and find another pitch to play on.

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...I was surprised in dinners with Jeremy, Bryan, and other lackeys how much they care about this game, not in the financial way that my boss deals with our company and its product, but an interest in the people and what is going on. They have admitted mistakes, and that some directions were taken that stumbled...

 

I totally agree with you, I made the same experience with Jeremy, Bryan, Annie and Raine just to name a few.

 

* small typo

Edited by lumbricus
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I was surprised in dinners with Jeremy, Bryan, and other lackeys how much they care about this game, not in the financial way that my boss deals with our company and its product, but an interest in the people and what is going on. They have admitted mistakes, and that some directions were taken that stumbled.

I've never met any of the insiders, but I have no reason to question what you're saying. But what strikes me is that even if they were entirely motivated by getting filthy rich, I look around and see a hobby that more and more people are enjoying more and more. How can that be bad? Why shouldn't someone make money doing that? I've started coming to the conclusion that the real objection is that geocaching is now popular, and some people liked it better when it was an exclusive club.

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A person comes to this forum to complain about the hobby ....and all I can think of is:

 

You haven't explored enough

You haven't experienced enough

You haven't traveled enough

You haven't hiked enough

You haven't kayaked enough

You haven't climbed enough trees

You haven't found enough creative caches

You haven't solved enough puzzles

You haven't found enough multis

You haven't found enough earth caches

You haven't found enough ........ whatever......

 

And if a person doesn't find enjoyment in those above things (and more) ...then the hobby isn't right for them.

 

So you really think that quantity is what is essential?

 

Geocaching as it has been back in the early years was definitely the right activity for me, but the way it is changing makes me doubt whether this is still the case.

 

Of course, there are still caches out there that I do enjoy though the majority is not in my home area and that's part of the problem I experience. There are cachers for whom geocaching is their major concern and they are able and willing to travel very large distances. For me geocaching is secondary and my primary concern is getting out, being physically active

and spending as much of my time with physical activity (implying that long travels are not what I'm eager for except if I'm on travel anyway like in my vacation). It has worked very well for years to use geocaching for my purposes, but in the last years that has become more and more difficult.

 

There are certainly cachers who are interested into many facets of geocaching and who are eager and able (note that not everyone is able to climb trees, to kajak, to master via ferratas etc) to experience as many different facets as possible.

My personal focus is much narrower and it is simply a fact that the (absolute) number of new caches in my area that I enjoy goes down considerably. When I started almost every cache was about the walk/hike and/or the location and one easily could use geocaching as a guide book/hiking guide something which does not work nowadays at all.

 

A 2 minutes walk from the car to spend 30 minutes to retrieve/open a container using all sorts of equipment and creativity is not what I enjoy. Likewise a cache trail with 50 caches along a route where in previous years there have been only 1-2 caches is not what I enjoy. Sure I can visit only 1-2 caches along the trail per trip, but this does not change the fact that almost all others visit all caches in one go and write the same insignificant log for all caches (even caches that have been there muich earlier than the cache trails). I cannot any longer extract any useful information from the logs and mass cache descriptions (not with respect to finding the cache, but whether D/T-ratings are ok, whether the cache is ok, suitable for me etc). I realized that for lonely caches the experience in 2014 is close to what it has been 10 years ago, but I have the chance to find such caches only at very few occasions. During most of the year I have to live with the effects of mass caching and my unhappyness will not go away if I visit more caches, rather the contrary.

 

 

Cezanne

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I look around and see a hobby that more and more people are enjoying more and more. How can that be bad?

 

It's bad for those who enjoy it less due to the changes. More and more people does not mean that the people who enjoyed geocaching 10 years ago is a subset of those that it enjoy it now. To get new people in the boat, others had been kicked out.

 

In my area hundreds of new cachers showed up who hate hiking while the majority of the oldtimers left.

So, yes now they are much more cachers, but less who share my preferences. That's bad for me. It's good for those who

enjoy geocaching as it is now and would not have enjoyed it as much back then.

 

Geocaching back then and geocaching now appeal to a different group of people at least to some extent. SOmetimes I think that they are entirely different activities at least in my area. I'm sure that when I started geocaching today, I would stop after at most 10 caches while many modern cachers with a few thousands finds in 3 years would have stopped back then after at most 10 caches.

Edited by cezanne
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So you really think that quantity is what is essential?

 

Geocaching as it has been back in the early years was definitely the right activity for me, but the way it is changing makes me doubt whether this is still the case.

 

Of course, there are still caches out there that I do enjoy though the majority is not in my home area and that's part of the problem I experience. There are cachers for whom geocaching is their major concern and they are able and willing to travel very large distances. For me geocaching is secondary and my primary concern is getting out, being physically active

and spending as much of my time with physical activity (implying that long travels are not what I'm eager for except if I'm on travel anyway like in my vacation). It has worked very well for years to use geocaching for my purposes, but in the last years that has become more and more difficult.

 

There are certainly cachers who are interested into many facets of geocaching and who are eager and able (note that not everyone is able to climb trees, to kajak, to master via ferratas etc) to experience as many different facets as possible.

My personal focus is much narrower and it is simply a fact that the (absolute) number of new caches in my area that I enjoy goes down considerably. When I started almost every cache was about the walk/hike and/or the location and one easily could use geocaching as a guide book/hiking guide something which does not work nowadays at all.

 

A 2 minutes walk from the car to spend 30 minutes to retrieve/open a container using all sorts of equipment and creativity is not what I enjoy. Likewise a cache trail with 50 caches along a route where in previous years there have been only 1-2 caches is not what I enjoy. Sure I can visit only 1-2 caches along the trail per trip, but this does not change the fact that almost all others visit all caches in one go and write the same insignificant log for all caches (even caches that have been there muich earlier than the cache trails). I cannot any longer extract any useful information from the logs and mass cache descriptions (not with respect to finding the cache, but whether D/T-ratings are ok, whether the cache is ok, suitable for me etc). I realized that for lonely caches the experience in 2014 is close to what it has been 10 years ago, but I have the chance to find such caches only at very few occasions. During most of the year I have to live with the effects of mass caching and my unhappyness will not go away if I visit more caches, rather the contrary.

 

 

Cezanne

 

Counts ARE NOT the point I was trying to make. It's the ACTIVITIES, it's the exposure, the experiences, the views, the scenery, its GETTING YOUR BUTT off the couch and getting outside

 

This hobby is different things to different people. You get out of this hobby what YOU want to get out of it.

 

Everything changes and evolves. Hobbies evolve both positively and negatively - but ultimately, they're catering to change based on the popularity of the hobby. You can't control those changes. If you control one thing, you'll have chaos somewhere else.

 

People evolve too.....5 years ago, you may have been climbing trees but that won't be something you'll enjoy when you're older. So - is that the fault of the hobby? Or the fact that we all get older and you just don't enjoy things like you did when you were younger? Life changes.....your interests change....

 

So - instead of people complaining about the hobby, why not TRY to look at the hobby in a different aspect? Find parts about the hobby that you will enjoy. For example - work only on puzzles. Find benchmarks. Learn how to build a Where-i-go. Take a different aspect of the hobby and find something to enjoy within the hobby.

 

Or.....simply find another hobby.

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Counts ARE NOT the point I was trying to make.

 

My improper usage of words has confused you.

 

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

 

I think you misunderstand *MY* point. The quotes above, which admittedly were snipped, showcase a problem, in my opinion. While many folks will say, "Oh, your find count doesn't matter,", it is yet the first, almost knee-jerk response used to imply someone isn't quite up to snuff. I'm probably not wording that well, but if counts are not the point, why make it your first response?

 

Mrs. Car54

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I look around and see a hobby that more and more people are enjoying more and more. How can that be bad?

 

It's bad for those who enjoy it less due to the changes. More and more people does not mean that the people who enjoyed geocaching 10 years ago is a subset of those that it enjoy it now. To get new people in the boat, others had been kicked out.

 

In my area hundreds of new cachers showed up who hate hiking while the majority of the oldtimers left.

So, yes now they are much more cachers, but less who share my preferences. That's bad for me. It's good for those who

enjoy geocaching as it is now and would not have enjoyed it as much back then.

 

Geocaching back then and geocaching now appeal to a different group of people at least to some extent. SOmetimes I think that they are entirely different activities at least in my area. I'm sure that when I started geocaching today, I would stop after at most 10 caches while many modern cachers with a few thousands finds in 3 years would have stopped back then after at most 10 caches.

 

Well said!

 

From my viewpoint, Groundspeak has changed their philosophy in an effort to bring in more revenue. Quantity is the name of the game now and imo, this is not a good thing for geocaching as a whole. It may be working to bring in more fly by nighters now, but at the same time, probably has some of the older, more dedicated cachers thinking about throwing in the towel.

 

I'm not throwing in the towel just yet but i am one of those who does not enjoy our hobby as much these days. I know how to run pocket queries and don't mind doing some research. Even so, it's definitely getting harder to find caches i think i would enjoy going after these days. The quantity of caches placed simply to up smiley count is just too overwhelming! :blink:

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A person comes to this forum to complain about the hobby ....and all I can think of is:

 

You haven't explored enough

You haven't experienced enough

You haven't traveled enough

You haven't hiked enough

You haven't kayaked enough

You haven't climbed enough trees

You haven't found enough creative caches

You haven't solved enough puzzles

You haven't found enough multis

You haven't found enough earth caches

You haven't found enough ........ whatever......

 

And if a person doesn't find enjoyment in those above things (and more) ...then the hobby isn't right for them.

 

So you really think that quantity is what is essential?

 

Geocaching as it has been back in the early years was definitely the right activity for me, but the way it is changing makes me doubt whether this is still the case.

 

Of course, there are still caches out there that I do enjoy though the majority is not in my home area and that's part of the problem I experience. There are cachers for whom geocaching is their major concern and they are able and willing to travel very large distances. For me geocaching is secondary and my primary concern is getting out, being physically active

and spending as much of my time with physical activity (implying that long travels are not what I'm eager for except if I'm on travel anyway like in my vacation). It has worked very well for years to use geocaching for my purposes, but in the last years that has become more and more difficult.

 

There are certainly cachers who are interested into many facets of geocaching and who are eager and able (note that not everyone is able to climb trees, to kajak, to master via ferratas etc) to experience as many different facets as possible.

My personal focus is much narrower and it is simply a fact that the (absolute) number of new caches in my area that I enjoy goes down considerably. When I started almost every cache was about the walk/hike and/or the location and one easily could use geocaching as a guide book/hiking guide something which does not work nowadays at all.

 

A 2 minutes walk from the car to spend 30 minutes to retrieve/open a container using all sorts of equipment and creativity is not what I enjoy. Likewise a cache trail with 50 caches along a route where in previous years there have been only 1-2 caches is not what I enjoy. Sure I can visit only 1-2 caches along the trail per trip, but this does not change the fact that almost all others visit all caches in one go and write the same insignificant log for all caches (even caches that have been there muich earlier than the cache trails). I cannot any longer extract any useful information from the logs and mass cache descriptions (not with respect to finding the cache, but whether D/T-ratings are ok, whether the cache is ok, suitable for me etc). I realized that for lonely caches the experience in 2014 is close to what it has been 10 years ago, but I have the chance to find such caches only at very few occasions. During most of the year I have to live with the effects of mass caching and my unhappyness will not go away if I visit more caches, rather the contrary.

 

 

Cezanne

 

I truly mean this in the kindest possible way--move on to something else. Being so unhappy with a hobby isn't good for your health or mental well-being. I'm not saying this in a "don't let the door hit you on the way out" kind of way--I mean that. But if something makes you unhappy--life's too short, do something else instead.

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I'm not throwing in the towel just yet but i am one of those who does not enjoy our hobby as much these days. I know how to run pocket queries and don't mind doing some research. Even so, it's definitely getting harder to find caches i think i would enjoy going after these days. The quantity of caches placed simply to up smiley count is just too overwhelming! :blink:

 

^

This.

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A person comes to this forum to complain about the hobby ....and all I can think of is:

 

You haven't explored enough

You haven't experienced enough

You haven't traveled enough

You haven't hiked enough

You haven't kayaked enough

You haven't climbed enough trees

You haven't found enough creative caches

You haven't solved enough puzzles

You haven't found enough multis

You haven't found enough earth caches

You haven't found enough ........ whatever......

 

And if a person doesn't find enjoyment in those above things (and more) ...then the hobby isn't right for them.

 

So you really think that quantity is what is essential?

 

Geocaching as it has been back in the early years was definitely the right activity for me, but the way it is changing makes me doubt whether this is still the case.

 

Of course, there are still caches out there that I do enjoy though the majority is not in my home area and that's part of the problem I experience. There are cachers for whom geocaching is their major concern and they are able and willing to travel very large distances. For me geocaching is secondary and my primary concern is getting out, being physically active

and spending as much of my time with physical activity (implying that long travels are not what I'm eager for except if I'm on travel anyway like in my vacation). It has worked very well for years to use geocaching for my purposes, but in the last years that has become more and more difficult.

 

There are certainly cachers who are interested into many facets of geocaching and who are eager and able (note that not everyone is able to climb trees, to kajak, to master via ferratas etc) to experience as many different facets as possible.

My personal focus is much narrower and it is simply a fact that the (absolute) number of new caches in my area that I enjoy goes down considerably. When I started almost every cache was about the walk/hike and/or the location and one easily could use geocaching as a guide book/hiking guide something which does not work nowadays at all.

 

A 2 minutes walk from the car to spend 30 minutes to retrieve/open a container using all sorts of equipment and creativity is not what I enjoy. Likewise a cache trail with 50 caches along a route where in previous years there have been only 1-2 caches is not what I enjoy. Sure I can visit only 1-2 caches along the trail per trip, but this does not change the fact that almost all others visit all caches in one go and write the same insignificant log for all caches (even caches that have been there muich earlier than the cache trails). I cannot any longer extract any useful information from the logs and mass cache descriptions (not with respect to finding the cache, but whether D/T-ratings are ok, whether the cache is ok, suitable for me etc). I realized that for lonely caches the experience in 2014 is close to what it has been 10 years ago, but I have the chance to find such caches only at very few occasions. During most of the year I have to live with the effects of mass caching and my unhappyness will not go away if I visit more caches, rather the contrary.

 

 

Cezanne

 

I truly mean this in the kindest possible way--move on to something else. Being so unhappy with a hobby isn't good for your health or mental well-being. I'm not saying this in a "don't let the door hit you on the way out" kind of way--I mean that. But if something makes you unhappy--life's too short, do something else instead.

 

I'm not unhappy, but more "less satisfied that I used to be" with the game. People are expressing valid criticisms about the way the game has changed and your response is essentially, "if you don't like it....too bad...quit the game".

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I truly mean this in the kindest possible way--move on to something else. Being so unhappy with a hobby isn't good for your health or mental well-being. I'm not saying this in a "don't let the door hit you on the way out" kind of way--I mean that. But if something makes you unhappy--life's too short, do something else instead.

 

It's more complex. I have not yet found a replacement for geocaching that makes me at the same time equally happy than the old geocaching and keeps me physically active (also very important for my health - I'm sitting too much anyway). It's a trade-off and if I replace an outdoor hobby with an indoor one I enjoy, I have not won something health-wise.

 

There exist sites which provide gpx-tracks for hikes and some rudimentary form of user feedback, but that's far from the features offered by geocaching when used to share hikes and experiences and to communicate with others who hiked along the same routes. In theory geocaching still would be an ideal platform for what search for, the issue is just that more and more cachers with similar preferences give up and quit and that more and more cachers enter geocaching for whom geocaching means something completely different.

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From my viewpoint, Groundspeak has changed their philosophy in an effort to bring in more revenue. Quantity is the name of the game now and imo, this is not a good thing for geocaching as a whole.

Can you be more specific about how Groundspeak is doing anything to encourage quantity? I'm trying to isolate the actual cause and effect you're seeing. Sure, they like quantity since it demonstrates that lots of people like what they're doing, but what part of their philosophy changed that caused quantity? Caches are created by users, not by Groundspeak. If you think there are too many or that they're not good enough for you, talk to the users. All Groundspeak has done is make it easy to geocache, even in the face of large numbers of caches and cachers, and that led to a large number of people doing it.

 

That's why I've started to call these objections "elitist": the more I hear people complain about quantity, the more it sounds like the problem is that the hoi plloi are geocaching. How dare they enjoy my hobby!

 

A common reaction to complaints about geocaching changing is to suggest that if you don't like geocaching.com, then go somewhere else. I recognize that this suggestion is silly, since there is nothing like geocaching.com, but it's important to recognize the underlying point: if the desire for lists limited to high quality caches "like geocaching.com used to have" was as large as people are saying, such a site would have materialized to support it. Heck, if idea was really that popular, Groundspeak itself would be on it in a second, even though naturally it would continue to be a lower priority than the vast numbers of cachers that don't think there's a problem.

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From my viewpoint, Groundspeak has changed their philosophy in an effort to bring in more revenue. Quantity is the name of the game now and imo, this is not a good thing for geocaching as a whole.

Can you be more specific about how Groundspeak is doing anything to encourage quantity? I'm trying to isolate the actual cause and effect you're seeing. Sure, they like quantity since it demonstrates that lots of people like what they're doing, but what part of their philosophy changed that caused quantity?

 

Perhaps "encourage" isn't the right word, but when they changed the guidelines in 2009 and removed "Please don't hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can" they tacitly approved the creation of geocaches for the purpose of producing high find counts.

 

So now it's "we can all play the game in our own way, but if you're not interested in achieving a high find count, you're elitist"?

 

 

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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

 

I remember back in around 2004-5 I'd quite often go into town of a weekend and use the location of geocaches to find interesting parts of town I might otherwise have missed. And there were several - I found all sorts of little parks, pieces of history, other things off the beaten track - that I'd never have found were it not for geocaching. For most of the last year I haven't bothered with caching in town any more because so many hides are little more than a keysafe or a film pot behind a signpost or on a guard rail and it's far from clear why I might want to go to that particular spot. If there's an unusual view of a particular landmark that might be worth a visit but if all the location has to offer is "hey look, you can see this skyscraper from here" (when you can see the skyscraper from just about anywhere in town) it's just not very interesting to find it.

 

I remember one year I took a hiking holiday with my wife and we planned hikes around geocaches, knowing that when there are only a few in a huge open space they are likely to be good. And they were interesting too. Last time I looked at the same area it was splattered with hundreds of caches, so it's hard to conclude much other than that rural areas are also being overrun with caches placed for no reason other than "because I can".

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So now it's "we can all play the game in our own way, but if you're not interested in achieving a high find count, you're elitist"?

No. If you complain that some people play the game with the purpose of achieving a high find count, you're elitist.

 

I certainly think people can be more sympathetic to those who are not interesting in achieving high find counts when they say that all the caches make it harder to pick out those that they would find enjoyable. Perhaps if instead of complaining that geocaching has changed or that too many people are interested in getting high find counts, they asked for more tools to make it easier to select the caches they like?

 

I'd like to see Groundspeak provide a power-trail attribute a cache owner could put on their caches. Those looking for high find opportunities could search for this. Those wanting to avoid these caches can filter out those with this attribute.

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I'd like to see Groundspeak provide a power-trail attribute a cache owner could put on their caches. Those looking for high find opportunities could search for this. Those wanting to avoid these caches can filter out those with this attribute.

 

This one thing would make me a much happier customer.

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I certainly think people can be more sympathetic to those who are not interesting in achieving high find counts when they say that all the caches make it harder to pick out those that they would find enjoyable. Perhaps if instead of complaining that geocaching has changed or that too many people are interested in getting high find counts, they asked for more tools to make it easier to select the caches they like?

 

I'd like to see Groundspeak provide a power-trail attribute a cache owner could put on their caches. Those looking for high find opportunities could search for this. Those wanting to avoid these caches can filter out those with this attribute.

 

It is not as simple and my key issue in the area where I live is not a selection problem (that's of course different in areas where I haven't found many caches). My favourite type of cache, namely hiking caches with multiple stages became almost non-existent among newly hidden caches in my area while there have been times when more than 25% of the caches outside of urban areas have been multi caches. I do not need a powertrail attribute to realize that Cache AB #1 until Cache AB #20 with its cut and paste descriptions and cut and paste logs is not what I enjoy. I can easily make the selection, but I'm left with the dilemma of either not visiting any caches at all or visiting caches that I do not enjoy nearly as much than I would enjoy the old school multi caches with decent descriptions and decent logs.

 

The fact that wherever such trails show up, this also deteriorates the log quality of pre-existing caches close or on the trail, shows that it is simply not true that trends that have been created by the desire of so many to increase their find count quickly do not influence the geocaching experience for other cachers.

 

I think that lots of geocachers got attracted into all sorts of number related stuff due to the many sites offering leaderboards, badges etc

Back in 2002 such sites did not exist or played almost no role. It took several years until I encountered for the first time arguments like "Oh, you've found only xx caches. You camnnot be a serious cacher".

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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I think that lots of geocachers got attracted into all sorts of number related stuff due to the many sites offering leaderboards, badges etc

Back in 2002 such sites did not exist or played almost no role. It took several years until I encountered for the first time arguments like "Oh, you've found only xx caches. You camnnot be a serious cacher".

 

 

Cezanne

Same token, in '05, we were on a lengthy bike trail and met up with a caching couple who started '00 and '01.

In their online log, we were called, "prolific cachers".

- We only had 383 finds that year (and the most finds in a year since)...

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So now it's "we can all play the game in our own way, but if you're not interested in achieving a high find count, you're elitist"?

No. If you complain that some people play the game with the purpose of achieving a high find count, you're elitist.

 

I'm not complaining that some people play the game with the purpose of achieving a high find count. I'm complaining that the growing trend to play the game with the purpose of achieving a high count is making it more and more difficult to play the game any other way, and when such a complaint is made, the response is, "you're not achieving a high find count, you should quit the game".

 

 

I certainly think people can be more sympathetic to those who are not interesting in achieving high find counts when they say that all the caches make it harder to pick out those that they would find enjoyable. Perhaps if instead of complaining that geocaching has changed or that too many people are interested in getting high find counts, they asked for more tools to make it easier to select the caches they like?

 

I'd like to see Groundspeak provide a power-trail attribute a cache owner could put on their caches. Those looking for high find opportunities could search for this. Those wanting to avoid these caches can filter out those with this attribute.

 

Many people *have* asked for tools to make it easier to select the caches they like. Instead we get 7 souvenirs in August and a frivolous Geocaching Personality Quiz.

 

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I'm not complaining that some people play the game with the purpose of achieving a high find count. I'm complaining that the growing trend to play the game with the purpose of achieving a high count is making it more and more difficult to play the game any other way, and when such a complaint is made, the response is, "you're not achieving a high find count, you should quit the game".

 

 

I'm still confused. How does my find count interfere with how you play the game? Is it because you feel embarrassed that my find count is 10 times your find count? Quite frankly I really don't care what your find count is. It matters not the slightest to me. Alamogols and Bobcams score does not affect how I play the game. You like to do paddle caches, I don't own anything that floats. How does that interfere with you getting your paddle caches? I really would like to understand why you feel my find count interferes with your game, because I don't really understand how I play the game affects how you play the game. Yes there are some really rude people around, but since I don't have to sleep with them I really don't let what they say bother me.

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I'd like to see Groundspeak provide a power-trail attribute a cache owner could put on their caches. Those looking for high find opportunities could search for this. Those wanting to avoid these caches can filter out those with this attribute.

 

This one thing would make me a much happier customer.

I'd be happy to pay double for my geocaching account if they added that attribute.

 

+10

 

--Larry

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Can you be more specific about how Groundspeak is doing anything to encourage quantity?

 

They promoted power caching in a November blog article:

 

116 Geocaches an Hour and Aliens

"Blazing through rugged Nevada backcountry with our minivan and Jeep, we found the 2400 caches over four days. In our quickest hour of geocaching, we found 116 geocaches."

 

The group later admitted in the comments that they "We used the method where you swap out the container and while we drove from cache to cache, someone stamped our group stamp in the log...the freshly stamped cache would be swapped out at the next cache. We brought 50 film canisters to help with maintaining caches along the way."

 

They are not only encouraging quantity caching, but also bending the rules of gameplay regarding throwdowns and, turning a blind eye to the owner is responsible for visits to the physical location guidelines.

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Perhaps "encourage" isn't the right word, but when they changed the guidelines in 2009 and removed "Please don't hide a cache every 600 feet just because you can" they tacitly approved the creation of geocaches for the purpose of producing high find counts.

Do you seriously think that keeping that comment would have made much difference? Some people think the 528' limit is too restrictive because they can't find places to put their caches, so it seems a sure bet that any suggestion to voluntarily use a larger radius would have eroded as more people wanted to hide more caches. I don't see removing that comment as a change in philosophy; I think it was more a case of reading the writing on the wall.

 

I'm not complaining that some people play the game with the purpose of achieving a high find count. I'm complaining that the growing trend to play the game with the purpose of achieving a high count is making it more and more difficult to play the game any other way, and when such a complaint is made, the response is, "you're not achieving a high find count, you should quit the game".

What I hear people in this thread complaining about is simple park&grab caches in parking lots and anything else that can be found without a mile hike to an ammo can like every cache was in the good old days. Over and over, the examples are not about high find count, they're about easy to find.

 

I've never once had a power trail cause me trouble. I'm not sure I've ever done a PQ that had a power trail in it. So I suppose that's one reason I don't understand why power trails are ruining the game.

 

Many people *have* asked for tools to make it easier to select the caches they like. Instead we get 7 souvenirs in August and a frivolous Geocaching Personality Quiz.

Except for the power trail attribute, I can't really think of anything that couldn't be achieved with GSAK macros. And I wouldn't be surprised if such macros already exist. And even power trails wouldn't be that hard to deal with with GSAK, particularly if one were willing to tell GSAK about specific power trails that one wanted eliminated from the list.

 

The power trail attribute is an interesting case. I don't know why GS has decided not to add it, but I also can't imagine them thinking a power trail attribute would cut into their profits.

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I'm not complaining that some people play the game with the purpose of achieving a high find count. I'm complaining that the growing trend to play the game with the purpose of achieving a high count is making it more and more difficult to play the game any other way, and when such a complaint is made, the response is, "you're not achieving a high find count, you should quit the game".

 

 

I'm still confused. How does my find count interfere with how you play the game? Is it because you feel embarrassed that my find count is 10 times your find count? Quite frankly I really don't care what your find count is. It matters not the slightest to me.

 

Then why is there such an uproar when someone suggests that they do away with the visible find count or just show a ball park figure (under 500, 500-1000, over 1000)? Those who don't want their find count displayed can't play the game the way they want to....they must be included in the 'score' so people can have something to compete against.

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They promoted power caching in a November blog article:

 

116 Geocaches an Hour and Aliens

"Blazing through rugged Nevada backcountry with our minivan and Jeep, we found the 2400 caches over four days. In our quickest hour of geocaching, we found 116 geocaches."

An article about one kind of caching doesn't promote that style over any other type of caching they write articles about. Besides, they couldn't very well ignore the alien series no matter how they felt about it.

 

The group later admitted in the comments that they "We used the method where you swap out the container and while we drove from cache to cache, someone stamped our group stamp in the log...the freshly stamped cache would be swapped out at the next cache. We brought 50 film canisters to help with maintaining caches along the way."

 

They are not only encouraging quantity caching, but also bending the rules of gameplay regarding throwdowns and, turning a blind eye to the owner is responsible for visits to the physical location guidelines.

They are allowing people to play the game how they want when everyone involved with those caches is happy to agree to the approach. I don't see anything wrong with that, and I don't see how it affects you or me. I certainly don't understand how it ruins the game.

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I'm not complaining that some people play the game with the purpose of achieving a high find count. I'm complaining that the growing trend to play the game with the purpose of achieving a high count is making it more and more difficult to play the game any other way, and when such a complaint is made, the response is, "you're not achieving a high find count, you should quit the game".

 

 

I'm still confused. How does my find count interfere with how you play the game? Is it because you feel embarrassed that my find count is 10 times your find count? Quite frankly I really don't care what your find count is. It matters not the slightest to me. Alamogols and Bobcams score does not affect how I play the game. You like to do paddle caches, I don't own anything that floats. How does that interfere with you getting your paddle caches? I really would like to understand why you feel my find count interferes with your game, because I don't really understand how I play the game affects how you play the game. Yes there are some really rude people around, but since I don't have to sleep with them I really don't let what they say bother me.

 

It's not that your or anyone elses find count interferes with how I play the game. It's the way some people play the game in order to achieve a high find count that can impact how others play the game. The "you're just jealous of my high find count" argument is bull pucky.

 

I don't recall whether it was in this thread or another that I posted a screen shot of an area near Seoul, Korea which had many short "series" of caches and a large park that was completely saturated with a couple different "series of caches". Although the screen shot was from South Korea, it was not atypical. Look at the maps of many large and mid size cities in the U.S. and Europe, and it's not all that different. As a cache hider (I refuse to use the term maker), the practice of placing many caches as close to each other as possible effectively blocks me or anyone else from placing a cache in what might be an area with some interesting locations.

 

If there were some interesting caches in those areas that were placed for reasons other than to cater to those that want to achieve a high find count, they've becoming more and more difficult to discover because we don't have adequate tools to efficiently filter out what we don't want to find.

 

Whenever a thread comes up bemoaning the quality of online lines (the infamous TFTC/cut-n-paste logs), inevitably someone will post "when you find 200 caches a day, you don't have time to write unique logs". In other words, the pursuit of high find counts trumps a proper thank you to the hider that placed those caches for the "I don't have time to write long logs" geocacher, and in todays game, that's become acceptable.

 

It's become acceptable to leap frog caches, post found it logs for driving a vehicle while someone else finds the cache, swap containers or throw down a film pot if the cache can't be found in 45 seconds (can't spend too much time searching....we've got to find 800+ caches today).

 

If people weren't so caught up in achieving high find counts I contend we'd see fewer throwdowns. Those that are all about the numbers probably don't see a problem with throwdowns (after all...it helps increase their find count...rather than waste five minutes of their time for a DNF) but we've seen plenty of stories about throwdown caches when the actual cache was right were it was hidden and now the CO has to go out and remove the extra container.

 

If people want to achieve high find counts, that's fine. It's what people will do in pursuit of those high find counts, and how the game has changed to cater to those that pursue high find counts that *does* have an impact on the game. It may not impact those that are trying to achieve high find counts, but that doesn't mean that it's not negatively impacting the game for those that aren't.

 

 

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I'm not complaining that some people play the game with the purpose of achieving a high find count. I'm complaining that the growing trend to play the game with the purpose of achieving a high count is making it more and more difficult to play the game any other way, and when such a complaint is made, the response is, "you're not achieving a high find count, you should quit the game".

 

 

All I said was that someone should quit if they were seriously unhappy, not that they should quit if they don't have a high count. Who said that?

 

You posted about a long multi though a park--how many of those could possibly be within 10 miles of you? Once you find them all, what will you find? The idea of "interesting caches with hikes only" seems like a self-defeating proposition. Once all the spots are taken for those, you'll still be left with no place to go. But thanks to all different kinds of caches--there are lots of different kinds of finds out there.

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So now it's "we can all play the game in our own way, but if you're not interested in achieving a high find count, you're elitist"?

No. If you complain that some people play the game with the purpose of achieving a high find count, you're elitist.

 

Elitism is such an unusual word here. If I don't want to live in a drug den in the hood, does that make me an elitist?

 

Ironically, the "elitist", are frequently those people that go from parking lot to parking lot scavenging LPCs and doing thousand of identical power trail hides, only to use their find count as some elitist authoritative voice.

 

 

 

I certainly think people can be more sympathetic to those who are not interesting in achieving high find counts when they say that all the caches make it harder to pick out those that they would find enjoyable. Perhaps if instead of complaining that geocaching has changed or that too many people are interested in getting high find counts, they asked for more tools to make it easier to select the caches they like?

 

I'd like to see Groundspeak provide a power-trail attribute a cache owner could put on their caches. Those looking for high find opportunities could search for this. Those wanting to avoid these caches can filter out those with this attribute.

 

Agreed, but they have done a bit to highlight creative hides already. Perhaps they can do more..

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I'm not complaining that some people play the game with the purpose of achieving a high find count. I'm complaining that the growing trend to play the game with the purpose of achieving a high count is making it more and more difficult to play the game any other way, and when such a complaint is made, the response is, "you're not achieving a high find count, you should quit the game".

 

 

All I said was that someone should quit if they were seriously unhappy, not that they should quit if they don't have a high count. Who said that?

 

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.

 

 

 

You posted about a long multi though a park--how many of those could possibly be within 10 miles of you? Once you find them all, what will you find? The idea of "interesting caches with hikes only" seems like a self-defeating proposition. Once all the spots are taken for those, you'll still be left with no place to go. But thanks to all different kinds of caches--there are lots of different kinds of finds out there.

 

I've don't recall posting about a long multi through a park, and I've never claimed that there should only be "interested caches with hikes only". I don't think I've seen anyone claim that there should *only* be caches of a specific type. In a battle of caches placed for the purpose catering the numbers crowd and cache placed for those that are looking for interesting places or unique and innovative (and difficult) hides, the numbers caches win every time. When a park or trail is completely saturated with a series of caches there is no room to place any other cache. If someone hides 2-3 caches in a park at the most interesting spots in the park there's still room for other caches.

 

I found every cache within 10 miles of me in the first year I started geocaching (seven years ago). You know what I did? I traveled further to look for caches and soon after had found every cache within 15 miles. Today I do very little cache locally and mostly only play the game when I'm traveling.

 

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I've don't recall posting about a long multi through a park, and I've never claimed that there should only be "interested caches with hikes only". I don't think I've seen anyone claim that there should *only* be caches of a specific type. In a battle of caches placed for the purpose catering the numbers crowd and cache placed for those that are looking for interesting places or unique and innovative (and difficult) hides, the numbers caches win every time. When a park or trail is completely saturated with a series of caches there is no room to place any other cache. If someone hides 2-3 caches in a park at the most interesting spots in the park there's still room for other caches.

So what has changed was when there were few caches it was easy to find a place to hide the kind of caches you like? I don't buy it that numbers hides have taken every spot. On top of that numbers caches tend to not last as long, so if you are patient spots open up.

 

I will allow that throwdowns keep some numbers hides around longer than they should be. If someone has 500 hides and can't maintain them all, I don't think that every numbers cacher should be leaving a throwdown if one of those caches goes missing. Unfortunately that has become the accepted practice in some areas. And it's not that throwdowns are new, only that more cachers believe this is the proper thing to do and thereby keep around caches that would otherwise get archived, allowing new caches to be placed. You would think this is something people who want a higher find count would get behind. That's the only change I care to complain about.

Edited by tozainamboku
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I'm not complaining that some people play the game with the purpose of achieving a high find count. I'm complaining that the growing trend to play the game with the purpose of achieving a high count is making it more and more difficult to play the game any other way, and when such a complaint is made, the response is, "you're not achieving a high find count, you should quit the game".

 

 

I'm still confused. How does my find count interfere with how you play the game? Is it because you feel embarrassed that my find count is 10 times your find count? Quite frankly I really don't care what your find count is. It matters not the slightest to me. Alamogols and Bobcams score does not affect how I play the game. You like to do paddle caches, I don't own anything that floats. How does that interfere with you getting your paddle caches? I really would like to understand why you feel my find count interferes with your game, because I don't really understand how I play the game affects how you play the game. Yes there are some really rude people around, but since I don't have to sleep with them I really don't let what they say bother me.

 

It's not that your or anyone elses find count interferes with how I play the game. It's the way some people play the game in order to achieve a high find count that can impact how others play the game. The "you're just jealous of my high find count" argument is bull pucky.

 

I don't recall whether it was in this thread or another that I posted a screen shot of an area near Seoul, Korea which had many short "series" of caches and a large park that was completely saturated with a couple different "series of caches". Although the screen shot was from South Korea, it was not atypical. Look at the maps of many large and mid size cities in the U.S. and Europe, and it's not all that different. As a cache hider (I refuse to use the term maker), the practice of placing many caches as close to each other as possible effectively blocks me or anyone else from placing a cache in what might be an area with some interesting locations.

 

If there were some interesting caches in those areas that were placed for reasons other than to cater to those that want to achieve a high find count, they've becoming more and more difficult to discover because we don't have adequate tools to efficiently filter out what we don't want to find.

 

Whenever a thread comes up bemoaning the quality of online lines (the infamous TFTC/cut-n-paste logs), inevitably someone will post "when you find 200 caches a day, you don't have time to write unique logs". In other words, the pursuit of high find counts trumps a proper thank you to the hider that placed those caches for the "I don't have time to write long logs" geocacher, and in todays game, that's become acceptable.

 

It's become acceptable to leap frog caches, post found it logs for driving a vehicle while someone else finds the cache, swap containers or throw down a film pot if the cache can't be found in 45 seconds (can't spend too much time searching....we've got to find 800+ caches today).

 

If people weren't so caught up in achieving high find counts I contend we'd see fewer throwdowns. Those that are all about the numbers probably don't see a problem with throwdowns (after all...it helps increase their find count...rather than waste five minutes of their time for a DNF) but we've seen plenty of stories about throwdown caches when the actual cache was right were it was hidden and now the CO has to go out and remove the extra container.

 

If people want to achieve high find counts, that's fine. It's what people will do in pursuit of those high find counts, and how the game has changed to cater to those that pursue high find counts that *does* have an impact on the game. It may not impact those that are trying to achieve high find counts, but that doesn't mean that it's not negatively impacting the game for those that aren't.

 

So the distillation seems to be folks are placing to many caches. After placing a peanut jar in a park no further caches should be placed in that park lest we cater to the number whores. When doing caches in any environment everyone only does every other cache while claiming all driven past. And If I don't immediately find that D3/D3.5 cache I throw down a film can.

 

Well I hate to pop your bubble, but as long as caches conform to the listing guidelines they will be listed. Learn how to use the tools on the site or 3rd party tools to achieve the results you want. Maybe a good place to start is placed date. As for leapfrogging, never done it, never considered it. As for throwdowns, yeah on Route 66 or ET when I find an empty stone cairn. The wind will blow them away if they are not completely covered. As for cut and past logs, on power trails you betcha, for random caches I'm doing while traveling or doing some clean up around home, each cache gets at least a sentence or two unique to that cache. Of course the LPCs are probably a terse quick find.

 

And yeah I'm guilty of putting two six cache series out on a tree farm. I put the caches at least .25 miles apart so others could still place caches. I get lots of positive logs from these series so I guess most folks like them. And incidentally, I did my first six cache series back in 2008 so they have been around for quite a while, not a recent phenomenon.

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