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Geocaching has changed


2skidivers
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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.

 

I was trying to find an old thread that dealt with power trails. Didn't find the one i was looking for but did come across this in another. Dated 2008, this was one of our Moderator's replies:

 

I am not going to quote the guidelines word for word... I'lljust go with my working knowlegdge.

 

The short answer is that Power Trails are not allowed. The Saturation section of the guidelines state that caches need to be at least 528 feet apart. It also says that you shouldn't place a bunch 600 feet apart. There is also verbage about placing caches in a manner that one expects them all to be found in a single session.

 

I too remember seeing that "don't place caches every 600 feet apart just because you can", or something to that effect, posted on the website. I do believe that it's gone now. Encourage might not be the right word but it is obvious that GS changed it's tune a few years back.

Edited by Mudfrog
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I like the variety of caches. I am all for finding a ammo can on a hike as that is what geocaching is all about but I also like to find other different hides. My daughter and I once did a long hike and were surprised to find many ammo cans on our long hike. It was refreshing to find something different. But this thread has inspired me to go hide a ammo can out on a trail somewhere. I just painted the geocaching logo on it yesterday! I'm going to call it a classic hide or something.

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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 agree, number hiders will in most cases have not taken every spot, but among the old school cachers in my area noone wants to hide a cache close (and that can be be as far as 0.5km) to a cache trail. Even the caches that have been already there, get easily archived. For the majority of new cachers logs means something different - they cache a lot per day and the logs are just to claim the finds. To sum up, the number cachers are not effected by the others, but it is not the other way round.

 

It is true however that this developement is not one that started in 2014, but a couple of years ago, but became worse and worse in my country up to the point where in some areas multi caches have died out. Some of my colleagues from back then use a definition of powertrail which says that every series of caches that could be a multi cache is a powertrail. That certainly differs from what many regard as powertrail.

 

In any case, for a number of years such cache series of say 20 caches each 200m apart from each other would have been rejected by the reviewers in at least Austria, Germany and Switzerland (in Switzerland there used to be a required minimum distance of 1km between individual caches hidden at the same time by the same person). You can easily imagine that the change in the review process did have effects on the landscape of hidden caches.

 

10 years ago the yellow colour was a frequent colour on my cache map. Now in many rural regions the map looks like I were in the US - almost everything green and what is not green is blue.

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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I too remember seeing that "don't place caches every 600 feet apart just because you can", or something to that effect, posted on the website. I do believe that it's gone now. Encourage might not be the right word but it is obvious that GS changed it's tune a few years back.

 

At least in some countries this actually has been used to reject caches and to ask that the caches are turned into multi caches. So it was much more than just a recommendation.

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I too remember seeing that "don't place caches every 600 feet apart just because you can", or something to that effect, posted on the website. I do believe that it's gone now. Encourage might not be the right word but it is obvious that GS changed it's tune a few years back.

 

At least in some countries this actually has been used to reject caches and to ask that the caches are turned into multi caches. So it was much more than just a recommendation.

That's probably why they removed it. Maybe, it was intended as a suggestion but each reviewer had it's own take? Probably easier to remove it than to have something in the guidelines that relies so much on how you interpret it.

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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.

 

No, I do not care about park and grab caches in parking lots. They do not cut out the type of caches I like the most.

I'm talking about the fact that in many areas in my country no hiking multi caches exist any longer and the ever dominating type of cache in forest areas are cache series of the type

cache AB #1 to cache AB #20 with cut and paste descriptions and logs (falls into the category power trail for me). There is no choice any longer and FPs became entirely meaningless.

Typically at least one cache of such a series gets a FP by most finders to say thank you for the work to hide 20 caches which is what really counts for the majority. If a single cache is hidden

with at least the same amount of work invested, it is much less appreciated and only brings 1/10 of a FP for the searcher and a +1 for the find count while the cache series with 20

caches brings 2 FPs (so one can easily be spent) and +20 in the find count. I do not care about find counts, but I do care about the logs.

Back when then people visited one cache, most of the logs were decent and really dealt with the visited caches. Nowadays this is something which rarely occurs. Most of the time all logs of the day more or less say

the same and one does not even know which of the 20 caches of the series was hard to find, has an issue with a wet log or whatever as people write the same log for all caches.

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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.

 

You're right that the cache series isn't a recent phenomenon. I remember a small series I did a few years ago based around a park where there were three or four caches named after wild animals that lived in the park (things like hedgehogs and squirrels), where the clue was little more than "think like a squirrel". Each one had a number and when you had all the numbers you could find the bonus, which was also named after the park's wildlife. The caches were well spaced, I think they were all regular sized, they were hidden in places relevant to the animal (even down to one cache being hidden under the footbridge over the river, and named after the fish that lived in the river), and they were in a nice place.

 

That's a very different situation to a six mile trail containing 50 film pots behind posts where finding the caches means spending more time fussing around looking for film pots, signing logs, trying to replace sticks and stones to vaguely cover the film pot, hoping the strange smell isn't dog urine all over the film pot, and moving on, than enjoying the hike.

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Back when then people visited one cache, most of the logs were decent and really dealt with the visited caches. Nowadays this is something which rarely occurs. Most of the time all logs of the day more or less say

the same and one does not even know which of the 20 caches of the series was hard to find, has an issue with a wet log or whatever as people write the same log for all caches.

 

This of course is true, in general. If one spends half a day finding a single cache, they are likely to write a longer log about that then they would for each of the 20 caches they find in a series. So yes, that is a way geocaching has changed (if you go far enough back in time). But there are still caches which take half a day to find (at least in my area) if that is your preference.

 

Personally I write something specific to each cache regardless. If I do a series of 20, my logs will say which were quick for me to find; which I found difficult, which had a wet log, a nice view, some scary cattle, etc. But yes the log on each of those 20 will be shorter in general then if I spent half a day doing one cache.

 

Now if you are a cache owner and you have a traditional cache which used to be on its own and take a half a day to find... and suddenly a trail of 20 pops up around it, you will likely get less interesting logs. However if your cache is a complex multi-stage puzzle then those doing the trail will likely ignore it.

 

I'm not saying everything is perfect, but I don't see a fundamental problem with how the game has changed. I have friends who mainly like to do series of caches - they like the numbers. They happily do those and they avoid more complex caches. I have other friends who won't do series of caches - they only seek out more complex caches which take several hours or more to do one cache. There are other people who only do park and grab caches, either out of preference or physical condition.

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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.

 

You appear to be purposely over simplifying the topic into a basic binary example. There's nothing wrong with easy to find, or park and grabs. Its when there are hundreds of them placed in lousy locations or thousands with identical descriptions 530 feet apart. A new person gets the impression that numbers are what the game is about, and loses interest quickly unless they are the obsessive type. Not caring one whit about people dropping out, could be described as a form of snobbery, or living in your own bubble. It's like visiting someone and walking into a house full of garbage and feces, and having the occupants exclaim that "it's a little messy, but not too bad". Yes, all of that garbage is worth something to someone, much like all of the magnetic keyholders on dumpsters that are worth a smiley on the geocaching site.

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But there are still caches which take half a day to find (at least in my area) if that is your preference.

 

In my immediate area only old caches of that type exist. No new ones show up.

 

Personally I write something specific to each cache regardless. If I do a series of 20, my logs will say which were quick for me to find; which I found difficult, which had a wet log, a nice view, some scary cattle, etc. But yes the log on each of those 20 will be shorter in general then if I spent half a day doing one cache.

 

It is not about log length for me. If they contain something specific to the cache and are not copy and paste or see my log for cache #20 which then just thanks the hider for having hidden 20 caches, I'm already relatively happy.

 

Now if you are a cache owner and you have a traditional cache which used to be on its own and take a half a day to find... and suddenly a trail of 20 pops up around it, you will likely get less interesting logs. However if your cache is a complex multi-stage puzzle then those doing the trail will likely ignore it.

 

Not really. Many are greedy and start to trade the final coordinates or start to speculate how it could have been that others found the cache while being on the trail for series X.

 

I'm not saying everything is perfect, but I don't see a fundamental problem with how the game has changed. I have friends who mainly like to do series of caches - they like the numbers. They happily do those and they avoid more complex caches. I have other friends who won't do series of caches - they only seek out more complex caches which take several hours or more to do one cache. There are other people who only do park and grab caches, either out of preference or physical condition.

 

My personal issue comes from the very small number of new caches in my area that I really enjoy and my much larger need for motivation for an increased level of physical activity.

So I typically end up with visiting the series and many other short caches as those are better for me than no caches.

When visiting areas where all/most caches are unfound and also many oldtimer caches are available or where still longer hiking caches are hidden, I do not experience the same problems than in my home province.

 

 

 

Cezanne

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You appear to be purposely over simplifying the topic into a basic binary example. There's nothing wrong with easy to find, or park and grabs. Its when there are hundreds of them placed in lousy locations or thousands with identical descriptions 530 feet apart.

I guess I was confused because of the thread title. I know power trails exist, and I've read forum posts about cases where they cause specific problems, but I see none of that in my area or any of the other areas I've cached. So please stop complaining about this by saying "Geocaching has changed" because all I see are counterexamples that demonstrate that geocaching as a whole hasn't changed in the way you're describing. Since the power trail problem appears to be a local issue, I don't think you can support the claim that Groundspeak caused it, otherwise it would happen everywhere.

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You appear to be purposely over simplifying the topic into a basic binary example. There's nothing wrong with easy to find, or park and grabs. Its when there are hundreds of them placed in lousy locations or thousands with identical descriptions 530 feet apart.

I guess I was confused because of the thread title. I know power trails exist, and I've read forum posts about cases where they cause specific problems, but I see none of that in my area or any of the other areas I've cached. So please stop complaining about this by saying "Geocaching has changed" because all I see are counterexamples that demonstrate that geocaching as a whole hasn't changed in the way you're describing. Since the power trail problem appears to be a local issue, I don't think you can support the claim that Groundspeak caused it, otherwise it would happen everywhere.

 

This is a typical type of response lately. Someone starts a thread expressing dissatisfaction about some aspect and the game, and in response we get "this isn't a problem for me", implying that it's not a problem worthy of discussion.

 

In the context of this thread, I wrote that the trend has become that the game is becoming more and more about numbers caching. For those that *like" caching for the numbers, of *course* it's not a problem for you. Power trails won't have a negative impact if you're the type of geocacher that wants to find a lot of geocaches and does not especially care about quality. Actually, power trails or an excessive number of micros isn't an issue in my area. Before you write, "so what are you complaining about?", I'm not writing from the perspective of how the game has changed for me...I'm writing from the perspective of how the game has change from what I believe is the good of the game in general.

 

You, and others seem to state your arguments based on absolutes. The fact that issues are not happening everywhere doesn't mean that they're not happening in many places and this and other threads wouldn't exist if a significant number of geocachers were less than satisfied with the way that geocaching *has* changed. I am also not suggesting that Groundspeak is entirely to blame for these changes. I'm not suggesting that power trails and cache purely for the numbers should be entirely be eliminated either. Geocaching has changed due to the culture, and much of that is local culture. I do, however, think that GS has helped foster that culture but they're not solely to blame.

When I suggested that in many areas that many of the trails and parks have become saturated with caches that seem to exist for no other purpose than to cater to numbers hounds. When toz writes " I don't buy it that numbers hides have taken every spot." it implies that there isn't a problem until there are no other places anywhere to place a cache which doesn't cater to numbers hounds. Perhaps if you look it from the perspective of someone that does *not* play the game for the number you might see that the issue is not so absolute. A trend to create more and more series of caches and large power trails isn't going to saturate the entire world with film pots. Isn't it possible that some might have issues with the trend in the way the game is changing before it gets to that point?

 

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In the context of this thread, I wrote that the trend has become that the game is becoming more and more about numbers caching. For those that *like" caching for the numbers, of *course* it's not a problem for you. Power trails won't have a negative impact if you're the type of geocacher that wants to find a lot of geocaches and does not especially care about quality. Actually, power trails or an excessive number of micros isn't an issue in my area. Before you write, "so what are you complaining about?", I'm not writing from the perspective of how the game has changed for me...I'm writing from the perspective of how the game has change from what I believe is the good of the game in general.

 

The one thing we might agree on is that there are more caches. Whether or not this is due to a trend in what you call numbers caching is speculative. There are also a lot more people caching.

 

In addition you seem to imply that the kinds of caches hidden by/for these numbers cachers are fudamentally different than the kinds of cache you might have seen in the past. I suspect that is some areas there has been a change from hiking caches to park 'n grabs and perhaps from some mix of cache sizes to almost exclusively micros. But I'm not convinced that this is universal or that it is some unreversible (or at least unstoppable) trend. If someone hides a power trail then, just due to the number caches hidden at once, it would appear that nearly all the caches placed that week are powertrail micros. Similarly, if someone decides to be the new KingBoreas and hides hundreds of caches, we tend to not notice the other cachers who continue to hide just a few caches of different types in different places.

 

I don't want to sound like a Republican who sees the extreme weather of the past few years and says, "it's just natural variation; there's no such thing as climate change." There may in fact be a trend to long series, more park and grabs, and fewer caches that are larger than micro. But to argue that the kinds of caches you like (and think are good for geocaching) are endangered is just hyperbole.

 

I might be sympathic to someone in a area where it is now hard to find the pistacio ice cream. You may need to make more of an effort to find the kinds of caches you enjoy. But I still believe that is possible to alter what you look for and keep enjoying geocaching. As I said early in this thread, the one constant in 14 years of geocaching has been the posts in the forums lamenting the direction that geocaching is heading and predicting its collapse as people get bored finding lame caches. I'm still waiting for the apocalypse.

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don't want to sound like a Republican who sees the extreme weather of the past few years and says, "it's just natural variation; there's no such thing as climate change." There may in fact be a trend to long series, more park and grabs, and fewer caches that are larger than micro. But to argue that the kinds of caches you like (and think are good for geocaching) are endangered is just hyperbole.

 

Not hyperbole at all. The kinds of caches (creative, challenging, and/or interesting area) i like to find are very seldomly placed. There are just too many people getting into caching these days who only learn and play using the monkey see, monkey do technique. A new cacher comes in, finds a simple cache, gets a quick smiley, and then thinks this is what geocaching is supposed to be. I figure this is especially true for those being introduced to our hobby through the free geocaching app.

 

I'm sure there are some who stay with our hobby long enough to discover there is more to it than this but i would bet there are more who lose interest and quit before that point. Unfortunately, the ones that do leave early have probably already hidden more of these gems that'll litter the area for some time. Naturally, future cachers learn from these as well.

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My dear loving wife Theresa and I began geocaching June 14, 2003.

 

Unfortunately we stopped, it must have been in 2004, but it was not for lack of interest. In the following 10 years, I thought our account would have been deleted. But it was not!

 

I was so pleased. It meant the world to me to visit Geocaching.com tonight to try to find our old cache pages and to discover that our account was still alive.

 

The only geocaching I know is that described in the original post. My wife and I had so much fun on the weekends. We spent just as much time researching what to write about our caches and coming up with a theme and placement and a great name – as we did searching. Theresa always thought of the names. We love Florida history and most had some tie to old Florida.

 

My dear wife passed away in May 2014 at age 56 and the fact that the account we shared is still alive means more than I can express in words. Those great memories all came back tonight as I thought about those days. A husband’s love never fades.

 

So, yes I do remember how it used to be. That is how geocaching will always be for me.

 

It was some of our happiest time together.

 

Lastly, my public thank-you to Geocaching.com. Your keeping our account after all these years is a blessing to this husband who misses his loving geocaching partner.

 

To the newer geocachers, you never know what great memories you are making with each cache.

 

John

Riverview, Florida

 

 

gctlb2008184.jpg

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This is a typical type of response lately. Someone starts a thread expressing dissatisfaction about some aspect and the game, and in response we get "this isn't a problem for me", implying that it's not a problem worthy of discussion.

The claim is that geocaching has changed for the worse, and the evidence presented involved specific power trails that caused some people trouble. So I countered those arguments by pointing out that this hasn't happened everywhere, thus demonstrating that the evidence doesn't show that geocaching has changed, only that some COs in specific areas area planting caches that other people don't like. I'm not minimizing your problem, I'm merely pointing out that it's local, not systemic. And I'm only making that point because the power trail complaints always seem to lead to a conclusion that there is a system wide failure caused by Groundspeak's corporate greed. I don't see it.

 

I have no problem with you saying you don't like power trails. I merely contest that power trails are proof that "Geocaching has changed".

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I have no problem with you saying you don't like power trails. I merely contest that power trails are proof that "Geocaching has changed".

 

Since repetitive trails were not always allowed, they are one way that the game has changed. I remember when six to eight caches placed by a single person along a trail was problematic. Various things associated with them also have changed the game, whether it be the kind of numbers they engender or the type of logging. placement, or cache maintenance plans that they encompass.

 

Whether it be a change for the good or bad - or somewhere in between - depends on how much you like repetitive caching. But to me the major change has more to do with the growth of the game and the direction that the growth has taken. Repetitive trails are just one aspect of that.

Edited by geodarts
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I have no problem with you saying you don't like power trails. I merely contest that power trails are proof that "Geocaching has changed".
Since repetitive trails were not always allowed, they are one way that the game has changed. I remember when six to eight caches placed by a single person along a trail was problematic.
On a related note, there used to be an ethic (even in 2006, when I started) that cache owners shouldn't hog all the space in a park. You'd hide a cache at your favorite spot, and let others hide caches in their favorite spots. Now there's a fair chance that someone will fill the Brand New Park with BNP-01 through BNP-85 and no one else will be able to hide caches there.

 

That's a change too.

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Whether it be a change for the good or bad - or somewhere in between - depends on how much you like repetitive caching.

I disagree. I have no interest in power trails, but nevertheless I don't think they are bad or a sign of decay.

 

First, not everyone is using the same definition of power trail.

Second, I think it depends a whole lot on whether someone is still able to find enough caches that fit the personal preferences.

I you leave out what you regard as power trail, there are apparently still many caches out there that you enjoy, probably more than you can find.

 

In my area some years ago no one would have hidden a series like the Anaphylaxis series you have found recently and such series would not have published anyway.

Nowadays in many areas series of traditionals with the same description for all caches have replaced the former existing multi caches which I appreciated.

So due to the changes I lost something very valuable and gained nothing in exchange.

 

Of course, for some cachers geocaching as it is now is preferable. So there can be no proof that geocaching has changed to the worse for everyone.

It definitely has changed, and for some to the worse and for others to the better and some will not even notice the changes.

 

Cezanne

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Sorry to hear about it Riverview CacheAways. Glad you at least got to see your account here.

Thank you. When we were still relatively new to our area of Hillsborough County (Tampa, Florida) our Geocaching time helped us travel the area seeing places we would never have seen otherwise. We enjoyed the time deciding on the caches to explore and place.

 

John

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My dear loving wife Theresa and I began geocaching June 14, 2003.

 

My dear wife passed away in May 2014 at age 56 and the fact that the account we shared is still alive means more than I can express in words. Those great memories all came back tonight as I thought about those days. A husband’s love never fades.

 

 

I am so sorry! Posts like this help remind me to keep things in perspective. I am glad you are finding things in which to take comfort.

 

Mrs. Car54

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In my area some years ago no one would have hidden a series like the Anaphylaxis series you have found recently and such series would not have published anyway.

OMG, I think we may be uncovering our disconnect if you think the Anaphylaxis series is anything like a power trail. Yes, it's a series, in that there's a theme, they're all 12 in the same forest, and they use the same container (although that's often not obvious until one's holding it). The series requires a 3 miles hike. The distances between each cache aren't extravagant, but nowhere near a tenth of a mile every time. Each hide is good, each hide is different, a wide variety of camo, each hide requires a difference amount of bushwhacking. In other words, each cache is a unique and enjoyable experience. My one day impression is that the maintenance is very good. I seriously doubt any reviewer ever would have rejected this series in the past. If that's what people are complaining about, then I'll change my statement from "I don't think that makes geocaching worse" to "this is exactly what's made geocaching so much better."

 

Really, the only downside of Anaphylaxis is that it's in a stupid, uncomfortable, uninteresting area where no one in their right mind would want to go for a hike: New Jersey.

Edited by dprovan
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In my area some years ago no one would have hidden a series like the Anaphylaxis series you have found recently and such series would not have published anyway.

OMG, I think we may be uncovering our disconnect if you think the Anaphylaxis series is anything like a power trail. Yes, it's a series, in that there's a theme, they're all 12 in the same forest, and they use the same container (although that's often not obvious until one's holding it). The series requires a 3 miles hike. The distances between each cache aren't extravagant, but nowhere near a tenth of a mile every time. Each hide is good, each hide is different, a wide variety of camo, each hide requires a difference amount of bushwhacking. In other words, each cache is a unique and enjoyable experience. My one day impression is that the maintenance is very good. I seriously doubt any reviewer ever would have rejected this series in the past. If that's what people are complaining about, then I'll change my statement from "I don't think that makes geocaching worse" to "this is exactly what's made geocaching so much better."

 

I have stated before that the definition of power trail varies. Some local old timers use the definition that everything that easily could be a single multi cache is a power trail.

Moreover, I have mentioned before that for many years such series would not have been published by a number of reviewers based on the guidelines.

Further, I do not have an issue with the fact that such series exist, but with the fact that they have almost extinguished in many areas the type of multi caches I enjoy.

Most modern cachers feel that there must be more than one cache to warrant a 5km or even longer walk and they care very much about numbers.

 

I also mentioned that what makes geocaching worse for me, will make it better for others. So please be so kind and respect that preferences differ and that there are indeed

cachers for whom the development changed geocaching to the worse (not everyone will provide you with the same reasons as myself, because we are all individuals) and this is not a matter of selecting the righr caches (except one wants to end up with an empty set and is happy with that).

 

I prefer coming home and writing a single log for my hike that contains all my experiences for the entire hike and a single summit traditional or a multi cache are the only case where such a log really fits to a single cache. Otherwise, either every log gets the same (almost the same) or is split up in arbitrarily selected parts. Moreover, it is much easier to go for a single multi cache (of course with virtual stages and not containers to be found) when people who hate caching are coming along. Selecting a single traditional along the trail is an option, but it does not change the fact that most logs will be cut and paste and are no a pleasure to read and that a full story of the entire hike is somewhat not really appropriate for a single cache along the trail whose goal is not to show the trail.

When I occasionally do cache series and come home, logging is a real burden for me while I normally really enjoy writing my logs.

 

The number of FPs for the caches of the Anaphylaxis series made it evident to me that no every cache is hidden in the same manner and I selected this example on purpose. Of course there is a huge difference between a series like that one and say the ET power trail. This does not change the fact that I neither enjoy such series nor those trails that you refer to as power trails (for different reasons). For example,

recently a series of 5 caches showed up about 25-30km from my home - a lot of work and devotion has been invested into those caches and I'm sure that you would enjoy them. I prefer to go for a hike in a peaceful and lonesome area and already know from 20m apart where the cache is hidden. I neither have the patience nor the motivation to play around with batteries, water, strings and other equipment to retrieve cache containers. While I admire the craftsmanship behind such caches (I on purpose selected such examples which are not lame guardrail micros), I did not start geocaching to play a game and to encounter creativity, but to be provided with an extra motivation, recommendations and insider information for hikes, walks and bicycle trips and to share reports and photos about the experiences. The photo galleries and logs for series caches are almost never interesting to read, not even when one has been there, even less do they serve to create dreams about locations one would love to visit

Edited by cezanne
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In my area some years ago no one would have hidden a series like the Anaphylaxis series you have found recently and such series would not have published anyway.

OMG, I think we may be uncovering our disconnect if you think the Anaphylaxis series is anything like a power trail. Yes, it's a series, in that there's a theme, they're all 12 in the same forest, and they use the same container (although that's often not obvious until one's holding it). The series requires a 3 miles hike. The distances between each cache aren't extravagant, but nowhere near a tenth of a mile every time. Each hide is good, each hide is different, a wide variety of camo, each hide requires a difference amount of bushwhacking. In other words, each cache is a unique and enjoyable experience. My one day impression is that the maintenance is very good. I seriously doubt any reviewer ever would have rejected this series in the past. If that's what people are complaining about, then I'll change my statement from "I don't think that makes geocaching worse" to "this is exactly what's made geocaching so much better."

 

Really, the only downside of Anaphylaxis is that it's in a stupid, uncomfortable, uninteresting area where no one in their right mind would want to go for a hike: New Jersey.

 

Looks like a power trail to me.

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I prefer coming home and writing a single log for my hike that contains all my experiences for the entire hike ...

So do I. But others may prefer to sit in front of their computer, entering the same text, over and over - or more likely use GSAK to auto log their finds.

 

If you are a toz or a cezanne, we already know from the forum that you like to write long, long stories. I would guess that most people prefer finding geocaches and would just as soon not have to write anything online. *%$#@! all those micros on the trail. They're keeping me from writing a long story.

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In my area some years ago no one would have hidden a series like the Anaphylaxis series you have found recently and such series would not have published anyway.

OMG, I think we may be uncovering our disconnect if you think the Anaphylaxis series is anything like a power trail. Yes, it's a series, in that there's a theme, they're all 12 in the same forest, and they use the same container (although that's often not obvious until one's holding it).

 

I wrote earlier, but perhaps it was in another thread, that it's not just about power trails. The large power trails out in the Nevada (which coincidentally didn't exist before the "please don't place a geocache every 600' just because you can" language was removed from the guidelines in 2009) are not as bothersome, to me, because they can easily be ignored. When I posted the screen shot of the area around Seoul, South Korea I didn't even mention power trails. I did, however mention all the short "series" of caches I saw on the map. As I mentioned before, it's not localized to Seoul. Just go to the geocaching maps page, zoom in a bit and start panning across the country and you'll see hundreds of short "series" of caches around almost every large and small city. The "theme" for most of these series of cache is that all the cache names start with the same sequence of characters and end in a different number. Look at Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, or Wichita and you'll see they all have a lot of cache 'series" that many would not define as a power trail. Think it's just bigger cities? Try Vernal, Utah or Worland, Wyoming and you see even small cities are infested with caches created to cater to numbers hounds. Have you ever looked the map for Prince Edward Island?

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I also mentioned that what makes geocaching worse for me, will make it better for others. So please be so kind and respect that preferences differ and that there are indeed cachers for whom the development changed geocaching to the worse (not everyone will provide you with the same reasons as myself, because we are all individuals) and this is not a matter of selecting the righr caches (except one wants to end up with an empty set and is happy with that).

Excuse me? I respect your preferences totally. But when you come here to complain about it, don't expect me to agree with your preferences.

 

I prefer coming home and writing a single log for my hike that contains all my experiences for the entire hike and a single summit traditional or a multi cache are the only case where such a log really fits to a single cache.

Then just go for one cache in the series. No one's forcing you to find all 12 caches just because they're in the area you want to walk.

 

Looks like a power trail to me.

OK, let's explore this comment. (I'm assuming it's serious, and I'm assuming "power trail" is meant to be a negative comment, so correct me if I'm wrong about either.) I'm not too interested in what "power trail" means, but what I want to get at is why you think a series of caches, whatever you want to call it, is bad. Is it just density? Do you object to the names being similar? Is it because all the caches in this forest were hidden by the same CO? The last possibility is a particularly odd objection in this case, since it's quite likely there'd be no caches at all there if this CO hadn't set out this series. Would no caches be preferable to a power trail?

 

I wrote earlier, but perhaps it was in another thread, that it's not just about power trails. The large power trails out in the Nevada (which coincidentally didn't exist before the "please don't place a geocache every 600' just because you can" language was removed from the guidelines in 2009) are not as bothersome, to me, because they can easily be ignored. When I posted the screen shot of the area around Seoul, South Korea I didn't even mention power trails. I did, however mention all the short "series" of caches I saw on the map. As I mentioned before, it's not localized to Seoul. Just go to the geocaching maps page, zoom in a bit and start panning across the country and you'll see hundreds of short "series" of caches around almost every large and small city. The "theme" for most of these series of cache is that all the cache names start with the same sequence of characters and end in a different number. Look at Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, or Wichita and you'll see they all have a lot of cache 'series" that many would not define as a power trail. Think it's just bigger cities? Try Vernal, Utah or Worland, Wyoming and you see even small cities are infested with caches created to cater to numbers hounds. Have you ever looked the map for Prince Edward Island?

Yes, I can find power trails. Why should go to the map to look for them if I don't like them?

 

There are good caches and bad caches. What I'm hearing here is that all caches in any series are bad. My experience is just the opposite: COs that go to the trouble of laying out a series of caches are usually much more conscientious about designing the hides, writing the descriptions, and maintaining the caches. I'm sure there are COs that aren't like that, but I don't see that as often. If your experience is different, then I feel for you, but I still object to the blanket condemnation.

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My experience is just the opposite: COs that go to the trouble of laying out a series of caches are usually much more conscientious about designing the hides, writing the descriptions, and maintaining the caches.

 

My experience is that that's true for some COs who plant swag size numbers trails (power trails) using water tight containers with logbooks (not a folded sheet of paper - something substantial). They start off creating something that they've invested in and for the most part do a decent job of maintaining the caches and listings and don't expect others to do it for them. It's true of a couple of peanut butter jar PTs on rail-to-trails near me. The opposite is true for COs that plant micro power trails. They plant leaky micro containers, expect others to replace the wet, full logsheets and will archive the cache rather than maintain it if others don't do the maintenance.

Edited by L0ne.R
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This is a typical type of response lately. Someone starts a thread expressing dissatisfaction about some aspect and the game, and in response we get "this isn't a problem for me", implying that it's not a problem worthy of discussion.

The claim is that geocaching has changed for the worse, and the evidence presented involved specific power trails that caused some people trouble. So I countered those arguments by pointing out that this hasn't happened everywhere, thus demonstrating that the evidence doesn't show that geocaching has changed, only that some COs in specific areas area planting caches that other people don't like. I'm not minimizing your problem, I'm merely pointing out that it's local, not systemic. And I'm only making that point because the power trail complaints always seem to lead to a conclusion that there is a system wide failure caused by Groundspeak's corporate greed. I don't see it.

 

I have no problem with you saying you don't like power trails. I merely contest that power trails are proof that "Geocaching has changed".

 

I don't see the issue as being exclusively power trails. I see that power trails summarise the issue very neatly, but the issue is more than just that. What I see in my area is ever-more micros and nanos and ever-fewer larger caches. Because you can hide a film pot almost anywhere they appear all over the place regardless of how unimaginative the hide is, or how unpleasant the final location is likely to become.

 

Instead of finding a decent size container in the woods that offers protection from the elements to its contents we see more soggy film pots among the spider webs behind signs, and keysafes among the urban detritus behind electrical junction boxes.

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Excuse me? I respect your preferences totally. But when you come here to complain about it, don't expect me to agree with your preferences.

 

I never had that expectation. It was however not about my preferences, but my statement that geocaching has changed considerably since the early days and that for me this change is to the worse

while I understood your postings so as that you want to convince others that the trend to numbers, the change in the treatment of series/power trails and other changes do not effect others negatively.

 

I prefer coming home and writing a single log for my hike that contains all my experiences for the entire hike and a single summit traditional or a multi cache are the only case where such a log really fits to a single cache.

Then just go for one cache in the series. No one's forcing you to find all 12 caches just because they're in the area you want to walk.

 

I already explained some of the disadvantages.

 

First, my log writing about a hike along a 10km trail does not really fit well for a cache of such a series and my logs deal with the journey and not the container search.

Typically a hiking multi cache along a trail is hidden to show others the trail and not to focus on a hide and seek game. That's fits much better to my style of logging.

 

Second, I would need to upload the waypoints of some other caches to get the same guidance that I get for free with a multi cache when loading just a single cache to my GPS-unit and printing just one cache description that typically will have some real contents. I also would either write down all the hints of the caches of the series or decide at home exactly which cache of the series I should visit. I'm uploading all caches manually and are not caching paperless.

 

Third, typically the cache descriptions and logs for the caches of the series are not very informative. For a multi cache the chances are much higher that someone would comment on wrong ratings than for a cache belonging to a series which is treated like a single cache by most cachers in my area except that they increase their find count by more than +1. The logs of the others will not change depending on how

many of the caches of the series I'm going to visit. Compare the logs and gallery of a cache like this one

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3N01N_65-bonus-fly-so-high?guid=8b63187f-3b6f-4190-b276-a4e8f97f75b5

( a very popular series of 65 mysteries that creates geoart and involves a 20+km hike) and the logs and the gallery of a cache like this one

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC2XY7N_steirischer-02-gleinalpe?guid=ab012590-1233-4c8f-b43a-bd79f1b415f6

or my most recent cache (which is shorter than the series mentioned above.

For the multis reading the logs and looking through the gallery is something I enjoy while I'm not missing anything when ignoring the logs for the series.

 

 

 

 

OK, let's explore this comment. (I'm assuming it's serious, and I'm assuming "power trail" is meant to be a negative comment,

 

No, not necessarily from my point of view. For me a power trail is an agglomeration of caches where one of the key intents is to attract many cachers to the trail

by the presence of many caches hidden at the same time and to make them visit areas or hike along trails which they would not visit if the number of cachers were considerably smaller.

 

, but what I want to get at is why you think a series of caches, whatever you want to call it, is bad.

 

You asked narcissa, but I can provide you with reasons why I regard them as bad from my personal point of view.

I have already explained that such series/power trails more and more make multi caches die out. Another issue is that such series attract too much traffic to an area.

Cachers are guests in the nature and they should place as few containers as necessary to serve the purpose of showing a certain area to those who really come for the sake of the

nature and not to increase their find count.

Those caches that get permission from the property owner often get permission on the basis that only a small number of visitors will come each year. As soon as such trails/series show up,

the number of visits typically explodes and people travel 100km one way and further to do such series while they often ignore lonely caches within a circle of radius of 20km around their home.

 

If a larger series is newly hidden in an area where a few special old caches pre-existed, many of these get archived as the owners are not willing to accept the fact that from the point on when the trail showed up they get 95% logs that makes them believe that their cache belongs to the series.

 

What I'm hearing here is that all caches in any series are bad. My experience is just the opposite: COs that go to the trouble of laying out a series of caches are usually much more conscientious about designing the hides, writing the descriptions, and maintaining the caches.

 

No, series are not bad in general, but most of them are bad from my point of view and I explained this in detail.

In my experience, at least as much works goes into hiking multi caches - have a look for example at caches like this

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC22D00_lets-rug?guid=6d831ec0-e0b0-40a0-ba52-3cb2e630de33

It requires more effort than the Fly so high series and more maintenance.

Of course a series where every cache gets a decent number of FPs requires more work than a number of non-connected guardrail micros.

As the design of the hides is regarded, this is something I do not care about at all. One multi cache serves the purpose of showing me trail A perfectly.

Another multi cache can show me trail B etc So with a small number of caches/containers I get to know many interesting trails.

I rather have someone showing me three hiking trails than hiding 20 caches on one trail.

I guess the key issue is that for you it is about the caches/hides and for me it is entirely about the trails and experiences. The container search

part is the part I could most easily live without.

 

Cezanne

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Cezanne - I sympathize with you. I'm lucky in my area that the growing popularity of "circular cache series" (I call them that rather than power trails) is not stopping the hiding of long multis and multi stage puzzles. For example h4ck3r or Disappeared

 

There is "competition" for locations between the 2 types of hiders. I've heard cachers complaining that someone hid a multi-stage cache which "wiped out" an area where 10 or 20 caches could have been hidden. As well as those like yourself you have the opposite view.

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Looks like a power trail to me.

OK, let's explore this comment. (I'm assuming it's serious, and I'm assuming "power trail" is meant to be a negative comment, so correct me if I'm wrong about either.) I'm not too interested in what "power trail" means, but what I want to get at is why you think a series of caches, whatever you want to call it, is bad. Is it just density? Do you object to the names being similar? Is it because all the caches in this forest were hidden by the same CO? The last possibility is a particularly odd objection in this case, since it's quite likely there'd be no caches at all there if this CO hadn't set out this series. Would no caches be preferable to a power trail?

 

I'll let narcissa respond to this as it was directed at her, but do you have any evidence at all that if a CO doesn't set out a series that saturates a trail that there would be no other ? I can guarantee you this. Once a CO has saturated a trail with a "series" there won't be any other caches along that trail due to the proximity guideline. It would be great if caches created for the numbers crowd and caches created for those seeking quality could co-exist, but it's never going to happen until those that create caches for the numbers are willing to compromise, and maybe leave a few spots open for someone else to place a cache.

 

 

I wrote earlier, but perhaps it was in another thread, that it's not just about power trails. The large power trails out in the Nevada (which coincidentally didn't exist before the "please don't place a geocache every 600' just because you can" language was removed from the guidelines in 2009) are not as bothersome, to me, because they can easily be ignored. When I posted the screen shot of the area around Seoul, South Korea I didn't even mention power trails. I did, however mention all the short "series" of caches I saw on the map. As I mentioned before, it's not localized to Seoul. Just go to the geocaching maps page, zoom in a bit and start panning across the country and you'll see hundreds of short "series" of caches around almost every large and small city. The "theme" for most of these series of cache is that all the cache names start with the same sequence of characters and end in a different number. Look at Las Vegas, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, or Wichita and you'll see they all have a lot of cache 'series" that many would not define as a power trail. Think it's just bigger cities? Try Vernal, Utah or Worland, Wyoming and you see even small cities are infested with caches created to cater to numbers hounds. Have you ever looked the map for Prince Edward Island?

Yes, I can find power trails. Why should go to the map to look for them if I don't like them?

 

Good grief. The point wasn't to coerce you into doing a power trail. The point was to provide evidence which demonstrates how series of caches which exist only to increase the find count for those interested in the numbers is not localized issue. The evidence is there, but I guess if you refuse to even look at it there is no point in continuing this discussion.

 

Look at the map of Prince Edward Island, then show me any place in the world that has caches layed out in long strings like that five years ago.

 

 

There are good caches and bad caches. What I'm hearing here is that all caches in any series are bad.

 

 

I think *I* have found the disconnect. You seem to be hearing things that people are not saying.

 

 

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I've heard cachers complaining that someone hid a multi-stage cache which "wiped out" an area where 10 or 20 caches could have been hidden. As well as those like yourself you have the opposite view.

 

My favourite kind of multi cache has only one physical stage - so it does not wipe out the area for 10 or 20 caches.

 

The competition here is a different one and somehow skewed towards one direction: The modern style hiders do not care whether already other caches exist close to their series that might be badly effected in terms of log quality, traffic etc while many of the old style hiders refrain to hide a cache in an area where a series exists because they are afraid of the effects on log quality and traffic or hide pre-existing caches.

 

The effect that multi caches start to die out is most visible in those areas where the cache density has been low before the numbers trend really started off. It is much less strong in urban areas, but those are not my favourite caching area.

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I think that some of the recent posts about "power trails" help illustrate why the "power trail" clause was removed from the listing guidelines. It's hard to get a consistent, objective definition of what constitutes a power trail. Like the "wow factor" test for virtuals, cache hiders were often surprised when the reviewer's definition of "power trail" differed from their own, and when different reviewers applied different standards a few miles apart across their imaginary reviewer territory border line.

 

Is it only a power trail when you pull up in your car, jump out, sign the log and jump back in?

Last fall I found 100 or so caches that required four wheel drive to navigate along a sandy desert utility line access "road." I never exceeded 30 mph while finding those caches. So was that a power trail? It felt very "old school."

 

Last weekend I found a string of caches along two bike trails -- one suburban and the other decidedly rural. It was the first time in years that I got out on my mountain bike. The caches were never more than .25 miles apart, but there was some great bike riding and lots of scenery along the way. It felt very "old school." I added two caches to my Top 5% bookmark list, one from Saturday's trip and the other from Sunday's. In both cases I stopped after a dozen or so caches and rode several miles back to my car. I will return to both trails in the future to find another dozen, or maybe 50, depending on my mood. So were those power trails?

 

I hid the first cache on Saturday's suburban bike trail back in 2002. It's a four stage multicache requiring a 10 mile ride. Cezanne would love it. It's been found once this year, three times last year, once in 2012, once in 2011, and once in 2010. A few miles away, the newer closely spaced traditional caches get found every week. People often travel ten miles or more to find all those traditionals. Did they have less fun than if they found my single cache? Is geocaching worse off by the presence of 100+ caches to attract people to that bike trail?

Edited by The Leprechauns
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As the design of the hides is regarded, this is something I do not care about at all. One multi cache serves the purpose of showing me trail A perfectly.

Another multi cache can show me trail B etc So with a small number of caches/containers I get to know many interesting trails.

I rather have someone showing me three hiking trails than hiding 20 caches on one trail.

I guess the key issue is that for you it is about the caches/hides and for me it is entirely about the trails and experiences. The container search

part is the part I could most easily live without.

Cezanne, would you be able to clarify further I guess I just don't get it.

 

What is the fundemental difference between a 20 stage multi on Trail A, Trail B, and Trail C as compared to 20 caches on each of Trail A, Trail B, and Trail C other than personal preference?

 

Further, if the design of hides is unimportant, the search can easily be lived without, and your preference is to write one "hike" log it seems obvious that 20 caches would suit your needs better than a single multi. In that case you only have to find one cache, write one log, and can leave the other caches for the next 59 experiences along the trails.

 

What am I missing here?

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[First, my log writing about a hike along a 10km trail does not really fit well for a cache of such a series and my logs deal with the journey and not the container search.

Typically a hiking multi cache along a trail is hidden to show others the trail and not to focus on a hide and seek game. That's fits much better to my style of logging.

What I have done is to take one cache on a trail - perhaps my favorite and probably not one that was part of some series - and write up a long log about my day caching. Of course some owners might object to including other caches in the log on their cache. For all of the other caches I log "see my log on GCxxxxx for a description of my hike".

 

Second, I would need to upload the waypoints of some other caches to get the same guidance that I get for free with a multi cache when loading just a single cache to my GPS-unit and printing just one cache description that typically will have some real contents. I also would either write down all the hints of the caches of the series or decide at home exactly which cache of the series I should visit. I'm uploading all caches manually and are not caching paperless.
Some people prefer multis, others don't. I really enjoy caches where I have figure out the way to the cache myself. In another thread, some people indicated that they don't like multis that make them feel they are on a guided tour. I actually sometimes find a multi is better because I can only plan the the route to the first waypoint at home and I don't know till I get in the field where I will be going.

 

I think that some of the recent posts about "power trails" help illustrate why the "power trail" clause was removed from the listing guidelines. It's hard to get a consistent, objective definition of what constitutes a power trail. Like the "wow factor" test for virtuals, cache hiders were often surprised when the reviewer's definition of "power trail" differed from their own, and when different reviewers applied different standards a few miles apart across their imaginary reviewer territory border line.

People want to blame the supposed degradation of their enjoyment of geocaching on something. Since there was a power trail clause in the guidelines and it was removed, that's as good of a scapegoat as any.

 

Look at my signature if you want to know who to really blame if you find geocaching is no longer as as enjoyable as you once did.

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What I see in my area is ever-more micros and nanos and ever-fewer larger caches.

Now I admit I've only been caching 4 years, so I can't say for sure, but what I see around me is that larger caches are planted today at least as frequently as they were planted 10 years ago, or even 5 years ago. That's easy: not many were being planted 10 years ago or even 5 years ago. In addition, micros alone are being planted at a much higher rate than any caches were planted 5 years ago. If I didn't pay attention to any micros today, I believe I'd still have much richer caching opportunities than I would have had in 2009.

 

I suppose I'm just lucky to be caching where I am.

 

No, not necessarily from my point of view. For me a power trail is an agglomeration of caches where one of the key intents is to attract many cachers to the trail by the presence of many caches hidden at the same time and to make them visit areas or hike along trails which they would not visit if the number of cachers were considerably smaller.

The Anaphylaxis series has been visited about once every 10 days since it was published. Is that what you consider "many"?

 

I guess the key issue is that for you it is about the caches/hides and for me it is entirely about the trails and experiences. The container search

part is the part I could most easily live without.

Actually, I'm seeing it as exactly the reverse. I go to a location to enjoy it, and I enjoy it whether there's one cache or 12 caches. You, on the other hand, can't stand it if there is more than one cache on a given hike.

 

I'll let narcissa respond to this as it was directed at her, but do you have any evidence at all that if a CO doesn't set out a series that saturates a trail that there would be no other ? I can guarantee you this. Once a CO has saturated a trail with a "series" there won't be any other caches along that trail due to the proximity guideline. It would be great if caches created for the numbers crowd and caches created for those seeking quality could co-exist, but it's never going to happen until those that create caches for the numbers are willing to compromise, and maybe leave a few spots open for someone else to place a cache.

What I pointed out was that the series Cezanne brought up as a classic example of the problem under discussion was placed somewhere that would probably have no caches otherwise. And this series isn't even that dense. One could easily put another 12 caches in that forest without much difficulty. Yet despite that fact that it doesn't have that kind of problem, people are still complaining about it for reasons I haven't yet understood. Again, 50 visits in a year and a half. That's what you consider created for numbers?

 

Good grief. The point wasn't to coerce you into doing a power trail. The point was to provide evidence which demonstrates how series of caches which exist only to increase the find count for those interested in the numbers is not localized issue. The evidence is there, but I guess if you refuse to even look at it there is no point in continuing this discussion.

What I pointed out was that you had to tell me where to go look for these evil power trails. That's not a very convincing way to demonstrate that it's a pervasive problem.

 

Look at the map of Prince Edward Island, then show me any place in the world that has caches layed out in long strings like that five years ago.

So what did Prince Edward Island look like 5 years ago? Were there any caches there?

 

There are good caches and bad caches. What I'm hearing here is that all caches in any series are bad.

I think *I* have found the disconnect. You seem to be hearing things that people are not saying.

We have a concrete example of a series made up of a bunch of excellent caches, yet it's being condemned as an example of the problem. I'm sorry, but I cannot see any other way to interpret that other than being a claim that all series are bad.

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[First, my log writing about a hike along a 10km trail does not really fit well for a cache of such a series and my logs deal with the journey and not the container search.

Typically a hiking multi cache along a trail is hidden to show others the trail and not to focus on a hide and seek game. That's fits much better to my style of logging.

What I have done is to take one cache on a trail - perhaps my favorite and probably not one that was part of some series - and write up a long log about my day caching. Of course some owners might object to including other caches in the log on their cache. For all of the other caches I log "see my log on GCxxxxx for a description of my hike".

 

I do not like this solution at all. I hate it when I look at all recent logs of cacher X and realize that only a single log has some reasonable contents.

 

Moreover, what I personally miss if I select a single cache of a series is a way description, accurate T and D-ratings and intermediary waypoints.

 

Some people prefer multis, others don't. I really enjoy caches where I have figure out the way to the cache myself. In another thread, some people indicated that they don't like multis that make them feel they are on a

guided tour. I actually sometimes find a multi is better because I can only plan the the route to the first waypoint at home and I don't know till I get in the field where I will be going.

 

I'm aware of that. Actually, I also like summit traditionals where the cache descriptions provides me with suggestions on how to approach the cache and information about the expected terrain difficulty.

 

I suffer from some physical restrictions and cannot do everything and thus I'm dependent on some level of information that typically is not offered for the series caches in my area.

 

I'm not against traditionals, but I prefer single traditionals by far to series of traditionals that are a kind of modern multi cache with more than one smiley but the same description, logs and ratings for all caches (even if not appropriate).

 

People want to blame the supposed degradation of their enjoyment of geocaching on something. Since there was a power trail clause in the guidelines and it was removed, that's as good of a scapegoat as any.

 

In my area the series of traditionals (in many cases ended by a so-called bonus cache) have not been published before and now almost have replaced multi caches. It is evident that the changed guideline led to the existence of these series. Of course they are hidden by cachers and not by Groundspeak, but with the old guidelines such series were rejected in my area.

 

 

Look at my signature if you want to know who to really blame if you find geocaching is no longer as as enjoyable as you once did.

 

I find it still as enjoyable if I travel to old-school caches.

The issue is just that I can do that only a few times per year and I need to be physically more active all over the year.

I do not have an issue with stating that I'm the one to blame - I could quit caching as many others around me have done or

search only 20 caches per year. From the point of view of caching, this would be the perfect solution for me, but not health-wise with respect

to physical activity. Your signature is about something else.

 

For me it is not about complaining - it is stating that geocaching has changed to the worse for me and to explain why this is the case.

I know others for whom geocaching has changed to the better. There are winners and losers, as everywhere.

 

Cezanne

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The Anaphylaxis series has been visited about once every 10 days since it was published. Is that what you consider "many"?

 

No, but in my area such series get much more traffic.

An arbitrarily selected example

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC57FCE_kindberg-runde-k1?guid=b9beb8d8-00c5-4760-a055-d097cc26d46e

this series received 33 visits within two weeks and this even though it is located in an area with few cachers. Most visitors drive at least 1 hour to the series in one direction.

 

 

Actually, I'm seeing it as exactly the reverse. I go to a location to enjoy it, and I enjoy it whether there's one cache or 12 caches. You, on the other hand, can't stand it if there is more than one cache on a given hike.

 

That's not exactly true in this formulation.

I cannot fully enjoy the hike if I'm interrupted by 12 searches that annoy me (that's true also for a single cache with 12 physical stages) and it spoils my enjoyment at home when I have to split up

my experience in 12 logs and realize that almost all others write the same log for all caches.

 

In often have left caches unfound along my way. In the case of series caches, it makes selecting caches and logging however really difficult for me. Separate traditionals have accurate ratings with a much higher probability (at least in my area where it is common to use the same D/T rating for all caches of the series).

 

What I pointed out was that the series Cezanne brought up as a classic example of the problem under discussion was placed somewhere that would probably have no caches otherwise.

 

Which series do you mean? The Anaphylaxis series? That might be - then I did not select the best example.

The example I provided from my area is a completely different one. There enough caches existed before

and others like myself had plans to hide caches there that would have taken just one spot and not 65.

 

And this series isn't even that dense. One could easily put another 12 caches in that forest without much difficulty.

 

Probably, but none of the old-school cachers I know would want to hide caches near a cache series.

 

Yet despite that fact that it doesn't have that kind of problem, people are still complaining about it for reasons I haven't yet understood. Again, 50 visits in a year and a half. That's what you consider created for numbers?

 

That depends on the number of cachers in your area.

In my area a cache series with 12 caches gets easily 50 visits within a month, at least during the first months.

This brings me to something else: Series often get archived after 2 or 3 years while multi caches that show a trail have on average a longer life. Often one series is replaced by a new one where the route is entirely the same, just the containers and hideouts change.

 

 

We have a concrete example of a series made up of a bunch of excellent caches, yet it's being condemned as an example of the problem. I'm sorry, but I cannot see any other way to interpret that other than being a claim that all series are bad.

 

What's bad and excellent depends on the individual cacher. I'm not talking about cache quality (if such a term exists and can be measured at all), but about what's good/bad for myself and others do the same.

 

It might well be that this particular series that I selected from your finds to explain you what kind of series cause an issue for me in my area does not cause an issue in your area at all.

In the US the number of hiking multi caches has never been a substantial number when compared to the number of traditionals. This has been very different in my country. So it is not so surprising that it is hard for you to understand how massive the changes have been in my area. It still is likely that you would better like caching in my area as it is now than it has been back then, but this does not need to hold for everyone.

 

So the only place where the adjective bad really comes into play in my posts is my statement that the changes geocaching underwent in my area are bad for me. Many of those who quit geocaching, also think that the changes are bad for them. We have every right to evaluate the changes in this way.

 

Be assured that I often recommend cache series like the Ana... series to other cachers to whose preferences such series appeal. So I'm not condemning them. The unfortunate thing for me is that hardly anything is left that appeals to me. Also from the point of view of hiding caches, the cache series have effects on me. I have given up a number of cache projects because cache series showed up.

There would have been space for a single further container, but I'm not interested into getting 50 logs per year and at most 1-2 of them contain anything of interest. That's not what I'm going to invest time into it.

 

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne
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You know, I bet that probably 95% (and I don't have proof, just the people I know who do geocache) don't care about the politics, the business side, etc of geocaching. All they want to do is load a coordinate or a few and just find a cache. So what, I got into this hobby for my own reasons, for the fun of it and the adventure and the satisfaction we get when we get a find. If the game has changed, so what. If people like stats, so what, who cares. If you enjoy the game for what it is, then all that stuff about the game changing is meaningless. I have been doing this for 10 years now and enjoy it as much now as I did then. Some caches are bad, but some are amazing. Power trails are fine, we did two last year, but we only did it for the experience of completing a pt. Numbers to us aren't why we geocache. We geocache for the adventure, one cache at a time. It is one of the things we enjoy doing as a family. That part of geocaching, I wouldn't trade for anything.

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OMG, I think we may be uncovering our disconnect if you think the Anaphylaxis series is anything like a power trail.
It sounds like one of the old-school power trails around here, one that the county parks department uses for its geocaching classes. Except that they're all owned by the same person, and they all use the same container, and they're identified by the series name and a number. It may not be a numbers run trail, but it's a power trail.
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I can guarantee you this. Once a CO has saturated a trail with a "series" there won't be any other caches along that trail due to the proximity guideline. It would be great if caches created for the numbers crowd and caches created for those seeking quality could co-exist, but it's never going to happen until those that create caches for the numbers are willing to compromise, and maybe leave a few spots open for someone else to place a cache.

 

 

This is probably very often true. But I've seen many series which had gaps, and then other cachers have come in and filled them. They get filled mainly by cachers walking the trail who see a gap and think "why not put one here"?

 

I've also seen the case where the owner launched a trail with caches spaced quite far apart, then later filled in the gaps themselves.

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I hid the first cache on Saturday's suburban bike trail back in 2002. It's a four stage multicache requiring a 10 mile ride. Cezanne would love it. It's been found once this year, three times last year, once in 2012, once in 2011, and once in 2010. A few miles away, the newer closely spaced traditional caches get found every week. People often travel ten miles or more to find all those traditionals. Did they have less fun than if they found my single cache? Is geocaching worse off by the presence of 100+ caches to attract people to that bike trail?

 

That is the question upon which I have mixed feelings. Many of these series are very well done. Great location, variety of containers and hides, some of which may stand out and be favourites. But they can become somewhat repetitive, and generally each individual cache generally isn't so memorable in itself.

 

On the other hand, some of best caches I have done have been caches with multiple stages which take several hours or more to do one cache. These often have a theme which makes the whole thing feel more of an adventure, especially when you don't know where it is taking you.

 

As long as both continue to exist then I'm OK. The concern I have is finders grow to expect the trails and numbers and increasingly take the attitude to avoid some of these great multiple stage caches ("why should I spend 3 hours on that one cache, even if it is amazing, if I can find 50 in the same time"). Then the people who hide such "special" caches get put off by how little finds they get and stop hiding them. I think this would be a loss to the game.

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Last weekend I found a string of caches along two bike trails -- one suburban and the other decidedly rural. It was the first time in years that I got out on my mountain bike. The caches were never more than .25 miles apart, but there was some great bike riding and lots of scenery along the way. It felt very "old school." I added two caches to my Top 5% bookmark list, one from Saturday's trip and the other from Sunday's. In both cases I stopped after a dozen or so caches and rode several miles back to my car. I will return to both trails in the future to find another dozen, or maybe 50, depending on my mood. So were those power trails?

 

For me there are power trails, but not number trails. A distance of .25 miles between caches/stages appears to be too small for me even when I hike. When biking it gets annoying. Yes, of course one can skip caches, but your question was whether such cache series are power trails.

 

A recent bike trail in my home area led me realize again that those cachers who enjoyed the full trail and liked the small inter cache distances were those who do not enjoy cycling that much (they admitted this themselves). The avid cyclers felt that there were way too many caches. So in a sense the new trails rather appeal to those for whom cycling is not their primary concern while caches like your old multi rather appeal to those who really like to ride a bike. (Of course, this is a bit oversimplified.) So in a sense the old school multi and the new trail serve different target audiences. If one group is left with no caches to find, this is unfortunate, I think.

 

 

I hid the first cache on Saturday's suburban bike trail back in 2002. It's a four stage multicache requiring a 10 mile ride. Cezanne would love it.

 

Yes, for sure.

 

It's been found once this year, three times last year, once in 2012, once in 2011, and once in 2010. A few miles away, the newer closely spaced traditional caches get found every week. People often travel ten miles or more to find all those traditionals. Did they have less fun than if they found my single cache? Is geocaching worse off by the presence of 100+ caches to attract people to that bike trail?

 

Apparently these people had more fun finding the series than your cache which per se is not a problem. Regarding your last question above:

My answer depends a lot on the remaining cache offer in the area. If only such series are hidden and no caches like your 2002 cache, then it is bad for me (it can be good for many others).

If there still exist caches of both types and new caches like your 2002 cache are hidden, then there is something available for everyone.

 

What I observe in my province is however that the last biking multi cache has been hidden years ago. What's popular nowadays are power trails or number trails and that many of the old cachers give

up and archive their caches as I do not like copy and paste logs only mentioning the power trail trip in logs for their long existing separate caches.

 

Another issue that comes up is that while many old-school hiders do not care if their caches are found so rarely than your 2002 multi caches in recent years, this does not hold true for most newer cache hiders.

I recently had to comfort someone who has hidden a multi cache and a bonus cache which can be found by going for a relaxing and easy hike in a scenic location. He was worried that it took days until the first find and that even after a few weeks only a few people have been there. He wrote me that he rather should have hidden a series with 10 caches. Certainly in that case he would have more than 60 finders by now instead of 7.

I'm not sure what type of caches he gets to hide next time. I obtained the feeling that the trend away from multi caches and/or a small number of separate traditionals is not only guided by the facts that some cachers prefer traditionals and do not like multis and that many cachers care for smilies, but also by the fact that many cache owners try to keep up with the trend towards cache series to attract cachers to their area and to do not end up with "lonely caches".

 

To sum up, the single bike trail series you mention above does not harm geocaching (at least if the hides do have appropriate permission and if the caches are maintained properly). A problem arises if there is no balance and choice any longer. I'm perfectly fine with the fact that lots of cachers prefer to have fun with the series to having fun with your multi as long caches like your multi do not die out.

 

 

Cezanne

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