Jump to content

I'm Really Not in this for the Numbers


Followers 3

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone! :)

 

Yesterday I did my first power trail. It's called the "USA Mega Series", and consists of 50 caches. I'm not normally into challenges just for the sake of it, but I just wanted to try it out to see how it went. So I aimed to find all 50 caches in one day. The route was 10.9 miles between all the caches, but that's "as the crow flies", so the actual distance I walked was almost certainly significantly longer.

 

I started about 8:30am, and by about 6:00pm I had got round them all. My find score was 43 out of 50. I kind of enjoyed it, but by the end of it I was worn out and sore. A lot of the caches were under bridges, and I found myself climbing about and getting into various awkward positions.

 

However, the problem I have with a scenario like this is that it's too rushed. I'm all for a brisk walk to keep the fitness up, but when you're rushing just to get the numbers there's no time to really enjoy the journey.

 

It turned out to be a really nice day once the clouds cleared, but I felt like I didn't really have time to fully enjoy it. Also, with so many caches all hidden by the same CO, many of them were the same; just a camo bag under a bridge. This is one down-side to doing a series created by one person: there will be a lot of similarity between the caches.

 

So I think I confirmed what I already believed, that doing geocaching purely for the numbers is not really my thing. But I think it's true of anything in life really. If you're rushing just to get lots of things done, you don't really have time to enjoy it. It's like, last summer I had a day trip to London, and I tried to pack in so many places to see in one day, a lot of the day was just this blur of rushing.

 

So with geocaching, I'm back to thinking that the best approach is to pick a nice area, and then design a nice route that takes in a bunch of geocaches as a nice extra. If I'm planning to be out for the whole day, a more realistic number is about 10-20.

 

50 caches in 9.5 hours is one cache every 11.4 minutes, which includes walking between the caches. That's nonsense if you want to actually enjoy the day and experience the landscape. There were times when I just wanted to rest for a while longer and take in the scenery, and there were places where I wanted to take photos but didn't have the time. Even with the 7 caches I didn't find, I wonder if I'd have found them if I hadn't been in such a rush.

 

I think it's just a difference in mindset. Some people thrive on challenges and competitions, so will approach geocaching with the aim of getting their find count as high as possible. Others, like me, want to just use it as an excuse to see places we haven't seen before and enjoy the day out.

 

An extra 50 added to my find score or a nice day out? I know what my priority is. What's yours?

Link to comment

It depends on the kind of trail. On Friday we did 2 series (19 and 20 caches) and I would not consider them "trails". All of these caches were unique (unlike "micro trails") like birdhouse, cryptex,"magic box" and other homecrafted stuff. We found 38 during the 18 Km, 6,5 hour bikeride, including sitting in the sun enjoying an icecream... so no rush and time enough to enjoy the journey.

 

We have a real trail planned where will we will stay in a B&B close by. We solved 100 puzzles and there are an extra 10 bonuscacches and one "superbonus". This will be a 50Km bikeride and of course that will mean less sightseeing along the way. However, we might just cut the trail in two and do half one day and the rest the day after so we'll have time to go for a few of the multicaches nearby with 10's of favorites.

We will have three days to spend in the area and we have about 200 caches selected of which 29 multicaches, I'm sure it will be fun. The mysterytrail will be a challenge for speed, the rest will be a brain challenge so it looks like a good mix. The "micro behind a lamppost" traditional didn't make the selection and even though they might be close to the trail we'll leave them be.

Link to comment

I pretty much agree. Two occasions come to mind for me, one was when I went for a challenge cache which used the D/T ratings on caches found in a day and you had to hit an exact value to qualify, so I went out caching and the "pressure" of hitting the exact number meant that I was more concerned with the maths than the caches and I really didn't enjoy the day and that pretty much put me off challenge caches.

 

The second occasion was when I thought I'd aim for 100 in a day, so I chose a trail by a single cacher, I did quite a nice walk in a nice area on a nice day and did 18 miles (which is OK), but the hides were pretty dire, a lot had gone missing and been replaced by "throwdowns" presumably by previous cachers who didn't want to fail to hit 100, it was OK but certainly not my best day out.

 

I've covered 10 miles on plenty of days out but collect far fewer than 50 caches and almost certainly get more out of those trips than a big cache trail.

Link to comment

If it's taking you 11.4 minutes between caches seems you should have lots of time to enjoy the scenery and photographs. Ive done all sorts of power trails, by car, by bike, by foot and I have never not had the time to enjoy my surroundings or to take pictures of everything I wanted, mind you I never actually set a target number and even if I had I wouldn't rush myself to hit it.

Link to comment

As Mark Twain said 'Geocaching is a good walk spoiled'

 

Or at least something like that....

 

That's golf and only if you're doing it wrong.

 

Any recommendations on a new putter? This is the golf thread, right? :ph34r:

 

The point is that •feeling• rushed is different for each person. Solution? Cache at the pace that makes you happiest.

Link to comment

If it's taking you 11.4 minutes between caches seems you should have lots of time to enjoy the scenery and photographs. Ive done all sorts of power trails, by car, by bike, by foot and I have never not had the time to enjoy my surroundings or to take pictures of everything I wanted, mind you I never actually set a target number and even if I had I wouldn't rush myself to hit it.

 

I'd think that most people wouldn't notice much of their surroundings when they set a goal like this for themselves. Their mind is set on reaching the goal so they're watching the clock, the distance left, and the numbers they're getting in hopes of finishing in time. Most everything else comes in second.

 

Not my kind of fun at all but many people seem to like doing it.

Link to comment

If it's taking you 11.4 minutes between caches seems you should have lots of time to enjoy the scenery and photographs. Ive done all sorts of power trails, by car, by bike, by foot and I have never not had the time to enjoy my surroundings or to take pictures of everything I wanted, mind you I never actually set a target number and even if I had I wouldn't rush myself to hit it.

 

I'd think that most people wouldn't notice much of their surroundings when they set a goal like this for themselves. Their mind is set on reaching the goal so they're watching the clock, the distance left, and the numbers they're getting in hopes of finishing in time. Most everything else comes in second.

 

Not my kind of fun at all but many people seem to like doing it.

 

Maybe the problem then is the goal, my record is 768 caches in one day, we took a 2 hour nap in the middle after checking into our hotel and had a nice lunch. I probably took 200 pictures during the day as well and at no point did we ever feel rushed as we really had no goal of how many to find.

Link to comment

As Mark Twain said 'Geocaching is a good walk spoiled'

 

Or at least something like that....

 

That's golf and only if you're doing it wrong.

 

Any recommendations on a new putter? This is the golf thread, right? :ph34r:

 

The point is that •feeling• rushed is different for each person. Solution? Cache at the pace that makes you happiest.

 

It not the putter it's the puttee.

Link to comment

If it's taking you 11.4 minutes between caches seems you should have lots of time to enjoy the scenery and photographs. Ive done all sorts of power trails, by car, by bike, by foot and I have never not had the time to enjoy my surroundings or to take pictures of everything I wanted, mind you I never actually set a target number and even if I had I wouldn't rush myself to hit it.

 

I'd think that most people wouldn't notice much of their surroundings when they set a goal like this for themselves. Their mind is set on reaching the goal so they're watching the clock, the distance left, and the numbers they're getting in hopes of finishing in time. Most everything else comes in second.

 

Not my kind of fun at all but many people seem to like doing it.

 

Maybe the problem then is the goal, my record is 768 caches in one day, we took a 2 hour nap in the middle after checking into our hotel and had a nice lunch. I probably took 200 pictures during the day as well and at no point did we ever feel rushed as we really had no goal of how many to find.

 

Well, I was walking round (many of them were on footpaths, so it was the only way to do it really), so sometimes a lot of that 11.4 minutes is the actual traveling time between the caches. Then there's perhaps 5 minutes to search for the cache.

 

Also, I'm really into my photography. I don't just do random quick snaps, I like to take my time with it.

 

But this is not a competition, in my mind at least. Obviously it is for you, and that's totally fair enough. 768 in one days is insane! Even if you spent 10 hours at it, that's less than a minute per cache, which is just bonkers! :lol:

Link to comment

That doesn't quite sound like a power trail to me, just a lot of caches in one area. And I think that makes it a good example for this discussion. Yeah, some people are doing that kind of thing just for the numbers, and I don't really get that, and it sounds like you don't either. I'm not in it for the numbers, either, but that doesn't mean I might not try to tackle something like that -- or even one of the driving power trails -- just to see if I could do it, not because I'd get a lot of smileys if I did. The emphasis of my day would be different in just the way you describe, but it sounds like you had a wonderful adventure, and you should really keep hold of that even as you recognize that you've been there and done that and don't feel a need to do it again. I agree, though, I'd probably enjoy taking this series on 10 or 20 at a time instead of doing it all at once, so if this was somewhere I'd want to visit multiple times, I'd likely do 20 and then ignoring the last 30, leaving them for another visit, even if that meant walking right past them.

 

As Mark Twain said 'Geocaching is a good walk spoiled'

:) Yeah, this phrase has definitely echoed in my head multiple times while out caching. But then I remind myself that I probably wouldn't be out there having the walk to begin with if the caches hadn't lured me there. And, in the final analysis, the walk wasn't changed at all, I just interrupted it from time to time to look for caches.

Link to comment

That doesn't quite sound like a power trail to me, just a lot of caches in one area. And I think that makes it a good example for this discussion. Yeah, some people are doing that kind of thing just for the numbers, and I don't really get that, and it sounds like you don't either. I'm not in it for the numbers, either, but that doesn't mean I might not try to tackle something like that -- or even one of the driving power trails -- just to see if I could do it, not because I'd get a lot of smileys if I did. The emphasis of my day would be different in just the way you describe, but it sounds like you had a wonderful adventure, and you should really keep hold of that even as you recognize that you've been there and done that and don't feel a need to do it again. I agree, though, I'd probably enjoy taking this series on 10 or 20 at a time instead of doing it all at once, so if this was somewhere I'd want to visit multiple times, I'd likely do 20 and then ignoring the last 30, leaving them for another visit, even if that meant walking right past them.

 

Oh yes, definitely. I came away from that day feeling like I'd had a good adventure and cracking day out, but definitely also a feeling that I don't want to make a habit of approaching geocaching in that way.

 

The thing is, this series of 50 caches was in a ring around a the countryside surrounding a town. There are plenty of other geocaches actually in the town, and also elsewhere nearby. So you could easily do 10 of that series combined with 10 other caches nearby to make your own convenient loop route.

 

I think that's a good point actually, to make our own minds up about what we want to do on a particular day. Just because there are a bunch of caches in a series in numerical order, it doesn't mean they have to be done that way. We can pick and choose and do it however we want.

 

By the way, why is not the trail I did a power trail? I heard about power trails and types "geocaching power trails" into Google. It came up with geocachetrails.com. The one I did was the largest trail near to me.

Link to comment

There really is no definition of a power trail, to me it must have these traits:

 

At least 100 caches, preferably 500+

Route must be drivable.

All caches must be as near as possible to the road.

All caches must be hidden in a similar manner and easy to find.

Containers must be film pots or something similar.

Link to comment

There really is no definition of a power trail, to me it must have these traits:

 

At least 100 caches, preferably 500+

Route must be drivable.

All caches must be as near as possible to the road.

All caches must be hidden in a similar manner and easy to find.

Containers must be film pots or something similar.

 

Ohhh, I see. So they are designed purely to be really quick and easy to find. So it really is purely for the numbers.

 

So what I did was more of a challenge series. The fact that most of them were on footpaths rather than next to the road, this actually made it more of a challenge than if those 50 caches were all next to the road and really easy to find.

 

Wow, I could find hundreds in a day if all I had to do was drive forward a bit, hop out the car and it's in my hand straight away, then straight back in the car and so on. I really can't see the appeal of that though. I mean, how many times can I drive forward a bit and briefly hop out of the car? If they're that easy to find, why even bother with the caches? Just drive forward and keep hopping out of the car, see how many times you can do that in a day, like some kind of maniac with a bizarre compulsive disorder :lol:

Edited by Laughing at the Sky
Link to comment
There really is no definition of a power trail, to me it must have these traits:

 

At least 100 caches, preferably 500+

Route must be drivable.

All caches must be as near as possible to the road.

All caches must be hidden in a similar manner and easy to find.

Containers must be film pots or something similar.

Ohhh, I see. So they are designed purely to be really quick and easy to find. So it really is purely for the numbers.
Yeah, that kind of trail is purely for the numbers. And FWIW, I call that kind of trail a numbers run trail.

 

I use the term "power trail" to refer to the old-school power trail, which is a hiking trail that is saturated with caches, where the caches are varied and generally owned by multiple owners. There's one around here that the county parks department uses for their intro geocaching classes. Beginners can experience 8-10 varied caches and be back at the parking lot in time for lunch. I'm volunteering to help with one of those classes next month.

Link to comment

I dislike micros in general and and if you add a power trail I'm really going to get bored and have no interest in geocaching. To be fair I tried a PT once that was about 11/2 miles long and stopped after about the 4th micro thrown in the bushes. I really didn't see the point of going on. Years ago I did a multi cache in the forest and would rate it as one of my favorite caches. This cache was well though out and was placed years before numbers became important. If I played for numbers I would miss out on what's going on around me. We all play the way that makes us happy, that what gives us so many choices.

Link to comment

Oh yes, definitely. I came away from that day feeling like I'd had a good adventure and cracking day out, but definitely also a feeling that I don't want to make a habit of approaching geocaching in that way.

Sounds exactly like me: I'd love the day, but I would be satisfied to accomplish it only once. (But I doubt I could have done it all in one day, so it's not entirely like me.)

 

I think that's a good point actually, to make our own minds up about what we want to do on a particular day. Just because there are a bunch of caches in a series in numerical order, it doesn't mean they have to be done that way. We can pick and choose and do it however we want.

The important lesson is to always have fun. I like to follow the CO's plan as long as I'm enjoying it, but it's my responsibility to judge whether I'm enjoying it. If I do a power series and find it boring, I can't blame the CO for that. This series actually seems designed to be taken in bite sized chunks, but, as I was saying, even if it weren't, I can always just walk by the rest if I feel like I've found enough for one day.

 

Ohhh, I see. So they are designed purely to be really quick and easy to find. So it really is purely for the numbers.

Exactly. I don't claim you're entirely wrong to call this a power trail -- the definition isn't cast in stone or anything -- but in my mind the key that makes something a true power trail is that the actual containers are very easy to find, if they're hidden at all. It sounds like in this series, each of the 50 caches could stand on its own as a reasonable cache.

Link to comment

Last year I did the 31 days of geocaching in August. Once I got in to it I felt like I 'had' to find at least one cache every day. Some of the days I spent time caching that I really didn't have time to spend. I vowed I'd never try something like that again. Felt too much like a contest.

Link to comment

I dislike micros in general and and if you add a power trail I'm really going to get bored and have no interest in geocaching. To be fair I tried a PT once that was about 11/2 miles long and stopped after about the 4th micro thrown in the bushes. I really didn't see the point of going on. Years ago I did a multi cache in the forest and would rate it as one of my favorite caches. This cache was well though out and was placed years before numbers became important. If I played for numbers I would miss out on what's going on around me. We all play the way that makes us happy, that what gives us so many choices.

 

And why can't someone that enjoys the numbers aspect of the game find a multi in a forest too?

Link to comment

I'm not far from you, but I've not done that series yet. You will notice that there are many such walking based series. That one is long to do in one day. Much more common are smaller series of 20-30 caches which are 4-6 miles. There are lots of these and they are very popular. Yes, often in such a series from the same owner there is some similarity in hides/containers, though not always.

 

I will do that series one day I'm sure - there are a lot of "Little Bridges" and I like those. I probably will do it in 2 sections. I've done long days, but I never do more than I want.

 

While I'll spend a half a day doing a small series; other times I'll spend half a day or more doing a single (more complex) cache. If you don't like the repetitiveness of a typical series, check out caches by the owner "abanazar" over near Bath. It will typically take you at least a couple of hours for each one; but you will find multiple stages all in a theme, and very original.

Link to comment

I did 46 caches in a 7-mile walk (and 17 others in the day for a record daily haul, breaking my previous best by 12) last week. A reasonable variety of hides but a few trademark containers / hiding methods. A big part of the fun for me was, having plotted the (puzzle!) caches on a map, to put my gadget away and use the map and hint to get me to the next GZ. It was a scenic walk and it was good to look around and enjoy it on the way rather than be staring at a GPS.

Back to a 7-cache, 2-mile trail with OS Junior and Mrs OS yesterday, that's much more of a normal day's caching for me. There are several longer trails in S England we've just nibbled at in that way, knowing that some people will walk / cycle the whole thing in one session. Each to their own, that's part of the fun.

Link to comment

I say go for it. As I said in my post, play the way that makes you happy. I happen to like traditional caches and have no interest in find counts.

 

But you criticize those who cache differently.

 

No, he didn't. His post only states what he likes and doesn't like. There was nothing in it that was critical about how others cache. Maybe, as you said you might do in another thread, take a break from the forums. In your defense of power trails you're starting to see things in posts that don't exist.

Link to comment
There really is no definition of a power trail, to me it must have these traits:

 

At least 100 caches, preferably 500+

Route must be drivable.

All caches must be as near as possible to the road.

All caches must be hidden in a similar manner and easy to find.

Containers must be film pots or something similar.

Ohhh, I see. So they are designed purely to be really quick and easy to find. So it really is purely for the numbers.
Yeah, that kind of trail is purely for the numbers. And FWIW, I call that kind of trail a numbers run trail.

 

I use the term "power trail" to refer to the old-school power trail, which is a hiking trail that is saturated with caches, where the caches are varied and generally owned by multiple owners. There's one around here that the county parks department uses for their intro geocaching classes. Beginners can experience 8-10 varied caches and be back at the parking lot in time for lunch. I'm volunteering to help with one of those classes next month.

 

I far prefer the term "numbers run trail" as well. To me, there is nothing "power" about driving from cache to cache while trying to keep yourself awake. The term "power" should command a bit more respect than that.

Link to comment
There really is no definition of a power trail, to me it must have these traits:

 

At least 100 caches, preferably 500+

Route must be drivable.

All caches must be as near as possible to the road.

All caches must be hidden in a similar manner and easy to find.

Containers must be film pots or something similar.

Ohhh, I see. So they are designed purely to be really quick and easy to find. So it really is purely for the numbers.
Yeah, that kind of trail is purely for the numbers. And FWIW, I call that kind of trail a numbers run trail.

 

I use the term "power trail" to refer to the old-school power trail, which is a hiking trail that is saturated with caches, where the caches are varied and generally owned by multiple owners. There's one around here that the county parks department uses for their intro geocaching classes. Beginners can experience 8-10 varied caches and be back at the parking lot in time for lunch. I'm volunteering to help with one of those classes next month.

 

I far prefer the term "numbers run trail" as well. To me, there is nothing "power" about driving from cache to cache while trying to keep yourself awake. The term "power" should command a bit more respect than that.

I agree, let's call it for what it really is.

Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Followers 3
×
×
  • Create New...