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All Hide, No Seek


edexter
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When I first started caching, a popular short hand explanation of the game was "It's like electronic hide and seek. Somebody hides a box in the woods, publishes the location, and you go try to find it." Pretty good shorthand description I thought.

Ok, so I've been trying to understand why it seems like each year the number of new P&Gs increases and the number of interesting hiking caches decreases. I understand that caring about the numbers game (one point for a P&G micro, one point for an 8 stage cross country multi) is a big reason but that has been the deal from the start so it doesn't explain the change. (Non-Puzzle GeoArt and bike trail power trails with a cache every .1m are more recent number driven creations, but they have always been possible.)

Today it finally hit me between the eyes: changes in the rules of what is allowed as a cache are skewed in one direction only. If you think of the "hide and seek" aspect of a traditional cache on "time spent" percentage basis, a parking lot guardrail hide is 100% hide, 0% seek: You plug in the coords for the cache in your auto GPS, drive to the obvious location, and look for the hide. For a traditional cache with a one mile round trip walk, the time spent ratio is probably more like 25% hide, 75% seek (maybe a 5 minutes search and a 15 minute walk). For long multis, the ratio might be skewed even more towards getting there than find the hide timewise.

 

Geocaching has eliminated (or shifted to "Waymarks") Virtuals, Locationless, and Challenge caches and frozen the benchmark listings. Let's see where they fit: Virtuals are No Hide, All Seek, the polar opposite of a P&G. They were common in National Parks and other outdoor areas which forbid physical caches. Locationless Caches required you to find a specific thing anywhere that was more or less in plain view: again No Hide, All Seek. Challenge caches and Benchmarks ran the gamut but were clearly more about getting there than finding something. Meanwhile the game encouraged the use of micros, nanos and "unknowns" all of which are typically used in P&G hides. Puzzle caches which conceal the actual coordinates, are typically single stage hides, and are heavily time weighted on finding the hide (in this case the coordinates) before the outdoor game even begins. Field puzzle caches are relatively rare. When you look at the direction of change it all points away from spending time on a walk in the woods and towards finding a small object hidden very close to where you auto GPS takes you.

It is what it is, so...but I know there is a small minority of cachers whose interests are similar. If this is you, I'd be happy to get bookmark lists or something similar of the "good stuff" that are More Hike Than Hide anywhere in Eastern Mass and Rhode Island. Thanks,

edexter

Edited by edexter
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Ok, so I've been trying to understand why it seems like each year the number of new P&Gs increases...

Park and grabs and other easy hides are increasing because geocaching has become much more popular. So more people want to hide more caches, and the easier to get to, the quicker you can hide it. That's all. Perfectly reasonable. A big part of it is that geocaching has spread from its original hiking roots, so many people playing today don't consider hiking that important. But I also see old timers that obviously do a lot of hiking more frequently making simple hides themselves, although they also continue to do hiking hides.

 

...and the number of interesting hiking caches decreases.

This isn't true at all, at least not in my area. While proportionally there are a lot more simpler hides -- not just park and grabs, but also neighborhood hides, corner park hides, greenbelt hides, and such -- I claim there are at least as many new interesting hiking caches as there ever were. So the complaints can't be that there are fewer, only that they aren't increasing as fast as all the other kinds of hides.

 

I understand that caring about the numbers game (one point for a P&G micro, one point for an 8 stage cross country multi) is a big reason but that has been the deal from the start so it doesn't explain the change.

No, I deny that numbers are a significant factor. It's enough that more people like finding caches, so there are more caches for them to find. Sure, counting how many caches have been found motivates a few people, but I think the larger factor is just that people enjoy their hobby and like to do it a lot.

 

Today it finally hit me between the eyes: changes in the rules of what is allowed as a cache are skewed in one direction only.

I can't figure out what rules changes you're talking about, but as I say, I think this can be easily explained through simple increased popularity, so I see no reason to look for hidden changes that make everything all different. When I go hiking, the main difference I see from 5 years ago is that there are more caches on the trails than there used to be.

 

(Another difference, tangential to your point, is that caches are usually near established trails, while the caches that were out when I started in 2010 were more often involved significant bushwhacking. I have mixed feelings about this change, but generally welcome it.)

 

It is what it is, so...but I know there is a small minority of cachers whose interests are similar.

From where I sit, many, perhaps most, geocachers enjoy at least day hiking, although they don't hike every time they cache. But for many cachers, newbies and old timers alike, most of them consider their geocaching hobby more important than hiking, so they no longer consider hiking an essential activity.

 

I can't help you there in the east, but out here around San Francisco, you don't need a bookmark list: just bring up the geocaching.com map and pick a green block showing a park you want to visit, and there are bound to be enough caches to keep you happy.

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dprovan:

I thought you missed most of what I was saying about "All Hide, No Seek" by systematically disagreeing point by point, until you got to "most of them consider their geocaching hobby more important than hiking, so they no longer consider hiking an essential activity" which is the point of my lament. You don't seem to get that eliminating cache types that promote hiking has an effect, or that numbers effect behavior, which seems clear to me, but ok. It's hard to see San Francisco from New England, but the math is pretty universal: When anyone starts caching in an area, say a 40 mile radius from home, there are a fixed number of interesting hikes out there. No matter how many there are, as you do them and others are archived, unless new interesting hikes are added at a faster pace than you can find them, the total number of available caches decreases for you. This is true for everyone, everywhere. In my area, roughly 500 new caches were placed this year, 80% of them no further than 200 yards from the road, most much closer. I'll bet it's the same for your area. If you are "someone who does not consider hiking an essential part of geocaching" and you average less than a cache a day, it's complete abundance. Otherwise, it's a long drive to find new cache hikes. As I said, I'm looking for a little help in finding the "good stuff" further from home as the drives get longer...

edexter

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I agree with Ed. It used to was geocaching took you for a nice hike in the woods to find a few caches and have a nice hike. That was geocaching. Was. Now, it's about numbers. Need more finds! Check out all the shopping malls! Oh, well.

Did maintenance on one of my caches today. Yes. It's a six-stage mystery cache, two miles round trip, with about 500' of climb, and requires a hiking permit. Eighteen finds in nine years. No finds in the last four years. Found two other caches in the area. One had not been found in thirty-three months! The other was found just under a year ago. Geocachers are into numbers. What only three caches today? People will think I'm a slacker!

On the other fin, yesterday I picked an area with an interesting trail with ten possible caches. About four miles with 900'of climb, and great views. Well, five were up or on the way up the mountain. Two were park and grabs. The other three were a short walk from the parking. I passed on one because I didn't want to hike down the mountain, and then back up. So, days like that are possible, but not very common. Most of what are published these days are cache and dashes.

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As I said, I'm looking for a little help in finding the "good stuff" further from home as the drives get longer...

edexter

 

Same here. I want to be able to filter for quality forest finds.

 

The Favourite point system doesn't work for a well-maintained, quality watertight container, hidden in a hollow log in the woods. The FPs go to 'clever' caches, like a centrifuge tube in a plastic frog's mouth, or hollow bolt.

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<snip>

The Favourite point system doesn't work for a well-maintained, quality watertight container, hidden in a hollow log in the woods. The FPs go to 'clever' caches, like a centrifuge tube in a plastic frog's mouth, or hollow bolt.

Of course you have done extensive research to support this premise. Would you care to share your findings?

 

My findings on my caches is just the opposite. The ones you mention, for the most part, gather few, if any FP's. And if they have FP's, it is generally from the low count, find a few and leave smartphone crowd.

 

Really, for the most part I find that caches that have high FP's are high quality caches worth doing. Granted not all are an ammo can in a wilderness area at the end of a two day hike, and, gasp, might even be in a urban area.

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dprovan:

I thought you missed most of what I was saying...

What you were saying is, "They're all having fun wrong."

 

In my area, roughly 500 new caches were placed this year, 80% of them no further than 200 yards from the road, most much closer.

So that's 100 new hiking caches a year (admittedly for the casual definition of "hike" being more than 200 yards, but I assume that's why you picked that number). Is that more or less than were planted every year in whatever you consider the good old days? I wouldn't be surprised if the 80% number held up in my area, but that 80% are not being placed at the expense of interesting hiking caches, they're just in addition to the plentiful caches placed on hikes.

 

If you are "someone who does not consider hiking an essential part of geocaching" and you average less than a cache a day, it's complete abundance. Otherwise, it's a long drive to find new cache hikes.

Hiking isn't an essential part of geocaching. Caching on hikes is still popular, but it's a subgenre now that lots of other people other than hikers have taken up the hobby.

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I understand what you are talking about. You break it into terms of the actual cache search vs. the "adventure" of getting there. As the numbers obsession has taken over the game, there are far more "numbers caches" being hidden than "adventure caches". However as Harry Dolphin alluded to, the adventure caches are still out there. There are a lot of them. Yep, they aren't found very often. Most of my caches now receive a handful of finds a year, where someone who sticks a magnetic key holder to a dumpster behind the 7-Eleven will receive more finds in a month than Harry D's, or my caches will receive in a year or two.

 

Bottom line is hide the sort caches you like to hide and find the ones you enjoy finding. There are still a lot of them out there. They are often lonely these days, but they are there.

 

I know it can be a bit of a chore to sort through the chaff to find the kind of caches you like, but they are there and there are probably way more now than there were when you started the game. Don't worry about what others are doing and play the game on your own terms.

Edited by briansnat
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When you look at the direction of change it all points away from spending time on a walk in the woods and towards finding a small object hidden very close to where you auto GPS takes you.

My 2-cents on this:

  • Hiding hiking caches is not for everyone. Some may be intimidated by the potential maintenance requirements due to distance, time, physical demands, etc. Most long hikes are a bit of a drive away from residential centers, so cachers may not want to commit to driving out there to do maintenance. Even if cachers don't mind the drive, they may not have a flexible enough schedule to actually go out there. Even if cachers have the time, they may not be physically able to hit the trail several times. Perhaps cachers don't hide hiking caches because they can't commit to hiking cache ownership.
  • Finding hiking caches is also not for everyone for similar reasons noted above. Distance, time, physical capability. Urban and P&G caches allow non-hikers to participate in the hobby, and I think that's a good thing. People that enjoy hiking can still hike and find caches. I don't think the non-hiking caches are taking anything away from the hiking caches.

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At the risk of starting a flame war, but...

For myself, hiking is also an integral part of GC, although I don't mind the occasional day of 'concrete caching', but the kick is in being out of sight of the car.

 

Granted so far this is only a relatively small sample size, but it seems that for majority of GCers that started around or before 2008 hiking is an important piece, for the majority that started afterwards it isn't. Nothing bad about this, as you can't play the game 'wrong', just an observation.

Possibly due to how the game was promoted at any given time. My humble view is that it started out as: reward your hike with fun by finding a cache. Over time folks became attracted to the thrill and satisfaction of 'finding'and the find became the primary motivation (around 2009 to 2011). As the finds became somewhat generic (there are only so many hiding places in either the woods or the city and only so many creative ideas, like the hollow bolt, the fake power outlet, the hollowed out tree trunk) the game turned to new types, matrices and challenges and had the occasional spin-off to provide a new stimulus (2012 to 2014).

The result is what we see today. The later versions of the game require higher numbers of caches to be hidden, so they make up the majority, the earlier versions are still there and they are still being placed, they are just harder to find (in the list, that is ;-) ).

 

My personal hope is that high-volume matrix caching was driven by a hype and carried by folks with a short attention span that are or will soon be looking for a new thrill and move on (like locusts... ;-) ). So that it gets a little quieter around GC again and that the number of caches levels out (balance of archived vs newly placed).

Thore

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At the risk of starting a flame war, but...

For myself, hiking is also an integral part of GC, although I don't mind the occasional day of 'concrete caching', but the kick is in being out of sight of the car.

 

Granted so far this is only a relatively small sample size, but it seems that for majority of GCers that started around or before 2008 hiking is an important piece, for the majority that started afterwards it isn't. Nothing bad about this, as you can't play the game 'wrong', just an observation.

Possibly due to how the game was promoted at any given time. My humble view is that it started out as: reward your hike with fun by finding a cache. Over time folks became attracted to the thrill and satisfaction of 'finding'and the find became the primary motivation (around 2009 to 2011). As the finds became somewhat generic (there are only so many hiding places in either the woods or the city and only so many creative ideas, like the hollow bolt, the fake power outlet, the hollowed out tree trunk) the game turned to new types, matrices and challenges and had the occasional spin-off to provide a new stimulus (2012 to 2014).

The result is what we see today. The later versions of the game require higher numbers of caches to be hidden, so they make up the majority, the earlier versions are still there and they are still being placed, they are just harder to find (in the list, that is ;-) ).

 

My personal hope is that high-volume matrix caching was driven by a hype and carried by folks with a short attention span that are or will soon be looking for a new thrill and move on (like locusts... ;-) ). So that it gets a little quieter around GC again and that the number of caches levels out (balance of archived vs newly placed).

Thore

+1

For me, to start by entering my vehicle's location into the GPSr is a good day.

It takes a bit more time finding outta-the-way caches, and it's usually more of a drive to find those areas now, but I am still finding 'em.

- Just need to pass by 90+% of the rest to get there. :)

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For myself, hiking is also an integral part of GC, although I don't mind the occasional day of 'concrete caching', but the kick is in being out of sight of the car.

+1

I prefer to go hiking, but for various reasons it's sometimes not an option. Local parks and 'concrete' areas are much more accessible, especially this time of year when it's dark before 5pm.

 

Granted so far this is only a relatively small sample size, but it seems that for majority of GCers that started around or before 2008 hiking is an important piece, for the majority that started afterwards it isn't. Nothing bad about this, as you can't play the game 'wrong', just an observation.

I'm not sure the timeframes apply for finding as much as they do for hiding. I haven't done any analysis on this, but it does seem to me that a huge proportion of new hides are non-hiking caches. There are a couple exceptions I can think of (1 in WA, 1 in OR), both of which are series. I think it's just easier to hide non-hiking caches, and so that's what most people end up hiding. Besides the reasons I noted in my earlier thread, another reason hiking caches could be more difficult to hide is land manager permissions. As the cacher population grows, the effect of searching for caches increases. Some hiking caches can by found by simply following geotrails. The physical effects, as well as the increased awareness of the hobby, have led some land managers/organizations to enact rules that minimize or prohibit geocaching on their trails.

 

My humble view is that it started out as: reward your hike with fun by finding a cache.

I'll admit that I usually choose which hikes we do based on whether there's a geocache along the way. Stopping to search for a cache is a great excuse to take a break from the hike and rest for a while. ;)

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Granted so far this is only a relatively small sample size, but it seems that for majority of GCers that started around or before 2008 hiking is an important piece, for the majority that started afterwards it isn't.

I haven't done a numerical analysis, but it seems as if most of the old timers I know about do all kinds of geocaching, although it's true that most of them still routinely hike, too. And I also see plenty of newer cachers hiking, although it's also true that many newer cachers feel no need to hike.

 

Possibly due to how the game was promoted at any given time.

No, I think it's purely a function of popularity. I think it's always been promoted as a fun thing to do in general, and all that's really happened is that it's been discovered by non-hikers. I think any tendency for it to be marketed to non-hikers more now than it was originally is a reaction to the fact that its appeal is broadening, not the cause of its appeal broadening.

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...snip..

Possibly due to how the game was promoted at any given time.

No, I think it's purely a function of popularity. I think it's always been promoted as a fun thing to do in general, and all that's really happened is that it's been discovered by non-hikers. I think any tendency for it to be marketed to non-hikers more now than it was originally is a reaction to the fact that its appeal is broadening, not the cause of its appeal broadening.

 

I guess I meant 'promoted' in a broader sense than 'advertised'. By promoted I also meant within the community, which actually makes me agree with you ;-) I think you have cause and consequence in the right order.

 

I think noncentric mentioned that the timeframes I threw out apply more to hiding than to finding, which I think are two sides of the same coin, so can't really be separated (other than by few weeks). There is a causality (not only a correlation) between non-hikers joining and non-hiking caches and therefore non-hiking finds... which (imho: unfortunately) was somewhat autocatalytic for a while and let to an exponential increase in number of new cachers and hides.

Is it me or is that trend ebbing? I think I noticed reduced number of new hides (and forum posts, if that can be used as a regional measure ;-) ) in CT, NJ, France and northern Germany.

 

Thore

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I guess I meant 'promoted' in a broader sense than 'advertised'. By promoted I also meant within the community, which actually makes me agree with you ;-) I think you have cause and consequence in the right order.

I take "promoted" to imply someone is consciously driving to that end, which is what I don't see. If you just mean "everyone likes it", then I guess we agree.

 

There is a causality (not only a correlation) between non-hikers joining and non-hiking caches and therefore non-hiking finds...

I admit I don't have data, but my impression was that the drive towards non-hiking hides was led as much by established cachers as it was by new cachers. Hard to say, though, because that change was already well underway in my area when I started caching 5 years ago, and that was before the explosion in popularity. But it's hard to say, because there's no denying that newer cachers are statistically more likely to hide caches in their neighborhoods rather than out on a trail.

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A respectful question: Why do you care that so many non-hiking caches are placed in 2015 vs 2005? Geocaching has exploded in popularity, and granted many more non-hiking caches are placed vs hiking caches, but using the analogy "An incoming tide raises all boats" there are plenty of new hiking caches being instantiated. I'd argue there are more hiking caches created now than, say, 6-7 years ago. The game has blossomed into so much more that a pursuit for hard-or-medium-core hikers, and I personally am thrilled. My wife and I are not particularly enamored of caches requiring a long hike, oftentimes with a vertical hiking component, but we love hearing the stories of people who are.

 

My feeling is that you're not particularly appreciative of my kind of Geocaching, and that saddens me. Wifey and I are no less Geocachers than are you. We may have dramatically different interests within Geocaching, and that's one of the charms of the game. Ultimately people make or break an activity, and the people we meet are the main reason we love this activity.

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"A respectful question: Why do you care that so many non-hiking caches are placed in 2015 vs 2005? Geocaching has exploded in popularity, and granted many more non-hiking caches are placed vs hiking caches, but using the analogy "An incoming tide raises all boats" there are plenty of new hiking caches being instantiated (sic)."

And a respectful answer. The explosion in popularity is not like a rising tide that raises all boats. The tide, so to speak, only goes 50 feet inland. There are many more roadside caches but only a handful further in the woods. If you cache with any regularity, in a few years you have found all of the woods caches within say a one hour drive radius of home and you must go further afield. The caches available to you consist only of old caches you have not found, plus new caches placed, minus old caches archived. In my area, while there were 500 new caches placed only 30 or so involve a hike of even a half mile round trip. So an explosion of P&Gs, while fewer caches to be found in the woods. The game has changed to "all hide, no hike" in large part.

As the game has become more popular, the P&G has become the norm and this changes the game in ways that clearly effect my enjoyment of it. This is what passes for an exciting time geocaching now (this is a direct quote from the description of GC68TAD:) one cache in particular, GC638W1 Two Towns, One Cache (HERE) resulted in a night none of us will ever forget. Scooter4273 was in the driver's seat, he pulled up to the cache and was so excited to run out to grab the CC. Failing to realize he had not put the vehicle in park. Being a typical Bearded Beast hide, BornFromJets and I waited in the car. We were casually talking until I felt a little off. "Are we moving?" I asked calmly. BornFromJets replied, "Oh $#!%, we are!" he counter steered and put the car in neutral until Scooter4273 could jump in the driver's seat again.

So, three people drive to GZ, one gets out of the car while the other two sit and chat, while the car rolls forward. All three claim a find and a passenger awards a favorite point.

edexter

Edited by edexter
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  • Hiding hiking caches is not for everyone. Some may be intimidated by the potential maintenance requirements due to distance, time, physical demands, etc. Most long hikes are a bit of a drive away from residential centers, so cachers may not want to commit to driving out there to do maintenance. Even if cachers don't mind the drive, they may not have a flexible enough schedule to actually go out there. Even if cachers have the time, they may not be physically able to hit the trail several times. Perhaps cachers don't hide hiking caches because they can't commit to hiking cache ownership.

 

Agreed. But does every strip mall need an LPC or guardrail at the end of a cul-de-sac need a pill bottle? Can't people find interesting locations (view, history, etc.) that warrants a visit beyond getting a GC.com smiley?

 

It's come down to creating listings like "I was out with the missus, and hid this in the parking lot while she was shopping. Now you have another cache to extend your caching streak."

 

Why not "From this overlook, you get a view of where the Battle of Rhode Island took place. Here, The RI First (aka the Black Regiment) withheld several advances by the better trained and equipped Hessians."

 

Placement is just as simple, will let people extend their streak, and doesn't require a long walk. And I know which one I'd rather visit.

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But does every strip mall need an LPC or guardrail at the end of a cul-de-sac need a pill bottle? Can't people find interesting locations (view, history, etc.) that warrants a visit beyond getting a GC.com smiley?

You seem to be assuming that if they didn't hide this cache, they'd hide a better cache, as well as the opposite: that because they hid this cache, they won't hide a better cache. I don't buy it: I don't think that the existence of such caches has in any way diminished the number of hiking caches hidden. If anything, I'd guess that such caches have increased the popularity of caching, thereby increasing the number of people hiding hiking caches.

 

On the one hand, my experience is largely limited to my area, so YMMV. But, on the other hand, if hiking caches are, in fact, becoming extinct in your area, I'd be tempted to say that it's a luck of the draw in what kind of COs are hiding and what the culture is encouraging them to hide, not because of a systematic abandonment of hiking caches for parking lot caches in the hobby as a whole.

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But does every strip mall need an LPC or guardrail at the end of a cul-de-sac need a pill bottle? Can't people find interesting locations (view, history, etc.) that warrants a visit beyond getting a GC.com smiley?

You seem to be assuming that if they didn't hide this cache, they'd hide a better cache, as well as the opposite: that because they hid this cache, they won't hide a better cache. I don't buy it: I don't think that the existence of such caches has in any way diminished the number of hiking caches hidden. If anything, I'd guess that such caches have increased the popularity of caching, thereby increasing the number of people hiding hiking caches.

 

On the one hand, my experience is largely limited to my area, so YMMV. But, on the other hand, if hiking caches are, in fact, becoming extinct in your area, I'd be tempted to say that it's a luck of the draw in what kind of COs are hiding and what the culture is encouraging them to hide, not because of a systematic abandonment of hiking caches for parking lot caches in the hobby as a whole.

 

Latest example:

 

"One thing I often hear about this particular type of hide is that they're great for keeping streaks going. If the weather's bad, you're not up for a hike, or life just gets in the way, these can be perfect to keep those streaks going."

 

In my area the ratio of hiking to non-hiking caches is definitely shrinking. The fact that the majority of new cachers are in it for quick finds and/or numbers, people are not hide the "old school" caches anymore. Nobody wants to find them.

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So here is the 2015 summary for the 50 mile radius from my home.

Total number of caches placed where you can tell distance from parking: 521

Caches placed on or above pavement: 133 (26%)

Caches placed off pavement but within 50 feet of it: 113 (22%)

Caches placed more than 50 feet from pavement and less than 150 feet: 76 (15%)

These 332 caches can be found while you can still see your car. They represent 62% of all caches placed and approximately 80% of all caches logged. 7% of the caches have 3 or more favorite points, fewer than half have any (184 caches with 0 favorite points.) This is the caching experience for the great majority of cachers. There were 72 additional caches placed between 75 and 200 yards from parking.

There were also 115 caches placed where a hike of more than 200 yards was required (22%) and only 29 (6%) of these required a round trip of more than half a mile. Of the 29 hiking caches, 10 or 34% had three or more favorite points and 25 or 86% had at least one. They were found about 300 times in all compared to roughly 6500 finds for the Park & Grabs (150 feet or less from pavement).

The nature of the game has gradually changed from a hike in the woods to a drive to a parking lot, guardrail or sidewalk and the trend accelerated markedly in 2015. And so far in 2016, there are 8 new caches: 7 on pavement and the 8th is 20 feet from the parking lot...

edexter

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So here is the 2015 summary for the 50 mile radius from my home.

Total number of caches placed where you can tell distance from parking: 521

Caches placed on or above pavement: 133 (26%)

Caches placed off pavement but within 50 feet of it: 113 (22%)

Caches placed more than 50 feet from pavement and less than 150 feet: 76 (15%)

These 332 caches can be found while you can still see your car. They represent 62% of all caches placed and approximately 80% of all caches logged. 7% of the caches have 3 or more favorite points, fewer than half have any (184 caches with 0 favorite points.) This is the caching experience for the great majority of cachers. There were 72 additional caches placed between 75 and 200 yards from parking.

There were also 115 caches placed where a hike of more than 200 yards was required (22%) and only 29 (6%) of these required a round trip of more than half a mile. Of the 29 hiking caches, 10 or 34% had three or more favorite points and 25 or 86% had at least one. They were found about 300 times in all compared to roughly 6500 finds for the Park & Grabs (150 feet or less from pavement).

The nature of the game has gradually changed from a hike in the woods to a drive to a parking lot, guardrail or sidewalk and the trend accelerated markedly in 2015. And so far in 2016, there are 8 new caches: 7 on pavement and the 8th is 20 feet from the parking lot...

edexter

 

A quick look at a few wilderness caches in your area, that require a bit of a walk, and I'm seeing that they also don't get many favorite points. The three I looked at had good containers too - 2 ammo cans, and one large Lock & Lock style cache. But they only have 2% or fewer FPs. Geocaching has changed.

 

Example: Thin Mints a big pelican box in the woods. Found by 159 people. No FPs.

Edited by L0ne.R
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My 2-cents on this:

  • Hiding hiking caches is not for everyone. Some may be intimidated by the potential maintenance requirements due to distance, time, physical demands, etc. Most long hikes are a bit of a drive away from residential centers, so cachers may not want to commit to driving out there to do maintenance. Even if cachers don't mind the drive, they may not have a flexible enough schedule to actually go out there. Even if cachers have the time, they may not be physically able to hit the trail several times. Perhaps cachers don't hide hiking caches because they can't commit to hiking cache ownership.
  • Finding hiking caches is also not for everyone for similar reasons noted above. Distance, time, physical capability. Urban and P&G caches allow non-hikers to participate in the hobby, and I think that's a good thing. People that enjoy hiking can still hike and find caches. I don't think the non-hiking caches are taking anything away from the hiking caches.

 

I actually find hiding "hiking" caches to be much easier from a maintenance standpoint. They get fewer finds, hence fewer chances for cachers to screw them up and a less frequent need to replace the logbook. They are farther from populated areas, so much less likely to take a walk. I have hiking caches that I haven't visited in years, but they still get occasional finds and are in good shape according to the logs. It's my roadside caches that are a maintenance nightmare, that I need to visit constantly to replace the cache because it was stolen, or a cacher lost the lid or the logbook is full, etc.

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So here is the 2015 summary for the 50 mile radius from my home.

...snip...

edexter

 

Very well researched, thank you.

I am almost certain, that if one were to repeat this for the years between 2006 and 2015 a trend would be seen that solidifies it. From what I read here, no one argues the trend or the observation, correct?

Other examples of GC related trends are: more cache types, number of players, more statistics gadgets, FTF-hunt and all of these peaked at different times.

 

It seems that we all look at these trends differently though and the way that we look at those trends seems largely driven by the time we joined the game. I wonder if that is indicative of the life-cycle the game was at that time and what attracted us to it.

For my part I adapt to the changes because I want to continue to play the game. I do like the added flexibility that I have now as I can chose my hunting days based on weather, available time, mood and location. I must also admit that for the most part 'hides' have become routine, so the 'seek'-excitement is a bit limited these days.

 

Thore

 

Sidebar thought: somewhere in a German forum, not GC, I actually read about demographics a few years ago. GC started out with the majority of players being over 40 years, science/engineering background, outdoor enthusiasts, med to high income range, 1 or less kids. That slowly migrated towards more families first, then to younger, more various education backgrounds, lower average income... Now careful here. I am not saying anything here is good or bad or that I am profiling anyone or pass judgement. Neither on a group nor on any individual. All of these developments in demographics are easily explained (dropping prices, more advertisement/promotion, expanding from stand-alone GPS to smartphones, etc.) so it is another observation

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I am almost certain, that if one were to repeat this for the years between 2006 and 2015 a trend would be seen that solidifies it. From what I read here, no one argues the trend or the observation, correct?

I agree that the trend is towards proportionally more caches that are easy to reach. I do not agree that hiking caches have suffered as a result. My anecdotal experience, at least, is that the number of hiking caches is also growing, just not as fast as easy to reach caches.

 

Personally, I always hike when I cache, I just don't insist that the hike be away from civilization, so the way I look at these complaints is that the people that got into geocaching because it jived well with their love of nature are now upset that geocaching has expanded beyond those lines and grown into a hobby of its own.

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I'm personally grateful for all of the suburban geocaches available in my area. With two small children and a full-time job, this leaves me little time to trek across the great woodland areas where I live. I'm thankful that I am able to find a caches while running errands, otherwise, I'm not sure I would have much time to commit to this diversion. While I admit that LPCs and guardrail caches do get a little boring, it's better than nothing. On occasion, you run across creative urban/suburban caches...those get favorites from me every time. On the other hand, when I walk into a heavily wooded area to try to find a pill bottle among 1000 trees...I just can't justify spending 1-2 hours finding it. My kids and wife need me more than I need that cache.

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Geocaching is a simple game where the object is to find a hidden cache. It originally involved physical exercise as part of the game as the caches were placed in areas that required a hike to reach but has gradually become "all hide and no seek". Most caches can now be found within a few minutes and provide no exercise at all. This is a real change in the game though it affects only those cachers interested in exercise, off road navigation, and being in a natural environment. The more these parts of the game coincide with your interests, the more noticeable the change is and apparently vice versa.

A month or two of the year, my caching area switches from Massachusetts and RI to the Cocoa Beach area of Florida. The change in the game was more evident to me when I first visited the area, as it has been going on longer here, and my impression was that many of the caches were roadside micros. Based on the results of my survey of my home area, I decided to quantify the caches available here using a similar methodology: namely counting the new caches placed, using google maps to determine the distance from the nearest paved parking spots and recording the number and percentage of caches in the following groups. 1, Caches placed on or directly above pavement 2, Caches placed within 50 feet of pavement 3, Caches placed between 50 and 200 feet of pavement. 4, Caches placed within 200 feet and 200 yards of pavement, and 5, those further off. Those caches in the first three groups are largely within sight of your car and I consider them to be Park&Grabs. The fourth group require a less than one quarter mile round trip and typically can be found in 15 minutes or less while the fifth group provides more exercise time than driving time. Rather than using the entire year, I did a sample survey, using all the new caches placed in January and February of 2015 placed within a 30 mile radius of my location in Cocoa Beach using GSAK to locate the caches and Google Earth to determine their location. Here's what I found. Percentages rounded.

1, On or above Pavement: 25 caches (24%)

2, 1 to 50 feet from pavement: 44 caches (42%)

3, 51 to 200 feet from pavement: 19 caches (18%)

4, 200 feet to 200 yards from pavement: 8 (8%)

5, more than 200 yards off pavement: 6 (6%)

So to summarize: 83% of the new caches placed were P&Gs which you can find without losing sight of your car. Only 6% of the caches provide much exercise. To make matters worse from my perspective, I placed 3 of the 6 exercise caches so looks like there are about 20 new hiking caches nearby. I foresee long drives to the West in my future...

edexter

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dprovan:

I thought you missed most of what I was saying about "All Hide, No Seek" by systematically disagreeing point by point, until you got to "most of them consider their geocaching hobby more important than hiking, so they no longer consider hiking an essential activity" which is the point of my lament. You don't seem to get that eliminating cache types that promote hiking has an effect, or that numbers effect behavior, which seems clear to me, but ok.

 

What cache type was eliminated that reduced the number of hiking caches?

 

My 2-cents on this:

  • Hiding hiking caches is not for everyone. Some may be intimidated by the potential maintenance requirements due to distance, time, physical demands, etc. Most long hikes are a bit of a drive away from residential centers, so cachers may not want to commit to driving out there to do maintenance. Even if cachers don't mind the drive, they may not have a flexible enough schedule to actually go out there. Even if cachers have the time, they may not be physically able to hit the trail several times. Perhaps cachers don't hide hiking caches because they can't commit to hiking cache ownership.

 

Ding ding ding!

 

Maintenance time, at least for me, is a big factor when placing caches. If I start getting DNF or maintenance logs, I can quickly stop by to check on a cache on the way home from work. A cache that requires a lot of time to do a maintenance check requires scheduling the time to do it.

 

With that said, some of my most favorite and memorable caches have been the ones that required a lengthy trek, so I understand the lament. After reading through this thread, maybe I will give that some more consideration when planning future hides. Just go easy on me about the damp logs. :)

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The answer to "What cache type was eliminated that reduced the number of hiking caches?" is: Virtuals Virtual caches are by definition all hike and no hide. They tended to be "placed" in areas of natural beauty and were allowed in National Parks and other properties where physical caches are banned.

edexter

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The answer to "What cache type was eliminated that reduced the number of hiking caches?" is: Virtuals Virtual caches are by definition all hike and no hide. They tended to be "placed" in areas of natural beauty and were allowed in National Parks and other properties where physical caches are banned.

edexter

 

Forgot about Virtuals. But wouldn't Earth Caches be comparable?

 

Also, I don't completely agree with your definition of Virtual caches. By definition, yes, there is no hide, but have you BEEN to the National Mall in DC? I am not sure I would consider swarms of sweaty, fat tourists to be natural beauty. :blink:

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Depends on the Earthcache. The ones I found in the western national parks tended to be P&Gs. (Drive to a sign, get info, email the answers). An Earthcache at a splendid natural location is fine by me. It looks like the National Mall already has enough virtuals and Earthcaches though. I would recommend the Space Museum instead.

My point is simply that geocaching was once an activity that involved walking in the woods to find a hidden object and a GPSr was needed because the locations did not have addresses. The majority of hides placed in the past two years do not need a GPSr to be found as they are within 50 feet of a parking spot...

Edited by edexter
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The answer to "What cache type was eliminated that reduced the number of hiking caches?" is: Virtuals Virtual caches are by definition all hike and no hide. They tended to be "placed" in areas of natural beauty and were allowed in National Parks and other properties where physical caches are banned.

edexter

 

Forgot about Virtuals. But wouldn't Earth Caches be comparable?

 

Also, I don't completely agree with your definition of Virtual caches. By definition, yes, there is no hide, but have you BEEN to the National Mall in DC? I am not sure I would consider swarms of sweaty, fat tourists to be natural beauty. :blink:

 

Let's see. We did ten virtuals on the National Mall. One was excellent. But has been archived. One was very interesting. The other eight were: Why did you bother bringing us here? Couldn't get to one because the area was closed of for many months. Didn't stop a lot of cachers from logging it anyways. But the Mall was a very interesting place to visit. Ignore the tourists. Visit the site.

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The answer to "What cache type was eliminated that reduced the number of hiking caches?" is: Virtuals Virtual caches are by definition all hike and no hide. They tended to be "placed" in areas of natural beauty and were allowed in National Parks and other properties where physical caches are banned.

edexter

 

Forgot about Virtuals. But wouldn't Earth Caches be comparable?

 

Also, I don't completely agree with your definition of Virtual caches. By definition, yes, there is no hide, but have you BEEN to the National Mall in DC? I am not sure I would consider swarms of sweaty, fat tourists to be natural beauty. :blink:

 

Let's see. We did ten virtuals on the National Mall. One was excellent. But has been archived. One was very interesting. The other eight were: Why did you bother bringing us here? Couldn't get to one because the area was closed of for many months. Didn't stop a lot of cachers from logging it anyways. But the Mall was a very interesting place to visit. Ignore the tourists. Visit the site.

 

I was down there last month picking up a few virtuals and benchmarks. Didn't have to worry about the tourists: it was too COLD for them to be out.

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Here's an update in the SE Mass RI region for 2016 year to date: For caches that list their actual location: 97 of the 111 new caches (87%) have been placed within sight of your car. Of those, 57 (51%) plot on or above pavement on Google Earth, 83 (75%) are within 50 feet of pavement and the remaining 14 (one already archived) are within 20 to 200 yards from parking. Of the 14 caches that are in the woods about four appear to be hikes of more than a quarter mile. Not much doubt that the hiking aspect of the game is dying out.

edexter

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The majority of hides placed in the past two years do not need a GPSr to be found as they are within 50 feet of a parking spot...

When I go for a walk in the woods to most areas today (becoming rarer, as hides aren't being placed, and my extended range eats further out...), I'm usually plugging in later cacher's hides (often a series) to the nuvi.

- I rarely do them...

Sure enough, most times there's one that's at parking (and every 530' to the one I'm after).

Get my nice walk in, and parking's easier to find. :)

Funny and sad...

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The self-description of a P&G series in my area is: "The purpose of the series was just having another cache to find, no scenic views, no cool container to find, and a hide that shouldn't be all that much of a challenge"...Well, as the former President said, "mission accomplished!"

edexter

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The self-description of a P&G series in my area is: "The purpose of the series was just having another cache to find, no scenic views, no cool container to find, and a hide that shouldn't be all that much of a challenge"...Well, as the former President said, "mission accomplished!"

edexter

 

Or the ever popular "I was driving by this parking lot/guardrail/dead end/etc. and it just had to have a cache!".

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I thought the attitude of entitlement and "my way or the highway" I've seen in other threads on this forum was depressing (note I'm not seeing that here at all), but this topic is again making me sad I didn't get into Geocaching much earlier. I was (am) a techie - why didn't I get out and do this more a decade ago?!

 

I keep trying to tell myself it's not about the numbers, but the statistics page is an awful temptation. I've been on an almost-two-month streak (I know, paltry to the real number addicts), but already I've found myself frustrated by caching because I'm running late and even that park-and-grab is going to delay me. Where's the fun in doing it just to keep a streak going? I swear I'll stop...after April when I can log a nearby 1-consecutive-month challenge. Because obviously that will be fulfilling... It doesn't even make sense in my area. Even with a 30 minute rural commute, I don't have enough PNG's to last through a Wisconsin winter, so it'll be a long while before I fill up my calendar (which means I can log one more 'challenge' and have minor bragging rights that don't mean anything because there will always be another grid to fill...).

 

At least for awhile, I am content that I live in the Midwest, and there are still many good quality "early aughts" caches around for me to find yet. I'll put my techie skills into a browser plugin that completely hides the statistics page from my profile and all others' profiles. And I'll spend my time researching unique caches on the rare times I can actually travel out of my area (and be thankful that I can go in all 4 directions). Mostly, I'm thankful for a game that motivates my butt out of the house and gets me enjoying creation much more than I would have otherwise.

 

Any good tips for finding the types of caches talked about in this thread? I've been using the aforementioned "early aughts" to target really old caches, as well as using FP's and FP%'s (with a grain of salt). And only a couple of challenge caches (like State Park series or waterfalls in the state) are really destination-inspiring. I'd love to find some great themed bookmark lists, but don't know of any way to reliably search for them.

 

Edit: oye! I didn't even realize this was a regional forum; I was just searching the forums for "bookmark lists" and came across this topic that resonated with me. Didn't mean to offend anyone up there by talking about my wide open spaces in the middle of the country. :)

Edited by digimuzik
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Or the ever popular "I was driving by this parking lot/guardrail/dead end/etc. and it just had to have a cache LBH !". ;)

 

Didn't mean to offend anyone up there by talking about my wide open spaces in the middle of the country. :)

 

??? Wide open spaces are cool, no matter where they are....

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It would be nice if there were more search options to find the kind you want to do instead of just by size and "difficulty". Difficulty no longer applies to the actual cache if they give it a 4 or 5 difficulty for Muggle activity. I know this is next to impossible for all the already published caches, but could be something to add for all the new caches being added daily.

 

May be add a search option so you can weed out P&G or add a search option for length of hike to GZ. I was just going to look for challenge caches, but can't figure out how to find them on the list. The good thing about electronic databases is the ability to add in fields to add search and sort criteria easily.

 

I know geocachers set up trips based on geocaches, but I geocache based on my destination. If I end up in a park, I then check to see if there are any geocaches there. If I am going on a hike, I check to see if there are any geocaches on my intended trail. That is how I have found the geocaches at cool locations. But I am disappointed in the number of nano and micro caches that seem to be replacing the traditional cache allowing for trading "treasures".

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It would be nice if there were more search options to find the kind you want to do instead of just by size and "difficulty". Difficulty no longer applies to the actual cache if they give it a 4 or 5 difficulty for Muggle activity. I know this is next to impossible for all the already published caches, but could be something to add for all the new caches being added daily.

 

May be add a search option so you can weed out P&G or add a search option for length of hike to GZ. I was just going to look for challenge caches, but can't figure out how to find them on the list. The good thing about electronic databases is the ability to add in fields to add search and sort criteria easily.

Have you looked into Pocket Queries? A Pocket Query (PQ) will allow some additional search options beyond what's available in the Advanced Search. It allows searching based on attributes, hidden date, and several other parameters. You could exclude/include caches that have the P&G attribute or include/exclude caches that have the medium (<10km) or long (>10km) attribute. Of course, this isn't perfect because not all CO's attach appropriate attributes to their caches, but it might help a bit.

 

Once a PQ is setup and 'Submit Information' button is clicked, then you can view the results on a map. This may help a bit with what you're looking for and is one of the perks of being a Premium Member.

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"Any good tips for finding the types of caches talked about in this thread? I've been using the aforementioned "early aughts" to target really old caches, as well as using FP's and FP%'s (with a grain of salt). And only a couple of challenge caches (like State Park series or waterfalls in the state) are really destination-inspiring. I'd love to find some great themed bookmark lists, but don't know of any way to reliably search for them"

 

Those are all good ways to "narrow the field". I haven't had much luck with Bookmarked lists as few do them and even fewer update them (lists of "kayak caches" being an exception) but here are some others I've tried. 1, You can use GSAK to review a pocket query for an area you are interested in and set up the split screen view so that the map page is visible. As you click down the cache list the map view shows you where the cache is located. I "user check" the ones that look interesting for closer examination. 2, Once you find a good cache, see what else that CO has put out. Sometimes you hit gold. This technique is especially useful when caching far from home. 3, At your next "Meet & Greet" ask folks "what's the best cache you've done lately" and see what they say. Chat up the folks who mention a cache that interests you. 4, Check out the "Favorites" list for the COs of the caches you Favorited. 5, Check out Terracaching.com which focuses on the hunt, not the smilie, and has a statistics page so confusing it is easy to ignore ;-) 6, Check out benchmarks: they run the gamut from easy to next to impossible but there nothing like finding a granite marker in the swamp that's been there for 150 years and was last "recovered" in 1910.

Enjoy those wide open spaces: I'm hemmed in on three sides and have frequent long drives West...

edexter

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As noted above, I maintain a list of cashes in my area and post lists of caches that require no hiking ("Curbside Pickup") and another for those that do ("Off Road Caches"). The first category encompasses 85% of all new caches. You can "rate" the usefulness of the bookmark lists and here's the feedback for the most popular category:

" Not Useful 03/05/2016 18:26:51

Again with these pointless lists?

 

Not sure what you're trying to accomplish with creating a separate list for "curbside caches" that are apparently in a whole different category from ones that require a hike and then in addition having the free time to calculate the percentage of new caches that meet either "category." Honestly, who cares? Just let people enjoy the game however they want to enjoy it without the need for percentages or lists like this. There will be park and grabs. There will be hikes in the woods. Play the game how you want and let others do the same. But making lists like this isn't going to prove anything to anyone or stop the percentage (that you, again, actually took the time to calculate) from rising, so I'm not sure what drives you to keep going with it."

 

OK, the point is to describe reality of present day geocaching based on the distance one has to walk to locate the geocache. To hold up a mirror, so to speak. If you don't like what you see in the mirror, well getting upset with the mirror is one way to go I guess.

edexter

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When I first started caching, a popular short hand explanation of the game was "It's like electronic hide and seek. Somebody hides a box in the woods, publishes the location, and you go try to find it." Pretty good shorthand description I thought.

Ok, so I've been trying to understand why it seems like each year the number of new P&Gs increases and the number of interesting hiking caches decreases. I understand that caring about the numbers game (one point for a P&G micro, one point for an 8 stage cross country multi) is a big reason but that has been the deal from the start so it doesn't explain the change. (Non-Puzzle GeoArt and bike trail power trails with a cache every .1m are more recent number driven creations, but they have always been possible.)

Today it finally hit me between the eyes: changes in the rules of what is allowed as a cache are skewed in one direction only. If you think of the "hide and seek" aspect of a traditional cache on "time spent" percentage basis, a parking lot guardrail hide is 100% hide, 0% seek: You plug in the coords for the cache in your auto GPS, drive to the obvious location, and look for the hide. For a traditional cache with a one mile round trip walk, the time spent ratio is probably more like 25% hide, 75% seek (maybe a 5 minutes search and a 15 minute walk). For long multis, the ratio might be skewed even more towards getting there than find the hide timewise.

 

Geocaching has eliminated (or shifted to "Waymarks") Virtuals, Locationless, and Challenge caches and frozen the benchmark listings. Let's see where they fit: Virtuals are No Hide, All Seek, the polar opposite of a P&G. They were common in National Parks and other outdoor areas which forbid physical caches. Locationless Caches required you to find a specific thing anywhere that was more or less in plain view: again No Hide, All Seek. Challenge caches and Benchmarks ran the gamut but were clearly more about getting there than finding something. Meanwhile the game encouraged the use of micros, nanos and "unknowns" all of which are typically used in P&G hides. Puzzle caches which conceal the actual coordinates, are typically single stage hides, and are heavily time weighted on finding the hide (in this case the coordinates) before the outdoor game even begins. Field puzzle caches are relatively rare. When you look at the direction of change it all points away from spending time on a walk in the woods and towards finding a small object hidden very close to where you auto GPS takes you.

It is what it is, so...but I know there is a small minority of cachers whose interests are similar. If this is you, I'd be happy to get bookmark lists or something similar of the "good stuff" that are More Hike Than Hide anywhere in Eastern Mass and Rhode Island. Thanks,

edexter

 

I haven't really paid attention, but laziness seems like a good reason for this.

 

it takes some effort to find interesting places that aren't paved, hand railed, and signed into a really boring place to be. pretty views and challenging hikes are a lot more fun, but lazy prevails.

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I used to live in that area; it's where I started geocaching. I remember when I'd read descriptions that said "I was in the area with my (wife/dog/kid/friend) and noticed there wasn't a cache here. I had an extra micro with me so I stuck it in the guardrail. Happy caching!" I would get angrier and angrier the more I read descriptions like these.

 

There was a prolific cacher in the RI area whose caches I couldn't stand finding. I won't mention the name, but that person seemingly placed caches on a weekly basis. Annoyed me to no end because they rarely had any thought to them, and all that cacher was doing was saturating the area. I remember once when they archived one of their caches in a cemetery then relisted it in the exact same spot because no one was going to it anymore and they wanted all the people that had already logged it to come and find it again. I wrote him a message asking why and all I got was a snarky answer "If you don't want to find it, then don't come here." Okay fine, I won't.

 

It was around that time that I stopped placing caches just to place them. I instead decided I wanted to place them if I had a reason, or a really great idea. My last few before I left that area are some of my favorites (though I think they've since changed since I had to adopt them). Those were Evil Ninja on the Wamponoag Trail (https://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=c5344234-f92a-4886-acec-03a96f50600d) and On the Fence somewhere on the bike trail in Cranston I believe (https://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=f5d31664-a55c-4d67-8e22-444b1ad8d22c). Both of those, were extremely difficult back when I was in control of them, but they were also very satisfying and original that when a cacher found them, they loved it (still do for the most part). When someone finds something other than a magnetic micro on a guard rail, or ammo can under a rock, it can be memorable.

 

Now, I live in in a neighboring state and have barely placed any. I seek out many here and the pickings are slim when it comes to creativity. There's one trail that requires no thought to find the caches. One of the caches is a pill bottle hanging on a dead tree, so it's easy to spot 50 feet away. Another is labeled as a 2 star difficulty, but all you gotta do is poke your head around the corner and there it is staring at you as plain as day. Another is 3 star difficulty, but I saw it about 30 feet away. It's hidden in rocks, but the "camo" tape used is bright bright bright.

Where has the thought gone? Where has the thrill gone? Where has the fun gone? I have all these great ideas that I want to do to place a cache, but sometimes I wonder if it will be too hard for the average cacher these days...it seems that anything other than an LPC, Guardrail or quick P&G is too difficult and no one will go for it. I mean, one of my own guard rail caches I placed (before I started my philosophy of course) people can't find because the person beforehand put the magnetic key holder too far into the guardrail. After the rash of DNFs I get, I go and take a look to see if it's missing and all I had to do was just LOOK. And there it was. How sad has it become?

Edited by Lounge Fly
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it takes some effort to find interesting places that aren't paved, hand railed, and signed into a really boring place to be. pretty views and challenging hikes are a lot more fun, but lazy prevails.

No, it isn't laziness. Geocaching is no longer just an addition to hiking, so the goals of hiking such as view and distance are no longer core qualities. Geocaching is about finding caches. While considerations such as location, route, trickiness of hide, and cleverness of container are nice pluses for a cache, none of them are required anymore. In my view, there are still many more of the "non-boring" caches to be found, plus a zillion of the ones you don't like that have nothing to do with hiking.

 

Where has the thought gone? Where has the thrill gone? Where has the fun gone? I have all these great ideas that I want to do to place a cache, but sometimes I wonder if it will be too hard for the average cacher these days...it seems that anything other than an LPC, Guardrail or quick P&G is too difficult and no one will go for it. I mean, one of my own guard rail caches I placed (before I started my philosophy of course) people can't find because the person beforehand put the magnetic key holder too far into the guardrail. After the rash of DNFs I get, I go and take a look to see if it's missing and all I had to do was just LOOK. And there it was. How sad has it become?

I feel sorry for you in your area. In my area, there's plenty of quality caches, many easy, some difficult. Everyone has a good time, almost everyone knows how to read a difficulty rating. If you give up hiding, it will be just that much less likely for things to get better in your area. So go ahead and raise the bar. At worst, I think you'll still have more people finding your caches than you would have in geocaching's prime when all caches were challenging but there were far fewer cachers to look for them.

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dprovan wrote "No, it isn't laziness. Geocaching is no longer just an addition to hiking, so the goals of hiking such as view and distance are no longer core qualities. Geocaching is about finding caches. While considerations such as location, route, are nice pluses for a cache, none of them are required anymore."

Well, sure. After you remove the core qualities of physical activity, quality locations, natural beauty, the route, the variety of terrain, trickiness of hide, and cleverness of container, all you are left with is "all hide, no seek". If you are good with that, no problem. Now all that has to go is the hidden aspect of caching and you have a Munzee...

 

dprovan also wrote "I feel sorry for you in your area. In my area, there's plenty of quality caches, many easy, some difficult." So I decided to see what was actually being placed in Pleasanton, CA compared to my local area. I used the search function set for a 10 mile radius and found there were 184 caches placed in 2016 where you could tell the physical location (excludes puzzles). Of these 144 were within 100 yards or so of the road (78%) (roughly half curbside or in parking lots) and 40 (22%) were off road. Of the 40 off road caches 29 (73%) were placed by one cacher (MathGen) who apparently still likes to hike. This compares to 71% and 29% in our area. So actually more curbside placements than here in SE Mass but pretty similar overall.

 

The game has changed and will continue to change I'm sure. Many cachers appear to see "getting a smilie" as the only point of the game...

edexter

Edited by edexter
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dprovan wrote "No, it isn't laziness. Geocaching is no longer just an addition to hiking, so the goals of hiking such as view and distance are no longer core qualities. Geocaching is about finding caches. While considerations such as location, route, are nice pluses for a cache, none of them are required anymore."

Well, sure. After you remove the core qualities of physical activity, quality locations, natural beauty, the route, the variety of terrain, trickiness of hide, and cleverness of container, all you are left with is "all hide, no seek".

Just because they aren't core qualities doesn't mean they can't be used to advantage, so, no, I still have plenty more than "all hide, no seek". And, really, I would say the one core quality is "seek". (Not "no seek", whatever that means.) "Hide" itself is, from my point of view, no longer a core quality except insofar as the cache shouldn't be found by a non-player. Like all those other qualities, difficulty can be used to enhance a cache, but it isn't a requirement.

 

If you are good with that, no problem. Now all that has to go is the hidden aspect of caching and you have a Munzee...

OK, thanks for saying so. Yes, I'm good with the game as it is, although it seems much richer to me than you make it out to be.

 

dprovan also wrote "I feel sorry for you in your area. In my area, there's plenty of quality caches, many easy, some difficult." So I decided to see what was actually being placed in Pleasanton, CA compared to my local area. I used the search function set for a 10 mile radius and found there were 184 caches placed in 2016 where you could tell the physical location (excludes puzzles). Of these 144 were within 100 yards or so of the road (78%) (roughly half curbside or in parking lots) and 40 (22%) were off road. Of the 40 off road caches 29 (73%) were placed by one cacher (MathGen) who apparently still likes to hike. This compares to 71% and 29% in our area. So actually more curbside placements than here in SE Mass but pretty similar overall.

Yeah, those statistics sound about right. You made it sound like it was 1% off road in your area. If 29% isn't enough, at what ratio would you not complain?

 

I'd be interested to see what the results were from "the good old days". It seems unlikely you'd find even 40 off road caches published that year.

 

The game has changed and will continue to change I'm sure. Many cachers appear to see "getting a smilie" as the only point of the game...

There's a difference between enjoying the hunt and doing it just to get the smilie. Almost everyone I see is doing the former and not the latter.

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