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Average cache life


Mineshaft
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There are several caches still active from the first month geocaching began - May 2000.

 

Average from a mathematical sense would require a lot of math. It would also vary alot from one area to another.

 

In a less literal sense of average: I would say about 1/2 of caches last less than a year, about 1/4 last 1-5 years, and about 1/4 more than 5 years.

 

I suspect cache lifespan has decreased significantly as popularity of caching increased, mostly due to higher rates of urban hides, more caches being recycled for annual events, and more "flash in the pan" cachers who don't stay in the game very long.

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In the almost twelve years that I've been geocaching, 46% of my finds have been archived. Varying reasons: CO died. CO moved to Seattle. CO never maintained caches. Urban hides that did not last long. Weekend wonders.

Of the 106 caches that I have hidden, I have archived 52 of them. 49%. One lasted two months; muggle problem. One has been out almost twelve years. For the most part, I do maintain my caches. Of the ones that I have archived, most were thirty miles away. My partner died last August. I archived my caches in that area. That included my GeoArt series which lasted over two years. And other urban caches. I have archived my state park caches because of new regulations. Others have been too much of a problem to maintain.

Don't think that answers your question. But that's my view on it.

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Oldest active cache is Mingo, GC30 in Kansas placed 05/11/2000.

 

I doubt that working out cache life expectancy average is possible for any entity other than Groundspeak. (And it wouldn't mean much if they did. Though it would be interesting to see the difference from one year to the next.)

 

Most likely, older caches had/have longer life expectancies, and newer have shorter. More recently, caches are often urban micros, hard to keep going, and now in some areas there's a common deliberate strategy of archiving, moving a bit and replacing as new once a year, or more often.

 

I'm seeing 2800 of my 5000 finds are archived. Of the 1100 caches that were active in Florida in Spring 2003, 250 still are active.

Of the 228 caches I've placed (ignoring events) 119 are active. But none of this speaks really to "average life time."

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Most of the ones I archived were because I moved from WA and the ones that stayed are being maintained. Others because they were too much trouble for me so I adopted some out. Ones that go missing I decide if I want to replace them or not.

I have had some newbie cachers ask me to archive some of my caches because I was taking up areas for other caches. HUH?????

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Does anybody know what the oldest still-active cache is that is still has the original container and log? (I haven't done Mingo but have been told that it's been replaced in the past).

 

I found one once that actually had a log dating back to 1999, as it was a letterbox that was converted into a Geocache in 2001, but sadly that one went missing about a year ago).

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Does anybody know what the oldest still-active cache is that is still has the original container and log? (I haven't done Mingo but have been told that it's been replaced in the past).

 

I found one once that actually had a log dating back to 1999, as it was a letterbox that was converted into a Geocache in 2001, but sadly that one went missing about a year ago).

 

No idea...but GC13A, I believe, has the original log book (along with four or five additional log books that have been added over the years. Even better, they are all still in great shape.

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I maintain a GSAK database of the archived caches in my area, so I just used some GSAK and Excel wizardry to come up with the average life of caches in my area (using the placed date, not the published date). In my dataset of 2848 non-Event caches that were archived before March 4th (my database isn't right up to date), the average life was 1073 days, or 2.94 years. It's hard to say how representative my dataset is, but I bet the worldwide average is somewhat close to 3 years.

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Thanks for all of the replies.. The cache that a friend and I established on 12/15/2002 that still gets occasionally finds is definitely among the older ones. It is located in a fairly remote location in the California desert so it has not been stumbled upon by casual passers by.

 

Mineshaft

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Remote caches placed in a durable container such as an ammo can with few visits will be around for years even if the CO has long since disappeared. I like to think of these caches as relics. Most of my original remote caches from 2003-03 are still in great shape with very few visits these days. I'm confident they will be around for years to come.

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Does anybody know what the oldest still-active cache is that is still has the original container and log?

 

someone once mentioned GC5C Southern Idaho's First as still being the original ammo can with original log. Looking at the logs, seems likely too.

 

(I think GC13A was lost entirely in 2007.)

 

The Spot GC39 still has the original cache and log book. From 5/26/2000.

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