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Dr Jeckyl and Mr Hide

Is Geocaching Dead?

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As usual, opinions and experiences are all over the board based on multiple factors. Any 'solution' to one person's problem is a detriment or irrelevant to another's. It's enlightening to hear about others' experiences, and take them into consideration, but let's not make presumptions beyond our sphere of experience.

 

BINGO

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We no longer bother with swag in new hides, regardless of size. Attracts the wrong crowd, quite frankly. And as you said, they accumulate swag anyway.

Quite the loaded sentence you dropped there. Why don't you elaborate on it with more than just a few words. Please write a paragraph on why swag caches are bad for geocaching.

 

I don't think narcissa was saying that caches that contain swag are bad, just the people that prefer finding them.

There's no point in continuing this but I made a generalization about what she said in that if something attracts the wrong crowd than the person that sees it that way also believes it is a bad thing.

 

I don't run down to Target and buy $20 worth of stuff for every cache I've put out. I just find this and that around the house and garage and put it in the cache. As L0ne.R says, I do find some interesting things in my caches when I check on them. Much more often in other hider's caches.

 

Regardless, the wrong crowd isn't coming to my caches because they think they are full of swag. I've not seen that happen here. It isn't just thieves and newbies that appreciate finding an unexpected trinket in a cache.

 

Is it not hilarious that this thread starts out about being about geocaching dying and now we are on about why swag is bad. The entire purpose of geocaching creation was to go find a container and trade something and that is now frowned upon.

 

I know this will rock your boat, but I also leave stuff in every cache that I find that it will fit in. Having only found 500 caches makes that a realistic option. It is my offering for the cache, it is my offering that the next person who finds the cache may smile. Maybe even someone will properly trade and even maybe they will pick up the habit.

 

Since we don't have the power to change the guidelines, the only way that I can try to improve the game is with every find and hide, which is how to keep geocaching from dying.

 

If the way you play the game is working for you, then you're playing it the right way. The best thing about geocaching is that individuals can pick and choose aspects of the game to make it work for them. The right crowd for one cache owner is the wrong crowd for someone else. And that's okay.

 

Advertising a swag-filled cache just isn't going to satisfy what I am hoping to see as a cache owner. YMMV.

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Going back to the original post:

 

but the last few years, finding caches has generally been a disappointment. Most of the time the caches are mouldy, smelly boxes of tat, the kind of stuff you'd normally throw away.

 

Is this not true for most areas?

 

My observation is the people still geocaching are those that treat it like a game and go for numbers/stats/grid-filling.

A mouldy smelly box of tat is A-OK because ultimately it's not about the condition of the cache, but that there is something there that can be logged.

The hiders that are left, are mostly those that plant tens, hundreds, even 1000s of caches. They take up whole trails, roadsides, parks.They hide so many they have to plant junk containers because even $1 per container would break the bank. They need to encourage others to throwdown when one of their caches go missing or needs repair. Or they do nothing, let the box go to junk; if no one throws down a cache and someone logs an NA, they let the reviewer archive their cache (too much work to do it themselves- or maybe it's an odd form of silent protest). And those finders who are left playing the game, love them for it.

Some see prolific hides and finds as a sign of a flourishing game.

Some see prolific junk as a sign of a dying pastime.

 

I think that many of us just don't focus so much on the container, and have the capacity to enjoy the overall experience regardless of the container's condition. Ultimately, whether or not a caching experience is bad is up to me. Even the very worst caches become inside jokes. I have rarely found a perfect container. If that was my sole purpose for playing the game I would have quit ages ago.

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My observation is the people still geocaching are those that treat it like a game and go for numbers/stats/grid-filling.

 

Definitely not true for me and many cachers I know.

 

For me it is about the hike and being outdoors and I never ever treated geocaching as a game.

 

The hiders that are left, are mostly those that plant tens, hundreds, even 1000s of caches.

 

None of my caches and the caches I enjoy falls in this category and also among the cache I do not enjoy many do not fall in this category.

 

Personally I think that it might help if more cachers tried to place the type of caches they would like to encounter in their area despite of being frustrated about the development of geocaching. A few years ago I decided to focus on the target audience of those who enjoy longer hiking multi caches. There is a small local community who enjoys such caches and my hope is that ultimately more such caches will show up. While once in a while I enjoy complex puzzle caches, I feel that there meanwhile exist too many of them and so I changed also the focus of the caches I'm going to put out as a reaction to how the local scene developped.

Edited by cezanne

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Wow so people like putting out big empty containers.

 

My containers are not big as there are not so many places in my area that can accomodate safely big containers.

While I do not have an interest in swag, I still move along trackables and I appreciate if the caches I find offer space for leaving trackables (and not only miniature GCs). If I want to leave a trackable and a cache is filled up with swag, I'm usually quite unhappy.

 

Apart from trackables other reasons for putting out containers that are larger than micros even though one does not have any interest into swag is that larger containers are easier to find and that they can contain real log books where on can write in normal size and which are not a pain to retrieve and to put back.

 

Is it so hard to understand that adults who do not cache with children and do not have any interest into items like handicrafted signature items, magnets and all this kind of stuff one usually finds in caches do not care about swag?

 

Have a look at my caches and you will instantly see that they are not targeting towards families with children and also not targeting towards cachers who visit them to visit a nice container full with swag. Swag I would put into my caches would stay there anyway. It depends a lot on the target audience for which a cache is set up.

 

I consider for example the many nice photos the finders of my hiking caches post as part of the treasure and it is much more valuable to me than little items I do not care about (neither outside of the geocaching context nor inside). The treasure for both me as a hider and the treasure I have in mind when hiding a cache like my most recent one is a scenery like that one

https://s3.amazonaws.com/gs-geo-images/73547cef-3d6f-40c5-872e-8099011e1645.jpg

Edited by cezanne

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Wow so people like putting out big empty containers.

 

My containers are not big as there are not so many places in my area that can accomodate safely big containers.

While I do not have an interest in swag, I still move along trackables and I appreciate if the caches I find offer space for leaving trackables (and not only miniature GCs). If I want to leave a trackable and a cache is filled up with swag, I'm usually quite unhappy.

 

Apart from trackables other reasons for putting out containers that are larger than micros even though one does not have any interest into swag is that larger containers are easier to find and that they can contain real log books where on can write in normal size and which are not a pain to retrieve and to put back.

 

Is it so hard to understand that adults who do not cache with children and do not have any interest into items like handicrafted signature items, magnets and all this kind of stuff one usually finds in caches do not care about swag?

 

Have a look at my caches and you will instantly see that they are not targeting towards families with children and also not targeting towards cachers who visit them to visit a nice container full with swag. Swag I would put into my caches would stay there anyway. It depends a lot on the target audience for which a cache is set up.

 

This is a great comment.

 

We enjoy finding regular and large containers even though swag isn't of particular interest. Larger caches are easier to find, and tend to be hidden in spots that are enjoyable to visit. I enjoy a devious camo hide as much as the next person but nothing beats an obvious pile of sticks at the end of a good trek. The fact that those containers hold swag is just a non-factor for us.

 

The point about the logbook is a very good one. When we find a cache like this, particularly an older one, it's fun to flip through and see what people have written in the logbook. We will often spend 10 or 15 minutes hanging out at the GZ, signing the book with our handmade stamps, writing out a few comments, and looking through the old logs.

 

We cache as a family, and swag is only of passing interest to our son. He is always mildly curious to see what is inside a bigger container, but he is more interested in exploring and being outside. We've never taught him to seek or expect material goods from geocaching, so he isn't disappointed if a cache is just a cache.

Edited by narcissa

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I think that many of us just don't focus so much on the container, and have the capacity to enjoy the overall experience regardless of the container's condition.

 

We've never taught him to seek or expect material goods from geocaching, so he isn't disappointed if a cache is just a cache.

 

Sanctimonious much?

Edited by fbingha

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Going back to the original post:

 

but the last few years, finding caches has generally been a disappointment. Most of the time the caches are mouldy, smelly boxes of tat, the kind of stuff you'd normally throw away.

 

Is this not true for most areas?

 

 

I only go back to 2009.. whatever "Gen" that makes me. I enjoy geocaching now as much as I did then. Both then and now, sometimes containers are mouldy and smelly. While I prefer they were pristine, if they are in a good location that doesn't bother me much.

 

I can pretty much tell which caches I will like. If the map shows me hills and woods, I'm probably going to enjoy the walk regardless of the container. I also know the reputations of local cachers; some I know that any cache they publish I will love. Others less so.

 

Now I can't compare 2001 to 2009 as I wasn't playing then. In those 8 years I'm sure there was huge change. But in the past 8 years; I've not seen so much change, apart from more larger trails of caches. Which one can do or ignore.

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But in the past 8 years; I've not seen so much change, apart from more larger trails of caches. Which one can do or ignore.

 

At least in my country there also has been a huge change in years since 2009 and I know a number of cachers who started out around 2009 who meanwhile have left or almost left out of frustration. In 2009 sharing the coordinates of multi caches and mystery caches on a large scale has been much less common and there has been less focus on caching just for some statistics parameters (also less sites offering such data were available). Sites like project-gc have their good sides but they certainly also brought along quite a number of negative effects (from my point of view). I'd say that the global influence of project-gc is much higher than the one of challenge caches.

Also a number of the power hiders in my country started to geocache after 2009. For example, the geocaching landscape in Tyrol and Carinthia (and also in some parts of my home province) significantly changed since 2009 (in my opinion, to the negative).

Edited by cezanne

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My observation is the people still geocaching are those that treat it like a game and go for numbers/stats/grid-filling.

 

Definitely not true for me and many cachers I know.

 

For me it is about the hike and being outdoors and I never ever treated geocaching as a game.

 

The hiders that are left, are mostly those that plant tens, hundreds, even 1000s of caches.

 

None of my caches and the caches I enjoy falls in this category and also among the cache I do not enjoy many do not fall in this category.

 

Personally I think that it might help if more cachers tried to place the type of caches they would like to encounter in their area despite of being frustrated about the development of geocaching. A few years ago I decided to focus on the target audience of those who enjoy longer hiking multi caches. There is a small local community who enjoys such caches and my hope is that ultimately more such caches will show up. While once in a while I enjoy complex puzzle caches, I feel that there meanwhile exist too many of them and so I changed also the focus of the caches I'm going to put out as a reaction to how the local scene developped.

 

My area compares to LoneR's in that the ones playing now treat geocaching more like a game. I wish ours was more like Cezanne's but unfortunately, i'm about the only one around here that enjoys woodsie hikes and the more challenging hides. Those types of caches rarely get found by anyone around here these days.

 

The hiders that are left in our area tend to put out urban type stuff that i'm not interested in. Luckily though, they aren't placing them in numbers. Geocache placement is way down from what it used to be. I actually got a "new cache" notification last night, 10 days since the last time a new cache was published. Of course, like the previous cache, it was over 40 miles away.

 

As far as hiding cache types that i like to find, that's what i have always done. But honestly, doing this doesn't seem to help anything. They get placed, found by a couple of people, then forgotten. The few people around here who are caching pretty much want only the easy stuff that they don't have to expend any energy on.

Edited by Mudfrog

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I love my region. There really does seem to be a wide variety in the segments of the community for all these different caching styles - and for the most part, everyone seems to get along. It helps being in SW Ontario where there are urban centers, farmland, trails out the wazoo, and really nice natural areas, parks, geological features, lots of interesting stuff.

 

I can't imagine living in a geologically 'boring', relatively speaking, region, especially if the community heavily favours a certain caching style, especially if there are problematic cachers who add grief to the activity... =/

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I love my region. There really does seem to be a wide variety in the segments of the community for all these different caching styles - and for the most part, everyone seems to get along. It helps being in SW Ontario where there are urban centers, farmland, trails out the wazoo, and really nice natural areas, parks, geological features, lots of interesting stuff.

 

I can't imagine living in a geologically 'boring', relatively speaking, region, especially if the community heavily favours a certain caching style, especially if there are problematic cachers who add grief to the activity... =/

Rub it in why don't you,,, :P

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I love my region. There really does seem to be a wide variety in the segments of the community for all these different caching styles - and for the most part, everyone seems to get along. It helps being in SW Ontario where there are urban centers, farmland, trails out the wazoo, and really nice natural areas, parks, geological features, lots of interesting stuff.

 

I can't imagine living in a geologically 'boring', relatively speaking, region, especially if the community heavily favours a certain caching style, especially if there are problematic cachers who add grief to the activity... =/

 

We're very lucky in eastern Ontario / western Quebec too. Endless places to explore, good mix of urban space, rural farmland, and real wilderness. Seems to be lots of room for everyone to play their way without too many issues.

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Now I can't compare 2001 to 2009 as I wasn't playing then. In those 8 years I'm sure there was huge change. But in the past 8 years; I've not seen so much change, apart from more larger trails of caches. Which one can do or ignore.

During the 7 years I've been playing, in my area there have been significant changes: everything's even better. There are many more caches being published now, and they're better quality now and generally more interesting, although when I started in 2010, plenty of caches were being published, the quality was already pretty good, and the caches were already pretty interesting.

 

My area compares to LoneR's in that the ones playing now treat geocaching more like a game.

"How dare they play this game as if it's a game!"

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[dup]

Edited by L0ne.R

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We're very lucky in eastern Ontario / western Quebec too. Endless places to explore, good mix of urban space, rural farmland, and real wilderness. Seems to be lots of room for everyone to play their way without too many issues.

 

I think we're lucky in southern England too. Except for the wilderness part. It is very easy to get to nice walking areas quickly; hills, farmland, woods. Also we have a lot of abandoned mines with underground caches, as well as true caves. In urban areas there are some great caches which take you on a tour of the city. But I would have to travel quite a long way to get to anything close to wilderness. Well I suppose in a couple of hours I can get to mountains in Wales which are pretty wild, though not the expanse of wilderness in Canada. Also I've met lots of great people, and I see very little drama.

 

While areas of the world differ, I think when each of us talks about "our area" it is naturally our personal view on our area. And while some areas may really have better caches than others, someone else in my area might think I'm full of it, and things aren't so great here.

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I love my region. There really does seem to be a wide variety in the segments of the community for all these different caching styles - and for the most part, everyone seems to get along. It helps being in SW Ontario where there are urban centers, farmland, trails out the wazoo, and really nice natural areas, parks, geological features, lots of interesting stuff.

 

I can't imagine living in a geologically 'boring', relatively speaking, region, especially if the community heavily favours a certain caching style, especially if there are problematic cachers who add grief to the activity... =/

 

We're very lucky in eastern Ontario / western Quebec too. Endless places to explore, good mix of urban space, rural farmland, and real wilderness. Seems to be lots of room for everyone to play their way without too many issues.

 

"Seems to be lots of room for everyone to play their way."

 

So how do does the OP play his way? He's also in Ontario. How does he filter out junk?

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I think we're lucky in southern England too. Except for the wilderness part. It is very easy to get to nice walking areas quickly; hills, farmland, woods. Also we have a lot of abandoned mines with underground caches, as well as true caves. In urban areas there are some great caches which take you on a tour of the city. But I would have to travel quite a long way to get to anything close to wilderness. <snip>

Swindon?

 

Or bits of Salisbury Plain perhaps, although the caching might be tricky there.

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I think the point is: Is geocachign dead?

At any one point, by any one's opinion, at any one time, any particular region may seem to suffer.

Universally? Geocaching is definitely not dead.

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I love my region. There really does seem to be a wide variety in the segments of the community for all these different caching styles - and for the most part, everyone seems to get along. It helps being in SW Ontario where there are urban centers, farmland, trails out the wazoo, and really nice natural areas, parks, geological features, lots of interesting stuff.

 

I can't imagine living in a geologically 'boring', relatively speaking, region, especially if the community heavily favours a certain caching style, especially if there are problematic cachers who add grief to the activity... =/

 

We're very lucky in eastern Ontario / western Quebec too. Endless places to explore, good mix of urban space, rural farmland, and real wilderness. Seems to be lots of room for everyone to play their way without too many issues.

 

"Seems to be lots of room for everyone to play their way."

 

So how do does the OP play his way? He's also in Ontario. How does he filter out junk?

 

I hear GSAK has good tools for the more persnickety cachers. I'm not very fussy and manage to find something fun in at least 95% of the caches I find, so I can't really offer good advice to those with more delicate sensibilities beyond "be less picky."

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Now I can't compare 2001 to 2009 as I wasn't playing then. In those 8 years I'm sure there was huge change. But in the past 8 years; I've not seen so much change, apart from more larger trails of caches. Which one can do or ignore.

During the 7 years I've been playing, in my area there have been significant changes: everything's even better. There are many more caches being published now, and they're better quality now and generally more interesting, although when I started in 2010, plenty of caches were being published, the quality was already pretty good, and the caches were already pretty interesting.

 

My area compares to LoneR's in that the ones playing now treat geocaching more like a game.

"How dare they play this game as if it's a game!"

Yeah, i know there have been a few threads started in the past, trying to get a consensus as to whether geocaching was a game, a hobby, or sport. Myself, i've always thought of it as being a hobby since there was no competition or scoring going on. But this has changed so i agree, you are definitely right. It is more of a game now that the focus is on points.

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i've always thought of it as being a hobby since there was no competition or scoring going on. But this has changed so i agree, you are definitely right. It is more of a game now that the focus is on points.

Kinda agree, but...

For years we've become a lot more laid-back, once the other 2/3rds was cured of her FTF dependence. :laughing:

 

For us, this is still a hobby, so I'd say, "It seems to be more of a game for others, now that the focus for many is on points/stats " :)

Edited by cerberus1

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i've always thought of it as being a hobby since there was no competition or scoring going on. But this has changed so i agree, you are definitely right. It is more of a game now that the focus is on points.

Kinda agree, but...

For years we've become a lot more laid-back, once the other 2/3rds was cured of her FTF dependence. :laughing:

 

For us, this is still a hobby, so I'd say, "It seems to be more of a game for others, now that the focus for many is on points/stats " :)

And that's what i was meaning to say. I still look at geocaching as a hobby where i might encounter interesting places, different hiding styles, creativity, and gasp,,, logbooks big enough to write more than just my initials.

 

But what i'm seeing, at least in my area, is that most people don't really care what they're finding or hiding because their focus is more on scoring points.

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Yeah, i know there have been a few threads started in the past, trying to get a consensus as to whether geocaching was a game, a hobby, or sport.

I don't recall those threads, but perhaps because if I saw one, I'd think it was silly. Obviously it's all three.

 

But what i'm seeing, at least in my area, is that most people don't really care what they're finding or hiding because their focus is more on scoring points.

Plenty of people accumulate points in my area, but they still want good caches. Me, I enjoy the game, but pay no attention to the points.

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I hear GSAK has good tools for the more persnickety cachers. I'm not very fussy and manage to find something fun in at least 95% of the caches I find, so I can't really offer good advice to those with more delicate sensibilities beyond "be less picky."

 

Yup, couldn't live without it. If I were to use the website for caching I'd given up a long time ago.

If it wasn't for GSAK, geocaching would be dead (for me).

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I hear GSAK has good tools for the more persnickety cachers. I'm not very fussy and manage to find something fun in at least 95% of the caches I find, so I can't really offer good advice to those with more delicate sensibilities beyond "be less picky."

 

Yup, couldn't live without it. If I were to use the website for caching I'd given up a long time ago.

If it wasn't for GSAK, geocaching would be dead (for me).

 

Hmm. If it will let me use my time and money wisely by filtering out the junk, I'll give GSAK a try again and spend more time learning how to use it. So how does it help filter out junk caches? Is there a macro that will help?

Edited by L0ne.R

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My area compares to LoneR's in that the ones playing now treat geocaching more like a game. I wish ours was more like Cezanne's but unfortunately, i'm about the only one around here that enjoys woodsie hikes and the more challenging hides.

 

The majority of cachers around here also treats geocaching like a competition. The group interested into hiking is not large, but it exists.

 

As far as hiding cache types that i like to find, that's what i have always done.

 

I have also hidden caches where I wanted to share not well known interesting locations along with the background history. There the focus was not so much the physical activity which is the main driving force for my own geocaching activity as a finder.

 

I have not hidden caches that I regard as boring. With what I wrote in my other post I meant that now I try to focus on a class of caches which I enjoy the most to find and of which there are not many around. The number of visits the caches get is not large but the finders usually are pleased by the caches. Some of them have almost stopped to geocache but come to visit my hiking caches and some of them are at least reflecting about maybe putting out a new hiking multi caches in the future despite being frustrated about the scene.

 

But honestly, doing this doesn't seem to help anything. They get placed, found by a couple of people, then forgotten. The few people around here who are caching pretty much want only the easy stuff that they don't have to expend any energy on.

 

That's true for the majority here too but once in a while new cachers show up with different preferences and if there is an offer for them that certainly is helpful. Moreover, my main source of motivation for investing work in new caches is not losing those completely who turned from regular to casual cachers due to the lack of caches that are interesting for them. It's not so much about the filtering issue for them - e.g. when I hide a hiking cache, they know what they get.

 

However it's definitely a regional thing. While I cannot share the very positive experiences that some reported here about their caching area, the situation in my area is definitely much better than in some areas I know reasonably well. For example, I have a friend who lives in Marburg (Germany) and there geocaching is indeed almost dead and even more so the type of caching I enjoy.

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Hmm. If it will let me use my time and money wisely by filtering out the junk, I'll give GSAK a try again and spend more time learning how to use it. So how does it help filter out junk caches? Is there a macro that will help?

 

Totally off topic in this thread but short answer anyway:

This is how I do it:

1. Database holds all Belgian caches (kept up-to-date by weekly PQs)

2. When I feel like it I center around places we want to go for walks/bikerides, filter on multis, radius... and sort on favorite points (a macro will get fav's).

3. Read listings and logs and mark caches as "todo".

4. Filter the same for mysteries, look at listings and mark interesting ones "to solve"

5. Filter for all cachetypes not todo/to solve, sort on favorites

6. Read listings and logs and mark caches as "todo".

7. Repeat for other areas

 

At the same time "simple" traditionals are marked "not"

 

As time goes by the list with "todo" gets longer covering areas all over Belgium (and small part of the Netherlands)

As the mysteries are solved, they get their coordinates corrected and marked "todo".

Before we go caching (a few days in advance) we see where we want to go, filter caches in that area, look if there's something new that can be added, look for a few places nearby to have a drink/snack in the afternoon, put caches in the correct order we want to do them.

 

Macro's are use for getting favorites, sending to GPS as GGZ with WPs as POI, sending images to GPS, copying databases to GDAK on my (android) tablet. Before sending to GPS the selection is updated via API.

Afterwards, founds/dnf's are imported in GSAK, logs written, TBs dropped, visited (my own), retrieved are logged and batchlogged via API.

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Yup, couldn't live without it. If I were to use the website for caching I'd given up a long time ago.

If it wasn't for GSAK, geocaching would be dead (for me).

 

I don't use GSAK, but if not for smartphone, I would have gave up a few years ago. :)

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Hmm. If it will let me use my time and money wisely by filtering out the junk, I'll give GSAK a try again and spend more time learning how to use it. So how does it help filter out junk caches? Is there a macro that will help?

 

Totally off topic in this thread but short answer anyway:

This is how I do it:

1. Database holds all Belgian caches (kept up-to-date by weekly PQs)

2. When I feel like it I center around places we want to go for walks/bikerides, filter on multis, radius... and sort on favorite points (a macro will get fav's).

3. Read listings and logs and mark caches as "todo".

4. Filter the same for mysteries, look at listings and mark interesting ones "to solve"

5. Filter for all cachetypes not todo/to solve, sort on favorites

6. Read listings and logs and mark caches as "todo".

7. Repeat for other areas

 

At the same time "simple" traditionals are marked "not"

 

As time goes by the list with "todo" gets longer covering areas all over Belgium (and small part of the Netherlands)

As the mysteries are solved, they get their coordinates corrected and marked "todo".

Before we go caching (a few days in advance) we see where we want to go, filter caches in that area, look if there's something new that can be added, look for a few places nearby to have a drink/snack in the afternoon, put caches in the correct order we want to do them.

 

Macro's are use for getting favorites, sending to GPS as GGZ with WPs as POI, sending images to GPS, copying databases to GDAK on my (android) tablet. Before sending to GPS the selection is updated via API.

Afterwards, founds/dnf's are imported in GSAK, logs written, TBs dropped, visited (my own), retrieved are logged and batchlogged via API.

 

Thanks on4bam for going to the trouble of writing all the steps out for me.

It's very similar to what I do with Project-GC (premium member feature). I filter out micros. I filter for fav points, at least 3. I remove owners who frustrate me - they get a lot of FPs because they are popular with the numbers crowd and event-goers. But generally their containers are leaky and unmaintained, often micros listed as small, often they break the guidelines so they end up with a unique cache that everyone thinks is worth FPs.

After filtering with Project-GC, I spend time going over the logs.

It takes a lot of my time and I sometimes am not prepared when I visit a new location and have time to geocache but haven't done my research.

I open up the app, filter as best as I can and hope for the best.

It comes back down to reading the logs. But even those aren't very useful these days because the emphasis is on the numbers. People generally don't care about the condition enough to write about it. They don't care if the small cache is actually a micro. They're thrilled to find another bison tube in a dollar store frog's mouth (listed as small because the frog is about the size of a large strawberry).

But I do appreciate that you outlined your GSAK process for me.

 

But there may be some hope for areas with addicted hiders that don't maintain and all the junk out there...I just read the new topic "Placement ban due to divisiveness"

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But there may be some hope for areas with addicted hiders that don't maintain and all the junk out there...I just read the new topic "Placement ban due to divisiveness"

 

I guess that this will be a very rare extreme example where other things are behind too.

 

Somehow it seems to me that you expect a bit too much when it comes to the condition of a geocache.

Using a proper container and maintaining the cache from time to time is one thing, but expecting that a perfect condition is a bit much. In winter I often encounter damp log books in good quality containers owned by cachers who care about maintenance (this also happened for some of my caches).

 

If you wish to encounter everything in perfect condition, you would need to restrict yourself mainly to very new caches but even there it can happen that they got visited in the rain or by someone with dirty fingers etc. After all it's an outdoor game and not a exhibition of nice containers in a living room with air condition and heating.

Edited by cezanne

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It takes a lot of my time and I sometimes am not prepared when I visit a new location and have time to geocache but haven't done my research.

I open up the app, filter as best as I can and hope for the best.

It comes back down to reading the logs. But even those aren't very useful these days because the emphasis is on the numbers. People generally don't care about the condition enough to write about it. They don't care if the small cache is actually a micro. They're thrilled to find another bison tube in a dollar store frog's mouth (listed as small because the frog is about the size of a large strawberry).

But I do appreciate that you outlined your GSAK process for me.

 

I could add that sometimes it's my wife looking at certain areas and finding a great multi/Wherigo/letterbox. I then continue per my list B)

Sometimes I read or hear about a cache and go from there. Then there are a few CO's I know always have great caches.

We never cache "on the fly" and are always prepared with a well laid out plan (and backup in case the original plan goes haywire).

We don't care about cache size, it's all about the surroundings and the cache/waypoints at least being a bit of a challenge. Badly maintained/moldy/wet caches are almost non-existing in our found list. That's what you get when you're very picky about which caches to do ;)

Still have about 600 in my todo list so we're good for a while.

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We've all had to dig through blackberry bushes or wade through stands of poison ivy/oak to look for a cache. Or those fun ones near a bunch of garbage, or frequented by drug users, with needles littering the ground. Or worry about stopping along a busy road with no place to safely park or walk. Or LPC's made from somebody's used medical supplies. Or caches placed near jersey barriers along an Interstate. The list goes on and on...

 

I'm going to catch a lot of flak for this, but here goes... three words: strict placement standards.

 

- Members need a minimum number of finds before they can hide.

- Hiders provide both a photo of the cache container and a photo of the location for reviewer.

- Caches within an unsafe distance of roads, highways, railroad tracks, etc. are culled. (Google Earth would be handy here.)

- Bring back virtuals.

 

(Ok, now where did I put that flame suit?) :ph34r:

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We've all had to dig through blackberry bushes or wade through stands of poison ivy/oak to look for a cache. Or those fun ones near a bunch of garbage, or frequented by drug users, with needles littering the ground. Or worry about stopping along a busy road with no place to safely park or walk. Or LPC's made from somebody's used medical supplies. Or caches placed near jersey barriers along an Interstate. The list goes on and on...

 

I'm going to catch a lot of flak for this, but here goes... three words: strict placement standards.

 

- Members need a minimum number of finds before they can hide.

- Hiders provide both a photo of the cache container and a photo of the location for reviewer.

- Caches within an unsafe distance of roads, highways, railroad tracks, etc. are culled. (Google Earth would be handy here.)

 

 

 

Minimum find count doesn't accomplish anything. Someone with 25 finds on really difficult caches will hide caches that are more interesting and better quality (to me) than someone with 10,000 power trail finds. Find count isn't a good metric to make any sort of objective judgment about the cacher.

 

The photo idea would open a can of worms. More work for the reviewer, varying/questionable quality in photos, and a barrier to those who aren't as technologically inclined or those who don't own a digital camera (they still exist).

 

Cache reviewers already look for some issues when they review caches (e.g. caches close to train tracks don't get published in these parts), but geocaching is an "at your own risk" activity. Who ultimately decides what is safe? If we're banning caches some arbitrary distance from roads, are we also banning caches on mountains? Scuba caches? The person finding the cache is the one who ultimately determines what they can handle.

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We've all had to dig through blackberry bushes or wade through stands of poison ivy/oak to look for a cache. Or those fun ones near a bunch of garbage, or frequented by drug users, with needles littering the ground. Or worry about stopping along a busy road with no place to safely park or walk. Or LPC's made from somebody's used medical supplies. Or caches placed near jersey barriers along an Interstate. The list goes on and on...

 

I'm going to catch a lot of flak for this, but here goes... three words: strict placement standards.

 

- Members need a minimum number of finds before they can hide.

- Hiders provide both a photo of the cache container and a photo of the location for reviewer.

- Caches within an unsafe distance of roads, highways, railroad tracks, etc. are culled. (Google Earth would be handy here.)

- Bring back virtuals.

 

(Ok, now where did I put that flame suit?) :ph34r:

Requiring a minimum number of finds is problematic. Be it 25, 50, 100 or whatever, it's going to be far easier for someone living in a major city to meet that target than if they're in a small country town where there might only be a handful of caches within a reasonable driving distance. Take Gunnedah in northern NSW for instance, a moderately sized town (population 8000 and big enough to have its own radio station) but it only has four caches. A newcomer there would have to drive a long way to meet whatever target is set.

 

Regarding photos, some time back our reviewer posted on one of the local Facebook groups that he liked to see photos of caches in position as it indicates that the cache is actually there and can show up obvious guideline violations like being buried. Since then, I've always done that and I think it's something that should be encouraged, but making it mandatory might be a step too far.

 

Regarding a "safe distance" from roads, what is a safe distance? Roads can vary from a busy highway with constant heavy traffic to a fire trail through a forest that might only get one vehicle a month, and in the latter case it'd be silly to insist that the cache be 10, 20, 50 or whatever metres away from the road. And are you going to restrict caches near other potentially hazardous areas like cliff edges and rivers? Common sense should prevail.

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I totally agree that implementing tougher hiding standards will open a big can of worms.

 

At the same time, if that can isn't opened, eventually it's going to go bad just sitting on the shelf. B)

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I totally agree that implementing tougher hiding standards will open a big can of worms.

 

At the same time, if that can isn't opened, eventually it's going to go bad just sitting on the shelf. B)

 

The specific "standards" you've suggested have some problems that don't just disappear with a wave of the hand and an epithet.

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We've all had to dig through blackberry bushes or wade through stands of poison ivy/oak to look for a cache. Or those fun ones near a bunch of garbage, or frequented by drug users, with needles littering the ground. Or worry about stopping along a busy road with no place to safely park or walk. Or LPC's made from somebody's used medical supplies. Or caches placed near jersey barriers along an Interstate. The list goes on and on...

 

I'm going to catch a lot of flak for this, but here goes... three words: strict placement standards.

 

- Members need a minimum number of finds before they can hide.

- Hiders provide both a photo of the cache container and a photo of the location for reviewer.

- Caches within an unsafe distance of roads, highways, railroad tracks, etc. are culled. (Google Earth would be handy here.)

- Bring back virtuals.

 

(Ok, now where did I put that flame suit?) :ph34r:

Requiring a minimum number of finds is problematic. Be it 25, 50, 100 or whatever, it's going to be far easier for someone living in a major city to meet that target than if they're in a small country town where there might only be a handful of caches within a reasonable driving distance. Take Gunnedah in northern NSW for instance, a moderately sized town (population 8000 and big enough to have its own radio station) but it only has four caches. A newcomer there would have to drive a long way to meet whatever target is set.

 

Agreed. In areas that already have a high density of caches (e.g. areas which my not necessarily need more caches) it would be easy for finders to meet new criteria and create more hides in an area that may already be saturated. In areas that are sparsely population (and could really use more caches placements) it would be much more difficult to meet the minimum criteria, especially in the more than 80 something countries that have fewer than 25 caches in the entire country.

 

 

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- Hiders provide both a photo of the cache container

 

 

I think this could help cut back on the number of micros that are listed as small.

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I totally agree that implementing tougher hiding standards will open a big can of worms.

 

Yeah, but it's not that big of a deal to try and make geocaching better. I'm still one of the people that thinks powertrails and just for the numbers caches have harmed the game.

 

Hopefully Groundspeak has some good ideas for this spring. :)

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- Hiders provide both a photo of the cache container

 

 

I think this could help cut back on the number of micros that are listed as small.

 

I think there are benefits to it, and I know many cachers do this voluntarily, but there are possible negative impacts if this was mandatory. In order to be truly effective for the use you've stated, it would be necessary for the photo to also indicate the size of the container in a clear and objective way. I just see this turning into a really tedious task for CO and reviewer, with a lot of room for problems, complaints, and needless back-and-forth delays.

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The specific "standards" you've suggested have some problems that don't just disappear with a wave of the hand and an epithet.

 

Thanks to the impersonality of the 'net, I'm not sure exactly which definition you are using. My apologies if you feel offended; that's certainly not my intention. Please keep in mind, I'm just brainstorming and offering my $0.02, the same as everyone else here.

 

- Perhaps a minimum amount of time in conjunction with a certain number of finds would work as a better approach, or just a time-based minimum on its own. If they want to incentivize things, offer more hides to those who pony up for a premium membership.

 

- Asking for photos of cache containers and hiding locations before approval doesn't seem that outrageous. After all, this is a game based on the use of GPS devices, smart phones, and a pretty detailed web site and mobile app. A picture is worth a thousand words.

 

- As far as setbacks from roads and other transportation corridors, I'm all for personal responsibility. At the same time, I'm also all for some relative modicum of safety. I know that risks are inherent with caching (heck, even just stepping outside), but they don't need to be located inside of guardrails, along blind corners, at stop signs, within spitting distance of the highway, etc. Common sense should apply, but so should some minimum guidelines. (Which brings us back to photos of the cache and location for the reviewer.)

 

- Oh, and I noticed that nobody has disagreed with the idea of bringing back virtual caches. :)

Edited by Pacific NW

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- Perhaps a minimum amount of time in conjunction with a certain number of finds would work as a better approach, or just a time-based minimum on its own. If they want to incentivize things, offer more hides to those who pony up for a premium membership.

 

- Asking for photos of cache containers and hiding locations before approval doesn't seem that outrageous. After all, this is a game based on the use of GPS devices, smart phones, and a pretty detailed web site and mobile app. A picture is worth a thousand words.

 

- As far as setbacks from roads and other transportation corridors, I'm all for personal responsibility. At the same time, I'm also all for some relative modicum of safety. I know that risks are inherent with caching (heck, even just stepping outside), but they don't need to be located inside of guardrails, along blind corners, at stop signs, within spitting distance of the highway, etc. Common sense should apply, but so should some minimum guidelines. (Which brings us back to photos of the cache and location for the reviewer.)

 

A minimum time would discourage enthusiastic new hiders who may have a lot to offer. It would stifle the game in places where there should be room for growth. Time in the game is a poor metric for judging a cache owner; many poorly maintained caches are owned by old cachers who have quit or lost interest. Trying to put a new spin on the idea does not negate the fact that discriminating against new players is an evergreen suggestion, and a bad one at that.

 

Requiring photos is a barrier and an additional step that will slow down the review process. I think it's something that reviewers could ask for in complex situations where verbal explanations aren't working, but for most cache placements there's just no need. Additionally, geocachers come from all walks of life, around the globe. We should not assume that all geocachers share a similar level of affluence or access to technology. There are still people out there happily playing the game with a 15-year-old handheld GPS and questionable web access. Why put the game out of reach for no reason?

 

Again, geocaching is an "at your own risk" activity. You are not required to search for geocaches if they make you feel unsafe. If you feel that a geocache has been placed without adequate permission by the land owner or land manager, report it. A geocache on a guardrail on a blind corner is probably already violating the guidelines for permission. it's all fine and dandy to trot out "common sense," but in reality, someone has to create very clear parameters for "safety" if that's going to be a "standard." I see many, many complaints about geocaching in the forum, but rarely is "safety" one of the hot issues, so I don't even see what problem this is solving beyond your own discomfort.

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- As far as setbacks from roads and other transportation corridors, I'm all for personal responsibility. At the same time, I'm also all for some relative modicum of safety. I know that risks are inherent with caching (heck, even just stepping outside), but they don't need to be located inside of guardrails, along blind corners, at stop signs, within spitting distance of the highway, etc. Common sense should apply, but so should some minimum guidelines. (Which brings us back to photos of the cache and location for the reviewer.)

The trouble is that "minimum guidelines" that make sense on a busy highway would be complete overkill on roads that carry little or no traffic. How would you frame an objective global guideline that would provide the level of protection you want on your highways but not impact on caches alongside quiet country roads, forest service trails or even suburban cul-de-sacs?

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So I hid my first geocache less than 30 days after my first cache find (8/31/05). I had found less than 10 when I hid the first cache more than 4 miles from the next nearest cache.

I waited TEN YEARS before I put in my geoart (36 caches) centered on my original cache.

I have found caches in 43 states and 2 caches each in Canada and Mexico. In late May I am going to the east coast to find caches in 6 states. Hawaii will have to wait until 2018.

I visited HQ on 1/4/17 as my 1800th cache.

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The trouble is that "minimum guidelines" that make sense on a busy highway would be complete overkill on roads that carry little or no traffic. How would you frame an objective global guideline that would provide the level of protection you want on your highways but not impact on caches alongside quiet country roads, forest service trails or even suburban cul-de-sacs?

 

Sure thing -- having a minimum setback from federal and state highways would be a good start. Banning and removing guardrail caches would be another.

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A minimum time would discourage enthusiastic new hiders who may have a lot to offer. It would stifle the game in places where there should be room for growth.

Just like other rules they would need to learn and know before placing, holding off would just be another one. Patience, delayed gratification. I would worried if someone demanded they be able to place now, regardless of how 'quality' their caches might be. If they are quality and abide by rules and guidelines, I don't see any problem, from this perspective, of having a placement delay.

 

Time in the game is a poor metric for judging a cache owner; many poorly maintained caches are owned by old cachers who have quit or lost interest. Trying to put a new spin on the idea does not negate the fact that discriminating against new players is an evergreen suggestion, and a bad one at that.

Man, we'd better get rid of rules and etiquette that many of us experienced cachers know, because newcomers shouldn't have to learn any of that - they're being discriminated against.

Obviously that's ridiculous. Newcomers are "discriminated" against in every part of life - it's called learning and patience.

 

To be clear: I'm not advocating for a delay, but I don't see "discrimination" or "limitation" as somehow "unfair" for newcomers. It would be part of the requirements and responsibilities (and there are many) that come with cache ownership. Many things in life require a minimum amount of time and/or experience before moving forward. It's a life lesson.

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The trouble is that "minimum guidelines" that make sense on a busy highway would be complete overkill on roads that carry little or no traffic. How would you frame an objective global guideline that would provide the level of protection you want on your highways but not impact on caches alongside quiet country roads, forest service trails or even suburban cul-de-sacs?

 

Sure thing -- having a minimum setback from federal and state highways would be a good start. Banning and removing guardrail caches would be another.

The world isn't just an extension of the USA. Here we have no definition of "federal highway", save for National Highway 1 which, in the northwest of the continent at least carries very little traffic and has only recently been sealed. Designated state highways are about who pays for the maintenance and have little bearing on traffic volumes, particularly in rural areas. Many of the inland main roads might only carry a dozen or two vehicles a day. Locally, the Old Pacific Highway is still a state-funded road but carries little traffic because it's been bypassed by the M1 motorway.

 

As for guardrails, is a guardrail on a dirt forest service trail or at the end of a cul-de-sac a dangerous place for a cache? Not all roads with guardrails are busy highways, some are just there to protect delicate infrastructure or because of a steep drop-off on the side of a hill, or even to block the road to through traffic. None of the guardrail caches I've found are in what I'd consider dangerous positions, they're on quiet roads and nearly always approachable from behind.

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As for guardrails, is a guardrail on a dirt forest service trail or at the end of a cul-de-sac a dangerous place for a cache? Not all roads with guardrails are busy highways, some are just there to protect delicate infrastructure or because of a steep drop-off on the side of a hill, or even to block the road to through traffic. None of the guardrail caches I've found are in what I'd consider dangerous positions, they're on quiet roads and nearly always approachable from behind.
And some guardrails are just there, for no discernible reason. I've found a couple guardrail caches like that, where there wasn't even a trail near the guardrail. One was even hidden specifically to call attention to the odd location of the guardrail.

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A minimum time would discourage enthusiastic new hiders who may have a lot to offer. It would stifle the game in places where there should be room for growth.

Just like other rules they would need to learn and know before placing, holding off would just be another one. Patience, delayed gratification. I would worried if someone demanded they be able to place now, regardless of how 'quality' their caches might be. If they are quality and abide by rules and guidelines, I don't see any problem, from this perspective, of having a placement delay.

 

Time in the game is a poor metric for judging a cache owner; many poorly maintained caches are owned by old cachers who have quit or lost interest. Trying to put a new spin on the idea does not negate the fact that discriminating against new players is an evergreen suggestion, and a bad one at that.

Man, we'd better get rid of rules and etiquette that many of us experienced cachers know, because newcomers shouldn't have to learn any of that - they're being discriminated against.

Obviously that's ridiculous. Newcomers are "discriminated" against in every part of life - it's called learning and patience.

 

To be clear: I'm not advocating for a delay, but I don't see "discrimination" or "limitation" as somehow "unfair" for newcomers. It would be part of the requirements and responsibilities (and there are many) that come with cache ownership. Many things in life require a minimum amount of time and/or experience before moving forward. It's a life lesson.

 

Time in the game doesn't guarantee adherence to the guidelines or awareness of personal game preferences (i.e. "etiquette"). It's a poor way to measure someone's readiness for cache placement.

 

We have a dedicated group of volunteer reviewers who are able to look at each cache submission and determine its suitability based on the cache itself. There's no need to blame and limit large groups of people.

 

Good suggestions for improving the game focus on cache characteristics or sensible tools to improve the review process, not attacks on groups of cachers based on arbitrary criteria.

 

I am glad that Groundspeak has, so far, stayed away from this unoriginal and persistent suggestion.

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