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brendan714

Number of new caches decreasing?

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I was out geocaching with a friend last night, when we both mentioned how it's felt like there haven't been very many geocaches published lately in our city of 1.2 million+ compared to last year or the year before.  That led me to do some searching.  Here is a list of the number of geocaches published per year in my city over the last 10 years:

2008 - 585
2009 - 622
2010 - 659
2011 - 608
2012 - 671
2013 - 537
2014 - 602
2015 - 867
2016 - 581
2017 - 257 (up to Nov. 10, 2017)

So we aren't imagining things - there are far fewer new geocaches this year compared to the average.  I know that the year isn't over yet, but November and December is typically a slow time for geocaching here.

Some obvious possible reasons for this might be that there are fewer unique hiding spots, fewer geocachers, geocachers who aren't willing to hide new/more caches, and/or a lack of new or different gameplay elements to entice hiders.

Have you noticed this around you too?

EDIT: Use THIS LINK if you'd like to check your own area.  Change the location, distance and year.

Edited by brendan714

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17 minutes ago, brendan714 said:

Some obvious possible reasons for this might be that there are fewer unique hiding spots, fewer geocachers, geocachers who aren't willing to hide new/more caches, and/or a lack of new or different gameplay elements to entice hiders.

Since we're throwing out possible reasons without any evidence to support them...

Another possible reason is that cache owners are tiring of numbers-oriented hides, and are slowing down and putting more thought into a smaller number of hides.

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Yes - in a 40 mile radius of my home (caches that have not been archived):

2008 - 96

2009 - 129

2010 - 133

2011 - 136

2012 - 159

2013 - 172

2014 - 175

2015 - 101

 2016 - 139

2017 - 72  (6 are mine)

 

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I've noticed more archived caches than new caches this year, but that may change as the weather gets better. November through March is why we put up with the summer heat!

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I don't believe there's anything "obvious" about it, but similar to niraD,  a few in my area are waiting a bit to place better hides than have come out lately.  I'm helping on one (higher terrain), maybe placed in Spring.  After this new app experiment thing going on in another Country, we're kicking back a while too.  If I didn't get hurt again, two more (LB hybrids) would have been placed already.

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19 minutes ago, JustFindingOurWay said:

I've noticed more archived caches than new caches this year, but that may change as the weather gets better. November through March is why we put up with the summer heat!

Same thing here. pretty much this whole year, i've been getting more archived than published emails.

There are less people caching for sure. There are a few older timers left but they have really slowed down. And it's not like in cerberus' case where they are waiting to see what happens. Most have lost interest and i don't see many of them hanging around too much longer. Of the newer cachers, most don't stay with it very long.

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I'm slowly archiving mine and not placing any new ones. There is just not enough interest locally in geocaching to keep me interested in being a cache owner.

I have weeded out my more problematic caches and I'm left with some lonely ones that don't get many visits.

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My area too gets fewer new hides recently. 

It's not a bad thing - though it does mean I have to travel farther to play the game. Geocaching has been around for 16 years, and many places are fairly saturated when it comes to hides, so there may not be as much incentive for new hides to be placed in most places when there are so many to be found and maintained.

I have personally stopped putting out new caches because I foresee a big move in the near future. I don't want to put out anything new just to have it archived or adopted in a few months.

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39 minutes ago, Manville Possum said:

I have weeded out my more problematic caches and I'm left with some lonely ones that don't get many visits.

Most of mine do not get found very often.  I like hiking caches.  Too bad so few modern geocachers agree.

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Clearly there are going to be a lot of factors in play here. Personally, I've moved into more of a quality-over-quantity mode, and I've seen this happening with some other long-time cachers in my area. The Virtual Rewards may have played a factor in this when COs saw that quality was being rewarded, but it could also be a matter of saturation or just a desire to cut back on maintenance requirements.

On the other hand, though, there have also been cachers hiding caches in quantity, including a string of nearly 100 caches by one CO. I've also continued to see caches hidden by new cachers, but there tends to be just a single cache and they don't seem to stick it out long-term. I haven't seen too many new faces at recent events. I'll have to crunch some numbers when I get home, but I have a gut feeling that there isn't as big of a decline in my area as other posters here have seen, and there may not be a decline at all. I'll post back with some numbers.

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3 hours ago, brendan714 said:

 Here is a list of the number of geocaches published per year in my city over the last 10 years:

2008 - 585
2009 - 622
2010 - 659
2011 - 608
2012 - 671
2013 - 537
2014 - 602
2015 - 867
2016 - 581
2017 - 203 (up to Nov. 10, 2017)

 

How'd you run the numbers for your city? I'd like to give it a go for mine. 

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46 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

How'd you run the numbers for your city? I'd like to give it a go for mine. 

I did it with PQs.  Not my city but the radius from my home 

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Saturation, maybe?

I was curious, so I ran some PQs to get stats for my area. I used a 25km radius from my home coordinates in Vancouver, BC. I excluded event caches, although I don't suppose that would make much difference. It would be interesting to see how many caches were published including those that have since been archived. I would expect the farther back you go, the more caches have been archived.
2017: 242
2016: 250
2015: 312
2014: 443
2013: 404
2012: 482
2011: 354
2010: 333
2009: 166
2008: 118
2007: 81
2006: 83
2005: 95
2004: 37
2003: 21
2002: 15
2001: 7

This is my first year caching. 22 of the 2017 hides are mine.

Edited by nextlogicalstep

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Pocket queries fail because they don't show archived caches. 

Use the link below and fill in your location, distance and desired year:

Link!

I just realized my 2017 number should be 257 caches, not 203. I forgot to add the 54 caches I've found! Still well less than half the average from the past 10 years. 

Edited by brendan714

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City: Hamburg, DE Radius: 30 kms

2000: 0000 caches
2001: 0000 caches
2002: 0042 caches
2003: 0181 caches
2004: 0213 caches
2005: 0405 caches
2006: 0705 caches
2007: 0868 caches
2008: 1176 caches
2009: 1729 caches
2010: 1804 caches
2011: 2297 caches
2012: 2516 caches
2013: 1974 caches
2014: 1757 caches
2015: 1392 caches
2016: 1219 caches
2017: 1034 caches

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14 hours ago, Harry Dolphin said:

Most of mine do not get found very often.  I like hiking caches.  Too bad so few modern geocachers agree.

Yep! The types of caches i enjoy finding/placing are not caches people these days want to find. Out of the 154 active caches we have going, about 3 get found somewhat routinely. These are easy to find traditionals placed in areas that have a lot of traffic. The other 151 are rarely found because they are more physically and/or mentally challenging. Newer cachers view our hobby totally differently than how i do and [DON'T READ THIS IF YOU'RE TIRED OF HEARING THIS FROM ME] i blame it on the app.

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I skipped a year, and decided it didn't matter - 30 miles from my home coords. All caches published by year. A modest bump this year, largely this is 2 powertrails.

2003 39
2004 63
2005 203
2006 420
2008 378
2009 477
2010 696
2011 759
2012 785
2013 471
2014 319
2015 358
2016 148
2017 191

 

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2 hours ago, Mudfrog said:

Yep! The types of caches i enjoy finding/placing are not caches people these days want to find. Out of the 154 active caches we have going, about 3 get found somewhat routinely. These are easy to find traditionals placed in areas that have a lot of traffic. The other 151 are rarely found because they are more physically and/or mentally challenging. Newer cachers view our hobby totally differently than how i do and [DON'T READ THIS IF YOU'RE TIRED OF HEARING THIS FROM ME] i blame it on the app.

"the app" ;-) well, yes. If it weren't this app, it would be that app.  Technology marches on.

Who geocaches is different than earlier in the game, when mostly geeks, gadget lovers, and outdoor people owned gps.   Smartphones have open  up the game to many who would never have been part of the gps handheld era.

Like you, I own caches that require some walking or paddling.  Hiking cache finds have fallen off a cliff since about 2012.  (Paddle cache finds have always been limited.) I'm archiving some of my more remote caches, those where I have a maintenance trip for every find over the last 5 years, or more trips than finds .....

Edited by Isonzo Karst

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18 hours ago, brendan714 said:

Some obvious possible reasons for this might be that there are fewer unique hiding spots, fewer geocachers, geocachers who aren't willing to hide new/more caches, and/or a lack of new or different gameplay elements to entice hiders.

 

17 hours ago, Mineral2 said:

My area too gets fewer new hides recently. 

It's not a bad thing - though it does mean I have to travel farther to play the game. Geocaching has been around for 16 years, and many places are fairly saturated when it comes to hides, so there may not be as much incentive for new hides to be placed in most places when there are so many to be found and maintained.

 

17 hours ago, The A-Team said:

Clearly there are going to be a lot of factors in play here. Personally, I've moved into more of a quality-over-quantity mode, and I've seen this happening with some other long-time cachers in my area...

On the other hand, though, there have also been cachers hiding caches in quantity, including a string of nearly 100 caches by one CO. I've also continued to see caches hidden by new cachers, but there tends to be just a single cache and they don't seem to stick it out long-term.

I'm hoping that geocaching is NOT facing a decline!  Of course, it's changing, for the better or not varies with who you are consulting.  I think I'm a cross between a newbie with the app, and one who loves to hike and enjoy the outdoors and find caches along the way that are more than lampost and guardrail hides.

We are just starting out on this adventure (less than a year), creating hides and discovering familiar places in a new way.  We have several planned hides, but it takes time to do them the way we want, and we are keeping an eye on several of our son's hides now that he has moved out of the area.  I'm hoping to enjoy this hobby for many years to come, and would be saddened if we were to have come in on the decline.  We will do all we can to keep it active in our area.  I have no idea if the new caches we are seeing published are at a faster, slower, or consistent rate.  I do know there I have a lot more to find without having to drive very far!!

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20 hours ago, The A-Team said:

 ... Personally, I've moved into more of a quality-over-quantity mode, and I've seen this happening with some other long-time cachers in my area.

 ... On the other hand, though, there have also been cachers hiding caches in quantity, including a string of nearly 100 caches by one CO. I've also continued to see caches hidden by new cachers, but there tends to be just a single cache and they don't seem to stick it out long-term. I haven't seen too many new faces at recent events. 

We see similar.  Most I know well are accessing higher D/T like us, and a bunch are steering to "lonely" caches.

It seems just a couple cachers placing numerous low D/T hides, wasted (on us) due to their location, and making many pmo to boot.    I think some believe the marketing hype.  :)

Events appear to change by location.  Here, very few new faces.  Areas N/S of us (closer to cities), most are new faces, but differ at each.  Not sure what that means...  

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The number of new caches here has dropped off alarmingly. These are the numbers for the Gosford local government area since I started caching in 2013:

2013 - 79, 2014 - 92, 2015 - 97, 2016 - 44, 2017 - 11.

Of those eleven this year, five were mine.

As for possible reasons for the decline, many of the former stalwarts of the game here are no longer active, and while there are new names often appearing, with few exceptions they only last a couple of weeks before they lose interest. Saturation certainly isn't a problem around here, with lots of good hiding places still empty.

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My Local Unfound caches database in GSAK gives the following numbers for a region between Wollongong in the North to Merimbula in the South and West as far as Goublurn.  These are caches placed in those dates which I haven't found, so they may not be completely accurate regarding total caches placed:

2010 - 71, 2011 - 102, 2012 - 86, 2013 - 153, 2014 - 192, 2015 - 165, 2016 - 354, 2017 - 238

On these figures 2017 is the second highest ever.  However, older caches may well have been archived and I will have fould more older ones than newer ones.

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6 hours ago, Gill & Tony said:

...] and I will have fould more older ones than newer ones.

That's why we compare found and unfound caches in this thread. :o

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The number of caches being published in the St louis MO area has also greatly decreased. A number of prolific hiders in our area have stopped putting out caches. The quality of caches has also gone down. We get mostly traditional park and grab type hides. Ingress, pokemon go, and marble hunting have become popular which may effect people attentions from geocaching. The interesting thing about saturation point is that many areas have started to become more open in our area and over saturation has gone down. The sad part is that the less energy people put into placing caches the less popular the game will become and this trend will perpetuate itself. Groundspeak putting the restrictions on free access to caches via the phone apps I think may have put a damper on the popularity of the game as well as less people joining geocaching. There is probably also a certain threshold to when people get burnt out of putting out new hides and there needs to be new people contributing to the game as well. 

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Using the Map tool on project - gc, and this St Louis MO cache, McKee Park GC1064T https://coord.info/GC1064T all caches published within 30 miles by year:
N 38° 35.868 W 090° 22.320 
2003 215
2005 237
2007 401
2009 417
2011 606
2013 679
2015 399
2017 301 to date

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I live in the City of Shoalhaven in southern NSW which has a population of 100,000. Geographically it is very large. Selected a cache that I considered was in the middle which worked out fairly accurate, set a distance of 40 kilometres, avoiding the Kiama LGA & extending to south of Ulladulla.  Caches per year varied from 5 in 2005, 54 in 2011 to a high of 84 in 2015, 53 last year & 31 so far this year. Between 2010 & 2014 the numbers were up & down. Recently in another forum a comment about Geocachers & Waymarkers prompted me to have look at the number of geocachers in the Shoalhaven. There has been an overall decline of 30% in the number of active geocachers, with the majority who drop out not financial members.  The use of the phone app allows people to see what geocaching is about but like that phone based game craze early in the year/last year, interest often wanes quite quickly.  

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6 hours ago, Isonzo Karst said:

[...] caches published within 30 miles by year: [...]

The OP uses 30 kms. :rolleyes:

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use THIS LINK if you'd like to check your own area.  Change the location, distance and year.

and I used 30 miles, per the OPs invitation to change the location, distance and year...  to make this post on point, let me find another area

Downtown Nashville TN N 36° 09.995 W 086° 47.037  30 miles, doing every 3rd year, and this year to date:

2000 Zed
2003 607
2006 401
2009 371
2012 341
2015 299
2107 163

 

 

 

 

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Some stats for caches around the center of Munich, within circles of 30km and 50km radius.

Year    30km    50km    30km (no events)    30km (events only)
2001    2       2       2                   0
2002    12      13      12                  0
2003    41      58      41                  0
2004    150     192     146                 4
2005    206     281     200                 6
2006    263     334     257                 6
2007    411     513     399                 12
2008    630     948     603                 27
2009    779     1262    756                 23
2010    876     1459	846                 30
2011    1326    2572	1292                34
2012    879     1593    826                 53
2013    884     1586    821                 63
2014    1007    1833    888                 119
2015    871     1613    737                 134
2016    959     1777    774                 185
2017    697     1319    499                 198

So we see a steady rise until 2011. 2011 was also the year in which the first and so far only big (for German standards ;) ) power trail in the area (~ 400 caches) was placed. After that, the numbers dropped back to 2010 level and have remained roughly constant until last year. But in 2017 there will definitely be a marked drop. There are only 6 weeks remaining, and this time of year is typically low for physical caches.

I also made a separate stat for events within 30km. Without events the drop is even sharper (and the small rises in 2014 and 2016 almost disappear). The number of events has been increasing every year, and December 2017 will give this year another big boost. Typically we have a "Christmas event overkill" ;) here, with almost every small Christmas market in town having at least one GC event during the season.

So the bottom line for Munich is:
From 2012 to 2016, the number of new physical caches per year was more or less constant, but 2017 will almost certainly show a significant decline.

 

2017-11-13_13h08_18.png

Edited by baer2006
Added image

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I would expect some kind of peak in the 2010-2015 time period. Rules were loosened on power trails, the official app and the API came out, and worldwide hides passed the 1 million then the 2 million mark.

However, in many areas saturation is becoming an issue. The main wave of newcomers discovering caching through apps has probably peaked. The early adopters are dropping out, from age and health probably more than any disgust with the game. Ammo cans became much more expensive.

There's a bunch of new non-geocaching GPS games providing competition in the last few years (3 major ones). 2 of those 3 don't even require placing/maintaining a physical hide, nor do they really require much travel.

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There have been trends in my area towards certain styles of hides. There was an uptick in powertrails for a while, but now there's an uptick in kayak/river series, and even geoart puzzle series. I do think that the general "high numbers" hides have been slowing, so wouldn't be surprised to see lesser publish numbers in the short term.

My db for Ontario has rough numbers (including archived caches) since I started keeping track a few years ago, so early years are likely less than actual, but recent years more accurate:
2000-2004 ~ 745
2005 ~ 491
2006 ~ 805
2007 ~ 1208
2008 ~ 1638
2009 ~ 2445
2010 ~ 3921
2011 ~ 4429
2012 ~ 6523
2013 ~ 6856
2014 ~ 6834
2015 ~ 8797
2016 ~ 10601
2017 (to date-ish) ~ 8943

This year may be less than last year, but there were quite a number of powertrails last year.

*heads off to run current 2017 PQs*

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I only went back to 2005 as the numbers were trending down farther the later I went back, which was to be expected.  There's been a significant drop off since I first started in 2010, which was when we had an extremely active group of both newer cachers and older cachers.  I removed all event caches and used a 30 mile radius from my home coordinates.  It eliminated the current most active area of my city (south side outside the loop) but the numbers would still be similar in nature to what is here.  I was surprised to see how many of the hides had been archived.  Many of those spots were taken over with newer caches but I've been fortunate enough to find a few neat spots that used to be taken already.

 

2005 - 417

2006 - 617

2007 - 784

2008 - 730

2009 - 629

2010 - 802

2011 - 1025

2012 - 1078

2013 - 842

2014 - 525

2015 - 564

2016 - 281

2017 - 177

 

The numbers were beginning to trend downward until 2010, when a large influx of new cachers joined, including some prolific hiders who populated the rails to trails main trail in our area.  By 2014, many of them had lost interest in hiding but still cached sporadically but there was an almost 50% drop from the peak in 2011-2012.  By 2016, many had lost interest, with an almost 50% drop from just two years earlier.  This past year has been quite low, as evidenced by the numbers listed above.  Some of that is attributed to saturation but our events have been shrinking in size as well, which leads me to believe that our once vibrant community is declining in numbers, with regard to both number of cachers as well as number of caches.

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Ithaca, NY - 30 mile radius

2000 -   0
2001 -   8
2002 -  30
2003 -  37
2004 -  69
2005 - 109
2006 - 157
2007 - 314
2008 - 354
2009 - 243
2010 - 310
2011 - 173
2012 - 208
2013 - 157
2014 - 133
2015 -  95
2016 - 375
2017 - 187

As previously mentioned, the change in the guidelines regarding power trails in 2009 might have had a small impact on the number of new caches in 310, but for the most part the numbers game hasn't really been strong in my area.  The most glaring number is 375 in 2016.  I've noticed a distinct trend in the past couple of years in my area with a focus on numbers.  At the same time, a local geocacher has been responsible for most of those 375 new caches in 2016 and a very large percentage of the 187 so far in 2017.  Although it wasn't one big power trail, there are several trails that have been almost completely saturated with finds by this one cache owner.  The power trail/numbers mentality impact just didn't catch on until recently.

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ft myers Fl, 30km

2000 - 0
 01 - 5
 02 - 23
 03 - 28
 04 - 65
 05 - 55
 06 - 58
 07 - 127
 08 - 115
 09 -  100
 10 - 345
 11 - 268
 12 - 180
 13 - 363
 14 - 248
 15 - 140
 16 - 191
 17 - 54
From those add dates, 842 caches within 30 km still remain active. I think its pretty importent to note if you look at the map though, the cache density is pretty healthy, so placing new quality caches can be harder to do, sure there is plenty of space left, but alot of that space atleast in that area falls into one of three fairly difficult places, State/Nat Forest/Park (of which here in florida a good portion of which gets buried in water half the year), Not so great neighborhoods (either due to crime rate, in one area, alot of farm land in the another, and a lot of empty land that is owned between two of our cities) or dense housing, with little room for much (ALOT of the neighborhoods here have rules and such since so much of this area is either 50+ age neighbordhoods or gated communities)

Atleast here im not so sure the issue is really a lack of interest, its just already pretty saturated.

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Living in FL the cache saturation is pretty high, but on a recent trip to GA I was surprised how many small towns I passed through didn't have any caches at all. I could spend a weekend, if not a week, placing caches in interesting south GA locations but I don't live close enough to maintain them.

On the other hand, many country roads I drove were rightly devoid of caches because they were lined on both sides by unfenced cotton fields and there was nowhere to put a cache.

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Kamloops, BC

2008- 178

2009- 314

2010- 463

2011- 504

2012- 494

2013- 369

2014- 238

2015- 128

2016- 165

2017- 80 (12 hidden by me)

I must say, my impression is that interest in geocaching sure seems to be dwindling in my area. A reason not mentioned above could be an increase in interest in a certain QR Code based game at the expense of geocaching.

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East Kootenays, British Columbia. Event caches excluded.

2000 -   0
2001 -  5
2002 -  29
2003 - 73
2004 -  82
2005 - 103
2006 - 100
2007 - 128
2008 - 230
2009 - 251
2010 - 260
2011 - 208
2012 - 264
2013 - 256
2014 - 111
2015 -  199
2016 - 441
2017 - 67

Last year's spike was basically one cacher placing a LOT of park & grabs all over. It wasn't a new cacher, they had placed many in the past also, usually in waves, but last year's was on a whole new level. Other than that spike and a drop in 2014, things have been quite consistent. The placing of a power trail along one of our bike trails didn't even make a spike in 2011, as the hides along the trail were multiple owners, types, sizes, difficulties, etc., so they kind of replaced many of the interesting caches that might have been placed otherwise that year. 2017 is showing a drop here too, though. Our park & grab placer has moved away, and many of the more experienced cachers are placing less. The area around Cranbrook is fairly cache-heavy, and that's where new cachers are most likely to pop up. Although I excluded events from the stats here, many of the typical event hosters have also moved away or to the outskirts of the region which makes bringing new cachers into the community is harder. Or, maybe something else is going on.

 

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Wow, it really seems like a huge decrease in caches this year almost everywhere.  

I suppose Project GC also tracks this information on their Overview page.  I attached the new hide stats for Canada and the US.

But it sure seems like a lot of our home towns are experiencing a close to or greater than 50% decline in caches compared to last year.  

cachetots.jpg

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14 hours ago, MaliBooBoo said:

A reason not mentioned above could be an increase in interest in a certain QR Code based game at the expense of geocaching.

Is that game actually still popular in some places?  It's all but dead in my city (most have between 2 and 10 finds, and the majority of the finds date back several years).  Given the popularity of a certain virtual-reality phone game has also seemed to die to nothing, I'm not sure either of those games have attributed much to the decline in my city.

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24 minutes ago, brendan714 said:

But it sure seems like a lot of our home towns are experiencing a close to or greater than 50% decline in caches compared to last year.  

Fewer caches being hidden could be a good thing:

On 11/10/2017 at 2:44 PM, niraD said:

Another possible reason is that cache owners are tiring of numbers-oriented hides, and are slowing down and putting more thought into a smaller number of hides.

 

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Firstly, overall UK data image attached.

30 KM from my home in Bath, England. starting 2006 (prior to that numbers keep getting smaller as you would expect)

2006  219

2007  225

2008  433

2009  988

2010  766

2011  1109

2012  1071

2013  1324

2014  1217

2015  1031

2016  804

2017  704

 

I was interested to see the curve from 2009 to 2017, which peaked at 2013.   

 

 

uk.png

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Yep, I still think that in 2013-2016-ish there was a trendy uptick in powertrails and high numbers; even challenge caches, which themselves would have encouraged more geocaching and publishing of additional qualifiers.  Never assume a decline in publish count necessarily means a decline in geocaching in general.

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51 minutes ago, thebruce0 said:

Yep, I still think that in 2013-2016-ish there was a trendy uptick in powertrails and high numbers; even challenge caches, which themselves would have encouraged more geocaching and publishing of additional qualifiers.  Never assume a decline in publish count necessarily means a decline in geocaching in general.

For my area at least, the decline in publish count seems to be just one indicator of several that points to a decline in the interest in geocaching in general. I also get a sense of way less caching going on around me. My hides seem to get found way less often. I don't know, I can't quite put a finger on it...

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39 minutes ago, MaliBooBoo said:

I don't know, I can't quite put a finger on it...

For me, looking back at my forum posts, I'd say the tipping point was around 2013. Gameplay became predominately and increasingly about numbers. Powertrails and challenge caches being the factors that changed the pastime. Cache quality took a nosedive. Owner maintenance has become rare, reviewer archival is the norm. Throwdowns have become the norm, many finders carry extra containers to "help". The emphasis on geocaching as a family activity also has dropped with most posts on the GC blog being about high terrain activities and extreme travel, instead of leisurely outdoor fun with all members of a family.  All this emphasis on numbers... maybe it's become "too much of a 'good' thing".

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17 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

For me, looking back at my forum posts, I'd say the tipping point was around 2013. Gameplay became predominately and increasingly about numbers. Powertrails and challenge caches being the factors that changed the pastime. Cache quality took a nosedive. Owner maintenance has become rare, reviewer archival is the norm. Throwdowns have become the norm, many finders carry extra containers to "help". The emphasis on geocaching as a family activity also has dropped with most posts on the GC blog being about high terrain activities and extreme travel, instead of leisurely outdoor fun with all members of a family.  All this emphasis on numbers... maybe it's become "too much of a 'good' thing".

Being reviewed was a promise of quality at that time. Someting happened?  Were the reviewers obliged to accept anything, such as empty cache description, so that no one would feel bad?

Edited by arisoft

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27 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

Cache quality took a nosedive. Owner maintenance has become rare, reviewer archival is the norm. Throwdowns have become the norm, many finders carry extra containers to "help". The emphasis on geocaching as a family activity also has dropped with most posts on the GC blog being about high terrain activities and extreme travel, instead of leisurely outdoor fun with all members of a family.  

+1 from the Amen corner.

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On 11/14/2017 at 4:37 AM, OpticalShadow said:

ft myers Fl, 30km

2000 - 0
 01 - 5
 02 - 23
 03 - 28
 04 - 65
 05 - 55
 06 - 58
 07 - 127
 08 - 115
 09 -  100
 10 - 345
 11 - 268
 12 - 180
 13 - 363
 14 - 248
 15 - 140
 16 - 191
 17 - 54
From those add dates, 842 caches within 30 km still remain active........ 

I find that last comment to be very interesting.  It means that almost 2/3 of the caches placed are no longer active.  My thought is that many of the caches placed during peak years were the quick micros that newbies tend to place (not a negative comment, just an observation).  These are the type of caches that quickly get muggled or destroyed, and may not be replaced if the CO was only active for a short time.

Can this website that folks are using determine how many of the caches placed each year are still active?  We might find that there exists a core of dedicated cachers that continue to place "quality caches" that last longer, but the trend is buried under the noise of the transient cachers.

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38 minutes ago, L0ne.R said:

The emphasis on geocaching as a family activity also has dropped with most posts on the GC blog being about high terrain activities and extreme travel, instead of leisurely outdoor fun with all members of a family.  All this emphasis on numbers...

What is wrong with that?  I disagree that it is about numbers.

I actually think that this could be a good thing, and is perhaps a way to entice newer, younger, more energetic players to the game.  It seems to me that the majority of geocachers in my area are 40-50+ years old (certainly the most active players are).  I'm legitimately shocked when I run into another geocacher my age (mid 20s).

We have an active outdoor community in my area.  There are 9,000 people in our local Facebook mountain scrambling group.  Yet I am one of about 10 geocachers who scrambles mountains.  There are 3,000 people in our local Facebook rock climbing group.  Yet I am the only geocacher in my area who rock climbs.  Tack that on to the tens of thousands more who aren't in one of those two online groups.

Seems like there's a ton of untapped potential there given the number of outdoor enthusiasts.  Sure, I think it's important to show it's a family game as well, but there really needs to be some more active, younger adults too, in my opinion.

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16 minutes ago, brendan714 said:

What is wrong with that?  I disagree that it is about numbers.

I actually think that this could be a good thing, and is perhaps a way to entice newer, younger, more energetic players to the game.

I don't think it's working. The numbers style play has been increasing since they allowed PTs. The bubble appears to be bursting. Along with more and more numbers is a lack of quality and a lack of maintenance.  If the Groundspeak crew can come up with a magical formula to keep numbers for those who like it, yet maintain a good level of quality for those who prefer quality, then maybe retention will happen.

Edited by L0ne.R
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