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How do geocachers find over 100,000 caches?


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I am a newbie here and was wondering how some geocachers have found over 100,000 caches. I can see that finding around 18 caches a day for 15 years would get you close to 100,000. That is hard for me to imagine. I guess some days you find a lot and others days not so many but that seems hard to keep up for 15 years.  Some people having found over 1,000 caches in a single day, how is this possible? That would be close to 42 caches in and hour for 24 hours. I don't see how that is possible. Is it fake?

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No one finds 1,000 caches in a single day, unless they haven't logged for awhile, such as logging all the caches found during a long trip after returning home and not changing the date to the actual day the caches were found, but rather only using one date. They found all these caches, but not only on one day. They just logged them all on one day, without changing the date to the day the cache was actually found.

Another way of doing this is to log as a group and share the caches out among the group (would need to be power trails), and each person visits different caches but puts everyone's name on the log, even though the others never went near the cache (basically cheating). The last is armchair logging. Again cheating.

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8 hours ago, Ari224 said:

I am a newbie here and was wondering how some geocachers have found over 100,000 caches. I can see that finding around 18 caches a day for 15 years would get you close to 100,000. That is hard for me to imagine. I guess some days you find a lot and others days not so many but that seems hard to keep up for 15 years.

I've met someone who has now logged well over 100k finds. The first time I met him was at an event celebrating his 30k milestone a long time ago. And I've known people who have gone caching with him.

 

He finds that many by finding caches one at a time, very frequently and very quickly. He may not find caches every day (he didn't maintain a significant streak as far as I know), but he's retired and he spends a lot of time geocaching. He finds them quickly and he keeps moving. He doesn't spend a lot of time with each cache (to put it mildly). The people I've known who have gone geocaching with him have said that it's hard to keep up with him. He moves quickly between caches, he finds each cache very quickly, signs the log quickly, and is then on his way to the next cache.

 

8 hours ago, Ari224 said:

Some people having found over 1,000 caches in a single day, how is this possible? That would be close to 42 caches in and hour for 24 hours. I don't see how that is possible. Is it fake?

Numbers trails (also called power trails) are the answer to this. Here's what it looks like in practice:

 

 

 

Before the development of numbers trails, groups would do numbers runs, finding 200, 300, even 400 caches in a 24-hour day. That took a lot more planning, finding a cache-rich area with a lot of easy park-and-grab caches, choosing your target caches, planning a route to drive from one cache to the next as efficiently as possible, and preparing to drive from one cache to the next for 24 hours straight. I know a group that found 100 puzzle caches in a day, starting at dawn and ending after dark before celebrating with dinner with one of the more prolific hiders of puzzle caches in that area.

 

The modern numbers trail makes that easier of course. You no longer need to choose your target caches or plan your route. You do need to prepare to drive from one cache to the next for hours at a time.

 

And yes, there are "optimizations" used on numbers trails. Goldenwattle mentioned divide-and-conquer techniques, where the group splits up, each sub-group signs the same team name (or uses a stamp with the names of everyone in the larger group), and then everyone logs all the caches found by anyone in the larger group. Yep, armchair logging by any other name...

 

Another common one is sometimes called "three cache monte", and involves bringing spare containers with pre-signed logs, then at each location, you take the container you find and drop a container with a pre-signed log in its place. On the way to the next cache, someone signs (or stamps) the log from the container you took from the previous location. The technique is named for the card hustle where cards are moved around and no one can figure out where any of the cards are. (And never mind the "Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location" that's supposed to be part of what geocaching really is.)

 

But numbers runs don't have to use any of these "optimizations". I recall one person who found several hundred on a numbers trail (somewhere in the range of 600-700, IIRC), driving solo on a motorcycle. There was no divide-and-conquer, there was no three cache monte, and there wasn't even any group caching where one person in the group finds the cache and everyone logs a find.

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It's hard to imagine how someone might find so many caches in one day or in their geocaching career, when first starting out the hobby :) But there's a whole lot of selective geocaching that can happen, and the more caches you find the more 'styles' of hide you can recall and some of the harder caches can become park 'n grabs. You don't find 1000 in day with forest hikes. You'd be selecting an area with loads of park 'n grabs, or powertrails with a vehicle (bike, car, etc) or as mentioned with a group. There are many strategies. So if you're ever comparing find count, always take the strategies, tools, vehicles into consideration. One person's 500 in a day may be impressive by car solo, while another person's 200 a day on foot would be an even greater accomplishment. 

Ultimately, try not to start 'competitive' thinking. That just brings people down and makes arguments about "right" or "wrong" ways all the more prominent. Same with statistics like number of times you've completed a full DT grid. Some people just live in areas with more variety and have it easier, so 20 'loops' is nothing, where 3 loops for someone else is extreme.

 

Numbers have to be interpreted. It's not super interesting these days assigning value to what seem like high numbers, because we never really know the circumstances that led to those numbers on the surface. Enjoy the hobby. Find as many as you can quickly if you want, but don't be discouraged by accounts with 100,000+ finds, or crazy high stats. Push yourself if you want, but try not to compete with people across the globe (or even around the corner) :) 

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I mostly wonder why someone wants to find so many caches, just because the idea of finding so many caches isn't interesting to me.  But everyone is different and some people love finding caches.  I know a guy who hasn't missed a day since 2007 and another since 2011 I think. 

 

I once found 25 in a day and had enough; I once found caches 9 days in a row and took a break.  I enjoy geocaching but when it feels repetitive or boring I stop.  I've found four caches this year and enjoyed doing so, and when I feel like geocaching next time I will.

 

I also have around 1300 finds over 10 years, and used to go out a LOT and have gone less over time.  Geocaching has taken me to some great places near me but now I mostly go to find new places when I'm elsewhere.

 

Edited by GeoElmo6000
I said I had 1300 finds over 8 years but it's 10! Time sure flies!
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I agree, it's hard for me to imagine, too, although I have a sense of what happens. I would say the main thing is that geocaching is a way of life for them, so they go out nearly every day, they spend all day geocaching, and they don't spend much time on other stuff, such as walking to a cache. The big number cacher I've noticed most -- likely the one niraD is talking about -- finds the hiking caches, too, don't get me wrong, so he enjoys all kinds of caches and doesn't focus on park&grabs. But, on the other hand, if he can park and grab, he doesn't waste time doing anything else. He also doesn't waste any time searching: in the few times I've seen him in the field, he's always found the cache within seconds of starting to look. Quite remarkable to see, actually.

 

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14 hours ago, Ari224 said:

I am a newbie here and was wondering how some geocachers have found over 100,000 caches. I can see that finding around 18 caches a day for 15 years would get you close to 100,000. That is hard for me to imagine. I guess some days you find a lot and others days not so many but that seems hard to keep up for 15 years.  Some people having found over 1,000 caches in a single day, how is this possible? That would be close to 42 caches in and hour for 24 hours. I don't see how that is possible. Is it fake?

 

It is possible, but we have to remember that there are accounts which are used by groups of people which are sometimes caching independently, even at the same time. When you consider this, it seems a lot easier.

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Best I have found in one day was around 300, 275 on a power trail, all during daylight hours. Thats solo caching, me driving, navigating, stopping, getting out, finding, signing, replacing, getting back in, resetting the GPS for the next cache, and off again. The only thing I didnt do was log the find at the time. This was a bulk, generic log, the next day. It does get long, tiring, and can get frustrating when all of a sudden, you cant find one. So, in theory, if the PT had been long enough, and I had cached for the entire 24 hrs, a total of around 5-600 would have been possible. I dont do it very often, for the reasons mentined above, hot, tiring, etc. Its a far cry from October 2006, when I briefly held the record for the most finds in a 24 hr period in our state, a grand total of 62. 

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On 3/24/2021 at 3:07 AM, GeoElmo6000 said:

I mostly wonder why someone wants to find so many caches, just because the idea of finding so many caches isn't interesting to me.  But everyone is different and some people love finding caches.  I know a guy who hasn't missed a day since 2007 and another since 2011 I think. 

 

I once found 25 in a day and had enough; I once found caches 9 days in a row and took a break.  I enjoy geocaching but when it feels repetitive or boring I stop.  I've found four caches this year and enjoyed doing so, and when I feel like geocaching next time I will.

 

I also have around 1300 finds over 8 years, and used to go out a LOT and have gone less over time.  Geocaching has taken me to some great places near me but now I mostly go to find new places when I'm elsewhere.

For me, its the opportunity. We dont get many new caches around home, (I cant remember the last time a new cache was published locally, and it was probably mine anyhow), so our holidays are often planned around new places to go, and the caches along the way. If there happens to be a half decent power trail near where we are going, then that adds a reason to go there. 

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I've done the ET Highway a couple times, Route 66, and other power trails.  Here are some answers:

 

Why would you do that?

I hope it's with others.  Since I'm usually alone, it's a treat being with others.  And when you do a thousand or more in a day, you get loopy and everything is funny.  The run isn't about the caches anymore.  It's about having fun with others--oh, and here's the next cache.  But you're also doing it for the numbers.  Why numbers matter to someone is a personal reason and changes from cacher to cacher.  At first, numbers mattered to me (in 2006) because I wanted to find a lot to demonstrate to others I wouldn't slow them down if they invited me to go caching with them.  Later, it became about getting to 10K because it was five digits.  Still later, it was about how far I could go.  These days, it's about activity level and output.  I want to relax and find whatever most of the time during the year, but I still want to average around 5K a year because that's a good level for me.  All I need to do to do that is take two or three trips, each a week long, during the year.  This forces me to take time off work.  Without caching as an excuse, like last year due to the pandemic (and I'd imagine most of this year), I wouldn't take time off work and would instead put in ridiculous amounts of uncompensated overtime.  Last year alone, I put in ten weeks of uncompensated overtime.  You see?  I'll pour a ton of effort into something.  If it's caching, I'll get a lot of numbers.  If it's work, I'll put in a lot of uncompensated overtime.  I'm going to do something because I don't know how to let up and all this time and energy must go somewhere.

 

By the way, I'm the type of person that might not even be able to have fun at Disney.  I'd make a list of things to do for an ideal experience.  Then, when I'm there, it becomes all about doing that list and some other spontaneous things.  When asked if I had a good time, I'd say I accomplished the list, which would have been the whole point.  I'll then have to think if I enjoyed myself.  I guess I may have, but that was secondary to making sure I did the list.

 

How can you find 1000 caches in a day?

  • That's easy.  Line up caches next to a road, make the hides easy, and have the caches be the minimal distance apart.  Have two to four people in a car.  Start early.  When I did the first ET Highway, we started at 4AM and later took a break around 6PM for two and a half hours, then finished just before midnight--but that was the first large power run I was on, so everyone was inexperienced.  We could have done better and found more that day.
  • These days, if you're doing a number run, it's normal behavior to stamp logs and swap out the cache with the previous cache.  You see that a lot.  That behavior should be constrained to caches within the series.  I don't like it when people do that for other, non-series caches.
  • If you have two cars, you can leapfrog on a road.  The lead car keeps finding the next cache.  The trailing car, once it finds a cache, eventually passes the lead car, becoming the lead car, and finds the next caches until it's passed.  You keep going like that.  I'm okay with doing that because it keeps people together.
  • Some people do what I call "divide and conquer".  I was in a car with xxxxxx when yyyyyy called.  He was in a neighboring state, said he was doing this other power trail, and asked if they wanted to share finds that day.  xxxxxx said sure.  The only reason I was fine with that was because I had already found that other series.  Other times, a crowd of cachers gather (around twenty) and they split up and find different parts of a series of caches.  Since I'm not fine with that, I'm not invited that often for number runs.  True story, but I'd better not reveal the names.
  • It's possible to solo a 1000 day, but you'll be exhausted afterward.  I did one solo and it destroyed my interest in solo power caching for a few years.  I did it because I was in a foul mood that I couldn't find anyone to cache with.  I don't consider this an achievement and don't want to talk any more about it because I hated what led up to it and my time doing it.  I never want to do that ever again.

Am I sure it's possible?

Definitely.  On one trip, someone in the passenger's seat was bored, so began timing us using a stopwatch.  I noticed that and it became a fun game.  We'd start the stopwatch the moment the runner was back in the vehicle.  The driver would drive to the next cache, the runner would get out and swap caches, then run back to the car.  The bad times were around two minutes because the runner and team had trouble noticing the cache.  The best times were close to fifty seconds.  If you averaged a minute per cache, that's 1,440 in a day.  But if the caches were all in obvious spots, the road straight, and you knew what you were doing, you could have some sub-minute times throughout the day.

 

No one finds 1000 caches in a day

Yes, they do.  Even on my first ET Highway run, we did it.  We signed every log with a team name and put each cache back where we found it (no swapping, no stamping).  That was not the first and only 1000 day I've had.  That said, 1000 days are rare and it takes ideal circumstances to pull off.  While it's easier to leapfrog, it's doable with one vehicle.

 

Fox's Number Run Team Role Theory

From my observation, the ideal team is four experienced cachers in one vehicle.  Here are the different job roles, what they do, and why they matter:

  • Driver: The driver is responsible for navigation to the next cache and targeting the one after while the runner is out of the car.  An incompetent driver will not consistently park close to caches, costing the team both time and critical stamina.  The driver needs to be good about getting as close to the cache as possible.  Also, the driver is responsible for the team's safety.  If a runner has to cross to the other side of the car, it should always be around the end of the car not pointing towards the next cache.  The driver and runner need to communicate to make sure the runner is safely inside the vehicle.  Due to the amount of time required to get back into the vehicle, belt up, and start going forward, the driver should be the last that must get out for a cache.
  • Navigator: The navigator sits in the passenger seat and is responsible for several things.  First, the navigator is responsible for being aware of where the team is in the series and how the roads and caches connect on a macro scale.  The navigator should prep the driver when a branch is coming up.  During the cache run, the navigator is looking out the window, trying to spot the next cache as the vehicle is approaching.  If the navigator spots it, that information is relayed to the runner.  If the person in reserve is resting, the navigator takes over the role of stamping the logs and making sure the runner has cache.
  • Runner: This is the person who hops out for the cache.  Swapping roles should be based upon the runner's stamina, but role swapping should always be done before the runner is fatigued. If the runner cannot find a cache in an agreed-upon time, the reserve cacher or navigator should get out and assist.  Once back in the vehicle, the runner communicates to the driver his or her save arrival, then hands the cache to either the reserve cacher or navigator.  At times, when we had a van with a door that could stay open, I stood on the threshold and hung on to the roof rack.  This gave me a better view of the cache site as we came up.  I could also jump off before the vehicle came to a stop, using the vehicle's momentum and saving my stamina.  To communicate to the driver I was secure, I stomped my foot when I was ready.  Only then did the driver move the vehicle.  Safety is a priority.
  • Reserve: The reserve cacher is recovering.  During this time, the reserve cacher is responsible for communicating to the runner any pertinent information about the next cache.  Either the reserve cacher or the navigator can stamp the cache log, but the reserve cacher should be the one to hand the cache to the runner and take the cache from the runner upon his or her return.  The reserve cacher is also responsible for distributing food, water, and equipment to the other team members.  If the next cache is on the opposite side of the road, the reserve cacher will be called upon to exit the vehicle and retrieve the cache.  For the most part, the reserve cacher's primary purpose is to recover prior to swapping to another role.  Make sure everyone takes their turn as a reserve or there's another role that recharges them.

During a run, the team should agree how to swap and which roles can be swapped.  For example, every half hour or twenty-five caches might be an easy way to keep track of when to swap.  Never agree to swap only when a runner is fatigued.  The point of swapping is to refresh the team so everyone can cache longer.  The swap should happen before anyone in any role is fatigued.  If you wait too late, you'll burn through stamina and the team will be more tired than it otherwise would have been.  Also, pay attention to who is suited for which role.  If someone can't stop very close to caches and constantly needs help, that person should not be put into a driver role.  Likewise, if someone has mobility issues, the person would not make for a good runner.  I cached with a team whose driver needed a lot of assistance and I personally saw the cost.  I was later able to swap to the driver spot and put this theory into action.  I saw a massive improvement in energy all around: the navigator got excited, the runner wasn't as tired--it was stark and quite obvious.  When it came time for my turn to swap, both the runner and navigator--the original driver was asleep in the reserve spot--both enthusiastically said I should continue driving.  I did.  Personally, I'm a stellar driver and trip planner, so I need no help when it comes to routing and managing both the macro and micro parts of a route.  I'm an above average runner, but I've seen some phenomenal runners.

 

Fox and Numbers

I'm excited to reach 100K at some point.  I have what I call a bucket list project.  Since I've never traveled anywhere except to do geocaching, I've assembled a list of things I've wanted to do but geocaching got in the way of doing.  Once I hit 100K, I'll pick two things from this list and do them as celebration.  I will, of course, find a dozen or so caches a day during that time, but the entire purpose of those trips will, finally, not be for geocaching.  I thought of soliciting ideas from the forum, too.  One trip I will take, though, will be to somewhere in Japan to try out some onsens and get some photos of nature.  I don't know what I'll do for the other trip yet.  All I need to do is have two weeks in Yuma to do 4K or a week and a half in Yuma for 3K and then a week around South Dakota or London, Ontario for 1K or 1500K.  But I have to wait for the pandemic to be over, though I'll gladly risk myself if I can find the right person or people to take with me as I seriously don't want to do this alone.  The bucket list trips must not be done alone or I might devolve into just caching because it's easier just to go to the next cache and the next one instead of figure out what else there is to do in an area and drag myself over to do it.

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3 minutes ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

This forum needs a sad emoji.

To each, their own.  Like many things, it's an experience to do at least once.  We have a hobby that attracts people with all sorts of tastes.  If geocaching were homogeneous, I would have quit a long time ago.  I need variety and will strive for balance.  If you take me to ten parking lots, I will want some caches out in the woods.  If you take me on a long hike, I will want a cache in a parking lot.  If they were all either the same type of hike or parking lot, it wouldn't be fun.  You have to find what works for you.

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30 minutes ago, Ranger Fox said:

To each, their own.  Like many things, it's an experience to do at least once.  We have a hobby that attracts people with all sorts of tastes.  If geocaching were homogeneous, I would have quit a long time ago.  I need variety and will strive for balance.  If you take me to ten parking lots, I will want some caches out in the woods.  If you take me on a long hike, I will want a cache in a parking lot.  If they were all either the same type of hike or parking lot, it wouldn't be fun.  You have to find what works for you.

 

True. You and I are completely different types of cachers. I'm a dedicated, super-interested analytical hobbyist with limited time and opportunity, so I've ended up being a long-time, low-volume cacher, and I'm good with that.

As you said, it attracts people with all sorts of tastes. I don't think I'd have all that much fun playing the game the way you do, and you'd be bored out of your tree playing as me.

All differences apart, brothers in our 'secret society', tho, right? Stroke your chin if you agree!  (How many of you know what THAT means!?!)

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2 hours ago, TeamRabbitRun said:

True. You and I are completely different types of cachers. I'm a dedicated, super-interested analytical hobbyist with limited time and opportunity, so I've ended up being a long-time, low-volume cacher, and I'm good with that.

As you said, it attracts people with all sorts of tastes. I don't think I'd have all that much fun playing the game the way you do, and you'd be bored out of your tree playing as me.

All differences apart, brothers in our 'secret society', tho, right? Stroke your chin if you agree!  (How many of you know what THAT means!?!)

 

Allow me to draw a parallel, then.  Some people enjoy running.  They get together with others and run every weekend.  They sometimes participate in marathons, half marathons, and so on.  Other people don't care for something like that.  They'd rather walk somewhere, hike, or ride in a car.  That's fine.

 

I do find that about two weeks for number runs every year and fifty weeks doing whatever other caches as slow as I want tends to be nice.  I can't cache too fast in my own area or I'd run out, so one a day and perhaps twenty a weekend elsewhere is fine.

 

I don't think I'd be bored doing geocaching with you.  Remember, it's all about balance.  I'm not all about doing numbers and quick caches.  For example, I'm working on completing a virtual that has me hiking to some of the three tallest peaks on a section of the Appalachian Trail some three hours away.  That's as opposite you can get from number runs.  I like caching with others more since I'm usually alone, so I tend to do whatever it is people with me want to do and I enjoy doing it with them.  But if you enjoyed tree climbing, BMX caches, or something else that's not my interest or I'd feel safe in doing, you might be part right.  You see, I also enjoy photography, so I certainly wouldn't mind taking photos of you while you're doing those things.

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On 3/23/2021 at 4:23 AM, Ari224 said:

I am a newbie here and was wondering how some geocachers have found over 100,000 caches. I can see that finding around 18 caches a day for 15 years would get you close to 100,000. That is hard for me to imagine. I guess some days you find a lot and others days not so many but that seems hard to keep up for 15 years.  Some people having found over 1,000 caches in a single day, how is this possible? That would be close to 42 caches in and hour for 24 hours. I don't see how that is possible. Is it fake?

 

Hello Ari,

 

there have been many discussion about those numbers being fake or not.

And I am still sure that finding so many caches isn't fun to them but hard work - doesn't matter if they are all honest finds or if they have been cheating.

It's like finding 1,000 and more caches in one day - that may be fun for some hours but I am sure that is is getting boring and tiring in the end to keep up the work.

 

A very important thing to learn: It is not about the numbers. And if someone comes to you and tells you that he has found many more caches than you - don't care. Do you have fun finding caches? That's great. And that's the only thing that matters. Not numbers.

 

I really like multi caches and have found more than 2,300 of them. Funny enough I have found more multi caches than https://www.geocaching.com/p/?u=alamogul with his more than 210,000 finds. So we can't compare our numbers as they search quick traditional caches and i hunt for the time taking multi caches. But if someone told me Alamogul was better I disagree - with only 1900 multi caches found? :-) You see, there is no way to compare statistics so don't try to - do what you like most and do it for yourself only. :-)

 

Jochen

 

PS: By the way: I've been caching for about 12 years now and have found about 12,000 caches, so about 1,000 per year. That's much. I wouldn't want to find more but that's the perfect time and effort for me which I want to use for this great hobby.

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35 minutes ago, frostengel said:

And I am still sure that finding so many caches isn't fun to them but hard work - doesn't matter if they are all honest finds or if they have been cheating.

It's like finding 1,000 and more caches in one day - that may be fun for some hours but I am sure that is is getting boring and tiring in the end to keep up the work.

 

Guaranteed it is indeed possible to consider a whole day of finding geocaches like that is fun. AND work. The two are not mutually exclusive for everyone who finds lots of geocaches in a day. ;P  Ranger Fox's comments explain it well.

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I know who dprovan and nariD new talking about. I happened to find 25 FTFs with him in one day.  It was an event where the people had to go to  4-5 places in town to get info and then put it into "equations" for 35 caches in town. Everyone got the info at the same time and solved them at the same time. I was in his car with another cacher and  he said everyone will start near where we all were solving. Lets go to the other side of town and start there.  We got 25 FTFs and all 35 caches in about 3 hours. That was almost ⅓ of my 80 FTFs in almost 18 years.

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What a coincidence.  I checked Facebook and it reminded me of the trip I took to ET Highway mkII with bucknuts, busterbabes, and repmul.  I was hanging onto the van like I enjoy doing and bucknuts thought I was taking video.  I said that was a good idea and ducked inside for the camera, which is why I have the video.  We're not going at a fast pace for being serious, so this is laid back.  In this two minute forty-three second video, I found five caches using the container swap method.  You can also hear one time when I stomp my foot to signal to the driver I had sufficient grip on the roof rack for her to start moving the vehicle: again, that's proper safety.  You can also see we're all a little loopy (no, no one alcohol that day, and I've never drunk alcohol in my life).

 

 

I'll state again that while doing power runs is a lot of work, if you're with a good set of people, it's enjoyable as long as you only do these runs for a few days.  I can't remember any bad, tedious, or boring times from that trip.  The content was fairly boring--caches over and over--but the company and companionship, the laughs and stories told along the way, made this a wonderful experience I'd do again.  Granted, I'd want sufficient time between trips, but these were fun times.

 

I do have several videos from that trip, but I don't have too many videos from other number runs because I was more focused on the caching part.  (I do have a video where we almost set someone's FJ Cruiser on fire in the desert because it caught fire to the shrubs on which it was high center.  Disappointingly for everyone's entertainment, the video cuts off the moment I notice and see the fire.  I was living it, you can understand why.)

 

(And, yes, some people I'll not name do cache by divide and conquer.  You can't compete against that unless you also do that.  I am not, but I'm not competing, anyway, against anyone other than where I think I should be on my activity level, and that's just to keep me playing the game, same with my streak.)

 

My purpose for sharing all this is to show number runs aren't all boring and loads of work.  Like most things in life, it's what you make of the experience and how you have fun along the way.  I don't want to dissuade people from number runs and I don't want number run people not to find quality caches.  I always like a good sense of balance between the two.  The thing is, some of my best times were had when I was finding a few hundred or more caches with people, possibly because you're cramming a lot of living into a single week.  Oh, don't worry: I have stories of singular caches with people, singular caches solo, and solo number runs.  That's one of the things that matters to me a great deal with this game: living and amassing my own stories, though I tend to forget a lot of them as time goes by.  If you haven't tried number runs, give a lot of thought to the people you'll be going with as this one thing will greatly determine the fun you have.

 

And when you do number runs alone, it's more contemplative.  On the last solo number run I had, September 2019, I made sure to stop every now and then to take some photos.  This is my favorite from the trip (yes, I brought a drone with me):

39ec9144-4784-4f6b-b7e6-7fbf43a7d058_l.j

If you're wondering, the power trail is some hundred feet to my right, up the hill, where I parked.  I saw this stream down there, so stopped and took a break, ate an apple, took some photos.  (Huh.  I remembered that apple before I read my log for the cache.  Considering I didn't have much to eat in the car, I guess that apple left an impression, save for where I tossed the core.)  If I didn't find everything that day or week, that was fine.  The caches were taking me to some interesting places.  However, it was work alone, so these nice breaks were essential.  I could really have used some company, though.  Still, I had to take some time off work, so regardless whether I could find anyone or not to cache with, I had to go.

Edited by Ranger Fox
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1 hour ago, Ranger Fox said:

container swap method

I put a cache out in the country. It was by itself, but then a power trail arrived, and my cache is in effect part of that now. Anyone who swaps my cache down the road gets deleted. I would be so annoyed. I put a nice cache there with trinkets. The power trail has mostly rubbish caches. (If I did delete a find because they moved my cache and the person then complains to HQ and their find is then reinstated by HQ, I will archive my cache, as obviously then HQ wants tiny rubbish caches, that leak water and deteriorate. Not caches which are maintained.)

 

Fortunately I have never heard of swapping caches down the road here, and I hope I never do.

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2 minutes ago, Goldenwattle said:

I put a cache out in the country. It was by itself, but then a power trail arrived, and my cache is in effect part of that now. Anyone who swaps my cache down the road gets deleted. I would be so annoyed. I put a nice cache there with trinkets. The power trail has mostly rubbish caches. (If I did delete a find because they moved my cache and the person then complains to HQ and their find is then reinstated by HQ, I will archive my cache, as obviously then HQ wants tiny rubbish caches, that leak water and deteriorate. Not caches which are maintained.)

 

Fortunately I have never heard of swapping caches down the road here, and I hope I never do.

Similar here. It's impossible for me to validate signatures on my log when other geocachers think it's standard procedure to switch logs (caches) to make the find quicker. 

I didn't even realize this was happening until someone logged my cache and said their name was already on the log even though they had never been there before!

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2 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I put a cache out in the country. It was by itself, but then a power trail arrived, and my cache is in effect part of that now. Anyone who swaps my cache down the road gets deleted. I would be so annoyed. I put a nice cache there with trinkets. The power trail has mostly rubbish caches. (If I did delete a find because they moved my cache and the person then complains to HQ and their find is then reinstated by HQ, I will archive my cache, as obviously then HQ wants tiny rubbish caches, that leak water and deteriorate. Not caches which are maintained.)

 

Fortunately I have never heard of swapping caches down the road here, and I hope I never do.

I should add, that it would be difficult to swap caches when there are different hides, as there often are around here. A micro in a sign slot, then a small under a bush, another under a bush, the next a bison tube wired onto the fence, the next a magnetic cache stuck on the back of a metal structure, etc...

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3 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

I should add, that it would be difficult to swap caches when there are different hides, as there often are around here. A micro in a sign slot, then a small under a bush, another under a bush, the next a bison tube wired onto the fence, the next a magnetic cache stuck on the back of a metal structure, etc...

 

My Geoart was not a power trail.  That didn't stop one cacher from taking the MKH from the fence and putting it where the nano was on the bench.  Then put the nano where the fake bolt was on the bridge.  I assume that the bolt was then put where the bison was hanging on a bush. (Which is why I could not find that cache, and had to replace it.)

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1 hour ago, Harry Dolphin said:

 

My Geoart was not a power trail.  That didn't stop one cacher from taking the MKH from the fence and putting it where the nano was on the bench.  Then put the nano where the fake bolt was on the bridge.  I assume that the bolt was then put where the bison was hanging on a bush. (Which is why I could not find that cache, and had to replace it.)

Did you delete the logs? (That is, if you know who it was.)

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1 hour ago, Harry Dolphin said:

My Geoart was not a power trail.  That didn't stop one cacher from taking the MKH from the fence and putting it where the nano was on the bench.  Then put the nano where the fake bolt was on the bridge.  I assume that the bolt was then put where the bison was hanging on a bush. (Which is why I could not find that cache, and had to replace it.)

This forum really needs a "Sad" response. :sad:

 

And at the risk of repeating myself...

On 3/23/2021 at 8:06 AM, niraD said:

[Re: divide-and-conquer] Yep, armchair logging by any other name...

 

[Re: three cache monte] (And never mind the "Sign the logbook and return the geocache to its original location" that's supposed to be part of what geocaching really is.)

 

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12 hours ago, Ranger Fox said:

What a coincidence.  I checked Facebook and it reminded me of the trip I took to ET Highway mkII with bucknuts, busterbabes, and repmul.  I was hanging onto the van like I enjoy doing and bucknuts thought I was taking video.  I said that was a good idea and ducked inside for the camera, which is why I have the video.  We're not going at a fast pace for being serious, so this is laid back.  In this two minute forty-three second video, I found five caches using the container swap method.  You can also hear one time when I stomp my foot to signal to the driver I had sufficient grip on the roof rack for her to start moving the vehicle: again, that's proper safety.  You can also see we're all a little loopy (no, no one alcohol that day, and I've never drunk alcohol in my life).

 

 

 

 

I wonder if that like "side road" that the vehicle was on at T50 was there before the ET trail existed, or it was created by geocachers that thought it necessary to drive as close as possible to the container to save time.  Near that trail is the Alien Head  geo-art.  The OP specifically tells people not to drive from cache to cache for that group of caches.  Looking at satellite images of the area it is obvious that a lot of caches have ignored the CO because there is a pretty clear track in between caches now.   That's one of my objects to this sort of geocaching.   People are wiling to damage the environment, "bend the rules", or whatever it takes  if it means finding more geocaches, the the point that they're playing a different game.  

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3 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I wonder if that like "side road" that the vehicle was on at T50 was there before the ET trail existed, or it was created by geocachers that thought it necessary to drive as close as possible to the container to save time.

That's a good question that I can't provide a full answer.  Let me just focus on my video and then provide observations from my time out there.  I lost count of the number of trips I've made to Nevada and the desert areas of the surrounding states, but at least I've seen a lot.

 

The side road itself was always next to the main road.  It's how the sage was cut.  The parenthesis curves we turn onto are what I'm wondering about.  If these were created by geocachers getting as close to the cache as possible, I wonder why they didn't go right next to the caches.  You'd figure people would begin driving even closer to the cache as time went on, yet there wasn't any evidence of that.  However, every now and then you might see trucks and campers pulled just as far off the road.  The dirt roadsides are also graded every year or two, and you see a lot of tracks from those vehicles.  Though it's possible some geocachers might drive over the sage, I'd say geocachers form an insignificant part of the problem as you see quads and offroad vehicles every now and then.  And the number of shotgun shell casings and litter that's out there, too...

 

I never did get to do the alien head geoart.  I knew it was walking, so the three or four times I was out there, the groups I was with always skipped it because of that.  Honestly, it did occur to us to drive it, but then it was followed up with a "you're not supposed to do that" and the conversation ended there.

 

On some other trips, I remember following a power line road and some other roads.  Many times, I really wondered why there was a road out here to begin with (prospectors?).  Caches tend to follow those roads--you can even see them on satellite imagery.  Seriously considering going off road to get closer to caches just never came up.  We'd just follow the roads where they led and stop as close as we could while still on the road.  That was just what you did.  At times, you could tell when one car drove over to a cache.  Doing so certainly wouldn't make the clearcut paths you saw in my video, though.  And when we saw something like this, we'd just think they were lazy morons who risked tearing up their vehicle or puncturing a tire.  Not many caches were that far out there, and those that were a hundred meters distant were just seen as part of the game to walk that final distance.

 

I did get to do the Heart of Mojave Desert geoart (shaped like a Gx) with mondou2 and others.  We left the cars in the parking area and walked the distance.  There was never talk about driving it and, at the time, I didn't see evidence it had been driven.  If I may make a tangent, I remember they were shoving water bottles into backpacks.  I walked up, took two bottles and put them in my hiking pants pockets.  They looked at me strangely.  It was supposed to warm up to 110F (43C) that day and that's all the water I was taking for an eleven mile hike (the outer heart, then I'd be able to guzzle and stock up at the cars again before the inner design).  I'm always dehydrated--I still am, while typing this--so the water I take with me is more for emergency purposes instead of normal use.  I just don't like having anything on my back or weighing me down.

 

Let's see, then there's Yerington.  I guess I've been there about half a dozen times.  Larry's caches were usually beside the road, so I didn't see any evidence of offroad driving, unless you want to count if a sage came close to the road.  He'd just find a road and put out caches along it.  There was the state star series, but we walked that.  Sure, there was a way to get off the road, but you had all this sage in the way and it would have been faster just to walk.  Other places and power trails, you usually had a berm from people coming by and scraping the road every year.  I wanted to do the eagle series, but I knew it was a walking one.  Larry told me some people had driven it.  I didn't want to do that, so never did find the series.  That's fine: there were other things to find.

 

Really, if you want to be critical of cachers' impact upon the desert, I'd suggest instead being critical of all the foot trails cachers make from the car to the cache.  It's not major, but you can tell people have walked that way, same as people who have used the desert for other reasons.  They don't last--the foot trails, not the other people--which at times is somewhat of a disappointment when you have a few dozen sage bushes to look through and then have to realize it's a small rock pile some thirty feet away.

 

But, in conclusion, I'd say the only ones who can answer this question fully are the cache owners and those first to find the caches.  I can only provide my observations and try to make them as unbiased as possible.  You're always going to have the inconsiderate people doing stupid stuff.  The best we can do is set a proper example.

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5 hours ago, Ranger Fox said:

You're always going to have the inconsiderate people doing stupid stuff.

 

Sure, but I suspect that more people do stupid stuff when there is an incentive involved.  The incentive is a quick way to increase find counts.  You're not going to stop people that are basically inconsiderate.  Some people normally considerate my be sway if there is a sufficient incentive to break a few rules without any consequences.  When you condone things like container swapping, leap frogging, divide and conquer, and a basic disregard for the environment,   IMHO, you're no longer geocaching, but playing some other game with a different set of acceptable practices.   

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There is a lady in Australia, her caching name is Everlasting. She is a deaf cacher. She almost constanty travels around, caching as she goes. 20, 30, or 40 caches a day, every day, for weeks on end, is not uncommon for her. 

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9 hours ago, Ranger Fox said:

The best we can do is set a proper example.

By swapping containers, leap-frogging, divide-and-conquer, and claiming finds when you don't even put your feet on the ground to look? We should be setting a better example. I agree.

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9 hours ago, Max and 99 said:

By swapping containers, leap-frogging, divide-and-conquer, and claiming finds when you don't even put your feet on the ground to look? We should be setting a better example. I agree.

Honestly, I almost took the bait, but that would have had me launch into a tangent to the conversation.  As a moderator, I shouldn't do that.  You're welcome to create another thread to discuss specifically these generalities, likely to no further enlightenment or revelation, though I'd suggest in all topics inviting people with experience to contribute concrete examples and views.

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