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Is geocaching popularity dropping off?


Guest leskowitz
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Guest leskowitz

I have this funny feeling that geocaching's popularity is sliding. I am not seeing the hits on my caches like I used too. Either A the summer is over and people are hibernating for the winter or B this terrorist thing scared people off.

 

What is the stats on new members/hits/logs/news stories lately? Should we be concerned? We need to advertising to get more people involved. We need to get bumber stickers out or something. Or Maybe we don't want to get out because of the current environment. Hopefully, in Nov my geocaching gathering I am starting to plan will get new members out. Any thoughts?

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Guest Markwell

I think it is a combination of having been out all summer and taking a rest, the geo-political environment (no pun intended) and the Elvis Year phenomenon. Early in the summer when the sport was exploding, we had the doomsayers repeating that overinvolvment in the hobby would kill it. We talked about saturation points, etc. I don't think we're there yet - but the time may come when popularity in the hobby wanes. The people still there are going to be the out-and-out Geocachers.

 

I don't get the sense that Geocaching is losing in popularity yet - just taking a breath after the immense growing pains over the summer. Just look at how many new caches are being planted each week. One of the caches that I logged onto my database was added around 10/5. It's sequential ID number was 8314. The most recent approved cache added to the system (on 10/12) is 8691. That's almost 400 new caches (worldwide) added to the system in one week. Not really dying yet.

 

Maybe it's just that all the people that came into the sport seeking over the summer time are now hiding new caches ( icon_biggrin.gif)

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Guest Markwell

I think it is a combination of having been out all summer and taking a rest, the geo-political environment (no pun intended) and the Elvis Year phenomenon. Early in the summer when the sport was exploding, we had the doomsayers repeating that overinvolvment in the hobby would kill it. We talked about saturation points, etc. I don't think we're there yet - but the time may come when popularity in the hobby wanes. The people still there are going to be the out-and-out Geocachers.

 

I don't get the sense that Geocaching is losing in popularity yet - just taking a breath after the immense growing pains over the summer. Just look at how many new caches are being planted each week. One of the caches that I logged onto my database was added around 10/5. It's sequential ID number was 8314. The most recent approved cache added to the system (on 10/12) is 8691. That's almost 400 new caches (worldwide) added to the system in one week. Not really dying yet.

 

Maybe it's just that all the people that came into the sport seeking over the summer time are now hiding new caches ( icon_biggrin.gif)

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of like the drop in the ratings for the major networks. The number of people watching isn't dropping, they just have more channels on the T.V. to watch. Unless they're out geocaching of course.

 

--- yrium ---

 

--- yrium ---

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Guest Pharmacache

I think the events of 9/11 have changed the way we think about geocaching, too. My site near Hoover Dam hasn't been accessed since that date, and I'm almost afraid to go down there to retrieve it and archive it !! One of the local caches out near huge power lines has had cache-hunters under surveillance by air force helicopters and planes. One site near PBS had the cache confiscated by bomb squad. Just indicative of our times, I'm afraid.

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Guest Point2Point

This was geocaching's first big summer. The major media popularized it with many stories on television and in print.

 

And as you would expect, many people rushed out and bought a GPSR and went looking for their local caches. After a few weekends of that, I can imagine that a lot of them got past the "gee whiz" factor of the sport and have put their GPSRs in the drawer.

 

Also I think that after finding the caches closest to home, only a few newbies will have the desire to drive to farther caches. You have to like the outdoors and have a sense of seeking new locations to really connect with this sport. Some people like the gadgetry and technology of the GPSR, but aren't really outdoor people.

 

So what we may be seeing is the dropout of the less enthusiastic geocachers from the initial rush into the sport. This isn't a bad thing, it mab be just a leveling off period.

 

And look at the bright side - we may start to see some really good deals on barely used GPSRs on ebay! This winter could be a great time to pick up a second hand unit.

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Guest cmarrero

Well I think sept 11 has change the way I geo. I am staying away from the geoes in Central park and Midtown NYC.

If you want people to see great sites like dams and stuff maybe you should put the cache in a location where people woun't think it a bomb, and within the cache leave GPS Cords to the dam overlook or great spot where you cache would have been. That would a second reward for finding the cache. That is just my 2 cents. As for the caches that already there. Why don't you ask the ranger to go with you to pick it up so you can archive it.

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It will be interesting to see if the southern hemisphere's geocaching activity picks up. We are coming into summer and people are getting out more. I know I'll be doing heaps more...

 

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It's out there...let's go get it!

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Guest supertech

Well - I for one am new to this. I guess I heard of geocaching, but I never really listened. Then it came up in a discussion of GPS units and VIOLA - I'm trying to get out and find a cache. ALSO - I have ideas for two cache locations, and since the closest cache s 22 miles and there are only 24 on the whole state [AL] I feel good about it. Both are out in the country but not too far, and at least one is in a state park, so... Why would anyone put a boomba out there?

I hope!!! icon_biggrin.gif

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Guest supertech

Well - I for one am new to this. I guess I heard of geocaching, but I never really listened. Then it came up in a discussion of GPS units and VIOLA - I'm trying to get out and find a cache. ALSO - I have ideas for two cache locations, and since the closest cache s 22 miles and there are only 24 on the whole state [AL] I feel good about it. Both are out in the country but not too far, and at least one is in a state park, so... Why would anyone put a boomba out there?

I hope!!! icon_biggrin.gif

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Here in New England, at least in my local area, I don't see it dying it off.

 

Markwell made a very good point about all the cachers that discovered it over the summer are now busy planting their own caches. I know that is precisely the case with us. We just planted our first one on 9/30 and there's already 5 online find logs. SOOOO exciting!!!

 

Another couple of factors;

Shortened daylight hours makes any weekday hunts difficult.

 

Also, the fall has some busy, busy weekends for lots of folks. Weddings, home improvements, etc...many things that are commonly scheduled for the comfortable weather of early fall. Our schedules have gotten hectic these past few weekends, and next 3 are booked up.

Doesn't leave much time for geocaching - WAAA

 

So for us, any slow down on our part is not by choice.

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Guest Peanuthead

1. Geocaching will drop off in the winter months. In places like Utah and Oregon, two hot spots for geocaching, many caches will be under several feet of snow. This doesn't make geocaching impossible, just more difficult and perhaps not as enjoyable. Also, driving conditions are rougher. However, here in Oregon some geocachers like geocaching in the winter because they have quad runners and/or snowmobiles.

 

2. The economy is slipping. For some people, things such as gas money and car maintenance become issues.

 

- Peanuthead

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Guest TresOkies

I started in early July and viciously attacked the caches around Austin, TX. Now, I can claim the following excuses for not geocaching as much

  • Moved to an area only sparsely covered with caches (Western OK)
  • Child in school
  • Trying to purchase new house and get moved in
  • Shortened daylight hours
  • Busily acclimating myself to new locale.

 

On the other hand, I've placed two caches in the area and I have four cache containers ready once I can think up some nifty places. Western OK has very little public land, so I'm having to get permission from farmers who don't mind people visiting their property.

 

Folks out here aren't as concerned about the terrorist threat so much as getting peanuts out of the ground and getting wheat in, so I don't think I'll be hampered too much by the changing times.

 

-E

 

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--

35°32.981 98°34.631

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Not in my town! Here in Syracuse, NY, we just had a big article published in the newspaper, complete with sidebar story on the GPS system, and color photos.

 

The number of automatated emails I get from cache logs being submitted for my caches has jumped, and the number of new players logging caches all over this area has jumped up as well. A little bit of good press has a noticeable impact. You have to remember, there are lots of people who own GPS units, but who haven't found anything fun to do with them yet. They use them as a tool for travel, hunting, fishing, boating, etc., but not to have fun, especially with their kids.

 

If your local newspaper hasn't yet covered geocaching, go talk to them, and offer your assistance for background information and a free lesson. I even went so far as to lend an eTrek GPS to the writer, so he could try geocaching with his boys -- that was after he first got a private lesson with three local players.

 

It may not be easy to get the newspapers attention, but if you call ahead for an appointment, and take along copies of the stories linked from geocaching.com's homepage in the "Geocaching in the News" section, ought to pay attetion to that!

 

Anton

 

[This message has been edited by Anton (edited 16 October 2001).]

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Things have definitely slowed down here in Michigan. We've had rain almost every weekend since Labor Day, plus the terrorist issue has contributed.

 

Firearm deer season starts here in a few weeks so I will probably be lucky if I hunt more than 2-3 more caches before spring. I think a lot of cachers in northern states are probably in a similar situation.

 

Rusty...

 

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Rusty & Libby's Geocache Page

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Well I know I sure can speak for myself. I have slowed way down on the hunts and placements of Geocaches in the past few months. I do have valid excuses, really. Let?s see:

 

1) Having a new home built from the ground up ? want to make sure they are doing it right

2) Trying to sell my town home by owner, must stay home keep it clean and show to potential buyers

3) Boy has it been raining a lot lately!

4) Wife want?s me to watch my 14th month more often ? well I guess now that most of the bugs are gone I can bring him with me on the hunts and placements!

5) Getting dark too soon ? can?t do it after work.

6) Etc.

 

Hint: If someone purchases my town home I can be more active in Geocaching again. icon_wink.gif

 

Rob

 

may_10_1997@yahoo.com

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Well I know I sure can speak for myself. I have slowed way down on the hunts and placements of Geocaches in the past few months. I do have valid excuses, really. Let?s see:

 

1) Having a new home built from the ground up ? want to make sure they are doing it right

2) Trying to sell my town home by owner, must stay home keep it clean and show to potential buyers

3) Boy has it been raining a lot lately!

4) Wife want?s me to watch my 14th month more often ? well I guess now that most of the bugs are gone I can bring him with me on the hunts and placements!

5) Getting dark too soon ? can?t do it after work.

6) Etc.

 

Hint: If someone purchases my town home I can be more active in Geocaching again. icon_wink.gif

 

Rob

 

may_10_1997@yahoo.com

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Guest leskowitz

quote:
Originally posted by m&k:

leskowitz,

I think it's just nobody can find them as fast as you can hide them!!


That is pretty funny. How can I help that you guys are slow? I figured that there is one of me and 200 of you. Odds say you should win. I am taken a vacation from hiding for awhile. I think I will find some, if there are any in Houston that are not mine.

Actually overall I have not seen the activity I expected. We need some new blood in Houston to get it going. I hope the picnic sparks up the area.

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Guest ClayJar

quote:
Originally posted by leskowitz:

We need some new blood in Houston to get it going.


If you have any good terrain over there, let me know and I'll have to pencil it in. I live for good hikes... well, at least I drive for good hikes.

 

There will always be some dedicated cachers around. I'd love it if every cache were right out in the open after a 5-10+ mile hike through rough terrain, but I have a friend who would love it if every cache were 32 feet from the parking spot and almost impossibly concealed. So, in other words, it may rise and fall, especially in areas with seasons*, but geocaching will be around for a while.

 

*South Louisiana has seasons. We've had summer, fall, and a bit of spring so far this week. It's supposed to stay spring (with a hint of winter during the midnight hours) for a couple days, but then it'll be back to summer (with optional fall, depending on whether it rains or just drizzles). Back in Wisconsin, I had to actually wait months for the seasons to change. icon_wink.gif

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Guest ClayJar

quote:
Originally posted by leskowitz:

We need some new blood in Houston to get it going.


If you have any good terrain over there, let me know and I'll have to pencil it in. I live for good hikes... well, at least I drive for good hikes.

 

There will always be some dedicated cachers around. I'd love it if every cache were right out in the open after a 5-10+ mile hike through rough terrain, but I have a friend who would love it if every cache were 32 feet from the parking spot and almost impossibly concealed. So, in other words, it may rise and fall, especially in areas with seasons*, but geocaching will be around for a while.

 

*South Louisiana has seasons. We've had summer, fall, and a bit of spring so far this week. It's supposed to stay spring (with a hint of winter during the midnight hours) for a couple days, but then it'll be back to summer (with optional fall, depending on whether it rains or just drizzles). Back in Wisconsin, I had to actually wait months for the seasons to change. icon_wink.gif

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I think the the number of caches is begining to outstrip the log activity, Here in Utah we nearing close to 400 placements. Next spring will be a better barometer of activity.

 

jpjazz

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I don't think its dropping off. In my area of Greensboro NC the 3rd largest city in the state. We have about 12 caches. 10 of those were placed by Hawk-eye. The problem seems to be more hunters than placers. The cache I placed has had 12 hits, but none of those people have placed a cache. There is a huge inbalance here. People like Hawk-eye have none to hunt, because he places all of them. Just my 2 cents worth.

 

Jerry

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I think cache seeking activity is dropping of in Australia too - at least here in Victoria. There still seem to be a lot getting planted but not so many being found as there were in the middle of winter. I suspect this has to do with the fact that there are very few people with GPS receivers here, and those that are here are already playing. As the number of caches goes up, hits per cache go down without significant numbers of new players.

 

So even with daylight saving starting soon and warmer weather, I doubt this trend will improve. I'm happy to be proved wrong though.

 

For me, I've dropped off my hit rate lately because I've been recovering from a knee operation, which kind of puts a dampener on things. Also I've found most of the ones close to me, and what's left really need a full day's outing to get.

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quote:
Originally posted by Quasar:

I think cache seeking activity is dropping of in Australia too - at least here in Victoria.


 

I think we might see a big improvement. Look at what happened during the school holidays! I didnt get out a heap because I have a restaurant and I get busy (It's what will happen around christmas too unfortunately) but I found at least 2 first finds and there was lots of activity going on. I think its just a matter of time before it goes off. Wait till xmas is over, the rat race dies down and the GPS's are unwrapped.... icon_smile.gif

 

 

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It's out there...let's go get it!

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quote:
Originally posted by Quasar:

I think cache seeking activity is dropping of in Australia too - at least here in Victoria.


 

I think we might see a big improvement. Look at what happened during the school holidays! I didnt get out a heap because I have a restaurant and I get busy (It's what will happen around christmas too unfortunately) but I found at least 2 first finds and there was lots of activity going on. I think its just a matter of time before it goes off. Wait till xmas is over, the rat race dies down and the GPS's are unwrapped.... icon_smile.gif

 

 

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It's out there...let's go get it!

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Guest Chris Juricich

I'm not worried about it, really.

 

One local guy has been adding caches locally like crazy, and I enjoy putting out new ones when I can (every couple of weeks). And as others have said, when winter comes it might slow down and 911 didn't help things, right?

 

The way I figure it, another hobby I've enjoyed (and still do) is comics reading and collecting. This hobby has been in decline for decades but there are still enough folks to keep it alive today. If geocaching as a hobby were to go the way of the dodo, I think SOMEone would organize the pitiful remnants into some organization on the web.

 

Jeremy's position at his company (web hosting and fulfillment) allows him to support and promote the activity we all enjoy. No doubt he hopes to manifest it into a business model that he could live off someday. I'm sure it at least supplements his income at this point.

 

And more power to him as I go off topic.

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Guest hfmcan34

I know that cache is part of the name of this whole thing but do we really need a physical cache? We have found some wonderful parks within a few miles of our house that we would have never discovered were we not in search of a cache. We plan on revisiting them in the future for picnics ect. But, guess what? We never bother even opening the cache once we find it. The fun was in the hunt. And this brings up a catch 22. To have any chance of hiding a cache you probably have to hide it in a wooded area. And we all know what happens to a GPS signal in the woods- especially if you are trying to use WAAS. Why not have a category where there is no physical cache? Something as simple as a 1" X 1" stake driven into the ground or a photograph of unique rock could be the cache site. This would open up a whole new set of sites that could be in open fields, school play grounds, shopping center parking lots, ect. Equally important, this would free the site author from having to continually revisit the site to make sure it is still operational. This required commitment is the primary reason we have not established any sites.(We're retired and sometimes hop in our RV and may be gone for a month or two) Oh, getting back to your question, we are running out of new sites to visit in our area thus our activity is waining. There are only so many public wooded sites in our area for new caches. We are still interested but to revisit a site looking for the previously found cache is like re-reading the newspaper. Does anyone know if geocaching rules permit establishment a virtual cache site- one with no goodies?

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quote:
Originally posted by hfmcan34:

Does anyone know if geocaching rules permit establishment a virtual cache site- one with no goodies?


 

Sure. Go to this page to see the different cache types that exist.

 

The third one on the list describes what a virtual cache is. These are what is used for the "location without goodies" type cache you are looking for. I've enjoyed many of these type of caches around the Washington DC area.

 

When you do a search for caches in your area you can identify which are virtual caches by the logo on the left hand side of the page beside the cache descriptions...

 

-exConn

 

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http://www.LibertyUnites.org

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Guest leskowitz

Geocaching, in case they haven't heard. The popularity is not going to drop off here. I enjoy reading my log books. I like making people happy. Has anyone done this and gotten a story out of it or maybe a free lunch?

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Guest Geoffrey

The bugs in and around Detroit Michigan have been pretty bad this year, and the West Nile Virus is in Detroit now. Also there has not been much publicity lately on the Sport of Geocaching. Many cachers here have gotten lazy, or just packed away their GPS. Also the economy here in Motorcity(Detroit) is not too hot lately. Gas is cheap though. I have recently bought Premium Gas for less than what economy Gas has been.

 

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http://members.aol.com/geoffr524/myhomepage/howto.html

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Guest scooterj

Based just on the caches on my watch list it seems to me like the popularity has started to bounce back up in the past week.... at least locally. We've had some nice weather, people are getting outdoors to see the fall trees, and I think a lot of the fear is diminishing too. I've planted a few new caches the past couple of weeks and even the most isolated one was hit within a day. I'll probably hold off on planting any more until the spring because the next big one that I've been working on (a multistage puzzle cache) won't work with snow on the ground, but I plan to keep hunting all winter long. The snow simply adds to the challenge. Or perhaps makes it easier since you can follow other people's footprints. icon_smile.gif

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Guest scooterj

Based just on the caches on my watch list it seems to me like the popularity has started to bounce back up in the past week.... at least locally. We've had some nice weather, people are getting outdoors to see the fall trees, and I think a lot of the fear is diminishing too. I've planted a few new caches the past couple of weeks and even the most isolated one was hit within a day. I'll probably hold off on planting any more until the spring because the next big one that I've been working on (a multistage puzzle cache) won't work with snow on the ground, but I plan to keep hunting all winter long. The snow simply adds to the challenge. Or perhaps makes it easier since you can follow other people's footprints. icon_smile.gif

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Guest Search Injuns

The reason we've not been out geocaching is mainly because we have been looking at the COWS. Haven't you noticed the any of them? You only have until November 7th to check them out. We've "logged" about 200 of the more than 300. My favorite so far is the French Moodle. We even met the artist. She was hanging out in the area. Don't worry we will be back.

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Guest JoeyBob

I know that personally, the hot and humid Southern summer weather slowed me down. I don't do well with stinging insects, and yellow jackets seem to love cache locations. We had a location in Raleigh, NC that was located in a field of Kudzu that grew to 8 feet high during the summer. If you don't know about Kudzu, lets just say it isn't fun to play in when the humidity is 95%, and the temp is 95 degrees! I look forward to hiding some caches this fall, and finding a few that got delayed this summer.

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Guest lostsoul

Indeed the slow down has to be climatological. Suddenly now I'm getting more emails on my cache because the hot days of desert summer are cooling off and the "snow birds" are coming back.

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Guest breaktrack

Actually, I think it could have to do with the fact that when you first discover this sport you start off quick, log two or even three caches in a day or a weekend, but you soon get to where you are having to travel further to get to caches, which takes longer. So we start to plan more carefully, and further in advance, for the caches we plan to hunt for. It is a natural progression of the sport I would think.

 

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Single dad looking for, dang, what the heck was I looking for again??? Where's my GPS?

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Guest Ramness570

I keep a spread sheet of how many times my caches are visted per month each just to see things like this.

 

In september my 7 active caches had 53 logged visits.

In October that dropped to 27 visits for the same 7.

 

Guess either everyone out here has found them all or its getting colder?

 

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Brian & TabascoX

Senior Member Southeast Xterra Club

Geocaching since October 2000.

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