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Oldtimers. Those Before 2002


El Diablo
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Just curious as what the oldtimers..those before 2002 think about the changes that have taken place with Geocaching over the years?

 

I'm not just curious...I'm writing an article on it. So please be serious. If you would feel more comfortable sending me an email, please do so.

 

Thanks for your help.

 

El Diablo

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Not a real lot. Just more geocachers and lot more caches. Of course there is more flaming and whining in the forums, but that's only because there are more people here. Ya go back to posts from two to three years ago and you still see complaining and flaming going on, largely about the same things as today...just not as much, because there were far fewer users.

 

With fewer caches, people would range a lot further to find one. Despite the fact that there are so many more geocachers today, my caches were hit a lot more frequently because there were't many others in the area.

 

Oh, the top geocachers in the country had maybe 100-200 finds.

 

Edit: After seeing some of the other responses below, I noticed several mentioned the explosion in "lame", or "toss and drive off" caches. I have to agree with this, as well as the rise of the micro. When I started micros were rare, but it's getting to the point where in some areas, they are the predominant type of cache.

Edited by briansnat
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Just curious as what the oldtimers..those before 2002 think about the changes that have taken place with Geocaching over the years?

 

I'm not just curious...I'm writing an article on it. So please be serious. If you would feel more comfortable sending me an email, please do so.

Well, I'm about 7 weeks away from my third anniversary, so I guess I qualify. There was much more of an "anything goes" attitude. I don't think Virtual caches had been recognized as an official category yet, though there were caches that would now fit that definition.

 

One of the fun things to do was "cache scanning". Back then, anyone could view caches that hadn't been approved yet. But you had to know the right URL. So some people would get the cache ID number of the latest cache approved, then start incrementing it and plugging it into the URL string. If you were lucky, you might locate a nearby cache that no one else knew about yet. There was even talk that some nefarious software designer had written a program that would automatically scan for unapproved caches, and notify you if it found one near your location. I, of course, have no knowledge of who (cough, cough) could have written such an evil program.

 

The system used to allow (or didn't prevent, is probably more accurate) people putting HTML code in their user names. A few people (Cache-U-Nuts comes to mind) simply had as their user name a link to a GIF file. So on the cache pages, it would have their logo image in place of their name.

 

Most caches back then were of the Tupperware variety. It was a little while before ammo boxes became popular.

 

Locationless caches have been controversial since day one. Debates raged back and forth about whether or not this was "real" geocaching. But they were generally approved.

 

There were no "official" travel bugs, but creative people made their own. They generally had either an attached personal log book, or an e-mail address where you could notify the owner of its whereabouts.

 

Oh, and the geocaching logo was different back then. Here's a look, for those who may never have seen it.

 

3608_6600.gif

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WELL I think we've gotten too big for our britches. The expotential growth has dwinldled sensing of the creativity that some cachers have. The guidelines or rules or whatever you call them really don't take into consideration the myriad of possibilites that can exist with caches.

 

Recently there was much heated discussion about the placement of multi-tools into caches. But there are many different places that caches are placed, which could mean that in the more urban and suburban areas this might be a good idea. But in the wilds of CO there are more dangers before you even reach the cache, altitude, climate, critters, than any lil ol pocket knife or tool could do you harm. And really now when you are more than 4 miles from the road how many kids are going to find the cache accidentaly.

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Someone mentioned there being more whining and complaining than back in 'the day'. I suppose that's true. But mostly because there were fewer of us back then and there was more of a feel of a smaller, tight-night community. (at least on the forums). I sometimes miss that sense of community. Maybe it's still there but I certainly don't recognize EVERY person who posts like I used to. Also some of the early members seem to have moved on. (or maybe they simply don't post anymore).

 

Caches were few and far between back in the day (at least for me). I felt like I had accomplished something if I managed to chase down three caches in one outing. One cache-per-outing was more the norm for me in those months.

 

Biggest change I've noted is that there seems to be more of the "toss-and-drive off" caches out there. Caches simply put under a bush or in a tree for no real reason other than the fact the site is on public land and convienient to a parking lot.

 

Maybe I'm having old-timer memory block but I seem to recall most of the early caches actually held to the idea that a cache should actually take the hunter to some place interesting or that they at least should provide a sense of adventgure/discovery.

 

At some point it seemed like a race was on for cachers to run out and place as many caches as possible without any real regard for how interesting they would be. I know I fell into the trap myself and put out some pretty lame caches. Recently I've been pulling many of my caches I think have no real value and attempting to improve those I feel could be better.

 

Oh..., the BIGGEST change?? Rules..., rules.... RULES. Everytime I turn around there's another rule. I'm not saying rules are bad. With more people involved in the sport I suppose rules are neccessary. But I sure do miss the free-wheeling days.

 

Of course I'm pointing out the negative changes I've noticed. Let me be clear that this is still the greatest hobby I've ever stumbled on and I still enjoy the sport and the company I keep here.

 

The website has improved dramatically. There are more tools to aid in the hunt. My pocket PC never leaves my side -- somethign I wouldn't even have thought of buying two years ago.

 

And I have noticed more and more creative cachers popping up. In fact some of the best caches I've ever logged have been recently (Mainly those of Genius Loci -- the Aesop series). Seems like many of the old timers are moving into a another phase and putting more thought into their caches and making them more challegning.

 

 

And the company here is still pretty good. :mad:

Edited by jollybgood
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Cache density, way back when caches that were on my 'first' or 'second' page would be 40 or 50 miles away. Now I'm not sure how many pages I would need to scroll through to see the same cache. I still have not found the second cache I ever attempted even though it is still active, sorry fractal don't know why I keep ignoring low-medium-high.

 

The rush to be first seemed stronger then, when I placed my first cache it was found within a few hours of approval and eight times in the first 24hrs. BTW it was approved before I could finish uploading pictures, less than 15 minutes from my initial click on the submit to approval (thanks erik88l-r).

 

Travel bugs came about a few months after I joined.

 

I've not really taken an active part of it, but have watched what appears to be a tight knit group of area cachers form and grow.

 

Personally, I've cut down my computer gaming time by about 90%. Also the people at work have gone from suspecting that I'm a bit odd to being convinced.

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The geocaching community is, for the most part, a spin-off from the hiking community. The hiking community is notorious in their consistently hypocritical efforts to segregate, exclude and prohibit. It’s no surprise to me that geocaching has now become dismembered and micro-managed by the system operators. The game is now inundated with a bunch of whiny and irritable ogres whose never-ending purpose seems to be forcing their ideologies upon others.

 

I’m coming to realize that hiding a cache and the associated furnishing of relevant information may have a direct correlation to an individual’s intelligence quotient. There are far more stupid cachers today than ever before.

 

 

;):mad:

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As most of the above posts mention, the biggest thing that stands out in my mind is the 'explosive' growth of geocaching. When I first started the nearest cache was 40 miles away from me and the closest large city(Lexington, KY) only had two geocaches. Besides my caches, there still aren't very many caches very close to me, but Lexington now has over a hundred caches within a 10 mile radius. Virtuals were pretty well accepted by most cachers, but locationless ones have always been passionately debated. It seems like you either love them or hate them. Also, I used to see more of the full size caches, but lately, micros seem to be the dominate species. Also, it was almost a year before I ever met another geocacher, and now it happens quite often.

Edited by KYtrex
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In the early days it was about getting people to special places. I have seen some interesting things I would never have seen with geocaching (old rail tunnels, abandoned rail grades and mountain cuts, obscure civil war battlefields, old mill ruins from over 100 years ago, etc.). Some of these things still pop up, but caches are now just placed on regular hiking trails, in city parks, in urban settings and so on. A lot of those interesting out-of-the-way places already have a cache!

 

One fun thing early on was working on new ideas. I'm not sure, but I think Markwell and I were the first people to make "traveling caches". Ours move from cache to cache only. My first one, the FLY... Mars ROVER Traveling Cache placed 6-15-01, is still out there and has been to Canada and back and is somewhere in the Midwest. The idea had been discussed in the forums I think, and we sent ours out about a week apart or so. I coined the terms "Hidden" and "In Transit". I also coined the term "GeoNick", but it never caught on that much.

 

My first virtual was placed on 9-09-01. It is not an easy one at a 4.5/5 rating. I do like the interesting and challenging virtuals. The same goes for traditionals really and truly. Right before the restructuring of virtual guidelines I would go to some and would think "yeah, so what" and move on to the next cache. I am glad that they now have to be unusual and should knock your socks off. Most of the early ones did that. Go way back and search your state for some of the early virtuals. Many of those are very interesting.

 

Density and the growth of geocaching has been interesting to watch. Some of the unique ideas put forth have also been a treat to watch as an approver. There is a lot of controversy brought up in these forums, but 95% (probably more than that) of the geocaching public just like to go and have some fun. The core of the game/sport/hobby/adventure is having fun. I still have as much fun when I am out geocaching now as I did the first time I did it.

 

Maybe even more fun... :mad:

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Way back when every cache was a quality cache with a nice walk in the woods there were 24 in a 100 mile radius now there is 961and 75% are lame compared. It took me three months and five states to find 100 caches back then , today I can take you to 100 caches in 10 hours, but there are still good ones out there and great ones being placed you have to search them out.

 

The folks that have started caching in the last six months seem to like it the way it is, and most place caches the same way that they like to find them……………….JOE

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Back in the day the forums were worse than now. I quit, tired of all the crap, for most of a year, after my first 800 posts. It wasn't until October 2002 that I came back. If I didn't move I still wouldn't be back. Things were bad. Maybe people remember it as rosier or maybe I came back and adjusted to reality.

 

The rules went two directions. More rules for the health of the RASH. And more rules that are nothing more than site preference. Virtuals went from easily approvable to coffee book, to you should place a real cache if you can, to make it into a multi. Same with locationless as far as the coffee table book theory.

 

Vacation caches were not part of the lexicon. Local Cache groups were not something that I'd heard of until a local who had become addicted in a big way just built a site that caught on. Now they are everywere.

 

Navicache didn't have any caches anywhere near me. geocachingworldwide had a couple in Texas 2000+ miles away. Now Naviache has caches in my back yard.

 

The only Geocoins were moun10bike's. Signature items were not anything that locals used. There were 79 caches within 100 miles not 600+. Where I live now had 4 not 400+.

 

If you wanted to cache, geocaching.com was the only option.

 

You could post in the GPS/Software forum and nobody would help at all, there werent' enough people yet to have about every situation covered.

 

Even though the forums were bad the politics had not come of age yet. The forum regulars then were not the forum regulars of today, for the most part.

 

People hadn't yet started the mantra of "find a few first before you place".

 

As the locals picked up the hobby there was a race to put a cache in the cool spots that mtn-man mentioned. 528' was just 0.1 miles and was the point where your GPS flipped from miles to feet. It wasn't a cache rule.

 

The hula dance and drunken bee walk were discussed a lot.

 

People didn't whine so much about 'bad caches' or people who post a lot, they were mean and petty in other ways.

 

100 finds made you an elite in the geocaching world. Today it's just a busy week.

 

Trading down was about the same. Nobody knew about the hobby. Now even your ditzy aunt Bertha is telling you about all your shirt-tail relatives who cache.

 

Half your caching time was spent trying to get people caching so they would place caches you could find.

 

"my cache wasn't approved" threads didn't happen much.

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The expotential growth

This appears to be a Freudian typo. If so, it is priceless(to steal an ad phrase).

 

It seems quite early to be getting all nostalgic about such a young thing. That's probably just a natural result of the computer age. I'm not immune to that, these posts are interesting...the pros and cons. History is history, whether ancient or recent, and one of my favorite subjects. :D

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The quality issue has been mentioned in this thread already. When I started, the caches were serious efforts on the part of the hider. There was almost always a camera in the cache. Today, it's a rarity. Since all of the prime locations for caches have been taken, some less than desirable locations have been used because someone had "hiding fever".

 

I rarely visited the forums in the early days. I feel changes in the community come much quicker now (RULES). I need to stay abreast of the changes.

Edited by OUTSID4EVR
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changes? lets see now, cache density for sure, lots more people doing it, lots more rules to accompany the people, caching went from underground to possibly too exposed to the non-caching world, and the forums assumed a greater significance to some. it's been very interesting to watch. there's been good and bad, but it remains one of the great activities to come about in my life. be interesting to see what the future holds. -harry

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Ah, the good old days! I remember them well, when you'd find a fifty or a hundred and wonder what they guy took before he traded up, when you had to print out the cache page (oh, I still do that), when ticks were thought to be annoying wingless flies, when a guy standing on the corner could be used as a virtual cache, when only serious topics were posted because none of us were bored yet and we were still trying to figure out how this all worked, when...:D

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Back in the day, geocaching had a sort of quasi-underground-insider type of feel since relatively few people knew about it. It was even new to the ''man'', so state and federal park personnel seemed less concerned about regulating the placement of caches. We had hitchhikers instead of travel bugs. The geocaching.com trademark was far more accessible for signature items since Groundspeak was still developing an understanding of trademark law. You were unlikely to come across a geocoin, geocaching calling card, or other signature item. Puzzle caches did not exist in Rhode Island. There was no benchmark hunting associated with geocaching. And the number of people/entities offering geocaching-related items for sale was far less.

 

In the beginning of our involvement with geocaching, if someone in the area had over 30 found caches, we considered him or her to be a living legend of southern New England Geocaching. Today, it is common to read logs from geocachers with many hundreds of finds.

 

The basics never changed. It remains a mostly family friendly sport/hobby/thing that is enjoyed by all members of my team/family.

 

FISUR

Edited by FISUR
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I missed out on geocaching for a good portion of 2001 due to circumstances. I also never read the forums for the first year of my goecaching life. Frankly, i am sorry i do now; but, i think that in some ways, geocaching, at least on gc.com is becoming a little too restricted (the issue wit vertual and locationless caches comes to mind). I remember when a significant majority of caches in nyc were hidden by cache ninja. I remember when a significant majority of caches around the nyc area were hidden by cache ninja.

 

Throughout most of 2001 i remember reading the emails every week with new caches, and they were all placed by a few people. i was sorry i had no real time to go after them.

 

I prefered the game back then, seemed much simpler and nicer. i think the forums spolied that vision of geocaching for me.

 

danny

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i think the forums spolied that vision of geocaching for me.

 

Not to stray off topic...well yes, I guess I am...but far too many people equate the forums with geocaching. The are thousands of geocachers who enjoy the sport, yet never visit the forums. I don't understand those who've quit the sport over some perceived insult, or slight they encountered here.

 

The forums have as much to do about the sport of geocaching as the the forums on ESPN.COM have to to with football, baseball, etc....

 

Now, back to your regularly scheduled topic...

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Definately better cache density. I disagree with some of the above statements... I think there are alot of better quality caches now than 2-3 years ago based on the increase in total number.

 

There are "less well thought out" or drive-by caches too but so what... Sometimes I feel like a 5/5 and sometimes I feel like a 1/1. And the choices are there now, whereas they were not before.

 

Don't let the forums skew your thinking, the nonsense here has nothing to do with 99.9% of my geocaching experience.

 

And who are you calling an old-timer??

I prefer mature geocacher!! :D

Edited by Doc-Dean
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When I started there were only about a dozen or so caches on Vancouver Island and they were predominantly placed by one person. Now there are about 500 and again about half of them are the responsibility of one team.

 

Back then placing caches was all about taking people to special places. (as already stated) The locations were often secret spots the hider couldn't help show-off. Most involved some physical effort. Getting to the cache was 95% of the fun and the routes would usually take you right past places that are now considered worthy of there own caches. Doing more than a couple of caches a day could be tough and new caches were exciting and not just the now, "Oh yeh, there's another one, wonder who'll dispatch to that one?"

 

The game has changed, still a good game but very different and not all to my personal liking. It seems in some area's there isn't a lonely bush or rock that hasn't had a cache discarded under it. Some folks are all about the numbers, others ftf prizes. We now have cache machines that high grade (or is it low grade) the concentrated areas. To each his own I guess.

 

Fortunately there are a still a few that play the game as I feel it was originally intended, but you will never hear them blabbing on the forums.

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Ah yes... The olden days... I remember it like it was only yesterday. It was. It seems like every cache was a good one. Hiding was more about picking a good spot back then and there were a lot of good spots to choose from. There weren't very many caches or cachers. You could just about predict who would hunt what if you looked at all of the logs for the handful of caches that were out there. The first event caches represented an opportunity for everyone in the tiny community of geocachers to meet for the first time. There were a lot more challenging caches out there in no man's land relative to the number of easy caches in populated places. You had to work hard for your finds back then. The cachers from the city would dare to try my caches way out in the boonies because that's all there was. The same caches won't appear on their search listing until the tenth or eleventh page nowadays. There were no rules. You could hide just about anything and some people did. That's why we ended up with a lot of rules. The locationless cache was an interesting concept that quickly grew into a big fiasco which gave birth to a great many rules that eventually landed it in moratoriam purgatory. The first virtuals to appear on the scene were very interesting and well worth doing but eventually they fell victim to lazy hiders who would waypoint anything and everything and try to call it a cache. This brought about more rules and a virtual end to the virtual cache. The micro hadn't been invented yet or was rarely used. I think the first time I encountered one was more than a year after I began playing this game. The micros were novel, at first, and they offered an opportunity to play the game in high traffic areas where regular geocaches could not survive, but now it seems that they also have become the tool of lazy hiders to hide nothing in inappropriate places or as a means to skate around the stringent virtual guidelines. I sure miss the good old days...

 

As I read this, I realize that some of this is fact but some of it is also nostalgia. I'm not even sure which is which. I sound just like some old fuddy duddy talking about "kids these days". There were lame caches back then just like there are now. I will hazard a guess that on a percentage basis it is about the same. The game has changed, though. The game and the players are different today. I don't have the numbers to prove it, but I do think that there are less caches in the boonies relative to populated places. I attribute this to the fact that early GPS users were the types that used them for wilderness exploration and that's where many of the early caches were hid. These caches are increasingly unpopular as a growing number of cachers seem to prefer easy park and grabs, micros, or puzzle caches closer to home. Some people, at least, are putting a little extra thought and effort into their hides and are bringing new ideas to the game but it's just not the same game anymore. I miss the way it was even if it wasn't better or anything like the way I remember it.

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First cache

 

I read this this thread and agree with what most of written about rules and the forums.

 

The cache I have above was my first cache back in May 01 and still going strong.

 

I remember getting email from tptb asking about my cache because they had seen the pictures I had posted of the location.

 

It is a unique spot as others have said and now alot of the best spots are gone.

 

I think the best part of being here in the beginning was all of just finding out how to use our gps's.

 

Now with gpx and loc files and all the other programs associated with geocaching, I think that these at least were 1 positive that has come of geocaching over the few years.

 

The other good thing as been the trackable travel bugs that myself and my family have enjoyed watching on there adventures. Only if other cachers could read and understand the simple instructions for grabbing and releasing them I would be happier.

 

:D

Edited by gm100guy
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I guess I just squeeze into this group with my first find being 12/29/01. :D

 

I find myself agreeing with a lot of what has already been said. When I started, my 100 mile radius density was somewhere around 65. Now its somewhere around 900 (and may be even more - I haven't checked in the last few weeks.) Everything was either in an ammo box or tupperware, with the occasional virtual along the way. I couldn't figure out why anyone would hide a micro - how could you trade anything in such a small container? Micros now dominate my area; there have been plenty of good ones - some with intersting containers, others hidden using very unique methods - but there have also been plenty that weren't so good. Finding a cache in the 'old days' always meant a walk or hike through an interesting city or state park, and generally had good views at the cache site or along the way; the same doesn't hold true anymore. I know I've changed as well; I remember going to Wal-Mart and the dollar store right after I got my GPS and filling up with trade items, but now about all I carry is a few of my geonickels and a pen (on the shorter trips anyway.)

 

The rules have certainly changed since then. The first two caches I found on my own were probably 200 feet apart. Not all of the changes have been bad though.

 

The one change that I've enjoyed the most though is the sense of community in my area. Since forming NEFGA, I've gotten to be really good friends with a lot of cachers in the area. We always have fun at events, and getting together for cache hunts is always a blast. That's one change that I've been very glad to see.

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Changes.. Too numerous to list.

 

Number one most notable. RULES........

 

Secont most notable Most caches were rural, now they're mostly are Urban. Probably the reason for the most notable.

 

Third most notable. Folks coming into this wanting more RULES.

 

Fourth most notable. Attitude of many cachers. That cache is "MINE" point of view. You can only do what I say to MY cache. Instead of I'll place a cache and watch with great interest to see what happens, and not make any judgements about what happened.

 

Terms like "cheaters", "pirates", etc. placed fellow cachers didn't exist. It was a lot more fun and taken a lot less seriously.

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The cache density has really improved. I do not see more urban caches as a bad thing. There were plenty of urban caches being placed even in 2001. A lot of the caches we found in 2001 were in the Kansas City area. Many of these caches were short hikes in urban settings (Santa Fe Trail Caches for example). There were some caches that could be classified as lame or toss-and-drive-bys, but that has been the nature of Geocaching- (forgive the use of the word) diversity in cache locations, difficulty and type. Everyone is not interested in hiking for 20 miles, uphill both ways, through ten feet of snow to find a cache. :D

 

Yes, there have been a ton of micros popping up, but this one was a nice placement. Given the area, it HAD to be a micro. Urban settings often require them. I'm glad gc.com recognized them.

 

The other stuff has been said. BTW, it's wierd to see UMC, Mtn-Man, and some others moderating.

Edited by Team Tecmage
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In the summer of 2001, you had to travel a good distance to find a cache and if you could find two or three in day you thought you were doing well. I remember hearing about a lady in OR that found I think 16 in one day. I wondered how she could possibly do that. When I planted my first caches they were in a senic park and I had permission to place them. Gave detailed directions how to get there. Every time someone would find my cache, I would send them an e-mail thanking them for doing so. In those days I had a lot of first finds only because I did them as they came up and get up and going early. If I waited, a couple of local Geocaches loved to hide the caches "better" so I couldn't find them. Theywere very successful in doing so. Also I soon learned that I don't have to "Do them All".

I didn't get as old as I am by being careless. Dick, W7WT

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Thank you for you responses! Reading through the thread reminded me of a lot that I had forgotten.

 

In my area when I first started, there were basically only 4 or 5 cachers. We pretty much hid caches for each other. I hid the first multiple cache in the area and it was a big hit. I remember the 1st event cache, 3 of us showed up. The 2nd event cache about a year later drew about 20 people and was considered huge. Today that same number would be a poor turn out.

 

Keep the responses coming, they are great!

 

El Diablo

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I wasn't in as early as 2001, but for me one of the biggest changes at geocaching.com is the addition of benchmarks (in Summer 2002, I think). Finding them isn't everyone's cup of tea, but there are many committed, hard-core enthusiasts in this branch (offshoot?) of traditional caching. And in addition to the usual joys of getting out to unfamiliar places and gaining a new appreciation of your environment, many benchmarkers file updated reports with the agency that maintains the benchmark database, thus aiding surveyors and other professionals who actually use these markers.

 

-ArtMan-

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I started in august of 2001, and there weren't a huge number of urban caches. Since then, the cache counts in my area have increased dramatically, partially due to the discovery of lightpole covers and magnetic keyholders. I did more rural caches than I do now, but time was more plentiful then. These days, I find myself more interested in rural caches than anything in town, easily covering 5+ miles on foot for 3 caches (some of the most recent being a 900-foot chute to the top of Picketpost Mountain).

 

I didn't really participate in the forums then, and never even entered the forums to read until several months ago. Our local azgeocaching site was unknown to me, and occasionally I met other cachers out there but nothing near the frequency I see cachers out these days.

 

Early on in my caching life, I found a few, became busy and stopped caching for months. The true bug didn't hit until a good 6 months after I began caching, when I really began to enjoy being in the outdoors more than sitting at my computer and playing Red Alert 2 or Diablo II or any other game where you kill things for points. :D It was refreshing to be able to use this hobby/sport/game as a tool in my fitness, as well as the mental challenge presented by some of the smaller micros, or the puzzle caches that began to develop. As I took on greater challenges, the physical challenge of some of the hikes/climbs was also appealing as it forced me to partially mutate into a mountain goat in order to make the find.

 

My caching is slowing down now, partly due to the holidays and the rampant sicknesses that keep striking my family, but changes in my work schedule are sure to kick up the finds a bit more as I'll have more free time at a different time of day.

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As usual, Brian's post complete with edit, seems to sum up everything I would say.

 

I guess the only other thing I would add is that I've noticed - especially in the forums, but also in Geocaching in the real world - a whole lot of people seem to get their scrunchies in a bunch over the most trivial of things. That's one of the main reasons - even though I'm #6 on the list of posters, I've dramatically dropped off in my posting (and forum reading) frequency.

 

The other thing I've noticed is that I had far more time for caching when I started in Mar 2001.

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I guess the only other thing I would add is that I've noticed - especially in the forums, but also in Geocaching in the real world - a whole lot of people seem to get their scrunchies in a bunch over the most trivial of things. That's one of the main reasons - even though I'm #6 on the list of posters, I've dramatically dropped off in my posting (and forum reading) frequency.

That's it throw out the whiners, we need Markwell back! :D

 

From my prospective, yes the numbers of caches and cachers has grown and is still doing so. The cache Dos and Don'ts are much more defined (both as rules/guidelines and just advice given.... um... experience? :D ).

The thing that sticks out to me as changed are these gc.com forums. Getting rid of the 'double signup', and the addition of profile links has been the best part. It made it a lot easier to understand where someone was coming from.

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The number one change I've seen since I've started caching has already been mentioned several times - the importance of location when selecting a cache site. The early caches were almost always about location (although not, ironically, Dave's first one). I even waited weeks after the removal of SA to hide my first so that the snow would melt and I could get up to the spot that I had in mind.

 

Now, I find that location is almost of no importance to many hiders. The emphasis has switched from grand views and hikes to creative and "evil" hides. This partially makes sense because of the growth of the game. As it becomes more popular, the caches will naturally pop up closer to the cities, and as parks fills in, less attractive spots will have to get tapped.

 

Another thing that has changed has been the choice of cache container. I placed a large traveler in my first cache that today would fit in at most 5% of the caches out there. That's because a large percentage of those initial hides were 5 gallon buckets. As the hiding spots became more urban, the containers shifted to Tupperware style boxes and on to ammo boxes (as we learned the problems with Tupperware in some situations). The popularity of micros has further changed what is seen as the "norm" for containers.

 

I still laugh when I look back on what I wrote about that first traveler that I released in my first cache. I said that he wanted to hop from cache to cache, "maybe every one of them some day". Ha! At the time there were only 40 caches in the world, and by the end of that first summer there were still under 100. Visiting all of them wasn't that crazy of a goal. We all know how that changed, though!

Edited by Moun10Bike
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Urban caches are not a bad thing. Years ago you had to be fairly fit to grab most of the caches in oregon. Now a person in a wheelchair can play the game and that's a good thing. I recall looking on the site and finding a cache only 50 miles away and of course I'd race off to get it.

 

The caches weren't all good. Some guys would place a cache in the middle of a garbage dump and then have a good laugh at those of us chasing after it. If you did that these days you'd be roasted and whined to death in the forums. I once placed a cache in a gun range. After things got popular I removed it. When I first placed it I knew all 6 or 7 guys that would go after it. So to me it didn't matter.

 

So some changes are good. I honestly don't care for many of the new rules. I enjoyed locationless caches and they're gone. I like virtuals as much as a traditional cache and they are rare now. It seems like these days we have more complaints about "lame" caches and I hate the use of the word lame. I have enjoyed them all. There seems to be a bit of an elitist attitude among some cachers. I don't care for that.

 

But what I enjoy the most these days are cache events. We have monthly ones in our area and they are very enjoyable. I'm looking forward to the one outside of Portland next summer when we'll all camp for the weekend.

 

I've heard people complain about too many caches. That's silly in my book. Can there be too many fish to catch? Too many beautiful women? Too many days filled with sunshine? Too much fun?

 

The forums isn't geocaching as has been stated. Forums dealing with almost every activity attract all sorts of people and many times they fill up with people with more issues than they can handle.

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LB&MM:

 

It struck me how we both can see the same types of changes and have a totally different view of them. I honestly do understand and respect your opinions. But here is the other side from a more traditional style of geocacher. I don't know, maybe its because I'm a redneck. But I see things a bit differently than you. I quoted your post quite liberally... I hope you don't mind as my thoughts are not directly pointed at you.

 

Urban caches are not a bad thing. Years ago you had to be fairly fit to grab most of the caches in oregon. Now a person in a wheelchair can play the game and that's a good thing. I recall looking on the site and finding a cache only 50 miles away and of course I'd race off to get it.

 

I agree. But why so many of them and in such ridiculous places? How exciting is a Wal-Mart parking lot, a restaurant, or a Rest Area?

 

So some changes are good. I honestly don't care for many of the new rules. I enjoyed locationless caches and they're gone. I like virtuals as much as a traditional cache and they are rare now. It seems like these days we have more complaints about "lame" caches and I hate the use of the word lame. I have enjoyed them all. There seems to be a bit of an elitist attitude among some cachers. I don't care for that.

 

Those caches that are hidden near a McDonalds dumpster in a leaky container with all the eyes of the world on you as you search, will always be "lame" in my book. Its the nicest word I can think of to describe them.

 

And I prefer to be called a traditionalist over an elist. Thats why us "traditionalist" like all the new rules that have limited locationless and verts. Now if we could only get people to cleaverly start putting those virtual cache ideas together with a final physical cache...we could have some common ground. Go Here to see a recent thread giving some ideas on doing just that!

 

But what I enjoy the most these days are cache events. We have monthly ones in our area and they are very enjoyable. I'm looking forward to the one outside of Portland next summer when we'll all camp for the weekend.

 

Couldn't agree more. I think this is the best thing to come out of the recent participation explosion in geocaching. I also think events are a far better way than the forums for sharing thoughts and ideas. Imagine having to actually look at another person and show them respect if you want them to listen to what you have to say. Problem is...there are still too few get togethers and the forums are "easy".

 

I've heard people complain about too many caches. That's silly in my book. Can there be too many fish to catch? Too many beautiful women? Too many days filled with sunshine? Too much fun?

 

Yes, there can be too many fish to catch (See Avatar). You may miss a really nice sunset, or those interesting birds chattering through the understory, or that deer that just crossed the stream below you. All because you were too focused on just catching all those fish. I guess some people are not here for those "other" things...but I am!

 

Yes, there can be too many beautiful women. Just ask the last place finisher at the recent Miss America pagent.

 

Yes, there can be too much sunshine. How many people live in deserts?

 

Yes, there can be too much fun. Remember the old Grasshopper and ant parable?

 

For the most part...our only differences are just differences in perspective :D

 

Regards,

Salvelinus

Edited by Salvelinus
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Back in the "old days"...

 

We didn't have all this fancy electronic GPS gadgetry. We had to WORK to find caches. I remember having to use a y-shaped stick as a divining rod to try and find a cache.

 

And we didn't have no stinkin' hours minutes and seconds and hundreths of a second coordinates! Our coordinates were all in Roman Numerals and round numbers. So, when you got within 60 miles of the cache, by gum, then you got out your divining rod and walked from there, uphill, both ways!

 

And we were GLAD to have divining sticks and Roman Numerals...

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The more things have changed, the more they have stayed the same.

 

Yes, there were lame caches back then. They were few of them, but there were few caches in general. There were no micros scattered about, nor were there truly evil hides. These came later.

 

The forums did have heated discussions. I remember getting into a circular argument with BrokenWing waay back then that took almost a whole page before it was determined that we were in agreement. As I recall, these topics rarely devolved into the personal attacks that we now sometimes see and they never were taken outside of the forums.

 

There were players who were jerks. There still are (in some cases they are the same people.) Our community is just a sampling of the general public.

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As usual, Brian's post complete with edit, seems to sum up everything I would say.

 

I guess the only other thing I would add is that I've noticed - especially in the forums, but also in Geocaching in the real world - a whole lot of people seem to get their scrunchies in a bunch over the most trivial of things. That's one of the main reasons - even though I'm #6 on the list of posters, I've dramatically dropped off in my posting (and forum reading) frequency.

 

The other thing I've noticed is that I had far more time for caching when I started in Mar 2001.

Back in the day, we had to hike 5 miles, up hill, each way.........

aww heck, lemme just markwell what Markwell said.

 

I will mention this: back then, with 30 finds, I thought I knew everything there was to know about geocaching. Now, with over 400 finds (if I ever finish logging them all!), I look back and laugh. I STILL get skunked on easy caches, and I STILL haven't tired of the scenic views and wildlife I come across while caching. I STILL feel that thrill when I finally spot the cache, and the anticipation of what treasures lie within.

The forums have gone down hill, and most of the posters that really influenced things back then rarely post. Guys like Markwell, Kerry, and ClayJar helped the rest of us figure things out. 500 forum posts meant you were helpful, now it just means you spout more doot.

 

OK, I'll go back and lurk some more while I'm planning my next cache trip.

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