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Why Do People Stop Geocaching?


WalruZ
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I know people who have quit because to them, geocaching started to feel like a job. They felt like they had to find every cache in their area and it wasn't fun anymore because of all the parking lot caches and power trails. Some of them even felt overwhelmed when they saw the amount of caches in their area and they weren't able to keep up with the amount of caches that they thought that they had to find. I suppose when it starts to feel like that and that it is no longer fun, you may as well quit.

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This was an interesting thread bump. Of the 32 people who discussed "why do people stop geocaching?" back in 2004, only 11 have found a cache in the past year. Twenty others are no longer active. One poster has since passed away.

 

Some of the people who thought they were burned out are still finding caches, just a few at a time. Some who were quite active in 2004 have since stopped entirely.

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OT: I dont see a reason I would stop caching as of right now. I just started in the middle of January, but i can already feel the honeymoon phase start to wane. I think you will have more fun if you try and stick to quality caches I also think the thrill of an/a FTF will always excite me.

 

-typo-

Edited by Cunninghams!
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Oh oh, i got one! I betcha that a few stop because they get tired gs making all the unnecessary and many times, less user friendly changes to the website.

 

I hear eggshells crunching.

 

You only hear eggshells during the quiet time when people are carefully choosing their words because they are scared to speak their mind.

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Oh oh, i got one! I betcha that a few stop because they get tired gs making all the unnecessary and many times, less user friendly changes to the website.

That makes me stop using their website, not geocaching as a whole. Geocaching is not Groundspeak. Plus, thankfully Groundspeak allows external API access to their database, so I rarely have the need for the web site.

 

To get ontopic: When will I really stop geocaching? The moment it's no fun activity any more for me and my family. It still is and I don't see it cease to be. There are enough interesting caches of all kind in my area to choose from. A lot of them I probably won't choose, but that's entirely up to me.

 

There is a certain, yet still very small, danger to have geocaching restricted due to poor relationship between cachers and landowners/authorities. Thankfully, not in my area of operation.

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In the winter of 2012-2013 I was geocaching quite a bit, and I was looking forward to bicycle caching when the weather got warm. I figured that would be a good way to get a lot of urban caches that I wasn't seeking that winter. In the spring I got my bike ready and headed out a couple times, but I figured out I enjoyed it more if I just rode and didn't look for caches.

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Oh oh, i got one! I betcha that a few stop because they get tired gs making all the unnecessary and many times, less user friendly changes to the website.

 

I hear eggshells crunching.

 

Hey Dog with glasses ... now what do I do about the milk and cookies I spewed on my computer after reading your last post ???

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Three of us used to cache together all the time. Either 2 of The 3 or all 3. Work and family had us limited to usually once maybe twice a week. Then one of my friends mother became very ill and we were lucky to see her at all let alone find time to geocache. Then the other friend's cancer returned. Once in awhile she would feel well enough and I'd take her out, if we were lucky the 3rd friend could also come. Her last outing was GeoWoodstock in Fl (forget which number that was). After that she was to ill for anything and not long after she passed. My heart hasn't been in it since. I keep meaning to get the GPS out and find some but it's not the same.

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Sometimes they run out of caches to find

Ah, now I see that Mr. K *sometimes* is right that threads *might* get too old. I guess back in 2004 you might run out of caches, at least near home.

 

But in this case this the historical info is interesting. So even though I didn't bump the zombie, I envy the person that did. :P

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Three of us used to cache together all the time. Either 2 of The 3 or all 3. Work and family had us limited to usually once maybe twice a week. Then one of my friends mother became very ill and we were lucky to see her at all let alone find time to geocache. Then the other friend's cancer returned. Once in awhile she would feel well enough and I'd take her out, if we were lucky the 3rd friend could also come. Her last outing was GeoWoodstock in Fl (forget which number that was). After that she was to ill for anything and not long after she passed. My heart hasn't been in it since. I keep meaning to get the GPS out and find some but it's not the same.

I am so sorry she didn't get past her last bout of cancer. Denise and I have fond memories visiting with you all at the geowoodstocks in Pennsylvania and Indiana. I really enjoyed the mementoes that we traded. They are part of the collection we have hanging on our wall. I hope that you will continue caching when you are ready. Commuting with nature is good for the soul. Take care.

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Oh oh, i got one! I betcha that a few stop because they get tired gs making all the unnecessary and many times, less user friendly changes to the website.

 

I hear eggshells crunching.

 

Hey Dog with glasses ... now what do I do about the milk and cookies I spewed on my computer after reading your last post ???

And you, Cache-in-Sky, now my keyboard is double-wrecked! :D

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Three of us used to cache together all the time. Either 2 of The 3 or all 3. Work and family had us limited to usually once maybe twice a week. Then one of my friends mother became very ill and we were lucky to see her at all let alone find time to geocache. Then the other friend's cancer returned. Once in awhile she would feel well enough and I'd take her out, if we were lucky the 3rd friend could also come. Her last outing was GeoWoodstock in Fl (forget which number that was). After that she was to ill for anything and not long after she passed. My heart hasn't been in it since. I keep meaning to get the GPS out and find some but it's not the same.

I am so sorry she didn't get past her last bout of cancer. Denise and I have fond memories visiting with you all at the geowoodstocks in Pennsylvania and Indiana. I really enjoyed the mementoes that we traded. They are part of the collection we have hanging on our wall. I hope that you will continue caching when you are ready. Commuting with nature is good for the soul. Take care.

 

Thanks, she thought a lot of the 2 of you. I adobted her dog and we often take long walks in the woods. Yesterday we were lucky enough to follow two deer for quite a ways, last month a coyote came out of the woods after the dog until he saw me. Jackie's mom just passed and now her dad is not doing well at all. I don't feel like I've given up geocaching, just havnt done it for awhile.

Edited by SgtSue
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Sure seemed like a lack of caches was the problem back in 2004, now there are too many!

 

I agree. Now it seems we get saturated by mindless Nanos in the woods and just plain garbage because "there was a hole on the map. "

 

Man don't get me started. See now you did. When I get into town in 2005 there were 2 geocaches, I placed the 3rd one. Now there are over 100 nanos in the bushes. I haven't found any of them, I just refuse to. It has spoiled it for me as most of them are not maintained as well.

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Sometimes they run out of caches to find

Ah, now I see that Mr. K *sometimes* is right that threads *might* get too old. I guess back in 2004 you might run out of caches, at least near home.

 

Outside of the U.S., Canada, and a few other countries (in other words, most of the countries in the world). It's still quite possible to run out of caches to find within a reasonable distance from home.

 

 

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.

 

First, why stop hunting …

 

After you get over the initial fun of seeking hidden items with a GPS, what fun is there in seeking easy-to-find containers filled with junk? Obviously, many like it, but it’s not for me.

 

Personally, I don’t care what is inside but I would like a Geocache to either present a challenge (something not so easy to find); or bring me along a nice loop hike (a thoughtful multi); or take me to an interesting spot I would not otherwise find by hiking along mapped trails.

 

Caches like these represent only a minute portion of the total out there, and are even a smaller portion of the new ones hidden nowadays. As a result, I much prefer to spend my time actually hiking or biking without Geocaching interruptions that add no value to my time outdoors.

 

And it would be nice if the hobby was appealing to my kids but the hunt tends to lose its luster after each “treasure chest” is found to be devoid of anything remotely appealing.

 

As for the website itself, I am surprised by some of the complaints here. I think the functionality of the site is outstanding, especially considering it may be used at no charge.

 

Second, why stop placing …

 

If you aspire to hide quality caches (and I do) it gets burdensome after a while to learn that finders don’t treat your caches very well. No matter how nice and how well stocked you place a cache, it will be plundered and made into a mess in no short time.

 

In addition, if you care about quality, owning caches takes time and energy and I was always happy to do it until I had a few encounters with Groundspeak and found them to be utterly rude and disrespectful of their customers. I have no desire to spend my limited time and money helping ungrateful beneficiaries build their business.

 

Most people will never have that experience because they place basic caches without attempting to innovate. However, among those I know who placed great caches, not one has had an encounter with Groundspeak that was handled in a respectful and courteous manner. (The most popular cache in this region is just one example.)

 

Thus, it comes as no surprise that new quality caches are near non-existent, and many like me, who were quite active, are neither hunting or hiding any more.

 

.

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It was a novelty when I started in 2002 but after a while I found I was spending too much time printing out caches, manually entering in my old Magellen Meridian, etc. and then too much frustration when the GPSr ran me around in circles. I had a few caching friends back then but I lost touch. I pretty much lost interest and didn't find or hide any for a few years .ALl I did was maintina my existing caches.

 

I didn't start again until I got a new Garmin 62sc and then used geocaching sort of as an excuse to get used to the new GPSr. I started to feel the "need" to find caches, but going out of my way to do get all the August 2013 31 Days of Geocaching souvineers I was burned out, realized how much time I wasted when I really had other important things to do, and backed off. I decided that it was crazy to treat this as any sort of numbers game or competition and now I am much happier.

 

I met a couple of other local geocachers. I found out a couple of my snowmobiling friends are big geocachers with thousands of finds but I don't feel any need to compete with them or anyone else.

 

I attended the Adirondack Mid-Winter GeoCaching Get-Together 2013 and had a great time. Then last year I organized the 2014 event. This year I attended the Mid-Winter GeoCaching Get-Together 2015 but I only found a few caches. No big deal. I had more fun socializing and snowmobiling around Long Lake.

 

I think some people who look at this as a competition burn out when they realize they can't compete with the "serious" geocachers and/or can't find every cache they might be close to.

 

I don't see that happening to me.

Edited by KC2WI
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Our family friends got into caching last year,found 89 and then the husband got over it and they just stopped, mostly to focus on other things like their own business and other hobbies.

 

The wife and I have been caching for a few years and always make sure we go out for a haul of 4 or 5 every now and again to keep things fresh. Interestingly though we are beginning a family we have not been going out as often as we like because of this. Carrying a 4 month old around the bush isn't exactly fun.

 

Luckily we love the hobby and still get out to do it, but they're the experiences we've had

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Funny that people quit geocaching over unnecessary website changes but not Facebook. :)

 

I've seen plenty of people quit Facebook over various changes.

 

Or, at least threaten Facebookicide (there, I invented a new word). I know it was fairly common in response to FBs "must use a real name policy".

 

 

 

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I was impressed my significant other didn't quit after 3 of her 4 hides disappeared last month. She goes out of her way to make cool containers and it sucks that her only surviving cache is the one in a standard lock n lock. We aren't sure if she ticked someone off or it was just happenstance.

 

A lot of caches are disappearing where we live, so there is no point in putting any effort into the containers. I suppose we will have to instead concentrate our efforts on location and write up.

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I doubt that you'll get a real valid answer, since those who stop also stop visiting here. And those would be the ones to ask. :huh:

I am glad I found this post because I am one of THOSE people. I stopped looking for caches because: 1) some people refused to know and follow the rules of hiding caches properly ie: not putting the cache in the same spot they took the coordinence from, putting caches in very inappropriate places ie: private property or dangerous places. 2) stopping my workout (hiking/mountain biking) to look for a cache that was hidden ten feet up a tree or not in the area it was supposed to be was counter productive for my cardio fitness.

I stopped hiding caches because: 1) some people refused to know and follow the rules of re-hiding caches ( I have found mine sitting in plain sight more than once) 2) some people would take things out of my cache and put nothing in (one woman took an interesting small dollar coin and left nothing. When I kindly called her on it, she became annoyed with me for pointing out the rule.) I hope this helps people understand why some people leave this hobby for something less dependant on other people doing their part. Before replying realize that I understand that these issues would seem minor to someone that is wholly devoted to this hobby.

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I wish I had a nickel for every hobby I've been gung-ho for in the beginning then bought thousands of dollars worth of equipment then quietly let it go to waste.

 

I have obsolete scuba equipment, climbing equipment, caving equipment, bikes, running shoes, you name it... even got a hang glider lying around somewhere that belongs to me and a buddy that I now only see once a decade.

 

Sure, I occasionally still do most of these things, but not like I used to.

 

Partly its age. Partly its the mad hustle-bustle of making a living. Partly its just changing interests and wanting to move on and experience some other thrill.

 

Caching will probably pass too. At least I'm only out $350 for equipment that I can't use for something else. Quite a bargain all-in-all as hobbies go.

 

But, some of that equipment can be used for caching! Now, there's a bargain!

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I am a recently returned cacher who was into it back in the early 2000's. Most of my finds were with a 1st generation Etrex Vista, the one with the monochrome screen and the weird proprietary data cable.

 

I tried getting my wife's family involved but they weren't interested until a few weeks ago when her dad stumbled upon a cache while out exploring. Then her brother and his wife started finding them, and we all went and found a bunch as a group. So naturally I used it as an excuse to get a new GPS. :D

 

In any case, the reasons I quit were a combination of factors. Cache listing requirements changed so that you were required to get permission to place them. I tried getting permission to place a cache at a popular park and was denied by dim witted park officials. Meanwhile other caches were being approved in the same park by cachers who didn't bother to ask permission. It was frustrating when trying to follow the rules to the letter meant I was locked out of an area where other COs were placing caches by ignoring (or simply being ignorant of) the rules.

 

But that wasn't the only reason, or even the most compelling one. I could still find caches even if hiding them was troublesome. But they were getting smaller and smaller, harder and harder to find, and the locations more and more mundane. The urban micro and nano caches were on the rise. I hate looking for caches when there are muggles around. It makes me feel too self conscious. I would get excited about seeing a new cache pop up, only to arrive there and the coords are in the middle of a crowded park.

 

I also had a new job that caused me to travel a lot. I always enjoyed caching in a group with friends. While away from home, I didn't attempt any because I would be alone and work took up most free time anyway.

 

And then we started a family and my daughter is only just old enough now at 4 that she can come along on some of the easier ones. Plus, my wife is not interested in it, even though most of my in-laws are. So for me it was a combination of things that kept me away.

 

But now I am finding out that there are a lot of great caches in the area. Some of them regrettably require a level of climbing skill that put them out of reach for me, but most are accessible for my comfort level. And I am looking forward to placing a fun puzzle I have thought about for the better part of a decade. In the past couple of weeks I have found quite a few of them. And I already have identified a few that are going to haunt me until I find them. You know how it is...

 

So I guess people quit for this or that reason. But sometimes they come back!

Edited by ThePetrifiedWood
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I haven't quit yet, but I have taken breaks in the past, even though I've only been into geocaching for less than two years. My reasons:

 

-The weather - I'm not so committed that I'm going to bring a snow shovel so I can find a cache. When I was living in PA, and snow was on the ground for 4+ months out of the year, it was hard to get back into geocaching after being on hiatus for a long time.

 

-It turned into a job - I tried to start a streak recently in order to meet a 100-day streak challenge. I did not even make it two weeks before I was feeling like I HAD to go get a cache that day to keep the streak going, turning it from something fun into an obligation. That took the enjoyment out of it for me temporarily.

 

-Solitary caching - my fiancé has come with me a handful of times, but it's really not his thing. My friends and family all know that I cache, but they're not really interested in getting involved, so it's something that I try to make the time to do when I don't have other commitments and just have "me" time. That does not always happen as much as I'd like! :) I like caching solo because I get to take all the time I want to look around (recently killed half an hour looking for a killdeer nest near one cache, for example) but occasionally it just gets lonely, and not so fun knowing that I'm not sharing these experiences with anyone.

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I started caching in 2004. Never really stopped, but certainly slowed down quite a bit. My reasons don't have anything to do with the website, or the fact that there's a micro hidden in almost every parking lot. (I learned long ago to hunt what I like and ignore what I don't). For me, my kids getting older and involved in more activities pulled me away from geocaching. I now volunteer as a leader in their activities and my spare time has dwindled quite a bit. I still break out the GPSr every now and then, but the hobby just isn't something I have as much time for at this stage of my life. Maybe as they get older I'll have more spare time, but I'm in no rush. The caches will always be around, but my kids won't be kids forever.

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I can remember when I first tried geocaching about 3 years ago. I went out with two friends a couple of times, and we incorporated the geocaches into a walk. So the walk was primary, the geocaches were secondary.

 

Then in summer 2013 I got my GPS and suddenly got really into it. However, after a couple of months the novelty quickly wore off and I remember starting to feel that the act of obsessively finding geocaches was a bit pointless if done purely for its own sake.

 

Since then, I've stopped and started repeatedly. I've tried different approaches to geocaching. For a while, I got really into travel bug hunting/moving, but I've recently stopped that for two reasons:

  1. Travel bugs often go missing
  2. The TBs that actually exist tend to be more spread out, so you can end up driving a long way and using a lot of fuel just to find them

 

But recently I suddenly had an epiphany:

 

The most fun way for me to geocache is how I originally came to geocaching - as something extra to do on a nice walk. I realised that geocaching is only really boring if the area you are going round is boring. If you go out purely just to find the geocaches, regardless of where they are or whether you're really actually in the mood for a trip out, then it can indeed become tedious.

 

But if it's a lovely sunny day, and I pick a nice area, and plan out a nice walk, then I can see if I can find some caches long the way as a bonus. So my main goal is just to have a nice day out walking, with the geocaches as an additional feature. Then it's more laid-back and enjoyable, rather than obsessive.

 

Because I think, for me at least, to obsessively try to find as many geocaches in an area as you can, regardless of whether it's a nice area or whether you're actually in the mood for a day out, is actually a rather bizarre thing to do. As with anything done obsessively, you can easily burn out and become disillusioned with it, if there's no other reason for you being out.

 

It's like anything really. If you were to spend a whole day obsessively visiting as many churches as you could, or as many different trees as you could, eventually you would get sick of it. But if you're out on a nice walk, you can casually take interest in the churches and the trees. Just examples...

Edited by Laughing at the Sky
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When I first started caching, it seemed like the game consistently took me into new areas - interesting locations, nice hikes, places where the game could serve as a destination, caches with a sense of humor. I looked forward to new caches and sought out places where I wanted to bring people in turn. A core group of cachers formed, friendships were made.

 

At some point, a friend emailed me about a new cache that was placed in a parking lot, with a description that stated that there was a lack of caches in the area. He commented that the game was changing. So it was.

 

We went to Nevada to watch professional darts, and decided to go to the Valley of Fire and the A'le'inn. As long as we were in the area, we stopped for a little over one hundred caches on the original ET repetitive trail before deciding that the Inn and the Valley offered a better experience. When we returned to the area a few years later, we saw a few groups of cachers along the road and my wife asked if I wanted to stop. There was simply too much to do and to explore outside the game for that, but earthcaches, virtuals and a few nonrepetitive caches added to the trip.

 

A little while later, I went to a relatively nearby cache just because it was relatively nearby. It was a nano on a landscaping trellis in the middle of a busy shopping center, on private property, in front of three businesses. I decided I did not need to do that. After that, rather than do a general local pq, I began to look for the few caches that reminded me of why I started this game in the first place.

 

Last year, we were within a short distance from one of the destination caches in Utah - Potters Pond. But there were petroglyphs to track down and other places much higher on the list. Still, it was nice to find caches that coincided with other interests: earthcaches at slot canyons, glyphs, Roadside America, ghost towns, abandoned places. I would not travel to cache, but caches can serve as a kind of journal for various trips.

 

The core group in my area have also slowed down or quit - except for group hikes or the the occasional event, there are only a few of us who cache with any regularity. Some burned out as the game began to change, some just decided to concentrate on a select type of cache, others found new interests, new love, new directions.

 

For awhile it looked like I would quit altogether. After we got kayaks, caches served as a fun focus for some of the trips we took (and are taking). These days I will look for letterboxes (including ones listed on Atlas), Wherigos, or caches that offer more than a container, but to a large extent, virtuals and earthcaches have kept me in the game. When virtuals finally disappear, so will I.

Edited by geodarts
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My caching is down substantially in the last year mostly due a combination of work and weather (Not snow but insufferable south FL heat and humidity). I don't intend to quit though.

 

However, I have been thinking recently that if I ever do quit it will probably be due to other geocachers. For example, the reactions to the new search and message center. Yes, both need improvement, but the reaction to them reflects a general hostility towards change. That and other things in recent months have me questioning the geocaching community in general, and whether I want to be part of it. (Even if one were to cache alone, the nature of the community will affect things that are part of the geocaching experience, like website features and the kinds of hides out there.)

Edited by Joshism
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I think one the biggest reasons that causes people to stop geocaching is when they become a regular here in the national forums, they can't pry themselves from the keyboard and they essentially abandon the very thing that they like to talk about.

Edited by bflentje
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