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Is It Ok For It To Be "about The Numbers"


carleenp
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OK, right off, I'm trying to raise a slight twist on the "about the numbers thing" that I wondered about. I almost posted this in another thread, but felt it deserved it's own one. Basically, I'm trying to raise a twist instead of beating a dead horse. :o

 

So, we hear alot that caching is "not about the numbers." We also see in various threads people accusing others of actually being concerned about the numbers. E.g., the idea that a person might seek guidelines to protect their own numbers, or the idea that people might want to post multiple finds on certain caches to up their numbers. Sometimes these posts have a derogatory connotation to them.

 

What I have noticed is that most say it is "not about the numbers" to the point that anyone who felt that it was about the numbers for them would be ashamed to admit it. My thought is that it is OK either way. OK for it not to be about numbers to some and OK if it is for others. Mostly, I wonder if dialog at times holds hidden thoughts that people don't want to admit.

 

Here is how it is for me. I would cache if there were no stats. I cache for the sake of caching and I don't feel like I am in competition with anyone other than myself. Yet, I do like to see my numbers and while they don't drive me, I find it fun to say "hey I found 10 caches today!" If anything, it is sort of a competition with myself. I like to see if I can get to a certain number in a day etc. That adds to the fun of it. So, if there were no stats, I would still keep my own. I also like that others can see my rather unimpressive stats. Stats aren't my prime motivator, but they are a motivator to some extent.

 

I don't care to the point that I like to dictate guidelines for others, but I could see where others might feel differently. For example, I see nothing wrong with a person feeling that it is a "competition." E.g. maybe the person wants to have the most finds in his or her area. Then that person might feel more strongly about how others post finds. I'm not sure that is wrong. I certainly would not belittle a person for taking that approach. But I think others might.

 

Without getting too wordy, because I think I could babble on this for some time, I guess it comes down to this: Has the idea that it is "not about the numbers" become some sort of "high road" to take where those who state that appear superior to those who might actually view caching as a competition of sorts? Do people state it because they feel if they don't, they will be mis-understood? Is anyone afraid to admit that it IS about the numbers for them? If someone flat out said, "I want posting guidelines to protect the integrity of my stats" would you flame them? If so, why? I wouldn't flame them.

 

Thoughts?

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I'm in agreement. Numbers are fine.

 

At a minimum (which is what we have) we need logs. If there were no means of logging I would of quit this RASH a long time ago as it would serve no functional difference than heading out in the rig with a general idea of finding where the Big Lost River gets lost at. (It's either a farmers field or on INEEL lands which is patrolled by armed MP's)

Edited by Renegade Knight
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"Here is how it is for me. I would cache if there were no stats. I cache for the sake of caching and I don't feel like I am in competition with anyone other than myself. Yet, I do like to see my numbers and while they don't drive me, I find it fun to say "hey I found 10 caches today!" If anything, it is sort of a competition with myself. I like to see if I can get to a certain number in a day etc. That adds to the fun of it. So, if there were no stats, I would still keep my own. I also like that others can see my rather unimpressive stats. Stats aren't my prime motivator, but they are a motivator to some extent. " - Carleenp

 

Since I could not say it any better myself I totally stole it from Carleenp. :o Sorry Carleen and thanks for the great words. ;)

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Carleen, we think you summed up this issue of numbers very well. The fact is, it shouldn't be an issue. There is no moral code here or right and wrong motivation for caching! Whatever inspires a cacher to "cache on" is his or her business.

 

We love our stats and watching them rise. Competitive? Sure! Why not? Pushing those stats up inspires us to keep on going for "Just one more" and keeps our game exciting.

 

Do we just plain love caching? Absolutely! Stats add to the fun though, so what's wrong with that.

 

We wouldn't go so far as to say it's all about the numbers but they are certainly important to us.

 

:o

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Newbie here, I think every excuse I've read for not logging online is lame. The 2 biggest ones are privacy and not wanting to compete. They want their privacy yet they'll be the first ones in the forum defending their right to not log. They won't log because they don't want to compete. This one still confuses me because if there is one thing that is repeated by almost everyone and that is that the number of finds means nothing because there are to many variables. Now if caches were assigned point values with multi-stages being worth more and urban light pole parking lot micros were assigned less than maybe the score would mean something.

 

Statistics can say anything you want them to say. You can use the same set of numbers to prove either side of an arguement.

 

I'm proud of my finds (both of them)-

found.jpg

I definately want to compete. I'm going to catch my little brother (2 year cacher) and pass him. Will he let me? Not a chance but I sure am going to try. There is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition. Its his own fault he got me hooked.

Edited by JeepCachr
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Its hard for me to put in words how i think. Numbers arent all that important to me and i sure dont mind anyone finding more in a day or having more total finds, etc,,,. But, this is a game/hobby/sport and as with all of these, there are rules and proper ettiquette to follow. I think its human nature for a person to get kinda peeved when they do follow the rules and get their credit, but then have someone else get the same credit by doing it by breaking those same rules.

 

I saw a thread yesterday about people logging multiple finds on a Event cache. They logged the temporary caches that were hidden at the event. Sounds rediculous to me as they are not even approved GC.com caches. Its no skin off my back but we do have rules and those rules need to be adhered to!

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If being about the numbers made people happy, I'd be all for it.

 

But honestly, almost every post I've seen that about "should X find be counted" had some of the most upset people I've seen (right up there with the "my virtual wasn't approved" and the "someone picked up my TB and [insert complaint here]" groups).

 

Personally, I'm amazed at the amount of time some people spend in order to make themselves upset. It just doesn't make sense to me.

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I like numbers, cause I like statistics.

 

I like to watch my find count go up, not for any comparison to others, but just for me. I also like to see the numbers split up the way they are so we can see what types of caches we have done.

 

But I like all kinds of numbers. I like to look at the nearest caches from my home coordinates and see how far my closest unfound cache is. I like to see how many unfound caches I have within 50 miles. I like to notice when other cachers are getting close to a "milestone" cache. I like to see when a first-time cacher chooses one of my caches as their first find. I like to read on the home page that there are X-number of caches in X number of countries.

 

It's not ALL about the numbers, but numbers are a fun side-benefit.

 

Cacheola Crew Mom

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Well, I think you know my opinion of numbers. No, they aren't what caching is about for me, but yes, I do like to see how many I've done. I don't compare them with anyone else, and like you said, I compete with myself only. For me, no, it's not about the numbers. For someone else, if it's absolutely all about the numbers, then that's fine. They've got their game, I've got mine. I think the best part is that you don't have to compete, but if you want to, you can. I just passed 50 caches this past week, and didn't really take notice of it. For me and my health problems, that's a very big milestone. But, it's not the number that I've found, it's just the blessing that I am able to get out and look that counts for me. :o

 

EDIT TO ADD: Thanks for the positive spin you've put on this debate, Carleen! ;)

Edited by Sparky-Watts
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First let me tell you what a great city Lincoln is. We only lived there from 1957 to 1959 while I was working on my EdD at the University of Nebraska. We loved Lincoln but I not sure why. Same with the numbers. I have always enjoyed increasing the numbers. As a amateur radio operator I have worked and confirmed all except two countries in the world. As a fly fisherman I always wanted to get the limit. As a pilot I wasn't satisfied until I had a commercial, instrument, float plane, and ground instructor ratings. I don't think birding would be as interesting if it wasn't for the numbers. How many of you have had a picnic lunch and set down to enjoy the area around the cache? Many of us sign the log and rush off to the next one. Sometimes I wonder why. Dick, W7WT

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I'll admit it. It is about the numbers. My number is 40. That is I try and get 40 caches a month. It not easy but you know what an addiction this hobby can be.

 

Find any cacher with over 1000 finds and at some point it had to be about the numbers. It may have been to be number one or just get ahead of another cachers. Admit it! We all like records. We like our names to be recognized. We all like that feeling of accomplishment.

 

So if you don't like number, ignore then. For me its part of the game.

 

Team Sand Dollar

(Cache Addict)

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Here is how it is for me. I would cache if there were no stats. I cache for the sake of caching and I don't feel like I am in competition with anyone other than myself. Yet, I do like to see my numbers and while they don't drive me, I find it fun to say "hey I found 10 caches today!" If anything, it is sort of a competition with myself. I like to see if I can get to a certain number in a day etc. That adds to the fun of it. So, if there were no stats, I would still keep my own. I also like that others can see my rather unimpressive stats. Stats aren't my prime motivator, but they are a motivator to some extent.

That's pretty much the way that I feel. I was caching for nine months before I opened an account on GC.com. During that time I kept track of my finds with my own system (saving every cache page in a looseleaf binder with an index, low tech but it works for me.) I keep track of the numbers for me, not to be in competition.

Besides, if I was in a numbers competition I'd lose. There are some really avid cachers around here. ;)

 

But there is one advantage to keeping track of your number of finds that no one has mentioned yet, picture this:

You are explaining geocaching to a geo-muggle and they ask you how many of "these things" you've found.

That's when you calmly say, "About 400" and see the look on their face! :o

Priceless!

 

RichardMoore

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I'll admit it. It is about the numbers. My number is 40. That is I try and get 40 caches a month. It not easy but you know what an addiction this hobby can be.

 

Find any cacher with over 1000 finds and at some point it had to be about the numbers. It may have been to be number one or just get ahead of another cachers. Admit it! We all like records. We like our names to be recognized. We all like that feeling of accomplishment.

 

So if you don't like number, ignore then. For me its part of the game.

 

Team Sand Dollar

(Cache Addict)

yeah thats they way it is for me, it is a competetion, one that I am not to good at

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I'll admit it.  It is about the numbers. My number is 40.  That is I try and get 40 caches a month.  It not easy but you know what an addiction this hobby can be.

 

Find any cacher with over 1000 finds and at some point it had to be about the numbers.  It may have been to be number one or just get ahead of another cachers.  Admit it! We all like records. We like our names to be recognized.  We all like that feeling of accomplishment.

 

So if you don't like number, ignore then.  For me its part of the game.

 

Team Sand Dollar

(Cache Addict)

yeah thats they way it is for me, it is a competetion, one that I am not to good at

But remember. You are having fun.

 

Team Sand Dollar

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I saw a thread yesterday about people logging multiple finds on a Event cache. They logged the temporary caches that were hidden at the event. Sounds rediculous to me as they are not even approved GC.com caches. Its no skin off my back but we do have rules and those rules need to be adhered to!

They are following the rules!

 

A while back when GC numbers were running short it was decided to allow temporary caches to be logged against the event page. This reduced the use of GC numbers and took some of the burden from the approvers.

 

Keep in mind most events are put on by the local associations with appovers attending the events. At least that is how it has been in Michigan.

 

Team Sand Dollar

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I like to have a number count because I am so forgetful I already can't remember how old family members are, how many years I have been married or half the time how old I am. (That one's from lying about my age for so long :o ). Having the numbers is fun but not competitive. If some people DON'T want theirs to show, I am all for the 'opt out' button and their stats go away, as well as their ability to see others stats. It just doesn't matter to me; I like seeing mine for personal reasons. I could care less if others see my stats, or what they think when they see them. Too many other things to be concentrating on...like which cache to go after next, or planning my next hide.

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"Is anyone afraid to admit that it IS about the numbers for them?" - CarleenP

 

It is about the beautiful places I've been shown. It is about driving 250 miles in a weekend to visit three remote caches, finding 27 caches in one day, being outdoors, solving problems and it is very much about "The Hunt". But it is also very much about the numbers for me.

 

Without the numbers I would be much less interested and would probably quit altogether. Several have already said they like to see their numbers grow and I feel the same way. The total-find count is a quick representation of real experiences and adventures we've had.

 

I could (and do) track my numbers in Excel but I like seeing other people's find counts. By following numbers of our cacher friends and others whose names I recognize I can tell how much fun they had last weekend, how successful their vacation was (in terms of cache finds) and when they decided they needed to focus on work for a while rather than caching so they don’t go broke. I like the friendly competition and I don’t care who I’m ahead of or behind. I revel when I go ahead of someone and I also when they go ahead of me. It’s just for fun.

 

I like things just the way they are right now at gc.com.

Edited by Team Sagefox
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I love to cache for the numbers and for the experience! Not too long ago I found 72 caches with a couple buddies in one day. It was a blast as we never stopped moving.

Today I found one cache that took me over 6 hours and over 8 miles of hiking. It was also alot of fun but a completely different experience.

Caching is fun no matter what you do it for and I can't seem to get enough of it. If you enjoy caching a lot then the numbers just go along with it.

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I'm sure it's been said by others already, but - it's what you want it to be.

 

Personally, I like driving at my own pace. If someone wants to zip by at 100mph, fine - just don't shove it in my face all arrogant-like. If you are proud of your finds, great. I'm proud of my hikes (which is what GCing is for me) when I can do them. Numbers are interesting for me, no more.

 

If you wanna tattoo your 1000th find on your derriere, well... um... OK... Just please don't rub it (literally or figuratively) in my face.

 

Perhaps there should be a numbers or competition forum, where people can discuss such things? I dunno...

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Has the idea that it is "not about the numbers" become some sort of "high road" to take where those who state that appear superior to those who might actually view caching as a competition of sorts?

 

Most of us claim that isn't about the numbers but the evidence belies that. The majority of geocachers would rather find 3 caches in 1 hour than 1 cache in 3 hours. Just ask anybody who placed a cache that takes 3 hours to get to how many finds their cache gets in a month compared to a cache that's a 3 minute jaunt through a garbage strewn lot. Just count all the people who use any excuse to log finds, even on caches that are no longer there.

 

There are also many purists out there who are in it simply for the adventure, the scenery and finding new and interesting places, but I bet even people in this group feel a slight sense of satisfaction whey they reach a milestone like their 100th, 500th, or 1,000th cache. That's not a bad thing.

 

Whether you're a geocaching "purist", a numbers hound, or somewhere in between, who cares? You do what pleases you (drawing the line where your actions effect others).

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The first geocacher I met had found around 500 caches in just over a year. I wasn't exactly impressed; I was astounded that anyone would put that much effort into a hobby that I didn't yet fully comprehend.

 

Having now been touched with the obsession myself, that figure is not so unbelievable. My own stats are kind of like my birthdays. It's nice to keep track (or have a website that does it for me), but I don't really have any goals other than just to find my next cache. I don't celebrate birthday milestones and I don't celebrate caching accomplishments, but I understand that counting is actually a definition of one's self for some.

 

I am aware, though, of the people around me, and sometimes their actions and reactions are better understood by realizing just where they are in life. So knowing how old one may be (or how many caches they have found) is sometimes useful.

 

I am grateful that stats exist, and I applaud those who use them in healthy competition. :o

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Find any cacher with over 1000 finds and at some point it had to be about the numbers.  It may have been to be number one or just get ahead of another cachers.  Admit it!

I love the statistics, and I really miss some of the cool breakdowns we used to have on the stat site. But it was never about the numbers for me. We've cached pretty consistently since we started, and it wasn't the numbers that got us up in the morning. Before we knew about the available stats, we enjoyed caching. While we had the stat site, we enjoyed caching. When it went away, we enjoyed caching.

 

There are two reasons why our numbers are as high as they are. 1) We enjoy caching. 2) We live in a very cache dense area. Oh, and a third reason is that our boys are all grown up so we don't have the responsibilities that some cachers who have kids do.

 

:o Marky ;)

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Yes, it's Ok For It To Be "about The Numbers." Why else would we keep caching those film cannister micros at the shopping mall?

 

I, of course, like the stats. But I'm happiest caching, when I see new things or things to take pictures of. Mostly sight gags or spoilers that aren't spoilers.

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I like the numbers too, and I've been vocal about it in the past.

 

I like to keep track of my finds and DNFs, I have several Excel graphs showing this data. I'm not so much into the final count.. in fact at any moment, I really don't know how many finds I have, but I like to see the trends in my graphs.

 

I can see where I stopped caching for a few months, or when I went on caching blitzes.

 

Which leads me to my biggest numbers event--PaterQuest, which was based solely on numbers. I made a public goal to take over the lead in Mississippi, and then I did it. It was short lived, and now I'm hopelessly behind, but the find counts gave me a huge incentive to travel around Mississippi finding almost every cache in the state.

 

Now that the stats page is gone, part of my incentive to go out geocaching is gone. I still like to get outside, but I've always liked to compare myself with my neighbors, even though most of them are far, far ahead of me.

 

Jamie

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Carleenp, I have to say that your opening post in this thread is one of the most thorough, insightful descriptions of the numbers debate I have ever read. To answer the question, "Is it ok to be about the numbers?", I'd have to say, yes. It's ok for those who really get into them.

 

With so many different opinions about what constitutes a "find", it's difficult to have a true comparison. I believe it is for this reason that so many stats oriented people are pushing for a more definitive consistent definition of "find", and a more rigid structure for logging them. This would make the numbers more relevant than they now are.

The thing I take issue with is the opposition to the "opt out" idea. Competitive cachers wish to compare their stats to the entire pool. They believe that the omission of any individual cacher's statistics will somehow render their stats less significant. (For instance, if you are ranked #15, but there is a cacher with a few more finds that isn't participating in stats, you aren't really #15.)

 

If there were a more standardized system (like RK's proposed tournament rules), it would be possible to compare your numbers against those cachers who are following the same standard. This will make comparisons among members of this group much more significant. It also allows for an kind of "opt out" without actually abandoning stats entirely. Those who do not wish to play the numbers game can simply declare that they want no part of it, and by the new system, their finds would not qualify. They can continue to log caches in the manner they please, because they aren't part of the competition.

 

I believe that we are all capable of deciding what standards we wish to hold ourselves to. One person might want to log an event multiple times, another person might believe that logging an event as a find at all isn't fair when comparing statistics. Either way, if you are concerned with stats and there's someone with a few more finds than you, it doesn't count if they aren't playing by the same set of rules. This means your claim to the #XX spot is valid, and indisputable. There really ought to be "Geoscoring" site to allow people to play the numbers game within a closed system.

 

I personally am probably in line with most cachers as far as my log ethics. I log a DNF if I get out of the car and don't find it. I log one find on event caches that I didn't host. I log multis as a single find. And I don't call it a find unless I (or the group I'm caching with) leaves written proof in the cache that we visited it.

If you're curious why I would be careful to do these things when I'm not really stats oriented, it's simple. I don't want there to be any dispute about a find, and possibly have my log deleted. Each one of them is a short snippet of personal history, and a reflection on my experience and mood at the time I visited the cache. If they're lost, it would be hard to go back and replace them verbatim.

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Is it OK for it to be about the numbers? Yes.

 

I am competitive and it just kills me that there are people out there with (way) more finds than me! But I live in an area with few caches and have to travel an hour-plus to get to more cache-dense locales. With kids too young to get excited about multi-find days (and a wife not entirely on-board the geocaching boat) I have resolved myself to acquiring finds at a more leisurely pace.

 

I introduced my sister and brother-in-law to caching and they fast became hooked. I am positive that my b-i-l is driven in part by a desire to overtake my find count. Not much I can do to prevent it as it seems inevitable, but at least he is having fun.

 

Though I am definitely a "numbers man" my most memorable caching experiences have been those with my wife and kids--taking a long hike in the mountains or along a river where we only found one cache that day. My quantity experiences don't come anywhere near to matching those quality experiences!

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Numbers are cool for friendly competition between friends. Other than that, it's personal goals of X number by Y date.... that kind of thing.

 

I enjoy the friendship of my fellow MGS'ers more than the numbers. I'll gladly hike all day for a handful of caches just to be out and about with my friends. If we hit 5, that's cool. 15 even better but not necessary. As long as the one I'm "friendly competing against" isn't with us when we hit 15 though. :o

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As a long time coach at the high school level I enjoyed working with the team, watching them gel into a unit, striving as one for a common goal but at the end of the game, match whatever all that was published in the local paper was the score.

 

having a better score than your opponent is more fun than the alternative.

 

in geocaching my opponent is me. how can I lose!!! I'm having fun, getting exercise and working on a better score.

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Keep in mind most events are put on by the local associations with appovers attending the events. At least that is how it has been in Michigan.

 

approvers wouldn't be at one of our events. why? we don't have an approver in new england, let alone VT.

 

that aside, i think it's no more high minded to have it be not about the numbers than it is to be about the numbers.

 

once you get into the debate about which is more high minded, then you've fallen into the exact same trap, and it really becomes a debate over why your way is the way.

 

however you like it is the way you should play it. just don't steal stuff.

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I am glad that people are finally beginning to admit that the numbers do matter...it was getting really stale to see every other thread have someone say that it wasn't about the numbers to them.

 

To me my numbers are important and I also like to see other's numbers. Not only do I log online, but I also keep track of my finds in an excel spreadsheet as well as additional personal stats on my web page. I like to see how long it takes me to find each 100 caches that I find, keep a list of who I have met, how many cache my son has found with me, which caches I have DNFs on and whether or not I eventually found it. I like to see how long I go without a DNF, how many KMs I have traveled from cache to cache, most finds in one day, and much more. I even recently started making a stats page of peoples finds for my province and for the world. So yes my numbers are important to me and so are other's numbers, but it doesn't bother me and I don't think it skews the stats if someone else is playing the game differently than me...we all play it a little differently, and that is perfectly ok.

 

However there are also other things that are important too, beside the finds, and that is to actually go out and find a geocache, to get out of the house for some excercise, to visit new places I have never been to before, and perhaps the best thing is the not knowing what to expect on each cache hunt.

 

I am sure each one of us have celebrated or felt some sort of personal satisfaction when we reached a certain milestone, such as 100 caches. It's like a measurement of your accomplishments and that certainly is nothing to be ashamed about. Stats and numbers are part of life...it is around everywhere.

 

Numbers are fun!

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i don't think anyone here has had to "finally admit" anything. numbers have always mattered to some people. i think this thread is about whether one way of thinking about it is intrinsically better or more pure.

 

i'm of the opinion that neither is. and of COURSE numbers matter. ...to you. to a great many people. and that's no more or less valuable, than, say, my mom's geocaching experience. she does not know or care how many she has found and can barely use her GPS. she has a wonderful time doing it, though. she does not usually log online. my mom has been know to call people in from other rooms to turn the tv off for her because the technology of the "off" button is too much for her.

 

it's kind of narrow to define the expeience in terms of one debate.

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It's about the numbers. Once Jeremy took away hide totals from logs for some computer reason I am too stupid to understand. Oh the howling that took place on the forums. He put them back in a manner so they'd work easier much to everyones relief.

 

I do certain caches as milestone caches. I don't have huge numbers but I feel like I have worked hard to get them and I'm proud of them.

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I like to golf, but I'm not that great at it. If golfing was all about the score, I would have quit playing a long time ago. However, I do like to see my scores go down as I improve my game. I know some other people who are very competitive about their golf scores. They get upset if they have a bad round. Yet we can both play on the same course and both enjoy the game for different reasons.

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Carllen, this is how I see the numbers thing.

 

A previous post mentioned golf and this is great analogy. Golf can be played competitively in a variety of manners, but it can also be played against one's self.

(Is your game improving, are your putts getting better, is your handicap dropping?) It only works because the PGA is so obsessive about HOW the numbers in the game are generated.

 

Geocaching is a game played by people like me with numbers so that I can see if I am getting better at it. I look at my cache total (both finds and hides) and I look at the mix of cache types I find, and so on.

 

For me to make proper use of the stats, I need to know that the stats I see quoted by others are generated in a manner similar to the way I do it. If someone wants to log each leg in a multi or log a find each time they go back to a cache to trade a travel bug, or log TBs as being found, when all you did was see them at a caching meeting, then the numbers are polluted, and useless.

 

I like using the numbers to prompt me to make the extra effort to find more caches (I can't compare to some of the cachers in our area, as I have to work, and I work odd hours, so I don't get out as much as some of the retired guys, but I do compare myself to others in similar situations as mine.) I also look at cachers rates of finds and if I see someone dropping off, I make a point of asking if everything is ok. If the numbers are polluted, this doesn't happen either.

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George! Welcome back, it is nice to see a post from you and to hear that you found some caches. Your wit and wisdom in the forums have been sorely missed, at least by those who learned about this sport from those who were actively posting 2 years ago.

 

To be on topic: I agree with Carleen. Numbers are fine for fun, and awful to turn into a commodity or something to be used as a weapon against others. Except among locals when comparing finds on the same universe of caches, any numbers comparison is apples vs. oranges anyways. I don't miss stats in the overall sense, but I look forward to the implementation of a suggested feature to allow people to "opt in" to a group that would be able to see each others' stats and track their caching activity.

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I like to pretend that it is all about the Roman Numerals. OR was it Ramen Noodles? Crap, stupid head injury.

i nearly peed myself over that one.

 

and george, i wish i COULD find two caches on my way home unfortunately i work 25 miles from home, and there's not all that much on the way. anymore.

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Here's how I see the issue of "it's not about the numbers."

 

I feel that statement is correct, it's not about numbers.

 

Someone up there used an analogy of golf to illustrate why it's about numbers. Problem is, the whole goal of golf is to complete the course in the fewest strokes! It is about a number--the lowest one you can possible make. That is completely different from geocaching.

 

Geocaching stats are more akin to keeping track of the number of rollercoasters you've ridden. You've either ridden rollercoaster x, y, and z, or you didn't. There's no competition in riding them except to say I've ridden 27 coasters to your 26, nyah!

 

Another good analogy is hiking. Geocaching stats is like keeping track of the trails you've hiked. You track how hard they are, the miles, etc. Comparing those figures might be more accurate than comparing geocache finds, but not much.

 

But let's get back to "it's not about the numbers."

 

If hiking was all about the numbers, then you'd be hiking just to put miles behind you. If riding roller coasters were all about the numbers then you'd be riding them just to say you did it.

 

It's the same with geocaching. If it's all about the numbers then you're geocaching simply to raise your count. That is sad in the extreme.

 

I guess some people try to make it about the numbers. But doing so is like trying to make life all about how much money you make with the least effort. I know people whose whole existence is about making money. Sad thing is, they end up not enjoying it.

 

Same with caching, if it's all about upping your count you only go after the easy ones. You miss the experiences of the nice hikes or challenging puzzles. Make it all about the numbers and you've already "lost."

 

So, no, geocaching is not about the numbers.

 

With that said, stats do have a place in geocaching. You can compare your activity with someone else. You can compare your activity with your own last year or what have you. There are many factors you can track if you wanted; the amount spent, miles traveled, places seen, the list goes on and on. It would be pretty interesting to know some of these things.

 

But is that geocaching is all about? Nope.

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So, no, geocaching is not about the numbers.

 

With that said, stats do have a place in geocaching.  You can compare your activity with someone else.  You can compare your activity with your own last year or what have you.  There are many factors you can track if you wanted; the amount spent, miles traveled, places seen, the list goes on and on.  It would be pretty interesting to know some of these things.

 

The number one thing I noticed about your post was how many times (numbers again) you denied that numbers have anything to do with geocaching, yet you have a lot of curiosity in a number of stats that, well, require numbers in order to generate meaning.

 

I think JS said it best ...

 

I like to pretend that it is all about the Roman Numerals. OR was it Ramen Noodles? Crap, stupid head injury.
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Wow.  Not much has changed has it?  Found 2 caches on the way home today on the way home from my canceled science seminar. 

 

Good to see that things are still going as always.

 

george

Hey stranger! Funny to see you in this thread. :rolleyes: Wow, you actually found a cache or two!? I was wondering if the nice weather would entice you to get back out there. You really should check out Watermark if you haven't yet. There are rave reviews from the finders. I need to make time to do that one. :ph34r:

 

--Marky

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The number one thing I noticed about your post was how many times (numbers again) you denied that numbers have anything to do with geocaching, yet you have a lot of curiosity in a number of stats that, well, require numbers in order to generate meaning.

I think you've missed the point I was trying to make. Geocaching, inherently, doesn't have a number in which you keep score. In bowling, you try to knock down as many pins in a certain number of throws. In golf, you try to complete the course in the fewest number of swings. There is not such "score" in geocaching. Either you've completed a cache or you didn't--no "score" attached at all.

 

That's the point I was trying to make.

 

Each cache is like a round of golf or bowling. Do you keep "score" by the number of rounds of golf you've played? What about bowling, billards, or anything else?

 

See?

 

But, like other pastimes were there isn't a "score" to keep track of, you can still look at stats that effect your activity. Number of trails you've hiked, miles you've biked, coasters you've ridden.

 

I never said numbers didn't have anything to do with geocaching. I said it's not what it's all about. There is a difference.

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Anyone who geocaches is not all about the numbers. They chose this activity for reasons that are not about the numbers, whether they enjoy them or not. If someone was completely interested in numbers and not geocaching, they would do something else with numbers that they enjoy. I, for one, like numbers. There are many games with numbers that I do not enjoy, and therefore I do not do them. However, I like geocaching, so I do that, and keep up with the numbers. I like keeping up with who has the most finds, not to compete with them but to be amazed at their level of activity. Many geocachers with lots of finds also do many difficult caches as well. Personally, without a good stats page now, what I enjoy is the filter finds page as well as the numbers of my uncle and cachers I have met at events. I try to find all caches in my area, difficult or not. And lately it seems that any cache that is easy to find is declared boring or not fun. It does not matter if the cache is in a nice park or along a nice trail, if it is easy to find, the owner of the cache and those who enjoy finding it are considered to be racking up their own numbers. There are some finds I have that many people can not do. The locals who live in that area who are not able to find it and have hundreds (or thousands) of finds should be as well-respected as those with less than 50 finds who enjoy 5/5s.

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Which leads me to my biggest numbers event--PaterQuest, which was based solely on numbers. I made a public goal to take over the lead in Mississippi, and then I did it. It was short lived, and now I'm hopelessly behind, but the find counts gave me a huge incentive to travel around Mississippi finding almost every cache in the state.

 

Now that the stats page is gone, part of my incentive to go out geocaching is gone. I still like to get outside, but I've always liked to compare myself with my neighbors, even though most of them are far, far ahead of me.

 

Jamie

We miss you Jamie...get back down here and start cachin' our state again, bro'.

 

-Dave R. in Biloxi

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