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

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I think I live in both the numbers world and the nature world. I regularly scan the nearest caches, and when I see the 1 or 2 star caches in less than exciting areas I look at them as "dashers". In fact, I admit I just crank them out to get my list back to keep my to-do list looking interesting. At those times, I'm "looking a the pawns not looking at the cities."


On the other hand, when I see a 3+ star cache from a great hider, or a in a unique or unexplored (by me) area, I'll plan on spending hours on the hike and blowing through a hundred pictures along the way. I recently did a multi like this in which I spent so much time taking pictures it got dark before I finished it - oh well!


When I get back home I love writing the logs, and checking stats. I've enjoyed the KeenPeople.com stats site... I've frequently wondered what percentage of cachers make it to triple digits... Yep, I definitely enjoy the stats and would love to see GC.com expand their stats to new and intersting areas.


I think Carleen's post speaks for a lot of people... Caching gives us a neverending list of cool places to explore, and interesting statistics. I don't think there's any such thing as a moral high ground other than accepting "to each their own".

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


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.


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."

Some of the comments in the post I agreed with and some I didn't but I'm only grabbing these two paragraphs for my comment.


My observations of people with over 1000 finds, and more so those with 2000 & 3000 finds leads me to believe that they have been to most of the beautiful cache sites the rest of us have been and enjoyed the unavoidable beauty just the same as we have. Probably more so because of the numbers.


They just devote more time to the sport. Anyone who's found 3500 caches has been to far more absolutely wonderful cache sites than I have and I seek out the good caches.


Because they have superhuman goals and accomplish them doesn't make their experience "sad" in my eyes.

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Sure there are some mighty fine cachers out there that have high numbers. Does that mean it's all about numbers to them? It could mean they have more opportunities.


There are several cachers in my state that have found more caches than we have. Two of them travel as part of their work. Another team has been caching practically since the beginning. Do I think it's about the numbers with them? Nope. It's the love of caching and wanting to get that next cache. To paraphrase, "to see what's around the next corner."


No, high numbers are not a sign that "it's all about the numbers."

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I stopped logging my finds back in October for a couple ever changing reasons, instead I post a note and usually upload a photo. If I want (I don't) to know how many finds I have I guess I'd have to go through my notes. Thankfully that sounds like a PIA so I won't have to do it.


However, I do know how many FTFs I have so I'm not free from "it's about the numbers" either.

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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).

I chose to quote Brian's post because it's well known in these parts that he tends to create caches that do take three hours to get to, and give you a beautiful view or a history lesson or both. Now not to take anything away from those experiences but would your day be just as satisfying if you ended up logging a DNF on that cache rather than a smiley? :)

Be honest with yourself here (kinda like golf being judged on the honor system-I was hoping someone else would make that connection).

If you answered no than it is about the numbers, and other stuff.

If you answered maybe than it is about the numbers-but not just about the numbers.

If you answered yes then why did you even look for the cache? :)


I cache because I like many aspects of it. I like the numbers-but only to motivate myself. I like the puzzle solving aspect (but I'm not crazy about puzzle caches). I like the new friends I have made in the past two years. But mostly I like it for showing me places I never knew about before and getting me outdoors even more.

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The more numbers the better.

I'm not nor will i ever be a professional geocacher. I just enjoy doing it when i can. I can not agree with the logic of restricting access to numbers as a way of controlling competitve people. Competitve people will always find ways to play competitivly and that is fine. it isn't like i'm being tackled because i'm walking and they are running to caches.

Clements Cacher


I do agree with those that say, If it wasn't about some numbers gc.com would only be a cache listing site and not have logging functionality.

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Yeah, I kind of like the stupid numbers. Read some of my logs, and you'll see that the numbers are not the fundamental root, however. It bugs me if my odometer in the car isn't working.


What about number of FTFs? Number of night finds? Number of finds without the use of GPS? OK, I've only found one without the GPS, but I keep track of those others, too. However, I couldn't tell you what those numbers are right off the top of my head, so I guess I'm not that obcessed. Right.

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The game is what you make it. I like numbers. Not because I am competing with anyone else, but because my wife and I like to tackle ridiculous goals. We do not hunt easy caches or hard caches, we hunt all caches. If the next one on the list is a 5/5 and we have the right gear with us, we go after it, if the next one is a 1/1 we go after it. I will have to admit that we have added some twists to keep it interesting. For example, if the cache is less than 500 feet ffrom the car, I rarely take the gps with me anymore, I hunt based on the heading and distance. We also generally save the easier ones to do at night. A 1/1.5 in the woods takes on a new level of difficulty at 2AM, if the moon is full we have been known to hunt without a gps or a flashlight. While we still do a big numbers run every once in a while, we are now more about cleaning areas. Going in and doing everything in that part of the state, no matter the difficulty or the type. There is nothing wrong with being competitive, as long as you play fair and don't hurt anyone. Trust me I am not going to run over you on the way to a cache. I take my time getting there and getting back out, if there is something interesting I stop to look and maybe take a picture. I do not feel like my caching experience is lessened by the fact that I have done several of them. Next week, we will celebrate our first year of geocaching, it has added much to our lives and shown us many places we had no idea existed. The fact that we attack caches with the same intensity that we do anything else does not make our experience sad, we haven't missed the point, we have just been more productive. In my view, the fact that I have been out there playing hard just means that I have seen more of the interesting places that geocaching takes you to, it does not make my experience any more or less valid than anyone elses.


Numbers are like money, they are not the point of the game, they are just a way of keeping score.


Before anyone slams our lifestyle, we are both gainfully employed, full time in jobs where responsibility is key, we are both active in civic organizations, we do not have kids, we are not super wealthy, we just like to play hard and we have no problem taking off for the weekend with no other goal than to cache as much as possible.

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Hey stranger! Funny to see you in this thread. :D 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. :blink:



I'm not rushing out at the moment to find a bunch of caches. But I do have the gps loaded and if I find myself in the area I'm not disinterested in giving a cache or two a shot. It's still all about the bike at the moment, but spring break is in a couple of weeks and we're going to monterey for 4 days. You never know.


The numbers do help get me out the door, but right now the numbers I'm interested in is my weight (getting it down) and the miles on the bike (getting them up.)



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I realized today when I got my first benchmark that apparently I am about the numbers.

Namely, I want a large variety of caches.

Should I ever manage to get a project APE cache, I will treasure it greatly as a link to the history of geocaching and if they ever convert project Ape caches to traditionals I will consider it a great loss.

I don't care if they count in the totals or not. Just that there's a lot of different types there.


I have no clue why I feel this way, but I definately do. Maybe I just like looking at the icons. I think maybe I've felt this way ever since I've seen Moun10bike's user stats.



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