Life as a Geocacher

Caching and Reviewing

This is made up of stories from my caching and my reviewing.  It is a collection of those along with comments and thoughts.  Photos, and maps of some adventures and lists of some of the oldest caches.

Filtering by Tag: Favorites

The Virtual Reward

There are hiders and there are hiders.  There are those people that do amazing work have a great many fantastic caches that people tip their hats too. We all know there.  There are a few in every area.  Perhaps they specialize in the Earthcaches that are interesting, it may be the gadget caches that keep others entertained.  Other cachers may place caches in locations that make others ooh and ahh at the scenic beauty. So now there is a reward for some of them.

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First I had nothing to do with it

As a reviewer, we were not asked who, how, or what should be included in the algorithm. So don't contact any reviewer mad that you did not get one. We had no input.  A small group of lackeys sat down and (I am sure) pounded out the thoughts of what should be included, and what should be weighted. 

However, I know people will ask.  Why was cacher X chosen, and not Y?  Well, obviously the most good looking, smart, and happy cachers got chosen.  So when you are asked, that is the answer that should be given.  That seems simple enough.  Well, I can't say that, because I do not know who was chosen.  No one has even shared that with me. So once again, I am no help.

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You got an email

So you will have received an email from HQ if you got it.  Other than that, I don't know much.  The caches are supposed to go out to the top hiders, not in your area, but worldwide. Some people you may have been sure to get one, may not have, and I am expecting people to be surprised at others.  That seems to be how a computer will spit things out.  Congrats enjoy the day, you have a while to use it and get it listed.

If you did not get an email

Not much you can do this time around.  There will be a lot that does not get them, I have no great advice.  Place better caches?  Place some?  Just enjoy the new ones?  The cache pages are not adoptable, so I am assuming that some people will not even use the ones they have.

Give Thanks to Others this Thanksgiving

This was a holiday weekend in the United States.  Thanksgiving, a time that we give thanks for all that we have been given.

So now that everyone has thanked those around you, take the time to give thanks to the impressive and awesome caches that you have found over the years. It is a simple way to let other cachers know how you appreciate them.  So often people are so caught up into numbers that they forget to thank others.  As a cache owner I took the time to go back and find the caches that really impressed me, and I wanted to flag as a favorite.

It is also useful to find caches.  When I was traveling this weekend, and I was running out of daylight (at 5:30 sheesh) , I started to pick caches that had 2-3 favorite points. I was doing searches on my phone, then looking for 3 or more favorite points.  I avoided the one favorite point caches.  I have seen best friends give a favorite point because of the cache owner, so I was skipping those as I traveled through the area.

My process of giving out favorite points.

I have given out about 200 of the 300 favorite points that I have.  I keep thinking about others, but at the same time I may be overly picky.

When I sat down I decided that the caches that I was most likely to give favorite points to were the Virtual and Earthcaches. So I just pulled them up when I was looking at them.  then went through them.  After that I gave a look at the multi caches (mostly because I did not have many of them).

Then I pulled up maps.  I looked for caches that I found in the hills and mountains.  Ones that impressed me.  Followed by the caches that others may have favorited.

Like I mentioned, I still have 200.  I never want to give all of them out.  If I come across a great string of 10 caches (rare but possible), I want to have that available to give out. 

Logging interesting logs.

I had not thought of this until I was typing this.  You can not easily go back to your caches and add large long cache logs.   There are a few options.

Log as a note.  On my phone, or gps I put small notes that will help me later.  I can log from my phone, but it is tricky and slow.  So I usually will save them until I get home.  Pull up my field notes and add an interesting log.

Some may have seen this, I posted it on Facebook, but I wanted to share one of my favorite logs, that I received on a letterbox earlier this week.

Oh great and powerful wizard of the gossamer coils spread across the world, and gatekeeper who doth guard the access to the mapping of treasures by us mere mortals, I embarked upon a noble adventure this morn to be the first to uncover your treasured prize in the fabled canyon of precious jewels and eating utensils, on this, the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, being not a date upon which I had successfully completed such a task in years past. A chill was in the air as I climbed aboard my azure chariot and began my adventure, uncertain as to my fate. Upon my arrival at the location of the starting point mentioned in the scrolls I was disheartened to see that two chariots were already on the scene. Had usurpers arrived prior, thus robbing me of the glory I sought? A pair of young lovers unrecognized by me had recently dismounted their chariot and had proceeded up the trail. Were they there seeking treasure? Or perhaps they were there seeking the fabled mineral pools in order to copulate in their mystical warm waters. I immediately proceeded along the path foretold in the magical electronic prophesy. When I saw that the lovers had chosen a different path than I, I breathed a sigh of relief as I realized that I would not have to engage them in combat for the prize that I sought and silently wished them success in their copulatory endeavour.

But what of the other chariot? Might there still be a usurper afoot? A brief examination of the path before me, and the lack of telltale footprints in the glistening frost led me to believe that I alone was on this adventure and that my only enemy would be myself and my good senses. I forged ahead, not knowing what awaited me. I descended into the crevasse, forged across the raging river, and emerged successfully out the other side without incident. I could see the signs that you, oh omnipotent wizard, quite nearly tumbled in the mud on your adventure.

As I ascended out of the crevasse, the landmarks laid before me, just as was foretold in the prophesy and I proceeded without trepidation. At last, I arrived at a green and living stone, and beyond that a large log stretching up and away from the trail. Was this the location of the treasure? Had my adventure finally come to an end! A brief inspection revealed to me that it ultimately did not match the description in the prophesy... my adventure was not yet complete. Curses!! I proceeded onward.

Further up the path, was a foreboding place that seemed to present a bit more of a challenge, which was alluded to in the scrolls. My journey may have finally come to an end. Upon making the transit around the fabled green and living stone, I spotted the log and sticks, and I knew then that I had finally reached my goal. I uncovered the treasure, my heart pounding in my chest. Only one issue remained: would the parchment inside be devoid of writing? My hands trembled as I removed the scroll from its protective sheath, and slowly unfurled it to reveal that it was unblemished by another's hand.

VICTORY WAS MINE!! I shouted a cry of praise to the Spirits of Valhalla and proceeded to make my mark, thus claiming the prize as my own in the fiftieth minute of the ninth hour. I carefully replaced the treasure to its hiding place to await the next adventurer and then proceeded back down the path to my awaiting chariot, to make my way home and to the arms of my impatiently waiting fair maiden, who not surprisingly cared not to hear the tales of my adventure.

But that does not make the victory any less sweet. Long shall I remember this adventure, and my point of favor is awarded to it to mark it as a grand adventure to all for all eternity.

TFTFTF, oh great and mighty wizard. You shall forever hold a place of honor in my eyes.

Thanks to Dr. Jay for the log. 

Remember to share.  Share your experiences.  It is why geocaching is more interesting that some of the other games.  We share our experiences.

Oldest & Favorite Caches in Idaho

I received an email request to add an Oldest cache in Idaho list, and favorites.

I do not plan on adding all the links (because of the time it takes) like I did with the oldest 100. 

So here you go.

The oldest caches?

1 17-Jun-00 24 Traditional Cache Camels Prairie Stash by Moun10Bike, Cindy, Laura and Jasmine (GC25)
2 21-Jun-00 1 Traditional Cache Eggcellent by Ry Jones (GC27)
3 21-Jun-00 2 Traditional Cache Two roads by Ry Jones (GC26)

 

and the favorites?

24 Traditional Cache Camels Prairie Stash by Moun10Bike, Cindy, Laura and Jasmine (GC25)
15 Earthcache Shoshone Falls Earthcache by DzzyOnes (GC16YNE)
12 Traditional Cache Priest Lake Underwater Adventure by dblply2 (GC1452W)
12 Earthcache Crater Rings of Idaho by maverick_65g (GC10EBR)
10 Unknown Cache Davy Jones Locker by Da_Muggle & The_Thief (GC230JX)
10 Earthcache Craters of the Moon National Monument by The Wandering Stars (GC10F0Y)
10 Multi-cache SPYDER CAVES by Team Spyder Balls (GCM0GX)

Favorite Caches in Utah

I took the time to play in Excel, and I sorted out the favorite 60 caches in Utah.  I was happy to see that at the moment I had 14 caches that had a favorite point.  It cheered me up to think that someone liked my caches enough to list them as a favorites.  Next spring will be two years and some will need an overhaul for the upcoming year.

The list does no have any multicaches, wherigos, webcams, or letterboxes.  There were none in the top 60 that were listed, so though some have points.. they did not come up on my list.   Next time I may go to the top 100.  That should add a few more.

I will update this periodically and see what the changes are.

Related Pages

Favorites in Utah

Oldest Active Geocaches Worldwide

99 Oldest Caches in Utah


Stats, Maps, and Favorites.

They have been discussing these changes for some time, in some cases for a long time.  Ideas were tossed around and off they went.  Then a few months ago the reviewers had a sneak peak at some of the ideas, and others we were told what direction they were going.  More ideas were tossed around, and now we are coming to a culmination of what I would imagine is 6-8 months of work on the projects.

All of this is subject to change, and barring a massive collapse of the system, or finding a huge bug that has been undiscovered we will get a number of fantastic new changes to the site.  So without further discussion......

Stats

There will now be a new page on your profile.  It will house geocachings new stats page.  This will be a compilation of a number of the commonly gathered stats.  There are plans to make more additions to this, but this is the initial roll out of the information.   You will be able to hide your stats if you wish, but the default is a planned "on".  It will be tied to the Premium Member feature, and I am seeking more info on that.  I should know soon. 

The stats page will look very familiar.  We see many of those out and about now.

Maps

This is really cool, really cool.  Did I mention it was cool?  When I first heard of it and saw the link to a movie I kind of ignored it.   After hearing how cool it was I went and actually pulled up the video.  A photo/screen shot cannot really do it justice. 

The biggest change....... wait for the drum roll please...... No more 500 cache limit.  Actually the limit will be infinite.  You could (in theory) see all the caches at one time.

The maps are larger, and far more dynamic.  Zooming in and out looks very smooth.  Much more than the one we use now and especially when you get to 400 caches now it is very choppy, but with 3000 it looked smooth.  :D   woo hoo.

Favorites

This is a huge change for the site.  Where the other steps make the experience on the site very useful.  This is a game changer in how you may actually look for caches.

Based on the number of finds you will get a favorite point. 

These will be earned by finding caches.  Woo hoo, finding caches give you points.. everyone likes that.  Except now a you will be able to award points to your favorite caches.  

The problem with many averaging systems is people.  I may rate a persons find high because he is my friend, or I love all power trails so I rate them high, or mountain peaks, I may even love LPC caches, or quick finds.   Other people may hate my cacher friend, power trails or LPC's, and only love those that challenge. 

In essence votes start to cancel others out.  You never see a 1 star or a 5 star.  or even a 1.5-4.5 if many votes are given.  they tend to all end up in the 2-4 range, and over time a 4.5 star cache degrades, and cache quality also.  The system quickly becomes useless.

Now you can take the points that you earn, and donate them to your favorite caches.

On a cache page you will have the ability to add your favorite points to caches, and take them away.

Voila simple and clean.

You will be able to go to the page and see who liked the cache.

Your page will tell you where the points are, so you can go back and reclaim points if you find better caches, or when you realize that a LPC, or nano cache is not really your favorite.

Last but not least you will be able to sort by favorites.  Look for those that others found most excellent.

Hopefully you get the idea.

Wrap up

Premium member.  that is the magic word that I did not mention much.  Most of these functions are going to be available to premium members only in varying degrees.   Premium members will be able to give favorite points (to avoid spamming the site with fake logs, and likes).  I do think this is a game changer.  You can only give them to caches you have found.  So once a cache is found you can mark it as a favorites. 

So start dusting off the cobwebs from your mind.  Think of the best caches you have visited, so you can mark them, and then you can find them on the new map while checking your fantastic stats.

(Screenshots used were courtesy of Groundspeak)

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