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: Geocoins

lackey tags

I added some more coins lately to my list.  There are more to go, but here is the start.

Crappy Swag, Stolen Geocoins, and the Micro Spew

Working in the forums I have seen two threads repeated over and over.  In every local geocaching group they pop up, and in discussions at times.

The older (I mean pre-2004) cachers sit down and start yearning for the old days.  Back in the days when all the containers were clean ammo cans or five gallon buckets.  The geocoins and trackables were lovingly cared for, followed, tracked, and hunted for.  And they were all filled with golden magical items, $20 bills, at the end of rainbows.

The Golden Age of Geocaching 2000-2004 (the first five years)

I was not around, but have talked to enough people, and followed enough threads to put a few things together.  Remember that GPS units in the first few years of geocaching were expensive.  The crappy ones that we take for granted now were expensive.  Few people had them, and maps were another expensive addition to the models sold.  Also, why did you have them?  Avid hunters, backwoods explorers, would get them to help them out.

So caching was in the hands of the well off, well to do (for the most part).  Few caches were out.  When they were placed they were planned out, well stocked and people traveled to them on purpose. When you arrived you brought something to trade, you knew how many caches you wanted to go to.  Each cache had to be put in by hand, usually off of a printout that you carried with you.  Downloading a Pocket Query into a GPS was unheard of. 

Trackables were carefully monitored.  There were not many caches at that point so it was rather simple.

Caches themselves were placed with care.  I want to take someone to a cool out of the way location. In fact I have heard from caches that tried to place micros, or caches in cities that were mocked and ridiculed by other cachers saying "that is not geocaching"

The Silver Age of Geocaching 2005-2009

you started to see a huge shift.  Low priced gps units started to appear.  And the flow of caches started to migrate to the cities.  Cachers could start to load multiple caches into their GPS units.  Paperless caching became the buzzword.  GPS units that could carry all of a cache page were being pushed by retailers, and others carried old Palm Pilots, or other handheld devices where they could load the Pocket Queries into.

It is during this period that caching really exploded.  The lower cost units started to bring in many cachers that before could not afford a GPS.  Better/cheap/free maps began to appear to allow people to track and follow their movements.  Groundspeak significantly improved its site and offerings. 

What happened?  Well micros boomed.  they were scattered hither and yon as times went on.  You could now find a cache during your lunch break, family visits, at a church or shopping mall near you.  More people were interested, and things literally exploded.

Trackables were starting to be carried to every horrible cache by people.   People would find a cache under a park bush and drop a trackable.  A cache that kids would easily find and steal.  So many travel bugs ended up in some kids dresser on in the trash.   Some coins were stolen, there are a number of cachers out there that started to hoard coins.  Stolen coins that were traveling that found their way into a collection.

The swag quality dropped.  Rather than trading nice things, you began to see the average cacher carry less, or cheap toys. People would take, and never replace.  So older caches began to be filled with poorer and poorer quality stuff. Basically if they were unmaintained, they were trash heaps.

Modern Age 2010-

Where are we now? Cell phones and free programs mean that just about everyone can cache.  Everyone that wants to try out this new thing can find a few.  That also means that people that have no idea what is going on, or what is considered polite, are out there finding caches. 

I have seen parents take kids to a cache and drain it of everything.  Take the trackables off chains and drop the chains back in the cache. Carry off coins not knowing what to do.  Things have changed.

Power trails have appeared in the last few years.  ET highway is the most notable.  People have started to travel great distances to accomplish challenges, trails, etc.  Geotourism is popular in some ares.  I see (in Utah) a large number that travel to accomplish their caching goals.  I have met a number of people coming to visit to grab all the caches they can.

Final Thoughts

Is it better? worse? In many ways both.  There are problems.  Some detest caching for what it has become, yet there is always something around.  I have found and walked away from others that were in trash heaps, and found some of the most creative caches.

There is no way to fix what is there.  Too many cachers that will go a few times and never again. It has always been that way.  Find a few caches and then move on.  Families, boy/girl scouts, people on vacation, people on business trips, that just raid something then move on.  Inconsiderate people will always be out there.

I would ask people to please take the time to think.  I still love it, and enjoy it.  There are problems, but I enjoy what is out there.  Some are challenges, others are not. Some can be grabbed as I drive by, and others with a ton of work.   I have been thinking about it more as I approach #3000.  I am looking for something special.  I don't know where/when but I will find something that I want to do.  I am guessing this month, so I do not have much time to hunt.

Geocoin trading and a few new buys

I am hunting now.  As some know i collect geocoins.  I dont have a ton, but they are starting to get heavy.  In particular I am trying to collect coins that were made by groundspeak lackeys/reviewers/moderators. 

In the last few months I have been able to get a hold of a few that I really wanted, and slowly build my collection.  Today I had two that came from the geocoinstore.com.  When I saw them I really had to grab them.

The top is Pirate Bones Rising  and the next one is the copper Seasons of Change

 

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A little break

 

Timp2 Sunset

After being very busy for a while, I am taking the slow down to take a break.  I have been taking a few pictures and spending some time trying to get a few things fixed.  Time to put the grill back on the truck after a transmission line broke and I replaced it. So much fun, so busy, but I know next week is the end of the month and I will be busy again, so if I do not do anything now I won't do it for a while.

Above you see a picture I took the other night while leaving Harbor Freight.  I was in the right place at the right time to see a blazing orange sunset reflecting off the mountain.  I have had a few great experiences with them right now.

I decided to take the challenge on podcacher and I am doing a 365ish photo challenge.  Try and take a photo every day of the year and post them on  flickr.  Some are nice, some are stupid, but I am trying.  I also posted 12 photos that I took on Jan 12th. 

I have thought about hosting a group that does something similar.  I may pick a Saturday and do a 12 hours 24 photos.  Take a picture every half hour for 12 hours.  A photo journal.. it is just a thought.

 

This is another photo that I was in the right place.  I actually was racing to the right place.  I wanted to get all the power poles, buildings, and stuff like that out of the way.

I was sure the light was going to fail, or the color would go away before I found that perfect shot.  It did face a lot, but it still turned out great.

Listings have been slow. RedHiker and I have published 50 listings in a week. With two of us: 25 each, and that works to about 3-4 each per day.   As I thought about that more.. That is a lot of caches for the middle of winter.

I have caught a few pod casts this week, nothing great to mention, but I liked podcacher a lot, as usual.  they have the best quality of all them.  I even broke down and sent them money $3, but I am sure it adds up.   I should do that, hmmmmm help offset the costs of my camera, and the website.  That is too much though.

I am toying with the idea of making a geocoin this year, of my own.  So we will see, maybe.  If someone would buy it, I may consider it.

Placing caches

I have placed a few, and I am working on more that two dozen.  With it being cold I am breaking down and doing some that are appropriate in the snow.  That means that I can put together, plan and enjoy from the warmth of my home.

Please don't post the answer to these if you figure them out....

One was a spur of the moment at lunch.  Poorjack's 230 day streak of fun & festive things GC2M1KC. Was an afterthought.  I read on facebook that he woke up and realized that he had not gotten a cache the day before.  So his caching streak was ended.  I decided that I would list this to acknowledge his feat.  It is no where near DrJays, but it is far better than myself.  I hit one hundred and was so glad to reach it, that I stopped. 

Mungos that Mussinate GC2M14G was tossed together a while ago. I finally got it together and listed it. It only took me months to make sure that it was right. A word of warning, you need to wait for spring thaw before you go after it.  Though many people are looking at it, there are not many actually guessing.  So we will see as spring goes on. 

You can do Ether Cache GC2MB2E  was finished last week. I have heard nothing on that one either, but with the snow I do not blame anyone.  This was an interesting concept, and a trial.  So we will see how it goes. 

 

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