I appreciate those who left comments to my first post about geocaching passing me by.
They were interesting comments and, it’s also seems that I’m not the only one who doesn’t have the “bug” anymore.
It also got me thinking about what could be done to fix this, so this will be my second post in regard to geocaching passing me by.
In the last post, I wrote about a few things, including the lack of good, quality caches and how Groundspeak has changed a lot of rules. With this post, I’d like to somewhat continue along that path.
Maybe not so much a rule, but a guideline.
When I first started caching, there were a lot of things that were done that are looked down upon now. Or not “allowed.” I think the game has been made “easier” for a generation of people who might not want to be challenged as much. Maybe challenged is the wrong word there. How about this — I think some of the newer geocaching generation doesn’t want to have to go above and beyond for a cache.
Don’t believe me?
Look at logs.
Most people don’t do much more than sign their name in the actual log. And online logs are usually short and quick. That could be for a couple of reasons — people don’t want to take the time for a good log OR the cache wasn’t anything special and hard to write about. If you don’t have an adventure, it’s hard to write something good, unless you repeat the same thing for every cache you found that day and/or just ramble about nothing in particular.
I like to write good logs. But if the cache isn’t anything special, it’s hard to challenge myself to write a good log.
Note this, however — a good log doesn’t necessarily have to be long. Just keep that in mind.
Anyway, back to where I was going with this post. With Groundspeak changing rules and guidelines, why not change how long caches can be out in the wilderness?
I realize that there are some phenomenal caches out there that have withstood the test of time. I’m not advocating that everything should be archived. Far from it. I love finding the older caches because I think they are, most of the time, some great finds because it takes you back to what caching used to be about.
But I’m wondering if newer caches should have a limit.
Or even if this is possible.
Imagine if caches that have been out there for three or four years were archived and opened up spots to other people. Now, I don’t think Groundspeak or it’s crew of volunteers should do this. That would just be a waste of resources. But maybe if cache owners worked with this.
I look at it this way. There are many caches in our area that have been out for several years that don’t get hit too often. Mine hides included. We have a smaller set of people in our area who actively cache. When they are all found, the caches sit there for the people who come through. Realize the area is a tourist area, so caches can get hit during the summer quite a bit. But once they’ve been found, the hits start to dwindle.
When is it time to hang up a cache?
Though many of these caches might be good ones, if they are not getting hit, what’s the point? What about archiving some of them and finding new spots for caches? See, if you are in a park and have all sorts of caches there but they don’t get hit too often, why keep them there? Why not archive them and take people to new spots in the park? Or, open the spots up so others can hide caches in those parks?
One major issue, too, are multi and/or puzzle caches that require multiple stops.
I love puzzle caches and think multis can be fun and adventurous. But, if you put too many parts in a park, it can really close up great spots for hides. I know I had a great spot for a cache a few years ago, but I couldn’t do it because it was too close to a part of another cache — a water cache — that hadn’t been found in years.
So I got hosed.
I get the saturation rule of not being able to have a cache within .10 of a mile from another. However, if doing a multi-cache, you can have parts be very close. If that’s the fact, why not be able to hide a cache within those boundaries. Some people don’t do puzzle or multi caches. So it seems unfair that a person finds a great spot and then gets smoked because one piece of a 10-part multi is 300 feet away.
It’s happened to me more than once and it gets bothersome — and this comes from a fan of puzzles and multis. Imagine if you weren’t a fan of those caches!
This all falls into one package, though.
If caches had some sort of a shelf life, then maybe there’d be caches out there for others to find a little more often. Again, I’m not saying all caches should last three years and be archived. If a steady stream of visitors keep going, well, keep them up. Or if they are great spots that take people to wonderful views or are milestone caches (such as golden ammo cans), then far be it from me to say archive them.
But the caches that get hit only once or twice a year and aren’t those super-long hikes etc., maybe it’s worth thinking about hanging ’em up and putting a new one out there.
That’s why I don’t think it should be a set rule, either.
There are some caches that are highly challenging — terrain or difficulty. Maybe it takes a 10-mile roundtrip hike. Maybe you have to climb a tree. I don’t think they should go. Keep ’em. High quality ones are beautiful to keep.
But the normal park-and-grabs?
Or the ones that are on a loop trail in a park that could be moved a .10 of a mile for a new spot?
Or the many-part multi that takes up a full park?
Maybe after 2, 3 or 4 years, it might be time to open the area up. Especially in this day and age with the economy as it is. It’s nice to know you can find caches in your area that are newer and maybe will take you to a new place of a park you know or a different look for a cache.
Could this work?
Who knows. But it’s an idea to keep things fresh in the geocaching world. Reality is games get stale. Things grow and move along. So do caches. The great ones will always remain. But the basic ones? Move them along and start fresh.
I look forward to hearing what others may have to say about this!
Note: I have several other items I’ll be dealing with in this series about geocaching passing me by over the next week or two. It’s my hope that by putting all of this out there, maybe I’ll get my “caching mojo” back and want to get back in it. It’s worth getting off my chest anyway, right?
Second note: I’ve renewed my Groundspeak membership and am heading out today to do a little hiking and some caching. We’ll see if I get the bug back. Even if I do, I plan on finishing this series of stories in the next week or two!
Fundraiser: I am, again, trying to raise money for the Relay For Life. If you donate to me — even a small amount — you will be entered to win a super-sweet quilted scarf. Click here for all the information!
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