The area in which I live is a pretty decent spot for geocaches. We have a lot of different types — from puzzles to traditional to hard-to-find micros.
We have the ho-hum geocaches — you know, the ones that make you wonder if the person has just thrown down a container and barely taken coordinates, to the well-thought-out multis or long hikes that give you a wonderful view, story or great workout to get to an ammo can.
But when is it time to say enough?
Should this snow ever stop (yes, on April 5, 2011, it’s snowing as I type this), I’m planning a full day where I go out and perform some maintenance on my caches. I’m going to load up on swag, new log books, pencils (I do, after all, have new signature item pencils!) and a couple of containers and set off on an afternoon of maintaining and checking my caches. Maybe I’ll place a few new ones. Maybe I’ll archive some and put a new one near it if there’s a better spot. Or maybe I’ll just archive it and open the area up to others.
But the one reality is that there’s only a handful of really active geocachers. We have some who do it here and there. Some who are very much into it. And we have some people who do venture into the area enough where our caches get some hits.
Alas, a long time can go by between finds on the caches.
Let’s take a peek at my current hides.I have 34 total hides, which includes eight events, all of which are archived. I also have one cache that has already been archived. Two of my caches are Earthcaches and have been found recently, so those should be safe as there’s no container to actually try and find.
So that means I have 24 geocaches that I need to check in on and maintain.
Five of those are in a state park. I am planning on e-mailing the park head today to see what I should do with those. They have a lifespan on them and sometimes the park heads can allow extensions and such, so I want to see what he would like me to do. If the time on those caches has run its course, then it will likely be a case where I’ll head up there and just pick up my caches and archive them, opening it up to new cachers or people to place new geocaches. Two of them I would hate to see go as I really enjoy them, so we’ll see how it goes.
One of my caches is in Ireland. That is being maintained by someone over there. Further, I’ll be setting one up for him (the container is almost done) that he’ll submit and I’ll maintain for him. And no, I won’t be going for the first to find on it! It’s a cool idea, though, this cache exchange. It’s been neat to get logs from people in Ireland who are finding the geocache.
Anyway, so I keep counting down.
Three of my caches are on a really nice walking area in Oneonta. That one will be nice as it’s a good stroll of about two miles, so it’s good exercise. That can be done quickly enough. However, one of those caches is a puzzle, so I’ll just have to check in on it and such. Being it’s a golden ammo can (given to a geocacher when they reach 1,000 finds), I want to make sure it stays there and such, but I’ve been told that the path has moved, so it might take some re-working. I’m debating archiving this one, moving it and making it a one-step golden ammo can. I don’t want to archive it and remove it as a golden ammo can is a wonderful thing and it’s something I’d like to keep out there.
Some of my other caches aren’t ones that require a lot of work. One, which is in a small city park, might have to be archived as it’s in an area that appears to have been mowed quite heavily and it might not be safe from people anymore. Being it’s a puzzle cache and I would have to re-work the whole thing, I think the odds are I’ll probably archive it if I don’t feel its safe anymore.
But outside of that, a lot of my other caches are either decent little walks or quick grabs.
That brings me back to the original reason for this post — how do you decide if it’s time to archive a cache? Do you give things a time limit? Do you leave them out there even if caches don’t get hit too often or only once or twice a year?
Essentially, do caches run their course?
There are some great older caches — and I love to find them. You know, the ones from like 2002 and 2003 etc. But those are classics. Ones where people placed the geocache in the early days of geocaching. Alas, I didn’t start in this game until 2008, so mine aren’t “classics’ by any means.
I’m curious to see what others think and how they are with their own caches. Comments with thoughts and such would be appreciated!
Feel free to leave a comment, or e-mail P.J. at hoohaablog [at] gmail.com.