My geocaching adventures started in March 2008. A few weeks prior, a friend came to me with this “game he found.” And, considering he had GPS receivers, he thought it sounded interesting.
On a snowy winter day, we ventured out to seek some geocaches. Trekking through snow, and digging around, we ended up finding five that day. What a fun little game this was. People hid stuff, we found it. Rinse, repeat.
That exposed me to a whole new world. This “treasure hunt” of sorts was something that needed to be expanded in my world – and it was.
On a recent episode of the Geocaching Podcast, the hosts talked about geocaching priorities and how they’ve changed. Basically, it’s an evolution of one’s thoughts and actions in the game.
It made me think a little, too.
My priorities in geocaching certainly have changed. When I first started, it was a fun game to go out and see what was hidden. It was also different back in 2008. There were fewer caches. People didn’t rush out for FTFs (first to finds) within minutes.
But the game – just like the players – evolves over the years. There are more ways to play (smart phones etc.) that make it easier for people to come and go. There’s more of a rush to get caches hidden, which results is more “meh” hides. There are people who post finds from their couch, which makes no sense. What’s the point if you don’t actually find it?
To each their own.
But after listening to the hosts, I thought this would make for a good blog post as my priorities in the game have change immensely since I started.
My first find came on March 1, 2008. That means, counting up to the day this post is published, I’ve been caching for 7 years, 123 days. That’s a long time.
And over that time, I have 4,000 finds. To me, that’s quite a few. Others in a span shorter than mine, have gone well beyond 10,000 finds, so it’s all relative. I’ve gone through some different phases in geocaching, too. And if you look at my statistics, you’d definitely see that.
I scored 686 finds in my first year and then found 1,030 in my second. I haven’t been close to that number since (my highest since then is 539 in 2012). On that note, I’ve found more this year already (236) than I did last year (227), and I have six months left to go. I also have some great caching trips planned, so that will be fun.
So where have my priorities changed?
Well, to start, I still enjoy geocaching a ton. It’s a fun outdoor activity that gets me out and about and brings me to places I never likely would have gone without the game. I still like finding things and such, but I also have started to tire of the “crap” caches. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still find those caches, but there’s no rush.
I like adventures a lot still. By that I mean the full caching day where we plan out a bunch of great caches and all and then go on a fun road trip and find them. Sometimes it means discovering a few good places to eat, or some trashy places with awful food. It means 20-plus hour days of hanging out and caching. It means miles and miles of entertainment.
But there’s another reality to priorities – I don’t like geocaching alone. To me, it’s just not as fun. Maybe if it’s a hike in the woods or something so I can clear my mind. But most geocaches? Not fun. So people I’ve cached with have moved along, or jobs get in the way (same with me), so the days of caching just aren’t as easy to plan out.
Too, I’ve started doing a lot of different things. I have other hobbies that take up some time. Heck, some of my other hobbies (home brewing) have taken a back seat – and that needs to change, too!
I also like to find better geocaches. I don’t run out for FTFs (I picked up four on Jan. 1, 2014, and then one a month or so ago… so not many in the past two years). I still get excited to move travelers and coins. I get super giddy if I find an actual Pathtag IN a cache and I love meeting fellow geocachers on the trail. Events are what I truly love as it gives you a chance to talk with many different people.
So yeah, priorities have changed – and I think for the better.
But it’s the experiences. I still totally want to do the ET trail in Nevada (where you can score 2,000+ geocaches in like three days), but I want to do it with 2-3 friends with cameras and videos to make sure it’s one heck of an experience.
That’s where my priorities are now – with the adventure and spending time with friends and enjoying all aspects of the game. There are cliques, and groups, and factions, and drama and all that – just like with any other thing in life. I’ve done my best to avoid it in recent years and it’s made the game more fun, which is a bonus.
So get out and find some geocaches. Or do something else. But when you come back to it, take it for what it’s worth and make sure your priorities with the game are fully straight!
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