Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Blog.TO promotes geocaching in Bayfield, Ontario


The top 5 weekend getaways three hours from Toronto

Posted by Amanda Storey / JUNE 8, 2015

Go geocaching in Bayfield 
Charm and historic status aren't the only things going for this small town off the coast of Lake Huron. It's also known for its geocaching -- which, for those who don't know, is a complex but fun sort of modern-day treasure hunt. This is one of Ontario's hotbeds for the activity, which requires a GPS system to track down a hidden cache left by other players.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Wise words of Brian Snat regarding power trails


  • Nine time US Geocacher of the Year
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Posted Today, 05:45 AM
View PostDame Deco, on 19 May 2015 - 08:01 PM, said:
Groundspeak needs to stop publishing power trails. They are giving caching a bad name.

As I've been saying since the first power trails started appearing, no good would come out of taking a low impact, low visibility activity and turning it into a high impact, high visibility one. And that's precisely what these PTs and most of the "geo art" have done.

I was pretty much a voice in the wilderness in the beginning. Glad to see that more and more people are starting see this nonsense for what it is, a threat to the long term viability of our game. We're already seeing the fallout from power caching in NJ with a new, draconian state parks policy and a total ban on some state lands. 
* In Colorado Geo-Art to be Archived forum discussion

Perth and Huron Counties Cemetery Caching Adventure

This Spring 2015 my area of choice for cemetery caches was the Perth and Huron area in Ontario. 

Overall it was disappointing. Last years cemetery vacation caching was much better.

The region is mostly populated with OCC, HCC and BRANCHES cemetery caches. Most were missing or not maintained despite logs about issues with the caches. 

There were many micros where larger caches would fit.

Many leaky caches with mostly wet moldy logsheets inside.

Checking those finds today (one month later), none of the problem caches have yet to be addressed by the cache owners.

For well maintained swag size cemetery caches drive to the Waterloo, Oxford, Elgin, Middlesex counties region. 

Dundeejim (Bone-Yard Series) and BC & MsKitty (SQ - Spirit Quest and CCF series) are still the hands-down champions of cemetery cache hides in southwestern Ontario. See last year's post

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Has geocaching reached it's tipping point?

What's with geocaching these last few years?

Carpet bombing every available spot with leaky throw away containers. 

Junk caches that never get maintained. 

Angry COs who chastise anyone who posts an NM on their cache they never plan to maintain. Or go ballistic if an NA is posted.

Has geocaching reached its tipping point? 

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

New: Open Caching North America locationless challenge caches

The OCNA challenge caches are Locationless, so to speak. If you qualify, you can log it. They are owned by a special Admin account, OCNAChallenges, and are all Unknown (?) type caches. More about OCNA challenge caches...

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Announcement at GC.com - a one year moratorium on new challenge caches

Pause on New Challenge Caches

Beginning April 21, 2015, a one-year moratorium is in effect on all new "challenge cache" submissions. It does not impact previously published challenge cache listings.

Why is a moratorium needed?

Challenge caches encourage cachers to set and achieve fun goals. They run the gamut from finding caches on every day of the calendar year to finding one for every Difficult/Terrain combination.

However, there are many aspects of challenge caches that can make them frustrating for the community. They are neither a separate cache type nor do they have a specific attribute, so the logging requirements are easily misunderstood. Challenge caches can also be very difficult to publish due to the large amount of subjectivity involved relative to other geocaches. While they account for only ~1% of all geocache submissions, challenge caches comprise the bulk of appeals made to Geocaching HQ. More...

Provide feedback at: User Insights - Challenge Caches

24 (was 15) reasons why challenge caches are bad for the game

  1. They've changed the golden rule that if your name is on the logbook you can claim a find.
  2. They've muddied the definition of a find.
  3. They've turned the find count into a commodity, a score.
  4. Filtering system is no longer designed to do what it's supposed to do - filter out caches you've found. If you find a challenge cache but don't qualify it still remains on your map of unfound caches, unless you put it on your ignore list. The ignore list for caches you do not wish to find, not for caches you've found.
  5. Challenge caches glorify the numbers game. Most require a lot of cache finds in a single day.
  6. "If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits, [...], the geocache will not be published." Most challenge caches do not comply with the guidelines. A streak cache "x number of caches in x days" is an alteration of most cachers' caching style/habits. As that is part of the challenge, i.e. to push them to do more in a day, a month, a year.
  7. It's a bragging type of cache - 'Look at me, I have the time and money to do a lot of caching.'
  8. It's a contest to see who can create the challenge for which the fewest people could qualify.
  9. More people, when trying to qualify for high numbers challenges, treat good caches like they don't matter and are only good for qualifying for another cache type.
  10. They encourage "cheating" - throwdowns, false logs, armchair logging, changing find dates, sharing final coordinates of puzzles/mysteries/letterboxes/multis.
  11. Less fun for cache owners of quality caches. Often their caches don't merit more then a cut n paste log from power cachers trying to qualify for challenges.
  12. Encourages the numbers crowd - both finding for numbers and planting for numbers, instead of finding and planting for quality.
  13. There are too many of them in some areas and the number is growing - some take up kilometers of good trail and only a handful of people can log them as found. Too many of any cache type that exclude a majority of cachers is not a good thing.
  14. Numbers cachers use challenge caches to stimulate the publication of new local caches when they've exhausted their local finds. Which usually results in caches placed simply to help people qualify for challenge caches.
  15. People hide caches for no other reason than to fill a challenge cache requirement. "There aren't enough Q caches so here's another one for MegaCacher's Q Challenge."
  16. Challenge caches are ALRs (additional logging requirements).  They didn't work for Groundspeak's attempt at Challenge caches, they are wrong for challenge caches too.
  17. If 'tree climbing' cache owners can't delete the logs of those that didn't climb, if letterbox owners can't delete the logs of people who didn't stamp in the book, if puzzle cache owners can't delete the logs of people who didn't solve the puzzle, if multi cache owners can't delete the logs of people who didn't do all the stages nor should challenge cache owners delete the logs of finders who find their challenge cache. P.S. I think it's better for the game that cache owners can't delete logs because they didn't meet their idea of a qualifying find.
  18. Cache owners can't opt out. On principle, some of us might not want our caches to be used to encourage the numbers game. Our caches are forced to be involved in qualifying for someone else's cache.
  19. People are discovering trackables they've never found in order to qualify for challenge caches that require people to discover huge numbers of trackables. See: Forums groundspeak.
  20. Groundspeak may see a financial advantage to challenge caches. Challenge caches stimulate more cache placements.  A growing database may equate to a growing number of new geocachers. More geocachers more potential for paying customers (premium accounts, merchandise sales, app buyers).
  21. Challenges that depend on old caches. When a cache owner has left and his cache is a rotten pile of pulp, people complain when it gets archived due to neglect. "It's an old cache! It's need for Jasmer/whatever other challenge!" should not be a reason to keep a cache around.
  22. Challenge caches can also be very difficult to publish due to the large amount of subjectivity involved relative to other geocaches.
  23. While they account for only ~1% of all geocache submissions, challenge caches comprise the bulk of appeals made to Geocaching HQ.
  24.  Many challenge caches turn cache names, difficulty/terrain ratings, attributes, etc. into commodities. When these tools to facilitate communication between the cache owner and potential seekers gets changed to reflect more accurate information, some challenge seekers get upset because it affects their grid.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Thinking about creating a Wherigo?

This demo wherigo is a good starter example:

Groundspeak Demo Wherigo

Groundspeak Demo screenshot

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

A-Team's Guide to Searching on Geocaching.com

Geocaching.com's search box

Guide to Searching on Geocaching.com

A-Team put together easy to follow instructions and tips for using geocaching.com's new search function.
It's nicely summarized in table format, basic vs. premium membershiip.

Thursday, 26 February 2015