"When you go to hide a cache, think of the reason you are bringing people to that spot.
If the only reason is for the cache, then find a better spot."
.... Briansnat


Friday, January 20, 2012

New Year - New Goals

It's that time of year for a couple of enginerds (us) to think about geocaching numbers for the new year, but first last years...

Caching in Oregon for the first time.

8500 finds -> yes... this was a surprise. The stars aligned and we cached a lot.
850 3+ terrain finds -> no... We were close at 828, but didn't cache as much in PA.
500 multi finds -> no... We were close again at 484.
500 puzzle finds -> yes... A week in CA helped as we finished with 509.
900 New York caches found -> yes... work travel and a little vacation helped.
275 US Counties with finds -> yes... a lot of travel and we ended the year with 306.
28 states with caches found - yes... Two trips in the fall to California left us at 29.
130 caches hidden -> yes... GeoWoodstock inspired us to hide more caches than we had in years. We ended with 147 caches hidden.

We visited Watkins Glen for the first time in years.

There were lots of great memories with those goals. We got to see a few new places and visit some old places we hadn't seen in years. With the new year comes a new set of goals. We'll see how we do and hope as always to have fun. For this year we decided on...

2011 was our first year for caching in California

10000 finds -> This will actually be tough for us. 2011 was a strange year the most finds we've had since becoming reviewers (yes reviewing does take a lot of time). It's a challenging goal for us.
950 3+ terrain finds
550 multi finds There aren't too many around either home base.
600 puzzle finds
1000 New York caches found -> Finally... I think this is doable.
3000 Pennsylvania finds -> I don't think this can be done. We need over 400 finds.
34 states with caches found -> We may end up with just one state. We may get 35. We'll see.
160 caches hidden -> This is a more likely number for us.
366 days of caches found -> I don't think we're the only cachers trying for this. There will be a lot of found and attended logs on February 29.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


I had the privilege recently of publishing an upcoming geo-wedding. The bride and the groom later contacted me to ask if there had been other geo-weddings before. I went back and looked at old events and this is what I found.

The first geo-wedding event was published in 2003 and was held in Montana.

There have been thirteen geo-wedding events held with ten of those in the US (MT, PA, WA, WI(2), IN, CA, MO, and VA(2)).

The upcoming one will be the first in Ohio.

Except for 2005, there's been one or two geo-weddings each year. The upcoming one will be the first for 2012. Since this is a published event, it is open to all geocachers. I think no control over the "guest" list has limited the number of these published. You have to be really close to your fellow cachers to invite everyone to your wedding. I wonder if there will ever be a mega geo-wedding...

Here's to much happiness for the couple. May their finds be plenty and their dnf's few.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

How Well Do You Know Your Attributes?

This should help us all better use attributes. :-)

Monday, January 02, 2012

Favorites... They've Been Here Awhile

It's the holidays and I have a small bit of time to be a numbers geek. We have gathered a lot of favorite points from our finds and long ago figured out that a bookmark list naming 1 out of every 20-25 finds was a good ratio for us. We have given a lot of favorite votes and have a lot never awarded. Favorites have now been out for a while so I thought I would play a bit. I started by looking at the numbers for our caches. Our top five caches with the most favorite votes are:

AGT-Warren-Irvine at Night 33 Favorites

Bang, Bang! Snip, Snip! 10 Favorites

AGT-Warren-Blueberry Fields Forever 7 Favorites

Don't Be Takin' Me Lucky Stones 6 Favorites

AGT-Warren-Warren & Tidioute Railway Company 6 Favorites

Okay, so our caches aren't going to win to many favorite contests. Still, 33 favorite votes for the night cache visited by a lot of GeoWoodstock attendees is pretty nice. For the percentages of favorites, our top five looked like this:

Arboretum Stroll 30% Favorites

Waymarking Bingo Challenge 30% Favorites

Don't Be Takin' Me Lucky Stones 25% Favorites

Here, There, and Beyond 24% Favorites

Set Plan, Rogue! 17% Favorites

What does any of this mean? It really seems to say our caches don't get visited too often, but cachers that do visit them seem to like them.

As a comparison, I looked at caches we've found to see which have the greatest votes and which have the higest percentages. The top five favorite vote getters are:

Original Stash Tribute Plaque 983 Favorites

Groundspeak Headquarters 827 Favorites

Mission 9: Tunnel of Light 760 Favorites

Un-Original Stash 291 Favorites

The Iron Horse Express 227 Favorites

The highest favorite percents of caches we found are a little different.

The Spot 35% Favorite (195 Favorite Votes)

Mission 9: Tunnel of Light 34% Favorites (760 Favorite Votes)

Auto Art 32% Favorites (115 Favorite Votes)

Groundspeak Headquarters 27% Favorites (827 Favorite Votes)

Octopus Garden 20% Favorites (110 Favorite Votes)

Stone Wall Stash 20% Favorites (74 Favorite Votes)

Excalibur 19% Favorites (83 Favorite Votes)

ancient lake 19% Favorites (72 Favorite Votes)

State Game Lands #109 17% Favorites (105 Favorite Votes)

So based on this sample, how can your cache become a big winner in the favorite votes?

Be located in Washington or Oregon near the Triad.
Be near a GeoWoodstock.
Be near a mega, even better if it is a recurring mega.
Be an old cache.
Be a traditional hide - one mystery and one virtual made this really short list.
(Groundspeak Headquarters doesn't count - its not really a puzzle.)
Don't require special equipment like a boat.

The one odd cache on the list above is Excalibur. It wasn't a really old cache (2006). It wasn't really close to any mega events, but it was really popular. The Spot is almost an exception too, but it was a destination for many GeoWoodstock IX visitors. Our list is missing one other cache doesn't really fit the above suggestions. The Thousand Steps Cache is one we haven't visited. It has 140 votes and a 29% favorite rating which puts it in the same ball park as The Spot being a tough terrain cache that hasn't had a huge bump from nearby megas. It is a fairly old cache having been published in 2002.

I must admit surprise at some of the things which didn't guarantee big favorite numbers. I expected virtuals and earthcaches would have big followings. They seem to pull a consistent level of favorite votes, but not as much as I expected. The lone exception is Auto Art which gets the nod for being near a Geowoodstock.

One thing is certain. There aren't many popular caches with favorite percents in the teens and above. If you see a cache with more than 15% favorites, it has really won over other cachers. We really enjoy the favorites feature and will continue to use it.

More than anything, this post says sunset is near five every evening, and it's too cold to go caching. ;-) Happy New Year. May your caches get favorite votes and may you find caches you want to favorite.