11 Years of Geocaching

I was at a geocaching event this morning, and it occurred to me that I’ve been geocaching for almost 11 years. One of the other cachers asked me how geocaching has changed over the years, and in my head I’ve been exploring this more in my head all day.

  • So many geocachers now just regard geocaching as an app on their phone. I see fewer proper GPSrs. Back in the olden days our GPSrs may not have been as accurate – and very few had maps, much less cache information etc.
  • I know the caches in the olden days weren’t all exceptional, however I do think the quality has gone down. I think there’s a lot of low quality, especially in urban areas, so that’s what people find and that’s what people think geocaching is about.
  • We used to look after each other’s caches. There were few caches placed and few geocachers, so if I was headed to another part of the state I knew that any cache I placed would be looked after in gratitude for hiding one; I did likewise. This was before the days where you couldn’t kide a ‘vacation cache’, so in gratitude to the pioneering non-Tasmanians who hide the first caches for me to find, I used to do maintenance on my anniversary. These days if one of those caches needs maintenance, people whinge and ask the reviewer to archive it.
  • Cachers these days don’t realise that my find count may seem low, however there were so many fewer caches those days. One long weekend Scott and I went caching in the north and northwest of the state, and before we left another cacher said she’d hide one cache for each cache we found. We found 22, and that was considered an outstanding haul for a 4 day weekend.
  • We didn’t have functionality such as instant notification that a new geocache had been published. You had to keep visiting the website, and it was exciting when another cache appeared.
  • There weren’t many other cachers, and we pretty much knew everyone in the state. We didn’t have Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch, so we hung out on the Geocaching Australia forums, had each other’s email addresses, and had mobile phone numbers.

I know comments aren’t working, however if you’re an ‘old’ geocacher, what do you think the differences are between the early days and now? When were your early days? I’m Snuva.tas.au at gmail dot com.

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