Ten Years After

10 04 2013

No, I’m not going to start talking about Stonedhenged or Cricklewood Green but about the ten years that I have been geocaching. It started with me wanting to buy a GPS receiver but not really knowing why I wanted one. I spent a few weeks hunting down a suitable unit and in the process read about geocaching. When my Garmin eTrex Legend arrived in the post from England I immediately registered with www.geocaching.com and discovered that there were very few geocaches in the Gävle area. There were about ten caches within 50km from home. Today there are nearly 800 active caches in the same area!

Anyway, it took me a couple of days of playing around with the unit before I made my first trek off into the wilds. Well, in reality it was a walk of a few hundred meters from Gävle Bro which is a rest area, restaurant and filling station on the E4 on the outskirts of Gävle proper.

The cache was Gavle-bro by Piggen and it is still active! It was placed on April 4th 2003, just nine days before I found it. I was the second to find it, one day after a cacher called Piggepunk, who has found a total of six caches and doesn’t seem to have been active since April 10th 2009 (exactly six years to the day after I started caching). I sometimes think that a FTF on my first ever cache find would have been fantastic, but STF is what I got and can’t be changed.

Since then I have continued to maintain an interest in geocaching that has been at a relatively good level and is the first hobby/sport/pastime that has kept my interest for so long!

Now, ten years after, I have found nearly 4000 caches, and yes I know, there are those who have found that many in a fraction of that time, and have found all 81 possible combinations of difficulty and terrain, and found a cache on every day of the year, and for every month they have been placed since the start of geocaching, not to mention being an extreme, extreme cacher. Hmm, do they have a life that includes anything else?

I guess that one of the characteristics of a cacher is the “nerd” factor. I enjoy statistics. How many boroughs in Sweden have I found caches? Can I find caches in them all? Can I fill the D/T matrix? I have only three to go. How many countries have I found caches in or will I find the last two caches for the Jasmer challenge? So here we go, some screenshots from GSAK which as many geocachers will know is a really great tool to keep track of caches. The wealth of support from “clever, intelligent and good looking” geocachers is amazing. There are some fantastic macros that generate the statistics that I enjoy reading and are shown below.

Here are a few milestones:
78 of the 81 D/T combinations.

Three D/T combinations to go

Three D/T combinations to go

Finds on all found dates of the year

A full 366 day find chart

A full 366 day find chart

Finds on all but one of the placed dates of the year

Just one date left to find

Just one date left to find

Finds on all but two of the placed months of the year (Jasmer Challenge)

Two months to go

Two months to go

A spontaneous thought on which is my all time favourite cache brings me to The 2 Towers I saw now that this was my 300th find two years after starting geocaching.

I wanted to celebrate my ten years of caching by placing a couple of caches. I willingly admit that I asked a caching team on the other side of the world if I could copy a couple of their caches as I found them fun and challenging. Unfortunately the rules for cache placement have changed and it wasn’t possible for the present reviwer in Sweden to accept them. For those of you who want to know what you will miss here are the two original caches.
New Zealand D/T Bingo 1 Line Challenge (Auckland)
New Zealand D/T Bingo 3 Line Challenge (Auckland)

So now I have to decide what I am going to do with the two caches that are located out in the Hemlingby naturreserve. 🙂

So my first ten years as a geocacher have seen many changes in the pastime/hobby/sport/obsession. Some of them are for the better and some are for the worse. I imagine that the next ten years will see even bigger changes. I’m looking forward to looking back on twenty years of geocaching. Now I have to get out and find some caches to finish off my various targets. The one I am looking forward to most is the completion of the Jasmer challenge. I will have to start saving so I can afford a long trip to either USA(Utah) or Australia. Is it worth it for some tupperware and a tick on a list. Keep following my blog and you will see.

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One response

10 04 2013
zelger - geocaching

Martin

Congratulations! A very good tally considering you have limited caches and weather in Sweden.

Only 2 and a half years until we have done 10 years, but we will barely be over 1000 finds by then!

Regards

Roger




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