Geocaching Power Trails
I’m lucky enough to spend a lot of time with a brand-new geocacher. This gives me a lot of perspective on what the newest of the new cachers know and what they don’t know. (And sometimes that is surprising!)
So when I was chatting with Code Wolf today about today’s geocaching article, the subject of a “power trail” came up and he asked me to write an article about it.
Now, there are people who love power trails since they can rack up a bunch of finds in a short amount of time. And there are people who think that scooting down a 10 mile long road grabbing a cache every quarter mile is just silly.
A power trail is loosely defined as a series of caches laid out along a roadway. They are usually a series of PNG caches with cache sizes being small or micro. There are some power caches that are 50 or more caches along a single route!
An example of a 50+ power cache series is “Hang’m High On Hwy. 51 #1” GC20GR1 in Louisiana.
For me, there’s a big difference in a power cache series like this versus a road that has lots of caches along its length but each cache is hid as if it were a stand-alone hide.
Way back in 2009, I wrote about caches along a trail. But I wasn’t thinking of anything like a “power trail”. I like hiking along a trail or a loop and finding a cache on a regular basis, like the caches along the trail that lead to my “High Gear” GC1PN22 cache.
Somewhere between caches along a trail and a power trail are caches that are one right after another BUT you have to walk or bike to get to them. There are two trails like that here in Prescott, both Rails to Trails, that I have been itching to go after: the Peavine National Recreation Trail and the Iron King Trail.
I don’t think I’d make power trails by caching bread and butter, but just once I think I’d like to try my geosenses against a true PNG power trail. Just to say I did it!
Readers Weigh In:
- Power trails, yes or no?
- Do you think that power trails add to or detract from the geocaching experience?
- Is it still a power trail if you have to walk to get all the caches?
Find Your Geocache: Power Caching | The Outdoor Princess
May 10, 2011 @ 8:24 pm
[…] Geocaching Power Trails […]
May 15, 2011 @ 5:39 pm
I recently did a power trail in Oklahoma—where there seems to be quite a few of them. It was 68 caches–PNG’s for sure–most 0.1 to .5 miles apart requiring driving down a country road without too much traffic. It was ok and I liked the run up in my numbers but I would not want a steady diet of them. It was really very tiring getting in and out of the car. Also did a run of 25 or so in Texas in a national forest that were more traditional, real hides that some searching was needed at each cache. Even though it was less caches in about the same distance and time, these were much more satisfying to me. Guess there’s a place for both types and each cacher should decide what part they play in their geocaching. I have caching acquaintences who claim 400-800 caches in 24 hours and power trails are one way they do it.
May 15, 2011 @ 6:02 pm
I am fine with Power Trails. Just like there are easy caches (PNG, LPC), there are hard ones as well. If a Power Trail is really a bunch of same-style-caches all placed .1 miles apart, then so be it. While all caches are credited as one find, I would simply treat those as the easy ones that did not challenge me. In fact, when I do a Power Trail, I will probably discuss the journey more than the individual caches.
May 15, 2011 @ 6:37 pm
One of our buddies here just did 18 caches on a hiking trail. Unfortunately the forst is closed now so i didn’t get them all but I will eventually. There is also a power trail lof 100 over near Silver City. I’ve been told it can be done in 1 day if you start early. I have a rubber stamp at he ready for when we get over there. It’s a Heroes series so he really did alot of research first.
May 16, 2011 @ 8:10 am
I am going to do part of the hang-m-high and another series in Tilmans corner AL on a vacation soon. I just want to say I did it. I really pefer caches that take you off the beaten path, to places not seen by everyone. I’ve been to some beautiful places and some very odd places that I would never have to if not for caching.
May 16, 2011 @ 9:37 pm
You’re missing the mother of all power trails, along the ET Highway in Nevada with 1021 geocaches. http://stealthrequired.com/2011/03/e-t-highway-geocache-series-gets-archived/ Although recently shut down by state authorities, people regularly claimed to have found over 1000 of them all within 24 hours. That means they found and signed one geocache about every 1.4 minutes for 24 hours straight without breaking for food, bodily functions, or sleep. Does that sound even remotely possible? No it does not. They are all just rationalizing their finds.
May 18, 2011 @ 8:28 pm
NCad — I didn’t want to mention it because I was getting conflicting stories about if that power cache was still available or not. But I agree, 1000 caches in 24 IS a little crazy.
Kai-Uwe / nordicbiker
June 3, 2012 @ 12:34 am
Personally I don’t like powertrails, mostly for some very practical reason. I see geocaching as an outdoor experience, a way to get to interesting places I might not have discovered without the precense of a cache there, or because they simply pose a certain challenge to get there. And I admit: when I am doing geocaching by motorcycle, for practical reasons the caches should not be too far away from a road. Powertrails however are mainly installed in order to give people a chance to quickly and easily improve their statitics, but geocaching should not be and never was intended to be a competition sport.
Those practical reasons I was writing about in the beginning are:
-powertrails are “filling up” querries, where the number of caches is maybe limited to 500 or 1000.
-they “camouflage” the really interesting caches, which might lie on the same road.
I have been writing to geocaching.com and asked them to introduce a new sperate category for powertrail caches, so that they can be filtered out both in interactive maps and querries. Hope this will be done soon! There are already too many useless caches out there (I found some of them in the US recently, people seem to think “There is some open space, let’s place a cache there!”) so there need to be a way to differentiate powertrail caches from others!