Why I Quit Geocaching
It’s always surprising to me the amount of passion that geocachers can have. This is, after all, a game. But like any game, there are people who have a passing interest and people who become obsessed.
Caching was a near instant hit with me and my family. It was a reason to drive backroads and a reason to jump out of the truck. It was a way to connect with mysterious strangers. Geocaching, is after all, the closest thing to a secret society most of us will ever experience.
Like any secret society, there are rules. And there are people who love to enforce those rules – or at least their version of them. They can put even more time and energy into their love of making sure everybody does it THEIR way than into the game itself.
And I think I might have been a rule breaker.
My dad and I were business partners in a website called EatStayPlay.com. And when we discovered geocaching we both realized that this was an activity that really SHOULD be added to our website. (We provided free information about outdoor recreation across 12 states.) Geocaching was absolutely awesome and something that needed to be shared!
The challenge with EatStayPlay always was that it was a great idea but it just wasn’t easy to monetize or advertise. Or even explain, some days!
Somehow dad came up with an idea to have geocachers help us spread the word about our website. It came in the form of a free geocoin that you could earn by placing little plastic geotokens into caches. To keep things fair (and to keep caches from being stuffed full of the things) we created rules of our own. And I’m the first to admit, the whole thing was to run on the honor system. But let’s face it – all of GEOCACHING really runs on the honor system.
A few posts on the geocaching forum and we were off and running.
And then the hate mail started to pour in.
This was trash. It was spam. It was commercializing geocaching. And those were just the “nice” ones. I honestly think they thought that the website was a giant corporation and not just a father-daughter team.
People seemed to hate the promotion, they hated me, they hated the website – they even hated my logo!
Yet, requests for tokens kept pouring in.
Now let me tell you something about this promotion – it was free. And by free, I mean I didn’t charge anybody anything to participate. I had “rules” in place to keep things moving but didn’t become a rule Nazi about them.
But what people don’t realize is the cost… Geocoins, especially trackable geocoins, aren’t cheap. Plus there were the tokens to buy, count, and mail. The envelopes. Postage. And time. Oh so much time. I was spending upwards of 20-30 hours a WEEK to manage it. All while holding down a full-time job. And I spent between $15 and $20 THOUSAND dollars on just this promotion. From my own pocket. With zero drive to revenue.
And they certainly didn’t realize that this business was my dream. This promotion was a last-ditch effort to save a business that we’d sunk a lifetime of love (and money) into. They didn’t care that I sent out each package of tokens with a prayer that they would bring fun and joy into lives. They didn’t care that my family spent HOURS working to create and mail the packages.
And the hate mail poured in.
They lashed out on the forums. They lashed out on cache comments. I got hate emails. I got nasty emails from people who WERE participating who thought I wasn’t doing it fast enough. I got emails because people were mad that they only got 49 tokens instead of fifty. They didn’t like it when the post office tore the envelope. They were mad that I only shipped when I had 200 or more packages to go out (for bulk mail permits) which was still about twice a month.
Every which way people could express their disapproval, it happened.
But here’s the part that nobody realized…
It was with the permission, if not blessing, of geocaching.com. Because the very first step to it all was to get the coin approved. The coin that said: get a FREE geocoin! Go to this website. (And the page that it pointed to HAD been set up prior to the coin’s approval.)
And the OTHER side is that this opened up other promotions that people loved. However “poorly” executed, it opened the door for other companies to offer free geocoins. And it was ALL in exchange for something – even if only your email address.
Through it all, I had to deal with buckets of angry emails. People who requested tokens and then were mad at ME when they put in a wrong address so they didn’t arrive. People who were angry that they had to follow the rules of dropping and reporting them. People who couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t remember THEIR 5 caches when I was trying to manage the efforts of three thousand people.
Yes, over three thousand people were involved in this promotion.
And I was doing it all by myself.
Kind of hard to want to continue geocaching when everywhere I turned there was another geocacher spouting off that I was the cause of the evils in the world. Somehow I became a faceless, invisible entity that people could blame. I wasn’t a person – just a hated BUSINESS.
I think the nail on the coffin came at an event I was asked to hold in conjunction with Arizona’s Centennial. Chino Valley needed a contribution to the county’s efforts and somehow geocaching came up. Because regardless of what the online community thought of me at the time, I was still a respected member of the local “real world”.
The challenge was working with the Yavapai County Centennial Committee – a bunch of retired civic leaders who had no clue what geocaching was. All they knew was that this 20-something woman could bring in people from across the state to participate. It was good enough for them!
My event – and an epic puzzle cache I was planning – was quickly “adopted” by the committee. And by adopted I mean that my name was stripped from the efforts and it was put forth to the state under the committee’s name. (They needed a legacy project and were coming up short on ideas and manpower.) I tried to tell myself that I didn’t care but it was really hurtful and demeaning to my personal efforts.
My dad, my wonderful caring father who had been through the whole geocoin promotion with me (insulated from a lot of the hate mail because I just flat-out didn’t show him) gave up a month’s worth of weekends to help me prepare the caches, find the locations, hide them, and set up the three-day event. Not to mention the hundred or so dollars spent on cache containers, swag, spray paint, and notebooks. Or the $150 dollars in gas to drive all over creation to HIDE the things!
The event was, for the most part, a success. Notwithstanding the in-person encounters with geocachers who were upset that:
- There were 30 new caches and YES you have to load them to your GPS by hand.
- Yes, there was a TIME LIMIT to log your FTF and get back to the park for prizes.
- The poker run had a $5 ante. Of course, there was ALSO a cash prize, but certainly that should come from my own pocket.
- The geocachers I caught cheating on the poker run and when I disqualified them tried to argue that because “no cheating” wasn’t stated in the rules, they should win anyway.
- That the trackable coin I had minted was $10 per coin and no, you really only COULD buy one. (Only 48 were minted because Arizona was the 48th state.)
At the end of the event there was still this epic puzzle cache to plan. But by this time, the committee was pretty much hijacking all my ideas and time. This was no longer MY project (with my dad) but it was THEIR project. My name wasn’t on it but my credit card certainly was!
So I walked away.
I walked away from the puzzle cache.
I walked away from sending geocoins or tokens.
I walked away from blogging about geocaching.
I walked away from geocaching all together.
I pulled the batteries from the GPS and stuck it on a shelf. I closed the email account where people were STILL sending me nasty emails, never went back to the geocaching forum, and unsubscribed from geocaching.com’s emails. I turned off notifications from all the geocaching groups I was in on Facebook.
I still had some true gentlemen who encouraged me to come back to geocaching. Friendly Facebook messages genuinely reaching out. Inviting me to geocache. (Gentlemen, you know who you are – and I appreciate all the support and kindness over the years. It WAS and still is noticed!)
I pretty much tried to forget that geocaching even existed.
And then two things happened…
In December 2014 I was contacted by one of the geocaching retailers to do some ghostwriting. (Not naming names; I don’t kiss and tell!) In speaking with my client, I remembered how cool geocaching could be. I remembered how responsive the geocaching community was. Not kind, but responsive. When you’re blogging to geocachers, they TALK to you.
And as I was working on these projects, my grandmother was in the hospital, dying. There’s that whole “life is short thing” probably going through your head right now. That’s not my point. The point was that this work for the client brought up all those emotions related to geocaching. And frankly, I probably didn’t do a GREAT job writing for them since I was trying to do it from my Aunt’s kitchen table while thinking all the time of my grandmother.
I wondered if maybe… geocaching wasn’t worth a second look.
The second thing that happened was that I was in Maryland for Christmas to visit my man’s family. We took the dog to a park and as I was looking around I had that feeling: I’ll bet there’s a geocache here. I loaded the geocaching app to my phone to check. And there WAS a cache.
After we found it, I looked around at the park. I was holding a wet, disgusting cache filled with trash and a moldy logbook. But all I could think about was the secret society to which I was still a member. I remembered what it was like to place a cache – that hope that it would be safe. That it would bring fun and joy to finders. That muggles would leave it alone and that cachers would take care in finding it. That kind hearted people who take care of it when they found it and pay it forward.
I cleaned out the trash, gently coaxed my name into the logbook, and recorded it into the app. This was my first find east of the Mississippi. It was my first find in three years. It was my first “urban” find. And it reminded me of all the reasons I loved caching in the first place.
All these thoughts and emotions had been rolling around in my head. Geocachers aren’t all bad, right? They aren’t all filled with hate and anger and fear. Not everybody is out to play geocaching police. Right?
I wanted to collect the happy stories. The inspirational stories. The stories of love, of courage, of connection and friendship. Lord knows I didn’t have many of my OWN related to the game. (Okay, that’s not ACTUALLY true – it just feels like the negative outweighs the positive.)
Which is why I’m back for geocaching. I’ve dusted off the blog and put fresh batteries in the GPS.
And it’s why I’m collecting these stories for the anthology. Because you see, I’m not a 20-something any more. And I don’t really give a flying fig about the Trolls, the cyberbullies, and the geocaching police. I realized that they are full of hate and anger and fear – and I’m still a convenient target.
And just for the record, it’s still taking a lot of courage to move forward with ANYTHING related to geocaching. I did change my caching name – both to give me just a shred of insulation from those trolls and because I wanted a fresh start.
But what I also realized is that I’m on the right track. Because the good parts of geocaching aren’t the ones told. People in this community aren’t quick to help each other – but it does still happen. People don’t always form real connections – but it does happen. People aren’t always welcoming to the newbies and gently helping them learn the rules — but it does happen.
And I want to connect with the GOOD people out there. Like my group of friends who always reminded me that they WERE friends and supported me the person – regardless of what they thought about geotokens.
Beyond it all, there’s a PERSON behind that computer – just like me. We have hopes and fears and dreams.
Because I’m tired of when you post on the forum and get “This is spam!” when you asked a legitimate question about how to connect with the RIGHT geocachers.
And it’s knowing that while some geocachers think that EVERYTHING should be free – and heaven help anyone who actually likes and uses money – there are folks who make donations to the dream.
So all you folks, remember that you’re aren’t anonymous because you’re hiding behind your computer screen and your geocaching name. You’re not talking to an entity or another computer – you’re talking to me. A person.
I’d love to say that I’m “over” all the negativity that seems to pour my way. I recognize that you’re a real person too – and only a person filled with anger, fear, and hate would spout out such nastiness.
But here’s the real truth of the matter: You’re on the wrong side of the Golden Rule. And Karma’s a bitch.
‘Cause honey, I don’t need to sink to your level. But I DO need to prove to myself and to the geocaching community that the good outweighs the bad. That the virtue outweighs the seeming power of hiding behind your computer screen spouting hate. There is real connection and friendship and courage in this game.
It’s time to bring it to light.
It’s time to tell those stories.
So if you wouldn’t say it to YOUR grandma, then for heaven’s sake, DON’T tell it to me! I’m not listening. I’ll let your mean words pass over me without letting them sink into my heart. Because you trolls and cyberbullies and geocaching police – you don’t matter. You’re just a geocaching name but you’re not a person.
Only people matter.
March 24, 2015 @ 9:15 am
Great post Kimberly! Thank you for sharing your reasons for quitting GEO Caching 🙂
March 24, 2015 @ 11:32 am
Wow! I had never heard of geocaching before your post! Thank you for sharing your story. I kind of have a dim understanding of it now. What I did learn more about was how tenacious you were throughout your geo-caching journey with your dad while your local government snatched it out of your hands and left you to foot that humongous bill. Geez! I’m a ghostwriter and think that’s great you came back to geo-caching via that route. I love your idea of the telling the good stories. I’d buy it!
March 26, 2015 @ 3:41 pm
Excellent article! It’s certainly a shame that you were treated in such a cruel way. I’m glad that you have decided to return to geocaching and that you realize that not all geocachers are trolls and cyberbullies. Being a geocaching cop, however, is not such a bad thing – if done appropriately and by the rules of geocaching. Maybe if more geocachers policed themselves, we wouldn’t have to worry about the trolls and cyberbullies. Oh, by the way, I never got my geocoin either (at least I don’t remember it if I did) but that’s not a reason to demean, degrade and insult you. No one has that right although many seem to think that they do.
Commercialism? Isn’t that what the geocaching.com store is all about?
I remember EatStayPlay.com and I enjoyed the website; it had a lot of good information on it. I hope to see it up and running again in the future.
March 26, 2015 @ 4:44 pm
Wow – thank you for sharing. 1st I have to say Thank you! I received one of your coins, and never knew that you had such a bad experience from doing that. I never sent any hate mail ;-), but I probably never said thank you either. So sorry that happened! I’m glad you shared your experience, people really need to wake up and get a clue that it’s supposed to be a fun game or something like that. I quite caching due to our own unfortunate experience with Geopolice. It’s crazy when others work so hard to ruin the fun for a family. Good luck in all you do!
March 26, 2015 @ 6:13 pm
Like the previous poster, I too was one of your geocoin recipients. I dutifully set out the plastic Eat,Stay,Play tokens and was so happy to receive my pretty geocoin. I liked it so much that I never parted with it and still have it. I have only ever had good experiences geocaching, but do know a couple who stopped because of bad experiences. It saddens me to think that there are those out there who ruin the fun for others. I hope you can find the fun again.
March 26, 2015 @ 6:58 pm
Thank you so much for the article, keep it going! I enjoyed reading your post and look forward to the newsletters! Thank You!
March 26, 2015 @ 7:23 pm
I often wondered where you had gone. I got one of your geocoins (naturally it was immediately taken by someone after I placed it in a geocache) back during the promotion. I do recall people complaining about the tokens back then but I had no idea how badly you were treated. Awful. I am so sorry to hear that it chased you away. I loved your videos and your articles (especially the videos…they always made me smile). I could tell that you put your heart and soul into eatstayplay. I hope that your family is doing well. I recall that your father was in accounting, so I hope your tax season is only as busy as you want it to be. Best wishes of good luck and fortune on your future endeavors…and by all means, don’t let the trolls get you down.
March 26, 2015 @ 7:26 pm
I have wondered what had happened to you some times. I loved your old sight and look forward to reading the planed book. Glad to have you back in the game.
March 26, 2015 @ 8:04 pm
Sorry to hear about your bad experience but people are people and there are all kinds,unfortunately some just don’t get it and have to make a free,absolutely wonderful and exciting game,hobby into something it was not intended to be.All people we have turned on to this sport have gone head over heals for it.My wife and I often say while driving,”remember there was a CACHE over there and……We have done it in many countries in our travels and look forward to many more.Glad to see you back.Keep on cachin!
March 27, 2015 @ 6:00 am
I know exactly what you are going through Kimberly and I am so sorry you were treated that way. I too have had thousands of hate mail, Mockery from a Reviewer, Threatening to archive any time he feels like it. Being called Stupid and ignorant by many. I have held my head up as I also receive thousands of Love for the Caches, that far outweigh the hateful mail.
You see My idea to make the worlds Largest Power trail (which it is) with wooden survey Stakes was a Very good idea and it, has brought in so much hate mail. Wooden Stakes on a Power run in the Middle of the Nevada Desert, made a lot of sense. They do not leach Chemicals into the ground, They last forever, and are very eco friendly. Where as the Plastic Containers will Leach Chemicals and only last a few months in the Desert. Plus the added easier to find a Stake in a sagebrush then a pill bottle. People stamp the Stake and move to next. I even had to replace all the “illegal” stakes and put plastic Pill bottles for the “fix”. Even at one time all my Caches were archived and we had to redo them over, which we did with Great help From Idaho League of Cachers and many others.
I do know exactly what you went through, My dream is to get to 10,000 hides and then take a break and see what comes next, I am less then 1500 away from my Dream with a lot of help from others to. Hold you head up high and Ignore the Geo-Police, those that do not understand, and those that just love stirring the pot. Larry
March 27, 2015 @ 6:03 am
I have to add Now that there is a New game in town called Munzee we have Geo-police admitting they remove any and all munzees they find. Why? simply because they do not like Munzee. They are thieves and they take things that do not belong to them, and if they do this, they will steal any geocache they deem wrong or they simply just do not like.
March 27, 2015 @ 12:22 pm
I am truely sorry for all that you have gone through. Geocaching is only a game to be played the way you want to play it. Others cannot and should not dictate how you play this game. I think your ability to walk away from it cold turkey shows how healthy you are. I highly doubt that the negative players are as able to stop as you did. Separation gives one great perspective and that you returned shows that caching meets a need or desire within you.
Keep your chin up and keep on cachin’.
March 27, 2015 @ 7:07 pm
This definitely broke my heart. I hate to hear how others feel it is their duty to completely destroy someone’s life in that manner. I have had some experiences that were not so pleasant, but never to that manner.
I was encouraging to hear you have picked back up. Regardless of whether you kept on geocaching or not. The fact that you have decided to continue to be the bigger person gives me encouragement. I hope that you continue to have success in your new venture, as well in your personal life.
March 27, 2015 @ 7:55 pm
I was one of those people who received the tokens to hand out in abundance. I dutifully dropped them off all over, but never got a coin. That was okay, though. I don’t think I ever really recorded things properly. Didn’t matter. I knew nothing about who was behind the EatPlayStay stuff, but I wasn’t negative about you. (Not one of those guys!) Whew. They definitely put you through the ringer. You nailed the types of geocachers thing on the head, though (I think I vaccilate between between positive about the people in geocaching and not wanting to run into any of them). Glad you’ve been able to look at the hobby with a new/different lens and best of luck with your current ventures. It’s your life, your energy, your drive. Have fun with it.
March 27, 2015 @ 8:18 pm
Wow, I don’t blame you for walking away! I love geocaching, but it doesn’t run my life. I’ve had mostly great experiences with a group of cachers I met a few years back. Hope your future geocaching brings you happiness. 🙂
March 28, 2015 @ 1:45 am
I was another coin recipient. I corresponded with you and I hope and think I thanked you when I received the coins. If I forgot, I thank you now! Sorry to hear you had such a negative experience – nobody should have to feel like that. Glad you decided to pick caching back up again, and hopefully new positive experiences will help you get over the bad ones.
March 28, 2015 @ 7:57 am
So when am I getting my coin? 🙂 Of course I am kidding. Your blog was very interesting and I can see how you can think negatively. As you said towards the end not all geocachers are bad. I have a NYC Group on Facebook and we welcome everyone new and old cachers. We have events for visitors and at many of our events we have made friends that I would not have had without Geocaching. If you or any other cacher visits NYC just let us know and we will give some advice and maybe even meetup for some caching. Think positive! As in any group you have sour people.
March 28, 2015 @ 8:33 am
I just had to read your story all to the end… I get a lot of positive energy from the hobby. But every now and then it turns around: we started one and a half year ago. Some call our generation the new cashers. We are blamed of not closing Geocaching boxes, taking swag without leaving any etcetera. Just as a general statement to the newbies… We found almost 1400 caches so we are serious about it but we try to avoid trails with film canisters. We love the others ones: made with love and dedication.
The positive wins from the negative. But there are really stubborn cashers I don’t understand: they put candies next to a box as it doesn’t fit into the micro, they put in soap, candles… Geocaching has given us new friends and especially setting up new caches, exploring forests for good hiding places is the greatest thing. I smile and I hope it will last long 🙂
All the best, great blog!!!
March 28, 2015 @ 11:24 am
You know, I wish this wasn’t the case in the Geocaching world, but it is. We deal with the same struggles here in Mississippi. Cheaters, bullies, police, etc. I could name a handful of people or more who stopped participating because of the antics of a few sour apples. I think what’s worse is that all groups, organizations, associations, etc. deal with this. Doesn’t speak well to where our society is headed.
But I’ve been Geocaching for almost 6 years, and I have more positive stories to tell than I do negative ones. I’ve developed some really great friendships and had some great experiences. It’s such a fun hobby, and I’m glad that I have been able to share it with new folks all the time.
Thanks for your honest words. I’m sorry for all that you want through. Glad to see you back at it. It sounds like you had an awesome promotion for your business, and I wish I would have been a part of it!
March 28, 2015 @ 12:22 pm
I recall EatStayPlay … though never used it.
MOST people aren’t those folks. But it only takes one or two, eh? My heart is sad for your experience.
Geocaching has made my husband and I (Waterweasel & Tygress) lasting friendships. Our group does pitch in for each other. Sure, sometimes we fight like cats — downside of being passionate I suppose.
So while the sport is full of ‘all kinds,’ do remember that there are truly a LOT of the good kind. We may not be great at posting comments is all… because we forget that it takes 10 good comments to outweigh one negative. Well. Here’s a good one for you.
[but for my stories, you’ll have to simply check my logs — try http://www.geocaching.com/seek/log.aspx?LUID=c06369ca-1ecd-4e3f-9d1a-8853ad395643 (GC2PB5M PowerRiddle 25 found 2/5/2012) ]
March 28, 2015 @ 2:13 pm
Sorry you had such bad experiences. I know there are many people who do not understand the hobby and do not like “rules” but my husband and I have been caching since May of 2001. We still love it and the “family” and “friends” we have acquired over the years. Hang in there! Enjoy! And if you ever need a shoulder to lean on, email me.
March 28, 2015 @ 11:32 pm
Such an insightful letter. I had the same experiences when I tried to get our state a Geocsching license plate. I abandoned my project as well but I’m glad to hear that you haven’t left the fun of geocaching behind. You can’t let the mean people suck your happiness and hope out of your passions.
March 29, 2015 @ 7:30 pm
Good luck and thank you for all you have done for GeoCaching. I have been at a crossroads in GeoCaching for quite some time. I found the ‘game’ by accident. I became pretty good at it, too… I Enjoyed the game and quickly found my thousandth cache. Watched while the geo-‘friends’ I had made fawned over those who found landmark caches and from the other side of their face claimed it wasn’t all about the numbers. When, in truth, it was ONLY about the numbers. I’ve seen good cachers, bad cachers, cachers that screamed so loudly for attention that they would post “phantom” caches when they couldn’t find d5’s on their own.
I’ve been to events, even a mega-event, took friends (had their kid quite literally trampled by lesser humans so they could head to the next temp cache like it would be their last.)
I’ve been stuck at just over 1800 finds for nearly three years. I’d like nothing more to find the 2000th cache. But it just doesn’t hole the same sway as it used to.
I have a wife and dog and house and friends and other hobbies that take my time and have nothing to do with caching.
Yet, I still enjoy the odd grab&go and more involved hides as well. I’ll find that 2000th cache and yet more after that. However, I’ll do that in my own way and time. I still love the game even if I don’t love all the people in it…
Enjoy and thanks again!
March 31, 2015 @ 8:41 am
I am so sorry you were treated so badly. It is one of the reasons why I don’t usually step into leadership rolls, I hate to be harassed like that. You didn’t deserve it and I am ashamed of my community for acting that way. They should be ashamed too.
I have a co-worker who quit caching because a cacher said terrible things about her/her cache in a find log. It just put her off the whole thing so much that she brought in a box of all her caching equipment and gave it to me. She didn’t want to do it any more.
Again, I apologize for the way you were treated. Big hugs from me to you and I hope people learn that they should treat others with respect and gratitude.
April 2, 2015 @ 6:55 pm
Just finished reading your article about why you got away from geocaching. WOW!!!!! Who would have thought that something like that could have happened??? Was wondering what had happened to you and the EATSTAYPLAY web-site, I had really enjoyed that web-site and your little informational videos!!!! They were fun to watch!!
Also, I was one of those goof-balls that you sent the tokens to and eventually a coin – THANKS!!!!!! very much for your efforts and ALL you did in case I never said anything before. That coin is one of my MOST PRIZED coins because I actually had to EARN that bugger!! Think I am the only person in my area that even has that coin!!
Had similar experiences with cache owners because they did not “like” what I wrote in a log or “how” I wrote something in a log, (for I like to have fun with my logs whether a find or DNF), but probably nothing like what you have experienced. Also, on some of my own cache hides, get people complaining that the D/T ratings I have given a particular cache are NOT up to what they think the D/T ratings should be. But, whenever I contact them to see how they came to that conclusion, never get a response back.
Also, whenever I ask other cacher’s help on a particularly difficult cache hide, I would get all kinds of comments like: “I do not help others”, “It’s there, just keep trying”, blah, blah, blah. And these are from the very same people who have no qualms about asking for help in a heart beat. Have learned not to ask for help any more.
Ooooopss! Didn’t mean to ramble on like that.
It seems that people forget the most important thing: IT IS JUST A SILLY GAME!!!!!
April 9, 2015 @ 8:58 am
I just began caching at about the time that you walked away. I was wondering what happened to you and the Eat Stay Play site. The few articles I read were excellent. I learned a lot from them. I’m glad your back.
June 1, 2015 @ 2:16 pm
A very well written blog entry, one that I am sure was cathartic for you to write. Your words evoked many emotions in me as I read. Thank you for sharing.
September 6, 2015 @ 1:47 pm
So sad that people are upset with you for having a giving out the geo coins and also being able to advertise at the same time. What a fantastic idea. People just want stuff for free all the time. A lot like a muggle in a way, taking taking and not even saying thank you.
Hope can continue to enjoy Geocacheing. And not be bothered by the negativity in others. But I see more and more people acting like this everyday. Takes a lot of fun out of geocaching.
January 18, 2016 @ 12:07 pm
Thanks for your blog post. It’s interesting to read your experience with promoting your website via geocaching.com. I like what you said about geocachers being responsive. We certainly are.
I appreciate the help of finders who are willing to clean up the database of abandoned caches by posting NMs and NAs when needed. It sends the message that
—cache ownership is a long term responsibility
—geocachers do not litter the land for their enjoyment
It also opens up spots for new hides, to potentially responsible cache owners who maintain their cache and remove, then archive their geocache, when they no longer want to maintain them.
The last couple of years have me contemplating quitting the game because of the increasing number of abandoned caches, often by active owners who never intend to maintain them. Many won’t even archive their caches when they go missing. They leave that to the reviewers, which takes months (sometimes years) to finally get archived.
I don’t consider geocaching a game, but an activity, a pastime, one that I spend a lot of gas money, wear and tear on my car, sometimes overnight stays in hotels, and limited personal time participating in. Some days most of my finds are cheap leaky moldy caches that have never been maintained. Some have a pristine logsheet placed in the wet moldy mess. Not a fun find. I’d rather someone had at least posted an NM. I filter out caches with an NM attribute, that way I have a better chance of spending my time and money on finding a dry, more enjoyable cache.
TINA NIELSEN AMODEO
May 14, 2016 @ 2:03 pm
Hi, I have been geocaching for just a year and I introduced the idea to my grown daughter at that time and we are geocaching partners. We really enjoy getting out, getting a good workout, and seeing the nature around us as we seek and find. We do it wherever we travel as well.
Today, I found an eatstayplay pink plastic coin inviting me to obtain a free traceable coin. Yay! So, I went to the site and was upset that in no longer exists. Then, I googled the hell out of eatstayplay and read the negative testimonials trashing your idea. Well, thankfully, I am an intrepid researcher and googled a bit more and, alas, came to your blog.
Nothing like learning the other side of the story…your story. Screw all the haters. I found a local mayor’s official business card in the same cache I found your “promotional” coin in today. What the hell am I going to do with that card? Leave it there to get wet with the others that, despite being bagged up, we in need of drying out. I am a solo attorney whose business comes mostly from word of mouth because of the good work I do. I do not have a problem with your eatstayplay idea because it would push me to go find more caches and drop those ttocsins so I could get a free trackable coin. Sounds like a damn good idea to me as it benefits all and jeeps our geocaching underworld moving. I wish I could get my free coin, but I guess I am out of luck now. Right?.
June 28, 2016 @ 11:12 am
Just stumbled on this well over a year later. I do remember the Eat Stay Play promotion, and all the venom directed your way. One of the biggest detractors was the Moderator for the Geocoin forum on Geocaching.com. She can be pretty nasty at times. There were even haters in my local Geocaching forum (in the days before Facebook killed most Geocaching forums). I do remember defending you after the fact along the lines of “She’s a nice lady, she made a mistake; She took enough crap about it”. Then again, you might not agree it was a mistake. I mean I think ultimately, Geocaching.com wanted it to be an “official” promotion. They have to be paid, you know!
October 23, 2016 @ 8:57 am
Excellent article!! I’m an “old newbie” to geocaching, by that I mean I’ve been caching for 10 years, but only active a couple years of that, due to life, divorce, and such. So I’ve been around, but not in the game. I went to a geocaching event yesterday, and was surrounded by premium members, people who have thousands of finds, who helped set up caches for statewide geotours, etc. and even though they were nice, I felt a bit of an outsider as they talked about their adventures, their hides, finds, and cachers they know or have encountered, and I felt like a newbie. True my 48 finds in 10 years is not impressive compared to their thousand(s) +, but I can’t let that get me feeling less of a cacher, as our life experiences aren’t the same, so I salute their successes, and strive to better mine. True I’m just a “basic” no frills member of geocaching.com, but that’s not going to stop me from being the best basic I can be, it’s not going to stop me from sharing my fun with others, or trying to come up with ideas for other basics to enjoy those “special caches” that premiums can easily search attributes to find, but basics have to luck themselves into.
I’m sorry that even among “our own” that there’s cliques, groups, or individuals that feel the need to attempt to show their superiority, to police everyone according to their interpretation of the rules. Lol, I recall learning a lesson in rules in a class I took, it involved another interest I have, but the same rules apply. The instructor said, “there are two rules here. Number 1, Geocaching (substituted for the actual activity) is fun. Number 2, see rule number 1” sure there are rules and guidelines to follow in order to make it fair for all, but it’s also supposed to be fun, it’s supposed to be something you enjoy, not something so strict and structured that it’s no longer fun but a chore. Sure it’s something that you need to be serious about, for safety reasons, but take to seriously it takes away the enjoyment due to, do you follow the letter of the law, or the spirit of the law? Every game has its cheaters, it’s jerks, and “experts”, and if they need to do those things to feel better about themselves, so be it. But I for one will follow the rules of the fun nature of the game, of geocaching, and enjoy it, and not be so anal about it that I steal fun from others. I’ll follow rule number 1.