Geocaching

I thought it might be a–let’s call it: not so good–idea but I couldn’t help it …

I’ve started geocaching back in 2005 when many people hadn’t heard of it and couldn’t imagine what this may be. My profile proves that I’m not the most avid geocacher, there were years with hardly any found logged (and there’s even a zero for 2011) but now and then I pick it up again, especially when walking long distance paths as geocaches often make a nice interruption to the walk itself. The last significant burst in my statistics thus happened in 2015 by caching while walking the Fife Coastal Path and the Skye Trail. Me not being as active as I’d been in the beginning has a lot to do with the number of micro caches just thrown into the wood somewhere and mainly interesting for those hunting to push their statistics. This simply isn’t what made geocaching attractive to me when I started, bringing me to places I otherwise wouldn’t have visited and wondering what I’ve never seen in my home area.

But I couldn’t resist and uploaded my LEJOG route in pieces to see from the so-called Pocket Queries how many geocaches are within reach of my trail. I’ve restricted it to traditional caches (where the coordinates you get from the database indicate the cache location, so no treasure hunt over several stages) and earthcaches which deal with sites of geological interest and usually don’t hold a container but require some research or reading information panels and sending answers to questions posed by the cache owner. And I limited the distance to my route as I can’t do long detours for them, although this still means that about a third of the caches in the query results are too far away given the features of the landscape.

The result was nevertheless impressing. I’ve not worked my way through all the queries but I assume that a list would contain about 1200 geocaches more or less within reach. Not all of them will really be searchable depending on a variety of factors, mainly time and possible route changes, and having a geocache on a list doesn’t mean I’ll find it. But even halving this quantity would double my found count and would place the UK way ahead of Germany being the country with my highest number of cache finds.

So I think I’ll look out for at least some of these containers. It will be interesting to see in the end how good I managed on that 🙂

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