Twas the eve before christmas,
just at the start of the night,
a young cacher was stirring,
turning on a flashlight.
His GPS was hung by the door on
its perch, in hopes that
tonight would be a great time
for a search.
The other cachers were nestled
all snug in their beds, with
dreams of big find counts
dancing round in their heads.
The young cacher donned mitts,
coat and a cap, while other
cachers settled in for their
Out on the cold trails the lone
cacher heard chatter, he turned
down the path to see what was
Backtracking his trail, he flew
like a flash, jumping a
creekbed without making a
With the moon shining down on
the new fallen snow, He
discovered a man, dressed in red
head to toe.
“Santa?” he thought, “does he
really exsist? But wait…,
where’s the reindeer, the
sleigh, and the gifts?”
The muggle was standing there
shaking the snow from his hat,
“Damn reindeer!” he muttered
“I’ll get them back!”
The lone cacher thought quickly
and offered his help, but the
red man looked skyward, and let
out a yelp.
“Get back here!” he screamed,
then he turned to the youth, “I
fell out of my sleigh, I need
to finish my route!”
The cacher pulled out a iphone,
he then downloaded
an app. He passed it to Santa,
who gave it a tap.
“My goodness!” he cried, “this
is a marvelous app, the
reindeer are near, they’re just
taking a nap!”
So the young cacher and Santa
set off on a walk, they climbed
up some hills and all the while
Santa thanked the young man
while he boarded his sleigh,
and in true Santa style he flew
up, up, and away.
The cacher went back and found
one more hide. He opened the
cache box, and smiled with
There was his letter to Santa
he had written age three, he
placed in his pocket, and hid
the cache in a tree.
As he started for home he
walked into some fog. He was
mulling over what to write in
The cacher returned home, to
find santa had been there, he
left a new GPS and some clean
The log for the cache was
written that evening, it read
“Thanks for the cache,” and
“Don’t stop believing!”
I was contacted the other day by a cacher who was fed up with other players in the game placing challenge caches that have impossible criteria listed in the cache page description. My first thought when I read her letter was “Why don’t you go and find them anyway?” You may not get a smiley for the day, but I have always thought the fun was in the finding of caches, not the tedium of logging them. She went on to say that she felt other, bigger players in the game were “thumbing their nose” at casual cachers such as herself, and pointed me in the direction of a few listings. It got me thinking…Why do cachers put out caches that will not be found by many finders, if any at all?.
Well, first let’s go to the groundspeak rules and see how it is someone would be allowed to put out a cache that can only be logged by a few players in our game. So, according to the rules….”A challenge geocache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers. A challenge geocache may not specifically exclude any segment of geocachers.” Well, I guess bending the rules is OK once in a while as long as it is groundspeak doing the bending.
In my research to look into this further, I found a few geocache challenges that had not been logged by anybody.
One cache listing requires cachers to find 21 separate caches at specific longitude and latitudes. http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC28FH8_michigan-degree-confluence-challenge. Now to be fair to these cache hiders, I don’t really see why this is not attainable by anybody in the area, however after almost 3 years of being listed no cacher has logged a smiley yet. (perhaps criteria could be loosened up a bit) Placing a cache no one has logged yet couldn’t possibly seen as friendly to all who read the description or you would have had finders by now.
Another cache with no finders requires finders to specifically find ammo cans in 100 different counties in a U.S. state. http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC1ZWQH_the-north-carolina-ammo-can-challenge It has been 3 years and no finders yet, there is a small chance there are cachers qualified to do this one, but if it was me personally, I wouldn’t bother doing the research to find out whether or not I qualify for it. (no wonder you have no finders)
A popular challenge cache has always been “the grid challenge” This type of challenge requires cachers to log cache finds in each of the difficulty and terrain ratings. 81 different finds in total. It was a nice idea, but now there are double, triple and quad challenges of the same idea. This might be seen as “thumbing your nose” as it is not attainable by cachers with physical limitations or who have no use of specific equipment such as a boat or ATV. (So much for the rule, ” needs be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers”)
There are all sorts of challenges out there, some require travel, (also not attainable by persons with limited income). A few that require you to cache a specific number of days in a row (be glad you have a life outside geocaching) , a few that require you find an incredible amount of trackables. (good luck with this one)
So to respond to the lady who sent me her rant, my advice would be find them anyway, leave a note on the cache page saying when you have no life outside geocaching you will be happy to make the qualifications for their cache and log it properly. Be glad you have more to do in life than get 1000 smileys in a month, discover 10 000 trackables, or geocache in 50 different countries. The Bitchy Cacher has found a few of these caches, and even though the real finders of some of these need to spend thousands of dollars and cache around the clock to be able to log a find, the caches themselves are nothing special. In some cases they were only a nano, no special swag, no clever hide, no special redeeming qualities whatsoever. Makes you wonder why you bothered to make the requirements to log it when there was nothing interesting for you to find after all your hard work.
So are they “thumbing their nose at you” ? Maybe, but probably not you specifically. More likely they are bragging about their own accomplishments without actually publicly bragging. Feel free to start a public bookmark list and call it “The Bitchy Cacher Ignore list” Perhaps some of these hiders will make their next hide a little more casual cacher friendly.
In my attempt to research the alternative side of our sport I ran across quite a few websites that seemed to be simply “hater blogs” for our game.
Here is a prime example;
I commented on this guys page a long time ago, he doesn’t seem to give any reasons or valid points to ponder. He quite frankly seems like someone who ran into some rude disrespectful cachers within his caching career. He claims to have at one time been a geocacher himself.
Another prime example of just hate without any valid points made;
http://muggled.net/join-mdn/ — these people promise to muggle your cache if you place one…( BTW, How is that working for you so far? ) only 5 million more geocaches and you’re there! Apparently it is NOT working for you because your site has been closed down.
Another closed down site for anti caching…
http://anticacher.npage.de/— Guess this guy couldn’t take the scrutiny from cachers or could not pay his web hosting bill.
And lets not forget facebook….
http://www.facebook.com/groups/6260992578/ —- This page refers to geocaching as organised littering, but only has one person seems willing to post his name to the members page.
a few articles about a group that has an eco friendly side to their hate.
Apparently if you find an environmental excuse for your hate then you are golden. The people muggling caches here are known as the “forest defenders”–http://forestdefender.blogspot.ca/
And if you really hate the “forest defenders” there’s a page for that too…
As a geocacher myself I can come up with about a dozen reasons not to geocache and about the same in arguments against our sport, but yet people who make a website out of hating our game couldn’t do any better than “it’s littering” and it “tramples small plants causing damage to environment.” These sites also could not stand up to any scrutiny once the users at the GC forums got wind of them. (he he…)
So, The Bitchy Cacher is once again here to help sort things out. This is for all you haters of our sport… Let’s get it right this time shall we?
1. Do not allow comments on your blog . So, you came home to 200 hate mails because your blog caught the attention of the GC forums. ”my bad!” just doesn’t seem to cover it here. you should have known better… if they want to offer their own opinion they can start their own blog correct? Do it right next time.
2, Have a better argument than “All geocachers are assholes!” There are assholes everywhere you go in life. Chances are these people aren’t just assholes when it comes to geocaching. So, please come up with examples of these types of cachers, and go ahead and call them out on your blog page. (you disallowed comments right?)
3. All geocachers already know that our game is essentially organized littering so if you are going to go out and muggle our caches…DO IT! , Find like minded people and organize it, only a troll goes around saying they are going to do this, without actually doing it. Don’t worry The Bitchy Cacher has a back-up cache at home for every cache I own, I alone could keep you guys busy for months. Don’t just talk about it, actions speak louder than words.
4. Have valid arguments and points to ponder, show pictures of damage caused by geocachers, show log entries of players who broke the rules or trespassed on private property to get a cache find. These type of examples are out there, but hey you just opened up a blogspot account, that’s enough for one day. Worry about having actual proof geocachers are causing damage for another time.
5. Have followers, (even if it is only your grandma and her sewing guild) having no followers or comments supporting your opinion just makes you look disgruntled and crabby. You DO have many valid arguments against geocaching to make. If you just would make them from an environmental and socially responsible stand point you might actually have a few real followers.
6. Keep up on your blog, if you really felt geocaching was a waste of time, you would update your blog once in a while. Writing one paragraph 6 years ago does not make you an active advocate of “anti geocaching” It makes you look lazy and as if you have not one single good point to make in the last half decade. Come on, how about a new post once in a while? Surely there has been a geocacher who has pissed you off recently, write about it!
Now, my original intent on this blog post was to give the haters some free press. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I was actually in search of valid points against our sport, but found only a few. So in the name of ”live and let live” I am going to let the haters have their fun, and leave my comment section open for them to have their say, after all if we hate “the haters” then we are no better than they are…
If anyone has a website you think The Bitchy Cacher should see on please post it here in the comments section
In today’s rant we will rundown some of the observances I made while travelling to several different European countries on our recent vacation.
1. The event cache.
Noticed quite a few event caches that simply were cachers from North America saying “I’m here, come meet me!”. Nice.., but wouldn’t it have been better if rather than trying to create your own event you had joined in on an already existing one by the locals? In several listings the only cachers who seemed to be joining in were also coincidentally in the country from North america. On one listing for an event , the cache owner archived the listing, ( because no one signed up to go), with a cheap parting shot at the local cachers. A bonk on the head goes to this asshole. If only you had not been so self absorbed you would have noticed there already was an event that same day placed by the local association. Well at least now they know what they would have been in for if they had shown up at your event.
2. Nobody cared that the cache was in bad repair.
In more than one find along our travels we found really crappy containers being held together with sticky tape or band-aids wrapped in a zippy bag. Some of these caches were quite old and get this…. nobody cared. Log books and new zippy bags were replaced by locals to make sure a cache in a significant location was still around for the future, even if they did not know who placed it. A big thank you to these people, I found some of these caches and was grateful for it still being around.
3. Favorite points.
Hurrah, they give them out generously over in Europe, even a “tic tac” container hidden in a sidewalk crack got favorite points. Some tourist caches had hundreds of favorite points just for the location alone. Back home, it would seem that if you want a favorite point you have to be really creative and put out tons of effort and money to make a favorite points worthy cache. Kudos to these players, they bring the word “grateful” to a new level. On one cache listing I noticed a note on the cache page that read: “As soon as I earn another point, you’ll be getting a favorite from me!” ….This guy really “gets it”.. he had over 900 finds.
4. Caches placed in areas of significance.
Unlike the city in which I live, caches were not crammed in the minimum distance apart. There did not seem to be the over saturation of crappy caches we have on our side of the pond. Most were placed in interesting areas to explore. We never found a nasty dumpster cache or parking lot skirt lifter. Might explain the favorite points thing too… It would seem, not everyone is out to see how many caches they can pack into an urban area. Thanks again to the locals for this, I never had to waste my time on anything that wasn’t worthy of a log entry.
Now, to be fair… these were only our experiences. Our tour around Europe, mostly took us to urban centers. The one pair of local cachers we actually met were very nice. They commented in their log entry on how they got the opportunity to try their english on us. (extremely gracious of you!) We did not have geocaching as our specific focus for our trip, but it did make a walk in the local city parks more interesting and filled in the gaps between tours and opening hours for museums nicely. The couple rural area caches we found all seemed to be placed by only a few cachers, a big thank you to these folks, you certainly “get it” when it comes to attracting tourists….(If you leave it… we WILL come!) and we did…,and we left feeling better than when we came….
In today’s rant, we will examine the very rarest of the geo-species, “The geo-hog”
Now, how do you know if you are a hog? Well, there are a very few simple ways to tell…
1. Do you take multiple caching swag items and chip in a quarter?
2. Do you own more than your fair share of caches in an area close to you?
3. Do you make a run out the door when a new cache notification comes up, not caring that you’ve already bagged the last 10 F.T.F. released in your area?
4. Have you held more than your fair share of event caches?
5. Do your caches have the monopoly on a certain area of interest? Are they placed so tightly they don’t allow for other users to come in a place one in the vicinity?
Congratulations, You ARE a geo-hog!
Perhaps you are not a hog, and are reading this and nodding your head. The Bitchy Cacher is here to empathize with you, and to give a few pointers so you won’t become one of the people you hate.
First off there is absolutely no need to own more caches than you could possibly maintain. How many is this you ask? If it would take more than a couple of days to perform maintenance on all of them, you have too many.
There is a user in my area who owns more than 200 caches, (most of them junk) He seems to think that if users post needs maintenance logs on his caches, he should just archive them, and place new ones instead. Don’t be this guy,
Don’t be a swag hog, always carry some decent trinkets and good trade-ables with you when you cache. You can never tell when you might find something you will like, and saying to yourself “No one will care” just isn’t true.
In one of my first caches ever placed, I filled it with some very decent well thought out swag. After a few months of receiving several log entries that read; “TNLNSL”. I went to check on it… there was originally 16 items left for trade, there were 3 when i checked on it. The only truthful log entry was from a 12 yr old boy who said he a left a seashell. (it was there) Thanks for the shell kid, you get the honesty award.
Don’t monopolize an entire area with your caches, you’re not the first person to discover it. If there are no room for other caches, what is ever going to bring cachers back to it a second time after they have done yours?
Co-ordinate your event caches with other cachers. Do you really want to meet with people you just met with 2 days ago? Post a message of intent on your local forums make sure your geo friends won’t have to pick and choose between events.
I just got a new notification for an event cache close to me, it is only 5 days away and no one has said they would be there, all the logs read “sorry will be attending GCxxxx event, too bad you won’t be there” This would not have happened had you thought ahead.
lastly, please don’t be a first to find hog, if you’ve gotten the last few give it a rest for a bit, give others the chance to feel what you felt signing an empty log book. I have seen quite a few subtle jabs in logbooks aimed toward first to find hogs. Get a clue people. You ARE a hog.
My quest to always look into geocaching with an alternative view has led me to research GC users who no longer go caching.
First off, it should be mentioned more users than not, ever reach the 200 finds mark. Why? We can only guess, they did try the sport, just did not find it fun enough to continue doing it anymore.
The Bitchy Cacher has talked with a few users to hear their side of things. players gave plenty of reasons for not wanting to play the game anymore. Here is just a few…
“It got boring” — O.K. we hear you, and respect this, it is not for everybody.
“I did not like the ‘cloak and dagger’ aspect of it” –There are plenty of caches where muggles are nowhere near them, but hey, it’s your call…
“I did not feel it was an environmentally friendly idea” — I have blogged about this before, you may be right on the money about this, only time will tell.
“I got poison ivy several times, and found generally I was allergic to the outdoors”— Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.
“I did not like other geocachers, the local geocachers around where I live are jerks” —You could have ignored these people, or not logged finds to stay under their radar, but once again it’s your call.
“I did not give up on it entirely, just saving it for vacations” —It’s been 3 years since you’ve logged anything, you must be a workaholic!!
“It would be just finding more of basically the same thing over and over again, I found a few that’s enough for me”—This is also very true, well, at least you tried.
“I did not give up on caching…I still go to events and social gatherings”—So you’ve changed from finding tupperware to finding people to have beers with? O.k., but swapping geo stories with you might be a little limiting in fact you haven’t had a find in 2 years.
These users were actually smart enough to give up on the sport before they became to highly critical of it. I can think of quite a few users who should be giving up on the sport rather than becoming the people I blog about in my posts.
This brings me to “Caching burnout” or when your “get-up-and-go, got-up-and-went”. But how can you tell? Don’t worry The Bitchy Cacher is here for you with a checklist….
1. You were going to go out caching, but decided the garage needed cleaning,—this would not have stopped you when you were enthused about the sport.
2. Your found logs have a bitchy tone to them—. i.e.. crappy weather, stepped in doo doo, got scraped by branches etc.
3. Your excuse to not go caching was “No one would go with me”—see also; co-dependency. If you don’t want to go caching, you could just admit this.
4. You become critical of cache size or star ratings.— So, you hiked up a mountain to leave a travel bug, only to find out it wasn’t going to fit into the pill bottle. This would have not bothered you before. Sounding off on the cache owner just makes you look bad, not them.
5. You browsed GC.com briefly, and decided there was nothing new worth finding.—Really!!? you are within 40 miles of 5000 caches and NOTHING was worth finding?
6. You don’t look forward to going out, but you drag your ass off the couch because you felt the need to leave the house.—Do everyone a favor and do something else, I don’t want anyone finding my caches that will see it as a chore.
Now, if our sport really was not “all about the numbers”. it might not be not be so hard for players to take a break from it. Perhaps if there was no find count next to our caching I.D., we wouldn’t feel so obligated to keep going. It is important here that you keep the game fun for yourself, if you do not look forward to going out caching, it is very simple.. DON’T GO. Take a break from it. I have always advocated for quality over quantity when it comes to the game. Dragging yourself to get a find just so you wont have an empty spot on your caching calendar is rather lame, and will only amplify your resentment of the game.
So why do players who obviously need to take a break from the game continue to do it? Who knows? Pride? Competition with others? Don’t want to disappoint their geo friends? Perhaps they find some sort of shame in giving up on it.
Now this blog would not be complete without paying homage to players who made this game great, but no longer play the game. There are several cache owners in the area where I live who have not logged a find in years but still diligently maintain their caches for others to enjoy. Kudos to these people, they still understand that it it still fun for other players in the game and still like to feel you are connected to the sport in some way. You seem to have the good sense to keep it fun for yourself, if only to read your log entries for the day. Perhaps one day you will dust off the old GPSr and discover new found enthusiasm for it.
I’m am going end this rant with a shout out to a player who had a very unique caching style and an enthusiasm for the sport like no other. I can really respect the fact this guy not only danced to the beat of his own drum, but faced any criticism he received with a polite retort and sense of humor.
I am so sad you do not cache anymore. We need more players like you, your blog and your caching profile showed your uniqueness and style. While your way of caching may not be for everyone, it made you happy, at least for a while. Finding your blog and profile made my day. Its so refreshing to find someone who is going to be who they are, above all public pressures to conform and go along with the status quo. And kudos to you, it could not have been easy to take pictures while caching, but you actually did something that added to the difficulty of your game and you are to be commended. The Bitchy Cacher would never do what you did out of modesty, but I do admire you for doing it.
I have been asked to answer one simple question from from someone from out side of our game…”Are all geocachers assholes?”
At the time I was asked this, my first immediate thought was “No”. For the most part all the cachers I have met in person seemed very nice. I have met no more assholes in this sport than I have in any other, so let us examine this idea a bit further and see if we can see both sides to the story.
First off, we must determine what exactly an asshole is when it comes to geocaching, these people are not easily recognizable so I have made up some neck signs that say “I am an asshole cacher” on them to hang around these peoples’ necks. Here are some things I think we can all agree on certain things that would qualify someone in our sport as being one.
We live in a polite society. There is no excuse for not using manners in this day and age. We were all taught them, we all use them, but for some reason when it comes to communicating with other users in our sport, some cachers seem to lose the ability to be polite. This makes them assholes. “here’s your sign”
Telling other users things like how many finds you have or caches you own, can be seen as “thumbing your nose” at other players. As far as I am concerned, all players are at level pegging in this game. The fact that you have 10 times the finds I do does not make you superior to me or others, but the fact you pointed it out makes you an asshole “Here’s your sign”
3. Disregard for environment, public or private property.
Yep, without a doubt…”here’s your sign”
4. Sticklers for the rules.
Players who delete found logs of finders who found themselves with out a pen to sign and took a picture instead. Cache owners who delete logs because they had not met the ALR in the cache description to the owners satisfaction. Since any ALR in a cache description is only optional (according to groundspeak), you just wind up looking like an asshole, so you might as well take one of my signs while your at it.
5. Inconsideration for other players.
Taking all the swag, not putting a cache back where you found it, or bothering to re hide the cache properly. Yep,… you get it… “here’s your sign”
6. Inconsideration to the public.
Telling muggles to “get lost”, dealing with property owner concerns rudely, or trashing a public area. These are the assholes who give our sport a bad rap, it already is in danger of being banned in some areas because of these assholes, so.. “here’s your sign”
7. Giving advice that was not asked for.
The found log on a cache page is for recording your experience in finding a cache. Leaving critique or a link to the groundspeak guidelines and rules, is not your place. If someone wants your advice they will ask for it, until you can get this through your thick head, please wear this sign around your neck it will make it easier for all of us to identify you. “here’s your sign”
Now to be fair, and try to see the other point of view, I can imagine most players who are assholes don’t even realize what they are doing is rude and disrespectful. These people have had no training on how to deal with the public politely, and as far as they were concerned they were only being direct, not rude and condescending. Well, others did so.., “here’s your sign”
Geocaching is a user based sport, and quite frankly being rude in it is rather a stupid thing to do. The Bitchy Cacher NEVER responds to any contact from another cacher that is being an asshole. Their caches and any future ones they put out are on my ignore list and will stay there with one of my signs pasted over top. I will not let these people get me down or ruin my game, they are simply ignored. If they persist they are reported to Groundspeak for harassment.
So I will end this blog with the original question I was asked, “Are all geocachers assholes?” No, not all, some, but no larger percentage than any other group of people or profession out there. Feel free if you run into an asshole during your caching career to send them a link to my blog with the title in the heading “here’s your sign”