Artful Readers Club
"You're Having a Laugh" CJ
Desert Island Discs CJ
101 goals in 1001 days
Find at least one geocache in all 72 UK counties
Sketchbook Project 2012
Seeing all 30 NHL teams play
Visiting all 30 NHL arenas
Project Runway CJ
Artistic Licence CJ
Rock Resurrected CJ
Take Ten CJ
UKStampers CJ #3
Fabric Round Robin
UKStampers CJ #2
Before I launch into a pile of statistics, is there anyone reading this who doesn't know what geocaching is?
It is usually summarised as a hi-tech treasure hunt - I see it as a modern version of the orienteering I used to do with my mum as a kiddie - it's a great excuse and incentive to get out into the countryside, and discover fascinating aspects of your local neighbourhood that you never would have come across in the day-to-day hustlebustle.
Or as I read on someone's forum signature once - "geocaching takes you to all the wonderful places you were always too busy to go to"
I cache with my other half, Jay, asThe Chaos Crew :
We have been caching on and off for over three years now - the "Crew" used to include the kids as well, but they have since branched off and got their own team name.
Our find count is very low for a team of that vintage (most people seem to manage at least a couple of hundred finds a year, some many more than that). This is partly because we had a year and a bit off in the middle, and partly because we are sometimes a bit picky as to the quality of caches we go after - we like big boxes with lots of intresting things inside at the end of a fairly substantial walk through inspiring surroundings a lot more than we like microcaches stuck behind roadsigns in laybys....
You can see all the blog posts that I have made that mention geocaching here
Here's a summary of our team stats so far (more comprehensive, and usually more up to date, stats can be found here):
That long flat bit in the middle is where we didn't cache for over a year, and as you can see from the steepness of the graph, we have been a lot more active since starting back up again than we were back in 2008!
We'll hopefully be adding the U S of A to the country count in the next couple of years! Well, if we can find a few thousand £££ from somewhere..... down the back of the sofa maybe? Annoyingly we spent 2 weeks in Florida during our year off geocaching, I wish we had made the effort to find just one cache!
We're up to 20 counties now - I love colouring in new ones :) I think we should have a couple of road trips over the summer...
One cache type I’d very much like to find more of are the Letterbox Hybrids – especially as the first one we found had sadly had its rubber stamp stolen so it was no different to a normal cache in effect – it’s a real pity there aren’t more of them around. We've hidden two of our own over the past year, hopefully we'll start a local trend :) I also ought to pull my finger out on puzzle caches, and stop letting them intimidate me - I am sure they can't all be as impossible as they look.....
As you can see, we definitely prefer good sized (small and up, ideally regular) caches with goodies in to the iddy-biddy micro ones (although I have been known to pick up a micro or two around Cirencester on my lunchbreak from work, as that's pretty much all there is around here - and sometimes we do a full series with the kids as a way of keeping their interest up on a long walk, and they usually have a few micros along the way)
There is a challenge out there in Geocaching-land, to find at least one cache on each of the 81 possible points on the difficulty / terrain grid. I think we are a long way off achieving that particular badge of merit :) We did finally bag us a difficulty 5 recently though - which is rather exciting - I didn't even realise it was a 5 until we got home and logged it - much high fiving ensued! :D
And here are the travel bugs and geocoins I have so far released into the wild. I don't have much luck with them, sadly, they all seem to end up getting stuck or going missing.
My coexist coin was the first geocoin I launched, on March 10th 2008. It has lasted pretty well, 48 moves so far, and over 1,000 miles. It's currently up in Scotland.
This travel bug was Connor’s – launched in Stanley Park, Vancouver on March 13th, 2008. She travelled around British Columbia for a while, but eventually went missing in May 2009.
The Key to the (United) Kingdom trackable had the goal of getting back to England from Canada. Unfortunately it never made it. I launched it in a cache in Vancouver on the 18th March 2008, and it had quite an adventure after that, firstly going around BC a while, then it was taken on a cruise to Alaska, and finally it ended up in India. The person who took it from Alaska to India was not a cacher, but he did manage to register on the site, and leave a note against the trackable and send me an email to apologise for taking it, not realising what it was and that it was supposed to be moved along. It’s just a pity it didn’t get any mileage for that last part of its journey, and that he has never managed to release it back into the wild.
Hockeybug had the rather ambitious goal of visiting each of the 30 North American cities which host an NHL team. I had already taken it to Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary, so it had 27 left to go. I dropped it in a cache in Calgary on March 26th 2008, and sadly it didn’t get very far after that. It moved around Alberta a couple of times, often languishing for long periods in caches (the goal was maybe too difficult) – and then in May 2009 it was picked up by cacher “blackhorse12”, who seems to have kept it. I’ve emailed him a couple of times since, as he is still actively caching, but no response, sadly.
This was my second geocoin sent into the wild, launched 29th March 2008 - it was gorgeous - a really big, heavy coin. Sadly someone else also clearly thought it was a fabulous coin, as it was snaffled from a cache in Scotland in Summer 2008 after only 2 moves. I've been a bit wary of sending nice coins out there since this one.
Go-Go Bug was launched relatively recently, on April 12th 2010 in one of our own hides at home in Swindon, but has already travelled almost 5,000 miles! He was picked up from a cache in Spain in June and the cacher held onto him until October, despite caching very actively over those few months, which made me a bit nervous. But he was finally put back into circulation, visited Germany for a while and is currently hopping around Finland :)
This travel bug, complete with super cute mini Converse shoe, was launched at Hock Cliff in Gloucestershire on 17th April 2010 - Jay's eldest son Kieran was with us that day, along with the usual two ruffians, hence “three boys”. This one was last seen in the summer of 2010 in the cache Hey Toots near Stroud (now archived). But we went to check on it after it had been showing up for a while in that cache, and it wasn't there :( Emails to other recent finders didn't get me anywhere so that's another one missing, having managed only 14 miles travelled :( We have decided to relaunch this one with it's backup dogtag and a new shoe - and it's currently sitting in a cache we hope to publish (pending permission) to replace Hey Toots, so it can kind of carry on from where it left off...