The beginning of March will signify the start of my seventh year of geocaching.
For those who have no clue what geocaching is, it’s basically a worldwide treasure hunt using GPS receivers. People hide an item, which ranges in size, posts the coordinates and then people go find them. When you find it, you sign the long, sometimes can trade trinkets and then log it online.
The game has been wonderful to me as it’s taken me places I’ve never been or may never have seen if it weren’t for geocaching. It’s also gotten me out of the house more and given me a reason to exercise.
All good things, I’d say.
However, like many hobbies and games, once you do it for so long, sometimes you need to switch things up. With geocaching, a lot of things become repetitive and boring. A rage in the geocaching community has been the same sort of micro-size caches. It makes it tough when going out in hopes of finding a cool cache.
There’s also, seemingly, been a push for the overly creative and hard finds. Therefore, some people just can’t find those caches. Though I like a good, creative and sometimes difficult hide, if I am traveling to find your geocache, my goal is to find it — not log a did not find.
So where’s the middle ground?
It all depends on the cacher you speak with. My own personal view is this — I want to hide something people enjoy. Some of my caches are harder than others, but I always want people to find them. DNFs don’t make me smile.
With that in mind, I utilize hints. I need to go through, but I’m pretty sure the majority of my caches have hints attached, thus helping a cacher. I’ve noticed, however, that many people don’t utilize hints and that’s a shame.
Even though I’ve played the game for so long, I still get stumped on the easiest of caches. Maybe I’m overthinking or overlooking because I’ve seen it before or whatever. But it happens and there are times I just need that extra “hint hint” from somewhere. And in the end, I see nothing in that spot.
It’s disappointing to walk away from an “easy” cache without find. Also, for some of us who carry extra caches, if a hint helps give things away and the cache seems to be missing, we could always leave a replacement. Not knowing if I am missing it or not means I can’t help.
My favorite hint though? The ones that say “none” or “none needed.” (Mind you hints are decoded). What a waste. If you are going to do that, then don’t leave one at all.
Hint, hint — it’s a game. Make sure it’s fun for all!
(Side note and another “hint hint” — I have been really tied up with my whole health situation, so I haven’t had the chance to reply to comments and read other people’s posts. Rest assured I plan on catching up ASAP with everyone in the challenge!)
This is part of We Work for Cheese’s annual writing challenge. Despite what might be blamed, I had nothing to do with it. Go check them out for other crazy writers doing this challenge.
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