Saturday, July 27, 2013

050 : A Geocaching Rant

Normally, I'm all about geocaching and telling the entire world how awesome it is. But today, I just want to rant a bit.

I was just over on the geocaching forums, because I spent a good chunk of today geocaching. Today was actually a really good day. I found every geocache, but I was still in a bad mood about it. It was actually probably about the message I received a few hours after I posted all of my logs. A cache creator deleted a log of mine on accident, because she was trying to delete my photo.

So, I take a photo at every cache. Sometimes it's of the people I'm with, sometimes it's of the cache itself, sometimes it's a clue to finding the cache, sometimes it's something in the area, sometimes it's just a boring photo of greenery or whatever. I use Instagram to do this and tag everything with geocaching hashtags and post everything to Tumblr. It's how I enjoy playing the game. So when a cache creator wanted to delete my photo (because it showed the cache location, though not the cache), it just pissed me off. I went to the forums and they were actually pretty hilarious to me.

There's a lot of derision and mocking of "newbie" cachers, making fun of those who have found fewer than 100 caches, because they can't possibly understand the game. There's a lot of opinions flying around, like logs with "TFTGC" from "smart phone users" are just lame. (That stands for Thanks For The Great Cache.) Like the length of a virtual log is somehow important. There were people asking about etiquette and then so many cachers giving advice on that etiquette...and it's all funny, because there is no real etiquette and everyone is out there playing the game they want to play.

This is the biggest lesson I've learned, and it's not a new lesson, and it's true everywhere in the world, but it surprised me anyway: Everyone is playing their own game. They don't really care about my game, and it's only tangential that our games ever affect one another's. Even though the rules on are pretty specific, those rules are broken. There are blatant, commercial caches two miles down the road from me, and people make this game hard because they think harder is funner...they think tricky geocaches is clever or interesting or fun. (Those are just two examples fresh in my mind, but the spirit of the game is so often broken.) And I guess it should not be a surprise to me that people play their own game for their own reasons...because they want easy caches or lots of caches or because they want to place lots of caches or trick people with how clever their hide is.

But that's life, right? Everyone is just playing their own game, and no one is really out there making decisions for the benefit of all. So it shouldn't surprise me that such a large, group game is the same. It's just kind of disappointing, every time I realize this...and it means that my game is a little less fun and a little less meaningful.

Even when I have a day where I collect 10 caches easily, someone can find a way to rain on my parade. And in that respect, geocaching is really just like life of late.


  1. I can relate... good read.

    1. Thanks for your comment! I guess I'm sorry you can relate, because that means someone has rained on your parade. But I hope you're still having lots of fun out there!