Sunday, March 18, 2012

Your 2015 Geocaching Resolutions

 

It’s that time of year when we can’t help but look back and review what we’ve accomplished in the past year.  Accompanying it is the inevitable list of resolutions for the year ahead and it’s a safe bet to assume that at least some of them will include aims along the lines of “eat less” and “exercise more”.

This is where Geocaching can help.  Not only is walking along trails, clambering up embankments and battling undergrowth considered good exercise, the fresh air brings its own health benefits as well.  As a result, to “Geocache more” is a good resolution to have.

But what if you’re trying to find some motivation to encourage you to get out geocaching more regularly?  Well, here are some ideas for geocaching challenges that can make perfect resolutions for the year ahead.

Set A Goal

Geocaching.com’s statistics feature (found under your profile on the website) is great for showing you not just how many geocaches you’ve found in total but how many you’ve found each year or month since you started.  It doesn’t take a lot of analysis to see which months you cache the most and least.  It’s also easy to get a good idea of how many geocaches you find in a year.

Geocaching.com awards milestones every hundred, thousand and then ten thousand geocaches.  Given you have a good idea of how many caches you find in a year, it’s sometimes worth checking if your average aligns with an upcoming milestone.  Saying you want to find your Xth cache this year (whether that be your 500th or 5000th overall find) can help give you incentive to get out and caching.

Just remember to set a reasonable goal so that you don’t get to October and find you have half your targeted number of geocaches still to find.

Number Found In A Year

Alternatively, if you find that you are unable to hit a milestone in 2015 with you current rate of finds, why not try and beat your own record for number of caches found inside a single year.

With the Geocaching.com site having detailed stats on how many geocaches you find each year, it’s quite simple to find out what your best year for finds has been so far.

By looking at the month by month breakdown for your previously best year, it’s easy to see how many caches you need to do to stay ahead of your personal best.  That will also allow for seasonal variations (most people tend to cache more in the summer months than in the winter ones) and make it easier to get to December 2015 with your goal well and truly within reach.

Cache A Day

If number of finds isn’t something that interests you, why not consider “Cache A Day”.  There’s two ways you can approach this: completing your date grid or going for consecutive days caching.

The first is to look at the table entitled “Finds for Each Day of the Year” on your Geocaching.com profile statistics.  That will list each day of the year and how many geocaches you have found on that day and month, regardless of year.

Simply take a note of all the dates where you have a zero in the table and elect to find a cache on those dates.  The end result will be a table where every day has at least one find.

The trick to this challenge is to remember ahead of time when you have days coming up where you need to find a cache.  And then, of course, there are those days when you need to find a cache but it’s either raining or you have another engagement.  But then, who said it was meant to be easy?

calendar_cacheConsecutive Days

If completing your “Finds for Each Day of the Year” grid seems a bit too easy for you, why not see if you can beat your record for consecutive days with a find.  The Geocaching.com Profile Stats will list your current record, so it’s a simple case of just beating this number.

You can even go one stage further and try and find a cache every day for 2015.  Not only will you have 365 consecutive days but you’ll be left with just February 29 to complete to fill in your “Finds for Each Day of the Year” grid.

Difficulty / Terrain Grid

If you’re after a more physical challenge, then completing your Difficulty / Terrain grid (sometimes abbreviated to “D/T Grid”) is the perfect 2015 resolution for you.

Listed under the statistics tab on your Geocaching.com profile is a matrix entitled “Difficulty and Terrain of Caches I’ve Found”.  This is created from the difficulty and terrain ratings for all the geocaches you have found.  Your task is simply to complete that grid over the course of the year.

Some combinations are going to be difficult to find (particularly ones rated with high terrain but low difficulty or vice versa) and 5/5s (geocaches with a difficulty rating of 5 and a similar rating for terrain) are never going to be particularly easy.  But you have the entire year to search out and complete the caches you need.

Most in a Day

Of course, if the idea of spending an entire year to complete a resolution doesn’t interest you, you could always set a goal that could be done at any time during the year.  A popular one is to beat your personal record for the most geocaches found in a single day.  Whether that means ten or over a hundred caches needing to be found, it still requires some careful planning, meaning this is a resolution that needs a number of days of prep work.

Have Fun

Whatever you decide to do, whether it to be to set new personal records, complete grids on your profile, or ignore any sort of challenge whatsoever, have fun with your caching.  It’s meant to be recreation, not a chore!

What are your personal Geocaching resolutions for 2015?  Let us know in the comments below!

About Adrian Faulkner

Adrian Faulkner is a writer of both fiction and non-fiction. He is an active geocacher with over 9000 finds to his name. You can find more by Adrian at AdrianFaulkner.com and on his Google Plus page.

Comments

  1. Kaye McArthur says:

    I’ve been looking for a new “adventure.” This looks like something I mighy really enjoy. Where do I begin to find what I need to know?

    • Adrian Faulkner says:

      You’ll need either a handheld GPSr unit or the Geocaching.com app for your phone. You’ll want to sign up for an account at Geocaching.com (although you might also be able to do this through the app). The site has a load of information of what to do and how to play as well as details of all the caches! Good luck!

  2. I’ll usually find a park with some trails and a couple geocaches as motivation to go out walking. It doesn’t work to well in the winter though.

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