Geocaching

Geocaching Statistics: An Overview

My geocaching statistics as of August 26, 2020

I mentioned a while back about looking to find more geocaches in different counties after another geocaching blogger I follow was chronicling his adventures doing that. Someone commented that it was a “different way of looking at it.” That’s not really the case. You’d think the simplicity of finding a container, signing the log sheet, and entering the find on the Geocaching website was simple enough. As the years have gone by since it first began 20-ish years ago, people have compiled statistics every which way you can imagine. I liken it to baseball at times with the way you can break them all down. There are at least two sites I know of (besides the Geocaching website itself) that are dedicated to analyzing geocaching statistics.

Everyone finds different statistics that drive them. A few people I know like to see their ratios a certain way. There’s a challenge cache where you have to have Unknown (or Puzzle) geocaches be at least 17% of your finds. Someone I know likes to keep his puzzle ratio around 24%. This way they choose what caches to find that will achieve that end. It’s just another way of challenging yourself.

The above statistics come from the Geocaching website itself, loaded into the site called MyGeocachingProfile. I use that site to choose what statistics I want on my geocaching page that’s public for everyone to see. It’s pretty basic. I’ve found 6,045 geocaches. It would work out to at least one find a day if I cached every day. Winters are pretty rough up here, which is when I had the most time between finding geocaches in the winter of 2011-2012.

This shows the ups and downs of my caching history. Most of the big drops are over the winter (except for January 2020 when I spent 3 weeks in Florida).

This is pretty straight-forward. It shows how many caches I found each year and breaks it down to how many caches I found per 365 (or 366) days for the year and looks at how many I found on average for each day that I actually went out geocaching. 2015? That was when my friend Kevin and I were trying to out-do each other with the number of finds for the year. Kevin was the person who got me into geocaching in the first place. I now have more geocaching finds than he does.

Yes, I have managed to find a geocache every day of the year; not consecutively. A few mild winters helped this. I think I finished this two years ago.

This takes all of the finds I’ve made and breaks them down by day and month. I seem to go geocaching on Saturdays the most. April seems to be my best month. I think, after being cooped up inside all winter, I’m just ready to get out a lot more. August is coming up though and might pass it for this year.

When hiding a geocache, it’s broken down by type. They are also broken down by size. This figures out statistics based on those. This would be where you would see the percentage of which type of cache find. My Unknown geocaches are just under 9%. I don’t see me getting it up to 17% any time soon.

The Difficulty/Terrain grid is also known as the “Fizzy Grid.” When hiding a cache, the cache owner gives the hide a rating from 1-5 on difficulty of finding the cache and difficulty of the terrain. 1 is the easiest, 5 is the most difficult for each. The idea here is to fill in the grid with each combination. It’s also know as “the way to 81” since there are 81 squares to fill in. I’ve given passing thought to filling this in, but the higher terrains are pretty hard for me. It’s one of the reasons I’ve tried to get my son interesting in geocaching by canoe with me.

This maps out the caches based on home location and overall. The cache closest to my home is one I hid down the hill from my house. The one I found furthest away was in Montenegro on a Mediterranean cruise I took two years ago. The other section is based off of the Prime Meridian for east and west an then my cache finds at furthest latitude north and furthest latitude south.

If you drew lines between all of my geocache finds, it would circumnavigate the globe almost 7 times. I haven’t quite made it to the moon yet!

This is my personal favorite statistic and the one I’m most proud of. I’ve managed to find a geocache in 23 countries around the world. I would have added quite a few more this year, if not for COVID-19.

This shows the number (and location) of States I’ve found a geocache in. Our trips to Florida have helped with this a lot as well as a couple of trips to California and Las Vegas. The county map shows where I’ve found geocaches in a county. This is the one that I want to try to conquer more, since another blogger is far ahead of me and has only been geocaching for 2 years. Again, you can see, all those trips between New Hampshire and Florida helped a lot. I need to spend a little more time off of the interstates, though.

Each state has maps like this. There are 10 counties in New Hampshire and I found at least one geocache in each one. The Delorme information goes back to the early days of geocaching. Delorme publishes an Atlas & Gazetteer for each state. Depending on the size of the state is how many pages there are in each Atlas. The idea was to find a geocache for each page of that state’s Atlas. Some have different versions of the Atlas since the original. I chose only to display my stats for New Hampshire on my profile. There is one of these for each state. As I fill in other states, I’ll add them to the profile.

Some geocachers are really into being the first to find a geocache after it’s published. I don’t focus on it too much, but I’ve been lucky at times. Over the years I’ve been the first to find a newly-published geocache 27 times. This shows the most recent 25 of them. 2018 was a good year for that.

This shows my milestone finds. I try to choose a special geocache to find for each one. I didn’t realize my 10 year milestone just passed. For some reason, I had it in my head I started in 2011.

Geocaching has been around for 20 years, but many of those old caches have disappeared over the years. It’s getting harder and harder to find them. The oldest one still active is in Kansas, and I’d like to get to that one this winter. I’ve been lucky enough to find quite a few of them.

In the Fizzy grid (above) the most difficult cache is a 5 difficulty, 5 terrain. I’ve found 3 of those. “Challenges” are where the geocacher has to accomplish something first to be able to find and log that geocache. The first one on that list was where I had to find geocaches 1000 miles apart on the same day. I found one in New Hampshire before I flew to Orlando and found one there. There are very few ways to accomplish that which is why it’s considered so difficult. The Delorme challenge for New Hampshire is to find a geocache on every page of this state’s Delorme Atlas. That’s difficult because there’s a lot of driving involved.

Traveling caches were a thing early on in Geocaching. People hid a cache and the idea was to pick it up and sign the log, but instead of putting it back where you found it, you needed to put it in a new place and post the coordinates in the log online for the next person to find. I managed to find two of them before the Geocaching website stopped allowing them.

The Fizzy Grid I talked about? Here is the detail involved with the first geocache I found for each of those grid boxes.

Many people are just hiding small or micro containers now because they are easy to maintain and don’t tend to disappear as fast as the larger containers. This area encourages people to look for different types of caches in different places, and in some cases different countries! It’s hard to believe with all the geocaches I’ve found, I’ve never had a difficulty/terrain combination day like I had in 2012!

Remember how I talked about those older geocaches from the early days? Those are the hardest ones to find. I need a few of those to have found a geocache in every month since geocaching began. That’s why we like to hang onto those older ones as long as the community can keep them going.

When owners hide a geocache for others to find, they fill in the date they placed it. I’ve found geocaches placed on every day of the year, twice over and I’m close to finding them 3 times over.

I couldn’t find as many geocaches as I have without the people who hide them. This section shows whose hides I’ve found the most. The information from MYgeocachingprofile is on the left. This section on another site – https://project-gc.com/ – on the right shows it a little differently with a little more information.

This shows the geocaches I’ve found where the name of the geocache begins with each letter of the alphabet and numbers 0-9. The same is true for the geocacher name, where there are two I’m still missing after all this time.

That’s an overview of just some of the statistics people have created for finding geocaches. It’s a fun way to generate motivation to conquer finding all of the geocaches in a particular area or type of geocaches, or just about anything you can think of. There are many “Challenge” geocaches that challenge a geocacher to accomplish a specific statistical task before you go find that geocache and sign the log.

Categories: Geocaching

3 replies »

  1. You have me beat except for US states – I’ve got every one but Alaska and Hawaii. Before COVID we were going to go on a cruise (would just be getting back today) to Alaska right after GeoWoodstock. I’m working on the calendar grid and making progress. I might just get it filled in if we have a mild winter… So far I only have 3263 caches but I’m planning on getting a few more in the next week!

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  2. I’m going to upstate New York next week to get some counties there. I’m also visiting Lake Placid and Almanzo Wilder’s childhood farm in Malone, so not all geocaching. We were supposed to be on a Baltic cruise in 10 days so I would have added 7 European countries and visited Scotland and Bermuda earlier in the year if not for Covid 😦 I’m thinking about doing a long drive in January depending on what the virus does and seeing how many states I can add where there isn’t snow.

    My goal here was really to show muggles how many different ways you can chart geocaching finds and how anyone can find a way to use it to challenge themselves. I was thinking about the Fizzy grid earlier in the year, but now I’m not as fixated on it. I think this year has left me with more the desire to explore right now, so adding counties and Delorme grids is a good goal.

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