Many people will know that geocaching is not a new thing, dating back to well before actual GPS locations could be used. Even since before the internet, things like geocaches existed. However, they were closely guarded secrets.
This means the hobby was not as accessible as it is today, creating only small communities of participants. This may lead you to think and wonder: Is geocaching still a thing today?
Yes, not only is geocaching still a thing; it is a trend and hobby that is growing at a steady pace. This is owing to multiple factors of the world around us, such as people wanting to get out of their houses, wanting to go where few have been, and the community generally being open to new people joining.
However, there is still questioning what the point of modern geocaches are, how would you know if a cache is still active, or how to update the status of older geocaches around the world. Luckily, these are all questions that a first-time explorer has, and the answers have been refined and updated to be as clear and simple as possible.
Here’s why geocaches are still active, how you can easily update them, and how to save yourself the time by not going to a dead geocache location.
What is the point of geocaching?
This is one of the most loaded questions you can ever ask a geocacher, especially die-hard explorers that have visited thousands of spots. It’s not just about exercise; many people that geocache within urban environments are not die-hard exercisers, nor are they limited to travelers that see the world.
It can be anyone from your next-door neighbor to the stranger that shares the train ride with you every morning.
The answer is long winded and differs for each person, but to put it simply, there are three things that drive the creation and discovery of geocaching:
Humans have loved exploring since before we could accurately record history, and it is a thing that almost every person has the drive to do. Even those that love sitting in front of their computer the whole day is exploring the world created by the internet.
Geocaching is not only a healthy option for those that feel the drive to go exploring; it is one of the most exhilarating ways you can satisfy that itch.
Because each cache is only vaguely logged, and usually located in a hard to reach location, geocachers need to go exploring to find them.
Posing a challenge to something that could be as mundane as walking through an empty filed, it’s always fantastic finally figuring out where that small container is.
Exploration is not the only reason geocaching will always be popular; the love for geocaching is also driven by the love of stories.
No one that regularly travels for pleasure will deny the amazing things that you see along the way. Travelers never go anywhere just to reach a new destination; they go because they heard a story of the place and the journey to reach it. It is the same with geocaching.
Each cache has been placed by someone in a unique location, with a unique story to them.
This is one of the ways that geocaching can outshine many other ways of exploring, like hiking or grave identifying.
Because each cache has a story, and they create stories just by existing when you go out to find the nearest cache, you will quickly realize that it’s more than exploring.
The friends you will meet, the scares you will have, and the things you will see are going to change you forever. These become stories that you will tell, inspiring other travelers to become geocachers, and repeating the cycle in the future. The stories that geocaches create are what feeds the need to take up the hobby while the secrets keep it going.
Geocachers are secrets, and there is no other way to look at them. You need a certain amount of information to find them. Even then, you need to know a few tricks to get the cache and read the logbook. This is also one of the biggest driving factors for geocaching becoming more popular over the years.
Every geocache has a logbook, which means that you get to share the discovery of them with many other people, and you see who else has found the cache. This creates a close-knit community of people that almost always gets along. Having a secret, one that you share with thousands of anonymous people, is one of the best feelings in the world.
It’s a strange thing, being one of the first people to get to a new geocache and knowing the secret to reach it. One day we might be the first people that reach a brand new geocache and have our names at the very top of a logbook.
How to know if a cache is still alive
This is a rather fun thing, and there is a subset of the geocaching world that has made it their duty to do this. Many caches are quiet for years on end, with no new entries in their logs for so long that most would have forgotten, until one day they are rediscovered.
Here are some ways to check if caches are still alive:
- App updates: Every geocaching application will know whether or not a cache is still active.
- Go exploring: Sometimes, the only way to really know is to go out and see whether or not a cache is still there.
- Forum Talks: Some of the oldest caches won’t be marked on apps yet. Talking to older cachers who know about the older caches will let you know where to look and to verify whether they are true or not.
- Local community: Talking to your local geocaching community will let you know whether or not some caches are active or not.
People do not tend geocaches; instead, they are left to be discovered by explorers and treasure hunters. Many geocaching apps will try their best to track how active some caches are and will update the listing as needed.
The people that actively go to check up on a lot of caches will update whether or not a cache is there. A lot of the time, they will reveal that new buildings, owners, or a storm, for example, destroyed certain caches. This is part of the fun of geocaching, not always being entirely sure whether or not a cache is still there.
For a more in-depth look, you can also check out our article on “How To Know If a Geocache is Still There: 7 Tips & Tricks.“
How to update the status of a cache
This is one of the easiest aspects of geocaching, considering the other things you need to do.
Every application will ask you a few questions about the geocache that you just visited, like conditions, ratings, and maybe even a picture. With this, you can also mark whether or not a geocache is active or not.
This gives you the opportunity to let other geocachers know the condition of a cache, letting them suddenly feel the need to go out and find the cache themselves.
Nothing makes a group of geocachers suddenly start moving like knowing that a once thought lost cache has been found and marked on the apps.
Exploring the world around us is a core part of being human, and geocaching is the best way to satisfy that itch.
Geocaching is one of the few ways to explore the world that may never stop being popular, and even in the most urban of areas, there are geocaches.
It’s a wonderful way to see new places and do new things. Even before geocaching was a thing, you could find secrets hidden in the world, and that’s never going to change.
Geocaching still has many years left before it will even slow down. Instead, each new generation of people finds themselves looking to get out there, to see the world, to learn where we’ve all been, and to go where very few have gone before.