Sometimes, it IS about the numbers…

…or at least about the stats…at least when it comes to geocaching! The relatively new “Statistics” page attached to our geocaching profile prompted us to look at a few things to assess how we’re doing against some of the challenge caches we know are out there.

For example, out of the 81 different terrain / difficulty cache ratings, we’ve covered 61 one combinations. We haven’t really concentrated on completing the long-standing fizzy challenge: finding at least one cache for each terrain / difficulty combination. And we probably won’t. These days, we prefer to plan our geocaching adventures around a good hike (or at least a nice walk in the park).

Another set of data that the Statistics page highlights is how many days out of 366 possible days in a year you’ve actually found a cache. As of today, we’ve found caches on 282 out of 366 days. In fact, Mrs. GeoK insisted we find one cache today, just so that we’d fill in our only blank for the month of May. Looking ahead, we’ll most like be out caching for at least part of June 21, August 11 and September 20. After that, it gets a little tougher, as winter usually sets in sometime before the end of October and we have a lot of blank days between mid-October and late March. Being realistic, we’re probably not going to finish whatever challenge is based on finding one cache each day of the year next March 23. But we’ll probably make a point of finding a cache on February 29, 2012, since it’ll be leap year.

Looking at our find rate, it’s clear we’re less interested in geocaching now than we were a couple years ago. After three consecutive years of finding almost a thousand caches a year, we’re now content to find a cache every couple days…or a handfull of caches every week or two. We’re trying to keep it fun, and feeling compelled to average 25+ finds a week wasn’t fun anymore.

It’s clear we do a lot of caching on vacation: over 16% of our finds are between 1000 and 2500 km from our home coordinates. This is further evidenced by the Maps section of our geocaching statistics, which shows we’ve got a pretty wide geocaching footprint (thanks, in large part, to our “Around the World” trip earlier this year.

If you can’t get enough facts, stats and data points from the geocaching website, there are plenty of other number-crunching routines that have been developed by geocachers over the years. One of our favourites in the stats generator macro that you can download for GSAK. Earlier this month we ran the macro and discovered a few interesting tidbits:

  • Our geocaching karma now exceeds 1 (i.e. number of finds of our hides vs. number of finds we’ve made)
  • Our hide with the most finds is GC1E22T – Sibbald Flats – TCDNAB, with well over 200 finds since it was placed in the fall of 2008. In fact, we have four hides with over 200 finds apiece.
  • The most cache types we’ve found in a day is 7 (May 1, 2010)
  • Our total cache-to-cache distance is almost 4 times around the equator (or halfway to the moon)
  • Our online logs are pretty long, averaging 78 words. Our longest entry is 680 words! (for GC1VEAC )
  • The oldest cache we’ve ever found is GC79 – Iron Horse, which was hidden Oct 7/2000
  • And a full 33.7% of caches we’ve found have since been archived

Have you checked your numbers lately? Or looked into any of the challenge caches that seem to have flourished since the geocaching websites Statistics pages were introduced? If your enthusiasm for geocaching is waning (or maybe that only happens to us), maybe a little focus on your numbers will get you back in the game.

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