Win some OpenCaching NA 5th Anniversary Pathtags!

frontAfter many delays, The OpenCaching North America 5th Anniversay Pathtag has finally been manufactured, and is on sale now! They can be purchased in lots of 20 for $20 from TheGeocoinStore.com under a “club fundraiser” program. You’ll note the page for our tag on their website references us receiving $5 for every 20 pack sold. However, that applies only to registered non-profit LLC’s, one of which we are not (although we have, and still are considering, that legal status), so that $5 is payable only in Pathtag cash. The OCNA team will of course use this Pathtag cash to buy more of our own tags, which we will generously distribute to promote the website.

We will give you an example of that generosity right now. How about we give away 10 of them? Not to one person though, lets spread them around a little bit. We will have three separate winners. The 1st prize winner will receive 5 of our Pathtags; the 2nd prize winner will receive 3 of our Pathtags; and the 3rd prize winner will receive a paltry 2 of our Pathtags. These tags feature the OCNA Mascot Hank The Hawk, and were designed by Nancy of Deadliest Cachers, who also is the designer of Hank himself. They also feature the “free” OCNA Pathtag back that anyone can use for their tags (approved by Pathtags.com October, 2105), which, you guessed it, was designed by Nancy. We are very happy they have finally been produced. If you don’t win any, you can always buy some. And remember, people love to trade for Pathtags, and “traders” who don’t even use our site, have bought packs of both this 5th Anniversary tag, and our 1st Edition tag from 2013.

To enter the Pathtag giveaway, fill out the form below with your name (as it says, “Geonick” is fine), and a valid email address. Entering as “Geonick” is indeed funny, but someone did it for one of our contests already, so it would be less funny this time. We will never use your email address, and the Google Document storing all the entries will be deleted after the contest. There are rules, of course, which appear below, in italicized text above the entry form.

Rules: To enter, provide your name and email address in the form below. One entry per person, and one entry per email address. There are no Geographical restrictions, contest is open to anyone in the world. The contest begins upon publication of this blog post on Friday, February 12th, 2016, and ends at 7:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on Sunday, February 21st, 2016. Three winners will be chosen at random from the entries received, shortly after the end time of the contest, using the services of the website random.org. Winners will be notified via email, notification being sent from the email address opencachingnorthamerica at gmail.com (be sure to check your spam folders!), and must respond within 48 hours, or the prize will be forfeited, and another winner will be chosen. Once the prize is accepted, you must provide a valid mailing address, and the prize will be sent out via the U.S. Postal Service .



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OpenCaching NA 5th Anniversary Pathtags on sale now!

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After several delays, most notably getting our free Pathtag back that anyone can use for their tags up and running (our blog post about that here), The OpenCaching North America 5th Anniversary Pathtags are finally on sale to the general public. You can see them as the most recent item for sale on the main page of Thegeocoinstore.com. Alternatively, here is our Pathtag listing on that site.

Like our OCNA 1st edition Pathtag, released late summer, 2013, our 5th Anniversary tags can be purchased in lots of 20 for $20 from TheGeocoinStore.com under a “club fundraiser” program. You’ll note the listing for our tag on their website references us receiving $5 for every 20 pack sold. However, that applies only to registered non-profit LLC’s, one of which we are not (although we have, and still are considering, that legal status), so that $5 is payable only in Pathtag cash. The OCNA team will of course use this Pathtag cash to buy more of our own tags, which we will generously distribute to promote the website. We owe several tags to lucky players from our August, 2015 sitewide contest, and of course we will be giving some away on this blog. Perhaps even multiple times.

 

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Actual tag arrived after this post

The tag features The OCNA Mascot Hank the Hawk, and was created to commemorate our 5th Anniversary on August 18th, 2015. And yes, we did start the process long before then; we told you there were several delays. We certainly didn’t expect them to not be on sale until early 2016, but what can you do? Like Hank The Hawk himself, the tags were designed by Nancy of The Deadliest Cachers, a Geocacher from Derby, New York. Her cache page graphics are sort of legendary in Western New York. She has also designed several Pathtags for fellow Geocachers, as well as us. Feel free to contact her via her profile on Geocaching.com, as linked above, if you’re interested in her services.

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OCNA bucks the worldwide downward trend in new caches in 2015

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On December 11th, 2014, this blog reported that there was a noticeable decline in new cache placements in most (but not all) Countries in the world in 2014 vs. 2013. This was using Geocaching.com numbers (as given by project-gc.com), because lets face it, they probably have a 95% worldwide market share of Geocaching listings. Well, those numbers were down again in 2015, and that’s from the bad 2014 numbers! Just as an example, the numbers for the United States were:

  • 2013: 211,986 new caches
  • 2014: 161,659 new caches, down 24% from 2013
  • 2015: 149,986 new caches down, 7% from 2014

You can see from our previously linked to blog post from Decemember 2014, that we too at OCNA were feeling this trend, with 2014 being the worst year of our existence, as defined by new cache placements. Well, we decided to buck the trend in 2015, and in a big way, per the bar graph. We had our 3rd best year, with 440 new caches published! And we really blew up in Canada, as 77 of those caches were located there, as opposed to only 4 in 2014.  We attribute this 149% increase to gaining quite a few enthusiastic new users who created a lot of caches, by our standards. Some, but certainly not all of them coming over from Garmin’s opencaching.com site, which was on life support for a couple of years, and finally passed away in August, 2015. We also had our 2nd annual site run contest running the entire month of August, that certainly helped as well. We plan on having a third annual contest in August, 2016, and who knows, maybe more contests.

We thank all our users for helping us to buck the trend. Please help us to do it again in 2016!!

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BIT Caching (and the relaunch of bitcaching.com)

exampleIf you’re a regular user of our website, you have surely heard of BIT Caches. They currently comprise a little over 10% of our active listings. We recently acquired the bitcaching.com domain and it’s small associated website from our founder, Jerry AKA RvRoadTrip, so we figured a blog post about BIT caching was in order. BIT is an acronym that stands for Bound ID Tag, to represent that the game piece is bound in plastic, or laminated. Although it doesn’t necessarily have to be, waterproof self-adhesive media (i.e. sticker paper) has become the norm for the smartphone GPS game Munzee, and it can easily be used for BIT caching as well. Want to learn more about BIT caching? Read on!

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12 more OCNA Challenge Caches released!

vsWe have released 12 more of our site owned locationless type challenge caches, for a total of 42 at this time. You can expect more in the future as well. Several of them are named “Variety Show”, and pertain to hiding some or all of the 14 different types of caches available on our site. Tentative plans call for about 30 more, and it should be obvious Variety Show challenges that pertain to finding some or all of the the 14 different types will be among them.  The 12 newly released caches also include seasonal finding challenges, and FTF challenges. They are all linked to below, along with a short explanation of their requirements.


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Only the lonely (New OCNA challenge caches released)

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On April 28th, 2015, one week to the day after the most popular Geocaching website in the world imposed a one year moratoriam on new challenge caches, we at OpenCaching North America introduced our own. As the banner above says, they are Locationless, so to speak. If you qualify, you can log it. They are owned by a special Admin account, OCNAChallenges, and are all Unknown (?) type caches. They are presented as Geo Art in the Gulf of Mexico. We released 12 on that day, April 28th, 2015, and released 8 more on May 6th, 2015.  And then, nothing. We are a small, all volunteer organization, we got busy! We hosted an After GeoWoodstock event in Maryland. We planned, ran, and handed out prizes for a contest on our site. We had to get our 5th anniversary Pathtags finalized, as well as a free back anyone can use for their own Pathtags. We endured an almost month long Denial of Service attack. Yes, that one really happened, although we never publicized it. :-) We could go on, but won’t.

R-3800772-1344942829-5073Only the lonely (Know the way I feel) was a smash hit for Roy Orbison in 1960, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard charts. If you’re a little younger than that, a totally different song titled Only the lonely by The Motels peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard chart in 1982. What does this have to do with us, or our challenge caches? Well, on Wednesday, October 21st, 2015, we released 10 more challenge caches (the letter N in The Gulf of Mexico), and they all pertain to lonely caches! Only the lonely, get it? Find caches that haven’t been found on our site in over 1 year, over 2 years, or over 3 years to be eligible to log some of these challenge caches.  The 10 caches are listed below, along with a short explanation of the requirements for each. This blog post is a couple days behind, so most have been logged by some of our more observant players who have noticed these new listings. And a heads up, we plan on releasing 12 more challenge caches in the near future. We’re certainly not planning another 5 1/2 month gap between them!


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