Moving Caches: still going strong on OCNA

Traveling geocaches listed on Geocaching.com have ridden off into the sunset. On May 22, 2017, the following log was posted to all remaining Traveling Geocaches: “Geocaching HQ is archiving this traveling geocache and offering the cache owner an option to convert it to a trackable with a special icon. Each was subsequently archived and locked.”

What is (was) a traveling geocache?

Simply put (and generally speaking, because there were exceptions), the traveling geocache was a physical container that was listed as a physical cache type (traditional, multi-cache, or unknown cache) but was not bound to a specific set of coordinates. Instead, the traveling cache would move – or travel – from one hiding spot to another. Finders would have the option of finding the cache (sign the log) and leave as found, or to physically move the cache to a new hiding spot. If they chose to move the cache, they would be required to provide the cache owner with coordinates for the new hiding location. The cache owner would then update the listing, and other players could head out to find the cache at its new location.

Traveling geocaches were introduced in 2001, but by 2003 they were added to the new but growing list of “grandfathered” cache types (which now includes virtual caches, webcam caches, and locationless caches – all of which are still allowed on various alternative caching sites). Existing traveling caches would be allowed to continue, but no new traveling caches could be created and published.

At the time of the lockdown, Groundspeak stated that “by 2017, fewer than 100 traveling caches remained active”. Searching through bookmark lists claiming to list “all remaining traveling caches”, the number appears to be somewhere between 40 and 50.

Moving caches on OCNA

OpenCaching North America (as well as most, if not all other OpenCaching nodes) allow traveling caches (known as Moving Caches on OCNA). Currently there are 41 active moving caches listed on OCNA. Moving caches have their own cache type, so you can specifically search and find OCNA moving caches. OCNA moving caches can be found and moved, and each action has its own log type. When a Moving cache is moved to a new location, the coordinates of the new spot must be provided in the cache log so that future seekers will know where to look. Not all Moving Cache owners adjust the coordinates to reflect the new hiding spot, so always check the logs before heading out to find a Moving Cache.

True to the philosophy of OpenCaching, there are no extraneous restrictions placed on Moving Caches – aside from common sense. Like any other physical cache, they should only be moved to locations were they can safely be hidden and found. It is up to the cache owner if they want to set specific requirements / requests. Some OCNA moving caches go from one hiding location to another, while others stay with the CO and are discovered at events for example. Some even double as Groundspeak Travel Bugs® and move around from one Groundspeak cache to another. And several moving caches provide housing for other findable items, such as BIT caches or geokrety.

Examples of moving caches on OCNA

It’s interesting to note that 3 of the 5 OCNA caches (currently) with the most finds are Moving Caches: Infiltrator, MAGC Ammo Can Roll Call, and Introduction to OpenCaching North America. In principal all five are Moving Caches: the other two are listed as a BIT caches but attached to a moving cache (Infiltrator BIT) or attached to a vehicle (Cache Retrieval Vehicle Rolling BITcache).

the life of a Moving Cache is not always an easy one. On occasion finders of moving caches are at a loss of what to do as evidenced by cachers removing the Travelbug from the container seperating the two. This has happened twice to Infiltrator in its 5 year life time. Eventually with the help of some exceptional cachers the two parts were brought together the first time from the far reaches of Michigan and Texas. At present they are once again separated. The Infiltrator has also been muggled, re-created and returned after placement by the OCNA webmaster, MrYuck. Read the story of that adventure featured in an earlier blog post here.

And that’s how we roll.

About the author: Bon Echo is a a Geocacher and Letterboxer from Hamilton, Ontario. He started caching at the beginning of 2012 and created his first OCNA listing in 2015. With 86 active OCNA hides (nearly all OCNA-only), he currently sits in second place for number of active hides. He jokes that he is Canada’s “leading OCNA hider and finder”, having created listings and logged finds in 5 Canadian provinces as well as in at least 8 US states. He mostly enjoys finding lonely caches and letterboxes, and would rather take a long hike to search for one lonely and possibly missing cache rather than complete a power trail of frequently-found bison tubes along a short flat trail.

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GeoGearHeads 178: OpenCaching NA II

customLogo.gifOCNA Admins DudleyGrunt and NativTXN were recently on the GeoGearHeads Podcast episode 178, talking OCNA, in an episode titled OpenCaching NA II. They were last on that podcast on Episode 125. If you count by 10’s on your fingers, you can figure out that was just over a year ago, hence this episode being titled OpenCaching NA II. Anytime our Admins are on a Geoaching Podcast, we run it here on the blog as well. Listen to them give an overview of our site, with an emphasis on our recently released Challenge Caches. GeoGearHeads is a near weekly feature with The Bad Cop and DarrylW4 discussing topics of interest to Geocachers, Location-based Gamers, and Technology Enthusiasts. They record the shows live through Google+ Hangout On Air Thursday nights at 9:10PM Eastern/6:10PM Pacific (The upcoming shows are listed on the Google+ GeoGearHeads page). You can subscribe to the audio version through iTunes, RSS, or Stitcher, watch the shows on YouTube, and check them out on FaceBook, Google+, and Twitter.




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Sporadically Featured OCNA Cache: The Infiltrator

Our latest Sporadically featured OCNA Cache is a Moving Cache, The Infiltrator, owned by OCNA username Termite Hunter from the Charlotte, North Carolina area. Whom, by the way, is the first person ever to have two of their caches sporadically featured on this blog! As of the date of this Blog post, this is also the most found cache on our website, although it hasn’t always been, and may not always be. We accept moving caches on our website, and always have during our 3 1/2 year existence. So too do all our fellow alternative Geocaching websites. Best we can tell, Geocaching.com stopped accepting them in mid-2003, although there are exceptions, and later ones that “slipped through the cracks”. In this post, we will talk about how Moving Caches work, the history of Moving Caches, and of course we will have some commentary from Termite Hunter on this Moving Cache. We will also tell the amazing story of The Infiltrator being “muggled”, and later returned to it’s hiding spot by that same Muggle, as the OCNA blogger was personally involved in that situation!

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Memorial Day (and GW) weekend in the USA

Memorial Day weekend is coming up in The USA, where OpenCaching North America is based. Since we have many readers (and even users) from outside the USA, our “Memorial Day” is celebrated the last Monday in May of each year, and is for honoring the Men and Women who died while in the service of our armed forces. Please, if you’re an American take some time to remember and honor these Men and Women in some way of your own choosing during the long holiday weekend. You can read about the long history of our Memorial Day (once known as Decoration day) in this Wikipedia article.

There is no denying that Memorial Day weekend has, over the years, increasingly become known as the traditional start of the Summer vacation season here. And for the relatively new hobby of Geocaching, it has become one of two weekends designated for the holding of the American phenomenon known as GeoWoodstock, an annual Geocaching (Mega) event. It can also be held the nearest weekend to our July 4th Holiday, known as Independence day. The choice of which weekend is up to the organizers of the event. The Florida Geocaching Association, host of this years event, has chosen Memorial Day weekend, as have the majority of the hosting organizations over the years.

We won’t get into the history of GeoWoodstock too much here, because who knows, we could think about it a few weeks out next year, and actually have an interview with it’s founder! And yes, it was founded by one guy, who held the first one June 21st, 2003, at a Boy Scout Camp in Louisville, Kentucky.
 

Geocachers Unlimited logo

All these years later, GeoWoodstock XI (that would be the 11th edition, if you’re not into Roman Numerals), is being held Saturday, May 25th, 2013 at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Lakeland, Florida. Now for some shameless self-promotion! Geocachers Unlimited is a loose organization of Geocachers who use alternative Geocaching websites in addition to Geocaching.com. They can be found on Google+ and Facebook. They will be hosting the event Geocachers Unlimited Meetup @ The Mega listed on our website, as well as on Gpsgames.org, Terracaching.com and Navicache.com. This is usually a short event (the Blogger himself attended one at GeoWoodstock IX), but there is nothing “flash mob” about it. Just a meetup, as the name suggests. You can expect to see some moving caches loggable on our website passed around, as well as meeting site admin Dudley Grunt. The time of this event is 12:00 Noon.

Are you one of the thousands of Geocachers from all over the world attending GeoWoodstock XI in Lakeland, Florida, USA this weekend? If so, feel free to comment to this blog post, and share your experiences!    

Useful GW links:

 OpenCaching.us related links:

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    “Our” Opencaching vs Garmin’s Opencaching, a comparison of sorts

                        

    Part two of two, You can find part one here. Since we at the world-wide Opencaching Network, which includes Opencaching North America, are often confused with Garmin’s Opencaching.com, I figured a blog post comparing the two listing services was in order early on in the history of this blog. This blog post is highly influenced by a post fellow OpencachingNA Admin Dudley Grunt made to his local Geocaching forum in July 2012, and he posted links to that post at the forums of all the U.S. based alternative Geocaching websites. I asked him if he wanted to come on and do a guest post, but he was OK with my using it as reference material, and I promised to not to plagiarize it too much!!

     Ownership:
     Garmin: Like Groundspeak, the Garmin site is run by a corporation with relatively significant money to  invest in the site.
     OCNA:  The site is funded and run on a fully volunteer basis, essentially, as a not-for-profit entity. We pay for our three domain names and web hosting (at the well-known website host Rackspace.com) out of our pockets.


     Cross Listing:
     Garmin: Strongly encouraged. With a few mouse clicks, you can import thousands of hides or finds. Often runs contests encouraging listing caches on their website. There is no direct way to tell whether or not a cache is cross listed, and no way to filter for unique hides to their site in searches.
     OCNA: Permitted, but unique hides are preferred. The very first page in the cache submission process contains text that informs the hider that we accept cross listings, but prefer unique caches. The cache submission page contains fields to link to sites the cache may be cross listed on. We have a special attribute “OC.US ONLY” available for caches that ARE unique to the site. It is possible to filter searches to show only the unique hides via our “advanced search”.Currently, about 55% of our listings have the “OCUS ONLY” attribute, and we believe approximately 75% of the listings are unique.

     Reviewers:
     Garmin: None, per se. They have “Peer Reviewing”. The site members vote up or down on caches. The blog author has not participated in this, but from reading their forums, it seems to be often problematic.
     OCNA: Caches reviewed by three site admins (Mr.Yuck, DudleyGrunt, NativTxn), who treat our guidelines AS guidelines and can work with individual caches/cachers to approve things that might not be 100% within the listed guidelines. Caches are generally reviewed & published the same day. Since the blog author, Mr.Yuck, is a newbie admin, he has not reviewed any caches to date.

     Cache Types:
     Garmin: Traditional, Multi, Puzzle, Virtual.
     OCNA: Traditional, Multi, Puzzle, Virtual also. But we also list Moving, Webcam, BIT Caches, Events, MP3, Guest book and Unknown (a catch all).

     Membership Fees:
     Both sites are completely free, with all features available to all users.

     Rating of caches by users:
     Garmin: Finders can give caches a rating based on “Awesomeness”. Garmin uses a sliding scale from 1.0 to 5.0 (in 0.1 increments – that’s 49 possibilities for each).
     OCNA: Cache finders can rate each cache on a 5 point scale and can give a “Recommendation” to 1 out of every 10 caches they find (this is similar to, but predates Groundpeak’s “Favorite Points”).                          

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