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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OCNA Blogger does Washknight’s interrogations

yuckbackThe OpenCaching North America Geocaching blog is the blog for an alternative Geocaching website of course, but it’s no secret that other than guest content, it has always had one Author, known on most Geocaching websites as Mr.Yuck, pictured here with stylish army coat, sweatpants and backpack. We’d tell you more about him, and let you see his face, but all you have to do is read on, as this weeks post is him doing the Washknight interrogation. What exactly is that? Washknight is a Geocaching blogger from the UK, who in late September sent out 20 questions to a few fellow Geocaching bloggers to “interrogate” them. This then went sort of viral world wide, at least by the standards of the small Geocaching blogging community, and has become sort of a challenge. As of the date of this post, 18 other bloggers have taken the challenge, with a few more working on it. We ourselves first heard about it via Dabaere’s Only Googlebot reads this blog, and decided to give it a try.

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After 10+ years, an FTF on a lonely Virtual Cache

1024px-BoldtCastle_aerialRecently, FTF was claimed on a cache in France that sat for over 12 years before being found. However, the finder of that cache declined to be interviewed by this blog, as he is a Groundspeak volunteer reviewer elsewhere in Europe. We  did not know they were a reviewer before contacting them, and can totally understand that. Since we are the blog for an alternative or indie Geocaching website, we can tell you that in our world (Navicache.com, to be exact), FTF was recently claimed on a virtual cache created on August 10th 2004. The cache is on the somewhat famous Island in the foreground. Do you know where that is?
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The HikerJamz Geocaching Talk Show: May 31st, 2014


 


OCNA Blog note: The OCNA blogger (what’s his name) calls in near the beginning of the show. He still hates the sound of his own voice, but he is getting better at calling into Geocaching podcasts. After he bids farewell, another caller talks to James for most of the rest of the show.

Hikerjamz Geocaching Talk Show is a proud member of the Tech Podcasts Network. We have a new episode every Saturday at 3:00 pm. Eastern (New York) time here on Blog Talk Radio. We will discuss news, events, different types of caching tips and tricks and from time to time we will have a special guest visit our show. Hikerjamz Geocaching Talk Show is sponsored by CacheFace.com which is a dedicated social network for geocachers to connect and share in their caching passion globally and in real time. All Geocachers are welcome to join for free. To learn more about Geocaching, go to geocaching.com/guide and find the Q&A’s on what geocaching is all about. Thank you in advance for listening to our show. Host: Hikerjamz from Ohio. Don’t forget to like us on our show page!

 

 

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OCNA Blogger heading out on the road!

It’s a Mule, not an Ass

That really is Mr.Yuck, AKA Jim, the OCNA Blogger, at a photo opportunity available at one of his own caches, which is listed exclusively on the Opencaching North America websites. That would be this cache at the Erie Canal Museum, in Lockport, N.Y. This is what we call a guestbook cache, where you sign the guestbook at a museum (in this case), or just about any tourist attraction you can think of. You could also use it for a trailhead register, or even a summit register at the top of a mountain. The blogger has made the high point of Ohio a guestbook cache on opencaching.us, for example; although technically a summit register, it’s admittedly not too much of a hike for that one! It sits on the grounds of a Technical High School, which was formerly a cold war era Air Force Installation. Anyways, you can read more about this cache type on our OC Wiki, which is not a wiki in the traditional sense, as it’s “closed”, but there is a wealth of information about our website there, including the many unique cache types we offer. Please check it out.

So yes, we’re heading out on the road! We will be attending what is often touted as the World’s 2nd largest Mega Event, the Midwest Geobash, which has made it’s permanent home at the Fulton County Fairgrounds, in Wauseon, Ohio, in the extreme NW part of the State. Geocachers Unlimited is hosting a little “event within the event”, Geocachers Unlimited Meetup @ The Mega II  which is listed on our website, as well as being cross-listed on other alternative Geocaching websites Terracaching.com and GPSgames.org. Check us out if you happen to be at MWGB!

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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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