On 13th February, Geocaching.com released a cryptic teaser across their social media, that had lots of us guessing what they were up to. All was revealed last week when Planetary Pursuits and the opportunity to earn 10 souvenirs was announced. Once again, the Friends League that was established during last year’s summer souvenir promotion will be used and points must be collected to earn each souvenir. The initial launch of the Friends League led to some confusion, and the explainer blog post I wrote seemed to help some people make sense of what they needed to do. So I’ve pored over the FAQ and put together my own explainer guide for you 🙂
A Theme on Another Planet
Last summer we had pirates, this time around, we have planets, or more specifically, planetary pursuits! Each of our solar system’s nine planets* is assigned a souvenir, with a tenth ‘bonus’ souvenir for those who earn all nine planets. Souvenirs can be earned between Monday, 19th March and Sunday, 8th April, so there is plenty of time to plan out how you’ll collect the points you need.
- Is Pluto a planet? According to NASA, it’s a dwarf planet, so… I guess? 😀
Points Win Planets
Souvenirs are earned by accumulating points, which are gathered by finding geocaches, attending events or dropping off trackables. Different activities earn a different number of points, but the nice thing about the scoring methodology is that you can avoid certain cache types if you really don’t like them, and still collect enough points to earn your souvenirs.
|Planetary Pursuit: Earth
|Planetary Pursuit: Venus
|Planetary Pursuit: Mercury
|Planetary Pursuit: Mars
|Planetary Pursuit: Jupiter
|Planetary Pursuit: Saturn
|Planetary Pursuit: Uranus
|Planetary Pursuit: Neptune
|Planetary Pursuit: Pluto
|Official Space Explorer
|Earned automatically upon collecting all other souvenirs above
*Remember: you need to earn these points yourself, on your own geocaching account. Points accumulated by friends in your Friends League will not count towards your total
How Many Points Do I Need to Collect?
Different cache types equal a different number of points, and helping move trackables along will also earn points. The Friends League will keep a running total of how many points you’ve earned. Finding just one traditional cache will get you your first souvenir. However, the subsequent souvenirs become more and more difficult to earn, as the points go up all the way to 500.
|Log a Found it on any geocache (Traditional, Virtual, Webcam, Wherigo)
|Log a Found it on a Multi-Cache or Letterbox Hybrid
|Log a Found it on a Mystery Cache or EarthCache
|Log a Found it on a geocache with 10 or more Favorite points
|Attend any event
|Drop off trackable
* Note that each action cannot be combined to earn more points. For example, if you find a mystery cache that has more than 10 favourite points, you will earn 15 points in total. I have verified this with Geocaching HQ directly, as it was not clear from the FAQ.
Engage the Friends League, but not necessarily your friends
To see how you are doing with your points-gathering, the Friends League that was created last year to coincide with the summer souvenir promotion, will act as a sort of ‘scoreboard’ this time around. Don’t worry if you don’t have lots of friends in your league, because only points collected by your individual geocaching account will matter for your overall score.
The Friends League will reset at midday (UTC) on 9th April, so it’s important that all your online logs are done by this time to ensure they ‘count’ for the promotion. If you log a cache after this time, even if you backdate it, it will not count towards earning your souvenirs.
To ‘activate’ your Friends League by visiting it here. If you want to host your own planetary pursuits event, remember that listings must be in the queue at least two weeks before the event date.
So, that’s it! What do you think of the latest souvenir promotion? Do you think you’ll be able to collect the required points for all 10 souvenirs?
© 2018 | Sarah McLarkey | All Rights Reserved