In case you’re wondering what a geocaching streak is, I should start by assuring you that it has nothing to do with geocaching in your birthday suit. If you were hoping for some geo-nudity, you may not find what you seek by reading on, though this blog post about nude geocaching might be more your cup of tea. A geocaching streak involves finding at least one geocache every day for a consecutive number of days. Often, people will aim to do a geocaching streak for 366 days, which will fill their Finds for Each Day of the Year calendar. Many people will, however, continue for much, much longer than that.
On 12th August 2014, I started a geocaching streak that lasted over a year – 404 days to be exact. Looking back on it now, I question how I managed it, but I think two factors combined to create the perfect conditions: I still had a lot of caches within a 30 mile radius of both home and work left to find and I had the full support of family and friends to encourage me if and when I wavered. 404 days may be small fry to some geo-streakers out there, many of whom have been streaking for years, but for me, it was a big deal – a rewarding, if not often exhausting, challenge to complete.
1. DNFs become a more serious matter
Spending an age looking for a cache only to walk away without getting your name on the logbook can be disheartening at the best of times, but if you’re doing a geocaching streak, panic starts to rise the longer you spend at GZ. More than once I scrolled back through years of logs looking for any semblance of an additional hint, called several friends for help (some of whom hadn’t even found said cache) and generally spent longer at GZ than is entirely acceptable.
2. It’s just good sense to back up your back-up
After a few of those aforementioned panicked DNFs early on, Operation Back-Up was quickly formed. I spent more time planning my cache of the day, plus at least two back-up caches in the event of a DNF, than I did actually looking for caches. It would have been a disaster for the streak to end just because of a lack of planning. Preparation was the key.
3. You get to know the local geocaching map like the back of your hand
Although you probably won’t find the very closest to home caches, because those are your emergency finds for days when you’re low on time, motivation, or both! It’s highly likely those seemingly easy grabs within a couple of miles of home will still be unfound by the time you’ve finished your streak, because you never considered anything a worthy enough emergency to remove them from your back pocket. Checking out the geocaching map becomes a part of your daily routine, and you will have studied the descriptions of newly-published caches in detail mere moments after they’re published.
4. Visiting a new area eases the stress of the daily find
Virgin geocaching territory is even more satisfying when you’re doing a caching streak – an easy way to get your cache of the day without eating in to local caches (unless you visit somewhere with hardly any caches, but that’s just bad planning!). Events are another blessing – a smiley on the map without having to search too hard at GZ.
5. You become obsessed with the weather forecast
Yes, you’ll still go and find your daily cache whatever the weather, but you’ll want to prepare yourself – both physically and mentally – if you’re in for a lengthy search in the bucketing rain, or worse still, in the driving snow.
6. Your dedication may waver
Why am I doing this again?! Poking around in a thorny hedge to find yet another soggy log in a yoghurt pot can leave you questioning your sanity. A geocacher who starts a challenge like a 366-day streak is unlikely to give up easily though, regardless of how many days of doubt they may have.
7. It can feel almost impossible to stop
When you do decide you want something other than your next fix find to fill your ever-waking thought (and occasionally even haunt your dreams), the task of stopping can feel more difficult than any D5 puzzle you pored over for hours. Eventually you might actually stop and it will feel weird and disconcerting for a while, but soon you’ll wonder how you ever managed to go geocaching every single day.
Have you ever done a geocaching streak? How long did you do it for?
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