geocaching

7 Things You’ll Know if You’ve Done a Geocaching Streak | The Geocaching Junkie

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.

Audley's Field and Castle Geocache, Castle Ward | The Geocaching Junkie

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?

Happy Caching!

Sarah

© 2018 | Sarah McLarkey | All Rights Reserved

8 thoughts on “7 Things You’ll Know if You’ve Done a Geocaching Streak | The Geocaching Junkie

  1. 367days. It never started as that – it was do a month – then 50 then 100, then the 122 streak cache, then beat a local cacher, and so it went on. I stopped on 366 as agreed/planned….but the next day a local ftf added to the tally!
    It’s very tough and I had some close shaves and an angry wife once or twice – a find just before midnight (after flying into Dublin and before taking said wife home) in St Anne’s park in the dark comes to mind. I was glad to do it but glad to finish too. It changed the caching experience for a while – but then I find how you play changes through time.
    I totally agree with the DNFs/back-up – i remember getting to the third of the night and hoping for my first find. I never “tickled” a cache which left some trepidation each time.
    My main issue was travel – I travel a lot and having to introduce friends to the concept of caching and a streak…. A holiday actually broke my first streak attempt – an island with not that many caches and we were only using public transport.

  2. I’m currently on about 830 days, which is nothing compared to some. Everything you say is true! We’re off to Scotland for half term so I’ll be after Jasmer fillers while we’re there!

  3. Perfect time for this post – I’m at 1500 days today!

    All your points ring true! Particularly 2,3, and 7

    I have one tip that would minimize point 6. Though I do feel that way sometimes, I’ve found the best way to avoid that is to not have a “number” to get to.

    It took another geocacher to inform me recently that I was approaching 1500 (as well as how I “rank” amongst other geocachers – something I also avoid paying attention to). Otherwise that number snuck up on me and I would have bypassed it and only realized I hit it after the fact.

    Often other geocachers would ask me “what number are you at?” And I would shrug my shoulders and then we would look it up on the spot, and “the number” would surprise us both.

    I found that it became more stressful to “count” everyday and keep track of “that number”. The days leading up to a “milestone” (first 100 days, then 366, then 500, etc) added stress whenever I faced a DNF, or spent a long time searching, simply because I was acutely aware that I hadn’t reached that milestone yet.

    Truth is, I don’t have an end number to reach, am comfortable with the idea that it could end tomorrow if circumstances added up (it would take a combination of negative factors, at this point), and I feel I could end it tomorrow (on MY terms)… just because.

    Soon after today I will forget that I hit 1500, and I’ll be at whatever number another geocacher tells me I’m at, asks me to look it up and we’ll find out together.

    So tip #8 from me would be: Don’t be obsessed with your numbers; don’t even track it. Just simply have the mindset to “play everyday” and you’ll want to.

  4. I did a streak of 585 days and as I worked shift it was handy enough most of the time as there were still a lot of local caches I hadn’t found. In fact during the long days of Summer it was pretty effortless- where it stopped being effortless and became a drag was during the day-shifts between November and February…going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark, then having to venture forth to find a cache. For those days Church Micros and Sidetrackeds became my friend, and and other kind of park’n’grab, though I never seemed to plan more than two days in advance. The one thing that definitely did NOT apply to me was no. 7 above…once I reached my significant number I was bloody glad to see the end of the streak and didn’t find a single cache for a week afterwards. And I would rather stick needles in my eyes than do another streak.

  5. My longest streak was 60-some days. It never occured to me to “save” caches for later. If there were three in the area, I found all three. It wasn’t until I attempted a second streak, that I realized how foolish I was on the first one. I also had no backup on Christmas Eve when I had to work early then we went to church after I got off work and it was 11:30 and I still hadn’t found a cache. I stood knee-deep in snow looking for what I though would be a quick find. Ha! I didn’t find and and went back months later when the snow as gone and still never found it. I felt a sense of relief that I didn’t have to then find a cache on Christmas Day.

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