Like any activity, especially one that has so much variety within the activity itself, geocaching has some good natured snobbery associated with it. There are many definitions of what makes someone a ‘real’ geocacher and what ‘real’ geocaching is. Here are some of the opinions I have encountered.
A real Geocacher is:
- Someone who has found a lot of caches. I have seen people that have been doing it for many years and are averaging around 2000 finds each year. To me that is a staggering number and very impressive.
- Someone who will go out at all hours of the day in all weather conditions to be the first one to find a cache? It always amazing to me to check my e-mail early in the morning only to find out that while I was sleeping a new cache was published and some people have ventured into the woods (there are bears, cougars, and who knows what in some of these forests) at ridiculous hours just to be the first to find a plastic container. That is hardcore.
- Someone who loves doing caches that require solving insanely difficult puzzles or evil tricks that would fool the average geocacher.
- Someone who only goes for caches that are located in hard to get to locations like mountains or and unihabited islands. Some people love to find geocaches in locations that normal mortals would not dare to trave to. Some of these places are not dangerous to get to just require full days, or multiple days, worth of walking just to find one cache. These cachers would argue that 100 of these finds are worth more than 10000 drive up caches.
- Someone who finds tiny caches in highly populated areas without being detected.
- Someone who avoids those stupid tiny caches in highly populated areas.
So is geocaching all about the numbers or just about the experiences? Is it about finding the treasure or the journey taken? It is about the challenge of finding the un-findable or simply going outside with friends and family and finding a few easy ones.
It is in my nature is to appreciate all sides of the activity and to say that a real geocacher is someone who simply enjoys the activity and molds it to whatever they like best. This would mean that everyone who likes geocaching would be considered a real geocacher. Well in this case I have a different opinion. A real geoacher is someone who averages at least 7km a day on foot while geocaching in the attempt to lose a lot of weight and get into shape. It’s true!!