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UTAG - Utah Association of Geocachers helps you connect and share with the people in your life.

is this game dead? i had some from way back that i wanted to get back in the game

A better question is, is UTAG dead?

Just got on the new forum to find that most threads are well over a year old.  Did all of the micros and nanos finally kill the Utah Geocaching Community?

   likes this.

The bulk (all) of action is on Facebook.

I have been caching for 5 years.. and never seen a cachunut or known anyone to chase them.


What a lovely day for a cache.

1.  Rifle6 - The Cachunuts game is dead for now and likely for good.  The awesome Cachunuts couldn't keep up with the time and financial commitment for the game.

2.  XJ-ASSA - Yes, I think UTAG is in on life support in a prolonged coma.  I'm one who wanted the site to stay, but most of the old forum threads are hard to find now.  Now I want to make these comments showing that I don’t love the direction that geocaching has gone, but at the same time, it’s not really anybody’s “fault.” It’s just an evolution that changed it largely into something different than it was.  I think that the die off is due to at least three things: 1.  The sheer scope of geocaching now 2.  The related huge number of samey urban caches in non-interesting spots leading to 3. A lack of sense of adventure and new cachers being turned off quickly.

Now obviously, much of this is opinion, and some of it is talk of the unretrievable "good ol' days," but I also think it's largely accurate.  Though putting the mish-mash of thoughts in my head together probably won’t make perfect sense.

There are so many people putting out caches--which is both a good and bad thing--and so many people who enjoy finding large numbers of easy caches that they put out large numbers of caches in samey urban locations--that I think it is very difficult to sort through and find good ones, ESPECIALLY for new cachers.  I'm not just talking power trails although those are particularly baffling to me--I mean just the thought that every parking lot and street sign that doesn't have a cache should have one, and that every trail needs 10 caches rather than one at the end and maybe one halfway along or at the trailhead. The Geocaching maps are awesome if you're a premium member, but they pull up this mass of sameness in uninteresting spots that makes it so hard to sort and plan an urban outing that consists of more than just "every cache." 

Now it's obvious I don't care for these large number of caches, but they're not some inherently bad thing.  It's just a major difference in what people find fun in the same geocaching community.  But the issue is that having interesting spots and puzzles mixed in the mass of caches doesn't take away from the fun of the high quantity cachers who are completely paperless and organized by necessity, usually being adept at queries searches and filtering out hard caches, and they roll on placing and finding lots of caches.  And in another difference that is not bad at all, just different, they enjoy large numbers of Geocaching events that are based on just hanging out at a restaurant rather than caching somewhere.  There are still great caching events too, but you have to be aware and find them.

The mass of samey urban caches and types of events totally make it hard to have the same kind of adventurous experience and a different community experience that some of us old timers enjoyed when we got into caching.  When there were fewer caches, and urban caches were outnumbered by more rural caches requiring at least a walk or drive to a country road in Spanish Fork, and that weren’t generally too close together, you could still urban cache, but you were quickly lead into a variety of experiences in a variety of locations.  Any given cache was found more often, and the “regulars” could talk about and reference many of the same caches in conversation online and in person.  A tough hike was planned on instead of avoided, and tough puzzles were attempted more frequently.  Creative caches were noticed and commented on more frequently. 

That lead to a different type of community feel.  You knew more people by their logs and personality and you had more in common with them because you went to many of the same caches by necessity.  You could get to know people through cache logs and finds without committing to a Facebook group.  I think most start Geocaching and don’t envision it as a social activity.  I sat back and didn’t register for the old forums while reading them a lot, then showed up to one event and kid of talked to people, and then played the Cachunuts game a lot with my brother which allowed us to interact online and through hiding pieces with low personal commitment, then registered for the forums and made very few comments, then emailed back and forth with some cachers and went on some hikes together, and then started to go to some events more regularly.  But I still don’t want to commit to social things.

If I were starting today, I would have quickly grown bored with the majority of caches once that sense of wonder of your first random containers hidden by strangers wears off.  I also still don’t really want to join my personal Facebook account to the UTAG Facebook page, and I like a forum with topics to go back and read and think about and bring up old threads and experiences from three years ago without scrolling down through a Facebook feed where everything is “old” after a week.  So I think I would have started, enjoyed some, been overwhelmed by the numbers, and largely left Geocaching rather than committing to strangers to find the smaller numbers of caches that appeal to me.  And let’s say I did manage to zero in on the hiking caches and enjoy myself.  One or two cachers a year will log those caches, and I wouldn’t feel connected to the majority of really active cachers nowadays who cache much differently than I do. 


My brother and I were getting the easy hiking caches in Orem between Dry Canyon and the Bonneville Shoreline trailhead by the water tank, and most of them were being found once or twice a year.  When I started, all kinds of people were being pushed out of their comfort zones and finding caches like those. 


As I said, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the caches I find boring, but I think their sheer numbers and the prevailing caching culture for now keeps people from finding and hiding the caches I enjoy.  I also think new cachers who think like me quit long before becoming familiar enough with the potential of the activity to be excited by the great caches out there.  I will keep caching in spurts and hiding a few, but it is discouraging to know most active cachers won’t bother with hides I think are cool. 


I don’t know a solution, but maybe needs to have two or more sections.  You could see total stats and look at everything together if you want, but you could also apply a filter for terrain stars or favorited caches or areas on the map and only have those caches show up and show stats of those selected areas.  Kind of like A DGP/Lonely Cache region thing, but on the main site.  I think this would be better than just queries with filters—it would be a way to interact with the bulk of the features on the site with a filtered selection of the caches.  This is imperfect too because I would miss out on the 1-star caches that are actually cool, but it would be worth it and would go a LONG way toward making the site fun for more of us again. 

 Hopefully, someone will be back to read my long thoughts.  =)


EDIT: I started typing in Word once I realized I was going to spiel for along time because I worried my effort would be deleted halfway through.  Now I don't know how to get rid of the junk beneath the comment.  It doesn't show up in the typing box, only once I post.  Sorry. =o

Last update on April 29, 8:13 pm by Slinkteam6.

I like your thoughts. I would agree with many if not most of them.

There has been a shift.  I would say the big shift came with the celphone caching.  Though it was begining soime before that. 

Early on you looked at caches in the state, Then as things got crowded you narrowed that down.  The hardest part now is focusing on things you like and filtering out what you do not.

What a lovely day for a cache.

I think this site is just for memories, people have moved to Facebook, and that is where the bulk of communication is at. I dont see this as much more than an old record keeping place.  With a few people popping in and out.  Marcupio has done a great job at it, but people congregate in other places now.

What a lovely day for a cache.

I don't online socialize much. I do not have a facebook account. So this site sounds very nice to me.

I like the favorite point idea a lot as that gives me the good ones to go after.

I like trying to cache often and clear out a perimeter around my home. But the most fun ones are the cool caches that are out in the hills.


"Nuts" were fun and exciting to find as was the Utah Jean "Jean thing" this was back in 2003 when it was on a real GPS and printed out pages of the cache page from the .com. I once planed an event GCX3QW in 06 with Utah Jean and a lot of canoe’s at Causey Reservoir, ended up being invited to stay in her cabin and were always treated like family! I have come to the point that I block micros from any search I do and that makes it a lot easer to excite new cachers, micros just don’t do that any more, I also agree with the difficulty of trying to move TB’s with all the micros, I’ve only ever found one micro that I will never forget because the cache was so cleaver! Not under a light post skirt lol. If I could leave one thought out there from the old school that is if I qualify as old school is that its more about the find not the number of hides!

Not all those who wander are lost!
All that is gold does not Glitter!
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