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Declining Geocachers

+3 votes
I was looking at the stats in 'overview' when I noticed that Australia has 40% less active cachers this year compared to last year. Not only that, but there is also a 40% drop in caches hidden this year. Overall, caches finds for the year haven't changed, so the 60% of us still left are finding more caches than last year.

Is this trend happening in any other countries?
asked Sep 20, 2017 in Miscellaneous by Potatonator (10,790 points)
I'm late in finding this forum, but would like to comment.

I would really like to see a line graph of number of active cachers over the years (and caches found/hidden).

I would also love to see the stats broken down further by province or state.

For me my reason for a vast reduction in geocaching mirrors this comment:
"Second is I personally think there are too many useless caches around. Another film container here, another PET here. Just to put another trail into nomans land that probably end as unattended geotrash in the nature."

In my area most caches are hidden and then never returned to for maintenance.Most cache containers are subpar, never sufficient for outdoor use. Cache owners do not maintain or might if prompted by an NA, or reviewer disable. Only about 5% of COs replace or repair their cache after an NA.

I didn't renew my Project-GC premium membership this year because I only find a handful per year compared to 2015 when I averaged about 200 per year. So the extended filtering options I can get here on P-GC aren't necessary anymore. I hold out hope that things may change on the GC site, and I'll want to purchase a P-GC PM in the future. Maybe P-GC can pressure GC management to pressure COs to take maintenance seriously and to stop hiding "useless caches just to put another trail into no mans land that probably end as unattended geotrash in nature".
It's been a couple more years. The decline continues. Hopefully it will level off.

The players I see that are left playing are those who enjoy the new power-trail culture. They tend to like to socialize... go to events, cache in groups, cache for numbers, and don't care much about the container.  They often carry a supply to add their own paper or throw a new container down, as is the style of play with regards to power trails. The PT culture has seeped into the whole pastime. It may explain part of the reason for the decline.

8 Answers

+2 votes
Well .. you can check it yourself on the Statistics/Overview page:

For example in Czech Republic (my country) United States and Germany, where geocaching is very popular, I can see all the numbers for cachers red (in some of the countries the found caches are even increased)

Now it depends on how you interpret these numbers. I would say in recent years, Geocaching was too much advertised that anyone had to try find and hide a cache, or even some power trail. If we are over this, I would say it is only good.

I know it might not be good for Groundspeak, who is earning on advertisements, on paying members and paid applications, but community can benefit from that, given that the newly published caches can be expected of better quality and people who are finding them might have already some respect to the caches.
answered Sep 20, 2017 by Jakuje (Moderator) (103,300 points)
0 votes
We are seeing a similar decline in South Africa.

See the stats here
answered Sep 20, 2017 by ChrisDen (4,040 points)
0 votes

Well, I think the great hype was around three or four years ago. I would say the numbers are going down since two or three years. 

(Would like to see if I am right, anybody got the statistics from the last e.g. 10 years?)

But it doesn't have to be a bad thing, though. Some of the newer cachers from that period did not follow the hype and left the game with a few (hundred) founds. Also, that was the time when micro caches popped up at every corner or guard rails. But quantity is not quality.

Hopefully, the cachers who stayed will put out some better caches.

I don't see it too pessimistic: at this moment there are 350.000+ active caches out here in Germany. I would need a lot of time to get to get them. So there are enough caches out there, that are waiting for me to log them.. wink

answered Sep 21, 2017 by NoobNader (Expert) (15,940 points)
0 votes
I believe an aging demographic is at play, also.  Think about the average age of your group of geocaching friends.  For my group of close pals, it's probably the mid-50s.  I don't believe younger people will be attracted to the game as much now that there is a litany of GPS activities.
answered Sep 21, 2017 by TerraViators (8,100 points)
+2 votes
Well, actually in Germany all numbers are red too. Declining 14-26% all over the board.

But I neither think that is bad nor do I think this is very surprisingly.
First of all I think that geocaching got more and more mainstream lately and it usually isn't unusal that these trends fade sooner or later. So no wonder that cachers and caching are fading too.

Second is I personally think there are too many useless caches around. Another filmcontainer here, another PET here. Just to put another trail into nomans land that probably end as unattended geotrash in the nature.

But I am not to judge it, just wanting to say: I don't mind if the numbers are red ;)
answered Sep 23, 2017 by Team Just-T (2,220 points)
0 votes
I'm not sure where to check the statistics but certainly in the southwest of england caching is booming! Loads of keen CO's and a good mix of active newcomers ( less than 4 years) and plenty of legends (over 10,000 finds)

Maybe we are different to the norm elsewhere
answered Sep 27, 2017 by NSCR (4,540 points)
Not the first time that comment have been made about the people down in the south-west ;-)
0 votes
In Sweden geocaching seems to be booming. Though, most of the cachers are a bit older, yes. :) :)
answered Nov 12, 2017 by Bernike (1,090 points)
Why downvote???
0 votes
I have noticed a drop in caching, the amount of new cachers and the amount of caches being placed since I started geocaching two years ago.
answered Dec 5, 2017 by DARKSIDEDAN (3,650 points)