Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hitting the Big 1000 and 5000!

On Wednesday, November 26th, I found my 5,000th cache on my 1,000th consecutive day of geocaching.

I'm lucky.  I did have many advantages to help me along.

  • I love to travel and I live in a cache-rich area (southeastern Michigan).
  • I have an adventurous sweetheart who caches, too.
  • And I did this as several other members of Team Free Range Lobsters were streaking, too.

I thought after one thousand days, I'd share what I learned. Here are my “streaking tips” especially for winter.


Incorporate your cache-a-day as part of your routine.  I plan my target cache (plus a backup) as I get dressed in the morning.  Before long, it becomes second nature.  When planning your cache, consider what’s on your agenda for the day – last Thursday the family gathered for Kriket’s birthday.  She chose a restaurant in a very target-rich area so I saved my cache for later that night.

Download a weather app.  According to the weatherman, the warmest part of Monday was first thing in the morning.  By noon we would drop below -3° and have snow squalls.  Hence, I grabbed my cache on my way to work.  

On nicer days, drive a little to get your cache and/or pick a cache with more difficult terrains.  Save the ones closer to home for severe weather days or days packed with family commitments.  If I’m on the road somewhere with friends, I will ask them to stop for a few minutes so I can make my grab, saving the ones closer to home.

Sounds trite but it’s a “cache a day “ so pace yourself, even on a power trail.  Our local Cachers have setup a several mile-long power trail along the I-275 bike trail.  There are multiple places to park and access the trail.  If you grab a cache a day, you are set for the next 4 months (or so)!

If you need a “numbers run” (to reach a milestone or to complete a challenge), stay away from home.  Again, I’m lucky that I’m in a cache-rich area so I don’t have to travel far for a pocket of smiley-goodness.

FTF-runs are not “streak friendly”.  I know it’s a downer, but when you get the notification you may not want to run out and get that new cache 3.4 miles away.  Save it for a rainy day.

Know your local hiders.  In our area, we have some Cachers who turn over their cache hides every six months – make sure you grab them when you can.  There may be others where you have to grab their cache within the first week of publication before it disappears, never to be “maintenanced” again. Another hider nearby has an excellent history series with very basic hides (bringing you to the local site is most important) so his caches are excellent for very bad-weather days.  One puzzle-master disables his caches for the winter and another revels in particularly evil (and unsolvable) hides.

Attend events in inclement weather. I, personally, prefer to grab a physical cache on event day, but events are caches and will add a smiley to your streak. They are also a way to learn the local hiding habits (see entry above). Another reason to attend events…

Team Gates, Alona Spiegel, Caching Fire,
the Grundalows and afishoutawater
Make friends with other “streakers”.  They’re running out of caches, too, so help each other out!  If each of you hide a dozen or more P&G’s, you can get yourself through the winter.

Don’t assume just because it’s an LPC it’ll be a quick find.  Last year TaGeez and I were standing on 6-foot snow mounds, trying to dig out the skirt.  

It was in there.  Trust me.
Don’t assume because it is “high terrain” makes it unattainable in winter.  I can’t tell you how many times we’ve used a convenient snowbank to grab that tree cache!

Create a bookmark list.  You don’t want to be rushing to a family birthday or in the middle of a snowstorm and trying to think of a cache to grab.  Many of the items on my list were recommended by other Cachers on our local FB group in case I need a find in their area.

Speaking of bookmark lists, make sure you have access to an offline copy of it.  I have an offline list saved in Geosphere in case is down for maintenance or we have a severe windstorm, knocking out power and/or cellular service.

Expand your Cache Type repertoire.  Grab those Earth Caches on warm days. Many Virtuals are not weather-dependent.  There is such a thing as simple Multis, too.

TaGeez and scrapcat at the Great Falls of Tinker's Creek

Solve those puzzles.  I LOVE puzzles, but I know so many people who avoid them.  Winter is not only a good time to sit in your snug house solving puzzles, but, in many instances, a good time to go for the puzzle final.  For many creators around here, the puzzle is the interesting part and the final can be a simple park-and-grab.

Surround yourself with supportive friends and family.  Just shy of the first anniversary of my streak, my car died and I had to car shop, relying on others to get me back and forth to work and to the various dealers.  I had just as many offers from friends and family (Cachers and Muggles alike) to take me for my daily cache.  My Dad pulled over on the way to a memorial viewing at a funeral home so I wouldn’t have to walk to a cache in arctic weather.  This challenge is so much easier when surrounded by those cheering you on.

The AWESOME members of
Team Free Range Lobsters!


I hope this helps, and maybe I'll add more as I work my way to the next thousand.... possibly....


  1. Good read and lots of really useful hints. Thanks and congrats


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