Saturday, January 1, 2011

Geocaching Goals for 2011

Writing a post to review my geocaching exploits in 2010 inevitably got me to thinking about what I would like to accomplish in 2011. Despite much of my last post being about numbers and badges and the tangible signs of all that activity, my more important goals going forward really wouldn't be driven primarily by numbers or quantity. Mainly I just want to continue to have fun. If I do that, numbers will come naturally. So, beyond the overarching hope that my girls continue to get some enjoyment out of going out on these little expeditions with me, my personal goals follow.

In 2010, I averaged about 60 finds per month. Which isn't bad at all, although one downside that I have mentioned before is that I have cleaned out the area immediately around home pretty well, and caching from home means a modest time commitment to drive somewhere, make a few finds, and get back home. Realistically a minimum of an hour. Work (an hour from home) still has more caches, but I am whittling away at those too. The paucity of caches left close by means that maintaining a daily streak of any length would be very hard. Although as I was recently reminded, I said the same thing when I was about 30 or 40 days into my 100 day streak (and pretty much continually since then), but after missing only one day, I am now back to a streak of 29 days. So who knows. But one every day is not a goal. A habit maybe, but not a goal. That being said, I would like to fill as many empty days on my calendar as possible. Starting the year with 182 dates found, a goal of ending the year with 250 dates is realistic, and 300 dates would be a stretch.

Anticipating that the pace of my finds will slow somewhat as I clear my home and work areas more and more, hitting 1,000 finds this year is still very likely. It is a major accomplishment that I really do want to reach, and would require about 35 finds per month. This is significantly less than my current pace, continuation of which would get me to about 1,300 (which I do not expect). This is less a specific goal and more just where I think I will end up.

Earning badges is a natural side effect of doing a lot of geocaching, and therefore running up numbers. Without any specific effort to do so, if I continue a level of activity anything like what I would estimate above, I should probably have no problem earning at least 6 new badges this year. These would be for puzzle caches, virtual caches, multi-stage caches, micro sized caches, small size caches, and the cache owner badge for having placed 10 or more caches (I currently have placed 7).

Placing Caches
I have placed 7, and would like to get to 10 or 15 this year. I need to try to do some creative ones beyond the simple stuff that I have done thus far. Placing caches helps everyone, and it's a way to repay the geocaching community for all the enjoyment I have had.

Trips and Adventures
Probably the goal that will give me the most enjoyment is to continue to make an effort to explore new areas while geocaching. By my quick estimation, I have found caches in 45 different counties in 10 different states. The desire to fill in a US state map with cache finds is very very strong for me, as is the desire to fill in the county maps of those states closest to home (PA, MD, DE, NJ). Having done most of the close-to-home counties (south Jersey being the notable exception), the only way I am going to be able to accomplish this is to go out of my way to get in the car and go to some places I would not normally have a reason to go to. Coupled with the desire to continue to do day hikes in more state parks and the like, I should be able to kill two birds with one stone with some of these trips. Since Dave enjoys hiking and geocaching, with that kind of caching being his favorite, it shouldn't be tough to talk myself into some company.

For specific geography goals, I would like to add a half a dozen or more new states (hopefully business travel will help), complete the NJ counties, get maybe halfway through Maryland, and halfway through PA. This will take some work, but it would be fun work.

There are strings of caches along waterways that can only be gotten by boat, namely canoe or kayak. I haven't researched these much, but I know of ones along both branches of the upper Brandywine in PA, the Christina River below Wilmington in DE, and the Elk River near Elkton in MD. Maybe I can leverage geocaching and Dave's interest in boating to do some of the canoeing I have been wanting to do for years now.

I have made a convert of Dave, and have a geo-friend and mentor way down in NC, but I don't have any other geocaching friends here. Geocaching, especially for road trips, is so much more fun as a shared experience, and I generally do not have anyone to share it with. It would be nice to attend some additional events and meet some like-minded people to geocache with.

But most of all, I just want to continue to have fun at it. This year I had a blast and visited countless cool spots. There is no reason to think that won't continue this year.


  1. Thank you so much for sharing your geocaching goals! I just wanted to let you know that I referenced this post on today's article at

  2. Count me in for "Trips and Adventures" and "Boats".