Tag Archives: geocaching

Ontario Mystery/Unknown Statistics

Recently we placed a few new puzzle caches which fall under the category of mystery/unknown caches. Or to those not in the know, that big question mark (?). We got wondering how many caches in our area belonged in what part of the D/T (difficulty/terrain) matrix.

It was quite interesting to see where there were deficiencies and where there were way too many. Of course, these puzzles aren’t all that easy and may be a bit mind numbing the more you look at them.

My query was, how do I make it so other cachers will stay interested in actually trying to figure out these puzzles.

AHA! The D/T matrix with lower values in our area. Or even a larger region.

So I sought out to find what this matrix looked like in our area and this may help other cachers determine what sort of hides would help other cachers as well. Firstly, we needed to determine what this matrix looked like in our area.

We are located in Ontario Canada so we decided to create a D/T matrix of Mystery caches in all of Ontario. This could give us a better insight in to what could make these puzzles more desirable.

Below is the matrix. It was up to date as of September 5th 2020.

Mystery/Unknown Cache matrix


As you can see. The difficulty 1’s are some of the least placed Mystery caches. We were actually amazed to see that Terrain 1 caches were actually quite plentiful considering they should be accessible to everyone.

We initially thought that creating a 5/5 cache would be the preferable placement. You can imagine, our surprise when we seen that there were actually 43 in play.

Now when we look at the 3 and 3.5 difficulty ratings, we see that the terrain 5 caches were 16 and 12 respectively. These may be a good way to get those cachers that require these ratings to not give up trying to solve the puzzle.

There are many other ratings that cachers may need for different challenges and this could be a great way or a detriment to their caching styles!

To conclude, we had to spend a bit of time to gather these stats but they gave us a very different outlook on how we may end up creating some new caches.

What D/T did we end up using you might ask? Well… that is for you to figure out!

Geocaching? Bring Batteries!

Sometimes it never fails. Your out in the bush, on the trail or in the middle of town geocaching, you’ve seen a new cache pop up on your cell phone (instant notifications from geocaching.com). So you pull out your trusty gps and start popping in the co-ordinates. Your in a rush to get that First to Find (FTF) and don’t check over your gps very well because you just have to get out there and beat the rush! You park at the coords listed and don’t see any vehicles that you recognize anywhere close by. Your only 100 metres from the cache and chomping at the bit to get there.

Out of the vehicle you jump and start heading to ground zero (GZ).

You count them down:
20, 15, 10 ……… blitz …….!!???!??!??@@??? WHAT?????

Then some words are uttered that I don’t dare type here because I would love to keep this a family friendly site! By the time you calm down you realize the batteries have gone dead! As you search around your pockets because you were sure that you had some, you realize that you haven’t purchased anymore because they are just too expensive!

Rechargeable Batteries
Rechargeable Batteries – your next best friend when geocaching.

WOW! I can say that this has happened to me a couple of times in the beginning. Now I know better. Always carry spare batteries.

I was watching a thread about the new Geomate Jr. Canadian Edition on a forums and they talked about how they couldn’t use it because they didn’t have good batteries. It made me start thinking about what is the best solution?

I can’t say if this is this best way to make sure you have good batteries or not, but this is what I do to ensure my caching adventure is fruitful and fun! There is nothing like getting 3 meters from a cache and your gps screen goes blank. (I like how mine fades away slowly over 30 to 45 seconds).

About 2 months into caching I realized how quickly a GPS can suck the life out batteries. Even good ones like Duracell. I have a fairly decent Fuji camera that I love to use and the same thing was happening with the batteries I used for it. Batteries just don’t seem to last very long when you are using it extensively. The more affordable solution in the long run I found is “Rechargeable batteries”! Sounds pretty easy doesn’t it?

I am not plugging any company here, but I have used energizer rechargeable batteries from the very beginning and have had great luck with them. The one thing to look out for when buying rechargeable batteries is the capacity. WHAT? CAPACITY??

Yes the capacity. If you haven’t really looked at rechargeable batteries, grab one now and have a look. What you should see labelled on the battery is something like “2300 mAh”. mAh stands for milliampere hours. The higher the mAh on a battery, the longer it will potentially last. Also if you are using your batteries for you digital camera’s, some won’t even turn on if the mAh is too low. The highest I have seen is 3000 mAh and they work well in just about any device.

So the next time you are out geocaching and your batteries fail in your gps, flashlight or camera, remember that you were forewarned.

I will be creating some more posts about rechargeable batteries including what type of charger to use as well as what kind of batteries others are saying work the best for them.

Geocaching Souvenir’s

Ontario Geocaching Souvenir
Ontario Geocaching Souvenir

I just received an email that I have a new souvenir. And there it is. My Ontario souvenir for all to see! One of many new souvenirs coming out.

Souvenirs or Badges as I like to call them are ways to show off some of your accomplishments.

I recently received an email stating that a souvenir I voted for is coming to light soon. 100 trackable logs.

I think it is kind of cool that Ground Speak has decided to create all of these souvenirs as a reflection of your accomplishments. It seems that just about every social website includes some sort of token to show your accomplishments.

The full sized image of the Ontario Souvenir.
The full sized image of the Ontario Souvenir.

Watch for lots of new souvenirs coming soon!

About Souvenirs.

Vote for Souvenirs and more info about souvenirs at Customer Feedback for Geocaching.com.

Also posted on TAG

Badly Placed Geocaches

Playground Geocache
Not a great place for a geocache. Too many muggles during the day and too many police at night.

Badly placed caches have been a bug in my side lately. I have seen more then my fair share as of late.

We all understand the concept of “Placing a Geocache” don’t we? Or do we?

Lately I have been finding caches just a little too easy. Caches that are placed in front of homes on rural roads, a cache in a playground set, one in a stop sign in an urban setting and even a few in a playground area right near the houses bordering it.

When we place caches, we should look around us to see what others might see. If it is near a playground, think of what it would be look like if a 55 year old man, dressed in his finest caching clothes, holding a gps and wandering around would look like. If you had kids at that playground, would you think something fishy was going on watching this person fish around a pine tree?

I think I would.

Pulling up across the road from a home in a rural setting. Looking around a tree or stump. Not a normal thing to see on a normally abandoned road. And yet as I drove in, I see 10 other stumps that AREN’T in front of a home. Why would you choose the one directly in front of their home where they can see me pull up while they are watching TV. Now difference here is that if the owner knows about the cache, then say so in your cache description. Tell me that the occupants know what is there. I really don’t need to feel like any minute now the police are going to drive up with sirens blaring.

I have also seen caches on the side of the road of main thoroughfares in the country. The other night I stopped for one of these and believe it or not, as I was coming out of the ditch, an officer stopped to ask if everything was ok. Now I am ok with explaining geocaching to each and every officer that has asked, but I don’t see why I should have to worry about it. I have now been asked by half a dozen officers about what I was doing. They have been pretty good with my explanation of geocaching, but I am waiting for the day that one of them doesn’t grasp the concept and into the back of the cruiser I go. Good thing I am pretty clean cut!

I have also encountered caches that just seem to be out in the open. Sometimes I wonder how they don’t get muggled. Just plain luck? I know that sometimes caches get moved around after the hide. But it seems that some are just plain out in the open and there wasn’t anywhere to hide them originally. A small sized cache sitting in the crotch of a tree in a playground is going to come up missing more than once!

So let’s just think about our surroundings when we place caches. Look around. Don’t just jump out of the vehicle, hide it, take the coords and run.

I would love to hear about some of your pet peeve hides! Post your comments below!