Let’s take a quick break from individual cache stories and talk about numbers. Maybe inspired by the fact that I have “The Number 23” running in my DVD player in the background, maybe inspired by a run I had through Pioneers Park and Nebraska City last April that I came across as I went through my list trying to find the next story to tell you, but the topic is going to be numbers this time.
Many cachers play the numbers game, beyond how many caches they have. How many in one day, one week, one month, or one year. How many of each type they can find, or how many of each difficulty, terrain, or combinations of D/T. How many counties, states, or countries. It all leads to numbers. That’s why programs like Cache Stats and sites like INATN are popular, and why people use GSAK to develop personal statistics. Because of people’s interest in those types of stats, I made a page to help keep track of my stats. They are fun to look at and if I can imrove the number, I’ll try. But they are not numbers I obsessive over.
I originally kept track of a few numbers mostly as a way for 8601 and I to compete over who had the higher number of caches in one day. At the time, he was ahead of me for total caches, and since we usually cached together at first, I wasn’t worried about trying to get ahead yet. It wasn’t for a month that I was able to boost my number of finds in a day much higher than 10. It was April 13th, 2007, and I had the day to relax. I decided I was going to go to Pioneer’s Park in Lincoln, and clear out all, if not almost all of the caches in the park. Parking my car, I managed to hike five miles before I opened that car door again. I cleared all but one cache in the park at that time. It was a good hike on a great day. I wasn’t planning on much else. However, TC and 8601 became free later that afternoon. After some talking, we headed out of town. Our goal…to go to Nebraska City and clear off the caches in that city.
After stopping one small town along Highway 2 to get a cache TC and I had previously had a problem with at night (our flashlight died), we got to Nebraska City and picked a starting point. Starting with some hiking along a trail South of town, we got amazingly lucky and many of the caches didn’t require a lot of heavy searching. We only had one that bothered us, on a bridge in a local park. After climbing around, on, and under the bridge, we finally called it a miss and headed back to the car. In the end, I hiked around 8.5 miles and logged 18 caches. I cleared out all but one cache in Pioneers Park (I got it a few weeks later), and all but one or two caches in and around Nebraska City. It was one of the first big caching days I had, and it was ultimately a good day too.
I’ve since passed that several times, currently sitting at 37 caches in one day, a number that could have been higher if I hadn’t sat on my butt that morning getting ready. In my opinion, the numbers game can be a fun way to look at what you’ve done, but I don’t plan to get obsessive about it. If I can have a good run that boosts my numbers, way to go. Outside of completing challenge caches, the only number that is really important to me is my total finds number.
But that’s just me.