Spread the Love

Unloved Geocaches. What's that? In a nutshell an unloved cache is a cache which hasn't been found for 6 months or more. There are a couple of more criteria e.g. it needs to be a physical cache and it can't be archived but let's not get too technical. I already did that.

The full credit for the concept goes to Sam who created an according GCA cache in late 2010. I picked up her idea and made a challenge cache out of it not knowing it would change the way some people play this game for good.

The Spread the Love Challenge

At first this doesn't seem to be very appealing: There is an awkward old-school challenge cache which doesn't have a checker and you can't even see if you've already found any of them. The caches you're supposed to go after haven't been found in ages and might not even be there and on top of that it's not exactly straight forward to find the listings in the first place! WTF? Why on earth would you do that?!?

Experience, not Numbers

GC443VH West Peak
It's simple: We choose to go after unloved caches! We choose to find those unloved caches, not because they are easy, but because they are hard! Finding unloved caches is about the journey and the adventure. It's about succeeding where others don't even try. Mark and Ross describe it quite nicely: 

"These caches, I wouldn’t call unloved at all, some [..] are just nucking futs to get to"
   Team☢aky

"Unlove...
Only a year ago I had never heard of the term. 
Now... well, it's a temptation, a reward, an adventure, even an obsession at times. In fact, it is a total game changer for me"
   The Welder

Unlike an FTF, which can happen at any given time, you don't have to make a dash for it. And unlike other statistics-based variants of geocaching each and every unloved cache has a value. There are some cheap 6 months ones and others are worth years of unlove. It's a bit like going after high-elevation caches but the whole things is in motion.
I'm not also sure why Sam added these sentences "If you find a cache with a mate, only one of you can claim the find. Argue it amongst yourselves" but it effectively discourages herd-caching. Suddenly you're on your own out there! 

In the end the experiences you gain and memories you make while hunting unloved caches are quite unique. This is why some cachers keep on going even after qualifying for all challenges.

History in Numbers

I can't help myself and have to throw some crunchy numbers into the post. That's why you're here, right? Although the first challenge cache surfaced in 2012, the number of unloved caches is constantly climbing. The few cachers who go after unloved caches never made a significant dent. That's not a big surprise since there are also more caches to find. The ratio of unloved to all active caches rose in the last five years from 7.5% to almost 10%. Today there are over 1600 unloved caches in Victoria!


In future the number of unloved caches will grow even further while the overall number of active caches will stabilise or might even decline. This is something which can be predicted from available data. The usual unloved hunter have already found a lot of the caches which get unloved on a regular basis so there is also a reduced competition.

Now is a good time to get into this because there are more unloved caches available than ever. 

Useful Tools

Ok you want to try this? Great, let's get you started: Ever since Project GC appeared, finding unloved Geocaches became really easy. Just head to their website, log in, choose "Days Since Last Found" and there you go. Finding your previous unloved finds is a bit trickier: There is a GSAK macro which can do the job but you can also check Geocaching Australia. It's a bit clunky to click your way through:
  • My Cache Space 
  • My Profile Go! 
  • Statistics 
  • Unloved 
Alternatively use this URL and replace MOIST with your exact GC account name:

http://geocaching.com.au/cacher/statistics/MOIST/unloved/

This list will be a bit off in regards to same-day logs and archived caches but it gives you a good start. You still need to check the single finds, if you want to use it for any of the challenges. 
Most cachers who are continuously going after unloved caches keep their own detailed spreadsheet. Of course I have one for myself which you can find here: Unloved Finds of º 😄 Feel free to use it as a template for your own. There is also a tally list to compare yourself with others.

As you can see tracking unloved finds relies heavily on the cacher to get their own data right and it's therefore even more of an honour system than geocaching is anyway.

It's Your Turn!

Now get out there and find some unloved caches! If you haven't done it before, it might change the way how you will be caching in future. Who knows? Maybe one day you're even logging the Spread the MEGA-Love Challenge

Cheers 🍻
Philipp

Good Memories

For this post I went back through the list of my unloved finds and there are some great memories. Oh and the pics are 🔥AF as well 😊 However one cache simply steals the show: 2013 the Yeatpoles and I went on a holiday to China just to find this one single cache which had never been found in the previous ten years. If unloved caches wouldn't have been a thing for us, we would have never done it. But we did and it was EPIC. And yes. We found the cache.
GC1J79K Hagar's Helmet
GCRTBY Plumage

GC1J79K Hagar's Helmet2

GC5FYD5 How deep the Eildon?

GC5K08R Black Hawk


GC443VH West Peak


GCGZ8J Top of Wuzhishan Mountain - Josie going up

GCGZ8J Top of Wuzhishan Mountain - Bamboo Viper

GCN59B Dashing Clouds, Dashing Brooks & Dashing Beauty

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