You Take The Good, You Take The Bad

A few days ago (for reasons, if you must know), I found myself doing something I don’t often do: going back to find an old cache. In this case, it was one I claimed four years ago. From time to time, I’m tasked with looking at and considering their contribution to the caching ecosystem. Every cache in the ecosystem matters, but some have more of an effect than others, I think. Everyone has that cache or two that stick with them, possibly because it’s an incredible experience, possibly because it’s foundational in their caching history, possibly for some other reason that I’m blanking on at the moment.

At the same time, I recently read a screed written by another cacher about the low quality of new caches. He felt that a lot of cachers, especially new cachers, are making weak hides for the numbers and that things are suffering as a result. Lamppost caches were an especial target of his venom. He exhorted more experienced cachers to archive their old, less interesting caches to hide (or leave space for) new, more special ones.

On the one hand, I get his feeling. I’ve gotten my share of bland caches. Who among us hasn’t tired of a micro in a tree or a seemingly random piece of Tupperware in a bush? We’d all like to see something better than what there is. But he’s ultimately wrong. An ecosystem, whether biological, silicon, or other, is a complex interaction of elements making an interconnected system, and the caching board (for lack of a better term, though I am batting around “cachiverse”) is really no different. New cachers have to start somewhere, and that first (possibly crappy) hide can be the beginning of a long history of creating wonders. Less-than-stellar hides are a good way for cachers to learn what they don’t like from caches. Not all lamppost caches are uninteresting. And new caches are nice but keeping up old caches is how you get old caches.

I guess my point here (and I do have one) is that evolution will take care of these things. It all started out as a bucket on a hill in the middle of nowhere and evolved into micros and LPCs in the middle of cities. Containers under a few rocks turned into gadget caches and nanos and clever hides of all stripes. Different cities and regions have different hiding styles based on their environments, conditions, hider talents, and cacher preferences. Enjoy what you have, and don’t worry. It’ll be all right. Caches will live, and caches will die, and that’s not always bad. And there you have the facts of life. At least from a caching perspective.

2 thoughts on “You Take The Good, You Take The Bad

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